Zito $ent to bullpen

April 29, 2008

Regret.

A word that is on the mind of every executive in the San Francisco Giants front office right now. After spending $126 million and investing seven years on the promising lefty, Barry Zito has returned the favor by starting out the 2008 season by going 0-6 with a 7.53 ERA, and has been sent to the bullpen: a sign of lost faith.

Zito, who now is 11-19 in his short career with the Giants, may go down as one of the biggest free-agent busts in MLB history – on pace to surpass Mike Hampton’s contract with the Colorado Rockies.

Although it is evident that Zito’s contract was a huge mistake for the Giants, it is not too late for Zito to regain his old form. He is only 29 years old and has had no major surgeries in his career. Hopefully he can turn it around sooner than later.


Wang, Webb winning it big

April 28, 2008

Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang notched his fifth win of the young season yesterday against the Tribe, while Brandon Webb grabbed win number six against the Padres. Wang, the runner up to the ’07 AL Cy Young beat the winner of the ’07 AL Cy Young C.C. Sabathia, while Webb, the ’06 NL Cy Young winner topped last year’s NL Cy Young winner Jake Peavy. Wow, a lot of Cy Young action going on yesterday…Aces are a plenty these days in the MLB.

Their hot starts bode well for my pre-season Yankees – D-Backs World Series prediction; the D-Backs are off to a 18-7 start through the first 25 games of the season, while the Yanks went 12-13 in their first 25. As soon as the Yanks can figure out their bottom of the rotation problems they will be all set to go. Losing Bruney for the season hurts the chances of moving Joba to the rotation.


Scariest Hitter

April 24, 2008

Today ESPN columnist Jayson Stark came out with a story about whom the 30 MLB managers are most scared to pitch to. The vote went something like this:

Albert Pujols: 11 1/3
Vladimir Guerrero: 4
Alex Rodriguez: 4
Manny Ramirez: 3 1/3
David Ortiz: 3
Ichiro Suzuki: 1
Chipper Jones: 1
Chase Utley: 1
Derrek Lee: 1
Miguel Cabrera: 1/3

 

It seems as if there is somewhat of an even balance between feared hitters in the AL (6) and NL (4), with a slight nod towards the AL; most likely because of the designated hitter. Surprisingly, the last two reigning NL MVP’s were left off the list: Ryan Howard (’06) and Jimmy Rollins (’07). My ’08 NL MVP pick Chase Utley is up there, and would complete the trifecta of back to back to back Phillies winning the NL MVP.

One interesting fact too, is that out of the top 12 players in 2008 thus far who have the most intentional walks, only Pujols ranks among the most feared hitters by the managers.

 


John K Smoltz

April 23, 2008

John Smoltz collected his 3,000th K last night, joining some exclusive company, and a ticket to the Hall of Fame. Here are the other 15 members.


Frank the Tanked

April 22, 2008

Frank Thomas, unhappy that his playing time was cut, came to an agreement with Blue Jays management that he be released.

Published reports include, the Mariners, the A’s, and of course, always the Yankees.

I personally think that it will be a while until Thomas signs with anyone, because he will ask for too much money from teams who will not catch his bait. Once he realizes his true value he will sign. I think the Orioles, A’s, Rays or Twins would make the most sense.


Jackie Robinson Day 2008

April 16, 2008

Yesterday was Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball. The day commemorated Robinson’s first game in the league 61 years ago. That day Robinson became the first African American baseball player to play in the league, and America would never be the same.

The number 42 became forever retired in Major League Baseball in 1997 – the 50 year anniversary of his debut. Those who were already wearing the number in 1997 when it was retired were allowed to continue to wear the number 42 until they retired. Today, Mariano Rivera is the only remaining player from 1997 to still wear the number 42.

Yesterday, 330 players and coaches took the field sporting the number 42. Nine entire teams wore 42 together; the Mets, Nationals, A’s, Rays, Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates, Angels and Rangers. Other teams had a couple of players wear the number 42. Most feel having the players wear 42 is a great way to commemorate Robinson, but some feel it should be more organized.

I personally think it should be organized too, but I think that not just the Dodgers should be the only ones wearing the number as ‘Doc suggests in his Yahoo! blog. I think that is not fair to other teams, especially the Mets, because Robinson did play his entire career in Brooklyn after all – not in Los Angeles. I think that his other idea would be the best way; it would be to have each team assign two or three players to wear the number. The players can be voted on by their teammates.


AL Central Predictions

April 13, 2008

1. Detroit Tigers 92-70

2007 Season: 2nd Place (88-74)

Best Off-Season Move: Trading for Miguel Cabrera

Why They’ll Be Better: This lineup will make people cry; Detroit fans in happiness, and opposing pitchers in dismay. Adding Cabrera will could be one of the best acquisitions they have EVER made. Cabrera is something special – at 25 he is a career .311 hitter and is almost a lock to hit 30+ home runs every season. Dontrelle Willis needs to figure out how to revert back to his Cy Young form, and if he does their rotation will be pretty solid. Their rotation can go either way as they are anchored by their ace Verlander, but have four average pitchers that are inconsistant. With only SOME consistancy from them, they will have a fantastic year. Their bullpen and lineup will carry them all season.

2. Cleveland Indians 89-73

2007 Season: 1st Place (96-66) Lost ALCS

Best Off-Season Move: Nothing

Why They’ll Be Worse: The Indians have a really good team, but I don’t know if they can match their win total from last season. I am not fully on board that C.C. Sabathia will have the season he did last year, and especially not convinced Paul Byrd will win 15 games again. I also believe that the Tigers have a better squad and will cost The Tribe some ball games. I can see Travis Hafner coming back this season to put up his usual numbers. Fausto Carmona was a nice surprise last season and will continue to hassle batters. Cliff Lee and Jake Westbrook just don’t do it for me, and Joe Borowski as your closer is always scary (even if you lead the league in saves!).

3. Minnesota Twins 75-87

2007 Season Third Place (79-83)

Best Off-Season Move: Trading for Delmon Young

Why They’ll Be Worse: Losing the best pitcher in baseball and not getting anyone in return who will help your team win immediately certainly hurts. Losing the face of your team (Torii Hunter) hurts too. I still think that the Twins will surprise some this season with Santana and Hunter long gone, but they will not be contenders any time soon. 2006 MVP Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Young, and Carlos Gomez make up a solid lineup, while newcomer Livan Hernandez and youngster Scott Baker may hold the fort in the rotation. They have always had a decent bullpen with Joe Nathan closing, so with some luck the Twinkies may overcome some big losses.

4. Kansas City Royals 74-88

2007 Season: Fifth Place (9-93)

Best Off-Season Move: Signing Jose Guillen

Why They’ll Be Better: The Royals are definitely a team that have a bright future; they are just not quite there yet. They have gotten off to a good start, but don’t let that fool you. Alex Gordon, Mark Teahen and Billy Butler are going to be special players, but they can not carry this team by themselves. Brian Bannister has a promising future as well but that can not be said for the rest of their staff. The bullpen Royally stinks, enough said. The Royals will win more games this year, but not enough.

5. Chicago White Sox 70-92

2007 Season: Fourth Place (72-90)

Best Off-Season Move: Traded for Orlando Cabrera

Why They’ll Be Worse: The White Sox are in a very odd position. They are in a sort-of rebuilding stage, when they really should be in a COMPLETE re-building stage. They have players like 37 year old Jim Thome, 34 year old Jermaine Dye, and 36 year old Jose Contreras sticking around, and they mess up the chemistry of the team. Contreras has no business being the MLB anymore; since starting out the 2006 season 9-0, Contreras has gone 14-27 since then – awful. They have one of the worst batting average lineups in the league, in they didn’t get much help from newcomers Cabrera and Nick Swisher, who have career averages of .272 and .251 respectively. Their pitching staff is decent at best, with Javier Vazquez and youngster Gavin Floyd leading the way. Mark Buehrle is the wild-card; if he can revert back to 2005 form, they may have a chance.