Someone Who Deserves A Raise… Josh Hamilton, who tied a Major League record with four home runs Tuesday night for the Rangers. He’s hitting .406 with 14 home runs and 36 runs driven in. Fortunately for Hamilton, his scorching pace comes in a contract year. He’ll be a free-agent after the season and his salary of $15 million will get a considerable bump this winter.
Someone Who Deserves a Demotion… Tim Lincecum. He signed a two-year, $40.5 million contract in January and has an ERA near six. He’s gone past the 6th inning just once this year and his average fastball is clocking in under 90 MPH for the first time in his career.
One Thing We’ve Learned… Giving closers big contracts is a bad idea. Padres closer Heath Bell had three magnificent years in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He saved 132 games those seasons and signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Marlins. Bell already has 4 blown saves, three losses and an 10.24 ERA. Jonathan Papelbon became a star with the Red Sox where he averaged 36.3 saves a season after becoming the primary closer in 2006. He never pitched more than 70 innings a season in that stretch, though. The Phillies signed him to a four-year, $50 million contract beginning this season, or about $183,000 per inning. Last season, the Saves category had three players in the top-10 making under $450 thousand. Another three made under $4.1 million. That’s 60-percent of the ten best closers in baseball last season. Closers are cheap and extremely over-valued, stop paying so much.
History Won’t Repeat Itself Out West… On this day last year, the Arizona Diamondbacks were 15-18 and in third place in the NL West. They went on to win the division by eight games. They’re currently 14-18 and in third place again, but this sluggish April has no such roads to the division title. The Dodgers (20-11) are too good. Centerfielder Matt Kemp leads the National League in batting average (.385) runs (29) and home runs (12). His teammate, rightfielder Andre Ethier, leads the league with 30 RBI.
Going Out On a Limb… The Orioles will win the AL East.
My Top 10:
8 ) Indians
10) Blue Jays