Author Archives: Jake Dal Porto

NL: MVP Rankings: Race Remains Close In Late June

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Wednesday, June.19/2013

Troy Tulowitzki just broke his ribs  - and cant ever seem to keep healthy. He is hitting .347/.413/1.048 with 16 HRs and 51 RBI out of the Shortstop position.  The Rockies are startling to lose without him in the lineup - just like last season, when they dropped 93 games with Tulo only playing in 47 Games

Troy Tulowitzki just broke his ribs – and cant ever seem to keep healthy. He is hitting .347/.413/1.048 with 16 HRs and 51 RBI out of the Shortstop position. (MVP like numbers for sure). The Rockies are startling to lose without him in the lineup – just like last season, when they dropped 93 games with Tulo only playing in 47 Games.

Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Writer)

The regular season has finally reached the point where the “it’s early,” or “it’s too small of a sample size” excuses are no longer accurate. Most of the regulars are closing in on 300 plate appearances.

The race in the NL is extremely close, and it will become close now that Troy Tulowitzki is on the shelf for at least four weeks. Tulowitzki’s injury could also effect Carlos Gonzalez’s case if the Rockies aren’t able to stay afloat in a tightly-contested National League West division.

Tulowitzki’s 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics – so Parental Guidance is Advised

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Milwaukee Brewers: Analyzing Yovani Gallardo’s Trade Market

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Tuesday, June.18/2013

Gallardo has been a good pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in his Career.  He is 75 - 49 (.605) with a 3.70 ERA.  He is coming off two seasons in a row during 2011 and 2012, where he was north of 200 IP.  So far this campaign, he has lugged 87.2 IP in his NL Leading 15 Starts

Gallardo has been a good pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in his Career. He is 75 – 49 (.605) with a 3.70 ERA. He is coming off two seasons in a row during 2011 and 2012, where he was north of 200 IP. So far this campaign, he has lugged 87.2 IP in his NL Leading 15 Starts.  The RHP is in the 4th year of a 5 YR/$30 MIL dollar contract.  He will make $7.75 MIL in 2013, $11.25 MIL in 2014 – and there is a $13 MIL Team Option in 2015 – or a 600K Buyout.  He will make roughly $15 MIL in his contract for the remainder of this year – and the duration of next years salary.

Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Writer)

The inevitable fire sale is looming for the last-place Milwaukee Brewers, and among their collection of tradable pieces, Yovani Gallardo will likely be their most sought out asset.

Gallardo has whirled 14 scoreless innings over his past two starts. The Brewers couldn’t be happier because his trade value is gradually increasing after a brutal start to the season. However, Gallardo’s value wasn’t as high as it once was. It will take a few more scoreless innings before he can get back to that point.

Milwaukee might be wise to hold onto him for another year to see if he can bolster his stock. But that approach also entails negative consequences. He ages a year older, and more importantly, there’s always the chance that his stock is further dented.

So, let’s see what Gallardo’s current market is for this year’s trade deadline:

Yovani Gallardo Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised.

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Could The New York Mets Have Three All-Star Representatives At Citi Field In 2013?

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Monday, June.03/2013

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will have be host to the 2013 ALL - Star Game.  It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will have be host to the 2013 ALL – Star Game. It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was.  The field made slight moderation’s to the fences last year prior to being awarding the event.  Will they have 1, 2 or 3 players selected for the Mid – Summers Classic?  We will find out in the next 5 – 6 weeks.

Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Writer)

The New York Mets haven’t had much team success in 2013, as they currently sit in fourth place in the National League East, 11 games out of first place.

Amid the rebuilding process, however, the Mets could produce three All-Stars in 2013. Sending three All-Stars would be ideal for the franchise’s sake, as the All-Star Game will be at Citi Field, and a good representation of the team would be something to rejoice over in dreadful times.

The first two are fairly obvious–David Wright and Matt Harvey. The third one in Daniel Murphy isn’t as obvious.

Do they have a case?

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Arizona Diamondbacks: How Good Can Their Rotation Become?

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Friday, May.31/ 2013

Wade Miley might have won the NL Rookie of the Year in a lot of other seasons.  The NL ALL-Star in 2012 had to settle for 2nd place to Bryce Harper.  Now he is part of a young formidable Starting Rotation that features Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs.  Only a few years ago, the club had a trio set of Starters that looked front line.  One guy never played again (Webb) - while Haren was traded for a 3 prospects.  Arizona picked up Corbin and Skaggs in that trade for Haren by way of Los Angeles

Wade Miley finsihed 2nd in the NL Rookie of the Year in 2012.  Now he is part of a young formidable Starting Rotation that features Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs. Only a few years ago, the club had a trio set of Starters that looked front line. One guy never played again (Webb) – while Haren was traded for 4 prospects. Arizona picked up Corbin and Skaggs in that trade for Haren by way of Los Angeles. Randy Johnson was the 3rd member and soon retired.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t generally known for pitching, specifically starting pitching, but a trio of young southpaws could remove that reputation.

Of course, I’m talking about Wade Miley, Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin. All three are under the age of 26, and none of them sport more than three years of experience at the major league level.

Miley boasts the most experience of the three with a little less than 1.5 years under his belt. Corbin has made 27 career starts (32 games), and Skaggs made six starts last year and one so far this year. At 21, he’s the youngest and perhaps most intriguing of the bunch.

So, we’re talking about three pitchers that are affordable and under Arizona’s terms through 2018. By that time, the scope of Arizona’s rotation could be entirely different. Trades are never out of the question, but for the present, the Diamondbacks’ future from a pitching standpoint surely looks brighter than it’s been in recent years.

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The Atlanta Braves Are The Best Team In The National League

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Monday, April.15/2013

The Braves have roared out of the gate during the 2013 MLB Season, with a baseball best 11 - 1, including a convincing sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend.  This has been done without long time player Chipper Jones retiring - and Brian McCann being on the shelf for the 1st part of the season

The Braves have roared out of the gate during the 2013 MLB Season, with a baseball best 11 – 1, including a convincing sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend. This has been done without long time player Chipper Jones retiring – and Brian McCann being on the shelf for the 1st part of the season.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

At 11-1, the Atlanta Braves can seemingly do no wrong. Fresh off a sweep of the Washington Nationals, the Braves can make a very good case regarding their status as the best team in the NL.

That spot was occupied by the Nationals in the preseason chatter. And I wouldn’t blame the pundits who circled them as the NL’s best team.

After all, they fixed their leadoff spot woes with the addition of Denard Span, further improved their bullpen with Rafael Soriano and probably most importantly, started the season with an improved Bryce Harper. On paper, they had minuscule flaws.

The Brothers Upton Both HR to win the game!:

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Can The Cardinals Still Compete With Another Winter Of Losses For A 2nd Year?

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Friday March.29/2013

The Cardinals have been the most consistent Franchise in the National League, having appeared in 8 of the last 12 NLCS since 2000 (3-5).  They have also won 2 World Series in that time (2006 and 2011.)  They held a 3-1 NLCS lead over the San Francisco Giants before losing to the 2012 World Champions.  If there was an Atomic Bomb, I am sure that Cockroaches, Silly Puddy and the Cardinals would survive it because they just keep coming like Zombie's

The Cardinals have been the most consistent Franchise in the National League, having appeared in 8 of the last 12 NLCS since 2000 (3-5). They have also won 2 World Series in that time (2006 and 2011.) They held a 3-1 NLCS lead over the San Francisco Giants before losing to the eventual 2012 World Champions. If there was an Atomic Bomb, I am sure that Cockroaches, Silly Puddy and the Cardinals would survive it because they just keep coming like Zombie’s.  Will 2013 be any different for the team without being able for all of the NL Teams to fatten up on the Astros?


Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The St.Louis Cardinals didn’t do much adding this offseason. Sometimes this isn’t such a bad thing, as constant tinkering to a roster isn’t always needed. But if anything, the Cardinals have become a weaker team since losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS.

Perhaps the most concerning flaw to their roster revolves around the pitching staff.

Kyle Lohse just signed a deal with inner-division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers. Lohse posted a 2.86 ERA in 2012, and finished seventh in Cy Young voting. Among other things, he also pitched a career-high 211 Innings, compiled a career-high 134 ERA+ and barely walked 1.5 batters per 9 IP. Read the rest of this entry

Minnesota Twins: Analyzing Dreadful 2012 Starting Pitching, And Looking Ahead to 2013

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Sunday March 17th, 2013

After very disappointing seasons in 2011 (63-99) and 2012 (66-96), the Twins look to rebound in 2013.  The Starting Rotation has been revamped, but still bolsters heavy question marks.

After very disappointing seasons in 2011 (63-99) and 2012 (66-96), the Twins look to rebound in 2013. The Starting Rotation has been revamped, but still bolsters a lack of experience and a proven #1 starter.  In the American League it will mean trouble against the upper echelon teams.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The Minnesota Twins’ pitching staff was downright awful in 2012. Yes, that’s a harsh assessment, but I think everyone would agree, including the numbers.

Per FanGraphs, the Twins’ rotation posted the worst ERA in the American League with a 5.40 mark. When only the Colorado Rockies had a worse ERA over in the National League, something was seriously wrong, which was indeed the case.

To no surprise, the Twins’ rotation was weak across the board. They had the fourth worst HR/FB (Home-run to fly ball ratio) in baseball. The second worst home-run per nine innings ratio. The worst xFIP (Fielding Independent Percentage). And lastly, the lowest strikeout per nine innings ratio. Worse, these are just a few stats. The list could probably eat up a whole page.

But enough. We get the point: The Twins’ rotation was really bad last year. Now the question is what pieces caused this disaster that probably won’t improve in 2013?

From a broad view, inexperience was the primary complication. From there, several problems arose, especially when injuries struck, or when the regulars were replaced in favor of a young prospect. You could also say that they just didn’t have a ton of talent to compete. It’s a simple theory, yet a fairly accurate one.

Nick Blackburn, 30, was one of Minnesota’s most experienced starters, but his 7.39 ERA in 19 starts skews the experienced point. Carl Pavano, 36, had a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts, and after his start on June. 1, he didn’t pitch again with a shoulder problem. Lastly, Jason Marquis, 33, had a 8.47 ERA in seven starts, and the Twins released him on May 22.

Twins Pitchers at Fort Myers:

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Mike Moustakas: Analyzing His Strengths And Weaknesses

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Tuesday March 5th, 2013

Moustakas will need to improve on his 20 HRs and 73 RBI year in 2012.  He is only 24 Years of Age heading into 2013

Moustakas will need to improve on his 20 HRs and 73 RBI year in 2012. He is only 24 Years of Age heading into 2013.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) 

The Kansas City Royals might have something special in Mike Moustakas. He’s a cornerstone-type piece, and he plays a position that starting to run low on quality young talent.

Of course, he has his good attributes and bad attributes. In a nutshell, he’s a work in progress offensively, but far from a work in progress on defense.

Players typically start to bloom in their third year in the major leagues, and it just so happens that 2013 will be Moustakas’ third year in the majors.

Mike Moustakas Highlights – Mature Lyrics – So Parental Guidance is advised:

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Ranking the Top 10 Hitters In The MLB Right Now: Part 2 (6-10)

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Below is Part 2 of the Top 10 hitters in baseball. You can read Part 1 here.

Tuesday February.26, 2013

Keith Allison, Flicker.com

Cano has only missed 7 games in the last 4 years.  He has hit over .300 in those seasons – belted 40 + Doubles and scored over 100 Runs.  He has averaged 29 HRs and 102 RBI also for that span.  The man has won 3 straight Silver Slugger Awards.  Cano’s Career 3 Slash Line is .308/.361/.854. With this being a contract year, he could stand to land himself a historic contract with an MVP type season. Picture by Keith Allison, Flicker.com

By Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The top hitters in the MLB right now includes 5 awesome hitters.  It was hard to comprise the list, but here it is.

6. Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano is in line for a huge payday after this season, and his numbers can justify his demands.

OK, Yankee stadium partially inflates his power numbers. Cano had a 59.3 HR/FB (Home Run to fly ball ratio) to Right Field, which is quite a figure seeing that the mean for baseball’s best power hitters is in the 20 percent range, to all fields.

It’s safe to say that Cano grasped the idea of the infamous shorter porch in Right Field, and who wouldn’t? On he same token, that shouldn’t give us the wrong idea about his power. According to ESPN’s Hittracker Online, Cano was eighth in the American League with nine “no doubt” Home runs, telling us that his power isn’t solely due to the friendly hitter confines of Yankee Stadium.

The thing is, there’s more to his game then Home runs. He had the fifth highest oWAR (Offensive WAR) in baseball last year, and finished eighth in the MLB in Adjusted OPS+.

Given the dearth amount of talent at Second Base these days, Cano could be in line for a 8-year, $200+ Million contract next winter.

Robinson Cano at the 2011 Home Run Derby:

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Ranking the Top 10 Hitters In The MLB Right Now: Part 1 (1-5)

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Tuesday February 19th, 2013

Miguel Cabrera: Cooperstown Bound.  Undoubtedly, "Miggy" is one of the great players of this generation.  Watching him play the game every day is a gift to baseball lovers.

Miguel Cabrera: Cooperstown Bound. Undoubtedly, “Miggy” is one of the great players of this generation. Watching him play the game every day is a gift to baseball lovers.

By Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The best hitters in baseball aren’t hard to identifying, but arranging them is the tough part.

The “new” era of hitters have arrived on the scene. This doesn’t necessarily imply that some of the older hitters might as well call it quits, rather, it means that they have taken the backseat.

So, here we go: Baseball’s Top 5 hitters.  This is part 1 of a 2 part series.  Next week, we go through the 6-10 best hitters.

1. Miguel Cabrera

Mike Trout is baseball’s consensus best overall player, factoring in defense and speed, but Miguel Cabrera gets the nod as baseball’s best hitter.

Cabrera won the Triple Crown award in 2012, and in turn, beat out Trout for MVP honors.

As for the stats, well, they’re also impressive. He was second in the American League in oWAR (offensive WAR), third in ISO (Isolated Power), led the MLB in OPS, slugging percentage, total bases and extra base hits.

Cabrera’s compact swing enables him to do damage on most pitches. In 2012, he hit .344 on hits to left field, .412 on hits to center field and .424 on hits to right field. These three figures simply imply that Cabrera hits the ball where it’s pitched. Yes, it’s a simple approach, but it’s proven to be the most effective approach in baseball. The stats speak for themselves.

For Part 2 of the Top 10 Hitters Series (6-10) click here

Miguel Cabrera 2012 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Without Limitations, Is Stephen Strasburg In Line To Win The NL Cy Young Award In 2013?

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Monday February 11th, 2013

Stephen Strasburg is was5-6 (.714) with a 3.14 ERA and 197 in his 159.1 IP during the 2012 year . He was leading the NL in strikeouts, when the club shut him down.  As he is able to progress to over 200+ IP, there is no telling how many Cy Young Awards he cold win with his dominant stuff.

Stephen Strasburg was 15-6 (.714) with a 3.14 ERA and 197 in his 159.1 IP during the 2012 year . He was leading the NL in strikeouts, when the club shut him down. As he is able to progress to over 200+ IP, there is no telling how many Cy Young Awards he cold win with his dominant stuff.

By Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

Had the Washington Nationals not constrained Stephen Strasburg in 2012, there would’ve been a decent chance that he would win the Cy Young award in ensuing weeks. 

However, the Nationals regard Strasburg as their ace of the future, which is true.  So, they chose to put an Innings cap on the young flame-thrower, thus erasing his Cy Young hopes.

In 2013, the Nationals should take the chains off him, however. Of course, there’s still a chance that they don’t overuse him excessively, which would disable him from going deep into his outings on a regular basis. But, barring any in-season injuries, it’s unlikely that Washington will shut him down again.

After all, Washington’s goal is to assemble a championship team. Currently, there isn’t a better team than the Nats on paper, so they’re heading in the right direction. Strasburg is undoubtedly the anchor of their rotation, especially if Gio Gonzalez gets suspended for appearing in a Miami New Times report with a handful of Major leaguers including Alex Rodriguez

Stephen Strasburg Highlights 2012: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Tim Hudson: Could 2013 Be His Final Year In Baseball?

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Tuesday January 22nd, 2013

Tim Hudson has been the definition of consistent over the past decade.  His record with the Atlanta Braves is 105-68 (..618) with a 3.52 ERA.  Hudson's Athletics days included a 92-39 Record (.706) and a 3.30 ERA.

Tim Hudson has been the definition of consistent over the past decade. His record with the Atlanta Braves is 105-68 (.618) with a 3.52 ERA. Hudson’s Athletics days included a 92-39 Record (.706) and a 3.30 ERA. At 37 Years old, how many years does he have left?

By Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Baseball Writer)

When we think of consistency, there are a handful of names that come to mind. No, I’m not talking about consistency over a brief period of time. Rather, over a good part of the last decade. One name that comes to mind quite quickly is Tim Hudson (3.37 ERA, 126 ERA+ since 2002). But the same Tim Hudson that’s been nothing short of rock solid since the beginning of 2002, is beginning to decline, which fashions only one daunting question.

Will 2013 be his final year in baseball?

Tim Hudson Highlight Reel:

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Chris Tillman: Was His 2012 Campaign A Fluke Or A Sign Of Things To Come?

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Friday January 18th, 2013

Chris Tillman went 9-3, with a 2.93 ERA in 15 GS during the 2013.  His return helped sparked the Orioles on a 2nd half run to a Wild Card Spot in the AL

Chris Tillman went 9-3, with a 2.93 ERA in 15 GS during the 2013. His return helped sparked the Orioles on a 2nd half run to a Wild Card Spot in the AL.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) 

Here’s an unsung hero behind the Baltimore Orioles’ magical 2012 season: Chris Tillman. No, he’s far from a household name, nor does he deserve to be, yet. However, if his 2012 campaign, where he posted a 2.93 ERA, is a sign of what’s to come, then some of the Orioles’ shortcomings on the starting pitching spectrum will be solved.

First thing’s first; you may be too reluctant to put credibility into Tillman, yet. I would agree that his stunningly good 2012 season basically came out of Left Field, as in his first three year’s in the big leagues, he compiled a mere 5.58 ERA and a BB/Per 9 IP rate of exactly four.

So yes, 2012 was an impressive season from the 24-Year-Old Right-Hander, but with his success came a sense of suspicion and bewilderment. Yeah, not the type of reaction a pitcher wants when he crafts a career-year.

Chris Tillman and his Pitching Mechanics:

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San Diego Padres Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Thursday January 10, 2013

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v San Diego Padres

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The San Diego Padres haven’t made a move that will conceivably make them contenders in a competitive National League West division. San Diego went 76-86 in 2012, which was good enough for fourth place in the NL West.

A move could still be made, and Padres’ pundits have went as far to suggest some type of signing and/or trade before Spring Training. Still, their aren’t a ton of options that would fit into their constrained payroll, especially after they signed Carlos Quentin and Huston Street to extensions.  They still have a decent bullpen anchored by Street and set-up man Luke Gregerson.

Pending a significant addition, San Diego should be a bit better in the win department. Some of their key starting pitchers will be returning from injuries, and a couple of top prospects could take the fast track to the Major Leagues and make an impact by season’s end.  Most notably, they will need Clayton Richard to improve to the next level, having won 14 games in 2 of the last 3 years – while holding an ERA under 4.00.  Eric Stults was the surprise of the Starting Rotation of last season – posting a 8-3 Record, with a 2.92 ERA in 14 Games Started.

More importantly, they went on a nice streak in the final few weeks in 2012. Perhaps this could fuel a hot start in 2013.

Let’s preview this young team.

Chase Headley2012 Highlights for the NL RBI Champion

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Juan Pierre: The Unappreciated Stolen Base Master

Thursday January 3rd, 2012

Juan Pierre was one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases.  Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons in his resume.  He also strikes out only about 1 time every 17 PA.

Juan Pierre is one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases (591). Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons on his resume. He also strikes out only about 1 time every 18 PA  (452 SO in 7950 PA).  He is a .297 Career hitter, with 2141 Hits and has scored 1039 Runs.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) //

Remember Juan Pierre? The guy who’s the definition of consistent? Yeah, that’s him. He now resides in Miami with a bleak Marlins’ crop of players. At 34-Years-Old, he is not entirely irrelevant, and could turn out to be a worthwhile signing for the Marlins. Yes I know, he’s not the big bopper that garners the media and headlines, but his career isn’t one to disregard.

Let me enlighten you…

For Pierre, it all started in Colorado where broke into the majors at 22 years of age, and instantly caught the eye of the baseball world thanks to a solid rookie year with the Rockies. After spending some time as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, he eventually overtook Colorado’s leadoff spot. He finished the season with a triple slash of .310/.353/.320, and swiped a modest seven bases.

Juan Pierre Feature Video-Beast Mode:

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Cleveland Indians 2013 Roster: State Of The Union

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Saturday December 29th, 2012

Cleveland_Indians

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The Cleveland Indians were nothing short of the laughing stock of the American League Central this past season. A hot started quickly turned into a hot mess, and their entire team went up into flames.

Now, with a new manager and a few hopeful offseason of moves, the Indians aren’t half-bad.

Let’s take a lot at a couple of the big questions in Cleveland:

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The Nationals Signing of Dan Haren To A 1 Yr Deal: Why It Is Still A Bad Move For Them

Monday December 17th, 2012

hi-res-6601944_crop_exact

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)  

Starting pitching is already an obvious strength for the Washington Nationals. If that not evident to you, well, I’ll provide some stats. As a unit, the Nats’ starters combined to post a 3.40 ERA, and a 3.46 Fielding Independent Percentage (FIP). Both marks led the National League. Therefore, starting pitching should be labeled as their best strength.

However, Washington’s rotation became a bit slimmer when Edwin Jackson decided to part to greener pastures. Yes, technically he is still a free-agent, and the Nationals could technically prepare an offer for him. But the likelihood of that happening is about as little as can be.

Why?

Because Rizzo signed Dan Haren to a one-year, $13 Million Deal instead. OK, Haren’s reputation is surely a bit more reputable than Jackson’s. He is a three-time all-star, and has finished top-ten in Cy Young voting twice in his Ten Year Career. Meanwhile, Jackson is known to get a wild hair every so often, but has ace-esque stuff when he’s clicking. It’s just that his command is inconsistent. Read the rest of this entry

St.Louis Cardinals: The Middle Infield Could Bring A World of Problems in 2013

Wednesday December 12th, 2012

MLB: NLCS-St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)  

The Cardinals boasted one of baseball’s most dynamic offenses in baseball this past season. They could hit the long ball, for an average, and for extra bases. That trend should continue in 2013, as the same core of players haven’t moved, but the middle infield positions will separate their offense from being dominant.  Here’s a breakdown of the main problems at second base and shortstop:

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Atlanta Braves 2013 Player Roster: State Of The Union

Monday December 10th, 2012

hi-res-6800634_crop_exact

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):

The Braves have been one of the most active teams during the offseason, but outside of the B.J. Upton signing, their additions and subtractions have pretty much flown under the radar. I guess that’s no surprise when the spotlight sits on Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, and the Dodgers. But it’s time to analyze what’s brewing in Atlanta.

Starting Pitching:

The big headline here is the loss of Tommy Hanson. The 26-year-old has yet to fully reach his ceiling in the major leagues, after having such lofty expectations placed on him when he first broke into the league in 2009. In 2012, he took a few massive steps back, though, with mediocre numbers across the board.

To be specific, he posted a career-worst 4.48 ERA, yielded a career-high 27 HRs, allowed 9.4 hit per Nine Innings, and walked nearly four batters per Nine Innings. So in other words, he didn’t have much of a clue as to where the ball was headed when it left his hands. Still, he has the potential to be front of the rotation starter with the Angels.

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The Rockies Can’t Afford to Trade Troy Tulowitzki

Tuesday December 4th, 2012

ROCKIES_DODGERS_2JL0276

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):

There’s no denying that when healthy, Troy Tulowitzki is one of the most complete players in baseball, let alone at a slim shortstop position. Since breaking into the majors in 2006, he’s finished top ten in MVP voting third times, won two gold gloves, and two silver slugger awards. That’s a pretty rounded out trophy case he vaunts.

But, 2012 veered off that course. Tulowitzki missed the final four months of the season with a nagging groin injury that he could never overcome. Fortunately, multiple reports confirm that he’s well on his way to a full recovery which is good news for Rockies team that is in need of something positive.

However, there a some rumors out there that have the slugging shortstop being dealt for presumably pitching. This is more than just a passing whim. Because the Rockies obviously have a gap in their bleak rotation and Coors Field won’t draw any of the elite free agents, the only route to improve their staff would be to through trades. Dexter Fowler has also been included in these talks as well. Tulowitzki is vastly more valuable than anyone on the Rockies, though. Read the rest of this entry

Is A Return to the Astros in the Cards For Lance Berkman?

Sunday December 2nd, 2012

Lance Berkman spent from 1999-2010 with the Houston Astros amassing 326 HRs and 1090 RBI with a stat line of .296/.410/.959.  With HOU moving to the AL West, will they make him a contract offer to possibly DH?

Lance Berkman spent from 1999-2010 with the Houston Astros amassing 326 HRs and 1090 RBI with a stat line of .296/.410/.959. With HOU moving to the AL West, will they make him a contract offer to possibly DH?

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):

With the move to the American League West, the Houston Astros are likely years away from contending in one of the toughest divisons in baseball. So basically, the Astros won’t be in the market for immediate impact players because that type of approach likely won’t get them anywhere in the standings. There’s one exception, though—Lance Berkman.

Berkman played with the Astros for 12 years before being traded to the Yankees in the midst of  the 2010 season, and eventually signing with the Cardinals where he has spent the last two years. Given his age (36) and his derailed body, Berkman might choose to end his career with the team that drafted and brought him up. It would be bittersweet for both sides involved, and something positive for a struggling Astros’ organization. 

The timing for the Astros and Berkman to reunite is seemingly perfect. See, if the Astros still played in the National League, it would be unlikely that Berkman could endure another year of wear and tear on his fragile frame. Well, he could, but the likelihood of him suffering an injury would balloon dramatically. Luckily, the Astros now have the benefit of the designated hitter. It’s like adding another hitter. This is where Berkman comes into play. Read the rest of this entry

The Padres May Never Compete With the Dodgers Financially, But They Are Making Strides

Tuesday November 27th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):

The Padres seem poised to eventually become mild-spenders. For an organization that’s highest payroll since 2002 has been roughly $73 million (in 2008), moving up in the spending chain would certainly be good for a change. This transformation could come as soon as 2013 or maybe a few years down the road.

But let’s be sure of something—the Padres have a steep hill to climb before they can compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers in terms of financial freedom. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be able to compete with the newly labeled ‘Yankees’ of the West coast, but it surely prevents them from signing talented free agents. The A’s and Orioles are a pair of most recent teams to win on a cheaper payroll, while the Rays have been the very definition of that over the past few years. Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays’ Roster Is A Perfect Example Of How Different Baseball Is in the Dominican Republic

Saturday November 24th, 2012

The Blue Jays have always had a great amount of success from drafting and trading for Dominican Republic born Players. From Damaso Garica, George Bell and Manny Lee, to Juan Guzman during the World Series teams. Now they have Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Emilio Bonifacio , Melky Cabrera on the current roster-and some guy called Joey Bats all born from the DR.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):

While it is nothing more than an observation, the Toronto Blue Jays are stacked with players from the Dominican Republic. Generally, baseball’s best players come from this small Caribbean, and with ten players from the Dominican Republic on their current roster, the trends favor the Blue Jays.

But the question is, why are players from that region so highly regarded?

Well, there are many reasons. From a more broad stand point, baseball in the Dominican Republic is a national passion, and the cream of the crop are playing baseball year-round.

Since baseball is essentially all kids have in terms of the selection of sports, the odds of elite players being produced out of that area are dramatically higher. Plus, there are just fewer distractions in general-no phones, TVs, and computers. A list of distractions could drag on for days, but the main point here is that players from the DR play baseball all day everyday. Read the rest of this entry

A Fishy Problem In Miami: What Do The Marlins Do With Giancarlo Stanton?

Thursday November 22nd, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: Giancarlo Stanton isn’t the only human being that’s furious over the Marlins recent transactions which most notably saw them deal Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle to the Blue Jays. Or in English, Miami just betrayed their fans and players. While the fans do matter, you would have to think that Stanton’s words have a bit more meaning than any other figure or figures.

And Stanton is not pleased. He sounded off on his twitter account a little over a week ago, saying that “he’s pissed off”. The slugger doesn’t have to say much more. Perhaps the next words out of his mouth could be a trade request. That isn’t too far-fetched at this point either, and the idea is something that Miami’s management should highly consider in coming weeks.

At the moment, there’s no wrong choice in terms of trading Stanton or retaining him. The fans are already peeved off, and trading their cornerstone piece probably wouldn’t change he fans’ state of mind. Read the rest of this entry

Is Anibal Sanchez Worth An Ace-Like Contract?

Monday November 19th, 2012

Anibal Sanchez bolsters a career record of 48-51 (.485), with a Career ERA of 3.75. With a limited number of Free Agent Starting Pitchers on the market, he is likely to command big dollars. Whether or not he is successful in his plight remains to be seen.

Jake Dal Porto: Let’s get something straight—that Anibal Sanchez is not quite an ace. He is a great middle of the rotation arm until he proves otherwise, but with that said, he is still worth ace-esque money. And ace-esque money is what suitors will seemingly be willing to pay him this offseason. Those handful of suitors are a smart bunch.

The longtime Marlin and stellar in-season addition to the Tigers in 2012, has his demands out there, and they are lofty. According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, Sanchez is looking for roughly a six-year contract worth $90 million. That ratio would equate to exactly $15 million per year.

Is Sanchez worth an annual salary of $15 million, though? Well, that’s a tough decision. There is a side of Sanchez that’s clearly well deserving of a wealthy salary, but there’s also a side that is, well, not worthy, to say the least. Read the rest of this entry

Is Daisuke Matsuzaka Worth The Risk? 3 Teams That Should Roll The Dice On Him

Sunday November 18th, 2012

Dice-0K was the biggest posting ever for a pitcher ever at 51 Million Dollars. the Red Sox ended up paying over 100 Million for the man when they signed him for 6 years and 52 Million dollars.  He rewarded th em in 2007 and 2008, by going 31-14 and being a big cog in the wheel for the World Series Run in 2007. Matsuzaka is only 19-23 since those first 2 years.

Jake Dal Porto: What has become of Daisuke Matsuzaka? The once highly-touted Japanese import has struggled in recent years, posting a 5.53 earned run average since 2009. Due to this, the interest for him is extremely low.

However, don’t expect Matsuzaka to go unsigned this winter. While he is certainly a gamble, he’s worth the risk for teams with restricted payrolls.

Here some of those teams that could roll the dice on the 32-year-old: Read the rest of this entry

The New York Yankees Must Retain Hiroki Kuroda

Wednesday November 14th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: The New York Yankees are in a bit of a flux. They can no longer buy their way to championships like they did in 2009, for example. Instead, they have a plan in place to get under the $189 threshold by 2014, which certainly limits their spending this off-season. Talk about a change of events. With big names presumably out of the question due to the aforementioned restraint, Hiroki Kuroda becomes their primary focus to resign this winter.

Kuroda is fresh off what was arguably his best season as a pro. He posted a 3.32 earned run average with career-highs in the wins department (16), innings pitched (219.2), strikeouts (167), and ERA+ (126). So in short, his market value is as high as it can probably be which will increase his personal demands greatly.

However, Kuroda is still viewed as a tier two free agent with Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez being the cream of the crop. While he won’t make Greinke type money, it wouldn’t come as a huge shock to sign a deal worth roughly $90 million over a five-year or six-year deal. Whatever Kuroda has in mind, the Yankees must figure out a way to keep him around. Read the rest of this entry

2012 American League and National League Manager of the Year Predictions

Tuesday November 13th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: While the baseball world has shifted the focus to the hot stove rumors, the main yearly awards are starting to be announced. This year, the manager of the year is very intriguing with several surprise teams making their mark on a memorable MLB season.
Here’s who should win and who will win in both leagues:

National League Manager of the Year Finalists: Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Davey Johnson

Who Should Win: Davey Johnson

Johnson transformed the Nationals into a middle of the pack team to baseball’s best team record wise in the span of a year. That alone, is an impressive feat, but his case goes on. Read the rest of this entry

Ryan Madson and Edwin Jackson: Free Agent Gambles That Became Scott Boras Blunders

Monday November 12th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: There isn’t a single general manager is baseball that enjoys negotiating with Scott Boras, the man behind many of baseball’s top players. He usually gets his way when the final dominos fall, but he isn’t perfect. Edwin Jackson and Ryan Madson are two examples of Boras’s flawed work of late.

Here’s how they have and will be affected in free agency:

How Edwin Jackson Will Be Affected

Jackson seems to be the MLB’s definition of a journeyman. With ten years under his belt, he has pitched on seven teams, and not once has he signed a contract worth longer than three years. Jackson had an opportunity to erase that trend last off-season with several long-term deals at his disposal. However, Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal noted last winter that instead of taking the safe route, he could roll the dice and shoot for a larger contract next winter, which is now this winter. Jackson followed Rosenthal’s blueprint, signing a one-year deal with the Nationals worth $11 million. Read the rest of this entry

Miami Marlins: Why The Newly Hired Mike Redmond Won’t Do Any Better Than Ozzie Guillen

Friday November 9th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: If the Miami Marlins fired Ozzie Guillen with the intention to improve the team, they are going to find that replacing Guillen will not make much of a difference. Perhaps Mike Redmond, the newly hired Marlins’ manager, has other thoughts on the topic. But realistically, a new face at the helm cannot improve a lethargic Marlins’ roster that was constantly tinkered with throughout the season.

Michael Hill, Miami’s general manager, twinkled with high hopes before the 2012 season with a couple of blockbuster moves that seemed to change the shape of a team that hadn’t posted a winning season since 2009. These moves in particular—-signing free agent Jose Reyes, signing Mark Buehrle, and signing Heath Bell. Reyes churned a sub-par season, compiling a .780 OPS. The upside is the fact that he stayed off the disabled list, a rarity indeed. For such a hefty contract though, (6-years, $106 million) it’s safe to assume that Hill and his team envisioned a bit more production out of the all-star shortstop. Read the rest of this entry

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