Category Archives: MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis

From the Atlanta Braves to the Washington Nationals, Discussions on All 30 MLB Teams

KC/TOR/SEA/MIA All Trying To Break Long Playoff Droughts: Last Appearances In October For Each Squad

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Kansas City has rolled into the 3 quarter mark with a slim AL Central lead on the Detroit Tigers, and may finally stare down their best chance to make the playoffs since winning the World Series Title.

The Royals playoff futility is the ‘clubhouse leader’ in the MLB by 8 years.  The Toronto Blue Jays have not yielded a postseason berth since winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993.

Both of these two AL clubs have not made it to October baseball since the 1994 strike (the last 2 remaining clubs).

Toronto starts play today at 63 – 59, and have their best look at the playoffs since the team had Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett back in 2007 – 2008.

The Canadian franchise had more of an excuse for years – competing with the Red Sox and Yankees when the economics 1st went out of whack during these two AL Beast 8 combined Titles, 10 ALCS appearances and all Division Titles but two during the last 20 years (Tampa Bay in 2008, 2010 being the exception. Read the rest of this entry

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MLB Trade Deadline Breakdown 2014 + The August Aftermath

jonah hill

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a flurry of action that baseball really needed.  Half way through the day, I was amazed their was actually day games.

Oakland and Detroit pushed all of their chips in, and you have to think they are pretty much done with transactions, although one of them doing an August deal could prompt the other to do the same.

I am holding back reservations for judging the Pirates, Blue Jays and Royals….however they all must be the “MLB clubhouse leaders” in August acquisitions to challenge for playoff slots.

Although KC better have a better idea than having Raul Ibanez take regular AB at 1B..That is horrible..

It wasn’t like the club didn’t know Eric Hosmer was injured badly.

I am also about throwing Ruben Amaro‘s career about 10 second from a toe-tag (and those ten seconds are August), for standing pat on his 47 – 60 aging core.

Like I have said so many times on twitter and social media outlets.  Someone teach this man some basic economics.

Take a lesson from Boston, and trade-off assets, to receive younger ones in the process, then you can turn around and spend every red cent in Free Agency in the offseason.. Read the rest of this entry

Beane Acquires Lester + Gomes For Cespedes: Then Acquires Fuld For Millone

Jon Lester, 30, is in the last year of his contract, which will make him around $4 MIL for the last 2 months of the 2014 season.  While there is no way he signs with Oakland past this campaign, this is a calculated move to land a playoff assassin that can front a franchise a #1 starter for a playoff series - or as the pitcher in a Play in Wild Card game should the Angels run the A's down for the AL West.  Much like Samardzija, the Athletics brass knows these guys could never be acquired via Free Agency, and have the wherewithal to know that inking longterm aces to deals past the age of 30 is just not in the cards for the franchise.  The A's were put in the position to rent them because of Beane's nice deals to build the organization's depth.

Jon Lester, 30, is in the last year of his contract, which will make him around $4 MIL for the last 2 months of the 2014 season. While there is no way he signs with Oakland past this campaign, this is a calculated move to land a playoff assassin that can front a franchise a #1 starter for a playoff series – or as the pitcher in a Play in Wild Card game should the Angels run the A’s down for the AL West. Much like Samardzija, the Athletics brass knows these guys could never be acquired via Free Agency, and have the wherewithal to know that inking longterm aces to deals past the age of 30 is just not in the cards for the franchise. The A’s were put in the position to rent them because of Beane’s nice deals to build the organization’s depth. Lester features a 2.11 ERA in 76.2 IP worth of work in the Post season lifetime.  Lester is 10 – 7, with a 2.52 ERA in 143.2 IP this season in 21 Game Starts.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Billy Beane has been adamant about his team winning the World Series in 2014, and he fired yet another salvo on the July 31st deadline.

The A’s GM acquired Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes for the popular Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes.

Lets have the finances out of the way 1st.

Jon Lester, 30,  is in the last year of his contract, and will be a Free Agent after this year. 

There is no shot at the man signing with the Athletics after this year. however the A’s will receive a compensatory pick for giving him a qualifying offer following 2014.

The LHP wll make approximately $4 MIL the rest of the season.

Yoenis Cespedes, 28,  is signed through the 2015 at $10.5 MIL per year the next 2 seasons, and will become a Free Agent after next year. 

As per the article 20B section of the CBA, he negotiated that he would be free and clear once his original 4 YRs/$36 MIL deal with the A’s was completed – prior to the 2012 campaign.

The 2013 and 2014 HR Derby winner will make just south of $3.3 MIL for the rest of this year.

Jonny Gomes 33, will make about $1.5 MIL for the duration of the 2014 year, and will become a Free Agent this winter. Read the rest of this entry

“Stoking The Fire” On Trade Deadline Chat In The MLB: It Is Decision Time!

Ruben Amaro JR and the brass of the Phils have to face the facts - and start dismantling their team before they lose any relevant value

Ruben Amaro JR and the brass of the Phils have to face the facts – and start dismantling their team before they lose any relevant value.  Philadelphia sits perched in the basement in the NL East, miles away from .500 – and continents away from a post season berth in 2014.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Ruben Amaro JR. should be fired for his lack of trade deadline movement, for not having knowledge on how OBP works, and basically for assembling a team that is near the bottom of the league despite having a huge payroll.

Someone also needs to tackle all management and ownership, to explain that selling off assets when you are atrocious in a year will not have you seen in a lesser light by your fanbase. It is good business.

You are the Phillies, It is a chance to replenish the organization with assets…It is not like you won’t re-spend the cash you will save – and likely you will become younger in the process before the 2015 campaign.

