Daily Archives: December 28, 2015

Questions Remain For Tigers Heading In To 2016

detroit tigers2Al Avila has started off the hot stove season with a flurry of moves, firing some of the first shots of free agency and working the trade market.  With the big names being moved during the season, subtractions have been pretty low key, with Alex Avila, Al Albuquerque, Neftali Feliz, being the major players leaving Detroit in the offseason.

We can all agree that the bullpen was the biggest hole to fill, followed by the rotation, and finally leftfield.  We’ve added two starters in Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Pelfrey, added strong backend bullpen arms with Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Lowe, and Justin Wilson.  Detroit even got better defensively with the addition of once top Tiger prospect, Cameron Maybin.  Yet FanGraphs projects Detroit to finish below .500 again at 74-87, so what’s next?

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The Pittsburgh Pirates are in step with recent 1B Trends

Nearly four weeks later, many are still questioning the Pittsburgh Pirates for their decision to release first baseman Pedro Alvarez.

While most accept that the move was necessary given Alvarez’s inability to grasp the position defensively, some still look at the team’s recent moves to back-fill as ignoring the need for a power-hitting first baseman.

Indeed, the team’s reliance on some combination of Michael Morse, Jason Rogers and newest acquisition John Jaso would suggest that the Pirates do not value a traditional home-run threat of Alvarez’s ilk at the position.

Are they right to do so?

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Looking back at the pace of play in 2015

Clock ticking

On February 20, 2015, MLB announced a series of initiatives aimed at quickening the pace of play in Major League games, the key changes were:

  • Umpires will enforce Rule 6.02(d), which requires hitters to keep one foot in the box during an at-bat, subject to certain exceptions.
  • Timers will be used to ensure that the game resumes promptly at the end of inning breaks.
  • Managers will no longer come out of the dugout to initiate a replay challenge. A manager will also keep his challenge after each call that is overturned. Last year, a challenge was retained only after the first overturned call.

So how did those changes pan out for you? Did you notice if the pace of play sped up? Did the pace of play speed up at all? I can’t say that I noticed if a game was any quicker or not, I did notice the new rule about stepping out of the batters box because the announcers kept harping on it. I also became aware of the clock between innings when I missed a home run because the game resumed before the television was back to the game from its barrage of commercials.

Check out the rest of the story at Twinstrivia.com.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 28, 2015

MLB Reports

DH_hr_10.86 AP File

The man who gave me one of the greatest moments of my youth passed away.

Today I pay tribute to the immortal Dave Henderson.

RIP to the hero of 1986 in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Cincinnati Reds State Of The Union For 2016

The Reds management started off the rebuild project nicely with the midsummer deals of Leake and Cueto. They also got a nice haul for 2 years left of Todd Frazier. However, due to a 10/5 rule for Brandon Phillips, and a domestic dispute killing potential other deals, Cincinnati has been stymied in completing the quest. Our own Jordan Gluck ranked them as the 27th worst prospects team in 2015, and it has only slightly improved since the spring. It is going to be a long arduouas process for the brass to pull themselves out of thi predicament.

The Reds management started off the rebuild project nicely with the midsummer deals of Leake and Cueto. They also got a nice haul for 2 years left of Todd Frazier. However, due to a 10/5 rule for Brandon Phillips, and a domestic dispute killing potential other deals, Cincinnati has been stymied in completing the quest. Our own Jordan Gluck ranked them as the 27th worst prospects team in 2015, and it has only slightly improved since last spring. It is going to be a long arduous process for the brass to pull themselves out of this predicament.  Jesse Winker and Robert Stephenson join Jose Peraza as the top 3 prospects that could make the 2016 club.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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The Reds finished 64 – 98 in 2015 and the situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.  I predict 100 losses for the Cincinnati club for 2016, and they could really rack up some L’s especially past the trade deadline of next year if they do their job right in managing the squad.

I like the path the management has taken for trading players, unfortunately a domestic dispute cost the chance to flip Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers, and the 10 – 5 rule cost them another opportunity to deal Brandon Phillips to the Nationals.

Obviously there is still hope they can trade these guys before they can’t do so anymore.

Last season the club dealt Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake in separate deals at the deadline, and have 3 players on the current depth chart to show for it (Adam Duvall, Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb, while they have 2 more Minor League prospects in Keury Mella and Cody Reed.)

Cincinnati finished just 1 win ahead of the Phillies for the worst record in the Major Leagues.

There is no polite way to go about this rebuilding process.  Jay Bruce, Devin Mesoraco, Jumbo Diaz, J.J. Hoover, Tony Cingrani, Zack Cozart and Homer Bailey should all be considered to be traded in addition to Chapman and Phillips.

The only real players the club should keep are Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton, Anthony DeSclafani and all other players they traded for last season – or are in their Minor League system.

One only has to look in which Division they play in to realize that their Roster is overmatched and there is no short term solution to fix this organization.

The Cubs are set for an awesome 4 – 5 years stretch of play as all of their young offensive stars are groomed by their recent Free Agent signings over the last 2 winters.

St. Louis has reset their roster among the veteran core that aged together with Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday. Read the rest of this entry

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