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King Felix looks cut up fit this spring and should get a bump in Wins with improved Seattle.
Aroldis Chapman is still on the upswing and could dial up 110 Ks (13 per 9 last yr) to go with 5 to 7 wins and 40 saves.
Plus 35 shot: Carlos Beltran in Yankee Stadium
Cobb has one of top swing and miss Change Ups in Baseball. He is arriving.
Polanco looks like a young Dave Parker .... He was on about every pitch - had some great hacks vs. David Phelps Yankees
As a fan...it was hard to read J Hams name next to W Venable. #thenatural
No .... but the Mets and Sandy Alderson will pay multi millions for a Chris Young
... aykm sandy???
One might throw a net over every player that got "House Money" via an eye popping multi million dollar - multi year contract - and hit at a 66.6% clip or better.
Something about hubris ...when in Rome ...
What about Cobbs MLB experience combined with a swing and miss change up that is one of the top 5 swing and miss pitches in the AL ??? No regression here for Alexander. He is just good.
Piggybacking on the theme of the article ... Ubaldo is a must late round or low dollar target .... if hes on - the park doesnt matter - see Rockies great seasons - you get a bargain... if hes off - hit the eject button of bench and watch. One other caveat - Jimenez has responded to strong Managers...Buck fits the bill.
Nava gets big jump in only and bigger in of/OBP leagues as does Maybin.
Avasail Garcia screams 4th OF sleeper in mixed and 3rd OF stud in only leagues to me now settled in @ Coors Light field.
Braun and McCutch r freaks in total bases leagues and Jay Bruce hit 40 2Bs last yr.
Adam Jones likes to defy Pecota as does Alex Rios since he started letting the ball get deeper in the zone going oppo gap w frequency.
Agree to a point ...have to factor in the outfield article is trying to analyze 3.5x as many players.
A roster to watch during spring training to gain more clues.
Matt Holliday in an OPS league sticks out vs ADP... and has better health skill than Choo while providing RBI
Drayton Moore is the anvil around KCs' Franchise neck so to speak. Paid EB 600k to get 450PAs w Chicago. 600k not exactly loose change in KC.
I would avoid ALL - AL West 1st baseman for varying reasons. Think 1B is relatively thin - thus gotta grab upside or consistency.
Josh Donaldson an outlier 2013?
I would avoid David Freeze in Orange County.
Gattis went in the 7th round of a 15 team fantasy mock this week ...reach as opposed to being a sleeper.
Chris Owings is very intriguing as a middle on the cheap. Looking at his 2012 numbers across 3 levels may clue a mlb statline for his rookie year.
Re: Bonafacio/Drayton Moore ...yet another fumble by the KC GM. In this case he casually flushed $575,000 down the drain in just 25 days to essentially pay Bonafacio to play against him (he passed thru waivers - hard to believe no other team than KC thought he was worth 3.5MM. Tounge in cheek).
Moore off handedly threw Jeff Francour his last $10MM in 2012. He traded the 21 year old AL rookie of the year #1 prospect in Baseball and their top pitching prospect at the time for the privilege to pay 33 yr old James Shields $12MM per in the Royals quest for .500
Gotta give props to Jason ....he wrote alot of good things about Rays Pitcher Chris Archer this time last year. And I know he loves the sound Oscar Tavarez' bat makes.
Typo...And a humerous one. SHOULD READ BEST PURE HITTER. Not hottee. #smartphone
Mauer playing 1B full time - one of best pure hottees we have seen come up in last 10 years ...gets his chance to Hit. Kipnis would have to earn his top round pick status by running alot ...again. personally I think we have seen his peak SB's.
About the same uoside as downside for a player that got sent to the minor leagues last year during a slump - and a player whos background and lack of experience shout RISK. 7th round is a reach. Yo.
In my leagues an extra 40Ks a year (Latos) makes a significant difference not only in the obvious categorical advantage but also Roster flexibility. Yo.
While you are at it - Please show statistical proof that Kate Upton has world class breasts ?
Seriously - Cain lives down in the zone with his secondary offerings when he is right... the top box (5.8) may not be an outlier has he can climb the ladder.
C Devin Mesoraco
3B Anthony Rendon
P - Tony Cingrani
OF Oswaldo Arcia
Saw him play in spring training - He just looked like he felt he "belonged" at the MLB level.
I don't agree with this line of thinking - but this line of thinking (guilty by performing in a specific era) is exactly what caused this "travesty".
Mike Piazza was the best Catcher of his generation while in his prime. That is HOF criteria I believe.
If Baltimore can come within a game of winning the AL East with the below average talent they had last season: The time is now for Toronto to Load the Gun and Fire. Joey Bats isn't getting any younger and the Blue Jay pieces past, present and future are there.
If d'Arnaud becomes the AL version of Buster Posey it gets exciting. The Jays made solid trades to shore up their staff full of power arms in the last couple of years .... This will be the fastest team in Baseball but with the capability to hit 150 Home Runs.
The Stars are aligning.... good trade for both sides - it makes no sense for Miami to pay major leaguers millions to play on a quadruple A team - and they add a couple of future pieces.
Having sat behind a few thousand catchers - I can tell you that Perez is the definition of Raw with his footwork behind the plate.
Having been rushed to the Majors - and then asked to catch almost every day at age 22 - I am guessing that this point of the season fatigue plays into his inability to set-up and work his feet - with fundamental soundness.
Another thing I see - Perez is a very big man - large catcher - and he seems to be compensating for that be trying to make himself "too small" to give the umpire a better look - especially on breaking pitches so they can see hwo the ball is received - vital in getting "marginal up" and "marginal down" right.
With umpires - a general rule was that "two marginals" made for a Ball. So if Perez is sitting right in the middle of "Penis and Broadway" streets to receive a ball at the knees on the outside rail - he is probably going to not get some of those strikes - perfect pitch strikes in many instances.
Young but Talented Player - Needs Reps, Coaching, and likely some rest at this point.
Exceeded them with excellence I might add.
Has anyone in here actually dug in and watched Kris Medlen pitch during the last 3 weeks? He is locating his fastball with movement like someone else that used to wear a Braves uniform.
He is "unlocking his talent" - should he stay healthy and be able to consistently pitch the way he is now, the Braves have a top of the rotation starter.
I would take him over the ballyhooed Tommy Hanson in a heartbeat right now.
Verlander is great but not last year great - that is also clear to observers .... Kate Upton might be keeping him up too late at night.
KG - I admire your passion for the game, and appreciation for its' roots. Houston is a vibrant city and Real Estate is very reasonable.
I feel like "someone I know" is now working for the Astros - need to go it and buy a Stros Lid.
If you ever need any help/assistance - let me know :)
Best of Luck, stay yourself cuz its working, and may your system get filled up with players "stuck" because of good players in front of them.
Called Strike 3
Info on Kenley and Tex is scarce ...Help please!
Yeah I like Straily too a little - as the AL seems to be wide open.
Other AL longshots -
Bruce Rondon closing in Detroit
Jake Odrizzi pitching in KC
Chris Archer in Tampa
Leonys Martin in CF Texas
Casey Kelly and Robbie Erlin
But I think you can circle Tavares - what a hitter this kid is
DR, In Vegas, they call that sending in a "Cooler" ... The A's are now officially done :)
Going forward, I personally like recently called up Casey Kelly of the suddenly en fuego Padres better than Eric Stults. Better stuff and pedigree.
Matt Thornton simply can't close - its become a mental thing with him. If Reed were to stumble - I could see a couple different scenarios. Again "if" ...
Ronald Bellasario is back from suspension and Kenly Janssen is having Heart issues again. Bellasario got a rough save last night in Denver.
Justin Smoak has too good of fundamental swing to struggle the way he does. The light will eventually go on there. I think !
AL - Mauro Gomez Boston ...27 year old handles himself well and was an OPS leader in the International League ....No Big Papi at DH and taking AB's from Loney vs. lefties.
Re: Frandsen ... my take: Run away fast .... the quote: ", Frandsen has picked up a hit in 20 of 26 games since coming to the majors, and he sports a .351/.402/.426 line that blows the roof off PECOTA’s 90th percentile projection of .297/.355/.412."
This quote is self explanatory to anyone dedicated to this site as they likely understand the term "reversion to the mean" ...Frandsen's OPS in more than a half season of AAA ball was in the mid 600's - at about Pecota's 40th %tile.
A September drought will shift from the Midwest to the hot corner in Philly.
He has been a nice safe Win Vulture in my deep NL only league - Thanks for the read as I have pondered the same questions for next year.
I saw a rumor the Royals might move Butler .... Missourians might burn down Kaufmann if that were to happen.
NL Only - Nate Eovaldi and Wade LeBlanc for Miami
AL - The Rangers' situation is so murky You are right:
Harrison and Darvish then who?
Holland, Oswalt, Newly traded for pitcher, N Feliz, Ogando
That = 7 Oh and I forgot Scott "what about me?" Feldman and Martin Perez .... Jon Daniels good luck sir
Nice angle on Wade LeBlanc - has had a superb AAA season starting.
Peguero is intriguing ...Big Power, Big Arm, runs a little and is athletic for a large man ...hits lefthanded which would insulate his AB's a bit to a potential platoon with Travon Robinson.
Omar Infante will run less in Detroit - Ozzie geve alot of green lights in Miami this year. But if you are in an AL only league he can shore up a middle nicely scoring runs.
With the left field power jet stream in Minute Maid - LH pitcher Wandy Rodriguez is gonna love Pittsburgh.
Why the Padres dont make Gyorko their 2B and shift Forsythe to utility keeping Headley I do not understand ...unless they get bowled over with an offer for Headley.
My take: its Sort of Like the short term Jon Gruden and Al Davis marraige
Jim Tracy - To a nice Florida retirement community that needs a coach for their 60 and over softball team where an 80 pitch limit fits according to their 6 inning games.
The Pirates starting staff is due for a reversion to the mean (Correia for one) - acquiring Wandy Rodriguez gives them more of a solid foundation. Wandy goes from a RH hitters' haven at Minute Maid to a pitchers' park - I would guess the adrenaline of a pennant race and change of parks will force pressure on his numbers toward the top of his Pecota projection.
The Pirates just need to look to AAA to find a nice trading deadline bat.
I forgot: Luis Cruz' TAV .258
Note of interest:
Hanley's 1st game in Dodger Blue will be at 3B ... I think Donnie Baseball has taken a liking to Luis Cruz at SS.
Andrew Jones was a Gold Glover in a previous life almost ... I wonder how old he really is?
His last two Gold Gloves with Atlanta were attributed by many to his reputation.
Good question -
They do get 3 near sellouts during the week because they traded on Monday and not the last day of a series which is the MLB norm ...maybe that (Seattle ballpark revenue) factored into the timing of the deal.
Dustin Pedroia ripped Lester a new asshole while on the bench in between innings his last start because he was not competing. With Texas coming up Pedroia knew that Lester needed to bow his neck and suck it up to compete deep into the game to save the pen.
Lester just sat and took the verbal barrage
Seattle also has a LH hitting possible late bloomer ripping it up at Tacoma - 1B, DH, OF type - Luis Jiminez who is on my radar.
Carp Up - Smoak down (to AAA) - it will be interesting to see how Seattle juggles AB's among Jaso (hitting cleanup at times), Montero (DH) , and Carp (bad wing DH preference but 1B only)
If you are going to dilute the quality of your starting pitching - I would jettison Eric Bedard who is not himself the last 8 weeks - so as to lesson the pressure on keeping points in ERA and WHIP.
Tyler Thornberg? (waiting for Grienke's trade)
Dan Wheeler? - or Whomever the next Mets pitcher is to get called up.
Trading Frieri - sell high - was great move - LaRoche is typically a very strong fantasy closer.
If Gyorko got called up to play 2B instead of 3B that would be huge.
I like to Ellis deal as he gets to hit in front of Kemp occasionaly and will score runs.
Now - how to replace Janish?
I am guessing the Rockies starting SS is gone.
Maybe you can buy low on Zack Cosart who scuffled recently - Luis Cruz - a sleeper - figured out how to hit in Mexico
I think your idea to trade Cain is good - with the main focus to be getting a high number of Q daily AB's - so as to climb in Runs and RBI
Ultimately unless Upton and Morse get white hot however - theres always next year.
Travis Snider just got called up ....Have a feeling the Blue Jays are not done moving parts around ....including dealing Rajai Davis
The HP Umpire better not piss any Catchers off if he is going to leave 80% of his body exposed if a catcher sets up outside. Just sayin'
Oh by the way - The Rockies' SS had scar tissue taken from his Groin (bad visual) and they brought up a new guy to see if he can be their 2B of the future after he apprentices as SS ....
07/13 vs PHI 2AB 0Run 2Hit 0HR 2RBI 1SB
07/14 vs PHI 3AB 1Run 0 0 0 1SB
07/15 vs PHI 3AB 0Run 0 0 0 0
07/16 vs PIT 4AB 1Run 1Hit 0 1RBI 0
plus 3 BB's
Rutledge was having a strong season in Tulsa, smacking 13 home runs with 14 stolen bases in 87 games
I was going to cut and paste that same quote in order to bag on Frenchy ....
Hey Drayton, Frenchy is a nice guy, hits left handed pitchers OK, and has a strong throwing arm from right field - and we do give alot of extra base hits...what do you think about guaranteeing French oh say about $12million while we rebuild this ball club...
and oh by the way lets trade the 2011 American league leader in doubles (Milkman) for a warm bucket of piss (JSanchez) while we are at it? Then DFA him in the middle of July.
