Tagged: Braves

Hello Offseason: Kansas City Royals

Pirates, Mariners, D-Backs, and Orioles down. Just 26 more to go, and let’s start in Kansas City.

 

The Royals were not expected to make the playoffs, but a lot of people had them finishing third in that division. The Royals could not and did not deliver, and that does not look to change anytime soon.

If you look at this roster, it is just awful. Their infield is Kila Ka’aihue, Mike Avalies, Yuinesky Betancourt, and Wilson Betemit. Ka’aihue was a KC top prospect, and they have been waiting for him to develop for years. He did not exactly break through, hitting .217 and hitting 8 home runs in 180 at bats. Mike Avilies did have a good year for himself, hitting .304 with 8 home runs, but only 32 RBIs. He beat out Chris Getz for the second base job midseason. Betancourt hit only .259, but did have 16 home runs. Wilso Betemit also had an OK year, hitting .297 is 276 at bats, but he is certainly not the third baseman they want going forward. The third baseman they really want is in left field.

Alex Gordon was going to be the next big thing in baseball. But after four years having a career batting average of .244, he was sent to triple A. He was called back up, but moved o left field. Gordon could still not get it done, and may now be considered one of the biggest busts in baseball.

The rest of the KC outfield is not so flashy. Gregor Blanco, who was acquired from Atlanta midseason, hit .283 with only 1 home run. And then Mitch Maier, who hit .263 with five home runs and 39 RBIs. But the Royals will get David DeJesus back for next season, so that should sure up a mediocre outfield.

Kansas City did make one good move last offseason, and that was acquiring Jason Kendell. He hit only .256 and slugged only .277, but he was an important backstop and veteran presence in Kansas City. He did not homer, but he was never really a home run guy. His stats may not show it, but Kendell was an important part of that team.

Now the pitching. In Kansas City, it’s Zack Greinke and everyone else. And this year Greinke had a 4.17 ERA, and made some interesting comments about the organization, saying he does not see them improving anytime soon.

The rest of the staff gets worse from there. Kyle Davies had an ERA over five, Bruce Chen identical to Greinke, Sean O’Sullivan at 5.49, and Bryan Bullington at 6.12. The rotation was one of the worst in baseball, and the bullpen ain’t better.

Blake Wood had an ERA of 5.07, Robinson Tejada had a WHIP of 1.33, Gil Meche had an ERA of 5.69, and Greg Holland had an ERA of 6.75. The only bright spots in the bullpen were Dusty Hughes and Joakim Soria.

What moves can Kansas City make to improve? Actually, not many. Kansas City has three top prospects, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Mike Montgomery, who could be ready in a few years. But what can bridge KC to those three? The Royals will probably re-sign Wilson betemit, to bridge to Moustakas. There is a possibility that KC may trade their DH Billy Butler to make room for Hosmer.

Bottom Line: Kansas City will not compete for a while. But it may be sooner than you think.

 

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Red Sox Notes, a Wednesday Recap, and other fun  stuff

Yeah remember that article I wrote bitching to Theo? I may need to remove that. I am Theo’s biggest critic, but I must say so far his moves look good. Marco Scutaro so far for me has been a very pleasant surprise. Solid in the field and is hitting all over the place. John Lackey has been better of late as well. Adrian Beltre- wow. I did not like the pick up as much as first, but he has been great. He may even be an MVP canadate right now.

 One thing that worries me is the overuse of Daniel Bard. He is very good, but he is on pace for the scond most appearences in the AL. That worries me. They need another bullpen guy to rely on. I’d love for that to be Hideki Okajima, but they may need to look elsewhere. Maybe Matt Thornton or Phil Coke could be options. Or calling up Robert Manuel.

 

Last night the Red Sox beat the Diamondbacks 6-2. Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis hit two run homers.

The Yankees lost to the Phillies 6-3. Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard went back to back.

The Rays lost to the Atlanta Braves 6-2. Our old friend Eric Hinske had an RBI.

Tonight is game seven. Read all about it a BBS.

Mailbag Sunday.

Opening Day Predictions

I made my before-Spring Training predictions, here are my Opening Day Season predictions. Plus, check out the player to watch feature which gives you a player to watch on each team during the reaguler season.

