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Wednesday May 15th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
The Cleveland Indians are off to a hot start, sitting just one game back of the Detroit Tigers atop the AL Central. In their last 10 (through Tuesday) they are 7 – 3. Most of this is due to Mark Reynolds.
So far this year, he is hitting .272 with 11 HRs and 32 RBI. This puts him on pace to hit 50 HRs and drive in close to 15o Runs. Of course, there is no way that he drives in 151 runs, but I think it is possible that he could hit 40+ HRs.
He would have to stay hot the entire season and not get injured, so I would say there is about a three percent chance that he does so. His career highs in HRs and RBI came in 2009 when he hit 44 and drove in 102.
With the Indians lineup the way it is with Jason Kipnis (whom I will talk about later), Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher hitting in front of him, it seems like Reynolds will have plenty of RBI chances.
Reynolds is also on pace to strike out about 176 times, which is a little bit lower than his career average. Needless to say, if he keeps up his current performance throughout the entire season, he will be the MVP (although I would not count Miguel Cabrera out just yet with the season he is having thus far).
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By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
Seattle Mariners fans must be pretty amazing, Felix Hernandez sticking with their team through recent times. The Mariners were established in 1977 and have made the playoffs just 4 times in their history. They were the AL West champs 3 times (’95, ’97, ’01) and winners of the Wild Card once (’00). They have never won a World Series, or even an AL Pennant, and in 2012 they shipped off a fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees. The AL West is a tough division. The Rangers and Athletics made the playoffs last year, and the Angels just landed the prize of the off-season in slugger Josh Hamilton. I guess one bright spot is the Astros are moving to the AL West, so the Mariners won’t be rebuilding within the brutal division alone.
The Seattle Mariners hopes and dreams start where they have for years now, on the shoulders of King Felix. Felix Hernandez is no doubt an Ace. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since ’08, and had a sub 4.00 ERA every year since ’07. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young in 2010, and is a perennial contender for the award. Last year the Seattle fireballer threw his first Perfect Game. Hernandez will once again be atop the Mariners rotation, which as of now figures to include Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, and Hector Noesi.
Hisashi Iwakuma was a pleasant surprise for the Mariners in 2012. He wasn’t a greatly sought after oversees free agent last year, overshadowed greatly by fellow Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, but proved to be a great signing. Iwakuma started 2012 in the bullpen until he later earned a spot in the team’s rotation. Iwakuma managed a very respectable 3.16 ERA in the 125.1 innings he split between the rotation and the pen. This success is part of the reason the Mariners resigned the pitcher to a 2YR/14 Million Dollar deal this past November. He figures to hold down the 2nd spot in the rotation and should do just fine if 2012 was a sign of things to come.
Blake Beavan is still just 23 Years Old, but he already has 41 Major League Starts under his belt which gives the club hope he can hold down the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation. Beavan clearly has the talent which is what made him a 1st Round draft pick out of high school for the Rangers, and the reason the Mariners made sure he was a part of the package they received in return for Cliff Lee in 2010. Beavan’s 2012 stats won’t impress a lot of people, but they were a good start for a young player like himself to build and improve upon.
Felix Hernandez Highlights: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
Jason Bay begins 2013 with the Seattle Mariners on perhaps his last chance at the Major Leagues for his career. It was only on 2009 where he finished an ALL-Star Season with the Boston Red Sox – taking home a Silver Slugger Award and finishing in 7th for AL MVP Voting. That year, he hit for a 3 Slash Line of – .267/.384/.923, with 36 HRs (3rd in AL) and 119 RBI (2nd in AL). The man also walked 94 times and scored 103 Runs. It was a Career Year, yet he also had 3 other 30+ HRs, 100+ RBI and 100+ Run Years in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Bay picked a perfect year to be a Free Agent after his last year with the Red Sox.. While he cashed in on a 4 YR/64 Million Dollar Contract from the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox knew of some hampering injuries that were sure to plague the Canadian ALL-Star from Trail. B.C. for the length of the deal… Boy did they turn out to be right on this prognostication!
What happened in New York City could not be classified by anything but horrendous. It was a move to an un-hitter friendly park at Citi Field. Bay then spent parts of 3 years injured or absolutely putting up abysmal numbers for the NL East Franchise. Of course 2012 would be the ultimate worst as the Right Fielder hit a paltry .165 with 8 HRs and 20 RBI in 194 AB. He had become a shadow of his former ALL-Star self and the Mets had enough of the anemic offense. They ate all of the remaining 21 Million Dollars left on his contract for 2013 and granted Bay his walking papers.
Jason Bay Highlights 2011 – Mature Lyrics Content – Parental Guidance is advised