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Baseball Personnel Changes

   by Bryan Leonard - 05/29/2006

Changes take place on the baseball diamond daily. Players get hurt and go on the DL. Players get hurt and continue to play, which can affect their performance. Managers make changes in the field and in the batting order. Managers make changes in the starting rotations.

It’s essential for the sports bettor to keep up on these changes. The Angels, for instance, have a good offense on paper, but various injuries have taken a bit out of their offensive punch. Garrett Anderson is battling a bad back, for instance, and the offense is third worst in the AL in batting, on base percentage and home runs. If they get healthy this should be a very productive offense, so it’s key to keep up with their health situation.

The NY Mets have been the early frontrunner in the NL East. The Mets had a decent weekend taking wo out of three from the rival Yankees. However, the starting rotation has taken major hits of late, with rookie Brian Bannister out and they just lost starter Victor Zambrano for the season. Mets fans must be cringing every time Tampa Bay lefty Scott Kazmir has another great game – and he’s had a lot of them this season.

You may recall two years ago at the trading deadline the Mets sent their best pitching prospect, Kazmir, to the Devil Rays for Zambrano. The trade was widely criticized at the time and it looks even worse now. Think about a rotation of Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine and Kazmir. Instead, the Mets are desperate to fill out the rotation, especially with the surging Phillies suddenly hot on their heals. Kazmir just allowed four hits and matched a career-high with 11 strikeouts in eight innings, helping the Devil Rays beat the Marlins 3-0 for the young left-hander's fifth straight win. At 22, Kazmir is the youngest major league pitcher to win seven games this early in a season since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981!

The Cubs have a terrible offense, still without ace slugger Derek Lee, and notice they are on a 7-1 run under the total. And speaking of weak offense, the NY Yankees are having all kinds of problems. Following the Subway Series loss to the Mets, the Yankees put right-hander Shawn Chacon on the shelf with a bruised left shin. Chacon was slated to start Sunday, but watched Aaron Small face the Mets in the Yanks' 4-3 loss. Small will fill in for Chacon this week. Chacon will join Carl Pavano, Tanyon Sturtze, Octavio Dotel, Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui and Bubba Crosby on the DL. The Yankees promoted outfielder Terrance Long from Triple-A Columbus. Joe Torre said Long can expect to play right away. And Yankees catcher Jorge Posada missed his second straight game with back spasms.

The Yankees are on an 8-3 run under the total, which isn’t a surprise with so much offense hurt. The joke in the NY Post this week was, “How do you get the Yankees out? Put runners in scoring position.â€쳌 Seventeen times the Yankees batted with at least a runner on second against the Mets and just twice they delivered hits. Combined with a 2-for-10 effort in the clutch Saturday, the Yankees are 4-for-27 (.148) heading into the week.

A lesser change has taken place out West as San Diego is suddenly finding some offense after a very poor start offensively to the season. The Padres are on a 10-4 run over the total. Changes occur constantly in baseball, and it’s important to keep tabs and see if that is correlating to any spread marks, such as wins, losses, overs and unders.

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