With just a couple days left for fans to vote for the starters of the 2009 MLB All Star Game, it’s time to look at which players deserve that honor. First up, the American League:
Catcher: Joe Mauer
This one is easy. Mauer leads all American League catchers in Batting Average, Home Runs, RBI, Runs, Hits, On-Base-Percentage, and Slugging Percentage. He’s made just one error on the season and has thrown out 9 of 26 batters who have tried to steal against him. The one negative for Mauer is that he missed the first month of the season with an injury. That just makes Mauer’s stats all that more remarkable as he leads all AL catchers in all those categories despite many fewer at-bats.
First Base: Justin Morneau
One of the tougher choices in the AL, First Base has many deserving players. Kevin Youkilis leads the league in OBP, 38 points higher than Russell Branyan who is in second place, but has just 12 home runs and 42 RBI on the year. Carlos Pena leads with 23 home runs, but sports just a .238 avergae. Mark Teixeira has 20 homers and 60 RBI, but just a .276 average. Only Justin Morneau is complete in all the stats with 18 home runs, 63 RBI (most amongst first basemen), and a .309 Batting Average. His .389 OBP is 5th between AL first baseman and his .960 OPS is 4th. He has made just one error this season and has the second highest Zone Rating amongst AL first basemen. Continue reading “2009 AL All Star Starters”
The unfathomable seems to have happened. A Steinbrenner has admitted defeat. Two days ago, Hank Steinbrenner commented that injuries have cost the 2008 Yankees and it may be time to look forward to the 2009 Season. Wow. I didn’t think I’d ever hear a Steinbrenner utter those words and yet, they make sense. The team has been ridden with injuries and poor performance by young pitchers. Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, and Chien Ming Wang have all suffered serious injuries this year and are not expected back for the rest of the season. Combine that with Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy’s shockingly bad performances this year and you have a team ready to break. The Yanks have held around as Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte have had strong seasons thus far, but both are old pitchers and they will almost definitely not be able to keep pitching well.
Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter have both have had sub-par season and Robinson Cano has not lived up to expectations. Alex Rodriguez has had an excellent year and recently acquired Xavier Nady has played out-of-this-world, but it isn’t going to be enough. Hitting wins games, pitching wins championships. The Yankees have excellent hitting, but their starting pitching isn’t going to hold up. It has barely held up so far. The Yankees are nine games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and six games behind the Boston Red Sox for the Wild Card. The Twins also lie between the Yankees and the Sox in the Wild Card. The Red Sox and Rays both look strong, even though they have both suffered their own injuries in recent days. For the Rays, Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford were placed on the DL. a big setback to an already weak lineup. The Red Sox meanwhile lost Tim Wakefield and Mike Lowell to injuries. Continue reading “RIP: 2008 New York Yankees”