Down Goes an Injured Evan Gattis, In Steps Preston Tucker

Earlier today, it was announced that the Houston Astros designated hitter, Evan Gattis, will be out for 4 to 6 weeks after receiving surgery for a sports hernia. In 2015, Gattis had his best offensive season in his career hitting .246 with 27 home runs, 66 runs, 88 RBI’s, and a .285 on base percentage. He started the year off slow, but he got hot midway through the season. He was one of the Astros top offensive contributors during their playoff run. I greatly enjoyed watching Gattis crush the ball all season as an Astros fan. My family became huge fans of his hustle, raw power, and caveman-like swing (see video below of Evan Gattis swing and you will understand why I call it caveman-like). There is something about a guy who hits without batting gloves, blasts absolute bombs off fastballs that are head-high, and has a badass beard that earned him my personal nickname, Captain Caveman. Unfortunately, he could possibly miss a few games at the start of the season due to this injury, but the Astros have plenty of great alternative options.

 

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Lance McCullers Neck Chops on the Mound and Call of Duty

I have written multiple articles on Houston Astros right-handed pitcher, Lance McCullers, but this one is drastically different. When I interviewed Lance earlier this year, he did tell me that one of his hobbies is playing Call of Duty with his best friend and Milwaukee Brewers top prospect, Brett Phillips. Lance is an absolute beast on the mound, but I had heard rumors that he was pretty untouchable when it came to Call of Duty as well. I wasn’t sure if I believed this, but after scrolling through Twitter tonight and coming across the picture below, I decided that anyone who has that much style while playing Call of Duty can for sure back it up.

 

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 10, 2016

MLB Reports

McGraw John Plaque 163_NBL_0John McGraw is a towering figure in baseball. He deserves a statue as much as anyone in baseball. Plus I ask my listeners for some help.

It is carved idol episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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MLB Hot Stove Free Agency 2015-2016 Recap

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The 2015-2016 offseason has been a very memorable one. There has been some big moves made that have transformed pretenders into contenders for the 2016 season.

The biggest winners of the offseason so far are the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

\The biggest losers of the offseason are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds. \

The Chicago Cubs entered the offseason as one of the heavy favorites for 2016, and they improved even more after landing Jason Heyward, John Lackey, and Ben Zobrist.

The Boston Red Sox struggled in 2015, but they did all they could do this offseason to make 2015 a season to forget. They landed David Price, Craig Kimbrel, and Carson Smith.

There improved rotation and bullpen could make them the favorite in the AL East. The Arizona Diamondbacks had a huge offseason, but I’m not as sold on them as being a winner in the long-term.

They paid a lot of money this offseason, but the NL West is going to be a hard division to compete in 2016.

They did land some big names such as Zack Greinke, Tyler Clippard, Shelby Miller, and Jean Segura.

While I think Zack Greinke is an elite pitcher, I believe they over paid the 32 year old after signing him for 6 years for $206.5 million. To read the rest of the article, please click the link below. Follow me on Twitter @dynasty_digest

 

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Houston Astros are Proof that For a Rebuild to Work, You Must be Fully Committed

The Houston Astros were the worst team in the Major Leagues from 2011 - 2013, where they topped the 100 Loss barrier for each of those seasons, underwent an ownership change, and also moved from the tough NL Central to the AL West. Last year the Astros finally turned the corner with the 2nd Wild Card Spot, won that game in New York and took the KC Royals to the brink of elimination before they lost. They are young, have a core nucleus of team controllable superstars and exceptional depth that they can use for upgrades. It is a great time to be a 'Stros fan.

The Houston Astros were the worst team in the Major Leagues from 2011 – 2013, where they topped the 100 Loss barrier for each of those seasons, underwent an ownership change, and also moved from the tough NL Central to the AL West. Last year the Astros finally turned the corner with the 2nd Wild Card Spot, won that game in New York and took the KC Royals to the brink of elimination before they lost. They are young, have a core nucleus of team controllable superstars and exceptional depth that they can use for upgrades. It is a great time to be a ‘Stros fan.

The idea of MLB teams “tanking” has become a hot topic this winter. But honestly, would this even be a huge point of discussion if the Houston Astros didn’t show that tearing everything down and rebuilding is a viable strategy to set up a team for long-term success?

