Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post put up this scathing commentary on the Marlins’ recent difficulty raising homegrown pitchers. Without getting to his point, the fact that the Fish have not gotten much out of their early-round pitching pickups is not avoidable: Player Draft Round IP ERA B-Ref WAR Jeff Allison 2003 1 0 – – Logan Kensing 2003 2 133 5.21 -1.5 Taylor Tankersley 2004 1 118 4.58 0.5 Jason Vargas 2004 2 116 2/3 5.25 -0.3 Chris Volstad 2005 1 546 2/3 4.74 2.2 Aaron Thompson 2005 1 0 – – Jacob Marceaux 2005 1 0 [...]
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Triple Slash: Batters (BA/OBP/SLG) Pitchers (ERA/FIP/GO:AO)
Triple-A: The Storm Chasers went 4-3 this week, including a four-game split against the Nashville Sounds. They play their third game of a four-game series against the New Orleans Zephyrs on Friday.
Mike Montgomery (5.44/4.37/1.15) - Montgomery made two starts this week. In the first start, the lefty allowed four runs on seven hits in seven innings. Monty fanned six and only walked one batter. In his second appearance, Mike gave up four runs on eight hits in four innings. Montgomery struck out three and walked one.
Lorenzo Cain (.304/.374/.499) - Cain went 7-for-26 at the plate and currently owns a nine-game hitting streak. Lorenzo smacked a double and a home run and drew three walks.
David Lough (.313/.362/.488) - Lough returned to action on Sunday and went 6-15 over the shortened week. The rightfielder collected one double, one homer and walked twice.
Clint Robinson (.327/.403/.937) - Robinson had a strong week, going 11 for 24 at the plate with three walks. Clint smashed three doubles and three homers.
Double-A: The Naturals went 5-2 this week. Northwest Arkansas plays the final game of a four-game series Friday night against the Springfield Cardinals.
Wil Myers (.259/.361/.388) - Myers went 7-23 this week and reached base four more times with walks. Wil hit three doubles and appears to be cutting down on his strikeouts. The rightfielder has only struck out five times in his last ten games.
John Lamb - Disabled List
Christopher Dwyer (5.84/4.50/.85) - Dwyer struggled on Monday, allowing five runs on four hits in four innings. Chris walked four batters, struck out three, and surrendered a home run. In the last month, Dwyer has either had very dominant or very shaky starts with little middle ground or consistency.
Jacob Odorizzi (4.79/5.37/.52) - Odorizzi made two starts this week. On Friday, the right-hander gave up three runs and six hits in five innings of work. Jake fanned seven and walked one, but allowed two home runs. In his second appearance, Odorizzi allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. Jake struck out five and walked none, but surrendered two more home runs, his 12th homer allowed in 10 games.
Christian Colon (.257/.327/.345) - Colon went 6-21 this week with three walks and two doubles. Strangely, the right-handed hitting Colon has had an abysmal season against lefties, owning a .189/.284/.263 hitting line.
Derrick Robinson (.256/.327/.289) - Robinson picked up eight his in 31 at bats this week. All of the centerfielder's hits were singles and Robinson reached base three times with walks.
Will Smith (4.02/3.96/1.13) - Smith pitched twice this week. He tossed a quality start in his first appearance, allowing three runs and seven hits in six innings. The southpaw struck out five batters and walked one. Will took the complete game loss in his second start, allowing one run and seven hits in eight innings. Smith struck out five and walked two.
Rey Navarro (.275/.323/.333) - Navarro struggled this week, only going 3-23 at the plate. Rey picked up a walk and a stolen base and struck out four times.
High-A: The Blue Rocks played well this week, going 5-2. Wilmington plays a doubleheader against the Salem Red Sox on Friday.
Timothy Melville (4.37/3.75/1.10) - Melville made two starts this week. Tim pitched well on Sunday, giving up two runs and six hits in six innings. The righty struck out seven and walked one. Melville tossed five innings in his second appearance, allowing three runs on six hits. Tim struck out four batters and walked three.
Noel Arguelles (3.20/3.56/0.73) - Arguelles was optioned down to Rookie ball after reaching his innings limit for the season.
Low-A: The Cougars had a tough week, going 2-5. Kane County plays the rubber match against Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Friday night.
