E-MAILBAG: Ask the Reports, Wednesday August 17th
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Wednesday August 17, 2011
Q: Watched the Tigers / Twins game today ( Aug 15th ) and was happy to see my fave player, Jim Thome hit 600. I consider him one of the best home run hitters of all time. My question to you: Thome has done most of his damage as a DH and on non playoff teams. What are his chances to make it to the Hall Of Fame and if he does go in, what hat do you think he will wear? From Larry, Nevada.
MLB reports: A great question Larry. I wouldn’t expect anything less from our #1 reader! Taking a look at Thome’s numbers, you may find a few surprises. Thome in his career has played 1102 games at 1B and 492 games at 3B. Thome did not become a full-time DH until 2006. Considering that he came up with Cleveland in 1991, I do not believe the DH role late in his career will affect him much, if any. The cloud of the steroid era may, as it seems that many big sluggers from Thome’s generation will have a difficult, if not impossible time getting into Cooperstown. But unlike Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, Thome is seen as one of the “clean” home run hitters of his generation. At 600+ home runs, a lifetime OBP over .400 and SLG over .550, I view Thome as a definite first ballot hall-of-famer. With 12 years and 334 home runs in Cleveland, I can guarantee you that Thome will go into Cooperstown as a member of your beloved Indians.
Q: Any insight on Wade Miley? From Joseph, Nashville.
MLB reports: Great question, thank you Joseph. Wade was a 1st round pick of the Diamondbacks back in 2008 (43rd overall), after being drafted in the 20th round by Tampa Bay in 2005 and not signing. The 24-year old Miley is a 6’1″ left-handed starter in the Diamondbacks organization. Currently pitching in AAA after a recent promotion, Miley has a 3.64 ERA , to go along with a 4-1 record and 1.270 ERA. With this being his 4th season in the minors and showing steady development, it should come as no suprise that Miley got the call today as he has been promoted to the big leagues. With Jason Marquis on the DL, Miley may get a few spot starts for Arizona and at the very least, a spot in their pen the rest of the way. 2010 was a breakout season for Miley and despite some regression this year in AA, he has gotten better as the season has progressed. With the amount of pitching prospects in the Diamondbacks system, Miley will have a difficult time fighting for a rotation spot with the big club. Long-term I see him as trade bait for an organization that has room in its rotation for him or perhaps a bullpen role. He may yet develop into a solid #4 starter for the Diamondbacks, but at this point that remains to be seen. The future is still bright for Miley, but 2012 will be a big year for him in Arizona. We wish Miley the best of luck on his recent promotion, as he joins the first place Diamondbacks in the quest to win the NL West division this year.
Q: Sorry if I missed it, but have you done a report on the Angels CF, Peter Bourjos? That kid can fly? From Craig, Texas.
MLB reports: I answered this one briefly on twitter but wanted to elaborate. I have received many questions on Bourjos this year, but have not filed a report on him to-date. It was a calculated decision, mostly due to the fact that not many fans have asked about him outside of Anaheim. Looking at the numbers, Bourjos is a steady, but not spectacular hitter for the Halos. .271 AVG, .328 OBP, .416 SLG, 5 home runs and 15 stolen bases. At this point, Bourjos is keeping a spot warm for future superstar Mike Trout. Originally a 10th round pick, the 24-year old Bourjos may blossom into a future superstar. But I have my doubts that will happen. Long-term I see Bourjos as a #4 outfielder on most teams, with the chance of becoming a good leadoff hitter if he can increase his on-base percentage. We will all continue to keep an eye on Bourjos, but be sure to keep expectations in check until a breakout occurs.
Q: Do you think that the Indians are going to get a RH bat? If so, who? And do you think they are going to win the Central? From Martin, Cleveland.
MLB reports: Let the Indians theme continue! Many solid questions Martin, I take it that you are a big supporter of the tribe. One of the biggest surprises of the week was Delmon Young moving to the Twins to the Tigers. Probably one of the better right-handed bats was passed over by the Indians to their division rivals in Detroit. By passing Young over, my gut feel is that the Indians are likely done tweaking their lineup. With the additions of Kosuke Fukudome and Ubaldo Jimenez, the Indians will go with their current roster for the most part in battling for the AL Central crown. There is a chance that the team may add one more depth player, but I do not expect any real player of consequence at this stage. As far as the AL Central race goes, it is a 3-team race between the Tigers currently in 1st place, the Indians 3.0 games back and White Sox 3.5 games back. This one is too close to call. I will admit that I am very partial to the Tigers and like their chances at this point. While the Indians seemed to be a team of destiny at the start of the year, the Tigers look to be prime for a division title led by Justin Verlander. The Indians end the season going up against the Tigers in Detroit, while the White Sox face the Blue Jays in Chicago. The AL Central will come down to the final week, with my money on Detroit to take it all.
Q: Any news on Yu Darvish? Will we see him in North America next year? From Shane, Kansas.
MLB reports: Darvish is represented by an agent (Arn Tellem) and at 25-years of age would be a prime addition to any major league team. There has been a debate in baseball circles whether his Japanese club, the Nippon-Ham Fighters will post him, which really boils down to Darvish wanting to leave Japan to come to the major leagues. Despite mixed messages I have read in his interviews, it sounds like Darvish is ready to make the jump (and pocket the large paychecks that will follow). Expect Darvish to arrive in 2012, with at least 8-10 teams fighting for his services. The Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays and many others will be fighting for his services. This one will simply boil down to which team is willing to pay the most and when Darvish is ready to make the change. As one of the best, if not the best pitchers not currently in North America, Yarvish should be an instant ace for the team lucky enough to land him. We will keep following this story and let you know as we have updates.
Thanks for the e-mails and keep them coming! firstname.lastname@example.org
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