Baseball

#58 Stephen Strasburg/Javier Baez

Yes, I feel the need to talk about Strasburg yet again. He’s my favorite pitcher I feel like talking about him when he does something. I just want to mention his start Tuesday night and his recent greatness. I want to talk a little about Javier Baez who also has found his stroke recently at AAA. Well I shouldn’t say recently he has been hitting good all year at triple A Iowa.

Before I get to what Stras did on Tuesday night that impressed me let me mention his recent starts. Stephen Strasburg is 5-1 with a microscopic 1.51 era in his last 7 starts, just so you know that was even before he came back from the DL the second time. He has just simply been pitching like himself. Strasburg is usually a better second half pitcher so it’s not too much of a surprise. But what he did Tuesday night really impressed me. Stras is usually 96-97 with ease and around 80 with his curve and then around 88 with his change up. Not to mention the break he has on his off speed that’s obviously nasty. What he did on Tuesday was up his fastball a tick so he was sitting 97-98 touching 99. If it wasn’t for Jed Gyorko that guessed first pitch fastball and drove a 98 mph fastball out of the park, he probably wouldn’t have given up any runs. Also he upped his fastball without changing his breaking stuff at all. He has lowered his era from over 6.00 to 4.14 in these last handful of starts.

Now let’s get to Javier Baez. He was one of my favorite prospects while coming threw the Cubs system, most of Cub nation has written him off after he’s struggles last year. I’m here to tell you that’s definitely too fast to call him a bust. Most Cub fans don’t realize this, he was actually brought up to the majors too early and management planned on him struggling. Baez throughout his minor league career has been called up to a new league struggled for a month or two then all of a sudden he’s hotter than a firecracker. Management thought if they brought him up early so he could struggle now he’d be ready by the start of the 2015 season. It obviously didn’t work out the way they planned but trust me he’s far from a bust. Last 14 games at AAA? Just a .397 average with his usual good power. Watch out for Javier Baez.

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Baseball

#57 Yoenis Cespedes/Mike Fiers

Over the weekend a few things happened that I could talk about but I decided just to mention a couple. Funny that both happened on Friday but both still interesting enough to write about now. Yoenis Cespedes had himself quite a day at the plate blasting 3 homers in Colorado. A little bit south Mike Fiers pitched an impressive no hitter in Texas. But before I get to them I just want to mention a top prospect that made his debut over the weekend for Nationals, Trea Turner. He hasn’t really done anything yet, hasn’t even started a game yet but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t impressed me. He’s a shortstop, some scouts say he’ll move to second, I personally haven’t seen anything to make me think that. Not a bad fielder at short with absolutely ridiculous speed. In his first at bat he hit a routine grounder to short and nearly beat it out. So close that it was reviewed called out though. 2014 first round pick, not a bad hitter, probably a good hitter, with that speed Nats found the shortstop after Ian Desmond.

First up, Yoenis Cespedes big day for New York. He hit 3 home runs in the game on Friday against the Rockies. And they weren’t just wall scrapers or anything they were kind of impressive shots. One to straight away right field, one to right center, and one to dead center. So it wasn’t like he was just pulling homers right down the line. He was actually getting ahold of them and shooting them the other way. It’s not a surprise that Yoenis Cespedes had good day at Coors Field. He has always been super talented he just doesn’t get the opportunity to hit in too many hitters ballparks so far in his career. Still not scared of the Mets by the way even though they added Cespedes and just got David Wright back. Don’t count the Nats out yet.

Probably the bigger of the two stories was Mike Fiers no hitter down in Houston also on Friday. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure he threw 134 (!) pitches during this no-no. That was pretty impressive in itself you don’t see a pitcher throw so many pitches too often these days. Another impressive fact is that it wasn’t against a bad offensive team that he threw against. He allowed no hits to a pretty stacked Dodger team. Of course it was a no hitter I liked it, but I liked the post game interview as well. When asked about the heavy pitch count Fiers said “I didn’t care I was feeling it I would’ve thrown 200 if I had to”. That’s a good response. Congratulations to Mike Fiers.

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#56 Greg Bird/the Cubs

Yesterday gave me plenty to write about but I narrowed it down to two things. Greg Bird, rookie first baseman for the Yankees, had a pretty good day at the plate with 2 homers. So I want to talk about him a little bit. The Cubs have gotten their butts whooped the last couple nights by the Detroit Tigers. I just want to mention them and maybe bring some Cub fans back to reality. But first I just got to mention the Nationals before I start. They have won the first 2 games in the series in Colorado, yes I know it’s just the Rockies but I’m pretty happy about it. It’s not that they’re are winning, which is good of course, but I’m really excited that they’re actually hitting. More specifically it’s not just Bryce Harper like it has been all year so far. They scored 15 runs on Tuesday night and only 3 yesterday but that’s 18 runs in 2 games 9 runs a night? I’m good with that.

I went to Arizona last year for the Arizona fall league. I would watch it on TV if I didn’t go so I would’ve seen Greg Bird either way. It was a prospect I knew about very little about all I knew about Bird was that he was prototypical first baseman and was a left handed hitter. Then I saw him in the fall league, he kind of surprised me he ended up winning the MVP of the fall league. He has a very simple yet powerful left handed stroke probably won’t hit for a high average but will generate plenty of power, especially in Yankee stadium. Still pretty young, he’s only 22, and it doesn’t look like Mark Teixeira is quite done but Greg Bird will be waiting in the wings.

I only have a couple things to say about the Cubs so I’ll try not to ramble on. The Cubs have been playing good the last couple weeks I just want to to talk about what I see. Cub fans might not like it but it’s just how I see it. I see a good hitting offense which I saw coming back in the offseason and back then (and still do) predicted them as a little above .500 and that puts them possibly fighting for the second wild card. I don’t see this pace of being the third best team in the NL keeping up. I think it was a good stretch but I don’t see it happening again. They do have a good offense but they are a below average defensive team. And not to mention the pitching, besides Jake Arieta, has been pretty awful all year. If you want to continue being good you have to pitch period. Let’s look ahead, if they actually make it past the wild card game who’s pitching in a series? Already used Lester or Arieta in the WC game. Got one good pitcher left but then who? I get it Cub fans are excited the team is actually legitimate contenders for the first time in years. Just calm your horses I don’t think the pitching will hold up I predict 86-88 wins.

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#55 Mookie Betts/Hanley Ramirez

Now that this a Tuesday and Thursday blog I thought if I took a couple days in between postings something is bound to happen. Not the case. I could talk about the Nats struggling still, but I recently talked about that so I decided not to. The only thing that popped into my head was how Hanley Ramirez is in left field for the Red Sox. For whatever reason that is.

If you noticed Mookie Betts name is in the headline too. I want to mention how I feel bad for Mookie because the Sox decided to put Hanley in the outfield. Betts, a 22 year old second year player, is still learning how to play center field. Was a second baseman in the minors but obviously Dustin Pedroia has that position locked down. Betts being the good athlete he is moved to center without skipping a beat. But once they signed Hanley Ramirez I knew it would not be good from the start. Hanley Ramirez was a third baseman playing shortstop to begin with and then when Florida/Miami moved him over to third he got super lazy didn’t even act like he wanted to play. So they traded him to the Dodgers who played him at short and lived with his mediocre defense because he could hit. Now in Boston he’s getting payed 20 million dollars to play an extremely lazy left field. Poor Mookie Betts he has to play center field and left field.

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Baseball

#54 Hisashi Iwakuma/Rizzo catch

I think I might keep this as a Tuesday/Thursday thing it might work out. I have seriously ran out of things to talk about every single day that I haven’t talked about already. It’s hard, things still run through my head I never stop thinking about baseball but it’s tough to find something to write a whole blog post about. Anyway today I’m going to talk a little about Hisashi Iwakuma’s no hitter in Seattle yesterday and a little about Anthony Rizzo’s ridiculous catch last night.

Hisashi Iwakuma threw the fifth no hitter of the season yesterday afternoon. There isn’t too much to talk about when it comes to this particular no-no. Iwakuma isn’t a power pitcher or anything, around 90 mph, he really had to spot his pitches well in order for this to happen. Aside from it being a no hitter it was also his first complete game. That pretty impressive especially with him being a free agent after this season, just increased his value.

By now everyone has probably seen the Anthony Rizzo catch from last night. In case you didn’t here’s what happened, Ryan Braun popped up over by the first base dugout there was tarp there so Rizzo couldn’t reach a couple rows into the stands and snag it like some do. So Rizzo jumped up on the tarp stepped on the wall caught the ball and ended 3 rows deep into the crowd. Amazing catch don’t get me wrong but my question is why did that count? I did not know you can basically get up on the wall and step into the crowd to catch the ball? I get leaning over to catch a foul ball or robbing a homer but that’s literally like an outfielder standing on top of the wall to rob a homer. Good job to Rizzo I just didn’t know it was allowed.

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Baseball

#53 Jose Peraza

So I’m sitting here racking my brain about what to write about today, and I came up with nothing. Because of that I might cut this blog down to maybe every other day or once a week. It’s really hard when nothing really happened in baseball the day before I simply cannot think of anything to write about. This blog is actually a very small percentage of how much baseball I talk/think about throughout the day. It’s really hard for me to figure out something to write an entire blog about also something I haven’t written about already. If you’re a regular reader and think I should keep writing everyday please let me know.

Yesterday a top prospect, Jose Peraza, made his MLB debut for the Dodgers. I had no idea about it until I turned on the Nationals game who just so happen to be playing the Dodgers in LA. I’ve been hearing about this 21 year old kid for a few years now and he finally debuted last night. Playing second base and also batted second. Do I think he’ll be a superstar? No but I think he’ll be very good. If I had to throw a comp out there it’d be Jose Altuve. Top of the order catalyst, get on base a good clip, burner on the bases, and not a bad fielder at second. He’s going to hit for a good average, around .300, and steal around 40 bases a year. Just remember Dodger fans he is only 21 years old it might take him some time to get used to the majors. The Dodgers Jose (Peraza) has the potential to be like the Astros Jose (Altuve).

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Baseball

#52 Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg came off the DL on Saturday and was extremely impressive. I’m about going to talk a little about this great start from Stras. But first I should probably mention the Nationals as a team and how they’re doing. Everybody knows the Mets improved their team and have taken over first place in the NL east. But as a Nats fan I am not worried in the slightest. Are the Mets good? Yes but I’m not scared of them. They have good starting pitching, all year really, but both the bulpen and the offense are shaky so I wouldn’t bet on both holding up. The Nats are just now getting healthy give them some time don’t jump ship too quick.

Saturday was Stephen Strasburg’s first start after his second DL stint of the year. He was facing the Rockies who are not a bad hitting team by any means and he just destroyed them. It was his best start of the year by far 7 innings 12 strikeouts 0 walks and he only threw 91 pitches. He was sitting 96-97 touching 98 with his ridiculous curve ball and filthy change up. That’s his normal stuff nothing different there just thought I’d mention it. I’ve been watching Stras all year (always do) I couldn’t figure it out but I could tell there was something wrong. I don’t think it was injury related he had the same stuff he always has. It might of been something mechanical I just couldn’t figure out what his problem was. I noticed throughout this year the damage comes against Strasburg when he has two strikes on a guy then they hit him. I don’t know if he was tipping his pitches or it’s more of the catchers fault but it’s like he lost that killer mentality. With two strikes you can’t give him something he can handle you got to punch him out or make him hit your pitch. You got to finish it. Saturday definitely looked like the usual Strasburg. I’m hoping he figured out whatever the problem was and pitches like that the rest of the season.

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