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

As Safeco Field closes it's roof for the season, let's take a look back at the brighter moments from the Mariners abysmal 2013 season.

In 2014, the Seattle franchise will be welcoming in a new coach – as Eric Wedge will not be returning for another year as the team’s skipper.  As Safeco Field closes it’s roof for the season, let’s take a look back at the brighter moments from the Mariners abysmal 2013 year – in which they finished 71 – 91, only good for 4th in the AL West.

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

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The Seattle Mariners 2013 season left a lot to be desired.

The Mariners continued to lose fans as they didn’t play competitive baseball for the majority of the season. However, there were some memorable highlights and breakout performances that made the Mariners season slight more bearable.

Here’s a look back at the more enjoyable aspects of the Mariners 2013 regular season. 

SEA @ OAK: Farquhar fans Cespedes to lock down the save

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marlins Outlast Mets in 20-innings

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Four Things To Watch For On The Marlins This Month

 

Jake Marisnick plays tremendous defense out in center field but his bat has been far from impressive in his limited time in Miami this season.

Jake Marisnick plays tremendous defense out in center field but his bat has been far from impressive in his limited time in Miami this season.

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

It’s not exactly easy to get excited about the average Marlins game this late in the season.

With the Marlins struggling to give their pitchers any run support and finding seemingly different ways to lose everyday, it would be easy to give up on the Marlins and just wait for next year.

However, thanks to topics like Jose Fernandez‘s quest for the N.L. Rookie of the Year Award and lefty Brian Flynn‘s recent promotion, there still are reasons to watch the Marlins in 2013.

Here are what I consider to be the top four things to watch for on the Marlins in the final month of the regular season (in no particular order). 

Fernandez shows quick reflexes to grab liner

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A Look Back At Ken Griffey Jr.’s Time As A Mariner

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Tuesday, Aug 13th, 2013

Former Mariners great, Ken Griffey Jr. walks in from center field as he is introduced during a ceremony inducting him into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Safeco Field on August 10, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.

Former Mariners great, Ken Griffey Jr. walks in from center field as he is introduced during a ceremony inducting him into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Brewers at Safeco Field on August 10, 2013 in Seattle.

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

Ken Griffey Jr. is without a doubt the greatest player in the history of the Seattle Mariners. From his breathtaking defense in center field, to the 417 home runs he hit with the franchise,

“The Kid”  truly was a five-tool talent and one of the most electrifying players in the game. While his career might not have ended perfectly, Mariners fans will never forget what he did to help bring playoff baseball to Seattle.

In honor of Griffey being just the seventh player inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday, here’s a look back at Griffey’s thirteen seasons in Seattle.

HD Ken Griffey Jr. HALL OF FAME SPEECH

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Ranking The Marlins Starting Rotation By Trade Value

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Tuesday, Aug 6th, 2013

Just two years ago, Marlins SP Jose Fernandez was pitching for Alonso HS in Tampa, Florida.  His story of how he came to the United States is absolutely astonishing and incredible as he defected from Cuba via boat , and then ultimately was part of a rescue effort in the water to save his mom's life, when she fell overboard in 2008 as a teenager.  He is 20 years old now, and one of the premier Starting Pitchers in the NL

Just two years ago, Marlins SP Jose Fernandez was pitching for Alonso HS in Tampa, Florida. His story of how he came to the United States is absolutely astonishing and incredible as he defected from Cuba via boat , and then ultimately was part of a rescue effort in the water to save his mom’s life, when she fell overboard in 2008 as a teenager. He is 20 years old now, and one of the premier Starting Pitchers in the NL.

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

Even though the trade deadline has already passed, it’s always interesting to evaluate pitchers based on their trade value.

Using age, experience, potential, contract, and reputation as guidelines, I ranked the current Miami Marlins starting rotation.

Tom Koehler, Jose Fernandez, Henderson Alvarez, Nate Eovaldi, and Jacob Turner are the Marlins starting five and Miami has no real reason to trade any of them in the near future.

However, if they were to consider trading one of these pitchers, here’s how I feel other teams would rank these pitchers’ trade values.

6/29/13: Turner dominant, Lucas key in win

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MLB Player Profile: Mariners Pitcher Erasmo Ramirez

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Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Erasmo Ramirez has a career 3.92 FIP in 69 MLB innings pitched.

Erasmo Ramirez has a career 3.92 FIP in 69 MLB innings pitched.  While he was putting together a decent campaign during the 2012 year (with a WHIP of 1.00 – and an ERA of 3.36).  The 2013 has not been as kind – with an ERA of 8.71, based on his 2 Game Starts this season, despite yielding a 1 – 0 record thus far.

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

Aside from Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, the 2013 Seattle Mariners starting rotation has been far from consistent.

Fortunately for them, Erasmo Ramirez, who has just been recalled, should be able to provide quality innings for a team that is definitely in need of pitching.

Ramirez, 23, has already had ten career MLB starts but elbow soreness at the start of this season has prevented him from really taking off in the Majors.

With his outstanding control and four impressive pitches, Ramirez should turn into a valuable middle of the rotation arm for Seattle in years to come.

Erasmo Ramirez Spotlight 5-28

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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

Mariners 2B Nick Franklin Has Been Nothing But Amazing In The Majors

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Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

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Nick Franklin’s 140 wRC+ is second among MLB second basemen with at least 100 plate appearances.

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

Lost among the outstanding debuts MLB rookies like Yasiel Puig and Gerrit Cole has been the terrific play of the Mariners new second baseman Nick Franklin. Franklin has hit for power, played nearly flawless defense, and he’s demonstrated

his fantastic plate discipline. However, most of the baseball world has seemingly looked past what Franklin has done for the Mariners. It’s been quite a while since a shortstop comparable to Franklin has been promoted to the Majors and excelled right away.

Here’s a glance at what Franklin has done for the Mariners, what kind of a player he’ll be in the future, and what role he plays in the Mariners future.

Nick Franklin Prospect Video

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On the Alex Sanabia Spitball Controversy

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Monday, May 27th, 2013

Alex Sanabia has a 4.88 ERA and 5.85 FIP in ten starts on the season.

Alex Sanabia has a 4.88 ERA and 5.85 FIP in ten starts on the season.

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

The Alex Sanabia spitball controversy has dominated the Miami baseball headlines over the last week. Video shows Sanabia clearly spitting on a ball after giving up a homer against the Phillies.

After the game, Sanabia said some hard to believe things that may come back to bite him. Sanabia has struggled all year in Miami, and he will need to pitch more like he did against the Phillies if he wants to keep his spot in the rotation when others get healthy.

After an odd, contentious outing, Alex Sanabia has become one of the most interesting players on the Marlins right now.

Marlins Pitcher Blatantly Spit on Baseball for Everyone to See

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Mariners Lose Two Tough Games in a Row To Cleveland: But They Are Still Playing a Good Brand Of Baseball

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Sunday, May 19th, 2013

One bright spot for the Mariners over the past couple of days has been first baseman Justin Smoak, who has reached base eight times in the last three games.

One bright spot for the Mariners over the past couple of days has been first baseman Justin Smoak, who has reached base eight times in the last three games.

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

The last two days have to have been extremely rough for the Seattle Mariners. Coming off a series win in New York, the Mariners were sitting comfortably in second place in the A.L. West. However, after two straight walk-off losses to Cleveland, the Mariners have slipped to third in the West.

Having deserved to win at least one of their last two games, the Mariners have likely just ran into some bad luck and they have a great opportunity to get back on track Sunday, with King Felix on the mound.

Tom Hamilton Calls Jason Kipnis Walk Off Home Run 5/17/13: 

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Get A (Fantasy Baseball) Grip On Reality: Blog Series Part 1

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Saturday May 18, 2013

Like Dale Doback, I too manage a baseball team --kootation.com.  Lucky for me, I was able to secure a steal 113th overall in a keeper league.  You have to read the post in order to find.  Now that I am done, I am going to attend a Catalina Wine Mixer nearby!!

Like Dale Doback, I too manage a baseball team  Lucky for me, I was able to secure a steal (113th overall) in a keeper league. You have to read the post in order to find out who that player is. Now that I am done, I am going to attend a Catalina Wine Mixer nearby!! kootation.com

By Derek Jackson (MLB Reports Fantasy Expert): 

I am happy to be joining the fantastic writer’s and leadership at MLB Reports, bringing you full coverage of Fantasy Baseball. If you’ve never won that elusive fantasy title or you’re the five-peat dynasty, we can all share our knowledge of players, outlooks, and advice in an open forum.

I urge any and all of you to leave me comments ripping apart my thoughts, giving me a firm but reassuring pat on the ass, or just to tell me how great of a fantasy player I must be – Now let’s roll out two player’s who have started out very differently in 2013. This will give you some insight into the stats I use and rely on in my own decision making. all thoughts are welcome.

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The Marlins Should Promote Christian Yelich Now

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Sunday, May 12th, 2013

After being ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Marlins farm system by Baseball America coming into 2012,  Yelich hit .330 in High-A with a .922 OPS. Most scouting reports have him again as either the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in the Marlins system.  Yelich cracked both Baseball America and Keith Law’s top 50 prospects coming into 2012 and by mid-season Yelich had jumped into Law’s top 15 prospects (No.12).  If Yelich can stick in centerfield, he could be a huge asset for the Marlins as they build a foundation around an outfield of Stanton, Yelich and Jake Marisnick, who was acquired in the Reyes deal. Yelich could offer a very steady compliment to Stanton as early as 2013 depending on his performance at Double-A . He is not a power hitter as of yet, but his body projects as one that can fill out over time and gain strength

“After being ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Marlins farm system by Baseball America coming into 2012, Yelich hit .330 in High-A with a .922 OPS. Most scouting reports have him again as either the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in the Marlins system. Yelich cracked both Baseball America and Keith Law’s top 50 prospects coming into 2012 and by mid-season Yelich had jumped into Law’s top 15 prospects (No.12). If he cmarcellan stick in centerfield, he could be a huge asset for the Marlins as they build a foundation around an outfield of Stanton, Yelich and Jake Marisnick, who was acquired in the Reyes deal. He could offer a very steady compliment to Stanton right now based on his performance at Double-A  He is not a power hitter as of yet, but his body projects as one that can fill out over time and gain strength.”  Nicholas Rossoletti – (MLB Reports Writer)

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

The Marlins have turned heads all over baseball for their controversial promotions of young, inexperienced prospects over the last couple months. So far, the clubs decisions couldn’t have turned out much better. Marcell Ozuna is holding back at the plate, and it’s led to 13 hits in 45 at bat’s in 11 games.

Jose Fernandez looks like a serious N.L. Rookie of the Year candidate with his 3.15 FIP in seven starts and 39 strikeouts in only 37 innings. So with these two top prospects shining at the Major League level, why wouldn’t the Marlins bring up another elite prospect that will keep fans coming to the ballpark and plays a position of need?

Christian Yelich has proven he’s ready for the Majors and the Marlins would be silly not to call him up in the next week or two.

Miami Marlins- Christian Yelich talks Spring Training 2013:

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The Mariners Are Playing Great Baseball In The Last 2 Weeks

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Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Dustin Ackley has been hitting the ball with a lot more frequency during the last 2 weeks of play.  Due partly to bad luck and partly to bad at bat’s, Dustin Ackley got off to a 5-for-49 start in 2013. Fast forward to the present, and Dustin Ackley is hitting .255/.290/.314 with a grand slam off of R.A. Dickey on Saturday.

Dustin Ackley has been hitting the ball with a lot more frequency during the last 2 weeks of play. Due partly to bad luck and partly to bad at bat’s, Ackley got off to a 5-for-49 start in 2013. Fast forward to the present, and the Mariners Second Baseman is hitting .255/.290/.314 with a grand slam off of R.A. Dickey on Saturday.  He has hits in 9 of his last 10 games (13 – 36, .361 Batting Average in that time frame – raising him 55 Points overall in his season BA.)

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

Believe it or not, the Mariners are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. After an ugly 8-15 start to the season, the Mariners have won six out of their last eight games, and are two games in front of the Angels in the A.L. West.

It’s unclear how long the Mariners will be able to continue to play this brand of baseball, but for the time being, Seattle is one of the most fun teams to watch in the Majors.

Thanks to young players like Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders heating up and Hisashi Iwakuma and others shutting down other teams, the Mariners have become a much more dangerous team to face.

Iwakuma’s great start:

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The Miami Marlins Are Clearly The Worst Team In Baseball

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Sunday, April 28th, 2013

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

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

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

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

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

Miami Marlins Misfire:

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Brandon Maurer Settles Down After Rough Two Starts

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Sunday, April 21st, 2013

randon Maurer delivers a pitch against Texas.  The 6 FT 5, 215 LBS Right Handed Pitcher had progressed mighty fast through the Seattle Minor League System - featuring a 21 - 18 Career Record with a 3.57 ERA and a WHIP of 1.237.  Last year for Jackson Mississippi  in the Southern Atlantic, he was 9 - 2 in 24 Games Started, yielding an impressive 3.20 ERA.  He definitely earned a spot in the Mariners Starting Rotation.  The man from Newport Beach, CA was lit up in his first 2 Starts, putting up a collective 16.20 ERA in back to back Starts to Oakland and Houston.  He has since settled down and may give club a quality back end of the Rotation Pitcher.

Brandon Maurer delivers a pitch against Texas. The 6 FT 5, 215 LBS Right Handed Pitcher had progressed mighty fast through the Seattle Minor League System – featuring a 21 – 18 Career Record with a 3.57 ERA and a WHIP of 1.237. Last year for Jackson General in the Southern Atlantic (Double A Ball), he was 9 – 2 in 24 Games Started, yielding an impressive 3.20 ERA. He definitely earned a spot in the Mariners Starting Rotation. The man from Newport Beach, CA was lit up in his first 2 Starts, putting up a collective 16.20 ERA in back to back Starts to Oakland and Houston. He has since settled down and may give club a quality back end of the Rotation Pitcher.

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

After an absolutely fantastic spring, Brandon Maurer earned a spot in the Mariners starting rotation. Expectations for Maurer weren’t out of control but he was still expected to be an average starting pitcher with a chance to be something more.

After two horrendous starts, the Mariners traded for Aaron Harang and Maurer seemed on the verge of a demotion. Nonetheless, Maurer has been able to command all of his pitches in his last two starts, which has led to outstanding results.

Maurer Power:

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Michael Morse Is Off To A Blazing Start In Seattle

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Sunday, April,07/ 2013

How good has Mike Morse's start been for the Mariners...Try a 3 Slash Line of .333//364/1.268  so far, and is tied for the MLB lead in HRs with 4 bombs.  "Da Beast" has proven that he can get the job when he stays in the lineup.  If he can hit like this all year, Seattle may have a chance at the Post Season.

How good has Mike Morse’s start been for the Mariners…Try a 3 Slash Line of .333//364/1.268 so far, and is tied for the MLB lead in HRs with 4 bombs. “Da Beast” has proven that he can get the job when he stays in the lineup. If he can hit like this all year, Seattle may have a chance at the Post Season.

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

When the Mariners acquired Michael Morse this past offseason, they were hoping to add some power and a veteran presence to a young lineup. Morse, who struggled in 102 games playing for the Nationals in 2012, appears to finally be healthy and ready to contribute.

Morse has gotten off to a hot start to the season, homering in 4 of his first five games. In 2011, when he hit 31 HR, it took Morse until May 25th to hit his 4th Home Run. This poses the question, could Michael Morse hit 30 Home Runs again in 2013?

Michael Morse 2011 Highlights

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World Baseball Classic Week Two Recap

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Saturday, March 17th, 2013

Angel Pagan has led Puerto Rico to the 2013 WBC Championship Round.

Angel Pagan has led Puerto Rico to the 2013 WBC Championship Round.

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

A lot has happened in the World Baseball Classic over the last week. For one, the four teams to play in the Championship Round have been determined. In the Second Round, Cuba, Chinese Taipei, the USA, and Italy were all eliminated. For some of those teams, it was an amazing accomplishment in itself to get as far as they did. For other teams, they fell way short of expectations in 2013.

Nonetheless, the four teams still in the running are exciting and all four have been playing a fantastic brand of baseball. The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Japan, and the Dominican Republic are your 2013 WBC Final Four.

WBC 2009 Japan VS Korea Highlight:


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World Baseball Classic Week One Update

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Saturday, March 10th, 2013

Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop has turned helped the Netherlands become the most exciting team in the tournament.

Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop has helped the Netherlands become the most exciting team in the tournament.

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

So far, the World Baseball Classic has been a great way for those of us drooling for baseball to take in some familiar sights. Even though some of the teams look very rusty and not exactly in mid-season form, others look primed to bring a championship home to their country. Group A and B have both finished their first round and have already moved on to Round 2, but Group C and D have yet to concluded their first round. Overall, the first week of the 2013 World Baseball Classic couldn’t have gone much better.

Complete World Baseball Classic Brawl – Canada VS Mexico March 9 2013

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2013 WBC Group B Preview

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Sunday, February 17th, 2013

The WBC Tournament runs from Mar..2-19/2013

The WBC Tournament runs from Mar.2-19/2013.

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

Group B in the 2013 World Baseball Classic is just as talented as some of the other divisions, but some of the best teams in this quartet of teams lack the star MLB players found in other divisions. From Netherlands unique blend of top prospects and washed out big leaguers to Jae Weong Seo’s veteran presence on an inexperienced Korean team, Group B definitely has it’s share of stories. They key for the two teams that will advance out of this round will likely be pitching. There seems to be a lack of proven pitchers in this year’s WBC, particularly in this group. With less than one month before these teams start playing each other, here is a preview of what to expect from Group B in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.  

WBC Highlights 2009 Dominican Republic vs the Netherlands:

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Petco Park: The Effect Of Moving In The Fences

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

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Yonder Alonso will be one of the benefactors for Petco Park once the fences are brought in.  He only hit 3 HRs in 261 AB in SD last year - absolutely abysmal power from the First Baseman Position.

Yonder Alonso will be one of the benefactors for Petco Park once the fences are brought in. He only hit 3 HRs in 261 AB in SD last year – absolutely abysmal power numbers from the First Baseman Position.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

By altering the dimensions of Petco Park, the Padres could be playing a very different brand of baseball in these coming years. Long thought of as one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in all of baseball, Petco Park might have a new identity in the future. Due to their decision to move the fences in, the Padres will have to build their team in a different way. For players like Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko, the new dimensions could be extremely beneficial to their success at the plate. However, for pitchers like Edinson Volquez and Eric Stults, they are going to have to learn to keep the ball on the ground more in 2013.

Petco Park As A San Diego Attraction:

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Rest In Peace, Ryan Freel

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

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Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

Ryan Freel, a utility player for eight years from 2001 to 2009, died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound a few weeks ago. Freel will be remembered for his fearless play and highlight-reel catches. Ryan Freel was a player that defined grit, he played baseball the way it was meant to play.  Everyone’s thoughts and prayers should be with the Freel family during this time of sadness.

Ryan Freel Highlight Reel Video – Parental Guidance is advised:

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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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What To Expect From The Brewers OF Norichika Aoki In 2013

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

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Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

Norichika Aoki entered 2012 as the 4th Outfielder in Milwaukee. By the time the season ended, Aoki was the 27th ranked outfielder on ESPN’s Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s not very often a player with no minor league experience makes the kind of impact Aoki did in his first season. In 2013, Aoki will need to replicate his numbers from last year in order to stay as a top 30 outfielder in fantasy baseball. With his rare combination of speed, runs, and to a lesser extent power, Aoki has the tools to repeat his success again in 2013.

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2012 World Series Predictions: Tigers and Cardinals Will Meet Again in October

Monday October 15th, 2012

Sam Evans: With the Championship Series just beginning, predicting the two teams that will face off in the World Series has never been easier. Still, the teams playing in the ALCS and NLCS right now are pretty evenly matched so it’s still difficult to see which two will advance. Due to their momentum and great ability to come back, St. Louis will prevail over San Francisco in the NL. Due to their outstanding pitching staff and Miguel Cabrera being on his current tear, Detroit has a slight advantage over New York in the American League. Even if these predictions go horribly wrong, the one thing we can be certain of is that these two series are going to include some thrilling games played between some of the best teams in baseball. Read the rest of this entry

The Athletics and Orioles: Staying Alive in the 2012 ALDS

Wednesday October 10th, 2012

Sam Evans:  The 2012 MLB playoffs have been thrilling so far. From Lew Ford to Derek Jeter, every player on the field is playing like they have something to prove. Two of the most exciting teams during the regular season, Oakland and Baltimore are both trying to prove that they belong in the postseason. So far, both teams have been successful in doing that. Both teams have benefited from outstanding pitching performances, but other than that- the two teams are very different.

Oakland finally looked like the team most hoped they would be on Tuesday, shutting out the Tigers 2-0 at home. Detroit still leads the series 2-1 but Oakland has home field advantage and better back-end starting pitching. With young talents such as Yoenis Cespedes and Jarrod Parker, Oakland, for the first time in what seems like forever, has put together a roster that is exciting to watch. With their pitching, the Athletics have a legitimate shot at advancing in the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry

Houston Should Give Roger Clemens a Spring Training Non-Roster Invite

Monday, September 10 , 2012

Sam Evans: The Houston Astros are most likely not going to win seventy games next year.  With a young starting rotation, it would make sense for the Astros to pursue a veteran starter for the 2013 season. Not because it would put Houston over the top and have them competing for a playoff spot, but because a veteran could have a positive influence on the younger starters and limit their innings. Roger Clemens has expressed in interest in returning to Houston and he has impressed in two starts for Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League. Houston should give Roger Clemens a spring training non-roster invite to see if he can pitch in the majors in 2013.

In just his second start with Sugar Land, Clemens got the opportunity to pitch to his son Koby Clemens.   After the game, Clemens said “What a special game this is when you have opportunity at 50 to go out there and play a little catch with your oldest son.” That’s an awesome quote. Anyways, Clemens fastball was sitting at 86-88 MPH and he threw his curveball, changeup, and splitter as well. The Rocket pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings. In eight innings for Sugar Land, Clemens has yet to allow a run.

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The Boston Red Sox Should be Cautious Pursuing Josh Hamilton

Saturday  September 1st, 2012

Sam Evans: By trading Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett, the Red Sox created a lot of salary cap space for the upcoming season. With outfielder Josh Hamilton set to become a free agent after this year, the Red Sox will definitely have interest in this five-time All Star. It is unclear how much teams will be willing to pay for this troubled slugger, but the Red Sox will be able to make the highest offer on Hamilton if they want to. Should the Red Sox go after Josh Hamilton? Keep reading to find out.

Boston currently has Jacoby Ellsbury as their only outfielder set in stone for next season. With no outfield prospects ready to make an impact next season, the Red Sox will definitely look to free agency for their next outfielder. Melky Cabrera, Shane Victorino, and B.J. Upton are some of the more attractive options out on the market. Cabrera could make sense for Boston, but it is improbable he will get more than a three-year contract.

This season, Josh Hamilton is hitting .293/.358/.583 with thirty-three homers in 130 games. His career wRC+ of 136 rivals that of Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Delgado, and Will Clark, among others. Hamilton’s power/batting average this season is certainly impressive, but according to ESPN’s Hit Tracker, ten of Hamilton’s home runs have been “just enough”. That’s tied for fourth-most in the majors. One has to wonder if Hamilton would put up the same kind of numbers playing away from the hitter’s haven that is the Ballpark in Arlington.

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Moises Sierra Has a Future in the Majors: A Blue Jays Work in Progress

Sunday August 26th, 2012

Sam Evans: When Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos traded away both Travis Snider and Eric Thames at the trade deadline, it created an opportunity for unheralded twenty-three year old outfielder Moises Sierra. Sierra has a chance to show Toronto that he should be part of their future in these final couple months of the season. With his 70-grade arm and his ability to produce runs at a solid pace, Sierra could have a job in the majors for years to come. However, Sierra has a lot of work to do to become a candidate for playing time at Rogers Centre in 2013.

Moises Sierra was signed by the Blue Jays out of the Dominican Republic back in 2005. This was before the Blue Jays dominated the scouting world, so Sierra has never been an “Anthopoulos guy”. From 2006 to 2008, Sierra had some rough numbers for different teams, but he showed enough to be promoted from the DSL, in 2006, to earning a starting job in High-A for the 2009 season. Sierra had a 122 wRC+ at High-A in 2009, but he missed most of the 2010 season due to a stress fracture in his leg and a couple of other minor injuries. Read the rest of this entry

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