Posts Tagged ‘Jacoby Ellsbury’
Yes, Jacoby Ellsbury is good. Even in the “off year” he has had this season, Ellsbury has been well above the average major league player. But this past week his performance was stunning — moving him substantially closer to his career average. Last week Ellsbury was 12 for 23 (.522) with 4 home runs (bringing his season total to 14), 2 stolen bases, 6 runs scored and a stunning 9 rbis. And he only struck out once last week. Ellsbury may finish the season very hot, and with the Yankees just 3 games out of the wild card, that could make a big difference.
Also strong last week was the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, who was 6 for 20 (.300), built mainly on three home runs. Harper’s average for the year is now up to .268 and he has finally reached double digits in home runs.
Just as we learned that Mets reliever Carlos Torres comes from a Mormon family Torres had a gem of a week, including an “emergency” start in which he lasted 5 innings, striking out 6 while shutting out the Cubs. Overall, Torres lasted 6 and 1/3rd innings without giving up a run while striking out 8.
Torres was nearly matched last week by the Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie, who notched his 10th win. Guthrie gave up just 5 hits and a walk (resulting in a single run) in an 8-inning start, giving him a 0.75 WHIP for the game. But this only reduced his era to 4.32 and his WHIP to 1.31. Royals fans must wish that this past week’s Guthrie showed up more often.
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After a few weeks of getting to the plate in dribs and drabs, the Texas Rangers’ backup infielder Adam Rosales finally saw some regular plate appearances, and responded with an exceptional week. Rosales was 7 for 14 (.500) last week, with 5 runs scored and 5 rbis on 2 home runs and 4 walks. And this past week’s performance boosted Rosales’ season average to .350, although on a mere 40 at bats.
Rosales was far from the only Mormon player who performed well last week. Jacoby Ellsbury was hot, going 10 for 24 (.417) while the backup shortstop for the As, Eric Sogard, was 7 for 16 (.438) with 4 runs scored, 3 rbis and 7 walks.
It seems impossible, but when the number of events is small enough surprising things can happen. And with the All Star break cutting down the number of games this past week to three (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday), we probably shouldn’t be surprise that 4 of the 5 active Mormon batters in the majors managed to hit .500 last week. Exactly .500.
Of course, the more at bats someone has, the more surprising .500 is. And over the three games the highest number of at bats came from Jacoby Ellsbury, who was 6 for 12 over the three games this past weekend—boosted by Sunday’s game in which Ellsbury was 4 for 4. He was followed by Bryce Harper (5 for 10), Darwin Barney (2 for 4) and Eric Sogard (2 for 4). The other Mormon batter, Adam Rosales, was 0 for 3.
In the history of the MLB All Star Game, seventeen Mormons have been selected, including four current players who have been on a MLB roster this year.
As I watched the game this evening, I did the research and put together a list of those Mormons who have been selected in some year. I was surprised to discover that the first Mormon appeared in 1936! And this is only the 3rd year since 1997 that no Mormon player has been selected.
Can you name the four current players who have been all stars? How about the other 13 Mormons who have been selected?
Best among Mormon pitchers last week, Doug Fister continues his exceptional performance following his stint on the disabled list earlier this season. With a 2-run 7-inning (2.57 era) start this past week, Fister has his season era down to 2.90, good enough for 18th in the majors, if he had pitched enough innings to qualify. Perhaps the only black mark on the start was that Fister gave up his 7th and 8th walks of the season.
The standout Mormon in major league baseball last week was clearly Jacoby Ellsbury, who once again showed the best of what he brings to the diamond. Ellsbury was 8 for 23 at the plate (.348), scoring 2 runs and earning 3 rbis with 2 walks. He improved his average for the season to .348 and still maintained 5th place in stolen bases in the majors.
On the mound the standout last week was Jeremy Guthrie, who notched a win in two outings (totalling 14.1 innings) while giving up just 4 earned runs (2.51 era) and striking out 9. The win puts Guthrie one shy of even and gives him a 3.69 era for the season. Last week’s numbers were good, but while Guthrie’s season numbers maybe mediocre, his advantage is his ability to put in a lot of innings — Guthrie is tied for 10th most innings pitched in the majors. Even if the Royals could find a better pitcher to replace him (a questionable idea), they might be worse off if they needed to use the bullpen more as a result.
Yes, Mormon outfielders like Jacoby Ellsbury and Bryce Harper are well-known and exciting to watch, but given last week, maybe fans should give some love to the Mormon pitchers active in the majors. Kyle Farnsworth, Doug Fister and Jeremy Guthrie were all stellar in the games they pitched—Farnsworth and Fister didn’t give up an runs while Guthrie gave up just one run in 6 and 2/3rds innings while striking out 9. And both Fister and Guthrie ended up with a 0.75 WHIP for the week. Fister now has a season era of 2.65.
The National’s Doug Fister has pitched 6 games since returning from the disabled list, and except for the first game they have all been fantastic. In those five games (32.1 innings) he is 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. And even his season-to-date stats should put him among the league leaders, except that he hasn’t pitched enough innings to qualify. In fact, Fister probably needs another 7 or more 7-inning starts to qualify for the averaged pitching stats leader listing. So, assuming Fister stays healthy and continues to pitch well, it will be another month and a half before his performance shows up among the ERA and WHIP leaders.
After falling into a slump that lasted most of the month of May, Jacoby Ellsbury stole his way back toward his customary performance last week, going 8 for 23 (.348) with 5 rbis and 4 stolen bases, despite an overall mediocre performance by his team, the Yankees. The stolen bases are particularly noteworthy, since they raised him from 11th in the majors last week to 6th overall. During his career Ellsbury has 3 times led the American League in stolen bases.
He isn’t the only Mormon to do well at the plate last week. The As Eric Sogard also cracked .300 — going 5 for 13 (.385) with a run scored. But Sogard’s part-time role means he gets fewer plate appearances, and his record reflects that. And while Sogard is popular with fans, its hard to justify his presence in the lineup when he is hitting just .207 for the season.