Posts Tagged ‘Adrian Gonzalez’

Fantasy Baseball: Friday News and Notes

July 16th, 2010

Last Night Rewind

  • DL activations and placements ruled the day as the second half began. The Twins placed Justin Morneau on the DL due to a mild concussion. Morneau attempted to play through the injury, but had to miss the last four games. He was scheduled to hit yesterday but felt unable to do so once he reached the park.
  • Carlos Beltran was activated by the Mets and went 1-for-4 in his first game of the season. It was the first time he had played in nearly a full year and Beltran felt fatigued after the game. This will be a situation where the Mets look to control playing time early to ease him back into the flow of playing every day.
  • Josh Beckett felt ready to go after a side session on Wednesday, but Boston will have him make one rehab start this weekend in Triple-A before activating him. Beckett feels healthy for the first time in nearly two months, and has suggested that the time taken will allow him to contribute for the rest of the season without limitations.
  • Jason Heyward was activated by the Braves after spending time on the DL with a thumb injury. The injury prevented Heyward from participating in All-Star festivities over the earlier part of the week. He should now be back in both the Atlanta lineup and fantasy lineups going forward.
  • Two ugly pitching performances last night from Tim Wakefield and Kevin Slowey. Wakefield fell to 1-5 at home this season with a 6.63 ERA in nine starts. He allowed six earned runs last night in just two innings. Slowey allowed five runs on nine hits in three innings against the White Sox. Chicago now has 10 runs on 17 hits in 7.1 innings against Slowey this season.

Friday Notes

  • The Yankees have some tough numbers against James Shields. Mark Teixeira is 4-for-23 while Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson check in at 4-for-20 and 2-for-20 respectively. Jorge Posada is at .211 in 19 at-bats and Nick Swisher is only 2-for-14. Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter are the only regulars worth the start.
  • Numbers go the other way largely for the Rays against C.C. Sabathia. Only Carlos Pena looks to be a hold out given his .138 average in 29 at-bats. B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist give the best averages on the Rays in this matchup, but Jason Bartlett is no slouch at .289.
  • Gavin Floyd puts his impressive run on the line against the Twins. Floyd has allowed only seven earned runs in his last seven starts covering 50.1 innings of work. He is 3-1 in that stretch. Jason Kubel is a .360 hitter with three home runs in 25 at-bats while Denard Span is 8-for-14. Might want to look elsewhere other than these two, though. Even Delmon Young is just 3-for-14 and Michael Cuddyer is 4-for-20.
  • Do not look at Francisco Liriano's last three starts and say that he is regressing. Liriano has simply had no luck against the Tigers this season. His two recent losses are both at their hands. He sandwiched a strong seven inning outing against Tampa between them. Do take into account that he is 0-2 in his last four starts against the White Sox and has allowed 16 runs in his last 17 innings pitched against them.
  • Ichiro is hitting only .255 in 47 at-bats against Jered Weaver. Only Jose Lopez at .295 gets within a sniff of .300 and would be the only solid starting option for the Mariners. Weaver has struggled with his ERA against the Mariners, posting a 4.21 ERA in his last 13 starts, but he is 7-2 in that time. He is 1-0 against them this year and has not allowed an earned run in 14.1 innings.
  • Felix Hernandez has won his last four starts and has worked nine innings in four of his last five. That said, the Angels seem to have his number this season. In 11.1 innings against them this season, Hernandez has allowed four home runs and nine runs on 11 hits. Erick Aybar is just 4-for-23 and Howie Kendrick is only 3-for-23. Avoid Hideki Matsui and his .211 mark and Mike Napoli is not much better at only .238. Both Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter hit over .300 against King Felix.
  • Zach Duke will get the ball against Houston for his first start since June 16th. Duke has been sidelined with a strained elbow. He pitched well in two rehab starts and is 2-4 with a 3.25 ERA against Houston lifetime. Pedro Feliz is 1-for-11 against Duke while Lance Berkman is 6-for-24 and Carlos Lee is 7-for-26.
  • Nothing bad, but nothing great from the Padres against Dan Haren. Adrian Gonzalez has hit .286 in 35 at-bats, but has struck out 10 times. Chase Headley is only 6-for-24. Haren is just 2-3 on the road this season and has lost his last three decisions overall. Still, this is a good spot for him, as he is 3-0 in his last six starts at Petco Park.
  • Ricky Nolasco has won his last four starts and has struck out 34 batters in his last 28 innings of work. Nolasco has been up and down, no doubt about that, but the numbers indicate that he could have turned a corner here. Look to hold back Adam Dunn, who is only 3-for-17 against Nolasco with one career home run.
  • Spot Starts: Gonzalez, Hammel, Duke

