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NL: MVP Rankings: Race Remains Close In Late June

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Wednesday, June.19/2013

Troy Tulowitzki just broke his ribs  - and cant ever seem to keep healthy. He is hitting .347/.413/1.048 with 16 HRs and 51 RBI out of the Shortstop position.  The Rockies are startling to lose without him in the lineup - just like last season, when they dropped 93 games with Tulo only playing in 47 Games

Troy Tulowitzki just broke his ribs – and cant ever seem to keep healthy. He is hitting .347/.413/1.048 with 16 HRs and 51 RBI out of the Shortstop position. (MVP like numbers for sure). The Rockies are startling to lose without him in the lineup – just like last season, when they dropped 93 games with Tulo only playing in 47 Games.

Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Writer)

The regular season has finally reached the point where the “it’s early,” or “it’s too small of a sample size” excuses are no longer accurate. Most of the regulars are closing in on 300 plate appearances.

The race in the NL is extremely close, and it will become close now that Troy Tulowitzki is on the shelf for at least four weeks. Tulowitzki’s injury could also effect Carlos Gonzalez’s case if the Rockies aren’t able to stay afloat in a tightly-contested National League West division.

Tulowitzki’s 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics – so Parental Guidance is Advised

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Milwaukee Brewers: Analyzing Yovani Gallardo’s Trade Market

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Tuesday, June.18/2013

Gallardo has been a good pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in his Career.  He is 75 - 49 (.605) with a 3.70 ERA.  He is coming off two seasons in a row during 2011 and 2012, where he was north of 200 IP.  So far this campaign, he has lugged 87.2 IP in his NL Leading 15 Starts

Gallardo has been a good pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in his Career. He is 75 – 49 (.605) with a 3.70 ERA. He is coming off two seasons in a row during 2011 and 2012, where he was north of 200 IP. So far this campaign, he has lugged 87.2 IP in his NL Leading 15 Starts.  The RHP is in the 4th year of a 5 YR/$30 MIL dollar contract.  He will make $7.75 MIL in 2013, $11.25 MIL in 2014 – and there is a $13 MIL Team Option in 2015 – or a 600K Buyout.  He will make roughly $15 MIL in his contract for the remainder of this year – and the duration of next years salary.

Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Writer)

The inevitable fire sale is looming for the last-place Milwaukee Brewers, and among their collection of tradable pieces, Yovani Gallardo will likely be their most sought out asset.

Gallardo has whirled 14 scoreless innings over his past two starts. The Brewers couldn’t be happier because his trade value is gradually increasing after a brutal start to the season. However, Gallardo’s value wasn’t as high as it once was. It will take a few more scoreless innings before he can get back to that point.

Milwaukee might be wise to hold onto him for another year to see if he can bolster his stock. But that approach also entails negative consequences. He ages a year older, and more importantly, there’s always the chance that his stock is further dented.

So, let’s see what Gallardo’s current market is for this year’s trade deadline:

Yovani Gallardo Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised.

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Could The New York Mets Have Three All-Star Representatives At Citi Field In 2013?

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Monday, June.03/2013

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will have be host to the 2013 ALL - Star Game.  It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will have be host to the 2013 ALL – Star Game. It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was.  The field made slight moderation’s to the fences last year prior to being awarding the event.  Will they have 1, 2 or 3 players selected for the Mid – Summers Classic?  We will find out in the next 5 – 6 weeks.

Jake Dal Porto (MLB Reports Writer)

The New York Mets haven’t had much team success in 2013, as they currently sit in fourth place in the National League East, 11 games out of first place.

Amid the rebuilding process, however, the Mets could produce three All-Stars in 2013. Sending three All-Stars would be ideal for the franchise’s sake, as the All-Star Game will be at Citi Field, and a good representation of the team would be something to rejoice over in dreadful times.

The first two are fairly obvious–David Wright and Matt Harvey. The third one in Daniel Murphy isn’t as obvious.

Do they have a case?

