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  • Locked thread
Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

*dubstep intensifies*


With Opening Day a week and a half away, it's time for baseball fans to showcase their teams. If you don't know which team to root for because you live in, like, Iowa or Nevada, this thread will give you a basic idea of the identities of MLB's 30 clubs.


The 2017 Houston Astros, predicted to win this year's World Series three years ago by Sports Illustrated



Last season, the Astros had high hopes of the playoffs and managed to finish 3rd in the AL West. That's not what you call 'good'. In spite of this, gamblers pick us to win over 90 games and the division this year. Can the Astros do it? I don't know - I haven't been able to regularly watch them since they were in the NL. YEAR 5 BEGINS APRIL 3RD.

Manager A.J. Hinch


Despite the regression last year, I don't blame Hinch. It was a combination of injuries to starting pitching alongside several bad-luck performances from stars.

Key Gains
Brian McCann (C)
Carlos Beltran (LF)
Charlie Morton (SP)
Josh Reddick (RF)

Key Losses
Doug Fister (SP)
Pat Neshek (RP)
Jason Castro (C)
Luis Valbuena (Utlity)

Catcher Brian McCann (.242/.335/.413)


Old guy number one! Signed from the Yankees, I guess people don't like him? I don't know what to expect of him, having gotten so used to not having any veteran players on the team that I forgot to look at free agents.

First Base Yulieski Gurriel (.262/.292/.385)


1B has been an issue for the Astros pretty much since Berkman got traded. The Cuban defector Gurriel has spent Spring Training working on 1B duties, having spend last season playing on the other side of the infield. While not as dynamic a player as the starting four, he's clearly the best option on offense. The question is, how good is he at 1B?

Second Base Jose Altuve (.338/.396/.531)


The four-time All-Star is clearly the face of the franchise. Having been promoted to the majors during the Astros' dark days, Altuve has evolved from being a guy who just hits singles to a guy who can hit the long ball when needed. If the Astros have a season everyone's expecting of them, he's a shoe-in for MVP (barring some assholes voting for Mike Trout again). Quite short.

Shortstop Carlos Correa (.274/.361/.451)


The Chosen One. One of the best shortstops in the game already, Correa is the next A-Rod, hopefully without the 'going to the Yankees' part.

Third Base Alex Bregman (.264/.313/.478)


Drafted second overall in 2015, Bregman quickly rose up the ranks and debuted with the Astros 13 months later. He's solidified himself as the second man in the batting order, putting up the numbers you see despite starting his career 0-17. As the least-experienced guy on the roster, he's going to be streaky.

Left Field Carlos Beltran (.295/.337/.513)


Old guy number two! Señor Octubre makes his return to the Astros, having been a rental in 2004. Hopefully we make it to Octubre, so he'll be useful.

Center Field George Springer (.261/.359/.457)


Despite being drafted as a CF, Springer has played his first three seasons in an Astros uniform in right field. With all other options exhausted, Hinch will have to play him in the position he was born to play. I'm presuming he's the leadoff hitter still.

Right Field Josh Reddick (.281/.345/.405)


Old guy number three! Wait, he's only 30? Anyway, he played for the A's last year, so I know a little bit about him. Namely, he could be a FRAUD.

Designated Hitter Evan Gattis (.251/.319/.508)


Pretty much your standard DH. Backup catcher, as well.

Starting Pitcher 1 Dallas Keuchel (9-12)


Wha' happa? 2015's Cy Young winner fell HARD in 2016. Regardless, Keuchel is still the best pitcher we've got right now, so I'd expect him on Opening Day.

Starting Pitcher 2 Lance McCullers, Jr. (6-5)


Injured for chunks of 2016, McCullers was our only starting pitcher to have an ERA+ over 100 (not counting guys who moved to and from the bullpen). If Keuchel slips, McCullers is our ace.

Starting Pitcher 3 Collin McHugh (13-10)


Last year, I predicted McHugh's H9 to go down. It went up! He's good enough for a mid-range spot in the rotation, though.

Starting Pitcher 4 Mike Fiers (11-8)


Also good enough for a mid-range spot in the rotation.

Starting Pitcher 5 Charlie Morton (1-1)


Signed during the offseason, I'm placing my money on Morton (who was on the DL for most of last year) getting the nod over Joe Musgrove for the final spot.

Closer Ken Giles (2-5, 15 saves)


In 2016, I coined the phrase 'pulling a Ken Giles'. It's where you load the bases with no outs and get out of the inning without allowing a run. Without a doubt, the most frustrating player on the roster. Was ABSOLUTE poo poo for the first few months, then was good enough to be closer over Luke Gregerson. Throws a lot of Ks.

PREDICTION: Last year, I predicted we'd win the World Series. That did not happen, obviously, but I still believe we can do it this year.

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CubsWoo
Aug 17, 2005

Where the big boys RAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGH FUCK YOU


AWWWWWWWWWWWW SPORTS ARGUMENT STADIUM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1mcJxfarZ4

DON'T YOU DARE BE SOUR

http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/mp4/2016/09/01/1120237683/1472703836935/asset_1200K.mp4

CLAP FOR YOUR REIGNING, DEFENDING, WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS

http://i.imgur.com/e73yY6H.mp4

AND FEEL THE POWER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5Z4mamvBHg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qraVPyZxlTo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6YBr9c90J8

That's right, the Chicago Cubs are your World Series Champions. Fueled by youth, crafty managing, and the ability to draw on limitless pessimism from SAS Cubs posters, the Cubs overcame an Indians



and became the first team in MLB history to win a World Series Game 7 that went to extra innings on the road. They brought the trophy back to Wrigley to celebrate its first ever World Series win. Really! If you believe Wikipedia the victory parade was a top 10 gathering of humans in all of recorded history (it probably wasn't!) but was almost definitely the biggest victory parade ever and if you believe Nate Silver that's also why Trump won so depending on your perspective good job Cubbies or gently caress you Cubs.

HEY WHY IS THE GAMEDAY THREAD AT 200 POSTS AT 3PM OH OK THE CUBS HAD A DAY GAME

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwSGLjvk6sE


And now, a moment to recognize those that have moved on from the team heading into 2017:

CF Dexter Fowler:

https://twitter.com/BestFansStLouis/status/834597751665152000

Spent two years with the Cubs, hit the first leadoff HR in Game 7 World Series history and earned every bit of his contract with the Cardinals. Has a wonderful wife and adorable daughter. Does not seem to be a 'good fit' with some of the Cardinal fanbase. I wish him amazing personal success and incredible professional failure.

OF/2B Chris Coghlan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G13dl_uyxZA

He went to Oakland, he was bad, he got traded back to the Cubs, he was slightly less bad and also maybe made Tommy La Stella run off to Jersey for almost a month, and now he's with the Phillies. We can't wait to pick him back up in late June for a AA lotto ticket.

CL Aroldis Chapman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAfatmrNm-4

Acquired in a 4 for 1 deal (including Gleyber Torres who according to some SAS posters is something the team will totally regret even considering the title) the fireballing mercenary was ridden like a government mule by Maddon all playoffs, appearing in 13 of the Cubs 17 games and pitching 15.2 innings. Gave up what everyone in the universe thought was the dagger that ensured the Curse would continue to Rajai Davis in the 8th inning of Game 7, was trotted out for the 9th where he left a dozen sliders hanging to the meat of the Cleveland order, somehow ended up getting a 1-2-3 inning out of sheer luck, and is the winning pitcher of record for Game 7. He is my MVP of the playoffs for the Cubs all things considered, and even taking his off-field issues into account I would have liked to see him back. He also encouraged many SAS posters to give hundreds of dollars to very worthy charities.

OF Jorge Soler

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4diNGvUEzM

Signed in 2012, Soler always showed flashes of being an elite hitter with a strong arm, but questionable OF defense and the injury bug hindered him greatly in his 3 years with the team. Traded to the Royals for closer Wade Davis.

C David Ross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSD6NbBQtu0

Jon Lester's personal catcher. Had an amazing year long retirement party, capped off with a home run in his final AB and was carried off by his teammates mid-interview at the end of the World Series. Retired and has an office position with the Cubs where he goes on dancing shows and tells people how good Raisin Bran Crunch is.

SP Jason Hammel



Battled injury all year. Apparently ate a lot of potato chips to avoid cramping. Was not included on any of the postseason rosters and the team declined his option in order to give him a shot at the market. The market didn't like him very much, thinking his elbow issues were worse than the Cubs let on, and eventually signed with the Royals for 2 years, 16 million.

RP Travis Wood

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kFCTeq3B7g

Maddon's favorite lefty out of the pen, Wood would be the first relief pitcher to homer in the postseason since 1924. Signed with the Royals as he wanted a chance to start, but recent news says he'll be out of the pen in KC as well.

RP Clayton Richard

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVOqbzOehTU

gently caress you. Could break camp with the Padres as their #1 starter. That's all you really need to know about the Padres.

And the rest:

C Tim Federowicz (Giants)
RP Trevor Cahill (Padres)
RP Adam Warren (Yankees)
RP Joel Peralta (FA/Retired?)
RP Neil Ramirez (Giants)
SP Brian Matusz (Diamondbacks)
RP Joe Nathan (Nationals)
RP Joe Smith (Blue Jays)

Manager Joe Maddon

http://i.imgur.com/XbA66r1.mp4

Trust The Process. Makes weird decisions about pitchers and bunting. Trust The Process. Is only the second manager in Cubs history to win a World Series. Trust The Process.

(All projections are via Fangraphs and ZIPS)

Catchers

Willison Contreras (Projected 2017 WAR: 2.4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XbMhQPNI0E

Called up midseason and hit a HR in his first at bat. Showed power and a good arm behind the plate. Will be catching Lester this year. Hope for the best. Will also probably play some LF.

Miguel Montero (Projected WAR: 0.6)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SGP-oWvVUE

Plated the insurance run that put the Cubs in the lead for good in Game 7. Has a pretty good Twitter account. Otherwise is a backup catcher who will be paid 14 million this year and may have some animus with Maddon about his role.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (Projected WAR: 4.8)

http://i.imgur.com/LisYgwI.mp4

Had a great year. Switched bats in the playoffs when he needed something lighter due to fatigue. Will hopefully be given more rest this year.

Second Base

Javier Baez (Projected WAR: 1.9)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Uiq2ORGqoc

Baez could be a once in a generation defender. Can play anywhere in the infield and even started learning center field two winters ago. Has pop in his bat but has strikeout problems. Excellent baseball IQ.

Shortstop

Addison Russell (Projected WAR: 3.2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAAUAmRgM7g

Another quality infield defender with an average bat and good baseball instincts. Also needs to cut down on the strikeouts. Could be the best defender on many other teams.

Third Base

Kris Bryant (Projected WAR: 5.8)

http://i.imgur.com/DntcSjb.mp4

2015 NL ROTY, 2016 NL MVP. He's pretty ok.

Left Field

Kyle Schwarber (Projected WAR: 1.5)

https://twitter.com/Cubs/status/840200596577640450

Tore his ACL in the third game of the season but was able to rehab it enough to rejoin the team for the World Series after seeing all of two games of Arizona Fall League live pitching. Hit .412 and had an OPS of .971 (POSTSEASON NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING YOU DUMBO) in the biggest games of his life. Has continued to work on his fielding and also wants to continue catching. He is our beefy lad and we love him very much.

Center Field

Jon Jay (Projected WAR: 0.4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfcNIY098Ok

Signed to replace Fowler and mentor Albert Almora and Schwarber in the OF and will probably be the opening day starter and transition to a bench role by midsummer.

Right Field

Jason Heyward (Projected WAR: 2.3)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg1_CnIFKFI

He has a new swing! Is it better? Who loving cares! Heyward is a fantastic defender who debuted his 'hit a ground ball softly to a guy' approach to hitting last year and it didn't work very well. None of that matters because he gave a speech in the weight room during the rain delay and in all honesty he earned his contract with that and that alone.

Bench/platoon players:

UT Ben Zobrist (Projected WAR: 2.3)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-BNt1Z59NQ

Hit the game-winning double in Game 7. World Series MVP. Potentially the best bench asset in baseball. Will start a lot as well since he can play 2B LF and RF well.

OF Albert Almora Jr. (Projected WAR: 1.1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMx2oRYryHs

Should be starting in CF by midsummer. Another quality young player.

And probably either IF Tommy La Stella (0.4) or OF Matt Szczur (0.2), who knows?

Starting Pitchers:

Jon Lester (Projected 2017 WAR: 4.2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=957pSmvfDCI

Had a decent 2015. Was a Cy Young finalist in 2016. Still can't hold runners or throw to first. Can't hit. Don't care anymore.

Jake Arrieta (Projected WAR: 4.0)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kTA-v6q_L4

2015 Cy Young winner. Regressed a bit in 2016 due to fatigue and issues with his control but still pitched another no-hitter. Was excellent in the World Series. This is his contract year so expect him to try to pitch himself into a 300 million dollar contract.

Kyle Hendricks (Projected WAR: 3.6)



https://twitter.com/Cosmis/status/789992856735723520

From 5th starter to Cy Young finalist. Nearly had a sub-2.0 ERA last year. Pitched lights out in the playoffs. Detractors say he only had good results due to the stellar defense behind him. He still has that defense behind him so welp

John Lackey (Projected WAR: 2.8)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myM3bagQ0MI

Lackey was a solid #4/#5 starter in the regular season and proved that 'playoff experience' doesn't mean much as he was pretty bad in every round of the postseason. This will probably be his last year in baseball but we're in an age where guys like Colon pitch well into their 40s so who knows?

Brett Anderson (Projected WAR: 0.9)



Often injured, Anderson is having a strong spring and projects to be the fifth starter. Has incentives based on staying healthy but nobody's sure how long he'll last.

Closer:

Wade Davis (Projected WAR: 1.1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCgVhlbvBY0

Davis was hurt for a portion of 2016 and he's in the last year of his contract so the Royals traded him to the Cubs for Soler. He can be dominating if he stays healthy.

Relief Pitchers:

Koji Uehara (Projected WAR: 0.7)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrVMVCxC7-o

In case you're counting, the Cubs have 3 of the last 4 pitchers to record the final out of the World Series on this team.

Mike Montgomery (Projected WAR: 0.8)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOp8w2PgHlM

And here's number 3. Can spot start.

Carl Edwards Jr. (Projected WAR: 0.4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsJgp9zLjs0

Nearly got the save in Game 7. Call him Hardee's if you're cool. Will probably be the setup man/closer of the future.

Justin Grimm (Projected WAR: 0.5)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwb9IaVfSJo

Decent if unexciting RHP.

Pedro Strop (0.6) and Hector Rondon (0.8)

The Cubs former setup/closer battery both battled injury in late 2016 and had their roles shifted dramatically with the introduction of Chapman and now Uehara and Davis. Both will need to settle into being 6th-8th inning relievers.

Rob Zastryzny (0.0) or Brian Duensing (0.2)

Will probably be used much the same as Travis Wood was the last two years, as a long relief lefty who can spot start if absolutely necessary.


The Cubs have lost some pieces from their championship run, but the core is still intact. I think they'll suffer more injuries this year and won't be as dominant, but they still project to be the class of the NL Central and they've shown they can perform when it counts in October and November.

And remember, when the Cubs won the title in 1908, it was a repeat...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIfEX7CA8X8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvlvqzsvKzE









thank you pear baby

CubsWoo fucked around with this message at 13:32 on Mar 29, 2017

seiferguy
Jun 9, 2005

FLAWED
INTUITION





Toilet Rascal



Come on down and meet your 2017 Seattle Mariners!

Since taking over the reigns at the end of the 2015 season, Jerry Dipoto has done one thing: trade a lot of dudes, I mean holy crap this guy loves trades. Don't believe me?



Hes made a few trades since this graph was made. Hell, he's probably trading someone right now as we speak! Jerry stated in an interview that the team targeted 8 players this offseason, and he "got them all." He won't say who, but I might have a few guesses.

