Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Secong Twenty

So what has happened in the second twenty games? One thing, teams that can't win at home are having trouble.

AL North

The Expos have zoomed to the forefront. Detroit, sorta the preseason favorite looks horrible at home. Twins looked good early but just can't seem to buy a win lately. The Blue Jays are starting to heat up but the road looks tough already.

AL East

Boston and Baltimore seem to be pacing each other while Dover keeps things close. Washington is on the loose also trying to catch up.

AL South

KC is slick on the road but have troubles at home, for some reason I just don't believe it. Tampa meanwhile loves it at home but are not road warriors.  Little Rock and Texas are trying not to be cellar dwellars.

AL West

Anaheim must have gotten their wings clipped as it looks like it could be a heated race with Seattle all of a sudden. Colorado is still scratching their ass trying to solve the equation while Helena looks forward to next season. 

NL North

The Cubs have not run away with the division yet but have expanded the lead to 3 games. Give the Pirates credit, they are hanging tough.  Cincy may have figured out the problems but getting back into the thick of things might take a while. The brewers are just as I expected up and down. 

NL East

Mets are back to being healthy again, two 15 day DL stints isn't good when it is your best hitters. Braves are keeping pace thanks to road wins. Phillies are playing better than they look while the Colonels are just plain mind boggling.

NL South

Ok, who said Florida could control the South? Mexico City has gotten off the snide and are keeping pace with plenty of time to make up the difference. Houston may have ran out of steam already while it is actually just starting to heat up. The Cards fall into the Louisville mindset of being mind boggled

NL West

We thought the Dodgers may run away with things out here, but Arizona and Frisco have other ideas. Padres just need some PEDS in the gin, but eye, contact and speed on the diamond.

International Report

Paul Li was signed by the Twins for $5.1M.  Could be a 4th or 5th starter one day but me thinks he will more than likely be a long reliever. Nothing outstanding but might fool the best of them.

Andres Diaz was enticed by the Heads with $7.6M in change. Possesses some great skills but we are not sure he will be good enough for the closer role.

Julio Sardinha lit up the microwaves in Helena opting for a $8.5M deal. Many thought this was relatively cheap signing as many were scared away for his possible lack of skill in CF. My scouts tell me he could be a decent 2B or good 3B in the end. Has a very keen eye with a little deep ball action but not considered a big threat at the plate. Speed and awareness to get that extra base when needed.

Raul Polonia was courted by Dover in the tune of  $8.5M. Could have that monster control and great first pitch many desire in a closer but it might end there as his right split could cause disaster in the end.

Tampa Bay was looking for a big dick but may have got the shaft after signing Antonio Whang for $14.5M. My scouts were not all that keen on his abilities at 2B but did show some nice speed. Made efficient contact at the plate and sent several off speed balls into the bleachers but had terrible luck catching up to a fastball.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Strange Brew

After 36 games, the Brewers are 18-18, and their statistical performance is near the middle of the pack in hitting, pitching and fielding.

It is always easy to look at a low OPS or a soaring ERA from a good, established player and blame them for a team's uneven performance.  However, in looking at underlying trends I found a few odd performances on the fielding side.

Let's start behind the plate with Brian Patrick.  Last year, Patrick won the Gold Glove while throwing out 41% of base stealers.  He allowed .6 stolen bases per 9 innings.

This year, Patrick has performed far worse.  He is throwing out just 17% of base stealers (5/30) and allowing .95 stolen bases per 9 innings.

Next, we look at shortstop Will Potvin.  A 2-time Gold Glove winner (last season at SS and before that in CF), last year Potvin made one error for every 10.6 nine-inning games; and made a "plus" plays 6.6 nine-inning games.

This season, Potvin is still making one error for every 10.6 nine-inning games; but, he is making "plus" plays at a rate that is 60% slower than last season ... that is, one plus play for every 16 nine-inning games.

In left field, James Satou is perhaps the most puzzling.  While he'll never win a Gold Glove, his ratings point to a garden variety subpar LF.   Last year, Satou made an error once every 32 nine-inning games, and turned in a negative play once every 25 nine-inning games.

This season, Satou is making an error once every 10 nine-inning games; and he is making a negative play once for every 6 nine-inning games.

It hasn't helped that Satou's OPS is in the .500s.

Finally we have Desi Guerrero in center field. Last season he made an error for every 20 nine-inning games; this season he is making an error every nine games.

The sample size is small; but are you seeing fielding changes on your team?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The First 20

The first 20 games are in the books. So what do I think of how things have gone so far.

AL North

Twins on top, not a big surprise in my estimation but for how long is the question. I really think Montreal is the team to beat and it has shown so far, the injury was a set back. The Tigers may look good on paper but it sure hasn't put W's on the board and they can't win at home. Blue Jays spent a lot of money, for some reason it just didn't move me and they can't seem to win the close ones.

AL East

Did I say O's and Red Sox would duke it out all season long?  The O's could really use a 2B that knows how to play the position. The Senators at .500 is a bit of a surprise as I really don't like the pitching staff. I didn't think Dover was that bad but I might have been mistaken.

AL South

KC is a Royal pain like I said. Tampa in second is a bit of a surprise as I figured Texas would be a two steppin. Didn't I tell ya Radke just needed a place to play every day. Little Rock has been playing well at home but me thinks they might be seein dust soon enough.

AL West

Yup, them thar Angels are bad boys. Mariners have been playing very well also. Sky Sox start out 0-6 then go 11-3 to get back in it, what was that about? Then there is poor Helena who needs a reboot just like my computer did.

NL North

Here is a surprise, it took the Cubs all 20 games to get to a tie for first place with the Pirates. Brewers don't look as good as management thinks they are. Then there is the hapless Reds, don't get it myself either.

NL East

Oops, the Mets lead the division with the Braves on the warpath. The Phillies looked good for awhile then reality set in. The Colonels started eating at Bob Evans, it hasn't helped.

NL South

For a while I thought I would have to report the Astros in first place, the Marlins decided to fix that at the last minute. Astros are a surprise at the moment though. Mexico City might just be getting warmed up. Cards are not as bad as their record indicates, 19 innings for a 2-0 loss is hard to swallow although they beat the Mets 2 outa 3. 

NL West

Dodgers don't look to slow down at all this season. Arizona has been playing superbly but their arch nemesis is on the docket. The Giants are just as I said they were, pretty damn good. Then there is the Padres who are as bad as they look (sorry didn't pull any punches here).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Maximizing AB's

It isn't easy sometimes figuring out how to maximize AB's with low durability players. With catchers it is probably the easiest to figure out. Players with durability below 75, I don't think about AB's, more in the terms of games started or played and innings. I know I can get 110 starts from a catcher with a 65 durability if I rest him at intervals and put him in the line up in the 8 spot. That is one of the reasons I like PC catchers so much because they are not an integral part of my line up but I do like them to be interchangeable.

However there are always those great players that have a low durability in the mid to low 70's that are considered an integral part of the line up. It is possible to start them for 130 games and get over 500 AB's out of them but it can take some effort on your part without taxing them. Maximizing them can be difficult to say the least. Having the flexibility at putting them in the 5th thru 7th spot in the line up is always helpful. Being able to rest them against a certain type of pitcher is very helpful, like lefties. Most generally I would say they need to be rested (completely out of the line up) at least 3 and maybe 4 games in every 20. They don't need to be consecutive games either. That does not include being replaced late in games which also helps. Another thing to consider is the stadium you are playing in or a series in the near future, always look ahead. If your low durability guy is a power hitter, rest him in the heavy pitchers parks.

One of the things I try to do is have a good serviceable bench hitter that can play the positions of my troublesome durability guys. This year I don't exactly have that luxury but I can juggle the lineup enough to accommodate my best bench hitter and get the most out of him also.

Injuries while not a good thing can also help out, that player is resting at least whether he is a low durability guy or not..lol..but it allows you to call up a player from AAA that can help with the situation. I have several at AAA with options that I can call up and wouldn't be afraid to use heavily for a short time.

There is no hard fast rule that I can actually quote or come up with as most generally I play it by ear. Of course I have had a lot of practice and know how to do it and it is never simple or the same. What I can tell you, if you leave him in the game from the start of the season, he will hit his fatigue level by about game 50 where you will be forced to rest him. After that it can be real tough to keep him rested. One thing I try to do and keep in mind is that the position players should be around or just over 300 AB's at All-Star break. If I have done that then I know I have done it right plus a three day rest period.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Player positional defense is something that plays an important part of the game that actually gets the least recognition. If you click on GM's Office, Roster Management, Edit Rosters, your team will be displayed by position. If you click on a players position here it will bring up the editable defensive chart. Please take note of the top of the pop up as it shows the Big League Defensive Averages for each position. Actually I call them the minimums myself if you want good things to happen.

I will use SS as an example. Range is categorized as an 80. I myself won't go below 80 as I prefer above this number. Going down a few points is not all that harmful but will cause a rise in minus plays for the player.  I cheat more in glove but wouldn't go no more than 5 points below the advertised 85, going lower causes more booted balls. Dropping down on the arm actually cause more strain on the 1B more than the SS itself as errors abound.

One big thing to note in the defensive realm, only 1B's can throw LEFT HANDED! in the infield. That means 2B, 3B and SS must throw right handed.

In the center of the pop up is the players current/projected ratings so you can compare to the chart. At the bottom is where you can change his position settings the way you desire. The buttons allow for quick settings which most of us use when they are first acquired by the organization. Most generally it is the Show Recs (proj) and then save. Normally it isn't all that concerting until the player gets to the majors. At least you will have a record at the positions that he played and see how good/bad he played at some of them.


Pitchers can be a funny lot as you don't know what they are going to do from one start to another. One outing they can look like Cy Young and the next a little leaguer. I have had pitchers that should be Cy Young candidates with their ratings but the offense never produces. Never figured that one out and was always frustrated with the 2-1 wins or losses then the next day put up 10 or more runs. I have had an emergency pitcher with bad ratings generate a 16 win season, never figured that one out either.

Starting pitchers are usually defined by being able to get to the seventh inning at least for the most part anyway. They need a stamina of 70 or more and a durability rating of at least 25 to pitch in a normal rotation. Over 60 but under 70 will get you through the fifth if they are good but can tax the bull pen. To explain more fully, the stamina rating is the number of pitches a pitcher can throw before becoming fatigued then add on another 15 before he really needs to come out. The durability rating for a pitcher is his recovery time from fatigue after pitching, normally a one for one item.  Most games takes approximately 120 to 140 pitches to complete.

