Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Baseball after two weeks

It is early, but a few baseball players are off to surprising starts. Consider these items:

Chris Shelton
is leading the American League in home runs with 9. That's slightly surprising as he only hit 18 all last year. However, what's really astounding is that he has hit 3 triples already. Coming into this season he only had 3 triples in his career. A former catcher with a lifetime total of zero stolen bases, speed is not an integral part of his game.

The Indians leadoff hitter (Sizemore) has scored 7 runs after 14 games while their clean up hitter (Hafner) has already scored 22 runs. Weirder than that, Cleveland's number 9 hitter (Blake) is batting .447!

Does Randy Johnson's career development give Daniel Cabrera hope? Johnson who was known for a lack of control early in his career has only walked 2 batters after four starts. In his first start Cabrera walked a career high 7 batters. In his second start he exceeded that total by two. Something happened between his second and third outings as he only walked one batter on Friday night.

Looks like Jim Thome is healthy. Last year Thome managed 7 home runs for Philadelphia. This year with less than 10% of the season in the books he has equaled that total. Hate to see him in a White Sox uniform, but am glad he is recovered from his back problems.

Near the end of Spring training, the Boston Red Sox traded pitcher Bronson Arroyo to the Cincinnati Reds for a power hitting young outfielder named Wily Mo Pena. At this point the Reds seem to have gotten the better end of the deal as Arroyo has hit two homers and Pena one. I personally think that if Boston played Pena every day he'd develop into a very good if not great offensive player. Defensively, you better have a centerfielder who can cover a lot of ground between Pena and Ramirez.

Barry Bonds remains 6 home runs behind Babe Ruth for second place all time. His body is betraying him. He has two bad knees and bone chips causing pain in his left elbow. Oddly enough, even though he can't run and his batting average is just .214 pitcher are still afraid to pitch to him. He has walked 15 times for an on-base percentage of .511. Over the course of the season he will hit at least 6 "mistake pitches" out of the park. The real question is whether he will keep playing long enough to do it. In May 1987, Mike Schmidt realized that he was done and retired rather than embarrass himself. Maybe Bonds will follow that example.

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