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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

MLB draft live chat

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Come check it out.  I will be discussing the draft picks and answer questions anyone has.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dodgers, Kershaw agree on big contract

The Dodgers and star southpaw Clayton Kershaw have reportedly agreed to a record breaking 7-year 215 million dollar contract. The deal will pay out 30 million per season if it is a balanced contract.

Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball as he has 2 Cy Young awards and will be 26 on Opening Day. The lefty went 16-9 last season with a 1.83 ERA in 236 innings pitched. He punched out 232 while walking 52. In his career he is 77-46 with a 2.60 ERA with 1206 strikeouts and 393 walks in 1180 innings pitched

I think the deal is a good one for the Dodgers as Kershaw has proven he is durable and can pitch at elite status. The only concern I would have is if he gets injured down the road but I do believe he will stay healthy and perform at a high level/

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dallas Braden retires

Braden celebrates after completing his Perfect Game (Photo Credits: Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
The former Oakland A's pitcher who hurled a perfect game of Mothers Day has retired. Dallas Braden announced his retirement saying his shoulder was "a shredded mess".

Braden, 30, last pitched in the MLB in 2011 pitching 18 solid innings before a torn capsule was discovered in his shoulder and he missed the rest of the 2011 season and the entire 2012 season. In August of 2012 Braden had surgery to repair his rotator cuff. He was let go by the A's after the 2012 season and didn't pitch in 2013 so he decided to retire.

Braden finishes with a 26-36 record with a 4.16 ERA in 491.1 innings striking out 305 while walking 141. His best season was 2010 when he pitched a perfect game and was 11-14 with a 3.50 ERA in 192.2 innings.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yankees sign Scott Sizemore

The New York Yankees have signed infielder Scott Sizemore to a minor league contract. Sizemore has played in 2 games since 2012 suffering 2 torn ACLs. In his only substantial playing time in 2011 he played in 110 games and compiled a .245/.342/.399 with 11 home runs and 56 RBIs.  He posted an above average range factor last year at 2B for the A's/Tigers. The former top prospect will compete for a role in the Yankees infield.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Free Swinging Prospects

When a MLB team drafts a 5-tool player they expect them to be a superstar. That always isn't the case and a large part of that has to do with plate discipline.

Take Corey Patterson for example, drafted by the Cubs in 1998 and was projected to be a superstar. But he had one problem: he had no plate discipline.In his first pro season he struck out 18% of the time and walked 5% of the time. A concerning rate but Patterson did hit well so it wasn't as noticed and corrected as it should have been.

When Patterson made his MLB debut in 2000 he struck out 14 times in 47 plate appearances and walked only 3 times leading to a .167/.239/.333. In his first substantial amount of playing time with the Cubs Patterson struck out 142 times in 628 plate appearances (22%) and walked only 19 times (3%) an extremely concerning rate.

After an injury-shortened 2003 Pattersons plate discipline began to hurt him as teams began to realize how he rarely takes any walks. He was still collecting hits but was quickly turning into a bust. After 2005 he was traded to the O's for 2 prospects (Carlos Perez and Nate Spears).

After his 2-year stint with the Orioles Patterson bounced around from team to team never living up to his true potential.

What lesson does this teach? It shows that issues with plate discipline need to be corrected immediately. Not when the player is struggling in the big leagues. As soon as it is recognized as an issue the player needs to receive instructions on how to approach each at bat. Too many prospects careers have been ruined by not learning how to approach each at bat and it isn't right. Something that could be potentially corrected so easily is ignored and it ruins players careers.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Did the Home Run Derby mess up Chris Davis?

In 2013 Chris Davis had a record setting season hitting .286/.370/.634 with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs. But before the All-Star Break Davis was hitting .315/.392/.668 with 37 home runs and 93 RBIs. He played in the 2013 Home Run Derby and was eliminated in the semifinals. After the All-Star Break he didn't return to his first half form hitting .245/.339/.515 with "only" 16 home runs. It raises some questions about the Home Derby and its effects on players swings because the players could adjust their swing for the derby but not adjust it back for the regular season.

In 2012 Prince Fielder actually improved after the home run derby taking his .299/.380/.505 slash line in the first half to a .330/.448/.558 second half. But Andrew McCutchen who didn't make it past the first round was hitting .362/.414/.625 with 18 home runs in 81 games. In the second half McCutchen hit only .289/.355/.475 with 13 home runs in 76 games.

I think the reason some players struggle after the home run derby when they participate is that they change their natural swing and try to hit more home runs which causes them to have troubles adjusting back and pitchers adjust to their hitting ability.