Long Relievers are usually the ones that have the 55 to 65 stamina and can give you 2 to 3 quality innings. I like to call them middle relievers myself as an overall general term, most generally unsung heros. I don't set my rotation with long relievers myself as I use them all as Setup A. Lot of times you will have an extra stater on the staff in the pen which is a widely excepted idea.

Setup B relievers normally have low pitch counts with a high durability and are used to get out of an inning or pitch one inning before the Closer comes in. No more than two on a roster normally.

A Closers job is to finish the game off for the win. They also have a low stamina and high durability and normally the cream of the crop.

There are also some specialist settings you will find though the game doesn't use them correctly if at all. The game likes the Mop Up position but I rarely use it unless I have to call up a pitcher and I don't want him in if the game is on the line.

Now for the nuts and bolts. Control, splits, and pitches need to be as high as possible. Hard to come by and cost lots of money. I myself like high control, 80's or better. Splits can be a little give and take. Lefties generally have a lower right split but that doesn't make them a bad pitcher as many don't like them as there are more power right handed hitters. Most generally the right split needs to be in the 70's or better, lefties in the 60's. I have actually had better luck with lefties in the high 50's which is common. Lefties with a right split in the 70's or higher is uncommon but do exist. I like the first two pitches to be high, upper 80's and 70's  with pitch 3 and 4 in the 50's and 60's.

To go with that is FB/GB, GB is the high end of the spectrum while FB is the low end. Does it really matter? Most say not really, me, well I like the GB as power hitters aren't going to put it over the fence as much. Last but not least is Velo, Most like it high as these are the high strike out pitchers.  I wouldn't have a stable of just FB pitchers nor would I have a staff of low Velo pitchers either.

Line Ups

What do most managers look at when setting up their line ups? Basically they are looking at getting players that combines overall efficiency of hitting and fielding.

Lead off hitters can be hard to come by. What is needed: a real good eye, contact and splits with base running speed. One guy may not be able to handle the entire responsibility, maybe one for right handed pitchers and one for lefties. Power is not a requisite and should be lacking as a matter of fact as a good range is 0 to 60.

The two spot should mirror the lead off hitter in all reality just not as good maybe. A little more power is desirable but nothing outlandish, like 55 to 65. Basically your looking for a hitter that can move the runner along and hit doubles.

The hole hitter is kind of unique and may depend on the type of stadium you have. A severe pitchers park would be better served with another lead off hitter type that maybe doesn't have the all out speed and a little more power. On the road or in a hitters park you want the flexibility to put one of your best power hitters in this slot.

The clean up spot should be designated as the player with the best batting average and power numbers. If the bases are loaded which really doesn't happen all that often, you need some one to bring them home. Most like the idea of doing it with one mighty blast.

The fifth and sixth slots should actually mirror the clean up spot as best as possible. Just remember this rule, eye, power and splits before contact from here on out.

The seventh slot is usually reserved for the best remaining hitter with power. Normally the guy with a bad eye with good splits and contact.

The eighth slot is for the guy you just can't seem to find a good hitter for but need his defense. Like SS or CF.

The AL gets the use of a DH, usually in the form a big power hitter.  They might help you get to the WS, but can be more of a hindrance in the WS unless they can play another position. Many try to find a DH that can play another position somewhat well, like catcher or 1B.

If you let WIS suggest your line up, some screwball things will happen. They will put the player with the best speed in the lead off spot and the most powerful hitter in the hole slot.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First International Report

Max Guardado became the first International signed for the season as the Louisville Colonels offered him 80K to be their Rookie League SS.  As the money implies he isn't much to look at but can be a career minor league player unless the PEDS are in effect. SS is stretch as 3B/RF is a better suit. Hitting isn't going to be much to look at.

Juan Elcano signed a $3M deal with Texas. Hmm, he could be a gem in a relief role from the pen. Has the control and pitches, if the splits come around a very good cheap signing.

Enrique Accardo made the news with a rather large signing bonus of $8.8M with Baltimore. My scouts says he isn't the SS purported to be but what do they know. Actually I think they are right as he would be better off as a 3B. Contact might be below average but the rest in the hitting department looks pretty good with a some pop and the speed to leg out them doubles. Money was not over the top as he was a decent signing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

AL Crystal Ball Readings


1. Detroit Tigers still has the best looking team on paper.

2. Minnesota Twins might be a surprise.

3. Toronto Blue Jays may have went and spent a lot of money. I see a good pitching staff with a broken offense even with Mays.

4. Montreal Expos look like they want to see how the first 25 games go before making a move as they could be contenders.


1. Boston Red Sox to repeat one more time, that is a maybe.

2. Baltimore Orioles was slotted in first until I saw Bubbles.

3. Dover Dung Beetles could be in first or second also for that matter.

4. Washington D.C. Senators wind up here because I am not that into their pitching staff.


1. Kansas City Royals will be a royal pain to everyone this season.

2. Texas TardTankos still has it. Everett Hill says they got the name wrong as it should be TankoTards.

3. Tampa Bay Rays played sell off to rebuild but they are not all that bad.

4. Little Rock Heads bemoaning injuries already.


1. Colorado Springs Sky Sox do it one more time.

2. Anaheim Angels can they do it a second time.

3. Seattle Mariners says they can if the Angels can't.

4. Helena Hot Pockets says don't count us out but we do for some reason.

I have always had problems predicting the AL so why should this year be different. My downfall started in the North and just kept getting worse.

