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2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions. - Page 60

post #1771 of 77570
Thread Starter 
Halladay and I don't really think it's as close as people make it either laugh.gif

Hamels is underrated as hell this year, Philly's FO is smart they're going to resign him at the end of the year and let Roy walk. He's arguably the 5th best pitcher in the league behind Weaver and Verlander. Maybe Lincecum.
post #1772 of 77570
Thread Starter 
Halladay and I don't really think it's as close as people make it either laugh.gif

Hamels is underrated as hell this year, Philly's FO is smart they're going to resign him at the end of the year and let Roy walk. He's arguably the 5th best pitcher in the league behind Weaver and Verlander. Maybe Lincecum.
post #1773 of 77570
Thread Starter 
AL Team Trade Moves plus notes.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

With 30 days now before the July 31 trade deadline, here's an early look at the AL landscape (for Thursday's look at the NL, click here):

Oakland Athletics: The Athletics traded Mark Ellis on Thursday, kicking in $2 million to complete a deal with the Colorado Rockies, and he figures to be just the first veteran to be moved. Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, Grant Balfour and others could follow.

Minnesota Twins: A few weeks ago, rival executives were getting vibes from Minnesota that the team might be ready to talk trade -- but then the Twins went on a streak and cut their AL Central deficit in half in about three weeks. Since then, rival officials say, Minnesota seems to be taking a step back -- and hey, the Twins executives would have every reason to look at the Indians and Tigers and White Sox and believe that anything's possible.

There is a lot of theoretical interest in Michael Cuddyer, but the Twins would have to ask themselves whether trading the respected veteran would be worthwhile. Other clubs would probably want Minnesota to eat at least half of the $5.5 million owed to Cuddyer for the second half of the season, and even then nobody would part with a primary prospect for him.

Tampa Bay Rays: They will do what they've always done -- try to improve the team for now, while always keeping the big picture in mind. For example, it would make sense for them to move B.J. Upton this summer, before he could head to a huge arbitration award this winter -- but they may not trade Upton unless they feel they can replace his offense by adding a hitter in a separate deal. Kyle Farnsworth, who has pitched effectively this year, could draw some interest before the deadline.

Boston Red Sox: Sources say that as of today, the Red Sox don't have a lot of financial flexibility to make trades before the deadline, which means that someone like the Cubs' Jeff Baker is going to be a more likely target than a pricey big name.

Kansas City Royals: They've got some players who would be affordable and attractive to other teams, whether it be a Jeff Francoeur (who is making $2.5 million), Melky Cabrera ($1.25 million) or Wilson Betemit ($1 million). However, it's not as simple as it sounds: The Royals are bringing along a group of young players and they will at least want to keep a framework of veterans in place so the youngsters don't get pounded.

Cleveland Indians: They would be open to adding modestly priced help, without giving up any major prospects. Cleveland is not going to blow up its long-term plans in an effort to win the division this year; you will not see the Indians swap young players for pricey short-term rentals. Still, the Indians can do things like picking up Mike Cameron -- Cleveland has a major need for a right-handed-hitting outfielder -- for pennies, now that the Red Sox have designated him for assignment.

Chicago White Sox: Ken Williams faces a unique puzzle before the trade deadline, because so many of the problems that need to be fixed cannot really be addressed -- Alex Rios, whose contract is an anchor, and Adam Dunn, who is a half-season into a four-year, $56 million deal. Sergio Santos has effectively filled the closer's role.

New York Yankees: As they have gauged the market and seen the surprising performances of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia -- and have watched the physical comeback of Phil Hughes -- the Yankees are convinced their internal options are better than what they see externally. If Rafael Soriano has another setback and he needs elbow surgery, New York could look to add one of the many relievers that should be available over the next two months.

Los Angeles Angels: Reportedly, owner Arte Moreno has closed the checkbook for his front office -- and if Moreno sticks with that, the Angels would have to be creative before the trade deadline. The Cubs' Carlos Pena, a left-handed power hitter, would be a good fit in a lot of ways, but Moreno would probably have to expand payroll -- or the Angels would have to get major financial relief from the Cubs -- to make it happen.

Texas Rangers: Texas should be able to fill its greatest need, for right-handed relief, whether it's with a Heath Bell or Mike Adams or Farnsworth or somebody else. The Rangers' problems appear to be very fixable with the right deals.

Toronto Blue Jays: Toronto could turn into a one-stop shop for right-handed relief, depending on who is throwing the best -- whether it be Frank Francisco, Octavio Dotel, Jason Frasor or Jon Rauch. While the starting pitching market is incredibly thin, the number of experienced right-handed relievers that will be available should make this more of a buyers' market.

Detroit Tigers: Detroit has been asking around about left-handed pitching, and GM Dave Dombrowski is known as someone who finishes deals -- and the Tigers operate under a win-now mantra every year.

Baltimore Orioles: There has been an internal debate for Baltimore about when the best time to trade Jeremy Guthrie will be, and the expectation within the organization is that Baltimore will at least seriously consider any offers that come its way for the right-hander.

Seattle Mariners: The injury to Erik Bedard will have an impact on one of the Mariners' trade pieces -- if, in fact, they would have seriously considered trading Bedard, who fits with them and could be part of the 2012 solution. Seattle has been better than expected, but like Cleveland, you will not see the Mariners stray from their planned course for a Hail Mary shot at the playoffs this year. But, like the Indians, the Mariners intend to look around for some modestly priced means for improvement.

• What do Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, James Shields, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain all have in common? If the schedules and rotations hold, they could all pitch on the final Sunday before the All-Star Game, which would make them ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game.

And there's something wrong with that.

When Major League Baseball holds the World Baseball Classic, pitchers are pushed out of their normal routine to compete at a high level, and put themselves at increased risk for injury at a time of year when they haven't really prepared to pitch with 100 percent intensity. Yet pitchers can't be asked to throw an inning in the middle of the season for the sport's signature midsummer event?

I'm not sure how it can be an All-Star Game if five or six of the top 10 pitchers don't participate.

Sabathia and Verlander both picked up their 11th victories Thursday. From ESPN Stats & Info, how Sabathia won:

A. By generating lots of missed swings. Sabathia matched his career high with 13 strikeouts Thursday, and ALL of them were on a swinging strike three. That is the most swinging strikeouts in a game since Bud Norris had 13 on Aug. 14.

Most swinging strikeouts in a single start this season:
CC Sabathia -- 13*
Tim Lincecum -- 12
Tommy Hanson -- 12
Edwin Jackson -- 12
* = Thursday vs Brewers

B. Overpowering slider. Brewers hitters were 1-11 (.091) with seven strikeouts in at-bats ending on a CC slider. The 11 outs generated by the slider (DP grounder) are Sabathia's most in a game in the past two-plus seasons. Over his past four starts, Sabathia is holding the opposition to an .086 average (3-35) with 19 strikeouts against his slider.

How Verlander beat the Mets:

A. He was tough in tough spots. Verlander wasn't as dominant as he's been the rest of the month, but the Mets couldn't muster much in the clutch. The Mets were 2-10 with four strikeouts with men on base, including 0-5 with runners in scoring position.

B. He loved being outside. Of the 120 pitches Verlander threw, 73 were on the outside part of the plate or wider. That is the most outside pitches Verlander has thrown all season and his most since throwing 76 on June 16, 2010.

Per ELIAS, Justin Verlander became only the fifth pitcher to go 6-0 or better with an ERA below 1.00 in a calendar month since 1984. His stellar 0.92 ERA is only fourth on this list. Randy Johnson, Hideo Nomo and Rick Reuschel had better ERAs than Verlander in their undefeated month.

One of the reasons for Justin Verlander's dominant June? He kept the ball out of play. In-play percentage is the number of balls put into play divided by the total number of swings. Verlander's in-play percentage of 32.8 in June led the majors.

Lowest in-play percentage in June, 2011 season:
Justin Verlander -- 32.8
David Price -- 33.3
Brandon Morrow -- 33.6
Tommy Hanson -- 33.7

Moves, deals and decisions

1. The Rockies view Mark Ellis as a winning player, as Dan O'Dowd says, in this Jim Armstrong piece.

Dings and dents

1. Neil Walker is dealing with a sore back, as mentioned within this notebook.

Thursday's games

1. Jeff Karstens shut down the Blue Jays.

2. The Giants suffered an excruciating loss to the Cubs, who were twice faced with match point -- two outs, two strikes -- and won. This was among the most entertaining games of the season (although not for the Giants).

3. Mark Teixeira hit his 300th HR on Thursday versus the Brewers.

FROM ELIAS:
He's the sixth-fastest to reach the milestone among active players.

Fewest games to 300 HR, active players:
Alex Rodriguez -- 1,117
Albert Pujols -- 1,165
Adam Dunn -- 1,210
Vladimir Guerrero -- 1,276
Jim Thome -- 1,288
Mark Teixeira -- 1,296*
* = hit 300th HR on Thursday

Teixeira hit his 25th HR of the season. He is the fourth player to have at least 25 HRs in each of his first nine MLB seasons, joining Albert Pujols, Darryl Strawberry and Eddie Mathews.

Most HR in first nine MLB seasons:
Albert Pujols -- 366
Ralph Kiner -- 351
Eddie Mathews -- 338
Adam Dunn -- 316
Mark Teixeira -- 300



NL Team Trade Moves plus notes.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

The Dodgers' owner has earned the focus and the scrutiny of his sport, and meanwhile, that entity once known as Dodger baseball is drifting along unnoticed, in a twisting river of events which are taking it out of reach of success.

It would make sense for the Dodgers to invest in their best young players -- Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw -- but they cannot, so long as a bankruptcy judge is musing over the players' status as creditors.

The San Francisco Giants are poised to build around a future of Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, and the Rockies have invested more than $200 million in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. The Diamondbacks have a long-term deal in place with Justin Upton that runs through 2015, and Chris Young is under contract through 2013, with an option for 2014.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers baseball team is basically inert. While the list of retired players lined up to receive Frank McCourt's money is impressive, here's the list of the players signed into 2012 and beyond:

1. Ted Lilly, who will make $10.5 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013.
2. Chad Billingsley, in line to make salaries of $9 million, $11 million and $12 million over the next three seasons, with a club option for 2015.
3. Juan Uribe, signed through 2013, for $15 million over the next two seasons.
4. Matt Guerrier, who will make $7.5 million over the next two seasons.

Ethier and Kemp? They'll be eligible for free agency in about 16 months, and at the moment, the folks who work for Frank McCourt -- or Major League Baseball, we're not quite sure which -- are not in a position to make the eight-figure offers required to keep the two young stars.

And let's just say that from a player's perspective, the Dodgers might not be the most attractive team to play for, with the greatest chance of winning. The longer the franchise is dragged through courts, the less the baseball operations people can do to make the team better. For all we know, Ethier and Kemp may already be dreaming about playing for clubs capable of making payroll every two weeks. If they were already prepared to jump, you couldn't blame them.

The Dodgers are in a holding pattern. Sources say that with the trade deadline now 31 days away, the front office is starting the process of gathering information and exchanging phone calls about some of their more tradable commodities. To date, no teams have called on veteran infielder Jamey Carroll, although that figures to change, given the needs elsewhere. Hiroki Kuroda has a partial no-trade clause, and in any event, the Dodgers are not teeming with pitching at Triple-A, and so Kuroda is needed for the team to compete as best it can over the next three months. Casey Blake is hitting .244 with four homers, and while he's a respected veteran, the Dodgers would get so little in return for him -- if anything -- that it almost isn't worthwhile to deal him. James Loney is becoming a strong candidate for a winter non-tender, given that his $4.875 million salary is bound to grow through arbitration and he currently has a .350 slugging percentage -- two numbers that don't add up to a lot of trade value.

No, the Dodgers will wait, which seems to be the theme of the moment in the trade market. Seventeen of the 30 teams are within four games of first place Thursday morning, and very few teams have indicated they are open for business. Talks are taking place and eventually, trades will be made, but it may take a while.

Here's what's happening with the rest of the NL teams, as the days to the trade deadline come off the calendar.

Mets: No team has called them about Jose Reyes, and assuming that some interest does develop, the Mets would require at least a Grade-A prospect and a solid Grade-B prospect -- a steep price for a player who has already indicated an intention to test the free-agent market this fall. The Mets will listen on Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez, but keep in mind that moving either would require enormous financial concessions by the Mets; they'd have to kick in millions to complete trades of the pricey veterans.

And here's something else to note: The Mets are four games out in the loss column in the wild-card race and playing well.

In a perfect world, writes Mike Vaccaro, the Mets would give Reyes a truckload of cash.

Phillies: They have checked around on the availability of right-handed hitters and relievers; rival executives presume they will be active before the trade deadline and will land proven veterans. With a team fully capable of winning the World Series, the Phillies are not going to allow nagging weaknesses to undermine the strengths of the team.

[+] EnlargeHunter Pence
Troy Taormina/US PresswireHunter Pence is a candidate to be dealt between now and the trade deadline.

Astros: They will listen on veterans like Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez, but the perception is that the asking prices will be very, very high. Keep in mind, all of their dealings will be monitored -- but not directed -- by the wary eyes of incoming owner Jim Crane.

Braves: Their evaluators are checking around for available bats, and the Braves are loaded with young pitching to deal.

Some rival executives have wondered if that pitching depth would allow Atlanta to consider a very bold move with a pitcher whose stock has reached its zenith -- Jair Jurrjens, who is 10-3 with a 2.07 ERA and a midseason candidate for the Cy Young Award. If the Braves actually dangled Jurrjens in the market, they could put themselves in position to get an impact offensive position player in return.

Just to reiterate: All the discussion among rival evaluators about Jurrjens is pure speculation.

Nationals: They are looking to get a center fielder and have demonstrated interest in B.J. Upton in the past, although some rival executives think that Upton will be a borderline non-tender candidate this winter, given his hitting trend line. Upton's year-by-year batting average: .300, .273, .241, .237, .223 (current).

On the other hand, Upton is on a pace for 24 homers and 40 steals, to go along with his strong defense. Upton is hot right now, having hit four homers in his past six games.

Padres: They have told teams they are ready to take offers on Heath Bell, who might be one of the very few difference-making players available, and the dominant Mike Adams, who is attractive to other teams because he would be under club control through next season. Other clubs expect that the Padres will demand a very high return for Adams, but much less so for Ryan Ludwick, who has posted mediocre offensive numbers while making $6.75 million.

Now that Ludwick has started playing well for the Padres, he might be shown the door, writes Tim Sullivan.

Rockies: They will wait a few more weeks before deciding whether to be buyers or sellers.

Giants: San Francisco continues to look for catching help, and the Giants' best shot for an actual upgrade might be in a deal with Cincinnati for Ramon Hernandez -- eventually. The Reds have some catching depth in their system and they are invested long-term in Ryan Hanigan, but the Giants would have to make it worthwhile for the Reds to break up their strong catching tandem.

Cardinals: St. Louis needs bullpen help and is viewed within the industry as one of the potential favorites to get Heath Bell. But if the Cards don't get Bell, there will be plenty of lesser alternatives available sometime between now and Aug. 31.

Cubs: A team open for business, according to rival evaluators. While there are not teams banging on the door for the likes of Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano -- two average players making superstar money -- Jeff Baker and Kerry Wood are among the most coveted players in the trade market. Both are cheap (Baker is making $1.175 million and Wood $1.5 million), and both present useful skills (Baker can play multiple positions and kills left-handed pitching, and Wood misses bats and has experience). Wood would have to approve any trade. Executives with other teams view Carlos Pena as interesting because of his power, defense and leadership, but very risky because of the streaky nature of his production.

The Cubs will not be conducting a fire sale, says Jim Hendry.

Marlins: They are in a strange place, because the last thing that the Marlins want to do is to create a perception that they are selling off, again, as they prepare to move into a new park. Anibal Sanchez could be of interest to other teams, given his performance this year (6-1, 2.82), but the Marlins need him for their staff in 2012. Leo Nunez is positioned for a major salary upgrade this winter, after making $3.65 million this year; the time is right for Florida to move him, in what will be a flush market of relievers.

Pirates: They are poised to have their best season in almost two decades, so they will not be selling off. Rather, they will be looking for modest ways of improving their roster.

Brewers: After Milwaukee's trades for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, rival evaluators viewed the Brewers' farm system as strip-mined. But with a half-season of minor league play completed, the Brewers have rebuilt some value in their farm system -- and lest there be any doubt, they are trying to win this year. If a deal could help them win the division in 2012, they will consider it.

Reds: Their primary concern is starting pitching, but they will consider upgrades at shortstop and for left field, if available. Rival officials believe a Jose Reyes trade is a long shot, but if it did happen, Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty is viewed by some of his peers as being the most likely to step up and have the aggressiveness required to make that kind of thing possible. If Edinson Volquez continues to throw as well as he did against Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the Reds' pitching holes might be plugged.

Diamondbacks: They are looking for bullpen upgrades, with Wood being near the top of their list.

post #1774 of 77570
Thread Starter 
AL Team Trade Moves plus notes.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

With 30 days now before the July 31 trade deadline, here's an early look at the AL landscape (for Thursday's look at the NL, click here):

Oakland Athletics: The Athletics traded Mark Ellis on Thursday, kicking in $2 million to complete a deal with the Colorado Rockies, and he figures to be just the first veteran to be moved. Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, Grant Balfour and others could follow.

Minnesota Twins: A few weeks ago, rival executives were getting vibes from Minnesota that the team might be ready to talk trade -- but then the Twins went on a streak and cut their AL Central deficit in half in about three weeks. Since then, rival officials say, Minnesota seems to be taking a step back -- and hey, the Twins executives would have every reason to look at the Indians and Tigers and White Sox and believe that anything's possible.

There is a lot of theoretical interest in Michael Cuddyer, but the Twins would have to ask themselves whether trading the respected veteran would be worthwhile. Other clubs would probably want Minnesota to eat at least half of the $5.5 million owed to Cuddyer for the second half of the season, and even then nobody would part with a primary prospect for him.

Tampa Bay Rays: They will do what they've always done -- try to improve the team for now, while always keeping the big picture in mind. For example, it would make sense for them to move B.J. Upton this summer, before he could head to a huge arbitration award this winter -- but they may not trade Upton unless they feel they can replace his offense by adding a hitter in a separate deal. Kyle Farnsworth, who has pitched effectively this year, could draw some interest before the deadline.

Boston Red Sox: Sources say that as of today, the Red Sox don't have a lot of financial flexibility to make trades before the deadline, which means that someone like the Cubs' Jeff Baker is going to be a more likely target than a pricey big name.

Kansas City Royals: They've got some players who would be affordable and attractive to other teams, whether it be a Jeff Francoeur (who is making $2.5 million), Melky Cabrera ($1.25 million) or Wilson Betemit ($1 million). However, it's not as simple as it sounds: The Royals are bringing along a group of young players and they will at least want to keep a framework of veterans in place so the youngsters don't get pounded.

Cleveland Indians: They would be open to adding modestly priced help, without giving up any major prospects. Cleveland is not going to blow up its long-term plans in an effort to win the division this year; you will not see the Indians swap young players for pricey short-term rentals. Still, the Indians can do things like picking up Mike Cameron -- Cleveland has a major need for a right-handed-hitting outfielder -- for pennies, now that the Red Sox have designated him for assignment.

Chicago White Sox: Ken Williams faces a unique puzzle before the trade deadline, because so many of the problems that need to be fixed cannot really be addressed -- Alex Rios, whose contract is an anchor, and Adam Dunn, who is a half-season into a four-year, $56 million deal. Sergio Santos has effectively filled the closer's role.

New York Yankees: As they have gauged the market and seen the surprising performances of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia -- and have watched the physical comeback of Phil Hughes -- the Yankees are convinced their internal options are better than what they see externally. If Rafael Soriano has another setback and he needs elbow surgery, New York could look to add one of the many relievers that should be available over the next two months.

Los Angeles Angels: Reportedly, owner Arte Moreno has closed the checkbook for his front office -- and if Moreno sticks with that, the Angels would have to be creative before the trade deadline. The Cubs' Carlos Pena, a left-handed power hitter, would be a good fit in a lot of ways, but Moreno would probably have to expand payroll -- or the Angels would have to get major financial relief from the Cubs -- to make it happen.

Texas Rangers: Texas should be able to fill its greatest need, for right-handed relief, whether it's with a Heath Bell or Mike Adams or Farnsworth or somebody else. The Rangers' problems appear to be very fixable with the right deals.

Toronto Blue Jays: Toronto could turn into a one-stop shop for right-handed relief, depending on who is throwing the best -- whether it be Frank Francisco, Octavio Dotel, Jason Frasor or Jon Rauch. While the starting pitching market is incredibly thin, the number of experienced right-handed relievers that will be available should make this more of a buyers' market.

Detroit Tigers: Detroit has been asking around about left-handed pitching, and GM Dave Dombrowski is known as someone who finishes deals -- and the Tigers operate under a win-now mantra every year.

Baltimore Orioles: There has been an internal debate for Baltimore about when the best time to trade Jeremy Guthrie will be, and the expectation within the organization is that Baltimore will at least seriously consider any offers that come its way for the right-hander.

Seattle Mariners: The injury to Erik Bedard will have an impact on one of the Mariners' trade pieces -- if, in fact, they would have seriously considered trading Bedard, who fits with them and could be part of the 2012 solution. Seattle has been better than expected, but like Cleveland, you will not see the Mariners stray from their planned course for a Hail Mary shot at the playoffs this year. But, like the Indians, the Mariners intend to look around for some modestly priced means for improvement.

• What do Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, James Shields, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain all have in common? If the schedules and rotations hold, they could all pitch on the final Sunday before the All-Star Game, which would make them ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game.

And there's something wrong with that.

When Major League Baseball holds the World Baseball Classic, pitchers are pushed out of their normal routine to compete at a high level, and put themselves at increased risk for injury at a time of year when they haven't really prepared to pitch with 100 percent intensity. Yet pitchers can't be asked to throw an inning in the middle of the season for the sport's signature midsummer event?

I'm not sure how it can be an All-Star Game if five or six of the top 10 pitchers don't participate.

Sabathia and Verlander both picked up their 11th victories Thursday. From ESPN Stats & Info, how Sabathia won:

A. By generating lots of missed swings. Sabathia matched his career high with 13 strikeouts Thursday, and ALL of them were on a swinging strike three. That is the most swinging strikeouts in a game since Bud Norris had 13 on Aug. 14.

Most swinging strikeouts in a single start this season:
CC Sabathia -- 13*
Tim Lincecum -- 12
Tommy Hanson -- 12
Edwin Jackson -- 12
* = Thursday vs Brewers

B. Overpowering slider. Brewers hitters were 1-11 (.091) with seven strikeouts in at-bats ending on a CC slider. The 11 outs generated by the slider (DP grounder) are Sabathia's most in a game in the past two-plus seasons. Over his past four starts, Sabathia is holding the opposition to an .086 average (3-35) with 19 strikeouts against his slider.

How Verlander beat the Mets:

A. He was tough in tough spots. Verlander wasn't as dominant as he's been the rest of the month, but the Mets couldn't muster much in the clutch. The Mets were 2-10 with four strikeouts with men on base, including 0-5 with runners in scoring position.

B. He loved being outside. Of the 120 pitches Verlander threw, 73 were on the outside part of the plate or wider. That is the most outside pitches Verlander has thrown all season and his most since throwing 76 on June 16, 2010.

Per ELIAS, Justin Verlander became only the fifth pitcher to go 6-0 or better with an ERA below 1.00 in a calendar month since 1984. His stellar 0.92 ERA is only fourth on this list. Randy Johnson, Hideo Nomo and Rick Reuschel had better ERAs than Verlander in their undefeated month.

One of the reasons for Justin Verlander's dominant June? He kept the ball out of play. In-play percentage is the number of balls put into play divided by the total number of swings. Verlander's in-play percentage of 32.8 in June led the majors.

Lowest in-play percentage in June, 2011 season:
Justin Verlander -- 32.8
David Price -- 33.3
Brandon Morrow -- 33.6
Tommy Hanson -- 33.7

Moves, deals and decisions

1. The Rockies view Mark Ellis as a winning player, as Dan O'Dowd says, in this Jim Armstrong piece.

Dings and dents

1. Neil Walker is dealing with a sore back, as mentioned within this notebook.

Thursday's games

1. Jeff Karstens shut down the Blue Jays.

2. The Giants suffered an excruciating loss to the Cubs, who were twice faced with match point -- two outs, two strikes -- and won. This was among the most entertaining games of the season (although not for the Giants).

3. Mark Teixeira hit his 300th HR on Thursday versus the Brewers.

FROM ELIAS:
He's the sixth-fastest to reach the milestone among active players.

Fewest games to 300 HR, active players:
Alex Rodriguez -- 1,117
Albert Pujols -- 1,165
Adam Dunn -- 1,210
Vladimir Guerrero -- 1,276
Jim Thome -- 1,288
Mark Teixeira -- 1,296*
* = hit 300th HR on Thursday

Teixeira hit his 25th HR of the season. He is the fourth player to have at least 25 HRs in each of his first nine MLB seasons, joining Albert Pujols, Darryl Strawberry and Eddie Mathews.

Most HR in first nine MLB seasons:
Albert Pujols -- 366
Ralph Kiner -- 351
Eddie Mathews -- 338
Adam Dunn -- 316
Mark Teixeira -- 300



NL Team Trade Moves plus notes.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

The Dodgers' owner has earned the focus and the scrutiny of his sport, and meanwhile, that entity once known as Dodger baseball is drifting along unnoticed, in a twisting river of events which are taking it out of reach of success.

It would make sense for the Dodgers to invest in their best young players -- Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw -- but they cannot, so long as a bankruptcy judge is musing over the players' status as creditors.

The San Francisco Giants are poised to build around a future of Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, and the Rockies have invested more than $200 million in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. The Diamondbacks have a long-term deal in place with Justin Upton that runs through 2015, and Chris Young is under contract through 2013, with an option for 2014.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers baseball team is basically inert. While the list of retired players lined up to receive Frank McCourt's money is impressive, here's the list of the players signed into 2012 and beyond:

1. Ted Lilly, who will make $10.5 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013.
2. Chad Billingsley, in line to make salaries of $9 million, $11 million and $12 million over the next three seasons, with a club option for 2015.
3. Juan Uribe, signed through 2013, for $15 million over the next two seasons.
4. Matt Guerrier, who will make $7.5 million over the next two seasons.