 

AL East      Player to watch:

Boston Red Sox   (Jacoby Ellsbury)

New York Yankees  (Marcus Thames)

Tampa Bay Rays  (Ben Zobrist)

Baltimore Orioles  (Nolan Reimold)

Toronto Blue Jays  (Adam Lind)

 

AL Central

Minnesota Twins  (Orlando Hudson)

Chicago White Sox  (Jake Peavy)

Kansas City Royals  (Rick Ankeil)

Detroit Tigers  (Austin Jackson)

Cleveland Indians  (Micheal Brantly)

 

AL West

Seattle Mariners  (Chone Figgins)

Anaheim Angels  (Kendry Morales)

Texas Rangers  (Neftali Feliz)

Oakland Athletics  (Brett Anderson)

 

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies  (Jayson Werth)

Atlanta Braves  (Jason Heyward)

Florida Marlins  (Mike Stanton)

Washington Nationals  (Nyjer Morgan)

New York Mets  (Kiko Calero)

 

NL Central

St.Louis Cardinals (Colby Rasmus)

Chicago Cubs  (Randy Wells)

Cincinatti Reds  (Aroldis Chapman)

Milwakee Brewers  (Alcades Escobar)

Houston Astros  (Hunter Pence)

Pittsburgh Pirates  (Garrett Jones)

 

NL West

Colorado Rockies  (Jason Hammel)

Los Angeles Dodgers  (Clayton Kershaw)

San Fransisco Giants  (Madison Bumgarner)

Arizona D-backs  (Justin Upton)

San Diego Padres  (Clayton Richard)

 

AL MVP

1.  Evan Longoria

2. Joe Mauer

3. Kendry Morales

NL MVP

1. Albert Pujols

2. Chase Utley

3. Ryan Braun

AL Cy Young

1. Jon Lester

2. Cliff Lee

3. Zack Greinke

NL Cy Young

1. Roy Halladay

2. Chris Carpenter

3. Tim Lincecum

AL ROY

1. Brain Matusz

2. Austin Jackson

3. Desmond Jennings

NL ROY

1. Jason Heyward

2. Mike Stanton

3. Madison Bumgarner

AL MOY

1. Don Wakamtsu

2. Ron Gardenhire

3. Joe Maddon

NL MOY

1. Bobby Cox

2. Tony LaRusa

3. Freddi Gonzalez

AL Comeback Player

Andruw Jones

NL Comeback Player

Manny Rameriz

 

Wild Cards:

Yankees

Braves

 

Those are my predicitions. My Internationl League predictions will be sometime next week.

Spring Training Parks and Schedule

Last year I went to roughly 15 spring games. I’ll go to about the same amount this year, I’ve seen Ft.Lauderdale, where the Orioles used to play. Ft.Myers, home of the Red Sox. Bradenton, where the Pirates play. Orlando, with the Braves. In Viera beach for the Nats. Lakeland, home of the Tigers. I’ve seen the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter. And Pt.Charlotte for the Rays. This year I will go to games in Ft.Myers(Red Sox and Twins) Pt.Charlotte(Rays), Dunedin(Jays), Kissimmee(Astros), Bradenton(Pirates) and Sarasota(Orioles). My first game is this Friday at Twins. It’s the first time I’ve seen that park. After this year the only parks I won’t have seen in the grapefruit league are the Yankees, Mets, and Phillies. I am right behind the Red Sox dugout for most games. Best seats I;ve ever had at any sporting event. I hope to get some player autographs. Last year I got Joe Maddon in Ft.Myers, and Cesar Cedeno in Viera.

I will see Lester/Wakefield Friday, and I’ll see Buchholz Sunday in Sarasota. I really want to see Kelly pitch this year. That would be so awesome! Anyways, I love spring training games. It gets you so pumped for the reaguler season. Go Red Sox! Remember to ask questions on the mailbag! I’ll post any pictures I get here at the blog! I had some I wanted to put here, but the computer is not coroperating!

MLB Season Predictions

Standings:

AL East:

New York Yankees

Boston Red Sox

Tampa Bay Rays

Baltimore Orioles

Toronto Blue Jays

 

AL Central:

Minnesota Twins

Chicago White Sox

Kansas City Royals

Detroit Tigers

Cleveland Indians

 

AL West:

Seattle Mariners

Anaheim Angels

Texas Rangers

Oakland A’s

 

NL East:

Philadelphia Phillies

Florida Marlins

Atlanta Braves

Washington Nationals

New York Mets

 

NL Central:

St.Louis Cardinals

Chicago Cubs

Cincinatti Reds

Milwakee Brewers

Houston Astros

Pittsburgh Pirates

 

NL West:

LA Dodgers

Colorado Rockies

San Fransisco Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks

San Diego Padres

 

AL MVP Top 3:

Evan Longoria- Rays

Joe Mauer- Twins

Kendry Morales- Angels

 

Red Sox MVP:

Jacoby Ellsbury

 

AL Cy Young Top 3:

Jon Lester- Red Sox

Zack Greinke- Royals

Cliff Lee- Mariners

 

Red Sox Cy Young:

Lester

 

NL MVP Top 3:

Albert Pujols- Cardinals

Jayson Werth- Phillies

Ryan Braun- Brwers

 

NL CY Youn Top 3:

Josh Johnson- Marlins

Tim Lincecum- Giants

Carlos Zambrano- Cubs

 

AL ROY:

Desmond Jennings- Rays

 

NL ROY:

Jason Heyward- Braves

 

Bold Predictions:

The Baltimore Orioles will compete with the Rays for the #3 spot in the AL East

The Royals will have a record around .500

Mike Cameron will hit 25 HRs

The Reds will finish over .500

The Blue Jays will have the second worst record in baseball, ahead of only the Mets

I will be right about at least one thing here(I told you, bold predictions)

Winter Meetings

As most of you probally know, the Winter Meetings in Indianappolis begin on Monday. Most of the time little to noting happens, but you never know. Here is a list of what you may see happen this week.

  • Jason Bay’s destanation: I feel that Jason Bay may sign this week, possibly with Boston, Anaheim, or Seattle. I feel the Red Sox LF problem will be resolved, whether that be from Jason Bay or a possible platoon with Jeremy Hermida and Xavier Nady. I feel Bay’s chance of signing with Seattle has dimmed with their siging of Chone Figgins. Look out for the Cubs as a sleeper here as well.
  • Trades? Some players that may be used as a trade chip: Manny Delcarmen, Casey Kotchman, Gary Matthews Jr, Matt Capps, Fransisco Cordero, Heath Bell, Milton Bradley, Pat Burrell, Josh Willingham. The Mets are in on Willingham, the Marlins with Bell and Delcarmen, and you all know the Rays-Bradley rumor by now.
  •  Spenders Revealed: This week the major free agent spenders may be revealed. I can see Seattle, Boston, Both New York teams, Baltimore, and Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are looking for a closer, and their name has been conected to Mike Gonzlaez, matt Capps, and Matt Lindstrom. Baltimore is belived to be a serious contender for John Lackey, and Jason Marquis is interested in the Mets, though it is unknown if the Mets are interested in him.
  • Recent Trades and Signings: Some recent trades and sigings that mey affect other deals: The Rays aquired C Kelly Shoppach, Greg Zaun signed with the Brewers, The Braves signed Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, The Athletics traded for Jake Fox and Aaron Miles, The Rangers aquired Joe Inglett off waivers, and the Red Sox signed Marco Scutaro.

MLB Free Agent Signings: Starting Pitchers

Here is a list of every MLB free agent signing to this point. You can also see this list at Soxtime.com. I will update this with every signing.

Name:                        Position         Old Team        Rumored teams:          Signed with:         $:

Erik Bedard              SP               Seattle        Boston, Baltimore

Paul Byrd                  SP               Boston        None 

Aroldis Chapman   SP               Cuba            Boston, NYY   

Jose Contreas       SP              Colorado      Colorado

Doug Davis              SP              Arizona         Milwakee

Justin Duchscher  SP             Oakland         Oakland, Boston, CHC

Kelvim Escobar      SP             Anaheim        Boston

Jon Garland            SP             Los Angeles  Baltimore, Anaheim

Mike Hampton       SP             Houston           Atlanta

Rich Harden           SP             CHC                  Boston, Seattle

Livan Herndandez SP            Washington    Washington

Randy Johnson      SP          San Fransisco   None

John Lackey         SP            Anaheim            Boston, Texas, Baltimore, Anaheim

Brandon Looper  SP           Milwakee            Milwakee

Jason Marquis     SP          Colorado             NYM

Pedro Martinez    SP          Philadelphia       Philadelphia

Brett Myers          SP          Philadelphia       NYY, Boston

Vincente Padilla   SP         Los Angeles      Houston

Carl Pavano          SP         Minnesota          Minnesota

Brad Penny          SP         San Fransisco    San Fransisco

Andy Pettitte       SP          NYY                      NYY

Joel Pinero          SP        St. Louis               St.Louis, Boston, Seattle

Ben Sheets          SP       Milwakee              Boston, NYY, Texas

John Smoltz        SP       St.Louis                St.Loius, Texas

Jarrod Washburn SP     Detroit                   Seattle

Todd Wellemeyer SP   St.Louis                 None

Randy Wolf              SP  Los Angeles        LA, Texas, Atlanta