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What Masahiro Tanaka’s Injury Means For The Yankees In 2014 + 2015

With Masahiro Tanaka out for at least 6 weeks with a UCL tear, the Yankees are dealing with 4/5ths of their opening day rotation now on the DL - with their 5th starter (Kuroda) having struggled in the 2nd half of 2013.  The club is barely at .500, and must realize their is an opportunity to reset the 50% Luxury Tax Threshold to 0, by slashing some payroll via trades in the next 3 weeks.  The worst thing this organization could do would try to salvage this year, like they did in 2013, by adding payroll, flipping prospects, for an ill-advised playoff run that the odds are stacked up against.

With Masahiro Tanaka out for at least 6 weeks with a UCL tear, the Yankees are dealing with 4/5ths of their opening day rotation now on the DL – and their 5th starter (Kuroda) having struggled in the 2nd half of 2013. The club is barely at .500, and must realize there is an opportunity to reset the 50% Luxury Tax Threshold to 0, by slashing some payroll via trades in the next 3 weeks. The worst thing this organization could do would try to salvage this year, like they did in 2013, by adding payroll, flipping prospects, for an ill-advised playoff run that the odds are stacked up against.

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

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I have talked at length about the Yankees precarious position of defining whether or not they are contenders or not, and whether they should seek selling off some assets, to fall below the $189 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold – or if the franchise should run at a postseason berth in Derek Jeter‘s last season.

Seeing that Masahiro Tanaka will be out for at least 6 weeks with a partially torn UCL on his pitching arm, and possibly be out with Tommy John Surgery afterwards, this season outlook is becoming bleak.

Even with the Japanese superstar throwing at a premium level, the club would have a longshot chance to make the playoffs – and do some damage. Read the rest of this entry

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Beane Spins Magic Again In World Series Quest: Picks Up Samardzija + Hammel For Straily + Prospects

Billy Beane - and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 - without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A's GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel. Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  With the team's core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now.  The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (Tj Surgeries).

Without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A’s GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel.  Going the other way are: Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Dan Straily and cash compensation, or a PTBNL. With the team’s core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now. The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (TJ Surgeries).

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

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Billy Beane knows his current squad’s best chance to win the World Series now.

He has upped the ante, by acquiring  Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for highly rated SS Addison Russell, SP Dan Straily, and young prospect OF Billy McKinney, with a player to be named later or cash finalizing the deal at a later date.

I like this move…rather I love this move.

The A’s GM saw what happened to his club the last few weeks when matched against the pitching of the Tigers, and knew he had to bolster his team for the stretch – to replace A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker, who both went down to Tommy John Surgeries this campaign. Read the rest of this entry

Should The Orioles Make A Blockbuster Deal Before the Deadline?

The Orioles are kicking around the top of the AL East, and may have three players that crack 30+ HRs by years end with Cruz, Jones and Davis.  The team hasn't even had normal contributions from Hardy and Machado - while Matt Wieters is out for the year.  The time to strike is now with just being behind the AL East by 2 Games, and in barely trailing for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

The Orioles are kicking around the top of the AL East, and may have three players that crack 30+ HRs by years end with Cruz, Jones and Davis. The team hasn’t even had normal contributions from Hardy and Machado – while Matt Wieters is out for the year. The time to strike is now with just being behind the AL East by 2 Games, and in barely trailing for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As July rapidly approaches, the Orioles find themselves in the middle of the competitive AL East division trying to make a run at a division title in 2014.

Although the team finds themselves currently in second place in the division, the O’s have seen inconsistency throughout the first half of the season.

There are definitely places where the team can improve before the July 31st trade deadline, but the question remains of whether or not Dan Duquette and the Orioles front office want to part ways with some of the club’s promising young talent for a possible rental player.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How All Of The Diamondbacks Hitters Were Acquired (2014 Roster Tree)

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How All Of The D’Backs Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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The Diamondbacks are having a brutal season at 30 – 44 thus far, and are now under the microscope of Tony La Russa.

This has to be done for good reason.  The club’s transaction record recently is highly suspect even though they are being led by veteran GM Kevin Towers.

