Pat Burrell- PHI- Hot- Burrell smacked 2 of the 4 Philadelphia homers yesterday, giving him a total of 3 in this young season. His overall 2-for-4 at the plate raised his average to .435. Burrell tends to be a fast starter, usually in the average column and sometimes with homers (he hit 7 in April 2006), so don’t count on a monster season from him based on this small sample size. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Bronson Arroyo- CIN- Cold- Sometimes in a home run derby, the batters are so eager to whack the pitches coming to them that they will flail away ineffectively. That may explain how Arroyo picked up 6 strikeouts without walking anyone in his 5-1/3 IP yesterday. Five of his 6 strikeout victims went down swinging. Other than that it was like batting practice out there for the Phillies, who got 9 hits, 4 of them homers. Arroyo is getting off to an uncharacteristic slow start, unable to get through 6 innings in either of his two starts so far. Last year, he pitched no less than 6-2/3 innings in each of his 5 April starts. Keep an eye on Arroyo’s next outing to see if this is a trend.
Chris Young- ARI- Hot- Young celebrated his not-yet-announced contract extension by homering in a 2-for-4 effort yesterday. Importantly, he also drew another walk, his 7th of the year. After the first game of the season, when he struck out 3 times, Young has posted a Batting EYE of 1.17, quite impressive.
Blaine Boyer- ATL- Cold- If major league “lockers” really had locks then maybe Boyer would be put in one when Tom Glavine starts. That would prevent Boyer from doing what he has done on each of the last two Mondays, both after Glavine gave a solid performance. Last Monday it was Xavier Nady who took Boyer deep and ruined the Braves’ home opener. last night it was Matt Holliday who crushed a Boyer fastball and sent Atlanta to a 2-1 loss in Colorado. In between, Boyer tossed two perfect performances, retiring all 9 batters he faced, 5 of them by strikeout. What did Glavine ever do to earn this deep-seated, subliminal hatred from Boyer?
Esteban Loaiza- LAN- Cold- Loaiza has pretty much picked up where he left off in 2007 for the Dodgers and that is not a good thing. After giving up 4 runs in 4 innings against the Diamondbacks, Loaiza’s ERA stands at 6.75, not that much better than the 8.34 he posted after coming over from Oakland. His on-again, off-again effectiveness may be permanently stuck in the off position. He hasn’t been effective at the major league level for an length of time since 2005, when he pitched for the Nationals and benefited greatly from the vast spaces of RFK Stadium.