Blog Archives

Nolan Arenado’s Bat Is Incredible, But His Glove Is Legend… Wait For It… DARY!

Sorry for the “How I Met Your Mother” quote in the title, but I couldn’t resist. At this moment in time, I believe we are witnessing one of the best defensive third baseman to play the game of baseball. At the age of 25, Nolan Arenado has received the National League Gold Glove Award in his first three seasons in the big leagues. He also won his first Fielding Bible in 2015, which means he was voted the best fielding third baseman in the entire Major Leagues, not just the National League. As you can see, he has been racking up the fielding accolades since he was promoted by the Rockies in 2013, but let’s take a look at his numbers.

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – August 4, 2016

roxCapture

DUSTIN BRADFORD/GETTY IMAGES

The 154 Game Schedule should come back! Also the Rockies are somehow contending.

It is rough around the edges episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Joe Mauer, Yangervis Solarte, Hisashi Iwakuma, Max Scherzer, Mike Napoli, Neil Walker, Chris Sale and Tom Koehler all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

 

Read the rest of this entry

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (11-20)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 11-20 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

  1. Alex Reyes (STL, 21 Years Old, RHP): If you are looking for a frontline starter, look no further. Reyes has the upside of a top-10 pitcher in the next few years. He has an elite fastball-breaking ball combination and his changeup has developed quite nicely. He has been known to touch 102-103 MPH with his fastball, so that speaks for itself. He has struggled this season at Triple-A, but that doesn’t take away from his potential. In 55 innings pitched, he owns a 5.07 ERA, 51 hits against, 79 strikeouts, and 27 walks. He has an elite strikeout rate, but his walk rate does scare me. He was just scratched from his most recent start in the minors, so many people believe the Cardinals are preparing to call him up to the big leagues.

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (51-60)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 51-60 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 61-70

51. Jake Bauers (TB, 20 Years Old, 1B): Bauers has improved his game a lot in 2016. Last season, he hit .272, with 11 home runs, eight stolen bases, .342 OBP, and a .418 slugging percentage in 534 plate appearances. In only 368 plate appearances this season at Double-A, Bauers is batting .285, with 10 home runs, seven stolen bases, .373 OBP, and a .430 slugging percentage. He also has very advanced plate discipline, which should serve him well in his career. Bauers has one of the prettiest left-handed swings you will see, so it is no surprise that he is hitting so well this year.

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Midseason Top 100 Prospect Rankings Analysis (61-70)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 71-80 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 71-80

  1. Kyle Lewis (SEA, 20 Years Old, OF): Kyle Lewis was drafted 11th overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 2016 MLB Draft. Lewis went to a small college named Mercer University, but nothing about Lewis is small. He puts up HUGE numbers at the plate, he is a massive human being, and he is going to be a big-time prospect. He stands 6’4 and weighs about 210 pounds. He currently plays centerfield, but as he fills out, he is expected to play one of the corner spots in the outfield. In his last season at Mercer, Lewis hit .395, with 20 home runs, 72 RBIs, and a .525 OBP. In his short time in the minors, he hasn’t been overmatched at all, which is a great sign. Lewis has immense potential and could be a serious home run threat down the line.

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

183 in 2015: Ball Park Previews, Games 3 + 4 – Wrigley Field/Miller Park Doubleheader

2015 MLB Trip Sponsors: Man Fish Brewery, Megabus.com, MLB Reports, National Car Rental, MLB Ball Park Pass-Port

2015 MLB Trip Sponsors: Man Fish Brewery, Megabus.com, MLB Reports, National Car Rental and the MLB Ball Park Pass-Port.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

***  I Will be live tweeting from all ballpark venues I am watching games at.  Join the discussion.

Chuck Booth’s 2015 MLB Park Historical Road Trip

The GOAL: 183 Straight Days (every single day at least 1 gm) Of ALL 30 MLB Parks Trip In 2015 (218 Games) view full year schedule.

The CAUSE:  To Raise Money for Concussion Awareness (via Sports Legacy Institute. donate money here) Through Inspiring Others.

DAY DATE

Wed Apr 8, 2015 Games #3, #4 – Day #4

Today’s game (s) Start Time (s) in EST  and Venue (s):

1:20 Wrigley Field, Cubs vs Cards:  Miller Park 7:10, Brewers vs Rockies
Read the rest of this entry

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery Tracker, Updated For Tyler Chatwood

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out: Read the rest of this entry

Arizona May Have To Rethink Their Team Salary In The NL West With High Spending LA + SF

The Arizona Diamondbacks didn't have the type of year in 2013 that they had wished for, however the future looks really strong.  Aided by a slugging 1st Baseman (Paul Goldschmidt), and great young Staring Pitching like Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin, added with Veterans Miguel Montero, Martin Prado and Aaron Hill, with prospects A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton being the future core, this team should see some heavy duty improvement from year to year.

The Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t have the type of year in 2013 that they had wished for, however the future looks really strong. Aided by a slugging 1st Baseman (Paul Goldschmidt), and great young Staring Pitching like Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin, added with Veterans Miguel Montero, Martin Prado and Aaron Hill, with prospects A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton being the future core, this team should see some heavy duty improvement from year to year.  Having said this, they compete with the two most expensive payrolls in the NL – in their Division with the Dodgers and Giants.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

Chase Field is a pretty cool ballpark.  The Diamondbacks have been often voted as one of the better organizations in the MLB for how they treat their fanbases for guest services, value and overall baseball experiences.

While the D’Backs finished in 14th for NL Attendance this year, they cracked the 2 Million fan barrier for the 15th straight year since entering the league.

Over the last 8 years, the team has kept comfortably between 2.0 MIL and 2.5 MIL.

Back in the first few seasons of MLB in the desert, the franchise was drawing well over 3 Million fans..

Paul Goldschmidt 2013 Highlights

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (September.13th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia turned a tight 4-4 game into a comfortable 8-4 Boston lead with one swing of his bat. His 7th inning grand slam was the difference in the opener of the Red Sox/Yankees series.

Hisashi Iwakuma was outstanding against the Cardinals. He threw 7 shutout innings, letting up just 3 hits and 2 walks. Unfortunately for him, the Mariners bullpen was not up to the task and Seattle would fall to St. Louis, 2-1 in 10 innings.

Wilin Rosario got a pair of hits and drove in 4 including 2 in the Rockies tie breaking 7th inning rally as Colorado beat Arizona, 7-5.

Kyle Lohse pitched a complete game victory against the Reds, letting up just 4 hits and 1 run, getting the 5-1 decision for the Brewers.

They all owned baseball on September 13, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (August.30th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Photo: Dave Arrigio - Pirates

Photo: Dave Arrigio – Pirates

Francisco Liriano shut down the mighty Cardinals lineup with 8 innings of no run, 2 hit ball. He got his 15th win, 5-0, and the Pirates moved into a first place tie with St. Louis.

Todd Helton hit a pair of three run homers, the second one being career hit number 2,499. His 6 RBI were the difference in Colorado’s 9-6 victory over the Reds.

Jarrod Parker held the Rays to a single run over his first 7 innings of work. Eventually he left in the 8th and the bullpen lost the lead, but his performance helped set up Oakland’s 4-3 victory and moved them into the top Wild Card spot.

Dustin Ackley went 4-5 with a triple and 4 RBI, leading the Mariners past the Astros, 7-1.

They all owned baseball on August 30, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (July14th) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Justin Verlander made a serious bid for his 3rd career no hitter. He held the Rangers hitless for the first 6 2/3 innings before Mitch Moreland doubled off of the wall. He finished with 7 innings of one hit ball, getting credit for the Tigers 5-0 victory.

Wily Peralta pitched 7 strong innings, letting up only 1 run, as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks by a 5-1 score.

