Posts Tagged ‘Gabe Kapler’

Starting Nine: American League East

January 11, 2010

I was rummaging through some articles last week and I came across a piece by Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star. He gave an early look at what the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting lineup might look like in 2010.

That piece got me thinking. With all the moves that happen during the free agency period it’s hard for a casual fan to keep up with their favorite team. Why not take an early look at each lineup in baseball as presently constructed?

So what I will do give each team’s starting lineup by division for the next six days. Obviously this will change as the offseason progresses, so I will do an update to these posts as the season approaches.

We will start in the American League and with the best division in baseball, the American League East.

New York Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS

2. Nick Johnson, DH

3. Mark Teixeira, 1B

4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

5. Jorge Posada, C

6. Robinson Cano, 2B

7. Curtis Granderson, CF

8. Nick Swisher, RF

9. Brett Gardner, LF

Quick Take – Best and deepest lineup in baseball. Could made even better if Johnny Damon accepts a one-year deal to play left. Cano and Posada could flip-flop between fifth and sixth in the order.

Boston Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Victor Martinez, C

4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B

5. David Ortiz, DH

6. Adrian Beltre, 3B

7. Mike Cameron, CF

8. J.D. Drew, RF

9. Marco Scutaro, SS

Quick Take – Not a classic Red Sox lineup. Not a lot of high OBP guys and nobody jumps out and scares you. Terry Francona is loyal to Ortiz, so he bats fifth ahead of Beltre in the lineup.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. B.J. Upton, CF

2. Carl Crawford, LF

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Carlos Pena, 1B

6. Pat Burrell, DH

7. Kelly Shoppach, C

8. Gabe Kapler, RF

9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Quick Take – This lineup will go from very good to great if Upton and Burrell come back strong in 2010. Kapler will find himself in a platoon situation with Matt Joyce to start the season.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Brian Roberts, 2B

2. Nick Markakis, RF

3. Adam Jones, CF

4. Luke Scott, DH

5. Nolan Reimold, LF

6. Matt Wieters, C

7. Ty Wigginton, 1B

8. Garrett Atkins, 3B

9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Quick Take – First four in this lineup is very good, but after that, this lineup gets very weak. Orioles are still looking for a first baseman, so don’t expect Wigginton to be a starter for too much longer.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Jose Bautista, RF

2. Lyle Overbay, 1B

3. Aaron Hill, 2B

4. Adam Lind, DH

5. Vernon Wells, CF

6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B

7. Travis Snider, LF

8. Alex Gonzalez, SS

9. John Buck, C

Quick Take – My lineup is a little different than Campbell’s as I have Overbay hitting in the two-hole. This lineup has the potential to be good, but Gonzalez and Buck represent too many automatic outs to be really dynamic.

Tomorrow, I will cover the American League Central.

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

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Getting Jewced; The Five Best Jewish Players In Baseball Today

June 15, 2009

Growing up as a Jewish, well half-Jewish (on my mother’s side, so I am legit) kid in New York, my dream of playing in the major leagues was just that – a dream. After all, not only was I not good enough, but being Jewish certainly limited my chances.

Sure we have had Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Al Rosen, Shawn Green and the legendary Morrie Arnovich (played with the Phillies, Reds and New York Giants in the late 30’s). But the reality is, if I wanted to be an accountant or work in the entertainment industry, I would be in like Flynn. A baseball player? Not so much.

Baseball is more of a world game now than ever before. Us fans of the Dreidel need our roles models and inspirations in baseball. If Italy can have a team in the World Baseball Classic, why can’t Israel?

That being said, here are the top five jewish players in the game of baseball today.

The "Jewish Hammer"

The "Jewish Hammer"

Honorable Mention: Craig Breslow, Scott Feldman, Gabe Kapler, Scott Schoeneweis and John Grabow.

5. Brad Ausmus: Ausmus is at the end of his career with the Dodgers, but in his prime he was one of the best defensive catchers in baseball with the Astros. Ausmus has won three Gold Gloves and was an All Star in 1999 as a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Ausmus was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 Draft, and was the starting catcher for the Houston Atros team that made the World Series in 2005.

4. Jason Marquis: Heading into Sunday’s action, Marquis was tied for the National League lead in wins with eight. Marquis has his best season in 2004 with the St Louis Cardinals when he was 15-7 with a 3.71 ERA.

Marquis has spent 10 years in the major leagues and has an 87-74 lifetime record with the Atlanta Braves, St Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and currently, the Colorado Rockies.

3. Ian Kinsler: In only his forth year in the major leagues, Kinsler has established himself as not only one of the second baseman in baseball, but one of the best players in all of baseball.

The former University of Missouri star enjoyed a breakout 2008 season when he hit .319 with 18 HR’s, 71 RBI, 102 runs scored and 26 SB’s in just 121 games.

Kinsler earned a spot in the All Star game in 2008 and is expected to do the same in 2009.

2. Kevin Youkilis: If it were not for his teammate Dustin Pedroia, Youkilis might have won the American League MVP award last year. Youkilis, or “The Greek God of Walks” as he was referred to by A’s GM Billy Beane in the book “Moneyball,” is one of the best players in baseball.

Known for his intensity on the playing field, Youkilis was an All Star in 2008, won a Gold Glove in 2007 and is a lifetime .333 hitter in the postseason. Youkilis also helped the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2007.

1. Ryan Braun: If Braun continues on the pace he set for himself in his first three year in the majors, Braun will go down as one of the all-time greats in the game. Braun has averaged 35 HR’s, 100 RBI, 15 SB’s and a .305 batting average in his first 2 years in the majors.

Braun was named Rookie of the Year in 2007, won a Silver Slugger award and finished third in the MVP voting in 2008.

Braun also played for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.