Monday, May 22, 2006


We are roughly 1/4 of the way into the regular season and that's long enough to observe some trends. As usual, a handful of high-priced players are underperforming; Richie Sexson, Marcus Giles, Aubrey Huff, Bobby Crosby, Carl Crawford, Randy Johnson, Andy Pettite, amongst others.

But if April and most of May have been long enough to discern 1/2 half disappointments... then it's also been long enough to identify several surprise contributors!

Position players are fairly easy to identify; are they getting onto the field regularly and do they hit when they play? Pitchers, however, are another matter entirely. An athlete can look like Sandy Koufax one week and Sandy Duncan the next.
So, starting with young hurlers...

Starting Pitchers:

Giants; Matt Cain: Still raw as Sushi, the 6-3/230 Righty just tossed a Complete Game, 1 hit shut-out against the Oakland A's on Sunday. A bull, Cain's pitch count was up to a whopping 130 by game's end... yet he was still tossing the pill with authority. Clearly capable of greatness, just keep in mind that this is the same pitcher who surrendered 7 runs on 7 hits to the Cubbies' 11 days ago.
***Cain draws the Rockies at Home later this week... a solid 'Wire grab or "Buy" in 'cap leagues.

Astros; Taylor Buchholz: With Rocket Clemens likely to return to the 'Stro ro' by early summer, Andy Pettitte eating innings (certainly struggling but capable of catching fire and reeling off a handful of outstanding starts), Wandy Rodriguez cutting his teeth (shows signs, but his control is slipping) and stud Roy Oswalt anchoring the above-average corps, Bucholz's emergence has been a very, VERY pleasant surprise. Sporting a 3-3 record, a 4.35 ERA, and a 2-1 "Strikeout to Walk" ratio, the 25 year old hurler's record is nothing to get excited about. But, Sunday's Complete Game, 5 hit, 6 K shut-out is.
***Much like the aforementioned Giant Matt Cain, Buchholz is raw and his repetoire is developing. Watch it continue to develop against a better than expected, but still "whuppable" Pirate squad later this week.

Brewers; David Bush: Wet behind the ears yet talented team, most of the new Brew' Crew aren't even old enough to buy a beer. At 27, though, Bush is the "old man" of the rotation. His 3-4 record won't wow you nor wil a 4.35 era. But, a 1.15 WHP and an average of 6 punchouts per game will. Currently knocking heads with the Reds... see how Bush fares today before jumping on him. Should he win, though, David Bush could be a sneaky-good 2nd half grab.



At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cain pitched the 1-hitter vs. the A's, not the Mets. Big difference.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Jamey said...

You are quite correct and I apologize for the error.

Cain DID beat the Mets, he held 'em to 2 runs and 5 hits earlier in the season... but not Sunday!


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