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Monday

2

June 2014

54

COMMENTS

Tanaka The Great, Dr. James Andrews Speaks Up & More!

Written by , Posted in General

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already into June. This past week, we saw the first no-hitter of this young season and a little bit of roughhousing in Boston.

Even with those two things mentioned, there was much more that went on this week. Let’s get to it!

Tanaka Continues To Shine

I’ll admit it; I was someone who doubted Masahiro Tanaka’s ability to make the transition from Japan to the MLB. Clearly I, and everyone else who made that assumption has been proven incorrect thus far by the Japanese sensation, as he’s dazzled everyone in his first couple of months in the league.

Up to this point, he’s currently sitting second in the majors in wins and fourth in ERA, with 8 and 2.06 in each category, respectively. Even for his biggest fans, these incredible results have to come as a bit of a surprise as most players have a little bit of a transition period before they start to take off.

That has not been the case for Tanaka, obviously, and that’s due to his impressive ability to keep the ball in the strike zone and make hitters miss. In K/BB, he’s in good company right now with names like David Price, Cliff Lee and Zack Grienke surrounding him in the standings and that’s something that should prove to stay constant if his track record in Japan holds up.

While I still think that the amount of pitches that he threw in Japan over the last seven years (as well as more scouting reports that will be available as the season wears on) will catch up to him, it’s quite impressive to see what he’s done to this point. How did you feel about Tanaka coming into the year, and do you think he’ll be another fluke like Dice-K?

AL East Sluggers Find Power Stroke

In another instance where I’m going to have to admit that I’m wrong, Nelson Cruz has put together quite an unbelievable season thus far. Along with him, Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the hottest hitters in the game this entire month and he picked things up this last week especially.

Starting with Cruz, an Orioles-signee this past offseason, he has completely broken the mold of the player he has been to this point in his career. I have previously written about why teams should avoid signing him (poor average, poor defense, strikes out too often, etc.) but he’s completely proven me wrong. He’s hitting .315 currently with a league-leading 20 home runs and the surprising part is that he doesn’t really show too many indicators of regression.

Next is Encarnacion, who emerged as one of the best power hitters in the game with his 2012 breakout season. He started off slow in April, but he’s came out swinging in May, to the tune of 16 home runs in the month. That number was tied for the highest in American League history, and it was only 2 away from the league record.

In what has become known as a bit of a pitcher’s era in baseball, it’s refreshing to see guys like Cruz and Encarnacion still make a living off of hitting the deep ball. Who is your favorite power hitter in the game today, and why?

Dr. James Andrews Speaks Out About Tommy John Surgery

In a topic that has been covered by every baseball website known to man, the rise in Tommy John surgeries has become quite a problem for pitchers throughout the game of baseball. This has especially been made an issue due to the quality of pitchers that have recently gone down (Jose Fernandez, Matt Moore, etc.).

Dr. James Andrews, the man who performs most of these surgeries (as well as many others throughout the four major American sports) has made some news over the past week regarding his thoughts on the issue, as well as suggesting a few ways that it could be avoided in the future.

A few of the key notes of a position statement that he released were that (in disagreement with many youth coaches over the years) throwing curveballs at an early age doesn’t necessarily hurt the arm. The real factors that need to be focused on, according to Andrews, are that winter ball should be discouraged, PED’s should be avoided, as should throwing at maximum effort at all times.

Along with this position statement, Dr. Andrews is also releasing an iOS app that will help prevent pitching injuries. There will be tips for warm-up routines and workouts, as well as a pitch counter that will give feedback on when it would be safe for the pitcher to throw again. This is a huge step in preventing future Tommy John surgeries and it’s great that such a highly esteemed name such as Andrews is at the forefront. If you were a pitcher (or parent, or coach) would you download this new app?

This Week’s MVP: Khris Davis (.522/.577/1.130, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

This Week’s CY Young: Josh Beckett (1-0, 1.29 ERA, 11 K, No-Hitter)

  • Doug S.

    Count me in the group of Tanaka doubters prior to the season. He could be the real deal, or maybe MLB hitters will figure him out.

    • Brian Rzeppa

      I think it’s still a bit too early to tell. Quite a few new players have had this kind of success, but still, I can’t take anything away from him.

