Five Up, Five Down (cont.)
Posted: Friday May 18, 2007 1:49PM; Updated: Friday May 18, 2007 2:15PM
I. Marlins' sophomore arms: The Fish made history last season as the first major league team to boast four rookie pitchers with at least 10 wins. But this quartet's sophomore showing has left much to be desired. Let's break it down.
Three of these four young'uns have already made trips to the DL. Does this suggest the Fish pushed the quartet too hard last season?
II. Kei Igawa pin day: The New York Post paid tribute to the Yankees' biggest offseason acquisition this week, unveiling an exclusive Igawa pin as part of its weekly New York Yankees pin series. Unfortunately, the $46 million man (including posting fee) currently plays for the Tampa Yankees, not the New York Yankees. Igawa, who posted a 7.63 ERA in six games with the Bronx Bombers before being sent to the minors, is earning his keep as an extremely well-paid single-A ace.
III. Cardinals power outage: The punchless Cards are tied with the Nationals for fewest homers in the majors with 18. At this point last year, Albert Pujols had 19 jacks on his own.
IV. Jeremy Sowers: Ranking Sowers as Cleveland's No. 2 prospect in 2006, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook said, "Growing up, Sowers was more into chess than sports, and that may be the best metaphor for his approach to pitching -- a strategic match of wits." As a rookie last year, Sowers parlayed his intelligent approach to a 7-4 record and 3.57 ERA. But seven starts into what is supposed to be his breakout season, the lefty owns a 0-3 mark and 6.56 ERA. Sowers has struggled to locate any of his pitches and opposing hitters are teeing off on him to the tune of a .310 average. Because of injuries, Sowers has kept his rotation spot, but once Jake Westbrook returns from the DL ... checkmate.
V. This year's Chris Shelton?: Remember Chris Shelton? He was the Tigers first baseman who burst on the scene last year with 10 April homers. Why didn't you recall him before that little refresher? Cause he went on to hit just six more jacks the rest of the season before being sent down to Triple-A Toledo, where he still resides. Although Texas' Ian Kinsler is far from suffering such a drastic downfall, the second baseman's season has taken on quite a Shelton feel in the early goings: