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Notes for 05/07 and post-game thoughts for 05/06

Yesterday's game was interesting, and it's also interesting that mainstream media is giving Ponson big pats on the back for having two good starts out of six tries and being lucky enough to have the run support to be 4-1 right now. It's getting ahead of yourself, really. His ERA is still 5.50. It seems like Sid's good starts are always deep into the game, eight or nine innings, and people get really excited about it, because seeing a guy pitch well that far into a game does give you confidence about him.

But I don't understand the jumping on the Ponson bandwagon because he's never proven to be consistently good, really. The 2003 season and the second half of 2004 are his ceiling. And he's not even really at that. I mean, I'm glad he's 4-1, but I have a hard time suddenly seeing him as a better pitcher than I did before, you know? I've seen him do this song and dance before.

Bautista was fun to watch. He was probably pulled a little early by Pena, at 3 2/3 IP with the bases loaded and three runs given up. I mean, why? You're 7-21 coming into the game, let your guy try to get out of that. Bautista really needs to develop a changeup or something because I think I saw him throw a fastball (and it's fast, but doesn't do anything) and a couple different curveballs and that was it.

Surhoff went 3-for-4 and is now up to respectably decent numbers to look at, but man we need to just go ahead and rethink the value of having David Newhan. I thought it was a bit questionable to carry both as they have basically the same skill set, but Newhan can still play third (Gomez can play third) and he can play center (Bigbie can play center), and Surhoff has been good in the field and is probably still a better hitter.

I was looking over Newhan's career stats, and particularly looking at his minor league numbers, and I find it kind of interesting that through age 24 (when he was at Double-A Mobile), Newhan walked a fair amount, and then his next season in AAA he just didn't, and outside of the season after (2000), he never has again.

Why did he turn from a hitter that seemed to not mind taking a walk to one that doesn't do it? And Newhan really badly tailed off last year. I just think the expectations on Newhan need to be controlled and the fact that he hit .424 over 85 at-bats before the All-Star break last year needs to be ignored in favor of what he did after (OPS drop of 1.138 in those 85 AB to .718 in the 288 after) and what he's doing now.

Newhan has to be treated with the idea that if he performs, great, but if he doesn't, find someone who will, because he has a strange minor league track record, no major league track record at all, and he's 31 years old. I like the position flexibility that he offers, and I like that he's got a little speed, but how much can he really contribute?

I'm not anti-Newhan, necessarily, I'm just anti-wasted roster spots. He's had 22 at-bats this year, which is nothing to base anything on, but he worries me dating back to his cooling off last year, when we saw he's a mediocre player that got off to a great, inspiring start.

Also, did you know he hit all eight of his homers at night last year? Weird.

I haven't seen anything new on Sosa's foot lesion, but Mora should be OK to start tonight, which is great news and had me scared to death. If he doesn't, though, I expect Newhan would start at third, although with the way Gomez is swinging the bat right now, I'd rather see him if Melvin needs the night off.