Top 10 active innings eaters

Chances are, you need a few pitchers on your fantasy baseball roster that can eat up innings. You know, that silly rule that prevents you from loading up on closers? Well, here is a list you could use, especially if your team if floundering and you need some steady pitchers to deliver quality innings of work. This is the list of active leaders in innings pitched. Some of the names will surprise you, but certainly not all of them:

1. Jamie Moyer, Philadelphia Phillies (3966 innings)—Remember when Jamie Moyer pitched for the Cubs? Yeah, neither does anyone else. He was a rookie in 1986, the year Mookie Wilson hit the ball through Bill Buckner’s legs. I know, most of you don’t remember that, either.

2. Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (2984)—Though it’s early, Andy Pettitte is having a career year at age 38. And I’m just glad I had the foresight (errr, luck) to draft him for my fantasy team.

3. Tim Wakefield, Boston Red Sox (2980)—Remember when Tim Wakefield pitched for the Pirates? Seriously, he started out there in 1992 and joined the Sox in 1995. And dude is still beloved by the chowder heads.

4. Livan Hernandez, Washington Nationals (2795)—Two things are baffling. One, that Livan’s age is listed as 35. Thirty-freaking-five! Um, no. And two, that this guy is still getting hitters out with that blistering 80 mph fastball of his.

5. Javier Vasquez, New York Yankees (2532)—So this guy has banked $92 million in his career to date for losing as many games as he wins (145-144). That’s proof right there that innings eaters are worth something, but still sounds like highway robbery to me.

6. Jeff Suppan, Milwaukee Brewers (2437)—He’s relegated to the bullpen for the most part, but still racking up innings of work.

7. Kevin Millwood, Baltimore Orioles (2382)—Remember when Kevin Millwood was the fourth starter behind Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine in Atlanta? That was in 1997 but seems like it was 50 years ago.

8. Derek Lowe, Atlanta Braves (2191)—He may have peaked a few years ago, but this guy still has some of the nastiest stuff in the game.

9. Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves (2124)—Through all of the injuries, it’s truly amazing that Tim Hudson has pitched that many innings. And hey, Javier, put this in your pipe and smoke it—a 153-79 career record.

10. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (2123)—This dude just keeps winning, but even he’s only got 154 wins to date. Does that seem right?

Source: Baseball Reference

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Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine officially retire

According to, two predominant figures in the 1990s have decide to hang up their cleats, as Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine have officially announced their retirement.

Glavine’s legacy in Atlanta will always be highlighted by the dazzling performance he produced in the clinching Game 6 of the 1995 World Series. His eight scoreless innings against the potent Indians lineup is celebrated just as much as the decisive solo homer delivered that evening by David Justice.

Regarded as one of the most determined pitchers to stand on a mound, Glavine made 672 starts and compiled 4,361 1/3 innings before making his first career trip to the disabled list during the 2008 season. A torn flexor tendon in his left elbow would necessitate two more trips and lead to the August surgical procedure, during which Dr. James Andrews also cleaned out some tissue around the veteran hurler’s left labrum.

For 19 seasons, Thomas tore apart opposing hurlers with his immense power and keen batting eye to the tune of a .301 average, an amazing .419 on-base percentage, .555 slugging percentage, 521 home runs and 1,704 RBIs. Sixteen of those years came on the South Side of Chicago, so it’s only fitting Thomas announced the end to what looks like a Hall of Fame-bound career Thursday night in the same city.

“The Big Hurt” definitely has a case for Hall of Fame enshrinement after winning back-to-back MVP awards in 1993 and 1994. The only thing that hurts (no pun intended) his chances of reaching Cooperstown is that he was primarily a DH, so he’ll be on the bubble when it comes time for voting.

Glavine on the other hand, should be a shoe-in for the Hall. He’s a two-time Cy Young winner, a 305-game winner and holds a career ERA of 3.54. Although this won’t have a barring on whether or not he gets into the HOF, he was also on the most dominant pitching staffs in baseball in the 90s.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Glavine considering grievance against the Braves

According to FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal, pitcher Tom Glavine is considering filing a formal grievance against the Atlanta Braves for his release from the team last Wednesday.

Glavine feels his release was done for financial reasons and not to clear a spot in the rotation for hot prospect Tommy Hanson, who is making his major league debut today against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Rosenthal asked Braves general manager Frank Wren for his reaction:

Wren said the decision was made for performance reasons, not business reasons. The team promoted top prospect Hanson rather than activate Glavine.

According to the MLB collective-bargaining agreement, no player can be released from a team because of financial reasons. Glavine would have received a $1 million bonus if he had been activated from the disabled list for Sunday’s start.

Smoltz rips Braves after releasing Glavine

John Smoltz ripped his old team recently after the Braves released his former teammate Tom Glavine.

“I’m using a very soft word in ‘disappointed’ because that ain’t right,” said Smoltz, a teammate of Glavine’s for 16 years. The duo won 454 games and three Cy Young Awards as Braves.

Glavine, who had been rehabbing from shoulder and elbow surgery, was released Wednesday — “a performance decision,” according to Braves General Manager Frank Wren.

“To go that far in your rehab, and then right before the time, to do that?” Smoltz said following Wednesday’s Red Sox game in Detroit. “Well, it’s not my problem anymore, I just feel bad for a teammate of mine that I had for a long time.”

Asked if he thought Glavine’s release was financially motivated, Smoltz told reporters, “Yeah, I know too much, let’s just put it that way.”

He’s doubtful his old teammate will pitch for another team.

When a team releases a player that helped them win at some point throughout the years, it’s always a dicey situation. The team wants to remain loyal to that player, but the ultimate goal is to always be building for the future.

So when a player like Glavine is released by an organization like the Braves, it’s going to get kind of ugly. I don’t disagree with what Smoltz says because after all, he knows the situation better than I do. But the bottom line is that the Braves are trying to move forward and they don’t see Glavine helping them in the future and therefore decided to part ways.

It’s just the nature of the beast.

Top 10 Active Gopher Ball Leaders

Some pitching statistics are not very complimentary, most of all the gopher ball line….that is, for pitchers who have a penchant for throwing that big fat pitch that a hitter tends to crush over the fence. Here is a list of the active pitchers who lead the majors in this category, and only includes players who are currently on a major league roster:

1. Jamie Moyer, Philadelphia Phillies (474)—Okay, so he’s been pitching since 1986 and throws mostly slow junk, but Moyer has given up double digits in gopher balls 16 times, including FORTY FOUR in 2004 while with Seattle, the fifth highest total for a single season in baseball history. And he is only 31 behind all-time leader Robin Roberts, who gave up 505 long balls. Way to go, Jamie.

2. Randy Johnson, San Francisco Giants (399)—We can pretty much give the Big Unit a pass, because he’s struck out 4,819 batters and is closing in on 300 wins.

3. Tim Wakefield, Boston Red Sox (363)—All you can say is that sometimes the knuckleball is completely baffling, and sometimes it looks like a soccer ball to the hitter.

4. Tom Glavine, Atlanta Braves (356)—As good as Glavine is and has been throughout his illustrious career, he has always had the penchant for giving up the long ball.

5. Javier Vasquez, Atlanta Braves (304)—Since breaking into the big leagues in 1998, Vasquez has AVERAGED 29 homers given up per season…he’s been as low as 20, and as high as 35. Batter up!

6. Livan Hernandez, New York Mets (301)—I read recently where Livan’s pitches were clocking in the 62 mph range…..are you kidding me? Yet, he’s still getting hitters out with regularity.

6. Jeff Suppan, Milwaukee Brewers (301)—Jeff Suppan has always had decent control, averaging 68 walks per season since breaking in with the Red Sox in 1995. But he’s also given up an average of 27 homers per season. Sometimes control means you leave it out over the plate.

8. John Smoltz, Boston Red Sox (277)—Smoltz has only averaged 16 homers given up per season, including a few years as the Braves’ closer, but still—you pitch since 1988, your numbers are going to add up.

9. Bartolo Colon, Chicago White Sox (245)—In 2004, Bartolo won 18 games but gave up 38 homers. Somebody must have inspired or bribed him with cheeseburgers the next year when he went 21-8 and won the AL Cy Young.

10. Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (235)—For all those years with the short porch in right field in the old Yankee Stadium, Pettitte gave up a career high 27 homers while pitching for the Astros in 2006.

Source: Baseball Reference

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