This makes you wonder how many takes it took Derek Jeter to nail his scene(s?) in "The Other Guys." Sadly, I still haven't seen that movie yet.Not sure if Ford will be too happy about him saying, ?Wanna see why the Ford Edge is the hottest? whatever to[...]
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Usually, the trade deadline is one of my favorite days of the year. Of course, in this particular year I didn't pay as much attention to it because I've got that Olympic fever. Still though, it remained on my radar throughout because it reveals some great psychological insight into how MLB teams feel about both their present and their future.
It's always interesting to see which teams are waving the white flag and which are really going for it. With the 2nd wild card in place, the former teams are slightly less prevalent than they used to be. Sellers have a bunch more leverage than ever, allowing them to get (in some cases) a heftier price than if they had traded the player in the off-season. As a clear seller by virtue of their terrible record, the Rockies were in a good place to take advantage of this fact. And yet, they basically did nothing at this year's deadline.
The only Rockies that changed teams were expensive veterans in the last years of their contracts, Jeremy Guthrie and Marco Scutaro. Those trades absolutely needed to be made if only for cost savings in a lost year, but there were plenty of missed opportunities for Colorado to actually get better (and younger) in 2013 and beyond by taking advantage of clubs that wanted to win now.
Look, I understand that Dan O'Dowd and the Rockies didn't exactly have a ton of valuable chips to work with. However, their inaction basically trumpeted the fact that, absent a couple of prospect promotions or minor league deals this off-season, this group of veterans was going to be intact next year. The group of veterans that has "led" Colorado to a 37-64 record. It's these little things that make me doubt the potential for success in the next couple years. The bridge to 2013 was made of faulty materials, but Colorado didn't take the chance to re-build a little bit.
If there really was interest in Ramon Hernandez, he should have been gone. He's an aging, somewhat expensive catcher who is having a bad year. This is exacerbated by the fact that his role next year will probably be catching about 50-60 games. If Colorado really needed a mentor for Wilin Rosario, it would have been simple to pick up a defense-first catcher (Hernandez has historically leaned the other way) on the cheap.
I also understand that the bullpen has been one of the bright spots for Colorado this year, and that the Rockies need a good bullpen more than other teams because the starting pitching has been atrocious and because of the 4 man rotation. However, the fact is that replacing bullpen arms is one of the easiest tasks a MLB GM has.
Just look at Colorado's bullpen right now. Only Rafael Betancourt (deadline trade) was a known MLB commodity when Colorado acquired him. Two pitchers were drafted, though only Rex Brothers was a blue chip prospect, while the remaining five pitchers were essentially picked straight off of the scrap heap.
Getting some value for a good but aging MLB reliever in Betancourt under contract at a decent rate through at least next year should have been a priority for Colorado. Good relief arms are still over-rated by most teams -- especially "proven closers" like Betancourt. That's a big missed opportunity -- and so was the chance to trade Matt Reynolds, who has been okay this year, but ultimately not that much better than replacement level.
Like I wrote before, relievers like Reynolds can be acquired very cheap by the Rockies -- and if they could have gotten something decent for him, they should have pulled the trigger. Then again, I should step back for a second. It's entirely possible that no team was willing to pay a good price for Hernandez, Betancourt, or Reynolds. The best thing I can say about this trade deadline is that Colorado didn't make any overtly bad moves. But Colorado had other trade chips that they were reluctant to cash in.
Foremost among these was Michael Cuddyer, a player who most people said was overpaid when he got here. So far, he's been a league average bat playing two positions where a league average bat is below average. That isn't worth $10.5 million per year over the next two for a team like the Rockies. Sure, Cuddyer could be a decent full-time replacement for Todd Helton in 2014, but that's the last year in his deal and Cuddyer will be 35. Next year he'll probably play as the de facto starter at 1st, but the point is that he's been about a league average hitter at Coors Field and he's in his decline phase.
