LATEST STORIES FROM THE OUTSIDE CORNER

If Jose Iglesias is out for season, how do Tigers solve shortstop issue?

Two weeks before opening day, the Detroit Tigers face major questions about their shortstop situation. On Saturday, ESPN and SiriusXM analyst Jim Bowden tweeted that Jose Iglesias will miss most of the 2014 season due to a shin injury that's plagued him since the beginning of spring training. This was according to a former teammate close to Iglesias. Later, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman...
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March 16, 2014  |  Discuss

The Four Horsemen of the St. Louis Cardinals

With a team as well-rounded as the Cardinals, it’s actually a bit of a challenge to pick out just four guys who will have a significant impact on the 2014 season. Sure, there are MVP and Cy Young candidates, but there’s also established veterans playing important roles and a new wave of talent that’s starting to hit the big league level. You could easily choose any combination...
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March 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Three Key Questions for the St. Louis Cardinals

While everyone expects the Cardinals to have a playoff spot pretty much locked in, there are still a few questions that are left to be answered. For some teams, the questions asked here are big ones, involving things that may make or break a season. For St. Louis, these are more “hey, wouldn’t it be nice?” things -- even if they don’t pan out, the Cardinals shouldn’t be...
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March 14, 2014  |  Discuss

The Two Biggest Weaknesses of the St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals don’t make this easy on us. Heading into the offseason, they had two pretty clear weaknesses -- outfield defense and shortstop offense. They traded for Peter Bourjos and signed Jhonny Peralta. Problems solved. And now we have to try to nitpick two other weaknesses for an impressively complete club. How about their struggles against left-handed pitching? While...
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March 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Jason Heyward bought all his Braves teammates PS4s

Well, I guess we can go ahead and kill the "Jason Hayward is lazy and greedy and doesn't care about his teammates" meme, if this tweet from Braves pitcher Alex Wood is any indication. Come back in from practice and @JasonHeyward had a little gift in everyone's locker! What a guy! #ps4 #gamer pic.twitter.com/px45wnWavC — Alex Wood (@Awood45) March 14, 2014 The note says...
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March 14, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Season Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have been the class of the National League for the past few seasons, making three straight NLCS appearances and advancing to the World Series twice. Not only have they had more big league success than just about anyone, but they also boast some of the best prospects in the game that are now knocking on the door. The rich get richer, and the rest of the National League...
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March 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Cardinals Day

Today, we'll be wrapping up NL Central preview week with a look at the reigning, defending National League champion St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis had a dogfight on their hands a year ago, but managed to prevail in the NL Central and eventually the entire National League, knocking off the scrappy Pirates and well-paid Dodgers en route to yet another pennant. Yesterday was Pirates...
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March 14, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Pittsburgh Pirates

With some of these "four horsemen" lists, maybe we've tried to be a bit tricky and clever. A team's four best players aren't necessarily the same as the four who could have the biggest influence on whether or not the season is successful. But that's really not the case with the Pirates. The Bucs need their best players to meet — if not exceed — expectations to compete in the...
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March 13, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates go into the 2014 season with major questions at the right field and first base positions. The fifth starter is also a concern, but Pittsburgh should have enough arms to cover that. Though the Pirates return largely the same club that won an NL wild-card bid last season, the team carries a few other questions that need to be answered. These issues will have to be addressed...
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March 13, 2014  |  Discuss

The two biggest weaknesses of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Starting pitching was not a problem for the Pirates last season, a big reason why they returned to the postseason for the first time in 21 years. Pittsburgh starters finished with a 3.50 ERA in 2013, the fourth-best mark in the NL, while an opponents' .667 OPS led the league. The rotation had depth, getting 19 starts or more from five pitchers, with two of them making 30 starts....
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March 13, 2014  |  Discuss

Ryne Sandberg is already being passive aggressive with Jimmy Rollins

There is already a rift growing in the Phillies clubhouse between new manager Ryne Sandberg and long-time shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Sandberg benched Rollins on Tuesday, benched him on Wednesday, and will bench him once again on Thursday. - all while not talking to him and firing not so subtle shots at him through the media. Yeah, this situation already looks like it's going off the...
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March 13, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Season Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

After second-half collapses led to fourth-place finishes in 2012 and 2013, the Pirates finally compiled a winning record and returned to the postseason for the first time since 1992. It was a long time coming. Pittsburgh deeply enjoyed the Bucs following through on early-season promise, overtaking the Reds for the NL's first wild-card spot and beating Cincinnati in the wild-card...
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March 13, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Pirates Day

There were a lot of cool things that happened during the 2013 MLB season. But perhaps the coolest was meaningful baseball happening in Pittsburgh for the first time in 20 years. The Pirates made the Postseason and took the eventual NL champion Cardinals to five games in the NLDS before bowing out. It was a great run for a team that no one expected to do much of anything last season...
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March 13, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Cincinnati Reds

The Reds are going to try once again to make the leap from playoff also-ran to actual World Series threat. To make that happen though they are going to need big contributions from a core of players. Joey Votto Joey Votto is just about as reliably great as one can be. He is going to hit over .300. His OBP is going to be top five in the league. He's going to at least be in...
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March 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Cincinnati Reds

When you go all-in for a playoff run, end up losing in the Wild Card game, then fire your longtime manager and let your two big free agents walk away and sign virtually no one. You better bet that you are going to have a lot of question answer, especially if you expect people to still treat you as a contender. Will replacing Dusty Baker actually make a difference? So much...
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March 12, 2014  |  Discuss

The two biggest weaknesses of the Cincinnati Reds

The Reds rid themselves of Dusty Baker this offseason, which should be a step forward for the team and their offense as Baker created a lot of self-inflicted wounds with his outdated strategies. But just because Baker is no longer around doesn't mean that the problem is solved. One of the ongoing issues with Baker was a complete misunderstanding of the value of OBP. This often...
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March 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Braves sign Ervin Santana for one year as rotation stopgap

The Atlanta Braves have made a necessary signing to improve the depth of their starting rotation, inking former Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Ervin Santana to a one-year, $14.1 million contract. The signing of the 31-year old Santana appeared to be necessary after both Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy left Spring Training starts early this week, with Medlen likely needing a second...
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March 12, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Season Preview: Cincinnati Reds

Having made the playoffs three of the last four seasons, you would think that the Reds are a team heading in the right direction. Instead, they have the appearance of a team that's not quite sure what to in order to keep their contending window open. They add virtually no one to their roster and loss a star in Shin-Soo Choo, yet they think they can improve from within to make another...
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March 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Reds Day

It's now time to preview one of the NL Central's three playoff teams from 2013 - the Cincinnati Reds. But while the Reds did indeed make it to the 2013 Postseason, they bowed out after just one game, and that failure cost manager Dusty Baker his job. Can the Reds have a better year in 2014 without both Baker and Shin-Shoo Choo? We shall see. Yesterday was Brewers Day on TOC,...
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March 12, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Milwaukee Brewers

For better or worse, the Brewers are tied to Ryan Braun. They’d love to see him return to the levels he was at prior to his suspension, but even if he doesn’t, they at least have a young core of players that can help carry the team into an era where Braun is no longer the focal point. Add in a big splash in free agency, and there are plenty of Brewers to choose from here. ...
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March 11, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Milwaukee Brewers

There are a lot of questions you could ask about the Brewers, and a decent amount of them wouldn’t actually have anything to do with what will happen on the field. We’ll keep those to a minimum here, but there is one nagging question that will hang over the team’s head, at least for the first couple months of the 2014 season. How will the fanbase react to Ryan Braun?...
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March 11, 2014  |  Discuss

The two biggest weaknesses of the Milwaukee Brewers

For as long as the Brewers have been one of the better offenses in the National League, they’ve also been one of the league’s worst defensive teams. A lot of that is their desire to get bats that produce into the lineup, without thinking much about the effects on the team’s defense. For all the talk this spring about wanting to improve the team’s defense -- especially at...
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March 11, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Season Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

By any measure, the 2013 season was a disaster for the Milwaukee Brewers. A 6-22 month of May sent the Brewers crashing down to the bottom of the NL Central standings, and they were never able to fully dig themselves out. Of course, there was also the matter of Ryan Braun’s involvement in the Biogenesis case -- rumors of a looming suspension plagued Braun for much of the first...
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March 11, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Brewers Day

Next up in our preview series, the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee was an incredible disappointment in 2013, and their season was marred by Ryan Braun's season-ending 65 game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis nightmare. With Braun back in the fold healthy for 2014, can the Brewers once again make it to the playoffs? Yesterday was Cubs Day on TOC, and here's your recap. ...
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March 11, 2014  |  Discuss

The Four Horsemen of the Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs aren't a team that is exactly loaded with impact pieces. The pieces that remain from the major overhaul the last two years are the ones that the Cubs would like to keep on the roster into the future, while attempting to leave some room for the young kids coming up through the minor league ranks. While there isn't exactly a plethora of impact talent on this team to...
Via The Outside Corner
March 10, 2014  |  Discuss
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