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Daily Archives: November 22, 2016

Free Agent Michael Saunders Is the Best Value Fit for Giants, Phillies

Michael Saunders isn’t one of the flashier names in this year’s free agent class, but that doesn’t mean that he will not be an important contributor to a competitive team in 2017.

Saunders is coming off of the best year of his career. The 29 year old outfielder cooled off a bit in the second half, but he socked 24 home runs and hit .253 en route to his first All Star game as a member of the Blue Jays.

Saunders, a former Mariners 11th round pick, can handle both corner outfield spots and did a lot to dispel the notion that he struggles mightily against left handed pitching over the last 8 months: in 2016 he put up a .927 OPS and 8 homers against lefties.

That said, he’s a .235 lifetime hitter, who has never had more that 57 RBIs in a season and had never hit more than 19 homers before 2016. He is no longer a stolen base threat (he stole 21 in 2012), and has never produced more than 2.4 WAR in a season. He also missed most of 2014 and nearly all of 2015 with injuries.

So what are you getting if you sign Michael Saunders this winter? Well, you’re getting  a chance – a chance at some serious outfield power numbers (via both homers and doubles), a halfway decent OBP,  and a pretty consistent everyday player for the lower half of your lineup at likely a pretty decent price.

To continue reading about Michael Saunders’ fit with the Phillies and Giants, please click on over to Off The Bench Baseball.

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JFtC 2016 MLB Wrap Ups: Houston Astros

JAYS FROM THE COUCH BRINGS YOU 2016 MLB WRAP UPS. THIS TIME WE SIT DOWN WITH ASTROS COUNTY TO CHAT HOUSTON ASTROS.

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This MLB Wrap Up features James from Astros County as he gives us his take on the 2016 season the ‘Stros had. They finished 3rd in the AL West, 11 games back of the Texas Rangers and ended up missing the Wild Card spot by 5 games. Once again, Jose Altuve was a bright spot for Houston as he hit himself right into the mix of AL MVP considerations.

JFtC: If you could sum up the Houston Astros’ season in a paragraph, what would you say?

James: It was frustrating. Oh, a paragraph? Okay. For the first time in ten years Astros fans had some expectations about a legitimate postseason run…

READ FULL POST at Jays From the Couch

JFtC 2016 MLB Wrap Ups: Brewers

JAYS FROM THE COUCH BRINGS YOU 2016 MLB WARP UPS. THIS TIME, WE SIT DOWN WITH CHRIS ZANTOW TO GET INSIGHT INTO THE MILWAUKEE BREWERS

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This MLB Wrap features some great insight into a team we might not have been paying much attention to in 2016. Chris Zantow does a nice job of wrapping up the Milwaukee Brewers 2016 season for us. The Brewers finished well back of the race in the NL Central division at 73-89, 30.5 games back of the Cubs. They were also 14 games back of the Wild Card. That said, we can’t really call the season a disappointment if expectations weren’t that high to begin with.

JFtC:  If you could sum up Milwaukee’s season in a paragraph, what would you say?

Chris: The season was all about development of young players and seeing what General Manager David Stearns and Manager Craig Counsell could do with a full year in their roles…

READ FULL POST at Jays From the Couch

The Final Word on 2016: Boston Red Sox

It has only been a couple short weeks since the Cubs clinched game 7 in Cleveland on the 2nd November and ended their 108-year curse. Yet the ruthlessness of Major League Baseball is evident in the fact that Theo Epstein, just named Executive of the Year in the biggest understatement of the 2016 season, is already back to work.

The Cubs, clearly the best team in baseball, are once-again looking forward to next year, so think how the other 29 GMs must be feeling. As soon as Michael Martinez grounded one to Kris Bryant at third and the ball reached the mitt of a jubilant Anthony Rizzo waiting at first, the off-season began. But to move forward you must first reflect.

That’s the purpose of this series of posts, highlighting the highs and lows, strengths and flaws of each franchise in turn during 2016. From this we can begin to evaluate what each club’s offseason might look like, which gaps will be addressed first and who might upset the apple-cart in 2017. This week we’re starting with the AL East:

Boston Red Sox:

2016 recap: As a Red Sox fan myself it is challenging to know what to conclude about 2016. A resurgence was expected after the signing of David Price to headline the rotation, but a division title nevertheless proved a satisfying result for Red Sox nation. But the languid, tepid even, performances against the Indians confirmed a worrying trend of inconsistency during 2016. When the bats were hot this Red Sox squad was unbeatable, frequently putting double figures on teams throughout the year, but when the bats were cold… yikes. This might seem a harsh criticism of a young team on an incredibly strong bounce back year from being basement dwellers in 2015. But the postseason proved that this team is still some way from where it wants to be, even before losing David Ortiz.

Please click on over to offthebenchbaseball.com to continue reading about the Red Sox offseason agenda. 

The Final Word on 2016: Baltimore Orioles

It has only been a couple short weeks since the Cubs clinched game 7 in Cleveland on the 2nd November and ended their 108-year curse. Yet the ruthlessness of Major League Baseball is evident in the fact that Theo Epstein, just named Executive of the Year in the biggest understatement of the 2016 season, is already back to work.

The Cubs, clearly the best team in baseball, are once-again looking forward to next year, so think how the other 29 GMs must be feeling. As soon as Michael Martinez grounded one to Kris Bryant at third and the ball reached the mitt of a jubilant Anthony Rizzo waiting at first, the off-season began. But to move forward you must first reflect.

That’s the purpose of this series of posts, highlighting the highs and lows, strengths and flaws of each franchise in turn during 2016. From this we can begin to evaluate what each club’s offseason might look like, which gaps will be addressed first and who might upset the apple-cart in 2017. This week we’re starting with the AL East:

Baltimore Orioles:

2016 recap: A decision not to use star reliever Zach Britton in the AL wild-card has rightly left some Orioles fans wondering what might have been – and that’s a significant dampener on what was a successful 2016 for the Orioles. Securing third place in a super-competitive AL East and losing the lottery that is the wild-card game must not be considered a failure given the payroll situation in Baltimore, annually competing with the free-spending Red Sox and Yankees.

Please click on over to Off The Bench to check out the Baltimore Orioles’ offseason agenda.

5 Advanced Stats That Show The Best Could Still Be Ahead For Mike Trout

After bringing home the American League Most Valuable Player award for the second time in his young career, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is in elite company. But is there reason to believe the best is yet to come for the 25-year-old?

It doesn’t seem like he could actually get any better at this point, but some advanced statistics show that’s not an entirely crazy statement. Which is pretty crazy in itself.

With five full years in the big leagues under Trout’s belt, he’s already accomplished plenty:

The years he didn’t win the AL MVP? He placed second in the voting, which is the first time any player has done that to start their career. He also joins Barry Bondsas the only players to finish in the top two of voting for five consecutive years…ever.

Trout has played at an elite level since 2012 – the lowest fWAR he’s produced in a full season of play was 7.9 back in 2014. Him getting better sounds preposterous, but that’s exactly what Buster Olney said he’s doing last week on the Baseball Tonight podcast.

After looking at his year-by-year progression in the following five areas, it’s not hard to believe the best is yet to come for Trout.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 22, 2016

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Harry How/Getty Images North America

What team has the most pressure on them going into 2017?

It has to be the Dodgers, who despite a galaxy of stars could be going into their third decade without a pennant.

Bleed Dodger Blue on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

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