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Posted on: November 9, 2008 9:00 pm
 

MLB offseason ramblings

Mike Jacobs to the Royals for Leo Nunez:

Jacobs doesn't exactly fill a need for the Royals, (they already have OBP issues) but he gives them some pop and came cheaply. Plus he makes a relatively meager $3 million dollars next year, so in my book, it's a good trade by Dayton Moore and co.

Where will Manny land?

Gotta be LA. They appear to be bidding essentially against themselves, but, somehow, it still looks like they'll overpay. Crazy. I say 24 million per year over 4 years.

The Peavy chronicles:

We all know about the saga of Peavy, but I think Kevin Towers severely backed himself into a corner by picking up Brian Giles 9 million dollar option. And even beyond the way it slimmed down his options, it's not like Brian has been playing very well in recent years. A .456 SLG is not worth 9 million dollars. I see it as a symbolic move to appease fans, but the team is still going to suck next year and tying up payroll and reducing the haul for Jake Peavy will only slow the rebuilding process.

But that's about Giles. This is about Peavy: specificly, where he'll land and how much it'll take to get him. I see ATL bending a little further and adding Jeff Locke to the deal. Final deal:

Jake Peavy for Yunel Escobar, Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez, Jeff Locke.

And I'm completely fine with that.

CC Sabathia:

The common thought is that he'll land with the Yanks, and while I do think that'll happen, I recently read an interesting piece about how the Giants could make a serious run at him.

I say he lands with the Yankees for $155 million over 7 years.

Posted on: June 15, 2008 6:07 pm
 

Minor Leaguers: Hernandez, Redmond, and Hicks

 

SP,Todd Redmond: ERA 3.42, W-L 7-2, BAA .267, K's 70, BB 13

Looks good all around. Wasn't expecting the K's. His best pitch is the change up. He's doing well at a pretty high level (double A)

OF, Gorkys Hernandez: BA .303, OBP .363, SLG .493, HR 3, RBI 18, SB 6, CS 1

Gorkys is looking good at class A. He's certaintly got some wheels on him, and he's actually hitting for some pop. I like it.

SS, Brandon Hicks: BA .243, OBP .340, SLG .504, HR 12, RBI 35, SB 9, CS 2

Shortstop is not a position of need for the Braves, what with Escobar and Lillibridge well ahead of Hicks on the org. depth chart, but his power speed combo is impressive.

Well, I'm starting to run out of prospects. The next segments will be more along the lines of players like Tyler Flowers.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 14, 2008 5:38 pm
 

More From the Minors

 

Pitchers edition:

(Note: I will offer some analysis for these stats)

From Class A Rome Braves:

Jeff Locke: ERA 4.24, W-L 1-7, .271 BAA, K's 66, BB 24, IP 76 1/3

The wins aren't pretty and neither is the ERA, but his BB/K ratio is good and the BAA seems abnormally high. I can't find BABIP numbers for minor leaguers, but I would bet his is a solid 20% higher than average. He is missing a few bats.

Cole Rohrbough: ERA 6.30, W-L 1-1, .277 BAA, K's 25, BB 9, IP 20

ERA looks bad, but it looks like it's been inflated a bit by his first start at Rome. He's really missing bats.

From AA Mississippi Braves:

Thomas Hanson: ERA 4.50, W-L 2-3, .244 BAA, K's 34,13 BB, 36 IP

(note: Hanson was terrific at class A Mrytle Beach)

Gotta love this guys build. 6 foot 6 210 LB, as listed on his MiLB page. That guy just has to throw hard, right? The numbers seem to tell most of the story here. Hanson has struggled a bit since being promoted. No big deal. Just an adjustment period. Another live arm that misses bats.

 

As I've done some research so I could make these threads, I've really started to love the Braves minor league system, especially in pitchers. Lots of good arms in the system.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 14, 2008 5:37 pm
 

Minor League Updates

(Note: This segment will probably take up most of my blog space from now on. If you don't care, there probably won't be much for you here anymore)

Jason Heyward: .332 BA, .389 OBP, SLG .552, HR 7, RBI 30, SB 10 (I didn't know he had that kind of speed) CS 1

Important/Cool stat about this player:

.392 BA and .549 SLG vs left handed pitchers.

Jordan Schafer: .204 BA, .303 OBP, .444 SLG, HR 3, RBI10, SB 3, CS 0

Important fact:

Schafer had a 50 game suspension due to use of HGH. He has only 54 AB's, some of which were accumulated in his first 11 games, where he struggled.

Brent Lillibridge:  .182 BA, .253 OBP, .227 SLG(big ouch), 1HR, 14 RBI, SB 13, CS 4

Important fact:

He hasn't played 100% fulltime, with only 176 AB's - that could be contributing to his struggles.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 6, 2008 12:09 am
 

Braves vs Phillies series preview

 

As the Braves and the Phillies prepare for an important weekend set, let's take a look at the matchups...

Game 1:

Starters: Tim Hudson vs Jamie Moyer

Probable lineups:

Braves:

  1. Yunel Escobar, SS
  2. Kelly Johnson, 2B
  3. Chipper Jones, 3B
  4. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
  6. Brian McCann, C
  7. Gregor Blanco, CF
  8. Josh Anderson, LF

Possible lineup change: Greg Norton in LF. If his knee feels better, Bobby Cox will likely continue the retardation that is starting Greg Norton in LF; Omar Infante at 2B

Phillies:

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Shane Victorino, CF
  3. Chase Utley, 2B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Pat Burrel, LF
  6. Geoff Jenkins, RF
  7. Pedro Feliz, 3B
  8. Chris Coste, C

Possible lineup change: Carlos Ruiz at C

Advantage: Braves

Hudson is a true ace, and is tough to beat. Jamie Moyer can befuddle a team, but is very hittable.

