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The Pace After One Week of Baseball
by Asher B. Chancey, BaseballEvolution.com
April 13, 2009
The Pace After One Week of Baseball
Have you been keeping up with the pace that some players are on after a week of baseball? This always fun exercise can lead to some pretty exciting projections (like Tuffy Rhodes being on pace for 486 homeruns after opening day 1994). It can also serve as a reminder that what happens during the first week of the season will often stay in the first week of the season.
Let’s have a look.
Dunn is one of our favorites when it comes to keeping up with The Pace. After one week of baseball, Adam Dunn has an astonishing ten (10) walks. This puts Dunn on pace for 270 walks for the season. Sadly, this says more about Dunn’s teammates than it does Dunn at this point. Hitting in this lineup, he may actually end up with 200 walks.
In case you think Dunn is an anamoly at this point, Chone Figgins and Manny Ramirez each have nine walks so far, putting them on pace for 243 each.
Seems like just a week ago I was questioning the decision to put Bonafacio at third base out of spring training. Not only has he proven me wrong (for now), but he has allayed any fears the Marlins may have had about moving Hanley Ramirez out of the leadoff spot for good by collecting 14 hits in the first six games of the season, which puts him on pace for 378 hits by the end of the year. The crazy thing is that he went hitless in the sixth game of the season, so at one point, he was on pace for 453 hits.
Speaking of the Marlins, the second place leader in hits in the majors is Miguel Cabrera. After a nasty first year in the American League, Cabrera has 13 hits (on pace for 351) and 10 RBI (on pace for 270). He is currently hitting .520 with a 1.546 OPS.
The first player that I hadn’t heard of to be drafted in my fantasy draft this year, Lind has quickly made himself known with a .400 average, 12 hits and RBI (on pace for 324 of each), and 23 total bases (on pace for over 500).
Right now, last year’s AL Rookie of the Year may be this year’s AL Most Valuable Player. He currently has 13 hits (351), five homeruns (135), 10 RBI (324), and 32 total bases, which puts him on pace for over 800. His slugging percentage is currently 1.185, which means he averages more than one base per at-bat. He even has four doubles, which puts him on pace for 108.
When 108 doubles is the most reasonable pace you're on after one week, you know you’ve had a hell of a week.
Longoria’s doubles pace is not the most impressive in the league, however. With six doubles in six games, Church is on pace for 162 doubles. No wonder the Mets have had trouble working Gary Sheffield into the lineup.
DeRosa currently leads the majors in one category – he has 11 strikeouts in six games, putting him on pace for 297. Humorously, the guy DeRosa replaced at third base for the Indians, Casey Blake, has 11 strikeouts in seven games for the Dodgers, putting him on pace for 254.
The early season leader for the Kevin Maas Award goes to Chris Davis, who has one hit in 22 at-bats after one week. This puts him on pace for 27 hits if he plays 162 games, which is soemthing he certainly will not do if he keeps getting one hit per week.
Other players with one hit after one week of play include Cody Ransom (in 20 at-bats), Jed Lowrie (18 at-bats), Billy Butler (17 at-bats), Milton Bradley, Ramon Hernandez, and Chris Iannetta and Seth Smith of the Rockies.
It could be worse, though – Jason Kendall (15 at-bats) and Andy LaRoche (13 at-bats) are still looking for their first hit of the season. This means, of course, that they are each on pace for no hits by the end of the year.
After being robbed of the closer role he rightly deserved, Marmol has settled back into the setup role nicely, allowing two hits and no earned runs in 4.2 innings. But the reason he makes this list is his games pitched – with five games pitched out of the Cubs’ first six, Marmol is currently on pace to pitch 135 games, which would obliterate Mike Marshall’s unbeatable record.
The purported fifth starter for the Reds is being used out of the bullpen until his spot in the rotation comes up in late April. Actually, a more accurate description of his usage would be “off the bench,” rather than “out of the bullpen.” Through five team games, Owings has yet to make an appearance on the mound, but has entered the game as a pinch hitter twice, going 1-for-2 with a double. For the season, Owings is projected to pitch zero innings with 64 at-bats, 32 doubles, and a 1.500 OPS.
This Cincinnati Reds pitcher whom I’d never heard of before last season despite his eight previous major league seasons won’t be getting added to fantasy rosters any time soon. Through five team games, he’s appeared in three games (on pace for 97), pitched 2.1 innings (68.1), given up six hits (408), nine earned runs (291), six walks (408), and zero strikeouts (0).
At the other end of the strikeout spectrum, Santana has 20 through two games. Santana is on a four man rotation pace right now, which puts him on pace for roughly 40 starts. Throwing 10 strikeouts per game over 40 starts would give him 400 on the season.
As ridiculous as that sounds, it would only be 17 more than Nolan Ryan’s major league record.
The best combined strikeout and walk paces belong to David Purcey. The Blue Jays starter has pitched 11.2 innings through two starts, putting him on pace for approximately 40 starts and 224 innings pitched. Purcey has amassed 15 strikeouts and nine walks in his 11.2 innings, which means he is on pace for a remarkable 300 strikeouts and 180 walks. And we were just talking about Nolan Ryan, too.
Purcey seems to be on pace for a pretty notorious season, currently leading the AL in both categories. I think this won’t be the last we speak of him.
Early Comeback Player of the Year front runner - and NL Cy Young frontrunner - Josh Johnson is on pace for several remarkable feats. After the first week of the season, Johnson is on pace to start once every four games, putting him on pace for 40 starts this season. He has pitched 15.2 innings, putting him on pace for 317.1 innings. He has 15 strikeouts and one walk so far this season, putting him on pace for 303 strikeouts and 20 walks, which translates to a 15:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
But wait, there’s more. He has two wins in two starts, putting him on pace for 40 wins and no losses. He’s already pitched a complete game, putting him on pace for 20 of those. And his ERA is 0.57.
In short, Josh Johnson is on pace to have the Greatest Pitcher Season of All Time. And if that seems utterly ridiculous to you, well, that’s what the Week One Pace is all about.
Questions? Concerns? Comments? Asher lives in Philadelphia, PA, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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