Opening Day Miscellaneous
AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Wieters (I think he'll be up to the majors quickly) edges out Travis Snider.
NL Rookie of the Year: Cameron Maybin edges out Jordan Schafer and Jordan Zimmermann.
Opening Day Random Thoughts
**I think putting Rick Porcello in the Detroit rotation is batshit insane. In my opinion, even the best prospects need a good dose of Double-A. Most of them need Triple-A. Porcello is very talented, but he is NOT Dwight Gooden or Bob Feller. The wonderful spring training he had resulted in a 2.30 ERA, which is sharp, but also a 8/5 K/BB and 17 hits in 15.2 innings, hardly a dominant ratio set. Maybe it will work, but it is not a risk I would take if I was the Tigers braintrust.
**The decision to put Ryan Perry in the Tigers bullpen is a bit more defensible, but still risky. Perry has a terrific arm, but was considered fairly raw for a guy coming out of college. He could follow a Brandon Morrow path.
**Community member RedSoxFaithful has a great fanpost about Shairon Martis that you really should read. I agree with his analysis. My guess is that Martis will be surprisingly effective in the first half of the season and generate some ROY buzz, but that he'll hit a wall after getting past 100 innings pitched, struggling in the second half and finishing with average numbers overall.
**On the other hand, I really believe in Jordan Zimmermann, Martis' fellow rookie Washington Nationals starter. I think he may take an opposite path, perhaps struggling somewhat in April and May but (assuming they remain patient with him) turning things around in June and having a strong second half. I've liked Zimmermann since his college days. Rotowire subscribers can read my take on him here.
**As a Twins fan, I'm actually kind of sad about this being the last year for the Metrodome. I'm thinking I might try to get up there for one last game. It's been a long time.
**Kevin Slowey....stealth Cy Young candidate? If the Twins can score enough runs for him. . .
**Looking over some spring training stats, I notice J.J. Hardy hitting .403/.488/761. Yes, it's spring training. . .but note his 11 walks against 8 strikeouts in 67 at-bats. If he maintains strike zone judgment like that, he could have a monster season.
**Colby Rasmus hit .280/.368/.451 this spring, with four steals in four attempts, 12 walks, and 25 strikeouts in 82 at-bats. The strikeout rate is rather high and I think he's a .250 hitter in a full season right now, but if he maintains the walk rate, he'll produce enough power and speed to hold a job. Most people are writing off his '08 struggles to injuries, but there were whispers during the fall that he had a motivation problem last year. I don't know if that's true or not, but I doubt he would be in the majors right now if it was a real issue.
**Jason Motte, 1.46 ERA with a 18/1 K/BB in 12 innings this spring, earning the closer job in St. Louis. I don't think it's a fluke, and he's a stealth ROY candidate if his command holds up like that.