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The latest edition of the CBL newsletter: Vol 40, #2

 The CBL Clarion

 

   

The Official Newsletter of the

Canadian Baseball League                                                                                                                                                   

Commissioner: Jim Reid

Wesenberg President: Ken Kuryliw

Gnitecki President: Mike Lassman

Statman/Schedule: Mike Pawley

Minister of Trade: Terry Hurst

Newsletter Editor: Andrew Lassman

 

Volume 40, Issue #2                       2 December 2012

2012 End of Season/Draft Preview Edition

In This Issue of the CBL Clarion………

Editorial Ramblings                            Pg. 1                Janus                                                   Pg. 11

APBA Developments and the CBL       Pg. 2                Farm Finally Producing                       Pg. 13

Playoff Results, CBL 2012                   Pg. 5                St. Louis Status Quo                            Pg. 14

Heredity v. Environment                     Pg. 7                Mongo’s Draft Preview                       Pg. 15

Duct Tape Red Sox                              Pg. 8                Mr. Speed’s Draft Preview                 Pg. 16

Miami Marlins Musings                     Pg. 10

 

Editorial Ramblings

By Andrew Lassman

 


"Being traded is like celebrating your 100th birthday. It might not be the happiest occasion in the world, but consider the alternative?"
--Joe Garagiola

 

Well folks, the CBL postseason is coming to a close as we wait to find out the 2012 CBL Champion—either Ken Kuryliw’s dynastic Blue Jays from the Wesenberg Association or Jim Hardy’s Philadelphia Phillies from the Gnitecki Association.  Ken is seeking his second straight title, while Jim, making his second Canada Series appearance, looks to win his first championship.  Both of them represent their respective associations well.  No matter who wins, the Canada Series will be yet another great one!

The offseason is fully underway, meanwhile, with teams wheeling and dealing left and right!  The Astros, Phillies, Nats, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Twins seem to be most active in the market at the time, but activity could surely pick up with the release of APBA disk in only two weeks.  Here’s an interesting stat- Astros’ GM Daniel Dumont has made a remarkable SIXTY-SEVEN TRANSACTIONS between late September and the publishing of this newsletter!  Whoa!  How is that humanly possible?  That is probably more than the amount of trades in many of our entire CBL careers.  Washington comes in a distant second with twenty-seven offseason transactions thus far, so the editor must plead guilty as well to clogging up the Master Log transaction list.

 

Jim Reid, our very own Commissioner, deserves a shout out for his efforts in revamping the Canadian Baseball League website.  Every owner’s current information is on the site, and you have not checked the site out yet, I encourage you to do so:

 

http://jimreid5.tripod.com/index.html

 

On a final note, I would like to wish Ken good health at this time as he recovers from surgery. We are all behind you Ken!

 

Cheers to the offseason,

 

-NatsTown Andrew

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APBA Developments and the CBL

By Commissioner Jim Reid

 

The release of APBA 5.75 came this summer to update the BBW 5.5 that will not work on today's operating systems. The re-work seems to have been largely successful in two senses... it does allow people to continue playing APBA baseball, and it has rekindled hope for the future.

 

In the CBL the release was anticipated with some apprehension, but that dissipated quickly when Statman Mike tested out the files produced by 5.75 and reported that the .BXS files produced in the new version of the game can be converted into the DOS Statmaster program Mike uses (and will continue to use in order to be able to add data manually as needed). Life can continue, and the league can even handle a mix of 5.5 and 5.75 users. As a way of helping to support APBA, it would be preferable to have everyone purchase the new game... it is priced at a ridiculously low $20, compared to $75 for the previous version. The next stage of development will be a 6.0 version that will actually improve the game in a variety of possible ways. How and when that will occur is anyone's guess, but the APBA community is clearly re-energized by the release of 5.75.

 

One of the upgrades included in 5.75 is a repair of the functioning of ball park effects. The old game had these effects included but they worked in seriously flawed ways rather than in the way they were intended. The programmers for the new edition fixed these effects so that they operate as intended. Some managers in the CBL are very interested in having us consider adopting this option of park effects, so I am in the process of looking into them to see if there is feasibility. If they can work, then we will have a proposal brought forward by one or more managers to change the constitution in order to allow for the use of them. It is certainly appealing to consider building a team to compete in the setting you select, just like the Red Sox look for hitters whose swings suit Fenway, and the Mariners and Padres look for speed and defense.

