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July 12, 2013 6:04 am
Cleveland and Baltimore are playoff contenders, but not because of their men on the mound.
The Thursday Takeaway
If there is one thing that stands between the 2013 Indians and the organization’s first postseason berth since 2007, it is a lack of dependable pitching.
The Tribe entered play on Thursday ranked fifth in the majors in runs scored and sixth in True Average, a considerable improvement from last year, when Cleveland placed 22nd and 18th, respectively, in those categories. The Indians’ fielding also has been markedly better this year than it was in 2012, enough to bump their park-adjusted defensive efficiency up from 24th to 12th in the league. Unfortunately, while the pitching is on the right track—with the team’s ERA down from 4.78 to 4.38—it still ranks near the bottom of the pack (27th).
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July 10, 2013 7:34 am
Shoulder surgery can be a death knell for pitchers, but it has not stopped Danks from reinventing himself as a reliable starter.
Shoulder injuries are a very scary thing for pitchers. Fans get frustrated at pitchers that go the rest-and-rehabilitation route, which almost inevitably only delays the surgery that most of those pitchers undergo. It is tough to blame teams and pitchers for going the conservative route after looking at what happened to the likes of Brien Taylor, Mark Prior, and, most recently, Johan Santana. And we can now add another pitcher to that fray: John Danks.
Danks had his 2012 season cut short by a shoulder injury that was initially diagnosed as small tear that would not require surgery. May became June, which became July, and August brought along a surgery that included repairing a shoulder capsule tear, damage to his rotator cuff, and a debridement of his biceps tendon. Worse yet, all of this happened in the first season of Danks’s latest contract extension, which will pay him $57 million through the 2016 season.
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With an exciting conclusion.
In last week’s edition of TLPAotW, commenter dbertelli asked, “Who are the all-time hitter record holders for number of plate appearances of more than 10 pitches?” The answer is these guys, with the caveat that “all-time,” in this context, means “since 1988,” which is as far back as Retrosheet pitch-by-pitch data goes:
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