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Five Up / Five Down Pitchers – Week 3

April 28, 2012

upperdeck21

This week has featured an early season dual between the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees in Arlington Texas, an absolute pitching gem performance by Yu Darvish (8.1 innings pitched, 119 pitches, 82 strikes, 10 stroke outs, 2 walks), the NFL Draft, comparisons of the Texas Rangers to the 1998 New York Yankees and 2001 Seattle Mariners and several seventh game finals in the National Hockey League.

We ended last weekend celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Atlanta Braves historic 13 straight wins to begin the 1982 baseball season, feeling bad for the Boston Red Sox’s 100th celebration party of Fenway Park (just how did the Red Sox loose that Saturday game again after leading 9-0?), and waiting for Mike Scioscia to make a decision – and pull the trigger on Mike Trout.

We read the reports their week – as we are sure Mike Scioscia did – with fear of an injury to Mike Trout.  Mike was beamed on the wrist by a fastball playing in a game with the Salt Lake Bees.  Mike was hitting the cover off the ball in Triple A ball (batting .400, 1 HR, 11 RBIs, 4 triples, 3 doubles) all in 18 with the Bees.

In our Boys of Summer baseball league, one manager was threatening to trade Albert Pujols for a RP and a beer.  We could not understand what was taking Mike Scioscia so long to make the call and get Mike Trout out of the Bees dugout and into the Angles locker room where he belongs.

The pressure is still mounting on the broad shoulders of Albert, and we have been warning of the pressure that would begin to mount on Mike Scioscia.  The Texas Rangers are riding off and leaving the Angles stuck in a cloud off dust.  Before the start of play on Saturday April 27th, the Rangers (15-5) have a commanding 9 game lead on the Angels (6-14).

Norman Rockwell The Rookie

We think throwing Mike Trout and real trout on the field – like the Nashville Predators did with a catfish when they knocked the Detroit Red Wings out of the NHL playoffs – is exactly the right move for the Angles.  Erick Aybar signed yet another contract extension and so far has not made the line up of the Los Malos Muchachos.

We are sure if Mike Scioscia had the hot hitting Mike Aviles (Boston Red Sox SS) on his team he would do the same and bench Aybar in favor of Aviles.

The pressure is on Bobby Valentine, but these are more self-inflicted wounds than the play of the Red Sox.  Although the Boston Red Sox are below .500 like the Los Angeles Angles, the Red Sox (9-10) are only 3.5 games in back of Tampa Bay (13-7).  We are a huge fan of Joe Maddon, manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.  And we love the Red Sox Nation.  The Red Sox will be back as Big Pappi David Ortiz tweeted.  Steady she goes…

We loved the tweet by Joe Maddon on April 22nd about his team’s esprit de corps – “Still not 100 percent on all cylinders bout the espirit de corps is fabulous”.

Coming from the Angles organization, perhaps Joe phoned his buddy Mike Scioscia and told him “Throw some fish on the field!”  Never mind that Mike Trout is a rookie (brief visit last season), the Angles outfield is not the outfield to carry them back to catch Texas, Albert is pressing and their lead off hitter is not getting on base enough.

Whatever made Mike pull the trigger and make the decision to put a Trout on the field – we are happy.  Way to go Mike and thanks for the help Joe!

Now on to this week’s Five Up / Five Down Starting Pitchers

Five Up – Low Risk Pitchers

Gil Elvgren, Help Wanted 1960

No. 1 Kyle Loshe SP St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cleveland Steamers pulled a rabbit out of a hat with that selection.  We talked about how the Streamer set an early alarm to grab Kyle from the waiver wires before 8am after his first start of the season.  Since then, Kyle has added two more wins to his record and how has the following statistics on the year:  27.1 IP, 3 W, 16 K, 0.99 ERA and a 0.66 WHIP.

Still, Kyle is only owned in 84% of Yahoo! leagues.  For a player ranked 366 in Spring Training and is now ranked 7 – the highest ranked SP in all of baseball – we are expecting to see Kyle added by a few more clubs if he can continue his top-notch pitching.

Our other Five Up / Low Risk pitchers include: Jered Weaver, Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw and our bonus Stephen Strasburg.  We don’t usually like pitchers in the American League – even if their name ends with “er”, but for today we have to give a tip of the cap to Misters Wearver and Verlander.

Five Down / High Risk Pitchers 

No. 1 Tim Lincecum SP, San Francisco Giants.  Tim continues to baffle the best baseball experts, and most have not jumped off the Lincecum bandwagon.  We are not surprised to see Tim carrying the following stats through the early part of April:  18.2 IP, 1 W, 24 K, 8.20 ERA and a 1.87 WHIP.  What is surprising is that Tim is still owned by 99% of the Yahoo! baseball nation.  Ranked 28 in Spring Training and now ranked 1,219 we see high risks carrying Tim on your fantasy baseball team.

It is understandable that the San Francisco Giants keep a positive spin.  We believe that the Soria team in our ESPN League and the UFA R Us team in our Yahoo! Boys of Summer League will be looking for a trade very soon – or flat-out dropping Tim for an up and coming SP very soon.  Question is who will be the team to stash Tim on their line-up and take the risk that Tim will find his way back to his elite status.

Our other Five Down / High Risk pitchers are Yovani Gallardo, Jon Lester, Adam Wainwright, Dan Heren and Mat Latos.  Rickey Romero remains our bonus baby high risk pitcher.

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