Posted on: April 1, 2009 9:43 pm
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Posted on: March 6, 2009 4:10 am
Well...The World Baseball Classic has finally started again and while the concept of the tourney is a great and all, I don't really think it's fair to the MLB teams involved. The tournament requires players to perform at a high level early on in the season and many aren't prepared. If your team has a pitcher pitching in this tournament, look out. Things haven't faired well for them during the 2006 year.
Notable Pitchers from 2006 World Baseball Classic and Their Performance in 2006:
Still want to see your pitcher in the tourney? As an A's fan, I was upset at the simple fact that Brad Ziegler threw more than an inning of relief the other day in an exhibition game against the Yankees.......So who are the victims gonna be this season? Ziegler? Putz? Oswalt? Peavy again?.....It could be anybody.
This tournament frustrates me beyond belief.
Brad Ziegler pitched 1.2 innings of shutout baseball in an exhibition game against the Yankees.
Tags: Adam Loewen, Bartolo Colon, Brad Ziegler, Brian Fuentes, Carlos Zambrano, Chris Reitsma, Dontrelle Willis, Esteban Loaiza, Francisco Liriano, Gary Majewski, Gustavo Chacin, J.C. Romero, Jake Peavy, Joel Pineiro, Lenny DiNardo, Luis Ayala, Odalis Perez, Ricardo Rincon, Rodrigo Lopez, Roy Oswalt, Todd Jones, WBC, World Baseball Classic
Posted on: March 3, 2008 3:56 am
Edited on: March 3, 2008 8:27 pm
A brief look at some potential candidates for the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award......
1. Francisco Liriano - SP - Minnesota Twins
In 2006, Francisco Liriano was arguably the most dominant pitcher in the American League. His 12-3 record, along with his league leading 2.16 era stood well above the rest of the league. However, Liriano's brilliant 2006 season came to an end when he injured his elbow in game against the Oakland Athletics in September. The injury might have cost the Twins from advancing in the 2006 ALDS and it cost Liriano his 2007 season as well. Now in 2008, a year removed from Tommy John Surgery, Liriano is primed to return to the Twins rotation and take over as their ace. Because of the injury, many people have been doubting whether or not Liriano can return to form for the Twins. If Liriano can come back and pitch the way he used to, he'll be a shoe-in for this award. After all, he isn't nicknamed "the franchise" for nothing.
2. Julio Lugo - SS - Boston Red Sox
Unlike most comeback candidates, Julio Lugo isn't coming off of any type of injury from the previous season. He just wasn't that good in 2007. While Lugo blamed his struggles on a stomach parasite he had last January, there won't be room for any other excuses heading into 2008. Last season, Lugo hit .237/.294/.349, which was his worst line ever as a pro. Remarkably, Lugo set a career high last season in RBI with 73, and he also had his 2nd best year stealing bases. All Lugo needs to do is raise his batting average. If he can do that, all of his other numbers will follow suit while he bats in the Red Sox lineup.
3. Richie Sexson - 1B - Seattle Mariners
One of the most remarkable things in 2007 was how the Seattle Mariners were able to compete for the AL West title last season while one of their "best hitters" had his worst season ever as a pro. Compared to his previous seasons in the league, 2007 was a disaster for Richie Sexson. Sexson only batted .205/.295/.399 with 21 home runs and 63 RBI. Even more remarkable is that Sexson only managed to rack up 89 hits when he managed to hit 159 the season before. About a quarter of Sexson's hits last season were home runs. Sexson has never been this bad of a hitter before and he's now entering a contract year. Because of this, Sexson could be a prime candidate to win the award.
4. Dontrelle Willis - SP - Detroit Tigers
After two seasons in a row of decline, many people are starting to question if Dontrelle Willis can be an effective starter in the league. In 2007, Willis posted a 10-15 record with an era of 5.17 for the Marlins. In addition, for the 2nd straight season, Willis was among the league leaders in walks and in hits allowed. However, Willis has shown in the past that he can be a solid starting pitcher and perhaps a change of scenery might help him. In Detroit, Willis will have one of the AL's best offenses, along with the AL's best pitchers park on his side. These factors should help Willis as he attempts to turn his career around and forget that 2007 ever happened.
5. B.J. Ryan - CL - Toronto Blue Jays
Much like Liriano, B.J. Ryan spent 2007 on the shelf after he injured his elbow and had to have Tommy John Surgery. Since 2004, Ryan has been one of the best relievers in the game and his 2006 numbers (2-2, 1.37 era, 38 saves) were the best of his career. If Ryan performs even half as good as his totals then, he will be in the running for this award. The main concerns for the Blue Jays will be his health, but they can afford to give him days off with the emergence of Jeremy Accardo in the bullpen.