Tag Archives: Matt Guerrier

Season Preview – NL West


We’re up to the last division left to review with the NL West. You can also take a look at my previews of the AL East, AL Central, AL West,  NL East, and NL Central.

Last Year’s Records
San Francisco – 92-70
San Diego – 90-72
Colorado – 83-79
Los Angeles – 80-82
Arizona – 65-97

Notable Additions

Arizona – Xavier Nady, Russell Branyan, J.J. Putz, Melvin Mora, David Hernandez, Kam Mickolio

Colorado – Matt Lindstrom, John Maine, Jose Lopez, Ty Wigginton, Felipe Paulino

Los Angeles – Marcus Thames, Matt Guerrier, Jon Garland

San Diego – Brad Hawpe, Cameron Maybin, Jorge Cantu, Aaron Harang

San Francisco – Miguel Tejada

Notable Losses

Arizona – Ryan Church, Adam LaRoche, Mark Reynolds, Brandon Webb

Colorado – Miguel Olivo, Clint Barmes, Jeff Francis

Los Angeles – Russell Martin, Ryan Theriot, Scott Podsednik

San Diego – Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Tejada, Chris Young

San Francisco – Jose Guillen, Edgar Renteria

My Thoughts

Arizona – Under the leadership of new GM Kevin Towers, the Diamondbacks have already begun the process of rebuilding by trading away Mark Reynolds and letting Adam LaRoche and Brandon Webb leave via free agency.  They seem extremely unlikely to compete this season, but will look for improvements from Justin Upton and Stephen Drew.

Colorado – The Rockies spent their offseason spending money on contract extensions, as both Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki were signed to long term contract extensions. The team also did well to re-sign some of their free agents, most notably Jorge de la Rosa. This really seems like a team to me that has the chance to compete for the division title, providing they get a few breaks to go their way. They will look for a repeat performance from Ubaldo Jimenez and improvements from Jhoulys Chacin and Dexter Fowler as well.

Los Angeles – With the ownership situation in a state of partial disarray, the Dodgers didn’t really go out and spend a lot of money this offseason. They did resign free agent starter Ted Lilly, but otherwise did not make any large acquisitions. The pitching staff is excellent, but they will look for a bounce back season from Jonathan Broxton as the closer. The Dodgers are another team that seems to me like they can compete, providing they catch a few breaks.

San Diego – The biggest news out of the Padres this offseason unfortunately was the trade of star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. They have cut payroll down to a very minimal amount at this point, and could look to move closer Heath Bell if they fall out of contention. I am not seeing a repeat of last year’s 90 win performance out of this group of players, but I don’t think they are necessarily going to be terrible either. They will look for Mat Latos to build on his excellent 2010 season and try to take another step forward, but there’s a lot of questions after him in the rotation.

San Francisco – The reigning World Champions only had one slightly major acquisition (Tejada), but did well to resign Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff. Their pitching could conceivably be better than last year, with Madison Bumgarner making a full season of starts this year. 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey will be up for the full season this year, and top prospect Brandon Belt is not likely to be in AAA for very long either. This is a team that could compete for the NL crown again.

Overall Thoughts

The NL West has the Giants at the top, and then a lot of question marks behind them. I honestly think that any of the teams at 2 through 4 could finish in any order in those spots.  Here’s my predicted order of finish:

1. San Francisco
2. Colorado
3. Los Angeles
4. San Diego
5. Arizona

Original Draft Series: Team #29 – Chicago White Sox


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #29: Chicago White Sox

General Managers(since 1994)