1. Colorado Springs Sky Sox
2. Kansas City Royals
3. Detroit Tigers
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Anaheim Angels
6. Baltimore Orioles

NL Crystal Ball Readings


1. Chicago Cubs seems like a sure thing and they are. A lot of things would have to wrong to slow them down even.

2. Cincinnati Reds has the offense to take second in the North. The problem could be pitching in the late innings.

3. Milwaukee Brewers has assembled a rather interesting team and say they can make the playoffs. This team will nickel and dime you to death on offense while the pitching staff just might not be up for the task.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates had a playoff string of 14 straight until last season and were in it to the end. Still a very formidable foe that knows how to win, I just don't see it happening this year.


1. Atlanta Braves will more than likely repeat again.

2. New York Mets made the playoffs last year and are stronger than ever on offense and in pitching.

3. Louisville Colonels is a team on the rise. Don't look now but here is another team that could easily end up in the playoffs.

4. Philadelphia Phillies have been rebuilding but just enough of the pieces as of yet.


1. Mexico City Diablos Rojos won the the South last year in incredible fashion. Can they repeat is the question. I think they are actually better than last year.

2. Florida Marlins are no chumps and look to get back into playoff mode one more time. All eyes will be on Ivan as he can become the first pitcher with 400 wins and 100 saves  this season.

3. St. Louis Cardinals will be one tough nut to crack and have the ability to be playoff bound but I don't think all the pieces are there yet.

4. Houston Astros should win 65 games this year with ease but I don't see them as playoff contenders with the rest of the division.


1. Los Angeles Dodgers are still the team to beat.

2. San Francisco Giants have the capability to take second and get to the playoffs even.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks were frustrated last year. They have a contending team that can stink really bad one day and smell like roses the next. Pitching just doesn't seem all that good to me.

4. San Diego Padres look good on paper but not playoff good.

After looking all the teams over from head to toe this is going to be really hard to come up with only 6 teams. It might be easier to pick 6 teams not going to the playoffs and I am not sure I could get that right. Well here is my prediction, looks like last years playoff teams.

1. Chicago Cubs
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Atlanta Braves
4. Mexico City Diablos Rojos
5. New York Mets
6. Cincinnati Reds

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame voting is probably the hardest thing I have ever seen, rates right up there with hiring coaches. If we don't come up with a way for a consensus, nobody will get in. There is several ways at looking at it also which makes it even more difficult. I explained last year how to get 6 players in but no one wanted to do that either or it was ignored.  Then again it takes all owners to vote, no exceptions. maybe if we let the Commish decide then everyone vote for them we will get 5 in. Anyway, here is a list of the top 15 candidates right at the moment in my books, it would take 3 years to get all of them in.

Hitters with 2500 career hits or more

David Guardado
Lee Coleman
Heinie Watkins
Charlie Stone 
Javier Santayana
Luis Cruz
Furio Lombard
Juan Carrasquel
Junior Bocachica
*Rocky Spencer

*Rated #1 for me because of his career AVG and OPS after that it is a toss up

Pitchers with 200 Wins or better and career ERA under 4.00.

Donald Satou
Paulie Sanders
Kent Heredia


Vinny Post 

Career ERA under 3.00

Midre Davis

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rule 5

Normally I do a Rule 5 post, I really wasn't going to do it this season because there just wasn't any players that is all that exciting to write about. But then not to do it just wouldn't be me, now would it?

As for the HOF, I did a simple click on Hits in the nomination list and it gave me 10 legit outstanding players that deserve to be voted in just to start with. To me that is only a small dent as I think there are easily another 20 position players that are deserving. Going to  pitching, just clicking on Wins gives you another 10 or so but I wouldn't call all of them legit starting pitching candidates. Haven't even got to the Closers and the great bull pen pitchers that get no or very little recognition. In the end it is going to be tough to carry the votes needed.

On to the Rule 5 players from my board:

1.  Jermaine Brocail : Shows he has some room for growth though it won't be much. Could make for a nice setup pitcher for a few seasons for a team in the rebuild mode but doubtful beyond that.

2. Ruben Mota :  He has a somewhat weak arm but still a bit over the top for COF fielding wise.  Not great at the plate but could generate some offense. Is young and could grow some but  wouldn't expect much.

3. John Rooney : I think he actually has the potential to be better than the last guy except his fielding is limited LF/1B.

4. Jayson Patterson : My scouts see him as actually having ML potential in a setup role. His growth from last season wasn't overwhelming so I don't put much stock into it.

5. Orval McCormick : If you are in dire need of a 5th starter or long reliever this is the guy. He could get better with time but lack of growth from last season says that he will only be passable for a ML pitcher.

6. Banjo Ingram : I hate these types, bad control but everything else about top notch. If you are in a severe pitchers park then I would take a flier on him, but only have him available at home or where conditions favor him.