Cheslor Cuthbert (.280/.350/.421) - Cuthbert struggled at the plate this week, going 2-23. The third baseman did smack his eight home run of the season and drew three walks.
Brett Eibner (.216/.337/.428) - Eibner also had a tough week at the plate, going 3-22. Bret connected on his 12th homer of the season and collected six walks.
Yordano Ventura (4.48/3.16/1.09) - Ventura made two starts this week. The righty tossed a five-inning shutout in his first start, giving up four hits and one walk while ringing up five batters. Yordano threw five innings in his second start, this time allowing two runs on four hits. Ventura struck out four batters and walked none.
Jason Adam (4.34/3.83/1.11) - Adam had two appearances this week. The right-hander was roughed up on Saturday, giving up seven runs (four earned) and seven hits in three innings. Adam struck out three and walked one. In his second start, Jason allowed one run and four hits in five innings, striking out two and issuing no walks.
The Dodgers situation should seem familiar to Rockies fans. Not the off-field dramatics - no, push that aside and you'll see a skeleton of a team comparable to the Rockies last offseason. There is a young ace coming off a near Cy Young breakout season, coupled with two sluggers capable of making a run at an MVP trophy.
Furthermore, one of those pieces started to degrade in value this season for the Rockies, and Dan O'Dowd responded by dealing Ubaldo Jimenez before (he believed) his value would diminish more. That parallel extends to Dodgertown as well.
In May 2010, TrueBlueLA hosted a "Triple Crown Watch" widget on their front page, noting that Ethier was leading all three categories in the NL by a fair margin. This April, the Dodgers' right-fielder compiled a 30-game hit streak. He was an All-Star just one month ago. Despite all this, dealing Ethier this offseason is becoming an obvious move.
Ethier himself saw the writing on the wall before the season and was quite vocal about it, but this season only pushes that reality further. With the Dodgers falling further out of contention, an aging team with financial problems would be wise to get younger. Ethier will enter his final year of arbitration in 2012 before becoming a free agent for the first time. He figures to be paid well then, but it probably isn't a good use of the Dodgers' money.
Despite a .286 average and .362 OBP that are in line with his career numbers, there is reason to be concerned about Ethier's performance going forward.
The biggest issue is the disappearance of his power. Ethier's ISO of just .127 is ranked 111th out of 157 qualified MLB hitters, behind the likes of Aubrey Huff, Juan Rivera and Dexter Fowler. It is comparable to the team ISO of the Oakland Athletics (.125) and the number posted by Mark Ellis in a Rockies uniform (.123). This is almost assuredly due to lingering effects from wrist injuries, but that doesn't mean his power will suddenly return.
His left/right splits are a concern as well. Ethier owns just a 56 wRC+ vs left-handed pitchers this season, 77 for his career. (For comparison, Seth Smith checks in with a season line at 59, career at 53). He has mauled right-handers enough that he still starts regularly, but that weakness vs LHP is significant and well established in over 870 career plate appearances.
Defense is another hole in his game. Ethier owns the fifth-worst UZR among MLB outfielders since 2009, and while he owns a positive score in 2011, Total Zone still grades him out just as poorly as ever.
I have been an Ethier backer for a while, and his ability to smoke line drives off RHP still very much remains. He is a fantastic hitter still, but he won't be a fit in Los Angeles past 2012, not on his career-making free agent contract. And not when he's being out-produced this season by a similar profiled player in Seth Smith. The Dodgers would be wise to get a couple young guys to infuse onto the roster. If they play their cards right, maybe they could get a young outfielder or a young starting pitcher.
Arizona (72-59, 1st, W3)
You Should Know: The Diamondbacks started former Blue Jays Aaron Hill and John McDonald for the first time Wednesday. Not only that, but their infield mates, Lyle Overbay and Ryan Roberts, are also former Blue Jays. Not only THAT, but all four of them actually started in those exact infield spots for Toronto on May 27, 2007. Pure silliness.
Divisional Change: Increased their lead to 2.5 games in the division.
This Week: 3 game home series vs. Padres. 3 game home series vs. Rockies.
News: The biggest waiver trade this week did happen in the NL West, but it wasn't with Wandy Rodriguez. The Diamondbacks traded Kelly Johnson to Toronto for 2B Aaron Hill and SS John McDonald. The deal is a bit confusing, as Kevin Towers gave up an underperforming second-sacker that was still having a much better season than Hill or McDonald are. It does, however, give Arizona a veteran shortstop in Stephen Drew's absence, which was a large motivator in the deal.
