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Monday, April 20, 2009

Yeah, That Could Totally Be It. That, Or He Isn't On Steriods Anymore...

From Jayson Stark's article "Reality or Illusion?":

--Ugly. David Ortiz (.170 AVG., 1 extra-base hit, 14 K, 8 hits) -- REALITY: Every scout we've talked to who has seen Ortiz is downright alarmed by his vanishing bat speed. "He's starting to go quick," one scout said. "His body is breaking down on him. He isn't even catching up to average fastballs, and he's not even driving the ball the other way. If he can't hit the fastball, they're going to eat him alive. I don't think he's going to be a .170 hitter. But he's not a guy who can carry a club -- not anymore."

Boy oh boy Jimmy, this is a gosh-darned muckety muck. I mean, gee willikers, I just don't understand! It's not like he was a 20-HR guy before he went to Boston and then blew u...wait, he was? He did, in fact, go from having a career-high of 20 home runs, then the very next year hit 31? Then 41 after that one? Then 47 after that one? Then 54 after that one? Then all the way down to 35 again*?

*Side note: I was suprised to see his OPS+ actually increased the year he started to come back to earth with his HR totals. Interesting. Whatever. He's clearly a steriod guy.

Some other notes form Stark's column:

The Bad: Roy Oswalt (0-2, 4.26, only 10 K in 19 IP) -- REALITY: After two messy starts, Oswalt threw six shutout innings against the Reds on Friday. But the baseball community no longer talks about him with anywhere near the reverence it used to. "He's definitely now more heart that stuff," one NL executive said. "I love him, but I think the arrow is pointing down. He used to have an overpowering fastball. Now it's not there. His curve is still a good pitch. But it's not a power strikeout pitch. He still has good enough stuff, but he lacks that put-away stuff he used to have."

Huh. Weird. Oh well, at least all those preseason mags were stupid and the Astros are surprising peop....wait, what's that? The Astros are 4-8? Good enough for dead last? Really?!? Because Mayfield was telling me they were going to be awesome. Can't believe he would be wrong when trying to speak about his favorite team's chances this year without an ounce of objectivity.

OK, to be fair....

The Bad: Derrek Lee (.217 AVG., 283 OBP, .348 slugging percentage) -- REALITY: We had a couple of "illusion" votes on Lee, but they didn't carry anywhere near the conviction of the people who think this man is fading. "This is a tough one, but Derrek Lee might really be slowing down," one front-office man said. "He's only 33 years old, but his power completely dropped off in the second half last year, as did his other numbers." Another variation of the same theme: "He really hasn't been the same guy since getting hurt [a broken wrist in 2006]."

It didn't look good the first week or two, but Lee may be coming on here. His last 7 days splits have seen his SLG go from .381 to .556, and subsequently has seen his OPS go from .687 to .871.

I know most people want to write off D-Lee, and I'm pretty close myself. But I'm not ready to yet. He may just be warming up.

Ryan Oswalt, though? Yeah, he's totally through.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, nerds!

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Couple quick thoughts:

Why did you have to bring Ryan Oswald into this?

How great is the Crazy Zack G (3-0, complete game shutout at Texas. lots of K, not many walks)

Expect a Royals Review to come out shortly
I watched the entire Greinke start on Saturday and I was mesmerized. This guy is going to win a Cy Young and it may be this year. He paints the corners and has four pitches he throws at any point in the count. He throws a fastball up to 96 and a curve at like 4 different speeds from 74 to 60(!). And he has a hell of a mid 80s slider. I just loved everything about it.
Oh, as for the post:

Ortiz: Appears to be done, a steroid guy.

Oswalt: Appears to be on the downside, not a steroid guy.

Lee: A really tough one. Definitely regressing, may have his last good year this year. I'm saying he's a steroid guy. Willing listen to counter arguments.
Oswalt is fine. He is just doing what he does every year. His era in April last year was 5.87. His ERA in the second half was 2.49 including a Sept were he made 6 starts and posted a 1.49 ERA. I know this is weird for a Cub fan, but Oswalt gets better at the end of the season. Ya know, when games count. And ESPN is the worst place to go to find baseball information. Except for that D-lee stuff. I'm sure whatever they wrote about him sucking is dead on. He isn't anything close to what he was in 2005. He hit 46 homers in 2005 and has hit 51 HR's since then. He can still D up though.
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