Joe DiMaggio 1914-1999
I have been reading The DiMaggios: Three Brothers, Their Passion For Baseball, Their Pursuit of the American Dream by Tom Clavin. I am only about 52 percent through with the book, but the book has made me curious about their stats. I know Joe has the better numbers and is only Hall of Famer of the three brothers, but Dom and Vince DiMaggio also were good players.
Lifetime Statistics of Joe, Dominic and Vince DiMaggio
Major League Debuts
Joe – May 3, 1936 at age of 21
Vince – April 19, 1937 at age of 24
Dom – April 16, 1940 at age of 23
Joe – 13…. Joe not only missed 3 years during World War II, but also played in less than 140 games in 8 of his 13 seasons.
Dom – 11…. Dom also missed 3 years due to World War II.
Vince – 10
Joe and Dom both missed three full seasons during World War II, while Vince played baseball during the war.
Rosalia DiMaggio, Joe, Giuseppe DiMaggio and Joe at Dominic’s wedding.
Joe – 7,673
Dom – 6,478
Vince – 4,31
Joe – 2,214
Dom – 1,680
Vince – 959
Dominic DiMaggio 1917-2009
Joe – 361
Dom – 87
Vince – 125
Runs Batted In
Joe – 1,537
Dom – 618
Vince – 584
Vince, Joe and Dominic DiMaggio
Joe – 30
Dom – 100…. Dom led the AL in stolen bases in 1950 with 15.
Vince – 79
Joe – 369…. Joe never struck out more than 39 times in a season.
Dom – 571…. Dom never struck out more than 68 times in a season.
Vince – 837…. Vince led the NL in strikeouts 6 times, with him leading the NL in 1944 with only 83 strikeouts.
This photo is probably the last photo of all three DiMaggio brothers, with Vince, Dominic and Joe appearing at an old timers game in 1986. Vince died on October 3, 1986 at the age of 74, due to cancer ending his life.
Base on Balls
Joe – 790
Dom – 750…. Dom had only 40 less walks than Joe, even though Joe had 1,195 more plate appearances.
Vince – 412
Joe – .325
Dom – .298
Vince – .249
Vince DiMaggio 1912-1986
On Base Percentage
Joe – .398
Dom – .383
Vince – .324
Joe – .579
Dom – .419
Vince – .413
On Base Plus Slugging Percentage
Joe – .977
Dom – .802
Joe – 153
Dom – 147
Vince – 131
Totals For All Three Brothers
Home Runs – 573
RBI – 2,739
There may be some two brother combinations with better numbers, but doubt any other three brothers combination posted these kind of numbers.
Hall of Fame
Joe – Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955 with 88.8 percent of the vote on his fourth try.
Dom – Peaked at 11.3 percent of vote in 1973.
Vince – Never on the ballot.
All Star Games
Joe – All Star in all of his 13 seasons…. Joe also won 3 AL MVP awards in 1939, 1941 and 1947.
Dom – All Star 7 times.
Vince – All Star twice.
From the Book – There is a great story in the book, about the father of the family, who wasn’t impressed with his sons playing baseball, so he would throw the spikes and glove belonging to Vince in the trash. His mom would retrieve them and give them back to Vince
However, the father suddenly changed his mind about baseball, when Vince placed $1,500 on the table. His dad was OK with baseball after he found out, that ball players actually were making money.
It was interesting to find out that some Pacific Coast League teams were paying their players the same minimum salary, that was being paid to major league players that year.
Joe was not cut out for the family fishing business, because he would throw up from being around the fish on the boat.
Summary – Joe was clearly the best of the three DiMaggio brothers, who played major league baseball, but they all left their mark in baseball history, with all three having played in All Star games. All three were almost exclusively center fielders during their careers. Joe was not the same player after the war. In fact his last season before military service saw his establish career lows at the time in home runs, runs batted in and batting average. It was even worse after his return from the military at the age of 31. He hit more than 30 home runs twice in his last 6 seasons, and he drove in 100 or more runs twice in the last 6 seasons.
Joe, Dominic and Vince may be gone now, but they left an indelible mark on baseball history, that will always be with fans who lived during that era.
Have seen a lot of Hunter Pence signs during the World Series. He is my favorite player, so am going to show some of the signs.
They forgot to tell Hunter Pence to shave before making his bobblehead.
Miguel Cabrera is playing in his 11th major league season and is only 30 years old. He has 1,952 hits and should have his 2,000th hit while he is still 30. He has a lot of great stats,, but one that stands out for me is that he has never missed more than 12 games in a major league season, which almost certainly means he has never been on the disabled list.
Cabrera only played in 87 games in his debut season, yet hit 12 home runs and drove in 62 runs, then he hit four home runs and drove in 12 in the 2003 postseason, which showed that he was not intimidated, by being on the big stage.
He has hit at least 26 home runs in each of his last 10 full seasons and has driven in 103 or more runs for the last 10 seasons, which includes the 2013 season, which has 46 games remaining. He should have his second 200 hit season in a row and pick up his 2,000 hit, possibly even in the same game.
Cabrera is not known for his speed, since he has 36 stolen bases in his career, which is same number of stolen bases, as Cal Ripken Jr. retired with. His current .365 batting average, .459 on base percentage, .686 slugging percentage and 1.145 OPS would be career highs if he can maintain those numbers. All four of those percentages lead the majors currently. His AB per HR rate was 19.1 in 2011, 14.1 in 2012 and a career best 11.4 in 2013.
Even though Cabrera is known for his power today he never hit more than 10 home runs in a minor league season. However, he hit .365, with AA Carolina before being called up by the Marlins in 2003.
Joe Mauer is the only active player ahead of Cabrera in lifetime batting average, with Mauer batting .3224 and Cabrera at .3214. He is 21st in lifetime hits with 1,952, but the 20 players ahead of him are 34 and older, so he will pass most of them up. Robinson Cano is next among 30-year-old players and has 1,583 hits.
Cabrera’s .365 batting average is 35 points ahead of Mike Trout in the AL batting race. He also leads in runs batted in with 109, but trails Chris Davis in home runs 42-36. It still wouldn’t surprise me to see Cabrera win another Triple Crown this year and possibly a major league Triple Crown.
Baseball-reference.com ranks Cabrera with seven Hall of Famers at his age, with only Ken Griffey, Jr., Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones not enshrined as yet in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
MLB.com lists Cabrera as 113th in strikeouts with 72 and he has only three more strikeouts than walks, with 69 walks in the 2013 season.
His salary in his rookie season of 2003 was only $165,000, then $320,000 in 2004, $370,000 in 2005 and $472,000 in 2006. He then became a million dollar player in 2007, when the Marlins paid him $7.4 million. He has earned $116 million in his career and is due to receive $22 million in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Cabrera was then traded to the Detroit Tigers on December 4, 2007. The Tigers also received Dontrelle Willis, who flamed out with Detroit after posting a 2-8 record in three seasons. The Tigers still got the best of the trade since they didn’t give up any player, who became a major star.
These are the players that the Tigers gave up in the trade:
DALLAS TRAHERN – POSTED A 50-60 RECORD IN 7 MINOR LEAGUE SEASONS AND NEVER PLAYED IN THE MAJORS.
BURKE BADENHOP – WAS 13-15 FOR THE MARLINS AND IS CURRENTLY IS 2-3 FOR BREWERS IN 2013.
FRANKIE DE LA CRUZ – ONLY PITCHED 9 INNINGS FOR THE MARLINS WITH AN 0-0 RECORD AND 18.00 ERA. HIS PITCHING LINE FOR MARLINS – 9 IP, 20 RUNS (18 EARNED) 15 HITS, 2 HR’S, 11 WALKS, 4 K’S, 2.889 WHIP. DE LA CRUZ ALSO PITCHED 3 INNINGS FOR PADRES AND 13 INNINGS FOR BREWERS AND WALKED 26 IN 32 MAJOR LEAGUE INNINGS. POSTED A 0-0 RECORD WITH A 8.16 ERA IN HIS CAREER AND NEVER PITCHED AGAIN IN MAJORS AFTER 2011.
CAMERON MAYBIN – HIT .257 IN 3 YEARS WITH MARLINS. HIT .249 IN 3 YEARS WITH PADRES AND IS HITTING .157 IN 2013 FOR PADRES. HE WAS THE 10TH PICK IN THE 1ST ROUND OF THE 2005 DRAFT AND WAS DRAFTED AHEAD OF ANDREW MCCUTCHEN, JAY BRUCE, MATT GARZA AND CLAY BUCHHOLZ. PADRES ARE PAYING HIM $3 MILLION FOR HIS .157 AVERAGE THIS YEAR AND OWE HIM $5 MILLION IN 2014, $7 MILLION IN 2015 AND $8 MILLION IN 2016 PLUS THE PADRES HAVE A $9 MILLION TEAM OPTION IN 2017 AND A $1 MILLION BUYOUT.
ANDREW MILLER – 10-20 WITH THE MARLINS WITH A 5.89 ERA. WAS TRADED TO RED SOX FOR DUSTIN RICHARDSON, WHO NEVER THREW A PITCH FOR THE MARLINS. MILLER IS 10-7 WITH RED SOX IN 3 YEARS AND IS 1-2 WITH A 2.64 ERA IN 2013.
MIKE RABELO – HIT .202 FOR MARLINS IN 32 GAMES AND NEVER PLAYED IN MAJORS AGAIN AFTER 2008.
The Tigers clearly got the best of the trade, even though only Cabrera remains and Dontrelle Willis was pitching for the independent league Long Island Ducks with a 5-4 record and 2.56 ERA with 52 K’s and 43 BB’s in 87 IP. He was picked up by the Angels and has no minor league record as of today.
Tigers really gave up nothing to acquire Cabrera and Willis, but they have reaped a huge reward in Cabrera, who is undoubtedly the best hitter in the majors today.
Around the Bases
The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that they are calling up Andrew Lambo, who is leading the minors in home runs with 31. Lambo, who turned 25 yesterday was drafted by the Dodgers in the 4th round in 2007. He has hit a combined .284 for AA Altoona and AAA Indianapolis with 97 RBI. Lambo only hit 5 home runs in 2012. He is in his 7th season of minor league baseball. He should be an upgrade for the Pirates, who have had poor production from the right field position….Mike Trout has called for a lifetime ban for any player using PED’s….Matt Harvey has lost three games this season but his run support has been bad for most of his starts. The Mets have lost games like these, when Harvey gave up one or two runs, May 12 loss of 3-2 to Pittsburgh, when Harvey allowed 2 runs in 7 innings. He had back to back 2-1 losses on June 8 and June 13 to Florida and St. Louis. He then lost to Washington 6-4 on June 28, when he gave up one run in 7 innings. He lost to Washington again on July 26, by a 2-1 score when he allowed no earned runs in 8 innings. He should have had 5 wins in those starts, which would give him 14 wins now.
Milwaukeeans became used to winning, when the Milwaukee Braves played there for 13 seasons and never had a losing season. The Milwaukee Brewers began playing in 1970, but their first team with a winning record didn’t come till 1978, when they posted a 93-69 record. The Brewers followed up that success to post a 95-66 record in 1979 and a 86-76 record in 1980.
The Brewers were eliminated in the 1981 LDCS by a 3 games to 2 margin. They played in their only World Series in 1982, while posting a 95-67 record and losing the 1982 World Series by a 4-3 margin. 26 years would pass before the Brewers were in the playoffs again, when they posted a 90-72 record and lost in the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals 3 games to 1.
2011 baseball season would find the Brewers 96-66, with a chance to go to World Series, but lost 4 games to 2 to the Cardinals. The Brewers had moved to NL in 1994.
The 2012 Brewers lost 13 more games than the 2011 Brewers had lost. Losing Prince Fielder to free agency and the Detroit Tigers signaled the end to success for the Braves. Corey Hart played first base and hit 30 HR’s and drove in 83 RBI. Brewers finished two games over .500 in 2012.
2013 Brewers were hit by bad news, before the season even started, when Corey Hart was unable to start the season. He still has not played in his first game as the Brewers return to action tonight, after a long All Star break. The 38-56 Brewers are 19.5 games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. They are 14.5 games behind in the wild card race, but there are 10 teams ahead of them.
Surprisingly, the Brewers have scored 12 more runs the Pittsburgh Pirates, but have allowed 123 more runs to score than the Pirates. The Brewers are next to last in runs allowed with 440, with only the San Diego Padres allowing more runs in the NL with 445.
Jean Segura who is hitting .325 and Ryan Braun hitting .304 are the only .300 hitters on the team. His .325 average is fourth best in MLB. Segura also leads the NL in hits with 121, which is 3rd in MLB. Carlos Gomez leads in home runs with 14 and has 21 stolen bases, so has an outside chance to join the 30-30 club.
Braun has a possible Biogenesis suspension hanging over his head, which could make this season even worse and has missed 38 games.
Pitching has been a disaster this season, with no Brewers starter having a winning record. The starters have a combined 27-43 record.
Fielding has been another reason for the dismal season, with 66 errors, which is fourth worst in majors, with only the Dodgers and Nationals having committed more errors, among all National League teams, with both teams having 67 errors.
Main goal for Brewers now is to avoid losing 100 games and if some of their players are traded, to work in younger players in those positions. They would also like to pass the Chicago Cubs, who are 4.5 games ahead of them, so the Brewers could avoid a last place finish.
Monday night was an exciting night for major league baseball fans. These are short recaps of some of the best games last night. It was a night of a 14 inning, 16 inning game and 10 inning game. Bartolo Colon won his 12th game of the season. Raul Ibanez hit his 22nd home run, which is fourth in the AL and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Buster Posey had a 5-8 game in San Francisco, while Andrelton Simmons was 0-7 in Miami.
A look at some of the more interesting games last night:
Rangers 8 Orioles 5 – Scott Feldman of the Orioles was rocked in his second start, since being traded by Cubs to the Orioles. He allowed 7 runs, 9 hits and his ERA ballooned to 7.15. Manny Machado was 3-5 at the plate and raised his batting average to .315, which gave him 122 hits for the season and only 3 hits behind MLB leading Miguel Cabrera with 125.
Tigers 4 Indians 2 (10 innings) – Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder were a combined 1-11 last night in the 10 inning game. However, the Tigers defeated the Indians by a 4-2 score. Max Scherzer allowed 2 runs in 7 innings, while the bullpen held Indians scoreless over the last three innings. Only 23,640 fans attended the game in Cleveland, only filing the stands to 56 percent full.
Athletics 2 Pirates 1 – Bartolo Colon is now 12-3 after the Athletics 2-1 win over the Pirates, who have lost 3 in a row. It was a strange game in that the Pirates outhit the Athletics 9-3 but lost the game 2-1. Jeff Locke who has a major league second best ERA at 2.15 took the loss, but held the Pirates to 2 runs and 3 hits in 7 innings.
Royals 5 Yankees 1 – Phil Hughes lost the fifth of his last 7 starts in the 5-1 Royals win over the Yankees. He has only won twice since May 10. It is easy to see why the Yankees struggled to score runs last night, after looking at their lineup in last night’s game. These are the batting averages at the end of the game for some of those players:
Travis Hafner .220
Vernon Wells .237
Travis Ishikawa .105
Alex Gonzalez .194
Austin Romine .132
Eduardo Nunez .216
Those six players were a combined 2-16 with Wells having both of the hits. Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter should be returning to the team later this month. They may not hit well at first, upon returning to the team, but can’t hit any worse than the six players mentioned above.
Braves 7 Marlins 1 (14 innings) – The Braves and Marlins both struggled offensively in this game, with both teams scoring one run in the first 13 innings. Andrelton Simmons 0-7, Jason Heyward 1-5, Brian McCann 0-5 and Dan Uggla 1-6 were a combined 2-23 in the game. The Braves may have won the game, but they still have to be concerned about this offense. Kevin Slowey, the starter for the Marlins didn’t allow a run in 5 innings, but the bullpen allowed all 7 runs in the game. 15,745 fans showed up for the game in Miami, which filled the stadium to only 42.1 percent of capacity.
Cubs 8 White Sox 2 – Matt Garza 5-1, 3.22 ERA allowed only one earned run in 7 innings in 8-2 win by the Cubs over the White Sox.. Any scouts at the game saw Garza at his best, so should increase his appeal to contenders needing another starter. Hector Santiago came within two outs of a quality start but took the loss. The Cubs outhit the White 13-5. The only bright spot for the White Sox was rookie Josh Phegley hitting his 2nd major league home run and is slugging .900 after his third major league game.
pitched and hit the Dodgers to an easy 6-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Greinke pitched 7 scoreless innings and was 3-3 at the plate and is now hitting .370 for the season. The Dodgers hammered out 17 hits, while the Diamondbacks could only muster 4 hits in the contest. Yasiel Puig was 2-5, but the hitting stars for the Dodgers were Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Greinke who all had 3 hits. Ramirez is hitting .419 but didn’t play his first game this season till June 4, so it is questionable if he will qualify for the batting title this season. Dodgers have now won 13 of their last 16 games. The win moved the Dodgers to within 3.5 games of the first place Diamondbacks in the NL West. They also need only two more wins to reach .500.
Mets 4 Giants 3 (16 innings) – The Mets scored the winning run on a Brandon Crawford error in the 16 inning win for the Mets over the Giants, who have lost 8 of their last 10 games. Gregor Blanco, Brandon Belt, Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence were a combined 3-27 in the game. Matt Harvey and Tim Lincecum each allowed 3 runs and 6 hits in 7 innings before leaving the game. The Giants used Sergio Romo in the ninth inning, but the Mets saved their closer Bobby Parnell in the 16th inning as he notched his 16th save of the season.The game last 5 hours and 26 minutes.
Looking at the Standings
The Tampa Bay Rays have the longest winning streak in MLB at 5 games….Any team that is 10 or more games behind the division leader is probably out of the race for the season. Twins, White Sox, Mariners and Astros are the teams in that category in the AL. The NL has Mets, Marlins and Brewers as the only teams 10 or more games behind as of today….Hottest team in last 10 games are the Rays with a 9-1 record, while the Padres are the coolest, with a 0-10 record in their last 10 games….Dodgers at 43-45 are the only second place team in MLB with a losing record….Pirates are 2-5 in June and have lost their last two series to the Phillies and Cubs and they need to win the next two games against the A’s to avoid losing their third straight series.
With most major league teams at or near the halfway mark this is a good time to assess the 2013 season so far. Red Sox have already played 84 games, so are already 3 games past the halfway mark, while Twins have played only 78 games.
Looking At Standings
AL East – The Yankees played their 81st game yesterday and slid down into fourth place behind the Rays who moved to third place. Yankees ended their first half by losing five in a row and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. Red Sox won their 50th game yesterday, but hold only a 2.5 game lead over the Orioles. Chris Davis hit his 31st home run of the major league leading 115 hit by the Orioles. Blue Jays won ten in a row earlier in June, but then reverted to their losing ways losing 5 of their last 7 in games against the Rays and Red Sox.
AL Central – Indians at 7-3 are only AL Central team with a winning record in their last 10, while first place Tigers are 4-6 in that span and seem to be sliding. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are a combined 20-5 in 2013, while the rest of the starters are 17-17. Prince Fielder only has 13 home runs, which is 18 less than the AL leading Chris Davis with 31. Tigers are one percentage point ahead of the Indians, with the Royals 4.5 games behind the Indians. The Twins are still in striking distance at 6.5 games out of first place. The White Sox are just killing time now till the end of the season and should be sellers before the trading deadline arrives in late July. White Sox have to win 15 in a row, just to get back to playing .500 baseball, so almost no chance of them recovering from a terrible start.
AL West – Rangers are holding a half game lead over the Athletics. Angels have moved to within 9 games of the first place Rangers, but still are 8.5 behind the second place Athletics. Mariners and Astros are doomed to finishing fourth and fifth this season, since the Angels are pulling away from them, since they are currently in a 6 game winning streak. This is a three team race, if the Angels stay hot for a while.
NL East – Braves have the largest lead in majors at 6.5 games over the Nationals, but the Braves have to have concerns about the offense being hot and cold this season. The 11 shutouts pitched against them is a major concern. Nationals are hoping the return of Bryce Harper can get the Nationals going again. Phillies still have a remote chance of getting back in the race and perhaps winning a wild card bid, with them trailing the Braves by 9.5 games. The Mets and Marlins should be sellers when the trading starts, since they don’t seem to be factors in the NL East race.
NL Central – It was thought that the Cardinals and Reds would be battling for the NL Central title. But both teams find themselves behind the surprising Pirates, who have won 51 games and could be in the race to the end. Cardinals are 2 games behind the Pirates, while the Reds are surprisingly 5.5 games behind the Pirates. The season is more or less over for the Cubs and Brewers who are so far behind, they almost certainly will be sellers this month.
NL West – Only 4 games separate the first place Diamondbacks and the last place Dodgers, so this division is up for grabs right now at least. The Rockies despite the loss of Troy Tulowitzki are only 2 games out of first place. Padres are only 2.5 games out while the Giants who are 2-8 in their last 10 games are 3 games behind the Diamondbacks. This race is too close to even call, since all five teams have a chance of winning the NL West title. Dodgers seem to be playing better, since Hanley Ramirez returned from the DL.
Surprises This Season – The biggest surprise of the season has been the hitting of rookie Yasiel Puig who posted 44 hits in June, despite not joining the Dodgers till the third game of the month. It would be great for baseball, if he makes the All Star team, but it may cause some hurt feelings, by players who might miss out on the All Star game because of Puig….Chris Davis has hit an amazing 31 home runs and has driven in 80 runs, while hitting .332. Davis only hit 33 home runs and drove in 85 runs in 2012, so he is close to matching those numbers and probably will by the All Star break….There was no doubt that Manny Machado was a good player, but he has taken his game to a new level in 2013. Machado leads the majors with 38 doubles, 2nd in hits in MLB with 115….Jean Segura of the Brewers has shown why the Brewers insisted that Segura be included in the Zack Greinke trade. Segura is 3rd in MLB in hits with 105 and 5th in batting average in MLB with a .327 batting average….Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks has rebounded from his 6-8 record in 2012 to posting a 9-0 record in 2013. Matt Harvey is 7-1 and his 152 strikeouts lead all NL pitchers. His 2.00 ERA also tops the NL and is 2nd best in MLB. His 0.85 WHIP leads the majors.
Cole Hamels has been a surprise in a negative way with his 2-11 record in 2013. If he had won only 3 of those games the Phillies would be in the thick of the NL East race….It was a surprise that R.A. Dickey the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner allowed 6 or more runs five times in the 2013 season. His record was 4-7 on May 30, but he has won four of his last five decisions for a 8-8 record currently. His 18 home runs allowed in 2013 is second worst among all MLB pitchers. Dickey was 12-1 on this date last year.
Around the Bases….Michael Cuddyer who is currently on a 27 game hit streak has moved to within one point of NL leading Yadier Molina with Molina hitting .345 to the .344 of Cuddyer….Adam Dunn continues to be an enigma with him being 4th in home runs in AL with 21, but hitting an anemic .198. This makes it difficult for Jim Leyland to name him to the AL All Star team, since the purpose of the game is to win home field advantage for the AL and Dunn is as likely to strike out as to hit a home run in the midsummer classic. He is not really earning his $15 million salary this season, since he is a one dimensional player….Yankees are playing now like they were expected to play till their stars started returning. Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira have played a combined 23 games so far this season. Vernon Wells was productive earlier in the season, but has regressed badly lately. He hit .300 in April, .221 in May and .133 in June. He also walked only once in June while striking out 17 times. Travis Hafner also started well hitting .318 in April then tumbled to .179 in May and .174 in June. Lyle Overbay has not hit well for average all season hitting .241 in April, .253 in May and .219 in June, but was a run producer earlier in the season. He drove in 12 runs in April, 17 in May and then down to 5 in June.
