Posts Tagged ‘Austin Jackson’

Starting Nine: American League Central

January 12, 2010

Yesterday, I took at the starting nine position players for each American League East team. Today, I will cover the starting nine position players for each American League Central team.

Remember, these lineups are as of today. Obviously these will change as the offseason continues. I will update these lineups as the season approaches.

Here are the starting lineups for each American League Central team:

Minnesota Twins

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Joe Mauer, C

3. Justin Morneau, 1B

4. Michael Cuddyer, RF

5. Jason Kubel, DH

6. Delmon Young, LF

7. J.J. Hardy, SS

8. Brendan Harris, 3B

9. Nick Punto, 2B

Quick Take – The Twins have as good a one through five as anyone in baseball. They desperately need a third and second baseman. Orlando Hudson would be a nice addition.

Chicago White Sox

1. Juan Pierre, LF

2. Gordon Beckham, 2B

3. Carlos Quentin, RF

4. Paul Konerko, 1B

5. Alex Rios, CF

6. Alexei Ramirez, SS

7. A.J. Pierzynski, C

8. Mark Teahen, 3B

9. Mark Kotsay, DH

Quick Take – Perhaps there is no lineup that is harder to put together than the White Sox’s. This lineup could go in nine different directions. They need a DH and bringing back Jim Thome would make sense.

Detroit Tigers

1. Austin Jackson, CF

2. Carlos Guillen, DH

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Magglio Ordonez, RF

5. Brandon Inge, 3B

6. Ryan Raburn, LF

7. Gerald Laird, C

8. Adam Everett, SS

9. Scott Sizemore, 2B

Quick Take – Another hard lineup to put together. Jackson and Sizemore could flip-flop in the order. I don’t see a reason to ever pitch to Cabrera.

Kansas City Royals

1. Scott Podsednik, CF

2. David DeJesus, LF

3. Billy Butler, 1B

4. Jose Guillen, RF

5. Alex Gordon, 3B

6. Alberto Callaspo, 2B

7. Josh Fields, DH

8. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

9. Jason Kendall, C

Quick Take – This lineup is going to have a hard time scoring runs. This year might be make or break for Gordon.

Cleveland Indians

1. Azdrubal Cabrera, SS

2. Michael Brantley, LF

3. Grady Sizemore, CF

4. Shin-Soo Choo, RF

5. Travis Hafner, DH

6. Jhonny Peralta, 3B

7. Matt LaPorta, 1B

8. Lou Marson, C

9. Luis Valbuena, 2B

Quick Take – I like putting Brantley in the two-hole because of the speed and high OBP ability he showed in the minors. Sizemore moves down to the three-hole and takes on the role of a run producer.

Tomorrow, I will take a look at the American League West.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Who Were The Winners For This Year’s Winter Meetings

December 11, 2009

Now that Baseball’s Winter Meetings are officially over and we have all had a chance to catch our breath, lets take a look at the five teams who really improved themselves over the last four days.

5. Baltimore Orioles. I really liked the addition of Kevin Millwood for this ball club in 2010. Millwood is exactly what this team needed.

Millwood improves the O's

The Orioles only had one pitcher in 2009 (Jeremy Guthrie) throw more than 124 innings. Millwood should come in and eat some much-needed innings for the Orioles and provide some leadership for the Orioles’ young starters.

All the Orioles had to give up for Millwood was Chris Ray. Ray and his 7.27 ERA won’t be missed from the Orioles’ bullpen.

4. Detroit Tigers. I know when a team gives up the type of person and player Curtis Granderson is, they usually aren’t considered winners. But the Tigers did really well in their three-way trade with the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Tigers got three top prospects in Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, and Daniel Schlereth and got another left-handed pitcher for their bullpen in Phil Coke.

Jackson will replace the departed Granderson in center field and Scherzer will replace Edwin Jackson, who was shipped to the Diamondbacks in the Tigers rotation.

3. Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays finally acquired a closer they so desperately needed. The Rays acquired Rafael Soriano from the Atlanta Braves for Jesse Chavez.

Soriano now gives them stability in the back of the pen. Over the last four years, Soriano has a 2.76 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and has averaged 10.3 K’s/9 in 221.2 IP.

2. Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers went into the winter meetings wanting to improve on two areas–the starting rotation and the bullpen. In a span of about three hours, they accomplished both.

On Wednesday, the Brewers inked LHP Randy Wolf to a three-year, $29.75 million contract to improve the starting rotation and then signed RHP LaTroy Hawkins to a two-year, $7.5 million contract to improve the bullpen.

