City of the Day
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 12 Players, 1 Active. First Player: Bill Hoffer (1895-1901).The first player to come out of the pitching-rich prairie town was Bill Hoffer, who pitched six seasons around the turn of the 20th century. The Orioles (not to be confused with today's Orioles) starter went 31-6 with a 3.21 ERA in his rookie season, then went 25-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 1896. After winning 22 games 1897, he began to disappear from the top of the league, never winning more than eight games in a season again. Earl Whitehill was a solid force in the rotations for multiple teams in the '20s and '30s, winning 218 games over his 17-year career. His best year was 1933, when he was 22-8 with a 3.33 ERA in 39 games (37 starts) for the Senators. Another successful major leaguer did not come out of Cedar Rapids until John Wathan caught for a successful Royals team in the '70s and '80s. In 1980, he hit six home runs and batted .305 with 17 stolen bases in 126 games. In 1982, he set a career high and Cedar Rapids record with 36 stolen bases. As a backup in 1985, he batted .234 for the World Champion Royals. Over his 10 years, he hit 21 home runs, batted .262, and stole 105 bases. In 1980, Mike Boddicker debuted for Baltimore in what would turn out to be a decorated 14-year career. In his first full season in 1983, the 25-year-old went 16-8 with a 2.77 ERA for the World Champion Orioles. He earned his only All Star appearance in 1984, when he was 20-11 with a 2.79 ERA. His run of success continued until 1993, when he retired with 134 wins and a 3.80 ERA. In 1991, yet another pitcher named Cal Eldred debuted for Milwaukee. He had an incredible year in 1992, going 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA in 14 starts. He wasn't able to build on that success, and ended up a reliever when he signed with the Cardinals in 2003. He would save eight games that year, posting a 3.75 ERA over his first two seasons. In his final year, 2005, he posted a 2.19 ERA to lower his career mark to 4.42. The only active player is Ryan Sweeney, an outfielder with the Red Sox. He has made a career out of being able to hit for contact, batting between .265 and .294 every year since 2008. His best year was 2009, when he hit six home runs and batted .293 with six stolen bases. In 62 games for Boston this season, he is batting .265. He holds a career mark of .280.
Brewers traded Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.44 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, age 28) to the Angels for minor leaguers Jean Segura (7 HR, 40 RBI, .294 AVG, 33 SB at AA, age 22), Ariel Pena (6-6, 2.99 ERA, 1.20 WHIP at AA, age 23), and Johnny Hellweg (5-10, 3.38 ERA, .245 BAA at AA, age 23).
Twins traded Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.31 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, age 28) to the White Sox for Eduardo Escobar (0 HR, 3 RBI, .207 AVG, 2 SB, age 23) and Pedro Hernandez (0-1, 18.00 ERA, 3.25 WHIP, age 23).
Astros traded Chris Johnson (8 HR, 41 RBI, .279 AVG, 4 SB, age 27) to the Diamondbacks for minor leaguers Marc Krauss (15 HR, 61 RBI, .283 AVG, 6 SB at AA, age 24) and Bobby Borchering (20 HR, 68 RBI, .247 AVG, 0 SB at High Class A and AA, age 21).
Brewers traded George Kottaras (3 HR, 12 RBI, .209 AVG, 0 SB, age 29) to the A's for Fautino De Los Santos (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 3.33 WHIP, age 26).
Reds won their 10th straight game.
The Angels acquired Zack Greinke to beef up their starting rotation. Greinke, who was coasting off his 2009 success (16-8, 2.16 ERA) until this year, gave the Angels seven innings in his debut. Including his start with the Angels, he is 9-4 with a 3.39 ERA over 22 starts. He adds to arguably the best rotation in the majors that already includes Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Garrett Richards. Though some of the big names haven't pitched up to par, Los Angeles looks to be a threat to the Rangers, who sit on top of the division. An interesting fact: Greinke was 15-0 in home games during his Milwaukee career, but lost his first home start with the Angels.
