Tuesday, April 12, 2005
5:45 p.m. - This just in. Twins place Justin Morneau on the Disabled List with his concussion and call up Terry Tiffee. Hopefully Tiffee will play 1B and Matthew LeCroy will go back to the bench!
Today, I will post your thoughts on my Five Questions. First I will re-post the comments on Radke, then I will re-post my response, and finally, I will post your thoughts on it all. (so, feel free to jump ahead to those) Thank you to everyone who participated!
Twins Minor League Report
Yesterday, the fifth of my Five Questions involved the value of Brad Radke to a team, namely the Minnesota Twins. I had received an e-mail from a reader saying that Radke simply was not worth all the praise he has received. I donít want to misinterpret any of his words, so let me just re-post what was written:
5.) From reader Scott Ostman, just trying to stir the pot. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this:
And now that the baseball season has started again, my thoughts turn to how
overrated Brad Radke is. Granted, he had his best year last year. But come
on, how many games has he spotted the opposition at least 2 runs in the
first inning? When will the Minnesota media FINALLY admit that Radke is a
piece of crap? Last year I laid off the Radke bashing because I wanted to
give him the benefit of the doubt since he was actually pitching well for a
change. But here we are, two games into the 2005 season and he's back to his
Don't get me wrong, I'm not thinking the Twins are in any danger of not
winning the Central. But I'd really appreciate if the media (and you
bloggers) would stop coddling this overrated pitcher. Let's call a spade a
spade. Brad Radke would be no better than a #3 or #4 starter on most teams.
Yet, for some unknown reason, he's still considered the Twins' big gun.
I would love for you to shake things up on your site and do a little
research on how ineffective Radke is. I'm a die hard Twins fan as you
probably know, but deep down it does my heart good to see Radke fail. Maybe
if this happens enough, the media will FINALLY see him for what he is - a
very average pitcher who struggles in the early innings and puts his team in
a hole to the point that they can't win!
In closing, BRAD RADKE IS A PIECE OF CRAP!
Now, I may be a biased, homer, Twins fan, but I felt the need to think the question over and maybe even do just a little bit of research. So I looked just a little bit and came up with the following response:
I certainly will not call Brad Radke a piece of crap. First, if he is so overrated and horrible as you seem to think, why did he turn down more years and more money to pitch for the Red Sox. If, as you contend, Radke would be 'no better than a #3 or #4 starter on most teams," why would the Red Sox even want him? But lets just take a second and think about some of the other teams in baseball and where Radke would fit in. Here are what are generally believed to be the top pitching staffs in baseball:
Chicago Cubs: Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano, Gred Maddux, Glendon Rusch
New York Yankees: Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Kevin Brown
Boston Red Sox: Curt Schilling, David Wells, Matt Clement, Bronson Arroyo, Tim Wakefield, Wade Miller
Atlanta Braves: Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, John Thomson, Mike Hampton, Horacio Ramirez
Now, this will not be backed statistically, but here is where I would place Radke in these rotations:
Cubs: #4, behind Zambrano and ahead of Maddux; Yankees: #2, behind Johnson, ahead of Mussina. That could be argued, but he would certainly be ahead of Pavano; Red Sox: #2: behind Schilling, ahead of Wells. OK, he'd be #3 is Pedro was still around; Braves: #3: behind Smoltz, ahead of Thomson.
Let's look at some of the free agent pitching signings this offseason:
Matt Clement, 3 years, $25.5 million, Red Sox
Carl Pavano, 4 years, $39.95 million, Yankees
Jaret Wright, 3 years, $21 million, Yankees
Russ Ortiz, 4 years, $33 million, Diamondbacks
Eric Milton, 3 years, $25.5 million, Reds
Kris Benson, 3 years, $22.5 million, Mets
Pedro Martinez, 4 years, $53 million, Mets
Jon Lieber, 3 years, $21 million, Phillies
Armando Benitez, 3 years, $21.5 million, Giants
Now, look at that list. Name the pitchers you would want on your team more than Radke? Pedro comes to mind. His track record makes him worth the most. OK, now take Pedro off that list and name one of those guys that you would rather have than Brad Radke. Now, Radke took a "home-town" discount to stay in Minnesota. He got two years and $18 million. Then you realize that the Red Sox offered him just over $30 million for 3 years. That says that it isn't just Minnesota fans and media (and bloggers) who think that Brad Radke is a bit more than a piece of crap.
Now let's get to the numbers:
First of all, as is the case with most free agent signings, the previous year's statistics are pretty important. Brad Radke had an absolutely remarkable 2004 season. Johan Santana and Curt Schilling are the only two pitchers in the AL that you can say had a better season than Radke. And yes, that includes Pedro Martinez. I'm sure there are still a lot of people out there who say 'he only won 11 games', he couldn't have been that good. WRONG! His 3.48 ERA was 4th in the AL. His WHIP (walks and hits per inning) of 1.16 was 3rd in the league. He walked just over 1 batter per nine innings which was 2nd in the AL. His career 1.68 walks per nine innings is better than any active pitcher. His adjusted ERA+ of 136 was third in the AL. In other words, his 2004 season was better than just pretty good.
But, you say that he hasn't been a better than average pitcher much of his career. Lets look at that:
His career record is 127-118. His winning percentage is 52%. So, some can again say that he is nothing more than a .500 pitcher. And if you only want to look at his record, that's about right. But, that is not fair. Just because he hasn't pitched for the Yankees or received massive run support throughout his career does not mean he isn't as good as some of those pitchers who have racked up wins.
A pitcher can only affect a few things. A pitcher can not affect his team's run support at all (especially in the AL). A pitcher generally can control his ERA. Radke has a career ERA of 4.23. Sounds pretty average, right? Well, the league average ERA over that time frame is 4.81. In other words, he allows a 1/2 run less per nine innings than the average pitcher. May not sound like much, but over 210 innings that you are almost guaranteed he will pitch in a season (he has more than that in 8 of his last 9 seasons), that saves his team 23 runs below the average.
There is the Adjusted ERA (ERA+) in which the pitcher's ERA is adjusted for his ballpark and compared to the league average. An ERA+ of 100 would be a very average pitcher. Here are the ERA+ of Brad Radke's career: 89, 115, 121, 109, 135, 118, 115, 94, 103, 136. As you can see, he has been above average in eight of his 10 big league seasons. His sub-par seasons were his rookie year and 2002 when he missed half the season with a groin injury. These numbers suggest that not only has he consistently been above average, but by a significant amount. If you're looking for more proof that a pitcher's Win-Loss record means very little, notice that in 1999, Radke's ERA+ was almost what it was in 2004. His record in 1999... was 12-14.
Of course, you also want to bring up his home runs and early inning runs allowed. Certainly it is not a positive thing. No pitcher or team wants to give up home runs. No team wants to get behind right away, but does that really matter? Is it really worse to give up two runs in the 1st than it is in the 7th? Yes, there is the mental side of falling behind. But I think that the Twins players and coaching staff know that Radke will settle down in most games and keep the team in most games, giving them a chance to come back. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Roy Oswalt, Curt Schilling. The list could go on and on of great pitchers who have really struggled in the first inning. Add Brad Radke's name to that list. It is what it is. Radke doesn't like it any more than the fans do and will certainly try not to let it continue. But I would rather have a guy give up 2 runs in the first innings and go seven or eight innings than have a pitcher throw a 1-2-3 1st inning and get shelled the rest of his innings. And on the home runs, it has also been an issue with Radke. He didn't allow many last year, but if you recall the beginning of his 2004 season, he had given up more homers than he has in his two starts this year. So, it isn't worth over-analyzing at this point. Also, because he doesn't walk hitters, many of the homers he allows are of the solo variety. That wasn't the case opening day, but will be for most of the season. Hey, great pitchers give up home runs from time to time. They also get big outs when they need them, and Brad Radke does that too!
