Archive for July, 2008

Once just a Twins cast off Kyle Lohse has somehow won a stellar 12 games on the season for the surprising Cardinals by throwing 7 IP of 2-run ball last night against the Padres.  He is clearly having a career year as he has never had an ERA under 4.18 (2005), and his best WHIP was in 2003 at 1.27.  It would be conenient to say that it was because of switching leagues, but that happened in 2006 and that didn’t help (though it was to Cincinnati).  One of the largest factors contributing to his amazing year is his career HR/9IP is 1.15, while this year it is at 0.64.  I have a feeling that the second half will derail his fine year.  It isn’t that I don’t think he is talent (the Twins held on to him for several years trying to fix his mechanics and his mental toughness because they knew he had [has] filthy stuff), but to prove that you are legit it has to last longer than a seasons half.  If I owned him, I would trade him away, but at the same time if I were offered him I would run away like a diabetic would from rich, gooey, warm hot fudge with ghetto juice to wash it down.  You are now warned from foolish endeavors with risky career seasons. Now on with the rest of the four game day:

Edgar Gonzalez- Went 2/4 with 2 runs scored, and a homer. Adrian’s older brother is trying to prove that he is just as strong. This Edgar is no Martinez as I said here now 30 year old is going to change what his minor league history says about his hitting ability.

Gary Sheffield- Trying to show everyone that he isn’t all washed up hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 2nd. I am not sure that he can prove to the league that he isn’t done. Shoulder surgery + his bat wiggle = imminent danger. Use at your own risk, in deeper leagues his is definitely worth the risk.

Johan Santana- In his first post all-star break (PASB) he proved that even the best pitcher in baseball isn’t always dominate, even if he is a proven PASB player. 4 IP, 5 R, and only 2 strikeouts. He continues to be plagued by the long ball giving up back-to-back solo homers to Adam Dunn, and Edwin Encarnacion. I think this was just an arbitration and that he will be back to his usually Cy Young worthy self for the rest of the year.

Johnny Cueto- Not that he did any better in his match up last night against Santana: 5.1 IP 6 runs, but did strike out 6. However, he also gave up 2 homers in his outing leaving the game in the 6th in line for the loss. As a rookie, he will live and die by how many homers and walks (had 3 last night) that he’ll give up. Look for more inconsistency from this young flamethrower.

Jake Peavy- Went 7 IP, but gave up 4 solo homers to Troy Glaus (2), Rick Ankiel, and Joe Mather (pinch-hit nonetheless) after giving up only 8 all season. I would be more worried if it was at Petco Park, but it wasn’t and his still k’d 7 without walking anyone.

Clint Barmes- With Jeff Baker going 2/3 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored in the 2-hole, so Barmes goes an empty 2/4 from the 7th spot.  Since coming off of the DL he is 13/63 with 3 doubles 0 homers, and 3 RBIs.  Let’s hope this is signs to come or he will always be remembered as Dear Meat.

Francisco Cordero- It’s not often that I mention a closer, but when I do, you know they did something wrong, or are injured.  Will for Francisco it was the former allowing the Mets to rally back from an 8-6 deficit.  By blowing only his 2nd save of the season, the Mets win their 10th straight game. Not impressive and his 4 year $46 million contract looks awful on this pitiful Reds team.  I could see him being dealt if the Reds, but then again you never know what the Reds were doing in the first place.

Adam LaRoche- Providing the only offense (2 RBI) the Pirates had on Thursday doesn’t mean a whole lot besides the fact that he is a top player in the second half.  Look for his 2nd half numbers to be close to 30/10/45 .280, quote me if you want, but if you need help at first base go after him.

*this is my last post for a week as I am heading to my family’s cabin for some nice summer relaxin’.  Peace out suckas,



Read Full Post »


I am not going to talk about my least favorite, mind numbing sporting event in any sport (NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB all-star games are equally ridiculous), but instead just to remind ourselves that the second half is were winners are made.  If I had more time today, I would have created a list for second-half players that could save your team (Just remember some of the obvious aka Robinson Cano, Mark Texeria, Johan Santana). However, because my work day on July 16 thwas extended to 9:30 pm, with a 7 am wake up call for the 17th I will link you to some reliable sources:

Razzball had some stellar reports here on second half players, and their top 100 for the remainder of the season. Matt Buser just recently wrote a recap of the most consistent players (both good, and bad).  And NineBoJackson has written some excellent reports over the weekend on Over-Performing/Under-Performing picthers, Pitcher Abuse Points (PAP), and an article title “Expected Batting Averages “(aka signs of regression).

That should tickle your fancy for awhile.  I know it kept me up late over the weekend, and the slow going break.  Hope to see you all back in the next 2 1/2 months.

Read Full Post »

Is anything more boring than watching the Home Run Derby, especially with Chris Berman, Joe Morgan, and Steve Phillips as the announcers? I think I rather watch a Giants-Padres game at Pecto would be more legit than this contest. If it sounds like I’m a bit harsh on an event that was created for the MLB to acquire more money, well rightfully am. Two hours to watch the first round, and praise the Lord (PTL) that Josh Hamilton finished with a record 28 1st round homers. Not that Bobby Abreu’s second half numbers in 2005 reflected any power, but hey he did have the record for a few years. Lets hope that Josh’s spectacular season isn’t tarnished by a repeat of Abreu’s season.

After those two hours, I decided that I had seen enough, knowing that I had better things to do on a day when I woke up at 5:45 AM, like shower, post and sleep. Not that I care about who wins. Serious, its only there for awful, over hyped announcers to rant all nigh. How many times can a Chris Berman’s “Back… Back…. GONE!!!” can one hear in one night? I was going insane by the middle of Hamilton’s amazing feat, not by Chris but by Joe Morgan because with 8 outs Josh Hamilton was just crushing the ball (he hit a lot out with 8 outs, not sure the number but don’t really care to find out), but Joe kept saying, “I wish he’d hit an out so all the homers he gets will be on the money ball.” Or something along those lines. Kid you not he said that about 10 times, and then when Josh does get to that ball first contact he made was an out. Ironic no, satisfying to hear Morgan shut-up, yes.

Enough with my rant, I have to end it here because, well I didn’t watch anymore of the contest, and don’t care to know who one.

PS for those want to know, Justin Morneau over Hamilton. Looks like someone wore themselves out.

Other contestants: Ryan Braun, Chase Utley, Dan Uggla, Evan Longoria, Lance Berkman, Grady Sizemore.

Read Full Post »

Prepare for fantasy withdrawal as the All-Star break offers no coping mechanisms whatsoever. You could watch the Futures game and watch the ‘spects show off their talent, or the over hyped super lame Home Run contest, or the despicable home field advantage for the World  Series All-Star (aka popularity contest) game.  The next four days looks like snoozers.  I hope this brief Sunday recap will hold you over.  There was a lot of homers today, but here are the best pitching gems of Sunday.

Rich Harden- Well I was off yesterday, Rich pitched a gem in his first Cub start striking out 10 in 5.1 IP against the Quad-A Giants.  Nevertheless his performance was exactly what the Cubs were hoping for.  Now I am just waiting for his first DL stint to happen in his next start.

Mike Pelfrey- 8 shutout innings? No way, ut uh, not going to believe it.  Well believe it, he had no walks for the second consecutive start.  He has now won 6 straight starts.  I am still skeptical because he faced the Rockies last night, and the Giants in the start before that.  However, when you’re hot, you’re hot.

Chad Billingsley- Struck out a career high 13 batters topping his previous high of 12, on the way to a victory. The best part was that he didn’t walk a single batter.  Now that is the most surprising outing of the year by far, a walk-less Billingsley start as it was his first such things of the season.

Tim Lincecum- Another marvelous start from Tiny Tim, 8 IP 9k, with only one walk.  Not much to say, other than STUD!

Brandon Morrow- After blowing two straight saves, he got his act together and picked up the save last night.  If he keeps those homers to a minimum he should keep the closer job through the season.

Read Full Post »

Due to travels, and other various unplanned events, here is my delayed report on some ‘spects.

Chris Davis- At the time of deciding, before time ran away, he was my desire to write this. By now we all know what he does: mashes like the bash brothers, and strikes out like Adam Dunn. Oh, and that is probably who he’ll end up like. Here is an excellent detailed scouting on him if you’d like.

So instead of focusing on Davis, I found another player I would like to catch up on.

Steven Pearce- was drafted in the 10th round out of the University of South Carolina in 2004 by the Red Sox, but in 2005 he was drafted in the 8th round by the Pirates. Right now he is a 25 year old outfielder who, like Bruce, went from High Class A ball to Triple-A ball last year earning him Topps Minor League Player of the Year, and MiLB.com‘s player of the Year as well. While showing power, patience, and promise Pearce was given an invite to Spring Training. Before and even during spring training this Pirate was touted as a possible RoY candidate. Mentioned along with Colby Rasmus, Evan Longoria, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, etc. He struggled a bit during the last few weeks of Spring Training and the Pirates sent him down to Triple-A to start the season.

