The Week That Was in Baseball: June 4-10, 2012
Odds and Nods From the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft • High Desert Drama in Arizona
How Many Mariners Does it Take to Throw a No-Hitter? • Pedro Borbon, R.I.P.
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|Outguessing the Mayans: TGG's 2012 Baseball Picks
Our annual, fearless preview of the 2012 major league season, with TGG’s Ed Attanasio and Eric Gouldsberry releasing their picks for who will arrive, thrive, dive and cry. Check it out and see if you agree!
How Daddy Drafted Me Into Baseball
The Houston Astros made Carlos Correa, a 17-year-old shortstop from Puerto Rico, the number one pick overall; he’s only the third Latino to be selected first, and if he’s as good as the previous twoAlex Rodriguez and Adrian Gonzalezthe Astros are in good shape for the future.
The legacies soon followed. Ryan Ripken, son of Cal Ripken Jr., was taken in the 20th round; Rustin Sveum was picked in the 39th round by the Chicago Cubsmanaged by his father, Dale Sveum; same thing in Milwaukee, where the Brewers picked manager Ron Roenicke’s son Lance in the 25th round, and in St. Louis, where Mike Matheny’s son Tate was selected in the 23rd round. (Not to be outdone, the Cardinals also picked the sons of Cardinal coaches Jose Oquendo and Mike Aldrete). And in Cleveland, Nick Hamilton, offspring of Indian radio voice Tim Hamilton, was taken in the 35th round.The best name in the draft: Stryker Trahan, taken in first round by Arizona.
Patience is a Virtue
We looked back at the previous three drafts and checked out the progress of all first-round selections. Of the 30 players taken in the initial round a year ago (not including supplemental picks), none have yet to make it to a major league roster. In fact, only one of those playerspitcher Trevor Bauer, taken by Arizonais currently at the Triple-A level. Three others have only made it as far as AA, 11 are at the Class-A+ level, nine are in the lower A leagues and two are still trying to promote themselves from extended spring training, a notch below the rookie leagues. (One first-round draft pick opted for college.) None of the other 1,470 players chosen last year have made it to the majors, either.
Going back one more year to 2010, we find only three first-rounders currently in the bigs: Bryce Harper, Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale. Even after two years, only three other picks have ascended as far as Triple-A; 14 players are still slaving in the Class A leagues. From 2009, eight players picked in the first round have made the big-league grade (including Strasburg, Mike Trout and Dustin Ackley); Of the other 22, only six are as high as Triple-A.
Headed for Burnout?
In the Heat of the Plight
Speaking on a Phoenix sports talk station, Kendrick criticized Upton for not being the player he “has been in the past” and lambasted Drew by saying that “Stephen and his representatives are more focused on where Stephen is going to be a year from now than on going out and supporting the team that’s paying his salary.” Upton, who some saw as a possible MVP candidate this season, is hitting just .249 with just five homers in 52 games after belting 31 a year ago; Drew just began active rehab at Triple-A Reno.Upton actually agreed with Kendrick’s critique, saying that Kendrick “has every reason to be frustrated.” Drew’s agentlet us guess, Scott Boras?was less kind in his response, finding no sense in Kendrick’s assertion that Drew is focused on the big money beyond his Arizona contract (that could expire this season if a mutual $10 million clause is not enacted for 2013) when he’s struggling so hard just to get into game shape.
A Stark View of Replay
Pedro Brobon, 1946-2012
Outside of the numbers, Borbon was remembered for his nasty inclusion in the infamous brawl started between Rose and the Mets’ Bud Harrelson in the 1973 NLCS, sucker-punching Buzz Capra and, after discovering afterward that he was somehow wearing Capra’s cap, chewed it into three pieces; for his attempted comeback as a 48-year-old replacement player in 1995 while players and owners continued to snarl at one another over the crippling strike that started the year before; and for being part of a throwaway joke in the classic 1980 comedy Airplane!, in which emergency pilot Robert Hays discovers that the talkative thoughts in his head have an echoand, mimicking a public address announcer, says: “Pinch-hitting for Pedro Borbon…Manny Mota-Mota-Mota…”Borbon died of cancer this past week at the age of 65 in Pharr, Texas.
Altitude Love-Sickness at Sea Level
Is Parity Here?
Got Melk? Okay, Got Some Runs?
Wounded of the Week
The Comebacker’s Greatest Hits
A Day-by-Day Review of the Week
The offensively-challenged A’s erupt for eight second-inning runs off Texas starter Scott Feldman, and rookie Jarrod Parker takes a no-hitter into the eighth inning as Oakland goes on to romp the Rangers, 12-1. Parker has now thrown 19 straight scoreless innings.The Colorado Rockies become the last team in the majors to win by shutout this year as they blank the Diamondbacks at Arizona, 4-0. Rookie Christian Friedrich goes seven innings for the Rockies and improves his season record to 4-1.
Tuesday, June 5
Dempster’s win officially leaves Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee as the majors’ current hard-luck guy on the mound. Lee loses a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning when he allows a two-run double to the Dodgers’ Elian Herrera, and Los Angeles holds on for a 2-1 win at Citizens Bank Park. Despite 12 strikeouts on the night and a respectable 2.92 ERA for the season, Lee drops to 0-3 in nine starts.In an exciting back-and-forth affair, the Washington Nationals edge the New York Mets in 12 innings, 7-6, on a walk-off Bryce Harper single, after the Mets had taken a 6-5 lead in the top of the inning. If Harper’s the hero, Ian Desmond gets strong honorable mention; he brings in the go-ahead run three times from the eighth inning on, the first player to do that since Art Shamsky did it with three home runs for Cincinnati in 1966.
Wednesday, June 6
Thursday, June 7
R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball continues to baffle opponents, as he runs his string of consecutive scoreless innings thrown to 24.2 with a 3-1 win at Washington, his major league-leading ninth victory of the year. Closer Frank Francisco gives up the lone National run in the ninth inning.
Lance Lynn matches Dickey with his ninth win of the year as the St. Louis Cardinals sail at Houston, 14-2. David Freese leads the offensive charge with hits two homers (one a grand slam) and six RBIs, continuing to show that his postseason splurge of last year was no fluke; he’s currently on pace to hit 34 homers and knock in 112 runs.Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz, off to a dreadful start with one of baseball’s worst ERAs among starting pitchersand yet the recipient of generous run support that gave him a 5-2 recordshuts out Baltimore on four hits and a walk at Boston, 7-0. It’s the Red Sox’ first home win against the Orioles in eight tries.
Friday, June 8
A week after throwing his own no-hitter, the Mets’ Johan Santana bombs in his follow-up against the Yankees. He allows a season-high six runs on seven hits in five innings before being pulled; on the other side, Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda flirts with a no-no of his own before losing it in the sixth. He has to leave after seven innings because of a bruised toe suffered on a comebacker. The Yankees roll at the new Stadium, 9-1.
Boston fans entering Fenway Park to get a glimpse of young Washington stars Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper get their money’s worth. Strasburg throws six sharp innings and strikes out 13 Red Sox; Harper collects three hits, including a double and his sixth homer, as the Nationals roll to a 7-4 victory.
Saturday, June 9
Sunday, June 10
The Arizona Diamondbacks finish off a three-game sweep of the Oakland A's and are now 5-0 since owner Ken Kendrick made comments critical of star players Justin Upton and Stephen Drew. The winning streak also brings them back to the .500 mark for the first time in five weeks.
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