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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

MLB Top Free Agent Predictions (Picks 26 – 50)

Matt Wieters accepted the 1 Year Qualifying Offer with the Baltimore Orioles. He joined both Colby Rasmus and Brett Anderson as the 1st 3 men to ever accept the 'QO' under the new format. Marco Estrada was also taken off off the market Friday, accepting a 2 YR/$26 MIL deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Matt Wieters accepted the 1 Year Qualifying Offer with the Baltimore Orioles. He joined both Colby Rasmus and Brett Anderson as the 1st 3 men to ever accept the ‘QO’ under the new format. Marco Estrada was also taken off off the market Friday, accepting a 2 YR/$26 MIL deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer): 

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MLB Free Agent Predictions

I will be using mlbtraderumors.com top 50 free agents to make things easy. To be clear there are other free agents outside this list (some who I think should be on it) who will be available and many could have breakout or comeback seasons.

Additionally there will be players that get non tendered during arbitration. Well so here are my predictions.

Players 1 – 25 link

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ALL – Time TJ Surgery Tracker 1974 – 2014 (30 Updates Including Jonny Venters 3rd Time)

Dr. James Andrews - leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

Dr. James Andrews – leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

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:

Links

More Tommy John Surgeries By The Numbers + Who Is the 1st $100 MIL Pitcher To Go Down With It? + A Scherzer Angle?

TOMMY JOHN SURGERY – 2014 (30)

2014

Jonny Venters – (3rd Time Probable) Braves: Aug/Sept 2014

Jeremy Hefner, NYM Aug 2014 (TJ Watch List – Possible 2nd TJ Surgery)

Tyler Skaggs, Angels, Aug 10 – will have season ending TJ surgery soon.  expected to be out til 2016

Nate Jones, White Sox, July.30

Tyler Chatwood, Rockies, July,19

Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees (Partially Torn UCL, (TJ Watch List), July 10th

Bronson Arroyo, D’Backs July Surgery.

Matt Wieters, Orioles, June 17th

Sean Burnett, Angels, June 5th

Chris Withrow, Dodgers, June 3rd

Jose Cisnero, Astros, May 28th

Martin Perez, Rangers, May 19th.

Jose Fernandez, Marlins, May 16th

A.J. Griffin, Athletics, Apr.25th .

Pedro Figueroa, Rangers, Apr.30th

Ivan Nova, Yankees, – Apr.29th

Josh Johnson, Padres, – Apr.24

Matt Moore, Rays – Apr.24, 2014 –  Link: With Moore Out For TJ Surgery – The Rays Should Hold Onto Price Through 2015

Jameson Taillon – Pirates – April 9, 2014

Bobby Parnell – Mets – April 8th

Cory Gearrin – Braves – Mar.29 – Went on the 60 Day DL with partial ligament  tear of right elbow Mar.29, 2014 – May Require TJ Surgery.”

David Hernandez – D’Backs – Surgery April 2014.

Bruce Rondon – Tigers –  Mar.2014

Patrick Corbin – D’Backs –  Mar.2014.

Jarrod Parker – Athletics –  March 2014

Brandon Beachy – Braves – “2nd TJ Surgery” Mar 2014

Kris Medlen Braves – Mar 2014

Luke Hochevar– Royals – March.07, 2014.

Miguel Sano – Twins (Position Player) Mar, 2014.

Cory Luebke – Padres:   Luebke went under the knife for his 2nd TJ Surgery Feb 2014. Read the rest of this entry

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery List 1974 – Present

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

How All Of The Angels Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree

 

DiPoto has constructed a team that has great power when healthy, and have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, however a lot of the transactions on offense had nothing to do with the man.   As you will see in the Roster Tree, a lot of the guys have been Drafted before the DiPoto era.  I will say he has done a better job in the last year, than in his 1st 2 years at the helm.  The club has a short window to compete, before a lot of the team becomes older, all making too much money.

DiPoto has constructed a team that has great power when healthy, and have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, however a lot of the transactions on offense had nothing to do with the man. As you will see in the Roster Tree, a lot of the guys have been Drafted before the DiPoto era. I will say he has done a better job in the last year, than in his 1st 2 years at the helm. The club has a short window to compete, before a lot of the team becomes older, all making too much money.  This is not an article about retracting our earlier stated points, but rather to say that maybe DiPoto is becoming a little wiser as a GM lately.   When all is said and done, with the payroll and talent within this team, they should be in contention for a Division Pennant and Post Season every year.

How All Of The Angels Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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Here at the MLB Reports we have taken a hard line at how the Angels have conducted business for the last several years.

From Sully (our lead Audio Personality and creator of “Sullymetrics”), to our ‘chief writer’ Hunter Stokes, to even myself at certain times – we have poured cold water on their efforts in assembling this current team.

I maybe the less culpable of the three, as I did predict this club to win the 2012 World Series, however one thing we all agreed on was Mike Scioscia‘s crazy insistence on batting Raul Ibanez 4th when he was so brutal for the team.

The fact they signed him wasn’t very great either, when Kendrys Morales would have fit the bill perfectly.

Among the observations we had, was criticizing GM Jerry DiPoto for some of his moves since taking over as GM of the club in late 2011.

A litany of poor roster decisions was part of the problem. 

The club wasted $16 MIL on Joe Blanton, paid for an injured Reliever in Ryan Madson, who never even pitched for the club.

The Sean Burnett injury problems I will not fault him for. 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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Tommy John Surgery List From 2000 – 2013

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Website Founder Jonathan Hacohen 

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We talked last week about the Tommy John Surgeries from 1974 – 1999.  Well, after the millennium hit in 2000, it has really come to the forefront.

It is now estimated that 1 out of every three pitchers will now undergo the procedure once in their career.

Whether they make the Major Leagues, or stay in the Minor Leagues, this surgery is becoming a predominant part of baseball culture.

Tommy John Surgeries from 1974 – 1999 here.

What is Tommy John Surgery?

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Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim State Of The Union: Is It Time For Jerry DiPoto To Be Fired?

Mike Trout must feel like he will receive some better help from a full season of Pujols coming.  Heading into the 2013 campaign, they looked to have almost a historic 1 - 4 lineup.  Instead. it was a disaster.  Maybe the 2014 year will be different.

Mike Trout must feel like he will receive some better help from a full season of Pujols coming. Heading into the 2013 campaign, they looked to have almost a historic 1 – 4 lineup. Instead. it was a disaster. Maybe the 2014 year will be different.  With players like Vernon Wells and Joe Blanton still collecting money on the payroll – to the tune of $26 MIL in 2014, their teams salary structure is a disaster.  Those two guys are really horrible – or not even playing for LA anymore.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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“Stoking The Fire” – Week 10

As someone who follows the Angels from a distance, I have had it with Jerry DiPoto.

Whether it is the direction of the team’s brass that has been affected, or Arte Moreno himself, this team is heading on a one way ticket to salary hell.

So how does the GM respond this winter?

He trades his 2nd, 4th and possibly 5th best OF on the Roster Depth away – without yielding a OF back in return.

He has added on a couple of players (David Freese and Raul Ibanez) that Strikeout as much as the rest of the clan.  Good work man!

Am I missing something? Does he not see this is the recipe for disaster?

Angels 2013 preview – 2014 wont be as optimistic:

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Cincinnati Reds Payroll in 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, July.29, 2013

Joey Votto is having another good season for the Reds and he will be force in their lineup for years to come. The power numbers for him are down from years past with him only hitting 16 HRs and having 47 RBIs. However the opposition still has to respect his bat and if a pitcher makes a mistake expect him to hit the ball a long way. He has a .317/.429/.931 triple-slash in 388 at-bats this season with 20 Doubles. He is 7th in the NL with 195 Total Bases, and is also 8th with a WAR of 4.7. Votto is 1st in Times On Base in the NL at 202.

Joey Votto is having another good season for the Reds and he will be force in their lineup for years to come. The power numbers for him are down from years past with him only hitting 16 HRs and having 47 RBIs. However the opposition still has to respect his bat and if a pitcher makes a mistake expect him to hit the ball a long way. He has a .317/.429/.931 triple-slash in 388 at-bats this season with 20 Doubles. He is 7th in the NL with 195 Total Bases, and is also 8th with a WAR of 4.7. Votto is 1st in Times On Base in the NL at 202. He obliterates right-handed pitching with a .335 batting average, and handles left-handers just as good with a .286 average.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The Cincinnati Reds are playing well this season with them winning 59 games, but they are five games out of first place. The Reds are 3rd in the National League Central division behind both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St.Louis Cardinals.

Cincinnati is third in the NL with them scoring 463 runs on the season. They are great at home, and have the 2nd best home record in the NL. The problem for them is hitting away Great American Ball Park with winning just 27 games and three games under .500 on the road.

Joey Votto Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #9: LAA, SD, MIA And SEA Chat With Great Guests

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Friday, June.28, 2013,

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

On today’s podcast, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show, I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  8 Minutes and a 18 Segment

Chuck makes a HUGE announcement about MLB Reports & then we talked about contract stuff like arbitration, Super 2, & service time…

Also we talk about these guys Wil Myers, Yasiel Puig & Chris Archer on why they should have been up in the major leagues since the beginning of the season!

Then I talk to LAA correspondent Joshua Jones (34 Minute Mark and a 18 Minute Segment) about the Angels season & what might or might not happen…

Next up was Bernie Olshansky (53 Minute Mark and a 13 Minutes Segment)  about the padres & what moves they might make for the future…after that i talked to Mariners/Marlins correspondent.

The last guest of the show is the 2nd longest active writer on the MLB Reports website Sam Evans (1 HR and 12 Min Mark and a 25 Min Segment) ( @RJA206 ) as we get into the mariners/marlins & whats been going on with both of these teams!

I then get into everyone’s favorite segment Stats & Facts (29, Minute Mark (5 minutes) 1 HR, 7 Min Mark ( 5 Minutes ) and, 1 HR 37 MIN (20 Minutes) –  so go check it out & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thanks Read the rest of this entry

2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #4: The Blue Jays Are Finished in 2013 + The Angels Are Close

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Friday, May.02/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I had Chuck Booth talk for over an hour about a  bunch of topics.

We started off with the horrible season the Toronto Blue Jays have had thus far.  We also talked about the Angels, what Robin Ventura is thinking – hitting Adam Dunn #4 still and how the Braves must regret paying B.J. Upton $15 MIL a year – while they are ecstatic about paying Justin Upton only about half of that. Read the rest of this entry

Maybe A Managerial Trade Between The Angels And Dodgers Would Shake Things Up!

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Friday Apr.19/2013

The Los Angeles clubs will surpass the New York Clubs for combined Payroll in 2013.  The Dodgers will spend between 225-250 Million and the Angels will spend in the range from 150-175 Million.  I have predicted a Freeway World Series for 2013 based on the talent for both clubs.  With a slow start for each club (LAA 4 - 10 and  LAD 7 - 8)  Perhaps they should consider trading skippers

The Los Angeles clubs will surpass the New York Clubs for combined Payroll in 2013. The Dodgers will spend between 225-250 Million and the Angels will spend in the range from 150-175 Million. I have predicted a Freeway World Series for 2013 based on the talent for both clubs. With a slow start for each club (LAA 4 – 10 and LAD 7 – 8) Perhaps they should consider trading skippers.

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

It is no secret to anyone out there that I predicted the California Freeway Series for the Fall Classic this year.  At the  10 % clip of the regular season, I am not going to confuse anyone with the Amazing Kreskin.

I still have faith that the LA Angels will start tearing it up soon. plus the Dodgers will begin to play to their own water level.

Both clubs have amassed too much talent to be wallowing in the bowels of mediocrity for too long.

I thought entered my brain this morning as I worked.  One of the many things I am able to do working at nights is think about the game of baseball

Then it came to me… Trade Mike Scioscia to the Dodgers for Don Mattingly!!

Don Mattingly Post Game comments on Carlos Quentin:

Mike Scioscia speaks on Jered Weaver and Josh Hamilton:

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Reds Are Going To Make The Rest Of The NL Bleed Red

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Tuesday, March.26/2013

In his 1st half season during last year, Joey Votto clubbed for a 3 Slash Line of ..348/.471/1.124 with 35 Doubles, 14 HRs and 48 RBI.  He was the leading candidate to pull in his 2nd NL MVP Award.  Once he returned from injury, he was not the same - only plating 8 RBI and HRs in the last 28 games he played in

In his 1st half season during last year, Joey Votto clubbed for a 3 Slash Line of .348/.471/1.124 with 35 Doubles, 14 HRs and 48 RBI. He was the leading candidate to pull in his 2nd NL MVP Award. Once he returned from injury, he was not the same – only plating 8 RBI and HRs in the last 28 games he played in.  The Canadian still led the NL in OBP for the 3rd straight season.  He also led the NL In Walks despite missing 51 games.  Votto has a Career 3 Slash Line of .316/.415/.968.  He is signed through the 2024 year in a 13 YR/.$263 MIL deal.

MLB Reports:  Welcome to our newest Kids writer  Jason Alpert-Wisnia – for being selected to join our MLB Reports Kids Writing team.  We are pleased to present the readers with a youthful look to the game of baseball.  Moms and Dad’s – if you have a young kid who loves baseball and wants to write about the game, please email us at mlbreports@gmail.com.  We will be selecting three more kid writers for our website this year. 

By Jason Alpert-Wisnia  (AKA “JAWS”): (MLB Reports Kids Writer – visit his website here )

The Cincinnati Reds last season had a 97 Wins and 65 Losses Team Record, scoring them 1st place in the NL Central last season. The team could have made it even farther in the Postseason, maybe even beating the Giants and becoming the NL representatives, BUT, they missed their chance in losing 3 straight tries to eliminate the club from the BAY after taking a commanding 2 – 0 lead in the Series.

During the year Joey Votto injured his knee and was out for a while along with the manager Dusty Baker having a stroke, and you have to wonder about these two incidents not factoring in them feeling less than 100% heading into the Playoffs. 

You throw in Johnny Cueto‘s injury moving up all of the depth on the Starting Pitching versus the Giants in the 2012, and you can see that things spiraled downward.

Joey Votto Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Rondon’s Struggles Continue For Tigers, Valverde And Wilson Rumors Emerge

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Saturday, March.09/2013

Bruce Rondon is 1-1 in Spring Training so far with a 5.79 ERA.  He has allowed 7 Hits (including 1 HR) and Walked 5 in 4.2 IP.  Not such a hot start for the rookie phenom.  With World Series Aspirations this year - can the Tigers afford to not enter the Regular Season with a proven Closer?

Bruce Rondon is 1-1 in Spring Training so far with a 5.79 ERA. He has allowed 7 Hits (including 1 HR) and Walked 5 in 4.2 IP. Not such a hot start for the rookie phenom. With World Series Aspirations this year – can the Tigers afford to not enter the Regular Season with a proven Closer?

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

Panic in Motown?

Not quite yet.

But the Tigers ‘chosen’ Closer isn’t making things easy.

Bruce Rondon, 22-Years-Old, is expected to be the closer for this coming season and hopefully many more to follow. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland have both made it known that it’s his job to lose this spring.

Losing it is just the path he is on. Through 4.2 IP, he has given up 7 Hits, 3 ER, 1 HR, and yielded 5 Walks..It’s early we know, but at what point does early become too late?

If he happens to pitch himself out of the Closer spot then who will be our fearless Closer?

Bruce Rondon hits 103 MPH!

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New York Yankees Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Fwd Updated Mar.4/2013

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Monday, March.04/2013

You are looking at the #1 and #2 Hits Leaders of ALL-Time for Active Professional Hitters in the World. Having them hit 1-2 in the lineup only makes sense. You might as well have them both retire at the same timeJeter is signed for one more year at 17 Million Dollars plus a player option ($8 MIL) for 2014. The Yankees signed Ichiro to a 2 year deal worth $13 MIL this past winter.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am not like a lot of people thinking that there should be a full-scale blow-up of the Yankees current roster this year (past that I am acknowledging this will happen.)  They are old and 2013 will not make them younger.  However, there are some small tweaks that the team could do in order to make the payroll make sense.  1st priority was to sign Ichiro Suzuki.

The Japanese Superstar was not  and Yankees obliged to let him play RF in New York.  Adios to outgoing Nick Swisher.  He was much too pricey and Yankee fans have to be sick at his lack of production in his playoff career.  Swisher commanded a nice 4 or 5 year deal in the 56 – 70 Million Dollar Range from the Indians –  and was not a fit into the Yankees current payroll structure.

The Yankees were initially looking to spend just a little over 178  Million Dollars in 2013, but that didn’t happen.  At a 40% penalty (for every dollar spent over the 178 Million Mark)  for abusing the Luxury Tax Threshold, the team will need to have made financial considerations in moving forward each time they sign another new player.  Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are on the last year of their contracts.  Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A-Rod still have multiple years left in their contracts. 

I would immediately move Alex Rodriguez to a permanent DH (when he returns to the lineup) –  and play Kevin Youkilis at 3B for all of 2013.

To the Readers on our Payroll Breakdowns:   Keep in mind these are all just estimates as we are all not forensic payroll accountants.  For a better look at how Payrolls work in the MLB please check out this article here.

Derek Jeter Highlights:

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Granderson Is Out For 10 Weeks: What Can Cashman Do?

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Monday, February.25, 2013

Granderson has back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of the year.  I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team.  When Granderson comes back, you could always have an extra player for depth still.

Granderson has had back to back 40 HR years with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012. New York can ill afford to be without a productive LF for the 1st quarter of this season. I believe they should make a trade to bolster their team. When Granderson comes back, you would always have an extra player for depth still.

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The start of the season is starting to look extremely bleak for the Yankees so far.  Derek Jeter is coming off of a broken ankle, A-Rod is out indefinitely with (insert whatever ailment here) until after the ALL-Star Game, Mariano Rivera is 43 – and trying to make it through one more season after tearing up his ACL last year, Phil Hughes is having back spasms, Joba Chamberlain seems healthy – (but you never what freak injury is going to happen to him next,) Michael Pineda is still recovering from shoulder Surgery, so what else was going to happen?  Add Curtis Granderson and a fractured right forearm to the walking wounded list.

This injury should alarm the Yankees and their fans.  The team is not strong depth-wise, as they have been in decades, so “The ‘Grandy Man’ not being able to play until early May should cause New York GM Brian Cashman to explore all of his options.  Like I have said in previous articles – ‘Financial Armageddon’ is coming for the club in 2014, plus the team is rapidly becoming older by the year.  It is safe to say that this year might be the last kick at a championship for some time.  What may the Yankees do to replace Granderson for the 1st quarter of the season?

Juan Rivera hits a Walk-Off for the Dodgers:

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The New York Yankees Hitting Roster In 2013: State Of The Union Part 1

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Wednesday, February.13, 2013

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921.  That is 40 Appearances in  91 years.  They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span.  As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore.  Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921. That is 40 Appearances in 91 years. They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span. As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore. Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The Yankees had a precarious winter after failing miserably in the ALCS, (AKA the last time the country saw them play on Television) – when the team was decimated by the Detroit Tigers in a sweep.  So what has happened since?  A lot of status quo:  Re-signing Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda, while saying good-bye to Raul Ibanez (SEA), Andruw Jones (FA), Nick Swisher (CLE), Eric Chavez (ARI), Russell Martin (PIT), Derek Lowe (FA), Steve Pearce (BAL), Casey McGehee (FA), Freddy Garcia (FA) and Rafael Soriano (WSH).  All they really added back was former arch-nemesis Kevin Youkilis (CWS) and Travis Hafner (CLE).  The team is sitting around 215 Million Dollars at Payroll right now, yet they have are heading into the 2013 campaign with Catchers that are of limited experience. 

For the first time in years, the club will need to see some internal progress from their farm system to help the big club.  With A-ROD out with his hip injury, plus the Miami fiasco, can you really count on the prima-donna to play at all this season?  Derek Jeter is coming off a brutal ankle injury that occurred in the aforementioned Post Season Series vs the Tigers .  The club is also hoping that ‘MO’ Rivera can find it within himself to make it through another year as a 43 Year Old.  Just like The ALL-Time Saves Leader, this team is aging fast.  Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are Free Agents after 2013 is over.  Brian Cashman is also going to take advantage of the reset option f the Luxury Tax loophole in 2014.

This means that when the Luxury Tax goes from 178 Million to 189 Million next year, that the club can stop paying its 40% annual penalty if they can get under for just one season.  The Yankees will be sure to blow up the Payroll from 2015 and beyond that, it is just to not start the new luxury lax at the maximum penalty.  Had the Luxury Tax not moved from its current spot, the Yankees would always pay the 40% penalty (even if they decided to skip one year).

Yankees Highlights 2012:  Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Aroldis Chapman – Starter Or Closer: Perhaps 2013 Will Solve The Answer?

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Thursday, February.07,  2013

Chapman was filthy dominant in the 2012 season, with a 1.51 ERA, WHIP of 0.809 and 38 Saves as the teams closer.  He made the ALL-Star Team, finished 8th in NL Cy Young Voting and 12th in NL MVP Voting.  Will moving him to starter be a mistake?

Chapman was filthy dominant in the 2012 season, with a 1.51 ERA, WHIP of 0.809 and 38 Saves as the teams closer. He made the ALL-Star Team, finished 8th in NL Cy Young Voting and 12th in NL MVP Voting. Will moving him to starter be a mistake?

By Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent):

The biggest question from Reds fans this offseason has been if the move from the bullpen to the rotation is the best move for Reds pitcher, Aroldis Chapman and the team. Why fix what isn’t broken? Does he have enough pitches? Can he pitch enough innings?….the answer to these and all of the questions you can think of is pretty simple; we’ll find out.

This plan wasn’t something the Reds came up with overnight, when he was signed to a 6 year $30 Million deal in 2010 it wasn’t to close ballgames. It was to eventually be a member of the rotation. In 2010, the rotation consisted of Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, and Homer Bailey. Out are Harang and Volquez, in are Mat Latos and Mike Leake, who looks to be the odd man out in 2013 for Chapman. In his final season for his Cuban team, Chapman pitched 118 Innings as a Starting Pitcher, which won’t nearly be enough for the Major Leagues. The only taste of Chapman as starter against at least some semblance of Major League hitters came last year in Spring Training before closer Ryan Madson suffered a season-ending elbow injury. Chapman went 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, striking out 17 in 18 Innings, walking only 2.

Aroldis Chapman – Fastest Pitcher ever recorded at 107 MPH:

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The Los Angeles Angels Roster in 2013: State Of The Union

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Saturday, January.05,  2013

With Trout, Trumbo and Pujols in the lineup for the next decade, plus Hamilton for the next 5 years. I could see the Angels appearing on another top 10 decades win list. Question is will they make a World Series?  They have not been to the dance since 2002 when they won it.

With Trout, Trumbo and Pujols in the lineup for the next decade, plus Hamilton for the next 5 years. I could see the Angels appearing on another top 10 decades win list. Question is will they make a World Series? They have not been to the dance since 2002 when they won it.

Josh Jones (Angels Correspondent):

Look-back at last year: 2012 was a year, much like this upcoming season, with expectations as high as the sky moon.  The Halos stole future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols and Texas ace C.J. Wilson from their respective 2011 World Series teams and looked to have a strong rotation headed by the trio of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Wilson. The team fought its way to a 89-73 record, missing the playoffs by a mere four games despite having more wins than the eventual AL Champion Detroit Tigers (Yes, I’m still bitter).

This year, Arte Moreno and the Angels front office decided once again to go big-fish hunting, giving outfielder Josh Hamilton a 5-Year Deal worth $125 Million.  Hamilton gave the Angels quite a logjam in the outfield and Designated-Hitter, leading to the trade that sent designated-hitter Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners in return for Jered Weaver’s college teammate and fellow innings-eater Jason Vargas. You can read a post a fellow writer here at the MLB Reports wrote about that very trade here . Angels General Manager Jerry DiPoto also poured some money into the bullpen and back-end of the rotation, signing hurlers Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett and Joe Blanton. .

Albert Pujols Highlights from 2012- Parental Guidance is Advised for watching the video:

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Vargas/Morales Trade Fills Needs For Both Teams

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Friday, January.04,  2013

Kendrys Morales had a breakout year with the Angels in 2009, where he he hit .306 with 34 HRs and 108 RBI.  He also clubbed 43 Doubles and carried an OPS of .924 for the year which propelled him to a top 5 AL MVP Finish.

Kendrys Morales had a breakout year with the Angels in 2009, where he he hit .306 with 34 HRs and 108 RBI. He also clubbed 43 Doubles and carried an OPS of .924 for the year which propelled him to a top 5 AL MVP Finish. In 2010, he suffered an ankle injury celebrating a Walk-Off Grand Slam in Angels Stadium.  His OPS was .778  in 2012,  can he regain his previous form in Seattle?

Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Trade Correspondent):

It is rare in baseball that division rivals complete trades.  Most of the time when it does happen, it is a lower end deal involving pieces that neither team is particularly worried will come back to haunt them.  This is what makes the Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales trade so interesting.  It is a trade that makes incredible sense for all parties involved, but there is at least some likelihood that either or both players could make their former club regret the move in the short term.  Let’s take a closer look at the players involved in the deal and why each club wanted to make this move.

On the Angels side, the team was in dire need of innings they could count on.  After acquiring Tommy Hanson and his questionable shoulder as well as losing Zack Greinke to their cross-town rivals, the Dodgers, the Angels needed to find a starter who could give them guaranteed innings.  Enter Jason Vargas.  Vargas has been good for 190 plus innings over the last three season including over 200 Innings Pitched in 2011 and 2012. Vargas is a back-end of the rotation starter who has one terrific pitch in his arsenal, which is his change-up. Vargas’ change-up is an elite pitch.  To help characterize how elite a pitch it can be, we can look to some statistical measures.  Per 100 pitches, Vargas saved 2.25 runs over the course of 2012 with his change-up. To understand in comparison, Justin Verlander‘s curveball, what many would consider his “put-away” pitch saved 2.04 runs per 100 pitches in 2012.  Now clearly, no one in their right mind is going to positively compare Vargas to Verlander, but in terms of Vargas’ change-up, I think it is important for everyone to understand that he does do something as well if not better than any other pitcher in the Major Leagues.  

The Brutal Kendrys Morales injury after a Grand Slam Walk-Off HR:

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Broxton, Marshall and Chapman: Modern Day Nasty Boys?

Sunday, December.9, 2012

a  a nasty boys

Matt Steinmann (Guest Baseball Writer and Reds Correspondent):

The resigning of Jonathan Broxton is an interesting one for the Reds. The feeling is that this paves the way for Aroldis Chapman to head to the rotation. It could also just be securing the back end of a dominant bullpen from this past season that many have compared to the 1990 Nasty Boys. The Reds haven’t said for sure, which isn’t surprising considering how close-to-the-vest they operate. Like last season, Chapman will likely go into Spring Training as a starter, and the team will go from there.

 The 1990 Nasty Boys were a dominant force. If the Reds had the lead after 6 innings, the trio of Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble, and Randy Myers could strike fear into even the best of hitters and close the door almost at will. Charlton struck out 117 batters in 154.1 innings (6.8 per 9 Innings). He also had 16 starts, an ERA of 2.74, and 2 saves. Dibble’s sparkling ERA of 1.74 and WHIP of 0.980 stands out among the trio. He saved 11 games as well, threw 98 Innings, striking out 136 batters (12.5 per 9 Innings). Randy Myers was the man to close the door. The hard throwing lefty converted 31 saves in 1990, had an ERA of 2.08, and struck out 98 batters in 86.2 Innings (11.3 per 9 Innings). Read the rest of this entry

Ryan Madson and Edwin Jackson: Free Agent Gambles That Became Scott Boras Blunders

Monday November 12th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: There isn’t a single general manager is baseball that enjoys negotiating with Scott Boras, the man behind many of baseball’s top players. He usually gets his way when the final dominos fall, but he isn’t perfect. Edwin Jackson and Ryan Madson are two examples of Boras’s flawed work of late.

Here’s how they have and will be affected in free agency:

How Edwin Jackson Will Be Affected

Jackson seems to be the MLB’s definition of a journeyman. With ten years under his belt, he has pitched on seven teams, and not once has he signed a contract worth longer than three years. Jackson had an opportunity to erase that trend last off-season with several long-term deals at his disposal. However, Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal noted last winter that instead of taking the safe route, he could roll the dice and shoot for a larger contract next winter, which is now this winter. Jackson followed Rosenthal’s blueprint, signing a one-year deal with the Nationals worth $11 million. Read the rest of this entry

Three Veteran Closers Searching for Bounce Back Seasons

Thursday November 8th, 2012

Sam Evans: When it comes to closers, 2012 was the year of the injured veteran reliever. A couple of teams probably would have had different postseason success had they been able to use their reliable ninth-inning man. From Mariano Rivera to Sergio Santos, the list of closers that missed the 2012 MLB season goes on and on. Here’s an early glance at some of these pitchers hoping to rebound from their respective off years in the upcoming season.

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera is the best closer in the history of baseball and probably the best relief pitcher as well. Even as a forty-one year old in 2011, Rivera was forty-four for forty-nine in save opportunities. That was his ninth consecutive season with thirty or more saves. Unfortunately, Mariano Rivera missed almost all of the 2012 season due to a torn ACL he suffered while shagging fly balls. Read the rest of this entry

The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 3 of 4: The Pitchers

Saturday September.01/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles here.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   This team has played for almost 130 years.  As such, they have a great deal of history, so there are going to be several more hitters than pitchers as is the case with most Franchises.  For the first seasons as the Quakers, they had some decent pitchers.  It wasn’t until Pete Grover Alexander joined the club, that Philadelphia Phillies fams got to see a Hall of Fame pitcher before their very eyes.  From Alexander, to Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons, to Jim Bunning, Rick Wise and Chris Short, to Steve Carlton, Tug McGraw and Jim Lonborg, to Curt Schilling and Mitch Williams, to Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, the Phillies Pitchers have been improving in each generation.

Last year when the club won a record 102 games for the Franchise, they had the best 4 starters they had ever assembled in Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Roy Oswalt to take the mound.  Having Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton as your 5th starter is an option most teams would love to have.  The Phillies have been one of the best teams in the National League since 1975.  They have appeared in 9 NLCS’s and 5 World Series while winning 2 of them.  That is an impressive 36 year run.  Going forward, the clubs pitchers still look solid.  Cole Hamels just signed a 6 year extension, Cliff Lee is around for 3 more years and Roy Halladay still has 2 more years left after this.  The club also signed Jonathan Papelbon up until the end of the 2015 season before 2012 began.  Papelbon may have a chance to make this list when someone else chronicles the best pitchers in Phillies history one day 25 years from now.

If you ask me to have a Mount Rushmore of Pitchers it would be: Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Grover Alexander and probably Cole Hamels because of his instrumental pitching since the 2007 season. 

For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:

For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series click here

Steve Carlton Highlight Reel:

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MLB Tommy John Surgery Updates

Thursday August 16th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  Over the course of this year, there have been more pitchers going in for Tommy John surgery than I can ever remember. And make no mistake, it is mostly pitchers that are falling victim. According to our TJ Tracker, there have been 39 pitchers (including Michael Pineda who had arthroscopic surgery) that had the surgery since March. In the month of August alone, there have already been two pitchers to go under the knife and one that most likely will. Neftali Feliz had the surgery on the first of the month after trying to come back from an arm injury, and he was then being shut down in a rehab assignment. Drew Hutchison of the Blue Jays also had this surgery. It seems like every pitcher will eventually need this surgery in his career. It is becoming the reality of modern day baseball.

Before the surgery, pitchers’ careers were much shorter, some just 7-8 years long. Now with this new technology, careers are prolonged. It’s been said that Tommy John surgery can even strengthen an arm. The ligament is replaced with a tendon (usually from the leg) and the arm is made stronger. Sometimes pitchers are said to throw even harder after the surgery. This may or may not be true; there is some debate. It could be that pitchers are taking more time to condition, but it could also be that they are given a stronger arm. Some pitchers have had the surgery multiple times. One that comes to mind is Brian Wilson of the Giants. Wilson had his first surgery in college. He fully recovered and was converted from a starter to a reliever in the minors. Upon arriving to the majors, Wilson was a fireballer and became the closer. He threw in the upper 90’s even after a surgery like this. It will be interesting to see how he recovers from his second surgery and if he can retain the closers’ role. Read the rest of this entry

Aroldis Chapman’s Unbelievable Start: Star Closer or Future Starter?

Thursday June 7th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: As the season winds on and we begin to approach the All Star break, many players who had hot starts have come back to reality.  The Cincinnati Reds’ Aroldis Chapman, however, has not. In 24 games this season, the native of Cuba has given up only seven hits and yielded just one run (unearned) in 29 innings pitched. He posts a 52:9 strikeout to walk ratio—which translates to a ridiculous 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Against Chapman, hitters are hitting a miniscule .076. He has officially been named the Reds’ closer and has recorded six saves. If he could sustain these numbers, Chapman could be a legitimate Cy Young candidate (even as a reliever).

The Reds initially planned to use Chapman as a starter, while letting him adjust to the major leagues pitching out of the bullpen his first year, like many rookies. He was dazzling as he threw upwards of 100 miles per hour (even hitting 103), and was kept in the bullpen. This year, rather than being moved to the rotation, he was designated the closer and has excelled. After performing in this role, it seems like he is destined to stay. Chapman has all of the qualities of a closer, and on top of those, he is left-handed, which gives him an even bigger advantage due to the scarcity of left-handed closers. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Closer Report: Where Does Your Team Stand?

Sunday May 6, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): Seeing Mariano Rivera go down with a torn ACL is like driving by a car accident and reflecting on how easily it could have been you in that accident, or in this case- how it could have been your team’s closer cringing in pain on the warning track. And this is the year of the injured closer: from Boston’s Andrew Bailey to San Francisco’s Brian Wilson, closers across the league have been dropping like flies. Other closers, like the Angels’ Jordan Walden, have stayed healthy but haven’t played well enough to keep their coveted ninth inning role. Even though there has only been a month of baseball so far, much has changed for some clubs.

Today, I’ll be taking a look at every team’s closer situation, and breaking down how it got to be the way it is: Read the rest of this entry

TJ Surgery Tracker: The Newest MLB reports Addition

Tuesday April 24th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey:  New on mlbreports.com is a Tommy John Surgery link. https://mlbreports.com/tj-surgery/  This page is going to keep you updated with all the players that have undergone Tommy John Surgery this year and in past years. Many of you know the players that have had the surgery- but for those of you who don’t, this page is for you. Even if you do know who the players are that have had the surgery, maybe you missed one along the way. Either way you should check out the page to keep track of all the good young arms going down to this terrible surgery.

Some of the most recent players to go down to Tommy John are, Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria, and Brian Wilson. Ryan Madson went down in Spring Training with a sore elbow and ended up needing Tommy John. On the other hand Wilson went down with major structural damage in his throwing elbow. He got three opinions to make sure and will indeed be having Tommy John Surgery with Dr. James Andrews.

Tommy John has had a major effect on many teams this season. With the three names that I just mentioned, they are all starting closers with major league teams. With Madson going down, Sean Marshall has had to take over the closing role. The Royals have went to closer by committee after the Soria injury. With Wilson  out, the Giants are not sure right now what they are going to do. Their likely best chance is with Sergio Romo though.

If you know a player that has gotten the surgery and we don’t have them on the list, email us (mlbreports@me.com) and we will add him to the list.  We will be keeping a running total of the surgeries for you, the readers. It is one thing when you see one or two players go down. But with the amount of players that have already undergone the surgery this year, the number looks alarming when you see it in a full list. We thank you for your support of MLB reports and we will continue to bring you everything and anything that relates to the world of baseball. With the effect of Tommy John surgery on the game, we thought it was to dedicate a complete page to the procedure. But there is more. Much more. From the World Baseball Classic, to Interviews, Guest MLB Blogs, Baseball Book Reviews and all other features, the staff at MLB reports covers all the bases!


Ryan Ritchey is a MLB reports Baseball Intern. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter (@Ryan13Ritchey)

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.

Marshall and Chapman to Solidify the Reds Pen

 

Thursday April 12th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey:  The Reds went out and got two relievers this year to help out in the back-end of their bullpen, with Francisco Cordero leaving. Those two pitchers were Ryan Madson and Sean Marshall. As I wrote in a previous article, Madson has gone down with Tommy John Surgery and now Sean Marshall will have to take over the closing duties. This puts a lot of pressure on Marshall to succeed because the Reds will likely play in many close games throughout the season.

With the injury to Madson, it changes a lot around in the rotation. In Spring Training Aroldis Chapman was getting his arm in shape to be a starter, since their was enough bullpen to shut down teams in late innings. That all went out the window with the Madson injury. Chapman is 2-0 and has 10 k’s in 5 innings pitched this first week of the season in the bullpen. So far…so good. (more…)

2012: The Year of the Tommy John Surgery

Thursday March 29th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey (Intern Candidate:  MLB reports):  The 2012 season hasn’t even begun and we are already talking extensively about Tommy John surgery. As a baseball fan, it is sad to see players go down and require this surgery. It is a long recovery back to the big leagues and sometimes the players are never the same. This is an injury that happens mostly to pitchers, because of how much stress they put on their elbows. This year is no different.

We are two weeks away from opening day and several pitchers have gone down with elbow injuries, both needing Tommy John. Two of those pitchers are Ryan Madson of the Cincinnati Reds and Joakim Soria of the Kansas City Royals. Madson who just signed with the Reds this offseason is hoping for a speedy recovery back to the bigs to make an impact in Cincy. For Joakim Soria, it’s a totally different story. This is his second go around with Tommy John Surgery (2003). (more…)

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