Tagged: Marlins

Who Will Win What- N.L. East- Marlins

4. Florida Marlins 82-80

The Marlins had their bats explode last year. The Marlins first, second, and third baseman along with shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, hit at least 29 or more home runs. Last season was pretty good for them as they had two all-stars in Ramirez and Dan Uggla. Flordia finished third in the East only five games behind the Mets. Right now the Marlins are five and one. The rest of the season will be a different story though.
Flordia made the first trade of the offseason when they traded Mike Jacobs to Kansas City for Leo Nunez. They traded Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham to the Nationals for speedster Emilio Bonifacio. Then they traded closer, Kevin Gregg to the Cubs for minor league pitcher Jose Ceda. They signed relief pitcher Scott Proctor. Other wise all the Marlins did was cut payroll.
The Marlins biggest problem is their defense. Dan Uggla has a bat but has absolutely no glove skills. Hanley Ramirez is a pretty slick fielder but not the best. Rookie center fielder, Cameron Maybin though has a small chance to win a Golden Glove. Jorge Cantu is an average fielder at first. Emilio Bonifacio will end up being a huge steal for the Marlins as he is fast and has a good glove. Bonifacio could be the next Mike Lowell but Lowell has more power and Bonifacio has more speed. Right fielder, Cody Ross made one error in 133 games last year but this year has all ready made an error.
The Marlins have a pretty bad bullpen led by closer Matt Lindstrom who is just above average. Leo Nunez is okay and in two games has given up two runs, one home run, and three hits. Offseason signing Scott Proctor is on the fifteen day D.L. Andrew Miller could become a good starting pitcher but will stay in the bullpen unless an injury. Hayden Penn looks like he could have a good year for the Marlins. Overall though the bullpen stinks.
The Marlins have a good offense but it is a step down from last year. Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, and Dan Uggla hit 94 home runs last year. This year Baseball Prospectus projects them to hit a total of 77 home runs and I totally agree with that. Hanley Ramirez will hit less home runs but will improve his batting average this year. Dan Uggla will hit 30 home runs but that will be about it. He will bat around .250 and drive in only 75. Jorge Cantu will have a big drop in home runs only hitting twenty home runs.
The Marlins rotation is promising but is not there just yet. People say your only as good as your weakest link and the Marlins weakest link threw a no hitter in his rookie season. More on him later though. Rick VandenHurk pitched for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic and is now on the fifteen day D.L. Chris Volstad is unproven but I believe he could have a good year. Ricky Nolasco also could have a good season this year. I think he will win seventeen games with a 3.25 ERA.
Josh Johnson could join the elite pitchers (Cole Hamels, C.C. Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Roy Oswalt, etc.) this year and I believe he can. yet Johnson will not I see Johnson winning twenty games with a 3.50 ERA maybe as soon as 2011. This year he will win eleven games and lose six with a 3.75 ERA. However Baseball Prospectus sees Johnson going eight and eight with a 4.10 ERA in 2009. It does predict that he will be come the Marlins’ ace though.
Anibal Sanchez pitched a no hitter in his rookie season but last year only pitched in ten games due to injuries and surgery. This year I see him going eight and seven with a 4.30 ERA. Sanchez could become the next Jon Lester. Sanchez just needs to work a little more and can also become an ace.
Just a few years ago the Marlins had the best pitching staff in baseball with Ryan Dempster, A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny, Josh Beckett. Today Dempster is with the Cubs, Burnett is with the Yankees, and Beckett and Penny are with the Red Sox. All are with big market teams. Like most small market teams they get good players and then once they are good they leave for money. Nolasco, Johnson, VanderHurk, and Sanchez will probably do that.
The Marlins will be taking a step back this year due mostly to the economy but they are going to be around for a while but for the next few years Florida will be watching baseball in October.

Photo Credits
2- myjewelrybox.com

Also I am sorry for my lack of comments lately. I have been very busy lately. 

Guess Who’s Back . . .

I would like to thank everyone who has guessed but no one has gotten it yet. I am going to give you guys till Friday then I will tell you.