Cuddyer is exactly the type of player (declining, limited defensive value, expensive) that O'Dowd should have been looking to trade, especially since the Rockies have a surplus of decent outfielders in the high minors. With or without Cuddyer, Colorado's offense would have been relatively fine over the next two years (great at home, poor on the road). Basically, in my opinion O'Dowd was unwilling to admit that he made a mistake in pursuing Cuddyer so hard in free agency. Colorado isn't going to improve their dreadful starting pitching through free agency, so they have to trade players like Cuddyer when they can.
Ultimately, it's hard to see this situation ending well. By this situation, I mean that Colorado was a 37-64 team at the trade deadline and nobody was willing to give up value for anybody on the roster. That's on the GM for either holding on too tightly to his trade chips or for assembling a terrible roster. It's a little bit of both for Mr. O'Dowd, and despite the wave of young players coming to the big leagues in the next two years, it's hard to have confidence in his ability to field contending teams within the near future.
Looks like Betancourt is happy to still be with Colorado. Well, what did you expect him to say -- I really wish that I had gotten out of here? Okay, so that's a little cynical. Colorado by all accounts has done a good job of convincing the players who play for them that this is a good environment. You know, despite all the losing.
In the good news department, Troy Tulowitzki took batting practice yesterday. Of course, the notes of the article also state that Christian Friedrich will be pushed back from his Thursday start to Sunday, possibly creating an opening for Alex White to return to the big club.
There was a lot of trade deadline activity -- let MLB SB Nation sort it out for you.
Nick Schmidt took over for Rob Scahill as play resumed on Monday's suspended game, and demonstrated atrocious control, walking seven batters over three innings. Despite the control problems and three hits, Schmidt only allowed three runs to cross. Will Harris and Edgmer Escalona finished the final four innings, with only one unearned run crossing for Fresno in that time frame.
Chad Tracy and Wil Nieves each had three singles, but their only scoring production was one run scored each. Brendan Harris replaced Jonathan Herrera in the lineup (he had been activated from the disabled list and recalled to the Rockies before play resumed), and got two hits in that time. Matt McBride continued his monster season with another two hits. Charlie Blackmon walked three times. Despite all of these deep offensive performances, the big moment came from Brandon Wood, who used his only productive plate appearance to hit a grand slam, his eighth home run of the year for the Sky Sox.
Several of the best players from Game #1 were also the best in game two. Charlie Blackmon walked two more times and also hit his fourth home run for the Sky Sox. Brendan Harris got another three hits and scored a run., while Chad Tracy got a pinch hit single. Only Matt McBride fell off, going 0-5 in the second affair. Tim Wheeler got two hits in the game, including a triple. Chris Nelson was hitless with a run batted in his first three at bats on the rehab assignment, while Charlie Culberson was 1-4 in his Rockies organization debut against his former team.
Cory Riordan lasted four innings in the spot start, allowing five hits, two of which were home runs. In total, he allowed four runs to Fresno. Jason Bergmann, who has not fared well since joining our organization, allowed another two runs in his two innings, and despite striking out the side in the seventh, Coty Woods allowed the final opponent run on two hits and a walk. Riordan got the loss, his first decision at the AAA level this year.
The Drillers continue to struggle offensively. Mike Zuanich's two singles accounted for a third of Tulsa's total hits. Angelys Nina batted in the only Tulsa run with his single, and both Michael Mitchell and Jose Gonzalez walked in addition to their singles. The Drillers did not manage a single extra base hit. Interestingly, a Driller (Corey Dickerson) struck out just once despite the lack of offense.
Parker Frazier (4-12 on the year with the loss) turned in a poor effort,allowing 11 hits over 6 innings pitched, despite striking out seven opponents. All seven NW Arkansas runs crossed under his watch, six of which were earned. Tim Sexton, Joey Williamson and Joe Torres were all effective in relief.
Kyle Parker's 13th home run of the season, a Dallas Tarleton sacrifice fly and two singles from Timothy Smalling were the only notable performances on the Modesto offense. Parker also stole his first base of the year. Dustin Garneau doubled, while Jared Clark struck out three times.
As scary as Tyler Matzek's lines can sometimes be, there is no denying that his ability to put up more "normal" pitching lines is far better this season, even if it isn't all there yet. Matzek looked okay last night, despite allowing eight hits over six innings, he struck out seven while walking just one, a victory in any Matzek start. Two runs, one earned, crossed the plate while he was on the mound. It was Isaiah Froneberger who allowed the difference-maker to Visalia for their walk-off win, on a walk and three hits over an inning and two thirds. With the loss, he is now 5-2 on the year, all out of relief.'
Despite the Asheville offense putting up great hit numbers, they were unable to score runs with just two exceptions, a two run third and a four run seventh. Harold Riggins led the Tourists offense, with three hits, including his 17th home run. He batted in four of the six Tourists runs. Also with three hits were Samuel Mende, who knocked in another run and scored twice, and Tyler Massey, who doubled and scored twice.
With the offense unable to capitalize on more opportunities to score, there was little chance of pulling out a win with the pitching the way it was. Things got started off on a rotten note as starter Daniel Winkler allowed three home runs over his six innings pitched, which accounted for half of all hits he allowed., and six total runs crossed the plate, leading to his tenth 2012 loss. Neither Rafael Suarez nor Kenneth Roberts were able to keep their relief appearances clean. With Suarez allowing two runs over two innings and Roberts allowing one over one, all three Asheville pitchers had exactly an ERA of 9.00 in the game.
Kyle Von Tunglen had three hits, including two doubles, and scored three runs. Rosell Herrera and Tom Murphy each had two hits, and three runs batted in apiece. Despite allowing four hits and three walks over five innings, only one unearned run crossed the plate. Michael Wolford struggled in relief, allowing three runs over two thirds of the ninth inning, Chris Dennis recorded the final out for his first save.
David Dahl is good at baseball. Another multi-hit game, including a home run for the 2012 #1 draft pick, with Ryan Garvey also with two knocks, including a triple. Starter Ryan Warner allowed two hits and two walks over three innings, but wasn't helped by his defense, as only one of his three runs was earned. Alving Mejias was the best of the Grand Junction pitchers, but was saddled with the loss as his one run allowed made the difference. Jesse Meaux struggled through the final innings, allowing three more runs.
DSL Rockies.... I have no idea. They didn't post Tuesday's game line until after I went to bed. Check here in the morning to see if a box score for the 31st has been posted.
Last time around I looked at a few position players that were under the radar but who I found to be somewhat intriguing. This time around, I decided to see if there were any pitchers who piqued my interest.
I'm not including any of this year's draft picks simply because those pitchers are already under the microscope. With that said, who am I keeping an eye on these days?
All stats are through Monday's games.
LHP Luis Cruz - A ninth round pick by Houston out of Puerto Rico in 2008, the 21-year old Cruz has quietly gone about having a solid year at Lexington with a 7-5 record, a 3.79 ERA and a 1.323 WHIP in 23 appearances (19 starts). His lefty/righty splits are almost indistinguishable. Yes, this is his third season at Lexington, but he's not too old for the league. Lexington Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski attributed his improvement this season to being more aggressive, pitching inside and attacking the zone. In a short stint last season, Cruz reported to Lancaster and did not fare well. This season, however, his groundball rate is much more pronounced and he is allowing substantially fewer home runs so I think he would be a better fit at Lancaster this season should he merit a promotion.
RHP Carlos Quevedo - Quevedo originally started with the Houston organization in 2007 out of Venezuela and was recently promoted to Lancaster as he excelled in a long relief/spot start niche at Lexington for most of the season after having started for most of his career. For the season, he is 6-4 with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.010 WHIP. In six appearances with Lancaster, he is 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA, a 0.659 WHIP and three saves. He has a 9.9 SO/9 and an eye-popping 9.5 SO/BB ratio. He has allowed only eight walks all season to 76 strikeouts. That shows why Borkowski praised Quevedo's control and command as being the best on his staff when he was in Lexington.
LHP Mitch Lambson - I've been interested in Mitch, a 19th round draft pick in 2011, for a while. After four appearances at Greeneville with a 0.00 ERA and a microscopic WHIP, Lambson was quickly promoted to Lexington where he has continued to thrive. Lambson, who recently turned 22, is another pitcher with terrific strikeout to walk rates. He has a 10.7 SO/9 and a 7.20 SO/BB ratio. It is a small sample size, but he had similar rates last season. His changeup sets him apart and his command seals the deal.
