Sunday, July 30, 2017

Yankees acquire Jaime Garcia

Just six days after acquiring Jaime Garcia, the veteran lefty is on the move again as he has been swapped to the Yankees for pitching prospects Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Garcia made just one start for the Twins going 6.2 innings allowing 3 earned runs on 8 hits and 3 walks along with 7 strikeouts against the Oakland A's. Overall, the 31-year old southpaw has been fairly effective this season with a 4.29/4.04/4.18 ERA/FIP/xFIP on the season along with peripherals that are right around his career average.

According to Brooks Baseball Garcia typically throws his fastball in the low-90s, his slider in the low-80s, and his curveball in the mid-70s. His groundballl rate of 55% is above league average he has been particularly effective against lefties holding them to a .641 OPS.

One thing to keep an eye on for Garcia is his effectiveness facing the order more than once, he has a 1.58 ERA and .423 OPS the first time through, but that number balloons to a 5.02 ERA and .789 OPS the second time and a 7.79 ERA and a .977 OPS the third time through.

The Yankees rotation took a serious hit earlier in the month when it was revealed Michael Pineda was out for the rest of the year due to Tommy John surgery and with Masahiro Tanaka not being as effective as the Yankees would like (though he does have strong peripherals) it made the Yankees rotation a top concern for the organization.

Despite the acquisition of Garcia the Yankees are still the favorites for Oakland A's ace Sonny Gray according to Mark Feinsand of

On the Twins side of the deal they are getting an excellent pitching prospect in the 21-year old RHP Littell who has posted a 1.87 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) split between the Yankees Class-A and Double-A affiliate with 109 strikeouts along with 23 walks in 115.1 innings. He is a legitimate prospect who could have a chance to break into the Twins rotation in late 2018/the start of 2019.

According to Robert Pimpsner of Pinstriped Prospects: "Zack Littell’s fastball is his best pitch, sitting in the low 90s and tops out in the mid-90s.  He attacks hitters, setting up his curveball which is easily his best secondary pitch.  He is working on developing his changeup, a pitch he has said he needs to take velocity off."

The other player in the deal, Dietrich Enns, isn't much of a prospect as he is already 26 but he has been lights out for the Yankees since they drafted him in 2012. His 1.87 ERA during his tenure with the Yankees farm system is impressive though it has come split between the bullpen and rotation.

Overall in 2017 the southpaw has made just 7 starts for the Yankees triple-A affiliate as he dealt with shoulder issues earlier in the season but he has been excellent as usual with a 2.29 ERA in 39.1 innings with 37 strikeouts and 10 walks.

James Vlietstra of Pinstriped Prospects says "His 6’1” frame produces a fastball that ranges from 89-93.  He also throws an effective slider and an occasional slider.  He throws with a deceptive delivery, which appears to add velocity to his pitches."

Enns is on the 40-man roster so it is possible he could come up to the Twins soon and make an impact on their pitching staff as soon as this season whether it be in the rotation or their bullpen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Phillies acquire Clay Buchholz from the Red Sox

The Phillies have acquired long time Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. The Red Sox received 24-year old minor league infielder Josh Tobias in the deal.

Buchholz, 32, had a season that was a tale of two halves for the Red Sox, he struggled significantly in the first half with a 5.91 ERA in 18 appearances (13 starts). He struck out just 53 while walking 37 in his 80.2 innings

In the second half, Buchholz served as a swing man for the Red Sox and posted solid numbers with a 3.22 ERA in 19 appearances (8 starts).

According to writer Ian Browne, Buchholz success in the second half came from abandoning pitching out of the windup and entirely pitching from the stretch.

Buchholz, who is owed $13.5 million that will be picked up by the Phillies, is an interesting bounce back candidate for a young Phillies rotation that is led by Jerad Eickhoff and Jeremy Hellickson. He would most likely be slotted into the middle of the rotation behind Hellickson.

On the Red Sox side of the deal Josh Tobias split 2016 with the Red Sox Class-A and High-A affiliates hitting .291/.362/.422 overall, but he is already 24 and will likely have to make a quick impression on the Red Sox to have a long term future with the organization.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Giants sign Jimmy Rollins to minor league deal

The San Francisco Giants have signed veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins to a minor league deal according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Rollins, 37, had a very disappointing 2016 with the Chicago White Sox slashing just .221/.295/.329 in 166 plate appearances. He started 34 games at shortstop and had a UZR of -1.2 which is among the lowest of his career.

For his career Rollins has hit .264/.324/.418 with 231 home runs and 470 stolen bases. He won the NL MVP in 2007 with a very strong year where he hit a career high 30 home runs along with 20 triples and a .875 OPS. He was a major contributor for the Phillies dynasty in the late '00s as he was a steady hitter in their lineup along with providing quality defense.

But those days are done and over the past three years Rollins has been among the worst hitters in the league and the Giants will just try to milk the last bit of talent out of him.

This is a curious move for the Giants as they already have a very strong shortstop in Brandon Crawford along with guys like Joe Panik and Eduardo Nunez who can play shortstop as well, but it could be nothing more as giving Rollins one last shot to show what he can do at the big league level.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jake Peavy involved in trade talks?

Earlier today Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reported that the St. Louis Cardinals had scouted Jake Peavys last start and Peter Gammons added on that the Cardinals want Jake Peavy with Garcia and Wacha both out long-term. Later today is was also revealed that Allen Craig and Randall Grichuk are both out of the lineup for the Cardinals. Red Sox manager John Farrell added to the fire by saying he expected moves to be made after the game. It was later reported by Peter Abraham that the Braves are also involved in trade talks.

The deal could make sense for all 3 teams as the Red Sox are most likely looking to clear house after a rough start to the 2014 season as they are currently 39-50 which is tied for the 2nd worse record in the American League. The Cardinals are 1 game behind for a Wild Card berth and would most likely look to add pitching due to the reasons Peter Gammons mentioned. The Braves are involved because of reasons similar to the Cardinals need for Peavy, a lot of the Braves pitchers have gone down due to injury and the team would be looking to add some more to the team.

Peavy is currently 1-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 18 starts for the Red Sox in 110.2 innings pitched this year. His numbers are noticeably down this year with a H/9 of 9.5, HR/9 at 1.4, BB/9 at 3.4, and K/9 at 6.8, all of which are below his career average. His FIP of 4.81 suggests that Peavy is inline to where he should be at. He is throwing strikes 2% less than what he normally does and it has lead to a decline in all of his numbers.

I do think the deal would be fair and would help both teams in the long run if the rumors are proven true. The Red Sox would be getting 2 quality hitters and the Cardinals would get a starting pitcher to add to their playoff run.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Rise and Fall of Justin Verlander

If you told people 3 years ago that Justin Verlanders 2011 was a fluke year they would probably laugh and say no way, but now in the middle of 2014 Verlander is just 6-5 with a 4.19 ERA in 86 innings. He is giving up 3.7 BB/9 which is up almost 2 full walks from 2011 and his strikeouts are down to 6.4 per 9 which is down from averaging 9 strikeouts per 9.

He has noticed his fastball has been moving much slower as his fastball is down to 93 MPH when it used to be 95 MPH, it is the only pitch that has a dropped and it is the one causing the biggest effect. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up, hitters are seeing the ball better against him, and it can all be traced back to the drop in velocity. In his peak year of 2011 hitters batted .191 against him and his WHIP was 0.92 which was fantastic and proved he was one of the best pitchers of the game, if not the best.

Going into 2012 expectations were naturally high for Verlander as he had just finished off one of the best seasons in recent memory going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and leading the league with 251 innings pitched and easily winning the Cy Young Award. After a really good 2012 where he went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA he wasn't as good as he was in 2012 with "only" a WHIP of 1.05 and a average against of "only" .215. After that season he wasn't the same.

Going into the 2013 season Verlander had lost a 1 mile off his fastball and it was at 94, which was still above the league average, but not how hard as he usually threw it. He had a season that was not up to his standards going 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA which was disappointing considering how well he threw the ball the bast 2 years. His decline was most notable with a 1.31 WHIP which was up nearly .3 points and a batting average against of .251.

 Now it is June 11th, of 2014 and Verlander still hasn't found the magic that he had in 2011. An ERA over 4 is almost a foreign language to him and he isn't the same anymore. The Tigers are in a bad spot as they signed him to a big extension paying him 180 million through 2019 and if he is going to be an average pitcher then it will be a rough 5 years for them.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Todays Transactions: June 7th, 2014

Andrew Cashner - (San Diego Padres)  Activated from DL
Cashner had been 2-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 9 starts before being placed on the disabled list on May 14th with a strained right elbow. In his 57.1 innings the RHP struck out 47 and walked 17.
Cory Rasmus - (Los Angeles Angels)  Recalled from Salt Lake (AAA)
Rasmus was 2-1 with a 4.28 ERA in 28 games out of the Salt Lake bullpen. While the ERA isn't ideal he had a good H/9 (7.24) and K/9 (7.90) but had a poor BB/9 (4.94).
Kevin Gausman - (Baltimore Orioles)  Recalled from Norfolk (AAA)
Gausman had been fantastic in 10 starts for Norfolk posting a 2.98 ERA in 42.1 innings while punching out 44 and walking 18. The 23-year old had struggled in his only appearance on the big league club.
Kirby Yates - (Tampa Bay Rays)  Recalled from Durham (AAA)
Yates, 27, was dominating AAA posting a fantastic 0.36 ERA in 25 innings for the Durham Bulls. He struck out 35 while walking 9 and giving up 1 earned run on 10 hits.
Josh Lueke - (Tampa Bay Rays)  Designated for Assignment
Lueke was DFA'd to make room for Yates and for good reason. He had struggled in 25 appearances posting a 5.64 ERA in 30.1 innings. He had shown solid control with a 1.48 BB/9 but was unable to prevent hitters from making contact with a 11.27 H/9
Jason Lane - (San Diego Padres)  Designated for Assignment
The outfielder-turned-pitcher made 2 good appearances out of the San Diego bullpen striking out 4 over 4.1 innings but there was no room for him when the Padres needed to activate Andrew Cashner.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Todays Transactions: June 6th, 2014

Eddie Butler - (Colorado Rockies)  Contract purchased from minors
Butler, 23, is a solid pitching prospect for the Rockies who is 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA for the Tulsa Drillers in 11 starts. He has punched out 40 and walked 19 in 68.2 innings.
Cesar Jimenez - (Philadelphia Phillies)  Designated for Assignment
Jimenez made two appearances out the Phillies 'pen after resigning with the Phillies on a minor league contract. Had made 19 appearances for the Phillies AAA affiliate in Leigh Valley. DFA'd to make room for Luis Garcia
Luis Garcia - (Philadelphia Phillies)  Activated from DL
He had struggled in 3 appearances with the Phillies before going on the DL with a strained right forearm. Didn't allow a run in 14.2 innings in a rehab stint for Leigh Valley
Luis Garcia - (Philadelphia Phillies)  Recalled from minor league rehab assignment