In case you missed it, yesterday's White Sox-Twins game was quite tense, and a well played one. I was very surprised the Twins sent Cuddyer to the plate on that short fly ball to CF. Ken Griffey Jr, although getting on in years and not the perennial All-Star he once was (yes I remember he made the team as a starter again this year), he is still a very competent OF. That throw was a chipshot for him. Loved Cuddyer's attempt to fly through AJ Pierzinsky, however. AJ tagged him with his body, not sure if the ball ever touched Cuddyer's side.
The LDS kick off today, everyone's in action except White Sox/Rays, which is eminently fair since the Sox have to travel to Tampa for that game, at least in my opinion. "Evil Mike" hopes Lowe completely shuts down Chicago in the opener. Lowe threw 7 shutout innings against the Cubs back in May in a ND - game was at Wrigley. Can you imagine the unmitigated angst in Wrigley if they are down 1-0 with the loon Zambrano and his tender shoulder taking the mound?
On to Cardinal news.
Kyle Lohse was re-signed for 4 years, $41 million yesterday. Or at least the deal was consummated yesterday. Nice raise for Mr. Lohse. He will almost triple his career earnings with this contract. Details of the deal can be found here. I don't have any problem re-signing Lohse, however I can't believe the cost. He had a great year, I will not dispute that; but it was his first winning season in the NL and his first winning season anywhere since 2003. Also, looking at who baseball-reference compared him to did not warm my heart:
Similar pitchers: John Thomson (in KC's minors)? Mark Redman (2-5 for Colorado this year)? Adam Eaton (bleech)?
Similar pitchers at age 28: Jose Lima, Joel Piniero, Steve Trachsel, Jason Marquis (!), Sidney Ponson.
Giving an average of $10.25M (yes I know it's backloaded) over 4 years for what at best projects to be a #3 starter seems slightly insane. Here's a list of current #3 starters in AL (and bear with the AL comparison, it's from my Rotisserie League, and I'm using it because it's available on short notice), and their compensation:
Joe Saunders (ANA) - $425K
Chris Waters (BAL) - League Min
Jon Lester (BOS) - $421K
Gavin Floyd (CWS) - $400K
Jeremy Sowers (CLE) - $397K
Zach Miner (DET) - $410K
Zach Greinke (KC) - $1.4M
Kevin Slowey (MIN) - $395K
Sidney Ponson (NYY) - league Min
Sean Gallagher (OAK) - league min
Carlos Silva (SEA) - $12M
Matt Garza (TB) - $404K
Matt Harrison (TEX) - $390K
Jesse Litsch (TOR) - $395K
Granted, most of these guys are either very junior or teams took flyers on them at the end of the year, but it doesn't bode well that the only guy in the same income bracket with Lohse on this list went 4-15 and didn't win a single game after the first of June.
Let's move on from depression to frustration.
How in the hell does Ludwick finish third in the comeback player of the year voting? Yes Brad Lidge went through a tough spell after AP's HR, but he still saved 51 games in 2006/2007 with Houston - it's not like he dropped off the face of the earth, or spent an entire year in the minors like Cliff Lee did (who completely deserved the AL award). Kerry Wood has a much better argument than Lidge, seeing he threw the most innings he's thrown in 4 years and became the anchor of the Chicago bullpen this year.
But Ludwick? First, he plays every day. Second, he set career highs in HR, RBI, Runs scored, and on and on and on. Third, he played 81 games in 4 years at the ML level as he fought back from a variety of injuries. His 2008 numbers are so far beyond what he had put up in any season before it's ridiculous, not to mention he was third in the NL in HR, sixth in RBI, second in Slugging, hit 40 doubles... wow. Hard to believe he got third.
14 minutes ago