Blog Archives

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

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

 

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

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 19, 2016

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JEFF WHEELER, STAR TRIBUNE

Terry Ryan was fired by the Twins as their GM. I look back at his near miss legacy.

It is a turning the page steps episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Jarrod Dyson, Matt Boyd, Jedd Gyorko, Jose Fernandez, Rougned Odor, Adonis Garcia, Aaron Nola and Chris Sale all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

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Midseason Top 100 Prospect Rankings Analysis (61-70)

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

 

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

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

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – May 17, 2016

 

TIGERS-051616-KD-6

Kirthmon F. Dozier – Detroit Free Press

The Twins and Tigers are playing an ugly series against each other. Neither team looks good this year. And yet somehow the Twins may be a more hopeful team than Detroit.

It is a “Glass Half Empty/Glass Half Full” episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

J.D. Martinez, Sean Manaea, Matt Joyce, Robbie Ray, Kurt Suzuki and Trayce Thompson all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

 

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

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

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

Passing The Torch From Greatest MLB Player To Player During The Years 1979 – 2013: From Brett To Cabrera

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013.  He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles.  Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe.  He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs.  The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013. He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles. Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe. He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs – while featuring an OPS well north of 1.000. The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.  The 8 time ALL – Star and 5 time Silver Slugger Award Winner has improved even greater on his totals over the last decade.  Cabrera has a Career 3 Slash Line of .321/.399/.967 – with 365 HRs and 1260 RBI in just 1660 Games Played.

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

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While watching Miguel Cabrera this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years.  I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time. 

I tracked back to 1979 for this article.  I may expand further back in follow-up articles.  I didn’t rank defense as  highly as offense when I came up with the players. 

I agonized over players like Mike SchmidtJim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames.  These gentlemen were given every consideration. 

In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion. 

The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting (if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.

Cabrera’s 3 HR Game – 2013

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Texas Rangers: Different Year Than 2012, Or Same Result?

Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Jurickson Profar are just a few of the great players up and down their roster. Last season they lost the American League West to the Oakland Athletics on the last day of the season. Will the same happen this season, or will their be a different result?

Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Jurickson Profar are just a few of the great players up and down their roster. Last season they lost the American League West to the Oakland Athletics on the last day of the season. Will the same happen this season, or will their be a different result? With 25 Games left to play, and identical 79 – 58 records in the AL West, The A’s and the boys from Arlington are embattled in a tightly Division Race in 2013.

Ryan Ritchey (Featured Baseball Columnist): 

The 2012 season didn’t end as planned for the Texas Rangers. They had a five game lead over the Oakland Athletics in the American League West with nine games remaining and lost the division. It was crushing for the team and the fans.

Losing the division put them in a one game playoff with the Baltimore Orioles. Coming off the shock of losing the division, the Rangers lost to the Orioles 5-1 at home. 

Will this season be the same for the Rangers, or will there be a different result? Here are three reasons why it could be the same and three why it could be different…

Yu Darvish Dominates Diamondbacks with 14 K’s:

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (August.22nd) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Photo: Leon Halip/Getty Images

Photo: Leon Halip/Getty Images

Chris Herrmann doubled home a run in the first and drove in the winning run in the 8th with another double. He finished 3-5 as the Twins beat the Tigers in Detroit, 7-6.

Jose Tabata went 3-4 with an RBI double, drove in 3 and scored a pair as the Pirates demolished the Giants, 10-5.

Jose Quintana pitched 7 strong innings, letting up only 4 hits, 1 walk and 3 runs, striking out 7. He didn’t get the decision but his strong start set up the White Sox 4-3 12th inning win against the fading Royals.

Mat Latos was wonderful over 8 innings, letting up 1 run and walking none, as the Reds snuck past the Diamondbacks, 2-1.

They all owned baseball on August 22, 2013.

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

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

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

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

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 25, 2013

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The names of the Joe Mauer Twins, why the Giants lousy month was a blessing in disguise and a salute to Tim Hudson.

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

Eric Hosmer, Nate Schierholtz, David Price and Tim Hudson  all owned baseball on July 24, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE
Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 25, 2013
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Can Cleveland Keep Pace in the Second Half?

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Sunday July 7th, 2013 

The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the American League Central 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. Kipnis has come out of his shell and is leading the team in Hits, RBI, Average, and On Base Percentage. Kipnis will be an All-Star on July 16th at Citi Field. The pitching is below average ranked throughout the league but for them to keep pace with the Tigers in the second half they will have to pick it up and try to carry the team. Guys like Jimenez, Swisher, Bourn and Kazmir will have to have a great second half for the Indians to make the playoffs. As it sits right now the only way they will make the playoffs is by winning the American League Central and beating the Detroit Tigers.

The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the American League Central 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. Jason Kipnis has come out of his shell and is leading the team in Hits, RBI, Average, and On Base Percentage. Kipnis will be an All-Star on July 16th at Citi Field. The pitching is below average ranked throughout the league but for them to keep pace with the Tigers in the second half they will have to pick it up and try to carry the team. Guys like Jimenez, Swisher, Bourn and Kazmir will have to have a great second half for the Indians to make the playoffs. As it sits right now the only way they will make the playoffs is by winning the American League Central and beating the Detroit Tigers.

By Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): 

The Cleveland Indians are three games above .500 but are still 3.5 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers after losing the first two game of the series at home.

New manager Terry Francona has done a great job with this club but he still has a lot more to do in order for them to make the playoffs. 

Big names that have produced so far this season are Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson.

Swisher came over to Cleveland this winter by signing a four-year $56 million contract. The contract includes a fifth year vesting option worth $14 million.

Swisher has given the team a huge boost with his personality but hasn’t produced as much as wanted on the field. Only having 30 RBI has really hurt this club as it has put a lot of pressure on other guys to perform. 

Cleveland Indians 2013 Preview- MLB Network: 

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More Minnesota Twins Trade Candidates

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 Wednesday July.03 /2013

Kevin Correia is, in my mind, the most likely Twin on the move. Not far behind are Morneau, Willingham, and Burton. Correia isn't the best Starting Pitcher on the market, but he is pitching well and has shown the same ability in the past. He was an All-Star for Pittsburgh in 2011. He has turned out to be a pretty good sign this off-season by the Minnesota.

Kevin Correia is, in my mind, the most likely Twin on the move. Not far behind are Morneau, Willingham, and Burton. Correia isn’t the best Starting Pitcher on the market, but he is pitching well and has shown the same ability in the past. He was an All-Star for Pittsburgh in 2011. He has turned out to be a pretty good sign this off-season by the Minnesota.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

Our new ‘Lead Baseball Columnist’ Chris Lacey wrote about the Morneau and Willingham Trade Market yesterday here – and it had me thinking who else could be on the block – and my thoughts on those guys?

Much like the last article I wrote on the Chicago Cubs trade candidates, the Minnesota Twins will be in selling mode too as the 2013 trade deadline approaches.

With that being said, the Twins have less selling to do. Twins fans will remember they already did some of that this past offseason.

The Twins have a record of 36-44 just 7.5 Games Back of 1st place. However they are in 4th place only ahead of the Chicago White Sox, and it is my belief that is where they will end the 2013 season.

They won’t upgrade their Major League roster via trade this year, but they may add to the talent in their farm system which is growing to be pretty strong.

The Twins had the 4th ranked farm system at the start of the season according to Baseball Prospectus.

I’m not sure how much to trust the rankings because they have the Yankees ranked above the Red Sox which is laughable in my opinion, but my points stand, they are still in the rebuilding process and are doing well at it.

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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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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May 7th) + Updated Yearly WOB Standings

image-1-1337895

Matt Harvey may not have pitched a perfect game, or a no hitter, or even get credit for the Mets 1-0 win over the White Sox. But any pitcher who throws 9 innings, no runs, no walks, 1 hit and 12 strikeouts is going to be honored here.

Shin-Soo Choo hit a pair of home runs including the walk off shot with 2 outs in the 9th as the Reds stunned the Braves, 5-4

Scott Diamond threw his fourth straight good start. He pitched 7 shutout innings against the Red Sox, surrendering only 3 hits and no walks as the Twins won 6-1.

Matt Wieters drove in 3 of Baltimore’s 4 runs including the 8th inning go ahead tally as the Orioles squeaked by the Royals, 4-3.

They all owned baseball on May 07, 2013

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

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

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

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

Pirates Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Friday, February.8, 2013

Pittsburgh GM Neil Huntington has found creative ways to help the Budget out - by taking risks on Wandy Rodriguez and A.J. Burnett.  They are both being paid portions of their contracts by their previous teams.

Pittsburgh GM Neil Huntington has found creative ways to help the Budget out – by taking risks on Wandy Rodriguez and A.J. Burnett. They are both being paid portions of their contracts by their previous teams.  Signing Andrew McCutchen to a long-term contract has also given the franchise the ability to add players in 2013 if need be.

By Brad Cuprik (Pirates Correspondent)

On August 8 of last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates were 63-47, 2.5 games back of the First-place Cincinnati Reds, securely into the second Wild-Card Spot – and had the fourth-best record in the National League. The wheels came off, the Bucs finished on a 16-36 slide, 18 games back of the Reds and with the 10th-best record in the NL. Reality could have caught up to a overperforming squad, or a youthful team took the next step in learning how to win. Either way, the Pirates enter 2013 with breaking a streak of 20 losing seasons on their minds.

General Manager Neal Huntington has been shrewd and active, signing MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen to a long-term deal in 2012 and getting other clubs to eat up significant chunks of their largest contracts when acquiring their top two starters. Starting pitching depth has been added and Huntington is even taking more high-priced risks, landing Catcher Russell Martin as a Free Agent.

Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Highlights:

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Pittsburgh Pirates Roster in 2013: State Of The Union

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Pirates have not made the playoffs since the 1992 Season. That year, Barry Bonds could not throw out Sid Bream from deep Short - and he subsequently left the team for the SF Giants.  20 Losing Season have since occurred.

The Pirates have not made the playoffs since the 1992 Season. That year, Barry Bonds could not throw out Sid Bream from deep Short in Game #7 of the NLCS versus the Braves – and they were eliminated for the 3rd straight year in the playoffs before reaching the World Series.  Bonds subsequently left the team for the SF Giants in 1993 – and 20 losing seasons have since occurred. Only the Kansas City Royals have a longer streak of not making the playoffs (1985). Will this change in 2013?

By Brad Cuprik (Pirates Correspondent)

Although the Pirates made significant strides in 2012, they still finished in fourth place in the National League Central – with a 79-83 mark – extending their professional sports record for consecutive losing seasons to 20. After being active at last season’s trading deadline, the Bucs added two key Free Agents in the offseason. One of those signings, LHP Francisco Liriano, agreed to 2 YR Deall for just under $13 Million – but broke his arm from an undisclosed injury in late December. The two sides agreed to a deal that lowers the first-season payout if Liriano misses any time due to the injury.

That has not dimmed the enthusiasm swelling around Pittsburgh and very few roster spots are up for grabs as the 2013 season nears. With the Houston Astros moving to the American League West, the division is down to five teams, but the Pirates still have numerous questions surrounding their ability to compete for a Post Season Berth.

Andrew McCutchen hitting mechanics: Mature Lyrics Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

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2012 Trade Deadline Update #6 7/29: Lirano to the White Sox, Johnson to D-Backs, and More

Sunday July 29th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Here are some of the latest key baseball trades that have taken place over the last 24 hours:

Francisco Liriano to the White Sox

After losing out on Greinke, the White Sox needed to make a move. Their pitching needed an extra boost. Chris Sale hasn’t been himself his last two starts, giving up five earned runs in each, and Jake Peavy has been on and off lately, going 1-2 in his past three starts. Although Liriano has for the most part had a terrible year, holding a 3-10 record with an atrocious 5.31 ERA, he hasn’t been all that bad in his last few starts (excluding his last start against Chicago—2.2 innings, seven earned runs),striking out 10 and 15 in the two starts before facing Chicago. The White Sox are hoping that Liriano will continue his turnaround and help them reach the playoffs. This could be tough for the White Sox though; the Tigers seem to have the makings of a playoff team to not make the playoffs, and the AL West looks like it could produce three playoff teams as of now. But, with all this, Chicago does look promising after the acquisition of Kevin Youkilis earlier in the year. Adam Dunn has returned to form, hitting more home runs and striking out just as much. It looks like the White Sox will have a good shot to play in October. Read the rest of this entry

2012 Trade Deadline Update #4 7/27: The Dodgers Need More Pitching- Evaluating the Options

Friday July 27th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: After acquiring shortstop/third baseman Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins, the Dodgers got exponentially better. With Hanley, the Dodgers gained an offensive force on the left side of the infield. With two solid pitchers, the Dodgers are good team, but a third would take them to the next level. There are several options out there:

Cliff Lee, Phillies

Signed through 2015, Lee will be a long-term option that could cost a premium. Fortunately for the Dodgers, money isn’t too much of a factor now with the new ownership. The left-handed Lee would fit well possibly as the number-three starter after Chad Billingsley to rotate left/right/left with Clayton Kershaw at the top of the rotation. The Phillies might trade Lee this year due to his out-of-character 1-6 record with a 3.95 ERA.  Signing Cliff Lee could potentially put at risk the ability to re-sign Clayton Kershaw, since Kershaw’s two-year $19 million contract expires after next year. The Dodgers would be busy paying Lee the last three and a half years of his five-year $120 million contract, so Kershaw might have to settle for a little bit less (even with the new ownership) or sign with another team—the last thing the Dodgers would want. Acquiring Cliff Lee will be highly unlikely for this reason, plus the fact that the Phillies might want to hold onto their 2nd/3rd ace. Read the rest of this entry

Justin Morneau: Twins Trade Bait or Damaged Goods?

 

Thursday July 12th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Over the past few years, Twins fans have been disappointed with Justin Morneau’s performance. He’s been plagued by a concussion he sustained in Toronto two years ago after sliding into the leg of Aaron Hill. Before the injury, Morneau was hitting .345 through 81 games, hit .274 in the year before that (2009), finished second in MVP voting in 2008 after hitting .300 with 23 home runs and 129 RBIs, and won the AL MVP award in 2006 after hitting .321 with 34 homers and 130 RBIs. The big question is: Can he return to his original form? Read the rest of this entry

Top Ten Stat of the Week: Players with 40 HRs on 4 Different Teams Or More

Monday July.02/2012

Gary Sheffield hit 30 HRs and 120 RBI in both 2004 and 2005 for the Yankees before injuries held him to just 39 games in 2006. Sheffield also hit 40+HRs on 5 other teams (per stay) besides the Bronx Bombers in his career. –Photo courtesy of exposay.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- As the world of Twitter and Facebook has invaded the internet these days, I am brainstorming about all sorts of stats I have had in my head for years.  This stat came to my head because of Gary Sheffield.  A few years back, I watched a game on my birthday at Safeco Field.  It was the New York Yankees and Sheffield visiting.  There are players that you are sure to watch live in person.  Gary Sheffield was one of these hitters.   Not only is he one of 25 player in history to hit 500 HRs, but he had one of the fiercest swings ever.  The man would wiggle that bat back and forth like a toothpick before striding and swinging with daunting ferocity.  It was an unorthodox style that must have made Little League coaches cringe, yet it was effective.  Sheffield was a bit of a hot head though, this may have led to him being traded or not re-signed by several teams.  Hitting 40 HRs for 6 different teams is definitely impressive and may never be duplicated.  I knew he had played on several teams already so the seed of today’s article was planted back in 2005.

Fred McGriff was the exact opposite of Gary Sheffield when it came to temperament.  This man was traded several times in his career because he could flat-out hit.  Jose Canseco is the only other player besides McGriff and Sheffield to hit 40 HRs with 5 different teams.  The reason many older players are not on this list is because free agency never arrived in the MLB until the early 70’s when Curt Flood challenged a trade and the Players Union saw it through.  Now player movement has enabled more players switching teams each season than ever before.  Rusty Staub was the 1st to make this list and Alfonso Soriano is the last player to make this list and the only current player left.  I have a feeling we will see more players arrive on this list in the next 25 years.

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Passing of the Torch as The Greatest Player in The MLB: From Pujols to Hamilton

Wednesday June.6, 2012

Josh Hamilton is on pace for 64 HRs and 177 RBI in 2012 with a .345 AVG. He has taken over as the best player in MLB from Albert Pujols -Photo Courtesy of http://www.real-fans.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- While watching Josh Hamilton this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years.  I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time.  I tracked back to 1979 for this article.  I may expand further back in follow up articles.  I did rank defense highly when I came up with the players.  I did agonize over Mike Schmidt,  Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames.  These gentlemen were given every consideration.  In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion.  The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting(if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.

George Brett won batting titles in 3 different decades and flirted with .400 in 1980 while hitting .390 for the year. -Photo courtesy of lanius.wordpress.com

George Brett 1979-1983-George Brett was the best hitter in the game from 1979-1983.  He hit for a .320 average and slugged his way to having the Royals as perennial contenders.  He led the league in triples (20) and hits in 1979.  In 1980, he hit .390 with a .454 OBP, 664 SLG and a 1.118 OBP which led the league.  In 1983, Brett led the league in slugging an OPS once again.  Brett won the MVP in 1980 and was the runner-up in 1979.  In 1985, George Brett would lead the Royals to a World Series.  He later won a batting title at age 37 with a .329 average.  This was the toughest time frame to judge from 1979-1983.  Mike Schmidt was an incredible force at third base with huge power and Jim Rice also put up mammoth numbers, but in the end I chose  George Brett because he was more consistent out of 3. Read the rest of this entry

The DH Tandem of Ibanez and Jones Are Providing Great Value Amongst the Position

Monday, May.28/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones might only be hitting about .250 as a combined DH unit, however they are providing some much-needed power from the DH slot for the New York Yankees.  Ibanez is batting .260 with 9 HRs and 27 RBI in 137 AB, Jones is .227 with 5 HRs and 10 RBI in 66 AB.  The two totals combined equal 14 HRs and 37 RBI in 193 AB.  This is really good production in the power department.  This puts the duo on pace for about 45 HRs and 120 RBI out of the DH slot.  These numbers are comparable to Chicago White Sox primary DH Adam Dunn, who is .240 with 15 HRs and 35 RBI, and Edwin Encarnacion for the Toronto Blue Jays, who is .274 with 15 HRs and is second in the AL with 39 RBI.

There are factors that cancel out the production of both Encarnacion and Dunn.  The Blue Jays first base position has killed any type of edge that Encarnacion’s start should have provided.  Adam Lind hit himself out of the Majors with his under .200 average, thus negating the production that the position of 1B needs to have in order to compete along with a DH.  Adam Dunn has racked up 74 strikeouts to add to his power numbers.  While this has been a renaissance year for Dunn so far, the all or nothing philosophy does hurt in the clutch sometimes.  I think the White Sox have to be happy with his production, plus Paul Konerko has been the best player in the AL outside of Josh Hamilton. Read the rest of this entry

Kansas City Royals: Do They Have Enough Pitching to Become Contenders?

Thursday May 24th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: This season was all set up to finally be the year that the Royals would have a good chance to contend. The division became less competitive than normal with the White Sox losing Mark Buehrle and manager Ozzie Guillen, the Twins not making any big moves in the offseason besides signing Josh Willingham, and a second wild card being added to increase the possibility of making the playoffs. Royals’ fans have long waited for the team to make the playoffs as they have only had a winning record once since 1993. This year, the Royals have no shortage of hitting with young stars Eric Hosmer (first base)—who is struggling as of late but is showing signs of coming around, and third baseman, Mike Moustakas who is hitting .285. The Royals also have a strong outfield with Alex Gordon and veteran Jeff Francouer. Prospect Wil Myers, who was just promoted to Triple A, may offer more strength in the future, and Billy Butler, hitting .301 is the designated hitter. With a strong bullpen and hitting lineup beside the slumping Hosmer, right now the only weakness for the Royals is their starting pitching. Presently, Felipe Paulino is an exception with a 1.93 ERA, but it is doubtful that he will keep up his performance. Read the rest of this entry

The Future of Delmon Young

Wednesday May 23rd, 2012

Sam Evans: There is a reason Delmon Young was selected with the first pick in the 2003 Amateur draft. Young has always had the potential to be a perennial All-Star, but he has never been able to sustain success over the course of a couple of major league seasons. Now, at twenty-six years old, Delmon Young is barely hanging on to a starting major league job. What’s in store for this former top five prospect in all of baseball? Keep reading to find out.

When Delmon Young was drafted out of high school back in 2003, the Rays made a smart choice taking him #1 overall. Even though things didn’t go as planned, the Tampa Bay organization drafted the most talented player available. Young possessed a rare combination of all five tools. The younger brother of MLB slugger Dmitri Young, Delmon could hit for power and had a strong arm, which projected well for a future corner outfield position. After a couple of impressive seasons in the minors, one of which he was suspended fifty games for hitting an umpire with his bat, Young finally reached the majors with the Rays organization in 2006. Read the rest of this entry

Twins Pitching Prospects to Remember

Tuesday May 1st, 2012

Sam Evans: The Twins have made it obvious they have no plans of contending this year. Their whole infield is pretty depressing and the pitching staff has looked awful. Minnesota doesn’t have an amazing farm system, but they do have some pitchers that probably will be in the majors in the coming years. Here is a review of a couple of the top Twins pitching prospects.

Madison Boer, RHP, A-Ball: Madison Boer is a twenty-two year old right-handed throwing starting pitcher. He was drafted in the 2011 2nd round out of the University of Oregon but he was born in Minnesota. His fastball sits in the low-90’s and he also has a slider and a splitter. Last year, in fifteen games pitching in relief in Rookie ball, Boer struck out thirty-one of the sixty-seven batters he faced.

In 2012, Boer has gotten off to another hot start. Facing A-Ball hitters, Boer has posted a 3.31 FIP. Unfortunately, his strikeout rates have not been close to where they were in 2011. This year, Boer has faced one hundred and sixteen batters, and only struck out twenty. He’s only had five starts, but his strikeout rates will definitely be something to watch this year. Overall, Boer could turn into a solid #3 starter for the Twins. I’m sure the Twins would be thrilled if they could get that kind of value from a second round pick. Read the rest of this entry

Joe Mauer vs. Alex Avila: Who is the Top Catcher in Baseball?

Saturday February 11th, 2012

Sam Evans: Joe Mauer and Alex Avila have become two of the best catchers in the American League. Both players are at a crossroads in their respective careers heading into 2012. For Avila, can he build on his breakout season last year and lead the Tigers to the playoffs again? Mauer needs to find out whether he can stay at catcher without injury, and if he can return to the level of his previous offensive years. Read the rest of this entry

A Tribute to Frank “Sweet Music” Viola

Tuesday December 6, 2011

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports):  This week, I take a look at back and crunch the numbers of an intriguing former great player, Frank Viola. Nicknamed “Sweet Music”, the crafty left-hander finished his fifteen-year career with a 3.73 ERA and a 176-150-career record. Impressive numbers that earned Viola an induction to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame. However, his qualifications by no means ended up landing him a spot in Cooperstown with the big boys.  Viola only received 2 votes in 2002 (0.4%) and went off the ballot after only one year of eligibility.

Since I was only nine years old when Viola retired in 1996, I don’t have the pleasure of seeing him pitch firsthand. I have heard a lot about the lefty, and while examining his career at a closer level; there are uncanny parallels to my favorite pitcher of all-time, Mark Buehrle. As much as I have tried to the case for Buehrle as a HOF, and as much as he has accomplished, he is simply not a dominant player of his generation. The same was true for Viola.

In the prime of his career, Viola was masterful and ate up a lot of innings. He consistently finished the season around 250 innings pitched and threw a whopping 74 career complete games. He had the ability to miss bats, but only surpassed the 200-strikeout plateau once in his career. He allowed a lot of hits, one per inning throughout his career, but he did have good control and kept the walks to a minimum. Not blowing hitters away, Viola creatively maneuvered around the strike zone and made the most of his “stuff”, a term used to describe a pitcher’s repertoire and arsenal.

Outside of my own wishes and perhaps members of the White Sox nation, Mark Buehrle is not considered a HOF caliber player at this point in his career. However, a move to the National League and another six-plus years of strong pitching, then he truly becomes a candidate if he can surpass the 250-win level. Remember, this is a guy who has thrown a no-hitter, a perfect game, started AND saved a World Series game, and started and won an All-Star game. Since becoming a starter in 2001, he has thrown at least 200 innings in one 10 games in each season.  A model of consistency. With a 161-119 career record and 3.83 lifetime ERA. His numbers stack up nicely compared to Viola, despite throwing 30 fewer games.

Admittedly, Viola was more dominant than Buehrle during several of his best seasons, particularly in 1984, 1987, 1988, and 1990. Viola was a 3-time all-star selection, a World Series champion and MVP in 1987, and was the 1988 AL CY Young Award winner. Clearly, Viola was good and even dominant for a few years. However, he does not stack up against the true greats. Overall, he amassed a 43.9 career WAR in fifteen seasons, ranking him 106th overall for pitchers. Buehrle, with a 46.6 career WAR to date, in through just 11 seasons, is ranked 92nd overall.  

Therefore, based on this comparative analysis, if Frank Viola should have been HOF worthy, than so is Mark Buehrle – right now. Their career numbers are almost identical, as well as their style and stuff, despite the fact that Buehrle has pitched about one fewer full season of games. While Buehrle still has an outside chance to one day reach Cooperstown, Frank “Sweet Music” Viola, simply did not have enough dominant seasons to reach the Hall of Fame. Viola though did enjoy an outstanding career and will forever be remembered as one of the pitching greats of his generation.

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

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

David Ortiz to the Jays or Yankees? Try the Rays or Angels

Monday October 17, 2011

 

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  With the World Series all set to commence on Wednesday (Cardinals and Rangers)- our attention is slowly shifting to the upcoming free agency period.  A big name (literally) of discussion has been David Ortiz, or better known in baseball circles as “Big Papi”.  The rumor mill is running wild as to where Ortiz will play in 2012.  Let’s shed some light on the subject and clear up the confusion.

The soon to be 36-year old Ortiz is coming off one of his finest seasons in recent memory.  Papi finished with a steady all-around season:  29 home runs, 96 RBIs, 84 runs, 78/83 BB/K, .309 AVG and .953 OPS.  Ortiz was named to his 7th all-star team and finishing up a 5-year, $64.5 million contract.  For a player that appeared to be in decline back in 2009, Ortiz has shown the last two seasons that he has some juice left in the tank.  But with the Red Sox in shambles, given the departure of long-time manager Terry Francona and soon to be ex-GM Theo Epstein, Ortiz himself has said that Boston has become too much of a soap opera.  The question on every baseball fan’s mind:  will he stay or will he go?

 The Ortiz decision to stay in Boston will largely depend on several factors.  Firstly, it is unclear whether the team wishes to retain him or go in a different direction.  As an aging team with hitters that could use the rest from playing in the field every day, the Red Sox may not longer wish to commit the DH spot to one exclusive batter.  Taking that into account with Papi’s streaks and slumps that past few years and recent comments, may be enough for the Red Sox upper management to wish to move on.  But if the team does wish to retain him, or give in to fan pressure to keep Ortiz (which is likely to come given his immense popularity), will Papi himself want to remain in Boston?  Only the man could answer that question.  To know the answer, one would have to get into the player’s head.  Does Otiz get along with his teammates or are there divided fractions?  How much did the 2011 collapse take a toll on his morale?  When will a new GM come into place and will he be able to have a good relationship with Ortiz?  Same issue for a new manager…and you get the idea.  There are many variables that put into question whether Ortiz could or would stay in Boston.

In my estimation, Ortiz is on his final contract.  He will likely obtain a 2-year contract, with an option for a third.  Based on his rich history and legacy in Boston, I think that when push comes to shove- the player will stay.  Boston needs Papi; and Papi needs Boston.  It would not feel right to see Ortiz in another uniform (check out highlights from his days in Minnesota and you will see what I mean).  Major League Baseball also would love to see Ortiz remain in Boston for marketing purposes.  With so many vested interests in getting this deal done, I believe it will happen.  But what if it does not?  What if Papi jumps ship? I see his options as far and few between.

The first option that jumped out was the Yankees.  It will not happen.  While the Yankees would love to stick it to Boston, they will not likely want another aging DH on their hands after the Jorge Posada fiasco this past season.  The Yankees also have Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and company that need days off the field, A-Rod especially given his failing health.  With A-Rod becoming a part-time DH as soon as next year, the Yankees cannot afford to take on Papi at this stage.  Plus the team has up-and-coming superstar Jesus Montero that needs playing time and has nothing more to prove in AAA.  So the Yankees rate as a no.

 The next options for Ortiz?  It will only be American League teams as he is only a DH at this stage of his career.  The only realistic teams that have the open position and fit are Toronto, Tampa Bay and Anaheim.  The Jays are being thrown around many circles as a possible destination.  It makes sense for several reasons.  Ortiz knows the ballpark well from his AL East days.  He gets along well with Jose Bautista and would serve as a great mentor for the Jays young hitters.  Toronto was missing production last season from the DH spot and would welcome Papi’s bat.  But despite these factors, I don’t see this signing happening.  Ortiz will want to play on a contender and fight for another ring.  His career is winding down and so are his chances.  While Toronto has a strong young nucleus, they are at least 2-3 years aways.  As much as this would be a feel-good signing, I would rate is as another no.

Thus the battle for the services of David Ortiz will boil down to the Tampa Bay Rays and Anaheim Angels.  Two strong playoff contending teams that desperately need his bat.  Tampa Bay should be the favorite, given the familiarity of the AL East and the strong need of the team.  The Rays have the lineup spot for Ortiz and should make a big push for him.  The Angels have the same need, but not the best fit for position.  The team has a logjam in the outfield with Mike Trout likely to be with the big club next year and Kendrys Morales returning to the team from injury.  But when there is a will, there is a way.  Like many other squads, the Angels would need to do some creative shuffling to make room for Ortiz.  Vernon Wells may need to be moved for a bad pitcher’s contract in return (Carlos Zambrano anyone?)  Kendrys Morales may not be recovered or Trout may not be ready.  The Angels went through a desperate need all year in 2011 for runs and will not want to face the same issue come 2012.  Papi could be the perfect short-term solution for the Halos.

The four-horse race to sign David Ortiz will come down to the Red Sox, Jays, Rays and Angels.  The Rays are my dark horse favorite and best overall fit.  The Jays would love to take him on, it will just depend on the confidence Papi has in the team’s ability to compete.  Boston will hang in right till the end and the Angels will need to be aggressive to get him.  If we are playing the odds, I would rate Boston as a 70% favorite, followed by Tampa Bay at 20% and the Jays/Angels at 5% each.  Once the World Series ends, let the David Ortiz sweepstakes begin!

 

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports

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How to Value and Manage Catchers on Your MLB Fantasy Team

Monday October 3, 2011

 

 

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports):  The catching position is one that is often the most mismanaged by fantasy owners.  A very thin position, it is difficult to find value from catchers in the deeper leagues.  Furthermore, you take a big risk dedicating a high pick or significant auction money at a very injury prone position, as 2011 owners Joe Mauer and Buster Posey owners know all too well.  Even a healthy catcher will sit for a significant amount of games each year due to the wear and tear of the position.

For these reasons, I generally advise to not overpay for a player at this position.  But with that said, for the right price, the top batch of catchers can provide you significant value.  However, too many times before we have seen significant year yo year decline from players at this position.  You simply should not rely on production at this position.  Spend your bucks elsewhere.  Based on matchups and playing time, it is possible to scrap together value for next to nothing.

For example, Chris Iannetta and his .238 average, 51 runs, 14 HR, and 55 RBI, disappointed many fantasy owners in 2011.  But a closer look at the numbers shows the true value he provides.  We all know the effect that Coors Field has on hitters, but for Iannetta it is staggering.  His 2011 home numbers look like this: .301 batting average, 10 HR, 39 RBI and 3 SB.

If you were to only start Iannetta at home in 2011, you would great numbers all across the board for half of the season.  You are essentially getting 50% of Brian McCann for way less than 50% of the price.  The discrepancy in his splits is dramatic that it makes him so easy to use as an owner.  Only start him at home and never think about starting him on the road!

Now, for the days that Iannetta is on the road, there are plenty of options in the bottom half of the rankings that would be available on the waiver wire.  Let’s pick someone like Miguel Olivo.  His 19 HR and 62 RBI provide great production from the thin catching position, but his .224 average leaves a lot to be desired.  However, an owner is much better equipped to muster this average if the number of at bats are cut in half.  If you combine this morph of Olivo and Iannetta, you are looking at these types of numbers:

.260-.270, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 6 SB.

These numbers are essentially right on par with Brian McCann’s 2011 line (.270, 24HR, 71RBI, 3SB).  McCann is a consensus top five catcher, while Iannetta and Olivo are viewed outside of the top-15.  You are essentially creating McCann for a lot cheaper and inherent risk that comes with investing money in the catching position.  Furthermore, there are more options out there if you think Olivo’s average is too much of a killer.  It all depends on your team’s needs and what categories you are chasing.  If you are more concerned about average, guys like Nick Hundley and Jonathan Lucroy might be more attractive options.  Looking for power and RBI production?  Names such as J.P. Arencibia, Russell Martin, Geovany Soto, Kurt Suzuki (there are even more) are all useful under the right circumstances.

For example, look at Geovany Soto’s numbers against left-handed pitching in 2011: .296 average, 7 HR and 15 RBI in just 98 at-bats. This is in stark contrast to his .207 average and 10 home runs in 323 at-bats against right-handed pitching.

The point is that it’s easy to piece together production at this position. There are several players who contribute in the HR and RBI categories and you can get the most out of them by maximizing their strengths based on matchups and ballparks.

 

 

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

 

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

Jobless in 2012 – MLB Managers on the Hot Seat from 2011

Saturday September 10, 2011

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer – MLB reports): When a team has a disappointing season, the most likely candidate to lose his job is the manager.  So far in the 2011 season, there has already been three managers who have either resigned or been fired.  The Oakland Athletics fired Bob Geren on June 9th and replaced him with Bob Melvin.  A week and a half later, Edwin Rodriguez resigned from his post as manager of the Florida Marlins.  Jack McKeon became the oldest manager since Connie Mack at 80 years old.  Yet another week later on June 26th, Jim Riggleman of the Washington Nationals resigned and was replaced by Davey Johnson two days later.  With only a few weeks left in the regular season, who are the frontrunners to be replaced after the World Series?

With eight managers being new to their respective teams to start the 2011 season, one would think there can’t be too many jobs to lose.  The first criteria I look at in order to predict who will not be returning his club is if the team was expected to contend for the playoffs, and fell short.  Another thing I look at is the perception of the clubhouse, ie. if players get along, or if the manager is able to manage egos.  Of course, the manager’s ability to create a lineup and manage a bullpen is taken into consideration.  Other factors such as injuries and expectations of players are measured as well.  The list that follows are my top 3 managers who could be canned after this season.

Mike Quade, Chicago Cubs

It is not often that I would think a first year manager would be fired like this, but there are so many circumstances that make me believe he will be gone.  First, there has been grumbling since day one in Chicago that Quade was hired over franchise icon Ryne Sandberg.  The Cubs have been packed with talented players such as Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Marmol.  Add in Matt Garza and Starlin Castro, and you would think they could at least come close in the terrible NL Central.  They are 22 games behind the streaking Milwaukee Brewers, and 21.5 behind Atlanta for the Wild Card.  Their record is 62-81 with a 35-40 record at Wrigley Field.

Bud Black, San Diego Padres

With 2011 being Black’s 5th season with the Padres, a 62-82 record and already 21 games behind Arizona for the NL West title, he could be on the way out.  The Padres have yet to reach the postseason under Black, however they were involved in a 1-game playoff with Colorado for the Wild Card title in 2007 that many of us will never forget as one of the most exciting games we have ever witnessed.  In 2010, the Padres held a 6.5 game lead over eventual World Series Champs San Francisco Giants on August 25th.  After a 10 game losing streak, the Padres were still in contention, and were not officially eliminated from the playoffs until the final day of the regular season with a 90-72 record.  Those were the only winnings seasons in Black’s tenure and his time in San Diego may be up.

Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins

Is it really fair to say Gardenhire’s job is in jeopardy?  Probably not, but it definitely is possible.  Over his 10 year career with the Twins, he has amassed an 861-740 record and they have been in the playoffs 6 times.  However, they have only won 6 games, 4 of which were in one series, in Gardenhire’s first season; 2002.  The Twins have not won a playoff game since 2004, being swept in 2006, 2009 and 2010 in the American League Division Series.  This year, Gardenhire has had to deal with crippling injuries of former AL MVP’s Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer.  Statistically, the best hitter has been Michael Cuddyer, hitting .282 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI.  The best pitcher has been Scott Baker who is 8-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 131 2/3 innings.  Francisco Liriano has not been the same as he was before undergoing Tommy John surgery after the 2006 season, and aside from his no-hitter against the White Sox on May 3, he has been downright awful and is now on the 15-day disabled list.  When the best players don’t perform, or are hurt, the manager is forced to do the best he can with what he is given.  However a 59-84 record may just be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for Gardenhire.

This year, with 3 mid-season changes already, and eight new managers at the beginning of the season, shouldn’t see too much activity.  I do believe that with the Cubs’ search for a new general manager under way, Quade’s days are numbered in Chicago.  I also believe that Black’s inability to get the always promising Padres to the next level will leave him without a job by November.  Gardenhire has not proven to me that he can bring the Twins to the World Series, and that is what the job description entails.  Has it ever happened where both Managers of the Year from their respective leagues gets fired the following year? It could happen if Black and Gardenhire are let go.

 

 

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

 

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

 

E-MAILBAG: Ask the Reports, Wednesday August 17th

Thank you for reading the E-mailbag.  Please send all your questions to mlbreports@gmail.com and please include your first name and City/Country.

We will be compiling a list of your questions from our e-mailbag and posting the responses on Wednesdays.

 

 Wednesday August 17, 2011

 

 

 

Q:  Watched the Tigers / Twins game today ( Aug 15th ) and was happy to see my fave player, Jim Thome hit 600.  I consider him one of the best home run hitters of all time.  My question to you:  Thome has done most of his damage as a DH and on non playoff teams. What are his chances to make it to the Hall Of Fame and if he does go in, what hat do you think he will wear?  From Larry, Nevada.

MLB reports:  A great question Larry.  I wouldn’t expect anything less from our #1 reader!  Taking a look at Thome’s numbers, you may find a few surprises.  Thome in his career has played 1102 games at 1B and 492 games at 3B.  Thome did not become a full-time DH until 2006.  Considering that he came up with Cleveland in 1991, I do not believe the DH role late in his career will affect him much, if any.  The cloud of the steroid era may, as it seems that many big sluggers from Thome’s generation will have a difficult, if not impossible time getting into Cooperstown.  But unlike Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, Thome is seen as one of the “clean” home run hitters of his generation.  At 600+ home runs, a lifetime OBP over .400 and SLG over .550, I view Thome as a definite first ballot hall-of-famer.  With 12 years and 334 home runs in Cleveland, I can guarantee you that Thome will go into Cooperstown as a member of your beloved Indians. 

 

Q:  Any insight on Wade Miley?  From Joseph, Nashville.

MLB reports:  Great question, thank you Joseph.  Wade was a 1st round pick of the Diamondbacks back in 2008 (43rd overall), after being drafted in the 20th round by Tampa Bay in 2005 and not signing.  The 24-year old Miley is a 6’1″ left-handed starter in the Diamondbacks organization.  Currently pitching in AAA after a recent promotion, Miley has a 3.64 ERA , to go along with a 4-1 record and 1.270 ERA.  With this being his 4th season in the minors and showing steady development, it should come as no suprise that Miley got the call today as he has been promoted to the big leagues.  With Jason Marquis on the DL, Miley may get a few spot starts for Arizona and at the very least, a spot in their pen the rest of the way.  2010 was a breakout season for Miley and despite some regression this year in AA, he has gotten better as the season has progressed.  With the amount of pitching prospects in the Diamondbacks system, Miley will have a difficult time fighting for a rotation spot with the big club.  Long-term I see him as trade bait for an organization that has room in its rotation for him or perhaps a bullpen role.   He may yet develop into a solid #4 starter for the Diamondbacks, but at this point that remains to be seen.  The future is still bright for Miley, but 2012 will be a big year for him in Arizona.  We wish Miley the best of luck on his recent promotion, as he joins the first place Diamondbacks in the quest to win the NL West division this year.

 

Q:  Sorry if I missed it, but have you done a report on the Angels CF, Peter Bourjos?  That kid can fly?  From Craig, Texas.

MLB reports:  I answered this one briefly on twitter but wanted to elaborate.  I have received many questions on Bourjos this year, but have not filed a report on him to-date.  It was a calculated decision, mostly due to the fact that not many fans have asked about him outside of Anaheim.  Looking at the numbers, Bourjos is a steady, but not spectacular hitter for the Halos.  .271 AVG, .328 OBP, .416 SLG, 5 home runs and 15 stolen bases.  At this point, Bourjos is keeping a spot warm for future superstar Mike Trout.  Originally a 10th round pick, the 24-year old Bourjos may blossom into a future superstar.  But I have my doubts that will happen.  Long-term I see Bourjos as a #4 outfielder on most teams, with the chance of becoming a good leadoff hitter if he can increase his on-base percentage.  We will all continue to keep an eye on Bourjos, but be sure to keep expectations in check until a breakout occurs.

 

Q:  Do you think that the Indians are going to get a RH bat?  If so, who?  And do you think they are going to win the Central?  From Martin, Cleveland.

MLB reports:  Let the Indians theme continue!  Many solid questions Martin, I take it that you are a big supporter of the tribe.  One of the biggest surprises of the week was Delmon Young moving to the Twins to the Tigers.  Probably one of the better right-handed bats was passed over by the Indians to their division rivals in Detroit.  By passing Young over, my gut feel is that the Indians are likely done tweaking their lineup.  With the additions of Kosuke Fukudome and Ubaldo Jimenez, the Indians will go with their current roster for the most part in battling for the AL Central crown.  There is a chance that the team may add one more depth player, but I do not expect any real player of consequence at this stage.  As far as the AL Central race goes, it is a 3-team race between the Tigers currently in 1st place, the Indians 3.0 games back  and White Sox 3.5 games back.  This one is too close to call.  I will admit that I am very partial to the Tigers and like their chances at this point.  While the Indians seemed to be a team of destiny at the start of the year, the Tigers look to be prime for a division title led by Justin Verlander.  The Indians end the season going up against the Tigers in Detroit, while the White Sox face the Blue Jays in Chicago.  The AL Central will come down to the final week, with my money on Detroit to take it all. 

 

Q:  Any news on Yu Darvish?  Will we see him in North America next year?  From Shane, Kansas.

MLB reports:  Darvish is represented by an agent (Arn Tellem) and at 25-years of age would be a prime addition to any major league team.  There has been a debate in baseball circles whether his Japanese club, the Nippon-Ham Fighters will post him, which really boils down to Darvish wanting to leave Japan to come to the major leagues.  Despite mixed messages I have read in his interviews, it sounds like Darvish is ready to make the jump (and pocket the large paychecks that will follow).  Expect Darvish to arrive in 2012, with at least 8-10 teams fighting for his services.  The Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays and many others will be fighting for his services.  This one will simply boil down to which team is willing to pay the most and when Darvish is ready to make the change.   As one of the best, if not the best pitchers not currently in North America, Yarvish should be an instant ace for the team lucky enough to land him.  We will keep following this story and let you know as we have updates.

 

 

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