Results tagged ‘ AL Central ’

Kansas City Royals Offseason Recap and Preview

Well they didn’t do that well in 2010:

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… again but the Royals have never been about winning today (seriously, have they won since George Brett was there?). They are building for tomorrow. Take that into this preview with you.

 

Grade: B

 

Notable Additions:
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Vin Mazzaro, Joaquin Arias, Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera, Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress, Lorenzo Cain, Zack Miner, Jeff Francis, and Pedro Feliz.

 

Notable Subtractions:

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Zack Greinke, David DeJesus, Gil Meche, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Brandon Duckworth.

 

 

Why?:  I know that they lost Zack Greinke this off-season. However, even though the grade is for how well the team set up for their immediate future, I lessen the penalty of losing a star player if the team got something good in return. The Royals definite deserved this slight bump for what they got back for Greinke. Also, they added some crazy depth everywhere. Although, am I the only one to notice that Robinson Cano’s best year came after Melky left? We’ll see what impact he has on players like Alcides Escobar.

I would like to point out that KC’s rotation overall did improve because of names like Vin Mazzaro amongst others. Although they did come in last in their division last year and lost their ace in the offseason, I see a solid transistion year. Let me make an argument for a better rotation in 2011. They traded for Vin Mazzaro and must have seen something in him to give up a piece like David DeJesus. Zack Miner is a solid back of the rotation starter that constantly hovers around 4.00 ERA.

 

Now… the Jeff Francis case. Does anyone remember that he was the ace of the Rockies’ World Series run in 2007? Anyone? Well, he was. He had 17 wins and had an ERA of 2.21 until the World Series (where the whole Rockie team shut down). He did horribly in 2008 but it was later revealed that he had an injury in his shoulder. He didn’t pitch in 2009 because of arthtoscopic surgery. Pitched badly again in 2010 with an ERA of 5.00 on the dot. I think that this may have been because of the recovery from the surgery. For most shoulder surgeries, it is usually takes a few years to fully recover. If he can get anywhere close to where he was before, the Royals have a much better staff than last year.

 

Predicted Record Range: 68-73 wins Like I said, this depends on the pitching staff because their young defense will be unpredictable and can fluctuate ( so their wins will fluctuate). We have yet to see how the offense will come together but with solid pitching they can improve a bit on their win total last year.

 

For those of you who did a little link clicking and wonder why I am so behind on game recaps, I have a lot of homework which is also why this entry took so much time. I have yet to see how baseball will affect my blogging but I can’t post the game recaps of games last weekend until next Monday because my pictures for those games are in a computer that I do not have access to.

Cleveland Indians Offseason Recap and Preview

Yeah, remember how in the recap of the Tiger’s offseason, I said it’s bad if you’re remembered for a failure rather than your successes. Well, does anyone remember the Indians for anything else than failing at failure:

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I mean really, can anyone think of anything else ’cause I’ve got nothing. I would say that this is a bit worse, than being know as the Tigers are that is. At least the Tigers got a great deal of good publicity but the Indians: Lost the game, almost got a perfect game thrown against them, messed up a perfect game by running a ball out, forever a side note, and still best know in 2010 for this error.

 

Grade: C

 

Notable Additions:

Austin Kearns, and Adam Everett.

 

Notablr Subtractions:

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I tried looking up all the names of the player they had lost and saw nothing special about any in the group. Can’t lose what you never had. Except for obviously, Carlos Santana to injury.

 

Why?:  They didn’t lose anything but didn’t gain anything. Had they made their improvements and subtractions with bigger names I probably would have given them a better grade just because bigger names fire up the fan base more, but the Indians don’t have the capital to accomplish this. If any doubt that the Indians lost no notable players, here are the names Drew Sutton, RJ Swindle, Winston Abreu, Luis Rodriguez, Chris Gimenez, Andy Marte, Wyatt Toregas. If you see any please tell me.

 

I like that they added two good players in Kearns and Everett, which is why I didn’t give them a C-. Overall, not much to report on this front. They do look to develop with the forever anticipated and maybe only fantasized day that Travis Hafner returns to his former greatness as the second best DH in the game (this was when David Ortiz was hitting 40 HRs) and Carlos Santana develops into an above average catcher (he may be now but we haven’t seen it because of the previously mentioned injury).

