Micah Owings – It’s a Small World

A friend of mine’s — co-worker’s — friend’s — son is Micah Owings. This was a shocking revelation to me. I’m only 4 degrees of separation from THE Micah Owings who made his big-league debut yesterday. More importantly, he picked up the win, throwing 5 innings of 1 hit ball while striking out 6 and walking 3. That’s a pretty good start for the rookie who pitched against the Nationals; possibly the worst team in recent history.

It’s only his first start, but his control was definitely off since he hit 2 batters, and threw 1 wild pitch. The 3 walks weren’t so wonderful either. He hasn’t exactly been a control master in the minors either, walking 34 batters in 88 innings (BB/9 of 3.60) in AAA. It’ll be interesting to see how he pitches next time against Cincinnati.

- The great Albert Pujols has just 1 hit in 13 at-bats this season. He’s still walking a healthy 19% of the time, so there’s still 43 Major League regulars who have a worse OBP than he does at this point in the season. Don’t fret Cardinals fans, Pujols went 1-13 between July 4th and July 7th just last season. After that, he went on an 11 game hitting streak where he went 20-46 with 4 home runs. If anyone in any of my fantasy leagues would like to jump ship on Pujols at this time, please let me know.

- Speaking of Pujols, Miguel Cabrera (or as I call him: Pujols-lite) has been on an absolute tear to start the season. He already has 6.98 Batting Runs Above Average (BRAA) which just happens to be tops in the majors by more than half-a-run. He’s on pace to have 282 BRAA, which I’m sure would easily be the best season ever. At this rate, I’ll have to start calling Pujols, Cabera-lite.

- The other day in Daisuke Matsuzaka major league debut, he struck out 10 in 7 innings of work. He also gave up 6 hits, 1 solo-shot and only walked 1. This is just the obligatory mention, since you can read about this nearly anywhere else.

- Oliver Perez struck out 6 in 7 innings against the Braves. More importantly, he walked zero. This is definitely a guy to keep an extremely close eye on. He was lights out in 2004 so there’s no question that he has the ability to be a dominant pitcher, the only question is can he do it consistently. He’s off to an excellent start following his solid spring. Between Perez and John Maine, there could potentially be much less doom and gloom surrounding the Mets rotation.

- After being banished to the minors last season in favor of Brandon Watson, Ryan Church is showing why he should have always been on the Nationals roster. He’s batting just under .300 with 2 home runs and an OPS of 1.224. He’s always been an intriguing player and should continue to be one of the bright spots in the Nationals offense.

- Finally, in the land of Win Probability, B.J. Ryan blew his first save of the season giving the Devil Rays a fairly improbable comeback for the second time this year. Who had the winning hit? None other than B.J. Upton. The Devil Rays now find themselves in first place.

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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.


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