Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Other Notes & Links
American League West Pitchers
Good morning everyone! You have to love the three day weekend, don't you?! I do! But, it is now back to the workweek, back to the grind.
I know many of you read this site when you're at work. I can tell because when there is a holiday, I get less hits. I say that only to tell you that there was a somewhat new posting yesterday. On Friday, I posted some Spring Training Q&As from three players. Over the weekend, three more players responded to my questions, and I got those all posted for yesterday. I also posted seven questions that I have heading into Spring Training. So please, if you missed it, please be sure to check it out.
Today, I will dive into the AL Western division pitchers in Part 7 of my Fantasy Perspective series. If you would like more detail on why I want to do this series as well as some of the thoughts that go into these thoughts, please click here. You will notice that I do not have projections for 2006 for the pitchers, as I did with the hitters. The main reason is because it is a lot harder to predict. That is not a cop-out for me, but one big thing that people want to know when playing fantasy sports or just trying to predict, is how many Wins and Losses a pitcher will have. Well, as you know, I do not like the Win-Loss stat for pitchers at all. To me, it is completely unimportant. Yes, in a team concept, the Win is the most important statistic, but it does not matter which pitcher 'earns' it. There have been far too many relief pitchers who pick up wins for throwing 1/3 of an inning after the starter gave up just one run over 7 2/3 innings with a no decision for the Win statistic to mean much of anything. It is too dependent upon too many things that the starter can not control. It depends on the offense of the team, and it depends on how pitchers who come in later perform. The stats that matter to me for a starter are ERA, Innings Pitcher, strikeouts per nine innings, WHIP and Opponents Batting Average. Those are numbers that a pitcher is more able to control. All a starter can do is go out there and pitch as well as he can for as long as he can, in an attempt to not allow runs. So, I refuse to try to predict wins. In the AL last year, who gave up the least number of Earned Runs on average for every nine innings he pitched? Kevin Millwood, and he went 9-11. Who came in second? Johan Santana, and he went just 16-7. Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon won 21 games (And the AL Cy Young) and gave up about 0.60 runs more per nine innings. I know that doesn't sound like much, but over the course of a season, it is a lot. So, I will just post some general thoughts and comments on pitchers, and from those comments, you can determine the pitcher's possible value.
If you have any questions or comments about what I write here, or regarding your league, please e-mail me. If you would be fun, feel free to ask questions or comment on anything down below in the Comments section.
Disclaimer: What you read below are simply my opinions. Obviously I have no knowledge of what will happen in the 2006 season, so please take the information for what it is worth (fun). Also, these opinions are subject to change as spring training approaches. All players listed are either projected starters, or starters based on my opinion.
To this point, I have only done my look at the:
Top 20 Impact Rookie Hitters for 2006
Top 20 Impact Rookie Pitchers for 2006
American League West Hitters
American League Central Hitters
American League East Hitters
National League West Hitters
National League Central Hitters
National League East Hitters
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST PITCHERS
With the signing of Jeff Weaver, it would appear that the Angels have the most deep starting rotation with five guys who could approach 200 innings. But, the A's are not far behind, and outside of their free agent signing Esteban Loaiza, the other starters are very young and full of potential. The Rangers overhauled their pitching staff to acquire a new Top 3, but will it be enough, and how will these pitchers be affected by pitching in Texas in the summer? And finally, the Mariners have King Felix, but he is surrounded by a couple of soft-throwing lefties and a couple of enigmatic righties, so what will they do?
Let's just get to some analysis. If you have any comments, arguments, agreements, questions or anything, please feel free to e-mail me. When this project is complete, I would like to put together a Mailbag issue with many of those comments.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
SP Bartolo Colon
Did Bartolo Colon deserve the AL Cy Young Award in 2005? Was he the league's top pitcher last year? To both questions, I believe that the answer is Absolutely Not. However, it is also important to notice that he went 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA (8th in the league). He was able to throw 222.2 innings. His WHIP of 1.16 was third in the AL last year. Was he as good as Johan Santana? Not even close, but let's not look past the fact that Colon is an "ace" pitcher. He can throw gas and mix it up. Take away his awful 2004 season (5.01 ERA), and he has also been very consistent. A couple of warning signs: Colon will turn 33 years old in late-May, and he is still "listed" at 5-11 and 250 pounds. He is probably good for 16-18 wins, and ERA closer to four, a WHIP around 1.30, and just six strikeouts per nine innings.
SP John Lackey
If you're looking for a breakout candidate, I wouldn't look past John Lackey. First, Lackey is going to pitch this season at age 27. He has now pitched in four full big league seasons. And, if we look at his numbers from a year ago, they are very impressive. 33 starts. 14-5 with a 3.45 ERA. 8.6 K/9. With the exception of the glorified Win stat, Lackey was actually better than Colon a year ago. Add in that he became more of a ground ball pitcher, and I would consider drafting Lackey ahead of Colon. (And be willing to take the mocking and ridicule!)
SP Jeff Weaver
Finally! Weaver finally signed with the Angels, something I think we all knew was going to happen. So, what can he provide for the team? Well, in his two seasons with the Dodgers, his ERAs were 4.01 and 4.22. He combined to go 27-24. Since his ERAs were slightly below average, his slightly over .500 pitching record is fair. Coming to the American League, we should assume that his ERA will jump by 1/3 to 1/2 a run a game. He will probably get a few more wins. One important thing about Weaver though, is that in his two seasons, he pitched in 220 and 224 innings, something that is valuable to any team. Especially one that had penciled in Hector Carrasco as its fifth starter.
SP Kelvim Escobar
Escobar missed much of last season with injury. He came back in midseason and made a couple of starts only to land on the DL. He made a couple more starts later in the season, but he was a very valuable bullpen guy for the Angels in the playoffs a year ago. Hopefully his arm is fully healed, and if so, Escobar is a solid fourth starter. He is a guy who can get about eight strikeouts per nine innings. He kept his ERA under four in his 33 starts in 2004, something I think that the Angels would be thrilled if he matched in '06. But again, his biggest question mark is his health.
SP Ervin Santana
Between 2003 and 2004, Santana made 21 starts at AA. Last year, he made seven AA starts before moving up to AAA where he made three more starts before being summoned to the Angels. He made 23 starts for the Angels and went 12-8 with a 4.65 ERA. In other words, he had a nice record, but the ERA was only about average. He gave up a little more than a hit an inning. And then, you remember, that Santana will be just 23 the entire 2006 season. So, he is an excellent fifth starter who I expect we will see a lot of improvement from in 2006. However, consistency is going to be a key for him. One start, he may look like a future Cy Young candidate, and the next, he may get knocked out in the 3rd.
Closer Francisco Rodriguez
Speaking of 23 year old pitchers, that is how old K-Rod was in 2005! And, he went 2-5 with 45 saves (in 50 chances) and a 2.67 ERA. His strikeout rate did drop though... yeah, from 13.2 per nine innings to 12.2 per nine innings. Rodriguez is simply dominant. Yes, I think that he is an injury risk waiting to happen with his violent delivery, and yes, I think that he should be willing to throw his 96 mph fastball a little more. However, his slider is almost unhittable, and it has worked for him so far. He is one of about five top-level closers in baseball.
One 2 Watch Scot Shields
Shields plays so many roles in the Angels bullpen. He can come in and pitch two or three innings. He can be a dominant 8th inning guy. And when K-Rod missed a couple of weeks last year, Shields became the Angels closer. Because of this, and the fact that the Angels play a lot of close games, Shields had 21 decisions in 2005. HE went 10-11 with 7 saves and an ERA of 2.75. He strikes out more than a hitter an innings. Shields will pitch for Team USA in the WBC, and one of these days should start getting the credit he deserves. Also, Jason Christenson and Hector Carrasco should further solidify an already strong bullpen, and Twins fans will want to see how JC Romero pitches for a new team.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good Colon, Lackey and K-Rod
The Bad There really isnt anything.
