Posts Tagged ‘Ian Kinsler’

Starting Nine: American League West

January 13, 2010

The next division up in our Starting Nine series is the American League West. This division has undergone the most change from top to bottom this offseason, so it will be interesting to see which lineup looks the best headed into the season.

Here are the starting lineups as presently constructed for the American League West:

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

1. Erick Aybar, SS

2. Bobby Abreu, RF

3. Torii Hunter, CF

4. Kendry Morales, 1B

5. Hideki Matsui, DH

6. Howie Kendrick, 2B

7. Juan Rivera, LF

8. Brandon Wood, 3B

9. Mike Napoli, C

Quick Take – This lineup will miss Chone Figgins at the top of the lineup to an expect, but despite the Angels’ losses, this lineup is still pretty deep. Any lineup that has Napoli batting ninth should be able to score some runs.

Seattle Mariners

1. Ichiro, RF

2. Chone Figgins, 3B

3. Milton Bradley, LF

4. Jose Lopez, 2B

5. Ken Griffey Jr. DH

6. Franklin Gutierrez, CF

7. Casey Kotchman, 1B

8. Jack Wilson, SS

9. Rob Johnson, C

Quick Take – This lineup after the first four hitters is pretty bad. I don’t care how many runs you prevent in the field, you need to score runs to win. The Mariners need a better DH than Griffey Jr.

Texas Rangers

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Michael Young, 3B

3. Josh Hamilton, LF

4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH

5. Nelson Cruz, RF

6. Chris Davis, 1B

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

8. Elvis Andrus, SS

9. Julio Borbon, CF

Quick Take – I love this lineup. I like Borbon in the nine-hole acting like a second leadoff hitter at the bottom of the lineup. The key to this lineup will be health.

Oakland A’s

1. Coco Crisp, CF

2. Rajai Davis, LF

3. Ryan Sweeney, RF

4. Jack Cust, DH

5. Daric Barton, 1B

6. Kurt Suzuki, C

7. Eric Chavez, 3B

8. Mark Ellis, 2B

9. Cliff Pennington, SS

Quick Take – This is the worst in the American League (yes, worse than the Kansas City Royals) and perhaps the worst in baseball. There isn’t a guy in this lineup that would start on the Baltimore Orioles. Michael Taylor better make it to the A’s soon.

Tomorrow, I will dive into the National League and look at the National League East.

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

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Rangers Sign Vladimir Guerrero, Add To Their Roster Of High-Risk, High-Reward Players

January 10, 2010

Since the beginning of the offseason, the Texas Rangers have been in search of a right-handed, DH type bat. They had a trade worked out with the Boston Red Sox for Mike Lowell, but that trade was nixed and they have looked at free agents like Jermaine Dye and Vladimir Guerrero.

Yesterday, they finally found their right-handed bat.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers have signed former Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim DH/OF Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year, $5 million contract plus incentives.

Vlad will be impaling in Texas in 2010

Guerrero becomes the third former Angel to sign with a division rival this offseason. Guerrero will join Darren Oliver in Texas and Chone Figgins signed with the Seattle Mariners earlier in the offseason.

This is a pretty interesting move by the Rangers. If I had my choice between Guerrero or Dye, I would have chosen Dye. I just think at this point in their careers, Dye is the better option. But I have no idea what Dye was asking for or if he is still searching for a multi-year deal.

Vlad is a shell of his former-self at this point. He will be 35 in February, his OPS has dipped three years in a row, he runs like Mark Eaton towards the end of Eaton’s career, and he only played in 100 games last year.

I don’t think Vlad has much left in the tank. We all saw last year in the playoffs he couldn’t catch up to good fastballs and he can no longer hit the bad pitch out of the strike zone on a consistent basis like he used to.

Perhaps he can find the fountain of youth in Arlington, where a lot of hitters come alive playing in that hitter friendly ballpark. I would guess Vlad will hit fifth or sixth in the Rangers’ lineup and serve as their primary DH in 2010.

