Posts Tagged ‘Drew Stubbs’

Starting Nine: National League Central

January 15, 2010

Next up in our Starting Nine series is the National League Central. Outside of the St. Louis Cardinals re-signing Matt Holliday, there haven’t been any big-time offensive additions to this division. As a whole, this might be the weakest offensive division in baseball (yes, even passing the NL West).

Let’s take a look at the starting lineups for all six teams in this division as presently constructed.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Skip Schumaker, 2B

2. Brendan Ryan, SS

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Matt Holliday, LF

5. Ryan Ludwick, RF

6. Yadier Molina, C

7. Colby Rasmus, CF

8. David Freese, 3B

9. Chris Carpenter, P

Quick Take – Re-signing Holliday was crucial to this lineup. Despite having Holliday and Pujols in the three-four spot, this lineup will only be as dynamic as Rasmus and Freese takes them.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B

2. Alcides Escobar, SS

3. Ryan Braun, LF

4. Prince Fielder, 1B

5. Casey McGehee, 3B

6. Corey Hart, RF

7. Gregg Zaun, C

8. Carlos Gomez, CF

8. Yovani Gallardo, P

Quick Take – The Brewers sacrificed some offense for defense in 2010. This isn’t the powerful Brewers’ lineup of the last couple of years. There are a lot of automatic outs from seven through nine.

Chicago Cubs

1. Alfonso Soriano, LF

2. Kosuke Fukudome, RF

3. Derek Lee, 1B

4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B

5. Marlon Byrd, CF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Ryan Theriot, SS

8. Mike Fontenot, 2B

9. Carlos Zambrano, P

Quick Take – This lineup is getting old in a hurry. If Soriano, Ramirez, and Soto can come back from disappointing 2009 seasons, the Cubs could be in business in 2010. However, I still think they are going to be hard pressed to score runs in 2010.

Cincinnati Reds

1. Drew Stubbs, CF

2. Brandon Phillips, 2B

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Jay Bruce, RF

5. Scott Rolen, 3B

6. Ramon Hernandez, C

7. Paul Janish, SS

8. Chris Dickerson, LF

9. Bronson Arroyo, P

Quick Take – This lineup looks good for now and even better for the future. If Bruce can stay healthy, he could have a breakout year in 2010. I would like someone better than Janish at SS, but top prospect Todd Frazier isn’t ready to take over just yet.

Houston Astros

1. Michael Bourn, CF

2. Kaz Matsui, 2B

3. Lance Berkman, 1B

4. Carlos Lee, LF

5. Hunter Pence, RF

6. Pedro Feliz, 3B

7. J.R. Towles, C

8. Tommy Manzella, SS

9. Roy Oswalt, P

Quick Take – This six through nine is brutal. It’s hard to have a top offense when the bottom part of your lineup is this bad. Top catching prospect Jason Castro is not too far away, so this is Towles’ last stand with the Astros.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF

2. Akinori Iwamura, 2B

3. Garrett Jones, 1B

4. Ryan Doumit, C

5. Andy LaRoche, 3B

6. Lastings Milledge, LF

7. Ryan Church, RF

8. Ronny Cedeno, SS

9. Zach Duke, P

Quick Take – I think in order to maximize their offense’s potential, the Pirates will play Jones at first and Church in right instead of playing Jones in right and Jeff Clement at first. The Pirates’ offense will be better in 2010, but will still have a hard time scoring runs on a consistent basis.

Last, but not least, tomorrow we will take a look at the National League West.

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

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Reds Get Good News, Edinson Volquez To Begin Throwing

December 31, 2009

There is more than one way for a fan to receive good news in the offseason about their favorite team.

The most common way during the offseason for a fan to receive good news is through a trade or free agent signing. But another form of good news could come from a star player progressing well from an injury.

Volquez is on the comeback trail

The Cincinnati Reds and their fans got that type of good news yesterday.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Inquirer spoke to Reds’ Assistant GM Bob Miller yesterday. While they talked about a variety of topics concerning the Reds, the topic of Edinson Volquez’s rehab came up.

“The reports are good,” Miller said. “He’s worked hard and got in great shape. That helps.” Volquez is about to begin throwing soon.

This is very good news for Reds fans.

For those of you who are not familiar with what happened to Volquez, he underwent Tommy John surgery last August. I am fully confident that Volquez can make a complete comeback and be a top of the rotation starter yet again.

Tommy John surgery is as common to pitchers these days as them hearing from a pitching coach “Bend your back” or “Don’t let your shoulder fly open.”

The list of pitchers who had Tommy John surgery stretches a mile long. Pitchers like Chris Carpenter, A.J. Burnett, Josh Johnson, Ryan Dempster, Kenny Rogers, and Randy Wolf have all had Tommy John surgery and have enjoyed success afterwards.

Volquez wants to return in 2010 by June, but I doubt that will happen. There is no reason for the Reds to rush the 26-year-old back and risk further damage. I am guessing Volquez returns around late August, early September.

He will probably start off in the bullpen just to get his feel for the game back and then make a couple of starts towards the end of the year. That seems to be the pattern most teams take with pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery.

A lot of people are picking the Reds as a darkhorse team in 2010. Without Volquez for a full year, I think it is going to be tough for them. I believe they are a year away.

When Volquez comes back and along with Drew Stubbs, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Yonder Alonso, the Reds could be the team to beat in the NL Central in 2011.

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

Fantasy Week In Review, August 17-23

August 24, 2009

Lot’s of big news in the world of fantasy baseball last week. A couple of potential Keeper League players were called up, there is a new closer in Chicago (about time), and everyone’s preseason man crush will be returning in Texas.

Here are the fantasy studs, the players who have had their fantasy value fall, and the potential pickups for the fantasy week that was August 17 – 23.

Fantasy Studs

Brian Roberts – .379/4/8/.471 with three SB’s. Roberts had a MONSTER week last week. Roberts remains one of the top fantasy second basemen in the game today.

David Ortiz – .400/3/10/.500. Ortiz was hitting the ball so hard last week that he had AJ Burnett talking to himself on the mound.

Hideki Matsui – .261/4/10. Matsui won’t give you average at this point in his career, but he will still hit the long ball and can drive in runs.

Jayson Werth – .440/5/9. Werth is starting to heat up again. When Werth is hot, he brings the Philadelphia Phillies’ lineup to a whole other level.

Adam LaRoche – .419/4/9. One of the most notorious second-half hitters in the game today, LaRoche’s 2009 is no different.

Your 2009 NL Cy Young winner?

Your 2009 NL Cy Young winner?

I still haven’t figured out the Adam LaRoche for Casey Kotchman trade for the Boston Red Sox.

Chris Carpenter – 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 14 K’s in 15 IP. Carpenter is making a serious run at the Cy Young award and I think if the season ended today, he just might win it.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 14 K’s in 16 IP. Jimenez outdueled Tim Lincecum yesterday and is clearly the Colorado Rockies’ ace heading down the stretch.

Jose Valverde – Four saves with a 0.00 ERA and six K’s in four IP. Valverde is making up for the time he missed in the first-half because of a calf injury.

Reasons for Concern

Francisco Liriano – Placed on the 15-day DL because of “left arm fatigue.” I put left arm fatigue in quotes because I just think the Minnesota Twins needed an excuse not to start him.

Liriano is 5-12 with a 5.80 ERA this season and has been one of the main reasons why the Twins are not where they are supposed to be in the AL Central.

Liriano hasn’t been the same since he had Tommy John surgery and has limited fantasy value until he can prove he can pitch effectively on a game to game basis.

Johnny Cueto – Placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. Cueto was terrible in his last eight starts before winding up on the DL.

Cueto was 0-6 with a Tim Stoddard-like ERA of 10.63. This is the second year in a row that Cueto has broken down in the second half.  This is something to consider when drafted Cueto next year.

