Posts Tagged ‘Pat Burrell’

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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Where Have You Gone Pat The Bat?

July 31, 2009

When talking about the biggest free agent signing busts from this past offseason, we often reference Milton Bradley of the Chicago Cubs or Oliver Perez of the New York Mets. Well, I think it is time we start referencing another player as a free agent bust. That player is the Tampa Bay Rays’ Pat Burrell.

When the Rays signed Burrell to a two-year $16 million contract in the offseason, I thought it was a great move. Here was a guy who averaged 27 HR’s, 91 RBI, and a .367 OBP from 2000-2008, he was a clear upgrade at DH over the Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske combination of last year, and I thought he along with Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria, would give the Rays one of the best three-four-five hitters in the game.

Burrell's wife is looking much better than Burrell these days

Burrell's wife is looking much better than Burrell these days

Because of injuries and just plain being terrible, Burrell has been a major disappointment for the Rays this year. He is hitting a Kevin Stocker-esque .219 with just seven HR’s and 37 RBI in 70 games for the Rays. Not exactly what the Rays were looking for.

I can understand the average dipping a little bit at the age of 32. Burrell was never a great contact hitter as his .257 average from 2000-2008 suggests. But where is the power? He is averaging a HR every 33.9 AB’s this year. Much worse than his 18.6 HR/AB average for the previous nine years.

The Rays are seven games out of first place in the AL East and are four and a half games behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race. If the Rays plan on making one last run at a playoff berth in 2009, not only do they need their starting pitching to step up, but they also need Pat Burrell to start hitting like he is used to.

Assessing The Burrell Signing…

January 5, 2009

As reported earlier today by MLBTradeRumors.com the Tampa Bay Rays signed former Phillies LF, Pat Burrell to a 2-year $16MM deal. This is a great move by the defending American League champs. Burrell will be the Rays primary DH (He clearly can no longer play left) in 2009 and will add depth to an already potent offense.

The Burrell signing helps the Rays in 2 areas. First, the Rays struggled against LH pitching in 2008 (.246 avg, .330 obp, .726 ops) and Burrell killed LH pitching in 2008 (.279 avg, .406 obp, .952 ops). Burrell is a HUGE upgrade over the Rays 2 primary choices at DH against lefties, Jonny Gomes and Willie Aybar. Second, Burrell gives the Rays an upgrade at the DH position overall. Burrell last year put up a solid .250/33/86/.367 while the Rays 2 primary DH’s throughout the course of the season, Cliff Floyd and Jonny Gomes combined to put up a less than spectacular .225/19/56/.316.

Here is what the Rays lineup might look like 2009:

1. Iwamura

2. Upton

3. Crawford

4. Longoria

5. Pena

6. Burrell

7. Joyce

8. Navarro

9. Bartlett

As Rob Neyer points out the Rays took advantage of a buyer’s market and signed a solid player in Burrell. Does this signing guarantee the Rays will win the American League East again? It remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure….the Rays are serious about winning and won’t be going away any time soon