While the Rangers certainly do have a talented roster, they have collected too many high risk, high reward players for my liking. Just think about all the injury prone players they have on their roster.

Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rich Harden, Matt Harrison, Frank Francisco, and Guerrero. Those are a lot of players and star players to worry about over the course of a 162 game schedule.

We have seen in the past–especially last year–injuries taking there toll on the Rangers as the season progresses. 2010 looks to be more of the same for Texas.

Guerrero will be entering his 15th year in the major leagues and has a career .321 average with 407 home runs and won the MVP award in 2004 with the Angels.

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

Dan Uggla: What’s His Trade Market?

November 16, 2009

Outside of Roy Halladay, the player we are most likely to hear involved in trade rumors is Florida Marlins 2B Dan Uggla. This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as any player on the Marlins making more than $1 million is a trade candidate.

Dan Uggla

Uggla is most likely to get traded this offseason

So if the Marlins are to trade Uggla, what type of player are they trading and what type of return should they expect? As always, here are the pros, the cons, and the potential suitors for Uggla.

Pros

In terms of being an offensive second baseman, Uggla ranks right at the top. In the last three years, Uggla leads all major league second baseman in home runs with 94 and ranks fourth in OPS with a .829 mark.

Uggla also knows how to work the count, which is ever so important in today’s game. Over the last three years, Uggla ranks second amongst all second baseman in walks with 235.

Last year, Uggla set a career high in walks with 92.

Cons

Poor Danny Uggs. Uggla was rolling in 2008 to the tune of a first half line of .286/.374/.605 with 23 home runs. Then the night of July 15th happened.

That night was the All Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

Uggla had perhaps the worst All Star Game for a position player in the history of the game. Uggla struck out three times and committed three errors in the 4-3 National League loss.

Uggla hasn’t been the same since that night.

Since that night, Uggla has hit only .235 with a .774 OPS. I don’t think we can attribute all of Uggla’s struggles to that faithful night in the Bronx, but I don’t think it is just a coincidence either.

Uggla was embarrassed on a national stage and you never know how that will affect someone in the long-term.

Not only has Uggla dipped offensively since that night, but Uggla is a terrible defensive second baseman. Uggla consistently ranks towards the bottom amongst all second baseman in fielding.

2009 was no exception.

In 2009, Uggla made 16 errors which was the second most by second baseman and had a -10.1 UZR. His -10.1 UZR ranked him second to last amongst second baseman, only ahead of Luis Castillo.

Uggla will probably have to move to third base, first base, or even DH. However, Uggla and his agent don’t see it that way. Here is what Uggla’s agent told Yahoo! Sports.

“Danny Uggla’s been a full-time second baseman for the last four years,” agent Jeff Borris said. “He’s performed exceptionally well at that position. Although he has the athleticism to play other positions, he’s performed remarkably over these four years at second base and there should be no reason to consider a position change at this time.”

Uggla’s resistance to changing positions could be a hinderance for the Marlins in trading Uggla.

The last con with Uggla, is perhaps his contract. Uggla made $5.3 million in 2009 and has two more arbitration eligible years ahead of him.

Are teams going to pay $9 million-$10 million in arbitration to a defensively challenged second baseman?

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of Uggla, let’s look at what teams might be interested in the former University of Memphis Tiger.

Atlanta Braves: Normally teams don’t trade within the division, but I don’t think that matters to the Marlins. The Braves need a right-handed bat and if the Adam LaRoche doesn’t re-sign with the Braves to first base, Uggla could be an option.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Orlando Hudson and Ronnie Belliard are free agents for the Dodgers, so therefore they have a need at second base.

Though, if they are going to go the Uggla route, they should just re-sign Hudson. Uggla and Hudson were of equal value in 2009 according to Fangraphs and Hudson wouldn’t cost the Dodgers any players.

San Francisco Giants: The Giants just re-signed Freddie Sanchez to play second base, but the Giants could look at Uggla as a first baseman.

Oakland A’s. Though GM Billy Beane has tried to build a more athletic A’s team recently, Uggla is a classic “Moneyball” type player–low average, high OBP, can’t play defense.

Uggla would be a nice DH option for the A’s.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners need a third baseman and a DH. If Uggla is willing to shift over to third, Uggla could be a good fit in Seattle.

Texas Rangers: The Rangers are a little bit of a stretch, but Uggla could serve as the Rangers’ DH and insurance at second when Ian Kinsler makes his annual trip to the DL in 2010.

I am going to say there is a 95% chance Uggla gets traded this offseason. When the Marlins want to move someone, their history suggests they do.

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

Michael Young Strains Hammy And Strains The Texas Rangers Playoff Hopes

September 3, 2009

There was some bad news out of Texas yesterday.

According to the Fort Worth-Star Telegram, Texas Rangers 3B Michael Young will be out at least two weeks and possibly more with a strained hamstring. This is a HUGE blow to a Rangers ballclub that is fighting for a playoff spot.

Young's injury hurts the Rangers playoff chances

Young's injury hurts the Rangers playoff chances

Not only are the Rangers going to miss Young’s bat in the lineup, but more importantly they are going to miss his leadership on the field. I have the same feelings towards the Rangers’ lineup as I do the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation — you can probably plug anyone in there and they would be somewhat successful.

I am confident the Rangers will replace Young’s bat on some level, but it’s hard to replace “the man” on the team in a middle of a pennant race. Young plays everyday, is one of the most professional players in the game, and when he is not out there, it hurts any team that he is on.

The Rangers have been a resilient bunch all season under my pick for AL Manager of the Year Ron Washington. They have been able to survive a down year and injuries to Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler has been hurt at times, and they have had to deal with the growing pains of having such a young starting rotation.

I am not sure the Rangers will surive losing their leader for the stretch run. It might be too much to ask.

Fantasy Week In Review, July 27-August 2nd…

August 3, 2009

Believe it or not, there was more to last week than just the July 31st trading deadline. Hard to believe right? Well, the fantasy baseball season is in it’s final stretch. For a lot of leagues, August is the final month of the regular season.

That being said, I added a couple of more players to the potential pickups section in order to help your team out. Here are the fantasy studs, the players players of concern and the potential pickups for the week of July 27 – August 2nd.

Fantasy Studs

Jhonny Peralta – .407/3/12. Yes, the Cleveland Indians still have some major-league players left.

Gordon Beckham – .393/2/10 with one SB. With this second half surge, Beckham might win the American League Rookie of the Year.

Josh Willingham – .375/3/9. If a man hits two grand slams in one game, he is a fantasy stud.

Bobby Abreu – .500/1/8/.517 with two SB’s.  There are a lot of people who don’t like Abreu as a player, but there is one thing for sure – the man puts up numbers.

Matt Holliday – .536/3/8/.600. I think Holliday likes playing in front of people and in a pennant race. The complete opposite of playing in Oakland.

Tim Lincecum – 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 23 K’s in 17 IP. When Lincecum is on a roll like this, he is one of the most exciting pitchers to watch. Just spectacular.

Chris Carpenter – 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and seven K’s in 16 IP. Carpenter isn’t striking out many batters, but he is working efficiently and deep into games.

Cliff Lee – 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 10 K’s in 16 IP. American League, National League, it doesn’t matter to Lee. He is pitching lights out right now.

Reasons for Concern

Ian Kinsler – Kinsler was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring. Can this guy stay healthy just one year? Please? Fantasy owners are begging him.

This is a big loss not only to the Rangers, but to all fantasy owners who have Kinsler on their team. Kinsler was tied for second with Chase Utley for HR’s by a second baseman with 23 and was forth in RBI with 63.

George Sherrill – This might be one of the only issues people have with the trade deadline. In the blink of an eyelash, Sherrill went from valuable closer to useless fantasy set-up man.

Unless your league counts Holds as a stat or Jonathan Broxton gets hurt (I’ll knock on wood for all you Dodger fans), Sherrill has pretty much become useless for the purposes of fantasy baseball.

