2010 projected leaders: Strikeouts

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Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
1. Tim Lincecum – 246
2. Zack Greinke – 211
2. Justin Verlander – 211
4. Dan Haren – 203
5. Javier Vazquez – 200
6. Tommy Hanson – 198
7. Chad Billingsley – 197
8. Roy Halladay – 195
9. Clayton Kershaw – 194
10. Felix Hernandez – 193
11. Adam Wainwright – 189
12. Jon Lester – 187
13. CC Sabathia – 186
14. A.J. Burnett – 183
15. Josh Beckett – 180
15. Ricky Nolasco – 180
Lincecum is clearly the best bet here, even if Verlander did beat him out 269 to 261 for the major league lead last season. On a K/9 IP basis, I’m dropping Verlander from 10.1 last year to 9.2, which is still far better than his career mark of 8.0.
Vazquez was projected with the second-highest total here as a Brave. However, the league switch knocked him down a bit.
Some pitchers with particularly high strikeout rates not to make the list because of their inning totals include: Rich Harden (149 in 142 2/3 IP), Max Scherzer (170 in 177 1/3 IP), Gio Gonzalez (167 in 171 2/3 IP) and Francisco Liriano (136 in 143 IP).

Video: Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran give signs from the dugout

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers stands in the dugout before their game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 23, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.

You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.