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Who's Hot and Who's Not

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  • Who's Hot and Who's Not


    C Javy Lopez | Baltimore Orioles - There are a plethora of players on hot streaks right now, but we highlight Baltimore Orioles C Javy Lopez because he is in his first season in the American League, making his production so far all the more impressive. Sure, Chicago White Sox OF Magglio Ordonez (.360-3-10-4) and Anaheim Angels 3B Troy Glaus (.391-3-5-8) are tearing the cover off the ball, but they didn't have to switch leagues and go into one of the toughest pitching divisions in all of baseball. In his first seven games as an Oriole, Lopez has gone 15-for-26 (.577) to lead the league in batting average. He has also hit 2 home runs, knocked in 7 and scored 5 runs. On top of that, he has only struck out once compared to five walks. Lopez might face some tough pitchers next week against Boston and Toronto, but he has already knocked around the Red Sox's pitching, so it shouldn't be too much of a concern.

    3B Scott Rolen | St. Louis Cardinals - Rolen has come out of the gate on fire. Through Sunday, April 11, Rolen was batting .367 (11-for-30) and was tied for the lead in the National League in home runs (4) while leading the league in RBIs (13). He also scored seven runs in just seven games, but hasn't stolen a base yet. Of course, it never hurts to have a teammate almost as red hot - 1B Albert Pujols is batting .320 with 4 home runs, 11 RBIs and 8 runs scored in the first seven games. At this pace, Rolen would hit 93 HRs on the season. While he obviously should cool down at least a little bit - although all the Rolen fans hope not - he has shown a lot of power that he hasn't necessarily displayed before in his career. Rolen has consistently hit 20-to-25 home runs each year, but has only hit 30 or more in a season once. The Cardinals take on Houston and Colorado at home this week, so it could be a tale of two series if pitching is able to dictate the flow of the games.

    SP Kevin Brown | New York Yankees - Sticking to what seems to be the theme of the day, yet another player switching to a new league has been tearing it up early on. Brown - who was traded to the Yankees from Los Angeles in the offseason - was completely dominant in his first two starts. Granted, those two starts were both against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but that was the same team that roughed up teammate Mike Mussina. In 14 innings, Brown gave up just 2 runs on 11 hits. He hasn't walked a batter yet and has also struck out 10. Boiled down to simplistics, those stats translate into a 2-0 record with a 1.29 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. Brown's next start is scheduled to be Tuesday, April 13, against - you guessed it - those Devil Rays again. Naturally, this is a great opportunity for Brown to move to 3-0, at least on paper.

    SP Roger Clemens | Houston Astros - Following along the same lines as Lopez above, Clemens has been selected as the NL's “Who's Hot” pitcher based on the fact that he is switching leagues and entering an adverse division that is heavy on hitting. Florida Marlins CL Armando Benitez - who now has five saves, including one in each of the last four games and New York Mets SP Tom Glavine is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP - could also take the cake, but we've decided to highlight Clemens instead. Why? Clemens has only pitched one game so far, but it was spectacular. He shut down the San Francisco Giants in his first start with the Astros, going seven innings, allowing no runs and just one hit. He did walk three batters, but also struck out nine. Clemens should get two starts this coming week, one in St. Louis and one at home against Milwaukee, so he might be challenged to keep up this strong play.


    3B Bill Mueller | Boston Red Sox - Last year's American League batting champion hasn't looked anything like his former self so far this year, struggling to hit anything at all in his first seven games. Mueller is batting just .182 (6-for-33). He has scored 4 runs, knocked in 2 and has also drawn just 2 walks compared to 5 strikeouts. Mueller might be having a tough time adjusting to batting at the top of the Red Sox's order at No. 2, as he was able to thrive at the bottom of the order last year, where he was hidden behind the team's sluggers. Another factor which may be playing a role in his slump is the absence of Red Sox SS Nomar Garciaparra (Achilles'), who has yet to play this season due to an injury to his Achilles' tendon. Boston takes on Baltimore again next week - a team that has already eaten up Mueller this season. They then remain at home for three more games against the hated New York Yankees, who could end up throwing the end of the rotation in the weekend series.

    OF J.D. Drew | Atlanta Braves - While his play in Spring Training looked so positive, J.D. Drew has been nothing short of disappointing thus far in the season. In his first 24 at-bats, Drew has just four hits, good (or rather bad) for a pathetic .167 average. He hasn't hit a homer and has knocked in just three runs and scored four. Even worse, Drew has struck out seven times in his first six games with the Braves compared to six walks, and four of those came in a lengthy extra-inning affair last week. The Braves take on division rivals in the New York Mets and Florida Marlins next week. Drew already struggled against the Mets once in their first series, and the Marlins should be scheduled to throw the top of their rotation by next weekend's series. As a result, it might take Drew a little extra time to get adjusted to his new surroundings and settle in.

    SP Jeremi Gonzalez | Tampa Bay Devil Rays - While fellow teammate Victor Zambrano (3-0, 4.08) has started hot, Gonzalez has not. In two games - one against the New York Yankees and one against the Baltimore Orioles - Gonzalez has thrown 9.2 innings and has allowed 11 runs on 13 hits and 5 walks while striking out just 2. Gonzalez has also given up three long balls, which has certainly contributed to his 0-2 record, 10.24 ERA and 1.86 WHIP. Gonzalez showed some potential last year; despite going just 6-11, he did record a 3.92 ERA. He sure hasn't carried some of that potential over to the early part of the 2004 season, though. Gonzalez isn't scheduled to pitching until later in the week against Chicago, and with the White Sox's formidable lineup, Gonzalez's slow start could continue into next week.

    SP Russ Ortiz | Atlanta Braves - Ortiz, a 21-game winner last year for the Braves, has had two pretty awful starts this season. Ortiz lost to the Chicago Cubs Sunday, April 11, to notch his second loss of the season. In those games, he has thrown just 9.1 innings, allowing 7 earned runs on 15 hits and 4 walks while striking out 6. Ortiz's ERA and WHIP have never been particularly good in his career, but they have also never reached the 6.75 and 2.04 marks, respectively, that they are at right now. The New York Mets and Chicago Cubs both roughed up Ortiz last week. In his next start, Ortiz will have to face the Florida Marlins against whom he was 3-2 with a 4.35 ERA in five starts last year.
    Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

  • #2
    JD went yard today.
    Official sponsor of Mike Shannon's Retirement Party


    • #3
      well....if i'm bonds, i'm scared
      Are you on the list?