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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Baseball

#32 Harper’s injury

After Bryce Harper fell to the ground clutching his knee late Saturday night, I’ve been thinking about the whole situation since so I figured I would write about it today. Yes, I am a Nats so you can call me biased it doesn’t bother me any. With this injury there are implications to the MVP race and that’s mainly what I’ve been thinking about, because the Nats are far enough ahead in the division they can withstand losing their 3-hole hitter for a couple weeks while he heals up.

Bryce Harper was trying to beat out a ground ball and he got to the base and his foot slipped off and his knee buckled, buckled the wrong way. The base was probably slippery because of the 2 hour rain delay before the game, and not to mention the base is pretty hard and doesn’t give much. From what I saw it looked like he just hyper extended it, and after that happens you can’t really put any pressure on that leg, so he had to be pretty much carried off the field. To no surprise people were assuming the worst “he tore his ACL” “Harper out for the rest of the year” but I personally didn’t believe that. Was it possible he tore his ACL and everything else? Yes very possible. To me it looked like just a hyper extension especially when it was reported that he came to park the next day with an ace bandage UNDER the knee and not even a real limp. So it looks like Harper will miss a couple weeks with a severe bone bruise, not as bad as it could’ve been. Now to the MVP implications, I wrote about the MVP race just last week and I said I think Harper will win it in the NL. I’m not completely flipping I still think Harper can do it but because of this injury he might miss some time and it would take a lot more now to win it. He doesn’t want to, and the Nats wouldn’t even let him, hurry back and risk further injury and potentially miss a good playoff/world series run. With Giancarlo Stanton absolutely on fire, probably going to end up with 50+ homers this year, he’s making this MVP race tighter than it already was. The person I think benefits most with Harper having to miss some time is Nolan Arenado, the dude already has 100 rbis. The Rockies are actually good this year and will probably be a playoff team, that’s why I think Arenado is getting some real consideration for MVP. I’m not sure he can continue hitting .311 down the stretch, he’s been around .280 the last couple years, but the homers and the rbis will be there for sure. 26 homers and 100 rbis right now and has a little over a month left.

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Baseball

#31 players weekend

I’m still in that mid season drag, don’t really know why, but anyway I don’t really have anything specific to talk about today. Since nothing is really popping into my I’m just going to write a quick post about the players weekend, I’ve been planning about writing about this subject for a couple months but I just kept forgetting. This will probably be a fairly short post but just like any other job you have to go to work even if you’re not feeling it.

For those that don’t know the players weekend will be August 25th-27th and it’s a weekend where MLB will “loosen” their usual uniform restrictions. I put loosen in quotations because I fully believe there will still be some restrictions and not unrestricted even though I’ve heard some report its unrestricted, like I don’t see a player wearing bright pink cleats with a blue jersey. But who knows I’m not in these meetings I could be totally off. All we know so far is that players get to wear their nicknames on the back of the jerseys, instead of just their last names, and supposedly the MLB is loosing the restrictions on the rest of the uniform socks, cleats, batting gloves, etc. but we’ll see. So far all I’ve seen is the jerseys they’ll be wearing and they look pretty cool and the nicknames, the nicknames are pretty simple like “Yadi” for Yadier Molina, or “Zim” for Ryan Zimmerman, “Murph” for Daniel Murphy, simple stuff like that. But I have also seen some pretty creative ones like “All Rise” for Aaron Judge, and “Don’t You Know” for Robinson Cano. Should be a pretty interesting weekend all around but I think we can all agree Kyle Seager won the nickname game with “Corey’s Brother”.

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Baseball

#30 MVP race

I was talking to my cousin about the MVP races in both leagues this morning, and it got me thinking I could probably write about it today. The NL is a lot more interesting than the AL but it is still very intriguing to me. I just knew I could write/talk about this subject for hours so I figured I could write an entire post about it. I’ll be honest with you I’ve been a little disconnected from baseball for about a week (call it a mid season drag) so I apologize but that’s why I missed Thursday, needed a mental day off.

I’ll start in the AL because I have less to say. The MVP race is only between two in opinion, Jose Altuve and Chris Sale. There’s a little over a month and a half left in the regular season and Altuve is on pace to hit .360+ 20+ homers 80+ rbis and 30+ stolen bases, that’s a pretty strong offensive season and honestly I think it’s his award to lose. I mentioned Chris Sale not because of the 13-4 record or the 2.70 era, there’s better, but it’s his 216 strikeouts that set him apart from the competition. That’s around 30 over the next closest. He has always been a first half player so his most recent start, where he really struggled, might be the start of his down turn. I’m not saying he’s going to continue to pitch badly down the stretch, I’m just saying he might be just an average pitcher going forward. Someone will eventually bring up Mike Trout, of course he’s having a great year and it’s too bad he got injured but it happens and he missed a quarter of the season.

