THT Daily: Hot Hitting

Major League News for April 23

Player News
Yesterday’s Results
Standings
Game of the Day
Top Minor League Performances

You can always find the most recent THT Daily at http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/content/thtdaily/


Player News

Player Headlines are courtesy of Rotoworld

Brandon Webb surrendered three runs over six innings against the Giants to become the majors’ first five-game winner on Tuesday. Webb was down 3-0 entering the bottom of the second, but he shut the Giants down from there and contributed to his cause with a two-run double. It was his sixth career extra-base hit in 332 at-bats. He already has four RBI on the season, matching the second-highest total of his career. He drove in three runs in 73 at-bats last season.

C.C. Sabathia tossed six scoreless innings and fanned 11 on Tuesday to beat the Royals and earn his first win of the season. It was only a matter of time. Sabathia’s awful start is going to make it nearly impossible for him to match his Cy Young statistics from a year ago, but there’s still good reason to think he’ll be one of the AL’s top pitchers the rest of the way. He’ll get the Yankees next, so he’ll need to be on top of his game again.

The Tigers announced that Miguel Cabrera will begin playing first base on a regular basis, with Carlos Guillen moving to third. If they weren’t trying to sign Cabrera to a long-term deal, there’s a good chance they would have arranged it this way in the first place. Now that Cabrera is signed for eight years, he won’t have to worry about a switch diminishing his value. As much of a liability as he was at third, he should prove to be quite a bit more valuable to the Tigers at first base. Fantasy leaguers, though, will be upset the team didn’t wait another week to make the switch. He’s played only 14 games at third, making it unlikely that he’ll qualify there next year in most leagues.

Mariners activated RHP J.J. Putz from the 15-day disabled list. Putz, who had been out since April 2, should go right back into the closer’s role immediately, allowing Mark Lowe and Ryan Rowland-Smith to return to setup duties.

Rays acquired outfielder Gabe Gross from the Brewers for RHP Josh Butler. The second left-handed hitter the Rays have added since Cliff Floyd went down, Gross figures to see fewer at-bats than Dan Johnson initially, though he might be the more likely of the two to stick for the long haul. He was hitting .209/.352/.279 this season, and while he had yet to go deep this year, he does have 20 homers in 655 at-bats as a major leaguer. Since he can handle center field on a limited basis, he’s a pretty good reserve. It’s likely that he’ll have a little value in deep AL-only leagues while Floyd is out.

The Red Sox haven’t decided yet whether Josh Beckett will have his turn skipped or if he’ll be reinserted into the rotation in a couple of days. The stiff beck that got Beckett scratched was a new issue that just emerged today. Beckett has also been dealing with flu-like symptoms, but he had recovered sufficiently from that to pitch tonight. David Pauley will start in Beckett’s place tonight against the Angels.

Albert Pujols made his major league debut at second base in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game. The Cards, who demoted Rico Washington and went to 13 pitches on Monday, ran out of position players after Cesar Izturis got hurt. If Pujols’ arm was sound, we imagine he would have GONE to third, with Troy Glaus playing short and Aaron Miles at second. However, the Cards don’t want Pujols making that throw right now.

Chad Cordero will have his right shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday. Cordero had better velocity last night and said after his appearance that he felt fine, but when he went back to the hotel, he felt a “clicking” in the shoulder. “We just want to make sure there really is nothing wrong,” Cordero said. “Just clicking. That’s all it was. No pain, nothing like that when I was throwing last night. When I got back in the room last night, I was moving my arm around, I had some clicking in the shoulder. I wasn’t really sure what it was.” This is probably what should have happened in the first place. Jon Rauch will continue to close while Cordero’s availability remains limited.

Indians placed RHP Jake Westbrook on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 20, with a left intercostal strain. There was no indication Westbrook was hurt while he amassed a 2.76 ERA in his first four starts. Either Aaron Laffey or Jeremy Sowers will be called up to start in his place Saturday against the Yankees. Laffey especially would be a sleeper if he stuck around for a while, but the Indians will hope to have Westbrook back early next month.


Yesterday’s Results
American League
BOS     7  LAA     6    (Recap and Boxscore)
TB      6  TOR     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
NYA     9  CHA     5    (Recap and Boxscore)
DET    10  TEX     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
CLE    15  KC      1    (Recap and Boxscore)
MIN     5  OAK     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
SEA     4  BAL     2    (Recap and Boxscore)

National League
WAS     6  ATL     0    (Recap and Boxscore)
CHN     8  NYN     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
CIN     8  LAN     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
HOU    11  SD      7    (Recap and Boxscore)
MIL     9  STL     8    (Recap and Boxscore)
PIT     3  FLA     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
ARI     5  SF      4    (Recap and Boxscore)
PHI     8  COL     6    (Recap and Boxscore)

You can download a compact version of yesterday’s boxscores from Heater Magazine.

