Last night, Jered Weaver became only the fourth pitcher in modern Major League Baseball history to begin the season 6-0 in March/April. The other three were Dave Stewart for the Athletics in 1988, Randy Johnson for the Diamondbacks in 2000 and 2002 and Brandon Webb again for the Diamondbacks in 2008.

While it’s true that in order to accumulate pitching wins, a pitcher requires a lot of things beyond his control to fall into place, Weaver has more than held up his end of the bargain in each of his six starts this season. Last night against the Athletics wasn’t any different. Weaver struck out ten batters en route to his third career shutout and second straight complete game, as the Angels won 5-0.

How dominant has Jered Weaver been so far this season? The Angels starter now leads the league in strikeouts and dropped his earned run average to below 1. What’s behind this success?

According to Mike Scioscia:

He has a breaking ball and a changeup, he changes speeds off his fastball. It’s not like he throws the ball down the middle. He’s making pitches. He’s on a terrific roll. If we keep supporting him he’s going to have a terrific year. Experience is a great teacher. He’s definitely grown from his experience in the major leagues. He understands what he can do, and what works for him to maintain that all season. He’s grown in a number of areas, game to game, season to season, and also throughout the offseason. He understands what he needs to do.

Weaver’s repertoire includes two fastballs, a curve, a slider and a changeup, all of which he uses to great effect. But his success on the mound is nothing new. Last season, Weaver led the league in strikeouts and had a 3.06 FIP. The biggest difference between then and now is in the run support he’s gotten. The long and lanky right hander received only 3.2 runs from his offense when he was on the mound in 2010. This year, that number is up an entire run per start.

While it’s still early going, all indications point to Weaver being the type of Cy Young candidate that both old school baseball writers and new school seam heads could agree on at season’s end.

And The Rest:

After conferring with Joe Torre, Bud Selig appointed J. Thomas Schieffer, the former president of the Texas Rangers, as the “Monitor” of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise.

Phil Hughes had a significant setback in his rehabilitation from arm trouble.

Scott Boras is already peddling Prince Fielder, and we’re barely twenty games into the season.

Not even Chipper Jones’ 500th career double was enough to stop the San Diego Padres last night.

Jeff Passan looks at how teams are dealing with declining attendance, but it’s news to me that MLB even cares.

The Milwaukee Brewers have suddenly found themselves with a new hawk mascot, and eats pigeons in center field while an entire stadium watches. Your move, rally monkey.

Adrian Beltre is insanely animated in the batter’s box, and that means taking a knee from time to time.

Before Manny was Manny, he posed for a ton of awesome black and white pictures.

Are the David Wright trade rumours a sign that the New York Mets are preparing for a fire sale?

Tony LaRussa’s daughter is now a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders. I’m pretty sure I could only find her attractive if I didn’t know who Tony LaRussa was or what he looked like.

As much as people ride J.P. Ricciardi for letting Troy Tulowitzki escape the Blue Jays grasp, it’s important to remember that Jeff Clement was taken with the third overall pick.

Why did it take Carl Crawford so long to become Carl Crawford this year?

The 2011 Kansas City Royals aren’t just a team of stop gaps, they’re also close knit. Soon they’ll put a life size cut out of their owner in the locker room and tear away a piece of clothing after each win.

Gabe Gross has decided to retire from baseball.

Luke Scott: Such a charming ignoramus.

Finally, would this guy be as eager to hump the Cleveland Indians mascot if it was an offensive stereotype instead of the multi-coloured pansexual being that it is? Also, sandals? Really, dude?

Comments (21)

  1. Not sure if you caught it Parkes, but great talk on PTS yesterday between Zaun and Bobcat – Bobcat asked about Lawrie’s development at AAA and Zaun quite explicitly said that the talent level is mediocre at best and that a C prospect or an A prospect will put close to the same numbers up, especially in the PCL given the lack of pitching quality in AAA.

  2. If David Wright gets traded and the Jays don’t go after him, I will be truly disappointed.

  3. Yep, but there may be an opening at second base that Lawrie could fill. Wasn’t that where he was playing in the minors before this season?

  4. I don’t think that’s a very good idea given Lawrie’s short comings at defense.

  5. So what kind of footwear are you supposed to wear with shorts, shoes and socks? Should you ditch the shorts and the sandals and always wear pants unless you’re at the beach or something? Summer fashion is such a pain.

  6. “Why is Weaver playing so well all of a sudden?” I guess I’ll be the first to say it… probably hard work and talent finally coming through.

  7. LaRussa’s daughter is cute. That going home to meet her parents thing might not work out so well.
    “So, do you like baseball, son?”
    “Yeah!! I was just a kid when I saw Kirk Gibson hit that awesome homer in the 1988WS. . . .uhh.. . .”

  8. the reason you go after wright is precisely bc you have doubts about lawrie’s def. – it allows you to move him to OF. i’m not saying they should do it, i’m just saying it wouldn’t be so nuts.

    here’s something i don’t get: how is the PCL a “hitter’s league”? it gets said all the time, but there is no explanation. i understand park factor, but league factor?
    if each team only has 1 AAA team, it isn’t like they’re all hiding their Z.Stewarts in AA, is it? even if these are mostly “hitter’s parks” the #s that 51s are putting up make old-Coors look like PetCo

  9. as opposed to the West Divisions in MLB? I don’t see how they are so drastically different.

  10. But where would Lawrie be moved in the outfield? To right field which would probably then lead to Bautista being moved to third base.

  11. check out the attendance chart in Passan’s article… the Jays are leading the league in % change since this time last season… up nearly 8000 per game (chart only covers the season through april 24th)

    that has to be sweet music to head office ears

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-passan_10_degrees_attendance_042511

  12. So do you guys wear shoes and socks with shorts or do you just not wear shorts?

  13. agreed on sandals,

    in some hypothetical trade for d. wright , i would imagine pieces moving to open up a space for him, whether that’s snider, lind or even lawrie – who knows?

    i’m in the camp of: snider seems like he’s going to ‘get it’ and when the light goes on, it won’t go off. i’m not in the camp of: he’s just a victim of bad babip, or whatever, because he’s clearly taking too many 0-2 counts these days. with that said, it seems like now would be a bad time to pursue a trade and expect ‘fair’ value for him. also, meats don’t clash. why trade genius?

  14. What about flip flops? If I’m going to the beach I wear flops, although I guess technically they are just for driving there and getting to my spot, then it’s bare feet.

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