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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.23) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Photo: Ben Margot, AP

Photo: Ben Margot, AP

Martin Perez threw a complete game, 3 hit shutout in Oakland. The 3-0 victory propelled the Rangers into first place by themselves.

Kyle Seager launched a pair of homers, driving in all 5 Seattle runs, including a 3 run bottom of the ninth come from behind walk off homer to give the Mariners a 5-3 win over Houston.

Zack Greinke pitched 7 strong innings, letting up just 5 hits, 2 earned runs and walking 1 while striking out 11. He improved to 4-0 for the Dodgers with the 5-2 win over the Phillies.

Hector Sanchez hit two homers including an 11th inning grand slam, collecting 5 RBI in all and propelling the Giants to a 12-10 win over the Rockies.

They owned baseball on April.23, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.22) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Photo: Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports

Albert Pujols homered twice, driving in a pair of runs. His second home run was career homer number 500. He helped the Angels top the Nations, 7-2.

Matt Holliday got on base four times, scored, drove in a run and pulled a home run back over the fence with a great catch as the Cardinals topped the Mets, 3-0.

Jose Fernandez won one of the most startling pitching duels of the year, striking out 14 over 8 shutout innings and letting up just 3 hits and walking none. The Marlins would sneak past the Braves, 1-0.

David Price overcame a pair of homers to throw a complete game, striking out 12 and walking one. The Rays beat the Twins, 7-3.

They owned baseball on April.22, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.21) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Mark J. Terrill/AP

Mark J. Terrill/AP

Cliff Lee pitched 8 dominating innings against the Dodgers. No runs, no walks, 4 hits and 10 strikeouts as the Phillies rolled, 7-0.

Andrew McCutchen got on base 5 times, crushed a game tying homer in the 8th and drew a walk in the game winning 9th inning rally as the Pirates came from behind to beat the Reds, 6-5.

Garrett Richards let up just 1 hit and 1 run, striking out 6 over 6 innings. He was lifted for a pinch hitter and did not get the decision. But the Angels would top the Nationals, 4-2.

Matt Dominguez homered, doubled and walked, driving in 3 and lead Houston’s surprising attack against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners for a 7-2 win.

They owned baseball on April.21, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (April.19) – Updated MLB Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

 J Pat Carter / AP Photo

J Pat Carter / AP Photo

Henderson Alvarez pitched a complete game 2 hit, no walk shutout, his first victory since his season ending no hitter last fall. This time won the game for the Marlins 7-0 over Seattle.

Ryan Braun went 3-5, scored 4 times and homered twice. His second homer was a 1 out, 2 run, come from behind 9th inning homer that gave the Brewers a dramatic 8-7 win in Pittsburgh.

Mark Buehrle pitched 7 shutout innings, letting up 4 hits as he earned his 4th win for the Blue Jays this year, 5-0 in Cleveland.

Wil Myers got on base 4 times and scored all 4 times. He clubbed a pair of homers, driving in 4 and helped lead the Rays to a 16-1 thrashing of the Yankees.

They owned baseball on April.19, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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Oakland Athletics Roster In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with  Tommy John Surgery.  You are talking about a guy that was 25 - 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined.  He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed.  The A's also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now.  Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland - including Chris Carter< Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Cook for Starter Dan Haren.  The club still has many of the components left as assets from that very deal. While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back.

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. You are talking about a guy that was 25 – 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed. The A’s also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now. Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland with Collin Cowgill and  Ryan Cook for Starter Trevor Cahill. The club still has Parker and Cahill.  While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back. Cahill has been ineffective for the D’backs in 2014 – with a 9.17 ERA and an MLB leading 4 losses.

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

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I just finished writing an article about how Billy Beane was smart not to have signed Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to extensions here.

You really wont find him do this anytime soon with any of his chuckers.

The Scott Kazmir deal is the one he likes to do.  It is simple as to why the man operates like this.  He doesn’t have to give up any assets in the process.

Beane is a “Baseball Rounder”.

It is not unlike him to do manage 50 – 60 transactions per year.  He was won more than he has lost – whether it is Free Agency or trades.  His ballclub has the best record in the Majors since the start of play in 2012 – at 200 – 144 (.581 baseball).

We will go through the Pitching First, and then the hitting by the weekend. Read the rest of this entry

Master List Of All Free Agents Signed In 2013 Winter – Heading Into 2014 MLB Year

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It has been a record setting year for contract $ doled out for players.  When you factor in the player extensions, we are talking about 7 contracts registering in the top 50 Player contracts in the history of the game.

Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Freddie Freeman, Shin-Soo Choo and Homer Bailey have inked deal for between $105 MIL to $240 MIL.

Now there is word the Angels are working on an extension with Mike Trout, to the tune of 6 YRs/$150 MIL,  from 2015 – 2020.  This would be the 22nd highest contract in MLB History.

For the record, Trout’s deal for 2014 is already set at $510 K, and any extension wouldn’t have Luxury Tax Ramifications until his new deal would start in 2015. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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Billy Beane is a master tactician when it comes to freeing up some cash in order to acquire more players.

Oakland ended last year with a payroll of about $70 MIL.  So far this offseason, the A’s GM has picked up several relief pitchers and also signed Scott Kazmir to a 2 YR deal worth $22 MIL.

The team also said goodbye to Bartolo Colon,(who signed with the Mets for a 2 YRs/$20 MIL deal).

Beane has held a fantastic track record of assessing talent, so don’t be surprised if the stocky 40 year old breaks down in the Mets uniform – and not under the A’s watch. Read the rest of this entry

The A’s Pickup Another Quality Bullpen Arm In Gregerson

Luke Gregerson has authored 5 brilliant seasons coming out of the Padres Bullpen.  He has a 2.78 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in his 347 IP worth of work.  The 29 Year Old from Park Ridge, IL originally, has averaged appearing in 68 games a year.

Luke Gregerson has authored 5 brilliant seasons coming out of the Padres Bullpen. He has a 2.78 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in his 347 IP worth of work. The 29 Year Old from Park Ridge, IL originally, has averaged appearing in 68 games a year.  The A’s will use him as a late inning arm with Jim Johnson, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle also being capable inning’s eater to nail down shut victories.  Gregerson is in his 3rd Year (made $3.2 MIL) of Arbitration before he hits the Free Agent Market in 2015.

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

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Billy Beane ended his whirlwind day on Tuesday. by flipping just signed OF/DH/PH Seth Smith to the San Diego Padres for Relief Pitcher Luke Gregerson.

In what can only be described as shock, I can’t believe the Padres could be this brutal in talent evaluation.

Beane has continued his pillaging from all other franchises.

The result was that he never touched any of the 9 Starting Players from his offense, zero from his Rotation, and only 2 Minor League Players from last season, to acquire 2 potential Closers/late inning relievers, a premiere CF defender, and a nice #5 Starter in return.

Luke Gregerson Interview from 2012

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Billy Beane Adds 4 Pitchers To The A’s Flock, Plus Gentry – Only Surrenders Weeks. Choice + Smith

Billy Beane is the perfect 'Baseball Rounder'. We all see that the moves the A's GM made yesterday where another way to gain assets in the short term - without losing much in the long run. With the A's usually operating at around the $65 MIL mark the last few years, and now being somewhere in the $75 MIL range, look for Beane to stay active in the transactions throughout this winter to shed payroll - and to receive team controllable players.

Billy Beane is the perfect ‘Baseball Rounder’. We all see that the moves the A’s GM made yesterday and today – where another way to gain assets in the short term – without losing much in the long run. With the A’s usually operating at around the $65 MIL mark the last few years, and now being somewhere in the $75 MIL range, look for Beane to stay active in the transactions throughout this winter to shed payroll – and to receive team controllable players.  The Athletics gain 4 players in these acquisitions that all saw significant playing time in the MLB, where the outgoing guys spent the majority of (if not all) their time in the Minors last year

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

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I said it last week in a Cards article that there were 3 teams that have perfected ‘baseball rounding’, and these teams were the Cardinals, A’s and Tampa Bay.

While the Oakland and Tampa Bay teams don’t have the wherewithal to do this as extensively as the St. Louis franchise, they have the master of the trade in Billy Beane.

“Baseball Rounding” is defined by organizations who always roundup Free Agents, Waiver Wire Deals, Rule 5 guys, or sell high when they know a player is past his projections, in order to obtain assets coming back.

The purpose of these deals is that the organization never touches the main core, meaning the franchise will be in awesome shape if you know how to groom players in your Minor League System after you draft them.

Scott Kazmir 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised

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AL West Hot Stove Roundup – Around The Horn

Grant Balfour maybe perfectly situated to change teams in the AL West from the Oakland Athletics to the Seattle Mariners.  The PAC NW club could use a guy stopper - to mop up games from a great young pitching staff.  in 2013, Balfour has nailed down 62 Saves in the last season and a half, and has carried a great ERA in the 2.50 range - with a WHIP slightly above 1.  If Seattle is willing to pay about 3 YRs/$33 - 36 MIL, then the Aussie could be headed their way.

Grant Balfour maybe perfectly situated to change teams in the AL West from the Oakland Athletics to the Seattle Mariners. The PAC NW club could use a guy stopper – to mop up games from a great young pitching staff. in 2013, Balfour has nailed down 62 Saves in the last season and a half, and has carried a great ERA in the 2.50 range – with a WHIP slightly above 1. If Seattle is willing to pay about 3 YRs/$33 – 36 MIL, then the Aussie could be headed their way.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Seattle Mariners:  Jack Z. and the brass have some money to spend, will there be any takers??  Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo should all be on the offensive list.

On the Pitching side, Bronson Arroyo is the kind of Innings eater that could favor your Bullpen.  Fernando Rodney or Grant Balfour could close games for you as I don’t think Joe Nathan or Brian Wilson are coming.

Go big with your Free Agent signings, even if it is one or 2 players.

Jacoby Ellsbury 2013 Highlights

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Oakland A’s State Of The Union – Trust In Billy Beane To Find A Gem This Winter – Just Not Cruz!

Billy Beane saw his 2013 squad reel in their 2nd straight AL West Title.  The team will be hard pressed to do it again in 2014, but don't ever count out the A's.  It has been a quiet winter thus far, with just signing Nick Punto, and exercising options on Coco Crisp and Brett Anderson. What acquisition does the MoneyBall GM have up his sleeve this time around?

Billy Beane saw his 2013 squad reel in their 2nd straight AL West Title. The team will be hard pressed to do it again in 2014, but don’t ever count out the A’s. It has been a quiet winter thus far, with just signing Nick Punto, and exercising options on Coco Crisp and Brett Anderson. What acquisition does the MoneyBall GM have up his sleeve this time around?  I don’t think he will dip into the FA Market for a big name, but certainly a guy or two that can help his ballclub.

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

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Nelson Cruz is a sought after Free Agent for power, but it is my humble opinion that the A’s will just not fork out that type of money required to land his services.

Already, the club is projected to give out contracts that will estimate to in the $50 – $55 MIL range once some of their guys head to Arbitration like Seth Smith, Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie, Jerry Blevins and John Jaso.

The franchise will likely see Bartolo Colon and Closer Grant Balfour also leave the nest from their 2013 Pitching Rotation.

Billy Beane hasn’t really been that busy in Free Agency, as he only  signed Utility Infielder Nick Punto for a 2 YR/$5.5 MIL deal, and he exercised the Team Options on Coco Crisp and Brett Anderson.

Cespedes 2013 Highights

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How All Of The Nats Players Were Acquired: (Trade, Signed, Drafted, Waiver Wire) + Analysis

How All Of The Washington Nationals Players Were Acquired:

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future.  Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now.  Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season - the future is definitely bright in DC

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future. Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now. Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season – the future is definitely bright in DC.  The club has strong pitching in the Major Leagues – with some help coming  for more years to come.  They have potential ALL – Stars in almost every position.  Lets see how all of the players were acquired.

Tuesday July.23/2013

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Washington Nationals – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

The Rise of the Nationals

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The Billy Beane Way Of Contracts + His Trade History Since MoneyBall!

Wednesday July.03, 2013

Updated January.05, 2014

Beane does his transactions throughout the entire year - and very little at the deadline.  He is never finished with re-arranging his franchise.  Perhaps his best Trade Deadline deal was to acquire Jermaine Dye in 2001.  Conversely, he had to pay Dye a big FA contract afterwards.  Between he and Eric Chavez's deal, Beane learned not to be burned on long term deals.  He is a big fan of 1 to 2 Year Deals with Veterans.

Beane does his transactions throughout the entire year – and very little at the deadline. He is never finished with re-arranging his franchise. Perhaps his best Trade Deadline deal was to acquire Jermaine Dye in 2001. Conversely, he had to pay Dye a big FA contract afterwards (3 YRs/$30 MIL). Between he and Eric Chavez’s deal, (6 YR/$66 MIL deal) Beane learned not to be burned on long term contracts. He is a big fan of 1 – 2 Year Deals with Veterans.  A lot of his players have not fared as well when they have left the organization.  Even the guys that have, simply cost too much money for the A’s liking.  The Oakland team received the same kind of production from them for a small percentage of the salary paid out.

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

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We have talked a ton about Billy Beane‘s genius way on the website.  The Website founder ‘Jonathan Hacohen’ was one of the first baseball writers to uncover the new Beane strategy last year.

I further studied some of his brilliant work  – by figuring out the current roster tree for all of the current team last November.  I was able to pick up a lot more patterns from his work as a GM.

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The Washington Nationals Offense – Post Rendon At 2B + Going Forward

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Saturday, June.29/2013

The Nationals still rank next to last in the NL in runs per game, but it was known weeks ago that all the bad from April and May would take a long time to correct. The Nationals however are on the way to correcting it, and when analyzing the current team that is on the field it is important to look at the team that is currently taking the field. Since inserting at second base the Nats offense has scored 72 runs in 18 games, an average of four runs a game. That is much better than the overall season average of 3.55 and much better than the average with Espinosa at second of 3.40.

The Nationals still rank next to last in the NL in runs per game, but it was known weeks ago that all the bad from April and May would take a long time to correct. The Nationals however are on the way to correcting it, and when analyzing the current team that is on the field it is important to look at the team that is currently taking the field. Since inserting at second base the Nats offense has scored 72 runs in 18 games, an average of four runs a game. That is much better than the overall season average of 3.55 and much better than the average with Espinosa at second of 3.40.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Numbers before June.27/2013

Not surprisingly replacing a .158/.193/.465 hitter with a .354/.402/.887 guy – has had a marketable difference. The Nats offense hasn’t yet turned the corner, for in June, the Nationals left fielders have hit .228/.293/.616.

Surprisingly that isn’t the worst in baseball but it is pretty darn close. Soon the Nationals are going to replace those paltry numbers with the numbers of Bryce Harper who at the time he was placed on the DL was hitting .287/.386/.973.

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Washington Nationals Organization: Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Friday, June.21/2013

The Nationals were everyone's Preseason favorite to get to the 2013 World Series.  A litany of injuries, with a few slumps from some key Veterans - have caused them to only be hovering around .500.  They still have a chance to rundown the Atlanta Braves in the NL East if they can put together the kind of winning baseball they put forth during the 2012 campaign.  Even if it doesn't come to fruition this year, the club looks solid in the coming years.  Only a World Series Championship will forever cement their legacy as a great club.

The Nationals were everyone’s Preseason favorite to get to the 2013 World Series. A litany of injuries, with a few slumps from some key Veterans – have caused them to only be hovering around .500. They still have a chance to rundown the Atlanta Braves in the NL East if they can put together the kind of winning baseball they put forth during the 2012 campaign. Even if it doesn’t come to fruition this year, the club looks solid in the coming years. Only a World Series Championship will forever cement their legacy as a great club.

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 &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Nationals Organization clickhere

From Last To First – The Rise Of The Nats

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Domonic Brown Has Heated Up For The Phils: It Is Time The Rest Caught Up

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Sunday May.26, 2013

With six of his nine home runs and 16 of his 27 RBI's coming in the last 21 games, it would not surprise me to see Brown bat more often in the 5-hole behind  vs. any opposing team's right-handed pitching.

With six of his nine Home Runs and 16 of his 27 RBI coming in the last 21 games, it would not surprise me to see Brown bat more often in the 5-hole behind vs. any opposing team’s right-handed pitching. If only the rest of the Phillies could be producing like Brown has been lately, there would be another chance to win an NL East Division like shown here. The ‘Phightins’ have a chance to draw even with the Nationals today – and claim a record of .500 once again at 25 – 25.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

Domonic Brown is starting to put it together again. Well, almost. He’s had quite a productive month of May, but with one glaring statistical anomaly: Domonic Brown hasn’t taken a walk since April 30th.

Hard to ride him on it since he’s been semi-raking, but no doubt teams will begin to notice that he’s recognizing fat pitches to drive early in the count. Over the next series or two you will see that opposing teams will be very cautious in their introductions to Brown, that is if their scouts are any good.

It will be up to Dom Brown to make the adjustment and wait them out in order to continue on his torrid pace. He may actually have to take a walk or two, but in my opinion, that will only help his cause.

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Athletics 8 Game Win Streak Is Nothing New To Pattern Formed Since Last Year

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Friday, Apr.12/2013

Oakland Athletics' Jed Lowrie has made Billy Beane look like a genius once again - with clubbing 16 hits, (8 of the Extra Base Variety), Scoring 10 Runs and Walking 6 times so far in the teams 8 - 2 start.  He has an OPS of 1.258 thus far.

Oakland Athletics’ Jed Lowrie has made Billy Beane look like a genius once again – with clubbing 16 hits, (8 of the Extra Base Variety), Scoring 10 Runs and Walking 6 times so far in the teams 8 – 2 start. He has an OPS of 1.258.  He was acquired from the Houston Astros in a February trade which sent Chris Carter the other way.  The man can play several defensive positions well.  He is due for Arbitration at the end of this season, before becoming a Free Agent in 2015.  Beane doesn’t seem to make a bad move these days.

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

Hands up.. How many people would have thought that the Oakland Athletics would start the 2013 season with the best record in the Major Leagues so far?

Of course this website is not surprised at all.  Jonathan Hacohen (Website Founder and current Oakland A’s Correspondent) wrote a brilliant piece in the 1st week of July/2012 – breaking down Billy Beane‘s new MoneyBall Philosophy here.

I have to admit something right now..  I had not seen the movie “MoneyBall” even by this time.  Yes…brutal and I was kicking myself for not seeing it before hand.

After the movie, I did some digging and was extremely flabbergasted with what I found about Beane’s magic.  I wrote a Roster Tree for the Hitters and Pitchers in the organization.  I studied every single transaction to back track how each of the current member of the team had arrived in an Oakland uniform.  You can find that 2 part series here.

Can the Oakland A’s Do it Again in 2013 Preview:

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The New Bash Brothers of Oakland – The A’s State Of The Union 2013 Part 1: The Hitters

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Sunday March 24th, 2013

With Cespedes (23 HRs)and Reddick (32 HRs) anchoring the middle of the lineup last year in the 2nd half - the Athletics belted an MLB Leading 112 Round Trippers after the ALL - Star Game.  Many players clubbed the long - ball despite limited AB in the lineup.  They also finished 3rd in the Major Leagues for the whole season on the road.  This is bad news for teams in the AL West.  The team looks to duplicate their incredible second half of power into a full season in 2013.

With Cespedes (23 HRs)and Reddick (32 HRs) anchoring the middle of the lineup last year in the 2nd half – the Athletics belted an MLB Leading 112 Round Trippers after the ALL – Star Game. Many players clubbed the long – ball despite limited AB in the lineup. They also finished 3rd in the Major Leagues for the whole season on the road. This is bad news for teams in the AL West. The team looks to duplicate their incredible second half of power into a full season in 2013.

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

The success of the Oakland Athletics was the surprise of the year in 2012. No one expected them to win the AL West after the Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson and with the Rangers coming off of their second straight World Series Appearance. The A’s completely came out of nowhere with players stepping up that no one had heard of.

Josh Reddick proved to be a great acquisition from the Red Sox, hitting 32 bombs and driving in 85 runs. Cuban import Yoenis Cespedes also exceeded expectations after he was signed in the offseason, hitting 23 Homers and driving in 82. These two hard-hitting Outfielders served as mini Bash Brothers.

Of course, no pair of hitters could compare to the Bash Brothers of 1987 consisting of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, who combined for 80 HR.

But, seeing Reddick and Cespedes both have good hitting seasons could have reminded longtime A’s fans of the greatness that happened in 1987, Canseco’s second year and when McGwire was a rookie. Cespedes and Reddick, along with the rest of the Oakland Athletics’ cast brought excitement to the Oakland Coliseum for the first time in a few years. But, the big question is: was last year a fluke?

The Swinging A’s in 2013 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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The Washington Nationals Franchise Part 6 of 6: 2013 Team Payroll And Contracts Updated Mar.8

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Thursday, March.07/2013

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

Perhaps no team will have more of a chance to win the 2013 World Series with Harper and Strasburg will be another year older, while both Zimmerman’s can both have been healthy for the year.  They have two Mutual Options for them to re-sign which I mention on the next page.  They do have several Arbitration Eligible Players including Super ’2′ Free Agents Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.  The Nationals should try to lock most of these guys up as long as they can.  Especially guys like Desmond, Espinosa and Storen.  

Their price shall only skyrocket as they become older.  The Nationals will not have to worry about their starting outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper as they are all signed for next year.  Strasburg enters the final year of this entry-level deal and Gio Gonzalez also has a nice value deal for the salary part of it.

Kurt Suzuki had a strong finish in 2013, so you could see the club maybe trading away he or Wilson Ramos before 2013 Trade Deadline.  I suspect the Phillies to be stronger this year, so major improvements by Harper and rejuvenated play from both Zimmerman’s will be crucial to the clubs success.  Micheal Lerner has made it abundantly clear he wants a championship for this club ASAP.  He will spend any amount of money .  The rest of the lineup looks set and ready to mash in 2013!

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nationals top 25 Man Roster from 20o5-2012 click here

MLB 13 The Show – Bryce Harper Interview:

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The Washington Nationals Roster for 2013: State Of The Union Updated Mar.7/2013

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Thursday March 7, 2013

The Nationals are one of 2 teams in the MLB (The Mariners is the other) that have never made a World Series Appearance.   Will this change in the Year 2013?

The Nationals are one of 2 teams in the MLB (The Mariners is the other) that have never made a World Series Appearance. Will this change in the Year 2013?

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer):  .

It’s clear that the Washington Nationals have turned the corner as a franchise on the rise. Their most recent high included a 2012 campaign that had them winning 98 games in the regular season, good for the most in the majors, but ended with heartbreak in a game 5 loss in the NLDS at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. Moving forward to 2013, the Nationals will certainly hope to make it deeper into the playoffs, but it will be easier said than done. The Nationals have shown patience in the past, but have made some aggressive moves this off-season.

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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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Billy Beane Found His Catcher in Seattle: John Jaso is Ready to Lead the A’s Back to the Playoffs

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Sunday January 20th, 2013

A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?

A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

My name is Jonathan Hacohen. And I am a John Jaso fan. There…I have said it. Feels very good to get it out. Ok, so I don’t own any John Jaso t-shirts or jerseys. I wouldn’t recognize him if I hit him with my car. But when #27 (formerly #28 on the Rays) comes up to bat, I know that good things will usually happen. Remember that .372 OBP in 2010? I sure do. So do many Tampa Bay Rays fans. For you see my friends, John Jaso is a special breed of baseball player. He is a catcher with patience. He won’t hit for great pop, but he finds ways to get On Base. That is a skill that served him very well back in his aforementioned first full MLB season.

From that season on, I came to expect great things from Mr. Jaso. But then 2011 hit. Or actually, he didn’t. A .224 AVG with a .298 OBP was good enough for the Rays to dump Jaso on the Mariners for Josh Lueke. Remember him? Do I really have to say more? The Rays, for all the talk of their poor offensive showing and need for major league bats, decided that John Jaso just didn’t fit into their system. So Jaso was off to Seattle and Jose Molina was brought on board. The same Jose Molina who hit .223 last season with a .286 OBP. The same Jose Molina who got paid $1.5 Million last season. John Jaso on the other hand got paid $495,200 last year. What did he do? Only hit .276 with a .394 OBP. Plus a .456 SLG for good measure. His reward? A one-way ticket to Oakland with a 30 second stopover in Washington. The man can’t win. A good or bad season, either way MLB GM haven’t shown faith in this kid so far in his career. But then, most GMs are not Billy Beane. Despite being apparently set at the position for 2013, Beane proceeded to trade for Jaso and dump George Kottaras, to catch with Derek Norris. Beane said on record that he would have kept Kottaras unless Jaso was made available. So does Billy Beane know something that Andrew Friedman, Jack Zduriencik and Mike Rizzo don’t? The answer is yes. Beane knows which players he wants and usually, he will get them at the end. Now John Jaso is set to bring flair, leadership and of course, On Base skills to Oakland. The playoff picture just got much rosier for the A’s. 


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The Yankees Will Surpass A 200 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 And Are Pinching Pennies At Catcher!

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Thursday, December.27, 2012

This guy might be a great defensive catcher when all is said and done, but how can you trust this team with a rookie catcher with their limited window to win?

This guy might be a great defensive catcher when all is said and done, but how can you trust this team with a rookie catcher with their limited window to win?

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

As of this very moment, you are not the happiest of campers if you are a Yankees fan.   Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart and Austin Romine look to start the year out catching for the Bronx Bombers!  Really??? You are telling me that you will spend 215-225 Million Dollars on (Luxury Taxable) Payroll and you couldn’t find a mere 7.5 Million for a 1 Year Deal to sign A.J. Pierzynski?  The club will receive some insurance money for A-Rod’s injury this year, however the Luxury Tax is not affected by that.  So maybe knowing that they will pay 40% more for a guys salary (more than he really makes as a salary) is another thing stalling the franchise from plunking some serious cash down on a real quality veteran catcher.  In my opinion, this is a brutal mistake that will leave the fans frustrated beyond belief if it blows up in the Yankees face.  The good news is that if the team is playing well in every other department other than the Catchers position, they can always address the situation at any point next year by a trade.  With no significant catchers left on the FA Market, New York will probably go this route. If you can manage to keep atop of the standings, then you may land a veteran catcher that will only have a pro-rated salary for the rest of the year.

If I were Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera or Andy Pettitte, I would not be happy with the club not landing a proven offensive or defensive catcher.  (Boy does that Jesus Montero Trade not look so favorable right now.) These 4 veterans are in the last year or two of their contracts and possibly their careers will end once their contracts.  While these guys would never panic, you only need to look what the Blue Jays are doing north of the border for real ‘transaction aggression.’ I just think that you have re-signed and brought in Free Agents that all point to a “Win Now” mentality, yet you are going towards one-dimensional catchers that all have limited experience.  It doesn’t feel right and the Yankees ‘Faithful’ will have a field day on Management and ownership should this position end up being a crutch on the teams success chances for 2013.

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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

2012 Waiver Deals: The First Wave

Friday August 3rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  Now that the trade deadline is over, teams will have a harder time making trades, but they can still be made through waivers. Over the past few hours, a couple trades have been made.

Joe Blanton to the Dodgers

The Dodgers claimed Blanton off waivers and decided to trade for him. They offered to pay the rest of his contract–$2.9 million, and send a player to be named later. After failing to land a big-name starter like Ryan Dempster or James Shields, the Dodgers went after Blanton. Blanton will bring his 8-9 record and 4.59 ERA to Los Angeles for the stretch-run this season. His best season ERA-wise was his rookie year in 2005 with the A’s when he went 12-12 with a 3.53 ERA. Since then, his lowest ERA has been 3.95. Before the 2010 season, he signed a three-year $24 million dollar contract with the Phillies—I think they overpaid. In those three years, Blanton has gone 18-17. He should give the Dodgers a slight boost, but this move isn’t a season-changer.

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The Future of Kurt Suzuki in Oakland: Long Term Catcher or Trade Bait

Thursday June 7th, 2012

 

John Burns (MLB reports Intern Candidate):  Kurt Suzuki has been in the Oakland A’s organization his entire career since being drafted in the 2nd round out of Cal State Fullerton in the 2004 MLB draft.

Suzuki is having a rough 2012 season so far, he is only batting .207 with no homers and 15 RBIs. The Athletics have struggled in the hitting department this year, as they are dead last in baseball with a team average of .213. This is one of the main reasons for their 24-31 record to start the year.

As the trade deadline approaches, the last place Athletics will most likely be sellers. The A’s will have to make a hard decision this July on their once called “franchise catcher” Kurt Suzuki. The 28 year-old catcher is signed through the 2013 season with a 2014 option with the Athletics. Butt that does not mean Suzuki is guaranteed a spot with the A’s. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: Sunday November 27th

Sunday November 27, 2011

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

Q:  I know this is off topic but with the Houston Astros moving to the AL West and constant interleague play, what exactly is the point of an American League and a National League, besides of course the DH?


MLB reports:  The existence of the designated hitter is the key to separate the American League and National League.  Without the DH, there is no difference between the leagues.  Otherwise, having separate leagues would simply be a way to divide up the divisions and teams.  With daily interleague games coming, the mystique of having separate leagues is starting to fall by the wayside.  An idea that was thrown around was to have the DH in play in National League parks and no DH in American League parks during interleague play.  That would create strong interest in the different styles of play in the different parks and peak strong interest in interleague play.  But unfortunately, it appears that idea has been scrapped for now.  Long term, baseball needs to decide if it will have a designated hitter or not.  There are arguments on both sides.  Traditionalists like myself would like to scrap the DH all together and introduce National League style baseball throughout baseball.  With the in-game moves and decisions that must be included with the pitcher hitting, I prefer the NL game.  But others see pitchers hitting as hurting the game with “automatic outs” and risking the health and safety of pitchers by having them hit in the NL.  This argument will continue likely for decades until a resolution is agreed upon one way or the other.  Until then, we will continue to have two different leagues in place.  One has a designated hitter and one does not.  With the increase in interleague play, the line separating the leagues has become even blurrier.  Great question!

Q:  What’s the scouting report on Luis Valbuena?  Andrew
MLB reports:  The newest member of the Toronto Blue Jays will be turning 26 this week (November 30th birthday)- so be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday!  Born in Venezuela, Valbuena is a utility infielder at this point in his career, playing second, short and third.  Coming up originally with the Mariners originally in 2008, Valbuena was traded in December 2008 as part of the Franklin Gutierrez swap.  Since then, Valbuena has played parts of three seasons with the Indians.  In 229 career games, Valbuena has 13 home runs, 57 rbis, 84 runs, .226 avg, .286 obp and .344 slg.  Considering that he was designated for assignment, the Jays picked him up for cash considerations makes sense.  He has shown little at the major league level thus far, but is young and known for a strong glove.  Valbuena has shown steady improvement in the last three years in the minors, with a breakout season in AAA Columbus in 2011.  Valbuena popped a strong 17 home runs in 113 games, with 75 rbis, 64 runs, hitting .302 with a .307 OBP and .476 SLG.  If those numbers can be replicated to any degree at the major league level, the Jays may have a hidden gem uncovered.  At worst, we could be seeing another Ramon Santiago type player or the Venezuelan John McDonald.  The Jays need a backup infielder on the roster and Valbuena could be the answer.  Or possibly their next starting second baseman for the next five seasons.  Doubtful…but it could happen!
Q:  Would Yonder Alonso look good on our team?  Would Xavier Nady be a good fit with the Indians or does the Tribe want something more? Martin
MLB reports:  Wow, that is a mountain of questions!!!   Firstly, Yonder Alonso would look great on the Indians.  In fact, he would look great in 29 other lineups.  The kid is a future superstar, no doubt in my mind.  It is just a question of finding him a permanent home.  The Reds have tried him in left field, but do not see him as a long-term solution there.  The team will either have to move him, or open up first by trading franchise star Joey Votto.  At this point, it looks like Alonso will be the one to go.  I am a big Matt LaPorta supporter, but long-term he does not appear to be the solution for the Indians.  He can always move to the outfield or DH, but a change of scenery is likely the best option for him.  LaPorta never lived up to the expectations of being traded for C.C. Sabathia and both the team and player need to move on.  The Indians have prospects to move, although not as many after all their 2011 swaps including the Ubaldo Jimenez trade.  I can’t see the team wanting to trade more parts, as they cannot deplete their farm.  Given what other teams can offer for Alonso, mainly the Rays, I don’t see an Alonso move in the future of the Indians.  It would be a nice acquisition, but not likely to happen.  Nady on the other hand would be a nice low risk pickup.  If healthy, he could bring the leadership and experience the team needs.  Championship teams need strong extra parts and Xavier Nady would be a strong fit in that regard.  As long as comes cheap and doesn’t expect to start, I would say that is a done deal.  The team may look for one or two more strong bats for its lineups, but that would not stop a potential Nady signing.
Q:  Can’t help but think of Scott Kazmir (compared to Gio Gonzalez being looked at but several teams in a trade).  Brandon
MLB reports: Poor Gio Gonzalez.  Why the harsh words? In all seriousness, I see where you are going with the comparison.  High walk, high strikeout pitcher.  After a 3.23 ERA in 2010, Gio lowered it more to 3.12 in 2011.  He has enjoyed near identical 1.31 WHIPs the last two seasons.  He does not give up a ton of hits, but the walks are very high.  He led the league with 91 walks after allowing 92 the year before.  The home/road splits tell a big part of the story.  This season, Gio went 10-5 at home, with a 2.70 ERA and 1.227 WHIP.  On the road, Gio went 6-7 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.424 WHIP.  Pitching in the Oakland ballpark clearly has a strong effect on his numbers.  Similar splits are found in his 2010 numbers as well.  Thus the conclusion is likely that taking Gio Gonzalez out of Oakland and putting him in a hitter’s ballpark (say Wrigley, Fenway or the Rogers Centre) and his numbers will likely balloon.  Pitching in Oakland likely masks much of his warts.  He just turned 26 in September so he still has time to develop.  The next two seasons will tell the tale.  He could become a superstar or the next Scott Kazmir.  Until those walk totals start to drop, you could be on to something.  The kid has a ton of talent, don’t get me wrong.  But he is far from a sure thing.  Until then, your comparison could be close.  Thank you for the comment!
Q:  (Final question:)  Will Kurt Suzuki ever become a superstar?  Bill
MLB reports: Thanks for the question Bill.  I chose this question because I have pondered that question for many seasons.  Suzuki, a 2nd round pick of the A’s in 2004 is now 28-years of age.  They say catchers take longer to develop than other hitters.  Suzuki has been steady behind in the plate, seen as strong defensively and a good game-caller.  The question has been the offense.  The perception has been that Suzuki has pop in his bat and able to take walks in the “moneyball” mold.  Looking at the numbers, that has not transpired in reality.  Suzuki had a career high 15 home runs in 2009 and walked a career high 44 times in 2008.  Suzuki has essentially regressed to a hitter that walks 30+ times, hits a dozen or so home runs in a year, has a .300 or so OBP with a SLG under .400.  He will play in the majority of his team’s games though.  Welcome to Jason Kendall territory.  That is where Suzuki is headed.  My heart says that he will still become a Jason Varitek type hitter as a catcher.  But my brain sees Kendall.  There are a lot worse things in life than becoming the next Jason Kendall.  But for a catcher that had high expectations, more was expected of Suzuki.  I can’t see him ever becoming a superstar at this point.  But I can see a 15-year major league career in his future, built mostly on his catching abilities.

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Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)


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