I suppose Quentin may actually be a slightly better choice at No. 3, but all things considered, Rios is fine for the three hole. The book says a team’s No. 3 hitter should actually be filled by its fifth-best hitter, and Rios is right in that range. Mainly, it’s good Konerko’s production won’t be wasted on hitting third-he’s much better suited to hit fifth behind Dunn.
Overall, these five players combined for 62% of the relief innings in 2010, but the damage done by other pitchers getting significant action was hard to overcome. Henry Rodriguez (4.55 ERA in 27 2/3 innings), Boof Bonser (5.09, 23), Tyson Ross (5.12, 31.2) and Chad Gaudin (8.83, 17.1) accounted for 23% of the relief innings last season, and when almost a quarter of your bullpen innings are that bad, it makes it hard for a team to stay in games when the offense isn’t playing well.
So, two things to watch for with Owens this spring: if he’s able to hit the ball with authority and if he’s able to be patient and get on base a lot. If he can’t do those two things, he still may win the starting centerfield job, but he won’t be any kind of a long-term solution.
With postseason hopes hanging on every pitch, Danks delivered with a masterful, eight-inning shutout performance in which he allowed just two hits, three walks, and struck out four. He struck out AL batting champ Joe Mauer twice. He held Carlos Gomez and Denard Span, who came up so big for the Twins last week in Minneapolis, hitless. Possible AL MVP Justin Morneau? Not a chance. He went 0-3 against Danks, who looked unhittable for much of the game.
25. Chicago Cubs – It will be interesting to see if the Cubs make any significant moves on the free agent market this offseason to close the gap between the top and bottom of the NL Central.
My research came up with interesting managerial facts. In 2006, sale jerseys manager Ozzie Gillen sent a young pitcher back to the minor leagues because he failed to properly retaliate after the Texas Ranger pitcher had twice hit Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
Adam Dunn, Gordon Beckham, Brent Morel or Mark Teahen, and Alex Rios were thought to be the guys that would put the southsiders among the best in the American league.
I find it interesting to see that the 1921-22 New york Yankees made the list. When they acquired Babe Ruth from the Red Sox, a baseball fan’s first thought after all the home runs and the “House that Ruth Built” is that the Yankees immediately dominated major league baseball in the Roaring Twenties after that ill-fated trade by Boston.