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Posts Tagged ‘Matt LaPorta’

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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*PS- the “Scouting the Unknown” article was delayed due to traveling over the weekend.  It will surface again soon and will be a double post (four players instead of two)!!!

The first big trade happened late last tonight as the Brewers traded Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, Rob Bryson, and a PTBNL to the Indians for C.C. Sabathia. The Brewers, unless they can resign this hefty-lefty to a long term deal, have an expensive summer rental on their hands. Lets just hope that the extended workout Sabathia received before being traded doesn’t come back to kick them in the butt (as I stated here that it could, and these guys warned you before the season started that it could). Going to the NL will surely help C.C.’s numbers improve as the pitcher is a nice out to grant to aces. Before I jump into last nights game here is the low down on the traded players (a bit of a smorgishborg of information I gathered):

Analysis of the Trade:

LaPorta is obviously the stud in the deal being dealt by the Brew Crew, with Jackson falling apart since AA (his last good year was in high-A ball) and has been stuck in AAA for 3 years now, and Rob Bryson is a young 20 year old drafted out of high school who has pitched in 109 innings in rookie and class A ball with a 143-32 K/BB ratio.

J.J. Hardy- A hot month of June (SLG of .609) has been followed by a scorching July. With two more homers today he has hit six this month. Remember last April, well this may this years July (and you can quote me on that).

Brad Lidge- 3 years and $37.5 million dollars for a 32 year-old closer? I am sure there is a better way to spend that $12 million a year (even though the Twins did one better by signing Joe Nathan to a 4 year $40 million contract and they know their pitchers and budget pretty damn well).

Lance Berkman- Had the day off due to pink eye. I can think of other reasons to have a day. I can just imagine what that conversation went like: “Um, coach, I can’t play today.” “Why’s that?” “Just look in my eyes, and you can see why” “Oh, I hope that isn’t from… never mind.” He did pinch-hit in the top of the 15th and line out to left with the bases loaded.

Cody Ross- This southern boy sure loves the mountain high tops. In four games at Colorado he went 12/20 with six runs, four doubles, two home runs, and had 15 of his season 47 RBIs. This of course dramatically improved his average by 30 points, and should easily win NL Player of the Week honors. He is riding a 10 game hitting streak, and has a hit in 15 of his last 16. With games at San Diego, and at Dodger Stadium expect those type number to decline, and that hitting streak to screech to a halt.

Brandon Morrow- He has been lights out since May 24 (last outing he allowing a run) pitching in 16 2/3 innings allowing only two hits, and two walks in that time frame; all the while striking out 22 batters along the way. When J.J.Putz returns after the All-Star Break, there is going to be some serious decisions made in Seattle (and recently they haven’t done such a splendid job cough* Jeff Clement* cough) [Manager Riggleman said he won’t throw him in the closer role right away, instead placing him into middle relief when he (J.J.) eventually returns from his rehab assignments].

Edinson Volquez- Went 6 innings with 3 runs, walks and strike outs, along with 5 hits. Not his greatest outing of the year (but the last two weren’t either). With 56 of his 89 pitches for strikes, his control continues to be suspect (when hasn’t it?). If you weren’t fully on the bandwagon before, jump and pretend like you were to the sucker that you just sold him to because we all know an over worked Dusty Baker pitcher who was never the same after Dusty mishandled him (RIP Mark Prior).

Dave Bush- When is he going to but together a string of good games? For every poor outing he has he follows it up with two decent to good outings. Looks like he has one more good one before the All-Star Break against Colorado (though you never know with Davy).

Greg Smith- I hype him up only to see it backfire (5 innings, 4 runs and 6 walks). Hmm, seems like I jinxed him for his last start, this next one I predict that he will … But for serious he is only a rookie, and outings like that should be expected.

Scott Linebrink- Got his first save of the season against the A’s. It looks like Bobby Jenks could be heading to the DL with a sore back. The only positive light I could see about Jenks going on the DL is that they can retroactive to June 30th. This means that if he does go on the DL he would be eligible to come off after the break, giving the White Sox an open roster spot to fill.

Rich Harden- He was handed his first loss of the season by walking four batters in 5 innings. He wasn’t sharp at all throwing 55 of his 95 pitches for strikes. You could attribute this to the dead arm that the team was saying he was having (I know I would) with his last outing not being good either (59-91 for strikes). The All-Star Break couldn’t come at a more perfect time for Rich.

Chris Volstad- Picked up his first win as a major leaguer by pitching two innings of scoreless ball. He has an abundance of talent but will still need a few more years (at least one) until he is a viable fantasy option, but down in Florida we probably wont hear much about it until he has already made it. Keep an eye on him in the up coming year(s).

Oliver Perez- Pitched seven innings of shutout, four-hit baseball Sunday. When he is one, he is one of the top pitchers in the league, but when he is bad, well lets just say we wish we never saw what he could do because that nasty line was in our starting lineup. Rotoworld said that Dan Warthen, his pitching coach, fixed a flaw in his delivery and this is what has made the markable improvement in his performance.

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Reading one of Yahoo’s home page articles, it stated that CC Sabathia has been pitching well over 100 pitches in his last 6 games. I agree with their statement which said something like this “Because the Indians are allowing Sabathia to throw so many pitches, the don’t really care much about his future.” I would say that is pretty good analysis. If you have read about my 3500 club that these guys sold me on, so it might be the best idea for the Indians to trade him anyway. Rumor has it that the Brewers would be willing to give them Mat Gamel, but Matt LaPorta would be untouchable (which is a good thing). For a late summer rental the Brewers would benefit because pitchers do better when they switch leagues because it takes the hitters a bit of time to get used to a new pitcher. I just thought it was interesting that the Indians would really think that Sabathia would have to work so deep in the game (though he only lost his last game and his last 5 starts he went more than 7, and complete one of those games). For an organization to care so little about their ace, no matter the future possibilities shows very little class.

*due to me being sick todays player list is quite a bit shorter.

Short today because I am sick.

Mike Pelfrey- Won his fourth straight game as he was given 11 runs in his 7 innings of work against the Cardinals. He Still walks to many for my taste, but if the Mets continue hitting like this for Mike, Johan will get quite frustrated by the end of the year.

Robinson Cano- Continues to rake as he went 2/3 last night, and has a hit in 8 of the last 9. Grab now before a frustrated owner gains his trust back.

Johnny Cueto- 8 strike outs in 7 innings of work allowing only 1 run, while picking up his seventh win of the season. He has had a quality start in 3 of his last 4 starts dating back to June 14th. This rookie started hot, struggled in May, then brought things together in June, and now in his first July start he pitched a swell game. Plus Dusty Baker seems to actually use a pitch count with Johnny unlike another pitch I know (Mark Prior, Edinson Volquez)

Conor Jackson- Minus an awfully pathetic May, he has hit a healthy .339 all the while slugging .527. Last night he continued his mid summer hot streak going 2/5 with the game winning two run single in the bottom of the ninth.

Jon Lester- Pitcher another complete gem, this time against the Yankees, at Yankee Stadium nonetheless. He 5 hit the Yanks, while striking out 8 in an efficient 105 pitch outing. With his control not totally being reigned in, he will still have a few eye squiting WTF games. But his talent level has been shown several times now this summer (no-hitter).

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