loss Saturday night, his record stands at 1-3 with a 6.25 ERA. The most concerning part of the southpaw’s disappointing start has been the nearly 3 mph he has lost on his average fastball velocity from last year, according to FanGraphs.com.Tampa Bar Rays’ ace David Price is struggling mightily this year. After a
If the 26-year-old continues his lethargic pitching, it could be costly to both him and his team. Although he won the American League Cy Young last year, he isn’t eligible for free agency until 2016. He won’t get one of the fat contracts being dealt to top-of-the-line starting pitchers without a solid track record of success and production leading up to his appearance on the open market.
A subpar Price also obviously impacts Tampa Bay. With one the weakest offenses in baseball, they depend on defense and pitching to win games. He is their best pitcher, and the team will only go as far as he takes them.
***Reports of the demise of pitcher Chris Carpenter’s career may have been greatly exaggerated. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss is reporting that the right shoulder injury that caused the St. Louis Cardinals to place the 37-year-old veteran on the 60-day disabled list and fueled speculation that his career was over may have been premature. Carpenter has begun a tentative throwing program, and if all goes well, could return to the team in relief sometime later this season.
Carpenter is in his 20th professional season and has always been a starter. However, shorter outings may reduce stress on his shoulder and could also give the Cardinals’ bullpen a boost in light of closer Jason Motte being lost for the year because of Tommy John surgery. All the best to Carpenter in this comeback attempt!
***Atlanta Braves starter Tim Hudson hit a major milestone last week when he picked up his 200th career win in a game against the Washington Nationals. Not wanting to leave the outcome in doubt, Hudson also hit a home run in the game, joining Hall of Famer Bob Lemon as the only other pitcher to have hit a home run in their 200th career victory.
The 36-year-old Hudson has been the model of consistency during his 15-year major league career. Entering this season, he had won at least 11 games in every one of his first 14 seasons except 2009, when he appeared in just seven games because of injury. He joins Andy Pettitte (248) and Roy Halladay (201) as the only active pitchers with at least 200 wins.
For good measure, Hudson added his 201st win on Sunday.
Now owning a career record of 201-105 with a 3.42 ERA, and showing few signs of slowing down, let the talk begin about Hudson’s potential worthiness as a Hall of Fame candidate.
***If you are seeking baseball-related Zen, look no further than former player turned minor league manager Wally Backman.
Backman, who currently helms the New York Mets’ Triple-A team in Las Vegas, has become a bit of an internet sensation. There are his epic meltdowns (caution for strong language), his motivational speeches (again caution for strong language), his thoughtful conversations with announcers (strong language…) and his love for ballpark sausage dogs (and more strong language…).
A baseball ambassador may be too strong a word to use to describe Backman, but the man sure is one of the more entertaining managers in the game.
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