Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jose Bautista hits two more homers, ahead of last year's pace

Not many, if any, expected Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista to repeat his baseball-leading and breakout performance of 54 home runs in 2010.

In fact, here's what I wrote about Bautista in March in fantasy baseball outfielder rankings: "Although there's virtually no chance that he duplicates his 54-homer performance from 2010, Bautista could hit 35 or so homers with 100 runs batted in. Even better, he also has position eligibility at third base."

Although we are only 45 games into the season, it appears that I could be (very) wrong.

Despite missing eight games this season, Bautista belted his 17th and 18th home runs through 37 games played.

That means, Bautista is on pace for 64.8 home runs if he continues to hit 18 per every 45 games. Of course, it seems highly improbable that he'll maintain anything close to that pace.

But, then again, Bautista has hit 82 home runs since September 2009.

With 18 home runs in 132 at-bats, he's hitting a home run per 7.33 at-bats. Last year, he hit one in every 10.54 at-bats, on average.

Marlins place Josh Johnson on DL, retroactive to May 17th

With the exception of a five-run outing on Cinco de Mayo, Marlins starter Josh Johnson has allowed only one or no runs in six of his last seven starts, the last of which was against the Mets on May 16th.

In that start, Johnson left after the fifth inning due to a forearm bruise caused by a Carlos Beltran groundball, but he had allowed only one run.

Instead of starting tomorrow as scheduled, it's going to be a while before Johnson gets his next start.

Per Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the Marlins have placed Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Since he hasn't started since the 16th, the move is retroactive to May 17th.

The Marlins called up Jay Buente, who will take Johnson's roster spot and start tomorrow's game against Tampa.

In 60 1/3 innings this season, Johnson has struck out 56 batters while allowing only 39 hits. He has a 3-1 record with an ERA of 1.64, which is tied for the lead in the National League.