The 2006 draft has served as a major talent influx for the top forces in the NL West.
I'd wanted to write about Clayton Kershaw because I haven't discussed him in as much detail as his season merits, but finding a fresh angle proved to be difficult. Improved control? Done. Comparisons to Sandy Koufax? Done. A thousand other things? Done.
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There's Snakes on the field, but a few too many coming home, too.
If seeing former Cubs skipper Jim Riggleman's Washington ballclub leave town was a case of a not-so-fond farewell to an old friend after losing a series, next up is Arizona. With so many players left from the two teams that squared off in the Diamondbacks' sweep of the 2007 NL Division Series, for the Cubs, renewing this rivalry with a rhumba of rattlers provides equal measures of revenge and a run back toward .500.
These ten young players didn't make big league rosters out of spring, but could still be key players later in 2008. That, plus news and notes from week two of the season.
Last week we looked at the surprise names on Opening Day rosters. This week, let's take a look at 10 players who did not make the final cut in spring training and are not currently on major league rosters who should make an impact at some point this season (listed in descending order of their projected WARP for 2008, according to PECOTA):
The top and the bottom of the powerhouse division can build from within, leaving the AL East's middle class in an precarious spot.
This is the fifth of six-part preview of the impending off-season. I had been holding off on the two divisions involving World Series combatants until the games had concluded, but with the Series' hasty conclusion on Sunday--and Scott Boras' equally quick declaration that it's A-Rod Huntin' Season--now is the time to cover the AL East, where all five teams will have some very interesting decisions to make.
Keeping his head above water, Kevin responds to some readers' questions about his most recent articles.
The last two weeks have been pretty busy over here at KG central, with lots of external distractions, and my county being declared a
disaster area. Because of this, I'm fallen behind on my mail, so let's do some catch-up and share with the class along the way.
The AL West is a far cry from where it was a few months ago. The Rangers take on the Athletics in your Game of the Week.
The A's and the Rangers have spent the last month going in different directions in the standings. On July 22nd, the Rangers trailed the A's by a mere half-game in the AL West, with the Angels only two games behind the leader, and the Mariners five back in last place. On that date, the Rangers had better than even odds of making the postseason, 53.4%, according to the Playoff Odds Report. By the time they acquired left fielder Carlos Lee from the Brewers a week later, the Rangers were a game under .500, two and a half behind the A's in second place, and their chances had fallen to 29.9%. Coming into Saturday's matchup, the Rangers are in third place, and their playoff chances have dropped to negligible--right around 5%. Since a picture's worth a thousand words, here's how it all broke down: