Projections and Paces – Brewers

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The article below is meant to provide a quick look at how my
preseason projections match up with the paces of select major league
hitters.

Prince Fielder
2008: .276/.372/.507, 34 HR, 86 R, 102 RBI, 3 SB in 588 AB
Proj..: .289/.401/.552, 38 HR, 93 R, 116 RBI, 3 SB in 567 AB
Pace: .302/.430/.595, 39 HR, 98 R, 157 RBI, 0 SB in 569 AB

If he can keep it up, Fielder would be the first National League to
drive in 150 runs since Sammy Sosa in 2001. Ryan Howard just missed in
2006 (149) and 2008 (146).

Ryan Braun
2008: .285/.335/.553, 37 HR, 92 R, 106 RBI, 14 SB in 611 AB
Proj..: .296/.352/.567, 39 HR, 110 R, 107 RBI, 18 SB in 626 AB
Pace: .321/.416/.575, 34 HR, 120 R, 118 RBI, 12 SB in 589 AB

Braun was talked about as a legitimate MVP candidate for his 2008
performance. He’ll be more deserving this year if he maintains his
current pace, but he’s still not the best hitter on his own team.

Mike Cameron
2008: .243/.331/.477, 25 HR, 69 R, 70 RBI, 17 SB in 444 AB
Proj..: .248/.338/.455, 23 HR, 74 R, 78 RBI, 18 SB in 517 AB
Pace: .250/.358/.477, 29 HR, 76 R, 76 RBI, 5 SB in 540 AB

Cameron remains one of the game’s most underrated players, but he
hasn’t been quite as valuable as the OPS suggests this year, as he’s
hitting just .118 in 51 at-bats with RISP. Nine of his 12 homers have
come with the bases empty.

Corey Hart
2008: .268/.300/.459, 20 HR, 76 R, 91 RBI, 23 SB in 612 AB
Proj..: .286/.339/.480, 22 HR, 83 R, 98 RBI, 20 SB in 594 AB
Pace: .264/.325/.452, 22 HR, 101 R, 79 RBI, 10 SB in 587 AB

Hitting at the top of the order has resulted in a reversal of Hart’s
run and RBI numbers. I think his speed would be more useful behind
Braun and Fielder, since it makes little sense to risk getting thrown
out on steal attempts with those two up. Cameron is the better fit as a
No. 2 hitter.

J.J. Hardy
2008: .293/.343/.478, 24 HR, 78 R, 74 RBI, 2 SB in 569 AB
Proj..: .274/.335/.456, 23 HR, 86 R, 72 RBI, 3 SB in 570 AB
Pace: .219/.301/.344, 15 HR, 79 R, 71 RBI, 0 SB in 528 AB

Perhaps he’s finally starting to come out of it now. Hart went
5-for-12 with a homer and four RBI in the series against the Indians.

Jason Kendall
2008: .246/.327/.324, 2 HR, 46 R, 49 RBI, 8 SB in 516 AB
Proj..: .260/.343/.328, 2 HR, 55 R, 40 RBI, 6 SB in 470 AB
Pace: .232/.324/.276, 0 HR, 49 R, 44 RBI, 2 SB in 454 AB

Unfortunately, there’s just nothing separating him from Brad Ausmus at this point.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.