7. Bruce Sellers : Has range and a very ugly glove. Has speed and puts the ball in play but little else.

8. Danny Morgan : Of all the players I have seen so far, this is the first one I would have protected. Can play RF though the glove is a bit substandard but has a great arm. Has lots of speed and I think he can do some damage at the plate with his opposite field hitting but take the hit and run sign off. I don't like his makeup much, too much eyeliner and rouge.

9. Pedro Rodriguez :  I wouldn't let him play much above 1B which makes him next to worthless since he doesn't hit well.

10. Harry Jimenez : Could be used as a cheap backup to 2B/CF.  Has speed but chances of him getting on base is very slim.

11. Wally McGee : Need a backup utility player, here is your chance.

12. Eric Bradley : Need a backup catcher, here is your chance. Hell, with my standards for catchers he could be the starter.

Something's Brewing In Milwaukee

SOUTH BOSTON, Mass. - After a season in which they won only 69 games, the Milwaukee Brewers had little reason to think that Season 27 would be much different.  But with the a stronger pitching performance than expected and the sooner-than-expected emergence of some young players, the Brewers won 80 games, making them a Wild Card contender for most of the summer.

This year, management thinks it could have a winner on its hands and increased player payroll nearly 30 percent; while it could be too much to ask these Brewers to catch the rival Cubs for first place in the Division, a Wild Card berth is not out of the question.

Milwaukee has a very serviceable farm system, especially at AAA where the organization has a handful of future starting pitchers; likewise, there are a couple of solid major league hitters down on the farm.  Historically, the Brewers promote their players to the majors early and let them learn on the job.  This season, the Brewers signed free agents to fill out their Major League roster, with most newcomers on 1-year deals, or 1 year with an option.  This will give the team some flexibility next season. 

Here's how the Brew Crew lineup compares to last season .

  Season 28 Season 27 Adv Notes
1 Ezequiel Uribe, 2B Uribe, RF 28 Won Gold Glove in RF; Project .375, 100 runs, 25 SB
2 TJ O'Brien, RF Pablo Solano, 2B 27 Solano had .789 OPS but will make $30mm in SF; 
3 James Saitou, LF Saitou, LF 28 Now 26, Saitou had 26 HR and 83 RBI after torrid start.
4 Desi Guerrero, CF Guerrero, CF 28 23-year old had 30 HR and 102 RBI as a rookie.
5 Pat Hill, 1B Hill, 1B 28 Just 26, went .308/35/100 for Milwaukee and Philly last season
6 Will Potvin, SS Potvin, SS 28 B2B Gold Gloves (CF, SS) for 25-year old.  Hit 15 HRs.
7 Kid Gload, 3B Gload, 3B TIE Among weaker 3B in league, strong fielder.
8 Brian Patrick, C Patrick, C 28 Surprising Rule V pick hit 19 HR and won Gold Glove as 23-year old
BENCH Francisco Cerda, RF Freddie Cox, 1B 28 Aging Cerda was OBP machine in Chicago.
BENCH Alfredo Diaz, C Diaz, C TIE One of the best backup catchers.
BENCH Phil Nakajima, 2B/CF Nakajima 28 Strictly 25th-man fodder.  Can run and field.
BENCH TBD Felipe Sierra, IF TBD Sierra couldn't hit his ass with either hand.
SP1 Robinzon Rodriguez Rodriguez TIE 30-year old won 16 games last year returning from surgery. 
SP2 Paul Berroa Fernando Aguilar 28 Two-time All-Star Berroa needs 15 wins from 150 innings.
SP3 Aguilar Michael Yamamoto 28 26-year old Aguilar went 10-16 in 234 IP. Former 14-game winner
SP4 Yamomoto Andrew Bergen 28 3.19 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 150 IP for the 29-year old.
SP5 Bergen Bennie York 28 Entering 2nd full ML season, 26-year old won 9 games as a rookie in 180 IP.
LRA Hipolito Palacios Alberto Estrada TIE Estrada was a surprise Rule V sensation.
SU1 Russell West West TIE Very strong bounceback season.
SU2 Sawyer Christensen Christensen 28 Closer-in-waiting just 22 years old.
SU3 Bud Fox Al Limon TIE New top bullpen LHP, Fox is 8 years younger but gives up HRs
SU4 Parker Mahaffey Mahaffey 28 Now 26, has tools to be solid RH reliever.
SU5 Howard Edmonds Edmonds 28 Probably LH specialist, now 27.
SU6 Ken Guttierez Guttierez TIE Saved 28 four seasons ago.  2.65 ERA after late season callup.
CL Emil Sosa Stuart Young TIE 39-year old Sosa has great stuff, but can he replace Young's 41 saves?

WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS IF:  The myriad Brewers in their early and mid-20s all take an incremental step forward; newcomers hold up over 162 games and balance the losses of Solano at 2B and Young at closer.  The starting pitching has truly been upgraded.

WILL FINISH IN LAST PLACE IF: Too much hope has been pinned on Desi Guerrero and James Saitou.  Older acquisitions break down.

PREDICTION: 88-74.  2nd place North and NL Wild Card.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

FA Market Update

Angel Barrios joined the Anaheim ranks with a cheap 3 year deal at $4.1M.

