In the past offseason, A.J.
Burnett was handed a 5-year $82.5 million contract to leave the Toronto Blue
Jays for the New York Yankees. As
with many of the rash, big-money moves that the Yankees make, it hasn’t paid
off, and the absence of Burnett opened a spot for an cheaper, better pitcher in
A.J. Burnett, to put it
mildly, has struggled this year.
2008: 4.07 ERA, 9.39 K/9, 3.5
BB/9, 2.69 K/BB, 0.77 HR/9, 1.34 WHIP, .328 BABIP, 70.5% LOB%, 3.45 FIP
2009: 4.29 ERA, 8.21 K/9,
4.34 BB/9. 1.89 K/BB, 1.16 HR/9, 1.41 WHIP, .295 BABIP, 75.2%, 4.55 FIP
Perhaps I should re-name this
post The Not-So Strange Case Of A.J. Burnett
Following a career year,
Burnett’s numbers regressed dramatically.
His strikeout rate has come down, his walk rate has gone up, and his
homerun rate has gone up. This is
even more impressive considering the fact that his BABIP shows he was unlucky
in 2008, and back to normal in 2009.
Maybe he just has Yankee-Stadium-itis.
Anyhow, up in Toronto, the
‘Jays are paying a rookie who they were criticized for drafting, approximately 16.1
million dollars less than Burnett, to pitch better than Burnett.
A.J. Burnett 2009: 4.29 ERA,
8.21 K/9, 4.34 BB/9. 1.89 K/BB, 1.16 HR/9, 1.41 WHIP, .295 BABIP, 75.2%, 4.55
Ricky Romero 2009: 3.95 ERA, 6.85
K/9, 3.69 BB/9, 1.86 K/BB, 1.05 HR/9, 1.44 WHIP, .308 BABIP, 4.47 FIP
Stay tuned as the Yankees
free spending continues to carry them to their doom…
July. One month of endless speculation and trades. Ended by the trade deadline on July 31st. It’s over. Finally. I have decided to recap what each team did at the deadline. First the AL by division, then later the NL.
All the talk through the offseason revolved around what would be a race for the ages in the 2009 AL East. There were three teams, the revamped, “more lavish spending than ever” Yankees; the steady Red Sox, who didn’t know the meaning of the word collapse; and the sentimental favorite Rays, who had come out of nowhere to land the 2008 pennant. In April the discussion revolved around the Red Sox hot start, the Rays up-and-down performance, and the last-place Yankees. In May it was the Sox staying steady, the Yankees starting to find some cohesion, and the Rays meandering along the .500 line. In June the Yankees and Red Sox were going head-to-head at the top of the division, while the Rays were making a little-noticed push toward the top. Now in July, the race is neck to neck. But if this seems crazy, then just imagine what 2010 will be.
Not only will the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays be in the division hunt, but also the Blue Jays and Orioles. 2010 is the arrival date for Orioles top pitchers Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, and Brian Matusz, all three will join ace Jeremy Guthrie, and sinkerballer Brad Bergesen to make a strong rotation. Brad Snyder could join the O’s at first base should Aubrey Huff leave in free agency. These players would join Baltimore’s core four of LF Nolan Reimold, CF Adam Jones, RF Nick Markakis, and DH Luke Scott. These players would put Baltimore a bullpen arm away from contention.
The Blue Jays with their hoard of young pitchers, and hitters, such as Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and Travis Snider, have showed flashes of brilliance this year, and could be strengthend even more should they deal ace Roy Halladay for a kings ransom of prospects.
If a three team race in 2009 is great, then what about a five team battle in 2010?
1. Pirates trade UT Eric Hinske to the Yankees for minor league P Casey Erickson, and minor league C/OF Eric Fryer
The gist of this trade is clear. With the recent news that Yankees OF Xavier Nady will be out for the season, New York was looking for a utility guy to spell Nick Swisher in right field occasionally. On the Pirates side of things, they’re as usual, completely out of the playoff picture, getting anything for three months of Alex Rodriguez Eric Hinske, is a gain.
2. Nationals trade OF Lastings Milledge, and P Joel Hanrahan to the Pirates, for OF Nyjer Morgan, and P Sean Burnett
I needed an excuse to unload on the Nationals, and here it is, just dropping into my lap. Why do you trade a top outfield prospect, and a okay relief pitcher, for a outfielder having a freak career year, and a mediocre pitcher!!! Horrible move for the Nats, adding another poor arm to their bullpen mess. Congratulations Neal Huntington! You did something right! Perfect time to sell high.
Milton Bradley doesn’t. In the eighth inning of yesterday’s game, he caught a deep fly ball near the warning track, and tossed the ball into the stands, assuming that he had caught the third out. Now there was minimal impact on the play, Nick Punto had already scored via the sacrifice fly. But runner Brendan Harris was able to move up to third because of the gaff, and if Alfonso Soriano had missed Justin Morneau’s fly ball, then well…. uh….. uh…. uh…. aha! The Cubs would have lost 8-4, instead of 7-4. Now, Milton
how can we teach you to count to three? Three is the fourth number when you’re discussing outs in baseball. The numbers for outs go 0, 1, 2, 3. Or perhaps you prefer zero, one, two, three.
Let’s revisit that inning yesterday, when Nick Punto singled, there were 0 outs, when Luis Ayala bunted, and Punto advanced to second, there was 1 out, when Brendan Harris singled, and Punto moved up to third, there was still 1 out, when Joe Mauer hit a fly ball to you, and you caught it, there were 2 outs, and when Justin Morneau flew out to Alfonso Soriano, then there were 3 outs, and the inning was over.
A quote from Uncle Milton:
“The other fly ball [in the eighth], I turned my back to shade the sun some,” he said. “I caught it. I exhaled, and I was still seeing purple and green spots because I was looking into the sun. I sensed that something wasn’t right. My heart was in the right place, I tried to give a souvenir. It was messed up.”
At least it’s not screaming at umpires, or storming the broadcast booth, some of Bradley’s earlier exploits.
This Day In Baseball History
1905-Giants’ hurler Christy Mathewson pitches his second career no-hitter defeating the Cubs, 1-0.
1913-In the top of the ninth inning with no outs at New York’s Polo Grounds, Christy Mathewson strands a runner on third base to record his 300th career victory as the Giants edge the Cubs, 3-2. During his 17-year major league career, ‘Big Six’ will compile a 373-188 record.
1924-After Bob Meusel get hit with a pitch in his back in the top of the ninth, the Yankee outfielder hurls his bat at Tiger pitcher Bert Cole, and charges the mound. The resulting melee, including players, fans and police, lasts for nearly 30 minutes and when ump Billy Evans is unable to clear the field, he forfeits the game to New York, 10-6.
1948-With the crowd of 49,641 singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to the Babe, the Yankees celebrate the silver anniversary of Yankee Stadium by holding ‘Babe Ruth Day’. With members of the 1923 team (the first team to play in the stadium) looking on, the dying superstar’s uniform number 3 is retired and sent to Cooperstown.
1957-Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams becomes the first American Leaguer to have two three-homer games in one season. The ‘Splendid Splinter’ drives in five runs helping Boston to defeat the Indians, 9-3.
1957-At Comiskey Park, an ugly brawl, precipitated by an Art Ditmar pitch behind Larry Doby’s head, breaks out when the White Sox infielder takes exception to being the target of the bean ball and punches the Yankee hurler. Billy Martin, Walt Dropo, Bill Skowron and Enos Slaughter all actively participate in the melee.
1973-The Dodgers infield which will be together 8 1/2 years, setting a major league record for longevity, play together the first time. First baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, third baseman Ron Cey and shortstop Bill Russell are in the line up in the 16-3 defeat to the Phillies.
1994-At the age of 34, Cub second baseman Ryne Sandberg suddenly retires walking away from $16 million.
1998-The first triple play ever completed at Dodger Stadium is turned by Darren Dreifort, Eric Young, Jose Vizcaino and Bobby Bonilla.
1999-With his Astros ahead 4-1 in the 8th inning, the game is suspended when Houston manager Larry Dierker can’t speak, falls and begins shaking violently due to a gran mal seizure.
2003-On his fourth attempt, Roger Clemens becomes the 21st pitcher and the first since 1990 to record 300 career wins as the 40-year-old righty goes 6 2/3 innings in the Yankees’ 5-2 inter-league victory over the Cardinals. In the second inning when Edgar Renteria swings through full-count fastball, the ‘Rocket’ also joins Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Steve Carlton (4,136) as just the third hurler to record 4000 career strikeouts.
A few days ago, I considered writing about how David Ortiz’s career was over because of his hitting troubles.
Guess not. With 3 homeruns in the past week, and pushing his BA above the Mendoza Line, Papi’s proving everyone wrong. Slowly but steadily, Ortiz is crawling back.
- Interleague Play Again
Some hitters and pitchers primed for big days today:
Alex Rodriguez- 10-16, 3 HR, 2.122 OPS against Livan Hernandez
Vladimir Guerrero-7-16, 3 HR, 1.533 OPS against Chad Gaudin
Paul Konerko-14-34, 2 HR, 1.105 OPS against Jeff Suppan
Ian Snell against Tigers
Vicente Padilla against Dodgers
Roy Halladay against Marlins
This Day In Baseball History
1907-The Yankees commit eleven errors and lose to the Tigers,14-6.
1939-In front of a record crowd of 23,864 fans at Ruppert Stadium, Lou Gehrig plays his last game as a Yankee during an exhibition game against the Kansas City Blues, their AA farm team. Playing only three innings and batting eighth, the’ Iron 71-Horse’ grounds out weakly to second base in his only at-bat.
1939-The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York.
1940-In a trade which stuns the baseball world, the Dodgers obtain Ducky Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis from the Cardinals for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, two minor leaguers and $125,000; the deal signals the emergence of Brooklyn as a serious contender.
1941-The Braves break up the Waners’ brother act sending Lloyd to the Reds for pitcher Johnny Hutchings; ‘Big Poison’ Paul will stay in Boston.
1954-Braves’ hurler Jim Wilson pitches the season’s only no-hitter as he blanks the Phillies, 2-0.
1959-Despite giving up a hit in the sixth, Giant Mike McCormick was credited with a no-hitter when the game is rained out later in that same inning.
1967-In a 22-inning game which takes six hours, 38 minutes and ends at 2:43 in the morning, the Senators defeat the White Sox at R.F.K. Stadium, 6-5. The marathon causes the American League to adopt a curfew stating that no inning may begin after 1 00 a.m.
1970-Dock Ellis throws a 2-0 no-hitter against the Padres in San Diego during the first game of a twin bill. The former Pirates’ right-hander, later an adovocate of anti-drug programs claims he was under the influence of LSD while tossing the most memorable game in his career.
Dock Ellis died on December 19, 2008 R.I.P.
1971-Padre Clay Kirby one-hits the Giants; the no-hitter is spoiled by a Willie McCovey homer.
1981-Major League Baseball’s first strike which begins after the start of a season cancels thirteen regular-season games.
1983-Hall of Famers Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg have their uniform numbers retired by Detroit in a ballpark ceremony. The digits 2 and 5, respectively, will join Al Kaline’s #6 (1980) as the only numbers retired by the Tigers.
1983-Before the game against the Giants, Dale Murphy visits with a six-year old in the stands who recently lost both arms and a leg due a power line accident and is asked by the girl’s nurse if he could hit a home run for the injured child. The outfielder modestly answers “Well, Okay”, and then proceeds to hit two homers in the 3-2 Braves victory at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1988-Mike Scott’s attempt for his second career no-hitter is spoiled with two outs in the ninth inning by a Braves infielder Ken Oberkfell’s line drive single down the right field line. The right-hander, who settles for a 5-0 one-hitter, tossed a no-no in 1986 which clinched the Nation League West division for the Astros.
1997-After 126 years of major league play, the first interleague games in history are played as the Giants defeat the Rangers, 4-3, at the Ballpark in Texas. Glenallen Hill becomes the National League’s first regular season designated hitter.
- When Will The Tom Glavine Drama End?
Tom Glavine is moaning that the Braves released him for purely financial reasons, and is demanding an apology. Sure there was some financial motivation, minor league salary over 5 million dollars. But who would you rather have, a 43-year old pitcher who’s averaging 82 mph on his fastball, or a 22-year old with a blazing fastball, and one of the top pitching prospects ever. The Braves have tried to cling to the past for too long, it’s time for Atlanta to move on.
- D-backs 9 Padres 6
A win is a win, or so it is said. A comfortable 5 run, traditional 9 inning win; is different from a 18 inning marathon, where you can’t score until you’re opponent has to bring in an infielder to pitch. Arizona better hope that their starter goes the distance tomorrow, or they’re in trouble.
- MLB Draft Notes
- Stephen Strasburg will break the bonus slot system
- The Padres are fools if they take Donovan Tate at number 3
- Redrafts Aaron Crow, and Tanner Scheppers will be top 10 selections
Before I get to the main subject of today’s post, a few quick notes…
- Congratulations To Red Sox Pitcher Jon Lester For Taking A Perfect Game Into The 7th
Jon Lester is a success story to many. A miraculous recovery from cancer, pitching again, winning the last game of the 2007 World Series, and finally pitching a no-hitter in 2008. Lester’s story runs almost parallel with another player’s: Dave Dravecky. At the beginning off the 1988 season, Dravecky had a cancerous desmoid tumor removed from his pitching arm, along with half of the deltoid muscle, and freezing the humerus bone. On August 10, 1989, Dravecky made a remarkable return to the majors, pitching 8 innings, and giving up three runs. However tragedy struck in his next start, Dravecky’s humerus bone snapped while he was delivering a pitch, ending his career. Let’s hope that Lester’s career won’t mirror Dravecky’s that closely!
