Thursday, July 28, 2011

Power Outage

There might be something to say after all about the lack of power displayed by players after the All-Star Game, and more notably, the Home Run Derby.

Bobby Abreu and Alex Rios have both acknowledge in the past that they changed their swings a bit, and their power numbers declined after the derby.

Here are the POST All-Star Game stats, as of July 28th, from the players who took part in the Home Run Derby.

Adrian Gonzalez: 18-for-54, .333 AVG, 0 HR, 10 RBI (17 HR before break)

Jose Bautista: 7-for-27, .259 AVG, 0 HR, 6 RBI (31 HR before break)

Robinson Cano: 15-for-59, .254 AVG, 1 HR, 6 RBI (15 HR before break)

David Oritz: 12-for-38, .316 AVG, 1 HR, 13 RBI (19 HR before break)

Prince Fielder: 10-for-45, 222 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI (22 HR before break)

Matt Kemp: 14-for-46, 304 AVG, 2 HR, 8 RBI (22 HR before break)

Rickie Weeks: 10-for-46, 217 AVG, 2 HR, 4 RBI (17 HR before break)

Matt Holliday: 9-for-36, .250 AVG, 0 HR, 2 RBI (14 HR before break)

So 7 home runs combined hit after the break, from the 8 contestants at the 2011 derby.  To put this into perspective, the Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury has 6 home runs alone after the break.

Adam Jones, Albert Pujols, Mike Stanton and Justin Upton (who was not selected to participate in the derby), all have 5 after the break.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

9 Days before the deadline

After the Rays B.J. Upton was pulled from the game in the eighth inning against the Royals, everyone had him being dealt to the Pirates, Reds, Nationals, Brewers, and the list goes on.

Turns out, he was just lifted due to the score (10-4 Royals), and with prospect Desmond Jennings pulled at the same time at Triple-A Durham, the idea that a trade was going to happen was definitely not a bad assumption...but after the game, the Rays announced the Jennings had been recalled, and Reid Brignac was sent out, so the Upton rumours can last another day.

Turns out that the Mets' Carlos Beltran can't approve any deal until 24 hours after, so he can't be dealt on the 31st, it would have to be Saturday the 30th.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

10 Days before the deadline

Still  no Beltran deal, but we did see a little movement on the trade front yesterday.

The Detroit Tigers acquired Wilson Betemit from the Royals for two players and designated Brandon Inge for assignment to make room.  Betemit hit .281 in 57 games for the Royals this season.  Betemit will likely play at third and in the minds of the Tigers, was an upgrade over Inge, who has struggled this season to say the least.  Inge, who hit 27 homers in 2009, was hitting only .177 with one home run in 2011.

The Braves have been linked to the Reds' Jonny Gomes, but after Dan Uggla was hurt last night, would they consider a bigger bat, say Hunter Pence?

The Blue Jays have reportedly talked to the Padres about closer Heath Bell.  Bell, a free agent at seasons end, would be a great short term project, helping the Jays bullpen mess with closing out games, and potentially give them a head start in signing the right-hander long-term.  If Bell was acquired and walked after the season, the Jays could offer him arbitration and receive a draft pick as compensation.

The Indians will make a move soon, but it likely won't be big.  Coco Crisp may be the only help they can get.

The D'Backs are now shopping for a shortstop after Stephen Drew fractured his ankle in last night's game. The Brewers also lost Carlos Gomez in the same game to a broken clavicle.  Arizona, 4.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West, might have to acquire a player to replace Drew and may have to consider the Dodgers' Rafael Furcal.

Today, we wouldn't be surprised to see the Braves and Reds make a move.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

11 Days before the deadline

Rumours are swirling now around the world of major league baseball, and none bigger than the big fish, Carlos Beltran, who has been linked to the Red Sox and Phillies the past few days. Andre Ethier and Carlos Beltran have both indicated their desire to go to Boston, but will the Red Sox actually pursue them.  The guess here is that Beltran will be in a Red Sox uniform by weeks end.

The most interesting rumour from today has been the Rays and Reds talk for pitcher James Shields.  Shields is having an exceptional season going 8-8, 2.60 ERA and 145 strikeouts.  After his 2010 season going 13-15 with a 5.18 ERA, maybe the Rays can steal prospect Yonder Alonso from the Reds for a pitcher having a turn around season.  Shields has pitched four straight years of 200 innings plus, maybe the Rays know something about that arm that other teams don't. 

Yonder Alonso is stuck behind Joey Votto in Cincinnati, and Casey Kotchman, despite the high average, is not the future for the Rays at first.  Alonso has hit .294 in four minor league season in the Reds organization, and has been a top prospect for the past two seasons.

Other Reds prospects:

The Pirates are expected to make a deal soon, and Josh Willingham's name has been part of the conversation for a week now.

The Blue Jays will receive offers for some of their relievers for sure, and with Luis Perez just sent to the minors, theres no doubt that trading Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel or Frank Francisco, although a long-shot, would be a plus for the Jays' bullpen.  This is due to their status next season as Type "B" free agents, so keeping them and offering arbitration would be to risky, as the players would probably accept the offer, thus, the Jays would not receive any draft picks out of them signing elsewhere.

Things are starting to really heat up with the Hot Stove, as the weather does around North America!

Halladay leaves start against the Cubs due to the Heat.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

12 Days before the deadline

Well here we are, just like the twelve days of Christmas, EBH has the 12 days before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.

With Carlos Beltran and Ubaldo Jimenez stealing the spotlight so far, as the biggest names mentioned in rumours, we will look at deals that have been completed to date, as well as deals we think could help clubs going forward.

The Milwaukee Brewers got the ball rolling after the All-Star Game trading for Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez for cash and players to be named later.  The Brewers, days later, restructured his contract to avoid any issues with his appearance deal that would see him have his $17.5M option kick in for next year.  Rodriguez also changed his agency, going with Scott Boras, a sure sign that he is still looking to close and with it, get another sweet deal to close somewhere.

Trade Links:

The Reds, desperate for pitching, but should be dealing with their offence, may be looking to acquire the Rays' James Shields.

The Red Sox, rumoured to have interest in Carlos Beltran, may have to look to pitching if Clay Buchholz does not make it back this year from his back injury.

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has asked Hiroki Kuroda to waive his no-trade clause.

Would the White Sop consider a trade to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez?

Could and would the Cubs move Alfonso Soriano and his $63M remaining on his contract?

Other news:

Since they were the finalists for the home run derby at the All-Star Game, the Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano have looked different at the plate, more tired to be honest.

Bobby Abreu and Alex Rios went through this second-half slump after success at the derby, and even though we are only a week past the game, the two players look like their swings have changed a bit.

Gonzalez Post-All-Star: 2-24, .083 AVG, 1 RBI

In his career is a .295 Post-All-Star Game hitter.

Cano Post-break: 7-26, .269 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI

In his career is a .323 Post-All-Star Game hitter.

Encarnacion's defence and trade talk

With some of the best plays on display this weekend, it's hard to believe Edwin Encarnacion was part of it, and at third no less.

Trade talk:

ExtraBaseHit will have the countdown to the trade deadline starting on the 20th of July.  The theme of the 12 days before the deadline will have all the latest rumours, as well as deals we think should be made by clubs before the July 31st deadline.

Teams and players that have the best match: at least we think!

Carlos Pena back to the Rays

Carlos Beltran to the Pirates (they might as well go for it this year, this may never happen again in the Central Division!)

Jose Reyes and the Red Sox

Reliever Mike Adams and the Yankees

Jon Rauch and the Rangers

Wilson Betemit and and Yankees

Jeremy Guthrie and the Reds

Rajai Davis and the Nationals

Kevin Slowey and the Red Sox

John McDonald and the Indians

Derrek Lee and the Rays

The Hot Stove is in full swing!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jerry Remy can't hold back the laughter

Red Sox baseball commentators Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy can't seem to keep it together after this happened in the stands.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mid-season report

More than half the season has come and gone in Major League Baseball, and a number of teams and individual players have either surprised or disappointed fans with their play to date.

Here are some of the more notable storylines from the first half.

Jose Bautista or @JoeyBats on twitter, has continued to deposit baseballs over fences around the league.  He heads into the break leading the majors with 31 long balls, and his .334 average and 65 RBI make him a serious contender for the AL MVP and potentially an American League triple crown.  He trails the Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez in average by 20 points and RBI by 12, but he will definitely lead the league in homers and can catch Gonzalez in the other categories with a repeat of his first half (just needing a few more players on base when he comes up!)

ExtraBaseHit predicted another great season out of Bautista, in fact saying that he would be close to 50 home runs again this season, on Broadly Speaking, Score Radio Sirius Channel 158,  back on April 2nd.

A home run derby crown is not out of the question either.  The Red Sox David Ortiz and Brewers Prince Fielder look to be his only real competition.  With his swing right now being so perfect, and in batting practice as well we hear, this should be an easy win for Bautista, who just might not record 10 outs in the competition the entire night!

Other surprises: including Adam Dunn holding up two thumbs for his 2 hits he has so far off left-handed pitching. (2-64, .031 AVG)

The Cleveland Indians: Started the year 19-8 and lead the AL Central for most of the first half.  Josh Tomlin has led the young staff and their bullpen is one of the best in baseball.

The Minnesota Twins: a surprise not for the good, but for the bad.  Injuries to Morneau, Mauer, Span and Kubel this season created a mess for the offence and bad pitching in April and May basically have them thinking about 2012.

The Seattle Mariners: have played better than anyone had expected, and any team with Felix Hernandez and young Michael Pineda on the mound have a legit chance to win each night.

The Yankees' Curtis Granderson: started the season going toe-to-toe with Jose Bautista, smashing home runs at a pace that would see him end the year with 50 bombs, and is only 5 homers off his career high of 30 from the 2009 season with the Tigers.

The New York Mets: one game above .500, for a team without Ike Davis, David Wright, Johan Santana, and trouble with ownership calling out Jose Reyes and Wright, a surprise for sure.


Hanley Ramirez and Florida Marlins:  on May 24 the Marlins were 27-19, one game out of first in the NL East, but a terrible June going 5-23, that saw manager Edwin Rodriguez resign, and Jack McKeon (who is 80-years old) return basically hurt their chances for the post-season.  They ended the first half  43-48, 14 games back of first and Hanley Ramirez is still only hitting .242 with 8 homers.

Colorado Rockies: started April on fire, but Tulowitzki has not been consistent and Carlos Gonzalez is off from is his numbers of last season.

Pre All-Star: Gonzlaez in 2010: .314, 17 HR, 60 RBI
Pre All-Star: Gonzalez in 2011: .292, 13 HR, 51 RBI

The LA Dodgers: Andre Either wants out, as would any player on the team with the problem surrounding the ownership of the team.  Fans have stopped coming to the ballpark for the first time in ages.

Congrats again to the Yankees' Derek Jeter on his 3,000th hit in "Grand style"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Numbers Game - Thursday

It's nice to finally have the chance to break down the numbers again from around the league, as inter-league play is over until next season.

The Cubs' Aramis Ramirez has had luck against Nationals' starter Livan Hernandez in his career going:    (12-33)  .364 AVG with 4 home runs and 9 RBI.

Yankees starter Bartolo Colon is 7-2, 3.90 ERA all-time vs the Rays and no current Rays players has ever taken him deep.

The Reds Homer Bailey is 0-2, 5.36 ERA in his career against the Brewers, while Brewers starter Chris Narveson is 0-3, 7.06 ERA all-time against the Reds.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has 3 career home runs off the Twins' Carl Pavano and is the PICK TO CLICK tonight if you have a home run streak pool going!

Angels starter Jered Weaver is 11-4, 3.44 ERA all-time against the Mariners.  The 11 wins are the most against any team in the league.

Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is hitting .261 in his career against Jered Weaver of the Angels.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is 3-0, 1.85 ERA all-time vs. the Mets.