Monday, January 28, 2013


1ST PLACE – St. Louis Cardinals: Season 8 was a nightmare for Cardinal fans. The team win total fell from 85 to 71 and the teams 3rd place finish was their lowest since season 1. Why do I expect things to be better this season? Well for “starters”, they come into season 9 with the best rotation in the division. Gibbons, Springer and Prince are all solid and should give the team consistency. Offensively, they have just enough weapons to get the job done. Claudio Gray and Bucky Stein are both solid hitters, while Nicholas Walters (2B), Diego Cedeno (CF) and Sam Brown (SS) are the best hitters at their position in the division. If Cardinals fans have something to worry about, it’s the bullpen. Buddy Borders and Hee Sop Nakamura will attempt to lead a group that is not overly deep or talented. 

2nd PLACE – Atlanta Braves: After winning three straight division titles from season 4 to season 6, the Braves will now make it three straight second place finishes this season after finishing in the runner up spot in season 7 and season 8. One thing that has not changed is the Braves can mash. Al Reynoso, Ricardo Jose and Alex Cheng can flat out rake. Not to mention they also bolster the divisions best 3B, Alex Tarraga. The Braves pitching staff is solid but not spectacular. Harold Daily is the clear ace of the rotation, while Tomas Fernandez and Armando Coronado will can be nasty when the can control their pitches. 

3rd PLACE – Houston Astros: The Astros finally had a winning season and won their first NL South title in season 8, but don’t count on it happening again. The 85 win playoffs season made for a great story, but this team does not have the same talent as St. Louis or Atlanta. The Astros do have a very nice bullpen, lead by newcomers Don Plant (trade) and Delanor Prince (Free Agent), but their rotation does not have the ability to go deep in games and other than Rob Tipton, the talent level is not impressive. Offensively the team is strong. Former NL MVP Moises Gonzalez is still amazing and Ugueth Cortes has opened a lot of eye by opening his major league career with back to back seasons hitting over .340. But after that there is a drop off, and the strong bullpen will not be enough to get this team back to the post season in season 9. 

4th PLACE – Florida Marlins: The Marlins have finished in the NL South cellar 3 out of the last 4 seasons and season 9 will be no different. This team just lacks the talent to compete. Other than Seth Wall, the rotation is average at best and the bullpen is just not good. MLB insiders are starting to wonder if it would make more sense for the Florida front office to deal Seth Wall and get a big time prospect or two that can be hitting their prime the same time the rest of their current minor league stars are ready to contribute. Offensively, Luis Bravo and Cliff Drew are solid, but are far from enough to get this team over the hump on days where Wall is not on the mound. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Season 9 Previews

Anaheim Angels
The Angels may take one step backwards this year with plans to take a great leap forward next year. Theo Mathews refused to resign which weakens an already challenged offense. Alex Guerrero became the first Angel in league history to hit 40 HRs and he hit .302 while Tito Mays is another great young hitter who hit .295 with 26 home runs. Young Alejandro Bennett had a good rookie year and still projects to be their leadoff hitter of the future. Several terrific prospects in AAA really need another year of seasoning, which means guys like O'Shea, Dodsen, Peter Condrey and Yusmeiro Johnson need to have career years for the Angels to hit well. The Angels pitching also takes a hit in the loss of Manto who was in the walk year of his contract. The Angels brought back Fan favorite Emmitt Williams to provide leadership to Trevor Crawford and Matty Martinez, two exciting young pitchers. Mitch Franco signed a 5 year contract which will give the staff additional stability. Khalil Vining (34 saves) still anchors the bullpen and he is surrounded by youth. Exciting prospects will ply their trade in AAA and hopefully be fully ready for the start of next season. .500 will be a moral victory for this team. Anything beyond that is gravy. Watch out in season 10 though.

Atlanta Braves
The Braves are hoping to rebound from a break-even 81-81 season that should have been much worse. Only a remarkable bullpen performance kept the Braves from sinking to a franchise low season wins level below 70. The lackluster showing of the starting rotation was unexpected, and the emergence of rookie Harry Ordonez was the only bright spot. He's slated for a top of the rotation slot this season, and it's hoped that veterans Carlos Navarre, Akinori Zhang, J. P. Maduro and Al Lange all bounce back from sub-par seasons. The bullpen should once again be a strength, with veteran closer Harold Daily, with 209 career saves and an 88% save percentage, back to stake his claim among the game's best. The real key to the season will be whether the Braves' lineup can generate enough offense from a core group that is solid throughout, but lacks a spectacular player. The middle of the lineup will once again consist of RF Alex Cheng, 1B Al Reynoso, 3B Alex Tarraga and C Ricardo Jose. Rookie Ezdra Aviles looks ready to take over the starting SS role, teaming with veteran 2B Dario York and CF Jhonny Mercedes for excellent defense up the middle. Overall, the Braves' defense should once again be among the league's best. On paper, the Braves appear to be ready to challenge for their 5th division championship in the league's 9th year. It won't be easy however, as division mates Houston, St. Louis and Florida field solid clubs as well.

Baltimore Orioles
Was last year an aberration or time to start the rebuild process? After a thorough examination, we decided to push our chips to the middle of the table and push for a few more seasons of competitiveness before rebuilding. We have too many talented players, all of which seemed to have down seasons at the same time, to not try and wrest the AL East crown back from the Red Sox.

Our big acquisition was another top of the rotation pitcher in Denny Andrews to tandem with Geoffrey Rivera as ace 1a and 1b. We also added Chad York as a nice utlity player who will start some games at 3B. After negotiations for a 2B fell through with several teams, we decided to fill 2B hole made by moving John Jung to 3B and moving Rudy Pavlov from CF to 2B while promoting Collin Meyers to everyday CFer.

Unfortunately for us, the Red Sox and Yankees both made major moves as well believing the time is right for them. AL East should be a dogfight this season.

Playoffs or bust!

Chicago Cubs
S8: 65-97 (4th in NL North)
Season 8 was very disappointing to us as we had nearly the same team as season 7 when we went 92-70. The Cubs seem to overachieve one season and with the same team underachieve the next season and management was tired of not knowing which team would show up. Management was active right off the start on the trading block, shipping away big name vets like Denny Andrews, Sam Schwartz, and Cookie Alfonzo. We were pleased to add some nice prospects back into our minors that were pretty bare. With the #4 pick overall in this year's draft we should add one more nice piece as the rebuilding begins here in Chicago. While those players went, we still had to find players for this season and ended up with 4 type B signings in Daryl Cosby, Art Redding, Achilles Dickens, and Delino Guerrero. With the addition of Cosby, Abdul Sweeney will slide over and handle 2B. Our defense should be up near the top of the league with this lineup, but with that means our bats will be weaker. We don't have much power in the lineup so this team will have to put some singles together to get some runs across the plate. We've got some decent pitching but with trading Denny away we lost our #1SP, we're hoping 23 year old Yonder Mendoza will step up for us this season. Last season we thought we had a playoff team put together and disappointed all the fans of Chicago except for the Old Style company executives, this season the main goal is to avoid probabtion get our younger players to develop.

Cincinnati Reds
After a horrible season 8, which saw the pitching staff finish dead last in ERA, we went into this season thinking “pitching overhaul”. The offense produced 4.2 runs per 9 innings, while the pitchers had an ERA of 4.63. I figured the offense, while not good, was solid enough that some improvement in the pitching staff would make this team into a contender for at least the wild card. As so often happens here in Cincinnati, the original plan wound up being a total remake of the offense and pitching staff. 

On offense, last year’s SS Hi Jensen shifts over to his more natural position of 2B to make room for newcomer and hopeful ROY candidate Branch Pressley. CF Travis Evans and 1B Robert Rogers return. We traded for 3B Sam Schwartz and LF Harold McKnight, while the late signing of RF Theo Mathews to give us a middle of the order worth bragging about. C Eric English upgrades an already solid situation. OF Merv Dorsey was brought back late in FA to provide some depth in the OF while Eric Swift was brought in to provide IF depth. 1B Larry Browning, C Juan Rosa, and UT Brad Hinchcliffe join those two to provide a very strong bench. The 6th bench slot is currently occupied by Rule 5 OF Charlie Bolton, although that remains up for grabs as to whether we will go with 3 C or another BP arm.

Pitching-wise, 5 new SP should make all the difference. Last season’s SP1 wouldn’t even make the rotation this season, so we are pretty excited. The opening day pitcher is going to be Jimmie Aparicio who should lead the way for a much better staff. SP2 Junior Carrasco, SP3 Greg Hennessey, and SP4 Willie Diggins (4th tour of duty in Cincy) combined to pitch 752.2 innings, while going 52-42 with 1.32 WHIP and 3.99 ERA, which is a tremendous improvement over S8’s starting staff. SP5 Willie Felix had a terrible season so we’re hoping a change of scenery out of Wrigley Field will help. There is one major question mark heading into this season, and it is the bullpen. We focused so much of our time and effort onto acquiring starting pitching, that the bullpen was neglected majorly. Bailey Nolasco, Terrence Franklin, Lew Bridges, Tim Sefcik, and Oscar Heving return while Jim Jakubauskas joins them. Combined they pitched 428.2 innings while putting up a 1.37 WHIP and 4.01 ERA in various roles. It’s hard to get excited about the bullpen with numbers like that and no star power.

The outlook is that this season could be a very happy one in Cincinnati, but it’s going to take some help from the bullpen before that happens. A wild-card is a distinct possibility.

Cleveland Indians
Cleveland is coming off of a very disappointing season 8 where the team underachieved in every category. Season 9 should see dramatic improvement. First, we’ve added catchers Frank Hunter (by trade) and Harold Gross (FA). While neither are stellar defensive catchers, they should offer significant improvement over last season and will undoubtedly help our young starters reach expectations. The signings will also allow slugger Randy Washington to devote all his energies to DH where he is sure to excel. The addition of Jeff Bonds at first base gives us a very solid platoon there. Our pitching staff should be solid. While we have no “Standout Ace” yet, we have depth and three young guys in Drabek, McGowan and FA Parker who should develop into a great starting trio this year or next. We’ve also added Cookie Alfonzo (by trade) to an already deep bullpen and he should compete for the closer role. The lineup should also be trouble for opposing staffs with Neftali Barrios in his prime and emerging stars, Wells at 3B, Coggin in CF and Osbourne in Right. It is hoped that Lew Anderson will shrug off a disappointing rookie season at SS and develop into the all-round player we think he can be. Down on the farm pitching sensation Bill Serrano is close to ML ready.

Detroit Tigers
The Tigers have not had a very active offseason this year. Unless a deal happens in the next few days, it looks like we're going with essentially the same team as last year. Given that we made the Series, that is not a bad thing, but this year we are hungry to win it all. With several players just hitting their prime, and a couple of impact pitchers due to be promoted this year, hopefully that is realistic. The Tigers just made a dramatic upgrade to their lineup with a trade for DH Hipolito Iglesias from Colorado.

Los Angeles Dodgers
This is year was phase 1 in a rebuilding project. We were able to trade Speier and get some valuable minor league pitching in return. It was hard to part with arguable the best pitcher The MLB has had but after many LA playoff disappointments we had to do some forward thinking and start shaking this place up. We still have some very good, young, ML talent in Posada, McInerney, and our newest acquisition Harris. Fa agent signings of Gray and Kent helped form out our rotation and Bennett should provide solid play in LF, and is only 27. We hope to stay competitive while stocking up our minors to make a stronger push for a WS in the future.

Minnesota Twins
FA Signings: SP Stubby Easterly, P Charles Wang
Key Promotions: DH Randy Gilbert, 1B T.J. Payne

After last year's ugly showing, the Minnesota Twins outlook for this season looks a bit brighter.

Once again, all eyes will be on the pitching staff to hold up its end of the deal. With that in mind, management went out and signed P Stubby Easterly to a 5 year, $61M deal. Not having thrown a pitch for the Twins, Easterly has been pencilled in as the Opening Day starter. With Cal Rogers returning from last year's season ending injury, the rotation should see better days. Patrick Diggins will anchor the bullpen with hopes of getting more than the 32 save opportunities he was given last year.

Al Javier (27 HRs) will lead the offense again this season. Rookies Randy Gilbert and T.J. Payne (22 HRs, .304 avg in AAA) should be able to provide plenty of help.

Management is confident that with this year's moves, there is no where to go but up.

New Orleans Jazz
In New Orleans this offseason, we've been making moves with both long term and short term goals in mind. The priority is in the long term. That goal is to build a farm system and organizational stability to have a playoff team season after season. To work toward this, the organization has continued to invest heavily in scouting, both domestically and internationally. With the 3rd and 4th overall picks and an eye toward a big time IFA, it's expected that this season will produce the future cornerstones of the franchise. In the short term, the goal was to improve over last season. Donzell Holmes will be promoted early in the season to play SS. He is an improvement over last season's Reynel Rodriguez. Darrell Vitiello will also be promoted to help anchor the starting rotation. Felipe Estrada was acquired as an offensive upgrade behind the dish and veteran slugger Ernest Cambridge signed to play mostly at DH. While no major signings were made, the squad is overall improved and the expectation if for this team to win somewhere between 70-75 wins.

New York Mets
Counting on new hitting coach can spark last year averages......need good years out of Candelaria, Sellers and Taylor.

New York Yankees
The Yankees suffered a disappointing season 8. Expectations were very high following a solid season 7 but instead the Bronx Bombers regressed. Many in the front office spent the off season dodging batteries and being taunted with Bronx cheers wherever they went. The Yankees must be better this season. The trade for AJ Sewell and FA signing of Max Osoria place solid starters behind Staff ace Ducky Jensen. The bullpen remains an area of worry. Behind set up Ralph Serrano and closer Alex Hernandez the rest of the pen must step up their game. On the offensive side, RF Javier Mercado, DH Jermaine Gorecki. 2b/CF Brian Greenwood and 1b/LF Allen Withers form a solid nucleus. Superstar SS of the future William Aoki will join the team and jump to the middle of the lineup immediately.

Oakland Athletics
I'm hoping this team has enough to make a deep run again this year, however I'm not confident we'll have enough pitching. The offense returns most of the same key contributors from last year, and should again be above average. 

The foundation of my lineup - Everett, Rhodes, Root, Fox, Francis - is the same as its been the past few seasons. One glaring weakness we had last year was at short; where Peaches Moore (sounds like a porn name, sorry) make somewhere around a gazillion errors and was only meh with the bat. To replace him, we swung a deal for David Hall, who should hold his own vs R and be much better than porn-star-Peaches with the glove. He'll platoon with cheap FA pickup Renyel Rodriguez and the pair should be an upgrade. 

The pitching is where we have a concern. Wells, O'Malley, Polcovich and Valentin are back from last year and all are decent. They'll be joined by trade acquisition Stan Foster to form a solid but unspectacular starting 5. What we need is a true ace, and there's not one in this group. The pen should also be remarkably average at best, and could possibly be worse than that. 

The final diagnosis is that we'll need to lean on the offense and hope for some playoff luck this year.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Starting pitching and defense looks to be the strength of the season 9 Pirates. The rotation will be bolstered by a full season of the services of Ismael Pascual (11-11, 1.23, 3.62) and Rod Maurer (9-12, 1.41, 4.32)--both were acquired mid-season last year. They join Chance Malloy (9-8, 1.37, 3.83 as rookie), Lance Cornelius (10-12, 1.22, 3.66), and one of Glendon Meluskey (10-13, 1.40, 3.82), Sal Boyer, or Cristobal Fernandez in the rotation. This group was average last season, but Pirates management expects improved performance this season due in part to defensive upgrades. 

The bullpen is mediocre at best, and much of the team's success may hinge on how it holds up. The most significant addition is McKay Frazier (4-1, 1.09, 3.54 in 94 innings).

The most exciting addition to the Pirates will be the debut of rookie slugger Nick Helms at catcher who will replace mainstay Luis Bravo. Bravo's offense will be difficult to replace, as he has averaged .270 36hr 103rbi over the past 8 seasons. However, he has been a disaster behind the plate. Helms not only is a huge upgrade defensively, Pirates management expects him to approach Bravo's level of offensive production.

3/4 of the infield remains in tact as Deacon Kelly (.259 27 hr 78 rbi) 1B returns along with the excellent double play combo of Troy Knight (.244 21 hr 61 rbi) and Willie Donnelly (.307 9 hr 50 rbi). Joining them is rookie Omar Cordero, who replaces the remarkably consistent Chad York (.304 19 hr 86 rbi). Cordero represents a significant defensive upgrade but will struggle to match York's offensive output.

Newcomers Archie Coco LF (.291 32 hr 92 rbi) and rookie Anibal Johnson CF join Yovani Rijo (.271 18 hr 51 rbi), who returns batting leadoff and playing RF. Coco will be a huge upgrade both offensively and defensively, while Johnson will provide top notch defense and likely struggle at the plate. 

The season 8 Pirates were strangely both very lucky and very unlucky. They were very fortunate to win the division with 84 wins, as they went 29-18 in 1-run games. On the other hand, they did this with nearly every player drastically underperforming at the plate. The season 9 Pirates should again contend for the division title, as the offense shoud normalize a bit to go along with improved pitching and defense. Management's only pause is that they are relying on 3 rookie starters, with 2 of those playing extremely important positions (C and CF). Season prediction: 85 wins

Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners have enjoyed eight years of near-relevance in the AL. However, this glorious hey-day of first-round exits is about to come to an end. Seattle's payroll is mounting, their minors are barren, and their core is advancing into their 30s.Management internally acknowledges the window of opportunity, which was really never more than a doggie door, is closing. Their hope in Season 9 is that, with Colorado throwing in the towel and Baltimore (Seattle's post-season kryptonite) struggling, they may have an opportunity to sneak in as a #6 seed - catching Oakland in the brutal AL West isn't happening. They continue to boast a solid lineup and a rotation 6-deep in #3 starters. The bullpen is always an adventure. Should the club find itself in contention midway through the season, expect an emptying out of the minors for one last dramatic surge for an wild-card spot and another untimely departure from the post-season.

St. Louis Cardinals
After a disappointing third place finish in the competitive NL South, St. Louis went into the offseason needing to upgrade the offense but never fulfilled all of their wishes. 

When York Coco (.229/.311/.244) bolted to the New York Mets, the team opened up the bank for Nicholas Walters (.268/.342/.366) who should represent an improvement at second base. The team however failed to make a trade or sign a key free agent to replace the aging JJ Sherman at third base to improve their meager production offensively from the hot corner. 

The offseason also saw the team sign consistent starting pitcher Edge Gibbons out of Philadelphia, adding an excellent arm to the front of the rotation and allowing them to move Mark Prince back to long relief duty, a role for which he is likely more suited.

Defensively the team added shortstop Pedro Valentin in the Rule V, helping to solidify their defense in the late innings. 

The net effect should keep the team competitive, and the emergence of rookie Harry Ortiz, splitting time at first base and left field, should help the team hit better against right-handed pitching. It remains to be seen if the team will challenge for the division or simply bounce around the .500 mark.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Free Agent Review

Top C
1.       Eric English (CIN; 1yr/$3.6M)
English has a weaker than ideal arm, but does have accuracy and can call a game. He has some power, drives the ball well, and doesn’t strike out much. Won’t work the count better than your average ballplayer.
hurricane384 says: We thought that we were set at C heading into the offseason, but the opportunity to add a player like English was too great to pass up.
2.       Dick Simon (Free Agent)
Has a solid arm and can call a decent enough game. He has a good eye, and is solid against RHP. He is average against LHP. Doesn’t have great power. Can put the bat on the ball with some regularity.
3.       Luis Bravo (FLA; 2yrs/$10.0M)
Tremendous power and dominates against LHP. He has a solid eye, and can still drive the ball against RHP. Average ability to put the bat on the ball. Can’t call a game, and struggles throwing runners out.
mtorabdaddy says:

Top 1B/DH
1.       Gerald Martin (Free Agent)
Puts the bat on the ball more often than not. Has solid power. Better against LHP than RHP. Very good eye. Limited defensively.
2.       Royce Thomas (COL; 1yr/$3.4M)
Very good power. Solid contact. Drives the ball well. Decent eye. Limited defensively.
3.       Mark Feng (Free Agent)
Dominates LHP. Solid against RHP. Average eye. Solid power. Average at putting the bat on the ball. Decent eye. No defensive ability.

Top 2B
1.       Daryl Cosby (CH1; 3 yrs/$13.5M) **Moved to 3B**
Makes good contact with decent power. Average at driving the ball and mediocre eye. Plays good defense, but does suffer from a bit of an inaccurate arm.
tk21775 says: We were looking for a FA for 2B and noticed Cosby. Once we landed him we realized he'd be a better fit at 3B and we moved Sweeny over to 2B. While we'd like a stronger bat at 3B out of him, we figure it will be a wash as Sweeney's bat will be more out of 2B than we're use to and Cosby should handle 3B defevsively for us
2.       Jonathan Goodman (MON; 2yrs/$13.6M)
Dominates LHP, does alright against RHP. Average contact and power. Great eye. So-so range with a weak arm. Great speed.
ekoontz41 says: Goodman was never in the plans. However, when I saw his demands dropping I couldn't pass up offering him a 2 year deal. As of now, Goodman is not a starter. However, he should get at least 400 ABs this season filling in at 2B, LF, 1B, and maybe RF.
3.       Diego Rondon (Free Agent)
Doesn’t do anything really outstanding on offense, but is solid enough to start for a team. Good eye and good base-runner. Good defense, although lacking slightly in the accuracy.

Top 3B
1.       Luther Becker (Free Agent)
Currently injured, Becker has a weak arm and lacks ideal range, but has a good glove and is accurate. Drives the ball well. Mediocre power, great eye.
2.       Trey Trammell (KC; 5yrs/$28.0M/Team Option)
Has solid power. Dominates LHP, while doing well against RHP. Decent eye. Average defender where nothing stands out. Decent speed.
3.       Art Redding (CH1; 1yr/$3.4M) **Moved to RF**
Makes great contact and drives the ball well against LHP. Lacks power. Solid eye. Lacks range and arm strength, but has good glove and accurate arm.
tk21775 says: We needed to pick up a RF this offseason and spotted Redding. While he lacks the power I typically like out of this position, he's shown he can hit for average and get on base. He lost ratings defensively from last season but since he handled 3B very well, we think he'll do just fine in right.

Top SS
1.       Carl Marte (LA; 2yrs/$4.2M/Mutual Option)
Better against LHP than RHP. Solid defender, lacking slightly with the glove. Great arm, good range. Average power, average contact. Great speed.
2.       Stretch Thompson (FLA; 2yrs/$6.4M/Mutual Option)
Doesn’t bring much to the table offensively, when he hits the ball against RHP, he tends to drive it well. Has an average eye. Great range, great arm, a little below average glove.
3.       Troy Knight (PIT; 2yrs/$5.6M/Team Option)
Will strike out a ton. Doesn’t drive the ball well. Has tremendous power for a SS. Good eye. Great defender across the board.
ajwalton says: Knight is a gold glove caliber defender that has a little pop in his bat. The Pirates are very pleased to bring him back at a bargain price.

Top LF
1.       Michael Blasingame (KC; 5yrs/$41.0M)
Dominant LF in FA, Blasingame makes a lot of contact, dominates RHP while doing well against LHP. Good power. Great eye. Solid defender.
2.       Ernest Cambridge (NO; 2yrs/$4.5M/Mutual Option)
Has good power, is better against LHP than RHP. Great eye. Won’t strike out a lot. Not a tremendous defender.
mongoose_22 says: Cambridge was brought in as a sorely needed veteran bat. The team is lacking punch and he was an affordable veteran who, when healthy, has the potential to be an impact bat.
3.       Merv Dorsey (CIN; 1yr/$2.6M)
Makes a lot of contact. Average at driving the ball. Average power. Decent eye. Not a good defender, even for a LF.
hurricane384 says: As Dorsey hung out there in FA, I felt that adding him would provide us some very good bench depth and insurance for any OF injuries.

Top CF
1.       Archie Coco (PIT; 2yrs/$12.4M) **Moved to LF**
Has good power with a good eye. Drives the ball decent and makes solid contact. Great speed. Below average defender who has to make up for that with his offense.
ajwalton says: Coco will bat 5th and play LF to open the season for the Pirates. We are very happy to add a middle of the lineup bat to go along with good speed and great defense.
2.       Nicholas Walters (STL; 4yrs/$27.2M) **Moved to 2B**
Lacks ideal range and glove. Great eye. Drives the ball well. Won’t strike out much, but doesn’t have great power.
dwboyce says: Going into this offseason, the team needed an upgrade to our offensive production at second base and we were pleased to find a very young right-handed centerfielder in Nicholas Walters out there in free agency that we’re converting back to his natural position. While he’s not an exact fit for our offense, lacking the speed and base-running skills we typically look for at that position, we like what he brings to the table. His ability to drive the ball equally well against lefties or righties, coupled with an excellent eye for the strike zone, should put him on base fairly often when he does make contact. Our spacious outdoor park frustrates double-hitters, so we don’t see his lack of power as a negative. We’re hoping he’s a guy who will hit a lot of singles to push our base runners along. Defensively, we’re very pleased he has nice range and more than enough glove to handle second base and can cover centerfield in an emergency. Turning two with him could occasionally prove problematic, but overall we’re pleased with his combination of offensive and defensive skills.
3.       Ted Strickland (Free Agent)
Great glove man who lacks a little in range. Doesn’t do anything really great, but does everything alright.

