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Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Gomez’

Yahoo Sports writer Jeff Passan has covered this maple bat controversy from the very beginning. Last May he wrote an article about the introduction, cause, and increase in the maple bat crazy. Barry Bonds initiated the maple frenzy when he juiced 73 homers over the outfield walls in his memorable, yet highly controversial 2001 season. Since that remarkable season for Mr. Bonds, over 50% of players are now using this soft wood (truly).334-spt_p0513_13c2bondsbatembeddedprod_affiliate113

For all you carpenters out there, this sounds elementary. However, for all of us that are lost around a hardware shop this should clear up a bit of the confusion. Each wood has a specific level of hardness (called Janka Hardness Scale), typically the harder the wood the more expensive the cost. Thus, no major league batter is going to use a wood that has potential to break and pay for an uncontrollable amount (there has been no specific wood denied until now). Generally, the players have used an ash bat. They break less causing their wallets to remain bulky from game checks. Ash has a 1320 Janka ranking, while maple has a 950 Janka ranking. There is a legit reason why there are more bats shattering with Mariano Rivera’s hard cutter and leaving batters with only a few fingers on the handle.

2443989902_c1e1db808b So why switch from ash to maple? Well, superstitions of course! Every player has their superstitions, whether that is wearing the same undershirt, sniff their bat (Carlos Gomez), adjust their batting gloves after every pitch (cough *Nomar *cough). Then again, Bonds did hit 73 home runs with maple. Mmmmm, maple syrup and pancakes. Sorry, my inner mind went irrational on me. Speaking of irrational, did I mention that superstitions are all irrational and non-scientifically proven?

The safety hazard that a shattering bat, which some players can swing up to 65 MPH, put bluntly is jeopardizing all players, fans, and coaches safety. A splintered bat barrel, or even the smaller shards, could potentially cause physical harm. It is surprising that a player has not been extremely injured by a bat. We have had coaches (Pittsburg), and fans (stray flying bats), but nothing like when the Columbus Blue Jackets (hockey) had a fan die.

This new rule enacted by Bud Selig should be praised, not scorned. Players should prevent injuries that can derail entire team’s seasons. As it is, unexpected fluke injuries devastate teams year in and year out. A ball that can be thrown 100 mph is dangerous and a bat being swung at such said pitch is just as dangerous. The MLB is saving itself of many lawsuits, and preventing the health of their players (something that cannot always be said; cough * NFL * cough).

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Back with the ever so thrilling Scouting the Unknown (or STU as I like to call it).  However, because it is the off-season there will be a few more ‘larger’ names thrown into the mix.  It will be more Scouting the Unknown about lower tier/overrated players.  Sure, its a cop out, but you tell me 3-4 new players that no one is looking at this off season… who was? … Fair enough and you thought I was crazy? Silly you!

Onto the plan…:

Mat Gamel (BREWERS)– Gamel has proven at each step he has taken he’s ready.  2008 was a brilliant year for this young slugger hitting .329 96/19/96  (Ave R/HR/RBI) in a little over 500 AB.  Not to shabby for a 22 year old in Double-A.  He did play in 5 AAA games with very little success, maybe it was his bum elbow.  Over at ScoutingBook.com they say he is, “A polished pro hitter, Gamel has all-fields line drive swing with developing power.”  Due to his defense, which is suspect to say the least, he may not be even in the mix for a while,  that is unless they want to see if he can hit like Braun and dismiss all defensive liabilities he will provide!  I would expect to see him during a late May–early June call up.

*For a wonderful article on Matt LaPorta, Mat Gamel, and Chris Davis here is an excellent article. ps- Matt LaPorta hit .167 in winter ball…

Blake DeWitt (LAD)– Sure he started all season, but why?  He only hit .268/.344/.383(Ave/OBP/SLG) with 45/9/52.  To put that into perspective, Carlos Gomez hit .258/.296/.360 with 79/7/59 plus 33 steals.  Sure Gomez was at that top of the order- for about 6 weeks.  Nevertheless, DeWitt should be inline for a DeMotion.  Those numbers, especially at 3B is pitiful, no horrendous is more like it.  If he was a catcher I would put up with it, but 3B? Are you kidding me? Are you… wait never mind.  His minor league numbers say it best- .280/.333/.446 and 277/61/270 in over 1900 AB.  That doesn’t look any better.  You are now looking at maybe a .012 improvement in his average, and at a season total of 60/16/65.  Nothing to look at here.

Cliff Lee (CLE)– I am sure you are wondering why Cliff Lee made this list…(refer up about, oh say 4 inches) OVER… RATED…!!! *chirping in the outfield, crickets whittling on their violins*  Easily a career year, 1.5 ERA less than his average, and .2 WHIP less than his career average too.  Sure he has always had a great winning percentage, but his numbers have never shown that he could dominate like he did last year.  Even his best year in the minors (2003) didn’t translate into big league success.  At age 30 he is past his prime (even for pitchers), and I would avoid him like the plague.  Just remember the year Bartolo Colon had after his CY Young…? Yea me either (he hasn’t had a full season since (2005)).  Don’t ever draft a historically late round pick… Yeah, I know, I am bitter because he should not have been so good last year.  It was a fluke beyond all flukes.  Like the Falcons beating the Vikings in ’98!

Hopefully this will tide you over for the next few days.

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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.

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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.

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I went to the Twins D’Backs game on Friday night at the Metrodome. I am an avid Twins fan and was lucky enough to get tickets from a man in my church who is a season ticket holder (1st base side, edge of infield, 30 rows up bottom bowl. It sounds way higher than it really was. I was able to easily see balls and strikes and nothing was “hard to see”). The game was pretty dull except for the 3rd inning when the Twins rattled off 6 runs in about 12 pitches from Randy Johnson (who went the distance for the 8 inning complete game).

You know what really rattles my chain? Fans who talk the whole entire game about their fantasy teams, their softball team/league, and “You know what jersey would be awesome to have? (Fill in any ‘cool’ name here from before the mid 90’s) would be sweet.

I wasn’t the fact that they were talking, or what they were talking about. It was the sheer fact that during the game they talked LOUD, almost like they were at a party next to the sub loud. I didn’t mind hearing about their softball league problems, or which jersey would be ‘cool’ to own, but it was their sheer ignorance about fantasy baseball that ticked me off the most.

I heard that one of them dropped Jacoby Ellsbury for Carlos Gomez (who when running out into the field in the top of the first trip flat on his face). Not a bad drop in the very beginning, but not wise either. However, what pissed me off the most is that on the D’Backs roster the only player(s) they knew were Orlando Hudson, Mark Reynolds, and Randy Johnson. Now I am thinking “WTF, you don’t know about Chris Young (or Krispie (Chris B. Young to not get confused with Chris R. Young of the Padres (attribute the Krispie nickname to Rudy over at Razzball), or Brandon Lyons, or Qualls, or Stephen Drew. Frick, I could list most of their lineup and pitching staff (not to mention Dan Haren, Brandon Webb).

It just made me sick to hear about how bad one of their leagues members was at fantasy baseball, and then hearing them talk about how they didn’t know anyone on the D’Backs. The real thing is they were all cocky and talking up a big game about how good they were at fantasy baseball and how good they were at softball. Grow up, you’re in you late 20’s, early 30’s and you are still behaving like a pre-pubescences high school student.

Nothing bothers me more than two adults acting like they “own the world”, and having such as immature cocky attitude, and then talking so half the section can hear all about it.

*end rant.

I plan on doing more research post then thoughts about life/baseball. Just wanted to get something up for over the weekend.

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