Key gains:
Jean Segura (acquired from AZ)
Drew Smyly (acquired from TB)
Jarrod Dyson (acquired from KC)
Mitch Haniger (acquired from AZ)
Carlos Ruiz (acquired from LAD)
Yovani Gallardo (acquired from Baltimore)

Key Departures:
Taijuan Walker (traded to AZ)
Ketel Marte (traded to AZ)
Nate Karns ((traded to KC)
Seth "Dad" Smith (traded to Baltimore)
Dae Ho Lee (returned to Korea, goodbye you large beautiful man)
Franklin Gutierrez (signed with LAD)
Steve Clevenger (Pulled a Curt Schilling)

Manager: Scott Servais



Was an assistant GM for awhile with the Angels and was close with Jerry, hence why he got the job. Was credited for overhauling Nelson Cruz's swing which made him a very good dinger hitter. As a manager? Eh, jury is still out. I don't have any major qualms with him, but he's still learning on the job.

Let's get to the lineup!


Catcher: Mike Zunino

Mike Zunino remains a sort of enigma. He was one of Jack Z's last major draft picks. He was a model figure for "don't rush position players through the minors" because in the midst of fearing for his job, Jack Z promoted him with less than a year of experience in the minors. It was awful, he couldn't hit off speed pitches and by 2015 he was putting up an OPS+ of 58. When Jack Z got fired, Zunino was immediately demoted to rookie league and focused solely on his hitting. He spent 2016 mostly in AAA, where he mashed, and eventually got called up as an injury replacement. He hit well, and while he still struggles to strike out, he maintained an OPS+ above 100. On top of that, he's an above average defender, and a good :siren: pitch framer :siren: . Who knows what version of Zunino we'll see.

1st Base: Dan Vogelbach

Acquired from the Cubs mid-season last year for Mike Montgomery, who ended up closing out game 7. He's been mashing in AAA and came up for a cup of coffee. He didn't do so well, but so far has looked decent in spring training. There are concerns about his defense, but mediocrity is acceptable as a first basemen. If he ends up flailing, the team has a backup plan in the name of Danny Valencia. Sidenote, his last name is pronounced "Vogel-back" and not like the famous historical family of musicians.


edit: Dan Vogelbach just got optioned to AAA so that's a big egg of my face!


Okay for real: 1st base: Danny Valencia

We traded some upper minors guy named Paul Blackburn to get a season out of Valencia. He's been a slightly above average hitter over the past few seasons to the point where you can kind of expect production from him. He can play both corners (though he is very bad at 3B), and the outfield too. For a 1st basemen, his numbers aren't great, but at the very least he won't be a black hole in the lineup, and will probably exist until Vogelbach / DJ Peterson (lol like he would amount to anything) can contribute at the major league level.


2nd Base: Robinson Cano

After a real bad 2015 season where he was fighting abdomen injuries, 2016 was vintage Cano and was one of the best players on the team. The question only remains is how many good years he has left. Played for the DR in the WBC and played real well there too!


Shortstop: Jean Segura

Was his 2016 a fluke? We'll find out! Obtained through the trade with Mitch Haniger for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte. Gave up a lot of potential talent for him. We haven't had a good hitting shortstop since... A-Rod was a Mariner? I mean, Carlos Guillen was okay, but our major starting SS have been Yuniesky Betancourt, Jack Wilson, Brendan Ryan, Brad Miller (who's kind of good now, dammit), and Ketel Marte in the last 7 years. Please be good.


3rd Base: Kyle Seager

Kyle Seager had a 6.9 (nice) bWAR last year. He's already in the top 20 for bWAR for Mariner careers. He's the best 3rd basemen in Mariner history.


Center field: Leonys Martin

We traded fan favorite relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen for this guy. Martin, known for being all glove fielder, ended up developing power and hit a decent amount of dingers. Wilhelmsen, on the other hand, kept his ERA above 10 as a Texas Ranger, got DFA'd, was picked up again by the Mariners, and pitched decently for us down the stretch. This trade was a literal heist, and making it sweeter was that it happened to a division opponent. Anyway, Martin has struggled with injury in the past, but there's 2 center-field capable OFers we've acquired to back him up should he get hurt again.


Right Fielder: Mitch Haniger

The other big part of the Arizona trade, and although his 2016 numbers weren't fantastic as a D-back, his *peripherals* were in line with his fantastic AAA numbers. He walks well, can hit for power, and plays plus defense in the outfield. Jerry thinks he found a gem in Haniger, but we'll see if he can translate into the majors well.


Left Field: Jarrod Dyson

Traded from KC for Nate Karns. Dyson has always been platooned in his career, and will get a chance to play full time with the Mariners. Base-stealer, amazing glove, doesn't hit for power. Signature quote: "Wherever I go, the champagne flow."


DH: Nelson Cruz

When Jack Z signed Cruz to a 4-year deal in 2015 (after he cheaped out and didn't sign him in 2014), everyone relentlessly mocked the deal. Cruz turned around and ended up putting up the two best years offensively of his career, and one of the best offensive performances as a Mariner since Edgar was a player. He's accepted that he's a liability in the outfield (but can play there for a few spot starts should he have to), and embraced the DH role. He still hit some nice dingers in the WBC, so the hope is that his power is still around, even in his age.

Rest of the bench:
OF: Guillermo Heredia or Ben Gamel: Will probably be Heredia, since he's had better numbers in AAA and in the majors. Both are still fantastic defenders. With Vogelbach being demoted, both will probably make the team.
C: Carlos Ruiz: Old dude, but still plays well. Mike Zunino played way too much as a catcher in the last few years, so I'm hoping for a more even split between these two.
UTL: Tyler Smith or Shawn O'Malley: O'Malley just had an appendectomy out of the blue in spring training, so Tyler Smith will be the utility infielder. I know nothing about him, but his name is generic enough to assume he's a generic AAAA guy.

Starting Pitchers:


Felix Hernandez

2016 was Felix's worst year. He struggled with injury, his fastball velocity was down, and overall didn't look like vintage Felix. The Mariners think it's from a lack of conditioning, mainly in his lower body that was causing it. So this offseason, along with Nelson Cruz, he worked with a trainer named IRON GLENN to bulk up a bit. He's going to have to reinvent himself to deal with his lowered velocity. It's probably safe to say that the golden age of Felix Hernandez is over :(


Hisashi Iwakuma

It's hard to predict how well Iwakuma will pitch this year. He's 36, seems to be losing velocity, and has abandoned a few pitches. Still, I think he's got some left in the tank. He won't repeat his great 2013 and 2014 numbers, but he will still be a good contributor.


James Paxton

Several years ago, the Mariners had 3 amazing pitching prospects: Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton. Hultzen's arm got shredded up, Walker never impressed enough and became expendable, and all that's left is Paxton. His fastball hits the mid to upper 90s, and has shown ace potential. But he's always gotten nagging injuries. Will this be the year he stays healthy??


Drew Smyly

Jerry's ideal candidate. Flyball pitcher who can strike people out as well. Jerry hopes that the mixture of Safeco being a pitcher's park, and our upgraded outfield defense means he'll thrive. Smyly also pitched extremely well for the USA in the WBC too.


Yovani Gallardo

In terms of 5th pitchers, you could probably do better, but you could also do a lot worse. Gallardo wasn't very good in 2016, so Jerry is hoping he's a bounceback candidate. Seth Smith was traded for him, who became an endearing fan favorite as the team dad.

If any of these pitchers go down, Ariel Miranda will be the long man in the bullpen and will probably start. Chase De Jong is sitting in AAA as well.

Bullpen


Closer: Edwin Diaz

Holy hell Edwin Diaz is good. He was a rookie last year brought up midway through the season, and almost immediately won the closer role. He strikes out a ton of dudes and has great movement on his pitches. Closed out some great games for PR in the WBC.

The rest of the 'pen:
Nick Vincent
Steve Cishek (recovering from surgery, will be back in May)
Dan Altavilla
Marc Rzepczynski (LOOGY)
Evan Scribner
Some other dudes

The verdict:

Seattle has aging players, so it appears that this is the year that they go for it. Is the team good enough to compete in the AL West? Who knows. They've raised their floor and have a lot of contingency plans should one of the players get hurt. Jerry built a team around fly ball pitchers and elite outfield defense, so here's to hoping that pays off.

seiferguy fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Mar 23, 2017

Paul Zuvella
Dec 7, 2011





2017 is going to be a very, very weird year for the Yankees. The ownership has started to pinch pennies (kinda) so they have not been signing veterans to long term deals like they used to. Because of this the team is a bizarro combination of young talent and vetrans who may or not perform well. Because of this I can honestly see them winning 70 games and making me sad.

I can also see them winning 90 games and making an interesting playoff push!
What's going to happen? They probably will win 80ish game. But that's boring!

Notable losses

3B/SS/DH: Alex Rodriguez
1B: Mark Texiera
C: Brian McCann
P: Nathan Eovaldi
2B/OF: Dustin Ackley

Let's all take a moment of silence for Alex Rodriguez. Who doesn't really count, because he retired in the middle of the season last year, but I'm putting him in anyway.

Notable Additions!

P: Aroldis Chapman
DH/OF: Matt Holiday
DH/IB: Chris Carter

Let's meet the Yankees!

Your manager, Joe Girardi


Manager is a weird position in baseball. Most people think that the list of managers in the game that actually have a positive effect are pretty low. Also the ones who have a negative effect are pretty low too. Most just... kind of exist. That's kind of how I feel about Joe. He's done an ok job managing old players time, keeping people happy, using new blood when he could. He's also in the last year of his contract and seems to cry a lot. I like him!


Your starting catcher, Gary... Sanchez


Gary Sanchez is good and handsome and he's my friend. He's the Yankee's bright hope for the future. A young Catching prospect who slashed .299/.376/.657 in 230 PAs for the yankees last year. He also has a cannon for an arm. There are obvious questions on what his actual production will look like, because it is extremely unlikely that he can keep up the pace he set last year, but all signs point to him being the real deal. Other notable things about him are that he single handily gave the team the "Baby Bombers" last year and has a tattoo that is real dumb and rivals Yadier Molina for dumbest catcher tattoo.

Did I mention he is handsome?

Your starting first basemen, Greg... Bird


Ok, so I need to explain. I always have a Yankees prospect that I choose to irrationally love more than I probably should. Most recently this players was Phil Hughes because I'm apparently an idiot. Now? That guy is Greg Bird. Just look at him. Look at those eyebrows, look at his dumb face. I love it.

Bird came onto the scene in 2015 and had a short but memorable 46 game start for the Yankees where he hit for doubles and HR power and flashed signs that he could be a legit starting 1B in the major leagues. Then he was sidelined all last year with a shoulder injury. Now he is back and hopefully ready to be the next Tino Martinez.

Recent reporting has unearthed the fact that he has a cat that descends from the cat from Austin Powers. Is there an MLB Catwatch?

Your starting second basemen, Starlin... Castro


Starlin Castro is annoying. Cubs fans hate him because he never lived up to the hype. He's an ok contact hitter who can't walk, hits for ok power and has a mostly meh glove at 2nd base. He's mostly annoying because he is just so goddamn boring. He almost never does anything exciting. I hate him.

Your starting shortstop, Didi...

Wait, Didi is hurt? gently caress... uh ok... let's see.

Your starting shortstop, Ronald... Torreyas


Goddamnit. Torreyas sucks. He is a utility infielder who cannot hit, and cannot field. Didi is only sidelined for a month, though it is a shoulder injury and those tend to nag. I am not very hopeful.

Your starting third basemen, Chase... Headley


Chase Headley is kind of boring. He has had a generally unexciting career outside his one near MVP season in San Diego. He is a switch hitter who strikes out a ton, has no power, but draws a few walks and generally has an ok glove for a third basemen. He is pretty obviously a stopgap third basemen, who suspiciously comes off the books when Manny Machado becomes a free agent... hmmm...

Your starting Left Fielder, Brett... Gardener


Brett Gardener is a powerless left fielder who draws a ton of walks and is great at running the bases. A classic leadoff type player, his valuable is kind of determined by how well he places the ball when he hits. As he gets older and his already limited power wanes, he is going to live and die by his BABIP which means he will probably fall off a cliff soon. He also is very unfortunately bald because he has a very weirdly shaped head and looks like The Great Gazzoo.

Your starting Center Fielder, Jacoby... Ellsbury


Almost the exact same player as Brett Gardener, except for the fact that he is twice as expensive because one year he decided to go nuts and hit 32 homeruns. Everyone was kind of confused when the Yankees signed him, because they never really needed him due to having Gardener. My theory is that the Yankees have some sort of curse/blood pact where they have to sign a big name Red Sox free agent every few years or else the Steinbrenner's will lose all their fortune.

He is on the books until 2021 and is starting to get too old to play center field. He also cannot hit enough to play either corner outfield position so he is quickly going to find that he has no place to play with the Yankees Youth Movementtm coming through. Still that's a problem for 2 years from now, so let's not worry about it too much.

Your starting right Fielder, Aaron... Judge


The first arrival Yankees Youth Movementtm, the yankees hope he can be a Corner outfielder of the future alone with Clint Frazier. He's a giant of a man, who apparently cannot smile for photos well, and is generally considered a balanced prospect.

But like I said he is huge. I'm not kidding. Guy is pushing 6'8" and is generally considered to be in the mid 270s. There are reasonable doubts on his ability to stay in the outfield because of it.

Your starting Designated hitter, Matt... Holliday


Very old. Very bad at fielding. Very famously got hit in the dick once in a playoff game. Still, the yankees are paying him to hit, not field. He came over from the Cardinals for one last chance at relevancy as a Designated hitter. I assume at some point he will be benched, or will only start against LHP. We shall see

Starting Pitching!

Masahiro Tanaka


The Yankees annual Japanese import. He is a super cool dude who almost never walks anyone and gets a decent number of strikeouts. Has had some trouble staying healthy in the past. Here is hoping this is the year he hits 200IP!

Michael Pineda


Acquired via a trade with the Mariners for noted failed prospect Jesus Montero. He's generally an ok pitcher who gets a ton of strikeouts, but also people have a decently easy enough time making contact on him. Also he hides pine tar on his neck like a loving rookie. A free agent in the offseason and a prime candidate to be overpayed by the Twins or something.

CC Sabathia


An extremely cool, fat baseball pitcher who was an extremely important piece to the Yankees 2009 world Series win. After a bar fight, Sabathia admitted he was an alcoholic and stopped drinking. He ended up losing a ton of weight too! Buuuut he started sucking around 2013 and struggled with health problems. Everyone assumed his 2017 option would not vest but by some miracle he got fat again in 2016 and pitched really well! He's on the team for one last hurrah, and then will probably retire. Fun!

Luis Severino


Throws hard but also kind of bad. Walks a ton of dudes, racks up a ton of strikeouts and gives up a ton of home runs. Classic power pitcher. Still, he is young and hopefully he can surprise us.

The Bryan Mitchell, Adam Warren, Chad Green b-b-b-b-bonus round!

Whoever wins, we lose!

Notible Bullpen Guys!

Aroldis Chapman


Was a Yankee in 2016 but was traded to the cubs, where he won a world series, for Gleybar Torres. Then he signed with the Yankees in the offseason for literally the largest contract for a reliever ever. He throws 100MPH. He has a K/9 of 15 over his career. People cannot hit home runs off of him. Still he is a power pitcher under contract for 5 years and every single time he throws a ball I'm holding my breath for his UCL.

Also he has terrible fashion sense and also likes to beat and threaten women with guns.

Dellin Betances


He is kind of is the poor man's Aroldis Chapman. He strikes a ton of dudes out, doesn't really give up homeruns and is generally thought of as a great reliever...

...Except by Yankees President Randy Levine, who bad mouthed him in his arbitration hearing because he "isn't a real closer" and then went public with it to the media afterwords! Great Job Randy!

Thoughts

The Yankees are going to live and die by their young talent. If Judge, Sanchez, Bird, and Severino have good years then the sky is the limit. But at the same time their starting pitching could implode horribly and they could give up a million runs. It should be a fun year!

Paul Zuvella fucked around with this message at 15:34 on Mar 28, 2017

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006




This is a very solid preview but just wanted to note that Zobrist is definitely the starting 2nd baseman with Javy doing his super utility thing again.

Ammat The Ankh
Sep 7, 2010

Who'd have thought Hell would be this boring?


Kiss tha rings, it’s time for the San Francisco Giants preview!



The Giants have become one of the most hated teams in baseball, and it’s easy to see why. They’ve won three championships since 2010, their roster is loaded with homegrown talent despite having a relatively unheralded farm system, they’ve used a top-five payroll to supplement these homegrown players with free-agent talent, they carry the legacy of baseball’s surly home run king and face of the steroid era Barry Bonds, they’ve got one of the best broadcast teams in all of sports, tthey play in AT&T Park the most gorgeous stadium in baseball, and some people even say their fans are arrogant.

