By Dalton Del Don
Manny Ramirez is off to a fantastic start this season, entering Tuesday with a line of .347/.413/.643. All the extra offseason work seems to have really paid off, and it’s apparent his career isn’t in such the decline last year suggested. That said, his .424 BABIP is the second highest in all of baseball, and his contact rate and walk rate are the lowest they’ve been over the past five years, so he has been fortunate. Ramirez is in such a good situation in Boston I wouldn’t call him a sell-high, but he’s unlikely to have another month this season that matches his April.
It’s safe to say the Angels were on the wrong end of the Jon Garland/Orlando Cabrera trade. Garland’s 5.94 ERA and 1.73 WHIP are ugly, but his 9:12 K:BB ratio over 36.1 innings is hideous. He more than doubled his season K total with five punchouts during his last start on Monday.
After further review, and by review I mean I’ve seen it 58 times on HBO, “The Departed” has to be one of the worst movies ever to win Best Picture. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally entertaining and completely rewatchable, but Jack Nicholson’s performance is mind-boggling, and the ending is embarrassing.
Blindly believing in talent, I like Delmon Young as a buy-low right now. The numbers aren’t pretty (.258/.287/.309 with zero homers), and it’s disconcerting that he’s never slugged better than .440 in any month during his career. In fact, he’s slugged less than .400 in five of the seven months he’s been in the big leagues. Still, the fact he already has six stolen bases is a great sign, and his swing produces so many line drives he should post a solid average despite the high K rate. He’s a future 30/30 hitter, and he still might reach 20/25 as soon as this year.
Barry Zito is the highest paid middle reliever of all-time. What’s going to happen when he doesn’t straighten things out? This situation is only going to get worse, and it’s put the Giants (and Zito) in one of the more awkward positions ever.
It’s never easy to trade a catcher, but Geovany Soto is officially a sell-high candidate. After basically coming out of nowhere last year, he has a fine .927 OPS for his career. However, he’s followed last year’s ridiculous .486 BABIP with a .407 mark this season, the fifth highest in the game. During his previous three years in the minors, he was consistently in the .320-.330 range, so this can’t possibly last. He’ll provide good pop for a backstop, and his improving ability to walk is a plus, but Soto is due for a crash.
The opposite is true for Robinson Cano, who has the second lowest BABIP (.165) in the majors. He got off to a slow start last year as well, hitting just three of his 19 homers over the first three months. Someone making contact 88 percent of the time simply should not be batting .153. With terrific lineup support around him, Cano has the upside of a top-25 fantasy player. Go get him.
Nothing would surprise me when it comes to Roger Clemens at this point. If he had just stepped up and apologized to begin with, none of this would have ever came to light, and he’d be out of mind, out of sight by now. I mean really, 15 years old?!
Looks like Johnny Cueto is going to have some bumps in the road, after all.
My take on Gavin Floyd? Sell, sell and sell. The former top prospect has a pretty 2.84 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, so on the surface it might appear as if he’s finally living up to his potential. Unfortunately, those numbers are accompanied by a poor 14:12 K:BB ratio, and only Cliff Lee has a lower BABIP (.161) in all of baseball. If that’s not enough, he also sports an inferior 0.67 groundball to flyball ratio while pitching in the AL’s best park for homers. Don’t get off the phone until you’ve traded him.