Josh Donaldson certainly hit like an All Star yesterday. He drove in all three Oakland runs including a 2 run game tying home run in the 7th and a walk off single in the 11th as the A’s topped Boston 3-2.

Michael Cuddyer went 2-5 with a homer and drove in all three Rockies runs in Colorado’s 3-1 victory over the Dodgers.

They all owned baseball on July 14th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (June 9th) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Dexter Fowler went 4-6, scored the tying run and drove in the walk off RBI as the Rockies came from behind to beat the Padres 8-7


Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven innings of 2 hit shutout innings, striking out 8, as the Nationals won 7-0, setting up a sweep of the Twins in a double header and climbed back to .500.


Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered twice, driving in four, as the Red Sox clobbered the Angels 10-5.


David Phelps may have been saddled with a no decision, but he was excellent over 6 innings of 3 hit ball, letting up a single run, as the Yankees went on to rally to a 2-1 victory over the Mariners.


They all owned baseball on June 9th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

202 ‘WOB’ Awards Since Opening Day – Find Out Who

Sully baseball hosts a 20 Min Daily Podcast https://mlbreports.com/2013/04/27/sully-baseball-daily-podcast-april-27-2013/

‘Sully’ Baseball (Paul Francis Sullivan) hosts a 20 Minute Daily Podcast Every Day – 365 Days a Year – unless its a Leap Year – and then he is going to do another one.

check out Sully Baseball’s 20 Min Daily Podcast Right here

Don’t forget to Subscribe on iTunes HERE. RSS Feed here

WOB Stands For ‘Who Owned Baseball’  It is based on a Daily Look at the best players from the baseball games the day before. Our Lead Writer – Paul Francis Sullivan – (please call him ‘Sully’),  keeps a running total for the yearly leaders every day – and we will update the standings here every day on this page.. 

Agree or Disagree with him on the players he selects – leave him a comment at info@sullybaseball.com.  Follow him on twitter. 

So Bookmark this Page – and be part of the new phenomena of #WOB – If you reverse WOB it also means Players that take a BOW for being the best players of the night! Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May 20th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 7.21.26 AM

Yan Gomes hit a walk off, come from behind, 3 run homer in the bottom of the 10th to cap off a 3-5 day as the Indians won a bizarre 10-8 game over the Mariners.

R. A. Dickey pitched 8 strong innings letting up only 4 hits and 2 earned runs as the Blue Jays got a much needed win over the Rays, 7-5.

Brandon Belt went 4-5, homering and scoring 4 times as the Giants demolished the Nationals 8-0.

And Patrick Corbin threw his first career complete game, improving to 7-0, as he let up only 3 hits and 1 run in Coors Field, striking out 10 for the Diamondbacks 5-1 win over the Rockies.

They all owned baseball on May 20th, 2013

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May.19) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Miguel Cabrera

In a losing cause, Miguel Cabrera hit three homers, reached base 5 times, scored three and drove in 5 runs. (His critics would point out that he made an error.) Despite his best efforts, the Tigers lost to Texas 11-8.

Matt Moore pitched seven terrific innings, holding the Orioles to a single run. The Tampa Bay Rays won 3-1 and swept a series in Baltimore that could come back to haunt the Birds later.

Carlos Gonzalez got on base four times and got RBI hits in the first and fifth as the Rockies blanked the Champion Giants 5-0 in Coors Field.

And Ricky Nolasco pitched 8 strong innings, letting up only 1 run and struck out 11 as the Marlins enjoyed a rare win, 2-1 over the Diamondbacks.

They all owned baseball on May 19th, 2013

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball May.12th – Plus Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Chris Sale

Chris Sale threw the third one hit shutout of the weekend as the White Sox (wearing their wonderfully dreadful 1980’s throwbacks) defeated the Angels 3-0

Jose Bautista homered twice and walked, driving in three runs as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Red Sox in Fenway 12-4.

Marco Scutaro went 2-5 with a homer as the Giants defeated the Braves 5-1.

And Jorge De La Rosa answered the gems pitched by the Cardinals by holding St. Louis hitless into the 7th as the Rockies won 8-2.

They all owned baseball on May 12, 2013

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – click here Read the rest of this entry

Yankees Current State Of The Union + The Phil Hughes Question

Like us on Facebook here

Wednesday, May.08/2013

As the Yankees enter May, they do so in second place trailing their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. This is a surprise for many who thought that Boston and New York would struggle in 2013.

As the Yankees enter May, they do so in second place trailing their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. This is a surprise for many who thought that Boston and New York would struggle in 2013

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

As April came to a close and May began, the Yankees found themselves in an all so familiar place. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were atop the American League East.  It seems like this struggle between century old rivals has dominated the AL East for the better part of the last 15 years.  

This year was supposed to be different as New York and Boston were both expected to cede the division to the Baltimore O’s, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, and perhaps that will still be the case, but after five weeks of the season, it certainly seems like the demise of the Yanks and Sox was greatly overstated.

Part of the reason that the Yankees have managed to prove their naysayers incorrect has been their stellar starting pitching.  Each of the top four Yankee starters has pitched well to start the season, but as the title of the article suggests, there is one pitcher who has stood out especially in the last several weeks.

 His performance leads to this question: Is Phil Hughes finally becoming the pitcher he was always touted to be? Is the 26-year old right hander finally blossoming into a strong 1/2 starter? The numbers, at least early on, scream YES. 

The Phil Hughes Question:

Read the rest of this entry

Fixing The Phillies Offense: All Good Things To Those Who Wait

Like us on Facebook here

Friday April 19, 2013

Ryan Howard once was an extremely great OBP Player before the last couple of years  In his MVP year (2006) - he was 5th in the NL with a .425 OBP.  He went for a .392 clip in 2007, before a precipitous fall to .339 in 2008.  2009 saw a .360 mark, 2010 - .353, 2011 - .346 and finally a Career Low in 2012 for the tune of a .295 OBP.  This year he is not much better at ,303.  Howard's Career 3 Slash Line is still .271/.363/911 but plummeting.

Ryan Howard once was an extremely great OBP Player before the last couple of years In his MVP year (2006) – he was 5th in the NL with a .425 OBP. He went for a .392 clip in 2007, before a precipitous fall to .339 in 2008. 2009 saw a .360 mark, 2010 – .353, 2011 – .346 and finally a Career Low in 2012 for the tune of a .295 OBP. This year he is not much better at ,303. Howard’s Career 3 Slash Line is still .271/.363/911 but plummeting.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

The late, great Harmon Killebrew, author of 573 Home Runs during his Hall of Fame career, was also exceptionally talented in another skill when he stepped to the plate: drawing Walks.

Charlie Manuel knows this better than most because he played alongside “Killer” for four years as a member of the Minnesota Twins in the late 1960’s. Over dinner, in the clubhouse and on the bench they’d talk baseball quite a bit, mostly about the art of hitting. Manuel said of Killebrew:

HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 1:

HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 2:

“Killer used to preach to me that the most important thing was getting strikes [to swing at]. He said he didn’t like to walk, but that he had to take pitches to get good strikes.”

 MLB.com / Hal Bodley, May 17, 2011

Killer was an 11 Time All - Star and an 7 time HR King. He also hit 40+ HRs 7 times. The man had a Hall Of Fame Career.  The Phillies could take a page out of Killebrew's patience...He Walked 1559 times  in 2435 Games Played.  His 3 Career Slash was .256/.376/.884.

Killer was an 11 Time All – Star and a 6 time HR King. He also hit 40+ HRs 8 times. The man had a Hall Of Fame Career. The Phillies could take a page out of Killebrew’s patience…He Walked 1559 times in 2435 Games Played. His 3 Career Slash was .256/.376/.884.

