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The Cardinals Struggles In 2014 So Far Might Point To Accumulation Of Roster Changes Since 2011

After St. Louis won the 2011 World Series, they lost their world class 1B Free Agent player in Albert Pujols.  It was the right move, and Michael Wacha was the compensation pick, so one wouldn't even make the trade for the Cardinals former legend.  However much like the Mariners in the late 90's lost Johnson,  Griffey and Rodriguez, that team had a league record 116 wins in 2001.  The Cards have back to back NLCS Appearances, and lost the World Series in 2013, however despite being chalked with young talent, is that they still have lost several key components to their team in the last 3 years.  Somewhere the franchise might have to slow down for a brief spell.

After St. Louis won the 2011 World Series, they lost their world class 1B Free Agent player in Albert Pujols. It was the right move (10 YRs/$250 MIL is too much), and Michael Wacha was the compensation pick, so one wouldn’t even make the trade for the Cardinals former legend. However much like the Mariners in the late 90’s lost Johnson, Griffey and Rodriguez, that team had a league record 116 wins in 2001. The Cards have back to back NLCS Appearances, and lost the World Series in 2013, however despite being chalked with young talent, is that they still have lost several key components to their team in the last 3 years. Somewhere the franchise might have to slow down for a brief spell.

In no way am I going to slag the best run franchise in the MLB.  We are talking about the quintessential template of how to run your team in the modern world of baseball.

All I am projecting in this article is that every team goes through a stretch of play where they may not be performing to capabilities.

Some of these problems may even persist for a whole campaign.

The 2011 Cardinals won the World Series, and then after losing their future hall of fame legend in Albert Pujols, were able to bring in Free Agents Carlos Beltran to help offset the power headed out the door.

The move paved the way for another final four finish.  In fact, St. Louis held a 3 – 1 NLCS lead before the Giants won 3 straight.

2013 saw their young players come to fruition at the same time, and it mixed perfectly with their cagey Veteran core.

The organization had 6 players in the top 100 prospects as listed by http://www.mlb.com – and most of them have seen time with the big club thus far. Read the rest of this entry

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Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2014

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays.  Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff berth in 2014.  The club ended the year on a 10 game winning streak and extended it by 1 in the Season Opener at Oakland.  The Indians are pretty much hanging with 'status quo' among their franchise this winter.  They have also lost Scott Kazmir, and potentially Ubaldo Jimenez to Free Agency as well,  Of course Joe Smith signed with the Angels and they released Chris Perez, so other than Terry Francona winning the Manager of The Year in the AL, it hasn't been a banner offseason in Cleveland thus far.

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS in 2013, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays. Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff berth in 2014. The club ended the year on a 10 game winning streak – and extended it by 1 in the Season Opener at Oakland. The Indians are pretty much going with ‘status quo’ into this year. They lost key Starters Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez to Free Agency.  Of course they saw Joe Smith sign with the Angels and they released Chris Perez, so other than Terry Francona winning the Manager of The Year in the AL, it wasn’t a banner offseason.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Indians had one hell of a rollercoaster ride in the 2013 year.  It ended with the club making their 1st playoff game since the 2007 ALCS.

To make it to the #1 Wild Card Slot, Cleveland reeled of 10 straight victories, and hosted the one game battle against the Rays.

Albeit the team could not beat the Rays, and were left to settle with one home date in the postseason.

With 92 Wins, with no lineup player having an exceptional year except for maybe Jason Kipnis, there was no doubt Terry Francona peeled off one of the great managerial jobs ever.

Almost instantly after the year, the club lost Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir, Chris Perez, Joe Smith and Drew Stubbs (trade). Read the rest of this entry

Aug.31 Trade Deadline Maneuvers Part 1

 had his best year in 2011 with the Nationals, where he hit .303, with 31 HRs and 95 RBI during his 515 AB.  The Orioles would love that kind of production to aid their DH core of hitters.  The club however, would simply settle for his Career 3 Slash Line of .284/.338/.816 in parts of 9 seasons and 1827 At-Bats.  Morse makes $6.75 MIL this year, and will be a Free Agent after the campaign is finished.

Mike Morse had his best year in 2011 with the Nationals, where he hit .303, with 31 HRs and 95 RBI during his 515 AB. The Orioles would love that kind of production to aid their DH core of hitters. The club however, would simply settle for his Career 3 Slash Line of .284/.338/.816 in parts of 9 seasons and 1827 At-Bats. Morse makes $6.75 MIL this year, and will be a Free Agent after the campaign is finished.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst and Website Owner)

The Orioles picking up Mike Morse is a good move.  The  guy is familiar with Region, is a nice contrast to Chris Davis – and cost the club a minimal amount to bring over.

I think the big 6 FT 5 players is just the kind of guy the Baltimore team has missed over the year.

The Designated Hitters slot has been abysmal – and if Morse can to the back of his bubblegum card, this move will pan out.

The team’s lineup will now feature  Manny Machado 3B, , Nick Markakis RF, Chris Davis 1B, Adam Jones CF, Matt Wieters C, J.J. Hardy SS, Mike Morse DH, Nate McLouth LF and Brian Roberts 2B.

Morse joins Scott Feldman, Francisco Rodriguez and Bud Norris as late season acquisitions.  All of them have contributed to the franchise.

All of a sudden having a 7 – 9, with a 25 – 30 HR powers in Morse, added with veteran Brian Roberts (if healthy) and Nate McLouth, could add a speed element when the team swings around back to the top of the lineup.

It is good for depth and when consider the team is only 5 games out of the 2nd Wild Card Spot, this is plausible with 3o games left.

Chris Tillman has asserted himself an up and coming #2 Pitcher on the team. I must say, him doing this 2 years in a row, has made a believer out of me now.

The man is 24 – 7 over his last 31 decisions – and has a mid tier 3 ERA – competing in a donnybrook of a Division.  Yesterday’s win over Boston was just another example of how much the 25 year old has bailed the club out of a losing streak.

You know Buck Showalter will have his guys ‘game ready’ for the challenge.

Read the rest of this entry

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