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The Atlanta Braves Are The Best Team In The National League

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Monday, April.15/2013

The Braves have roared out of the gate during the 2013 MLB Season, with a baseball best 11 - 1, including a convincing sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend.  This has been done without long time player Chipper Jones retiring - and Brian McCann being on the shelf for the 1st part of the season

The Braves have roared out of the gate during the 2013 MLB Season, with a baseball best 11 – 1, including a convincing sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend. This has been done without long time player Chipper Jones retiring – and Brian McCann being on the shelf for the 1st part of the season.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

At 11-1, the Atlanta Braves can seemingly do no wrong. Fresh off a sweep of the Washington Nationals, the Braves can make a very good case regarding their status as the best team in the NL.

That spot was occupied by the Nationals in the preseason chatter. And I wouldn’t blame the pundits who circled them as the NL’s best team.

After all, they fixed their leadoff spot woes with the addition of Denard Span, further improved their bullpen with Rafael Soriano and probably most importantly, started the season with an improved Bryce Harper. On paper, they had minuscule flaws.

The Brothers Upton Both HR to win the game!:

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Can The Cardinals Still Compete With Another Winter Of Losses For A 2nd Year?

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Friday March.29/2013

The Cardinals have been the most consistent Franchise in the National League, having appeared in 8 of the last 12 NLCS since 2000 (3-5).  They have also won 2 World Series in that time (2006 and 2011.)  They held a 3-1 NLCS lead over the San Francisco Giants before losing to the 2012 World Champions.  If there was an Atomic Bomb, I am sure that Cockroaches, Silly Puddy and the Cardinals would survive it because they just keep coming like Zombie's

The Cardinals have been the most consistent Franchise in the National League, having appeared in 8 of the last 12 NLCS since 2000 (3-5). They have also won 2 World Series in that time (2006 and 2011.) They held a 3-1 NLCS lead over the San Francisco Giants before losing to the eventual 2012 World Champions. If there was an Atomic Bomb, I am sure that Cockroaches, Silly Puddy and the Cardinals would survive it because they just keep coming like Zombie’s.  Will 2013 be any different for the team without being able for all of the NL Teams to fatten up on the Astros?


Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The St.Louis Cardinals didn’t do much adding this offseason. Sometimes this isn’t such a bad thing, as constant tinkering to a roster isn’t always needed. But if anything, the Cardinals have become a weaker team since losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS.

Perhaps the most concerning flaw to their roster revolves around the pitching staff.

Kyle Lohse just signed a deal with inner-division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers. Lohse posted a 2.86 ERA in 2012, and finished seventh in Cy Young voting. Among other things, he also pitched a career-high 211 Innings, compiled a career-high 134 ERA+ and barely walked 1.5 batters per 9 IP. Read the rest of this entry

Minnesota Twins: Analyzing Dreadful 2012 Starting Pitching, And Looking Ahead to 2013

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Sunday March 17th, 2013

After very disappointing seasons in 2011 (63-99) and 2012 (66-96), the Twins look to rebound in 2013.  The Starting Rotation has been revamped, but still bolsters heavy question marks.

After very disappointing seasons in 2011 (63-99) and 2012 (66-96), the Twins look to rebound in 2013. The Starting Rotation has been revamped, but still bolsters a lack of experience and a proven #1 starter.  In the American League it will mean trouble against the upper echelon teams.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The Minnesota Twins’ pitching staff was downright awful in 2012. Yes, that’s a harsh assessment, but I think everyone would agree, including the numbers.

Per FanGraphs, the Twins’ rotation posted the worst ERA in the American League with a 5.40 mark. When only the Colorado Rockies had a worse ERA over in the National League, something was seriously wrong, which was indeed the case.

To no surprise, the Twins’ rotation was weak across the board. They had the fourth worst HR/FB (Home-run to fly ball ratio) in baseball. The second worst home-run per nine innings ratio. The worst xFIP (Fielding Independent Percentage). And lastly, the lowest strikeout per nine innings ratio. Worse, these are just a few stats. The list could probably eat up a whole page.

But enough. We get the point: The Twins’ rotation was really bad last year. Now the question is what pieces caused this disaster that probably won’t improve in 2013?

From a broad view, inexperience was the primary complication. From there, several problems arose, especially when injuries struck, or when the regulars were replaced in favor of a young prospect. You could also say that they just didn’t have a ton of talent to compete. It’s a simple theory, yet a fairly accurate one.

Nick Blackburn, 30, was one of Minnesota’s most experienced starters, but his 7.39 ERA in 19 starts skews the experienced point. Carl Pavano, 36, had a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts, and after his start on June. 1, he didn’t pitch again with a shoulder problem. Lastly, Jason Marquis, 33, had a 8.47 ERA in seven starts, and the Twins released him on May 22.

Twins Pitchers at Fort Myers:

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Mike Moustakas: Analyzing His Strengths And Weaknesses

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Tuesday March 5th, 2013

Moustakas will need to improve on his 20 HRs and 73 RBI year in 2012.  He is only 24 Years of Age heading into 2013

Moustakas will need to improve on his 20 HRs and 73 RBI year in 2012. He is only 24 Years of Age heading into 2013.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) 

The Kansas City Royals might have something special in Mike Moustakas. He’s a cornerstone-type piece, and he plays a position that starting to run low on quality young talent.

Of course, he has his good attributes and bad attributes. In a nutshell, he’s a work in progress offensively, but far from a work in progress on defense.

Players typically start to bloom in their third year in the major leagues, and it just so happens that 2013 will be Moustakas’ third year in the majors.

Mike Moustakas Highlights – Mature Lyrics – So Parental Guidance is advised:

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Ranking the Top 10 Hitters In The MLB Right Now: Part 2 (6-10)

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Below is Part 2 of the Top 10 hitters in baseball. You can read Part 1 here.

Tuesday February.26, 2013

Keith Allison, Flicker.com

Cano has only missed 7 games in the last 4 years.  He has hit over .300 in those seasons – belted 40 + Doubles and scored over 100 Runs.  He has averaged 29 HRs and 102 RBI also for that span.  The man has won 3 straight Silver Slugger Awards.  Cano’s Career 3 Slash Line is .308/.361/.854. With this being a contract year, he could stand to land himself a historic contract with an MVP type season. Picture by Keith Allison, Flicker.com

By Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The top hitters in the MLB right now includes 5 awesome hitters.  It was hard to comprise the list, but here it is.

6. Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano is in line for a huge payday after this season, and his numbers can justify his demands.

OK, Yankee stadium partially inflates his power numbers. Cano had a 59.3 HR/FB (Home Run to fly ball ratio) to Right Field, which is quite a figure seeing that the mean for baseball’s best power hitters is in the 20 percent range, to all fields.

It’s safe to say that Cano grasped the idea of the infamous shorter porch in Right Field, and who wouldn’t? On he same token, that shouldn’t give us the wrong idea about his power. According to ESPN’s Hittracker Online, Cano was eighth in the American League with nine “no doubt” Home runs, telling us that his power isn’t solely due to the friendly hitter confines of Yankee Stadium.

The thing is, there’s more to his game then Home runs. He had the fifth highest oWAR (Offensive WAR) in baseball last year, and finished eighth in the MLB in Adjusted OPS+.

Given the dearth amount of talent at Second Base these days, Cano could be in line for a 8-year, $200+ Million contract next winter.

Robinson Cano at the 2011 Home Run Derby:

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Ranking the Top 10 Hitters In The MLB Right Now: Part 1 (1-5)

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Tuesday February 19th, 2013

Miguel Cabrera: Cooperstown Bound.  Undoubtedly, "Miggy" is one of the great players of this generation.  Watching him play the game every day is a gift to baseball lovers.

Miguel Cabrera: Cooperstown Bound. Undoubtedly, “Miggy” is one of the great players of this generation. Watching him play the game every day is a gift to baseball lovers.

By Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The best hitters in baseball aren’t hard to identifying, but arranging them is the tough part.

The “new” era of hitters have arrived on the scene. This doesn’t necessarily imply that some of the older hitters might as well call it quits, rather, it means that they have taken the backseat.

So, here we go: Baseball’s Top 5 hitters.  This is part 1 of a 2 part series.  Next week, we go through the 6-10 best hitters.

1. Miguel Cabrera

Mike Trout is baseball’s consensus best overall player, factoring in defense and speed, but Miguel Cabrera gets the nod as baseball’s best hitter.

Cabrera won the Triple Crown award in 2012, and in turn, beat out Trout for MVP honors.

As for the stats, well, they’re also impressive. He was second in the American League in oWAR (offensive WAR), third in ISO (Isolated Power), led the MLB in OPS, slugging percentage, total bases and extra base hits.

Cabrera’s compact swing enables him to do damage on most pitches. In 2012, he hit .344 on hits to left field, .412 on hits to center field and .424 on hits to right field. These three figures simply imply that Cabrera hits the ball where it’s pitched. Yes, it’s a simple approach, but it’s proven to be the most effective approach in baseball. The stats speak for themselves.

For Part 2 of the Top 10 Hitters Series (6-10) click here

Miguel Cabrera 2012 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Without Limitations, Is Stephen Strasburg In Line To Win The NL Cy Young Award In 2013?

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Monday February 11th, 2013

Stephen Strasburg is was5-6 (.714) with a 3.14 ERA and 197 in his 159.1 IP during the 2012 year . He was leading the NL in strikeouts, when the club shut him down.  As he is able to progress to over 200+ IP, there is no telling how many Cy Young Awards he cold win with his dominant stuff.

Stephen Strasburg was 15-6 (.714) with a 3.14 ERA and 197 in his 159.1 IP during the 2012 year . He was leading the NL in strikeouts, when the club shut him down. As he is able to progress to over 200+ IP, there is no telling how many Cy Young Awards he cold win with his dominant stuff.

By Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

Had the Washington Nationals not constrained Stephen Strasburg in 2012, there would’ve been a decent chance that he would win the Cy Young award in ensuing weeks. 

However, the Nationals regard Strasburg as their ace of the future, which is true.  So, they chose to put an Innings cap on the young flame-thrower, thus erasing his Cy Young hopes.

In 2013, the Nationals should take the chains off him, however. Of course, there’s still a chance that they don’t overuse him excessively, which would disable him from going deep into his outings on a regular basis. But, barring any in-season injuries, it’s unlikely that Washington will shut him down again.

After all, Washington’s goal is to assemble a championship team. Currently, there isn’t a better team than the Nats on paper, so they’re heading in the right direction. Strasburg is undoubtedly the anchor of their rotation, especially if Gio Gonzalez gets suspended for appearing in a Miami New Times report with a handful of Major leaguers including Alex Rodriguez

Stephen Strasburg Highlights 2012: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Chris Tillman: Was His 2012 Campaign A Fluke Or A Sign Of Things To Come?

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Friday January 18th, 2013

Chris Tillman went 9-3, with a 2.93 ERA in 15 GS during the 2013.  His return helped sparked the Orioles on a 2nd half run to a Wild Card Spot in the AL

Chris Tillman went 9-3, with a 2.93 ERA in 15 GS during the 2013. His return helped sparked the Orioles on a 2nd half run to a Wild Card Spot in the AL.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) 

Here’s an unsung hero behind the Baltimore Orioles’ magical 2012 season: Chris Tillman. No, he’s far from a household name, nor does he deserve to be, yet. However, if his 2012 campaign, where he posted a 2.93 ERA, is a sign of what’s to come, then some of the Orioles’ shortcomings on the starting pitching spectrum will be solved.

First thing’s first; you may be too reluctant to put credibility into Tillman, yet. I would agree that his stunningly good 2012 season basically came out of Left Field, as in his first three year’s in the big leagues, he compiled a mere 5.58 ERA and a BB/Per 9 IP rate of exactly four.

So yes, 2012 was an impressive season from the 24-Year-Old Right-Hander, but with his success came a sense of suspicion and bewilderment. Yeah, not the type of reaction a pitcher wants when he crafts a career-year.

Chris Tillman and his Pitching Mechanics:

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San Diego Padres Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Thursday January 10, 2013

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v San Diego Padres

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The San Diego Padres haven’t made a move that will conceivably make them contenders in a competitive National League West division. San Diego went 76-86 in 2012, which was good enough for fourth place in the NL West.

A move could still be made, and Padres’ pundits have went as far to suggest some type of signing and/or trade before Spring Training. Still, their aren’t a ton of options that would fit into their constrained payroll, especially after they signed Carlos Quentin and Huston Street to extensions.  They still have a decent bullpen anchored by Street and set-up man Luke Gregerson.

Pending a significant addition, San Diego should be a bit better in the win department. Some of their key starting pitchers will be returning from injuries, and a couple of top prospects could take the fast track to the Major Leagues and make an impact by season’s end.  Most notably, they will need Clayton Richard to improve to the next level, having won 14 games in 2 of the last 3 years – while holding an ERA under 4.00.  Eric Stults was the surprise of the Starting Rotation of last season – posting a 8-3 Record, with a 2.92 ERA in 14 Games Started.

More importantly, they went on a nice streak in the final few weeks in 2012. Perhaps this could fuel a hot start in 2013.

Let’s preview this young team.

Chase Headley2012 Highlights for the NL RBI Champion

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Juan Pierre: The Unappreciated Stolen Base Master

Thursday January 3rd, 2012

Juan Pierre was one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases.  Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons in his resume.  He also strikes out only about 1 time every 17 PA.

Juan Pierre is one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases (591). Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons on his resume. He also strikes out only about 1 time every 18 PA  (452 SO in 7950 PA).  He is a .297 Career hitter, with 2141 Hits and has scored 1039 Runs.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) //

Remember Juan Pierre? The guy who’s the definition of consistent? Yeah, that’s him. He now resides in Miami with a bleak Marlins’ crop of players. At 34-Years-Old, he is not entirely irrelevant, and could turn out to be a worthwhile signing for the Marlins. Yes I know, he’s not the big bopper that garners the media and headlines, but his career isn’t one to disregard.

Let me enlighten you…

For Pierre, it all started in Colorado where broke into the majors at 22 years of age, and instantly caught the eye of the baseball world thanks to a solid rookie year with the Rockies. After spending some time as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, he eventually overtook Colorado’s leadoff spot. He finished the season with a triple slash of .310/.353/.320, and swiped a modest seven bases.

Juan Pierre Feature Video-Beast Mode:

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Cleveland Indians 2013 Roster: State Of The Union

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Saturday December 29th, 2012

Cleveland_Indians

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The Cleveland Indians were nothing short of the laughing stock of the American League Central this past season. A hot started quickly turned into a hot mess, and their entire team went up into flames.

Now, with a new manager and a few hopeful offseason of moves, the Indians aren’t half-bad.

Let’s take a lot at a couple of the big questions in Cleveland:

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The Nationals Signing of Dan Haren To A 1 Yr Deal: Why It Is Still A Bad Move For Them

Monday December 17th, 2012

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Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)  

Starting pitching is already an obvious strength for the Washington Nationals. If that not evident to you, well, I’ll provide some stats. As a unit, the Nats’ starters combined to post a 3.40 ERA, and a 3.46 Fielding Independent Percentage (FIP). Both marks led the National League. Therefore, starting pitching should be labeled as their best strength.

However, Washington’s rotation became a bit slimmer when Edwin Jackson decided to part to greener pastures. Yes, technically he is still a free-agent, and the Nationals could technically prepare an offer for him. But the likelihood of that happening is about as little as can be.

Why?

Because Rizzo signed Dan Haren to a one-year, $13 Million Deal instead. OK, Haren’s reputation is surely a bit more reputable than Jackson’s. He is a three-time all-star, and has finished top-ten in Cy Young voting twice in his Ten Year Career. Meanwhile, Jackson is known to get a wild hair every so often, but has ace-esque stuff when he’s clicking. It’s just that his command is inconsistent. Read the rest of this entry

St.Louis Cardinals: The Middle Infield Could Bring A World of Problems in 2013

Wednesday December 12th, 2012

MLB: NLCS-St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)  

The Cardinals boasted one of baseball’s most dynamic offenses in baseball this past season. They could hit the long ball, for an average, and for extra bases. That trend should continue in 2013, as the same core of players haven’t moved, but the middle infield positions will separate their offense from being dominant.  Here’s a breakdown of the main problems at second base and shortstop:

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