Monday, September 7, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Rotoworld.com is reporting that Ryan Sadowski, recently profiled by MLBTFP on July 4, was optioned to Class-A San Jose this afternoon. Don’t read too much into this, though. The Giants don’t need a fifth starter again until July 20. They’re likely to go with an extra bat on the bench until then.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Making news last year as the prized prospect coming from the Brewers in the CC Sabathia trade, we’re sure that the Indians were hoping that Matt LaPorta would be making his mark in the Majors by now. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. After getting traded to Cleveland in July last season, LaPorta struggled mightily for Double-A Akron, hitting just .212 with a .538 OPS in 52 at-bats. During that month, he was named to the United States Olympic Team. On August 18, he sustained a concussion after taking a pitch to the helmet in a game against China during the Olympics. He returned to action later that month for Akron, getting a handful of at-bats before the season ended.
Rated as the number two prospect in the Indians’ farm system by Baseball America, Matt had an uphill battle to make the club as Shin-Soo Choo and Ben Francisco were slated to start in the corner outfield spots for the Tribe. Not surprisingly, he started the season with Triple-A Columbus and was really mashing the ball (.333 BA, 1.054 OPS) before getting called on May 2 to help carry some of the offensive load with Travis Hafner on the disabled list. Now, we here at MLBTFP are all for giving a young buck a shot, but we’re not a fan of calling up a potential franchise player and letting him watch from the bench. After making only a dozen starts in 24 games, LaPorta was sent back down. Although he had a weak showing (.190 in 42 AB), Cleveland fans were more upset at GM Mark Shapiro and manager Eric Wedge for the way they handled his playing time. According to Sheldon Ocker of the Beacon Journal:
“There was criticism galore when Matt LaPorta was called up from Columbus to make his major-league debut and played in only about half the games before he was sent back to Triple-A.
Lots of fans felt that if a touted rookie is summoned to the big leagues, he should play every day rather than sit for half the time. But the Indians had a plan.”
We’ll spare you the plan. It didn’t really make any sense anyway. The more important story is that the 24-year-old didn’t let a bad experience mess with his head. Take a look at what he’s done at Columbus over the past 28 days and overall: (courtesy of, minorleaguesplits.com):
|Last 28 Days|| |
The Indians currently have the worst record in the American League. Ben Francisco has been terribly inconsistent, putting up an abysmal .398 OPS in 85 at-bats during the month of June. Though he’s off to a good start in July, we’re advocating that LaPorta get another shot at regular playing time for the Tribe. If there’s been one hole in his game, it’s that Matt has trouble versus left-handed pitching, hitting just .195 this year and .222 in his minor league career. Ben Francisco, who hits from the right side, hits lefties slightly better for his career (.267 vs. LHP/.259 vs. RHP). Can you see where we’re going here?
We would love to see a strict LaPorta/Francisco platoon coming out of the All-Star break. Matt has nothing left to prove in the minors and the Indians have nothing left to play for. In giving their prized prospect a regular job, but nothing he can’t handle, they’ll build-up his confidence and by this time next season, we’ll be marveling at the top of Cleveland’s batting order: Sizemore, LaPorta, Martinez, Choo, and Hafner.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
While we hope that MLBTFP remains a pivotal part of your daily fantasy baseball and MLB reading regiment, we want to start giving a shout-out to some of our brethren of the blogosphere and cyberspace. There’s a lot of good information out there and we feel it’s our responsibility to direct you to the best-of-the-best.
High Cheese: David Murphy, Phillies beat writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, gives his take on what combination of prospects Philly would have to give-up in order to acquire Roy Halladay. Just in case you haven’t heard, Blue Jays GM J.P. Richardi told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports about trading the Toronto ace:
“… if something makes sense, we at least have to listen. We're (leaning) more toward listening than we've ever been."
Fan Graphs: Are you a hardcore statistical savant when it comes to your baseball? If so, you’d love this website! Today, Dave Allen takes a hard look at what went wrong for Chris Davis in Texas. The Rangers corner-infielder wad demoted to Triple-A this past Sunday.
Advanced Fantasy Baseball: Our buddy Jon Williams features recent Reds call-up Drew Sutton today. He explains picking up the young infielder won’t pay immediate dividends, “But if you can stash him away (especially in NL-only leagues) until he begins to receive more serious playing time, your fantasy team will be greatly rewarded.”
Project Prospect: This one is for all of you dynasty leaguers and college baseball freaks out there. Linclon Hamilton unveiled his 2010 Top 10 College Draft Prospects, today. No surprise, Bryce Harper tops the list. As Hamilton points out, “The Sports Illustrated cover boy will be the most hyped teenage sports star since LeBron James.”
The Hardball Times: Rounding out the order, but carrying a big stick, Derek Carty has great advice for navigating your fantasy club through the trade deadline. He advises that you should start shopping closers on losing teams that will most likely become setup men if traded to a contending club. Derek makes clear:
“While guys like Jenks and Wood are probably safe, I would be pretty aggressive in shopping Qualls, Street, and (to a slightly lesser extent) Capps. Just don't make it obvious that you're looking to deal them, as you won't get the kind of offers you'll be looking for.”
We hope you enjoyed our initial installment of Touching Bases. Again, we’ll do this once a week in order to give you some variety. Just be sure to keep us in your rotation!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Practically buried in all of the news about who made the MLB All-Star game and who got snubbed was the Padres trading of Scott Hairston to the A’s for 2 minor league pitchers and a player to be named later. Hairston, at age 29, has worked incredibly hard at becoming an everyday player and finally earned a starting gig this season with San Diego. He can play all three spots in the outfield, but his greatest tool is hitting the ball out of the ball park. Last season, Scott hit 17 homers in 326 at-bats. This year, in 197 ABs, Hairston is hitting .299 with a .358 OBP and .533 SLG, including 10 homeruns. He had just returned from the disabled list on June 23, after missing 16 games with a strained left biceps.
With Hairston on board, the blogosphere is buzzing that this trade signals that A’s GM Billy Beane is ready to trade Matt Holliday. USATODAY.com baseball editor, Steve Gardner, notes that:
“…Hairston's arrival isn't that earth-shattering. But if the A's have just added an outfielder, it just might help pave the way for a particularly expensive one to be traded somewhere else. Matt Holliday owners should be paying close attention over the next 3 1/2 weeks.”
The trade has to have Padres asking why? For sure, it will keep Kyle Blanks in the line-up so he can continue his introduction to big league pitching. Corey Brock provides San Diego GM Kevin Towers’ answer on MLB.com:
“That's the one thing we lack in our system is pitching depth,” Towers said, noting the lack of higher-level arms in the system. “We really didn't want to give up Scotty. But for us, this is a move looking beyond this year.”
In Ryan Webb and Craig Italiano, the Padres receive two right-handers that will help replenish the system a bit. Neither pitcher was among the A’s top ten prospects per Baseball America. Webb, who is 23-years-old, has pitched in 31 games, starting 2, for Triple-A Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League this season. He has a 4.34 ERA overall, but that drops to a respectable 3.82 if your throw out his 2 starts. Brock reports that he’ll join the Padres staff, our guess the bullpen, in Arizona tonight. Italiano, a 22-year-old starter, has a 5.63 ERA for Stockton (A-Advanced) of the California League and will probably remain in the Cali-League, pitching for the Padres affiliate Lake Elsinore. According to Brock, Towers said that Italiano can throw 95-96 mph.
One final juicy nugget from Brock’s piece:
“Towers sounded excited about the player to be named in the deal. He said he'll pick from two pitchers sometime this month to determine who it is. Towers said one pitcher has Major League service time. That player could end up the key to the deal.”
Who could this mystery pitcher be? The Athletics certainly do have an enticing group of young pitchers to choose from. But who could it be? Gio Gonzalez, perhaps?
Until we find out, we want to know what you think the future holds for Matt Holliday.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Scott Sizemore, 24-years-old, has gone from middling prospect to the second baseman of the future for the Tigers. Although Baseball America (BA) has him ranked as Detroit’s 7th best prospect, he had never shown the type offensive potential he is showing now. In fact, it was widely thought that his Double-A teammate, Cale Iorg, the Tigers’ 3rd best prospect per BA, would reach the Majors before Sizemore. After torching the AA-Eastern League for Erie (.307 AVG, .937 OPS in 228 ABs), Sizemore is continuing to flash for AAA-Toledo of the International League (.317, .897 in 85 ABs). He only played in 53 games last year due to a broken wrist he sustained in July. Looks to us like Scott’s making up for lost time. With current Tigers 2B Placido Polanco (.255 AVG, .690 OPS) in the last year of his contract, and Iorg struggling with AA pitching (.219 BA, 80 SO, 16 BB, 278 ABs), one has to think Sizemore will get a good look in September. At the least, his excellent on-base skills won’t hurt your team if you need a middle infielder down the stretch.