Ron Schueler (1994-2000): 550-515
Ken Williams (2001-current): 762-697

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1 1 4 4 7 4 1 0

The performance over the past 15+ seasons points to two things: The AL Central has been a fairly weak division overall, as the White Sox ended up with 2nd place finishes 3 years in a row with sub-.500 records. Also, that while the organization has not always been excellent at developing their own Major Leaguers, they have done well to acquire players via free agency and trades.  All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Humberto Quintero Int’l FA – 1997 5 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to SD – 7/12/02
1B Dayan Viciedo Int’l FA – 2008 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Currently with Org.
2B Gordon Beckham 2008 – 1st Rd (8) 2 159 gm, .247/.326/.389, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 11 SB, 81 R Currently with Org.
3B Josh Fields 2004 – 1st Rd (18) 5 204 gm, .229/.302/.416, 31 HR, 101 RBI, 3 SB, 90 R Traded to KC – 11/6/09
SS Alexei Ramirez Int’l FA – 2008 2 344 gm, .278/.320/.423, 42 HR, 169 RBI, 29 SB, 160 R Currently with Org.
LF Carlos Lee Int’l FA – 1994 10 880 gm, .288/.340/.488, 152 HR, 552 RBI, 64 SB, 533 R Traded to MIL – 12/13/04
CF Aaron Rowand 1998 – 1st Rd (35) 7 579 gm, .283/.337/.451, 54 HR, 211 RBI, 38 SB, 255 R Traded to PHI – 11/25/05
RF Mike Cameron 1991 – 18th Rd 7 296 gm, .229/.315/.376, 23 HR, 100 RBI, 50 SB, 121 R Traded to CIN – 11/11/98
DH Magglio Ordonez Int’l FA – 1991 13 4 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Slugger,
1001 gm, .307/.364/.525, 187 HR, 703 RBI, 82 SB, 624 R
Free Agency – 10/28/04
SP Mark Buehrle 1998 – 38th Rd 12 4 All Star Appearances, 1 Gold Glove
139-103, 3.84 ERA, 1225 K, 489 BB, 2137.2 IP, 1.275 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Gio Gonzalez 2004 – 1st Rd (38) 1 + 1 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to OAK – 1/3/08
SP John Ely 2007 – 3rd Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to LAD – 12/18/09
SP Clayton Richard 2005 – 8th Rd 4 6-8, 5.14 ERA, 95 K, 50 BB, 136.2 IP, 1.500 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09
SP Charlie Haeger 2001 – 25th Rd 7 1-2, 4.85 ERA, 20 K, 21 BB, 29.2 IP, 1.685 WHIP Selected by SD – 9/10/08
RP Kanekoa Texeira 2006 – 22nd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to NYY – 11/13/08
RP Dan Hudson 2008 – 5th Rd 2 1-1, 3.38 ERA, 14 K, 9 BB, 18.2 IP, 1.339 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Matt Guerrier 1999 – 10th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to PIT – 3/27/02
RP Boone Logan 2002 – 20th Rd 6 4-4, 5.87 ERA, 92 K, 49 BB, 110.1 IP, 1.686 WHIP Traded to ATL – 12/4/08
RP Carlos Torres 2004 – 15th Rd 6 1-2 6.04 ERA, 22 K, 17 BB, 28.1 IP, 1.659 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Jon Rauch 1999 – 3rd Rd 5 3-2, 6.51 ERA, 23 K, 18 BB, 37.1 IP, 1.661 WHIP Traded to MON – 7/18/04
BN Ryan Sweeney (OF) 2003 – 2nd Rd 4 33 gm, .213/.250/.288, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R Traded to OAK – 1/3/08
BN Chris B. Young (OF) 2001 – 16th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances for Organization Traded to CHW – 12/20/05
BN Chris Getz (IF) 2005 – 4th Rd 5 117 gm, .262/.323/.346, 2 HR, 32 RBI, 26 SB, 51 R Traded to KC – 11/6/09
BN Aaron Poreda (P) 2007 – 1st Rd (25) 2 1-0, 2.45 ERA, 12 K, 8 BB, 11 IP, 1.545 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09
BN Adam Russell (P) 2004 – 6th Rd 5 4-0, 5.19 ERA, 22 K, 10 BB, 26 IP, 1.538 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09

The White Sox have done a reasonably good job of drafting players over the past 15 years, and I think at least a part of that is a result of the stability at the top of the organization, specifically only having 2 general managers over that time period. The White Sox have done a very good job of acquiring top flight players via trade for some of the players listed above, including Jake Peavy, Juan Pierre, and even Paul Konerko. I think that this, coupled with some solid free agent signings, have helped to keep the Sox competitive.

June Amateur Draft

Looking at their drafting results, they have had 30 first round picks in the last 15 drafts (not including 2010). Ignoring the 2009 draftees, they have had 19 of these picks play at least a single game in the Major Leagues. 3 players who were first round picks have not made it to the Majors yet but are still with the organization, including both 2009 top picks Jared Mitchell and Josh Phegley. They have gotten quite a bit of solid players out of the first round, but the best performance out of any of them for the White Sox was from CF Aaron Rowand. There are still quite a few players who were drafted in the first round who could potentially be solid Major Leaguers, but are still too raw or young. They have also received some late round values, especially 38th round pick Mark Buehrle.

International Free Agency

The White Sox don’t appear to have had a lot of luck in finding or developing many international free agents, with Alexei Ramirez being the most recent to make it to the Majors, and only Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez the others who are still active. Over time, I imagine that this is going to improve, as they have shown a willingness to spend on players (Ramirez and 1B Dayan Viciedo being prime examples) from Cuba and other Latin American nations.

