By Ted Keith
April 10, 2009
MLB Power Rankings
11 Minnesota Twins
Last Week: --
Glen Perkins: 1.12 ERA.
Is Perkins as good a pitcher as Bob Gibson? Probably not, but he does have a 1.12 ERA, which is the same total Gibson posted in his magical 1968 season. Of course, Perkins has made one start and pitched eight innings. Gibson made 34 starts and pitched 304.2 innings that year. It's likely this comparison becomes even more ridiculous when Perkins makes his next start. Let's just move on.
12 St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: --
Chris Carpenter: 0.00 ERA.
Carpenter took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Pirates on Thursday, looking very much like the Cy Young winner he was in 2005 and nothing like the broken down pitcher he was in 2007 and 2008 when made just five starts combined. Well, he looked that way to most of us, but his teammates had never seen anything like it. Only two players in yesterday's lineup -- Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina -- were with the team when he got his most recent win: Game 3 of the 2006 World Series.
13 Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: --
Tony Clark: 2.500 OPS.
You have to feel for Clark. The 36-year-old slugged two home runs on Opening Day in a win over the Rockies but hasn't been back in the lineup since then. If he ever gets back in the lineup, he should soon pass his '08 home run total of three, which took him 108 games to reach.
14 Chicago White Sox
Last Week: --
Alexei Ramirez: .000.
Ramirez has more zeroes in his batting line than he does in his contract (although, given that he's making $1,111,666, he doesn't have any zeroes). He has literally done nothing in his first three games: no runs, no hits, no doubles, no triples, no home runs, no RBIs, no walks, no total bases, no sacrifice hits, no hit by pitch, no grounded into double play, no reached on error.
15 Toronto Blue Jays
Last Week: --
Roy Halladay: 6.43 ERA.
Normally, saying "Doc" Halladay is usually sick is meant in the best way possible. But when he takes the mound for his second start of the year, he'll see something that's truly ill: his ERA. Halladay got roughed up on Opening Day, giving up five earned runs in seven innings to the Tigers and leaving himself with a 6.43 ERA (the highest at any point in his career since another Opening Day start five years ago, when the same Tigers team knocked him around and left him with a 8.10 ERA). Even that wasn't his worst season debut: when he came back to the Blue Jays in midseason 2001 after a demotion to the minors, he got raked for six earned runs in just 2.1 IP for a 23.14 ERA.
16 Florida Marlins
Last Week: --
Emilio Bonifacio: .571/.600/.929.
The 23-year-old Bonifacio has already had quite the eventful major league career. He's been traded twice, fought to win a starting job this spring at a position he had never played in the big leagues before, and on Opening Day did something that was last done by a Hall of Famer 40 years ago. Oh, and the Marlins are still unbeaten.
17 Baltimore Orioles
Last Week: --
Nick Markakis: .500/.538/.900.
It's been quite an off-season for Markakis. First, he signed a six-year, $66.1 million contract in January, then he and his wife celebrated the birth of their first child in March. After that, opening the season by leading your team to a series win against your hometown club -- Markakis was born on Long Island -- is merely icing on the (crab)cake.
18 Milwaukee Brewers
Last Week: --
Yovani Gallardo: .500 average, 2.000 slugging percentage.
I wrote a story this spring about how valuable Gallardo would be as the Brewers new ace, but I don't think anyone was counting on him to be their new slugger, as well. He beat the Giants on Wednesday by giving up just two runs over 6.2 innings, but the big shock was his go-ahead two-run home run (off Randy Johnson, no less) that came after an intentional walk to the No. 8 hitter in front of him. Gallardo's home run is one of only two on the year for the Brewers.
19 Oakland Athletics
Last Week: --
Eric Chavez: .154 average.
Chavez played just 23 games last season due to back and shoulder injuries, so having him back in the lineup at all should be considered a success. Still, he's a far cry from the offensive player he once was, having not batted above .280 since 2003 or slugged higher than .500 since 2004.
20 Colorado Rockies
Last Week: --
Aaron Cook: 23.14 ERA.
Cook wasn't the only ace to be, well, cooked in his debut, but his was especially noteworthy. His 2.1 IP outing against the Diamondbacks, in which he gave up six earned runs, was the second-shortest of his career. The only one shorter came on August 7, 2004, when he left after two innings because of dizziness that was later attributed to a blood clot that kept him off a big-league mound for almost a full year.
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