CC Sabathia- NYA- FYI- Sabathia has thrown more than 110 pitches in 4 of his first 7 starts. He has a track record of being able to handle heavy workloads, even early in the season. The high pitch counts should not be of as much concern as they would be for the average pitcher.
Josh Hamilton- TEX- Hot- Maybe a little time off was what Hamilton needed to get his game back. He homered in his second consecutive game since being activated from the DL. That equals his longball total from the 18 games before he went on the shelf. Hamilton’s homer ratio dropped after his incredible Home Run Derby performance last year as his K rate rose. He has whiffed 4 times in 8 ABs since returning from injury, but his 3 walks in last matches the number he drew in those 18 pre-injury games so he has shown selectivity that was lacking. The indicators from this micro-small sample size are good.
CJ Wilson- TEX- Cold- My favorite Rangers’ whipping boy was at it again last night. Even though he got the win it was because his offense bailed him out after the allowed a run (albeit unearned) in the top of the 11th. In his 2 innings of work, Wilson allowed 2 this and a walk, with the go ahead run reaching third base in each inning, actually scoring in the 11th. He still does not look like a candidate for holding on to the closer role in Frank Francisco’s absence.
Cliff Lee- CLE- Caution- In all of his breakout 2008 season, Lee threw 110 or more pitches a total of 9 times. This year he has already crossed that threshold 5 times in 8 starts. This heavy of a workload this early may make Lee a candidate for sell high status before too long.
Troy Percival- TB- Cold- Thanks to 4 Tampa Bay runs in the top of the 9th it wasn’t a save situation when Percival in the bottom of the inning. He turned it into one with his performance, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits (2 of them homers) while retiring only 1 batter before being pulled, inflating his ERA from 2.08 to 6.00. This was the first time Percival has been scored on since April 15th, but he has not been lights out, recording only two 3-up, 3-down innings in his 8 appearances since then. He has only struck out 4 in his 9 IP this year and is not the dominating closer of his prime. Percival seems to be a prime candidate for closer to be replaced before the end of the season.