Doc: Beginner's (bad) luck

Posted: July 18, 2012

ROY HALLADAY is by no means the only Opening Day starter who had misadventures this season. In fact, compared to some (like Jake Arrieta, of the Orioles), Halladay's 2012 hasn't been so bad. Though things are rough when Roy Halladay's name appears in the same sentence as Jake Arrieta's.

Anyway, with big Roy's return to the mound Tuesday night at Los Angeles, we've taken a look at how the 30 Opening Day pitchers are faring this season.

NL East

Braves, Tommy Hanson (10-5, 4.02): Is one away from tying his career high in wins. His next step is managing his pitch counts.

Marlins, Josh Johnson (5-6, 4.28): Location has been a problem this season for Johnson, who made only nine starts last year because of shoulder problems.

Mets, Johan Santana (6-6, 3.59): Except for a few starts, Santana has been hit around since his 134-pitch no-hitter on June 1. His ERA through June 1 was 2.38. It is 5.67 since.

Nationals, Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 2.66): It's going to be fascinating to see if the first-place Nats stick to their pledge of limiting Strasburg to 160 innings this season. Strasburg, who had Tommy John surgery in August 2010, is at 106 counting the All-Star Game. Assuming six innings per start, 160 will be reached in late August/early September.

Phillies, Roy Halladay (4-5, 3.98): Didn't look himself in spring training and, sure enough, needed a 7-week stay on the disabled list because of a shoulder issue.

NL Central

Astros, Wandy Rodriguez (7-7, 3.51): His numbers are mediocre because his team is a disaster. Rodriguez is another guy who could get moved before July 31. He's 0-for-34 from the plate, so he'd probably welcome a move to an AL team.

Brewers, Yovani Gallardo (8-6, 3.59): Take out two atrocious starts in April (5 2/3, 14 ER) and Gallardo's ERA is 3.07. This guy is solid.

Cardinals, Kyle Lohse (9-2, 2.80): Had an All-Star caliber first half to help keep the Cards in contention in the NL Central.

Cubs, Ryan Dempster (5-3, 1.86): Is riding a club-record 33-inning scoreless streak and is in the same situation as Cole Hamels. His contract is up at the end of the season and he'd fetch a boatload of goodies if the lowly Cubs wanted to trade him. (By the way, isn't "lowly Cubs" redundant?)

Pirates, Erik Bedard (4-10, 4.80): Started the season as the Pirates' ace, but is now fifth in the rotation.

Reds, Johnny Cueto (10-5, 2.39): Is sixth among all starting pitchers and a relative bargain at $5.4 million. Wonder if the All-Star snub will provide motivation?

NL West

Diamondbacks, Ian Kennedy (6-8, 4.55): It's looking like his 2011 campaign (21-4, fourth in Cy Young) could have been a fluke.

Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.84): Though he won't match last year's 21-5 Cy Young season, Kershaw is still one of the most reliable pitchers in baseball.

Giants, Tim Lincecum (3-10, 5.99): This is easily the worst season of his career, and it started when he gave up three runs to the Diamondbacks in the very first inning on Opening Day. Was dominant in his most recent start.

Padres, Edinson Volquez (5-7, 3.69): It's all about command for Volquez, who has excellent stuff but leads the majors in walks.

Rockies, Jeremy Guthrie (3-9, 6.14): Guthrie was so bad that he was yanked out of the rotation for 3 weeks in late-June. The Phillies tagged him with his latest loss on Saturday.

AL East

Blue Jays, Ricky Romero (8-5, 5.03): His ERA is more than two runs higher than the 2.92 he posted last year. June (7.33 ERA in five starts) was particularly rough for him.

Orioles, Jake Arrieta (3-9, 6.13): Not only was Arrieta yanked out of the rotation on July 5, but he was sent down to Triple A. He did pitch a gem (7 IP, 2 H) when the Orioles beat the Twins in the opener.

Rays, James Shields (8-6, 4.44): Has come back down to earth after finishing third in Cy Young voting last year. Shields had four shutouts and 11 complete games in 2011. He has none of either this season.

Red Sox, Jon Lester (5-6, 4.49): Can't blame fried chicken and beer for his mediocre 2012.

Yankees, CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.45): Also returning to the mound tonight after a DL stint. Sabathia hasn't pitched since late June because of a groin strain.

AL Central

Indians, Justin Masterson (6-8, 4.14): Was given the Opening Day nod despite having a procedure to drain a shoulder cyst during the offseason, which he called "shoulder juice." Hasn't missed a start this year.

Royals, Bruce Chen (7-8, 5.50): The six shutout innings he threw in the season opener were among the few highlights of his 2012 campaign.

Tigers, Justin Verlander (10-5, 2.43): Put aside his ugly performance in the All-Star Game (1 IP, 5 ER), and Verlander again has been one of the AL's top pitchers. Shaping up to be another neat Cy Young race with LA's Jered Weaver, whom Verlander beat out a year ago.

Twins, Carl Pavano (2-5, 6.00): This has been a very forgettable season for Pavano, who hasn't pitched since June 1 because of a shoulder strain.

White Sox, John Danks (3-4, 5.70): Hasn't pitched since May 19 because of a shoulder injury and isn't expected to be back any time soon. Impressively, the ChiSox haven't missed him.

AL West

Angels, Jered Weaver (11-1, 2.26): Began the season by becoming the first Angels pitcher since Nolan Ryan to have 10 strikeouts on Opening Day. Spent 3 weeks on the DL in June because of a bad back but has responded with five consecutive wins.

Athletics, Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 2.54): Was having a real good season but developed a shoulder injury and hasn't pitched since June 19.

Mariners, Felix Hernandez (7-5, 2.92): Has pitched very well recently and made it to his third All-Star Game. Major league strikeout leader with 140.

Rangers, Colby Lewis (6-6, 3.51): Forearm tendinitis has kept Lewis on the shelf since June 23, though he is scheduled to pitch Wednesday. Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish have passed Lewis at the top of the rotation for the two-time defending AL champs.

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