Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Boring Winter Ahead: Watch the 2003 World Series Game Four HERE

Game Four of the 2003 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Florida Marlins.

The New York Yankees Have Signed a Catcher

The New York Yankees have signed a catcher and they may be tipping their hand as to where Gary Sanchez will end up to start the 2016 season. The New York Yankees have signed former Texas Rangers backup catcher Carlos Corporan to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Corporan will compete directly with Sanchez and Austin Romine, two Yankees prospects who are on the 40 man roster, for the backup job in the Bronx.

Corporan spent the 2015 season backing up Robinson Chirinos before a thumb injury ended his season prematurely. Corporan hit .178 in 33 games for the Rangers with a .543 OPS showing that he is a true defense first (or only) type catcher.

Will we be seeing “Corpy Days” in the Bronx in 2016? Corporan likes to post that it’s a “Corpy Day” on the day that he gets to play, which I find entertaining and kind of awesome by the way.

The Yankees could always designate Romine for assignment and send Sanchez, who has minor league options, back down to Scranton to begin the season leaving the door wide open behind Brian McCann for Corporan. Corporan could quickly grab Romine’s 40 man roster spot and be on the team’s active roster come Opening Day. If you had dreams and wishes of Sanchez starting the season in the Bronx your dreams and hopes, as are mine, may be in real jeopardy. 

Minor League Ball’s Top 20 Yankees Prospects List

It’s almost prospect season ladies and gentleman and it’s almost Prospects Month here on the blog starting February 1st. Minor League Ball jumped the gun a bit this week when they released their Top 20 Prospects list for the 2016 season. John Sickels of Minor League Ball released his list and warned that all grades are preliminary and subject to change. For the grades and write-ups I will direct you to the original article HERE while I sample the list only below.

1.       Gary Sanchez, Catcher (B+)
2.       Jorge Mateo, Shortstop (B+)
3.       Aaron Judge, Outfielder (Grade B+)
4.       James Kaprielian, RHP (Grade B+)
5.       Domingo Acevedo, RHP (Grade B)
6.       Rob Refsnyder, Second Base (Grade B-)
7.       Wilkerman Garcia, Shortstop (Grade B-)
8.       Dustin Fowler, Outfielder (Grade B-)
9.       Kyle Holder, Shortstop (Grade B-)
10.   Ian Clarkin, LHP (Grade B-)
11.   Jacob Lindgren, LHP (Grade C+)
12.   Tyler Wade, Infielder (Grade C+)
13.   Abi Avelino, Infielder (Grade C+)
14.   Mason Williams, Outfielder (Grade C+)
15.   Ben Gamel, Outfielder (Grade C+)
16.   Drew Finley, RHP (Grade C+)
17.   Hoy Jun Park, Shortstop (Grade C+)
18.   Cale Coshow, RHP (Grade C+)
19.   Miguel Andujar, Third Base (Grade C+)
20.   Luis Torrens, Catcher (Grade C+)

Fantasy Baseball: Who are the Miami Marlins?

If you’re sitting in front of your computer on draft night and Jose Fernandez or Giancarlo Stanton are sitting there on the board you need to hurry up and take them. Obviously if you have the first few picks in the draft then maybe you want to stay away but other than that you need to take these new perennial fantasy baseball superstars. This much you probably already know though and I doubt you clicked on my post because you needed guidance whether to take one of these superstars or not. No, you clicked on this post because you want to read about the sleepers and who should be taken around Round 15 and beyond. You know, the sleeper picks that more times than not win or lose you your draft. Don’t fret, I’m here to help.

The Marlins are an intriguing team because even last season they had so much talent on the ball club and despite the talent lost far more games than they won. Not many people saw the miraculous season that Dee Gordon had at second base or the season that Adeiny Hechavarria quietly had at shortstop for the Marlins due to all the losing and the distrust of owner Jeffrey Loria. The Marlins have quietly assembled one of the better young teams in the league but the talent there needs to trust their talent before they can truly succeed. That’s where veterans and key players like Wei-Yin Chen, Carter Capps and Christian Yelich come in.

Chen specifically should benefit from the move from the AL East to the NL East and should especially benefit from pitching in the park, Marlins Park, which has allowed the second fewest home runs in the Major Leagues since its inception in 2012. Even if the team decides to move the fences in a bit like they are discussing this winter pitching in Marlins Park will never be like pitching inside Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park three or four times a season and it won’t be like facing that powerful Toronto Blue Jays lineup in his old league. Chen should see a spike in all his major stats except for obviously his strikeout numbers which have never been truly high in his career. Chen is a winner and can pitch like an ace despite pitching to contact and limiting his walks to get by.

Yelich got a big contract extension last season much like Giancarlo Stanton did and Yelich went out and did what Yelich does, he hit for a high batting average and he stole a lot of bases. Yelich is not a huge home run threat, even if they move in the fences down in Miami, as he hits the ball on the ground more times than not but he could jump up to a 10-20 home run guy as he matures and grows into his body. If you need average, stolen bases and runs scored than Yelich is your man. If you need power you’re probably not going to get it, although you may be pleasantly surprised by September.

Finally you have Carter Capps who is likely to start the season as a setup man for closer A.J. Ramos but will not likely stay there for much of the season. Ramos struggles with his command and has for much of his career making a huge stride in that department unlikely, although not impossible, in 2016. The difference between Capps and Ramos though is that Capps can be had around the 20th round or so while Ramos is still a Top 20 closer in the league even with his command struggles. Capps would be the smart pick and easily put back on the waiver wire or traded if Ramos somehow finds the zone more consistently this season. You can always pull the “he may take over for Ramos if he continues to walk guys” card and get something valuable out of him. Plus his strikeout numbers are great anyway so you may just want to keep him.

There you have it, those are the Miami Marlins that could help you win your Fantasy Baseball league this spring. Also be on the lookout for any and all pitchers that make impacts in camp or are signed by Miami because Edwin Jackson’s value to the team is more as a reliever than a starter even though he is listed as the team’s 5th starter currently. That can and likely will change before the end of the season so be on the lookout. 

2016 Yankees Statistical Predictions: The Bullpen

The New York Yankees bullpen is expected to be one of the strongest units in Major League history. Not only will the pen be relied upon heavily by manager Joe Girardi but it may be the Yankees bridge to a whole lot of victories, especially if the Yankees starters cannot give the team consistent innings and quality starts. Just how good is the bullpen going to be though and how much better can it be than the 2015 version? The 2015 version of Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller were almost perfect after six innings, even better after seven innings and practically perfect after eight innings. Can they be better in 2016 with Wilson now wearing a Detroit Tigers uniform and Aroldis Chapman wearing the pinstripes?

Dellin Betances
80 games, 6-1 record, 1.43 ERA, 5 saves, 119 K's

Andrew Miller
70 Games, 4-2 record, 1.96 ERA, 11 saves, 101 K's

Aroldis Chapman w/o suspension
69 games, 2-2 record, 1.50 ERA, 40 saves, 111 K's

Aroldis Chapman w/ suspension
50 games, 2-2 record, 1.67 ERA, 30 saves, 89 K's

Chasen Shreve
50 games, 4-6 record, 3.03 ERA

Bryan Mitchell
54 games, 5-7 record, 4.33 ERA

Jacob Lindgren
29 games, 3-0 record, 3.91 ERA

How Did MLB Trade Rumors Do on Their Predictions?


Quite often on this blog I have shown how humble I am when not only showing my predictions before major dates around Major League Baseball like the season, the award winners and the World Series predictions but I have also not been afraid to show how terribly bad I am at these predictions as well. I don't want to be the only one being shown with egg on my face so I decided to recap MLB Trade Rumors Top 50 Free Agent Predictions post now that most of the major free agents are now off the board. SEE HERE for the complete and original post on MLBTR.

I won't go through all 50 free agents, you can click the link and see that for yourself, but what about the Yankees related predictions and the rest of the Top 25? Sounds good to me.

1. David Price - Cubs (Red Sox)
2. Jason Heyward - Yankees (Cubs)
3. Zack Greinke - Dodgers (Diamondbacks)
4. Justin Upton - Nationals (Tigers)
5. Chris Davis- Cardinals (Orioles)
6. Yoenis Cespedes - Angels (Mets)
7. Jordan Zimmermann - Blue Jays (Tigers)
8. Johnny Cueto - Red Sox (Giants)
9. Alex Gordon - Royals 
10. Ian Desmond - Mets (NOT YET SIGNED)
11. Jeff Samardzija - Giants
12. Mike Leake - Giants (Cardinals)
13. Wei-Yin Chen - Tigers (Marlins)
14. Kenta Maeda - Diamondbacks (Dodgers)
15. Matt Wieters - Nationals (Orioles)
16. Dexter Fowler - Mets (NOT YET SIGNED)
17. Daniel Murphy - Angels (Nationals)
18. Scott Kazmir - Orioles (Dodgers)
19. Ian Kennedy - Angels (Royals)
20. Yovani Gallardo - Tigers (NOT YET SIGNED)
21. Ben Zobrist - Yankees (Cubs)
22. Howie Kendrick - White Sox (NOT YET SIGNED)
23. Byung-Ho Park - Rockies (Twins)
24. John Lackey - Cubs
25. Hisashi Iwakuma - Mariners

46. Chris Young - Yankees (Boston Red Sox)

MLB Trade Rumor predictions with actual team they signed with in parenthesis. Bolded = correct.

Quick Hit: Yankees w/ Most to Prove in 2016

The New York Yankees are inching closer and closer to spring training camp, pitchers and catchers reporting and the start of the 2016 season. After the Yankees made the postseason for the first time in two seasons, and yes the Wild Card round is the playoffs whether spoiled fans think they are or not, and the team heads into the 2016 season with even more hopes, expectations and something to definitely prove to the league and their fans. Who has the most to prove this season? Unfortunately for the Yankees the have more than a few. 

Chase Headley. Can he throw to first base consistently? Can he hit for power or an average above .250? Can he continue to play 150+ games a season and not break down at third base?

Chasen Shreve. First half Chasen or second half Chasen?

Jacoby Ellsbury. Can he stay healthy? Can he actually hit like a leadoff hitter with a high average and even higher on-base percentage? Can he steal bases? 

Brett Gardner. See above. 

Ivan Nova. Can he regain his control in his second year removed from Tommy John surgery? Can he even get enough starts and innings pitched to prove it in the Yankees rotation?

Masahiro Tanaka. The exact opposite of the above, can he once again be limited to presumably avoid Tommy John surgery and still pitch like the ace the Yankees are paying him to be?

Luis Severino. And if Tanaka doesn't can Severino take over the ace position for New York?

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/27: Giants play in Yankee Stadium

On this day in 1956 the New York football Giants switch their NFL home games to Yankee Stadium. This fueled tons of speculation that the baseball Giants would also be leaving the Polo Grounds.

The team also signed relief pitcher Chris Leroux on this day in 2014 but I didn’t figure many people cared about or cared for that signing much. Carry on.