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
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (04/18)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: G... (04/12)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: F... (04/19)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Divide and Conquer, NL... (04/18)

April 18, 2011

Prospectus Hit List

Cleveland Rocks

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.

RkTeam
Overall W-L
Week W-L
Hit List Factor
Comment

1


Indians
11-4
4-2
.680
Up

Fun Times in Cleveland Today! The Indians are now seven games above .500—which is to say seven games more than at any point in 2010. Travis Hafner plays like the 2006 version of himself, homering twice and knocking out a .333 average on the week. Fausto Carmona and Justin Masterson lead the way on the mound, taking the ball seven plus innings three times between them. Tony Sipp and Vinnie Pestano sound like characters from Goodfellas but are in fact the cost-effective bullpen solutions of tomorrow. Improvement on cold weeks from Shin-Soo Choo (.238/.320/.429) and Carlos Santana (.059/.200/.235) could compensate if other guys turn into Pronk-pkins.

2


Rangers
10-5
2-4
.665
Down
Falling Back to Earth: The club from Arlington suffers a deflating second week after a nearly flawless first. The team splits several squeakers with the Yankees and Tigers, with just six runs total separating the outcomes in the former series, and four in the other. Darrens O’Day and Oliver give up winning runs on consecutive nights. That the team scraps together 20 runs is despite the loss of Josh Hamilton and a weak stretch from Nelson Cruz (.190/.292/.190 for the week). Alexi Ogando's honeymoon as a starter ends abruptly as the Yankees offense touches him for three home runs, more than doubling his career number in a night.

3


Angels
10-5
5-1
.625
Up
Howie's World? Howie Kendrick stays tied for the AL lead in home runs (with five) despite a week in which he hit just one. He whiffs seven times and walks just once, suggesting the latest second base fad may be just that. Meanwhile, the starters go gangbusters: Jered Weaver (7.0 4 3 2 0 4), Dan Haren (15.1 8 2 2 2 14), and Ervin Santana (7.0 6 3 3 2 3) all have strong weeks. It doesn't hurt that Scott Kazmir hits the DL and stays far away from the mound. Jordan Walden does his part to undermine SoCal cardiac health; he walks three in as many innings but maintains his flawless runs tally.

4


Yankees
9-5
4-1
.615
Up
Mariano As All-Time Pitcher: Off day, rainout, and Mariano Rivera. A week in which Rivera pitches in four of the five games (scoreless and walkless frames all, natch) is a good one for the Yanks, who also hit nine home runs. Never mind that A.J. Burnett (6.1 7 4 4 2 5) turns in a lousy outing, Ivan Nova fails again to establish himself at the back of the rotation, and Freddy Garcia strikes out just one in six innings. If the Yankees keep relying on their bullpen so heavily, they'll need the offense to keep churning out home runs. They do have six legitimate threats to surpass 20 home runs, plus Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Russell Martin.

5


Royals
10-5
4-2
.560
Up
I Wish They All Could Be 4-2 Weeks: Like the old cartoons where Wile E. Coyote taps his foot waiting for the Roadrunner, the Royals hope their Acme brand hijinks can last until the boys from Omaha arrive. Wins for everyone from Luke Hochevar (7.0 1 1 1 2 4) to Bruce Chen (8.0 6 1 0 1 1) carry the team, and even poor Kyle Davies (5.0 10 5 5 1 4) gets in on the action. Jeff Francis makes it four starts in with no signs of shoulder soreness. Billy Butler continues to draw walks (four on the week), and Alex Gordon, owner of an 11-game hitting streak with 8 extra base hits and a .420 average, may finally be able to drive him in. Jeff Francoeur draws his third walk of the season, leading some to suggest yet again that he has a new approach. Of course, last year Francoeur had walk number three by game number five. Eric Hosmer is hitting a cool .409/.458/.523 at Omaha, as Kila Ka'aihue (.167/.333/.167) squanders his remaining opportunities.

6


Athletics
8-8
4-3
.533
Up
Great Taste and Less Filling: Trevor Cahill hears the discussion about his complex relationship to component-ERA metrics and raises it a dazzling nine-strikeout performance (six swinging) to trounce the Tigers. The offense continues to wallow but still manages more than four runs per game. Daric Barton ups his walk total to 14 (one behind Kevin Youkilis for the AL lead), but Josh Willingham has struck out in more than a third of his at-bats. Dallas Braden struggles with shoulder discomfort as other starters—like Gio Gonzalez, who has a 0.47 ERA despite leading the AL with 12 walks—have outperformed their peripherals.

7


Blue Jays
7-8
2-4
.533
Down
The Downside of Swords is Also Dying By Them: The Blue Jays hit just two home runs on the week—Jose Bautista, J.P. Arencibia, Travis Snider, and Adam Lind get just one between them and all struggle at the plate. The early returns on Ricky Romero's $30 million contract look good (8.0 5 3 2 2 8), and Kyle Drabek battles in a game where he isn't perfect (5.2 6 2 2 4 5). Getting Frank Francisco back from the DL to join Jon Rauch and Octavio Dotel in the bullpen will help, but the bats have to get going before the AL East window closes.

8


White Sox
7-8
1-5
.524
Down
No Relief for the Insane: Matt Thornton and Chris Sale, who were supposed to split saves, don't even have two to rub together. Just about everything else hits a bump as well: Edwin Jackson takes a step backward (4.2 7 3 3 2 4 after an efficient second outing), Paul Konerko has a lost week (.208/.269/.333), and Brent Morel looks less and less like a major leaguer by the day (.234/.250/.298 on the season). Managing this team might make you livid as well. It might be time to consider giving Sergio Santos (11 K in 8 2/3 IP) more high-leverage innings.

