Baseball is a pretty cool sport. The 2012 season/offseason was no exception, as not one but two teams (and arguably three) had almost storybook underdog seasons, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper took the major league by storm, basically everyone threw a no hitter, the Dodgers decided gently caress this poo poo and bought literally everybody, and for the first time in years neither the Yankees or Red Sox project to be the favorite in their division.
Because of this, every so often people come into SAS and ask what team they should root for. If you're interested in baseball but don't have any obvious choices for a team, this is the thread for you! In this thread there will be summaries of (hopefully) each team in baseball, going over the roster and maybe a quick thing about their outlok for 2013. There's bound to be some team that interests you!
This should go without saying, but for anyone who wants to make a writeup, please put some effort into it. I'm not asking whole paragraphs on each player, but a little more substance than "He's good" or "He's bad" would be appreciated. Also, if you want to make one for a specific team but someone beat you to it, make it anyway! I'll link both.
Texas Rangers - Vacant
Anaheim Angels - PoliticalRancor
Oakland Athletics - Vacant
Seattle Mariners - Benne
Houston Astros - CaptainYesterday
Detroit Tigers - Chilly McFreeze
Chicago White Sox - Xenophon
Cleveland Indians - Vacant
Kansas City Royals - adaz
Minnesota Twins - 867-530-NEIN!
New York Yankees - BrooklynBruiser (SWITCH HITLER also did one)
Tampa Bay Rays - Monicro
Toronto Blue Jays - Vacant
Boston Red Sox - Vacant
Baltimore Orioles - Vacant
Los Angeles Dodgers - tatankatonk
San Francisco Giants - The Pussy Boss
Arizona Diamondbacks - Vacant
San Diego Padres - JediGandalf
Colorado Rockies - Vacant
Cincinatti Reds - Vacant
St. Louis Cardinals - FairGame
Chicago Cubs - tadashi
Pittsburgh Pirates - Mornacale
Milwaukee Brewers - Vacant
Washington Nationals - Vacant
Atlanta Braves - Vacant
Philadelphia Phillies - stuart scott irl (read that)
New York Mets - Vacant
Miami Marlins - Vacant
Monicro fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2013 around 07:02
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 09:21|
|# ? May 22, 2013 03:04|
The 2013 Tampa Bay Rays
2012 season: 3rd place, 90-72
The Rays are a baseball team in the AL East. This is already a bad spot to be in, and the fact that they have one of the bottom 3 payrolls in baseball and are locked into a lovely stadium that no one wants to go to certainly doesn't help matters. Despite this, since 2008 they have been legitimate contenders thanks to almost inarguably the best GM in baseball if not American sports, Andrew Friedman. This year, they look to battle with the Blue Jays for the division title and maybe even bring St. Petersburg its first ever World Series title.
The Rays' 2012 season were a story of phenomenal pitching (I believe they had the best second-half team ERA ever, but then again ~arbitrary endpoints~ and all that) spoiled by absolutely dreadful hitting. They've brought in one major piece to fix that though (see below) and hopefully with a healthy Longoria they can be at least a decent hitting team and let their pitching staff take over.
OF Wil Myers
2012 Minor League season: .314/.387/.600, 37 HR
Obtained in a
SP Jake Odorizzi
2012 Minor League season: 3.03 ERA, 1.252 WHIP, 145.1 IP
Also obtained in that trade with the Royals (it was pretty good yo), Odorizzi is also a top prospect and looks to slot into the number 4 or 5 spot in the rotation on the Rays' Opening Day Roster. I don't know nearly as much about him as Myers since I don't follow prospects nearly as much as I really should, but he should be Pretty Good at throwing baseballs and might be as good if not better than the guy we gave up in a few years.
SP James Shields
2012 season: 3.52 ERA, 1.168 WHIP, 227.2 IP, 108 ERA+
Here's the guy we gave up in the trade. As a shameless Rays homer it pains me to say this, but don't let the guys on ESPN fool you, Shields is a wildly overrated innings eater that had one really good season, and now officially on the wrong side of 30 (and with a ton of innings under his belt). Also, in his last start as a Ray he went 9.0 innings, with 1 ER and 15 strikeouts and lost the game 1-0, which I think sums up the 2012 Rays nicely.
CF BJ Upton
2012 season: .246/.298/.454, 28 HR, 109 OPS+
Since 2007, Upton has been in a bizarre decline as he reached closer to his prime. He had a small resurgence this year, hitting a career high 28 homers, but with Myers coming to fill that void in the outfield I don't think we'll feel his loss too much.
2012 season: .240/.317/.394, 175 HR, 100 OPS+
CF Desmond Jennings
2012 season: .246/.314/.388, 13 HR, 97 OPS+
Jennings had a bit of a down year after his solid rookie campaign, but he still has a ton of potential. He looks to take over in Center following the loss of Upton, but his excellent speed and range should make up for his not-great arm.
SS Yunel Escobar
2012 season: .253/.300/.344, 9 HR, 75 OPS+
Escobar was on the Marlins for about 10 minutes as part of that Jays/Marlins trade and then was traded here because lol Jeff Loria. Anyway, Escobar isn't great but he plays good defense and should hit for about a .260 average and hit a couple dingers and that's great considering our other option for the starting SS job is Sean Rodriguez. Also the words on his eye black in that picture there translate to "You're a enjoyable human being". So yeah.
3B Evan Longoria
2012 season: .289/.369/.527, 17 HR, 149 OPS+
Evan Longoria Owns. He's the best player on the team, one of the top 5 third basemen in baseball both offensively and defensively, and is now locked up for almost his entire career. When he's healthy, he's one of the top 10 players in baseball. Unfortunately, last year he wasn't. He only played 84 games due to injury, and the offense suffered while he was gone. If he can stay healthy, the Rays could easily make the playoffs. If he can't, then it would be an uphill battle to say the least.
credit to Xenophon for this picture that makes me laugh far more than it should
RF Ben Zobrist
2012 season: .270/.377/.471, 20 HR, 138 OPS+
Ben Zobrist is one of the most underrated players in baseball, as he’s one of those guys who aren’t great at any one thing, but he can do basically everything well. He can play every position well (in 2010 he played every position except catcher and pitcher), he'll hit somewhere from .250 to .270, he'll hit about 15-20 dingers, and he'll draw a shitton of walks. He owns is what I'm saying. If the lineup I have in my head turns out to be right he'll be playing Right Field, but he might play second base or Left Field as well.
LF Matt Joyce
2012 stats: .241/.341/.429, 17, 116 OPS+
Joyce was one of the best hitters on the team up until around June, when he got hurt, came back a month later and was just okay-ish the rest of the way. If he can get back to his pre-2012 numbers he could be a great number 5 guy, but if he doesn't he'll pretty much strictly be a platoon hitter. As with Zobrist, his position isn't set in stone and he might play his normal position, Right Field.
** ADDENDUM **
DH Luke Scott
2012 season: .229/.285/.439, 14 HR, 101 OPS+
Scott had a great April, then injuries and generally being Not Good took over for the rest of the way. He also spent a lot of time on the bench toward the end of the season as Longo was only playing at 80% and needed to play DH a lot. I'm not expecting a lot from him this season, but without him they'll have to trot out Ryan Roberts or whatever at DH so sure why not. He won't get a full season anyway, as Joyce will presumably take over at DH when Myers gets called up.
** END ADDENDUM **
2B Kelly Johnson
2012 season: .225/.313/.365, 16 HR, 84 OPS+
Kelly Johnson is a player once known for his patience and power, and now known for his strikeouts. Knowing the Rays, this means he's going to hit .280/.390/.510 with 30 homers or something. He's the third piece of the IDK How This Is Gonna Work trifecta, and may ride the bench if Zobrist plays Second.
1B James Loney
2012 season: .249/.293/.336, 6 HR (from a first baseman jesus christ), 73 OPS+
C Jose Molina
.223/.286/.355, 8 HR, 80 OPS+
He can't hit to save his life, but he's really, really good at pitch framing and if that makes our pitching staff even better, I'm all for it.
2012 season: 3.19 ERA, 1.166 WHIP, 1459.2 IP, 120 ERA+
SP #1: David Price
2012 season: 2.56 ERA, 1.100 WHIP, 211.0 IP, 149 ERA+
Simply put, David Price loving owns and is my favorite Ray. He won the Cy Young last year (although Verlander was a little better to be fair), and looks to get even better as he enters his prime. He’s one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball and he’s also great to follow on twitter because he posts a bunch of pictures of his adorable dog.
SP #2: Matt Moore
2012 season: 3.81 ERA, 1.348 WHIP, 177.1 IP, 100 ERA+
The top prospect in baseball going into the season, Moore had an up-and-down rookie campaign. His first two months were mediocre, then he was great for almost the entire rest of the season before faltering again in September. He should improve and be an exceptional #2 behind Price though (he would be the ace of a lot of teams), and like Longoria he’s locked up for a billion years and that’s cool.
SP #2: Jeremy Hellickson
2012 season: 3.10 ERA, 1.254 WHIP, 177.0 IP, 123 ERA+
After winning the ROY award in 2011, I thought that Hellickson had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2012 but looking at his numbers he had a pretty solid second year. Opinions on him are a bit polarized, but behind Moore and Price he should be at least a pretty good middle-of-the-rotation guy. Also he adjusts his cup like nonstop and that’s weird, stop that.
SP #4: Jake Odorizzi
2012 Minor League season: 3.03 ERA, 1.252 WHIP, 145.1 IP
I already told you about him, scroll up!
SP #5: Chris Archer
2012 Minor League season: 3.66 ERA, 1.258 WHIP, 128.0 IP
2012 Major League season: 4.60 ERA, 1.277 WHIP, 29.1 IP, 84 ERA+
As with Odorizzi I don’t know a whole lot about him, but I do know that he was the top prospect in the Rays’ system prior to the Wil Myers trade and he’ll probably own because he’s a pitching prospect for the Rays.
OF Sam Fuld: a SCRAP & GRIT kinda guy but gently caress y’all Sam Fuld Owns
SS Sean Rodriguez: run of the mill all-glove-no-bat backup shortstop.
2B Ryan Roberts: Okay-ish backup, but nothing to write home about. He was part of the “Hey let’s all have career years at the exact same time” 2011 D-Backs campaign, but that’s about it.
C Jose Lobaton: he put up adequate numbers for a backup catcher last year. The best thing to know about him is that he was served ice cream whenever he hit a home run
LRP: Jeff Neimann
2012 season: 3.03 ERA, 1.105 WHIP, 38.0 IP, 125 ERA+
Neimann was a former top prospect but never quite achieved his potential, and this year only played 6 or 7 games as the #5 starter before getting hurt, coming back in September, and immediately getting hurt again. He’ll probably be in the bullpen this year unless Archer or Odorizzi implodes, and I want you to think about the fact that there’s no room in the rotation for a sub-4.50 ERA guy.
MRP: Alex Cobb
2012 season: 4.03 ERA, 1.247 WHIP, 136.1 IP, 95 ERA+
Cobb got all the starts that Neimann missed last season, and looking at his stats he didn’t have nearly as bad a season as I remember. Still though, like Neimann he’ll probably be bumped to the bullpen unless someone gets hurt or whatever. A 7-pitcher deep rotation owns a lot.
MRP: Jake Mcgee
2012 season: 1.95 ERA, 0.795 WHIP, 55.1 IP, 126 ERA+
From 2011 to 2012, Mcgee went from an okay-ish LOOGY to being dominant out of the pen. He’ll still probably be mainly used for LOOGY duties, but if last season was anything to go by he will almost certainly be able to hold his own against righties.
MRP: Cesar Ramos
2012 season: 2.10 ERA, 0.967 WHIP, 30.0 IP, 183 ERA+
He owned in a small sample size last year. I have no idea if he’ll be able to keep it up, but if he does he could be another dominant lefty to compliment Mcgee.
MRP: Roberto Hernandez
2012 season: 7.53 ERA, 1.395 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 53 ERA+
Formerly Fausto Carmona, at first glance his stats paint the picture of a scrap head middle-reliever. Apparently though he has a crazy ground-ball rate and with that infield defense behind him, the Rays may have made a savvy as hell pickup. Also it’s not as if they don’t have any experience with turning scrap heap relievers into loving All-Stars.
SU: Joel Peralta
2012 season: 3.63 ERA, 0.985 WHIP, 67.0 IP, 105 ERA+
Peralta had a bit of a down season after a very nice 2011 season. Really the most notable thing about him is how he got busted for having pine tar on his glove which led to Joe Madden calling Davey Johnson a pussy which was pretty great
Closer: Fernando Rodney
2012 season: 0.60 ERA, 0.777 WHIP, 74.2 IP, 634 ERA+ (that last one holy poo poo)
Hey remember what I just said about the Rays turning scrap heap relievers into All-Stars? Yeah.
Monicro fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2013 around 23:31
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 09:22|
Reserving this spot to tell you all about the Angels, aka the most bullshit team in MLB.
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 10:09|
never mind, nothing to see here
factorialite fucked around with this message at Feb 20, 2013 around 12:42
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 12:29|
The 2013 New York Yankees
So... The Yankees. The Evil Empire. The Bronx Bombers. For as long as I can remember, the Yankees have been at or near the top of the AL East. This year? I'm not so sure. The roster's getting older, the AL East competition is getting stronger... This is gonna be a hell of a year for the Yankees.
We... don't know who the Yankees' Opening Day catcher will be. 3 guys will be competing for the spot in Spring Training.
Career .271/.339/.353, 5 years, 184 games. 26 years old.
Take a look at his career numbers. Yeah.
Career .158/.200/.158, 1 year, 9 games. 24 years old.
Romine will... probably be a decent enough backup. In 21 games at AAA he hit .197/.267/.342. In 200 games at AA he hit .276/.336/.392. Had some back issues last season.
Career .217/.281/.302, 6 years, 148 games. 31 years old.
Chris Stewart's a pretty good defensive backup catcher. Reportedly great at pitch framing. Dear God, don't let him hit.
Outlook: The Yankees' catcher situation is that we have 3 guys who can be summed up by saying "He's a pretty good backup catcher, but don't let him be your starter." We are so hosed.
2012: .251/.332/.475, 123 games, 24 HR. Career .279/.369/.527. 32 years old.
Teix is pretty good, but he's been declining steadily the last few years. (This is a theme for the 2013 Yankees.) He had a fairly injury-ridden season last year, so the hope is he'll return to form somewhat.
Isn't he dreamy? Er, I mean, 2012: .313/.379/.550, 161 games, 33 HR. Career .308/.351/.503. 30 years old.
Robinson Cano is the consensus best 2nd baseman in baseball. Excellent defender, great with the bat, just all around awesome. Becomes a free agent at the end of the year.
2012: .272/.353/.430, 122 games, 18 HR. Career .300/.384/.560. 37 years old.
I know A-Rod. You know A-Rod. We all know A-Rod. Most of us don't like him. I don't need to say much about him. Thing is, he's injured. Had hip surgery. Out 'till at least the All-Star break. So instead of him, we get...
2012: .235/.336/.409, 122 games, 19 HR. Career .283/.384/.482. 33 years old.
...this. Quite literally the last person I ever expected to see in a Yankee uniform. Youk is... Alright, I guess. Injury-prone as hell, so no one knows how much we'll see him.
2012: .316/.362/.429, 159 games, 15 HR. Career .313/.382/.448. 38 years old.
El Capitan. Derek Goddamned Jeter. It is impossible for me to speak objectively about him. You know about him.
[Outfielders, Bench, & Pitchers pending]
BrooklynBruiser fucked around with this message at Feb 20, 2013 around 20:34
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 15:02|
To be honest I was pretty surprised that the Rays lineup had even a 100 OPS+ last year.
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 16:07|
I throught A-Rod is out for the season? Or is that just wild speculation?
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 17:22|
I throught A-Rod is out for the season? Or is that just wild speculation?
Speculation, last I heard, but that was weeks ago. May have changed.
I'm assuming RQE will be around soon enough with a Twins post, but I'm going to write something up anyway in order to attempt to teach myself about the based balls. Gonna shoot for this weekend.
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 17:25|
Placeholder for a Miami Marlins writeup after work
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 17:39|
A cool Rays gif:
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 18:20|
I cannot believe that the Rays writeup overlooked the fact that Roberto Hernandez is the artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona. At first I was like "you mean the Roberto Hernandez who closed for the Devil Rays in like 2000?" before I actually studied the picture with any care.
I look forward to seeing who has the balls to tackle being a Pirates, Royals, or Astros fan.
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 19:51|
Whatever value Cervelli has comes from his bat. His defense is putrid.
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 19:53|
Whatever value Cervelli has comes from his bat. His defense is putrid.
I'm an idiot who looked at dWAR.
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 20:33|
2013 Chicago Cubs
2012 record: 61-101
2013 PECOTA projection: 77-85
My prediction: 72-90
Why you should root for this team
One day the Cubs will win the World Series, breaking their 100+ year streak without one, and you don't want to be some sort of Johnny-come-lately when it happens, do you? If you've been hiding under a rock for the last 100 years, the Cubs' history has been full of disappointments and curses related to goats, cats, and Bartmans.
This year is about watching the youth movement evolve in Chicago: Hoping Rizzo hits home runs, holding your breath every time a ground ball is hit to short, and arguing with people about the career expectations for Brett Jackson. If you want to see the most exciting players in the Cubs system, however, you need to take a trip to East Tennessee to watch the Smokies play later in the summer when The Futuretm of the team is gathered to play in AA. The long-term goal for ownership and the front office seems to be to turn the franchise into the Yankees of the mid-west by developing an elite core of young players and then intelligently adding other pieces through free agency and trades in addition to the changes being made on the business side of the operation. The revenue streams could be outrageous for the Cubs in a few seasons when a renovation of Wrigley Field should coincide with a new media deal. The Ricketts are also working on building a new spring training facility, a new Dominican academy, and they've hired Bloomberg to design a "state-of-the-art player evaluation system."
General Manager: Jed Hoyer
Hoyer was poached from the San Diego Padres by Theo Epstein after Epstein was hired to replace the previous GM, Jim Hendry. Hoyer did a lot to rebuild the Padres scouting and player development system (when he took over they reportedly had the fewest number of scouts in baseball).
Not to be confused with President of Baseball Operations: Theo Epstein
Epstein was hired away from Boston after Tom Ricketts fired Jim Hendry. Epstein has focused the baseball operations on finding and developing a young core of players to lead the Cubs into the future. Epstein "broke the curse" as GM of the Boston Red Sox, winning two World Series while with the team and then leaving for Chicago after the epic collapse of 2011.
This is the second off-season Hoyer and Epstein have been at the helm for the Cubs and they have been extremely busy acquiring players and rebuilding the farm system. There are far too many changes to list here from this time last year. The team has seen some fan favorites leave (Sean Marshall, Tony Campana, Reed Johnson) but they've managed to bring in a good bit of young talent through trades (Anthony Rizzo and Arodys Vizcaino) that could have a long future with the Cubs in their short time with the club. The Cubs weren't very talented at any level when Theo was hired in late 2011 and there is still a long way to go but the organization is much better off than it was at this time last season at both the minor and major league level.
Manager: Dale Sveum
In Sveum's 2012 rookie managerial season, he was tasked with being more of a teacher and a mentor to a young and inexperienced team. The team managed to maintain incredible clubhouse chemistry in spite of the dismal season. This season, a little more pressure will be put on him to win games. There were a lot of questions about his bullpen usage last season.
The Rotation: The Cubs actually have a pretty solid rotation this season with Garza and Samardzija coming back as the potential 1-2 and with the additions of Edwin Jackson, Scott Baker, Scott Feldman and swingman Carlos Villanueva in free agency. Their lack of rotation depth and god-awful bullpen were huge contributors to their 101 losses last season. While there isn't an elite starter in the group, they have depth a lot of teams could be jealous of.
2012: 103.2 IP, 3.91 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 96 K’s/32 BB
The last time Cubs fans saw Garza leave the mound, he was holding his elbow after suffering a stress fracture. He probably would have been traded at the deadline otherwise. He’s at the top of the Cubs’ trade block but could also be extended to provide some much needed help in the rotation going forward. This could be the first year the core prospects sent to the Rays for Garza prior to the 2011 season will have a chance to contribute regularly for Tampa Bay so you can expect some rabble about that trade to surface again this season.
