Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Notes: MY MVP talk, Andrus' new spikes
By Richard Durrett
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- We looked at Michael Young's numbers and posed the question this morning on the blog, noting that he belongs in the AL MVP discussion, though he's a notch behind Curtis Granderson in terms of the numbers (Granderson leads in runs scored, RBIs, extra-base hits, and his second in home runs).
The topic came up during the media's pregame meeting with manager Ron Washington. And the skipper believes Young warrants consideration.
"As far as I'm concerned, he's the MVP on this team and it could be in the league," Washington said. "He's certainly been the most valuable player for us. I don't get a vote on it, but if I had to vote on it, he'd get my vote. He has to be a strong candidate."
Young is batting .340, second in the league to Adrian Gonzalez. He has 35 doubles (tied for fourth), 165 hits (second to Gonzalez), 85 RBIs (tied for fourth) and 49 multi-hit games (third). And as we documented this morning, according to Elias Sports Bureau's "late-inning pressure" stat, which measures players in the seventh-inning or later of close games with run-scoring opportunities, he's batting .380 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 50 at-bats. In other words: He's been clutch.
"He's certainly stepped up for us," Washington said. "When we needed someone to step up for us in that fourth slot when Beltre went down, he did it. He's taken a strong hold. He's had great at-bats, battled for his at-bats, had great hits and takes nothing for granted. He's special."
Washington said Young looks stronger and attributes some of that to the fact that he isn't in the field every day. But he believes Young would be hitting well no matter where he was playing.
"He just knows how to hit," Washington said. "I just feel like his legs have stayed under him better this year because he hasn't had the grind of 150 games in the field."
* Elvis Andrus took some ribbing from his teammates about slipping and falling between second and third base twice on Tuesday. Andrus said there was some moisture around the second-base bag, which caused one of the falls. The other one, he said, was because he lost balance. But the falls forced Andrus to get some new spikes (Ian Kinsler, apparently, convinced him of that need as well). So he's going to go with a new pair tonight.
* Andrus said he saw replays of that ridiculous play he made last night, throwing from the ground and nearly starting a double play. "It was lucky," said Andrus, smiling. "It would have been awesome to turn it."
* Yorvit Torrealba is catching tonight and is expected to catch again tomorrow. Mike Napoli is in as the DH.