Mlb Week

September 24, 2006

A scout's take

On Matt Garza, Twins' 22-year-old right-hander

Pitches -- He has four pitches and is capable of throwing them all for strikes. He'll throw up to 95 [mph]. I would say the fastball is definitely a plus pitch with the exception of [its lack of movement]. His slider is average, his curveball is average and his changeup is solid-average. But he's got four big league pitches at a very young age.

Weaknesses -- In college [at Fresno State in 2005], he had a little bit of a command problem. And when you look back at the numbers, when he would throw a lot of strikes, a lot of clubs would hit him pretty hard. His fastball ... is still a little bit straight.

Overall -- He's a big kid [6 feet 5, 190 pounds], tall, slender, wiry. His makeup's fine. ... I would project him more toward the middle of the rotation [than the top], but you never know. There are No. 1 starters now that we never thought would be No. 1's.

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

Say what?

"He treated me like a son. He gave me my first job. He was the only guy that believed in me."

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on former Orioles executive Syd Thrift, who died Monday in a Delaware hospital after having knee replacement surgery. Thrift, 77, hired Leyland, one of baseball's most respected skippers, to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986.

Numbing number

23

The number of games Cincinnati Reds center fielder Ken Griffey has played in September over the past five seasons. He hasn't played since Sept. 4 because of a dislocated toe on his right foot.

What's up?

The Orioles finish in New York and Boston, but local fans can see pennant baseball down I-95 when the resurgent Philadelphia Phillies fight for their playoff lives Tuesday through Thursday night in Washington. The Phillies end up in Florida. San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers also finish on the road, with the Padres going to St. Louis and Arizona and the Dodgers traveling to Colorado and San Francisco. In the American League, the Minnesota Twins host the Kansas City Royals for four games and the Chicago White Sox for three to end the season. Detroit hosts the Toronto Blue Jays and the Royals. And the Oakland A's finish with four games at the rival Los Angeles Angels.

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