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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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The Seattle Mariners State Of The Union For 2014 Part 1: Winter Deals + Pitchers

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for the Mariners.  He followed up with a CY Young season in 2010.   The last 3 years, he has gone 39 - 33, with a lowe 3 ERA, but finished 4th in Cy Young Voting in 2012, and was oine of the frontrunner to win the 2013 AL Cy Young - before the team shut him down for the rest of the year in Sept (still finished 8th in Voting).  Hernandez sports a 110 - 86 record with a 3.20 ERA for his 9 year career.  Expect nearly 16  - 18 wins this year with a near 3 ERA.  Photo: Chris Carlson - AP

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for the Mariners. He followed up with a CY Young season in 2010. The last 3 years, he has gone 39 – 33, with a lowe 3 ERA, but finished 4th in Cy Young Voting in 2012, and was one of the frontrunners to win the 2013 AL Cy Young – before the team shut him down for the rest of the year in Sept (still finished 8th in Voting). Hernandez sports a 110 – 86 record with a 3.20 ERA for his 9 year career. Expect nearly 16 – 18 wins this year with a near 3 ERA. The Mariners have only had 2 winning seasons out of the time “King Felix has been on the team.  A start at Safeco Field for the team by him is worth about 10K fans extra. Photo: Chris Carlson – AP

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

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A decade of frustration has set in after the clubs best stretch of success proceeded if from the time Ken Griffey Jr. arrived, until longtime MGR. Lou Piniella left the fold in 2003.

That was the last season the Mariners were sniffing around a playoff spot.

Back then, attendance was nearly 40K per game at Safeco, and you see tailgate parties, and the smell of garlic wafted through the surrounding area of the park.

In 2012, the club hit an all time low in attendance for the new stadium, and it wasn’t much better in 2013.  Seattle drew just over 20,000 fans per game.

Something had to be done.  Other than games that brought tonnes of excitement, and the King’s Court Section for Felix Hernandez home outings, there wasn’t much for the teams fanbase to be happy about with the home team.

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Angels State Of The Union For 2014: A Hot Start Is Paramount For Success

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West.  The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign. But with AL West rivals all having significant injuries both to start the year and long-term for 2014, this has opened up the door for the start of campaign at least.  It is incumbent that their top guys stay injury free, and spend exactly no days on the DL, because they don't have suitable replacements to step in.  With poor starts to both of the last 2 years, this squad looks to break this trend in 2014.

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West. The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign. But with AL West rivals all having significant injuries both to start the year and long-term for 2014, this has opened up the door for the start of the 2014 campaign at least. It is incumbent that their top guys stay injury free, and spend exactly no days on the DL, because they don’t have suitable replacements to step in. With poor starts to both of the last 2 years, this squad looks to break this trend this seasom.

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

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Hunter Stokes (Our chief writer) wrote a piece that was picked up by MLB Trade Rumors blogroll, stating that Jerry DiPoto has done a poor job in constructing the current team based on the roster tree here.

I agree with him 100% on this, especially on the moves, the Bullpen not being 100% finished yet, the Starting Rotation too reliant on their top 2 pitchers – and we have had several of their fans take some jabs at us for going with these notions.

The club’s brass has had a better winter in 2013 going into 2014, then they had last year, however it still doesn’t alleviate the fact, this team can’t sustain one injury to any of their top players because of said moves to deplete their depth.

The Starting Staff is composed of 60% of youth that is not used to toting long innings in Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs.

The team has a lot of players that will strikeout a lot, so it is also important to receive key HRs at crucial times in the game.

The club will also lose 34 HRs worth of power they received from Mark Trumbo in 2013, but it was the right time to move him.  Whether they received enough of a return is yet to be determined, but it also cut down the whiffs for 2014.

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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

The Mark Trumbo Trade Watch Continues in LA: Could He Be Headed To STL, TB, MIA, PIT Or Other?

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West.  The team will lose Jason Vargas this year, and the Angels are expected to non-tender Tommy Hanson.  The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign.  If the Angels are wishing to trade Mark Trumbo, they best acquire 2 Pitchers that can fill in their weaknesses.  Los Angeles have a surplus of OF/DH and 1B on the Roster with Hamilton, Pujols and Bourjos.  Trumbo will be a heavy commodity sought after because he has 3 years of Team Control left with any aspiring club that brings him in.

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West. The team will lose Jason Vargas this year, and the Angels are expected to non-tender Tommy Hanson. The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign. If the Angels are wishing to trade Mark Trumbo, they best acquire 2 Pitchers that can fill in their weaknesses. Los Angeles have a surplus of OF/DH and 1B on the Roster with Hamilton, Pujols and Bourjos. Trumbo will be a heavy commodity sought after because he has 3 years of Team Control left with any aspiring club that brings him in.

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

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The Angels have doled out nearly half a Billion in contracts over the last 3 winters of Free Agency and have nothing to show for it but heartache, misery – and a team that was once a perennial playoff favorite dropped under .500 for only the 2nd time in the last decade during the 2013 season.

Hemorrhaging funds for a club not competing can’t sit well with the team owner Arte Moreno.  Amidst in all of this would be a contract for Mike Scioscia as manager for $5 MIL a year, that renders him unfireable, and  even untradeable.

This team is loaded with talented players like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Howie Kendrick – and of course Mark Trumbo.

Mark Trumbo’s 1st 24 HRs of 2013

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The Miami Marlins Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn't going to cut it - and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013.  Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn’t going to cut it – and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013. Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little in future years.

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

The Miami Marlins are known for doing a gazillion transactions throughout the year.  Jeffrey Loria and CO. are always looking for ways to save dollars, become younger, and fill the Minor League System with players.

Since the team has won 2 World Series it is time in the MLB (21 Years), some people are even willing to give the franchise some credit, although most of that was attributed to the previous ownership regimes.

They are loaded with a multitude of young players that are highly touted and talented.  The biggest question to ask is how they are going to move forward with Giancarlo Stanton?

2014 will be an interesting campaign for Miami.  They have to hope that a lot of their several young players can mature and prosper, as they are in the same Division as the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves.

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

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights _- Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marlins Outlast Mets in 20-innings

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The Miami Marlins Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn't going to cut it - and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013.  Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn’t going to cut it – and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013. Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

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 Miami Marlins are known for doing a gazillion transactions throughout the year.  Jeffrey Loria and CO. are always looking for ways to save dollars, become younger, and fill the Minor League System with players.

Since the team has won 2 World Series it is time in the MLB (21 Years), some people are even willing to give the franchise some credit, although most of that was attributed to the previous ownership regimes.

They are loaded with a multitude of young players that are highly touted and talented.  The biggest question to ask is how they are going to move forward with Giancarlo Stanton?

2014 will be an interesting campaign for Miami.  They have to hope that a lot of their several young players can mature and prosper, as they are in the same Division as the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves.

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

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights _- Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #9: LAA, SD, MIA And SEA Chat With Great Guests

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Friday, June.28, 2013,

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

’2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

On today’s podcast, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show, I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  8 Minutes and a 18 Segment

Chuck makes a HUGE announcement about MLB Reports & then we talked about contract stuff like arbitration, Super 2, & service time…

Also we talk about these guys Wil Myers, Yasiel Puig & Chris Archer on why they should have been up in the major leagues since the beginning of the season!

Then I talk to LAA correspondent Joshua Jones (34 Minute Mark and a 18 Minute Segment) about the Angels season & what might or might not happen…

Next up was Bernie Olshansky (53 Minute Mark and a 13 Minutes Segment)  about the padres & what moves they might make for the future…after that i talked to Mariners/Marlins correspondent.

The last guest of the show is the 2nd longest active writer on the MLB Reports website Sam Evans (1 HR and 12 Min Mark and a 25 Min Segment) ( @RJA206 ) as we get into the mariners/marlins & whats been going on with both of these teams!

I then get into everyone’s favorite segment Stats & Facts (29, Minute Mark (5 minutes) 1 HR, 7 Min Mark ( 5 Minutes ) and, 1 HR 37 MIN (20 Minutes) -  so go check it out & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thanks Read the rest of this entry

The Miami Marlins Are Clearly The Worst Team In Baseball

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Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Nick Green, 34, has a career .303 OBP in the Majors. He has been forced into duty as the Marlins starting shortstop with Adeiny Hechavarria on the DL.

Nick Green, 34, has a career .303 OBP in the Majors. He has been forced into duty as the Marlins starting Shortstop with Adeiny Hechavarria on the DL.  The Marlins continue to use journeyman Veteran players in many of their main positions.  Along with the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres, all of them are nearly on pace to lose 100 games this year.  This Marlins team might even approach the 1962 Mets for the worst amount of defeats ALL – Time.  This club is not doing well at the turnstiles either – drawing just 19600 fans to an MLB Park that is in just its second year (down almost 8 K fans per game from last year.)

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

The 2013 Marlins are the most painful team in baseball to watch. With a lineup filled with washed up Major Leaguers – and young players struggling to keep their heads above water in the big league, the Marlins have struggled to score any runs this year. Despite having played 24 games, the club has only managed  to hit 7 Home Runs.

The Miami Marlins are without a doubt the worst team in the MLB right now – and the 2013 season is going to be unfathomable experience for even the most optimistic Miami fan, but there are signs of hope in their youth. 

Miami Marlins Misfire:

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Miami Marlins – Updated State of the Union: The Hitters and Pitchers

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

In 2013, the Marlins will have an all to familiar feeling of being a team waiting to grow up around in a division of championship contenders.  Hopefully this is the exception and not the rule for the Miami club.

In 2013, the Marlins will have an all to familiar feeling of being a team waiting to grow up around in a division of championship contenders. Hopefully this is the exception and not the rule for the Miami club.

In December, we took a look at Miami moving forward after the now infamous salary dump of the Winter of ’12.  Living in South Florida, its been an interesting off-season to discuss baseball with those who care about the sport.  Some believe that the trade was a positive baseball move, others think it was another in a long line of for profit motivated transactions by a team whose reputation is for that type of maneuver.  

In either case, with opening day approximately three (3) weeks ahead of us, it is now time to move on from the trade and examine to a greater degree what the 2013 season holds for the Miami franchise.

As with the past article, we will start with Giancarlo Stanton.  Statistically, we have spent a large portion of time discussing Stanton’s strengths.  He is an elite power presence in the middle of the Marlins lineup.  I won’t spend time re-hashing the statistics that we have already went over.  I do think its important to point out a few things that may effect Stanton’s output this year.

For Part 1 of the Marlins State Of The Union Piece in December – The Hitters:  click here

For Part 2 of the Marlins State Of The Union Piece in December – The Pitchers: click here

More Giancarlo Stanton Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

Miami Marlins Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, February.18/2013

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33 % of their 2012 Team Salary.  They essentially have traded away veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33% of their 2012 Team Salary. They essentially have traded away every veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.  They go to camp with a lot of prospects, some re-treads and a lot of broken promises to their fans.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Welcome to Miami, home to sunshine, beautiful people and a unique multicultural atmosphere. Miami is not home, however, to a big market baseball team. For years the Marlins have attempted to fake it to make it. The team would build its payroll towards a single season where the front office felt like it could compete for a world championship. Then, regardless of result, the Marlins would break up the team, sell the pieces for as much value as was offered and rebuild towards another season when a championship hope seemed realistic. So the Miami Marlins, their fans, their brand new stadium enter 2013 in a very similar situation. In 2012, the team took a shot at competing by spending money on several free agents. I’ve written in detail about why that didn’t work and what the fans can look forward to in the future. In 2013, the payroll will be once again be amongst the lowest in baseball.

As with our past looks at payroll we will start with the high-end of the Miami payroll. You will notice that one of these is not like the other.

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics  so parental guidance is advised:

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The Miami Marlins: State Of The Union for 2013 Part 1: The Hitters

Thursday, December.6, 2012

Giancarlo Stanton led the National League in Slugging Percentage with a .608 clip in 2012, amidst 37 HRs and 86 RBI in just 449 AB.  In order for a quick rebuild, they must sign this slugger to a long-term contract.  Question is, will he want to?

Giancarlo Stanton led the National League in Slugging Percentage with a .608 clip in 2012, amidst 37 HRs and 86 RBI in just 449 AB. In order for a quick rebuild, they must sign this slugger to a long-term contract. Question is, will he want to sign with a newly depleted roster?

Nicholas Rossoletti (Guest Baseball Writer and Marlins Correspondent):

Coming into the 2012 season, the Miami Marlins were entering a new stage in their franchise history. The City of Miami had graciously (and according to some residents, foolishly) provided the organization with a new 600 million dollar home in the New Marlins Ball Park. The franchise changed its name to Miami instead of Florida, its colors and albeit briefly, its spending habits in the free agent market. The Marlins decided to build on the foundation of Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, Omar Infante, Gaby Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton. As most know, when building a championship contender it is of crucial importance that the foundation is solid. This foundation was anything but. Despite the numerous question marks surrounding a Marlins team that won 72 games in 2011, the Marlins went out and spent money in the Free Agent market in a way that had not been seen in South Florida since 1997.

The organization placed expensive brick after expensive brick on top of this foundation refusing to see the glaring cracks developing across the surface. The ace, Josh Johnson, was coming off a shoulder injury that cost him all but 60 innings in 2011. The star offensive player, Ramirez, had not produced at “star” level in two seasons. Ramirez had produced back to back seasons of adding 7 wins to the team in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Ramirez posted a WAR of 4.6 and in 2011 a WAR of 1.3.  At best, Hanley was a player with huge question marks. Needless to say, it was a strange decision to spend money to add to this group instead of questioning whether this group should be sold off for spare parts and the foundation re-poured. We all know how this ended. In another excruciating fire sale by the franchise who knows little else. And now we are left, the residents of South Florida with a monstrous stadium, an eyesore of a statute in Centerfield and little hope for the future…. or are we?

The HR contraption that is the CF wall in MIA

The HR contraption that is the CF wall in MIA

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Dissecting The Blockbuster Trade Between The Blue Jays And The Marlins

Wednesday, November.14/2012

Jose Reyes is a .291 Career Hitter and has averaged 55 Steals and 110 Runs Per 162 Games Played. He should have no problem scoring runs with Encarnacion and Joey Bats hitting in the middle of the lineup for Toronto.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I think you can safely say that the off-season has truly begun!  I was writing on my computer yesterday when the big trade blew up on twitter.  I live in White Rock, British Colombia, Canada,  so you can only imagine how excited the whole country of Canada was to talk about baseball on the big media Social Website.  Within minutes, it was clear that the Marlins and Jays were talking about a huge deal.  There is a remarkable quality that I have admired about Alex Anthopoulos for a few years now.  That his organization is pretty tight-lipped about their negotiations with any MLB team, just as it was with the Marlins on Tuesday.  I waited a few minutes and then…..WHAM!  A Blockbuster trade came right down the PIKE!  Here is the trade in case you have been living under a rock for the past 24 hours.

To visit the 2013 Updated Version of the Toronto Blue Jays 2013 Payroll Blog I did click here

To the Blue Jays 2012 Stats:

SS/2B Jose Reyes  .287  11 HRs 57 RBI, 86 Runs, 40 SB

SP Josh Johnson  8-14  3.81 ERA  191.1 IP 165 SO

C John Buck .192  12 HRs 41 RBI

2B/ss/3B/ Emilio Bonifacio  .258  1 HR 11 RBI, 30 Runs, 25 SB in 244 AB

SP Mark Buehrle  13-13  3.74 ERA  202. IP (12th straight year of 200 IP+)

4 Million Dollars Cash

To the Marlins:

SS Yunel Escobar  .253  9 HRs 51 RBI

2B/SS Adeiny Hechavarria  .254  2 HRs 10 RBI, 126 AB

C Jeff Mathis .218 8 HRs 27 RBI, 211 AB

SP Henderson Alvarez  9-14  4.85 ERA  187.2 IP

Also Prospects:

SP Justin Nicolino:

RP: Anthony DeSclafini:

OF: Jake Marisnick Read the rest of this entry

Montreal Expos Drafting Record Part 2: The Pitchers

Wednesday June.27/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Drafted in 1985 by the Montreal Expos, Randy Johnson was erratic in his early days. After trading away Mark Langston to acquire the young fireballer, the Mariners worked him into the rotation and he developed into a Hall of Famer.

Chuck Booth (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  When looking back at some of the pitchers that the Montreal Expos have had in their organization, you don’t have go down the list very far to find Randy Johnson.  He is the ‘crown jewel’ of the draft history record for the club.  It is unfortunate the ‘The Big Unit’ was traded to the Seattle Mariners with Brian Holman and Gene Harris to the Mariners for rental player Mark Langston and a player to be named later.  To be fair to the Montreal Expos, they were in serious contention for the pennant in 1989 and were trying to chase down the Chicago Cubs.  Langston was one of the top Left Handed Aces in the Majors and he was available.    Johnson was completely wild in the Minor Leagues and the Expos had a lot of veteran pitchers like Dennis Martinez and Bryn Smith that were on the back end of their careers.   The time to try and win was now and they could not wait for Johnson to come around.  The Expos did not succeed in capturing the pennant and Langston moved onto the California Angels as a free agent while Johnson blossomed into the premier left handed pitcher in his generation.   Speaking of Martinez and Smith, they won 100 and 81 games respectively for the club.  While they were not drafted by the Expos, they are 2nd and 3rd on the all-time win list.

Along with Smith and Dennis Martinez (who threw a perfect game as an Expo in 1991 and note:  Bill Stoneman also threw two no-hitters for the franchise), you have to factor in the career of Pedro Martinez as an Expo for guys that were great pitchers during their prime. Pedro was acquired prior to the 1994 season from the Dodgers in exchange for the Expos departed ALL-Star second baseman Delino DeShields.  Martinez went 11-5 in the strike shortened year and formed an impressive 1-2 ace combination with Ken Hill.  Pedro went onto a 55-33 record and a 3.06 ERA for his 4 year Expos career.   Pedro’s best year with the club was 1997 where he was the NL CY Young with a 17-8 record and a 1.90 ERA.  Martinez finished the year with 305 strikeouts and a ridiculous 13 complete games.  Pedro ended up signing with the  Boston Red Sox before the 1998 season and he ultimately won a World Series with the Beantowners in 2004.  In his post game celebration, Martinez mentioned the Expos franchise and their fans.  Pedro shared his triumph as a testament to them.  It was talent like this that Expos could never afford to resign and would lose outright- or have to trade for prospects based on their economic viability. I will get more into this in Part 3 of the Article Series on Friday. 

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

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise:  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 Nats Best 25 Man Roster 2005-2012 click here

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A Review of the New Marlins Ball Park By Lori Martini

Wednesday, April.04/2012,

Lori Martini (Guest Baseball Writer- and @lorimartini on twitter)- I touched down in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Not only was it a little cheaper and more cost-effective to simply rent a car, but I did have a place to stay with friends which always makes a trip more enjoyable.  Hotels in Miami are outrageous and I couldn’t find a reasonably priced hotel that didn’t give me anxiety of potentially having bed bugs, my biggest nightmare (at least in hotels).  Driving is most certainly interesting here.  I’m from NYC and I can drive anywhere, but these people are ridiculous.  They either drive way too slow or excessively fast and erratic.  The highways are 4 to 5 lanes of traffic and your exits sneak up on you.  People don’t signal and cut across several lanes of traffic without looking, which somewhat reminds me of driving in LA.  Miami during rush hour is highly congested and you can’t park anywhere.  Everything is a parking garage.  It’s cluttered and populated like NYC, yet spread out like LA to get anywhere. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Sunday January 15th, 2012

Sunday January 15th, 2012

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:  Any news on moves for Derrek Lee & Casey Kotchman? With Yanks recent pitching acquisitions, does Boston pursue Roy Oswalt more aggressively?  Rick

MLB reports:  Great questions Rick.  No and no are the answers.  Sorry!  To answer your first question: Lee and Kotchman are plans “c” and “d”, if that, for contending teams.  Teams on the rise would prefer to use younger players at first base. So the market for both is limited at best.  Both Lee and Kotchman will need to fight to get full-time jobs.  Kotchman will find something based on his solid 2011 campaign.  Perhaps a return to the Rays is in order.  Lee on the other hand, is getting on in years.  I could see him retiring at this point, or in a year from now.  It just depends on how desperate some teams are to get a veteran presence on their team and if trust is there for either player.  With regards to Oswalt, I see him signing very soon.  Boston could use him, yes, but I am not sensing a fit.  The top teams for his services appear to be the Rangers and Jays.  At 1-year and $8 million, he will likely have 20+ teams pursuing him.  Boston does need Roy Oswalt in the worst way at this point. He would help stabilize a rotation that needs his presence. But this decision will come down to geography and fit for the player.

 

Q:  Is Jesus Montero- Victor Martinez good?  How far is J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud from Montero?  Derek

MLB reports:  The Montero questions begin!  I made the comparison on the trade of the trade that Montero was comparable to V-Mart and I stand behind that one.  Carlos Santana is another good comparison.  Extremely strong bat, will hit for high average with good pop.  Glove is questionable.  Montero will be good, I am just on the fence on whether it will happen in Seattle.  The  hope is that with a young team, he will blossom into a superstar. It will depend on whether he feels any pressure to live up to replacing Michael Pineda and ends up putting too much pressure on himself. He seems like a confident young man, so he should do well.  The V-Mart threshold is a high one to reach.  But we are definitely talking in the same category.  Now d’Arnaud and Arencibia are a different story.  Being based in Toronto, I get asked on these guys often. Here is my take put simply.  Arencibia is a good guy, with good power in his bat.  He is popular in the clubhouse and seen as a developing defensive catcher. His liabilities are his low average, high strikeouts and inability to take a walk.  A .219 AVG and .282 OBP don’t cut it in my book.  If JP doesn’t develop, he will become the Rob Deer of catchers.  Travis d’Arnaud, on the other hand, may not have JP’s power (debatable), but he will definitely hit for a much higher average.  He also will need to learn to take walks and cut down on strikeouts, but he should be more consistent offensively than Arencibia.  Defensively, I have heard mixed things- but both will stick at catcher.  So defensively, both Arencibia and d’Arnaud are above Montero.  But Montero’s bat is far superior to either of the other guys.  He is major league ready now to hit, while JP and Travis are still learning to hit consistently.  If I had to rate each, I would give Montero an 8/10, d’Arnaud a 6/10 and Arencibia a 5/10.  Montero is far ahead, with only d’Arnaud having the best chance to close the gap.

 

 Q:  Do the Phillies really expect Ryan Howard to be fully “baseball ready” before June 1st?  Old Man Mack

MLB reports:  LOL.  That is the hope sir.  If I had to be a fly on the wall, I bet the Phillies are hoping that he will be ready before that.  But if the Kendrys Morales injury has taught us anything, is that you never know how some of these freak accidents will heal.  My crystal ball sees Howard back after the All-Star break.  Unless he is 110% healed, why risk it?  His long-term health and productivity are at risk.  I would not be shocked if Howard took longer to heal and had to miss all of 2012.  But chances are that he will be back, just not till sometime in July or August of 2012. If he is back sooner, he better be ready…or a setback could be around the corner.  I would say the bigger question is how long he stays in the lineup, rather than when he is back.

 

Q:  What are the Tigers chances on Yoenis Cespedes?  Michael

MLB reports:  The Cespedes rumors are flying fast and furious. The teams that have been most linked to him are the Marlins and the Tigers.  There have been stories of 5 teams, 10, 20…all sorts of numbers thrown around about this guy.  Now, people are questioning why he is playing winter ball and in fact hurting his stock.  My gut feel is that there isn’t as high of a demand for him as people suspect and that teams are cautious at throwing big money at an unknown quantity. But even if he doesn’t put up the best numbers this offseason, it has to be considered that he is rusty and been away from the game for some time. People should not expect Babe Ruth immediately, just to view his tools and to see if the mechanics are there. I like the Marlins chances best at signing Cespedes.  Team Latino gets a 50% chance of landing Cespedes, with the Tigers at roughly 20%.  

 

Q:  Does Vance Worley come back to earth in his sophomore season?  Justin

MLB reports:  Nah man, Vance never left!  Just kidding, but I know what you mean. Vance Worley was unbelievable in 2011, with an 11-3 record, 3.01 ERA and 1.230 WHIP.  His won/loss record will depend largely on his offensive support and bullpen, so that we will leave to fate somewhat. I see Vance throwing quality strikes and keeping his walks low. He will not be an ace, but he will be very steady. He has the minor league track record and has already proven himself at the highest stage (in one of the most pressure filled environments, Philadelphia).  Expect some regression, but not too much. Vance Worley is the real deal. A sophomore jinx should be avoided, but he will still take time to develop.  Remember he is only 24-years of age.  By year 3 or 4, expect a stud 20 game winner to emerge. 

 

Q:  With the new players eligible for the 2013 Hall of Fame class (Bonds, Clemens, Sosa etc.): will any be inducted?  Ken

MLB reports:  Ken. Ken. Ken. Mr. I say that Tim Raines MUST be inducted. :) He is back for more… Just playing with you Ken, you know we love ya.  48.7% of the vote Ken, I guess the voters aren’t all sold…yet.  Here is my knock on Raines- get ready.  Played 23 seasons. Not a bad thing in its own right. But definitely inflated some of his numbers. 980 RBIs.  So he averaged less than 50 a year. 1571 runs scored. For 23 years played, not fantastic. A hall of fame leadoff man should easily be scoring 100+ per year, even on poor teams. Raines only did it 6 times. .294 AVG and .385 OBP.  Very good. Like those numbers. The man did not hit many doubles or triples. He was basically a singles and stolen base machine.  Now go check out our man Vince Coleman. Both in their primes, they were one of the top stolen base threats. Raines got more hits and got caught less stealing. But then Coleman appears to have attempted more stolen bases. Raines played longer and ultimately had the stronger career. But in the prime years, I can’t say that Raines was that much more spectacular than Coleman. Raines is very good and will get into the hall of fame the Jim Rice route. But it is not the Hall of Very Good. It is the Hall of Fame. 

Now with your true question: Will any of the new eligible players be inducted into Cooperstown in 2013?  The candidates are Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa, Schilling, Biggio and Lofton.  I can tell you right now, based on Palmeiro and McGwire’s poor standings, that there is no chance in heck that Bonds, Clemens or Sosa are getting in.  No way.  No how.  The ones I see getting in are Biggio and Piazza. Secretly, I have fantasized at night about Biggio and Bagwell getting in together. It was just meant to be. If Bagwell does not get in next year, then he will have to wait for some time. I feel next year will be his year. Piazza has to get in as a 1st ballot hall of famer. The numbers he put up as a catcher demand it. Next year is the year that hall of fame voters get their true test. If Piazza is out, then the hall of fame will really have to sit down and work out a better set of criteria for voting. The writers are going to feel like they are on a raft without paddles…it is time to fix the voting mess once and for all. Are these guys hall of famers or not? Let’s lay down the law and be done with it.  No more fence-sitting. 2013 will be a big year for sure.

 

Q:   Over/under 13.5 psychotic episodes in Miami?  Sam

MLB reports:  Under.  Way under!  I think you will see maybe 5-6 big blow ups. Carlos Zambrano will get into 1-2 confrontations. Hanley will explode about the position change once.  LoMo will have one twitter incident.  Ozzie will have a couple of issues likely develop. Apparently the Miami Marlins are being considered for the baseball reality show this year. If that happens, watch out. That will be Grade A television!!!

 

Final Q:  Will the Brewers be able to win the central despite losing Prince and no Braun for first 50 games?  Eric

MLB reports: My brain says no and my heart says maybe. The reality is that the Brewers are in tough. Very tough. The loss of Prince will be huge (when it happens) and same with Braun if the suspension is upheld. But even with those guys, the Brewers would still be in tough. The Cardinals, even with the loss of the Pujols and La Russa and absence of Duncan would still be a strong team.  The Reds though are the team to beat, as they are frontrunners to take the NL Central this year. The Brewers still have Greinke and Gallardo, so they have a chance. But I just see the Reds as the class of the division this year. The Cardinals are going to regress and will have a tough time defending their title. But without their main offensive stars, the Brewers go from stars to ordinary. The window appears to be closing on the Brewers… and opening for the Reds in 2012.

 

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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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