I could go on and on about how good Brad Radke has been for the Twins over the course of the past decade. Numbers say a lot. And then you add in that he has become a part of the community, he is great with the media, he has spent numerous hours and dollars for various charities, and more and it is no wonder the media chooses to remain positive about him. He is clearly the leader of the pitching staff. He is the guy that pitchers look to for advice. The fact that he took less money to stay in the market means a lot too. Seems like a nice thing to do, but that isn't always how it works. Corey Koskie could have accepted the Twins low-ball offer to stay, but he didn't.
All in all, I will continue to back Brad Radke. He may not be a 'dominant' pitcher, but he is certainly a quality starting pitcher who would be considered an asset on any major league team. You all are certainly able to disagree and maybe have your own reasons. I will not say that Radke is beyond criticism. He has earned some this year. But in both of his starts, he has kept his team in the game into the seventh innings.
Any thoughts? E-mail me.
Well, as you can about imagine, if you put comments like this on a Twins-related web blog, you are going to get some response. Scott was certainly successful in his goal to "stir the pot." I have to say that I got as much e-mail yesterday as I have received for any daily entry. And because of that, I thought it only fair to include some of your thoughts on this site. I should point out that I got responses on my other four questions as well and will also post those. I think it is great to get to read the thoughts of others on here. You read my thoughts, so I am going to let your thoughts be read. Here we go:
From Jim Mohl
I agree with you 100% in your defense of him. Moreover, Scott doesn't even have his facts straight. Unlike a lot of great pitchers, Brad doesn't have a history of getting shelled in the first inning. From 2002 to date, here is the hitter's line against him overall: .276/.301/.430. And here is their first inning line: .273/.307/.489, courtesy of ESPN.com. That's right, his OBA is actually a little better in the first inning than it is overall. He does give up a few more walks (and hit batsmen) in the first inning, hence the slightly higher OOBP. (.307 is still among the very best, though.) And he is much more likely to give up a gopher ball in the first inning than he is later on, which explains the higher OSLG. (In the first inning he has given up 18 HR's in 333 at bats, or 1 every 18.5 AB's. After that it's 49 HR's in 1,821 AB's, or 1 per 37.2 AB's. So he is twice as likely to give up a homer in the first inning.) That is the only part of his criticism that is valid. Even then, 18 first inning HR's in 88 starts is only one every 5 games, hardly a crappy performance. It only appears crappy in relation to his excellent performance overall.
There is one aspect of his game that might be worthy of that negative assessment, though: Radke's performance in the month of April. He is 5-7 with a 6.47 ERA and a .327 OBA. In all other months he is 29-16, 3.69 and .266. All of which leads me to believe when the weather heats up, Radke will too.
From John Welsch
I have to put my two cents in on people complaining about Brad Radke. I'm doing so because yesterday, some idiot called in to a local sports call in show to bad mouth Brad, and he couldn't seem to get passed his won-loss record. And he didn't seem to understand that Brad had no control over his run support, unbelievable.
After seeing the e-mail you received, I believe I know why people beef about Radke, they think he is overpaid and they aren't really baseball fans. Of course all, MLB'ers are overpaid, so why pick on Radke? Because he was there when the Twins sucked, (Brad kind of did too during those years) He is their most recognizable pitcher who does not have a Cy Young award, and because too many Twins fans don't know enough about the game to speak intelligently on the subject. So please keep supporting Brad, those of us who know he is a very good pitcher for the Twins to have appreciate it.
