CarGo’s teammate, Troy Tulowitzki, should also be in the running for MVP along with, obviously, Pujols. Tulowitzki had probably the best two-week offensive performance in major league baseball history in the first half of last September. For the month, Tulowitzki finished with an incredible 15 home runs and 40 RBIs.
Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles finished strong and really aren’t that far from being back in postseason play, but they need to make several tweaks in the offseason.
The Giants averaged 27.1 putouts, the Tigers averaged 26.7 and the Pirates averaged 26.1. The team with the least number of putouts was the Cubs, Orioles, Nationals, Indians, Diamondbacks, Athletics, and Pirates.
Overall, these five players combined for 62% of the relief innings in 2010, but the damage done by other pitchers getting significant action was hard to overcome. Henry Rodriguez (4.55 ERA in 27 2/3 innings), Boof Bonser (5.09, 23), Tyson Ross (5.12, 31.2) and Chad Gaudin (8.83, 17.1) accounted for 23% of the relief innings last season, and when almost a quarter of your bullpen innings are that bad, it makes it hard for a team to stay in games when the offense isn’t playing well.
When Thome left to go to the rival Twins prior to the 2010 season, General Manager Kenny Williams and Manager Ozzie Guillen decided to use the designated hitter slot as a way to get bench players at bats. Many different players hit in the designated hitter slot for Guillen last season but without the power production they were used to.
He could be in the mix for a bullpen role, but given he was better as a double-A starter than triple-A reliever in 2010 he could see some extended innings this spring as the Sox gauge his viability as a starting option. While his starting success didn’t come in Charlotte, he probably has as good a shot to pitch well this March than Humber and/or Harrell just given their meddling triple-A numbers.
That’s not to say Twins’ starter Nick Blackburn didn’t have a good outing, either. The sale jerseys had fits against Blackburn’s sinker, driving the ball into the ground all day. However, a 2-2 high changeup to Thome in the seventh inning was the mistake that cost the Twins the division, as Thome nailed it over 460 feet to the centerfield concourse to give the sale jerseys a lead they would not relinquish.
The atmosphere at U.S. Cellular Field was electric, as a crowd of 40,354 rabid Sox fans dressed in black witnessed one of the most exciting games in Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field history. The “blackout” was a success, as the Sox did what the University of Georgia could not do Saturday night.