Tagged: offseason (sort of)

Houston Astros Offseason Recap and Preview

The two faces of the Franchise:
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Now the two former faces of the franchise.

Grade: C

Notable Additons:
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Bill Hall, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Clint Barmes.

Notable Subtractions:
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Matt Lindstrom, Felipe Paulino, and Tim Byrdak.

Why?: Really nothing to report here. There won’t be anything to report until the prospects they received in their garage sale come to fruition. They had the most uneventful offseason I have reported so far.

Their rotation is young and can be a good one for years to come headed by Wandy Rodriguez and J.A. Happ. Those two still have room for improvement and will be helped by sharing a staff with, now veteran leader, Brett Myers. This is where I think future success will come from if any exists in the next few years.

Predicted Record Range: 60-65 wins. I don’t know how they will wins besides pitching. This record is a product of my ignorance to their players. If I weren’t two weeks behind I would bother to learn them but now no.

Up Next: Chicago Cubs

St. Louis Cardinals Offseason Recap and Preview

They thought they were the champs. They fought the Reds strongly:

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They took the competition late into the season. Then this happened:

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Grade: B-

 

Notable Additions:

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Jim Edmonds, Ryan Theriot, Lance Berkman, Gerald Laird, Miguel Bautista, Ian Snell, and Nick Punto.

 

Notable Subtractions:

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Brad Penny, Randy Winn, Pedro Feliz, Brendan Ryan, Aaron Miles, and Jeff Suppan.

 

Why?: Initially I was going to give them a C- but then I typed in all the notable additions and they are all solid players. I then looked and saw they didn’t have many subtractions worth crying about. They boosted each of the four Cardinal (pun intended) categories of Relief Pitching, Stating Pitching, Infield, and Outfield.

 

The losses are also solid players but everywhere they replaced the players and then added some more. This entry was supposed to be before Wainwright went out so I won’t count him as a subtraction but looking at these players they did decently in the offseason.

 

Predicted Record Range: 80-85 wins. The Wainwright isn’t enough alone to lower the wins THAT much so I say with his actual stats gone and the emotional blow it adds, 3-5 wins should be expected off of last year’s win total.

 

Up Next: Milwaukee Brewers

Cincinnati Reds Offseason Recap and Preview

For so long they had struggled at the bottom of the NL Central with the Brewers and Pirates but last year:

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Grade: D
Notable Additions:
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Edgar Renteria, Jeremy Hermeida, and Dontrelle Willis (if he ever figures it out again).
Notable Subtractions:
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Jim Edmonds, Arthur Rhodes, Aaron Harang, Micah Owings, and Orlando Cabrera.
Why?: Let’s calculate the net worth relative to last year, shall we? A colombian for a colombian makes me more likely to see a Reds game, but hinders them defensively and does not do anything for their offense there. An Edmonds for a Hermeida does not help them in any aspects except maybe future production. Aaron Harang and Micah Owings for Dontrelle Willis lowers the pithing talent substantially and slightly lowers the offensive production of the position (Owings is great hitting pitcher but Willis was pretty good himself).
Then there is the outright loss of Arthur Rhodes. He had a career year last year but if he returns to anywhere near that it will be a big loss to their bullpen that might be covered by the emergence of Aroldis Chapman.
Overall, they had an answer to all their losses but they were lower quality versions. When you replace parts of a high quality machine (that may or may not be red) with lower quality parts then the quality of the machine as a whole will be lower.
Predicted Record Range: 85-90 wins. Like I said in the above paragraph, the team will be of lower quality. Granted, they still have the no-fluke MVP of last year but they also had A LOT of comeback wins which are not easily repeatable.
Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals

Washington Nationals Offseason Recap and Preview

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The image of the year and perhaps the decade for the Nationals. Though they hope not.

 

Grade: B

 

Notable Additions:

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Jayson Werth, Matt Stairs, Rick Ankiel, Chad Gaudin, Adam LaRoche, Jerry Hairston Jr., Tom Gorzelanny, Todd Coffey, and Alex Cora.

 

Notable Subtractions:

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Adam Dunn, Lastings Milledge, Josh Willingham, Scott Olsen, Miguel Bautista, and Willy Taveras.

 

Why?: Now I know that the Jayson Werth deal was excessive and I would not have done it. To put it in perspective, they could have gotten Adam Dunn and a fourty million dollar pitcher or Adam Dunn and two twenty million dollar pitchers. I factored this into the grade, which is why the grade is not a B+ instead of a B.

 

What I saw though, was a team that is MUCH improved on defense (Adam Laroche, Rick Ankiel, and Alex Cora). Remeber that in the last few years this has been a problem. They also *improved* their lineup despite the loss of Dunn’s power bat with the signings of Adam Laroche (25 HRs a year) and Werth (who knows in the National’s line-up). They also got some bullpen and rotational stability with Gorzelanny, Coffey, and Gaudin acquired.

