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Tuesday April 16, 2013
By Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): Follow @BaseballAddicts
The Mets are off to 7-4 start – and the pitching is proving to be a huge factor so far this season.
Matt Harvey is leading the charge with three wins and an 0.82 ERA. He also has 25 Strikeouts in only 22 Innings! He is showing everyone that he wants to be an “ACE” on this staff.
He is Arbitration Eligible after this season and should be expecting a huge paycheck if he keeps pitching like he is right now. Mets have a bright future with Harvey and that is always a great thing for a franchise.
New York Mets 2013 Preview- MLB Network:
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Friday, March. 22/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
So I’m back talking about the Colorado Rockies again. I already did a State of the Union piece on them a while back so make sure to check that out for a full outlook on their 2013 hopes. This article I’m going to go in-depth on their starting rotation, more specifically I’m going to look at who is ready to take control of this staff and be a legitimate top line starter.
The Rockies rotation is far from final. They have about 8 guys vying for the 5 slots in my opinion. Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, and Juan Nicasio all seemingly have a spot on lock, but the last 2 spots are probably between Drew Pomeranz, Jeff Francis, Chris Volstad, Christian Friedrich, and Tyler Chatwood.
I don’t want to get too far into the unique way one must look at the Rockies pitchers. I already talked a bit about it in my State of the Union article, but basically the Rockies pitching stats are going to be inflated due to playing at Coors Field, a notorious hitter’s ballpark.
The Home/Road splits are always something to look at with Rockies pitchers. Regardless of the fact that they have a home field disadvantage, Rockies Starting Pitchers in 2012 had the worst ERA in the MLB at 5.81. This simply won’t get it done if they have any playoff aspirations.
Jhoulys Chacin Highlights:
Wednesday, Nov.28th, 2012
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5-7 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles section here.
Today’s Part 2 Feature of the Blue Jays Franchise will be written by our Baseball Writer Alex Mednick. To do this franchise series service, Alex has studied this club a lot more than I have in the last 20 years and will do this article better justice for you the reader!
Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):
Note from Alex Mednick: Chuck Booth offered to me the opportunity to step in to his Franchise Series and cover the Blue Jays history from 1994-Present. I gladly accepted the honor.
In Part 1 of this series, Chuck covered the Blue Jays history from their humble beginnings at Exhibition Stadium in 1977, through the glory years in the late 80s and early 90s. The story dropped off right after the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993. We closed the books with the walk-off winning home run by Joe Carter to win the World Series, and the parties and celebrations that were to follow across Ontario, Canada. I will pick it back up at the beginning of the 1994 season, when the Blue Jays had high hopes to win a third consecutive world championship.
(Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)
Franchise Series Links:
Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/
2013 Team Payroll: http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/
Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll: http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/
Monday November 19th, 2012
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
Tuesday August 28th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Josh Beckett, or more formerly known as the most hated man in Boston, won’t nearly have as much pressure on him with the Dodgers. That will be a vastly different change for him considering the hefty amount of heat he took in Boston. Granted, the criticism was for the most part deserved, but the Dodgers and their fans don’t view Beckett as the main piece in a deal that also landed them Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, and Carl Crawford. They view him as a bonus piece. If he rejuvenates himself in Los Angeles, great. If he doesn’t, the pressure from the organization won’t be as substantial. On the other side of the coin, it won’t go unnoticed, nor will his large contract.
However, it’s assuming too much to say that he’s going to struggle with his new team. Sure, his 5.21 ERA isn’t great, but he’s moving to one of the most pitcher’s friendly ballparks in Dodger Stadium. To be specific, it’s the eighth best pitcher’s park in the majors per ESPN Park Factors. What should be noted is the fact that Chris Capuano and Clayton Kershaw both boast elite home ERAs. While the success isn’t entirely due to the fact that Dodger stadium is spacious, it’s a piece of the pie. In comparison, Fenway Park is the third best hitters park in baseball. So the difference is substantial. In spite of the difference, his first start in a Dodgers uniform came in the worst pitcher’s ballpark in the majors, Coors Field. He wasn’t great, but he wasn’t terrible, surrendering three runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Dodger Stadium alone isn’t going to transform Beckett into an ace, though. It’s not that pitcher friendly. Beckett will have to make some tweaks to get back to “ace” form. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday August 9th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky:The rest of the Nationals’ season rides on the talented right arm of Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals have a very strong staff with Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Edwin Jackson as the core. One could make a case for Zimmermann, Gonzalez, or Strasburg as the ace, as each of them carries a sub-3.40 ERA. Zimmermann has a 2.45, Strasburg has a 2.97, and Gonzalez has a 3.32 ERA. Pitching is undoubtedly the Nationals’ strongpoint. But, if Washington was to abide by the innings limit they set for Strasburg, their playoff hopes could be in jeopardy.
At the beginning of the season, the Nationals came out and said that Strasburg would only throw 160 innings before being shut down due to his having Tommy John surgery last year. As of Wednesday, he has thrown 127.1. In his 22 starts this year, he averages about 5 2/3 innings a start. With the 32 2/3 innings that he has left, he would only be able to make five to six more starts. The Nationals have played 110 games thus far, so that leaves them with 52 to go. He is set to pitch Friday, so if he were to go every fifth day and pitch his average of 5 2/3 innings each time, his limit would be reached by the beginning of September. The good news is if the Nationals decide to abide by this limit, they have a few options available to them.