When covering this Roster Tree (just for the hitters) I have found a disturbing trend of 2 team and 3 way trades that may not be beneficial to the long term success for the snakes.

The 1st one coming to mind is shipping out Trevor Bauer, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers for a fringe 1B prospect in Lars Anderson, Reliever Tony Sipp and shortstop Didi Gregorius (even though Chris Owings was already in the system). Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – May 14, 2014

Lenny Ignelzi/AP

Lenny Ignelzi/AP

It is my birthday, and more than anything, I’d like to see some pitchers get healthy!

And if you are lucky enough to have a pitcher who is great and young and you are in a pennant race… go for it!

That and more on the birthday edition of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

David Price, Miguel Cabrera, Bronson Arroyo, Curtis Granderson, David Ortiz, Ubaldo Jimenez, Emilio Bonifacio and Mike Leake all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball.

 

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Oakland Keeps The Magic Elixir Running With Pitching Staff In 2014: Lead The AL In Wins

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core - and rotation for the 2014 year.  Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parke - Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against).  Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff.  he also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons.  Once again the "Moneyball Man" looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core – and rotation for the 2014 year. Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parker) + Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against). Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff in 2014. He also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour – not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons. Once again the “Moneyball Man” looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane knows how to construct a Pitching Staff on a shoe string budget.

Not enough Pitching with double TJ Surgeries to A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker to have slowed the Rotation? Nope.

What about the loss of Bartolo Colon?  Hell no, that big guy is sporting an ERA of over 5.50 in an easier NL hitting league.

Scott Kazmir a risk?  Nope, wrong answer again thus far. The recipient of a 2 YRs Deal worth $22 MIL is a lot of money doled out from the A’s organization for a Free Agent Hurler.

All the 30 Year Old LHP has done in 2014, is lead the AL with a WHIP of 0.974, carried forth a 5 – 1 record, and a sparkling 2.28 ERA to date.

How about sophomore Sonny Gray having a tougher time peddling through the league for a second time?  Not a chance.

Gray is 3rd in the AL – with an ERA of 2.17, and has a 4 – 1 record himself. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 Divisions: Colorado Biggest Jump As A Favorite

Matt Wieters is off to an outstanding start to the 2014 season, and it would be a crying shame if the Catcher had to be shelved with a position player Tommy John Surgery.  The 27 Year Old Veteran has slashed .341/.374/.560 with 5 HRs and 18 RBI so far this campaign.  Wieters has one more year of Arbitration Eligibility before he hits the open market in 2016.  If Wieters is injured but could still play, he may be the Full Time DH for the rest of 2014.

Matt Wieters is off to an outstanding start to the 2014 season, and it would be a crying shame if the Catcher had to be shelved with a position player Tommy John Surgery. The 27 Year Old Veteran has slashed .341/.374/.560 with 5 HRs and 18 RBI so far this campaign. Wieters has one more year of Arbitration Eligibility before he hits the open market in 2016. If Wieters is injured but could still play, he may be the Full Time DH for the rest of 2014.  If he is cleared to play tonight, the O’s would be right up there with the Rays for value in terms of gambling who will win the AL East.  New York and Boston simply don’t pay enough.

 

Odds To Win The 2014 Divisions

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2 weeks ago I wrote my last Division Odds piece. You can read that article here. 

I jumped on board the odd for the Colorado Rockies at +1800 for the NL West.  Everyone was still buying into the San Diego Padres more.

 With the early season slumping for the Dodgers, and injury woes, I liked the Rox value at the clip it was at.

Fast forward to today, and the odd is now at +750.

In the AL East, I talked about the Orioles doing a good job weathering the storm before Manny Machado was back.

This club still hasn’t received steady contributions from an injured Chris Davis, or a slumping Adam Jones, but they sit tied for 1st place with New York.

I would have picked them to be the best bet again this week in the AL East, except for the Matt Wieters UCL deal has me worried.

When has a visit to Dr. Andrews translated well lately?

In my article here today, I have highlighted my pick from last post, and I how I fared.  The bold picks represent who I think is the best value play for the $ wagered. Read the rest of this entry

More Tommy John Surgeries By The Numbers + Who Is the 1st $100 MIL Pitcher To Go Down With It? + A Scherzer Angle?

 

Yes Max Scherzer wrapped up the AL Cy Young with a most impressive season in 2013, but the club will be hard pressed to lock up his services beyond the 2014 campaign - when you factor the team wants to re-sign Cabrera in 2016, and also the club is already spending upwards of $45 MIL per year on Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez as part of the Starting Pitching Staff.  The team just put out a press release saying 'The club gave a substantial offer, that would have made the RHP, one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball, and he doth refused it."

Yes Max Scherzer wrapped up the AL Cy Young with a most impressive season in 2013, but with TJ surgery becoming so common place with today’s chuckers, who would want to risk that kind of jack for a pitcher one throw way from being sidelined for 12 – 14 months?  In my view it was a mistake not to accept the $$.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): – Credit to Bill Chuck For the Idea:  

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I think Max Scherzer should have taken the contract offer the Tigers threw his way this past weekend.  Reports say it was in the Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke range of 6 YRs/$144 – $147 MIL.

So now that the reigning AL Cy Young Winner didn’t take the deal, he must hope to replicate his 2013 campaign, or at least come some where near it.

Do I think he could make more on the open market, potentially yes.  But for a guy who has never been under a 3 ERA in any one given year, that is a tall order.

Also keep in mind his arm could sideline him with an injury at any point, so there is an inherent risk to not taking the deal.

One of out every 3 Major League Pitchers will go undergo Tommy John Surgery.

If you don’t think this procedure is an epidemic, go follow our ALL – Time TJ Surgery Tracker here.

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Atlanta Braves State Of The Union 2014: The Hitters

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are the future of this team.  Having said that, Freeman has displayed a little bit more consistency in his play to start their Careers.  In 1908 AB so far (about 3 full years), Freeman has a 3 Slash Line of .285/.355/.466 with 68 HRs and 280 RBI.  2013 saw him make his 1st ALL - Star Game, and finish 5th in NL MVP Voting by going .319/.396/.501 - with 23 HRs and 109 RBI despite missing 15 games.

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are the future of this team. Having said that, Freeman has displayed a little bit more consistency in his play to start their Careers. In 1908 AB so far (about 3 full years), Freeman has a 3 Slash Line of .285/.355/.466 with 68 HRs and 280 RBI. 2013 saw him make his 1st ALL – Star Game, and finish 5th in NL MVP Voting by going .319/.396/.501 – with 23 HRs and 109 RBI despite missing 15 games.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Braves won 95 Games in 2013, and the NL East was a runaway by 9 games over Washington.

This was done even though of paltry numbers posted by Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, and a half year with Jason Heyward hitting underneath the Mendoza Line.

The game changer for the offense was a surprise performance by 3B Chris Johnson, who contended for the NL Batting Title for the better part of the whole year.

Evan Gattis and Brian McCann also hit near 20+ HRs each for just about a seasons worth of Plate Appearances out of the Catchers position.

Justin Upton charged out of the gates in April with 12 HRs, and then after going cold in the next 3 months. bounced back in August to take a run at it again.

The younger brother to B.J., had stretches were he carried the club. Read the rest of this entry

The MLB Opens On Saturday With ARI/LAD Playing In Sydney: Opening Series Prediction

The Dodgers open up the year against the DBacks in the MLB Opening Series.  For those hardcore home fans, the games start at 1 AM PST and 7 PM PST on Saturday.  Look for an article on Friday that will have an in depth look at some of the bets that will be available for this 2 game set.  This series does scream a split between the feel of a Doubleheader, and the weirdness of the neutral site and country.

The Dodgers open up the year against the DBacks in the MLB Opening Series. For those hardcore home fans, the games start at 1 AM PST and 7 PM PST on Saturday. Look for an article on Friday that will have an in depth look at some of the bets that will be available for this 2 game set. This series does scream a split between the feel of a Doubleheader, and the weirdness of the neutral site and country.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It should have been Clayton Kershaw vs Patrick Corbin in Game #1, and Zack Greinke and Trevor Cahill in Game #2 in Sydney this Saturday.

