Seattle was everyone’s pick to win the American League it seemed. A slow start mirrored the beginning of the 2014 season as well. There are some outliers though, as they spent 10 of their 1st 13 games on the road. The club has looked a lot better of the last week. included in that were awesome starts by Felix Hernandez. Nelson Cruz has also picked up where he left off in 2014, with an MLB leading 9 HRs and 18 RBI in the teams first 16 games.
Forgive me for a second while I didn’t lose sleep on the Mariners losing Chris Taylor for some time early this year I actually think that Brad Miller may have a chance to breakout this year.
But more importantly Seattle had themselves a great offseason. Yes.. you read that right. I am endorsing Jack Z. for a job well done, even though he saw fit to sign Endy Chavez and Franklin Gutierrez for yet one more year. But since the club is full with depth, I am hoping the guys wont be counted on.
Ben Cherington pulled off the biggest salary dump in MLB History in 2012, with his clearing the deck of Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett. He replaced them with savvy, playoff tested Veterans – on lower value, and year contracts. His club won the 2013 AL East (and the World Series of course) with the revamped squad – that improved almost 30 Wins from 2012. Last season, the club suffered another last place finish, however he dealt away Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes, and then turned that asset into Rick Porcello. The club also was able to sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval for this year, and have also inked Rusney Castillo and Yoan Moncada to long-term deals since last summer. The Red Sox are showing the way to handle a roster year to year. If you are in it, spend the money, and when you are out, trade anybody of value not in your long term plans.
The terrible news of Marcus Stroman‘s ACL earlier this week has dampened the chances the Toronto Blue Jays chances to really take a shot at the Division.
Let me qualify this more….
I think the Jays will compete all season, and may take a run at one of the Wild Card Spots for sure, it just at this time of the year, losing any pitching hurts big time.
Toronto is already lacking an ace, but that is not a cause for grave concern in this Division, with the AL East possessing exactly zero of them now, following the departures of Jon Lester and David Price in the last 9 months. But they are in trouble when it comes to depth versus the other clubs.Read the rest of this entry →
Okay, so it is time to ask old Saint Nick, for some help for teams in the MLB to have their wishes come true.
New York Yankees:
Can someone please knock some sense into the brass in the Bronx to realize they are the friggin Yanks? Since we can’t bring the “Boss” back to kick some ass, maybe a losing season would force the team to pilfer the payroll, and believe it or not, if Cashman behaves himself before Spring Training, the club could get under the Luxury Tax Threshold this year with a few Trade Deals, and go an attack the 2016 Free Agent core of Jason Heyward, Jordan Zimmermann, David Price and Johnny Cueto…
Would it be too much to ask if the team could just release Alex Rodriguez? There is no way he should hit his 660th HR in Pinstripes. Release him before that day, or way prior, and don’t pay him that dumb $6 MIL Bonus. He ain’t worth it. Also don’t want him passing Lou Gehrig for the RBI list ALL – Time in a New York uniform either.Read the rest of this entry →
The Seattle Mariners are fighting tooth and nail for the 2nd Wild Card Spot in the American League, however it has much more to do with their pitching than hitting. This is a team built on prospects that haven’t panned out, and injury riddled Free Agents and acquisitions. From Justin Smoak, to Jesus Montero, to Abraham Almonte, this club has been on the poor end of the trades they have conducted in recent years. The Draft picks have not done well either with fallen hopes about Dustin Ackley, Brad Miller, Nick Franklin and Michael Saunders.
The Mariners are on the brink of ending a 13 year playoff drought, yet there is a glaring hole on the offensive side with how this offense has been constructed.
Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and James Jones withstanding, the rest of the players have played underneath expectations in 2014, and unless the management can pull off a trade, it may be the squad’s Achilles heel this campaign.
Jack Zduriencik has to wheel and deal for some more help in the next week or so, especially with several of the perennial contenders like Boston, New York and Tampa having subpar years.
The pitching staff has been the anchor behind the Mariners nice season so far, and with the payroll also being only at $82 MIL, this team has money to burn.Read the rest of this entry →
It was a move that had to be done in my view. Atlanta has 60% of its Starting Rotation currently in the sick bay, or has questionable thoughts to whether it could pitch near Opening Day.
In the end it is a Win/Win situation for all above.
The Braves acquire a top end of the rotation guy, and it serves as great insurance, and Santana is able to play for a full season trying to re-establish his worth on next winter’s open market.
Sure Atlanta sacrifices a 1st RD pick, but they are still receiving the compensation Pick from the Yankees for the Brian McCann signing.
Santana flies right out the American League, and will look to pad his stats versus the likes of the Mets and Marlins this year, and to avoid the AL Beast, the only teams that were coveting him that he mutually was talking with Read the rest of this entry →
PED use or not, Stem Cell technology, and who knows what else has aided Colon’s body over the last 3 seasons of success. Yes he was 18 – 6, with a 2.65 ERA – finishing 6th in AL Voting, however the A’s went and paid someone else, and usually they are not wrong on guys. The 40 Year Old from Dominican Republic, is also a gigantic man who decimated his hamstring during a PFP out in 2011 with NYY. You have to think his lucky streak is numbered sooner or later – and especially on the basepaths in the NL hitting a few times a game.
For all of those websites that put off writing about the Cardinals after the World Series due to fatigue, it is time to brush up on the best run franchise in the Major Leagues.
The majority of the players in the system and in the Majors were developed by the Cardinals franchise.
Last year, I did a Roster Tree of how all of the players were acquired. Something like 18 of the 25 players were Drafted by the club.
That is light years ahead of the next team in the race.
When you see that St. Louis has made it to the final four clubs 8 teams in 13 years, and now has made 4 trips to the World Series in a decade, you are leaving another chapter in the legacy of the franchise. Read the rest of this entry →
It happens to a few guys every year. Seldomly does it threaten to plague a guys career.
I can think of Carl Everett blossoming over his transition to the 2005 World Series White Sox win, to a big man in Seattle, who could hardly swing his hips around.
We remember how big Kevin Mitchell became after he was in such phenomenal condition early in his career. But 40 pounds overweight like Jesus Montero waddled into the Mariners Spring Training? C’mon Man!
David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs – trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups – why aren’t teams focusing on the DH position more. Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles. In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if “Big Papi” is hurt or struggling.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox has won 3 World Series Titles in the last 10 years because they have had the quintessential DH in the American League.
While other teams have used the position as a rest stop for aging players, or stop-gap measure for players with defensive faulty, clubs have not seemed to have stressed emphasis on the slot in the lineup.
My question is why? With everyone always searching for an edge in today’s game, you have one sitting right in front of you, that equates to over 600 AB a year.
Life has not been so great for the fans of the PAC NW of late. The Mariners have regressed in the last decade of baseball – and are withering with the lowest attendance teams in the game of baseball. This followed the 1st 5 years of Safeco Field’s existence, where they were drawing over 3 Million fans – and competing in the AL West every year. It is imperative this team spends money on quality Free Agents this winter. Loaded with a multitude of young arms, and position players. this franchise should be seeking power bats in the OF and 1B/DH positions.
The Mariners have one of the gem stadiums in all of baseball right now. It is too bad the team on the field has not been that great – in what has been a brutal decade. Jack Z.. was just extended for one more year. While it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, the club’s youth has finally shown some promise. The team has a promising amount of young pitchers, good Starting Pitching already in the Majors, and a few positional players that look like they will stay in the bigs. Of concern is the fact they will lose several veterans in Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez after this year. That is, unless they decide to trade any of them in the next week.
The Cardinals have made it to 7 NLCS’s since 2000 – going 3 – 4 in them. The Cards won the World Series in 2006 and 2011, while losing in 2004. With a plethora of awesome talent in their system, coupled with star Veterans, all playing the St. Louis way, they could be poised for another playoff run in 2013 – and for years beyond. The club is just on the fringe of the MLB’s top ten for team salaries, however they do hold the most expensive club in the NL Central. The franchise rarely doles out a bad long – term contract.
Mike Carp was originally a 9th round pick of the New York Mets out of High School in 2004. He made his Major League debut in 2009 with the Mariners at just 22 Years of Age. Over the last 4 years. he has hit for a Career 3 Slash Line of .266/.336/.796 in 650 AB. This is basically a season worth of At-Bats for the man from Long Beach. CA. With those numbers, the LHB has 26 HRs, 38 Doubles and 96 RBI. This pickup by the Red Sox may turn out to be a real bargain of the year.
I knew I would be devoting an article to this player sooner or later, but what better time than now? From top prospect to not being good enough for The Seattle Mariners 40 man roster, Mike Carp has emerged as a steady contributor to the current 1st place team in the AL East, The Boston Red Sox .
