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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Young Pitchers Update

Now that the season is winding down, we can see which of the young pitchers that shined earlier on are still the in game. Injuries & inconsistent/bad performance has weeded some of them out. The ones that are still on top are Justin Verlander (great performace on a strong team), Chien-Ming Wang (ditto), Josh Johnson (bright spot on poor performing team), Carlos Zambrano (ditto), C.C. Sabathia (ditto), Scott Kazmir (ditto) and Jered Weaver (still impressive, but not invincible anymore). All of these guys' auto RC's (ungraded) can be had for around $40 to $80, depending on the timing & version (I don't think Josh Johnson has any auto RCs). I still think that given each of their ages, MLB debut dates, etc...I would rank them (from a collecting point of view) as 1. Carlos Zambrano, 2. Scott Kazmir, 3. C.C. Sabathia, 4. Justin Verlander, 5. Josh Johnson, 6. Jered Weaver, 7. Chien-Ming Wang. Chad Billingsley has also been looking good for the Dodgers. Ricky Nolasco is still my pick for best bargain.
Red Sox Woes

It seemed like the BoSox were real contenders for the AL Wild Card (and earlier AL East lead), but things are looking pretty gloomy with all of their recent injuries. Their 3 top bats (Ramirez, Ortiz & Pena), their top ace (Schilling) & their red hot closer (Papelbon) are all out, and team falling quickly. Since they're 8 GB from the Yanks, their best bet for the postseason is the wildcard (although they're 6 GB there). It's tough to bet on the Twins & ChiSox stumbling though, with both teams looking strong. I guess this will be the year where 2 perrenial powers will miss the postseason (the other being the Braves - although the Braves are only 3.5 GB, but they need 6 teams to stumble in the next month).