Upon being traded away from a potential playoff situation, Kelly Johnson felt a bit cheated. In that moment, Nick Piecoro was able to steal a wonderful, honest quote from Toronto's new second baseman:
"I think 'KT' (GM Kevin Towers) would rather throw up three times a day after eating than have his team strike out a lot" - Kelly Johnson
Feb 22, 1982
Ironically, Kevin Towers hasn't always been so against strikeouts. As Jack Moore pointed out on Fangraphs, Towers' strikeout motivated trades might actually be a result of the philosophy of manager Kirk Gibson.
The Diamondbacks left Chase Field and visited Philadelphia and Atlanta, where they either forgot how to hit, or they faced good pitching. One of the two. Either way, their week of offense was historically bad, as Jim McLennan points out.
Baseball America's Jim Callis wrote that the Diamondbacks had the best draft in the division and a top five draft class in MLB. His claim is not surprising.
Arizona has become an easy target for gutting their farm for Dan Haren, with most pointing to the deal as a classic case of the danger of dealing prospects. Four years since the deal, Jason Hunt analyzes the trade for MLB Daily Dish on several levels - the players directly involved and the traded those players facilitated. His conclusion - Arizona got a lot of value from Haren, and the deal is a wash if not a good trade for the Diamondbacks.
Tim Dierkes highlights Jerry DiPoto as a potential candidate for open GM positions this off-season.
Finally, your must read humor link of the week, a fake NL West Summit between Bud Selig and the NL West teams, as concocted by Zavada's Mustache.
Transactions: Traded 2B Kelly Johnson to Toronto for 2B Aaron Hill and SS John McDonald (8/23). Designated UT Cody Ransom for assignment (8/24).
Injuries: Justin Upton has a bruised left elbow after being hit by a pitch, but he is fine.
Last Week: 4-2. 1-2 @ Rockies. 3-0 @ Cardinals. The sweep of the Cardinals allowed the Dodgers toregain the lead in the franchise series 1002 to 1001.
You Should Know: Since August 9, the Dodgers are 6-0 in games started by Clayton Kershaw and Hiroki Kuroda. They are 2-7 in games started by the rest of the rotation. The Rockies miss BOTH Kershaw and Kuroda this weekend.
Divisional Change: Gained 1.5 games on first place Arizona.
This Week: 3 game home series vs. Rockies. 3 game home series vs. Padres. 1 road make-up game @ Pirates.
News: In what might be the most humorous and obvious connection since Terelle Pryor to the Raiders, the Cubs are interested in Dodgers GM Ned Colletti to become their next general manager. He'd fit right there in continuing the tradition of filling a roster with overpaid veterans. Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness (a Dodgers Blog) explores the inescapable parallels between Colletti and Jim Hendry further.
There is little for a Dodgers blogger to write about in a positive way these days. That might be because Clayton Kershaw is hogging all the awesomesauce. Seriously, the 23-year-old lefty is having a ridiculous season and just might become the best pitcher of the 2006 draft class in the end.
Mar 19, 1988
The rest of the Dodgers staff have a 44-64 record.
3B Casey Blake doesn't want to be done playing baseball, but his body may force it. Blake has a pinched nerve in his neck, and he is being forced to re-evaluate his future.
Injuries: Activated RHP Kenley Jansen from the 15-day DL (8/24). 3B Casey Blake is day-to-day with a sore shoulder. LHP Ted Lilly has a sore neck but should still start tonight thanks to acupuncture. SS Dee Gordon is on a rehab assignment and could return tomorrow.
San Diego (60-71, 5th, W1, 12.0 GB)
Last Week: 4-1. 3-0 vs. Marlins. 1-1 @ Giants.
You Should Know: The Padres are 11 games under .500, but their run differential dictates a Pythagorean W/L of 66-65.
Divisional Change: Gained two games in the division.
This Week: 3 game road series @ Diamondbacks. 3 game road series @ Dodgers.
News: Heath Bell was claimed on waivers by the Giants this week, but a trade of Bell isn't likely. This is notable, because now that Bell has been claimed, he cannot be traded for the rest of the season (except to the Giants by today), so I get five weeks off from Heath Bell trade talk. Yay!
