As a staunch Red Sox fan, there is a certain amount of relief in knowing that I have another outlet in which to pour my love of the game than the lackadaisical play of the current group at Fenway Park. With a 4-9 home record and an 11-15 record overall, it is good to know that there are other teams out there worth talking about to help me take my mind of Boston's suffering.
So with that in mind, let's get started with this week's edition of...(insert low, echoed voice here)...This Week In Small Market Baseball!
- Think the Yankees want to reconsider their big offseason move; the trade of Jesus Montero to Seattle for Michael Pineda. While it has already been driven into the ground about the loss of Pineda for the season due to a torn larbum, there has been little to nothing said about what Montero has done for Seattle. All the young Catcher/Designated Hitter has done thus far is lead all rookies with 28 hits and he is second to only Yoenis Cespedes of Oakland in home runs and RBI by a rookie. I would say that Seattle definitely comes out of this deal the clear winners. My only question is what did Seattle know before hand? You may need hitting badly, but you don't trade a stud pitcher in his youth unless you know something.
- While we're talking about rookies, the Red Sox got to see a trio of rookie pitchers this week; Jarrod Parker (1-0, 1.38 ERA) and Tommy Milone (3-2, 3.69 ERA) from Oakland and Wei-Yin Chen (2-0, 2.76 ERA) from Baltimore. While Millone got shelled by the Red Sox both Parker and Chen were outstanding. Combined with Lance Lynn of St. Louis, Yu Darvish of Texas, and Wade Miley of Arizona, and Major League Baseball may have one of its strongest crops of young pitchers in quite some time.
- Someone forgot to tell the Rays that they lost Evan Longoria for the next 6-8 weeks with a torn hamstring. The AL East stalwart with an attendance problem has been winning without their leader, jumping out to a 19-9 record and have won 8 of their last 10 games. They lead the East by .5 games over the surprising Orioles, while the Yankees and Red Sox fall further behind. Just further proof that the Rays may have the best front office in all of baseball.
- If you missed my post earlier this week, I took some time to give a little bit of praise to Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates for resurrecting his career. For a guy with so much hype coming into the game, he's finally starting to realize his potential.
- Ron Gardenhire has been a celebrated manager in the major leagues for the Minnesota Twins for years. Now in his eleventh season in Minnesota, it appears like his magic is wearing off, as the Twins are currently mired in last place in the AL Central and have Major League Baseball's worst record 7-19. After years of succeeding on a lower budget, the Twins are now in the top ten in payroll, yet are on the way to their second straight fifth place finish. Could a change be in order for both management and the roster? Was signing Joe Mauer to that monster contract really worth it for a team with the worst pitching in baseball?
- How about those Houston Astros? It appears that Brad Mills finally has this team clicking on all cylinders as they have won 7 of their last 10 and are just 3 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. They are currently tied for 6th in hitting and their pitching staff is settling down after a rough start. Maybe the youth movement is paying dividends after all. It is times like these that lend credence to the parity in baseball and will make the trade deadline interesting, as there may be a lot of role reversal in regards to who is buying and who is selling at the deadline.