It was expected that he would just continue to keep raking and would be shortly called up along with Longoria, and like Braun last year. Except Nate McLouth broke out (like he was destined to do), Xavier Nady kept his career trend to start hot up, and Jason Bay actually showed up this year, while Pearce started the season colder than Scrooges’ heart. Those players, and his fellow teammate Nyjer Morgan was hot while he was cold delayed his eminent recall (in 2007 in 68 AB he went .294/.342/.397). His number this year in Triple-A looks poor due to an awful April. But since then all his peripherals have improved with each month.

Just last week he was given a call-up on July 2nd, only to be sent back down on July 8th. Not much of a chance for him to show the League what he can do. In 1561 minor league at-bats he hit .295/.364/.530 with 75 homers and 131 doubles. Each level he rose in 2007 his ave/obp/slg fell, but all stayed relatively high. With the trade deadline looming and the Pirates destined to be sellers, look for Bay and/or Nady to be traded to let Pearce and Morgan get an extend look at what they can provide.

I could see Pearce coming up in August to stay have something similar to:

200 AB .285/.365/.425 or 25 R, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 3 SB

It’s nothing to write home about but if he can finish the season strong up in the Majors we could see him being a starter by next spring.

Denard Span- Since 2005 he was touted as the heir apparent to center-field when Torii Hunter either retired, signed else where, or was traded. Now that Torii Hunter signed a 5 year $90 million contract, and Johan Santana’s trade brought in Carlos Gomez, Span was put on the back burner. At age 24, this lefty has finally been given his first real shot in the major (spring training tryouts count at heart) after 6 years in the minors now that Michael Cuddyer is hurt and on the DL. He has been given a chance to play right field on an everyday bases and has provided excellent coverage until Cuddyer returns. Right now (as of 6-11-2008 ) he’s .359/.468/.469 in 64 at bats while provide above average defense.

It is amazing how the Twins can continuously lose their star players and replace them from within their farm system. Matter of fact, they have several that are on their way up that I will look at in the off-season. Looking at his minor league career totals, and this years numbers he is due for a drastic fall to earth. He is a career .287/.355/.358 hitter. Most young hitters it takes time for them to develop good plate discipline, but Denard has shown excellent bat control with a BB:K ratio of 210-356 in 2095 at-bats. However, he never showed any sort of power, not even gap power. In all those at bats he only had 67 two baggers, and 10 home runs. A nice sign thouse is that 47 of those doubles and 8 of those homers came in the last 3 years; 31 doubles and 6 homers in Triple A. It is nice to see that the power is developing, but at age 24 he wont develop much more power.

What value does he have then if he cannot hit for anything resembling power? Good question. He did steal 116 bases, but only at a 66% clip. Surprisingly his success rate fell each level he went up. Not a great sign because it shows that he either is consistent at getting poor reads, or he didn’t learn to pick up the pitcher better (aka same thing). Fantasy wise he is a poor option, but resembles a Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras with the speed of say Torii Hunter on the base paths. His defense is fairly decent (range is above average due to his speed, and arm is average at best), but with Speedy Gonzalez covering center field known as Carlos Gomez, he (Denard) will be resorted to playing a corner outfield spot. However, he cannot hit at what a corner outfielder should. I don’t expect the Twins to keep him much longer, but I could see him developing into reliable 4th outfielder.

*I am on family vacation next week, leaving on Saturday, so the next report might be delayed, or canceled.

Read Full Post »

By the title you should all be thinking that I am going to talk about some home run hitters who haven’t hit as many as they should.  Or how the amount of homers are down from previous year.  Nope, instead I deeply apologize that I couldn’t recap Thursdays games because my city (actually small town) was without power for close to 10 hours yesterday (it finally came on at 12 am).  By that time I was already asleep, and unable to write a post for Thursday.  If you go to the Razzball site they have a great recap of Thursdays news.  They have most of what I was going to write, but unable to.

Over the weekend there should be a “Scouting the Unknown” up.  Until then keep your hands outta your pants.

Read Full Post »

Wednesdays have to be the worst day of the week.  Not for the fact that they mark only the middle of the work week, but because you can’t really look forward to their coming.  They mark no importances, no almost the weekend, no beginning of the work week attitude.  Instead they bring the most longing for vacation, and pray for an important news story to report on.  Other than the Red Sox decimating my beloved Twins, I was swamped with work, and exhausted to really want to rant about anything more than reading as many box scores as I could.  With that in mind, here is what my weary eyes say in all those numbers:

Jeff Francoeur- hit his 9th homer of the season for the sole Braves run. Maybe that brief minor league stint helped.

Garrett Atkins- Quietly having a spectacular season for the unspectacular (underachieving?) Rockies. Last night he hit 2 homers and they were against Ben Sheets and Guilermo Mota, both two righties (SLG=.388 against RHP). The second half has started, so look for him to continue to rake. Plus if he gets traded it most likely will be to a contending team so he will have reasons to keep hitting in the second half.

Ben Sheets- Speaking of which, he struck out 11 in 6 IP, however took the loss because he gave up 3 runs. When did Glendon Rusch get permission to actually pitch well? And then he out duals Ben Sheets for the win. Stranger things have happened, but any Sheets owners should be happy that he isn’t injured yet.

Lance Berkman- Steals his 13th, and 14th base last night, while walking twice. A 20/20 season seems possible now (Thank you Cecil Cooper). Random tidbit: in his last 9 plate appearances he has walked 6 times.

Johan Santana- Threw only 78 pitches to make it through 5, with 5 k’s and 3 hits. What Charlie Manuel was think is anyone’s guess, but he still ended up with the win beating the Giants. Maybe they are saving him, but they have nothing to save him for (except for $137.5 million contract he has).

Francisco Rodriguez- Blew only his 3rd save of the season giving up 3 runs to the Rangers. Not to worry because his 35 saves (in 38 opportunities) have only taken 39 IP. He isn’t over taxed and he still should be fine down the stretch.

Brandon Morrow- While I am talking about closers, he got his 8th save of the season. It might have taken 5 pitchers to get to Morrow (as Miguel Batistia left in the 3rd with a strained Groin), but he continued he domination of the 9th inning.

Carlos Quentin- Hit his 20th and 21st homers on the season last night as he led the White Sox to a 6-5 win over the Royals.

Delmon Young- Heating up in last 10 he’s 15/40 and 8/2/8 (R/HR/RBI). Last year his best months were June, July, and August while tailing off in September (which I will attribute to being a rookies and a long grueling season). This year is much the same, so look for some productive months coming fourth from this underachieving stud.

Jason Kubel- Hit his 13th homer of the season, keeping pace with Justin Morneau for the team lead. He has always was a bright prospect, but an ACL tear in Arizona Fall League two years ago slowed his development. For those who kept faith in this Twin, he should continue to reward you for the rest of the season.

Denard Span- Not to be Twins happy, but he did lead off and played center-field today letting Carlos Gomez rest his 2/21 slump. Not an everyday player unless an injury comes into play, but Gomez has proven himself capable of providing a spark at the top of the lineup (though is 25%/3.5% [ k-rate/walk rate] doesn’t prove that he should be there).

Red Sox Team- Romped the Twins, beating Livan Hernandez and the rest of the bullpen 18-5. I need not mention all the numbers, but what a day at Fenway. Good thing it wasn’t at night, or no one would have have thought the sun went down with all the fireworks going off.

Carlos Marmol- Continues his struggles giving up a hit and 2 walks while creating a save situation for Kerry Wood. I am starting to think that his struggles could be linked to his overuse (51.1 IP this season in 50 appearances). The All-Star Break can’t come soon enough.

Sidney Ponson- Pitched 6 IP of 1 run ball. Don’t be fooled, even a blind man doesn’t always miss when he takes a piss.

Chase Headley- Continues to strike out going 1/4 with 2 more k’s bring his season total to 26 in 83 at bats for a 33% k-rate. Looks like Jay Bruce has a running mate for rookies whiffer of the year.

Eddie Bonine- With only 2 quality starts, and another awful perfomance, when are the Tigers going to replace him in the rotation. Well if they didn’t trade everything and the kitchen sink for Miguel Cabrera (who finally is hot, sizzling hot) and Dontrelle Willis they might have a pitcher they could call up.

Nate McLouth- 3 doubles bringing his total to 32 on the seaosn, and better yet is that he’s finally hitting again in July. Not that anyone should have been worried, but its nice to see it wasn’t a fluke.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »