Posts Tagged ‘Jason Kendall’

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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Rockies Add A Catcher, Sign Miguel Olivo

January 5, 2010

Tired of haggling over contract specifics with Yorvit Torrealba, the Colorado Rockies decided to move in another direction to fill their need for a catcher.

According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the Rockies have signed former Kansas City Royals’ catcher Miguel Olivo to a one-year, $2 million contract. The Rockies also have a club option for $2.5 million for 2011.

Olivo will replace Torrealba in Colorado

The Olivo signing means that Torrealba will have a new team in 2010. While it might be tough for Olivo to replace Torrealba’s leadership, this is not a bad signing for the Rockies.

Olivo will compete with Chris Iannetta to be the Rockies’ starting catcher in 2010. Last year, Olivo hit 23 home runs with a .249 average in 114 games for the Royals last season.

Yeah, I know he refuses to walk. But not everyone in a lineup can be Jack Cust. If Olivo can hit a home run every 18 AB’s like he did last year and play decent defense, the Rockies will take it.

Defensively, Olivo threw out 28.2 percent of the base runners attempting to steal a base last season. That percentage ranked third amongst American League catchers last season.

To put in perspective, the Rockies signed Olivo to a one-year deal and the team he left–the Royals–signed Jason Kendall to a two-year deal. I believe Olivo is the better player.

I wrote about the differences between Olivo and Kendall here.

As to where this leaves Torrealba? I think he will have a couple of options.

I believe the New York Mets could be interested if they can’t come to terms with Bengie Molina. I also believe the San Francisco Giants could be a possibility as well. I believe they don’t think Buster Posey is ready to be a full-time starting catcher yet and Torrealba could serve as a nice mentor to Posey.

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

The Royals Get Worse, Sign Jason Kendall

December 12, 2009

Update: Kendall’s contract is officially for two-years and $6 million total. Kendall will get $2.5 million in 2010 and $3.5 million in 2011. Kendall can also make $250 thousand in incentives.

This deal is getting worse by the minute.

Original Post

Who knew that Brian Schneider was such a trend setter.

Thanks to him, mediocre catchers everywhere are getting two-year contracts. Latest example–Jason Kendall.

The Kansas City Royals late this afternoon signed Kendall to a two-year deal to be their starting catcher in 2010. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but it is expected that Kendall signed a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million.

Kendall signed with the Royals

The Royals are one of those teams I have followed closely for about 20 years and moves like this drive me nuts. What is the point of signing Kendall?

Kendall has no value what so ever. He can’t help a team win and all the Royals continue to do is sign these below average players to contracts and keep spinning their wheels.

Mike Jacobs, Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Guillen, Willie Bloomquist, Yuniesky Betancourt (via trade) and now Kendall have all been brought in by GM Dayton Moore over the last couple of years. The reality is, they should have never been brought in at all.

The Royals need to get better by drafting better and scouting better. They are not going to get better by throwing money around to players who have no value.

Just because you spend money, it’s not going to get the fan base excited. Fans today–and especially Royal fans–are too smart for that. A fan base gets excited when you sign players who they believe can help their team win.

And here is the kicker with Kendall–he is not even better than what the Royals had last year. With this signing, the Royals have actually gotten worse.

I know Miguel Olivo doesn’t walk. Okay, I get that. But in 2009, Olivo had a .781 OPS, hit 23 home runs, threw out 28 percent of the baserunners running against him, and had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.2.

Kendall on the other hand in 2009, had a .636 OPS, hit two home runs, threw out just 20 percent of the baserunners running against him, and had a WAR of 1.2.

And one last thing–Olivo is four-years younger than Kendall. If the Royals wanted a fringe catcher for 2010, why not just work on re-signing Olivo?

Oh wait, that would make too much sense.

For what it’s worth, Kendall will be entering his 15th season in the major leagues and has played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers.

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

Brewers Find New Starting Catcher, Sign Gregg Zaun

December 6, 2009

On Friday, the Milwaukee Brewers signed catcher Gregg Zaun to a one-year, $1.9 million contract with an option for 2011 for $2.5 million.

Zaun signed with the Brewers because not only was the price right for Milwaukee, but Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin told Zaun he would be the number one catcher going into spring training.

Zaun will be the Brewers No. 1 catcher in 2010

While I don’t have an issue with the Brewers signing Zaun, I do have an issue with him being the team’s number one catcher in 2010.

I understand the catching market is weak and Jason Kendall wore out his welcome in Milwaukee, but I hard time believing that a team that is going to be a contender, or hopes to be a contender in 2010 has Zaun as their starting catcher.

Zaun, who will be 39 at the start of the 2010 season, is what he is at this point. He is a backup, who hits .250 with little, and shouldn’t be catching more than 60-70 games with the Brewers. In 2010, the Brewers will ask Zaun to catch 110+ games.

I wouldn’t mind Zaun as the Brewers’ starting catcher if this was 2008. That year the Brewers had a powerful lineup and they could afford to have a Zaun type hitter in their lineup.

In 2010, the Brewers will have a lineup that features Carloz Gomez, Zaun and the pitcher. That’s three automatic outs in a nine batter lineup–one too many.

Those three coupled with who knows what they are going to get with Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart–the Brewers might struggle to score runs in 2010.

Of course if you have a very good starting rotation, then you can live with a mediocre offense. The problem is the Brewers don’t have a very good starting rotation.

However, this offseason is still young and there is plenty of time for the Brewers to improve their pitching staff. Tim Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggests the Brewers have around $12 or so remaining in their budget to spend on free agents.

The Brewers need to sign a pitcher or two this offseason to help off set what appears to be a mediocre Brewers’ offense in 2010.

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

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.