Three Up, Three Down
OK, it's a bit soon to mention
Volquez employs a circle change grip, resting the ball almost entirely on his middle and ring fingers:
After setting hitters up with a mid-90s fastball, Volquez breaks off the low 80s changeup, which features a biting, screwball action. Since he throws both pitches from the exact same arm slot, it's pretty much unfair.
Although Great American Ballpark will certainly give Volquez some trouble in the coming years, he has yet to allow a homer over his first 25.1 innings in the bandbox.
These numbers must make
A growing number of Royals fans believe Soria should be a starter, but that chat-room banter is senseless. No matter what some pundits claim, a shutdown closer is invaluable. Keep that
Through 24 home games, Tampa Bay has the worst home-attendance average in the American League at 18,445. Granted, three of these "home" contests took place in Champion Stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex (which can only hold about 12,000), but the numbers are still upsetting. The Rays just took three of four games from the mighty Yankees to vault into first place, but only 71,402 fans showed up to experience the excitement -- that's an average of 17,851 a night.
"We're starting to win some ballgames, but at the same time I don't think anyone is satisfied with what we're getting right now," center fielder
The fans that do show up to the stadium seem to create a ruckus, relatively speaking, but I have one request: less cowbell.
I understand that it's depressing to spend a fine Florida day in a dome, but the ballclub has proposed a state-of-the-art facility for the near future. For the time being, the dome is home. It has air conditioning, right?
By locking up a number of players long term, this ballclub is finally making a true commitment to St. Petersburg. It's time for the citizenry to return the favor.
So what gives?
San Diego has the worst record in baseball. The defending NL champion Rockies are only a half game better.
The league's only encouraging team is Arizona, which entered Friday's action with the best record in baseball at 26-15. But this mark may be deceiving, as the Diamondbacks have cleaned up against divisional opponents. Against NL West teams, Arizona is 20-5. Against the rest of the National League: 6-10. Last weekend the D'backs traveled to Wrigley Field for a supposed matchup between two top World Series contenders. The Cubs unexpectedly broke out the brooms, holding Arizona to seven runs in the three-game sweep.
Carmona owns an astronomical 1.64 WHIP and a completely backwards K:BB ratio of nearly 1:2 (35 walks and 18 strikeouts). This is a far cry from his '07 marks: 1.21 WHIP, 137 punchouts and 61 bases on balls. Carmona's saving grace has been an MLB-high 15 ground-ball double plays. But as heavy as that sinker may be, Fausto won't always be able to pull a 6-4-3 out of a hat. If he doesn't get his peripherals under control, Carmona's ERA will definitely balloon in the near future. And nobody wants to see Fausto return to his yucky 2006 form. Eww.
• Twins rightfielder
• Continuing with the theme of jaw-dropping plays, Nationals outfielder
• If Rockies hurler
• Even though he's hitting .182 with just two homers,