AROUND THE HORN

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

The Cubs (24–6) look like the most dom­i­nat­ing team we’ve seen in some time. Through five weeks, Chicago’s plus-102 run dif­fer­en­tial was 58 higher than the Mets, base­ball next-best team. The Cubs be­came the fastest team to reach plus-100 in run dif­fer­en­tial (29 games) since the 1902 Pi­rates did it in 26 con­tests. Chicago also be­came the first Na­tional League team since the 1977 Dodgers to win 23 of its first 29. …

Bos­ton’s David Price is off to a tough start, and a closer look at his sea­son through Week 5 is as con­fus­ing as the fact that he’s got a 4–1 record de­spite a 6.75 ERA. The good: Price’s 11.54 strike­outs per nine in­nings is his ca­reer best thus far, and an ab­surd .373 bat­ting av­er­age on balls in play against him, far above his ca­reer mark of .288, sug­gests that Price is a vic­tim of bad luck. The bad: Price’s av­er­age fast­ball was reg­is­ter­ing just 91.8 miles per hour, well be­low his ca­reer av­er­age of 94.2. …

Af­ter four starts and a 7.25 ERA, the White Sox cut lefty John Danks, whom the fran­chise ac­quired in De­cem­ber 2006. Thirty-one-year-old Miguel Gon­za­lez was re­called from AAA and will re­place him; he started April 25 vs. Toronto, giv­ing up five earned runs in 5.1 in­nings be­fore be­ing de­moted. …

The out­look for the An­gels wasn’t good, and then their best start­ing pitcher, Gar­rett Richards (2.34 ERA) tore the UCL in his el­bow. Richards is seek­ing sec­ond opin­ions, but it ap­pears that Tommy John surgery will be nec­es­sary. That would cost him the rest of 2016. Twenty- four- year- old An­drew Heaney, per­haps the team’s next-most-tal­ented starter, also has UCL dam­age and is hop­ing to avoid surgery, but he hasn’t pitched since April 5 and isn’t mak­ing quick progress towards re­turn­ing. The An­gels hope to get 35-year-old C.J. Wil­son ( shoul­der is­sues) back by mid- June to mit­i­gate some of the dam­age. …

With all the strug­gling starters, ap­prox­i­mately 20 teams watched ex-Gi­ant Tim Lince­cum’s pri­vate work­out last week. The 31-year-old, a for­mer twotime Cy Young Award win­ner who’s not with any team, said that hip is­sues were re­spon­si­ble for the rapid de­cline of his ca­reer. Lince­cum hit 91 on the radar gun dur­ing his work­out.

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