This post could also be titled, "Random crap I've been carrying around in my satchel all week, for your trivial pleasure":
- Monday's WSJ talked about Livan Hernandez' historic month, who had a great April 2010 (ERA 0.87 over 31 innings) relative to his career ERA (4.41). In a table that listed the best months ever by pitchers with a career ERA over 4.40, Hernandez placed #1. And guess who was #4? Delino's favorite, Russ Ortiz, who in August 2000 had a 1.12 ERA for the Giants, which was quite different from his 4.51 career ERA. Russ Ortiz continues to haunt.
- Tuesday's WSJ reminded us that the early returns on veteran free-agent pitchers have been disappointing:
Perhaps no team regrets their off-season investment in a pitcher as much as the Oakland Athletics and their supposed ace Ben Sheets. The typically frugal Billy Beane gave Mr. Sheets a $10 million guaranteed contract for 2010, despite missing all of 2009 while rehabbing from surgery. Six starts into the experiment, and it has been a disaster—he has thrown just 30 innings, has equal numbers of walks and strikeouts, and has allowed a staggering 25 runs. Given his reduced velocity and absent command, it seems unlikely that Mr. Sheets will be able to earn his salary this year.
He's hardly the only high priced pitcher to struggle so far. Jason Marquis was signed to solidify the Washington Nationals' rotation, but ended up on the disabled list after allowing 20 runs in his first three starts. Even John Lackey, the prize of the free agent arms this winter, has struggled with his new team and has yet to show the quality that the Red Sox thought their $82.5 million investment was getting them.
Meanwhile, low dollar signings such as Colby Lewis look brilliant so far—the Rangers have gotten premier production from a guy who spent the last two years playing for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.
Even still, I miss Randy Wolf. Have I mentioned that before?
- ESPN the Magazine (May 3 2010 issue) had a sidebar about how the Cleveland Indians have rolled out the Tribe Social Deck, "a 10-seat section in Progressive Field's leftfield bleachers dedicated to those who spread word about the team over the internet." This is hardly avant-garde relative to how Dodgers PR Grand Poobah Josh Rawitch has received bloggers, since he's been fostering those relationships for over three years now. But I suppose since the Indians don't have Mannywood, what else are you going to do with the left field bleachers area?
- And finally, Tim Kurkjian's comments from the same ESPN the Mag issue, on Clayton Kershaw:
Clayton Kershaw needs to be more efficient on the mound. The Dodgers' 22-year-old southpaw threw the most pitches per batter in the NL last year (4.32) and was averaging 4.38 through two starts this season. One scout says Kershaw's curveball is so big he has a hard time throwing it for strikes, and that umpires have a hard time reading where it actually crosses the plate.
And just think, this comment was made before Kershaw's last outing, which was aberrantly disastrous. I'm going to support the Minotaur and blame the umps for their incompetence reading Public Enemy Number One.
SoSG, where we read the periodicals, so you don't have to!