June has come and gone, and we are quickly approaching the middle of this injury-prone season. However, with the passing of June arrives the latest installment of “MLB’s Diamond and Cubic Zirconia of the Month.”
Diamond of June: CC Sabathia, Cleveland Indians (now, Milwaukee Brewers)
CC Sabathia, hailing from Vallejo, CA, pitched exceptionally in the month of June. Always dominant, he led the league last month with 44 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched. With an ERA of 1.89, he started five games, winning three.
On June 10, Sabathia pitched a commanding complete game shutout against the Minnesota Twins. Giving up only five hits, Sabathia only became stronger as the game progressed. Even home-plate umpire Joe West, has been quoted as saying that’s the best he’s seen the 6’7” lefty in the past couple years.
With the trade deadline hovering over the league’s head, Sabathia was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for four players. In his first start for the Brew Crew, Sabathia won that decision, giving up three runs on five hits. Some say this trade puts the Brewers in the running to go far in the postseason, but until Prince Fielder improves, I stay skeptical.
Cubic Zirconia of June: Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta Braves
Even before Jeff Francoeur was optioned to Double-A, I took note of his steady decline in the month of June. I closely follow the N.L. East and his lack of production was not easy to ignore.
In June, he put together a .206 batting average, .270 OBP, and .314 SLG. These numbers are far from his .272 career batting average and are a huge drop from his 2008 batting average of .293.
In an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was reported that Francoeur’s vision has been deteriorating since getting hit in the face by a pitch in 2004.
Since that minor league game, his vision in his right eye hasn’t been the same. Trying to find an answer to the horrible numbers, Francoeur theorizes it may be his vision.
On June 23, he was fitted for a contact lens to help correct his sight and, hopefully, his ability to recognize pitches.
Sparkly Icing on June’s Cake: Emmanuel Burriss, San Francisco Giants
While Gold Glover Omar Vizquel was recovering from knee surgery, fans were treated to a parade of possible future replacements at the shortstop position. Included in that procession was Emmanuel Burriss—whom Vizquel has occasionally been benched for while he hits below .200.
One reason that I am so pleased at seeing Burriss play is his picture on the AT&T Park HD big screen. His cap cocked to the side, his light eyes looking deep into the camera, and his enigmatic smirk make me giggle. This 6’0” player from DC is not just fun to watch at shortstop, he’s just simply fun to watch.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of this young player.
Is it just me or does the future look bright and sexy?