Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Look Around the Majors


Hamilton Out 6-8 Weeks With Shoulder Injury
In a matinee on Tuesday afternoon in Detroit, one of the worst things that could have happened to the Texas Rangers happened. When a foul ball was popped up between third and home plate, the ball was caught with nobody covering the dish. Third base coach Dave Anderson was yelling at Hamilton to run when it was caught, and Hamilton reluctantly listened. He said afterwards that he had a bad feeling about the play, and he was right. Catcher Victor Martinez ran in and applied the tag, and in the process fracturing Hamilton's upper right arm. Anderson is going to catch a lot of flack for this. I feel bad for him, but it was the first inning and Hamilton is their star player. However, Anderson saw that no one was covering home and thought Hamilton would be able to put up a run. It was a tough choice, and it ended horribly for Hamilton and the Rangers. He is expected to miss about two months. 

Haren and Weaver Quietly Forming Top-Notch 1-2 Punch
In Anaheim, or Los Angeles if you choose to recognize that, the Angels are boasting the best one-two punch that baseball has to offer early on in 2011. Dan Haren just pitched another superb outing on Tuesday, throwing a complete game shutout while allowing just a single hit. For the year, Haren in 3-0 while posting a 0.73 ERA. The Angels ace, Jered Weaver, is matching Haren's productivity. In his first three starts, Weaver is also 3-0, with his 0.87 ERA. The Angels knew they had a very formidable one-two punch, but I don't know if even they thought it was capable of this. If these guys can keep this up (and by keep this up I mean both pitch at elite levels, obviously they won't keep sub-1 ERAs) they will be able to compete with Philadelphia and San Francisco for the best top of the rotation in all of baseball.

Fredi Gonzalez Inexplicably Continues to Bat Heyward 6th
In case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard, the Atlanta Braves have this pretty good 2nd year player by the name of Jayson Heyward. Heyward is a special talent that should have a long, illustrious career. Last year, under the legendary Bobby Cox, Heyward spent most of his time in the 2-hole, and showed that he is more than capable of hitting major league pitching, even though he was just 20 yeard old in 2010. At the end of the year, Heyward led the Braves with an impressive .849 OPS. He was clearly the best hitter on the team. This year, under new manager Fredi Gonzalez, Heyward has spent the season batting 6th. There is no logical reason for this. They are unnecessarily taking at bats from the best hitter their team has to offer. If I were Gonzalez, I would make the top six of their lineup looking like this:

Although I'm not a big league manager, I believe that putting your best hitter in a position to get maximum at bats is a pretty elementary concept

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