The Questions Can Lackey become a top-tier starting pitcher?? Colon got the Cy Young, but I think a lot of people realize he wasn't that good. How will he come back in 2006? Can Francisco Rodriguez and Kelvim Escobar stay healthy?
SP - Barry Zito
After winning the AL Cy Young in 2002 with a 23-7 record and a 2.75 ERA, Zito's ERA dropped significantly the following two seasons, to 4.48 in 2004. He came back with a solid 3.86 ERA last year. With this being his last year under contract, there were many trade rumors throughout the off-season. I think at this point, Zito will be around for the whole season, unless the A's are out of contention by the trade deadline, something I certainly don't expect. Zito has made 35 starts four of the last five years (the exception being his 34 starts in 2004). He has also thrown between 213 and 233 innings each year. It is hard to believe that Zito is still just 27 years old, so he could have another monster season this year.
SP Rich Harden
In 2005, Harden showed exactly how good he can be. The then-23 year old went 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. The owner of a 98 mph fastball and other pitches to complement it, Harden is clearly on a short list of pitchers with the highest level of potential. However, Harden was only able to make 19 starts for the A's. He was bothered by a strain of his throwing shoulder. Since the season ended, he also had surgery on his labrum, fortunately on his non-throwing shoulder. Assuming he will be healthy, Harden is a candidate for a top 3 rounds pick. Assuming he will be healthy, is a scary proposition.
SP Danny Haren
Haren came to the A's from the Cardinals in a package for for Mark Mulder. In 2005, it is fair to say that Haren was every bit Mulder's equal. He made 34 starts and threw 217 innings. He went 14-12 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. It should not be a complete surprise to those who followed Haren in previous seasons. In 2004, in 21 AAA starts, he struck out 150 and walked just 33 in 128 innings. The K-rate has not yet transfered to the big leagues yet where he sat at just below 7 per nine innings. He is still just 25 years old and has the stuff to be a strong starter for years to come.
SP Esteban Loaiza
The A's caused a lot of raised eyebrows this off-season when they decided to invest three years and over $22 million in the 34 year old Loaiza. I mean, if you take out his horrible 2004 season that he split between the White Sox and Yankees, and if you don't consider his terrible years between 1995 and 2002. Well, then you get a pitcher who was nearly a Cy Young winner in 2003 when he went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA for the White Sox. You also have a guy who went 12-10 with a 3.77 ERA in 2005 with the Nationals. I don't know what the A's are hoping for. Maybe a veteran who can give them 200+ innings? Maybe a veteran influence on the younger, more talented pitchers? Maybe some hope that the spacious Oakland stadium will be as good for Loaiza as RFK Stadium was. I just don't know why he had to give him three years or that kind of money.
SP Joe Blanton
Blanton was one of the A's first round draft picks in the Moneyball draft of 2002. Last year, in his rookie season, he was very solid. He provided the team with 201 innings in his 33 starts. He went 12-12, but posted a very impressive 3.53 ERA (just 0.05 higher than Bartolo Colon's!). He will be just 26 years old throughout the 2006 season, and it is exciting for A's fans because there is a lot of room for improvement. He did not allow a lot of hits, but he can certainly cut down on the 67 walks he gave up. Blanton is probably not a #5 starter and there is a good chance he could prove that in 2006.
Closer Huston Street
Is it really any surprise to people that Street was as successful as he was once he became the team's closer early in the 2005 season? He had already shown dominance when he was setting up for Octavio Dotel. He had flown through the A's minor league system after being drafted by them in the second round in June. He had been great at Texas. Overall last year, he was 5-1 with 23 saves in 27 chances. His ERA was 1.72 and he was dominant despite averaging just 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings. He also only allowed three home runs in his 78.1 innings. Expect more of the same from Street, if not even a little improvement in the strikeout numbers. Street is sitting atop that second layer of closers.
Two 2 Watch Juan Cruz/Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy is just 26 years old and already he made 123 career starts. He split time with the Devil Rays and the Rockies, not exactly two desirable places to pitch. He came to the A's in a trade deadline deal last summer. Now, he is a relief pitcher and spot starter for a good team. How will he do in a full season in that role? Juan Cruz was supposed to be a big-time starting pitcher, but he never was able to become that because of control problems. In Atlanta in 2004, he became a very strong reliever who posted a 2.75 ERA for the Braves in 72 innings. He came to the A's before the 2005 season in the Tim Hudson trade. He was injured and was not good in the 28 games that he did pitch in last year. However, he should be able to become an important part of the A's bullpen in 2006.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good Harden, Haren, Zito and Street
The Bad Loaiza
Question Marks Will Haren and Blanton improve upon their impressive 2005 seasons? Will Harden be able to stay healthy and become the ace? Will Barry Zito be traded?
SP Jamie Moyer
No, I don't think that Moyer is the ace of this or any other staff, but I agree with and applaud the Mariners not anointing King Felix as the ace yet either. At age 41 in 2004, Moyer went 7-13 with a 5.28 ERA. Most (yours truly included) thought that he was done. In 2000, at the age of 37, Moyer went 13-10 with an ERA of 5.49 and people thought that he was done. In between those two years, he posted ERAs of under-4.00. Prior to 2000, he posted four straight seasons with an ERA of under 4.00. In 2005, Moyer did not post a sub-4.00 ERA. However, his ERA of 4.28 was still below league average. Impressive for his age. Impressive for his style of pitching. Also, for the fifth year in a row, and the seventh time in the past eight years, Moyer through more than 200 innings. I admit, I am wrong about Moyer. He can and still should pitch as long as he is posting such numbers. Now, all that said, I don't think that you want Moyer on your fantasy roster for a few reasons. First, I don't think that the Mariners will be able to score enough runs for him to pick up any wins. Secondly, his never-high strikeout rate (5.4/9 IP for his career) dropped down to 4.6. We are looking at a guy with 205 career Wins, and I just don't think that he gets the full credit that he deserves for being a very solid pitcher for a long time.
SP Jarrod Washburn
Many will look at Washburn's 8-8 record and surmise that the Mariners were crazy to give him four years and $32 million. I think that they were crazy for giving him four years and $32 million, but not because of his 8-8 record. Washburn posted an ERA of just 3.20 in 2005. In his previous two seasons, he had ERAs of 4.43 and 4.64. However, in the previous three seasons, he had ERAs of under four. For his career, he has a 3.93 ERA. So, in looking at him that way, he is a solid #3 pitcher, and the price for such a pitcher is between $7-8 million, so Washburn got what he was worth. Now, he is 31 years old and has a career strikeout rate of 5.5 per nine and that fell to 4.7 in 2005. You could also say that for a non-strikeout pitcher, he walks too many hitters. Again, I don't think Washburn is the kind of guy that you want on your fantasy team, but if he can learn from Moyer, Washburn can be a very solid pitcher.
SP Joel Pineiro
Pineiro's ERA in 2001 was 2.03. His ERA in 2002 was 3.24. His ERA in 2003 was 3.78. His ERA in 2004 was 4.67. His ERA in 2005 was 5.62. In 2005, his ERA dropped, but so did most of his numbers. His K Rate dropped by two strikeouts per nine innings. Opponents hit .300 against him. So, which pitcher is Pineiro? He is still just 27 years old. In reality, 2005 was the first time that he was significantly below league average. Could it have been just a really bad year? I do expect him to be better, but I just don't think that he will ever be what so many projected for him to become.
SP Gil Meche
Meche was a great story in 2003 when he returned to the Mariners after missing both 2001 and 2002 after a series of arm surgeries. He was still just 25 years old and pitched 186 innings and won 15 games in 32 starts. Sure, his ERA was 4.59, but it was a good start for a young pitcher. Then in 2004 he made just 23 starts and went 7-7 with a 5.01 ERA. Last year, he was 10-8 but had a 5.09 ERA. He made 26 starts but ended up seeing time in the bullpen. His control was awful as he walked 72 and struck out only 83. Yes, he will still be just 27 years old throughout 2006, but what do we really expect from him? That said, the Mariners just do not have a suitable replacement for him in the rotation right now which may buy him a little bit of time to turn things around.
SP Felix Hernandez
King Felix will turn 21 years old on April 8th. That is why the Mariners are being so smart and keeping him under wraps. Yes, it would be nice for the team for him to throw 245 innings and make 35 starts. However, with this kind of talent, it is also important to think more long-term. After a 14-4 with a sub-3.00 ERA between A and AA in 2004, many thought he was ready for the M's rotation on Opening Day 2005. And they were probably right. But wisely, they started him at AAA Tacoma. He was excellent there posting a 9-4 record with a 2.25 ERA. He struck out 100 batters in 88 innings, but he also walked 48. He also missed some time with shoulder issues although I wonder if it was just a way to keep his innings down. He came up to the Mariners and went 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA in 12 starts. In 84.1 innings, he struck out 77 hitters and walked 23. His second big league start was a game against the Twins that I charted his pitches throughout. He was remarkable! Eight inning of five-hit ball. The next week, I was fortunate to see him pitch against the Twins in the Metrodome and he was almost as good. I expect that Felix will be incredible in 2006, but I also think that the Mariners will try to be excessively cautious with him, which could affect his fantasy value.
Closer Eddie Guardado
I thought Everyday Eddie was supposed to have arm surgery and miss a lot of time, maybe most of the 2005 season. He pitched, and he pitched well. He went 2-3 with 36 saves in 41 chances, and a 2.72 ERA. Check out the ERAs for Eddie since 2002: 2.93, 2.89, 2.78, 2.72. That is really very good. Guardado is such an extreme fly ball pitcher making Safeco a good park for him. That is backed up as well by the fact that opponents had an OPS of just .611 against him at home, while it was .762 on the road. Also, try to ignore the fact that before the All-Star break, he had 21 saves with an ERA of just 1.45 while opponents hit just .186 against him. Then after the break, he had 15 saves with an ERA of 4.26 and opponents hit .295 against him. Hopefully he is healthy, because Eddie is a guy that I will probably always cheer for... except against the Twins.
One 2 Watch J. J. Putz
There is also a chance that Eddie could miss more time, so it is important to at least think of who might be the guy to get the saves when that happens. Putz will turn 28 years old tomorrow and has only pitched in the majority of two big league seasons. His ERA went from 4.71 in 2004 to 3.60 in 2005. He is not a big strikeout pitcher but can get a few when needed. There are probably other options including former prospect Clint Nageotte, and if either Meche or Pineiro fails as a starter, they could move into the closer role if needed. (He was also a Twins 17th round pick in 1997, although he did not sign)
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good The future of Felix, and Eddie G.
The Bad Probably everything else.
The Question Marks How much does Moyer have left? How great can King Felix be, and how much will he be held back? Will Eddie Guardado be healthy and effective again?
SP Kevin Millwood
Millwood has been a great starting pitcher in 1999, 2002 and 2005. So, the Rangers should reap the benefits of his contract in 2008! Well, I'm sure that Tom Hicks and Buck Showalter hope that is not the case! Last year, Millwood was great! He was just 9-11, but as you know, the Win stat means nothing to me when it comes to a starting pitcher. He led the American League in ERA last year with a 2.86 ERA for the Indians. Now, however, the 31 year old has zero chance of winning another ERA title now that he will be pitching for the Rangers the next four years. In his non-great years, his ERA has been between 4 and 5. In Ameriquest Ballpark, he could post an ERA closer to five, and if he does, with the offensive support, he could win 15 games. I think that the key to finding a 'winning' pitcher for the Rangers is to find a guy who does not care in the least about his own numbers, but only about the team. A guy who is willing to try to find a way to give up three or four runs and be happy about it. Is Millwood that guy or will he let the ballpark affect him? I guess we will find out.
SP Adam Eaton
On June 9th, Eaton picked up a win and improved to 9-1 with a 3.18 ERA for the Padres. He went just 2.1 innings on June 15th and then did not pitch until returning in the team's bullpen in August where he made two appearances. He returned to the rotation and had one good start in seven starts. He ended the year with a 11-5 record and a 4.27 ERA. 28 year old Eaton is entering his contract year and has made it clear that he is looking for big money. Eaton is a #3 starter, and pitching in Texas may really hurt his already-average numbers. I expect his ERA to be very close to five. The team should have just kept Chris Young!
SP Vicente Padilla
Padilla came to the Rangers from Philadelphia for a minor leaguer as his arbitration decision was needed. Now, Padilla's numbers the last couple of seasons have not been good, but injury is a big reason for that. He missed the last couple of months of 2004 and the first part of 2005. When he came back, he uncharacteristically struggled with his control. Before those two seasons, he was good for well over 200 innings and an ERA in the threes. One big positive for Padilla is that he is an extreme ground ball pitcher which should help in that stadium. With Hank Blalock, Ian Kinsler and Mark Teixeira in the infield, that should help him. Of course, Michael Young is not playing because of his defense. I think that Padilla could very well become the ace of this staff if he returns to health.
SP Kameron Loe
A 20th round pick in 2002 out of Cal State-Northridge, Loe moved quickly up the Rangers system and got into two games for the team in 2004. He made five AAA starts in 2005 before being called up to the Rangers where he spent the rest of the season. He got into 48 games (8 starts) and went 9-6 with a 3.42 ERA. Although his minor league strikeout rates were always just over seven strikeouts per nine innings, Loe's K/9 IP in the big leagues has been less than 4.5. He is 6-8, so the assumption is that he could gain some velocity, but that is not always the case. He will also need to gain a little better control as he walked about three batters per nine innings as well.
SP Juan Dominguez
The 25 year old Dominican right-hander has been a prospect for a few years now. I think it is time to give him a job for the season and see how it goes. Although he is just 5-8 in his two brief big league showings, his ERA of 4.15 is not bad at all. In his three minor league seasons, he is 15-4 with a 2.84 ERA. He has also had almost a strikeout an inning. Dominguez has a chance and his window to be a starter could be closing quickly with the number of pitching prospects working their way up the system.
Closer Francisco Cordero
30 year old Cordero has been a great reliever the last four seasons. He has become one of the better closers the last couple of years. Last year, he went 3-1 with a pedestrian 3.39 ERA. He had 37 saves in 45 opportunities. He has averaged over a strikeout an inning each of the last three years. If the starting rotation can keep the team in games, Cordero should have plenty of Save Opportunities again.
Three 2 Watch Edison Volquez, Thomas Diamond, John Danks
Volquez is just 22 years old. He somehow got into six games for the Rangers and was 0-4 with an ERA over 14. Between A and AA last year, he went 5-9 with a 4.16 ERA (not bad, but still making me wonder how he earned a call-up.) 22 year old Diamond was the Rangers 1st round pick in 2004 (10th overall) out of Randy Bush's University of New Orleans. Like most college pitchers, he dominated until he reached AA. Last year, in High-A, he started the season 8-0 with a 1.99 ERA. He had 101 strikeouts in 81.1 innings. Then he moved up to AA and struggled in his 14 starts. He went 5-4 but had a 5.35 ERA. He still struck out 68 hitters in 69 innings, but he also walked 38. Danks was selected out of high school in 2003 with the ninth overall pick. He started last year at High-A ball where he made 10 starts and was 3-3 with a 2.50 ERA. He moved up to AA and, like the other two, really struggled. He went 4-10 with a 5.69 ERA. He is still just 20 years old. I think that the Rangers have three guys here who could be very good. However, they really need to be patient with them. They need to be sure that they are ready. Not just to pitch in the big leagues but also to be able to handle the difficulties of the big leagues and pitching in Ameriquest.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good Cordero, and possibly Padilla.