Philadelphia should be thanking the lucky stars that a lot of their offensive pieces are actually playing decently, so their value may be higher than it was in 2013.

Bare minimum is to trade everyone you can, I understand even if you want to keep Chase Utley and Cole Hamels

These guys can bridge the gap to the next wave of success, and Ryan Howard isn’t going anywhere with the albatross contract, but he can at least hit near league averages with his power..

Marlon Byrd, Kyle Kendrick. Antonio Bastardo, John Mayberry JR, Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Ben Revere and Jonathan Papelbon should all be on the trading block.

By virtue of completing any deals with these guys, plenty of dollars will be freed up – and you could receive some decent prospects in return.

Then in the off year, you could make serious runs at players like Jon Lester, Ian Kennedy, Justin Masterson, Asdrubal Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Ervin Santana and so forth.

The inactivity of this franchise doing anything could set the team back 2 or 3 more years.  As they age, their value on lessens. 

With Tampa Bay jumping back into the race, you have the most assets to move – and it is a seller’s market. Don’t be foolish…. Read the rest of this entry

Mid Season MLB Report Cards – American League

Bob Melvin grew up in the Bay area, and has the pulse of both of his team and the fanbase.  He has brought in a winning attitude and accountability among his players.  Melvin loves to platoon players, work matchups, and tweak his players 1 - 25 for the purpose of winning games.  Can the Oakland Athletics head back to the ALCS for the 1st time since 2006?  Or even help his team make the World Series for the 1st time since 1990?  Oakland has been had plenty of injuries, and Melvin has pressed the right buttons.  This team's depth is why they are so good.

Bob Melvin grew up in the Bay area, and has the pulse of both of his team and the fanbase. He has brought in a winning attitude and accountability among his players. Melvin loves to platoon players, work matchups, and tweak his players 1 – 25 for the purpose of winning games. Can the Oakland Athletics head back to the ALCS for the 1st time since 2006? Or even help his team make the World Series for the 1st time since 1990? Oakland has been had plenty of injuries, and Melvin has pressed the right buttons. This team’s depth is why they are so good.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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When we determine the reports cards for each of the teams, a lot of weight will be given to what expectations are, and if they are met are not.

There are variances with each club that come into play whereas we may say the team receives a slight pass on some of the issues they have had to endure.

The Texas Rangers come to mind with about 20 DL Stints, and the Yankees losing 4/5ths of their roster.

One thing we have definitely seen a spike in is long term injuries to pitchers and position players.  It has actually leveled the field or mid to low market franchises.

Seeing Billions of dollars on the shelf for clubs that have high payroll is equaling out the playing field.

The A’s do better because their 1 – 25 roster is not much in differential between salaries, and if they occur an injury, the next man up isn’t costing them money to replace.

The Yankees in contrast, have two pitchers in Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia drawing about the Miami Marlins Payroll for the year, and are both likely sidelined for the remainder of the season.

It has become a war of attrition out there.  You even have to consider Clayton Kershaw is being paid about a $1 MIL per start.

Can you imagine if he had to go through Tommy John Surgery?  I mean Tanaka is technically making just over $22.16 MIL per year he is in operation.

Enough of that chatter, that is a topic for another blog…. I digress. Read the rest of this entry

What Masahiro Tanaka’s Injury Means For The Yankees In 2014 + 2015

With Masahiro Tanaka out for at least 6 weeks with a UCL tear, the Yankees are dealing with 4/5ths of their opening day rotation now on the DL - with their 5th starter (Kuroda) having struggled in the 2nd half of 2013.  The club is barely at .500, and must realize their is an opportunity to reset the 50% Luxury Tax Threshold to 0, by slashing some payroll via trades in the next 3 weeks.  The worst thing this organization could do would try to salvage this year, like they did in 2013, by adding payroll, flipping prospects, for an ill-advised playoff run that the odds are stacked up against.

With Masahiro Tanaka out for at least 6 weeks with a UCL tear, the Yankees are dealing with 4/5ths of their opening day rotation now on the DL – and their 5th starter (Kuroda) having struggled in the 2nd half of 2013. The club is barely at .500, and must realize there is an opportunity to reset the 50% Luxury Tax Threshold to 0, by slashing some payroll via trades in the next 3 weeks. The worst thing this organization could do would try to salvage this year, like they did in 2013, by adding payroll, flipping prospects, for an ill-advised playoff run that the odds are stacked up against.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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I have talked at length about the Yankees precarious position of defining whether or not they are contenders or not, and whether they should seek selling off some assets, to fall below the $189 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold – or if the franchise should run at a postseason berth in Derek Jeter‘s last season.

Seeing that Masahiro Tanaka will be out for at least 6 weeks with a partially torn UCL on his pitching arm, and possibly be out with Tommy John Surgery afterwards, this season outlook is becoming bleak.

Even with the Japanese superstar throwing at a premium level, the club would have a longshot chance to make the playoffs – and do some damage. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 15 – 2014

The Atlanta Braves were hovering around .500, and in serious jeopardy of watching the Nationals blow by them with a healthy roster.  Instead, they are the biggest mover of the week, riding a 9 game win streak.   All of this coming on the heels of losing Evan Gattis for awhile.

The Atlanta Braves were hovering around .500, and in serious jeopardy of watching the Nationals blow by them with a healthy roster. Instead, they are the biggest mover of the week, riding a 9 game win streak. All of this coming on the heels of losing Evan Gattis for awhile.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Thursday July.06, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 10 Days Rec

1.  ***Oakland A’s (1) 54 – 33:  6 – 3  The A’s are the only team that has an above .600 Win Percentage.

What is not to like.  They have the best record since 2012, are even better over the last 2 years (July 2012, July 2014, about .615 Baseball), have won 2 AL West in a row as well.

Added to the fold is a great trade bringing in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, and not yielding anything from the current MLB Roster in return.

2. ***Detroit Tigers (2) 48 – 36: 6 – 4: Tigers beat the better teams, and have troubles with the lesserlites.

Emergence of J.D. Martinez is a major bonus for a team starving for OF help.  Still need more Bullpen arms.

Great division for opponents down the 2nd half. Read the rest of this entry

Beane Spins Magic Again In World Series Quest: Picks Up Samardzija + Hammel For Straily + Prospects

Billy Beane - and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 - without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A's GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel. Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  With the team's core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now.  The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (Tj Surgeries).

Without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A’s GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel.  Going the other way are: Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Dan Straily and cash compensation, or a PTBNL. With the team’s core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now. The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (TJ Surgeries).

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Billy Beane knows his current squad’s best chance to win the World Series now.

He has upped the ante, by acquiring  Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for highly rated SS Addison Russell, SP Dan Straily, and young prospect OF Billy McKinney, with a player to be named later or cash finalizing the deal at a later date.

I like this move…rather I love this move.

The A’s GM saw what happened to his club the last few weeks when matched against the pitching of the Tigers, and knew he had to bolster his team for the stretch – to replace A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker, who both went down to Tommy John Surgeries this campaign. Read the rest of this entry

Should The Orioles Make A Blockbuster Deal Before the Deadline?

The Orioles are kicking around the top of the AL East, and may have three players that crack 30+ HRs by years end with Cruz, Jones and Davis.  The team hasn't even had normal contributions from Hardy and Machado - while Matt Wieters is out for the year.  The time to strike is now with just being behind the AL East by 2 Games, and in barely trailing for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

The Orioles are kicking around the top of the AL East, and may have three players that crack 30+ HRs by years end with Cruz, Jones and Davis. The team hasn’t even had normal contributions from Hardy and Machado – while Matt Wieters is out for the year. The time to strike is now with just being behind the AL East by 2 Games, and in barely trailing for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As July rapidly approaches, the Orioles find themselves in the middle of the competitive AL East division trying to make a run at a division title in 2014.

Although the team finds themselves currently in second place in the division, the O’s have seen inconsistency throughout the first half of the season.

There are definitely places where the team can improve before the July 31st trade deadline, but the question remains of whether or not Dan Duquette and the Orioles front office want to part ways with some of the club’s promising young talent for a possible rental player.

Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Month Of June 2014

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers.  I see their rationale.  The A's have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division.  Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL.  While I don't endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers. I see their rationale. The A’s have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division. Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL. While I don’t endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Thursday June.26, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 31 Days Rec

1.  ***Oakland A’s (2) 48 – 30:  17 – 10:  The A’s are still the best team in the Majors for the last 2 1/2 years.  Coco Crisp on another hot spell.

Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss both in the top 5 for HRs, and Sonny Gray/Scott Kazmir among several starters for ERA, WHIP and quality starts.

Yoenis Cespedes has the power numbers to be a perfect complement to the top guys, and the bar can always be raised higher.

Sean Doolittle is authoring one of the greatest Bullpen efforts ever for a Closer. A 53/1 Strikeout to Walk ratio is beyond filthy.

2.  ***Detroit Tigers (3) 42 – 32: 14 – 13:  A nice rebound after they dropped out of 1st place temporarily.

Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez will exceptional June’s, and Miguel Cabrera is still on pace for 130 RBI.

Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer had sub-par starts, but look to correct themselves now.

Joe Nathan is making the late innings nervous for Tiger’s fans, after they had to endure Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Jose Veras and Jose Valverde over the last few years. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 11 MLB 2014

battle of the bay

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Well, another few weeks have gone by, and there has been some separation from all the Divisions and the 2nd place squads, except for the NL East dogfight right now between the Nats and Braves.

9 teams are within the top 2 Wild Card Slots in the AL, with the Angels and Mariners holding onto the 1st and 2nd spots respectively.

Preseason NL favorites Los Angeles joins the reigning NL champs ‘The Cards’ at 0.5 Games behind the playoff bar – constituting either Atlanta or Washington (presently in a dead heat) – and the upstart Marlins. 

The Reds, Rockies and Pirates are within striking distance as well, but look for the Dodgers and Cardinals to take off from here, leaving the current Division leaders and those 2 as the 5 playoff teams.

Arizona and Houston have at least jumped into the conversation with recent good stretches of play, after brutal starts.

*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Monday June 9, 2014

RK Team  Current Rec  Last Wk Rnk  ()  –  Last 13 Days Rec

***1. SF 42 – 21: (1) 9 – 3:  Must be an even year in the teens of this century.  The offense has a different hero everyday.

Playing .667 ball this late into the year bodes well.  9.5 Games ahead of next club in your Division also will land you as slot #1.

***2. OAK 39 – 24: (2) 8 – 4: Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson both towers of strength and Sean Doolittle is the best Closer no one has heard about 40+SO/1 BB rate is sick.

Billy Beane continues to find gems like Drew Pomeranz, Jesse Chavez – and Kyle Blanks has fitted in well.

The team could still trade for a 2B that can hit, or bring up Billy Burns, flip Jed Lowrie over to 2B.

