Bobby Colton

Week That Was

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Is Josh The Best in Baseball?

Saturday, May 12, 2012



Josh Hamilton: Tuesday was a really good day for Josh Hamilton.  He didn’t just go 5-5.  He didn’t just score four runs.  He didn’t just knock in eight runs.  Josh Hamilton homered four times against the Orioles. Hamilton is arguably the best player in the Major Leagues, with Matt Kemp the only real threat to that title.  However, the impending free agent has his off-field issues that could give teams pause when pursuing him this off-season.  Will a team like, say Matt Kemps’ Dodgers, who has a brand new owner with tons of money and a gaping hole in left field where Josh Hamilton can play and potentially lengthen his career by decreasing his chances of injury, pursue Hamilton when the night life of LA could tempt the slugger?  Something for baseball fans to think about while Hamilton leads the Triple Crown in the AL.



Albert Pujols:  The man who used to be the best player in baseball finally connected with his first homerun of the season Sunday.  Obviously you aren’t going to sell Pujols, but that .198 average is so hard to look at.  A possible silver lining is Pujols’ seven RBI in nine games this month.  Of course, Pujols has just five hits this month and is hitting a paltry .147 in May, but who knows, maybe he’ll turn it around soon.  For what it’s worth, Pujols has never had a month where he hit below .200 in his illustrious career.



Andres Torres:  Torres has been unconscious since coming off the DL, hitting safely in nine of ten games, plating eight runs, scoring another seven, and adding both a homer and a steal.  Obviously Torres is going at an unsustainable rate -- just take a look at 2010, where after hitting .284 through August, Torres was just 11 for his last 67.  With the Mets also going at an unsustainable rate, this might be the time to sell high on the man who hit just .221 last season and turned 34 in January.



Brandon Snyder:  All Snyder does is hit when he’s in the lineup.  Monday night Snyder picked up three hits and brought home six runs, which is one more than Jeff Francoeur has knocked in this season in 111 at bats.  Snyder doesn’t play enough to warrant an add quite yet in most leagues, he has just 10 at bats this month, but if a corner infielder or outfielder ends up on the DL for the Rangers, Snyder will quickly become a must-own commodity.


Will Middlebrooks:  Middlebrooks is hitting .323, but there is almost no chance he can keep it up.  In fact, five of his 10 hits came in a two game span from May 6 to 7, as well as all three of his homers and all nine of his RBI.  Someone is going to give up a lot for Middlebrooks, but the fact of the matter is that when Kevin Youkilis returns, Middlebrooks won’t have a defined role on the Red Sox.  Since Middlebrooks hasn’t played anything but third base in his minor league career and David Ortiz is entrenched as the DH, Middlebrooks may well end up back in AAA sooner rather than later.


Danny Valencia:  I’m not sure how long the Twins can keep running Valencia out at third base and I’m fairly sure you can’t afford to keep him in your lineup.  The 27 year old has gone 0-for-May, drawing just one walk and plating a single run with a groundout.  The best part? Valencia and his .204 OBP hit 6th for the Twins on Friday.  Wow.


David Robertson:  Breaking News: David Robertson is not Mariano Rivera.  But then again, no one is or ever has been on par with Mariano Rivera.  Robertson locked down his first save opportunity, despite allowing a hit and two walks.  His second opportunity was miserable, allowing four runs on three hits and a walk.  Don’t panic.  Robertson hadn’t allowed a run since August 29th, when J.J. Hardy took him deep.  Before that it was July 24th, when Hideki Matsui and Kurt Suzuki both knocked in runs off of him.  Robertson will be fine.  He needs to get comfortable in his new role, and the press sure isn’t making it easy on him, comparing him to Rivera all the time.  How would you like to step into the shoes of the best ever at anything?  Bottom line, if an owner is dumb enough to sell on Robertson, be the genius that picks him up.



Cole HamelsCole Hamels didn’t make very many friends this week when he plunked super-phenom Bryce Harper.  To top it all off, Hamels admitted, “I was trying to hit him…I’m not going to deny it.”  Unsurprisingly, Hamels was slapped with a five game suspension.  Back to baseball, Hamels remains one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues, despite playing third fiddle behind Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.  Subtracting a rough first start, Hamels has a 2.06 ERA, and a 1.93 ERA in May.  Hamels shouldn’t be undervalued in leagues, as he is just the pitcher Halladay and Lee are.



Carlos Zambrano:  Zambrano has been undoubtedly the best off-season addition thus far for the Marlins.  Big Z fired nine shutout innings against the Astros on Monday, giving him 16 shutout innings in May.  Zambrano has been an elite starter in the past, and if he keeps his head on straight there’s really no reason he can’t have success this year.  He won’t post a sub-2.00 ERA all year, but it seems like a good time to buy on the crazy right-hander.



Josh Beckett:  Beckett missed his start on Saturday, played golf on the team’s off day, and proceeded to get shelled by the Indians, allowing seven runs in 2.1 innings. Needless to say, Red Sox Nation is none too pleased with the starter.  Beckett has been as miserable as the rest of the Red Sox rotation, and while he may well turn it around and become the pitcher who posted a 2.89 ERA last season, this year he looks more like the 5.78 ERA pitcher he was in 2010.  It’s too early to cut Beckett, but benching him could be advisable.

 

Of course, before concluding, we have to hear what Schultz Says:  “Every so often, it's fun to give Colton the ability to add "that's what the T in SMART stands for" to the end of the column. Since I'm in that type of this mood this week, let's talk about the Chicago White Sox shall we? Setting aside what goes on in Dusty Baker's mind with respect to Aroldis Chapman and what passes for logic from Ozzie Guillen, figuring out what exactly is going on with the Pale Hose may be baseball's biggest exercise in futility. From a simple roto-standpoint, Gordon Beckham, Brent Morel and Dayan Viciedo refuse to live up to their potential as if they were 6-year-old children being told to go to bed; Philip Humber has followed up his perfect game with whatever would qualify as the polar opposite of a perfect game and the closer situation has been a game of hot potato, only the potato is a meatball being hurled in the 9th inning. That the Sox are hovering near .500 and sit only 2 1/2 games behind the FIRST PLACE CLEVELAND INDIANS similarly defies logic. 


Most troubling with the Sox has been their handling of Chris Sale. Over the past seven days, the Sox moved their best starter not named Jake Peavy to the bullpen to be their closer due to worries about pain in his left elbow, inserted him in the 8th inning of a game with the FIRST PLACE CLEVELAND INDIANS, watched him implode in that game against the FIRST PLACE CLEVELAND INDIANS, sent him for an MRI, endured the criticism from Sale's agent over the order of pitching and MRI and then moved him back to the starting rotation. If you don't think this is going to have an effect on the 23-year-old, think again.

 
Josh Hamilton? Can we all just agree that barring injury, he and Matt Kemp are clearly hitting 80 home runs apiece and driving in 200 runs? We can. Good. Let's move on.

 
I remember when The Week That Was was the weather column as all it talked about was catching lightning in bottles. When did we become the financial column with all this talk of buying and selling? Did we get Jim Cramer to sponsor us? If so, where's my Mad Money money?

 
Since this is the only column of the year my mother reads (she wants to see if I mention her), I will finish by being a good son. Happy Mother's Day Mrs. Schultz. (Yes, Mrs. Schultz - despite that name I'm often called, my parents were and are married).”

 

Glenn Colton’s response:  Enjoy the Indians’ success while it lasts.  The financial/weather stuff is pretty funny, well played.  Most importantly, of course, I agree – Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there (especially to those in the Colton family!)




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