Ethier and Kemp? They'll be eligible for free agency in about 16 months, and at the moment, the folks who work for Frank McCourt -- or Major League Baseball, we're not quite sure which -- are not in a position to make the eight-figure offers required to keep the two young stars.

And let's just say that from a player's perspective, the Dodgers might not be the most attractive team to play for, with the greatest chance of winning. The longer the franchise is dragged through courts, the less the baseball operations people can do to make the team better. For all we know, Ethier and Kemp may already be dreaming about playing for clubs capable of making payroll every two weeks. If they were already prepared to jump, you couldn't blame them.

The Dodgers are in a holding pattern. Sources say that with the trade deadline now 31 days away, the front office is starting the process of gathering information and exchanging phone calls about some of their more tradable commodities. To date, no teams have called on veteran infielder Jamey Carroll, although that figures to change, given the needs elsewhere. Hiroki Kuroda has a partial no-trade clause, and in any event, the Dodgers are not teeming with pitching at Triple-A, and so Kuroda is needed for the team to compete as best it can over the next three months. Casey Blake is hitting .244 with four homers, and while he's a respected veteran, the Dodgers would get so little in return for him -- if anything -- that it almost isn't worthwhile to deal him. James Loney is becoming a strong candidate for a winter non-tender, given that his $4.875 million salary is bound to grow through arbitration and he currently has a .350 slugging percentage -- two numbers that don't add up to a lot of trade value.

No, the Dodgers will wait, which seems to be the theme of the moment in the trade market. Seventeen of the 30 teams are within four games of first place Thursday morning, and very few teams have indicated they are open for business. Talks are taking place and eventually, trades will be made, but it may take a while.

Here's what's happening with the rest of the NL teams, as the days to the trade deadline come off the calendar.

Mets: No team has called them about Jose Reyes, and assuming that some interest does develop, the Mets would require at least a Grade-A prospect and a solid Grade-B prospect -- a steep price for a player who has already indicated an intention to test the free-agent market this fall. The Mets will listen on Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez, but keep in mind that moving either would require enormous financial concessions by the Mets; they'd have to kick in millions to complete trades of the pricey veterans.

And here's something else to note: The Mets are four games out in the loss column in the wild-card race and playing well.

In a perfect world, writes Mike Vaccaro, the Mets would give Reyes a truckload of cash.

Phillies: They have checked around on the availability of right-handed hitters and relievers; rival executives presume they will be active before the trade deadline and will land proven veterans. With a team fully capable of winning the World Series, the Phillies are not going to allow nagging weaknesses to undermine the strengths of the team.

[+] EnlargeHunter Pence
Troy Taormina/US PresswireHunter Pence is a candidate to be dealt between now and the trade deadline.

Astros: They will listen on veterans like Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez, but the perception is that the asking prices will be very, very high. Keep in mind, all of their dealings will be monitored -- but not directed -- by the wary eyes of incoming owner Jim Crane.

Braves: Their evaluators are checking around for available bats, and the Braves are loaded with young pitching to deal.

Some rival executives have wondered if that pitching depth would allow Atlanta to consider a very bold move with a pitcher whose stock has reached its zenith -- Jair Jurrjens, who is 10-3 with a 2.07 ERA and a midseason candidate for the Cy Young Award. If the Braves actually dangled Jurrjens in the market, they could put themselves in position to get an impact offensive position player in return.

Just to reiterate: All the discussion among rival evaluators about Jurrjens is pure speculation.

Nationals: They are looking to get a center fielder and have demonstrated interest in B.J. Upton in the past, although some rival executives think that Upton will be a borderline non-tender candidate this winter, given his hitting trend line. Upton's year-by-year batting average: .300, .273, .241, .237, .223 (current).

On the other hand, Upton is on a pace for 24 homers and 40 steals, to go along with his strong defense. Upton is hot right now, having hit four homers in his past six games.

Padres: They have told teams they are ready to take offers on Heath Bell, who might be one of the very few difference-making players available, and the dominant Mike Adams, who is attractive to other teams because he would be under club control through next season. Other clubs expect that the Padres will demand a very high return for Adams, but much less so for Ryan Ludwick, who has posted mediocre offensive numbers while making $6.75 million.

Now that Ludwick has started playing well for the Padres, he might be shown the door, writes Tim Sullivan.

Rockies: They will wait a few more weeks before deciding whether to be buyers or sellers.

Giants: San Francisco continues to look for catching help, and the Giants' best shot for an actual upgrade might be in a deal with Cincinnati for Ramon Hernandez -- eventually. The Reds have some catching depth in their system and they are invested long-term in Ryan Hanigan, but the Giants would have to make it worthwhile for the Reds to break up their strong catching tandem.

Cardinals: St. Louis needs bullpen help and is viewed within the industry as one of the potential favorites to get Heath Bell. But if the Cards don't get Bell, there will be plenty of lesser alternatives available sometime between now and Aug. 31.

Cubs: A team open for business, according to rival evaluators. While there are not teams banging on the door for the likes of Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano -- two average players making superstar money -- Jeff Baker and Kerry Wood are among the most coveted players in the trade market. Both are cheap (Baker is making $1.175 million and Wood $1.5 million), and both present useful skills (Baker can play multiple positions and kills left-handed pitching, and Wood misses bats and has experience). Wood would have to approve any trade. Executives with other teams view Carlos Pena as interesting because of his power, defense and leadership, but very risky because of the streaky nature of his production.

The Cubs will not be conducting a fire sale, says Jim Hendry.

Marlins: They are in a strange place, because the last thing that the Marlins want to do is to create a perception that they are selling off, again, as they prepare to move into a new park. Anibal Sanchez could be of interest to other teams, given his performance this year (6-1, 2.82), but the Marlins need him for their staff in 2012. Leo Nunez is positioned for a major salary upgrade this winter, after making $3.65 million this year; the time is right for Florida to move him, in what will be a flush market of relievers.

Pirates: They are poised to have their best season in almost two decades, so they will not be selling off. Rather, they will be looking for modest ways of improving their roster.

Brewers: After Milwaukee's trades for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, rival evaluators viewed the Brewers' farm system as strip-mined. But with a half-season of minor league play completed, the Brewers have rebuilt some value in their farm system -- and lest there be any doubt, they are trying to win this year. If a deal could help them win the division in 2012, they will consider it.

Reds: Their primary concern is starting pitching, but they will consider upgrades at shortstop and for left field, if available. Rival officials believe a Jose Reyes trade is a long shot, but if it did happen, Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty is viewed by some of his peers as being the most likely to step up and have the aggressiveness required to make that kind of thing possible. If Edinson Volquez continues to throw as well as he did against Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the Reds' pitching holes might be plugged.

Diamondbacks: They are looking for bullpen upgrades, with Wood being near the top of their list.

post #1775 of 77570
Doc is easily the best in the world at his craft.
post #1776 of 77570
Doc is easily the best in the world at his craft.
post #1777 of 77570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proshares

Halladay and I don't really think it's as close as people make it either laugh.gif

Hamels is underrated as hell this year, Philly's FO is smart they're going to resign him at the end of the year and let Roy walk. He's arguably the 5th best pitcher in the league behind Weaver and Verlander. Maybe Lincecum.

just let Blanton go
 
post #1778 of 77570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proshares

Halladay and I don't really think it's as close as people make it either laugh.gif

Hamels is underrated as hell this year, Philly's FO is smart they're going to resign him at the end of the year and let Roy walk. He's arguably the 5th best pitcher in the league behind Weaver and Verlander. Maybe Lincecum.

just let Blanton go
 
post #1779 of 77570
Halladay has performed better than any pitcher over the last 10 years, and I don't think there's that much room for debate.

The only people who I would put at his level over any significant amount of time would be (healthy) Johan Santana and (healthy) Pedro Martinez. Aside from injuries, those two compare to Doc pretty well as far as domination goes.

Roy just has that longevity till he's 70 type dominance, at age 34 there doesn't look like there's any slowing up any time soon
post #1780 of 77570
Halladay has performed better than any pitcher over the last 10 years, and I don't think there's that much room for debate.

The only people who I would put at his level over any significant amount of time would be (healthy) Johan Santana and (healthy) Pedro Martinez. Aside from injuries, those two compare to Doc pretty well as far as domination goes.

