Blog Archives

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery List 1974 – Present

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out: Read the rest of this entry

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How All Of The Angels Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree

 

DiPoto has constructed a team that has great power when healthy, and have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, however a lot of the transactions on offense had nothing to do with the man.   As you will see in the Roster Tree, a lot of the guys have been Drafted before the DiPoto era.  I will say he has done a better job in the last year, than in his 1st 2 years at the helm.  The club has a short window to compete, before a lot of the team becomes older, all making too much money.

DiPoto has constructed a team that has great power when healthy, and have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, however a lot of the transactions on offense had nothing to do with the man. As you will see in the Roster Tree, a lot of the guys have been Drafted before the DiPoto era. I will say he has done a better job in the last year, than in his 1st 2 years at the helm. The club has a short window to compete, before a lot of the team becomes older, all making too much money.  This is not an article about retracting our earlier stated points, but rather to say that maybe DiPoto is becoming a little wiser as a GM lately.   When all is said and done, with the payroll and talent within this team, they should be in contention for a Division Pennant and Post Season every year.

How All Of The Angels Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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Here at the MLB Reports we have taken a hard line at how the Angels have conducted business for the last several years.

From Sully (our lead Audio Personality and creator of “Sullymetrics”), to our ‘chief writer’ Hunter Stokes, to even myself at certain times – we have poured cold water on their efforts in assembling this current team.

I maybe the less culpable of the three, as I did predict this club to win the 2012 World Series, however one thing we all agreed on was Mike Scioscia‘s crazy insistence on batting Raul Ibanez 4th when he was so brutal for the team.

The fact they signed him wasn’t very great either, when Kendrys Morales would have fit the bill perfectly.

Among the observations we had, was criticizing GM Jerry DiPoto for some of his moves since taking over as GM of the club in late 2011.

A litany of poor roster decisions was part of the problem. 

The club wasted $16 MIL on Joe Blanton, paid for an injured Reliever in Ryan Madson, who never even pitched for the club.

The Sean Burnett injury problems I will not fault him for. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tommy John Surgery List From 2000 – 2013

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Website Founder Jonathan Hacohen 

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We talked last week about the Tommy John Surgeries from 1974 – 1999.  Well, after the millennium hit in 2000, it has really come to the forefront.

It is now estimated that 1 out of every three pitchers will now undergo the procedure once in their career.

Whether they make the Major Leagues, or stay in the Minor Leagues, this surgery is becoming a predominant part of baseball culture.

Tommy John Surgeries from 1974 – 1999 here.

What is Tommy John Surgery?

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Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim State Of The Union: Is It Time For Jerry DiPoto To Be Fired?

Mike Trout must feel like he will receive some better help from a full season of Pujols coming.  Heading into the 2013 campaign, they looked to have almost a historic 1 - 4 lineup.  Instead. it was a disaster.  Maybe the 2014 year will be different.

Mike Trout must feel like he will receive some better help from a full season of Pujols coming. Heading into the 2013 campaign, they looked to have almost a historic 1 – 4 lineup. Instead. it was a disaster. Maybe the 2014 year will be different.  With players like Vernon Wells and Joe Blanton still collecting money on the payroll – to the tune of $26 MIL in 2014, their teams salary structure is a disaster.  Those two guys are really horrible – or not even playing for LA anymore.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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“Stoking The Fire” – Week 10

As someone who follows the Angels from a distance, I have had it with Jerry DiPoto.

Whether it is the direction of the team’s brass that has been affected, or Arte Moreno himself, this team is heading on a one way ticket to salary hell.

So how does the GM respond this winter?

He trades his 2nd, 4th and possibly 5th best OF on the Roster Depth away – without yielding a OF back in return.

He has added on a couple of players (David Freese and Raul Ibanez) that Strikeout as much as the rest of the clan.  Good work man!

Am I missing something? Does he not see this is the recipe for disaster?

Angels 2013 preview – 2014 wont be as optimistic:

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Cincinnati Reds Payroll in 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, July.29, 2013

Joey Votto is having another good season for the Reds and he will be force in their lineup for years to come. The power numbers for him are down from years past with him only hitting 16 HRs and having 47 RBIs. However the opposition still has to respect his bat and if a pitcher makes a mistake expect him to hit the ball a long way. He has a .317/.429/.931 triple-slash in 388 at-bats this season with 20 Doubles. He is 7th in the NL with 195 Total Bases, and is also 8th with a WAR of 4.7. Votto is 1st in Times On Base in the NL at 202.

Joey Votto is having another good season for the Reds and he will be force in their lineup for years to come. The power numbers for him are down from years past with him only hitting 16 HRs and having 47 RBIs. However the opposition still has to respect his bat and if a pitcher makes a mistake expect him to hit the ball a long way. He has a .317/.429/.931 triple-slash in 388 at-bats this season with 20 Doubles. He is 7th in the NL with 195 Total Bases, and is also 8th with a WAR of 4.7. Votto is 1st in Times On Base in the NL at 202. He obliterates right-handed pitching with a .335 batting average, and handles left-handers just as good with a .286 average.

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

The Cincinnati Reds are playing well this season with them winning 59 games, but they are five games out of first place. The Reds are 3rd in the National League Central division behind both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St.Louis Cardinals.

Cincinnati is third in the NL with them scoring 463 runs on the season. They are great at home, and have the 2nd best home record in the NL. The problem for them is hitting away Great American Ball Park with winning just 27 games and three games under .500 on the road.

Joey Votto Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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

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Friday, June.28, 2013,

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

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

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #4: The Blue Jays Are Finished in 2013 + The Angels Are Close

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Friday, May.02/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

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

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I had Chuck Booth talk for over an hour about a  bunch of topics.

We started off with the horrible season the Toronto Blue Jays have had thus far.  We also talked about the Angels, what Robin Ventura is thinking – hitting Adam Dunn #4 still and how the Braves must regret paying B.J. Upton $15 MIL a year – while they are ecstatic about paying Justin Upton only about half of that. Read the rest of this entry

Maybe A Managerial Trade Between The Angels And Dodgers Would Shake Things Up!

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Friday Apr.19/2013

The Los Angeles clubs will surpass the New York Clubs for combined Payroll in 2013.  The Dodgers will spend between 225-250 Million and the Angels will spend in the range from 150-175 Million.  I have predicted a Freeway World Series for 2013 based on the talent for both clubs.  With a slow start for each club (LAA 4 - 10 and  LAD 7 - 8)  Perhaps they should consider trading skippers

The Los Angeles clubs will surpass the New York Clubs for combined Payroll in 2013. The Dodgers will spend between 225-250 Million and the Angels will spend in the range from 150-175 Million. I have predicted a Freeway World Series for 2013 based on the talent for both clubs. With a slow start for each club (LAA 4 – 10 and LAD 7 – 8) Perhaps they should consider trading skippers.

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

It is no secret to anyone out there that I predicted the California Freeway Series for the Fall Classic this year.  At the  10 % clip of the regular season, I am not going to confuse anyone with the Amazing Kreskin.

I still have faith that the LA Angels will start tearing it up soon. plus the Dodgers will begin to play to their own water level.

Both clubs have amassed too much talent to be wallowing in the bowels of mediocrity for too long.

I thought entered my brain this morning as I worked.  One of the many things I am able to do working at nights is think about the game of baseball

Then it came to me… Trade Mike Scioscia to the Dodgers for Don Mattingly!!

Don Mattingly Post Game comments on Carlos Quentin:

Mike Scioscia speaks on Jered Weaver and Josh Hamilton:

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Reds Are Going To Make The Rest Of The NL Bleed Red

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Tuesday, March.26/2013

In his 1st half season during last year, Joey Votto clubbed for a 3 Slash Line of ..348/.471/1.124 with 35 Doubles, 14 HRs and 48 RBI.  He was the leading candidate to pull in his 2nd NL MVP Award.  Once he returned from injury, he was not the same - only plating 8 RBI and HRs in the last 28 games he played in

In his 1st half season during last year, Joey Votto clubbed for a 3 Slash Line of .348/.471/1.124 with 35 Doubles, 14 HRs and 48 RBI. He was the leading candidate to pull in his 2nd NL MVP Award. Once he returned from injury, he was not the same – only plating 8 RBI and HRs in the last 28 games he played in.  The Canadian still led the NL in OBP for the 3rd straight season.  He also led the NL In Walks despite missing 51 games.  Votto has a Career 3 Slash Line of .316/.415/.968.  He is signed through the 2024 year in a 13 YR/.$263 MIL deal.

MLB Reports:  Welcome to our newest Kids writer  Jason Alpert-Wisnia – for being selected to join our MLB Reports Kids Writing team.  We are pleased to present the readers with a youthful look to the game of baseball.  Moms and Dad’s – if you have a young kid who loves baseball and wants to write about the game, please email us at mlbreports@gmail.com.  We will be selecting three more kid writers for our website this year. 

By Jason Alpert-Wisnia  (AKA “JAWS”): (MLB Reports Kids Writer – visit his website here )

The Cincinnati Reds last season had a 97 Wins and 65 Losses Team Record, scoring them 1st place in the NL Central last season. The team could have made it even farther in the Postseason, maybe even beating the Giants and becoming the NL representatives, BUT, they missed their chance in losing 3 straight tries to eliminate the club from the BAY after taking a commanding 2 – 0 lead in the Series.

During the year Joey Votto injured his knee and was out for a while along with the manager Dusty Baker having a stroke, and you have to wonder about these two incidents not factoring in them feeling less than 100% heading into the Playoffs. 

You throw in Johnny Cueto‘s injury moving up all of the depth on the Starting Pitching versus the Giants in the 2012, and you can see that things spiraled downward.

Joey Votto Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Rondon’s Struggles Continue For Tigers, Valverde And Wilson Rumors Emerge

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Saturday, March.09/2013

Bruce Rondon is 1-1 in Spring Training so far with a 5.79 ERA.  He has allowed 7 Hits (including 1 HR) and Walked 5 in 4.2 IP.  Not such a hot start for the rookie phenom.  With World Series Aspirations this year - can the Tigers afford to not enter the Regular Season with a proven Closer?

Bruce Rondon is 1-1 in Spring Training so far with a 5.79 ERA. He has allowed 7 Hits (including 1 HR) and Walked 5 in 4.2 IP. Not such a hot start for the rookie phenom. With World Series Aspirations this year – can the Tigers afford to not enter the Regular Season with a proven Closer?

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

Panic in Motown?

Not quite yet.

But the Tigers ‘chosen’ Closer isn’t making things easy.

Bruce Rondon, 22-Years-Old, is expected to be the closer for this coming season and hopefully many more to follow. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland have both made it known that it’s his job to lose this spring.

Losing it is just the path he is on. Through 4.2 IP, he has given up 7 Hits, 3 ER, 1 HR, and yielded 5 Walks..It’s early we know, but at what point does early become too late?

If he happens to pitch himself out of the Closer spot then who will be our fearless Closer?

Bruce Rondon hits 103 MPH!

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New York Yankees Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Fwd Updated Mar.4/2013

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Monday, March.04/2013

You are looking at the #1 and #2 Hits Leaders of ALL-Time for Active Professional Hitters in the World. Having them hit 1-2 in the lineup only makes sense. You might as well have them both retire at the same timeJeter is signed for one more year at 17 Million Dollars plus a player option ($8 MIL) for 2014. The Yankees signed Ichiro to a 2 year deal worth $13 MIL this past winter.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am not like a lot of people thinking that there should be a full-scale blow-up of the Yankees current roster this year (past that I am acknowledging this will happen.)  They are old and 2013 will not make them younger.  However, there are some small tweaks that the team could do in order to make the payroll make sense.  1st priority was to sign Ichiro Suzuki.

The Japanese Superstar was not  and Yankees obliged to let him play RF in New York.  Adios to outgoing Nick Swisher.  He was much too pricey and Yankee fans have to be sick at his lack of production in his playoff career.  Swisher commanded a nice 4 or 5 year deal in the 56 – 70 Million Dollar Range from the Indians –  and was not a fit into the Yankees current payroll structure.

The Yankees were initially looking to spend just a little over 178  Million Dollars in 2013, but that didn’t happen.  At a 40% penalty (for every dollar spent over the 178 Million Mark)  for abusing the Luxury Tax Threshold, the team will need to have made financial considerations in moving forward each time they sign another new player.  Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are on the last year of their contracts.  Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A-Rod still have multiple years left in their contracts. 

I would immediately move Alex Rodriguez to a permanent DH (when he returns to the lineup) –  and play Kevin Youkilis at 3B for all of 2013.

To the Readers on our Payroll Breakdowns:   Keep in mind these are all just estimates as we are all not forensic payroll accountants.  For a better look at how Payrolls work in the MLB please check out this article here.

Derek Jeter Highlights:

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Granderson Is Out For 10 Weeks: What Can Cashman Do?

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Monday, February.25, 2013

Granderson has back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of the year.  I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team.  When Granderson comes back, you could always have an extra player for depth still.

Granderson has had back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of this season. I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team. When Granderson comes back, you would always have an extra player for depth still.

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The start of the season is starting to look extremely bleak for the Yankees so far.  Derek Jeter is coming off of a broken ankle, A-Rod is out indefinitely with (insert whatever ailment here) until after the ALL-Star Game, Mariano Rivera is 43 – and trying to make it through one more season after tearing up his ACL last year, Phil Hughes is having back spasms, Joba Chamberlain seems healthy – (but you never what freak injury is going to happen to him next,) Michael Pineda is still recovering from shoulder Surgery, so what else was going to happen?  Add Curtis Granderson and a fractured right forearm to the walking wounded list.

This injury should alarm the Yankees and their fans.  The team is not strong depth-wise, as they have been in decades, so “The ‘Grandy Man’ not being able to play until early May should cause New York GM Brian Cashman to explore all of his options.  Like I have said in previous articles – ‘Financial Armageddon’ is coming for the club in 2014, plus the team is rapidly becoming older by the year.  It is safe to say that this year might be the last kick at a championship for some time.  What may the Yankees do to replace Granderson for the 1st quarter of the season?

Juan Rivera hits a Walk-Off for the Dodgers:

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The New York Yankees Hitting Roster In 2013: State Of The Union Part 1

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Wednesday, February.13, 2013

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921.  That is 40 Appearances in  91 years.  They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span.  As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore.  Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921. That is 40 Appearances in 91 years. They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span. As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore. Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The Yankees had a precarious winter after failing miserably in the ALCS, (AKA the last time the country saw them play on Television) – when the team was decimated by the Detroit Tigers in a sweep.  So what has happened since?  A lot of status quo:  Re-signing Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda, while saying good-bye to Raul Ibanez (SEA), Andruw Jones (FA), Nick Swisher (CLE), Eric Chavez (ARI), Russell Martin (PIT), Derek Lowe (FA), Steve Pearce (BAL), Casey McGehee (FA), Freddy Garcia (FA) and Rafael Soriano (WSH).  All they really added back was former arch-nemesis Kevin Youkilis (CWS) and Travis Hafner (CLE).  The team is sitting around 215 Million Dollars at Payroll right now, yet they have are heading into the 2013 campaign with Catchers that are of limited experience. 

For the first time in years, the club will need to see some internal progress from their farm system to help the big club.  With A-ROD out with his hip injury, plus the Miami fiasco, can you really count on the prima-donna to play at all this season?  Derek Jeter is coming off a brutal ankle injury that occurred in the aforementioned Post Season Series vs the Tigers .  The club is also hoping that ‘MO’ Rivera can find it within himself to make it through another year as a 43 Year Old.  Just like The ALL-Time Saves Leader, this team is aging fast.  Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are Free Agents after 2013 is over.  Brian Cashman is also going to take advantage of the reset option f the Luxury Tax loophole in 2014.

This means that when the Luxury Tax goes from 178 Million to 189 Million next year, that the club can stop paying its 40% annual penalty if they can get under for just one season.  The Yankees will be sure to blow up the Payroll from 2015 and beyond that, it is just to not start the new luxury lax at the maximum penalty.  Had the Luxury Tax not moved from its current spot, the Yankees would always pay the 40% penalty (even if they decided to skip one year).

Yankees Highlights 2012:  Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Aroldis Chapman – Starter Or Closer: Perhaps 2013 Will Solve The Answer?

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Thursday, February.07,  2013

Chapman was filthy dominant in the 2012 season, with a 1.51 ERA, WHIP of 0.809 and 38 Saves as the teams closer.  He made the ALL-Star Team, finished 8th in NL Cy Young Voting and 12th in NL MVP Voting.  Will moving him to starter be a mistake?

Chapman was filthy dominant in the 2012 season, with a 1.51 ERA, WHIP of 0.809 and 38 Saves as the teams closer. He made the ALL-Star Team, finished 8th in NL Cy Young Voting and 12th in NL MVP Voting. Will moving him to starter be a mistake?

By Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent):

The biggest question from Reds fans this offseason has been if the move from the bullpen to the rotation is the best move for Reds pitcher, Aroldis Chapman and the team. Why fix what isn’t broken? Does he have enough pitches? Can he pitch enough innings?….the answer to these and all of the questions you can think of is pretty simple; we’ll find out.

This plan wasn’t something the Reds came up with overnight, when he was signed to a 6 year $30 Million deal in 2010 it wasn’t to close ballgames. It was to eventually be a member of the rotation. In 2010, the rotation consisted of Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, and Homer Bailey. Out are Harang and Volquez, in are Mat Latos and Mike Leake, who looks to be the odd man out in 2013 for Chapman. In his final season for his Cuban team, Chapman pitched 118 Innings as a Starting Pitcher, which won’t nearly be enough for the Major Leagues. The only taste of Chapman as starter against at least some semblance of Major League hitters came last year in Spring Training before closer Ryan Madson suffered a season-ending elbow injury. Chapman went 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, striking out 17 in 18 Innings, walking only 2.

Aroldis Chapman – Fastest Pitcher ever recorded at 107 MPH:

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The Los Angeles Angels Roster in 2013: State Of The Union

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Saturday, January.05,  2013

With Trout, Trumbo and Pujols in the lineup for the next decade, plus Hamilton for the next 5 years. I could see the Angels appearing on another top 10 decades win list. Question is will they make a World Series?  They have not been to the dance since 2002 when they won it.

With Trout, Trumbo and Pujols in the lineup for the next decade, plus Hamilton for the next 5 years. I could see the Angels appearing on another top 10 decades win list. Question is will they make a World Series? They have not been to the dance since 2002 when they won it.

Josh Jones (Angels Correspondent):

Look-back at last year: 2012 was a year, much like this upcoming season, with expectations as high as the sky moon.  The Halos stole future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols and Texas ace C.J. Wilson from their respective 2011 World Series teams and looked to have a strong rotation headed by the trio of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Wilson. The team fought its way to a 89-73 record, missing the playoffs by a mere four games despite having more wins than the eventual AL Champion Detroit Tigers (Yes, I’m still bitter).

This year, Arte Moreno and the Angels front office decided once again to go big-fish hunting, giving outfielder Josh Hamilton a 5-Year Deal worth $125 Million.  Hamilton gave the Angels quite a logjam in the outfield and Designated-Hitter, leading to the trade that sent designated-hitter Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners in return for Jered Weaver’s college teammate and fellow innings-eater Jason Vargas. You can read a post a fellow writer here at the MLB Reports wrote about that very trade here . Angels General Manager Jerry DiPoto also poured some money into the bullpen and back-end of the rotation, signing hurlers Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett and Joe Blanton. .

Albert Pujols Highlights from 2012- Parental Guidance is Advised for watching the video:

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Vargas/Morales Trade Fills Needs For Both Teams

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Friday, January.04,  2013

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

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

Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Trade Correspondent):

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

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

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

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Broxton, Marshall and Chapman: Modern Day Nasty Boys?

Sunday, December.9, 2012

a  a nasty boys

Matt Steinmann (Guest Baseball Writer and Reds Correspondent):

The resigning of Jonathan Broxton is an interesting one for the Reds. The feeling is that this paves the way for Aroldis Chapman to head to the rotation. It could also just be securing the back end of a dominant bullpen from this past season that many have compared to the 1990 Nasty Boys. The Reds haven’t said for sure, which isn’t surprising considering how close-to-the-vest they operate. Like last season, Chapman will likely go into Spring Training as a starter, and the team will go from there.

 The 1990 Nasty Boys were a dominant force. If the Reds had the lead after 6 innings, the trio of Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble, and Randy Myers could strike fear into even the best of hitters and close the door almost at will. Charlton struck out 117 batters in 154.1 innings (6.8 per 9 Innings). He also had 16 starts, an ERA of 2.74, and 2 saves. Dibble’s sparkling ERA of 1.74 and WHIP of 0.980 stands out among the trio. He saved 11 games as well, threw 98 Innings, striking out 136 batters (12.5 per 9 Innings). Randy Myers was the man to close the door. The hard throwing lefty converted 31 saves in 1990, had an ERA of 2.08, and struck out 98 batters in 86.2 Innings (11.3 per 9 Innings). Read the rest of this entry

Ryan Madson and Edwin Jackson: Free Agent Gambles That Became Scott Boras Blunders

Monday November 12th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: There isn’t a single general manager is baseball that enjoys negotiating with Scott Boras, the man behind many of baseball’s top players. He usually gets his way when the final dominos fall, but he isn’t perfect. Edwin Jackson and Ryan Madson are two examples of Boras’s flawed work of late.

Here’s how they have and will be affected in free agency:

How Edwin Jackson Will Be Affected

Jackson seems to be the MLB’s definition of a journeyman. With ten years under his belt, he has pitched on seven teams, and not once has he signed a contract worth longer than three years. Jackson had an opportunity to erase that trend last off-season with several long-term deals at his disposal. However, Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal noted last winter that instead of taking the safe route, he could roll the dice and shoot for a larger contract next winter, which is now this winter. Jackson followed Rosenthal’s blueprint, signing a one-year deal with the Nationals worth $11 million. Read the rest of this entry

Three Veteran Closers Searching for Bounce Back Seasons

Thursday November 8th, 2012

Sam Evans: When it comes to closers, 2012 was the year of the injured veteran reliever. A couple of teams probably would have had different postseason success had they been able to use their reliable ninth-inning man. From Mariano Rivera to Sergio Santos, the list of closers that missed the 2012 MLB season goes on and on. Here’s an early glance at some of these pitchers hoping to rebound from their respective off years in the upcoming season.

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera is the best closer in the history of baseball and probably the best relief pitcher as well. Even as a forty-one year old in 2011, Rivera was forty-four for forty-nine in save opportunities. That was his ninth consecutive season with thirty or more saves. Unfortunately, Mariano Rivera missed almost all of the 2012 season due to a torn ACL he suffered while shagging fly balls. Read the rest of this entry

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:

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Tommy John Surgery Updates

Thursday August 16th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  Over the course of this year, there have been more pitchers going in for Tommy John surgery than I can ever remember. And make no mistake, it is mostly pitchers that are falling victim. According to our TJ Tracker, there have been 39 pitchers (including Michael Pineda who had arthroscopic surgery) that had the surgery since March. In the month of August alone, there have already been two pitchers to go under the knife and one that most likely will. Neftali Feliz had the surgery on the first of the month after trying to come back from an arm injury, and he was then being shut down in a rehab assignment. Drew Hutchison of the Blue Jays also had this surgery. It seems like every pitcher will eventually need this surgery in his career. It is becoming the reality of modern day baseball.

Before the surgery, pitchers’ careers were much shorter, some just 7-8 years long. Now with this new technology, careers are prolonged. It’s been said that Tommy John surgery can even strengthen an arm. The ligament is replaced with a tendon (usually from the leg) and the arm is made stronger. Sometimes pitchers are said to throw even harder after the surgery. This may or may not be true; there is some debate. It could be that pitchers are taking more time to condition, but it could also be that they are given a stronger arm. Some pitchers have had the surgery multiple times. One that comes to mind is Brian Wilson of the Giants. Wilson had his first surgery in college. He fully recovered and was converted from a starter to a reliever in the minors. Upon arriving to the majors, Wilson was a fireballer and became the closer. He threw in the upper 90’s even after a surgery like this. It will be interesting to see how he recovers from his second surgery and if he can retain the closers’ role. Read the rest of this entry

Aroldis Chapman’s Unbelievable Start: Star Closer or Future Starter?

Thursday June 7th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: As the season winds on and we begin to approach the All Star break, many players who had hot starts have come back to reality.  The Cincinnati Reds’ Aroldis Chapman, however, has not. In 24 games this season, the native of Cuba has given up only seven hits and yielded just one run (unearned) in 29 innings pitched. He posts a 52:9 strikeout to walk ratio—which translates to a ridiculous 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Against Chapman, hitters are hitting a miniscule .076. He has officially been named the Reds’ closer and has recorded six saves. If he could sustain these numbers, Chapman could be a legitimate Cy Young candidate (even as a reliever).

The Reds initially planned to use Chapman as a starter, while letting him adjust to the major leagues pitching out of the bullpen his first year, like many rookies. He was dazzling as he threw upwards of 100 miles per hour (even hitting 103), and was kept in the bullpen. This year, rather than being moved to the rotation, he was designated the closer and has excelled. After performing in this role, it seems like he is destined to stay. Chapman has all of the qualities of a closer, and on top of those, he is left-handed, which gives him an even bigger advantage due to the scarcity of left-handed closers. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Closer Report: Where Does Your Team Stand?

Sunday May 6, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): Seeing Mariano Rivera go down with a torn ACL is like driving by a car accident and reflecting on how easily it could have been you in that accident, or in this case- how it could have been your team’s closer cringing in pain on the warning track. And this is the year of the injured closer: from Boston’s Andrew Bailey to San Francisco’s Brian Wilson, closers across the league have been dropping like flies. Other closers, like the Angels’ Jordan Walden, have stayed healthy but haven’t played well enough to keep their coveted ninth inning role. Even though there has only been a month of baseball so far, much has changed for some clubs.

Today, I’ll be taking a look at every team’s closer situation, and breaking down how it got to be the way it is: Read the rest of this entry

TJ Surgery Tracker: The Newest MLB reports Addition

Tuesday April 24th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey:  New on mlbreports.com is a Tommy John Surgery link. http://mlbreports.com/tj-surgery/  This page is going to keep you updated with all the players that have undergone Tommy John Surgery this year and in past years. Many of you know the players that have had the surgery- but for those of you who don’t, this page is for you. Even if you do know who the players are that have had the surgery, maybe you missed one along the way. Either way you should check out the page to keep track of all the good young arms going down to this terrible surgery.

Some of the most recent players to go down to Tommy John are, Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria, and Brian Wilson. Ryan Madson went down in Spring Training with a sore elbow and ended up needing Tommy John. On the other hand Wilson went down with major structural damage in his throwing elbow. He got three opinions to make sure and will indeed be having Tommy John Surgery with Dr. James Andrews.

Tommy John has had a major effect on many teams this season. With the three names that I just mentioned, they are all starting closers with major league teams. With Madson going down, Sean Marshall has had to take over the closing role. The Royals have went to closer by committee after the Soria injury. With Wilson  out, the Giants are not sure right now what they are going to do. Their likely best chance is with Sergio Romo though.

If you know a player that has gotten the surgery and we don’t have them on the list, email us (mlbreports@me.com) and we will add him to the list.  We will be keeping a running total of the surgeries for you, the readers. It is one thing when you see one or two players go down. But with the amount of players that have already undergone the surgery this year, the number looks alarming when you see it in a full list. We thank you for your support of MLB reports and we will continue to bring you everything and anything that relates to the world of baseball. With the effect of Tommy John surgery on the game, we thought it was to dedicate a complete page to the procedure. But there is more. Much more. From the World Baseball Classic, to Interviews, Guest MLB Blogs, Baseball Book Reviews and all other features, the staff at MLB reports covers all the bases!


Ryan Ritchey is a MLB reports Baseball Intern. 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.

Marshall and Chapman to Solidify the Reds Pen

 

Thursday April 12th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey:  The Reds went out and got two relievers this year to help out in the back-end of their bullpen, with Francisco Cordero leaving. Those two pitchers were Ryan Madson and Sean Marshall. As I wrote in a previous article, Madson has gone down with Tommy John Surgery and now Sean Marshall will have to take over the closing duties. This puts a lot of pressure on Marshall to succeed because the Reds will likely play in many close games throughout the season.

With the injury to Madson, it changes a lot around in the rotation. In Spring Training Aroldis Chapman was getting his arm in shape to be a starter, since their was enough bullpen to shut down teams in late innings. That all went out the window with the Madson injury. Chapman is 2-0 and has 10 k’s in 5 innings pitched this first week of the season in the bullpen. So far…so good. (more…)

2012: The Year of the Tommy John Surgery

Thursday March 29th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey (Intern Candidate:  MLB reports):  The 2012 season hasn’t even begun and we are already talking extensively about Tommy John surgery. As a baseball fan, it is sad to see players go down and require this surgery. It is a long recovery back to the big leagues and sometimes the players are never the same. This is an injury that happens mostly to pitchers, because of how much stress they put on their elbows. This year is no different.

We are two weeks away from opening day and several pitchers have gone down with elbow injuries, both needing Tommy John. Two of those pitchers are Ryan Madson of the Cincinnati Reds and Joakim Soria of the Kansas City Royals. Madson who just signed with the Reds this offseason is hoping for a speedy recovery back to the bigs to make an impact in Cincy. For Joakim Soria, it’s a totally different story. This is his second go around with Tommy John Surgery (2003). (more…)

Inside the Mind of a Devoted Phillies Phan: Thoughts Going into the 2012 Season

Sunday February 19th, 2012


Christina Angelos (Guest Writer – MLB reports): 

FAVORITE MOMENT

One strike away; nothing-and-two, the count to Hinske. Fans on the their feet; rally towels are being waved. Brad Lidge stretches. The 0-2 pitch — swing and a miss, struck him out! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball! Brad Lidge does it again, and stays perfect for the 2008 season! 48-for-48 in save opportunities, and let the city celebrate! Don’t let the 48-hour wait diminish the euphoria of this moment, and the celebration. And it has been 28 years since the Phillies have enjoyed a World Championship; 25 years in this city that a team that has enjoyed a World Championship, and the fans are ready to celebrate. What a night! ~ Harry Kalas, Phillies broadcaster

After nearly 50 hours had passed since the first pitch of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, the Phillies finished off the Rays in an elimination game. Brad Lidge remained perfect all season and closed out the final game with a strikeout. The Phillies earned their second championship in their franchise history and the first championship since 1983.

I waited 19 years for this kind of happiness and joy. And when it happened, I had no words. I’ve seen the good and bad things in my life, but just once, I had absolutely no words. No words. Nothing could match the excitement I felt at that moment. Nothing.  I am glad to know I have seen a championship once and hoping for more.

That’s why we follow baseball. That’s why we engage so much effort in such an endeavor. Sometimes it rewards us. And October 29, 2008, I was rewarded. We were all rewarded. We were champions. Champions of baseball.

Easily the greatest moment. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Monday January 9th, 2012

Monday January 9th, 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:  With Prince probably going to the Nats, where do you think it places them in the NL East? Are they ready to compete for a playoff spot?  Wade

MLB reports:  Great question Wade. Despite the reports (and there are plenty), Prince Fielder to Washington is far from a done deal. In the world of Scott Boras, a mystery team could appear at any time. That being said, let’s assume for this exercise that Prince becomes a National in 2012. Given the strength of the Phillies rotation, the improved Marlins and always steady Braves squads, the Nationals would still be in tough. The Nationals could hit .500, but would not yet be ready for a playoff run. Once they have Strasburg firing on all cylinders and Bryce Harper integrated fully into the majors, the story could change. The Nationals are sitting on one of the best farm systems in all of baseball. Adding Prince Fielder makes them a serious playoff contender by 2014 at the latest. They will go from a good team to a possibly a great one. Prince has done it in Milwaukee with the right squad and could replicate his success in Washington soon. 

 

Q:  Does Beltran even come close to filling the void that Pujols left?  Kevin

MLB reports: No. No. And no. Did I say no?  Because I meant no. Carlos Beltran is a good player. But let’s face facts. Aside from his magical playoff run in Houston, he has never been a top player in baseball.  He has shown superstar numbers, but given his age and declining health, the Cardinals would simply be happy if he can stay healthy.  At best, the Cardinals would get another Berkman type season out of Beltran in 2012.  Albert Pujols is one of a kind. A Babe Ruth type slugger. Carlos Beltran is simply a good player that will provide steady production for a lineup that needs to fill a big void. The bigger question is whether the rest of the lineup will pick up the slack.  Can Freese continue his breakout? Will Furcal stay healthy? Can Matt Holliday be the main producer in St. Louis? Can Lance Berkman duplicate his 2011 season?  Many ifs…too many for my liking. Carlos Beltran helps part of the issue, but is far from the answer in how the Cardinals will play in the post-Pujols era.

 

Q:  Any chance Madson will return to his 8th inning role for the Phillies?  Sam

MLB reports:  I can’t see this happening. Ryan Madson is not likely to return to Philadelphia. With Jonathan Papelbon entrenched with his old job, Madson will at least need to take a job where he has a chance to win the closer role.  Not to mention that Madson’s wife had certain choice words a year ago about playing in Philadelphia. At the time I felt that the Madsons had burned their bridge with the team and I have not changed my opinion since.  Madson will need to move on and possibly take a set-up role somewhere. But one where the closer is more volatile and an opening is likely to open up. After the contract fiasco in Philadelphia, a return to the Phillies would be like him coming with his tail between his legs.  Pride alone will lead to a new team for Madson in 2012.

 

Q:  Any thoughts on tolleson being the closer for the dodgers by 2013? And when do you see Hutchinson joining the jays (ceiling)?  Justin

MLB reports:  Considering he was drafted in the 30th round of the 2010 draft, Shawn Tolleson is looking like an absolute steal for the Dodgers. After passing through 3 levels last season, ending in AA, Tolleson is certainly knocking on the door. I can’t see why he doesn’t make the big leagues at some point next season.  If he can continue his superior numbers, we could be seeing a set-up man in 2013 and possible closer.  I would say 2014 is a more realistic timeline for a full-time closing position, but it will depend on how he pitches at higher levels. Based on the body of work so far, the sky is the limit on this kid.  In Toronto, Drew Hutchinson is another kid on the fast-track. A 15th round pick in 2009, Hutchinson has been a dominant starter from day one.  At age 21 and finishing last season in AA, I would say 2013 is a realistic timeline for Drew. He clearly has the stuff to succeed. But he is very young and the Jays will not want to risk burning him out by rushing him too soon. Ceiling?  From everything he has done so far, I see a solid #3 starter on a contending squad. Good strikeouts and low walk rates are always a recipe for success.

 

Q:  What’s your favorite baseball movie of all time?  Lindsay

MLB reports:  I love almost every baseball movie that I have seen. Not a big fan of Mr. 3000 and even Mr. Baseball was so-so. There are too many good ones in my opinion. But if I had to pick one, I would go with For Love of the Game. There was something very special and real about that movie that really brought out a great deal of emotion out of me. For a recent film, Moneyball was fantastic. I can’t wait to own it on DVD (in stores Tuesday January 10th, 2012).  After I watch it a dozen times or so, we will see where it ranks on my list.  It is top-five for sure and could rise even higher. Major League for sure makes the list as well, as does Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and The Rookie. But give me For Love of the Game anytime and I will be a happy camper.

 

Q:  Who do you have starting opening day for the Royals? Jonathan Sanchez?  Michael

MLB reports:  Good question from one of our top KC readers.  My answer will surprise you. The Royals have Luke Hochevar listed at the top spot right now.  Sanchez is seen by many as the likely ace for 2012. I think spring training will answer best which arm is in the best shape and looks the strongest to lead the team. If I had to be a dollar right now, my money is on Bruce Chen. I see the Royals leaning on the veteran to guide their young up-and-coming rotation going into the season.  I am a Hochevar supporter, but I am not seeing a big upside as of right now. Chen has been very good since joining the Royals and I see him getting the nod in April for opening day.

 

Q:  Any idea what’s going on with Pudge Rodriguez?  Nick

MLB reports:  Pudge will be back in 2012. I was told that he has been working hard in winter ball and is in great game shape.  Speaking to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (a neighbor of Ivan Rodriguez in Florida), Pudge is in training and gearing up for the season. I don’t see Pudge starting, but he will be a veteran backup on a squad.  The list of available jobs is dwindling, but a team will take a flier on him soon. Perhaps a return to the Nationals.  Tigers? Angels? Otherwise, if a catcher goes down, Pudge will be one of the first free agent catchers to get the call. The career is definitely winding down for the future hall-of-famer.  I can definitely see him getting a contract in place before the start of spring training.

 

Q:  Why does the winning team only give high 5s to each other and not the other team after the game?  Javaman

MLB reports:  This is one tradition that I still enjoy in baseball. Teams are supposed to go into battle. Players are supposed to go onto the field looking to win, not make friends. Heck, it bothers me when a baserunner and a first baseman get chatty after a base hit. When a baseball team wins, they will rejoice and celebrate as a squad. The losing team wants to get off the field and into the clubhouse as soon as possible. When a team loses, the last thing they want to do is shake hands and socialize with the team that just beat them. They want to recoup and prepare for the next game.  Old time mentality and I like it.

 

Q:  Who is the next big star (besides Prince) to get a $200 mil+ contract?  Martin

MLB reports:  I don’t even see Prince getting $200 million at this point to be honest. There are very few guys that I could see getting a contract of that magnitude.  Going to the list, I am drawing blanks.  Josh Hamilton is too injured to get there.  Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw might, but teams are generally not interested in handing out unlimited years and money to pitchers.  Perhaps Joey Votto will have a chance. Otherwise, we will literally have to wait until the Stephen Strasburgs and Bryce Harpers of this world are eligible for free agency. If I had to throw out one another name, maybe Mike Stanton one day. To reach the $200 million club, you need to be one of the best, if not THE  best in the game. Quite frankly, there is just too much risk in handing out deals of that size.  Show me the next Babe Ruth and maybe I will change my mind. Until then, expect more $100+ million deals, but not $200 million.

 

Last Q:  With a lack of spending this offseason are the Yankees getting ready to buck up for Hamels/Cain next offseason?  Chris

MLB reports:That certainly seems like the plan. But it is a risky plan. A very risky plan that could backfire. Sure, C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira found their way to New York.  But remember Cliff Lee?  He certainly did not work out well for the Yankees. Holding back for such a contingency plan is risky on many fronts.  Perhaps the desired player gets injured.  Or signs a long-term deal with their current squad.  Better yet, the player hits free agency and joins a different team all-together. So while I could see the Yankees waiting for a better group of free agents to be available, there is no guarantees that those players will ultimately land in New York.  The decision to hold off on spending this offseason is more based on the overall talent level and asking prices. If there was the right player at the right price on the market currently, the Yankees would grab him. The team would rather go with what they have then take on a bad contract with little return. Next year could find a better talent level available to the Yankees in the form of Cole Hamels and Matt Cain. But as the old saying goes: you have to play for today, because tomorrow might never come. If any of the future free agents do end up signing with the Yankees, it will be  a bonus for the team. But to count on it is a pathway to disappointment. The offseason is not over yet, another free agent signing or trade could be in the works. Until opening day is upon us, a lot can still happen. Thank you for reading MLB reports and we appreciate your question.

 

 

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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.

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

Ryan Madson: A Free Agent Closer with no Job?

Thursday December 8, 2011

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  With the Winter Meetings at an end, players/teams/agents are left standing to look over the game of musical chairs and who is left standing.  A particularly interesting position was closer- with more eligible players than open positions.  In the past few weeks, we have seen many signings and trades in this area.  Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies.  Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays.  Huston Street to the Padres.  Francisco Rodriguez accepted arbitration from the Brewers.  Heath Bell to the Marlins.  Joe Nathan to the Rangers.  Andrew Bailey is openly being discussed in the trade market as leaving the A’s.  Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch joined the Mets.  As a result, one big name is left standing with no dance partner.  Ryan Madson is still on the open market with few promising prospects ahead.

As the story goes, Madson was supposed to re-sign with the Phillies.  A reported 4-year, estimated $44 million contract was put on the table by the Phillies early in free agency.  Player and agent (Scott Boras) happily accepted and a Philadelphia return was in order.  Not so fast.  There are conflicting stories on what transpired.  Needless to say, there was never a firm deal in place and the Phillies moved quickly to sign the top closer on the free agent market, Jonathan Papelbon.  Since then, there has been little discussion on Madson.  There have been reports throughout the process linking him to the Jays, Marlins and Red Sox.  Well…the first 2 teams have filled their vacancies.  The Red Sox have Daniel Bard as the incumbent set-up man who could get a look at the closing position- although he may end up in the rotation.  Other than that, there seems to be little hope for Madson.

Last night, Madson chose not to the K-Rod route and accept salary arbitration.  As a result, he remains out in the market waiting for his next contract offer.  Francisco Cordero is in the same boat, although he is still likely to go back to the Reds on a 1-2 year contract from the whispers around the league.  But even if the Reds do not retain Cordero, it is unlikely that they will sign Madson- especially given the young players they still need to lock-up to extensions.  So what other options exist for Madson?  Perhaps the Orioles.  Maybe the Rays.  The options are getting bleak.

This is one of the few times that you will see Scott Boras caught “with his pants down” so to speak.  For an agent that is well known to be able to create and stimulate markets and demands for his clients, Boras has come up short for Madson.  The perception is that the Phillies did what was best for them in signing Papelbon, which left Boras outraged and in a bind.  With little to no teams looking for closers, Boras essentially only has the Red Sox to work with.  At this point, he may need to take a 1-2 year deal for Madson, in the $7-10 million range to rebuild his value and try again on the open market in the future.  A risky proposition, but with few options- Madson may have no other choice.

I was actually quite surprised that Madson didn’t take the Phillies offer of arbitration.  Based on his stellar 2011 numbers, he could have expected a strong 1-year contract at least.  Now Boras and Madson are left to take their chances on the open market.  For a closer with only 1 full year on the job, time is not on Madson’s side.  A proven closer like Francisco Cordero knows that he find a contract soon.  Heck, even K-Rod knows that he just needs another solid season under his belt and his next deal will follow shortly after.  Madson was in line for his first and only big payday this offseason.  If he gets hurt or becomes ineffective in 2012, that dream vanishes. Scott Boras better work overtime to get the Red Sox biting on his closer client.  Otherwise, it may not turn out to be a very Merry Christmas in the Madson household this year.

 

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

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.

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