The 6 FT 2, 210 LB OF has been perhaps the most underrated pick up of the past offseason for the Boston Red Sox. At the time there was speculation whether he would even make the team, but questioning his viability as a Major League hitter has been put to rest at this point.
As Spring Training rolled around, the Red Sox were looking for depth at 1st Base behind newly signed Mike Napoli. They got Lyle Overbay into camp to compete for the spot and started giving Daniel Nava reps at the position too.
Then, falling into the Sox laps, came Mike Carp via the Seattle Mariners, the solution to the Red Sox 1B depth. All that was asked in return is the famous ‘PTBNL’ or cash.
The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanders and etc.. Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year? If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn’t for two decades. These prospects could go a long way in forecasting their recovery time to contention.
You guys are all in for a treat. Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website. He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs. We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams.
Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective. If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.
In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball. He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job. So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!
Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis. After you click on it….Bookmark it. There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page. Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!
For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Yankees Organization clickhere
One bright spot for the Mariners over the past couple of days has been first baseman Justin Smoak, who has reached base eight times in the last three games.
Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent): Follow @RJA206
The last two days have to have been extremely rough for the Seattle Mariners. Coming off a series win in New York, the Mariners were sitting comfortably in second place in the A.L. West. However, after two straight walk-off losses to Cleveland, the Mariners have slipped to third in the West.
Having deserved to win at least one of their last two games, the Mariners have likely just ran into some bad luck and they have a great opportunity to get back on track Sunday, with King Felix on the mound.
Alex Gordon has been ramping up his power over the last 2 seasons – with 72 XBH in 2011 and 70 XBH in 2012. Noted for being more of a Doubles hitter, Gordon has clubbed HRs in 2 straight games. The 29 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .311/.336/.836 with 5 HRs and 23 RBI out of the Leadoff Spot so far this year. The Man has also crossed home plate 22 times in just 30 Games Payed
DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.
We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.
I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show). So I am bringing it every day on this website. To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th) visit the DH page!
Click beyond the Youtube link or click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.
Chris Carter hit a HR for the 2nd straight game for the Astros last night – and has hit 24 HRs in his last 336 AB dating back to last year in June (1 per every 14 AB).
With 27 HRs and 65 RBI (in just 450 Career AB – but a 3 Slash of .213/.303/.734) – he reminds me of a young Cecil Fielder with the Blue Jays .243/.308/.781 – with 31 HRs and 84 RBI in his first 506 AB – before being caught up in a numbers game in Toronto with Fred McGriff.
Last Year the former A hit 16 HRs and drove in 39 RBI in just 218 AB during the Oakland A’s big second half. CC was Walking more last year – and held a .350 OBP for the year. The Astros must be patient with this slugger to learn how to hit – despite his AL leading 51 SO. He should be one of the players they keep when the rebuild is finished.
The Yankees come into 2013 relying more on pitching and defense than in previous seasons. This incarnation of the Yankees will only go so far as their pitching can carry them.
By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade and Yankees Correspondent): Follow @NRoss56
Allow me to re-introduce myself. I have spent the last three months discussing the Marlins, Astros, Mariners and the off-season trades. I have loved every second of it, and I appreciate my readers more than you will ever know. That being said, today I undertake something that has always been a dream. Today, I begin a journey where I get to do something that the 14 year old me always wanted to do. Today, I take over as the Yankees correspondent, which is a fancy term for a guy who gets to write about his favorite baseball team. Some of my most vivid memories of my past relate to the Yankees. I will never forget the moment that ball fell into Charlie Hayes‘ glove. The pure joy of the first time my team would be called world champions.
Embracing my Dad in a bear hug as we celebrated something that meant so much to the both of us. Since then the Yankees have provided endless enjoyment as I watched a dynasty grow up as I grew up. Now, it has come to a point where the Yankees face their championship window closing. It happens to all great teams, but the question that hangs in the balance is whether the window is already closed or can the Bombers come up with another magical season before this generation fades? We will try to answer that question starting with the Yankee pitchers.
It has been over ten years since the Seattle Mariners found themselves as participants in the American League playoffs. Over the course of that time, the M’s have had their ups and downs (quite obviously more downs), and they have come close to getting back to the post-season on several occasions. However, the last three years have been frustrating for Mariners’ fans as the team has ended each season in last place in the AL West. Along with the post-season drought, the Mariners have made some poor contractual decisions. This seasons payroll will not be exceptionally high, but Seattle is far from a small market team. One of the benefits of this season is that the Mariners are not flooded with a lot of long term, massive contracts. The future for the Mariners can be bright, but they need to find some talented offensive pieces and a couple of arms to back their superstar ace, Felix Hernandez.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the big deals that make up the top end of the Mariners payroll in 2013. I think most Mariners fans will ultimately be pretty disappointed in which player is following up King Felix on the payroll for the upcoming season.
