|Quick Hits with Adam - Week 6||| Print ||
Written by Adam Adkins (Contact & Archive) on May 08, 2008
How much will the Yankees miss their catcher, the fringy Hall of Famer Jorge Posada?Â According to numerous injury experts (including BPâ€™s Will Carroll and ESPNâ€™s Stephania Bell) Posada has a slightly torn rotator cuff, just bad enough to eliminate any ability to throw and just slight enough to not require surgery.Â Not a fun situation for Posada, or for the Yankees.Â Instead of Posada carrying the load at catcher, Jose Molina is pulling the cart.Â The difference between Molina and Posada is clear; oneâ€™s a fringy Hall of Famer and oneâ€™s a fringy backup.Â No offense to Molina, but, well, thatâ€™s just it: no offense.
Molina has a stellar (kidding) OPS-plus of 64; thatâ€™s also his 2008 mark.Â Posadaâ€™s nearly double that with a career mark of 124.Â The Yankees will feel the loss of Posada, but even his injury (two months?) and its length may not compare to the loss of their superstar and definite Hall of Famer, Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has a Grade II Strain in his quad, which means in basic English that Rodriguezâ€™s quad is more than pulled but not fully torn.Â Good?Â No.Â Deal-with-able?Â Sure.Â A-Rod will make the trip to Tampa to rehab, along with Posada and young Phil Hughes, who has a fractured rib.Â
Itâ€™s possible that the struggles thus far by Hughes were related to the rib; itâ€™s also just as possibleâ€”if not moreâ€”that the struggles arenâ€™t related to the rib.Â Regardless, he is only 21, so Iâ€™m not terribly concerned.
Anyone else know what the deal is with Travis Hafner?Â Hafner was seriously a top 3 hitter two years ago; now he canâ€™t even start.Â Big, powerful, high walk-high strikeout guys donâ€™t last; the same decline Hafnerâ€™s experiencing could also be knocking at David Ortizâ€™s doorstep.
Is it possible that the best pitcher in baseball is no longer Johan Santana?Â I certainly think so.Â Santanaâ€™s still a high strikeout-low walk machine, but heâ€™s becoming more homer happy.Â His HR/9 rates are continuing to rise, and thatâ€™s an indication (to me) that heâ€™s entering decline.Â He wonâ€™t fall off a cliff at a Zitoian pace, but Year 7 of his big new deal may be rough.
As for best pitcher in the game, I present to you... Chien-Ming Wang?Â Itâ€™s possible.Â We all know what Wang brings to the table: awesome sinker (and therefore a great Groundball rate and pitifully low HR/9 rates), fantastic control and little to no strikeouts.Â What I just presented to you is a Top 15 or so pitcher.
Now, take all of that, but add a bunch more strikeouts, say... twice as many.Â That pitcher is as good as Brandon Webb.Â Guess what?Â CM Wang has been that pitcher so far this year, carrying the Yankees to their hovering around .500 record.Â
My pick for the best starter in the game is Brandon Webb, but Iâ€™d be a-okay taking Johan Santana, Josh Beckett, Tim Lincecum (World, meet the most dominant pitcher in the league in quite some time), Justin Verlander and... yes, CM Wang.Â
What about the best hitter?Â Glad you asked.Â This one is easy.Â Iâ€™ll take a hint of Alex Rodriguez.Â What?Â Youâ€™re out of that?Â I can live with some Albert Pujols instead.
Folks, itâ€™s the same old story hitting wise.Â Rodriguez, Pujols... and then the rest of the pack (Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Hanley Ramirez, and maybe even that Bonds guy).
Also, a word of caution to Reds fans about their pitching.Â Aaron Harang, ace.Â Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto; both very talented.Â However, Dusty Bakerâ€¦I guess the best way to describe it is Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.
Thatâ€™s your future, Reds fans.