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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

AND A BOTTLE OF RUM
The Lads pulled out a nice one yesterday, winning a game where the Bucs started their best pitcher -- and one that was throwing a good game. Legs giveth and Legs taketh away, but in this case Legs giveth more, with a nice little just-barely double to knock in the winning runs.

John Lackey tries his luck in a few moments. Lackey has put two straight good starts together, allowing 5 runs in 15 innings, striking out 10 and only walking 3 with a mere 1 home run allowed. If he can do it again -- and he should be able to against the Pirate offense -- that would give the club three consecutive good starts, which is unheard of this season ...

... The LA Times reports on the possibility that David Eckstein may have to spend time on the disabled list. I wrote him off on May 13. This makes me, of course, a natural born moron.

On May 13, Eck was hitting 220/281/246. In the last month, he has raised that line to 300/355/360, which reminded me of something someone once said:

David Eckstein will bounce back in 2004.

His career line is a 279/350/360, and I believe he will perform close to this in the coming season, and will make his injury-riddled 2003 a distant memory.

This stab at logic comes from me in my very first post. The lesson? Don't be a reactionary fool six weeks into the season.

Well, that part about making 2003 a distant memory may not come to fruition with Eckstein facing more potential DL time. And his sorry replacement is Alfredo Amezaga, he of the 153/206/153 line. I've learned my lesson, I'm not overreacting this time ... but Amezaga is no solution at all. Okay, he's a better hitter than this, but career line stands at 215/272/299, and I don't think he's much better than that.

Is it any accident then that the Times jumps from Eckstein coverage to McPherson coverage? Dallas McPherson is hitting a robust 333/415/703 at Arkansas. He does strike out a lot -- 65 times in 246 at bats -- but he also draws a fair amount of walks (34).

In nearly 100 games at AA between last year and this, McPherson has put up these numbers:

AB -- H -- 2B -- 3B -- HR -- SO -- BB -- AVG/OBP/SLG
348 - 118 - 26 -- 8 -- 25 -- 90 -- 53 -- 328/421/664


We have recently seen the danger of jumping from AA to the majors ... but, defense and strikeouts aside, does it look like the man has anything else to prove at AA?

Comments:
Nah, Amezaga is NOT the answer; he's strictly Mark Belanger material. Too bad about Eck; he was really lighting a fire at the top of the lineup.

In that article about McPherson, they say he's not ready for MLB, but that the question is when to send him to AAA. I'm actually excited by the potential team 2 years down the road: Kotch (I think he's the deal, just needs more seasoning) at 1b, McPherson at 3B and Mathis at C, plus some good pitching prospects.
 
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