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Posts Tagged ‘Chase Utley’

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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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.

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Feather, cotton, memory foam, and even rocks on those camping trips have served as pillows, yet it takes a truly talented person to hurt themselves doing everyday tasks (like John Smoltz ironing his t-shirt while it was still on, to Marty Cordova sunburning himself to the 15-day DL, to a sneeze- God bless you Sammy Sosa). After today we have a new champion to receive the Klutz King title: Brandon Inge. He reportedly told the Free Press that “I have a 3-year-old son who sleeps in the bed with my wife and me,” Inge said. “I was trying to push the pillow down behind his head (two nights ago), and when I did … I repopped (the strained muscle). “You take swings in baseball, and it’s not as bad as pushing a pillow down.” Well I never knew it was so hard to readjust a pillow, maybe if it was a jock strap, which he has more practice moving around, he wouldn’t have hurt himself. And when did swinging a 32 ounce bat become harder than pushing a maliable , soft, couchy pillow? Man up (I guess he did by disclosing such a ridiculous injury excuse), and claim your new title while you push aside Sammy, Marty, and John as you are the new King in town.

Carlos Delgado- Massive day saw him hitting a grand slam, a 3-run homer, and a 2-run RBI. For a player that is in the twilight of his career todays numbers give him some respectable season totals with 13 home runs, and 43 RBIs. He is still a poor option to be playing everyday for most fantasy teams, but if you had him in today, props to you.

Curtis Granderson- He continued his hot hitting moving his streak up to 14 games. Back-to-back 4/5 games and his last three games he is 10/14. During this 14 game hitting streak he has moved his average .054 points. Now batting .294 on the season, and finally attempting to steal (though caught two nights ago, but got a steal last night), and the best part is that he had 2 triples tonight doubling his total this year. He isn’t just hot, he is sizzling tobasco hot.

Seth McClung- A bad outing against surging Twinkies. Not surprising as many NL starters are getting rocked against AL lineups when the AL is home. That and it was Minnesota’s second time seeing him in the last two weeks. After posting four straight quality starts in a row, he was due for a poor outing. Look for a better start early next week against the Diamondbacks when he pitched 6 innings of one run ball back in early June.

Jair Jurrjens- 8 innings of 3 hit ball, striking out 3. It was probably his best outing of the season. The Blue Jays on the other hand are an awful hitting team, so this might just be a blimp of his possibilities in the future. of great month. He is young with a lot of potential and will have a typical rookie roller coaster season.

Chase Utley- Still in a pretty big slump despite his recent 4/5 game on Tuesday. I was reading a wonderful report on him that was really impressive on my news link.

Prince Fielder- Another oh fer night against the Twinkies has brought his hitless streak to a season high of four games. In that span he is 0/17 dropping his average from .292 to .274. Granted this streak has coincided with a road trip as his home average is .313 compared to .250 on the road, just an observation.

Chris Davis (TEX)- He strikes out like Howard, and like Jay Bruce is doing and did in the minors. He has some pop, but only with marginal power (aka mid 20’s in a full season). Pickup at your own risk.

Brian Buscher- Finally putting it all together after struggling last year. With this last call-up he is 18/44 with 10/1/15 with a .375 batting average. He is a very timely hitter for the twins, and his call-up has coincided with the Twins winning streak (now up to 10 games). Tomorrow I will give a player break down on him. This waiver wire fodder is better than the air conditioner above.

CC Sabathia- Pitched 8 innings of shutout ball, while striking out 11 Reds while allowing only four hits. I think his funk in officially over. His last 10 outings have produced 8 quality starts, and all of them he has pitched at least 7 innings.

Edinson Volquez- I don’t know how I missed it yesterday, but he had his worst game of the season by far. Has Dusty Baker been riding our young starlet? If he has another poor start in his next outing it could make the dog days of summer even longer in Cincinnati, and for all you Volquez owners out there.

Clayton Kershaw- This year Lincecum? Um, more like over-hyped, and not totally prepared for the big leagues. Still young enough to adjust (DUH!), but probably not this year.

Nick Swisher- A grand slam, a double and two runs, a pretty nice night for a struggling Swisher. On pace for typical year (minus his career year in 2006). Just have to keep expectations lower than his 2006 numbers.

Kei Igawa- The Yanks are going to try and use him as their long reliever after the sent Ross Ohlendorf who got rocked today. Kei is definitely not the key to fit into this broken bullpen.

Carlos Pena- Can anyone say Brady Anderson (career stats here). Striking out at a 34% rate this year and a 30% rate for his career. He whiffs just as much as Ryan Howard, but Howard’s free air conditioning has proven to hit home runs. With a career average at .250 don’t expect more than 15 more homers all year.

Evan Longoria- I tell you to trade him and he goes out and hits his a three-run bomb for his 15th homer of the season. With a 4/5 day he has raised his average up from .248 to .272 during his five game hit streak. With a line of 41/15/46 he just might be this years Pence-Braun tweener (aka not as good as Braun, but better than Pence)

Jacob McGee- Keeping along the Tampa Bay Rays news, he will undergo Tommy Johns Surgery. This should just be a small set back as he is often given the title of the best minor league pitcher on his way to the majors. Now, we just have to wait a bit longer to see him in the majors, and maybe this will make some fantasy owners forget about him and he could fall through the holes in the near future.

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