First, I have a question about Ft. Myers. Nick Blackburn is scheduled to start tonight, which means they are once thru their starting 5...yet, Glen Perkins hasn't pitched. Is he hurt? He did great in his limited exposure during spring training and is on the fast track. Very puzzling. (Seth Note - I figured I would ask the best source for this question, our good friend Dianna in Ft. Myers, and of course, she came up with a great response to answer the question. "He has a bruised wrist. He was scheduled to start Saturday, but Gray took his place in the rotation due to the injury. It's not considered serious, but he let him sit out. He's been doing the paperwork, in the dugout in the meantime. Perkins is day-to-day and will be re-evaluated before his next scheduled start on Thursday." Be sure to read more from Dianna here.)
Second, I don't believe that the 40-man roster had anything to do with Gassner vs. Baker. The Twins currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster, which means they have an open spot. Plus, Jason Kubel is on the 60-day disabled list which means he doesn't count towards the 40 man limit. So in reality, the Twins could add two to the 40-man roster without having to move anyone. I believe the decision came down to who is more ready. Gassner pitched well for Toronto before the trade and was Rochester's best starter last year with over a year's experience at AAA. Baker had what, a month or so at AAA? Gassner doesn't throw heat, however, has excellent control and moves the ball around the zone to keep hitters off balance. At 26 years old...now is his chance.
Didn't I email you earlier in response to your predictions for the year and indicate that Gassner would be the surprise player from the minors to replace an injured Silva. I don't have a copy of what I emailed, but if I did...that is scary and way to soon in the year. And NO...I will not take responsibility for Silva's injury. Hopefully, all of my prediction holds true and Gassner gets the job done...I believe he will.
Regarding your reader and his comments on Brad Radke. He is the type of person that doesn't have a clue about baseball, pitching, character or anything else regarding the Twins or life in general...but likes to shoot off his mouth! Radke has been the cornerstone of this team for a decade and last year he was one of the best pitchers in the game even though he doesn't dominate like Santana. You did an excellent job detailing the many reasons Radke is an excellent pitcher and cornerstone of the team. I sincerely hope Brad he doesn't read your blog. If he does, you missed one thing...you should apologize to him on behalf of Mr. Ostman.
From Tony Herling
I donít think this Scott character really knows what the hell heís talking about when it comes to baseball. Not claiming that I do either but Brad is a control pitcher, not overpowering. Heíll give up HRís when he doesnít hit his spots and thatís when heíll lose most of his games, when heís on hitting his spots itís almost a guaranteed win. The fact that he wants to be here speaks even louder, he wants to help us win, which he does, and his career #ís just simply speak for themselves. I donít know if Scotty confused us with the Yankees but we just canít let a vet pitcher like Radke go, especially at a discount. I guess with all the money we had to spend we couldíve just gone out and stole the Big Unit and Pedro from New York, right Scotty O?
From Michael Richter
I am worried about what the Twins are going to do without Silva. They brought up Gassner, but how long can he last? When do you think they will bring up Baker? I am not worried about Cuddyer, I think he just needs to get settled in. I am a little worried about Jones playing over Ford against lefties (last night he didnt, but other nights). Ford is a better defender than Stewart and hits lefties better than Jones, why is he not in the outfield every day? I definitely agree with you that Radke would be a #2 or #3 starter on pretty much every team, if not the #1. He won't have awesome numbers, but he will be consistent and pitch well almost every game. And as far as Santana goes, I have never seen anyone have so much fun pitching out there. And listening to him talk is great, he seems like a very nice guy that just wants to play some baseball and make is his country proud. I think he may lose, but if he can ever figure out the first couple of innings, he can definitely dominant.
From Tom Grout
I just thought I would comment on your Questions about the Twins. First of all Silva going down is the number one concern. I still am in shock over that one. I really thought he would win 15-20 games this year. Joe Mays and Kyle Lohse really NEED to step it up now. They both need to get their heads on straight use the God given talents they have and quit being mental cases.
