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MLB ALL – Star Break Report Cards – National League

The best letter grade we gave out was to the Milwaukee Brewers,  The team pole vaulted out to a fast start, and despite other clubs having a lot more talent than this bunch, young players have emerged for the Brew Crew.  Even with recent play, the other teams have had injury trouble while Milwaukee is relatively healthy.

The best letter grade we gave out was to the Milwaukee Brewers, The team pole vaulted out to a fast start, and despite other clubs having a lot more talent than this bunch, young players have emerged for the Brew Crew. Even with recent play, the other teams have had injury trouble while Milwaukee is relatively healthy.  Still with 4 clubs within 3.5 games or better in the NL Central, this should be a dogfight to the bitter end.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Division             GBL Letter Grade

NL EAST

T1.  WSH 51 – 42: – (C+)

Have dealt with a plethora of injuries to Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Adam LaRoche and Doug Fister.

Jayson Werth had a nice hot streak right before the end of the 1st half.

The team with limited flaws has just not taken off like it should.

Gio Gonzalez hasn’t found his form yet.

T1.  ATL 52 – 43: – (B-)

This team has a nice 14 – 6 stretch to end the 1st half.

When you consider the club has withstood year ending injuries to Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Gavin Floyd.

Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton are making 25% of the team payroll and are posting anemic numbers.  The older Upton has done better in the last 10 games.

Evan Gattis and Freddie Freeman have kept the team afloat, and whenever Justin Upton hits, this team wins.

A great patchwork job done by the Starting Pitchers replacements.  Aaron Harang and Alex Wood have done spade work.

Still one of the best Bullpens in the game. Read the rest of this entry

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Odds To Win The 2014 World Series Currently + Best/Worst Value Bets

I Have hammered this point to a fault, and sound like a broken record, but look at the proof.  The Cincinnati squad has reeled off 4 wins in a row, 7 out of 10, climbing within  a game of the playoff bar.  With a winning pedigree over the last several years, how are they tied for 16th only in odds to win the World Series with Boston?

I Have hammered this point to a fault, and sound like a broken record, but look at the proof. The Cincinnati squad has reeled off 4 wins in a row, 7 out of 10, and have climbed within a game of the playoff bar. With a winning pedigree over the last several years, how are they tied for 16th only in odds to win the World Series with Boston?  Give me the Redlegs any day with their 42 – 38. and a healthy team for the 1st time all year, and many ALL – Star toting the uniforms.  I nailed the odd when it was +6600, so I am definitely on the bandwagon for a hot team, that is still paying great value.  If they make poststeason, you can extensively hedge if need be with starting base that high.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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So I have finally had a sub-par week for predicting World Series Odds.  My worst selection was putting faith in the Royals, only to see them jump from +2500 – +3300, and the Red Sox plunged a +700 mark to +4000 from +3300.

It was somewhat diffused by picks for Baltimore to shoot upwards as a favorite, and I am still miffed at the Reds receiving no love at all.

Cincy has won 4 in a row and 7 – 10, and are climbing heavily into the Wild Card Race with the Dodgers and Cardinals.

With how fast the Giants are coming back to LA in the NL west, it may be these three teams fighting it out for 2 berths, with the loser of the Nats/Braves division, SF, and the Bucs still right in the loop.

Right now the oldest professional baseball team is playing some great baseball, have a fully healthy squad for the first time all season, and we are talking about a club who has made the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 years.

Billy Hamilton has batting over .300 since the end of April, and now Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce are coming around, and it is only a matter of time before Joey Votto gets right.

Todd Frazier has been one of the best baseball players in the NL this campaign, and is currently tied for 3rd in NL HRs.

Devin Mesoraco is almost averaging an RBI per game, and is slugging .627 as a Catcher, with 14 HRs and 40 RBI in 47 Games Played.

Aroldis Chapman is lighting the lamp with 100 MPH. Jonathan Broxton is filthy. and the Starters are throwing the ball.

This is not the same team that started 3 – 8.  Look the hell out in the 2nd half.  Certainly they should not be tied for the 16th favorite on the odds board. Read the rest of this entry

The Cincinnati Reds Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Reds have all shown up for Spring Training, and the team seems to be in jovial spirits for the most part – except for Brandon Phillips attitude towards the media.

Maybe  is upset about the recent news of the Homer Bailey 6 YRs/$105 MIL extension.  Perhaps it grates him that Joey Votto starts his 10 YRs/$225 MIL deal in 2014.

Phillips is in the 3rd year of his 6 YRs/$72 MIL contract, he will make $48 MIL between 2014 – 2017, before he hits Free Agency in 2018.

The deal goes $11 MIL, $12 MIL, $13 MIL and $14 MIL for the next four campaigns. Read the rest of this entry

Cincinnati Reds State Of The Union: Is 2014 The Year?

The Cincinnati Reds are coming off of a heartbreaking season, losing in the one game playoff to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They finished third in the National League Central after winning the division in 2012. Manager Dusty Baker has been fired so the search is on for the next guy to take this team to the promise land. The Reds will most likely lose Shin-Soo Choo to free agency, and put Billy Hamilton in center field for 2014. Is 2014 the year of the Reds?

The Cincinnati Reds are coming off of a heartbreaking season, losing in the one game playoff to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They finished third in the National League Central after winning the division in 2012. Manager Dusty Baker had to be fired so a new manager could take this team to the promise land. Cincys will most likely lose Shin-Soo Choo to Free Agency, and put Billy Hamilton in center field next campaign. Is 2014 the year of the Reds?

BY Ryan Ritchey (Featured Baseball Columnist): 

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For the Cincinnati Reds 2013 ended in a disappointment. The Reds won 90 games once again, finishing 3rd in the National League Central, but couldn’t get past the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card.

Right after the season the Reds manager Dusty Baker was fired. I could write a full post just on Dusty Baker and how many things he did right/wrong but I won’t get into that.

Billy Hamilton steals 4 bases in his 1st four Games

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Cincinnati Reds Payroll in 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, July.29, 2013

Joey Votto is having another good season for the Reds and he will be force in their lineup for years to come. The power numbers for him are down from years past with him only hitting 16 HRs and having 47 RBIs. However the opposition still has to respect his bat and if a pitcher makes a mistake expect him to hit the ball a long way. He has a .317/.429/.931 triple-slash in 388 at-bats this season with 20 Doubles. He is 7th in the NL with 195 Total Bases, and is also 8th with a WAR of 4.7. Votto is 1st in Times On Base in the NL at 202.

Joey Votto is having another good season for the Reds and he will be force in their lineup for years to come. The power numbers for him are down from years past with him only hitting 16 HRs and having 47 RBIs. However the opposition still has to respect his bat and if a pitcher makes a mistake expect him to hit the ball a long way. He has a .317/.429/.931 triple-slash in 388 at-bats this season with 20 Doubles. He is 7th in the NL with 195 Total Bases, and is also 8th with a WAR of 4.7. Votto is 1st in Times On Base in the NL at 202. He obliterates right-handed pitching with a .335 batting average, and handles left-handers just as good with a .286 average.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The Cincinnati Reds are playing well this season with them winning 59 games, but they are five games out of first place. The Reds are 3rd in the National League Central division behind both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St.Louis Cardinals.

Cincinnati is third in the NL with them scoring 463 runs on the season. They are great at home, and have the 2nd best home record in the NL. The problem for them is hitting away Great American Ball Park with winning just 27 games and three games under .500 on the road.

Joey Votto Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Greg Holland’s Dominating 1st Half

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Sunday, July.21/2013

Greg Holland has picked up in the 2nd half exactly where he left off in the 1st half, with back to back Saves versus the AL Central leading Tigers to start the Post ALL - Star portion of the 2013 campaign.  Holland.  The 27 Year Old from Marion. NC is 2 - 1, with a 1.70 ERA and 24 Saves in 35 IP - and a phenomenal 61 Strikeouts.

Greg Holland has picked up in the 2nd half exactly where he left off in the 1st half, with back to back Saves versus the AL Central leading Tigers to start the Post ALL – Star portion of their 2013 campaign. Holland, The 27 Year Old from Marion. NC, is 2 – 1, with a 1.70 ERA and 24 Saves in 35 IP – and a phenomenal 61 Strikeouts.  He made his 1st ALL – Star game in New York City last week, and has provided a dominant Closer for the Royals.

By Michael McGraw ( Royals Correspondent)

It seems like a distant memory now, but controversy existed in the backend of the Royals bullpen during the first week of the 2013 season.  

Greg Holland, the incumbent at the closer position, had a shaky first couple of appearances and some were anxious to have set-up man Kelvin Herrera take over the reins.  

Herrera, the hard-throwing 23-year old, led the American League in 2012 in average speed per-pitch, according to PitchFX, at 97.4 MPH.  

Herrera complicated the situation by gathering two early saves, striking out all four outs he recorded in those saves.

Greg Holland Highlights – Mature Lyrics – So Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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Sean Marshall Injury: Has It Created A Chink In The Armor?

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Saturday April 13,  2013

Sean Marshall was acquired by the Reds in Dec of 2011 in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. In 74 games and 61 Innings Pitched, in 2012 he struckout 74 batters and carried a 2.51 ERA.  He is a guy good for 75-80 Appearances and a mid 2.00 ERA.  Outstanding numbers for a relief pitcher looking to lock down holds for the later inning guys.

Sean Marshall was acquired by the Reds in Dec of 2011 in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. In 74 games and 61 Innings Pitched in 2012 – he Struckout 74 batters and carried a 2.51 ERA. He is a guy good for 75-80 Appearances – and a mid 2.00 ERA. Outstanding numbers for a Relief Pitcher looking to lock down holds for the later Inning guys.  The Reds are happy that they have Chapman back in the Bullpen to solidify the Relief Core – plus shorten games,  but who will take over in the 7th Inning Role while the LHP is out?

By Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent):

Injuries, as we know are part of the game. Every team will have to overcome them, some more than others. In Cincinnati, the Reds are already dealing with their second key injury.

Left Fielder, Ryan Ludwick went down on Opening Day after doing his best Pete Rose impression into Third Base, resulting in a torn labrum. He won’t be back anytime soon.

Now, Reliever Sean Marshall is on the mend, placed on the 15 Day Disabled List  this past Wednesday with shoulder tendonitis.

Sean Marshall Interviewed after the Trade to the Reds Last Year:

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Reds Organizational Depth Chart, Rosters And 2013 Payroll Part 1 (Majors And Minors)

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Tuesday, Mar.26/2013

The core is as solid as ever and they could potentially add Stolen Base Threat Billy Hamilton to the arsenal of attack next year.  The Reds will be a fast, entertaining team with lots of power from both hitting and defense.

The core is as solid as ever and they could potentially add Stolen Base Threat Billy Hamilton to the arsenal of attack this year. The Reds will be a fast, entertaining team with lots of power from both hitting and defense.  The Reds feature a payroll that will range between $103 – 110 Million Dollars in 2013.  Other than Bronson Arroyo and Shin-Soo Choo, the whole team should be back again in 2014.  Will the fans continue to come in droves to the Great American Ball Park?  With 2 division crowns in the last 3 years, it seems likely.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB – visit his website  here 

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams.

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Reds Organization click here

2012 Reds Clinch The Division:

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Reds Are Going To Make The Rest Of The NL Bleed Red

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Tuesday, March.26/2013

In his 1st half season during last year, Joey Votto clubbed for a 3 Slash Line of ..348/.471/1.124 with 35 Doubles, 14 HRs and 48 RBI.  He was the leading candidate to pull in his 2nd NL MVP Award.  Once he returned from injury, he was not the same - only plating 8 RBI and HRs in the last 28 games he played in

In his 1st half season during last year, Joey Votto clubbed for a 3 Slash Line of .348/.471/1.124 with 35 Doubles, 14 HRs and 48 RBI. He was the leading candidate to pull in his 2nd NL MVP Award. Once he returned from injury, he was not the same – only plating 8 RBI and HRs in the last 28 games he played in.  The Canadian still led the NL in OBP for the 3rd straight season.  He also led the NL In Walks despite missing 51 games.  Votto has a Career 3 Slash Line of .316/.415/.968.  He is signed through the 2024 year in a 13 YR/.$263 MIL deal.

MLB Reports:  Welcome to our newest Kids writer  Jason Alpert-Wisnia – for being selected to join our MLB Reports Kids Writing team.  We are pleased to present the readers with a youthful look to the game of baseball.  Moms and Dad’s – if you have a young kid who loves baseball and wants to write about the game, please email us at mlbreports@gmail.com.  We will be selecting three more kid writers for our website this year. 

By Jason Alpert-Wisnia  (AKA “JAWS”): (MLB Reports Kids Writer – visit his website here )

The Cincinnati Reds last season had a 97 Wins and 65 Losses Team Record, scoring them 1st place in the NL Central last season. The team could have made it even farther in the Postseason, maybe even beating the Giants and becoming the NL representatives, BUT, they missed their chance in losing 3 straight tries to eliminate the club from the BAY after taking a commanding 2 – 0 lead in the Series.

During the year Joey Votto injured his knee and was out for a while along with the manager Dusty Baker having a stroke, and you have to wonder about these two incidents not factoring in them feeling less than 100% heading into the Playoffs. 

You throw in Johnny Cueto‘s injury moving up all of the depth on the Starting Pitching versus the Giants in the 2012, and you can see that things spiraled downward.

Joey Votto Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Kansas City Royals Payroll in 2013 – And Contracts Going Forward

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Tuesday, March.05, 2013

There should be a lot more smiles and high-fives for the Royals in 2013 as they are continue to improve around their core of talented players. Will 2013 finally be the year the Royals make their long overdue return to the playoffs?]

There should be a lot more smiles and high-fives for the Royals in 2013 as they are continue to improve around their core of talented players. Will 2013 finally be the year the Royals make their long overdue return to the playoffs.  They are amongst three teams who have not made the playoffs since the 1994 Lockout (TOR (1993) and PIT – (1992)) and they hold the longest streak of not making an entrance into the Post Season.  KC last made the playoffs in 1985 – when they won their 1st and only World Series.

By Michael McGraw ( Royals Correspondent)

With the Royals finishing the 2012 season with a 72-90 record, the eighth year out of the past nine in which the team finished with at least 90 losses, General Manager Dayton Moore spent the winter focusing on acquiring durable pitching to strengthen the rotation in the short-term, including a controversial trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that reads like a law firm transaction:  Myers, Montgomery, Leonard, & Odorizzi for Shields, Davis, & Johnson.

Although the merits of the deal can be debated, as it cost the Royals one of baseball’s top prospects in Wil Myers, the Royals hope that a rotation now featuring three veterans arms, a young, powerful, and strong Bullpen, and the hopeful continued growth of the team’s young hitters can lead the organization to its first playoff appearance since its World Series Championship in 1985.

As Spring Training has progressed into Cactus League action, the Royals opening day roster appears to be predominantly solidified with the exception of one relief spot, backup Catcher and Second Base.

KC Royals 2012 Highlights and Past Photos:

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New York Yankees Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Fwd Updated Mar.4/2013

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Monday, March.04/2013

You are looking at the #1 and #2 Hits Leaders of ALL-Time for Active Professional Hitters in the World. Having them hit 1-2 in the lineup only makes sense. You might as well have them both retire at the same timeJeter is signed for one more year at 17 Million Dollars plus a player option ($8 MIL) for 2014. The Yankees signed Ichiro to a 2 year deal worth $13 MIL this past winter.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am not like a lot of people thinking that there should be a full-scale blow-up of the Yankees current roster this year (past that I am acknowledging this will happen.)  They are old and 2013 will not make them younger.  However, there are some small tweaks that the team could do in order to make the payroll make sense.  1st priority was to sign Ichiro Suzuki.

The Japanese Superstar was not  and Yankees obliged to let him play RF in New York.  Adios to outgoing Nick Swisher.  He was much too pricey and Yankee fans have to be sick at his lack of production in his playoff career.  Swisher commanded a nice 4 or 5 year deal in the 56 – 70 Million Dollar Range from the Indians –  and was not a fit into the Yankees current payroll structure.

The Yankees were initially looking to spend just a little over 178  Million Dollars in 2013, but that didn’t happen.  At a 40% penalty (for every dollar spent over the 178 Million Mark)  for abusing the Luxury Tax Threshold, the team will need to have made financial considerations in moving forward each time they sign another new player.  Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are on the last year of their contracts.  Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A-Rod still have multiple years left in their contracts. 

I would immediately move Alex Rodriguez to a permanent DH (when he returns to the lineup) –  and play Kevin Youkilis at 3B for all of 2013.

To the Readers on our Payroll Breakdowns:   Keep in mind these are all just estimates as we are all not forensic payroll accountants.  For a better look at how Payrolls work in the MLB please check out this article here.

Derek Jeter Highlights:

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The New York Yankees Hitting Roster In 2013: State Of The Union Part 1

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Wednesday, February.13, 2013

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921.  That is 40 Appearances in  91 years.  They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span.  As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore.  Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921. That is 40 Appearances in 91 years. They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span. As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore. Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The Yankees had a precarious winter after failing miserably in the ALCS, (AKA the last time the country saw them play on Television) – when the team was decimated by the Detroit Tigers in a sweep.  So what has happened since?  A lot of status quo:  Re-signing Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda, while saying good-bye to Raul Ibanez (SEA), Andruw Jones (FA), Nick Swisher (CLE), Eric Chavez (ARI), Russell Martin (PIT), Derek Lowe (FA), Steve Pearce (BAL), Casey McGehee (FA), Freddy Garcia (FA) and Rafael Soriano (WSH).  All they really added back was former arch-nemesis Kevin Youkilis (CWS) and Travis Hafner (CLE).  The team is sitting around 215 Million Dollars at Payroll right now, yet they have are heading into the 2013 campaign with Catchers that are of limited experience. 

For the first time in years, the club will need to see some internal progress from their farm system to help the big club.  With A-ROD out with his hip injury, plus the Miami fiasco, can you really count on the prima-donna to play at all this season?  Derek Jeter is coming off a brutal ankle injury that occurred in the aforementioned Post Season Series vs the Tigers .  The club is also hoping that ‘MO’ Rivera can find it within himself to make it through another year as a 43 Year Old.  Just like The ALL-Time Saves Leader, this team is aging fast.  Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are Free Agents after 2013 is over.  Brian Cashman is also going to take advantage of the reset option f the Luxury Tax loophole in 2014.

This means that when the Luxury Tax goes from 178 Million to 189 Million next year, that the club can stop paying its 40% annual penalty if they can get under for just one season.  The Yankees will be sure to blow up the Payroll from 2015 and beyond that, it is just to not start the new luxury lax at the maximum penalty.  Had the Luxury Tax not moved from its current spot, the Yankees would always pay the 40% penalty (even if they decided to skip one year).

Yankees Highlights 2012:  Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Aroldis Chapman – Starter Or Closer: Perhaps 2013 Will Solve The Answer?

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Thursday, February.07,  2013

Chapman was filthy dominant in the 2012 season, with a 1.51 ERA, WHIP of 0.809 and 38 Saves as the teams closer.  He made the ALL-Star Team, finished 8th in NL Cy Young Voting and 12th in NL MVP Voting.  Will moving him to starter be a mistake?

Chapman was filthy dominant in the 2012 season, with a 1.51 ERA, WHIP of 0.809 and 38 Saves as the teams closer. He made the ALL-Star Team, finished 8th in NL Cy Young Voting and 12th in NL MVP Voting. Will moving him to starter be a mistake?

By Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent):

The biggest question from Reds fans this offseason has been if the move from the bullpen to the rotation is the best move for Reds pitcher, Aroldis Chapman and the team. Why fix what isn’t broken? Does he have enough pitches? Can he pitch enough innings?….the answer to these and all of the questions you can think of is pretty simple; we’ll find out.

This plan wasn’t something the Reds came up with overnight, when he was signed to a 6 year $30 Million deal in 2010 it wasn’t to close ballgames. It was to eventually be a member of the rotation. In 2010, the rotation consisted of Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, and Homer Bailey. Out are Harang and Volquez, in are Mat Latos and Mike Leake, who looks to be the odd man out in 2013 for Chapman. In his final season for his Cuban team, Chapman pitched 118 Innings as a Starting Pitcher, which won’t nearly be enough for the Major Leagues. The only taste of Chapman as starter against at least some semblance of Major League hitters came last year in Spring Training before closer Ryan Madson suffered a season-ending elbow injury. Chapman went 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, striking out 17 in 18 Innings, walking only 2.

Aroldis Chapman – Fastest Pitcher ever recorded at 107 MPH:

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Kansas City Royals Roster in 2013: State Of The Union

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Friday, January, 11/2013

[There should be a lot more smiles and high-fives for the Royals in 2013 as they are continue to improve around their core of talented players. Will 2013 finally be the year the Royals make their long overdue return to the playoffs?]

There should be a lot more smiles and high-fives for the Royals in 2013 as they are continue to improve around their core of talented players. Will 2013 finally be the year the Royals make their long overdue return to the playoffs?

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): 

The Kansas City Royals have been notorious bottom dwellers of the American League Central for years now. Their last and only World Series title came in 1985, and since then they haven’t even made a playoff appearance. After the ’93 season – the Royals moved from the AL West to the AL Central, and have only finished with 80 or more wins once.

The 2013 Royals shouldn’t let this dismal past hold them back though. The 2013 Royals should be better than the 2012 team which finished a somewhat respectable 3rd in their division, and the team of 2013 has the potential to be the best team the Royals have had in the past 20 years. There are a lot of variables that could make or break this Royals season, so you might not want to mark them down for a World Series appearance just yet, but making the playoffs with a winnable Central Division, and two wild card spots up for grabs might be within Kansas City’s reach.

2012 Kansas City Royals Highlights and Pictures

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Cincinnati Reds Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Friday, January.04,  2013

The core is as solid as ever and they could potentially add Stolen Base Threat Billy Hamilton to the arsenal of attack next year.  The Reds will be a fast, entertaining team with lots of power from both hitting and defense.

The core is as solid as ever and they could potentially attack next year with more speed with some recent trades and Draft Picks. The Reds will be a fast, entertaining team with lots of power from both hitting and defense.

Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent):

97 wins. NL Central Championship. Knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual World Series Champion, San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. That’s the story of the 2012 Cincinnati Reds. Everything that was going so great in the summer of 2012 ended abruptly, leaving many people scratching their heads wondering what went wrong? How did this team, who went 2-0 in San Francisco in the NLDS, come home and lose 3 straight at Great American Ballpark? Having nobody on base when Joey Votto came to the plate didn’t help, but that was only part of the story. Lack of clutch hitting was another problem. You could point fingers at skipper Dusty Baker as well, who did not manage with the sense of urgency that San Francisco’s skipper Bruce Bochy did. Either way, it was a team effort to get where they got, and a team effort on why they didn’t get to where they wanted to be.

Cincinnati Reds:  Fan-Made 2012 NL Central Champions Video:

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Broxton, Marshall and Chapman: Modern Day Nasty Boys?

Sunday, December.9, 2012

a  a nasty boys

Matt Steinmann (Guest Baseball Writer and Reds Correspondent):

The resigning of Jonathan Broxton is an interesting one for the Reds. The feeling is that this paves the way for Aroldis Chapman to head to the rotation. It could also just be securing the back end of a dominant bullpen from this past season that many have compared to the 1990 Nasty Boys. The Reds haven’t said for sure, which isn’t surprising considering how close-to-the-vest they operate. Like last season, Chapman will likely go into Spring Training as a starter, and the team will go from there.

 The 1990 Nasty Boys were a dominant force. If the Reds had the lead after 6 innings, the trio of Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble, and Randy Myers could strike fear into even the best of hitters and close the door almost at will. Charlton struck out 117 batters in 154.1 innings (6.8 per 9 Innings). He also had 16 starts, an ERA of 2.74, and 2 saves. Dibble’s sparkling ERA of 1.74 and WHIP of 0.980 stands out among the trio. He saved 11 games as well, threw 98 Innings, striking out 136 batters (12.5 per 9 Innings). Randy Myers was the man to close the door. The hard throwing lefty converted 31 saves in 1990, had an ERA of 2.08, and struck out 98 batters in 86.2 Innings (11.3 per 9 Innings). Read the rest of this entry

What 2012 Really Meant to the St. Louis Cardinals

Thursday November 1st, 2012

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was. 2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer)

The St. Louis Cardinals came into 2012 as the defending World Series Champions.  In 2011 they just eked their way into the post season on the final day of the regular season when they defeated the Houston Astros and the Braves, who were tied for the wild card spot with St. Louis, ended up losing to the Phillies in extra innings.  Coming into the 2011 postseason, the Cardinals were huge underdogs.  That didn’t stop them from going for what they wanted: to win it all.

While most analysts amongst the sport would not have guessed St. Louis would even make it to the World Series, yet alone win it, the Red Birds emerged to show their true colors.  The current team that the city of St. Louis has assembled and gets to watch for 81 games a year is, undoubtedly, a team that plays on all cylinders and the highest octane fuel.  They play with the intensity of a little league team that wants nothing more than the coach to bring them out for ice cream when they win. Watching the Cardinals brand of baseball is to watch baseball again as a game, and not just as a competition played by millionaire athletes with tremendous talent.

Watching the scrappiness of St. Louis native David Freese in the 2011 playoffs is the perfect example.  His David Eckstein-like approach to the game reminds us all of one of our teammates back in middle school.  The one at the sandlot that always slid hard, tried to steal home, and complained when the rest of us wanted to go home because “it was getting dark”.  In 2011, David Freese and his 39 teammates played baseball together as a true team and sent Tony LaRussa home with a World Series title in his final year managing.  Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB Trades And Deadline Deals Revisited for Contenders: Who Won and Lost

Friday, October.26/2012

Ichiro Suzuki played the best baseball he has in the last 2 years with the Yankees. It would be a wise move to re-sign the guy for at least the next season. In my opinion, they should have Jeter and Suzuki linked together on the club until they retire.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I love the new era of baseball.  One thing the 2nd Wild Card team enabled this year was a flurry of transactions right near the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, plus we even saw a bunch of trades between Aug.01-31 as well.  I am not going to breakdown the trades for who went the other way (unless both teams were in contention) since we have a dedicated page for that here.  What I am going to do is see who made out well with their new player.  I will tell you right  now that the hands down winner was the San Francisco Giants for picking up Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence.  Marco Scutaro hit .362 for the Giants and smacked 90 hits in 61 games.  He has parlayed another 19 hits in 59 AB during the playoffs (.322).

I am going to be writing a series of payroll breakdowns for each MLB team in the offseason.  I have already compiled reports for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals.  These reports can be found in my author archives here.  In addition to this, I am going to write another piece on Payroll Strategy specifically geared towards making runs at trades near the deadline.  Look for those in the coming weeks.  The work never ends here, and we will have you game ready for spring training when it comes to all of the clubs. Read the rest of this entry

The 2012 Cincinnati Reds Have All The Makings Of A World Series Champion

Monday September 17th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: The Reds look primed to win the World Series. This year. They have all the making of one of those rare seasons. Young guys have stepped up greatly, veterans are producing, and they sit on an 11 game lead in the N.L Central.

Can they win the World Series?

They have a good chance. With that being said, they aren’t merely the clear-cut favorites. That honor goes to the Nationals in the National League or the Rangers in the American League. But outside of those two clubs, it’s anyone’s best guess as to who will win the pennant in each league. Meaning the Reds would likely be one of the multiple favorites come October. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: August 2012

Monday August.6/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- It has been a crazy month in which teams have stockpiled some heavy talent at the trade deadline to get ready for the playoffs.  Amongst the biggest gainers for the rankings this month were: the Athletics, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Dodgers (because of the deals) and Mariners while the Mets, Red Sox, Indians and Royals saw brutal months all but seal their playoff fates.  I do think that Boston has a punchers chance but that all is dependent on David Ortiz returning to the lineup swiftly.  The power of the best teams is definitely leaning to the National League right now where several teams are playing great baseball.  With one-third of the season left we are all in for a treat as baseball fans.

I will have one more regular season Power Rankings month of September (to be posted on Labor Day Weekend,)  before I also provide a playoff style ranking of the 1-10 seeds right before the Wild Card Teams play the play in game.  It certainly has been awesome to follow how the trade deadline has effected the Monthly Rankings this time around.  I think it is safe to say that this years deadline provided more interest and following-from even the casual fan more than any other year before.  I also believe that the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is now the best Trade Deadline in all of sports.  Social Media has a lot to do with this but so does parity.  The 2nd Wild Card spot has also created more teams willing to trade prospects in lieu of going for it. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Trade Deadline: Fantasy Baseball Targets

Wednesday July 18th, 2012

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports):  

The upcoming trade deadline has the potential to sway the course of a fantasy season, especially in AL and NL only leagues. While the big trades are just over a week away from formulating, now is the time to make decisions instead of trying to react after the deadline. As many sub-.500 teams will be looking to deal their end of the game bullpen options to contenders, these are the players to stash away immediately:


Greg Holland, since returning form an injury in early May, has a 1.75 ERA and 36 K’s in 25.2 innings. Remember, coming into the season, he was by and large considered the favorite end of the game option before struggling and dealing with injury. Now, the reality is that Broxton will likely be traded at the deadline. He is at peak value, with a 2.14 ER and 22 saves in 26 opportunities. However, with a 23/14 K:B ratio in 33.2 innings, he is clearly not as dominate as the 2009 version of Broxton and is due for some regression. The Royals will almost certainly deal Broxton to a contender, and as a result might have to assume setup duty behind another closer. Meanwhile, Holland is more than ready to take over the save opportunities for the final two months of the season. Read the rest of this entry

Top MLB Saves Leaders At the All-Star Break

Sunday July 8, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Writer): The All-Star Break is now upon us, so now is a good time to start looking at stats for the first half of the season. One of the most important statistics in the game of baseball is the “save,” and the mammoth contracts that relievers are signed to every year in free agency are proof that teams are hungry for a strong closer capable of providing saves. In fact, a third of the league’s closers are making at least $4.5 million in 2012, while eight are raking it at least $7 million. This does not include the huge salaries of Ryan Madson ($8.5 million), Mariano Rivera ($15 million), Brian Wilson ($8.5 million) or any other that may have been injured or otherwise removed from their role as closer. But salary does not always equal success: six of the top eleven saves leaders are earning less than $2.75 million (keep in mind that the MLB average is just about $3 million). This top eleven, all of whom have recorded 19 saves or more, is not as predictable as you might think: Heath Bell of the Marlins serves as a surprise member of the list while his NL East counterpart Jonathan Papelbon, while more consistent in terms of ERA and opportunities converted, falls just shy. So who else is on the list? You’ll have to read on to find out. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Closer Report: Where Does Your Team Stand?

Sunday May 6, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): Seeing Mariano Rivera go down with a torn ACL is like driving by a car accident and reflecting on how easily it could have been you in that accident, or in this case- how it could have been your team’s closer cringing in pain on the warning track. And this is the year of the injured closer: from Boston’s Andrew Bailey to San Francisco’s Brian Wilson, closers across the league have been dropping like flies. Other closers, like the Angels’ Jordan Walden, have stayed healthy but haven’t played well enough to keep their coveted ninth inning role. Even though there has only been a month of baseball so far, much has changed for some clubs.

Today, I’ll be taking a look at every team’s closer situation, and breaking down how it got to be the way it is: Read the rest of this entry

Crow and Broxton Will Save the Royals Bullpen and the Rotation Starts to Take Form

Monday April 16th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey:  As I mentioned in my article a couple of weeks ago, Joakim Soria has gone down with Tommy John Surgery and will be out for the rest of the 2012 season. Now the Royals are playing closer by committee until they find a solid candidate to fill the position for the rest of the year. In my opinion the Royals are not going to contend in the AL Central, so they can give some of their young talent a chance to close.

The best pitcher in the bullpen for the Royals in my eyes is Aaron Crow. He is a young kid with a lot of upside and this is the season that he can get better against some of the best offenses the game has ever seen. Crow is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA but that will change as the season goes on and his arm gets stronger. His last two appearances have been great- with 2 strikeouts, no walks, no hits and a 0-0 record. Crow has recorded one save this season as part of the closer by committee. Read the rest of this entry

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