Monthly Archives: March 2016

Kepler and Van Mil to be team mates

Since I didn’t hear much about Loek van Mil and his preparation for the upcoming season, I decided to check the roster of the Minnesota Twins’ AAA affiliate, the Rochester RedWings.

Of course it was announced earlier this week that the Twins had sent Max Kepler to theirAAA farm team, but it didn’t ring a bell that Kepler and Van Mill would be team mates then. It doesn’t happen very often that a German player and a Dutch player are team mates.

Dutch native Van Mil is one of the few players that has been awarded a uniform number already: 48.
As a preparation on the upcoming season, Loek went downunder to pitch for the Adelaide Bite. He became the third player from the Kingdom of the Netherlands that played in the Australian Baseball League. The other two were Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius and Danny Arribas. Arribas played for the Sydney Blue Sox in 2013 and Gregorius played for the Canberra Cavalry in 2010 as he won the award for the best defensive player.

Loek van Mil and Max Kepler will be team mates

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 31, 2016

MLB Reports

grant_g_rodgersctr_sy_57611 Abel Images – Getty Images

More from Pullman, Washington. The Blue Jays are no longer going to have the infield cutouts in the Rogers Centre. A part of 1970s and 1980s nostalgia is now over.

It’s a pining for MY good old days episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

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Pablo Sandoval and His $17 Million Will Ride the Bench

Ground Rule Triple


Red Sox manager John Farrell has announced that 2-time All-Star third-baseman Pablo Sandoval will begin the season on the Red Sox bench. Travis Shaw will begin the season at the hot corner.

Just last offseason, Sandoval signed a monster deal with Red Sox leaving behind the San Francisco Giants who he won multiple World Series with. Sandoval will make a whopping $17 million while on the bench (at least initially). He still has $75 million over four years left in his contract.

Sandoval commented that it’s the right decision, and manager Farrell commented that Shaw’s defense was key for this surprising decision. The Red Sox have shown that past lucrative contracts given by former management will not dictate the lineup.

This post will be updated as we get more updates. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, did you see this coming? Any thoughts on Sandoval on the bench?

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San Diego Padres Show How Much Things Can Change in the Span of a Year

The first full year of A.J. Preller’s tenure as San Diego Padres general manager has basically been a roller coaster of emotions. With Opening Day just days away, it’s interesting to see how the narrative about the club has changed so drastically from the year before.

Upon getting hired in August 2014, San Diego’s biggest need was pretty clear: breathing life into an anemic offense that ranked last in runs scored (535). In the boldest way imaginable, Preller completely transformed the lineup by acquiring players like Matt KempJustin UptonDerek Norris and Wil Myers.

However, as we’ve seen in recent years, the winners of the offseason very rarely end up being winners of the World Series come October. That trend continued with the Padres, who missed the playoffs with a disappointing 74-88 record. The goal of improving the offense was achieved (650 runs scored, 23rd-best in MLB), but not necessarily by leaps and bounds. The pitching and defense also suffered in the process.

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Milwaukee Baseball History – 50 Years Ago: The Opening Day that Wasn’t

see you next year braves

In early April, 1966, Milwaukee County Stadium sat silent for the first time since 1953. It was a quiet time in Milwaukee baseball history – and certainly no April Fools’ Day joke.  The field didn’t need any special attention, stadium workers weren’t hired for the season, and concessions weren’t purchased.  The Braves skipped town after the 1965 season and there would be no professional baseball played in the Cream City for the first time in 80 years.

Tickets were sold in Atlanta for the 1966 season starting in January of that year.  The team was caught between two state court injunctions.  In Wisconsin, Judge Elmer Roller ordered the team to play in Milwaukee until a replacement franchise could be obtained.  Judge Sam Phillips of Atlanta issued a temporary injunction that called for the Braves to play games that season in Atlanta.

Braves owner, insurance industry executive Bill Bartholomay, acknowledged both injunctions in interviews. Yet he said, “The Braves fully intend to honor our contract with the Stadium Authority and all our larger obligations to the citizens of Atlanta, of Georgia, and the entire southeast, as the Braves have always honored our agreement with the county of Milwaukee.”

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Dallas Keuchel’s Dominating Spring Training Could Be The Start To Another Cy Young Award

Dallas Keuchel should be viewed as a top tier option in all fantasy leagues in 2016. He has proved over the past two seasons that he is a reliable option and is continuing to improve. The key for Keuchel to take the next step in fantasy leagues is to continue to see an increase in his strikeout rate. He increased this rate from 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 2014 to 8.4 per nine innings in 2015. If Keuchel can continue this trend and increase his strikeouts closer to 9 per nine innings in 2016, then his value will rise dramatically. As mentioned earlier, Keuchel has the supporting cast behind him to score runs, but he also has a great defense and a dominant bullpen behind him for support as well. All of these factors will come into play in 2016 and will help his cause to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards and lead the Houston Astros to a World Series title. Dallas Keuchel will open the season for the Houston Astros on the mound against the New York Yankees on April 4th at 1:05 PM EST. To read the rest of the article, please click the link below:

 

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The Cardinals Way: A Review

To the uninformed, the game of major league baseball may look simplistic. You run; you throw; you hit; and at the end of a game, a winner is determined. However, as fans know, an enormous amount of work goes into each franchise and how they cultivate and maintain their organization from year to year. Some teams have greater track records than others, and there are few that can match what the St. Louis Cardinals have done over the years. Howard Megdal has thrown the curtain back and provided a glimpse behind the scenes at what makes the team click with his recent work, The Cardinals Way: How One Team Embraced Tradition and Moneyball at the Same Time (Thomas Dunne Books- an Imprint of St. Martin’s Press).

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 30, 2016

MLB Reports

CITY-JP-LOTTERY-master675 Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

With several teams tanking the 2016 season, some people think maybe baseball should have a draft lottery like the NBA.

It will never work. The baseball draft is a different animal.

From the campus of Washington State University, it is the latest episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.


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Odds To Be The 1st MLB Manager Fired In 2016: Who Is On The Hotseat?

a hot seat

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Every year there are certain managers that have a ton of pressure to win.  This is always a tough process to think of who will be nixed first.

On one hand, many clubs that should be in contention for the playoffs will see an axe come to their tenure, however sometimes clubs are so bad record wise (even though they were projected to be) that the franchise will just slay the field general in the name of mercy.

As far as under the gun goes. guys like Brad Ausmus, John Farrell and John Gibbons.  are tops on the list. 

Ausmus doesn’t have a track record of any postseason series wins like the latter two here, so he is going to be the #1 favorite out of this group of skippers that could go fast with playoff aspirations if their teams struggle out of the starting block.

Gibbons did a great job with Toronto in 2015, but a slow start would really put his name on the block. Say if they are 6 or 7 games behind the playoff bar near Memorial Day.

Farrell has put up back to back 5th place finishes in the AL East after winning the World Series Title in his 1st year of being the skipper in 2013.

Then there is a perennial bad losing club that have long tenured coaches like Walt Weiss and Robin Ventura. I am not sure they should not have been shown the door following last years campaigns. 

Weiss has losing years for every year under his belt, and Ventura rode out 2013 with his late season collapse, but his club has underachieved in every other year.

Still the two most managers on the hot seat are Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves on top of the favorite list at +331, followed by Bryan Price at +441. But I hate putting money on either of these gentlemen with their clubs both being on track to challenge for the worst record in the Majors this year.

Heck, Gonzalez’s predecessor Bobby Cox was the well into his 3rd decade with the “Tomahawk” Choppers when he finally stepped down to a front office job. Gonzalez at least had the Braves in the playoffs in 2012. 

Price can’t really be expected to do anything with this anemic Pitching Staff, and all veterans except for Votto may be available for trade at any point.

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Spring Training Standouts: AL West

Ground Rule Triple

Next up is the American League West! Let’s take a look at each team and see their spring training stars!

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