Next the most concern is one you didn't mention. Justin Morneau. After getting hit in the head I'm not worried about his physical condition because he will get over that. I'm worried about his mental condition. There have been a lot of players in the history of baseball who just weren't the same after a beaning. One of my favorite Twins when I was younger was Jimmie Hall. He was hit in the head and he never was the same at the plate which was a shame he had a beautiful swing. The Twins were counting on Morneau to hit 30-40 home runs and drive in over 100 runs. After he hinted that it might be hard to step in there against a left-hander right now, I think those numbers are in jeopardy
I have two other concerns that are minor but are there right now. One is all the strikeouts by Joe Mauer. What's up with that? I thought he had such a good batting eye and all that. The next one is the intelligence of our veteran hitters. In last nights game with a runner on third, Mauer and LeCroy walk on 3-1 counts. Then Hunter steps up. Right after Joe Morgan brags about hunter being a veteran hitter and one who will be patient at the plate, he swings at the first freakin pitch. If the WS second baseman doesn't botch the double play we would not have scored. Then Ford steps up and does the same damn thing. This time they turn the double play. Maybe its the coach coming out in me but that was just plane stupid. I hope they got their butts chewed out when they got back to the dugout.
From David Bergner, aka The Baseball Savant
I was thrilled to get a Gleeman-esque response to the Five Questions from our good friend, The Baseball Savant. Before I post his thoughts, I do have to tell you that I did respond to what he wrote and put him straight on a number of his team-by-team rankings of where Radke would fit in there (note the Seth Notes). I also was sure to disagree with him on the loss of Carlos Silva. But go ahead and check out his site and then e-mail him.
Loved the 5 questions today! The Radke stuff is crazy! I mean this guy says he's a die-hard Twins fan and is bashing, in my opinion, a vital component of any chance the Twins have a division championship. How can you bash Radke!? You know I'm a Reds fan and while not thrilled with a rotation that features Eric Milton-Paul Wilson-Ramon Ortiz-Brandon Claussen-Aaron Harang, I legitimately want each one of them to win 20 no matter what people say about them! Here is where I'd put Radke in each rotation:
Yankees: 3rd behind Unit and Mussina
Red Sox: 4th behind Schilling, Arroyo, & Clement. That could certainly be argued but I view it as how high I think of Clement/Arroyo (Seth Note - I'd take Radke over Arroyo or Clement)
Blue Jays: 3rd behind both Halladay and Lilly (Seth Note - Over Lilly)
Devil Rays: ACE (Kazmir is probably still a little young for that title)
Twins: 2nd behind Johan
White Sox: 3rd behind Garcia & Buehrle (Seth Note - equal, at worse, to both of these)
Indians: 4th behind Sabathia, Westbrook and Millwood (Seth Note - Again, over all three)
Royals: 2nd behind Greinke (Seth Note - Grienke will be great, can't put him ahead of Radke yet)
Tigers: 2nd behind Bonderman (Seth Note - Ditto)
A's: 3rd behind Zito and Harden (Seth Note - Maybe Zito, not Harden yet)
Angels: 3rd behind Colon and Escobar (Seth Note - Colon not consistent, and certainly not Escobar)
Mariners: probably 2nd behind Piniero but I could definitely make a case for him being the ACE (Seth Note - I mocked David a LOT about this one! Joel Pineiro over Brad Radke??? I can't buy that one!)
Braves: 3rd behind Smoltz/Hudson
Marlins: 4th behind Beckett/Burnett/Willis (Seth Note - if they can do it for another couple of years, maybe)
Expos: 2nd behind Hernandez (Seth Note - could go either way on this one)
Mets: 2nd behind Pedro
Phillies: hmm on talent he might be a #5 here. Wolf, Myers, Floyd, Lieber, Padilla when healthy, Radke is there but probably 4 or 5 (Seth Note - Myers, Floyd and Padilla just not enough yet and I'd put Radke right with Wolf or Lieber).
