Monthly Archives: July 2012

2012 Trade Deadline Update #8 7/31: Final Deals: Victorino, Pence, and More

Tuesday July 31st, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  What a busy day! Here are the last of the major deals that led up to the 4:00 p.m. eastern time deadline:

Hunter Pence to the Giants

The Giants and Dodgers are in a tie for first in the NL West as of today. Leading up to the deadline, the Dodgers have acquired Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, and Brandon League. With the Dodgers making such big moves to add to their offensive lineup, the Giants needed to get a big bat. Hunter Pence is the solution the Giants were looking for, hitting .271with 17 homers and 59 RBI. For Pence and cash considerations, the Giants sent outfielder Nate Schierholtz, minor league catcher Tommy Joseph, and minor league pitcher Seth Rosin. This year, Schierholtz hit .257 in 196 plate appearances. Joseph hit .260 in 335 plate appearances in Double-A, and Rosin held a 4.31 ERA in 56.1 innings in Single-A. I love this move for the Giants. Already with Pablo Sandoval (on the DL now but expected back soon), Melky Cabrera, and Buster Posey in the lineup, the Giants look good. Now with Hunter Pence, they will put up some serious competition to the Dodgers for the NL West crown. The Phillies also get some good talent. Nate Schierholtz never really made it with the Giants, so hopefully he will get a fresh start in Philadephia. Tommy Joseph also was a highly regarded prospect in the Giants organization, and he looks like he will be the catcher of the future. Read the rest of this entry

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Will the A’s Finally Be Moving to San Jose? MLB Relocation is a Slow Process

Tuesday July 31st, 2012

John Burns:  Much speculation has been in the past years that the Oakland A’s would be getting a new stadium. With Oakland currently playing great baseball (18-4 in July) it makes you wonder if the chances of a new stadium increase. It has been rumored that the new stadium would be in San Jose, California and named Cisco Field. The projected opening date would not be until 2016. Oakland has been playing at the Coliseum since 1968. It would be the first time since 1909 that the A’s received a brand new stadium. The field dimensions for Cisco Field are: Left Field – 302 feet, Left-Center – 375 feet, Center Field – 405 feet, Right-Center – 345 feet, and Right Field – 310 feet.

The chances are good for Oakland to make the playoffs this season with only being four games back of the Texas Rangers in the A.L. West lead and leading for one of the A.L. Wild Card spots. If the A’s keeps this up and the fan base increases, the chance for a new ball park increase also. With an increased fan base, the A’s will have help going after a new park because of the money that will be coming in from attendance, merchandizing, etc. Cisco Field would be ready for the 2016 season, so if the A’s have a bad rest of the season and continue to struggle the chances decline for a new ballpark. Another thing to consider is that 2016 is four years away, so anything can happen and the A’s don’t necessarily have to wait for Cisco Field. Oakland could explore other options if they start to become a power house and want a new stadium sooner rather than later. Perhaps they will look at other locations like Portland, Memphis and Durham. Or even go back to Oakland for one more try to obtain a new stadium in their current home.

The Athletics realistically have to look at moving the team out of the Bay Area altogether. With Yoenis Céspedes looking like Oakland’s franchise player, he would be the perfect player to build around the team and a new ballpark. Oakland is in a very similar situation to what the Miami Marlins faced in recent years. Miami ultimately were able to land a new stadium and make a big splash. But their new ballpark took a great deal of negotiations and was iffy right until the last minute. As a result of their new digs, the Marlins went out and signed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, traded for Carlos Zambrano, and hired Ozzie Guillen. Now they are starting to sell off their players, but that’s another story for another day. The A’s could do something very similar to that if they do get a new stadium (but actually keep their talent). Watch out for the Athletics if they get a new stadium in a city to be named later. Everything could change and I expect the change to be very positive.

 ***John Burns- MLB reports Intern:  I am a highschool junior, play 1st base and catcher. I am a diehard Phillies fan. I  was born in Philadelphia but now live in Virginia. I come from a huge baseball family and just love the game. My cousin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 2008 MLB draft. My favorite players are Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Ryan Howard. I tweet all the time and you can follow me on twitter(@JohnBurns_MLB)***

 

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2012 Trade Deadline Update #7 7/31: League, Snider, Thames, Soto, and More

Tuesday July 31st, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Monday night and Tuesday morning turning out to be a busy one for MLB General Managers! Here are the flurry of deals before the MLB Non-Waiver Trading Deadline:

Brandon League to the Dodgers

With the Giants talking to the Mariners about League, I think the Dodgers traded for him just so the Giants wouldn’t get him. They really don’t have a reason to get him other than that. Their bullpen has been solid this year with Kenley Jansen holding it down at the back and Josh Lindblom highlighting the other relievers. League would’ve been key for the Giants. They lost Guillermo Mota at the beginning of the year for 100 games due to his second failed drug test, Sergio Romo has been a bit shaky lately, and Santiago Casilla hasn’t been the best closer. Not to mention Brian Wilson went down with an elbow injury after only a few appearances. Although League hasn’t been the best this year (0-5 with a 3.63 ERA) he will definitely help strengthen the already strong Dodger bullpen. After acquiring Hanley Ramirez and Ryan Dempster, the Dodgers are definitely ahead of the Giants in my mind. For League, the Mariners get OF Leon Landry and RHP Logan Bawcom. Landry this year in Single-A Rancho Cucamonga has hit .328 with eight homers and 51 RBI, and Bawcom has gone 3-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 27 games with Double-A Chattanooga. League was removed from the closer’s role in Seattle in favor of Tom Wilhelmsen earlier this season, so losing him won’t drastically affect the Mariners. League is apparently owed $1.85 million for the rest of this year.

