In 2014, the American League Central will look to bring the World...
Who’s Awesome And Who’s Not Awesome
Every so often, when I don’t have any other ideas, I revert back to the old “Who’s Awesome” template. I know it’s a bit of a cop out but it can still be a lot of fun, and let me briefly explain why I’m doing it. To tell you the truth, I haven’t been able to keep up with a ton of baseball lately. The college team that Sean and I play for clinched a playoff spot last night and for the past few weeks, all of our time and energy has been devoted to that push.
However, the MLB world has kept spinning and some people have emerged as slightly more awesome than others.
Clay Buchholz: Buchholz does not throw a spitter. This whole spit ball controversy is ridiculously contrived and completely bunk. What Buchholz does throw, however, is one of the nastiest 2-seam fastballs in baseball. The thing moves feet and it has helped him to a 6-0 record and 1.01 ERA. Awesome.
Manny Machado: In addition to doing his best Adrian Beltre impression defensively at 3rd base, Machado is hitting .354 with three bombs and three steals in his last 15 games. The Orioles are just as competitive this year as last and a lot of it has to do with Machado.
The Tigers: Detroit has the worst record of any first place team in the AL but they’ve won four straight and nine of their last 10. Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera made the Astros look like a bad Little League team over the weekend and the starting staff in general has been amazing, at one point striking out 10 or more in a record six straight games.
Who’s Not Awesome:
Josh Reddick: Reddick hit 32 bombs last season en route to a 16th place MVP finish. This season, he has just one and a dysmal .148 AVG. He has only 13 hits all year.
Injuries: Roy Halladay is headed to see a specialist about some shoulder pain. This could be the end for Roy who has pitched terrible of late thanks to diminished velo and shoulder problems dating back to last season. He’s simply not the same guy right now. Simultaneously, Hanley Ramirez spent exactly two days on the field before puling his hamstring and making a return trip to the DL. As I wrote here before, every injury is extra meaningful for the Dodgers as they are getting set for a grueling summer tracking down the defending champion Giants.
ESPN’s Playoff Percentage calculator: It somehow thinks the 1st place Giants have a 51.2% chance of making the playoffs while the second place (and much worse) Rockies have a 51.5% chance. Back to the drawing board guys.
Quick Programing Note: As we enter finals week and the playoffs, blogging has become a bit more difficult of late. Thank you for your patience as we do the best we can to keep as many balls up in the air as possible.