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Posts Tagged ‘Carl Crawford’

imagesWith spring training a little over a month away, and pitchers reporting in two weeks, the regular season is just around the corner.  Those rusty shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers, hammies, groins and legs will soon enough turn into a trip to the big leagues or another season down on the farm.  Each spring promising youngsters get a shot at making the big league in exhibition games, veterans earn their respect, and players on their last legs attempt to prove that they still have the right “stuff.”

What is often over looked by the gigantic free agent signings are prospects that have been developing and maturing in the minors.  The draft, team development of players, and the Rule 5 draft are ignored because of this “WIN right now at all cost” mentality (Think of the Yankees).  Interestingly, if you look at the Philadelphia Phillies roster five (C. Ruiz, R. Howard, C. Utley, J. Rollins, P. Burrell) of their eight position starters were drafted by Philadelphia, and four (C. Hamels, K. Kendricks, B. Myers, A. Eaton), of their six (they traded for Joe Blanton) starters were also drafted by the Phillies.

Howard, Utley, Rollins, Burrell, and Hamels were the core of that 2008 World Championship team.  That is building from within.  The [Devil] Rays, contrary to popular belief, were not as built from within (though trading their prospect helped them receive key parts [i.e. Delmon Young for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett]).  Only four of their starting eight was drafted by the Rays (E. Longoria, BJ Upton, C. Crawford, J. Gomes), and two of their five main starters (J. Shields and A. Sonnanstine) were drafted by the Rays.  Now this isn’t awful, but just not as many as the Phillies.
*Just for comparison sakes, the Yankees did have 8 players on their everyday roster that they drafted.

Though, the draft is not an exact science (only 16 of the 43 top pick in the draft have been all stars, two have never play a game in the big leagues, and only two have been Rookie of the Year), building a team through the draft is essential to having a winning team.  Trading picks away for the present only creates problems for the future.  Building from within has always proven to lead to great results.

The most interesting thing to notice about the two World Series teams is their mlb_vwt3_swpayroll ($43,820,598 [Rays] to $98,269,881 [Phillies]).  That is more than double.  Granted, the Phillies spent heavy in the off-season and trades, while the Rays decided that they would be a bit more frugal.  The huge signings by the Yankees may look like brilliant ideas today, but does not guarantee a playoff birth, let alone a winning record (the top three payrolls did not even make the playoffs).

Obviously, drafting doesn’t equate a title run, or a title.  Nevertheless, the Rays and Phillies made to WS without a $100 million cap, and the Brewers made the playoffs within that same category.  The free spending owners, and the high rolling sports agents may be rich, but as they say “A ring is more important than all the records in the world!”

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On a night when Hiroki Kuroda flirted with perfection, he was almost upstaged by Bruce Bochy’s stupid managerial decision, and Carl Crawford stealing his 300th base of his career. Bruce Bochy wants to have Tim Lincecum receive 2 starts before the All-Star Break and in doing so he must shuffle up his rotation. Not only do you have young ace who doesn’t need to be over worked at age 24 for a team 11 games under .500 with no shot at making a playoff run, but you are creating rifts throughout the entire rotation (including Matt Cain). Yea doesn’t make sense to me either. Crawford was only the 9th player since the turn of the century to reach 300 stolen bases before his 27th birthday. Pretty impressive if you ask me, but not worth the 1st round draft pick because he will never get those predicted 25 homers a year that he is supposed to get. But tonight belonged to a 33 year-old Japanese import. Hiroki Kuroda was perfect through 7 IP, until Mark Teixeira doubled leading off in the 8th inning. He completed the game allowing only that one double, while striking out 6 in an efficient 91 pitch shutout. Since coming off the DL last week, he has been utterly dominate pitching 17 IP of shutout ball lower his ERA by .65 of a point. Maybe he just needed the rest because he wasn’t used to the strenuous season of the MLB. He has been a pleasant surprise all year, however his value could never be higher.

Adam LaRoche- Speaking of value building, went 2/2 with a triple and 2 walks. Not too bad for this second half wonder, and I just heard that it past the half way point. Seems like its time to jump on this bandwagon.

Chase Headley- Continues to defy Petco and hit his 3rd homer at home against Ricky Nolasco in the 5th inning. He still strikes out to much (29.5% k-rate) to keep his average anywhere near respectable. If need some power help, if you don’t mind his .243 average.

Chris Davis- Hit a 2-run homer last night for his fourth homer of his short career. For more analysis read above again (and my next “Scouting the Unknown”).

Prince Fielder- Hit his 17th homer last night. It was his first in 2 weeks, and it looks like his slump is officially over. Since July 4th he is 6/22, breaking his 2/36 slump that he was in. Still those bocca burgers just aren’t cutting it this year. Just like Spam isn’t real meat, nor are bocca burgers

Ubaldo Jimenez- Was wildly effective last night against the Brewers picking up his first road win. In 7 IP he walked 5 batters and struck out 7. He has proven in the past that he is a July and August pitcher (WHIP under 1.20, and an ERA under 4).

Seth McClung- Not so wildly effective effective last night. He also walked 5, but only last 4 2/3 IP. His last few starts have left a lot to be desired, and he is lucky that Jeff Suppan is heading to the DL so that he is able to keep his rotation spot.

Jeff Suppan- Not that you should still be owning him on any fantasy team, but he was just placed on the 15 day DL with a sore elbow. Not a good diagnosis for any pitcher, but not like he was on any one’s radar.

Felix Hernandez- Well I know I was wrong in saying that he would avoid the DL, but he should be coming off before his start on Friday against the Royals, and there isn’t a better team to come back to face either (I am almost sure he planned on it going like this).

Elijah Dukes- Expected to go under season ending arthroscopic knee surgery. He could be back in late August, but most likely not, and even if he did, he wont provide any fantasy value. This is a disappointing way to end as he was finally showing why the Nationals wanted him in the first place.

Jeff Francoeur- 3 days after being sent down to AA Mississippi the Braves recalled their young struggling star. Why would you send him down to work on his swing only to call him up 3 games latter? This seems to be a bit illogical, but it might have been enough. Lets hope it helped, but I highly doubt it.

Clay Buchholz- Got the call-up with Justin Masterson being sent down to be converted into a reliever. He is scheduled to get the start on Friday against the Orioles. He hasn’t faced the Orioles this year, but last year he had 2 wins in 12 IP, 12 Ks, ERA of 0, and a WHIP of .5, needless to say he was solid against these wounded birds (even though they are right at .500). Look for another quality start on Friday.

*Great information on Spot Starting pitchers against poor run scoring teams

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All those tofu burger jokes and rips on him becoming vegetarian seem to be in the past as the month of June has seen him hit the cow hide off the corked balls (.304/.391/.589). His fleeted footed inside-the-park home run proves that his diet has at least made him a wee bit faster then his stubby legs could before (plus he has a stolen base). More impressive is that he has already hit more home runs then he did in all of May and scored more then he did in April or May. This lighter bat that he seems to have switched to might be for better bat control then the fact that he cannot handle the weight that his old meat and potatoes diet could afford him. Enough of the diet jokes on with the show:

Carl Crawford- Hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 7th to pull the Rays ahead for good and completed the sweep of the Cubs. The power that was supposed to develop I don’t think will (the ‘at least’ 20/20 pop that everyone is so enamored with). This doesn’t diminish his value though, it just changes were that value comes from. He is a R,SB player (like Pierre with more power), and he is placed into an RBI friendly slots (2,3 holes). Now you know what you are getting.

Carlos Marmol- In his first completely awful outing of the season (easily tops June 2nd), gave up four hits including Carl’s Grand Salami. Not only that, it was his fifth home run allowed this year (only 3 all of last year). He only has allowed runs in two outings when he didn’t give up a home run. So the long ball is really his main culprit of his ERA.

Prince Fielder- Hit an inside-the-park home run. The lighter bat helped, but I was thinking about it getting the ball over the fence. He also scored three times bring his months total up to 15.

Ben Francisco- Hit yet another home run in the top 1st. That’s two in the last five games, and so far June has been his worst month. Grab him while he is hot. Plus he is hitting in the 3-hole.

Ryan Doumit- Suffered a slight concussion in the Pirates humiliating 16-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Last year had the same injury and was out for more than a couple of days like all the reports say. This injury always takes longer than anticipated.

Jermaine Dye- Jermaine Dye had two homers, including a grand slam. He also doubled today and drove in a six . He has four homers in four games to up his season total to 14. This game will definitely help his poor June.

Dave Bush- He did this to spite me as I had him for his previous two debacles (so of course I dropped him). Instead of blowing up again, he pitched eight innings of two hit ball, taking a no-hitter into the eighth. He ended up with his third win of the season, even though the Brewers bullpen looked like it might lose it for him as they allowed six runs in the top of the ninth. He walked one and stuck out two.

Russell Branyan- Hits yet another home run today. Now with 10 homers in 20 games (15 on the season) he continues to hit home runs, but that is about it (and look his first name ends in the word SELL!!!).

Joba Chamberlain- Easily had his best start of the season by lasting 5 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out nine against the Padres. He allowed four hits and a Tony Clark ground rule double that scored Brian Giles. It was his first start that the Yanks let him reach 100 pitches. I am still not sold on him as his walks have increased this year over last year. As a reliever it is easier to work around a walk, but as a starter they are more often worked around and score.

Aaron Harang- Yet another disappointing outing (5 IP, 10 Hits, 5 ER, 3BB, 2K). 4 of his last 5 outings have produced extremely pathetic numbers for the usually consistent Harang. Maybe the 3500 club is catching up to him (as was talked about in a few posts ago). Buy low if you are willing to risk a possible return to dominance, but I ‘d advise steering clear of him until he shows more than one good outing. This fall from grace has been in progress since the middle of May, so for those of you who traded him away here’s a cookie or two!

Hiroki Kuroda– Went on the DL with a impingement ‘shoulder’ injury. Translated: The rotator cuff is irritated because the shoulder is loose in the socket. AKA: probably wear and tear that needs more than the 15 day DL will allow for.

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