From a Baseball hitting standpoint - Rios has had men on base in front of him and has been more than willing to let the ball travel deeper into the zone and then sting it to right field. He patiently waits for the upper/inner mistake that he has the quickness to turn on when he needs it. He is not trying to force the issue -- but is letting the game come to him this year.
In HorseRacing one handicapping angle is a positive rider switch - lets call this one: Ozzie off
Oh Fernando :(
Pecota No Se Gusta
Senor Joe: "Bueno!"
Lust for Dan Haren
Is what PECOTA thirsted
The AL West has to be licking their chops to welcome the Stro's in 2013.
Love for Dan Haren
Is what Pecota Proposed
Sadly a Runaway Groom
From the AYKM? dept:
Complaints are coming from people about a new add-on - Income diversification strategy development by BP Mgmt, that costs less than half a Beer at an MLB Ballyard.
I am not familiar with DEvans yet, but I have quickly become of fan of BLindy....
Congrats and good stuff
Re: Marc Krauss - Slugging .533 for Mobile would be like slugging .630 in Reno (park factors) ...The Snakes own some solid inventory at OF and corner
In the example above it makes perfect sense to trade away the tradeable player that can get you value and insert Bull Dozier.
If someone in my 12 team AL ONLY league needs to fill an offense spot this week?? - they get to choose from Nick Punto, Orlando Hudson, Mauro Gomez, Steve Pearce, Jordan Danks, Bret Lillibridge and Omar Vizquel in addition to a handful of 2nd and 3rd string catchers. Thats it. Period.
We cannot hold active players on our reserve for more than a week.
For example - When Wil Myers comes up I can activate him and try and try and trade OF eligible Eric Hosmer for a $15 pitcher - but I have to make the trade first in a not always fully fluid trade market.
Royal Prospect Wil Myers actually has about 27 Homers so far - That would have thinking outside the Box to include him and would have delighted the fans.
Youk made crucial - and difficult defensive plays at 3B in yesterdays' game. One he had to charge a chopper and bare hand off balance throw to nip the speedy Elvis Andrus. He started a pair of DP's and also saved a double down the line.
Change of scenery did him good - and the White Sox despite 6 rookies in their Bullpen are gonna be in the thick of it.
Brandon Hicks playing around the infield for the A's.
Michael, Thank you for the digging on the #'s info regarding splits and such.
I will stand by my SELL YESTERDAY on Reynolds however, especially with Markakis' return (plus Thome's aquisition) as I think Buck and the Oriole playoff pressures are resulting in less patience with the combination of Reynolds' 3 true outcomes and shoddy defense.
Regarding the Toronto trend - it was more of an announcement of their intentions by Farrell to platoon the two - again perhaps to market Fransisco.
Er....Brandon Hicks. :)
"Sorry Girls, we can't shoot fireworks tonight, Daddy has to watch the Padres-DBacks game" .... which starts right around Dusk in Nebraska.
Michael may agree - I think Luke Scott and Hideki Matsui may be locked in competition with each other for a Roster spot in St. Pete until the return of Matt Joyce.
Toronto is platooning Adam Lind with Ben Fransisco (When Lind plays 1B EE DH's Bautista plays LF, and and when a LH pitches, Fransisco plays LF, Bautista or EE play 1B and the other DH's) ... I doubt that will last for an extended period...looks like they want to showcase Fransisco as a tiny trade piece.
Speaking of platoons - RH Mark Reynolds is likely heading toward platoon status with Thome/Betemit. For those hanging on for his reversion to the mean if you can get anything close to hwat his former value was take it and run.
I see a couple of A's platoons developing as the A's preseason and regular season complicated corner position lineup quandries finally work their way out to what looks like - net above average offensive production.
LH Brandon Moss and RH Chris Carter at 1B
RH Johnny Gomes and LH Seth Smith at DH
Cespedes, Crisp, and Reddick starting at the OF spots.
Brandon Moss moving around the Infield giving days off to the starters J Weeks at 2B, Pennington at SS, and Inge at 3B.
That was an incredibly athletic play Lawrie made - notice how he had the body control to drag his right toe across the dish after he competitively tried to knock the ball loose. Legal Baseball Play.
John Hester's a touch sombitch in his own right - and he made an equally athletic play to catch the ball, take a hit, and yet still block the plate with his right foot as his momentum took him away - and then get what looks to be a tag on the shoulder blade.
I think Hester's last milli-second kick of the leg causing Lawrie to go up and over with his right toe before tapping it on the dish - allowed the tag on the shoulder blade to be in time: OUT.
As an Umpire - we call these BASTARD CALLS ....the play happens and you are a Bastard to one dugout or the other no matter how you call it.
Franklin Morales is suddenly looking better KG - 24-3 K to BB ratio as a starter for Boston
Soto's 'thread' was Cut by CK3.
Theo is desperate to get any trade value from him and Sotos is not responding. For whatever its worth - Geo Soto would love a trade to Colorado where medical Marijuana is legal.
Clevenger homered this past week and the likely starting Catcher in September is getting tracxtion at AAA.
Need K's? NL Only - Milwaukee Brewer starting pitcher Marco Estrada ...came off the DL with a 12 K outing this week.
With Boston's coming outfield crowding (Ellsbury and Crawford return) ... Daniel Nava or Cody Ross could be trade chips - and with Salty's breakout season - C Ryan Lavarnway might be interesting to a team in contention if they have a Catching injury.
Zack to the Rangers for SS Jurickson Profar makes sense. Milwaukee needs a SS - Elvis is getting better every month for Texas and is 25 years old....The Rangers have shown the ability to take care of their own (Darvish and Josh). Greinke is the closest thing I have seen to a young Greg Maddox - who often sits on the Rangers bench during games.
Tony Cingrani - Finally had that Dominant start for Pensacola at AA last night. Graded a 90. 12K's 8 innings 3 hits no walks or runs. Cincinatti has to be feeling good finding this guy in the 3rd round from Rice.
Its been a slow fade for Perez down the prospect ladder ...he did hit 95 on the gun last night which suprised me. One thing about the current group of Rangers - they will teach him about competing, focus and playing the game right.
My sources indicate that Lilibridge makes a wonderful fried chicken from a recipe he picked up in Atlanta. Great clubhouse guy.
You left of George Brett's Bat laced with illegal amounts and locations of Pine-tar.
Signed, Billy M
Other updates - add-ons - info:
Benoit - he had already pitched and was in the showers when Valverde's wrist started hurting while warming for the 9th inning. Thus the Tigers rushed Phil Coke to get ready and he did. Look at Benoit's stats since May 10th or so and Ernesto Frieri comes to mind as a comparable.
Watching the Rockies 4-2 win the other night - 9th inning and a command less R.Betancourt worked his way into a 1st and 3rd with 1 out, Rex Brothers - who has been lights out since his return from AAA - hurriedly got up and started warming and the Rockie announcers sounded a bit excited about that ....Betancourt wriggled off the hook inducing a broken bat double play.
Mets: will see how Parnell handles the pressure ...the Mets changed Mejia from starter to reliever in his minor league rehab in order to help out late innings - he last out at AAA was poor however.
Twins: Burton has walked 3 batters in his 2 save opportunities w/o a K. LHP Perkins threw some nasty sliders mixed in with 96MPH heat getting 2 K's in the 9th to close out the Reds in Cincy. I too am perplexed with this situation as I own Glenn Perkins but Gardy has a history of doing that to a fantasy owner.
KC - Aaron Crow has regained the lost velocity he was missing earlier this year and his slider is biting ... I think he would get first shot if Big Jon ends up in St Louis or somewhere.
AX/FRod ... who knows? FROD has had some decent outs of late and would relish the limelight. I picked up FRod in my NL only league 2 weeks ago...we shall see.
Long Relievers: AL Only - Jesse Chavez Toronto ...his last two outings he has struck out a combined 9 of the first 12 hitters he faced. He threw well today and was hitting 96 at times on the gun with a 91mph cutter. His WHIP in the PCL was around 1.00 with a 3/1 K/BB ratio. Not bad ... he may have found something in the off season - Toronto moved him to be their long-man today - and they signed Jaimie Moyer so they will need along man frequently - Jays are going to play some high scoring games - Chavez bears watching.
Texas - LHP Michael Kirkman has had success as a middle-long reliever for them in the past hitting 93 on the gun with a high K rate ...he had a great outing in relief of Grimm Monday night and with the Rangers' rotation in shambles will get some action.
I clicked on CB Bucknor is terrible and jpg's of more than 1000 missed calls popped up. He may be a nice guy - but he can't see out of his Star Wars helmet for $#@%.
Other thoughts that come to mind:
Arizona is overstocked w/ OF inventory - both in MLB and at AAA.
I think SF is likely happy with where they are at - Heath Hembree is a "closer in waiting at AAA' that might offer value for a Yuni Betancourt or the like.
Maybe the Dodgers could trade former closer Javy Guerra? JK
Will be fun to see what pans out - and as someone once said "one man's trash is another man's treasure".
No Ned, that was not "one mans trash is another man's trash".
misterjohnny is dead on ...Colletti commits robbery without a gun Bi-monthly by collecting checks on a 7 figure salary. AYKM?
Ned is also the GM that enabled about the next 6 generations of Pierre offspring to live in comfort.
He has ably stocked his bench with the TG Jr's, Adam Kennedy's and Jose Uribe's of the world - always past whatever prime they had.
Allowing James Loney to make the "dreadful 19" at 1B is on Ned as well .... how hard would it be to get a 1B that can hit at replacement level to come to play in LA? ... Hell there are 5 of them just up the highway in Las Vegas playing for the 51's.
Big Matt Adams with an SB ...he had worked with Cardinals hitting instructors and made an adjustment 3 days before his demotion ... he hit in St Louis his last couple games before Carpenter came off the DL ... the adjustment is working.
Let Las Vegas pick 11 major league pitchers after each franchise protects 5 guys - and with their offense I am sure they would finish 3rd in the AL West.
The Rockies Chris Nelson as started 17 of the last 18 games at 2B and looks to be an improved player - I believe he qualifies at 3B in many leagues.
Adams had just made an adjustment and started to hit prior to carpenter's recall...Adams immediately raked for Memphis ... He is one injury away from full time 1B in St.Louis and with ACraig, Freese, and Beltran playing every day I give it a chance to happen.
I've seen a few of Maybin's at bats lately ...he is not squaring up the ball frequently ....looks like he is getting spread out - needs to let the ball get deep and then unleash - he has good hand speed
Rays is correct - I tell the kids over and over not to eat at the computer.
And yes - Broxton was signed by KC for 1 reason - to inflate his value and deal him. He has a 1 year deal and is pitching for a contract.
Oakland would also love to flip Fuentes, Balfour and Coco for something. They would have like to flip Bartolo had he not pulled his sheath of lard.
Willingham could bring a starry prospect to the Twins - would be ironic if he ends up back in Miami or Washington. He has proven the last couple of years he can hit for power anywhere (Oakland and Minneapolis)
I could see the Rangers trying to deal David Murphy for a bullpen piece.
The Giants could use Cody Ross as could the Marlins. Cody Ross and Lavarnway to the Fish for Anibel Sanchez?
Pretty good piece of hitting ...he let the ball 'get deep' in the zone and stayed behind it with his head. He started the butt of the bat toward the ball and created two nice levers with his hips and forearms.
Looks like Nova was toed on the 3rd base side of the rubber and his 2-seamer actually "cut" in about 2 inches toward the plate allow Niewenhuis to Barrel it up. The pitch he took had similar cutting action to work its way onto the corner but it was about 3 inches higher.
Looks like the entire row might be in the federal witness protection program the way they reacted.
Chris Nelson - Rockies .... qualifies at 2B - starting 13 straight games has 3 homers in June so far and hitting over .300.....still young he may be that late blooming RH hitter.
Luis Valbuena qualifies at 2B and is starting at 3B for the Cubs...seems to like the friendly confines as he hits left handed and those opposite field fly balls have a chance to land in the basket.
Pobo - The Mets have have young starred prospects pitching well at AA and AAA - but still consider Mejia a starter in the future....unless he goes Neftali Feliz on them the 2nd half of the summer as their closer ....Hmmm
If you love Baseball its hard not to enjoy and root for McCutchen. His offensive accomplishments this year have been earned in a lineup with nowhere to jide. a Lineup that averages a few runs less per game than the reds if you were picking between Votto and AMac for MVP. In April Votto scuffled while AMac was the only offense the Pirates had while they eked out any wins they could. I have a friend who is a 40 year loyal Pirate fan and its exciting to see him enjoy the Bucco's recent success.
Suzuki might interest the Nats and the Brewers in addition to the Jays. The Nats and A's have made a Win trade for both lately.
If Moore has to eat half or even a quarter of Frenchy's $13.5MM salary to trade him in order to get Myers up it might be the straw that broke the camel's back in KC. Thats why KC Brass keeps stalling and propagating by "preaching the process" ...I cannot see another current GM that might be insane or on crack to trade anything for a RH platoon outfielder with poor pitch recognition that happens to be making $7MM per.
Thanks for the work on Grimm .... in our very very competitive AL only league he is still a free agent because of the lack of information written on him to date - this paragraph is revealing in a good way.
Re: Snider .... and Toronto ... In Snider's mind his failures there previously may create anxiet ....we have seen this multiple times...
