Monday, June 30, 2008

Brett Gardner Called-Up

Now out the the DH-less NL, the Yanks made the move expected when Matsui was DL-ed on Friday. Grab Gardner as a flyer on SBs. If he gets on-base and Matsui has surgery, then gardner will be a valuable asset in AL-Only leagues this year. | Holly Hill's Brett Gardner called up to New York Yankees:
"Gardner is scheduled to drive from Scranton to New York Monday and be in uniform for the Yankees 7:05 p.m. series opener against the Texas Rangers. The former Holly Hill Academy, St. George Post 105 and College of Charleston standout has been on the radar for a promotion to the big leagues for some time. In 80 games with Triple-A Scranton this season, Gardner was batting .287 with three home runs, 29 RBIs, 34 stolen bases and had a .412 on-base percentage. His play and injuries to New York outfielders Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui opened a door in the Bronx Bombers’ outfield."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chris Davis Recalled

Anyone in an AL-Only keeper league has to grab this guy. Now.

Former Lobo Davis called up by Rangers:

"Former Longview Lobo baseball standout Chris Davis was called up from the Texas Rangers' Triple A affiliate in Oklahoma City Wednesday and will be in uniform tonight when the Rangers take on the Houston Astros at Houston's Minute Maid Park."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who Is The Back-up Closer in Colorado

According to John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus, it is Taylor Buchholz.

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | On the Beat:

"The Rockies would go with set-up man Taylor Buchholz as their closer if they trade Fuentes rather than Manny Corpas, who finished last season in the role."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alcides Escobar

On yesterday's Baseball Prospectus Radio, Will Carroll interviewed Gord Ash of the Milwaukee Brewers. In the course of a discussion about the Bre Crew's AA bomb squad, Ash said the team wouldn't hesitate to call-up SS Alcides Escobar if J.J. Hardy were lost for an extended period of time.

The 21-year-old has 20 SB in 25 attempts. He has also improved his slash stats over last season, 327/360/436 in AA versus 306/331/366 in High A/AA in 2007. He has always been toolsy with a great glove. To see the SLG increase is encouraging.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Brett Gardner

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack:

"Brett Gardner, OF, Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre (Yankees)
Gardner just keeps on plugging along. He had two hits on Friday and three more on Saturday, and while he went without a safety on Sunday, he made up for it with four walks, a pair of stolen bases, and three runs scored. Now batting .292/.408/.436 in 73 games for the SWB Yanks, Garner is an 80 runner with outstanding defense and on-base skills. While Melky Cabrera is a popular player and all, doesn’t it seem like Gardner could provide more production both offensively and defensively at this point? It might not be the most popular decision, but if the Yankees are going to make a run at the postseason, it might take some risky maneuvers."

Appearing in Baseball Prospectus will get the drum beating for Gardner.

Cheap Steals - Manny Burris

If Omar Vizquel really loses his job, then grab Manny Burris. he could steal 15+ over the rest of the season.

Zito trying to refine his altered delivery - San Jose Mercury News:

"Shortstop Omar Vizquel is batting .171 and on the verge of losing the starting job to Emmanuel Burriss, but Manager Bruce Bochy said Vizquel would start Tuesday when the Giants begin a three-game series in Cleveland"

Of course, Vizquel could say his job under the basbeall's Veterans Protection Act. He need only go 3-10 or something like that to get his manager to back-off.

Friday, June 20, 2008

C'mon already! Promote Matt Wieters!

Matt Wieters, the Baltimore Orioles top pick in 2007 and the team's overall best prospect has tore up High-A in June. The question is why hasn't he been promoted to Double-A yet.

A look at his monthly splits makes the case strongly that High-A is no longer a challenge. In April, his slash stat line was 338/419/606. The power was excellent, but I can see an arguement that his OBP was hgih enough given his AVG and maybe he should stay a little while longer and work on his eye.

In May, he improved on that count as his slash stat line went to 337/442/579. A 105 point spread etween AVG and OBP passes the eye test.

So far in June, he has continued to improve with a 373/507/510. Any player with a 500+ OPP has concquered the level. The fact his SLG has continued to go down is a sign the league just won't throw him much to hit. The fact his is taking pitches demonstrates, Wieters is mature enough not to press.