Felix Hernandez is still the Mariners best player without a doubt. Will he get some help shouldering the load in 2013? Either way, all of baseball should be watching when King Felix pitches, he is a true marvel on the mound.
Seattle Mariners fans must be pretty amazing, Felix Hernandez sticking with their team through recent times. The Mariners were established in 1977 and have made the playoffs just 4 times in their history. They were the AL West champs 3 times (’95, ’97, ’01) and winners of the Wild Card once (’00). They have never won a World Series, or even an AL Pennant, and in 2012 they shipped off a fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees. The AL West is a tough division. The Rangers and Athletics made the playoffs last year, and the Angels just landed the prize of the off-season in slugger Josh Hamilton. I guess one bright spot is the Astros are moving to the AL West, so the Mariners won’t be rebuilding within the brutal division alone.
The Seattle Mariners hopes and dreams start where they have for years now, on the shoulders of King Felix. Felix Hernandez is no doubt an Ace. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since ’08, and had a sub 4.00 ERA every year since ’07. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young in 2010, and is a perennial contender for the award. Last year the Seattle fireballer threw his first Perfect Game. Hernandez will once again be atop the Mariners rotation, which as of now figures to include Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, and Hector Noesi.
Hisashi Iwakuma was a pleasant surprise for the Mariners in 2012. He wasn’t a greatly sought after oversees free agent last year, overshadowed greatly by fellow Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, but proved to be a great signing. Iwakuma started 2012 in the bullpen until he later earned a spot in the team’s rotation. Iwakuma managed a very respectable 3.16 ERA in the 125.1 innings he split between the rotation and the pen. This success is part of the reason the Mariners resigned the pitcher to a 2YR/14 Million Dollar deal this past November. He figures to hold down the 2nd spot in the rotation and should do just fine if 2012 was a sign of things to come.
Blake Beavan is still just 23 Years Old, but he already has 41 Major League Starts under his belt which gives the club hope he can hold down the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation. Beavan clearly has the talent which is what made him a 1st Round draft pick out of high school for the Rangers, and the reason the Mariners made sure he was a part of the package they received in return for Cliff Lee in 2010. Beavan’s 2012 stats won’t impress a lot of people, but they were a good start for a young player like himself to build and improve upon.
Felix Hernandez Highlights: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised
A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?
Jonathan Hacohen (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder): Follow @Jhacohen
My name is Jonathan Hacohen. And I am a John Jaso fan. There…I have said it. Feels very good to get it out. Ok, so I don’t own any John Jaso t-shirts or jerseys. I wouldn’t recognize him if I hit him with my car. But when #27 (formerly #28 on the Rays) comes up to bat, I know that good things will usually happen. Remember that .372 OBP in 2010? I sure do. So do many Tampa Bay Rays fans. For you see my friends, John Jaso is a special breed of baseball player. He is a catcher with patience. He won’t hit for great pop, but he finds ways to get On Base. That is a skill that served him very well back in his aforementioned first full MLB season.
From that season on, I came to expect great things from Mr. Jaso. But then 2011 hit. Or actually, he didn’t. A .224 AVG with a .298 OBP was good enough for the Rays to dump Jaso on the Mariners for Josh Lueke. Remember him? Do I really have to say more? The Rays, for all the talk of their poor offensive showing and need for major league bats, decided that John Jaso just didn’t fit into their system. So Jaso was off to Seattle and Jose Molina was brought on board. The same Jose Molina who hit .223 last season with a .286 OBP. The same Jose Molina who got paid $1.5 Million last season. John Jaso on the other hand got paid $495,200 last year. What did he do? Only hit .276 with a .394 OBP. Plus a .456 SLG for good measure. His reward? A one-way ticket to Oakland with a 30 second stopover in Washington. The man can’t win. A good or bad season, either way MLB GM haven’t shown faith in this kid so far in his career. But then, most GMs are not Billy Beane. Despite being apparently set at the position for 2013, Beane proceeded to trade for Jaso and dump George Kottaras, to catch with Derek Norris. Beane said on record that he would have kept Kottaras unless Jaso was made available. So does Billy Beane know something that Andrew Friedman, Jack Zduriencik and Mike Rizzo don’t? The answer is yes. Beane knows which players he wants and usually, he will get them at the end. Now John Jaso is set to bring flair, leadership and of course, On Base skills to Oakland. The playoff picture just got much rosier for the A’s.
