Where do I get my terrible, misleading headlines you may ask? I read way too much Yahoo! News. Anyway, I only call this the “shortest” game in MLB history because it was suspended in the middle of the 9th inning in a 0-0 tie last night.
Today, the Phillies and Reds resumed play before their regularly-scheduled night game. The first three batters for the Reds reached base, and then Jay Bruce did this:
And that’s all folks. Even the Phillies players looked like they were laughing coming off the field. Good thing one-inning games aren’t standard. You could take a sip of beer and miss the entire thing.
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
It’s only April 15th, but we may already have the winner of Catch of the Year. Check out the extension Phillies center fielder Ben Revere gets on this robbery Cincinnati Reds Todd Frazier.
Jay Bruce thought there was absolutely no chance Revere could make that play and is easily doubled off at first base. This isn’t the first time Revere has had a catch of the year nominee, let’s flash back to 2011.
Revere is simply amazing.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Has the National League evolved into a two-team arms race between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves? It seemed all offseason one would make a move and the other would counter it. B.J. Upton, Dan Haren, Denard Span, Rafael Soriano, Justin Upton, Chris Johnson, and Jordan Walden all enter the fray and make these two teams on paper the teams to beat. The Phillies aren’t ready to go down with a fight adding Ben Revere and Michael Young in the offseason. The Mets and Marlins? Well they might go down without a fight, let’s break down the National League East.
Projected Order of Finish: Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Miami Marlins
Why the Braves could win the N.L. East: It’s pretty hard to believe that Atlanta lost three of the four best hitters from last season in Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, and Michael Bourn and the lineup is better. The Upton brothers move into the outfield along with Jason Heyward, giving the Braves two MVP-potential candidates in the corners. Andrelton Simmons showed in the WBC that he is ready, especially defensively. Freddie Freeman’s growth continues in an all-star caliber 1st baseman. The rotation might not be on the Nationals level overall, but Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Paul Maholm, Mike Minor, and Julio Teheran is solid. Teheran could be ready to shine as he was spectacular in spring training. Craig Kimbrel is the best closer in the game, while Eric O’ Flaherty is among the best setup men. All the pieces are there for a return to the playoffs.
Why the Braves wouldn’t win the N.L. East: First, the leadership from Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, and Michael Bourn’s departure throws off the clubhouse and no one behind Tim Hudson steps up. The lineup is filled with just too many strikeouts that kills putting together rallies. Brian McCann’s shoulder is completely shot and he’s not the player he once was or even comes back at all leaving the catching duties to Gerald Laird and Evan Gattis. Jonny Venters injury is more serious than planned (i.e. Tommy John surgery) and Jordan Walden isn’t ready to go and the bullpen suffers and becomes overworked. Brandon Beachy returning from Tommy John surgery mid-season isn’t able to come close to the form he displayed at the start of 2012.
Why the Nationals could win the N.L. East: The rotation is the best in MLB with Stephen Strasburg’s innings cap behind him, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren, and Ross Detwiler. The bullpen is no slouch either with Rafael Soriano (42 saves in 2012) joining Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, and Ryan Mattheus is a great bullpen. The lineup is good to great and can be better than great if “The Phenom” Bryce Harper continues to progress into an MVP candidate.
Why the Nationals wouldn’t win the N.L. East: The Braves end up just slightly better top to bottom. Newly-signed Denard Span reverts back to an injury-plagued season like in 2011. Ryan Zimmerman’s right shoulder, that caused him to receive cortisone shots throughout last season, acts up and his bat his lost from the middle of the lineup. It’s really hard not to see the Nationals as a probable playoff team.
Why the Phillies could win the N.L. East: Roy Halladay might not be what he used to be, but Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are both still good enough to carry a rotation. I highly doubt Lee will only win six games again. The lineup is improved with a healthy Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, plus Ben Revere providing speed at lead-off. Michael Young joins Philadelphia to provide leadership and hitting prowess. He would need get back to hitting .300 for the Phillies to have a real chance. Domonic Brown’s spring breakout continues into the season and he finally pays dividends for all of those trades Ruben Amaro Jr. refused to do when Brown was a prospect. Plus, Jonathan Papelbon is one of the best closers in the games.
Why the Phillies wouldn’t win the N.L. East: It’s entirely possible that Roy Halladay never gets back to what he was before 2012. His velocity has been down after an injury-plagued season. The lineup is on the wrong side of their prime with Howard, Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Young all over 33 years-old. Carlos Ruiz’s 25-game suspension messes with the pitching staff and they get off on the wrong foot after Ruiz broke out offensively. Brown does what he’s done his whole career and tease greatness, but not come through.
Why the Mets could win the N.L. East: David Wright’s injury is nothing and the new Mets captain goes on to be his usual self in the middle of the lineup. Ike Davis evolves into a 35-40 home run hitting first baseman. The Mets call up Zack Wheeler and pair him with Matt Harvey and create the best young pitching duo in the division. Travis d’Arnuad can’t be held back anymore in the minors and starts developing into the next Mike Piazza.
Why the Mets wouldn’t win the N.L. East: Johan Santana is probably out for the season taking leadership out of the clubhouse on a daily basis. The bullpen in atrocious. The outfield is near-atrocious, unless Jordany Valdespin steps up big. The Mets are a rebuilding project, but there are some nice pieces coming to Flushing.
Why the Marlins could win the N.L. East: They can’t, but what kind of season would Giancarlo Stanton have to have to put Miami in contention? 60 home runs? I do like Steve Cishek a lot as a potential closer, but he may end up trade bait at the deadline. I might just like him because he’s a submariner.
Why the Marlins wouldn’t win the N.L. East: The rotation is the worst in the division, where their “ace” Ricky Nolasco can’t be trusted to not blow up on any given start. The lineup has some veterans who can hit for average in Juan Pierre, Placido Polanco, Justin Ruggiano, and Casey Kotchman, but aside from Stanton there isn’t a 2nd run producer. This might take years for Miami to get into contention.
Jason Heyward and Justin Upton-Braves
Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasberg-Nationals
Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen-Braves
Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, and Gio Gonzalez-Nationals
Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee-Phillies
Rookie of the Year
Rob Brantly and Adeiny Hechavarria-Marlins
Travis d’Arnaud and Zack Wheeler-Mets
Who do you think wins the N.L. East? The Nationals? The Braves? Can one of the other three teams steal the division away? Let us know in the comments!
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
2012 didn’t work out the way the Philadelphia Phillies expected. The pitching is still strong with the big three of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels in the rotation, but it was time to reconfigure a lineup that was middle of the pack offensively. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are back for Opening Day 2013, however Carlos Ruiz is suspended for the first 25 games of the season. The entire 2012 Opening Day outfield of Juan Pierre, Shane Victorino, and Hunter Pence are gone. The Phillies also said goodbye to near-.300 career hitter Placido Polanco at the hot corner. With the free agent pool looking slim, it was up to trades to upgrade the offense for next season.
Phillies acquire CF Ben Revere
Twins acquire RHP Vance Worley and RHP prospect Trevor May
Phillies acquire 3B Michael Young
Rangers acquire RHP Josh Lindblom and RHP prospect Lisalverto Bonilla
It is going to be weird to see Michael Young wearing anything but a Texas Rangers uniform. No one has played more games in their career for the Rangers than Young. With the emergence of Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus, the studliness of Adrian Beltre, and super-prospect Jurickson Profar waiting in the wings, it was time for the Texas’ clubhouse leader to look to greener pastures for a full-time role. Young last season hit .277 (his worst since 2002), but is still just one season removed from leading the American League in hits and batting .338. Philadelphia will be pleased if they get something the middle, plus Young’s great clubhouse leadership.
Revere is a vital cog for the new-look Phillies outfield and is the second centerfielder that the Twins have traded for pitching in a week. Revere was known more for his speed and defense in his rookie season, but evolved into a better hitter in 2012 (hitting .294). Revere will now be the Phillies table setter atop the lineup and does well in not striking out, with only 100 in 989 career at-bats. That should only get better as the 24-year-old continues to grow and enters his prime. Revere was also one of only six players with 40 or more stolen bases last season.
The Twins have been looking for pitching. A lot of it. Minnesota only has Scott Diamond set for a rotation and Worley will factor into the mix if not be assured a spot of his own. May had a rough 2012 in the minors, but was one of the top Phillies pitching prospects prior to that.
Lindblom will factor into the bullpen needs for the Rangers. More importantly though, it sheds $10 million off their payroll in an attempt to bring back Josh Hamilton.
-Bryan Mapes ( @IAmMapes)
Imagine my poor blood pressure this morning when I woke up to a headline like THIS today.
Something like what Derek Jeter is alluding to would be disastrous if it actually came to fruition. I’m no Yankee fan by any measure, but I truly respect Jeter and have looked up to him since I was a little kid. And I just can’t imagine him wearing anything besides the pinstripes.
None of that Joe Montana-to-the-Chiefs, desperate-to-keep-playing, end of the career crap from Jeter, please.
Sure, the unthinkable has been done before – Ken Griffey, Jr. moved to Cincinnati from Seattle even though he looked like a super hero in the silver and teal. Heck, we had one happen this past off-season when Albert Pujols jumped ship to Anaheim, despite looking so damn good in Cardinal red.
But the super fan in me would like to keep that kind of olé B.S. to a minimum. I don’t know what it is…the players themselves, the jersey/color combo of the teams they represent, or just the nostalgia of a childhood long-gone (okay, I’m not that old), but I identify Jeter and the rest of this list as players who I could never, ever see in a different jersey:
*Disclaimer: Mariano Rivera and Chipper Jones not included because they are guaranteed to stay a Yankee and Brave, respectively, for the remainder of their Hall of Fame careers*
1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
Let’s start with the Captain himself. Jeter has played all 18 seasons as the shortstop of the Yankees, number two plastered on his back. Needless to say, Mr. November will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the next great Yankee to have his number retired. There is no more iconic jersey in sports than those of the Yanks, and even imagining Jeter in an Angels, Cubs, Red Sox (god forbid) or any other jersey is painful.
I know he’s only been around a few years, but damn if Posey hasn’t made himself a celebrity in San Francisco at Usain Bolt-esque speed. There is no way the team will let this guy walk away as long as he’s physically able to play the game. It’s really hard to predict this early, but we could be seeing the next great “one-team” lifer in Posey, who should be representing that awful orange and black for another decade and a half.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if Mariners GM Jack Zdurineck trades Felix, he should not only be fired, but tarred, feathered and forced to watch Jack and Jill on loop. Hernandez is the King of Seattle and it should stay that way forever. I dig the silver and teal uni’s up there in the Pacific Northwest, and Hernandez wears it best. Plus, he wants to stay a Seattle Mariner. I’m sure Brian Cashman has visions, but I just can’t see this guy in Yankee garb.
When I say Rockies, you say Helton! “ROCKIES!” “HELTON!” Thank you. But seriously, Helton is about as synonymous with Colorado baseball as macaroni is with cheese. He’s played all 16 years of his career manning first base at Coors Field, and will most definitely have his number retired there whenever he hangs up the spikes. Todd Helton in anything but purple would be straight criminal.
I know a few Cardinals fans who would actually sob uncontrollably if Yadi ever slips on another team’s jersey. And they should, because it would arguably be more devastating than the loss of Pujols to that devoted fan base. Whereas Pujols was the power and glam of the team, Molina is the heart, soul, lungs and kidney of the franchise. I know NL catchers have a short shelf life, but just trying to picture him as a Dodger or Phillie makes me want to elbow drop a baby penguin.
Last, but certainly not least, we have arguably the best all-around player in the National League. I don’t know what it is with him and that black and gold, but McCutchen just looks so right in a Pirates uniform. Maybe it’s the dreads, or the blindingly white smile, or the elegant physique over which the Pirates’ jersey falls. No matter, McCutchen can never go play for the Indians or Orioles or anyone else. He needs to be in Pittsburgh for life.
Honorable Mentions: Matt Kemp (Dodgers), Mike Trout (Angels), David Price (Rays)
Comment below if you think someone else should be considered for this list! And don’t forget to VOTE in the poll:
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
It’s Saturday, only two days left that can make or break your week and advance you into the next round of your fantasy playoffs. If you’re losing it’s desperation time. You have to do whatever it takes to get over the hump. Here’s who I like for Saturday that’s owned less that 50% of leagues.
There hasn’t been a hotter team right now than the Philies and they partly have Kyle Kendrick to thank for that. The 40% owned starter has a 5-1 record with a 1.49 ERA and 0.80 WHIP over his last six starts. He was even our 3UP player on the podcast this week. This start may be on the road, but the Astros are the worst team in the league, just ask former #MapesFantasySpecial Travis Wood. Kendrick is a must pick-up if you need pitching help.
If You’re Desperate: A’s Jarrod Parker (40% owned) has been solid this season, especially at home with a 2.48 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. However, Parker got tagged for 6 earned runs in five innings last time he faced the Orioles. Parker faces Zach Britton (26% owned) who was brilliant before getting rocked by the Yankees in his last start. Britton, like Parker, got rocked in his previous start against his opponent, giving up 6ER in 5.2 IP last time against the Athletics. Yankees Ivan Nova (also 40% owned) returns for New York at home and has a quality start all three times he has faced Tampa Bay this year. You’re playing with fire with a player that’s returning from injury. 14% owned Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals has a 4-0 record and 1.70 ERA over his last seven starts and has 2ER or less in 6 of the 7 starts. Guthrie takes on the Angels at home, not exactly a team you want to face if you’re hunting for wins.
Good luck in your fantasy leagues!
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Wow, what a whirlwind week of baseball wheelin’ and dealin’ we’ve had. I’m exhausted just from trying to keep track of all the trades that went down in the past week or so. Some teams look completely different (helloooooo, Dodgers) and some we thought would get a face lift, look exactly the same (what’s wrong, Rays?).
But this is your home for all things deadline – where you can get every dirty detail of every trade that went down, plus a quick analysis of the deals. For the sake of brevity, only trades from July 24th through the end of the deadline are included. But, I won’t keep you waiting any longer…let’s get it rolling:
7/24 – Pittsburgh Pirates + Houston Astros
Pittsburgh acquires Wandy Rodriguez (SP)
Houston acquires Rudy Owens (SP), Colton Cain (SP) and Robbie Grossman (OF)
The Pirates’ pitching staff has been stellar all year, but they felt they needed more depth. In Rodriguez, they get a veteran who has been pedestrian at times, brilliant at others, overall one of the better catches on the pitching market. And Houston is on the fast track to 100 losses, so any young talent helps. They snagged three guys who were in the top 20 of the Pirates’ very deep minor league system.
Tampa Bay Rays + Arizona Diamondbacks
Tampa Bay acquires Ryan Roberts (3B)
Arizona acquires Tyler Bortnick (IF)
Roberts, otherwise known as Tatman by his legions of fans in Arizona, was designated for assignment before being traded to the Rays. It gives Tampa a much-needed bat with some pop at a position they don’t necessarily need help at when Evan Longoria is healthy. The D’Backs like what they see with Bortnick, but he was sent to Triple-A, so it clearly wasn’t a move they expected to impact the club in 2012.
7/25 – Los Angeles Dodgers + Miami Marlins
Los Angeles acquires Randy Choate (RP) and Hanley Ramirez (3B/SS)
Miami acquires Nathan Eovaldi (SP) and Scott McGough (RP)
The dividends of this trade has already paid off for both squads – the Dodgers swept the rival Giants in San Francisco last weekend, largely in part to Ramirez and his clutch hits. Choate has already come in and fended off opposing lefty hitters in a couple of appearances. And Eovaldi made a good first start in Miami. McGough is a bit of a project but has a high ceiling in Single-A. The Dodgers traded long-term guys for immediate help. Read more about this trade HERE.
7/27 – Los Angeles Angels + Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles acquires Zack Greinke (SP)
Milwaukee acquires Juan Segura (SS), Johnny Hellweg (SP), Ariel Pena (SP)
The Angels bolstered an already-scary rotation with the addition of former Cy Young winner Greinke. He joins Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver in Anaheim. The Brewers got quite a haul in return, as all three prospects were top ten in the Angels’ system. Pena’s name stands out because he had a 216.00 ERA in his Futures Game appearance this year. Oops! Just for the sheer ridiculousness of the Angels’ new rotation, they win this trade. Read more about this trade HERE.
Colorado Rockies + San Francisco Giants
Colorado acquires Charlie Culberson (2B)
San Francisco acquires Marco Scutaro (IF)
Neither team needed to make this move, but it happened anyway. Scutaro gives the Giants a quality, veteran utility player who will definitely not solve their offensive woes. At best, Scutaro will find random ways to be in the lineup as soon as Pablo Sandoval returns from injury. Culberson is a good prospect and has a shot at stardom if he continues to progress. This one is a toss-up.
7/29 – Chicago White Sox + Minnesota Twins
Chicago acquires Francisco Liriano (SP)
Minnesota acquires Eduardo Escobar (IF) and Pedro Hernandez (SP)
If the Sox think Liriano will be the added depth they need in the rotation to compete down the stretch, they are sorely mistaken. Brilliant occasionally, awful usually, Liriano was let go by the Twins because they just couldn’t take it anymore. They were able to pry a light-hitting, yet slick-fielding top-10 hitting prospect and a left-handed pitcher from Chicago. But the ultimate victory was ridding themselves of Liriano. Read more about this trade HERE.
Arizona Diamondbacks + Houston Astros
Arizona acquires Chris Johnson (3B)
Houston acquires Marc Krauss (1B/OF) and Bobby Borchering (3B/OF)
If you’re Houston…why not? You are selling everyone and their mothers anyway, so if a corner infielder is shipped away, bring in two others who are younger and can be molded however you see fit. Johnson hit a huge grand slam yesterday against the division rival Dodgers, so he’s already a D’Back hero. But this trade didn’t really hurt either team. Again, a default winner.
7/30 – Texas Rangers + Chicago Cubs
Texas acquires Geovany Soto (C) and cash
Chicago acquires Jacob Brigham (SP)
Another NL Central team going full fire sale, the Cubs gladly took the Rangers up on their offer to rid the club of a former Rookie of the Year in Soto, who had steadily declined both in health and production. Brigham is a pitcher the Rangers had pretty high hopes for that just wasn’t panning out. It looks like he’ll have to earn his way to the majors as a relief pitcher now. Texas designated Yorvit Torrealba in response to getting Soto.
Atlanta Braves + Chicago Cubs
Atlanta acquires Reed Johnson (OF), Paul Maholm (SP) and cash
Chicago acquires Arodys Vizcaino (RP) and Jaye Chapman (RP)
The Braves got a veteran utility outfielder and an underrated big league starter for two minor league relievers. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. That being said, Vizcaino has an exceptionally high ceiling. He was the number two prospect in the Braves organization coming into 2012, but was sidelined and needed Tommy John surgery in March. Not yet 22, we could see the hard-throwing right hander closing out games at Wrigley Field by 2014.
Pittsburgh Pirates + Toronto Blue Jays
Pittsburgh acquires Travis Snider (OF)
Toronto acquires Brad Lincoln (RP)
This was a surprising and somewhat strange trade, but the Pirates got another high-potential bat in Snider, in exchange for a pretty solid reliever in Lincoln. Snider has great power potential but hasn’t put it together yet in the Majors. If he does, the Pirates got a steal. Lincoln is no slouch though. His 2.73 ERA in the Pirates’ bullpen this season opened some eyes, and the Blue Jays intend to let him try his hand as a set up man.
Seattle Mariners + Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle acquires Eric Thames (OF)
Toronto acquires Steve Delabar (RP)
I actually like what the Blue Jays are doing. They know they have the offense, but need to bolster the pitching staff in the rotation and bullpen. So they are trading high-potential, excess bats to bring in some quality bullpen help. Delabar is a good pick-up, and Thames won’t be missed in that lineup. For the Mariners, who are always looking for bats, they are hoping Thames continues to improve and becomes a legit power threat from the right side of the plate.
Seattle Mariners + Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle acquires Logan Bawcom (RP) and Leon Landry (OF)
Los Angeles acquires Brandon League (RP)
The only reason the Dodgers made this move was because they were planning to move one of their current right handers in the bullpen, Josh Lindblom. League replaces Lindblom and is a slight upgrade, though it’s not a hugely noteworthy trade overall. The M’s pulled in a pretty good pitching prospect who needs a lot of work and a young, fast outfielder who has put up HUGE numbers at Single-A.
7/31 – Los Angeles Dodgers + Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles acquires Shane Victorino (OF)
Philadelphia acquires Josh Lindblom (RP), Ethan Martin (SP) and Player To Be Named Later/Cash
A trade between the two biggest movers netted each team a pretty good haul. The Dodgers were in desperate need of an upgrade in the outfield and at the very top of the lineup, and came away with both in one guy. Philly received a good set up man who can become great with some consistency in Lindblom. But Martin may be a steal, considering the solid year he’s having in Double-A. Read more about this trade HERE.
San Francisco Giants + Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco acquires Hunter Pence (OF)
Philadelphia acquires Nate Schierholtz (OF), Tommy Joseph (C), Seth Rosin (SP)
The Giants needed to answer their rivals’ big pick ups of Victorino and Ramirez, so they swung a move for a great all-around player in Pence. They lost a back up outfielder with a great arm in Schierholtz and their number two propsect in Joseph, but the immediate returns should more than make up for it. San Francisco is plenty deep at catcher for the foreseeable future, so Joseph was expendable. Great pick up for the Phils there though. Read more about this trade HERE.
Miami Marlins + St. Louis Cardinals
Miami acquires Zack Cox (3B)
St. Louis acquires Edward Mujica (RP)
This trade was completely unnecessary for the Redbirds, as their bullpen had been nearly impenetrable as of late. After slow starts, Mitchell Boggs and Mark Rzepczynski had turned it around and that relief corps was hot. Not that Mujica won’t just bolster it further, but did they really want to give up a top-five offensive prospect for a middle reliever? Miami scores again. Fire sale mode has worked wonders for the disappointing new-look Marlins.
Arizona Diamondacks + Boston Red Sox
Arizona acquires Scott Podsednik (OF) and Matt Albers (RP)
Boston acquires Craig Breslow (RP)
This isn’t much of a trade, despite all three players being Major League level. The Sox and D’Backs essentially swapped pretty good relievers, though Breslow is a lefty, Albers is not. So the Red Sox get the edge there. And while Arizona doesn’t necessarily need any help in the outfield, Podsednik can get on base and provide some speed. It’s the little things that will allow the D’Backs to climb back into the NL West race here.
