Category Archives: Baseball

Fielder/Pujols/Gonzalez Change The AL Outlook

Three of the premier first basemen in baseball have all switched from the NL to the AL over the past year. Prince Fielder to the Tigers just yesterday, Albert Pujols to the Angels about a month ago, and Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres to the Red Sox in a trade last off season. This has created quite the power position at first base in the AL. Let’s take a look at what we are working with here.

1. Pujols – Angels

2. Gonzalez – Red Sox

3. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit

4. Prince Fielder – Detroits

5. Mark Texeira – NYY

Other Notables: Eric Hosmer(KC), Paul Konerko(CWS), Adam Lind(TOR), Justin Morneau(MIN), Joe Mauer(MIN).

Lets compare that to what the National League has to offer.

1. Joey Votto – Cincinati

2. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia

3. Freddie Freeman(Yikes, that is a big drop off from Miggy Cabrera)

4. Michael Morse – Washington

5. Ike Davis – Mets

Other Notables: Lancey Pants Berkman(STL), Gaby Sanchez(MIA), James Loney(LAD)

The American leagues notables give the NL’s top 5 a run for their money. This year I predict that Pujols, Gonzalez, and Fielder make the all-star team as 1b eligible. Cabrera will make the team as a 3rd baseman, as he will be making the move to the hot corner to make room for Fielder. It will be a lot of fun to watch all of the top AL 1st basemen dominate this upcoming season. Pitchers and catchers are due to camp February 19th!

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Buchholz To The 60-Day DL; How Does It Affect The Red Sox

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Clay Buchholz was moved from the 15-Day DL to the 60-Day DL yesterday.  Buchholz had thrown a couple of mound/bullpen sessions the latest being on Monday of last week.  He was able to get threw the sessions, some even said he looked good, but felt pain after each one.  It was announced Wednesday that he would miss his mound session and then later in the week that he would be going to another specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins.  Watkins is a renowned spine specialist out of LA.

In a prudent manner, the Red Sox did not announce the extent of his diagnosis until after they had acquired Erik Bedard (LHP fromSeattle) just before the trade deadline on Sunday.  MLB general managers would have certainly leveraged Buchholz’s stress fractures in his back against the Red Sox, assuredly hiking the price of any possible deal.

As it were the Red Sox were able to get Bedard at a fairly reasonable price, not unloading any major league talent or even any of their top tier prospects.  And now that Sox fans know that there is a good chance they will not see Buchholz until February 2012, the Bedard trade looks that much better.

I could really care less about all of the media strife that Bedard has encountered to date.  The fact that he was quoted as not wanting to be in the spotlight or that he doesn’t like talking to the media, or he doesn’t know how long he would last inNew York, is a little more concerning than if he hadn’t said them.  But, as far as I’m concerned I want to see it.  I want to see how he pitches, he’s had stretches of brilliance in his career and you just can’t predict any subjective effects on results.  Here are a couple of those quotes from 2009:

“I don’t want to reveal anything about myself,” says Bedard, who’s revered by teammates. “If you want a quote, don’t come to me. I won’t give it to you. Anything baseballwise, that’s fine. Other than that, don’t ask me any other questions. I don’t want my life to be out there.”
“I don’t know how long I would last [in New York],” he says, with a sheepish smile. “I would probably be the same, and I don’t know if the media would embrace me or reject me. … Maybe I’ll need a clause in my contract saying I won’t have to talk to them.

Coming into the season the sentiments on what the pitching staff was were pretty consistent.  Most Sox fans expected Lester to be Lester, Buchholz to have a slight regression, and no one knew what we would get from Beckett, Lackey, and Daisuke.  With Beckett returning back to old form, I would suggest that if you told most Sox fans what the rotation now looks like on August 2nd, they would be pleased.

When you have two guys going like Beckett and Lester to go along with 66 wins at the beginning of August, you need to be happy about your prospects for the rest of the season.  Throw in the leagues top offense and two guys that have potential to be really nice number threes and that is a recipe to make some noise in the post season.

All that is really on the minds of the Sox fans these days anyways is do they have enough to win the whole thing?  That got me to thinking about what the pennant winning teams have run out to the mound in games 3 and 4 of the World Series.  Below is a list of all of the game 3 and game 4 starters from the last ten World series:

Game 3 Starters
2010 Colby Lewis Jonathan Sanchez
2009 Andy Pettitte Cole Hamels
2008 Matt Garza Jamie Moyer
2007 Daisuke Matsuzaka Josh Fogg
2006 Chris Carpenter Nate Robertson
2005 Roy Oswalt Jon Garland
2004 Pedro Martinez Jeff Suppan
2003 Mike Mussina Josh Beckett
2002 Ramon Ortiz Livan Hernandez
2001 Brian Anderson Roger Clemens
Game 4 Starters
2010 Madison Bumgarner Tommy Hunter
2009 Same as game 1 Joe Blanton
2008 Andy Sonnestine Joe Blanton
2007 Jon Lester Aaron Cook
2006 Jeff Suppan Jeremy Bonderman
2005 Freddy Garcia Brandon Backe
2004 Derek Lowe Jason Marquis
2003 Roger Clemens Carl Pavano
2002 John Lackey Kirk Reuter
2001 Same as game 1 OrlandoHernandez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, this is all highly speculative obviously.  I could have looked at Wild Card play but that didn’t really interest me as much.  Not to mention the quality of Game 3 starter would have gone down significantly due to more teams of less quality being added to the mix.

I do not think by any stretch of the imagination that it is a forgone conclusion the red Sox make the World Series, or even the playoffs for that matter at this point, crazy things can happen. With that disclosure I will say, I really only give a shit whether or not they can win the whole thing.  So humor me.

If Lackey and Bedard suck for the next 8 weeks it would not surprise me if the lesser of the 2 sucky guys got the ball in game 3 and Lester or Beckett, depending how it would line up, would go in game 4 on short rest. That has only happened twice in the last ten Series, 2001 Curt Schilling, and 2009 CC Sabathia.  Both of those teams won the Series.

Overall, these lists are not that impressive.  Talent wise I would take a John Lackey start over about half of the guys that started game 3s.  I would take a good Bedard over three quarters of them, and yes I know Bedard has never started a playoff game.

I think with Buchholz, the Red Sox had everything they needed to win a World Series.   I think where they stand today they are no worse off than the balance of teams that have participated in the fall classic over the last ten years on the pitching side.  And don’t forget… they have what could potentially be a historical offense.

-Broph

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Kevin Youkilis Back In The Red Sox Lineup

 

This picture was just tweeted by the Boston Red Sox Twitter account, stating that Kevin Youkilis will back in the lineup against the Royals tonight.  Youk apparently did not hurt his hammy as badly as most thought.  It did look really bad when he pulled up lame legging out an infield single the other night. Stick to the wall balls Youk.

Great news for the Sox!

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Blue Jays Acquire Edwin Jackson…And Then Trade Him For Colby Rasmus

 

 

The Toronto Blue Jays got active in the trade market on Wednesday.  Obviously, being 13 games out in the East and 10.5 games out of the Wild Card, it is safe to assume the Blue jays were thinking of their future today when making two deals to acquire Colby Rasmus and four other players.  Here is what it looks like when all was said and done:

Blue Jays Get:

  1. Colby Rasmus(OF from St. Louis)
  2. Brian Tallet (LHP from St. Louis)
  3. Trever Miller (LHP from St. Louis)
  4. P.J. Walters (RHP from St. Louis)
  5. Mark Teahan (From CWS)

White Sox Get:

  1. Jason Frasor (RHP from TOR)
  2. Zach Stewart (RHP from TOR)

Cardinals Get:

  1. Edwin Jackson (RHP from TOR)
  2. Octavio Dotel (RHP from TOR)
  3. Marc Rzepczynski (LHP from TOR)
  4. Corey Patterson (OF from TOR)

Edwin Jackson was moved twice in the day and if you count Toronto, St. Louis will be jackson’s 7th team in 8 years. 

Colby Rasmus is/was a 25 year-old ,highly touted hitting prospect who just wasn’t quite working out in St. Louis.  He definitely still has promise, and because he will be under Toronto’s control for 3 more years, Rasmus is as good a reclamation project, if you can even call him that.  I always have a tough time determining when a prospect turns into a bust.  But after two mediocre full seasons, and a sub-par 2011 to this point, Rasmus was certainly getting close to that line.

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Trade Deadline Looming; What Should The Red Sox Do?

Take a look at the Red Sox active roster today:

Lester

Beckett

Lackey

Miller

Wakefield

Bard

Albers

Paplebon

Wheeler

Aceves

Morales

Williams

 

Varitek

Saltalamacchia

Gonzalez

Pedroia

Scutaro

Youkilis

Crawford

Ellsbury

Sutton

Reddick

Navarro

Mcdonald

Ortiz

Where in that 25 man roster do you see a reasonable, substantial upgrade.

Now remember you have Lowrie (swinging a bat) and more importantly Buchholz (Just threw 30 pitches of a mound but did feel soreness afterwards) coming off the DL.  With Reddick as hot as he is, he is not coming out of the lineup.  Unless the Sox can make a blockbuster for a guy to play right field for the remainder of this season and years to come I do not see anything terribly exciting on the horizon. 

Carlos Beltran is really the only premier outfielder on the market.  Reports say that no one is biting on the Mets high demands for what is said to be at least two if not three top tier prospects.  All things are pointing to him entering free agency in the off season so he is just a rental without any compensation picks, which explains the lack of desire from teams that could use him, but do not want to pay that price.

 Here is the list of guys that may be on the move at the end of July:

Player Team
Brad Ziegler  Athletics
Andrew Bailey Athletics
Derek Lowe  Braves
Aramis Ramirez  Cubs
Carlos Pena  Cubs
Kerry Wood  Cubs
Geovany Soto  Cubs
Hiroki Kuroda  Dodgers
Ricky Nolasco Marlins
 Leo Nunez  Marlins
Jason Isringhausen  Mets
Carlos Beltran  Mets
Ryan Ludwick  Padres
Heath Bell  Padres
Ubaldo Jimenez  Rockies
Wilson Betemit  Royals
Jeff Francoeur  Royals
Melky Cabrera  Royals

 

As far as the Red Sox are concerned, I would think they are looking at middle relief and utility/back-up players.   

That is of course if they are content with Reddick’s play.  Theo has been tentative in saying that he is ready to call Reddick his everyday starter.  That position is understandable since this is the best Reddick has played in his professional career at any level.

Some Sox fans may covet a right handed bat like Cabrera(switch hitter), Francoeur, or Ludwick.  All three of those guys would certainly be capable defensively in right field and offer some pop from the right side.  The big question with those guys would be how much do they cost and then how much do they play.

Middle relievers are always available, but the cost can be steep.  And if you ask me I don’t really see any major issues with the Red Sox middle relief.  They are in the middle of the pack for ERA and anyone you bring in here is going to be a crap shoot.  Jenks and Wheeler’s starts to the season, to go along with the performances of Atchinson and Okajima, are large factors that weigh down that ERA.  Of late the boys in the middle have been pretty filthy and, if you go on track record, that should continue.

With Iglesias in the wings for the SS position I really do not see the need for the Red Sox to make a splash.  I know that sounds boring, but you tell me where they have a major need. 1-6 in the lineup at this point are set before the sunrises every day, and 1-4 in the rotation is locked in for the next 3 years. 

I hope Red Sox nation does not have too high of hopes come July 31.  In all reality I would suggest that the Sox will get a bigger name via the waiver period than before the non-waiver deadline.  But, you never know, there is always that possibility that you can get a name off that list at a reasonable price, or someone that has yet to be mentioned.

No matter what happens I like composition of the 25 man right now, especially considering that there are still internal options to get lefties out, fill top of the rotation slots, and field multiple positions more than serviceably. 

It’s hard to improve on a team that has performed at 109 win pace deep into July.

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