Weekend Notes

  • Might be wise to avoid Carlos Pena against A.J. Burnett. Pena checks in at only 3-for-33 against the righty lifetime. B.J. Upton is only 7-for-35 with 15 strikeouts against Burnett as well. Otherwise, keep the usual suspects in the lineup. Burnett has pitched much better in his last two outings after a miserable June.
  • Edinson Volquez will get the ball for the Reds for the first time this season. He had pitched very well during his rehab stints after serving a 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs. Volquez will be worth watching in this one, and he is a solid second-half add for teams that could use a little pitching love.
  • Clayton Richard has allowed 11 runs in his last two starts, covering 11.2 innings. Richard had been one of the more steady pitchers that no one was paying attention to prior to this rough patch to start the month. This is a good spot to rebound. Batters are hitting only .226 against him at home this season.
  • Mark Buehrle has won five of his last six starts, allowing 10 runs in his last 33.2 innings of work. Michael Cuddyer has had 86 at-bats against Buehrle and has posted a .326 average with two home runs. Delmon Young is 8-for-24 with two home runs and Denard Span checks in at 11-for-24 with two home runs as well.
  • Joe Saunders is solid against his own division, but the wins usually come on the road and not at home. His numbers against Seattle are compelling. He is 8-1 in his last 12 starts against the Mariners with a 2.96 ERA in those starts. Jose Lopez is just 8-for-35 against Saunders and Milton Bradley is only 2-for-13.
  • Evan Longoria is only 2-for-18 with 10 strikeouts against Andy Pettitte, but he is the only Rays player that would represent a major issue. Ben Zobrist is 6-for-14 with two home runs. Jason Bartlett, Gabe Kapler, Carlos Pena, and Carl Crawford all have at least 20 at-bats and a .300 average against Pettitte.
  • The good news is that Nick Blackburn is 5-1 at home with a 3.72 ERA. The bad news is that even there he has given up 8 earned runs on 16 hits in his last 13.1 innings of work. Look to still avoid Paul Konerko given his .188 mark in 32 at-bats against Blackburn, but Alexei Ramirez and A.J. Pierzynski are both hitting over .400 against him. Carlos Quentin checks in at 7-for-19.
  • Andrew McCutchen is only 1-for-10 against Roy Oswalt and Ryan Doumit checks in at just 4-for-17. Even Oswalt should get some good fortune against the Pirates. He is 2-0 against Pittsburgh this season with a 1.13 ERA and .093 BAA.
  • Franklin Gutierrez is just 4-for-21 against Ervin Santana and Jose Lopez struggles as well, posting only a .222 average. Santana has had some tough luck to start the month. He has worked 16.1 innings in two starts and has allowed just five earned runs on 10 hits. He put up a win against Seattle in his last start where he gave up one run on seven hits over six innings.
  • Spot Starts: Mazzaro, Lowe, Cahill, Saunders, Richard

2011 MLB All-Star Game in Arizona: Bud Selig Making a Bad Situation Worse

July 16th, 2010

Look at the rosters for Major League Baseball's 2010 All-Star Game and you'll see a pretty glaring trend.

When all the shuffling due to player unavailability was done, the National League had 38 members and the American League had 39 for a grand total of 77 honorees.

Of those athletes, 26 came to the diamond from outside the United States of America:

Canada (2)—Justin Morneau, Joey Votto

Dominican Republic (13)—Jose Bautista, Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano, Fausto Carmona, Neftali Feliz, Rafael Furcal, Vladimir Guerrero, Ubaldo Jimenez, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Jose Valverde

Japan (1)—Ichiro Suzuki

Mexico (2)—Yovani Gallardo, Joakim Soria

Panama (1)—Mariano Rivera

Puerto Rico (1)—Yadier Molina

Taiwan (1)—Hong-Chih Kuo

Venezuela (5)—Elvis Andrus, Miguel Cabrera, Omar Infante, Victor Martinez, Martin Prado


That's over a third of the combined roster devoted to those with intimate ties to foreign lands and it doesn't include either Adrian Gonzalez or Alex Rodriguez. Both men were born in the States, but have obvious and public connections to the Latin-American community.

Considering these are the best the Show has to offer, it's undeniable that America's Pastime has become an immigrant affair.

Granted, it's always been such by the very nature of it being America's game, but that's a discussion for another place and time. The point is that the Bigs have an international flavor and it's only getting stronger.

Many of those names will be back in the Midsummer Classic next year and much of MLB's young talent hails from outside the Red, White, and Blue borders.

These bullet points on my Captain Obvious resume bear emphasizing because of the well-publicized debate surrounding the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, set to take place in Arizona.

The story is familiar by now—Arizona Senate Bill 1070 makes it clear that the State's police have the authority to stop anyone on reasonable suspicion of being an illegal immigrant and insisting on proof of legal residency. Right or wrong, this has ignited fears, particularly in the Latin-American community, of the potential for profiling in breach of long-recognized civil rights. The fear has touched off protests as well as public discussion at elevated volumes.

Consequently, all high-profile happenings in the Grand Canyon State have been swept up into the maelstrom.

This includes baseball's foremost exhibition of its glitterati, which means yet another hot potato has been lobbed onto the desk of commissioner Bud Selig.

That's never good.

True to form, Bud Lite has already begun to ham-hand the conundrum. The guy is shut a dolt and he's apparently getting more arrogant!


Before anyone gets too worked up, let me say this isn't about the actual implications of SB 1070—though I think it's a terrible piece of legislation, I'm extremely sympathetic to the plight faced by Arizona and other border States.

As a resident of San Francisco and California, I'm well-aware of the tragic and wasteful ramifications of illegal immigration.

A couple years ago, an illegal immigrant/member of MS 13 killed a father and his two sons with an assault rifle after a minor traffic confrontation in the City. Not only that, this should-be-human-surge-protector had previous brushes with the law as an illegal and still slipped through the system.

Meanwhile, the overall impact has a debilitating effect on our State's coffers. That's no small concern since Cali was already so broke last year that it's literally paying some of its obligations in IOUs.

It's high time the federal government got off its marble and mahogany duff to do something about the problem. Yet all we get is empty chatter that will only get emptier and louder as the next election cycle looms.

So I get the frustration, but the bill is bad if only because it creates an avenue of no-cost public suit against authorities as a means of encouraging enforcement. That's a cataclysmically bad idea for a country as litigious as ours.

Nevertheless, this really isn't about the politics of the situation—it's about staring at the oncoming iceberg and throwing more fuel into the boiler rather than changing course.

Again and again and again.

Return to the '10 rosters—26 are immigrants.

Gallardo, a native of Mexico, has already publicly stated he'd boycott the game if he were an All Star in '11.

In Amy Nelson's linked piece, you can see that the San Diego Padres' Gonzalez, who is a pillar of the Latino community in Saint Diego, has also done so. What's more, Adrian's Friar teammate, closer Heath Bell, had this to say:

"I wouldn't be surprised if I wouldn't go to stick up for my teammate...Sometimes you need to stick up for your friends and family."

Both Gonzo and Bell are U.S. citizens; along with el Chupacabra, all three are pretty safe bets to get the '11 All-Star call.

And what happens when the attitude spreads as it's bound to do inside a Major League clubhouse with its bunker mentality?

What is the notoriously backboned Selig going to do if a third of the ASG roster won't show for the game?

Select 20 or so replacements and then sell it as legitimate display of the game's best with the contest's popularity already wavering?

Try to force these men into service, which isn't something contract or constitutional law often condones?

Surely there will be those who are in total agreement with the spirit of the bill. Others will back away from the issue and take shelter behind the "this is baseball, not politics" barrier.

Both stances are perfectly fine for players. They are, after all, athletes and not elected officials—they're free their opinions or none at all.

However, the same cannot be said of Stinky and Major League Baseball as an institution. Not with this specific issue.

Slippery Selig is already trying to do the political backpedal, but he's gonna hit a wall.

Namely, the legacy of Jackie Robinson and the annual Civil Rights game.

This is most assuredly a civil rights issue—it's about whether a certain subsection of the population should be singled out for disparate treatment based on how they look, speak, or act. Furthermore, it directly influences the rights of many Major Leaguers and fans of the sport.

So it falls snugly into the one, small political sphere in which baseball has long-been a pioneer.

Nope, Buddy boy, there's no side-stepping this one.

Of course, there's no need because the solution is simple—move the game, tell everyone that is the neutral stance because it removes MLB from the issue, and announce the game will return to Arizona once the appropriate machinery has resolved the firestorm.

It's politically savvy, makes common sense, and avoids the inevitable collision of an unstoppable force with an immovable object.

Which means it's probably not gonna be the course of action taken by Bud Selig.


**Click here to learn more about the Paralyzed Veterans of America**


San Diego Padres: Unlikely N.L. West Division Leaders

July 15th, 2010

What on earth is going on down in San Diego? Most every baseball pundit predicted the Padres would be one of the worst teams in baseball and would likely be shipping off their best players at the trade deadline. Instead, the Padres are looking for a durable pitcher as well as a legitimate bat as they are trying to hold their division lead. Selling Adrian Gonzalez or Heath Bell to the highest bidder is not part of the equation that likely involves the team taking on more payroll in an attempt to compete right now.

Why they are winning is kind of a mystery. Their payroll is just over $38 million, the second lowest in MLB. The offseason commitment to adding talent was more geared toward building for the future rather than trying to win in the present. Yet somehow they are leading the NL West by two games at the break and Baseball Prospectus even gives them a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs .

With so many low expectations, where are the Pads exceeding those expectations and winning games they shouldn’t be winning? They only have one regular batting above .300 and three slugging above .400, so their bats are certainly not tearing things up.

Adrian Gonzalez leads the team in batting average, runs scored, home runs, runs batted in, on base percentage, and hits. His team lead in home runs is 10 and RBI is 24, so he’s carrying the offensive load where the rest are just simply spare parts.

Petco Park is well known for being a pitchers park and the team ERA certainly shows that. The team ERA is a MLB-leading 3.25, but the ERA in home games is 2.89. Opponents are hitting .238 against San Diego pitchers in all games and .228 in San Diego. These stats show that pitching is winning games for the Pads.

Injuries have more to do with a team’s successes as almost anything else, and the Padres have only been significantly hurt by the loss of starting pitcher Chris Young . Otherwise, the team has been pretty healthy, which is more than their division foes can say.

All four division rivals have had significant injury problems that have slowed their progress this season. Not that the injuries to their competition is the only reason for the Padres' success this season, but it is one factor. It is as much to their credit that they took advantage of those injuries to rise above their foes.

So what about the future? First baseman Adrian Gonzalez and closer Heath Bell would be welcome on any team in baseball. Starting pitcher Mat Latos is the real deal. Outfielder Kyle Blanks is blocked at his primary position by Gonzalez, but a bat like his will always find a spot in the lineup. Third baseman Chase Headley is starting to live up to expectations. But this team is rather thin after that. It just doesn’t appear to be a team built to win this year or any other in the near future, so don’t build up too many high expectations. The Padres are definitely a greater whole than the sum of their parts.

