Pitchers are starting to drop to like flies, making Value Picks even more important as they move from luxuries to necessities as replacements. Cory Luebke has a partially torn UCL, Jeff Niemann suffered a broken leg and hit the 60-day disabled list, Danny Duffy is likely set for Tommy John surgery, Vance Worley joined the DL ranks with elbow inflammation, and Joe Wieland (hardly a mixed league stalwart five minutes into his career), went down earlier this month with an elbow injury of his own.
Losing Manny Ramirez for a quarter of the season isn't automatically a death knell. Pedro Martinez has just one good start against a good opponent this year, but that's the scheduler's fault. I'm hardly off the hook for advancing the claim that he won't make it to ten starts, and if losing Martinez was one of my major theories about what would lay hope low in Beantown, losing Ramirez for a month and a half might make you think I'd peg this as the beginning of the end.
Placed OF-R Manny Ramirez on the 15-day DL (fractured finger); purchased the contract of UT-B Bry Nelson from Pawtucket. [5/14]
A couple of former top prospects and a current one join VP this week.
Newcomers Luke Hochevar, Royals (Yahoo! 12%, ESPN 5%, CBS 34%) Hochevar was featured as an AL-only Value Pick last week thanks to his surprisingly improved strikeout run of late, and perhaps that’s still where he belongs. However, after striking out eight without allowing an earned run in eight innings against Cleveland on Saturday, it’s time to look at him a little more closely. Showing improved velocity as the season has progressed, Hochevar has a very good 56/19 K/BB over his last ten starts, winning five as he pushes towards the first 200 inning season of his career. All of the various advanced pitching stats—SIERA, FIP, xFIP—have him between 0.50 and 1.00 runs below his unimpressive 4.76 ERA, suggesting that there’s more there than the casual fan might see. His next start is under favorable circumstances, coming later tonight against the hapless Mariners in Seattle.
The story of the little hurler who could getting his due, a notable re-retirement, plus moves and news from around the major leagues.
Tim Lincecum's aunt came up with the perfect nickname for her nephew a few years ago when she began calling him Seabiscuit. The Giants right-hander certainly has a few things in common with the legendary racehorse: they're both undersized, and they're both winners. Lincecum, listed at 5'11" and 170 pounds (though he seems an inch shorter and 10 pounds lighter), struck a blow this past Tuesday for all those who've been told that they aren't big enough when he won the National League Cy Young Award. He's four inches shorter and 61 pounds lighter than the average height and weight of the five other pitchers receiving votes: the D'backs' Brandon Webb, the Mets' Johan Santana, the Phillies' Brad Lidge, the Brewers' CC Sabathia, and the Cubs' Ryan Dempster. "This has to give Tim a lot of satisfaction, because there's little doubt people have been telling him he's too small his entire life," Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said.
Interesting arms give the Pirates hope that they'll contend at some point.
1. Andrew McCutchen, cf Very Good Prospects
2. Brad Lincoln, rhp
3. Brent Lillibridge, ss Good Prospects
4. Neil Walker, c Average Prospects
5. Todd Redmond, rhp
6. Brian Bixler, ss
7. Josh Sharpless, rhp
8. Mike Felix, lhp
9. John Van Benschoten, rhp
10. Justin Vaclavik, rhp