Friday, August 30, 2013

Game of the Week recap

Cincinatti 10 St Louis 0

 In what was supposed to be a great game Cincinatti got off to a quick start and ended up steamrolling the Cardinals. Cincinatti got off to a quick start knocking out Adam Wainwright after 2 innings when he gave up 9 runs on 8 hits.

 Cincinatti got the scoring started on a 2-run single by Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick hit a double to score Joey Votto and send Bruce to third where he scored on a groundout by Todd Frazier and sending Ludwick to third. Ludwick came home on a wild pitch by Adam Wainright that also sent Zack Cozart. Homer Bailey then drove home an RBI single for the Reds 6th run of the inning.

 In the second Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto got on for Jay Bruce who cranked a 429-foot homer to give Cincinatti a 9-0 lead.

 Homer Bailey took advantage of the big lead and pitched 7.1 strong innings with 7 strikeouts and only 5 hits allowed. JJ Hoover and Sam LeCure pitched the final 1.2 innings to nail down a victory. Michael Wacha pitched 4 strong relief innings striking out 7.

Chris Heisey added to the score in the 9th inning with a solo homer to give Cincinnati a 10-0 lead.

 WP: Homer Bailey (9-10)
 LP: Adam Wainwright (15-8)
Player of the Game: Jay Bruce 2-4 1 homer 5 RBIs.

The Cubs Minor League System

The Chicago Cubs have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball. They have a "Big Four" which is Javier Baez, Albert AlmoraKris Bryant, and Jorge Soler. They are also among the Top 100, maybe even the Top 50 prospects in baseball. The Cubs have something special in each of them. Baez has unbelievable bat speed and that generates tremendous power. Jorge Soler has great power as well. Albert Almora isn't known for power but has potential to be a .300 hitter with plus defense in the outfield. Kris Bryant has plus-plus power potential.

The Cubs came into the 2011 season with a farm system that includes only Brett Jackson as the only prospect that stood out and he has turned out to be a bust. In 2 short seasons the Cubs have completely strengthened their system and it is now one of the best in baseball.

Javier Baez has had an incredible 2013 season hitting .284 with 34 homers and 106 RBIs combined between Daytona and Tennessee. Including a four homer game while he was with Daytona

Albert Almora had an injury riddled campaign with the Kane County Cougars playing in 61 games but he managed to hit .329 with solid defense and 4 steals.

Jorge Soler struggled through injury as well but hit .281 with 8 homers and 5 steals in 55 games. He was suspended for an incident where he charged an opposing teams dugout with a bat.

Kris Bryant has hit .331 with 9 homers between the Mesa Cubs, Boise Hawks, and Daytona Cubs. He only played in 34 games but that is because he was drafted his year and signed late.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Game of the Week: Cincinatti Reds vs St Louis Cardinals

I have decided to start a series on the blog and it is a Game of the Week where I pick a game that is the most interesting/biggest impact. The game I have chosen for this week is the St Louis Cardinals against the Cincinnati Reds on August 28th

Pitching Matchup

 Homer Bailey                                                                                             Adam Wainwright

         8-10 W-L                                                                              15-7 W-L                 
       3.71 ERA                                                                                    2.58 ERA
      166 Strikeouts                                                                           182 Strikeouts
.244 Opponent Batting Average                                         .244 Opponent Batting Average

The Story

The NL Central is one of the most competitive races in baseball. The Pittsburgh Pirates, St Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds are all competing for that spot and the 2 teams that don't will be competing for the Wild Card Spot. Pittsburgh and St Louis are tied for the divisional lead but Cincy is only 3 games back.

Why this game matters
This game will not clinch the division or anything like that but this series, not only this game matter because it is a big game late in the season with 2 opponents who are in the playoff mix.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What will Robinson Cano get on the open market?

There is no question Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees is the top free agent of this off season, the biggest question his how large his contract will be.

The New York Yankees are trying to keep salaries down but they can still be in for Cano but around 100-125 million dollars. Cano obviously wants more than that. I would imagine he is going to want around 200 million dollars and the question is will teams want to sign him to that amount of money since the recent failures of massive contracts like Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.

I think teams will wait until the end of the off season to sign him so his value would go down as he would be desperate to sign with a team. I think his value would maybe go down to the $160-175 million range at best.

Cano, 30 is hitting .305/.385/.503 on the season with 23 homers, 82 RBIs, and 67 runs scored. For his career he is hitting .308/.355/.503 with 200 homers, 797 RBIs and 785 runs scored. He is a 5-time all star and a 2-time Gold Glover with 3 silver slugger awards plus he has 3 top 10 MVP finishes with his best being a 3rd-place finish in 2010. He is one of the better defensive second-baseman despite having a slightly down down season with a Range Factor below average.

Cano is easily the best infielder available and with a weak second base class he might be one of the more sought after infielders and will be one of the most expensive ones available

Friday, August 23, 2013

Octavio Dotel: The Journeyman

There are many different types of baseball players. There are the superstars, the scrubs, the minor leaguers, the journeyman. Octavio Dotel is all four of them. He has played on a record 13 MLB teams as a reliever. His career got started when the New York Mets signed him at the age of 19 out of the Dominican Republic to pitch for them. He spent 5 seasons before finally making the big leagues compiling a 44-20 record in the Mets minor league system in 92 starts. He struggled in his first big league season in 1999 going 8-3 but with a 5.38 ERA and a FIP of  4.90. Opponents only batted .226 against him but was able to get on base and slug the ball with an OBP of .340 and a SLG of .426.

The Mets felt like they had seen enough of him and dumped him off to Houston with Kyle Kessel and Roger Cedeno to the Houston Astros for Derek Bell and Mike Hampton. His time in Houston would be the longest he has spent with one team in his career (unless you include the Mets farm system). He ended up going full time as a reliever in 2002. He has the best season of his career in that same season as he appeared in 83 games and had a 1.85 ERA and FIP. Batters hit only .173/.239/.275 against him.

His time in Houston eventually went away as he was eventually traded as part of a 3-team deal involving the Oakland A's and the Kansas City Royals that sent Carlos Beltran to Houston. He struggled in his 2 seasons in Oakland with a 3.95 ERA which was awful compared to his previous 2 seasons with his final season being shortened by Tommy John surgery. He was eventually granted free agency after 2005 and signed with the New York Yankees where he pitched to a 10.80 ERA in only 14 games in a year that was shortened by Tommy John surgery recovery.

The New York Yankees let go of him that off season and he was picked up by the Kansas City Royals and had a 3.91 ERA in 24 games before being traded to the Atlanta Braves where he appeared in 9 games with a 4.70 ERA. He signed with the Chicago White Sox that year on a 2-year 11 million dollar deal. He pitched pretty well with a 3.55 ERA in the 2 seasons in 134 games.

In the 2009 off season he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates on a one year deal but ended up spending that season with 3 different teams as he was traded twice that year. He pitched to a 4.08 ERA that year and after a good 2009 he had seemed to be on the way back to being a great reliever but age caught up to him and he had a bad 2010. The Toronto Blue Jays decided to take in 2011 as he turned out to be a good signing as he had a 3.68 ERA in 36 games before he was traded to the St Louis Cardinals and pitched in 29 games to help the Cardinals win the World Series.

He decided to sign with the Detroit Tigers in the 2011 off season on a 1 year contract with an option for 2013. After helping the Tigers get to the World Series his option was picked up but he has struggled this season with a 13.50 ERA in 6 games and has been struggling with right elbow inflammation. But is this the end for Octavio Dotel?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Kane County Cougars vs. Clinton LumberKings

First off I would like to thank the Cougars for making the opportunity for me to view a game in the pressbox possible. It was a great game despite the outcome

The Cougars lost 9-2 because of poor pitching by Starling Peralta. He only went 4.1 innings gave up 9 hits and 9 earned runs and the bullpen pitched shutdown baseball the rest of the way giving up only giving up 2 more hits the rest of the way thanks to Justin Amlung and Al Yevoli.

The best offensive player for the Cougars was Rock Shoulders who only went 1-4 but the hit scored the 2 runs for the Cougars and were his 65th RBIs of the year. Jeimar Candelario hit his 32nd double of the year. The team only went 5-30 but drew 5 walks.

On the LumberKings side Tyler Pike only went 2 innings while walking one and striking out 2. Rigoberto Garcia pitched 6 innings in relief he struck out 6 while walking 3 and got the W. The best offensive player for the LumberKings was Jeffrey Zorrilla who went 3-4 with 2 RBIS.

It was a tough game for the Cougars but in the minor leagues wins and losses do not matter only the development of Rob Zastryzny and Tyler Skulinas pitch tracking ability (and the talents of the other players) matter.

David Dejesus to Nationals

David DeJesus has reportedly been traded to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later per Jon Heyman who received info from Danny Knobler (Link and Link).

UPDATE 2:19 Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that the Nationals have released Roger Bernadina. (Link) Rosenthal also has reported that DeJesus was claimed off waivers (Link)

Update 2:24: Brian Bogusevic will be activated from the DL to take DeJesus roster spot (Link) per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune

Update 2:25 The Cubs have confirmed the deal via twitter (Link)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Worst Player by Position this Season

So I was curious on who has been the worst position player this season. I decided to check fangraphs and take a look. Requirements are 100 Plate Appearances

C Kelly Shoppach
Kelly Shoppach is hitting .196/.293/.346 on the season, but he has struck out 36% of the time. He has hit 3 home runs on the year. He has also been pretty bad on defense this year with a dWar of -0.2 and a RFG slightly below average.

1B Brett Wallace
 Brett Wallace has been pretty bad this year. He has hit .210/.268/.420. He has struck out 36.8% of the time but has shown he can hit for power as he has tied his career high in homers with 9. He has also been an alright fielder with a RF/9 average but a RF/G below average

2B Danny Espinosa
 Danny Espinosa was once considered a rising star at second base but has completely fallen off the charts due to an awful 2013. He has only played in 44 games this season but has struggled to a .158/.193/.272 line for the Nationals this season with only 3 home runs. He has only walked 3% of the time and has struck out 28.1% of the time. He has been a good defender this year.

 SS Brendan Ryan
He is more known for his defense but has still done pretty bad this year with a line of .189/.253/.259 and has struck out 20.5 % of the time. He has been bad the past 2 seasons but this season has been much work because he is not drawing walks anymore. He has never been a great walk guy but has been serviceable to be considered a nice bench piece. His defense has also been taking a turn south as he is below average in range factor.

3B Brandon Inge
 Brandon Inge has only batted /.181/.204/.238 this season for the Pirates and has recently been released. He has only hit 1 home run and only 7 RBIS have been driven in and has struck out 29.1% of the time. He has struggled to produce for the Pirates who signed him to hopefully have a bounceback season. He has been good at 3B with a 1.00 FP% in 10 games there. (He is listed as a 3B so I went with that).

 OF Tyler Moore
 He has struggled to a .151/.195./.283 line this season with the Nationals. He has struck out 34.5% of the time and had walked 5.3%. He is only 26 and has room to improve but time is running out on that chance. He has hit 3 homers and driven in 14 but is striking out a lot as well and is not drawing any walks. He is pretty good fielding wise with only 1 error in 194.1 innings in the outfield despite a range factor well below average.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Craig Kimbrel vs Aroldis Chapman

Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman are the 2 most electrifying closers in the game. Both throw heat and both close a lot of wins for their teams. The biggest question is: who is better? Kimbrel and Chapman are both 25 and in their 4th big league season. The biggest difference is in their advanced stats. Based on FIP Kimbrel is a much better player but that is not the only way to look at them. All stats listed are career.
Kimbrel                                                        Chapman
K/9                                    14.29                                                             14.56
BB/9                                   3.46                                                               4.44
xFIP                                   1.70                                                               2.40
S                                         125                                                                 67
IP                                       182.1                                                             205.2
BAA                                   .153                                                               .151         
BABIP                               .286                                                                .264

They are both very even pitchers but I am going to have to go with Kimbrel personally. He is more proven as a closer and has better control. Advanced stats are not as good as Chapman such as BABIP but  Kimbrel has shown he can be the most dominant closer in the game with a lifetime 1.40 ERA. Chapman has a lifetime 2.47 ERA.

Monday, August 5, 2013

BREAKING NEWS A-Rod and Cruz suspended

In the biggest baseball story of the year Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Jesus Montero and others have been suspended for their connection to the Biogenesis scandal. Alex Rodriguez's suspension is for 211 games pending an appeal while Nelson Cruz has been suspended for 50 games. 

This whole thing started by a news report by the Miami Herald and just evolved from there. The suspensions started when Ryan Braun was suspended for the  rest of the 2013 season. The rest of the suspensions were announced earlier today.

In my opinion I am very disappointed in the players that were suspended as they have disappointed the game of baseball and the fanbase. 

The players suspended:
Evereth Cabrera
Jesus Montero
Alex Rodriguez
Nelson Cruz
Jordanny valdespin
Sergio Escalona
Fautino De Los Santos
Antonio Bastardo
Jhonny Peralta
Francisco Cervelli
Fernando Martinez
Jordan Norberto

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Where could Carlos Pena end up?

On Sunday the Astros released their DH Carlos Pena making him a free agent. Pena has great power and gets on base but he doesn't hit for average having a career .233 average but a .348 OBP. Teams will most likely want him on a minor league deal. He is an average defender and it was fun to watch him hit for the Cubs in 2011 .Pena is long past his prime and is showing some signs of age. He is not worth much because of the average issues but he is a great teammate and can still produce off the bench.

 I think the Oakland A's or the New York Yankees could go after Pena on a minor league deal as he provides power in against righties and the Yankees are batting .239 against righties while the A's are hitting .242 against righties. I think the Yankees are the most likely choice to sign Pena as they need another big bat on the bench who can produce.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Baseball Trade Deadline Recap

Baseball Trade Deadline recap Yesterday was the last day for MLB teams to make non-waiver trades. This trade deadline was one of the most boring because barely any trades were made. There were only 7 trades made in the last 24 hours. I will recap all the trades for you

. Indians get: RHP Marc Rzepczynski
Cardinals get: Juan Herrera
Analysis: The Indians want a stronger bullpen and they believe they got the piece they need. Rzepczynski has struggled this year in 10.1 innings and a 7.84 ERA plus a 9/4 K/BB.

 Juan Herrera seems to be someone to watch in an already strong Cardinals farm system. He gets on base, hits for a nice average, and has some speed. He won't hit for much power but that is not what shortstops are known for.

 A's get: Alberto Callaspo
 Angels get: Grant Green
 Analysis: The Angels were expected to make a run at the playoffs after signing Josh Hamilton and already having Albert Pujols and Mike Trout in their lineup but that has not worked out so far. Alberto Callaspo is 30 years old and was acquired by the A's to help them win back-back divisional titles.

 Grant Green is a 25 year old who is a great minor league hitter with a career .306 line in 4 minor league seasons. He struggled a bit in his big league debut but he has the potential to hit for a good big league average with some power and speed.
 Red Sox Get: Jake Peavy and Bryan Villarreal
White Sox Get: Avisail Garcia, Clueluis Rondon, Francellis Montas, and JB Wendelken
 Tigers get: Jose Isglesias
Analysis: In what might be the biggest trade deadline deal of the season 7 total players were moved. Jake Peavy would not help the W. Sox as they are rebuilding, Bryan Villarreal will most likely fit in the big leagues as a reliever but he has struggled with his command in 7 big league games this year.

 Avisail Garcia has potential to be a 20-20 guy but does not have a very good eye. Cleuluis Rondon is playing very well this year with a .276 average with 6 steals and 1 home run. His lifetime average doesn't look the best a .216 but he has potential. Francellis Montas is struggling this year with a 5.70 ERA in the low minors but he has nice command for a power pitcher but has a HR/9 of 1.1. JB Wendelken has some potential as he is doing very well this year with a 2.77 ERA in 27 relief appearances he has a pretty good strikeout rate and his walk rate is slightly under 3.

 Jose Islgesias has been one of the Red Sox top prospects and has done very well this year. He most likely will be in the major leagues for the Tigers when Jhonny Peralta is suspended. He has a lifetime .257 minor league average and is hitting .202 this season in AAA. He has some speed which can help the power hitting Tigers
 Diamondbacks get Joe Thatcher, Matt Stiles, Compensation Round B pick
 Padres get Ian Kennedy
Analysis Joe Thatcher has done very well for the Padres this year with an ERa of 2.10 and 2+ strikeouts in 30 innings but the Padres are rebuilding and he obviously does not fit into their plans. Max Stites has the potential to be a star reliever with a lifetime minor league ERA of 1.53 and a 2.08 one in AA. He strikes out a lot of hitters and barely walks any. He is definitely someone to watch.

 Ian Kennedy seemed to be a future star after a great 2011 but has struggled since then and was sent to the Padres. The Padres home ballpark is a pitchers park and he has an advantage there. He is under team control until 2015 and he has until then to turn it around.

Royals get Justin Maxwell
Astros get Kyle Smith
Analysis Justin Maxwell has struggled with injuries this year and has a MLB lifetime batting average of .222. He strikes out a lot and has decent speed. Kyle Smith has done pretty well this year with a ERA of 2.85 and an 8.3 K/9. He could potentially fit in the back end of a big league rotation.

 O's get Bud Norris and International Signing Bonus Slot 91
 Astros get L.J. Hoes, Josh Hader, and Competitive Balance Round A pick
Analysis Bud Norris has done fairly well this year with a 3.91 ERA in 126 innings but the Astros are rebuilding. He is a solid pick up for the O's who need a pitcher for the stretch drive. He is mainly a ground ball pitcher but can still strikeout hitters.

 L.J. Hoes is a hitter with potential who can be an outfielder for the Astros for a while. He has already seen some big league time and is 0-9. He is a lifetime .286 minor league hitter with speed and some power. Josh Hader has impressed as a starter this season with a 2.65 ERA. He has had some struggles with his command but it is expected for a young minor league pitcher.

Dodgers get: Drew Butera
Twins get: PTBNL
Analysis: Butera has appeared in one big league game last year facing 4 batters and striking out one. Wait he is a catcher. Butera isn't really much and will most likely play a limited roll. He is not a very good hitter and is more know for defense. But he has also made a big league pitching appearance.