 

Predicted Record Range: 73-78 wins. This is again the mean for the possible scenarios that develop with Santana, Hafner etc. This means the range could go to 75-80 if everything goes right or they could actually lose more games because of their lack of improvements and the much improved AL Central.

 

Next up: Kansas City Royals

 

Again, well see when it comes to today’s double header at Fordham. One thing to look forward to (for some people, I get that not all of you like Spring Training much less High School Baseball) is that these following entries *WILL* have pictures! So no more pictures showing how awesome are field is:

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but look at it. This is college level field where I have my own luxury suite (more on that in the entry). Where was I going with this point again? Oh… yeah, the following entries will be much more extensive and more visually appealing than there outdated counterparts.

Detroit Tigers Offseason Recap and Preview

Any time your team is most remembered for a failure than its successes. It’s not good:
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Grade: B+

Notable Additions:
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Victor Martinez, Joaquin Benoit, and Brad Penny.

Notable Subtractions:
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Armando Galarraga, Zack Miner, Adam Everett, and Gerald Laird.

Why?: Although they did make some improvements, they did so in a way that managed to anger the other 29 teams for what may be years to come.  Now, I’m not saying that it wasn’t inevitable but whoever gave the first big multi year deal to a middle reliever was going to be hated. It just so happens that the Tigers made that move. From now on, acquiring and developing middle relief talent will be changed forever in that it is now a more valuable asset.

The losses, although insignificant in talent could come back to bite the Tigers if they keep the injury bug with them in 2011. Although they upgraded the spot of fourth and fifth starters with Brad Penny and Phil Coke, they sacrificed depth when they let go of Galarraga and Miner. Now if any starter goes down (and who ever heard of a rotation going through the season completely healthy) they will have to turn to Mr. AAA instead of a proven starter like Galarraga. This might cost them just enough spots to be edged out by one of the other strong teams in the Central.

Also, they did get rid of defensive depth in Laird but took care of that by getting Omir Santos. Everett on the other hand, should have been kept. I know the Tigers like to think optimistically but when was the last time he played 120+ games. I’ve got the answer, 2007. Again, I like Everett significantly better than a AAA shotstop or second baseman or even Ramon Santiago.

Predicted Record Range: 84-89 They made some significant additions and are getting players back but the Tigers’ players do tend to ebb and flow (Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera). Will they finally all have good seasons at the same time? If so, this team has enough talent to win the division but the mean of the ebb and flow is the predicted range.

Next Up: Cleveland Indians

Tomorrow is a double header for Fordham. So the data from this game might back me up over part of the weekend. I will get the first entry by end of Saturday but make no promises about the second. I will try and get the player bios on the roster entry as soon as I can but baseball season can be hectic. We’ll see.

Chicago White Sox Offseason Recap and Preview

Remember when the White Sox were in first place? They went on a big surge and kept it up for a while even after this:

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All was well on the south side of Chicago they were making fun of their neighborhood Twins fans because their team couldn’t get them out of first even with a lost Peavy. Then… it happened, they went on a I don’t know how many game slide and lost first place in their division almost as quickly as they had gotten there. For the rest of the season, all they would do is have their defecit increase as the twins were the best team in baseball over the second half of the season. So they needed to make some moves, right?

 

Grade: B+

 

Notable Additions:

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Adam Dunn, Jesse Crain, Lastins Milledge

 

Notable Subtractions:

