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Daily Archives: March 3, 2016

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 3, 2016

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Waiting for a doctor’s appointment, I look at a few more “what if’s” in baseball that would have affected the Orioles, Braves, Brewers, Mariners, Giants, Dodgers and who knows who else!

It is an HMO covered episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

 

 

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Nationals Are Banking On A Trio Of Players To Have Comeback Seasons In 2016

The Nationals have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years with 2012 and 2014 being sandwiched between poor 2013 and 2015 campaigns of failed expectations. With 2 .300 hitters fleeing the club this past winter, coupled with the loss of Ian Desmond to Free Agency, this club needs Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon healthy and on the field in 2016. If they struggle in production or health, the efforts of reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper will not matter.

The Nationals have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years with 2012 and 2014 being sandwiched between poor 2013 and 2015 campaigns of failed expectations. With 2 .300 hitters fleeing the club this past winter, coupled with the loss of Ian Desmond to Free Agency, this club needs Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon healthy and on the field in 2016. If they struggle in production or health, the efforts of reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper will not matter.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Bryce Harper fashioned one of the greatest years we have ever seen by a 22 year old, and the Washington Nationals still only finished with a 83 – 79 record – and plenty of victories behind the NL Playoff Bar.

Harper took home the MVP efforts, and has to be wondering if his supporting cast has his back for the 2016 campaign – if he can make it safely to base at least 300 times again like he did in 2015.

Perhaps the biggest factor Washington struggled down the stretch was injury.  Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t stay on the field – despite racking up a productive 74 RBI on 346 PA.

Denard Span missed 101 games, which is definitely too bad considering the squad was 36 – 25 in games he was featured in.

Jayson Werth never got on track after injuries plagued him early and often – and had his worst year in a decade – after finishing with top 18 votes for MVP in the previous two seasons.

2014 stalwart Anthony Rendon only mustered a half a season of injury riddled play at a .707 OPS after putting forth a Silver Slugger campaign – with a top 5 MVP vote the previous year.

Ian Desmond also had added a horrible 1st half of the year, before he corrected his problems at the plate, and stopped booting the ball around in the second half. Read the rest of this entry

An Interview With Former MLB’er Glenn Wilson

glenn wilson

Andrew Martin (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – baseballhistorian.blogspot.ca) 

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Only a small percentage of baseball players who sign or are drafted end up playing in the major leagues. Therefore, when a prospect pans out and goes on to have a solid career, it’s quite the accomplishment.

When outfielder Glenn Wilson became a professional player, he began with high expectations but more than lived up to them during his decade as a big leaguer.

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Texas Rangers Facing Same Roster Uncertainties In 2016 As They Did In 2015

Jim Cowsert, USA TODAY Sports

Jim Cowsert, USA TODAY Sports

Matt Musico (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – chinmusicbaseball.com) 

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With a shaky starting rotation and a rookie manager leading the way, few MLB analysts picked the 2015 Texas Rangers to make noise in the American League West…especially following a disastrous 67-95 record.

Their perceived postseason chances only sunk lower once Yu Darvish was lost for the year due to Tommy John surgery.

That’s why they play the game, though.

Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo bounced back from injuries, the starting rotation held together long enough before trading for Cole Hamels, and before we realized it, this team was crowned division champs with an 88-74 record.

Despite this unlikely turnaround and most of the same guys coming back for another year, both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus project them to finish with a record below .500 in 2016.

These projections were released before Ian Desmond signed to be their left fielder, but it’s doubtful there’d be a significant change.

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Cardinals Extend Kolten Wong

kolton-wong

Jen Rainwater (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – www.bbstmlb.com) 

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In an offseason where the St. Louis Cardinals tried to sell their city to every free agent out there – including outfielder Jason Heyward

Heyward spurned the Cardinals, who acquired him before the 2015 season from the Atlanta Braves.

The team and its players immediately began talking the team, the city and the fans up to Heyward in hopes that the soon to be free agent would want to re-sign with the team.

In the end Heyward decided to take less money to go to the Chicago Cubs. A lot of MLB free agents did the same this year including super utility man Ben Zobrist and most recently outfielder Dexter Fowler.

Perhaps it’s the Cubs’ young talented core and their good chance to finally win a World Series or two after a century-long drought. Perhaps it is that they like manager Joe Maddon‘s style.

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Mending Ties With Cuba Begins With Baseball

Angel Franco - New York Times

Angel Franco – New York Times

Jen Rainwater (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – www.bbstmlb.com) 

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The Tampa Bay Rays and even President Obama will be in Cuba later this month while the Rays take on the Cuban National team.  Something of this magnitude that has not occurred in almost 20 years, when the Baltimore Orioles played an exciting two-games series there in 1999. And even then President Clinton was not in attendance.

It is believed by many that the love and passion that the two countries share for the game of baseball will help bring them together. In part of a statement issued by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred he shared this sentiment saying that during this time of historic change,

“We appreciate the constructive role afforded by our shared passion for the game, and we look forward to experiencing Cuba’s storied baseball tradition and the passion of its many loyal fans.”

The Rays will fly into Cuba on March 20, hold an exhibition clinic on the 21st and play the Cuban National Team at Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana on the 22nd before returning home to the United States.

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