Move him to Double-A and start the hype maching heading into the 2009 fantasy baseball drafts!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Next Great Yankees Hitting Prospect

Don't let his 285/361/448 season slash stat discourage you. Look at his monthly splits.

268/359/348 zero HRs in April
280/371/490 three HRs in May
323/348/554 with four HRs so far in June.

ESPN: Chat with Scout's Inc.'s Keith Law - SportsNation:

"Brendon (Guilderland NY): You aren't a melky fan, you aren't a gardner fan...are you an Austin Jackson fan?

Keith Law: (1:14 PM ET ) Yes. Ultimately, these guys are all keeping the spot warm for him."

The Next Great Yankees Hitting Prospect

Don't let his 285/361/448 season slash stat discourage you. Look at his monthly splits. 268/359/348 zero HRs in April. 280/371/490 three HRs in May, and 323/348/554 with four HRs so far in June.

ESPN: Chat with Scout's Inc.'s Keith Law - SportsNation:

"Brendon (Guilderland NY): You aren't a melky fan, you aren't a gardner fan...are you an Austin Jackson fan?

Keith Law: (1:14 PM ET ) Yes. Ultimately, these guys are all keeping the spot warm for him."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

David Ortiz

Baseball Prospectus | Events | Chat with Will Carroll:

"Cal (Cambellsville, OH): Will, Red Sox nation patiently awaits Big Papi's return. He's now wearing the splint and beginning range of motion exercises. Are we looking at a couple more weeks, or longer? Ideally, we'd like to see him ready for the Yankees that first long weekend in July.

Will Carroll: I think a bit longer. All Star break? A bit before? Really too early to tell just yet, but I dont think it goes much beyond that."

Begin trying to buy low now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

2009 Top Five Prospects?

I am surprised to see Andrew McCutcheon on the list and a litle more surprised to see Jason Heyward make the list with just low A experience. Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet Chat With Ben Badler:

"Q: john from denver asks:
If you had to predict the Top 5 prospects on next years preseason list,who would you pick?

A: Ben Badler: Maybin, Rasmus, Heyward, Price, McCutchen and Wieters are all in that discussion."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BABIP Bullpen Leaders

Here are the top relievers by BABIP for those who have appeared in 10 or more games along with their k?9 and BB/9. Regression to the .300 BABIp should be expected espeically for those allowing more walks and striking out fewer batters.

Troy PercivalTBA8.91.70.137
Mariano RiveraNYA90.60.171
Billy SadlerSFN7.25.90.176
Dan WheelerTBA6.43.80.179
Carlos MarmolCHN13.43.10.197
George SherrillBAL8.84.70.203
Bryan CoreySDN4.71.80.205
James JohnsonBAL53.90.206
Doug SlatenARI4.830.206
Scott SchoeneweisNYN3.43.40.211
Matt ThorntonCHA10.63.30.211
Francisco CorderoCIN105.60.212
Brian ShouseMIL5.82.70.212
Jose ArredondoANA6.200.212
Taylor BuchholzCOL72.20.216

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Will Erik Bedard Be Traded?

Buster Olney says it as well as anyone else could. Mariners' GM Bill Bavasi would be fired before he could deal Bedard. Why allow him to make the decision to deal for him and then let him try to erase the mistake? What makes anyone think he wouldn't compound that mistake with another?

"Seattle fired its hitting coach. The Mariners got some temporary relief, in extra innings, as Ryan Divish writes. John McGrath thinks that the Mariners should consider swapping Erik Bedard. Interesting thought, but in order to make this happen, Bill Bavasi would have to effectively wave the white flag and acknowledge that giving up the package for Bedard was a mistake -- and that would be a very difficult thing to do less than four months into the season."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Buying Low: Nick Swisher And The Chicago White Sox Hitters

From Steve Gardner's chat at USA Today:

Sparks,Nevada: Greetings Steve. From this point forward who is more productive. Konerko, Swisher, or C.Pena? Thanks

Steve Gardner: I drafted Konerko and Pena on my AL LABR team and I've since traded both of them, so that shows you where I stand to some degree. Of course, I they still have some value since another owner was willing to trade for them, but I don't see how it can go much lower. Konerko seems to be heating up a little (two hits in each of last three games), but his wrist has been bothering him for a while now. With Pena, we just might have to chalk up last season as a fluke since he's back to his old ways, striking out and hitting a handful of homers. I'd be the most confident in Swisher putting up the best numbers from here on out. He's healthy and young enough that he's not set in his ways. Plus, he gets on base. He's also had at least one run scored in each of the past 7 games.

