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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated For Tim Lincecum, June 25, 2014)

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Is Tim Lincecum done? NOT TODAY!

The Giants needed to have a decent pitching performance and give their bullpen a break. What did they get? A masterpiece from Tim Lincecum. For the second straight season, Giant fans can say “Tim is not a Cy Young contender anymore, but at least he gave us a no hitter this year.)

The list of Giants pitchers with more than one no hitter? It is short but impressive:

Christy Mathewson
Tim Lincecum

Good company to be in.

And like last year, Lincecum did it against the Padres, the only remaining franchise without a no hitter.

(Yes, I know, the Washington Nationals haven’t had a no hitter either. They had no hitters when they were the Montreal Expos.)

 

It is time to update my list!

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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated For Clayton Kershaw, June 18, 2014)

Chris Carlson - AP

Chris Carlson – AP

The second Dodger no hitter this season!

Well Josh Beckett didn’t last long on this list! Less than a month ago, Beckett threw the first no no of the year. Tonight, the ace of the Dodger staff showed the Rockies why he is a multiple Cy Young winner.

In fact, only Hanley Ramirez‘s error kept him from being perfect.

It is safe to say that he will take it.

Still no San Diego Padres nor Washington Nationals no hitter yet (although the Nationals franchise have no hitters as the Expos and the city of Washington had some with the Senators.)

It is time to update my list!

Houston Astros Roster Part 2 In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

From 1992 - 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span.  They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs.  After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild.  Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.  Three trades with the Phillies kickstarted the youth movement, trailing all the way to Brad Lidge, and ending with Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence.  2 out of the 3 have retired, and Pence now makes $18 MIL per year, which would be too much.

From 1992 – 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span. They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs. After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild. Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System. Three trades with the Phillies kickstarted the youth movement, trailing all the way to Brad Lidge, and ending with Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. 2 out of the 3 have retired, and Pence now makes $18 MIL per year, which would be too much.

How All Of The Astros Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

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The other day we talked about the hitters for the Astros and how they were acquired.

Today we delve into the Pitching Staff.  The Bullpen is compromised with some familiar names, that were Free Agent Signings.

A lot of the Starters were brought in by trade, or signed as Free Agents.

The biggest tree in the roster comes from Brett Oberholtzer, who was traded for in the deal with the Braves for Michael Bourn.

Philadelphia has made 3 deals for Brad Lidge, Hunter Pence and Roy Oswalt, that have left Houston stocked in the current makeup for the depth chart by subsequent deals.

Michael Bourn (with a few others) came over for the 2007 trade for the former Closer Lidge, and then was flipped to Atlanta for Oberholtzer and a package of players.

The other meaningful deal was Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton brought into Houston for outgoing Hunter Pence.

One of the unfortunate deals the team did was for Miguel Tejada, but it certainly didn’t backfire as bad as it could have.

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Houston Astros Roster In 2014 Part 1: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago  In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes.  Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization - while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them.  Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization – while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them. Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

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

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At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Houston Astros – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching. 

It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

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

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

Sometimes pitchers will be in the hitters part of the write-up and vice versa.  This is simply done when one side of hitter or pitcher is dealt for each other.  Read the rest of this entry

Colorado Rockies Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

Troy Tulowitzki is one of the best all-round shortstops in baseball. he plays Gold Glove caliber defense, and he actually hits well pretty much anywhere whether home (.935 OPS) and Away (.819 OPS).  The team always plays better with their franchise Shortstop is in the lineup - and they have a punchers chance to compete in their Division.  Tulo is owed $134 MIL over the next 7 years, and could easily command that type of salary on the open market

Troy Tulowitzki is one of the best all-round shortstops in baseball. he plays Gold Glove caliber defense, and he actually hits well pretty much anywhere whether home (.935 OPS) and Away (.819 OPS). The team always plays better with their franchise Shortstop is in the lineup – and they have a punchers chance to compete in their Division. Tulo is owed $134 MIL over the next 7 years, and could easily command that type of salary on the open market

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

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The Rockies have to play in the same Division as new payroll ‘powerhouse machine’ Los Angeles.  It is hard to fathom that Colorado’s $88 MIL 2014 Payroll will trail the Dodgers payroll by almost $150 MIL.

If there were ever a case to cry out for the inequities in salaries, the 3 teams in the NL West of San Diego, Arizona and Colorado have a huge case.

It wasn’t always like this, only 2 years ago the Dodgers were hovering in the same financial stratosphere as the Rox.

New ownership and a huge TV deal has landed LA a windfall that they have reinvested in their on field talent over the last 18 months.

Colorado is one of the weirdest franchises because of their home ballpark. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 16, 2014

Pat Sullivan / Associated Press

Pat Sullivan / Associated Press

It is The Sunday Request on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast!

Roy Oswalt had a terrific career and will be beloved by Astros fans. Where it stretches from there is murkier.
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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 16, 2014

The Top 10 Active MLB Pitchers In Win Percentage

Jered Weaver is the ace of the staff for the Angels, but has had issues avoiding the disabled last year. When healthy, Weaver is one of the best pitchers in the AL. He was 11 - 8 last year for the Halos, while sporting a 3.277 ERA in 154.1 innings pitched.  In 2012, he fared much better putting up an AL Leading 20 wins against just 5 losses for an .800 Win PCTG.  Despite just a .579 mark in 2013, he took the reigns of Active Win PCTG once Ropy Halladay hung up his cleats for good.  Weaver is 113 - 60 (.6531%) for his 8 year career so far, with a 3.24 ERA.

Jered Weaver is the ace of the staff for the Angels, but has had issues avoiding the disabled last year. When healthy, Weaver is one of the best pitchers in the AL. He was 11 – 8 last year for the Halos, while sporting a 3.277 ERA in 154.1 innings pitched. In 2012, he fared much better putting up an AL Leading 20 wins against just 5 losses for an .800 Win PCTG. Despite just a .579 mark in 2013, he took the reigns of Active Win PCTG once Ropy Halladay hung up his cleats for good. Weaver is 113 – 60 (.6531%) for his 8 year career so far, with a 3.24 ERA.    Weaver is signed for the next 3 years, and will collect $54 MIL for his efforts – including a full no-trade clause from the Angels.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I think people might be a little surprised to see that Jered Weaver was atop on this list.  Last year, Roy Halladay held the mark, but as soon as he retired, it immediately fell to Weaver.

With Andy Pettitte also taking off of his cleats for the last time, we see 2013 AL Cy Young Winner Max Scherzer also enter the top 10 list with his .6186 Win Percentage.

Just on the outside looking in is Cliff Lee at 11th (.6178) and another guy who you might not expect is Yovani Gallardo at (.6045).

If Roy Oswalt were to sign with a team – instead of possibly retiring, I will re-insert him into the list.

Roy Halladay Retirement Press Conference

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The Colorado Rockies Players, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

Troy Tulowitzki is one of the best all-round shortstops in baseball. he plays Gold Glove caliber defense, and he actually hits well pretty much anywhere whether home (.935 OPS) and Away (.819 OPS).  The team always plays better with their franchise Shortstop is in the lineup - and they have a punchers chance to compete in their Division.

Troy Tulowitzki is one of the best all-round shortstops in baseball. he plays Gold Glove caliber defense, and he actually hits well pretty much anywhere whether home (.934 OPS) and Away (.819 OPS). The team always plays better with their franchise Shortstop is in the lineup – and they have a punchers chance to compete in their Division. In 2013, he hit for a 3 Slash Line of .312/.391/.932 – with 23 HRS and 82 RBI in just 446 AB.  The 28 Year Old missed 36 games this past campaign, and that cost him a chance to win the NL MVP, as he was an early favorite.

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

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link her

The Rockies will enter the 2014 campaign without Todd Helton for the 1st time in 18 years.  The team is always in a precarious situation when it comes to prospects, talented veteran’s, and an uncertainty of how the team will fare year to year.

Colorado has been a streaky club from 2007 – now.  They made their only World Series Appearance ever in 2007, and the team has had chances for the playoffs most years that Troy Tulowitzki has played in significant AB.

The teams offensive prospects look great with Nolan Arenado, Jordan Pacheco. Dexter Fowler, Wilin Rosario and of course their big #2 Shortstop TULO.  For the most part, this team has been able to develop within.

Yes Carlos Gonzalez was brought in by trade, but that was with the asset the team drafted in Matt Holliday.

Todd Helton:   Look Back At A Franchise Player’s Career

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Houston Astros State Of The Union Address: Fall 2013

From 1992 - 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span.  They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs.  After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild.  Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.

From 1992 – 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span. They won 4 Division Titles, 8 – 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs. After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild. Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.  Now with 3 105+ Loss seasons, and back to back 1st overall picks, the team has begun the process.  An ownership changed mirrored the last transference of all the remaining Veterans from the previous regime.  How long will it take for the Astros to compete again?

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

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The Astros had one of the easiest years to peg down in the game of baseball for 2013.

They were horrible early, traded away every possible Veteran that were making any kind of cash on the Major League Level, and then proceeded to be even worse after the ALL – Star Game.

The worst part of the campaign was left for the end, where they promptly lost their last 15 games – to finish with a record of 51 – 111.

It was their 3rd straight 100+ Loss season.  But overlooking the obvious is that they actual drew a few more fans in 2013 – compared to 2012.

That was more a symptom of the club moving to the American League.  At least they were not last in the league for Attendance, like payroll.

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A Phillies 2014 Forecast, Part I: “The Emperor Has No Clothes”

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013's Song of the Summer, "Get Lucky", coincidentally captured the embattled GM's philosophy for this year's Phillies. When the song's lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, "We've come too far to give up who we are", I can easily see Ruben's head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro's stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013′s Song of the Summer, “Get Lucky”, coincidentally captured the embattled GM’s philosophy for this year’s Phillies. When the song’s lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, “We’ve come too far to give up who we are”, I can easily see Ruben’s head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro’s stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

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

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“I live on a one-way street that’s also a dead end. I’m not quite sure how I got there.” - Steven Wright, Comedian

Sounds about right.

It should be obvious to most that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s ego has been waging war against his own rational sense of decision-making and his ability to consider the future of this Phillies franchise since he was handed the keys to the palace back in November 2008.

A speckled and spotty track-record ripe with big-splash acquisitions along with several transactions banking on a player’s abilities of yesteryear–each of which left the cupboard mostly bare down on the farm–is all he has to show during his tenure as the big boss man.

Even the most optimistic of Philadelphia fans (including myself) now envision the Phillies ship as a tired, rudderless old vessel drifting through uncharted waters without a compass. How did it ever come to this?

Ryan Howards Injury 2011 NLDS


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How All Of The Rockies Pitchers Were Acquired

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Tuesday Aug.13/2013

In one of the better moves done recently by Rockies management, this former Indian was picked up by the team in 2009, for a player that has never made the Major Leagues.  Betancourt has a 0.994 WHIP in his Colorado Career - spanning 244 IP.  Impressive considering some of the Innings lugged are in the thin air of Coors Field

In one of the better moves done recently by Rockies management, this former Indian was picked up by the team in 2009, for a player that has never made the Major Leagues. Betancourt has a 0.994 WHIP and a 2.97 ERA in his Colorado Career – spanning 233.1 IP. Impressive considering some of the Innings lugged are in the thin air of Coors Field.  At age 39 next season, the club has a Team Option for $4.25 MIL.  They should do it.  Their Bullpen has been better than expected.

How All Of The Rockies Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

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

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

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

Jorge De La Rosa’s Great Start

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Colorado Rockies Payroll in 2013 and Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, August.05, 2013

Troy Tulowitzki is one of the best all-round shortstops in baseball. he plays Gold Glove caliber defense, and is a great offensive player. He is the heart and soul of the Colorado Rockies. They are a better team when he is on the field.  Tulo has a .321/.387/.977 triple-slash in 290 at-bats this season. He has 20HRs and 60 RBIs on the season to go along with 18 Doubles and 93 hits overall. He is first in the NL with a Fielding Percentage of .992.  The young shortstop can hit righties or lefties. However he does have a higher average against righties with a .330 average facing them. He is also excellent with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .330 batting average and and 40 RBIs in 90 at-bats.

Troy Tulowitzki is one of the best all-round shortstops in baseball. He plays Gold Glove caliber defense, and is a great offensive player. He is the heart and soul of the Colorado Rockies. They are a better team when he is on the field. Tulo has a .321/.387/.977 triple-slash in 290 at-bats this season. He has 20HRs and 60 RBIs on the season to go along with 18 Doubles and 93 hits overall. He is first in the NL with a Fielding Percentage of .992. The young shortstop can hit righties or lefties. However he does have a higher average against righties with a .330 average facing them. He is also excellent with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .330 batting average and 40 RBIs in 90 at-bats in this situation.

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

The season for the Colorado Rockies may be near its breaking point with the 10 ½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West division.

They might want to start thinking about next season and try to salvage what they can from the rest of this season. The biggest issue with the team right now is their pitching, as they are last in the NL with a 4.32 ERA from their pitching and they have allowed 514 runs.

Troy Tulowitzki 2011 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised 

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Colorado Rockies’ Losing Even With 3 ALL – Stars

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Sunday July.14/2013

The Rockies jumped out to a 12 -4 record to start the season - and have played to a clip of 33 - 46 since.  Coming off a 90 Loss campaign in 2012, this may be more of a a true sign of this teams talent.  2013 may not be the year to try and challenge.

The Rockies jumped out to a 12 -4 record to start the season – and have played to a clip of 33 – 46 since. Coming off a 90 Loss campaign in 2012, this may be more of  a true sign of this teams talent. 2013 may not be the year to try and challenge for the NL West crown.  Perhaps it is time that the management looks to deal some veterans that are not part of the club’s long – term plan?

By Lou Hebert (MLB Reports Colorado Rockies Correspondent):

The Colorado Rockies have low odds of winning the National League West division title despite having three players on the 2013 MLB All-Star roster.

Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer are not enough to help Colorado regain their momentum against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers this season, which may encourage the Rockies to sell before the MLB trade deadline.

One month ago, the Rockies were favored to contend for the NL West division pennant this season.  Then Troy Tulowitzki broke a rib on June 13 while making a diving catch, which marked the beginning of a decline in Rockies success this season.

Dexter Fowler’s 2 HR

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Colorado Rockies Have Everything for A NL West Title Run In 2013

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Wednesday July.03/2013

Carlos Gonzalez always puts up far better numbers in the lineup with his running mate Tulowitzki.  CARGO has always tore it up out of the gate - and is worthy of NL MVP consideration thus far.  The Rockies OF leads the NL in Runs Scored (63), and in HRs wih (22).  The Rockies have maintained without Tulowitzki in the lineup (Going 10 - 12) - but will need their slugging SS back to compete for a playoff spot.

Carlos Gonzalez always puts up far better numbers in the lineup with his running mate Tulowitzki. CARGO has always tore it up out of the gate – and is worthy of NL MVP consideration thus far. The Rockies OF leads the NL in Runs Scored (63), and in HRs with (22). The club have maintained without Tulowitzki in the lineup (Going 10 – 12) – but will need their slugging SS back to compete for a playoff spot.  ‘Tulo’ was instrumental in the club going on playoff runs both in 2007 and 2009.

By Lou Hebert (MLB Reports Colorado Rockies Correspondent):

The National League West is a close division race with only three games separating the top and bottom teams.  The Colorado Rockies have been trailing by only a couple of games for most of the 2013 season.

As the All-Star break approaches, Colorado’s pieces to a division win are aligning for what could result in a dominant showing throughout the second half of the season.

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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Last season had a flurry of no hitters, ending with Homer Bailey‘s gem that eliminated the Pirates from contention.

This season has been filled with one near miss after another, including close calls from Yu Darvish and Anibal Sanchez. When would the first no hitter of 2013 be thrown?

I guess only Homer Bailey is allowed to throw no-nos now. He threw a gem with only one walk against the punchless Giants and joined the likes of Roy Halladay and Mark Buehrle as a pitcher with multiple no hitters.

Let’s take a look at each franchise’s most recent no hitter:

THE MOST RECENT NO HITTERS
FOR EACH FRANCHISE
CINCINNATI REDS
Homer Bailey – July 2, 2013.
3-0 over San Francisco.
SEATTLE MARINERS
Felix Hernandez – August 15, 2012.
1-0 over Rays. (Perfect Game)
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Matt Cain – June 13, 2012.
10-0 over Houston. (Perfect Game)
NEW YORK METS
Johan Santana – June 1, 2012
8-0 over St. Louis.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Jered Weaver – May 2, 2012.
9-0 over Minnesota.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Philip Humber – April 21, 2012
4-0 over Seattle. (Perfect Game.)
DETROIT TIGERS
Justin Verlander – May 7, 2011.
9-0 over Toronto.
MINNESOTA TWINS
Francisco Liriano – May 3, 2011
1-0 over Chicago White Sox
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Roy Halladay – October 6, 2010
4-0 over Cincinnati. (Playoff Game)
TAMPA PAY RAYS
Matt Garza – July 26th, 2010
5-0 over Detroit.ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Edwin Jackson – June 25, 2010
1-0 over Tampa BayOAKLAND A’S
Dallas Braden – May 9, 2010
4-0 over Tampa Bay. (Perfect Game.)
COLORADO ROCKIES
Ubaldo Jimenez – April 17, 2010
4-0 over Atlanta.CHICAGO CUBS
Carlos Zambrano – September 14, 2008.
5-0 over Houston.
BOSTON RED SOX
Jon Lester – May 19, 2008.
7-0 over Kansas City.
FLORIDA MARLINS
Anibal Sanchez – September 6, 2006.
2-0 over Arizona.
HOUSTON ASTROS
Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner -
June 11, 2003.
8-0 over New York Yankees.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Bud Smith – September 3, 2001
4-0 over San Diego.
NEW YORK YANKEES
David Cone – July 18, 1999.
6-0 over Montreal. (Perfect Game.)
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon – July 12, 1997.
3-0 over Houston. (10 innings.)
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Hideo Nomo – September 17, 1996.
9-0 over Colorado.
TEXAS RANGERS
Kenny Rogers – July 28, 1994.
4-0 over California. (Perfect Game.)ATLANTA BRAVES
Kent Mercker – April 8, 1994.
6-0 over Los Angeles.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Bret Saberhagen – August 26, 1991
7-0 over Chicago White Sox.WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AS MONTREAL EXPOS)
Dennis Martinez – July 28, 1991.
2-0 over Los Angeles. (Perfect Game.)
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson – July 13, 1991.
2-0 over Oakland.TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Dave Stieb – September 2, 1990.
3-0 over Cleveland.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Juan Nieves – April 15, 1987.
7-0 over Baltimore.

CLEVELAND INDIANS
Len Barker – May 15, 1981.
3-0 over Toronto. (Perfect Game.)

Bonus

WASHINGTON SENATORS
Bobby Burke – August 8, 1931
5-0 over Boston.

The Padres are still on the clock. And it would be nice to simplify the list with the Nationals having a no hitter instead of including the Expos and Senators.

When will the next no hitter be?

Well, when’s Homer Bailey’s next start?

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Triple Play Podcast Ep # 13 – Around The Horn w/OAK/KC/COL/TOR + Bean Wars + The Genius Beane

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Monday, June.17, 2013

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

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

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

Guests in this Podcast – Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner and Lead Analyst) 

On this week’s show Chuck Booth joins us to break down all the biggest stories in MLB. We also go Around the Horn with Chuck to discuss the A’s, Rockies and Royals current situations and declare the worthy few that belong on their respective Mt Rushmore’s. Bethubb.com best bets end the show as always. Happy Father’s Day!!!!!!!

Intro – 10 Minutes, Toronto Blue Jays talk from 10 Minute to the 18 Minute Mark.  OAK chat – 18 minute – 33 Minute Mark, COL Talk 33 Minutes – 44 Minute Mark.  Kansas City Royals Chart 44 Minutes Mark – 59 Minute Mark.  Late Jays Talk Bethubb Best Bets 1 hour 1 MIN mark to 1 hour 9 Minute Mark.

Quick Facts:  Catsfish Hunter was 7 – 2 in the Post Season for the 1972, 1973 and 1974 World Series Winning A’s – and only 2 -4 with the 3 Post Seasons with the Yankees.  Still 5 World Series Winners was great.  Chuck also meant Ewing Kauffman (Chuck thought his nickname was Charlie in the podcast – maybe because his name his Charlie) when talking about the Royals MT. Rushmore for the franchise.

Yogi Berra did indeed play in 14 World Series and won 10 of them in his Yankees days.

To Keep Reading and Listen to this Podcast click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY or scroll past the Triple Play Logo.

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Colorado Rockies Organizational Charts: Payroll, Depth Charts And Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Friday, June.13/2013

The Coors field Effect is still alive and well for Pitchers and Hitters.  19 out of the 20 years, the Rox have led the Major Leagues in Home Batting Average.  Last year, position hitters (1-8) hit for a .315. Batting Average.  This season is no different.  The Rox have played inspired baseball, but now are faced with injuries to Tulowitzki, Fowler and Gonzalez

The Coors field Effect is still alive and well for Pitchers and Hitters. 19 out of the 20 years, the Rox have led the Major Leagues in Home Batting Average. Last year, position hitters (1-8) hit for a .315. Batting Average. This season is no different. The Rox have played inspired baseball, but now are faced with injuries to Tulowitzki, Fowler and Gonzalez.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Astros 2013 Draft Day Decision

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Wednesday May 29th, 2013

Reid Ryan will be at the helm for his 1st ever draft as Team President for the Astros on June 6th.  The team is picking 1st overall - and will most likely pick 1st or 2nd in next years Amateur Draft.  This decision should be priority #1 with the management right now.

Reid Ryan will be at the helm for his 1st ever draft as Team President for the Astros on June 6th. The team is picking 1st overall – and will most likely pick 1st or 2nd in next years Amateur Draft as well in 2014. This 2013 Draft Day Decision should be priority #1 with the management right now.  Ryan was named Team President of the franchise only a few weeks ago.

By Jordan Gluck (Draft Correspondent)

The Houston Astros select first overall in the draft for the second consecutive year but have a big decision to make and that is the strategy they use. First let’s go through who the key people in the front office are.

Reid Ryan – Team President
Jeff Luhnow: GM- Upenn
David Stearns: Assistant GM- Harvard
Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens - special assistants
Sig Mejdal- director of decision sciences (best title name in baseball)
Mike Elias: director of amateur scouting
Kevin Goldstein: director of pro scouting
Paul Ricciarini: scout
David Post: national cross checker

Before I talk about the Astros potential strategies I think it is worth mentioning that Craig Biggio‘ s son Cavan Biggio is in this draft and that is something to watch for although he will not go first overall.

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Houston Astros Roster In 2013: State Of The Union:

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Monday, February.11,  2013

houston_astros-9413By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

In 2005, the Houston Astros completed a run to the World Series. It was the culmination of the Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell teams in Houston. That team had players on it named Clemens, Pettitte, Oswalt,Bagwell and Biggio. This Houston team is a far way from that National League Champion. Houston has failed at epic levels the last two seasons. The state of the current union of this team is summed up in one word: bad. With that said, there is a ray of hope in these dark days.

When I first learned of this assignment, I planned on doing a portion of a piece on the Astros most expensive and possibly most prominent offensive piece, Jed Lowrie. Houston, in an effort to aggressively proceed with rebuilding its roster, traded Lowrie for several pieces. The trade itself has been covered by this site and our Astros’ corespondent already so I’m going to focus on piece of it. Chris Carter, the First Baseman/Outfielder, acquired by the Astros. Carter has shown consistent power at the Minor League levels as he consistently posted well above league average ISO numbers. His brief stint in the Majors with the A’s prior to the 2012 season did not see those numbers translate. Finally in 2012, we got a look at what we hope is the real Chris Carter.

Carter posted 16 Home Runs in less than 300 Plate Appearances while posting a spectacular ISO. Carter is not the type of player who will hit for average as his Strike-Out rates are consistently well above league average, but he does so an excellent propensity for taking walks. Carter is an Adam Dunn - type player. Big power, good On Base Percentage, but a high Strike Out rate with a low Batting Average. Overall, I think he will make a fine number four hitter, but the pieces around him need to fit. The other issue is where does Carter play. He is traditionally a First Baseman, but Houston is currently playing 26-Year Old Brett Wallace at first in an effort to determine his value. More important than Wallace though is one of Houston’s top prospects, First Baseman Jonathan Singleton.

Bagwell and Biggio Mix of Highlights:  Who will be the next tandem of Astros greats?:

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The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 3 of 4: The Pitchers

Saturday September.01/2012

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 Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles here.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   This team has played for almost 130 years.  As such, they have a great deal of history, so there are going to be several more hitters than pitchers as is the case with most Franchises.  For the first seasons as the Quakers, they had some decent pitchers.  It wasn’t until Pete Grover Alexander joined the club, that Philadelphia Phillies fams got to see a Hall of Fame pitcher before their very eyes.  From Alexander, to Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons, to Jim Bunning, Rick Wise and Chris Short, to Steve Carlton, Tug McGraw and Jim Lonborg, to Curt Schilling and Mitch Williams, to Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, the Phillies Pitchers have been improving in each generation.

Last year when the club won a record 102 games for the Franchise, they had the best 4 starters they had ever assembled in Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Roy Oswalt to take the mound.  Having Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton as your 5th starter is an option most teams would love to have.  The Phillies have been one of the best teams in the National League since 1975.  They have appeared in 9 NLCS’s and 5 World Series while winning 2 of them.  That is an impressive 36 year run.  Going forward, the clubs pitchers still look solid.  Cole Hamels just signed a 6 year extension, Cliff Lee is around for 3 more years and Roy Halladay still has 2 more years left after this.  The club also signed Jonathan Papelbon up until the end of the 2015 season before 2012 began.  Papelbon may have a chance to make this list when someone else chronicles the best pitchers in Phillies history one day 25 years from now.

If you ask me to have a Mount Rushmore of Pitchers it would be: Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Grover Alexander and probably Cole Hamels because of his instrumental pitching since the 2007 season. 

For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:

For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series click here

Steve Carlton Highlight Reel:

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The Philadelphia Phillies Part 1 of 4: ‘The Franchise’

Friday August.17/2012

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.

It took the Phillies 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series:  In 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009, while taking home the Trophy in 2008.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):  The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name.  It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike.  Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering  the league and turning the fortunes of the city.  From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals. 

One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season.  I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009.  But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise.  We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter.  The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks.  Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.

Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.

For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.

