Results tagged ‘ Brain Fuentes ’

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.

Oakland Athletics Offseason Recap and Preview

¿Well, I’m reporting from my country of Colombia and this might take a while, have you ever seen these keyboards? Anyway, fantasy people know what I’m talking about when I say that you will be hearing a whole lot from this guy this year:
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For the baseball elitists, (which I am sometimes a part of) this is Trevor Cahill who was the best pitcher on the best staff in th American League.
 
           I personally saw him bomb on August 30 at Yankee Stadium but I have seen him go well on TV and can say that he might regress in the ERA department but will have about the same strikeouts and wins. Everyone knows that aces become superstars when they play on winning teams, which I think the A’s will be this year.

Grade: C+

Notable Additions:
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Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour, David DeJesus, Edwin Encarnacion, Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham, and Rich Harden.

Notable Subtractions:
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Rajai Davis,Vin Mazzaro, Justin Duchscherer, Jack Cust, Gabe Gross, Boof Bonser, and Jeremy Hermeida.

Why?: For the simple reason that they have not improved much through the moves they have made, most of it was substitution from one player to another. Let me give a few examples and let’s see if you agree.  Jack Cust and Hideki Matsui, they are pretty different players but have about the same power and Cust’s OBP advantage more than offsets any of Matsui’s advantages. Balfour (does anyone else see the irony in his name) and Harden offset Mazzaro and Duchscherer( that was hard enough to write on the English keyboard), each pair has a , injury risk but a very high ceiling’s the limit if he ever stayed healthy for a few years, starter and a fluctuating but healthy other person, I could explain this further but I do have 28 more teams to write about. The only addition by lack of an equal and opposite subtractions is Brian Fuentes, which could take them to the next level (whether or not that’s the division I am not sure because, let’s face it they only won half of their games). 
 
           Though, I do see them growing as a result of the young pitching staff having another year of experience and either failing miserably as a result of it and coming back next year, or  using last year’s experience to grow and be the dominant staff of the American League. They do have the opportunity to win the division but their success is based on alot of variables with  inexact formulae. So, could they be division winners? Yes. Will they most likely be division winners? Actually, yes ( and you thought I was going to say no). Though they were nine games behind the division winning Rangers and they are full of inexact science. I do believe a nine game swing has occurred between the two and Oakland will end up the season as a playoff team, but not by much.
 
Predicted record range: 88-93 wins. You can do the math on the losses. Although, with young rotations there is always the risk that the rotation will lose a few starters to overwork (cough,cough…Gio Gonzalez), injuries, streakiness etc. In which case, their win range is in the mid 70’s.
 
Up Next: The Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim. Or if translated completely into english, The The Angels Angels of Aneheim.
 
It didn’t take me as long as most entries but I’ m about ready to throw this keyboard to the ground. The letters are the same but the symbols are a nightmare because there are about three on each key and so you don’t know which will show up.
 
For example, I must have pressed this:{ about a hundred times trying to get an apostrophe. I won{t send you out on a bad note, so…
 
Fun Fact of the day: The reason the flags of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador have the same color pattern is because they were all freed in the same revolution , headed by Simon Bolivar. Panama was also but it was part of Colombia until Teddy Roosevelt wanted to build a canal through it. So he started a revolution because the Colombians wouldn’t let him, sent US troops, and got permission from the grateful Panamanians to build his much desired canal(So the reason Panama doesn’t have a similar flag is because it wanted to distance itself from Colombia). Hope it helps you sound smart around your freinds. What do I mean? You need no help sounding smart. (What I won’t do for frequent readers. Did I just write that?)
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