I’m not saying Houston intentionally performed badly so they would get the highest draft pick possible. However, when we take their recent rebuild into consideration, it’s pretty easy to see why some would classify it as tanking.

When teams are going through tough times, front office executives have two options: try to keep them as competitive as possible while slowly turning over the roster, or completely blowing things up and starting over.

While almost everyone would favor the second option and get a clean slate to work from, many don’t actually take the plunge and go through with it.

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Can Josh Harrison ride an excellent September into 2016?

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Josh Harrison had a good 2015 season overall, book-ended by two very different months. Can he use a good finish to 2015 as a springboard?

Josh Harrison struggled out of the gate in 2015, but after the first month of the season – when arguably every regular Pirates position player struggled – he put together some solid months sandwiched by the time lost to his thumb injury.

I don’t particularly enjoy having to use .BABIP (batting average on balls in play) as reasoning for a hitter’s struggles. At the same time, it’s particular hard to ignore that Harrison’s .BABIP for his outlier month was a paltry .242.

It’s not as if Harrison wasn’t hitting the ball hard enough. Fangraphs lists his hard hit percentage for the month of April as 29.7 percent. The balls that were hit were simply not finding grass.

On the other end of the spectrum is Harrison’s lucky September/October, where 41.1 percent of his batted balls resulted in a hit. That’s an incredible number,

READ MORE AT PIRATES BREAKDOWN…

Odds To Win The American And National League In 2016 MLB Action

MLB Reports

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Spring time is coming fast and frequent and now we are seeing daily odds placed on the League Champions for the 2016 MLB Season.  In most cases I hate picking these odds since the World Series odds tend to be more valued for the punters.

But sometimes it is still easier to prognosticate an AL Or NL winner instead of winning the whole thing.  14 clubs in the Junior Circuit are in play in my view, as are 9 potential Senior Circuit squads.

If you are here to wager on the A’s, Reds, Brewers, Braves, Phillies, Padres or Rockies for the upcoming season you are certainly delusional about baseball betting.  However if you are only wishing to bet a few dollars, than who really cares.

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Youngsters Making An Impact In 2016; American League Central

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago Cubs

With spring training around the corner, we’re taking a look at a couple of young players for each team that I think will have a larger impact in 2016.  We’ll started with the American League Eastyesterday and will move through division by division.  Today we look at AL Central…

Chicago White Sox

Carlos Rodon, LHP – The 23-year old first round (3rd pick) draft pick, had created a ton of buzz coming into last season.  Rodon ultimately started out in Triple-A Charlotte before being called up to make his Major League debut on April 21st.  Although shaky at times with control issues, Rodon really put it together at the end of the season in his last 9 starts; he was 5-2 with a 2.28 ERA, .209 average against with a 8.7 k per 9 rate.  In total, Rodon was 9-6, with a 3.75 ERA, 1.443 WHIP in 139.1 innings, but it’s that last 9 starts that showed what he could really do.

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2016 NL Rookie of the Year Candidates

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Now on to the Senior Circuit! In 2015, NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant led an impressive crop of players that included Maikel Franco, Randal Grichuk, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Duffy, Jung-ho Kang, Kyle Schwarber and Joc Pederson. Which 2016 NL rookies will break out this year? Let’s take a look…

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Please Sign the Petition for Bob Feller

Bob Feller has got to be the one Cleveland Indians player who i most wish i could have seen live. but alas, i was born in the wrong time. i can’t even say i’ve had the pleasure of meeting him. but i have read a multitude of stories about our beloved Rapid Robert, and i know what an icon the man is, not only to the Indians franchise, but also to baseball as a whole.

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therefore i,  216clevelandgirl, am going to plead with you–yes you, the person reading this right now–and ask you to please sign a petition that the Cleveland Indians started to award Bob Feller the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Feller willingly put his baseball career on hold after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and became the first professional baseball player to join the U.S. Navy during World War II. his bravery and courage earned him the rank of Chief Petty Officer. after Feller returned, he refused to be recognized as a hero, stating, “i’m no hero. heroes don’t come back.”

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