Read the rest of this entry

Record Corrections May Be Coming With Home + Road Splits: Then Again, Maybe Not

Coors Field is still a hitting haven.  While the averages have all dipped approximately 10% since the Humidor was placed into the facility over a decade ago, it still remains the premiere place for any of the MLB'ers to bat.  Some of the organizational players will not hit as good on the road, with playing in the NL West, in cavernous parks like Dodger Stadium, Petco Park and AT & T Park, however the weight will only affect their overall numbers away from the thin air.  Historic players like Larry Walker and Todd Helton displayed good road numbers, despite their gawdy home statistics, however they will never be looked in the same eye.

Coors Field is still a hitting haven. While the averages have all dipped approximately 10% since the Humidor was placed into the facility over a decade ago, it still remains the premiere place for any of the MLB’ers to bat. Some of the organizational players will not hit as good on the road, with playing in the NL West, in cavernous parks like Dodger Stadium, Petco Park and AT & T Park, however the weight will only affect their overall numbers away from the thin air. Historic players like Larry Walker and Todd Helton displayed good road numbers, despite their gawdy home statistics, however they will never be looked in the same eye.  2014 sees the Rockies lead massively in all categories at home, yet at this point, they have played 10 more games away from Denver.  Among the players that are killing it at the park in 2014 are  TULO and Charlie Blackmon.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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If you look at the current home and road records in the MLB Standings, you will see some weird differentials.

Take for instance the Rockies have only logged 23 games at Coors Field, where they are a staunch 16 – 7, meanwhile they have traveled abroad for 33 contests so far, putting forth a clip of 12 – 21.

This is a 10 game difference that could see the ‘Rox’ post a 7 – 3 win-loss record when the games are made up. Read the rest of this entry

Yankees Hanging In the AL East + Wild Card Race

The New York Yankees have managed to stay afloat among injuries, old age and lackluster play at home so far.  A lot of it can be attributed to Mashahiro Tanaka, the Bullpen as a whole, timely hits from bench players, a few streaks by Teixeira, and for unheralded players like Yangervis Solarte and Dellin Betances.  The Bronx Bombers will have a tough time competing without the likes of Sabathia, Nova and Pineda for the next stretch, and will not see Nova for the whole year.

The New York Yankees have managed to stay afloat among injuries, old age and lackluster play at home so far. A lot of it can be attributed to Mashahiro Tanaka, the Bullpen as a whole, timely hits from bench players, a few streaks by Teixeira, and for unheralded players like Yangervis Solarte and Dellin Betances. The Bronx Bombers will have a tough time competing without the likes of Sabathia, Nova and Pineda for the next stretch, and will not see Nova for the whole year.

 

The Yankees spent $503 MIL on player salaries in the offseason, and half of the roster is comprised of different guys from last year.

It was a team that also splashed the biggest International signing plus posting fee with their 7 YRs/$175 MIL pact with acquiring Masahiro Tanaka.

Going into the second game of a 7 game homestand versus the Twins (3), a makeup game vs Mariners on Monday, then concluding with a 3 game set against Oakland., the Bronx Bombers are 28 – 25, and 2.5 Games Behind AL East leading Toronto.

While it is too early for the standings really, if the playoffs were to start today, the Yankees would be playing against the Angels in the Wild Card playoff spot.

Fresh from a 5 – 4 road trip through Chicago (both teams) and St. Louis, the team did well to salvage the trip after dropping the 1st two contests to begin with.

Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Month Of May

San_francisco_giants_alternate_logo

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Monday May.26, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 16 Days Rec

1.  ***San Francisco Giants 32 – 19 (3) 10 – 4:  The Giants have the best team in the Majors record wise, and have done so without dominate pitching, and Buster Posey hasn’t taken off yet.

The San Fran players are using the ‘someone is always on fire’ offense.  Even Brandon Hicks is clobbering HRs out of 2B.  Depth prevails here.  4 Games up on the Dodgers.

2.  ***Oakland Athletics 31 – 20 (2) 8 – 5:  The A’s did lose 3 straight to the Blue Jays, however they had scored 76 runs in 11 Games prior, and pasted 10 on the board yesterday.

Brandon Moss is an underrated slugger, and Josh Donaldson has 4 separate game HR streaks this year.

Showing that depth at Starting Pitching can do well even if players go down with TJ Surgery. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers Losing Fielder For The Year May Be A Fatal Short Term Blow: But Maybe Not For The Long Term

Losing Prince Fielder for the year is somewhat catastrophic to the team, but it doesn't have to be a death sentence to the 2014 year.  The big 1B was not part of the 15 - 9 start the team put forth, before a rough 8 - 15 slide since then.  Pitching will save the day, and the organization may look to add some players that don't require a ton of assets to ascertain.  If the club has bad next month,, it could also be time to sell some players off and retool for 2015.

Losing Prince Fielder for the year is somewhat catastrophic to the team, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence to the 2014 year. The big 1B was not part of the 15 – 9 start the team put forth, before a rough 8 – 15 slide since then. Pitching will save the day, and the organization may look to add some players that don’t require a ton of assets to ascertain. If the club has bad next month,, it could also be time to sell some players off and retool for 2015.  Fielder will have neck surgery, and when you are talking about possible spinal fusing, it is not an injury to be recovered from quickly

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Rangers have quite likely lost Prince Fielder for the year – with pending neck surgery.  He joins a long list of players currently on the ‘MASH’ unit.

Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Leonys Martin, Donnie Murphy, Joseph Ortiz, Martin Perez, Joe Saunders, Tanner Scheppers, Geovany Soto, Dan Robertson Jurickson Profar, Engel Beltre, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Josh Wilson, James Adduci, Pedro Figueroa are all on the sick bay right now.

About half of them are not coming back this year potentially.

Adrian Beltre and Yu Darvish have also spent time on the DL this campaign.

The 16 players currently on the list above could virtually make up 2/3rds of the team. Read the rest of this entry

The Cardinals Struggles In 2014 So Far Might Point To Accumulation Of Roster Changes Since 2011

After St. Louis won the 2011 World Series, they lost their world class 1B Free Agent player in Albert Pujols.  It was the right move, and Michael Wacha was the compensation pick, so one wouldn't even make the trade for the Cardinals former legend.  However much like the Mariners in the late 90's lost Johnson,  Griffey and Rodriguez, that team had a league record 116 wins in 2001.  The Cards have back to back NLCS Appearances, and lost the World Series in 2013, however despite being chalked with young talent, is that they still have lost several key components to their team in the last 3 years.  Somewhere the franchise might have to slow down for a brief spell.

After St. Louis won the 2011 World Series, they lost their world class 1B Free Agent player in Albert Pujols. It was the right move (10 YRs/$250 MIL is too much), and Michael Wacha was the compensation pick, so one wouldn’t even make the trade for the Cardinals former legend. However much like the Mariners in the late 90’s lost Johnson, Griffey and Rodriguez, that team had a league record 116 wins in 2001. The Cards have back to back NLCS Appearances, and lost the World Series in 2013, however despite being chalked with young talent, is that they still have lost several key components to their team in the last 3 years. Somewhere the franchise might have to slow down for a brief spell.

In no way am I going to slag the best run franchise in the MLB.  We are talking about the quintessential template of how to run your team in the modern world of baseball.

All I am projecting in this article is that every team goes through a stretch of play where they may not be performing to capabilities.

Some of these problems may even persist for a whole campaign.

The 2011 Cardinals won the World Series, and then after losing their future hall of fame legend in Albert Pujols, were able to bring in Free Agents Carlos Beltran to help offset the power headed out the door.

The move paved the way for another final four finish.  In fact, St. Louis held a 3 – 1 NLCS lead before the Giants won 3 straight.

2013 saw their young players come to fruition at the same time, and it mixed perfectly with their cagey Veteran core.

The organization had 6 players in the top 100 prospects as listed by http://www.mlb.com – and most of them have seen time with the big club thus far. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Keeps The Magic Elixir Running With Pitching Staff In 2014: Lead The AL In Wins

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core - and rotation for the 2014 year.  Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parke - Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against).  Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff.  he also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons.  Once again the "Moneyball Man" looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core – and rotation for the 2014 year. Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parker) + Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against). Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff in 2014. He also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour – not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons. Once again the “Moneyball Man” looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane knows how to construct a Pitching Staff on a shoe string budget.

Not enough Pitching with double TJ Surgeries to A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker to have slowed the Rotation? Nope.

What about the loss of Bartolo Colon?  Hell no, that big guy is sporting an ERA of over 5.50 in an easier NL hitting league.

Scott Kazmir a risk?  Nope, wrong answer again thus far. The recipient of a 2 YRs Deal worth $22 MIL is a lot of money doled out from the A’s organization for a Free Agent Hurler.

All the 30 Year Old LHP has done in 2014, is lead the AL with a WHIP of 0.974, carried forth a 5 – 1 record, and a sparkling 2.28 ERA to date.

How about sophomore Sonny Gray having a tougher time peddling through the league for a second time?  Not a chance.

Gray is 3rd in the AL – with an ERA of 2.17, and has a 4 – 1 record himself. Read the rest of this entry

Angels Last Remaining Team To Be Bageled In 2014, But The Offense Is Struggling Of Late

DiPoto has constructed a team that has great power when healthy, and have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, but this club has a tough time not striking out, and worse is that they also don't draw Walks.  Their last few year offensive acquisitions in Ibanez, Stewart, Freese, Cowgill and Iannetta

DiPoto has constructed a team that has great power when healthy, and have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, but this club has a tough time not striking out, and worse is that they also don’t draw Walks. Their last few year offensive acquisitions in Ibanez, Stewart, Freese, Cowgill and Iannetta have fanned 123 times in just 371 total AB in 2014, while only walking 41 total combined times in the same time frame.  They have only attributed 11 HRs and 47 RBI for their efforts as well.  The Slash Line is .202/.292/.340 for those guys. Can the core guys of Trout, Pujols, Hamilton (when back), Kendrick and Aybar make up for the anemic production they are receiving?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Last night the Rangers finally did what no one else has done in 2014 thus far, Shutout the Rockies 5 – 0.

While Nolan Arenado was able to extend his hitting streak to 28, the Rox failed to plate a runner.

This leaves the Los Angeles Angels as the only team left in the MLB to not have suffered zero runs in a game.

I am not giving the title to LA yet, as they have played 4 less game than the Rockies.  Technically calendar wise, the Halo’s pulled of the feat, but lets see if they can make it through the weekend in Canada without being Shutout.

I think Los Angeles has a great chance in the next 4 games to score at Skydome, so if I could place a wager on the thing I would. Read the rest of this entry

The Rockies Exploding 2014 Offense – A Bigger Advantage Than Ever At Home: This Team Is Lethal

Coors Field is one of the better places in the MLB to watch a game - and this year (much like the last 21 year) the team is crippling opposing pitching.  With pitching beginning ro reign supreme in the MLB realms, the offensive attack put forth by Colorado may be enough of an advantage to outslug teams.  The Rockies have potential ALL - Stars at many of the positions, and just a sick amount of speed, defense plus power.  The team just needs to receive adequate pitching and remain healthy, and this could be the best year in Denver since 2007!

Coors Field is one of the better places in the MLB to watch a game – and this year (much like the last 21 years) the team is crippling opposing pitching. With run prevention beginning to reign supreme in the MLB realms, the offense attack put forth by Colorado may be enough of an advantage to outslug teams. The Rockies have potential ALL – Stars at many of the positions, and just a sick amount of speed, defense plus power. The team just needs to receive adequate pitching and to remain healthy, and this could be the best year in Denver since 2007!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I always have likened the Colorado Rockies to a heavyweight puncher that is capable of a knockout blow when you are least expecting it. 

In 2014, they are making their best 45 Year Old George Foreman impression vs. James Buster Douglas!

If they have all of their players performing on the field like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, then look the hell out.

You add in ALL – Star performances from Justin Morneau (looking like a Todd Helton clone circa 2007), Charlie Blackmon (putting up Dexter Fowler‘s best numbers) – and torrid play on defense and offense from 26 game hitting streak man ‘Nolan Arenado,” and you are talking about some haymakers being thrown.

The club assembled a decent Bullpen, and have an array of Starting Pitchers throw well on the bump. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 6 – May. 2014

The Motown Boys won all 4 games they played this week and have opened up a 4 game lead on the Royals.  This team has the easiest schedule left on the board.  The squad also announced they have picked up Reliever Joel Hanrahan,  This is a great depth move on their part, and insurance for the Closers position.

The Motown Boys won all 4 games they played this week and have opened up a 4 game lead on the Royals. This team has the easiest schedule left on the board. The squad also announced they have picked up Reliever Joel Hanrahan, This is a great depth move on their part, and insurance for the Closers position.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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As we enter the 2nd month of play in the Major League Baseball, we really start to delve into who is playing good and who is playing bad.

How about we begin with the National League holding a 26 – 17 record versus the American League in Interleague play. 

The last stat is the main reason why there is only 3 teams out of the 15 with a positive Run Differential.  (No team in the AL East has a club in the plus, and only the Tigers have one in the AL Central.

The Angels and A’s also yield nice Run Differentials – however a lot of that was from beating up the Houston Astros.

The NL possesses 9 clubs with a positive mark.

The NL East has all 5 teams with a .500 clip or better heading into today’s action. Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Orioles Early Season Grades

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As the first full month of the season reaches its final week, the Orioles need to get away from the .500 baseball they have been playing in order to make a push towards the 2014 postseason. 

Of course, the season is still very young, as there are about 140 games left to play.

The O’s got an early taste of the competitive AL East Division, as six of their first seven series were against division rivals, including two series verse the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. 

As we are about 1/8th through the season, I decided to grade the Orioles up to this point of the season, looking for ways for them to improve. Read the rest of this entry

With Moore Out For TJ Surgery – The Rays Should Hold Onto Price Through 2015

Matt Moore finished 17 - 4 with a 3.29 ERA in 2013, but was off to an even better start in the 1st half before he had some elbow soreness.  Losing this LHP will hurt the club, however the team was deep with Price, Archer and Cobb still manning the 1 - 3 slots in the rotation.  That was, until Cobb went down with an injury himself.  With the teams projected #2 Starter being down for the next 12 - 18 months from his very best, the franchise should not trade Price at any cost.

Matt Moore finished 17 – 4 with a 3.29 ERA in 2013, but was off to an even better start in the 1st half before he had some elbow soreness. Losing this LHP to TJ Surgery hurts the club, however the team was deep with Price, Archer and Cobb still manning the 1 – 3 slots in the rotation. That was, until Cobb went down with an injury himself.  The squad will have to weather the storm for a few months with some organizational players that might include the players: Erik Bedard, Nate Karns or Cesar Ramos. With the teams projected #2 Starter being down for the next 12 – 18 months from his very best, the franchise should not trade Price at any cost in 2014 and 2015..  Moore is under Team Control through the 2019 year, and when he comes back to the fold at 100% in 2015, hopefully the Rays will be vying for another postseason berth in the second half.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Lets face it.  The Tampa Bay Rays have had an incredible run at it.  The Florida squad trails only the Yankees for wins since the start of the 2008 season in baseball.

The club has made it to the postseason 4 out of the last 6 years, and possess 5 out of 6 years with 90+ Wins.

All of this with a shoestring budget, and incredible use of stretching dollars on player talent.

Every year, Andrew Freidman finds a bargain Free Agent that becomes an ALL – Star once he dawns the blue and purple. Read the rest of this entry

The Tigers Bullpen Has Had A Brutal Start For The 2014 Campaign

Even with his early season woes, Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The 39 year old came off one of his best seasons, registering a WHIP of .90 and an ERA of 1.33 amidst his 43 Saves and 74 SO.  Nathan will also bring plenty of playoff experience to Detroit. Lets just hope if the Tigers make it back to the playoffs, that he can improve in his career postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 IP.  Nathan was inked to a 2 YR Deal this winter, worth $20 MIL, with a Team Option of $10 MIL for 2016.  This doesn't end all of the teams Relief woes, but it gives them the best Closer that was on the Free Agent Market.

Even with his early season woes, Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The 39 year old came off one of his best seasons in 2013, registering a WHIP of .90 and an ERA of 1.33 amidst his 43 Saves and 74 SO. Nathan will also bring plenty of playoff experience to Detroit. Lets just hope if the Tigers make it back to the playoffs, that he can improve in his career postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 IP. Nathan was inked to a 2 YR Deal this past winter, worth $20 MIL, with a Team Option of $10 MIL for 2016. This doesn’t end all of the teams Relief problems, but it gave them the best Closer that was on the Free Agent Market. There is still plenty of work to do

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

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The bats are rolling, the starters are clicking, and the bullpen is failing.

