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The Bullpens of the AL Central - Rotoworld.com

The Bullpens of the AL Central - Rotoworld.com | MLB baseball | Scoop.it
The Bullpens of the AL Central - Rotoworld.com
Mike M's insight:

How has John Axford emerged from the depths of the ashes of Closer?  Simple.  He's a Closer. 

 

Closer's crash and burn as fast as a meteor but can sometimes resurrect themselves just as quickly given a new life.  Such could be the case with Axford.  The dude can throw aspirin tablets, but can he locate?

 

Right now with his location shifted from one of the Great Lakes to another, he may just find what he's needed to straighten himself out in Cleveland rather than Milwaukee.

 

I was really a Vinnie Pestano fan a couple of years ago but his star dulled after last year's season of ineffectiveness, for him, and injuries. 

 

Not totally sold on Axford but would take a flyer on him in a mid to late round draft, or spend just a few dollars on him in an auction draft.

 

The only other intriguing bullpen chase out of this division belongs on the second team in the second city, the White Sox.  Nate Jones is presumed by many to be the leading candidate here after the somewhat surprising departure of Addison Reed.

 

Jones' name doesn't leap out off of the list of elite closers but does have  some nasty stuff.  As pointed out by the Rotoworld guys, his K/BB  was good and K/IP was really good.  These are usually two excellent indicators of his potentail for success.

 

Matt Lindstrom was, or possibly can be, a viable undercard here, but he still is having some oblique issues.  Those are not good for anyone, especially a pitcher.  That may linger for a while, giving Jones more time to nail down the back end of the bullpen for the South Siders.

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The NL Central may not repeat last year's success.

The NL Central may not repeat last year's success. | MLB baseball | Scoop.it
Last year, the NL Central sent three teams to the playoffs. But while the Cardinals got better this winter, the Reds and Pirates took a step backwards. Considering they now have to fight off an improved Brewers club, it's difficult to see a repeat of 2013's playoff teams.
Mike M's insight:

I'm not a huge fan of the Pirates doing what they did last year.  I believe they come back down to earth a little bit.  I think Liriano doesn't finish out the year.  I think they will struggle to score runs, also.

 

I still like the Reds to challenge the Cardinals.  They have a really nice three-punch attack in Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto.  Throw in Billy Hamiltion and you may have some decent enough offense to go with that staff.  Hamilton is a big question, because he can't steal first base.  They are comparing him to stolen base giants like Vince Coleman and Rickey Henderson.  Even those guys took a little while to learn how to get on first base.  If Hamilton get a sense of what it takes to get to first, like take some walks and bunt, he might be just enough of an ignition for the top of the order.  Give Phillips, Votto and Bruce somebody to hit in.

 

The Brewers are my dark horse.  Actually if someone asked me today who I thought might have a chance to either dethrone the Cards or at least contend for a wild card, I like the Brewers.  I think the Garza acquisitiono is going to help them immensely.  I really like him having his best year while staying healthy.  I think the suspension stuff is behind Braun which will give him some renewed life.  I like these guys a lot

 

If I had to rate the challengers to the Cardinals in this division, it would be -

 

1) Brewers

2) Reds

3) Pirates

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Y! SPORTS

Y! SPORTS | MLB baseball | Scoop.it

Chicago Cubs Fans: The Milwaukee Brewers Got Matt Garza and You Got Edwin Jackson

Mike M's insight:

Interesting story on Yahoo Sports comparing the deal that brings former Cub Matt Garza to the Brewers with often catigated Ewin Jackson, whom the Cubs signed before the 2013 season.

 

Comparable payroll numbers for two guys who have great stuff, but Jackson has not nearly been as consistent year-to-year, let along game-to-game, as Garza.

 

The drawback with Garza is that he has not been able to stay totally healthy.  Jackson is the 'innings' guy, but at what cost?  He generally doesn't last long in games because of his high pitch counts.  He also puts on a ton of runners.  With a WHIP of 1.40, he is pitching from the stretch a lot.

 

Interesting comparison considering that they are now pitching in the same division.

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Fantasy Baseball: Where should Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka be ...

Fantasy Baseball: Where should Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka be ... | MLB baseball | Scoop.it
Now that the news is out that Masahiro Tanaka has signed a a massive seven-year, $155 million contract with the New York Yankees, it's time to figure out where he should be drafted in Fantasy Baseball leagues.
Mike M's insight:

With Masahiro Tanaka's mega contract with the Yankees making, arguably, the biggest off-season splash, it's time to start thinking in Fantasy terms?  Where does this kid fit in the Fantasy world? 

 

Supposedly, he's the second coming of Yu Darvish...but is he?  If so, is he right now, or is this a pitcher that needs a year or two under his belt before he gets settled in to the MLB scene?

I think it's the former, rather than the latter.  The kid knows how to pitch, albeit in the Japanese league and not in the 'Bigs', but I think this guy knows what he's doing on the mound and will put some good, but probably not great, numbers in his first year. 

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Players to Avoid: AL East - Rotoworld.com

Players to Avoid: AL East - Rotoworld.com | MLB baseball | Scoop.it
Players to Avoid: AL East - Rotoworld.com
Mike M's insight:

A smattering of players that might be overhyped in the AL East....

 

Any fantasy league has players that go over the top as it relates to perceived value.  I am commssioner of my Fantasy baseball and there are always guys that cost way too much for the numbers they will be spitting out (We play in an auction draft league).

 

Now I understand if you're one guy away, that you might need to overpay for that stud closer you need, or that one stolen base you need.  But, I'm talking more in the middle of the draft, you absolutely take a guy like Matt Moore of the Rays and bid him to CY Young status, or take him so high in a straight draft format.

 

A guy like Moore is the perfect "overbid" candidate.  He will only be 25 this summer.He had a fantastic record, 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA.  He plays for one of the best managers in the game in Tampa.  I'm not saying a guy like Moore won't be a good starter, if healthy, but bring in the reigns a little bit when looking at guys.  Don't get so enamored with age and past superfluous stats. 

 

Most of the other guys on this list fall in the same bucket, although I don't think many fantasy leaguers, no mater how naive of a player you are will use common sense on some players like Dioner Navarro, Mark Texiera and Nick Markakis.

 

However the trap could be set for guys like Mashahiro Tanaka of the Yanks and Manny Machado of the Orioles.  Tanaka is an unknown.  And if history stays the course, most of these guys coming from Cuba, Korea and Japan tend to be a bit overrated and a bit injury prone.  Don't get crazy, I didn't say ALL of these guys are like that.  But, I do think they grab a ton of media attention and come into the league a little too hyped.

 

Manny Machado is one of those guys that can easily be thrown into "superstar" status just a little bit too early.  Don't overpay becasue he WILL be a great player at some point.  Pay because he is.  If you're in a keeper league it still makes send to get good value for him now, rather than overpay and throw him back into the pool next year.

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A-Rod ends litigation against MLB, MLBPA

A-Rod ends litigation against MLB, MLBPA | MLB baseball | Scoop.it
Alex Rodriguez and his legal team have withdrawn their lawsuits against Major League Baseball, Commissioner Bud Selig and the Major League Baseball Players Association, indicating that the Yankees third baseman is ready to accept his season-long suspension.
Mike M's insight:

Agree or disagree? 

 

With spring training upon us, as a baseball fan, it's nice to see this put in the rear view mirror so it is not beat to death all year long.  Maybe that is what ARod was thinking....get this behind hm and concentrate on getting ready for 2015.

 

...Or not....maybe he realized it was a fruitless lawsuit that was going to heap even more negativity on his career (if that is even possible any more), than he wanted. 

 

Will this finally prove to be his undoing? He is 38 after all.  Or does he come back next year with a renewed sense of commitment and put up numbers unbeknownst to most players in their late thirties?

 

I actually am surprised.  I thouht he would go through with the suit, but am relieved that we will not have to her about all year....

 

What do you think?

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Baseball's State of the Union: Some ways to improve the game | SI.com

Baseball's State of the Union: Some ways to improve the game | SI.com | MLB baseball | Scoop.it
When Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter for the final out of the 2013 World Series, the celebration at Fenway Park that night might well have served as a celebration of everything that is right about baseball today. A year that opened with a passionate international tournament that football could not dream of replicating, the World Baseball Classic, ended with a team, the
Mike M's insight:

Tom Verducci does a great job in this piece to present some relevant facts, as well as some unique analysis on the state.  What's wrong with it, what's right with it, and some interesting ideas to improve.  Some of the ideas are a little far fetched, even to his admission, but he also presents some thoughts that would make for a better game withouth cutting into the essence of what baseball is all about.

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