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Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union Spring 2014 Part 1: The Lineup Now With Cruz Added

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Nelson Cruz Signs with Baltimore

It has been a very busy week for the Orioles as Spring Training gets started, as the team is set to announce the signing of Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 MM contract.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about guys the Orioles could target to help bolster their lineup, and Cruz seemed to be the most logical fit. Read the rest of this entry

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Orioles Finally Make A Free Agent Splash To Salvage Winter

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez 

The Orioles could not catch a break this off-season, as they lost out on free agents that they coveted as well as missing out on closer Grant Balfour , after he failed the team’s physical.

Bronson Arroyo balked at even going for a physical seeing what happened to the Aussie – opting to sign with the D-Backs even though the money was similar, rather than have his worth devalued by flunking the doctor’s visit from the O’s.

Tyler Colvin also fell victim to Baltimore’s stringent doctors, while Grady Sizemore didn’t have a chance to pass a physical with the club either despite Orioles interest.

Orioles fans all over wondered what the team’s intentions were, as many felt the team could be a serious contender with the core they have in place, but some moves needed to be made to bolster the roster.

On Monday night, the Orioles finally made a big splash in free agency that everyone anxiously awaited. The team announced they agreed to a four-year, $48 MM deal with pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

This is a huge move for the Orioles as an organization, as it now shows their fan base that they are willing to spend big money on key free agents.

The O’s have been linked to many of the big name free agents throughout the offseason, only to come up short when it came to signing them.

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The Giancarlo Stanton Extension Debate

The Marlins have one of the most prolific young power hitters in the game of baseball in Giancarlo Stanton.  After this recent campaign, the  24 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .265/.354/.899 - with 117 HRs and 294 RBI in 1792 Career AB.  The toughest challenge the ownership has - will be to lock up this Slugger long - term, as he has frequently commented on the direction of the franchise in a negative light.  Stanton has 3 years left of Arbitration - before he will be eligible for Free Agency heading into the 2017 season.

The Marlins have one of the most prolific young power hitters in the game of baseball in Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton has 3 years left of Arbitration  before he will be eligible for Free Agency heading into the 2017 season. Still, his price tag is only going to keep increasing so the franchise will have to act fast to keep their beloved outfielder in Miami for the long-term.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

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Giancarlo Stanton is one of the most talented young hitters in baseball. He is a tremendous athlete with ridiculous power that already has 117 Major League home runs in less than 500 games.

Luckily enough for the city of Miami, they will likely get to enjoy watching Stanton for a couple more years, as he won’t hit free agency until 2017.

However, the club won’t have a competitive team during that time frame and it would make a lot of sense for their front office to do everything in their power to sign Stanton to an extension.

It still remains unlikely that Stanton will want to stay in Miami and the Marlins will be willing to shell out the money to keep him, but if an extension is going to happen, it will happen sooner rather than later.

Giancarlo Stanton’s 2013 Home Runs

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The Chicago Cubs Should Pass On Tanaka

The Chicago Cubs are currently in the running for Masahiro Tanaka, the best pitcher in Japan over the last few years. In fact, near the end of this week he will be visiting Chicago to speak with both the Cubs and White Sox about his future employment, possibly with one of these teams. However the Cubs are currently on a path set for building, and shouldn’t put themselves in a position to throw off those plans by acquiring someone who’s ready for a “win now” type of team.

Chicago Cubs: Just Let Tanaka Go

By Robert Villarreal (MLB Reports Cubs Writer)

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Let me start by saying this: I have never seen Masahiro Tanaka play but from the footage I’ve seen I’d love to see him in Cubbie blue. 

He’s an incredible talent; So good in fact that once Yu Darvish left for America and the Major Leagues, he automatically became the best pitcher currently in Japan.

There are only 17 more days left in Tanaka’s 30-day signing period, with multiple teams anxiously awaiting a shot at the next pitching phenom.

However it would be in the Cubs best interest to pass on Tanaka at this time, no matter how incredible that argument may seem right now.

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Scott Boras, Is He Good For Major League Baseball?

A man ahead of his time, Boras was one of the original moneyball players.  For his career, Boras had 133 walks and only 76 strikeouts.  Those numbers were for good for a lifetime .363 OBP, to go along with his .288 AVG.  Knee injuries unfortunately cut his career short and Boras only made it as high as AA ball.  With the baseball experience under his belt, Boras went on to practice law and from there become a full-time baseball agent in the early 1980s.

