May 30, 2011

Is There Hope?

The year of the pitcher has sure inspired some great nights! Verlander’s “no-no”, Liriano’s, umm…””no-no”” (notice the double quotes), and every night it seems like a pitcher is taking a perfect game deep. Well, masked in all those 95 mph fastballs, and strikes is some awful hitting. Is it because no one’s taking any of the S-word? The devastating cut-fastball that every pitcher seems to have in their repertoire now? I mean look at Big-Fat-Bartolo Colon. The dude doesn’t even look like he can finish a cheeseburger without taking a nap and sweating profusely, yet he’s tearing it up in New York? Come on. Is it just one of those natural, phenomenal, trends in life that just happens? I mean, when I watch games I can see how every pitcher seems to be a second ahead of almost every batter out there. It seems every pitcher throws 95 mph and has a devastating, knee-buckling curve. It’s probably a combination of everything, but what else doesn’t help are superstar hitters going down for extended periods of time.

David Wright – 4-8 weeks
Ryan Zimmerman – 6-8 weeks
Joe Mauer – 4-6 weeks
Buster Posey – Entire 2011 year
Chase Utley – Previously out for the first 2 months
Evan Longoria - Previously out for the first 2 months
Adam Lind – 4 weeks
Pablo Sandoval – 4-6 weeks
Jason Heyward
Ike Davis
Shane Victorino

Injuries happen everyday, every year, and they happen to pitchers too, like Adam Wainwright, but it seems this year, especially, that the game’s best hitters are going down. I haven’t done the calculations, but I bet the total WAR on the above players is pretty substantial. Maybe 3,000? Doubt it, but still pretty high.

The league average batting average is down from last year, the ERA of pitchers is up, and it looks like we’ll be doomed for another dead-ball era. Might as well start clamoring for hitters to trade in wood bats for Fungo bats to try and even it up, right? Not yet, but I think when the superstars listed above come back, the cold weather recedes, and hitters start to see these pitchers for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, time they’ll start hitting. Remember, we’ve also seen a massive influx of new, talented hitters that are headlining teams. Like Heyward, Davis, Jackson, etc. Hitters take a little longer to adjust to “the Bigs”. My prediction is in June/July the hitting will come back a bit, and “The Year of the Pitcher” talk will calm down a bit.

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