Sunday, September 14, 2008

Quick Hits

From today's Peter Gammons blog:
  • It's hard to talk about the MVP Award for Manny when the team that paid the Dodgers to take Ramirez is 27-13 without him through Sunday and have seen their runs per game increase from 4.94 at the time of the deal to 6.22 since.
  • Peralta is the only AL shortstop to make the top six in OPS (.786, tied with Derek Jeter for sixth among major league shortstops, behind Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, J.J. Hardy and Stephen Drew), homers (21, third behind Ramirez and Hardy) and extra-base hits (62, fourth behind Ramirez, Reyes and Drew). Actually, if he qualified, Jed Lowrie would be between Drew and Peralta in OPS, and in his brief time at shortstop, Lowrie's defensive range numbers are in the top three of the 62 major league shortstops, according to three teams that keep extensive defensive numbers. There's a lot to be said for studying video of opposing hitters' swing paths and tendencies.
  • Is Justin Masterson on the brink of becoming one of this postseason's most important figures? As the Red Sox try to get Jonathan Papelbon -- who can be a starting pitcher who throws three pitches -- to get back to using his splitter and be less predictable, Masterson has emerged as manager Terry Francona's most trusted pitcher in the eighth inning. Masterston has a 1.26 ERA in his past 17 appearances, and with Hideki Okajima coming back and Javier Lopez holding lefties to a .128 average since before the All-Star break, Boston's bullpen has started to come together.

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