Lovin' box scores, shortstops and one-pitch outs

June, 24, 2009
Five things for Wednesday:

1. There are times when one is supposedly resting up. But time is even shorter these days because of the new ESPN.com box scores. I love the pitches seen per game -- which informed me that the first four spots in the Red Sox's batting order saw 103 pitches on Tuesday night -- as well as the first pitch and swinging strike information. How great.

2. I saw Red Sox shortstop Nick Green turn a double play on Tuesday night. He fielded a ground ball, stepped on second base, tumbled over the baserunner and then threw to first. Consider:

As much speculation as there has been about the Red Sox trading pitching for a shortstop, look at the Red Sox's shortstops versus the league average:

Runs Extra-base hits Total bases RBIs OPS
Red Sox 29 21 93 30 .706
AL average 34 17 100 29 .704

By the way, Marco Scutaro leads American League shortstops in OPS. Prorating the numbers for a 162-game season, here are the AL shortstop numbers for 2009 and 2000:

Year Runs Extra-base hits Total bases HRs RBIs OPS
2009 78 39 230 12 67 .706
2000 97 55 263 16 78 .768

3. Pitching efficiency is a wonderful thing. Players love pitchers who get one-pitch outs. I believe Greg Maddux once said a perfect game is 27 pitches, 27 outs.

Cliff Lee leads the majors in one-pitch outs with 45, which tells us that had the Indians played better defense, his record would be considerably better. Aaron Harang and Zach Duke are next with 41, while Jon Garland (4.0), Harang (4.0), Lee (3.9) and Glen Perkins (3.9) are the first-pitch strikes per nine innings leaders.

Jason Paradise and all the people at ESPN Stats & Information continue to amaze us all.

Gio Gonzalez


4. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez is throwing really well at Triple-A, which means the A's can have a six-man rotation whose combined service time is a year shy of arbitration.

Oakland needs young position players. So if general manager Billy Beane puts Brett Anderson or -- presuming he's healthy -- Josh Outman on the market, might he not get more than he would if he traded Matt Holliday? If some team looking for pitching like the Brewers, Indians or Rangers were to trade one major and one secondary prospect for Anderson or Outman, it would have him through the 2014 season.

Just look at what Mark Teixeira's market value was a year and two months shy of free agency (the Braves traded four key young players to the Rangers for Teixeira) and his value two months shy of the market (the Angels sent Casey Kotchman to the Braves for Teixeira).

Ryan Spilborghs


5. The Rockies have been hesitant to trade Ryan Spilborghs because of his talent and his clubhouse value, but now that Carlos Gonzalez has essentially taken Spilborghs out of the Rockies' outfield mix perhaps it's time to trade Spilborghs, who has four at-bats since June 18.

Among the Rangers, Red Sox, Mets, Rays, Tigers and others, there is a definite market for Spilborghs. Stay tuned.



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