Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Manny will arrive in Cleveland Tuesday

How fitting that the new addition for the White Sox, Manny Ramirez, will play his first game at Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field) vs the Indians, his former team.

By the numbers:

In his career at the newly named Progressive Field, Ramirez has 132 home runs in 493 games played.  He only has more home runs at Fenway Park, 142 home run in 593 games.

Against the Indians, Manny has a .352 average with 16 home runs and 46 RBI in 51 career games.

In September, Manny has hit .315 with 88 home runs and 286 RBI in 356 games.

His best month in his career is July when he has hit 109 home runs and 333 RBI in 396 career games.

Career home runs vs opponents:
NYY: 55
TOR: 54
TB: 41
OAK: 39
SEA: 39
KC: 37
BAL: 36
MIN: 29
DET: 26
CWS: 25 (just to let you know)

Manny should get plenty of at-bats this month and will hit after Alex Rios and before Paul Konerko according to reports.

We expect a .325 AVG with 10 home runs and 30 RBI this month.  Pick him up if available in your leagues. Quick!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The latest on Clemens and Brandon Inge

Oh Roger, oh Roger, can you, or will you, ever stop talking.  Even after a perjury charge, the 7-time Cy-Young Award winner continued to stir the pot, this time on twitter, stating he is still innocent.

The Braves will have their new addition on the lineup today, as Derrek Lee, not really to interested in travelling to far, as the Cubs will be the first team he faces as a Braves player at home, where the Cubs were anyways!

The Braves lineup with Lee looks like this:

1. 2B Infante
2. RF Heyward
3. 3B Prado
4. 1B Lee
5. C McCann
6. SS Gonzalez
7. LF Cabrera
8, CF Ankiel
9. P Jurrjens

Very rarely does a player face his old team in the first game for the new team, but Mike Fontenot did the same while being acquired from the Giants.On Aug 12, Fontenot faced the Cubs as a Giant and went 0-1 with a strikeout in a pinch-hitting role.

*Update* Derrek Lee, in his first at-bat, flew out to left on the first pitch, with the Cubs faithful giving him a standing ovation.

The Marlins OF Cody Ross has been claimed by an unknown team, Giants may be the team, although they already have Jose Guillen now.

The Rockies surprising move to designate Brad Hawpe is still a mystery.  It looked as if Hawpe forgot how to hit, but is still attracting interest from the White Sox and Giants according to reports.  Extrabasehit sees a fit in Tampa Bay, as Dan Johnson and his .150 AVG just isn't working out.

The Tigers are expected to put Jhonny Damon and Brandon Inge on waivers, but with the Cardinals picking up Pedro Feliz from the Astros, Inge may stay with the Tigers after all.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Will Joe Mauer ever hit a home run at Target Field?

The Twins are on fire! Jim Thome hits a walk-off home run Tuesday night to win the game against the White Sox.  They go up by 4 games over Chicago in the Central division and all this with no Justin Morneau, who is recovering from a concussion suffered in Toronto, almost a month ago. 

All good right? Right, but their is one stand-out stat that many might not know.  Joe Mauer misses the MetroDome...Big Time!

This season, Mauer, at new Target Field is hitting .324, which is excellent, but he has 0, yes, no home runs.  All 7 of his home runs have been hit on the road...One in each of Angel Stadium, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Kauffman Stadium, Rogers Centre, U.S Cellular Field and Yankee Stadium.  To make matters worse, Justin Morneau has hit only 4 of his 18 home runs at home as well.

New Target Field was supposed to be good to the players, and their record of 37-20 has been great, but the home runs are just not there.  The Twins have 31 home runs in 56 home games total.  To put that into perspective, the Blue Jays have 103 home runs in 55 home games.  To make the Twins feel better though, the Royals have only 31 home runs in 56 games and the Mariners have only 29 in 61 home games.

Last season, Mauer hit 16 of his 28 home runs at home.  Lets hope the ball starts to travel a little better in September, but it probably won't, as people in Minnesota said the ball would travel better to left when it was warmer out.  Didn't happen yet!

Here is Joe Mauer speaking to thescore.com, but not about the HR's, he would have probably snapped if that was the line of questioning!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What should the Braves do with Chipper out and do the Jays or Tigers still have a shot at the playoffs?

The Braves offence woke up yesterday, defeating the Dodgers 13-1 with 16 hits and a Troy Glaus home run, but will the loss of third baseman Chipper Jones hurt in the long run?

The Braves lead the Phillies by 2 games as of Monday, but the Phillies are getting healthy (Ryan Howard will be back soon) and have already closed the gap from the all-star break on Atlanta.  Should the Braves be worried?  Some think so, which is why the Tigers Brandon Inge has been linked to the team, as has the Rockies Clint Barmes, Cubs Aramis Ramirez, Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion or the Mariners Chone Figgins, but what player actually would make a difference?  Answer, Kelly Johnson of the D'Backs.  Bringing the former Brave back in the mix might help the offence as Johnson has 18 home runs and 53 RBI for a team that has been struggling to score runs.  He played left field for the Braves in 2005 before moving to his natural position of second base from 2007-09, so he is open for change, but if he could play third, that would replace Jones in the batting lineup and in the field.

If Johnson stays at second base, no problem, Martin Prado would become the third baseman with Omar Infante also able to play third, the plan works. 

Third year player, Brooks Conrad, playing third currently, has hit .241 with 7 home runs and 25 RBI this season.  He has had a few big hits for the club, but this projected lineup might be the answer: (when Prado returns that is)

Martin Prado: 3B
Jason Heyward: RF
Kelly Johnson: 2B
Brian McCann: C
Troy Glaus: 1B
Alex Gonzalez: SS
Rick Ankiel: CF
Matt Diaz: LF

If 95 wins is the total an American team must have to win the wild card, these teams would have to have these records to have a chance:  Is it too late?

Keep in mind: the Yankees and Rays would have to also win the total number of games listed for the 95 wins to be the number set to win the wild-card.

Yankees: 23-22
Rays: 24-21
Red Sox: 28-15
Blue Jays: 33-12
White Sox: 30-14 (Twins lead Central by 3 games)
Tigers: 38-7
Angels: 35-8 (Rangers lead West by 8.5 games)
Athletics: 38-8

and this is why it's hard to give all these teams a shot at playoff contention, it's just to difficult a task to catch the Yankees or Rays this season, even the Red Sox, with an impressive record with all their injuries, will have a tough time.

The only thing that changes all this, would be a total collapse by both the Yankees and Rays, in which they both go on to lose 30+ games from here on in, but it's highly unlikely!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why are players going on waivers?

*Breaking News*

Blue Jays sign P Ricky Romero to a 5-year / $30.1M contract extension.  His arbitration years are basically bought out as he becomes the youngest pitcher to earn that kind of money with less then 2-years service time.  Romero will be the ace of this staff for years to come.

Now to waiver process:

With the non-waver trade deadline of July 31 in the books, trade talk is still in the air, but why do players continue to be on the move?

Before and up to the deadline, teams can deal players without putting them through the waiver process.  No teams can block other teams, for example, of getting a player they like.

After the deadline though, teams are allowed to put their players through a waiver process that basically allows other teams to claim a player they like.  The team putting the player on waivers may then pull the player back from the waiver wire, or, like the Blue Jays did last season with the White Sox, may negotiate with the team that made the claim on a deal.  The two teams have 2 days to make a deal work, or else the team that put the player on waivers can pull the player back once again.

It's very confusing, due to the fact that a team can put a player through waivers for a second time, after he had already been pulled back once, and any team then claiming that player must acquirie him.  The team putting the player on waivers again can no longer pull the player back.

All the talk recently of players that clear waivers is what really is confusing to some, and most notably, makes news headlines around North America, but it shouldn't.  Almost all MLB players, according to agents and general managers, are put on waivers all the time, almost to see what the interest is around the league.  It almost acts as a way to see what teams have interest in the players, helping deals happen for the future.  Recently, players like the Blue Jays Lyle Overbay or Mets Carlos Beltran cleared waivers.  This basically means that no team claimed these players, meaning during this first waiver period, there was no interest, but if a team does wish to put a claim on them the second time around, a trade will be made by the team with a worse record (Tigers could block the Yankees from making a move for Beltran for example)

It's weird to me that players that clear waivers makes news.  It really doesn't mean anything unless a player is claimed by an unknown team, and the other team is willing to do a deal.

With Mike Fontenot and Jim Edmonds being players involved in deals after the deadline, it tells you that teams are pulling the good players back, for now anyways.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In case you missed it

Since the deadline, a few teams have made player claims, and a few teams have actually made a trade for that claim.  Very quietly, the Reds, who didn't make a move near or at the deadline, upgraded in center field, trading for Jim Edmonds from the Brewers.

The Baltimore Sun talks about the impressive 7-1 record since the team made a managerial change.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer talks Phillies and what happens to Domonic Brown when Victorino returns? 

The Rays have injuries in their rotation, and manager Joe Maddon is left with some questions.

The Giants Tim Lincecum gives up 4 in the first for the first time in his career.

The Yankees Jorge Posada always seems to have a new injury; now the shoulder?

Is Torii Hunter really happy about the move to right field?  The LA Times talked to him about the topic.

The Braves Chipper Jones was hurt last night; whats the latest?

The Tigers are in a major slump, and so is their super-star Miguel Cabrera.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is Blue Jays infielder John McDonald perfect?

The score.com caught up with the Blue Jays John McDonald, and asked him and his teammates a few questions about John being so perfect.

And what about the A's Adam Rosales?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Triple Crown this year? Maybe

Is this the year that the triple crown is finally won?  It hasn't been done since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 and is so rare, that even players like Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez really haven't been close.  The triple crown is won when a player from one league leads in the categories of average, home runs and RBI.

The Triple Crown winners in the past include:

American League:

Carl Yastrzemski: 1967 Boston Red Sox: 44 HR, 121 RBI, .326 AVG
Frank Robinson: 1966 Baltimre Orioles: 49 HR, 122 RBI, .316 AVG
Mickey Mantle: 1956 NY Yankees: 52 HR, 130 RBI, .353 AVG
Ted Williams: 1947 Boston Red Sox: 32 HR, 114 RBI, .343 AVG
Ted Williams: 1942 Boston Red Sox: 36 HR, 137 RBI. .356 AVG
Lou Gehrig: 1934 NY Yankees: 49 HR, 165 RBI, .363 AVG
Jimmie Foxx: 1933 Philadelphia Athletics: 48 HR, 163 RBI, .356 AVG
Jimmie Foxx: 1932 Philadelphia Athletics: 58 HR, 169 RBI, .364 AVG
Ty Cobb: 1909 Detroit Tigers: 9 HR, 107 RBI, .377 AVG
Nap Lajoie: 1901 Philadelphia Athletics: 14 HR, 125 RBI, .426 AVG

2010 Contenders:

Miguel Cabrera: Tigers:
AVG: .346 (2nd)
HR: 26 (3rd)
RBI: 93 (1st)

Josh Hamilton: Rangers:
AVG: .358 (1st)
HR: 23 (5th)
RBI: 75 (7th)

Outside Shot:

Vladimir Guerrero: Rangers:
AVG: .304 (15th)
HR: 21 (10th)
RBI: 85 (2nd)

HR leader Jose Bautista, 33 after play Tuesday night, will probably win the HR crown, thus, not have any triple crown winners in the AL.

National League:

Joe Medwick: 1937 St. Louis Cadinals: 31 HR, 154 RBI, .374 AVG
Chuck Klein: 1933 Philadelphia Phillies: 28 HR, 120 RBI, .368 AVG
Rogers Hornsby: 1925 St. Louis Cardinals: 39 HR, 143 RBI, .403 AVG
Rogers Hornsby: 1922 St. Louis Cardinals: 42 HR, 152 RBI, .401 AVG
Heinie Zimmerman: 1912 Chicago Cubs: 14 HR, 99 RBI, .372 AVG
Hugh Duffy: 1894 Boston Beaneaters: 18 HR, 145 RBI, .440 AVG
Paul Hines: 1878: 4 HR, 50 RBI, .358 AVG

