You ever have one of those days? You know the type. You wake up with a little bit of an extra pep in your step. The morning sun hits your face as you sip on your hot coco. You’re looking forward to a good day of work which will then be capped off by an evening with someone you care about. What could be better than those simple pleasures, right?
And then the real world smacks you in the face.
That happened to me today. Oh there’s still plenty of time to turn things around, it’s still well before 11 AM as I write this, but darned if life doesn’t just try and beat you down whenever it can. Why is that (in case you are wondering, nothing “really” bad happened to me, it was actually more about typical annoyances)?
In the vein of “bad days,” here are some guys that have had life beat them down of late. Hopefully they’ve got some Bailey’s Irish Cream to throw in that hot coco.
Alejandro De Aza – A solid option really late in drafts for the speed upside, that outlook was crushed when the White Sox decided to add Kosuke Fukudome to the outfield mix. So much for that 26th round pick of De Aza offering much of anything. He’s now merely an AL-only option.
Josh Hamilton – No need to pile on here. Let’s just hope that he gets his life back on track. A positive note came out Thursday. Hamilton will not face any discipline from the Rangers or Major League Baseball for his recent off the field transgressions with the bottle.
Scott Kazmir – He was supposed to throw for interested parties on Wednesday, but for some unknown reason the session was pushed back until Friday (he claims it has nothing to do with any physical sort of limitations and the most likely explanation is that some team that had an interest likely wasn’t going to be able to present at his throwing session on Wednesday). What the hell happened to Kazmir by the way? Just 28 years old, it’s amazingly easy to forget that it was a mere couple of years back that he was locked at as one of the up an coming lefties in the game. He wasn’t just coming on to fill a 4th or 5th rotation spot either. Kazmir was going to be an elite hurler. In 2005 he posted a 8.42 K/9 mark in 186 innings. In 2006 he upped that number to 10.14 over 144.2 innings. In 2007, his best campaign, he won 13 games, posted a 3.48 ERA and struck out a significant total of 239 batters in 206.2 innings. Those K’s led to a 10.41 K/9 mark which just so happens to be the 8th best mark that any left-handed pitcher, who threw at least 162 innings, has been able to post in the 21st century (if we remove Randy Johnson’s efforts that would put Kazmir’s mark in the 4th spot). Alas problems with his conditioning and dedication came up, and his arm ran out of juice (his average fastball was 93.7 mph as a rookie, 92.6 mph in his second season, and it dipped all the way to 86.5 mph in his 1.2 inning outing last year for the Angels). He’s still young enough to carve out a role but he will never reach the heights that were predicted.
Derrek Lee – I know he’s older at 36 years of age, and that he struggled for much of the season last year, but Lee still hit .267 with 19 homers in just 435 at-bats. So why is he still without a team? Certainly there are offers on the table for Lee, likely as a part-time option, so I’m going to assume that Lee is holding out for a starting gig somewhere. I find it hard to believe that there are 30 better first basemen out there right now but he’s still sitting at home.
Johan Santana – Coming back from shoulder surgery, all eyes are on the one time superstar of the Mets, but come on now. Did you see the report that the Mets’ pitching coach – Dan Warthen – was impressed by a video of Santana throwing. Really? I’ve got better things for you to watch on your laptop than Santana chucking the ball around – maybe an episode of Grimm? Did you also see the report that he was throwing from 175 feet? Whoopie freaking do. I haven’t regularly thrown the ball in about 10 years and I could go our and play catch from 175 feet. That means nothing. Johan plans on throwing at the Mets’ camp today so I guess the eyes of the baseball nation will be upon him. Newsflash everyone. Santana will never again be the pitcher he once was. As if age, workload and shoulder surgery weren’t enough to worry about, have you bothered to look at his numbers the last few years? I can list one series of numbers for you that should make you exceedingly nervous, even if he is healthy once more in 2012. Here are his K/BB ratios the past six seasons (remember, he didn’t throw a big league pitch in 2011): 5.29, 5.21, 4.52, 3.27, 3.17 and 2.62. Uh, that’s not a good trend even if the 2.62 K/BB ratio he posted in 2010 is still well above average.
By Ray Flowers
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