 

The name "park effects" is a bit of a misnomer, since they really are "home run effects". They do not apply to any other aspect except turning some fly balls into home runs, and vice versa. For those of you who understand the numbers on APBA cards, the effects impact the play numbers 31, 32 and 33 (fly balls to the three outfield positions). They also can apply only to someone with a first-column 1 on his card (someone who hits a homer at least once every 36 plate appearances). Other conditions apply as well to determine whether a change is eligible to happen. If all the conditions are met, then the computer rolls the dice to decide whether a change will be made on that particular turn. The parks are rated between -36 and +36 based on their home run tendencies, and if a park is +7, for example, the computer has a 7 in 36 chance to roll a number that turns the fly ball into a homer. Part of the park effects is also wind... parks are given a wind factor (in or out) at the start of a game, and then changes in strength between 0 (no wind) and 4 (extremely strong wind) from batter to batter during the game and can add or subtract up to 4 points to the calculation.

 

So far I have found that there may be a problem trying to use park effects in the CBL because I was told by someone familiar with the functioning of these effects (on the APBA listserv) that each park has a file (fe-xxxx.ini) that covers a specific set of years for that stadium's ratings. When you select the park effects, the game looks to match the stadium to the schedule you are playing through the League Manager utility, so that the stadium rating and the schedule have matching seasons. If they do not match, the park effects simply do not function. In the CBL we do not use a schedule through League Manager. I think that means we cannot get the park effects to work, but I am not yet certain of that.

 

Another issue we would need to consider is that if we are going to use real stadium ratings, we will have to have those stadiums. While many are available on the internet, I do not know how many, and how current. To play a season using 2012 park ratings, someone has to make sure we have those ratings built into the parks.

 

We all have a general understanding that some parks (e.g. Coors Field in Denver; the Ball Park at Arlington) are considered "hitters' parks" while others (like Petco Park in  San Diego, and Safeco Field in Seattle) are pitchers' parks. But the park ratings that lead to those impressions are complex and ever-changing. Parks are generally rated on five offensive factors: runs, homers, hits, doubles, triples and walks. The factors compare the rate of stats at home vs the rate of stats on the road. The following link gives you a page of comparisons of the park ratings in 2012: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor

 

Since APBA's effects focus solely on homers, we should look specifically at that factor. You can click on HR at the top of the second column and that will rank the parks from most to least favorable to the hitter. It is interesting in two respects... first, you will see that Miller Park in Milwaukee was the most favorable home run park in the majors in 2012... the Great American Ball Park in Cinci was #2. Coors came in at #3, while Arlington was #7. On the other end, AT&T in San Fran was #30... the toughest place to hit dingers, and Safeco and Petco were #29 and #28.

 

It is interesting to look at volatility. Go to the top of the page where it says "Year" and change the 2012 to 2011... you will find that Miller Park was #11, and Safeco was a lofty #13. These changes make one wonder about the reliability of the data.

 

I am continuing to look into this aspect of park effects and once I have a sufficient understanding I will let the league know about my findings.

 

Finally, I want to comment on another recent announcement by APBA... the imminent introduction of "online game features for APBA baseball". Details are very sketchy, but the announcement mentions Trade Wizard, Commissioner Tools, Real Time Draft Application, League Standings and Stats, and a Ranking of Managers across APBA leagues. It does not mention online play. The notice says these features are coming soon... Winter 2013... I assume that means between January and March 2013. There may be some utility to some of these features for us.

 

The game company is obviously being as aggressive as it can within budget constraints, and it is nice to see them striving to become relevant again after so many years of treading water. How successful they will be is yet to be determined, but now the element of hope is once again present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Playoff Results, CBL 2012

Provided by Jim Reid

 

Round 1

 

Gnitecki Divisional Series A

            Chicago Cubs 86-76 (Matthew Lassman) vs Tampa Bay Rays 107-55 (Dwight Dishaw)

1: Chicago 3 at Tampa 4

2: Chicago 2 at Tampa 3

3: Tampa 11 at Chicago 6

4: Tampa 9 at Chicago 2

            Tampa Bay wins series 4 games to 0

 

Gnitecki Divisional Series B

            Philadelphia Phillies 100-62 (Jim Hardy) vs Seattle Mariners 104-58 (David Speed)

1: Philadelphia 6 at Seattle 2

2: Philadelphia 3 at Seattle 2

3: Seattle 8 at Philadelphia 4

4: Seattle 1 at Philadelphia 3

5: Seattle 6 at Philadelphia 5

6: Philadelphia 10 at Seattle 2

            Philadelphia wins series 4 games to 2 (road team wins every game)

