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May 18, 2005

Prospectus Hit List

Week of May 15, 2005

by Ben Murphy

Rk Team
Overall W-L
Week W-L
Trend
Comment
1 Orioles
24-13
4-3
Up
Made a move thanks to continued contributions from the young pitching staff, especially Daniel Cabrera (2-0, 15 Ks on the week) and Erik Bedard, who is second in ERA amongst AL qualifiers at 2.35. The staff overall struck out 44 and walked 22, allowing fewer than three runs a game.
2 Cardinals
24-13
5-2
Up
The Cardinals keep bombing away, hitting .309/.369/.473. An early season "slump"--at least by his standards--is a distant memory for Albert Pujols, who sports a .324/.406/.581 line for the year.
3 Braves
23-14
3-3
Up
The Offense That Chipper Built got some support, as Andruw Jones hit four HR and compiled a Bondsian .391/.444/1.043 line. Also pitching in was Adam LaRoche, hitting three bombs himself with a .333/.368/.889 line.
4 White Sox
27-11
3-4
Down
Scott Podsednik leads the offense with a .284 EqA and 6.7 RARP. He posted a .391/.481/.435 line, helping the team to a .340 OBP. The starters continue to contribute, with all five worth at least 9.9 RARP.
5 Marlins
19-15
2-4
Down
Dropping due to a league-worst 16 runs; they hit a miserable .225/.297/.358. Looking for a culprit? Juan Pierre hit .130/.200/.304 in 23 AB. Only Carlos Delgado (11) and Miguel Cabrera (10) had more than nine total bases. The pitching staff sports a league-best 2.75 ERA, even after posting a 3.71 mark last week.
6 Twins
21-15
2-4
Down
The Twins managed just a .230/.273/.315 line, scoring 21 runs in six games. Don't blame Shannon Stewart (.320/.333/.600) or Mike Cuddyer (.438/.474/.563) for slipping; instead, consider that Joe Mauer hit .190/.217/.238 and Jacque Jones hit an unbelievable .059/.200/.235.
7 Red Sox
22-15
4-2
Up
Johnny Damon continues his assault on AL pitching, posting a .385/.467/.500 line, and Trot Nixon led the team with 21 total bases, 10 RBI and a .529/.600/1.235 line.
8 Nationals
20-17
3-3
Up
Posted a relatively sweet 3.12 ERA, but scored just 3.33 runs per game. As you'd expect, they went 3-3. The rotation has gotten solid contributions from Livan Hernandez (11.2 VORP), Esteban Loaiza (12.6 VORP), and John Patterson (12.7 VORP).
9 Tigers
17-19
3-3
Up
Scored 3.33 runs per game and went 3-3 just like the Nats despite a 2.72 ERA. Craig Monroe (.500/.625/.833), Brandon Inge (.435/.500/.652) and Nook Logan (.435/.435/.522) led the offense. Nate Robertson allowed a 0.82 ERA and still managed to go 1-1 (allowing six unearned runs to the Angels on May 15).
10 Padres
22-16
5-1
Up
Went 5-1 while hitting .317/.385/.440, building the NL's third-best EqA at .276. Is Mark Loretta waking up? Pads fans have hope after his .370/.433/.407 week. Brian Giles (.500/.615/.722) and Ryan Klesko (.421/.522/.789) continued to carry the offense.
11 Dodgers
21-16
2-5
Down
Still scoring more than five runs per game, but this week the pitchers allowed a 6.15 ERA, and the team paid for it, going 2-5 and dropping four spots. The pitching staff has yet to have anyone reach 10 VORP, joining San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Colorado in that dubious distinction.
12 Yankees
19-19
6-0
Up
Led the league with 54 runs, a .336 AVG, a .402 OBP and a .591 SLG. Yeah, that'll do it. The massive surge was thanks mostly to Tino Martinez (.391/.444/1.217), Derek Jeter (.423/.464/.654), Jorge Posada (.333/.455/.667) and the emergence of Robinson Cano (.579/.550/.842 in 19 AB).
13 Blue Jays
20-18
4-2
Up
Hit .240/.329/.403, scoring more than five runs per game. Roy Halladay dazzled, winning twice, posting a 1.08 ERA while striking out 11 men in 16 2/3 innings. Josh Towers contributed a solid start (8 IP, 5 K, 1 ER), but the other starters struggled, as Gustavo Chacin, David Bush, and Ted Lilly allowed 11 ER in 7 2/3 IP, and none of the three made it through the fourth inning.
14 Mets
19-19
2-4
Down
Pedro Martinez is the lone bright spot on the mound, posting a 13.3 VORP and 6.5 RP in 56 IP so far. The offense stumbled as the once-hot Cliff Floyd went 4-for-24, posting a .167/.231/.417 line. Thank goodness Mike Cameron came back healthy, posting a .353/.476/.706 line while hitting three doubles and a homer in 19 AB.
15 Rangers
20-18
3-3
Down
Went 3-3 after allowing a 3.60 ERA and scoring 4.33 runs per game. Richard Hidalgo mustered a .368/.381/.579 line, and the offense had five hitters with more than 10 total bases: Hank Blalock, Alfonso Soriano, Mike Young, Kevin Mench and Hidalgo.
16 Brewers
18-18
3-3
Down
The Brewers drop four spots despite staying at .500 for the year. The pitching staff is highlighted by Victor Santos (10.5 VORP), and Chris Capuano (9.7 VORP) while Ben Sheets is hurt. Santos struggled some, with an ERA of 4.09 in losing both his starts. The offense is led primarily by new Three True Outcomes hero Lyle Overbay, who sports a .324/.460/.602 line for the year.
17 Cubs
16-20
3-3
Up
As their injury woes continue, the Cubs have to hope that Mark Prior, the lone Cub pitcher with a VORP over 10.0, can stay healthy. Greg Maddux continues to contribute to the cause, and posted 12 Ks in 11 2/3 IP this week. Derrek Lee has led the offense all year, hitting 10 homers and posting a nasty .353/.447/.669 line that has Cubs fans chanting "M-V-P!"
