Daily Archives: January 18, 2017
We have been saying for years that the LA Dodgers were going to force the rest of the MLB into many changes as soon as they switched ownership group to the Guggenheim Consortium.
Since that proclamation, the Dodger Blue has spent over 1 Billion Dollars in players salaries over the last 4 years, and are on pace to whisk away $240 MIL more in 2017 (without adding any more players to their current salary structure.)
It has caused a chain reaction among the top clubs competing in the Senior Circuit. One of those said clubs is the San Francisco Giants. The team that has won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 has seen a rapid escalation in the money they are doling out on an annual basis.
The major difference between the Giants and Dodgers is how many of the players are being paid that the club originally drafted.
During last year’s Trade Deadline, also threw heavy praise at the brass for picking up Matt Moore, who is listed as the clubs 4th Starting Pitcher, and has 3 separate Team Option for a total of $25 MIL over the next 3 campaigns if picked up.
Another team friendly option as they can decide each offseason whether it is worth it.
Moore also provides protection in case Cueto opts out of his contract after 2017.
Despite winning the AL West by 9 games and winning 95 games in 2016, the Texas Rangers finished 22 out of the 30 MLB clubs in overall pitching with a 4.37 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. The Ranger’s pitching staff allowed a .260 batting average against to opposing hitters and a .424 slugging percentage. Texas finished in the middle of the pack (16 out of 30) in starting pitching with a 4.38 ERA. The Rangers may have won a lot of games in 2016, but their run differential was only +7. They didn’t beat their competition by much throughout the season and below average pitching could be contributed as a big factor.
PlateCoverage.com is giving away copies of “Baseball’s Most Baffling MVP Ballots,” by Jeremy Lehrman. Simply follow @plate_coverage on Twitter, and re-tweet the link below. They’ll hold a random drawing when they reach 500 followers, and again at 1000 followers. How easy is that?
— Plate Coverage (@Plate_Coverage) January 15, 2017
It has become an annual tradition around these parts for me to offer up my thoughts on each and every manager in the MLB. First, this started as a ranking and became one of our most popular posts. Since then, the manager reporting has morphed into a grading system on an A-F scale, with A reserved for only the cream of the managerial crop and F standing in for ‘Should be Fired.’
As usual with my mid-winter grades, I won’t offer any score for first time managers, but if a guy has managed elsewhere in the majors he’s fair game, even if this will be his first season with his current team.
Let’s get to it!
National League East
Dusty Baker, Washington Nationals: The first yer of the Dusty Baker era in DC went pretty well all things considered. Dusty did some Dusty things when it came to bullpen management and managing his pitchers’ workload but he handled that Trea Turner situation well. The Nats won 95 games and walked to the AL East crown but the team still couldn’t get over that NLDS hump. Until Baker does that, his job in Washington is incomplete. Grade: B
While sitting listening to 1970’s songs at the airport, I honor Curt Flood, who basically sacrificed his career to usher in the Free Agency era.
Waiting at the gate on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
Jays From the Couch sits down with two of the Toronto Blue Jays’ top prospects, Conner Greene and Rowdy Tellez
This past weekend the Toronto Blue Jays organization put together a wonderful treat for their fans in Buffalo, NY. In a joint effort with the Buffalo Bisons the event on January 24th, was held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo. Luckily, we here at Jays From the Couch were granted access to the event, and able to secure some excellent interviews with a few players.
Our first interview features a conversation with pitching stud, Conner Greene. With Greene finishing each of the last two seasons with Double-A New Hampshire, it is not unreasonable to determine he could start the 2017 season with the Fisher Cats. Should his progression remain steady a trip to Triple-A Buffalo, and perhaps a Toronto September call-up could be warranted. Greene discussed his progress and his new mentor.
CHECK OUT FULL INTERVIEW at Jays From the Couch
In our second interview, Rowdy Tellez talks to our Catherine Stem about his approach to hitting, coaching and much more! The addition of Rowdy Tellez to the Buffalo Bisons roster has some Blue Jays fans celebrating the talent coming up through the minor league system. Shaun Doyle wrote about his impressive season in New Hampshire with the AA Fisher Cats and The Toronto Blue Jays have certainly been keeping an eye on him. That has bred the hope that he could, sometime in the future, be a replacement of sorts for the power bat of Edwin Encarnacion, a point made by Ryan Mueller HERE.
CHECK OUT FULL INTERVIEW at Jays From the Couch
Handing out a lucrative, multi-year contract to a player is always risky for an MLB organization, no matter how much of a no-brainer it appears to be. That risk factor goes through the roof when it’s a 10-year, $240 million deal, like the one Robinson Cano signed prior to the 2014 season.
Outside of a dip in power, his first season in Seattle was a success. He hit .314/.382/.454 with 14 home runs and 82 RBI, producing a wRC+ of 137 and a 5.2 fWAR – the fifth consecutive year he surpassed 5.0.
It was the first half of 2015 when people likely started to freak out, to a degree.
He limped into the All-Star break with a lackluster triple slash of .251/.290/.370, accompanied by just 6 home runs, 30 RBI and an wRC+ of 86. Providing power as a second baseman had always been one of his best attributes, but a .118 first-half ISO showed that the only thing his power was doing was continuing to deteriorate.
Cano did start to look like himself again following the midsummer classic — he hit .331/.387/.540 with 15 home runs, 40 RBI, a wRC+ of 157, and most importantly, his ISO jumped back up to .209.
That second-half performance ended up being a sign of what was to come.
Were there any similarities between 2016 and his prime years in the Bronx from 2010-12 when Cano’s ISO never dipped below .214 while posting a .311/.370/.539 line with a combined 90 homers and 321 RBI?
Yes, but there are also some interesting differences showing how his game has transformed over the years.