After all, they do seem to have a solid rotation, even with a less than consistent Brian Bannister. Hochevar looks to be a considerable upgrade from John Bale, who was shaky in just about every outing. After a month and a half, the roster has been shaken out, Nomo and Bale have exited, and the more effective Joel Peralta and Luke Hochevar have steppted in. Brett Tomko has been a little less consistent than one might like out of a guy getting a guaranteed $3 million, but he has had three quality starts, which isn't terrible out of your fifth pitcher, I guess, and hopefully his BABIP will come back down a little from the .338 it's sitting at now.
And just so it's out there, I'd like to show you this:
|Chicago White Sox||23||20||.535||--||9-7||14-13||6-9||9-7||5-4||Won 5||7-3|
|Cleveland Indians||22||22||.500||1.5||14-12||8-10||7-6||7-6||8-7||Lost 3||6-4|
|Minnesota Twins||21||22||.488||2.0||14-10||7-12||4-5||13-8||3-7||Lost 2||4-6|
|Kansas City Royals||21||22||.488||2.0||10-12||11-10||5-5||10-7||4-9||Won 1||6-4|
|Detroit Tigers||17||27||.386||6.5||8-12||9-15||8-8||4-15||4-2||Lost 1||3-7|
Yes, on May 18th of 2008, the Royals are one game under .500 and two games out of first. And those Tigers who I was emphatically stating were so deficient in pitching that they could not win the division are sitting four and a half games out of fourth in the division. Even Verlander has been bad (much to my surprise). He's not even performing as well as Brett Tomko.
In the non-Royal baseball arena, my boy Shaun Marcum is getting accolades from Fan Graphs. Glad I picked him in spite of the the post-draft regret. Don't call him Casey Janssen.
Chipper Jones has been absolutely unreal. I really can't believe how much he's been killing the ball. If he can stay healthy...
Congrats to two of my favorite young players on their signings this week: Joakim Soria and Hanley Ramirez. Moreover, it is refreshing to see two historically cheap teams (in the case of the Marlins, cheap is being kind) actually holding on to some of their talented young players.
Cliff Lee's ERA finally rose above 1.00. Does anyone want to wager on it staying below 3.00? I'm willing to entertain offers.
Jake Peavy is missing his start Monday so that his elbow can be evaluated. Kind of scary for Peavy owners like me.
As Smoltz nears his return to active duty (and his return to the closer's role), my feeling are mixed. As an owner of his, I much prefer to get his 17 wins and his 200 K's, but as a long-time fan, I hope it extends his career and his legacy. I truly believe he is a Hall of Famer.
And finally, everyone's clamoring for it, Dusty. As for this nonsense that the reason Jay Bruce isn't up with the club is because there's no room with Griffey still sitting in right, that's utter horseshit. Their lead-off hitter, one old pal of Baker's who goes by the name of Corey Patterson, is taking up valuable space with his .273 OBP and .227 AVG. Why did Baker need him again? Bruce was set to start in center when the season began, but this revisionist spin on where Bruce can/will play is clouding the real problem, and that real problem is Corey Patterson and TPTB's reluctance to show that they were wrong.