18 Angels
21-16
3-3
Down
The Angels' luck may soon run out. Having won about six more games than you would otherwise expect, the team went 3-3 and dropped two spots in the Hit List standings. With some questions surrounding the starting rotation, the Angels hope that Ervin Santana can do his best Johan impression.
19 Diamondbacks
23-16
5-2
Down
Speaking of luck, these guys join the Angels and White Sox as the three teams in the majors who have won six more games than expected, after adjusting for components that determine runs scored and runs against. That they went 5-2 and still managed to drop down the list is rather telling.
20 Indians
16-20
4-2
Up
The pitchers are holding up their end of the bargain, with a 2.72 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Because the offense managed to score 4.5 runs a game, the team went 4-2 and climbed three spots. The bats were led by Coco Crisp (.455/.520/.909) and Jhonny Peralta (.429/.478/.905).
21 Giants
18-18
3-3
Down
Falling like rocks after posting a .204/.251/.276 batting line for the week; brightest star so far is Jason Ellison, who hit .333/.385/.583 for the week and has a .372/.417/.577 line for the season--enjoy it while it lasts. They look forward to the return of J.T. Snow to the lineup and hopefully the eventual return of Jerome Williams from Triple-A Fresno.
22 Astros
14-23
3-4
Up
The Astros have been particularly unlucky, losing approximately four more games than expected, according to third order win percentage. Now that Jeff Bagwell is shelved with shoulder surgery, the offense looks to Lance Berkman to pick up the slack. After Morgan Ensberg's three-homer night Sunday, the team will turn to him for power as well.
23 Phillies
17-22
3-4
Down
Dropping slightly despite leading the league with 14 homers thanks to Bobby Abreu, who won the Player of the Week award with his .583/.677/1.458, 6 HR line. The Phillies sent Marlon Byrd to the Nationals for Endy Chavez, who the team reports is expected to stay in the majors; such a dubious switch is made even more suspect by keeping the likes of Chavez around. The pitching staff allowed over five runs per game, which isn't good enough to get them into the NL East chase.
24 Pirates
17-19
4-2
Up
Went 4-2, allowing just over two runs a game, but still not hitting well (.230/.269/.413); back-to-back winning weeks might give false hope to a fan base used to so much losing. The offense got power from Daryle Ward (.625 SLG), Jose Castillo (.583) and Jason Bay (.565). Meanwhile, Ian Snell threw a no-hitter for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians over the Norfolk Tides.
25 Mariners
15-22
2-4
Down
Drop four spots despite modest uptick in offense; pitching still the weak link, allowing almost seven runs per game. You have to wonder why they went out and signed Richie Sexson to the huge deal instead of keeping options like Bucky Jacobsen open, and focusing on a free-agent pitcher instead.
26 Devil Rays
14-25
3-4
Up
They were the only team to walk more batters than they struck out, but managed to win three of seven anyway. The Rays scored more than four runs per game despite a .253/.345/.360 line. The offense got boosts from Alex Sanchez (yes, THAT Alex Sanchez) and his .333/.357/.444 line, and Jorge Cantu's .364/.440/.545 line--that qualifies for this week's sign of the apocalypse.
27 Reds
14-23
3-4
Flat
The Reds are scoring runs, more than five per game last week, but allowing more than even that high number (5.73 ERA). Eric Milton keeps giving up homers, 14 so far, and Paul Wilson is trying his best to catch up, with 10. Only Aaron Harang has an ERA under 4.00 among starters. Meanwhile, the offense is clicking this week thanks to Ken Griffey Jr. (.355/.382/.645), Austin Kearns (.364/.423/.545), and of course, Adam Dunn (.200/.500/.700).
28 Rockies
10-25
3-4
Up
The Rockies actually moved up a spot after going 3-4 on the week. Clint Barmes keeps mashing, slugging .611 this past week for a season line of .386/.429/.621. Also starring in the mile-high fireworks show are Todd Helton (.331/.452/.551) and Bradley Hawpe (.315/.360/.511).
29 Athletics
14-23
0-6
Down
Lesson 1: team that scores more runs wins; Corollary 1: allowing seven runs per game is a bad thing. With an ERA of 7.14 on the week, losing all six games is no surprise. While the offense has been dormant all year, the pitching was holding the team up--once that gave out, the ship was sure to sink.
30 Royals
11-27
3-4
Flat
Allowed more than five runs per game, but did manage a .269/.342/.420 line, good for 4.3 runs per game. They can't get out of the basement, and they're not helping themselves out very much. As the injuries pile up, the Royals have to settle with being excited over beating the Devil Rays.

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 Sunday.

Related Content:  The Who,  Gustavo Cabrera,  Offense,  10 Runs To A Win,  Runs

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