ALOHA JOSE-To Trade or Not to Trade That is the Question (pt. 2)

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Uncategorized) by davidw on 17-05-2011

Tagged Under : American League, Baltimore Orioles, Jose Reyes, Kansas City Royals, MLB, National League, New York Mets

Reyes pondering future?

To briefly recap, Monday I wrote about the Jose Reyes trade chatter so far this season and rather or not the Mets should or would trade them. The question I raised was if they did shop him around to other teams who might they call and which teams could inquire about obtaining Reyes. I decided to look at the AL first and eliminated a few prospective teams. That left me with four potential suitors for the SS’s services. Since the Mets needs, particularly pitching, are somewhat immediate I predominately focused on AAA or AA talent when talking about minor leaguers.

Let’s check out the first team.

Baltimore Orioles

Postseason play is a pipe dream in ’11 for the O’s or is it? A quarter of the way into the season and the baby Birds are nipping at the heels of .500, only 3. 5 games back. It’s early but with the Yankees relying on the likes of Freddy Garcia and a retooled Bartolo Colon not to mention the Bosox maddening inconsistency, Baltimore could conceivably make a run. They’re an up and coming team that has a lot of talented young arms (something the Mets need) and J.J. Hardy as their SS. Nothing against Hardy but when you have a chance to acquire a premier talent in his prime like Reyes you don’t hesitate.

O's top prospect Machado a future Met?

This team is still a year or two away. They also have their own highly touted SS prospect in 18 year old Manny Machado. So do you jettison Machado in a deal for Reyes? Probably not, and the Mets would most likely not be interested since losing Reyes would create a large void on the left side of the diamond that would need to be filled immediately.

Taking a look at the Birds AA/AAA affiliates, other than a couple of intriguing possibilities, there’s really not much to choose from on the farm. At AAA top prospect Ryan Adams currently hitting .297 for Norfolk appears to be for real and former first rounder Brandon Snyder is carrying a .462 SLG percentage and appears ready for MLB action soon. AA Bowie slugger Ronnie Welty has some pop and lefty reliever Pedro Viola throws gas but neither could be a centerpiece of a deal. Most importantly, aside from Viola, none of them address New York’s primary need-pitching.

Future Oriole ace Brian Matusz

For a deal to materialize Orioles GM Andy MacPhail would have to part with one of his young starters: Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen or Brian Matusz. If they put a package of say Matusz or Arrieta along with Viola or Welty and Hardy (the Mets will need a SS, and he’s more than serviceable) then possibly an ancillary A or low A player it could make an interesting scenario. The wild card would be if the Orioles were willing to part with Matt Wieters. The Mets would definitely ask and the O’s would most like say no.

Unless the Orioles centered a deal around one of their young stud major league arms or Wieters the possibility of Reyes in black and orange is nil.

Kansas City Royals

The surprising Royals are looking more like contenders than pretenders at this point. It’s only May however and when Bruce Chen is your ace, well you need a lot of things to fall in your favor. A raft of youngsters await the call to arms in Omaha but throwing a pack of untested hurlers into the heat of a pennant race is not usually a recipe for success.

But let’s say the Royals find themselves still in the hunt around the All Star break. A move for an established arm and an electrifying shortstop atop a line-up featuring Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and possibly Mike Moustakas would be tempting for any GM. Tempting enough to part with one of their Grade AAA Prime pitching prospects? If it is, this could be one helluva a trade. Yes, the Royals have young, slick fielding Alcides Escobar at SS but that is exactly why this is a deal that if the pieces fall into place could get done. A caveat would be that Mike Pelfrey continues his recent streak of solid starts or maybe Chris Capuano stays healthy and pitching well.

Let’s say the Mets offer Reyes and KC has interest, the Mets obviously would want one of those stud pitchers in the pen down on the Royals farm. The Royals however need a 2 or 3 to shore up their current rotation, someone to provide some veteran savy for their next generation staff. So the Mets package Mike Pelfrey (or Chris Capuano) with Reyes. Now the Mets are solving two of KC’s immediate problems and by sending Escobar in return the Royals are providing the Mets with a replacement shortstop who was recently a highly sought after prospect. At 24 he is also still young enough to develop into something more.

At this point the Mets would look into that deep well of AA and AAA Kansas City pitching talent, drop some lines and go fishing.

Touted pitching prospect John Lamb

They’d find:

(L) Mike Montgomery 2.84 ERA at Omaha (L)-Danny Duffy 41K’s in 32 IP at Omaha (L)-John Lamb 3.49 ERA at AA and (L)-Jake Odorizzi 3-0 1.97 ERA at high A. (R)-Jeremy Jeffress is pitching well in relief for KC and although (R)-Chris Dwyer is struggling this year at AA, he rung up 113 batters in 102 IP last season.

Lesser known Royal prospects like AAA righty Kevin Pucetas 3-0 1.57 and hard throwing Wil Smith (NWArk) are more examples of the depth within the KC minor league pitching vault. Farmhands RF David Lough, ex-Brewer Lorenzo Cain, C/OF Wil Myers and SS Christian Colon are position players who also fit well with the Mets current needs.

There are so many options here that trade possibilities are endless. Reyes and Pelfrey for Lamb, Pucetas, Lough and Escobar. Reyes and Pelfrey for Myers, Escobar and Dwyer or Odorizzi, Reyes for Myers and Escobar, Reyes for Escobar and Duffy, etc…

Royals GM Dayton Moore would want to lock up Jose long-term before finalizing any deal. The question is would Reyes take his act from the bright lights of the Apple to the “show me” state. Kansas City does have a few things going for it though: great bar-b-que, Blues plus he’d have a lot of fun in the coming years on top of that developing line up. As dynamic as a KC/NYM trade could be, I believe the Royals would have to be in serious contention heading into August for anything to develop. The Mets would also, in effect, have given up on their season. If that scenario develops a trade to the Royals I believe would hinge upon Reyes signing a pre-trade deal with KC.