 

Predicted Record Range: 70-75 wins. Out of the Cellar baby!! I think that this number can actually be higher because of the stability they have now that they are a bit older and will be more consitent instead of many players that should be in AAA botching plays and pitching on hot and cold streaks.

 

Up Next: Cinncinati Reds

New York Mets Offseason Recap and Preview

Normally I provide a picture at the beginning of an entry to describe the team’s last season. The Mets are no exception:

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Grade: B-

 

Notable Additions:

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Chris Young, Chris Capuano, Boof Bonser, Chin-lung Hu, and Scott Harriston.

 

Notable Subtractions:

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Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, Pedro Feliciano, Hisanori Takahashi, Sean Green, Henry Blanco, John Maine, and Fernando Tatis.

 

Why?: Had I done this entry when I planned, I would have given them a C. With the subtractions of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo they actually did not hurt their chances of winning this year by that much. It also set them up for the future rather well not having to worry about the contracts of those two.

 

The only thing that it could be interpretted negatively as is, as a declaration of defeat by the Mets (that would be Mets fans that say this). Yes, it is a declaration of defeat, but come on, did Mets fans really expect them to get to the playoffs this year (some do).

 

Maybe this is just my talk radio trained ear overreacting to Mets fans expecting their team to do well. I wish them well for all the Mets fans in New York (Although, a worse team does mean more empty seats) but I just don’t see it this year… at all.

 

Predicted Record Range: 65-70 wins maybe they go on more extended versions of the tears last year because of injured players coming back but I also see two players in contract years that could act as trade bait. This number is assuming either Calos Beltran or Jose Reyes gets traded mid-season. If not, see this number go up maybe even by double digits.

 

Up Next: Washington Nationals

 

To try and hide this entry (as to not get hate mail from Mets fans) quickly I will try and get the Nationals Recap and Preview up ASAP.  

Florida Marlins Offseason Recap and Preview

For those who know the Marlins, you know that they build up their team every few years to do well and break it apart the next year:

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2010 was not a built up year:
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Grade: C-
Notable Additions:
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John Buck, Javier Vasquez, Omar Infante, Greg Dobbs, and Randy Choate.
Notable Subtractions:
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and his name is… Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin, Jose Veras, and Andrew Miller.
Why?: They did add two good players in Buck and Vasquez and replaced the hole left by Uggla at Second base with Omar Infante, but I still think that losing a person who could possibly become the best power hitting Second Baseman of all time outweighs this. Maybe I’m crazy to think this but I think that Dan Uggla will leave the Marlins in a rebuilding stage for more time than they thought.
Other than this there is not much else. I can’t see their rotation or bullpen being affected by the departure of a minor piece in each (Miller and Veras). Not much to report other than the Uggla trade.
Predicted Record Range: 75-80 games. Like I said, not much of a loss considering the compensation but the Uggla trade will put a dent in the Marlin Fan Van.
Next Up: Mets
I will not be getting the Saturday ballhawking entry up until AT LEAST wednesday because even though I smartly toook my camera with me to take pictures of FP games I stupidly did not bring the cord needed to upload pictures.

Baltimore Orioles Offseason Recap and Preview

Baltimore Orioles 2010: 

 1. Badness in the first half. 
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 2. Buck in the second. 
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 Grade: A+ 
 
 
Notable Additions:
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Mark Reynolds, Derrek Lee, Kevin Gregg, JJ Hardy, Jeremy Accardo, Justin Duchscherer, Randy Winn, and Vladimir Guerrero.
 
Notable Subtractions:
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Ty Wigginton, Sean Henn, Corey Patterson, and Garrett Atkins.
 
 
Why?:  Why do the Orioles have a higher grade than the Red Sox? That is because the Orioles gained players that will make more of a impact wins wise than the Red Sox. They also didn’t lose as many impact players as the Red Sox did.
 
The Orioles gained an impact player at every position besides that which they already had settled, Brian Roberts at Second. In doing this they also, solidified the middle of their line-up. They have a difference making hitter at each spot in the line-up now: DH Vladimir Guerrero, C Matt Wieters, 1B Derrek Lee, 2B Brian Roberts, 3B Mark Reynolds, SS JJ Hardy, LF Luke Scott, CF Adam Jones, RF Nick Markakis.
 
I think that this lineup will be one of the best in the Majors. It’s like a discount version of the Yankee’s line-up (no holes in it). Can anyone argue with me that the only influential player they lost is Ty Wigginton? They really lost near nothing this offseason.
 
But who cares about hitters (And never begin you sentences with a conjunction)? It’s pitching that wins championships. Here the names are not as abundant nor are the names as big. The weak pont of this team is still starting pitchers but they did  get some bullpen guys.
 
 
Predicted Record Range: 70-75 they might have a vastly separated this year’s line-up from that of last but they still have to pitch and probably won’t repeat their post break record from last year.