Dallas-area newspapers have left Derek Holland for dead. Here's an example and here's another. True, the Rangers have a legit Opening Day starter in Cole Hamels, and Yu Darvish is doing well in rehab games. But Holland has a 5.1 strikeout rate, Martin Perez has a 4.6 to 4.6 strikeout to walk rate (!!), and Colby Lewis has a 1.9 gopher rate with a ludicrous 5.34 FIP.
For those amigos who feel uppity about the Rangers making the playoffs four times the last six years, go ahead and project them to another 88 wins this year. Dr. D isn't feeding your "No Cheering In the M's Blog" syndrome. Feel free to argue about the Rangers' virtue among yourselves; we're sure it will be a nourishing conversation.
Considering the Rangers' 90 team OPS+, I wouldn't bet the over on 84.5 Texas wins.
Garrett Richards' sudden "high-grade" tear to his elbow ligament might or might not lead to Tommy John surgery, says Mike Scioscia, but it's a telltale sign he won't be striking out 8.8 batters per game this summer. ... of course SSI opposes sadism, exultation in others' travail and running through stop signs. But it's not like Richards stepped on a mine in Afghanistan and will need 100 surgeries. He's got an operation on his arm to schedule, some rehab and $3.2M to do it on. Sense of proportion, is all I'm saying. Hey, you thought Dr. D was cold? You got no idea...
Best wishes Garrett.
Matt Shoemaker just got cut off the 25 man for pitching cruddy. C.J. Wilson and Tyler Skaggs are also bein' paid to rehab. The Angels are down to Hector Santiago's 1.4 gopheritis and Jered Weaver's 81 fastball / 4.4 strikeout rate.
RandomFGsycophant: Paxton for Trout. Who hangs up?
JeffSullivan: Billy Beane
JeffSullivan: Whether the Mariners add Trout or just add Paxton to their 119 ERA+, either way I'm squirming in my folding chair
Three words: 82 Team ERA+.
You can work the problem to some extent, but I don't notice that a lot of ballclubs have gone from 82 in the first half to 115 in the second half, lately. That said, I would imagine the Astros will rise to the top as the 2nd-best team :- ) in the division. From an 11-19 start, minus eight, they would have to go 79-53 (.607 ball, or 97-win baseball) just to win 90. Which the Mariners probably will anyway.
And there's a problem with going 79-53 the rest of the way. They got an 82 team ERA+.
Rich Hill has been a revelation ... and they've needed him. Sonny Gray will get it figured out, but he has 4.1 walks per game, a 4.55 FIP and all pitchers (even aces like Gray) are subject to extreme volatility.
Even you kiddies probably know about Steve Carlton going 27-10, 1.97 for a 108-game loser in 1972 ... and then losing 20 games with an ERA below league average the next year. The Steve Mann Cy Young principle: even the very best pitcher from last season will often have a tough year this time around. Right now, Adam Wainwright, Justin Verlander and David Price have 3 of the 5 worst ERA's in baseball.
The A's other starters have ERA+ of 88, 63 and 55. That doesn't count Eric Surkamp, whose 4.2 strikeouts and 5.6 walks did not exactly embody Billy Beane's concept of a starting pitcher. Beane has gotten so good at powerflushing AAA starters that it's like a superpower. Here's to another six or eight 1.25-gallon flushes.
Good year to be good.