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Top 5 Home Run Hitters In MLB For 2014: AL/NL, HR Streaks + Multi HR Games

Mark Trumbo has homered in 4 straight games, which is halfway to the ALL - Time Record held by Don Mattingly, Ken Griffey JR and Dale Long.  Mattingly owns the aggregate total of 10 HRs hit for those 8 games.  Despite his efforts, the D'Backs enter today's game at 2 - 7.  Trumbo also leads the MLB with 5 HRs overall.

Mark Trumbo has homered in 4 straight games, which is halfway to the ALL – Time Record held by Don Mattingly, Ken Griffey JR and Dale Long. Mattingly owns the aggregate total of 10 HRs hit for those 8 games. Despite his efforts, the D’Backs enter today’s game at 2 – 7. Trumbo also leads the MLB with 5 HRs overall.  The slugger has 2 more years left of Arbitration Eligibility after the 2014, and will become a Free Agent in 2017.  He was acquired in a trade from the LA Angels that saw the D’Backs part with Starter Tyler Skaggs.  Arizona also sent OF Adam Eaton to the White Sox, and received Minor Leagues A.J. Shugel and Brandon Jacobs in the deal.  Chicago parted with Hector Santiago as well to LA.

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

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Here at the MLB Reports we look to do things different.  It is one of our many motto’s.

We simply can’t look over every stat, or even chart every HR for that matter, but I have decided that we will carry the top 5 HR hitters for each the AL and NL on a page we have dubbed Stats.

For the HR feature. we will also list multiple HR games for players… Or if they have HRs in multiple games.  Once a week we will post these on the home page for the site as a regular page post.

Kemp and Ramirez Both Hit 2 HRs 4 – 6 – 14

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HRs For 2014 So Far + HR Streaks, Multi – HR Games

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

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Here at the MLB Reports we look to do things different.  It is one of our many motto’s.

We simply can’t look over every stat, or even chart every HR for that matter, but I have decided that we will carry the top 5 HR hitters for each the AL and NL on a page we have dubbed Stats.

For the HR feature. we will also list multiple HR games for players… Or if they have HRs in multiple games.  Once a week we will post these on the home page for the site as a regular page post.

In this page, we are also going to feature in Subpages:  A Shutout Survivor for all 30 MLB Teams, meaning we will state the date a teams gets Shutout for the 1st time of the year. Read the rest of this entry

Seattle Mariners State Of The Union For 2014 Part 2 – The Hitters:

All of the baseball world in the PAC NW will want to see nothing but great production from Cano in Seattle.  He may have a great year with the new club, however the management has not armed him with many dependable offensive talents.  I fully expect the Second Baseman to hit .300/.400./.500 this season, but I think his HRs will be in the low 20's (if not teens,) and his Doubles will be high.  I am not sure he will crack 100 RBI either.  Get used to it Cano.  This is the 1st season of a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal

All of the baseball world in the PAC NW will want to see nothing but great production from Cano in Seattle. He may have a great year with the new club, however the management has not armed him with many dependable offensive talents. I fully expect the Second Baseman to hit .300/.400./.500 this season, but I think his HRs will be in the low 20′s (if not teens,) and his Doubles will be high. I am not sure he will crack 100 RBI either. Get used to it Cano. This is the 1st season of a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal.  He has a career 3 slash of .309/.355/.504, but you can bet he will be walked a ton this year as opposing teams bypass the biggest threat on Seattle’s team.

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

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I wonder what was promised to Robinson Cano once he inked that 10 YR/$240 MIL, or he was just so ecstatic about the cash he failed to ask the question.

I am just kidding.  You know I love ya Cano…and that I am a Yankees fan…and bought 20 sets of game tickets at Safeco this year – primarily because you are on the team.

Actually, the 2B stated a few weeks ago that he is not pleased with the state of the current squad.  I can’t say I blame him.

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Odds To Win The MLB 2014 World Series As Of Right Now

Yes it has taken years for the Mariners to build their Minor League Systems up, and begin to see the fruits of their labour, however risking all a huge chunk of their team salary on a player - who might see a harsh decline in his production - based on variant factors, is a gamble they simply shouldn't delve into.  Perhaps with the outcome of the meeting the club had with Cano, it has effectively burned the bridges between the two parties?  The M's are on the cusp of breaking through to success, but they should take the Pirates mode of getting there, instead of trying to jump the shark too early.

Yes it has taken years for the Mariners to build their Minor League Systems up, and begin to see the fruits of their labor, however risking  a huge chunk of their team salary on a player – who might see a harsh decline in his production – based on variant factors, is a gamble they simply shouldn’t have delved into.  The M’s are on the cusp of breaking through to success, but they should take the Pirates mode of getting there, instead of trying to jump the shark too early.  While the ramifications of the Cano deal might blow up long-term, look for this team to be better for the next couple of years.  They also make our ‘good valued teams’ for Winning the 2014 World Series.

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

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The Oddsmakers have finally dropped the Angels in the rankings.  At +1600, they are still not down as far as I would put them, however they are outside the top 10 now.

As you will see in a post this weekend done by Hunter Stokes, I am still surprised to see the Yankees more of an underdog than the Boston Red Sox.

In his report, Hunter will show you the age of both teams is similar – while the lineups are more comparable in 2014 then they were in 2013.

Tampa Bay is still the class of the bunch at +2000.  In some Vegas Casino’s – this club may be posted as more of a favorite, but at http://www.bet365.com, they are still at that mark. Read the rest of this entry

Updated Odds To Win The 2014 World Series As Of Right Now

While I believe the Dodgers will win the NL West - and also represent that league in the World Series for 2014, the odds for betting them are not there.  As the favorite, you can't make any money.  The Giants (+2500), D'Backs (+3300) and Rockies (+5500) all represent great value - considering all of them have already upgraded their franchises over this winter.

While I believe the Dodgers will win the NL West – and also represent that league in the World Series for 2014, the odds for betting them are not there. As the favorite, you can’t make any money. The Giants (+2500), D’Backs (+3300) and Rockies (+5500) all represent great value – considering all of them have already upgraded their franchises over this winter.

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

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9 days ago I posted my last article on these odds.  One of my captions was to pick the Mariners at +4000 for a couple of bucks considering they may land Robinson Cano.

A day later they did, and now they are trading at +3300.  The M’s also picked up Corey Hart and Logan Morrison in separate transactions.  I still the team is a good bet at that value mark.