Reyes heading for a new home in KC?

Would Reyes sign on the dotted line and say yes to the Royals?

In my opinion Reyes is the kind of ballplayer who prefer’s a bigger stage to perform on. That’s not a criticism of him or the city of Kansas City. It’s just that some players live for the bright lights and adulation found in places like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago for example. Jose likes the limelight and he’d be to far away from it here. Reyes in Royal blue? No way, Jose.

(next we’ll look at the two other possible American League destinations for Reyes)

NL East Recap 6-26

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 27-06-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Billy Wagner, Bobby Cox, Carl Pavano, Chipper Jones, Cole Hamels, Delmon Young, Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, Heath Bell, Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Kubel, Jerry Hairston, Joe Mauer, Joel Zumaya, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Josh Johnson, Kenshin Kawakami, Livan Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Stanton, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, peter moylan, Philadelphia Phillies, Roger Bernadina, Ryan Howard, San Diego Padres, Shaun Marcum, Takashi Saito, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

Mets vs. Twins

Johan Santana faced his former team for the first time as the Mets hosted the Twins at Citi Field on Saturday afternoon.   Minnesota jumped on Santana early and the Mets couldn’t solve Carl Pavano as the Twins went on to win 6-0.

*Jun 26 - 00:05*The Twins scored four runs in the first inning off of Santana (5-5), and never looked back.  Joe Mauer started the scoring with a run-scoring single, and then with 2 outs, Jason Kubel hit an RBI double and Delmon Young doubled home two more runs to give the Twins an early 4-0 lead.  Meanwhile, Pavano (9-6) was dominant from the start.  Pavano went all nine innings, allowing just three singles and a walk to the Mets.  Kubel added a solo home run in the ninth inning to cap the scoring.



Braves vs. Tigers

The Braves got a timely home run from their longtime third baseman, and the team survived some shaky relief pitching to hold off the Tigers for a 4-3 victory in Atlanta.

braves-626Kenshin Kawakami came into the game winless, and though he pitched well over seven innings, left trailing 1-0.  However, the Braves finally gave Kawakami (1-9) some support in the bottom of the seventh when Chipper Jones belted a three-run home run off of Detroit reliever Joel Zumaya (2-1).  The Braves added another run in the eighth on an Eric Hinske RBI double and entered the ninth inning with a 4-1 lead. 

A day after earning his 400th career save, Billy Wagner was unavailable due to a sore left ankle, so Takashi Saito came in to try to seal the victory.   However, Saito allowed a solo homer to Miguel Cabrera and walked two more before being pulled.  Manager Bobby Cox then called on Eric O’Flaherty, but O’Flaherty proceeded to walk the next two batters, the last one forcing in a run and cutting the lead to 4-3.  Peter Moylan then came in to face Johnny Damon with the bases loaded.  With the count 3 and 2, Moylan’s offering to Damon appeared to be outside, but the Braves got the strike three call and the victory.  Moylan earned his first save on the season.

With the victory and the Mets’ loss, the Braves extended their lead in the NL East to 1.5 games.


Phillies vs. Blue Jays

Playing the second game of their “road” series in Philadelphia against the Blue Jays, the Phillies couldn’t take advantage of their home ballpark and fell to Toronto 5-1.

phils-626The Blue Jays touched up Phillies starter Cole Hamels (5-5) for five runs in four innings.  John Buck, Aaron Hill and Alex Gonzalez each homered off of Hamels to spark the Toronto offense.  Shaun Marcum (7-3) didn’t allow the Phillies to get back into the game, allowing just one run over six innings.  The Phillies only run came courtesy of a Ryan Howard solo home run.  In an unusual site, Howard acted as the Phillies’ DH as the game was played under American League rules in the NL ballpark.  Toronto relievers combined for three scoreless innings to close out their Philly home victory.

The teams will face off on Sunday in the rubber match of their three game set. 


Nationals vs. Orioles

A day after blowing a 6-0 lead to the Orioles, the Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead in Baltimore.   For the second straight day, however, the Nats blew a large lead and fell in the Battle of the Beltway by a score of 6-5.

nats-626Washington scored four runs in the 3rd inning, thanks to a two-run double by Adam Dunn and RBIs from Ivan Rodriguez and Roger Bernadina.  After adding another run in the fourth, the Orioles came back against Nats’ starter Livan Hernandez.  Adam Jones homered in the fourth to get the O’s on the board, and then the Orioles scored four in the fifth.  Matt Wieters  delivered the big hit, as his two-run single tied the game at 5.

The Orioles took a 6-5 lead in the seventh.  With Ty Wigginton batting, Nationals reliver Drew Storen threw a wild pitch that allowed Luke Scott to score the go-ahead run.  Jason Berken (1-1) earned the victory for the Orioles in relief, while Sean Burnett (0-4) took the loss for the Nats.  Alfredo Simon pitched a perfect ninth to earn his eighth save.


Marlins vs. Padres

Jon Garland and Josh Johnson faced off in a pitcher’s duel Saturday night in Miami.   Johnson pitched eight solid innings, but the Marlins couldn’t solve Garland or the Padres’ pen, and the Padres defeated the Marlins by a score of 2-1.

marlins-626The Marlins scored first in the second inning thanks to a Mike Stanton sacrifice fly.  The Padres answered back in the fourth when Adrian Gonzalez doubled home David Eckstein with the tying run.   In the fifth, Jerry Hairston Jr. tripled off of Stanton’s glove, and then scored on Garland’s fly ball to right field.   Garland’s ball took Stanton into foul ground, and Marlins players tried to yell at Stanton to let the ball land foul, but his catch turned into a sacrifice fly and scored the deciding run.

Johnson (8-3) took the loss despite striking out nine and allowing just five hits.  Garland (8-5) allowed just four hits over 6.2 innings and earned the victory.  Heath Bell pitched the ninth inning and struck out two in earning his 21st save.

6-12 NL East Recap

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 13-06-2010

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Billy Wagner, Boston Red Sox, Brian Matusz, Brian Schneider, Brooks Conrad, Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians, Daniel Nava, David Wright, Derek Lowe, Fausto Carmona, Florida Marlins, Francisco Rodriguez, Gregor Blanco, Hisanori Takahashi, JD Drew, JD Martin, Jeff Francoeur, Joe Blanton, Joe Mauer, Jonny Venters, Jose Reyes, Manny Delcarmen, Matt Garza, Melky Cabrera, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Nick Blackburn, Nick Markakis, Philadelphia Phillies, Rafael Soriano, Ricky Nolasco, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals, Wes Helms

Phillies vs. Red Sox

The Phillies hoped for a better outcome as they took on the Red Sox in game two of their series at Fenway.  Instead, Philadelphia’s starter gave up nine runs for the second game in a row, and the Red Sox cruised to a 10-2 victory.

phils-612Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka was scratched just before game time due to a strained forearm, and the Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second off of emergency starter Scott Atchinson thanks to a Brian Schneider two-run double.   However, the Red Sox jumped on pitcher Joe Blanton in the bottom of the inning.  JD Drew started off the scoring with a solo home run, and Daniel Nava hit a grand slam in his first major league at bat to give Boston a 5-2 lead. 

The Sox added three runs in the third and one more in the fourth off of Blanton (1-5), who gave up 13 hits in addition to nine runs in his four innings of work.  Boston reliever Manny Delcarmen (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings in relief and earned the victory.


Mets vs. Orioles

The Mets won back-to-back games on the road for the first time since last July as they defeated the last place Orioles 3-1 Saturday night in Baltimore.

mets-612Jose Reyes led off the game with a home run off of Baltimore starter Brian Matusz.  The Orioles tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the first off of Hisanori Takahashi on a Nick Markakis RBI double.   The game remained 1-1 until the top of the sixth, when the Mets took the lead.  The Orioles failed to turn a double play on a David Wright comebacker, allowing the Mets to score the go-ahead run.  Jeff Francoeur added a solo home run in the eighth inning to cap the scoring. 

Takahashi (5-2) gave up just one run and six hits over seven innings to earn the victory, while Matusz (2-7) took the loss.  Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 13th save.


Nationals vs. Indians

Cleveland rookie catcher Carlos Santana hit his first career home run, and the Indians jumped on Washington starter JD Martin for four runs in the second inning as they defeated the Nationals 7-1 in Cleveland.

nats-612Playing in his second major league game, the highly touted Santana drove in three runs to lead the Indians offense.  Indians starter Fausto Carmona (5-5) went nine strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out seven.  Ryan Zimmerman‘s eighth inning home run spoiled Carmona’s shutout bid.  Martin (0-2) pitched into the eighth inning, but allowed seven runs and took the loss.

The Nationals hope to avoid a sweep when they send phenom Stephen Strasburg to the mound on Sunday.


Braves vs. Twins

For the second straight night, two first place teams played a one run game.  After falling in the series opener, the Braves rebounded to defeat the Twins by a score of 3-2 at Target Field in Minnesota.

braves-612Braves starter Derek Lowe and Twins starter Nick Blackburn each allowed only two runs, but neither factored in the decision.  After the Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second, the Braves answered with two in the fifth thanks to a Melky Cabrera solo homer and an RBI double from Brooks Conrad.  A Joe Mauer double tied the game in the sixth, and the score remained even at 2 until the top of the ninth.  With runners on the corners, Conrad successfully executed a squeeze bunt, scoring Gregor Blanco with the go-ahead run. 

Atlanta’s Jonny Venters (2-0) struck out Jason Kubel with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth to earn the victory, while Minnesota’s Matt Guerrier (1-2) took the loss.  Billy Wagner worked around a one out single to nail down his 11th save for the Braves.


Marlins vs. Devil Rays

After winning on Friday in Tampa, the Marlins fell 6-5 on Saturday night as the Rays evened the Battle of Florida at one game apiece.

marlins-612The Rays jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, thanks to home runs by Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and Sean Rodrgiuez off of Florida starer Ricky Nolasco (5-5).   However, the Marlins battled back against Tampa starter Matt Garza.  Wes Helms hit a two run homer in the fourth and the Fish scored another in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-4.  After the Rays added a run in the seventh, the Marlins answered back in the eighth with one of their own, but couldn’t bring home the tying run. 

Closer Rafael Soriano pitched a perfect ninth for Tampa to earn save number 16 and preserve the victory for Garza (7-4) and the Rays.

5/21 NL East Recap

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by klake13 on 22-05-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Jones, Adrian Beltre, Alex Cora, Alexei Ramirez, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Bobby Crosby, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Chipper Jones, Cody Ross, Cole Hamels, Craig Tatum, Darnell McDonald, David Hernandez, Elmer Dessens, Florida Marlins, Gaby Sanchez, Garrett Jones, Hisanori Takahashi, Ike davis, Ivan Rodriguez, J. C. Romero, Jason Heyward, Javier Vasquez, Jayson Werth, Jeff Kartsens, John Lackey, Kevin Russo, KLake13, Mariano Rivera, Mark Buehrle, Miguel Batista, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ricky Nolasco, Ross Ohlendorf, Ryan Howard, Scott Olsen, Tim Hudson, Victor Martinez, Washington Nationals, Wes Helms, Willie Harris

( Written by our New Author: KLake13 )

Mets vs. Yankees

Mets opened up six game homestand with the first subway series of 2010, and this game was all pitching, as the Yankees beat the Mets 2-1. Hisanori Takahashi, making his first career MLB start, pitched 6 strong innings, giving up 5 hits and no runs. Elmer Dessens, who came in relief of Takahashi, took the loss. Javier Vasquez kept the Mets hitless through 4 and a 1/3, and striking out six to get the win.

Game changing play came in the top of the 7th with an error by Alex Cora. As a result, the Yankees took a 2-0 lead on a double by Kevin Russo. The Yankees bullpen kept the Mets scoreless until the 9th when Ike Davis hit an RBI double off Mariano Rivera. For more info, check out The Real Dirty Mets Blog.

Phillies vs. Red Sox

Boston was off to an early lead with a one-run homer by Victor Martinez in the first, but it wasn’t enough as the Phillies went on to beat the Red Sox 5-1. Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth each homered for the Phillies. The only other Boston hits belonged to Adrian Beltre and Darnell McDonald.

Cole Hamels got the win for the Phillies going 7 innings and giving up one run on three hits. J.C. Romero got his second save of the season for Philadelphia. John Lackey took the loss, going 5 innings and giving up four runs on six hits. Check out Phillies Phandom Blog for more.

Marlins vs. White Sox

It was a big night for Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez who hit an RBI double and a three-run homer, as the White Sox went on to beat the Marlins 8-0. Florida bats were quiet most of the night, with the only hits belonging to Gaby Sanchez, Cody Ross, and Wes Helms.

Mark Buehrle got the win, throwing 7 shut-out innings for Chicago, and allowing only 3 hits. Ricky Nolasco, who took the loss, got beat up in his 5.1 innings, giving up 10 hits and 8 earned runs.  Check out Fish Guts Blog for more on last night’s game.

Braves vs. Pirates

The Braves beat the Pirates 7-0. The Braves took an early 1-0 lead on a Chipper Jones RBI. Jason Heyward had three RBI’s on the night. The Braves scored another run in the 7th off Jeff Karstens who pitched 3.1 innings of relief for the Pirates. Pittsburgh’s bats were quiet with their only hits coming from Bobby Crosby and Garrett Jones.

Tim Hudson got the win, going 8 innings for the Braves, and giving up 3 hits and no runs. Ross Ohlendorf took the loss, pitching only 3.2 innings for the Pirates, giving up 6 hits and 7 runs. For more in depth coverage, go to the Braves Baseball Blog.

Nationals vs. Orioles

The Orioles hung on to beat the Nationals by a score of 5-3. Adam Jones got the Orioles off to a quick start hitting a two-run homerun in the 2nd giving the O’s a 2-0 lead. Craig Tatum knocked in a pair of runs in the 3rd. The Nationals got on the board with a run in the 6th on a RBI ground out by Ivan Rodriguez. Willie Harris homered in the 8th, cutting the Orioles lead to 4-3.

David Hernandez got the win, going 5.1 innings for Baltimore, giving up one run, one hit and 5 walks. Scott Olsen took the loss, lasting 3 innings for the Nationals, and giving up 4 runs on 6 hits. Miguel Batista came in to pitch 4 innings of relief for the Nats. Go to Centerfield Gate Blog for more on the game.

Arizona Fall League

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 29-10-2009

Tagged Under : Andrew Miller, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Brandon Hicks, Bryan Petersen, C.C. Sabathia, Domonic Brown, Drew Storen, Edgar Garcia, Florida Marlins, Freddie Freeman, Jeff Lyman, Lee Hyde, Mesa Solar Sox, Mike Stanton, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Peoria Javelinas, Peoria Saguaros, Philadelphia Phillies, Phoenix Desert Dogs, Reese Havens, Ruben Tejada, Scottsdale Scorpions, Steve Susdorf, Surprise Rafters, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals


I know, I know. This is a big day in the National League East. The Philadelphia Phillies dismantled the Yankees in Game 1 of the World Series, in the Bronx, against C.C. Sabathia. The same pitcher they dismantled last year when he pitched for the Brewers. It begs the question, is the National League East the best division in baseball? Admittedly, it is early, and the Yankees could win four in a row and make this post irrelevant, but if you compare the division to the American League East, tell me that the teams do not match up? The Phillies and the Yankees, the Mets and the Red Sox, the Marlins and Rays, the Braves and Blue Jays, and the Nationals and Orioles. I guess that is a post for another time, but it will be an interesting off season argument.

Now on to the AFL:

The Phoenix Desert Dogs (Nationals) defeated the Peoria Javelinas 11-6 yesterday. The only Desert Dog from the National League East who saw any action was Drew Storen who pitched one inning giving up one hit and striking out a batter.

The Mesa Solar Sox (Marlins) routed the Scottsdale Scorpions (Phillies) by a final count of 12-5. Bryan Petersen led the way for the Solar Sox with a 2-5 effort, scoring two runs, driving in two and hitting a homerun. Steve Susdorf tried to keep the Scorpions close with a 2 run homerun in a 1-2 effort but Domonic Brown (0-5, 2K) and Edgar Garcia (2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER (4R)) failed to help him out.

Steve Susdorf, Scorpions

Steve Susdorf, Scorpions

Future stars of the National League East keep bowing out of the AFL as the Marlins shut down Mike Stanton due to a sore back. Prior to this, Stanton was hitting a scorching .478 for the Solar Sox. The Marlins do expect Stanton to be ready for Spring Training.

Mike Stanton, Solar Sox

Mike Stanton, Solar Sox

Lastly, the Peoria Saguaros (Braves) blanked the Surprise Rafters (Mets) 9-0. Freddie Freeman (3-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB) and Brandon Hicks (2-4, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB) led the hit parade while Jeff Lyman (1 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) and Lee Hyde (1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) helped to keep the Rafters off the scoreboard. The Rafters received a 2-4 day from Reese Havens and a 1-4 from Ruben Tejada.



  Todays actions will see the Phoenix Desert Dogs take on the Peoria Saguaros. The Mesa Solar Sox will give Andrew Miller the start against the Javelinas, and the Rafters will take on the Scorpions.

The Florida Marlins “Model”

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 09-10-2009

Tagged Under : A.J. Burnett, Antonio Alfonseca, Armando Benitez, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Carl Pavano, Carlos Delgado, Chicago Cubs, Cliff Floyd, Derek Lee, Detroit Tigers, Don Levinski, Dontrelle Willis, Florida Marlins, Graeme Lloyd, Ivan Rodriguez, Jose Cueto, Josh Beckett, Juan Encarnacion, Juan Pierre, Julian Tavarez, Justin Wayne, Kansas City Royals, Luis Castillo, Matt Clement, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Hampton, Mike Lowell, Mike Mordecai, Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Preston Wilson, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Jorgensen, Ryan Snare, Todd Jones, Wilton Guerrero

pavanoSince 1997 only one National League East team has managed to win multiple World Series titles. That team is the Florida Marlins. Despite existing in a league that features the high spending New York Mets, the consistent Atlanta Braves, and the offensive juggernaut known as the Philadelphia Phillies, Florida has managed to remain competitive and successful.
The Florida Marlins are a remarkable story not because they win but because of how they win. The Florida Marlins operate with the knowledge of two incontrovertible facts. First, the team will not spend a tremendous amount of money in the free agent market or on payroll, period. Second, low attendance at home games does not present a financial problem due to league revenue sharing and a low payroll. Thus, it is possible to still make money as a business despite the fact that no one really wants to buy your product.
However, simply having a low payroll does not necessarily equal success. The key to the Marlins success is that the Marlins maintain the team’s low payroll by combining young players still playing out their rookie contracts and questionable veterans who are willing to play for short, minimum contracts. The inherent quality in both of these types of players is that they have the need to prove themselves. Young players know that the Marlins have no desire to pay top dollar for a valuable player, but the organization is more than willing to either flip that player for prospects or let the player leave during free agency and recoup draft picks. Thus, it is in the player’s personal interest to perform at his highest possible level to ensure continued, gainful employment as a professional baseball player. The same can be said about veteran players. Guys brought in on one or two year deals for about the league minimum know that if they want to continue playing and/or get paid more money, they have to take the opportunity given by the Marlins to show that they can produce.
For example, players such as Miguel Cabrera (traded to the Detroit Tigers, signed to 8yr/$153.5 million), Dontrelle Willis (traded to Detroit Tigers, signed for 3yr/$29 million), Josh Beckett (traded to Boston Red Sox, signed for 3yr/$30 million), Mike Lowell (traded to Boston Red Sox 3yr/$37.5 million), Cliff Floyd (traded to Expos for package of prospects including Carl Pavano), Luis Castillo (traded to Minnesota Twins, signed by New York Mets for 4yr/$25 million), Preston Wilson (traded to Colorado Rockies for Juan Pierre and Mike Hampton), and Derek Lee  derrek-lee1(traded to Chicago Cubs, signed 5 yr/$65 million) all represent the Marlins’ plan to allow young players to develop and then trade them when they are at or near peak value. These players have then received more valuable contracts than the Marlins would have ever been willing to offer. In addition, players such as Ivan Rodriguez, Armando Benitez, and Todd Jones are examples of veterans who used their time as Marlins to procure more lucrative long-term deals.
Admittedly, the ability to continue to find successful and talented young players is vital for this type of organizational approach. However, to simply say that the Marlins have a talented scouting department dismisses the fact that when the Marlins trade talented players, they usually receive numerous prospects in return; thereby increasing the chance that at least one of those prospects will turn out to be talented. Prior to the 2002 season, the Marlins traded Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca to the Chicago Cubs for Julian Tavarez, Dontrelle Willis, Jose Cueto, and Ryan Jorgensen. Only Dontrelle Willis developed into an upper echelon player, albeit for a limited amount of time. Further, that same season, Cliff Floyd was traded back to the Expos for Carl Pavano, Justin Wayne, Mike Mordecai, Graeme Lloyd, Don Levinski, and Wilton Guerrero. Ryan Dempster was also traded for Juan Encarnacion and Ryan Snare. The point of this is to demonstrate that the Marlins turned 4 players into 12 players, but only two or three of those players turned out to be valuable. By trading valuable young talent at the right time, the Marlins were able to increase the quality and quantity of the talent they received in return, thus minimizing the irodriguez1impact of failed prospects.
This is one of the reasons that differentiate the Marlins from the Royals, Pirates, and Orioles. These organizations wring their hands when it comes to trading players away for fear of angering their fanbase. Thus, players are held onto longer and the team loses leverage when dealing with other teams. Another major reason these organizations have not found the success that the Marlins have is that they attempt to sign high priced free agents to give hope to their beleaguered fan bases. Without analyzing the moves of each organization, suffice to say that by paying someone drastically more than the rest of your team does not fuel the players desire to prove themselves, but rather creates questions like, “If they have the money to pay Player X, why am I not getting mine?” Not to mention that by allocating valuable resources of a small market team into such a limited asset the organization is prevented from investing throughout the team. Lastly, the Marlins traditionally do not trade for established talent by giving up prospects but vice versa. This way, the farm system of the Marlins is constantly infused with young players.
Now, this is not to say that the Marlins have not signed a high priced free agent, ex. Carlos Delgado, or that they will trade away every promising player. It is simply a unique organizational approach that may or may not change with the building of a new stadium and higher expectations. Thus, it should come as no surprise when the Marlins find success despite a meager payroll. Its not that the Marlins win, but how they win that makes them an organization that should be emulated by small market teams in both the National and American leagues.

