Sep 20, 2009, 2:51 PM EDT
Though there isn’t much drama in the
National League’s divisional races, the field for the Rookie of the
Year Award is more competitive than at any point this season. Last
month, I favored southpaw J.A. Happ for the award with Randy Wells as his closest competition
down the stretch.
Here’s just a few of the notable performers since my last check-in:
Season: 10-4 with a 2.77 ERA and 1.19 WHIP):
Since August 23: 0-2 with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP over three starts.
Happ missed two starts with an
oblique injury. He was pulled from Friday’s start for precautionary
reasons, but should be fine for his next start. Some individual
hardware would be nice, but the Phillies clearly have the bigger picture in mind.
Season: 10-9 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.28 WHIP
Since August 23: 1-3 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP over five starts
Wells has been uncharacteristically
wild of late, walking 14 batters over his last 26 2/3 innings,
including a career-high five in a 7-4 loss to the Brewers last week.
Season: 10-3 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.18 WHIP)
Since August 23: 1-1 with a 0.82 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over four starts
While the other favorites have
faded, Hanson has pitched some his best baseball recently, having gone
17 innings without allowing a run, including back-to-back scoreless
outings against the Astros and Mets.
Season: .310/.380/.450 with nine homers, 42 RBI and 74 runs scored
Since August 23: .381/.431/.558 with two homers, eight RBI and 22 runs scored in 113 at-bats
Coghlan already created quite a buzz
last month with a 12-game hitting streak, including eight straight
mulit-hit games, but his recent success has vaulted him into serious
ROY consideration. Coghlan leads the majors with 30 hits in September.
Only Derrek Lee (19) has scored more runs than Coghlan (17) this month.
Here’s the National League rookies ranked by VORP (batters and pitchers):
1) Happ (PHI) – 46.2
2) Hanson (ATL) – 33.5
3) Wells (CHC) – 30.2
4) Garrett Jones (PIT) – 28.5
5) Coghlan (FLA) – 27.9
6) Casey McGehee (MIL) – 26.0
7) Andrew McCutchen (PIT) – 23.5
8) Ronald Belisario (LAD) – 22.4
9) Dexter Fowler (COL) – 20.4
10) Everth Cabrera (SD) – 20.1
Many people forget that Jones leads
all major league rookies with 19 home runs. As you can see, Happ still
looks like the heavy favorite, in large part because of the three
complete games and his strong showing as a reliever (2.49 ERA and 1.06
WHIP in 21 2/3 innings) before joining the rotation. While Coghlan is
an intriguing spark plug at the top of the Marlins lineup, I view
Hanson as the biggest threat to Happ at this point, especially if the
Phillies continue to be cautious in preparation for the postseason. But with only a couple of starts left after Sunday, Hanson is running out of time to make his mark.
If you still think there’s still a little room for some baseball talk on this football Sunday, feel free to follow me on Twitter.
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