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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 7/27/2008 3:21:00 PM
View more posts by this author


Facing a Rockies team batting .245 on the road this year (third worst in baseball), Homer Bailey allowed a ludicrous 15 hits over 4.2 innings Saturday. He now sports a 39:41 K:BB ratio over 74.1 big league innings. Depending on format, of course, Bailey might be worth cutting bait even in keeper leagues at this point.

Carl Crawford has been one of the bigger disappointments in 2008. A .692 OPS? And if thatís not bad enough, heís stopped running as well, having not recorded a single steal over his last 15 games. Heís not exactly an ideal No. 3 hitter for a team fighting for the playoffs, which is where Tampa Bay is currently batting him.

Weíll give Fausto Carmona a break since Saturdayís shelling came during his first start since May 23, but what happened to the pitcher he was last season? Heís struck out more batters than heís walked in just two of his 11 starts this year, leaving him with an ugly 24:41 K:BB ratio. Things certainly havenít gone as planned in Cleveland this season, but I do applaud them acquiring Anthony Reyes for peanuts.

Troy Tulowitzki has been downright awful this year, but he could be a difference maker from here on out. Still available in some shallow leagues, itís easy to forget just how good Tulowitzki was last season, and he still has Coors Field to his advantage. Over the six games since coming off his most recent trip on the DL, Tulowitzki is 13-for-26, so a move up in the lineup should follow.

Robinson Cano is officially a second half player. Like clockwork, as soon as the All-Star beak ended, Cano is batting .514 (18-for-35) and has multiple hits in seven of eight games. He also has two homers with 10 RBI. This after he hit .365 during the second half of 2006 and .343 post All-Star break in 2007. Maybe thereís nothing to this sample size, and itís never advisable to time the market, but Cano is certainly someone Iíd want on my team from here on out.

As if the B.J. Ryan fiasco wasnít bad enough, now thereís word Dustin McGowan has been pitching with an undisclosed damaged shoulder all season long. At least it gives reason for McGowanís disappointing 2008, but this is the latest example of how some underlying cause can contribute to struggles. That and the Blue Jays cannot be trusted. Ever.

The Dodgersí latest trade is another example of them just not getting it. Casey Blake isnít horrible or anything, but I doubt heís a big upgrade over Andy LaRoche, and heíll be a liability on defense, also having to learn a whole new set of pitchers. Jonathan Meloan has had a poor 2008, but heís been transitioned to starter in a tough environment for pitchers and entered 2008 as one of the leagueís best relief prospects. If he can cut down the walks, heís a future closer. Carlos Santana is a 22-year-old catcher currently sporting a .994 OPS in High-A. Plus, heís not bad on the guitar. Bring back Paul DePodesta.

Although Jose Tabata has a bunch of potential, I donít have a problem with the Yankeesí recent trade, especially since Tabata has been such a discontent. Marteís proven he can pitch in the AL before, and despite its terrific success, New Yorkís pen did need a lefty. Xavier Nady isnít a difference maker, but heíll be an upgrade over Brett Gardner, so this deal did fill two needs without giving up a major piece. The Pirates certainly came down from their original asking price.

All this talk about Francisco Rodriguez being the ALís Cy Young is an absolute joke. What does opportunity have to do with performance? Forget the fact Cliff Lee has been way more valuable, since heís thrown 95.1 innings more and all, but even looking at relievers in the American League, Mariano Rivera, Joakim Soria, Joe Nathan and Jonathan Papelbon have all outpitched Rodriguez this season, and itís really not all that close.


It's not just Crawford - the whole Rays' lineup doesn't look like that of a first place team. It's tough to win with Aybar, Gross, Riggins, and Bartlett at 6-9.

We don't know if Blake is an upgrade over LaRoche because the Dodgers never gave LaRoche a chance.
Posted by MPStopa at 7/27/2008 3:41:00 PM
Good stuff. You know we're in full agreement on K-Rod. It will be interesting to see what team grossly overpays him in the winter, and how they react if/when those violent mechanics finally catch up to K-Rod.
Posted by spianow at 7/27/2008 4:11:00 PM
The Blake deal was typical Colletti. Not dealing the organization's elite young talent, but figuring that since he had Russell Martin, all other young catchers are expendable, even for marginal (if that) upgrades. Anyone notice Dioner Navarro in the All-Star game this year? Colletti dealt him for Mark Hendrickson and the great Toby Hall. Super.

Agree on K-Rod. Baseball writers though unfortunately are fixated on counting stats and 60 saves is going to look mighty impressive to a lot of them. I'm far more impressed by Mariano's FOUR walks.
Posted by vtadave at 7/27/2008 4:14:00 PM
A walk is a counting stat, no? ;)
Posted by bscwik at 7/27/2008 4:43:00 PM
Stopa - I agree about the Rays' lineup. It was a fun ride, but the Yanks/Sox are still the teams to beat in that division.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 7/27/2008 6:00:00 PM
Dave - Well, Colletti does come from the Sabean GMing tree.

I fully expect baseball writers to get most of the end of year awards wrong.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 7/27/2008 6:01:00 PM
Originally I hated the Pirates deal as a Pirate fan, then the revised version came out and I liked Tabata's upside and the ideal of 3 nearly major league ready SP's. However after reading more I am left wondering if any of the pitchers are more than 5th starters and bullpen help, they all seem somewhat old for prospects. If they were really that good, the Yankees certainly could have used their help this year.

The question is ultimately would the Pirates have gotten better players in compensation picks? Anyone else have a take on this question.
Posted by 25 ALIVE at 7/27/2008 6:34:00 PM
I think as a Pirates fan you have to look at the trade this way:

Tabata and Karstens for Nady (who we were not going to keep with Boras as his agent)


Ohlendorf and McCutchen for Marte

I actually heard an interview with Huntington today on XM and he said that they explored options for trading Nady and Marte separately and they then explored the options for trading them together. He mentioned (as he had previously) that they didn't NEED to trade Marte because we would get a sandwich pick for him if we lost him. So apparently in his opinion, the present value of Ohlendorf and McCutchen as 4th-5th starters for a team with NO starting pitching was enough to nullify the need for the picks.

Overall, I think the deal is fine. We took a step forward as an organization in a sense. We actually traded two players at peak value rather than waiting too long or even worse being the ones who over pay them for too many years. We just didn't get as much as we hoped we could for them. Tabata and Karstens for Nady is definitely fair value I think. When you look back on '08 and how Nady does for the Yanks I think you'll see that we actually won that part of the deal pretty handily. Nady will struggle for the Yanks I think

The Marte part of the deal we lost.
Posted by billgoofnow at 7/27/2008 7:58:00 PM
25 ALIVE - I posted this on Keith Law's blog, but regarding the potential sandwich picks, that only works if Nady/Marte sign before the deadline to offer arbitration, or if the former team offers arbitration and they sign elsewhere. Put yourself in the Pirates' shoes for a second - what happens if they offer arbitration and the players accept? They're potentially stuck overpaying each for their peak season, and in the case of Nady, blocking one of their legitimate outfield prospects in the process. Add in that he'll be more expensive and harder to trade, and you have a pretty bad scenario on their hands. I wouldn't view that as a viable option.
Posted by Erickson at 7/28/2008 8:01:00 AM
Based on what I've seen of Ohlendorf, I think he'll be a pretty solid pitcher. I didn't like him in relief... he seems like one of those sinker-ball guys who can't stay sharp if he isn't used regularly.
Posted by czegers at 7/28/2008 9:27:00 AM
Thanks guys for the follow-up, I think I'm beginning to relax over this deal. Nady would almost certainly have accepted arbitration as he has publicly stated how much he enjoys being a Pirate and a desire to see them through there turnaround.
Posted by 25 ALIVE at 7/28/2008 5:54:00 PM

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