Top RF
1.       Theo Mathews (CIN; 1yr/$6.9M)
A solid player across the board. Has a great eye that combines with good contact, power, and drives the ball well. Not a defensive juggernaut.
hurricane384 says: When I saw that his asking price had not dropped, I thought I had no shot at him. To come back after the Rule 5 draft and see that he was still out there for the taking, I had to pick him up. He adds such a degree of offense to my team, that we can make up for missing on our top 2 SP targets.
2.       Zephyr Powell (COL; 3yrs/$9.0M)
Has good power. Decent eye. Makes contact. Above average at driving the ball. Solid range, but lacks ideal arm strength.
3.       Albert Stevens (KC; 4yrs/$20.8M) **Moved to CF**
Makes great contact with great power, but struggles at squaring the ball up, especially against LHP. Weak eye. Tremendous defensive RF, although lacking the ideal arm.

Top SP
1.       Stubby Easterly (MIN; 5yrs/$61.0M/Player Option)
Although he doesn’t have the ideal stamina, Stubby, has a dominant pitch to go along with 3 above average pitches and great velocity, and a good groundball rating. Won’t walk many and keeps the ball out of the hitting zone. By far the top FA SP.
Iceman67 says: In a non-surprising move, the Minnesota Twins went after a top free agent to solidify its starting rotation. Its prize, Stubby Easterly, who signed with the Twins for a 5 year $61 million deal. Already slated to be the starter on Opening Day, management is hoping he will pan out a lot better than its previous big free agent signing, Elvis Janssen. Easterly brings solid splits against lefties and righties, and with an exceptional #1 pitch, the Twins have high expectations for him.
2.       Junior Carrasco (CIN; 1yr/$5.7M)
Doesn’t have great stamina, and struggles at times at keeping the ball out of the hitting zone. Has 2 great pitches, and 2 good ones. Good velocity, great control, and a better than average ability to induce GBs.
hurricane384 says: Although he wasn’t the top prize, he was one I had my eye on going into Free Agency. Any time you can sign a good pitcher like this, for this price, you have to be happy.
3.       Larry Leach (BOS; 5 yrs/$36.5M/Mutual Option)
Good stamina. Good control. Dominates RHB, while holding his own against LHB. Tremendous GB pitcher. Average velocity. A great pitch, a good pitch, and 2 average pitches round out his repertoire.

Top RP
1.       Steve Hines (MON; 2yrs/$13.6M)
Although he doesn’t have the greatest STA/DUR combo, he makes up for it by dominating RHB, not walking many, and getting a lot of GBs. Good pitches as well.
ekoontz41 says: Resigning Hines was a huge priority this offseason. I was shocked at the price and amount of years I got him at. I'm guessing the fact that he was a type-A scared some owners away.
2.       Carmen Key (LA; 2yrs/$5.6M)
Will walk more than you’d like from your RP. 2 great pitches and 3 average pitches. Great at getting GBs. Very good at keeping the ball out of the hitting zone.
3.       Terrance Franklin (CIN; 2yrs/$5.6M)
Great control. Struggles at times with keeping the ball out of the hitting zone. Great velocity and keeps the ball down. 2 great pitches and an average one.
hurricane384 says: I wasn’t going to bring him back as I looked for a bullpen upgrade, but as he sat out there without offers, I figured he wasn’t a bad consolation prize.

Los Angeles Dodgers
rawkdk27 on S9 Free Agency and Marte and Key being top 3 at their positions:
Those two are probably behind SPs Gray, Kent and LF Bennett as my teams FA signings. In a season of rebuilding/retooling here in LA, we were looking for players to fill holes on this team. We were targeting players at an affordable price that could help us through the next few years as we restock the farm system. We are excited by some of the value we feel we got at some very good prices.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Random Batting Statistics

Batting Avg/On-Base/Slugging - by season

  1. .268/.339/.423
  2. .267/.335/.419
  3. .265/.333/.415
  4. .262/.330/.412
  5. .262/.330/.413
  6. .262/.329/.418
  7. .262/.331/.414
  8. .260/.330/.417
Most HRs: 6,515 in S6
Fewest HRs: 6,197 in S5

Most Runs Scored: 25,506 in S1
Fewest Runs Scored: 23,907 in S5

Hits: 383,669
2B: 57,128
3B: 6,579
HR: 50,842
Runs: 195,367
RBI: 189,784
BB: 134,922
HBP: 15,120
SO: 275,722
SB: 30,082
CS: 11,299
SB%: 73%
Avg: .263
OBP: .332
SLG: .416
OPS: .749