While technically it is two different days in Sydney, the games are held at 4:00 AM and 8 PM EST on Saturday Mar.22.

For those brave enough to watch the early game, it is listed as Kershaw vs TBD (MLB.com not listing it, although Miley has been named., and Game #2 is listed as Hyun-jin Ryu vs Trevor Cahill. Read the rest of this entry

The Braves Continue To Step Up To The Plate In The Ervin Santana Signing

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a move that had to be done in my view.  Atlanta has 60% of its Starting Rotation currently in the sick bay, or has questionable thoughts to whether it could pitch near Opening Day.

In the end it is a Win/Win situation for all above.

The Braves acquire a top end of the rotation guy, and it serves as great insurance, and Santana is able to play for a full season trying to re-establish his worth on next winter’s open market.

Sure Atlanta sacrifices a 1st RD pick, but they are still receiving the compensation Pick from the Yankees for the Brian McCann signing.

Santana flies right out the American League, and will look to pad his stats versus the likes of the Mets and Marlins this year, and to avoid the AL Beast, the only teams that were coveting him that he mutually was talking with Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings MAR 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Okay, not much has changed in the last month.

They are about 20 unsigned Free Agents left in the open market pool, Baltimore inked Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez – and Chris Capuano is with the Red Sox, Paul Maholm replaces him LA for the 2014 campaign.

Of note of the things I am watching in Spring Training.  The Dodger Blue is also experiencing many injuries – and Yasiel Puig showed up to camp overweight.

LA is talking about not sending Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to Australia in a few weeks.

I can understand with the RHP because he was yanked after four pitches last week, but withholding your star ace from the season opener, and possibly the North America starter the following week. Read the rest of this entry

Atlanta Braves Payroll in 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season.  When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins.  With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014.  Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash - to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves.  Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again.  These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season. When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins. With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014. Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash – to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves. Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again. These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart/Payroll Expert)

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The ‘Tomahawk Choppers’ have 2 players that are killing them for Free Agent signings this winter.

B.J. Upton is only in the 2nd year of his 5 YRs/$75 MIL – and underachieving Dan Uggla  is still on the  books for 2 more years.

Between these 2 gentleman, they will bring down $26.25 MIL in 2014.  The Braves are hoping for more than under the ‘Mendoza Line’ Batting Averages – and an occasional big fly.

The Braves are also headed to Arbitration with Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel.  This is certainly bound to cost the organization a pretty penny.

In fact, those 3 players will likely exceed the amount of the B.J Upton and Uggla contracts.

Craig Kimbrel 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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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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Tommy John Surgeries Between 1974 – 1999

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

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DR. FRANK JOBE, who will turn 87 in the summer of 2012, is a renowned orthopedic surgeon who revolutionized the medical care and prolonged the careers of baseball pitchers with his groundbreaking tendon transplant procedure now known as the “Tommy John” surgery.

In 1974, Dodgers pitcher TOMMY JOHN was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his left (pitching) elbow, apparently ending his career.

In an experimental surgery, which he estimated at the time as having 1% odds for a successful outcome, Jobe transplanted a tendon from John’s right forearm to his left elbow.  

Tommy John Surgeries List from 2000 – 2013 here.

What is Tommy John Surgery?

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The Atlanta Braves State Of The Union – Fall 2013: Part 1

2013 was not an easy road traveled either. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

2013 was not an easy road traveled for Atlanta. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

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At the point after Eric O’Flaherty went down, many of us Braves fans began to panic and wonder how Fredi Gonzalez would get the ball to arguably the best closer

in all of baseball Craig Kimbrel. What happened after that? The Braves would still go on to post the best bullpen ERA in all of baseball and on top of that set a franchise record for the same mark.

Jason Heyward missed significant time as did Brian McCann. Freddie Freeman spent a couple of weeks on the disabled list and still drove in over 100 runs on the season.

BJ Upton and Dan Uggla struggled throughout most of the 2013 season and BJ was one of the players expected to make a huge impact when he signed with the Braves this winter and it just never happened.