Domingo Franco was scarfed up by Pittsburgh in a 2 year deal worth $3.3M.

Yeico Calles signed with Atlanta for a 1 year $3M deal.

Atlanta also landed Bernie Castillo with 1 year $2.5M deal.

Mitch Knotts created some serious adventure but singed with the Cubs in a 5 year deal worth $14M more or less with a $10M signing bonus.

Yuniesky Megias was astounded that he was so wanted but ended the day signing with Boston for a 5 year deal worth over $50M.

Meanwhile Detroit waited things out and signed Hal Davis to a dirt cheap 3 year deal worth $3.8M.

Kansas City resigned Mike Jakubauskas for 3 years at $3.8M.

In not so big news

Toronto signed the aged  Rob Webster, the defensive minded Bum Paul and  Kosuke Squinty Cheng.

Atlanta also came to terms with Bernard Shelley who left Anaheim the fastest route possible.

The Dodgers found Juan Espinoza twiddling his thumbs and offered a nice little contract to throw the ball at batters.

Harry Flores hitched a slow boat to Seattle to make like a SS.

St Louis decided they needed something that resembled a 3B and signed Javy Picasso off the help wanted list.

Wanted for fraud, impersonating a pitcher and pandering Sherry Thomas. She was last seen in disguise wearing a Toronto Blue Jays uniform and looks like my neighbors wife.


Ever wonder who has the best coach at a position? Well, I will make an opinionated stab at it plus tell the youngster owner how to get a better coach at a position.

Getting a better coach at a position sometimes takes a little perseverance and sometimes a little luck. Just because you don't see a coach you like available at a certain position doesn't mean there isn't one. They may be wanting a different job, most generally one they are not exactly qualified for. Most owners will bid on two or three different coaches at a position. I used to do that but generally don't do it any more. I also don't get into bidding wars for one either anymore. If I like that particular coach I might raise the offer one time but not by a lot, $100K or so. I think sometimes the system games the owner a bit to spend a few more bucks on him. However the only thing you really know is that once you make an offer and it is at zero, no one else has made a bid. Once most owners see that one sitting in the column they don't want to start a bidding war because it ties up money they probably don't have unless they want to play grinch. What you must look at is where the glut for a position is. This season it was the 3B position or the lack of 1B coaches. I know my 1B coach wanted the 3B job but he wasn't anywhere near qualified. So I found the 3B coach I wanted for 1B and made the offer. Most generally he will give you a wait and see answer and it could go on for several cycles but will sign when no one offers him a 3B assignment and they get few and far between.

Sometimes I wait to the last two cycles before even making a bid. The reason here is to find an over the top coach for a lesser job. Like a PC coach for the BU job. Right now there are four or five coaches that would be a huge upgrade to my BU coach. Also they are at rock bottom prices. But the catch here is the fact they won't drop down until right before the last cycle or all the positions at the ML level are filled. One could really cleanup with good minor league coaches right now. I know several that do that. The bad part about that is they usually only stay one year. That is how I got my PC coach for this year, I waited to the end and picked the best coach remaining. At the ML level they will always ask for the higher job in their class. I wouldn't make a habit of it however as it could backfire if your not careful.

Best ML Coaches:


Pete Wallace - Atlanta Braves, he has been around forever and knows DJ's sister personally.
Elroy Schultz - Colorado Springs Sky Sox, such a value buy.

First Base:
Ralph Groom - Montreal Expos, cost a small fortune but well worth it.
Max Roberts - Washington D.C. Senators, finds a way to cut through the red tape.

Third Base:
Melky Rosario - Texas TardTankos,  low loyalty rating, who cares, he can do the job.
Dummy Clark - Minnesota Twins, one of those stupendous names.

Teddy Collier - Colorado Springs Sky Sox, go look at his record if you don't believe me.
Jake Mabry - San Francisco Giants, my gut instinct makes me very wary of him in all reality.

Bull Pen:
Dan Melton - New York Mets, I consider him better than the two above him.
Adrian Smith - Baltimore Orioles, ditto.

Fred Ruebel - Los Angeles Dodgers, I just like his evenness across the board.
Rusty Gryboski - Milwaukee Brewers - he thinks he is a ladies man, just ask him.

Tommy Buchanan - Florida Marlins, defense proved beyond a shadow of doubt, sort of.
Heathcliff Rogers - Arizona Diamondbacks, proof positive high discipline has its ups and downs.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Perplexed is the word I would describe or amused, maybe both. I looked at my schedule for the season and maybe, just maybe someone understood a little of what I was talking about when I was a tad bit upset last season. Hmm, is it a possibility these little spots of info get read from time to time especially when it pertains directly to the game? Anyway that is not exactly what I am perplexed about this season already.

I looked at my schedule as it is a wonderous thing to behold sometimes. I seem to recall last season that my Spring Training schedule was a road warrior hell. This season I start Spring Training on the road in San Diego, after that we have 10 straight home games. Only 5 away games total, four in the last 6 games and none of them to an AL park.  Okay, so it is Spring Training after all and really it is a who cares thing.  Normally we only care about the first 10 to 12 games anyway. Maybe a little more care could be taken in those first 10 games with the Spring Training schedule though.

