As we approach the trade deadline in the MLB, moves are beginning to happen and rumors are heating up as I write this column. This week’s Notable Numerals places an emphasis on a few players who were either recently traded or will likely be soon. There is also a tribute to a 17-year veteran and a young outfielder with a big off-season coming up. Professional baseball is filled with interesting and surprising statistics, here are just a handful for your reading pleasure.
Wins for Dan Haren in his career. Just a few days ago, Dan Haren bid adieu to the last place 37-62 Arizona Diamondbacks and set his sights on his new AL team, the 52-49 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He was traded for 3 pitchers, headlined by starter Joe Saunders, giving him a significant upgrade in the team around him. It becomes a great time to reflect on Haren’s career in which he has accumulated 86 wins and 70 losses and has had 12+ wins in the past 5 seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks and is headed for his 6th straight with 7 wins so far in 2010.
Haren has always been a top tier pitcher, but has been on teams that provided him with less than impressive media markets and run support to really become a star. Now that he is moving into the LA market, he should get more publicity and likely rack up wins faster than the offensively challenged D-Backs. All in all, I’m not sure this move makes the Angels a contender, but at least the team is playing for something and has some semblance of an offense.
Since his debut in 2003, Haren has collected 1,176 strikeouts while walking 299. He has a career era of 3.71, significantly lower than this year’s 4.60, which is currently his 2nd worst behind his debut year in 2003 (14 starts, 5.08 era). Unfortunately for the starter, moving to the AL generally results in an increased era due to the better offensive lineups, maybe making his transition back a shaky one. Only time will tell what Haren’s impact is on the Angels, but right now it is going to be tough to catch the Texas Rangers (7 games up) and make the postseason.
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Slugging percentage for Jim Edmonds in his last 6 games. The 40-year old Jim Edmonds is showing lately that he still has some pop in his bat and can run down a ball in centerfield. Since making his debut in 1993, Edmonds has played in 1,989 games and has stepped into the batter’s box a whopping 6,808 times. Over the past few years however, Edmonds has begun to show his age a bit and has been limited in his playing time, but recently he is showing that even as he ages, he is still incredibly talented.
This past week, Edmonds has jacked 3 home runs and driven in 7 runs. On top of his impressive week at the plate, Edmonds made a spectacular diving catch for the Brewers, showing every one that he can still get to balls and make diving catches like he has been doing for nearly 17 years. There have been rumors that Edmonds will retire at the end of this season and he plans on playing hard every day and wrapping up his impressive career on a high note.
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K’s for Jered Weaver in 21 starts this season. Oh Jered Weaver, you just continue to pound out victories and punch-out batters like it were easy. Weaver has a staggering career record of 60-33 with a respectable 3.64 era. Last season Weaver finished 16-8 with a 3.75 era for the Angels in 33 starts, including all 4 of his career complete games with 2 begin shutouts. This season, Weaver is threatening his career high of 174 strikeouts (in 2009) already in July and doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
Weaver has had 11+ wins in each of his 5 seasons in the league and is just 2 wins away from continuing that trend in 2010. This was a big year already for the giant 6’7” starter who was named to his 1st All-Star game in his home ballpark. Weaver was unable to pitch in the game, but was there to experience the festivities and soak in the excitement. If he continues to put up big numbers on a yearly basis, then this will undoubtedly be the 1st of many honors bestowed upon the righty. Weaver will now have less pressure on him with the trade for Dan Haren who is under contract for the next 2 years.
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Stolen bases for the Tampa Bay Rays this season. For anyone who has watched the Tampa Bay Rays play, this stat should not be a surprise. The Rays are fast, fast and fast and are running away from the competition in stolen bases this year, sitting 29 more than the 2nd place team the Chicago White Sox. The team has 4 guys in double-digits, all led by, surprise, surprise, Carl Crawford with 34. When you factor in BJ Upton’s 24, Ben Zobrist’s 19 and Evan Longoria’s 14, it’s a pretty lethal combination of speed.
It will be interesting to see what happens this off-season, because the Carl Crawford sweepstakes will likely have him signing with a fellow AL East competitor. The team will not only lose Crawford 396 stolen bases, but also his .296 career batting average mark. For now though, the Rays can continue to steal bases on their competition and put pressure on opponents. If they make the postseason, which is looking like better and better each time the Boston Red Sox lose, they will be a formidable opponent.
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Losses for Roy Oswalt this year with Houston. Roy Oswalt’s name is synonymous with greatness. Since his debut in 2001, Oswalt has had 10+ wins every season except for last year and has a career 143-82 record with an impressive 3.24 era. Oswalt is just 7 strikeouts shy of 1,600, but has an unbelievably poor record with the incredibly bad Houston Astros this season. Oswalt has 2x more losses than wins, something that he in unfamiliar with, have had only winning seasons throughout his career.
Oswalt has been the focus of trade talks as well recently, including rumored bites from the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. Despite a sub-par year, Oswalt brings regular season and some postseason experience to the table, allowing teams to bulk-up at the end of their rotation. With 3 All-Star nods to his credit, Oswalt is missing the illusive championship to round out his resume, so a trade would pull him away from the team he has been on his whole career, but would maybe give him the chance to win a title.
Topics: All-Star Game, Arizona Diamondbacks, B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist, Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford, Chicago White Sox, Dan Haren, Evan Longoria, Houston Astros, Jered Weaver, Jim Edmonds, LA Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Notable Numerals, Oakland A's, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Oswalt, St Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers