Shifts in the way that teams use the disabled list in the coming weeks give little clarity to the current injury roster.
Johnny Cueto (10 DXL)
The diagnosis for Cueto was initially reported as a strained triceps near his shoulder, but the Reds say today that he has a strain at the other end of the triceps in his elbow-likely the result of a hyperextension. If there's a "good news" part of that diagnosis, it's that this mechanism usually results from muscle fatigue, meaning that he's become tired before actually breaking down. It's likely that the tendonous insertion of the triceps is damaged, and while that's not good, it's certainly better than damage to the ligament itself. It will be a red flag going forward, especially given Cueto's slight frame and whipping arm action, but again, this has to be looked at relatively. For now Cueto is just going to miss one start, but if there are any further problems, I would think that the Reds will shut him down. It's important to remember that Cueto threw during the winter league season as well, causing additional fatigue that's ended up hurting him now. I doubt he'll be doing much more of that once he's established himself as one of the Reds' potential aces.
As in the AL, the Central division is as tight as can be, while in the East two Mets are predicted to take home some hardware along with their division flag.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the National League, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.
Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
The major question for each AL team coming into camp, and the news from around the leagues.
Just 11 more days remain until one of the best days of the year for baseball fans. No, we're not talking about Valentine's Day. That's for greeting card companies and candy makers. This year February 14 is the day that pitchers and catchers begin working out in many spring training camps throughout Arizona and Florida. Among those who will celebrate Valentine's Day with a little PFP--pitchers fielding practice, for the uninitiated--rather than TLC will be the Orioles, Cubs, Astros, Royals, A's, Phillies, Giants, and Mariners.
This year's Nashville gathering should see more dealing than the 2002 version, and here's your primer to the coming action, with a breakdown of the needs and wants of all 30 teams.
NASHVILLE--The last time the winter meetings were held at the sprawling Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort, in 2002, this is how boring they were: The biggest transaction of the second day was the Pittsburgh Pirates hiring Frank Velasquez as their strength and conditioning coach. While Velasquez is a fine fellow, he isn't the reason nearly every baseball journalist converges on the winter meetings each December. Certainly, fans awaiting news from the confab expect bigger dispatches than the hiring of a fitness guru.
The divination of what every major league team will do during a busy winter, plus front-office notes from Colorado, New York, and St. Louis.
They hadn't even gotten all the cigar ashes and champagne stains out of the carpet in the visiting clubhouse at Coors Field when the offseason began in earnest. The Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves pulled off a major trade this past Monday, less than 24 hours after the Boston Red Sox finished their sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the World Series. The Tigers acquired shortstop Edgar Renteria from the Braves--making official the shift of Carlos Guillen to first base--in exchange for a pair of top-flight prospects in right-hander Jair Jurrjens and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.
Remaking his disappointing club is job one for Kenny Williams. Nate provides some helpful suggestions.
After having gotten swept by Philadelphia, the White Sox record now stands at 27-35, and they barely have a 1-in-1000 shot of making the playoffs. Let me be honest for a second. If I had picked any other team to go 72-90 this season, and everyone thought I was an idiot for having done so, and that team in fact played down to my expectations, I would be doing a lot of gloating about that prediction. But since that team is the White Sox, a franchise that I have a great deal of affection for, it's been at best a bittersweet pill.