Monday, May 25, 2015
it's a little bit sad.
This season, a lot of the sportswriters, leading up to the opening, picked the Indians to do relatively well, citing their promising pitching staff, and slowly building roster.
I mean...they're okay. They've won some games, lost some games, etc. But they're not accomplishing huge things. with the exception of maybe Kluber and, of course, Michael Brantley, who's finally coming into his own, and mashing the hell out of the ball on a consistent basis.
I'm not sure if they can pick it back up, but I can only hope.
(not a lot for tonight. kind of tired.)
Coming Tomorrow- The other huge NL pitching signing. This one's in Chicago.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
When the postseason began, and people began to get gobbled up, people started posting their opinions on the inter webs about who was a good deal, and who was not worth a damn thing. And I saw, a bunch of times, articles on ESPN or SI or whatever, saying DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER SIGN JAMES SHIELDS.
Which was news to me.
I mean it, they had articles saying 'if you're thinking that these people will get signed quickly, think again, because given a high contract, they could be trouble.' And James Shields kept showing up on these lists. And that was...surprising, because Shields had a wonderful season in Kansas City last year, and has been one of the more reliable pitchers out there for the last couple seasons. So I was like, 'people don't WANT this guy? Hmm."
And sure enough, months went by, and he was still on the table. Him and Scherzer. And I'm like "you can't seriously expect me to believe that people don't WANT THESE GUYS. Max Scherzer's one of the best pitcher in baseball, and James Shields was a huge part of why that Royals team got to the World Series. WHAT GIVES?" And I was worried that he wouldn't get signed, which is the kind of thing you'd worry about over a 38 year-old.
But, lo and behold, San Diego came through and snatched him, because I think San Diego's GM said "what, we don't have HIM yet?? We've got everybody else." And so they grabbed him, threw him on the rotation, realized they had a Shields-Ross-Cashner-Kennedy combo, and cheered.
So far, James Shields has been pretty great for the Padres, throwing some nice games, nabbing some wins, and being the dominant, strikeout-throwing presence he was in the AL. So I don't think people should be too worried. If he starts becoming Roy Oswalt and stops being competent halfway through the contract, THEN I'd get worried.
But yeah, Shields is playing pretty well. So, to all those guys who said 'DON'T SIGN HIM!', well...nyeehhhh!
Coming Tomorrow- The Indians are a non-factor this season, but slowly, and surely, their top hitter is definitely becoming a factor.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
I'm not sure that the Astros are still the hot issue in the MLB, but I still think it's fantastic that a team made up of farm system call-ups, and maybe one or two minor contracts, is doing THIS WELL in the standings. Like, even the Angels, who are made up of almost entirely contracts, are behind them in the standings.
Luis Valbuena, as of a couple days ago at least, was high up in the charts, with 10 home runs, and a nice sized BA. This is great for him, as the last few seasons haven't especially been eventful for him, as he was with the Cubs, and he was...serviceable, but not really a major player. Now, he's hitting well, and becoming a very nice piece of the offensive in Houston. Him, Altuve, Gattis and Springer are all leading this charge of batters.
And again, I really want this to keep going, but I don't know if it will. The Angels are definitely a strong force, and if Freese and Trout keep hitting, they could be dangerous down the road. So as much as I'd like the Astros to waltz to the end, I'm not 100% sure if they will. But...it'd be kind of nice if they did, I guess.
Coming Tomorrow- One of the two HUGE PITCHER SIGNINGS this year (that I haven't made a custom of yet, so sorry Scherzer fans). This one's the one that landed in San Diego.
The really crappy part about the Phillies being successful for a nice chunk of time from 2008 to 2012 was that, because we gobbled up stars like cashews, our farm system...was not great. We gave people like Michael Bourn, Jon Singleton, Carlos Carrasco, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Villar and Jarred Cosart away to various teams (mostly the Astros), in exchange for people that didn't do all that much for us (Cliff Lee being the exception).
So now that the Phillies are sucking, they now have a chance to hang onto their prospect, and also gain ones from people trading for THEIR bigger contracts. Which means Odubel Herrera has his chance to shine, steal bases and be a fun player...in a Phillies uniform.
I'm gonna say it right now: I really, really like Odubel Herrera. I saw it in Spring Training, I said 'this guy will be good for us this year', and lo and behold, he's stealing bases and hitting and doing so well, even when the Phils don't (which is quite often this season). I think he's the burst of fun that this roster needed, because Utley and Howard are getting old (at least Howard's hitting), and Ben Revere cannot hit. Herrera is young, he's powerful, and he's a lot of fun to watch.
I would love to see this guy become like a Bobby Abreu-like presence in Philly, staying for a ton of seasons and gaining a huge load of fans. I know it's a lot to ask of a guy who just started this year, but it'd be kind of nice.
Coming Tonight- Hey, did I mention the Astros are doing really well? Here's a guy who left a subpar Cubs team and is hitting up a storm in Houston.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Boy, haven't heard THAT one since the late 2000's.
That's right, folks. Now that Josh Donaldson, Derek Norris and Brandon Moss have all flown the coop, and Coco Crisp is basically out the door, the A's are back to what they were at the top of the decade- a decaying, depleted, desperate-to-rebuild kind of team.
Josh Reddick, along with Sonny Gray and Stephen Vogt, is among the few sources of power that the A's have left. Reddick has been back to his old tricks, hitting for average and for distance, all while erasing memories of his torrid 2014. Only problem is he's just one guy, and the rest of the team isn't doing very well.
It doesn't help that their division is very tough, filled with a lot of pitcher-bashing offenses, and a lot of pitchers that specialize in mowing down shitty offenses. If you had to face Felix Hernandez multiple times in a season, you'd be hurting too.
I don't know if the Athletics will get out of their current rut, but it's between them and the Rangers, and thanks to Prince Fielder, the Rangers might be staying out of last for a little while.
Coming Tomorrow- A reminder that the Phillies can indeed win games, and that their farm system is flourishing now that they're in last.
Well, we were worried for a while, but Bryce Harper is FINALLY becoming the powerhouse that we all thought he would be when he came up in 2012. I mean, the last two seasons were mighty uneventful on the Harper front, as he was either injured or cold, but now, in May 2015, Bryce Harper is hitting up a goddamned storm.
He didn't have the greatest April, just FYI. He hit a few homers, did some stuff, and basically made some room for the Mets and Braves to take the lead. But once May started? Phenomenal. He's currently topping the NL Home run list, and is powering his team into the leading circle of the NL East. This is the Bryce Harper that the Nats needed to base their team around.
I don't know how far Harper will go. I dunno if he'll keep hitting throughout the season or snag an MVP or anything, but this is very promising. The guy is giving the fans something to cheer about, and living up to the hype.
Coming Tonight: In 2013, this guy was the talk of the bay area. In 2014, he went cold like no one else. Now...he's back, especially when his team desperately needs some hits.
Adrian Beltre hit his 400th home run last week. This is a guy who's had a string of really nice seasons, and flown under the radar for a while until finally breaking it big. I swear, this is the guy that saved these Rangers teams from going completely under after Young, Hamilton and Kinsler all left. Beltre would keep hitting home runs and making All Star teams, lifting the team on his back.
I don't know 100% if Adrian Beltre's a hall of famer or not. He has some nice numbers, for sure, but he was never really a household name. He's been very good for quite a while, and is setting a standard, but for a lot of people, he's not a Hall of Famer. Maybe the case will be better in a few years, or if he hits some more home runs or something, but as it stands, he'll stay on the ballot for a while but I doubt anything will come of it.
Coming Today (or tonight): The man whose bat has caught fire this month, the exact time his team needs it.