NL East Recap 10-3

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 03-10-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Kennedy, Alberto Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen, Anibal Sanchez, Billy Wagner, Braves, Brian Burres, Brooks Conrad, Clay Hensley, Cole Hamels, Dan Uggla, Danys Baez, Derrek Lee, Ian Desmond, Jason Heyward, Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Joel Peralta, John Mayberry, Josh Thole, Justin Maxwell, Livan Hernandez, Marlins, Mets, Miguel Batista, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Oliver Perez, Omar Infante, Phillies, Pirates, Roger Bernadina, Ronny Cedeno, Roy Oswalt, Tim Hudson, Wes Helms

Braves vs. Phillies

Despite a late rally, the Braves were able to hold on to win 8-7 against the Phillies, and with a San Diego loss, became the 2010 NL Wild Card winner. Philadelphia got things started in the 3rd with a two-run blast off the bat of John Mayberry. In the bottom of the 3rd, Jason Heyward tripled to drive home Rick Ankiel to cut the lead to 2-1. RBI singles by Brooks Conrad and Tim Hudson, followed by a two-run triple by Omar Infante equaled a four-run 4th inning for Atlanta. Derrek Lee homered in the 5th to make it 6-2 Atlanta. Conrad singled home the 7th run of the game for Altanta. The Braves would tag on one more run in the 6th. Jayson Werth hit a two-run shot for the Phillies in the 7th to cut the lead to 8-4, and added three more runs in the 8th.

Tim Hudson got the win for Atlanta, going 7 innings and allowing four runs on two hits while striking out three. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel allowed for three of his starters to get a few innings in today’s game. Cole Hamels began the game though, going 2 innings and giving up no hits while striking out two. Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton also pitched an inning, giving up one run and four runs respectively. Danys Baez took the loss for Philadelphia. Billy Wagner recorded his 37th save of the season for Atlanta.

Mets vs. Nationals

It took 14 innings, but Washington beat the Mets 2-1 in the final game of the season for both teams. The first runs of the game for either team came in the 5th inning. In the top of the 5th, Roger Bernadina scored on a single by Alberto Gonzalez. In the bottom of the inning, Josh Thole grounded into a double play allowing Angel Pagan to score. It remained tied until the top of the 14th when Oliver Perez entered the game for the Mets. After striking out Ian Desmond, Perez then hit Adam Kennedy and walked the next two batters to load the bases. Perez then walked Justin Maxwell forcing home the winning run for Washington.

Both starters got a no decision in game. Mike Pelfrey went 7 innings and allowed one run on four hits while striking out four. Livan Hernandez went 6.2 innings and gave up one run on six hits while striking out one. Joel Peralta got the win for Washington. Oliver Perez took the loss for New York. Miguel Batista recorded his 2nd save for Washington.

Marlins vs. Pirates

The Marlins beat Pittsburgh 5-2 Sunday and grabbed third place in the NL East. A two-run home run by Dan Uggla in the 1st inning gave Florida a quick 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh cut the lead to 2-1 in the 2nd inning on a solo shot off the bat of Ronny Cedeno. A single by Andrew McCutchen in the 5th tied up the game. In the bottom of the 6th, a potential home run off the bat of Wes Helms turned into a ground-rule double after the umpires reviewed the play. Uggla scored on the play. Florida went on to score two more runs in the 7th inning.

Anibal Sanchez got the win for Florida, going 6 innings and giving up two runs on four hits while striking out seven. Brian Burres took the loss, going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on five hits while striking out four. Clay Hensley recorded his 7th save for Florida.

NL East Recap 8-24

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 25-08-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Kennedy, Alex Gonzalez, Alfonso Soriano, Angel Pagan, Atlanta Braves, Bud Norris, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Lee, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs, Clay Hensley, Cole Hamels, Colorado Rockies, david herndon, Derek Lowe, Dexter Fowler, Florida Marlins, Gaby Sanchez, Hisanori Takahashi, Houston Astros, Huston Street, Ike davis, Jeff Francoeur, Jeff Fulchino, Jimmy Rollins, John Lannan, Jorge De La Rosa, Josh Johnson, Luis Castillo, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, R.A. Dickey, Raul Ibanez, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Seth Smith, Tyler Colvin, Washington Nationals, Will Ohman, Wilton Lopez

Phillies vs. Astros

The Phillies and Astros played a wild game Tuesday night in Philadelphia.  The game featured a pitcher’s duel, ninth inning home run, and a key ejection that forced the Phillies to use a pitcher in the field.  In the end, the Astos defeated the Phillies by a score of 4-2 in a 16 inning marathon.

Astros Phillies BaseballThe Astros got on the board first in the fourth inning when Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer off of Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels.  The Phils got a run back off of Houston starter Bud Norris in the sixth on a Raul Ibanez RBI double, but the Astros held on to a 2-1 lead entering the ninth inning.    With two outs in the ninth, Jimmy Rollins blasted a solo home run off of Houston reliever Wilton Lopez to tie the game and send it to extra innings.  Then things got really interesting.

 Neither team could find a way to score in extra frames.  In the bottom of the 14th, Ryan Howard came up with two runners on and two outs.  Howard had two check swings ruled strikes by third base umpire Scott Barry, the last being strike three.  When Howard tossed his bat and helmet after the strike out, Barry ejected Howard, causing the Phillies first baseman to charge towards the umpire before being restrained.  The ejection left the Phillies short a position player, and forced manager Charlie Manuel to insert pitcher Roy Oswalt in left field. 

The Astros finally broke the tie in the top of the 16th off of reliever David Herndon (1-3), scratching out two runs on an infield single and fielder’s choice.  In the bottom of the inning, Howard’s ejection loomed large again.   Astros’ reliever Jeff Fulchino (1-0) retired the first two batters, but after walking Placido Polanco, Houston intentionally walked Chase Utley to bring up “clean up hitter” Roy Oswalt.   Fulchino got Oswalt to ground out to end the game and give Houston the victory.

 

Marlins vs. Mets

 The Mets’ slumbering offense knocked out Marlins’ ace Josh Johnson after five innings and used single runs in the final two innings to defeat Florida by a score of 6-5 at Citi Field.

APTOPIX Marlins Mets BaseballThe Mets broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the fifth off of Johnson, thanks to an RBI single by Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francoeur‘s second sacrifice fly of the game.  Mets’ starter R.A. Dickey kept the Mets in the lead until the seventh.  With two outs and two on in the seventh, Dickey allowed a three-run homer to Gaby Sanchez to give Florida a 5-4 lead.  However, the Mets came back against the Marlins’ bullpen.

With two outs in the eighth, Angel Pagan doubled and Beltran drove in his second run of the game with a run-scoring single off of Clay Hensley to tie the game at 5.   After Hisanori Takahashi (8-6) retired the Marlins in the top of the ninth, Luis Castillo hit a two-out single off of Will Ohman (0-2) to score Ike Davis and give the Mets the walk-off victory.

 

Nationals vs. Cubs

The Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano pitched effectively into the eighth inning, and closer Carlos Marmol survived a shaky ninth as Chicago held on to defeat the Nationals 5-4 in Washington.

Cubs Nationals BaseballNationals’ starter John Lannan (5-6) allowed a three-run homer to Alfonso Soriano and a two-run shot to Tyler Colvin as the Cubs built a 5-1 lead.  Meanwhile, Zambrano (5-6) allowed just one run and five hits over 7 1/3 innings, striking out eight.   Marmol entered the game in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, but struck out Ian Desmond to keep the score at 5-1.

In the ninth, Marmol created his own bases loaded mess, and with two outs, Adam Kennedy cleared the bases with a three-run double to cut Chicago’s lead to 5-4.  Luckily for the Cubbies, Marmol rebounded to retire Ryan Zimmerman on a fly ball to preserve the victory.  Despite allowing three runs, Marmol was credited with his 23rd save of the season since he entered the game with the tying run at the plate.

 

Braves vs. Rockies

The first place Atlanta Braves received a solid starting pitching performance from Derek Lowe, but the Rockies’ Jorge De La Rosa was better on Tuesday night, and the Braves fell by a score of 5-2 in Colorado.

Braves Rockies BaseballThe Rockies opened the scoring when Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run homer off of Lowe (11-12) in the bottom of the first.  The Braves got a run back in the second off of De La Rosa (5-4) on an Alex Gonzalez solo shot, but Rockies got that run back with a Seth Smith home run in the sixth.  Alex Gonzalez cut the Rockies lead to 3-2 with a seventh inning RBI single, but that was as close as the Braves would get.

The Rockies added some insurance in the eighth inning courtesy of a Dexter Fowler two-run single.  Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth inning to notch his 12th save of the season.

NL East Recap 8-5

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 06-08-2010

Tagged Under : Aaron Rowand, Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, Adam LaRoche, Alex Gonzalez, Andres Torres, Aubrey Huff, Barry Enright, Billy Wagner, Bobby Crosby, Brad Lidge, Braves, Carlos Ruiz, Chris Volstad, Diamondbacks, Domonic Brown, donnie murphy, Eric Hinske, Gaby Sanchez, Giants, Hanley Ramirez, Jair Jurrjens, Justin Upton, Logan Morrison, Marlins, Nationals, Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Roger Bernadina, Ross Detwiler, Roy Oswalt, Rusty Ryal, Ryan Madson, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Drew, Tim Lincecum, Will Ohman

Braves vs. Giants

Giants Braves BaseballThe Braves took the opening game of their four-game series with the Giants by a score of 3-2. San Francisco jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the 1st as Andres Torres scored on Aubrey Huff’s ground out. The Giants tagged on another run in the 2nd when Torres hit a double to center, driving home Aaron Rowand. Atlanta tied up the game in the bottom of the 2nd with a two-run shot to left field off the bat of Alex Gonzalez. Eric  Hinske would homer for the Braves in the bottom of the 6th to make it 3-2 Atlanta.

Jair Jurrjens got the win, going 6 innings and giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out three. Tim Lincecum took the loss, going 6.1 innings and allowing three runs on six hits while striking out seven. Billy Wagner recorded his 26th save of the season for Atlanta.

Marlins vs. Phillies

Phillies Marlins BaseballThe Phillies beat the Marlins 5-4 in 10 innings. The game was scoreless until the top of the 6th when Carlos Ruiz doubled, hitting  a line drive to center to drive in Raul Ibanez and Domonic Brown, giving Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. The Marlins came back in the bottom of the 7th to score four runs. Donnie Murphy hit a ground-rule double to drive in a run. Two batters later, Logan Morrison walked with the bases loaded tying the game at 2-2. Gaby Sanchez followed with a single to drive in two more runs for Florida. Going into the 9th with a 4-2 lead, a Hanley Ramirez error along with poor pitching from the Florida bullpen allowed for the Phillies to tie up the game. The game winning run for the Phillies came in the top of the 10th on a homer to left field off the bat of Ruiz.

Phillies starter Roy Oswalt went 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out five. Ryan Madson got the win for Philadelphia. Chris Volstad went 5.2 innings for Florida, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out two batters. Will Ohman took the loss for Florida. Brad Lidge recorded his 12th save for the Phillies.

Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

Nationals Diamondbacks BaseballThe Nationals lost to the Diamondbacks by a score of 8-4. A fielding error by Adam Dunn in the 2nd allowed for Rusty Ryal to reach base and Adam LaRoche to score for Arizona. Ryal would score later in the inning on a double by Bobby Crosby. Adam Kennedy got Washington on the board in the 3rd with a solo shot to right field, cutting Arizona’s lead to 2-1. The next inning, Stephen Drew hit an RBI single for Arizona. Arizona starter Barry Enright helped himself out at the plate, driving in Drew with a single to center field. Ryan Zimmerman homered in the top of the 5th, cutting the lead to 4-2. Zimmerman had two home runs on the night. Arizona would respond, however, with three more runs in the bottom of the 5th. Roger Bernadina homered in the 7th for Washington. Arizona tagged on their 8th run in the 8th on a sacrifice fly by Justin Upton.

Ross Detwiler took the loss for Washington. He lasted only 4 innings, giving up seven runs on  nine hits while striking out five. Barry Enright got the win for Arizona. He went 6 innings allowing two runs on six hits while striking out three.

NL East Recap 7-3

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 04-07-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, Anibal Sanchez, Ben Francisco, Billy Wagner, Braves, Chipper Jones, Cody Ross, dane sardinha, David Wright, Delwyn Young, Francisco Rodriguez, Gregor Blanco, Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Bay, Josh Thole, Josh Willingham, Kyle Kendrick, Marlins, martin prado, Matt Capps, Mets, Nationals, Omar Infante, Paul Maholm, pedro alvarez, Phillies, Pirates, R.A. Dickey, Ronny Cedeno, Ruben Tejada, Ryan Church, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Stephen Strasburg, Tommy Hanson, Yunel Escobar

Braves vs. Marlins

braves-7-3The Braves beat the Marlins Saturday afternoon by a score of 4-1, and are now 15 games above .500. Florida got on the board in the 2nd inning after an error by Martin Prado allowed Cody Ross to score, making it 1-0 Florida. Atlanta tied it up in the 4th when Omar Infante singled home Chipper Jones. The Braves went on to score three more runs in the inning on a Yunel Escobar double and a Gregor Blanco single.

Tommy Hanson got the win, going 6.2 innings and giving up one run on five hits. Anibal Sanchez took the loss for the Marlins. He threw 6 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. Billy Wagner recorded his 17th save of the season for Atlanta.

Mets vs. Nationals

97580656GF009_NEW_YORK_METSThe Nationals beat the Mets in dramatic fashion 6-5 on Saturday. The Mets got to rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg early, getting a 1-0 lead in the 1st on a double by Jason Bay. Josh Thole made it 2-0 in the 3rd with an RBI single. A single by Josh Willingham in the 6th put the Nationals on the board and cut the Mets lead to 2-1.  The next batter for Washington, Ivan Rodriguez, tied it up with a single to center field. The game remained tied until the 8th, when the Mets scored three runs on a David Wright single, a double by Thole, and a sacrifice fly by Ruben Tejada.  The Nationals responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring a run on a single by Adam Kennedy. Going into the bottom of the 9th with a 5-3 lead, the Mets turned to their closer, Francisco Rodriguez, to get the save. Rodriguez ended up giving up a two-run double to Adam Dunn followed by a walk-off single to Ivan Rodriguez.

This game was supposed to be all about Strasburg, but Mets starter R.A. Dickey was the impressive one in this outing. Dickey went 7 innings, giving up two runs on six hits. Strasburg only lasted 5 innings, and allowed two runs on four hits. Nationals closer Matt Capps, who came into pitch the 9th, got the win. Rodriguez took the loss for the Mets.

Phillies vs. Pirates

APTOPIX Phillies Pirates BaseballThe Phillies beat the Pirates 12-4 Saturday night. Philadelphia jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the 1st inning thanks to a triple by Shane Victorino and a Ryan Howard single. Pittsburgh cut the Phillies lead in half in the 2nd with a home run to left field off the bat of Pedro Alvarez.  The Phillies followed up with a five-run 5th.  Howard and Cody Ransom each had RBI singles, Ben Francisco drove in a run after grounding into a force out, and Dane Sardinha followed with an RBI double.  The Phillies went on to score one run in the 4th, two in the 5th, and one run in the 6th and 7th. Ryan Church hit his 3rd home run of the year in the 5th for Pittsburgh. The Pirates went on to score two more runs on a double by Ronny Cedeno in the 8th and a Delwyn Young single in the 9th.

Kyle Kendrick pitched his first complete-game, and got the win for the Phillies. Kendrick went 4 innings, giving up four runs on ten hits. Pittburgh’s starter Paul Maholm only lasted 3 innings and took the loss, allowing eight runs on ten hits.

6/11 NL East Recap

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 12-06-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, Anibal Sanchez, Austin Kearns, B.J. Upton, Braves, Carlos Ruiz, Chris Carter, Chris Coghlan, Chris Perez, David Wright, Delmon Young, Francisco Liriano, Gaby Sanchez, Indians, Jake Westbrook, James Shields, Jamie Moyer, Jason Kubel, Jeremy Guthrie, John Lackey, Jon Rauch, Luis Atilano, Marlins, Matt Wieters, Mets, Nationals, Omar Infante, Orioles, Phillies, R.A. Dickey, Raul Ibanez, Rays, Red Sox, Tim Hudson, Twins

Mets vs. Orioles

Mets Orioles BaseballThe Mets kicked off interleague play with a win as they beat the Orioles by a score of 5-1. The Mets got off the to a fast start, scoring a run in the 1st inning on a single by David Wright. Wright had two RBI’s on the night. They added three more runs in the 4th when Chris Carter hit his first Major League homerun. The Orioles got on the board in the bottom of the 7th on a wild pitch by R.A. Dickey allowing Matt Wieters to score.

Dickey, the Knuckleballer, got the win throwing 7 innings, allowing one run on seven hits while striking out a career high 8 batters.  Jeremy Guthrie took the loss, lasting 7 innings and giving up four runs on seven hits.

Nationals vs. Indians

97589576JW013_WASHINGTON_NADespite getting on the board early, the Nationals fell to the Indians 7-2. The Nats scored in the 1st inning on a RBI double by Adam Dunn. The Indians responded in the bottom of the 1st with a 3-run homer by Austin Kearns. Kearns hit two home runs in the game. The Indians went on to score a run in the 4th and two more in the 6th. The Nationals scored their second run of the night in the 8th inning when Adam Kennedy scored on an error.

Luis Atilano took the loss for the Nats, throwing only 5 innings and giving up six runs on seven hits. Jake Westbrook got the win, going 7.1 innings and allowing two runs on seven hits. Chris Perez got his 6th save of the season for the Indians.

Phillies vs. Red Sox

Phillies Red Sox BaseballThe Phillies were crushed by the Red Sox, losing 12-2 in Boston.   The Red Sox scored early and often off Jamie Moyer. Boston put up five runs in the 1st, four in the 2nd, and three in the 3rd. The Phillies remained scoreless until the 4th inning when they got a run on a ground out by Raul Ibanez. The Phillies scored another run in the 7th on an RBI ground out by Carlos Ruiz.

Moyer made an early exit after lasting only one inning and giving up nine runs on nine hits to take the loss. John Lackey got the win for the Red Sox, going 7 innings and giving up two runs on six hits.

Marlins vs. Rays

fish-6-11Down in Florida, the Marlins beat up on the Rays, winning 14-9. Gaby Sanchez, who went 4-5, hit two homeruns and had six RBIs for the Marlins. Chris Coghlan had a good night at the plate for the Marlins as well, going 4-4. The Rays scored in the 4th with a two-run double by B.J. Upton. Down 14-4 going into the 8th inning, the Rays began to fight back scoring four runs in the 8th and one in the 9th, but eventually fell short.

Anibal Sanchez got his 6th win of the season, going 7 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. James Shields, who only pitched 3.1 innings, took the loss giving up 10 runs on nine hits.

Braves vs. Twins

Braves Twins BaseballThe Braves ended up on the wrong side of a pitchers duel as they lost to the Twins by a score of 2-1. The Braves scored in the 2nd inning on an RBI ground out by Omar Infante. The Twins remained scoreless until the 7th, when they got two runs on RBI singles by Jason Kubel and Delmon Young.

Tim Hudson took the loss, allowing two runs on seven hits in 8 innings. Francisco Liriano got the win, going 8 innings and giving up one run on five hits. Jon Rauch got his 16th save of the season for the Twins.

The Point Is…

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 21-12-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, Atlanta Braves, Ben Sheets, Brett Myers, Doug Davis, Hank Blalock, Jason Bay, Jayson Werth, Jeff Weaver, Kelly Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark DeRose, matt holliday, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Octavio Dotel, Orlando Hudson, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Scott Podesednik, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Xavier Nady

Crickets. Nothing is really going on. After last week’s flurry of activity, it is all quiet on the Free Agent/Trade front. I think it is safe to assume that the Bay/Holliday sweepstakes will not be over until sometime in January. There may be minor free agent signings over the next couple of days, but nothing major.

Surprisingly, this article is not about me.

Surprisingly, this article is not about me.

Though I admit, I find it more exciting to find out where the under the radar free agents end up as opposed to the high priced stars. We all know Jason Bay is going to a handful of places. Same with Matt Holliday. Its guys like Orlando Hudson and Ben Sheets who will be interesting and it is those types of signings that make the difference.

Orlando Hudson signed a 1 year deal with the Dodgers and suffice to say, he was a major part of the Dodgers offense for most of the season. Certainly the Dodgers got a great return on their one year investment.

For example, Jayson Werth signed a one year $850,000 deal with the Phillies prior to the 2007 season. I think that has worked out quite nicely for the Phillies. Adam Dunn signed with the Nationals last season for 2 yrs/$20 million, which while high, isnt too bad considering the Nationals received 38 HR’s, 105 RBI, and a .267 average for their money. If I remember correctly, no one wanted to pay him because of the cost/value differential. Think the Braves or Mets wouldnt mind having that kind of production in the lineup?

The point is, unless you are the Yankees, and you fill almost every position on your roster with a big name free agent signing, teams win and lose from 1-40 on the roster. This means that you have to maximize your budget and find the best deals. Typically those deals are for guys, like Ben Sheets, who may end up being the Comeback Player of the Year next season. We could be talking in July saying things like, can you believe the Rangers signed Sheets for only $3 million for one season, when Sheets has a 10-2 record with a 3.13 ERA. Or how could a team NOT sign Matt Capps after he gets his 20th save.

I know it is a fairly obvious point but I think it often gets overlooked, especially during free agency.  Many fans overlook the value guys.  Sure Mark DeRosa or Adam Kennedy may not be stars, but what they add to their new teams might be more valuable than adding merely one big star.  Every season it seems like players who no one wanted in December end up playing a big role during the season.  Jeff Weaver for the Dodgers is another example.  Pedro Martinez for the Phillies. 

 

Does anyone want to sign me?  I will bring my attractive wife!

Does anyone want to sign me? I will bring my attractive wife!

Here is a list of guys, in no particular order, who I think will be a steal when they are finally signed:  (A steal reflecting a positive production/cost ratio as compared to other players)

-Doug Davis (P)

-Brett Myers (P)

-Hank Blalock (1B/3B/DH)

-Octavio Dotel (P)

-Kelly Johnson (2B)

-Xavier Nady (OF)

-Scott Podsednik (OF)

Now, I think there are more guys available who are valuable and not included on this list, but I think this is representative of the players who can definetly help a team win.  These are guys who I am interested in seeing where they end up and following them next year.

 

Happy Holidays!

The Point Is…

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 15-12-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Kennedy, Adrian Beltre, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Billy Wagner, Boston Red Sox, Brian Bruney, Brian Schneider, Chris Coste, Cliff Lee, Curtis Granderson, Daniel Schlereth, Edwin Jackson, Florida Marlins, Gregor Blanco, Houston Astros, Ian Kennedy, Ivan Rodriguez, J.A. Happ, Jeremy Hermida, Jesse Chavez, Kyle Drabek, Lance Armstrong, Mark DeRosa, Matt Lindstrom, Max Scherzer, Michael Taylor, Mike Lowell, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Placido Polanco, Rafael Soriano, Roy Halladay, Shane Victorino, Takashi Saito, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals

TPI took last weekend off and you have my sincerest apologies. On a rather humorous note, the Red Sox have tried to trade the Lance Armstrong of the Baseball World (Mike Lowell) to the Texas Rangers and would look to replace him with….drumroll….Adrian Beltre. I am not a general manager, though I do manage several fantasy baseball teams, but do you think it would be wise to bring in a guy who underperforms and is overpaid, into a fishbowl like Boston???? Do you really think Boston’s fans will have the patience for .250, 20 HR, and decent range/arm???? Not a wise move IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). Yes, I speak in acronyms sometimes.

The NL East has been busy this off season. First let me address the Granderson trade. Love this move. Absolutely love it. But not for the Yankees. I love it for the Diamondbacks. Dont get me wrong, Granderson will make a fine addition to the already potent/imposing Yankee lineup. But you have to love what the Diamondbacks did. They imported Edwin Jackson, and Ian Kennedy. They have now added two starters to their rotation. Scherzer was good, and Schlereth might end up being a good reliever, but any time you can get a #2 guy to be your #3, it is a good move. Kennedy is definetly a #4 guy and he will thrive in that roll. Great move all around for everyone involved although I think the Tigers got the worst of the deal, which is not a knock on them. It was a fair and balanced trade all around.

Pudge Rodriguez. 2 years from the Nationals. I like what they are doing here. Sure, it is not 2001, but you have to like the fact that the Nationals are trying.   Getting Bruney from the Yankees is a good move.  Strengthens the bullpen.  If they could get another starting pitcher, they might be decent to watch.

Welcome Back, Enrico Polazzo!

Welcome Back, Enrico Palazzo!

Placido “Enrico Palazzo” Polanco has rejoined the Phightin Phils. I like Polanco as a player. I have a soft spot for guys who take pitches, work the count, and make contact. Very valuable. Like a Shane Battier of Major League Baseball. Does the fundamental things right, but isnt a superstar. My question is, where does he hit in that lineup? Are the Phils going to move him down in the order, which kind of negates his value.  Are they looking to move Victorino down?  That is the only downside of this move.  Polanco would not be a good #6 or #7 hitter.  Mark DeRosa/Adam Kennedy I think would have been a better fit. 

Apparently, not thankful enough to be playing professional baseball!

Apparently, not thankful enough to be playing professional baseball!

The Mets and Phillies each got a new backup catcher.  The Phillies picked up Brian Schneider while the Mets got Chris Coste.  Calling this move minor would still overplay its signifigance, but what makes it interesting is Chris Coste’s statements about his remaining “a lifelong Phillie”.   Further, Mr. Coste found it “difficult” to sign with the Mets.   Frankly, I am glad players have a little more invested in their employers than simply their loyalty to the all mighty dollar.  However, Mr. Coste, the Phillies just cut you.  They deemed you worthless, so worthless in fact, that they signed Brian Schneider to replace you.  Mr. Schneider  hit .218 last year.  .218!!!!  I think it would be wise for Mr. Coste to close his mouth, cash his paycheck, and thank the heavens above that someone wants to pay him to play baseball.

Moving on, the Braves signed Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito and traded away Rafael Soriano, who had accepted arbitration.  Really, the Braves moved laterally here, unless you count what was received from the Tampa Bay Rays, right handed reliever Jesse Chavez, as an improvement.  It seems a right of passage for baseball teams to turnover their bullpens.  Usually, guys who one team didnt like move to a team that likes them slightly more.  Is Billy Wagner better than Rafael Soriano?  Not really.  Maybe cheaper, but otherwise, pretty much the same pitcher with similar injury concerns.  Saito is interesting but I think he has fallen from his spot as a stable bullpen presence. 

The Marlins yardsale continues as they have traded away Matt Lindstrom and Jeremy Hermida this offseason.  From Boston, the Marlins received, what else, young talent, in two left handed pitching prospects.  I dont even know what the Marlins got from Houston for Lindstrom.  Let’s just say, for arguments sake, it was a bag of magic beans. 

I cannot comment on rumors because they are just that, rumors.  I am sure there were other moves I missed, such as the Mets setting the world on fire by signing Henry Blanco who should not be confused with Gregor Blanco, because they are not related. 

Wait a second, you are not Cliff Lee....

Wait a second, you are not Cliff Lee....

Oh yeah, another thing, the Phillies just traded for Roy Halladay and three prospects.  If you read NLEastChatter, you knew I said that the Phillies needed pitching.  Well, they got it.  Just not in the way I imagined.  It is a shrewd business move, trading one star for another, especially since it looked unlikely that the Phillies could retain Cliff Lee past 2010.  However, do the Phillies actually get better?  They trade away 2 prospects in Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor and get three players back.  So essentially, for Roy Halladay, several months of Cliff Lee, and three prospects the Phillies traded 5 prospects, which really isnt a bad deal.  However, at the end of the day, entering next season, the Phillies still have one true ace, a solid number two/maybe ace/maybe bust and J.A. Happ.  This is exactly what they had when the season ended.  While Halladay is a great, great pitcher, the rest of the National League East cannot be any more afraid of the Phillies than when they had Cliff Lee. 

The rest of the offseason will be filled with what the hell the Mets will do.  The Mets, surrounded by Boston, the Yankees, and the Phillies, have watched all three teams pull off great moves and great signings.  They will be pressed into action.  The Nationals are essentially waiting for the dust to settle to see who will accept signing with the Nationals as opposed to playing in Japan, the Braves are quietly trying to put together a team in a city that cares slightly more about the Braves than the Hawks, but well below the Falcons and college football.  Lastly the Marlins appear to be determining who will show up for Spring Training to decide who they should sign.  With that said, feel free to show up to Marlins spring training.  If you manage to look official you might just join the 40 man roster.

The Hot Stove

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 21-11-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, Adam LaRoche, Andy Pettite, Atlanta Braves, Austin Kearns, Ben Sheets, Benny Agbayani, Billy Wagner, Bobby Howry, Brad Lidge, Brett Myers, Brian McCann, Bruce Chen, Carl Pavano, Chipper Jones, Cole Hamels, Dan Uggla, Darryl Hamilton, Derek Lowe, Eddie Guardado, Edwin Jackson, Eric Bedard, Fernando Rodney, Florida Marlins, Hank Blalock, Hideki Matsui, J.A. Happ, Jarrod Washburn, Jason Bay, Jason Kendall, Jason Marquis, Javier Vazquez, Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Joe Crede, John Lackey, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Jorge Cantu, Jose Contreras, Justin Duchscherer, LaTroy Hawkins, Marco Scutaro, Marlon Byrd, matt holliday, Melvin Mora, Miguel Olivo, Mike Cameron, Mike Hampton, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Octavio Dotel, Orlando Hudson, Paul Byrd, Philadelphia Phillies, Rafael Soriano, Randy Wolf, Rich Harden, Rocco Baldelli, Russell Branyan, Ryan Madson, Ryan Zimmerman, Scott Podsednik, Shawon Dunston, Stephen Strasburg, Tim Hudson, Todd Pratt, Tommy Hanson, Vicente Padilla, Washington Nationals, Yunel Escobar

I never knew why it was called the Hot Stove, and I suppose in the age of Google and Wikipedia, I could easily find the answer to that question. Ultimately, it does not matter so I will simply continue on in blissful ignorance. Sports has become a 24 hour a day, 365 investment. Baseball is no different. As soon as the season ends, whether your team won or lost the World Series, the question is the same, what about next season? It does not take long before everyone wonders where free agents are going, how much money they are going to get, and who is the favorite next year. The Yankees are already facing questions like, are they going to resign Johnny Damon? What about Matsui? Is Pettite going or coming back? What about Holliday, Bay, and Halladay? I mean this team just won the World Series. I am going to be honest. I do not have any inside information. No one at any of the NL East teams is feeding me information.
Here is what I do know and it has been said by much smarter and more eloquent people than I. You cannot win in the offseason. So let’s take a stab at some of the more popular off season rumors and take the opposite position and see where that gets us.

Popular Theory #1

The Phillies are only looking to add a third baseman and complimentary pieces. Otherwise, they are still the team to beat.

I have to be honest, despite the nausea that ensued from watching the World Series as a Mets fan, I was envious of the way the Phillies were constructed. However, that same World Series exposed a lot of problems that the other NL East teams were not in a position to capitalize on last year. Cole Hamels is a question mark. Can Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ be counted on to perform as well as they did last season? Jayson Werth a 40 HR guy? Did Brad Lidge turn into a pumpkin? The least of the Phillies problems is 3rd base. With the Phillies lineup, they need someone slightly better at the hot corner than, say, Roger Dorn. The Phillies though could use a Randy Wolf type starter or try and catch lightening in a bottle with Eric Bedard. Rafael Soriano is available and if he can stay healthy, he would be a great setup man, push Madson to the 7th inning and also serve as insurance should Brad Lidge regress further into pumpkin pie. (Hope you appreciate the seasonal reference.) I understand that the Phillies will not overspend for John Lackey, but pitching wins. You cannot outslug everyone, especially in the playoffs. The Phillies need to find find a wily veteran to play third base, like the Marlins did with Jorge Cantu, and hope for the best. The rest of whatever money is available should be poured into the starting rotation and the bullpen.

Free Agents to Target: Joe Crede, Marco Scutaro, Rafael Soriano, Ben Sheets, Randy Wolf, Billy Wagner, Melvin Mora, Adam Kennedy, Jason Marquis.

#2

The Braves should look to unload salary by trying to dump Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez.

I am going to say it, the Braves could be on the short list for the Wild Card next year. Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar, Adam LaRoche and Brian McCann create a pretty competitive lineup. Lowe, Hudson, Vazquez and Hanson are not a bad front 4. With the Mets and Phillies looking vulnerable, why would the Braves start bailing? While I dont think the Braves should make a run at Holliday or Bay to try and “go for it”, I do think they should look to invest their money. I am thinking Mike Cameron. I think they try to bring in Randy Wolf, or make a trade for Edwin Jackson. Speaking of trades, make an offer for Dan Uggla, I bet it would take less than you would think. The Braves can compete and though Lowe and Vazquez are huge contracts, can you really consider trading them? The Braves knew what they were getting into when they signed Lowe. Might as well make the best of it.

Free Agents to Target: Mike Cameron, Scott Podsednik, Marlon Byrd, Bobby Howry, Octavio Dotel.

#3

The Mets need to sign Matt Holliday and/or Jason Bay and/or John Lackey.

As a Mets fan, it would be great if the team could be run like fantasy baseball team. It cannot. While a left fielder would be great, and the Mets could sorely use the power, this team needs to be more artfully constructed then just plugging in Holliday. Now, the Mets could have a Yankee moment and burn money by signing Lackey and Holliday/Bay and turn the baseball world on its head, but that wont happen. This team needs a more focused approach. The Mets have won before with the likes of Darryl Hamilton, Benny Agbayani and Todd Pratt. The Mets need quality top to bottom. They need a solid rotation. The bench was exposed last season. The Mets should not have players on their team that might appear on a 1998 baseball card. Signing one big free agent will not solve this problem. There is better ways to invest money than in Holliday.

Free Agents to Target: Austin Kearns, Rich Harden, Adam Kennedy, Jarrod Washburn, Fernando Rodney, Jason Kendall, Jon Garland, Miguel Olivo.

#4

The Nationals should….

Eek. I dont know where to begin. The Nationals need to establish a winning culture. Right now, they are about inspiring as East Germany before the wall fell down. (Again, another culturally relevant point, Google it if you dont know why.) However, there is hope. Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman. Stephen Strasburg. A mildly intriguing starting rotation. The fact is, Washington, right now can neither afford nor attract top talent. So it needs to continue to build like it did when it signed Adam Dunn. In this market, given the fact that bigger teams are reluctant to give up draft picks and pay out top dollar, teams like the Nationals can sign players like Adam Dunn and thereby become competitive.

Free Agents to Target: Orlando Hudson, Justin Duchscherer, Hank Blalock, Ben Sheets, Brett Myers, Carl Pavano, Paul Byrd, Jose Contreras.

#5

Marlins? Marlins? Bueller?

As with the Nationals, the Marlins are a total mystery as to what direction they will take. They are rumored to be looking to move pieces. I just dont know. I dont even know what to say. It wouldnt surprise me if the Marlins found a way to finish below the Nationals next year or if they won the World Series. What I do know is that they have cheerleaders. Yes, you read it correctly. Rivaled only by the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders for “Fewest Fans to Entertain”, the Marlins have decided cheerleaders are a good way to get people to the ballpark. They have been around for a few years and it always surprises me when I see them. Is this the UFL? What happened to this baseball game? How much are they getting paid? How much could a ticket possibly cost to sit directly behind them? Anyway, the Marlins will probably have one signing that makes you go, oh yea, remember when he was good for that one season? The Marlins should give out an award to that guy. Call it, the Ken Bottenfield Award and it should be written into the contract.

Free Agents to Target: Mike Hampton, Vicente Padilla, LaTroy Hawkins, Shawon Dunston, Russell Branyan, Bruce Chen, Eddie Guardado, Rocco Baldelli. (Although to type this list makes me feel like I am wasting my time).

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see who the teams in the NL East decide to sign and/or trade for, but there are always some surprises.