Nellie Cruz a 26 year old prospect getting a change of scenery in Texas and then blooming
Chris Davis in Baltimore - Melky Cabrera out of New York etc...
Not so fast the Moorse condemnation .....Mary Tyler Moore may have sent Steve "Scrabble 50 pointer" Lombardozzi to the bench or filling in at 3B for the truly lost Ryan Zimmerman. The Nats sent out Moore in left, Harper in center and Morse in right last night.
Big Matt Adams is having a horrific June and has stopped drawing walks in addition to his power outage. He may need to find a slump breaker in Memphis.
Josh Hamilton played some Baseball last night ....He barrelled up a 2 hopper line drive to the right center fence for a triple driving in 2 runs and then next pitch to Beltre tagged and scored an a very short ball to right that had Will Venable coming in hard .... Hamilton took about 7 strides to get down the line and when he slid across the dish safely he literally looked like a freight train coming to a stop as his pop-up happened 6 feet past it. The "Wow" factor was so strong his teammates rushed out of the dugout to greet him.
I am mid 40's and Josh Hamilton is the greatest talent I have ever seen play baseball. On the other hand Albert Pujols is the best right handed hitter I have ever seen play.
The Angel vs. Ranger battle is shaping up to be an Epic one of two heavyweights ... (Insert Rocky music here)
My eye test of Adams has been that he has lost a little confidence partly because his velo is down ... This is a huge issue because Wash is overly loyal to his guys roles sometimes and Adams has blown a few leads.
Freakieri is a max effort guy - wonder if he will be able to high leverage MLB over a 5 month period?
Joe Nathan fits right into this Texas clubhouse and has been nails.
The wildcard is how does Mark Trumbo..err I mean babe Trumbo, fight off a reversion to the mean over the rest of the season?
More to come on this showdown as the season goes on.
Well its likely a given next time R.A. faces the Nats - Davey Boy will have the umpire crew do a strip search at the mound.
If you don't know R.A.'s background - this is an absolute great story - he is a guy you can root for.
AX made it back from the birth of his baby boy just in time to blow another save .... FRod has a 13-1 K/BB ratio of late ...... maybe
Ryan Cook wriggled off the hook last night inducing a James Loney broken bat DP to end the game. Of note: K machine lefty Jared Doolittle was warming up in the pen in the 7th (McCarthy),8th(G Fourballs),and 9th.
It will be interesting to see how the ongoing "contest" between Aaron Crow and Holland plays out til Brox is dealt.
I am also curious as to what the Padres might do if/when they deal Houston Street .... Dale Thayer again? Boxberger? Gregorson?
I perhaps think you may have answered your own question - if Vladdy couldn't hold the proverbial jock straps of 6 minor league teammates - there likely is no MLB trade value for him aside from a used washing machine.
AL Deeeep Sleepers -
Stephen Pryor - Seattle - Lots of K's per 9 - Closer makeup recently called up
Sean Doolittle Oakland - Converted 1B struck out the side vs. Texas in his MLB debut - wouldn't take much for him to move past De Los Santos in Oakland as the Closer in waiting
Mark Prior ....K'd 5 in 2 1.2 IP in his AAA debut for Pautucket last night.
Wouldn't he be fun to root for?
wow - thats 3 RH hitters vs the leefty Doolittle
The A's love inbred cheap closers
Cobb's last outing was a good one in that he actually had to battle through adversity and he did. This will give him confidence going forward.... He showed me more (makeup) in that outing than his two previous ones.
Baseball runs in streaks/cycles at all levels. You could see the Rangers entering a bad one at home prior the the Angels' road series.
What you could see was suddenly the Rangers could not do the little things - fundamental things. Runner on 3rd less than 2 outs - strand... mis-communications between players on short outfield balls ...executing a bunt ...make plays in the field, make pitches when the needed to.
The entire machine started mis-firing at the same time. Offense, Pitching, Fundamentals, "little things" ....
The Rangers supposedly "police themselves" so will be interesting to when they snap out of their funk.
Example of the carryover into the important Angels' series: Game 1 Friday night Colby Lewis vs. Jerome Williams. Both pitching very well. 2 different times Rangers have man on 3rd less than two outs, one with zero outs - failed to score both times. Mitch Moreland made 4 outs with two swings....then with the score tied 2-2 men on 2 outs Ian Kinsler mishandles out# 3 at 2nd base in the 7th - Mike Trout promtly makes him pay with a 2-out laser off the wall that only he can make into a triple.
Get one run hom eearlier, make a play with men on, and the Rangers win the game...Leakage.
Pobo - re Jurjens - Of course he will end up in KC - good thought - the Braves would likely take a Gallon of Gates BBQ sauce in exchange for Jurrjens at this point.
Paul - Thornburg is old for AA @ 23 and throwing the hell out of the ball... its not out of the realm.
In the long run Cecil is not much better than Hutch - I thibnk they are at different points in their career.... Cecil is a decent lefty when he can touch 94 - but every spring his velocity dips 3 ticks or so for some reason. parking him in AA saves him pitching in the PCL. Can't back it up statistically, but feel like over the years relatively few pitching prospects spend alot of time in the PCL .... If you check, Cecil is still on the 40 man roster - so he is part of the big picture for Toronto still.
Luis Mendoza ... he is not pitching the way he did last season - either KC is waiting for him to find a groove, or he is near the end of his thermos of coffee.
Jim Tracy ....Dead Man Walking
Yu Darvish hit a little bit of a wall Monday night in Seattle.... never looked comfortable, struggled with command of his fastball ....he was coming off a max effort outing the time before ...something to keep an eye on.
NL Only - Jose Arredondo will figure in some situational Reds saves as the late inning Righty.
The A's owe Fuentes $5 million per so they would love to build up some value prior to a cost-share trade.
Addison' Reed's "Blow-up" inning was enhanced by 2 infield singles, 2 intentional walks, and 3 inherited runners to score after lefty Matt Thornton was brought in to put out the fire. Horse Race handicappers would easily draw a line through that race.
Joaquin Benoit annually gets better and better as the season goes on - and he is now rolling .... If I owned Valverde I would do everything I could to hand-cuff him with JB.
Ernesto Frieri - Introducing the new Angels closer ...Scott Downs will be moved back to situational roles ...10 scoreless innings with 15 K's since becoming a Halo has Scosia loving him.
Picking up P.J. Walters insures that you get the worst of a reversion to his mean ERA best case scenario of 4.50. He is a nibbler and his slider is flat to LF hitters....its not a matter of if the league catches up to him, but when.
Milwaukee suffered a Pitching injury last night to #5 starter Marco Estrada .... #1 prospect and 40 man roster member Wily Peralta seems to be the logical choice to replace him in the roation, but he is super scuffling at AAA .... a nice NL ONLY sleeper could be Kevin's 3 star 23 year old Tyler Thornburg who has a 3/1 K/BB ratio at AA with a 1.02 WHIP.
An AL only deep sleeper is Bret Cecil, a former relief pitcher in college, who annualy sees his velocity dip in the spring and rebound near summertime. His last two outings at AA have been scoreless ones and the Blue Jays once considered him their #3 starter...Drew Hutchison's ERA is 5 something ...wouldn't take much to see the Lefty Cecil who has a good K rate rejoin the Jays rotation.
KC's Jake Odrizzi has struck out more than 55 hitters in 50 innings between AA and AAA. Kevin has him as a 4-star and KC is shuffling Luis Mendoza and Nate Adcock into their 4 and 5 spots.... Jake is a Super 2 waiting to happen.
Jenry Mejia of the Mets has an 11/2 K/BB ratio in his rehab work. He has started games in the minors but the Mets are talking bringing him up to shore up their bull pen. Mets closer Frank Francisco is allowing opposing hitters to hit more than .310 against him .... these things tend to catch up to closers.
Trade high on LeHair now ...
I think LoCain is a 4th OF type anyway - Dyson is scuffling after an impressive start...Super 2 day may come sooner this year - has been alot of inconsequential call-ups because of all the MLB injuries
KC's front office is under a little pressure with their "all-in" marketing blitz that its "our Time" this year... the majority of their marginal ticket sales come from summer regional travelers planning vacations .... not much to get excited about this year despite the "Our Time" slogan....just sayin'
Awesome piece of writing .... thank you for sharing. As a baseball fan I will always remember Mariano's cutter, Greg Olson's 12/6 Uncle Charlie, and a young Kerry Wood's remarkable slider as some of the more vivid pitch images in my mind.
Abreu is thriving now that he has to earn his check/playing time....don't expect a lot of power.....just RBI's.
Excellent Read.... Was not aware of D'Arnaud's thumb issue adjustment period.
Ironically the past few days - there are two young Blue Jays on the deck outside the kitchen helping themselves to Dexter the Labrador's Pebbles of Dog Food.
I'll start calling one J.P. (she takes the biggest pebbles but has the lower average pick up rate) and the other Travis (He is an all-around good looking Blue Jay with fine defensive skills he uses to ward of potential pebble thieves from other bird species).
Under new management and having their worst team in many years with little hope for the immediate future, The Twins are the Major League version of "Pawn Stars" ....everything is for sale at the right price.
Thanks Pobo :) ... Got one right with the Adams kid....Luis Mendoza does lead the league in Human Hair (size 7 Head, size 9 Lid) and since the All Star Game is in K.C. this year - MLB has asked him to throw BP during the annual home run derby.
Genral thoughts to the article:
I've umpired games that Duensing has pitched in - he is smooth/silky - ball gets on you type of pitcher. He has not missed a lot of bats in his tries with the Twins rotation yet - but healthy lefty's get better with age....
PJ Walters will not make it in the Twins rotation ... he relies on trying to spot a low 90's fastball and throws a little "spinner" up there trying to backdoor left handed hitters ...who generally maul him. Agree with Author that Duensing is handy to fill that 9th spot on the pitching staff going forward.
DYK? Gerardo Parra is on Pace to steal 40 bases despite not playing everyday....yet. With Chris Young back from the DL - and the Snakes having 2 quality young OF's at AAA, The Parra trade winds will likely begin to blow again.
Ask yourself, there a scenario where Furbush becomes the closer in Seattle? League is scuffling and Wilhelmsen the set-up man does not have the makeup in my opinion to close.
If Harrison continues to scuffle in Dallas as Pecota thought he might, he and the highly paid Feldman could swap spots.
If you are the Chicago Cubs.... will LeHair's trade value ever be higher?
Fernando Martinez is kind of following a Nellie Cruz pattern of tease, tease some more, fail, tease ...get hurt...fail, tease.... then Nellie suddenly figured it out and his last four years or so have been well above league average even with the injuries.
Cody Buckel kinda sounds like Colby Lewis' replacement in the rotation in 2014. Same type of pitcher. Lewis can K 200 guys without ever topping 92mph.
Alex seems to be a much better version of Andy Sonnanstine. I love the trap door change-up.
What makes Tampa pitchers even more impressive in a contextual standpoint is that they have to pitch so many times against the Yanks, Sox, and even the Blue Jays were near the top in Runs last year...now this year going to Camden Yards is suddenly a challenge too. There are few "kick-ins" (a Golf term for a putt that takes no mental grinding to make)
Kevin, good article....if you recall - I had the UNDER on June 1st when Mash Adams made it to the Cardinal lineup.
And as a 'bad bodied' former 1st baseman and umpire .... LET THE BOY EAT !
Matty did get his ass down the line with urgency when he rolled over a low slider to the SS last night. I would spot Billy Butler 5 yards and still take Matty in a 60 yard dash.
F-Bomb A! Good Stuff
Since Cespedes has a LF type of Bat - and Green is very athletic (LF defense should not be a problem) ... My take is that this would be the 3rd best overall outfield in the AL West assuming Trumbo got 500 AB's in LF for the Angels. If you had Colin Cowgill and Michael Taylor as your 4th and 5th OF's - thats not the worst.
The A's just have to find someone else willing to pay Coco $5 million per.
Bringin' 2 cans of Spaghetti-O's this Sunday to see Will Myers in action!! Its an 80 mile drive well worth it.
And yes Michael - I am a Non-Roster PR guy for the Chasers....The Stormchasers were new last year (moved to new Fan friendly Werner Park from historic and Ginormous for MILB 22k capacity Rosenblatt Stadium) ... and I have been touting the experience and bringing family and friends since they opened.
Thirsty Thursday $1 Busch Light Cans and $1 Bud Light Draws was how my wife and I spent our 10 year anniversary last summer. Heaven on Earth.
I like Moose so much I listed him twice....
Answer: All these players are currently Starting at Their Position in the Major Leagues AND all of them played for the Omaha Stormchasers last season (2011 PCL champs)
This list does not include Starters Lorenzo Cain(CF), Danny Duffy (P), and Salvador Perez (C) who are all currently on the MLB DL.
And to think you can get in for free on Sundays at WernerPark with a can of Spaghetti O's
Best Value in America
What do the following players all have in common?
Beltre's was a "one knee especial"
The analysis from Hank is spot on ...I saw Gio boot a ball he tried to Ole' fron the side - with a Batter Runner catcher last Sunday. The play was called a hit - which was a joke. Getz is improving his trade value in Drayton Moore's warped mind.
From what I saw vs. The A's Thursday he is at least an average runner - sleek and fast like Eric Hosmer...Middlebrooks beat out a 3 hopper to 3B and promptly stole 2B
My take is above average speed for a corner
More depth about Yuni Pinch Hitting - he hits RH and was pinch hitting vs. a RH pitcher for starting 2B Chris Getz. Ned Yost defended the strategy by pointing out that Yuni is hitting over .300 from the 7th inning on. Wow.