Eric Thames to the Mariners

Right after trading League, the Mariners went ahead and traded Steve Delabar to the Blue Jays for outfielder Eric Thames. Thames adds some more youth to the Mariners and looks like the fourth outfielder right now. This year, in 42 games, Thames is hitting .243 with three homers and 11 RBI. The Blue Jays add to their bullpen after getting Brandon Lyon and J.A. Happ (who can either start or come out of the bullpen) from the Astros. Delabar held a 4.17 ERA in 36.2 innings for Seattle this year. Neither team seems to be going anywhere, so it looks like each is building for the future, as each player is signed through 2017.

Travis Snider to the Pirates

Snider went to the Pirates for reliever Brad Lincoln right before Eric Thames was traded. The Blue Jays seem to be bolstering their bullpen by getting rid of young outfielders. Snider started the season in Toronto last year before being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, and stayed there until recently being called back. The Blue Jays must have finally given up on him after he hit .225 last year and .235 this year in nine games. Snider will join the mix of Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, and Starling Marte in the outfield for Pittsburgh. The Blue Jays get reliever Brad Lincoln in return, who has gone 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 59.1 innings this year. He’s only 27 so he should be with Toronto for a while.

Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Braves

After losing out on Ryan Dempster, the Braves went out and got Paul Maholm, who has been doing well for the Cubs going 7-4 with a 3.74 ERA. The Braves also received Reed Johnson. Johnson has hit .307 for the Cubs this year and will join Jason Heyward, Michael Bourn, and Martin Prado in the outfield. He should serve as a fourth outfielder and possibly come in late in games as a pinch hitter. The Cubs will get Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman. Vizcaino went 1-1 with a 4.17 ERA with the Braves last year. Chapman, this year for Triple-A Gwinett, has gone 3-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 53.2 innings.

Geovany Soto to the Rangers

Soto will go to the Rangers after they designated catcher Yorvit Torrealba for assignment. Soto will primarily catch while Mike Napoli will see some time at first base. Soto struggled this year for the Cubs, hitting just .195 with six homers and 14 RBI. He makes $4.3 millon this year. Hopefully for the Rangers, Soto will put up better numbers than Torrealba, who hit .236 with three homers and 12 RBI. The Cubs will obtain pitcher Jacob Brigham, who went 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in124 innings for Double-A Frisco. Soto just wasn’t cutting it for the Cubs; maybe he’ll have a fresh start with the Rangers.

***Today’s feature was prepared by Bernie Olshansky, Baseball Writer & Facebook Administrator.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky)***

 

Please e-mail us at: mlbeports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

In The Year of The Rookie: Who’s For Real? Comparing MLB Prospects and Suspects in Fantasy Baseball

Monday July 30th, 2012

Peter Stein:  2012 truly has been the year of the rookie.

With all of this new talent and many surprises, it most likely means that there is a lot of parity amongst fantasy leagues. This is great. But the question you must ask moving forward: which players can actually sustain this level of play? Remember that last year, the entire buzz was around Eric Hosmer, whose sophomore campaign (.232/9/42) indicates that he might actually need some time in AAA.  Don’t forget about Jason Heyward’s disappointing encore after his breakout rookie campaign too. And didn’t we all write of Anthony Rizzo after he was completely over matched by major league pitching in 2011?

Amazingly, Yoenis Cespedes has produced a stat line of .305/14/54 and 8 SB through 69 games played and has no shot of winning rookie of the year. That honor will belong to Mike Trout – .350/16/49 and 31 SB in 79 total games. A plethora of other rookies are mashing too, including Rizzo (.941 OPS), Todd Frazier (.857 OPS), Will Middlebrooks (.848 OPS), and Matt Carpenter (.836 OPS). Not included in this list is Bryce Harper, who is already a dynamic fantasy option at the age of nineteen. Read the rest of this entry

A Book Excerpt from ‘The Fastest 30 Ball Games’ The Great American Ball Park

Monday, July.30/2012

To Purchase this Book please click here

Original Print of the book was June 2011
Book Excerpt writeup By Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth

“The Book Excerpt for The Great American Ball Park.  As it turned out I would have been disqualified for a dangerous driving ticket had I kept up with this streak attempt anyway.  During this game it was crazy because a rain delay in my favor saved the day.  It was also when I realized doing interviews might actually impede a streak.”

Game#4 Day#3
The Great American Ball Park
Cincinnati, OH
July.04/2008

It felt wrong from the time I made it to the Philadelphia Airport. It was a tough shuttle ride from the parking lot to arrive at a full security checkpoint-even at an early time of a 5:45 AM flight. I had flown out of PHL before-just never the dreaded ‘F’ gate. The fact you have to wait in yet another line for a shuttle to the gate is brutal. This caused me even more panic. I had to catch that flight to Indianapolis on time to make it to Cincinnati on time. One of the things I learned when booking all of these flights was that Cincy’s Int’l Airport (CVG) completely rips you off for fares to and from its fine city. I was at an all time frustration when I became the last person on the shuttle—and virtually sprinted to the jet-way to make it 2 seconds before they closed the security door for my US Airways Flight from Philly. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, Tommy Toledo, Ichiro to Yanks, Greinke, Billy Hamilton, Jeff Niemann, Pavano and Colby Lewis

Sunday July 29th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: Two days folks. That’s all the time that is left in the MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline. All baseball eyes will be on news wire as we expect many more trades to go down by the deadline. I have set the over/under of the number of moves to happen since the Giants got Marco Scutaro at 20. What is your pick?

