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Archive for the ‘NL East’ Category

The final rosters do not have to be finalized until Sunday afternoon, but looking at what we know today, here’s how I see it in the NL East:

Pos Mets Marlins Braves Nats Phils
C Barajas Baker McCann Rodriguez Ruiz
1B Jacobs Sanchez Glaus Dunn Howard
2B Castillo Uggla Prado Kennedy Utley
SS Cora Ramirez Escobar Desmond Rollins
3B Wright Cantu Jones Zimmerman Polanco
LF Bay Coughlin Cabrera Willingham Ibanez
CF Pagan Maybin McLouth Morgan Victorino
RF Francoeur Ross Heyward Harris Werth
OF Catalanotto Carroll Diaz Bernadina Fransisco
OF Matthews Jr.
Bonofacio Hinske Morse Gload
IF Carter Helms Infante Gonzalez Dobbs
IF Tatis Lamb Thurston Guzman Castro
C Blanco Paulino Ross Nieves Schneider
SP Santana Johnson Hudson Lannan Halladay
SP Pelfrey Nolasco Lowe Marquis Hamels
SP Maine Sanchez Jurrjens Stammen Happ
SP Perez Volstad Hanson
Hernandez Kendrick
SP Niese Robertson Kawakami Mock Moyer
RP Rodriguez Nunez Wagner Capps Madson
RP Igarashi Sanchez Moylan Olsen Baez
RP Feliciano Meyer Saito Bruney Zagurski
RP Mejia Veres Medlin Clippard Durbin
RP Calero Hensley Reyes Burnett Bastardo
RP Figueroa Pinto Chavez
Bergmann Lopez
25th Adams Barden Conrad Batista Ransom
  • Mets: Beltran, Reyes, Takahashi, Nieve, Tejada, Santos, Escobar, Murphy, Parnell, Green, Dessens, Muniz
  • Braves: Freeman, Hicks, Sammons, Boscan, Schafer, Young, Proctor, Venters, O’Flaherty
  • Marlins: Badenhop, Richar, Davis, Luna, Murphy
  • Nats: English, Martis, James, Walker, Spier, Orr, Coste, Taveras, Maxwell, McDougal, Wang, Detwiller, Duncan, Bruntlett, Flores
  • Phillies: Blanton, Lidge, Romero, Valdez, Guzman, Hoover, Brown, Wise
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murphyFor the last few years, all we have been hearing out of the Mets farm system is about Fernando Martinez as the next big thing. Somewhere along the way last season, the Mets untouchable prospect Martinez (in the Santana trade  negotiations) got passed by a pair of lower level minor league outfielders, who did not show up at the top of all the prospect lists.

In 2008, Danniel Murphy and Nick Evans, shot through the minor leagues and made their Mets debut. Out of the two, Daniel Murphy made the most of the opportunity. Here are Daniel Murphy’s numbers over the past two minor league seasons along with his 49 games with the Mets:

Year
Games
HR
AVG
OBP
SLG
OPS
BB
SO
2007
Minors
135 11 0.285 0.338 0.430 0.768 42 61
2008
Minors
99 13 0.315 0.379 0.493 0.872 40 48
2008
Mets
49 2 0.313 0.397 0.473 0.870 18 28

Daniel Murphy , was a 13th round draft pick out of Jacksonville Univerity (JU) in Florida, where he was the Atlantic Sun conference player of the year in 2006.   Murphy’s claim to fame is his hitting. His bat is what got him to the show as his defense has still a ways to go. Murphy’s natural position is third base, but played in the outfield some in college.

“He’s got basically one tool, hitting, and everything else is average,” said his father,
Tom Murphy. “The way he runs, throws, plays defense – average. His glove was always a little shaky, but that bat worked.”

Murphy was selected as the everyday left fielder early in spring training and his bat has been on fire ever since. One developemnt was the story about how Murphy keeps track of each at bat in a little binder. Something he began after witnessing Carlos Delgado’s ritual a few springs ago.

If you want to know how hard of a worker Murphy is, see some of the feedback from his former teammates:

“My name is James Murdock and I also played with Daniel Murphy at JU. I was a senior last year and got the priveledge to play with Daniel for 3 years. I can honestly say it was a honor to play with him on and off the field. On the field, you won’t find a harder worker at all aspects of the game. In the club house, he was the most respected for how he acted on and off the field. I was 2 years older than Daniel but I looked up to him for how he respected the game and how he went about his business. I got hurt my junior year and thought about not coming back for my senior season but I can say Daniel Murphy was one of the main reasons I came back and he contributed to the most exciting season of my life. He will have success at every level he plays and I am looking forward to following him throughout his career. He is a great baseball player, friend, and role model.”

This season Murphy is off to a great start batting .348/.400/.522 with an opening day home run which helped Santana go on to an opening day win. It looks as if Manuel made a great decision in making Murphy a starter in spring training. He is providing a good #2 bat following Jose Reyes in the lineup. His numbers he has shown the past few years in something he will definitely be capable of.  With Carlos Beltran a fixture in center field, and Sheffield now with Mets, and Ryan Church playing well, I am not sure where Martinez fits with the Mets.  Certainly, after a good spring by Nick Evans, he gets a shot in the big leagues again before Fernando Martinez does.

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How old am I? I can remember when Carlos Delgado was coming up through the Toronto Blue Jays system as a catcher. His potent bat moved him from behind the plate. I guess at the time they had John Olerud at first. The people are saying that Delgado’s recent injury is nothing and he should be okay. I am thinking this will be a nagging injury that may remain all season. What do the Mets do? They have Mike Carp who had a nice spring last year, but was a disappointment the rest of the year. Another 1B prospect on the horizon is Lucas Duda. If I am the Mets I get on the phone with the Colorado Rockies and ask what its going to take to get Joe Koshansky who is buried behind Todd Helton with no opening in sight.

Tape Measure Hits:

Corey Hart : I know I am funnier than Alfonso Soriano

Rays Preview Roto World Style

MLB Mock Draft Software

Sleeper Prospect Kyle Mclellen

Groundball Leaders 2007

Highest Percentage of Homers off Flyballs 2007

Homer Simpson At The Bat

Wins above Replacement

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bondsaway.jpg

Early on in the baseball career of Barry Bonds, he was known as one of the Pittsburgh Pirates Killer B’s. With the numbers Bonds was putting up on scoreboards throughout Major League Baseball for the Pirates in the early 90’s , he won two National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, and was proving to be one of the all-time greats. This was at a time the thought of Bonds breaking the all-time season Home run record 0f 61 home runs was certainly not on the radar, as his greatness revolved around his all around offensive game, and the ability as one of the best left fielders in the game. But, this was all before steroids era.

After reaching free agency after the 1992 season, he moved to West Coast and signed a long term contract the San Fransisco Giants. As the son of former major leaguer Bobby Bonds, he was joining the franchise his Godfather Willie Mays became a legend with.

His amazing offensive numbers continued when he joined with the Giants in 1993. In his first year with the Giants, he won his third NL MVP. The amazing thing about Bonds numbers that is often ignored is the amount of times that pitchers would not give him a good pitch to swing at. With pitchers pitching around Bonds and that the fact that he was a selective hitter, this led to a high number of walks (known as bases on balls) which in effect accounted for his always high On Base Percentage (OBP).

In the decade between 1990 to 2000, Barry Bonds was a slugger with his bat. In this time period, he never had slugging percentage (SLG) fall below the .514 line, and 6 out of these 10 years he slugged above .600. These were terrific numbers representative of a Hall of Fame career.

But, in 1998 the NL slugging pair of Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were the talk of baseball parks around America. They were hitting home runs at a record pace, and two were gaining popularity and they were on a pace to beat Roger Marris’s all time season record of 61 home runs in a season. It was Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire that are credited for bringing the baseball fans back, after the strike ending season of 1994 that had caused many fans to stay away from the Major League Baseball product.

It is believed that Barry Bonds became jealous of these two and their record setting home runs, and turned to steroids in a pursuit to become the all-time Home run king. It is believed that Bond’s trainer Greg Anderson supplied Barry Bonds with the steroids, and in the year of 2001 Bonds was hitting home runs at an unbelievable pace. In the year 2001, Bonds hit 73 Home Runs and shattered the all-time record of 70 that was put up by McGwire in 1998. Since 2001, no player has come even close to that number of home runs. For Bonds though, after three consecutive 40 something home run numbers in 2002-2004, he was in range now to breaking the all-time career home run record that Hall of Famer Hank Aaron currently held of 755 home runs.

In 2005, he missed almost the entire season due to a knee injury, and in 2006 he clearly was still battling injuries but managed 26 home runs.

But, last season as the entire baseball community watched on, at the age of 42 Bonds went on to break the all-time home run record of 755. He signed off on the season with the record staying at 762 Home runs. The Giants decided to cut ties with Bonds and his contract was not renewed. He clearly is not the same players he once was, but he still led Major League baseball with his OBP last year and clearly could still contribute to a Major League team.

With Major league teams reporting to their camps in Arizona and Florida, Bond remains unsigned and still wants to play. He is under indictment that he lied under oath to the Feds due to his steroid use. Just recently, their was a press clipping that Bonds failed a drug test for steroids a few years ago that all the media outlets distributed. That report turned out to be a typo, and now the Bonds camp can now take the position that he can not get a fair trial.

In recent months, with the Mitchell report being released the focus with steroids on an all-time great has moved away from Bonds to Roger Clemens. Bonds has been working out on his own looking for a chance to still play. Is he being blackballed from the game? Here is a look a eleven teams (ordered from likely to unlikely) who could actually use a Bonds in 2008:

  1. Braves: The Braves have career backup Matt Diaz slated to be the starter. Bonds could serve a role here.
  2. Diamondbacks: The D-Backs just signed Trot Nixon as a reserve. But, with a young outfielder in Justin Upton, he could play a backup and an occasional starter.
  3. Pirates: With often injured Xavier Nady listed as a starter, Bonds could return to where it all began for him. Though, it would take away playing time from the young player movement here.
  4. Padres: Chase Headley or Scott Hairston right now is slated to start. Bonds could stay on West Coast and start.
  5. Royals: This franchise is looking to become a player after not being competitive since Brett left. The outfield here has no household names currently.
  6. Orioles: With a lot of the young players here, Bonds could take a role as DH. With Aubrey Huff, being a utility player all over the field.
  7. Rays: He would just have to beat out Gomes at DH. Baldelli eventually would have to get hurt also.
  8. Mariners: Wilkerson tend to be injury prone. Bonds could serve as DH or in outfield.
  9. Rangers: They passed on Sammy. Maybe they would take on Bonds with this young team. Seems unlikely though.
  10. Twins: Seems like Delmon Young and Barry Bonds could see themselves in each other. Unlikely pairing.
  11. Tigers: He could be reunited with his former manager Jim Leyland. But, his friendship with Sheffield seems to be a factor here. So, unlikely.

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A few weeks ago we were wondering about Mattingly’s wife and what happened ? The Daily News has a story and pictures about Mattingly’s life, and Donnie’s current unfortunate situation. My first memory of Mattingly was the summer of 1983, when both Don and Steve Balboni were getting a shot at the first base job after being called up from minors.

brett_livid.jpg In fact, I happened to be visiting friends in New York and witnessed the Pine Tar Incident Game on the Yankee broadcast. Recently, I was thinking about a baseball related user name for some account I was creating. I gave it the name of The Pine Tar Incident since that game was one of the most memorable games that I ever watched.

More Blasts From Around the Web:

Piniella  predicted number of wins:  89 wins. Chone has the NL and AL predictions too. 89 wins for my Rays!

We’re Talking Squawking Baseball on  Cone for Ed Hearn

Brock for Broglio has PrOPS .

A great week of content at Greeny’s site. with DIPs, Contact Rate rate, Home / Road standouts.

If you own Hanley like I do, check out the Disabled Informer on HRam

Jason Stark covers the history making arbitration win for Ryan Howard. Will Phillies slugger ask them to “Show me the Money” with a  136 Million next?

I thought Heyman’s GM  list was ridiculous. Glad someone else does too.

I did not Know Topkin of Times wrote for Melnick and Greco?

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Even before their was the legend that is growing in David Wright, just about every publication was calling Andy Marte the best overall prospect in the land. But, there was this sleeper prospect named David Wright. He slugged his way through the minor leagues that year, and has gone one to become one of the stars of the game. Aside from his NL title of time on base in 2007 (that he shared with Todd Helton) , his off the field leadership does not go unnoticed. What he has accomplished on the field thus far, sure says Superstar. He knows batting average, slugging, getting on base, and stolen bases. The gold glove that he added last year continues to add to the resume.

This post on Ryan Theriot by Fire Joe Morgan is exactly why we visit the site. I could see Joe Morgan making similar claims in a broadcast that John Mutka does. Seems like Mutka should be up for deadspin’s “why your hometown columnist sucks” award.

John Rocker on Roids? His behavior on and off the field never fit the profile .

Seems Athletics Nation has a new look. But, seems other bloggers now getting a chance to interview Billy Beane.

I loved Kiner’s Corner growing up ON Mets in 1970’s.

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What a day for the N.Y. Mets, as they finally reached an agreement with the Twinkees to acquire southpaw Johan Santana. I thought I would do a “best of” from the blogosphere about the deal. One thought, before I go around the web. Let’s say the Mets still had lefty Scott Kazmir, they probably are not making this trade. If,If,If. Lets just say this trade leaves the Mets front office off the hook.

Just to recap the “Free” Johan Santana time line. This is a rags to riches story. First as the Twins Rule V draftee, to the live arm out of the Twins bullpen, to making his way into the Twins pitching rotation, to eventually claiming the top spot in the rotation, to a two time Cy Young winner. As Gleeman writes today:

The early days of this blog were filled with a “Free Johan Santana!” campaign that urged the Twins to move their young left-handed phenom into the starting rotation. After Santana spent the majority of four years in the bullpen and another half-season at Triple-A, the Twins finally gave him a permanent spot in the rotation to begin the 2004 season. He immediately became the best pitcher in baseball, winning the AL Cy Young by going 20-6 while leading the league with a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts.

The Santanamania sweepstakes are over!

Yankees winners of Santana deal because Sox did not get him

Neyer sees a better Santana (if thats possible)

Mets and Twins: Who Fleeced Who

The players involved timeline

Reactions from opposing Players , Mets Players

New Top 10 Mets Prospects

Santana Forced Deal ?

Mets Blog said it December 8th:

having talked with a variety of people over the last few days, ranging from those who are connected to the team to people connected to player reps to those who work in media and for teams who are following the negotiations, from what i can gather, Johan Santana prefers to be on the Mets, where he can a) be in New York City, and b) get out of the hitter-dominant American League…

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