Baseball

#33 don’t do it LA

Because the title might be a little misleading today’s post will be about the LA Dodgers not the LA Angels. I just want to mention a possible move the Dodgers will probably be making, as soon as this weekend too. Adrain Gonzalez is due to come off the DL soon and I know he might even start and I’m here to say if it ain’t broke, that’s what I mean in the title. Just saying this will most likely be a short post, don’t have a lot to say on the subject just want to throw in my two cents.

Like I said Adrian Gonzalez, the starting first baseman for the first few weeks of the season, is due to return soon and there’s talk that the Dodgers are thinking about benching one of their current starters for him. The only reason this is possible is Cody Bellinger, getting majority of time at first base, can also play the outfield. The main target for this benching speculation is center fielder Joc Perderson, because Bellinger can fill in at center. I’m just going to say that is a very dumb idea, the Dodgers are on pace to win 115-116 games this year why would you rock the boat now? Yeah I know Agon is a consistent player and a gold glove first baseman but the dude is only hitting .250 with only one homer, yes one homer. Cody Bellinger has the most homers on the team by a lot and is a great first baseman so again why rock the boat? So you want to make a guy with 34 homers switch to a different position so a guy with 1 homer can play while you’re in the midst of a possible historic season? Don’t do it LA!

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#29 trade deadline

It’s pretty obvious by the title but I’m going to write about the trade deadline and the trades that went down. Well actually two moves that were somewhat blockbusters. Other than those two deals the trade deadline is fun but it’s no big deal, it’s mainly teams just trading relievers. If the two big deals didn’t happen today I would be talking about Jonathan Lucroy going to the Rockies for a player to be named later, up until the last hour that looked like what was going to happen.

What happened first was the Sonny Gray trade, who went from the A’s to the Yankees. And in my opinion that trade makes New York a legitimate contender, before it was “the Yankees can hit but the pitching is eh” a good bullpen and Luis Sevorino’s break out year would not be enough. To get Sonny Gray they had to give up some good prospects but 2 out 3 prospects are out for the year. The A’s didn’t get the coveted A+ prospect but they did get 3 B prospects with high ceilings. In my opinion the best of the bunch is SS/OF Jorge Mateo, he has game changing speed think Billy Hamilton. In a lot of ways he and Hamilton have similar games, he is probably a little better hitter but still very similar. Mateo will probably be in the majors before too long, I believe he was already at AAA before the trade, and the other two are injured for the rest of the year but still have high upside. For both sides it was a pretty good trade.

Within minutes of the 4 pm et deadline Yu Darvish, probably the best pitcher on the trade block, got traded from the Rangers to the Dodgers. The Dodgers had to give up Willie Cahloun, a left handed second baseman/outfielder who has 20ish homers in the minors this year, and it was worth it. Let’s look ahead, they’re facing the Nats in the playoffs ok first game matchup Kershaw vs Scherzer great matchup right? Second game Strasburg vs … Rich Hill? Eh I’ll definitely take Strasburg. Third game Gio Gonzalez vs … Brandon McCarthy? I think Gio is better. The Dodgers needed Yu Darvish to slot in behind Kershaw otherwise that rotation would not be impressive in a playoff series. They gave up Willie Cahloun who kind of reminds of Justin Bour, chubby guy with a nice left handed swing that creates plenty of power, quite a bit more athletic than Bour but a similar swing.

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Baseball

#21 Torres time will have to wait

Today I want to write about how the Yankees top prospect (and currently MLB’s number 2 overall) Gleyber Torres got injured and will be out the rest of the year. It’s really too bad, before the injury I thought the 20 year old shortstop would be making his debut in the Bronx fairly soon. He was working on third base, where the Yankees struggle, so I thought it was coming a lot sooner than most expected. Before I get into Torres I want to mention a couple things, not really much to say so I guess you can consider them “notes.”

What was with that slide Rizzo? Last night Anthony Rizzo slid/ran over the catcher at home plate trying to score on a sac fly. And honestly I don’t care, that’s how the game use to be played until they changed the rules to protect the catcher. Usually Joe Maddon is considered a genius (this year not so much) but his comments last night were incredibly dumb and ill informed. I know he was just defending his player but Rizzo had a clean lane to slide he went out of his way to initiate contact. Go back and watch the tape if you don’t believe me.

Don’t you hate it when some players get more attention than others? Last year (and the beginning of this year) people would not shut up about Gary Sanchez and his power, “so fast to 20 homers” “among the best ever.” And then there’s Cody Bellinger who’s literally THE fastest ever to 21 homers in MLB history, and yet nobody is really talking about him. What’s up with that?

At just 19 years old he won the Arizona fall league MVP just last year, Gleyber Torres certainly has great potential. He has very quick feet and an excellent arm looking a lot older in the field, he simply knows where to be. He’s just one of those players where it just looks like everything comes super easy to him, especially on defense. I was in Arizona and witnessed him with my own two eyes and it still surprises me he was only 19. I personally believe in his power potential right now he’s more of a gap to gap doubles kind of hitter, but I think as he grows up a little more he can transition that to homerun power. The reason why I’m talking about him is because he injured himself sliding head first into home (always a bad idea) and needs Tommy john surgery which will unfortunately cut his season short. But the silver lining it’s his non throwing elbow so it shouldn’t effect his future arm strength any. It’s still funny the Cubs gave up Torres in the Aroldis Chapman trade last years and then the Yankees sign Chapman back in the offseason anyway, I think it’s safe to say the Yankees won that trade.

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Baseball

#17 congrats to all

There have been a few note worthy things that have happened in baseball recently, so today I’m going to write a post that highlights them all instead of a long post about just one subject. I’ve been pretty good at keeping them about one subject so far this year but there is plenty I could write about today so I figured I’ll just write a paragraph about each subject.

First and foremost I’ve got to congratulate Albert Pujols for joining the 600 homerun club. More people have walked on the moon than hit 600 homers in the majors, that is such an interesting fact. Even though he has to share the club with obvious juicers, Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez, it is still an incredible feat. The machine is 37 years young, the future hall of famer would only need to hit 20 homers a year for the next 5 years to join the even more exclusive 700 homerun club. It’s possible.

Another career feat to congratulate, Clayton Kershaw has joined the 2,000 strikeout club. It’s not too exclusive of a club but it’s impressive because of what it means for the future, in my opinion at least. Kershaw is still only 29 years old, he isn’t even over the hump yet he has a lot of pitches left in that left arm of his. Pitchers are more of an injury risk than position players, they can just hurt something very small and it can derail the rest of their career, just look at Mark Prior’s career. So if Kershaw can stay healthy there is a good chance he can reach 3,000 strikeouts. Knock on wood.

And of course I have to mention the no-hitter that happened over the weekend. Edinson Volquez fired the first no-no of 2017 against a good hitting Diamondbacks team, and only needed 98 pitches to do it. Throughout Volquez’s entire career he’s either been hot or cold, you know he’s either an above average pitcher or someone that makes you wonder why he’s still in the rotation no real in between. He’s 2-7 this year but yet he has the only no-hitter this year, that makes my point. It’s still impressive to throw a no-hitter no matter who you are so congratulations Edinson.

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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

#46 NLCS

Before I start I should say I haven’t been as emotionally invested in baseball as usual. Happens every year when the Nats get knocked out (usually around this time because they lose every year in the NLDS) so I’m sorry if I’m not my usual know everything self. The ALCS is going on as well but that’s kind of a blowout with the Indians up 3 games to none against the Blue Jays. It’s a little bit of a surprise to me because I thought the Jays were the better team but the playoffs are weird. I know plenty of Cub fans and the Cubs-Dodgers series just seems more interesting to me.

I have said this since the beginning, and I obviously still believe it, the Dodgers can spoil this postseason. The series is only tied 1-1 so it’s not like they’re already World Series bound it’s just I think it’s possible. They already beat the second best team in the NL and they match up very well with the Cubs. Even though the 3 games they won against the Nats they beat them by a total of 3 runs obviously barely enough to pull it out. I have had a couple days to process it and you have to hand it to the Dodgers. Their offense wasn’t at all better than the Nats, especially RISP the Dodgers were horrid, but they kept up with the Nats pitching wise. The Nats were obviously a great pitching team and so are the Cubs. Just like the NLDS against the Nats if the Dodgers can keep up with the Cubs on the pitching side maybe they can claw up enough runs to win the series. With the left handed starters the Dodgers have the Cubs are in for a battle. The Cubs have not been great against lefties all year, I know I’ve said that before, the Dodgers have Kershaw (whose already won), Hill, and Urias to potentially start. The Cubs are without a doubt a good hitting team but the highest era of those three pitchers is 3.39 and because they’re lefties I would give the Dodgers the advantage in those 3 games. If the Cubs decide to hit those lefties they could easily win beside Kershaw the other two aren’t as reliable. Like I said playoffs are weird the Cubs could easily change the trend of them being weak against lefty starters. Just my two cents on the NLCS.

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#45 game 5 tonight

There’s basically only one thing to write about today so obviously I’m going to write about game 5 of the NLDS in Washington. I knew the Dodgers could be potential spoilers for the Nationals going into the postseason so I can’t say I’m surprised it went all the way to game 5 but I was hoping the Nats could pull it off on Tuesday. But unfortunately they did not.

Granted the Dodgers had Kershaw on the mound Tuesday but I was still pretty confident the Nats could pull it out. The Dodgers bullpen is extremely taxed Dave Roberts has not been letting his starters go too deep into games so far in the series. And during the first inning I thought that trend would continue, Kershaw didn’t have his A+ stuff and he was forced to throw 27 pitches. I thought ok the Nats will either get to him early or work the count and force him out early. Either way I’ll be good for the Nats. But after the first inning it was vintage Kershaw and he completely dominated the Nats until the 7th that is. He let the first two batters reach then it was Bryce Harper as the tying run in a 5-2 game. The last 2 MVP’s, Kershaw in 2014 and Harper in 2015, if you like baseball then this postseason matchup with the game on the line should really excite you. Well Kershaw walked Harper to load the bases and then before you know it the game was tied at 5. So then it was the Nats bullpen, been very good all year, vs the Dodgers bullpen, been over used this series. But then the old guy Chase Utley drives in the game winning run in the bottom of the 8th for the Dodgers so they won by 1. Tonight it’ll be Max Scherzer for the Nats against Rich Hill of the Dodgers on 3 days rest. I know Scherzer gave up 4 runs early in game 1 but after that he really settled down so I hope he’ll settle down earlier this go around. Rich Hill isn’t Clayton Kershaw I don’t think he can throw as good as Kersh on 3 days rest. Pitching Hill is a risky move if you ask me. But if that’s what gives the Nats the advantage I’ll take it.

His name is Javier Baez. The hero for the Cubs and the reason they’re advancing to the NLCS.

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