Jeff Sarmardzija (approximately pronounced Sa-mard-zi-ja or just Sa-mar-ja)
2012: 174.2 IP, 3.81 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 180 K/56 BB
Samardzija was dead weight until he started throwing one of the better splitters in baseball in 2011. He mixed dominate outings with complete blow-ups last season where he couldn’t find the plate. The Cubs sat him down in the last month due to it being his first year of starting full-time. If you can’t spell or pronounce his name, just say “Shark”.
2012 (WAS): 189.2 IP, 4.03 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 168 K/58 BB
No-one has ever shown the kind of love to EJax like the Cubs did when signed him to his largest salary ever at 4 years/$13 MM AAV. Jackson has been a pretty durable pitcher since throwing 183 innings for the 2008 Rays and will be a regular in the Cubs’ rotation going forward.
2012: 123.2 IP, 5.09 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 96 K/32 BB
Feldman was signed to be a starter after being more of a reliever and swingman in Texas over the last couple years. Sveum has said he’s probably the #4 starter with Scott Baker rehabbing to start the season.
2012: 156 IP, 4.27 ERA, 4.84 FIP, 119 K/54 BB, 3.05 ERA in September
Trav is Wood had a great finish to the season but was anywhere from unspectacular to awful (>7 ERA in July). Dale Sveum reportedly likes him to be the #5 starter while Baker is rehabbing to start the season. It’s almost definitely between Wood and Villanueva.
2012(TOR): 125.1 IP, 4.16 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 122K/ 46 BB
Villanueva is probably still going to be a swingman but he could win the 5th starter job over Travis Wood in spring training. He’s one of 4 potential starters the Cubs signed to pitch at the ML level in 2013.
2011 (MIN): 134.2 IP, 3.14 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 123 K/32 BB
Baker signed a one year $5.5 MM deal to rebuild his value. He chose the Cubs over other suitors and it’s kind of funny to say his name around Twins fans. When Scott Baker is healthy and keeps the ball in the park, he’s a very good pitcher. Baker will probably start the season on the DL and rehab before joining the major league team a couple months into the season.
The Bullpen: Oh god, this was awful last season. The bullpen converted 57% of saves, tied for last in MLB with Colorado. Carlos Marmol had a surprisingly good finish to the season after an awful start that saw him removed from the closer role and he hit the DL for a stint. The Cubs' best relievers, Camp and Russell, will return and they've added Kyuji Fujikawa from Japan to solidify the 7th/8th innings. Not all the Cubs relief pitchers are worth mentioning but here are the important ones:
2012: 55.1IP, 3.42 ERA, 3.98 FIP, 11.71 K/9, 1.52 ERA in 2nd Half
At one point days after the World Series, it appeared Carlos Marmol was traded for Dan Haren for about 2 hours. Evidentially, the Cubs didn’t like the medicals on Haren’s hip and the trade was never official.
2012 (NPB): 1.32 ERA, 24 SV, 48 G
Supposedly, Epstein’s history of signing Japenese players in Boston helped the Cubs land Fujikawa who is the 8th inning guy for now but could be bumped up to closer if Marmol is traded or repeats his 2012 start.
2012: 77.2 IP, 3.59 ERA, 3.9 FIP, 6.26 K/9
Hopefully, a much improved rotation for the Cubs means Camp won’t have to pitch until his arm falls off this season.
69.1 IP, 3.25 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 7.14 K/9
Russell is the Cubs' de facto left-handed bullpen guy. He’s not bad. His dad played in the majors, too.
Rondon was a 25 year old Rule V pick from Cleveland who throws hard. Rondon was limited to 10 innings over the last two seasons. Hopefully he's better than Lendy Castillo, who was last year's Rule V pick but pitched sparingly, hit the 60 DL with a mysterious injury mid-season, and then was DFA'd this winter and will start the season in the minors.
Update: Rondon has not looked good in Spring Training and there is some speculation he could be returned to Cleveland.
Lineup: There aren’t a lot of significant additions here. The Cubs' answer to the black hole that was third base last season was to re-sign Ian Stewart who was battling issues with his wrist last season. They added Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston to platoon in right field. There’s an outside chance they combine for an .800 OPS.
Welington Castillo, C
2012: .265/.337/.418, .327 wOBA, 1.2 fWAR, 190 PA
Castillo has been blocked by Geovany Soto for several seasons. It’s not for sure that he’s the opening day starter.
Dioner Navarro, C
2012: .290/.306/.449, 2 HR, .317 wOBA, 73 PA
I have no idea why the Cubs signed Navarro to a guaranteed deal.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
2012: .285/.342/.463, 15 HR, .349 wOBA, 1.8 fWAR, 368 PA
Rizzo started hot after his June promotion and helped the Cubs capture 15 wins last July. He’s seen as a cornerstone for the Cubs’ future along with Castro.
Darwin Barney, 2B
2012: .254/.299/.354, 7 HR, .287 wOBA, 13 UZR, 3.6 dWAR, NL Gold Glove at 2nd base
Barney tied the record for consecutive error-less games last season. He probably won’t put up another historically good defensive season this year but he’s still cheap and young and at least he did something to help the team last season which brings us to
Ian Stewart, 3B
2012: .201/.292/.335, .273 wOBA, .1 fWAR, 202 PA
“My wrist feels better” – Ian Stewart 2012
“Really, guys, it’s definitely better this time” – Ian Stewart 2013
Luis Valbuena, 3B
2012: .219/.310/.340, .290 wOBA, .9 fWAR, 303 PA
Valbuena is the backup infielder. UZR liked his defense at third last season which is good because he’s never been successful at hitting major league pitching in spite of his great slash-lines in AAA.
Starlin Castro, ss
2012: .283/.323/.430, 14 HR, .315 wOBA
Starlin won the inaugural “Starlin Castro triple crown” last season by leading the league in outs made, caught stealing, and fielding errors. Credit to jeffersonlives for inventing this appropriately named award.
Alfonso Soriano, LF
2012: .262/.322/.499, 32 HR, 108 RBI, .350 wOBA, 4 fWAR, 615 PA
Soriano was either around average (BBREF) or had a near all-star season (FG) depending on whose defensive value you like more. The Cubs would reportedly pay all but 10 MM of his remaining salary if a team would give them a player of significance for Soriano. He rejected a trade to the Giants last season. It appears that teams in the middle-to-Eastern part of the US are the ones he’d accept a trade to.
Dave Sappelt, of
Sappelt was recently defeated by Andy Lane in the Cubs’ bunt tournament. Lane is a video guy for the Cubs in Arizona, just FYI. Sappelt is the 5th outfielder for the Cubs at this point, is not a very good player and is terrible at Twitter. I’m not even going to post his stats in 78 PAs last season because they’re totally deceptive.
David DeJesus, cf
2012: .263/.350/.403, 9 HR, .332 wOBA, 1.7 WAR
DeJesus is going to start in center for the Cubs until he cripples himself or they trade him. gently caress UZR and all, but his UZR/150 was -7.4 in CF last season in 336 innings.
Nate Shierholtz, rf
2012 (2 teams): .257/.321/.407, 5 HR, .314 wOBA, .5 WAR, 269 PA
Schierholtz is the left-handed side to the right field platoon. His .OPS vs. RHP has been over .800 in each of the last two seasons. Something about platoon splits not being always sustainable should be said here.
Scott Hairston, rf
2012 (NYM): .263/.299/.504, 20 HR, .342 wOBA, 2 WAR, 398 PA
If you’re a man in the Hairston family and you’ve never played professional baseball, it must be weird at family re-unions. Scott scorched lefties for a .550 slugging pct last season.
Factors on the Farm
Was acquired from the Braves in a deal for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson last July. He’s going to start in AAA as a starter after missing all of 2012 due to TJS. His ceiling is either as a mid-rotation starter if he can improve his command or as a late inning/high leverage reliever.
2012: .175/.303/.342, 9 HR, .292 wOBA, .2 WAR, 142 PA (.256/.338/.479 in 467 PA, AAA)
Brett Jackson has re-tooled his swing, so they say. Brett Jackson is going to start in AAA and then come up as an injury replacement or to fill-in after a trade is made, so they say. Brett Jackson could be a major league regular who hits for power, runs well, and plays a solid center field, so they say. Brett Jackson will return my phone calls, soon, so he says. It is funny that his wOBA was better than several starters last season.
Zych was drafted in 2011 out of UofL and his ceiling is a late inning reliever. If Marmol goes at the deadline, there’s a chance Zych could wind up with a major league job depending on how well his season is going.
2012(MLB): .121/.193/.202, 2 HR, .183 wOBA, -1.2 fWAR, 109 PA (.304/.356/.513, 452 PA in AAA)
Vitters is a hitter without a position. A lot of people have given up on him but he was only 22 when he made his debut last season so I don’t think he’s a complete wash-out yet.
Watkins’ ceiling is a utility player but he could see time in the infield if the Cubs totally give up on the same guys who failed at played third base last season (Stewart, Valbuena, Vitters). Also, I just wanted to post this cool picture of him.
In Memoriom: Tony Campana (<-click through for gif)
I'm just going to straight quote this quip on Camapana from BP because Bradford Doolittle got it right:
This is how you know Theo Epstein is a heartless, calculating bastard. Sure, Campana can’t “hit” or “get on base” or “play baseball” in a major-league sense, but he was so f’n cute. Seriously, it’s as if Ollie from “Hoosiers” left the farm and signed with the Cubs, and showed up at the ballpark in the back of a pickup truck. Campana has the strangest build of any ballplayer I’ve seen, even more so, and in a very different way, than Sidney Ponson, whom I had the misfortune of seeing in a towel. Campana is all arms and legs. He’d have the build of a hurdler if only the hurdles weren’t so danged high. He acted the way he looked, carrying that aw-shucks demeanor over to his oh-so-precious encounters with the media.
tadashi fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2013 around 17:52
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 20:52|
The 2013 Detroit Tigers
Over the past few years, the Tigers have had some of the best players in baseball, played in the weakest division, and had an owner who is very old, rich, and cares more about winning than making money. But despite all that, they've never really had a great team. In 2012, it was looking like they weren't even going to make the playoffs for a while, until they made some midseason acquisitions, stopped playing some terrible players, and Miguel Cabrera did something.