Many of the big names that were rumored to move have been dealt with. Zack Greinke is an Angel. Scutaro a Giant. Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante are Tigers. Brett Myers and Francisco Liriano are members of the Whit Sox. Hanley Ramirez joined the Dodgers. But Cole Hamels stayed in Philadelphia, while Huston Street and Carlos Quentin remain in San Diego. Who are the next big names to move? Will Ryan Dempster finally go to L.A. or Atlanta? Will Matt Garza move despite not being healthy? Josh Beckett? Aramis Ramirez? Shane Victorino? Does Houston even have anyone left to trade now that even Chris Johnson has been traded? We will get the answers to all these questions over the next 2 days.

From our prospects file, a name to keep an eye on is Tommy Toledo. No- he is not a rock star or adult movie actor. Tommy is a pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers system. He gets my vote for the best baseball name. Think about- what a name for a closer. Now pitching for the Brewers, #13…..Toooommmyy…..Tolleeeeedoooooo….. Yes, just a great ball name and yes, he can pitch too. Tommy tore up A-ball this year, pitching for Wisconsin of the Midwest League. 7-1 in 21 games, 1.95 ERA, 6 saves, 0.838 WHIP and 31/11 SO/BB. Standing 6’3″ and weighing close to 200 lbs, the 23-year old Tommy Toledo is a baseball prospect to follow. His Twitter handle is @TommyToledo13. Follow him, say hello…and make sure you say that the Reports sent ya!

For our Batting Stance Guy featured video of the week, we present Gar’s look at the New 2012 MLB Batting Stances. BSG at the start of the season took at look at some new stances that will have you laughing all the way to the batting cage:

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

2012 Trade Deadline Update #6 7/29: Lirano to the White Sox, Johnson to D-Backs, and More

Sunday July 29th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Here are some of the latest key baseball trades that have taken place over the last 24 hours:

Francisco Liriano to the White Sox

After losing out on Greinke, the White Sox needed to make a move. Their pitching needed an extra boost. Chris Sale hasn’t been himself his last two starts, giving up five earned runs in each, and Jake Peavy has been on and off lately, going 1-2 in his past three starts. Although Liriano has for the most part had a terrible year, holding a 3-10 record with an atrocious 5.31 ERA, he hasn’t been all that bad in his last few starts (excluding his last start against Chicago—2.2 innings, seven earned runs),striking out 10 and 15 in the two starts before facing Chicago. The White Sox are hoping that Liriano will continue his turnaround and help them reach the playoffs. This could be tough for the White Sox though; the Tigers seem to have the makings of a playoff team to not make the playoffs, and the AL West looks like it could produce three playoff teams as of now. But, with all this, Chicago does look promising after the acquisition of Kevin Youkilis earlier in the year. Adam Dunn has returned to form, hitting more home runs and striking out just as much. It looks like the White Sox will have a good shot to play in October. Read the rest of this entry

Yoenis Cespedes: The Cuban King of Oakland

Saturday July 28th, 2012

                                                                                                                                

                                                                              (Image Courtesy of Businessinsider.com)

Brendan Henderson: If you’re a baseball fan, you have heard the name Yoenis Cespedes. Recently, you have been hearing A LOT about his team, the Oakland Athletics. Just how much has Yoenis Cespedes helped the A’s this year and  especially as of late? That is what I’m going to analyze below. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Trade Deadline Update #5 7/28: Segura Traded, Scutaro to San Francisco, Reds Looking for Leadoff Hitter

Saturday July 28th, 2012

Sam Evans: With the MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline coming up on Tuesday, let’s look at what trades have recently happened, and what could happen in the coming days:

Read the rest of this entry

2012 Trade Deadline Update #4 7/27: Zack Greinke to the Angels – The A.L. West Just Got Wilder

Saturday July 28th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Zack Greinke has just been traded to the Angels. It looks as if the A.L. West is turning into the A.L. East with the Rangers being the Yankees and the Angels becoming the Red Sox. Coming off two straight losses in the World Series, the Rangers signed regarded Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish in the offseason, who has worked out very well for them this year. The Angels got off to a rough start after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, but turned their season around with the call-up of Mike Trout. With Colby Lewis needing Tommy John surgery, the Rangers are in need of another arm. Unfortunately for Rangers, the Angels just traded for one of the few quality pitchers left on the market. Zack Greinke is an ace and could turn out to be the difference maker in the A.L. West. Read the rest of this entry

Interview with Arizona Diamondbacks Outfield Prospect Marc Krauss

Friday July 27th, 2012

Codey Harrison: Arizona Diamondbacks AA outfielder Marc Krauss joined us recently to talk some baseball. Krauss was Arizona’s second round pick of the 2009 first year player draft from the University of Ohio. Since being drafted, Krauss has played at various minor league levels: Low A South Bend, High-A Visalia, and 2 seasons at AA Mobile. For the last 3 seasons, Krauss has been ranked as one of the Diamondbacks top prospects by most baseball analysts. Marc Krauss is a corner outfielder/ first baseman, who brings big time power, as well as very good plate discipline to the plate. In 2012 with the AA BayBears, Krauss is posting solid offensive numbers: .289/.420/.521, 15 HRs, 61 RBIs.

Get to know baseball prospect Marc Krauss, as we proudly feature our interview with the rising star in the Arizona Diamondbacks system:

Codey – With some pro athletes you hear about them being multiple sport stars in high school, did you play any other sports in high school? If so how do you feel that they helped you with baseball?

Marc Krauss – “Yes I played football and basketball in high school along with baseball, so I was pretty busy in high school. I loved it though, being able to compete in all the sports. I grew up in a small town and there were not enough athletes to really specialize in one or two sports, so everyone pretty much played something year round. I definitely think it made me a better baseball player because it kept me active and I became a better overall athlete. And also when you’re in tough situations in any sport and can learn how to handle success or failure and pressure, it only benefits you in the other sports.” Read the rest of this entry

2012 Trade Deadline Update #4 7/27: The Dodgers Need More Pitching- Evaluating the Options

Friday July 27th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: After acquiring shortstop/third baseman Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins, the Dodgers got exponentially better. With Hanley, the Dodgers gained an offensive force on the left side of the infield. With two solid pitchers, the Dodgers are good team, but a third would take them to the next level. There are several options out there:

Cliff Lee, Phillies

Signed through 2015, Lee will be a long-term option that could cost a premium. Fortunately for the Dodgers, money isn’t too much of a factor now with the new ownership. The left-handed Lee would fit well possibly as the number-three starter after Chad Billingsley to rotate left/right/left with Clayton Kershaw at the top of the rotation. The Phillies might trade Lee this year due to his out-of-character 1-6 record with a 3.95 ERA.  Signing Cliff Lee could potentially put at risk the ability to re-sign Clayton Kershaw, since Kershaw’s two-year $19 million contract expires after next year. The Dodgers would be busy paying Lee the last three and a half years of his five-year $120 million contract, so Kershaw might have to settle for a little bit less (even with the new ownership) or sign with another team—the last thing the Dodgers would want. Acquiring Cliff Lee will be highly unlikely for this reason, plus the fact that the Phillies might want to hold onto their 2nd/3rd ace. Read the rest of this entry

A Story of MLB Free Agency: Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols

Thursday July 26th, 2012

 John Burns: Two of baseball biggest sluggers Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder both signed $200 million plus contracts this offseason when they hit free agency. Pujols was the first of the two sluggers to sign. On December 10th, 2011, Pujols signed a ten-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, worth around $254 million. It was speculated around the winter meeting that Pujols could join the Miami Marlins who emerged as early favorites for Pujols. Albert could have easily been a Marlin right now if it wasn’t for Miami not granting Pujols a no-trade clause. As for Prince Fielder he waited until late January to sign. Fielder ended up signing a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Detroit Tigers. Both Fielder and Pujols shocked the baseball world by signing with teams that you would have never expected to see either of them play for. But that is part of the beauty of this game. You never know what will happen. Read the rest of this entry

The Interesting Case of Francisco Liriano: Twins Look to Move a Starter by the Trade Deadline

Thursday July 26th, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Writer): There is no doubt that the Minnesota Twins are going to be sellers this year at the trade deadline. At 18 games under .500, they have the worst record in the American League, and with a team ERA of an even 5.00, they find themselves only ahead of the Colorado Rockies at the bottom in terms of pitching. According to Jayson Stark , the Twins are willing to move “just about anybody” on their roster, and all signs point to starter Francisco Liriano’s departure. The troubled starter ranks 93 out of 101 qualified pitchers in ERA (5.31) and is just one loss off a league worst 11. Liriano’s $5.5 million salary is fifth highest among Twins players, and it goes without saying that his performances are well below what he’s being paid. But does that mean he has no trade value? Read the rest of this entry

Watch Out For the Oakland A’s: Top Pitching and Countless Walk-Offs

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

John Burns:  Nobody would have told you prior to the season that the A’s would be 7 games over .500 in late July. With a 51-44 record the red-hot Oakland A’s have been one of the baseballs biggest surprises in baseball. Oakland is coming off a 4 game sweep of the AL East leading New York Yankees and that is when the A’s caught everyone’s attention. Oakland has a MLB-leading 11 walk-off victories this season. The A’s have the second lowest payroll in the league with $55 million and the New York Yankees who they just swept has a $200 million payroll. The A’s season so far has been basically a recap of the movie “Money ball”, how Oakland is having this success with virtually no superstar and such a low payroll is truly amazing. With the sweep of the Yankees the A’s are tied for a Wild Card spot. July has been a huge month for Oakland and they produced with a 15-2 record so far to show their GM Billy Beane they are serious. Add to that a 7-game winning streak. Still not convinced? Ask the Toronto Blue Jays and Ricky Romero. The A’s have taken 2-straight games in Toronto, including tonight’s 16-0 massacre. These A’s are a team to keep an eye on. Read the rest of this entry

Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams – Long Overlooked Baseball Pioneer

Wednesday July 25, 2012

Photo Courtesy of http://www.19cbaseball.com

Roger Raztenberger: (Special Guest Writer)- In searching for the origins of our National Pastime, it is important to seek out and recognize the individuals who were instrumental in its formation and development rather than perpetuate the myths and half-truths of the past. Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams is one of the “forgotten” pioneers who has been overlooked, but should be recognized and enshrined in Cooperstown.

The origins of baseball have always been a little murky and shrouded in mystery. Everyone has heard the now discredited myth of Abner Doubleday, a distinguished Civil War general, being the father of baseball. It was an interesting story that led to the establishment of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the idyllic village of Cooperstown, NY. However, it was just a story – mere fiction. The Hall of Fame now simply states, “The Doubleday Myth has since been exposed” adding, “It’s now accepted that Alexander Cartwright developed rules in the 1840s that are the basis for the modern game.” However, the accuracy of that assessment given the lack of acknowledgement of Adams and his contributions means there’s still work to do in order to get the story right.

Alexander Cartwright and Henry Chadwick have been honored with plaques for the roles that they played during the early days of the game. Doc Adams’ contributions compare favorably with, and some would argue even surpass those of Cartwright and Chadwick. However, Adams has not yet been accorded the same honor of membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s exclusive club. Read the rest of this entry

The Rangers Should Sacrifice Some of Their Prospects to Win This Year

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Texas Rangers are currently 57-39, which gives them the second-best record in baseball behind only the New York Yankees. Texas isn’t just playing for this year, they also have enough prospects to acquire anyone they want at the trade deadline. Instead of waiting for young players to develop, the Rangers should recognize their chance to win it all this year, and trade away a couple of those players. If Texas could acquire a top of the rotation starter or a superstar outfielder, they should seriously consider trading some of their finest young prospects.

It will take a lot for the Texas Rangers to miss the playoffs this year. Despite playing in a division featuring an interesting Angels team, and a surging Oakland ballclub, Texas still has the highest playoff odds (99.8% chance) according to Baseball Prospectus. The Rangers could probably start Matt Kata instead of Adrian Beltre at third base for the rest of the season, and still make the playoffs. However, at some point, reaching the playoffs just isn’t enough. The Texas franchise wants to win the World Series this year, and in order to do that, they probably need to make a move at the deadline. Read the rest of this entry

2012 Trade Deadline Update #3 07/25: HanleyWood: Hanley to the Dodgers, Wandy, and More

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Some more trades came down, including one exciting blockbuster to report. One of the biggest names though that was supposed to be traded will now be staying put. Cole Hamels, the Phillies great young left-handed starter is expected to re-sign for 6-years and $144 million. But even  with Hamels off the market, the trade winds are in full swing.  Hold on to your hats…this is HUGE:

Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers

Another blockbuster deal. Announced late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, Hanley Ramirez is headed to the Dodgers with reliever Randy Choate for pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough. There were rumblings about a possible trade of Hanley, and it ended up happening. Hanley will start fresh on the west coast as the Dodgers are battling with the Giants for the NL West crown. The Dodgers started off hot with Matt Kemp leading the charge. Kemp went down with a hamstring injury and was re-injured in his first game back. After another DL stint, Kemp came back right after the All Star Break. Andre Either also had some time on the DL with an oblique injury, but he has since come back. Now, both are healthy and poised to help the Dodgers on a run down the stretch. With Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley heading the pitching staff, one of the Dodgers’ weakest positions was third base. Juan Uribe, the main third baseman for the Dodgers this year, is hitting a weak .190 with just two homers and 17 RBI. Dee Gordon, the primary shortstop and currently on the DL, is hitting .229. Needless to say, the Dodgers needed some help on the left side of the infield. Read the rest of this entry

Washington Nationals-The Pitchers and Hitters: 2005-2012 Best 25 Man Roster (Part 5 of Expos/Nats Series)

Wednesday July 25, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Livan Hernandez leads the 2005-2012 version of the franchise in ALL-Time wins and innings pitched.

Chuck Booth (Lead baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I think it safe to say that the best days of the Washington Nationals are purely ahead of them.  They have a great nucleus of young talent with Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Mike Morse and Gio Gonzalez.  These guys are so good that they all made the ALL-Time 25 man roster for the 2005-2012 Washington Nationals.  I am a firm believer that these guys will be the best team in the National League within 2 or 3 years.  I like Ted Lerner’s attitude on spending for now.  This will ensure the money will be spent on the team to keep competing for the city of Washington’s 1st World Series Title since 1924.  I would venture to say that not many living  fans of the old Washington Senators saw the club hoisting the trophy 88 years ago. 

The Nationals Park went soaring up my ranks as a baseball venue to see in the 30 stadium circuit.  This place is now electric.  I was so elated when I was able to see Strasburg pitch and win for the Nationals back in April.  Next year I hope to see Bryce Harper play ball  when I go on another 30 park tour.   Next year is when I will have the official rankings of all of the ballparks posted here.  I can assure you that the President’s Race will probably be voted the most popular race of any in the Majors at the parks.  My humblest of apologies to the sausage race fans in Milwaukee and racing legend heads in Arizona.  I still follow the campaign to ‘Let Teddy Win’, however that may take all of the fun out of it if Teddy does win one of those races.

As a fan of the old Expos franchise, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Washington Nationals.  Playing meaningful baseball in September and October this year would be incredible to witness.  So without further speak, let us start with our 25 man roster for the best players in the last 8 years.  I picked the roster based on longevity or utter greatness for a couple of players.  If this team was to play an alumni game right now, all of the positions would be filled.  I don’t think I excluded anyone entirely crucial here.  Please feel free to let me know if I did on any social platform.  If you make a solid case for someone for whom I may have omitted, I could always add them later.

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 6 of the Article Series, The Nationals 2013 Payroll and Contract Statuses click here 

Here is the highlight reel from Stephen Strasburg’s debut at Nationals Park.  14 Strikeouts is amazing!

Read the rest of this entry

David Price: The Best Starting Pitcher in the American League?

Tuesday July 24th, 2012



Jake Dal Porto (MLB reports Intern Candidate):  The American league consists of several dominant pitchers, but David Price is arguably the best of the crop. Better yet, he hasn’t even reached his full potential as a pitcher at the ripe age of just 26 years-old. While his stats are far ahead of his experience in the major leagues, there’s still room for him to grow… which is actually quite scary.

 

Price took the American League by a storm in 2010. Leading the Rays’ rotation at the age of just 23, he finished the season with an astounding 19-6 record accompanied by a stellar 2.72 ERA, nearly winning the A.L. Cy Young award. Although the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez edged him out for the honor, baseball took notice on Price’s exceptional season. Yet, this was just the tip of the iceberg for him. Read the rest of this entry

2012 Trade Deadline Update #2 7/23: Ichiro in Pinstripes, Anibal and Omar to the Tigers?

Monday July 23rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Over the past few hours, a couple of big trades have gone down. Here’s my take on them: 

Ichiro to the Yankees

Wow. What a day. At about seven p.m. EDT, the Mariners and Yankees announced a swap that involved Ichiro for two minor league pitchers and cash. Sure I expected some blockbuster trades, but this? Ichiro was an icon for the Mariners. He broke the all-time hits in a season record for the Mariners and helped them win 116 games in 2001. Ichiro was an excellent player to say the least. He hit .322 over his 12 seasons with the Mariners and will most likely enter the Hall of Fame. But, over the past two years, he’s lost a little bit of luster. He’s slowed down a bit due to his age, and has stopped hitting over .300. Last year he hit .272 and had less than 200 hits for the first time in his career. This season, he’s hit an even worse .261. The Mariners have struggled over the past years and were definitely in need of a move. They acquired Jesus Montero from the Yankees this offseason in a trade for Michael Pineda, but Montero hasn’t exactly caught fire. Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB Trade Deadline Update 7/23: Dempster, Blue Jays, Astros, and More

Monday July 23rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: As the trade deadline looms, teams are scrambling to make a final buy or sell in order to push toward the playoffs. Some teams are trying to get value out of their soon-to-be free agents while other teams are rebuilding. Here are some of the big deals that have gone down in the past few days:

Blue Jays and Astros—10 player deal. Big names: J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, David Carpenter, Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, Carlos Perez

The Astros are obviously in their rebuilding phase. Last year, they gave up Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, and the year before they gave up Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman. Earlier this year, Carlos Lee went to the Marlins for top prospect Matt Dominguez and others.  More recently Brett Myers went to the White Sox for minor league pitchers and J.A. Happ went to the Blue Jays along with relievers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter for Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, and other prospects in a ten-player trade. With these deals this year, the Astros have removed virtually all big names from the team. Not to say that J.A. Happ was a big name player, but he was a well-regarded pitcher that the Phillies gave up in the Roy Oswalt trade. Also given up by the Astros is former closer Brandon Lyon. He gave up the closer role to Brett Myers this year, but he does have the capability to serve in the back-end of a bullpen. Read the rest of this entry

Top Ten Stat of The Week: Team Wins Since The Start of the 2003 Season

Monday  July 23, 2012

With only one World Series Win and a 2003 Loss to the Florida Marlins, it hasn’t stopped the Yankees from raking in wins every year. They have averaged 95 wins a season since 2003.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)-  This weeks installment is actually a top 11. I bent the rules a little to accommodate the A’s.  It is hard to maintain a great franchise in today’s Major Leagues.  Sure the heavy hitters like New York and Boston will always be sniffing around the top of the league with their huge payrolls, but most teams don’t have the luxury to spend like these two teams do because of their limited revenue streams.  In the last few years, the Phillies, Angels and Tigers have entered the echelon of top spenders.  Spending money doesn’t always equal great results.  The Texas Rangers have only had success lately and were often victim to heavy payrolls and not great results.  How many years did Peter Angelos try to buy a contender with Baltimore?  He has dedicated himself back to the right way of building a team the last couple of years and it has worked through player development.

Minnesota and Oakland have been run incredibly well for a long time.  If this list was for a five-year stretch, you would have seen the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the top 10.  These are the small market teams that have been consistently playing well against the  big boys.  The Twins have only faded back in the standings in the last couple of seasons.  The Atlanta Braves finally had their consecutive playoff years stopped in 2005 and they were only mediocre for a few seasons.  Right now, they might be the best team in the National League. The Angels, Twins, Dodgers, Athletics, Dodgers and Braves did not make any World Series appearances since 2003.  Out of these teams, the Angels have the most wins.