Other players stepped up and young players assumed roles that were well beyond the original expectations of them in 2013.

No one panicked and no one quit and as a fan I am appreciative of the heart and effort this team always put forth.

The Dodgers Celebrate winning the NLDS Series versus Atlanta (At Turner Field)

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The Braves Win The NL East For The 1st Time Since 2005: The Team Is Way Different From Early 2013

The Braves won 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 - 2005, that culminated in 5 World Series Visits, with cashing in for the Trophy in 1995, however other than a Wild Card Berth (2010), and a Wild Card Play In Game (that they both lost), the club has not seen playoff success for the past 14 years.  The Bravos will have a full NLDS Series to claim another chance at a NLCS Pennant, for the 1st time since 1999.

The Braves won 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 – 2005, that culminated in 5 World Series Visits, with cashing in for the Trophy in 1995, however other than a Wild Card Berth (2010), and a Wild Card Play In Game in 2012 (that they both lost), the club has not seen playoff success for the past 14 years. The Bravos will have a full NLDS Series to claim another chance at a NLCS Pennant, for the 1st time since 1999. Atlanta is still duking it out with the Dodgers and Cardinals for overall home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and have a 0.5 Games Lead over St. Louis (2 game lead over Los Angeles) with just 5 games left.  This would be extremely ‘vital’ to the club – as the team sports a (MLB best) record of 53 – 23 at Turner Field – compared to 40 – 41 on the road this season.

By Hayley Howell (Featured Baseball Writer + Braves Enthusiastic Fan)  

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The first fourteen years of my life (1991-2005) the Braves won consecutive division titles (the best run in MLB to date). They were the first team in the NL to go from last place to first place the next year (“Worst to First”).

They went to the World Series. (1991 was the first time that the home team won all 7 games of the World Series-too bad Atlanta wasn’t the home team).

On my first trip to the local library after moving downtown twenty minutes from home I quickly discovered there were only two Braves books in the whole four floors:

The Miracle Season and a book by John Smoltz that I wish I could remember the title of because I read that thing like it was a holy canon that summer.

I know the Braves beat the Astros 6-5 a few hours after I was born, and I think, in baseball astrology terms, that meant I was destined to become a Braves fan.

The first World Series I was alive for was the Braves and the Twins, not as if I could remember it, but I know that people still argue over the bad call that supposedly caused the Braves to lose, as if one call among thousands could determine a game much less a series.

And for fourteen years consecutively the Braves won their Division (of course the 1994 Season was cancelled, negating the only time the season ended, without them atop the NL East Standings – Montreal was leading that year).

Braves Clinch The NL East

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Pressure Building For Pirates; Cardinals Winning Again – But Face Tough Schedule Coming Up

Cardinals

The Cardinals are only (12-15) since the All-Star Break in mid-July, far off the pace from their Major-League leading (57-36) record in the first half of the season. However, the recent series win over the Pirates gives the fans hope that the Cardinals can overcome their tough month and still win the NL Central Division.

By Landen Crouch (Cardinals Correspondent)

Early last week, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates twice in a crucial mid-August three-game series.  

It was most definitely a thrilling series that saw two extra-inning walk-off singles (one on Tuesday by Adron Chambers in the 14th inning, and one Thursday afternoon by Matt Holliday in the 12th inning).  

The Cardinals definitely could have used a sweep in the series, but two out of three is the next best thing.

Over the weekend, the Cardinals took two of three on the road against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.  And then they topped that off with a come-from-behind win at Miller Park on Monday night to beat the Brewers 8-5.

Cardinals Walk-Off On Pirates in 12th:

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Blue Jays Looking To Make Moves At The Deadline

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Wednesday July.31/2013

The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 season hasn't gone as planned after the winter that they had. Picking up names like Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and R.A Dickey to go along with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion you would think they would be in contention for a division title. That is not the case as they are last in the American League East. The question now is if they will trade some of the big names at the deadline at 4:00 EST today.

The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 season hasn’t gone as planned after the winter that they had. Picking up names like Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and R.A Dickey to go along with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion you would think they would be in contention for a division title. That is not the case as they are last in the American League East. The question now is if they will trade some of the big names at the deadline at 4:00 EST today.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer):

Today at 4:00 EST is the trade deadline. It is one of the most exciting days of the Major League Baseball season because you find out if your favorite team traded for a superstar.

If you don’t have a favorite team but a favorite player you find out if he has a new home as well. The players might think about it differently but for us fans it is exciting. 

The Toronto Blue Jays made a blockbuster trade this winter picking up Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Emilio Bonifacio. It hasn’t worked out as planned and they are looking to move some players according to reports.

Let’s not forget they also signed Melky Cabrera and R.A. Dickey this past winter. According to reports the biggest name from the Jays that has the possibility of getting moved is Bonifacio. Let’s not forget about Buehrle as well. He also has a chance to be moved. 

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 17

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Sunday July.21/2013

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates.  Will this team make some moves at the deadline - to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings?  Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign?  They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates. Will this team make some moves at the deadline – to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings? Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign? They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.  The Cards have made 7 out of the last 12 NLCS showdowns – holding a 3 – 4 record in those years – and a 2 – 1 mark in the World Series.

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

The Tampa Bay Rays are making a huge statement.  Even as I write this post, they have a commanding 4 – 1 lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, which would make the 58 – 41, and no worse than 1.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox heading into play tomorrow.

The Rays will head to Fenway Park right after this for a four game series – before concluding a 10 game Road Swing at Yankee Stadium.  They could end up in 1st place in the AL East by next week.

With their pitching strength – and new underrated offense, would anyone pick against them for the rest of the season?  I have slotted them 7 positions higher than the previous week.

Chris Carpenter 5 months ago, He is now rehabbing in the Minor Leagues with a chance to come back in 2013 – Amazing!

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Cy Young Candidates: AL + NL

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Wednesday July 17, 2013

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for their club. He looks to be doing it again in 2013 as he has already won 10. It is the first time in his career that he has won 10 games before the All-Star Break. In 138.2 innings pitched he has struck out 140 batters and has an excellent 2.53 ERA.

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for their club. He looks to be doing it again in 2013 as he has already won 10. It is the first time in his career that he has won 10 games before the All-Star Break. In 138.2 innings pitched he has struck out 140 batters and has an excellent 2.53 ERA.

By Ryan Ritchey (MLB Reports Writer)

The Cy Young Award is always a fun award to predict. There are always three or four great pitchers from each league that could deserve the award. But in the end only one person can get that award and that is why it is so fascinating.

This season is no different. There are three players in my mind from the American League that deserve to be candidates for the Cy Young Award.

Those three players are Bartolo Colon of the Oakland A’s, Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers, and Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners.

Who is the front runner? Here is who I have…

First is the King, Felix Hernandez. Every season since he came into the league at the age of 19 in 2005 he has gotten better mentally and physically.

As a young pitcher, he would get frustrated easily on the mound and it would go downhill from there. This season it looks as if he has got his emotions under control and just goes out and pitches.

Hernandez is 10-4 with a 2.53 ERA in an even 20 starts. This is the first season he has won 10 games before the All-Star Break in his nine year career.

Those numbers right there are a lot better than his 13-12 Cy Young season in 2010. He always seems to stay right around a .500 record but I think this is the season he breaks out and wins 20 games for the first time.

There is just one more player better than him that deserves the award more than the King.

Bartolo Colon 2013 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Please Use Parental Guidance Here

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Five Cardinals Named To The National League All-Star Team

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Sunday, July 14th, 2013

 All five of these Cardinals are absolutely well deserving of the honor to be called National League All-Stars.  These five players are crucial to the success of the St. Louis Cardinals have lived up to the pressures that lie with being a St. Louis Cardinal.  They always seem to find a way to get the job done and be respectable leaders in the club house.  With these guys around, the future of the St. Louis Cardinals is very bright. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game can be seen on FOX, Tuesday night at 8:00 PM ET.

All five of these Cardinals are absolutely well deserving of the honor to be called National League All-Stars. These five players are crucial to the success of the St. Louis Cardinals have lived up to the pressures that lie with being a St. Louis Cardinal. They always seem to find a way to get the job done and be respectable leaders in the club house. With these guys around, the future of the St. Louis Cardinals is very bright. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game can be seen on FOX, Tuesday night at 8:00 PM ET.

By Landen Crouch (Cardinals Correspondent)

One week ago, Major League Baseball released the rosters for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, which will be held in New York City.  On the roster for the National League are five members of the St. Louis Cardinals, the most representatives by any single team for the 2013 mid-summer classic.  

Catcher, Yadier Molina; First Baseman, Allen Craig; Second Baseman, Matt Carpenter; Outfielder, Carlos Beltran; and Pitcher, Adam Wainwright were among those selected to represent St. Louis Cardinals.

So far, 2013 has been a phenomenal year for the Cardinals, heading into the All-Star Break with the best records in all of baseball. So, obviously, some things have gone right for this team.

 These five players have been crucial to the success of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013 and are well deserving of their spots in the game.

National League All-Star Team Announced:

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The Cardinals And Pujols Will Be On The Same Field Again

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Monday, July .1st 2013

albert_pujols

Albert Pujols led the St. Louis Cardinals in nearly every statistical category for over a decade. He was well on his way to being touted the greatest Cardinal of all-time, which would be a substantial honor given the history of the franchise. But all of that changed when the man from Kansas City shocked the baseball world and packed his backs for Anaheim, California on December 8th, 2011.  Since signing the 10 Year Deal with the Angels, Pujols has regressed both years in OPS (.859 in 2012, .752 in 2013 – which pales in comparison to his St. Louis Career OPS of 1.037 – or even his 2011 campaign of a .906 mark. It looks like letting Prince Albert go was a great decision!

By Landen Crouch (Cardinals Correspondent)

After a year and a half, 243 regular season baseball games, and 13 Postseason games, the time has finally arrived.  The St. Louis Cardinals and Albert Pujols will finally be on the same baseball field again.  

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will host the St. Louis Cardinals at Angel Stadium on Tuesday night at 10:05 ET.

I believe that at this point, Cardinals fans have moved on from the sting of the Pujols situation.  This is not the same level of hatred as the LeBron James saga in his return to Cleveland.  But, in a way, it is similar.  

Pujols signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (of California of the United States of North America of the Northern Hemisphere…etc) shocked everyone.  No one saw it coming.  It was literally as if he packed his bags and snuck out in the middle of the night.

Pujols tells reporter “[St. Louis] is where I wanna be.”

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St. Louis Cardinals: Mid-June Report

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Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are 20 games over .500 in their first 70 games. In 2005, the last time the Cardinals won 100 Games in a season, the team also started 45-25.  Even after dropping Game #71, the St. Louis team holds the best record in the MLB – and hold a 2.5 Games lead over the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central.

By Landen Crouch (Cardinals Correspondent)

Seventy games down.  Twenty games over .500.   A record of 18-9 against National League Central Division opponents.  The St. Louis Cardinals have been a model of success thus far in 2013.  

May was a record-setting month for the St. Louis Cardinals, tying the franchise record for most wins with a whopping 20 victories.  So far this season, the St. Louis Cardinals are playing as good of baseball as they have played in years.  

They are well on pace for a 100-plus-win season.  For Cardinal fans everywhere, this season has been a ton of fun to watch.  

Just how good are these St. Louis Cardinals, though?  

Cardinals Mash 5 Home Runs In Route Over Diamondbacks:

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

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Monday, June.17, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Red Sox 2013 Draft Recap

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Monday, June.10/2013

A look into the Red Sox Draft Room

A look into the Red Sox Draft Room. The Red Sox were aggressive in drafting the best talent they could, and trying to get their bonus pool to lineup in order to sign some of this talent, but how much will they be able to actually sign? Some people also say they might have reached on 1st pick Trey Ball as he was considered by many as more of a middle 1st round talent, but if you believe in a player you have to take him where you are. There is no trading draft picks like in other sports. I think their best pick was Jon Denney, but they really did have a great all-around draft in my opinion.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

The First-Year Player Draft in the MLB (also known as the “Rule 4 Draft”) can make or break organizations. Drafting well will provide sustainability for even the smallest market teams, but drafting poorly could leave any team in a drought of epic proportions.

