Baseball

#8 Cody Bellinger

I know, I’m a couple days late but how can I not write about a top prospect getting the call? That’s my area of expertise. The Dodgers called up the 10th ranked prospect in baseball on Tuesday, Cody Bellinger. He’s a first baseman/outfielder, but due to the fact LA already has Adrian Gonzalez at first he will mostly be an outfielder for the time being. He’s really athletic so it’s not like the Dodgers are calling up some big first baseman and just deciding to throw him out in left field.

Before I mention Bellinger’s hitting ability I have to talk about his glove first. He has gold glove potential at first base, like I said athletic enough to play outfield but his primary and best defensive position is first base. Now let’s talk about what everyone cares about, what he can do at the plate. He has a crazy quick swing which translates to good power. But he’s not an all or nothing type hitter, I believe he was hitting .338 at AAA before his call up. His quick swing also has a massive uppercut, up until a couple years ago he was just hitting for average then he incorporated this huge uppercut and his power jumped way up and so did his prospect status. Now he’s widely known as one of the better hitting prospects in baseball. I saw him with my own eyes in the Arizona fall league just last year, and you notice the huge uppercut right away but when he makes contact you definitely know it. He creates loud contact but with such an uppercut it also creates plenty of strikeouts. But with his good contact ability he should be able to offset the strikeouts.

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Baseball

#7 Red Sox v. Orioles

I just know I have to write about the incident that happened over the weekend in Baltimore. Just a little back story before I jump into it, Manny Machado slides into second on Friday his foot hit the base and popped up and it cleated Dustin Pedroia pretty good. Two days later a Red Sox pitcher, a reliever I might add, threw a pitch at Machado’s head. Hitting someone for doing your teammate dirty is one thing but throwing at a players head is never ok.

Some view Machado as a dirty player, it’s warranted he’s had some questionable actions throughout the years. To me it doesn’t look he purposely spiked Pedroia, it’s obvious that some might feel differently. But I think Pedroia summed it up perfectly after the game, he said “it was legal for a long time I don’t give a f*** what the new rule is”. The new rule he’s talking about is that the base runner has to slide directly into the base no more taking out people on double plays. That was implemented last year. If you view it as a dirty slide, fine his next time up drill him in the thigh or the rear or something don’t wait two days then decide you want to drill him in the head. Matt Barnes should be suspended 15 games and then sent to the minors. Intentionally throwing at a players head is not ok, like I said it’d be ok if he just hit him in the thigh. The catcher sets up away and you throw at his head and you claim “I was just pitching him inside” oh please no one bought that crap. I think what Bryce Harper said a couple years ago about Paplebon (it’s what started their dugout fight) he said “relievers coming in and beaning guys is tired”. Funny that Pap beaned Machado for “showing up” Scherzer on homer earlier in the game. Relievers are not the baseball police stop trying to control the game from the pen.

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Baseball

#6 the Marte partay is over

I could easily talk about Bryce Harper hitting another 2 homers last night or that the Nats are removing Blake Treinen as the closer. The resurgence of Eric Thames in Milwaukee is something else I can write about today, but I said on Tuesday I’ll write about Starling Marte and I’m a man of my word. I’m not a doctor or anything so I don’t know why Marte was taking this banned substance so I just have to assume he’s a cheater that got caught. Definitely no excuse for it nowadays so this post might be a little short.

Like I said there is really no excuse for “not knowing” what you’re taking, you are supposed to report every thing to your trainer,I say Starling Marte tried to cheat and got caught. He wasn’t playing for a new contract, already getting paid very well to play baseball for a living, he wasn’t trying to get over an injury or anything. It’s pretty obvious to me that he was trying to cheat and trying to be better than he already was. If you look at Marte you see an extremely athletic player and he has been since he came from the DR. He is very fast, 40+ steals with ease, and is a .300 hitter also a gold glove defender. His downfall, if you ask me, is that he’s too aggressive and doesn’t take that many walks for someone who hits leadoff. And like I said I’m not a doctor and don’t claim to be but I have never heard of someone taking steroids so they have a better eye at the plate. In his statement he said it was a “mistake” and asked for forgiveness from the fans, but I don’t think they should just forget and forgive. Granted they have a very good prospect just waiting in the wings, in Austin Meadows, but there’s a chance he just blew the pirates chances this year. I think the pirates have a chance based on how athletic they are but in order for them to compete they need everyone to play like they can. Gerrit Cole had a down year last year same with McCutchen, they are both looking good so far this year. They already lost Jung Ho Kang because he decided to drive drunk and got arrested and now Marte is gone for 80 games, might of hurt more than just himself.

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Baseball

#5 it’s about Nat time

Minutes ago Starling Marte got suspended 80 games for testing positive for PED’s. I already committed to writing about the Nationals today so that will have to wait until Thursday. I try really hard not to talk about the Nats much because I don’t want to sound like I’m just a homer, I try to spread it out so you know that I know everything about baseball and not just about the Washington.

After Bryce Harper hit 2 homers on Sunday, including a walk off, I knew I had to write about the Nats today. I already made my case for Harper being back to his MVP form so I don’t think there’s much more to say about his hot start. Instead I’ll talk about the team in general. Through two weeks they’re at 7-5, which is nothing too glamorous but it’s good enough for 1st place in the NL east. Adding Adam Eaton looks like it helps this lineup greatly but I still don’t entirely like the trade. I don’t like giving up Giolito, Lopez I understand trading him while his value was high, but Dane Dunning was just the “other” guy in the trade but guess what? He has 21 strikeouts in only two starts in the minors. They could’ve traded Joe Ross instead of giving up Lucas Giolito but no, let’s trade the top pitching prospect in baseball after we completely miss use him by calling him up, sending him back down, calling him up, sending him back down, never really giving him a chance to prove himself in the majors. Sorry I’m ranting I’ll get back on track. My point is this lineup is incredibly deep, Trea Turner will he back very soon who will be the leadoff hitter, then you have Eaton hitting second taking walks and having his good on base percentage, then you have the MVP version of Bryce Harper batting third, then it’s Daniel Murphy who’s also off to a scorching start. That’s only 1-4 and then there’s Zim, Werth, and Wieters who are all off to hot starts as well. Who cares that there’s 3 lefties in a row at 2-4? It works no matter who’s pitching. Wait, I didn’t even talk about the good pitching? Oh well there’s always next time.

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Baseball

#4 it’s only been a week

Nothing too interesting happened in baseball the last couple days so I couldn’t really think of anything to write about today. So I decided to write about how some teams are off to a hot start and some teams that are on the opposite side of the road. But like the title says it’s only been a week no reason to worry (or get excited) after one week.

Let’s talk about the bad teams first. Toronto at 1-7, Texas at 3-5, and Seattle at 2-8 are all bound to get better. Toronto is the only team I didn’t pick to go to the playoffs but I think they’re way better than 1-7. I just think they’ll miss the big bat of Encarnacion a little too much. But I think they still have a strong rotation led by Aaron Sanchez and even without EE the lineup is still pretty darn good. So far this year the former MVP, Josh Donaldson, has been bit by the injury bug, a calf injury that’s been bugging him since spring training. It’s pretty simple, JD gets it going the Blue Jays can get it going. There is only one really hot team that has caught my eye, and that’s the Cincinnati Reds. At 7-2 they stand alone atop the NL central. They’re 1.5 games ahead of the Cubs, that should speak volumes. Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza are getting on base at a good clip, once on base both of the speedsters are stealing bases like it’s nothing. Batting 1 and 2 gives opposing pitchers something to worry about right away, if Joey Votto wasn’t starting slow there’s a chance they could’ve been better. They’ve been in a rebuild for a couple years now so they’ve accumulated plenty of young talent, including Peraza, to build around Votto. I’m not saying the Reds are a playoff team or anything but they do have some talent and could surprise people. Remember the whole point of this post is not to put too much weight on this first week.

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Baseball

#3 St. Louis cheaters?

Before I get into this I should note that I don’t really consider the Cardinals cheaters. At least I don’t think they’re the Patriots. The Cards got in trouble, and an exec got jail time, for hacking into the Houston Astros “scouting reports”. That was their defense but I don’t buy it, they wouldn’t throw someone in jail for stealing some scouting reports. I’m pretty sure this guy hacked the entire system of the Astros and got a lot more information than just a few scouting reports.

Now what this post is about is on Thursday (while I was writing Thursday’s post) the Cards threw a ball in the dirt and of course Yadier Molina blocked it, but when he got up he couldn’t find the ball and was frantically looking for it, but it was stuck to his chest protector the whole time. Haha that’s funny, look at Yadi looking for that ball when it’s stuck on him, wait a minute, isn’t that cheating? That’s exactly how I was thinking when it happened. Because a baseball just doesn’t stick to a chest protector like that, it obviously had a crazy amount pine tar for a ball to just stick to it. Now I personally don’t think pine tar affects a pitched ball much so it doesn’t really matter to me when a pitcher gets caught with it. Here’s my point though, when a pitcher gets caught with pine tar he gets ejected but nothing happens when Yadier Molina is clearly rubbing some pine tar on the ball before throwing it back to the pitcher. I’m not saying he should be suspended or fined for this, I don’t really think it was affecting the baseball all that much I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy. Just to be clear I do not think Yadi is a cheater, I think he’s one hell of catcher and quite possibly a future hall of famer, just pointing out what happened on Thursday and what I thought about it.

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Baseball

#2 roadblock in Chicago

I’m still getting back into the groove of writing a full blog every couple days so this one might be a little short like Tuesday. I was racking my brain trying to think of something to write about about today and didn’t come up with anything. So I figured I’d just give my two cents on one of the few teams that are playing as I write this. Today I’ll write a little about the Chicago Cubs.

And more importantly a player that I don’t think is getting a fair shake from the Cubs, Javier Baez. Baez played great in the world baseball classic for Puerto Rico, was the MVP in the NLCS (or NLDS can’t remember which one). He really should be an everyday starter but he’s not in there today and still not 100% the starter at second base. He brings a good bat, crazy athleticism, and highlight plays on defense every day. For whatever reason the Cubs decided to sign Ben Zobrist last offseason and cause a bigger logjam at second base than what was already coming. Ian Happ was what I was talking about, he’s a top 25 prospect now, he was a top 10 pick a couple years back. Cubs fans might recognize Happ’s name because he had an outstanding spring training and was the talk of camp. Because of Schwarber being back they can’t just put Zobrist in left and start Baez at second like they did late/in the playoffs last year. Why don’t they just start Zobrist in right so Baez can play? That’s an option but you’re putting 180 million dollars, Jason Heyward, on the bench. Just start Heyward in center and bench Almora? Well you’re not gaining anything defensively, they’re both very good, and you’re forced to deal with Heyward not hitting anything playing him just because he’s a highly payed player. It’s a good problem to have, that’s why no one is complaining much, but it’s still a problem. Baez has proven his worth as a starter, Happ is knocking on the door, also Happ can play outfield too just like Zobrist. Don’t be surprised if Zobrist or Schwarber or even Heyward will be traded this year. The lineup has no leadoff hitter and the pitching staff is very old so they could trade for a leadoff guy and some young pitching. Just an idea.

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