Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Even though I see the same slightly varied delivery from Lester, I am starting to become a believer. His next time out will get me on the bandwagon, as Lester will face a tough Mets lineup. Lester is reminding me of a younger Barry Zito, when he had a low 90’s fastball, and instead of a 12-6 curve, an 11-5 breaker.
I was looking for the other veteran Indian starter, but Jason Johnson came at the right price (ca$h only). JJ has put a SNLVAR (measures changes in expected team wins due to the pitcher's performance above a replacement level pitcher) of .3, which ranks him 121st (30 teams * #4 starter) or one of the best #5 starters. Pretty good spin, right?
Anyway, JJ needs to keep the ball down more often to take advantage of the Sox good infield defense and decrease the number of gopher balls he has given up so far this season. JJ’s control also has to improve or we will be dealing with Matt Clement like performances, but with lower expectations so it will be a bit less frustrating.
My old high school teammate and friend, Doug Clark, has been called up by the A’s recently. We haven’t spoken in a number of years, but it is nice to see him make it onto a MLB roster after eight years in the minors (he did get a cup of coffee with the Giants as a September callup). His stay with the big club could end as quickly as July 1st when the Big Hurt or Milton Bradley could come off the DL.
Clarkie is the best athlete that I have ever been around, and my high school did produce two other professional athletes during my tenure: Travis Best and Mike Butler. Doug never played baseball in high school, but he did in college at UMASS, where he was on a football scholarship. It just reminds me how damn hard the game of baseball is and how special the 1,200 guys on a 40-man roster must be.