Only the White Sox, Astros and Mariners have scored fewer runs than the Yankees in 2013. They are next to last in batting in the AL with a .239 average and only two points ahead of the last place Astros and Seattle tied at .237….Marlins with 47 home runs in 2013 are 68 home runs behind the Orioles with 115….Pirates have the lowest ERA in MLB with a 3.11 mark. Astros have the worst ERA at 4.69….Pirates have thrown the most shutouts with 12, while the Astros and Cubs have a major league worst total of one….Cardinals lead in complete games with 6, while 9 teams have yet to throw a complete game….Tigers are missing Anibal Sanchez, since his replacement Jose Alvarez lost today to the Blue Jays by a 8-3 score and his ERA jumped from 3.78 to 5.03 today. Prince Fielder hit his 14th home run today in the loss. However, Omar Infante hit a home run 73 feet further than the Fielder home run. The loss dropped the Tigers a half game behind the first place Indians in the AL Central. Blue Jays moved to within 1.5 games of the 4th place Yankees in the AL East. We can expect some wheeling and dealing from Yankees if they fall into last place.
It was looking like there was no hope for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then Yasiel Puig joined the team earlier this week and has made an instant impact on the Dodgers. The team has won three of their last four games, since Puig joined the team on Monday.
The Dodgers have won three of their last four games, but have yet to win more than two games in a row. Puig could change all that if his hitting becomes contagious. He hit a grand slam last night to insure a Dodgers victory, in a 5-0 win over the Braves.
Puig is 7-16 after four games and is hitting .438, has an OBP of .438, slugging 1.063 and has posted an OPS of 1.500. It would not be surprising to see Puig named NL Player of the Week, after his first week in the majors. Driving in nine runs from the leadoff spot is virtually unheard of. There is no reason for Puig to start each game with no runners on base, with his kind of run production.
The 6′ 3″ Puig weighs 215 pounds and won’t be 23 till December 7 according to ESPN.com, but MLB.com list him as weighing 245 pounds. The Dodgers only have four outfielders in the outfield now in Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Puig. Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp are both on the disabled list presently. I look for the Dodgers to go back to five outfielders, upon the return of Kemp and Crawford, which means Van Slyke, Hairston and Puig would be vying for the fourth and fifth outfield spots. It seems like the logical move would be to reassign or release Hairston since Van Slyke is second on Dodgers in home runs with six. Van Slyke has hit his six home runs in only 58 AB’s.
Puig has played in only 63 minor league games and only 40 games past Rookie and A+ baseball. His career minor league stats are astounding with a .328 lifetime average, .405 OBP, .611 SLG and 1.016 OPS.
Main problem for Dodgers would be to find more playing time for Puig after Crawford and Kemp return. Don Mattingly may have to bench Ethier to find playing time for Puig. Skip Schumaker, the backup second baseman also plays some outfield, but may see very little playing time in the outfield, once everyone returns from the disabled list. Puig has 13 HR’s and 52 RBI’s in 262 plate appearances, which is about a half of season of at-bats.
We don’t know the future of Puig over the long run, but right now he is showing us that he can play major league baseball at a high level.
With Zack Greinke back in the rotation the Dodgers could see a reversal in fortune, with both Kershaw and Greinke pitching every fifth day. However, Kershaw has only posted one win since May 14.
Dodgers have three home games against Atlanta and three against Arizona left in this homestand. Then Puig will get a real test, when the Dodgers travel to Pittsburgh for three games, then play the Yankees in Yankee Stadium two games and then finish off the road trip, with four games in San Diego. It will be interesting to see where Puig is at after the long nine game road trip.
Personally, I think Puig can handle the stress of being on the road and away from the Dodger fans, who have been very supportive of him in his first week in the majors. Only time will tell how Puig will handle his first slump, but for right now Dodger fans are enjoying every minute of every game with Puig in the lineup.
37,055 Dodger fans showed on Monday night for Puig’s debut, but the crowd has increased each successive night, from 37,544 on Tuesday to 40,040 on Wednesday and the 44,196 that saw last night’s game. The weekend crowds should be even larger and that is music to the ears of Magic Johnson, who has to be enjoying the Dodgers resurgence, but he won’t really be happy till the Dodgers start moving up in the standings.
Don Mattingly knows his future as Dodgers manager may depend on Puig and the others scoring more runs, since the Dodgers are 27th in MLB, in runs scored with 213.
There is no way the Dodgers would send Puig down and keep Hairston on the roster. Puig may not stay this hot long, but now he and the Dodgers both know he can hit at the major league level. Puig has played in only four games, yet he is 5th in home runs on the team with three. He has already passed everyday players in home runs, surpassing the totals of Matt Kemp, A.J. Ellis, Mark Ellis and Nick Punto.
Anthony Bosch, the founder of Biogenesis drug clinic has agreed to talk to MLB, after having originally balked at cooperating with the MLB investigation. The lawsuit against him by major league baseball has caused Bosch to reconsider his original stance and he also hopes his cooperation will prevent him from appearing in criminal court.
It seems like the primary targets for MLB in this investigation are Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Braun had this to say about this latest news, after the Brewers defeated the Athletics 4-3 in 10 innings last night in Milwaukee:
“I’ve already addressed everything related to the Miami situation. I addressed it in spring training. I will not make any further statements about it,” he said. “The truth has not changed.”
Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun will have to talk sooner or later to MLB investigators, who are intent on proving that both players bought drugs from the Biogenesis drug clinic in Florida. Both players have denied buying drugs from Biogenesis, but they will find themselves on the carpet soon before investigators, who won’t take no as easily as the media has, when they asked the tough questions, that they don’t want to answer.
The New York Yankees have proved this season, that they can compete in the AL East, without Rodriguez playing and would probably be overjoyed, if this investigation gives them a way out of the huge contract, that they are paying Rodriguez. He is owed $86 million by the Yankees from 2013-2017, which would end their current contract with Rodriguez.
Rodriguez will be 38 in July and if he doesn’t play this season due to a hip injury, then is suspended 100 games to start the 2014 season, that would make him 39 before he steps on the field again. He needs 13 home runs to hit his 660th home run which would enable him to pick up a $30 million bonus. His chances of passing Barry Bonds, who has hit 762 home runs are slim and none at his age. The only way he could have passed Bonds was to have used steroids, but not even sure if they are working, since his home run production is trending downward:
2007 – 54
2008 – 35
2009 – 30
2010 – 30
2011 – 16
2012 – 18
The above numbers show that Rodriguez has hit almost half the number of home runs, in the last three years compared to the 2007-2009 numbers. He will have trouble attracting Hall of Fame votes, especially if he is suspended for another 100 games.
If Braun is suspended the Brewers may try to have Braun’s contract revoked. He is owed $133 million from 2014-2021 and the Brewers front office can’t help but wonder, if Braun can hit the power numbers, without the benefits of steroids.
Melky Cabrera has reaped financial benefit from his steroids-laced seasons. He only hit four home runs and drove in 42 runs in 2011, while playing for the Atlanta Braves. Then in 2012 with the Royals Cabrera found strength from somewhere to hit 18 home runs and drive in 87 runs. Then in the first season of his new $16 million contract for two years for the Blue Jays he has only 2 home runs in his first 58 games.
The Texas Rangers would be particularly hit hard by a suspension for Nelson Cruz, since he leads the team in home runs with 14 and also leads in RBI with 40.
Everth Cabrera of the Padres, one of the players named in the Biogenesis records leads the majors in stolen bases with 24 and has nine more stolen bases, than his nearest NL competitor JuanPierre who has 14. Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers, who is also on the list and is hitting .338, which is third in AL. The loss of Cabrera or Peralta would be a major setback to the Padres and Tigers.
The Yankees could lose their first string catcher Francisco Cervelli, if he is suspended after returning from the disabled list. Bartolo Colon of the Athletics is pitching well this season and his loss would hurt the Athletics, particularly since Colon would be automatically eligible for a 100 game suspension, since he served a 50 game suspension last season.
1998 Home Run Chase With Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa
I have to admit that I got caught up in the steroids-laced home run chase, between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. I thought it was kind of McGwire to talk to the Maris family, after breaking the record, but now I know he knew he was cheating to break the record of Roger Maris. How could he act like he was their friend, when he was taking away a record Maris had set 37 years ago? If he broken the drug without steroids it would have been different, but he knew he was cheating. The Maris family has forgiven McGwire, but still say their dad holds the record. I even question if McGwire was using steroids when he hit 49 home runs in his rookie season.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig may never admit it, but I think he looked the other way, as baseball fans watched McGwire – Sosa battle for most home runs in a season. Selig knew his owner cronies were getting rich, so wasn’t about to pull the plug on the steroids.
It was only after Congress became involved that Selig and player’s union boss Don Fehr seriously addressed the steroids problem. Then they came up with the “brilliant” idea of letting players use steroids in 2003 without any punishment, so they would know how many tested positive and then implemented testing with consequences in 2004.
Steroids Banned From Baseball in 1991
Steroids first were banned from major league baseball in 1991, but tests for steroids weren’t installed till 2003. That is 12 years that steroids use was rampant, with several players that cheated wining MVP awards for their league. These are some of the questionable MVP won by steroids users:
1996 – Juan Gonzalez
1998 – Juan Gonzalez
1999 – Ivan Rodriguez
2000 – Jason Giambi
2002 – Miguel Tejada
2003 – Alex Rodriguez
2005 – Alex Rodriguez
1996 – Ken Caminiti
1998 – Sammy Sosa
2001 – Barry Bonds
2002- Barry Bonds
2003 – Barry Bonds
2004 – Barry Bonds
2011 – Ryan Braun
That is a total of 14 Most Valuable Player awards given to players, who more than likely were using steroids that year.
You will notice from the list below that most of the steroids users had unusually high slugging percentages:
It is sad that steroids have been banned from baseball since 1991, yet 20 players could possibly be suspended for using steroids in the next month or two. A policy instituted 22 years ago still isn’t being adhered to by the players. Maybe if all 20 of these players are suspended it will be a wakeup call, for players thinking of using steroids in the future.
It isn’t fair to the other 730 players supposedly playing the game the right way and abiding by the rules of baseball, for cheaters to have an advantage, whenever they walk on the playing field.
This process will take some time, as each player is interviewed by MLB investigators, with the player’s union having a lawyer present during the questioning. This isn’t the ideal situation for MLB to be conducting the investigation, so close to the time of the 2013 All Star Game, but this is too important of a matter to delay any longer. The Biogenesis scandal broke several months ago, so there is no reason to push this issue to the backburner.
Let us hope that Bud Selig and MLB do the right thing this time. We should know in the next couple of months or sooner, if the cheaters will be suspended or if this will go on for months.
Who would have thought that Cole Hamels 1-6 and Roy Halladay 2-4 would have a combined 3-10 record, with the 2013 season a quarter of the way finished? Hamels has held opponents to a .231 batting average, but his command is off this season with 24 walks in 56 innings, after walking 52 in 215 innings in 2012.
Another setback for the Phillies is Roy Halladay having a 2-4 record and a 8.65 ERA, which is highest on the Phillies staff. Hamels and Holliday are earning $40.5 million combined this season, so it is not much return on that money with them registering three wins in 16 starts.
Surprisingly, the Phillies are only 3.5 games behind the NL East leading Braves, so they are still in the race. Ryan Howard is slumping again with 3 hits in his last 30 at bats. He is 1-20 and hitting .050 with runners in scoring position and two outs in 2013. Even worse, Howard hit .284 in April but only .173 in May. Howard has a career worst 24.5 AB’s per HR in 2013, which is not close to his 13.7 AB’s per HR career number.
Who would have thought the Yankees would be leading the AL East?
There seemed to be no chance that the Yankees would actually be in first place in AL East, with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson on the DL to start the 2013 season. Most experts were saying that the Yankees would need to stay close, till some of the stars returned to the lineup. There are currently eleven Yankees on the DL, who are being paid close to $95 million total this season.
Lyle Overbay and Travis Hafner are earning a combined $2.85 million this season and have been a big part of the Yankees offense this season. Overbay is second on team in RBI’s with 24, while trailing only Robinson Cano with 27. Hafner has 18 RBI, which is 4th on the Yankees, behind Vernon Wells with 23. Wells is earning $24 million this season, but part of his salary is probably being paid by the Angels.
Hiroki Kuroda, C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte are a combined 14-8, while Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Vidal Nuno and David Phelps are a combined 5-6 pitching out of the fourth and fifth slots. The loss of Pettitte to the DL could be a serious problem if the back of the rotation can’t pick up some of the slack.
Who would have thought that the Milwaukee Brewers would be 11 games out of first place in NL Central on May 18?
The Milwaukee Brewers starting rotation has only one starter with a winning record, with Marco Estrada 3-2 in the 2013 season. The other five starters are a combined 8-15. The bullpen has seen John Axford and Mike Gonzalez combine for an 0-5 record. Opponents are pounding Brewers pitching at a .271 clip, with only the Twins at .290 and Astros at .297 being worse. Brewers have allowed 51 home runs this season with only Astros with 67 and Rays with 53 being worse.
Brewers are 27th in ERA at 4.60 and 28th in opponents batting average at .271.
The Brewers have the first and second best hitters in NL with Carlos Gomez at .352 and Jean Segura hitting .351. Gomez is 4th in slugging with a .593 mark. Only Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton and Bryce Harper have higher slugging percentages.
Who would have thought that Paul Goldschmidt would have 12 HR’s and 35 RBI after 42 games?
It is not a shock that Goldschmidt is hitting so well, but it is a surprise that he has these kind of numbers this early in the season. Goldschmidt had 20 homers and 82 RBI in the entire 2012 season, so is way ahead of those numbers. ESPN.com project him to hit 46 HR’s and drive in 135 runs in 2013. He is 10-16 in his last 4 games, while raising his batting average from .304 to .338 and is 7-9 in his last 2 games.
Who would have thought that Manny Machado would be hitting 77 points higher than he hit in 2012?
It is amazing that the 20 year-old Machado is projected by ESPN.com to have 237 hits at the end of the 2013 season. ESPN also projects him to have 71 doubles at the end of the season, which would be four more than the current season record set by Earl Webb in 1931 with 67. He may have more chance of passing Todd Helton whose 59 doubles in 2000 is the best for active players. Machado has been especially hot in his last 6 games with 15 hits in 30 AB’s and 6 doubles in that span. Machado is hitting .403 in May. He is hitting .362 against right handers. He is hitting an astounding .438 with runners in scoring position with two outs. Machado won’t turn 21 till July 6.
Who would have thought that Yu Darvish would be on a pace to post 332 strikeouts in 2013?
ESPN is projecting Yu Darvish to have 332 strikeouts at the end of the 2012 season. It has been 11 years since Randy Johnson posted 334 strikeouts in 2002 in NL, since a pitcher has registered more than 300 strikeouts. The last AL pitcher with over 300 strikeouts was when Pedro Martinez struck 313 in AL in 1999. It isn’t likely to happen but ESPN.com also projects Darvish to finish the season with a 27-4 record. Rangers have scored 60 runs in the 7 wins by Darvish, but scored only one run in his only loss. Darvish could be on the brink of being the best Japanese pitcher in major league history, if he can continue to dominate major league hitters.