CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Wedge Iss... (05/16)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: B... (05/10)
Next Column >>
Prospectus Hit List: B... (05/18)
Next Article >>
Prospectus Hit and Run... (05/16)

May 16, 2011

Prospectus Hit List

Indian Spring

by Tommy Bennett

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.

a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Overall W-L
Week W-L
Hit List Factor



Singin' in the Rain: GM Chris Antonetti's plan bears fruit as the Indians stay atop the AL Hit List during a week in which they only play four games due to consecutive rainouts. A pair of 5-4 victories bookend the quartet: each features a home run by Michael Brantley, now batting .298/.372/.412 while playing mostly center field. The pitching remains uncertain, as it can't hold opponents to fewer than four runs in any game.


With Home Games Like These, Who Needs Away Games? The Yankees get swept at home by the Red Sox, allowing the latter to claw within a single game of them in the standings. Jorge Posada pulls himself from a lineup that would have seen him batting ninth, but quickly apologizes and takes a walk off the bench the next day. For Posada, like the Yankees, expect bounceback: his unseemly .165 batting average comes with a more robust 13 percent walk rate and .184 slugging percentage. A home rivalry series in which the Yankees pencil in both Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia is an unpredictable barometer.


Tampa Bay Lightning: The Rays take a series from the list-leading Indians just prior to dropping one to the list-trailing Orioles. At two games, their AL East lead is large as it has been all season. Since dropping eight of their first nine, the Rays are 22-9. With Evan Longoria (four XBH on the week) back in the lineup—and the star of a new Astroturf-style viral video—the Rays are clearly over their early woes. The mystery remains: why haven't they had better attendance or TV numbers?


Red Sox
Now Cooking With Gas: The Red Sox put their noses on .500 for the first time since, well, Opening Day. They are still underwater in run differential (173-179), but with fancy starts from Josh Beckett (6.0 4 0 0 2 9) and, well, Josh Beckett (7.0 6 0 0 1 5) the Red Sox at least have an ace. What they don't have is an answer to the John Lackey (6.2 9 9 9 5 1) nine-car pile up. Adrian Gonzalez remains the catalyst on offense, as he hits five home runs on the week, giving him eight in May after just one in April.


LAA LAA Land: The Angels drop two out of three to the Rangers, now just a half game back in the standings. Dan Haren is the stopper yet again (7.2 6 2 2 0 5), while Joel Pineiro's return continues apace (7.2 8 2 2 1 5). The rest is mostly forgettable, beyond the odd box-score oddity (see Tyler Chatwood's 6.1 8 1 1 3 0). The bullpen is largely to blame for the team's faltering week, as they blow another two games. Erick Aybar does his best to provide breathing room: he's up to .351/.370/.491 with ten stolen bases.


Nothing Short of an Act of God: The only force strong enough to stop the Tigers is rain, as they're now riding a seven-game winning streak; it pleasantly offsets their losing streak of the same length from two weeks ago. A rainout gives the team a free day of rest for Jose Valverde, who saves three straight going into Sunday and now sports 20 strikeouts and a 1.50 ERA in his 18 innings. Jhonny Peralta is the highlight of the offense—he's in the midst of a 10-game hit streak in which he's hit .441/.500/.882 and raised his OPS nearly 200 points.


All-DL Outfield: A box score ghost is reborn, as Chris Davis makes consecutive starts and hits a home run and a game winning RBI in the second of the two. The entire opening day outfield is now on the DL, as Julio Borbon joins Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz on the shelf. The Alexi Ogando experiment continues to reward creative thinking (6.1 5 1 1 1 5): the converted reliever now sports a robust 3.2 K/BB ratio that is better than his mark in the bullpen last year.


Unearned: The Athletics live and die with Trevor Cahill, and his two starts demonstrate the promise (7.0 5 1 1 1 7) and the frustration (7.0 10 4 2 2 1) of the young hurler. The difference might appear to be lousy defense, as the A's rank 23rd in PADE so far this year. Cahill's unearned runs, however, result from his own throwing error, suggesting he may have found a second reliable way to post an ERA considerably lower than RA (besides, you know, just being a ground ball pitcher). Daric Barton boasts an above-average on-base percentage (.331) despite a Mendoza-line-flirting batting average (.213).


Blue Jays
Literally Anywhere but Middle-In: Pitchers continue to throw inside fastballs to Jose Bautista, he has a three-home-run game, dog bites man. Most surprising is that one homer is to opposite field. Winners of five straight, the Jays get a fine pitching performance from Ricky Romero (8.2 4 0 0 3 8) but rely mostly on their bats: the team puts up nine runs or more three times on the week. Yunel Escobar (10-21 with six walks) sets the table well for the big bats.