Cubs: 4th behind Prior/Wood/Zambrano
Brewers: 2nd behind Sheets (Seth Note - Sheets has had one good year)
Pirates: 2nd behind Perez (Seth Note - Perez is more dominant, but not Radke yet)
Astros: 4th behind Clemens/Oswalt/Pettitte
Cardinals: 3rd behind Mulder/Carpenter (Seth Note - Mulder maybe, Carpenter too hurt)
Dodgers: I'd say 3rd behind Perez and Weaver; 4th in Penny is healthy. He'd always be in front of Lowe in my opinion (Seth Note - Again, I disagree, would take Radke over all of them)
Padres: I'd have to say 3rd behind Eaton and Peavy although It'd be close between Eaton and Radke (Seth Note - Peavy good enough almost to make me consider. Not Eaton)
Rockies: ACE at this point
Giants: 2nd behind Schmidt
How can that be crap??? Radke is probably #3 or #4 starter on a championship caliber club but how is that bad? That usually means either a #2 or #1 starter on average or below average teams and that is actually a commodity with tons of value. But even with the Twins, if Lohse were to fulfill his potential, Radke would in fact be a #3 starter for the Twins. Of the pitchers listed you mentioned, I think I'd take Pedro and then Matt Clement only because Clement has a track record of very high K/9IP stats and I'm a sucker for hard throwers.
I tell you what. I harp on this on my blog all the time, but Radke gives the Twins a huge advantage come playoff time because he gives the Twins a legitimate 1-2 punch and I firmly believe that both the Yankees and Red Sox got very lucky last season. A couple of balls break the other way and the Twins beat the Yankees and as well as Santana and Radke pitched last season, I think that would have been a very hard team for Boston to beat in the ALCS. I certainly don't think Minnesota would have lost the series if they were up 3-0 the way NYY was because NOBODY was beating Johan last season. If the Twins move on to the World Series then like Boston, St. Louis would have been in their wheelhouse because STL had no answer for the 1-2 punch of Santana and Radke.
The same holds true for now with Minnesota. There just isn't a better ace in the AL than Santana and the only reason I would give the Yankees an advantage in a series with Minnesota is because I think Mussina-Pavano would be very difficult to beat with Radke-Lohse. The only teams right now that could be serious contenders for the AL is Minnesota, Oakland, and New York. Granted, it would work out way differently and Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and Toronto could definitely make a case for themselves because they all have good 1-2 duos at the top of the rotation, but Santana gives the Twins such an advantage.
I'm not sure I'm convinced that Minnesota is one of the best 4 or 5 teams in the league because they don't have a very good back end of the rotation and their offense really needs to prove itself with both Mauer and Morneau healthy, but all of those things do become a moot point once the playoffs start.
Just let me say that if you guys ever get sick of Radke, just ship him down to the Queen City! We'd immediately put him in our #1 spot and let Kearns, Dunn, Griffey and Wily Mo hit homers for him all day long!
WHAT ABOUT JOHAN LOSING?
Man I don't know. Three scenarios come to mind. The first one is that Johan is going to be really off and gets hammered. The 2nd is that he just doesn't get any run support and loses a game 1-0 or 2-1 or 3-1. The 3rd option is that he runs into a guy like Rich Harden or Randy Johnson and those guys rip up the twins hitters while Johan gives up a run or two. Other than that, how can the guy lose?
THE LOSS OF CARLOS SILVA
I'm not sure it'll matter much. I wasn't high on Silva (I know you were so that makes me think my logic is at least somewhat faulty) and making the rotation Johan-Brad-Kyle-Joe-Dave isn't much different than Johan-Brad-Carlos-Kyle-Joe.
How can anyone hate on Brad Radke????
I don't know. I just don't know! Scott wanted to Stir the Pot, and he was very successful in doing so. Thanks!
The Twins tonight start a three game series against the Detroit Tigers who many believe are much improved after vast improvement last year. This year, they added Troy Percival to close games and Kyle Farnsworth to help Ugueth Urbina set up. They also signed Magglio Ordonez to a ridiculously high contract. They are counting on continued success from the likes of Brandon Inge at 3B and Omar Infante at 2B. Crain Monroe is their every day CF (and should have been all along, at least until Curtis Granderson is deemed ready.) But, this team's success may very well depend on what Ivan Rodriguez can do. To me, that is the big question mark. I think that Carlos Guillen and Carlos Pena are emerging stars, but will Pudge continue to do as well as he has throughout his career? Let's see!
Anyway, here are the pitching matchups for the three game series at the Metrodome:
Tuesday - 7:10 - Mike Maroth (0-1, 12.27 ERA, 3.00 WHIP) vs Joe Mays (0-0, 4.50, 1.50)
Wednesday - 7:10 - Jason Johnson (1-0, 0.00, 0.90) vs Kyle Lohse (0-1, 6.75, 1.50)
Thursday - 7:10 - Nate Robertson (0-0, 1.29, 1.00) vs Brad Radke (0-0, 6.08, 0.83)
Maroth was hit hard in his first outing, but Johnson and Robertson did well. Joe Mays is making his first start in over a year and a half. Kyle Lohse really needs to step it up. And lets see if Radke can stay away from the long-ball and the big inning again! Just look at his WHIP!) The Tigers are good. I don't think that we can dipute that. The Twins are lucky to not have to face Jeremy Bonderman and Wil Ledezma, but I also think that Nate Robertson can be a very good pitcher, and he and Maroth are left-handed.
Enjoy the series!
Some positives for both Carlos Silva and Justin Morneau. Maybe.
Throughout this series (And all year), be sure to check out Detroit Tigers Blog. Recently, he post a two-part entry in which he interviewed the legendary Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell. (see Part 1 and Part 2).
Lavelle E. Neal writes about how important Joe Mays is to the Twins now.
Be sure to enter Stick and Ball Guy's new contest. You can win Twins tickets!!!
Check out Rochester's David Gassner profile here.
Twins Minor League Report
Before getting to the Twins report, I have to point out the Chris Coste is playing for Scranton/Wilkes Barre of the International League. They are the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. This year, Coste is playing 3B, and really hasn't caught much yet. What he needs is an injury to, or a trade of, either David Bell, Placido Polanco or Chase Utley to get a shot with the big league club. Right now, he is hitting 5th for the team, right behind power prospect Ryan Howard, who has formally requested a trade by the Phillies because he is blocked by Jim Thome. Anyway, I hope to keep updated on Coste's stats again throughout the year. Last night, he went 3-5 to improve his batting average through five games to .444.
Rochester fell to Norfolk 3-2 last night. Henry Bonilla gave up three unearned runs in five innings. He struck out five and walked just one. Jim Abbott pitched three shutout innings, and Beau Kemp pitched one inning without allowing a run. Garret Jones led the offense going 2-4 with an RBI. Tonight the teams play and Scott Baker will make his second start.
New Britain was only able to get five hits and fell to Portland by a score of 1-0. Danny Matienzo and Doug Deeds did have doubles. Matt Yeatman was good. In five innings, he gave up just one run, walking one and striking out one. Ricky Barrett pitched the final three innings giving up just a hit and a walk and striking out three.
Ft. Myers got a good pitching performance from Nick Blackburn and some offense as well in a 5-1 win over the Yankees, at least their Class A version. Denard Span upped his batting average to .400 with a 2-4 day. He stole his first base of the season. Matt Moses didn't hit a home run for the first time in 3 games, but did have a double in his 2-5 effort, with two RBI. He is hitting .412. Kyle Phillips is hitting .364 after going 2-4 with a double. Ronald Perodin was 2-3 with a double and 2 RBI.
Beloit had a day off and starts a three game series with Kane County tonight.
That's it for today. Have a great Tuesday! If you have and questions or comments or ideas, please feel free to e-mail me
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