Possible excuses from BJay manager Farrell for inserting Hammerin' Jeff:
Mathis was scorching the ball in BP that day ....
I'm a pitching coach what the hell do I know about hitting?
Thames had a tummy ache.
I called for Travis Snyder first and nobody came on deck.
All My pitchers were busy.
Mathis was hitting 100 points higher (.223) against this pitcher than any other pitcher he had faced in MLB.
Farrell was still "on the plate" with Mathis from a previous' nights poker game.
Prologue - I am guessing AA had a chat with JF about that decision.....AA is sharp.
I literally have tears from laughter running down my face .... I really enjoy your stuff Matthew.
Bobby did have Junichi Tawazawa warming up saturday to come in and close the game .... until Aceves blew the hold/save in the 8th ... another sign of desperation if BVal goes to a Japanese closer.
If The Red Sox could hire a secondary bench coach to inform Bobby what side of the plate the upcoming hitter presides from - then Bobby would have a better chance of getting the correct matchups instead of letting lefty's pitch to Mike Napoli with men on base in a high leverage situation for example.
At least Fenway Pawk did not get robbed the Monday morning after the Red Sox/Yankees series....the Florist must have been busy.
Good stuff ...
The hitters hands are actually over the plate and the ball passed directly under the bat - albeit 20 inches under. But then again thats the venerable Brendan Ryan hitting.
Let me ask you all this question....
What if the picture above illustrated the bat position of a bunt attempt?? .... the bat is clearly over home plate and the right elbow is far from the body - which only happens during an attempt ...
Not only was this the right call - it wasincredible umpiring by Runge to have the courage and wits about him to make the call quickly and decisively so that the play could unfold...
Had the hitter, who has a reputation as a bad attitude guy, sprinted to 1st base immediately upon the call instead of whining and showing up the umpire - it would have been an interesting play at 1st base.
drimple - respectfully, thats untrue ... Home Plate Umpire defers to 1B or 3B (depending on the hitter) many times without being asked .... there are times that the nature of a pitch moves the catcher and blocks their view - they will usually immediately ask when that happens ...if they ask immediately then the 1st or 3rd base umpire knows they have the responsibility to make the call - because HP umpire must have been blocked.
"The Home Plate Umpire is always instructed to make the call" is not the mechanic....again respectfully - I've been there.
I beg to differ with the Author - THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY RUNGE SHOULD HAVE ASKED "DID HE GO?".
In that particular situation 3-2 pitch with Ryan - Had Runge not been decisive in calling a swinging strike - it would have resulted in a total Cluster F that likely would have resulted in being Sportcenter's headliner all weekend.
The Umpire had zero responsibility to previous perfect game throwers - who knows how many marginal strikes they recieved when they pitched their games?
This was now and was aunique set of circumstances:
Any Umpire worth his salt knows they have to have significant courage at that point in the game to make a decisive call and live with it.
Deferring the outcome of a Perfect game to the 1st base umpire on a check swing while the ball is rolling around behind the back stop would have created chaos in any number of ways or outcomes.
Not to mention those guys on the crew have to work otgether all season - talk about a loss of repsect for deferring the call at that point in time, in that situation...you don't get that far in the umpiring world unless you have the courage to make that call.
Note - the above should say that his RIGHT foot came off first in the dismount .... like he was pitching right handed - legal dismount from the wind-up position for a right handed pitcher would be right foot back first.
He picked off the runner throwing right handed. Even though a left handed hitter was in the box.
Anyway - great article
Speaking of umpires getting together ....
Ever time Umpires are assigned to his games, we had to go over balk rules - he has a few creative moves...one where with a runner on first - he stands on the rubber like he is in the windup and steps back off the rubber with his left foot first as his hands start up then break as he leaves the rubber.... thus it is assumed he should be pitching right handed to avoid being called for a balk as that would be the proper dismount.
I called a balk on him in 2001 or 2002 for doing so - whith a left handed batter in the box .... in the ensuing argument with his manager (he picked off the runner) who argued that the rule book does not cover specifically what he did - I envoked an intent to decieve the runner as with a left handed hitter up his normal routine would be to pitch left handed.
He could/would do the opposite if a runner was on third base.
After that Umpires started addressing it in the pre-game and at home plate in a preventitive measure.
BTW - Pat's father is a passionate Baseball Fan :)
I wish him well .... it truly is amazing to see it in person (pitching not pickoffs)
102. Hector Santiago LHP - Closer Chicago White Sox
Kevin - Perhaps Is it time to re-evaluate Hector Santiago?
Touched 95 in Texas last night hitting spots while saving a 1-run game (high leverage) situation against the Rangers.
Has 5 major league innings under his belt. It doesnt add up a non top top system guy is left handed and blows gas - and a top 50 MLB guy Addison reed gets to set up for him this year.
Endy is a professional ...but he is brittle
What about the ETA on Joba's Brain dislocation?
Million dollar airport - 10 cent control tower.
Move #3 above was a delight to read... as was Benji Molina - when the older Molina spent a few months with the Rangers in 2010 - their pitchers got real good.
Couple of other comments - the perennially under 27 years old Delmon Young has done nothing but Rake since he tried on a Detroit Tigers uniform....Leyland may just have the keys to that car. Boesch is getting better every year - the Tigers may give you a run here and there with their defense but they plan to extract it back thricefold at the plate.
An Angel Fanatic may conspire to tamper with a Vernon Wells piss test in order to get Trout in the lineup.
I watched LoCain for most of the summer in Omaha last year - to me he is a young right handed hitting david deJesus for what thats worth. Dont get to excited.
To me this is easily the most "conversational" list to date .... so many guys can slide up or down.
Coco Crisp is an injury risk and likely trade piece for Oakland signed to one year 5million.
Howie Kendrick, a natural hitter of the .300 variety, now gets to hit in front of Albert.
I love the Wrestling match between Pecota and the world on Joey Bats....I will specualte a smaller than usual proportion of subscribers rosters him this year.
Taking Bautista's curious projectio into consideration, and looking at the 4 star lists and the potential uncertainties coupled with each player, and add Ellsbury's injury history - to me Curtis Granderson is a stickout "must get" to cornerstone your AL only outfield in an auction league.
ON a Tigers broadcast a few days ago - Leyland emphasized that Cabrera's bat was too vital to remove from a game for defensive purposes ....thus he would not substitute for him.
I know Miggy has a strong arm - when he was younger his erratic fielding at 3B was attributed to age (young) - but the wear and tear factor on Youkilis last year to me is a very telling factor about the likely outcome for Miggy.
The Tigers will also be deploying a DH in LF (Delmon Young) and at 2B (Ryan Rayburn) ... but they would kick anyone's ass in slow pitch softball
Broxton will close - as it will build up his value as a trade chip - he is on a 1-year contract and the Royals only signed him in order to see if he can regain his form - and then flip him. KC is not aiming for 2012...they just cant.
Soria was in the last year of his deal so it was plausible the Royals would deal both this season as they are blessed with young power arms.
Save duties from late July on you have Crow, Holland and K Herrera at the back end.
FYI - Chris Sale scattered 2 hits over 6 innings yesterday with 5 or 6 K's .... no runs. He is really good.
And as far as relievers in general transferring to starters.... Remember Earl %$#&^% Weaver? His philosophy was to take the talented young pitchers and keep them "penned up" for one or two years and then insert them into the rotation. Chris Sale and Daniel Bard have 3 plus pitches which helps too.
Palmer, McNally. Dobson, Cuellar, Flanagan ...thos eguys were good.
Sorry Werth should be a 4 star in obp% leagues...is what I meant.
Werth is a 2 star in an OBP% league in my book ... I can draw a line through his last race.
As Derek pointed out in other writings, getting offense in the NL is paramount as solid pitching is in abundance.
Picking up a Ryan Ludwick, JD Martinez or a Brandon Belt for under $12 would certainly help. Don't forget El Caballo.
Finally - I am personally concerned that Ryan Braun's stats will suffer from "guilty swings" .... in Golf when someone cheats they often take a guilty swing shortly thereafter. Braun is already hiding from spring training media - wait until he hits a tough patch and the wolves come out ...its gonna be tough ... my point is the stats are sexy - but there is risk involved.
Jaime Garcia led the league in unearned runs allowed last year - I dont think he handles adversity as well as he should.
I watched a Cardinal Game over the weekend and the Cardinals broadcast team said the 2B was Greene's job to lose. They said LaRussa made him uneasy and he is excelling under Matheney. He made good contact every at bat scored 2 runs and stole 2nd base easily. He is not a small guy - After watching that game and seeing him interact with Matheney - I would not rule out a possible slash line of 255/335/435 with 20 plus bags and 80 runs. OI am in an obp NL only league which makes him more exciting as an end gamer with little risk and lots of upside.
Some thoughts -
Joe Mauer might be a great influence on the still young, left handed hotting JR Towles ....
I dont think Justin Morneau is going to make a full season - if he struggles like he is this spring I could see a 60 day DL or retirement.
I think Scott Baker and Liriano will outperform their Pecotas
Pecota has not caught up to Glen Perkins' new craft (short bursts - bullpen)
I woukd venture to guess that the 3rd clone of
Tsuyoshi Nishioka spouts a Japanese version of "I like Pizza"
2B is Tyler Greene's job to lose - he played nervous under LaRussa....Matheney may have the keys to this "car" ...former first rounder with plus speed and some pop
Deeep Sleeper in the middle ...Tyler Greene - Cardinals .... possible 25 bags
Pobo - you hit on alot of my reasoning ...May 25th is arbitrary of course but by then - Adams may have 15 homers already in the PCL then ....the Super 2 day has passed, and either Carlos Beltran's knees hurt, or John Jay has demonstrated his 4th OF skills to Matheny.
While the Cardinals have alot of parts - there is more than one scenario that Adams' power comes up for good within the 1st 10 weeks of the season.
Berkman is old - and played an extra 20 games last season (post season) ...Beltran won't be able to play every day ....the Cards need to ration him ... and guys like Adams often force their way into a lineup as a season goes on.
Its my personal take - not shared by the experts - but I am going to gamble on it at my NL only auction.
Toronto plays HARD .... Joey Bats WARP is perhaps higher than listed as his locker room influence adds WARP to everyone else. Even E-5 caught on last season.
SI's moniker describing "MarLinsanity" will be interesting to watch as well.... new stadium without rain delays and that Giancarlo dude that can leap tall buildings ...
Ozzie reminds me of John Ortiz' character (Teo Escalante) in the awesome HBO series "LUCK"
Jason, you mentioned that your roomate Jason is 6'4" ... By chance is he 6'8" with an AFRO?
I saw an interview with Justin Morneau ... got the impression he was ready to move on with his life unless he has a miraculous turn-around ....
Matt Adams will enjoy playing in the PCL .... for awhile at least. Pecota's 80% forecast has 500 PA's 22 Homers and an OPS over .800
I saw Hamilton play in Omaha last summer two games ...came away with a - line drive mistake hitter not really any exciting skills ... I know Kevin G would like to see him get regular AB's - so I respect that ....
Adams is going to hit 40 Dongs somewhere in 2012
I watched an Angels game this weekend and saw Mark Trumbo make a couple of good plays at 3rd base - and hit a 460 foot bomb ... he looks leaner and confident - Mazier Isturis is hurt so Callaspo could become the utility infielder ... adding 3B eligibility as the season progresses makes him very attractive especially in AL only leagues.
Pop Quiz: Which behemoth on base percentage machine will be starting at 1B for the Cardinals worst case scenario from May 25th on?
Buyer Beware 4 Star - Chris Carpenter ... He was like a racehorse that gave every ounce of everything he had to get to the wire last year ... usually the next race out they "bounce" ... Carpenter threw over 280 innings including post season in 2011 and already has been diagnosed with a bulging disc this spring.
On the flip side Zack Greinke is almost ten years younger and only threw 180 innings last year. When he won his 2009 Cy Young in KC the Royals had one drawing card - Greinke. This they often left him in for 120-130 pitch outings in 90 degree Missouri heat that summer and I think he logged almost 230 innings. I can see a fully healthy bounce back this year.
Trevor Cahill - An angle I like - Arizona has had success transforming AL pitchers Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy into stud starters. Trevor Cahill was once touted more highly than both of them. He is a ground ball pitcher with pinpoint control and movement. He hit the majors a year earlier than he should have and might like his new home. It would not suprise me to see the Snakes have 3 three star pitchers this season.
I just happened to glimpse the first few innings of a Cubs-Dodger game on MLB Sunday .... Castro is filling out his body .... He jumped all over a Ted Lilly cutter with a home run to left that took about 1.4 seconds to get out of the park ...
To me he looks like a future 3 hole hitter as he continues to fill out and mature physically.
Couple of follow-ups ...
Re: Bard's interview ... he talked about all the times he was warming in the pen and the Red Sox either blew or more often extended a lead. ThWhae times a starter wriggled off the hook or the times when a loogy was needed to get the last out(s). While his "30" might have been his estimation, it is a reality of the relief pitching game that they warm up and then dont pitch. Taking it a step further - as a former pitcher I can tell you that the urgent and intense manner that a relief pitcher warms is not condusive to arm health.
Re: Crow - I think the move is one of desperation by the Royals ...for a starting pitcher. They have a plthora of power arms in the bullpen and can afford to toss him to te wolves out of desperation.
As Hoot comments - as a starting pitcher you need to have three pitches that you can command as a minimum in order to get through the lineup three times ....
Most starting pitchers will add and subtract to their fastball and even their slider at times.
One key attribute is to have the ability to "GRIND" ... you have to be a grinder as you might have your good stuff only 60-75% of the time you "go to the tit" ... Grinders are winners - they compete no matter what ... 35 starts over 6 months - to excel over that entire length of time makes one a special starter.
I watched Bard's start over the weekend on MLB .... He got two outs right away and then walkd a batter 4 straight ... he righted the ship and had an easy 2nd inning.
He sat at 93-95 occasionally touching 97. By taking a little off his slider it has a significant break and his 89 mph dipping change up is an out pitch to right handed hitters.
In an interview he talked about how sore his arm got as a reliever last year .... with 70 something appearances and another 30 where he warmed up and did not go into the game.
I could see him have a similar path as Ogando did last year where he finds a groove May June July and then hits a wall....but not many starting pitchers in Baseball have his stuff.... if the command is there - huge upside.
Sale will benefit from tutelage under the slightly built Jake peave who learned from Greg Maddox in San Diego to "ease" your way into the game first time through the order ...I sat behind Home Plate at Petco once excited to see Peavy and was incredulous as he got through the 1st four innings against the Dodgers with moving fastballs ranging from 89-92 ....then innings 5-8 hit 95 and 96 when he had to make a pitch ... Hells Bells finished off the 4-1 victory for the Pads.
The only positive I can correlate with Feliz - who seems to be somewhat lazy - is that he gets to work with Mike Maddoz to restore his secondary offerings.
Wainright was described as "way ahead of schedule" touched 95 in his recent outing and lived between 92-94 throwing mostly fastballs ... maybe it was adrenaline - will have to see if he can string some outs liek that together - could be a great story.
I really like your JD Martinez angle ...the kid plays with a swagger like he knows he belongs. Sometimes in sports "whatever you think on the playing field....you're right".
This (upgrade) is great ...better than adding Cliff Lee at the trading deadline.
Hey Derek -
Not bad - your pitching staff looks really good and I love the Uehara on reserve pick (Nathan and he can trade off months as the rangers' closer to keep their arms fresh) - John Danks is missing from the list above BTW.
Power looks good and plenty of runs from playing time .... Johnny G will get yu some bags as the Royals will run ...but overall the SB column may be bottom half. If you get some 70% pecota batting averages I like your chances to take it down.
rrepresent the BP!
A little of everything in this 2012 "cloud" - good read.
Without using slash lines, and being a glass is half full guy, I will add some fodder:
Luis Mendoza P - KC ...in the mode of the Brian LaHair pick above the 28 year old right hander came up with a new pitch last year and dominated the PCL - a feat in itself - taking a depleted Omaha team to its first championship in years despite multiple call-ups to the big club of key players. Three excellenet outs in the Bigs in September may portend things to come in 2012.
Elvis Andrus SS - Texas .... 23 this year? already one of the best two strike hitters in the game, his maturity will bring consistency and thus he wont give up as many at bats. When men are on base he really zones in, and has a really good track record with 2 outs and men on. Confidence + ability + added experience and maturity give the Rangers a future .300 hitter with 40 bag speed, gap power and a Glove made from gold.
Pedro Strop P - O's ... at one point he was ahead of Alexi Ogando in the Rangers depth chart until an injury set-back. healthy last year he finished with a flourish and was a part of the CDavis to Baltimore for Koji Uehara deal(Rangers did not know his elbow was sore). He hits 96 with movement and has a decent slider... It would not take much for him to make his way to the closer role in Baltimore.
Gordon Beckham - I think Ozzie was inside GBeck's kitchen - classic case of a guy pressing at the plate for 2 years instead of letting the game come to him. In Horse racing handicapping we would look at this as a key rider switch angle.
Justin Upton - Gibby in the dugout is good for him ...his skill set is wonderful - he had a confidence building year last year - and he has a better chance to be the next Matt Kemp in the NL.
Derek Holland - lefty's with talent age like a fine wine...his playoff experience gives him a great shot of confidence and he has a great defense behind him when Hamilton is in left field.
my 2 cents ...love talking baseball.
Great stuff here .... I play in an obp% NL only league AND watch baseball on MLB after the kids have gone to bed.....so Headley and or Gamel are now targets...thanks
I am thrilled that I am not the only person that looks at clouds and sees baseball players' names and stats.
Sizemore just fell off the 2012 cloud.
I saw "Kalish" on the 2011 cloud ...he might be worth a try as an end gamer in an AL only.
Bottom line got to mix in the ingredients in appropriate proportions .... a little "proprietary" sleeper dust before putting in the oven can make the dish taste great.
This was a great read fellas ... thanks. Depending on all the "if's" talked about - seems to me that KC and the Tribe battle for 2nd place and in KC's case, a building year where they clear the .500 hurdle.
Hey Kenny - nice trade of Sergio Santos ...aykm? Some advice from Nebraska...How about - offer up Alexi Ramirez to SF for Brandon Belt?Before Belt starts hitting major league pitching and its too late.
Then offer up Paul Konerko and Matt Thornton to New York for Manny Banuelos and David Robertson.....hire Pinkertons to find out how old Alex Rios really is and then you can void his contract for fraud and free up those dollars to bring in the world's greatest hypnotist for Adam Dunn.
Just sayin ...
Tigers ... Brandon Inge is one of the best pure athletes in all of baseball .... leyland loves him - great locker room guy - Tigers are going give him reps at 2B this spring to see if his athleticism can give them options at 2B ...
Raburn is a guy that is a good oen not to draft - and then trade for him in late May when it starts to warm up in Detroit and his fly balls make it past the warning track.
my 2 cents ....
In my very competitive NL only league we use obp% instead of BA - so its ironic that Kelly Johnson and Soto are listed right next to each other because they both draw walks.
Soto's wild inconsistency - great rookie year outperforming his minor league averages got him security ... then he swoons - followed by a good year - followed by a swoon ...the entire time weight gain. Soto has been linked with some "marijuana use by Baseball players artcles" -He is still young.
Add in Theo Epstein - he loves players like Soto who can draw walks and hit for power .... then it was reported Soto's chance for a fresh start motivated him in the offseason to literally chisel his body.
I too see a motivated, now team elder/leader Soto having a great year should he stay healty.
Kelly Johnson - Toronto management likely will not tolerate 180k's by him .... they have publicly stated that last season when they aquired him ....thus he may be a boom or bust type of player with a lower batting average.
I agree 100% with Derek .... Napoli was not a fluke ... hes a gamer who finally got an opportunity. Hope his ankle has no 2012 residuals.
Dodger Stadium has a couple of months of low humidity heat rising weather that significantly effect the overall numbers.
Re: Doumit - the Twins got rid of Kubel and Cuddyer (OF/DH) and and of year 2011 - "Skates" Young - from the 2nd or 3rd worst offense in the AL and basically only added Doumit. When he is healthy his bat will be on the lineup card somewhere.
Ben, I am wondering what the cumulative small additions/subtractions you alluded to look like for the Jays' bullpen?
2012 back end manned by: Sergio Santos, Casey Janssen, FCordero, and Darren Oliver vs. the 2011 Kerosine crew of:
Jon Rauch, Frank Fran, Janssen, and Dotel.
Great article/research ....thanks for helping me fill in some blanks here because I saw him excel last year with the dipping diving movement ....then saw the pecota card ... Maybe can get Trevor Cahill like numbers ....would love to own both Gavin and HA in an AL only league as 3/4 starters.
I saw Mike Cameron play a handful of times in various parks .... He cared - he was a Baseball Player. He got to those balls in the outfield gaps because he willed himself to ... He should be in the Hall of Game ... for players that gutted out a career a full cut below the HOF - but had game.
Sooo Joe P.... Basically what you stated, even referencing Pythag and BABIP is in fact .... the Pirates played Great for 100 games (with playing great equating to performing or outperforming your ability as a team) ... While a reversion to the mean obviously happened late - not having their key players in the lineup certainly may have contributed to the freefall.
I would take the OVER on 72 with the Buccos this year .... there has to be some sort of reversion to the mean in wins for them the past 35 years since we are family.
I think Arencibia does not bring Pineda without a 4 star as a compliment - Montero's MLB moments last late summer were tantalizing to a GM and Arencibia may be the 2nd coming of John Buck .... D'Arnaud is too far away from Seattle's point of view to address a potentially rioutous fan base - especially in Vancouver - should they flip Pineda straight for him... Seattle over-reacted to a need for "offense now" in my opinion .... you trade a 1A for a 22 year old DH ....dont like it.
Nyjer had a great year in 2009 and then was strong at the end of last year. Given the Brewers' depth at outfield and the inability of CGomez to get on base with regularity - He may have his best year yet this year. He also gets to against NL Central pitching all season. I think I personally would bid up to $14 or so in an NL Auction league for him.
Good deal for both teams...the Pirates made a Dave Justice moneyball type of move having the Yankees pay him to be a Bucco ...
For Burnett - this is it - a chance to start over for a boy in a man's body - his last chance to correlate his performance to his potential ... As Humans we work best sometimes under deadlines .... This is Burnett's deadline.
the Pirates - until ravaged by injury - were playing great ball last year the first two months - in a division completely up for grabs and one of the best players in the game on their roster (Andrew McCutcheon) 6.5MM per seems a reasonable gamble to me to anchor or enhance a young rotation. The Priates bigger worry is where did the Pedro Alvarez go that they drafted?
i pitched college Baseball and after 15 years of umpiring college Baseball now am a high school Golf Coach.
I love the piece on Hansen - it all goes back to teaching yourself muscle memory that is innate enough to work under pressure situations.
If Hansen is anything like a professional Golfer that makes a major swing change - there will be a periopd of adjustment and inconsistent performance. if in fact the swing change is for the better (in Hansen's case better mechanics, more leg drive, more velocity, less stress on the arm) - then eventually he will exit the transition with periods of brilliance followed by his talent level dominance.
Superb data on Ludwick ...I was once at a game in Petco Padres vs. Mets where Cliff Floyd slammed three different 3-run homers to right center .... in any other park.
For those that cant read lips after Floyd's last blast was hauled in yet again by Brian Giles to end the game his comments were: #@%#^*&^%#@ *&^$#*& *&%$%$#
Unexpected Bonus reading - THANK YOU !
I personally Like the Blue Jays to out-perform their team prediction. Their offense has a chance to be one of the top five in the game. They played an incredible 3 game series with Texas in late July where the intensity was playoff like. Toronto showed off their confidence, aggressiveness, and the leadership of Jose Bautista for this young team cannot be underestimated. He is every bit and more a clubhouse leader to this team the Youk is to Boston.
The Jays also will have 3-4 guys at AA-AAA that have the Goldstien blessed ability to leap forward and add to what already is a potent roster of talent.
There are scenarios (Lind blossoms, Lawrie plays 150 games, Alavarez turns into a #2 starter, Morrow's numbers grow into his periphials, Rasmus gives them 25/25 and 150 games, Santos becomes more dominant with pitching experience and Farrell's tutelage set up proficiently by Janssen, the Blue jays have the best Shortstop in the division, Arencibia moves forward) .... That shoudl they play out - That I see the 2012 Toronot Blue Jays making the American league Playoffs.
I am on record
One thing is likely certain .... by September this list will have about a 40% turnover
Deep Deeeeep Sleeper AL only leagues: Pedro Strop - Baltimore .... Interesting in Texas if Nathan were to break down ... Uehara was supposedly pitching with a bad elbow august September but was dominating for 3 months in Baltimore ... Adams has always been a better set-up guy - did not pitch great under pressure post season .... and then there is that Feliz kid
Thanks Michael - love your forums ...who doesnt love talking baseball? (escept my wife) ....
Back to Adams ...Lets look at this scenario.... you "end game" him for $1 - 6 hours into your NL only draft (in a league with OBP% instead of BA as one of the 5 x 5) - to fill a corner spot ... he goes to the Pacific Joke League (Joke from an offensive stat standpoint) - and by mid May he has 15 bombs and either Beltran is hurt or Jay is not hitting .... Berkman goes to OF ... In the interim you've rostered Houston's 3B or Jason Giambi for a buck ... you might squeezr $15 plus out of that $1 ... A caluclated gamble but one with upside considering its an OBP% league...getting pumped for the season!
Swarmee - If you are in a 12 team AL Auction league where Pujols goes for more than $45 this year, Respectfully I would like to apply for entry
@ touchstone .... good angle, good points ... only one dissent - The Rangers were for sale and didnt jump their payroll til they got better/good (higher revenues)
I'll throw a couple...
DH Value pick non "Pecotal" - 26 year old Billy Butler reported to camp 30 pounds leaner and gets to pound AL Central pitching all season with powder blue guys on the sacks all season.
1B Value pick in an NL only league ... Deep Sleeper Cardinal Matt Adams ....especially in an OBP% league
Regarding Pujols Michael .... If you replace his April numbers with his October numbers - the stat line then looks alot more consistent with his HOF greatness. He will have to adapt to a new league, new park, new position (some DH) ....
But the bottom line is that in my 40 years of Baseball participation and observance he has the most textbook right-handed swing I have ever seen. That asset made the trip to Orange County.
"If you stop growing...you start dying..." I have seen the fantasy baseball game change due to "leveling of the information playing field" - but I still believe preparation and research before a draft allows one more opportunity to do exactly as the writer says in his last legible sentence :) - Exploit yout efforts in context dependent situations over a 6 hour marathon of mental excercise ...
Then of course manage the heck out of your team using Baseball Prospectus
Ive done some mock drafts AL only auctions, and mixed snake 5 x 5 ....and have ended up with Doumit every time. I also think the A's C Suzuki will have a better year with more offensive talent around him.
AL only guys getting passed over at 2B are Kipnis and Giovotella. The Royals are very aggressive on the base paths and he may end up .275 10 HR 20 steals ...
There is precedence and hope for the Royals: The Rangers got their position players and potent offense lined up first and then mixed and matched their pitching staff with a great pitching coach, a Japanese league horse (Colby Lewis), their former closer (CJ Wilson), a guy that outperforms Pecota (5 plus ERA) every year even though he has great stuff (Matt Harrison), new talent (Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz) and replacement players (Darren Oliver, Darren O Day, the Japanese reliever, Tommy Big Game Hunter) .... ask the GM's how good that staff looked on paper three years ago - prior to 2 AL championships???
The Royals Can deal The Mexecutioner right now - they have Kelvin Herrera and his 98mph heat, with the balance of a very impressive power arm pen returning and the addition of a hopefully healthy and fit JBroxton who is still under 27 years old.
They may find a late blooming gem in the PCL pitcher of the year (28 year old Luis Mendoza) ....if you have a 2.15 ERA pitching in Omaha's new ballpark, and the PCL in general - thats some evidence he can pitch. He carried them all the way to the PCL title sans 10 call-ups to KC. Mendoza was professional Baseball's best pitcher stat wise from June through September...pitching version of Mike Napoli.
Maybe he becomes Coby lews light .....Sanchez blooms into CJ Wilson territory, Hochever continues to eat innings, throw ground balls and be a Millwood like workhorse and maybe a Duffy or Montgomery steps up.
With the pen they have - they need a starter to go 6 innings .... While I respect the Tigers - I wonder how the left side of their infield defense is going to be for ground ball pitchers like Rick Porcello or Doug Fister and whomever they plug in at the 5? For that matter - an ball hit to the left side of 2nd base will be interesting with Delmon "Skates" Young in left field ....
If Moustakas picks up offensively where he left off last year and then steps forward, and LoCain can run down everything in the gaps and get on base 30% of the time ....let the power arms loose in the late innings and enjoy the ride KC fans.
A Note on Montgomery .... he finished strong with his command last season as the Stormchasers, sans 10 players they had sent up to KC during the year, still went on and won the PCL title.
I would agree with the Red Sox "crowning" rebuttal...Its possible the Red Sox finish 4th in their division! as Toronto is on the come and finished well last year.
Any pitcher would be challenged to put up decent stats year long in the PCL ...Even Omaha's new park provides gap power home runs with soth or westerly winds.
Montgomery pitched without confidence until the end of the season - then he, LoCain and Kelvin Hererra were part of the playoff run, for the then roster depleted Stormchasers to the PCL championship.
When Morrow and Cecil mature - and they will - the key for a jump forward lies with a significant upgrade to the back end of the Pen. Janssen looks like a solid 7th inning guy and Camp is a decent utility reliever but they need a lefty- set up - and closer to play the big 3 in their division on even terms. Then 20 over .500 vs rest of MLB and they get a sniff.
BCecil has a live arm & sometimes lefty's bloom late. I see him as a potential solid 4 or even 3 when he blossomes.
Former Umpire here ...
Couple things - just like a ball hit directly at an outfielder - it is difficult to judge/see pitches unless at an angle (Monocular vision) ...
That is why umpires get in the slot ...when you have a left handed hitter up (yes they do crowd the plate more generally) ..
When a hitter crowds the plate - and the catcher is a bigger guy ...the umpire has to compromise his angle at times to see as well as he can ...
Conversely, on balls on or near the "inside rail", the left handed hitter sometimes gets a little break because he is so close to the plate - and with the umpires' compromised view - it seems the inside pitch is exploding right at them (like a ball hit directly at an outfielder - they tirn sideways to guage depth) ....
Additonally, If the umpire is right eye dominant - then the outside pitch to a lefthanded hitter is not seen with the same confidence as an outside pitch to a right handed hitter.
Ironically, most left-handed hitters in upper level baseball have longer arms - coincidence perhaps.
Bottom line - as long as the umpire is consistent - the players adjust - its just Baseball, always has been Baseball
Its kinda cool though that a statistical analysis produced results that validated what we umpires were able to discern frequently over a few beers
with KGregg blowing yet another save (1.infinity whip) and JJohnson moving to the rotation...any chances Strop gets a try out for O's closer some time in September ???
5th and 6th inning offense was in vogue last night with the midwest heatwave .... Chris Carpenter was absolutely dripping water off his cap in a 30 plus pitch 5th vs. Milwaukee.
SS - Dee Gordon Dodgers if you need SB's or Runs...up for good.
2B - Felipe Lopez is hitting 5th behind Prince Fielder in MIlwaukee's lineup .... he has yet to hit so skeptical on how long he will stay .... I feel bad for Fielder owners
Its possible they have another deal lined up - getting an old washing machine for the clubhouse from Hiroshima Carp for Gomes.
Re: Defense matters ..... and the 5-10 runs range over a season ....start the counter - Betemit managed to charge a grounder last night and throw a 26 footer into the ground "OB right" of 1B allowing a run to score in the 9th inning.
Looking at Detroit's desperation at 3B (Inge is done) - I would tend to agree with the Richie post after reading Kevin's analysis.
Betemit in a job share with the struggling Moustakas for a couple more weeks would not have hurt.
Cory Luebke - SD - mixed league .... 3/1 k to BB ratio ....SIERA below 3.00
Bret Cecil .... AL Only - 15 game winner last year ...has his velocity back and two QS - one in Fenway
Goldschmidt probably felt like he was facing the pre-game BP pitcher last night after seeing the parade of future CYoung winners he had to face in the futures game.
Good article John ....after watching the amazing pitching talent in the futures game - the trend is deepening if anything.
If anything the tragedy in Arlington will sharpen Josh's focus. It could be te beginning of a new journey for him and the club.
Sorry - I meant Matt Moore ...the one that touched 100 mph in the futures game with a batting practice like motion - simply dominant.
The Rangers want to keep Ogando fresh for Sept/October and will mix and match him into off days and use 6 starters at times etc...They have not publicly said it but they want to keep him below 200 regular season innings.
One thing about Ogando - this is a mature, healthy arm - he is past the 25 year old "danger zone" ...
If all goes to plan, Expect Ogando to be the #2 starter in their opening playoff series.
I was suprised Hellickson's SIERA was so high .... food for thought - The Rays have the best pitcher in the minors right now - Michael Moore ... could they bring him up at some point (he is a man playing with boys right now) slot him for some starts moving Hellickson to the pen?
Marlins: Jose Ceda got a questionable look after a call-up for a few days with the Marlins....he has almost 20 AAA saves - hits 97 on the gun...and the Marlins called him up and then shelved him for a week sandwhiched in between two poor outs.
He is back at AAA
Wonder if he came up with a dead or sore arm ?
Kenley Jansen is 'pitching to contact' lately in LA and has become more consistent .... I might speculate eventually a Kuo/Kenley combo finishes games in LA.
Is Parnell any good? (periphials)
Scott Boras - KRods' new agent - gets to negotiate a new contract/new commission in the off season .... there will be no vest that would generate commission for the old agency
as per the trade - The Brewers Threw in a washing machine ....ELE Everybody Love Everybody
I also enjoyed watching he broadcast - benefitting from reading Kevin's stuff.
Grant Green's 420 foot double was impressive - he looked the part of a ballplayer to me ... Goldschmidt looked like he was pressing a bit.
The pitching talent and stuff I saw was incredible. Having umpired up to the AA level however - the difference makers will be the ones that can command their plus pitches with higher incidence.
Nishioka's last few games are encouraging .... he would/should be helped by the return of key Twins teammates to their "mean performance" (D Young, Mauer, Kubel healthy etc...)
A Trade that makes sense ... The Angel's Jeff Weaver is near the end of his contract and they cannot afford to re-up ...
The Angels already have three other good starters (Haren, Santana, Piniero) in their rotation and will be live contenders in 2012 in the AL West.
The Angels are playing Bobby Abreu at DH this year, his last ...and Vernon Wells in the OF along with an aging Tori Hunter. They will have future all-star OF Mike Trout up for good at the longest by super 2 deadline next year. The Angels also get their slugging 1B Kendrys Morales back next year.
They can contend in 2012.
Why not ship Jeff Weaver and Vernon Wells (AL East grizzled vet - who can be a 4th OF for the Yanks starting anywhere against leftys) .... The Yanks lock up Weaver ...and if Posada falters AB's filter to Swisher and Wells at DH
The Yanks send Miguel Montero to California (Mike Scosia is the perfect guy to get him to play "with energy") - let him get his feet wet catching twice a week and DHing three times a week.
The Angels also recieve a pitching prospect in the deal..preferrably Banuelos as they will want a lefty to break up their right handed dominant rotation in 2012 and beyond ...
The Angels bring up Trout to get his feet wet and get the frasnchise excited with Trout and Montero playing together ....find a 3B and 5th starter for 2012 and set their sails.
I will piggyback on pobo ....Ceda is two years removed from arm surgery - is a big dude that touches 97 with command .... he was flawless in aaa.
LoCain ..... having seen him play a few times...is nothing special and certainly not addictive.
4th OF spelling Melky, Francouer and Gordon
I think the Omaha numbers could be a tad inflated... they have a cozy new ballpark this year built away from the city and exposed to the wind.
I enjoyed the well written piece ... few smiles along the way.
I do agree that the division they are in, and the potential for players to get healthy - as well as reversion to the mean for Delmon Young, Valencia, and arguable Mauer offensively - along with Nishioka hitting near his 50-60 pecota percentile - makes them competitive.
Ben Revere is an upgrade in the OF even as a 4th OF and their aweful bench gets better with Revere,Luke Hughes,Kubel joining it as part of Gardy's mix and match system.
The back end of the bullpen looks alot better if Nathan can close - with Capps and Glen Perkins setting up ....
It has been a cold and wet spring in Minneapolis and some nice summer days along with healthy ballplayers might get them playing well enough to creep up on the divisional lead.
Greenfrog ...to piggyback on your post - it actually looks like the Jays are seeking InterGalactical talent as Jon Rauch appears to me, to be from another planet.
It looks to me lime Markakis has gone to 100% Vegtable Gyros...he looks so skinny this year .... historically a slow starter/2nd half monster yes, but he just looks different physically. Maybe its just me?
The O's had to at least suspect what they might be getting in "one year stopgaps" DLee and Vladdy ....both one year older from really bad 2nd halfs last season.
It worries me about their young pitching - it was the '90 braves blueprint" they decided on to get back to good ... they have all shown flashes of the good stuff - so there still is hope for Birds fans.
nitpick#2 ...Blackmon plays leftfield...has stolen bases in 5 straight games...CGonz plays center
John - you are a Pirates guy ...whats new aquisition Michael McKenry do for their catching? ...His Pecota has a .250 TAV - not the worst...
Incredible story ...thank you for sharing
Rubby Delarosa ...K per inning ... 95mph with movement ....3-0 record
Trevor Cahill's release point looked off the other night vs. the Royals ...he was falling off the mound to his left and missing left and low alot - falling behind in the count. My first thought - having seen him pitch more than a dozen times - was that he was pitching hurt .... but maybe it is strictly mechanics - or maybe a combination.
Irregardless its more bad news for the 2011 version of the A's.
To Mike Aviles' credit - he took his demotion to Omaha in stride and is playing the game the way it should be played. I watched him Sunday in Omaha and he was excited to be playing Baseball and tried to take a leadership role on the team. He played hard and had fun.
Re: Blackmon - there was an article in a Denver paper today - likening him to a "Steve Finley" type leftfielder for the next ten years. Mgr. Jim Tracy loves what he has seen so far.
Re: Revere - Twins love the injection of energy he has brought but have some tough roster decisions coming with Kubel and Span and Thome coming off the DL ...Delmon Young has started his annual summer surge at the plate as well. If Morneau is out long - Cuddyer mans first base and 5 players including Revere get plenty of AB's at 4 spots (OF and DH)...Kevin G has Revere in his top 60 overall prospects.
Ruggiano was not on the Rays 40 man at the beginning of the season - and passed through waivers - he changed his approach this year to accept a role as a 4th OF if he gets called up. Fuld is done unless he has options...ideally the Rays move Upton and bring up both Brandon Guyer and Desmond Jennings to start in the OF.
Snakes: They may move toward a couple of platoons....Nady and Miranda at 1B ....and Pena and Parra in left if they decide to wait and "super 2" OF prospect Colin Cowgill
Dom Brown wnet yard twice last night - he is a stud.
Coming into this season:
1. The A's had what was widely regarded as one of the top 5 rotations in Baseball by experts and pundits alike.
2. The A's offense lacked power and would have to hit well situationally and manufacture runs.
3. The A's bullpen would have to mix and match until Bailey got healthy again.
4. The A's were 'live' in the AL West race as 2nd favs to the Rangers.
When the A's started losing close games (see Fuentes comments) - and then starting losing members of their Rotation - the chemistry in the clubhouse went to shit.
Exit Geren - Enter Melvin and Dr Andrews. The next A's chance for a really good team got pushed back at least two years.
I saw 2 of the past 4 Omaha Stormchaser games - and have seen a couple thousand games over my lifetime being a former umpire with college and Independent league experience. A couple of observations:
Clint Robinson is a pure left handed hitter. He hit 2 homers off lefty Ryan Rowland Smith (Mariners) yesterday - both were to the opposite field gap. He also hit a lead-off double in the bottom 8th to right center in a tie game off a lefty and Jarrod Dyson pinch ran for him and scored the winning run. His VORP yesterday was 1.0 - he won the game himself.
Robinson lets the ball get deep using his short quick stroke - and has gap to gap power. The Red Hawks were obviously trying to pitch around him - and it reminded me of when Barry Bonds was so dominant he only needed one pitch in the zone to make hard contact.
As for his speed - it is obviously not plus speed, but Robinson is very fit/slender with long strides. I guarantee you he would beat Billy Butler in a foot race. He made two nimble and nifty plays in the field but I can also tell you he misplayed a pop fly foul in the wind at 1st base allowing it to drop.
Giavotella and Robinson were the only Stormchasers to square up the ball all day. Giavotella also has gap to gap power and almost 50 RBI's hitting out of the 2 hole. Both of their bats make a distinct sound when they square it up.
I saw games earlier this season with CR and Moustakas in the same lineup - and Clint was the "alpha male" at the plate. he may just continue to hit at any level. The comparison to a now disinterested Kila is unfounded.
Rubby De La Rosa - NL Only ...alot of late movement touches high 90's ... reminds me of a cross between Pineda and Ogando.
btw ...That was to be Duffy
The scorer in the Mets game last night needs some counseling....Capuano goes 6 scoreless..... then in the 7th, of the 5 infield hits in a row he allowed...the first one was a routine 4 hopper to the right of the 1st baseman - who could not make an accurate toss to Capuano covering....Capuano beat the runner there by 2 steps....somehow scored a hit. A good finish and decent luck would have given him 2 great starts in a row.
Duddy's stuff is really good - and he is a freckle faced bulldog.
If Maddon's goal was to keep his team afloat the early months of the season to see how things play out internally and externally - he has reached it. Great article.
That would give Damon a 2-1 advantage over Jorge? (since he played for both)...
Vladdy misses the Ranger lineup hitting around him - and Arlington Park where he always mashed even as a non-Ranger
Former Umpire: They way a catcher recieves the ball has alot to do with calling "marginal" pitches. We call "marginal" pitches ones that are in close proximity to the zone - or on the very edge of it.
If a Catcher sets up on the outside or inside "rail" - and comfortably recieves the ball with minimal movement - he has a chance to get the call. The Dugouts can see up and down, they cannot see in and out.
There is also an ongoing conversation with the catcher and the umpire during the game .... things like umpire to catcher "thats as far out as you can go and get it" ....or catcher to umpire "down? - when the pitch may have been called inside or outside - meaning "hey I need that corner"...
When a catcher thinks a strike was called a ball - he may tap his glove on the ground before returning the ball to the pitcher - signaling to the dugout it was a good pitch. If a catcher sets up a ball outside the zone and the pitcher hits the target - and the umpire calls a ball - the catcher points to the pitcher for hitting his target and throws the ball back right away to tell the dugouts the pitch was called correctly....
Also - 2 "marginals = a ball .... in other words if a pitch hits near any of the upper corners of the strike zone "rectangle" - its marginal up and marginal in or out ...therefore it gets "balled" more times than not ... especially for a called strike three.
Umpires will admit a miss sometimes by telling a catcher "throw it there again its ok" or telling a batter after a called strike ... "I won't ring you on that" ...ie. I missed it.
The game within the game ... its fascinating.....as a prior commentator for this blog mentioned regarding the zone: "its been the same for years".
Seattle has been interesting - good to see excitement back in their ballpark .... Aside from the King and Pineda who are co-#1 talents - They have some guys pitching out of their collective arse right now
AL West - The Rangers are almost back to full strength on offense - hard to argue with a MLB team that will have a bench made up of: Mike Napoli, Michael Young, Andres Blanco, David Murphy, and the fully healed from serious injury "Corey Patterson light" Endy Chavez.
On the flipside their bullpen is an absolute mess ... they need a Joel Hanrahan type to stabilize close games late - and Feliz to get "right"
I am by no means a Dodger fan, but looking at this division and how it has morphed the past couple of weeks, if the back end of their bullpen returns to health they should prove tough.
The recently promoted "Rubbinator" has shown some filthy stuff in his 3 MLB appearances - all high leverage situations
Good Stuff ...I am a Pads fan - and have Rizzo stowed on my fantasy team reserve - what you wrote makes perfect sense ... Let Kyle Blanks have a hot month and morph to the AL for a few years - with a well selected trade pice in return.
As a Rangers fan in the AL - I painfully watched Jorge Cantu get aquired from the Fish - and then go 6 weeks without an RBI during an AL stretch drive ... even more suprising is that he is from Texas and had been an RBI whore in the past. When the Pads signed him I got the bad kind of goosebumps.
Will Venable is a major league ballplayer.
Thanks - good stuff...I watched the first game Duffy pitched ... The Home Plate Blue was struggling behind the dish that night with both pitchers ... Duffy's late movement suprised him at times - I guess I am saying that jitters, and an off night by blue may have 'darkened his form" to use a horse racing term.
I watched Duffy pitch in Omaha and he is a freckle faced bulldog. Competitive as they come. I bought him in our FAAB auction for AL only (very compeitive league) for 25 bucks - I have Haren, Josh Tomlin and Bret Anderson as WHIP stabilizers - so I can absorb some of the control risk.
Aceves is setting himself up for swingman status - Francona likes him, as did Gerardi when he was healthy with the Yankees. Some guys flat out just compete better than others - Aceves is one of those.
Porcello is Trevor Cahill "light" ....
For AL only: Red Sox rotation fill-in Alfredo Aceves touched 93 with movement yesterday vs. the Tigers and mixed in a cutter and 72 mph curve with late break. Salty and Crawford are getting hot - Aceves is something like 12-0 going back to 2009.
Danny Duffy of the Royals is a yong lefty with 3 plus pitches that touches 95 mph...AL only league with K's he is a solid 5th starter.
I agree 100% with the assessment of Rangers' closer Feliz ....the Rangers' bullpen is an absolute mess right now.
and Fuentes is not a MLB closer
Our society is so re-active .... If an organization has a Catcher that can hit to the level of a corner - move him...plain and simple.
My opinion re Wieters - he is a Catcher that hits better than average for Catchers of his level - but does not project to hit as well as a corner. Therefore leave him there to be a foundational piece for 6-10 years as your teams catcher.
Mauer, Posey, Santana, Montero, even maybe McCann .... groom them to play elsewhere or hybridize the position by splitting time - but give them "Josh Hamilton rules" (There are certain baseball things you can't do in order to play for the entire season vs one game - for Josh its diving and running into walls - for a catcher ie - block the entire plate)
As for changing the rule - Baseball is a man's game played by men - the catcher of a solid MLB team needs to be the toughest, smartest player on the team with great defensive skills. I believe that is especially true in the AL (where they already have a DH) ...
They do not wear skirts - let them play signed, Jack Lambert
I like the analogy of the Padre bullpen example to utilize your organizational depth and add on smart cheap pick-ups ...
Robinson: I saw Robinson play last weekend in Omaha and he has more athletic ability than given credit for - and is a slender giant of a man. His left-handed swing is picture-esque.
Tampa comes to mind as a team that could use him as their 5 hole hitter right now - in exchange for one of their AA arms.
The problem with trading him is that it likely has to be out of the division - either to an AL East team (Toronto and Baltimore already have several DH's - and the Yankees are not into plugging in unknown quantities from other organizations) - or an AL West team (The Angels have Abreu and Branyan, Seattle Cust, Texas whoever needs a break, and the A's have Hideki)
With Billy Butler signed - the Royals might have better luck trading him for a future rotation pitcher ... and eventually will have Betemit and Gordon to help at DH
re: the Braves ....."you can't make the club if your sittin' in the tub" ...part of a major league baseball players' skill set is the ability to play each day through a variety of minor maladies that accour over the course of a marathon season ....if Heyward sits out everytime he has a tummyache he loses the respect of his team and becomes JD Drew jr
should say he was robbed of a double and hit a homer ...20 ab's or so over the last week
Sounds like this kid gets it ...good stuff
If Barton is actually available in any AL only leagues that have 14 offensive players on their lineup - Those league members are probably not baseball affluent enough to suscribe to this site.
A 1B I would look at is Chris Davis of Texas - with both Nelson Cruz and Hamilton on the DL - 1B Moreland becomes a full time outfielder for Texas. Davis still gets fooled on offspeed stuff but I saw him square up two 97mph fastballs on Michael Pineda this week for a double and a homer.
The players can actually say most anything they want until it gets personal (you suck as opposed to that call sucked) - The players are to address the umpires by their first names - its etiquette ... assistant coaches are not allowed any leaway - bench rubbish has to come through the manager .... managers are tossed if they come out with a big dip in their mouth and get face to face .... the next day after an ejection everyone starts over "no history lessons"
Everyone in MLB is pretty much on the same page - but that does not keep emotions from spilling
Kila is hardly and upgrade over Justin Smoak (5 homers. .300 avg) ... The A's have their own combination of Kla in CCarter and Barton....
Kila is Carlos Pena light
3B - Daniel Descalso .... LaRussa has a woody for him and Freese's annual DL stints have started
3B - Ryan Rohlinger Giants (qualifies at SS now) - called up to replace Panda, he draws walks, has decent power, and would be a solid add in a deep NL only league with OBP% as a caegory
1B - Brandon Allen DBacks .... the Miranda/Branyan show is almost over
1B - Anthony Rizzo - SD (see Hawpe comment above)
Hawpe is going to be replaced by Anthony Rizzo at 1B within 5 weeks. He was cut by 2 teams last year and plays in Petco ... the hit streak may be his last professional hurrah
Anyone see Banuelos pitch against the Red Sox Friday night? ...fastball 93-94 with late movement, and one he could run in on righties with a slider like late break.....Tom Glavine like change up ....and threw a couple of Barry Zito curveballs on 2-0 counts for strikes .... his pitches were moving so much the umpire was having trouble with it. Banuelos last pitch was a letter high 1-2 96 mph heater to strike out a Red Sox backup.
I watched Beckett pitch several times last year - and he would frequently have a 'blow-up' inning - seems also like he struggled the 2nd and 3rd times through the lineup ....almost appeared as though he was not in shape....there were a few games where he had given up 0 or 1 runs through 4 or 5 innings and then....gas leak/explosion...as the season progressed, and these big innings happened - he was emotionless at times, like he expected it to happen ... the 'stuff' and ball movement was there
Speaking of AJ Burnett - saw an interesting comparison of his career stats to those of Josh Beckett last night on MLB network ... right before Sean Casey elbow dropped Leiter ...Josh Beckett who seems synonomous with Ace/top of rotation pitcher had almost identical career stats (3.9 ERA, 110 wins or so - near 500 record) - with the enigma that is Burnett.
Something similar that worked for me - only because I really liked Colby Lewis (thanks Baseball Prospectus) and Trevor Cahill to be front end starters and I like the Rangers....Last year in my American League only auction I tried something similar ... ended up with Kevin Gregg, Uehara, and FRodney for a total of 6 bucks and got 8 save points ...filled out the staff with Trevor Cahill for $2, Colby Lewis $2, CJ Wilson for $3, Dallas Braden $1, Bret Cecil for $1, Michael Wuertz for $2 - adding Jake Westbrook, Tommy Hunter, and Brian Duensing on reserve. I eventually traded offense for Bret Anderson when he was coming off the DL.
Spending $243 on offense got 59 offensive points ... and a once in a lifetime runaway win
Gio Gonzales, Bret Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Dallas Braden and a healthy McCarthy would have the potential to be a top 3 rotation in all of Baseball .... with good health.
I am hopeful the significant increase in high leverage innings load this year with Cahill does not make for a regression.
Braden has a history of pitching 4 out of 6 months each season .... so the A's would be well served to have a #6 starter in the pen or at AAA (much like Mazzaro was last year)
Bret Anderson has the highest upside - Cy Young potential.
Jose Lopez must have heard us Michael... ran his season home run total from 7 to 10 last night in Toronto ...the Blue Jays ball boys surely got the humidor/non humidor ball batch mixed up?
Jose "Hacking Mass" Lopez .... he of the .580 OPS this year while hitting 3rd or 5th in the Mariners lineup the majority of the time.... qualified at 2B ... I wonder if he even got his 10th percentile Pecota ?
First - great point by Conwell above - The Angels' have a true rotation anchor now with Haren locked up and not many teams can run a Jeff Weaver out as #2 or Ervin Santana as a #3.
2nd - The A's pitching rotation will make them perennially dangerous....though Billy Beane has thrown significant 'mud at the wall' offensively, the odds say some will eventually stick.
3rd - all the above aside, its gonna be fun to be a Baseball fan in Dallas metro the next couple of seasons ...keeping in mind that Kinsler, Cruz, and Josh Mantle played less than 70 games together this year they have to be live underdogs in the playoffs should Hamilton manage his pain.
