Around The Majors- Friday 5/28/10

Jimenez Needs Help For Another Roctober
Ubaldo Jimenez’s historic success in 2010 is undeniable. 9-1, 0.88, 0.93 with 42 hits in 71 innings? That’s out of this world. Colorado is now on a five game winning streak and are now just three games behind the Padres for the NL West lead. But let’s be real, there’s no chance in hell Jimenez keeps this up. Even if his ERA goes up by two points he’ll still likely win the NL Cy Young award but the Rockies will have less of a chance to win the games he pitches unless the run support Jimenez gets also goes up. So other Colorado players need to step it up as well. Jeff Francis and Jhoulys Chacin are on the right track in the starting rotation and Huston Street will probably give a boost to the bullpen once he returns sometime in June. Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe are carrying the offense, but will it be enough to make the playoffs in a very competitive division? For Jimenez’s sake, other players need to start picking up the slack.

It’s Back To The Future For Guerrero & Rangers
Given and everyday slot in the order and a friendly ballpark to hit in, Vladimir Guerrero is back to his old revitalized self. Swinging at balls at his shoetops and feet outside of the strikezone and hitting them a Texas-sized mile seems like a familiar sight for Guerero even though he’s in an unfamiliar AL West setting with the Rangers. After playing just 100 games with the Angels last year and only having 15 homers and 50 RBI’s it seems like Vladdy has found the fountain of youth in Arlington. He’s hitting an unreal .339/.369/.583 with 12 homers and 42 RBI’s and has surprisingly played every game for Texas. In a lineup with Elvis Andrus, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz it’s tough to stand out but Guerrero has done just that. His resurgence is just one of the reasons why the Rangers are on course to make their first postseason appearance in more than a decade.

What Happened To Haren?
Dan Haren has always been excellent in the first half of seasons but has fallen flat on his face so far this season with a 5-4 record with a 5.35 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP and has had his struggles dating back to the middle of last season also. His BABIP is very high which means he has gotten unlucky, but with a whopping 16 homers allowed in 74 innings a lot of that is his fault and the balls in play go over the fence. With Haren and Edwin Jackson struggling and the bullpen by far the worst in baseball, it’s no wonder the once promising Diamondbacks are buried in last place in the NL West. So how can Haren be fixed? Maybe there’s something mechanically wrong but this is a problem that’s been going on for a while. It makes you question whether one of the premier pitchers in the National League will ever return to form.

Lohse Hiding Injury Hurts Cards In Tight Race
There have been rumors that Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse tried playing through a forearm injury that’ll cost him the rest of the season, and it could have lost St. Louis some games that they need in a divisional dogfight with the Reds for the NL Central crown. In his last four starts dating back to May 6, Lohse was 1-3 with a 6.87 ERA and his struggles could have been cause by his hurt forearm which while admirable, ended up being detrimental to the team. “Can’t fault the guy for playing through pain.” Claimed Noel Feldman, the producer for Fox Sports Midwest TV broadcasts for the Cardinals. But Brian Walton of the excellent Cards blog The Cardinals Nation said that there are two sides to every story like this: “Tough balance on injuries.” Walton told SprungOnSports. “Complain and they are called ‘owies’. Don’t complain and get 2nd guessed. Cards knew about Lohse’s forearm from last year.” But if the Cards knew about Lohse’s injury and the player himself wasn’t careful about it and wanted to play through, how do you justify hurting your team? St. Louis won’t really miss much in his absence but Lohse’s misguided machismo has already cost the team crucial games in a very, very tight race that could go down to the wire.

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