Five Things I Think I Think

It’s been awhile since I posted a “Five Things I Think I Think” so let’s see what’s in this brain of mine.

1) Bryce Harper has gotten all the hype and it’s well-deserved, but I still want Mike Trout for this season.  Trout has been better than Harper hitting .316 with 3 HR’s, 3 SB’s and a .931 OPS to Harper’s .233, 2 HR, 1 SB, and .742 OPS.  I know it’s a small sample size, but it’s no coincidence.  Harper gets the hype, but it’s Trout that is more ready.

2) Closer turnover has been more insane in 2012 than any season I can remember.  Here’s the list of teams that have had some sort of closer turmoil this season Yankees (Mariano Rivera and David Robertson injuries), Rays (Kyle Farnsworth injury), Red Sox (Andrew Bailey injury, Mark Melancon terrible), Blue Jays (Sergio Santos injury, Coco Cordero terrible), White Sox (Hector Santiago terrible, Chris Sale uncertainty), Athletics (Grant Balfour terrible), Angels (Jordan Walden terrible), Nationals (Drew Storen and Brad Lidge injuries), Marlins (Heath Bell really terrible), Reds (Ryan Madson injury), Cubs (Carlos Marmol terrible), Dodgers (Javy Guerra terrible), Giants (Brian Wilson injury), and Padres (Huston Street injury). That’s FOURTEEN teams and if you factor in Frank Francisco on the Mets, our 3 DOWN fantasy player this week, that’s half the league that has had troubles in the closer role.  Don’t peek, name the top five pitchers in saves in the American League on 5/15.  Give up?  Jim Johnson, Chris Perez, Fernando Rodney, Jonathan Broxton, and Brandon League.  Those are the good closers?  Oh my.

3) Carlos Ruiz deserves to make his 1st All-Star team.  Chooch as he’s known to Phillies fans has put up his best statistical season so far and with Hunter Pence is seemingly the only thing keeping the Phillies offense afloat.  He leads all MLB catchers in AVG, SLG, and OPS.  It is going to be interesting which one or maybe even two NL catchers don’t make the trip to Kansas City out of Brian McCann, Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, and Ruiz.  Good thing Tony LaRussa has all the time he wants to think about it.

4) By the time that Matt Kemp returns to the Dodgers lineup, their lead in the NL West will be cut by at least half.  I can see the Giants going on a run and picking up at least three games on LA against Cardinals and Athletics at home and then the Brewers and Marlins on the road.  While the Dodgers have the Padres and Diamondbacks on the road and Cardinals at home.  That lineup without Kemp and Juan Rivera seems a lot easier to face.

5) Kevin Youkilis could be the new Wally Pipp.  Pipp famously is known as taking a day off and being replaced by Lou Gehrig who went on to play 2,130 consecutive games.  I don’t think it will go to that extent, but there is no way that the Red Sox can take Will Middlebrooks out of the lineup.  Middlebrooks is hitting .300 with four home runs since getting called up to replace Youkilis when he went on DL.  Now with Youkilis coming off the disabled list soon, what do they do?  I think Youk is going to get a lot more off days than he was used to before.

What’s on your mind as we hit the 2nd half of May?

-Bryan Mapes

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