Alex Gordon- KC- FYI- Gordon got his first homer of the season yesterday, and now has one in only 10 ABs, a far better ratio than his 6 homers in 164 major league ABs in 2009. Gordon is now 26 years old and on the edge from prospect to suspect. He struck out twice yesterday, dropping his Batting EYE in this microsample that makes up 2010 so far from 1.00 to .50 in the space of 10 innings. Gordon needs to get control of the strike zone to have a chance to live up to the potential that was seen in him a few years ago.
Jose Molina- TOR- Hot- This particular franchise of The Catching Molinas had a good day yesterday, going 1-for-3. This still only makes him 3-for-16 on the young season and he has yet to draw a walk. If you must have a Molina at catcher, you’d prefer to have a different one.
Mark Buehrle- CHA- Cold- Since throwing 113 pitches on April 11th, Buehrle has had two poor outings. However, being 31 years old, far beyond the “developing arm” stage and also showing no similar patterns over the past couple of years of bad starts following high pitch-count outings, it doesn’t look like there is cause and effect in play here. Last night’s stinker (4.2 IP, 9H, 6ER, 1BB, 4K) may be partially due to luck evening out. Buehrle took a BABIP of .235 into the start and 6 of the hits against him were either balls that just seemed to squirt through or the result of broken bat hits. It’s too early to declare Buehrle’s arm to be overworked.
Austin Kearns- CLE- FYI- Even after a 1-for-4 performance last night, Kearns owns a .320 average, far above the .195 mark he finished with in 209 as a National. That sub-Mendoza batting average was not due to the hitter-hostile conditions in DC (Kearns actually batted .222 there). He just kinda stank. This season Kearns has been helped in the early going with a whopping .438 BABIP. That is going to cool off and if you were hoping it was the change of scenery breathing new life into Kearns, it looks like you’ll be disappointed.
Felix Hernandez- SEA- Caution- Fernandez threw a gem last night, but threw 113 pitches in doing so. It was the second time in 4 starts that Hernandez has ht the 110 pitch mark in his 4 starts this season. Even though it seems like he has been around forever, Hernandez is only 24 years old. His usage pattern last year and this year is worrisome for someone so young. Prior to 2009, Hernandez hadn’t hit the 110-pitch mark more than 9 times in a season. Last year he hit it 14 times, all from may onward. That’s a lot of work in a short time frame. Hernandez threw a total of 3632 pitches last year, far above his previous high total of 3199. He may be a freak of nature like Nolan Ryan, but if this usage pattern keeps up he is more likely to look like Dontrelle Willis.
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