Sunday, January 31, 2010

Season 15 Indians

Wait til next season is the cry in Cleveland! Really couldn't put my finger on the real reason they were not in the playoffs this season other than they sucked during the stretch run. The late season trade for Pascual Berroa was a perfect fit as everyone kept putting him in a position to fail. He is happy being an Injun and has claimed LF as home. The pickup of B.C. Bennett was also another fine acquisition but (always one) he doesn't really have a position to call home on the roster. Could a trade next season be imminent? Mickey Greer was a great pickup in the Rule V draft as he can play both CF and 2B, maybe not the greatest. So what will the Indians look like next year?

The Field

C - Bart Ross of course.
C - Albert Valenzuela makes a great backup. However him and Bennett could be used as trade bait for a good pen pitcher. Jose Blanco could be given the backup job as he finally displayed his DITR ability at AAA this year and could be more valuable to the pen.

1B - Deivi Silva started the season playing LF and did an admirable job. After the Berroa deal however, he gets to play 1B. Management and fans were excited about this rookie but had a less than stellar season at the plate.

2B - Mickey Greer or Eswalin James as management is quite unsure which should play where.

3B - Karim Quevedo has been told it will be his home next season, the fans didn't like the move. The fans fell in love with Trace Wallace as the thong factory will tell you.

SS - Sean Smalley has temporarily won the job. Coaches tell me he could be a GG SS if I leave him be.

RF - Giovanni Jackson is the reigning GG and really the actual Silver Slugger also if you ask me. So no doubt in my mind he will be there again.

CF - Eswalin James is the player I think should be here but may wind up on 2B if Greer stumbles too badly.

LF - Pascual Berroa gets the position readily as he proved to be an awesome lead off hitter.

Trace Wallace is a fan favorite but undersized for 3B but can play several positions very well.
B.C. Bennett is a good 1B with no place to play other than DH.
Pascual Zapata like Wallace is a jack of all trades and plays a better 3B.

The Starting Pitching Staff

Brant Brede, Roy Little, Tito Gao and Anthony Riley have solidified their hold as starting pitchers. The starting staff was a minor irritation as I couldn't find anyone that wanted the 5th spot in the rotation.

The Pen

This has been a thorn in my side for a long time and will go under major reconstruction next year one way or another.

Ross Bland and Johnny Zeile are the only ones that have secured a spot for next season.

Jose Crespo is the only other player that may have a spot but is a FA and will wait and see during the off season.

Matt Brooks, Pedro Roque and Boomer Thomson are in the coaches dog house big time.

Quilvio Olivares had a good season in his limited action but at 39 may find retirement a better option.

Grant Simon can find a job at the local pancake house as far as management is concerned.

A look at the minor bubble. Overall we have some nice prospects in the minors and a couple that could be trade bait, no, Boone is not for sale or trade.

AAA coaches were high on Ivan Blasco but after arriving the coaches didn't really like what they saw in him and didn't give him a chance to show off, maybe next year he gets a chance.

Virgil Lee couldn't handle the Bigs so he was sent down and showed his displeasure and may find his way to the trade block next season or the burger bar.

Hugh Maloney displayed great defensive catching abilities this year and will move up the ladder to see how he does.

Johnny Brown has the AA coaches on his side, but will need to have a great roll and ST to impress at the ML level.

Dean Boone could he be the 5th starter next year? He is young and maybe another year in the minors could be a better choice.

Rudy Bryne was a DITR this year, can ya tell? A good roll and ST could garner him a job at the ML level after 3 muck years in the Rookie League. Coaches don't like his splits but the potential is there. Like most DITR's that show promise, might have to wait til he is 26 or 27.

Manny Wagner and Brad Cook, both could find themselves on the roster in a short roll.

Felix Higashioka could find his way onto the ML roster also as the backup SS and primary versus lefties.

Overall analysis shows we have a good defensive line up though underachieving at the plate. Pitching is a problem area especially in the pen. Be sure the Indians owner and GM will be after FA pitching next year and will have the money to do so. Possibly a monster power hitter also.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dancin' in the streets!