Thursday August 2nd, 2012
John Burns: The 2012 season has been one to forget for Ricky Romero. Romero was the Blue Jays ace coming into this season after posting a 2.92 ERA in 2011. This year has been a complete disaster for Romero. The Jays lefty has a 5.68 ERA this season and has allowed 82 earned runs in 129.2 innings. Last year, Romero allowed 73 earned runs in 225 innings. It’s obvious that something is not right with Romero this year. Romero has also lost seven straight starts for Toronto. The second half has been even rougher for Romero. Since the All-Star break, he has 8.38 ERA. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday August 1st, 2012
(Image Courtesy of Bigstory.ap.org)
The Reds made a big trade involving 5 players in the offseason (one player coming from the Padres and four from the Reds.) This deal benefited both teams in my opinion, as the Reds got an “ace material” starting pitcher in Mat Latos and the Padres got four players including proven MLB pitcher Edinson Volquez and solid prospects in Yonder Alsonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger. Just how much has this trade benefited each team and who has benefited more so far? I will analyze that below. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday June 24th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: As the Mariners continue to grind away at the bottom of the American League West, many wonder: should they trade Felix Hernandez? With Felix, the Mariners have one of the best starting pitchers in the league, as he’s already pitched in eight seasons by the age of 26. 2010 was his best season, when he won his first Cy Young even though the Mariners struggled and were below .500. Felix has yet to enter his prime and is most likely at the height of his trade value. If the Mariners want to get the most possible out of this ace, they would have to act now. But would the Mariners even dare to trade such a prize? Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday July 20, 2011
Rob Bland (Intern- MLB Reports): Now that the trade deadline is fast approaching, teams in contention are scrambling to find the pieces they desperately need to reach the playoffs. Teams that are out of contention are scouring other teams’ minor league affiliates in search of suitable trade partners. One man who is terribly busy fielding on calls on one of his biggest talents is the GM of the Atlanta Braves, Frank Wren. Opposing GMs have coveted his ace pitcher, Jair Jurrjens over the past few years. But now that Jurrjens has developed into a solid dependable pitcher who has exceeded his potential, Wren’s phone will be ringing right up until the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.
Why Atlanta should hold on to their ace
Jair Jurrjens is young and controllable with an inexpensive contract. He is an inning eater, and a dependable arm that will give 6+ innings per game. Jurrjens is in his fourth full season, with the key variable that many people forget is that he is only 25 years old. At the halfway mark of this season, Jurrjens has a 12-3 record with a sparkling 2.26 ERA. Jair also induces a ton of ground balls, with a GB% of 48.2. When a guy can throw strikes consistently, it makes it much easier to be successful. Three walks per nine innings is a pretty good career mark, and he has seemingly improved almost every year, as Jurrjens currently sits at a 2.10 BB/9 for 2011. A young, controllable ace that is continually improving might be something that the Braves want to hold onto. Further, the Braves should even consider giving a long-term extension to Jurrjens given what he means to the ballclub.
Why Atlanta should trade Jurrjens
Why would a contending team trade their ace, you might ask? Well, a guy like Jurrjens might be overachieving for a few reasons. First of all, the velocity on his fastball has dipped every season since his rookie campaign. His average fastball was once 93 mph, whereas it sits at 89 now. Now this could mean a couple of things, such as he has learned how to pitch and doesn’t need the velocity. However, his extra reliance on his change-up and slider; each of them up in usage about 3% over previous years, tells me that he knows his fastball isn’t quite as effective. Jurrjens doesn’t strike many guys out, and there is almost no way that he can maintain a 4.1% homerun per fly ball rate. His xFIP is exactly a run and a half higher than his ERA at 3.76, so a measure of his performance has been attributed to luck. Numbers can be sometimes be deceiving and in Jurrjens case, he might not be as good as his statistics appear to show. Sometimes its good to maximize a return when the market is at its peak and Jurjjens may very well be sitting at the top of his ceiling of potential. Otherwise, if Jurrjens does regress, he value will never be higher than it is at the moment.
Which teams could trade for Jurrjens
If the Detroit Tigers are willing to give up a ton of prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez, I believe they would do the same for Jurrjens. Same goes with the Red Sox and Yankees. Detroit has at least kicked the tires on many starting pitchers, including Derek Lowe, Aaron Harang, and Jeremy Guthrie. I see Jurrjens as an upgrade over those pitchers, so it would take a decent package to steal him away. The Rockies covet four top prospects for Jimenez, so I don’t see why the Braves wouldn’t try to get at least three top prospects for Jurrjens. He may not have the electric stuff that Ubaldo has, but he certainly has a track record of success.
Another fit to trade for Jurrjens that may fly under the radar could be the Indians. Mitch Talbot and Fausto Carmona have underperformed, and they desperately need an upgrade if they are to contend. This could cause a bidding war for Jurrjens. I can see righty Alex White, lefty Drew Pomeranz and outfielder Nick Weglarz being involved in such a deal. Prospects Jacob Turner (RHP), Andy Oliver (LHP) and Nick Castellanos (3B) may be included in a potential deal with Detroit.
In the NL, if the St. Louis Cardinals decide to make a push in the wide open Central Division, they may be looking at starting pitching help. Kyle McLellan and Jake Westbrook have both struggled, so it could be a possibility they get in the mix. Third baseman Zack Cox and starting pitcher Shelby Miller are possible candidates to be moved in such a scenario.
Atlanta doesn’t appear to be actively shopping Jurrjens, but it would be in their best interest to at least gauge the interest of other teams. The Braves could get a return for Jurrjens that would be impossible to refuse. With some of the prospects named, the Braves could still contend, and restock their system for years to come. Until then, we expect Jurrjens to remain a Brave unless Frank Wren gets blown away a trade proposal. With the active trade winds blowing this year and numerous contending teams desperate for starting pitching help, anything is possible.
Editor’s Note: Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern, Rob Bland. Rob was selected from the many candidates who applied to write for MLB reports. Please feel free to leave comments and to welcome Rob aboard. You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***
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