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Alex Remington

The Numbers: Oh, to be young and be a league-leading pitcher

Big League Stew

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Each week, Big League Stew stat doctor Alex Remington will bring you a few baseball numbers you need to know.

The combined age of the two leading pitchers in the American and National Leagues. Ubaldo Jimenez(notes), 26, currently leads the NL in wins (12) and ERA (1.16) for Colorado while David Price(notes), 24, is doing the same in the AL for wins (nine) and ERA (2.23) for Tampa Bay.That probably shouldn't be a surprise given all the young pitching talent, but success is coming at an even younger average age for Price and Jimenez than it did for three of 2009's ERA and wins leaders — Kansas City's Zack Greinke(notes) (26), Detroit's Justin Verlander(notes) (27) and St. Louis' Adam Wainwright(notes) (28).

The average number of innings the Rays have gotten from their starters, the most in the majors. The San Fransisco Giants are the only other team whose rotation is averaging more than 6 1/3 innings per start. And while the Giants may have the names — Cain and Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez(notes) and Barry Zito — and lead the majors in starter ERA (3.19), the Rays have turned more of their quality starts into victories.

Jose Bautista's(notes) career homer total before this season. After failing to hit a single home run in Baltimore, Kansas City or Tampa Bay — which all took a chance on him in 2004 — he slammed 43 taters in 1,314 at-bats in parts of five seasons in Pittsburgh. For his entire career through 2009, he averaged one home run for every 29.7 at-bats or so. This year, the 29-year-old is averaging one homer for every 12.2 at-bats. The Blue Jays are like the anti-Phillies — their catcher, shortstop, center fielder and right fielder are all headed for fluky career years.

Justin Upton(notes) and Mark Reynolds'(notes) combined strikeout total with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Incredibly, Upton has wrested control of the strikeout lead from his teammate Reynolds, the all-time single-season strikeout king who has led the majors in K's for two years running. But Upton also holds the thinnest of leads, 87 to 86. The two are safe from any other challengers: Rickie Weeks(notes) (Milwaukee) and David Wright(notes) (New York Mets) are next with 75 and 74 strikeouts, which is at least a week behind Upton and Reynolds' pace.

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The career batting average of 27-year-old Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano(notes), who currently leads the majors with a .371 batting average. Cano currently has the 11th-highest career average among all active players, and the sixth-highest all-time batting average among second basemen, behind Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie, Eddie Collins, Charlie Gehringer, Frankie Frisch (the Fordham Flash!), and just ahead of Jackie Robinson.

The number of extra-base hits the Astros have hit in 2,050 at-bats this year, the lowest in the majors. The Astros have been the most powerless team in baseball this year, with the lowest slugging percentage, fewest doubles, fifth-fewest triples, second-fewest homers, and fewest overall extra base hits, though the punchless Seattle Mariners haven't been far behind. Still, the Mariners play in Safeco, one of the toughest pitchers' parks in baseball, while the Astros play in cozy Minute Maid, one of the better hitters' parks. Their ineptitude ought to get someone fired.

Percentage of Chipper Jones'(notes) major league-leading walk rate. Jones is taking a walk in nearly a fifth of his appearances, so despite the fact that he's batting just .228 and has seen his power nearly evaporate, he still has an on-base percentage of .375 as the Braves' regular third-place hitter. Jones' nagging injuries have frequently kept him out of the lineup, sapped his bat's once-formidable pop, and may soon send him to the DL or even retirement. But as long as he has his Hall of Fame batting eye and can stay on the field, he's still a useful offensive player.

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