Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Spring Training Load Out

We've really taken to this free-flowing style of writing, since clearing our notebook a couple of days ago.

Before we get to any reading, a quick heads-up, our next rotoprofessor post should probably be posted sometime this evening, but I really don't know.

Spring Training is just about over. Teams are packing up their equipment and shipping them back their cities. The six/seven month odyssey that professionals in baseball endure each year can be trying, rewarding, and undoubtedly life-changing. As the 25-man rosters are getting set around the land, many players are losing their jobs or being forced to go to the Minor Leagues for more seasoning. This moment in time reminds me of the Jackson Brown description of life on the road:
We got time to think of the ones we love
While the miles roll away
But the only time that seems too short
Is the time that we get to play
Okay, as the first of many digressions, leading off...

Nice reaction, dude.
Did anyone notice that the Mariners cut Josh Wilson? He's not much of a hitter, but he's always been sure handed. We live in a world with a shortage of capable Major League shortstops, so he should have at least a suitor.

Where will Josh Wilson land?

The Cubs have a whole at 2nd base... it would be great to see them try to improve their defense, but Wilson is almost an automatic out. As a fan, I hope the Cubs pass. St. Louis has a bunch of junk sharing the infield with Pujols. Maybe they'll be interested. I could see a reuniion with the Pirates if they choose to cut ties with Ronny Cedeño and bring back an old team leader. I guess outside of Wilson's agent, friends, and family, I'm basically the only person in the world who cares about this right now, so let's just move on.


No pressure, but we're
all counting on you!
For all you innings counters out there, Andrew Cashner's workload will be monitored this year. The most innings he's ever thrown in a season were the 111 he threw last year

While it does matter the number of pitches and effort per inning, we can expect that Cashner won't get much beyond 120 or 130 innings this season.


Who is the one current set up man who looks likely to become the new closer of his team? I think to be thorough, we have to say that these are the closer/setup men for each team:

Orioles: Gregg/Uehara
Red Sox: Papelbon/Bard/Jenks
Yankees: Rivera/Soriano
Rays: McGee/Farnsworth/Peralta
Blue Jays: Francisco/Rauch/Dotel/Frasor
White Sox: Thornton/Santos/Sale
Indians: Perez/Sipp/Perez
Walden is ready to roll.
Tigers: Valverde/Benoit
Royals: Soria/Tejeda
Twins: Nathan/Capps
Angels: Rodney/Walden
A's: Bailey/Fuentes/Balfour
Mariners: Aardsma/League
Rangers: Feliz/Ogandi
Braves: Kimbrel/Venters
Marlins: Nuñez/Hensley
Mets: K-Rod/Parnell
Phillies: Lidge/Madson/Contreras
Nationals: Storen/Clippard
Cubs: Marmol/Wood
Reds: Cordero/Chapman
Astros: Lyon/Lopez
Brewers: Axford/Saito
Pirates: Hanrahan/Meek
Cardinals: Franklin/Motte
D'backs: Putz/Hernandez/Gutierrez/Demel
Rockies: Street/Lindstrom/Betancourt
Dodgers: Broxton/Kuo
All it takes is a little muscle tweak
from Huston Street to make
Matt Lindstrom relevant again.
Padres: Bell/Adams/Gergerson
Giants: Wilson/Romo/Casillas

Now, that we've thought it through, we feel the most promising ones are Bard, Walden, Madson, League, Matt Lindstrom, Wilton Lopez, (maybe Chapman), and Fuentes or Balfour. I sense a new poll coming soon.


It sounds like Mike Scioscia is leaning towards starting Howie Kendrick at 1st base a lot, while Kendry Morales is out, leaving Mark Trumbo out of the lineup. Kendrick, who normally plays 2nd base would have an infield of Macier Izturis, Erick Aybar, and Alberto Callaspo around the horn. I don't see where the offense is going to come from in that lineup with Wells, Hunter, Abreu, and Mathis providing the rest of the pop.


Opening Day makes Arnold
Jackson feel like Christmas.
The excitement of Opening Day is palatable. I get about as excited as a hid on Christmas Eve. In fact, I think I get more excited than Arnold Jackson looks in the Christmas picture to the left. Opening Day harbors all the feelings of hope and renewal that each new day, new year, and morning is really supposed to bring to humanity. For me, it just happens more on Opening Day than January 1st, Easter, or the first day of Spring.

Someone else who should be looking towards Opening Day is one of our favorite Canadian ballplayers. Yes, we're talking about Justin Morneau. He was having an excellent first half to the season last year, before a terrible concussion knocked him out for the year. In fact, he was unable to do baseball activities during most of the offseason because of his concussion problems. They can be a very scary injury, and we hope for the best. For what it's worth, Morneau recently says that he's feeling much better. It would be great to see him come back and put up more Jimmie Foxx type numbers.


Getting back to the closer/setup-man discussion for a moment again, maybe Joaquin Benoit of the Tigers is a good bet for full-time closer this year. In this Dave Birkett piece, we hear that Jose Valverde's arm hurt for much of last season. Jim Leyland gives him credit for not complaining, but it'll be fans and fantasy owners complaining if Valverde ends up on the DL this year.


Carlos Carrasco yesterday against the spring training Cubs pitched six innings, allowing one run to score on three hits, with no walks and five strikeouts.

Carrasco went to Cleveland, without much else, in the Cliff Lee deal. If he doesn't return some success to the Tribe, they could be looking at a disastrous trade in retrospect.

If you're in a deep roto league, now may be a good time to beat your friends to Carlos Carrasco.


Getting back to the Tigers for a second, it's unclear whether the Motor City has V-Mart Fever, but Lynn Henning reports the the Tigers are seeing a surge in season ticket sales. It looks to be an entertaining summer for baseball fans in Detroit. Best of luck to them defeating the unpleasant South Siders.


Hey, you're not Barry!
I don't really think the details of this Barry Bonds trial are exciting enough right now to scream "Screenplay!", but we all know that one day or another we will be watching this unfold like Eight Men Out did about 69 years after the Black Sox scandal.

Personally, I thought the initial reporting on the Balco discovery was fascinating, while these trial stories are quite boring. I still read them, though. Mostly for quotes to extract that probably no-one finds funny but me, quotes like: "At the defense table, Bonds was spotted trying to hide a grin."

In closing, I'm reminded of a silly joke:

-- Why does California have so many lawyers and New Jersey has so many toxic waste dumps?
-- Because New Jersey had first choice.

Thank you! Tip your waitress. We'll be here all week.

No comments:

Post a Comment