Unfortunately the Giants hit on hard times last year: not winning the World Series. This was despite the fact that it was an even year, which usually portends the Giants winning the Word Series. Before your eyes get too filled with tears to read, let me go into more detail. At the All-Star break the Giants had the best record in baseball, but a series of bullpen implosions sent them into a tailspin they wouldn’t come out of until they were only a Wild Card team.

A typical Madison Bumgarner performance and the expected late-game heroics by a journeyman (Conor Gillaspie) gave the Giants a win over the Mets in the WCG. However, they fell to the Cubs in the NLDS in the most unexpected fashion: the bullpen that imploded in the regular season imploded in the postseason. This was the first time a Bruce Bochy led Giants team made it to the postseason and didn’t win the World Series. That’s weird, right?

The World Series winning core of the Giants is only getting older. Will our plucky large-market team get to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy once again? Or will they have to slum it like one of those piteous expansion teams? There’s always room on the bandwagon, so hop aboard and find out! The Warriors only play until June, after all.



2016 Record: 87-75, 2nd place in NL West (Pythagorean: 90-72)

Key Departures: (No one really significant)
RP Santiago Casilla (A’s)
RP Sergio Romo (Dodgers)
RP Javier Lopez (Retired)
SP Jake Peavy (unsigned)
OF Angel Pagan (unsigned)
OF Gregor Blanco (Diamondbacks)
3B Matt Duffy (:() (Traded to Rays)

Key Additions:
CL Mark Melancon (FA)
C Nick Hundley (FA)
That’s it?
In fairness, they spent big on starting pitchers last offseason

Okay, so who are we rooting for?


The Front Office




The Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations - Brian Sabean

Previously the longest tenured GM in baseball, the architect of three World Series champions was promoted to Double Super GM so that he could focus on scouting.




The GM - Bobby Evans

Previously the assistant GM under Sabean, Evans is now the GM under Sabean. Unsurprisingly, the Giants’ organizational strategy hasn’t changed much.




The Manager - Bruce Bochy

Complain about pitching changes all you want, this guy’s going in the Hall of Fame.


The Players




C - Buster Posey

2010 Rookie of the Year, 2012 MVP, 3x World Series Champion, 2017 WBC champion, 4x AS, 3x SS, 1x GG. Handsome every year. Best pitch framer in baseball. Finally beat out Yadier Molina for a long deserved Gold Glove. Had a down year offensively last year, hitting only .288/.362/.434 (compared to his career .307/.373./.476 line). Was still the best catcher in baseball. Will continue to be the best catcher in baseball again.




1B - Brandon Belt

Under appreciated due to his high strikeout/home run ratio (justifiable due to AT&T Park’s effects), Belt produced over 4 bWAR of value least season due in part to his excellent defense and high walk rate. He dominated the first half of 2016 with a .302/.407/.521 line before falling to .241/.378/.414 in the second half. Have I mentioned how much people complain about about Belt’s consistency, as well as Belt’s everything else? Yet as a whole Belt is one of the best First Basemen in MLB.

Best of all though he hit Splash Hit #69.




2B - Joe Panik

In last year’s Meet the Teams thread I talked about how Panik was an excellent defender/OBP threat when healthy, and hoped he would finally get to play a full year. Of course, he got injured again. A concussion sustained from a HBP by Rays starter Matt Moore sidelined Panik for a good chunk of the season. He never fully recovered from it, posting a .215 BA over the second half- but with a .308 OBP. For the full season he led the MLB in AB/SO and was second in BB/SO. He remained a solid defender at second and won his first Gold Glove award. He’ll be a significant two-way threat if he can remain healthy for a full season, FOR REAL THIS TIME.




SS - Brandon Crawford

The handsomest shortstop picked up his second Gold Glove last season, and has been a cornerstone of the team’s immaculate infield defense for years. Helped the U.S. to the WBC championship with his glove and timely hitting. Popular for being a hometown hero, and also handsome and good.




3B - Eduardo Nuñez

The Giants sent fan favorite Matt Duffy to Tampa Bay for starting pitching help and picked up All-Star(!) Eduardo Nuñez from the Twins to hold down 3B. While the fact that he was an AS says more about the Twins than Nuñez, he rebounded from a rough start in SF to become a valuable player. He brings solid defense and is the best base stealer on the team.

His helmet falls off a lot. It’s no giant cat, but it’ll have to do.




RF - Hunter Pence

It’s Hunter Pence! We all love Hunter Pence. Who cares about his recent injury history? Cheer for Hunter Pence.




CF - Denard Span

After losing most of 2015 to injury, Span bounced back to… put up mediocre numbers. He had a .331 OBP and questionable defense in Center. He was much better in the second half than the first half however, and the Giants are hoping he can still become the leadoff hitter they signed him to be.

Worst of all though, he hit Splash Hit #70.




LF - ????? (Positional Battle!)

Well I say positional battle, but it’s been more or less decided already….

LF - Jarrett Parker

Parker can’t really be called a prospect, being a 28-year old career minor leaguer. His extremely high strikeout rate and difficulty hitting lefties has always limited his utility, despite his massive power. However he has impressed in spring training and is out of options, making this an easy decision for the front office. Hopefully he becomes the first homegrown starting outfielder since Marvin Benard. Also he kind of owns and his girlfriend studies chimpanzees with Jane Goodall?

Parker is beating out:

OF - Mac Williamson

At 26 Mac Williamson is slightly more prospecty than Parker, but not much. He lost quite a bit of time to Tommy John surgery in 2014, but he’s had good offensive numbers throughout his minor league career and wouldn’t need to be platooned. However a quad injury has sidelined him for most of spring training, so he’ll almost certainly start the season in AAA.


The Rotation



LHP - MADISON BUMGARNER

he’s good




RHP - Johnny Cueto

Cueto absolutely rules. He’s one of the most fun baseball players you can watch. He’ll probably opt out of his contract at the end of the year, so get in while you can. I hope you too can find the kind of joy at something Cueto shows when… doing pretty much anything.




RHP - Jeff Samardzija

People are always confused at what kind of pitcher Shark is. Some people think he’ll suddenly explode into an ace, while others see him as a bust that once led the American League in runs allowed. However Samardzija has always been just Samardzija, and will likely continue to be Samardzija, which is a perfectly good thing to be!




LHP - Matt Moore

Oh God dammit.

The Giants sent fan favorite Matt Duffy to Tampa Bay for starting pitching help, and that pitcher was Matt Moore, giver of concussions. Except, there’s no way the Giants even make the postseason without Moore. The former number one prospect struggled with consistency in his first full season after returning from Tommy John surgery, which carried over to SF. His first few starts here were an up and down affair, although he sprinkled some brilliant performances throughout- including a near no-hitter of the Dodgers and a dominate NLDS performance against the Cubs. He’s also under a very team-friendly contract for the next few years. It’s difficult to predict Moore, but hopefully another year removed from TJ will allow him to finally harness his potent stuff.




Fifth Starter - ????? (Positional Battle!)

Oh who am I kidding it’ll be Matt Cain.




RHP - Matt Cain

Matt Cain is the Giants’ longest tenured player, a bridge from the Bonds Era to the current franchise, the first homegrown star produced by San Francisco in a long time, had to put up with countless gems wasted by a lack of run support, an integral part of two World Series, the owner of the only perfect game in Giants history, and the bringer of many other happy memories to Giants fans.

He’s also bad now, and hasn’t been good since 2012. He hasn’t even thrown 100 innings since 2013. However he’s owed $21 Million this year, so the Giants are going to at least try to get as many serviceable innings out of him as they can. Unfortunately, so far during spring training he hasn’t looked like he’s improved over last years’ dismal performance, which may force the front office’s hand. If the Giants do the unthinkable and can Cain, the next guy up is:



LHP - Ty Blach

Blach has had good success throughout his minor league career, though that’s somewhat belied by his splits: he dominates lefties while remaining hittable versus righties. In 2016 in AAA he gave up a .677 OPS vs. RHH, but held LHH to a .480 OPS. That said, he blanked the Dodgers for eight innings opposite Clayton Kershaw in a must win game 161 last year, with a pair of hits off his opposite number for good measure. He’s a good pitcher that deserves to be on the roster, thouhgh the Giants will likely start the season with Blach in the bullpen. He’ll be used as a longman or a lefty specialist, especially now that lefty reliever Will Smith is unavailable.



The Bullpen

Last year I predicted that, although the Giants didn’t have any superstar relievers, their overall quality and depth would make the bullpen an asset, and at worse not a liability. I was wrong. The 2016 Giants bullpen was worse than a garbage fire in shitland and everyone connected with it has been “disappeared” into the Oakland Coliseum’s concrete walls. Except Derek Law, he was good.

The Giants went ahead and spent a ton of money making the bullpen mostly the same. Besides Ty Blach, the bullpen consists of:

RHP - Mark Melancon - Closer. The last guy blew a quarter of his saves including a walk-off balk, so the Giants were forced to drive a truckload of money up to one of the big three closers on the market. Melancon was the “cheapest” option, also the option least convicted of assaulting his girlfriend. Hopefully his calming presence will stabilize the rest of the bullpen. Still has yet to give up a run in spring training. WBC champion alongside Posey and Crawford.

RHP - Derek Law - Setup. Law was fantastic last year as a rookie, and would have easily wrestled away control of the closer’s job if not for an ill-timed injury late in the season. If Law can come close to replicating his 2016 dominance the Giants could have one of the best 1-2 punches in baseball to close out games.

RHP - Hunter Strickland - Setup. Hard-throwing righty, used the most out of any other reliever in the Giants’ bullpen last year.

RHP - Cody Gearrin - Setup. Was actually really good in the first half of last year, before getting injured and losing most of his effectiveness.

LHP - Steven Okert - Not Josh Osich. Had a decent year last year, and has been good in Spring Training.

LHP - Josh Osich - Not Steven Okert. Had a poor year last year, and has been bad in Spring Training.

RHP - George Kontos - Always dependable, with an rear end from the gods. Can’t ask for more from a reliever.


The Bench

Somehow, the Giants seem to have put together an intriguing collection of bench candidates this year, and hot spring training performances all around have fueled the battle for the final five roster spots. In order from most likely to make the team:

C - Nick Hundley - Although rookie Trevor Brown has been a fantastic defensive catcher and game caller, his bat has (almost) always been an issue. Hundley has had a much more reliable bat for a backup catcher, allowing the Giants to give Posey a rest day or play him at First more often.

INF - Conor Gillaspie - Originally drafted in 2008 by the Giants, the once promising young prospect stalled in the minors, was sent to the White Sox, and became a journeyman bench piece before finding his way back to San Francisco last year. Obviously, it should go without saying that he came up huge in the postseason. He hit the game winning home run against the Mets in the WCG and had several big hits versus the Cubs. He’ll likely be used as lefty power off the bench, but he can start at Third if needed.

INF - Aaron Hill - He’s looked good in Spring Training, even if his career Major League stats suggest he’s only good against the Giants.

OF - Gorkys Hernandez - Did well as a backup Center Fielder last year, but has struggled in Spring.

OF - Justin Ruggiano - He of the massive Lefty/Righty splits. Decent this Spring.

INF - Jae-gyun Hwang - Slugger signed from the KBO. He owns a lot. However will almost certainly start the season in AAA to smooth out his overall game.

INF - Kelby Tomlinson - Speedy slap hitter, Looks like a nerd. Has Minor League Options however.

1B - Chris Marrero - Flashed tons of righty power in Spring Training, but is something of a defensive liability.

INF - Jimmy Rollins - ????? Never heard of him.

Maybe Brown or Williamson IDK


The Disabled List :rip:

LHP - Will Smith - The best lefty in the Giants bullpen has unfortunately sprained his UCL and will be out for the season (TJS). This means Bochy will use him about the same amount as he did last year.

INF/OF - Michael Morse - The 2014 postseason hero and fan favorite came out of unofficial retirement to try and crack a roster one last time. He was tearing up Spring Training and was all but guaranteed a spot when he went down with a hamstring injury. Will likely miss the opening day roster, but is willing to rehab in the minor leagues.


The Farm

The Giants’ farm system still isn’t rated very highly but we’ve done very well with unheralded prospects like Duffy and Panik. However this year a few Minor Leaguers are close to making the Bigs:

INF - Christian Arroyo - Giants top position player prospect. Did well in AA and will start the season in AAA. Probably won’t make the team until September callups.

RHP - Tyler Beede - Giants top pitching prospect. Did well in AA and will start the season in AAA. Probably won’t make the team until September callups.

RHP - Clayton Blackburn - Won the ERA title in the notoriously hitter friendly PCL in 2015, but struggled at the start of 2016 enough that the Giants didn’t want to bring him up to replace the abysmal Cain or Peavy. Still worth keeping an eye on.

RP - Ray Black - Throws super hard, still needs to figure out where the ball’s going.

OF - Austin Slater - Had a phenomenal 2016 between AA and AAA, though his tools and peripherals suggest he’s unlikely to repeat it.

OF - Bryan Reynolds - A first round talent that fell to the Giants in the second round of last year’s draft. Still a long ways away.


The Bottom Line

2017 Final Predictions - I predict the Giants to win around 90 games, but whether that will be enough to win the division or just a Wild Card spot honestly depends on how the Dodgers do. Should at least be a less frustrating season than last year thanks to Melancon presumably not making GBS threads the bed most ninth innings.


In Conclusion

Last year what I predicted:


Last year what we got:

The Pussy Boss
Nov 2, 2004



Nice writeup.

Beede is clearly the top prospect right now IMO. Dude took a big step forward last year, got his velo back up to mid 90s, where it was in college, and looked great in spring. You're probably right that Beede debuts in Sept. but Boch hinted the other day he might come up earlier, possibly as a reliever.

Every scouting report on Christian Arroyo raves about his hit tool, advanced approach at the plate, etc but at some point he needs to, you know, hit. Needs to make a statement in AAA this year. Meh.

I'm not as fond of Duffman as you; his rookie year was super unsustainable and he's never gonna hit. He's a good utility infielder but I'd trade one of those for a Matt Moore all day. Giants won the trade unless that teenage shortstop turns into something special.

Julio Cruz
May 19, 2006


Your 2017 New York Metropolitans Baseball Club

2016: 87-75, 2nd in the NL East, lost in the Wild Card game to the Giants after Bumgarner pitched a shutout.

Outgoings

Bartolo Colon (FA, Braves)
James Loney (FA, Rangers)
Alejandro de Aza (FA, Athletics)
Justin Ruggiano (FA, Giants)
Jon Niese (FA, Yankees anyone else who's desperate for a lefty)
Logan Verrett (traded for cash to Orioles)
Jim Henderson (FA, signed then released by Cubs)

Incomings

None significant

Manager: Terry Collins


Oldest active manager in MLB. 87 wins this season will move him above .500 as the Mets' manager.

Lineup

#7 José Reyes 3B

2016: 297PA .267/.326/.443 108 wRC+ 1.3 WAR

Former fan favorite who returned last year after being released by the Rockies. Will probably play some SS and maybe even some CF but will mostly be filling in at third for David Wright (more on him later). Hits triples and steals bases. Helped start the "rally bleach" trend in 2016.

#3 Curtis Granderson CF

2016: 633PA .237/.335/.464 114 wRC+ 2.6 WAR

Probably the Mets' best option in CF despite not having played there regularly since 2012. Will almost certainly be the oldest CF in MLB at 36. Strikes out a lot, walks reasonably often, hits some monster dingers. Strong contender to be the nicest guy in baseball.

#52 Yoenis Cespedes LF

2016: 543PA .280/.354/.530 134 wRC+ 3.2 WAR

Opted out of his previous deal in the offseason, then signed for 4 years/$110 million. Used "Circle of Life" as his walkup music last season. Nicknamed "La Potencia" due to a) his talent b) his power. Likes sports cars and occasionally horses. Expert bat-flipper. Hits monster dingers (as befits a two-tie winner of the Home Run Derby) and has a cannon for an arm.

#21 Lucas Duda 1B

2016: 172PA .229/.302/.412 91 wRC+ 0.1 WAR

Missed most of 2016 with a stress fracture in his back. Generally quiet and a bit introverted. Walks a lot and sometimes hits monster dingers.

#19 Jay Bruce RF

2016: 589PA .250/.309/.506 111 wRC+ 0.9 WAR

Struggled with the Mets after a mid-season trade from the Reds. Was shopped around in the offseason but with no success. Might well lose his starting job to Michael Conforto if he can't perform this year. Hopefully should hit some dingers. Bad defensively.

#20 Neil Walker 2B

2016: 458PA .282/.347/.476 122 wRC+ 3.7 WAR

Accepted the QO for 2017. Mets tried to extend him in the offseason but without success. Switch-hitter with decent power. Good defensively.

#13 Asdrúbal Cabrera SS

2016: 568PA .280/.336/.474 119 wRC+ 3.0 WAR

Coming off his best year since 2012. Not as good defensively as he used to be but can still produce a web gem on occasion. Also a pro bat flipper.

#18 Travis d'Arnaud C

2016: 276PA .247/.307/.323 74 wRC+ 0.1 WAR

Former top prospect who's yet to perform at the major league level. Was the centerpiece in the RA Dickey to Toronto trade (over Syndergaard). Never had 400 PAs in a season due to various injuries. 2017 will be a make or break year for him. Totally dreamy.

Bench

#4 Wilmer Flores IF

2016: 335PA .267/.319/.469 112 wRC+ 0.5 WAR

Newly-minted fan favorite. Absolutely mashes lefties so might platoon with Duda at 1B.

#12 Juan Lagares CF

2016: 160PA .239/.310/.380 84 wRC+ 0.9 WAR

Was an elite defender when he won the Gold Glove in 2014 but hasn't performed to that level since.

#44 René Rivera C

2016: 207PA /.222/.291/.341 69 OPS+ (nice) 0.4 WAR

Reasonable defensive catcher with a good arm. Can't hit.

#54 TJ Rivera IF

2016: 113PA .333/.345/.476 119 wRC+ 0.6 WAR

Will probably get a bench spot due to his utility. Won the 2016 PCL batting title.

Rotation

#34 Noah Syndergaard RHP

2016: 14-9 183.2IP 43BB 218K .229 FIP 6.5 WAR

Nicknamed Thor because, well, it's pretty obvious really. Triple-digit fastball. Slider which hits 90+. Apparently has gained 17lbs of muscle in the offseason so he can throw even harder. Be afraid.

#48 Jacob deGrom RHP

2016: 7-8 148.0IP 36BB 143K 3.32 FIP 3.2 WAR

Joint owner of the longest streak of strikeouts to start a game, at 8. Opinions differ on whether his hair or Syndergaard's is better. Throws mid-high nineties.

#33 Matt Harvey RHP

2016: 4-10 92.2IP 25BB 76K 3.47 FIP 2.0 WAR

Coming off the worst season of his career. Had season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Throws high nineties.

#32 Steven Matz LHP

2016: 9-8 132.1IP 31BB 129K 3.39 FIP 2.8 WAR

Decent contender for best #4 in baseball. Dead cert for best grandpa in baseball. Throws mid nineties.

#65 Robert Gsellman RHP

2016: 4-2 44.2IP 15BB 42K 2.63 FIP 1.4 WAR

Mets' #2 prospect. Filled in well for Harvey and deGrom last year. Will probably share some of the #5 starts with Wheeler and/or Seth Lugo. Will have eyes on the RotY award. Another strong contender for best hair.

Bullpen

#27 Jeurys Familia RHP

2016: 3-4 77.2IP 31BB 84K 2.39 FIP 2.3 WAR

Led MLB in saves in 2016 and set a Mets club record with 51. Will probably have to serve some length of suspension for domestic violence this season.

#43 Addison Reed RHP

2016: 4-2 77.2IP 13BB 91K 1.97 FIP 2.6 WAR

Had the best year of his career setting up for Familia. Will take over the closer's role if/when Familia's suspended.

#45 Zack Wheeler RHP

2016: did not pitch

Had TJ surgery in 2015 and took longer than expected to recover. Will probably start the season in the bullpen to keep his workload down.

#39 Jerry Blevins LHP

2016: 4-2 42.0IP 15BB 52K 3.05 FIP 0.7 WAR[/b]

Basically a LOOGY, but a good one.

#47 Hansel Robles RHP

2016: 6-4 77.2IP 36BB 85K 3.73 FIP 1.0 WAR

Throws hard. Walks too many.

#59 Fernando Salas RHP

2016: 3-7 73.2IP 19BB 64K 4.30 FIP 0.1 WAR

Performed really well after being acquired last year. Probably just happy not to be an Angel any more.

#58 Josh Smoker LHP

2016: 3-0 15.1IP 4BB 25K 4.26 FIP 0 WAR

Will probably get the second lefty bullpen slot. Trouble keeping the ball in the yard.

Notable others:

#5 David Wright 3B

2016: 164PA .226/.350/.438 117 wRC+ 3.2 WAR

The face of the franchise. Beset by injury over the past few seasons. Was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2015. Currently suffering from a "shoulder impingement" which prevents him from throwing. Will probably face rumors of retirement if he suffers another serious injury this season.

#30 Michael Conforto OF

2016: 348PA .220/.310/.414 96 wRC+ 1.3 WAR

Slowed down last season after a hot start to his major league career in 2015. Has good potential. Will probably (hopefully) start the season in Triple A waiting for a spot to open up in the outfield.

#67 Seth Lugo RHP

2016: 5-2 64.0IP 21BB 45K 4.33 FIP 0.4 WAR

Puerto Rico's ace. Throws a curve with the highest spin rate in (all 2 years of) Statcast history. Will probably make most of his starts in triple A with an occasional major league start thrown in.

Amed Rosario SS

2016: 237PA .341/.392/.481 142 wRC+ (at double A)

Fangraphs' #3 prospect in baseball. Primed to be the shortstop of the future. Will most likely be called up in September.

Julio Cruz fucked around with this message at 02:56 on Mar 27, 2017

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






Beltran is going to play the field for Houston?

Bold move

TheFlyingLlama
Jan 2, 2013

You really think someone would do that? Just go on the internet and be a llama?





As a Braves fan who has seen Gattis try to play LF, it's the better move

ZenVulgarity
Oct 9, 2012

I made the hat by transforming my zen



Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

Beltran is going to play the field for Houston?

Bold move

I mean Gattis could play LF

That would be a laugher too

YeahTubaMike
Mar 24, 2005

*hic* Gotta finish thish . . .


Doctor Rope

Reasons to Root for the New York Mets (yes, I know I'm late, but whatever)

-ridiculously awesome pitching
-they aren't the Yankees
-roster is only minimally hateable/problematic
-I need more people to shoot the poo poo with in GDTs :kiddo:

Non-Players of Note

Terry Collins (manager)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=494TCuQb72M

This guy somehow managed the 2016 Mets, who were held together with wadded-up chewing gum & wishes, to the playoffs. He may stay.

Sandy Alderson (general manager)



This man got Yoenis Céspedes back. Need I say more?

Okay fine. He's also responsible for cutting the Mets payroll and acquiring/developing the pitching staff that we all know and love. He also may stay.

Dan Warthen (pitching coach)



Spins UCLs into gold. Thank him for the pitching. Have I mentioned how awesome Mets pitching is yet?

Pitchers

Noah Syndergaard


I feel like most people think I'm kind of this quiet guy, but when I'm on the mound ... I try to be as intimidating as possible. I try to use that as a weapon of mine. I feel like I'm on top of the world when I'm on the mound.

The Mets' obscenely buff ace. 80 grade Twitter account. He pitched an absolutely godly (get it? because Thor :black101: ) game against Madison Bumgarner against the NLWC, but the Mets offense let him down. Even though he pitched through bone spurs last year, after seeing him in spring training, I have no reason to believe he won't continue to wreck everybody's poo poo.

Jacob deGrom


I wasn't a first-rounder, but I wasn't that late of a pick—I was a ninth-round pick, and I just kept working hard and followed my dream. I was fortunate enough that it came true.

The Mets' NOT obscenely buff ace (there can be two aces, right?). deGrom's 2016 season was just about as successful as it could have been, considering it ended prematurely when he had surgery for an issue with his ulnar nerve and he'd experienced other smaller setbacks throughout the season. As can be expected, he has looked great in spring training, and I have very high hopes, as long as he remains uninjured which I understand is a huge if.

Matt Harvey


It’s pretty obvious what we bring to the table. Everyone is a year older and we’re used to being in spring training together. It’s nice to have a core group of guys coming from the same place.

Infamously went without peeing for so long that he got a bladder infection. Infamously fucks supermodels (he was recently spotted out on the town making out with Adriana Lima, for example). Infamously appeared naked in an ESPN Body Issue. Everything Matt Harvey does is infamous for some reason. I don't hold it against him, because he's basically a male version of me if I had a gajillion dollars.

Anyway, one thing I WILL hold against him is that he seems to melt down every time anyone gets a hit off him. After having surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, however, he seems to have come back in fine form, physically and mentally.

Steven Matz


Confidence in every pitch and knowing that I am able to go out there and dominate. Because you have to know you can before you actually do.

Steven Matz's elbow is made of fiberglass insulation, thumbtacks, and old Brillo pads. He does extremely well when his elbow isn't bothering him, and his elbow is bothering him approximately 98.5% of the time. I'm not sure what to expect from him, but I wish him all the best and would like for everyone to get off his back re: pitching through discomfort.

Robert Gsellman


I’m here to seize the opportunity and you never know what can happen… trades… injuries. I’m not worried. I’m young and I have a long way to go.

Noah Syndergaard's only son. The handsomest pitcher in the NL East. Questionable but prominent tattoos.

Gsellman was called up in August after injuries claimed half the pitching staff, and he has excelled ever since. Gsellman himself was also injured, with a torn labrum in his non-pitching shoulder preventing him from swinging a bat, but it didn't hold him back much. Today it was officially announced that he has a spot as a starter (whether it's 4th or 5th is yet to be determined/seen), and I'm pretty stoked. He's cool and handsome and hopefully Ray Ramirez doesn't sever his UCL in his sleep.

Honorable Pitcher Mentions

Seth Lugo - pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, might still be in the running for a spot in the starting rotation, has the highest curveball spin rate in the Statcast era

Zack Wheeler - has not pitched in an MLB game since the Jeterian Age, may or may not actually exist, has actually done very well in spring training & could very well be called up not long into the 2017 season

Jerry Blevins - has an odd but charming advice column/vlog called Hello Jerry in which he answers non-baseball questions from fans, is a generally odd but charming man, pitches really good

Jeurys Familia - brilliant in save situations, un-brilliant in non-save situations, was arrested in October on a domestic violence charge and will probably be suspended for a significant portion of the season

Otherwise awesome pitchers who I can't think of anything clever to say about
Hansel Robles, Addison Reed, Josh Smoker

Catchers

Mets catching is mediocre to garbage. The nicest thing I can say is that Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud's dogs are friends, and they are extremely cute together.



Rene Rivera is catching on opening day for Noah Syndergaard, and like, I guess that's fine. Whatever. Moving on.

Infielders

David Wright



Depending on who you ask, David Wright is either a broken-down old man who needs to hang up his cleats & let the young guns take over, or he is an unassailable baseball god who should not ever retire, even in the face of a debilitating condition. Wright, 34 years old, has spinal stenosis. As much as I don't want to see him go, I want to see him irreparably damage himself even less. Will start the season on the DL.

Asdrúbal Cabrera



A key piece of the Mets offense. His knee gives him trouble sometimes, which is troubling, but otherwise, he's really good and can generally be trusted.

José Reyes



David Wright's BFF. I haven't forgiven him for whatever the gently caress he did to his wife, but I have to admit the guy rakes. Ho hum.

Wilmer Flores



A beautiful cinnamon roll too good & pure for this world. Adorably weird. Infamously openly wept in mid-game when he heard a false rumor that he was being traded. Once kissed Jacob deGrom's hair in a Facebook Live video. Playing-wise, he seems fairly average. I hope the Mets keep him forever.

Neil Walker



The Mets acquired Walker in exchange for Jonathon Niese, and holy poo poo what a bargain. Even considering the fact that he had season-ending back surgery in early September, he still had a hell of a season, with 23 homeruns in 113 games.

Lucas Duda



Duda Smash (when he's healthy [which is never])! Curtis Granderson follows him around and it's highly entertaining.

Honorable Infielder Mentions

Matt Reynolds - only starts looking like a different person from Seth Lugo after the 20th time you see him, seems kind of in-between MLB and AAA at any given time

Amed Rosario - super exciting prospect who was added to the 40-man roster after 2016 but hasn't played in the Majors yet

T.J. Rivera - did a decent job playing for Puerto Rico in the WBC, is occasionally clutch but wildly inconsistent

Ty Kelly - looks like a lost Olsen twin, is pretty loving funny, played for Israel in the WBC

Outfielders

Yoenis Céspedes



Raaaaaakes. Also, is a batflipper extraordinaire. "Cespy", as he is affectionately called, bounced around from team to team until he found a home with the Mets. The fans have embraced him, as well as the clubhouse, and after signing a four-year $110 million contract in November, he's officially here to stay. His bat is essential to the Mets offense, despite his left quad's attempts to take him down last summer.

Curtis Granderson



Quite possibly a literal angel, Grandy is seemingly the most even-tempered, friendly, charitable baseball player ever to walk this earth. At 36, he's starting to show his age in the field and at bat, but he is still a reliable defenseman and hardly an offensive liability. Follows Lucas Duda everywhere taking Instagram videos of him for no apparent reason.

Jay Bruce



Fighting with the younger, more consistent Michael Conforto for a spot in right field. When he's on, he's on, but he is extremely unreliable. The Mets are paying him a lot and acquired him in exchange for Dilson Herrera & Max Wotell and I think they feel like they have to use him over Conforto for some reason. Not my decision, but hey. :shrug:

Michael Conforto



Does kind of mediocrely in the majors, gets sent down & bats .500, repeat. Personally, I think he should start over Bruce, but clearly the front office knows something I don't. Hopefully this whole back-and-forth thing doesn't screw too badly with his development because he seems to have serious potential.

Honorable Outfielder Mentions

Brandon Nimmo - never stops smiling even when he is leaving a game with an injured hamstring, played okay for Italy in the WBC, has an even Jesusier Twitter page than the Pope

Juan Lagares - is really good but is injured a lot so he fits right in with the rest of the Mets, will probably need bionic hands/wrists by the time he's 35

Concluding Remarks

Being a Mets fan is rewarding in the same way that I imagine parenting is rewarding -- it's a mostly thankless, arduous task, generally taken up irrationally, and in between the smiles, there are a ton of headaches. I will admit that becoming a Mets fan for reasons other than regional loyalty might not make a lot of sense at first glance. However, the Mets are a charming, talented, ambitious team that yearns for success and (I think anyway) stand a good chance of making it to the playoffs again. Only time will tell if this is the year they go the distance.

Julio Cruz
May 19, 2006


YeahTubaMike posted:

Noah Syndergaard


I feel like most people think I'm kind of this quiet guy, but when I'm on the mound ... I try to be as intimidating as possible. I try to use that as a weapon of mine. I feel like I'm on top of the world when I'm on the mound.

The Mets' obscenely buff ace. 80 grade Twitter account. He pitched an absolutely godly (get it? because Thor :black101: ) game against Madison Bumgarner against the NLWC, but the Mets offense let him down. Even though he pitched through bone spurs last year, after seeing him in spring training, I have no reason to believe he won't continue to wreck everybody's poo poo.

You ain't kidding.

https://twitter.com/Noahsyndergaard/status/846457833067458560

:flashfap:

lite_sleepr
Jun 3, 2003




Is there a thread I could post MLB.tv questions in? MLB.tv seems like a real lovely gimmick because of blackouts.

lite_sleepr fucked around with this message at 21:50 on Mar 27, 2017

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010


The Cleveland Indians

The Indians are favored by a few outlets to go back to the WS this year, hopefully to finish what they started.

