30 Thoughts on The First Two Months Of The 2010 Baseball Season.
Today is June 1st. The 2010 baseball season is, figuratively speaking, one third of the way through. The Philadelphia Phillies find themselves in second place in the NL East and are playing terrible ball - perfect games aside - heading into the summer months.
The Phillies need Jimmy Rollins back, and soon.
Here are 30 other thoughts regarding the 30 teams and the things they have done so far.
30. The Colorado Rockies are 27-24 despite the fact that Ubaldo Jimenez is 10-1. The Kansas City Royals are 21-31 despite the fact that Zack Greinke is 1-6. That means, without their star pitchers, the Rockies are 17-23 while the Royals are 20-24.
29. Ty Wigginton, who wasn't supposed to be a starter for the Baltimore Orioles this year, leads the team in runs, homeruns, RBI, OPS, OPS+, and adjusted batting runs.
28. Lost in all the talk about Ubaldo, Roy Halladay, and Tim Lincecum, the Cardinals' Jaime Garcia has gotten off to a 5-1 start with a 1.32 ERA and has only allowed 46 hits through 61.1 innings pitched.
26. In case you thought we were returning to 1980's style baseball, you are right in at least one respect: Oakland's Rajai Davis leads the majors with 22 stolen bases despite his .315 on-base percentage.
25. Alexis Rios, waived by the Blue Jays last August, has 11 home runs, 16 stolen bases, 32 runs scored, and a .312 batting average. All of these numbers put him on pace for career highs.
24. By my calculations, the Curtis Granderson three-team deal in December of last year netted the Tigers Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, and Daniel Schlereth for Edwin Jackson and Granderson. Schlereth has a 2.25 ERA at Triple-A with 30 strikeouts in 24 innings; Scherzer just struck out 14 batters in 5.2 innings last weekend; and Austin Jackson is hitting .330 with a 121 OPS+.
Meanwhile, Granderson is hitting .232 with a 102 OPS+ in 27 games, and Edwin Jackson leads the National League in earned runs allowed and wild pitches.
23. Josh Johnson accomplished something this week that is shockingly common: he became the seventh starting pitcher to take a loss without allowing a single earned run against an opposing pitcher throwing a perfect game. Jim McCormick did it against Lee Richmond; Ed Walsh did it against Addie Joss; Bob Hendley did it against Sandy Koufax; Charlie Hough did it against Mike Witt; Tim Belcher did it against Tom Browning; and Mike Morgan did it against Dennis Martinez.
22. Four players finished ahead of Casey McGehee in the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Chris Coghlan currently has a .568 OPS, J.A. Happ has pitched 10.1 innings, Tommy Hanson has an ERA in the high-threes, and Andrew McCutcheon is doing fine. Meanwhile, McGehee leads the National League in RBI, has an .876 OPS, and is ranked sixth in total bases.
21. What are the odds that Robinson Cano would be the leading hitter on a team with Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira?
20. I'm not sure there is a larger trail of broken dreams than the one running through the Cleveland Indians clubhouse, which features Kerry Wood, Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Andy Marte, Shelley Duncan, Austin Kearns, and Russ Branyan.
19. Mark Reynolds is quietly on pace to break the single-season strikeout record for the third year in a row. What's worse, Reynolds and Justin Upton are on pace to become the first ever 200 strikeout teammates.
18. The San Diego Padres have the best record in the NL despite getting absolutely no production from Kyle Blanks, Everth Cabrera, Tony Gwynn Jr., or Jerry Hairston, Jr.
17. Brandon Wood may be having the worst season of any length of all time. He is hitting .156 with a .381 OPS (yes, OPS), and 36 strikeouts to go with 2 walks.
16. As uninteresting as the NL Cy Young Award race is at the moment, there is no clear leader in the AL. Jeff Niemann is your ERA and ERA+ leader; David Price, Andy Pettitte, and Clay Buchholz are tied for the league lead in wins with seven; and Ricky Romero leads the league in strikeouts with 79.
15. Roy Oswalt is averaging over a strikeout per inning for the first time since his rookie season.
14. If Ivan Rodriguez (currently on the disabled list) can add "taking the Washington Nationals to the playoffs" to "taking the Detroit Tigers to the World Series" and "taking the Florida Marlins to a World Series Championship" on his resume, does that make him the greatest catcher of all time?
13. The fact that Jamey Wright still has a job in Major League Baseball is enough to make you believe in conspiracy theories.
12. Phillies' record with Jimmy Rollins in the lineup: 9-3; Phillies' record without Jimmy Rollins in the lineup: 19-20.
11. If Joakim Soria is still a Royal after the trade deadline, then several teams aren't trying to win and the Royals aren't trying to rebuild.
10. With 14.4 strikeouts per nine innings, a 4.57 K/BB ratio, and a 231 ERA+, Billy Wagner is back in the Hall of Fame closer conversation.
9. This year's NL Most Valuable Player Award is bound to be historic. Right now, it appears as though it will either go to a pitcher, a rookie, or a guy who has already won it three times.
8. Until he proves me wrong, my new nickname for David Wright is "HoJo", as his career trajectory is tracing, almost perfectly, that of Howard Johnson.
7. Carlos Silva, currently 7-0 with a 3.12 ERA after going a combined 5-18 with a 6.18 ERA in the last two seasons is clearly the Comeback Player of the Year so far.
6. Is there any way Seattle trades Ichiro?
5. In almost half as many games as he played all of last year (100 vs. 49), Vlad Guerrero has almost reached last season's totals in home runs (15) and RBI (50).
4. Charlie Morton is 1-9 with a 9.35 ERA and 12 home runs allowed in 10 starts this season. How did he get to 10 starts this season?
3. Cincinnati's ace this season is Mike Leake, who was drafted last season and has never played a game in the minor leagues but has a 4-0 record and a 2.45 ERA.
2. The National League leader in OPS+ is currently Albert Pujols. The second place leader is rookie Jason Heyward, the fourth youngest player in the league.
1. The second half of the 2010 baseball season begins on June 8th, when Stephen Strasburg takes the mound for the Washington Nationals against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
And that's the first two months. We'll have to check in after another couple of months to see where we stand.
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