The Red Sox have had some good and some bad picks in recent drafts, but the 2011 draft was the end of the draft as we previously knew it. 2012 was the 1st year of a new draft system.

So before I get into the 2013 draft I want to talk a little about the Red Sox 2012 draft because not only is that draft over, but the signing period is over and the prospects are all in the Minors developing, so you can see a team’s strategy and how is working out so far.

I won’t get too into the rules of the new system because that could warrant a whole article itself, but feel free to ask any questions about it that you have and I will answer. I’m easy to get a hold of via twitter usually.

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Braves Bullpen Burnout

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Monday, May.27/2013

Isn't it funny who times change, the Braves used to be the model franchise when it came to health of their Pitching Staff.  Now it seems that every year there are a couple of guys going down with Tommy John Surgery.  What is going on?

Isn’t it funny who times change, the Braves used to be the model franchise when it came to health of their Pitching Staff. Now it seems that every year there are a couple of guys going down with Tommy John Surgery. What is going on?

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

I don’t want this article to become one that is filled with stats and numbers. I don’t want to go into the details of the past season, this season or any other season. All this is about is discussing an often misunderstood entity of the game of baseball. The major league bullpens.

The topic of bullpens rarely turns into a heated debate even by baseball’s biggest fans. People are far more focused on the starting rotation and the position players that play every single day.

It’s rare for there to be a block buster bullpen signing or trade that really gets the juices of baseball fans going and the names in each bullpen are barely recognizable to most baseball fans.

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Jorge De La Rosa Is Re – Establishing Himself As A Front Line Pitcher

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Tuesday May.14/2013

The NL Pitcher of the Week (as named by our website only was Jorge De La Rosa - who flirted with a no - hitter in one game - en route to 2 Wins, 13 Scoreless IP, a .114 BA against and WHIP of  0.69.  If the Colorado pitcher keeps this up, he may be in the running for NL Comeback Player of the Year.

The NL Pitcher of the Week (as named by our website only was Jorge De La Rosa – who flirted with a no – hitter in one game – en route to 2 Wins, 13 Scoreless IP,  a .114 BA against –  and WHIP of 0.69. If the Colorado pitcher keeps this up, he may be in the running for NL Comeback Player of the Year.  What was is even more impressive are his 2013 numbers  at Coors Field – the hardest park in the Major Leagues to throw in.  He has authored 12 scoreless Innings Pitched – while carrying a WHIP of 0.667.  As you will see in this article, the man has been a brilliant performer in the high altitude air of Denver for his Career.

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

In 2009, Jorge De La Rosa was a 16 – 9 Pitcher for a WildCard Rockies club.  He was emerging as the teams #2 pitcher behind Ubaldo Jimenez.  He put in a Career best 193 Strikeouts in 185 IP. 

After a decent 2010 campaign, the man started the year 5 – 2 – with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.186 WHIP in 2011 .  The team also started the 1st month atop of the Division – with the man from Mexico starting the campaign 4 – 0.

On 24 May 2011, the man suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, and underwent Tommy John Surgery.

2012 was a complete write off for De La Rosa as he recovered from his injury.

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Triple Play Podcast Ep #8 – Bucs And Nats Time In The Around The Horn Feature

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Monday, May  13th, 2013

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

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

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

Guests in this Podcast – MLB Reports Nationals Correspondent David Huzzard of Citizensofnatstown.com ( and MLB Reports Pirates Correspondent Brad Cuprik

On a Mother’s day edition of the triple play podcast we heed the advice of our mother’s and turn the lemon of our original guest being unable to join us into the lemonade of Bard Cuprik of mlbreports.com  (Check out his latest Roster Tree piece – where he goes through the 6 degrees of separation of a how each pitcher arrived in a Bucs uniform here ) – and David Huzzard of the Citizens of Natstown podcast (and Writer) dissects the pitching and the Nationals start to the 2013 Season. Read the rest of this entry

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