 

Wesenberg Divisional Series A

            Arizona Diamondbacks 92-70 (Barry Abrams) vs Toronto Blue Jays 115-47 (Ken Kuryliw)

1: Arizona 3 at Toronto 8

2: Arizona 2 at Toronto 6

3: Toronto 7 at Arizona 2

4: Toronto 1 at Arizona 2 (12 innings)

5: Toronto 8 at Arizona 1

            Toronto wins series 4 games to 1

 

Wesenberg Divisional Series B

            Boston Red Sox 99-63 (Eddie Hand) vs Anaheim Angels 112-50 (Barry Hand)

1: Boston 2 at Anaheim 5

2: Boston 4 at Anaheim 5 (11 innings)

3: Anaheim 1 at Boston 3

4: Anaheim 4 at Boston 2 (11 innings)

5: Anaheim 1 at Boston 3

6: Boston 5 at Anaheim 4

7: Boston 3 at Anaheim 4

            Anaheim wins series 4 games to 3

 

Round 2

 

Gnitecki Championship Series

            Philadelphia Phillies 100-62 (Jim Hardy) vs Tampa Bay Rays 107-55 (Dwight Dishaw)

1: Philadelphia 6 at Tampa 1

2: Philadelphia 11 at Tampa 5

3: Tampa 1 at Philadelphia 3

4: Tampa 1 at Philadelphia 3

            Philadelphia wins series 4 games to 0

 

Wesenberg Championship Series

            Anaheim Angels 112-50 (Barry Hand) vs Toronto Blue Jays 115-47 (Ken Kuryliw)

                        1: Anaheim 2 at Toronto 3

                        2: Anaheim 5 at Toronto 3

                        3: Toronto 5 at Anaheim 7

                        4: Toronto 5 at Anaheim 0

                        5: Toronto 13 at Anaheim 2

                        6: Anaheim 12 at Toronto 3

                        7: Anaheim 1 at Toronto 6

            Toronto wins series 4 games to 3

 

Round 3 - Canada Series

 

            Philadelphia Phillies 100-62 (Jim Hardy) vs Toronto Blue Jays 115-47 (Ken Kuryliw)

                        1: Toronto 8 at Philadelphia 3

                        2: Toronto 11 at Philadelphia 10

                        3: Philadelphia 9 at Toronto 5

                        4: Philadelphia 3 at Toronto 1

            Remainder of the series pending...

 

 

 

 

 

V.

 

 

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2012 -- Yanks and Nats --

Heredity vs. Environment

By Steve Klatsky

 

This year for the first time since I started following baseball -- and my earliest vivid memory is 1956, I've been a Yankee fan -- growing up in The Bronx and with a mother and father who were Yankee fans -- there was never a doubt.

Those 50+ years had several differing eras:

* Through the great years of 1956-1964: beginning with Mantle's Triple Crown and ending with the phenomenal pennant race in 1964

* The lean year drought of 1965-1975 (including last place in 1966)

* The 1976-1981 three pennants in a row and a disappointing loss in the 1981 World Series (no forgiving you George Frazier and your 3 losses).
                                                                                                        
* The King George Years of 1982-1995 and the awful trades: Willie McGee traded for Bob Sykes; Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps and Crimedog McGriff Tom Dodd/Dale Murray.

 

* The Core Four Years of 1996-2001 4 World Champs and a Luis Gonzalez broken bat hit away from 4 straight.

 

* The making the playoffs every season but winning it all only in 2009.

 

Often I had to say "If I did not love the Yanks I would hate them" as they stood for so much that generally in life I dislike.

 

And then the Nats came to town. No problem --a different league. No conflict. Right? Well from June 15-17, 2006 the Yanks came to DC for the first time. I wore a Cooperstown T Shirt --neutral. Outside RFK a vendor sold a NY-Nats T Shirt with the series dates. A great solution.

 

The Nats took 2 of 3 --even beat Mo Rivera one game. I rooted for the Yanks but not out loud --and got somewhat caught up with the Nats crowd --though there were far more rooting for the Yanks.

 

And, then there was 2012. My grandson Aaron (named after Aaron Boone for you know what pennant clinching HR -- and against whom) and I attended the Yanks -Nationals series at Nats Town.  He is now 8 -- old enough to ask, "Pop Pop, when the Yanks and Nats play who will you root for?"

 

Well, it is hard not to love these Nats --a young team that tries hard, managed by Davey Johnson -- using Earl of Baltimore Weaver fundamentals (Earl --my favorite manager to watch manage a game).

 

Over a Father's Day weekend the Yanks played better, almost mistake-free as the Nats made a bunch of miscues and errors. The Yanks swept 3 -- scoring 16, yielding 6.

 

Again, I found myself caught up with the young Nats but that 50 year history is a strong, deep bond.

 

I reverted back to my youth and wore a Mickey Mantle No 7 T-Shirt. Aaron had his Nats shirt.

 

We both could smile.

 

Play Ball

 

Tiger Steve

 

 

 

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Duct Tape Red Sox

By Eddie Hand

 

The last two years I have had to deal with rebuilding my rotation from borderline scraps, restocking my offense and going into the draft absolutely needing to perform. And somehow, I've managed to duct-tape my team into the playoffs the last 2 years with fixes ranging from Johnny Damon to Bill Hall.

 

This year looks no different.

 

In a few places, I'm stronger. AJ Pierzynski decided to have a career year at age 35 and his 27 homers will look great next to my big offseason pick up, Cory Hart who I unloaded my top reliever (Junichi Tazawa) and a couple other nice things to get early in the offseason. Will Middlebrooks is a great addition too, though his at bats are limited. Ben Revere and Rajai Davis, while similar, spell a huge defensive upgrade and are probably an improvement over Greg Dobbs and Vlad Guererro. Marco Scutaro, who was supposed to be a 1 year fix ended up having an awesome year and takes the reigns at shortstop. I am considering using him as the number 3 hitter.

 

My bullpen is also pretty solid. Matt Albers paid off using my last roster spot on and Casey Janssen, Johnathon Papelbon and Ernesto Frieri are as consistently good as ever.

 

My rotation. Jake Peavy finally went a season without getting hurt and trades for Jake Westbrook and Joe Saunders give me viable number 3 and 4 starters. I'm gambling on getting a high C-low B level starter in the draft. If not, I'll have to find someone in the market which will not be good. My other starters are Justin Masterson, Ervin Santana and John Lester all of whom were very disappointing and at multiple times made me throw things at the TV. Lester might be a passable number 5 guy.

 

After that I run into some trouble. Chase Utley, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury were all frequently hurt and didn't do very much when they were healthy. Mark Texteria did not live up to his usual success and even got hurt which marks the first time I will actually have to watch his at bat. As previously mentioned, a lot of my starting pitchers were tremendously disappointing.

 

While a good draft is going to be important, I'm pretty excited for the challenge.

 

Predicted Batting Order         Predicted Rotation + Bullpen

 

1.Ben Revere- CF                    1. Jake Peavy

2.Rajai Davis- LF                     2. Joe Saunders

3.Marco Scutaro- SS               3. Jake Westbrook

4.Cory Hart-RF                                    4. John Lester

5.AJ Pierzynski- C                    5. Justin Masterson

6.Mark Texteria- 1B   

7.Will Middlebrooks- DH        Closer- Casey Janssen

8.Kevin Youkilis- 3B                 Set Up- Johnathon Papelbon, Ernesto Frieri

9.Chase Utley- 2B                   The Rest- Matt Albers, Matt Thornton, Chris Resop

 

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Miami Marlins Musings

By Mike Lassman

 

The Miami Marlins’ season was an abject failure as the Marlins stumbled to one of their worst seasons in their history as they went 65-97.  In particular, Miami’s offense did not have any potency, and the pitchers were inconsistent.

 

There were some highlights from the Marlins’ position players, although, not many.  Miguel Cabrera won the Gnitecki batting title with a sterling .346 mark.  And, Miguel also led the Association with a .436 on-base percentage.  Cabrera also led the Association with a spectacular 60 doubles.  Surprisingly, Cabrera only had 16 homers and the Marlins’ lackluster offense caused Cabrera to only record 75 RBIs.

 

The other offensive highlights for the Marlins were Dan Uggla with 31 homers and 94 homers, although, he only batted .246.  Mike Stanton jacked 27 homers with 76 RBIs, but batted .220.  There were not many other offensive highlights, just lowlights.  The team batting average ended the season with a .239 clip.

