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2016 MLB thread. Baseball is upon us! Royals are the champs - Page 420

post #12571 of 73661
1st and 3rd no outs and the top of the lineup coming up...and you get no runs? Horrible.
post #12572 of 73661
Originally Posted by dland24 View Post

Why League is still the closer is beyond me. Terrible contract he has too.

Ned and his horrible 3 year contracts
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MLB Los Angeles Dodgers
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post #12573 of 73661
Originally Posted by 011781 View Post

Is that John Daly pitching for the DBacks?


John Daly is Heath Bell without facial hair.
post #12574 of 73661
Kenley Jensen is ten times the pitcher Brandon League is.
post #12575 of 73661
Originally Posted by Jewbacca View Post

Puig 2-2. Dude is on straight fire.

Shots fired haha

Puig on an absolute tear sick.gifmean.gif

roll.gif at the shots at Ike Davis

Originally Posted by WearinTheFourFive View Post

Originally Posted by RaWEx5 View Post

Originally Posted by do work son View Post

i like vin scully embarassed.gif

Yeah, he's great. He really knows his stuff and does his homework on the other team's players. He always throws out the most random facts about players. laugh.gif

I was watching a game the other day on KCAL and he said something like "this player says he has such strong forearms because he had to roll the corn for tortillas his entire childhood". Vin is like the Nardwuar of broadcasters.

post #12576 of 73661
Brandon League needs to be out of the league indifferent.gif he's auto blown save at this point, and Donnie keeps throwin him out there and making excuses for him.

A long running Vin random fact joke at a dodger forum I post at is "Uggla is Swedish for owl". Next time they play the braves, listen for it laugh.gif gotta love Vin pimp.gif
post #12577 of 73661
Ya those little vin facts are awesome I love them, as LA fans I've been lucky to hear chick Hearn and vin Scully just pure greatness
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post #12578 of 73661
Originally Posted by frink85 View Post

A long running Vin random fact joke at a dodger forum I post at is "Uggla is Swedish for owl". Next time they play the braves, listen for it laugh.gif gotta love Vin pimp.gif


Oh, he made sure to mention that over the weekend. He even gave a reminder after a HR --- "remember, it's Swedish for OWL"


Anyone ever been to the Padres park? That **** looks beautiful on TV.  San Diego has grass and a sandbox for the kids in the outfield.... Here, in Miami, we have a bar and a pool... figures.

post #12579 of 73661
Thread Starter 
Why Phillies aren't a contender.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The Phillies started the season ranked 14th in the ESPN Power Rankings, but a slow start knocked them down a few pegs. This week, on the strength of a season-best five-game winning streak, they are basically back where they started, and are No. 15 on the list. Despite their little run though, the Phillies should not be mistaken for a good team.

Their main strength has been the starting rotation, but it has not been mighty enough to make the team a contender. In 2011, the Phillies had an incredible starting rotation -- its 24.4 WAR as a unit was ahead of the next-best team by more than 4 WAR. Last season, it was pretty good as well, finishing fourth as a unit with 16.0 WAR. This season, however, they've dropped off to 12th.

Certainly, Cliff Lee has been every bit the ace that he is expected to be. His 2.54 FIP is the eighth-best mark in the game this season and fourth-best in the National League. But after that, things go south quickly. Kyle Kendrick has been effective, though after an April when he seemingly could do no wrong, he was much more pedestrian in May.

Pedestrian would be a good way to describe Cole Hamels' season to date. He has been getting better after a slow start, and his peripheral numbers are coming back to where they were last year, when he was worth more than 4 WAR, but as of yet he has not been a difference-maker for Philadelphia.

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Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
Roy Halladay's days as an ace appear to be behind him.Hamels and Kendrick, however, are much better than what the rest of the rotation has produced. While Lee, Kendrick and Hamels have a combined 3.39 ERA in their 39 starts, the group of Tyler Cloyd, Jonathan Pettibone, John Lannan and Roy Halladay has produced a 5.20 ERA in their 25 starts. That's certainly nothing to write home about, and while Halladay is aiming to return from right shoulder surgery before the end of this season, and prospects such as Jesse Biddle and Ethan Martin might help stem the tide, it's becoming less and less likely that the Phillies' rotation will be an elite unit this season.

And yet, even with a subpar offense (10th in NL in runs), defense (ninth in defensive efficiency) and bullpen (14th in reliever FIP), the Phillies have managed to hang around the fringes of contention. They are only two games under .500 and only a half-game behind the Nationals for second place in the NL East. Their overall run differential isn't great, but they still have a puncher's chance of getting back into the race, which is more than some teams can say. And after a poor start to last season, they managed to claw their way back into contention in September, so perhaps hope should spring eternal, right?

Well, not exactly. Take a quick glance at how the Phillies have fared against each opponent this season, and it becomes pretty clear that they are not capable of beating good teams. The Phillies have beaten up on the weak in their division, the Mets and Marlins. They're 5-1 against the Mets, who this week rank a season-low 28th in the Power Rankings. And they have gone 9-4 against the Marlins, who this week are 30th in the Rankings, and haven't placed better than 29th all season. Three of the five games of their winning streak came at the hands of Miami.

Taken together, Philadelphia is 14-5 with a plus-30 run differential against the two bottom feeders, and 17-27 with a minus-63 run differential against every other team this season.

Beating up on the weaker teams is, of course, something that teams should be doing, and the Phillies have a unique opportunity in that they get to play two of the weaker teams in the game quite frequently. But given their poor results against other teams, it paints their near-.500 record as a mirage.

Of course, hope is not completely lost just yet. Hamels should be better, and maybe Halladay or one of the kids on the farm can make an impact in the starting rotation. Domonic Brown has been a house afire, and there's always Lee. Jimmy Rollins is solid, as is Chase Utley -- when he is healthy. And once a week or so, someone will be stupid enough to throw Ryan Howard a fastball on the black and he'll park it in the cheap seats and Phillies fans can reminisce to a time when he was actually a productive player.

And that's just the thing with the Phillies. They have so many players who used to be a lot better than they are now that any positive short-term results is going to have us all dreaming of their return to glory, but until they start beating good teams with any regularity, their hopes of contention will be just that -- a dream.

Cubs moving in right direction.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Just over a decade ago, Theo Epstein was the boy wonder in the world of baseball's front offices, having been named the youngest general manager in baseball history at age 28. Two years later, in 2004, the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918. Three years after that, the Red Sox did it again.

At this point, Epstein could write his own ticket, and in 2011 that's just what he did, accepting a five-year deal worth an eye-popping $18.5 million to become the team president of the Chicago Cubs, bringing with him one of his key assistants from his earlier Boston years, Jed Hoyer, from the San Diego Padres to serve as GM. From one curse to the other, Epstein took on the challenge of turning around the Chicago Cubs, a team in far worse straits than the Red Sox were in 2001, the year before he took over.
The Cubs aren't yet a contender or even a good team, but Epstein has already made some key moves, some of them classic "Moneyball"-esque transactions, that have brought the Cubs to the very edge of respectability despite coming off the franchise's first 100-loss season since 1966. Nobody will confuse this year's Cubs with a World Series contender, but with the team almost at parity in the runs scored/runs allowed ratio (248-to-255), Chicago is real competition rather than a doormat. The Cubs' 25-36 record might look more like their 30-31 Pythagorean record if Carlos Marmol's control had not continued to deteriorate, to the point that he'd have trouble targeting the ground if he dropped the baseball.

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Reid Compton/USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Rizzo, at just 23 years of age, is a future building block for the Cubs.The Anthony Rizzo acquisition looks to be Epstein's crown jewel move with the Cubs so far. Rizzo had a previous history with Epstein and Hoyer, being a former sixth-round pick of the Red Sox and part of the price tag Boston had to pay for Padres star Adrian Gonzalez. San Diego's acquisition of Yonder Alonso in the Mat Latos trade made Rizzo -- and his dreadful .141 AVG/.281 OBP/.242 SLG initial stint in the majors -- a less expensive deal.

Fast-forward to 2013, and Rizzo is one of the cornerstones of the Cubs. He signed a very team-friendly contract through at least 2019, cheap enough that he doesn't have to come close to matching his six-year ZiPS projection of 23.3 to be worth the money.

This isn't the first time Epstein picked up an underappreciated young first baseman to serve in the heart of the lineup. Last time, it was David Ortiz, non-tendered by the Twins because they focused on what he couldn't do rather than what he could. That one worked out pretty well.

It hasn't stopped with Rizzo. Cubs third basemen have a .787 OPS and 11 home runs this year; the position has been manned mostly by Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom, both claimed off waivers from their previous team. The right fielder, Nate Schierholtz, is hitting .293/.320/.524 on a one-year, $2.25 million contract. Ryan Sweeney, possibly the best fourth outfielder in the majors, got very little attention and was still unemployed at the end of March before finding his way to the Cubs. Epstein also had the patience to realize that Alfonso Soriano, with a contract that could best be described as a monumental flop, still has enough to contribute that it's not worth eating most, if not all, his contract to get him off the roster.

The bargain-basement shopping with the rotation has been even better. Carlos Villanueva and Scott Feldman combine to make just over $10 million this year, while Travis Wood fell out of favor in Cincinnati despite an 11-10 record and 4.18 ERA through his age 24 season. Those three have combined for a 3.18 ERA in 211 2/3 innings. The calculated gamble to give Jeff Samardzija another shot at the rotation before 2012 has paid off, as well, as the Shark has 3.18 ERA this season, leads the NL in K/9, and is making an argument that he's a borderline ace now that his dreadful command issues seem to be in the rear window. Even if there's some drop-off, that should be compensated by Edwin Jackson, one of the league's best innings-eaters, recovering from a dreadful start.

And the best thing of all this? Chicago's shopping is absolutely no hindrance to the team's rebuilding. The Cubs made sure to spend freely internationally in advance of the changes to the collective bargaining agreement that capped team spending. Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Arodys Vizcaino all remain Cubs, and Keith Law listed the team's farm system as the fifth-ranked organization in the majors -- a massive improvement from being ranked 20th in 2011 and 2012.

Add 2013 No. 1 draft pick Kris Bryant, and the Cubs' farm system has improved by leaps and bounds. This is even after the "graduation" of Rizzo and Starlin Castro from the system, and the well-publicized failures of former "top" prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters. For the Cubs to truly illustrate long-term success, their farm system must continue to produce prospects, something the organization has failed to do with consistency throughout its history. The Cubs now seem to be on their way to establishing that consistency.

Theo Epstein hasn't yet banished his second curse and brought the Cubs to the World Series, but for the first time since 2008, the prospect of Wrigley Field being watered by champagne in the future doesn't sound so silly.

Law: Complete NL draft breakdown.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Arizona Diamondbacks

I thought the Snakes got one of the best values in the first round when Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley (15) fell to them after getting some top-10 buzz this spring; he's a converted position player who's only been on the mound for two years, touching 97 with a plus changeup and some feel for a curveball, along with a delivery that works. Aaron Blair (36) has a starter's size and sometimes shows a starter's repertoire, but was very inconsistent week to week this spring and tested positive for a banned stimulant in May. Justin Williams (52) has big raw power but is a well below-average hitter with no position. Georgia Tech first baseman Daniel Palka (88) has big raw power but projects to strike out at a huge rate in pro ball.

Matt McPhearson (120) was one of the top position players on the showcase circuit last summer, showing a quick bat and plus speed, but his crude approach at the plate probably pushed him out of the top 100, where I think he represents great value. Jamie Westbrook (150) played high school ball around the corner from my house, and his makeup is great, but he's a 5-foot-8 infielder who has to move to second and whose uppercut swing won't translate with wood. Colin Bray (180) is a superb multi-sport athlete who is extremely raw at the plate, cut from the Keon Broxton cloth, but he's a reasonable pick in this range.

Daniel Gibson (210) is a left-handed reliever and former starter from the University of Florida, but he never showed me a quality breaking ball in the two times I saw him. He and Oregon's Jimmy Sherfy (300) should be fast-to-the-majors relievers, with Gibson more polished while Sherfy has better stuff with a much worse delivery. Elvin Soto (480) is interesting if he signs, a draft-eligible sophomore catcher from Pittsburgh who's improved defensively to the point where he might be a quality backup. It's an up-and-down crop but overall among my favorites.
Atlanta Braves

This is among my least-favorite draft classes, very low on upside with some very dubious picks. Jason Hursh (31) has a huge fastball, but there's a better than even chance he ends up a power reliever, between the lack of a solid second pitch and the Tommy John surgery that knocked him out for 2012. Victor Caratini (65) is a strong switch-hitter with a sound swing, showing the body for power but not the loft, and a chance to stay at third base with some instruction. Carlos Salazar (102) was probably their best value for the pick, a very hard-throwing right-hander with a sharp curveball but who's only 6-foot and not projectable.

Steve Janas (191) also missed most of 2012 after Tommy John surgery -- perhaps Atlanta feels that's the new inefficiency -- and throws a lot of strikes but has no average pitch. Tanner Murphy (133) and Ian Hagenmiller (313) are their best upside plays other than Caratini -- raw but strong prep position players, with Murphy showing good arm strength behind the plate.

And then there's Kyle Wren (253), the one of the most embarrassing picks any team made. Wren isn't a bad player and probably would have gone at some point in the next two rounds, but the problem with Atlanta choosing him is that his father is the team's general manager, which means dad just handed his son more than $150,000 (assuming he signs for slot). You just don't take an executive's kid in the 8th round -- if he's that good, someone else will take him, but even the threat of the appearance of nepotism should steer you away.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs' first pick, Kris Bryant (2), was a first-round talent out of high school who ended up at the University of San Diego and just ended up leading Division 1 in homers this year with 31. His kind of right-handed power is hard to come by, and even if he ends up in right field down the road he'll be a middle-of-the-order bat with power and patience. Rob Zastryzny (41) is a four-pitch starter without an out pitch, showing good command and control but lacking life on the fastball. Jacob Hannemann (75) is a 22-year-old freshman from BYU who spent two years serving on a religious mission, with good tools including the speed to possibly stay in center, but he's already at an age when he should be in Double-A.

The Cubs took five hard throwers who probably profile in relief in the long run in Tyler Skulina (108), Trey Masek (138), Scott Frazier (168), David Garner (198), and Sam Wilson (228); Skulina and Frazier are the most intriguing because they at least have a chance to remain starters due to their size and potential for above-average breaking balls. Their one wild card pick is Trevor Clifton (348), a prep righty from Tennessee who reaches 97 mph regularly with a very violent delivery and a strong commitment to Kentucky.

Cincinnati Reds

I've generally liked the Reds' drafts the past few years, but they were more conservative in 2013 and their class doesn't offer the same potentially high return in my view. Phil Ervin (27) is a short, thickly built outfielder, in center now but destined for a corner, bearing an uphill swing and a lower half that will require a lot of maintenance to keep it in shape. I don't see him as an above-average regular and think it's most likely he's a fourth outfielder.

Michael Lorenzen (38) is a tremendous defensive centerfielder who can't hit and a reliever who can hit 99 mph with little effort but has pitched so little (by choice) that he hasn't developed a second pitch. You can teach him a slider more easily than you can teach him to hit, so I believe his future is in the bullpen. Kevin Franklin (67) has plus raw power but is a well below-average hitter with a huge, long swing, and I cannot imagine him staying at third base, with a body type (6-foot-1, 220 pounds already) that you only see at first.

Ben Lively (135) has had good results at Central Florida thanks to the deception in his delivery, but he doesn't have an above-average pitch. Right-hander Mark Armstrong (104) and shortstop/pitcher Cory Thompson (165) are more in line with how the Reds typically draft, raw kids with one or more carrying tools, although Thompson is nearly 19 already and still isn't advanced as a hitter yet. The Reds did make the most interesting pick of the first 10 rounds with former New York Giants draft pick Chad Jones (285), a former outfielder and left-handed reliever for LSU who was 86-89 with a slider that projected as average or better and who showed a ton of energy on the mound (as well as raw power in BP). Jones suffered a catastrophic leg and ankle injury in a 2010 car accident that ended his football career before it began; this would be an amazing second act for him.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies ended up with Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray (3) with their first pick, a heck of a consolation prize given Gray's 94-100 MPH fastball and often plus slider. His fastball command has to improve in pro ball and he'll need to develop his changeup, but it's rare that you get to draft a guy who projects as a No. 1 starter, and Gray immediately becomes the team's best prospect.

Ryan McMahon (42) is a very athletic infielder, probably moving to third base in the long run, with bat speed and some power projection. He may be a little raw for the high second round but understandable given his upside. Alex Balog (70) had an up-and-down spring, at times showing a plus fastball and slider, at other times showing four average pitches, but also raising concerns with the way he competed. He has the size and has at least demonstrated the velocity to be a mid-rotation guy and was good value for the pick.

Sam “Gangster” Moll (77) will remind you of Tim Collins, another left-hander with a low-90s fastball and a swing-and-miss breaking ball, but only projects as a short (no pun intended) reliever. Catcher Dom Nunez (169) is a converted infielder with a solid backstop's build and a ceiling as a regular, but who more likely projects as a quality backup because of his bat -- although a good backup catcher is also good value in the sixth round. Konner Wade (199) was a huge part of Arizona's CWS championship in 2012, but his command comes and goes and his low arm slot makes me think he'll end up in a bullpen. Terry McClure (229) was a great upside play if he'll sign -- he has power and bat speed, but needs help keeping his swing path consistent and coordinating his lower and upper halves. He's committed to Georgia Tech. I know nothing about Alex Rodriguez (469) but he might consider going by “Alejandro” or “Sasha” instead.

Los Angeles Dodgers

This doesn't feel like a Dodgers draft, with no high-upside high school picks mixed in here at all. Chris Anderson (18) does fit what the Dodgers like in pitchers, as he has size, velocity and has shown a plus slider, hitting a rough stretch in April after the Dolphins overused him in the season's first six weeks. Minnesota lefty Tom Windle (56) profiles as either a back-end starter or good reliever, a command/finesse pitcher with average stuff but very good feel. Brandon Dixon (92) is currently a third baseman but has to move either to an outfield corner or to first base, and he doesn't have the power (slugging just .362 away from Tucson) or patience (15 unintentional walks in 247 PA) to profile in those spots.

Cody Bellinger (124), son of former True Yankee Clay Bellinger, is a first-base-only high school hitter with a loose swing and some power potential if you really dream on him, but he didn't look physically ready for pro ball and was seen by many area scouts as a college guy this year. Right-hander JD Underwood (154) has a fringy fastball with good feel and could end up a three-pitch guy with nothing plus. Right-hander Jacob Rhame (184) has good sink on his low-90s fastball with above-average control, but right now his curve and changeup are both below average. Adam Law (364) is not related to me.

Miami Marlins

For the first time since 1996, the Marlins took a college position player with their first overall pick, grabbing UNC third baseman Colin Moran (6). He could move very quickly once UNC's postseason run concludes; I might send him out to Double-A and then consider sending him to instructs and the Fall League specifically to improve his footwork at third base. He can hit, although he has a slightly grooved swing and the power may not fully translate. Lefty Matt Krook (35) has clear first-round stuff, but inconsistent command and some concerns (not shared by everyone) about his mechanics may have caused him to slide to the competitive balance round; at 35 he represented great value and is more in line with how the Marlins usually draft, going for a pitcher who has size and velocity with a present breaking ball.

Trevor Williams (44) had a very disappointing spring, going from a possible mid-first-round selection to the early second round, as his slider was never good enough for him to miss right-handed bats, giving him a reverse split this year. Colby Suggs (73) recovered enough from an early-season groin strain to throw well in limited usage after April 1, throwing 11.1 innings and walking just four while striking out 17; he has two plus pitches and should move quickly as a pure reliever. Ben Deluzio (80) is committed to Florida State to play baseball and football; he's going to outgrow shortstop and move to the outfield, but I like his swing quite a bit, especially if the Marlins can get him to load a little less deep. KJ Woods (112) has is already 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, even though he won't turn 18 for a few more weeks; he has plus raw power but a long swing and will have to move to first base.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers lost their first-round pick when owner Mark Attanasio decided to sign free agent Kyle Lohse, a decision that looks even worse now in hindsight. The board was kind to the Brewers, however, as they grabbed a legitimate first round talent in athletic prep right-hander Devin Williams (54), who reminds me a little of Taijuan Walker in ease of velocity, athleticism, and smooth arm action. Tucker Neuhaus (72) might have been a second-rounder on talent, but missed nearly all of the spring due to injuries; he's a shortstop who'll have to move to third base, and has a good swing but isn't advanced as a hitter.

Barrett Astin (90) was a starter for the Razorbacks this spring, but as a one-pitch guy he projects as a reliever. Taylor Williams (122) is a 5-foot-11 right-hander from Kent State who might end up in the pen due to his delivery if not for his lack of height. Tyler Linehan (272) might be a back-end starter if he drops some weight -- he's listed at 6-foot, 240 pounds, but he at least has an average fastball/curve combo. Andy Hillis (332) has one of the draft's biggest fastballs, reaching 99 this spring for NAIA school Lee University; however, he lacks an average breaking ball now, although the velocity alone will get him a long career in the minors. David Denson (452) could make some waves with his raw power in the low minors, though he's probably a future DH and his hit tool is way behind the power.

New York Mets

I thought the Mets did very well with their first four picks, taking on a lot of risk but all of it coming with upside. Dominic Smith (11) is a big bet on one of the draft's best swings, as he has a plus arm but has struggled on defense at every position but first base; I do like his chances to hit, as he has a quiet approach and is a real “low-heartbeat” hitter, although the Mets will have to get him to stay back consistently instead of lunging out of his swing.

Andrew Church (48) is a high-upside prep arm, very unpolished, with arm strength right now, very signable in this area of the draft; Ivan Wilson (76) is also very crude but has big upside, the kind of high-reward pick the Mets should be making more frequently.

Casey Meisner (84) is 6-foot-7 and very projectable, showing plus velocity already but too much effort in his delivery, with good shape on his curveball. L.J. Mazzilli (116), son of Lee Mazzilli, is just a senior sign for me, not as likely to become a big leaguer as their next pick, Kansas State left fielder Jared King (146). Matt Oberste (206) is in between the two, a first baseman with some power but just fair bat speed. Ricky Knapp (236) has three pitches, nothing plus, but he does fill up the strike zone and get some sink on his fastball to generate groundballs, so he might surface as a fifth starter.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies had my favorite top five picks of any draft class in the NL, taking four prep bats who fit their usual philosophy of betting on athleticism but all of whom also have some present skills, as opposed to the Anthony Hewitts of yesteryear. J.P. Crawford (16) was the draft's best shortstop, a long-term project at the plate but with the hand speed and general approach to make you think he can develop into a solid-average hitter in five years, with above-average defense at short. Andrew Knapp (53) was the only college catcher in the class with a good chance to develop into an everyday player.

Cord Sandberg (89), who has already signed a slightly above-slot deal that came together awfully fast, won't be playing quarterback for Mississippi State after all; he's a great athlete with size and quickness as well as the potential for 20-plus homers from right field. Jan Hernandez (96) has good bat speed and the rotation for power if he can keep his back side firm; he's a shortstop now but probably ends up at third base where his hands and arm will help him become an above-average defender.

Catcher Jake Sweaney (121) was one of my favorite sleepers for the third round, but the Phillies got him in the fourth. He needs some swing help, but the upside is an everyday catcher whose bat makes up for minor defensive deficiencies. After that, they took some recognizable names but no one significant. Trey Williams (211) has seen his stock plummet since his junior year and is a million miles away from being a prospect. Joey Martarano (391) is committed to Boise State to play football (they don't even have baseball) but has zero feel to hit right now. Cavan Biggio (871) will join his brother at Notre Dame this fall. And Oregon State right-hander Dan Child (541) lost his rotation spot but is still 6-5 with a 60 fastball, so if he signs there's still some potential here.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates weren't going to get anything as good as David Dahl, the player they passed up to take Mark Appel last year, but they did do very well considering where they picked, landing the top prep talent in the draft in outfielder Austin Meadows (9) as well as highly regarded catcher Reese McGuire (14), the latter the best-throwing catcher in the class.

Lefty Blake Taylor (51) is a two-pitch guy who's reached 94-95, has a projectable frame and can spin a curveball that's already close to average. JaCoby Jones (87) made my top 100 out of high school, and I thought he would blossom at LSU into a first-rounder, but he regressed badly and needs a fresh start with someone who can overhaul his swing and quiet his lower half; the athleticism is still there and he's turned into a strong defensive second baseman.

Cody Dickson (119) has an average fastball with some projection left but was wild all spring until his final few starts, and probably profiles in relief unless his control improves significantly. Shortstop Trae Arbet (149) will end up at second base and may be more of a utilityman because he doesn't have much power and is a fringy runner. Mississippi State shortstop Adam Frazier (179) also looks like a utility guy, a slap hitter with 30 power who makes a lot of contact and could handle short or second. At 5-foot-11, you can assume he's scrappy. If they hit on just the first two picks, this will be remembered as a good draft, but I think Taylor is a potential mid-rotation guy and I refuse to give up entirely on Jones.

San Diego Padres

The Padres had a strong draft, leading off with one of the top athletes in the college crop in right fielder Hunter Renfroe (13), a power hitter with speed and a plus arm but still some rawness in his hitting approach. Dustin Peterson (50), younger brother of first-rounder D.J. Peterson, is a solid prospect in his own right, more athletic, with a chance to profile at second or third and a potentially above-average hit tool. Jordan Paroubeck (69) is another great athlete with a lot of upside. He's very raw right now but, if everything clicks, he's a potential star in center field with speed and power.

Mason Smith (118) is a future right fielder with a chance to hit for average and 20-homer power depending on how his plate discipline develops. The Padres also took a slew of tough-sign guys, maybe even unsignable guys, including Connor Jones (628), Tony Rizzotti (748), Chris Okey (928), and Garrett Williams (988), with Jones and Williams both indicating prior to the draft that they had no intention of signing.

San Francisco Giants

This was my least favorite draft class this year, as they took only one player I rated in the top 100 in this draft class: first-rounder Christian Arroyo (25), whom I ranked 99th overall as a potential average regular at second base. He has more upside than their 2011 first-rounder Joe Panik did, due to his youth and better swing. Ryder Jones (64) has a commitment to Stanford, which never loses recruits, and also has limited skills. He can't run and probably has to play first base or move to the mound, only bringing size and potential power to the table.

Chase Johnson (101) threw just 21 innings this year, with an average to tick above-average fastball and a future in middle relief. Stanford's Brian Ragira (132) was a prospect out of high school because he was at least athletic enough to handle left field and had a good swing, but Stanford messed up the latter (it is their specialty) and Ragira messed up the former, as he's now a 30 runner with a bad body who can't even play first base. Notre Dame reliever Dan Slania (162) looks like Jeff Juden with a big fastball that doesn't miss enough bats and a recent history of overuse at the hands of one of Division I's biggest arm-shredders, Mik Aoki. Minnesota lefty DJ Snelten (282) might be good value for the pick if his elbow returns to 100 percent, and LSU catcher Ty Ross (372) might be a backup at some point.

St. Louis Cardinals

This was an oddly conservative draft class, likely to produce a few big leaguers but no one who's more than an average player. Marco Gonzales (19) is a lefty with a plus-plus changeup, above-average curveball, great command, an easy delivery, and a fastball that may end up in the upper 80s; the hope is that the command and athleticism are so good that he becomes Mark Buehrle. Fellow southpaw Rob Kaminsky (28) has a strong fastball/curveball combo, just lacking size at 5-foot-11, 191 pounds, to provide some projection that would make him more of a future No. 2 than No. 4.

Shortstop Oscar Mercado (57) has good hands but struggles to make routine throws way too often, in part because of how his feet work, and right now he cannot hit at all. Ole Miss right-hander Mike Mayers (93) will probably settle in with three average pitches, perhaps a 55 changeup, but has a fifth starter ceiling unless something improves dramatically. Mason Katz (125) is just a senior sign for me, productive at LSU with a swing that won't work in pro ball. Ian McKinney (155) is an undersized prep lefty with a fringy fastball/breaking ball combination, probably headed for the bullpen. The one later pick of theirs I did like quite a bit was Chris Rivera (215), a polished prep infielder who needs work on his plate discipline and hitting approach.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals gave up their first-round pick for signing Rafael Soriano, so their first selection came late in the second round when they took Dallas Baptist righty Jake Johanssen (68), a starter who sits in the upper 90s but will probably end up in late-game relief.

Drew Ward (105) is more famous than talented, a big, slow kid with raw power and a future at first base, already 18.5 on draft day even though he graduated from high school a year early. Junior College right-hander Nick Pivetta (136) earned mixed reviews from scouts this spring, but the best-case scenario is that his arm strength leads to a future as a power arm out of the pen.

Austin Voth (166) sits 89-92, touching 94, with a change and cutter, and probably ends up in the pen as well. You can add John Simms (346) to the list of arms Rice has ruined, something that Andrew Dunlap (1006) might want to consider before he matriculates there this fall. The Nats did pop Reno prep shortstop Garrett Hampson (796) on day three; he was 98th on my board and is the kind of far-away prospect the Nats used to take more frequently. If he signs he'd be one of the top 20 or so prospects in their system and would make the draft class look a bit better to me.

Law: Complete AL draft breakdown.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles started great with prep righty Hunter Harvey (No. 22 overall), son of former big leaguer Bryan, a relatively high-upside and very projectable arm with feel for a curveball already. Outfielder Josh Hart (No. 37) went a little higher than I ranked him (he was 50th on my top 100), as he's a little undersized but does have speed and got stronger this spring to improve his chances to hit in pro ball.

Catcher Chance Sisco (No. 61) was a reach in the second round, as I projected him as more of a fourth- or fifth-round talent; he's new to catching but has an average arm and doesn't show great bat control in a swing that does show good rotation. Lefty Stephen Tarpley (No. 98) is athletic and can hit 94 with some spin on his curveball, but the makeup is very questionable, including his departure from USC after one year at the coaches' insistence, according to scouts familiar with the situation. Jacob Heim (129) has raw power and a slight chance to catch, although he's going to end up very big for the position, and the bat probably won't profile at first.

Boston Red Sox

Lefty Trey Ball (No. 7 overall ) is one of this draft class's best athletes, a two-way prospect who's up to 94 on the mound with a good delivery and a chance for a plus fastball and plus curveball, projecting as a No. 2 or 3 starter. Teddy Stankiewicz (45) was unsigned in the second round by the Mets last year, with four pitches, a fastball that sits 91-94 and a delivery that might be too violent for the rotation.

Jon Denney (third round) was a first-round talent who might have fallen on slight concerns about his signability but projects as an offensive catcher who can handle the position while providing plus power. Myles Smith (fourth round) is undersized but has a power arm and a chance to start thanks to a plus slider and average changeup, but his lack of height and poor command are obstacles. Kentucky's Corey Littrell (fifth round) is a potential No. 5 starter, while reliever Mike Adams (seventh round) put up video-game numbers for Division II Tampa this year with a below-average fastball and above-average curveball. Outfielder Jordon Austin (sixth round) has a great body and is a plus runner with quick wrists and a sound swing, but some rawness to his game on both sides of the ball.

Chicago White Sox
Tim Anderson (No. 17 overall) was one of the only true shortstops in this draft, projecting to stay at the position and add value through contact and speed; they needed to make a pick like this to get some more upside into the system after years of conservative drafting. Tyler Danish (No. 55) has the worst arm action I've seen in this draft class: low slot, max effort, producing big-time velocity but like no starter (and few good relievers) you've ever seen.

Center fielder Jacob May (third round) can switch-hit and is a plus runner with only fair instincts but the raw tools to develop into a solid defender in center who hits for average with a low OBP. Andrew Mitchell seems like a steal in the fourth round, used in relief and as a starter at TCU, with two pitches and the velocity to start but lacking the third pitch or the command for it right now.

Right-hander Thaddius Lowry (fifth round) is a converted catcher with a stiff arm swing that resembles a catcher's release but is at least 91-95 with some depth on his slurvy slider; I can't imagine he turns into more than a reliever without a mechanical overhaul. Trey Michalczewski (seventh round) is a former wide receiver with a simple, rotational swing that should produce plus power if he hits enough to get to it; he'll have to move to third base, but his arm is plus. Chris Freudenberg (eighth round) has a good arm action with a cutter that flashes plus and a fringe-average fastball that will touch 92.

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland went for it for the second time in three years, taking a prep bat with its first pick, this time going with outfielder Clint Frazier (No. 5), who boasts the best bat speed in the draft and has impressive power for his age, but whose size and pitch recognition make him high-risk as well. I think he'll hit for average and power but has to move to left field.

They lost their second-round and competitive-balance picks for signing Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher, so their next selection was in the third round, where they took Louisville starter Dace Kime (No. 79), who looks like a starter but hasn't had the results to back that up and might end up a fastball/cutter guy in the bullpen. Virginia lefty Kyle Crockett (fourth round) looks like at least a situational reliever who fills up the zone (six walks in 68 innings) from a low-slot delivery that might make it too easy for right-handers to see the ball.

Casey Shane (sixth round) won't turn 18 until after the Arizona Rookie League season ends in August; he's 6-foot-4 200 pounds already and sits 88-91, with the slider and changeup both still works in progress. Thomas Pannone (ninth round) is a little interesting as a semi-conversion to the mound -- he pitched in high school but was drafted last year as an outfielder -- because he's left-handed with an average fastball but not much else yet.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers may not have drafted a starting pitcher or everyday player through the first 10 rounds. Right-hander Jonathan Crawford (No. 20 overall), lefty Kevin Ziomek (No. 58), righty Jeffrey Thompson (No. 94) and righty Austin Kubitza (No. 126) are all college starters at major programs, but Crawford and Ziomek both have relievers' arm actions, Thompson's stuff gives him a fifth-starter ceiling and Kubitza has been overworked so badly at Rice that he almost has to go to the 'pen to stay healthy.

Corey Knebel (No. 39) is already a reliever and could be the first guy from this draft to reach the majors. Buck Farmer (fifth round) is their best bet for a big league starter, with four pitches but nothing plus. Calvin Drummond (sixth round) has been at four schools in five years but was declared ineligible this year at NAIA Arizona Christian, so the Tigers took him based on workouts; he's up to 94-95 with a good slider, but we have no idea how he'll do when facing actual hitters. Outfielder Connor Harrell (seventh round) was the Tigers' first position player of the draft, a senior sign out of Vanderbilt who's probably minor league depth.

Houston Astros

I ranked Mark Appel as the best player in this draft coming out of last summer and throughout this entire spring, so I agree wholeheartedly with the Astros' choice to take him first overall. After that, however, they didn't go for much upside at all.

Andrew Thurman (No. 40) could end up a midrotation starter, the most ceiling they drafted after Appel, following it up with potential fifth starter Kent Emmanuel (No. 74) and org-player types Conrad Gregor and Tony Kemp (both out of Vanderbilt) in the fourth and fifth rounds. James Ramsay (seventh round) is interesting because of his glove in center field -- rated him the best defensive player in Division 1 this year -- and ability to make contact. The one upside play of their first few picks was California prep catcher Jacob Nottingham (sixth round), a former tight end turned catcher who projects to have plus power and has a great athletic body.

Kansas City Royals

The Royals played the board well, overdrafting Hunter Dozier (No. glasses.gif but allowing them to land him and lefty Sean Manaea (No. 34), who fell to the competitive-balance round because of the hip injury that ruined his spring; they took on some risk but gave themselves a shot at acquiring a player who, when healthy, was a consideration for the first overall pick.

Cody Reed (No. 46) is a wild-card kid -- a tall lefty with big velocity and a chance for a plus breaking ball. Texas prep righty Carter Hope (third round) is a projectable right-hander with an easy arm action and a midrotation upside. Georgia Tech's Zane Evans (fourth round) is a power-hitting catcher who can throw and is an adequate receiver but could end up on the mound as a one-inning reliever if he doesn't hit. California high school center fielder Amalani Fukofuka was a huge overdraft in the fifth round. They also took four senior signs and a JC kid in Rounds 6 through 10, perhaps to save some bonus room for Manaea.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels did very well with their first three picks, starting with prep lefty Hunter Green (No. 59 overall), who shouldn't have still been there for their first pick and immediately becomes the team's best pitching prospect. Keynan "Pippa" Middleton (95) is a JC arm who popped up very late this spring because he was playing basketball into March, showing a low-90s fastball and a decent delivery with a short arm action.

Elliott Morris (fourth round) is a JC right-hander with a solid, average fastball, fringy secondary stuff and a good body, although he missed most of two years after Tommy John surgery. Harrison Cooney (sixth round) was throwing gas early in the year as Florida Gulf Coast's closer, but the stuff backed off a little when they moved him to the rotation; in a relief role, he could have an above-average fastball/slider combo. Stephen McGee (ninth round) is a solid receiver with a fringy bat but who drew 55 walks this spring for Florida State and could be a quality backup. Their other arms were all fringy-stuff strike-throwers, probably organizational depth or up-and-down starters.

Minnesota Twins

Minnesota got one of the highest upside guys in the draft in right-hander Kohl Stewart (No. 4 overall), a quarterback commit to Texas A&M who has four pitches, including a fastball up to 97 mph and a plus slider, but needs some delivery fine-tuning and will have to manage his Type 1 diabetes.

LSU starter Ryan Eades (No. 43) had a disappointing year relative to preseason first-round expectations but still projects as a solid back-end starter and fits the Twins' mold of taking strike-throwing college arms without huge upside. Stewart Turner (second round) was probably the top catch-and-throw prospect in the draft, but his bat likely limits him to backup duty.

California prep southpaw Stephen Gonsalves has fringy stuff, including a below-average breaking ball, and feels like a big reach in the fourth round because he's not projectable. Indiana right-hander Aaron Slegers (fifth round) has ace size (6-foot-10, 250 pounds) but back-end stuff, with an average fastball and below-average breaking ball. Catcher Brian Navarreto (sixth round) has strong hands, but his swing is too uphill and his lower half is very noisy; he has some arm strength but needs work on other aspects of his defense.

New York Yankees

The Yankees nailed their first three picks, taking two physical power bats in Eric Jagielo (No. 26) and Aaron Judge (No. 32), then high-upside prep lefty Ian Clarkin (No. 33) with the last pick of the first round. Jagielo's power is more now, while Judge's is more present in BP than in-game, and he might take more time to develop. Clarkin was inconsistent this spring in command, but his velocity was strong at year end and he would have gone in the teens had he performed better.

They changed directions with Gosuke Katoh (second round) and Tyler Wade (fourth), both slight-frame infielders who can run but were better off going to college than going pro. Third-rounder Mike O'Neill (103), nephew of True Yankee Paul O'Neill, is a plus runner with a linear, slappy swing and the plate discipline of a sea cucumber. The Yanks have had success with hard throwers taken after the first few rounds and moved to the bullpen, which might be the future for the 6-foot-9 David Palladino out of Howard College in Texas (fifth round), although LSU reliever Nick Rumbelow (seventh round) has such a high arm slot that he gets no life on his fastball and has to have a high risk for injury.

Oakland Athletics

The A's had one of my favorite draft classes because they went after some players in the middle rounds who fell for either signability or because their springs failed to meet expectations. Billy McKinney (No. 24) and Chad Pinder (No. 71) went where I expected them to go, with McKinney a potential impact bat as a left fielder with a very smooth, sound left-handed swing.

Dillon Overton (No. 63) was a bit of an overdraft for me given his shoulder trouble this spring, although he came into the year as a potential second- to third-rounder and fits the A's overall plan this year of drafting for value. Ryon Healy (fourth round) is a solid performer with the size to hit for power but not the swing or hip rotation he'll need for that. California high school southpaw Chris Kohler (third round) came into the year as a potential top 30 or 40 pick, but his velocity and command backed up, and several scouts told me they thought he'd end up at school.

San Diego's Dylan Covey (fourth round) is probably just a reliever and might not even have the command for that, but they followed up with Ole Miss right-hander Bobby Wahl (fifth round) and Texas State right-hander Kyle Finnegan (sixth round), both college starters who project as at least good big league relievers with non-zero chances to start. Dustin Driver (seventh round) should have gone on Day 1 as a prep right-hander with arm strength. They will have to sign someone to an under-slot deal in here to clear money for everyone, but signing most of these guys would result in a strong class.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners led off with DJ Peterson (No. 12 overall), the New Mexico third baseman who'll end up at first base; the industry as a whole liked him, although I don't see the offensive ceiling to justify a pick that high. They turned around and took a personal favorite of mine, Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson (No. 49), a first-round talent with plus raw power whose spring was ruined by a stress fracture above his right elbow, so the net result was a very strong one-two punch.

Canadian catcher Tyler O'Neill (third round) will have to find another position but is strong enough to hit for average or better power, with questionable bat speed that he'll have to improve so he can get to that power. East Carolina shortstop Jack Reinheimer (fifth round) can handle short but can't hit, with a flat, slappy swing. Corey Simpson (sixth round) is another catcher who can't catch, probably heading for right field; he makes very hard, loud contact but doesn't make enough of it yet.

Tampa Bay Rays

I liked the Rays' early picks, taking the best all-around high school catcher in the class in Nick Ciuffo (No. 21 overall), and then opportunistically grabbing Arkansas right-hander Ryne Stanek (No. 29), who fell due to minor concerns about his elbow.

After that, however, they went too conservative, especially for a team that will never acquire stars through free agency. Arizona high school shortstop Riley Unroe (No. 60), son of former big league utilityman Tim Unroe, will have to move to second base in pro ball, and the switch-hitter doesn't project as an impact bat or glove there. Connecticut prepster Tom Milone (third round) is a 6-foot corner outfielder who's a fringy runner and hits the ball on the ground too often; I didn't expect him to go off until at least the fifth round based on talent.

Keon Wong (fourth round), the younger brother of Cardinals prospect Kolten Wong, can run a little bit, but his swing has more effort than Kolten's. University of Arizona second baseman Johnny Field (fifth round) is more of a "ballplayer" type who has solid instincts but no plus tools and probably ends up a utility guy. Louisville third baseman Ty Young (seventh round) has a good contact-oriented stroke without power and could profile as an everyday guy at second with above-average speed.

Texas Rangers

Texas scored when Oral Roberts right-hander Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez (No. 23 overall) fell to them in the first round after he was rumored to be in the mix as high as the back of the top 10; he's an extreme ground baller with a plus cutter and good control. Travis Demerritte (No. 30) has superb bat speed and is athletic with a lot of quick twitch to him; he's unlikely to stay at shortstop long term, but his raw power is already plus and would play at third base or second.

South Carolina high schooler Akeem Bostick (No. 62 overall) was one of the first huge shocks of the draft for me; he's a very athletic, loosed-armed right-hander, but he is all projection, with an average fastball and well below-average curveball -- more of a sixth-round or later talent. David Ledbetter (third round) of Cedarville University was also a surprise, a 6-foot right-handed pitcher with an average fastball and no above-average secondary pitch. New Mexico senior Sam Wolff (seventh round) is more than just a senior sign; the right-hander has touched the upper 90s and will flash an average slider, with a future in short relief.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays went for broke with their first pick, taking hard-throwing prep righty Phil Bickford (10th overall), who has reached 98 mph with an easy delivery but has no present average breaking ball. He was asking for a huge bonus, so they appeared to go cheap with their next two picks.

Clinton Hollon (No. 47) has flashed first-round stuff but has had arm trouble and makeup questions and was reportedly looking to cut a deal rather than go to school this fall. Arizona prep righty Patrick Murphy (No. 83) hasn't thrown a pitch in anger in a year after blowing out his elbow in the spring of 2012, although prior to that he was expected to be the top prep prospect in the Four Corners region for this draft.

Alabama high school southpaw Evan Smith (fourth round) is highly projectable with a fringy fastball now, but with no four-year college commitment was also very signable. Matt Boyd (sixth round) was a senior sign from Oregon State who had a solid year as a starter but projects as a reliever. Righty Conner Greene (seventh round) out of Santa Monica (Calif.) High School has some projection with an average fastball now but a stiff delivery and no future-plus secondary pitch.

How Arroyo rejuvenated his career.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Bronson Arroyo was the very worst pitcher in Major League Baseball two years ago. Despite pitching in the DH-free National League, Arroyo led the majors by allowing 46 home runs, 11 more than No. 2 on the list, who just happened to pitch in hitter-friendly Texas. Arroyo gave up 15 more home runs than the next-highest National League starter. By FanGraphs' version of wins above replacement, Arroyo was worth minus-1.4 wins, meaning the Reds would have been better had they just swapped him out for some dude from Triple-A.

At that point, Arroyo was a 34-year-old with a batting practice fastball who had just taken a run at the major league record for home runs allowed in a season. He'd had a good run as a big league pitcher, experiencing more success than anyone ever expected, but this looked like the end. Hitters had figured him out. Whatever magic he had used to get hitters out with his 87 mph heater had been used up.

Well, two years later, Arroyo is not only still around, he's having one of his best seasons to date. The 36-year-old has remade himself once again, and the pitcher the Cardinals will face on Sunday night is not the same guy who was throwing BP back in 2011.

While he still throws the same basic assortment of pitches -- four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curveball and changeup -- as he always has, Arroyo's variation on his arm angles and velocities have always made it seem like he's throwing 10 different pitches. As he told David Laurila back in March:

"I really don't throw that many pitches, but I throw a lot of variations of my pitches. I throw a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a sinker, a curveball and a changeup. I cut the ball once in a blue moon.

"[PITCHF/x,] is reading a lot of different things, but what's happening is that I'm taking my breaking ball and changing angles on it. I'm changing velocities on it. A lot of times, if I bring it more sweepy, they're going to calculate it as a slider. If I throw it a little differently, they're going to calculate it as a curveball. It's the same pitch, I'm just changing arm angles.

"I also might throw a four-seam fastball to start the game, at 80 mph. They might chalk that up as a changeup. There's a lot of give and take in my game. I'm adding and subtracting a lot of velocities on different pitches that aren't moving a ton. Sometimes if you throw an 80 mph little cutter, they might think it's a changeup. Other guys are a little more straightforward. It's whap, whap, whap: Two-seamer, four-seamer, 93, 94, good breaking ball, and once in a while, a changeup. That's all there is. No variation. I could never get away with that. If I pitched like that, I'd get beat around the ballpark every night."

Back in 2011, Arroyo's pitch mix looked like one giant cluster. He hit nearly every single velocity between 67 and 92, and all those pitches started to blend together. Below is a PITCHF/x, plot of every pitch Arroyo threw in 2011.

[+] Enlarge
Dave Cameron
Arroyo's velocity and movement during 2011.
Most pitchers have distinct clusters. Their fastball is separate from their changeup, and their breaking ball often goes the opposite direction. Arroyo, though, threw the kitchen sink at opposing hitters, and a lot of those pitches ended up over the fence.

This year, however, Arroyo has been a bit more conventional, giving some separation to the types of pitches he throws. Compare that with his 2013 plot.

The four-seam fastball has been almost entirely replaced by his sinker, and he's stopped throwing the flat breaking ball that doesn't move that much, instead dropping his curve with more consistent movement while still varying the velocity. The result? He's not hanging meatballs over the heart of the plate anymore.

[+] Enlarge
Dave Cameron
Arroyo's velocity and movement during 2013.
According to his Brooks Baseball Pitcher Profile card, which shows the locations of each pitch as recorded by PITCHF/x, 8.6 percent of the pitches Arroyo threw in 2011 were middle-middle, right where hitters can barrel up the baseball. And it wasn't just get-over fastballs in 3-0 counts when Arroyo knew the hitter wouldn't swing, either. These were low-velocity breaking balls just floating down the middle of the strike zone. That year, 11.4 percent of his breaking balls were located in the most central part of the strike zone.

This year, that rate is down to 8.1 percent, and it's made all the difference in the world. He's thrown 622 changeups and curveballs, allowing just five home runs on those off-speed pitches, a rate of one HR every 124 pitches. In 2011, he allowed 25 home runs on 1,404 changeups and curveballs, a rate of one HR every 56 pitches.

Arroyo depends on deception and location to get batters out, and in the past, he was willing to experiment with so many different arm angles and velocities that some of them just ended up spinning in the middle of the plate. By streamlining the variations on his pitches, Arroyo has managed to eliminate most of the pitches that opposing hitters jumped all over. By becoming somewhat more predictable in what he throws, Arroyo has become harder to hit, because the extra variations on his velocity and movement were leading to hanging breaking balls over the heart of the plate.

Sometimes, less really is more. For Arroyo, scrapping the four-seam fastball and giving his breaking ball more consistent movement has helped him get his home run rate back under control, and now Arroyo again looks like a guy who very well might just pitch in his 40s.

Five misleading hitters.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Defensive shifts are becoming more and more popular in baseball. In 2011, the Tampa Bay Rays were the only team that shifted more than 200 times on balls in play, and only three other teams -- the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, and Milwaukee Brewers -- exceeded 100 shifts that season.

Since 2012
The shift has had a much bigger impact on batting average on grounders and short liners.

Shift No shift
GB/short liners .217 .252
Liners/FB .470 .465

Last year, three teams shifted 400 times or more and another five teams shifted at least 200 times. This season, the shift leaders are still on pace for between 400 and 500 shifts, but the number of teams on pace to reach 200 shifts has skyrocketed to 14.

Since the start of 2012, the batting average on ground balls and short line drives of players that have seen at least 50 shifts has been 35 points lower against the shift than against a conventional defense. Meanwhile, the difference between their average on balls to the outfield is negligible.

However, teams can get into trouble if they simply assume that all left-handed power hitters should be shifted. Some hitters have been able to take advantage of the holes opened by a defensive shift by using the entire field. Teams should reconsider their decisions to shift the following five players.

Josh Hamilton, OF | Los Angeles Angels

Though he's struggled this year, the shift is not the reason. There's a tendency to assume left-handed power hitters should be shifted, and Hamilton been shifted on 201 of his total balls in play since the start of 2012, the sixth-highest total in baseball, but shifts have not slowed him down.

Since the start of last year, Hamilton has hit .230 on his ground balls and short line drives with no shift and .262 on his shifted ground balls and short line drives. In other words, he does better against the shift. Considering that Hamilton has pulled just 74 percent of his last 120 ground balls and short line drives -- at Baseball Info Solutions we typically flag left-handed hitters who pull 80 percent of their grounders and short liners as potential shift candidates -- chances are he will continue to hit well against the shift.

Mitch Moreland, 1B | Texas Rangers

Hamilton's former teammate, Mitch Moreland, is enjoying a breakout 2013 season. Prior to this year, Moreland had just 1,042 plate appearances in his three seasons in the majors, in part because of concerns over his potential platoon-split issues.

That limited playing time has restricted his opponents' opportunities to shift him, but Moreland has seen 45 shifts on his balls in play in the infield since the start of 2012. In that time, Moreland has hit .281 on those balls without a shift compared to .289 with a shift. Again, it's a small sample, but like with Hamilton, Moreland has pulled just 77 percent of his last 120 grounders and short liners, a low total for a left-handed hitter.

Joey Votto, 1B | Cincinnati Reds

Votto is likely the least surprising name on the list given his mastery of hitting and recognized ability to use all fields, but that hasn't stopped everyone from shifting against him. Votto has seen shifts on 23 of his 193 ground balls and short line drives since 2012 and has hit an impressive .308 in them. That's 24 points higher than his .284 average on his ground balls and short line drives without a shift.

Votto goes to the opposite field more than most left-handers, especially those with power. He's pulled just 69 percent of his last 120 ground balls and short liners.

Adam Lind, DH | Toronto Blue Jays

In contrast to Hamilton, Lind has answered a disappointing 2012 season with a tremendous start to 2013. Two months in, Lind is hitting .329 and has markedly increased his on-base percentage from .314 last season to .411 this season.

In a division with the Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox, and Rays -- four of the 10 most frequently shifting teams -- it has really helped Lind that he has been able to beat the shift. Since 2012, Lind has hit .265 on his ground balls and short line drives with no shift and has hit .391 against the shift. That Lind has seen just 23 shifts on his infield balls in play in that time in the division he plays in is evidence that many teams have picked up on his ability to go the other way, but one shift in seven of those at-bats is likely one too many. Lind has pulled 77 percent of his recent infield balls in play, which suggests the trend could continue if teams continue to shift him.

Carlos Pena, 1B | Houston Astros

Pena is a little different than the other names on the list. He actually has pulled 86 percent of his recent ground balls and short line drives to the right of the second base bag, which is tied for 46th-most of 417 qualified batters. Typically, we would recommend such a pull-heavy player as a shift candidate, but Pena breaks the mold with a tool that most power hitters do not have in their arsenal.

Since 2012, Pena has been shifted on 153 of his balls in play in the infield, and 16 of those times, he has laid down a bunt. Pena succeeded with a bunt hit 11 of those 16 times. Pena has twice as many bunt hits as any other batter has bunt attempts against the shift in the last two years. His unconventional approach has allowed Pena to hit .261 on his grounders and short liners against the shift versus .176 on those balls in play with no shift.

George Brett repaying the Royals.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
George Brett’s Hall of Fame story was well-known to Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore before he talked to Brett last month, again, about joining the Kansas City coaching staff.

Drafted by the Royals in the second round in 1971, Brett was something of a mess early in his big league career, and he was sent back to the minors with a reputation as something of a know-it-all. He surrendered completely to the instruction of hitting coach Charlie Lau and became one of baseball’s all-time great third baseman -- 3,154 hits, 317 homers, four top-3 finishes in the MVP voting, a day of honor at Cooperstown.

Brett has been joining the team in spring training for years, and there has been nothing ceremonial about his work there. He has arrived early, thrown batting practice and put in a full day -- and he came back to do it again and again. So Moore knew that if Brett became a coach, he would be all-in.

That said, what Brett has done since taking over as the Royals’ interim hitting coach 12 days ago has stunned Moore.

"It’s been amazing," said Moore. "His energy. His passion. He interacts with every single player on the team, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a hitter or a pitcher. Incredible."

There are many miles to go before anybody can know whether Brett’s work and presence will make a difference in the standings or reignite the ascension of the dormant Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas into young stars. But the early signs are good: Hosmer has been getting better in recent days, writes **** Kaegel, and is hitting .367 in June.

Brett asked to be named on an interim basis because he wants Moore to have an out if this experiment fails. But Moore loves what he sees: Brett showing up early, getting into the cages, getting to work, talking to players in his enthusiastic manner. The other day, Brett walked around the field with Moustakas, just talking, for 45 minutes.

He hasn’t been talking about drastic changes with hitting mechanics. "Really, it’s about a mindset and an approach," Moore said. "They’ve lost the swagger a little bit."

So Brett talks, and they listen and absorb. During Brett’s career, the Royals were in the playoffs seven times, winning the World Series in 1985. "After being around George," said Moore, "I know why they won."

There are about 100 games left in the season, so it’s still early. The Royals are 28-32, 6.5 games out of first place, which might seem like a lot more if not for recent examples of teams digging themselves out of April and May rubble. On this date a year ago, the Tigers had the exact same record as the Royals do today, and they played in the World Series. On June 10 of last season, Oakland was 26-35, and charged back to win the American League West.

The Royals might not get there. Hosmer and Moustakas may or may not continue to struggle. Brett’s work could disappear as an almost forgotten footnote to a career that will be recounted time and again long after his life ends. But he will try.

On his way to 3,000 hits, Brett was once asked how he’d like to reach the milestone, and he said, tellingly, that he wanted to hit a ground ball on the right side of the infield and beat a throw to first.

When Moore talked to him over the phone about joining the staff, Brett explained his reason for accepting the job. "I owe everything to the Royals," he said: his livelihood, his family, his home. His life.

Of course he will try.

The Royals' winning streak has reached five games, after their weekend sweep of the Houston Astros.

Around the league

• The Atlanta Braves have a really tough decision on the horizon, a really great problem to have and yet still wrenching: With Brandon Beachy just about ready to come back, what do they do with their rotation, which already has five healthy, productive members?

David O’Brien addresses the question in this piece.

"I don’t know -- that’s my honest-to-God answer," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Sunday. "I don’t think there’s a clear-cut answer right now. And I don’t want to say, ‘Let’s see what happens,’ because people think, ‘Fredi’s hoping somebody gets hurt.’ And I don’t want that. I want everybody to be pitching healthy and then we’ve got to come up with some kind of plan. But right now we don’t have a plan."
Tim Hudson, the dean of the staff, is not going to pitch out of the bullpen. Mike Minor has been the team’s best starter, and he isn’t going to lose his spot.

That leaves Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran and Paul Maholm. So long as Maholm remains with the team, he’ll continue to start, but because Maholm is a free agent at the end of the year, Atlanta always has the option of marketing the left-hander and probably getting good return. "If he was on the trade market," said one evaluator, "he might be the best guy out there [before the July 31 trade deadline]."

But history is littered with examples of teams that appeared to have too much starting pitching, only to lose it rapidly to injuries -- most recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had nine starters near the end of spring training but have been scrambling to fill their rotation all season. So the idea of trading Maholm, a healthy and productive pitcher, would be really tough for Atlanta, and the Braves might not get enough to offset the value of what he could mean to them the rest of this year and into the postseason.

I thought the Braves might go to a six-man rotation, to buy time for an injury to resolve their surplus and to give a little midseason rest to Teheran, Hudson and the others, but Gonzalez said the other day that he doesn’t intend to do that.

So that means somebody will probably be moved to the bullpen. Will it be Teheran, who seems to be just beginning to flourish as a starter? Or Medlen, who has been much improved in recent starts and showed in the second half of last season just how great he can be? Or could it be Beachy?