Kevin Gregg – Who in the Chicago Cubs’ front office thought it was a good idea to make Kevin Gregg their closer? I thought this would be a disaster from the beginning.

After melting down in San Diego last week (Florida Marlin fans are all too familiar with this), the Cubs have removed Gregg from his closer duties.

Gregg has zero fantasy value going forward.

Potential Pickups

Matt LaPorta – LaPorta was called up for a second time by the Cleveland Indians last week and unlike the first time LaPorta got the call, he is actually playing.

LaPorta hit .333 in four games for the Indians last week. LaPorta has a ton of Keeper League potential, so picking him up now might pay off in the future.

Drew Stubbs – If you are looking for stolen bases, Stubbs might be your guy. Another player with Keeper League potential, Stubbs had 46 SB’s in Triple-A before being called up to the Cincinnati Reds.

He projects to be the Reds’ starting centerfielder for the future.

Carlos Marmol – Thanks to Kevin Gregg’s now annual August meltdown, Marmol takes over as the closer for the Cubs.

Marmol is a little too shaky for my liking, but he should be able to pick up a couple of saves down the stretch.

Back but better than ever?

Back but better than ever?

Chris Davis – After hitting .335 with six HR’s for the Oklahoma City Redhawks, Davis is expected to be called back up to the Texas Rangers this week.

The Rangers have tweaked Davis’ batting stance and now think his early season struggles are behind him. Davis is not guaranteed to start, but could potentially take AB’s away from Hank Blalock.

Drew Stubbs Arives In Cincinnati…

August 20, 2009

Thankfully the Cincinnati Reds placed OF Willy Taveras on the 15-Day DL. I know that’s harsh, but I know Reds’ fans and myself could no longer watch Dusty Baker play him on a regular basis for reasons only known to Baker.

Then again this is not surprising considering Baker thought Corey Patterson was the Reds’ answer in centerfield at one point.

Stubbs is the future CF'er for the Reds

Stubbs is the future CF'er for the Reds

Hopefully Reds’ fans no longer have to worry about the Taveras’s and Patterson’s of the world patrolling centerfield because top prospect Drew Stubbs has arrived in Cincinnati.

First, Stubbs has no relation to legendary Los Angeles Dodgers’ OF of the 1980’s Franklin Stubbs for obvious reasons. If you watch a Reds’ game from now until September, you will what I am talking about.

Second, Dusty Baker has already said Stubbs will play on a regular basis from here on out. Stubbs is the future starting centerfielder for the Reds and has some serious speed to burn. Stubbs is lightning quick and should be at the top of the Reds’ lineup for years to come.

With Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, and now Drew Stubbs the Reds have a nice core to build on for the future.

Here are some other facts about Drew Stubbs…

Age: 24

College: University of Texas

Drafted: Eighth pick of the first round of the 2006 Draft

Minor League Stats

2006 Rookie: .252 with six home runs, 24 RBI, 19 SB’s, and a .368 OBP in 56 games

2007 Single A: .270 with 12 home runs, 43 RBI, 23 SB’s, and a .364 OBP in 129 games

2008 Single A+, Double A, & Triple A: .277 with seven home runs, 57 RBI, 33 SB’s, and a .371 OBP in 131 games

2009 Triple A: .268 with three home runs, 39 RBI, 46 RBI, and a .353 OBP in 107 games

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking: No. 89 out of 100 best prospects in baseball

Analysis: “Stubbs has been a different player since the middle of 2007, when he started squaring the ball up more consistently and showing the raw power that has always been in his bat but was barely evident when he was an amateur.

He will always strike out often because his swing is long and he expands the zone significantly when he gets behind in the count. Stubbs’ athleticism shines through on the bases and on defense; he’s a 70 runner and a 70 fielder in center with an above-average arm.

If everything clicks, he could be Mike Cameron with even more speed, although there’s a more probable scenario where he hits less than Cameron but still provides baserunning value and plus defense.”