Baseball

#43 the LDS

First let me apologize for skipping last week as a Nats fan I was a little pre occupied. Since the Nats lost to the Cubs I have nothing else to focus on so I’m back. Second, this will be a short post I’m going to try and not rant on about anything.

Let’s start in the AL, I guarantee I’ll have less to say. I’ll begin with the Indians and Yankees series and to say the least it was an interesting one. The Indians had the best record in the AL and the Yankees had to win the wildcard game just to get there. Cleveland jumped out to a 2-0 series lead and they looked to simply be the better team but some how some way the Yankees won 3 games in a row to advance. Hate them or love them you have to give them props for that. The other series saw the Astros playing the Red Sox. And well the Astros took that series pretty quickly, 3-1, the Stros just looked like a better team all around.

Now the NL, of course I was mainly focused on the Cubs-Nats series. I knew it was going to be a good series from the beginning and boy was I right. The Nats played better than the Cubs, the Nats were better in every statistical category, but somehow the Cubs still pulled it out. Nothing to do but tip your hat and move on when that happens. Not really mad at anyone for the loss, didn’t really like some of the calls the umpires made in game 5 but I need a whole post to to rant about that. In the other series the Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks, I can honestly say I didn’t see it coming. The Dodgers do have a very good team so I can’t say I’m too shocked though, the Dodgers have won the first 2 games of the NLCS against the Cubs as well.

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#39 another stolen cy young?

I’ve recently been battling a bug so I was a little too sick to write. But I’m back now so today I’m going to write about how Corey Kluber might steal the AL cy young from the front runner Chris Sale. I don’t think it’ll happen but just want to throw some numbers out there and how I think it’s possible. In 2014 when Corey Kluber won his cy young it seemed Felix Hernandez had it won but Kluber somehow stole it away. And they say history repeats itself.

Let’s start with the stats, Chris Sale is 17-7 and has pitched 209 innings has a 2.75 era 300 strikeouts and a 0.95 tWHP and Corey Kluber is 17-4 has thrown 191 innings with a 2.35 era 252 strikeouts and a 0.85 WHIP. That’s just the stats and I would say both are having statistical great years. I don’t think anyone can really argue that. I personally would give the cy young to Sale because I like strikeouts, but Kluber having a much lower era can not be forgotten. Not too mention Kluber is on the best team in the AL.

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#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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#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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#36 Tim Tebow/Yoan Moncada

I’ve done a pretty good job this year of keeping a post about one subject. I noticed last year I was writing about multiple subjects quite often. Nobody really wants to read a blog that takes an hour to read the entire thing. But today there are two main storylines I would like to write about. First being Tim Tebow’s tryout on Tuesday, the second being the call up of MLB’s #1 prospect Yoan Moncada.

Let’s start with some Tebow time. He had his tryout on Tuesday afternoon at USC’s baseball complex. And it wasn’t horrible but I don’t see Tim Tebow being the next Bo Jackson or anything. At 29 years old his tools looked, to me, like an above average high school player. Raw but there were some positives in his game. He ran a tick better than most corner outfielder, showed just an average arm but his throws were surprisingly accurate. What people came to see was how he was going to swing the bat. And he didn’t disappoint during BP. He has good bat speed which can’t be taught but when he faced former major leaguers pumping 90-92 mph, he had some problems. I’m pretty sure he’ll sign somewhere but I highly doubt you’ll ever see Tim Tebow in the majors.

Today rosters expand from 25 to 40 and its a great opportunity for some prospects. Corey Seager got a September call up last year and this year he’ll more than likely win the ROY award. The top prospect getting a September call up this year is the Red Sox 20 year old second baseman, Yoan Moncada. He has been working at third base the last couple weeks so he can be a little more versatile because Dustin Pedroia isn’t going anywhere at second base. Moncada is a very nice looking prospect can do everything well, in the future he can probably be a constant 20 homers 20 steals guy. Thats not stretching it too far but in my honest opinion he’s about a 15 homer 30 steal guy. But still a very very good player obviously. My prediction for his first game is that he goes 1-4 maybe a couple strikeouts but he’ll probably steal a base.

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#29 trade deadline talk

Before I get to writing I have to say that I will be taking Thursday off because I will be heading out of town. I can’t guarantee that I’ll write again next Tuesday but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. There’s a couple things I want to talk about today so this post will be split. First I want to write about the Red Sox calling up one of their (many) top prospects, outfielder Andrew Benintendi. The other is how I believe the Yankees won the trade deadline.

I’m not going to write the whole post about Andrew Benintendi just a quick paragraph. So Benintendi is getting the call Tuesday to be the Red Sox starting left fielder against right handers. Because he’s a left handed hitter that’s where he’ll start for now. Eventually he’ll end up as the starting left fielder regardless of the opposing pitcher. Benintendi easily one of my favorite prospects, he’s only 5’10” 170 pounds but has one of the quickest bats in the minors. His bat will definitely play in the major leagues.

The majority of people say the Rangers were the winners of the trade deadline because the got Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran. But not me, I actually think the Yankees were the winners at the deadline even though they were “sellers”. Lets go back to Chapman trade a week ago, the Yankees received 19 year old shortstop Gleyber Torres (#24 prospect on MLB.com) with another top 100 prospect in outfielder Billy McKinney. Now over the weekend they trade Andrew Miller to the Indians for the #22 prospect, 21 year old outfielder Clint Frazier who just so happens to have bat speed comparable to Mike Trout, also they got another top 100 prospect in that deal. They also got right hander Dillion Tate, a top 5 pick just a couple years ago, in the Beltran deal. Recap: they got 4 top 100 prospects for two relievers. Winning.

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#14 the surging Red Sox

Today I want to write about how well the Boston Red Sox are doing. And by the way I totally picked them to win the AL east, but then again I think the majority also did. I also want to write about Jackie Bradley Jr, I call him JBJ, and his notorious “streak” that he’s on right now.

So the Red Sox come into the night at 27-17 and tied for first with the Baltimore Orioles in the AL east. Honestly I’m not too interested in the Red Sox team but they changed their approach at the plate and I really want to talk about it. And when I say they changed their approach I don’t mean one or two guys, no the entire team changed and I love it. The Red Sox are a good hitting team of late and I think the change in approach is a big reason why. So the entire Boston team is seeing less pitches per at bat (don’t know the exact number but I think it’s around 3.5 pitches) which means they’re going and attacking the pitcher right away. Usually the plan for most teams is to work the count get the starters pitch count up and get him out of the game but why? Everybody in bullpen nowadays throw 97+ and has better stuff (usually) than the starter. Not to mention the “situational” pitchers that every bullpen has that comes in and can get a certain batter out almost every time. I think this new approach can lead to big time success and no better example than JBJ. Jackie Bradley Jr is in the middle of a 27 game hit streak and he looks impressive. This actually dates back to last season but I want to write about his adjustments and how he went from a nobody to a somebody. It’s actually a pretty simple adjustment to make and when you have talent, like JBJ, you go from just a player with potential to a potential superstar. JBJ was just a player with potential and got some playing time in the majors because of his gold glove defense in center field but when you hit under .200 it doesn’t matter how good your defense is. Before he was a guy who had no stride, basically pulling his heel up then put it back down then swing, then all of a sudden he started with this big leg kick. A lot like Mike Trout from the left side and then it was like flipping a switch for JBJ he could now see the ball better he was able to start shooting the ball all over the yard and with good power. He was a former first round pick for a reason it just took some time to get him right. Watch out for Jackie Bradley Jr he’s starting to find himself at the plate.

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