Gone:
RF Rajai Davis (signed with A's)
1B Mike Napoli (signed with the Rangers)
OF Coco Crisp (they didn't like his face)

New Faces:
1B Edwin "Herpes" Encarnacion (big ol' contract)
RP Boone Logan (1 year deal)
OF Austin Jackson (MLC)
P Carlos Frias (trade with LAD)
OF/1B Chris Colabello (MLC)

Likely Staring Lineup:

1. Jose Ramirez, 2B .312/.363./.462, 10HR/66RBI/84R

You're probably wondering why I have Jose there instead of Jason Kipnis: Kipnis will miss time due to a strained rotator cuff, and as such, will miss Opening Day. However Jose Ramirez is a guy who, failing his nice year last year being a fluke, will fill in nicely at the plate.

2. Frankie Lindor SS .301/.358/.435 15HR/78RBI/99R

One of the most exciting young players in the game today, Lindor is both a quality hitter and defender, and I seriously think he's only scratched the surface as a player. Was consistently a threat during the postseason.

3. Mike "Dr.Smooth" Brantley LF .231/.279/.282 0HR/5RBI/7R

A big hope for the Tribe has to be that that Brantley returns to form from his 2014 and and 2015 seasons when he was a .300 hitter with 45 doubles in both years, as well as a strong OBP. Could be an x-factor if a WS rematch happens.

4. Edwin "Chlamydia" Encarnacion 1B/DH .263/.357/.529 42HR/127RBI/99R

The big move the Tribe made to keep up with the other contenders in the offseason. Personally, I'd have preferred beefing up the rotation or catcher position somehow. May have knowingly infected women with STD's whilst playing in Toronto, thus making him the 2nd big name free-agent Blue Jay to flee for another team in the wake of damaging rumours (google Roberto Alomar HIV). Has a tendency to, once in a while, become one of the scariest hitters around. For instance, last September he hit over .400 with 11 homers.

5. Carlos "Not the Guitarist" Santana 1B/C .259/.366/.498 34HR/87RBI/89R

Performed reasonably well as a leadoff hitter last year despite being slower than Eeyore on Quaaludes. Struggled mightily during the postseason, but did set career highs in HR and RBI.

6. Tyler Naquin CF .296/.372/.514 14HR/43RBI/52R

Played well in limited time last year, could be a real threat if he can cut back on the K's. Not great defensively, but not bad.

7. Lonnie Chisenhall RF/3B .286/.328/.439 8HR/57RBI/43R

Kind of mediocre, but flexible enough to play 2 positions. Could be worse, I guess?

8. Yan Gomes C .167/.201/.327 9HR/27RBI/22R

Absolutely miserable last year, Bobby Perez all but stole his job in the post-season due to his pitch framing and general defensive skills. If Gomes can return to his 2014 form of hitting about .270 with about 20-25 HR's though, it'd really help Cleveland. If not, he could lose his job to Perez for good, or Francisco Meija.

Bench folk
2B/on Dl currentlyJason "Dirtbag" Kipnis (seriously, that's his nickname)
OF Austin Jackson (apparently made the team after his ST invite)
OF Brandon "C'mon, bean me already" Guyer
C Roberto Perez
SS Erik Gonzalez
1B Richie Shaffer



Pitching

Corey Kluber 18-9, 3.14, 1.05 WHIP, 215IP, 227 K

Genuine ace and perennial Cy Young Contender. Was a loving monster in the postseason.

Danny Salazar 11-6, 3.87, 1.34 WHIP, 137 IP, 161 K

Injury prone but very talented. I may be laughed at for this statement but I believe Danny has 20 win potential.

Carlos Carrasco 11-8, 3.32, 1.14 WHIP, 146 IP, 150 K

Has come a long way. His numbers in 2011 and 2013 (he didn't pitch at all in '12) were rear end, but he's been really solid ever since.

Josh "Little Cowboy" Tomlin 13-9, 4.40, 1.19 WHIP, 174 IP, 118 K

There were two Josh Tomlin's last year: the one dealing with his dying father, and the one who WHO WAS ON A MISSION FROM GOD. You know how some people irrationally like players who are just okay? Tomlin's that guy for me. A goddamned warrior, and if the next guy in the rotation had 1/10 of his heart and brains, we'd be the defending champs.

Trevor Bauer 12-8, 4.26, 1.31 WHIP, 190 IP, 168 K

I hate this motherfucker. Between his dumb ill-informed tweets about politics, his stupid drone hobby nearly costing the Indians a ALCS game last year (thank goodness for Tito Francona's managing skills and Andrew Miller), and his sheer inability to harness his natural skill into anything aside from mediocrity, I wish him ill. I wish we'd send him to Miami for something useful and put him out of his misery. gently caress Trevor Bauer.

Bullpen!

Closer

Cody Allen 3-5, 2.51, 1.00 WHIP, 68IP, 80K, 32 SV

A very competent closer who gets the job done more often than not. Looked loving amazing in the postseason.

Setup

Andrew "The Undertaker" Miller 10-1, 1.45, .68 WHIP, 74 IP, 123 K 12SV

I initially questioned not making him the closer upon acquisition. I learned my lesson. My friend Josh likened him to WWE wrestler The Undertaker, once he comes out, you are doneski. Put the fear of god into Blue Jays and Red Sox fans alike.

Setup

Bryan Shaw 2-5, 3.24, 1.26 WHIP, 66 IP, 69 K (nice), 1SV

Bryan is a pretty typical reliever. He's good but not great.

Middle Relief

Boone Logan 2-5, 3.69, 46IP, 57K, 1SV

This seems like a low-risk, middling-reward pickup, but maybe Logan's learned a scary breaking ball like Andrew Miller did all of the sudden. We'll see. At worst, he's better than Jeff Manship.

Dan Otero 5-1, 1.53, .91 WHIP, 70IP, 57K, 1SV

Probably won't repeat those numbers but if they're comparable our bullpen will be tough as nails again.

Zach McAllister 3-2, 3.44, 1.46 WHIP, 52IP, 54K

Carlos Frias 0-0, 0.00, .75 WHIP, 4IP, 3K

Hopefully useful, it'll be nice to have him around in case injury is an issue for the pitching staff again.


Other pitchers on the 40 man of note

Steve Delabar
Ryan Merritt


Prospects!

OF Brad Zimmer. Will start season in AAA, has hit reasonably well in the minors but like Ty Naquin, could stand to cut back on his K's. Hit .358 in ST.
P Brady AIken Had a rough first year in the pros. Still adjusting to pitching after TJ surgery though.
1B Bobby Bradley Seems to be a Carlos Santana clone. Lots of time to adjust though, only 20.
C Francisco Meija Nearly traded for Jon Lucroy (who can sincerely lick a goat's taint), likely still the catcher of the future for the team. Will start in AA after impressing in camp by hitting .421 in ST.
P Triston McKenzie. Has looked dominant in A ball so far.

Inspector_666
Oct 7, 2003

benny with the good hair


I want to do a post about the Yankees that aren't in Paul Zuvella's post but that almost seems too niche.

Mainly I just want an excuse to post video of Jordan Montgomery pitching.

Paul Zuvella
Dec 7, 2011



Inspector_666 posted:

I want to do a post about the Yankees that aren't in Paul Zuvella's post but that almost seems too niche.

Mainly I just want an excuse to post video of Jordan Montgomery pitching.

I have also updated the Greg Bird section to include very important information about him!!!

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute




There's two Mets posts, so have two Cubs posts:

:siren: :siren: YOUR WORLD SERIES CHAMPION CHICAGO CUBS :siren: :siren:

"The Cubs were always going to lose; the Cubs were a rich team run by smart people. The former is a truism, and the latter is a combination that eventually stops failing."

The Cubs finally won a World Series for the first time in 108 years, yada yada. The important bit is that not only did they finally get that ring, but this team is absolutely poised to push for more for the next 3-4 years.

So let's get to the good stuff:

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is about as outdated as ballparks can get. There's no air conditioning, no Wi-Fi. Instead of urinals, the bathrooms have literal piss troughs nailed to the walls, where fine gentlemen stand shoulder to shoulder pissing away the Old Style they just spent $20 on. It's cramped, it's dirty, it's old. It's also one of the most beautiful ballparks in the game, with an aesthetic appeal that's rivaled by few others. If you poo poo talk Wrigley, Cubs fans will literally fight you. Or throw one of the many discarded cups of urine you can find around the stadium in your face.

In a vacuum Wrigley's cramped dimensions make it a heavy hitters park, but it's not in a vacuum: it's off Lake Michigan and those Windy City winds can gust pretty hard. Wind gusting out? Wrigley becomes a pitcher meat grinder that turns even the most routine fly ball out into a monster home run. Wind gusting in? A-Rod hooked to an IV of steroids at the plate would have trouble getting one into the basket. The winds also like to change inning to inning, which can have a huge impact on games.

The Ownership

Technically the Cubs are owned by the Ricketts family as a whole, the members of whom range the gambit from pretty cool to literally evil. In reality however, the Cubs are owned and operated on a day to day basis by one man: Tom Ricketts. Besides an uncanny resemblance to Ted Cruz, Tom Ricketts has done everything right: he hired intelligent and skilled front office staff, let them do their thing and tank the team for half a decade even though it would eat into his pocketbook, and when time came to flip the table start winning, he opened up said pocketbook and splurged on big free agent signings that became instrumental in the eventual World Series win.

The Front Office

You already know Theo Epstein. The architect behind the teams that ended the two greatest curses in baseball: The Curse of the Bambino, and The Curse of the Billy Goat. There's not much else to say about Theo: he's smart as hell, runs a good ship, and is already a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame. Right next to Theo is Jed Hoyer, who is the actual GM of the Cubs vs Theo's "President of Baseball Operations" title, a sort of Medvedev to Theo's Putin. Unlike Medvedev however, Hoyer actually has about as much power as Theo has, and the two have gone on record that no major decisions get made without both of them on board. Theo gets most of the credit, but all of the success of this team is Hoyer's work as well.

The Management

One of the better managers currently in the game, Maddon has excelled at creating a loose, "be yourself" type atmosphere to the team while still pushing constant personal improvement and self-reflection, which has allowed him to balance the happiness of hard rear end veterans and happy go-lucky young talent. He's also big on experimenting with game strategy, like having pitchers bat eighth, putting relievers in the outfield and swapping them with the player on the mound batter to batter to play match ups without having to pull players, and batting a fat linebacker with bad knees as his lead-off man. Not all of it works, and Maddon certainly has aspects of his game that could improve - his bullpen management for one - but overall he's been a phenomenal coach for the Cubs. That said expect us all to bitch about him in the GDT's when he does something weird and it doesn't work.

Starting Pitchers

Jon Lester

Imagine a 32 year old white man who lives on a ranch in the south, was once caught drinking out of a paper bag wrapped bottle in the dugout, and was wooed to the Cubs by - among other things - camo-printed Cubs hunting gear. The man you are imagining is Jon Lester. The Cubs big 2015 free agent signing, he had a pretty terrible 2015 followed by a career year in 2016 where he finished with a 2.44 ERA, second place in Cy Young voting, and won Co-MVP of the NLCS. A combination of factors including his advancing age, the loss of his soul mate personal catcher David Ross, and plain old regression means he probably won't be nearly as good this year, but who knows. Can't throw to the bases and so doesn't, which the TV broadcasters will always make sure to remind you of whenever there's a runner on.

Jake Arrieta

Former top prospect of the Orioles who sucked because they wouldn't let him throw his best pitch for some reason. The Cubs then picked him up for basically nothing and turned him into a Cy Young winning ace by letting him throw his best pitch. He was less good in 2016 though, although still very good even if he had problems with giving up too many walks. He also won the silver slugger and hit some massive dongs. The Cubs will be watching his performance like a hawk this year to see if they want to splurge on signing him after his contract is up. Likes Donald Trump and hates bat flips.

Kyle Hendricks

Hendricks looks like your high school math teacher, routinely throws 88mph fastballs, and coming into 2016 was a fringy fifth starter nobody thought would actually stick in the rotation. So naturally he ended the year the MLB's ERA leader and third in Cy Young voting, and outside of Jake’s no hitter threw arguably the most impressive outing of any Cubs pitcher for the season in NLCS Game 6 to bring the Cubs to the World Series. Hendricks relies heavily on deception and control instead of velocity or pure "stuff", an unorthodox style in the current pitching environment. He's also the dorkiest dork on the planet and is rapidly becoming a fan favorite. It helps that he's arguably the only Cubs starter at this point who's actually likable.

John Lackey

A grumpy old man the Cubs picked up to fill out the rotation and bring "Post Season ExperienceTM", Lackey pitched perfectly fine for a third starter in the regular season but then sucked hard in the post season, so much for that experience of his. He'll be 38 this year and it will probably be his last season, but Lackey has a relatively stable floor and honestly I don't mind having him back. Likes to yell "gently caress" very loudly when he gives up home runs and somehow makes himself sound even more old and crotchety every time he opens his mouth.

Brett Anderson

Former Dodgers pitcher who was very good and had one of the highest ground ball rates in the game. When he was healthy that is, which wasn't often. More fragile than public restroom toilet paper, Anderson will almost certainly go down sometime in the season with injury, the question is how many starts the Cubs can get out of him before he breaks. Wrote a mad tweet about Cubs fans throwing beer during the NLCS which will almost certainly be posted by Cubs fans everywhere the second he starts to suck.

Catcher

Willson Contreras

Seemingly stuck in the Cubs farm system forever, Contreras finally made enough waves to come up and proceeded to mash. He hit the first pitch he ever saw in the majors out to straight-away center for a home run and slashed .282/.357/.488 in his half season or so of work. Contreras is still a bit rough behind the plate in terms of receiving and pitch framing but he's fantastic defensively, has a cannon of an arm, and actually has plus speed for a catcher (for the time being, anyway). Will be the Cubs primary catcher this year and Lester's new personal catcher. Willson is super intense and is not afraid to show his emotions on the field, so get ready for a lot of salty tears from old white men when he hits massive dongs and flips his bat.

Miguel Montero

Montero entered as the Cubs primary catcher last season and started off strong but a combination of injuries, bad luck at the plate, and his declining ability to throw runners out had him sidelined behind a red hot Contreras and David Ross. Miggy expressed some frustration over this turn of events and threw shade at Maddon publicly while drunk during the World Series parade, which pissed off a lot of Cubs fans. But he and Maddon have cleared the air and I honestly hope he does well and gets some decent playing time. This year he'll probably catch two out of five games or so, depending on his production at the plate.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo

A no doubt top five - and arguable top three - first baseman in all of baseball at the moment. Rizzo is the best defensive first baseman in the game, and he hits for both average and power while not being a liability on the base paths even if he doesn't have good speed. He's also become one of the major clubhouse leaders despite being 27 and is otherwise a super cool and gregarious dude. A survivor of Hodgkin Lymphoma, he also does a ton of charity work for cancer research and has his own foundation. Likes to box naked in the clubhouse to Eye of the Tiger. If there's a glue that holds the Cubs together, it's Rizzo.

Second Base

Ben Zobrist

Probably the most underrated free agent signing of the 2015-2016 offseason. Zobrist played rock solid defense, batted .272/.386/.446 with 18 home runs in the regular season, was a major contributing factor in all three post season rallies in NLDS Game 4, NLCS Game 4, and WS Game 7, and was crowned World Series MVP. Walks more than he strikes out. Has a weird sort of chugging motion with his bat when he's waiting for a pitch delivery that earned him the nickname "Choo-choo man" in the GDT's. He’s a retired utility guy and while he's mostly anchored at 2B these days, he can play pretty much anywhere else sans pitcher/catcher. Is a huge religious nut and his wife is a Christian singer, a song of whose Zobrist uses as his walk-up. This gives him hands down the lamest walk-up music on the Cubs, but it gets him brownie points with his wife so I don't exactly blame the guy.

Javier Baez

Calling Baez a second baseman is kind of disingenuous: he'll play the bulk of his time here, but Javy is a shortstop by trade and has shown incredible gold glove caliber defense at 2B, 3B, and SS, as well as workable defense at 1B. The Cubs main utility infielder, Javy is a blast to watch as he makes sparkling defensive plays all around the diamond day after day. He's also got massive power and a big ol' swing that lets him mash balls into the stratosphere. The flipside however is that Javy's plate discipline is... not good. Like, really not good: he had one of the worst strike out-to-walk ratios in all of baseball last season. When he's not swinging at balls in the dirt though he's got plus power, plus plus speed, plus plus plus defense, and is simultaneously both the best at tagging players trying to steal and avoiding tags while stealing in the game. Javy is definitely a fan favorite at this point and arguable enough of a reason alone to watch the Cubs. He's just super fun to watch at work.

Shortstop

Addison Russell

The best thing Jeff Samardzija ever did for the Cubs was get traded to the A's for this guy. Russell has gold glove caliber defense at SS (noticing a pattern here?) and in 2016 added sneaky power that allowed him to drive in 95 runs and hit 21 bombs in the regular season, as well as three more in the post season including a world series grand slam. Widely seen as a potential breakout candidate this year, Russell could catapult himself to one of the better shortstops in the game if he manages to bring up his average and OBP to match that power. He's absurdly young at 23 and only has a season and a half of major league experience under his belt, so there's still plenty of room to grow. Has an adorable baby face and I keep having to remind myself that's he's already married and has a kid.

Third Base

Kris Bryant

Your 2016 National League MVP. Bryant is an absurdly good player who after only two years in the majors is starting to be mentioned in the same breath as players like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Bryant hasn't quite produced to that level yet, but he heavily improved on his Rookie of the Year 2015 by significantly cutting down his strikeouts and smacking 39 homers, and at only 25 he's widely considered to have not reached his full potential yet. Hit .308/.387/.523 in the post season. Bryant's defense is also worth a mention: he bucks the trend of his other starting infielders in that he doesn't exactly have gold glove caliber chops at third base, although he is still a plus defender according to the stats. Where Bryant shines though is positional versatility: Bryant is has played all three outfield positions, 1B, and SS in various limited stints with the Cubs, and is a plus or better defender at all positions. The kid can seriously do it all. Expect the Cubs to back up a truck full of money onto his head to lock up Bryant as a Cub for life in the foreseeable future. Kris Bryant is the franchise.

Tommy La Stella

Like Baez, this categorization is more about where La Stella will actually get playing time, as he's technically a 2B by trade. La Stella is a high contact lefty bat with decent power who may get a handful of starts but will probably spend most of the season as a bench bat. Unlike Baez, La Stella is not a plus defender at any position, and might as well be a turnstile at 3B. But Maddon likes his bat so expect to see him more often than anybody else would care for. Threw a huge whiny shitfit last year when the Cubs tried to temporarily send him down to AAA due to a roster crunch, and vanished off the face of the Earth for over a month. He eventually accepted his assignment and apologized for the whole thing, but a lot of us Cubs fans are now wondering if he's worth the trouble to keep around when less dysfunctional talent like Candelario and Happ is waiting in the wings.

Left Field

Kyle Schwarber

The man, the myth, the legend. The beefy lad. Kyle Schwarber is a big fat power hitter who hits mammoth home runs and then trips while rounding the bases (an actual thing that happened). Everything about his profile screams DH, but he's actually a catcher by trade. On top of not being a very good catcher, he won't see much time at the position this year on account of missing almost all of last season with a completely shredded knee, courtesy of an outfield collision. After sitting the entire regular season, Schwarbs miraculously returned for the World Series, where he went 7-for-17 with three walks and a pair of RBI's, as well as the hit that started the eventual World Series winning rally. Schwarber combines incredible power, high contact, and a good eye at the plate for high OBP skills, which led Maddon to buck tradition and bat him lead off for 2017. How that experiment plays out remains to be seen. In terms of defense Schwarbs is a liability at literally every position he plays, but he'll spend most of his time in LF since it will get Contreras more starts and not risk Schwarber's knees by constantly forcing him to squat. Is also a big lovable doofus and another fan favorite.

Center Field

Albert Almora

The Cubs most recent big prospect to make it to the show, Almora is - get this - a gold glove caliber defender in center. Or right. Or left. Almora has near supernatural baseball instincts and he seems to know where the ball is going to be before it's even off the bat. He doesn't really have plus speed, but he gets such good jumps and takes such good routes that it doesn't even matter. His instincts extend to baserunning as well, his ability to read the ball of the bat let him tag up from first on a fly out in the World series, and subsequently came around to score the go-ahead run. Nobody questions Almora's instincts or fielding. What is in question however, is his hitting. Almora makes a lot of contact, but he has no patience and doesn't walk or really sit on good pitches, which means most of the contact he makes is bad contact. In order to spare him against tough right handed pitchers so he can improve his game at the plate, the Cubs decided to platoon him with...

Jon Jay

Jay spent the better part of a decade hitting gap shots against the Cubs in a Cardinals uniform, then after a down and injury ridden 2015 rode off into the sunset with the Padres. Where he got injured again. Now the Cubs have picked him up to platoon in center with Almora, and all that can really be said about that is... meh. He's got an okay bat - but not a great bat - and he has okay defense - but not great defense - and he gets injured a lot. He's a good clubhouse guy though, and he's ostensibly around to teach Almora the ropes in actually being captain of the outfield. Expect him to go down mid-season with injury, and even if not expect him to pick up less and less starts as the season goes on, unless Almora completely face plants.

Right Field

Jason Heyward

Poor Jason Heyward. After signing a gigantic free agent contract with the Chicago Cubs, he proceeded to put up the worst numbers of his career, batting .230/.306/.325 with a measly seven home runs. By the end of the season his swing was an absolute mess, and he sat out post season games against tough lefties despite his giant contract. Despite this he never showed lack of effort or complained about his struggles. His crowning moment in 2016 wasn't even on the field: it was in the weight room before the 10th inning of World Series Game 7, where he gave an inspiring speech and brought the team together such that they rallied to ultimately win it all. It sounds right out of a cheesy sports movie, but there you have it. Heyward brings hands down the best defense in right field in all of MLB, and is a multiple gold glove award winner at the position. Hopefully this year he can bring his bat with him to, as even league average production at the plate would make him hugely valuable to the Cubs when paired with his defense.

The Bullpen

Wade Davis (Closer)

Acquired from the Kansas City Royals for Jorge Soler, this could be an incredible move or a simple swap of two broken players. Wade Davis broke out as an MLB leading reliever for the Royals, and in 2015 and 2016 was easily one of the top five closers in all of baseball, right along with names like Jansen and Chapman. Unfortunately pretty much all of his peripherals took a dip between 2015 and 2016, and he spent a month last season on the DL due to elbow tightness. It could be nothing - in which case the Cubs have acquired a top closer for basically nothing - or it could mean Davis needs Tommy John's Surgery - in which case the Cubs are hosed since Davis is only a one year rental. Only time will tell.

Hector Rondon (Setup)

The Cubs former closer, Rondon was rescued from the Rule 5 scrapheap and transformed into one of the better closers in baseball. Unfortunately injuries derailed him last season and he was never able to return to form, losing his closer status. That said if Davis' elbow explodes or he struggles mightily, Rondon is probably first in line as the backup. When he's on Rondon has a 97-99mph fastball and power slider combo that can make him absolutely deadly, but he also showed a tendency to leave 94mph meatballs over the heart of the plate a bit too often. Hopefully he can finally bounce back and be the dominant arm he once was.

Pedro Strop (Setup)

He of the crooked cap that gets all the Cardinal fans panties in a twist. Strop is another fastball/slider guy and likes to quick pitch batters which pisses them right off. Like Rondon, Strop was dealing in 2016 before going down with a torn meniscus, and never quite looked the same in his (albeit very limited) time back. Strop has closer level stuff and is another candidate for the post if things really go south. If he, Rondon, and Davis are all healthy and back to 2016 levels of production, the Cubs bullpen will be an incredibly mighty beast. However it's just as likely all three of them could struggle and leave it an absolute mess.

Carl Edwards Jr. (Setup/Middle Relief)

The skinniest man in baseball. Despite being in danger of getting carried off by a stiff breeze, Edwards has an up 90's fastball with lots of nasty movement, a power hook, and a changeup he can bust out in a pinch. Projected as the Cubs eventual future closer, but this year he'll probably continue to operate in a setup/middle relief role unless the pen completely implodes. Irrationally my favorite player on the team and I hope he kills it this year.

Justin Grimm (Setup/Middle Relief)

Every time Justin comes out of the pen, things look grim: the question is, will it be for the opponent, or for the Cubs? Grimm has a very annoying inconsistency about him despite some truly nasty stuff, and putting him on the mound has an equal chance of producing three strike outs or three runs. Grimm was able to swing mostly to the "on" side in 2015, but struggled heavily in the 2016 summer before killing it again in August/September, and then sucking again in the post season so... ugh. I don't expect much out of Grimm, but hopefully he can find his stride.

Koji Uehara (Setup/Middle Relief)

A 41 year old man who's been pitching in the MLB for 8 years, has consistently lost velocity year over year for the past 3-4 years, and yet has still never posted a WHIP above 0.95 in his 7 years pitching out of the pen. Uehara is nothing if not consistent, in that he normally pitches very well for most of the year and then gets injured. The only worry is that - being an extreme flyball pitcher - he'll get homered to death in the hitter friendly confines of Wrigley. Fingers crossed that’s not the case.

Mike Montgomery (Long Relief)

Picked up from Seattle last season, Montgomery was on the mound when the final out was recorded to win the world series for the Cubs. He's been solid in the pen and was actually slated to be in the rotation, given his starter pedigree and laundry list of pitches. However Anderson was signed and subsequently muscled him out, so Montgomery is back to the pen. That said he'll probably be limited to appearances where he can go at least 3 innings, since the Cubs want to keep him stretched out so he can spot start when (not if) Anderson goes down. Is one of only two lefties in the pen, the other being-

Brian Duensing/Jack Leathersich/Caleb Smith (Lefty Specialist)
One of these three guys. The Cubs signed Duensing for actual money so it was assumed he'd get this spot, but he's been absolute garbage in spring training and might also be injured maybe? The other two options are Leathersich - a minor league arm who has shown some promise and can get lefties out - or Caleb Smith - a Rule 5 pick the Cubs really think is hot poo poo even though he's spent his entire career so far being very bad. However it shakes out, none of these guys are rockstars and don't expect to see them getting much work outside of lefty on lefty situations.


Or not! Instead of carrying an 8th bullpen arm, the Cubs have sent Duensing to the DL and instead will carry...

Matt Szczur (Outfield)


It's pronounced "Caesar". Matt was the Cubs fourth outfielder from 2014-16 and he was... not very good? At least not until 2016 anyway, when Szczur went from barely cracking the Mendoza Line to slashing a not fantastic but respectable .259/.312/.400, and went from a defensive liability in all three OF positions to a plus defender in all three OF positions. Szczur is not really starting material though, and with the logjam of potential outfielders, Szczur finds himself behind Schwarber, Almora, Jay, Heyward, Contreras, Bryant, and Zobrist when it comes to getting playing time in the OF. He'll probably end up getting traded, and until then only pick up a handful of pinch hitting appearances and maybe a start or two to try and showcase him to up the trade value. Which is a shame, because Szczur is a fantastic teammate and wonderful human being, so hopefully he ends up somewhere he can get regular playing time. Did not play in the 2016 post season, but his bat was famously used by Rizzo because "it had hits in it" (read: it was lighter than Rizzo's and Anthony was completely gassed.)

And finally, a toast to the fallen:

Dexter Fowler

You go, we go. After spending a year as the Cubs offensive sparkplug he left to the St. Louis Cardinals on account of the pile of money they dumped on his head. Well liked enough by fans that he’ll almost certainly be spared the Kevin Durant treatment upon his return to Wrigley, although no one is looking forward to having to face him 19 times a year in Cardinal red. Immortalized in Cubs legend with his World Series Game 7 lead off home run.

David Ross

Originally signed simply as a means to lure Lester to the Cubs, Ross took his production up a notch last season, as well as becoming the clubhouse leader and mentor of Rizzo and Bryant. Grandpa Rossy will be one of the biggest voids for the Cubs to fill from a people perspective. Currently serving in a limited advisory role in the Cubs front office.

Jason Hammel

Hammel did his usual thing of pitching very well before the all star break, and then flaming out in spectacular fashion. Only this time he also hurt his elbow and got shut down, and never pitched a single post season inning. Elected free agency and was completely ignored by the market, until Yordono Ventura passed away and the Royals threw him a bone to fill the rotation gap.

Travis Wood

The longest tenured Cub prior to his departure. Wood was a good hitting pitcher who developed some pretty ugly splits vs righties and was Maddon’s favorite arm out of the pen, so much that it was practically ground to dust by seasons end. Left to the Royals because they offered him a chance to start.

Aroldis Chapman

A fireballing mercenary acquired by the Cubs to solidify a flailing bullpen in the final stretch of a post-season run, Chapman was hugely helpful to the Cubs both in the regular and post seasons. The Cubs do not get their ring without him, period. That said he’s a wife beating piece of poo poo nobody was particularly sad to see him go after the season ended. Ultimately I wish they could have won without him, but flags fly forever and all that.

Chris Coghlan

An average to downright terrible lefty bat that Maddon is absolutely in love with for some reason, the Cubs traded a failed prospect in Alcantara to the A’s to pick him up mid season. Did okayish for the Cubs in a limited bench role I guess? His sole appearance in the post season didn’t even result in an AB, but rather was part of some weird mind games with Bochey. Famously annihilated Jung Ho Kang’s leg in a takeout slide.

Sydin fucked around with this message at 19:17 on Mar 29, 2017

The Pussy Boss
Nov 2, 2004



lite_sleepr posted:

Is there a thread I could post MLB.tv questions in? MLB.tv seems like a real lovely gimmick because of blackouts.

Sure, either the main MLB News/Views thread or the sharing thread in coupons would be a good place for that.

Peanut President
Nov 5, 2008





I'm sure someone will do a real one but here's the Atlanta Braves

burn cobb county
burn the braves
burn everything
leave nothing but ashes

BigBallChunkyTime
Nov 25, 2011

Kyle Schwarber: World Series hero, Beefy Lad, better than you.



Illegal Hen

Peanut President posted:

I'm sure someone will do a real one but here's the Atlanta Braves

burn cobb county
burn the braves
burn everything
leave nothing but ashes


Sherman had the right idea.

elentar
Aug 26, 2002

Congratulations! Your bonsai is dead!


Your 2017 Cobb Country Braves

The Braves started off 2016 on all-time worst pace, and even once they got rid of their bad manager and plenty of bad players they were still pretty awful. However, they ended up playing their best baseball of the year in September—mostly against teams who had given up long before, but no one would have blamed them for giving up either. Unfortunately, that run of games may also have unreasonably inflated expectations that the team might be competent this year, even a dark-horse for the last wild card. They won't be. They will be bad. But maybe they'll be watchable?


Manager: Brian Snitker

A lifer in the Braves system, it looked like the pinnacle of Snit's career was going to be as a third-base coach famed for making the wrong calls on sending runners. (Maybe that's just what I remember? Anyway.) He got sent down to manage AAA Gwinnett, the flagship of the Braves' many town-bilking minor league clubs, before finding himself back in the bigs when Fredi got canned. Was a steady hand as the team got hot briefly down the stretch; that plus the players liking him was enough to get him the job full time.

Key Gains (major league only)
Jaime Garcia (SP)
Bartolo Colon (SP)
R.A. Dickey (SP)
Brandon Phillips (2B)
Kurt Suzuki (C)
Sean Rodriguez (DL)

Key Losses
Um. No one, honestly. Maybe A.J. Pierzynski (C) counts? Oh, and Mallex Smith (CF).


Position Players


Catcher: Tyler Flowers
Had his best season last year in half-time action, due to revert this year to "warm body."


First Base: Freddie Freeman
For much of last year, an elite player. If he can't quite maintain that level, still capable of carrying the team. Proud Canadian and cat owner, legendary hugger.


Second Base: Brandon Phillips
Seemed at one pointlike Phillips had turned down the Braves, and really who wants to swap one bad team for another? But after Sean Rodriguez was confirmed out for the year following his auto accident, the Phillips trade was back on, and this time the Georgia native was all for it. Never really all that great, Phillips hasn't even been that good since 2011, or 2013 if you're really stretching. But he was cheap as hell and he won't block Albies, so a decent pickup all the same. Starting to look homeless, might get harassed by Cobb County subdivision security.


Shortstop: Dansby Swanson
Dansbae. :allears: In all seriousness, Dansby probably falls off some this year and will definitely struggle at times, so the ROY trophy isn't his just yet. And he's never going to be the best in the league at any one thing, even among shortstops. But he's at least pretty good at everything plus a hometown kid; as future franchise faces go, his is hard to top.


Third Base: Adonis Garcia
As of late April, he was historically the worst third baseman ever to play the game. Braves sent him down with the idea of making him into an outfielder, where at least they could disguise him a little better; he was terrible there too. Yet when he came back up, almost by default thanks to injuries, he had improved quite a bit at third, and still provided the little bit of pop that got him the job. Not good, mind you, will never be good, might still give way to Rio Ruiz this year. But no longer a historic embarrassment.


Left Field: Matt Kemp
When the Braves picked up Kemp last year, the "Fat Kemp" moniker came all too easily, especially when watching his giant immobile rear end trying to get to anything in the outfield. But he hit well enough, and he's entering this year in better shape (though assuredly not the best of his life). The occasional game where he still looks like an MVP-caliber player (and the home runs generally on a team that doesn't have a whole bunch) will probably be worth the longer stretches where he looks like a washed-up mess, at least for now.


Center Field: Ender Inciarte
Part of the Kemp calculation is based on the huge amount of ground Inciarte covers in center, he's easily the best center fielder I've seen since Andruw Jones got fat. His offensive production from late last year probably isn't sustainable, but he's a decent enough leadoff man until Albies takes it over, and he'll be a good 7 or 8 after that.


Right Field: Nick Markakis
Finally got a bit of power back toward the end of last year after recovering from a long-term neck injury. Still kind of an odd presence on the team, and still trade bait if anyone comes calling, but they won't. One worrisome note: big uptick in strikeouts last season. On the other hand: dog guy.

Lineup most days
1 Inciarte (CF)
2 Swanson (SS)
3 Freeman (1B)
4 Kemp (LF)
5 Markakis (RF)
6 Garcia (3B)
7 Phillips (2B)
8 Flowers (C)

Bench:
Jace Peterson (IF)
Chase d'Arnaud (IF)
Emilio Bonifacio (OF)
Kurt Suzuki (C)

Disaster zone, at least until Albies comes up and Phillips becomes more of a utility option. Even then the outfield will still be bad; Bonifacio is a designated bunter and pinch runner at best but will end up playing way more games than he should. There's some options in the minors—Rio Ruiz, Johan Camargo, Dustin Peterson—but they're not MLB-ready and won't be any better, not for now at least; the one possible exception is Ronald Acuna, who could charge up the levels pretty quick.

Having no bench seems to be playing into the choice to carry 13 in the bullpen, at least as soon as the opening week off-days even out, in practice it means we'll probably be seeing some hilarious reliever at-bats, and probably some pinch-hit appearances for the starters, especially Teheran but maybe (we can all hope) Colon.

Pitchers


SP1: Julio Teheran
Seems like he's been around forever at this point, but still only 26. Undervalued thanks to a low win total, especially last year when he was very good indeed after a rough 2015. On a very affordable contract through 2020. I dig his Twitter av.


SP2: Jaime Garcia
Came cheap from the Cards; Braves are hoping for at least enough of a bounceback season to get something for him at the deadline, or enough innings not to burn everyone's first MLB year. Shares a name with a famous polo player, which makes image searching extra hilarious.


SP3: Bartolo Colon
The most beautiful man in baseball. Has apparently somehow lost weight on his first couple months of Southern cooking, though, that'll need fixing.


SP4: R.A. Dickey
Aged knuckleballer, family man, and all-round nice guy, Dickey will carry down the tradition of the Niekros to a new generation of Braves fans. Suzuki will probably have to catch him.


SP5: Mike Foltynewicz
Has the stuff of an ace or #2, doubts have always been about his makeup and how he reacts when things start going bad. Showed enough improvement in the spring that you might see him jumping up the rotation as others get hurt or traded. Could also see him flame out again and end the year in the pen. Should never grow his hair out again.


Closer: Jim Johnson
As boring and dependable as his name, especially considering the few million he's getting paid in a stupid market for closers. Will see who's willing to overpay for him in trade as the year goes on.

Bullpen:
Arodys Vizcaino
Mauricio Cabrera
Ian Krol
Eric O'Flaherty
Josh Collmenter
Jose Ramirez
Chaz Roe? David Hernandez? No one?

Yes, that's an 8-man bullpen. That's what the team has been leaning towards most of the spring, but there's time enough to knock that in the head. The group isn't great, but it's solid enough for a bad team; they won't lose too many more games than the team would have otherwise. If anyone sucks enough, there's loads of minor leaguers waiting for a chance; AJ Minter will probably be the first up and most likely to stick, as long as he gets over a nerve problem from the spring.

Vizcaino is fine until he's not; history shows he'll get injured at some point. Cabrera throws harder than anyone not named Aroldis Chapman, but hasn't figured how to strike people out consistently yet. Krol has been suspiciously good as a Brave. O'Flaherty is coming back into the form that made him one of the most feared setup men from 09-13 or so. Collmenter is a long man who could end up starting when (not if) one of the starters goes on the DL; his delivery is one of those funky things you expect hitters to catch on to, but is good in small doses at least. Ramirez has an arm, I assume. No one else really matters. Most of these don't matter tbh.


Prediction: 69-93 and locked for one more year in a fight with the Phillies for 5th. Honestly, the worst-case scenario would be flirting with a wild-card spot through to August or so, when it would be better to fall out of contention early, trade off any and all assets, and start giving innings to the future. Really the season is a success as long as the new stadium doesn't burn down, and the few actually important players don't get career-ending injuries.

Peanut President posted:

I'm sure someone will do a real one but here's the Atlanta Braves

burn cobb county
burn the braves
burn everything
leave nothing but ashes


This too.

elentar fucked around with this message at 20:48 on Mar 31, 2017

ALFbrot
Apr 17, 2002


Your 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates:

[image of a window being rudely closed by a chicago cub, who then moons you through the window]

Johnny Five-Jaces
Jan 21, 2009




Please trade Bartolo Colon to the cubs so i get to watch my two favorite fat baseball men. thanks in advance

Pakistani Brad Pitt
Nov 28, 2004

Not as taciturn, but still terribly powerful...





Your 2017 Minnesota Twins Baseball Club

:ughh:

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010


Pakistani Brad Pitt posted:

Your 2017 Minnesota Twins Baseball Club

:ughh:

The other day I was watching the 6 O'Clock news from a Minnesota affiliate and their sports guy was raking Minneosta FO over the coals for choosing to carry 13 pitchers and sending down Byung Ho Park

Bob James
Nov 15, 2005

by Lowtax


Ultra Carp

Your 2017 Cincinnati Redlegs

IcePhoenix
Sep 18, 2005

Take me to your Shida



El Gallinero Gros posted:

The other day I was watching the 6 O'Clock news from a Minnesota affiliate and their sports guy was raking Minneosta FO over the coals for choosing to carry 13 pitchers and sending down Byung Ho Park

Short version is that Park isn't on the 40 man roster and they want Vargas to start the year at DH

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004




A BUNCH OF GUYS PLAYING FOR THE WHITE SOX UNTIL THE PROSPECTS COME UP


The 2016 White Sox had what I think was the funniest season in recent baseball memory that involved:

-A Spring Training scandal where Adam LaRoche retired from baseball because the White Sox would not allow his son to essentially join the team as a baseball player intern. The LaRoche fiasco led to a mutiny and threatened game boycott by White Sox players who hung the 13-year-old LaRoche's jersey in the locker room and had Adam Eaton describe him as a "leader in the clubhouse." Adam LaRoche then retired to spend time with his family and his hobby of undercover, overseas prostitution stings.

-Chris Sale getting so mad about terrible throwback jerseys that he cut up his and his teammates' in the locker room so no one could wear them.

-The Sox trade for James Shields, who then goes on like a month-long meltdown where he can't get out of the second inning, and this seems cruel, but I think even White Sox fans found it funny after awhile because it became like an avant-garde parody of baseball pitching.

-Hit seven home runs in a game and lost.

-ESPN, caught up in the Cubs hype, repeatedly forgot that the White Sox won the World Series in 2005, breaking an incredible drought only topped by one lovely franchise.

The Sox had hoped to contend, but they languished in misery above only the moribund twins, so they decided to blow everything up and now are an assorted mess of prospects, sort of major-leaguey guys, and guys who haven't been traded yet.

TRADED

Chris Sale
Sale is one of the nastiest pitchers in all of baseball, and the Sox traded him to Boston in a classic intra-sox swap. Sale joins a championship contender although if he has like one bad game, he'll probably get brayed at by people who can't say the letter R.

Adam Eaton
Had an all-star caliber season and gold-glove caliber fielding season. He's off to the Nationals.

Robin Ventura
If Robin Ventura is going to spend the rest of his life desperately trying to accomplish something that will prevent "got his rear end kicked by Nolan Ryan" to lead his obituary, he did not get that managing the White Sox.

THE MANAGER

Renteria was the bench coach. He has experience with rebuilding teams because he managed a truly putrid Cubs team that had like four major league players on it before getting kicked to the curb because Maddon became available. Renteria should be a great White Sox manager: affinity with young players, respect from veterans, and a legitimate grievance against the Cubs.

THE PLAYERS


Jose Abreu, 1B .293/.353/.468

Abreu's numbers look fine, but it's his worst year in the majors after debuting as a star.
WILL HE BE TRADED: Probably. He's already 30.


Tyler Saladino, 2B .282/.315/.409
Keeping it warm for Moncada. Also has the best White Sox mustache since Jose Valentin, who was a coach for Puerto Rico in the WBC and shaved his mustache and it was really disconcerting.
WILL HE BE TRADED: Saladino's a fine bench guy.


Tim Anderson .283/.306/.432
Anderson is the Sox's shortstop of the future. He's super fast, a good fielder, and has got some pop as part of the vanguard of young shortstops taking over baseball. He also strikes out a ton-- 117 in 431 PAs compared with 13 walks he took in his rookie season.
WILL HE BE TRADED: Anderson just signed a big extension.


Todd Frazier, 3B .225/.302/.464
Frazier is a good third baseman who hit 40 home runs and that is pretty much the sum total of all he can do in baseball anymore.
WILL HE BE TRADED: The Sox would love to trade him if they can get anything for him.

Geovany Soto, C .269./321/.487
Hey do you remember him? He was on the White Sox in 2015 and also a rookie of the year with the Cubs and is a guy who plays catcher who is not Dioner Navarro or Alex Avila. The White Sox have a pitcher in their system named Giovanni Soto, and if they never bring him up to have the first-ever all Geovany Soto battery, Rick Hahn should be arrested.
WILL HE BE TRADED: I mean, I guess if someone desperately wanted Geovany Soto they could get him


Melky Cabrera, LF .296/.345/.455
Hey, those are some pretty drat solid numbers from the Melk Man! One time I was at a Sox game and Melky tried to bunt and a guy at the end of my row stood of and screamed YOU CAN'T TAKE THE BAT OUT OF THE HANDS OF A PLUS HITTER while vibrating in fury and he was absolutely right. Don't bunt, Melky. You own too much.
WILL HE BE TRADED: Melky's on the block.


Jacob May, CF .266/.309/.352
I literally don't know anything about this guy but he's going to play now that they traded Bourjos.
WILL HE BE TRADED: Youth movement. THE KIDS CAN PLAY


Avisail Garcia, RF .245./307/.385
Jesus christ, this guy's still on the team? Good god, he sucks.
WILL HE BE TRADED: The White Sox have volunteered Avi Garcia for the next Biosphere project.

PITCHERS


Jose Quintana, RHP
Quintana is an extremely good pitcher under a really cheap contract for the next few years.
WILL HE BE TRADED: For more information about a Quintana trade, go to every single thing written about him for the past several months. The Sox want a ton for him, but he's young enough that he could still fit with the rebuilding plan.


Carlos Rodon, LHP
Big, beefy lefty who throws gas and has one of the nastiest sliders in all of baseball. The stuff is there, but the control is not and he walks a ton of guys. He's nursing an injured bicep to start the season.
WILL HE BE TRADED: No fuckin' way


James Shields, RHP
I don't know if I've seen a major league pitcher get shelled like Shields and still dragged out start after start. He's awful and, while the Sox gave up little for him, he's still an albatross contract. The James Shields Disaster Watch will be one of the better White Sox subplots this season.
WILL HE BE TRADED: I can't imagine anyone would trade for Shields unless they want to make the rest of their pitching staff feel better about themselves, the New Inefficiency

Other Notable Pitchers

David Roberts, Closer Like to be traded
Nate Jones, slider Last time I went to a Sox game a loud, leather-lunged dude screamed for like 20 minutes about how Nate Jones had the best slider in baseball and made him want to orgasm.
Michael Ynoa Cool name

SEASON OUTLOOK

Moncada will be up sometime this season. They're retiring Buhrle's number. Tickets will be way cheaper than Cub tickets.

R.D. Mangles fucked around with this message at 02:15 on Apr 1, 2017

Intruder
Mar 5, 2003

Hitting the Submit Post button


Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

Beltran is going to play the field for Houston?

Bold move

I doubt he plays more than 30 or so games in the field

Gattis and McCann will platoon DH and the OF will be some combination of Aoki/Reddick/Springer/Marisnick

Petanque
Apr 14, 2008

Ca va bien aller

R.D. Mangles posted:

A BUNCH OF GUYS PLAYING FOR THE WHITE SOX UNTIL THE PROSPECTS COME UP

This was excellent. I would only add a blurb on Charlie Tilson:

* Acquired from St. Louis last season for Zach Duke
* Injured in his very first game, out for the season
* Penciled in as starting CF for 2017
* On the first day of spring training, suffered a "stress reaction" and put on DL
* Currently in a walking boot and is out indefinitely
* May be a living metaphor

And who can forget Yolmer "Carlos" Sanchez?

HOTLANTA MAN
Jul 4, 2010

by Hand Knit


Lipstick Apathy

The Braves won't be good but they might win like 75ish which honestly would be kind of fun after the last two shitshow seasons.

Rio Ruiz will be starting by July though, which is cool. And I can wear my Eric O'Flaherty jersey again!

(I have an Eric O'Flaherty jersey)

Infidel Castro
Jun 8, 2010

Again and again
Your face reminds me of a bleak future
Despite the absence of hope
I give you this sacrifice






WATCH OUT EVERYONE IT'S TIME TO EMBRACE THE SADNESS THAT IS THE 2017 MINNESOTA TWINS


Get used to this image, because you're gonna be seeing it a lot


2016 Season Summary

(59-103, worst record in MLB)


Reasons 2017 will should might be better
1) The Pohlads must have gotten a Western Union telegram espousing the merits of this "sabre metrics" thing and went out and hired some people who know what this new fangled stuff means. Joining the Twins FO this year are President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine

2) We have the 1st overall pick in this year's draft, so we can look forward to completely loving that up! (seriously, look at the Twins draft history over the last decade. :barf:)

3) 103 losses is pretty drat hard to do worse than!

4) Byron Buxton might be figuring this poo poo out

5) MIGUEL SANO IS NO LONGER PLAYING RIGHT FIELD!


THE TEAM

C - #21 - Jason Castro
Probably the biggest sign that the Twins are more open to analytics is the signing of Jason Castro. Castro had a monster season in 2013 and then promptly fell off a cliff offensively. He, however, is a very good pitch framer and does have a bit of power.

1B - #7 - Joe "Cake Eater" Mauer
Former All-Star and sure bet for the HoF until he got hot brains. Now he's a somewhat average first baseman who's being paid $23 million per year, a fact any Twins fan will remind you of ad nauseum.

2B - #2 - Brain Dozier
Since we live in the bizzaro universe where a millionaire man-child is President and the Cubs won the World Series, of course Dozier didn't get traded in the offseason. The first test of the new FO seems to show that they know the value of their players and won't trade people for just any pile of trash offered.

SS - #11 - Jorge Polanco
Polanco's bat should do well enough, but the real question is if he can adjust to playing SS after not having played the position at all in the minors (a very Twins thing to do, honestly). If Dozier does get traded, Polanco likely will fill that spot on the infield.

3B - #22 - Miguel Sano
Last year, someone in the Twins FO thought it was a good idea to move Sano to RF. Anyone who has ever seen a even just a picture of Sano would have told you this was a stupid loving idea. Of course, he was an absolute disaster defensively and thankfully that poo poo won't happen this year. With Trevor Plouffe gone, Sano is free to move back to his more natural position.

LF - #20 - Eddie Rosario
Eddie had a really good rookie season in 2015, but took a rather big step back last year (like pretty much everyone else on the team). Perhaps more suited to be a 4th outfielder, but considering the dearth of talent on this club right now, he starts.

CF - #25 - Byron Buxton
Most of Buxton's time in MLB hasn't gone well. He's incredibly prone to striking out, doesn't walk much, and didn't really show much power. In the last month of the 2016 season though, he started to deliver on some of the promise that made him the #1 overall prospect at one point. In September & October he had a 1.011 OPS with 9 HR and drew 10 walks. Obviously those aren't sustainable numbers over an entire season, but it gives Twins fans hope that he might have started figuring things out at the plate.

RF - #26 - Max Kepler
Kepler had a nice month of July in 2016 and became only the 5th player in Twins history to hit 3 HR in a game. The rest of the season was a bit of a struggle for Max, but that's to be expected of most rookies.

DH - #52 - Byung Ho P-
Wait, what do you mean he was sent down? Really?! He had 6 loving HRs in Spring Training! :sigh: I guess that means it's

#19 - Kennys Va-
What do you mean he also got sent down on top of getting injured?! Then who the gently caress is our DH?

#36 - Robbie Grossmann
:shepface:





PITCHING STAFF
:tif:






Happy Baseball everyone! Hopefully by October we'll all still have the will to not jump into Lake Minnetonka with a cinder block tied to our legs!

ColdBlooded
Jul 15, 2001

Ask me how to run a good team into the ground.

Probably the most important post in this thread, the 2017 San Diego Padres

Synopsis:

The Padres offense should actually be pretty fun, or at least it'll be interesting to watch, since outside of Erick Aybar, it's all young(ish) guys who have some upside. As usual, their numbers will be somewhat suppressed by Petco, leading to people (not necessarily on here) decrying how bad their offense is when, as usual, it's their starting pitching that is very very bad. The bullpen has a couple of guys returning who were very good last year,and, assuming Carter Capps' delivery isn't deemed illegal at some point, could be as good or even a bit better this year.

C - Austin Hedges:
Hedges' defense was deemed MLB ready when he was drafted back in 2011, the question was always going to be his bat. He hasn't hit in his MLB cup of coffee thus far and his minor league numbers aren't great either, though he did put up good numbers in the PCL last year (lol). I'm not expecting much offensively, but considering he'll be replacing Derek Norris' 400+ ABs of .186/.255/.328 from last year, the bar for improvement isn't terribly high.

1B - Wil Myers
Myers had a very solid season last year, though he did tail off somewhat over the 2nd half of the year. Perhaps more importantly, he was able to stay healthy and the Padres gave him a 6 year extension during the off season, making him the ~face of the franchise~ for the foreseeable future.

2B Yangervis Solarte
Solarte is a very solid, versatile player who quietly put up a .286/.341/.467 line last year after beginning to show some improvement in 2015. His wife passed away from cancer late last season :(

SS Erick Aybar
I don't understand why he's even on the team. Aybar has never been particularly good and even if he flukes a couple of non-terrible months to start the season, it's not like San Diego would get a prospect of any value back in a trade. He's basically Alexei Ramirez 2.0 (gently caress Alexei Ramirez). What's even more puzzling is that Luis Sardinas had a solid 150 AB stint late last year for the Padres and is a former top 100 prospect who maybe (not likely) started to figure poo poo out and now he's relegated to backing Aybar up.

3B Ryan Schimpf
A career minor leaguer with the Blue Jays up until 2016. The Padres signed him a minor league contract and he got a shot halfway through the year because all of San Diego's 2B were either hurt or garbage; he then proceeded to hit 20 HRs in 276 ABs. I think it's somewhat likely that he craters fairly hard but if you like TTO guys, then Schimpf is your man.

RF Hunter Renfroe
Renfroe hit 4 HR in 35 ABs during his late season call up last year. The power is very legit, he's the first guy to hit a HR OVER the Western Metal building during a game at Petco, but he likely won't walk very much which could limit his usefulness, however he'll get every chance to prove himself.

CF - Manuel Margot
I'm not as high on Margot as some others are but he still acquitted himself well in the PCL last year as a 20 year old. He's an elite defender, seems to steal bases pretty efficiently and has a pretty good idea on the strike zone. Could become a very good leadoff hitter in the next year or two. He'll likely go back down to AAA once Alex Dickerson gets healthy.

LF - Travis Jankowski / Alex Dickerson
Jankowski is the ideal 4th or 5th OF. He's excellent defensively, can play all 3 OF spots, has elite speed and can draw some walks. He also has zero power and strikes out way too much for the type of hitter he is.
I probably like Dickerson way more than I should but he's a guy that's hit at every level of the minors and put up a respectable .257/.333/.455 line in 253 MLB ABs last season. He's out with an injury for the first 3 or 4 weeks of the season; once he comes back I imagine Jankowski will move to CF, giving Dickerson the LF job while Margot gets more time in AAA.

Pitching

The rotation consists of Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard, Luis Perdomo, Trevor Cahill and Jered Weaver. The sad part is, this is likely to be a better rotation than what San Diego was running out for the last two months last season, though having said that, this year's group is obviously pretty terrible. Also, knowing the Padres' luck, all 5 pitchers will spend significant time on the DL thus rendering them untradeable, while they bring back Jeff Suppan, Kip Wells and anyone else who's capable of throwing a baseball. Perdomo actually performed decently in the 2nd half of last season, especially considering he was a rule 5 pick, so at least it'll be fun watching his continued development.

The important guys in their bullpen are Brandon Maurer, Brad Hand, Ryan Buchter and Carter Capps. Capps will start the season on the DL, while Maurer is the ~closer~ with Hand and Buchter as the (hopefully still) dominant 7th and 8th inning guys that can be flipped at the deadline. Overall, the bullpen could be pretty good though the talent level is pretty thin after the 4 pitchers mentioned above.

:siren: It should also be mentioned that Christian Bettancourt is going to be a two way player, pitching both out of the bullpen while playing some OF and possibly some C if the need arises. At the very least, that could be pretty cool to watch. Also, the Padres have three Rule 5 guys on the roster which kind of owns, even if it's not likely that they'll all stick.

Conclusion

After being in 76ish win hell for a number of seasons, the Padres are embracing the tank and have restocked their farm system with a lot of talent, both by trades and by spending an obscene amount of money in last season's international market. As a result, the next 2 or 3 years could be pretty rough but the Padres could be legit contenders by 2020 if all goes well. Either way, I'm completely ok with the current state of the team and Preller has done a good job of tearing down the underachieving 2015 team he built, as well as moving on and cutting loose some of his mistakes (oh hello Matt Kemp). This year's team will do well to win 70 games, but i'll go out on a limb and say they don't lose 100.

ColdBlooded fucked around with this message at 19:28 on Apr 3, 2017

ColdBlooded
Jul 15, 2001

Ask me how to run a good team into the ground.

ColdBlooded posted:

but i'll go out on a limb and say they don't lose 100.

*Looks at today's boxscore* ....poo poo

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



Peanut President posted:

I'm sure someone will do a real one but here's the Atlanta Braves

burn cobb county
burn the braves
burn everything
leave nothing but ashes


Well, they missed by about 10-15 miles south but they tried.

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004




PRAY FOR DEATH, IT'S THE 2017 CINCINNATI REDS


Major League Baseball's oldest team is in a period of transition and they're burning this thing down. Brandon Philipps is gone. Jay Bruce remains a Met. Joey Votto makes his heroic stand against paper airplanes and opposing fans. And all around are a bunch of dudes that I've only vaguely heard of. The Reds will, by almost all reckoning, be pretty terrible this year as the memory of the Great Reds Insurgency of 2010 when they won the NL Central fades. The Reds play in the same division as the Cubs, the Pirates, and the eternal Cardinals who will certainly defy PECOTA and elbow their way into the race because that's part of NL Central Cosmology.

MANAGER

Bryan Price
Took over from Dusty Baker in 2013. Here is him in 2015 going on a tirade against the media. This is the only interesting thing about Bryan Price. His rant is pretty boring too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wROe2dzJDqY

THE CINCINNATI REDS


Joey Votto, 1B
The sneer is gone from Votto's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it by,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Votto’s eye.

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children
shout,
But there is no joy in Cincy—mighty Joey has very patiently taken yet another walk as Reds fans howl at disgust because he needs to Make Things Happen and get RBIs.


2B Scooter Gennett, 2B
The biggest upset in baseball is not the Cubs winning a World Series after 108 years-- it is a tiny infielder named Scooter drifting around the NL Central without playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals thrive on Scooters, on Piscottii and Hazels-baker and every other sort of Keebler name a person can think of and this person will undoubtedly do nothing but make the most infuriating play against your team in every series while somehow nursing an OPS of like .680. Scooter is basically a generic MLB player, but I'm convinced that being named Scooter keeps him in the bigs.


Zach Cozart, SS
Cozart's got a good glove and an ok bat for a shortstop. He hit 16 dingers last year. He's fine.


Eugenio Surarez, 3B
Got some pop, plays a decent third base. He's fine.


Devin Mesoraco, C
Mesoraco owned in 2014 when he hit .273/.359/.534 and went to the All Star game. Since then, he's been extremely injured with hip problems and shoulder problems and he's in the minors doing rehab starts right now. Tucker Barnhart will be the Reds' catcher who provides mainly an extremely baseball name. Tucker Barnhart relaxes in the offseason by getting roundhouse kicked by Walker, Texas Ranger after breaking into nursing homes to steal medicine.


Adam Duvall, LF
Hey, guess who the Reds sent to the All-Star game last year. No, it wasn't Joey Votto, the only really good player on the Reds. It was Adam Duvall, who clubbed his way there by hitting a bunch of dingshots (33) and doing pretty much nothing else of consequence.


Billy loving Hamilton, CF
There is no more terrifying sight in baseball than Billy Hamilton on first. He stares at the pitcher. The pitcher throws back to first, grinding the game to a halt unless he is Jon Lester in which case he is hosed. Billy gets ready. Before the ball even leaves the pitcher's hand he's already on second because time and space are meaningless to Billy Hamilton. He stares at the pitcher again. He might very well go to third. There isn't much to stop him. There he is, rocking back and forth, ready to go like he was shot out of a cannon. This is what Billy does-- he doesn't need power because he can fly around the bases like the Concorde and run down anything hit into center and mainly use his jet speed to walk back to the dugout because Billy Hamilton cannot hit for poo poo.

Scott Scehbler, RF
This is not a real baseball player.

PITCHERS


Scott Feldman RHP
This guy is still in the league, look at that. Thanks for Jake Arrieta, amigo.


Bronson Arroyo
Holy gently caress, it's Bronson Arroyo and he's back after a sojourn in the desert. I was going to make fun of this more, but I looked at his stats and he's still hovering around a 100 ERA+ which is absolutely fine for Bronson Arroyo and his giant straight leg kick delivery.


Brandon Finnegan
This played in a college world series and a World Series in the same season with the Royals then got traded to the Reds as part of the Johnny Cueto trade. Had a decent year last year, his first as a full-time starter (though FIP hated him) and had a great first start this year.


Rookie Davis
What the gently caress.

No one is very interesting in the bullpen. Hey were you looking for Homer Bailey because he was one of the few recognizable Reds names? Well, I just looked and he is recovering from elbow surgery, the natural state of Homer Bailey.

REDS OUTLOOK
Joey Votto continues his war on paper planes and entitled ball hawking kids.

R.D. Mangles fucked around with this message at 02:53 on Apr 10, 2017

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R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004




THE BREW CREW WILL FINISH AHEAD OF THE CINCINNATI REDS

The Brewers, like the Reds, are going for a youth movement. They're preparing to close the book on the Ryan Braun Era that culminated with a brief shot at playoff glory that resulted in a trade of a ton of good prospects for Zach Grienke and, I believe, one playoff win. They already traded Lucroy to Texas for a haul of prospects after he refused to go to Cleveland. But, like other rebuilding teams following the scored earth policy, the Brewers are building up an impressive farm system and are a young, fun bunch that may have found an unexpected superstar in Eric Thames and hope to one day have a home series against the Cubs that is not invaded by obnoxious suburban Cubs fans.


Craig Counsell, Manager

Hey do you remember the guy with the insane batting stance? Well, he's the manager now and we don't get to see him contort his body in weird and unnatural ways unless he's filling out the lineup card with his arms extended or going out to yell at an ump on his hands.


Eric Thames, 1B

After a brief career in the majors, Thames went overseas and basically became the Barry Bonds of Korea for four years. Now Thames, literally nicknamed "God" has come back. If this were Spring Training, we'd still be talking about whether he could bring his Korean success back to the US, but several weeks into the season the answer is yes and oh holy poo poo yes. Thames is loving mashing. He is smashing dingers and he's walking and he looks like the best power hitter in baseball right now, even if he's on an unsustainable Chris Shelton streak, he looks like the real deal. After absolutely smoking the Cubs, their pitching coach basically accused him of roiding and professional grumpy ol' cuss and denture model John Lackey contributed "where'n he hittin' the durn ball must be usin' some sort of liniment reminds me of when ol' Bobby Reed came back from the Great War."

Jonathan Villar, 2B
Villar hit an unexpected .285/.369/.457 last year and, more importantly, stole 62 bases. He could be a bright spot for the Brewers if he can sustain anything near that again.

Orlando Arcia, SS
Arcia is an exciting shortstop with a great glove who was one of Milwaukee's top prospects. Can he hit in the majors? Well, it is not going great so far, but he's only 22.

Travis Shaw, 3B
Shaw was traded to the Brewers from Boston. Most notable for beating out Pablo Sandoval for the Red Sox' 3B job in 2016, but had a pretty mediocre year at the plate, Shaw has already managed to irritate the hell out of me by mashing numerous dingers against the Cubs even though I've never heard of him. He already has 5 this season. Seems to be a functioning major league third baseman, no doubt warming the base for some 3B guy.


JETT BANDY, C
Former Angel picked up on the waiver wire to replace Jonathan Lucroy, he's most notable for being named JETT BANDY, look at this Star Wars-rear end name, this guy trains in the offseason by targeting wampa rats in his speeder or whatever.

Hernan Perez RF
Pretty much a bog-standard generic outfielder.


Keon Broxton, CF
Broxton had a decent year for a rookie outfielder in 200 PAs last year. His most notable skill is suffering grotesque injuries: a broken wrist while running into the brick wall at Wrigley last year, and getting hit in the face by a baseball but somehow playing the next day.


Ryan Braun, LF
Ryan Braun is the greatest Brewer in the modern era and also a guy who will be booed on the road for the rest of his life because he got caught roiding and tried to wriggle his way out of it in the most Nixonian fashion possible. Now Braun is a tempting trade target, someone who would be really nice to roll out for a team on a playoff push and it will be incredibly weird to see him not in a Brewers jersey.

PITCHERS

Jimmy Nelson: Enormous heater man, has great stuff, but had issues of control last year.
Zach Davies: Guy who rarely tops the high 80s with control.
Junior Guerra: Came out of nowhere last year to have a great rookie season at the age of 31, one of baseball's great stories last year. Now, with the Brewers hoping to see if he's for real or a bizarre, one-year wonder, he got hurt before the season and is trying to work his way back from a strained calf.

Matt Garza
"Matt Garza had some friendly advice for Jeff Samardzija, saying his former teammate needs to "pitch your way out of there" if he doesn't want to stay with the Chicago Cubs." Lol, thanks for Grimm and Stringbean Edwards, chump.


Neftali Feliz, Closer
Hey remember when Feliz came up with the Rangers when they were really good and came out of the bullpen to destroy people and then had kind of an up-and-down season in and out of the rotation? Well, he turned out to be not as good as that, but he's found his way to the Brewers and looks pretty decent as a closer.


Jared Hughes, Setup RHP
Jared Hughes has one of the best gimmicks in baseball. The manager calls for a righty out of the pen and Hughes comes sprinting out of the bullpen at full bore like a maniac while everyone not already familiar with the former pirate thinks to him or herself what the gently caress is with this dude. When Hughes does that and then immediately gives up a homer, it is incredibly funny. If he were to ever trip and fall on his face while Ultimate Warrioring his way to the mound, I think I would die. Hughes is unironically one of my favorite baseball players.

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