According to the movie ‘The Natural,’ losing is a disease, and like other diseases, (insert disease here) it is curable.  Most of these teams have not even struggled in the last 10 years.  The Yankees have only won one World Series in this time frame, despite dominating the win total every year.  In fact, the last time the Yankees has a losing season was 1991.  The Cardinals and the Red Sox both have won 2 World Series, and the Cardinals are the only team  to have appeared in the Fall Classic 3 times during  this stretch. Read the rest of this entry

Mike Olt is One of the Best Hitting Prospects in the Minors

Sunday July 22nd, 2012

Sam Evans:  Rangers’ prospect Mike Olt is seemingly blocked in Texas. However, with his MLB-ready power bat, he’ll force Texas to either start him or trade him in the next year. Olt has tremendous raw power and a sweet swing that help make him one of the most advanced hitters in the minor leagues. It won’t be long before Mike Olt has established himself as a premier power hitter in the majors.

Mike Olt was born in New Haven, Connecticut, which isn’t exactly a baseball hotspot. At Branford High School, Olt hit .475 his senior year, and set a school record for single-season hits. Coming out of high school, Olt was undrafted so he took a scholarship to the University of Connecticut. In his first season with the Huskies, Olt struggled at third base, but was a monster at the plate. In fifty-four games, Olt hit .318 with a .577 slugging percentage. As a sophomore, Olt started to battle some injuries, and as a result, he came back to down to earth a little. He continued to struggle with his defense at third base. In his junior season at UCONN, Olt hit .318 with a .659 slugging percentage, and became the UConn career home run leader. Olt was drafted by the Rangers with the 49th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Amateur draft. Read the rest of this entry

The Time Has Come to Induct Dwight Evans into Cooperstown

Sunday July 22nd, 2012

By Patrick Languzzi (Guest Baseball Writer):

As we embark on baseball’s most exciting weekend, the eyes of baseball fans everywhere will be on Cooperstown, NY for the induction of Barry Larkin and Ron Santo into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Larkin was elected through the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and Santo via the Veterans Committee after falling off the ballot in 1998.

The Veterans committee consists of 16 members made up of veteran media members, executives and current members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. For a player to be elected, they must receive 75 percent or 12 of 16 votes.

But there’s another player that I’ll take a special interest in come the winter meetings of 2013. That’s when the Expansion Era ballot (Veterans) finalists are announced. It’s also when former Red Sox great Dwight “Dewey” Evans becomes eligible again. Evans fell off the BBWAA ballot back in 1999. Now his chance to shine comes up again very soon. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: TJ, Curse of the Reports, WBC, Japan Boycott, Morneau and Brock, Coors Effect and the Havana A’s

Saturday July 21st, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!


Jonathan Hacohen: I know…you guys and gals want to talk trades. It seems that everyone is keeping a close eye on the July 31st MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline. The action has heated up in recent days. The Astros and Jays got together full a 10-player swap, on the same day that the Rockies and Royals swapped hurler Jonathan Sanchez for Jeremy Guthrie. Then today, the Astros were at it again- trading closer Brett Myers and a bucket full of cash to the White Sox for minor leaguers. What is it with these White Sox??!! They get star power onto their roster for little money or talent having to move the other way. Kenny Williams…we aren’t worthy. 2012 is becoming the Year of the Kenny. With only 10 days to go, what other moves will Kenny and the other Gms pull off? Keep a close eye on our dedicated page called “Rate That Trade“.  We not only give you information on the latest baseball swaps, but also throw in our own two cents in the process…and who doesn’t love an opinion in baseball?

For our weekly Batting Stance Guy video, we feature today Gar’s 10 Step Bryce Harper Home Imitation Kit. BSG is hilarious and a genius. Never mind a novelty act. If I was a GM, I would consider hiring this man as my hitting coach. This man knows stances inside and out. If anyone can produce solid hitting and look good in the process, BSG can do it:

My final thought before jumping into questions is Dr. James Andrews. I have said your name so many times this year that people must think that we are either related or colleagues. Living in Toronto, your name is discussed with respect to the Kyle Drabek and Luis Perez operations. Now word is that Jason Frasor, a 2-time TJ survivor is off to see you on Monday with “forearm tightness.”  I don’t think that Frasor will be going for a 3rd TJ, but man…this is getting scary. We have seen 30+ players (mostly pitchers) undergo this operation since March 2012 alone. Something doesn’t feel right. If I’m Major League Baseball, I am calling up a task force and getting a study on this. Pronto. Give me Dr. Andrews, Dr. Jobe, Tommy John, Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Mike Maddux, Dave Duncan and every possible intelligent baseball/pitching/TJ mind there is and let’s discuss what is happening. Why is it happening. And most importantly, what can we do to prevent it. When we are coming to the point to say that nearly every MLB pitcher may undergo TJ surgery at some point in their career, I think that is a huge problem. We cuddle and baby pitchers. We bring them up slowly and limit their innings. We try to build up arm strength. Yet today’s MLB pitchers are breaking down faster than a Ford Pinto at a Nascar race. Check out our TJ Surgery Tracker. We update it weekly with new and old names found to have TJ surgery, and we have barely scratched the surface. You think the Jays have had it rough? Check out the Royals and Padres. This is one of the biggest issues going in today’s game. We intend to raise awareness and encourage the baseball community to find solutions. Some things are clearly not being done right. Why else are pitchers dropping at alarming rates? We are lucky that Tommy John surgery exists to save many of these pitchers’ careers. But let’s figure out why these pitchers are having TJ in the first place and try to keep them healthy and off the operating tables.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

“Painting the Corners: A Collection of Off-Center Baseball Stories” By Bob Weintraub: Baseball Book Review

Saturday July 21st, 2012

Painting the Corners:  A Collection of Off-Center Baseball Stories – Volume 1

Iguana Books:  2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  Back in April, we had the chance to interview author Bob Weintraub to discuss his latest book, “Painting the Corners”. With the baseball season past the halfway mark, we now bring you our review of the book. The summer months I find are great for reading baseball books. For those lazy days at the cottage, plane rides, or just curling up on the couch or bed for a nice relaxing read. I have enjoyed many baseball books already, as you will find on our devoted page to Baseball Book Reviews. This has been one of the best years for baseball books in recent memory. With so many titles to choose from, your friends at MLB reports are here to lend a helping hand. To assist you in navigating through all the baseball titles and find the right book for you. We are always on the lookout for something new. Something unique and special. We all love baseball. And we love stories- which makes “Painting the Corners” a winner in my book. Read the rest of this entry

“The Baseball Stadium Insider: A Comprehensive Dissection of All Thirty Ballparks, the Legendary Players, and the Memorable Moments” – By Matt Lupica: Guest MLB Blog

Saturday July 21st, 2012

 

Matt Lupica (Guest MLB Blogger): 

Hello baseball fans!

If there’s one thing that can be said about baseball, it’s that it really separates itself from the other major sports because it features venues that differ greatly from one another. If you are like me, then you appreciate every little caveat, feature, gimmick and statistic about each individual Major League ballpark. That said, attention to every detail is something I pride myself on and with baseball as my true passion, it was a no-brainer when it came to authoring what I feel is the most in-depth book regarding all thirty current stadiums. I introduce you to The Baseball Stadium Insider.

 

My love for baseball began in fifth grade when my class was assigned a project on a historical figure. Looking down the list of names, I noticed one that stood out more than any others: Roberto Clemente. The rest was history. My love for baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates and everything about the game was officially born. Read the rest of this entry

2012 Mid-Season MLB Top-50 Prospects

Saturday July 21st, 2012


Codey Harrison:  A Texas Rangers shortstop prospect tops our list of the top-50 MLB prospects. Jurickson Profar is so highly thought of by scouts, that they believe the Rangers may end up trading 23-year-old 2-time All-star shortstop, Elvis Andrus. Profar has all five tools (hit, power, speed, glove, and arm) and he’s proven he knows how to use all five. He’s currently raking in AA Frisco at only 19 years of age, posting monstrous numbers of .297 AVG, .371 OBP, .500 Slug, 22 doubles, 7 triples, 12 home runs, and 44 walks to 59 strikeouts. Most believe he will be a gold glove caliber top, or middle of the order run producing machine that is a perennial All-Star. Time will tell on this prospect. But in a minor leagues full of “can’t miss” prospects, Profar gets out top vote at this stage of the season.

This list of the 2012 mid-season MLB Top-50 prospects does not include 2012 first year player draft players. Only players with less than 130 ABs, or 50 IP at the major league level qualify. All stats are 2012 MiLB stats as of 7/21/12:

  1. SS – Jurickson Profar (AA Rangers) .297/.371/.500, 12 HR, 10 SB
  2. RHP –  Dylan Bundy (A+ Orioles) 5-3, 1.74 ERA, 72.1 IP, 88K
  3. OF – Wil Myers (AAA Royals) .317/.396/.654, 28 HR, 5 SB
  4. SS – Manny Machado (AA Orioles) .257/.343/.410, 8 HR, 12 SB
  5. RHP – Gerrit Cole (AA Pirates) 7-4, 3.07 ERA, 88 IP, 90 K Read the rest of this entry

The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: (Part 4 of The Expos/Nats Series)

Friday, July.20/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Stephen Strasburg is the new face of the Washington Nationals. Will Bryce Harper and he be able to bring a World Series to Washington?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- At the beginning of 2005, MLB returned to Washington for the first time since 1971.  So how was this time going to be any different from the first two times in DC?  The Minnesota Twins first moved from the old Washington in 1961 and the Texas Rangers moved in 1971 from Washington a decade later.  The Washington Nationals (or Senators in the early 20’s where the won a World Series in 1924.  The first and only WS the city of Washington has seen) had hall of fame players such as: Goose Goslin, Sam Rice and Joe Cronin to accompany the great Walter Johnston.  By the time the team moved to Minnesota before the start of the 1961 season, the club had young phenoms Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison seen as their nucleus of a young Washington team before moving.

Washington’s second go around (in the American League this time) lasted from 1961-1971.  The Washington fans were granted an AL Expansion team by MLB-to hold ontotheir anti-trust exemption status.  The Los Angeles Angels were their expansion cousins.  These AL Washington teams were awful and only were saved by Frank Howard and his 6 foot 7 frame smashing home runs for the years of 1965-1971 as their first baseman/outfielder.  The team only managed one winning season in a decade and that was under the managerial guide of Ted Williams.  Bob Short had acquired the team with 9.4 Million Dollars that was all borrowed after the previous owner had died in 1967.  Short promptly named himself the General Manager.  Finances caught up to him and he eventually traded away some of the best talent before selling the club to the city of Arlington after the 1971 season.  Washington would be without baseball for 33 years until the Expos moved back into RFK Stadium and changed their name to the Nationals in 2005.

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos  Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, 2005-2012 Nats Best 25 Man Roster click here

Read the rest of this entry

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