Category Archives: Sports

Fantasy Baseball

The offense I like.

Starters
C Yan Gomes C | CLE
C Mike Zunino C | SEA
1B Edwin Encarnacion 1B | TOR
2B Kolten Wong 2B | STL
3B Manny Machado 3B | BAL
SS Xander Bogaerts 3B,SS | BOS
MI Devon Travis 2B | TOR
CI Brandon Moss 1B,OF | CLE
OF Mookie Betts OF | BOS
OF Carlos Gonzalez OF | COL
OF Yasiel Puig OF | LAD 585
OF Travis Snider OF | BAL 525
OF Mike Trout OF | LAA 600
U Corey Dickerson OF | COL
Reserves
3B Kris Bryant 3B | CHC
SS Jose Ramirez SS | CLE
OF Ryan Braun OF | MIL
U Brandon Belt 1B | SF

But what happens to that offense if Mookie Betts get 2B eligibility,and Manny Machado gets SS eligibility as rumored?

Starters
C Yan Gomes C | CLE
C Mike Zunino C | SEA
1B Edwin Encarnacion 1B | TOR
2B Kolten Wong 2B | STL
SS Manny Machado 3B | BAL
3B Kris Bryant 3B | CHC
MI Mookie Betts OF | BOS
CI Brandon Moss 1B,OF | CLE
OF Carlos Gonzalez OF | COL
OF Yasiel Puig OF | LAD 585
OF Travis Snider OF | BAL 525
OF Mike Trout OF | LAA 600
OF Ryan Braun OF | MIL
U Corey Dickerson OF | COL

Kris Bryant should be up soon enough.  Manny and Mookie would make middle infield a strength.  OF thins out some – I probably should have traded a closer for Matt Holliday.  Cargo can’t stay healthy all year.  Of course, that does let me switch Dickerson or Moss into OF if needed.  And it removes my two weakest hitters.  A set of starters like the one above could win R, HR, RBI, AVG, and has replacements for 1B, 2B, SS, 3B and 2 built-in  OFers.   And the ability to drop jose ramirez for any other needed player.

MI Devon Travis 2B | TOR
SS Jose Ramirez SS | CLE
U Brandon Belt 1B | SF
SS Xander Bogaerts 3B,SS | BOS

The pitchers aren’t so impressive.  Though there’s potential for a good score in saves and WHIP.  ERA and WHIP may be held back by shoemaker, odorizzi, quintana – to so degree.  And W’s may be a low score.

Pitchers

P Brad Boxberger P | TB
P Aroldis Chapman P | CIN
P Steve Cishek P | MIA
P Craig Kimbrel P | SD
P Jason Hammel P | CHC
P Brandon McCarthy P | LAD
P Collin McHugh P | HOU
P Jake Odorizzi P | TB
P Jose Quintana P | CHW

Reserves
P Carlos Rodon P | CHW
P Matt Shoemaker P | LAA

The theory was that starting pitching should be more common / easier to acquire by trade than hitting.

Without trades, I’ll estimate generously…

1st Runs
1st HR
1st RBI
1st AVG
9th SB
9th W
3rd Saves
8th ERA
4th WHIP
9th K’s

That’s somewhere over 80 points and there is some growth possibilities, too.  McCarthy’s numbers could match his peripherals.   The rest are young enough to improve, and its possible for any of them to have a sub-3 era.

Pitching

Look around the major leagues.
There’s exciting pitching everywhere.

The question is, did the pitching get that much better, or is the reduction in PED’s making pitchers look better?

SF Giants
Lincecum, Cain, Bumgardner, Sanchez and Surkamp.
Granted Surkamp is unproven at the MLB level, but there’s not an easy game in that rotation

Phillies
Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Vince Worley (11-2)

Oakland
Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzales, McCarthy

Nationals
Zimmerman and Strasburg

Mariners
Felix Hernandez, Pineda

Detroit
Verlander, Scherzer

Tampa Rays
Price, Shields, Hellickson, Neimann, Davis, Matt Moore

Cardinals
Carpenter, Garcia, Wainwright, Shelby

Conner Crumbliss and Wade Boggs

Last year, I noted that Conner walked nearly twice as often as he struck out, in his debut at Vancouver.

This year, at Kane Country, Conner walked 126 times.
In 134 games.
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/C/Connor-Crumbliss.shtml
That led to a 0.421 on base percentage.

Conner also struck out 92 times, but I’ll take that ratio.

Why do I compare him to Boggs, when Boggs struck out and walked less – had a better batting average?
OBP – nearly identical at this point.
Crumbliss is already showcasing more power (granted, doubles power) than Boggs did in the minors.
As measured by production (OPS), the two players are similar to this point.

We could have a player with a boggs-like ability to get on base, with a bit more speed than boggs – at second base.

Giants in review

Last October, I suggested the Giants do a whole lot of nothing in the off-season. Clearly, they wouldn’t be in the World Series if I was their GM.

However, I did get a couple things right:
– suggesting Posey start the season with the team. they would have won a game or two more with Posey over Molina – however I can’t fault their handling too much. The kid’s done great.
– pick up the option on Sanchez.
– leave the rotation alone.

Some things I got wrong:
– Ryan Garko. I suggested resigning him, seeing no obvious upgrade available. He managed 38 plate appearances this year.
– I also suggested signing Nick Johnson, who was injured most of the year.
– I suggested Panda at first base as an option, but then we wouldn’t have Huff’s great year – and Pablo had a rough sophomore slump
– Nate Schierholtz. The “wrongness” here is debateable, as Nate didn’t get many at bats, but again showed great OF defense.
– Rowand. I expected a bounce back season.
– Rentaria. I expected a bounce back season.
– Bowker. I still think they gave up on him too soon and I hope he has success in pittsburgh.
– I didn’t mention Andres Torres, who was the giants best position player this year (and kept Rowand out of the lineup).

The giants would definitely have missed the playoffs, in my scenario.
So for the first time – Bravo Sabean.
This is a fun team to watch, most of the time.

Jason Heyward starts big

The top prospect in baseball hit a home run in his first at bat, with the anxious crowd chanting “Let’s go, Heyward!” before his home run – in his first at bat at the major league level.

3B Chipper Jones, winner of 15 or so division titles and a world series, said “I don’t know that I’ve ever heard this stadium that loud”.

Responding to a question about how it felt rounding the bases, Heyward replied “I felt my legs but I couldn’t hear myself think, it was so loud.”

Its a good start.
Bravo Heyward, and good fortune to the Braves.

Happy 27th World Series NY

I still don’t like Johnny Damon.
But Swisher makes up for Damon.

I’m happy Arod had a good series, but his star has fallen.

Howard ran into a lot of lefties.

Utley I’m ok with.
Don’t care for cocky little Rollins, who should never have won the MVP a couple years back.
Don’t like Werth or Ibanez.

I do like Sabathia, after not appreciating him while in Cleveland.

So yeah, congrats NY.

Yankees vs. Phillies

With my preferred underdogs (Minnesota and St. Louis) already beaten, baseball is down to the Yanks and Phils.

Tim Brown over at Yahoo Sports has broken things down by position.

However, he’s wrong on a number of those positional comparisons.

At catcher, he’s got Posada and Ruiz as a tie.
C’mon, that is silly despite Posada’s lack of spring chicken-ness.
In this case, Brown seems to believe we should look at the small sample of postseason play over the regular season.
It’s dumb. Hands down Posada is the positional winner here.

At First, Brown chooses Ryan Howard over Mark Texeira.
Their value with the bat is close.
Mark is more valuable with the glove (which doesn’t slump).
Ryan cannot hit lefties.
Wrong again Brown.
Mark will have the better series.

At 2nd, Utley is clearly ahead of Cano, though Cano did have a tremendous season.
Brown got this one right.

At shortstop, Brown gives the edge to Jeter.
Jeter’s defense has improved this year, according to some metrics that have traditionally been unkind to his play.
Jimmy Rollins is a better field (opinion) and more dangerous with the bat, though Jeter has shown the ability to play up to the circumstance.
I expect Rollins will have the better series.

At 3rd, Brown selected Arod over Feliz.
Easy pick there.

Left field, Brown chose Damon over Ibanez.
I wouldn’t want either of these players.
The season Ibanez put up is not normal.
It was Bonds-ian in comparison to the rest of his career.
More so if you consider only the first half (where’d that come from).

Centerfield has Victorino over Melky/Gardner.
Cannot disagree with that.

Right Field Brown has Werth over Swisher. I disagree.
Swish will have a great series, but Werth did have the better season overall.

The pitching to me is a toss up.
The game 1 starters are great, both former Indians (Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia), but after that things are murky.
Can Pedro recapture some glory and help capture a championship?
Is Burnett going to be unhittable or will he get bombed?
Cole Hammels has struggled some this year.
Andy Pettitte has experience, but the results this year were average.
I do like the back-end of the Phillies rotation, with Blanton and Happ, but the Yanks have the edge in bullpens.

Yanks in 6, but lets hope for a 7-game series.

Kansas City Royals Off-season

UPDATE:
There has been rumors that KC may attempt to trade high on Alberto Callaspo, who apparently likes to party.
Nothing wrong with that, as long as he’s not driving.

Callaspo was Kansas City’s most potent hitter last season, it terms of VORP (value over replacement player) and walked more often that he struck out in his first full season. I feed vindicated, after posting on the KC board that they should have given him the job the prior year as well.
On the other hand is his defense, but perhaps he can work on that.
I’d keep the bat at 2nd, especially consider that Callaspo is entering his prime now, given that his listed age is correct.

The rumor I read said that Callaspo would be traded for a rookie catcher from the dodger system who had a 430 obp in AAA the last two years.
That sounds great.
But then you find out the guy is 29.
And he’s got no power at all.
And you remember he’s a catcher, the most physically demanding position.
How many plate appearances do you think you’d get from him?
I’d guess no more than 450, and that is generous.
Callaspo would likely manage 650 PA’s next year and was nearly a 3 win (above replacement) player.

I want to emphasize my earlier point again.
Dump Jose Guillen.
You have better players that need at bats, and there are several late-20’s outfielders that should be available on the trade market.

Dump Jose Guillen if at all possible.
That was a big mistake.
Addition by subtraction, please.

Catcher
Both Buck and Olivio have pop.
I wouldn’t attempt to upgrade here, as both have approached 800 ops in recent seasons.
Olivio doing it despite a complete lack of discipline.

First Base and Designated hitter.
Bring up Kila.
If his defense is superior to Butler, use Kila at first.
If not, leave Butler there.
Problem solved.
Trade Mike Jacobs.

Second Base
Alberto Callaspo
Good bat.
17 errors though.
But over 800 ops.
I think KC is fine at second for a while, if he can keep this up or improve.
41 doubles.
Pretty batting average.
More walks than strikeouts.

Shortstop
Yuniesky Betancourt – dump him.
This move was a head scratcher.
You can’t count on this guy to get on base more than 30% of the time.
Likely less.
In short, causes way too many outs.

Um..
Hang on there.
I was assuming that KC would have a better player just sitting in their system.
But their backup at short is even less productive with the bat.
Mario Lisson apparently plays short – he’s got more potential with the bat that either of the guys in his way.
The problem there is Lisson hasn’t had much seasoning.
Jeff Bianchi?
None of these guys walk.
Bianchi and Lisson have pop, Bianchi is ahead with the bat.

Screw it.
Go free agency while Lisson and Bianchi are getting seasoning in the minors.
Adam Everett is plenty capable.
Or marco scutaro, perhaps (type A).

Third Base
Alex Gordon
Just let him play

Left Field
David DeJesus
He’s plenty good for left field for now.

Center field
Mitch Maier
I’m comfortable with the kid.
Couple years and he’ll be putting up an 800 ops.

Right Field
Xavier Nady
Free agent
Could manage an 800 ops for the next couple of years

If KC can manage to get a capable right fielder, such as Nady and a new shortstop (scutaro) this team could collectively approach an 800 ops, which would stick them solidly in the top half of the american league.
And there would be no free outs in the lineup, at least not to the extent of last year’s team.

Pitching

Zack Greinke, this year’s cy young winner if there is any justice.
A great numbero uno.

The rest of the Kansas City staff had a rough year.

Bannister and Meche I’m comfortable with.
Hochevar not so much.

Davies, despite the rough year was not easy to hit.

I would attempt to find a free agent.
Harden perhaps?
Only if you’ve got the money.

At AAA, KC had good seasons from Lenny DiNardo and a great 80 innings from Bruce Chen.
I think you’ve got to keep those two in the mix for a starter spot.

A little on the depressing side, but if everything goes right an above average offense with an average pitching staff should win the majority of its games.
Average pitching might be too much to count on, is the problem, though most of their rotation has experienced success in the majors.

MLB 2010 – who’s taking a step forward?

Felix Hernandez, Seattle
He was great this year.
I think he can do better.

Clay Bucholz, Boston
Assuming he’s given a spot, of course.

Phil Hughes, New York (AL)
Same thing

Max Scherzer, Arizona
I expect an ERA below 3 with 200 K’s.

Mat Latos, San Diego
This guy strikes me as really good.
And in that park? I expect he’ll get an all star nod next year.

Daric Barton, Oakland
.280 average, 15 home runs, 85 rbi, .380 obp
Some may not count that as a breakout, but we’re not expecting a lot of power.
This is not much of a stretch, but so far he’s only shown greatness in September.

Ryan Sweeney
He’ll hit over .300 with closer to his second half slugging numbers than his first half.
Here’s hoping, that would make him an all star.

Travis Snider
I expect he’ll hit right away – not to the Ryan Braun level. Less average, maybe more power.

Colby Rasmus
I should give the guy a couple more years before expecting much, but I have high hopes.

Carlos Santana
He’ll hit right away.

MLBTradeRumors.com recent posts:
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San Francisco Giants Off-season

What should the giants do in the off-season?

Running through the positions:

C. Posey/Whiteside – let Posey take his lumps. He may not be ready. I’m fine with that. He’s a smart kid. Split time with the veteran. I would not put Posey in the middle of the lineup right away, despite how much I like the bat/eye.

1B. Garko – Yes, in limited at bats Garko stunk it up. He’s better than that.

However, I would possibly pursue Nick Johnson depending on his arbitration status (type B?). I would not give up a first round pick to sign Nick Johnson – a second rounder perhaps. The glove and the batting eye would be put to great use here in SF.

2B. Freddy Sanchez – pick up his option, assuming his ailments have improved. No need to spend 8 million for an injured bench warmer. But I like the bat when he’s healthy.

SS. Uribe/Renteria – I’m hoping Renteria can have a strong bounce back year next year. I would never have signed these two, and I prefer a shortstop who causes fewer outs at the plate and more in the field.

I’d prefer Marco Scutaro, but he’s type A, and I wouldn’t give up the pick. Toronto will certainly offer arbitration.

3B. Pablo Sandoval – if the Panda can stick at 3rd, I’d leave him here (I believe there was either some elbow or shoulder soreness toward the end of the season). If he’s got to move to first base, I wouldn’t spend on a first baseman. And in that case, I would pursue Joe Crede, if the price is right.

RF. Nate Schierholtz
If he can approach 800 ops, he’s close to an all star with his defense.
Do nothing but hand him the job.

CF. Rowand
Time for a really good year, and if I’m right about his timing, try to trade him after the good season.

LF. Bowker
Great AAA season, with more walks than strikeouts.
I’m really impressed.
Do nothing but give him the keys.

Realistically, I expect us to do next to nothing with the position players.
Let go of Winn, Uribe, Molina – possibly keep uribe if he is not expensive or long term – short term contracts only.

Starting Pitching

Tim Lincecum
I’m ok with Timmy

Cain
Yep, Cain too.

Zito
I think he can keep doing what he did this season – which isn’t bad at all. Seemed to get a little mojo back this season.

J. Sanchez
Was amongst the most difficult pitchers to hit in the national league last season, with improving control as the season went on. Just give him the ball.

Randy Johnson/Joe Martinez or Madison Bumgarner
I’ve always enjoyed watching Randy pitch, but I would prefer to give the spot to Joe Martinez until Bumgarner is ready. Martinez I expect to be very capable, as he consistently put up low WHIP numbers. Why not give him a shot until the kid is ready, assuming that isn’t spring training. In which case, Martinez can be a long guy out of the pen or emergency starter.

I’m ok with the bullpen as is.
Our closer is too exciting sometimes, but I’m ok with it.

Like the A’s, I would recommend the Giants do a lot of nothing.
Don’t tinker Sabean – unless you can upgrade SS/CF – but I doubt that considering those two were your most recent big free agent signings.

Giants on Twitter:
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