And undoubtedly, the Braves could use an eighth-inning set-up man, with swing-and-miss stuff. Medlen is really good against lefties; Beachy can be dominant; and Teheran throws strikes.

There are almost 30 other teams that would kill for this problem. How good has Atlanta’s rotation been?

From Elias: Minor’s start on Sunday was the ninth straight game that Atlanta’s starting pitchers allowed two or fewer earned runs, matching the Braves’ longest such streak over the past 12 seasons; in 10 straight games from April 11-21, 2001, Atlanta starters were charged with no more than two earned runs (Greg Maddux, John Burkett, Tom Glavine, Kevin Millwood and Odalis Perez).

David O’Brien has more on the Braves’ forthcoming decision here.

• Yasiel Puig might be moved into the cleanup spot.

• Washington GM Mike Rizzo doesn’t think there’s anything to worry about with Bryce Harper’s knee. The Nationals had a great day, sweeping a doubleheader.

'Sunday Night Baseball'

• In the end, the St. Louis Cardinals blew out the Reds on "Sunday Night Baseball," scoring seven runs in the 10th inning, punctuated by Matt Holliday's monstrous grand slam, estimated at 464 feet.

The Cardinals had 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position and had six hits, which is just standard operating procedure for St. Louis this year. The Reds have a really good team, but at this juncture in the season, there appears to be a gap not only between the Cardinals and their division rivals but also between the Cards and the rest of the baseball.

The Cardinals have an incredibly deep and disciplined lineup devoted to tough at-bats and taking the ball to the middle and the opposite field; they’ve got the No. 1 starters’ ERA, by far; and at the end of games they have Trevor Rosenthal and his fast-developing changeup in the eighth inning and Edward Mujica and his finished changeup in the ninth. That’s the best team we’ve seen this year on "Sunday Night Baseball," and right now I don’t think there’s anybody close.

Now, the Cardinals have a young pitching staff, and so in time we’ll know whether Shelby Miller can maintain his share of innings. Manager Mike Matheny made it clear that he’s aware of this question and will adjust, as needed. The same question applies to Michael Wacha, another impressive rookie starter. Their bullpen seems a little soft in the middle, like most bullpens. But St. Louis is building something great so far in 2013.

Miller and Brandon Phillips are guests on today’s podcast.

• Bronson Arroyo passed on this video of himself at 8 years old, working out with his father, Gus -- doing some dead lifting, boxing a bag. Arroyo told me yesterday, "Good thing I’ve got the video, or nobody would believe it."

• Twice during the course of Sunday’s game, Phillips ranged far out into the outfield to grab high flies. He actually practices this every day: At the end of his daily routine, Phillips asks a coach to hit a high pop into the outfield so he can work on reacting and getting out as far as he can to get the ball.

• After Sunday’s game, Carlos Beltran chartered a plane to fly to Puerto Rico, where he was to attend this morning’s graduation of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy. From Derrick Goold’s notebook:

The academy has been called by friends as his passion project, and this year’s class of 44 boys is the first to graduate from the high school Beltran founded. All have commitments to play college baseball.

"I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to be there. The kids are expecting me to be there," Beltran said. "And I want to see the looks on their faces, their parents’ faces, the smiles."
Moves, deals and decisions

1. Uber-prospect Miguel Sano has been promoted to Double-A.

2. The Mets had seen enough, and demoted Ike Davis.

3. The writing is on the wall for instant replay to happen, says Mike Matheny.

4. A Japanese team had interest in Alex Rodriguez.

5. Zack Wheeler could debut alongside Matt Harvey.

6. Tyler Moore was optioned to Triple-A.

Dings and dents

1. Sean Marshall has benefited from rest.

2. Ryan Braun came out of Sunday’s game with a thumb injury.

3. Clay Buchholz could miss his next start, writes Julian Benbow.

4. Will Middlebrooks continues to make progress with his injury rehabilitation.

5. Matt Harvey says his back is fine.

6. Kevin Youkilis' back tightened up. It appears that he and the Yankees will be dealing with this issue all summer.

7. The Phillies are now without their top two catchers.

8. Hanley Ramirez had an MRI on his hamstring.

9. Jed Gyorko suffered a groin injury, as old friend Bill Center writes.

10.Alexi Ogando landed on the disabled list, again, and Evan Grant wonders if his spot in the rotation is in jeopardy.

11.Logan Morrison was activated.

Secret to Cardinals' offensive success.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
CINCINNATI -- Pitching to the St. Louis Cardinals is like standing on a hill of fire ants. You might get one or two of them, but the rest will keep coming, and they will get you.

The other day, the Reds' Mike Leake -- who has been pitching well lately -- was working a scoreless game as he faced the middle of the St. Louis lineup, and with a runner at first and one out in the fourth, the right-handed-hitting Allen Craig started fouling off pitches. All of them went to the right side, not because he was overwhelmed by Leake's stuff and he was late, but because this is the approach of almost all the St. Louis hitters: They let pitches travel deep in the strike zone to give themselves a better chance to see the ball, and they look to hit it to the opposite field or through the middle.

Matt Holliday noted the predominance of this type of hitter in the Cardinals' order. Carlos Beltran is the one guy who tends to pull the ball, he said. But Matt Carpenter, Holliday, Craig, David Freese, Yadier Molina and Pete Kozma are all thinking about taking pitches to the middle of the field.
Craig's at-bat against Leake lasted eight pitches, then nine, then 12, before he dumped a single -- naturally -- to right field, moving Holliday to third base. Leake, under siege and maybe a little weary, needed a big out, and he got it, striking out Molina. But he threw a first-pitch fastball to Freese, who lined a single -- over shortstop, in the middle of the field, naturally -- and the first run of the game scored. You could almost see Leake wilt, like a boxer who got within the last 10 seconds of a round before being knocked down. With jabs, rather than with one roundhouse punch.

Jon Jay then singled -- to center field, naturally.

Kozma singled -- to center field, naturally. By the time, Leake walked off the mound, he was down 3-0, and the Cardinals were on their way to becoming the first team with 40 victories.

Holliday doesn't think there's anything unusual in their preparation that fosters the kind of efficiency that the Cardinals have demonstrated with runners in scoring position. But he believes that the collective mindset of the St. Louis hitters lends itself to that kind of success: Nobody is trying to do too much at the plate, and they're concerned with only taking the ball through the middle and to the opposite field, doing some damage and passing the rally down the line to the guy hitting behind them.

"These guys are really prepared," said Cardinals coach Bengie Molina. "They're watching videotape together, they're always talking about hitting. In the dugout, you're always hearing them talk about the pitcher."

They're constantly trading notes on how an opposing pitcher is cutting the ball, or sinking it, or the type of movement they can expect.

The data on runners in scoring position goes back to 1974, as the Elias Sports Bureau reports, and what the Cardinals are doing with on-base percentage with runners in scoring position -- and with runners in scoring position with two outs -- is historic.

Going into Sunday's game, St. Louis has a .410 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position, and a .431 OBP with runners in scoring position and two outs. These are the best in those categories since 1974:

Best teams with runners in scoring position
*Since 1974

Team Year OBP
Colorado Rockies 2000 .399
New York Yankees 1999 .396
San Francisco Giants 2004 .393
Boston Red Sox 1996 .393
Cleveland Indians 1999 .391
San Francisco Giants 2000 .391
Cincinnati Reds 1994 .390
New York Yankees 1994 .389
Seattle Mariners 2000 .389
Cleveland Indians 2000 .388
Best teams with runners in scoring position and 2 outs
*Since 1974

Team Year OBP
Colorado Rockies 2000 .404
Boston Red Sox 2009 .403
Milwaukee Brewers 1987 .399
Cleveland Indians 1999 .399
Seattle Mariners 2003 .398
Boston Red Sox 1996 .397
Boston Red Sox 1986 .396
Boston Red Sox 2003 .396
New York Yankees 1999 .395
Chicago White Sox 1994 .395
It's worth noting that most of these numbers were posted in the height of the Steroid Era, when offensive production was inflated. For the Cardinals to be this good with runners in scoring position in 2013, when offensive numbers are generally deflated, is remarkable.

A burgeoning belief in Yasiel Puig.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Vin Scully has been doing his job since 1950, which means he saw Jackie Robinson steal home, witnessed a perfect game by Sandy Koufax, and was there when Kirk Gibson hit one of the most incredible home runs in baseball history. So if you can amaze the great Dodgers broadcaster, well, that’s saying something.

And this is what Scully said after the latest feat by Yasiel Puig, on Thursday night: “I don’t believe it!” (You can hear it here.)

Puig has been in the big leagues four days and so far all he has done is hit three homers, including a two-run shot, a three-run homer, and then Thursday’s crushing grand slam.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, that makes Puig just the third player since 1900 with three homers, including a grand slam, in his first four career games.

In spring training, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said that Puig is one of those players you can’t take your eyes off, a perfect description. He hits, he hits with power, he throws and he runs, at full speed, all the time.

But in conversation Wednesday, Colletti said that through Puig’s very short time in professional baseball -- remember, he only signed with the Dodgers 342 days ago -- he has quickly learned to slow the game down, this while going full speed. He has waited on breaking pitches; he has taken the ball to the opposite field. Puig has been known as a hyperaggressive hitter and so one of the biggest questions about him is whether he’ll constantly put himself in ball-strike holes, as former top prospect Delmon Young has done in his career, by chasing pitches out of the zone. After all, Puig went through all of spring training without drawing a walk, and he has 27 walks in 278 plate appearances in pro baseball -- which is a low rate, but workable.

So far, so good.

Puig is really a six-tool player: He is a style master, with the bouncing neck chain and the garish mannerisms and gestures. He seems born for the stage, and born to play on a baseball team in L.A.; he is the Dodgers’ one-man version of Showtime, so far, on a team owned by the leader of Showtime, Magic Johnson.

Inevitably, he’s probably going to annoy players on other teams. But my guess is that he already has dealt with that. My guess is it won’t bother him, or the Dodgers, if he continues to do things that amaze even Vin Scully.

From ESPN Stats & Information: Puig’s three homers have come against three types of pitches, and they’ve all come with the Dodgers trailing or ahead by just a run. And all three have been on the first or second pitch of the at-bat.

Homer No. 1: Tuesday, fifth inning vs. the Padres, he hit a three-run homer off a 94 mph fastball, to tie the score.
Homer No. 2: Tuesday, sixth inning vs. the Padres, he hit a two-run homer off an 85 mph changeup.
Homer No. 3: Thursday, eighth inning vs. the Braves, he clubbed a grand slam off an 81 mph slider, with the bases loaded and the Dodgers clinging to an 1-0 lead.

Elsewhere for the Dodgers, Zack Greinke was really good too, nicking the corners. From Stats & Info, how Greinke won:

A. He threw 56 percent offspeed pitches, his most in a game since the start of the 2009 season.
B. He got five strikeouts with his offspeed pitches (changeup, curveball and slider); he had four total in his first six starts this season.

Cory Gearrin gave up Puig’s grand slam, and the Braves lost the first game of the series. He has allowed 24 hits and nine walks in 25 1/3 innings, with 18 strikeouts, which are not the numbers of most eighth-inning guys, who usually have a lot of swing-and-miss capability. He’s either going to have to perform better in that role or they’ll have to find somebody else.


• Major League Baseball has a lot more witnesses than just Tony Bosch, writes Steve Marcus. They have asked for FedEx and phone records, reports the Associated Press, in an effort to close the net. MLB is set to meet with Bosch.

The Yankees would save big if Alex Rodriguez is banned next season, writes Ken Davidoff.

• We had Domonic Brown on Thursday’s podcast, and he talked about the mechanical adjustment that has changed the direction of his season ... and maybe his career.

Time gets in the way of draft rebuilds.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
A smart baseball executive talked the other day about how difficult the new rules have made it for teams to build through the draft. Under the old rules, organizations could divert funds into their draft spending and aggressively pay players in the later rounds -- usually talented high schoolers who had thoughts of going to college -- and build their pool of prospects.

But under the new rules, with a slotting system, that really isn’t possible anymore without rule-bending. And remember, there are also new restrictions on signing international free agents.

“The teams that already have a good group of prospects are in an incredibly strong position,” said the executive, naming the Cardinals, Rays and Pirates among those clubs. “But on the other hand, if you don’t have that kind of talent in your organization, it’s become much more difficult to get it.”

Which is saying something. It has taken Pirates GM Neal Huntington many years (and many losses) to rebuild the organization through the draft, and similarly, Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore took over the Royals in the spring of 2006. The Royals are perceived to have a good group of prospects, in spite of this year’s results in the big leagues, but think about that: It required six or seven years to get there, and that's under the old rules.

So while the day of the draft provides hope, it is also a sobering time for teams that are talent-starved and face a long, long road to rebuild in the way they want to -- a journey probably lengthened by the new rules.

The Brewers don’t even have a first-round pick today. Neither do the Angels. Same for the Nationals.

It’s really easy to say you’re going to devote time to rebuilding a franchise through the draft, and through development. But that strategy doesn’t guarantee success, and requires a sustained effort over a period of time that may span more than one general manager.

• Keith Law talked about the draft, how negotiations take place and who might get picked where in Wednesday’s podcast. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer spoke about the team’s work on the second overall pick on Tuesday’s podcast.

• The likelihood of the Cubs taking Mark Appel is growing, writes Paul Sullivan.

• The Astros will start the dominoes tonight, when they pick the first guy in the draft.

• The Rockies may get third baseman Kris Bryant in the draft, writes Patrick Saunders.

• The Pirates have two picks near the top of the draft. They’re looking for impact guys.

• The Rays hope to change their draft stories, writes Marc Topkin. They have a strategy, writes Roger Mooney.

• The Marlins are going back to their roots today with their draft approach, writes Clark Spencer.

• Pitching is a focus in the draft, writes Zach Braziller.

• First-round picks are crucial to building a winner.

• The Royals are striving for organizational balance, writes **** Kaegel.

• Roch Kubatko writes about the Orioles’ draft.

• Athleticism is a high priority for the Diamondbacks in this draft, writes Steve Gilbert.

• The Mariners must be creative in the No. 12 spot, writes Todd Dybas.
post #12580 of 73661

mean.gif @ my Vin slander....after he's gone there won't be another 

post #12581 of 73661
Someone is getting drilled on the Sox tonight.

Just don't let it be Ellsbury.
post #12582 of 73661
Peter Bourjos, though. pimp.gif
post #12583 of 73661
Gerrit Cole blowing 99 MPH past Gregor Blanco for his first career K sick.gifsmokin.gif
post #12584 of 73661
Been waiting for this moment.

Bundy too.
post #12585 of 73661
Originally Posted by 011781 View Post

Originally Posted by frink85 View Post

A long running Vin random fact joke at a dodger forum I post at is "Uggla is Swedish for owl". Next time they play the braves, listen for it laugh.gif gotta love Vin pimp.gif

Oh, he made sure to mention that over the weekend. He even gave a reminder after a HR --- "remember, it's Swedish for OWL"

Anyone ever been to the Padres park? That **** looks beautiful on TV.  San Diego has grass and a sandbox for the kids in the outfield.... Here, in Miami, we have a bar and a pool... figures.

Ya Petco park is a nice park, plus SD always has great weather and you can literally walk out the park and begin drinking after a game it's def hard to not hate going to games there.
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post #12586 of 73661
Dan Haren just gave up his league leading 17th homerun of the year, great $13 million dollar investment Mike Rizzo.
post #12587 of 73661

Yo, these Astros are buns. It's error after error. laugh.gif

post #12588 of 73661
Colon throwing 94 and 95 at age 40......still on that Dominican juice.
post #12589 of 73661
I don't know anything about Ian Dickson (the numbers look bad), but I love Theo Epstein for making a minor move for Henry Rodriguez. He'll probably just continue walking everything in sight, but at the off-chance that he figures it out, you have a reliever that throws 100 with a wipeout slider for what seems to be nothing of value. Those are the kind of obscure deals for a power bullpen arm or toolsy backup position player that I love. Take the shot, especially when you're rebuilding or whatever.
post #12590 of 73661
Carlos Marmol and Henry Rodriguez in the same bullpen...that's a recipe for disaster. Two guys who have no control whatsoever, I've seen enough of Henry to know that he probably won't ever figure it out. Who knows though, maybe a change of scenery is all he needs. According to Jimmy Rollins though Rodriguez has the most hittable 100 MPH he's ever seen, you just never know where it's gonna go.
post #12591 of 73661
Originally Posted by madj55 View Post

Dan Haren just gave up his league leading 17th homerun of the year, great $13 million dollar investment Mike Rizzo.
He got pounded by some punches too laugh.gif
They almost threw him over the rail, I thought it was the royal rumble for a second
post #12592 of 73661
Just hot home in time to see the Dodgers and Diamondbacks fighting haha
post #12593 of 73661
That brawl was good times. laugh.gif
post #12594 of 73661
Have you guys ever heard of this "Homerun Derby" TV show from 1960? I just heard of it for the first time on the Yankees broadcast. I wish they still had shows like this today.
The rules were similar to modern home run derbies, with two notable exceptions. If a batter did not swing at a pitch that was in the strike zone, that also constituted an out. Also, the contests were conducted in a more similar fashion to a baseball game than the modern home run derbies, where a player has a set number of outs before his turn is over.
Batters were given three outs per inning, and the player with the most home runs after nine innings won. The defending champion had the advantage of batting last; his opponent batted first. Any ball not hit for a home run was an out. The player did not have to swing at every pitch, but if he did not swing at it, and the pitch was in the strike zone, that also constituted an out, as did a swing and a miss, but these rarely happened as the pitcher was supposed to be giving the batters good balls to hit. If the players were tied after nine innings, the Derby would go into extra innings as per regular baseball.
post #12595 of 73661
Originally Posted by WearinTheFourFive View Post

Have you guys ever heard of this "Homerun Derby" TV show from 1960? I just heard of it for the first time on the Yankees broadcast. I wish they still had shows like this today.

It used to come on ESPN classic all the time when the channel first got up and running. It was awesome to watch, very cool seeing the old players.
post #12596 of 73661
JP Howell throwing punches at the D-Backs hitting coach, seriously? haha

Big Mac wanted some too and it looked like Matt Williams wanted none of it.

And someone correct me if I'm wrong, but all this started with Puig getting drilled in the face?
post #12597 of 73661
Originally Posted by Jewbacca View Post

Originally Posted by WearinTheFourFive View Post

Have you guys ever heard of this "Homerun Derby" TV show from 1960? I just heard of it for the first time on the Yankees broadcast. I wish they still had shows like this today.

It used to come on ESPN classic all the time when the channel first got up and running. It was awesome to watch, very cool seeing the old players.

Ya It was cool watching these

Originally Posted by Jewbacca View Post

JP Howell throwing punches at the D-Backs hitting coach, seriously? haha

Big Mac wanted some too and it looked like Matt Williams wanted none of it.

And someone correct me if I'm wrong, but all this started with Puig getting drilled in the face?

Zack hit someone, Puig got hit in the face, Zack hit Miguel in the back almost went behind him, then Ian hit Zack in the head
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post #12598 of 73661
I was pitching to those guys.

Not really, just sayin it before someone else did. laugh.gif
post #12599 of 73661
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post #12600 of 73661

This is what started it.




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