Best of the NRIs, Part Two

Continuing a swing around the the majors to look at the best and brightest of the spring training invitees with a look at the National League. Atlanta Braves His story might be quite familiar to fans by now, but it is still hard not to want Evan Gattis to make it as a major leaguer despite a handful of fans now beginning to overrate his abilities somewhat. With Brian McCann due to...
February 20, 2013  |  Discuss

Another tough break for Gamel

Last May, just a handful of games into the 2012 season, Brewers infielder Mat Gamel tore the ACL in his right knee, an injury that would put him out of action for the rest of the year. Now, less than a week into spring training, Gamel has once again torn those same ligaments and will miss the entire 2013 season. It’s a desperately tough break for Gamel who, at 27, is still looking...
February 18, 2013  |  Discuss

Montero’s assessment not necessarily a reflection on Bauer

Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero was upfront about his thoughts on his former teammate Trevor Bauer when asked about his relationship with the pitcher yesterday. Montero claims that the rookie pitcher “never wanted to listen” and would stick to his own preparation methods to the detriment of his own performance. It was well known before Bauer was even drafted that he had...
February 12, 2013  |  Discuss

Best of the NRIs, Part One

Welcome to the first of a two part, annual series looking at the best non-roster invitees in big league camps this spring. Some our prospects, some veterans being given another chance, but all are worth keeping an eye on for one reason or another. First up, the American League. Baltimore Orioles Having not pitched in the Majors since an eight game stint in 2011, Mark Hendrickson is...
February 06, 2013  |  Discuss

Report Casts New PED Suspicion

The news that MLB was trying to look into the Miami-based clinic of one Anthony Bosch hadn’t attracted much attention up until now, however the leaking of a report from one of the clinics former employees to a local newspaper will soon be changing all that. The Miami New Times appears to be in the possession of extensive records from the Biogenesis clinic linking a number of sportsman...
January 29, 2013  |  Discuss

Welcoming The New Balk Rule

The New York Times is reporting that, as of this summer, the ‘fake pickoff to third, throw to first’ move will now be considered a balk. It might only be a small and relatively insignificant change, but it seems like it can only be a positive rule change. The NYT report suggests that this is just part of MLB’s ongoing effort to speed the game up, a campaign most fans will likely...
January 26, 2013  |  Discuss

Appreciating Reggie

During last year’s Hall of Fame discussions, I wrote about how, despite much bigger and better names on the ballot, Bill Mueller was my own personal favourite player on the list. In a similar vein, this year’s historically stacked ballot means a number of excellent players are going to little to no attention in the voting. Reggie Sanders is one such player, who, in all likelihood ...
January 09, 2013  |  Discuss

The Next Kyle Lohse

Now most of the big name free agents have been snapped up, the common denominator among most of those left on the market is the draft pick compensation hanging around their neck. The likes of Kyle Lohse, Rafael Soriano and Michael Bourn remained unsigned and all are clearly candidates to improve a significant number of teams. It’s understandable that teams would be reticent to...
January 08, 2013  |  Discuss

Morales Trade Creates Small Window For Montero

The Mariners and Angels completed a slightly surprising but ultimately sensible trade last night, swapping left handed starter Javier Vargas for 1B / DH Kendrys Morales. Vargas gives the Angels a reasonable innings eater to fill out the rotation, one who will benefit from Angels Stadium’s run suppression and the team’s strong outfield defense, for a hitter whose opportunities were...
December 20, 2012  |  Discuss

Dodgers Already Shopping Ethier?

The New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand just tweeted that the Dodgers might be looking to move Andre Ethier, with a possible view to getting involved in the Nick Swisher sweepstakes. That’s the same Andre Ethier they signed to a five-year $85 million extension in June. The obvious caveat here is that this could well be part of the general winter chicanery that teams go through...
December 18, 2012  |  Discuss

Bourn’s Landing Spot

It seems like most winters there is a free agent who finds the market doesn’t shift in their favour the way they hoped it would, leaving them scrambling for suitors as the off season rolls on. It looks pretty clear at this point that, if anyone is left without a chair when the music stops, it is most likely to be Michael Bourn. The centre field market has been developed rapidly...
December 13, 2012  |  Discuss

Twins Rebuild Leaves Mauer…Somewhere

After trading their centre fielder and leadoff man Dernard Span to the Nationals for Alex Meyer, in a trade that the number of supporters for both sides ‘winning the deal’ would indicate it was actually a pretty even swap, the Twins traded another outfielder today as they shipped Ben Revere to the Phillies for Vance Worley and Trevor May. Unlike the Span trade, it seems pretty...
December 06, 2012  |  Discuss

Red Sox Don’t Need A Splash To Improve

In this morning’s Notes column, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo suggests that the Red Sox need to ‘make a splash’ to improve but the on-field team and the organisation’s PR record after the disappointment of 2012. Cafardo suggests targeting Josh Hamilton as a free agent or trading for Joe Mauer to address the team’s lack of star power in the every day lineup. Quite...
November 25, 2012  |  Discuss

Blue Jays Lineup Nothing If Not Interesting

ESPN Deportes is reporting that Melky Cabrera is now off the free agent market, having signed a two-year $16m deal to play for the Toronto Blue Jays. Add Cabrera to the players that came over from Miami in this week’s Frankentrade and the Blue Jays have put together a lineup which may not necessarily be the best around, but is likely to at least be the most interesting. SS ...
November 16, 2012  |  Discuss

The Grabbies 2012 (AL)

Picking up from the weekend’s NL glovemen, here are the panel’s (my) choices in the AL: Catcher – Matt Wieters A repeat win for the Baltimore backstop who also took home the award in 2011. Although he’s not in Wieters class defensively, it’s worth noting that Russell Martin has made improvements behind the plate in the last year or two. First Base – Adrian Gonzalez These...
November 05, 2012  |  Discuss

The Grabbies 2012 (NL)

Whether something can be called a tradition after just two years is debatable, but after last year I’m once again going to be handing out The Grabbies to best defensive player at each position in either league. Obviously these are completely subjective picks and while I’ll look at some defensive metrics I’d rather trust reports from people who are watching the games and what...
November 03, 2012  |  Discuss

Good For You, Barry

Now the dust has settled a bit on the Giants World Series title, there’s been a chance to appreciate the turnaround of their higher paid player. When they signed Barry Zito to a 7 year, $126 million contract prior to the 2007 season I’m sure they envisaged him starting the first game of the World Series for a championship winning side and, one way or another, they now got to...
October 30, 2012  |  Discuss

The Significance of Otani’s Leap

ESPN has a story up today that might well get lost in the shuffle of the playoffs, John Farrell and the three-way trade, but could end up having some fairly significant ramifications. Shohei Otani is an 18 year old pitcher currently playing for his Japanese high school team and it seems he’s regarded highly enough to be seen as a first round pick in their amateur draft which takes...
October 21, 2012  |  Discuss

Yankees Briefly Awful Rather Than Badly Constructed.

The Detroit Tigers sealing their trip to the World Series with an 8-1 win and a series sweep over the New York Yankees felt about as academic an outcome as anyone could remember. The Yankees had pitched respectably enough but their completely failure offensively meant they at least looked sunk long before Phil Coke secured the final out last night. Throughout the series the Yankees...
October 19, 2012  |  Discuss

Hat Tips to Girardi, Rodriguez

Chances are you were watching the game last night so a full recap of Raul Ibanez’s heroics are probably unnecessary. Suffice to say the man who was, for most of last winter, an unwanted commodity came up big for the Yankees after his manager sent him up to hit for the highest paid player in the game and one of baseball’s all-time greats. The usual suspects, those commentators...
October 11, 2012  |  Discuss

Nishioka’s Departing Act of Generosity

The Twins released infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka last night, two years after signing him from the Nippon Professional Baseball league, after continued lack of production at both the plate in the field. What makes this slightly more interesting than a standard ‘poor performance leads to release’ type story is that Nishioka has waived the $3m salary with a $250,000 buyout his contract...
September 29, 2012  |  Discuss

A More Interesting Triple Crown

It’s hard to log on to Twitter at the moment without stumbling upon the latest iteration of the Mike Trout v Miguel Cabrera. The debate  generally comes down to Team Trout throwing WAR numbers around while Team Cabrera responds with Triple Crown numbers. For a debate that centres around two different sets of numbers, it seems strange that it’s devolved into a statheads v tradition...
September 26, 2012  |  Discuss

Unnoticed Excellence in the Desert

While everyone from national writers down to the humble blogger squabble over what it means to be an MVP and how best to interpret the voting criteria, it seems some players who get in to the final conversation for award winners are getting a little overlooked. Perhaps no-one suffers as a result of this more than Aaron Hill. The Diamondbacks second baseman .301/.361/.518 to go...
September 24, 2012  |  Discuss

Coming Around To The Second Wild Card

When the second Wild Card was added I was pretty much wholly against it. I didn’t think it would do much more than muddy the waters and stack the deck against teams that had better years in favour of those weaker teams who snuck in off the back of a good week or two in September. My long-term view on the format hasn’t really changed, but this year at least the National League...
September 13, 2012  |  Discuss

September Call Ups (AL)

Moving on to some of the more interesting names who are in line for a September call up in the AL after looking at the NL last time around. For no particular reason it’s a trio of outfielders looking to make their mark in the big leagues this autumn.   Wil Myers – Kansas City Royals After some tough periods at Double-A last summer that resulted in a disappointing final line...
August 30, 2012  |  Discuss
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