Potential Pickups

Jason Frasor – With current closer Scott Downs landing on the 15-day DL with a left big toe injury, Frasor becomes the defacto closer in Toronto. The Blue Jays are struggling, but Frasor should be able to get you a couple of saves down the stretch.

Clayton Richard – Richard went to the San Diego Padres in the Jake Peavy trade and now gets to pitch in the Yellowstone Park of baseball. I have always liked Richard, so if he can get any run support he could be valuable down the stretch.

Josh Reddick – The Boston Red Sox 22-year old rookie is off to a .364/1/2 in his first three major league games. With JD Drew and Jason Bay hurting, Reddick should be getting his AB’s in Boston.

Jim Johnson – Just as a pitcher can go from valuable closer to set-up guy, the complete opposite can happen to a set-up guy. With the trade of George Sherrill, the Baltimore Orioles’ Jim Johnson goes from set-up guy to potential closer in Baltimore.

Johnson has a 3.28 ERA and 14 Holds in 49.1 IP this year. Just like with Frasor, Johnson might get you some saves down the stretch.

Picking My 2009 American League All Star Team…

June 17, 2009

Yesterday, I picked my 2009 National League All Star team. So today, I will pick my 2009 American League All Star team.

Like yesterday, I will follow the same rules that American League manager, Joe Maddon has to follow. I will pick 33 players and each team in the American League has to have a representative.

Starters

C. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

1B. Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins

2B. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers

SS. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

3B. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

OF. Jason Bay, Boston Red Sox

OF. Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

OF. Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners

SP. Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals

Much like the National League, there were six positions set and three up for debate. At first base you can debate that Kevin Youkilis or Mark Teixeira could start for the AL. But if you look at the stats, Morneau is having a better all around year than both Youkilis and Teixeira.

Greinke gets the start for the AL

Greinke gets the start for the AL

At second base, I choose Ian Kinsler of Aaron Hill based on Kinlser having more HR’s, RBI and SB’s than Hill. Hill wasn’t too far behind in the HR and RBI category and is batting almost 40 points higher than Kinsler.

You could make the case for Zack Greinke, Roy Halladay or Justin Verlander to be the starting pitcher for the American League. I choose Greinke because of his almost record breaking April and he still leads the AL in ERA.

Reserves – Pitchers

Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Edwin Jackson, Detroit Tigers

Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Kevin Millwood, Texas Rangers

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox

Jonathon Papelbon, Boston Red Sox

Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees

Scott Downs, Toronto Blue Jays

Andrew Bailey, Oakland A’s

Picking the reserve pitchers in the AL was not an easy task. The most glaring omissions were Cliff Lee (2.88 ERA), Erik Bedard (2.47 ERA), and Brian Fuentes (leads AL in saves with 17).

The A’s needed a representative, which knocked Lee out of the game.

I also would have loved to put Frank Francisco and his 0.47 ERA on the team, but he has not pitched in about a month and is currently on the DL.

Reserves – Position Players

C. Victor Martinez, Cleveland Indians

C. AJ Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox

1B. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox

1B. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees

2B. Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays

SS. Jason Bartlett, Tampa Bay Rays

3B. Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers

3B. Michael Young, Texas Rangers

UTIL. Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays

OF. Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers

OF. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles

OF. Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays

Zobrist will be stretching in St Louis

Zobrist will be stretching in St Louis

If picking the reserve pitchers was not an easy task, then picking the reserve position players was an impossible task. I really don’t envy Joe Maddon.

I had to leave off stars like Miguel Cabrera, Adam Lind, Dustin Pedroia, Nick Markakis, Johnny Damon, Russell Branyan and Chone Figgins. All of those players have a legitimate case to be on this team.

Here is the player breakdown by team:

4. Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers

3. Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers

2. Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Seattle Mariners

1. Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Oakland A’s

What do you think of this team? Anyone I left off you feel should be on this team?

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.

2009, The Year Of The Second Basemen…

May 14, 2009

Normally, when I am drafting my fantasy team I like to take a top 2nd baseman early because there are so few good ones out there. That strategy has been blown out of the water this year because it is looking like 2009 will be the year of the 2nd baseman. Has anyone else noticed the depth of the 2nd base position this year? There are 15 to 16 2nd baseman right now who are having legit fantasy seasons and that doesn’t even include 4 other 2nd baseman who have the potential to be in the top 10 at the position.

Look at these fantasy numbers put up by 2nd baseman so far in 2009….

Aaron Hill – .357/9/30

Orlando Hudson – .343/3/20/.424 and 4 sb’s

Felipe Lopez – .328/4/9/.390 and 4 sb’s

Alberto Callaspo – .327/2/12

Ian Kinsler – .326/9/28 with 8 sb’s

Dustin Pedroia – .320/1/12 with 4 sb’s

Luis Castillo – .318/0/11/.392

Asdrubal Cabrera – .318/1/17 with 6 sb’s

Freddy Sanchez – .317/3/11

Robinson Cano – .313/6/18

Chase Utley – .294/10/23/.419

Brian Roberts – .281/4/13 with 4 sb’s

Akinori Iwamura – .277/0/12 with 7 sb’s

Rickie Weeks – .274/8/22

Brandon Phillips – .265/6/22 with 4 sb’s

Those are some pretty impressive stats through the 1st month and a half of the season. How about the performance of Aaron Hill so far? He has carried the Blue Jays and it looks like the side effects of the concussion he suffered last year have seized. Do I think he can keep up this pace? Probably not. I mean, he is on pace for Ruthian 50 Hr’s and about 163 RBI. I can see the average being there at the end but, it’s more likely Hill will end up with 25 HR’s and 80-85 RBI.

That list doesn’t even include 4 guys who are off to slow starts and have the ability to be a top 2nd baseman…

Howie Kendrick – .241/4/19

Kelly Johnson – .235/3/11

Dan Uggla – .193/4/20/.310

Jose Lopez – .248/3/19

Poor Dan Uggla, he really hasn’t been the same since that disastrous All-Star Game performance last year at Yankee Stadium. He hit .226 in the 2nd half last year and is off to a .193 start this year. I wonder if that game did permanent damage to Uggla mentally? It would be a shame if it did.

As you can see, you should have no excuse finding a quality 2nd baseman this year for your fantasy team.

Also, you may have have noticed a new Link Category to the right called MLB Memorabilia. The folks over at Bigflysports.com, who are fans of The Ghost of Moonlight Graham are happy to offer a 10% discount to all my readers.

Simply click on the link to Big Fly Sports and enter the Promo Code:  ICGHOSTS

Fantasy Week In Review 4/13-4/19…

April 20, 2009

We are now 2 weeks into the season and we have seen a lot of great and not so great fantasy performances so far from players. For the week of 4/13-4/19, here are the fantasy studs, the possible pickups and the players who have me concerned.

Fantasy Studs

Andre Ethier – .391/4/12. Who says Manny’s presence in the lineup doesn’t matter?

Carlos Pena – .333/4/12. As long as he stays healthy, a 30+ HR season for Pena is a lock.

Kinsler raked this week

Kinsler raked this week

Carlos Quentin – .333/5/9/.429. Quentin could have won the MVP last year. Looks like he is headed for another MVP season this year.

Ian Kinsler – .556/2/6. Anytime you go 6-6 in one game, you are a fantasy stud. I had Kinsler as the #1 2B headed into 2009 and so far he has not disappointed.

Raul Ibanez – .550/3/5. Hit a huge walk-off HR on Sunday and is making Phillies fans forget about Pat Burrell.

Zack Greinke – 2-0 0.00 era with 19 K in 14 IP. My pick for the Cy Young has a 34 consecutive scoreless inning streak going. Right now Greinke is the #1 fantasy pitcher in baseball.

Chad Billingsley – 2-0 2.77 era with 17 K in 13 IP. The ace of the Dodgers staff is off to a great start. Baring injury and with the Dodgers offense, Billingsley should win 16-20 games in 2009.

Heath Bell – 4/4 in save opportunities and a 0.00 era with 4 K in 4 IP. Bell is making the most out of his first chance at being a closer. He has dominated the Mets and Phillies in back to back series this week.

Reason for Concern

Matt Holliday – .286/0/7/.286. The 7 RBI for the week is acceptable but 0 walks and no HR’s is not. Holliday has not yet homered this season and now the question is being asked…is Holliday just a product of Coors field?

Chien-Ming Wang – 61.71 era with 14 H, 16 R in just 2.1 IP. Wang has a 34.50 era on the season. I watched that game on Saturday and Wang has about as much confidence as the employees of GM had in Rick Wagoner. There is talk of putting Wang on the DL just to get him straight.

Joel Hanrahan – 0/2 in save opportunities with a 12.00 in 3 IP. Nothing is more demoralizing to a bad team when they are actually winning and their closer blows a save. Hanrahan accomplished this feat on back to back days. He does have 8 K’s in 5 IP on the season so it seems like it is a control issue rather than a stuff issue.

David Ortiz – .148/0/2. The Monster Formally Known As David Ortiz is off to a real rough start. His bat looks slow and he is fouling off very hittable pitches. Perhaps he will get hot as the season moves on. This year’s Carlos Delgado?

Vladimir Guerrero – Put on the 15 Day DL with a torn pectoral muscle. Anyone who watched Guerrero for the 1st month of the season will tell you he looked like one of those over the hill NBA Centers who look awkward and struggle to get up and down the court. He is now out until May and it clearly looks like his best years are behind him.

Potential Pickups

John Buck – .357/2/7. If need a catcher, Buck might be a good pick up. With the Royals having a tough time scoring runs they need all the offense they can get. Buck is a better offensive player than Olivo and might start stealing some ab’s from him.

Kosuke Fukudome – .333/1/6/.480. Out of Piniella’s doghouse and into the #2 hole in the Cubs batting order where Fukudome should score plenty of runs. Also, if you league value’s OBP, then Fukudome is your guy.

Manny Corpas – New Rockie’s closer. The Huston Street experiment failed and Corpas is now the closer. If he is still available in your league, he will get his save opportunities in Colorado.

Phil Hughes – With rumors swirling that Wang might be headed to the DL, it would be a good idea to pick up Hughes now before someone else does. Hughes would be the logical choice to replace Wang and you could get 3-4 starts out of him.

Rangers Come Out Swinging….

April 10, 2009

One of the more interesting matchups the first week of the season was the Indians vs the Rangers. 2 teams that can slug the ball but 2 teams that have high aspirations heading into 2009. And boy, did the Rangers make a statement.

Kinsler had a huge series

Kinsler had a huge series

The Rangers swept and outslugged the Indians, a team many predicted to win the AL Central 29-14 in the 3 game series. They hit .346 with 7 HR’s, a rediculous OPS of 1.059 and were led by Ian Kinsler (.500/1/6, 13 total bases) and Nelson Cruz (.364/2/4, 10 total bases). The Rangers also made Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona and Carl Pavano look like minor league pitchers. Heck, things were going so well over the 3 game series that even Andruw Jones went 3 for 5 one game.

We all know the Rangers can hit. There lineup is one of the best in baseball. It will be up to their pitching staff to hold up their end of the bargain. In the 3 game series against the Indians, the Rangers got solid solid starts from Kevin Millwood and Brandon McCarthy. I know McCarty only went 5 innings and threw 105 pitches but that is better than what most Rangers starters do. McCarthy is the real wild card of the pitching staff. It seems McCarthy has been around forever (like Kyle Davies) but he is only 25 years old (also like Davies). If he can give the Rangers innings, quality starts and finally realize his potential, the boys of Texas will be in line to challenge the injury and emotionally riddled Angels.