First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor. Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players. But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sean Connery enjoyed the landing of B-Weezy.
So it’s official. Just in time for your playoffs or late-season run for a title, Matt Cain has joined Jason Heyward and Rafael Betancourt, all recent casualties, on the DL. Even though the X-ray’s came back negative after Cain got hit by a line-drive on Thursday, Bruce Bochy said it was too soon to say whether or not he would make his next start. A mere seven hours later, which I guess was not too soon anymore, it was decided that Cain would not only miss his next start, but at least three. You’d figure with such a big head, Bochy would have a better grasp of time. And, you know, bullpen usage. Granted, this season wasn’t shaping up to be Cain’s finest and was pretty up-and-down (more down) in general. But his second-half ERA of 2.84 and improved walk rate were representing an expected regression. So the timing couldn’t be worse, especially since the Giants are not postseason bound and really have no reason to rush a recovery. Relevant. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday…Please, blog, may I have some more?
So while helping Scott with his prospect and two-start pitcher questions over the weekend, I got a lot of questions for the best spot starter on Sunday. I told everyone Hector Santiago followed closely by the debut of Jose Alvarez. Score one for me! I decided to write my pitcher profile on one of those guys, and since Alvarez only came up for one start (he’s already back in AAA), I went with Santiago. Quick tangent – how unfair is that Tigers rotation? Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello (who everyone needs to pick up – Ks are for real, looks like it’s all together now and he’s only 24), then Drew Smyly who should become a starter one day soon, and now Alvarez. Yikes.
Anyway, Santiago has been yo-yoed in and out of the rotation, and after Jake Peavy fell to injury yet again, Santiago should remain in the starting staff for at least the next month if not longer. He’s been better as a starter than out of the bullpen this year, and has over a K per 9 this season. There’s a lot of things to like with Santiago, so I broke down his start yesterday afternoon against the Athletics to monitor his repertoire and what to expect while he’s in the White Sox rotation.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I just went over the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2013 fantasy baseball. Most of you know how I feel about catchers. If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers. Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight. I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues. I Reggie Roby them. Molina, Pierzynski, Wilin Rosario were all in the top 5 for catchers last year. Their average draft pick was around 250 overall last year. The bottom of the top 20 for last year consisted of Napoli, McCann and Jesus Montero. Their average draft slot was around 70. It’s like this every year. In 2011, Napoli and Avila were ranked second and third at the end of the year with Wieters and Posey disappointing, going into the year it was nothing like that. Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats. Then, there’s not much difference between, say, the fifth best catcher and nothingness. Wilin Rosario was the fifth best catcher last year. As late as July of last year, he could’ve been picked up off waivers in some leagues. Finally, the best catcher last year and the NL MVP was the 27th best player according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s the best year you can hope from him and he was still only ranked 27th overall. You’re paying a premium for a catcher, who would be the 8th best outfielder. The third best 2nd baseman. The fifth best first baseman. The fifth best 3rd baseman. Only shortstops were worst, and I say punt them too. Yes, I am saying punt the positions that are most scarce. Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-two (John Jaso? Belch.); some of you might want to know the top catchers. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Alex Avila. In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them. You can see other top 20 lists for 2013 fantasy baseball under 2013 fantasy baseball rankings. Listed along with these catchers are my 2013 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The .245 AVG is going to look ugly next March but 31 HRs and 80+ R/RBI has been nirvana for anyone (like Rudy) who plucked Josh Reddick off free agency in shallow leagues this year. The power is real and, unlike the last A’s power hitter (Jack Cust), he is an above average fielder. So the A’s now have 2/3 of a phallic OF foundation with Reddick and Yoenis. Where is Lance Johnson Jr or Dick Pole Jr when you need them?Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ryan Zimmerman recently admitted to the Washington Post that his shoulder isn’t at 100%. I recently admitted to the College of Fantasy Baseball at Charleston Alumni magazine that my pinkie finger has been acting up. I go to type up some fantasy baseball advice and it looks like this, “I drafted Ryan Zimmerman, that piece of @#$%^&*” I don’t reach for the Shift key and symbols, but my pinkie involuntary adds them.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The A’s called up Derek Norris, the catcher prospect they got from the Nationals. Little known fact: The Nats traded Norris because he’s less kidnappable. You might remember Derek Norris was in the huge trade Beane pulled off back in December that had Gio going to the Nats.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Washington Nationals 2010Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (21) | 2009 (21) | 2008 (9) | 2007 (30) | 2006 (24) | 2005 (26) | 2004 (30)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [69 – 93] NL East
AAA: [76 – 67] International League – Syracuse
AA: [77 – 65] Eastern League – Harrisburg
A+: [70 – 69] Carolina League – Potomac
A: [65 – 75] South Atlantic League – Haggerstown
A(ss): [36 – 38] New York Pennsylvania League – Vermont Lake
R: [24 – 32] Gulf League
The Run Down
In the 2009 Nationals Minor League Review, I said, “It wouldn’t be a stretch to see the team win 10 more games this year with a slightly improved rotation.” They did win exactly 10 more games this year, too bad that was still good enough for last place in the NL East. Jordan Zimmermann’s return from Tommy John surgery was met with losing Stephen Strasburg to the same surgery. The Nationals have an excessive amount of mediocre pitching in the minors and in the majors as they had no starter who threw 100 innings with a strikeout rate over 6 Ks per nine-innings (e.g.
Washington Nationals 2009 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2009)
2009 (21) | 2008 (9) | 2007 (30) | 2006 (24) | 2005 (26) | 2004 (30)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [59 – 103] NL East – worst record in majors
AAA: [76 – 68] International League
AA: [70 – 72] Eastern League
A+: [79 – 58] Carolina League
A: [56 – 78] South Atlantic League
A(ss): [34 – 41] New York – Pennsylvania League
R: [36 – 19] Gulf League
The Run Down
The Nationals just signed Brian Bruney and Ivan Rodriguez which gives them a few veterans on a team that graduated eight prospects this year.