Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Sheldon Effect

AL North

The Blue Jays and their comfy lead has diminished greatly but with just 10 to go, 6 games is gonna be hard to make up by the Twinkies. Could we have some season ending drama here?

AL East

The Red Sox have staved off the the O's, a Sox win or an O's loss seals the deal.

AL South

The Rays find themselves a win away thanks to the Rangers sudden fall.

AL West

The Sky Sox have wrapped things up but need a few wins to get a bye.

AL Wild Card

The Rangers ar a couple wins away from securing a spot.
The Heads need a few wins to hold off the O's who are four behind.

NL North

The Cubs look secure with a seven game lead but the schedule doesn't favor them.The Pirates have a shot but it is slim.

NL East

The Braves have sailed along and probably have the number 1 seed wrapped up.

NL South

The Marlins rule once again but a big series with the Cubs is at hand. Hmm... a bye is at stake.

NL West

Salem has their spot but no bye for them this time around.

NL Wild Card

The Pirates have a spot with a win, nothing stopping that.
The Diablos on the other hand have to win, their schedule says they should. Will they? They have to stay ahead of the Reds, Mets and Giants. The Reds have a tough schedule left. The Mets and Giants have about the kind of schedule as the Diablos so it will be hard to make up any ground.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's The Stretch Run

Yup, it has come down to the last 20 games. Is there any races left? Who has the best shot? So much to ponder.


The Blue Jays have the North  pretty much locked in with an 11 game lead.

The East is a lot closer with the Red Sox only up by 7 over the O Birds. They play each other the last three games of the season but I don't see the O's gaining ground here.

The South hasn't changed much with the Rays up by 7 games. Don't expect this to change either as the Rangers will have to settle for a Wild Card.

The West is all but wrapped up in a bow for the Sky Sox.

The Rangers only need to win 8 games to get a locked Wild Card spot but times have been tough lately.

The Heads need to hold off the O's (especially the O's), Royals and A's for the final spot, that may be easier said than done.


The Cubs are still holding off the Pirates in a nip and tuck battle in the North. The big series between the two is coming to a stadium near you real soon. The Reds have suddenly folded.

The East was decided long ago by the Braves and probably the No 1. seed.

The Florida owns the South once again.

The West sees Salem up by 9, this could be a sign of the times as they aren't going to win 100 games for the first time in 6 years. No melodrama from the Giants either as their schedule is too tough to make up that many.

Unless the Pirates suddenly do a disappearing act they have a Wild Card slot.

The final spot has suddenly become rather cloudy with the chance of carnitas. The Giants and Diablos are tied and only four games behind them are the D'Backs, Mets and Reds.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Race Is On!

It is getting late in the season, thirty four to go to be exact. That must mean their should be some nail biting races going on.

NL North - Cubs and Pirates are fighting it out again and both should be playoff bound. The Reds have fallen off the pace but can't count them out.

NL East - After the early season trades, the Braves are hard to contend with and have salted away their claim.

NL South - Florida has things well in hand.

NL West - Salem looks to cruise in.

Basically the race is for a wild card slot. With either the Cubs or Pirates probably claiming the first who will claim the second prize? Currently, the Giants, Reds and Diablos are in position for the Cracker Jacks and it is real tight.

AL North - This looks like a surprise to me with the Blue Jays firmly out in front.

AL East - The Red Sox look to capture another crown but the Orioles are hanging tough.

Al South - The Rays are in front but the Rangers are holding their hip pockets.

AL West- The Sky Sox are up again.

Things are little tighter in the AL but the real race like the NL is for the Cracker Jacks spot. With the fight in the South, one or the other will claim wild card slot one.  The Heads, Orioles, A's and Royals all have a viable shot.

Okay, so the Mets got traded out of a spot but that isn't true either. The Mets are one of the best in defense and only 4 minus plays, three by the same pitcher the other was actually my fault. The pitching is admirable with a 3.98 ERA. The hitting isn't exactly lighting things up at .250, the lowest point all season btw. But with those numbers we should be at least 8 games above .500, not below. The biggest thing I have noticed is the 12-21 record in 1-run games and the 34-58 in save opportunities. Can't win with those numbers for sure. Other than that the NL is living up to the predictions.

Newest International

Wilfredo Almonte joined the St. Louis Cardinals for $16.6M. May never progress beyond 1B in reality. Puts the ball in play quite well, especially against right-handers which is a plus but may not result in a hit all that often.

Grade: B-

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Season 24 International Update

 Davey Beltran has made a small fortune in Montreal where the Expos paid $20.3M for his services. 3B might be a little overwhelming for him to play expertly his hitting should make up for that lack.

Grade: A-

Ramiro Carrasco joined Kansas City for a Royal sum of $19.7M. SS doesn't look remotely possible in my book, but 3B is likely the place he will end up. Hitting is of high quality but then there is the problem of durability. The DL already?

Grade: B+

Quilvio Gabriel was signed by the Houston Astros for $15.1 M. Listed as a SS, but I really have my doubts on that one. 3B seems more likely with maybe some filler at 2B and OF. Has the power to make it in the majors but overall hitting could be shakey.

Grade: B +

Geronimo Cayones signed by the Cincinnati Reds for $14.4M. Could possibly be a little weak in the range department to be great defensively at 2B. But then again too strong or weak to play elsewhere. Swing isn't powerful and may lack consistency.

Grade: B

 Akinori Nakamura was signed by the Boston Red Sox for $14M. Doesn't look all that accomplished in RF but does have a good arm for the position. Strong power hitting should meld nicely in Boston.

Grade: A

Souta Song was signed by the Montreal Expos for $12.6M. Listed as a 2B but not real sure about that and could wind up in RF. Hitting with good power and relatively consistent and could find his way to the majors rather quickly.

Grade: B+

Alex Ferrer made off with $8.5M from the Phillies.  Philadelphia seems to embrace the youngster, though not likely to be a superstar, does have very good potential. Decent quality 2B with an OBP hitting style.

Grade: B-

The Good Buy Department

Junichi Kyung made his way to Louisville for the sum of $4.3M. The Colonels are happy to have a quality front line catcher in development. Hitting department is not all that bad either.

Grade: B

Vin Durazo found what may be an unwelcomed home in the end with Oakland. The A's paid $4M for a DH and a good one in the hitting department. His durability might be called into question however.

Grade: B-

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Season 24 Draft

We have been saddled with drafts with about a dozen good players in the past. I am not sure what to make of this one. There was no really wow player that anyone would really fight over. Most looked good to start with but all of them seemed to have a really bad area.  Mostly health and durability for the hitters, and pitchers seemed wildly weak in the pitch department. It could be my scouting but it looks too consistent for that.

For those that don't know, which is most of ya. My wife has been in the hospital five times in the last four months, twice for major surgery. It was a common infection that may have accidently saved her life. In the midst of all that, our car decided to act up, nothing serious if you ask me, however the dealership and Toyota have been trying to get it fixed for a month now. They haven't a clue, they just keep putting new parts in to see if that fixes it.

1. Thurman Lawson , P, St. Louis Cardinals - I do think he was the best player in the draft. Might be a little iffy in the control department but the rest will make up for it.

Grade: A+

2. Tyreace French, 1B, Atlanta Braves - 1B, I am not exactly sold on as I think he could play LF/RF if his glove and arm come around.  Could be a monster hitter in the near. The biggest drawback, and they are big, is his low durability and health. A 100 games a season guy is tough to start with but hitting the DL isn't any better.

Grade: B

3. Josh Coghlan, P, San Diego Padres - What I see with this kid doesn't impress me much. Has a long way to go just to be mediocre at best. He may be well suited for San Diego stadium however.

Grade: B

4. Darren Leonard, P, Baltimore Orioles - To tell the truth I laughed at this pick at first. His anemic control just didn't send a warm thrill but the rest can be top notched and just may surprise everyone.

Grade: B

5. Orel Manship, 1B, Louisville Colonels - Oh for the name calling but his picture says he can laugh it off at least, if not he just might clobber you with his bat. Now to keep him healthy is another story. Other than that should be a good 1B and a monster OBP power hitter.

Grade: B+

6. Hamlet Rhodes, 2B, Washington D.C. Senators -


7. Dustin Miller, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays -  Being a good 2B is doubtful, COF is better suited. Hitting could be decent if he progresses well. His speed is well suited for a lead off hitter but don't think he is up for that task and just may find himself in the low end of the lineup at the Majors.

Grade: B

8. Aaron Case, P ,  Texas Rangers -


9. Derrick Sinclair, SS,  Helena Hot Pockets - SS is not out of the realm of things but has a long development process. Hitting is the same and could be a bit of a disappointment. But all in all for a decent SS looks rather promising.

Grade: B

10. Juan Figureo, SS,  Detroit Tigers -


11. Mariano Rios , P , Baltimore Orioles - Their second foray for a pitcher already, a much better choice if you ask me. Good resume' all the way around, just needs to develop but has been hindered already by a DL stint.

Grade: A

12. Howard Shannon, CL, Kansas City Royals - Looking for pen help can be tough especially for a consistent closer. He can be that guy should he develop well.

Grade: B+

13. Will Henle, RF,  Cincinnati Reds - Could be a bit weak for the position but could surprise us. My scouts were high on him, but I don't see him making the projections in the splits department though he should have a very good eye and good contact. Speed might be a variable that comes into play but just not seeing it. Lead off just doesn't seem likely but could be fooled here.

Grade: B

14. David Lee, RF, Dover Dung Beetles - Has the speed and hitting abilities to be a good lead off hitter. Whether or not he can play RF is another matter, has the arm but can he catch it? Looks like an old-style guy, can hit but fielding leaves a lot to be desired so throw him in RF.

Grade: B

15. Ivan Villano, C, Montreal Expos - Good thing he is in the AL where he can DH and be an emergency catcher. His catching abilities doesn't wow me in the least in simple terms. His bat on the other hand is well suited for the DH role, now to wring out a few more durability points.

Grade: B+

16. Terrence Beckett, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies - What can you say, could very well be a GG at 2B or CF. Might have some problems with his eye but has decent power and contact and splits should develop well enough and some speed to go with it. A nicely rounded player to go in the 2nd or 3rd slot.

Grade: A-

17. Wendell Bigbie, P , San Francisco Giants - Has a long development process ahead of him and I don't think he will be ready in four years. He is a lefty and I doubt his splits will get past the middle 60's but his pitches and control can cover that and helps he is in San Fran.

Grade: A-

18. Terry Constanza, C, Arizona Diamondbacks - The second catcher taken, err in my books the first actually. His defensive skills aren't great but adequate enough with the pitch calling. An everyday catcher is hard to find and one that can hit well is even harder. Granted he has a lot to develop but a good choice.

Grade: A-

19. Kyle Adams, P, Mexico City Diablos Rojos - Good control and splits, the pitches don't look to be a woohoo to me but me thinks they might be better than I see.

Grade: A-

20. Victor Llanos, P, Milwaukee Brewers - A lefty with very good control and off speed. His splits may not be so hot but if  the right reaches the mid 50's, doable. Like the last guy, I am not seeing great pitches but then again it is getting late in the first round.

Grade: B

21. Walter Wall, CL, Oakland A's - An good everyday closer is always helpful. Walter has a lot of development to go, but should be good just not overwhelming with the splits.

Grade: A-

22. Yogi Haad, C, Minnesota Twins - Might even be a Yogi look-a-like. Overall defense is good but not great, good eye and contact, not much on power and if the splits come around will make a great addition to the line up.

Grade: B+

23.  Lee Haley, SS, Minnesota Twins -  SS could be a stretch even though the development is there. Hitting looks good for someone in the two slot. Health could be a real concern. Hard to find a good hitting SS though.

Grade: B

24.  Ralph Decker, SS, Anaheim Angels - Very doubtful that he will progress beyond RF defensively. Has the ability to be a decent hitter. But the lack of speed and the anemic durability makes me wonder whether he will make it to the majors.

Grade: B-

25.  Glenn Abercrombie, P, Pittsburgh Pirates -


26. Rube Simon, C , Anaheim Angels -  As a catcher, eewwww!, better than saying he stinks. Could develop into a good hitter. With the low durability, hitting won't win him a job. Looks like a "red herring" of the draft. I get it now, a rube.

Grade: C-

27. Francisco Gutierrez, 2B, New York Mets - Chance of him playing 2B is remote. Good hitting abilities and speed are helpful. It will be hard to justify a low durability guy that only plays few positions after the second arbitration though, if he ever reaches the majors that is.

Grade: C-

28. Rodrigo Pineda, P, Milwaukee Brewers - I had to look twice to see if he was a lefty or not. Not sure he will develop well enough to be an actual starter but could be surprised. Looks like a possible long reliever and may be short on good outings.

Grade: C+

29. Bill Waltman, RF, Chicago Cubs - He is an oddity of baseball in all reality. Has the range and arm to play RF, but don't ask him to catch it. Another problem is his health. Now that the ugly part is out of the way. How do you have a bad eye, great splits and contact?  Look, guess, close eyes, swing and hope for the best then run like a demon is after you.

Grade: B-

30. Ariel Valenzuela, P, Houston Astros - A lefty starter that could have some value down the road. If his right split develops well enough, could very well be a bargain. I don't see it happening though.

Grade: B-

31. Piper Marion, P , Tampa Bay Rays - The Rays snuck in a great find this late in the draft for a pitcher. May not be exactly a great quality starter but has good control and splits. Quality pitches are severely  lacking.

Grade: B-

32. Matt Yeats, 2B, Colorado Springs Sky Sox - How this guy ended up at this point is beyond me, I missed him too because he wasn't on my board.  His makeup sucks but he could be a GG 2B or CF if he develops. Hitting could be good and could easily be a lead off hitter.

Grade: B+

33. Chris Haas, C, Helena Hot Pockets - Being a catcher with those defensive skills is preposterous. He could hit well for average and has some power. With his durability being low doesn't help his cause for DH either.

Grade: C+

34. Phillip Henry, LF, Dover Dung Beetles - LF is doubtful and 1B is the place ya outta be. Low health is a theme it seems and he falls into that category.  Hitting though not awful won't win any awards and only so-so in the speed department. A possible backup in the majors for a while but I expect a short career.

Grade: C