Posts Tagged ‘Jarrod Saltalamacchia’

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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Saltalamacchia Pulled From Winter Ball Game With Injury

January 9, 2010

Update

I just wanted to update a story I covered about a month ago.

Saltalamacchia met with Dr. Greg Pearl on Friday morning and has been cleared to begin baseball activities yet again. As a matter of fact, Saltalamacchia felt so good yesterday, he joined fellow Rangers Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, and Craig Gentry for some batting practice with hitting coach Clint Hurdle.

The reason for Saltalamacchia’s set back in December? He came back to early. A procedure like the one Saltalamacchia had requires 12 weeks of recovery time and he tried to come back in about seven weeks.

Saltalamacchia should be ready for spring training and good to go for Opening Day.

Original Post

According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, Texas Rangers’ catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was pulled from his winder ball game in the Dominican Republic Wednesday because he was experiencing tingling and numbness in his right arm.

Saltalamacchia will be examined by the Texas Rangers’ medical staff on Friday.

Saltalamacchia's arm is acting up again

This injury is nothing new for Saltalamacchia. Towards the end of last season, Saltalamacchia came down with thoracic outlet syndrome. That’s a condition in which a rib bone pushes against an artery or nerve in the shoulder, causing tingling and numbness in the arm.

Saltalamacchia had surgery for the condition in September.

Saltalamacchia came over to the Rangers in the Mark Teixeira trade in 2007 and to be honest, I feel he has been a little bit of a disappointment so far in a Rangers’ uniform.

In 2009, Saltalamacchia hit just .233 with a .290 OBP in 310 AB’s. He really hasn’t yet to emerge as the offensive player many thought he would be.

In all fairness to Saltalamacchia, he is still only 24-years-old, so there is still plenty of time for him to develop into an offensive threat.

You know what’s funny? At the end of the 2008 season, the Rangers had Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, and Gerald Laird on the roster and everyone, including the Rangers thought they had a surplus of catching.

The Rangers sent Laird to the Detroit Tigers before the 2009 season. Then Saltalamacchia got hurt, so the Rangers needed a catcher.

The Rangers then went out and brought Ivan Rodriguez back to Texas. Now, if Saltalamacchia’s arm injuries persist, the Rangers might be forced to add another catcher this offseason.

This just proves there is no such thing as a surplus of anything in Major League Baseball. This is why I don’t think the Atlanta Braves should trade Javier Vazquez or Derek Lowe.

They’ll trade one of them and in July and then the Braves will be looking for a pitcher because someone else got hurt or is not living up to expectations. It’s inevitable.

If the Rangers don’t feel comfortable about Saltalamacchia’s arm, they could always bring back Rodriguez for the 2010 season.

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

2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team

September 16, 2009

With most teams having roughly 18-20 games left on their schedule, I think its’ safe to say we know by now which players were surprises and which players were busts in 2009.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the All-Fantasy Breakout Team. As for today, I think we will take a look at who were the fantasy busts in 2009.

These are the players who owners drafted very high in hopes that these players would lead their team to fantasy supremacy in 2009. Instead, these players fell flat on their faces because of various reasons and cost owners hundreds of dollars.

Without any further adieu, here is the 2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team sponsored by the Julio Lugo, Co. “Nobody Knows Sucking Like A Lugo.”

Honorable Mentions – Chris Iannetta, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, JJ Hardy, Rick Ankiel, Kevin Gregg, Garrett Atkins, Lance Berkman, Alfonso Soriano, Manny Ramirez, Jake Peavy

CatcherGeovany Soto, .222/10/40

After winning the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year award with a .285/23/86 hitting line, many owners expected a repeat performance from Soto in 2009. Not so much.

Davis has not lived up to the hype

Davis has not lived up to the hype

First Base – Chris Davis, .216/19/49

This was a close call between Lance Berkman and Chris Davis, but because Davis was so ridiculously over-hyped, Davis wins it. Everyone’s preseason man-crush has fallen flat on his face in 2009.

Things got so bad for Davis that he was sent to the minors in the middle of the season. That my friends, is a bust.

Second Base – Mike Fontenot, .232/9/40

Second base was the hardest position to pick a fantasy bust because so many two-baggers are either having breakout years or their typical years. Fontenot on the other hand, is having neither.

At this point in the season, Fontenot has roughly 100 more AB’s than last year and has the same amount of HR’s (nine), RBI (40), six less runs scored, and his average is 72 points lower than last years.

Not what the Cubs or fantasy owners were expecting this year.

Shortstop – Jose Reyes, .279/2/15

I had a dilemma with this pick. Do I pick the guy who has just sucked all year in JJ Hardy? Or do I pick the guy who has missed the majority of the year with an injury in Jose Reyes?

I will go with Reyes because Reyes, who was taken in the first two rounds in most leagues and crippled a lot of fantasy teams this year. Reyes went on the DL on May 26th and was never heard from again.

Third Base – Alex Gordon, .202/4/12

This was supposed to be the breakout year for Alex Gordon. That’s what I was telling myself when I drafted Gordon in my league. Instead, 2009 has been a disaster for the Royals young third baseman.

Gordon got off to an awful start in April, then had hip surgery, came back, got sent to the minors, and now is back up again. I am not even sure if Gordon is worth keeping in my Keeper League at this point.

Outfield – Milton Bradley, .260/12/39

It seemed like everyone knew this was going to happen except Chicago Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry. Bradley is like the movie GI Joe. Sure, we all knew it was going to suck, but we kind of wanted to see it any way just to see how bad it was going to be.

I mean 39 RBI in 121 games? Pathetic

Outfield – Josh Hamilton, .270/10/49

Hamilton was the feel good story of the 2008 season. His performance in the HR Derby was stuff of legend and he put up a .304/32/130 hitting line.

2009 has been a lost season for Hamilton. He has been hurt the majority of the year and really never found his groove at the plate.

Outfield – Magglio Ordonez, .296/7/40

From 2006-2008, Ordonez averaged 24 HR’s and 115 RBI. In 2009, Ordonez’s power has vanished faster than the storyline’s on Entourage.

Very puzzling how Ordonez has kept his average up, but has lost all his power.

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Starting Pitcher – Francisco Liriano, 5-12 with a 5.71 ERA

Like Alex Gordon previously, this was supposed to be the year for Liriano. He was two years removed from Tommy John surgery, the Minnesota Twins were expected to compete in the AL Central, and at 25, Liriano was going to mature into an ace.

None of the above happened. Liriano is one of the main reasons the Twins are not in first place and is now pitching out of the bullpen

Starting Pitcher – Daisuke Matsuzaka, 1-5 with a 8.23 ERA

Matsuzaka won 18 games in 2008. Going into last night’s action, Matsuzaka has won a grand total of 1 game in 2009.

Fantasy owners can thank Bud Selig’s marketing ploy, otherwise known as the World Baseball Classic for this.

Starting Pitcher – Brandon Webb, 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA

Last year, Webb was 22-7 with a 3.30 ERA and finished second in the Cy Young voting for the second year in a row. All fantasy owners got out of Webb this year, was one lousy start.

Webb was the third overall pick in my league and in most leagues went in the first two rounds. If your first or second pitcher taken doesn’t win a game during the season, it usually spells doom for your team.

Closer – Brad Lidge, 0-7 with a 7.18 ERA and 10 blown saves

Despite having 29 saves this year, Lidge has been a fantasy disaster all season. He doesn’t have a win, he leads the majors in blown saves, and has killed fantasy owners all year long in the ERA category. His WHIP is 1.823 which is not helping the situation either.

Ivan Rodriguez Reunited With Texas Rangers…

August 18, 2009

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is going back to the team he started with almost 18 years ago. Today, the Texas Rangers acquired the 14-time All-Star catcher from the Houston Astros for minor league reliever Matt Nevarez and the infamous “Player to be Named Later.”

Pudge is heading back to Texas

Pudge is heading back to Texas

The Rangers were looking for a backup catcher since they put Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the 15-Day DL on Saturday with a sore right arm. I am guessing the Rangers think Saltalamacchia’s injury might be more serious than first thought because they didn’t waste any time acquiring Rodriguez.

Will this move help the Rangers seal the deal in the AL Wild Card race or help catch the Los Angeles of Anaheim in the AL West? Probably not. Pudge isn’t that type of impact player anymore.

What Pudge will give the Rangers is a solid backup and a guy who has won in Texas before. There aren’t too many players on this Texas team who have won anything in their careers.

Pudge has already been told he will serve as Taylor Teagarden’s backup. A move Pudge was apparently fine with.

Pudge was hitting .251 with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 93 games with the Astros this year.

Remember, you can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theghostofmlg

Fantasy Week In Review, August 10-16…

August 17, 2009

I can’t believe there is only about a month and a half left in the baseball season. Just as important, most most leagues there is only about 2 weeks left in the regular season.

As always, here are the fantasy studs, the many players who have me concerned, and the potential pickups for the fantasy week of August 10 – 16.

Fantasy Studs

Ryan Howard – .391/4/11/.500. Howard is starting to heat up, but with only 30 homeruns he will be hard pressed to hit 45+ homeruns for the the forth straight year.

Troy Tulowitzki – .407/3/10. At the beginning of the year, I wrote a piece “Can Tulo bounce back?” Yes, he can.

Hunter Pence – .290/4/10. Pence hit a HUGE HR against the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday. The fact that he refuses to walk is concerning (zero walks last week), but as long as he keeps hitting like this, nobody will have a problem.

Jonny Gomes – .400/4/9. Gomes was the latest player to hit three HR’s in a game when he hit three HR’s against the Washington Nationals last week.

Gonzalez raked last week

Gonzalez raked last week

Gomes could be this year’s version of Nelson Cruz. Cruz helped a lot of fantasy teams down the stretch last year.

Adrian Gonzalez – .633/3/8. I still haven’t figured out why teams (especially ones in contention) pitch to him. Makes no sense to me.

Randy Wolf – 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 13 K’s in 15.2 IP. Wolf came up aces yesterday for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wolf has a .600 lifetime winning percentage in September and October, so expect Wolf to continue his success down the stretch.

Cliff Lee – 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 12 K’s in 15 IP. Third straight week Lee has been a fantasy stud. I think Lee really, really, really likes the National League.

Jorge De La Rosa – 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 20 K’s in 13.1 IP. You could like to see De La Rosa get his innings up, but he has been one of the main reasons the Colorado Rockies are leading the NL Wild Card race.

Reasons for Concern

Erik Bedard – Bedard is this year’s Ben Sheets. He is a free agent after the season and was in-line for a nice payday in the offseason, but season ending surgery derailed any chance of that happening.

Bedard had surgery on Friday to fix a torn labrum and an inflamed bursa. He might might not be ready for Opening Day in 2010.

Joba Chamberlain – 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA. The New York Yankees are sometimes like the trust fund baby who, if they just played it straight everything would work out. But every now and then, the trust fund baby does some drugs and screws it all up.

This is what the Yankees have done with Chamberlain. Chamberlain came out of the All-Star break firing on all cylinders, he was pitching better than he ever was before, and then the Yankees started screwing around with his rest because of some silly pitch count limit.

Chamberlain now has a 6.75 ERA in August. Keep tabs on this situation. If the Yankees continue to mess with Chamberlain, he might not have as much fantasy value down the stretch.

Penny was terrible on Saturday night

Penny was terrible on Saturday night

Brad Penny – 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 14 hits allowed in 11.2 IP. The Brad Penny experiment is starting to get old in Boston in a hurry.

Penny’s performance on Saturday night was embarrassing. Penny was mentally not into the game and allowed the Texas Rangers to run all over him (six SB’s while Penny was on the mound).

If Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka came back in September, I would imagine Penny would be out of the rotation.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Placed on the 15-Day DL with a sore right arm. I was watching the game Friday night between the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers and I was wondering what the heck was wrong with Saltalamacchia?

He was having such a hard time throwing the ball back to the pitcher. I guess I now know why. Saltalamacchia was only batting .239 before this injury, so he might not be missed to much on your fantasy team.

David Wright – Placed on the 15-Day DL with post-concussion symptoms. I saw David Wright get hit in the head with a Matt Cain 94 mph fastball as it happened, and didn’t think Wright would make it back to his feet.

The ball hit him flush in the helmet. Though Wright was placed on the only the 15-Day DL, don’t expect Wright back in 2009. There is no reason for him to play with the New York Mets so far our of the playoff race.

Potential Pickups

Any pitcher vs. the New York Mets – With now David Wright out of the lineup, the Mets might have the worst lineup in baseball. Their best hitter might be Jeff Franouer and he has a .296 OBP for the season.

Here are the pitchers who will face the Mets this week:

Joe Martinez, Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami, Cole Hamels, JA Happ, Pedro Martinez

Looking At Fantasy Catchers in 2009….

February 16, 2009

There might be no other position in baseball where the difference between #1 and #30 is so great. That is the dilemma fantasy owners face when it comes time to draft a catcher. If you don’t get one of the 10 best, then you are really stuck picking from the bottom of the barrel. To make sure you don’t draft the bottom of the barrel guy, here are the 2009 fantasy rankings for catchers.

Johnny Bench Division

These are the best of the best at the catcher position. These are the guys you want to draft as your #1 catcher

1. Joe Mauer, Twins – Despite offseason kidney surgery, Mauer remains the #1 fantasy catcher in baseball. The 2-time batting champ won’t get you home runs, but will get you rbi’s, obp, avg and hits.

2. Brian McCann, Braves

3. Geovany Soto, Cubs

4. Russell Martin, Dodgers – Martin slipped a little in 2008 by posting lower avg, hr and rbi totals than he did in 2007. I expect Martin to have a bounce back year in 2009 and Martin does steal bases (49 career sb’s in 3 seasons) which makes him unique amongst catchers.

5. Chris Iannetta, Rockies – Ladies and gentleman, your 2009 fantasy breakout catcher. In only 333 ab’s in 2008, Iannetta posted a .261/18/65/.390 line. At 25 and now the Rockies #1 catcher headed into the season, Iannetta should break out in 2009. If Iannetta can get to 140 games caught, expect a .275/24/85/.380 stat line.

Ted Simmons Division

These catchers are a notch below the top 5 but can serve as #1 catchers on your fantasy team. Like Ted Simmons, these catchers don’t grab the headlines but can put up some nice stats for your team.

6. Bengie Molina, Giants – Quick, how many people knew that Molina put up a .292/16/95 line last year? The best hitting Molina brother had close to 100 rbi last year…amazing. The reason Molina doesn’t crack the top 5 is because he is 34 and will be hard pressed to duplicate last season. .278/15/75 is more likely for Molina this year.

7. Victor Martinez, Indians

8. Mike Napoli, Angels – Napoli smacked an impressive 20 hr in just 227 ab’s last season for the Angels. Napoli is not the best defensive catcher in the world, which hurts his playing time. If Napoli can improve behind the plate, it will mean more ab’s. 25-30 hr’s is not out of the question for Napoli in 2009.

9. Ryan Doumit, Pirates – Occasionally the Pirates will have someone who makes a top 10 list. Because Doumit plays on the Pirates, he flew under the radar last season. He posted a nice .318/15/69 while playing in a career high 116 games. Doumit never hit more than .274 with 9 hr’s in a season before last season so there is a chance that last season was a fluke. I don’t think it was. Look for Doumit to post similar numbers again in 2009.

Terry Steinbach Division

Much like Steinbach for most of his career, these catchers are good for 10-15 hr’s and 50-60 rbi.

10. Chris Snyder, Diamondbacks

11. Jorge Posada, Yankees – After having a career year in 2007, Posada missed much of the 2008 season with a shoulder injury. Now at 37, Posada is at the tail end of his career and his .338/20/90 2007 might have been his last great fantasy season. Look for Posada to have a season similar to his 1999 season. Which was a .245/12/57 line.

12. Ramon Hernandez, Reds

13. AJ Pierzynski, White Sox

14. Brandon Inge, Tigers – Inge is slated to be the Tigers opening day 3B headed into 2009 but he does qualify at the catcher position based on his work from last season. Inge has much more value as a catcher than he does a 3b. 10-15 hr’s and 50-60 rbi is realistic for Inge.

Terry Kennedy Division

The very last guys you want to take before you head down Desperation Rd.

15. Dioner Navarro, Rays

16. Kelly Shoppach, Indians – Shoppach enjoyed a breakout season in 2008 due mainly to the absence of Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner. Now with both players back, it will be difficult for Shoppach to crack the lineup. However, it’s worth taking a flier on Shoppach because if Hafner can’t make it back from injury, then he might get some time at DH.

Tony Pena Division

If any of these guys are your #1 catcher headed into the season, then you might be in serious trouble.

17. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rangers

18. Gerald Laird, Tigers

19. Jason Varitek, Red Sox

20. Yadier Molina, Cardinals

21. Kenji Johjima, Mariners

22. Kurt Suzuki, A’s

23. Miguel Olivo, Royals

24. Rod Barajas, Blue Jays

25. Jason Kendall, Brewers

26. Nick Hundley, Padres

27. Brian Schneider, Mets

28. John Baker, Marlins

29. Humberto Quintero, Astros

30. Jesus Flores, Nationals

31. Gregg Zaun, Orioles

Matt Wieters Division

32. Matt Wieters, Orioles – This is Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria part 3. Clearly ready for the majors, Wieters will most likely start the season off in AAA because the team wants to delay an arbitration year. When he is eventually is called up, Wieters has the ability to be a top 5 catcher. A switch-hitting catcher with his power comes along only so often. If you are in a keeper league and need a catcher, Wieters should be your #1 choice.

So there you have the catcher fantasy rankings for 2009. As you can see, almost half the league is undraftable. Make sure you get 1 of those top 10 guys, because if you get stuck with Brian Schneider, then it might be a long season ahead.