Game 1 X factor: If Bobby Cox starts Omar Infante over Kelly Johnson, I'll probably throw a fit. The team is much better with KJ in there.

 

Game 2:

Jo-Jo Reyes vs Kyle Kendrick

(no probable lineup shifts from game 1)

Advantage: Braves

This one is very close. Kendrick is solid, but Reyes has pitched like a new man in his last 2 starts. Against a fairly lefty heavy lineup, I like his chances. I

Game 2 X factor: Can Reyes get Howard out? Ryan really hurt him in his last start vs the Phillies.

Game 3:

Starters: Jorge Campillo vs Adam Eaton

(no probable lineup changes from games 1 & 2)

Advantage: Phillies

Jorge Campillo has done a great job for the Braves, but I don't trust him yet. Eaton is an okay pitcher.

Game 3 X factor: Adam Eaton. Eaton seems like a Jeckel and Hyde type from my point of view, and if he's not on, this one could go to the Braves.

 

Series X factor: The Braves have been almost unbeatable at home, while very vulnerable on the road. The Phillies are one of the few teams that have an above .500 road record. Which trend holds up?

Series advantage: Braves

I fully expect 2/3, and a sweep could happen. Missing Hamels is key, that dude is lights out. Hudson vs Moyer should net a W, and the Braves by all rights should take one of the next two games.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 3, 2008 3:42 pm
 

Jo-Jo and JJ

I don't know how many of you watched the Braves-Marlins game last night, but I felt like those of you that were saw an important step in the development of Jo-Jo Reyes. Was it his best start? No. Was it still pretty solid? Emphatic YES. But what I finally saw was the type of pure stuff I've been looking for. I've always been sold on Reyes' fastball. But last night I really saw the slider for what it is: a lefty killer. Reyes didn't K many last night(4, I think) but they were impressive. A 2 strike count, a sweeping curve/slider(not entirely sure which he was throwing, if not both), a weak wave from the lefty batter, and a K. I've always thought Jo-Jo had the makings of someone with a long career ahead of him, but last night I saw the makings of a guy who has a long career as a high end starter ahead of him

Now on the the 2nd part of this post: Jair Jurrjens. As you have all seen, triple J has enjoyed one of the more successful rookie seasons of 2008. Edinson Volquez? No. But very, very solid. A guy with very good control and a slider he needs to use more. Another high end starter.

So, for those of you that have talked about how old the Braves rotation is, and how this is their last chance; think again. With Hudson, Jurrjens, and Reyes lined up to be at the top of the rotation for years to come, I'm not exactly worried.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 29, 2008 9:37 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2008 1:48 pm
 

The (not so newly) Bi-Polar Braves

It's a concept that has been repeated time and time again this year: the Braves can't win on the road, can't hit on the road, can't pitch on the road. And it's all true. Check out some home road splits:

Home: 3.12 ERA, .236 BAA,  206 K, 100 BB in 265 IP

Road: 4.12 ERA,  .241 BAA, 157 K, 80 BB in 203 IP

Home: 163 RS, .307 BA, 25 HR, .376 OBP in  993 AB

Road: 85 RS, .246 BA, 23 HR, .317 OBP in 820 AB

And, of course, 22-7 at home, and 7-18 on the road.

As you can see, the stats are quite dramatic. The W-L record is even more well documented. It obvious the Braves have issues hitting on the road. But is this really new? Not the exactly home-road splits, but the dramatic difference? No, it isn't. You might remember, the Braves couldn't play at Turner last year. They lost, and lost, and lost. Until September. Then they got amazingly hot at home. As their near .500 record in Sep. last year shows, they didn't win on the road. The only thing that makes the home stats look decent last year is the hot September. That has continued into 2008. It should come as no surprise that the Braves are Jeckel and Hyde, depending on where they play. The question is, why?

I don't know. I can't understand it. Why does it go back and forth? It makes no sense. But they need to get it fixed. This is a playoff team. This is a team that could make a WS run if they make it. But that can't happen without getting wins on the road(or at home).

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 22, 2008 4:06 pm
 

Goin' for the sweep

As the Braves perpare for the final game vs the Mets, only one thing is on the mind of both teams collective fan base: brooms. I honestly believe that if the Braves can beat Johan tonight, it might finish the Mets in late-May. Course, then the Mets might fire Willie, and that wouldn't be good. The drama surronding the Mets is larger than a soap opera, and that's not good for a ballclub. Is Wagner a racist? Is Willie to eager to accuse announcers of being racist? Is David Wright a team leader? If not, is Beltran that leader? Can Delgado be respected when he is struggling so badly? All of these questions have nothing to do with the on the field product, and that is why the Mets are doing so badly. It's all from the neck up, and if the Braves sweep, it could be a dagger through the heart, or, more accurately, the head.

But that's not the point of this entry: Johan Santana is.

This, right here, is what they traded for. The stopper. This might be the game that determins how valueble Johan is for 2008. Might I be overstating the importantance of this game? Certaintly, but I don't think so. The great thing is, it's not as important to the Braves. A Mets loss may be allimportant, while a Braves loss means what? Oh well, we only took 3/4. And on the other side: can we only win with Johan pitching?

It's not a good spot for the Braves, but right here, Johan Santana can make that trade worth while, in one fell swoop.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com