I happen to agree on Swisher. As a matter of fact, I am very bullish on all the White Sox hitters and would recommned buying them low. As the temperature rises, U.S. Cellular will start turining flyballs to HRs. Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Orlando Carbera, Juna Uribe. You name the White Sox hitter, and I like him.

Conversely, the South Siders' pitchers scare me. What works for their hitters will also work for the opposing team's hitters. I'd sell high on Gavin Floyd, Jose Contreras and John Danks. Of the three, I like Danks the most, but, if you can get Nick Swisher for any of them, I'd do it.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Jordan Schafer

Jordan Schafer continues to make-up for time lost to his 50-game HGH suspension. Last night, he hit two HRs. Since returning, he has hit three HRs and stolen three bases to go along with six walks.

With the Braves struggling in the OF, and a pitching staff coming apart at the seams that coudl lead to a rebuilding focus, I wouldn't be surprised to see Schafer playing full-time a lot sooner than the lost fifty games would make you think.

Does this excellent production post-suspension dispel the belief that Schafer's 2007 breakout was PED-fueled?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

2008 Major League Draft

Major League Report will be covering today's 2008 First Year Player's Draft in real-time. This is a new site set-up by MLB Front Office founder Brad Stewart. It focuses more on real-life baseball than MLBFO did. Check it out as its draft coverage should be excellent if it follows that standards set at MLBFO.

For a dump of draft-related links, head over to Fake Teams. At 11;30, there will be links to all the major coverage of minor league prospect sites.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Gaby Sanchez Prospects: Prospect Hot Sheet: Prospect Hot Sheet Chat: June 3: "Q: Max from Florida asks:
When do you see Gaby Sanchez being called up and what will his major league impact be? Same question for Chris Volstad?

A: Ben Badler: Scouts I talk to like the bat but question the glove. He's not a third baseman in the big leagues, so he's going to have to play first base. The guy can crush a fastball, but he really, really struggles with offspeed pitches, and I think that big league pitchers will be able to exploit that weakness with more regularity than Double-A pitchers."

Gaby Sanchez was a sleeper pick of mine before the 2007 season. He was an older draftee out of U. of Miami and had crushed Low A. With Mike Jacobs blocking him at 1B, I thought he'd move quickly. He did not as High A proved more challenging than I had projected.

He has been good in Double-A, but the power isn't there despite the presence of OBP. A .410 OBP with a .313 AVG is impressive, but a .453 SLG is not for a prospect who will be 25 in September. He does have 9 SB and a good batting eye with 32 walks and just 33 strikeouts.

Current Marlins 1B Mike Jacobs will be arbitration eligible after the season. I doubt Sanchez gets the chance this season, but there is no reason for Jacobs to block Sanchez next year. As long as Gaby remains in the Marlins organization, he will have some fantasy value in NL-Only formats.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Jordan Schafer Is Back

After serving a 50-game suspension for HGH possession, Atlanta Braves CFer Jordan Schafer returned to action last night and went 2-4 with a triple and a walk. While the lost 50 games hurts his chances to become the regular in CF for the Braves, do not be surprised to see him in Atlanta is he tears-up AA. The Braves currently have Gregor Blanco and Josh Anderson getting regular ABs in the OF.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Brandon Inge

The Detroit Tigers are putting Brandon Inge back at 3B full-time because the $150MM man the team traded for was as much a butcher at 3B as his former team thought he was, and Carlos Guillen wasn't good enough there either. Guillen moves to LF now.

Inge's greatest value is at catcher especially in AL-Only leagues where there is a distinct lack of power from the position. His AVg will not be great, but he should hit enough HRs to make him a fantasy asset.

Off the fantasy field, eventually heads are going to roll for the personnel blunders made by the Tigers this past off-season. Cabrera inability to play defense plus the HUGE financial committment along with the mis-reading of Carlos Guillen's ability to play in the field will hamstring the organization for years.