I love it. Baseball is here, and finally there are box scores that matter. Speaking of that, is there anything better in the morning that eating a bowl of oatmeal while reading the box scores from the previous night? I love technology, but something about that newspaper in my fingers at the table brings me back to my childhood, and I love it.
Chad Billingsley struck out 11 Giants on Monday. First off, that doesn’t really surprise me much considering that the Giants are a less than stellar offense. Secondly, it is proof that Chad has just about revived as an ace. The only reason I personally didn’t have him in my top-10 starters this year was because of the concern over how much his broken leg would set him back this off-season. Through two starts this year it hasn’t bothered him at all as he is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA.
Brad Hawpe tweaked his hammy on Monday, and as of this writing it’s not known how severe the injury is. It is being called day to day. For those of you who grabbed Dexter Fowler perhaps Hawpe missing a week’s worth of games would allow Fowler to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with. I know that would personally please me.
Randy Johnson looked strong this spring, and though it’s only two starts, things aren’t going well with his new team now that the games count. RJ has 12 K in just 8.2 innings clearly showing his stuff is still strong, but its obvious that his location has been off as his ERA after two outings is 11.42 thanks to the fact that he has already walked six batters. I wouldn’t discount him just yet, but at the same time it might be wise to park him on your bench until he shows something on the hill for the Giants.
Evan Longoria has been great so far leading to the AL Player of the Week honors thanks to a .481 batting average and five home runs. That kid can flat out rake.
So is the world of an AL-only owner. Jed Lowrie will be placed on the DL with a wrist injury that dates back to last year. Lowrie hit .343 with 16 RBI in 25 games this spring, and with Julio Lugo on the DL to start the year because of an injured knee, the hope was that Lowrie could burst on to the scene as a fantasy force in 2009. He didn’t. Lowrie was just 1-for-18 with eight strikeouts before being shut down, so it’s not like the Sox will be missing much at the dish. As for Lugo, he will likely only have to be out the likes of Nick Green and Gil Vazquez for the starting role once he is healthy which should hopefully be by the end of April. Don’t overlook Lugo if he is on waivers in a mixed league and you need some help at the middle infield spot. Lugo averaged 32 steals each season from 2005-07, and provided his knee is sound he should do some running when he returns.
Despite reports of a potential injury, a declining fastball, and poor performance on the hill (21.60 ERA, 4.20 WHIP in two appearances), B.J. Ryan will remain the Jays’ closer according to manager Cito Gaston. Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg had the following to say. “I know he’s got a heart the size of Texas. I know he’s busting his [rear] to thrill all the fans in Toronto — make everybody turn their backs on the B.J. Ryan saga.” Look, I’m not saying Ryan is a bad guy, he might be a saint, but the facts are the facts and they show that Ryan just isn’t the clubs best option to be pitching the ninth inning. I wish Ryan all the luck in the world, but as soon as the team starts losing, they started hot at 5-2, look for the club to make a move if Ryan doesn’t show drastic improvement.