Hosmeric Epic: A young Eric Hosmer leads the Royals to a series win over the Yankees with home runs on consecutive nights, but the team squanders its three-game lead on the ghost car of .500 by dropping two to the resurgent Tigers. What strange fate it would be for the team's new young hero to be stuck in a season not of abject failure but of thoroughgoing mediocrity. Hosmer's fatal flaw may be his inability to pitch, as the Royals bring a Luke Hochevar (6.0 7 3 3 3 3) to a Justin Verlander fight. In case other rookies are introduced in the next week, Ned Yost wants to be on record as antiprotectionist.


White Sox
Massage Therapy: Jake Peavy returns to the struggling White Sox and gives credit to his massage therapist for his relatively smooth return from shoulder injury. His first start back isn't flawless (6.0 7 4 4 0 4 in 87 pitches), but it proves enough for the White Sox offense, which otherwise struggles (just 3.7 runs per game).


Signs of Life: J.J. Hardy returns from the DL and gets right to work, capped by a four-RBI game out of the nine-hole. Nick Markakis looks alive and kicking too, as he chips in a home run to bring his season OPS (.657) to its highest mark in a month. The team's pitchers are locked in a duel to one-up each other, as Brad Bergesen (9.0 4 0 0 1 5) matches Zach Britton's phenomenal effort (9.0 3 0 0 0 5). The former may, in part, be motivated by a desire to remain in the rotation once Brian Matusz returns from the DL. Despite the promise, the team still has a negative-20 run differential.


We Hardly Knew Him: Milton Bradley leaves Seattle as much of an enigma as he entered. His departure marks an end of Mariner patience with his particular aesthetic, but it does not mark an end to Mariner offensive futility. The team's Tuesday loss in Baltimore represents just the seventh time all year the M's have scored six runs. With bats like those and Brandon League (now sporting a 7.31 ERA) blowing saves on consecutive nights, there isn't much room for error from the starters.


Unmitigated: There is no sugar coating. The Twins' third-order record is 7-30, good for a .193 win percentage. An 11-3 drubbing in Toronto runs the losing streak to eight games; the team is now 12.5 games out of first place. It is May. It takes more than just bullpen changes to turn a ship this lousy around. To add a deeper dimension to the sadness, fans come to grips with the announcement Harmon Killebrew's cancer has progressed beyond the help of modern medicine. The Killer played on some bad Twins teams, but not many.

The Prospectus Hit List rankings are derived from Won-Loss records and several measurements pertaining to run differentials, both actual and adjusted, from Baseball Prospectus Adjusted Standings through the close of play on every Thursday.

Related Content:  The Streak

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Wedge Iss... (05/16)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: B... (05/10)
Next Column >>
Prospectus Hit List: B... (05/18)
Next Article >>
Prospectus Hit and Run... (05/16)

2016 Prospects: Los Angeles Angels Top 10 Pr...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of November 23-24
Premium Article Raising Aces: Under the Gun 4.0, Part 2
Premium Article The View From Behind The Backstop: My Comple...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Chris Iannetta As Upgr...
Prospectus Feature: Updates to FRAA, BP's Fi...
Players Prefer Presentation: Baseball Player...

MORE FROM MAY 16, 2011
Collateral Damage: Not As Seen on TV
Prospectus Hit and Run: Brian Cashman, Loose...
Premium Article On the Beat: Wedge Issues
Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Hurlers on the Verge
Divide and Conquer, NL Central: Running Scar...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Picks at First Base, Thi...
The Week in Quotes: May 9-15

2011-06-06 - Prospectus Hit List: AL: The Colon Train Chu...
2011-05-30 - Prospectus Hit List: AL: The Cream Rises
2011-05-24 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: St. Louis Supreme
2011-05-16 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Indian Spring
2011-05-10 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Beasts of the East
2011-05-06 - Premium Article Expanded Horizons: Get it While it's Hot
2011-05-02 - Prospectus Hit List: It's 1998 All Over Agai...

2011-05-24 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: St. Louis Supreme
2011-05-23 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: The Tighten Up
2011-05-18 - Prospectus Hit List: Braving the Storm
2011-05-16 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Indian Spring
2011-05-10 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Beasts of the East
2011-05-09 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: The Hitless Parade
2011-05-03 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Where Were You