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San Diego Padres In 2014: Maybe Without Headley And Volquez?

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Triple Play Podcast Special Trade Deadline Edition

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Monday July 29th, 2013

One trade that could be exemplary of what the Padres need to do is the Hunter Pence trade from the Astros to the Phillies. The Phillies had an abundance of young prospects, and the Astros were in a situation similar to that of the Padres. The Astros got Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singelton, and Josh Zeid for Pence, cash, and a PTBNL. Headley might not carry the same value that Pence did at the time, but I’m sure that the Padres could get a similar deal to the one that the Astros got.

One trade that could be exemplary of what the Padres need to do is the Hunter Pence trade from the Astros to the Phillies. The Phillies had an abundance of young prospects, and the Astros were in a situation similar to that of the Padres. The Astros got Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singelton, and Josh Zeid for Pence, cash, and a PTBNL. Headley might not carry the same value that Pence did at the time, but I’m sure that the Padres could get a similar deal to the one that the Astros got.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

After the San Diego Padres looked promising in the early months of 2013, the team has finally come back down to Earth.

The team looked like it might contend for an NL West title – or a Wild Card about 45 games into the season, but from then on, the season went downhill.

In this feature, I’ll discuss at what the team could look like next year if Chase Headley and Edinson Volquez wind up elsewhere.

This year, Chase Headley has not been anywhere close to what he was in 2012.

Last season, the Padres third baseman was a legitimate MVP candidate, driving in 115 runs (Led NL – and had 73 after the ALL – Star Game) and hitting 31 HR.

This season, he started off on the DL and came back to hit only 8 HRs with 33 RBI while only hitting .238. This performance is a far cry from 2012.

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San Diego Padres: Within Striking Distance

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Tuesday June 18th, 2013

Within the first 12 games of the MLB season, the baseball world, after watching the San Diego Padres struggle, knew the team was headed for yet another rough year. This still might be the case. But, currently, the Padres sit just one game back from the top of the National League West standings. The team carries a 36-34 record—a record that many would deem impossible to achieve after watching the team start off 2-10.  Bud Black has seen his time ascend to near the top of the NL West by going 34 - 24 in their last 58 games played

Within the first 12 games of the MLB season, the baseball world, after watching the San Diego Padres struggle, knew the team was headed for yet another rough year. This still might be the case. But, currently, the club sits just one game back from the top of the National League West standings. The team carries a 36 -34 record —a record that many would deem impossible to achieve after watching the team start off 2-10. Bud Black has seen his time ascend to near the top of the NL West by going 34 – 24 in their last 58 games played.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The NL West is not exactly living up to expectations, though. The Dodgers are having a disaster year with Matt Kemp, the team’s superstar, spending time on the DL. Hanley Ramirez, whom the Dodgers acquired last season to provide offense, has spent all but a few games on the DL. Carl Crawford, who the Dodgers expected to be healthy this year, has also caught the injury bug. 

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Why Is He Hitting Second? – The MLB Has Had A Changing Of What The 2 Hitters Role Is

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Tuesday June 4th, 2013

 Bautista, hitting second for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, is hitting .268 with 12 HR and 29 RBI.These are not exactly the numbers that a person expects to come out of the two-hole hitter. In a lineup, the two-hitter should have some pop and should be able to drive in runs, but is really supposed to get on base. The team is really sacrificing him some RBI chances.  Why not flip him to the  3rd spot, move EE to 4th with - and put a hot - hitting Lind (.323/.410/.937) in the 2 hole?

Bautista, hitting second for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, is hitting .268 with 12 HR and 29 RBI.These are not exactly the numbers that a person expects to come out of the two-hole hitter. In a lineup, the two-hitter should have some pop and should be able to drive in runs, but is really supposed to just get on base. The team is really sacrificing him some RBI chances. Why not flip him to the 3rd spot, move EE to 4th with – and put a hot – hitting Lind (.323/.410/.937) in the 2 hole?

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Why is [insert name of team’s best hitter] in the two-hole?—a question many confused fans are asking about their team’s lineup. It is interesting. A few teams—the Yankees for some time, the Blue Jays, the Twins, and the Angels are slotting a player who people would normally see in the three-hole as the number two hitter. I’ll take a look at the Blue Jays first.

One can make the case that Jose Bautista is the best hitter on the Toronto Blue Jays. Edwin Encarnacion had a great year last year and is staying on that pace, but ‘JoeyBats’ has been consistent for the past few years.

The two-hitter should mostly make contact and move runners over if needed.  Them also being Left-Handed enhances the chance to hit one through the hole created by the First Baseman holding on the Leadoff hitter –  if on base.

He also needs some speed. Bautista definitely has the pop part, but you will not see him lay down a bunt to get the leadoff guy over. I know the Blue Jays are struggling, but should he really be hitting in the two-hole?

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Toronto Blue Jays: All Offense?

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Tuesday May 28th, 2013

Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays lineup, and all from the Dominican Republic. In their first year as teammates on the Blue Jays, and one of their first spring training practices, have already become a close trio. Dominican slugger Jose Bautista is missing from this photo, but is the 4th piece of this dazzling 1-4 combination.  The Jays’ offense has been a completely different story. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the two leading hitters on the team, have 11 and 13 HRs, respectively. Bautista is hitting .291 and Encarnacion is hitting .247, which is not the best, but his power makes up for it. Encarnacion has also driven in 38 runs while Bautista has driven in 27. Melky Cabrera has not been the same person as he was last year with the Giants, but he is still hitting .287.

Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays lineup, and all from the Dominican Republic Dominican slugger Jose Bautista is missing from this photo, but is the 4th piece of what was supposed to be a dazzling 1-4 combination this year. But Jose Reyes was hurt and the Jays’ offense has been a completely different story. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the two leading hitters on the team, have 11 and 13 HRs, respectively. Bautista is hitting .291 and Encarnacion is hitting .247, which is not the best, but his power makes up for it. EE has also driven in 38 runs while Bautista has driven in 27. Melky Cabrera has not been the same person as he was last year with the Giants, but he is still hitting a respectbale .287.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

When Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays set out last winter to improve the team, no one could have predicted what is happening currently.

Anthopoulos brought in R.A. Dickey, the reigning NL Cy Young, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle. Ricky Romero struggled in 2012, so he started the season in the minors, and Brandon Morrow remained in the rotation.

The Jays also had a tremendous hitting lineup to build on with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Brett Lawrie.

Jose Reyes arrived as part of the Marlins trade and Melky Cabrera was signed through free agency. Although the Blue Jays are saddled with being in one of the strongest divisions in baseball, they were the favorite on paper.

Over the course of a few games, all this was thrown out the window. Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes got injured, Melky Cabrera got off to a slow start, R.A. Dickey was not in his Cy Young form, and the team was not playing the way everyone had expected. Now, some could say, the Blue Jays are all offense.

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Mark Reynolds And Asdrubal Cabrera: What To Make Of The Club In Cleveland

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Wednesday May 15th, 2013

 was Arbitration Eligible in 2013 and could have been offered it by the Orioles, instead they let him walk, He was great insurance for First and Third Base and they should have kept him for one more year." src="https://mlbreports.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/a-a-a-mark-reynolds.jpg" width="604" height="408" /> Mark Reynolds was Arbitration Eligible in 2013 and could have been offered it by the Orioles, instead they let him walk, He was great insurance for First and Third Base and they should have kept him for one more year.  He likely would have made in the 1 YR/$11 MIL Range.  Instead the club opted to try Nolan Reimold and a cast of others for the positions available.  The Orioles DH slot is hitting well under the Mendoza Line at the time of this article.

was Arbitration Eligible in 2013 and could have been offered it by the Orioles, instead they let him walk, He was great insurance for First and Third Base and they should have kept him for one more year.”  Mark Reynolds was Arbitration Eligible in 2013 and could have been offered it by the Orioles, instead they let him walk, He was great insurance for First and Third Base and they should have kept him for one more year. He likely would have made in the 1 YR/$11 MIL Range. Instead the club opted to try Nolan Reimold and a cast of others for the positions available. The Orioles DH slot is hitting well under the Mendoza Line at the time of this article.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The Cleveland Indians are off to a hot start, sitting just one game back of the Detroit Tigers atop the AL Central. In their last 10 (through Tuesday) they are 7 – 3. Most of this is due to Mark Reynolds.

So far this year, he is hitting .272 with 11 HRs and 32 RBI. This puts him on pace to hit 50 HRs and drive in  close to 15o Runs. Of course, there is no way that he drives in 151 runs, but I think it is possible that he could hit 40+ HRs.

He would have to stay hot the entire season and not get injured, so I would say there is about a three percent chance that he does so. His career highs in HRs and RBI came in 2009 when he hit 44 and drove in 102.

With the Indians lineup the way it is with Jason Kipnis (whom I will talk about later), Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher hitting in front of him, it seems like Reynolds will have plenty of RBI chances.

Reynolds is also on pace to strike out about 176 times, which is a little bit lower than his career average. Needless to say, if he keeps up his current performance throughout the entire season, he will be the MVP (although I would not count Miguel Cabrera out just yet with the season he is having thus far).

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Chase Headley: Contract Talks Or Trade Bait?

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Monday May 6th, 2013

Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, he will need to put up monster numbers for the Padres to compete with the LA Dodgers going forward.  Headley caaptured a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger in 2012. He ended up finishing 5th in NL MVP voting.  He hit 23 HRs and 73 RBI in just 75 Games after the 2012 ALL-Star Game.. Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 - with a 3 Slash Line of .272/.357/.812.  He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI.  He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in.

Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, he will need to put up monster numbers for the Padres to compete with the NL West teams  going forward Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 – with a 3 Slash Line of .272/.357/.812. He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI. He could potentially hit a few more out this season with the fences newly drawn in.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

For the past few seasons, Chase Headley has been the one guy on the roster that the San Diego Padres can rely on. Last year, he put up MVP-like numbers, hitting 31 HR and driving in 115 runs.

This year, he is really the only guy in the lineup that can truly produce runs. Yonder Alonso has that capability, but he is still a bit raw. Headley is signed to a one-year $8.58 million contract.

He becomes Arbitration-eligible in 2014 and is a Free Agent in 2015. The Padres are faced with a conundrum: should they trade Headley?

This third baseman is 28 years old—about the time when most players enter their prime. With the season we saw from Headley in 2012, I think it is safe to say that he has already entered his prime, and probably has two or three more years similar to 2012 ahead of him.

If the Padres are building for the future, which I sure hope they are, they need to trade Headley right away.

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Rickie Weeks’ Impact On The 2013 Milwaukee Brewers

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Sunday April 14, 2013

Rickie Weeks had a rough 2012 campaign, only hitting .230. He still managed, though, to slug 21 HR and knock in 63 runs.

Rickie Weeks had a rough 2012 campaign, only hitting .230. He still managed, though, to slug 21 HR and knock in 63 runs.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

2012 was a long year for Rickie Weeks and the Milwaukee Brewers. Even after Prince Fielder left to sign with the Detroit Tigers, fans had high hopes for the 2012 season. Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, and upcoming First Baseman Mat Gamel were all set to bring the Brewers back to the playoffs.

Unfortunately Gamel started the season and suffered a torn ACL, which caused him to miss the rest. Braun was caught up in a steroid scandal that threatened to suspend him but never did. Luckily Braun was not suspended and had a very good season.

Weeks, on the other hand, had a horrific first half of the year. The Brewers wound up just four games over .500 at 83-79 and finished third in the NL Central. Brewers’ fans hope that 2013 will be different.

Rickie Weeks 2012 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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San Diego Padres: How Will They Fare Without Chase Headley?

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Tuesday April 2, 2013

Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 - with a 3 Slash Line of - .272/.357/.812.  He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI.  He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in

Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 – with a 3 Slash Line of – .272/.357/.812. He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI. He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

2013 was going to be a rough year for the San Diego Padres even before they got the news that their highest powered offensive weapon would miss a significant amount of time. Chase Headley was the only spark in the weak Padres lineup in 2012, hitting 31 HR and driving in 115 runs. A performance like this could not get the Padres out of second-to-last place in the NL West, so I am afraid to see how the Padres will fare after they start 2013 without their third baseman.

This year, the West is stronger as Zack Greinke has been added to the Dodgers most notably, the Diamondbacks have improved their team, and the Giants are the defending World Champions, having extended the reigning NL MVP. The Rockies also have power-hitting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki back in the lineup after missing most of last season due to injury.

If the Padres were going to contend this season, they would need to get off to a hot enough start to keep up with the rest of the teams. Without Chase Headley, I do not see how that is possible. Even with Headley it would be a very tough task. The Padres have not made any notable additions, so it looks like it will be more of the same in San Diego.

Headley Highlights _ Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised

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Stephen Drew: Another Great Move by Billy Beane

Thursday August 23rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  Before the trading deadline, it was thought that the Oakland A’s were going to make a move. With the extra wild card in play this year, the team seemed to be a contender. Their weakest position though was at shortstop. There were a few options out there, some reasonable and some not, among those were Hanley Ramirez and Stephen Drew. Ramirez was very unlikely to be acquired by the A’s due to the nature of his contract, but he would’ve provided the most boost for the team. The story goes that the A’s almost had Ramirez all but acquired, with the Dodgers eating at least of his contract. But the A’s hesitated, and the Dodgers swooped in and agreed to take on all of the remaining dollars on his deal. With Ramirez ending up on the Dodgers, Stephen Drew seemed to be the most viable option left. Drew missed a large portion of the 2011 season with a broken ankle sustained on a slide into home, and made his 2012 debut around the time of the All-Star Break. In his short time with the Diamondbacks this season, Drew hit just .193 and was pretty disappointing. With the teams hierarchy going public with their displeasure, the writing was on the wall for Drew. It looked like Arizona would be able to get at least the same amount of production from a replacement, so a trade seemed imminent. For some reason the trade never got done, but the A’s kept at it.

Oakland was the perfect candidate to acquire Stephen Drew. So it was no surprise that Billy Beane finally got his man this week. Without a producing shortstop, the A’s had a very little chance at the playoffs. Sure, Drew only hit .193 this year, but he carries a career .266 average over his seven-year career. Plus he walks a ton. A stereotypical A’s hitter characteristic. In 2008, Drew hit .291 with 21 homers and 67 RBIs. If the A’s could get anything close to this production, they would be in very good shape. Drew will most likely keep hitting in the two-hole of the lineup, behind Coco Crisp. Once Drew gets settled and regains form, the A’s should get some good production from the top of their lineup, setting the table for the monster bats of Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, and Chris Carter. Even if Drew were to continue hitting .193, he would still be an improvement from the overall batting average of A’s shortstops at .190. As long as he can walk and hit with some power. Drew will most likely be taking time away from Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales. Given their combined numbers, that is a very good thing. The A’s also just sent the struggling Jemile Weeks down to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for Drew.

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Stephen Strasburg Update: The Nationals Decision to Shut Stras For the Season is Looming

Thursday August 9th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:The rest of the Nationals’ season rides on the talented right arm of Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals have a very strong staff with Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Edwin Jackson as the core. One could make a case for Zimmermann, Gonzalez, or Strasburg as the ace, as each of them carries a sub-3.40 ERA. Zimmermann has a 2.45, Strasburg has a 2.97, and Gonzalez has a 3.32 ERA. Pitching is undoubtedly the Nationals’ strongpoint. But, if Washington was to abide by the innings limit they set for Strasburg, their playoff hopes could be in jeopardy.

At the beginning of the season, the Nationals came out and said that Strasburg would only throw 160 innings before being shut down due to his having Tommy John surgery last year. As of Wednesday, he has thrown 127.1. In his 22 starts this year, he averages about 5 2/3 innings a start. With the 32 2/3 innings that he has left, he would only be able to make five to six more starts. The Nationals have played 110 games thus far, so that leaves them with 52 to go. He is set to pitch Friday, so if he were to go every fifth day and pitch his average of 5 2/3 innings each time, his limit would be reached by the beginning of September. The good news is if the Nationals decide to abide by this limit, they have a few options available to them.

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E-MAILBAG: Ask the Reports, Wednesday June 1st

Thank you for reading the E-mailbag.  Please send all your questions to mlbreports@gmail.com and please include your first name and City/Country.

We will be compiling a list of your questions from our e-mailbag and posting the responses on Wednesdays.

 

Wednesday June 1, 2011

Q:  Might be late, but a question for you.  I love hitting pitchers.  Who are some of the best of all time?  From Larry, Laughlin.

MLB reports:  Larry, as our #1 fan, you really know how to come up with great questions.  An interesting question but one that is a little difficult to answer.  As baseball has evolved, we have seen the introduction of the designated hitter, specialized relievers and closers.  As years have gone by, pitchers have been hitting less and less.  If we were to look overall at the “best” hitting pitchers, the discussion would begin and end with the greatest hitter of all time, Babe Ruth.  To those of you that enjoy studying baseball history, Babe actually started off as a pitcher and was very good.  Babe has a 94-46 career record as a pitcher, with a 2.28 ERA and 1.159 WHIP.  At those numbers, Babe would have made the hall of fame even if he had stayed on the mound.  But as he spent most of his career in the outfield, most people would not think of as Babe as a great hitting pitcher, just a great hitter.  Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale and Walter Johnson were also decent hitting pitchers in their days, who could pop a few home runs.  Looking at hitting pitchers of today, Carlos Zambrano, Micah Owings, and Jake Peavy when he was in the NL were all strong hitters.  Rick Ankiel, before moving the outfield, was probably one of the best hitting pitchers at the time.  Pitchers who can hit are out there, but as you can see from the list, they are a rare breed.  If I have my way and the DH is abolished, we might see more pitchers enter this list in the future.

Q:  Possible question for MLB reports.  I Mat Latos finally back?  From Nolan, Parts Unknown.

MLB reports:  Mat Latos, the next great ace in baseball appears to have finally turned a corner.  He has pitched really well in 3 of his last 4 starts and was outstanding last night, with 2 earned runs given up in 6.0 innings with 7 strike outs.  After starting the year on the DL and taking time to come back to form, Latos has decent numbers on the year.  A 3-6 record with a 3.97 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.  Let’s remember that he pitches for a very weak Padres team that has a difficult time scoring runs and clawing out wins.  Latos would be a 15-20 game winner on a contender and his numbers are telling me that he is back.  By season’s end, we should see the Mat Latos that we all have come to know and admire.

 

Q:  Your thoughts on Eric Thames thus far?  From J, Toronto.

MLB reports:  I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Thames recently at an autograph signing during the sleepover at the ballpark night at the Rogers Centre.  The man has the biggest smile that you will ever see.  Thames really gives the impression that he appreciates his place in the big leagues and does not take anything for granted.  Watching him also during BP, he appears to be very intense and focused at developing his skills.  That being said, his solid numbers in the minors have not yet translated to the majors.  The 24-year old 7th round pick from the 2008 draft was hitting .342 in AAA at the time of his promotion with 6 home runs in 36 games.  So far he has not hit a home run for the Jays and is batting .265.  With Adam Lind due back, Lawrie about to be promoted and Travis Snider hitting .298 in AAA, the Blue Jays roster is becoming very crowded.  I really like what I have seen thus far from Thames and I feel that he has a future in the Jays outfield.  Having got his feet wet in the bigs, I believe that he needs a little more seasoning to develop the power side of his game and then be able to return back to Toronto with a vengeance.  Thames has 20+ home runs in his bat and has shown a good eye at the plate.  The potential is there and I hope that he is able to fulfil it. 

 

Q:  Will Anthony Rendon be the first overall pick in next week’s MLB draft?  From Kathy, San Francisco.

MLB reports:  Everything that I have read and seen from Anthony Rendon tell me that he should be the first overall pick in this year’s draft.  However, injury concerns and the development of Gerrit Cole say that the Pirates will be drafting Cole next week.  My prediction is that Rendon will go #2 to the Mariners and not fall past Arizona with the 3rd pick.  The consensus #1 overall pick for some time, Rendon’s stock has gone up and down this year.  Having broken his ankle and suffered a shoulder strain, the injury concerns will possibly scare off the Pirates from selecting him.  Given the Pirates need for offense and inability to develop pitchers over the past few years, I would pick Rendon if given the choice.  But the Pirates loss will likely be the Mariners gain, with Rendon and Dustin Ackley forming a 1-2 punch in their lineup for years to come. 

 

Q:  Best thing you ever ate or drank at a ballpark?  I’m hungry!  From Frank, Milwaukee.

MLB reports:  Grab a sandwich my man, lol!  I have not been to a game to watch the Brewers but I have heard that you have some great food at your park.  I will say that I honestly love food and have eaten everything that you can imagine at a ball game.  From nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers, turkey legs, perogies, chili, brisket sandwiches, fried chicken, stir fry….my stomach has seen and digested it all (thank goodness for tums!)  My personal fave though?  That’s easy.  I am a true old school baseball guy and I would order hebrew national hot dogs off the grill at Comerica Park any day, with onions to boot.  To wash it all down?  Sometimes a blue slushy is my beverage.  But in Comerica they have Cuervo green margaritas on tap.  On a nice summer afternoon at the ballpark, nothing can beat that.  Bottoms up and enjoy!

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