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Bobby Jenks, Manny Ramirez, Scott Linebrink, Freddy Garcia, and JJ Putz (maybe Mark Kotsay).
Why?:  I think we can all agree that the White Sox only added two impact players, if that many. Though this grade isn’t for just the additions vs subtractions it is for the offseason as a whole and they sure did capitalize on what I predicted would be a disastrous offseason for them with both AJ Pierzinski(Is that right? I was never good with the spelling of the polish surnames. Then again, who is?), Paul Konerko and all the rest of the notable free agents that left.
What really stood out to me was that the White sox were able to both get an impact lefty bat and keep Konerko and Pierzinski. Had they lost Konerko and Pierzinski they would have been more in the D range but they not only resigned Konerko and Pierzinski but saved some tens of millions of dollars over, or should I say under, market value. They then solidified their bullpen with Jesse Crain. Would it have been better to have Jenks and Linebrink? Yes, of course. Would it have cost them more? Yes, of course. Do they have any role in the bullpen that is not filled? Yes, of course. Wait… no! They don’t have any unfilled roles in the bullpen. I must have hypnotized myself.
Predicted Record Range:85-90 wins They still don’t have a defined ace until Jake Peavy recovers ( before y’all Sawx fans get up in arms I do not consider John Danks an Ace because of his inconsistency. It has nothing to do with how good he can be at times. I do in fact think he will (may) be an ace in the future but he is not at this moment). So, until Peavy get back ( and I mean *really* gets back) I cannot put this team above that figure. If Peavy comes out of Spring training a Cy Young candidate we’ll talk but until then, this is their range.
Next Up: Detroit Tigers
The Fordham Prep baseball team just played its first game of the pre-season. I will get that up by tomorrow in hopes of making fans out of lazy parents (please don’t read this, please don’t read this). So , the MLB fans just bear with me until it is snagging season. I will be still doing the team previews simultaneously but for those who do want to read about my High school’s games I will be getting that game’s recap up tomorrow some time. Here is the schedule if you want to know approximately when the recaps will be going up.

Minnesota Twins Offseason Recap and Preview

As a Yankee fan they are a gift (up to this point) because of their record both in and after the season, which is somewhere between .200 and .300 in the 21st century. As an appreciator of cost efficiency, there playoff results absolutely kill me:

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Grade: D-
Notable Additions:
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Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Notable Subtractions:

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Matt Guerrier, Ron Mahay, Jesse Crain, J.J. Hardy, Brain Fuentes, Joe Crede, Orlando Hudson, Nick Punto, and Jon Rauch.
Why?: They lost what could be a bullpen in itself this Offseason in addition to what could be an infield on its own. Now I am aware of the fact that they have replacements for most of those positions and should at least come close to last year’s success. So they should have a higher grade… if the grade were for the state of the team, but it aint, it’s for what the Twins did in the Offseason which was get an infielder and lose all that listed above.

Now by talking with other baseball fans I realize that many just wondered “What? How are the Twins going to even come close to last year’s success when they lost that much talent?” First, Joe Nathan was the second best closer in baseball since he became a closer after his trade from San Francisco (still one of the worst trades in MLB history even after the hype died down). Do you not think that would make up for at least two of the reliever’s departures (Pat Neshek making up for one other)? Second, had Justin Morneau finished the season like he started, .345 AVG 36 HR 120 RBI. Now I realize this would have been pretty unlikely but that would have at least put him in the MVP discussion if not won it for him and he is typically a second half guy. Thirdly, the Twins always outplay their expectations. For example, SI predicted them to finish in last place in 2008 after they lost Johan, and Torii. What did they do? Only tied for the lead in the division and eventually lose their playoff spot to the White Sox in a one game playoff:

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I realize that there are a lot of “if”s in there but we must not forget that they did win 95 games without two of the faces of the franchise. I also remind people that they have made it to the playoffs more than anyone besides the Yankees since 2002 (they’re tied with the Angels).
Again, most of the fate of the team seemingly rests on how the injured players rebound but with the Twins they are coached in such a manner that whenever someone is injured there is always a person that steps up right behind him and temporarily. Though, if Morneau does comeback to full strength it will be the final piece that puts them over the top in the playoffs because of not only the statistical aspect he adds to the team but the protection he provides in the lineup to Joe Mauer. Also, I am not sure if it is over-looked by the common fan or not but if anyone was paying attention there was a party in support of Delmon Young as AL MVP at the end of the year.
Predicted Record Range: 91-96 this is assuming 2 out of the three injured Twins get back to true from by the all star break but if only one does then you can shift this scale down a few games.
Next Up: Chicago White Sox
I don’t know if any of you noticed but mine is the featured blog on the Mlblogs home page. So I would like to take this line to thank whoever was responsible for making that happen.
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