First Inning’s Major and Minor League Daily Reports:
{embed=”pageblocks/FirstInning_Team_Lookup”}


Standings

The graphics next to each team are called “sparklines.” They depict each team’s performance over the last month. Each “up” bar is a victory and a “down” bar is a loss. There are horizontal lines for home games and red bars represent games decided by two runs or less. “PWins” is short for Projected Wins, based on each team’s Run Differential, and is often a better measure of a team’s true strength. Other team graphs and stats can be found on our Team Page.

American League East        Pwins  Diff
BOS     15   7 .682    0.0   12     3    sparkline graph
BAL     11   9 .550    3.0   10     1    sparkline graph
NYA     11  10 .524    3.5   10     1    sparkline graph
TOR     10  11 .476    4.5   12    -2    sparkline graph
TB       9  11 .450    5.0   11    -2    sparkline graph
American League Central     
CHA     11   8 .579    0.0   12    -1    sparkline graph
MIN     10  10 .500    1.5    9     1    sparkline graph
KC       9  11 .450    2.5    7     2    sparkline graph
CLE      8  12 .400    3.5   10    -2    sparkline graph
DET      8  13 .381    4.0    8     0    sparkline graph
American League West        
LAA     12   9 .571    0.0   11     1    sparkline graph
OAK     12   9 .571    0.0   12     0    sparkline graph
SEA     11  10 .524    1.0   12    -1    sparkline graph
TEX      7  14 .333    5.0    7     0    sparkline graph


National League East        Pwins  Diff
FLA     12   8 .600    0.0    9     3    sparkline graph
NYN     10   9 .526    1.5   11    -1    sparkline graph
PHI     11  10 .524    1.5   11     0    sparkline graph
ATL     10  10 .500    2.0   13    -3    sparkline graph
WAS      6  15 .286    6.5    7    -1    sparkline graph
National League Central     
CHN     14   6 .700    0.0   13     1    sparkline graph
STL     13   8 .619    1.5   13     0    sparkline graph
MIL     12   8 .600    2.0   11     1    sparkline graph
CIN      9  12 .429    5.5   10    -1    sparkline graph
HOU      9  12 .429    5.5   10    -1    sparkline graph
PIT      8  12 .400    6.0    6     2    sparkline graph
National League West        
ARI     15   5 .750    0.0   15     0    sparkline graph
COL      9  11 .450    6.0    8     1    sparkline graph
SD       9  12 .429    6.5    7     2    sparkline graph
LAN      8  12 .400    7.0   10    -2    sparkline graph
SF       8  13 .381    7.5    7     1    sparkline graph


Game of the Day

The Red Sox are on a roll, having won six straight. They are now 15-7, thanks to their 7-6 win over the Angels yesterday. The hero of the game was Jacoby Ellsbury, who hit two solo home runs and scored the winning run. Dustin Pedroia also had a big game for the Sox, going 4 for 5 and doubling in Ellsbury in the eighth.

Red Sox 7, Angels  6 - FINAL

LA ANGELS              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
C Figgins 3b            4  0  1  0   1  1   2  .363
G Matthews dh           5  0  1  0   0  2   4  .235
V Guerrero rf           5  0  0  0   0  2   5  .275
G Anderson lf           5  0  2  2   0  0   2  .244
T Hunter cf             4  0  0  0   0  1   5  .301
C Kotchman 1b           4  1  1  1   0  0   0  .315
M Izturis 2b            2  2  1  0   2  0   0  .182
J Mathis c              4  2  2  3   0  0   0  .379
E Aybar ss              4  1  3  0   0  0   1  .356

Totals                 37  6 11  6   3  6  19   ###

BOSTON                 ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
J Ellsbury cf           5  3  3  2   0  0   3  .308
D Pedroia 2b            5  1  4  1   0  1   0  .364
D Ortiz dh              4  1  1  1   1  1   2  .181
M Ramirez lf            5  0  2  0   0  1   2  .342
K Youkilis 3b-1b        5  1  1  2   0  0   5  .354
J Drew rf               4  1  1  0   0  1   3  .302
S Casey 1b              4  0  1  0   0  0   1  .340
 J Lowrie pr-3b         0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .375
K Cash c                4  0  1  0   0  3   2  .227
J Lugo ss               4  0  2  1   0  0   0  .324

Totals                 40  7 16  7   1  7  18   ###

----------------------------------------------------
    LA ANGELS       - 003 200 010   --   6 11 0
    BOSTON          - 100 131 01x   --   7 16 1
----------------------------------------------------