Milwaukee got some very good players in return. Most notable is Jean Segura, who has a career .311 average and 136 stolen bases in the minor leagues. The Angels top prospect stole 50 bases while hitting ten home runs and batting .313 for High Class A Cedar Rapids in 2010 at just 20 years old. Ariel Pena is also a big return, as he is 45-27 with a 3.37 ERA over six minor league seasons. This year, he owns a 2.99 ERA at AA Arkansas, and was named a Texas League All Star. The last player acquired was Johnny Hellweg, a starter for AA Arkansas. He has a 3.38 ERA this year.
The Chris Johnson trade was an interesting one, as the D-Backs filled the hole left by Ryan Roberts, but gave up two bona fide minor league sluggers. Johnson is having a bounce-back year, batting .279 with eight home runs in just 92 games. Arizona is hoping he can stay up to par with his 2010 season in which he hit 11 home runs and batted .308 over 94 games. He is four years younger than Roberts, the man the Diamondbacks traded away a few days ago, and looks to factor well into their future.
Marc Krauss is the more developed player in the Houston haul, having logged 229 games at AA Mobile. After a breakout 2010 where he hit 25 home runs, knocked in 87, and batted .302 for High Class A Visalia, he has fared well for Mobile. After hitting 16 home runs last year, he has batted .283 for the Bay Bears and stolen a career high six bases. Bobby Borchering is a young, pure power hitter that will look good in the middle of a future Astros lineup. The former first round pick hit 24 home runs and knocked in 92 at High Class A Visalia last year, then homered another 18 times in 81 games there this year. He has struggled upon his promotion to AA Mobile, batting just .130 with a pair of home runs in 21 games. He compares well to Adam Dunn or Mark Reynolds.
Nationals (61-40) beat the Brewers (45-56) 11-10 (11 innings).
Red Sox (51-51) beat the Yankees (60-41) 3-2 (10 innings).
Braves (57-44) beat the Phillies (45-57) 6-2.
Dodgers (56-47) beat the Giants (55-46) 4-0.
Rays (53-49) beat the Angels (55-47) 2-0.
Cubs (42-58) beat the Cardinals (54-48) 4-2 (10 innings).
Reds (61-40) beat the Rockies (37-63) 7-2.
Top Scorer: Nationals beat the Brewers 11-10 (11 innings).
AL East: Yankees (60-41, .594 WPCT). AL Central: White Sox (55-46, .545). AL West: Rangers (59-41, .590).
NL East: Nationals (61-40, .604). NL Central: Reds (61-40, .604). NL West: Giants (55-46, .545).
AL Wild Cards: A's (55-46, .545) and Angels (55-47, .539). NL Wild Cards: Pirates (58-43, .574) and Braves (57-44, .564).
Bottom Team: Astros (35-68, .340). Longest W Streak: Reds, 10 games. Longest L Streak: Royals, 5 games.
Offensive: AVG: Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), .368. Home runs: Adam Dunn (White Sox), 31. RBI: Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) and Josh Hamilton (Rangers), 83. Stolen bases: Mike Trout (Angels), 31.
Pitching: Wins: R.A. Dickey (Mets) and David Price (Rays), 14. K's: Felix Hernandez (Mariners), 153. ERA: Ryan Vogelsong (Giants), 2.22 (129.2 innings, 32 earned runs). Saves: Joel Hanrahan (Pirates), 31.
Offensive: Corey Hart (Brewers): 4-5, double, home run (19), RBI, 3 runs, stolen base (4), AVG up .007 from .260 to .267, hitting streak to 1 game (4-5, .800 AVG).
Pitching: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): Win (8-6), 9 shutout innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 7 K's (143), ERA drop: 0.19 runs from 3.14 to 2.95.
Worst Pitching Performance: Jonathan Sanchez (Rockies): Loss (1-8), 4.1 innings, 6 earned runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 K's (44), ERA jump: 0.31 runs from 8.01 to 8.32.
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies
If your team is not included, please leave a comment.
HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. WHIP: walks/hits per innings pitched. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage