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ATR (Ask The Reports) Returns For One Day Here: June 25th, 2014

Home Of Sully Baseball + #WOB, #SullyMetrics, Baseball Analysis (Audio + Written, Roster Trees, Salaries, Org. Depth Charts, Historical Series for All 30 Clubs + State Of The Unions + Wicked Daily Content,) + tyhe best coverage on the 2014 MLB schedule in the world.   We are not your average "Cookie Cutter" Website.  Also our motto is "THE TRUTH STINGS LIKE A CATCUS!"

Home Of Sully Baseball + #WOB, #SullyMetrics, Baseball Analysis (Audio + Written, Roster Trees, Salaries, Org. Depth Charts, Historical Series for All 30 Clubs + State Of The Unions + Wicked Daily Content,) + tyhe best coverage on the 2014 MLB schedule in the world. We are not your average “Cookie Cutter” Website. Also our motto is “THE TRUTH STINGS LIKE A CATCUS!”

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

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As our website has increasingly adapted to changes both suggested by our readers and writers, we are forever changing our content on our little space carved out on the interwebs.

So for a little bit of nostalgia, I add an installment of a previous segment we once had, called ATR (Ask The Reports).

Q:  I noticed you pulled down the HR leaderboard pages and placed them on a website called www.30mlbteamsreports.com, is this the same ownership of that site?

CB:  Absolutely, I purchased the domain www.30mlbteamsreports.com  to help control some of the amount of stuff we post at http://www.mlbreports.com.  In some cases, we will post some of our work on both websites from now on. Read the rest of this entry

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The Miami Marlins State Of The Union – Winter 2013 + A 1 Year Look Back At MIA/TOR Trade

It has almost been a year since the Blue Jays and Marlins deal that saw Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Josh Johnson come to Canada - in exchange for a bushel full of prospects, Yunel Escobar and Henderson Alvarez.  Toronto suffered the same fate nearly as the 2012 Marlins - in terms of record.  All of the Miami players struggled at the MLB level, but primarily that is because they were all 1st or 2nd year players.  It will be plenty of seasons until the final verdict is handed down on this trade.

It has almost been a year since the Blue Jays and Marlins deal that saw Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Josh Johnson come to Canada – in exchange for a bushel full of prospects, Yunel Escobar and Henderson Alvarez. Toronto suffered the same fate nearly as the 2012 Marlins – in terms of record. All of the Miami players struggled at the MLB level, but primarily that is because they were all 1st or 2nd year players. It will be plenty of seasons until the final verdict is handed down on this trade.  Reyes still slashed .296/.353/.780 – and posted 113 Hits and 58 Runs in 93 Games Played the for Toronto Blue Jays.  He did miss 69 Games due to injury.

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

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A year has almost gone by since big blockbuster move made by the Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays.

In a bullet version of this story, the Miami team only finished with 7 wins less than the 2012 version of themselves, yet they have stockpiled many of young assets, and all for about a one-third of a payroll they had last year.

Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey (parlayed by throwing Travis d’Arnaud and former Marlin John Buck via trade) had average years only, and Emilio Bonifacio was eventually moved to Kansas City for bad play.

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (September.20th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

 (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Jon Lester pitched 7 strong innings, giving up just 1 run and striking out 8 as he earned his 15th win, 6-3 over Toronto, and clinched the AL East crown for the Red Sox.

Torii Hunter reached base 5 times, driving in 3 and scoring 2 as the Tigers moved closer to a Division Title with a 12-5 thrashing of the White Sox.

Jordan Zimmermann earned his 19th victory this season for the Nationals by tossing a 2 hit, 9 strikeout complete game shutout of the Marlins, 8-0.

Matt Adams got on base 4 times including a game tying single in the 7th and a go ahead homer in the 9th as the Cardinals won a wild game in Milwaukee, 7-6.

They all owned baseball on September 20, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (September.17th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

R.A. Dickey dominated the Yankees over 7 shutout innings, getting out of a bases loaded jam and striking out 8 as the Blue Jays prevailed, 2-0.

Ian Kinsler homered on the first pitch and gave the Rangers a lift right away. He finished 2-5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI, leading Texas to a crucial 7-1 victory over Tampa.

Tanner Roark threw 7 innings of 2 hit shutout ball, walking just one as the Nationals topped the Braves 4-0 and completed a double header sweep.

Matt Holliday collected 4 hits including a homer, missing the cycle by a triple, and got on base 5 times as the Cardinals beat the Rockies, 11-4, and moved back into first place by themselves.

They all owned baseball on September 17, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (August.11th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Photo: Ted S. Warren - AP

Photo: Ted S. Warren – AP

Felix Hernandez lived up to his “King Felix” title, dominating the Brewers over 8 shutout innings, striking out 9 and walking only 1, improving his Cy Young argument with a 2-0 triumph.

Alex Gordon went 3-4 with a homer,  double, a stolen base and drove in a pair, leading the Royals over the Red Sox, 4-3.

Mark Ellis helped complete the Dodgers sweep of the Rays by falling a triple short of the cycle. His homer, double and single drove in three runs as the Dodgers ran away 8-3.

Stephen Strasburg threw the first complete game of his career and it was a 4 hit shutout of the Phillies. He struck out 10 and walked just one, getting the 6-0 win for the Nationals. 

They all owned baseball on August 11, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (July.25th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Evan Vucci - AP

Evan Vucci – AP

Bryce Harper erased a Nats losing streak and a 9th inning meltdown with his first career walk off homer. He went 3-5 for the day as Washington snuck past Pittsburgh, 9-7.

Mat Latos won a game between hot playoff contenders. He went 7 2/3 giving up only one earned run to the Dodgers, getting the 5-2 decision for the Reds.

Billy Butler got on base 3 times, scored in the first and homered in the 7th, leading the Royals past the Orioles, 7-1.

Mark Buehrle threw a complete game , 2 hit shutout, striking out 9 Astros, as the Blue Jays prevailed 4-0.

They all owned baseball on July 25th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

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.

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (June.15) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

 (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

In a wild back and forth game in Cleveland, Anthony Rendon smacked a 2 out 9th inning homer to give the Nationals a 7-6 lead that they would hold on to win.

Howie Kendrick got on base 4 times with 3 hits and a walk, driving in a run as the Angels beat the Yankees again, 6-2.

Felix Hernandez pitched 7 shutout innings against the first place A’s, letting up 5 hits and striking out 8 as Seattle beat Oakland 4-0.

Clayton Kershaw may not have been credited with the win, but he was terrific with 7 strong innings against the Pirates. He let up 1 run and struck out 8. The Dodgers would win in extra innings 5-3 and according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Kershaw might be in line for a MASSIVE contract extension in the very near future.

They all owned baseball on June 15th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Miami Marlins Outfielder Austin Kearns Hospitalized

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Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Austin Kearns has been hospitalized for an irregular heart rate.

Austin Kearns has been hospitalized for an irregular heart rate.

By Sam Evans (Marlins Correspondent): 

A few hours before the Marlins took on the Phillies Sunday afternoon, the news broke that Austin Kearns was being taken to the hospital for an irregular heartbeat. Kearns, 32, has been said to be doing just fine. Nonetheless, anytime an athlete still in their prime has heart problems it is a scary reminder of what can happen.

The injury-plagued Marlins now have two of their Outfielders, Kearns and Giancarlo Stanton, unable to play for the time being. For a team that is already struggling to be even close to mediocre, this is another defeating blow. Kearns will be hospitalized overnight as doctors attempt to figure out just what happened. 

The Austin Kearns Story:

Read the rest of this entry

Seattle Mariners Roster in 2013: State Of The Union:

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Thursday, January.31/2013

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

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

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern):

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

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

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

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

Felix Hernandez Highlights:  Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised

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The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters

Saturday, Dec.01/2012

How important was Cespedes to The A's Lineup?  They went 83-47 with him in the lineup and 12-20 without him.  He was the biggest reason the team has soared into the playoff race and wont the AL East.  Beane secured him Free Agency last year without trading any prospects.   He is signed for 3 more years.

How important was Cespedes to The A’s Lineup in 2012? They went 82-47 with him in the lineup and 12-21 without him. He was the biggest reason the team soared into the playoff race and won the AL East. Beane secured him in Free Agency before the start of last year. He is signed for 3 more years at 9 Million Dollars Per Year.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

A few months ago, our Lead Columnist/Website Founder (Jonathan Hacohen) wrote a brilliant piece about the assembly of the Oakland Athletics roster.  He called it “MoneyBall 2.”  Right after the piece, the A’s surged to the greatest record in the second half of the season and won the AL West.  The team is now constructed of power hitters and power pitchers.  The man behind it all is Billy Beane.  I will not get into too much of this philosophy as you can read that piece here.  What I intend to do is to show the roster of how it was comprised by Beane in the form of a roster tree.  It is just like a family tree, however this shows trades dating back 2,3,4,5,6 fold etc.. in order to show you the mastery of the GM’s ability to field a roster on a limited budget.

The Future of the Oakland A’s:  The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers:  Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan click here.

The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2:  The Pitchers  click here.

Read the rest of this entry

What 2012 Really Meant to the St. Louis Cardinals

Thursday November 1st, 2012

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

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer)

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

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

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

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

Friday, October.26/2012

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

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

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

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

MLB Playoffs: 2012 Division Series Nothing Short Of Amusing – Thanks To A Twist

Sunday October 21st, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: Whether you agree with MLB’s new playoff format of having the team with home field advantage start the series on the road or not, you would be crazy not to agree that it has made the 2012 postseason a bit hectic. Hectic in a good way though.

This year’s Division Series defined chaos. All four series stretched out to Game 5’s, and in the process, teams were forced to use strategic tweaks to gut out wins. From a general perspective, there was no “boring” series. Usually, there is at least one. It’s that series that you just occasionally peek in on to check the score. Nope, not this year. Each series had its own unique taste.

The Tigers and A’s followed the expected pattern in that the home team won all but one game. Detroit jumped out by winning the first two at home, looking as if they would easily take the series and avoid using their Justin Verlander two times in one series. But they did, and he elevated himself as the pressure amounted, tossing a shutout against the A’s in Game 5. Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB End of the Year Awards: Predictions

Thursday October 11th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:What a year it has been. With the extra Wild Card and a Triple Crown winner, there has been no shortage of excitement. As part of the BBA (Baseball Bloggers Alliance), we are to vote for awards including the Hall of Fame, All Star Game, end of the year awards, and a baseball writer with quality writing and a strong internet presence.

In this segment, I will outline the various end of the season awards (with their announcement dates) and who I believe will win them. Some selections were very, very close.

October 15th: Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year): NL: Davey Johnson (Washington Nationals); AL: Bob Melvin (Oakland Athletics)

Johnson: This decision was a no-brainer. Johnson lead his young Nationals team to the first NL East title in Washington Nationals’ history with a 98-64 record—finishing four games better than the Braves—an early-season favorite for the title. Johnson and the Nats’ secured the number one seed in the playoffs and were the best team in baseball—winning 18 more games than in 2011. This was Johnson’s first full year with Washington and he made it a good one.

Melvin: This was one of the most remarkable stories in a very long time. The A’s were in the midst of rebuilding, trading away aces Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals and Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks. Oakland did not start off too well, having a mediocre first half, but really turned it on after the All Star Break. This was a tough decision because of Orioles manager Buck Showalter also putting up a strong case. The Orioles finished almost identically to the A’s with a 93-69 record (A’s finished at 94-68). In my opinion, Melvin had even less of a team to work with than Showalter, and still won one more game.

Read the rest of this entry

Wild Weekend Of Division Series Brings Plenty Of Surprises

Monday October 8th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: Now that the division series are into full swing, it’s time to take a look at the status of each of the four series from both leagues.

Surprisingly, the road teams went 6-2, despite the weird playoff format which has the top seed playing two road games before heading home for three.

Here are the results:

American League

Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics

It wasn’t a good weekend for Bay Area teams. The A’s lost a heartbreaker early Sunday morning, and the Giants ended the evening with a loss (more on that later). Read the rest of this entry

Ross Detwiler: Nationals Pitcher is Underrated to Say the Least

Saturday September 22nd, 2012 

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): The Washington Nationals have one of the best pitching staffs in the majors. The reason for this is the depth they have on the staff. It is not a shock that with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Edwin Jackson, and Ross Detwiler that the Nationals have one of the best rotations in baseball. You hear a lot about the first four guys on this list, but not much about Detwiler. I am really wondering why this is the case! Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB Draft Picks: Signings, Failures, and Surprises

 

Monday July 16th, 2012


Bernie Olshansky: The 2012 Major League Baseball Draft was a good one for all of the teams except the Pirates. Unfortunately, the Pirates couldn’t ink their first round pick, pitcher Mark Appel. Pittsburgh will receive the ninth overall pick in next year’s draft, and will have to deal with the reality of losing out on a top arm. Here’s a list of some unsigned draft picks and some surprises who ended up signing:

PLAYERS THAT DIDN’T SIGN

Mark Appel, Eighth overall, Pirates

Appel was touted as a possible first-overall pick, with a plus fastball and three years of college experience. Once the Astros passed him up, many thought the Twins would pick him at second overall. When the Twins selected outfielder Byron Buxton, the Mariners seemed to be the next to have Appel as a steal. On and on this went until Appel fell to eighth overall. I couldn’t believe it, and I’m sure many were stunned. Appel seemed like a good fit for many of the teams that passed on him, but good for the Pirates—they got a steal. Now they had a possible Gerrit Cole/Mark Appel one-two punch for years to come. For the Pirates, there was a lot to be optimistic about. For Appel, not so much. In my opinion, after dropping to eighth, he was upset enough to decide to return to Stanford and try to build on a 10-2 record with a 2.56 ERA in order to be selected higher in next year’s draft. Read the rest of this entry

The MLB Pitching Leaders in Wins: What to Make of Them?

 

Monday July 9th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: With more than half of the season over, we’ve seen a lot of surprises when it comes to pitching. Some have pitched unbelievably well and are rewarded for it, some haven’t pitched as well and have been lucky, and some aren’t so lucky. Although it might be wrong to spotlight pitchers on the night of a hitting showcase, here’s a list of pitchers (some lucky and some not) who are atop the majors in wins.

Eight Wins:  To name a few: Ubaldo Jimenez, Clay Buchholz, Ricky Romero, Jason Vargas. I would think it’s safe to say these guys are getting really, really lucky. Taking a look at these ERAs, Jimenez has a 4.50, Buchholz has a 5.53, Romero has a 5.22, and Vargas has a 4.07. Not to mention, Buchholz has only two losses. Looking purely at wins and losses, he’s a legitimate Cy Young candidate. Obviously wins don’t tell the whole story. Luck plays a huge part in each of these win-loss records. The Indians average 4.52 runs per game, so that explains why Ubaldo wins. The Red Sox and Blue Jays never have a problem producing runs either. But the Mariners? Although he’s been lucky, Vargas has also had seven losses, so for almost every time the Mariners have scored for him, they’ve also failed to score for him.

Nine Wins:  C.J. Wilson, Stephen Strasburg, Matt Cain—among others. With a 2.43 ERA, Wilson deserves all the wins he has. The Angels provide a strong offense that produces enough runs to give CJ his wins. Strasburg, too, has a 2.82 ERA to explain his high number of wins. The Nationals weren’t a early season team to put up big numbers in the offensive department in the early part of the season, but Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper have helped to carry the team. In his career with the Giants, Matt Cain has never gotten the run support he deserves. This year he has finally gotten it and it has shown. Cain earned the starting spot in the All Star Game and will definitely be a Cy Young candidate. Read the rest of this entry

Top 10 Stat of the Week ( Career HRs With One Team )

Sunday June.24/2012

‘Hammering’ Hank passed the legendary Babe Ruth as the ALL-Time HR leader in 1974. Some still feel that he is the ALL-Time HR leader with the admitted steroid use from Leader Barry Bonds. –Photo courtesy of goldenagebaseballcards

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  Seemingly gone are the days where most of the MLB players stick with one team for their whole careers.  As of right now there are not too many superstars that have spent their entire careers with one organization.  Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are 1st ballot Hall of Famers.  Chipper Jones should make the BBHOF.  Todd Helton is close to retiring but I am not sure the voters will see him worthy.  There are some promising chances that Ryan Braun and David Wright might play their entire careers with their current clubs, however with Braun’s PED fiasco last year I just don’t see him entering Cooperstown.  Wright must re-sign with the ownership hemorrhaging, this will prove hard for the Wilpons funds thanks to Bernie Madoff.  When it comes to starting pitching, the list is shrunken that much further.  Justin Verlander is the active win leader with a player only having played for one team.  He has 114 wins with the Tigers, anybody above him on the active ALL-Time Wins list has pitched for multiple teams already.  The next active leader for one team pitched for is Ervin Santana with 91 wins for the Angels franchise.  Felix Hernandez has 90 wins for the Mariners.  Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain have played their entire careers for the same team so far and have CY Young titles amongst them, but have a long way to go in establishing Hall of Fame Careers.

That brings me to my next stat.  There are 9 players in history who have hit 500 HRs or more for one team.  All of them are in the Hall of Fame except for Barry Bonds (who becomes eligible next year.) I am not sure the writers will cast a vote for him because of his steroid use.  When I got the idea for this article, it came to be because I was amazed that Paul Konerko has hit over 400 HRs with the Chicago White Sox.  Again at age 36, Konerko has a look at 500 HRs with the Chicago team.  Right now he can end the season with about 410-420 HRs.  Provided he can play 3-4 years more and have productive seasons, he may reach the milestone.  Chipper Jones is the only other active MLB Player to have 400 HRs with one team.  Larry is slowing down though and will most likely retire after this year.  Read the rest of this entry

The Montreal Expos Draft And Signing Record Was Outstanding: Part 1-Hitters

Friday June.22/2012

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.

Andre Dawson and Tim Raines were perennial ALL-Stars and always had the Montreal Expos in contention every year they played for the Canadian Club.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-I recently saw a bunch of old Montreal Expos had a celebration dinner to honor the late Gary Carter at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.  This brought me back to when I was a little kid watching the Expos on the French Channel in Canada.  I followed this team before any other in MLB.  I was a catcher in little league because of Gary Carter.  My friends and I all would ask for Montreal Expos hats and jerseys for Christmas.  I would later move on to like the Yankees when Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson joined the club, but I always liked the Expos in the National League as my team.  They were a consistent club from 1979-1995.  They drafted extremely well and were above .500 for pretty much the entire time.  At the end of this article today be sure to watch the documentary from youtube on the Expos Franchise that the Reports has linked for you.

It was unfortunate they had the 2 billion dollar monstrosity of what was Olympic Stadium as their home venue.  It was a mistake from the beginning  to build a baseball park so far away from the downtown core.  The 1994 strike killed the franchises hopes to make their 1st World Series appearance.  The team was leading the NL East with a 74-40 record and featured the outfield of Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom and Moises Alou.  They had traded away their ALL-Star second basemen Delino DeShields prior to that year for some pitcher named Pedro Martinez.  The economics of baseball were starting to catch up on the baseball club.  When the lockout was lifted in 1995, gone were Walker, Grissom and great pitchers Ken Hill and John Wetteland.  It began a constant cycle of Montreal grooming awesome talent, only to trade the players away before they had to pay them big money.  The one constant of the team was an incredible draft record from 1985-2004.  Today is part 1 of a 3 part article series in which we will look at the history of the Montreal Expos.  I have listed 30 hitters drafted by the Expos Scouting Staff that went onto nice baseball careers.  Next week I will look at the pitchers and the third week I will cover the dissection of the proud franchise before the move to Washington. Read the rest of this entry

Why the Washington Nationals Will Make the Playoffs in 2012

 

Thursday June 21st, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: The last time the city of Washington D.C. saw a World Series trophy was in 1924. That was the work of the Washington Senators with the help of Walter “Big Train” Johnson. Although this year’s version of the team doesn’t have a veteran baseball legend, they do have a couple budding superstars. First is Stephen Strasburg. The first-overall pick of the 2009 draft, Strasburg made an enormous impact in his first career start and most of the 2010 season, but ended up on Dr. Lewis Yocum’s table towards the end, and missed most of the 2011 season. Thankfully for the Nationals, Strasburg is back and better than ever, posting an 8-1 record and a 2.45 ERA (before Wednesday’s win versus Tampa Bay: 7IP 5H 2ER 10K and got the win). Unfortunately for the Nationals, Strasburg is on an innings limit this year to protect his young and fragile arm, so he probably won’t be available to start games come September and October.

Thankfully for the Nationals, they have a very deep pitching staff. Strasburg is backed up by Gio Gonzalez, who the Nationals traded for this winter, Jordan Zimmermann, and also newly acquired Edwin Jackson. Gonzalez has finally come into his own after having some pretty decent seasons in Oakland. He has almost identical numbers to Strasburg with an 8-3 record with a 2.52 ERA. With numbers like these at his young age, a Cy Young or two may be in his future. Gonzalez has no innings limit, so he will most definitely be the anchor to the rotation down the stretch. An option for the Nationals if they have a comfortable lead in their division (which is weak as of now… I’ll cover that later), would be to move Strasburg to the bullpen in late August or early September and have him in the rotation for the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry

Bryce Harper: 2012 National League All-Star, ROY and MVP?

 

Wednesday June 13th, 2012


Bernie Olshansky: It’s finally Bryce Harper’s time. He’s been up for just about a month and a half and he’s already making a contribution. Some were a tad bit skeptical as to how he would break into the league (including myself), but with the way Harper is playing now, there isn’t a doubt in my mind about his readiness for The Show and the Midsummer Classic. Harper clearly hasn’t had a problem producing, hitting a solid .303 with seven home runs and 19 runs batted in, to go along with three stolen bases in 39 games. For the amount of games he’s played, with these numbers he should named be an All-Star in 2012. If he gets voted in to start, he would be the youngest positional starting player in MLB All-Star game history.

With the Nationals fans’ excitement behind him, Harper should have no problem getting the votes to get to Kansas City. Over the past few years, fans have elected some questionable players, most notably last year’s election of Derek Jeter, who got off to a slow start. Even if Harper isn’t a shoo-in (which with his numbers, he is), he should be on the team. Harper hasn’t played enough to qualify for the batting leader board, but if he did, he would rank 13th among National League outfielders in average, and he is ahead in home runs of notables Justin Upton (5), Adrian Gonzalez (5) Pablo Sandoval (5), and fellow rookie star Mike Trout (6). Read the rest of this entry

Mike Gonzalez to Nats: Washington is Gearing Up For the Playoffs

Tuesday May 22, 2012

Ryan Ritchey:  With injuries to both Drew Storen and Brad Lidge the Nationals had to go out and find more depth to their bullpen. That is what they did by going out and getting Mike Gonzalez as a free agent, who last pitched for the Texas Rangers. Mike Gonzalez has playoff experience and has the stuff to carry this bullpen until Storen gets back in May. Fortunately for the Nats, they have a fairly deep pen despite loss of Storen and Brad Lidge to injuries. Henry Rodriguez was locked in as the closer, but it now appears that Washington will go with a bullpen by committee. Apparently Craig Stammen will see the bulk of the save opportunities at this point. With Storen coming back around the All Star Break, Gonzalez could continue in a setup role. Until then, perhaps Gonzo may even take over the closer job and give the Nats some needed 9th inning stability. It is looking like the Nationals are making a push for a playoff spot as they are noticing that the Phillies are struggling. They smell opportunity and are jumping in at the right time. If they are going to make a push, they will need a lock-down pen.

The big question is whether going out and getting Gonzalez was a good move… I believe it is. This is a team with tremendous starting pitching that needs a deep pen to shut down games and get wins. I see Gonzalez quite capable of filling in for Storen until he comes back,  and perhaps taking the closer’s job in the interim. The biggest thing for this Nationals team is staying atop the National League East through the All Star Break, to give them confidence for the rest of the season. In my opinion the Nationals go to the playoffs if they are within three games of the National League East leader.

Could it be that the Nationals front office wants to put people in the seats? That is a possibility, but I believe this team wants to win and wants to win now. Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are in the majors, this could be a great chance for them to get to the postseason. You put the Nationals in the postseason and baseball ratings go through the roof. Every time the Nationals are on national tv, my twitter feed is filled with Harper tweets. The kid is taking over baseball right now, no doubt about that. 2012 could be a big year in Washington, as the Nationals move to contenders from pretenders.

Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter(@Ryan13Ritchey)

Please e-mail us at: mlbreports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

An Interview with Nationals Park Expert Ben Fallon

Monday, April.16/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I had the chance to talk to Ben Fallon recently.  Ben is one of the most hardcore baseball fans from the city of Washington.  We discussed food, the President’s race and the outlook for the young club.

CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Ben.  Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as a Nationals Fan?”

BF: “I am a New Jersey native and lifelong Yankees fan who moved to the Nation’s Capital back in 1995.  I came to Washington to work in politics, working both on Capitol Hill and in the Bush Administration before taking my current job with the Defense Department. I have been a Nationals Partial Season Ticketholder for every season but one since baseball returned to DC in 2005, attending 30-40 games per season. ” 

CB: “Describe your favorite part about being a baseball fan?”

BF: “I just love the game. I love the history.  I love the strategy.  I love being at the games in person and picking up on the signs, the body language and the small parts of the game you miss watching on TV.  I enjoy going to games with family and friends, its 3 hours of entertainment, stress relief, good times and famiily bonding all in one.”

Read the rest of this entry

The First Five Games of The Streak

Tuesday April.10/2012

Douglas “Chuck” Booth at Citi April 9th

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- Well, I finally get a chance to breathe for one second.  Too bad it was at the expense of the events that transpired yesterday.  Contrary to popular belief, this world record streak is not a walk in the park. Traveling is a hard thing to do at the best of times.  I will break down the trip synopsis game by game.  I am breaking down the travel games at Parks day by day. Read the rest of this entry

Where Will C.J. Wilson Pitch in 2012?

Thursday November 3, 2011

Sam Evans: Seven years ago, it looked like C.J. Wilson might never pitch in the big leagues after missing the 2004 season due to injury. Fast forward to the 2011 offseason, and he is the most desired starting pitcher on the free agent market. He  has been the Rangers best starter for the last two years. Now, Rangers fans have to wonder if he’ll be back in Texas in 2012.

C.J. Wilson was drafted out of Loyola Marymount University by the Texas Rangers in the fifth round of the 2001 Draft. The next couple years showed signs of promise for Wilson as he moved all the way up to Double-A, after just one year playing in the lower minors. Unfortunately, he needed Tommy John Surgery which kept him out for parts of the 2003 season, and all of the 2004 season. In 2005, he pitched in 48 innings for the Rangers but posted a 6.94 ERA. From 2006-2006, Wilson pitched out of the bullpen for the Rangers. He was never spectacular but he recorded 52 saves and gave the Rangers an above-average bullpen arm.

Before the 2010 season, Wilson, behind the support of pitching coach Mike Maddux, earned a role in the Rangers starting rotation. Everything took off from there as Wilson became the Rangers best starter and he has been their best pitcher the last two years. He has posted an ERA under 3.35 these last two years while throwing over 420 innings. He has been one of the best pitchers in baseball the last two years despite pitching half of his games at the hitter’s paradise also known as The Ballpark in Arlington.

The main knock on Wilson is that he can’t win the big game. This is a real issue because most teams willing to shell out the big money for Wilson are likely playoff contenders. I think that part of this has just been bad luck for Wilson. Another factor might be that he has started 77 games over the last two years. I think this recent postseason Wilson was just exhausted from the regular season. I think that some teams will look at Wilson differently after his performances this postseason but it shouldn’t be a huge issue.

C.J. Wilson is currently a free agent and the best starter available.The Nationals are rumored to be interested and they scouted Wilson in September this year. I think that Washington might be a good fit for Wilson to mentor young studs Stephen Strasburg, Brad Peacock, and Jordan Zimmerman. However, I don’t know if the Nationals really can compete with the other teams on a financial basis.If they could come up with the money ( they do have one of the richest owners in baseball) then I’d expect them to compete with the other top bidders.

The Yankees don’t seem to be too interested in Wilson but they might look elsewhere for the front of the line starter. In October, it was reported that the Yankees prefer Yu Darvish to C.J. Wilson. I think this is crazy that they would value a 25-year-old who hasn’t thrown one MLB pitch over a 31-year-old who has been worth more WAR than any Yankees starter under 300 pounds. Yet, according to Joel Sherman, one Yankees decision-maker considers Wilson a #4 starter on a championship team.

Other dark horse candidates for the Wilson bidding include the Royals, Cubs, Marlins, Blue Jays and Red Sox. The most likely team to land Wilson is the Texas Rangers. C.J. has made it clear that he wants to pitch for the Rangers. Wilson was recently quoted saying that there is a “great chance” that he would be pitching for the Rangers next year.

As for how much money he’ll get, I don’t think Wilson will get a $100M deal- but $85 million isn’t out of the question. Wilson sounds like he shouldn’t take too long to make up his mind on who to sign with. The odds are that we will see C.J. Wilson back in a Rangers jersey not only next year, but for many years to come.

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

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Sabathia and the Yankees: Did anyone ‘CC’ this coming?

Tuesday November 1, 2011

 

 

April Whitzman (Blue Jays and Prospects Writer – MLB reports):  At the stroke of midnight, C.C. Sabathia wouldn’t have turned into a pumpkin, but the Yankees had the potential of not getting the fairy tale they wanted.

But, lo and behold, a fairy godmother appeared, in the form of a signed contract, which showed that C.C. Sabathia would accept a new deal and remain with the New York Yankees.  The new deal also had the effect of adding 30 million dollars to his bottom line.

As such, Sabathia did not become a free agent. But at what cost?

Sabathia already had $92 million left on the old contract, or, in layman’s terms, about $23 million a year. Now, the new deal increases his salary to $25 million for 2016 and also gives the Yankees a $25 million option for 2017 with a $5 million buyout (depending on whether Sabathia can stay healthy in 2016).

Was the money worth it? At a quick glance it would appear that the money is well-spent for the Yankees. In fact, since signing a $161-million, seven-year deal with the Yankees in 2009, Sabathia has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA during the regular season for the Yankees.

But that’s not the only reason that the money was well spent for the Yankees.

If the Yankees would not have been able to convince Sabathia to stay, their rotation (as it stands now) would have consisted of A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and unless some offseason trading or signing occurs, likely David Phelps and Hector Noesi.

Had Sabathia not signed, the Yankees would have been even more likely to chase any and all free agent starting pitchers on the market, including C.J. Wilson of the Rangers, and Japanese phenom (who the Blue Jays and Rangers are currently rumored to be targeting), Yu Darvish.

Fortunately for the Yankees, Sabathia did agree to sign.  But I would not assume that the Yankees have stopped their search for additional starting pitchers to beef up their rotation.  Rather far from it.  In order to get over the hump, the Yankees will need to acquire complimentary pieces to their existing ace pitcher.

But with that being said, can one even imagine what would have happened if Sabathia had not stayed in New York?  And if perhaps some other team came and swept Sabathia off his feet during the upcoming free agency courting period?

If Sabathia had opted out of his contract and become a free agent, it would be interesting to review which teams could have been the right fit for the Yankees’ ace.  Potential suitors could have included the Nationals, who already are developing a young up-and-coming team with a stellar rotation. It could have also been the Red Sox, as after the Tommy John surgery to John Lackey, also require  more depth to their rotation.  Finally, the Los Angeles Angels could have been a suitable destination, because as was saw last year with Vernon Wells, the Angels do not care about the price.  Rather the team looks at the quality of the player (in effect, taking the player they want at any price). The Angels could have been a very strong suitor for Sabathia location-wise, given that CC is a California native.

Overall though, despite the fact that he was born in California, Sabathia admitted that his family has now made New York their home.  Sabathia moved his family to New Jersey and is an active member of the local community.  So much like the end of every fairy tale, CC of course, will live happily ever after.  Then again, making $122 million over the next five years, with the potential for $147 million ver six years, certainly helps!

 

As always, I look forward to hearing from you. Comment below, email MLBreports@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter at @Alleycat17.

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter (@MLBreports) and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage

Adam Dunn and Alex Rios: The Future of the ChiSox Sluggers

Monday October 10, 2011

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports):  There were perhaps no two bigger fantasy busts than Alexis Rios and Adam Dunn during the 2011 season. Although nobody was “screwed over” more than White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, many fantasy owners surely had a hard time overcoming the incompetency of these two players.

Although Dunn’s performance was unexpected by many, we have seen this from Alex Rios before.  Rios reemerged on the scene in 2010 as one of the rare five category players: .284 avg, 21 HR, 89 RBI, and 34 SB. However, Rios really tailed off at the end of his 2010 season and looked a lot more like the player that the Toronto Blue Jays flat-out released a year prior.  His 2011 numbers look eerie similar to 2009:

2009: .247, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 24 SB

2011: .227, 13 HR, 64 RBI, 11 SB

Oddly, 2008 and 2010 were different stories for Rios, as he amassed a total of 9.3 WAR in those two seasons. There is no doubt that Rios suffered from bad luck in 2011. He .237 BAPIP is 70 points below his career average. However, the fact remains that Rios is now on the wrong side of thirty. It is doubtful any team would make the same mistake Williams already has and taken on his salary, so chances are Rios will still be in Chicago. With his large contract and a new manager in town, I think it is safe to assume it will be his position to lose in 2012.

Rios’ inconsistencies throughout his career make him a difficult player to evaluate, but you have to think he will bounce back and be a good buy-low candidate. Whatever you do just do not overpay. His peripheral numbers indicate that his power is still there and that his batting average should improve perhaps to his career .270 range. We also cannot ignore his strong finish, batting .307, 5 HR and 12 RBI in his last 75 at-bats. It has been said that he “over thinks” and struggles with the mental side of the game, but his physical skills are undeniable. 

The signs indicate that Rios will bounce back in 2012 for a rebuilding White Sox team. Therefore, target him as a backup or final outfield option for a cheap price. Pay for the player he was in 2011 and hope to get the 2008/2010 Rios in return. With his track record it is simply not safe to pay for him as a .280/20 HR/80 RBI/20 SB guy that he could very well be.

I think you have to take the same approach with the other White Sox enigma, Adam Dunn. Dunn was the model of consistent for the last 10 years, and he appeared to be in a great position to succeed in Chicago in 2011. However, his strikeout rate increased to a stagger 35.7 percent, and when he did manage to put the ball in play, his .240 BABIP left him with a .159 season average. Historically bad.

Dunn is also aging and was noticeably out of shape last year. Watching him play every day, he simply seemed over matched and had trouble recovering form an early season appendectomy. Dunn has to realize what is at stake here (his career) and hopefully he picked up something from Paul Konerko’s professionalism and approach to the game.

The fact remains that with his contract, Dunn will get the chance to turn things around in 2012. If he has a repeat performance, then the White Sox might be forced to just cut ties and move on. Therefore, 2012 is truly do-or-die for Mr. Dunn. Thus, I expect him to put in the time in the off-season and bounce back next year. It is not to say that Dunn will put up the same numbers as he has in the past, but the home run total could still exceed thirty. U.S. Cellular Field is a notorious hitters park, and Dunn still has the ability to take advantage of its favorable dimensions.