2010 Contenders:

Joey Votto: Reds
AVG: 322 (1st)
HR: 27 (1st)
RBI: 72 (5th)

Albert Pujols: Cardinals
AVG: 302 (9th)
HR: 26 (2nd)
RBI: 75 (3rd)

Ryan Howard: Phillies
AVG: 292 (17th)
HR: 23 (7th)
RBI: 81 (1st)

Outside Shot:

Corey Hart: Brewers
AVG: .291 (21st)
HR: 23 (7th)
RBI: 73 (4th)

Carlos Gonzalez: Rockies
AVG: .317 (2nd)
HR: 21 (10th)
RBI: 69 (8th)

The Reds Joey Votto and the Rockies Carlos Gonzalez, already with a cycle this season, have a real shot this season.  Albert Pujols is always close, he just seems to lose in one category each year.  The injury to Ryan Howard may hurt his chances now.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Brewers make a move with Corey Hart & trade updates

The Brewers have finally made a move with outfielder Corey Hart, and for the first time in a while, he was not involved in trade rumours.  The Brewers, feeling as if they are getting closer to contention, have signed the career .275 hitter to a 3-year contract extension worth $26.5 million.

Involved in trade rumours much of the month of July, Hart, enjoying what will be his best season in the majors to date with his 23 home runs and 72 RBI, will be a part of the team going forward until 2013, but will Prince Fielder be there when this time comes.

Fielder, a free agent after next season, is having an interesting season in which his power is there, but the RBI's are not anywhere near his career average.  Fielder this season has 24 home runs and only 45 RBI.  The past three seasons, Fielder has had 119, 102 and 141 RBI.  His average with runners in scoring position is .168 and he has only one home run with runners on.  In the 2009 season, his 141 RBI season, Fielder hit .296 with runners on base and had 13 home runs.

Remember, this is a team where Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and Ryan Braun have all been on base, Fielder is just doing nothing but getting out or walking when they are on.

Quick Hit:

The Blue Jays once traded infielder John McDonald for himself!
Trade updates:

The Cardinals new pitcher, Jake Westbrook, starts tonight vs the Astros for only the 2nd time in his career.  Westbrook lost his only start (his inter-league start) to Houston lasting only 4.1 innings and allowing 4 earned runs and 5 hits.

The Yankees Lance Berkman started Saturday in Tampa and was 2nd in the lineup as the DH.  Sunday he was also batting 2nd and was at first, giving Mark Teixeira a break.

The Indians trade of Austin Kearns gave young Jordan Brown a chance to be called up to the majors.  Brown, a 2005, 4th round pick of the Indians, went 0-4, with 2 strikeouts in his debut.

The D'Backs, who traded what seemed like their entire roster, had a couple new players make their debuts Sunday.  Pitcher Daniel Hudson, involved in the Edwin Jackson deal, looked like he did most of the minor-league season for Chicago, striking out 4 in 8 innings for the win.  Bobby Crosby pinch hit for Kelly Johnson in the blow-out win, and went 0-1, with a RBI.

The Braves had outfielder Rick Ankiel in the starting lineup, but went 0-3, with a walk and strikeout, while batting 7th.

The Rays Chad Qualls looked great in his Tampa debut, getting Lance Berkman to ground into a double play in the 8th inning.

The Astros Brett Wallace, playing first in place of Lance Berkman, went 0-4, in his debut Saturday.  Wallace, a former Cardinal, Athletic and Blue Jay becomes the replacement for Berkman full time.  He recorded is first major league hit Sunday, a single off Randy Wolf.

The Marlins, Will Ohman pitched to one batter in the 6th, in what was a surprising move by Florida to get him in the first place.

The Padres, Miguel Tejada, batted 4th for the 2nd day in a row as the Padres shortstop, and went 0-3, with a run scored.  Tejada is now 1-10 in his 3 games in San Diego.  Ryan Ludwick pinch hit for Tony Gwynn Jr and went 1-2, with a run scored.

The Rangers Cristian Guzman is 0-7 as a Ranger in his 2 games since being dealt from the Nationals.