"All of a sudden, Barry Zito is Oakland's 4th starter. Consider these numbers from their most recent starts:
Mark Mulder touched every number on the radar gun from 69 to 95 mph.
Tim Hudson touched every number from 78 to 95.
Rich Harden touched every number from 82 to 99.
So how, as a hitter, do you time and square anything? Ask the pitchers and they give a great deal of credit to the game's most underrated catcher, Ramon Hernandez. When the all-star ballots were distributed, the A's pitchers asked the players to all vote for Hernandez because of the way he handles them.
How good? In his last two starts, Ted Lilly has been banned from shaking off Hernandez. Result? Two good starts."
I'll take a number four starter with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP any day. What is troubling about Zito is his K's are down and his walks are up. Other than that, he's suffered from the same problem that Tim Hudson has: Lack of run support.
Baseball's Sad Lexicon
These are the saddest of possible words: "Tinker to Evers to Chance." Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance. Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, Making a Giant hit into a double- Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble: "Tinker to Evers to Chance."
I have a funny feeling the A's will pass the M's (or maybe more accurately, the M's will slip), but Boston will be on the outside looking in. I'd prefer the Evil Empire sitting at home in October, but I doubt that happening.
Braving the horror show that is Comicon. We're not set up, but we'll be around all weekend.
Harden is the Real Deal. For a guy who went 13 innings perfect in Double A to great performance in Triple A with 9-4 record and starred in AS-Futures game, he took a giant step to the majors. The fact he didn't start pitching until he was in college.
A's got plenty of more pitchers in the minors. Bill Komine and Bill Murphy to name a few. I don't think John Rheinecker is any good. The guy has no control and gets nail with hits and runs bad. Surprise he got promoted to Triple A. CF Nick Swisher, 1B Dan Johnson, SS Bobby Crosby, and 1B Graham Koonce should be look for the offense as members of future A's.
It's Funny because Zito beat on teams like the Tigers last year, I can't remember where I have seen it(maybe ESPN?), but Zito numbers against good teams weren't all that great. I like Zito but he is overrated, probably because he is such a character, and a lefty. Mulder and Hudson are better pitchers as of now, Harden looks great but let's not give him the Ben Mcdonald(HOF to be!) rookie treatment.
1. I have no idea what you mean when you say "in terms of an overall baseball player". Mauer had a monster hitting season in '09, but we have no idea if he can keep that up. I give A-Rod the edge in offensive production in previous years.