SweetSpot: Jaff Decker
April, 20, 2011
By David Schoenfield | ESPN.com
Before we do some links, here's my chat wrap from today.
- The Common Man over at The Platoon Advantage has a good take on the Colby Lewis situation. Lewis missed a start last week while on paternity leave, and now he's drawn some fire for missing his turn. Meanwhile, Baseball Time In Arlington is more worried about Lewis' mediocre results so far.
- It's About the Money is worried about Joe Girardi overusing the bullpen -- Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain have appeared in 10 of the Yankees' 15 games already. Joe Torre had a similar problem at times (most notoriously in 2004, when Tom Gordon and Paul Quantrill were gassed by October) and Brian Cashman recently criticized Torre for this. It was Rivera's fifth appearance in seven days but he hadn't pitched the day before and he'd only thrown 51 pitches over the four previous games. I don't think he was tired; he just got hit. But look at Rivera's saves so far:
--March 31: Saved 6-3 win against Detroit.
--April 2: Came on with two outs, two on 10-6 lead against Detroit, with Miguel Cabrera up.
--April 4 and 7: Saved 4-3 wins against Minnesota.
--April 13: Another low-leverage save in a 7-4 against Baltimore, but he hadn't pitched in six days.
--April 14: Got the win pitching the top of the 10th against Baltimore.
--April 16: Saved a 5-2 win against Texas.
--April 17: Saved a 4-3 win against Texas.
So four of his seven saves have come in low-risk environments. I'm with It's About the Money on this one ... Girardi needs to show some faith in some of the relievers. Chamberlain is on pace for 108 innings and Rivera 100. Rivera pitched fewer than 70 innings the past two seasons and hasn't pitched 80 since 2001.
- The Mariners aren't much fun to watch this season, but Jim Caple reports that bartender-turned-reliever Tom Wilhelmsen is one guy to root for.
- On ESPN Insider, Dan Szymborski separates the flukes from reality when looking at hot and cold starts.
- With Victor Martinez sidelined, Eric Karabell suggests taking a look at Alex Avila for your fantasy catching options. Lots of other good stuff on Eric's blog, as always.
- Nick's Twins Blog reports that things are looking grim in Minnesota.
- Great video of Mets third baseman David Wright playing catch with fans before a game.
- Buster Posey’s sister, Samantha, hit a home run cycle. Very cool.
- Bryce Harper is hitting .231/.333/.333 so far, with 12 K's in 39 at-bats. Mike Trout is tearing up Double-A, hitting .304/.396/.630. I own Jaff Decker in one of my keeper leagues and I couldn't help but notice his .422/.544/.889 line in Double-A for the Padres, with 12 of his 19 hits going for extra bases. Right now, it's Jaff's world and we're all just living in it. Follow David Schoenfield on Twitter at @dschoenfield. Follow the SweetSpot blog at @espn_sweet_spot.