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Daily Archives: March 31, 2016

Dallas Keuchel’s Brilliant Spring Training May Pave The Way For Another Cy Young Season In 2016

Dallas Keuchel was the best pitcher in the American League for 2015. He won the Cy Young by posting a league leading 20 Wins. 232 Innings and and worked to a 1.017 WHIP. The brilliant LHP is under team control for the next 3 years in Arbitration. The 28 Year old also finished 5th in MVP Voting, made the ALL - Star Game and reeled in his 2nd straight Gold Glove from the Pitcher Position. His 2.48 ERA was 2nd in the AL to David Price, and he led the Majors in WAR (7.2)

Dallas Keuchel was the best pitcher in the American League for 2015. He won the Cy Young by posting a league leading 20 Wins. 232 Innings and and worked to a 1.017 WHIP. The brilliant LHP is under team control for the next 3 years in Arbitration. The 28 Year old also finished 5th in MVP Voting, made the ALL – Star Game and reeled in his 2nd straight Gold Glove from the Pitcher Position. His 2.48 ERA was 2nd in the AL to David Price, and he led the Majors for Pitchers in WAR (7.2).

Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com)  

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Dallas Keuchel should be viewed as a top tier option in all fantasy leagues in 2016. He has proved over the past two seasons that he is a reliable option and is continuing to improve.

The key for Keuchel to take the next step in fantasy leagues is to continue to see an increase in his strikeout rate. He increased this rate from 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 2014 to 8.4 per nine innings in 2015.

If Keuchel can continue this trend and increase his strikeouts closer to 9 per nine innings in 2016, then his value will rise dramatically. As mentioned earlier, Keuchel has the supporting cast behind him to score runs, but he also has a great defense and a dominant bullpen behind him for support as well.

All of these factors will come into play in 2016 and will help his cause to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards and lead the Houston Astros to a World Series title.

Dallas Keuchel will open the season for the Houston Astros on the mound against the New York Yankees on April 4th at 1:05 PM EST. To read the rest of the article, please click the link below:

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Pablo Sandoval + His $17 MIL Contract Will Ride The Pine This Year To Start In Boston

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Ground Rule Triple Blog (Featured BBBA Website – groundruletriple.com) 

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Red Sox manager John Farrell has announced that 2-time All-Star third-baseman Pablo Sandoval will begin the season on the Red Sox bench. Travis Shaw will begin the season at the hot corner.

Just last offseason, Sandoval signed a monster deal with Red Sox leaving behind the San Francisco Giants who he won multiple World Series with. Sandoval will make a whopping $17 million while on the bench (at least initially). He still has $75 million over four years left in his contract.

Sandoval commented that it’s the right decision, and manager Farrell commented that Shaw’s defense was key for this surprising decision. The Red Sox have shown that past lucrative contracts given by former management will not dictate the lineup.

This post will be updated as we get more updates. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, did you see this coming? Any thoughts on Sandoval on the bench?

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Milwaukee Baseball History – 50 Years Ago: The Opening Day that Wasn’t

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Chris Zantow (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – chriszantowauthor.wordpress.com)

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In early April, 1966, Milwaukee County Stadium sat silent for the first time since 1953. It was a quiet time in Milwaukee baseball history – and certainly no April Fools’ Day joke.  The field didn’t need any special attention, stadium workers weren’t hired for the season, and concessions weren’t purchased.  The Braves skipped town after the 1965 season and there would be no professional baseball played in the Cream City for the first time in 80 years.

Tickets were sold in Atlanta for the 1966 season starting in January of that year.  The team was caught between two state court injunctions.  In Wisconsin, Judge Elmer Roller ordered the team to play in Milwaukee until a replacement franchise could be obtained.  Judge Sam Phillips of Atlanta issued a temporary injunction that called for the Braves to play games that season in Atlanta.

Braves owner, insurance industry executive Bill Bartholomay, acknowledged both injunctions in interviews. Yet he said, “The Braves fully intend to honor our contract with the Stadium Authority and all our larger obligations to the citizens of Atlanta, of Georgia, and the entire southeast, as the Braves have always honored our agreement with the county of Milwaukee.”

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The Cardinals Way: A Book Review From The Latest Howard Megdal Masterpiece

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

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To the uninformed, the game of major league baseball may look simplistic. You run; you throw; you hit; and at the end of a game, a winner is determined.

However, as fans know, an enormous amount of work goes into each franchise and how they cultivate and maintain their organization from year to year. Some teams have greater track records than others, and there are few that can match what the St. Louis Cardinals have done over the years.

Howard Megdal has thrown the curtain back and provided a glimpse behind the scenes at what makes the team click with his recent work, The Cardinals Way: How One Team Embraced Tradition and Moneyball at the Same Time (Thomas Dunne Books- an Imprint of St. Martin’s Press).

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Spring Training Standouts: AL West

Robinson Cano enters year 3 of a 10 season contract.  So far his arrival has not corresponded into a playoff birth.  The Mariners now hold the longest playoff drought in the Major Leagues. The Second Baseman will need to return to a MVP caliber style of play if the franchise wants to be players in the AL West.

Robinson Cano enters year 3 of a 10 season contract. So far his arrival has not corresponded into a playoff berth. The Mariners now hold the longest playoff drought in the Major Leagues. The Second Baseman will need to return to a MVP caliber style of play if the franchise wants to be players in the AL West.  Cano was awesome in the second half of last year – and with his 3 HR game the other day, has been equally as impressive in Spring Training this March. He is one a few guys we zeroed in on. 

Ground Rule Triple Blog (Featured BBBA Website – groundruletriple.com) 

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Next up is the American League West! Let’s take a look at each team and see their spring training stars!

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As the Pirates Lurch Forward Towards Opening Day, The Debate Over The Everyday Lineup Continues

pirates+logoJason Rollison  (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – pbcbreakdown.com) 

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With John Jaso now seemingly entrenched at the top of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ lineup, coupled with Andrew McCutchen pointed towards remaining in the number two slot, many observers now wonder what the rest of the batting order may look like against the Cardinals on April 3rd.

Despite the focus on the top of the order, it may be the bottom of the order that can take a step forward for the club.

In 2015, the seventh and eighth hitters for the Pirates performed reasonably well.

There are a couple of interesting notes when considering the Pirates’ performance form the bottom two spots in the order.

First, the 114 rating for wRC+ (weighted runs created +) led the NL from the seventh spot (100 is considered an “average” score). This will likely continue for 2016, as we will see shortly.

From the eighth spot, the wRC+ rating of 93 might seem underwhelming, yet only two teams in the NL had a rating of 100 or more. The St. Louis Cardinals were far and away the most productive in this regard, with a 110 rating.

2016 will likely be another story completely, as the changes at the top have ramifications that will be felt all the way through the order. While Pedro Alvarez‘s free swinging ways often led to his insertion in the lower third, his departure and a re-focusing on quality at bats results in a case of addition by subtraction.

If spring batting orders over the past week are any indication, Jordy Mercer, Gregory Polanco or Josh Harrison could be reliable bats at the 7th spot.

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San Diego Padres Show How Much Things Can Change In The Span Of A Year

A.J. Preller has been really active trying to replenish his prospect pool after making a big splash in his rookie offseason.  The Padres finished a dismal 74 - 88.  At least he recognizing the error of his ways - and trying to eradicate his mistakes.  He dealt his two best Relievers already, stockpiling 6 prospects in return.

A.J. Preller has been really active trying to replenish his prospect pool  this year after making a big splash in his rookie offseason last year. The Padres finished a dismal 74 – 88. At least he recognizing the error of his ways – and trying to eradicate his mistakes that he made from putting up a squad that was saddled with injury riddled players.

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

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The first full year of A.J. Preller’s tenure as San Diego Padres general manager has basically been a roller coaster of emotions. With Opening Day just days away, it’s interesting to see how the narrative about the club has changed so drastically from the year before.

Upon getting hired in August 2014, San Diego’s biggest need was pretty clear: breathing life into an anemic offense that ranked last in runs scored (535). In the boldest way imaginable, Preller completely transformed the lineup by acquiring players like Matt KempJustin UptonDerek Norris and Wil Myers.

However, as we’ve seen in recent years, the winners of the offseason very rarely end up being winners of the World Series come October. That trend continued with the Padres, who missed the playoffs with a disappointing 74-88 record.

The goal of improving the offense was achieved (650 runs scored, 23rd-best in MLB), but not necessarily by leaps and bounds. The pitching and defense also suffered in the process.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 31, 2016

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Abel Images – Getty Images

More from Pullman, Washington. The Blue Jays are no longer going to have the infield cutouts in the Rogers Centre. A part of 1970s and 1980s nostalgia is now over.

It’s a pining for MY good old days episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast
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