In 2013 they should have a stronger lineup and a fantastic rotation, and are expected to win the AL Central handily. I guess I'll believe it when I see it.
CF Austin Jackson
2012 Stats: .300/.377/.479, 16 HR, 130 OPS+
After looking like a poor man's Ichiro in his rookie year, Jackson had a pretty bad sophomore slump in 2011. He reworked his swing in the off-season and came out on fire in 2012, with more walks, fewer strikeouts, and hitting with power. Combined with good speed and defense, he was one of the most valuable players on the team, and will be again if he can maintain those batting numbers.
RF Torii Hunter
2012 Stats: .313/.365/.451, 16 HR, 132 OPS+
Signed as a free agent this off-season, the 37-year-old still has a pretty good glove. He had a career year in 2012, hitting .300 for the first time. With his age, he's a big question mark, but a good season (or even a mediocre season) from him would be a massive improvement over last year's right fielders.
3B Miguel Cabrera
2012 Stats: .330/.393/.606, 44 HR, 165 OPS+
MVP. Triple Crown. 2 straight batting titles. Cabrera will be 30 this year and has absolutely destroyed the AL over the past 3 seasons. Sure, he's too fat to play third well, but he only got hit in the face by 1 ball last year, so whatever.
1B Prince Fielder
2012 Stats: .313/.412/.528, 30 HR, 152 OPS+
Big fat man hits fat dingers. Might never hit as many as he did in Milwaukee thanks to the high right-field wall in Comerica Park, but he's still a great hitter with an outstanding HBP tool. Don't discount the big man's athleticism, either, as he had one (1) triple and one (1) stolen base last year. Plus, if you try to tag him out, he'll just "slide" and bulldoze you off the base.
DH Victor Martinez
2011 Stats: .330/.380/.470, 12 HR, 131 OPS+
Brought in as a part-time catcher in 2011, Martinez tore his ACL and was out all of last year. Now incapable of playing the field at all, the Tigers are hoping he's healthy enough to spray doubles all over the field. Also, he brings little baby Victor everywhere
LF Andy Dirks
2012 Stats: .322/.370/.487, 8 HR, 130 OPS+
Dirks (baby) was out for a large part of the first half last year with an Achilles injury, but when he came back he was one of the most important and underrated pieces of the Tiger lineup, doing nothing but hit line drives. He's probably good enough to play every day, but he'll more than likely get platooned again this year despite being pretty decent against lefties.
SS Jhonny Peralta
2012 Stats: .239/.305/.384, 13 HR, 85 OPS+
Who knows what Jhonny will give you. Some years, he'll hit .290 with 20 home runs. Others...well, look at last season. At least his glove seems to have improved to acceptable levels during his time in Detroit, but he's still not the guy you want out there next to Cabrera.
C Alex Avila
2012 Stats: .243/.352/.384, 9 HR, 100 OPS+
Had a breakout all-star year in 2011, but came back down to earth in 2012. Still hit pretty well for a catcher, and he's solid behind the plate as well. Also, he's one of the few guys on the team who will actually take a walk! Yay Alex!
2B Omar Infante
2012 Stats: .274/.300/.419, 12 HR, 93 OPS+
Came over from Miami midseason last year after the Tigers found that every single one of their second baseman was the worst player in baseball history. His glove is somewhat questionable, but he has great range and you could do a lot worse for a #9 hitter.
OF Avisail Garcia
2012 Stats: .319/.373/.319, 0 HR, 91 OPS+
Garcia was called up from AA in August last year, got some hits, and wound up making the playoff roster. Despite looking like a baby Miguel Cabrera, he had zero extra base hits last year. He'll probably platoon with Dirks in LF, at least some of the time.
OF Quintin Berry
2012 Stats: .258/.330/.354, 2 HR, 86 OPS+
A career minor leaguer, Berry was called up to replace Austin Jackson when he went on the DL. With his great speed (his first major league hit was a bunt double and he was never caught stealing last year), Berry hit for a high average for a while before crashing back to earth.
IF Danny Worth
2012 Stats: .216/.330/.257, 0 HR, 62 OPS+
Out of the 4 starting 2B the Tigers used last year before acquiring Omar Infante, Worth was the best hitter. Yep.
C Brayan Peña
2012 Stats: .236/.262/.321, 2 HR, 60 OPS+
A backup catcher.
RHP Justin Verlander
2012 Stats: 238.1 IP, 2.64 ERA, 239 K, 60 BB
Verlander had a streak of 63 straight starts of at least 6 innings, but that streak was broken last year - by a rain-shortened 5-inning complete game. Not only is he a great pitcher, but he regularly throws over 120 pitches and never looks tired. In fact, he saves up his hardest fastballs for the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. But can he repeat 2012 without Kate Upton by his side? We'll see...
RHP Max Scherzer
2012 Stats: 187.2 IP, 3.74 ERA, 231 K, 60 BB
Combining a fastball with insane movement and a filthy slider, Scherzer decided last year to just strike out every batter. He can get into trouble at times by allowing too many hits, walks, and home runs, but he can also bounce back by striking people out. Check out his multicultural eyes.
RHP Doug Fister
2012 Stats: 161.2 IP, 3.45 ERA, 137 K, 37 BB
Since coming to Detroit in 2011, Fister has developed from a decent control pitcher who doesn't walk anyone into one of the better starters in the AL. He's kept his walk rate low, but has increased his strikeout rate, and struck out 9 guys in a row in a game last year. He's really tall and he has a good sinker and curveball.
RHP Anibal Sanchez
2012 Stats: 195.2 IP, 3.86 ERA, 167 K, 48 BB
After acquiring Sanchez in a trade last year and watching him help the team to the World Series, Mike Ilitch said "gently caress it" and backed up a bulldozer full of pizza money to his house. Sanchez has lowered his walk rate each of the past 3 years, and he was unbelievable in the 2012 playoffs. We'll see how he does in his first full AL season.
RHP Rick Porcello
2012 Stats: 176.1 IP, 4.59 ERA, 107 K, 44 BB
The perennial SAS favorite. Porcello was promoted to the big leagues fresh out of A-ball 4 years ago, and made the mistake of pitching well. As a result, he never developed a good secondary pitch to complement his sinker, and he's struggled as a starter. Doesn't walk many batters, but throwing lots of strikes has also let to lots of hits. Still only 24 years old, so there's always hope that he'll figure it out, but at this point he probably is what he is.
LHP Drew Smyly
2012 Stats: 99.1 IP, 3.99 ERA, 94 K, 33 BB
Called up last season when Fister was injured, and for the most part he did really well. He wasn't able to pitch deep into games, but he struck a lot of guys out with a good slider. He'll be competing with Porcello for the #5 spot in the rotation this year.
LHP Phil Coke
2012 Stats: 54 IP, 4.00 ERA, 51 K, 18 BB
Playoff Hero Phil Coke. After a failed tryout as a starter in 2011, and mediocre performance as a LOOGY after that, Coke unexpectedly shined as a closer in the playoffs last year. Could he be named the closer this year? I sure hope so, because that would be really funny.
RHP Octavio Dotel
2012 Stats: 58 IP, 3.57 ERA, 62 K, 12 BB
Despite being really old, Dotel can still dial it up to 95 and was pretty good last year. Could he be named the closer this year? Probably not.
RHP Al Alburquerque
Career Stats: 56.2 IP, 1.59 ERA, 85 K, 37 BB
Not only does he have the best name, he's the best pitcher as well. His slider is absolutely nasty and opponents are batting .140 off of him for his career. Could he be named the closer this year? He had loving better be.
RHP Brayan Villarreal
2012 Stats: 54.2 IP, 2.63 ERA, 66 K, 28 BB
Basically, he looked like a mini-Alburquerque last season. Not quite as many strikeouts, not quite as many walks, and not quite as effective. Could he be named the closer this year? No.
RHP Joaquin Benoit
2012 Stats: 71 IP, 3.68 ERA, 84 K, 22 BB
The veteran setup man is still going strong, although he struggled with giving up too many dingers at times last season. Could he be named the closer this year? Maybe, but he's probably typecast as a setup man by this point.
RHP Bruce Rondon
2012 Minor League Stats: 53 IP, 1.53 ERA, 66 K, 26 BB
Ah, yes. The golden boy. A 104-MPH fastball, with terrible control. He claims to have other pitches, but his control of them is far worse. In the minors, that didn't seem to be too much of a problem for him. Could he be named the closer this year?
Who the gently caress knows. This team has so many old guys, injured guys, and young, inconsistent guys. They could be the best team in baseball, or they could miss the playoffs.
As long as there are dingers, I'll probably be happy.
vvv Always cite your sources! http://roarofthetigers.wordpress.com/
Mr. Cool Ice fucked around with this message at Feb 20, 2013 around 21:23
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 21:00|
Holy crap all those pictures of various Tigers own a whole lot. Where did you get them?
I'll post a Cards one tonight unless someone beats me to it. It won't even be pessimistic.
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 21:12|
To be honest I was pretty surprised that the Rays lineup had even a 100 OPS+ last year.
It was streaky as hell. One minute they were scoring 6 runs a game, the next they literally couldn't get a hit off guys like Rick Porcello.
|# ? Feb 20, 2013 23:43|
The Pittsburgh Pirates hate you and so do I.
Imagine being a young child. Your birthday is coming and you couldn’t be more excited; this year you’re finally going to be big enough to have your very own puppy. You can’t sit still on the way to the pet store, dreaming of all the fun you’ll have. You walk down the aisles, carefully selecting which dog will be your new best friend. Then your parents douse the store in gasoline and burn it to the ground. They drive away, leaving you cold and alone, listening to the howls of the animals trapped inside. Eventually, you find yourself unable to cry anymore and just sit, staring and shivering. You realize that we all die alone, sooner or later, that there is no such thing as love and friendship in this poo poo world. Your teeth begin to chatter as you whisper to yourself
“Let’s go the Bucs bitch.”
The Front Office
The Pirates’ upper management group took over the team in 2007, after the disastrous reign of Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield. They’ve invested heavily in the draft and Latin America, and slowly raised payroll as the Pirates’ fortunes have improved. That said, the Pirates are still among the smallest of small-market teams, and it’s not certain that NH is on the level of a Billy Beane or Andrew Friedman to be able to make them serious contenders.
Manager: Clint Hurdle
Look at this purple-faced rear end in a top hat. Clint Hurdle is a piece of poo poo who loves to bunt and run the Pirates into a million outs. Under his leadership, the 2012 Buccos amassed a stellar 52 caught stealing in 125 attempts. He often gets outmanaged by his opponents in embarrassing ways. I hope his face explodes. I will feast on his heart and laugh. When he dies he will go to Hell and I’ll take a dump in his chest cavity. I curse his children and his children’s children. He seems like a nice guy though.
Baseball, they say, is designed to break your heart. I believe that this is the team motto of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1992, Atlanta’s Francisco Cabrera hit a single that resulted in the final destruction of what could have been a dynasty. The Pirates have not had a .500 season since; 20 consecutive losing seasons is the record in major U.S. sports. They have endured GMs that were openly mocked by their peers, owners forced to trade away star players because they couldn’t afford to pay them, watching their best player in living memory become the greatest living ballplayer for another team.
In 2011, behind a run of magical luck, the Pirates were in first place on the 25th of July. The magic ran out the following night, when a horrific call by umpire Jerry Meals lost them a 19-inning game to the Braves. They proceeded to lose 11 of the next 12 games; after just 18 wins in the final two months of the year, they finished 72-90. In 2012, the Pirates once again took an above-.500 record into August. This time, it was a legit one, and when their record reached 63-48 on the 8th the only thing on fans’ minds was whether they’d retain their playoff position. We had forgotten that hope is for fools and Yankees fans. The Pirates finished the season with a putrid 16-35 run to finish 79-83.
The 2013 Pirates return almost the entire roster from 2012, although much of that roster didn’t start the season with the team. They feature a young offense looking to break out, and a veteran rotation hoping not to break down. Ultimately, the balance of these things will determine the team’s fate, which could be anywhere between 70 and 90 wins. Just never, ever forget the truth: the Pittsburgh Pirates hate you.
And so do I.
2013 Pirates Fan Fest
Stay tuned for more exciting info about the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates!
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 02:10|
ok The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim aka gently caress THE ANGELS
The Angels are, well, they're a pretty good team. It pains me to say that but they have the best player in baseball, the arguably the best First Baseman in baseball. A potential Cy Young pitcher on the staff, too. So lets get into it.
Ostensibly the Angels starting catcher. He was acquired from the Rockies two seasons ago, because the Rockies hate above average catching apparently. Decent defense behind the plate, but not actively stellar. Can talk a walk pretty well. So much better than Jeff Mathis. Not the healthiest player, missed significant chunks of time the last few seasons.
is terrible is the end of this sentence. Can't hit. Not very good defensively. Former 1st round draft pick.
Is also bad.
Its Albert loving Pujols, how much do you need explained to you? gently caress.
Howard "Howie" Kendrick
Not defensive whiz but not a liability either. He can hit decently and take a walk ok. A nice Second Base Guy. Longest tenured every day player on the team.
Similar to Howie Kendrick. Can hit and walk decently. Probably a worse fielder but not Starlin Castro bad. He's been with the Club for about 7 years too, 5 as a regular.
JK he's a butcher at 3b we will get back to him
Has shown flashes as a hitter but is decidedly average at bat. Total Zone loves his Defense, but im going to say its probably just above average. May or may not have pretended to eat a penis hot dog.
Josh Hamilton is a former MVP who can straight loving mash. Pretty blue eyes. Injury prone, due to a variety of factors. Imo its because he plays a little recklessly. Former drug addict and alcoholic who is in recovery. Should not be playing center field and thankfully, he won't be in Anaheim. Once killed a guy, serious
Arguably the best player in Baseball. Deserved the MVP last year if you think defense and baserunning has value when done incredibly well. He has Power, Speed, hits for average, a good arm and is an exemplary fielder. oh btw, he's 21 if you're into feeling crummy about yourself. It's just not loving fair. Also, this forums very own Groucho Marxist coined Trout's official nickname, The Millville Meteor.
Literally the fastest guy in baseball. Excellent fielder. Not a great hitter. Doesn't walk a lot. Showed flashes of being above average. I'd be surprised if he was a good as he was in 2011. Not a bad guy to be your worst starter.
Has a lot of power, and hit 61 home runs in his first two seasons. An absolute butcher in the field. Free to play DH since the Kendrys Morales trade. He should be able to spell Hamilton and Pujols. Actually progressed from his rookie season so he may actually be a good player but I've heard a lot of red flags and he still has a pretty low on base percentage for a guy with like a 75 power tool.
The only really important player to know about is Vernon Wells. He makes 21 million dollars a year to sit on the Bench. Also the Angels traded away an actual good player for the honor of acquiring him. It's crazy.
Vernon Wells, seen here, playing his usual position.
Staff ace, strikes a ton of guys out. Took a hometown discount. Looks like he does meth.
Signed in the 2012 off season. Had a pretty mediocre season. Is straight edge. Dumb rear end hair.
Acquired this offseason for former Angels closer Jordan Walden, Tommy Hanson has the coolest delivery in MLB imo. He's experienced reduced effectiveness due to back and arm strains. Again, he's pretty mediocre.
Joe Blanton is mediocre. Signed for too much money this offseason. fine if he's your fifth starter but he isn't and its bad.
Acquired from the Mariners this offseasonfor Kendrys Morales. Is also mediocre to bad.
I honestly don't know that much about the Angels but ill try to talk about the couple I know the most about.
Spent last season on the DL on the Reds with Tommy John surgery. He is slated to be the Angels closer but apparently he has suffered some setbacks or soreness. I heard he was playing catch today though so he may not be far off. When he is healthy, he is pretty effective but relievers are volatile commodities so who knows.
Hard throwing reliever acquired from the Padres last season. Had a stellar start with the team until he regressed. Will primarily be the set up man, unless Madson's recovery takes longer. Serene pitch face.
I assume he will be the primary long man. He's a 5th starter at best but he has a really cool story. He started his career with the Giants as a first round draft pick and was a rotation regular in 2003 and 2004. His career cratered from there. He was out of baseball twice, playing in an independent league and in Taiwan. He caught on with the Angels a few years ago and got his first win in like five years in 2011. One of the only Angels im ok with rooting for.
When the Angels bullpen was a tire fire, he was the one decent part of it. I like Scott Downs.
Signed this off season. Another effective reliever. Should be decent, who knows. He was good with the Nationals.
Polished college starter, he'll be a spot starter and a long man. He's young and not terrible. He's from where I live!
Barrry Enright and Kevin Jepsen are bad. The rest of the Bullpen is a bunch of people I don't know or w/e.
His tragic illness made us smile. Is a decent manager, I guess. Plays small ball too often. It will be infuriating if he has pretty much anyone but Peter Bourjos bunt and even then he should have Bourjos bunt for a hit. He's pretty red faced. If this Angels team falters, he'll probably end up on the hot seat.
Torii Hunter, Kendrys Morales, Dan Haren, Zach Grienke, and Jordan Walden. Look them up yourself this is meet the team not meet people who aren't on the team anymore. Besides this is pretty long as it is.
This should be the best Angels team in years, playing in a very competitive division (except the mariners and astros). Im not sold on their rotation and that inevitably could be their downfall after letting two great pitchers, Zach Grienke and Dan Haren, leave via free agency. The line up has pretty much no weak spots. Even Bourjos is fine considering the back end of other teams line up's. The Angels are a contender and I'd guess they win 90+ games and will probably win the Division. Failing that, I'd imagine they would be in the top spot for the first wild card.
p.s. gently caress The Angels.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 03:18|
The 2013 St. Louis Cardinals
The 2012 Cardinals returned largely the same team that won the 2011 World Series, slotting Lance Berkman in at 1st to replace the departing Albert Pujols #trader, and Carlos Beltran to play the role of gimpy aging slugger in Berkman's RF stead. Edwin Jackson was gone, but he was going to be replaced by Adam Wainwright, who'd missed the entire 2011 campaign with Tommy John Surgery.
Things didn't quite go as planned: Berkman's legs failed him, Chris Carpenter was abused to career death in the course of winning the 2011 WS, and the bullpen that had been a strength down the stretch in 2011 got really lovely. Some things stayed the same: insane manager Tony La Russa got replaced with dumb manager Mike Matheny who loved the poo poo out of gimmicky running plays and ordering sac bunts by guys who get on base nearly 40% of the time.
In spite of all this, the club qualified for the postseason via the 2nd wildcard, beat the Braves thanks in part to a controversial infield fly call, and then upset the Nationals in the NLDS in a stunning display of magic bullshit. Alas, the magic bullshit ran out slightly too early, and the patchwork rotation turned back into a pumpkin just in time for Marco Scutaro to go Super Saiyan and lead the Giants to their 2nd title in 3 years.
The 2013 Cardinals are largely the same as their 2012 incarnation, for better or worse.
Catcher: Yadier Molina, .315/.373/.501, 137 OPS+
Yadier Molina is loving amazing. Possibly the defensive player in all of baseball, he throws out every motherfucker trying to steal, keeps plenty of people from even attempting to steal, and as of the last few years, hits the poo poo out of the baseball. He even stole 12 bags last year, which is pretty impressive given that he is a Molina. The Cardinals signed Molina to a big contract last offseason, partially to offset fan reaction to losing Pujols. If he keeps hitting at the rate he has into his mid-30s, that contract is going to be an absolute steal. Even if he doesn't, it's great to know he's behind the plate because behind him is a bunch of poo poo.
1st Base: (Master) Allen Craig, .307/.354/.522, 137 OPS+
Allen Craig mashes baseballs. He also has a pet tortoise named Torty whose fictional countenance I may or may not have on a shirt. For years, Craig was a guy without a position since he's not particularly good defensively at corner OF or IF. When Lance Berkman died last year, Craig became the full time 1b. Had a significant power outage the last couple months of the season but still put up fantastic numbers. The real question with Craig is if he can stay healthy for a complete season. He is not a particularly coordinated man, and one hopes that he is less likely to pull hamstrings and shatter kneecaps playing 1b than when playing RF.
2nd Base: I dunno, Matt Carpenter I guess? Either him or Dan Descalso and they look pretty similar anyway. Carpenter hit .294/.365/.463/125+ in about half a season's worth of ABs; Descalso hit .227/.303/.324 in slightly more time.
So, uh...yeah. The Cardinals really don't have a 2b or a shortstop. Descalso is a very good defender, but much of his defense is in his amazing laser rocket arm which is less valuable at 2b. He can't hit particularly well, though he was amazing in the NLDS. Carpenter is a guy whose main tool in the minors was "walks a shitload" but tuned out to have surprising power in the bigs last season. He's a good hitter, but he's not a second baseman. This doesn't seem to be stopping the Cardinals from trying to turn him into a 2b, and if they were willing to deploy Skip Schumaker over there, then why the hell not, I guess?
Basically expect 2b to be kind of a tire fire.
Shortstop: Pete Kozma. Technically, Rafael Furcal is the shortstop but he's constantly broken and currently unable to throw baseballs. Kozma, who prior to September 2012 was known as "the guy who broke Albert Pujols' wrist" or "the guy the Cardinals drafted instead of Rick Porcello back when Porcello was a desirable commodity," came up and BABIPed like a million or something in September. The he tag teamed with Dan Descalso to ruin the Washington Nationals' day.
Kozma's minor league numbers are loving dreadful, and it's highly likely he would've been cut long ago if not for being a former #1 pick. Anyway, he's going to see a bunch of playing time at short until he demonstrates he's the Kozma of several years of lovely minor league play, at which point the Cards will plug in Ronnie Cedeno. Cedeno is basically your prototypical slick fielding anemic bat shortstop.
It's a distinct possibility that the Cardinals will make the postseason despite having the worst middle infield in all of MLB.
3rd Base: David Freese, .293/.372/.467, 129 OPS+
When he's not getting into alcohol-related accidents or having his brittle bones keep him on the DL, David Freese is a surprisingly good ballplayer. I keep waiting for his numbers to normalize, but maybe he really is a dude that can hit 15-20 HRs, get on base at a solid clip, and play almost average-ish defense at 3b.
He's a native St. Louisan and everybody in town loves him. In the 2011 postseason he drove in ALL THE RUNS and also caused Rangers manager Ron Washington to play an inept right fielder in the clinching inning of Game 6. The success of the Matt Carpenter, 2nd Baseman experiment is interesting as it relates to Freese. If Carpenter is competent at 2b, and Freese goes down, will the club move Carpenter, or will it deploy Ty Wigginton?
(I can't find a host that'll put up with the actual .gif)
Left Field: Matt Holliday, .295/.379/.497/138 OPS+
Matt Holliday is a better hitter than David Freese. That's not a knock on Freese; Matt Holliday is a better hitter than almost anyone in baseball; he is a truly elite offensive talent.
Despite this, he has a knack for gaining attention when he fails in high-profile situations. Like when he attempted to catch the final out of a playoff game with his dick. Or when he reached the postseason in 2011 and 2012 with a ruined hand and back, respectively, and still put up respectable numbers that weren't nearly as good as Freese's.
Basically, Holliday is loving awesome and despite being white and playing hard, the fans in St. Louis hate him. I don't understand it. I kind of want to give him a hug except for the fact that he'd probably knife me or something because the dude is dirty as hell when it comes to making contact with other ballplayers.
Center Field: Jon Jay, .305/.373/.400/113 OPS+
Jon Jay has quietly become one of the better defensive CFs in the game, and certainly one of the flashiest. His offense is buoyed by a pretty outlandish BABIP, and it's entirely possible he may regress to being merely an average CF rather than a slightly-above-average one. In the meantime, it's fun to watch him run around and catch all the baseballs that Holliday and Beltran can't get to.
Jay also seems to have an actual personality and he'll reply to you on Twitter.
Right Field: Carlos Beltran, .269/.346/.495, 128 OPS+
If not for having creaky knees that make him unlikely to last more than another couple years, Carlos Beltran would have a pretty good case for the Hall of Fame. Played too many games last season and wore down, putting up vastly different numbers in the early season than later on. The Cardinals have an amazing offensive prospect in AAA who is Beltran's heir apparent. It'll be interesting to see if they call him up later in 2013 to take some pressure off the older corner OFs.
Oh, Beltran also once had a dream about a monkey so he woke up and bought one. It pissed and poo poo everywhere, so he took it to a zoo.
Bench: The Cardinals bench loving sucks and is a bunch of no-names, has-beens, and never-will-bes (and one of these guys is dead!)
1.) Tony Cruz is the backup catcher. Backup catcher on the Cardinals is basically the equivalent of Vice President; you sit around and do nothing unless Yadier Molina dies. Cruz is adequate defensively and isn't the worst hitting catcher, but if he's starting more than like 30 games this year, that's bad news.
2.) Ronnie Cedeno is basically the shortstop version of Tony Cruz
3.) Shane Robinson is probably going to get a spot as the 5th outfielder despite having no discernible skills other than a neat nickname. He can't hit for poo poo.
4.) For some reason the Cardinals signed Ty Wigginton to a 2 year deal worth $5mm, so look for him to come off the bench in clutch situations and fail repeatedly because he loving sucks and hasn't approached anything useful for years.
5.) Oh, I guess whoever isn't starting 2b between Descalso and Carpenter is also on the bench.
...I'll do pitchers later. I need to find the appropriate image for FASTBALLS.
Why should you root for the Cardinals?
Because like it or not, they are probably going to win. Whether by sheer talent or magic bullshit, this is a winning ballclub
Because I've had a really rough last few months and you want me to be happy
Because you loving LOVE sacrifice bunts but don't want to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates
Because you loving love FASTBALLS that come from a closer who looks like my cat
Because you want to watch a bunch of badass prospects come of age
Because you want to see if the shitpile middle infield can come anywhere close to Theriot-Yakkity-Sax.mp4
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 03:34|
The Houston Astros are in a new league, with a new logo and a new television channel that I don't get. They are expected to be the worst team in baseball this year, and are odds-on favorites to be the worst team in baseball in 2014. But 2015, ho boy, look out!
Why should I root for the Astros?
The Astros are in the middle of a complete rebuilding of a team. Right now, the debris has been cleared from the implosion, and new foundation is being laid down. This is essential an expansion team, except with 50 years of history behind it.
No, seriously, why should I root for the Astros?
I dunno. Bo Porter?
Got a perfect game, struggled, now with the Astros.
Potentially the first-ever position Designated Hitter in Astros history. Not good at hitting, apparently.
Probably one of the best players we had. We got a deal for him, though.
Jason Castro, Catcher (.257/.334/.401)
Had knee problems in 2012, but says he's healed. If he's healthy (and that's a big if), expect him to hit pretty good.
Brett Wallace, First Base (.253/.323/.424)
Could end up playing third if Bo Porter thinks it's better. Whatever the case may be,
Jose Altuve, Second Base (.290/.340/.399)
The lone bright spot in the Astros lineup. Hopefully the Andre Johnson of the Astros, to make a Houston sports analogue.
Matt Dominguez, Third Base (.284/.310/.477)
Not very good, despite the stats. Seat filler for Johnathon Singleton.
Tyler Greene, Shortstop (.230/.274/.400)
Streaky. Was a steal from the Cardinals.
J.D. Martinez, Left Field (.241/.311/.375)
The second best player the Astros have, in my personal opinion.
Justin Maxwell, Center Field (.229/.304/.460)
Had a big 2012, and I expect 2013 to be good as a utilitarian.
Fernando Martinez, Right Field (.237/.300/.466)
Who the gently caress knows. We had 11 different starters last year, and it looks like we'll start with an 8-man rotation. Throw poo poo at a wall and see what sticks while the rest of the AL West spray water at the wall.
Lucas Harrell: Best pitcher we have; expect him to be traded
Bud Norris: OK
Jordan Lyles: Forgettable
Phillip Humber: Let's hope he's perfect game Humber and not terrible Humber
Jarred Cosart: AAA call-up who's expected to perform well
Dallas Keuchel: We'll see if he can improve this season
John Ely: AAAA guy from LA Dodgers
Alex White: I've already forgotten who this guy is
Jose Altuve & Carlos Pena. And that's it.
Even worse than hitting. Chris Carter hits balls, he shouldn't catch them.
9-15, not counting the games I can't see due to Time Warner not carrying CSN Houston
It looks bright. Last year at this time, we had one of the worst farm systems in baseball. Now we've got one of the best. Guys like Carlos Correa and Johnathon "" Singleton are a few years away, but expect a few new faces to show up and, hopefully, play well.
That's literally all you need to know about the Houston Astros.
CaptainYesterday fucked around with this message at Feb 22, 2013 around 06:32
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 03:43|
Your farm system's pretty strong, no?
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 03:46|
Your farm system's pretty strong, no?
Yeah, but I was told to talk about 2013.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 03:50|
Almost? That's Armando Galarraga, one of the 8000 lovely pitchers they employed last season who nobody can confirm or deny as still on the team
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 03:53|
Almost? That's Armando Galarraga, one of the 8000 lovely pitchers they employed last season who nobody can confirm or deny as still on the team
gently caress, you're right. I got confused by the fact that 'perfect game' and 'now pitching for Houston' somehow got more than one memory.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 03:58|
The Rays write up was excellent, but forgot to mention
aka: "The Best Ray"
More Notes: When he does anything it is customary to post "The Best Ray!" in SAS MLB threads.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 04:08|
By "best" you mean "the most racist?"
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 04:29|
CaptainYesterday you forgot about Erik Bedard
Coming soon to a DL near you
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 04:50|
CaptainYesterday you forgot about Erik Bedard
Is he really notable? I mean, really?
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 04:56|
On this team?
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 04:56|
I thought he was on a minor-league deal.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 04:57|
True, but if he's healthy even a little bit he'll make this rotation. Oh and Fernando Martinez has been linked to Biogenesis yay
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 04:59|
The 2013 Minnesota Twins
As it currently stands, the Minnesota Twins are a disaster on the level of, well, last year's Minnesota Twins baseball organization. Baring some big names in the middle of the order (Mauer, Morneau, Willingham) and a surprisingly solid bullpen, the lineup is an odd mess of has-beens, never will bes, and the odd spot or two of promise. Let's start with our leadership.
Terry Ryan, GM
Terry Ryan had an off season that could probably be described as schizophrenic, but the DSM lists it much closer to Bipolar. He started off making excellent moves trading Denard Span for pitching prospect Alex Meyer and Ben Revere for SP Vance Worley and Prospect/EDM DJ Trevor May, but then said some confusing things about pitching to contact being a failed experiment not two hours before announcing a 2/10 deal to Kevin “The Drizzle” Correia. Overall a huge step up from Bill Smith, and has not signed a single closer this off-season.
Ron Gardenhire, Manager
People give Gardy crap about overvaluing things like bunting and playing with hustle and heart, which he is most certainly guilty of, but that's much more of an institutional problem. Seriously, it's painted on the dugout steps. Gardy's a pretty middle of the road dude, and is on the last year of his contract. I wouldn't expect to see him around next year but that's not really his fault. It's not like he can make the starting pitching suck less. Hates Twitter.
Joe Mauer, C/1B/DH
Joe Mauer is the crown jewel of the Twins organization, and in a lot of ways the perfect Minnesota athlete. Great hitter, good catcher, and has zero personality whatever. He's probably the least likely person to take a trip on any sort of sex boat. After being banged up in 2011, he returned to form in 2012, and I don't really have a reason to believe that he won't be back at that level of 2013. Hopefully he'll catch 90 games and split the rest between 1B and DH. Loves cake.
Justin Morneau, 1B
Justin Morneau also saw a kind of resurgence in 2012, regaining some of his power and spending more time at first base than anyone was really expecting him to. He's in a contract year, and I'm cautiously optimistic about him, assuming that he doesn't get hit in the head. Seriously, a baby flailing at his head him in the wrong place will end his career. Hasn't been the same baseball player since Nick Punto stopped making him slushies before every game.
Josh Willingham, LF
Josh “Consenting Pork” Willingham filled the roll of slugger last year, hitting more home runs last year than anyone thought he would be capable of. Looks completely lost in left field, but not as bad as...
Ryan Doumit, RF/1B/C/DH
I had to rip on Doumit because of how lost the poor guy looked when he had to play left for a couple games last year. He managed to make some dollars from the right field bleachers, though. Provides a pretty good bat for a backup everything, and is a Twins catcher whose name is not Drew Butera, which is a big point in his favor. He signed a very favorable extension with the Twins last year, but it cost him his soul, which is how he got those eyes of his.
Well, here's where it gets messy. Trevor Plouffe will probably start at 3B, which is good if he turns back into himself in July when he just mashed, and not the player he was for the rest of the year, who looked lost in he field and the plate. Jamey Carrol, or He of Two Lady Names, will probably spit time between SS and 2B with pretty good on-base skills, despite being 39 years old. There's some buzz about Brian Dozier playing 2B, which keeps him out of competition for the spot at SS with Eduardo Escobar. Neither of them can bat very well if last year is any indication (which it might not be).
The outfield is a bit weirder. We lost our CF and RF, and now we're left with a converted 1B in Chris “Chrisy Chrisy Parm-Parm” Parmelee who will probably play RF, and the possibility of noted prospect Aaron Hicks in CF. If Hicks isn't ready, well... I don't really want to think about Darin Mastroianni, Starting Center Fielder.
The good news is that our bullpen is in pretty good shape, anchored by Glen Perkins and Jared Burton, both of whom are coming from very strong 2012 runs. Brian Duensing and noted Bigfoot hunter Anthony Swarzak should be good for long relief, assuming we don't make Duensing try to start for the umpteenth time, and Swarzak returns from his bizarre horseplay injury. Which is good, because they'll be used a lot, because this is your Minnesota Twins Starting Rotation:
This may seem harsh, but our staff ace is Scott Diamond, who probably won't make opening day due to surgery in December. Beyond that, we've got, uh, Vance Worley and Mike Pelfrey. Kevin Correia Oh, or Rich Harden. Isn't Kyle Gibson ready yet? What about Liam Hendricks? He had that one start last year that was alright. Otherwise, maybe Cole De Vries or Samuel Deduno. I guess we could try Nick Blackburn again. Most of these guys are coming off of off season surgery or worse, so expect to see all of them by June. poo poo guys, we're in trouble.
The Good News
We're going to suck this year. We might suck real bad. But we have a lot of prospects a few years down the road. I'm super excited about Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton in three years, but until we get those two and the pitchers we received in trades up to the Bigs, it's going to be terrible. At least Target Field is nice. I'll see you at Cuzzy's.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 05:01|
By "best" you mean "the most racist?"
If he still had the mutton chops we could call him Wolveracist.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 05:07|
I still remember the moment I stopped liking Luke Scott, when he told the story about how a homeless man asked him for a buck and he flashed his gun, placed a dollar on the hood of his car, and stared daggers at the guy while he took it
He thought the story would be endearing or something
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 05:09|
We have our Zobrists, Longorias our Moores. Our nice guys who play good Baseball.
We also need our villains.
Luke Scott is that villain.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 05:15|
We have our Zobrists, Longorias our Moores. Our nice guys who play good Baseball.
There's also that rapist the Rays employ.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 05:19|
The 2013 Minnesota Twins
This is an under-exaggeration, if anything. The rotation is going to be so so so bad. Hopefully Gibson ends up not sucking, and Hendricks pitches like he does in AAA instead of like he pitched in the bigs last season.
We're going to see a lot of new faces this year and see Joe Mauer own, so I guess that's something.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 05:43|
The best news for the Twins this offseason came when they found out that the Royals would no longer be competition for them in the division later on in the decade.
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 05:48|
|# ? May 22, 2013 03:04|
Your 2013 Chicago White Sox
2013 Retro Uniforms
For Sunday games in honor of the 1983 Division Championship (a team which included Tony La Russa, Carlton Fisk, Harold Baines, Ron Kittle):
The 2012 Season: 'Appreciate the Game' (85-77)
Most of last season was an unexpected division title race in which the White Sox remained in the AL Central lead (for what that's worth) for most of the summer, although they never held a lead above 3.5 games. The race was unexpected because of their poor performance in 2011 ('All In': 79-83), a lack of any substantial moves, a rookie manager in Robin Ventura, and the Detroit Tigers unexpectedly signing Prince Fielder before the season began.
What we thought he'd do
Despite these challenges, improved years from Alex Rios and especially Adam Dunn as well as outstanding young pitching, particularly from Chris Sale, contributed to what looked like a pretty fine team. Ventura's managing was not spectacularly good or bad - the team was 27th in bunt attempts! (Ventura is signed on with the White Sox for 2013, but claimed that he did not wish to sign an extension.) What looked so mediocre at the start of the season was looking so strong.
One particular early highlight was Phil Humber's perfect game on April 21 against the Mariners, completed shortly before he collapsed into an awful heap, relegated to the bullpen by mid-August.
Phil Humber in April
Phil Humber by mid-June. I swear I found this picture before I saw 867-530-NEIN!'s post
Halfway through the season, the White Sox added a shunned Kevin Youkilis, who immediately filled a cavernous hole at 3rd base and provided some offense as well. Fans took quite nicely to him!
Sadly, the White Sox were the White Sox. I can remember the game when I thought it was all over: September 9, 2012, a home game against the Royals that went to 10 innings. In the top of the 10th inning the Royals scored 2, but in the bottom the White Sox pretty quickly plated Pierzynski and had Orlando Hudson of all people on 3rd base with only 1 out. A mere pop fly would at least tie it, but two strikeouts later the game was lost.
On September 10, they held a 3 game lead over the Tigers. On September 20, they held a 2 game lead over the Tigers. By September 25 they were tied and, only a week later, finished the season 3 games behind the Tigers (As it turns out, relying on DeWayne Wise to power your offense is a terrible idea. Who knew?). It was a disappointing end to a season that shouldn't have been as promising as it was.
This has been a pretty quiet offseason for the White Sox. They made no major additions to the roster, unless you count signing Jeff Keppinger to fill a vacuum at 3rd. Jake Peavy was re-signed to a two-year, $29 million contract to avoid paying him $22 million for one year or letting him go. Matt Lindstrom and the re-signing DeWayne Wise are the other 'moves' of note.
Perhaps the biggest change was Kenny Williams stepping down as General Manager and Rick Hahn stepping into the role. Hahn has long been viewed as a prime candidate for the job and probably landed it because the White Sox wanted to ensure he didn't go elsewhere.
General Manager of my heart
The White Sox 2013 Edition: No Snappy Slogans Yet
Guys What Hit Things:
Most of the roster is unchanged from last year, which has its ups and downs. I'll be presenting one possible starting lineup and then the pitchers of note.
CF - Alejandro De Aza
De Aza had a smoking hot 150+ PA at the tail end of 2011 before playing his first full season in 2012, in which he hit .281/.349./410 for an OPS+ of 104 and stole 26 bases while being caught 12 times. His biggest problem as a leadoff hitter, though, is his propensity to strike out: 109 times last season in 524 ABs.
3B - Jeff Keppinger
The newest addition to the lineup, Keppinger has only given a team more than 500 ABs once, for the Astros in 2010. He had a fine year in 2012, batting .325/.367/439 for an OPS+ of 127. That sort of production does not figure to hold though, as it was a career high and Keppinger generally keeps his OPS+ around 85-105. Keppinger has always been a BIP machine, striking out only 31 times last season - and, as a look at his OBP will tell you, walking only 24 times as well. Though a likely mediocre player on offense and defense, and certainly not a player of the quality that Youkilis provided last season, he certainly beats the alternatives that the White Sox had been using before Youkilis' arrival (Morel, Hudson).
DH - Adam Dunn("Big Donkey")
Adam Dunn had the worst year of his life in 2011, but turned it around in 2012 to bat .204/.333/.468. A true 3-true-outcomes player, he led the majors last year in walks (105), strikeouts (222, just shy of the single-season record), and with 41 home runs was only a handful away from leading the majors in that category as well. As you can tell by his batting average, the man is a brute; if he makes contact, the ball leaves the park (last year, I watched him pull a ball foul out of Angel Stadium entirely, while the audience oohed). The problem is, of course, making that contact.
1B - Paul Konerko
Paul Konerko has been the leader of this club for many years. His style of leadership is quiet and steady, which underscores the kind of seasons he puts up: in 2010 his OPS+ was 160, in 2011 it was 141, and last year it was 128. He also knocked in 26 home runs last year and nearly hit 300 (.298/.371/.486). Frequently overlooked, Konerko is a consistently high-caliber player. Although he has been getting older (and will turn 37 on March 5), he also had surgery in October to remove some floating bone fragments that had been bothering his wrist for years. Hopefully, with this nagging problem finally dealt with, he'll be able to continue his production.
RF - Alex Rios
In 2009, Rios came over from the Blue Jays in a surprise Kenny Williams waiver pickup. Like Dunn, his 2011 was absolutely atrocious, but also like Dunn, his 2012 was much improved (.304/.334/.516; OPS+ 124). It's probably too much to hope that that kind of production continues - it was a career year - but if he can avoid falling into another season like 2011, he will represent a solid element within the lineup.
LF - Dayan Viciedo ("The Tank")
Viciedo had a lot of promise within the organization as a fielder with a lot of power. To some extent he demonstrated this last season - 25 home runs, batting .255/.300/.444, OPS+ of 96 - but his tendency to swing away has landed him in trouble, as 120 strikeouts and only 28 walks in 505 ABs last season can attest to. If Viciedo wants to remain a part of the team for years to come, perhaps replacing Konerko at first base, he'll have to improve these rates or start crushing balls like Adam Dunn, since right field and first base are certainly not premium positions and his defense in no way makes up for this.
SS - Alexei Ramirez (One of many "Cuban Missiles" in the majors)
Ramirez has always been one of my favorite players (see avatar), but his offense has been declining ever since joining the team and he performed quite poorly last season (.265/.287/.364 with only 16 walks in 593 ABs!). He does play excellent defense at a premium position, and is contracted through 2015 with a team option for 2016, so he will probably remain with the team for a few more years.
C - Tyler Flowers
what did you say about my face
Flowers is a great unknown. Following a career year in which he hit 27 home runs - 9 more than his previous career high, in 2005 - the White Sox let everyone's favorite rear end AJ Pierzynski sign with the Rangers and hope to make Flowers, last year's backup catcher, their full-time starting catcher. It's unknown if this will work out well or not, but I have my doubts - in 136 ABs last year, he hit .213/.296/.412 taking 12 walks and striking out 56 times. While this is a small sample size, striking out has been a perpetual problem for Flowers: while last year's 36.6% may be a bit high, he was consistently striking out around 24-30% in AA and AAA and all projections put him at around 30% for the upcoming season. Flowers does provide some power, though, hitting 7 home runs in that same period of 136 ABs and with a fairly high slugging percentage throughout his experience in the minors and his limited time in the majors.
2B - Gordon Beckham
Last year, when I wrote up the White Sox, the big question was whether Gordon Beckham would return to his 2009 form that got him plenty of votes for rookie of the year (5th place) or continue his steep decline into terriblosity. Unfortunately, while he wasn't as bad as he was in 2011, he was still pretty bad: .234/.296/.371. While he's provided OK power for a second baseman, and excellent defense, his ability to get on base just hasn't been there. For a guy about to enter his last two arbitration years in 2014 and 2015, he's going to have to find out what he's been missing if he wants a bigger payday than this year ($2.925M) or a long contract with anyone.
3B Brent Morel: Ol' Brent had literally one of the worst MLB seasons ever last year at 3rd (.177/.225/.195 in 113 ABs) before getting injured and replaced by Kevin Youkilis. He'll be fighting for the 3B spot over Keppinger, assuming he's recovered from his injuries, but is unlikely to get it.
CF Courtney Hawkins: Hawkins is 19 and, after a great season at single-A, is basically the White Sox's farm system. They probably won't rush him up to the majors right away, but you never know!
OF Jordan Danks: John Danks' younger brother, Jordan had a handful of plate appearances last year. He's spent most of the last three years at AAA where he has done well enough, but not spectacularly so.
OF DeWayne Wise: Most famous for his amazing catch to preserve Mark Buehrle's perfect game in 2009, Wise returned to the White Sox in 2012 where, once again, they relied on him to power their offense, with predictable results. Wise is one of those players that bounces between AAA and the majors like a superball, and it shows - one week he's streakily good, the next he's exactly who you remember he was.
Guys What Throw Things:
The White Sox' rotation was surprisingly good last year despite the inconsistencies of some of its pitchers, and once the bullpen settled into a rhythym it did alright as well. This year figures to be little different, and hopefully even slightly improved with the removal of Philip Humber (Astros) and Liriano (Pirates).
Starter - LHP Chris Sale
he's putting on weight, promise
What a breakout year! Chris Sale pitched as a closer in 2011, but in 2012 burst out as a starter providing 192 innings of 3.05 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, and precisely 192 strikeouts. In addition to striking out a lot of batters (9.00 K/9, 12th in the majors among starters), Sale walks very few batters (2.39 BB/9). While he'll only be 24 when the season starts, he's likely to remain a premier starter in the American League. Last year he was 6th in Cy Young voting.
Starter - RHP Jake Peavy
What a rebound year! It's hard to judge whether Peavy or Sale will be the staff 'ace' since they were both so good last year. Peavy had a slightly higher ERA (3.37), a lower WHIP (1.096), and more strikeouts (by two, 194) in significantly more innings (219) - and this while being a flyball pitcher (3rd highest in the Majors last year) at US Cellular One. He walks even fewer batters than Sale (2.01 BB/9, 14th lowest in the majors among starters). Considering in his previous two years with the White Sox Peavy pitched 107 and 111.2 innings, this return to form and to durability has been very welcome. Together, these two make for a very dangerous rotation.
Starter - LHP John Danks
That rotation could get even more dangerous if John Danks returns healthy. Last year, the first of a 5-year, $75 million contract, Danks pitched only 53.2 innings and put up a 5.70 ERA before having arthroscopic surgery in early August. If he can return to the form he had from 2008-2010 - in which his ERA was always below 4.00, his IP were around 200, and his ERA+ was 138/124/115 respectively, he'll make this an exceptionally high quality top of the rotation.
Starter - RHP Gavin Floyd
Gavin Floyd is on the last year of a 5-year contract (his option having been picked up) during which he has, in the long run, been remarkably consistent: from 2008 through 2012, his ERA has never been below 3.84 and never above 4.29. While not an outstanding pitcher, he's also far from terrible. He only pitched 168 innings last year, losing time to an elbow strain, so hopefully he'll be back to pitching a full season this year.
Starter - LHP Jose Quintana
Probably the worst thing you could say about Jose Quintana is that he's no Chris Sale. Picked up from the Yankees' A+ club after the 2011 season, Quintana spent the first quarter of 2012 in AA before being called up and tossing 136.1 innings of 3.76 ERA ball. He's in the middle of the pack as far as walks and strikeouts are concerned. For a #5 starter he's more than serviceable, as long as his 2012 season wasn't an aberration.
Closer - RHP Addison Reed
oh my god just stand there they won't know you're like 15 just throw the ball be cool man be cool
The White Sox went on a whirlwind tour trying to find a closer last spring, beginning with Matt Thornton and moving through Jesse Crain to eventually settle on the young Addison Reed. Reed was less than stellar, with 54 strikeouts, 18 walks, and 57 hits in 55 IP - none of which is exceptional. Nevertheless, he's shown the raw stuff to earn him another shot at keeping the title to himself.
Setup - RHP Jesse Crain
Crain was picked up before the 2011 season after many years of service on the Twins, and has been quite good since, particularly last year. His ERA has been low - 2.62 in 2011, 2.44 in 2012 - while he keeps his strikeouts high - 9.6 SO/9 in 2011, 11.3 SO/9 in 2012. His one troubling feature is the walk - Crain gave up 23 last year in only 48 IP and 31 the year before in 65 IP. Despite these high rates, he's managed to keep his WHIP down (1.083 last year). If Reed doesn't look like a quality closer, expect to see Crain get another shot.
Setup - LHP Matt Thornton
The projected closer last year, Thornton blew 4 consecutive saves by April 13 and quickly found himself out of a job. He turned it around, though (remember: saves are a bullshit stat for bullshit people), and ended up posting a respectable 1.231 WHIP with 53 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 65 innings.
RHP Nate Jones: Looks like a lil' baby in his photos but put up a cool 2.39 ERA over 71.2 IP in his rookie season last year after spending 2011 in AA. Lots of walks (BB/9 of 4.02). His 85.8% LOB% is certainly unsustainable - he spent most of the minors hovering around 72%.
LHP Hector Santiago: Generally a relief pitcher, Santiago made 4 spot starts for the White Sox near the end of the season and pitched quite well, giving up 1, 0, 3, and 0 earned runs in each while striking out 6, 8, 2, and 10 respectively.
RHP Dylan Axelrod: Started 7 games last year but mostly functioned as long relief for a total of 51 IP (after 18.2 in his rookie season, 2011). Gives up a lot of hits but can eat some innings here and there.
RHP Matt Lindstrom: One of the White Sox's few acquisitions during the offseason, Lindstrom looks like he'll be a pretty average arm out of the pen. Last year he threw 47 pretty good innings - 14 walks and 40 strikeouts.
To be honest, I'm expecting a rerun of last year, if not a bit worse. I think the pitching is a tiny bit better, although some of these guys probably won't have years like they had last year, and I think the offense is a tiny bit worse. Either way, I don't think they'll be good enough to beat the Tigers. The Royals, thanks to Dayton Moore's shortsightedness, and the Indians, surprise offseason movers, could both threaten to take 2nd and even 3rd. The White Sox will probably place anywhere but 1st or 5th and most certainly will not be taking an AL Wild Card spot.
AND DON'T FORGET
Xenophon fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2013 around 23:28
|# ? Feb 21, 2013 07:28|