If they were to trade for David Price (by packaging Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, another prospect and maybe a relief pitcher, they would have 3 dominant top pitchers, plus a young fireballer in James Paxton still.

This team would vaguely resemble the type of squad the Giants were in 2010.  A great deal of pitching and a decent enough offense. Read the rest of this entry

Cano Signs With Seattle 10 YRs/$240 MIL: Do You Want A Good Team Or A Good Business?

Cano and his brass were in the Emerald City over night - to dicker with the Seattle Brass over a supposed 9 YR contract worth around $225 - $240 MIL.  But something went awry, and the Cano camp made the Seattle Mariners storm off with disgust over what the demands were. In a city where they have only had 2 winning seasons in the last 10 years, they do not need to put all of their eggs in just one basket.  We will go through the long decade of suffering in his blog, and come up with the conclusion, that the last thing the franchise needs - is another Free Agency flop.

Cano and his management posse were in the Emerald City over night – to dicker with the Seattle Brass over a supposed 9 YR contract worth around $225 – $240 MIL . But something went awry, and the Cano camp made the Seattle Mariners storm off with disgust over what the demands were originally.   It has now been reported the sides agreed to a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal.  This could be a colossal mistake from the club, despite seeing probable early returns on their investment and the ticket wicket and for TV Ratings. In a city where they have only had 2 winning seasons in the last 10 years, they didn’t need to put all of their eggs in just one basket. We will go through the long decade of suffering in his blog, and come up with the conclusion, that the last thing the franchise needs – is another Free Agency flop.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): (Big Credit to Paul Francis Sullivan)  

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The deal was supposed to be 9 YRs/$225 MIL for Robinson Cano‘s services to be taken to The Pacific Northwest, and play for the home fans of Safeco Field.

Somewhere in the deliberations, the Roc Nations Sports Agency (Jay – Z’s gang) made an unruly notion for something, to which the brass of the Seattle Mariners stormed off.

It would be nice to have been a fly on the wall for that sparing off of the minds.

The two sides finally agreed this morning to a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal for the ALL – Star, SIlver Slugger 2B.

Before the deal, a neutral fan had to ask Cano really taking the M’s seriously, or was it all for show – in hopes he could draw more cash from a team he really wants to play for?

Sully’s Daily Podcast from last night – truer words have never been spoken – Listen to this 20 Min show!

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 5, 2013

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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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The Seattle Mariners Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The Mariners have one of the gem stadiums in all of baseball right now.  It is too bad the team on the field has not been that great - in what has been a brutal decade.  Jack Z.. was just extended for one more year.  While it wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement, the club's youth has finally shown some promise.  The team has a promising amount of young pitchers, good Starting Pitching already in the Majors, and a few positional players that look like they will stay in the bigs.  Of concern is the fact they will lose several veterans in Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez after this year.  That is, unless they decide to trade any of them in the next week.

The Mariners have one of the gem stadiums in all of baseball right now. It is too bad the team on the field has not been that great – in what has been a brutal decade. Jack Z.. was just extended for one more year. While it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, the club’s youth has finally shown some promise. The team has a promising amount of young pitchers, good Starting Pitching already in the Majors, and a few positional players that look like they will stay in the bigs. Of concern is the fact they will lose several veterans in Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez after this year. That is, unless they decide to trade any of them in the next week.

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  

The Mariners were one of the best teams in the Major Leagues when they moved into Safeco Field.

Despite losing Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson and Ken GriffeyJR. in successive seasons, the team matched a Major League Record with 116 Wins during the 2001 year.

Ichiro Suzuki admirably took over the reigns as the team leader, and carried the club on his shoulders for the next years.

Lou Pinella was there until 2003 – and was having his team in perennial contention since the 1995 year.

After 2003, the club has been abysmal in the next decade.

The team has had several face lifts, rotation managers – and the attendance has come down for over 3 Million fans per year, and now the can barely draw about 1.5 MIL people.

Seattle is one of the biggest markets in North America, and can totally put forth a winning team – and a high payroll.

For the team to even sign some Free Agents, the young players of the organization have to start playing well and to potential.

Any team with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma is not that far off from competing.

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

For all 30 teams Organization Lists from the MLB Reports, plus any related Payrolls, Depth Charts, Roster Trees, State Of The Unions click here.

Felix Hernandez Perfect Game Highlights 2012

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Audio Version

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Monday, Aug.12, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Patrick sits in as the Producer and only representative of the Big Ticket Show – and Chuck Booth joins him to break down all 30 current rankings, plus what the clubs are up to.

To listen to the audio for this Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY logo or past the Triple Play Logo. 

If you want the written version of these rankings click here Read the rest of this entry

MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 20

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Sunday Aug.11/2013

Texas has fought off a July slump - and are 9 - 1 in their last 10 games.  They have added reinforcements in the way of Alex Rios and Matt Garza.  If they can just hold the course - and win the AL West, they have the horses and experience to challenge every other team.  The club was the biggest mover upwards in our rankings this week - going from #10 - #4

Texas has fought off a July slump – and are 9 – 1 in their last 10 games. They have added reinforcements in the way of Alex Rios and Matt Garza. If they can just hold the course – and win the AL West, they have the horses and experience to challenge every other team in October. The club was the biggest mover upwards in our rankings this week – going from #10 – #4.  It was not too long ago that the Rangers were sitting at just a half – dozen games above .500 – and behind the playoff bar.

Audio Version Of These Power Rankings

Audio Monthly Rankings – Aug

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

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions in the NL are becoming less competitive every week.  The NL East and NL West look to be done.  The Pirates are within weeks of ending a 20 year playoff drought.

The Braves rattled off a 14 game winning streak – and should cruise to the NL East crown.

The Athletics are in big trouble with some of their talented offensive players not putting up numbers like they did in 2012.  They now find themselves in 2nd place in the AL West.

Adrian Beltre 2 HR day in July

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 17

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Sunday July.21/2013

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates.  Will this team make some moves at the deadline - to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings?  Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign?  They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates. Will this team make some moves at the deadline – to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings? Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign? They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.  The Cards have made 7 out of the last 12 NLCS showdowns – holding a 3 – 4 record in those years – and a 2 – 1 mark in the World Series.

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

The Tampa Bay Rays are making a huge statement.  Even as I write this post, they have a commanding 4 – 1 lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, which would make the 58 – 41, and no worse than 1.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox heading into play tomorrow.

The Rays will head to Fenway Park right after this for a four game series – before concluding a 10 game Road Swing at Yankee Stadium.  They could end up in 1st place in the AL East by next week.

With their pitching strength – and new underrated offense, would anyone pick against them for the rest of the season?  I have slotted them 7 positions higher than the previous week.

Chris Carpenter 5 months ago, He is now rehabbing in the Minor Leagues with a chance to come back in 2013 – Amazing!

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Top MLB Teams 1 – 30: Monthly Rankings + (Top 200 Stats For Reading And Fantasy Baseball)

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Thursday July.11/2013

The Giants have gone 9 - 23 in their last 32 Games and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series.  Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots.

The Giants have gone 9 – 23 in their last 32 Games – and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series. Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots this past time.  Should they also become sellers at the Trade Deadline,  Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence could fetch a few players in return.  The Giants are currently 40 – 50 and 6.5 Games behind the NL West Leading DBACKS – but are in last in the NL West.

 

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

The time has come for the July Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during these weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture.

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Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 20th

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Tuesday, May.21, 2013

Robinson Cano is leading all Second Baseman + is tied in the AL with Chris Davis for HRs with 13.  In a sign of what he might do this year, in his last 163 Games since last year, Cano has a 3 Slash Line of .310/.374/.952 - with 42 HRs and 110 RBI.  This type of season would land Cano a deal similar to the one Prince Fielder received a few years ago (9 Years/$214 MIL)

Robinson Cano is leading all Second Baseman + is tied in the AL with Chris Davis for HRs with 13. In a sign of what he might do this year, in his last 163 Games since last year, Cano has a 3 Slash Line of .310/.374/.952 – with 42 HRs and 110 RBI. This type of season would land Cano a deal similar to the one Prince Fielder received a few years ago (9 Years/$214 MIL)

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

Miguel Tejada Mix of Highlights:

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MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 7

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Monday May.20/2013

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup.  Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around.  Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup. Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around. Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race.

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

The Rangers are #1 again based on the Division lead they currently possess, plus the fact they play all of these teams a total of 76 Games this year.

The Braves (rose their division lead to 2.5 Games with a 4 – 2 week), and Padres (18 – 13 in their last 31 Games and have been clubbing the ball lateley) were the biggest movers up for the week standings by climbing 6 spots apiece. 

The biggest drops were the San Francisco Giants (hate their Starting Pitching right now – except for Madison Bumgarner) and the Baltimore Orioles (late inning magic might be dying – and still need a DH + a Veteran Starter or 2).

The Los Angeles teams keep losing ball games – and the Blue Jays lost 2 straight versus the Yankees just when they looked to be on track.

Cleveland is still ranked outside the top ten because I don’t have faith in their strength of schedule in the next month starting May 21st:  2 vs DET, 4 @BOS, 2 vs CIN, 2 @CIN, 2 vs TB, 3 @NYY, 3 @DET, 3 @TEX, 3 vs WSH and finally 3 vs KC.  If they are above .500 after this stretch, I will be impressed.

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Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 18th

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Saturday, May.19, 2013

David Ortiz has been crushing the ball at an all time rate since rejoining the club just 4 weeks ago.  In just 24 Games Played this season - he has a 3 Slash Line of .362/.408/1.089 - with 7 HRs and 29 RBI.  He is still the premiere DH in the AL - and could go along way in Boston making a return to the playoffs in 2013

David Ortiz has been crushing the ball at an all time rate since rejoining the club just 4 weeks ago. In just 24 Games Played this season – he has a 3 Slash Line of .362/.408/1.089 – with 7 HRs and 29 RBI. He is still the premiere DH in the AL – and could go along way in Boston making a return to the playoffs in 2013.

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

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Mariners Lose Two Tough Games in a Row To Cleveland: But They Are Still Playing a Good Brand Of Baseball

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Sunday, May 19th, 2013

One bright spot for the Mariners over the past couple of days has been first baseman Justin Smoak, who has reached base eight times in the last three games.

One bright spot for the Mariners over the past couple of days has been first baseman Justin Smoak, who has reached base eight times in the last three games.

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

The last two days have to have been extremely rough for the Seattle Mariners. Coming off a series win in New York, the Mariners were sitting comfortably in second place in the A.L. West. However, after two straight walk-off losses to Cleveland, the Mariners have slipped to third in the West.

Having deserved to win at least one of their last two games, the Mariners have likely just ran into some bad luck and they have a great opportunity to get back on track Sunday, with King Felix on the mound.

Tom Hamilton Calls Jason Kipnis Walk Off Home Run 5/17/13: 

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 27, 2013

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On today’s episode The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast , I discuss Marlins’ manager Mike Redmond already being neutered and Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik acquiring too many caterpillars and not enough butterflies. The analogy makes sense.

Jordan Zimmermann, Carlos Beltran, Matt Tuiasosopo and Anibal Sanchez  owned baseball on April 26, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?”, click HERE.


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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 27, 2013

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MLB Weekly Power Rankings – Week 3

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Monday Apr.22/2013

The Giants have gutted out a 12 - 7 record despite Matt Cain being 0 - 2 with a 7.15 ERA, and Ryan Vogelsong featuring an early season ERA of 5.89.  Buster Posey is also off to a slow start.  This team has so much depth and talent, I see nothing that will stop this club from taking their 3rd NL West Division crown no that the LAD have had severe injury problems to their Starting Rotation.

The Giants have gutted out a 12 – 7 record despite Matt Cain being 0 – 2 with a 7.15 ERA, and Ryan Vogelsong featuring an early season ERA of 5.89. Buster Posey is also off to a slow start. This team has so much depth and talent, I see nothing that will stop this club from taking their 3rd NL West Division crown now that the LAD have had severe injury problems to their Starting Rotation.  The Giants take their rightful spot as #1 in the MLB Reports Weekly Rankings thids week.

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

The Major League Baseball Season is roughly 10% over and we are seeing some trends and patterns.  The next time you wonder why games are so long in the game right now, look no further than there are about 150 hitters that are currently on pace to Strikeout 100 plus times this season.

Other Notes:

The Cincinnati Reds won every game this past 7 days, after losing every day the week prior.  This is simply why they shot up the rankings.  I think the NL Central is the weakest Division this year.  It was my prediction that the oldest professional baseball club would run away with this Division by at least 10 games.

Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto are on the Basepaths at all times – carrying an OBP of over .500 plus each.  Votto is starting to drive the ball with authority too.  Brandon Phillips, Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart are driving in Runs at an incredible rate.

Look for BP to be a dark horse NL MVP candidate.

Brandon Phillips Talks about Winter Workouts:

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Michael Morse Is Off To A Blazing Start In Seattle

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Sunday, April,07/ 2013

How good has Mike Morse's start been for the Mariners...Try a 3 Slash Line of .333//364/1.268  so far, and is tied for the MLB lead in HRs with 4 bombs.  "Da Beast" has proven that he can get the job when he stays in the lineup.  If he can hit like this all year, Seattle may have a chance at the Post Season.

How good has Mike Morse’s start been for the Mariners…Try a 3 Slash Line of .333//364/1.268 so far, and is tied for the MLB lead in HRs with 4 bombs. “Da Beast” has proven that he can get the job when he stays in the lineup. If he can hit like this all year, Seattle may have a chance at the Post Season.

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

When the Mariners acquired Michael Morse this past offseason, they were hoping to add some power and a veteran presence to a young lineup. Morse, who struggled in 102 games playing for the Nationals in 2012, appears to finally be healthy and ready to contribute.

Morse has gotten off to a hot start to the season, homering in 4 of his first five games. In 2011, when he hit 31 HR, it took Morse until May 25th to hit his 4th Home Run. This poses the question, could Michael Morse hit 30 Home Runs again in 2013?

Michael Morse 2011 Highlights

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Seattle Mariners Payroll in 2013: And Contracts Moving Forward

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Tuesday.February.25/2013

The Mariners Payroll in 2013 will be 80+ million dollars.  Sadly enough, the Mariners are still not expected to compete in the American League West.

The Mariners Payroll in 2013 will be 80+ million dollars. Sadly enough, the Mariners are still not expected to compete in the American League West.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

It has been over ten years since the Seattle Mariners found themselves as participants in the American League playoffs. Over the course of that time, the M’s have had their ups and downs (quite obviously more downs), and they have come close to getting back to the post-season on several occasions. However, the last three years have been frustrating for Mariners’ fans as the team has ended each season in last place in the AL West. Along with the post-season drought, the Mariners have made some poor contractual decisions. This seasons payroll will not be exceptionally high, but Seattle is far from a small market team. One of the benefits of this season is that the Mariners are not flooded with a lot of long term, massive contracts. The future for the Mariners can be bright, but they need to find some talented offensive pieces and a couple of arms to back their superstar ace, Felix Hernandez.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the big deals that make up the top end of the Mariners payroll in 2013. I think most Mariners fans will ultimately be pretty disappointed in which player is following up King Felix on the payroll for the upcoming season.

Mariners 21 Rangers 8 on May.30/2012 Highlights:

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Seattle Mariners Roster in 2013: State Of The Union:

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Thursday, January.31/2013

Felix Hernandez is still the Mariners best player without a doubt. Will he get some help shouldering the load in 2013? Either way, all of baseball should be watching when King Felix pitches, he is a true marvel on the mound.

Felix Hernandez is still the Mariners best player without a doubt. Will he get some help shouldering the load in 2013? Either way, all of baseball should be watching when King Felix pitches, he is a true marvel on the mound.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern):

Seattle Mariners fans must be pretty amazing, Felix Hernandez sticking with their team through recent times. The Mariners were established in 1977 and have made the playoffs just 4 times in their history. They were the AL West champs 3 times (’95, ’97, ’01) and winners of the Wild Card once (’00). They have never won a World Series, or even an AL Pennant, and in 2012 they shipped off a fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees. The AL West is a tough division. The Rangers and Athletics made the playoffs last year, and the Angels just landed the prize of the off-season in slugger Josh Hamilton. I guess one bright spot is the Astros are moving to the AL West, so the Mariners won’t be rebuilding within the brutal division alone.

The Seattle Mariners hopes and dreams start where they have for years now, on the shoulders of King Felix. Felix Hernandez is no doubt an Ace. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since ’08, and had a sub 4.00 ERA every year since ’07. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young in 2010, and is a perennial contender for the award. Last year the Seattle fireballer threw his first Perfect Game. Hernandez will once again be atop the Mariners rotation, which as of now figures to include Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, and Hector Noesi.

Hisashi Iwakuma was a pleasant surprise for the Mariners in 2012. He wasn’t a greatly sought after oversees free agent last year, overshadowed greatly by fellow Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, but proved to be a great signing. Iwakuma started 2012 in the bullpen until he later earned a spot in the team’s rotation. Iwakuma managed a very respectable 3.16 ERA in the 125.1 innings he split between the rotation and the pen. This success is part of the reason the Mariners resigned the pitcher to a 2YR/14 Million Dollar deal this past November. He figures to hold down the 2nd spot in the rotation and should do just fine if 2012 was a sign of things to come.

Blake Beavan is still just 23 Years Old, but he already has 41 Major League Starts under his belt which gives the club hope he can hold down the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation. Beavan clearly has the talent which is what made him a 1st Round draft pick out of high school for the Rangers, and the reason the Mariners made sure he was a part of the package they received in return for Cliff Lee in 2010. Beavan’s 2012 stats won’t impress a lot of people, but they were a good start for a young player like himself to build and improve upon.

Felix Hernandez Highlights:  Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised

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Morse Back To Seattle: The Mariners Add Yet Another Bat

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Sunday, January 27th,  2013

MIcheal Morse Has a Career 3 Slash Line of .295/.347/.839.  He will likely see some time at 1B and DH with Kendrys Morales

MIcheal Morse Has a Career 3 Slash Line of .295/.347/.839 heading into 2013. He will likely see some time at 1B and DH with Kendrys Morales.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Once upon a time, Mike Morse was a Seattle Mariners’ farm hand who played parts of four seasons in the majors with Seattle. He never really lived up to expectations during his first time in Seattle. Now, the Mariners have acquired him from the Nationals where he spent the best four seasons of his career. The Mariners are looking everywhere they can for affordable offense, and they have turned back to a familiar face in Morse. The real question is how does Morse fit in Seattle and does the acquisition make the Mariners better?

In order to address this topic, its important that we take a look at how Morse performed last season and whether the decrease in performance is going to carry over into the 2013 campaign. Morse was injured for a portion of the season so it is important to take that into consideration when breaking down his 2012 season, but even with injury, Morse took a fairly large step backwards.

Mike Morse’s 1st hit in the Major Leagues with the Mariners (2005):

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Is This The End Of The Line For Jason Bay?

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Tuesday, January.15/2013

Jason Bay had a 3 Slash Line with PIT of - .281/.375/.890, including winning a ROY Award in 2005, followed up by back to back ALL-Star Years in 2006 and 2007, where he hit 30+ HRs, 100+ RBI, 100+ Runs Scored and Walked 197 for those 2 years.  He may be on his last chance in the MLB with the Mariners in 2013.

Jason Bay had a 3 Slash Line with PIT of – .281/.375/.890, including winning a ROY Award in 2005, followed up by back to back ALL-Star Years in 2006 and 2007, where he hit 30+ HRs, 100+ RBI, 100+ Runs Scored and Walked 197 for those 2 years. He may be on his last chance in the MLB with the Mariners in 2013.  Bay finished his Pittsburgh days with 139 HRs, 452 RBI and 432 Runs for his 2590 AB.  Those are good numbers.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

Jason Bay begins 2013 with the Seattle Mariners on perhaps his last chance at the Major Leagues for his career.  It was only on 2009 where he finished an ALL-Star Season with the Boston Red Sox – taking home a Silver Slugger Award and finishing in 7th for AL MVP Voting.  That year, he hit for a 3 Slash Line of – .267/.384/.923, with 36 HRs (3rd in AL) and 119 RBI (2nd in AL).  The man also walked 94 times and scored 103 Runs.  It was a Career Year, yet he also had 3 other 30+ HRs, 100+ RBI and 100+ Run Years in 2005, 2006 and 2008.  Bay picked a perfect year to be a Free Agent after his last year with the Red Sox..  While he cashed in on a 4 YR/64 Million Dollar Contract from the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox knew of some hampering injuries that were sure to plague the Canadian ALL-Star from Trail. B.C. for the length of the deal… Boy did they turn out to be right on this prognostication!

What happened in New York City could not be classified by anything but horrendous.  It was a move to an un-hitter friendly park at Citi Field.  Bay then spent parts of 3 years injured or absolutely putting up abysmal numbers for the NL East Franchise.   Of course 2012 would be the ultimate worst as the Right Fielder hit a paltry .165 with 8 HRs and 20 RBI in 194 AB.  He had become a shadow of his former ALL-Star self and the Mets had enough of the anemic offense.  They ate all of the remaining 21 Million Dollars left on his contract for 2013 and granted Bay his walking papers.

Jason Bay Highlights 2011 – Mature Lyrics Content – Parental Guidance is advised

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Vargas/Morales Trade Fills Needs For Both Teams

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Friday, January.04,  2013

Kendrys Morales had a breakout year with the Angels in 2009, where he he hit .306 with 34 HRs and 108 RBI.  He also clubbed 43 Doubles and carried an OPS of .924 for the year which propelled him to a top 5 AL MVP Finish.

Kendrys Morales had a breakout year with the Angels in 2009, where he he hit .306 with 34 HRs and 108 RBI. He also clubbed 43 Doubles and carried an OPS of .924 for the year which propelled him to a top 5 AL MVP Finish. In 2010, he suffered an ankle injury celebrating a Walk-Off Grand Slam in Angels Stadium.  His OPS was .778  in 2012,  can he regain his previous form in Seattle?

Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Trade Correspondent):

It is rare in baseball that division rivals complete trades.  Most of the time when it does happen, it is a lower end deal involving pieces that neither team is particularly worried will come back to haunt them.  This is what makes the Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales trade so interesting.  It is a trade that makes incredible sense for all parties involved, but there is at least some likelihood that either or both players could make their former club regret the move in the short term.  Let’s take a closer look at the players involved in the deal and why each club wanted to make this move.

On the Angels side, the team was in dire need of innings they could count on.  After acquiring Tommy Hanson and his questionable shoulder as well as losing Zack Greinke to their cross-town rivals, the Dodgers, the Angels needed to find a starter who could give them guaranteed innings.  Enter Jason Vargas.  Vargas has been good for 190 plus innings over the last three season including over 200 Innings Pitched in 2011 and 2012. Vargas is a back-end of the rotation starter who has one terrific pitch in his arsenal, which is his change-up. Vargas’ change-up is an elite pitch.  To help characterize how elite a pitch it can be, we can look to some statistical measures.  Per 100 pitches, Vargas saved 2.25 runs over the course of 2012 with his change-up. To understand in comparison, Justin Verlander‘s curveball, what many would consider his “put-away” pitch saved 2.04 runs per 100 pitches in 2012.  Now clearly, no one in their right mind is going to positively compare Vargas to Verlander, but in terms of Vargas’ change-up, I think it is important for everyone to understand that he does do something as well if not better than any other pitcher in the Major Leagues.  

The Brutal Kendrys Morales injury after a Grand Slam Walk-Off HR:

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Dustin Ackley: What’s Gone Wrong For The Once Highly Touted Prospect?

Saturday August 18th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  Dustin Ackley has a lot to live up to with the Seattle Mariners. Anyone who is selected in the top five of any draft in any sport is expected to perform right from the get-go. The Mariners highly touted prospect was selected second in the 2009 draft, right behind Stephen Strasburg, and in the same draft class as the American League MVP frontrunner Mike Trout. Granted, Ackley barely has a year of experience under his belt, but it’s safe to say that the bar is set extremely high for him. And thus far, he’s crawling under that bar.

Last season, Ackley, 24, bursted onto the scene in mid June. Of course, the Mariners were far out of contention at that point, but he brought a much-needed spark to the lineup. He was one of the few reasons that made Mariners’ fans look forward to the future of Seattle. And he still his.

However, he has hit a massive dry spell. After hitting .305/.366/.534 is his first 36 big league games last year, he went on a downhill slide that has continued into his second year in the majors. To be specific, the tumble began on the 1st of August in 2011. From that point, he would hit for a triple slash of just .252/.338/.342 for the remainder of the season. And 2012 has followed a similar script. For the season, he’s hitting .225/.296/.330 in 113 games. Thus far, his best month was May, although the numbers he posted were nothing to write home about (.255/.333/.402). Simply, he’s yet to find success for a consistent period of time. Sure, he gets a few hits here and there, then he hits a dry patch.

So what’s going on with Ackley? Read the rest of this entry

Seattle Mariners and Ace Felix Hernandez: What to Do With King Felix?

 

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

You Shake, Rattle and Roll On A World Record Chase

Tuesday, April.11/2012

 

Chuck at Dodger Stadium

 

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My step-mom is a retired executive from Air Canada.  Back when I was a teenager, Nancy taught me how to travel properly, by how to pack, schedule and always be able to adapt when things go awry.  I am pleased to say that she had an incredible influence on me becoming a travel expert now.  Her slogan was always; “You gotta learn how to shake, rattle and roll when traveling.” My dad (Tom Booth), helped teach a proper demeanor for my 3 brothers and me while on vacation that I also implement.  He said to us “You guys are going to encounter several things when traveling.  “If you break, lose or-your items are lost for you, just replace them immediately and don’t let it consume you.  After all, why should you be miserable on vacation?”  These are motto’s I live by while traveling.  I perpetually move forward and don’t look back.  While I am glad this trip has generated a lot interest, really the passion here is baseball and traveling.  If by some chance I don’t best my own record, I will have fun watching a baseball game in every city again.  “You have nothing to prove in this world other to anybody but yourself!”

 I have encountered numerous ways of being delayed in chasing baseball parks.  Last night was no different.  I sat in the San Diego Airport ready to embark on my flight to Cleveland that was supposed to be part of a Progressive Field/Oriole Park at Camden Yards day-night doubleheader. Out of all the 10 doubleheaders that I placed to attempt during this World Record chase, this particular one I would rank the second toughest.  The only doubleheader I thought was tougher was the Angel Stadium/Petco Park double header.  Ironically enough, I converted that doubleheader.  So when the flight was cancelled last night-(due to mechanical failure) I knew I had to think fast on my feet.  The Airline was offering up help to fly on other flight, or destinations within reason.  Much to my dismay, the airline was not even able to fly me into the second half of the double header n Baltimore, thus creating a plane flight domino.  Adding to the severity of the pressure, was I had to think of something fast because the airline needed to help me book a morning flight out of San Diego.

Whenever I plan one of these trips, I have a depth chart for each team.  I am lucky that after a few hours of placing this schedule together, I also come up with many different alternatives.  Missing the game in Texas the other night for a small delay was nerve-wracking, but maybe it was all meant to be.  When I expressed to the airline that I wanted to fly to Dallas, they quickly were on board with that option.  The other dominoes came to me quickly.  I moved Cleveland to the 25th as part of PNC Park and Progressive Field Ground Transportation doubleheader.  As part of my original streak attempt when I first dreamt up another run at this, the schedule had this exact doubleheader.  Cleveland was the last team in the Majors to post their start times.  When the Indians scheduled a matinee for the 11th of April, it opened up another doubleheader attempt for me by placing the Orioles with Cleveland.  All I had to do was bring Detroit into the doubleheader chance with Pittsburgh instead.  Now that I am not going to Progressive Field today, I am able to re-schedule the easier to attain doubleheader.  Baltimore was switched to the date left vacated by Texas on the 27th of April.  This left Detroit.  I knew the team played on the 22nd of April.

One of the reasons I went to Chase Field last Friday, was to protect myself against something like last night.  That Chase Field game is now the 1st game of the streak.  I moved Detroit into their slot on the 22nd.  All the teams have a home in the streak again.  What is more incredible about this: is that by shifting these cities around and shuffling transportation costs this little maneuver is going to save me $300.   I was dreading having to schedule the Texas game after the streak ended, whether it was driving 17 hours or flying, it was going to be costly and time-consuming,  I managed to switch out all my flights and actually have a surcharge in my favor.  Since I am flying to Denver from Dallas tomorrow, it was a cheaper flight from almost anywhere when you near a travel day fare.  Now I am flying to Dallas for a plane fare I spent $160 to originally go to Cleveland for.  This day of plane for to Dallas would probably be in the $500-$600 area.

By re-scheduling the trip this way, it also frees up more availability should I have to make up another game or two.  That Detroit game doubleheader was risky.  If I was running the streak near perfect, I could have risked it and then shuffled the Tigers to the very next day and forego the Cincinnati/Chicago White Sox doubleheader on the 25th.  This was not the case and I need that 26th doubleheader.  If I kept that doubleheader and missed the Tigers, the next date they were home was April.30th (or the 24th day of the streak.)

Moving Detroit to Sunday the 22nd is pretty decent too, I have a doubleheader for Chicago and Milwaukee on the day before.  This is about a 7 hour drive to Michigan.  Ken Lee will now attend at least 8 of my games with me for this streak.  The Pittsburgh/Cleveland double dip is very doable.  The Pirates game should end around 3:30.  It is only a couple of hours drive to Progressive Field from there.  I would give us a 80-85% chance to hit this game.  If for some reason we don’t, the Indians play on the 27th- through the 29th.  Other doubleheaders remaining are the TOR-NYY (Yankees play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) ATL-STL (Cardinals play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) CIN/CWS (The White Sox play a series on the 27th-29th). CHI/MIL (The Brewers do not play so I will need the DH).  I also give us a 80-85% of making this.  Finally I have the Boston/Washington DH (If I miss WSH-I can move them into the Marlins slot of the 17th and then re-do the Marlins from the (27-29 series).

So far I have had 2 missed doubleheaders in this trip that were entirely out of my control.  Now a 30-22 schedule hangs in the balance.  Whatever happens throughout the rest of the trip is up in the air.  The 2009 streak of 30-24 seems even more impressive now than before.  In a night where I have already logged 17,000 Air Miles for this trip and running on all fumes, I was able to come up with the best viable solution I could.  So whenever I have a chance, I will sleep comfortably about my performance on this trip thus far.  I go into tonight’s game looking for my 8th Ball Park in 6 days.  Its been a tough 20 hrs-fighting airlines-car rentals not having cars and several doubters and haters-i made it 2 the ballpark-suitcase/briefcase and all-scoreboard says 8 gms 6 days parks 30/22 days

NEW SCHEDULE UPDATED APR 11

With a flight cancellation last night, it has caused me to reschedule several games for the streak.  The Arizona D’Backs game now becomes the official game #1.  If the game was changed from the original, it will be highlighted in red.  I also changed the PIT/DET doubleheader to now be a PIT/CLE Doubleheader on the 25th ave.  I lost one of my doubleheader attempts today, but at least I am not taking an a zero.

Game#1 Day #1  Friday April.06 Chase Field in Arizona 4:10 PM (Completed:  Arizona wins 5-4)

Game # 2 Day # 2  Saturday April.07 Angels Stadium in Anaheim 1:05 PM (Completed LAA loses 6-3 to KC)

Game # 3 Day # 2 Saturday April.07 Petco Park in San Diego 5:35 PM (I Have 2 doubleheader attempts with SD as Game 2 of the day)( Completed: San Diego loses 6-5 to the LAD in 11 innings)

Game # 4 Day # 3  Sunday April.08 Minute Maid Park in Houston 1:05 PM (Completed: Houston wins 3-2)

Game # 5 Day # 4  Monday April.09 Citizens Bank Ball Park in Philadelphia 1:05 PM (Citizens Bank Ball Park Season Opener) (Completed: Philly loses 6-2 to the Miami Marlins)

Game # 6 Day # 4   Monday April.09 Citi Field in New York (NYM win 3-2 over WSH)

Game # 7 Day # 5   Tuesday April.10 Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles 1:05 PM (Dodger Stadium Season Opener) Completed: LAD wins 2-1 over  Pit)

Game # 8 Day # 6  Wednesday April.11 The Ballpark in Arlington 7:05 PM

Game # 9 Day #7 Thursday April.12 Coors Field 1:05 PM

Game #10 Day # 8 Friday April.13 AT&T Park in San Francisco 1:35 PM  (AT & T Park Season Opener)

Game # 11 Day # 9 Saturday April.14 Target Field in Minnesota 12:10 PM

Game # 12 Day # 10  Sunday April.15 Rogers Center in Toronto 1:07 PM

Game # 13 Day # 10 Sunday April.15 Yankees Stadium in the Bronx 8:05 PM

Game # 14 Day #11 Monday April.16 Fenway Park in Boston 11:05 AM

Game # 15  Day #11 Monday April.16 Nationals Park in Washington 7:05 PM

Game # 16  Day #12 Tuesday April.17 New Marlins Ballpark 7:05 PM

Game # 17  Day #13  WED April.18 Turner Field in Atlanta 12:10 PM

Game # 18  Day #13  WED April.18 Busch Stadium in St. Louis 7:15 PM

Game # 19 Day #14 THUR April.19 Safeco Field in Seattle 7:10 PM

Game # 20  Day # 15 Friday  April.20 Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City 7:10 PM

Game # 21 Day # 16 SAT.    April.21 Wrigley Field in Chicago 12:00 PM

Game # 22 Day # 16 SAT.    April.21 Miller Park in Milwaukee 6:05 PM

Game # 23  Day # 17 SUN.   April.22 Comerica Park in Detroit 1:05 PM 

Game # 24 Day # 18 MON.  April.23 O.co Coliseum in Oakland 7:05 PM

Game # 25 Day # 19 TUES  April.24 Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay 7:05 PM

Game # 26 Day # 20  WED.  April.25 PNC Park in Pittsburgh 12:35 PM

Game # 27  Day # 20 WED.  April.25 Progressive Field in Cleveland 7:05 PM

Game # 28 Day # 21 THU.   April.26 Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati 12:35 PM

Game # 29  Day # 21 THU.   April.26 US Cellular Field in Chicago 7:11 PM

Game# 30  Day # 22 FRI      April.27  Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 7:05 PM

 ***Thank you to our Lead Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

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Jesus Lands in Seattle: Montero to Save the Mariners’ Offense

Friday January 20th, 2012



Bryan Sheehan (MLB reports Intern Candidate):  It’s no secret that the Seattle Mariners struggled in 2011. Their offensive numbers were the worst in the league in many categories, as the team’s .233 batting average, .640 OPS and 534 RBIs ranked dead last, pushing them to a 67-95 record. So, coming into this offseason, the Mariners’ objective was clear: go out and acquire a hitter.

Last Friday, the Mariners found salvation as the club dealt young pitching talent Michael Pineda and right-handed pitcher Jose Campos to the New York Yankees for top prospect Jesus Montero and righty Hector Noesi. Pineda, 23, had an impressive rookie campaign, with a 1.10 WHIP and .211 BAA. His record of 9-10 may look less than stellar on paper, but of his 28 starts, his team scored less than three runs in ten games.

As for Montero, his future looks extremely bright, even in the cloudy landscape of Seattle. At age 22, Montero has only played 18 games at the MLB level but brings skill and potential that could make him a superstar. In 2011, he hit .288 with 67 RBIs in 109 games for Triple-A Scranton (considered a down year for the .308 career hitter) and was a September call-up for the Yankees, where he hit .328 with 12 RBIs in those 18 games. A catcher by trade, Montero will most likely start the year as the M’s designated hitter, with eight-year-veteran Miguel Olivo as the anchor behind the plate.

Ranked as the third best prospect in the league by Baseball America coming into last season, Montero has much to prove. First, he has to prove that he can hit in the pitcher’s heaven/ batter’s worst nightmare that is Safeco Field. He went 2/9 at Safeco last year, but his career slugging percentage (in the minors) is a respectable .501. In 2011, Montero held a slugging percentage of .429 at PNC Field, the home of the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate that is almost identical dimensionally to Safeco. This is a really promising sign, as Montero should feel right at home in Seattle’s ballpark.

A big question that arises is where Montero will fit into the M’s batting order. He’s had experience hitting in every position after clean-up for the offensively strong Yankees, starting the most games in the seven-hole. In 2012 he’ll be higher up in the order for the M’s, and taking into consideration his power- he will likely bat third or fifth. If he can keep his pace from 2011, Montero could drive in over 100 RBIs, which is almost twice what Seattle’s leading hitter, Miguel Olivo, hit last season (Olivo had 62 RBIs). The offensive spark that Montero provides will help bring life to the middle of the order, which includes young infielders Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak.  The M’s may not be a breakout team or a playoff contender in 2012, but adding Montero to their core of young hitters will definitely prove beneficial in a few years as the team’s young hitters hopefully come into their own together.


Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern Candidate, Bryan Sheehan.  You can follow Bryan on Twitter (@Sheehan99), read his interviews with Phillies’ minor league prospects at PhightingOn.com, and catch him writing the occasional article for BleacherReport.com (search his name). Tweet him about this article and he will follow you back!


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My Top Six Worst MLB Teams in 2012

Sunday January 8th, 2012

Sam Evans: It’s no fun to be a fan of a losing team. Every game seems longer and it hurts to look around and see fans of the other teams loving every moment. There’s always supposed to be next year, but that kind of talk just hurts the players and coaches as much as it does the fans. Let’s look at my bottom five teams in 2012: based on the major league roster and talent in the system that could make an impact in the upcoming season.

25. Seattle Mariners: As a Mariners fan, this one hurts. It’s been eleven years since the Mariners made the playoffs. A city blessed with a beautiful new ballpark, Seattle hasn’t had much of chance to cheer on many winners in recent times.

Since he was hired in 2008, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has transformed the Mariners farm system into one of the best in the game. The problem is that the major league club is still struggling, and fans are losing interest. The Mariners are like New Year’s resolutions. They’re so promising at first, but after two weeks, most people just give up.

So far this offseason, the Mariners have been rumored to be actively pursuing Prince Fielder. The argument for Prince Fielder is that his contract would be worth the risk for the team given all of the fans he would draw… not to mention, the M’s need for a middle of the order slugger. However, other fans feel that Fielder is overpriced and point to the fact that if the Mariners signed Prince, they would be only the fourth team with two players making over $20M in 2012.

The Mariners do have some young promising players. Justin Smoak, a former top 10 BA prospect, will finally be healthy heading into the new year. Also, the M’s have a trio of young pitchers in the minors that are all top 100 prospects. James Paxton and Danny Hultzen could possibly see time in the rotation this year. Furthermore, last time I checked Felix Hernandez was still a Mariner, and he’s signed through 2014.

26. New York Mets: The Mets have always been second to the Yankees in New York in terms of popularity, but there’s never been this much of a difference. The Mets have been silent this offseason, except for a swap of outfielders with the Giants, and bringing in some bullpen help. The Mets do have Zack Wheeler (acquired in the Carlos Beltran trade) and Matt Harvey (2010 1st rounder) on the way, but neither will make a huge impact in ’12.

Jason Bay has struggled ever since receiving his enormous contract two years ago. In 2009, Bay hit 36 homers for the Red Sox. In 2010 and 2011, Bay had only eighteen homers. Part of the decline in numbers is the park factor that Citi Field has on hitters (which is due to change with the new park dimensions in 2012). It should be noted though that Bay hasn’t hit a home run to right field since June 28, 2010.

This year, the Mets should get Johan Santana back. I wrote about Johan in November here. If he is healthy this year, hopefully the Mets can get something out of Santana, who is due $24M in 2012.

The Mets future will be based on how they spend their money and how they control their prospects. If the Mets hadn’t pushed Jenrry Mejia, chances are he wouldn’t have gotten injured. If the Mets hadn’t signed the Jason Bay and Johan Santana contracts, then they would have had the money to go after Prince Fielder this offseason (in theory). New York has a long ways to go to compete with the other N.L. East teams, and they’re going to need to make smart long-term decisions to get there.

27. San Diego Padres: The Padres acquired Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso this offseason in an attempt to boost their offense. They ended up trading away Mat Latos and Anthony Rizzo, and losing Heath Bell and Aaron Harang to free agency.

Carlos Quentin is really going to struggle in Petco Park, and Alonso is going to have his share of issues developing into a power hitter with his new team. The fact is that the Padres will never have a terrible pitching staff due to the spacious Petco Park effect. But their rotation is actually as bad as it has been in some years. I also am a supporter of Will Venable, and I think the Padres would be making a mistake if they traded him.

San Diego plays in a division where it’s not impossible that they could make a nice run and make the playoffs. But I would be surprised.

28. Oakland Athletics: Led by GM Billy Beane, the Athletics have been extremely active this offseason. They’ve shipped away their best pitchers and let their best hitter leave in free agency. The A’s have had a good offseason, thanks to all the new talent that they’ve imported into their farm system.

2012 is not going to be the year of resurgence for the A’s. 2013, maybe, but right now the Angels and Rangers are just too good. The A’s strength is probably their middle infield which will feature Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington. If Chris Carter can show some power in the majors, then he will do just fine at DH.

With acquisitions such as Derek Norris, Jarrod Parker, and A.J. Cole, Billy Beane has shown he’s not afraid to trade his best major league players in order to obtain talent that won’t be ready for a year or two.

29. Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles were a promising team heading into 2011. The “Fighting Showalter’s” had a late run in 2010, and Buck Showalter seemed to be really getting through to the players. Unfortunately, 2011 didn’t go as expected for the Orioles. They finished 69-93 and solidified their reputation as the worst baseball team in the A.L East, if not the whole American League.

The  2011 Orioles will forever go down in baseball history not for their season, but for their last game against the Red Sox on September 28, 2011. The Orioles were down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth on the last day of the season. Going into the game,  the Red Sox were 77-0 on the season when leading after the eighth inning. The Orioles came back to win, and they will forever be remembered for their contributions to one of the best days in baseball history.

2012 can be a  successful year for the Orioles if they discover an ace… and if Adam Jones improves his game to the next level. It’s not going to be easy, but if everything falls into place, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette could lead the Orioles out of the A.L. East basement in the next coming years.

30. Houston Astros: Moving into the 2011 season, the Astros were projected by pretty much everyone in baseball to be the worst team in baseball. Well, at least they didn’t let anyone down. The Astros finished 56-106, which was the worst record in all of baseball.

I traveled to Houston this summer and I expected to find an uninterested Astros fanbase. I was surprised to see countless devoted fans who truly cared about their team. Astros fans are out there and they will start coming back to Minute Maid Park when the team starts winning.

Sorry Houston fans, but 2012 isn’t going to be much fun for you. Chances are that you will return to the basement of the N.L. Central and lose over one hundred games. Nevertheless, there is hope. Jose Altuve is turning into a nice young second basemen who can hit for average . Jordan Lyles can be a #3 starter, and Jarred Cosart could finally reach the bigs in 2012.

Another piece of the silver lining is Houston’s new General Manager Jeff Luhnow, who is involved in sabermetrics and helped build the Cardinals who won the 2011 World Series. Luhnow was in the Cardinals scouting department since 2003 and helped produce major league talent from the draft. He also has been a General Manager for Petstore.com, and has an M.B.A from Northwestern. His first move was trading for Jed Lowrie. On the surface this seems like a solid deal, whereby he attained a young talented infielder for his new organization. In my opinion, this is going to look like an amazing hire in four years time.

So even if 2012 is rough, Astros fans can start looking towards the future. It might take a couple of seasons, but it won’t be long  before the Astros are packing Minute Maid Park everyday. Ironically, the road to the respectability for the worst team in the majors won’t happen until they move to the A.L. West. With the Rangers and Angels waiting in their new division, the journey towards success for the Astros will get that much tougher in 2013.

**Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter***

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