If the Playoffs Started Today
Batting Average – Justin Morneau – .344
Runs – Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – 65
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) – 21
Runs Batted In – Vladimir Guerrero (TEX) – 70
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) – 30
Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 14
Saves – Heath Bell (SD) – 23
ERA – Josh Johnson (FLA) – 1.82
Strikeouts – Jered Weaver (LAA) – 124
WHIP – Cliff Lee (SEA) – 0.95
To the Disabled List: Dallas Braden, Shaun Marcum, Jason Varitek, Manny Delcarmen, Luke Scott, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, Jason Heyward, Victor Martinez, Joel Zumaya, Shin-Soo Choo, Will Venable, Manny Ramirez,
Return from the Disabled List: J.J. Hardy, Tim Stauffer, Jair Jurrjens, Matt Diaz, Chad Billingsley, Bud Norris
To the Minors: Max Ramirez, Dontrelle Willis,
Called Up: Edwin Encarnacion, Marc Rzepczynski, Dustin Moseley, Josh Bell, Dexter Fowler, Michael Brantley,
Top Stories and Weekly Links
- I think that the biggest surprise of the week has to be the firing of both manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Josh Byrnes in Arizona on Thursday. Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLBTradeRumors wrote up a pretty solid post with some gathered reactions around the Majors about this, and Mark Polishuk of MLBTradeRumors also had a pretty good write up of the history of both men with the Diamondbacks.
- July 2nd was the start of the international free agent signing period, and there was a surprisingly large amount of action out of the Athletics, who signed 3 players out of Venezuela according to MLBTradeRumors.
- The Phillies and the Red Sox both seem to be walking MASH units, as the Phillies lost All-Star 2B Chase Utley for 8 weeks with a thumb injury, and 3B Placido Polanco to the disabled list as well. Over in Boston, they can’t buy a break that doesn’t hurt them, as they lost both Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek to the disabled list this week.
- The All Star teams were announced on Sunday morning. I wrote up my predictions late on Saturday of who I thought would make the team, and the one thing that stands out to me more than any other is the snub of both Joey Votto and Jered Weaver. I will have more of my reactions up on Thursday.
- Stephen Strasburg made two starts, and it looks like the league may be starting to catch up a little bit, as he struggled in his start on Saturday. He’s going to be just fine long term, and I think these struggles are what the National were hoping he would have while in the minors.
- The Diamondbacks struggled really badly on Saturday, committing 6 errors with the “B” team of Tony Abreu and Rusty Ryal both playing out in the field. Even Vin Scully didn’t have a whole lot to say that was good about how they played, but was pretty happy the Dodgers won.
From the Twitter Followers
If you aren’t yet, you can follow me over at Twitter here. These are some of the better reads from the Twitter followers from last week.
Upcoming Posts This Week:
Tuesday and Wednesday: Midseason Prospect Review – I will be taking a look at the players that I reviewed back in January and February to see what they have been up to so far, and see which ones have progressed, and which ones are having some difficulties.
Thursday: My Review of the All-Star Rosters – I will look at the announced All-Star rosters, some snubs and undeserving players, and comparing them to the rosters I built as a part of my Month in Review on last Thursday.
Friday: Trade Retrospective of Frank Viola to the Mets – The trade, completed midway through the 1989 season, had a pretty significant impact on the pennant races for that year, and I’ll take a look back at how each team ended up doing overall in the trade, and what return they got.
Posted in The Week in Review
Tagged Arizona Diamondbacks, Bengie Molina, Boston Red Sox, Bud Norris, Chad Billingsley, Chase Utley, Chris Ray, Dallas Braden, Dexter Fowler, Dontrelle Willis, Dustin Moseley, Edwin Encarnacion, J.J Hardy, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Bourgeois, Jason Heyward, Jason Varitek, Joel Zumaya, Josh Bell, Kevin Cash, Luke Scott, Manny Delcarmen, Manny Ramirez, Marc Rzepcynski, Matt Diaz, Max Ramirez, Michael Brantley, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Placido Polanco, Rusty Ryal, San Francisco Giants, Shaun Marcum, Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers, Tim Stauffer, Tony Abreu, Victor Martinez, Will Venable
As we rapidly approach the All Star break, I can honestly say that once again we’ve had quite a bit going on in the world of baseball to this point. Rookies making their debut all over the place, no-hitters everywhere (and near no-hitters), retirements, and of course the start of the trade deadline rumor mill.
Every month prior to the All-Star break, I will create my All-Star teams for each league. I plan on following the same guidelines given to the managers of the All-Star game when selecting my teams for each month. Those would be:
- 34 man rosters, 21 position players, 13 pitchers
- Each team must be represented
Now that we’ve received the final voting updates for the All-Star game, I will start the lineups with that, and build the team around that. All stats are through Tuesday’s games.
The National League
I took Jason Heyward out of the starting lineup since he has already stated that if he is selected, he won’t play due to his thumb injury. I picked McCutchen to replace him in the lineup as both Braun and Ethier are corner outfielders, and McCutchen plays CF. Other players who are likely to be replaced, but have not been as of yet: Chase Utley (who I would replace with Casey McGehee of the Brewers), and Placido Polanco (who I would replace with Ryan Zimmerman). Looking at the All-Star starters, the only one who really hasn’t done a whole lot offensively to deserve it at this point, to me anyway, is Yadier Molina. But it’s hard to argue with a catcher who has a pitching staff with 2 All-Star starting pitchers and a 3rd who is also deserving (Chris Carpenter).
My Award Winners to Date
AL MVP – Miguel Cabrera (DET)
NL MVP – Albert Pujols (STL)
AL Cy Young – Cliff Lee (SEA)
NL Cy Young – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL)
AL Rookie of the Year – Brennan Boesch (DET)
NL Rookie of the Year – Stephen Strasburg (WAS)
Weekly Links and Weeks in Review
May 31-June 6
June 7-June 13
June 14-June 20
June 21-June 27
June was an extremely busy month for stories, with so many that I had honestly forgotten a few of them before I reviewed my week-in-review posts.
- On June 2nd, Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement abruptly, about an hour before that evening’s game. I wrote up my thoughts about him here, and also wrote up my thoughts on him as a fantasy player over at FakeTeams.
- Unfortunately, the retirement of Griffey was overshadowed by the near-perfect game that was thrown on the same night by Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga. By now, it seems to have blown over, as it is not really mentioned nearly as much as it was when it happened. I wrote up my thoughts on it at the time, and I think that they are still pretty apt a month later.
- It was a bit of an up-and-down month for Carlos Zambrano, as he was brought back into the rotation early on in the month, only to have blown his top in the dugout of his last start on the 25th. He is currently on the restricted list and is seeking treatment in New York. What that treatment is exactly for is anyone’s guess, but I would have to imagine it has something to do with his temper. Hopefully he’ll be able to return after the All-Star break to the form that had made him an All-Star previously.
- Yet another no-hitter was thrown in the month of June, with Edwin Jackson of the Diamondbacks throwing one on June 25th. The story with the no-hitter seemed to be 2 fold: One, that manager A.J. Hinch had left Jackson in the game to throw a total of 149 pitches to get through the start, and two, that Jackson had allowed 10 different baserunners without allowing a hit. Either way, it was probably one of the more improbable no-hitters that we have seen in awhile.
- June clearly was the month of rookie debuts. Some of the rookies making their season (or career) debuts in June: Pedro Alvarez, Brad Lincoln, and Jose Tabata of the Pirates, Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox, Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, Andrew Oliver of the Tigers, and Felix Doubront of the Red Sox. But there were 3 names that were covered more than any other, and with good reason: Mike Stanton of the Marlins, Carlos Santana of the Indians, and Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals. Stanton has been a bit of a mixed bag to this point, hitting .217/.276/.348 with 2 homeruns and 3 stolen bases so far. In any other season, Santana would be the rookie debut most discussed, as he has caught fire and is hitting everything that moves in the American League. To date, Santana is hitting .333/.456/.704 with 8 doubles, 4 homeruns, and 14 runs batted in through 17 games.
- Clearly though, the story on everyone’s mind all month long has been the debut and subsequent starts of Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg electrified Nationals fans, and the league as a whole after striking out 14 in 7 innings in his debut against the Pirates on June 8th. He’s done nothing but pitch well ever since, and despite a 2-2 record, he now has a 2.27 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and 48 strikeouts to 7 walks in only 31 2/2 innings pitched. That’s a K/9 rate of 13.6, the highest of any starter so far this season. Having watched the highlights of all his starts, and parts of others as they happened, the kid is legit. With the injury of Jason Heyward toward the end of the month, the NL Rookie of the Year race is wide open and I think Strasburg could very well take it.
- The hot stove league has heated up slowly so far, with minor trades of Dontrelle Willis and Conor Jackson being the only players of note. But with Cliff Lee likely to be traded, and rumblings of Roy Oswalt being available, it is only a matter of time before there are many more deals to discuss. I plan to do reviews like I did during the offseason of some of the major ones when they happen.
- The MLB draft was also on June 8th, and the only real surprise of the first round was the fact that Nationals’ top pick Bryce Harper was announced as an outfielder, not a catcher. Clearly, this will make his path to the Majors that much faster, as his bat could be pretty close to Major league ready as it stands now.
What’s Coming in July
I am actually pretty well planned out for the month of July for posts. I went through teams #30 to #15 in my Original Draft Series, where I look at each organization and build a roster based on each player’s original professional franchise. In July, I will continue on with the series, posting about teams #14 through 11 later on in the month. In addition, I will be reviewing the rosters of the All-Star teams after they are announced on Sunday, and critiquing my own choices versus the managers. Also, I will look back on how the prospects I reviewed in the offseason have progressed so far, and how they are stacking up to my own predictions (wild as they may have been).
I will also be starting up the book reviews I had previously mentioned that I had hoped to do. The first book on the list is Fantasyland by Sam Walker. I also picked up a pair of older copies of Baseball America’s Almanac (the 2003 and 2008 editions) at a used book sale last week, and have been looking through some of the information for some post ideas, and found some pretty good ones so far.
Thanks again to all the readers, and if you’re enjoying the writing, please feel free to either write a comment on the posts, and take a few seconds to become a fan of Jason’s Baseball Blog on Facebook. You can do that here.
Posted in The Week in Review, Weekly Links
Tagged Adam Dunn, Adam Wainwright, Adrian Beltre, Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Alex Rios, Andre Ethier, Andrew Bailey, Andrew McCutchen, Andrew Oliver, Andy Pettitte, Armando Galarraga, Billy Wagner, Brad Lincoln, Brennan Boesch, Brett Gardner, C.C. Sabathia, Carl Crawford, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Santana, Carlos Zambrano, Casey McGehee, Chase Utley, Chris Carpenter, Cliff Lee, Colby Lewis, Colby Rasmus, Conor Jackson, Corey Hart, David Price, David Wright, Dayan Viciedo, Derek Jeter, Dontrelle Willis, Edwin Jackson, Elvis Andrus, Evan Longoria, Felix Doubront, Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell, Ichiro Suzuki, Jaime Garcia, Jason Heyward, Jered Weaver, Joe Mauer, Joey Votto, Jon Lester, Jose Guillen, Jose Tabata, Jose Valverde, Josh Hamilton, Josh Johnson, Juan Uribe, Justin Morneau, Justin Upton, Ken Griffey Jr, Kevin Youkilis, Madison Bumgarner, Mariano Rivera, Martin Prado, Matt Capps, Matt Lindstrom, Miguel Cabrera, Miguel Olivo, Mike Napoli, Mike Pelfrey, Mike Stanton, Neftali Feliz, Paul Konerko, Pedro Alvarez, Placido Polanco, Rafael Soriano, Robinson Cano, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmerman, Scott Rolen, Shaun Marcum, Shin-Soo Choo, Stephen Strasburg, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Troy Glaus, Ty Wigginton, Ubaldo Jimenez, Vernon Wells, Vladimir Guerrero, Yadier Molina
If the Playoffs Started Today
Texas Rangers (30-26) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (37-20)
New York Yankees (35-22) vs. Minnesota Twins (33-24)
Los Angeles Dodgers (33-24) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (33-24)
Atlanta Braves (33-24) vs. San Diego Padres (33-23)
Batting Average – Justin Morneau (MIN) – .370
Runs – Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – 50
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) – 18
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 52
Stolen Bases – Rajai Davis (OAK) – 23
Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 11
Saves – Matt Capps (WAS) – 18
ERA – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 0.93
Strikeouts – Tim Lincecum (SF) – 89
WHIP – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL – 0.93
To the Disabled List: Doug Fister, Oliver Perez, Brett Anderson, Luis Castillo, Derek Holland, Jason Bartlett
Return from the Disabled List: Jon Niese, Kelly Shoppach, Scott Hairston, Jorge Posada, Franklin Morales, Jim Edmonds,
To the Minors: Mat Gamel
Up to the Show: Danny Valencia
Top Stories and Weekly Links
- On Monday, Roy Oswalt was ejected from his start for arguing with the umpire. At least that’s what the reason was anyway. He was yelling at something else (or someone else) on the field, not any of the umpires, and umpire Bill Hohn apparently did not appreciate it. Hohn is looking at some disciplinary action, as it really appeared from the footage that Oswalt really didn’t do anything or say anything that should have earned him that ejection.
- After being designated for assignment, the Tigers were able to trade struggling starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the Diamondbacks for relief pitcher Billy Buckner. It’s kind of sad that his tenure in Detroit ended like this, but Willis has simply not been getting the job done in any shape or form for them. The Tigers also took on quite a bit of Willis’ salary in order to get the trade done.
- Carlos Zambrano, it was announced, would return to the rotation this week, and ended up making that start on Friday. He went 4 1/3 innings, taking the loss after giving up 3 earned runs. Clearly, this is where he should be pitching, as his contract and skill level both dictate that he is a starting pitcher. Hopefully he will be better in his next start.
- On Thursday, about 3 hours before their game, Mariners’ outfielder Ken Griffey Jr announced his retirement, effective immediately. I wrote up my thoughts about it here, but the retirement was essentially lost in the shuffle with other events…
- Also on Thursday, Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga nearly threw a perfect game, if not for a missed call by umpire Jim Joyce. I wrote it up as well, and thankfully now by Sunday the story seems to have died off, and moved forward from it.
- Ubaldo Jimenez made two starts this week, and his ERA actually went UP to 0.93, and ending his scoreless inning streak at 33 innings.
- It was announced that Stephen Strasburg will make his major league debut on Tuesday, and it also appears that Marlins top prospect Michael Stanton will also make his major league debut on Tuesday as well.
Scheduled Posts for this Week
Friday will have last week’s trade retro of the Jermaine Dye trade. I am also going to be starting my Original Team series, where I will look at the roster of each team based upon the team that they started to play for initially as a professional in the US. There will be a post up later explaining the series.
Posted in The Week in Review
Tagged Armando Galarraga, Billy Buckner, Brett Anderson, Carlos Zambrano, Dana Eveland, Danny Valencia, Derek Holland, Dontrelle Willis, Doug Fister, Franklin Morales, Jason Bartlett, Jim Edmonds, Jon Niese, Jorge Posada, Jose Bautista, Justin Morneau, Kelly Shoppach, Ken Griffey Jr, Luis Castillo, Mat Gamel, Matt Capps, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Stanton, Oliver Perez, Rajai Davis, Ronald Uviedo, Roy Oswalt, Scott Hairston, Stephen Strasburg, Tim Lincecum, Ubaldo Jimenez
If the Playoffs Started Today
New York (30-20) vs. Minnesota (30-20)
Oakland (27-24) vs. Tampa Bay (34-17)
St. Louis (29-22) vs. San Diego (29-20)
Philadelphia (28-21) vs. Cincinnati (30-21)
Average: Justin Morneau (MIN) – .368
Home Runs: Jose Bautista (TOR) – 16
Runs Batted In: Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 48
Runs: Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – 45
Stolen Bases: Rajai Davis (OAK) – 20
Wins: Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 9
ERA: Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 0.88
Saves: Matt Capps (WAS) – 17
Strikeouts: Tim Lincecum (SF) – 80
To the Disabled List: Koji Uehara, Alfredo Simon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Everth Cabrera, Kendry Morales, George Sherrill, Coco Crisp
Returning from the Disabled List: Mike Cameron, Rafael Furcal, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen, Brett Anderson
Called up from the Minors: Chris Iannetta, Buster Posey, Chris Tillman, Max Scherzer
Removed from the Majors: Dontrelle Willis,
Top Stories and Weekly Links
- MLB.com has been going back over previous years amateur drafts as a run up to this year’s draft next week. This week they went over the 2005 draft, and was an interesting read.
- The first set of All-Star voting was announced this week, and you can read what my take on the topic was here.
- Stephen Strasburg allowed his first run at AAA this week, and it sounds like he’s going to be up in the Majors by the 10th or 11th of June at the latest. After seeing some of the footage of him pitching, it seems like he’s pretty likely to be a solid if not dominant starter once he gets to the Majors.
- The headline said the most: Ray on Ray crime as infielder Sean Rodriguez was stung by a sting ray while at the beach last week. He’s fine, and back in the lineup already, but I still thought it was pretty funny.
- Joe West and the Chicago White Sox were both at the center of a bit of controversy earlier this week, as West ejected both P Mark Buehrle and manager Ozzie Guillen for arguing after West called a pair of balks on the pitcher in the 3rd inning of Thursday’s game. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has a really good writeup of the history of West and his desire to be in the spotlight. I am inclined to agree that umpires fit in that old adage about children that they be seen and not heard. Clearly, the fact that an umpire was the biggest story in a baseball game is a problem. Sounds like all 3 of them were fined for their actions that day.
- Bill Dwyre of the LA Times has a good writeup which explains how options work for players.
- For the second time in less than a month, a perfect game was thrown in the Majors. The 20th in the history of baseball, and the first time it has happened twice in a season since 1880 was twirled by Roy Halladay. Congrats to him, and he has to be one of the best pitchers I can remember actually throwing one.
- I would assume that a lot of teams are going to start looking at walk-off celebrations after Kendry Morales broke his leg on Saturday during theirs. The Angels are likely to be without Morales anywhere up to 3 months it appears. It appears that it was a bit of a fluky injury, but the Angels are still going to be without one of their best hitters for a majority of the remainder of the season.
- The Giants finally gave into the demands of the fans, and called up top prospect Buster Posey. He responded by going 3-4 with 3 RBI in his first game on Saturday, while playing 1B. Buster Olney wrote up in his blog (subscription required) that the Giants don’t really appear to be making decisions in a thought out process with regard to Posey. I’m inclined to agree, as they sent him down specifically to improve his catching.
- Scary moment for the Indians’ David Huff, as he took a line drive off his forehead off the bat of Alex Rodriguez. It sounds like he’s doing alright, but the fact that the ball bounced off his head and ended up about 40-50 feet into right field is extremely scary.
- To make room for Sunday’s starting pitcher Max Scherzer, the Tigers designated for assignment P Dontrelle Willis. Essentially a roster move to get him off the 40 man roster, if no one claims him and his $12 million dollar salary (which seems likely), they could potentially send him to the minors or give him his release. I think I’m with the majority here in wondering what happened to him, and hope he can figure it out.
- Clearly, Max Scherzer must have figured something out at AAA, as he shut down the A’s and struck out 14 of them in only 5 2/3 innings Sunday in the victory. A bit disconcerting to have done so with 113 pitches, but between 4 walks and the 14 strikeouts, clearly there were going to be a lot of pitches thrown.
The Posts Planned for the Rest of this Week:
Tuesday: Month in Review: May
Wednesday: The 2010 Rookie Class
Thursday: Draft Preview Links
Friday: Trade Retro: Jermaine Dye to the Athletics (2001)
Posted in The Week in Review
Tagged Alex Rodriguez, Alfredo Simon, Brett Anderson, Buster Posey, Carlos Guillen, Chris Iannetta, Chris Tillman, Coco Crisp, Curtis Granderson, David Huff, Dontrelle Willis, Everth Cabrera, George Sherrill, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Bautista, Justin Morneau, Kendry Morales, Kevin Youkilis, Koji Uehara, Mark Buehrle, Matt Capps, Max Scherzer, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Cameron, Ozzie Guillen, Rafael Furcal, Rajai Davis, Roy Halladay, Sean Rodriguez, Stephen Strasburg, Tim Lincecum, Ubaldo Jimenez