There once was a team of Padres
Whose players' offense was very passe
But their pitchers were stout
And their faith was devout
That in first place they could stay

Rick Milleman is the head fantasy baseball contributor at . Check his annual player projections included in the Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy to help draft your championship team.

San Diego Padres All-Star Break Assessment

July 14th, 2010

It's surprising enough that the San Diego Padres are all alone atop the National League West at baseball's midway point. Factor in the production and consider it without their presumed opening day ace, shortstop, and left fielder, and the feat is even more astounding.

At the All-Star break last year, the Padres were 20 games out of first place. Flash-forward to 2010 and the Padres have a two-game lead in the division.

The roster full of "no-names" has put together the NL's second-best record (51-37), and they have done it with their pitching behind a league's best earned run average (3.25).

After a superb spring training stint, Chris Young was all but slated to be the Padres ace this season. But a severe shoulder injury has kept him from throwing a single pitch this season, while also leaving the 6'10" righty's career in limbo.

When it comes to labeling a starting pitcher who has rose to the occasion in wake of Young's absence, one can nearly take their pick.

The 22-year-old Mat Latos has filled the biggest void.

Latos went from securing the fifth and final spot in the Friar rotation to wrap up spring training, to becoming the most efficient and effective starter during the first half of the season.

The power righty has carved his way to a 10-4 record, including an eighth-best ERA (2.45) and hearty numbers in WHIP (0.97), strikeouts (99), and a league-best opponent's batting average for starting pitchers (.193) in 106 2/3 innings pitched.

For more evidence in favor of his first All-Star appearance, look no further than his last 12 outings: 9-1, 1.45 ERA.

Another staple in the Padres rotation is Clayton Richard, the focal point of the Jake Peavy deadline deal last season. Peavy has been shut down for rest of the season due to a detached lat muscle, making the deal to acquire Richard and three other pitchers appear more and more like a favorable move.

Prior to the injury, Richard (6-4, 3.33 ERA, 90 strikeouts) had more than matched Peavy's (7-6, 4.63 ERA, 93 strikeouts) output.

The other three pitchers in the deal; Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell, and Dexter Carter, still reside in the Padres farm system, with Russell being the only piece with the possibility of cracking the big leagues in the second half.

With how vital the Padres starting pitching has been this season, it is difficult to give higher accolades to any other department than the bullpen.

Trailing the Padres after six innings is the last position opposing teams prefer to be in.

There are a couple reasons Petco Park stops selling alcoholic beverages after the seventh inning. The first, of course, is to assure the safety of fans on their commute home. The other reason is because manager Bud Black has Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams, and Heath Bell for seventh-through-ninth-inning duties.

There have been countless instances when Black could easily stretch Gregerson or Adams out into two innings of work, but Black has kept each reliever to their inning, religiously, and to say it has worked could be the understatement of the season.

Gregerson, the seventh-inning specialist, set a Padres team record for most consecutive batters retired by a reliever (26) and most consecutive batters faced without a walk by a reliever (110). He also leads all Major League relievers with a 12.75 strikeout/walk ratio.

Gregerson sets the table for Adams in the eighth frame, who leads the majors in holds with 22. Right behind him in second is Gregerson with 19. Both are on pace to shatter the all-time record of 36, held by Scott Linebrink and Tom Gordon.

If you manage to get through Gregerson and Adams unscathed, it doesn't get much easier at the end of the line, where Heath Bell looms.

Bell was awarded his second All-Star appearance in his second full season on the closing job. Bell ranks second in saves (24) and his 1.88 ERA and 11.74 strikeout-per-nine innings ratio are ideal closing numbers.

With the efficiency of the Padres starting staff, the bullpen hasn't been overworked so far and might just allow the relievers to hold up through the rest of the season.

In an act the Friar Faithful haven't seen in a few years, the Padres and first-year general manager Jed Hoyer will likely be buyers rather than sellers when the trade deadline nears.

One piece to the postseason puzzle could be another power source in the lineup.

Remember that Kyle Blanks guy?

He was the one penciled in cleanup position in the Opening Day lineup, anointed with the task of protecting Adrian Gonzalez, and it's safe to say his first full Major League campaign didn't go according to plan.

In 33 games Blanks hit .157 with three home runs and 46 strikeouts. He suffered a setback during a rehab assignment with Triple-A Portland in June. So far, surgery hasn't been discussed, but there's no indication of when he'll be sent back out on a rehab assignment.

Many were scratching their heads at the offseason Kevin Kouzmanoff trade, Hoyer's first big move as GM. But the two pieces acquired in that deal—Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham—along with the signing of Chris Denorfia, who also was in the Oakland A's organization, have served admirably in the Padres outfield.

Also penciled in that Opening Day lineup was shortstop Everth Cabrera. Cabrera he has missed a combined 42 games over two DL stints due to a lingering hamstring injury. The ceiling remains high for Cabrera, who appears healthy, and he could be an integral part of the Padres playoff push.

Less than 48 hours after signing Scott Hairston, San Diego signed his brother Jerry Hairston Jr. to a one-year contract. Fresh off a World Series stint with the Yankees, Hairston, despite seeing most his action at shortstop with the Cabrera injury, has super-utility qualities that have proved invaluable to the Padres success.

Last, but certainly not least, the Friar Faithful can rest assured. With a club in pursuit of their first division crown since winning consecutive titles in 2005-06, Adrian Gonzalez is not going anywhere.

Major League teams would be lined up all the way to Coronado to have a chance at owning a player of Gonzalez's caliber.

Yet, as long as the Padres keep winning games, behind timely hitting and solid pitching, the three-time All-Star and two-time gold glove winner, not to mention San Diego and Tijuana native, is staying put in a Padres uniform. For now, that is.

Crazy Fun Numbers, Stats and Projections From MLB’s First Half

July 13th, 2010

This article is a look at the fascinating numbers, unexpected performances, and season projections from the first half of Major League baseball's 109th season. 

.454 - Josh Hamilton's batting average in the month of June.

18 - Days the NL West leading San Diego Padres have spent out of first place. Since April 19, they have been in first place for 70 out of 74 days.

82 - The number of All-Stars this season. 

.143/.238/.286 - All-Star David Ortiz's batting line in April. Since May 1 it is .297/.420/.630

103 - Projected wins for the baseball's top team, the New York Yankees.

52-110 - Win/loss pace of the Baltimore Orioles after they ended the first half on a four game win streak. 

17 for 30 - The success rate of Oriole closers this year.

24 - Number of losses separating the Pittsburgh Pirates from their 18th consecutive losing season.  This would extend their own dubious, American professional sports record.

135 - League leading number of home runs smashed by the Toronto Blue Jays thus far (19 more then second place Boston).  The 1997 Seattle Mariners hold the single-season record with 264 home runs.  The Blue Jays could easily have eight players hit 20 or more home runs.  That would also be a major league record.

97-63 - The record of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves since they traded Jeff Francouer on July 10, 2020.

9.5 - Number of games out of first place the Chicago White Sox were on June 9.  Thirty-two days later, on the last day of the the season's first half, they moved into first place in the AL Central. 

.990 - Tigers' rookie sensation Brennen Boesch's OPS.  This would be the highest OPS posted by a rookie since some guy named Albert Pujols in 2001.  Giants rookie Buster Posey, who does not yet have enough plate appearances to qualify, currently has a .959 OPS.

4.46 - Runs per game during the season thus far, which would be the lowest since 1992.  1992 is also the most recent year with a ERA lower than this season's 4.16.

7  - Combined number of games separating first from second for the three divisions in both the American and National League. 

4.5 games - The largest division lead in baseball; held by the surprising Texas Rangers.

28 - Ubaldo Jimenez's projected win total, which would be the highest total since Denny McLain famously won 31 games in 1968. 

16 - Wins for the Atlanta Braves in their final at-bat.  (Read about them here —warning shameless self-promotion contained within)

2112 - League high number of pitches thrown by Diamondbacks ace Dan Haren.

16.8 - Strikeout per nine rate of Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol.

12 - The number of teams with payrolls lower than this year's combined salaries of Alex Rodriguez (33m), Derek Jeter (22.6m), and Mark Teixeira (20.6m).  The division leading Rangers, Padres and the wild-card leading Tampa Bay Rays are among them.

148 - Projected RBI total for Detroit's Miguel Cabrera.

5.3 - Wins above replacement (WAR) of Justin Morneau, the highest in baseball during the first half.  Josh Johnson and Roy Halladay lead all pitchers with a WAR of 4.9 each. 

-1.7 - Pedro Feliz's wins above replacement and the worst in all of baseball.

72.9mph - Average speed of Tim Wakefield's pitches, the lowest in baseball.  Jamie Moyer's pitches are 8.1 mph faster.

11 - Number of times the Cleveland Indians have drawn fewer then 12,000 fans this year.  They are last in the league in attendance.

8 - Number of home runs Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has already exceeded his career-high by (24 to 16).   

15.167 - Cliff Lee's strikeout to walk ratio.  The record is 11.0, set by Bret Saberhagen in 1994.

3 - Home runs Alex Rodriguez needs to hit in the second half to join Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr. in the 600 home run club. 

.152 - Carlos Pena's batting average if you subtract his 18 home runs from his hit total.  He's hitting .203 this year with a .738 OPS. 

20,500 - Average increase in attendance for the Washington Nationals during Stephan Strasburg's five home starts. 

61 - The highest number of strikeouts for any pitcher on the Washington Nationals.  The pitcher leading the team—Steven Strasburgh (a feat accomplished in only 42 2/3 innings).

26 - Number of players who have already stolen 15 or more bases in 2010. 

278 - League leading number of outs produced by the Mariner's Jose Lopez (Derek Jeter is second with 276 outs).  

1.055/.799 - Adrian Gonzalez's home/road OPS split in the first half.  For his career Gonzalez has produced an OPS 152 points higher on the road than at Petco Park.  Somebody needs to rescue this guy and allow him to be recognized as the major star he is.

1.29 - Josh Johnson's ERA since his third start of the season, a span of 16 starts. 

10 - Seasons Mariano Rivera will have recorded a sub-2.00 ERA if he maintains his 1.05 ERA.

15.9 - Percentage of pitches Bobby Abreu has swung at outside of the strike zone.  The percentage makes Abreu the hitter with the best batting eye in the game. 

.071 - The National League's batting average against Ubaldo Jimenez's fastball.

9,000,000 - Number of dollars the normally cash-strapped Tampa Rays are paying Pat Burrell not to play for them this season. 

103.5 - Percentage of seats sold at Philadelphia Phillie home games this season. I'm not sure how this is possible. 

228 - Mark Reynolds' projected season strikeout total after fanning 122 times in the first half.  This total would break Reynolds' own record of 223, set just last year, and give Reynolds 663 strikeouts in the last three seasons. That's more then Albert Pujols has in his entire career.

74 plus playoffs (if applicable) - Number of games left in the career of Hall of Fame Braves manager, Bobby Cox.  Cox has announced this will be his final season on the bench.  He is baseball's longest tenured manager at 21 years.

3 - Number of perfect games we should acknowledge and remember as being hurled in first half of 2010.

Also if you had the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, and San Diego Padres leading their divisions at the midway point of the season, please post some stock picks in the comments, you're a prophet.

Thanks for reading.  Enjoy the second half.

Please feel free to post one of the thousands of other fascinating stats from the first half which I overlooked.


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