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The Minnesota Twins Players, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly have been the only 2 men to manage the Twins in the last 27 years.  Having stability in the Manager and GM position lends itself for a proper run franchise in terms of on the field success.  The Twins will give Gardenhire the chance to rebuild with this club yet again.  Stocked with several young prospects, we could the club turn around to be a contender again in the next few years.

Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly have been the only 2 men to manage the Twins in the last 27 years. Having stability in the Manager and GM position lends itself for a proper run franchise in terms of on the field success. The Twins will give Gardenhire the chance to rebuild with this club yet again. Stocked with several young prospects, we could the club turn around to be a contender again in the next few years.

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

The Minnesota Twins have had 3 – 90+ Losses Seasons in a row.  This came right on the heels of the franchise having made the playoffs 6 out of 9 years.

All of those Post Season Appearances were made as Division Champions from the AL Central.

The Twins had enough smarts about them to understand where they were in the 1990′s.  The management knew the club was better off building within – rather than spending via Free Agency.

From 1993 – 2000, the team never finished better than 4th in the Division they played.  The club drafted really high for this time period, and had a nice renaissance by the time 2001 started.

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

Joe Mauer 2013 Highlights

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Minnesota Twins Organization: Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Sunday, June.23/2013

Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly have been the only 2 men to manage the Twins in the last years.  Having stability in the Manager and GM position lends itself for a proper run franchise in terms of on the field success.  The Twins will give Gardenhire the chance to rebuild with this club yet again.

Ron Gardenhire and Tom Kelly have been the only 2 men to manage the Twins in the last 26 years. Having stability in the Manager and GM position lends itself for a proper run franchise in terms of on the field success. The Twins will give Gardenhire the chance to rebuild with this club yet again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, May.02/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

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

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

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

MLB Reports Mid – Week Around The Horn Rant

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Thursday May.02/2013

The Blue Jays have not done much celebrating this year so far.  With a bloated payroll after the Miami Marlins trade, plus the struggles of R.A Dickey, the Jose Reyes injury and signed FA Melky Cabrera, the franchise has gone 10 - 18.  Sitting in 5th place in the vaunted AL East, the playoffs seem impossible to make

The Blue Jays have not done much celebrating this year so far. With a bloated payroll after the Miami Marlins trade, plus the struggles of R.A Dickey, the Jose Reyes injury – and signed FA Melky Cabrera not hitting well, the franchise has gone 10 – 18. Sitting in 5th place in the vaunted AL East, the playoffs would seem impossible to make.

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

I am officially throwing the dirt on the Toronto Blue Jays season.  You will want to listen to the 2 AND A HOOK Podcast today on this page here (posted tonight about 10 PM EST).

Point blank.  The Jays are 10 – 18 – and can’t leapfrog the other clubs in the AL East Division.  Last nights Lineup featured J.P. Arencibia leading the team in Batting Average – with a .250 clip.  Their Team Batting Average currently sits at .228, they don’t Walk and they never seem to come up with a big hit.

What is worse for the Canadian franchise is that their pitching was supposed to be solid.  R.A. Dickey has found that pitching in the AL East is not like pitching in the NL East. 

 Mark Buehrle is having a tough time missing bats back in the American League too. 

Josh Johnson has been bad so far as well.  Now he has been placed on the 15 Day Disabled List.  Who knows if he will be healthy to pitch even after that.

Like I said in the Weekly Rankings on Monday – this club doesn’t have the chops to play .625 baseball for the rest of the remaining schedule.ESPN currently has them at a 4.4% probability for making the playoffs.

The team will play for John Gibbons job, potentially to break .500 – and respectability the rest of 2013 and nothing more.

Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays last week (Part of a 4 game Sweep)

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How The Weather Plays A Factor At Target Field

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Wednesday April 3, 2013

Target Field was a must need for the Twins a few years ago. The HHH Metrodome just was not getting the job done, much like Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. The weather was and still is the one downside because during the games early in the season the weather can get low with wind being able to rattle the ball around in the air.

Target Field was a must need for the Twins a few years ago. The HHH Metrodome just was not getting the job done, much like Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. The weather was and still is the one downside because during the games early in the season the weather can get low with wind being able to rattle the ball around in the air.  The Twins used to be among the leaders in the American League in Home Batting Average and Extra Base Hits – now it is a struggle for the offense to maintain itself.  The park is even more of a factor than injuries to Mauer and Morneau have been.

By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer):

When the Minnesota Twins left the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 2010 they had great intentions. The ball getting lost in the ceiling would be gone and the Baggie in Left Field would no longer play a factor.

They moved to a beautiful new home, still in Minnesota, going by the name of Target Field. Like all stadiums when they were first built, it is one of the nicest looking stadiums in the MLB.

There is only one problem with the new field. It is outside. In Minnesota. You are not going to get the nice weather like you would in Florida or Los Angeles. And having games there this early in the season can sometimes make it incredibly cold during the first couple weeks of the new campaign.

Time Lapse of Target Field Being Built:

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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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Philadelphia Phillies Player Roster in 2013: State of the Union Updated Mar.1/2013

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Update: Friday March 1, 2013

If the "Big 3" in the Phillies rotation could repeat their 200+ IP and Sub 3.00 ERAs from 2011, the Phillies will be a force to be reckoned with.  If all of they duplicate their Career Win Percentages - they could net the team 60-70 Wins from just their 100 starts whether they are around for the decision or not.

If the “Big 3″ in the Phillies rotation could repeat their 200+ IP and Sub 3.00 ERAs from 2011, the Phillies will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013.  Also, if Halladay, Lee and Hamels duplicate their Career Win Percentages  for their Careers (415-234, – .635) – they could net the team 60-70 Wins from just their 100 starts.  If the other 2 starters just go .500, you could see a 90-100 Win Season.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): 

2012 was a disappointing year for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they saw their stranglehold on the NL East diminish to the point that they missed the playoffs for the 1st time since 2006. In fact 2012 was the 1st time since ’06 that someone other than the Phillies won the NL East. The team is also not that far removed from a World Series championship which they won in ’08. In 2012 with the emergence of the Washington Nationals, and the re-emergence of a very capable Atlanta Braves organization, the Phillies found themselves finishing with an 81-81 record, only good enough for 3rd in the division.

The Phillies saw themselves selling at the trade deadline, moving OFs Shane Victorino, and Hunter Pence, followed by a waiver induced trade of Joe Blanton. Make it clear though, Philadelphia plans to compete for the NL East again in 2013, made evident by their off-season moves. They are an aging team of veterans, with a depleted farm system, so this year might be their best chance to get back to the promise land and play some October baseball. The Phillies have a lot of money committed to players, so hopefully what they have on their current 40 Man Roster is enough.

Philadelphia Phillies Highlights 2012:

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Minnesota Twins Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Friday February 1, 2013

Mauer is the highest paid player on the Twins gathering $23,000,000 every year through the 2018 season. He is the face of the Twins. He is going to be dangerous if he can continue to hit like he did in 2012.

Mauer is the highest paid player on the Twins gathering $23,000,000 every year through the 2018 season. He is the face of the Twins. He is going to be dangerous if he can continue to hit like he did in 2012.  Only trailing Pujols in Lifetime Average amongst Active Hitters (.325 to .323), Mauer should take over this Category relatively soon.

Kyle Holland (MLB Reports intern):

In 2012, the Minnesota Twins had a very below average season, disappointing many Twins fans. Coming off an atrocious 2011, they were looking for a good season ahead of them. Who could blame the fans, right? They had some key players coming back after an injury stricken summer in 2011. They were coming back healthy and nothing could stop the Twins from returning to the playoffs. But all was not well as they only had 3 more Wins than in 2011. It’s not like their payroll was even that small either. They were in the middle of the pack with a $94,085,000 payroll. That’s only slightly less than the White Sox and the LA Dodgers, both very close to playing in October.

This year, it appears the Twins payroll has actually dropped. Right now, their 2013 payroll is $73,050,000, considerably less than 2012. Mauer is really their only superstar on the Twins, with Morneau close behind him. On the mound, Carl Pavano just got hurt slipping on his driveway while shoveling snow so he won’t be ready for at least the start of the season, probably longer. Glen Perkins can be used as a starter when needed or be taken out of the bullpen so he’s a solid player to have in the Twins’ pitching repertoire.  They also received Vance Worley from Philadelphia recently and if he can pitch like he did in 2011, he is going to be a man the Twins fall in love with. So with all of these solid players on the Twins, let’s take a look at the Twins 2013 payroll.

Joe Mauer 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is advised:

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What Happened To The Once Competitive Twins? Can They Turn It Around?

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Thursday January 17, 2013

After very disappointing seasons in 2011 (63-99) and 2012 (66-96), the Twins look to rebound in 2013.

After very disappointing seasons in 2011 (63-99) and 2012 (66-96), the Twins look to rebound in 2013.  The Twins were a model franchise from 2002-2010.  They won the AL Central Division in 6 out of the 9 years – and one of the years they didn’t win the Division included a 1 Game playoff loss to the White Sox in 2008.  Will 2013 be a return to competitiveness or end up as another rebuilding year?

Kyle Holland (MLB Reports intern):

In 2010 the Minnesota Twins seemed like they would be having themselves a good club in upcoming years. To start off the exciting season they opened up a brand new stadium. Target Field has quickly become one of the most beautiful stadiums in all of baseball. The team ended up with a 94-68 record, quite impressive considering Justin Morneau was knocked out for the remainder of 2010 with a concussion on July 7. They reached the playoffs coming in first in the AL Central proving they didn’t need Morneau to be a successful franchise. They got swept by the Yankees in the ALDS for the second straight year. Even though they were swept, nobody was ignoring the regular season record. It seemed as if they had years to look forward too.

So now comes the 2011 season. Fans had big hopes for their Twins the summer of 2012. No injuries coming into opening day and they had made some moves in the offseason. They signed Japanese shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka to fill a whole in the middle infield. Carl Pavano and Jim Thome were also resigned by Minnesota. 2011 looked like it would be a year like 2010 for the Twins.

Awesome Stop Motion Video from a Twins Fan at Target Field

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MLB Player Profile: Phillies CF Ben Revere

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Wednesday January 16th, 2013

Ben Revere would be best suited to hit in the 2 slot behind Jimmy Rollins this year, as he makes great contact (1 SO/Per 10.7 PA) , yet he doesn't walk much.

Ben Revere would be best suited to hit in the 2 slot behind Jimmy Rollins this year, as he makes great contact (1 SO/Per 10.7 PA) , yet he doesn’t walk much.  Revere has a 3 Slash-Line of – .278/.319/.642 for his career heading into the 2013 year.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The 28th pick of the first round in the 2007 Amateur Draft, Ben Revere was regarded as one of the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects. He made his Major League debut in 2010 at age 22 and played in 13 games for the Twins that season. The next year, Revere spent most of his time in the Majors playing in 117 games and hitting .267. With Revere, the Twins had some speed at the top of the lineup. On December 6th, 2012, Revere was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May. After trading Shane Victorino to the Dodgers and Hunter Pence to the Giants, the Phillies had some gaps to fill in their outfield, and Revere was just the right guy.

Ben Revere 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is advised

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Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Sunday January 15th, 2012

Sunday January 15th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

Q:  Any news on moves for Derrek Lee & Casey Kotchman? With Yanks recent pitching acquisitions, does Boston pursue Roy Oswalt more aggressively?  Rick

MLB reports:  Great questions Rick.  No and no are the answers.  Sorry!  To answer your first question: Lee and Kotchman are plans “c” and “d”, if that, for contending teams.  Teams on the rise would prefer to use younger players at first base. So the market for both is limited at best.  Both Lee and Kotchman will need to fight to get full-time jobs.  Kotchman will find something based on his solid 2011 campaign.  Perhaps a return to the Rays is in order.  Lee on the other hand, is getting on in years.  I could see him retiring at this point, or in a year from now.  It just depends on how desperate some teams are to get a veteran presence on their team and if trust is there for either player.  With regards to Oswalt, I see him signing very soon.  Boston could use him, yes, but I am not sensing a fit.  The top teams for his services appear to be the Rangers and Jays.  At 1-year and $8 million, he will likely have 20+ teams pursuing him.  Boston does need Roy Oswalt in the worst way at this point. He would help stabilize a rotation that needs his presence. But this decision will come down to geography and fit for the player.

 

Q:  Is Jesus Montero- Victor Martinez good?  How far is J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud from Montero?  Derek

MLB reports:  The Montero questions begin!  I made the comparison on the trade of the trade that Montero was comparable to V-Mart and I stand behind that one.  Carlos Santana is another good comparison.  Extremely strong bat, will hit for high average with good pop.  Glove is questionable.  Montero will be good, I am just on the fence on whether it will happen in Seattle.  The  hope is that with a young team, he will blossom into a superstar. It will depend on whether he feels any pressure to live up to replacing Michael Pineda and ends up putting too much pressure on himself. He seems like a confident young man, so he should do well.  The V-Mart threshold is a high one to reach.  But we are definitely talking in the same category.  Now d’Arnaud and Arencibia are a different story.  Being based in Toronto, I get asked on these guys often. Here is my take put simply.  Arencibia is a good guy, with good power in his bat.  He is popular in the clubhouse and seen as a developing defensive catcher. His liabilities are his low average, high strikeouts and inability to take a walk.  A .219 AVG and .282 OBP don’t cut it in my book.  If JP doesn’t develop, he will become the Rob Deer of catchers.  Travis d’Arnaud, on the other hand, may not have JP’s power (debatable), but he will definitely hit for a much higher average.  He also will need to learn to take walks and cut down on strikeouts, but he should be more consistent offensively than Arencibia.  Defensively, I have heard mixed things- but both will stick at catcher.  So defensively, both Arencibia and d’Arnaud are above Montero.  But Montero’s bat is far superior to either of the other guys.  He is major league ready now to hit, while JP and Travis are still learning to hit consistently.  If I had to rate each, I would give Montero an 8/10, d’Arnaud a 6/10 and Arencibia a 5/10.  Montero is far ahead, with only d’Arnaud having the best chance to close the gap.

 

 Q:  Do the Phillies really expect Ryan Howard to be fully “baseball ready” before June 1st?  Old Man Mack

MLB reports:  LOL.  That is the hope sir.  If I had to be a fly on the wall, I bet the Phillies are hoping that he will be ready before that.  But if the Kendrys Morales injury has taught us anything, is that you never know how some of these freak accidents will heal.  My crystal ball sees Howard back after the All-Star break.  Unless he is 110% healed, why risk it?  His long-term health and productivity are at risk.  I would not be shocked if Howard took longer to heal and had to miss all of 2012.  But chances are that he will be back, just not till sometime in July or August of 2012. If he is back sooner, he better be ready…or a setback could be around the corner.  I would say the bigger question is how long he stays in the lineup, rather than when he is back.

 

Q:  What are the Tigers chances on Yoenis Cespedes?  Michael

MLB reports:  The Cespedes rumors are flying fast and furious. The teams that have been most linked to him are the Marlins and the Tigers.  There have been stories of 5 teams, 10, 20…all sorts of numbers thrown around about this guy.  Now, people are questioning why he is playing winter ball and in fact hurting his stock.  My gut feel is that there isn’t as high of a demand for him as people suspect and that teams are cautious at throwing big money at an unknown quantity. But even if he doesn’t put up the best numbers this offseason, it has to be considered that he is rusty and been away from the game for some time. People should not expect Babe Ruth immediately, just to view his tools and to see if the mechanics are there. I like the Marlins chances best at signing Cespedes.  Team Latino gets a 50% chance of landing Cespedes, with the Tigers at roughly 20%.  

 

Q:  Does Vance Worley come back to earth in his sophomore season?  Justin

MLB reports:  Nah man, Vance never left!  Just kidding, but I know what you mean. Vance Worley was unbelievable in 2011, with an 11-3 record, 3.01 ERA and 1.230 WHIP.  His won/loss record will depend largely on his offensive support and bullpen, so that we will leave to fate somewhat. I see Vance throwing quality strikes and keeping his walks low. He will not be an ace, but he will be very steady. He has the minor league track record and has already proven himself at the highest stage (in one of the most pressure filled environments, Philadelphia).  Expect some regression, but not too much. Vance Worley is the real deal. A sophomore jinx should be avoided, but he will still take time to develop.  Remember he is only 24-years of age.  By year 3 or 4, expect a stud 20 game winner to emerge. 

 

Q:  With the new players eligible for the 2013 Hall of Fame class (Bonds, Clemens, Sosa etc.): will any be inducted?  Ken

MLB reports:  Ken. Ken. Ken. Mr. I say that Tim Raines MUST be inducted. :) He is back for more… Just playing with you Ken, you know we love ya.  48.7% of the vote Ken, I guess the voters aren’t all sold…yet.  Here is my knock on Raines- get ready.  Played 23 seasons. Not a bad thing in its own right. But definitely inflated some of his numbers. 980 RBIs.  So he averaged less than 50 a year. 1571 runs scored. For 23 years played, not fantastic. A hall of fame leadoff man should easily be scoring 100+ per year, even on poor teams. Raines only did it 6 times. .294 AVG and .385 OBP.  Very good. Like those numbers. The man did not hit many doubles or triples. He was basically a singles and stolen base machine.  Now go check out our man Vince Coleman. Both in their primes, they were one of the top stolen base threats. Raines got more hits and got caught less stealing. But then Coleman appears to have attempted more stolen bases. Raines played longer and ultimately had the stronger career. But in the prime years, I can’t say that Raines was that much more spectacular than Coleman. Raines is very good and will get into the hall of fame the Jim Rice route. But it is not the Hall of Very Good. It is the Hall of Fame. 

Now with your true question: Will any of the new eligible players be inducted into Cooperstown in 2013?  The candidates are Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa, Schilling, Biggio and Lofton.  I can tell you right now, based on Palmeiro and McGwire’s poor standings, that there is no chance in heck that Bonds, Clemens or Sosa are getting in.  No way.  No how.  The ones I see getting in are Biggio and Piazza. Secretly, I have fantasized at night about Biggio and Bagwell getting in together. It was just meant to be. If Bagwell does not get in next year, then he will have to wait for some time. I feel next year will be his year. Piazza has to get in as a 1st ballot hall of famer. The numbers he put up as a catcher demand it. Next year is the year that hall of fame voters get their true test. If Piazza is out, then the hall of fame will really have to sit down and work out a better set of criteria for voting. The writers are going to feel like they are on a raft without paddles…it is time to fix the voting mess once and for all. Are these guys hall of famers or not? Let’s lay down the law and be done with it.  No more fence-sitting. 2013 will be a big year for sure.

 

Q:   Over/under 13.5 psychotic episodes in Miami?  Sam

MLB reports:  Under.  Way under!  I think you will see maybe 5-6 big blow ups. Carlos Zambrano will get into 1-2 confrontations. Hanley will explode about the position change once.  LoMo will have one twitter incident.  Ozzie will have a couple of issues likely develop. Apparently the Miami Marlins are being considered for the baseball reality show this year. If that happens, watch out. That will be Grade A television!!!

 

Final Q:  Will the Brewers be able to win the central despite losing Prince and no Braun for first 50 games?  Eric

MLB reports: My brain says no and my heart says maybe. The reality is that the Brewers are in tough. Very tough. The loss of Prince will be huge (when it happens) and same with Braun if the suspension is upheld. But even with those guys, the Brewers would still be in tough. The Cardinals, even with the loss of the Pujols and La Russa and absence of Duncan would still be a strong team.  The Reds though are the team to beat, as they are frontrunners to take the NL Central this year. The Brewers still have Greinke and Gallardo, so they have a chance. But I just see the Reds as the class of the division this year. The Cardinals are going to regress and will have a tough time defending their title. But without their main offensive stars, the Brewers go from stars to ordinary. The window appears to be closing on the Brewers… and opening for the Reds in 2012.

 

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

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