With the Saints in the Super Bowl and our HBD Zephyrs in the NL playoffs, New Orleans is literally on fire! ;)

When longtime AL west owner knucklebones left MLB to pursue other interests, it wasn't long before he patentedly changed his mind and returned to the league as an owner in the NL south.

In a flurry of trades the Zephyrs brought back 1st ever draft pick Spud Hoyt & Charlie Stone from the Anaheim Angels. Hoyt bounced back from a bad season 13 to a solid season 14, playing in all 162 games. Having lost a step or two, its seems to have cost him in the average department. Management has stated he will retire with the franchise. Stone was his awesome self but probably should've been the 3b. With the alternative being a AAA talent SS and Lowe entrenched at 3b through next season, the Zephyrs figured his offense and range would offset the errors. With a playoff spot secured, it seems it worked out ok.

The Zephyrs are a rag-tag collection of former Angels, WW fodder, Longtime Swingers and up & comers. Add that to the bold trades for Lonny Waltman & long time Brewer Zachrey Jerzembeck and you have the NLs leading offense by way of Rs scored. They do it with great baserunning and gap-power. Defense is average at best. The pitching is veteran and is the best that can be said about it. Throw it over the plate giving up the 2nd most HRs. Great BB to K ratio.

Can they advance beyond the WC round? Chances are they just don't have the pitching. With the Saints in the Superbowl the Zephrs may have a higher powered ally, who knows? The only people who are saying "who dat?" about the Saints & Zephrs are the people outside of New Orleans.

The people of New Orleans are dancing in the Streets!

Friday, January 29, 2010

4 Games to GO!

With 4 Games to go the muddy pictures have changed a little. Just remember it is not over til the Lady Sings the Blues!

The NL

#1 Pittsburgh Pirates - Little doubt here. But do they have what it takes to win a World Series?

#2 Florida Marlins - Will they get to meet the Pirates in the LCS?

#3 Atlanta Braves - Could change to #4 yet and owner thinks they are not as good as their W/L record indicates.

#4 Kansas City Royals - Could still wind up in the #3 slot. Owner thinks this is his last shot at the playoffs.

#5 Chicago Cubs - They feared they would not be in the playoffs let alone the five seed.

#6 New Orleans Zephyrs - Came out of the dust to steal the spot away. Though they still don't have the seed wrapped up, they do need to thank the Texas Rangers heavily. With Trenton and Cleveland unable to win, either team could still reel off 4 wins forcing New Orleans to win two or more.

The AL

#1 Durham Bulls - Another run to the WS maybe?

#2 Boston Red Sox - Had to fight to the end to get here. How far will they go in the playoffs?

#3 St. Louis Barracudas - May still need a win or Toronto loss to capture the North and could still fall to the #4 slot but very doubtful.

#4 Anaheim Angels - Holds the spot at the moment but with Helena and Omaha only 1 game back this could and probably will go down to the wire.

# 5 Monterrey Corn Dogs - Too bad the Silent Dogs and Bulls will meet in the DCS instead of the LCS.

# 6 Dover Dung Beetles and Syracuse Sycamores are battling it out for this spot. The Big Trees have to face Boston in the last series while Dover goes to Washington. The betting pool favors Dover.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Minors


For the most part, the NL Minors were controlled by the Durants, Indians and Ball Hogs all season long in the NL. Current expectations is that the Durants will be in the WS at all stages except maybe the Rookie League. What depth they have. The Indians win because they found a small secret to drafting and by no means any skill or players. Not sure about the rest of the teams.


Comparing the AL Minors to their parent organization would be an understatement. But there really is no dominant organization in the minors and no real dominant teams either.

The Race Is On for Season 14!

With 16 games to go things are really heating up and the pressure is on! Lets take a look shall we.

NL North

Pittsburgh Pirates hold a 7 game lead that I imagine will hold up easily.

NL East

This is a complicated mess, Atlanta and Trenton are tied atop the division with Cleveland waiting for the hammer to drop on both. Atlanta has been folding up shop it seems and hasn't played well against anyone of late. Their remaining schedule is actually the easiest but not playing well has them reeling. Trenton's schedule is the toughest by far of the three. Cleveland has a medium schedule left comparably. The last 6 games of the season could tell the tale before it is said and done.

NL South

Florida Marlins has a very comfy lead by 12 and don't look for it to change much.

NL West

Kansas City Royals has a comfy lead by 11 and they are happy about that because their schedule is not to their liking at all.

NL Wild Card

5th seed is held by the Chicago Cubs and has the spot pretty well wrapped up.

Chances are the remaining playoff spot will be owned by one of the teams from the East. The reason I say that, Houston and New Orleans are both in the murderous South and both have some really bad schedules. Going 8-8 may be the best they can do. I would say whoever gets to 85 wins first will be the 6th seed.

AL North

St. Louis Barracudas are in first but may have to hold off the feisty Toronto Blue Jays in the last three games to claim the title.

AL East

Boston Red Sox are in first but by no means safe as there are two usurpers on their tails. Dover and Syracuse could very well make a big statement before it is over. Boston has the worst schedule of the three so the ground by the other two could very well be made up.

AL South

Durham has the lead at the moment, but as in seasons past the silent Corn Dogs are right there. You want mustard with that?

AL West

Anaheim Angels has the lead today but all four are still in the hunt. Las Vegas probably has the worst schedule of the bunch. The Angels have been pouring on the coal winning their last 5 but that could end abruptly. Helena and Omaha can very well make a serious statement before it is over.

AL Wild Card

5th seed will go to the loser of the South battle.
6th seed will probably go to the second place finisher of the 3-way East rumble.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Season 14 Draft

I know it is late in the season but better late than never. Didn't think I was ever going to be feeling better or be able to concentrate on writing but here goes. My advance scouting is a little weak so here goes nothing.

1. Louie James- Washington: He looks disappointing as a SS or CF. Maybe 3B/2B at the ML level. Hitting looks pretty decent though could be a little weak against righties. Having a rough go at the Low A Level.

Grade: A

2. Elston Cooper - Arizona: I like his durability/stamina and pitches, will it be enough to cover the weak control and splits for a strike out pitcher?

Grade: B

3. George Atkins - NY Mets: What is not to like, has all the ability needed and I had him ranked as the best pitcher in the draft. Might be the best pick for the Mets ever.

Grade: A+

4. Tony Lansing - Seattle: His projections could be tough to reach and may need a very good PC catcher at the ML level. I am not sure whose projections to trust but could be a "RED HERRING" for a top 5 pick. Should be a very good pitcher just maybe not great.

Grade B+:

5. Peter Brock - New Orleans: Projects to be a top end SS if projections are met which could be tough or at least take a while. Where to put him in the line up could be tough also, has lead off speed and 3 spot power, what a combo.

Grade: A+

6. Jacob Nixon - Oklahoma City: I see a lot of complete games from this kid and has the control and splits to get him there but a PC catcher may be order with a relatively weak stable of pitches.

Grade A:

7. Wesley Hewson - Toledo: A highly touted shut down closer and should not disappoint.

Grade: A+

8. Joel Mays - Texas: A weak defense SS, better suited for 3B in the end maybe. But another with big power and speed.

Grade: A+

9. Joel Mays - Omaha: Another near SS with speed although the big power is not present but could make a dandy lead off hitter.

Grade: A

10. Frank Brand - Vancouver: A pitcher that has everything going for him but control and that could be his demise for being ML pitcher. Could my scouting be that far off?

Grade: C

11. Dusty Ingram - Florida: Could become a very good long relief pitcher in time.

Grade: B+

12. Lance Barnes - Cleveland: Decent attributes for a pitcher but not quality for a starter with those pitches.

Grade: B

13. Del Lowrie - Tampa Bay: Like Barnes, has decent attributes for a pitcher but quality is lacking.

Grade: B

14. Daniel Ray Holt - Florida: With their second pick already, they chose a catcher and the only one in the first round. Not exactly robust defensively but good enough with his hitting abilities will assure him of a long ML career.

Grade: B+

15. Shayne Marte - Syracuse: unsigned and totally unknown

16. Sadie Richardson - Boston: A 1B/DH that could find his way onto the ML lineup in either category. His name has already been the butt of many jokes and has already garnered the nickname "Hawkins".

Grade: A+

17. Storm Wallace - Dover: Pretty weak as a CF and COF could be a stretch. Has speed and some pop in his bat but those splits could may make him just so-so at the plate.

Grade: B

18. Quilvio Franco - Las vegas: Could pan out to be a very good closer if projections are made.

Grade: B

19. Bucky Metzger - Austin: They were surprised he dropped so far, the big reason is his low durability. (I thought they were gonna cut out the ridiculous ratings?) Getting him to projections could be very tough. As a starter he might be able to pitch every 10 days. As a closer, he could pitch three or four days in a row then may need to take three or four off.

Grade: B- may work out

20. Hank Harding - Tampa Bay: This pitcher could be a mixed bag, like throw great one outing and get shelled the next. Still this late in the draft a good pick.

Grade: B

21. Craig Waters - Washington: Weak defensively for a 2B and could wind up in RF. Weak eye and power but has decent splits and makes contact most of the time. Could wind up a career minor leaguer.

Grade: C

22. Gerald Offerman - Milwaukee: May not have the range for a SS. His speed and power is lacking but is not all that bad at the plate.

Grade: B-

23. Eric Stanley - Atlanta: Could make a nice setup man in the future with an outside chance as a closer.

Grade: B

24. Roger Metzger - Toronto: Could be a great defensive SS that slaps righties around. Considering his health, it could be problematic to make projections if he becomes a habitual DLer. And before you ask, Bucky is his cousin, think problematic health concerns run in the family.

Grade: C+ worth the risk

25. Louis Matthews - Kansas City: A stretch to play LF and may consider 1B as an alternative. Relatively weak against the right-handed persuasion but has the ability to pound the lefties.

Grade: B-

26. Jimmy Ingram - Chicago: A little weak in the glove for a 2B but basically over/under qualified for anyplace else. Could be pretty awesome at the plate in Wrigley as the fans cheered their approval for this pick. Could his makeup be his downfall?

Grade: B+

27. Benny Calero - Chicago: josepaco tripped running to the podium to make this selection after their previous pick (must be nice having two in a row). They couldn't believe this potential long reliever was still available. He should one day strengthen the bull pen for sure and maybe make a couple starts in his spare time.

Grade: A

28. Corey Collins - Trenton: Could play 2B with the best of them, but the plate awareness could be a factor though he makes contact most of the time.

Grade: C

29. Alton Kolb - Pittsburgh: unsigned and unknown

30. Timothy Bailey - Milwaukee: If he makes projections will be a very good 2B. Worst asset is his eye but that shouldn't stop him from a ML career.

Grade: B+

31. Louis Goodwin - St. Louis: Didn't spend much on scouting and it shows as the only person happy about this selection was Louis. Weak gloved and hitting is worse, though he is hitting .308 at the Rookie camp and accidently hit a HR.

Grade: D

32. Fernando Martin - Trenton: A probable long reliever with above average splits, good control and some so-so pitches. This late in the first round beggers can't be choosey.

Grade: B

33. Larry Browning - Durham: For a pitcher this late in the draft, he was a great pick. Has ML potential if he develops.

Grade: B+

34. Eric Marshall - Cincinnati: Has the Reds luck finally run out finding studs late in the first round? Maybe, then again maybe not. Eric can catch the ball, but may have problems getting to it for the long runs. Has some pop in the bat and some above average abilities but lacks consistent contact.

Grade: C

35. Clinton Terry - Houston: Weak defensively for 3B and maybe too weak for RF also. Hitting is not so great, though he does have good splits, just not the eye to go with them.

Grade: C