NL East Series Preview 6-29-09 thru 7-2-09

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Series Preview) by mrose on 29-06-2009

Tagged Under : Andrew Miller, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Beerleaguer, Boston Red Sox, Braden Looper, Carlos Carrasco, Centerfieldgate, Charlie Manuel, Citi Field, Cole Hamels, Derek Lowe, Fernando Nieve, Florida Marlins, Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez, Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Johan Santana, Jordan Zimmermann, Josh Johnson, Mike Burns, Mike Pelfrey, Milwaukee Brewers, national league east, New York Mets, New York Yankees, NLEastChatter, Paul Maholm, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Prince Fielder, Real Dirty Mets Blog, Ricky Nolasco, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Braun, Scott Olsen, Sean West, Tim Redding, Tommy Hanson, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, Yovani Gallardo

Phillies Logo VS Atl Logo
The Phillies were finally able to get back on track over the weekend, taking two out of three from the Toronto Blue Jays in the final Interleague series of the year. Philadelphia(39-34, 1st place in the NL East) got a big weekend from Jayson Werth who went 6/8 with 4 runs scored, a double, 2 home runs and 5 RBI’s to anchor them. Jimmy Rollins will also be welcomed back to the starting lineup after Charlie gave him four straight days off to get his head straight and hope to get him back on track, he is batting .211 on the season and only .176 this month.

The Braves are fresh off another very solid outting from their young up and coming ace Tommy Hanson, who is now 4-0 on the season. The Braves(35-40, 4th place in the NL East 5GB) look to rebound after not winning a series since May in Toronto. The pitching was very good for the most part this weekend against the Red Sox, but the hitting barely showed up. So far this year, Atlanta has won four of the first six matchups between the two teams, including the first two and last two games played. For additional Braves news, go to The Braves Baseball Blog.

One series note is that Thursdays starter at this point for the Phillies has not been decided. It will be between Carlos Carrasco and Andrew Carpenter for the Phillies with a decision coming later this week according to Beerleaguer.

Tuesday @ 7:00PM EST – Blanton,PHI(4-4,5.06 ERA) vs. Lowe,ATL(7-6,4.53 ERA)
Wednesday @ 7:00PM EST – Hamels,PHI(4-4,4.44 ERA) vs. Jurrjens,ATL(5-6,2.93 ERA)
Thursday @ 7:00PM EST – Carrasco/Carpenter,PHI(0-0,0.00 ERA) vs. Vazquez,ATL(5-7,3.04 ERA)
The New York Mets followed up a surprising and uplifting series victory against the St. Louis Cardinals, by falling on their collective faces against the cross town New York Yankees this weekend. The Mets(37-37, 2nd in NL East 2.5GB) now travel to Milwaukee for the start of what was originally a six game road trip,but because of an earlier rainout in Pittsburgh, is now seven. They hope that their team of replacement level players can help them stay close in the National League East for some more time as they wait out the Disabled List to shrink instead of expand.

The Milwaukee Brewers(40-35, 1st in NL Central) are currently tied for first place in the National League Central with the St. Louis Cardinals while actually going only 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Brewers look to continue to ride Ryan Braun’s hitting and Prince Fielder’s power to a bigger lead in the Central. The Mets took the first two of three games this year between the teams at Citi Field.

The Mets will play a single game versus the Pirates(35-40, 5th place in the NL Central 5GB) as a make up for a game earlier in the month that was rained out. So far each team has won their respective home games in this series, so in essence, this is a rubber game.

For more Mets news, check The Real Dirty Mets Blog.

Monday @ 7:05PM EST – Nieve,NYM(3-0,1.31 ERA) vs. Looper,MIL(5-4,5.16 ERA)
Tuesday @ 8:05PM EST – Santana,NYM(9-5,3.08 ERA) vs. Burns,MIL(0-1,3.72 ERA)
Wednesday @ 2:05PM EST – Pelfrey,NYM(5-3,4.67 ERA) vs. Gallardo,MIL(8-4,2.86 ERA)
Thursday @ 12:35PM EST – Redding(1-3,6.35 ERA) vs. Maholm,MIL(5-4,4.35 ERA)
Nationals Logo vs_120x120 Marlins Logo
The Washington Nationals(22-51, 5th in NL East 17GB) travel to Miami after hanging on to take the final game of a three game set against the locational rival Baltimore Orioles. Nats fans hopes rose slightly a week ago when going into the series with the AL East leading Red Sox, the Nationals had won two straight series versus both the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. Since then Washington has come back down to earth in losing two of three to Boston and Baltimore. The team hopes to win their first game of the year versus the divisional rival Marlins as they have lost the first six games against them. For additional Nats news, go to CenterfieldGate.

The Marlins were cooled off this weekend by the northern Florida rival Tampa Bay Rays. The Florida Marlins(38-39, 3rd in NL East 3GB) had been on a five game winning streak coming into this series including two against the Yankees last weekend, but lost all three to the Rays. Tampa Bay relied mostly on late clutch hitting and taking advantage of Marlins relief pitching injuries on route to the sweep. They hope to not lose anymore ground on the first place Phillies as they have a favorable schedule for the next few weeks.

Monday @ 7:10PM EST – Olsen,WAS(1-4,7.24 ERA) vs. Nolasco,FLA(4-6,6.42 ERA)
Tuesday @ 7:10PM EST – Zimmermann,WAS(3-3,4.65 ERA) vs. West,FLA(3-2,3.38 ERA)
Wednesday @ 12:10PM EST – Detwiler,WAS(0-4,5.24 ERA) vs. Johnson,FLA(7-1,2.76 ERA)

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NL East Daily Recap from 6-28-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by mrose on 29-06-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Andrew Miller, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Brad Lidge, Brad Penny, Braves Baseball Blog, Brian Tallet, Centerfieldgate, Chien-Ming Wang, Chipper Jones, Daniel Murphy, David Hernandez, David Price, Florida Marlins, Fredi Gonzalez, Garret Anderson, J.P. Howell, Jamie Moyer, John Lannan, Livan Hernandez, Mariano Rivera, Mike Gonzalez, Mike MacDougal, national league east, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tommy Hanson, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

Lidge returns to action

Lidge returns to action

The Phillies won their first series since taking two out of three from the Mets in early June by beating the Blue Jays 5-4 in Toronto yesterday.  Jamie Moyer(6-6) went five innings while giving up four earned runs, but giving up three earned runs in earning the win for the Phils.  Brian Tallet(5-5) went slightly longer than Jamie Moyer, giving up the same number of earned runs but because of an unearned run, took the loss in this game.  Brad Lidge worked a shaky ninth inning to get his first save since returning from the disabled list, his 14th of the year.  The Phillies will take Monday off before heading to Atlanta to take on the Braves on Tuesday.

Rivera joins the elite 500 save club

Rivera joins the elite 500 save club

During the nightcap for Sunday’s games, the Mets were hoping to manage one game in this edition of the Subway Series against the Yankees.  Unfortunately, mental issues stopped them from doing that early in the game once again.  Livan Hernandez(5-3) worked seven innings, while only giving up three runs in the first inning of a game in which Daniel Murphy, the young and unexperienced first basemen made another odd play.  In the first inning, on a ground ball, he decided to throw to third to hope to get a tag down on Jeter rather than taking a sure out at first base which likely made a huge difference in the game.  Chien-Ming Wang(1-6) got his first win of the year with just over five innings of two run ball, but was not the Wang of old yet.  Mariano Rivera worked 1.1 innings and got an RBI to earn his first RBI of his career on a bases loaded walk and earn his 500th save of his amazing career.  The Mets hope that returning to regular National League play this week will allow them to right their ship, check out The Real Dirty Mets Blog for more information.

Fredi is concerned

Fredi is concerned

The Florida Marlins managed just four hits yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of their three game set and interleague play.  After a successful week against the Yankees and Orioles, the Marlins could not manage a win versus the defending American League champions.  David Price(2-2) worked 6.1 innings while only giving up two hits and one run, but five bases on balls to get the win, as Andrew Miller(2-4) gave up all five Rays runs in the same amount of time.  J.P. Howell who had earned wins in the first two games of this series, got the last two outs of this game on strike outs for his fifth save of the season.  The Marlins welcome the last place Nationals into Miami this week for a three game set.

Chipper and Garret go yard

Chipper and Garret go yard

Tommy Hanson continues to impress everyone and show that he is the phenom prospect he was supposed to be.  Hanson(4-0) went six innings of two hit ball to get his fourth win in five starts this season for the Braves.  The closer revolving door for the Braves let Mike Gonzalez get his ninth save of the year in a 2-1 Braves win with Rafael Soriano getting the hold today.  The Braves were propelled to victory but two solo home runs by Chipper Jones and Garret Anderson and that’s all the pitching needed.  Brad Penny(6-3) worked six strong innings only giving up the solo shots in taking the loss.  The Braves will welcome in the Phillies tomorrow night, check out The Braves Baseball Blog for more information.

The Nats celebrate a win

The Nats celebrate a win

The Nats were another NL East team which was looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of an AL East team yesterday.  Like the Braves, the Nationals managed to get the win and avoid the series sweep by the Orioles.  Adam Dunn hit yet another monster home run and John Lannan(5-5) pitched another solid game into the eighth inning to get the win for the Nationals.  Mike MacDougal picked up his third save of the season while David Hernandez(1-2) went 5.2 innings pitched while giving up three runs in taking the loss for the O’s.  The Nationals will travel to Miami and take on the Marlins this week, more will be available at CenterfieldGate.

Make sure to check back later for the NL East Series Preview for this week.

NL East Daily Recap from 6-27-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by mrose on 28-06-2009

Tagged Under : A.J. Burnett, Andrew Miller, Atlanta Braves, Aubrey Huff, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Brad Mills, Brad Penny, Brian Tallet, Burke Badenhop, Carlos Pena, Chien-Ming Wang, David Hernandez, David Price, Florida Marlins, Gary Sheffield, Greg Zaun, J.A. Happ, J.P. Howell, Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, Jayson Werth, Jeremy Guthrie, John Lannon, Jonathan Papelbon, Livan Hernandez, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Nolan Reimold, Philadelphia Phillies, Sharon Martis, Tampa Bay Rays, Tim Redding, Tim Wakefield, Tommy Hanson, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, Willy Aybar

Werth with a big game

Werth with a big game

Jayson Werth went four for four at the plate with a walk, three runs scored and three RBI for Philadelphia yesterday on the to a 10-0 victory.  Fueled by two four run innings from the offense, J.A. Happ(5-0) stayed undefeated and went the distance for the win.  Brad Mills(0-1) lasted only four innings while giving up eight earned runs while taking the loss for the Blue Jays.  This was the first time in the five times the teams met so far this year that Toronto did not win.  The interleague schedule ends for these teams today as Jamie Moyer goes up against Brian Tallet for the Jays.

Redding can't do much without offense

Redding can't do much without offense

The New York Mets “B” team seems to be really getting the effect of playing versus other Major League teams now.  The New York Mets have now gone down in order in eighteen out of twenty-three of their last offensive innings, and scored 1 run in that time on a home run by Gary Sheffield.  Last night A.J. Burnett(6-4) worked seven innings of one hit ball, before being relieved for the final two innings of perfect relief in a 5-0 Yankees win.  Tim Redding(1-3) worked into the sixth inning but it all fell apart in that inning as he gave up five earned runs in the loss.  The Mets hope to salvage a game of this series tonight at 8PM on ESPN when Chien-Ming Wang goes up against Livan Hernandez.

Tampa Bay celebrates a walk off win

Tampa Bay celebrates a walk off win

J.P. Howell(4-2) is getting used to these wins in relief lately, as he was the benefactor in a 3-2 Rays walk off win in Tampa last night.  Willy Aybar came up big again as he hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning scoring Carlos Pena for the Rays sixth win in their last eight games.  Burke Badenhop(5-3) took the loss in the ninth for the Marlins in the game.  The fish will look to salvage the final game of the series today as Andrew Miller takes on David Price at 1:38PM EST.

Braves lose a tough one

Braves lose a tough one

The Atlana Braves had a tough offensive game yesterday, as they couldn’t muster up a run while losing 1-0 to the Boston Red Sox.  Three Boston pitchers combined in a four hit shutout, including Tim Wakefield(10-3) pitching six strong for the win and Jonathan Papalbon pitching the ninth inning to get his eighteenth save of the season.  Javier Vazquez(5-7) pitched into the eighth inning while only giving up 6 hits and one earned run and took a tough loss.  The series concludes today at 1:30PM EST with Brad Penny for the Sox taking on Tommy Hanson of the Braves.

Rookie Reimold has a big game

Rookie Reimold has a big game

Rookie Nolan Reimold hit his ninth home run of the year and contributed three RBI to help the Baltimore Orioles beat the Washington Nationals 6-3.  Greg Zaun and Aubrey Huff also contributed home runs during the win in Baltimore last night as Jeremy Guthrie(6-7) pitched the minimum five innings for the win.  Sharon Martis(5-3) took his third loss in a row after going five straight decisions in his career without a loss for the Nats last night.  The Nationals will hope to avoid the sweep as John Lannon takes on David Hernandez at 1:35PM EST today.

NL East Daily Recap from 6-26-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by mrose on 27-06-2009

Tagged Under : A.J. Burnett, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Bobby Cox, Boston Red Sox, Brad Bergesen, Brad Mills, C.C. Sabathia, Chris Volstad, Cole Hamels, Florida Marlins, Gary Sheffield, Hanley Ramirez, J.A. Happ, J.P. Howell, Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez, Jeremy Guthrie, Josh Beckett, Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Renyell PInto, Ricky Romero, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Howard, Scott Kazmir, Sharon Martis, Subway Series, Tampa Bay Rays, Tim Redding, Tim Wakefield, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

Mighty Howard Strikes out

Mighty Howard Strikes out

The Phillies traveled north of the border to Canada to play the final three games of Interleague play against the Blue Jays.  Things didn’t get much better for the struggling Phils, as the Blue Jays won again and even did it against the Phillies ace.  Cole Hamels(4-4) couldn’t get out of the fifth inning as he gave up four runs on eight total hits on the way to a 6-1 Phillies loss.  Ricky Romero(5-3) got the win with seven impressive innings while only giving up two hits in the game.  The series continues today with J.A. Happ going for the Phillies against Brad Mills for the Blue Jays at 1:07PM.

Pelf hopes his defense is awake

Pelf hopes his defense is awake

The Mets couldn’t get out of their own way while continuing the Subway Series in Queens on Friday night.  The Mets made three errors in the secocnd inning, allowing four runs to score and basically put the game out of reach.  Pelfrey(5-3) still managed to finish five innings while only allowing two earned runs in a 9-1 Mets loss.  C.C. Sabathia(7-4) went seven strong innings allowing only three hits including a solo home run to Gary Sheffield in getting the win.  Tonight A.J. Burnett goes to the mound against Tim Redding for the Mets at 7pm.

Ramirez stays hot

Ramirez stays hot

The bat of Hanley Ramirez wasn’t enough on Friday night in Tampa Bay.  The Marlins couldn’t take advantage of a chance to tie for first place with the Phillies as they fell to the Rays 7-3.  Renyell Pinto(2-1) took the loss for the Marlins bullpen which is struggling with injuries currently while giving up two runs in an inning of work.  J.P. Howell(3-2) got the win in relief for the Rays, as the series continues tonight at 7:08 in Tampa with Chris Volstad taking on newly off the disabled list Scott Kazmir.

Bobby Cox arguing?

Bobby Cox arguing?

The Atlanta Braves lost their third straight game and fifth in their last six last night to the Red Sox.  Jurrjens(5-6) went eight strong innings giving up 3 earned runs and four overall in a tough loss.  Josh Beckett(9-3) got his ninth win of the season pitching seven shut out innings for the Red Sox.  Wakefield goes up against Vazquez this afternoon at 4pm in the second game of the series.

A rough outting for Detwiller

A rough outting for Detwiller

Ross Detwiler(0-4) and the rest of the Nationals pitchers had another rough outting last night.  Detwiler couldn’t get his first win of the season and managed five innings of five run ball as the Nats lost 11-1 to the Baltimore Orioles.  Brad Bergesen(5-2) got the win for the Orioles going six innings and only giving up a single run as the offense made it easy for him.  Sharon Martis goes up against Jeremy Guthrie at 7:05 in Baltimore tonight.