For Part 3 of  The 4 Part Phillies Article Series:  The Pitchers- click here

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

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Roy Oswalt: The Rangers Are Hoping That He Has Enough Gas Left For One More Playoff Run

Wednesday August 1st, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  Roy Oswalt has been one of baseball’s best and most consistent pitchers over the past decade. He’s finished top five in Cy Young voting five times, is a three-time All-Star, and has even received MVP votes throughout his career. However, his return to the major leagues with Texas has been everything BUT impressive. Oswalt is aging. He has a bad back, his arm seems to be dead, and both of those things are effecting his ability to pitch.

Why did the Rangers shock the baseball world by pulling off a last-minute deal for Ryan Dempster? Partly because they knew Neftali Feliz was going to need Tommy John surgery and would not be returning. Partly because they felt that they did not have enough pitching depth to compete with the Angels. And Partly because they aren’t sold on Oswalt as a dependable playoff starter. Oswalt, who made his first start with Texas on June 22nd, has a racked up a few good outings and a few extremely bad ones. Unfortunately for the Rangers and their fans, the bad outings have outweighed the good ones. This is a very concerning pattern that the veteran Oswalt continues to follow. Read the rest of this entry

Top Ten Stat Of The Week: (Active Pitchers Winning Pctg-Min 100 Decisions)

Sunday July.15/2012

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 20-15 record the last two seasons (.571). Lester still leads the active pitchers in Winning Percentage. Photo courtesy of http://www.bostonsportssu18.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-Piching wins are given less importance  all of the time by the sabermetric community.  I am here to refute these findings.  A won-loss category is still very important in a pitchers career.  Yes there are definite exceptions.  Nolan Ryan played for a lot of mediocre teams and that is why he is 324-292 all time.  I would definitely say the modern pitchers Matt Cain 78-76 and Felix Hernandez have valid arguments why their won-loss percentages are way lower than they should be.  Recent Cy Young winners were voted on more for other periphery stats such as: ERA, WHIP, OBA and WAR.

I often think of Jack Morris when I hear this.  He had the situational pitching down perfect between 1983-1993.  The man won 4 World Series with 3 different teams.  Morris posted a 254-186 record (.577) and he has an ERA for his career at 3.90.  At first glance you may scoff at the notion of a near 4.00 ERA before the steroid era.  You had to watch his games to see where he was coming from.  He was on great offensive teams and would have large run support from time to time.  Jack Morris would challenge hitters by pitching to contact.  Sometimes the hitters would get the better of him in these lopsided games.  If you were a hitter, you were going to get no free pass from Big Jack.  His 175 complete games were a testament to his duration.  Morris also led the 1980′s in pitching wins.  He was just as capable of pitching in a low scoring, close game as evidence by his 1-0 World Series 10 innings pitched win in-game #7 of the 1991 World Series versus the Braves.  The gentlemen on this list all can throw complete games like Jack Morris did.  All of these pitchers have logged huge innings at parts of their careers.  Read the rest of this entry

Roy Oswalt Working Back to True Form

Wednesday June 27, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Writer): Fourteen months ago, Roy Oswalt took a leave from the Philadelphia Phillies to be with his family after a series of tornadoes ripped through Mississippi. He left the team, where he was one of the showcased “Four Aces,” with a 3-1 record and a 3.33 ERA and returned with a sore back. He spent a short time on the disabled list, but returned to start in eight more games before once again landing on the DL with “lower back inflammation.” It is unclear whether his back troubles arose during his leave of absence, but Oswalt continued to pitch because he didn’t “want to be labeled a quitter.” Ultimately, his injury became too much, and during his latter stint on the DL there was doubt that he’d ever pitch again. He did return, though, and finished the year with a 9-10 record and 3.69 ERA. After his team faltered (or imploded, depending on how you look at it) in the playoffs, Oswalt declared free agency; his career was not over after all.

At age 34, Oswalt has appeared in eight playoff series, one World Series and three NLCS. When he hit the market last offseason, Oswalt made it clear that he wanted to play for a winner. More specifically, he wanted to play for a team that would have a great chance of winning it all. Like Roger Clemens in 2006 and 2007, Oswalt told teams that he would continue to stay in shape but wait until midseason to sign with the team that he thought would do the best in the postseason. On May 29th, Oswalt picked the 31-19 Texas Rangers and began his road back to the MLB.

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Kansas City Royals: Do They Have Enough Pitching to Become Contenders?

Thursday May 24th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: This season was all set up to finally be the year that the Royals would have a good chance to contend. The division became less competitive than normal with the White Sox losing Mark Buehrle and manager Ozzie Guillen, the Twins not making any big moves in the offseason besides signing Josh Willingham, and a second wild card being added to increase the possibility of making the playoffs. Royals’ fans have long waited for the team to make the playoffs as they have only had a winning record once since 1993. This year, the Royals have no shortage of hitting with young stars Eric Hosmer (first base)—who is struggling as of late but is showing signs of coming around, and third baseman, Mike Moustakas who is hitting .285. The Royals also have a strong outfield with Alex Gordon and veteran Jeff Francouer. Prospect Wil Myers, who was just promoted to Triple A, may offer more strength in the future, and Billy Butler, hitting .301 is the designated hitter. With a strong bullpen and hitting lineup beside the slumping Hosmer, right now the only weakness for the Royals is their starting pitching. Presently, Felipe Paulino is an exception with a 1.93 ERA, but it is doubtful that he will keep up his performance. Read the rest of this entry

Overlooked Veteran Pitchers That Could Pitch in 2012

Sunday April 29th, 2012

Sam Evans:  In a recent interview with The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, former MLB legend Pedro Martinez said that he could be ready to pitch in only twenty days. Even though Pedro was probably joking, pretty much every team in baseball could use a quality back-end starter. So in honor of Pedro’s comments, let’s look at some free agents and veteran pitchers in Triple-A that could help MLB teams this year.

John Lannan, LHP, Syracuse Chiefs (WSH AAA): Perhaps the biggest surprise with the Nationals Opening Day roster had nothing to do with a certain Bryce Harper. National’s manager Davey Johnson decided to use Ross Detwiler instead of the veteran lefty John Lannan as the Nats’ fifth starter. Lannan who had a 3.70 ERA and 4.24 xFIP in thirty-three starts last year, was demoted to Triple-A. The Nationals could definitely trade Lannan, now that Detwiler has become a quality starter in the majors. A team like the Red Sox could acquire Lannan and he could provide some value to a Boston team lacking starting pitching.

Kyle Davies, RHP, Free Agent: Kyle Davies used to be the top pitching prospect in baseball. While he does deserve credit for surviving as a major league starter for a few years, Davies never reached his potential as top of the rotation starter. Last year with the Kansas City Royals, Davies only lasted thirteen starts. Even though his ERA was 6.75, his FIP was only 4.39. If Davies pitched like that for the rest of the season, he would have been worth around 2.3 WAR. That’s better than both Colby Lewis and Chad Billingsley’s 2011 WAR totals. I’m not saying Davies can become that kind of starter, but if someone gives him a fresh start he could hang on in a MLB rotation. He’s still only twenty-nine and a team could sign him to a minor league contract and see if he’s got anything left in the tank. Read the rest of this entry

No Need to Panic: The Phillies Do Not Need Offensive Help!

Sunday April 15, 2012

Bryan Sheehan: It may only be the middle of April, but already there are masses of Phillies fans ready to jump off a bridge because of the team’s 4-5 record. This is also spurred by the fact that the team has not hit at all on a regular basis, and the lineup seems devoid of any power. The club only has 16 extra base hits, with three of their 11 doubles coming today against the Mets, and a .345 slugging percentage pushes them towards the basement of the MLB. So, with a lineup that features the lanky Hunter Pence as a cleanup hitter and a catcher hitting sixth, is it time to worry about the Phillies 2012 season? Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – February 25th, 2012

Saturday February 25th, 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: Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Sunday February 5th, 2012

Sunday February 5th, 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: I know you are a Jays fan. What’s your opinion on Joey Bats? How can he go from 15 HRs to leading the league 2 years in a row?  Joe

JH:  I am??!! I have been accused of many things, but a Jays supporter is not one of them. Being based in Toronto, many people naturally assume that I am a Jays fan. Plus we have many Jays readers and followers, so their team often comes up in conversation. Here is the scoop on many Jays fandom. If you have to categorize me a particular “team fan”, then the Tigers will be that pick. Only since AA has taken over the team have I been excited about the Jays prospects. JP did a masterful job of destroying the Jays farm system and creating a mediocre Jays squad for years. AA has swooped in and created a team that looks like they are on the verge of contention for years to come. I am a fan of the game overall (obviously). I like what the Jays are doing and see a bright future ahead…and that’s all I have to say about that.

As far as your Jose Bautista question, I see where you are going with it. Here are my thoughts. Back in August 2008, I was horrified when the Jays traded Robinson Diaz for Bautista. A young catcher with upside for a limited utility player? No thanks I said. From there, I was mortified when Bautista proceeded to become the home run king. I have heard the whispers of steroids/HGH/PEDs and how Bautista became a star overnight. I also heard the talk that Cito Gaston fixed his swing and got him to become more aggressive instead of swinging late. I think the latter, rather than the former are true. With drug testing in full swing, I would like to think that Bautista would have been caught had he been “juicing”. Can I guarantee? Absolute not, considering the Braun scandal. Some players do figure it out late in life and Jose Bautista appears to be one of the lucky few. Unfortunately, our cynical society does not allow us to be 100% confident in many of our modern athletes, with the amount of PEDs that have apparently flowed in the game. I would like to believe in Bautista. I really do. Let’s stick with the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ mentality and give him his due. Unless proven otherwise, Jose Bautista figured it out and turned into one of the best all-around players in the game. I am prepared to give credit where credit is due.

Q: Arbitration hearings have started. Is there a count of how many have been heard, how many left to hear and winners/losers?  Old Man Mack

JH: A shout-out to the final people over at MLB Trade Rumors, as Tim, Ben and the gang do some fine work in providing the latest transactions in the world of baseball. If you haven’t visited it already, they have a dedicated page called Arbitration Tracker which will answer all your arbitration questions. You will be able to see all the figures submitted by both players and teams, the mid-point and the award amounts. By my count there are still 19 players left with scheduled arbitration cases (who could still settle beforehand). I have seen 2 cases heard and the players are 0-2 (Lannan and Niemann both lost their cases). A fascinating process, in my opinion most of these cases should be settled before arbitration. Likely a lot of hard feelings can be achieved but little else from going through arbitration. But budgets are budgets and money is money. Welcome the business side of baseball.

Q: Is Brett Lawrie in the top 100 (fantasy players)?  Forrest

JH: Now that is interesting. Hmmmm….is Brett Lawrie a top-100 fantasy baseball right now? My answer off the cuff is…no. Maybe one day.  But not today. Reason? There are thirty MLB teams. I can think of the top of my head at least 3-4 players per team that are better than Lawrie in fantasy terms right now. Don’t get me wrong, Lawrie is a stud. He is good and will get better. But we only have a very small sample size for him thus far in the big leagues. With his blazing start in 2011, you have to expect a bit of regression this year. It’s called the “sophomore jinx”.  Will Lawrie fall victim? Maybe. Possibly. It also depends on your league. Lawrie to me is a strong player to have in a keeper league, while being less valuable in a non-keeper league. Right this minute, I would rather have players like Youkilis, Verlander, Fielder, Halladay, Rivera, Strasburg, Cabrera, Avila, Choo, Gallardo, Weaver, Haren, Mauer, Hernandez…and the list goes on. Lawrie is not far off and would make my top 120 or 130.  Give him another year and you could be seeing a top 50 player…or higher!

Q: Do you think the Miami Marlins will Contend in the NL East this upcoming Season?  Marty

JH: Contend- yes. Win- no. The Marlins are definitely improved, no doubt. But they have not done enough in my mind to take them over the top. The Phillies are still the team to beat, with the Braves being close behind. The Nationals? With their improved rotation, I would be very nervous about them. Reyes will bring excitement and Buehrle/Zambrano will help stabilize the rotation and Bell solid as the closer. But I just see some of the other teams being too strong. At best, I see the Marlins in 2nd place. But at worst? A 4th place finish. They are still missing a big bat and need all their key players to stay healthy. Too many if’s for my liking.

ATR: Who will enjoy being stretched out in 2012: Feliz, Sale, or Chapman?  Justin

JH: Looking at the crystal ball, I am seeing clear visions. Neftali Feliz and Chris Sale are both headed back to the bullpens by June at the latest. Both have enjoyed success in the bullpen and I can see each being ok but not great starters. They could develop over time, with the White Sox having more patience than the Rangers. But in a sport with a “win now” mentality, both will be relievers if they cannot succeed early on. Chapman on the other hand, I am seeing a different vision. With Ryan Madson entrenched as the closer, I can see Chapman being needed more in the rotation. With his stuff, he would be a very dangerous starter if he could learn some control. That could come sooner rather than later, as early as 2012. At the very least, Chapman could be a fine 4th or 5th starter. He will go 5-6 innings per start and rack up a ton of K’s.  So yes to Chapman, no to Feliz and Sale right now. Especially Feliz- as he will turn one day (if he hasn’t already) into a Papelbon lock-down closer. But if the Rangers aren’t careful, they could be hurting his long-term growth if they continue this see-saw back and forth like the Mariners did with Brandon Morrow some years ago.

Q: Who do you think will be in the World Series?  Ethan

JH: I was discussing this with a reader the other day. He predicted the Dbacks and Tigers. I have to like those picks. If I had to look at the top-4 teams, I am seeing the Tigers/Angels in the AL and Reds/Dbacks in the NL. The Yankees, Rays and Rangers will still be strong, as will the Red Sox. The Phillies, Cards, Brewers and Giants will provide a challenge in the NL. But I can’t get over the look to the Angels and I am sensing good things coming out of Anaheim this year. The Dbacks look very powerful and have built a team that will contend for the next several years. But the Reds are a strong force and manager Dusty Baker should be able to get the most out of that squad this year. I would like to say Tigers and Dbacks as well- that would be my heart pick. But looking at the crystal ball, I am seeing Angels and Reds right now. I can’t say why. The crystal ball says what it says. If it changes in picture, I will let you know.

Q: What do the Nats gain from banning Phillies fans???  Tammy

JH: If this is not THE dumbest thing I have ever heard, it definitely comes close. For those that are not familiar, the Nationals are trying to block Philadelphia fans from buying tickets to Phillies/Nats games by curbing where you reside when buying single game seats. Silly. Silly. Silly. Firstly, the Nats have enough of an attendance problem as it is, so they certainly should not be limiting ticket sales. Secondly, by discouraging Phillies fans at the stadium, it will create a hatred type mentality for those fans that do make the games. Baseball is about the love of the game. Rather than discouraging certain fans, the Nats should encourage all fans to buy tickets to their park. This new idea will have the effect of creating a bitter rivalry between the two teams every time they play in Washington, which might actually be a good thing. But the issues and conflict that it could create in the stands between opposing fans is a negative one. Let’s not forget what recently happened between Dodgers and Giants fans when hatred becomes spread. People can become injured or even yet, have a risk of life. Let’s spread baseball love- not hatred people.

Q: Are the Tigers done? And not will they do this or not, but your thoughts on Jeff Francis for Detroit’s lefty problem?  J Raddy

JH:  They are not done. The Tigers are never done. With the addition of Prince Fielder, the Tigers are even more serious World Series contenders in 2012, despite the loss of V-Mart. When you have Verlander and Fister in the rotation, Avila behind the plate and Cabrera/Prince in the heart of the lineup- you are going to be winning a ton of baseball games. Jeff Francis, or a Francis type pitcher is not the answer. Firstly, he was already signed by the Reds. But secondly, too many question marks surround him. If the Tigers can score a true #3, like Roy Owalt- they will be unstoppable (if they aren’t already). The more likely scenario is the team going with what they have, with a tweak or two. Turner could be the #5 if he has a strong spring, with the club picking up a Fister type pitcher at the deadline. If no Oswalt, the Tigers could sign 1-2 veteran pitchers to minor league contracts and invite them to spring training. Near the end of spring, come cut time, they could then pick someone up to start the year. Dombrowski is a smart guy and knows what he doing. By the time October rolls around, don’t expect the exact same Tigers roster that you see today.

Q: Realignment 2013 Proposal:  Dennis

al east  nyy, bost , tap b, Miami. and balt

al central  detr . min, chic w, torn, and clevel

al west   tex, oak, sea, laa, and houst

nl east phil, atl,  nym, wash, and pitts

nl central  milw, stl, cin, chic c, and kann

nl west  arz, sd, sf, col, and lad

play 4 divisional teams 18 games each and other 10 league teams 7 games each  and one divisional of the league 4 games each.   would only need to play 2, 2 games series in interleague play against the same team home and away    all other series would be 3 or 4 games series.   Only houst , kann, and miami would change leagues, and only Pittsburgh and Toronto would change divisions.

JH: Very ambitious my friend.  Very ambitious indeed.  I prepared an article on MLB realignment back in May 2011 that you should check out. I caught a ton of flack for it, but many people have a tough time with change. It is interesting the route that you have gone. Currently, only the Astros are moving (to the AL West), with the rest of the teams staying put. I agree that the current divisional alignments don’t work and need a shakeup. Ultimately, I would like to have 2 more expansions, bringing the total amount of teams to 32. I think only upon expansion will you see a true realignment in baseball. It’s not that I don’t like your plan- it has merits. But I am not sure geographically and with team rivalries why some of the changes would be implemented. KC and St. Louis in the same division is a no-brainer, as is Miami and Tampa Bay. We can definitely agree that more realignment is needed, but perhaps a shift in the number of divisions or the format on playoff seeding needs to shift as well. For now, we will have to live with Houston in the AL West in 2013 with 2 more likely added Wild Card teams for now.


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

Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Sunday January 29th, 2012

Sunday January 29th, 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: Hey guys; How close do y’all think Mr. Selig is to getting his 2nd Wild Card team hooked up to the ’12 season?  Old Man Mack

MLB reports: Back again on Ask the Reports. Congrats OMM! Great question as always. This one is one of my favorite topics: the MLB playoffs. Bud Selig wants to a second Wild Card team to each league, starting this season. What Bud wants, Bud usually gets. Given that Selig just signed a contract extension, he is definitely not going anywhere for a long time. With the owners and union recently agreeing to their new agreement, baseball is truly functioning in one of its golden ages. Despite economy issues in the US, baseball popularity has never been higher. To capitalize on that fandom and increase the stakes, Selig should be able to put through the added Wild Cards (I give it a 92% chance of happening).  The way it will work is simple. Each league will have two Wild Card teams. To start the playoffs, the Wild Card teams will face-off in a one-game, sudden death elimination game. Winner moves on to the playoffs (same format otherwise), with the loser going home. The Wild Card playoffs will be two of the most exciting games of the year. Yes, it should happen, it will likely happen and I fully expect it to happen. At the very least, it will give two more teams a chance to win the World Series and make August/September that much more interesting for more cities and fans.

 

Q:  Will Tyler Pastornicky‘s solid contact skills and plate discipline shape up enough to secure a lead-off slot?  Justin

MLB reports:  That is what the Braves are claiming. Their website shows Pastornicky pencilled in as the starting shortstop. Will he? Should he? That is debatable. The 22-year old Pastornicky was acquired by the Braves from the Jays in the 2010 Yunel Escobar swap. A 5th round pick in 2008, Pastornicky was considered a fringe prospect at the time of the trade. A .250-.260 hitter with .330 OBP capabilities was his story. The number that jumps out is the stolen bases. 57 steals in 2009 (in 75 attempts) and 35 steals in 2010 (in 44 attempts). He could steal some bags, but was definitely not a refined baserunner. Somewhat raw, good tools and upside is how he was seen going into 2011. Last year, his first full one in the Braves organization- Tyler broke out. While the steals still needed work (27 in 38 attempts), the rest of his game started to jump. .314 AVG, ..359 OBP and .414 SLG. 32 walks/45 strikeouts in 117 games. While he still was not walking enough, he was clearly starting to hit while keeping the k’s down. With the glove, the number that jumps out is 26 errors last year. I am very nervous about Pastornicky as a starting shortstop in the majors. Spring training will determine if he graduates to the opening day lineup, but my gut is that the Braves will bring in a veteran between now and April to play shortstop. If he regresses back to his .250 AVG ways, with little power, inconsistent base stealing and errors in the field, this could be a recipe for disaster. I think Pastornicky needs time to develop, to play under a veteran that can mentor him and bring up his game. He is still young and clearly has the tools and potential. But if you throw him to the wolves too early, you can shatter his confidence. He may get there, but I don’t think he is ready yet. Especially on a playoff contender like the Braves, that relies on pitching and defense, this is one gamble that they are not likely to make.  Great question- thank you for sharing!

 

Q:  How do I get players to sign cards through the mail?  Joe

MLB reports:  Thanks for the question Joe. Fans love autographs, it is a big part of the game. If you are looking to meet your favorite player, there is a variety of way to get signed items. If you can make it down to spring training, that is an autograph hound’s paradise. Players are very accessible and accommodating in the spring. During the year, hanging out early in batting practice in the outfield, by the lines or near the dugouts are usually great spots. Teams often host autograph events and promotions before and after games, plus around local cities. Be sure to check the website of your favorite team to see their promotion schedule. If mail is your preferred route: here is what you do. Pull off the address for the team stadium that your chosen player plays at. Send that person a letter enclosing the item that you would like signed with a nice personalized letter. Be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope inside for the return of your signed item. They may be well paid, but don’t expect the players/teams to pay for your postage- they get too many requests! Some tips: be polite, send a nice letter, be reasonable in your request (what you would like signed and send only 1-2 items) and be patient. Players get hundreds of requests per week and returning mail back to you can take time. Some are more likely to send back than others. My expectation: if you send out 20 requests, you may get 3-4 back. Reading the internet and watching games, you should get an idea on which are the “nice” players and likely to respond back. Good luck and let us know how your autograph hunts go! If any readers have other autograph tips for Joe, please feel free to include them in the comments section below, with your stories.

 

Q: Wouldn’t landing Oswalt make the Cards rotation even better than the famed Phillie crew?  N.P.

MLB reports:  When I first read that question, I almost choked on my breakfast. But then the more I thought about it, you are actually not that far off. The “famed” Phillie Fab-Four were Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. Assuming Oswalt lands in St. Louis (which is likely to happen at this point, great fit based on NL Central), Oswalt/Oswalt balance out. That means we are left with the Phillie Three Aces against Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia. It’s not far off as it may appear, but it involves many “ifs”. Will Carpenter stay healthy? Can Wainwright come back from surgery and a year missed time and re-establish himself as an ace? Will Jamie Garcia continue to evolve into a top starting pitcher and returning to his 2010 form…or his is 2011 regression a sign of things to come?  Too many ifs for my liking. At their best, the Cardinals rotation could come close to the Phillies rotation, if all the pitchers pitch to their peak potential and 1-2 of the Phillies pitchers have off-years. Otherwise, the answer is no. Taking them one by one: I take Halladay over Carpenter. I know Carpenter won the famed 1-0 game in the NLDS, but that is one game. Overall, Doc is healthier, more consistent and one of the best of all-time. Cliff Lee is Cliff Lee. He is as solid as them come. Wainwright if he comes back might be close to Lee, but still won’t be Lee in my opinion. Lee is just on another planet and Wainwright just needs to prove health, let alone be an ace. Hamels is due to be a free agent at season’s end. He may end up signing an extension (likely), but regardless of his contract situation- he is far superior to Garcia. The Cards should have a great rotation overall. But the Phillies staff…they still ain’t. But consider Dave Duncan is on a leave of absence and may not be back this season and I give the Phillies advantage in the rotation.

 

Q: Where do you see Edwin Jackson landing?  Sox Wamp

MLB reports: This one is easy. If it boils down to money and years, he will land in Baltimore or a city like Seattle.  If he wants to contend, Jackson may have to take a 1-year deal from the Red Sox. I am not an Edwin Jackson guy. Never have been. Never will be.  Well…never say never never (hey Justin Bieber).  At 28-years of age, Jackson may figure it out. It feels like he has been around forever, considering he has played 9 major league seasons. That shows you how young he was when he came to the bigs. If he was allowed to refine himself in the minors and learn control and the true art of pitching, Jackson could be one of the best on the planet. His stuff is that good. But with a 1.476 lifetime WHIP (1.437 in 2011), he is far from a control ace pitcher. The funny thing is that he doesn’t even strike out enough people. A pitcher who doesn’t strike out many, gives up too many hits and walks????!!!!  No thank you. Someone will pay and give him a 3-year, $30 million contract. Or he may go to Boston and try to build up value. Jackson though would be smart to take the guaranteed money. He is a ticking time bomb that could go off at any time. Good luck to the team that signs him, I hope they have a strong pitching coach and lots of video to coach this quasi-project still.

 

Last Question (this is a biggie):  No lefty has hit more than 14 HR at Comerica in one season. If that is the Avg do you see him (Prince Fielder) hitting 24 on the road?  Steve Karsay

MLB reports: Yes folks, this is THE Steve Karsay appearing on Ask the Reports. A good friend of ours, we appreciate Steve taking the time to write in with his inquiry. Firstly, thank you Steve for the question. A great one…one that many fans have been asking since the big signing. As you and I have talked before on Prince, you know that I am a believer of the big man. I like the move for the Tigers on many levels (check out my top 10 reasons why the Prince signing will work, my recent feature on the Reports. There are some factors to consider. Carlos Pena back in the day had those 14 bombs. Other than Pena and maybe Granderson, have the Tigers ever had a left-handed power-hitting machine like Prince? I would say no. Maggs? Righty. Juan Gonzalez? Righty. Miggy? Righty. So in fairness to Prince, we don’t have a scale of players to compare him against. Also in 2003, the park dimensions changed and it became easier to hit balls out of Comerica. I have attended many many many games in Comerica in my day. I have seen approximately 2 home runs per game on the average. Now that may not be the biggest sample size (50-75 games), but large enough that I would say that park is far from a pitcher’s haven. I can see Prince hitting 24 home runs on the road, yes. But I see him hitting at least 20 home runs per year at home. Maybe not every year, but it will happen. The great thing about records, is that they are meant to be broken. That is part of Prince’s object to coming to Detroit. To establish new records and become “the man” in Motown. Fans are excited to see what a Prince/Miggy combination can do in Detroit. For your Indians Steve, it means the road to the playoffs just got that much tougher. Thank you for the question and you are welcome anytime back on the Reports!

 

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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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