Trivia question. What current pitcher in the majors started his career with 10 straight starts in which he logged at least five innings and allowed no more than three runs?
Not Tim Lincecum, not Johan Santana, not CC Sabathia.
Who then? None other than our own Barry Enright (aka the Red Man, El Colorado, Barry Ginger, Barry the Red, SB Nation Arizona's preferred, or any other nickname that has been tossed around and unable to stick).
After outdueling the almost shoo-in favorite for the 2010 National League Cy Young Award, Ubaldo Jimenez, Enright is now 4-2 with an ERA of 2.73. He hasn't had a bad start yet.
So why is he not getting ANY attention from the national media? He's not getting anything, not even a mention, when people start talking about the league's best rookies. Now, I'm not necessarily saying he should be this year's Rookie of the Year, but to leave him out is just plain silly.
Needless to say, I have some theories as to why he is the invisible rookie.
He plays for Arizona: There isn't much you can say about this, other than, "Yup, he does." The Diamondbacks have pretty much been an embarrassment to baseball, so it is understandable that the league would tend to ignore any of the goings on of its players.
He has only been in the majors for two months: I'll admit that this is a valid point, but really it hasn't even been two months yet. His first start was June 30. Aug. 30 is still a week away. However, his 10 starts equate to about 45 games with the team. San Francisco rookie catching sensation, Buster Posey, has only played in 74 games, and he is mentioned as a candidate for the 2010 ROY.
He doesn't have sexy "stuff": If you watch Enright throw, you might think that you could hit this guy. He rarely tops 90 mph on the radar gun, doesn't strike out many hitters, nor does he have the reputation of being a groundball pitcher. Nothing he does as a pitcher is exciting. He just gets people out (notice that hitters are only batting .230 against him).
His name isn't Stephen Strasburg: No, Strasburg isn't getting any real discussion for Rookie of the Year, but he is the only rookie pitcher people talk about. Did you know that St. Louis' Jaime Garcia is a rookie and has an ERA of 2.42 and a record of 11-6, and that he is doing this on a team contending for a division title? Did you know that Cincinnati's rookie pitcher Mike Leake (a former ASU Sun Devil phenom on the mound and with the bat) is 9-4 on a division leading team? Many don't because Strasburg is the only rookie pitcher that seems to matter.
SB1070: Hey, with all the attention that this new law has gotten, surely there are media members who are purposely omitting Enright in rookie conversations in protest of the controversial immigration law. Someone should look into this.
His red hair: Wikipedia (the fountain of all truth on the Internet) tells us that "red hair was thought to be a mark of a beastly sexual desire and moral degeneration." As a result, believe it or not, there is prejudice against redheads. Major League Baseball, which is known for its holding on to old beliefs, certainly would not want a degenerate being discussed. They don't want another Tiger Woods situation, so they just refuse to promote him.
Let us not forget that he has equaled Strasburg and bested Ubaldo Jimenez head-to-head. Let us not forget that another Arizona rookie pitcher put up some quietly solid numbers a few years ago and was overshadowed by another (Brandon Webb's 10-9, 2.84 rookie campaign and Dontrelle Willis' 14-6, 3.30 ROY performance).
Whatever the reason is for Enright's conspicuous absence in the top rookie discussion, we are not asking for much. We do not expect him to be crowned the National League's top rookie. We just want him to be at least mentioned. It is the very least we deserve here with the type of season we have had to suffer through.