Roy just has that longevity till he's 70 type dominance, at age 34 there doesn't look like there's any slowing up any time soon
post #1781 of 77570
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry but Pedro's dominance > Roy's dominance to me. Go look back at some of those numbers, it was unbelievably unfair to be on the mound against him.
post #1782 of 77570
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry but Pedro's dominance > Roy's dominance to me. Go look back at some of those numbers, it was unbelievably unfair to be on the mound against him.
post #1783 of 77570
idk Maddux put up some filthy stats....94 and 95smiley: sick
post #1784 of 77570
idk Maddux put up some filthy stats....94 and 95smiley: sick
post #1785 of 77570
Thread Starter 
1997 25 MON NL 17 8 .680 1.90 31 31 0 13 4 0 241.1 158 65 51 16 67 5 305 9 1 3 947 219 0.932 5.9 0.6 2.5 11.4 4.55 AS,CYA-1,MVP-16
1998 26 BOS AL 19 7 .731 2.89 33 33 0 3 2 0 233.2 188 82 75 26 67 3 251 8 0 9 951 163 1.091 7.2 1.0 2.6 9.7 3.75 AS,CYA-2,MVP-21
1999 27 BOS AL 23 4 .852 2.07 31 29 1 5 1 0 213.1 160 56 49 9 37 1 313 9 0 6 835 243 0.923 6.8 0.4 1.6 13.2 8.46 AS,CYA-1,MVP-2
2000 28 BOS AL 18 6 .750 1.74 29 29 0 7 4 0 217.0 128 44 42 17 32 0 284 14 0 1 817 291 0.737 5.3 0.7 1.3 11.8 8.88 AS,CYA-1,MVP-5
2001 29 BOS AL 7 3 .700 2.39 18 18 0 1 0 0 116.2 84 33 31 5 25 0 163 6 0 4 456 190 0.934 6.5 0.4 1.9 12.6 6.52
2002 30 BOS AL 20 4 .833 2.26 30 30 0 2 0 0 199.1 144 62 50 13 40 1 239 15 0 3 787 202 0.923 6.5 0.6 1.8 10.8 5.98 AS,CYA-2,MVP-20
2003 31 BOS AL 14 4 .778 2.22 29 29 0 3 0 0 186.2 147 52 46 7 47 0 206 9 0 5 749 211 1.039 7.1 0.3 2.3 9.9 4.38 CYA-3,MVP-22
post #1786 of 77570
Thread Starter 
1997 25 MON NL 17 8 .680 1.90 31 31 0 13 4 0 241.1 158 65 51 16 67 5 305 9 1 3 947 219 0.932 5.9 0.6 2.5 11.4 4.55 AS,CYA-1,MVP-16
1998 26 BOS AL 19 7 .731 2.89 33 33 0 3 2 0 233.2 188 82 75 26 67 3 251 8 0 9 951 163 1.091 7.2 1.0 2.6 9.7 3.75 AS,CYA-2,MVP-21
1999 27 BOS AL 23 4 .852 2.07 31 29 1 5 1 0 213.1 160 56 49 9 37 1 313 9 0 6 835 243 0.923 6.8 0.4 1.6 13.2 8.46 AS,CYA-1,MVP-2
2000 28 BOS AL 18 6 .750 1.74 29 29 0 7 4 0 217.0 128 44 42 17 32 0 284 14 0 1 817 291 0.737 5.3 0.7 1.3 11.8 8.88 AS,CYA-1,MVP-5
2001 29 BOS AL 7 3 .700 2.39 18 18 0 1 0 0 116.2 84 33 31 5 25 0 163 6 0 4 456 190 0.934 6.5 0.4 1.9 12.6 6.52
2002 30 BOS AL 20 4 .833 2.26 30 30 0 2 0 0 199.1 144 62 50 13 40 1 239 15 0 3 787 202 0.923 6.5 0.6 1.8 10.8 5.98 AS,CYA-2,MVP-20
2003 31 BOS AL 14 4 .778 2.22 29 29 0 3 0 0 186.2 147 52 46 7 47 0 206 9 0 5 749 211 1.039 7.1 0.3 2.3 9.9 4.38 CYA-3,MVP-22
post #1787 of 77570
Smh @ Jeter starting.
post #1788 of 77570
Smh @ Jeter starting.
post #1789 of 77570
only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.
post #1790 of 77570
only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.
post #1791 of 77570
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonThreeParty

only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.

How C.C. and David Robertson didn't get selected 30t6p3b.
post #1792 of 77570
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonThreeParty

only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.

How C.C. and David Robertson didn't get selected 30t6p3b.
post #1793 of 77570
Jair Jurrjens is pitching great baseball had a couple bad starts, but he may get be the starter for the ASG.

I think Tommy Hanson should be an All star.
post #1794 of 77570
Jair Jurrjens is pitching great baseball had a couple bad starts, but he may get be the starter for the ASG.

I think Tommy Hanson should be an All star.
post #1795 of 77570
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkmac

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonThreeParty

only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.

How C.C. and David Robertson didn't get selected 30t6p3b.


smiley: laugh Really?
post #1796 of 77570
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkmac

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonThreeParty

only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.

How C.C. and David Robertson didn't get selected 30t6p3b.


smiley: laugh Really?
post #1797 of 77570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowitness41Dirk

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkmac

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonThreeParty

only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.

How C.C. and David Robertson didn't get selected 30t6p3b.


smiley: laugh Really?


As dead serious as the hoody.


W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV SVO IP H R ER HR HB BB IBB SO AVG WHIP GO/AO
SEASON 1 0 1.08 36 0 0 0 0 2 33.1 23 5 4 0 0 20 3 53 .187 1.29 1.24






















You are lying to yourself for whatever reason if you don't agree with me. Considering Soriano was supposed to be our SU man, and he's out, and Joba is out too, Robertson has stepped it up and held our bullpen together.

All-Star selection system is flawed when it comes to relievers anyway. The best SU man should get the nod over at least one of the few closers that are selected, or another reliever. They are not recognized.
post #1798 of 77570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowitness41Dirk

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkmac

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonThreeParty

only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.

How C.C. and David Robertson didn't get selected 30t6p3b.


smiley: laugh Really?


As dead serious as the hoody.


W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV SVO IP H R ER HR HB BB IBB SO AVG WHIP GO/AO
SEASON 1 0 1.08 36 0 0 0 0 2 33.1 23 5 4 0 0 20 3 53 .187 1.29 1.24






















You are lying to yourself for whatever reason if you don't agree with me. Considering Soriano was supposed to be our SU man, and he's out, and Joba is out too, Robertson has stepped it up and held our bullpen together.

All-Star selection system is flawed when it comes to relievers anyway. The best SU man should get the nod over at least one of the few closers that are selected, or another reliever. They are not recognized.
post #1799 of 77570
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowitness41Dirk

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkmac

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonThreeParty

only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.

How C.C. and David Robertson didn't get selected 30t6p3b.


smiley: laugh Really?



Over Crow, Valverde and maybe League sure.  Gordon should be the Royals rep anyway.
post #1800 of 77570
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowitness41Dirk

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkmac

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonThreeParty

only problem I have with the AL team is Jon Lester being scubbed.

How C.C. and David Robertson didn't get selected 30t6p3b.


smiley: laugh Really?



Over Crow, Valverde and maybe League sure.  Gordon should be the Royals rep anyway.
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