If you missed the hot topics from the week that was, here is your chance to get up to date. Every Saturday, I’ll rehash the major events from the previous week, and offer an opinion.
Clete Boyer, a third baseman known for his acrobatic diving stops at the hot corner, died on Monday at the age of 70. Boyer played from 1955-71 with the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, and Atlanta Braves. He participated in five straight World Series with the Yankees from 1960-64 and his team won in two of those seasons.
There’s hope for the future in Cincinnati, as the Reds announced on Tuesday that highly touted prospect Homer Bailey would be making his major league debut in the near future. It was scheduled for yesterday, against the Cleveland Indians.
Mark Ellis, who set a record for highest fielding percentage by a second baseman ever last year, hit for the cycle on Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox. It was the 17th time that happened in Athletics history. Ellis hit a triple in the second, a solo home run in the fourth, a double in the sixth, and a single in the tenth.
San Diego Padres stalwart Trevor Hoffman solidified himself as one of the greatest closers in the history of major league baseball by saving a 5-2 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was his 500th save. Hoffman struck out Dodgers catcher Russell Martin to end the game. The Padres reliever has a career success rate of 89.6% and is a future Hall of Famer.
Homer Bailey made his debut. He pitched five innings, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out three and walking four. He also picked up the W in the Reds' 4-3 victory. Bailey, 21, was the Reds’ minor league player of the year last season and has been dominating in Class AAA Louisville.
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay, who signed a four year, $24 million contract in the offseason, was hit by a pitch on Sunday and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The pitch from Chicago White Sox left hander John Danks broke a bone in Overbay’s right hand.
The Washington Nationals lost an important cog in their beleaguered bullpen when it was announced that Ryan Wagner would be missing the remainder of the season following surgery on a torn labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder. He has missed plenty of time due to his injured shoulder, which may have come about due to the insistence of teams to drop Wagner’s arm angle.
Following a breakout 2006, Chicago White Sox third baseman Joe Crede is headed to the disabled list. This stint interrupts what has been an unspectacular year so far: .216 with four homers and 22 RBIs. Crede’s injury gives highly touted prospect Josh Fields a chance to play in the major leagues, and if he hits well, this could be Crede’s last season in Chicago.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Nate Robinson has gone on the disabled list, and it was announced that last year’s first round pick, Andrew Miller, taken 7th overall, will take Robinson’s spot tomorrow against the New York Mets. Robinson is suffering through “dead arm.” He hasn’t pitched well this year, putting up a 5.07 ERA and .316 batting average against.
Player of the Week: RF Gary Sheffield, Detroit Tigers – Those “controversial” comments that Sheffield made in GQ magazine and the ensuing media outburst must have done something for him. Sheffield finished up the week with a .333 batting average and three home runs, two of which came at the expense of Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kevin Millwood.
Pitcher of the Week: SP Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks – Webb, who won the National League’s Cy Young Award last year, pitched like he deserves another one over the week that was. His two wins tied him for first, but what was even more stunning was the 15 innings pitched with allowing a run and striking out 15.