Overall Grade

I think I have to give them a D. The goal of this project was to see what players were available based on who they originally signed with, and to me there’s still a lot to be desired out of the players listed above. The pitching staff has potential, but is still extremely raw. There’s a lot of excellent outfielders, but all of the infield positions are manned by either barely established players, or in the case of Viciedo, one who hasn’t yet played in the Majors. Overall, you have a group of players that still have a lot of potential to be good, but as of right now, have not had a lot of success and overall I think would have a hard time competing in the Majors.

Team Preview – Minnesota Twins


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Joe Mauer SP 1 Scott Baker
1B Justin Morneau SP 2 Carl Pavano
2B Orlando Hudson SP 3 Nick Blackburn
3B Nick Punto SP 4 Kevin Slowey
SS J.J. Hardy SP 5 Francisco Liriano
LF Delmon Young Bullpen
CF Denard Span CL Joe Nathan
RF Michael Cuddyer RP Matt Guerrier
DH Jason Kubel RP Jose Mijares
Bench RP Jesse Crain
DH Jim Thome RP Jon Rauch
IF Brian Buscher RP Clay Condrey

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SS J.J Hardy Trade (MIL) CF Carlos Gomez Trade (MIL)
2B Orlando Hudson Free Agency SS Orlando Cabrera Free Agency
DH Jim Thome Free Agency C Mike Redmond Free Agency

Top Prospects: Aaron Hicks (OF), Ben Revere (OF), Carlos Gutierrez (P), Wilson Ramos (C), Danny Valencia (3B)

2009 Review

The Twins had a pretty good season in 2009, posting an 87-76 record en route to an AL Central division title. They spent the month of April without their all-star backstop, Joe Mauer. Not that you could necessarily tell, since he posted a career year. Mauer won the AL batting title with a .365 batting average, hit a career high 28 homers, and drove in 96 runs en route to winning the AL most valuable player award as well. The Twins were also led on offense by RF Michael Cuddyer (32 HR, 94 RBI), DH Jason Kubel (28 HR, 103 RBI), and CF Denard Span (.311, 23 SB). 1B Justin Morneau had a solid year as well (30 HR, 100 RBI), although not necessarily quite to the standard of his MVP season.

The starting rotation was a complete mixed bag last season, as they only got 200+ innings from Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn. Late season additions to the rotation of Carl Pavano and Brian Duensing both helped the Twins stay in the race until they finally caught the Tigers during the last weekend of the season. The bullpen pitched extremely well last season, with Joe Nathan (47 sv, 2.10 ERA), Matt Guerrier (5-1, 2.36 ERA), and Jose Mijares (2-2, 2.34 ERA) all posting excellent seasons in relief.

The Twins won the play-in game against the Tigers, but unfortunately were no match for the eventual World Champion New York Yankees. They were swept in 3 games by the Yankees.

Team Outlook for 2010

As has become the standard for the Twins, they didn’t make a lot of flashy moves this offseason, but did make some excellent moves which will help to improve their team for the 2010 season. The trade to acquire SS J.J. Hardy could pay off hugely, as he will likely provide some more power for the Twins, and all it cost them was a player that had essentially been passed on the depth chart. Resigning SP Carl Pavano should also help to bring some stability to a rotation that is sorely in need of it. I particularly like the signing of 2B Orlando Hudson, as it takes a position where the Twins have been weak the past two seasons and brings in a professional hitter who can also provide some solid defense as well.

Unless it gets done during the season, the biggest topic of discussion during the season will be whether or not the Twins can get C Joe Mauer signed to a contract extension. It seems at this point like both sides want to get this done, and that they’re likely to before the season starts. I think it’s really important that they get this done, as Mauer is probably more representative of his organization than practically anyone else in the league right now. Joe Mauer is the face of the franchise for the Twins, and it would be a gigantic hit to the organization if he ends up walking away from the Twins.

The Twins are also moving into a new outdoor stadium at the start of this season. It remains to be seen how it is going to play, but I think that the Twins lose a major home-field advantage that they had with the Metrodome. That roof was the bane of quite a few visiting outfielders’ existence, as the ball would get lost in it on a fairly consistent basis. That said, I think that the Twins still are the class of the AL Central at this point, and should do pretty well in 2010.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

All sorts of good fantasy players here, with C Joe Mauer leading the way. RF Michael Cuddyer, DH Jason Kubel, RP Joe Nathan, and 1B Justin Morneau will all end up owned in nearly every league. And of course, there is everyone’s favorite high-risk, high-reward starting pitcher in Francisco Liriano. Liriano has been reported that he pitched well at winter ball, but he is a definite buyer-beware type of pitcher for fantasy.

Prediction for 2010

I think that this Twins team is actually better than last year’s version, and remains the class of the AL Central division. I think that barring a huge rash of injuries, the Twins should win the division pretty easily.

87-75, 1st in the AL Central