Now the NL, I’m not even sure I’ll get to everybody who has a shot to win MVP. Where to even start? Well first it will definitely be a hitter and second there isn’t a clear cut favorite. Let’s start with who I think will win and that’s Bryce Harper (call me biased I don’t care) 29 homers 80+ rbis and .325+ average with a month and a half to go is a lot like the numbers he put up in 2015 when he won it. And I personally think Harper has the ability to put up even better numbers down the stretch, the last couple weeks he’s been in one of his “mini slumps” where he swings at everything so hopefully he sharpens up his eye and stops swinging at balls. And then there’s Paul Goldschmidt who has similar numbers to Harper but less homers and more stolen bases. Then there’s Nolan Arenado who already has 90+ rbis and Charlie Blackmon who has already scored 100 times. Don’t forget the Dodgers who have been on fire since they called up Cody Bellinger. Obviously there are so many players that have a shot at the MVP trophy this year.

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Baseball

#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

#28 prospect time

So I didn’t write anything on Tuesday because there is nothing really going on of any importance. Today I can’t really think of anything to write about so I’m just going to mention a couple big time prospects that got the call recently. Around this time is usually when teams like to call up some of their top prospects.

First off we have to start with MLB’s number 1 prospect, Yoan Moncada. Moncada was the main piece in the Chris Sale trade between the White Sox and Red Sox this winter. He is an absolutely electric player, just turned 22 so fairly young, this is one of those trades where you can say that really worked out for both sides. Moncada is considered Robison Cano with speed, and I can see why people say that. From the left side (he’s a switch hitter) his swing looks very similar to Cano’s, Moncada might have the same kind of power as Cano but I don’t think he has the pure hitting ability, he has a little more swing and miss to his game. The speed is the separating factor he had back to back 45 stolen base season in the minors.

The second kid I want to write about is the Red Sox, Rafael Devers. I feel this 20 year old kid is only up because the Red Sox third base options suck and the Yankees got Todd Frazier. Yes, he has been a top prospect for years and he has pretty good numbers in the minors this year. He has a good swing and it will play at the highest level but it just feels like his call up was just a last ditch effort to add some power to the lineup. I think Devers will be great don’t get me wrong I just don’t like the timing of this call up, hours later the Red Sox traded for Eduardo Nunez.

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#27 another couple of trades

To be honest with you I did not see this coming at all, we still have a week until the trade deadline. Not even that close to the deadline and there has already been a couple big names shipped to new teams. So today I’m going to write about the two trades that happened Tuesday evening/night, the JD Martinez trade and the Todd Frazier (and others) trade.

I have less to say about the JD Martinez trade so I’ll start there. JD went from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks for 3 prospects, none of which are “big names”. In all honesty it was a pretty weak return for a pretty good outfielder. When the Tigers traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets a couple years ago they got Micheal Fulmer in return, who was a big arm who hadn’t quite figured everything out yet but now he developed into their number 1 pitcher. And if you look at the numbers Martinez and Cespedes are fairly similar, it looks like the Diamondbacks got the better end of this deal but we’ll have to wait a couple years to see if the prospects the Tigers got in return turn into anything. Today they were talking about this trade on MLB network and they were saying nobody in the industry predicted the Diamondbacks to be this good… and guess what? I predicted it check my predictions post from before the season. Will a team just hire me already.

Now about the Todd Frazier deal. So it was basically Frazier and David Robertson (and another reliever but I don’t know how to spell his name) going from the White Sox to the Yankees for Blake Rutherford (first round pick last year and number 30 overall prospect in baseball) and Ian Clarkin (former first round pick) and two others. So not only did New York upgrade at third base they actually got to steal Frazier from Boston, it was reported earlier on Tuesday that the Red Sox were close to a deal with Chicago for Todd Frazier then the Yankees just sweep in and stole him from their rivals. Rutherford looks to be a good, athletic outfielder but they have enough outfielders and don’t need to wait for him because he’s probably around 2 years away from being major league ready. Clarkin has potential but has often been injured and he’s not too close to the majors either (closer than Rutherford probably) and those are the big names in this trade. The Yankees saw a chance to upgrade a weak position and not let Boston upgrade their weak position so they took it, I call that a win-win situation.

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