NL Central Smackdown : Right Fielders
I'll save the left fielders for Monday since it's a pretty and talented group. Your right--field warriors after the break...
|Player||3-Year Warp-3 Average
||3 Year Warp-3 Projection
|Corey Hart||4.5 (2 years)||5.6||1|
|Skip Schumaker||1.5 (1 year)||1.43||6|
|Ryan Ludwick||2.7 (1 year)||1.97||6|
|Hunter Pence||6.4 (1 year)||5.43||4|
|Ken Griffey Jr.||4.47||1.77||3|
The Justification: I think I sold Hunter Pence short on this one before I looked at the numbers. I just thought he was more useful as a center fielder and a little hacktastic for my tastes. Griffey Jr. probably deserves the top spot as a lifetime achievement award and if you think he can stay healthy, he probably still deserves it. Honestly, any of the top four are probably worth the top spot and when Rick Ankiel gets shifted back here, he'll make it even a little more interesting. But I took Hart for now, a rather successful 2007 campaign and youth on his side. I just didn't know what to expect out of Fukudome, and while the early returns are fantastic, he won't be able to keep his offensive numbers up averaging a homer a month. Nady's had a nice start to the season, but we all know he'll fade and the Cards platoon is just a placeholder until Colby Rasmus is ready and Ankiel gets shifted back.
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I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.