Another week of baseball means another week of news across the small markets of the league. This week, I thought I would do something different and skip the lengthy introduction paragraph full of filler and skip right to the tidbits.
Sounds like a plan, right?
- The Baltimore Orioles continue to defy the odds and are leading the tough American League East division with a 13-8 record. So how do a middle-of-the-pack hitting squad and middle-of-the-pack starter’s ERA pace a power division like the AL East? Simple; the bullpen is 5-2 with a sparkling 1.94 ERA. They are paced by the trio of Luis Ayala, Jim Johnson, and Matt Lindstrom who have yet to surrender a single run as a group. Buck Showalter’s group will need to get some more offensive out of JJ Hardy, Nick Markakis, and Mark Reynolds (27 K’s in 57 AB’s!) if they want to stay in the playoff hunt for the season, but it looks like Baltimore is serious about taking advantage of the extra wild-card spot in 2012.
- The high-spending, and under-performing Angels released 38-year-old Bobby Abreu this week in order to make room for Mike Trout. So where does Abreu land? This blogger thinks he would be an excellent fit with the hitting challenged Pittsburgh Pirates. Jose Tabata is showing no signs of learning how to hit major league pitching, so bringing in the professional Abreu would serve wonders in the development of Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, and Alex Presley.
- Quick, without looking, can you name the major league ERA leader? The honor belongs to soft-tossing Joe Saunders of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The very same Saunders that sat on the free agency pile all winter only to go back to the team that non-tendered him in the first place. He is pacing MLB with a 0.90 ERA and has a solid .186 batting average against. Sometimes cast-aways bite the hook again and turn into a big fish.
- Looking down the top 10 in the batting average category is almost a who’s who of Major League Baseball. You have perennial MVP candidates in Matt Kemp, David Ortiz, Josh Hamilton, Derek Jeter, David Wright, Paul Konerko, Jose Altuve, Buster Posey, and hot-hand David Freese. Wait, did I say Jose Altuve? Yep, the Houston second baseman is 8th in the league in average at .359 and is sporting a solid.958 OPS to start the season. With his combination of speed and bat control, he has been a solid fantasy baseball sleeper for teams that took the chance on him.
Thanks for reading this week and keep enjoying the baseball!