Daily Archives: December 15, 2016

The True Value of Dexter Fowler to the St. Louis Cardinals

On Friday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals finalized a 5-year, $82.5 million with former Cubs center-fielder Dexter Fowler. As has been explained in the media, the Fowler addition was meant to add more athleticism both on defense and atop the Cardinals’ lineup. At face value, this seems to make sense; Fowler’s skills are indicative of a lead-off hitting center fielder. In theory, inserting Fowler in center in place of incumbent Randal Grichuk should improve the outfield defense. In researching this theory; however, I have found that the ‘Fowler Effect’, while certainly providing plus-value, is not as straightforward as it may seem.

I will start with what we know. Offensively, Fowler is a bona-fide leadoff hitter as far as present day terms are concerned. While fans can get bogged down in batting averages (Fowler put up just a .276 mark in 2016), he did finish the year with a .393 OBP and was a table-setter for the first Chicago Cubs World Series victory in over 100 years. In fact, since he became a full-time MLBer in 2009, Fowler has ranked very highly when it comes to getting on base. Take a look at the following chart and see just how well he stacks up.

To continue reading about how Dexter Fowler improves the Cardinals, check out offthebenchbaseball.com.

The Baseball Player Political Cabinet

Hey! Idea: baseball player political cabinet. Which players would be best for each cabinet position. My first nominee: Ozzie Smith for Secretary of Defense because, well, you get it.

Sean Morash:

Ha! Brilliant! Trump needs some help

Max Frankel:

Glad you’re on board. Who’s your choice for education?

Sean Morash:

It’s funny. That’s immediately where my head went as well. I want Pedro Martinez or Greg Maddux. Both are brilliant and insightful. They definitely need to be in our cabinet, but I’m not sure if Education is the best place for either. My mom, a liberal school teacher, kinda hates the Dept of Education. Can we give this to someone with the best intentions but who we really don’t care if they mess it up too bad because it might actually be hopeless? Tell me that’s not A-Rod. I dare you.

Also- do we have any rules? We know Trump’s one rule is: “Are they worth $1,000,000?” If so, they’re in. Do we need our cabinet representatives to be retired ballplayers? Do they need to be alive? What about American Citizens?

To find out who made our made-up baseball player political cabinet, click on over to offthebenchbaseball.com.  Seriously, you won’t want to miss our picks for Secretary of Agriculture and Energy and Homeland Defense.

Danny Espinosa a Good Fit For The Los Angeles Angels

Danny Espinosa isn’t a very good major league baseball player. But he is good at one big, important thing: tricking people into thinking he is at least an adequate major league baseball player.

Espinosa typically does this by hitting home runs– specifically, hitting them in bursts, that last long enough to coincide with some big situations, and in overall quantities that make people say: ‘”Woah, Danny Espinosa has that many home runs? No way!”

Danny is so good at this trickery that he somehow convinced the Washington Nationals to keep Trea Turner, the heir-apparent at short stop, in the minor leagues until Turner very nearly forced his way onto the roster. And even then, in Espinosa’s greatest feat of hornswagglery to that point, despite being the far inferior defender, he maneuvered the Nats into converting Turner to center field rather than pushing him (utility infielder Danny) off shortstop.

Now, however, Espinosa’s magical abilities seem to have waned just a bit. Washington brass has seen through his smoke and mirrors act, and shipped him to the Los Angeles Angels for two low-end prospects.

It may not sound like we like Danny Espinosa, but we really do! Check out why Danny Espinosa is a good fit in LA on offthebenchbaseball.com.

How Will The Toronto Blue Jays React To The Dexter Fowler Signing?

At this point, it’s safe to say that the Blue Jays’ offseason has been a failure thus far. GM Ross Atkins can speak as glowingly as he’d like about the additions of Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce, but their acquisition is heavily offset by the potential losses of Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Michael Saunders, and Brett Cecil.

Still, there was always the possibility that the Jays would sign Dexter Fowler. The NL All-Star and World Series champion would look great hitting in front of Josh Donaldson and playing right field in the Rogers Centre. But his deal with the Cardinals is now official, a 5-year/$82.5 million agreement. Fowler successfully gambled on himself last season, turning down Baltimore’s 3-year/$33 million offer to take a 1-year/$13 million in Chicago.

With their primary target gone, where do the Jays go from here?

It’s obvious that the Jays wanted an athletic outfielder, and preferably one that could hit leadoff, to add to their lineup. Fowler, with a .393 on-base-percentage in 2016 would have been the perfect fit, if only the Jays were willing to spend the money.

To continue reading about the Blue Jays outfield plans, please click on over to offthebenchbaseball.com

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