      • Dork

        How in the hell did the cubs hit him? Another baffling thing about this team.

      • PLCB3

        It’s not like Maddux never got lit up.

      • PLCB3

        I’m in the same boat. But with Matsuzaka it was more health than anything.

      • Brian Rzeppa

        Yeah, quite a few things started to go with him. Never got anywhere close to his 18-3 season after he did it.

  • Doug S.

    Count me in the group of Tanaka doubters prior to the season. He could be the real deal, or maybe MLB hitters will figure him out.

    • Brian Rzeppa

      I think it’s still a bit too early to tell. Quite a few new players have had this kind of success, but still, I can’t take anything away from him.

      • Dork

        How in the hell did the cubs hit him? Another baffling thing about this team.

      • AC0000000

        It’s not like Maddux never got lit up.

      • AC0000000

        I’m in the same boat. But with Matsuzaka it was more health than anything.

      • Brian Rzeppa

        Yeah, quite a few things started to go with him. Never got anywhere close to his 18-3 season after he did it.

  • Doc Raker

    I have some bad news my friends of VFTB. Our new visitor the other day,
    Kim , I don’t think she is a sincere Cubs fan or even a baseball fan. I think Kim is just fishing for social media followers. I find this pandering for virtual followers simply vulgar and insincere.

    • Excellent sleuthing there Doc. We appreciate your diligence. 😉

    • Eddie Von White

      I think she’s a he.

      • Doc Raker

        I did not catch that EVW. Good thing I didn’t tell he/she where we would be dinning next March at the VFTB spring training weekend.

      • Eddie Von White

        I try to be on my toes all the time.

      • How many Subways are there?

      • Doc Raker

        That is a question for Seymour. I can direct you to the nearest Chrissy Ruth’s.

      • Doug S.

        There’s contrast for you. Yoga mat bread to juicy rare steaks.

      • Seymour Butts

        There are currently 32 Subways in Mesa AZ alone.
        I’ve been to several.

      • The one by the retirement community really hooks it up with the banana peppers.

      • Doc Raker

        The Chrissy Ruth’s in Scottsdale is nice. I brought my son there on our first father son spring training trip back in 2005. We ate like the ball players eat after a busy day of spring training. He had a mini filet medium rare, I let him taste my Caymus cabernet and then he fell asleep at the table. We put 2 chairs together and the waiter brought a table cloth to cover him up and let him sleep while Capn Obvious and I finished off the cab while talking Cubs baseball. It is one of my most favorite memories.

      • Seymour Butts

        So I’m correct on the take that you have given alcohol to minors in public, that one such minor drank enough to pass out, and that you showed your concern by covering him with a shroud instead of a trip to the ER. Father of the year material .

      • Doc Raker

        You should work for you beloved CNN, you are about as accurate as they are.

      • Carbon dating definitively set the Shroud of Scottsdale in the Atkins Diet epoch. Doc gets a pass here.

      • Seymour Butts

        Curses… the one person who appreciates sciences here is my undoing.

  • Doc Raker

    I have some bad news my friends of VFTB. Our new visitor the other day,
    Kim , I don’t think she is a sincere Cubs fan or even a baseball fan. I think Kim is just fishing for social media followers. I find this pandering for virtual followers simply vulgar and insincere.

    • Excellent sleuthing there Doc. We appreciate your diligence. 😉

    • Eddie Von White

      I think she’s a he.

      • Doc Raker

        I did not catch that EVW. Good thing I didn’t tell he/she where we would be dinning next March at the VFTB spring training weekend.

      • Eddie Von White

        I try to be on my toes all the time.

      • How many Subways are there?

      • Doc Raker

        That is a question for Seymour. I can direct you to the nearest Chrissy Ruth’s.

      • Doug S.

        There’s contrast for you. Yoga mat bread to juicy rare steaks.

      • Seymour Butts

        There are currently 32 Subways in Mesa AZ alone.
        I’ve been to several.

      • The one by the retirement community really hooks it up with the banana peppers.

      • Doc Raker

        The Chrissy Ruth’s in Scottsdale is nice. I brought my son there on our first father son spring training trip back in 2005. We ate like the ball players eat after a busy day of spring training. He had a mini filet medium rare, I let him taste my Caymus cabernet and then he fell asleep at the table. We put 2 chairs together and the waiter brought a table cloth to cover him up and let him sleep while Capn Obvious and I finished off the cab while talking Cubs baseball. It is one of my most favorite memories.

      • Seymour Butts

        So I’m correct on the take that you have given alcohol to minors in public, that one such minor drank enough to pass out, and that you showed your concern by covering him with a shroud instead of a trip to the ER. Father of the year material .

      • Doc Raker

        You should work for you beloved CNN, you are about as accurate as they are.

      • Carbon dating definitively set the Shroud of Scottsdale in the Atkins Diet epoch. Doc gets a pass here.

      • Seymour Butts

        Curses… the one person who appreciates sciences here is my undoing.

  • Doug S.

    Slow sports night yesterday. Had the Dodgers/white sox game on. Always enjoy a Vin Scully called game……until last night. Guy would not shut up. Seemed every moment needed to be filled with whatever he was thinking and he’d then try to tie that into the ball game however he could. I don’t recall him always being like that. One of us is getting old.

    • Doc Raker

      Scully bores me. He just reads the news media notes all game long. No one bores me more than Len Kasper but Scully is pretty bad these days. Check out a Giants TV broadcast, Mike Krukow and Duane Kiper are the best.

      • Doug S.

        Funny. I know there’s a healthy dose of dislike for Kasper on this site but the guy really hasn’t pushed my annoying button yet. I do like Jim Deshaies so far.

      • Doc Raker

        I like DeShaies also, he has some good insight. Kasper has absolutely no insight into the game. It’s what Kasper doesn’t say that makes him so lousy. If DeShaies was paired with a partner that could talk about the inner workings of the game like He can it would be a great broadcasting team. I always enjoyed listening to DeShaies when he was with Houston but he has a partner that drags him down now. It’s like if Patrick Kane played with line mates that didn’t know how to play hockey, Kane just wouldn’t be as good.

        Listen to Krukow and Kiper do a Giants TV broadcast and you will hear interesting baseball insight Kasper never talks about. I love when the Cubs play the Giants because I get to watch a Cubs game with great announcing.

        Let me know if you get a chance to do that.

  • Doug S.

    Slow sports night yesterday. Had the Dodgers/white sox game on. Always enjoy a Vin Scully called game……until last night. Guy would not shut up. Seemed every moment needed to be filled with whatever he was thinking and he’d then try to tie that into the ball game however he could. I don’t recall him always being like that. One of us is getting old.

    • Doc Raker

      Scully bores me. He just reads the news media notes all game long. No one bores me more than Len Kasper but Scully is pretty bad these days. Check out a Giants TV broadcast, Mike Krukow and Duane Kiper are the best.

      • Doug S.

        Funny. I know there’s a healthy dose of dislike for Kasper on this site but the guy really hasn’t pushed my annoying button yet. I do like Jim Deshaies so far.

      • Doc Raker

        I like DeShaies also, he has some good insight. Kasper has absolutely no insight into the game. It’s what Kasper doesn’t say that makes him so lousy. If DeShaies was paired with a partner that could talk about the inner workings of the game like He can it would be a great broadcasting team. I always enjoyed listening to DeShaies when he was with Houston but he has a partner that drags him down now. It’s like if Patrick Kane played with line mates that didn’t know how to play hockey, Kane just wouldn’t be as good.

        Listen to Krukow and Kiper do a Giants TV broadcast and you will hear interesting baseball insight Kasper never talks about. I love when the Cubs play the Giants because I get to watch a Cubs game with great announcing.

        Let me know if you get a chance to do that.

  • Veras gets the ol’ DFA. Perhaps he should track down Marmol and Gregg and start pitching a sitcom.

    • Dork

      Saw that too, does that means he cleared wavers? I guess Veras is not a trade trip.

  • Veras gets the ol’ DFA. Perhaps he should track down Marmol and Gregg and start pitching a sitcom.

    • Dork

      Saw that too, does that means he cleared wavers? I guess Veras is not a trade trip.