Jason Bay had a 3 Slash Line with PIT of – .281/.375/.890, including winning a ROY Award in 2005, followed up by back to back ALL-Star Years in 2006 and 2007, where he hit 30+ HRs, 100+ RBI, 100+ Runs Scored and Walked 197 for those 2 years. He may be on his last chance in the MLB with the Mariners in 2013. Bay finished his Pittsburgh days with 139 HRs, 452 RBI and 432 Runs for his 2590 AB. Those are good numbers.
Jason Bay begins 2013 with the Seattle Mariners on perhaps his last chance at the Major Leagues for his career. It was only on 2009 where he finished an ALL-Star Season with the Boston Red Sox – taking home a Silver Slugger Award and finishing in 7th for AL MVP Voting. That year, he hit for a 3 Slash Line of – .267/.384/.923, with 36 HRs (3rd in AL) and 119 RBI (2nd in AL). The man also walked 94 times and scored 103 Runs. It was a Career Year, yet he also had 3 other 30+ HRs, 100+ RBI and 100+ Run Years in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Bay picked a perfect year to be a Free Agent after his last year with the Red Sox.. While he cashed in on a 4 YR/64 Million Dollar Contract from the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox knew of some hampering injuries that were sure to plague the Canadian ALL-Star from Trail. B.C. for the length of the deal… Boy did they turn out to be right on this prognostication!
What happened in New York City could not be classified by anything but horrendous. It was a move to an un-hitter friendly park at Citi Field. Bay then spent parts of 3 years injured or absolutely putting up abysmal numbers for the NL East Franchise. Of course 2012 would be the ultimate worst as the Right Fielder hit a paltry .165 with 8 HRs and 20 RBI in 194 AB. He had become a shadow of his former ALL-Star self and the Mets had enough of the anemic offense. They ate all of the remaining 21 Million Dollars left on his contract for 2013 and granted Bay his walking papers.
Jason Bay Highlights 2011 – Mature Lyrics Content – Parental Guidance is advised
As of this very moment, you are not the happiest of campers if you are a Yankees fan. Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart and Austin Romine look to start the year out catching for the Bronx Bombers! Really??? You are telling me that you will spend 215-225 Million Dollars on (Luxury Taxable) Payroll and you couldn’t find a mere 7.5 Million for a 1 Year Deal to sign A.J. Pierzynski? The club will receive some insurance money for A-Rod’s injury this year, however the Luxury Tax is not affected by that. So maybe knowing that they will pay 40% more for a guys salary (more than he really makes as a salary) is another thing stalling the franchise from plunking some serious cash down on a real quality veteran catcher. In my opinion, this is a brutal mistake that will leave the fans frustrated beyond belief if it blows up in the Yankees face. The good news is that if the team is playing well in every other department other than the Catchers position, they can always address the situation at any point next year by a trade. With no significant catchers left on the FA Market, New York will probably go this route. If you can manage to keep atop of the standings, then you may land a veteran catcher that will only have a pro-rated salary for the rest of the year.
If I were Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera or Andy Pettitte, I would not be happy with the club not landing a proven offensive or defensive catcher. (Boy does that Jesus Montero Trade not look so favorable right now.) These 4 veterans are in the last year or two of their contracts and possibly their careers will end once their contracts. While these guys would never panic, you only need to look what the Blue Jays are doing north of the border for real ‘transaction aggression.’ I just think that you have re-signed and brought in Free Agents that all point to a “Win Now” mentality, yet you are going towards one-dimensional catchers that all have limited experience. It doesn’t feel right and the Yankees ‘Faithful’ will have a field day on Management and ownership should this position end up being a crutch on the teams success chances for 2013.
The Mariners made a decision regarding the dimensions of Safeco Field in October that will likely change the way the Mariners front office will attempt to put a potent baseball team on the field. By bringing in the fences, the Mariners are symbolizing that they have moved on from the early Jack Zdurencik philosophy that the Mariners could win in Safeco Field with pitching in defense. This move could entice some free agent position players that normally would not want to play in such a hard ballpark to hit home runs in. By moving the fences iTTn at Safeco, more runs will be scored at Safeco and the Mariners will likely no longer play in debatably the most pitcher-friendly park in the American League.