The good news, fantasy owners and White Sox fans, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn cannot be any worse in 2012! The fact is they will both be giving an opportunity to bounce back in 2012 and try to prove the worth of their 14 million dollar per year contracts. Although, they will never come close to doing this, they can provide value for you next year. These are the types of guys that I love to target for cheap on my fantasy teams. Rios has bounced back before, and although his inconsistencies are mind bogglingly frustrating; it is not crazy to expect him to do so again. Bad luck, reflected by BAPIP, played a factor for both of these players. And with Dunn, if he does put in the offseason commitment, his track record is too long and strong to ignore. Therefore, expect both guys to bounce back.  Just don’t put your self in the position where you are counting on it.

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Fantasy Baseball Analyst, Peter Stein.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Peter on Twitter (@peterWstein).***

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter (@MLBreports) and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

The Curious Case of Carl Crawford

Thursday September 23, 2011

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer – MLB reports): When the 2010 season concluded, many people looked at the trio of Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth as easily the most sought after players.  Lee has not disappointed in Philadelphia, where he will garner serious attention for the NL Cy Young Award.  Werth and Crawford, however, have been pretty big disappointments after signing extremely lucrative contracts over 7 years.  Werth received $126M, while Crawford made the biggest splash, inking a deal worth $142M.  While Werth has been lucky to play in front of smaller crowds playing in Washington DC, Crawford has had to endure the masses of critics in Boston.  This is on top of playing in the AL East, battling for the division title, while the team is in a free-fall where the Tampa Bay Rays are gaining ground in the AL Wild Card race.

Crawford came to the Red Sox with HUGE expectations.  Fans of the Red Sox expected him to not only repeat his career season from 2010, but exceed his statistics.  In 2010 with the Rays, Crawford surpassed most of his best seasons in almost every statistical category.  He hit .307 with 19 home runs and 90 RBI, while scoring 110 runs and stealing 47 bases.  His on-base percentage was .356 and he slugged at a .495 clip, giving him an OPS of .851.  In 2011, surrounded by all-star and MVP caliber players, he has struggled to gain any kind of consistency.  He has limped into the end of September with a .255/.292/.401 slash line.

Crawford has only been able to steal 18 bases, which is by far his worst full season total in the MLB.  On June 17th, Crawford sustained a grade 1 strain of his hamstring, and did not return to the lineup until July 18th.  At the time, Crawford’s OBP of .275 and slugging percentage of .384 were near the bottom of the league.  If Crawford had been hot until the injury, and simply fizzled out after he came back, we would have a simple answer.

Crawford has actually fared better since the injury, but I believe he has lost a step.  Crawford relies on speed, and hamstrings often take a very long time to heal.  His game is based on slapping balls through the infield and driving balls to the gaps, turning singles into doubles and doubles into triples.  Many people thought that the Green Monster would be peppered with line drives off Crawford’s bat, as well as triples going into the deep right-center field gap.  With Crawford’s hamstring issues, he doesn’t seem to be able to drive the ball as well as in recent years.

Another issue with Crawford seems to be that he has been slightly unlucky compared to other years.  His BABIP over the course of his career is .329, while 2009 and 2010 it had been .342.  This year, the stat sits at .300.  Often, when seeing a dip in BABIP, you can look at a player’s line drive rate and see that the player is not hitting as many line drives.  Crawford’s line drive rate is 17.8%, which is actually up from last year’s 16.5%.  His fly ball and ground ball rates have also mostly gone unchanged.  One thing I did notice was that his percentage of bunts for base hits is 0.  Early in his career, Crawford would attempt to bunt upwards of 15 to 18 times per season.  This year, Crawford has only attempted three bunts.  This could be due to his hamstring not being 100% also.

Crawford’s dWAR, (or defensive Wins Above Replacement), which is a defensive stat that shows how a player is able to field balls inside and outside the zone of his position, has always been one of his strong points.  For outfielders, he has been near the top of the league regularly over the last five years.  This season, however, his dWAR is at -0.5, which negates entirely his limited offensive production.

With such close similarities in his batted ball rates, one would expect a slight drop in production due to his lower BABIP.  However, with such a large gap in last year’s production to this year’s, despite a better overall line-up batting around him, one has to really think about what has happened to Crawford.

Crawford may be a multi, multi-millionaire that most of us would give up anything to be, but what most of us forget is that these MLB superstars are human.  Hitting in front of 40,000 screaming, raving Red Sox lunatic fans surely cannot be an easy task.  When playing in Tampa for the first 6 years of his career, he rarely faced hostility or scrutiny at home.  The media has scrutinized every little move he has made this season, because he is under a microscope now.  All this pressure and expectations after signing such a huge contract can take a toll on a player both psychologically and physically.

Here is a radical thought: Fenway’s odd dimensions have actually hurt Crawford offensively.  Left fielders play shallower in Boston than in any other park, due to the Green Monster.  This means that shallow flares, bloop pop ups and even live drive singles are taken out of the equation.  While you can argue that this would then alter every other hitter’s stats, I think that the style of offense that Crawford plays, combined with bad luck, and a slight drop off in actual performance have been the main contributors to his poor statistics. 

Look for Crawford to settle into the Boston atmosphere and return to his career averages in statistics in 2012.  If he doesn’t, there will be many Sox fans clamouring to get rid of him at any cost.

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

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

 

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