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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Garza’

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to go watch my hometown Twins play the Houston Astros. With a match up of Brian Moehler and Scott Baker, I expected an easy win for the Twinkies. However, that was not the case as they lost 6-5.

What surprised me is that Brendan Harris led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer, and Delmon Young, yes that Delmon Young who can’t hit the broadside of the Metrodome, hit a homer in the second.

Whatever happened to Young’s potential? Scouts raved about him before the ’08 season, but since then everyone is claiming he’s a bust? Seriously, the Twins seem to have gotten fleeced this time in the trade for Young and Harris for Garza and Bartlett. About time that the Twins tasted their own medicine. However, I don’t think one can make an accurate claim quite yet that the Twins got the short end of the trade. Give it another year or so. For example, most thought the Twins got the shaft when they traded AJ Pierzynski to the Giants for Boof Bonser, Joe Nathan, and Francisco Liriano. Well, after a few years, we all know who got the better end of that deal.

Needless to say, trade evaluation is difficult to objectively accomplish until several years after the trade (think the Michael Vick conundrum in 2001 where the Chargers traded down to number 5 and got LaDainian Tomlinson and the Falcons chose Vick number 1). I would venture to say that the Chargers got the better end of that trade, especially since they drafted Drew Brees with their second round pick that they got for trading down.

See, it isn’t until emotions are removed that one can see what side of the trade is better after the seasons have been played. However, this Young+Harris+Pridie for Garza+Bartlett seems to be quite onesided, but let us have history make the correct call in several years.

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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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Shawn Chacon was put on waivers Thursday by the Houston Astros, a day after he got into a physical altercation with general manager Ed Wade.” (AP)

What a way to go out, if you are putting up his impressive numbers and feel entitled, go for it. While you are at it jump in the lions den carrying some deer meat, just don’t trip and break your collar bone. That would be like any employee going up to your CEO and in midst of your conversation you decide to ‘chest bump’ him/her, and then continue to badger and eventually have a ‘disagreement’. The Labor Union will of course get involved because the Astros are reportedly going to release him straight up if he clears waivers (which he probably will, I mean seriously who wants that, that or that), and if that happens there is about $2 million in salary that is going to have to be paid for by the Astros.

While Shawn was reverting back to puberty, here is what the rest of the league did:

Rich Harden- 95 pitches of pure brilliance in sheer domination of an impressive Philly’s lineup. 11 strike outs a walk, and 2 hits in eight innings of work sure brings tears to Richie’s faithful. 5-0 this year with 67 innings pitched almost equals all the work he has gotten the last two years combined (72.6). Barring another injury, we might have the comeback player of the year. I doubt it because him not getting hurt would be like Amy Winehouse not smoking crack, or Jose Canseco writing another steroids book. There’s no time like the present to sell for the future.

Matt Garza- Yet another brilliant and dominating performance today. To say that pitched excellent is not giving him enough props. He took a no-hitter into the seven and then gave up his only hit of the game, a solo shot by Ham-Ram. He gutted, filleted, and grilled up these fish for a impressive win, while striking out 10. (Being a Twins fan, I wonder if Delmon Young will last longer than Garza, but Garza is showing why he is so highly touted. Being two years Delmon’s senior, we wont know who got the better end in this trade, but with the way the Twins trade their players, and how well they know pitching I will assume that Minnesota got winning side.) Thats besides the point, Garza is a promising young pitcher, and I would grab him and ride him for the rest of the year.

*p.s. I wrote about Harden and Garza before MLB wrote theirs

Chicago Cubs- Lost their mid week series against the Orioles… at home nonetheless. Not that I care much because I hate bandwagon jumpers and hoppers more than anyone else does, but it is refreshing to see such ignorant fans cheer on their ‘cubbies’ but only know who one or two players are. Or worst yet, they only know what field the Cubs play their home games *you know who you are, and yes I do hold some grudges against people I know that are like this *cough cough!

Wandy Rodriguez- Continuing his impressive home/road splits, he k’d nine Rangers in eight innings, allowing only 5 hits and a rbi single by Ian Kinsler in the top of the eighth. That pushed his home record to 2-2, with 35k’s in 38 innings, 1.89 ERA, and a .94 WHIP. His away line is gross with a respectable ERA of 3.58, but a WHIP of 1.50. The biggest notable difference on his peripherals is his batting average allowed .204 (before tonights game)/.276 (home/away). By now we should all know to bench him on his away games and start him at home. For home is where his heart obviously is.

Ian Snell- Went on the DL retroactive to the 23rd of June. I promised you that this would happen, but now that we know it is the elbow we can only hope that he recovers well and pitches like he did last year in the second half (the reason many of us drafted him). I get really worried with pitchers have any type of elbow injury, so going forth I would advise using caution when thinking about Ian Snell from now on this year.

Chase Headley- After starting his big league career with a seven game hit streak, he is only 2 for his last 16 (stats up to date in the top of the ninth in todays game 6/26/2008). He has been dropped quite a bit in many Yahoo fantasy leagues. Rookie slumps are expected, just like taxes and death, ride it out if you like, but if your WW fodder is fertile swap your crop.

Joba Chamberlain- In his first really dominating start he struck out seven, walked only one, and allowed no runs on six hits in 6 2/3. Granted this was done against the recently struggling Pirates (4-6 in their last 10), and he was allowed to pitch 114 pitches. He consistently has been given more and more pitches, but there needs to be a cut off point (though I don’t think pitch counts should have a definite cut of point, but with a young arm it needs to be watched more closely than older veterans). He started the 7th off with a ground out and a strike out, but then back to back hits by Jack Wilson and Doug Mientkiewicz (that is worse that typing Saltalamacchia name). The most impressive thing to note is that this is his first time walking only one batter and being in line for the win (he did it one other time but only pitched 4 1/3 innings).

Evan Longoria- In his last ten games he has been HOT HOT HOT. With 7/4/11 and a .308 average to boot. Just a hot streak, but should be cooling off soon. Try and pawn him off as he has put together some good numbers of late.

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