28 May

at this point …

A check of the standings on Memorial Day, so they say, is a good measuring stick for how MLB teams are shaping up for the season. Contender, pretender, bottom feeder … we’re supposed to be able to tell something two months in. If the same is true of players, well, a check of the stats on Monday was good news for the likes of Lance Lynn, Mitch Moreland, Seth Smith, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee and, perhaps, Desmond Jennings, Paul Maholm and Chris Coghlan. The other Mississippians in the majors could be in for a rough summer. Lynn (Ole Miss) is 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA for St. Louis, possibly the best team in baseball. Moreland (Mississippi State) is hitting .287 with 10 homers for a first-place Texas club. Smith (UM) is at .287 (.314 in his last 10 games) with five homers for a contending Oakland team. Papelbon (State) has been dynamite (9-for-9 on saves, 0.96 ERA) and Lee (Meridian Community College) very effective (5-2, 2.48), even though Philadelphia is off to a wobbly start. Jennings (Itawamba CC) is hitting just .235 but does have five homers and 32 runs in 46 games for Tampa Bay, which is hanging tough in the American League East. Maholm (State) was 6-4, 3.38 for first-place Atlanta before getting roughed up by Toronto today. Miami is a disaster, sure, but Coghlan (UM), after years of struggle, is showing positive signs (.250 in 92 at-bats, .333 over his last 10 games). Jarrod Dyson (Southwest CC), currently on the disabled list, is hitting .268 with six steals for another struggling club, Kansas City. Then there’s the other guys. Zack Cozart (UM) has a .232 average and five homers for Cincinnati, which looks set to battle the Cardinals for the National League Central title. Brian Dozier (Southern Miss) is in a 3-for-31 skid and is batting .197 for lowly Minnesota. Tyler Moore (State) has gotten only 79 at-bats and is hitting just .152 with one homer; his Washington team also has been sluggish. Julio Borbon (Starkville) homered on Monday and is batting .250 with four bags but has managed just limited duty for the scuffling Chicago Cubs. Tony Sipp (Gulf Coast CC) has a 4.91 ERA and two blown saves for Arizona, which looks like a factor in the NL West. Robert Carson (Hattiesburg) has a 9.45 ERA in nine games for the New York Mets, who appear to be going nowhere in 2013. Louis Coleman (Pillow Academy) has made just two relief appearances for KC since being recalled last week.

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