Baseball America is in the business of prognostication, or, perhaps more accurately, semi-scientific soothsaying (which is a fine explanation of ‘SSS’ to those you’d like to mock). Their projections, not unlike those of most any prospect analyst or scout, are inaccurate far more often than not – meteorologists may well scoff at the B.A. Handbooks of yesteryear without a hint of irony.
Regardless, despite the inherent flaws associated with gazing into one’s prospecting crystal ball, few argued with Baseball America’s assessments of Messrs Hughes and Matusz, both of whom peaked in the outlet’s top-five – Hughes at number four in 2007, and Matusz at number five in 2010. Over the course of their respective Major League careers, the duo has combined to throw just over 750 IP … while posting a 4.99 ERA and 5.8 bWAR (4.6 of which, it must be said, belongs to Hughes).
The 2011 season represented rock-bottom for both (though, that may be optimistic given Hughes’ performance thus far), with questions of talent, dedication, and most everything involving the human condition flying in from all directions. Spring Training, however, resulted in renewed hope for the duo, with reports of improved velocity and command flowing for both, and “best shape of his life” sentiments being expressed with gusto. Neither has fulfilled the promise of early Spring, but both remain 25-years-old … and tonight represents a snapshot into the perils of prospecting. For those of us who concern ourselves with such efforts, this is nothing short of intriguing.
Onto tonight’s line-ups:
|Baltimore Orioles||New York Yankees|
|Endy Chavez, LF||Derek Jeter, SS|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||Curtis Granderson, CF|
|Nick Markakis, RF||Alex Rodriguez, 3B|
|Adam Jones, CF||Robinson Cano, 2B|
|Matt Wieters, C||Mark Teixeira, 1B|
|Chris Davis, 1B||Andruw Jones, RF|
|Wilson Betemit, 3B||Russell Martin, DH|
|Nick Johnson, DH||Eduardo Nunez, LF|
|Robert Andino, 2B||Chris Stewart, C|
|Brian Matusz, SP||Phil Hughes, SP|
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm, on YES – let’s go Yankees!