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).

Cardinals option Aledmys Diaz to Triple-A

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The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Memphis and infielder Alex Mejia’s contract has been purchased from Memphis.

Diaz, 26, impressed last season when he posted an .879 OPS and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. This year has been rough on Diaz, as he’s batting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 288 plate appearances. He’s the second major Cardinals player to get sent down to the minors along with Randal Grichuk.

Diaz was surprised by the demotion. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:

Mejia, 26, opened the season with Double-A Springfield but was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With Springfield, he hit .251/.305/.366 in 251 PA. In 42 PA with Memphis, he hit .263/.333/.289.

Report: Red Sox, Yankees have contacted Marlins about Martin Prado

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With just over a month to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, trade rumors are beginning to crop up. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Red Sox and Yankees have each reached out to the Marlins about infielder Martin Prado.

The Marlins enter play Wednesday 35-40 and in third place in the NL East. They are expected to continue to sell after trading shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays. However, as the club itself is in the middle of rumors with a handful of prospective new owners, major pieces like Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich probably won’t be moved until that is settled.

Prado, 33, is hitting .277/.299/.398 with two home runs and nine RBI in 87 plate appearances. He has played in only 21 games due to calf and hamstring injuries. When he’s healthy, though, he is typically productive and he can play all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Prado is under contract for the next two seasons as well, at $13.5 million and $15 million.

With either the Red Sox or Yankees, Prado would likely assume third base. The Red Sox have gotten a major league-worst .562 out of its third basemen while the Yankees have gotten a .678 OPS, 24th out of 30 teams.