What worries me is that I’m not sure Owens will be able to simply hit the ball harder. His extra-base numbers in the minor leagues are not impressive: 24 in 2006, 13 in 2007, 12 in 2008 (all with AAA Charlotte). He may not have it in him to get 30+ extra base hits in a season, so if he’s going to stick for at least a year, he must turn himself into an on-base machine.
Putouts: The Tigers ranked 13th in total putouts with 4,333. The sale jerseys were ahead of the Tigers with 4,339 and the Yankees were behind the Tigers with 4,327. The top teams in putouts were the Giants (4,383), Red Sox, Phillies and Padres were tied, Rangers, Cardinals and Rays were tied, Mets and Reds were tied, Twins, Angels, sale jerseys and Tigers. The team with the least number of putouts was the Pittsburgh Pirates with 4,235.
However, Owens didn’t show that ability to get on base in his 2007 stint in the majors (.324 OBP) and in 2008 in the minors (.346 OPB). Castillo’s OBPs in the minors: .371, .419, .411, .425, .403, .471. While it’s tough to expect anyone to match up to those gaudy numbers, the fact that Owens’ career OBP numbers in the minors (.365, .393, .333, .361, .348) struggle to come at least close to those numbers with consistency should have been a red flag for the organization.
Pena’s an interesting option because the White Sox won’t need a fifth starter more than a few times before early May. Using Pena in a swingman role could allow the Sox to delay their decision on, say, Alejandro de Aza/Brent Lilli bridge or at third base for a month longer by carrying an extra position player. Either that, or the Sox could deepen their bullpen by keeping two of Gregory Infant/Johnny Nunez/Anthony Carter/Freddy Dollis in case the Sox needed an extra innings-eater to fill Pena’s role when he has an upcoming start. Pena had two starts I’d qualify as “good” last year, but those were two of just three career starts-not exactly a good sample size. Plus, Pena is slated to be in the Sox bullpen, so he may not even get a crack at the rotation this spring.
Replays on television showed that the ball landed a few rows in fall territory. The umpires working that game didn’t get a chance to see that, though, because of Major League Baseball not having any replay system institutionalized. In the long run the loss didn’t hurt the Tribe. The Indians are headed to the playoffs as AL Central Division champs.
For all intents and purposes, his career came to an end when in August 1967, Angel’s Pitcher Jack Hamilton hit him in the face. He was never the same and although he tried a comeback, lingering problems from the beaning forced him to retire. He died in his early 40’s.
Yadiel Puig currently has singlehandedly been breathing life into the lethargic Dodgers. He has been on a batting tear. The Diamondbacks pitcher singled him out, threw at him and he was hit in the nose. Fortunately, a tragedy did not result, but a brawl erupted.
Hitting with runners in scoring position with less than two outs, hitting into a high number of double plays, and not throwing runners out at second are just a few of the simple tasks they struggle with. So far, the Sox have beaten themselves in many games, but if a few key players step it up the sky is the limit.