BATTING: 2B - M Izturis (1, D Pauley); E Aybar 3 (5, D Pauley 2, H Okajima); D 
Pedroia 3 (11, J Weaver 2, S Shields); S Casey (5, D Oliver). HR - J Ellsbury 2 
(3, 1st inning off J Weaver 0 on, 0 Out, 6th inning off D O'Day 0 on, 2 Out), J 
Mathis (3, 4th inning off D Pauley 1 on, 1 Out), K Youkilis (2, 5th inning off 
J Weaver 1 on, 1 Out), C Kotchman (5, 8th inning off H Okajima 0 on, 0 Out). 
RBI - J Mathis 3 (7), G Anderson 2 (11), C Kotchman (13), J Ellsbury 2 (9), J 
Lugo (4), D Ortiz (16), K Youkilis 2 (14), D Pedroia (12). 2-out RBI - G 
Anderson 2, J Lugo, J Ellsbury. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - C 
Figgins 1, T Hunter 3, G Matthews 1, E Aybar 1, D Ortiz 1, J Drew 1, K Cash 2, 
K Youkilis 1, J Ellsbury 1. GIDP - T Hunter. Team LOB - LA ANGELS 7, BOSTON 10. 
BASERUNNING: SB - M Izturis (4, 2nd base off D Pauley/K Cash), D Pedroia (3, 
2nd base off D O'Day/J Mathis). FIELDING: E - K Cash (2, throw). DP:  (K 
Youkilis-D Pedroia-S Casey). 

LA ANGELS                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
J Weaver                      5      10   5   5   0   4   2   4.50
D O'Day                       1 1/3   3   1   1   0   1   1   2.02
D Oliver (L, 1-1)             1       2   1   1   0   2   0   4.50
S Shields                       2/3   1   0   0   1   0   0   1.12

BOSTON                       ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
D Pauley                      4 1/3   7   5   5   2   3   1  10.38
J Tavarez                     1 2/3   2   0   0   1   0   0   5.79
H Okajima (B, 1)              1 2/3   2   1   1   0   1   1   1.08
M Timlin (W, 2-1)               1/3   0   0   0   0   0   0  14.54
J Papelbon (S, 8)             1       0   0   0   0   2   0   2.45

J Tavarez pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.

Pitches-strikes: J Weaver 105-72; D O'Day 26-16; D Oliver 19-15; S Shields 
13-6; D Pauley 89-56; J Tavarez 24-16; H Okajima 21-16; M Timlin 4-2; J 
Papelbon 11-9. Ground balls-fly balls: J Weaver 6-5; D O'Day 3-0; D Oliver 1-0; 
S Shields 1-1; D Pauley 4-6; J Tavarez 5-0; H Okajima 2-2; M Timlin 1-0; J 
Papelbon 0-1. Batters faced: J Weaver 25; D O'Day 7; D Oliver 5; S Shields 4; D 
Pauley 22; J Tavarez 7; H Okajima 7; M Timlin 1; J Papelbon 3. IRS - S Shields. 
UMPIRES: HP--Jim Wolf. 1B--Ed Montague. 2B--Jerry Layne. 3B--Phil Cuzzi.   
T--3:21. Att--37,982. Weather: 64 degrees, cloudy. Wind: 13 mph, out to left.

The following graph tracks the game’s Win Probability, courtesy of Fan Graphs. You can also view live WPA graphs at Fangraphs during any ballgame all season long.

image


Top Minor League Games

The following list, provided by First Inning, includes the top minor league batting (based on Runs Created) and pitching (based on Game Score) performances from yesterday, with a focus on each team’s top prospects.

ORG LVL PLAYER            AB  H 2B 3B HR BB SO  Notes
COL AAA Ian Stewart....... 5  4  0  1  1  0  0  5 RBI !
PIT AAA Andrew McCutchen.. 4  2  2  0  0  1  1  2 SB
NYM AA  F. Martinez....... 6  2  1  0  0  0  0  
KC  A   Jason Taylor...... 2  2  0  0  2  1  0  2 SB
TOR AA  Ryan Patterson.... 4  3  3  0  0  0  0  
HOU AA  Drew Sutton....... 4  2  2  0  0  3  0  
CLE AAA Brad Snyder....... 4  2  1  0  1  0  0  
COL AAA Joseph Koshansky.. 5  3  1  0  0  0  2  
STL AAA Colby Rasmus...... 4  1  0  0  1  1  0  
TEX AA  M. Ramirez........ 3  2  1  0  1  1  0  
TB  AAA Reid Brignac...... 5  2  1  0  0  0  0  
CHW AAA Josh Fields....... 4  2  0  0  0  1  1  

ORG LVL PLAYER            IP  H  R ER SO BB HR  Notes
CHC AAA Sean Gallagher.... 8  3  1  1 12  1  1  
PIT AA  Jimmy Barthmaier.. 6  2  1  1  5  1  0  
BAL AA  Jason Berken...... 6  5  3  2  8  1  0  
BAL A+  Brandon Erbe...... 7  3  1  1  3  1  0  
WAN AAA Collin Balester... 6  4  3  3  8  1  2  
OAK A+  Trevor Cahill..... 5  6  5  5  6  3  0  11 GB
CHC AA  Mitch Atkins...... 7  4  3  2  6  1  1  
BOS AA  Kris Johnson...... 6  4  2  1  6  3  0  
DET AAA F. Cruceta........ 3  0  0  0  6  1  0  
BAL A+  Pedro Beato....... 5  6  1  1  5  1  0  
OAK AA  Andrew Bailey..... 5  6  2  2  5  2  0  
WAN A+  Craig Stammen..... 3  1  0  0  2  0  0  3 infield flies

Access THT’s stats here…

{embed=”content/2005stable”}
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