Like maybe it would be nice to start the Spring Training schedule with a home and away series with an AL vs NL match up theme. After that it would seem simple enough that no team has more than 2 or 3 home/road games in a row.

This year I start the season with the Phillies. At least the schedule differs every year with the opening buzzer. What I wanted to know is whether or not the D'Backs games at the end of the season were back to back or separated, last year they were separated. Surprise!! Lo and behold, no 7 game stretch with the same team at the end of the season! Matter of fact, the D'Backs schedule is over by All-Star break. The Giants are the offending 7 game stretch culprits this year with Mexico City caught in the middle. But caveat this season as the games are not in the same between off-day stretches and before preparing for the draft even.

I know the D'Backs will be thrilled about this information. Well, almost thrilled, instead of the Mets, they get the Phillies for a back to back 7 game stretch at roster expansion time to end the between off-day stretch. 

The Known Unknowns

The Tigers announced the resigning of the disgruntled Dom Tabaka with a three year deal for $5.8M plus deal.

Rich Faulk made it past the agent influence to sign with the Mets in a faulty four year deal.

Buster Kaufman was paid a lot of bucks just to pitch for the Cubs at a poor AAA farm club last year. This year he gets a better four year deal and a ML uniform to boot in Seattle.

The Phillies signed Dustan Bullinger to a three year deal  for $5.2M. It made the rest of the NL East to sit up and take notice at least.

Victor Grieve was signed by the Cubs for the season for $5M. We think he just wanted someone named Victor on the team.

Carlos Mesa picked up the Dodgers and a wad of cash in the tune of $8M for four year. Hopefully he won't get beat up by the cat, dog, wife and won't get a splinter to stay off the DL.

The Twins yanked Oswaldo Chavez chain to play CF for $4.8M for two years.

The Tigers also bought the aging Glenn Knepper with a two year $2.8M deal.

The Reds made news by signing Vernon Darling to a two year minimum contract and a $5M signing bonus.

The Brewers signed T.J. O'Brien to a two year deal $4M plus deal. Also added Fernando Cerda with a one year $4.2M deal. Now which one bats first and second?

Free Agent Trifectas

The Toronto Blue Jays completed their trifecta by signing Albert Cubillan to $14M five year deal. That is $39M for three players in their high-end shopping extravaganza. Will it be enough to win 30 more games in the AL East over last year?

The Anaheim Angels completed their trifecta by signing Shannon Lyon and Brandon Miles. Lyon got a four year deal at $6.7M while Miles garnered a one year deal for $4.1M. That equates to around $15M for three players and no unseemly long contracts. Will it be enough to keep the status quo in the AL West.

Other than Mitch Knotts who might be under a bidding war, prices of some good pitching are starting to fall into the bargain basement area. The position market which was pretty thread bare to begin with and rather picked over is succombing to market pressure also.  In the NFL the players are calling it owner collusion, here I think it more like "your value to me just isn't worth the asking price".

Friday, April 5, 2013

Free Agent Market Evening Edition

In a surprise move, Dover spent $6M for two years on Louie Hanson to bolster their pen.

In a couple moves that awed disbelievers, Toronto acquired the services of Victor Morlan and Joel Mays to the sum of $25M for 5 years.

The Giants made another move bidding for the services of Miller Shiell with a rising subtle contract for 4 years.

Montreal picked up Winston Maxwell with an $8M four year deal. We are betting on incentives and options being involved.

In a big surprising move, the Cubs signed Tim Loewer to a two year worth $5.2M.

FA Market Early Edition

The big news of the morning was the signing of Peter Brock to Baltimore in a three year deal worth $9.3M. The question now remains is where will he play as it is doubtful Shayne Marte will be moved out of CF. 2B or 3B could be his destination as both are weak in the defensive arena that could use an upgrade, especially with a guy named Bubbles guarding 2B.

Milwaukee snorted up the rights to Emil Sosa in a two year deal for $5.4M. Brewers only gave up a supp and 2nd round pick for the acquisition.

Pablo Solano got his max contract with the Giants. Good chance he will stick there this time. 

Max Amaro signed a two year deal with the Reds for $4M. Is he the answer to the closer problem they have faced?

Ernest Diggins finds his way to Pittsburgh for a couple seasons for $4M. He said he wanted to go fishing in the confluence,  we are not sure if that is exactly healthy.

First Major FA Signings

I was kind of surprised by the first two major Free Agent signings. Why so quick I wondered on the first big name to fall and for so little in all reality.

Vance Knowles signed a three year deal for $6.5M. I actually considered him the best right-handed pitcher available in the market. Even with his slow recovery time as the trend seems to be leaning toward a four man rotation. Just in case some of you haven't noticed, durability of starting pitchers have been gravitating into the 30's which leads one to believe that a four man rotation is possible and might become trendy.

The Mets wasted no time signing Fausto Castillo to a five year deal worth $5.8M. Considered more of a value pick in this market but right-handed starting pitching is actually a premium. The Mets also signed Bob Olson to a $4.8M 1 year deal.

Renyel Gongora signed a three year deal in Montreal at an average of $4.8M per. He gets special mention in this list because he was on my radar scope as I was waiting for his stock to drop to the bargain basement level.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Free Agent Market

The best Free (use that term very loosely) Agents at a glance with a very opinionated commentary.

Randall Frederick leads the list. A terrible backstop for sure but can hit. 4.7M for three years and a type A. Opinion: I wouldn't want him as a catcher and is better suited for a DH role if you ask me. I would take a flier as a DH for 3 seasons with an option at that price.

Bart Ross is available one more time. Wants a 1 year deal at 4.2M and a type A. Isn't great behind the plate and isn't terrible but could lead the league in average one more time easily enough. Opinion: he is worth the contract but giving up a draft pick is hard to justify. 110 games is about all you could get if your cautious because of his durability even as a DH. What is even harder is the fact he would make a great lead off hitter but that would mean fewer games still.

Kendry Armas is the player wanting the most money, 5.8M for 5 years. Will give him credit, he can play 1B pretty well and has speed. As for hitting, lets say he gives it his best shot. Opinion: not worth the money, may be worth 3M for 1 year if your hard up.

Tim Bird is second on the money trail and I say it is still over the top. Hits well with some power but isn't really dynamic at the position. Opinion: not worth the money, may be worth 3.5M for two years if you are developing a player for the position.


Pablo Solano wants 9M for 4 seasons. Hits really well and can play the position and good enough to play CF also. Opinion: worth the money and I would make it a 5 year deal. Expecting him to get a max salary.

Fausto Ramirez is second in the list. 6.8M for 5 years and a type A, you got to be pulling my leg! Has speed that he doesn't use well enough to be good threat and doesn't hit well. Plays the position well and good enough to play 3B also. Opinion: well over priced, I might think 5M for 3 years with an option at the most.


Carlos Mesa can hit, run and play the position very well plus some SS. 7M for 3 seasons, not bad..errr..just don't look at his health. Opinion: hard to tie up those kind of bucks on a player that has a good chance of not making it through spring training sitting on the bench even.

T.J. Cota is next on the list wanting 6.6M for 4 years. Can play the position, has speed but doesn't hit all that well. Scratching my head wondering why he isn't a type A. Opinion: Maybe 5M for 3 years in my books.


Joel Mays leads the list at this position, WTF?! He never could play SS, the best is 3B but he can hit. Opinion: Okay, somebody is gonna give him a lot of money, more than his asking prices and I say "yup".

Edgardo Flores is second on the list and not a type A, go figure. Has health issues, can't hit but is very speedy and not all that bad at the position.  Opinion: 6M for 3 years could be a stretch, maybe 5M with an option.

Nigel Li is a good hitter and can play the spot and would even make a better 1B. Opinion: his health is a problem but the contract wouldn't be all that bad with an option thrown in.

Miller Shiell is second on the list. Why is he only a type B, I don't get it myself. Hits and fields very well. Opinion: much better player if you ask me and well worth the contract.


Peter Brock paves the way for the position. Okay, who put him in CF? Better at 3B and could play a decent enough 2B maybe but CF seems a stretch to me. Good at the plate and has speed, woo woo. Opinion: Asking the most of any player and I would assume will get a max contract. 20M for 5 years and an option is what I like.

Santos Mairena doesn't look like much to me, but he wants 5.6M for 5 years and a type A, STFU! Not sure where I would play him, doesn't hit all that well but has a little speed. Opinion: He doesn't look like a CF and more or less looks like a so-so player. Not worth my time and effort writing about him.

Shannon Lyon leads the way. Oooh la la he can play 3B, how about that? Hits and runs well to go with it. At 6.7M for 5 years and a type A to boot. Opinion: so he has sleeping sickness and declining, I would be hard pressed to give him that much, maybe 5M with an option. Might get 130 games out of him from the 7th or 8th slot...hmmm.

Marshall Black is next on the list, okay so he wasn't but was better than the other guy. He does have the arm but doesn't play the spot all that well overall. Doesn't hit all that well, okay so it is more like poorly. Opinion: I would find a power DH over him.

Teddy Ramirez

Tony Prior

Daisuke Nomo

Opinion: All three are very capable and really cost effective for the position.


Albert Cubillan leads the pitching list. Wants 7.5M for 5 years. Decent enough pitcher. Opinion: someone will probably give him some big bucks but not me. Over priced even with pitching hard to come by. 1 pitch with real good splits is all he has going for him. I don't see it myself.

Victor Morlan is close behind Al in his wants. A superb lefty in all reality. Opinion: Yeah someone will give him the big bucks also.

Mitch Knotts comes in third and is really the better buy in a way. Opinion: If his stamina was better he would be leading the way.

  Mike Jakubauskas makes my cutoff for this are. Wants 5.6 for 4 years and a type B. Opinion: looks good in middle relief role and if his price drops I will be there with open wallet.

Emil Sosa sneaks into second the list. 5.4M for two years and a type A, get out of town. Opinion: Yeah he still has it, but for a Type A gonna be a tough sell.

 Dom Tabaka wants a 2 year deal at $5.8M and a type A. He didn't work out in Detroit, not sure why. Good defense, PC catcher he was like gold for me. Opinion: Justify a Type A at 38?

Hal Davis pops up on my radar better then the next few. Playing well in Boson means he can play anywhere or should. 5.2M for 5 years and a type A.  Opinion: Could very well be worth the money but I would add an option.