Did the Brewers perhaps overpay a little for Wolf and Hawkins? Maybe, but Milwaukee isn’t Miami, L.A. or even Chicago. The Brewers sometimes have to overpay to get people to come to Milwaukee.

In a span of three hours, the Brewers made themselves contenders again in the weak NL Central.

1. New York Yankees. The rich get richer huh? The Yankees wanted to get more athletic this offseason and accomplished that goal when they traded for Granderson.

Granderson is a perfect fit in NY

With his personality and his ability to drive the ball to right field, Granderson is a perfect fit in New York. The Yankees can now either re-sign Johnny Damon to play left or they can let Damon walk if he is asking for too much money and let Melky Cabrera play left field.

Either way, the Yankees’ outfield defense will be improved in 2010.

The Yankees were also able to re-sign LHP Andy Pettitte to a reasonable ($11.5 million) one-year deal. As I have said before, outside Mariano Rivera, Pettitte has been the second most important Yankee over the last 14 years.

There is no more reliable postseason pitcher in today’s game than Pettitte.

If you notice, I don’t have the losers of the winter meetings because I don’t necessarily feel a team has to do something during the four days. Waiting and picking your spots doesn’t make you a loser.

However, if there was one loser based on the moves they did make during the four days it would be the Diamondbacks. They gave up way too much to acquire E. Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

They better be right with their thinking that Scherzer doesn’t translate into a starting pitcher.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Granderson To The Yankees A Done Deal, What Are The Diamondbacks Thinking?

December 8, 2009

The first blockbuster move of the offseason has taken place.

According to Jon Heyman, via Twitter, the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a three-way trade. The deal will be officially announced once medical records check out.

Here is the breakdown of the trade:

Yankees get: Curtis Granderson

Tigers get: Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, and Daniel Schlereth

Diamondbacks get: Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

My initial take on this is–great for the Tigers, very good for the Yankees, awful for the Diamondbacks.

When I wrote my “Curtis Granderson: What’s His Trade Market” piece a couple of weeks ago, I had the Yankees as a likely destination for the Tigers’ center fielder. As a matter of fact, I also had the Diamondbacks on that list as well.

Granderson is headed to the Yankees

Granderson should do extremely well in New York, both on and off the field. He is very smart, well spoken and could see his life outside the game grow.

Despite his OPS declining three straight years (.913 t0 .858 to .780), Granderson should thrive in the Yankees’ lineup. Plus, with his new power approach at the plate, Granderson should find the right field at the new Yankee Stadium more appealing than Comerica Park.

The trade for Granderson also gives the Yankees a lot of options moving forward. They can put Granderson in center and re-sign Johnny Damon or if Damon leaves, they can put Melky Cabrera in center and put Granderson in left.

This move really hurts Damon’s negotiating power with the Yankees. Now if he wants more money and more years from the Yankees, the Yankees can just walk away.

The Tigers I feel did very, very well in this deal. They were able to shed Granderson’s and Jackson’s salary and get a lot of quality back in return.

To get top prospects Austin Jackson, Scherzer, and Schlereth in return is very impressive. The acquisition of Scherzer to me was a steal by the Tigers.

Why the Diamondbacks traded him is beyond me. Scherzer was the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft and last year in 170.1 innings, Scherzer struck out 174 batters and only gave up 166 hits.

This kid is a stud and can easily replace the production given by E. Jackson. With Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Rick Porcello in the Tigers’ rotation, the Tigers will have three flame throwers at the top of the rotation.

Schlereth, who was the Diamondbacks’ third best prospect going into 2009 according to Baseball America and Coke give the Tigers two lefties to put in their bullpen.

With Austin Jackson, the Tigers get the Yankees best prospect going into 2009 according to Baseball America and a replacement for Granderson in center. A lot people will say Jesus Montero has passed Jackson, but Jackson is a top prospect non the less.

In 2009 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Jackson hit .300/.354/.405 with four home runs and 24 stolen bases in 132 games.

As for the Diamondbacks, this trade is a disaster for them. I have no idea what they are trying to do.

To give up two of your best prospects for two middle of the road pitchers is puzzling at best.

I have never been a fan of E. Jackson. It seems like for the last two years, he has gotten off to great starts then wilts in the second half when his teams need him the most.

I don’t want to hear about Kennedy.

Kennedy seems to me another product of the Yankee prospect hype machine–a guy who is an average pitcher that just because he is a “Yankee” people assume he will be great.

The Diamondbacks are in rebuilding mode and yet, they got older and acquired a more expensive player in E. Jackson. It makes no sense.

You can follow the Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg