Morning Phil Up – 2/13/2014 – American League West Links


Sep 24, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) throws a pitch in the first inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Box ScoreThe Astros Signed Baseball’s Worst Pitcher

Jerome Williams might be the worst pitcher in baseball. He had the majors worst WAR according to Fangraphs, although other pitchers ranked worse in several key categories.  Even though he doesn’t seem to be especially valuable, the fact that he can work as both a starter and reliever makes him useful to a young Houston Astros team that doesn’t have many reliable pitching options.

ESPN – Albert Pujols Drops Defamation Suit

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols has dropped his defamation suit against former major league star Jack Clark.  The suit was based around comments that Clark made indicating that Pujols had used performance enhancing drugs. Clark has since apologized and claimed that he has no knowledge of Pujols ever using PEDs.

Call to the PenShould Coco Crisp’s Age be a Problem?

The A’s recently signed outfielder Coco Crisp to a two-year deal. It’s a larger deal than the A’s usually sign players to, but Crisp is still a quality player and is popular in the clubhouse. The problem is that Crisp is now 36, and his once great speed appears to be vanishing.  Will age-related decline make the Crisp deal a bad one?

FanSidedHisashi Iwakuma May Miss Start of Season

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma suffered a strained tendon in his middle finger and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.  Iwakuma was an All-Star in 2013 and finished in the top three in Cy Young Award voting, so the Mariners can’t afford to have him miss much time.  Fortunately, his injury will not require surgery, so he should be able to return on schedule.

Bleacher ReportWhy Japanese Phenom Yu Darvish Has Still Not Peaked Yet

Yu Darvish has been pretty successful so far in his major league career.  He had a 2.83 ERA in 2013 and led the majors in strikeouts. Yet, he could still get even better in the future. He needs to do a better job of getting ahead of hitters, he should probably use his curveball more than his slider against lefties, and he needs to throw his sinker more often.  With those slight changes, Darvish could go from great to “the best pitcher in baseball.”