Finally, At Last, and Yes were my first words said after I learned that Mike Lowell would start playing again today. In today’s game he was the Designated Hitter and not third base, his primary position. He went one for three before Lars Anderson pinch ran for him in the seventh. Lowell had surgery to fix a torn hip labrum which is what Alex Rodriguez has. He underwent the surgery on October 20, the first day of the Red Sox’s offseason. His last a-bat berfore today was Game three of the 2008 ALDS against the Angels. Lowell has had a heck of an offseason all ready with the surgery and the trade rumors. When the Red Sox showed interest in signing Mark Teixeira which would move Kevin Youkilis to third Boston thought about trading Lowell. At first I hoped Teixeira would sign with the Red Sox but then I thought about it one day a decided I wanted him to stay. Many of my friends say he is washed-up and overrated but how does a guy only make ten errors in 113 games and hit .274 which is higher then B.J. Upton (.273 and talk about overrated), Evan Longoria (.272), and Robinson Cano (.271 another guy who is overrated). 

Lowell was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1995 MLB player draft in the 20th round. He made his MLB debut on September 13, 1998. He played in eight games and in the offseason was traded to the Florida Marlins. On February 1, 1999 he discovered he had cancer and underwent surgery on February 21.He returned to the lineup on May 29. In 2003 Lowell was having a fantastic season but in late August hit by a pitch from Montreal Expos’ pitcher Hector Almonte. He missed 32 games and was replaced by Miguel Cabrera. He still had 32 home runs and 105 RBI’s and came back in time to lead the Marlins to the franchise’s second World Series victory. Lowell earned his only Golden Glove in 2005. On Novemeber 21, 2005 he was traded to Boston as an “add on” for the Josh Beckett deal. 2007 was a great year for Lowell. He hit .324 with 21 home runs, 120 RBI’s, and 191 hits.  Lowell also made his forth all-star game. Then in the postseason he was yet again fantastic in route to winning the 2007 World Series MVP. He placed fifth in MVP voting that year and signed a three year contract worth $37.5 million. On May 6, 2008 Lowell’s autobiography, Deep Drive: A Long Journey To Finding The Champion Within. was released. You can find it on one of my link list  to the right. Lowell wanted to participate in the 2009 World Baseball Classic but was unable to  because of his injury. Hopefully this year Lowell can prove to my friend’s that Lowell is not washed up and is still underrated.
Capitol gain: World Series MVP Mike...

All right the standing trivia is, “Who threw the first no-hitter under lights.” So far the hints are . . .
1- It can be any league in any country.
2- I have know the answer my whole life.
3- He does not have a wikipedia page.
4- He has a common last name.
5- He played for the Kansas City Blues and the Indianapolis Indians.

Today’s hints are that he was in the Yankees’ and Mets farm system at the same time, he played for two different Yankee farm system teams, and he stopped playing in 1935 to work on a railroad so he could make money during the great depression.

Photo Credits
1- redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com
2- askville.amazon.com
3- bostonherald.com

Fantasy Baseball Help- Tip 1

I know Cob is starting a fantasy baseball league so I thought for all you first timers I thought I would give you some tips.

Draft Players on Good Teams

When drafting your team try to draft great players on average or great teams. The Mariners lost 101 games in 2008 year. In 2007 years ago they won 88 games. In 2007 Felix Hernandez won 14 games an in 2008 he won nine and lost 14. For pitchers run support is key. A baseball team with great sluggers and average pitchers will do fine. In 2007 the Tampa Bay Devil Rays won 66 games. In 2008 the Rays won 97 games. Every single one of their pitchers did better because of run support. When drafting sluggers you can afford to break this rule for a really good player. Playing on a better team for a slugger means more runs, RBI’s, and a higher on base percentage. You get more runs because people will drive you in more. You get more RBI’s, because more people will be standing at third base. Lastly you will get a higher on base percentage because if a pitcher walks someone they will then have to face a better hitter next. Lets use the Mariners and the Rays again. In 2007 Ichiro hit had 111 runs, 68 RBI’s, and a .396 on base percentage. In 2008 he had 103 runs, 42 RBI’s, and a .361 on base percentage. Akinori Iwamura, of the Rays had 82 runs, 34 RBI’s, and a .359 on base percentage in 2007. In 2008 he had 91 runs, 48 RBI’s, and a .349 on base percentage. Sure his on base percentage dropped by .010 but he had a much better year. When you drafted players on good teams their confidence is higher which means a better year most of the time. So my list of teams I would draft from are the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Twins, White Sox, Indians, Angels, A’s, Rangers, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Phillies, Astros, Cubs, Reds, D-Backs, Giants, and Rockies. I don’t plan on drafting any one from the Rays or Yankees though. Also I left the Brewers and Cardinals off for two reasons their pitchers and the fact that their not that heathy.

Who Will Start at Shortstop?!?

First- I know I said I would blog about Cole Hamels, but I decided not to.

Besides resigning Jason Varitex the Red Sox have one more need, figuring out who will play shortstop. the Red Sox have two choices being, Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie. Lugo played 82 games last season, hit .268, with one home run, drove in twenty-two, and stole twelve. Lugo also had a .945 fielding percentage before getting injured. Lowrie was called up after Lugo got hurt and played in 81 games, hit .258, with two home runs, drove in 46, and stole one base. One big difference is their age. Lugo is 33 while Lowrie is only twenty-four. Lowrie made two errors last season at third base which isn’t even his main position. Lowrie can play shortstop, third base, and second base. If you based the choice on stats Jed Lowrie would start. The Red Sox currently don’t have a utility man though. So since Lowrie can play three positions I would trade Lugo for a prospect and a utility man. I could also trade Lugo for a young catcher. The only problem with that is Lugo gets paid $9,250,000 and no team really needs Lugo. Lugo in one word is overpaid. A while a g there was a proposed trade that would have sent Lugo to the Tigers and Dontrelle Willis or Nate Robinson to Boston. Wills, who won the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year Award with the Flordia Marlins got sent to single A ball this season. This season he had a record of zero wins and two loses, had an ERA of 9.38, and had only eighteen strikeouts, in twenty-four innings. He also walked 35. One good thing about Wills, he is a high risk low reward type of guy so he will not becoming to Boston. He also will not come to the Red Sox because we have enough starting pitchers. I would put my money on both to share shortstop with Lugo getting a little more playing time. Also this is kind of random. Jed Lowrie needs a nickname. How about Jed the Jet?
 Late breakdown: A ninth-inning error...

Glavine to Boston?!?

Tom Glavine a low risk high reward player said he felt good after throwing of the mound for the first time since elbow and shoulder surgery in August. Glavine is a local guy according to Julia (Julia your “dream” came true) over at Julia’s Rants. Glavine’s longtime teammate John Smoltz recently signed with the Red Sox. Glavine, a free agent, made thirteen starts last season. He went two and four, with 37 strikeouts, and a ERA 5.54. Tom Glavine is 42 years old. Glavine is a sure first ballot hall of famer he has 305 carer wins, an ERA of 3.54, and has 2,607 strikeouts. Glavine has played twenty-two seasons with the Braves on two different occasions and the New York Mets. He has won twenty games five times. While Glavine is a great player and I am sure he would love to go to the Red Sox, but Boston already has eight starters in Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Dice-K, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny, Smoltz, Clay Buchholz, and Michael Bowden. Smoltz though could come out of the bullpen and I think Clay could too. As for Bowden he’ll come up from AAA in mid-season. He would probably cost a around the amount of Smoltz and is better. Am I saying that I would rather have Glavine then Smoltz? No, Smoltz will not pitch till June but he can be a starter or come out of the bullpen which I wish every pitcher could. Glavine will should sign with a team with young pitchers, the Rays, Twins, A’s, D-Backs, Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Nationals, Marlins, or maybe even the Padres. he also could resign with the Braves who have signed Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami. The Braves also traded for former Chicago White Sox, Javier Vazquez. Vazquez is listed as the Braves ace on Braves.com don’t get that one. I would put my money on the Brewers or the Braves. The Brewers lost C.C. Sabathia to the Yankees. Ben Sheets, the other Brewers ace is still on the market. One game I would love to see, Red Sox vs. Brewers, Jon Smoltz vs. Tom Glavine, at Fenway Park. 