Pittsburgh Pirates + Miami Marlins
Pittsburgh acquires Gaby Sanchez (1B) and Kyle Kaminska (RP)
Miami acquires Gorkys Hernandez (OF) and 2013 competitive balance draft pick
The Pirates continue to make under-the-radar moves that should help their playoff push in 2012. Sanchez was replaced by Carlos Lee in Miami, despite being mired in a similar slump as El Caballo. Hernandez goes to the Fish in a trade that really helps both sides. Sanchez has put up big numbers in the Majors in years past, while Hernandez has been a top prospect for Pittsburgh for a few years. Time will tell which team comes out on top.
Cincinnati Reds + Kansas City Royals
Cincinnati acquires Jonathan Broxton (RP)
Kansas City acquires J.C. Sulbaran (SP) and Donnie Joseph (RP)
I understand that the Reds didn’t want to be left out, but this is an embarrasment of riches. They didn’t need bullpen help. That being said, you can never have enough quality bullpen arms. I also understand that the Royals need pitching, but what if Joakim Soria isn’t back to full strength after he returns next season? They better hope Sulbaran, Joseph and Soria pan out, or they let a good closer walk for cheap.
New York Yankees + Pittsburgh Pirates
New York acquires Casey McGehee (1B/3B)
Pittsburgh acquires Chad Qualls (RP)
At the last second, the Yanks just had to do something. Anything. And they actually made a pretty shrewd move, getting someone the Pirates felt they didn’t need, in return for a veteran reliever. Qualls is good, he’s always been steady – but the Yankees might be laughing if McGehee can actually step in and fill the shoes of the crippled Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez for them. Pirates get another bullpen arm, Yankees get a power bat. Close call.
Texas Rangers + Chicago Cubs
Texas acquires Ryan Dempster (SP)
Chicago acquires Christian Villanueva (3B) and Kyle Hendricks (SP)
After weeks of drama, the curtain finally fell on the Cubs’ ace Dempster, who wound up in Texas. It makes you wonder if the Rangers already assumed Neftali Feliz was seriously injured (announced earlier today that he would need season-ending Tommy John surgery) before the trade was made. The Cubs stack the minor league system with two more guys who can be molded into very good players a couple of seasons down the road. Read more about this trade HERE.
Boston Red Sox + Cleveland Indians
Boston acquires Steven Wright (SP)
Cleveland acquires Lars Anderson (1B/OF)
Um. Who? I don’ t know. So I did a little research. The last trade before the deadline hit looks on paper as if it favors the Red Sox. Wright is a 27-year-old knuckleballing reliever who had a pretty nifty ERA in Double-A this season. If he comes around late like R.A. Dickey, who knows? And Anderson was formerly thought to be a top prospect, but has struggled in the minors. At only 24 years old, the Tribe is willing to take their chances.
Winner: Red Sox
There you have it folks. A run down of the last week of trading in Major League Baseball, leading up to the crazy finale of the trade deadline. Are you surprised at some of these trades? Anyone still in the same uniforms who you thought would have been moved?
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Three Up, Three Down comes back this week to recap the big news in baseball. We hit the DL and also attack ‘Mapes Too Early Awards’. It also wouldn’t be a “Three Up, Three Down” without our 3U3D Fantasy segment, which continues to provide you with some very good picks. Sit down, grab your favorite beer, and take a listen to this week’s episode. Thanks for listening!!
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the podcast!
or use this link to download on iTunes
Earlier edition of Weekend Watch this week. Only three games on a Thursday night? Something seems off with that, I’m currently filling my time with the Women’s College World Series and Scripps National Spelling Bee. Would it kill them to make sure there is a day game every day? Here’s what I’m excited for this weekend.
5) Braves at Nationals
I’ve decided to stop putting the Braves near the top spot in these rankings every week, but this match-up is still too juicy to not include at all. Nationals befuddled the Braves at Turner Field this weekend while Atlanta was in the midst of a 8-game losing streak. Taking two of three from the Cardinals put some spring in their step heading on the road. Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman’s returns were sorely needed for the Braves offense. Almost the same pitching duels as last weekend as we’ll see Mike Minor/Stephen Strasburg and Brandon Beachy/Gio Gonzalez part deux, along with Tommy Hanson/Jordan Zimmermann on Sunday. Gonzalez was the most impressive last Sunday shutting down the Braves to one hit over seven innings with 10 strikeouts. He now leads the NL in strikeouts and K/9. Was that start enough to take my NL Cy Young in the “Too Early MLB Awards”? Answer coming this weekend. Weird but true stat: Michael Bourn already has five home runs this season, he had four in 2010 and 2011 combined.
