Choo is also the first Indian to end the season with an on-base percentage of .400 or best, finishing at .401. The most recent Tribe hitter in that club was Manny Ramirez (.457 in 2000).
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 has to turn himself into an on-base machine.
Snodgress is a 23-year old with a high upside. A 5th Round pick in 2011 out of Stanford, he too is off to a 4-1 start for the Barons and is ranked by Baseball America as the top lefty in the sale jerseys organization, second best pitching prospect behind Erik Johnson, a second rounder in the same draft. He is also 23 and is off to a 2-1 start with a 1.44 ERA in five games.
This ties in with arm strength, but could take longer to get back than his velocity. If Peavy’s arm is tiring after three or four innings going at full speed ahead (which, let’s be honest, is the only speed for him), then obviously he’ll need some time after the season starts to regain that stamina. If i had to guess, stamina would be the main reason why Peavy won’t be in the White Sox’s starting rotation in April-it’ll be the reason why he won’t be 100 percent until, say, early May.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham is expected to improve on his rookie year and second year numbers. Catcher A. J. Pierzynski handles the pitching staff well with veteran leadership but also is consistent at the plate, often coming through in the clutch. Young catcher Tyler Flowers may start to press Pierzynski for playing time this season.
Pitching isn’t exactly like riding a bike, but as long as Peavy’s mechanics are fine, his command should come back to him. It’ll take repetition before his command is back to where it was from May-July of 2010, but it should come back quicker than his velocity and stamina. That being said, whatever results Peavy sees in spring should be taken with a grain of salt given his command will take some time to return. But, if by some miracle, his command returns after a handful of spring outings and he’s able to locate within the strike zone well, his return schedule could be sped up.
Chicago pushed the lead to 6-2 against Vinnie Pestano in the eighth when Pierre drove in another run with a single. He added to his Major League best stolen base total with his 68th steal.