Amen to that. Killebrew didn’t need to say much at all on the matter as his patience did all his preaching for him. He led MLB in free passes four times in his career – with a high mark of 145 drawn in the 1969 season. It’s not a coincidence that he went on to hit 49 Home Runs and drive in 140 RBI that Summer. 

And in his best seasons, Killebrew would crack the 100-Walk plateau seven times while reaching 90+ Bases on Balls in three other campaigns.

Killebrew’s 1969 MVP season totals:

Year AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1969 555 106 153 20 2 49 140 145 84 .276 .427 .584 1.011

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/19/2013.

Returning to present day, the Phillies are mired in a severe slump where they’re finding runs are about as hard to produce as water from a dry sponge.

Our boys of Summer have been as impatient as children at church with little to no plan or approach at the plate, swinging their bats like orchestra conductors at a dubstep concerto.

Show a pitcher you’ll offer at a ball outside the zone and they’ll pitch it outside the zone. 

Too many Phillies batsmen have been all too eager to flail away in undisciplined fashion, such as Ryan Howard (3 Walks), Ben Revere (4), and even Chase Utley (4).

Of those three, only Utley is producing with two doubles, two triples, three home runs and 13 RBI, but with a very un-Utley-esque .339 OBP (career .379). Impatience has begotten impatience among the Phillies’ brass:

“Who wants to go for a walk?”
Courtesy of DelawareOnline.com

Please take note of that quote having been tweeted about two hours before game-time last night vs. St. Louis, a one-run loss which would also see the Phillies earn a big, fat zero in the walk column.

For those keeping score, that’s zero walks in four straight games. Clearly with no change in plans at the plate, our boys have forgotten that sometimes the best things in life are free.

The translation is quite simple, really, even in today’s game. So far in 2013, three of the top four National League teams in drawing walks (Reds, Rockies and Mets) are also the top three teams in runs scored.

And while the Phillies are ranked sixth in hits as a team, they are 14th (of 15 teams) in seeing ball four which again translates to scoring runs, where they rank 11th in the National League. Combine all of this with a third place ranking in Strikeouts (126), they currently sit 13th in the NL with an OBP of just .291.

To drive the point home, this is only slightly better than the cellar-dwelling Chicago Cubs and the lowly Miami Marlins. Yuck.

It took the Philles 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series in 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009 and took home the Trophy in 2008.  The Phillies have finished .500+ or better for every year since 2002.  However 2012 saw their streak of 5 straight NL East Division Titles come to an end.  Now that they have started slow at 6 - 10 - can they come back to make the playoffs and a have a shot at a World Series  in 2013?

It took the Philles 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series in 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009 – and took home the Trophy in 2008. The Phillies have finished .500+ or better for every year since 2002. However 2012 saw their streak of 5 straight NL East Division Titles come to an end. Now that they have started slow at 6 – 10 – can they come back to make the playoffs and a have a shot at a World Series in 2013?

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank – you goes out to our Philadelphia Phillies Correspondent Chris Creighton for preparing today’s featured post..  Chris is a Phillies Phan, Baseball fan & player. He thinks that there is no better place for food and is a  proponent of the city of Philadelphia. Huge U2 fan. Phillies writer at  http://www.warroomphilly.com .

Chris says:  “Follow a Web Show covering everything in the Philadelphia Sports Scene. Sit back and enjoy from the hearts of two die-hard Philly guys here !  You can follow Chris Creighton on Twitter or the WarRoomPhilly

a war room chris

Please e-mail me at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Like us on Facebook here

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: September 23rd, 2012

Sunday September 23rd, 2012



Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets! We love to hear from you- so keep the questions coming every week!

Jonathan Hacohen: I am in a GREAT mood this weekend! Can you blame me? The MLB season is nearing the playoffs and the WBC qualifiers are well under way! While I love watching MLB action, my heart still favors the World Baseball Classic. If you have ever watched a game involving a team…say like Cuba, Venezuela or the Dominican Republic, you would understand why. In my book, nothing beats international baseball action. The passion of the fans and players simply cannot be beat. To have ones country advance in the tournament is one of the highest levels of joy that a baseball fan can experience.

Going into this week, I was keeping a special eye on Israel and Canada. As I am Jewish (check the last name), I will always root for anything and everything involving Israel. I almost fell out of my seat with excitement when I first heard that Israel was invited to the WBC qualifiers. Now watching this team in action, they certainly have a great chance to qualify for March. I have enjoyed speaking with Cody Decker, Padres prospect and a member of Team Israel over the past few days. To say that Cody is excited to be playing for Israel is an understatement. He spoke very highly of the atmosphere, the level of talent on the team and the feeling of playing with “Israel” across his chest. As Israel plays Spain today for the right to advance to the 2013 World Baseball Classic, I wish my fellow countrymen the best of luck. Behind ya 110%!

Canada has also advanced to the finals of its group, awaiting the winner of the Germany and Great Britain today. Canada will meet the winner on Monday afternoon. Due to its poor play in the 2009 edition of the WBC, Canada was forced to qualify for the upcoming tournament. After 2 strong games on its resume, Canada looks good to advance (will likely play Germany in the finals). As my family and I live in Canada, we have the bias of wanting to see a good showing from the northern squad. Hopefully my wish comes true, and both Canada and Israel end up qualifying. The fact of the matter is that the countries are in different positions. This is Israel’s first try at WBC action, and the team came in with little pressure and everything to gain. Israel will be thrilled to qualify, while Canada must qualify. Canada is known internationally as a strong baseball market and anything less than a victory on Monday for it would be a huge disappointment. To qualify, both Israel and Canada will need defeat strong opponents. Hopefully it will all work out at the end.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

MLB Trade Deadline Update #5 7/28: Segura Traded, Scutaro to San Francisco, Reds Looking for Leadoff Hitter

Saturday July 28th, 2012

Sam Evans: With the MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline coming up on Tuesday, let’s look at what trades have recently happened, and what could happen in the coming days:

Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB Trade Deadline Update 7/23: Dempster, Blue Jays, Astros, and More

Monday July 23rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: As the trade deadline looms, teams are scrambling to make a final buy or sell in order to push toward the playoffs. Some teams are trying to get value out of their soon-to-be free agents while other teams are rebuilding. Here are some of the big deals that have gone down in the past few days:

Blue Jays and Astros—10 player deal. Big names: J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, David Carpenter, Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, Carlos Perez

The Astros are obviously in their rebuilding phase. Last year, they gave up Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, and the year before they gave up Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman. Earlier this year, Carlos Lee went to the Marlins for top prospect Matt Dominguez and others.  More recently Brett Myers went to the White Sox for minor league pitchers and J.A. Happ went to the Blue Jays along with relievers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter for Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, and other prospects in a ten-player trade. With these deals this year, the Astros have removed virtually all big names from the team. Not to say that J.A. Happ was a big name player, but he was a well-regarded pitcher that the Phillies gave up in the Roy Oswalt trade. Also given up by the Astros is former closer Brandon Lyon. He gave up the closer role to Brett Myers this year, but he does have the capability to serve in the back-end of a bullpen. Read the rest of this entry

The Prince is Crowned Yet Again! Fielder Wins Another Home Run Derby Title

Tuesday July 10th, 2012

John Burns:  Kauffman Stadium was electric Monday night from the top sluggers in baseball putting on an absolute home run clinic. Detroit’s Prince Fielder won his second Home Run Derby by beating Toronto’s Jose Bautista 12-7 in the final round. Fielder got off to a slow start with 5 homers in the first round which barely advanced him over Carlos Gonzalez and Andrew McCutchen who both had 4 home runs in the first round. After the first round it was all Prince Fielder. Prince hit 23 homers in the final two rounds and became only the second player to win multiple titles in the Home Run Derby.

Matt Kemp and Robinson Cano were the captains for their respected leagues and picked 3 sluggers to represent the NL and AL. The first round results for the sluggers were: Robinson Cano (0 homers), Matt Kemp (1 homer), Andrew McCutchen (4 homers), Carlos Gonzalez (4 homers), Prince Fielder (5 homers), Mark Trumbo (7 Homers), Carlos Beltran (7 homers), and the leader in the first round Jose Bautista with 11 homers.  Robinson Cano, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez were all eliminated after the 1st round. Read the rest of this entry

The Truth Behind Jason Hammel’s Amazing Start

Monday May 14th, 2012

Sam Evans:When MLB Reports first wrote about the Rockies/Orioles trade that sent Rockies’ pitcher’s Matt Lindstrom and Jason Hammel to Baltimore in exchange for Jeremy Guthrie, the Orioles seemed like early candidates to come out ahead in this trade. It’s still too early to tell, but because of Hammel’s hot start, the Orioles look like they got a bargain deal. Hammel has been so impressive because of his new pitch and his superb strikeout-to-walk ratios. The Orioles are currently on top of the A.L. East with a 22-13 record, and they owe a lot of the credit for their success to Jason Hammel. Still, there are multiple reasons why they can’t expect Hammel to keep this up.

Coming up in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays system, Jason Hammel was considered a fairly decent pitching prospect. He stands six feet and six inches tall, and weighs roughly 215 pounds. However, when Hammel reached the majors in 2006, just four years since being drafted out of high school, he struggled mightily. In 2008, Hammel’s last year with the Rays, he had a 5.25 FIP. Eventually, the Rays decided that their younger pitching prospects deserved a spot in their rotation more than Hammel. As a result, Hammel was traded before the 2009 season to the Rockies for Aneury Rodriguez. In Colorado, Hammel improved as a pitcher, but he was never considered above-average. Read the rest of this entry

Chuck Booth’s GWR Streak (Parks 25-29)

The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!

I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days  from April 6th to 28th!

Sked is here: fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

https://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Friday May.4/2012

Chuck Booth and Lori Martini being interviewed by ‘Did The Tribe Win Last Night’ Blog at the Social Suite at Progressive Field.

MLB Park # 25 Day # 20

COL 2 @ PIT 1

April.25/2012

PNC PARK

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My stay in Tampa Bay was a nice one the night before(despite having to commandeering a neighboring hotel just to do some laundry at midnight.)  I was too fired up to sleep and there was no chance at all I would risk sleeping in on this day.  I had known for a while that this was going to be an epic day.  Since the fallout of the missed doubleheader for Cleveland and Baltimore was first established on that San Diego flight, I looked forward to this day thoroughly.

Read the rest of this entry

Chuck Booth’s 30 MLB Park Quest: (Games 16-21)

The Streak stands at 23 MLB Parks in 18 calendar days!!

Chuck Booth:  I am the World Record Holder for-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 24 days (2009)!

In 2012, I am going for 30 MLB Parks in 23 days from: April 6th to 28th.

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

Follow my streak all the through to the bitter end.  Schedule is this link:

https://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Tuesday April.24/2012

Ken Lee, Chuck Booth and Doug Miller all at Safeco Field for the game #18 in 14 days on April.19/2012. (They would later be featured on TV several times above the King’s Court Seats. ) Chuck also had a special welcome wave from the TV Jumbo Tron and was given a free gift bag from the Seattle front office.

MLB Park # 16 Day # 12

CHC 2 @ MIA 3

April.17/2012

New Marlins Ball Park

‘Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twiter)- It was a great day for a new baseball park.  During this trip, anytime that I have had a single game only for a day, I have felt a little bit more relaxed while watching the action.  I flew into FLL (Fort Lauderdale Airport) really early and caught up on some writing.  I was fully rewarded with my National Car Rental to the tune of a Chrysler 200 that was black in color.  I made my way to my Best Western Hotel near the airport.  Check in time was not till 3 PM, but I was able to coerce the staff to let me take a room early.  I really appreciate the professional way the Best Western staff always helps me in the travels. Read the rest of this entry

You Shake, Rattle and Roll On A World Record Chase

Tuesday, April.11/2012

 

Chuck at Dodger Stadium

 

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My step-mom is a retired executive from Air Canada.  Back when I was a teenager, Nancy taught me how to travel properly, by how to pack, schedule and always be able to adapt when things go awry.  I am pleased to say that she had an incredible influence on me becoming a travel expert now.  Her slogan was always; “You gotta learn how to shake, rattle and roll when traveling.” My dad (Tom Booth), helped teach a proper demeanor for my 3 brothers and me while on vacation that I also implement.  He said to us “You guys are going to encounter several things when traveling.  “If you break, lose or-your items are lost for you, just replace them immediately and don’t let it consume you.  After all, why should you be miserable on vacation?”  These are motto’s I live by while traveling.  I perpetually move forward and don’t look back.  While I am glad this trip has generated a lot interest, really the passion here is baseball and traveling.  If by some chance I don’t best my own record, I will have fun watching a baseball game in every city again.  “You have nothing to prove in this world other to anybody but yourself!”

 I have encountered numerous ways of being delayed in chasing baseball parks.  Last night was no different.  I sat in the San Diego Airport ready to embark on my flight to Cleveland that was supposed to be part of a Progressive Field/Oriole Park at Camden Yards day-night doubleheader. Out of all the 10 doubleheaders that I placed to attempt during this World Record chase, this particular one I would rank the second toughest.  The only doubleheader I thought was tougher was the Angel Stadium/Petco Park double header.  Ironically enough, I converted that doubleheader.  So when the flight was cancelled last night-(due to mechanical failure) I knew I had to think fast on my feet.  The Airline was offering up help to fly on other flight, or destinations within reason.  Much to my dismay, the airline was not even able to fly me into the second half of the double header n Baltimore, thus creating a plane flight domino.  Adding to the severity of the pressure, was I had to think of something fast because the airline needed to help me book a morning flight out of San Diego.

Whenever I plan one of these trips, I have a depth chart for each team.  I am lucky that after a few hours of placing this schedule together, I also come up with many different alternatives.  Missing the game in Texas the other night for a small delay was nerve-wracking, but maybe it was all meant to be.  When I expressed to the airline that I wanted to fly to Dallas, they quickly were on board with that option.  The other dominoes came to me quickly.  I moved Cleveland to the 25th as part of PNC Park and Progressive Field Ground Transportation doubleheader.  As part of my original streak attempt when I first dreamt up another run at this, the schedule had this exact doubleheader.  Cleveland was the last team in the Majors to post their start times.  When the Indians scheduled a matinee for the 11th of April, it opened up another doubleheader attempt for me by placing the Orioles with Cleveland.  All I had to do was bring Detroit into the doubleheader chance with Pittsburgh instead.  Now that I am not going to Progressive Field today, I am able to re-schedule the easier to attain doubleheader.  Baltimore was switched to the date left vacated by Texas on the 27th of April.  This left Detroit.  I knew the team played on the 22nd of April.

One of the reasons I went to Chase Field last Friday, was to protect myself against something like last night.  That Chase Field game is now the 1st game of the streak.  I moved Detroit into their slot on the 22nd.  All the teams have a home in the streak again.  What is more incredible about this: is that by shifting these cities around and shuffling transportation costs this little maneuver is going to save me $300.   I was dreading having to schedule the Texas game after the streak ended, whether it was driving 17 hours or flying, it was going to be costly and time-consuming,  I managed to switch out all my flights and actually have a surcharge in my favor.  Since I am flying to Denver from Dallas tomorrow, it was a cheaper flight from almost anywhere when you near a travel day fare.  Now I am flying to Dallas for a plane fare I spent $160 to originally go to Cleveland for.  This day of plane for to Dallas would probably be in the $500-$600 area.

