Old Arizona guys who aren't retired
By Jason Wojciechowski on May 21, 2004 at 7:05 PM
There weren't so many games on Monday, 5/10. What a relief.
- What on earth happened to BH Kim? He got roughed up by Cleveland for six runs in 3.1 innings, the final straw that would result in his demotion to AAA. This is a guy who blew through the minors in one year, making his major league debut as a 20-year old, had ERAs of 2.94 and 2.04 in Arizona as a reliever with dominant strikeout and ground-ball rates, he's traded in the midst of a good, though not as good as before, year to Boston, where he has some public meltdowns, gets hurt, and then ... suddenly he's a crap pitcher? Maybe there're some lingering effects of the shoulder injury, which doesn't speak well for the Red Sox medical staff, or maybe he's not comfortable, or maybe he's just had a tough eleven innings (it happens) and now he's been sent down to the minors and possibly put on the trading block. Kim could be a high-risk, high-reward guy for some team willing to take him on. There's no way Boston can demand much for him after what they've gone through, the humiliation, essentially, they've put him through. I hope he can make it back. Maybe Oakland can trade a minor league spare part for him and give him back into a nice, supportive West Coast environment where he'll be appreciated even if he has some bad playoff games (after all, we still love Tim Hudson, don't we?). I can dream.
- When you're signed to eat innings, as Brian Anderson was for the Royals, sometimes they'll leave you in for awhile even after you've taken a six-run pounding in the first inning. It was not a happy day for Anderson, though half of his eight runs allowed ended up unearned due to a first-inning error by Joe Randa. Orlando Hudson in particular got to Anderson, hitting a three-run homer in the first and adding a solo job in the third. The unheralded second baseman is having a nice little season, hitting .270/.348/.461, which puts him in the top third of the majors by VORP and RARP. He didn't hit this well last year, but it's not a batting average-related increase: he hit .268 in 2003. Instead, he's walking more (once every 9.8 PA's, rather than once every 13.2) and hitting for more power (he's increased his isolated slugging by .064). He's 26, so this is the kind of growth you expect. Toronto can probably figure on a few more nice seasons from him in his late 20's, then let him go to free agency, where, in the new market for talent, he'll probably immediately start getting one-year, $1M offers at best. Carlos Beltran hit his ninth round-tripper of the year, which just means the Yankees are going to have to plop a little bit extra down for him in July.
- Oh, those Arizona old guys. Luis Gonzalez hit three homers, and had two more chances to add a fourth, giving him ten for the year. Steve Finley also hit his tenth homer of the year, in the same inning that Gonzalez hit his third bomb. The Mets hit for some power, too, knocking five doubles and a jack (Mike Cameron's seventh), and scored eight runs, but James Baldwin and Dan Wheeler allowed six runs apiece, the former in two innings, the latter in 1.1, to force the Mets to have to fight and claw just to get the game within four runs.