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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – June 15, 2016

Bryce+Harper+Division+Series+Washington+Nationals+vD6AuWCjhY7l

Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America

If I can’t see my favorite team in the World Series, I would want to see some of the brightest and elite stars in the game. A shocking amount of superstars over the last few decades failed to play in even a single World Series.

It is a star power episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Jameson Taillon, Carlos Gonzalez, Doug Fister, Josh Donaldson, Julio Teheran, Jean Segura, David Price and Didi Gregorius 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

MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 4 – April

One is the #1 club in the whole MLB right now, and the other was the biggest mover and shaker of the week for week 3 of MLB action.

One is the #1 club in the whole MLB right now, and the other was the biggest mover and shaker of the week for week 3 of MLB action.  Both are leading the Central Divisions in their respective leagues behind awesome starting pitching and timely power.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

Game Records were before the results of the ESPN Sunday Night Game was played.

After a crazy week in which we saw our 1st no hitter, and massive long 16 inning game in Washington, we have for you the MLB Power Rankings.

There was no movement from the top 3 clubs.  The NL West saw the Dodgers take a decent lead on the Giants – and that is major critical, as that is the team most likely to give them trouble in their quest for a 4th straight Division crown.

Bryce Harper has pulverized the Phillies, Marlins, Braves and Twins thus far.  His late inning heroics are taking him to the next level.

The biggest mover and shaker this week was the White Sox, who climbed up 7 slots.  The Giants dropping 8 positions was the biggest decline.

Bad weeks were had by the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees and Astros.  All clubs in the AL who are supposed to contend for a playoff slot.

The Mariners won their 3rd straight road series against the Angels (after beating the Yankees and Tribe 1s), and sit just a half game back in the AL West.

Oakland had started 7 – 0 on the road, before yielding 15 runs over the last 2 losses to the Blue Jays.  They are tied with the Rangers for the lead in the Division, but it is just a matter of time before they are bounced out in my opinion.

Cleveland had a nice week of 4 – 2 to jump up 5 spots in the rankings. and are that much closer to bringing back Michael Brantley.

Gaining only one spot but having an awesome week were the New York Mets.  All the boys are hitting now, and they are 8 – 2 in their last 10 contests. Read the rest of this entry

How Many Years Will It Take Of The AL Clubbing The NL In Interleague (On A 12 Year Win Streak) Before Things Change?

AL vs NL

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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With a modest 4 – 3 lead in the season series heading into yesterday’s action. the National League was in foreign territory by leading the Interleague yearly contest.  You see that have not won a yearly series vs the AL since 2003.  Houston tied the current campaign series at 4 with a 6 – 4 win Satuday.

The Junior Circuit has won the last 12 years of play, and own a decisive .552 win percentage since 2004 (when the 1st 8 years were split 4 – 4 in the seasons, with the NL holding a 30 games wins lead) in that time frame.

I am a bigger fan of the American League game over the National League, yet I am torn because if these splits continue for more seasons, we will never have more Interleague ever. We may stay the same – or god forbid, eliminate Interleague altogether if expansion leads to 32 clubs (16 in each league) and negating an odd amount of teams per league, not necessarily needing to play it anymore.

Right now there are 20 games for each club against the other League. It boils down to just one division playing another division, and then in most cases, a natural geographical rivalry.

Determining how many games there ought to really be, I turn to the “Team Fatigue card” a lot of my fellow westerners have expressed in so much out this way over the years.

I am close enough to see both NL and AL parks play, but there are several cities that are without a league park of the other for hundreds of miles (like Seattle, Arizona, Colorado, Minneapolis), then KC and St. Louis to a lesser extent, but far away enough to classify a full road trip should you partake in a journey to see.

You can add Texas and Houston, with Tampa and Miami in that mix as well. Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Payroll In 2015 + Contracts Going Forward

Alex Anthopoulos had done a nice job of assembling his club with players from other teams.  To construct a team with this type of caliber, it can be traced all the way back to the Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion brilliant extensions, while the Jays GM were able to break free from albatross contracts from Vernon Wells and Alex Rios.  He is close to the finish line, but with a flailing Canadian Dollar, and his many guys with 1 or 2 years left on the club signed, he must go one step further to gun for a championship.

Alex Anthopoulos had done a nice job of assembling his club with players from other teams. To construct a team with this type of caliber, it can be traced all the way back to the Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion brilliant extensions, while the Jays GM were able to break free from albatross contracts from Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. He is close to the finish line, but with a flailing Canadian Dollar, and his many guys with 1 or 2 years left on the club signed, he must go one step further to gun for a championship.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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What a difference from just a few seasons ago.  Toronto is on the cusp of contention, and is yielding the best club they have probably since their 1993 World Series run.  The payroll has crept up incrementally – and they are in the top 10 of the game.

The only Canadian franchise is estimated to have a budget of $127.3 MIL this year.   This would slate them 10th in the Majors.  The clubs ahead of them include:  Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Nats, Angels, Giants, Rangers and Tigers. This total still only puts them 3rd in their own Division.

Having signed Russell Martin to a 5 YR deal worth $82 MIL jumps the teams salary big time, but one could argue he will help the team lower its ERA.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the Jays players salaries please visit here. Read the rest of this entry

A Early Look at Future Hall of Fame Candidates

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Craig Biggio finally got his “call to the hall” and should set an example for players who didn’t get that call on their first try. Other notable players are still on the ballot, and should receive legitimate consideration for induction in the future.

 

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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The BBWAA elected four players into the Baseball Hall of Fame for the class of 2015: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. This is the first time that the BBWAA has elected four players in 60 years, as these four players truly exemplify what the MLB Hall of Fame is all about.

Now that the official results have been released, we can now take a look at not only some of the guys who will return on the ballot in the upcoming years, but also some future eligible players who present a very interesting case for their enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. 

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KC/TOR/SEA/MIA All Trying To Break Long Playoff Droughts: Last Appearances In October For Each Squad

kansas-city-royals-logo

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Kansas City has rolled into the 3 quarter mark with a slim AL Central lead on the Detroit Tigers, and may finally stare down their best chance to make the playoffs since winning the World Series Title.

The Royals playoff futility is the ‘clubhouse leader’ in the MLB by 8 years.  The Toronto Blue Jays have not yielded a postseason berth since winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993.

Both of these two AL clubs have not made it to October baseball since the 1994 strike (the last 2 remaining clubs).

Toronto starts play today at 63 – 59, and have their best look at the playoffs since the team had Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett back in 2007 – 2008.

The Canadian franchise had more of an excuse for years – competing with the Red Sox and Yankees when the economics 1st went out of whack during these two AL Beast 8 combined Titles, 10 ALCS appearances and all Division Titles but two during the last 20 years (Tampa Bay in 2008, 2010 being the exception. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 4, 2014

 (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Did Max Scherzer make a mistake turning down the big contract by the Tigers? And what is the risk of signing an ace?

WFAN’s Jason Keidel and I talk about that and go on a few other tangents on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer, David Peralta, Steve Pearce, Vance Worley, R.A. Dickey, Marcell Ozuna and Jose Altuve   all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball.

Follow Jason Keidel on Twitter HERE.
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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated For Tim Lincecum, June 25, 2014)

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Is Tim Lincecum done? NOT TODAY!

The Giants needed to have a decent pitching performance and give their bullpen a break. What did they get? A masterpiece from Tim Lincecum. For the second straight season, Giant fans can say “Tim is not a Cy Young contender anymore, but at least he gave us a no hitter this year.)

The list of Giants pitchers with more than one no hitter? It is short but impressive:

Christy Mathewson
Tim Lincecum

Good company to be in.

And like last year, Lincecum did it against the Padres, the only remaining franchise without a no hitter.

(Yes, I know, the Washington Nationals haven’t had a no hitter either. They had no hitters when they were the Montreal Expos.)

 

It is time to update my list!

The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated For Clayton Kershaw, June 18, 2014)

Chris Carlson - AP

Chris Carlson – AP

The second Dodger no hitter this season!

Well Josh Beckett didn’t last long on this list! Less than a month ago, Beckett threw the first no no of the year. Tonight, the ace of the Dodger staff showed the Rockies why he is a multiple Cy Young winner.

In fact, only Hanley Ramirez‘s error kept him from being perfect.

It is safe to say that he will take it.

Still no San Diego Padres nor Washington Nationals no hitter yet (although the Nationals franchise have no hitters as the Expos and the city of Washington had some with the Senators.)

It is time to update my list!

How All Of The Blue Jays Hitters Were Acquired (2014 Roster Tree)

toronto-blue-jays-logo-300x300

How All Of The Blue Jays Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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For those that have never seen one of our Roster Trees, we go over how all of the players were acquired.

It works like 6 degrees of separation. By searching back to the origin of all the way back until a player is signed, drafted or purchased.

It totally gives you an idea on how the franchise has fared.

Toronto absolutely stole Jose Bautista from Pittsburgh, and then saw Edwin Encarnacion selected off of waivers by the A’s, only to see him return as a Free Agent 6 weeks later.

The Blue Jays have seen EE bash out several seasons worth of awesome since then.

You can track back some of the player to as far as Orlando Hudson and Roy Halladay. Read the rest of this entry

Philadelphia Phillies State Of The Union For 2014

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 - 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008.  The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad - or to give it one more go at it.  Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties.  Ryne Sandberg had the team playing better to end the year, but has had issues already with Veteran players.  Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season.  Will the franchise play good enough for another kick at the can in 2014?  .

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 – 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008. The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad – or to give it one more go at it. Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last year when he was let go from his managerial duties. Ryne Sandberg had the team playing better to end the year, but has had issues already with Veteran players. Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season. Will the franchise play good enough for another kick at the can in 2014? .

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

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Last year was the 1st losing campaign for the Fightins in over a decade.  It was a mediocre season to be sure, and followed the 3rd straight year of regression.

Since Ryan Howard went down in a heap of pain during the 2011 playoffs, it has ravaged through the fans perception of the club.

2013 wasn’t going to end nicely, however the aging veteran Chase Utley gave the brass and fanbase a nice exiting thought by inking a 2 YR deal.

Ryan Howard has not recovered to his former status, and now makes $25 MIL year. Read the rest of this entry

Angels State Of The Union For 2014: A Hot Start Is Paramount For Success

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West.  The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign. But with AL West rivals all having significant injuries both to start the year and long-term for 2014, this has opened up the door for the start of campaign at least.  It is incumbent that their top guys stay injury free, and spend exactly no days on the DL, because they don't have suitable replacements to step in.  With poor starts to both of the last 2 years, this squad looks to break this trend in 2014.

The Angels have spent almost a half of a billion in Free Agency over the last 3 years, and all they have to show for it, is back to back 3rd place finishes in the AL West. The team also featured an anemic Bullpen in the 2013 campaign. But with AL West rivals all having significant injuries both to start the year and long-term for 2014, this has opened up the door for the start of the 2014 campaign at least. It is incumbent that their top guys stay injury free, and spend exactly no days on the DL, because they don’t have suitable replacements to step in. With poor starts to both of the last 2 years, this squad looks to break this trend this seasom.

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

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Hunter Stokes (Our chief writer) wrote a piece that was picked up by MLB Trade Rumors blogroll, stating that Jerry DiPoto has done a poor job in constructing the current team based on the roster tree here.

I agree with him 100% on this, especially on the moves, the Bullpen not being 100% finished yet, the Starting Rotation too reliant on their top 2 pitchers – and we have had several of their fans take some jabs at us for going with these notions.

The club’s brass has had a better winter in 2013 going into 2014, then they had last year, however it still doesn’t alleviate the fact, this team can’t sustain one injury to any of their top players because of said moves to deplete their depth.

The Starting Staff is composed of 60% of youth that is not used to toting long innings in Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs.

The team has a lot of players that will strikeout a lot, so it is also important to receive key HRs at crucial times in the game.

The club will also lose 34 HRs worth of power they received from Mark Trumbo in 2013, but it was the right time to move him.  Whether they received enough of a return is yet to be determined, but it also cut down the whiffs for 2014.

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Is Rushing Marcus Stroman A Good Idea? Anybody Remember A Young Roy Halladay?

Video by E. Tyler Bullock

By ‘Baseball Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Is Rushing Marcus Stroman a Good Idea?

Prime pitching prospect Marcus Stroman is the pride and joy prospect of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 22 year old out of Medford, New York is front and centre with many media outlets heading into the spring training. Consider his age, and little professional experience under his hat. Why rush him?

Stroman was drafted 22nd overall in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, after finishing a college career at Duke where he set the school record for strikeouts with 290 (over 222.0 innings). Read the rest of this entry

The Philadelphia Phillies Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Phillies slide down the NL East Standings all started at the end of the 2011 NLCS.  Gruesomely, Ryan Howard pulverized his ankle running down to 1st, and the team has not been right since.

A late charge in 2012 preserved a 81 – 81 record – to extend a decade of .500 or better baseball, however 2013 held a cruel fate of a 73 – 89 final mark.

Injuries to ‘now retired’ Roy Halladay and Howard helped plague the team to its first losing season in 11 years.

Ruben Amaro Jr. and the brass steadfastly approach this season like every other campaign in the last few years, “we will be better in 2014, and still have enough to compete.” Read the rest of this entry

The Nationals Case Against Extending Jordan Zimmermann

The problem with any of the Nationals players not name Harper or Strasburg, is that any time the club is talking about extending one of their players before them, those guys have to be kept in mind for when they hit Free Agency.

The problem with any of the Nationals players not named Harper or Strasburg, is that any time the club is talking about extending one of their players before them, those guys have to be kept in mind for when they hit Free Agency..  The Nationals are creeping up the payroll scale each year that their core is together.  Whether it is Arbitration, or players like Jayson Werth and Gio Gonzalez being paid more as their own contracts mature.  2014 will see the club set another record for player salaries, adding to the fuel that it will be tough to extend Zimmermann.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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With how much love role players like Michael Morse and Steve Lombardozzi have garnered from Nats fans as they’ve left town it will be amazing to see what happens when the Washington Nationals lose a legitimate star player.

With Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann both two years away from free agency there is a high likelihood that that day is soon approaching.

The Nationals have made several overtures to Jordan Zimmermann but no deal has been reached or even come close. Zimmermann wants fair market value which is understandable but what is fair market value for a pitcher like him?

Zack Greinke with a career 3.65 ERA and one Cy Young under his belt set the record for free agent pitchers with the $147 million contract he signed last off-season heading into his age 29 season.

Jordan Zimmermann April 2013 Shutout – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 10, 2013

NY Daily News - Michael Bryant/Philly.com Staff photographer

NY Daily News – Michael Bryant/Philly.com Staff photographer

Is Roy Halladay a Hall of Famer? I think so.

And how close was Joe Torre from never being a Yankee manager? Or just manager for one season?

REALLY close!

That and more on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

To subscribe to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast on iTunes, click HERE.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 10, 2013

Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union Part 2: Ways to Address the Starting Pitching Weakness

In order to have a chance to win the very competitive AL East, pitching is crucial. For the Orioles, there are a few ways they can attack this offseason in hopes to find some quality pitchers to strengthen their staff.  2014 may represent their best chance to go far in the playoffs considering the struggles over the New York Yankees, the Blue Jays and the Rays will likely see a decline when they trade ace David Price.

In order to have a chance to win the very competitive AL East, pitching is crucial. For the Orioles, there are a few ways they can attack this offseason in hopes to find some quality pitchers to strengthen their staff. 2014 may represent their best chance to go far in the playoffs considering the struggles of the New York Yankees, the Blue Jays and the Rays will likely see a decline when they trade ace David Price in 2014.

By Nicholas Delahanty (Guest MLB Reports Writer)   

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After a season in which they won 85 games and finished tied for 3rd place in the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles need to bolster their starting rotation in order to make a push towards the top of the division in 2014.

The numbers don’t lie, as the Orioles starting rotation ranked in the bottom part of the league in most categories, including ERA and innings pitched.

As of right now, the Orioles have four guys penciled in to their rotation next season (Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen, and Bud Norris), so they need to try to bring in one or two arms to compete for rotation spots.

Chris Tillman Highlights of A Shutout

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MLB 50 Free Agent Predictions

It will all be following the money for many of the Free Agents this winter.  It all started when all 14 players that had Qualifying Offers politely declined them all over the weekend, and are all FA's with Draft Compensation due back to their 2013 club.

It will all be following the money for many of the Free Agents this winter. It all started when all 14 players that had Qualifying Offers politely declined them all over the weekend, and are all FA’s with Draft Compensation due back to their 2013 club.

Free Agent Predictions

By Jordan Gluck (Free Agency Correspondent)

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These are my personal predictions on where the top free agents will sign. This is the same kind of list of the top 50 free agents made by our friends at mlbtraderumors.com.

Please keep in mind there will be trades this offseason so holes will be filled that way as well (I believe the Cardinals will trade for a SS).

I am not going to estimate any dollar figures in this specific article but I do expect some overpayments this year.

Robinson Cano 2013 Highlights

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The Phillies State Of The Union: Hitters Edition + They Should Give A Full Chance To Darin Ruf In 2014

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team.  They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes.  That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay.  But 2013 wasn't an entire loss.  Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope.  Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency.  Today, I explain how the Phightins' can do this.

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team. They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes. That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay. But 2013 wasn’t an entire loss. Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope. Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency. Today, I explain how the Phightins’ can do this.  How will the team fare under 2nd year skipper Ryne Sandberg – after a 20 – 22 finish?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 was a tough year on the Phillies.  For one, the fact that the MLB Reports is having an Awareness Day for them today, based on them having the 7th worst record (73 – 89) in the Majors during 2013 is mind – boggling.

We are talking about a team that had 5 Division Titles in a row (2007 – 2011), a huge payroll, and a bountiful nest of ALL – Stars to hit in the lineup, and in the Starting Rotation.

Much like the Yankees though, their core is all hitting their waning years.  Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are having a tough time staying on the field to be productive.

2013 was always going to be about the team resurrecting its status as an NL Elite, instead they saw Roy Halladay blow up before their eyes, Cole Hamels struggle, and nobody was there to save them.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Darin Ruf’s Towering Shot in Aug of 2013

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Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series + Around The MLB Horn For Quick Team Wish Lists

The Red Sox may have won the 2013 World Series, but they are not the 2014 favorites.  No team has repeated since the Yankees won 3 straight titles from 1998 - 2000.

The Red Sox may have won the 2013 World Series, but they are not the 2014 favorites. No team has repeated since the Yankees won 3 straight titles from 1998 – 2000.

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

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Now that the Boston Red Sox have won the 2013 World Series, the oddsmakers have already dropped them, plus fellow 2013 Fall Classic Participants (St. Louis) to be tied for the 3rd seed, with the Washington Nationals.

A massive surprise on the list are the Los Angeles Angels, who will have the 6th favorite slot to win the World Series at +1400.

If you are looking for value, you should consider the Reds (Tied for the 8th seed) at +1600.  They are merely a few players, and perhaps a few tweaks from going far in one of these playoffs.

2013 World Series Champion – Red Sox

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Jack Morris: It Is Time To Elect This Winner Into The Baseball Hall Of Fame!

Jack Morris was a winner, a true throwback pitcher who came after hitters with reckless abandon. He pitched based on what the score was - and had no personal regard for his own personal statistics. It is this very reason why the debate has hit epic proportions on social media hubs, amongst bloggers, former players, analysts, broadcaster and statisticians.   I intend to prove the case for the guy in a manner that will have some similarities to other pieces you may have read, yet promote a big look into the numbers that I have been bouncing around in my head for months.

Jack Morris was a winner, a true throwback pitcher who came after hitters with reckless abandon. He pitched based on what the score was – and had no personal regard for his own personal statistics. It is this very reason why the debate has hit epic proportions on social media hubs, amongst bloggers, former players, analysts, broadcaster and statisticians. I intend to prove the case for the guy in a manner that will have some similarities to other pieces you may have read, yet promote a big look into the numbers that I have been bouncing around in my head for months.

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

Follow MLB Reports on Twitter 

The debate for whether or not Jack Morris belongs in the Baseball Hall Of Fame has heated up to an ALL-Time high with the big vote going down in Jan of 2014 for the final time.

575 members of  BBWAA fraternity will decide whether or not the big man from Minnesota will enter one of the hardest Hall Of Fame’s to enter in pro sports (if not the hardest). 

Morris will need a 75% (432 Minimum Votes) of them to write down his name on their ballot for enshrinement into Cooperstown.

Last year, Morris received 67.7 % of the writers votes in his 14th year of eligibility.  He will have his name on a 14th ballot this year. 

He has been trending up in recent years, so if he can improve in 2014, with the same amount of 2011-2012 jump of (+13.2%), then he will make it in.

If he fails to reach the Hall this year, it would be his last year of eligibility for the BBWAA Vote. 

He could still make it via the Veterans Committee after that.  But that could take some significant time.

Read the rest of this entry

The Washington Nationals State Of The Union Part 1: Fall 2013 Through Spring 2014

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013.  Heck, they didn't even qualify for the playoffs.  Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn't maximize their potential this year.  However, the club did go 24 - 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.  Here are some priorities for the winter.

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013. Heck, they didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn’t maximize their potential this year. However, the club did go 24 – 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot in the Nationals League.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year. Here are some priorities for the winter.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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1. Find a Manager

There are moves that can be made without a new manager in place, but this is the most important thing the Nationals have to do this off-season. Not having the leader of the team will make all the other moves more difficult.

Players want to know who they are playing for and the manager is going to have a lot of input into what free agents the Nationals go after for the bench and bullpen, which happen to be their two biggest needs personnel-wise.

It is also important to get the new manager in place early so that he has an entire off-season to communicate with the players already in the majors and to familiarize himself with the system and the minor leaguers that could help during the season.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Jordan Zimmermann Interview

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The Philadelphia Phillies Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) Fall 2013

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 - 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008.  The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad - or to give it one more go at it.  Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties.  Ryne Sandberg has the team playing better.  Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season.  Will the franchise restock for another kick at the can in 2014?  Here is the players they currently possess in the system.

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 – 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008. The ‘Phightins’ have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad – or to give it one more go at it. Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties. Ryne Sandberg has the team playing better. Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season?  Or maybe  the franchise restocks for another kick at the can in 2014? Here is the players they currently possess in the system.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

The Phillies have posted winning records since 2001.  While the year may be getting away from them in 2013, there are some extremely encouraging signs for the future.’

Ben Revere was excelling at his position at CF and at the plate before he went down with a season ending injury.

The emergence of Domonic Brown in the 1st half, and 1B/OF Darin Ruf, have given the team a cost conscious alternative to combat huge salaries like Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard, that combine to be over $50 in the next 3 years, the latter, has been injured the most of the last 2 seasons.

You add high priced Veterans like Jimmy Rollins, and $22.5 MIL a year Cole Hamels, and you are talking about a lofty payroll for the next several years.

However, the team also extended franchise face Chase Utley, for 2 YRs/$25 – 30 MIL – that should see him possibly retire a Phillie.

The club has played much better since Ryne Sandberg assumed the helm as manager.

The team also has traded several veterans away in the last few years, to accrue Minor League Talent back in return.  Among the departed have been Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Michael Young.

The question going forward is to what this team will do with Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz.  Somehow, I think that Ruben Amaro JR, will find a way to re-sign these two guys for a limited years, and possibly incentive laden contracts this coming winter.

Whatever the case, it should be an interesting ride in Philly the next few years.

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Phillies Organization click here.

For the 3 Part Historical Series I did on the  Phillies organization, click here.

Chase Utley Highlights

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A Phillies 2014 Forecast, Part I: “The Emperor Has No Clothes”

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013's Song of the Summer, "Get Lucky", coincidentally captured the embattled GM's philosophy for this year's Phillies. When the song's lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, "We've come too far to give up who we are", I can easily see Ruben's head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro's stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013’s Song of the Summer, “Get Lucky”, coincidentally captured the embattled GM’s philosophy for this year’s Phillies. When the song’s lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, “We’ve come too far to give up who we are”, I can easily see Ruben’s head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro’s stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

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

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“I live on a one-way street that’s also a dead end. I’m not quite sure how I got there.” Steven Wright, Comedian

Sounds about right.

It should be obvious to most that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s ego has been waging war against his own rational sense of decision-making and his ability to consider the future of this Phillies franchise since he was handed the keys to the palace back in November 2008.

A speckled and spotty track-record ripe with big-splash acquisitions along with several transactions banking on a player’s abilities of yesteryear–each of which left the cupboard mostly bare down on the farm–is all he has to show during his tenure as the big boss man.

Even the most optimistic of Philadelphia fans (including myself) now envision the Phillies ship as a tired, rudderless old vessel drifting through uncharted waters without a compass. How did it ever come to this?

Ryan Howards Injury 2011 NLDS


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A Preview Of The 2014 San Francisco Giants Starting Pitching Staff

 

Matt Cain is struggling this season to say the least. He has games where he can be most dominant pitcher in baseball, then other games where he struggles to make it through five innings. He has a 4.79 ERA in 124 innings pitched while giving up 16 HRs.

Matt Cain is struggling this season to say the least. He has games where he can be most dominant pitcher in baseball, then other games where he struggles to make it through five innings. He has a 4.35 ERA in 153 innings pitched while giving up 19 HRs.  This mediocre season is cause for concern, since he now makes at least $20 MIL per year from 2013 – 2017, with a $7.5 Buyout in 2018, or one more year at $21 MIL.  Perhaps winning 2 of the last 3 World Series, and logging over 600 + IP combined in that time frame is beginning to take its toll.  I would bet on Cain to have a big bounce back campaign in 2014.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

At this point in the season, it is pretty safe to say that the San Francisco Giants will not be playing beyond September.

This year has been a big disappointment for the defending World Champs, collapsing big time before the All Star Break.

Coming into 2013, the Giants had basically the same team that won the 2012 World Series. The performance though, compared to 2012, was night and day.

The biggest difference in the team’s performance from 2012 is undoubtedly the pitching.

Matt Cain was the undisputed ace of the staff in 2012, throwing a perfect game and posting a 2.79 ERA.

Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner both had a 3.37 ERA. Even Barry Zito had a tolerable season, going 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA – including a huge unbeaten streak – that carried through the 2013 Post Season..

This year, a 4.15 ERA would be acceptable for any pitcher in the rotation not named Bumgarner. Madison Bumgarner has been the one bright spot for the staff this year, carrying a 2.73 ERA.

Cain has a 4.35, Zito a 5.34, Vogelsong a 6.75 (he spent some time on the DL with a finger injury), and Lincecum a 4.38.

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Audio Version

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Monday, Aug.12, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Patrick sits in as the Producer and only representative of the Big Ticket Show – and Chuck Booth joins him to break down all 30 current rankings, plus what the clubs are up to.

To listen to the audio for this Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY logo or past the Triple Play Logo. 

If you want the written version of these rankings click here Read the rest of this entry

MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 20

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Sunday Aug.11/2013

Texas has fought off a July slump - and are 9 - 1 in their last 10 games.  They have added reinforcements in the way of Alex Rios and Matt Garza.  If they can just hold the course - and win the AL West, they have the horses and experience to challenge every other team.  The club was the biggest mover upwards in our rankings this week - going from #10 - #4

Texas has fought off a July slump – and are 9 – 1 in their last 10 games. They have added reinforcements in the way of Alex Rios and Matt Garza. If they can just hold the course – and win the AL West, they have the horses and experience to challenge every other team in October. The club was the biggest mover upwards in our rankings this week – going from #10 – #4.  It was not too long ago that the Rangers were sitting at just a half – dozen games above .500 – and behind the playoff bar.

Audio Version Of These Power Rankings

Audio Monthly Rankings – Aug

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

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions in the NL are becoming less competitive every week.  The NL East and NL West look to be done.  The Pirates are within weeks of ending a 20 year playoff drought.

The Braves rattled off a 14 game winning streak – and should cruise to the NL East crown.

The Athletics are in big trouble with some of their talented offensive players not putting up numbers like they did in 2012.  They now find themselves in 2nd place in the AL West.

Adrian Beltre 2 HR day in July

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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

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Monday July.29, 2013

The year started with the struggles of one of their ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players.  With Halladay potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for one more year.  Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) - has cause for optimism in 2014.  They will need to find a 3B, Catcher and 3rd OF, however that won't require the farm being spent.  Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr.  at the Trade Deadline

The year started with the struggles of two of their three ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players – including Doc Halladaay. With their former ‘CY Young Winner’ potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for at least one more year ‘next campaign’. Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) – also has cause for optimism in 2014. They will need to find a 3B, a Catcher, a new Closer and a 3rd OF, however that won’t require the farm being spent. Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr. at the Trade Deadline this year before we get to that point.

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

The time has come, Phillies fans. Make no mistake about what you’re seeing on the field and reading in the papers, sell mode has now become a reality.

Perhaps I may be channeling my inner Captain Obvious, but for the sake of those still holding out hope, change is a-comin’.

After the ugliest road trip in recent memory mercifully came to an end, the Philadelphia Sports Media pulled no punches welcoming several Phillies players to Seller-dome.

Carlos Ruiz Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Cliff Lee Is Dealing Right Now – But Will He Be Dealt?

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Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Cliff Lee is 83 - 35 with an under 3.00 ERA since the beginning of the 2008 season (.704).  In 2009 and 2010 Lee was a Trade Deadline acquisition that then proceeded to lead that new team to a World Series Birth.  Both teams ( PHI - 2009) and TEX (2010) lost those World Series.  Maybe a 3rd crack would see him net a title.  The 34 Year Old makes $25 MIL this year, plus $25 MIL for both of 2014 and 2015, he also has a Vesting Option for 2016 worth 2016 with $27.5 MIL - if he can pitch 200 IP in 2015 or a combined mark of 400 IP In 2014 and 2015.  The deal carries for a $12.5 MIL if he reaches these.  That means he could potentially make $62.5 MIL total for 2014 and 2015

Cliff Lee is 83 – 35 -with an under 3.00 ERA since the beginning of the 2008 season (.704). In 2009 and 2010,  Lee was a Trade Deadline acquisition – that then proceeded to lead that new team to a World Series Birth 2 years in a row. Both teams ( PHI – 2009) and TEX (2010) lost those World Series. Maybe a 3rd crack would see him net a title. The 34 Year Old makes $25 MIL this year, plus $25 MIL for both of 2014 and 2015, he also has a Vesting Option for 2016 worth 2016, worth $27.5 MIL – if he can pitch 200 IP in 2015 or a combined mark of 400 IP In 2014 and 2015. The deal carries for a $12.5 MIL Buyout if he reaches these. He could potentially make $62.5 MIL total for 2014 and 2015.

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

I remember how I could hardly sleep on that Thirteenth night of December 2010. Rumors were abound that something secretive was simmering on the MLB Hot Stove involving Cliff Lee, but the teams involved weren’t 100% clear.

The Rangers, Yankees and Angels were all obvious suitors with suitcases stuffed with sawbucks, but a buzz was a-buzzing. You see, a mystery team was now in the hunt and with a belly full of butterflies, somehow I knew it was the Phillies as my head hit the pillow.

Cliff Lee was about to come home and for the first time since my early childhood, I awoke the next morning at 5:00 am without the help of an alarm to read the news. Cliffmas had, indeed, come early to Philadelphia.

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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Last season had a flurry of no hitters, ending with Homer Bailey‘s gem that eliminated the Pirates from contention.

This season has been filled with one near miss after another, including close calls from Yu Darvish and Anibal Sanchez. When would the first no hitter of 2013 be thrown?

I guess only Homer Bailey is allowed to throw no-nos now. He threw a gem with only one walk against the punchless Giants and joined the likes of Roy Halladay and Mark Buehrle as a pitcher with multiple no hitters.

Let’s take a look at each franchise’s most recent no hitter:

THE MOST RECENT NO HITTERS
FOR EACH FRANCHISE
CINCINNATI REDS
Homer Bailey – July 2, 2013.
3-0 over San Francisco.
SEATTLE MARINERS
Felix Hernandez – August 15, 2012.
1-0 over Rays. (Perfect Game)
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Matt Cain – June 13, 2012.
10-0 over Houston. (Perfect Game)
NEW YORK METS
Johan Santana – June 1, 2012
8-0 over St. Louis.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Jered Weaver – May 2, 2012.
9-0 over Minnesota.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Philip Humber – April 21, 2012
4-0 over Seattle. (Perfect Game.)
DETROIT TIGERS
Justin Verlander – May 7, 2011.
9-0 over Toronto.
MINNESOTA TWINS
Francisco Liriano – May 3, 2011
1-0 over Chicago White Sox
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Roy Halladay – October 6, 2010
4-0 over Cincinnati. (Playoff Game)
TAMPA PAY RAYS
Matt Garza – July 26th, 2010
5-0 over Detroit.ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Edwin Jackson – June 25, 2010
1-0 over Tampa BayOAKLAND A’S
Dallas Braden – May 9, 2010
4-0 over Tampa Bay. (Perfect Game.)
COLORADO ROCKIES
Ubaldo Jimenez – April 17, 2010
4-0 over Atlanta.CHICAGO CUBS
Carlos Zambrano – September 14, 2008.
5-0 over Houston.
BOSTON RED SOX
Jon Lester – May 19, 2008.
7-0 over Kansas City.
FLORIDA MARLINS
Anibal Sanchez – September 6, 2006.
2-0 over Arizona.
HOUSTON ASTROS
Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner
June 11, 2003.
8-0 over New York Yankees.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Bud Smith – September 3, 2001
4-0 over San Diego.
NEW YORK YANKEES
David Cone – July 18, 1999.
6-0 over Montreal. (Perfect Game.)
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon – July 12, 1997.
3-0 over Houston. (10 innings.)
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Hideo Nomo – September 17, 1996.
9-0 over Colorado.
TEXAS RANGERS
Kenny Rogers – July 28, 1994.
4-0 over California. (Perfect Game.)ATLANTA BRAVES
Kent Mercker – April 8, 1994.
6-0 over Los Angeles.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Bret Saberhagen – August 26, 1991
7-0 over Chicago White Sox.WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AS MONTREAL EXPOS)
Dennis Martinez – July 28, 1991.
2-0 over Los Angeles. (Perfect Game.)
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson – July 13, 1991.
2-0 over Oakland.TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Dave Stieb – September 2, 1990.
3-0 over Cleveland.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Juan Nieves – April 15, 1987.
7-0 over Baltimore.

CLEVELAND INDIANS
Len Barker – May 15, 1981.
3-0 over Toronto. (Perfect Game.)

Bonus

WASHINGTON SENATORS
Bobby Burke – August 8, 1931
5-0 over Boston.

The Padres are still on the clock. And it would be nice to simplify the list with the Nationals having a no hitter instead of including the Expos and Senators.

When will the next no hitter be?

Well, when’s Homer Bailey’s next start?

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