It’s pretty easy to see why the Mariners organization has finally decided to move in the fences at Safeco. Since 2000, the Mariners have scored the fewest runs of any American League team. In 2012, Seattle ranked last in the AL in runs scored per game, home runs, and batting average at home. The Mariners were a far better team on the road then at home. Right-handed hitters like Jesus Montero and Casper Wells had their power numbers and projections greatly affected by spending their first full seasons in Seattle. The Mariners had their reasons for moving their fences, and if they believe the new dimensions will help them win more ballgames, there should be no argument that Seattle is not making the right move. Read the rest of this entry →
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement. I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience. Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots. The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!
This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots. So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating. Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera? He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game. The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs? They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty. Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would be in the playoffs.
Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season? I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year. 1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%. So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet. Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006?
The Best Players over the last month were: Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez. The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas. The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.) I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record. At least you are not going into the NL West to compete with the LA Dodgers! The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well. Toronto misses their top sluggers. What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse. Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt. When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards! So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings!Read the rest of this entry →
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- It has been a crazy month in which teams have stockpiled some heavy talent at the trade deadline to get ready for the playoffs. Amongst the biggest gainers for the rankings this month were: the Athletics, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Dodgers (because of the deals) and Mariners while the Mets, Red Sox, Indians and Royals saw brutal months all but seal their playoff fates. I do think that Boston has a punchers chance but that all is dependent on David Ortiz returning to the lineup swiftly. The power of the best teams is definitely leaning to the National League right now where several teams are playing great baseball. With one-third of the season left we are all in for a treat as baseball fans.
I will have one more regular season Power Rankings month of September (to be posted on Labor Day Weekend,) before I also provide a playoff style ranking of the 1-10 seeds right before the Wild Card Teams play the play in game. It certainly has been awesome to follow how the trade deadline has effected the Monthly Rankings this time around. I think it is safe to say that this years deadline provided more interest and following-from even the casual fan more than any other year before. I also believe that the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is now the best Trade Deadline in all of sports. Social Media has a lot to do with this but so does parity. The 2nd Wild Card spot has also created more teams willing to trade prospects in lieu of going for it. Read the rest of this entry →
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones might only be hitting about .250 as a combined DH unit, however they are providing some much-needed power from the DH slot for the New York Yankees. Ibanez is batting .260 with 9 HRs and 27 RBI in 137 AB, Jones is .227 with 5 HRs and 10 RBI in 66 AB. The two totals combined equal 14 HRs and 37 RBI in 193 AB. This is really good production in the power department. This puts the duo on pace for about 45 HRs and 120 RBI out of the DH slot. These numbers are comparable to Chicago White Sox primary DH Adam Dunn, who is .240 with 15 HRs and 35 RBI, and Edwin Encarnacion for the Toronto Blue Jays, who is .274 with 15 HRs and is second in the AL with 39 RBI.
There are factors that cancel out the production of both Encarnacion and Dunn. The Blue Jays first base position has killed any type of edge that Encarnacion’s start should have provided. Adam Lind hit himself out of the Majors with his under .200 average, thus negating the production that the position of 1B needs to have in order to compete along with a DH. Adam Dunn has racked up 74 strikeouts to add to his power numbers. While this has been a renaissance year for Dunn so far, the all or nothing philosophy does hurt in the clutch sometimes. I think the White Sox have to be happy with his production, plus Paul Konerko has been the best player in the AL outside of Josh Hamilton. Read the rest of this entry →
Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer):Jesus Montero is not a guy that gets a lot of attention because he plays for Seattle, but he did get my attention. Montero is one of the better players in the American League and he is going to continue to show his excellence throughout the rest of this season. Montero came to Seattle from the Yankees in exchange for Michael Pineda, who is done for the year…and maybe longer. The big question is whether the Mariners got the better part of the deal. No one will know the answer to this question for at least another couple of years. But as of right now, I believe they did. This is why.
Montero, who should be moved from the catcher position in the next couple of seasons to either first base or DH, will be more durable than Pineda, who is coming off surgery. As long as Montero stays relatively healthy, he will be the kind of player who can hit 25 homers every season. We are just a month and a half into the season and the young slugger already has 6. Not putting too much pressure on him but he is on my fantasy team. So he better produce! His RBI numbers will be down though as he plays on a team with terrible overall offensive production, including an inability to score runs.
The other big question that comes along with Montero is his strikeout to walk ratio. With 38 strikeouts to only 9 walks so far this season, the Mariners should be a little alarmed. With that many strikeouts he is not helping out the team very much as far as getting on base consistently. You can be a 25 homer guy but if your average is around .24o for the season with an OBP under .300, that isn’t a very good overall season. Any general manager is going to want a guy that can hit for average, power and take the occasional walk. A player that does day-in and day-out is Joey Votto and he just got a great contract from the Reds. Production pays off for everyone in the long run.
For Montero to get that big contract one day and to get Seattle into the playoffs as soon as possible, he is going to need to produce and show he can put the ball in play consistently. Nothing against the Mariners, but reality is that this not the team a big time hitter normally chooses to play on from his initiative. Montero if he evolves as a player, could one day end up in Boston to replace Ortiz when he retires. But that is just my opinion. For now, Montero is a player to watch out for. He could do very big things in the near future. The Mariners are counting on Montero to fill the shoes of their current franchise player, Ichiro Suzuki as he prepares for retirement likely one day soon. Until then, Montero will need to grow and develop into the player that the Mariners and the rest of the baseball world think that he can be.
Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter(@Ryan13Ritchey)
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you a monthly power rankings every month of the season. There will be a few verses for each team. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.
May Power Rankings
Texas (19-10) Josh Hamilton is clubbing the ball at his 2010 like AL MVP clip. Yu Darvish appears to be the real deal. Mike Napoli hits 8th on most nights. Michael Young might be the most under-appreciated hitter in the last decade. Ian Kinsler is on pace for 162 runs. If Nelson Cruz starts hitting and or Nathan rounds into form, than this team may blitz by every one.
Tampa Bay (19-10) The pitching staff is incredible right now. David Price is asserting himself as one of the premier left-handed pitchers in baseball. Strong starts from Evan Longoria, Luke Scott and Carlos Pena have helped. Joe Maddon may be the best ‘in-game manager’ of baseball now with Tony La Russa out of the Majors.
Atlanta (18-12) The reason I have Atlanta rated so high is they are not even having a good year from Tim Hudson yet and Jair Jurrjens has been atrocious. Still they sit near the top of the standings. Chipper Jones has 21 RBI and Freddie Freeman has taken the next step so far with 26 RBI. Last year the team had a lot of players with career worst years and they were only eliminated on the last day of the season. This year may be different.
St. Louis (18-11) You lose a franchise player like Albert Pujols and you spend half the money for Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal, who are finally hitting the numbers like the back of their bubble gum cards from 5 years ago. Are we giving enough credit to Mark McGwire here? Lance Lynn has morphed into Chris Carpenter with his 6-0 start.
LA Dodgers (19-10) Matt Kemp is the best player in baseball right now and may walk away with the triple crown this year. Andre Ethier has matured into the RBI guy he needs to be. Solid pitching by Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly have this team looking solid. Dodgers look good in the future when the new ownership takes over. (more…)
The Phillies acquired infielder Esteban Quiroz from the Cubs in exchange for cash, according to announcements from both teams. Philadelphia has assigned Quiroz to minor league camp. Quiroz, 31, made his big league debut with Chicago last season and hit .275/.370/.275 in 47 trips to the plate. He’s a career .259/.385/.495 hitter in 776 plate…
The Tigers have signed left-hander Jose Alvarez to a minor league contract, per the transactions log at MiLB.com. He won’t pitch this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, though Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press writes that the club will help Alvarez oversee his recovery and rehabilitation with an eye toward the 2024 campaign.…
Ryan Lavarnway will be chatting with MLBTR readers tomorrow at 10am Central. Click here to ask questions in advance or join in the chat when it’s in progress! Veteran catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who spent parts of 10 seasons in the Majors and 15 seasons in pro ball overall, announced his retirement on Wednesday in a…
March 21: The Rockies officially announced today that they have signed Profar to a one-year deal. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, left-hander Lucas Gilbreath was transferred to the 60-day injured list. The southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this month and will miss the entire season. March 19: The Rockies are in…
The Braves will option infielders Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake to Triple-A, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Both had been in line for the Opening Day shortstop job in Atlanta, but it seems that will now go to Orlando Arcia. David O’Brien of The Athletic relays that Arcia will get the starting gig with Ehire…
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