A man ahead of his time, Boras was one of the original moneyball players. For his career in the Minor League, Boras had 133 walks and only 76 strikeouts. Those numbers were for good for a lifetime .363 OBP, to go along with his .288 AVG in the Minor Leagues. Knee injuries unfortunately cut his career short and Boras only made it as high as AA ball. With the baseball experience under his belt, Boras went on to practice law and from there become a full-time baseball agent in the early 1980s. (Caption courtesy of Jonathan Hacohen).

By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent)

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He has a billion dollar smile, a list of clients taller than Shaquille O’Neil and is considered Major League Baseball’s super agent.

In 2006 Baseball America named him the most influential non-player in 25 years, beating out Major League commissioner Bud Selig, yes, that Bud Selig!

Major League Baseball has had to change its rules in response to him on multiple occasions and he has a list of clients that include or have included Jayson Werth (126m), Matt Holliday (120m), Barry Zito (126m), Carlos Beltran (119m) and now the wealthier Jacoby Ellsbury (153m) – just to name a few, and the list goes on..

Fans, teams and general managers may despise him for fear that he is destroying Major League Baseball.

We’re talking about Scott Boras.

Boras Interview From 2009 (After being named the most influential non – player for last 25 years)

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Time To Elect Don Mattingly Into Cooperstown

Don Mattingly won 3 straight AL Sporting News Player of The Years - and was the best ALL-Around player in the game from 1984-1986 leading 13 Offensive Categories for the 3 years.  His 145 RBI in 1985 was the most for a LHB since Stan Musial in 1949.  He hit .340 with 656 Hits, 145 2B, 88 HRs, 368 RBI and only SO 112 times in 2131 PA's.  He also led the league in Doubles from 1984-1986.  Mattingly’s 388 Total bases in 1986 had been the most in the Majors since Willie Mays back in the 1962 season.  Mattingly won the first of 9 gold gloves in 1985.  Donnie Baseball also won the AL MVP in 1985 and was boldly robbed in 1986 by the writers voting for Roger Clemens. In 1987, Mattingly hit 6 grand slams and also homered in 8 straight games(including 10 total which was higher than Dale Long and Ken Griffey‘s 8 during their consecutive streaks.)  His average year for the 4 year stretch was .337, with 30 HRs, 45 2B and 120 RBI.  He also averaged 110 runs and 210 hits.  Mattingly only struck out 37 times a year for this span.  He was clearly the best ball player in this era.

Don Mattingly won 3 straight AL Sporting News Player of The Years – and was the best ALL-Around player in the game from 1984-1986 leading 13 Offensive Categories for the 3 years. His 145 RBI in 1985 was the most for a LHB since Stan Musial in 1949. He hit .340 with 656 Hits, 145 2B, 88 HRs, 368 RBI and only SO 112 times in 2131 PA’s. He also led the league in Doubles from 1984-1986. Mattingly’s 388 Total bases in 1986 had been the most in the Majors since Willie Mays back in the 1962 season. Mattingly won the first of 9 gold gloves in 1985.

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

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Okay, it is time for me to make my argument for my favorite player of all time to be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. 

There will be several people that will say that Don Mattingly’s career stats of: H-2154, HR-222, RBI-1099, AVG-.307 and 9 Gold Gloves are not enough in just 14 seasons. 

I am not counting his 7 game-stint in 1982 with this.  As a rookie in 1983, Don only .hit .283 with 4 HRs and 32 RBIs.

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Looking Back At Some Of The Highlights From The Mariners 2013 Season

As Safeco Field closes it's roof for the season, let's take a look back at the brighter moments from the Mariners abysmal 2013 season.

In 2014, the Seattle franchise will be welcoming in a new coach – as Eric Wedge will not be returning for another year as the team’s skipper.  As Safeco Field closes it’s roof for the season, let’s take a look back at the brighter moments from the Mariners abysmal 2013 year – in which they finished 71 – 91, only good for 4th in the AL West.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

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The Seattle Mariners 2013 season left a lot to be desired.

The Mariners continued to lose fans as they didn’t play competitive baseball for the majority of the season. However, there were some memorable highlights and breakout performances that made the Mariners season slight more bearable.

Here’s a look back at the more enjoyable aspects of the Mariners 2013 regular season. 

SEA @ OAK: Farquhar fans Cespedes to lock down the save

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Looking Back At Some Of The Highlights From The Marlins 2013 Season

 

The Marlins season has gone as planned, in the sense that they have been absolutely terrible; however, that's not to say that they haven't had some memorable highlights and played some tremendous games.

The Marlins season has gone as planned, in the sense that they have been absolutely terrible; however, that’s not to say there haven’t been  some memorable highlights and played some tremendous games.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

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No matter how bad anyone thought the Marlins would be at the start of the season, things have managed to turn out worse.

With proven players like Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison failing to perform at the levels they are capable of and the organization starting a laughable infield for the majority of the season, 2013 has been one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

However, that’s not to say there haven’t been memorable, enjoyable, and even unforgettable Miami games and performances that have taken place in the 2013 regular season.

Here’s a look at the few unforgettable games and bright young names that will be remembered in years to come.

Marlins Outlast Mets in 20-innings

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Four Things To Watch For On The Marlins This Month

 

Jake Marisnick plays tremendous defense out in center field but his bat has been far from impressive in his limited time in Miami this season.

Jake Marisnick plays tremendous defense out in center field but his bat has been far from impressive in his limited time in Miami this season.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

It’s not exactly easy to get excited about the average Marlins game this late in the season.

With the Marlins struggling to give their pitchers any run support and finding seemingly different ways to lose everyday, it would be easy to give up on the Marlins and just wait for next year.

However, thanks to topics like Jose Fernandez‘s quest for the N.L. Rookie of the Year Award and lefty Brian Flynn‘s recent promotion, there still are reasons to watch the Marlins in 2013.

Here are what I consider to be the top four things to watch for on the Marlins in the final month of the regular season (in no particular order). 

Fernandez shows quick reflexes to grab liner

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A Preview Of The 2014 San Francisco Giants Starting Pitching Staff

 

Matt Cain is struggling this season to say the least. He has games where he can be most dominant pitcher in baseball, then other games where he struggles to make it through five innings. He has a 4.79 ERA in 124 innings pitched while giving up 16 HRs.

Matt Cain is struggling this season to say the least. He has games where he can be most dominant pitcher in baseball, then other games where he struggles to make it through five innings. He has a 4.35 ERA in 153 innings pitched while giving up 19 HRs.  This mediocre season is cause for concern, since he now makes at least $20 MIL per year from 2013 – 2017, with a $7.5 Buyout in 2018, or one more year at $21 MIL.  Perhaps winning 2 of the last 3 World Series, and logging over 600 + IP combined in that time frame is beginning to take its toll.  I would bet on Cain to have a big bounce back campaign in 2014.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

At this point in the season, it is pretty safe to say that the San Francisco Giants will not be playing beyond September.

This year has been a big disappointment for the defending World Champs, collapsing big time before the All Star Break.

Coming into 2013, the Giants had basically the same team that won the 2012 World Series. The performance though, compared to 2012, was night and day.

The biggest difference in the team’s performance from 2012 is undoubtedly the pitching.

Matt Cain was the undisputed ace of the staff in 2012, throwing a perfect game and posting a 2.79 ERA.

Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner both had a 3.37 ERA. Even Barry Zito had a tolerable season, going 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA – including a huge unbeaten streak – that carried through the 2013 Post Season..

This year, a 4.15 ERA would be acceptable for any pitcher in the rotation not named Bumgarner. Madison Bumgarner has been the one bright spot for the staff this year, carrying a 2.73 ERA.

Cain has a 4.35, Zito a 5.34, Vogelsong a 6.75 (he spent some time on the DL with a finger injury), and Lincecum a 4.38.

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Looking Back At Christian Yelich And Jake Marisnick’s First Month In The Majors

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Sunday, Aug 16th, 2013

Jake Marisnick plays tremendous defense out in center field.

Jake Marisnick plays tremendous defense out in center field for the Marlins.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

It’s been almost an entire month since the Miami Marlins called up star prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick from Double-A. Since then, the two outfielders have seen plenty of playing time for the Major League Club.

The two have posted very different and interesting results facing the best pitchers they’ve ever seen.

Both of them have struggled with strikeouts and walks, but Yelich has been able to hit for average and Marisnick has not.

While they both have under 200 combined at bat’s, the Marlins have been able to get a close-up look at both players and start to see how they will fit into their future outfield.

Behind Enemy Lines: Jake Marisnick Suns Outfielder

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A Look Back At Ken Griffey Jr.’s Time As A Mariner

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Tuesday, Aug 13th, 2013

Former Mariners great, Ken Griffey Jr. walks in from center field as he is introduced during a ceremony inducting him into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Safeco Field on August 10, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.

Former Mariners great, Ken Griffey Jr. walks in from center field as he is introduced during a ceremony inducting him into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Brewers at Safeco Field on August 10, 2013 in Seattle.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

Ken Griffey Jr. is without a doubt the greatest player in the history of the Seattle Mariners. From his breathtaking defense in center field, to the 417 home runs he hit with the franchise,

“The Kid”  truly was a five-tool talent and one of the most electrifying players in the game. While his career might not have ended perfectly, Mariners fans will never forget what he did to help bring playoff baseball to Seattle.

In honor of Griffey being just the seventh player inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday, here’s a look back at Griffey’s thirteen seasons in Seattle.

HD Ken Griffey Jr. HALL OF FAME SPEECH

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Ranking The Marlins Starting Rotation By Trade Value

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Tuesday, Aug 6th, 2013

Just two years ago, Marlins SP Jose Fernandez was pitching for Alonso HS in Tampa, Florida.  His story of how he came to the United States is absolutely astonishing and incredible as he defected from Cuba via boat , and then ultimately was part of a rescue effort in the water to save his mom's life, when she fell overboard in 2008 as a teenager.  He is 20 years old now, and one of the premier Starting Pitchers in the NL

Just two years ago, Marlins SP Jose Fernandez was pitching for Alonso HS in Tampa, Florida. His story of how he came to the United States is absolutely astonishing and incredible as he defected from Cuba via boat , and then ultimately was part of a rescue effort in the water to save his mom’s life, when she fell overboard in 2008 as a teenager. He is 20 years old now, and one of the premier Starting Pitchers in the NL.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

Even though the trade deadline has already passed, it’s always interesting to evaluate pitchers based on their trade value.

Using age, experience, potential, contract, and reputation as guidelines, I ranked the current Miami Marlins starting rotation.

Tom Koehler, Jose Fernandez, Henderson Alvarez, Nate Eovaldi, and Jacob Turner are the Marlins starting five and Miami has no real reason to trade any of them in the near future.

However, if they were to consider trading one of these pitchers, here’s how I feel other teams would rank these pitchers’ trade values.

6/29/13: Turner dominant, Lucas key in win

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San Diego Padres In 2014: Maybe Without Headley And Volquez?

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Triple Play Podcast Special Trade Deadline Edition

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Monday July 29th, 2013

One trade that could be exemplary of what the Padres need to do is the Hunter Pence trade from the Astros to the Phillies. The Phillies had an abundance of young prospects, and the Astros were in a situation similar to that of the Padres. The Astros got Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singelton, and Josh Zeid for Pence, cash, and a PTBNL. Headley might not carry the same value that Pence did at the time, but I’m sure that the Padres could get a similar deal to the one that the Astros got.

One trade that could be exemplary of what the Padres need to do is the Hunter Pence trade from the Astros to the Phillies. The Phillies had an abundance of young prospects, and the Astros were in a situation similar to that of the Padres. The Astros got Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singelton, and Josh Zeid for Pence, cash, and a PTBNL. Headley might not carry the same value that Pence did at the time, but I’m sure that the Padres could get a similar deal to the one that the Astros got.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

After the San Diego Padres looked promising in the early months of 2013, the team has finally come back down to Earth.

The team looked like it might contend for an NL West title – or a Wild Card about 45 games into the season, but from then on, the season went downhill.

In this feature, I’ll discuss at what the team could look like next year if Chase Headley and Edinson Volquez wind up elsewhere.

This year, Chase Headley has not been anywhere close to what he was in 2012.

Last season, the Padres third baseman was a legitimate MVP candidate, driving in 115 runs (Led NL – and had 73 after the ALL – Star Game) and hitting 31 HR.

This season, he started off on the DL and came back to hit only 8 HRs with 33 RBI while only hitting .238. This performance is a far cry from 2012.

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MLB Player Profile: Mariners Pitcher Erasmo Ramirez

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Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Erasmo Ramirez has a career 3.92 FIP in 69 MLB innings pitched.

Erasmo Ramirez has a career 3.92 FIP in 69 MLB innings pitched.  While he was putting together a decent campaign during the 2012 year (with a WHIP of 1.00 – and an ERA of 3.36).  The 2013 has not been as kind – with an ERA of 8.71, based on his 2 Game Starts this season, despite yielding a 1 – 0 record thus far.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

Aside from Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, the 2013 Seattle Mariners starting rotation has been far from consistent.

Fortunately for them, Erasmo Ramirez, who has just been recalled, should be able to provide quality innings for a team that is definitely in need of pitching.

Ramirez, 23, has already had ten career MLB starts but elbow soreness at the start of this season has prevented him from really taking off in the Majors.

With his outstanding control and four impressive pitches, Ramirez should turn into a valuable middle of the rotation arm for Seattle in years to come.

Erasmo Ramirez Spotlight 5-28

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Should The Pirates Make A Deal? Huntington Should At Least Pick Up A Reliever!

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Wednesday, July.24/2013

The trading deadline has been an exciting time of year for Pittsburgh Pirates fans the past two seasons and this year looks to be bordering on an extravaganza for the city, as the Bucs will be hosting the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals for a five-game series as the deadline approaches and passes. Although GM Neal Huntington will likely be active, the sound advice might be to hold onto prospects, do not mortgage the future and go with what got you a couple games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central and for the best record in all of MLB.

The trading deadline has been an exciting time of year for Pittsburgh Pirates fans the past two seasons and this year looks to be bordering on an extravaganza for the city, as the Bucs will be hosting the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals for a five-game series as the deadline approaches and passes. Although GM Neal Huntington will likely be active, the sound advice might be to hold onto prospects, do not mortgage the future and go with what got you a couple games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central and for the best record in all of MLB.

By Brad Cuprik (Pirates Correspondent)

If you read the newspapers in Pittsburgh or listen to talk show radio, the expectation is that Huntington is going to make a significant deal to upgrade the Pirates’ hitting, outfield, bullpen, and even starting pitching.

Realizing that baseball in October is a lot different than baseball in May, June and July, if the Bucs needed upgrades in all those areas, how are they winning about 60 percent of their games so far?

The Pirates have posted one of the best records in baseball so far in 2013.

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Top Five Marlins Storylines To Watch In The Second Half

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Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Jose Fernandez has a 0.60 HR/9 in 2013, which is first among all qualified rookie starters.

Jose Fernandez has a 0.60 HR/9 in 2013, which is first among all qualified rookie starters.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

Believe it or not, the Marlins are going to be one of, if not the most interesting rebuilding team in the Majors during the second half of the 2013 regular season.

From the performances of their inconsistent young pitchers (Jacob Turner and Nate Eovaldi) to the record shattering rookie season of their young ace Jose Fernandez, this Marlins team truly has it all.

The Marlins could potentially make a franchise altering trade before the deadline or stand pat and surprise some possible trade suitors.

With the young, talented outfielders that are in the Majors or on the way, the Marlins seem destined to score more runs in the second half of the season and overall play much better baseball.

Here are the top five storylines to watch on this Marlins team in the second half of the 2013 regular season. 

Jacob Turner Prospect Video, Miami Marlins

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Felix Hernandez To Represent The Mariners In The 2013 All-Star Game

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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

KIng Felix is one of the main reason  experts now pay more attention to Pitcher's peripheral stats to decipher whether or not he is 'CY Young Worthy' based on his 2009 AL Cy Young Award Winning Season.  Despite  13 - 12 record, he lugged 249.2 IP, carried an ERA of 2.27 in the AL - and a WHIP of 1.057.  The 9 year veteran will be in New York City tonight for the ALL - Star Game.

KIng Felix is one of the main reason experts now pay more attention to Pitcher’s peripheral stats to decipher whether or not he is ‘CY Young Worthy’ based on his 2009 AL Cy Young Award Winning Season. Despite a 13 – 12 record, he lugged 249.2 IP, carried an ERA of 2.27 in the AL – and a WHIP of 1.057.  His 13 Wins were the fewest wins ever by a Cy Young Winner.  The 9 year veteran will be in New York City tonight for the ALL – Star Game.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

The young Mariners roster has a lot of talented, exciting players competing at an All-Star type level at the moment, but almost all of those players haven’t been this way for long enough to be considered for the All-Star Game.

Felix Hernandez, 27, has been the same pitcher in 2013 that Mariners fans have loved watching over the past nine years. His 4.2 WAR and 138.2 outstanding innings pitched are numbers that can rival practically any pitcher in the game today

. For this reason, Felix Hernandez will be the Mariners lone representative, heading to his fourth All-Star Game.

SEA@HOU: Felix fans nine en route to 100th career win

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Yasmani Grandal: Out For The 2013 Season

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Monday July 16th, 2013

Yasmani Grandal has been a big disappointment for the San Diego Padres. He was suspended for PED use in 2012 and was injured in 2013.

Yasmani Grandal has been a big disappointment for the San Diego Padres. He was suspended for PED use in 2012 and was injured in 2013.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

When the San Diego Padres traded Mat Latos for Yasmani Grandal (among others), the team was hoping they would get a lot more out of him than they currently are. Grandal was suspended for PED use, and has only played in 28 games this year.

Unfortunately he will not play any more games in 2013 due to an injury to his ACL and MCL. In this piece, I will talk about the possible impact that Grandal’s departure has on the Padres.

When the Padres traded for him, they were hoping to get an everyday catcher with production down the road similar to that of Yadier Molina or Buster Posey. So far, it looks like that is very wishful thinking. Grandal is 24 years old.

In his two-year career, he has played in just 88 games. In a few years, the best-case scenario is the Padres looking back on this as a slow start. But for now, it hurts.

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Top Five MLB All Star Game Snubs (AL + NL)

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Tuesday July 9th, 2013

asg

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Every year there are a number of deserving guys who initially get snubbed out of the All Star Game.

For whatever reason, they just did not get picked. In this piece, I will cover the top five guys from each league that should have made the roster.

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Miami Marlins Trade Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers

If you want to listen to the audio podcast we did for our Monthly 30 Team Rankings, we have the links below to download or just listen

Triple Play Podcast Ep #15 Monthly Rankings For All 30 Teams

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Monday, July 8th, 2013

Ricky Nolasco had been in the Miami organization since the Marlins traded Juan Pierre to the Cubs for him and others in 2005.

Ricky Nolasco had been in the Miami organization since the Marlins traded Juan Pierre to the Cubs for him and others in 2005.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):  

On Saturday afternoon, the Marlins made a move they have actively been trying to make for quite some time. Miami finally was able to trade 30-year-old starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, sitting at third place in the N.L. West at 41-45, surrendered three pitching prospects to acquire him; two relievers and one highly touted starter in High Class A.

The move makes sense for the Dodgers because they need an innings-eater like Nolasco and he has always been very successful in the N.L. West.

The Marlins dump part of a huge contract and acquire a few interesting prospects. Considering that a move like this was inevitable for the Marlins, they didn’t do all that bad.

Angel Sanchez Prospect Video, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Top Five MLB Holds Leaders In 2013

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Tuesday June 25th, 2013

mound

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Depending on the year, we can usually say if it is pitcher-dominant or hitter-dominant. This year, it is very hard to say. One could make the case that the MLB is being dominated by hitters with Miguel Cabrera tallying over 70 RBI before July.

That argument could be helped by the facts that Cole Hamels already has 11 losses and Justin Verlander has a high three ERA. Either way, the season will still go on and pitchers and hitters will still record their statistics.

One statistic that is not looked at or talked about much is the hold. A hold is given when a reliever enters in a save situation, records an out, and leaves the game without having given up the lead, but also does not get a save.

Usually the guys that get the most holds are setup men. In this piece, I’ll take a look at the top five (with a bonus!) holds leaders for the year.

Mitchell Boggs (2012 Holds Leader in some lighter days)

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Mariners 2B Nick Franklin Has Been Nothing But Amazing In The Majors

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Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Nick+Franklin+Oakland+Athletics+v+Seattle+6ZjBf0B51apx

Nick Franklin’s 140 wRC+ is second among MLB second basemen with at least 100 plate appearances.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

Lost among the outstanding debuts MLB rookies like Yasiel Puig and Gerrit Cole has been the terrific play of the Mariners new second baseman Nick Franklin. Franklin has hit for power, played nearly flawless defense, and he’s demonstrated

his fantastic plate discipline. However, most of the baseball world has seemingly looked past what Franklin has done for the Mariners. It’s been quite a while since a shortstop comparable to Franklin has been promoted to the Majors and excelled right away.

Here’s a glance at what Franklin has done for the Mariners, what kind of a player he’ll be in the future, and what role he plays in the Mariners future.

Nick Franklin Prospect Video

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San Diego Padres: Within Striking Distance

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Tuesday June 18th, 2013

Within the first 12 games of the MLB season, the baseball world, after watching the San Diego Padres struggle, knew the team was headed for yet another rough year. This still might be the case. But, currently, the Padres sit just one game back from the top of the National League West standings. The team carries a 36-34 record—a record that many would deem impossible to achieve after watching the team start off 2-10.  Bud Black has seen his time ascend to near the top of the NL West by going 34 - 24 in their last 58 games played

Within the first 12 games of the MLB season, the baseball world, after watching the San Diego Padres struggle, knew the team was headed for yet another rough year. This still might be the case. But, currently, the club sits just one game back from the top of the National League West standings. The team carries a 36 -34 record —a record that many would deem impossible to achieve after watching the team start off 2-10. Bud Black has seen his time ascend to near the top of the NL West by going 34 – 24 in their last 58 games played.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The NL West is not exactly living up to expectations, though. The Dodgers are having a disaster year with Matt Kemp, the team’s superstar, spending time on the DL. Hanley Ramirez, whom the Dodgers acquired last season to provide offense, has spent all but a few games on the DL. Carl Crawford, who the Dodgers expected to be healthy this year, has also caught the injury bug. 

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The Top Five Things To Watch On The Mariners Before The All-Star Break

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Monday, June 17th, 2013

Will Tom Wilhelmsen be the Mariners closer by the time the 2013 All-Star break rolls around?

Will Tom Wilhelmsen be the Mariners closer by the time the 2013 All-Star break rolls around?

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

While they might not be a very successful baseball team, the Mariners are definitely a very attention-grabbing baseball team. From top prospects aligning in the Majors, to a nasty closer dilemma, the 2013 Mariners have numerous storylines swirling around.

This year’s Mariners ballclub will be intriguing over the next month or so, even though they might not be a winning baseball team. Here are the top five things to watch for on the Mariners before the All-Star Break.

Mike Zunino, C Seattle Mariners Professional Debut

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The Future of the Miami Marlins Outfield

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Sunday, June 16th, 2013

 

Double-A OutfielderJake Marisnick could be the next top prospect to see playing time in Miami this year.

Double-A OutfielderJake Marisnick could be the next top prospect to see playing time in Miami this year.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

The Miami Marlins are probably going to have one of the best outfields in the National League in a matter of years. Whether or not one of the best young power hitters in the league, Giancarlo Stanton, will still be in Miami remains to be seen.

Nonetheless, with young superstars like Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick on the verge of breaking into the Majors this season, it won’t be long before Miami has a star studded group of outfielders patrolling the green at Marlins Park. Here are a couple of quick notes on players that will have an impact on the future Marlins outfield.

Jake Marisnick, of, Miami Marlins

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Why Is He Hitting Second? – The MLB Has Had A Changing Of What The 2 Hitters Role Is

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Tuesday June 4th, 2013

 Bautista, hitting second for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, is hitting .268 with 12 HR and 29 RBI.These are not exactly the numbers that a person expects to come out of the two-hole hitter. In a lineup, the two-hitter should have some pop and should be able to drive in runs, but is really supposed to get on base. The team is really sacrificing him some RBI chances.  Why not flip him to the  3rd spot, move EE to 4th with - and put a hot - hitting Lind (.323/.410/.937) in the 2 hole?

Bautista, hitting second for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, is hitting .268 with 12 HR and 29 RBI.These are not exactly the numbers that a person expects to come out of the two-hole hitter. In a lineup, the two-hitter should have some pop and should be able to drive in runs, but is really supposed to just get on base. The team is really sacrificing him some RBI chances. Why not flip him to the 3rd spot, move EE to 4th with – and put a hot – hitting Lind (.323/.410/.937) in the 2 hole?

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Why is [insert name of team’s best hitter] in the two-hole?—a question many confused fans are asking about their team’s lineup. It is interesting. A few teams—the Yankees for some time, the Blue Jays, the Twins, and the Angels are slotting a player who people would normally see in the three-hole as the number two hitter. I’ll take a look at the Blue Jays first.

One can make the case that Jose Bautista is the best hitter on the Toronto Blue Jays. Edwin Encarnacion had a great year last year and is staying on that pace, but ‘JoeyBats’ has been consistent for the past few years.

The two-hitter should mostly make contact and move runners over if needed.  Them also being Left-Handed enhances the chance to hit one through the hole created by the First Baseman holding on the Leadoff hitter –  if on base.

He also needs some speed. Bautista definitely has the pop part, but you will not see him lay down a bunt to get the leadoff guy over. I know the Blue Jays are struggling, but should he really be hitting in the two-hole?

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Five Players The Mariners Could Target In The Upcoming MLB Draft

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Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

D.J. Peterson, a potential Mariners first round selection, is hitting .410 with 18 HR for the University of New Mexico.

D.J. Peterson, a potential Mariners first round selection, is hitting .410 with 18 HR for the University of New Mexico.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

With the #12 pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, the Seattle Mariners will have numerous future superstars to choose from.

 Whether they decide to go the route of a talented but raw high school athlete or a tested and experienced college player, General Manager Jack Zdurencik will be making a decision that could save his job. J.P. Crawford and Austin Meadows are two very athletic high school players that the Mariners could target.

Or, they could choose to go the route of D.J. Peterson, Hunter Renfroe, or Ryne Stanek, three experienced college players. No matter what route they decide to take, this pick is going to be extremely important for the future of the Seattle Mariners. 

MLB Draft Prospect: Hunter Renfroe

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Toronto Blue Jays: All Offense?

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Tuesday May 28th, 2013

Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays lineup, and all from the Dominican Republic. In their first year as teammates on the Blue Jays, and one of their first spring training practices, have already become a close trio. Dominican slugger Jose Bautista is missing from this photo, but is the 4th piece of this dazzling 1-4 combination.  The Jays’ offense has been a completely different story. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the two leading hitters on the team, have 11 and 13 HRs, respectively. Bautista is hitting .291 and Encarnacion is hitting .247, which is not the best, but his power makes up for it. Encarnacion has also driven in 38 runs while Bautista has driven in 27. Melky Cabrera has not been the same person as he was last year with the Giants, but he is still hitting .287.

Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays lineup, and all from the Dominican Republic Dominican slugger Jose Bautista is missing from this photo, but is the 4th piece of what was supposed to be a dazzling 1-4 combination this year. But Jose Reyes was hurt and the Jays’ offense has been a completely different story. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the two leading hitters on the team, have 11 and 13 HRs, respectively. Bautista is hitting .291 and Encarnacion is hitting .247, which is not the best, but his power makes up for it. EE has also driven in 38 runs while Bautista has driven in 27. Melky Cabrera has not been the same person as he was last year with the Giants, but he is still hitting a respectbale .287.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

When Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays set out last winter to improve the team, no one could have predicted what is happening currently.

Anthopoulos brought in R.A. Dickey, the reigning NL Cy Young, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle. Ricky Romero struggled in 2012, so he started the season in the minors, and Brandon Morrow remained in the rotation.

The Jays also had a tremendous hitting lineup to build on with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Brett Lawrie.

Jose Reyes arrived as part of the Marlins trade and Melky Cabrera was signed through free agency. Although the Blue Jays are saddled with being in one of the strongest divisions in baseball, they were the favorite on paper.

Over the course of a few games, all this was thrown out the window. Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes got injured, Melky Cabrera got off to a slow start, R.A. Dickey was not in his Cy Young form, and the team was not playing the way everyone had expected. Now, some could say, the Blue Jays are all offense.

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On the Alex Sanabia Spitball Controversy

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Monday, May 27th, 2013

Alex Sanabia has a 4.88 ERA and 5.85 FIP in ten starts on the season.

Alex Sanabia has a 4.88 ERA and 5.85 FIP in ten starts on the season.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

The Alex Sanabia spitball controversy has dominated the Miami baseball headlines over the last week. Video shows Sanabia clearly spitting on a ball after giving up a homer against the Phillies.

After the game, Sanabia said some hard to believe things that may come back to bite him. Sanabia has struggled all year in Miami, and he will need to pitch more like he did against the Phillies if he wants to keep his spot in the rotation when others get healthy.

After an odd, contentious outing, Alex Sanabia has become one of the most interesting players on the Marlins right now.

Marlins Pitcher Blatantly Spit on Baseball for Everyone to See

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