Padres sandwich pick and 54th overall selection Brett Austin turned down $1.5million from San Diego. For comparison, the Rockies signed 45th overall pick Trevor Story for under $1million, and Story was the highest above slot of any Rockies signee.
Nick Hundley was one of the best hitters in the entire National League in April. After slowing down, Hundley injured his elbow. Finally back, he's producing once again. Hundley was awarded the NL Player of the Week Award on Monday.
Sep 08, 1983
Rockies fans might be excited by a five game win streak, but it's worth noting the Padres had one last week too until Tim Lincecum broke it Wednesday in an epic battle for all Tims.
Transactions: Designated RHP Pat Neshek for assignment (8/21). Neshek cleared waivers and was assigned to AAA Tucson (8/24).
Injuries: Activated RHP Ernesto Frieri from the 15-day DL (8/21).
San Francisco (69-62, 2nd, L1, 3.0 GB)
Last Week: 2-5. 1-2 @ Astros. 1-1 @ Padres. 0-1 vs. Astros. Their loss yesterday came in a very intriguing pitching match-up, with the suddenly resurgent Ryan Vogelsong losing to Henry Sosa, a forgotten pitching prospect the Giants traded to Houston for Jeff Keppinger.
You Should Know: The Giants have the worst run differential in the division.... At three games behind, the Giants are perilously close to falling 4.0 games back in the division. They haven't been that far back since May 5, and a sweep of the Rockies (powered by consecutive walk-off wins on Felipe Paulino) vaulted them back.... The Giants have lost the first game of their last ELEVEN series. So expect a loss tonight
Divisional Change: Lost two games in the division.
This Week: Final 3 games of a 4 game home series vs. Astros. 3 game home series vs. Cubs.
News: Hank Schulman asked Tim Lincecum about his approach to hitting:
"I try to swing out of my ass if I get the opportunity. Doesn't work out often...ever" - Tim Lincecum
A major motion picture that might feature Billy Crystal is filming a scene at the home park of the Giants' AAA team, the Fresno Grizzlies tomorrow.
Apr 24, 1977
On this day in 2010, the Giants were 6.5 games out of first place. We know now they roared back to take the division and World Series championship, but it all started with a 10 game losing streak by the Padres that started a year ago today. Probably can't count on that from Arizona.
AT&T Park is a beautiful baseball facility. I'll just never get over how it could be so expertly designed, only to completely forget to design a space for the bullpen. The result is that the makeshift pen is old-fashioned style, in the field of play down either foul line, right in front of the fans. Great for the home arms, not so great for the roadies. Recently, Chad Qualls claims he was spit on by a Giants fan while sitting in the bullpen.
Transactions: Recalled C Hector Sanchez from AAA Fresno (8/19).
Injuries: Placed LHP Jonathan Sanchez on the 15-day DL Tuesday retroactive to August 17 and activated OF Carlos Beltran from the 15-day DL. OF Nate Schierholtz is day-to-day with a fractured right foot from a foul ball. Placed C Eli Whiteside on the 15-day DL with a concussion on August 19. RHP Brian Wilson is out indefinitely but did play catch yesterday. It is unlikely Wilson will be activated when eligible Wednesday. LF Pat Burrell started a rehab assignment as a DH in High-A San Jose Wednesday - he could return in a week or two. RHP Sergio Romo threw off the mound Wednesday for the first time.
Eddie Murray 2001 Fleer Greats Of The Game I have said it before, and I will say it again, ‘The Fleer Greats Of The Game series is one of my favorite modern issues’. This card, from the 2001 set is … Continue reading →
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With the Little League World Series drawing to a close, this is an opportune time to look at Joey Jay?s career (99-91, 3.77 ERA). Jay was the first Little League graduate to make the majors. And, as is often the case when I do my blog research, I?m surprised about what a grand career, both [...]
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As just a 24-year-old rookie, Brandon Beachy is putting himself along side some of the best strikeout pitchers of all time. Below is the list of seasons in which a pitcher has struck out 10 batters per nine, had a 4.00 K/B rate, and started at least 20 games. There have been 23 seasons in [...]
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Hitter Volatility Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Volatility CalculatorWhen we last left the topic of hitter volatility, I provided folks with a leader board based on the estimated[...]
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From People Magazine:
After dating for three years, Minka Kelly and Derek Jeter have broken up, her rep confirms to PEOPLE.I honestly don't care, nor it this any of our business anyway. I just hope it doesn't affect his hitting.
"They care about each other and it was amicable," says a source. "They're still friends."
I wanted to look at Soria and see if he had made any adjustments since last week. It seems like he has a bit (moved release point back towards center of plate) and his velocity is up. Here is his last 4 game release points and comparison from June:
And the velocity charts:
Soria seems his best when he keeps his speed up (max fastball speed around 94) and releases the ball closer to home plate.
It's the last week of August (essentially), the Colorado Rockies are sitting at 63-68, a mere 9.0 games behind the 1st place Diamondbacks and 6.5 behind the Giants. Yet this week has been somewhat crazy, with rumors flying, suddenly competent baseball being played (well, for the most part), new players being brought in, it's just crazy.
So the first lesson we've learned is that this organization seems to think they're still in it. Bringing in any sort of new talent and putting in a waiver claim on another organization's best pitcher (and another's star-caliber 3B) are tell tale signs of an organization that hasn't yet given up on the season, especially after winning their past 5 games. In the most horribly optimistic way, I see what they're driving at. In their last 10, the Diamondbacks are 4-6, as are the Giants. The Diamondbacks are on a 3-game winning streak as well, but were 1-6 in the 7 games before that. The Giants just lost to the Astros as well. This division does not look locked up to me.
The next thing we learned is that Dan O'Dowd is still going to attempt to be the crafty, opportunistic acquirer of talent, even late in what seems to be a lost season. Just because a trade/waiver claim didn't go through, the Rockies still made an offer on Wandy Rodriguez. The Astros wanted Wilin Rosario or Drew Pomeranz, and that's just silly. The Rockies countered with either Jason Hammel, Christian Friedrich, or Casey Weathers, plus eating all of Rodriguez' salary. My first reaction to that is "why on earth would any team want Casey Weathers?" Is the "former first round pick" luster still there? Jason Hammel kind of makes sense, and there's still value to Christian Friedrich, despite his setback 2011.
If Colorado had somehow acquired Wandy Rodriguez for Casey Weathers, I'd have laughed quite out loud.
But the whole Wandy thing kind of leads us into the next thing we've learned: the team recognizes the need for pitching next season. Pitching depth right now is in a good place, but there's no telling what Drew Pomeranz will be capable of, if Juan Nicasio will return to the majors, when Jorge De La Rosa will be MLB ready, what will become of Aaron Cook/Kevin Millwood, and whether or not Jason Hammel will return to being a viable starter. That leaves Colorado with a Jhoulys Chacin - Alex White rotation. No, I don't see Rogers as a part of the rotation, but given the general lack of arms, he might be. Wandy would've made September REALLY interesting in the NL West, but more importantly, he would've answered at least one question for the 2011 season.
Finally, Kevin Kouzmanoff. Acquiring Kevin Kouzmanoff and cash for a PTBNL doesn't seem like much of a move, and really, it isn't. But given the season we've seen from 3B, what's the worst that could happen? From this move, we're essentially learning that: Ian Stewart is all but done in a Rockies uniform (and yes, I know he's injured, but the fact that he's on the AAA DL kind of reinforces the point), the organization doesn't see Chris Nelson as much of anything, and something ambiguous about Ty Wigginton not being a world-beater or a season-saver.
So we've learned a bunch of things, but I'll be honest, I don't think we KNOW any more than we did before this week. My money is still on a 3rd place finish. But who knows, maybe the infamous Aberle Guarantee will hold true. But as a certain poster among us said:
These sons of [guns] are going to suck us all back in again, aren't they?
'Duk from over at Big League Stew seems to think that the Rockies have the gumption to make this September absolutely riveting. Oh, and he also included a picture of Tulo skipping. At least that's what it looks like.
Yes, I know I'm kind of laying this on thick, but this is a pretty big deal for our network. There's still work to be done with it, but remember, again, it's FREE, and it's gonna be a smoother interface for iPhone users than the mobile site. We aren't getting any special favors for pushing the app, it's just our goal that more and more people read SB Nation sites, and if an iPhone app is the way to do it, then so be it. And yes, Android App is coming soon.