Kicking off the series with a team that surprisingly was baseball's worst in 2014.
With the offseason just around the corner, it’s time to kick off our fantasy team previews. Last year, we ran these in conjunction with the top 10 prospect posts, but we’re giving them their own spotlight this year. We’re also going to be using a little bit of a different format, so let us know if there are gaps in the coverage or anything like that, so we can address it.
We’re kicking off the team previews with the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros. No, that’s not right. The Texas Astros. Dammit. The Texas Rastros. Sonofabitch this is hard. If you’re a Rangers fan, it’s not hard to conceive that the team you watched day in and day out was baseball’s worst. For the rest of us though, it’s a bizarre notion that the Rangers finished in last place, and perhaps moreso that the Astros didn’t, for once (settle down Rockies fans, we’ll get to you).
Craig reviews and grades his preseason prospect evaluations.
Look. I’m not one to toot my own horn exactly, though I’m not averse to it when it’s earned. More so, though, I hate admitting I’m wrong, so when our benevolent overlord Bret Sayre suggested we look back at our own predictions, I immediately began digging for something, anything I did right. Three weeks and two playoff spotlights later, I found it.
Just prior to the start of the season I wrote about five NL Post-Prospects to watch, and I’ll be damaged if I didn’t light that country music award on fire knock this one out of the park. Let’s ignore the fact that I rarely make firm predictions because I’m a big wuss (and did I mention I hate being wrong), but rather endorsed or advised against players more generally. Still, let’s see how that worked.
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Standing amidst the freshly clipped outfield grass in anticipation of one’s first playoff game has to conjure up a mixture of excitement and nerves, as the two emotions see-saw for supremacy of their owner’s heart and mind. So it was, in 2014, for a former first round pick. Drafted in 2009, the outfielder might have lost his ethereal glaze but he can still fly, and did so, homering in the divisional series.
Recapping Tuesday's managerial meltdowns, and a look at the NL Manager of the Year race.
Wellllll those were some doozies. Both NLDS matchups wrapped up last night and both featured some...interesting...decision making by the managers of the losing teams. In one corner we have Don Mattingly, who hit the panic button pre-game by opting to start Andre Ethier in center field over the admittedly struggling Yasiel Puig. In the other corner we have Matt Williams who seemed resolute in his decision to rest his best relievers for the next game, even if that game comes in Spring of 2015
A rant on Clayton Kershaw's postseasons statistics, and an update on the NL Pitcher of the Year race.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Last year it was the NLCS that had the Cardinals pushing the Dodgers to the brink of elimination, pushing Clayton Kershaw to win a do-or-die game in St. Louis. The same situation has come a round earlier in 2014, but once again the Dodgers turn to Kershaw in an elimination game in St. Louis.
A look back at Sunday's playoff action and a breakdown of the AL Pitcher of the Year race.
While it’s often said mockingly, James Shields stepped up on Sunday night and delivered a performance worthy of his nickname. The Royals No. 1 starter fired six innings of six-hit, two-run baseball, as the Royals closed out the Angels. Shields had predicted as much in the aftermath of the Royals improbable comeback victory in the Wildcard game.
Discussing the previous day's playoff action with a focus on the AL Manager of the Year award.
We’re in the midst of a two-day stretch that will grant us six playoff games. Times are good. Except if you’re Brad Ausmus, in which case times are handsome, if not great. The Orioles managed to win despite home runs from the Tigers 3-4-5 hitters and 7+ innings from Scherzer, which has to be concerning for the Tigers. Not only that but Baltimore piled on Detroit’s beleaguered bullpen, meaning Justin Verlander really has to go deep in tomorrow’s game, something that’s a lot less assured than it used to be.
The Pirates righty's fine season came to an end yesterday, but can we expect more of the same in 2015?
This is going to come to you a day late, and likely a dollar short. Edinson Volquez took the mound last night, but I’m writing this in the afternoon so the results of his one-game playoff performance aren’t yet known, nor if he’ll get another shot. That said, we do have a 31-start sample from which to analyze this year, allowing us to determine how we feel about Volquez going forward.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2001, Volquez matured gradually, not appearing on a prospect list until 2004. From there he took off, ranked by Baseball America as the Rangers no. 1 prospect following the 2005 season, in addition to ranking in their top 100 for the first and final time. He was a member of the Rangers vaunted DVD trio (Danks-Volquez-Diamond), and thought to be part of the wave of pitching prospects that would save Texas.