- Chad Tracy, Stephen Drew, Chris Young, and Eric Byrnes, You Should Be Ashamed
Diamondbacks pitcher Max Scherzer has a .667 OPS, horrible, right? What else would you expect from a pitcher? Four D-back starters, 1B Chad Tracy, SS Stephen Drew, CF Chris Young, and RF Eric Byrnes, have lower OPS’s than Scherzer! The D-backs offense should be ashamed.
es (257), Mets (286) and Cardinals (351) skipper becomes the first person in big league history to have to reached the milestone and also have at least 2,000 hits as a player.
It’s still early in the season, but when your offense can’t score, when your marquee player is injured, and when this happens you’re sunk…
- Indians demote Fausto Carmona to Rookie League to “Work on his mechanics and mental approach”
What has happened to the 2007 version of Fausto Carmona? As a quick reminder, that year, Carmona went 19-8, with a 3.06 ERA, and pitched 215 innings, more than he’d ever pitched in a single season. Carmona’s performance came with an abnormally low BABIP. What could be so bad in his mechanics to justify sending him down to Rookie league. Sending a player to Rookie League to work on something, not rehabilitation, but i.e. mechanics, does not motivate a player, to try harder, it makes him feel insulted, and work less. Back to the main question, what was his mechanical problem?
- Grady Sizemore’s injury
Elbow inflammation+possible hamstring injury = bad. Now he may have surgery and miss six weeks . I’ts time for Cleveland to sell players like Mark Derosa, and Cliff Lee.
This Day In Baseball History
1920-The Cardinals play their last game at Robison Field (renamed Cardinal Field in 1917), their home field since 1893, beating the Cubs, 5-2. One of new owner Sam Breadon’s first decisions is to agree to a ten-year lease for $20,000 annually allowing his team to move six blocks to share Sportman’s Park with the Browns, and then using the money from selling the aging ballpark to finance Branch Rickey’s idea of establishing a farm system by investing in a club afflilation with a minor league team in Houston, Texas.
1925-White Sox Eddie Collins, at the age of 38, becomes the sixth major leaguer to collect 3000 hits when he doubles off Washington’s Walter Johnson.
1934-Myril Hoag becomes first Yankee in franchise history to collect six hits in one game, a major league record of six singles. The 26-year old outfielder’s 6-for-6 performance helps the Bronx Bombers rout Boston at Fenway Park, 15-3.
1939-Bert and George Bebble and Carl Stotz form the Little League organization in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The three youth teams in the league have uniforms thanks to a $35 donation.
1940-Warren Spahn, who will become the winningest left-hander in baseball history with 363 victories, signs a contract with the Boston Bees (Braves). Due to a clash with manager Casey Stengel and his enlistment in the U.S. Army, the 19-year old southpaw will have to wait six years before he gets his first major league win.
1941-The New York Giants become the first team to wear protective headgear as they don plastic helmets in a game against the Pirates.
1957-After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to poor visibility.
1958-Osvaldo ‘Ossie’ Virgil becomes the first black player to appear in a Tigers’ uniform. The versatile Dominican will eventually play every position but pitcher during his nine major league career.
1965-Tom Tresh hits three consecutive home runs as the Yankees blast the White Sox, 12-0.
1976-After a storm drops seven inches of rain causing floods in Houston, twenty fans canoe to the Astrodome to get rain checks for the canceled game at the enclosed stadium.
1986-Before the game against the Braves, Padres’ skipper Steve Boros tries to give ump Charlie Williams a videotape of a disputed play from the previous night and is ejected prior to the first pitch of the game.
1992-Eddie Murray drives in two runs against the Pirates to surpass Mickey Mantle (1,509) as the all-time switch-hitter RBI leader.
2002-The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission agrees to drop its lawsuit against the Twins and Major League Baseball. The deal settles a lawsuit blocking baseball’s contraction plan and removes the Twins from consideration for elimination for the 2003 season.
2006-When Eric Gagne, who will earn his first save in over a year, throws his first pitch to his receiver Russell Martin, the pair become the first All-French-Canadian battery in major league history. The pitcher and catcher both attended Polyvalente Edouard Montpetit High School, one of the few schools in Montreal which had a baseball program.
2007-At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman becomes the first reliever to save 500 games. It takes the all-time saves leader 10 ninth inning pitches, including an 87 mph fastball thrown past Russell Martin for the final out, to reach the milestone in the Padres 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.
Why are the Cubs tanking again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!