Tom Glavine (left) John Smoltz (center) Greg Maddux (right)

Former Met Tom Glavine retired the final 17 batters he faced during the Braves' 6-1 win in the first game of a day-night doubleheader today.

What’s the Lowe Down on the Braves

First- Sorry for the cheesy title.

Second- Sorry I didn’t blog yesterday. I was studying for a big test in science and had a basketball game, we won!
Third- B.J. Upton may miss opening day for the Rays.
Fourth- The Rays signed Gabe Gross.
Fifth- The Marlins are interested in Chad Cordero.
Sixth- The Brewers officially signed Trevor Hoffman.
Seventh- John Smoltz officially signed with Boston.
Eighth- Andruw Jones is close to leaving the Dodgers.
Ninth- Bartolo Colon is close to going back to the Chicago White Sox.
Tenth- My Celtics have won three in a row!
Eleventh- Cox Communications, a TV station in San Diego, got a new play by play guy for the Padres. Guess who it is??? My Godfather, Mark Neely!!! I’m not kidding, I swear.
Yesterday the Atlanta Braves signed former Boston Red Sox, Derek Lowe on a four year deal. I know some of my readers hoped that Derek Lowe would sign with the Red Sox. I thought he would sign with the New York Mets. The sinker baller was formerly with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The same day Boston officially signed former Atlanta Brave legend John Smoltz. The Braves now have a great rotation featuring of Lowe, Javier Vazquez who they traded for this offseason, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami, and the fifth spot is open to Tim Hudson who had tommy john surgery last year, Jorge Campillo, Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, and James Parr. It will probably be Tim Hudson. The Braves are now interested in a power hitting right fielder to start and not Matt Diaz. They could also move Matt Diaz to centerfield. The Braves want Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher who are both on the New York Yankees. Nick Swisher hasn’t played a game with the Yankees because he was traded from the Chicago White Sox this offseason. Nady was with the Pirates then got traded to the New York Yankees in midseason. Swisher is under contact till 2011 while Nady will probably become a free agent at the end of the 2009 season. I think the Braves will trade for Swisher. I think the Yankees will want one or two minor leaguers and maybe Josh Anderson or Manny Acosta. The Braves will probably try to put a starting pitcher in there since they have nine. The deal will probably include Acosta though, because the Yankees have more “power.” If I was the G.M. of the Braves I would do the deal.
Sept. 9, 2002 Derek Lowe got the win, going six innings and giving up three earned runs. Lowe was ejected in the seventh inning by umpire Jerry Crawford for hitting Felix Escalona. Grady Little was shown the gate by Crawford for arguing Lowe's ejection.

Hall of Fame Winners and Losers- Part 7

First- The Marlins aren’t really interested in Pedro after all.

Lee Smith, No, Eventually

Lee Smith is on the ballot for the sixth year. He has a carer record of 71-92, an ERA of 3.03, 1,251 strike outs, and 478 saves. Smith played 18 seasons with the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Reds, Expos. Smith will probably go in as a Cub. Closers Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage waited a while but finally got in. Smith is third on the all time saves list behind Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera. Smith will get 50% of the votes and will get in with 78% of the votes.

Alan Trammell No, Never

Alan Trammell is on the ballot for the eighth year. He hit .285, with 185 home runs, drove in 1,003, scored 1,231 times, stole 236 bases, and was caught stealing 109 times. He made 235 errors at shortstop, third, second, and outfield. Trammell played twenty seasons all with the Tigers. Trammell was a six time all-star who also won four golden gloves. Last year Trammell got 18.2% of the vote. This year he will get 20% of the vote and his best will be 40% of the vote.

Greg Vaughn No, Never

Greg Vaughn is on the ballot for the first time. He hit .242, with 355 home runs, drove in 1,072, scored 1,017 times, had 1,475 hits, stole 121, and was caught stealing 59 times. Vaughn played 15 seasons with the Brewers, Padres, Reds, Devil Rays, and Rockies. Vaughn if he does go in will probably go in as a Brewer. In 1998 he hit 50 home runs while the Padres went to the World Series. Vaughn will get 5% of the vote and his best will be 20% of the vote.