 

On the mound, Cliff Lee struggled with run support.  Lee finished with a 13-10 mark and a 3.13 ERA.  Other starters for the Marlins included Chad Billingsley, 5-16, Rick Porcello, 6-17, and, Gavin Floyd 6-14.  The Marlins did trade Josh Beckett to the Philadelphia Phillies in a deal that included Max Scherzer.  Max had a nice 9-5 record for Miami as he found a new home. 

 

The Marlins head into the 2013 draft with the 3rd draft pick overall.  The Marlins are set in the infield with Cabrera at 3b and Uggla at 2b.  But, Miami is due to bring back a weak hitting James Loney at 1b and a combination of characters playing shortstop including Sean Rodriguez and Everth Cabrera.  The Marlins don’t have a solid catcher, but there outfield appears competent with Dayan Viciedo, Carlos Beltran, and Mike Stanton. 

 

Miami’s starting staff will be decent with Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright, Max Scherzer, Cliff Lee, and Chad Billingsley.  The best pitcher out of the pen is Pedro Strop.

 

For the first time in a while, Miami will really have to find some talent in the draft in order to have some chance of improving last season’s record.  

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Janus

By Barry Hand

 

 

 

Janus, the Roman God of Gates is seen looking backward to the past and forward into the future.

 

 

 

 

2012

 

Regular season  112-50    Lost to Toronto(117-45) in 7 games in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

 

Defeated Boston (99-63) in 7 games in the first round.

 

Highlights- 18 game winning streak at the start of segment 2

 

Over the hill Michel Young ties? For Wesenberg batting title with a 332 average

 

Cargo leads the team in homers and ribbies for the 2nd straight year 316/33/95

 

Catchers Ramon Hernandez and Russell Martin combine for 32 hr and 106 ribbies

 

 2 straight years of catching stability-a new franchise record

 

Mark Trumbo Rookie of the year?  281/24/86

 

Or is it Hosmer..301/21/82

 

Tim Hudson goes  21-7 with a 2.40 era

 

Betancourt saves 50 with a 1.28 era, reinforcing my belief that you don’t need anything more than a 13*XZ to be your closer

 

The back end of the rotation, Nolasco(4Z) and Jimenez (5x) go a combined 22-8 with an era around 3.00 as starters.

 

Michael Trout makes debut and hits 211 with 2 homers

 

And most important of all…for the first time in my franchise ownership, we did not into the grey zone for player use!!!

 

2013

 

Overview- The team will be worst then last year overall. Some players, Trout, McCutchen and Reddick took big steps forward, but others, namely Young, Hosmer and Martin had large falloffs. In addition, pitching will be much worst with a rash of arm injuries putting both presumed starters, Luebke and Stauffer, as well as prospects out of action for most of the season. In the bullpen, only Kimbrel and Breslow got better. But others were at such a high level that they should still be useful.

 

My prediction-100 wins and the division title in a closer race

 

The farm system- Two new rookies were produced- Jean Segura(SS) and Garrett Richards(SP). Segura, traded to Milwaukee where he was their starting shortstop, was protected before the trade. Michael Young will be the starting SS for most of year while Segura transitions to a full season (hopefully).

 

Richards was spotty in his rookie season, but has good stuff, and the way the Angels have been behaving, seems to have the #4 spot in the rotation his to lose.

 

Both will be protected.

 

Further down on the farm, in high A ball are three prospects worth protecting…Caleb Cowart, a 20 y/o 3rd baseman with good power and a discerning batting eye, C.J. Cron…a behemoth 22 year old first baseman  who hammered 27 homers while hitting 297, and  20 y/o Outfielder Randal Grichuk. Grichuk was the Angel’s  first round pick drafted  BEFORE  Trout. He seems to have turned the corner this year hitting 297 with 18 homers and 16 stolen bases.

 

Barring a trade all three will be protected in May.

 

Here’s what the 2013 Angels will look like-

 

C-Russell Martin, 1B-Eric Hosmer,2B-Howie Kendrick, SS-Michael Young ,3B-Mike Trumbo ,OF-Michael Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez DH/4th OF- Andre Ethier/Josh Reddick

 

Starting rotation- Jared Weaver, Tim Hudson, ?,?,?

 

Bullpen- Kimbrel,Robertson,Breslow,Betencourt

 

Trading strategy- very little trading until after the draft. In the past I think I’ve overtraded and over reacted to perceived shortcomings. As a result I got the short end of the stick. I’ll try another tack.

 

Upcoming draft- #8 pick overall, 2 x 2nd rounders (mine and Oakland’s), and one each in every round except 2 in the all-important 7th round. This should be enough to try to fill any holes (except starting pitching) and then some.

 

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Farm Finally Producing

By Jack Brown

 

Once again the Yankees should be on the outside looking in as they continue to rebuild, something that they have been doing, it appears, year-in and year-out.  However, it appears that their farm system is beginning to provide some very promising youngsters with many more on the near horizon.  One of these youngsters is Manny Machado who arrived from the Baltimore organization in the trade involving Victor Martinez.  Machado looked to be 2 or 3 years away at the time but the general feeling is he could help as early as this year as an opening has come up at 3rd base even though he is considered the shortstop of the future.  That spot will have to wait as Jhonny Peralta has a foothold there after having a tremendous season in 2012.

 

 Jesus Montero is another good talent and he is expected to man the DH spot for years to come and provide backup at the catching position.  Although much is expected from Montero the team does not want to put any pressure on him so they are telling their fans not to expect too much.  Also coming up this season is starting pitcher Zack MacAlister and he is expected to join Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, Daniel Hudson, who came over from St. Louis, and J. Chacin in the rotation.  Chacin has experienced arm trouble after coming over from Baltimore and his status is up in the air.  Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton are both coming off a difficult season and are a mystery but owner Jack Brown does not appear ready to give up on them just yet.

 

With some good arms in the rotation the Yankees will hope to get some good results from their bullpen.  In the pen are the likes of Andrew Bailey, Mitchell Boggs, Huston Street, and Jason Motte.  Closer Brian Wilson is out for much of the season as he tries to recover from Tommy John surgery and may not be protected in the draft.

 

The offense is expected to get a boost from Jarrod Saltalamacchia who had a fair season in 2012 but more is expected from his bat.  Adam Lind may be brought back at 1st but Brown has informed him that nothing is certain, as he appears to have lost some bat speed.  Jamie Carroll is expected to win the job over Ryan Theriot at 2nd but he is getting up there in age.  In the outfield Austin Jackson should rebound, as should Alex Rios.  Jackson is a much better hitter than he showed last year and the same is true for Rios so expect a jump in average and power from both.  The off-injured Nolan Reimold and the perplexing Jose Tabata should help but there are no guarantees.

 

The jury is still out on whether Eduardo Nunez, the super sub, and Joba Chamberlain will be with the team when it breaks camp. 

 

In conclusion, it will be another difficult season for the Yankees but the farm is beginning to produce and the team feels its time is not that far off.

 

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St. Louis Status Quo

By Jack Robinson

 

Things in St Louis are quiet and Status Quo for the team.  Doubtful much will happen if anything even when the Free Agent list comes out.  We tried to peddle Melky Cabrera but only were offered a load of trash so it looks like he will play out the season here.  He still will hurt a lot of opposing pitchers even though his reputation is ruined but that's ok---Who cares?  Our core team looks pretty decent and all of last year's starters less one will retain his position again this year.  The promoted guys worked out perfect as all 5 of those were the guys we wanted up here.  All 5 will be an integral part of the team and expect to see extended playing time.  With the starting pitching improved somewhat we don't anticipate that late season nose-dive like last year after a decent first half.  It is good to see the league with so many new faces coming on with the minor league promotions.  Also the addition of the new GM's and Mgr's in the league is really turning out great. A good season to all and a great season to us.

STLJR

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Mongo’s Draft Preview

By Mongo

 

On a semiannual basis, I like to throw together a Top Ten Draftables list, the last time counterpointed by an equally valid list composed by David Speed.  While I am not sure David is issuing any such list this year, here is a quick look ahead to February and to the list Da Commish will be frantically assigning his Draft Minions to write on the famous cardboard Draft List decorating the Reid household that day.  It looks to be shortstops, catchers and starting pitching dominating the early selections.

 

#1).  Zack Cozart,  SS,  CIN
     Premium position, full time at bats and promising stats:  33-4-15 power in 600 PA.  Cozart may be strongly challenged for this spot by...
#2).  Willin Rosario, C, COL
     You will see a number of good catchers available this year.  Willin shines being 426 PA, and by thumping 28 HR into the light air at Coors Field.  He does come with some concerns about his fielding, and as I write this before the disk is out, a possible Fielding 3 may make him a CBL DH candidate.
#3).  Lucas Harrel, SP, HOU
     It is a deep field of starters and relievers this year, without adding unprotected arms to the Draft List.  Lucas is mature at 27, having pitched in the White Sox organization prior to Houston.  Next year he has to face all the AL West bats and no pitchers coming to bat but he looks like he will handle the job for the doormat dwelling Astros.
#4).  Yasmani Grandal, C, SDP
     Another good looking young catcher with a very nice pedigree.  .297/.394/.469 batting over 226 PA.  He is back up THIS year but next year, look out. 
#5).   Josh Rutledge, SS, COL
     Who is this guy, really?  Never heard of him before this year but I am paying attention now.  20-5-8 pwr over 291 PA and 7-0 stealing will do that.  Doesn't draw walks and that hurts, but premium player at a premium position...
#6).   Norichika Aoki, OF, MIL
     There is plenty of buzz on chat about Aoki.  He is a good looking leadoff or #2 hitter so far.  Brewers like him a bunch and gave him 588 PA this year.  Good average, good pop and nice speed...if his defensive rating is OK he is a complete package.
#7).   Andrelton Simmons, SS, ATL
     The premium defensive free agent infielder in this year’s draft.  Gifted with the glove, gifted with the bat but more line drive hitter than thumper and not a speedster but already loved in Atlanta.
#8).   Scott Diamond, SP, MIN
     He has kicked around a bit but finally found a place to pitch in Minnesota.  The lefty doesn't strike out many but sure doesn't give up the base on balls, either.  He has a sparkling 1.61 BB/9IP going for him and a pretty good pick off move to hold runners.  Like the Canadian a lot...plus he has a great name for a ball player.
#9).   Jordan Pacheco, 1B/3B, COL
     Jeez, a full time .310 hitter here?  Plays in Coors, more doubles hitter than Blake Street Bomber.  David Speed has a theory about doubles turning into HR as a player matures, so may be good things to come here yet.
#10).   AJ Griffin,  SP, OAK
     It is a small sample to be sure but he pitches in a decent pitchers park and held the opposition to a .236 BA.  He will get graded a B starter for half a season, hates the walk almost as much as Diamond but strikes out 7/9IP to go with it.
OTHER GUYS BY POSITION:
C).  Devin Mesoraco, Martin Moldonado, Josh Donaldson.
1B).   Travis Ishikawa, Brett Pill
2B).   Donavon Solano, Scott Moore, Joaquin Arias
SS).   Luis Cruz, Pedro Ciriaco
3B).   Kevin Frandsen, Alex Liddi
OF).   Brandon Moss, Justin Maxwell, Quintin Berry, Colin Cowgill, Elian Herrera, Charlie Blackmon
SP).   Wei-yin Chen, Mike Fiers, Jose Quintana, Joe Kelly, Hishasi Iwakuma, Miguel Gonzalez, Andy Pettite, David Phelps
RP).   Ryan Cook, Kelvin Herrera, Nate Jones, Robbie Ross, Ronald Bellisario, Brad Lincoln, Hector Santiago
Gentleman and lady, we have a Draft!

Mongo

 

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Mr. Speed’s Draft Preview

By David Speed

 

My annual review of free agents leading up to the 2013 draft. 

 

Thin pickings I think – words that come to mind are veterans, sleepers, filler, and journeymen.  No real blue chip, clear number one pick although decent quality (particularly middle rotation starters) to about #15 in the draft.  Catching and middle rotation starters are where the strength is. 

 

So my list in some kind of order (my interest).

 

1.  Willin Rosario – 23 year old catcher.  Hit 28 homers for Colorado.  On flip side had 21 passed balls!  #4 Rockies prospect in 2012.  Has solid arm – maybe +2.

 

2.  Yasmani Grandal – 24 year old catcher for Padres who was a key pickup in the Latos deal.  Saw him play in spring training – nice line drive type bat.  Only 220 plate appearances.  Was Reds #4 prospect in 2012.  Good offensive catcher.

 

3.  Zack Cozart – 27 year old shortstop who hit 15 homers but only .246 BA, .687 OPS for the Reds.  600 plate appearances so a regular.  #5 Baseball America prospect for Reds in 2012.  Reputation is above average defensive shortstop.

 

4.  Adam Eaton - 24 year old centerfielder who sounds like he will be opening day centerfielder for Dbacks in 2013.  Hit .381 at AAA so can hit for average, add to that 38 steals.  So a burner who gets on base.  Only 100 plate appearances in majors so you will have to wait a year.  Some think he is destined to be a 4th outfielder.

 

5.  AJ Griffin – 24 year old Oakland A’s starter.  Could throw a dart about 8 starters who all look similar to me – will have to get a little lucky that any of these guys becomes more than no-hit Phillip Humber.  Griffin had 15 starts, should be solid B with a Z (so control).  Didn’t start season on anyone’s top lists so ….

 

6.  Josh Rutledge – 23 year old shortstop who benefited from Tulo injury to jump fro AA.  He was #10 Rockies prospect.  226 plate appearance and hit solid .297 with 8 homers and 7 steals.  If you believe you may take him higher – but plan on him being a second baseman going forward.

 

7.  Ryan Cook – 25 year old XY, 20+ reliever for Oakland A’s.  Came from Dbacks I presume in Parker deal.  Best looking reliever in the draft and someone always takes a reliever in the top 10.

 

8.  Mike Fiers – 27 year old starter.  Story is he learned a cut fastball last year and turned his journeyman career around.  22 starts, struck out more than 1 per inning.  Plays for Brewers where he seems established in the rotation going into 2013 season.

 

9.  Nori Aoki – there were a number of solid performances from first year Asian players  - Aoki was one and will be valuable outfielder for someone.  30 years old.  .289 with .787 OPS, 30 steals in 570 plate appearances.  Solid defensive player.

 

10.  Wei Yin Chen – 27 year old lefty had nice season for the Orioles.  A bit homer prone but should improve numbers in 2013.  Guessing something like an 8Y.

 

11.  Scott Diamond – 26 year old lefty for Twins.  Classic control freak lefty (although big guy is my recollection) who will survive on location location location.  27 starts and probably something like a 9Z.

 

12.  Lucas Harrell – 27 year old Astros starter.  Got on waivers from White Sox, reputation was a swingman type but actually made 32 starts, was 11-11 with 3.7 era for a bad Astros team.  Another middle of the rotation guy going forward.

 

13.  Erasmo Ramirez – no not that Erasmo and new and improved one.  He is only 22 so might belong higher on this list.  Good control guy (was borderline protection for me last year).  Likely get a B and future is as starter but only 59 innings for 2013 season.  Patience needed as might be a year or two.

 

14.  Joe Kelly – have watched him pitch in playoffs.  Nice stuff.  24 years old.  Used as swingman by Cardinals in rookie season.  Was top 15 prospect on Cards for 2012.  107 innings probably grade 10 so nice early / middle reliever to pick up with good starter potential upside.

 

15.  Andrelton Simmons – 23 year old shortstop for the Braves.  #4 Braves prospect in 2012.  All glove no bat reputation although hit .289 with .750 OPS in a 180 plate appearances.  Has a ++ defensive reputation.  Mongo – what do you think?

 

16.  Devin Mesoraco – 24 year old catcher for the Reds.  Has decent power bat could emerge into solid starting catcher.  Course Dusty doesn’t much like young guys, much less young catchers.  Has good strong arm reputation.  Even takes some walks.  Was the #24 overall prospect in Baseball Prospectus 2012 which puts him ahead of Grandal and Rosario (and even Rendon Andrew) so don’t be surprised if he is gone by pick #10.  Hit only .212 with 5 homers in 185 plate appearances.

 

17.  Jose Quintana – 23 year old starter for the Whitesox.  Think they got him Rule 5 from the Yankees.  Good control.  Useful for 2013 – looks like an 8Z with 22 starts. 

 

18.  Moises Sierra – 24 year old toolsy outfielder for the Blue Jays.  Looks like this year’s version of Eric Thames.  Good emerging power and could corner outfield arm.  Imagine guy named Bautista will be playing right for Jays in 2013 though.

 

19.  Josh Donaldson 3b / Brandon Moss of – I loved Moneyball.  Favourite baseball movie since Field of Dreams.  A’s are still at it.

 

20.  So the Mariners pick # 20 in the draft.  I don’t want any of these guys … the guy I want is Jordan Pacheco.  Hit .310 with .762 OPS in 505 plate appearances.  Okay he is 26 and has no defensive position and hits mostly singles but Edgar was mostly a career Dh and didn’t get a regular job from Lou til he was 27.  Jordan Pacheco – if you say it really fast sort of sounds like Edgar Martinez. 

 

That’s a wrap – 20 for the 2013 draft.  I am sure Mongo will be publishing his list – and he always does a great job at finding some diamonds that I missed – hmmm anyone seen Xavier Avery play, and how can you overlook the Marlin’s Gorkys?

 

 

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