Mlb Week

May 28, 2006

A scout's take

On Randy Johnson, New York Yankees 42-year-old left-hander

Mind-set -- He's in his early 40s and he's never had to encounter being anything but a power pitcher. He's been a physical marvel, a real fluke in that no time in his 30s did he have to make the transition to being less than a power pitcher. I don't think he knows how to be anything but that guy. I think he's probably in shock right now, like he has to go through detox.

Pitches -- His slider is still above average but it's not the best in the game anymore. That slider used to come down on people's shoe tops; it was one of the nastiest in the history of the game. He's dropping down on his slider now trying to create more movement and all it has done is flatten it out. It's not as hard and doesn't have as much depth. His fastball up in the zone gets elevated and hit into the outfield.

Overall -- To me, it is poor to criticize a guy for just acting his age. He is 42 and is acting more like a 42-year-old. This is what happens at 35 for most guys; it just took him longer. Doesn't this make Nolan Ryan look even more impressive?

Note: "A scout's take" features the opinion of one major league scout on a particular player each week. A revolving roundtable of scouts is used. Because of potential tampering, the scouts will remain anonymous.

Say what?

"Maybe we can match Barrett and me in a cage or something. Maybe we would put it up on pay per view."

Chicago White Sox catcher and pro wrestling fan A.J. Pierzynski, on cashing in on the brawl last week that started when Cubs catcher Michael Barrett punched Pierzynski in the jaw after a home plate collision.

Numbing number


Number of balls Cleveland left-hander C.C. Sabathia threw in a 102-pitch, six-hit shutout last week against the Minnesota Twins. Sabathia walked none. In contrast, throwing just 26 balls would be a solid two innings for Orioles starters in 2006.

What's up?

Limber up your lungs

The New York Yankees and their fans make their first trip to Camden Yards this season from Friday to Sunday. The Detroit Tigers can raise more eyebrows with a good homestand against the Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The best National League matchup has the Arizona Diamondbacks visiting the New York Mets for three games starting tomorrow. Also, the St. Louis Cardinals host the rival Houston Astros for three games beginning tomorrow.

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