As the author mentioned the key will be to wrap up a true #1 pitcher (Cliff Lee is from Arkansas and has indicated he likes being part of this club) in order to slot Colby Lewis and CJ Wilson as rock solid 2 and 3 starters letting Tommy Hunter and Derek Holland develop.
Two things besides mr chemistry/gamer David Murphy not mentioned which give Texas an edge: 1. Mike Maddox - tremendous pitching coach...just ask the Brewers 2. Elvis Andrus will develop into and play at a level of an all star caliber SS for a few years...he makes plays look so easily people forget he is 21 years old...he also leads the AL in avg with 2 outs and RISP - clutch hitter...and a good 2 strike hitter.
Look for the Rangers to sign Cliff Lee and get a solid Catcher in the off season and be the team to beat in the AL next year.
Re: Cliff Lee - he was absolutely instrumental in helping the Rangers when he first came over...Stats without context can be misleading at times - Lee tried pitching through a bad back and had two or three blow-up games stat wise.
What Lee did do when he came over was help the Rangers win 4 or 5 one run games they would not have won with Scott Feldman or Rich Harden getting those rotation starts.
Also what Cliff Lee did do - that won't show up in stats anywhere - was go deep in every start he pitched in with complete games and 8 inning outings littered through his past performances allowing the bullpen to rest and be utilized when other Ranger starters (Colby Lewis, Tommy Hunter, CJ etc...) would hit the proverbial wall in their 6th and 7th inning with regularity.
Justin Smoak was a high price to pay - but the Rangers have a chance to get their money's worth from Cliff Lee especially if they can ink the Arkansas native to a deal to anchor their staff for a few years.
On the other hand Jorge Cantu? ... not so much
Not to mention that 21 year old Elvis Andrus is leading MLB in batting average with two outs and runners in scoring position - a 'gamer' stat
In Price's case - the core muscles that support pitching mechanics most likely were getting fatigued - which usually results in pitch elevation... something pitching coaches can spot with subtle changes in mechanics as the game goes on.
Funny comment re: KC's gun .... my wife (God Bless her) puts up with me watching Ranger games on direct TV once we get the kids to bed, at the end of a game the other night Blake Wood for KC is pitching and I am not really paying attention at that moment - she makes the comment "sheesh ..he throws hard" I watched him touch 97 on the next pitch and I was like, "No ... something is wrong with the gun, Blake Wood does not throw 97" ..I paid attention to it the rest of the series and all the Ranger pitchers I follow were a couple MPH higher than normal (Tommy Hunter reference above) ...
Isn't Yadier Molina hitting over 3 something in August? Raised his average over 40 points since the break I think...
Ken looks like there was a typo ... Yuni Escobar was listed above with the 6th rated WARP from the 2007 class right behind Lincicum and ahead of Hamilton ....
that should read 'could not' start in front of Babe Kotchman
I admit I may be a little sour .... (Rangers fan and Smoak fantasy owner) ... but the bottom line is that Chris Davis could not start over the guy (smoak) who could start in front of Casey Kotchman
will look for that trade on the quadruple A transaction list ...
Good point on Colby Lewis - spectacular season ... with men on base opponents hitting less than .200 (he and Trevor Cahill are the mlb leaders) ... The Rangers are good - and as the author points out a well rounded good. I have a couple of thoughts - stats aside watching the Rangers play every other night I can tell you that Fransisco has NOT had a good season ...any time he is in a high leverage situation he allows baserunners - and frequently runs. Darren Oliver is also a question mark to me in a high leverage post-season situation...I like the work Matt Harrison is doing from the left side of late and would like to see him getting more late inning appearances.
I can tell you with certainty stats aside that the aquisition of Cliff Lee has been good for at least three wins in match-ups where he outgrinded/outdueled a hot pitching opponent.
Great Interview - love the look inside the game ....
Arencibia is above average as a defensive catcher...probably better overall as a catcher than 20 of them starting tonight in MLB ..... he is buried by Buck's fluke first half at this point
Burning wood? I can smell wood smoak (24 June RBI's 3rd in the junor circuit) .... he hit two rockets last night that were caught. The Rangers have quietly worked their way into being one of the top five teams in Baseball.
Too bad Bobby Cox has trouble expressing himself....Marlins owner Loria should put his money where his mouth is, aquire Cliff Lee for Logan Morrison, and move one of his starting pitchers into a leveraged innings relief role.
Great article ...had a couple of lol's
I thought the article was clear and necessary in pointing out the dysfunction that permeates the Pirate organization. If 17 losing seasons (you are what your record says you are) is not enough alone to prove that - recent events emphatically stamp that point home including: the horrible contract given to a one leg 2B, emphatically saying both Alavarez and Brad Lincoln are not Major league ready but then doing a 180 within days with MLB promotions despite the long term "strategic plan" in place, and the 'small man syndrome' firing of a Pirate fan turned part time mascot because he verbalized his frustration on Facebook? (not the same as posting drunken christmas party pics) ...
As far as the authors' potential animosity to the Pirate management? ...I will remember the words of deceased Celtic announcer Johnny Most: "They say why hate Isiah?...I say why not?"
Smoak em' if U got em' .... I watch the Rangers on MLB alot - Smoak has survived through a slow start - he has hit a ton of 'at em' balls - and has drawn a lot of walks....other than concenrs about him from the right side of the plate - he is now here to stay and produce from the left side ....hes also got one thing the stats can't show or predict: IT (he is a ball player)
There are also the Blue Jays' corner/1st base issues (Overbay vs Brett Wallace) to opine about...
Trembly is touting he 30ish year old, injury prone Montanez with the .700 ish career minor OPS? Where has the pride gone in Baltimore?
I'll take the UNDER on the Mariners and Royals' win projections....you still have to score more runs than your opponent to win.
The Computer can't account for Mike Scosia's managing prowess thus the OVER on Angels wins looks juicy - especially if Santana rebounds from the Verducci effect and Kazmir pitches the way he did the last six weeks in Anaheim.
Texas has the makings of a pretty good bullpen ... Perhaps this is the year they win the AL West?
Pitching....and pitching well in the Phillies rotation made Okie Joe a top 20% starter from June on last summer
The Robertson deal was a win/win for both teams...and being a lefty with K potential - a change of scenery might do him well
Royals reality: Pull Greinke's 55 VORP out and your are left with a darn good quadruple A rotation anchored by a Red light injury risk in Meche. However, KC easily has the division's best closer: The Mexecutioner
Is it possible to offer good advice on closers?
Each year 25-40% of the 'pegged' closers at the beginning are no longer closing. Thus Pecota is effective from a perspective of looking for solid periphials and value.
Some random thoughts:
- Knowing that Mike Maddox is a rosin bag whisperer of sorts, and that the Texas defense will be even better this year, I would not be afraid to get value on Harden, Colby Lewis, or even Brandon McCarthy in an AL only league.
- Danks and Kazmir were tough luck losers alot in the 2nd half last year, I can attest to that
- Considering how they were baptized by fire last year without so much as a staff mentor, Brett Anderson (stud) and Trevor Cahill both may exceed expectations...Cahill does not strike out alot of guys yet but I think his K rate will improve
- Zack Greinke may prove to be a good sell high guy around the all star break as he is expected by his manager to toss complete games
Will, any word on Alex Rios' condition (alien from planet Mendoza inhabiting his body)?
congrats on defeating the Royals - clearly the Twins are re-energized even without Morneau and a rotation that includes Brian Duensing
Righthanded pitchers that top out below 91 (let alone 87-88 as JSchmidt did) have to have Maddox like control, or Mariano Rivera type movement, or a plus plus change (Hoffman like) to have a chance to even be league average.
Schmidt can pitch on guile only so long before tape and scouting reports catch up with him and major league hitters starting hanging 3,4, and 5 burgers on him.
Put a fork in Jimmy Rolldoza - I am in a total bases NL only league and paid too much for him - and now am officially in a "sell low" position ....the 2008 postseason/world series, and then the world baseball classic have gotten him out of his normal routine of preparation for the season - and I am guessing that his progressive age keeps him from overcoming the aforementioned.... and since he cannot steal 1st base - his SB's lilkely will be a career low in 2009
The A's starters' PERA is alarming - but on the other hand Anderson, Cahill, Outman et al may benefit from continued MLB reps.... another waffle
I was struck by:
Marlins apparantley suck...despite the insertion of Bonaficio at 3B (faster than Bolt) and Hanley's continued development.
Lets try a Marlins vs. A's comparison....The Marlins play in a harder division (World Champs, Braves and Mets)but
I think that the Marlins are a much better hitting team than the A's and for this season, I would take the Marlins' rotation over the A's rotation in a heartbeat. While the A's have a better bullpen, I am not sold that their defense is better as they run out an injured/back is stiff Chavez @ 3B - Cust and Giambi playing anywhere is dangerous - and then there is Garciaparra the butcher (yesterday at 1B, not even ustling after a pop foul that fell - then mishandling an easy enough hop from cabrera at deep short - allowing 5 Angels outs that led to a 2-run inning)
This being said, I hope I am dead wrong as I own 7 A's, including 4/5th's of the starting roation, on my AL fantasy team!
check that - McClellan quietly logged 70 innings for the Big Club last year
Strangely enough, I didn't see Jimmy Rollins mentioned for MVP.
If Ted Lilly wins a CyYoung, or if Milton Bradley wins an MVP - It would be more shocking to me than say a Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.
NL ROY darkhorses: Emilio Bonaficio (faster than Bolt)
Jason Motte, Kyle McClellan, or Chris Perez (whichever from these 3 relievers that ends up with 25 plus Cardinal saves)
AL ROY darkhorses: Josh Anderson Tigers OF
Gordon Beckham White Sox SS (Alexi shifts to 2B)
I like the A's Over ....with the Angels' pitching staff in total disaray, Texieria gone, and their position players a year older - the AL West is up for grabs and the A's with a deep and strong pen (even with Devine hurt) and a veteran position player nucleus can carry the team early while their young power arms in the rotation get untracked.
I also like the Royals over, especially if Hochevar and Davies can develop into the 3rd and 4th rotation guys they have the talent to be.
Joe - from what you say ...multi position eligibility will help gain valuable AB's
Aside from a couple mentioned in here already - Asdrubal Cabrera hit more than .300 his last 170 AB's last season, is a 10/10 guy with SS/2B eligibility
Gabe Kaplar may luck into 300 PA's as the .850 OPS vs.lefties half of a platoon and centerfield backup
Dan Bard could end up as the set-up man in Texas if the Sox pry Salty
A's starting pitchers should be generally very good values, their outfield, sans Holiday, is so unsettled that Aaron Cunningham will get a solid shot at some point...especially if Holiday is dealt
I have a friend inside with Cleveland who tells me that Shin-Soo Choo will hit 25-35 homers this season
Avoid the veteran Yankees unless ARod goes for less than $21- but there is a scenario where young Yankees pitcher David Robertson gets alot of high leverage innings -and will excel according to Pecota
Speaking of Pecota, John Lester's prediction has been hampered by his pitching while in cancer treatment stats...throw out Pecota -he is Boston's best pitcher
same goes for Seattle's Ceasar Jiminez
Remember that good health is a skill
first grab Albert Pujols, then zig when they zag ....
ARod is a value below $21
Jay Bruce shall erupt year II
Aaron Harang would make a nice #2 starter
The Mexecutioner never had a slump last year -solid!
Smoltz and David Price are worth a buck or two as back end fliers
With the exception of the 3 hole - The offensive players' VORPS project sneaky good if all stay healthy ...maybe Maholms is a late blooming John Tudor type of ace ?
Delmon Young would fit well here in left field in this lineup if they could pry him from the Twins for maybe.... Capps and Neil Walker ?
I bet the Twins wish they had Garza back as the #3....Span and Gomez the 2nd coming of Jaque Jones and Tori Hunter?
Gomez is filling into his big frame and I would guess his slugging % prjoection of under .400 will be quite a bit low
Twins will compete for the division again - albeit the worst division in Baseball
To be a contrarion -
There are a few NL teams with higher VORPS in the starting lineup than Boston.
The catching situation is an abortion in the making
Big Papi's hand strength is not back to 100% yet and he doesn't have Manny covering him anymore
Huge question mark - Mike Lowell and JD Drew getting 500 quality PA's each (I will take the under)
Need to see Lowrie prove for a season he is not more than a 5th infielder
Ellsbury hitting more than .265 after MLB pitchers adjusted to him
Kotsay and Wilkerson are ...... not good
And the starting pitching question marks:
JB - previously mentioned above
Wakefield struggled last year and would be the first to go to the pen for one of the young guns I would think
Penny? ...for how long? ...if he is decent until Smoltz is 100% ready then that is a win I guess
I think DiceK is a nice #3 starter and Lester is either a great #2 or a solid #1 ...but I wonder if one of either Buccholz, Masterson, or Bowden doesn't have to have a huge year for the rotation to be successful?
A Smoltz at 100% by July makes for troulbe for the rest of the AL Esat.
I think their Pen is #1
But to say they have the best 30 man in Baseball??? ...
Quantity maybe but not quality
signed, contrarion to fandom
I kinda find it ironic that you could characterize Russel Branyan as a lefthanded version of Richie Sexson....an upgrade however over Miguel Cairo and Jose Vidro at 1B ....at least they have a nice ballpark
Mariner fans may want to consider a Seattle version of the Millen man march
CF - yea - since when is Jody Gerut Grady Sizemore light?