The Bad Really, mainly the ballpark. We don't know how the pitchers will be.
The Question Marks How will moving to Ameriquest affect Millwood and Eaton (as well as the league switch for he and Padilla)? Will the team be patient with its young pitchers? Can the team get the games to Cordero?
Well, that is it for Part 7 of my Fantasy Baseball Preview. I hope youve enjoyed it. The same format will be used next week when I discuss the AL Central pitching staffs. Please let me know what you think. Any comments or suggestions would be welcomed! E-mail me.
OTHER NOTES & LINKS
First, head over to On the Road with Pat Neshek for his thoughts on reporting to training camp, free stuff, and the first day of practice. Seriously, for those of you who are like me and are just curious about the big league life, Pat's site is as good as it gets! One other interesting bit of information that Pat wrote about was that Kevin Cameron was invited to participate in big league camp. Good for him!
John Sickels finally put Joe Mauer under his Crystal Ball to predict what the back of his final baseball card will look like. Yes, he does project a relatively serious injury when he turns about 30 which will force him to a new position (not the ridiculous thought of moving to 3B though, so that's good!). There are also a lot of interesting comments from other readers!
The writers of Halo Heaven have continued their look at the Top 50 Angels of all time. Coming in at #10 is Jamestown, ND, native Darin Erstad. It is one of the more eloquently written articles to explain Erstad's value to the team that I have read in a long time. Erstad is one of the stat-head's favorite players to bash, so I really would appreciate it if you took a couple of minutes to read this other perspective! Former Twin Don Baylor made the list at #11, and Twins Hall of Famer Rod Carew came in at #12.
On Sunday afternoon, I went to the theatre and watched Glory Road. It is the story of Don Haskins and the 1966 Texas Western basketball team that won the National Championship with a lineup that included seven black players in their rotation, unheard of at the time. The team beat the all-white University of Kentucky which was led by one of college basketball's winningest coaches and a major racist, Adolph Rupp. It was a very good movie. I enjoyed some of the stories which I'm sure were true.
Lavelle E. Neal III writes an article about the Twins strong starting pitching staff.
Dave Campbell (who?) wrote a niece piece on Brad Radke and his style as well as the decision he will make after the 2006 season regarding retirement.
Joe Christenson continues to be my favorite Twins beat writer from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and his article today is excellent. He writes about Joe Mauer and his new-found bowling skill. He discusses Mauer's decision not to play in the WBC. He talks about Mauer's calming influence on JD Durbin who admits that he is "running out of options" and thought rooming with Mauer would be good for him.
MLB.com's Kelly Thesier tells us that Juan Rincon is not throwing off of a mound yet. He had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow over the winter and has experienced some soreness. Probably not worth worrying too much about yet. She also has a few other notes in her daily article that are very interesting. Most exciting for someone so far out-state is that 139 regular season games will be on TV.
The Pioneer Press's Jason Williams writes about how frustrated the Twins pitching staff was last year, but that they are optimistic about the upcoming season. Cliche, Cliche, Cliche.
Case in the Face writes the second End of an Era article. This time it is in regard to Brad Radke.
Any thoughts on the Twins, baseball or any topic?? Please e-mail me.
And after all that, thank you again very much for stopping by my site. I hope you enjoy what you read, but if you have any questions or comments on anything, please feel free to e-mail me. Have a great weekend!
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