Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Random Thoughts from my Brain to Yours

  • According to David O'Brien, a writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a bullpen catcher told him that the balls being used across the league this year are harder, indicating that they've been doctored, or "juiced." The theory is that baseball is doing this to counteract the low attendance numbers due to the bad economy. MLB has come back with a statement of their own saying, "There has been no change whatsoever on the composition of the baseball or the process in which they are made." Of course, I think this is pretty much garbage. First of all, we are 104 games into the season. That is roughly 4% of the way through the year. We should probably wait at least a month before making crazy allegations like this one. Also, Texas is on an offensive tear right now, with some help from Red Sox pitching, and that tear is contributing to these numbers. So while the offensive numbers have been up so far, we're 4% through the season. Let's relax a bit. 

  • Speaking of Texas, I just wanted to touch on what Nelson Cruz has done thus far, four games into the year. He has made history, becoming just the third player all time to hit four home runs in his teams first four games, joining Willie Mays and Mark McGwire on that one. That Texas lineup is downright scary, and Cruz is a big reason why. There may not be a better power combination in baseball than Cruz and Hamilton. Last season, Cruz hit 22 home runs in just 108 games. I think he has a big spike this year (really going out on a limb there), and could approach the 40 mark, if healthy for the whole year.

  • Since we're on the topic of hot starts, let's take a gander into the 4-0 start by Baltimore this year, their best start since 1997. Let's delve into whether or not this team can hang around and contend in the AL East, shall we? I know I've been preaching that we can't overreact after four games, but I may do that, if only slightly, right now. Coming into the year, I liked Baltimore's lineup. Solidified by the additions of Vlad Guerrero and Mark Reynolds, along with incumbents Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts, the lineup looked like it could be a solid big league lineup(A change for Baltimore fans). However, I had some questions about their pitchers. So far, they have gotten starts from Jeremy Guthrie, Zach Britton, Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta. All four of those guys have pitched at least 6 innings, with Britton and Arrieta being the only ones to give up any runs, and they each gave up just one. So, while I know the season is still young, and the pitching can still go downhill, I was extremely impressed by the O's starting pitching and may be drinking some of that Oriole Kool Aid. 

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