9


Tigers
7-9
4-3
.476
Up
Can't Even Balk Properly: Justin Verlander fails to balk by the book and ends up ... hitting a batter instead? So go the Tigers of late, as they seem to win whenever Verlander isn't on the mound, though he has pitched well (15.0 6 5 4 10). The Will Rhymes Experiment was fun while it lasted, but an empty 4-for-16 week doesn't augur well for its future, and somewhere Scott Sizemore's (.387/.472/.548 in Toledo) phone is about to ring. Ryan Raburn (.231/.310/346) does his best to disappoint those who hoped he'd get more playing time. Phil Coke would like to buy the world some free time: each of his starts last at least 6 2/3 innings, require less than 100 pitches, and had a total game time under three hours. Unfortunately, efficiency doesn't always translate into effectiveness (9/6 K/BB ratio in 15 IP).

10


Rays
6-9
5-1
.433
Up
I'll Fuld: Sam Fuld becomes a minor sensation in Tampa, adding spectacular catches and super-cyclesto his resume. Fuld's success aids the resurgence of the Rays, who reel off five straight wins before falling to the Twins on Sunday. With the bullpen largely entrusted to Kyle Farnsworth and his rec specs, a Sean Rodriguez/Felipe Lopez platoon covering the hot corner in Evan Longoria's absence, and David Price (7.2 5 2 2 2 3) slowly coming around, the Rays look a bit sunnier.

11


Red Sox
4-10
2-3
.424
Up
The Way To Stop People From Talking About the Losing Is To Stop Losing: Winning two straight constitutes a major victory for this Red Sox team, which is on an extremely short rope from the fans and media. Dustin Pedroia (.158/.304/.368) and J.D. Drew (.167/.231/.167) hit slow spots, but the team puts a break on the skid. Winning turns out to require just a quick Josh Beckett bounceback (7.0 3 1 1 2 9), a dash of Jed Lowrie playing time (.462/.500/.654 on the year), and some return to form by a reputedly excellent bullpen. Once Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford wake up, everyone should be able to put this quirk of small samples behind them.

12


Orioles
6-8
0-5
.401
Down
Well, That Was Fast: What a difference a week makes. The Orioles drop their seventh straight after winning six of their first seven. Zach Britton's call-up to replace the injured Brian Matusz is definitely nifty, but his last start (6.0 8 5 5 1 6) demonstrates that it won't all be buzzsaw cutters in on the hands. The hired hitting guns, meanwhile, are shooting blanks: Vladimir Guerrero (zero extra base hits this week), Mark Reynolds (just two doubles), and Derrek Lee (no extra base hits) largely struggle.

13


Mariners
5-11
3-4
.366
Up
New Plan: Hold the Other Team to Two Runs Every Game! The Mariners drop three straight to Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar, and Sean O'Sullivan before Michael Pineda ekes out a win against the ghost of Jeff Francis. Pineda's starts and Felix Days increasingly look like the only times the team is watchable. It's not all bad: Justin Smoak is heating up, hitting .421 with six walks on the week, and Jason Vargas looks sharp (6.2 5 1 1 1 7) in his third start of the year.

14


Twins
5-10
2-4
.350
Up
Conserving Your Runs: The Twins' 4-2 victory Sunday is their fifth of the year and first by more than one run. Their middle infield is now a vast wasteland of Aussie Rules Football players and Alexi Casillas, not even one of which can hit a lick. Franchise player Joe Mauer hits the DL, and the team is relieved that he is just suffering from the flu, not a herniated disc—a sign of how desperate things have gotten. Justin Morneau is lost at the plate (.136/.174/.227 for the week) and apparently suffering from similar flu symptoms. Most concerning of all: the ongoing struggles of Francisco Liriano, who now owns a 9.42 ERA and has yet to get past the fifth inning.


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 Who

5 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (04/18)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: G... (04/12)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: F... (04/19)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Divide and Conquer, NL... (04/18)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Rounders: Miggy's the Bouncer
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: September 4, 2015
Premium Article Prospect Profile: Kevin Newman
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of September 3, 2...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: All Outfielders Go to ...
Premium Article The Call-Up: Corey Seager
Premium Article Pitching Backward: On Manager Analysis

MORE FROM APRIL 18, 2011
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run: Sunday Night Special
Collateral Damage: One Step Forward, Several...
Premium Article Divide and Conquer, NL Central: Breaking Bar...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Picks at First, Third an...
Premium Article On the Beat: Britton's Got Talent
Prospectus Q&A: YOU Make the Call! Part V
The Week in Quotes: April 11-17

MORE BY TOMMY BENNETT
2011-05-02 - Prospectus Hit List: It's 1998 All Over Agai...
2011-04-26 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Of Phils and Fish
2011-04-22 - Expanded Horizons: Eight, Ten, Here We Go Ag...
2011-04-18 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Cleveland Rocks
2011-04-15 - Premium Article Expanded Horizons: Relying on Relievers
2011-04-12 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Get Your Phils
2011-03-28 - Prospectus Hit List: AL Pre-Season Hit List
More...

MORE PROSPECTUS HIT LIST
2011-04-26 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Of Phils and Fish
2011-04-25 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: A Return to Normalcy
2011-04-19 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Feast or Famine
2011-04-18 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Cleveland Rocks
2011-04-12 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Get Your Phils
2011-04-11 - Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: First Flight
2011-03-28 - Prospectus Hit List: NL Pre-Season Hit List
More...