Archives for: 2010, week 13

04/02/10

April Fool's Mets Fans

Permalink 04:36:10 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Mets fans should start considering enlisting the entire month of April, not just calendar day one, as April Fool's. Last year, their much anticipated brand new home (CitiField) was ripped to shreads by Mets enthusiasts and local pundits. Soon thereafter, all hopes of returning to playoff baseball crash landed when half of New York's key contributors were lost to injury.

Most New Yorker's were glad when the season ended. There was plenty of talk surrounding potential free agent and/or trade acquisitions. Jason Bay was much sought after in free agency. Mets got lucky when he decided to sign (most of us are still wondering why he chose a losing team over winners?). Not much else was done to fix huge gaping holes on this club. The front office under GM Moniya has been a complete embarrassment. Lack of trades and complete free agent washouts has dominated Moniya's tenure. Throw in an inter-organizational rift between major & minor league clubs to boot. It's amazing how this guy still has a top position.

Now here we are and deja vu sets in on April 1. Lost at least a month due to injury is starting 1B Murphy. Who, you ask? That's right, NY has settled on defenseless, powerless Murphy over free agents and potential trades. Starting SS Jose Reyes has been babied to the point of insanity. He's only started playing/practicing and will also begin 2010 on the DL. Starting CF Carlos Beltran will miss all of April and probably most of May. Even when he returns, it's doubtful he can contribute at full speed.

New York Mets ownership hasn't been smart of late. One might even suggest sending the top honcho's into a corner wearing nothing more than pointy hats until someone explains how to maintain a "respectable" franchise. Don't forget, they were 1 strike away from playing in the 2005 World Series. It's been a downhill spiral ever since. Mets failures have been systemic. One can argue until blue in the face over individual personnel moves from players to executives. This is not the subject of my point today.

April Fool's is here again as the Mets continue failing to field a team best suited for their new nearly $1,000,000,000.00 anything but a Mets themed home stadium. Look at playing dimensions and then take a peak and tell me which lefty hits for power? None. Pepsi Porch may look great on tv. Most likely the only players hitting long home runs to Pepsi will be opposing batters. Opposing pitchers might have an easy go hurling against an extremely low OBA oriented lineup. Mets will probably finish '10 dead last in OBA.

Now, most of us know the secret to success is having a serviceable starting rotation. Johan Santana has been one of baseball's best for nearly 10 years. He's New York's only potential bright spot. The rest are flat out awful. Perhaps the majors worst starting rotation? Spring training is rarely used as a barometer of things to come unless it relates directly to players recovering from injury. Plenty of Mets hurlers are trying to regain their old form. It hasn't worked out too well as NY has a collective 5.00+ team era. John Maine, Mike Pelfrey & Oliver Perez are starters 2-4. Not one of them has an era under 7. That's no typo. None under "seven". Even Santana's been getting lit up (6.75). Do the math. On paper, Mets have a one in five shot of victory per five games (Santana). How ugly is that?

Buy plenty of brown paper bags Mets fans. Better yet, break out those Yankee hats. 2010 Mets baseball already reminds me of their early 1960's losers. It's going to be an extremely long & comical year.

03/31/10

2010 Baseball Sleepers

Permalink 12:02:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

2010 is a new season. Thousands of baseball fans have drafted their teams. Thousands more are preparing for their soon to be held drafts. "Sleepers" are often referred to as overlooked or undervalued players. Rookies with huge upside potential, players ready to have a break out year or players returning from injury all qualify. Much talk has centered around four rookies. I've compiled a list of players who usually fly under the radar in early draft rounds. I rarely recommend searching out sleepers when proven heavy OPS players remain plentiful. However, sleepers can be great mid-round picks depending on league format and current draft status/needs.

Jason Heyward (Atl) - Much talked about this preseason. His stature reminds me of a young Dave Parker. Great upside. Will have plenty of hot/cold streaks but should offer plenty of power potential.

Austin Jackson (Det) - I'm a big fan of Jackson's. Tigers spacious surroundings could prove challenging. He seems level headed and could tear it up on home games with 2B's, 3B's while saving his power stroke for road games. Quickly maturing 5 tool player.

Alcides Escobar (Mil) - Brewers are high on their shortstop of the future. I haven't watched him play a single inning so it's hard to comment. He's a stretch for offensive production in my book but is worth a shot in keeper style leagues.

Kyle Blanks (SD) - Effortless swing and packs a mean punch. Defense needs fine tuning. Offense will be plentiful.

Ian Kennedy (AZ) - He's ready and I'm expecting a big year from Kennedy in Arizona. He's made their rotation after an outstanding spring campaign. Untouchable when he's on.

Tim Hudson (Atl) - Not being drafted high in most leagues. Hudson's back and ready for a big season. K totals might not turn heads but sub 3.00 will. Key cog in Braves rotation.

Chris Young (AZ) - Struggled miserably in '09 and fell off most manager's radar. Not mine. He's matured and will enjoy his best big league season.

Hunter Pence (Hou) - Hardly a sleeper. Pence qualifies as a career year type player. 40+ doubles, 30+ homers.

Colby Rasmus (StL) - Should show steady improvement in sophmore season.

Geovany Soto (Chi) - Cubs backstop had a great rookie year in '08. Suffered thru injury plagued '09. Healthy and ready for '10 could finish in top 5 fantasy point producing catchers.

Grady Sizemore (Cle) - Get ready for a comeback player of the year style season. He might even make a run at MVP honors. Sizemore is tearing it up in pre-season which is a clear indication he's ready to go.

Ian Desmond (Was) - Nationals are high on young future star SS Desmond. So am I. He has all the tools... and won starting nod this spring as everyday SS.

Matt Wieters (Bal) - Everyone in Baltimore loves this guy. He's going to have a crash course in AL East baseball learning to handle a young pitching staff while taking swings against the AL's top rotations. He's an unknown commodity who might produce. He seems to be going way too high over proven talent in most drafts. Buyer beware.

Marlon Byrd (Chi) - I think a monster season is ready to be had by Byrd. Many things in his favor. A great hitters home park. Great hitters division. Not so hot opposing staffs loaded with lefties. Byrd has a mixed clubhouse rep. He'll be great if playing with a cool head. Same was said of Milton Bradley heading into '09. Difference is Byrd's much better player.

Billy Wagner (Atl) - Potential 40 save season and Braves first true closer in recent memory. Health is always an issue. He looks better than ever. Phils have competition.

Will Venable (SD) - Sleeper pick. He's been red hot this spring. Solid minor league stats. Shown consistent improvement at every level including majors. Key cog in Padres attack will produce. 35+ doubles, 20+ homers, .280+ BA all within reach.

Drew Stubbs (Cin) - Reds leadoff hitter might smack 25 - 30 round trippers in cozy Cincinnati. This kid's for real but needs to cut down on wild strikeouts.

Teams
My crystal ball tells me only one team fits a true potential sleeper squad. In 5 of 6 divisions it's hard to imagine a weaker squad conquering tough rivals for the title. Then, there's the NL West. Meet the San Diego Padres. Personally, I have them pegged last in NL West. However, there's tremendous upside here for San Diego. They possess a solid batting lineup and excellent bullpen. Success or failure rests on the shoulders of starting pitchers. Garland, Young, Correia, Lantos, Richard. Who? They don't put fear into anyone. Precisely what makes them dangerous. Lineup has 3 rising stars to compliment Andrian Gonzalez' power. Kyle Blanks, Will Venable and Chase Headley. Bench depth is deepest in West. Jerry Hairston, Scott Hairston, Oscar Salazar & Matt Stairs. Padres have had a taste of winning too by way of a current 14 game spring streak. This has to be a confidence builder. Keep an eye on these guys.