Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«2 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute



Pillbug

What the hell is this?

Baseball has returned for the 2019 season, which means its time to decide your allegience. This thread is for fans of teams to make effort (or low-effort, w/e) posts about their team of choice, usually with the bent of convincing others to join their side. You can also feel free to gripe, I know I am! This thread is also meant for anybody yet undecided who'd like to browser primers on the teams and pick allegiences.

I spent 12 hours crafting the perfect effort post for my team, but somebody beat me to it! Can I still post it here?



I'm a complete and total newbie but am interested in this dumb sport, can you help?

This is a good spot to learn about teams/players and find somebody who sounds interesting to root for. If you're looking for actual help on understanding the game itself, check out the 2017 Newbie Thread. If anybody wants to make something more recent, feel free and I'll update the link.

I'll keep this OP updated with links to team posts as they roll in.

Team Posts

Chicago Cubs
Houston Astros
St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago White Sox
Seattle Mariners
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves
Houston Astros

Sydin fucked around with this message at Feb 23, 2019 around 21:15

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute



Pillbug

The 2019 Chicago Cubs



So the Cubs broke a century long championship drought in 2016. It was pretty low key honestly, so you may not have heard. At any rate, the team has spent the three years since trying as hard as possible to throw away all the fan goodwill and hype accumulated from the 2016 Championship, a process they kicked into overdrive this past offseason. I won't lie: it's kinda hard to be hyped for the Cubs right now. That could change on a dime, but right now we're just kinda hoping the team doesn't embarrass itself any further.

Owners: The Ricketts



Look, we're not loving idiots. We knew from the start that the Ricketts were massive pieces of poo poo. All we could hope for was that they'd open their wallet to fund a winning team, and keep their mouths shut about their regressive, ghoulish, racist, Islamophobic views. Up through 2017, they were pretty good at this! This offseason however they decided to torpedo fan goodwill by, among other things:

1. Suddenly crying poor despite record revenues and their continued ownership of every business in a 50 mile radius of Wrigley, refusing to provide even the basic level of funds needed to get a decent reliever.
2. Suddenly getting very vocal about their lovely political beliefs and acting surprised when fans balked. Did you know Todd Ricketts is chairing the Trump re-election fund? Or that Betsy DeVos is a part owner of the team? You do now!
3. Choosing to partner with Sinclair "Our local news stations make Fox News look actually fair and balanced" Broadcasting for the future Cubs RSN, and then acting surprised when fans balked.
4. Fully supporting the return of a serial wife-beater to the team because he's cheap (this isn't entirely on the Ricketts, but they certainly didn't help things with their budget bullshit).

So yeah basically gently caress these guys. Laura is probably still cool, although she hasn't said much to reassure through this odyssey.

The Front Office



As much as I rail against the Ricketts, these assholes haven't done much to help things. Between dropping over $60M on free agents whom all busted in one form or another in 2018, the continued comical inability to draft or develop anything resembling decent starting pitching, and constantly repeating "95 Wins" like it's some kind of magical ward in response to concerns about genuine glaring holes in the lineup, the FO isn't exactly inspiring confidence these days. They also spun the biggest load of bullshit to justify bringing back Addison Russell (more on that in the player section) and had the audacity to expect us to not only swallow it, but consider them benevolent paragons of combating domestic abuse for doing so.

The heads of the FO are Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, who supposedly run the team via some kind of consensus, even though the media and fans tend to give Theo all the credit. The other big guy is Jason McLeod, head of scouting failing to develop starting pitchers for a decade.

The Manager: Joe Maddon

https://www.twitter.com/Baer_Bill/s...679805755674625

Joe started the season doing his usual thing of being awful at managing bullpens and needlessly shuffling lineups around like he made pact with the devil that he'd never field the same lineup twice in a row or he'd lose his soul. That's par for the course, and I was willing to forgive him for it all since he managed the Cubs to a ring, even if I sometimes got so mad at his bullshit in the GDT that I earned myself a red text title over my meltdowns. But then Joe revealed himself to - in fact - be an old white man, and completely botched handling the Addison Russell fiasco. He also fought to bring in a new hitting coach who promptly hosed up run production by insisting that nobody hit dingers, and spent the offseason talking about how he needed to get better at "managing the millennials"

Joe is a lame duck this season and is probably not getting his contract re-uped unless he pulls a miracle out of his rear end and gets the Cubs another ring.

The Starting Rotation

Jon Lester (LHP)



We all knew the score with Jon when he signed. The Cubs paid for 3-4 good years out of him, with the understanding that he'd probably fall off for the last couple years. Well we're in those twilight years, and the writing is on the wall. Declining velo, movement, control, and peripherals point to another grinder of a season for Lester. That said he pitched his goddamn heart out down the stretch last season, which gives me hope that if the Cubs are competitive this year that there's still some Big Game Jon left in the tank.

PREDICTION: Lester finishes with a 4.00 ERA or higher.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time an announcer mentions he can't throw to the bases. Home, away, or national doesn't matter because they all loving do it. Finish your drink if he actually picks somebody off.

Kyle Hendricks (RHP)



Easily my favorite player on the team right now, Kyle is probably one of the strangest pitchers in the game right now. His style of a low velocity, down in the zone, control-oriented, two-pitch pitcher is anathema to every modern philosophy of pitching. And despite that he's been a top 25 pitcher by fWAR since his debut, 2014-2018. Kyle owns and I expect him to continue to own.

PREDICTION: Kyle finishes as the best pitcher on the Cubs yet again.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time an announcer mentions his low velo. Again, they all do it. Finish your drink if you catch Kyle smiling (you won't).

Cole Hamels (LHP)



Acquired via trade last year because the free agent starter acquisitions busted out so hard that an expensive, aging pitcher with an ERA in the 5's was a genuine upgrade, Hamels immediately turned things around and was loving nails with the Cubs. Well, for a month or so, then he was just sort of okay. Still, sort of okay was better than most of the rotation, so the Cubs re-upped him for $20M. Seems like a nice guy and is pretty fuckin' handsome. Don't expect him to pitch all that well though.

PREDICTION: Hamels gets bit by dingeritis again and posts a 4.00+ ERA with a HR/9 of at least 1.5
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Hamels gives up a HR. Finish your drink if he goes 7+ IP without one.

Yu Darvish (RHP)

http://www.twitter.com/AldoSoto21/s...786556165771264

After watching Darvish get absolutely annihilated in the post season, the Cubs said "gently caress yes" and gave a six year contract to a 31 year old SP with injury history and a ton of mileage on his arm. Sure enough Darvish sucked, it turned out he was injured, and he missed pretty much the entire season. That said I do feel for Darvish: his contract and and perception of his poor performance with the Dodgers was clearly weighing on him, and he had to spend the whole season putting up with bullshit about how he was "too soft" because he couldn't pitch with a loving elbow fracture. If he's healthy Darvish could be really good! That's a big if though.

PREDICTION: Darvish has better results on the mound but via combination of injury and the club being cautious with him, he only pitches around 120 innings.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink for every inning pitched in a game over 5. Finish your drink if he goes 5+ and gets the win in a game announced by A-Rod.

Jose Quintana (LHP)



Jose Quintana seems like a really nice and cool dude. I've read nothing but good things about him and his clubhouse presence, and I'm sure he's trying his absolute best to be the pitcher the Cubs need him to be. That said, Quintana is now a year and a half into his Cubs tenue and has looked like little more than a fringy back of the rotation guy, which makes it all the more painful that the Cubs traded primo blue chip prospects for him. Quintana was good almost every year prior to joining the Cubs, so it would be really cool if he remembered he is not in fact a pumpkin. That said he's now on the wrong side of 30, so I wouldn't bet on it.

PREDICTION: Quintana ends the season with the lowest WAR of the Cubs starters.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Quintana walks somebody by missing with an inside fastball. Finish your drink if he leaves a game having given up no earned runs.

Summary

Four years ago this rotation would be lit as hell, packed to the brim with genuine all-stars. As it is now though, there's a lot of risk in how old it collectively is. Nobody here is particularly exciting in a Jacob deGrom kind of way, but if they can all be quietly good then the rotation could collectively be one of the best in baseball. Sort of like having an entire rotation of #3's instead of a traditional 1-5.

The Bullpen

Pedro Strop - Closer (RHP)



Strop loving owns. I kinda don't really have much else to say. He's fun, he's a genuine leader in the clubhouse, he's got absolutely nasty stuff, and he's been solid as hell for the Cubs every year since being traded. With Brandon Morrow down to start the year Strop will presumably be first in line for the closing gig.

PREDICTION: Strop solidifies himself as the closer and remains as such even after Morrow comes back. Is a top 5 closer in the NL.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time an announcer mentions he wears his hat crooked. Finish your drink if they proceed to complain about it.

Carl Edwards - Setup (RHP)



Still the skinniest man in baseball, four years running. Carl has an incredibly nasty fastball/curveball combo, but walks and a general tendency to meltdown as soon as something goes wrong have limited his ceiling so far. Apparently he's modified his delivery to improve his control, I'm skeptical but who knows. If he could clean up his control even a little bit, he's got closer stuff.

PREDICTION: Carl eventually goes back to his old delivery, has a season slightly better but still in line with the past two: a strong start out of the gate, followed by struggles down the stretch and a lot of walks.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Carl walks a batter. Finish your drink if he gets out of a bases loaded jam.

Steve Cishek - Setup/Middle Relief (RHP)



Cishek was legitimately low key probably the best reliever signing of the 2017 offseason. The Cubs got him for a steal and he proceeded to show way he was a successful former closer, using his crazy delivery to wreck batters left and right. That said Joe rode his arm like war horse and it definitely showed by season's end. Hopefully he's managed a bit better this season, because submariners own and I want Cishek to kill it again.

PREDICTION: Cishek puts up an ERA south of 2.50 and leads the team in Holds.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Cishek pitches more than an inning. Finish your drink when Joe brings him in for back-to-back games.

Brad Brach - Setup/Middle Relief (RHP)



I don't know a lot about this guy, as the Cubs just picked him up in free agency. It looks like he's had a successful if not exactly dominant relief career, so I expect him to slot in as a setup man until Morrow returns, and then probably a middle relief role unless he's absolutely killing it. So I'll defer to an Orioles fan, thanks Artix.

Artix posted:

Finally, my chance to chime in and be helpful. Brach was lights out and a deserved All Star in 2017 but he took over our closer position with Britton out last year and was mixed at best. He's fine when his change up is actually working but comes with a lot of question marks when it's not and it felt like every time he went out for a save he put someone in scoring position first just to make it interesting. As a setup guy he was great so middle relief would be the best thing Joe could do with him.

PREDICTION: He'll put up something in between his Baltimore and Atlanta numbers from last year, and be a boring but effective reliever Joe can reasonably trust.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time he leads off an inning by allowing a walk or hit. Finish your drink if he gets a save opp.

Brandon Kintzler - Middle Relief (RHP)



While the Nationals were busy imploding last year, they apparently decided Kintzler was a dirty snitch who was leaking the clubhouse secrets to the media, so the front office exiled him via trade to the Cubs. He proceeded to suck royally. He's always been a high contract / low strikeout guy, but he was pretty successful in the past as the Twins closer so it'd be cool if he could remember how to pitch.

PREDICTION: He'll be sort of okay but not really, the kind of guy the GDT loses their poo poo over Joe bringing in to close games. So Justin Wilson 2.0
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Kintzler actually manages to get a strikeout. Finish your drink if he strikes out the side (he won't).

Mike Montgomery - Long Relief/LOOGY (LHP)



Yes it took this long to get to a lefty, the bullpen has issues. Montgomery is a former SP from the Mariners that the Cubs traded for and promptly put in the pen, because apparently their stats guys think he's better there. Except for three years running now he's had to step into the rotation at some point thanks to injuries, and all three years he's been a perfectly servicable starter. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it will once again happen this year.

PREDICTION: Montgomery will make at least 10 starts, across which he'll put up a sub 4.00 ERA.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink for every consecutive relief appearance he makes without starting. Finish your drink for every month he doesn't start.

Tyler Chatwood - dead money Long Relief (RHP)



Ho boy. So the Cubs took a gamble on Chatwood last offseason, hoping his electric stuff would translate into better results away from his previous home ballpark of Coor's. Not only did this not come to fruition, but Chatwood also caught a bad case of the yips and saw his command completely unravel, leading MLB in walks allowed despite not even managing to top 100 IP. Most were hoping to see him traded, but he's still around and kicking and expensive, so he's going to have to prove his worth out of the pen. I honestly have no idea how he's going to be used, I assume long relief in blowout games until he proves he's over the yips, but it's Joe so he might end up the closer.

PREDICTION: Chatwood mostly gets the yips under control, but he still fails to live up to his 2017 away numbers and is thoroughly mediocre. Maybe gets a spot start or two that go poorly.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Chatwood issues a walk. Finish your drink if he pitches a complete inning with no walks allowed (he won't).

Brian Duensing - LOOGY (LHP)



Duensing spent his entire career being mediocre to bad, then was suddenly really and inexplicably good with the Cubs in 2017. They rewarded him with a nice contract, and he proceeded to fall apart at the seams because of course. Duensing will almost certainly be back because he's being paid actual money, but if Joe uses him for anything but getting lefties out then he's being used wrong. Expect Joe to use him wrong.

PREDICTION: Duensing settles into a Clayton Richard 2.0 role and is good for nothing but getting lefties out, and even that he's not too good at. Potentially cut by mid-season.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Duensing gives up a run. Finish your drink if he gives up the lead.

Brandon Morrow - Injured List (RHP)



Morrow is an injury nightmare whom the Cubs inexplicably decided to reward with a contract for his one healthy year, in which by the way he threw an insane post-season workload. Morrow was admittedly very good while he was healthy last year, but he went down midseason and never got back, and is already not slated to come back from Elbow surgery until May at the earliest. My guess is he will not be immediately slotted back into the Closer role, but will be in line to earn it. If he stays healthy. Which... he won't.

PREDICTION: Morrow comes back, looks good, and then goes down with injury again. Throws <20 IP.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Morrow goes to the IL. Finish your drink when he's shut down for the year.

The Iowa Shuttle
The Cubs have a TON of minor league depth for the bullpen, so I'll go over some of them real quick because odds are you'll see plenty of them this season at various times:

Randy Rosario - LHP who had good results backed by nightmarish peripherals in limited innings last year.
Dillon Maples - Big guy who throws 100 and has one of the nastiest sliders ever seen by mankind, so of course he also has zero command. Needs to get his walk rate down to be effective at the major league level.
James Norwood - Throws 100, but that's it. Command and secondaries are sub-par.
Tony Barnette - Bounce back candidate who looked good last year in a small sample returning from injury.
Xavier Cedeno - Veteran LHP who had some great results last year in a small sample. Probably first in line if the pen needs a LHP boost.
Alec Mills - Low velo/command guy with a surprisingly nasty arsenal and the stamina/pitch mix to start in a pinch.
George Kontos - Former Giants reliever who was awful last year but apparently spent the offseason at Driveline and added 3-4 MPH across the board. Is a hometown boy who grew up a Cubs fan, so best of luck to him.
Dakota Mekks - Cubs pitching prospect who absolutely demolished AA last year thanks to being 6'7" and having some insane sawed-off delivery that batters have trouble reading. Rumored to be in the running for a spot.

Summary

Bullpens are always precarious things, but this year the Cubs looks particularly shakey. Strop and Cishek should be solid, and Brach has a history of similar stability, but everybody else is a wildcard at best. I'm probably worried about it more than any other aspect of the team at the moment.

Position Players

Willson Contreras - Catcher (R)



Willson's 2018 was a tale of two seasons. He was the best catcher in baseball by WAR at the AS break and got a deserving ASG nod, but after that he inexplicably fell off a cliff and posted a pathetic 65 wRC+ in the second half. Given that Contreras is one of if not the worst framer in the game right now as well, he really needs a bounce back season offensively. That said Contreras plays with a ton of passion, has a cannon of an arm, and seems intent on improving his game. Hopefully he can turn things around.

Kevlar v2.0 posted:

One thing not mentioned is I'd put him at the top of the list for most genuinely nice guy on the team. He does a ton of charity work with disabled children through Advocate Children's Hospital and The Special Olympics. He's always the first to volunteer for kids' events at the Cubs Convention, and his sincerity really shines through when you see him interacting with the young fans during those events.

So yeah Contreras is cool and good.

PREDICTION: 20 HR's, Top 5 finish in wRC+ among catchers, still the worst framer in the game.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Contreras throws away a dropped third strike. Finish your drink if he picks a runner off first base.

Victor Caratini - Backup Catcher (S)



Caratini is like the quintessential third string catcher: He's a sub-par hitter, defender, framer, and thrower. Scouting reports suggested he was at least supposed to hit well, but that hasn't panned out so far. He got real mad last year when he was demoted, despite having played like poo poo prior. Most expected him to be traded or demoted again, but right now it looks like he will indeed be the opening day backup catcher. Hopefully he can take a step forward somewhere, anywhere.

PREDICTION: Caratini hits an empty .270 with little OBP or SLG to go along. Is demoted or traded when the Cubs get a veteran backup at the deadline.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Caratini gets a single that ultimately results in no runs scoring. Finish your drink if he hits a HR.

Anthony Rizzo - First Baseman (L)



After several seasons of consistently solid performance, Rizzo's numbers took an uncharacteristic dip last year, partly due to an abysmal first two months of the season. A lot of people have attributed it to the mental weight of the Parkland Shooting, which occurred near Rizzo's home town just before the season started and understandably weighed very heavily on him. In any case there is room for hope, as he absolutely turned it on in the second half, so much so that his numbers almost recovered despite essentially being MIA through May. In any case Rizzo is cool and good, has a fun personality, runs a cancer charity foundation that he puts his heart and soul into, and is in general an all around good guy. Except when he slides hard into catchers.

PREDICTION: 30+ HR's, 130 or higher OPS+, <100 K's.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Rizzo is hit by a pitch. Finish your drink if he manages to get an opposite field hit.

Javier Baez - Second Baseman/Short Stop (R)



Javy is the most exciting player in the game right now. If you disagree you are wrong, I will legit fight you. Javy does it all, man. He busts down the line on grounder. Tries to make every defensive play even if it makes no sense to do so. Hits dingers 5000 feet. Steals home on multiple occasions in a season. He is a legit five tool player who has at least learned to harness his free swinging ways into clubbing XBH's like it's going out of style. He's constantly smiling and laughing and encouraging teammates. He is the best baseball player and I love him.

For real, Javy had a 2018 for the ages and was only pipped for MVP by Yelich tapping into mystic powers of the baseball gods to unleash an insane final month. That said it's doubtful Javy can keep it up. He's a free swinger to the max and barely ever walks, and you have to imagine at some point pitchers are just going to stop throwing him anything even remotely hittable and let him get himself out. I hope I'm wrong! But we'll see.

PREDICTION: <.275 average, less than 10 unintentional walks, 25+ dingers.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Baez strikes out on a low away breaking pitch. Finish your drink if he unintentionally walks.

Ben Zobrist - Second Baseman/Outfielder (S)



Old man Ben came back with a vengeance in 2018, after spending most of 2017 sidelined with a wrist injury. He gave the Cubs 3.3 WAR in his age 37 season and was probably the only guy to not completely forget how to hit down the stretch. I'm skeptical he can keep it up this season, but who knows. Zobrist is heavily contact oriented, walks a lot, and doesn't hit for much power. Slow as molasses. Seems like a nice guy I guess. Expect Maddon to play him all over the place like he's still a 26 year old utility guy.

PREDICTION: <10 HR's, >.350 OBP, more walks than strikeouts.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Zobrist walks. Finish your drink if he hits a HR.

Kris Bryant - Third Baseman (R)



After three seasons of 6-7 WAR, Bryant got off to an insanely hot start and looked poised to be an early MVP favorite. Then he got beaned in the head by a 100 MPH fastball (not his fault!) and then he INJURED HIS SHOULDER SLIDING HEAD FIRST INTO FIRST BASE LIKE A loving DIPSHIT, robbing him of all power for the rest of the season. Cue all the hot takes about how Bryant was never all that good and an injury risk, and dumbass MLB lists not even putting him in the top 5 of current third baseman. Yes I am salty, thank you for asking. Bryant's shoulder is apparently fully healed and I expect him to go right back to being an unstoppable monster at the plate.

PREDICTION: Highest WAR total among all 3B. Yes, both leagues. He makes Bregman look like a loving scrub. Book it.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Bryant hits a dinger. Finish your drink if somebody in the GDT complains about him being unclutch.

Daniel Descalso - Utility Infielder (L)



The Cubs "big free agent signing" this offseason, Descalso is a career bench bat who inexplicably had a breakout year at age 31. And by breakout year, I mean he was scorching hot for two months early in the season before going back to the exact same guy he's always been, but the hot streak resulted in a career high 1.1 WAR. The Cubs have apparently decided this was worth actual money, and have touted him as a "versatile utility guy". Descalso has a negative career DRS at every position by 2B, where he is passable. Can you tell I'm not really excited about this guy? Because I'm not.

PREDICTION: Descalso puts up <1 WAR and hits <10 HR's.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Descalso is played at a position besides 2B. Finish your drink if he commits an error while doing so.

David Bote - Utility Infielder (R)



Bote was a nothing prospect who decided to buy into launch angle and overhaul his swing, resulting in a massive power breakout that got him a ticket to the majors. His main claim to fame is hitting the "Golden Grand Slam" to walk it off against the Nationals. That said the league quickly adjusted to him and he became a strikeout machine, so opinions are mixed on what he ultimately might be. He's a good defender all over the diamond though and has undeniable pop, so if nothing else he's a decent bench guy. Better than loving Daniel Descalso.

PREDICTION: Gets sent down when Addison Russell finishes his suspension despite hitting better than Descalso is.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time an announcer mentions the walk off grand slam. Finish your drink if he hits another grand slam.

Kyle Schwarber - Left Fielder (L)



The beefy lad benefited from a bounce back 2018, in which fueled by the BSOHL he transformed into the leafy lad and put up a respectable 115 wRC+ and improved (but still not good!) defense. That said he's yet to reach the sky high ceiling Cubs fans envision from him, so expect disappointment if all he does is put up another 3 WAR season. Schwarber is cool and good in a doofy sort of way and is a fan favorite even if he hasn't quite lived up to the hype.

PREDICTION: His walk rate continues to climb, his strikeout rate continues to go down, and he marginally improves in most areas of his game. Cubs fans still complain because he didn't put up Babe Ruth numbers.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Schwarber commits an error. Finish your drink if he throws a runner out from LF.

Albert Almora - Center Fielder (R)



Almora is what you'd get if you took the greatest defensive instincts on the planet and put them into an old catcher with busted knees. The result is a lot of spectacular looking plays that would have been routine if Almora could move at more than a snail's pace towards his target. Offensively Almora seemed to be having a big break out last year, but in Descalso-esqe fashion it turned out to be nothing more than a very hot first half, after which Almora dropped off the map. Almora kinda needs to find away to assert himself, because he's directly competing for playing time with Ian Happ who has far more upside. Also because Joe loving hates him and refuses to start him even when it'd make a lot of sense.

PREDICTION: Almora gets less than 400 total AB's and slashes a mostly empty .280 average. If Happ is performing, Almora is traded at the deadline for pitching.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Almora makes a highlight reel catch. Finish your drink if he gets a hit off a RHP.

Ian Happ - Outfielder (S)



Happ was the last of the true blue chip prospects to reach the majors with the Cubs, and he was arguably rushed up too early thanks to a hot minor league start and a desperate need for more offense in the early goings of the 2017 season. The result is Ian looking really raw: he's got power for days and walks at a surprising clip, but he also strikes out like crazy and has some pretty obvious mechanical tweaks to make to his swing. If the K% comes down, Happ could move into a regular role in a hurry. That's a big if though. Oh and he hit the first pitch of the 2018 season for a HR, that was cool.

PREDICTION: Happ brings his K's down from the insane 36.1% clip of 2018, but still strikes out a ton and is still kind of a disaster defensively, and ultimately ends up spending another year being platooned.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Happ strikes out. Finish your drink if it was on a pitch right down the middle that he swung right through.

Jason Heyward - Right Fielder (L)



Heyward had his best offensive year as a cub in 2018, which means he was still below league average. I don't have a lot to say about Heyward at this point. He's a great defender, clubhouse guy, and seems like a nice dude, but he just cannot loving hit to save his life and it's just depressing at this point.

PREDICTION: Heyward turns it around and puts up 2015 caliber numbers. What? All my other predictions have been completely reasonable, give me one stupid one.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Heyward grounds out to the right side of the infield. Finish your drink if he hits a HR.

Summary

The infield stands to be pretty solid. Contreras/Rizzo/Javy/Zobrist/Bryant is good stuff, and if even just one of the outfielders can take a step forward it would give the Cubs a huge boost. That said a step forward is not gaurenteed in any way, and the weak OF is definitely a big weight on the team's offensive performance.

So that's it for all the players, so why don't I give a final sum-... oh, right. We forgot somebody.

Addison Russell - Suspended (R)



So back in 2017 when I did one of these, I wrote a glowing piece on Russell. Was any of his abuse bullshit public at the time? No. Is that still a massive rotten egg you see on my face? You better believe it!

So it turns out that Russell spent the last several years physical and emotionally abusing his ex-wife, and dicking around the mother's of other children he had before the marriage in regards to child support. When all this came out Russell first denied it, then said he'd accept a suspension but still didn't cop to the abuse itself, then finally admitted to and apologized for it in the most robotic, rehearesed way possible during a presser meant to rehabilitate his image after the Cubs decided to tender him a contract despite him being a complete and total piece of poo poo. Nobody with any sense of decency is looking forward to seeing this guy back in uniform for the Cubs.

I'm not even going to talk about his past performance on the field, because it doesn't matter. He could have been loving Barry Bonds 2.0 and I still would want him gone. Anybody who hates the Cubs is in luck, because he is 100% going to get a standing ovation in his first home game back from suspension, and the other SAS Cubs posters and I are going to want to die. Living on a prayer that he gets traded or, better yet, cut and blackballed from the sport.

Final Summary

This is absolutely a team that could win the NL Central, but the Cubs are not head and shoulders above anybody in the divison any more. The Brewers and Cardinals are right there with them (arguably even better in some areas, although I'd say there's decent parity) the Reds are a sneaky threat, and while clearly the weakest team in the pack the Pirates aren't so far behind the Cubs as to be disregarded. This is going to be a slog of a division, and the Cubs need a lot of dominoes to fall their way to come out on top.

So, should you root for this team? Honestly if you're not already a fan, probably not. Unless you happen to be some kind of MAGA chud or something, in which case go nuts I guess? This team has done a lot to alienate fans as of late, and it's only by the irrational emotional phenomenon of life-long fandom that I haven't jumped ship from this team owned and supported by regressive ghouls.

Sydin fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2019 around 20:59

Artix
Apr 26, 2010

Old Vulgrim's got something neeeew for you~


Finally, my chance to chime in and be helpful. Brach was lights out and a deserved All Star in 2017 but he took over our closer position with Britton out last year and was mixed at best. He's fine when his change up is actually working but comes with a lot of question marks when it's not and it felt like every time he went out for a save he put someone in scoring position first just to make it interesting. As a setup guy he was great so middle relief would be the best thing Joe could do with him.

GalacticAcid
Apr 8, 2013

NEW YORK VALUES


Sydin posted:

clearly the weakest team in the pack the Pirates



I'll do an effortpost for your 2019 NL Central Champions, the much derided and universally doubted Pittsburgh Pirates, as soon as I'm able.

Kevlar v2.0
Dec 25, 2003

Toews the rainbow.


Extremely good first post about the Cubs. I'd like to add a few things.

Sydin posted:

Willson Contreras - Catcher (R)
One thing not mentioned is I'd put him at the top of the list for most genuinely nice guy on the team. He does a ton of charity work with disabled children through Advocate Children's Hospital and The Special Olympics. He's always the first to volunteer for kids' events at the Cubs Convention, and his sincerity really shines through when you see him interacting with the young fans during those events.

Sydin posted:

Albert Almora - Center Fielder (R)

Almora is what you'd get if you took the greatest defensive instincts on the planet and put them into an old catcher with busted knees. The result is a lot of spectacular looking plays that would have been routine if Almora could move at more than a snail's pace towards his target.
So he's basically Jim Edmonds 2.0

Sydin posted:

PREDICTION: Heyward turns it around and puts up 2015 caliber numbers.
Who are you and what have you done with Sydin?

Sydin posted:

Addison Russell - Suspended (R)

Anybody who hates the Cubs is in luck, because he is 100% going to get a standing ovation in his first home game back from suspension
I really don't think this is going to happen, but if they go full Milwaukee and give him a standing ovation, I'm going to be extremely disappointed. Maybe I'll get tickets for that game just to boo the poo poo out of him.

Miz Kriss
Mar 17, 2009

It's only an avatar if the Cubs get swept.


Kevlar v2.0 posted:

I really don't think this is going to happen, but if they go full Milwaukee and give him a standing ovation, I'm going to be extremely disappointed. Maybe I'll get tickets for that game just to boo the poo poo out of him.

Let me know which game that'll be and I'll boo with ya. Won a couple of tickets from work and I still have no idea which game I'll be able to make it to.

Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011



Hair Elf



Last season, the Houston Astros won 103 games! Yay! They didn't make the World Series. Boo. The title window is still open, even with the departure of Dallas Keuchel and Marwin Gonzales (although both men may end up back on the Astros, according to Jim Crane).

Manager A.J. Hinch

If all goes according to plan, Hinch will become the second-winningest manager in Astros history by August. Of course, this isn't that impressive considering the Astros did't win a World Series until 2017. He's alright.

C Robinson Chirinos (.222/.338/.419)

My father (a Rangers fan) liked him. I guess that means he's good.

1B Yulieski "Yuli" Gurriel (.291/.323/.428)

With the departure of Gonzales, Gurriel will probably play other positions as well as first base, but with the rest of the everyday infield spoken for, he will spend most days here.

2B Jose Altuve (.316/.386/.451)

Went on the DL for the first time ever last year, so his march to pass Pete Rose for most hits all-time has taken a hit. He's very good, and will be an Astro for the foreseeable future after signing a monster deal.

SS Carlos Correa (.239/.323./.405)

Got hurt and missed a lot of time last year, and his production suffered.

3B Alex Bregman (.286/.394/.532)

After being the fourth guy in the Astros' Core 4, Bregman took a big leap forward into superstardom, becoming the first Astro to win MVP of the All-Star Game after hitting the go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th.

LF Michael Brantley (.309/.364/.468)

Our left field problems are solved, I hope!

CF George Springer (.265/.346/.434)

Out of all the stars on the Astros, Springer is my favorite. He's got this nervous energy to him that I can't define. If there is a God above, he will not sign with the Red Sox next offseason.

RF Josh Reddick (.242/.318/.400)

People say he's not clutch, which makes it all the funnier when he actually makes a clutch hit or catch.

DH Tyler White (.276/354/.533)

Once upon a time, the Great White was just a guy. Last year, he started to mash dingers and became a legitimate option for backup first baseman and DH. With the departure of Evan Gattis, White is probably slotted into this spot.

SP1 Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.52 ERA)

Altuve literally loves Justin Verlander.

SP2 Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.88 ERA)

I ran out of superlatives to say about players, so imagine I said something funny here about how good a pitcher he is.

SP3 Colin McHugh (6-2, 1.99 ERA)

Before the Astros got stupid-rich in the pitching department, McHugh was the #2 guy behind Keuchel. With Keuchel and Morton gone, McHugh returns from the bullpen, where his long relief efforts were the stuff of legends. Can he reclaim his spot as a quality starter?

SP4 Josh James (2-0, 2.35 ERA)

The new guy! I don't know much about him, given his small sample size in the majors.

SP5 Brad Peacock (3-5, .346)

Another former starter turned bullpen arm turned starter again.

PREDICTION
We're not going to run away with the AL West as in previous years, but I'm firm on 90+ wins.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute



Pillbug

^^^
Is Whitley projected to reach the majors at any point this year?


Thanks. I've updated the post with some of this stuff.

Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011



Hair Elf

Forrest Whitley has a good shot to make the majors this year, but he's not going to be on the opening day roster.

Tom Gorman
Apr 30, 2004

Out here, everything hurts

Buglord

The 2019 St. Louis Cardinals

Everybody hates the Cardinals. This is known. The squad going into this year is shaping up to be one of the most fun teams I've watched in 15 years and is really worth paying attention to. The old fuddy duddies are out, and the team is young, dynamic and full of personality.

They're mired in a playoff drought that the BFIB are getting pissed about, but they get pissed about everything so gently caress them. The NL Central is a bloodbath and they're going to have to earn it every step of the way.

The Manager: Mike Shildt



I love this guy. Everything about him is a complete 180 from what we saw from Mike Matheny. The team loves him, he communicates, and he can handle the bullpen. Part of his philosophy is that positive team chemistry leads to winning, as opposed to Matheny who would regularly put players in the Boo Box for messing up. He earned his extension after coming in post-Matheny and kicking rear end. I'm excited to have him on for a full season.

- Starting Rotation -

Miles Mikolas



The Lizard King had an incredible breakout year in 2018 and I still can't believe it. After 3 years in Japan he harnessed his control to a crazy level. His stuff won't blow you away but he throws the 4th most strikes for any qualified starter, gets a ton of ground balls and walks almost no one. Also he ate a live lizard to win a bet.

Carlos Martinez

https://twitter.com/Cardinals/statu...450749130194945

My favorite player right now, and he should be one of yours too, Carlos brings personality and swag to a Cardinals team that hasn't had that kind of player basically ever. He's a jokester and keeps everybody loose, but is fierce when it's his time to get on the mound. He has ace level stuff, but he can't. Stop. Getting. Hurt. Stop getting hurt Carlos. Please. Note: as of writing this Carlos is currently hurt again.

If Michelangelo was your favorite turtle, this is your guy. We're doing several Ninja Turtles references so get ready for that.

Jack Flaherty



Despite his young age, Captain Jack is seen as a clubhouse leader and is a very serious, down to business type of guy. He's only 23, and his 8-9 record last year is deceptive. He's nasty, and put up almost 11K/9, leading the team and almost led the team in WHIP behind Mikolas. Grab him in your fantasy leagues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFdgK2GbHmo

Michael Wacha



An extremely solid middle of the rotation starter, Wacha was awesome last year when he was healthy. But then he got hurt and was never seen again. He's ready to go for 2019 and it's the final year of his contract, so he's playing for the money.

Adam Wainwright

https://twitter.com/whatwouldDOOdo/...931054672375809

A 37 year old veteran, Uncle Charlie is back for another year and he seems to be healthy and ready to go. He's a mentor to the pitching staff and a great guy all around. Signed to a team friendly incentive laden contract for 2019, I assume he starts the year in the rotation and may shift around to the pen, or even as the closer depending on his performance. Easily the Leonardo.


Other possibilities

The Cardinals have an overwhelming amount of major league quality starters that could find a place outside of AAA.

Dakota Hudson - Probably the reason the Cardinals won't resign Wacha. He's young Wacha.
Austin Gomber - Lefty with a great curveball and strikeout stuff.
Daniel Poncedeleon - An awesome story, Daniel recovered from a terrible comebacker injury and the associated brain damage. Wears goggles. A+ name tool.

Alex Reyes - Once one of the best SP prospects in baseball, he can't stay healthy. He'll be in the rotation in 2019 if he can remain alive.


The Starters

Yadier Molina

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEzmd6mbCbI

He's Yadier Molina. People love him or hate him. We've been through this. Has neck tattoos that your grandpa probably doesn't like. Won a gold glove in 2018 somehow, but more deservedly won the Roberto Clemente award for his humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico. De facto team captain. He's Raphael, if that wasn't obvious. He seems mean but loves his brothers more than anything and is actually the leader.

Paul Goldschmidt



The New Guy. Luckily the new guy is one of the best 1st basemen in baseball. The man literally can't stop raising money for children's hospitals and being an all around stand up human being. Also he can swing a baseball bat extremely well.

Kolten Wong



Should have won the GG last year at 2B. He's a light hitting 2B with an uncanny ability to hit walkoff dingers when it's least expected. Loves dumping water on people.

Matt Carpenter



One of the best pair of eyes in baseball, Carpenter went on a tear in the 2nd half last year that legitimately put him in the MVP conversation. He has a noodle arm and his 3B defense isn't great though. But he'll hit, and hit and hit. Also the salsa thing is over with.

Paul DeJong



Resident brainiac science man, he's the Donatello of the group. Paul DeJong is probably one of the nicest most humble guys in baseball. He's a power hitting SS who strikes out a ton. And I mean a TON. Has a ceiling of like, I dunno, JJ Hardy.

Marcell Ozuna



Huge pure talent but extremely streaky. He can hit some MAMMOTH home runs, but sometimes hits breaking balls like Cerrano from Major League. He didn't live up to expectations like Yelich did, but he was a solid middle of the order presence. Big Bear is iron tough.

Harrison Bader



You're gonna hear a lot of people gushing over Harrison this year. Elite CF defense. Incredible speed. Great instincts. Probably the most fun to watch on the entire team.

Dexter Fowler



What a down year for Dex 2018 turned out to be. His first year with the Cardinals he was solid and overperformed expectations, and last year turned it into a situation where people are saying it's one of the worst contracts STL has ever handed out. He can rebound under Shildt. Matheny was an rear end in a top hat to him. Everyone with a heart wants Dex to succeed.

Jose Martinez



El Cafecito can rake. He should really be in the AL as a DH because he looks like a trashbag blowing in the wind on defense. He's lanky and weird, has a weird batting stance. But he's gonna hit. But he still might not have an everyday job. If he kills it in ST I figure he splits starts with Dex again.

Tyler O'Neill



The Red Hulk. He's a physical specimen who mashes dingers and strikes out a lot. But he can mash some dingers. Extremely Canadian. Powerful bench bat, it's a shame he's not a lefty...

Jedd Gyorko



That's Jedd all right.

Jedd! Please clap. He can hit some dingers and play ok defense. He's got a handle on the super bench player role right now, and I'm fine with that.

Bullpen

I won't go over everybody because I have no idea how it's going to look and we still have no closer.

Jordan Hicks



You've heard about this kid. He walks a lot of people, and STL doesn't want to use him as the closer because of that. But he has a 105mph sinker. He throws smoke with so much movement he injured catchers like 4 times last year. Famously destroyed Yadi's nuts.

Andrew Miller



One of the other significant offseason acquisitions, Miller is one of the best lefties in the game. Or was, and has a chance to return to form in 2019. The 4 years before that he was nigh unhittable. It's a steal of a contract if he can return to dominance.

Brett Cecil



priceisrighthorn.wav

Tom Gorman fucked around with this message at Feb 22, 2019 around 09:51

Mustached Demon
Nov 12, 2016



Grimey Drawer

I hope Dex has a good year.

iospace
Apr 20, 2020




Fun Shoe

Mustached Demon posted:

I hope Dex has a good year.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog


I know the Cardinals are permanently heels but man is their team getting likable

Pancakes
May 21, 2001



Big Super Slapstick Hunk

Since the Cardinals' intro post is already spoken for, would any White Sox fans be angry with me if I did a Meet the White Sox post? I go to over 60 of their games a year and they're my adoptive Fake Baseball (AL) team, but I don't want to steal a post from someone who loves them more. Failing that I'll just make a supplemental post with more stuff, mostly random trivia, about my favorite Cardinals.

Kevlar v2.0 posted:


So he's basically Jim Edmonds 2.0

If Almora has a career OPS of .903 I will... I don't even know. It won't happen.

Pancakes fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2019 around 02:37

thrilla in vanilla
Oct 9, 2012

NEVER LET A
RANDOM MOTHERFUCKER
SHOOT THE B ROLL


I said we should have traded Carlos Martinez last season and I stand by that

I would blow Dane Cook
Dec 26, 2008


The best fans in Baseball is meant to be ironic right?

Kevlar v2.0
Dec 25, 2003

Toews the rainbow.


Sydin posted:

Kyle Hendricks (RHP)

DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time an announcer mentions his low velo. Again, they all do it. Finish your drink if you catch Kyle smiling (you won't).

https://twitter.com/BleacherNation/...313340600778753

Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!

Tom Gorman
Apr 30, 2004

Out here, everything hurts

Buglord

I would blow Dane Cook posted:

The best fans in Baseball is meant to be ironic right?

If you see someone here referring to best fans in baseball just assume we're talking about the twitter account that showcases and mocks those idiots. None of us genuinely believe that.

Pancakes posted:

would any White Sox fans be angry with me if I did a Meet the White Sox post? Failing that I'll just make a supplemental post with more stuff, mostly random trivia, about my favorite Cardinals.

why not both? baseball posting is good.

Tom Gorman fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2019 around 03:02

thrilla in vanilla
Oct 9, 2012

NEVER LET A
RANDOM MOTHERFUCKER
SHOOT THE B ROLL


thrilla in vanilla posted:

I said we should have traded Carlos Martinez last season and I stand by that

The rest of the team is real good though hopefully Fowler can be league average this year. Hate to see a guy that likable struggling

Intruder
Mar 5, 2003

Look at that dude going ham on those bananas



Sydin posted:

^^^
Is Whitley projected to reach the majors at any point this year?

The Astros love their service time games and Whitley missed most of last season thanks to a mystery stimulant (I assume adderall) and injury so expect him to be called up in June after "proving himself" in AAA

Pancakes
May 21, 2001



Big Super Slapstick Hunk

The 2019 Chicago White Sox



Welcome to Chicago's own minor league team, the Chicago White Sox! Losers of a staggering 100 games in 2018 and dwelling near the basement of the worst division in baseball, the White Sox were truly painful to watch last year. This is a team that already has an inferiority complex compared to their North Side neighbors...

https://twitter.com/chisoxfan30/sta...9761280/photo/1

and then went and made it worse by getting absolutely wrecked last year. They're approaching the end of a rebuild and have a lot of payroll space to flex, pursuing top free agents and considered in the hunt to...

https://twitter.com/NBCSWhiteSox/st...292456905416704

Oh. Oh well, Ricky's Boys Don't Quit so once more unto the breach, dear friends.

The Manager: Rick Renteria



What better way to overcome your inferiority complex with regards to the Cubs than... hiring the manager they fired to snag Joe Maddon? Hey, at least he never lost a fight to an elderly Nolan Ryan. Hates lollygaggers and will sit players if they don't hustle.

Starting Rotation

Ivan Nova



Acquired via trade from the Pirates to be the veteran innings-eater. He's on the last year of a 3-year deal and was acquired to eat innings and protect the younger arms in the rotation as they trickle in.

Carlos Rodon



The veteran (such as it is) of the home-grown talent, this 6'3" lefty features a nasty slider and a wife who's a pro follow on Twitter on his pitching days.

Reynaldo Lopez



Acquired via trade from the Nationals as part of the Adam Eaton trade. Features a hard fastball and may end up being moved to the bullpen when some of the higher-ceiling pitching prospects show up.

Lucas Giolito

https://twitter.com/chisoxfanmike/s...8743169?lang=en

Acquired via trade from the Nationals and considered the main prize of the Adam Eaton trade at the time. Worst ERA among qualified starters last year due to a truly atrocious walk rate but also seems like a really great guy. If I could hang out with any pitcher on the Sox team it would be Lucas. Their rain delay videos feature footage of him trying to remember how to play French Horn.

Dylan Covey

Bad Dylan. How sad is it when you're not even the best "Dylan" in your own baseball organization?

Position Players

Jose Abreu



Former Rookie of the Year and the White Sox all-star last year. He's a doubles machine, a quiet but constant presence in the White Sox dugout who absolutely hates DHing. If you don't let him play defense at 1B he will spray everyone in the dugout with water.

Yolmer Sanchez



The most fun player to watch on the White Sox and projects to play 2B this coming year. Switch hitter, loves giving Gatorade baths to everyone, infectious personality. When the rest of the top prospects get here he probably ends up as a utility infielder but if they get rid of him entirely everyone will be very upset. Led the White Sox last year with 2.6 bWAR for the season.

Tim Anderson



The starting shortstop and Alabama native had a 20/20 season last year and narrowly trailed Yolmer for bWAR lead on the team with 2.5 in the 2018 season. He's on the longest-term contract of any players currently on the White Sox.

Yoan Moncada



The centerpiece of the Chris Sale trade and former #1 prospect in baseball, Yoan started at 2B last year and led the league in strikeouts. The current plan is to shift him to 3B this year and hope he stops swinging at every god drat thing in sight.

Welington Castillo



On the last year of a FA deal, served an 80-game suspension for PED's last year.

Nicky Delmonico



Left-handed outfielder who projects to start exactly as long as is needed for Eloy to "work on his defense" in the minors. Seems like a really nice guy in interviews and has dreamy eyes.

Adam Engel



The Man of Steal. All-glove, no-bat center fielder who likes to run on the bases as well.

Jon Jay



Signed to a one-year deal to ensure that the White Sox signed Manny Machado to act as a "veteran presence" in the clubhouse and to help mentor some of the up-and-coming talent in the White Sox system.

Why would you subject yourself to this?

Prospects! The White Sox have one of the best farm systems in baseball, with such upcoming prospects as:

Eloy Jimenez



The Sox top prospect, acquired from the Cubs in the Quintana trade. Believed to be one of the best-hitting prospects out there and ranked #2 or #3 on most top prospect lists coming into 2019. Will mysteriously have figured out his defense and be promoted after a few weeks, promptly followed by a service time grievance being filed against the White Sox.

Michael Kopech



The other headliner of the Sale trade with the Red Sox, came up last year and dominated, then promptly needed Tommy John. Due back sometime in 2020. I'm getting an Alex Reyes vibe from him, in that his raw talent is amazing but he seems breakable.

Luis Robert



International signing from Cuba and believed to be a potential superstar CF. Due to arrive likely sometime in 2020.

Dylan Cease

Good Dylan. Also acquired from the Cubs in the Quintana trade.

I would blow Dane Cook
Dec 26, 2008


Chief Wahoo won't be making an appearance this season.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute



Pillbug

Added all the posts so far to the OP.


Way to make me look stupid immediately, Kyle!

Shiroc
May 16, 2009


2019 Seattle Mariners

The Mariners gave up on their path of the last few years of trying to go for it and either coming up a handful of games short or being out by June. They haven't been to the playoffs since 2001 and are on the way to adding a few more years to the streak.

EDGAR IN THE HALL
https://twitter.com/mariners/status...0107904?lang=en

Kikuchi is a power lefty from Japan who looks like he'll be cool
https://twitter.com/Mariners/status/1097958660305637376

Ichiro is still awesome and will play at least for the two games in Japan to open the season
https://twitter.com/MLB/status/1097905821504159745
https://twitter.com/Mariners/status/1097622760447078400

King Felix's continuing quest for at least being an acceptable 5th starter continues
https://twitter.com/Mariners/status/1098439692763258880

Edwin Encarnacion is as surprised as anyone to have made it to Spring Training on the team
https://www.mlb.com/mariners/news/e...ay-for-mariners

A rare sighting of the extremely cool Dee Gordon not swinging at a pitch
https://twitter.com/Mariners/status/1097563931948863490

Lol Mariners
https://twitter.com/GregJohnsMLB/st...678133870751744

Select Mariners you may have heard of who are gone:
Nelson Cruz (Twins), Robinson Cano (Mets), Edwin Diaz (Mets), James Paxton (Yankees), Hisashi Iwakuma (Yomiuri Giants - NPB), Jean Segura (Phillies), Ben Gamel (Brewers), Mike Zunino (Rays), Álex Colomé (White Sox)

The rest of the roster is a set of leftovers and young guys either hitting the majors for the first time or getting a change of scenery. They're going to be bad. The only question is if it'll be a scrappy fun bad or unwatchable bad.

Shiroc fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2019 around 06:43

Nostalgia4Ass
Oct 12, 2012

'smeper fi


I've been a lifelong Reds fan since I grew up in Cincinnati. However I am moving to the PNW as soon as I retire from the mil and have decided to get a jump start on absorbing the area's culture. That means this year I am going to start following the Mariners. I am used to my team being poo poo but I am sad because it looks like I am hopping ship right as the Reds look like they might not be total garbage.

Hopefully Kikuchi is fun to watch pitch at least.

logger
Jun 28, 2008

...and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.

Soiled Meat

Nostalgia4Ass posted:

I've been a lifelong Reds fan since I grew up in Cincinnati. However I am moving to the PNW as soon as I retire from the mil and have decided to get a jump start on absorbing the area's culture. That means this year I am going to start following the Mariners. I am used to my team being poo poo but I am sad because it looks like I am hopping ship right as the Reds look like they might not be total garbage.

Hopefully Kikuchi is fun to watch pitch at least.

At least the Mariners haven't given away Haniger yet. Maybe in a couple years we will have a competitive team, but trading most of the previous years starters only to bring our farm system up to 20th best instead of last place isn't good in the short term. It's sad to think about how almost all the players my dad rooted for before he died 3 years ago are no longer on the team.

At least baseball season happens during the rare short time Western Washington has sun so seasonal anxiety and bad baseball don't overlap much.

BigBallChunkyTime
Nov 25, 2011

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



Illegal Hen

You could make an argument for the Cubs winning anywhere between 75 and 95 games this year. But, seeing as Cubs gonna Cub they'll probably be lucky to finish above .500.

Shiroc
May 16, 2009


One time I got a horrible, retaliatory review at work but hey, at least I'm going to the baseball game afterwards so I can disconnect from it. The Mariners had like 8 little league errors and got annihilated. I did not stay for the postgame fireworks show.

Julio Cruz
May 19, 2006



Your 2019 New York Metropolitans Baseball Club

2018: 77-85 (pythag 78-84), 676 RS/707 RA, 4th in NL East

After another lackluster season the Mets made some front office changes in the offseason, bringing in former player agent Brodie van Wagenen to the GM role previously vacated by Sandy Alderson (who is now, thankfully, cancer-free). BVW immediately made a splash by making a major trade and adding several other players via free agency. Despite the Mets' struggles in his debut managerial season Mickey Callaway will return in 2019.

Incomings

RHP Edwin Díaz (2018: 0-4, 1.96 ERA, 57 SV, 73.1 IP, 17 BB, 124 K)

Had a stellar season with the Mariners last year where he led AL relievers in strikeouts, then was traded in the offseason. Owns a career 14.2 K/9IP.

2B Robinson Canó (2018: 348 PA, .303/.374/.471, 136 OPS+, 3.2 WAR)

Also part of the Mariners trade. Was suspended for 80 games due to a failed PED test, but was excellent when he was on the field. Will be 36 this season but shows no sign of losing THAT swing yet.

RP Jeurys Familia (2018: 8-6, 3.13 ERA, 18 SV, 72 IP, 28 BB, 83 K)

Was traded to the Athletics at the deadline last year but returns to Flushing on a 3 year/$30 million deal. Will probably be given 8th inning duty but might also be used as a fireman. Was arrested for DV in 2016 and demonstrated the absolute bare minimum in seemingly taking personal responsibility for his actions.

C Wilson Ramos (2018: 416 PA, .306/.358/.487, 130 OPS+, 2.7 WAR)

Signed for 2 years/$19 million after Yasmani Grandal turned down a rumored 4 year/$60 million deal. His signing probably marks the end of the Travis d'Arnaud era as the former top prospect will be relegated to backup duty.

IF Jed Lowrie (2018: 680 PA, .267/.353/.448, 120 OPS+, 4.8 WAR)

Signed for 2 years/$20 million. Will probably play at all 4 infield positions at some point depending on Frazier's health and Rosario's improvement.

CF Keon Broxton (2018: 89 PA, .197/.281/.410, 83 OPS+, 1.6 WAR)

Acquired by trade from Milwaukee. Will probably be mostly a defensive replacement and pinch runner.

Outgoings

Jay Bruce (2018: 361 PA, .223/.310/.370, 92 OPS+, -0.4 WAR)

Seemingly fell off a cliff prior to 2018, looking terrible at the plate and a complete liability in the outfield. Seattle are welcome to him, he will not be missed.

Anthony Swarzak (2018: 0-2, 6.15 ERA, 4 SV, 26.1 IP, 14 BB, 31 K)

Another bad contract taken on by Seattle, Swarzak spent 2018 being bad, hurt or both.

The Team

Lineup

RF Brandon Nimmo (2018: 535 PA, .263/.404/.483, 150 OPS+, 4.4 WAR)


Had a monster breakout season in 2018 in which he was the team's best offensive player. Was 2nd in the NL in OBP behind some guy called Joey Votto. Literally never stops smiling.

LF Michael Conforto (2018: 638 PA, .243/.350/.448, 124 OPS+, 2.9 WAR)


Consolidated his fantastic 2017 with a very good 2018. Can kinda-sorta play some CF if required. Known as "Scooter" for reasons that no-one really understands.

2B Robinson Canó (see above)


C Wilson Ramos (see above)


3B Todd Frazier (2018: 472 PA, .213/.303/.390, 95 OPS+, 1.9 WAR)


Posted his worst career numbers in 2018 while being ravaged by injuries. May never be back to his best if he can't stay healthy, which is a depressing thing to write about a guy who's a couple of months younger than me.

1B Dominic Smith (2018: 149 PA, .224/.255/.420, 87 OPS+, -0.6 WAR)


May or may not be given the starting 1B job out of Spring Training, but if he struggles again he may lose it quickly to one or more of Frazier, Lowrie, McNeil and Alonso.

SS Amed Rosario (2018: 592 PA, .265/.295/.381, 90 OPS+, 0.6 WAR)


A former #1 prospect, Rosario started slow last year but heated up towards the end of the year. Should be given at least another full season to try to hit his ceiling.

CF Juan Lagares (2018: 64 PA, .339/.375/.390, 118 OPS+. 1.0 WAR)


A Gold Glover and still potentially one of the best defensive CFs in baseball if he can stay healthy. If he can't most of his playing time will likely to go Broxton.

Bench/DL

IF Jed Lowrie (see above)


IF Jeff McNeil (2018: 248 PA, .329/.381/.471, 140 OPS+, 2.4 WAR)


Was excellent in his limited playing time last year but the current glut of infielders will probably mean he's relegated to a bench role for the time being. Questions remain over whether the "Real Deal" will be as good if his .359 BABIP starts to drop.

C Travis d'Arnaud (2018: 16 PA, .200/.250/.400, 80 OPS+, -0.1 WAR)


A former top prospect who was the headliner over Syndergaard in the RA Dickey trade with Toronto, d'Arnaud's star has fallen as it seems he can't stay healthy. Had TJS in 2018 but is likely to be fully recovered by Opening Day.

OF Keon Broxton (see above)


OF Yoenis Céspedes (2018: 157 PA, .262/.325/.496, 128n ERA+, 0.9 WAR)


Has an absolute cannon for an arm. Hits massive dingers when he's not injured, which recently isn't very often. Had surgery on both heels in 2018 and no-one really knows how much he'll be able to play in 2019 (if at all).

Rotation

RHP Jacob deGrom (2018: 10-9, 1.70 ERA, 217 IP, 46 BB, 269 K)


In the conversation for best pitcher in baseball, and undoubtedly in the top 5. Won the Cy Young despite his team giving him absolutely no run support whatsoever. I still think he should grow the hair back.

RHP Noah Syndergaard (2018: 13-4, 3.03 ERA, 154.1 IP, 39 BB, 155 K)


Throws really hard. Can hit massive dingers when he makes contact. Appeared in Game of Thrones. Known as Thor because, well, look at that photo.

RPH Zack Wheeler (2018: 12-7, 3.31 ERA, 182.1 IP, 55 BB, 179 K)


Took a big step forward in the second half of last season where he went 10-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his last 12 starts.

LHP Steven Matz (2018: 5-11, 3.97 ERA, 154 IP, 58 BB, 152 K)


Has never lived up to the promise of his first seasons with multiple elbow issues raising concerns about his longevity.

LHP Jason Vargas (2018: 7-9, 5.77 ERA, 92 IP, 30 BB, 84 K)


Was signed off a career 18-11 season in 2017 and was then terrible last year. I'd rather give the #5 starter spot to Lugo but I don't think the team will pay Vargas $8 million just to be on mopup duty in the bullpen.

Bullpen

RHP Edwin Díaz (see above)


RHP Jeurys Familia (see above)


RHP Seth Lugo (2018: 3-4, 2.66 ERA, 101.1 IP, 28 BB, 103 K)


If he's not given the #5 starter role he'll probably be long relief in the bullpen with occasional starts. It's a shame because personally I think he's better than that.

RHP Robert Gsellman (2018: 6-3, 4.28 ERA, 80 IP, 28 BB, 70 K)


Another potential candidate to get occasional starts, though he'll remain behind Lugo in the pecking order unless he can regain his success from his 2016 initial callup.

Some more guys who are pretty much interchangeable and all pretty bad

Thoughts and predictions

I have to say I'm very happy with the offseason, we filled a couple of major holes and didn't have to break the bank to do it (though obviously I'd love us to sign Harper as well). My only concern is the bullpen and how much we're going to be relying on various AAA guys, none of whom have looked like they can excel at the major league level. Looking at the rest of the division only the Phillies seem like they've moved to get better, Washington lost Harper and Atlanta seem to be mostly standing pat with their young guys. Despite my natural Mets-fan pessimism I'm going to predict us at 84-78 and a Wild Card spot.

Well Played Mauer
Jun 1, 2003

We'll always have Cabo

The 2019 New York Yankees



2018: 100-62, Pythag 99-63
The Yankees had a very good year that ultimately resulted in a 100-win team earning the third-best record in baseball and securing the first wildcard slot for the postseason. After they drubbed the A's in the play-in game, they ran into a juggernaut of a Red Sox team that went on to take home their third title in 11 years. The season was one of highs and lows. While Didi Gregorious had a scorching hot April, his May was equally cold; Giancarlo Stanton started the year with two homers in the first game, then went into a strikeout-laden slump, then got hot again and carried the Yanks while Judge was on the IL, then seemed to even out; Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres burst onto the scene and split RoY votes, but Gary Sanchez had a godawful sophomore slump; the team went on an amazing 20-3 run in May to draw comparisons to the '98 Yankees but got swept by Boston in August to effectively close out the AL East.

Ultimately, the team had shaky starting pitching and a feast-or-famine offense that was fun as hell to watch when everyone was clicking, but unbelievably frustrating when they failed yet again to drive in runners on base.

Owners: The Steinbrenners



Son of pro-labor baseball hero George Steinbrenner, Hal kicked off a strategy a number of years ago to push the team's payroll below the then luxury tax of $189 million. The pledge was once the Yanks got back below the tax threshold, the team would immediately go back over to secure mega free agents like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. As of this writing, this has not been the case. It's left a fan base used to always being in contention for the biggest names and best players in the league befuddled, especially when the franchise is valued at more than $5 billion and just lost the division to their biggest rivals.

Hal is less publicly insane than his father, which I think we can all agree is a shame.

The Front Office



Brian Cashman takes a lot of poo poo from a contingent of Yankee fans that don't understand anything and should stop breathing. He's been responsible for the long national crisis that was the Yankees' six-week rebuild in 2016, routinely coming out ahead on trades, and has a fierce emoji game. While championships in the post-analytics era have been scarce for the Yankees, they've almost always been competitive, and I think a lot of that credit goes to him.

The Manager: Aaron Boone



Boone replaced Joe Girardi last year and was one of a cadre of first-time managers to enter the game with a stacked roster behind them. He was brought in to communicate with the millennials and his belief in advanced stats. I have yet to see him consult a binder. Overall, he doesn't seem particularly terrible (or any more terrible than your average manager) with game management, but came across as passive early in the season. Later when the team was struggling a bit (as much as a 100-win team can struggle) he began getting more vocal with umpires and defending players more, especially when umpires gave away strikes on Judge.

He was ejected after illustrating pitch framing to an umpire in hilarious fashion last year.

Overall, he's good with the media, stuck with Gray a little too long (but probably long enough to keep the clubhouse on his side), and hasn't yet defended an accused domestic abuser without full context on the situation, so whatever.

The Starting Rotation

Luis Severino (RHP)


19-8, 3.39 ERA 129 ERA+ 4.7 bWAR

A legit homegrown ace that began the season in Cy Young contention but faded late in the season. Footage emerged of of him tipping his pitches later in the season, which we all hope is the case, since it's fixable. He's capable of topping 100 mph on his fastball late in the game, and his fastball/slider combination is one of the best in the sport. His changeup tends to be mercurial, but when he has all three pitches going, he's terrifying.

He recently signed an extension that bought out his arb years and locks him up until 2022, possibly 2023 with a club option.

He worked out with Pedro last off-season, too, which just makes me happy.

PREDICTION: Severino holds his spot as the Yanks' No. 1. He reaches just under 200 innings with more than a strikeout per inning, 5 WAR.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time he strikes out a dude on a low and away slider. Finish your drink if he pauses to look to third before doing it.

James Paxton(LHP)


11-6, 3.76 ERA, 108 ERA+, 2.9 bWAR

Acquired in a trade in the off-season from the Mariners in exchange for their top pitching prospect, Justus Sheffield, Paxton is a giant Canadian man that eagles love. In addition to boosting international relations, Paxton has shown flashes of brilliance alongside injury-shortened seasons. (Those injuries don't really appear to be connected.) When healthy, he has a fastball in the mid-90s, averages more than a strikeout per inning, has a knuckle-curve that breaks in the neighborhood of 12-6, and a cutter.

PREDICTION: Paxton finishes with 160 IP, 175Ks, but has an uptick in HR/9.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Michael Kay makes a dumb joke about the eagle. Finish your drink if he injures himself falling through a glass table while dreaming about eagles.

Masahiro Tanaka (RHP)


12-6, 3.75 ERA, 116 ERA+, 2.9 bWAR

A Japanese ace that lived up to the hype the first few years of his contract, Tanaka has settled into a low No. 2/high No. 3 starter role since 2017. Even though he's just 30, he's looked like he's 35 since he came over to New York. He famously decided not to opt out of his 7-year deal with the Yanks, which in this free agent climate was probably a good move. Tanaka has a flare for the dramatic in big games and seems to shine in the postseason. When his splitter is on, he's super fun to watch. When his splitter isn't on, it's like watching batting practice. Last year he favored his slider and splitter.

Tanaka managed to injure both hamstrings in interleague play last year but still doesn't advocate for the DH in both leagues. He's clearly wrong.

Unlike Hideki Matsui, I do not know the status of Tanaka's porn collection.

PREDICTION: Probably similar to 2018. Tanaka will be good for about 30 starts, have a few games where he gives up a bunch of moon shots, and still somehow throw gems in the postseason.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time someone swings at a splitter in the dirt. Finish your drink when (not if) someone hits a bad splitter 450 feet or more.

CC Sabathia (LHP)


9-7, 3.65 ERA, 120 ERA+, 2.3 bWAR

A possible HOFer who began his career as a power pitcher and somehow reinvented himself into a 300-pound wily deceiver, Sabathia is one of two remaining players from the 2009 World Series team. He credits his newfound success to Andy Pettite, who taught him the cutter, the pitch that has allowed him to work around his diminished velocity. He's 14 strikeouts away from 3,000 for his career, which means he should have that locked up before May. Sabathia has a leadership presence (tm) around the clubhouse and gave up a $500k IP bonus to throw a retaliatory beanball late last season after Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge threw behind Austine Romine. The Yankees wound up giving him the bonus anyway.

He announced he'll retire at the end of this year.

PREDICTION: CC starts the year strong, then fades toward the end of the season due to being a tired old man. He has a good postseason and then retires to start a ranch with Andy Pettite.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink for every inning pitched in a game over 5. Finish your drink if he strikes out 9 or more batters.

JA Happ (LHP)


17-6, 3.65 ERA, 163 ERA+ (with the Yanks), 3.4 bWAR

Picked up last year from the Blue Jays to shore up the rotation, Happ finalized a deal with the Yanks this offseason to the tune of a two-year, $34 million deal with a $17 million team option in 2021. This will likely mean he ends his career as a Yankee. Happ was having a pedestrian season in Toronto before donning pinstripes and going undefeated post-trade. He then returned to earth in the postseason, making GBS threads the bed against Boston, the team he was historically good against. Womp womp.

Happ generates a lot of grounders with a good sinker but relies primarily on his fastball.

PREDICTION: Happ on the Yanks in 2019 looks more like Happ on the Blue Jays in 2018 - slightly above average with about a strikeout per inning.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time someone mentions his age. Finish your drink if someone pronounces his name "Jay Aay."

Summary

In picking up Paxton and securing Happ, the Yanks improved their rotation on last year, but not signing Corbin probably kept them out of the discussion for having a truly dazzling rotation. If everyone stays healthy (lol), they're going to be very competitive even before teams get into the scary good bullpen.

The Bullpen

Aroldis Chapman- Closer (LHP)


32 SV, 2.45 ERA, 179 ERA+, 1.7 bWAR

Oh, the halcyon days when the Yankees didn't have a known domestic abuser on their team closing games. Chapman has an electric fastball and slider, and it sucks to root for his success. He spent some time on the DL last year with tendinitis and was cautious upon his return, leaning on his slider more than his fastball for a couple weeks. He eventually returned to form. He can opt out of his contract at the end of this season, but given how well Kimbrel has fared this offseason he'll probably stick around.

PREDICTION: Chapman has another strong year but uses his slider more than previously.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Chapman strikes out a dude. Finish your drink if he loads the bases on walks.

Dellin Betances - Setup (RHP)


4 SV, 2.70 ERA, 162 ERA+, 1.7 bWAR

A big tall giant of a baseball throwing man, Betances came up through the Yankee farm system as one of the two Killer B's: Betances and Banuelos. Betances made it, Banuelos didn't fare so well. Betances can touch the upper 90s with his fastball, but what makes him truly dominant is his curveball that seems to disappear out of batters' lines of sight as soon as they initiate a swing.

What has held Betances back in the past is periods of extremely poor control. He'll have games where he can't find the strike zone with a map, and last year it seemed to be exacerbated when he came in with guys on or he pitched more than one inning, something Aaron Boone loved doing with him for some loving reason.

PREDICTION: After a "down" year in 2016 where he had an ERA+ of 140, each year he's improved on that number. I imagine he'll deal with a bout of inconsistency during the year but overall will be dominant.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Betances Ks a guy with a curve. Finish your drink if he gets out of a bases loaded jam.

Adam Ottavino - Setup/Middle Relief (RHP)


6 SV, 2.43 ERA, 193 ERA+, 2.6bWAR

Ottavino joined the team as a free agent this year on a 3-year, $27 million deal. He was lights out last year on the Rockies, and somehow pitched better at home than he did away from Coors. The fact he's a righty in Yankee stadium means he's more or less in another home-run heavy park, so hopefully he just likes the pressure. Ottavino uses his slider and sinker in combination to get guys out, though his slider tends to produce more fly balls than average. Expect him to use the sinker, which averages 95 mph, a bit more in Yankee stadium.

Ottavino can be seen as a replacement for David Robertson, who was one of the Yanks' go-to guys in close games before it was time to go to Chapman.

PREDICTION: Ottavino comes back to earth with numbers closer to his away splits last year, but still has a strong year.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Ottavino initiates a grounder on his sinker. Finish your drink if Andujar bobbles the grounder.

Zack Britton - Setup/Middle Relief (LHP)


7 SV, 3.10 ERA, 106 ERA+ (with Yankees), 0.7 bWAR

Formerly Zach Britton, but he watched Saved by the Bell and saw the light. Britton came over last year in a trade from the Orioles. He was coming off an Achilles injury that caused him to struggle mightily in his return, but toward the end of the season it looked like he was beginning to right the ship. He had issues finding the strike zone, but when that frisbee of a sinker he throws gets close, he can be lights out.

His throwing style is very modern; he rarely throws four-seamers and instead relies on his sinker and curve to get guys out.

He puts the "K" in "Zack"! I'll show myself out.

PREDICTION: He'll continue to improve now that he's healthier. I don't think we'll see the 250+ ERA+ Britton of years past next year, but something in the 150 ERA+ range feels doable.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time he starts a batter off with a sinker outside. Finish your drink if Andujar initiates a double play off a grounder.

Everybody Else (XHP)

The remainder of the bullpen has three potential stars and then a bunch of kids vying to fill out the bottom. Those high potential guys are: Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, and Tommy Kahnle. Green came up with the Yanks and put up a 2.3 bWAR last year as a middle/swing reliever. Holder emerged out of nowhere to impressive results and amassed a 140 ERA+ over 66 IP. Kahnle got hurt last year and couldn't find the zone when he was healthy. It remains to be seen if he'll be able to turn it around.

PREDICTION: Green could be the real deal, Holder a little less so, and Kahnle is my big question mark.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time you remember Tyler Clippard was on the Yankees instead of these guys for a while. Finish your drink if one of these guys makes you miss Tyler Clippard.

Summary

The Yankees' bullpen was a strong suit for them last year, and this year is no different. Despite losing David Robertson, they netted out to be a bit better. They still have four guys who could close on just about any team in the league, and Green and Holder are a year more developed.

Position Players

Gary Sanchez - Catcher (R)


86 OPS+, 1.2 WAR

Gary Sanchez is the guy every Yankee fan drafted too high in fantasy baseball last year. After finishing second in rookie of the year voting in 2016 and then putting up 4.1 WAR in 2017, everything that could have gone wrong for the guy did. While he hit the ball hard, it was usually at someone (he finished the year with a BABIP of .197). Then he got hurt and spent more than a month on the DL. When he came back he took a bunch of poo poo for not going max effort in the game where he re-injured himself. And his defense got worse. Much, much worse.

Since the end of the season, people are saying he was playing injured all season, which isn't good either but at least gives us all hope for a return to form.

PREDICTION: Sanchez comes back healthy and while he doesn't put up 8 WAR, he gets closer to 5.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Sanchez gets crossed up with Severino. Finish your drink if he lets a guy get to first on a dropped third strike.

Luke Voit - 1B (R)


188 OPS+ (with Yankees), 1.4 WAR

The Yankees were in sore need of a beefy lad, so they went and got one from St. Louis. Voit was blocked at first on the Cardinals, and when he came to the Yanks he decided to channel the spirit of a young Lou Gherig to absolutely crush baseballs in August and September. He hit 14 home runs in two months and can bench press one-handed. His first shortened season with the Yanks has echoes of Shane Spencer, but first base is his to lose.

PREDICTION: Luke Voit realizes he isn't Lou Gherig and doesn't carry an OPS of nearly 1.100 all year. I'd be happy if he puts up an .800 OPS.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time plunks a short porch, opposite field home run. Finish your drink if he takes off his douchy necklace.

Gleyber Torres - 2B (R)


OPS+ 118, 2.9 WAR

The jewel of minor league prospects prior to Vlad Jr.'s arrival, Gleyber joined the Yankees farm system after the team traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs in 2016. He came up to the bigs in April of last year and started hitting dramatic home runs like it was his job. (Narrator: It was is job.) He seemed to be involved in everything, including Rookie of the Year talks, until he strained his oblique and spent some time on the DL. When he came back it took him a while to find his groove again. All that said, he's 22 and his ceiling is about as high as any 2B in the game.

PREDICTION: 4.5 WAR, 25-30 home runs.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Gleyber smiles in the dugout. Finish your drink if he hits a walk off home run.

Troy Tulowitzki - Short Stop (R)



When he was younger, Tulo was one of if not the best shortstops in the game. But he hasn't played a full season since he was 26, which was 8 years ago. He missed all of 2018 to injury and was released by mutual agreement with Toronto. The Yanks picked him up with a spring training invite because why not? With Didi out to start the year, if you can avoid moving Torres to short, it's basically a risk-free move.

That said, I liked this gamble a lot more before Machado signed elsewhere, and Tulo would have been a utility guy of the bench. Right now, Troy Tulowitzki is the Yankees' starting shortstop in TYOOL 2019.

PREDICTION: If he stays healthy through spring training, he puts up 90-100 OPS+ ball with passable defense until Didi comes back.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Tulo runs down the line to steady your nerves. Pour your drink out for your dead homie's career when something on him breaks.

Miguel Andjuar - 3B (R)


128 OPS+, 2.2 WAR

More like Miguel CAN DO HAR. Starting the season in AAA to work on his defense, Andjuar came up early in the 2018 season after a rash of injuries hit the infield, and once he came up he never looked back. After an adjustment period at the plate, Andujar began a campaign to murder baseballs at an alarming rate. He finished the year with 27 homers and 47 doubles, setting the Yankee record for doubles in a season as a rookie previously held by some guy who played centerfield for them in the '30s.

While Andujar can drive balls anywhere in (and out of) the zone, his major Achilles' heel is his defense, which is godawful. His range is bad and he seems to lack confidence when he throws. It got to the point where Boone was yanking him late in games for defensive purposes. That said, it's not a lack of work ethic; he puts in the time to get better. So we'll see.

PREDICTION: 70 XBH, his defense improves, but don't be surprised if he gets some games at first if Voit/Bird can't get it going.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Andujar doubles. Finish your drink if he makes a highlight play at third.

Aaron Judge - RF (R)


145 OPS+, 5.5 WAR

America's great future and baseball's native giant son. Judge is another homegrown Yankee star that kicked things off by setting the world on fire, winning Rookie of the Year in 2017 and getting hosed out of the MVP by a midget who got hosed out of the MVP the year before.

Judge's sophomore season wasn't as dominant as his rookie campaign, but it was also shortened by injury. Judge has all the makings of a perennial all star: He can obviously hit, but his fielding is also impressive for a guy his size, and he can hit triple digits on throws from right field.

PREDICTION: 7 WAR or higher for the year, 35+ home runs
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Judge narrowly misses a 900 foot home run. Finish your drink when a loving umpire calls a low strike on him.

Aaron Hicks - CF (S)


123 OPS+, 4.7 WAR

Hicks is a guy who really put it together in 2017, then injured himself. He continued the good work in 2018, then injured himself but less so. When Hicks is healthy, he gets on base at a good clip, finally discovered his power last year, and plays decent enough centerfield to not embarrass himself. Like Judge, he has a canon for a right arm. He was clocked last year at 105 mph on a throw from center.

Hicks adjusted his left-handed batting approach last year to apply the same positioning in the box he does at Yankee stadium to every park, and it really paid off. He also finishes his left-handed home run swings very similar to Barrold, which I love.

PREDICTION: Hicks has a strong season but it's shortened by at least one IL stint.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Hicks walks. Finish your drink if he pulls a hammy running to first.

Brett Gardner - LF (L)


107 OPS+, 2.8 WAR

Along with CC, the only remaining Yankee from the 2009 World Series winning team. Gardner has always been a speed-first guy, and as he enters his age 35 season, we should be firmly in his decline phase. But he's been pretty steady over the past few years; his defense is decent, though his hitting fell off last year.

What keeps Gardner in the lineup is his ability to extend at-bats and still steal a decent amount of bases. He's also got good baserunning skills and one of the most amazing heads in the business. (Fun fact: He won a bet against Matt Holiday in 2017 over who would finish with more homers. Loser had to grow their hair out.)

PREDICTION: Gardner cedes more time to Stanton or Frazier in left field and functions more as a bench bat/fourth outfielder.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Gardner takes strike one. Finish your drink if he sees 10 pitches in an at bat.

Giancarlo Stanton - DH/LF (R)


126 OPS+, 4 WAR

Also known as the reason the Yanks didn't go after Bryce Harper this year. (Just kidding, it's collusion.) Stanton came over from the Marlins last year because Jeter owed Hal a favor. He started the year off with two bangs: Two home runs in the first game of the season. After that, he led a stunning campaign to strike out as much as humanly possible.

It's pretty clear that the New York pressure cooker got to him a bit in his first year. But his year was still good, just not Giancarlo Stanton good.

As the year progressed, Stanton started getting hot streaks going and mashed 38 homers, not to mention putting the team on his back when Judge spent time on the IL. He also hits grounders so loving hard that even routine plays need a plus defender to stop them.

PREDICTION: Stanton gets his New York sea legs and gets back to a 140 OPS+.
DRINKING GAME: Take a drink every time Stanton strikes out. Finish your drink if strikes out five times in a game.

Other Notables
DJ LeMahieu signed as a free agent this offseason and will likely rotate as a utility infielder/bench bat/platoon guy/I have no idea. Neither do the Yankees, really.

Sir Didi Gregorius is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is due to come back in May-ish. He's fun as gently caress to watch and seems like a genuinely nice guy. The Yanks opted not to non-tender him last off-season, which was actually pretty cool and seems to indicate they want to lock him into a longer-term contract. I hope this is the case because the guy managed to come in and replace Jeter without getting murdered by some shitheel from the Bronx.

Clint Frazier, who has been dealing with concussion issues or the past couple years, has been cleared for baseball activities and is in spring training. Expect him to compete for the fourth OF/LF job with Gardner.

Greg Bird is like Nick Johnson with less play time and a worse OBP. This poor guy has been bit by the injury bug to the point where he probably wont be able to put anything together, just due to the time lost in his development.

Jacoby Ellsbury seems like a decent dude who is made entirely of balsa wood. I don't blame him for signing a contract, I blame the Yankees for panic signing him after they let Cano walk in the same offseason.

Summary

Overall the outfield and lineup shouldn't be a problem for the Yanks. They set a record for home runs hit in a season last year, and there's no reason they shouldn't get close to that. The big question is the infield. With Andujar a big question mark and Tulowitzki their primary option at short for now, that's a lot of old and bad one side of the infield.

The weakest part of the lineup is that there are a lot of home run hitters who don't really change their approach when guys are on base. Last year they were horrible with RISP, and when the playoffs came, they really only won when they were hitting long balls. It's weird to say, but they need to start being OK with singles and doubles when they got ducks on the pond.

Final Summary

The Yanks have improved their starting pitching, kept the bullpen solid, and were already good offensively last year. The Red Sox haven't done a ton to improve, but they also won a World Series last year, so they're already good. I don't see a reason that the AL East won't be seriously competitive, and some dudes on the Sox are due for a major regression. With the AL West getting better, the top wild card slot isn't as sure a thing as it has been. Overall I think the AL East could go either way, and the 2019 Champs could easily come from the division.

So, should you root for this team? The Yanks are weirdly likeable (minus Chapman), have a talented core of young players, and most of the bandwagon assholes are wearing Red Sox hats now. That said, the fanbase has more than its fair share of morons, so be prepared to get yourself lumped in with the 27 Rings crowd.

But hey, 27 rings.

Well Played Mauer fucked around with this message at Feb 22, 2019 around 04:44

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your mother!


loving hell, when referring to the family, it's Rickettses in plural. You know, like keeping up with the Joneses.

BENGHAZI 2
Oct 12, 2007

Ain't nothin' to fuck with

I like the Phillies because Philly is a cool city, if you like cool cities for bad people, go Phillies

ZenVulgarity
Oct 9, 2012

I made the hat by transforming my zen



Well Played Mauer posted:

Yankees placeholder. God knows I watched enough games last year.

You motherfucker

Well Played Mauer
Jun 1, 2003

We'll always have Cabo

ZenVulgarity posted:

You motherfucker

I'm sorry. It's probably bad anyway. And this takes forever.

KICK BAMA KICK
Mar 2, 2009



Only covered the batters but I've typed all this up over the course of a few days and figured I'd go ahead and post post post; anyone is welcome to cover the pitchers and prospects etc. or I'll take a pass at them later if no one else wants to.
Atlanta Braves

2018: Crushed projections to a 90-win season, enough to win a surprisingly soft division; stalled out in the playoffs against an actual good team.

Staff: Manager Brian Snitker suits up for his second full season after like a million years in the bowels of the organization; players' coach well-liked in the clubhouse but frustratingly bound to some outdated ideas about lineups and such. Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer appears to be some sort of wizard when you consider the dramatic improvements randos often make upon arriving in Atlanta, and never seems to take the blame for any underperformers. A change at pitching coach comes as journeyman Chuck Hernandez was fired in favor of Philadelphia discard Rick Kranitz; story goes Kranitz is fine but was let go so the Phillies could promote his in-demand younger protege to retain for the long haul. Kranitz says some agreeable things about walk rates and first-pitch strikes but it's a pitching coach, who knows?

Catchers: Tyler Flowers returns for another season of extremely adequate hitting, excellent framing, and being studied by theoretical physicists seeking to understand the fundamental forces that cause baseballs to be irresistibly attracted to the worst parts of his body. Brian McCann reunites with his home club for peanuts, hoping to prove his recent injury-limited seasons were the result of damaged knee cartilage now surgically repaired and not being hella old. They'll likely split time based on whoever is not being fitted for a coffin on any given day.

1B: Freddie Freeman, one of the best in the league and a perennial MVP also-ran. If motherfuckers would stop throwing at his goddamn wrist and he would occasionally take a day off, as management has signalled they intend to do this year, he might grab some hardware one of these days.

2B: Ozzie Albies, debuting as an Opening Day starter at 20, looked like an MVP candidate himself approaching the All-Star break, socking 20 dingers in the first half without being known as a power prospect and flashing mad glove skills in the process. Late summer and fall, the switch-hitter's dramatic splits caught up to him, but he reportedly remained a coveted trade target in the Realmuto talks and should have plenty of time before anyone seriously reassesses his future from both sides of the plate.

SS: Dansby Swanson... he's local, he's very pretty, he's got an awesome name. Extensive work with Ron Washington and the club's improved use of analytics for defensive positioning turned him into a plus fielder at a premium position, which kept him above water as a ~2 win player despite being more or less godawful at the plate after the first month. After experiencing wrist pain in a memorable early-season snow disaster at Wrigley, early offensive success reminiscent of his September 2016 .300 callup reverted to the unwatchable form he displayed in his first full season. The lack of power and consistency, you can maybe chalk up the the injury that eventually sidelined him for the last week of the season and playoffs; the inability to hit any breaking pitch aimed low and outside seems less likely to be corrected by the surgery that removed a loose body from his wrist. He'll miss at least part of Grapefruit League recovering from that, but is expected to open 2019 as the starter at SS. Beyond that is anybody's guess.

3B: Josh Donaldson, signed to the largest one-year free agent deal in MLB history, is also looking to prove himself again after a few injury-riddled seasons. The optimist points out that his troubles were a series of more or less unrelated fluke injuries, and he's still at an age where a return to MVPish form seems plausible as long as his calves or whatever remain intact. If they don't, there's options behind him, which we will address shortly.

LF: Ronald Acuña Jr. (aka Alt-164)*, ROTY, future GOAT. Not sure what anyone needs to be told so I'll just mention his first month he flashed that godly power but had some flawed mechanics that eventually led Snitker to say something like "I can't watch this anymore", prompting Seitzer to modify his pre-swing hand position, turning him into basically the second half's second-best hitter behind MVP Christian Yelich. Spent a month recovering from a horrifying knee injury on a Boston Sunday that left Braves fans praying while vomiting; came back good as new. Missed another day or two when -- Christ I don't even want to get into that Miami bullshit again. Has an awesome front-office guy serving as his translator for postgame interviews who became a minor celebrity among Braves fans. Looked a little awkward on occasion in the field but can chalk that up to learning parks for the first time and obviously has the tools to move to CF. Speaking of,
* kinda had a nickname in Venezuela, "El Abusador", intended to refer to what he does to baseballs, but thankfully that has not caught on among Anglophones for obvious reasons

CF: Ender Inciarte earns his third consecutive Gold Glove and, like many of these guys, was a tale of two halves at the plate. Hit poorly enough before the break to actually lose the leadoff spot an old-school manager like Snitker is all but legally obligated to give him as a quick Latino outfielder. Hit well enough in the second half that he might move back to the top of the order, pushing Acuña to cleanup. Base kleptomaniac -- it doesn't work out often enough to justify his confidence, but I swear to god he was safe on that steal of home in the 11th of an early game in Washington and replay hosed him.

RF: Nick Markakis comes back on a cheap one-year deal after his best overall season since I don't know, a long time ago, setting a record of some sort for the oldest player to make an All-Star team for the first time, or something like that. Unfortunately, things kinda went to poo poo for him after celebrating that summer break. Management believes (at least in public), that this was the result of overwork -- like Freeman, Markakis insists on playing 162 if he's not hospitalized -- and says the 35-year-old will be regularly taking some days off whether he likes it or not. Reportedly took a pay cut to stay in Atlanta on the advice of his kids; hope this works out for everyone involved.

Bench:
Johan Camargo, blossomed last year as the full-time third baseman once the Jose Bautista experiment was concluded, to the extent that many fans wondered why the Braves were even in on deadline talks about Donaldson or Mike Moustakas (cough cough Swanson would have been losing his job, not Camargo); expected to serve in a super-utility role seeing time all over the infield and possibly at the corner outfield spots as needed, ready to step in as a perfectly adequate starter should Donaldson or Markakis fall to age or Swanson to mediocrity. Bat has some pop and a rocket arm made highlights at the hot corner. Charlie "Clutch" Culberson acquired in a spreadsheet swap from LA, was a pleasant surprise in an ad hoc role that saw him everywhere on the diamond except CF and C (though he was supposedly the emergency option there as well.) Hit half his career homers that season, with multiple walkoffs. Tossed a respectable inning mopping up the wrong end of a blowout. Tagged with nicknames along the lines of "Discount Dansby" for the resemblance but honestly proved himself as good or better than his young doppelgänger. Deadline addition Adam Duvall sucked complete rear end, no other way to put it, to the point where weeks later Atlanta straight up paid cash to regain the very marginal and postseason-ineligible Preston Tucker, sent to Cincinnati in the Duvall trade, to replace the guy he replaced. On paper, Duvall is a respectable power hitter who happened to play the worst six weeks of his career after moving to Atlanta, but he's getting zero benefit of the doubt from anyone who watched him flail at the plate and on the field. Inexplicably tendered a $3m deal for 2019, but that's non-guaranteed and if he looks like the same guy in spring training he'll likely be cut in favor of Random Prospect #644.

the popes toes
Oct 10, 2004

10 bucks says I'm safe


Meet The Astros

Texas has more gun dealers — about 8,500 — than any other state, according to statistics kept by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. To this day, elementary schools teach that the only reason the Alamo fell was because brave Texans ran out of ammo. Widely seen on Texas highways is the motto “Don’t Mess With Texas,” ostensibly an anti-littering campaign but in reality a thinly veiled reference to Texan’s enjoyment and predilection for gun-fighting.

Seemingly compelled by history as well as the results of a state-wide contest in which local schools participated to name the team, the owners of the newest National League team in baseball christened the team “Houston Colt 45’s”.



Construction on the stadium began in 1962.



However, due to conflicts with the Colt Firearms Company regarding royalties of merchandising novelties, principal owner Ray Hofheinz, re-named the team two years later to “The Houston Astros,” because “space is the place”.

Your Current Astros

1B Yuli Gurriel



Yuli defected from Cuba in 2016 seeking hair-style protections afforded by the US Constitution and enjoys wide Asian fan support.

2B Jose Altuve



At age 16, Altuve was rejected by scouts at a Houston Astros' tryout camp in Venezuela due to his small stature but shortly afterward added a few inches to his bio and was signed as undrafted free agent. Relatedly, an “Altuves” is a unit of measure to determine the distance of a home run, referred to as “Official Standard Listed Altuves”. One OSLA = 5.417 feet (5 feet 5 inches).

SS Carlos Correa



1st round (1st) draft pick of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Puerto Rico, Carlos Javier Correa Oppenheimer’s 2018 season was plagued by injury. Now healed, he is considered a rough beast slouching toward October. I mean, look at that photo.

3B Alex Bregman



16-year-old Bregman became the first high school player to win the USA Baseball Player of the Year Award and peppers all conversations, regardless of topic, with references to LSU, a minor US college somewhere in a swamp. In addition to a strong arm, excellent strike zone awareness and a relentlessly cocky disposition, Bregman owns on Twitter.

OF George Springer



George Chelston Springer III, the dreamiest Astro, was named the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP), hitting a record-tying five home runs as the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. He is roundly abused by his teammates for his execrable Spanish and looking really good, I mean really, really good, in a t-shirt.

P (RH) Justin Verlander



Justin Brooks Verlander, an athlete, is married to Katherine Elizabeth Upton, a model and actress who in 2011 was named the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the year and continued to be the cover model for numerous SI Swimsuit issues. As a young equestrian, she showed at the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) and competed at a national level. With her horse Roanie, she won three APHA Reserve World Championships – 13 and Under Western Riding, 13 and Under Horsemanship, and 14 –18 Western Riding. She was named the 13 and Under Reserve All-Around Champion, giving her a total of four reserve championships (2nd place). In addition, Ms. Upton ended up third overall on the APHA youth Top Twenty. With a second horse, Colby, she won 14–18 Western Riding and was included in the top 5 in 14–18 Horsemanship and 14–18 Western Pleasure in 2009.

The photo above is Walmart’s official generic picture frame insert for which the athlete and Ms. Upton still receive royalties. Mr. Verlander’s coat is by Dior.

There are more Astros but the damned cat is howling about something...

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



the popes toes posted:


P (RH) Justin Verlander



Justin Brooks Verlander, an athlete, is married to Katherine Elizabeth Upton, a model and actress who in 2011 was named the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the year and continued to be the cover model for numerous SI Swimsuit issues. As a young equestrian, she showed at the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) and competed at a national level. With her horse Roanie, she won three APHA Reserve World Championships – 13 and Under Western Riding, 13 and Under Horsemanship, and 14 –18 Western Riding. She was named the 13 and Under Reserve All-Around Champion, giving her a total of four reserve championships (2nd place). In addition, Ms. Upton ended up third overall on the APHA youth Top Twenty. With a second horse, Colby, she won 14–18 Western Riding and was included in the top 5 in 14–18 Horsemanship and 14–18 Western Pleasure in 2009.

The photo above is Walmart’s official generic picture frame insert for which the athlete and Ms. Upton still receive royalties. Mr. Verlander’s coat is by Dior.

There are more Astros but the damned cat is howling about something...

Also, I'm pretty sure we've all seen his penis. Don't forget to mention that part.

Carillon
May 9, 2014



tadashi posted:

Also, I'm pretty sure we've all seen his penis. Don't forget to mention that part.

Kate is that you?

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





MEET YOUR 2019 MINNESOTA TWINS!


2018 Recap: 78-84, 2nd Place in the loving clownball division, a.k.a. the AL Central

The Twins surprised basically everyone in 2017 by making a late season surge and earning the final WC spot. The the universe reminded everyone in Twins Territory that the universe is a cold, uncaring place and that the concept of a kind and benevolent god is a delusion of the masses by making them play the New York goddamn motherfucking scourge upon modern society Yankees. We all know how that ended.

2018 saw a regression to the mean, as well knew even in 2017 the Twins were an average team. The biggest issue facing the team was the team's two most promising young players being sent down to the minors after apparently forgetting how to hit a baseball. This was only compounded by the fact that basically every free agent signing in the 2017-18 offseason flopped. Lance Lynn was shipped off for a bucket of Dubble Bubble and a signed photo of Rob Manfred. Logan Morrison was signed as a power threat and wound up with an OPS under .700 (though a lot of it was a terribly unlucky sub-.200 BABIP). Jake Odorizzi, while technically acquired via trade, was about the best move the Twins made, and he was average at best.

But let's not dwell on the past. Onto the future!

C - Jason Castro
.143/.257/.238, 1 HR, 3 RBI(19GP)

Injured for pretty much the entire 2018 season, causing the Twins to rely on Mitch Garver and Bobby Wilson most of the year. Castro isn't all that great, but he should provide excellent framing metrics while being average at everything else.

1B - C.J. Cron
.253/.323/.493, 30 HR, 74 RBI (140 GP w/TB)

After a pretty drat good season with Tampa Bay, the Rays rewarded Cron by...putting him on waivers. In desperate need of a 1B after Joe Mauer's retirement, they claimed Cron. Minnesota may have something of value from their latest dumpster diving excursion.

2B - Jonathan Schoop
.233/.266/.416, 21 HR, 61 RBI (131 GP w/BAL & MIL)

Schoop had an unbelievable year in 2017, earning himself an All-Star nod and even some AL MVP vote shares. 2018 saw him fall back down to earth with Baltimore. Milwaukee then traded for him at the deadline, where he immediately turned into liquid poo poo. Still, he's a good defender, only 26, and the Twins bought low on a 1-year deal hoping he can recapture some of that 2017 magic.

SS - Jorge Polanco
.288/.345/.427, 6 HR, 42 RBI (77GP)

Nailed for PEDs last offeason, Polanco sat for the first half of the 2018. Offensively he's quite good, though ideally he'd be playing 2B instead as his defense really isn't SS calibur. Recently signed a 5 year/$25.75m extension, so he's clearly in the team's long term plans.

3B - Miguel Sanó
.199/.281/.398, 13 HR, 41 RBI (71 GP)

Look, everyone know he's gonna strike out a lot. That's 21st century baseball for ya. But holy hell Miguel was horrid in 2018. Posting the 5th worst K% among players with 100 PAs or more at 38.5% (worse than even Joey Gallo), he eventually got sent down to the minors to fix his poo poo. Upon recall, he pretty much immediately got hurt. He's still got time to turn things around, but doubt is starting to creep in to the minds of Twins fans.
Note: Sano is going to miss the beginning of the season due to surgery thanks to a cut he suffered celebrating his Dominican League team's championship. He will likely be replaced to start the season by:

IF/OF - Marwin Gonzalez
.247/.324/.409, 16 HR, 68 RBI (145 GP w/HOU)

Positional flexibility is certainly an asset in high demand in modern MLB, and few players have more than Marwin Gonzalez. The only positions Gonzalez didn't appear at last year are pitcher and catcher. Given this flexibility and his decent power offensively, it's safe to say you'll see a lot of him even though he isn't pegged as a starter at a given position.

LF - Eddie Rosario
.288/.323/.479, 24 HR, 77 RBI (138 GP)

Without a doubt, Rosario was the Twins best offensive player last year. Once known to swing at anything within visual distance of the Hubble Space Telescope, Rosario finally learned a bit of patience back in 2017. A legit 30 HR threat, he also provides very good defence in the OF. Also it's a loving joke he didn't make the All-Star roster last year.

CF - Byron Buxton
.156/.183/.200, 0 HR, 4 RBI (28 GP)

Once a can't miss prospect, people are starting to worry if he might actually be a miss. Yes, he's probably the best defensive player in MLB. He's also the fastest baserunner in the league. His problem is he hasn't been able to stick in MLB due to his atrocious hitting so far. He shows flashes of greatness once in a while, but has never been able to sustain any offensive success. He's still only 25-years-old this season though, so panic really isn't warranted quite yet.

RF - Max Kepler
.224/.319/.408, 20 HR, 58 RBI (156 GP)

A defensively sound corner OF that can man CF in a jam, Kepler has been okay so far, I guess? He's still on the cusp of breaking 100 OPS+ and last year showed signs of finally figuring out how to not be a total liability vs LHP. The Twins think he's part of the long term solution though, as they just signed Max to a 5-year extension at a very reasonable price.

DH - Nelson Cruz
.256/.342/.509 (144 GP w/SEA)

The big offseason FA signing for Minnesota saw some desperately needed right handed power added to the starting lineup*. Despite being in his late 30's, Cruz hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. Maybe for once a Twins FA signing won't end in catastrophic disaster!
* Yes I am aware Sano is a right-handed power hitter, but hitting HRs requires actually making contact with the loving ball.

LA TORTUGA
C/IF Willians Astudillo - If he isn't your favourite baseball player on earth, there's something seriously loving wrong with you. He a short fat guy who never strikes out and well...
https://twitter.com/espn/status/1082870635125182464

https://twitter.com/WillRagatz/stat...064216009531392


STARTING ROTATION

RHP Jose Berríos
12-11, 192.1 IP, 3.84 ERA, 1.144 WHIP

Berríos is tabbed as this year's opening day starter. He's also the best pitcher on the team. Those two things tend to go together. Yes, the rest of the staff isn't all that special talent-wise. Don't let that lead you to think he got the distinction of being the staff ace by default though. I mean, look at this poo poo and how much late break it gets:

gently caress.

RHP Kyle Gibson
10-13, 196.2IP, 3.62 ERA, 1.302 WHIP

While Gibson is by no means anyone's idea of a #1 or #2 starter, he basically pitched like on least year. Normally know for his Jekyll and Hyde level inconsistency, he seemed to be on his game more often than not last year. That said, if anyone on the staff last year illustrated that pitcher wins are a bullshit stat, it's Gibson. How he made it through the season without murdering the entire bullpen is beyond me. Case in point: Gibby took a no-hitter against the Yankees of all teams on April 26th. Even though he lost it in the 6th, he left the team in prime position to salvage at least one win from a four game series. Instead, the Bullpen blows a rare chance to overcome this team's kryptonite, eventaully giving up a walk-off 2-run HR for a Yankees sweep.

He'll probably regress a bit this year, but he's still a solid midde of the rotation type guy.

RHP Michael Pineda
Did not play in 2018 due to Tommy John Surgery

Look, all I know about him is he got paid to sit at home last year in hopes he'll be a decent pitcher this year and that he got caught using pine tar with New York and got a 10-game ban. Decent strikeout stuff despite rather pedestrian numbers with New York. Maybe the more pitcher-friendly Target Field will help.

RHP Jake Odorizzi
7-10, 164.1 IP, 4.49 ERA, 1.345 WHIP

Odorizzi was the only major acquisition the Twins made in the 2017-18 offseason that didn't completely blow up in their face. Even then, he wasn't all that spectacular. His career stats indicate he 's a better pitcher than last season leads on though, so a return to his old self would be a nice boon to a rather average pitching staff.
Also to note: He also almost no-hit the Yankees last year too (taking it into the 8th!), but at least the Twins won that game.

5th Starter: TBD
It's not uncommon for teams to figure out their final starter just before the season. In the Twins case, the top two candidates are LHP Adelberto Mejia, who pitched really well to begin the season before a season-ending nerve injury. He would also give the Twins a lefty starter option. The other top candidate is RHP Fernando Romero, though recent news indicates the team would prefer to use him out of the bullpen to maximize his velocity. Free agent signing LHP Martin Perez has starting experience, though his recent track record isn't all that encouraging and was essentially acquired as a buy-low lottery ticket. The last option with a realistic chance is top pitching prospect RHP Stephen Gonsalves, who struggled in his cup of coffee with Minnesota last year and is more likely to start the season in Rochester.

The other option is to utilize the opener strategy that seems to be all the rage these days, so who the gently caress knows?



Coming: Bullpen and Bench.

Infidel Castro fucked around with this message at Mar 9, 2019 around 18:45

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

got any sevens
Feb 9, 2013

Only the smallest QB can ascend.


What did the m's get for trading cano?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«2 »