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MLB News from Yesterday

White Sox rookie 2B Danny Richar hit his first major league home run, a grand slam against lefty specialist George Sherrill.  With just a .182 AVG, he has slightly disappointed in his first half a month.  However, he has drawn 8 walks and has an 84% contact rate.  With fewer than 40 games remaining, expect him to be an asset as he wraps-up the starting 2B job for 2008.

Giants rookie CF Rajai Davis hit his first major league home run, a two-run shot against lefty starter Scott Olsen.  Since joining the Giants in the Great Trade Robbery of 2007, Davis has produced a eye-popping slash line of 373/467/608.  I don't believe the relative difference between his AVG and SLG (.235) is anything but the result of a small sample, but the one between his AVG and OBP is more plausible (.093).  Including the 48 ABs with the Pirates, Rajai Davis has a slashstat line of 301/394/451 with 15 walks and a contact rate of 89%.  If only the Giants hadn't bestowed a three-year deal on Dave Roberts.

Rookie pitcher J.D. Durbin won his 5th game for the Phillies.  According to Baseball Prospectus' Expected Wins (def: Expected win record for the pitcher, based on how often pitchers with the same innings pitched and runs allowed earned a win or loss historically), Durbin should have two Wins.  As a matter of statistical fact, much of the Phillies staff is over expectations - Hamels 10.5 E(W) versus 14, Jamie Moyer 8.5 E(W) v. 11, Adam Eaton 9 E(W) v. 6.4.  Surprisingly, Kyle Kendrick's 5 Wins are right in line with his 5.2 E(W).

Yankees manager used rookie reliever Joba Chamberlain in the 9th inning of last night's victory over the Detroit tigers.  Given the meaninglessness of pitching in a 6-1 game and the edict that Chamberlain not pitch back-to-back games, one could ask why use Chamberlain and not a less important bullpen arm in that situation.  However, he can now pitch in Sunday's finale against Detroit.