In today’s notebook, we look at the starters in SacTown, Mark Ellis’ knickerbockers, Coco’s quick walk and the ‘pen.
Identifying the Lamar Odom of Oakland’s staff
Pterodactyl wasn’t on his A-game yesterday against the White Sox in the 4-3 loss. He usually sits at about 89-90 mph but was around 86-87. Still, Ozzie and Buehrle were loving the Pterodactyl’s stuff. It looks like he never throws anything straight. Last June, I asked him about controlling his ball movement.
“It’s kind of a thing that comes with experience,” Pterodactyl said. “I haven’t been throwing the sinker for too long — I started in the Minor Leagues a year in. I can kind of add and subtract, but sometimes I still don’t know which way it’s going — running or sinking.”
He didn’t look comfortable on the mound yesterday. It seemed like he was shaking his arm out more than usual. Also, TV cameras cut to him for a few seconds in the bottom of the 7th and he was flexing his elbow and wiggling his fingers. I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but it looked kind of funny. Sounds like he’s fine, though.
Now that Braden is gone for an extended period of time, who is the organization’s No. 6 starter? It’s not Vin Mazzaro, who was recently called up to Kansas City to fill in for the injured Bruce Chen. Mazzaro made his season debut for the Royals on May 11, giving up two earned runs on six hits and four walks over four innings against the Yankees. He will
start pitch tonight against Cleveland. UPDATE
The A’s No. 6 starter could quite possibly be Graham Godfrey. He looks like this year’s candidate for Random Triple-A Pitcher Who Gets a Couple Starts Due To Injury Award. Oakland seems to have a different one of those guys every season.
Godfrey, 26, missed his last start but is listed as tonight’s probable starter. He’s 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a K/BB ratio of 34/8 in 33 1/3 innings of work this year. The righty has made six starts, including five in Sacramento.
Josh Outman is a wild man (K/BB ratio of 27/24) but he tossed six scoreless innings in his last start on May 11. He’s allowed four earned runs over his last three outings (16 IP) but still has a 5.28 ERA. Bobby Cramer looks like he’s just getting stretched out, as Friday’s 5 1/3 innings effort was his longest in four starts for the RiverCats.
UPDATE: Outman is now listed as Sacramento’s starter for tonight, so I assume Godfrey is still out with his undisclosed injury.
Also, I was looking at more stats and realized I completely overlooked Travis Banwart. The 25-year-old righty is 1-2 with a 2.93 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. He has a K/BB ratio of 31/11 in 40 innings and has been the team’s most consistent pitcher. He looks the best right now.
To high sock or not to high sock?
Back in the day, the A’s always used to mess around with their high socks. While Zito and Bobby Crosby always had their stockings showing, other players like Chavvy, Miggy and T. Long used to go back and forth.
Ellis is keeping the tradition alive. After batting .176 through May 4, Ellis switched to high socks on Cinco de Mayo. Initially, it worked, as he went 4-for-10 in his next three starts. But despite his three-hit performance yesterday, Ellis is batting .194 this year.
Ellis is a key clubhouse figure, the longest-tenured player on the team and his defense is sick. His play on Adam Dunn down the right field line was redonkulous. But he better turn his bat around soon, because Jemile Weeks and Adrian Cardenas are knocking at the door. Weeks is batting .327 and Cardenas is batting .361.
What excites me so much about Weeks is that he has a good eye. He has a BB/K ratio of 19/22, way better than Ellis’ of 4/23. What’s interesting about Cardenas is that he spent his entire career in the infield before this year, but has 14 starts in LF, 14 as a DH and 7 as a 3B in 2011.
Ellis is the man, but if he’s not over the Mendoza line by July, the A’s should consider trading him or buying him out and calling up Weeks or Cardenas. Chances are Bobby G the utilitarian would prefer Adam Rosales or Andy LaRoche over Ellis.
Perhaps if Jerry Blevins didn’t go loco on an innocent ball boy on Cinco de Mayo, he would still be with Oakland. During that contest against Cleveland, an A’s ball boy tried to throw a ball into the crowd, but Blevins jumped up and yoinked it from mid-air.
Blevins would eventually toss it to the fans himself, but still, come on. Not to mention he’s 6-5. Blevins was so stoked he gave a fist pump afterwards.
Trystan Magnuson, whom the A’s called up to replace Blevins, earned a promotion to the best job ever in yesterday’s game. With Kurt Suzuki DH’ing and Landon Powell catching, Magnuson was pressed into backup bullpen catching duties when the A’s had two pitchers warming up.
- Adding to the notion Buehrle is one of the quickest workers in the league: Coco Crisp’s four-pitch walk in the third inning only took 31 seconds. A.J. Pierzynski even tossed a dirty ball to the dugout in that time. Thirty-one seconds is like one pitch in Papi time.
- eBm has cursed Daric Barton. On April 17, when he was hitting .264, I said I thought he would make a run at .300. Since then, he’s hit .181 and is batting just .213 overall. He’s yet to hit a home run this year, while his 9 RBIs rank 42nd among 1B-eligible players in my fantasy baseball league.
- Why isn’t Godzilla playing?
- I prefer Koooooooooouuuuuuuuzzzzzzzz over LaRoche any day. Get some power in there.
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