It’s no secret that the Detroit Tigers bullpen is struggling. Through the first five games of the season they have allowed 9 runs. To make it even worse, all 9 have come in the 9th inning.

That’s 9 runs on 18 hits through only 13.1 innings for the bullpen. To put that into a harsher perspective, the starters have given up 8 runs on 20 hits through 32.2 innings.

Yes, the bullpen has given up more runs and almost as many hits through less than half the innings. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: April

The Tigers fought off a tough KC club in the 1st series and now have battled their own bullpen and injury woes to be the only unbeaten team.  Add that to one of the weaker divisions, and you see the #1 ranked team in our list this week.

The Tigers fought off a tough KC club in the 1st series and now have battled their own bullpen and injury woes against the Orioles –  to be the only unbeaten team left in the MLB a. Add that to one of the weaker divisions, and you see the #1 ranked team in our list this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Well, we have seen one week come and go.  It is important to realize that only about 3% of the entire season has gone by.

People tend to panic when their team isn’t doing so well, and some fanbases are ready to project their club as a playoff contender.

While it is still a good idea never to bury yourself with a bad first few week or 2, as long as you are hovering around the .500 clip, you should be fine.

How we do these rankings at the MLB Reports is based on 1 thing.  The chances of the club winning the World Series.

After all, that is why we have 45 days of Spring Training, 186 days in the regular season, and another 30 or so in the playoffs.

Some teams will have their number predicated on the strength of their divisions are not.

Nearly 47% of any teams schedule is within their own division.  So the AL East and NL West would be tough divisions.

The NL East and AL Central have 2 playoff contenders in each division, while 3 teams may be easier opponents. Read the rest of this entry

The Nats Restructured Bullpen

MLB reports:

There isn’t much difference between the Opening Day 2013 Nationals bullpen and the 2014 variety, but even small changes can have major impacts.

Gone are Zach Duke, Henry Rodriguez, and Ryan Mattheus replaced by Ross Detwiler, Aaron Barrett, and Jerry Blevins.

Add that to the incumbents Rafael Soriano, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, and Craig Stammen and the Nationals bullpen doesn’t have a bad choice.

It is early in the season and perhaps the dreaded blower will emerge as the season progresses but the Nationals bullpen is full of both talent and pedigree and if all the relievers pitch to their expected averages then the bullpen will be a strength of the team.

Compare this to last season where there were definite bad choices.

Henry Rodriguez was a project and a mop-up man to be avoided in a close or tied game and Zach Duke was a long reliever that lacked the stuff to even make it through three outs without surrendering multiple runs.

Matt Williams could draw names out of a hat and it would be a good choice whereas Davey Johnson had pitchers that could only be used in loses and that isn’t the type of bullpen he envisioned.

In 2013 Davey Johnson would call-up relievers when he shouldn’t.

He used Henry Rodriguez in extra innings of a tie game, Yunesky Maya in a game in which Maya was only called up as a possible emergency long reliever in case the starter couldn’t go five, and both Craig Stammen and Drew Storen appeared in their most games when they were struggling at their worst.

That last one has little to do with the talent of the players and it is yet to be seen how Matt Williams handles struggling relievers but with the bullpen he has been given he has the ability to stay away from reliever in a slump when he needs to.

It is always easy to use a bullpen when everyone is going right, and to start the season the Nationals have seen reliever after reliever come in and dominate.

It has only been one series but Drew Storen looks to have picked up where he left off in 2013 and a refreshed Drew Storen is a strong weapon the 2013 bullpen lacked. When you think about that bullpen of the first few months of 2013 it really only had three reliable pitchers.

With the project of Henry Rodriguez and Zach Duke as the long reliever the Nationals were already down to five relievers they could use in close or tie games and when Storen and Mattheus struggled that number fell to three.

Replacing Duke and Rodriguez with Detwiler and Blevins strengthens the Nats bullpen by immeasurable degrees. Add to that a productive Drew Storen and the young Aaron Barrett and the Nats bullpen is seven deep.

Players will struggle as the year goes along, but the depth of the Nationals bullpen is better in 2014 than it was in 2013. The Nats had to rely on Astros cast-off Fernando Abad and rookie Ian Krol for much of last season.

Both had their moments but weren’t great overall. When the Nationals need to call on an extra reliever this year they have the option of going to Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia, Mike Gonzalez, and Xavier Cedeno who all have major league experience or they could go to prospects Richie Miroswski or Blake Treinen.

The Nationals 2014 bullpen has started stronger than 2013, is more talented than 2013, and the depth in minors is better than it was in 2013.

A Nationals bullpen that let too many opponents back into games and couldn’t hold ties in extra innings has been restructured and is much stronger in 2014. Early signs indicate that what was a weakness for the 2013 Nationals is going to be a strength of the 2014 Nats.

-David Huzzard

Originally posted on Citizens of Natstown:

There isn’t much difference between the Opening Day 2013 Nationals bullpen and the 2014 variety, but even small changes can have major impacts. Gone are Zach Duke, Henry Rodriguez, and Ryan Mattheus replaced by Ross Detwiler, Aaron Barrett, and Jerry Blevins. Add that to the incumbents Rafael Soriano, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, and Craig Stammen and the Nationals bullpen doesn’t have a bad choice. It is early in the season and perhaps the dreaded blower will emerge as the season progresses but the Nationals bullpen is full of both talent and pedigree and if all the relievers pitch to their expected averages then the bullpen will be a strength of the team.

Compare this to last season where there were definite bad choices. Henry Rodriguez was a project and a mop-up man to be avoided in a close or tied game and Zach Duke was a long reliever that lacked…

View original 494 more words

The MLB Opens On Saturday With ARI/LAD Playing In Sydney: Opening Series Prediction

The Dodgers open up the year against the DBacks in the MLB Opening Series.  For those hardcore home fans, the games start at 1 AM PST and 7 PM PST on Saturday.  Look for an article on Friday that will have an in depth look at some of the bets that will be available for this 2 game set.  This series does scream a split between the feel of a Doubleheader, and the weirdness of the neutral site and country.

The Dodgers open up the year against the DBacks in the MLB Opening Series. For those hardcore home fans, the games start at 1 AM PST and 7 PM PST on Saturday. Look for an article on Friday that will have an in depth look at some of the bets that will be available for this 2 game set. This series does scream a split between the feel of a Doubleheader, and the weirdness of the neutral site and country.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It should have been Clayton Kershaw vs Patrick Corbin in Game #1, and Zack Greinke and Trevor Cahill in Game #2 in Sydney this Saturday.

While technically it is two different days in Sydney, the games are held at 4:00 AM and 8 PM EST on Saturday Mar.22.

For those brave enough to watch the early game, it is listed as Kershaw vs TBD (MLB.com not listing it, although Miley has been named., and Game #2 is listed as Hyun-jin Ryu vs Trevor Cahill. Read the rest of this entry

The Braves Continue To Step Up To The Plate In The Ervin Santana Signing

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a move that had to be done in my view.  Atlanta has 60% of its Starting Rotation currently in the sick bay, or has questionable thoughts to whether it could pitch near Opening Day.

In the end it is a Win/Win situation for all above.

The Braves acquire a top end of the rotation guy, and it serves as great insurance, and Santana is able to play for a full season trying to re-establish his worth on next winter’s open market.

Sure Atlanta sacrifices a 1st RD pick, but they are still receiving the compensation Pick from the Yankees for the Brian McCann signing.

Santana flies right out the American League, and will look to pad his stats versus the likes of the Mets and Marlins this year, and to avoid the AL Beast, the only teams that were coveting him that he mutually was talking with Read the rest of this entry

White Sox What Ifs: 2014

Jose Abreu signed the most lucrative contract for an international signee in MLB history - at 6 YRs/$68 MIL, before Tanaka eclipsed his deal . He'll more than likely start the 2014 season with the big club, rather than starting in the minors.  He'll spend most of his time at first base, with (more than likely) some occasional starts at DH.

Jose Abreu signed the most lucrative contract for an international signee in MLB history – at 6 YRs/$68 MIL, before Tanaka eclipsed his deal (7 YRs/$155 MIL). He’ll more than likely start the 2014 season with the big club, rather than starting in the minors. He’ll spend most of his time at first base, with (more than likely) some occasional starts at DH.

By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen  

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Let’s play a game. Let’s play “White Sox What Ifs” 2014 version. And let’s assume that if 7 out of these 10 What Ifs come to fruition, our White Sox are going to the postseason in 2014. So let’s start….

(1.) What If Adam Eaton becomes the on-base machine it appears he could be so far in Spring Training? The White Sox haven’t had a lead-off hitter of his caliber since Scott Podsednik.

Not only can Eaton get on base with regularity, he can steal bases. He can stretch singles into doubles, and doubles into triples. He’s everything a lead off hitter should be. And he can bunt. Enough said.

Your mouth waters with just the above? Wait. He can play defense, unlike your beloved Scotty Pods (who also had the limp arm of an 8 year old). Eaton possesses similar daredevil-type maneuvers that Aaron Rowand possessed.

Though Rowand would often mis-judge fly balls and make up for it with above average speed in CF to make a great catch,

Eaton has the speed and instincts to make a great grab in front of him, to his left or right, and over the shoulder. Very excited! Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings MAR 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Okay, not much has changed in the last month.

They are about 20 unsigned Free Agents left in the open market pool, Baltimore inked Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez – and Chris Capuano is with the Red Sox, Paul Maholm replaces him LA for the 2014 campaign.

Of note of the things I am watching in Spring Training.  The Dodger Blue is also experiencing many injuries – and Yasiel Puig showed up to camp overweight.

LA is talking about not sending Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to Australia in a few weeks.

I can understand with the RHP because he was yanked after four pitches last week, but withholding your star ace from the season opener, and possibly the North America starter the following week. Read the rest of this entry

The O’s Add Nelson Cruz + The AL Beast Just Got Stronger!

Nelson Cruz is 34 - and has a long history of injuries -  and now of PED use.In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once.  Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 - before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  Will he go to Seattle, another AL team, or is the NL going to be his final destination for next campaign.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.

Nelson Cruz is 34 – and has a long history of injuries – and now of PED use. In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once. Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 – before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.  He will likely be used in that role with the O’s.  With a full season of AB, this slugger should probably hit between .260 – .270, with 25 – 30 HRs and range from 80 – 90 RBI.  To sign this guy to a 1 Year Deal – worth $8 MIL, when he was already given the Qualifying Offer by Texas is a fantastic acquisition for the Orioles.  It also comes in the same week they picked up Ubaldo Jimenez and Korean chucker Suk-Min Yoon.  Baltimore just entered back into the Division race!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Dan Duquette has announced his presence with authority this week.

From Suk-min Yoon (3 YRs/$5.6 MIL), Ubaldo Jimenez (4 YRs/$48 MIL), to then flat out rob Nelson Cruz for a 1 YR/$8 MIL deal, the GM has served notice that the franchise is here to compete.

Frankly, this was a long time coming.  The team has now thrust its name into the conversation with the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees.

On the clock is the Toronto Blue Jays!! Read the rest of this entry

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