Due to a 25-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Ruiz hasn't had much of an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not his 2012 power breakout is even remotely sustainable. He should have a chance soon, though. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Ruiz hopes he'll be able to begin a rehab assignment next week, and then rejoin the Phillies on June 17.
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The chances that the Atlanta Braves can acquire a starting left fielder may have taken a hit on Tuesday when Shane Victorino was signed to a three-year, $39M contract by the Red Sox, a pricey deal for a 32 year-old outfielder who only had a .704 OPS in 2012. Not only is there one less free agent outfielder available, but the price might not be right for the Braves to land any of them if Victorino can get that kind of deal. They could just allow Martin Prado to remain in left field, instead of moving to third base, and Juan Francisco would be the beneficiary of regular playing time at the hot corner. The 25 year-old celebrated by hitting two homers on Tuesday with 6 RBI's as the Tigers del Licey, led by five no-hit innings from Francisco's Braves teammate Julio Teheran, shut out the Gigantes del Cibao in Dominican Winter League action.
Michael graduates his first VP of the season, but he still points out plenty of undervalued corner infielders to be found on your league’s waiver wires.
For our nation’s scholars, graduation is just around the corner, but we start things early here at Value Picks, bidding adieu to our first departee. He leaves the list after quickly exceeding ownership thresholds, but I’ve got lots of other players ready to prove themselves to VP readers, including several bubble candidates in Playing Pepper.
With all of the big-name free-agent closers off the market, how are things shaking out at the end of each team's bullpen?
Now that the Blue Jays have signed Francisco Cordero, all of the legitimate closer candidates are now off the free-agent market. As such, now makes for a good time to check out how things look now that the closer carousel has stopped spinning.
Baseball's free agent compensation system works well enough for most players, but middle relievers are disproportionally finding themselves in the lurch.
Relief pitching can be a particularly volatile sector in baseball’s open market. More than position players or starting pitchers, relievers can see their year-to-year production swing from good to bad and back again. For clubs, that makes constructing a bullpen a tricky business. For relievers themselves, it places a premium on timing the market.
Jesse Behr breaks down how the Giants assembled their pitching staff.
In Part I, I looked at how the position players on the Giants’ World Series roster came together. Now, we’ll track and analyze how the club’s pitching staff wound up in San Francisco.
Please know that the reason Barry Zito, the Giants southpaw with the most lucrative contract, (a seven-year, $126 million deal) is not on this list because he was indeed left off the post-season roster. Past that, you’ll see a smartly designed pitching corps, most of which has been homegrown:
Jesse Behr looks at how the position players for the Giants came together.
Call him a genius. Call him just lucky. One way or another, GM Brian Sabean put together a very unique team in San Francisco. A National League championship team that does not include Barry Bonds, but rather nine draft selections raised through the farm system, five journeymen plucked up from the depths of minor-league free agency, and one playoff hero stolen off waivers.
Okay, since Sabean had around $98 million to work with in 2010 (more like $58 million when you consider all the money guaranteed to Zito, Rowand, and Renteria), the Giants aren’t quite the storybook team. Nevertheless, it’s impressive to see a “team of scrubs” match-up against a bankrupt ballclub from Texas in the World Series. Let’s breakdown how this Gyros squad came together:
The Giants outexecute and outmanage the Phillies in a nailbiter.
Well, that was fun. After a back-and-forth affair that took nearly four hours to christen a winner, the reputedly invincible Phillies find themselves one Giants win away from reserving tee times (or studying agriculture, or however players spend their off months these days) after a 6-5 loss in Game Four of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday night. In the first game of the series that didn’t feature a standout pitching performance, the Phillies’ bats didn’t roll over and play dead as they had in their previous losses, but their owners were left holding the short ends of the lumber nonetheless. What’s more, the victorious manager had a better game than his counterpart, and received a resounding assist from his most talented position player. However, before we can recount out how it all unfolded, we should rewind a few hours.
The author and museum curator discusses the history of the Giants and his thoughts on the 2010 team.
Richard A. Johnson knows baseball history, and as a lifelong fan of the team that calls AT&T Park home, he certainly knows San Francisco Giants history. The longtime curator of the Sports Museum in Boston, Johnson is the author or co-author of numerous books.