4) Yankees at Tigers
The Tigers have been the biggest team disappointment in the Majors this season sitting at just 23-27 so far in a weak AL Central. Doug Fister is heading back to the DL to join teammate Austin Jackson. Tigers might be in some trouble with the Yankees coming to town. CC Sabathia is heading to the hill for the opener against Casey Crosby, who has a 4.26 ERA in AAA this season. What does bode well for Tigers fans is the Yankee lineup typically has trouble with pitchers they have never seen before. I’m excited to watch Justin Verlander on Sunday take on the Yankee lineup in a rematch from the 2011 ALDS. Not weird but true stat: CC Sabathia has more losses against the Tigers (12) than any other team.
3) Marlins at Phillies
There is no team hotter in the Majors than the Miami Marlins. Their 21 wins in May set the franchise record for wins in a month. The Phillies were dealt a tough blow with the loss of ace Roy Halladay for 6-8 weeks, but still have enough rotation goodness to survive. Kyle Kendrick has filled in admirably thus far and Vance Worley should be due back shortly. Cole Hamels with his 8-1 record and 2.43 ERA is also in the running for the “Too Early MLB Awards” NL Cy Young. Two plugs for a future blog in this blog? Oops. Weird but true stat: Giancarlo Stanton is 3 for 4 this season with two outs and the bases loaded with two grand slams. He loves the pressure. Please vote for him to go to Kansas City for the All-Star Game.
2) Orioles at Rays
Typically, I would put the battle of teams tied for the division lead in the AL East in the top spot, but A) I don’t want to hear about any East Coast bias and B) there’s a match-up that intrigues me slightly more. Orioles are hitting a rough patch right now, just 2-8 in their last 10 games, but did take two of three from the Rays, three weeks ago. Wei-Yin Chen has been a find for Baltimore and will take on David Price in the Friday opener. I’m also intrigued to see if shutting down a then-hot White Sox offense on Memorial Day is enough for Matt Moore to turn the corner. Would make me feel a lot better about picking him to win AL Rookie of the Year and AL Cy Young in the preseason. Signing a new extension hasn’t slowed down Adam Jones as he’s hitting .385 with two home runs since the press conference before last Sunday’s game. Not weird but true stat: Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson has beaten the Orioles more times (4) than any other team in his young career.
1) Rangers at Angels
So why this series over Orioles/Rays? I want to watch how the Rangers respond to getting 20+ runs put up on them by the Mariners. I want to see if Albert Pujols hot streak continues. I want to watch Mark Trumbo demolish pitches. I want to see Mike Trout do everything. (Told you I’d rather have him than Bryce Harper this season.) I want to see Yu Darvish pitch against C.J. Wilson. I want to see if Mike Trout can chase down Yu Darvish for AL Rookie of the Year. I want to see if Dan Haren has really turned things around. I want to see if the Angels can get over the .500 hump and make the AL West interesting. Last but definitely not least, I want to watch Josh Hamilton. Weird but true stat: Yu Darvish has given up 9 ER in 9.2 IP against the Mariners and 13 ER in 50.1 IP against every other team he’s faced. I asked for votes for Giancarlo Stanton before for the All-Star game, now it’s Mark Trumbo’s turn. He’s hitting .348 this season with 10 home runs this season while bouncing around from 3B to 1B to RF, to LF, to DH. If that doesn’t convince you, let my friends at the MLB Fan Cave try and do it.
Mapes Fantasy Special
A great 3-0 week last week as Ivan Nova, Mark Buehrle, and especially R.A. Dickey came through with starts that helped your fantasy team. These are now 15-5 on positive starts on the season. Sadly, Dickey and Buehrle have moved over the 50% owned threshold for Mapes Fantasy Special, so let’s see what I can find for this weekend.
6/1 Wade Miley at Padres (45% owned), Might as well go with our Three Up player on the podcast this week. Miley has been great and you have to like facing the Padres at Petco even with the return of Carlos Quentin.
6/2 Brandon McCarthy at Royals (45% owned), I’m not feeling too strong about this one with McCarthy just coming off the DL. It is a nice spot though against a KC team that is just 5-17 at home this year. McCarthy gave up 2 ER in 6 IP earlier this year against the Royals.
6/3 Barry Zito vs. Cubs (22% owned) I really like Zito here at home coming off a good start against the Diamondbacks. Cubs are 27th in the league in runs scored and are pitching Travis Wood, who hasn’t been great.
Coming soon is my “Too Early MLB Awards” now that June is upon us. Who do you think should be taking the hardware at this point in the season?
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Hope everyone enjoyed their first taste of interleague play last weekend. I know I did with the Braves taking two out of three from the AL East leading Rays. Now that we’re back in traditional league play let’s see what this week has in store. I’ll try to not put the Braves match-up with the Nationals in the top spot, but before I look at everything else, it’s a fair warning it’s going to end up there.
5) Padres at Mets
This match-up would never crack the top five usually, but it makes it for one reason, Banner Day. What is Banner Day, you ask? It used to be a Mets tradition that fans would make giant banners and after the game would walk in a parade around the stadium. Living in Connecticut, I get SNY which airs Mets games. They’ll occasionally show “Mets Yearbook” chronicling a past season and my favorite part to randomly watch is Banner Day footage. The puns are always hilarious. I’m setting the over/under at “We Like Ike” or “He’s got the Wright stuff” at 24.5. Might go under with the way Ike Davis and played this year. Watch this and enjoy!
4) Giants at Marlins
Might have to make the four spot the “Marlins” spot as they’ve now been here each of the last two weeks. The series started Thursday night with a Giants 14-7 victory. Two struggling starters take the hill on Friday in Tim Lincecum and Josh Johnson. The other two pitching battles are solid though as well with Madison Bumgarner and Mark Buehrle on Saturday and Matt Cain taking on Ricky Nolasco on Sunday. I really would like to take this time to make sure you endorse Giancarlo Stanton for the 2012 Home Run Derby. First, he breaks the scoreboard on a grand slam off of Jamie Moyer.
Then follows it up Thursday night with a bomb over the Clevelander nightclub into the Budweiser Balcony in left field.
I’ve said it from the start of the new Marlins Park. Stanton will put one off the glass in left field at some point.
3) Phillies at Cardinals
Another series that started Thursday with a high-scoring affair 10-9 in favor of the Phillies. This series also features two solid pitching duels with Cliff Lee and Kyle Lohse on Friday and Roy Halladay/Adam Wainwright on Sunday. As we discussed on Kelsey’s Kardinals Injury Korner the Cardinals offense is in shambles and add Matt Carpenter to the disabled list. Halladay and Lee should be able to pick apart the depleted Redbirds lineup. This series also features two of the best catchers in the National League in Carlos Ruiz and Yadier Molina. National League catcher might not the deepest, but also the most difficult position to choose for the 2012 All-Star Game. Who do you send home from Molina, Ruiz, Brian McCann, Buster Posey, and I’m being serious with these last two, Jonathan Lucroy and A.J. Ellis. There are going to be a lot of disappointed backstops.
2) Blue Jays at Rangers
Here’s a chance for the Jays to make a statement and show the rest of the American League that they are for real and can contend for the playoffs. Brandon Morrow goes in game one for Toronto after becoming the 1st pitcher in MLB to have two shutouts this season. Yu Darvish should be in line for a good start on Sunday for Texas, seeing as he’s dominated every team not named the Mariners in his short career. No home runs in the past 11 games for Josh Hamilton, ugh what’s wrong with that guy. Please note sarcasm.
1) Nationals at Braves
The battle for NL East lead. I tried to promise not making it number one, but it’s the only series that will decide who is leading a division come Monday. I’ll keep it short, but the Sunday match-up of Gio Gonzalez and Brandon Beachy may decide the winner of the NL Cy Young in my “Too Early MLB Awards” coming at the start of June. This is my favorite game of the weekend, no bias I promise.
Mapes Fantasy Special
I hit a rough patch going 1-2 last week with Henderson Alvarez and Jarrod Parker getting crushed at home, while John Danks through 6 shutout, go figure. Naturally, Parker’s next start was fantastic. Here’s what I have for this weekend, remember they must be 50% owned or less. 12-5 record on the season.
5/25 Ivan Nova (48% owned) at Athletics, 2-0 in his career against Oakland, the ERA isn’t great, but Nova is coming off the best strikeout performance of his career. He should be solid in that ballpark.
5/26 Mark Buehrle (47% owned) vs. Giants, Going back to the well with Buehrle who performed admirably for me at home in a Mapes Fantasy Special two weeks ago. Hard to expect a win against Madison Bumgarner or a ton of K’s, but good peripherals will carry the day.
5/27 R.A. Dickey (49% owned) vs. Padres, I might be copping out a little bit taking three guys really close to the 50% threshold, but I didn’t think Dickey would be available. He never gets enough credit and is a quality start machine. Plus, it’s Banner Day! Kudos to any Mets fans to can sneak in a Dickey pun on the field.
What would your Mets banner say? Let me know in the comments. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend and take some time to thank a soldier for their service to our country.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)