RHP Michael Feliz - I know very little about the 18-year old Feliz except that he is listed as 6'4" 210# and he is in his third season with the Houston organization after getting his start with the DSL Astros in 2010. Oh, and he pretty much dominated in seven appearances (three starts) with the GCL Astros before getting promoted to Greeneville a few days ago. With the GCL, he was 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA and a 0.887 WHIP and 8.2 SO/9 and a 3.89 SO/BB ratio. He got roughed up a tad bit in his one and only appearance with Greeneville to date, but I think he'll make adjustments. His age and size alone make him worth keeping an eye on.
Most people see a Jarred Cosart or a Lance McCullers and immediately see a future star. I like to look below the surface and find the occasional hidden gem. So I'll keep watching my under the radar guys to see if one of them will eventually shine.
Hero of the Game: Donnie Murphy (.109 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Ricky Nolasco (-.294 WPA)
The Marlins have now lost the first two games on their current 11 game road trip. Tuesday night was not much different than Monday night. Very little hitting from the Fish. And Ricky Nolasco once again lost confidence in his pitches. And on a day the Marlins made two trades before the non-waiver deadline, they continued to show the main reason this season has not gone their way: they don't hit enough. Regardless of who's in the line up.
The Marlins once again started a line up that included three guys batting under .200 (Donnie Murphy, John Buck, and Bryan Petersen). In fact, Ricky Nolasco has a better batting average than these three! Nevertheless, the only offense came from Murphy when he connected on a solo blast in the first inning. The Marlins only managed five hits after the first inning. And in a game with a long rain delay, the Marlins could not capitalize off of four Braves relievers. Jose Reyes did manage to extend his hitting streak to 18 games however.
Nolasco gives up four runs in five innings. The Marlins have had to use a lot of bullpen in their first two games of this series. Ricky has now lost his last four decisions for the first time in his career (hard to believe). And even though his record is not terrible (eight up and ten down), his ERA continues to climb (up to 4.90 now). Hopefully Wade LeBlanc can pitch past the fifth inning Wednesday night when he takes on Ben Sheets.
When Chris Tillman steps on the mound, one of two things often happen: he is either extremely good, or he just flat out isn't very good.
His consistency has always been an issue throughout his Oriole tenure, but he has looked much better in his handful of starts in 2012; however, last night, the bad Chris Tillman returned for a while as he gave up five runs in the opening inning against the Yankees.
I had to avert my eyes from the TV for a bit, but his teammates would bail him in the second inning, as they scored seven runs to turn a night that started out with a lot disappointment to a laugher. The Oriole would end up bashing the Yankees, 11-5, as Tillman would eventually settle down ? apparently, he was sick ? and toss four more shutout innings for the win.
Ivan Nova, who started the game for New York took the loss. For the Orioles, Chris Davis hit a grand slam homer (his 18th) in the second inning to bolster the team, and Nick Markakis hit a two-run shot in the eighth (his 10th).
Wilson Betemit and Omar Quintanilla each drove in two runs apiece.
The Orioles have won three games in a row and are 55-49. They have chipped away at the Yankees? divisional lead and are 5 ˝ games behind and are 1 ˝ games behind Oakland and the Los Angeles Angels in the wild card hunt.
With the nonwaiver deadline over as of Wednesday afternoon, the Orioles decided the best move to make right now is none.
I know some fans are disappointed, but the Orioles could not get an impact player without trading away a Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado. Everyone knew that was not happening.
Baltimore seemed engaged in talks with Philadelphia for Joe Blanton; however, there was an issue over money and what prospects would have been traded. As we all know, the Phillies are having a horrible season and are mired with quite a few expensive contracts, so they had the proverbial fire sale to get rid of guys.
In the end Blanton, in my opinion, would not be that much of an upgrade for Baltimore. He is really not that much better than the guys are already being trotted out night after night for the Orioles.
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