By re-scheduling the trip this way, it also frees up more availability should I have to make up another game or two.  That Detroit game doubleheader was risky.  If I was running the streak near perfect, I could have risked it and then shuffled the Tigers to the very next day and forego the Cincinnati/Chicago White Sox doubleheader on the 25th.  This was not the case and I need that 26th doubleheader.  If I kept that doubleheader and missed the Tigers, the next date they were home was April.30th (or the 24th day of the streak.)

Moving Detroit to Sunday the 22nd is pretty decent too, I have a doubleheader for Chicago and Milwaukee on the day before.  This is about a 7 hour drive to Michigan.  Ken Lee will now attend at least 8 of my games with me for this streak.  The Pittsburgh/Cleveland double dip is very doable.  The Pirates game should end around 3:30.  It is only a couple of hours drive to Progressive Field from there.  I would give us a 80-85% chance to hit this game.  If for some reason we don’t, the Indians play on the 27th- through the 29th.  Other doubleheaders remaining are the TOR-NYY (Yankees play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) ATL-STL (Cardinals play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) CIN/CWS (The White Sox play a series on the 27th-29th). CHI/MIL (The Brewers do not play so I will need the DH).  I also give us a 80-85% of making this.  Finally I have the Boston/Washington DH (If I miss WSH-I can move them into the Marlins slot of the 17th and then re-do the Marlins from the (27-29 series).

So far I have had 2 missed doubleheaders in this trip that were entirely out of my control.  Now a 30-22 schedule hangs in the balance.  Whatever happens throughout the rest of the trip is up in the air.  The 2009 streak of 30-24 seems even more impressive now than before.  In a night where I have already logged 17,000 Air Miles for this trip and running on all fumes, I was able to come up with the best viable solution I could.  So whenever I have a chance, I will sleep comfortably about my performance on this trip thus far.  I go into tonight’s game looking for my 8th Ball Park in 6 days.  Its been a tough 20 hrs-fighting airlines-car rentals not having cars and several doubters and haters-i made it 2 the ballpark-suitcase/briefcase and all-scoreboard says 8 gms 6 days parks 30/22 days

NEW SCHEDULE UPDATED APR 11

With a flight cancellation last night, it has caused me to reschedule several games for the streak.  The Arizona D’Backs game now becomes the official game #1.  If the game was changed from the original, it will be highlighted in red.  I also changed the PIT/DET doubleheader to now be a PIT/CLE Doubleheader on the 25th ave.  I lost one of my doubleheader attempts today, but at least I am not taking an a zero.

Game#1 Day #1  Friday April.06 Chase Field in Arizona 4:10 PM (Completed:  Arizona wins 5-4)

Game # 2 Day # 2  Saturday April.07 Angels Stadium in Anaheim 1:05 PM (Completed LAA loses 6-3 to KC)

Game # 3 Day # 2 Saturday April.07 Petco Park in San Diego 5:35 PM (I Have 2 doubleheader attempts with SD as Game 2 of the day)( Completed: San Diego loses 6-5 to the LAD in 11 innings)

Game # 4 Day # 3  Sunday April.08 Minute Maid Park in Houston 1:05 PM (Completed: Houston wins 3-2)

Game # 5 Day # 4  Monday April.09 Citizens Bank Ball Park in Philadelphia 1:05 PM (Citizens Bank Ball Park Season Opener) (Completed: Philly loses 6-2 to the Miami Marlins)

Game # 6 Day # 4   Monday April.09 Citi Field in New York (NYM win 3-2 over WSH)

Game # 7 Day # 5   Tuesday April.10 Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles 1:05 PM (Dodger Stadium Season Opener) Completed: LAD wins 2-1 over  Pit)

Game # 8 Day # 6  Wednesday April.11 The Ballpark in Arlington 7:05 PM

Game # 9 Day #7 Thursday April.12 Coors Field 1:05 PM

Game #10 Day # 8 Friday April.13 AT&T Park in San Francisco 1:35 PM  (AT & T Park Season Opener)

Game # 11 Day # 9 Saturday April.14 Target Field in Minnesota 12:10 PM

Game # 12 Day # 10  Sunday April.15 Rogers Center in Toronto 1:07 PM

Game # 13 Day # 10 Sunday April.15 Yankees Stadium in the Bronx 8:05 PM

Game # 14 Day #11 Monday April.16 Fenway Park in Boston 11:05 AM

Game # 15  Day #11 Monday April.16 Nationals Park in Washington 7:05 PM

Game # 16  Day #12 Tuesday April.17 New Marlins Ballpark 7:05 PM

Game # 17  Day #13  WED April.18 Turner Field in Atlanta 12:10 PM

Game # 18  Day #13  WED April.18 Busch Stadium in St. Louis 7:15 PM

Game # 19 Day #14 THUR April.19 Safeco Field in Seattle 7:10 PM

Game # 20  Day # 15 Friday  April.20 Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City 7:10 PM

Game # 21 Day # 16 SAT.    April.21 Wrigley Field in Chicago 12:00 PM

Game # 22 Day # 16 SAT.    April.21 Miller Park in Milwaukee 6:05 PM

Game # 23  Day # 17 SUN.   April.22 Comerica Park in Detroit 1:05 PM 

Game # 24 Day # 18 MON.  April.23 O.co Coliseum in Oakland 7:05 PM

Game # 25 Day # 19 TUES  April.24 Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay 7:05 PM

Game # 26 Day # 20  WED.  April.25 PNC Park in Pittsburgh 12:35 PM

Game # 27  Day # 20 WED.  April.25 Progressive Field in Cleveland 7:05 PM

Game # 28 Day # 21 THU.   April.26 Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati 12:35 PM

Game # 29  Day # 21 THU.   April.26 US Cellular Field in Chicago 7:11 PM

Game# 30  Day # 22 FRI      April.27  Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 7:05 PM

 ***Thank you to our Lead Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

Please e-mail us at: mlbreports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Are Fred McGriff and Larry Walker Heading to Cooperstown?

Sunday December 11th, 2011

Sam Evans: During the pinnacle of their careers, Fred McGriff and Larry Walker, each averaged over thirty home runs a year. Now, in their first couple years of eligibility, both players have shown promising signs that they are on their way to becoming Hall-of-Famers. However, I’m not quite sure if they both deserve it.

Larry Walker: Larry Walker was an amazing power-hitting outfielder from 1989 to 2005. He actually was a very solid defensive right fielder, considered one of the best in baseball history. Walker played for the Expos, Rockies, and Cardinals during his seventeen years in the majors.

Walker helped popularize the game back in his home country of Canada. He was the first Canadian ever to win the MVP in 1997. He hit .366 with 49 HR, 130 RBI,  and 33 stolen bases. When he retired in 2005, he had been nominated to five All-Star games, he won seven Gold Gloves, and Walker finished with 67.3 WAR, which is 67th all-time among position players.

Unfortunately, Walker also played during the height of the Steroid Era. We are learning more and more about these dangerous drugs as time passes, and we still can’t be positive who is using PED’s (See Ryan Braun announcement from today). It would not come as a big surprise to me if Walker was using PED’s in the 90’s. However, as great as it is to see a player that had a successful career without PED’s, (e.g. Ken Griffey Jr.), we have to remember that performance enhancing drugs were not banned back then. I am sure that the public suspicion that Walker was a steroid user though are hurting his Hall of Fame chances.

Another knock against Walker is that he never won a World Series. It is hard for voters to vote for a proclaimed winner, if they never won a championship. In 2011, Walker’s first year of eligibility, he received 20.3 of the BBWAA votes. The requirement is seventy-five percent, but overall, this was a strong first year showing for Walker.

If you look at Walker’s career as a whole, I’m pretty certain he will be considered a Hall-of-Famer. I really think Cooperstown though needs to redefine what being a hall of famer is all about. Is it about the impact players made on the game? Or what their numbers look like? The Hall-of-Fame has a lot more problems with its standards then I think most people realize.

Fred McGriff: McGriff is another top power hitter. McGriff holds the MLB record for homers in the most different stadiums with forty-two.

McGriff hit 493 homers in his career, good enough for 25th all-time. “Crime Dog” also finished with a .284 BA, and an average of 86 walks per 162 games. McGriff was nominated to five All-Star games and led the league in home runs twice. On the other hand, McGriff was not known as a great defensive first basemen. Also, he never really stayed with one team for an extended amount of time.

When looking at McGriff’s long career, the homers obviously stand out. He hit just as many homers as current HOF’er Lou Gehrig. Another highlight of McGriff’s nineteen year career was winning the World Series with the Braves in 1995.

McGriff will surely be named a Hall-of-Famer before his fifteen years are up. He played during an era where power was easy to find, and McGriff relied on his power to provide him with a lengthy career. However, 483 homers, and being tabbed “Baseball Superstar” in Tom Emanski’s infamous commercials is apparently enough for an election to Cooperstown.

McGriff is really a “push” candidate for the Hall-of-Fame. I’m not completely sure he will a fair chance to make it because of the era he played in. In 2010, McGriff received 21.5% of the BBWAA votes, and then in 2011, he took a step back only getting 17.9% of the votes.

For both of these players, writers are more reluctant to vote for them because of who the group they played with. As was evidenced with the Ryan Braun news, Americans have a very negative reaction to PED’s. We just want to enjoy baseball nostalgically, with”real” athletes that don’t need to cheat to succeed. The truth is, cheating is a huge part of the game. From corked bats to spitballs, this kind of thing has been going on for over a hundred years. The effects that PED’s have in the human body are devastating, and turning yourself into a superhuman should not be allowed in baseball. However, the era in which Larry Walker and Fred McGriff played in should not be the reason to keep them out of Cooperstown.  Both players should be judged on their numbers and performances, if that is possible.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter***

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Ask the Reports: Saturday December 3rd

Saturday December 3, 2011

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

Q:  I just read your article about expansion. This is my most favorite topic in baseball. I have an idea. Tell me what you think of it.

American League

East
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

North
Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers

South
Kansas City Royals
Houston Astros
Texas Rangers
Tampa Bay Rays

West
Los Angeles Angels
San Diego Padres
Portland Athletics
Seattle Mariners

National League

East
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals

North
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals

South
Charlotte Knights (Expansion Team)
Atlanta Braves
San Antonio Colts (Expansion Team)
Miami Marlins

West
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies

-Joe (via e-mail)

MLB reports:  Radical realignment and expansion Joe.  Love it!  I am a BIG fan of adding 2 new expansion teams to Major League Baseball.  32 teams, 16 teams per league, 4 divisions per league and 4 teams per division makes perfect sense to me.  I am sold.  Now the magical question is which cities would be included and how to realign the divisions.  Under your proposal, San Antonio and Charlotte would get expansion teams, while the A’s would be relocated to Portland.  All three cities are top contenders for MLB teams, so I have no issue with having Major League Baseball in those cities.  For this scenario to work, the A’s would need to exhaust the option of moving to San Jose or any other city in California before being fully relocated.  I don’t see the A’s in Portland personally.  I see them staying in California.  But stranger things have happened.  Interesting that you did not relocate the Rays in your proposal.  I see them having an equally high chance of being relocated as the A’s.  So assuming that we accept your relocation and expansion plans, the last issue will be the alignment of the divisions.  The AL South and NL South need work.  If we are putting a team in San Antonio, let’s put them in the same division as the Rangers and Astros and make a nearly all-Texas division.  The Rays and Marlins should also be in the same division.  I agree with Charlotte and Atlanta together.  Consider as well putting the Dodgers, Giants, Angels and Padres together in an-all California division.  You have a great basis for changes though…well done!  Thank you for the comment and giving us some food for thought.  Please click here to read our previous report on MLB Expansion.

Q:  Just want to say that I’m glad other “unknown talented” Countries are going to have an opportunity to participate.  My mother is from Nicaragua so it’s awesome to know Nicaragua AT LEAST has an opportunity. Maybe in the near future, the WBC should consist of more than 16 teams….maybe a total of 24?  Joshua (via e-mail)

MLB reports:  Thank you for the question Joshua.  You know we love talking about the World Baseball Classic!  Please click here to see our previous report on the upcoming 2013 WBC.  The initial 2006 and 2009 WBC editions consisted of 16 total countries.  In 2013, there are changes to the tournament.  12 holdover countries are guaranteed to play in the tournament itself.  Prior to the WBC, there will be a qualifying tournament between the remaining 4 holdover countries and 12 new countries introduced to the WBC.  Thus the total amount of countries that have a chance to play in the WBC is 28.  I think that the 16 country format works very well.  What MLB officials will look to do is to continue to expand the amount of countries worldwide that will compete in the qualifying tournament.  We could easily see in the next decade 24 new countries competing for WBC supremacy.  I don’t see the tournament itself changing from the 16 team format, but definitely expect the field of 28 eligible countries to expand further.  Another great question, thank you for sharing!

Q:  A few months ago I called Pujols in Chicago! They have the $ and could use the leadership.  Aaron (via Twitter)

MLB reports:  I seem to recall you saying that.  There were many pushes to start the offseason for Albert Pujols to join the Cubs.  At the time I wrote them off as impossible.  But with the Cubs new management team on board led by Theo Epstein, I am not quite as sure.  I still see Pujols back with the Cardinals.  He has spent his whole career in St. Louis and has roots now in Missouri.  At similar or equal money, I see him staying.  The more likely move for the Cubs is to pick up Prince Fielder.  I think the fit is better overall from an age perspective for Chicago.  But if there is any team that will be able to “woo” Pujols, it could very well be the Cubs.  The Cardinals faithful would be devastated if Pujols was to leave.  We shall see how this all plays out- but I give a 99.9% chance of Pujols staying put.

Q:  I’ve run out of patience with (Phil) Hughes.  David (via Twitter)

MLB reports:  I won’t dispute you David…and many Yankees fans would agree.  But not all has been bad about Phil Hughes.  He had a strong 2009 season pitching almost exclusively out of the pen, followed by an 18 win season in 2010.  Last year was an injury filled season for Hughes that never got on track.  Hughes has battled injuries and inconsistencies throughout his career.  The million dollar is whether Phil Hughes will ever be able to complete a full season healthy.  The Yankees have to decide ultimately if he is best suited to the rotation or bullpen.  While he has enjoyed success in both roles, his arm may not be ultimately be able to hold up the grind in the rotation. He is still young (25) and will not be a free agent until 2014.  The former 1st round pick from 2004 presents a huge dilemma for the Yankees.  Can he be counted to on to be a future ace?  That is unclear at best.  I am prepared to give Hughes until 2014 before passing final judgement.  If it were up to me, the Yankees should carry 6 starters with the hope that Hughes could become a strong #2 and at worst, a viable reliever in the pen.  Phil Hughes definitely deserves the opportunity to show his worth…just don’t count on him yet at this point.

Q:  Hope the Halos did not give away a young arm w/big upside (Chatwood) for a backup catcher (Iannetta)   John (via Twitter)

MLB reports:  We get to end today’s Ask the Reports with my favorite topics:  Angels’ catchers.  The Angels made an interesting move this week, trading former 1st round pick hurler Tyler Chatwood to the Rockies for catcher Chris Iannetta.  Looking at the numbers for Iannetta and Chatwood…it makes me wonder what the Angels were thinking in moving Mike Napoli before the 2011 season.  Let’s compare Napoli and Iannetta.  Napoli is a year and a half older…but about 100x the player.  I will point to a very important piece of evidence:  the home/road splits.  Both played in great hitter’s parks (Texas and Colorado respectively).  But on the road, we really get a true sense of each player.  Napoli hit more home runs on the road (17 to 13), had a higher batting average (.332 to .307) and maintained a .414 OBP and .663 SLG.  The point?  Mike Napoli is an effective hitter, no matter where he plays.  Had he received the same opportunity in Anaheim, the Angels would have ensured a top catcher for themselves and been able to keep Chatwood.  Iannetta, while younger, pales at the plate compared to Napoli.  In 2011, Iannetta hit a solid .301 at home, while only batting .172 on the road.  Iannetta also hit 10 home runs at home, while only 4 on the road.  On the road Iannetta drove in 16 RBIs (39 at home) and scored 15 runs (36 at home).  OBP was .419 at home (.321 on road) and SLG was .557 at home (.266 on road).  This is a small sample of one year, but Iannetta at home is another Mike Napoli…while on the road he becomes another Jeff Mathis.  I am a support of Iannetta, but in Colorado.  I am seeing another Vernon Wells blunder, of a hitter taken out of a hitters’ ballpark that cannot adjust to more difficult hitting conditions.  Iannetta’s bat does not appear to be a good mix with Angel Stadium.  In return for Iannetta, the Angels had to give up Chatwood, their 2nd round pick from 2008. With pitching being a premium in today’s game, it is sad that the Angels had to give up a strong viable arm that I projected as a likely #3 starter for a catcher that will likely not fill in well in their system.  The team already tried that least year, when it chose Mathis over Napoli.  What happened?  Both catchers were not far off defensively, but Napoli became one of the best hitting catchers in baseball.  The Angels hope they are getting the next Mike Napoli.  In truth they should have kept the original.  Now they will have Iannetta (Mathis clone) and Wells clogging up their batting order.  While I am left to continue scratching my head in disbelief.

(Editor’s Note:  Ironically just as this article was just published, the Angels just traded Jeff Mathis…to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brad Mills.  The same Jays that the Angels traded Mike Napoli to almost a year earlier for Vernon Wells.  The Jays would have been smart to hold onto Napoli and kept a prize hitting catcher for themselves who could also DH and play 1B.  Now the Angels take the other half of the Angels catching tandem as their new backup catcher.  Funny how everything comes full circle).

ARCHIVE:  Click here for Past Issues of Ask the Reports

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

Stolen Bases: Fantasy Baseball Strategies to Increasing Steals

Thursday November 17, 2011

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports):  Of the five categories in standard 5X5 roto leagues, it is SB’s that fantasy owners most commonly have the incorrect approach. In this article I will highlight players to target and avoid in the stolen base department, as well as discuss basic fantasy strategy.

There are certainly several one trick ponies, such as Brett Gardner, Michael Bourn, and Coco Crisp, who provide elite production in this department. However, there are a couple of things you must consider. These types of players, who will hopefully hit for average and contribute to runs, will hurt your team’s HR and RBI performance. Therefore, be sure that you have excess value dispersed throughout the rest of your lineup to compensate. Secondly, you are heavily relying one on player for your production in this category, and as a result an injury can leave your team devastated. Thus, it is essential, particularly in the early rounds, that you find players who do everything, including steal bases. Even 5-10 steals that a player contributes above the position average will give you a significant edge.

A player to target next year, Eric Hosmer, quietly stole 11 bases in 2011. The young left-hander batted .313 with 11 HR and 44 RBI’s in the second half last season. While his still progressing power production puts him the second tier of first baseman, his double-digit stolen base potential makes him intriguing and perhaps underrated. Still, this guy finished the season with 19 home runs and 78 RBI’s in 128 games played. Since there are a slew of first baseman that finished with 30 home runs and 100 RBI, they will likely be targeted before Homer. Therefore, I like Hosmer as a guy who might just as well approach these power numbers but also steal 15 bases. For this same reason, I like Joey Votto over any other first baseman not named Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera. While, Adrian and Gonzalez and Prince Fielder might put up higher power numbers and similar batting averages, Joey Votto’s 10 stolen bases will make him significantly more valuable. Albert Pujols is also good for ten stolen bases as well. Only Miguel Cabrera out produces Votto enough in the other four categories to excuse his lack of stolen bases.

Now extend this approach to each position. Dustin Pedroia and his 25-30 stolen bases is more valuable than Robinson Cano and his 5-10 stolen bases, despite the fact Cano finished with 7 more home runs and 25 RBI’s. A player I like at this position if you can afford to take the hit in HR’s and RBI’s is Jemile Weeks, who finished with 22 stolen bases in just 97 games. He will get to play full-time in Oakland, and as long as he is hitting above .290, can be valuable to your roster as a good source of steals. On the decline is Brandon Phillips who has dropped from 25 to 16 to 14 stolen bases the last three seasons. This makes him no longer elite, especially when Ian Kinsler is doing 30/30. An interesting group of players, Kelly Johnson, Danny Espinosa, and Ben Zobrist each his 20 home runs and stole over 15 bases. However, they each struggled with average. Again, take not of your team’s strengths. If you own Votto and a couple of other average anchors, these types of players can be good sources of power and stolen bases at the second base position.

Instead of continuing on and telling you the elite base stealers position by position (you can easily look this up), I will give you my 2012 sleepers and busts.

Stolen Base Sleepers:

Don’t forget that Brett Lawrie’s one-quarter of a season not only put him on pace to hit 36 home runs and 100 RBI’s, but also projected him to finish with 28 stolen bases.

Peter Bourjos made noise at the end of the season and once stole 50 bases in the minor leagues. For the speedy outfielder, it was all about getting on base after a 2010 debut in which he batted .204 in 51 games. However, he greatly improved his contact ability, although still needs to improve walk rate, and batted .271 and stole 21 bases for the Angels. He also hit 12 home runs, and has the potential for a productive .280 15 HR 30 SB stat line in 2012.

After stealing 19 bases in 2011, I expect Shane Victorino to reach the 30 mark once again in 2012. It’s not that he didn’t run when he was on base, but his lower than usual BABIP and high than usual ISO (measures true power) simply meant he was not on first base as often as he normally is. With Rollins likely out of Philadelphia, I expect Victorino to ne at the top of the lineup and as aggressive as ever on the base paths.

Keep you eye Cameron Maybin, who stole 40 bases in 137 games for the Padres. As long as he has the chance to play semi-regularly, he is elite in the stolen base category. Furthermore, he appears to be approaching double-digit home run output as well, although he is only a career .255 hitter.

Monitor where Coco Crisp ends up in 2012. I loved him at Oakland in 2011 because he was one of the better hitters on the team (sadly) and at times batted third, but also batted lead off and in the second spot. In addition to leading the American League in steals, he had decent contributions in other categories (8 HR and 54 RBI) compared to some of the other stolen base leaders.

Dexter Fowler is a name to remember because he is simply one of the fastest players in baseball. However, he only stole 12 and 13 bases during the last two years, respectively. He was also caught an alarming 25 times. If he can learn to run on the base paths, he can be elite in this category. It is possible for major leaguers to learn the art of stealing bases. Look at Adam Jones, who was 12/16 on the base paths in 2011 after a 7/14 2010. I expect Jones, who is approaching a contract season, to come closer to 20 steals in 2012.

Speedsters to avoid? Juan Pierre. He really contributes in no other categories and is getting slower, getting caught 17 times in 44 chances in 2011. Furthermore, I do not expect any team to give him the 639 at bats that the White Sox foolishly provided him. Sadly, Ichiro Suzuki is clearly on the decline and appears to be a shell of his former elite self. The same is true with Bobby Abreu.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Fantasy Baseball Analyst, Peter Stein.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Peter on Twitter (@peterWstein).***

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter (@MLBreports) and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Interview with Christian Friedrich: Colorado Rockies Prospect

Friday October 14, 2011

 

 

Jeff P (Guest Writer – MLB reports):  Recently I had the honor of interviewing Christian Friedrich, top MLB pitching prospect.   Speaking to Friedrich, I had the sense that he has the same key goal as many other baseball players:  working hard to achieve his dream.  Friedrich is a great guy and it was a pleasure interviewing him. 

Firstly, I would like to relay some information on Chris, courtesy of Wikipedia:
 
“Christ Louis Friedrich (July 8, 1987 in Evanston, Illinois) is a left-handed starting pitcher in the Colorado Rockies organization. He currently plays for the Class AA Tulsa Drillers. He was drafted in the first round (25th overall) in the 2008 Amateur Draft out of Eastern Kentucky University.”
 
Considering that he was a prestigious first round selection, Chris is one of the most interesting guys you will ever meet in baseball.  Chris has tremendous talent, to go along with his strong reputation in the game.  Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with Rockies Prospect, Chris Friedrich:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 MLB reports:  Welcome to MLB reports, Chris.  I am starting you off with a tough question:  you have struggled throughout your time in double-A ball.  What do you feel has been the most difficult part of moving from A+ to AA?

Friedrich:  The hardest part about AA is being consistent.  At the lower levels you can still get by on some of your bad days. In AA you have to be in it every day.  The days you’re not pitching are just as important as the 5th day.  Your routine has to be perfect and the same, your mental and physical preparation can’t skip a beat.  All those things sum up in my mind to confidence.  If you forget a certain lift, change your running routine, mental prep, or even your warm up before the game, it leaves doubt in your mind that doesn’t need to be lingering with you when you toe the rubber.

 
MLB reports:  A few months ago, did you worry about the trade speculation around the clubhouse that you might be traded?

Friedrich:  When the trade deadline comes around every year, you can’t help to listen in on what some of the guys or reporters are saying.  For the most part though it’s something I can’t control and would deal with it if it happened.  In all honesty though I didn’t and don’t think there’s a whole lot of teams looking for a guy like me after the season I put up and no one is more disappointed with that than myself.  I had a good three months but couldn’t put it all together.  I understand what I have to do, and that’s why this offseason is so important.  There was a bit of a smile when that time passes because I love being a Rockie.

 

MLB reports:  Daily rituals and hobbies, outside of the clubhouse?
 
Friedrich:  For daily rituals as of now it’s a wonderful routine.  Wake up and breakfast might be my favorite part of the day.  Two eggs, two sausages, two toasts, and my beloved coffee from the Keurig.  I’ll get my workout done in the mornings and then go for a swim.  After that I usually go on the course or the range.  I’m really roughing it (ha ha).  It’s nice to be in one place for and extended period of time and develop the consistent routines.  In the evening my other favorite hobby as many around me know is video games.  I turned a closet into a video gamer’s paradise.  My favorite part about video games is playing competitive games online with friends.  It allows me to connect with buddies from back home, college teammates, guys I’ve played against, and even guys in our organization.  It’s a lot easier than just sitting talking on the phone.  I get to catch up with them and involve teamwork.  I’m really excited for Modern Warfare 3 to come out.

 

MLB reports:  What kind of music can one find on your iPod?

Friedrich:  I have all genres of music on my apple products.  My favorite would definitely be rock and roll.  Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, and a lot of Fall out Boy.  Home town band I really like.  No Beatles!

 

MLB reports:  You have suffered from injuries during your career.  What effects did your health have on your baseball activities?

Friedrich:  Injuries have plagued me through my career but I’m thankful they weren’t and major ones.  You learn to deal with them and do everything you can to prevent them.  When they first happen it’s hard to accept and deal with them. It’s a great way to train yourself mentally but that’s my only positive.  All you can do is work your behind off to get back out there and help out the club.  The past three years I’ve dealt with some tendonitis in my elbow.  It’s a nagging injury that doesn’t sit you down always but prohibits you from keep up your routine.  For example it doesn’t bother you much the day you pitch because you are usually amped up.  But on those important days in-between, it makes it harder to work on the things you normally do. Certain lifts bother it, and most of all, certain pitches.  I noticed this year my breaking pitches during that time weren’t as sharp and I was getting ahead, but not putting guys away.  This comes from not practicing with them as much through your five-day routine.  Now I have time to strengthen my body and smaller muscle groups to make sure I can prevent these (injuries) as much as possible.

 
MLB reports:  Do you think we will see you in the big leagues sometime next year?

Friedrich:  I’m hoping to shock some people come spring training and reach the expectations I’ve set for myself.  I’m doing everything I can to get there but that’s not under my control.  But I will try to make the decision very easy for them.

 
MLB reports:   What do you think is unique about the Rockies organization?

Friedrich:  The Rockies organization is unlike any other.  Our staff is made up of the best around with great knowledge and experience.  I feel like we’re taken in, like it’s a family.  This is a very classy organization the prides itself on homegrown talent.  I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at.  From my experience, players who have left our organization and players that come to it, say it’s the best they’ve been a part of. 

 
MLB reports:  What was the worst moment of your baseball career thus far?

Friedrich:  The worst moment of my career would probably be the collapse at the end of my season this year.  Last year our big league club lost a lot of starting pitching to injuries and Ubaldo Jimenez to the trade.  It would have been a prime opportunity for me to shine and I went in the opposite direction.  I’m looking to fix that.

 

MLB reports:  What are you planning to work on in the offseason to improve your pitching status?

Friedrich:  This offseason is again all about my routine and keeping good habits.  I took about a week off and got straight to work.  I’m using dry work everyday to solidify my mechanics so come February it’s an after thought.  I’m incorporating swimming into my workouts to strengthen my shoulders and lats.  I have dropped the bad weight and adding the good weight.  My eating routine is helping with my energy and muscle-building.  I am currently living in Florida by myself, so I don’t have distractions and have loved every minute of it.  I started just a month ago and can’t wait come February.

 

MLB reports:  You were drafted 25th, in the 2008 draft.  What was the after party and the phone call like?

Friedrich:  The draft day was a day I’ll never forget.  I was blessed to have friends and family there to celebrate with me.  It was hard to think while talking to reporters and answer questions, when I was still trying to wrap my head around it!

 

MLB reports:  Who do you look up to in the big leagues?

Friedrich:  I look up to a lot of our own players even at some of our levels. What I’m most impressed with, with majority of the big leaguers I have been around is their work ethic.  Guys like Tulo, Helton,  Blackmon, Belisle and EY all are workhorses in their own way. And there isn’t one way they all go about doing things.  They have all learned for themselves what works best for them.  They each have become machines of routine and excellence.  My favorite pitcher by far though, like many others is Cliff Lee.  He masters the strike zone and his command for all of his pitches is superb.  My favorite thing is to watch his sequences and see how he sets up all his opponents.  You watch highlights and can’t believe guys miss a pitch, but it’s how he has set them up.

 

MLB reports:  I’ll end off here, if you were not currently a baseball player, what do you think you would be doing right now?

Friedrich:  If I wasn’t in baseball?  Tough one.  If I never played in college, I would have like to go into dentistry or design.  Since I am in baseball, I can’t get out.  I love it.  I would stay in the game whether it would be coaching or scouting.

 

MLB reports:  Thank you very much for taking your time out of your busy schedule so we can have you with us.  Much appreciated!
 

Thank you again to Chris Friedrich for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports.  We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Chris.  As well, please follow Chris on Twitter (@CFRIED12)

 

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by Jeff P, Guest Writer to MLB reports.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Jeff on Twitter.***

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,628 other followers

%d bloggers like this: