Archive for August 31, 2010

September Call-Up News: Tampa Bay Rays To Recall Desmond Jennings

According to the Marc Topkin of the Tampa Tribune (click here for the post), the Tampa Bay Rays will be calling up the following players tomorrow when rosters expand:

  • OF Desmond Jennings
  • OF Rocco Baldelli
  • OF Brad Hawpe
  • C Dioner Navarro
  • P Jeremy Hellickson

The team needs to free up room on the 40-man roster for Hawpe & Baldelli.  J.P. Howell was moved to the 60-day DL, freeing one spot, but another move is forthcoming.

Of these players, Hawpe probably looks to have the most potential immediate impact.  There’s no guarantee, but it certainly is plausible to see him get regular playing time in the outfield or as the designated hitter.  While he struggled for the Rockies we all know the upside he has.  They certainly could catch lightning in a bottle and ride him for a few weeks.

Jennings may have the most talent, but he is expected to be here simply to get his feet wet and be used as a pinch runner.  Hellickson, while he made an impact in the rotation earlier, will most likely serve out of the bullpen for now.  Both are tremendous option in keeper leagues, but those in yearly formats can safely ignore them for now (barring any major changes).

What are your thoughts on these moves?  Who has the chance t make the biggest impact?

Transaction Analysis: Manny Ramirez to the White Sox

We all knew the writing appeared on the wall.  Manny was simply being Manny, being ejected after one pitch over the weekend in his final plate appearance as a Dodger.  Clearly, that was the last straw, as the Dodgers yesterday allowed Manny Ramirez to head to the Chicago White Sox on a waiver claim, receiving nothing but cash relief in return.

When he’s been on the field, Ramirez has been an impact bat, but he hasn’t been on the field all that often this season.  In just 196 AB (66 games), he has hit .311 with 8 HR, 40 RBI, 32 R and 1 SB.

It’s pretty much the status quo, and the move back to the AL should only help him produce big numbers.

First of all, Ramirez gets new life and a new environment, something that generally helps to ignite him.  Just look at his splits the last time he switched teams, going from the Red Sox to the Dodgers in 2008:

  • Red Sox – .299 (109-165), 20 HR, 68 RBI, 66 R
  • Dodgers – .396 (74-187), 17 HR, 53 RBI, 36 R

The situation is similar, as well, as his contract was set to expire and he was trying to impress for a big payday.  While it’s unlikely he matches the 2 year, $45 million contract he was awarded by the Dodgers, he certainly could convince the White Sox to give him a deal if he produces. Read more

Prospect Review: Michael Pineda

The Seattle Mariners have shut down top pitching prospect Michael Pineda for the season, after throwing 139.1 innings for the year (last season he was limited to just 12 appearances and 47.1 innings).  Let’s take a look back and review his year.

Pineda opened the year at Double-A where he excelled.  In 13 starts (77.0 innings), he went 8-1 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.  If that wasn’t enough, he did a tremendous job of keeping the ball in the ballpark (only 1 HR), piled up the strikeouts (9.1 K/9) and was stingy with the walks (2.0 BB/9).

The one red flag was lefties hit .286 against him, but it was based on a .374 BABIP.  It certainly was nothing to be concerned about.

Once promoted to Triple-A, some of the numbers fell, significantly actually.  The PCL is certainly a hitter’s league, but he allowed 9 HR in just 62.1 innings while there.  It’s not like he is an extreme fly ball pitcher (35.4% while at Triple-A and 34.2% for his career), so you have to consider this an aberration.  He has never been plagued by the long ball before, so the competition and the stadiums were a major factor. Read more

Is It Time To Be Concerned About Yovani Gallardo?

Yovani Gallardo is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his August line.  Despite a solid overall line of 3.50 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, he has taken numerous beatings over the past month.

In fact, he has allowed four earned runs or more in his last four starts.  It’s six earned runs or more in each of his last two starts.

These are clearly disturbing numbers, considering his sparkling first few months.  You have to wonder, did his time on the DL in July for an oblique injury have a greater effect then we realized?

It’s an interesting question, to say the least.

While Gallardo hasn’t enjoyed much luck all season long, the luck has been especially bad over his past five starts.  In the first four months of the season, when he posted a 2.77 ERA and 1.32 WHIP, he suffered from a .328 BABIP.

Over the past month, his BABIP is .379, seventh worst in the league (interestingly enough, other big names like Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee are worse then he is). Read more

Closing Situations: Looking at the Closers of the AL Central

It’s time to continue our journey around the league, looking at each team’s closer situation.  The AL Central is home to one of the most fluid closing situations and also one of the most stable options in the league.  Let’s take a look at their updated situation, as well as the other three teams in the division:

Chicago White Sox
Closer: Bobby Jenks
Waiting in the Wings: Sergio Santos
Closer of the Future: Matt Thornton
The White Sox closer situation has been in flux all year long, with questions surrounding Jenks’ ability floating around.  He is currently sporting a 4.40 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, though injuries to J.J. Putz and Thornton have basically removed all the potential competition, temporarily.  Thornton has 5 saves this season, to go with a 2.66 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, not to mention 64 K over 47.1 innings.  He seems like a lock to move into the role for 2011, with Jenks likely heading out of town (he is not signed for next year).  If you are in a keeper league and Thornton is still sitting on the waiver wire, he’s certainly worth stashing immediately. Read more

Is Dustin Moseley A Pitch & Ditch Option For Tomorrow?

We’ve hit that time of year where owners look for potential pitch and ditch options, trying to catch lightning in a bottle for a start, then move on to the next pitcher.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

Well, not all options are created equal.  One name that may jump out at you for tomorrow’s games is Dustin Moseley of the New York Yankees.  First of all, he pitches for the Yankees.  Second of all, he is facing the Oakland A’s.

Is he worth using, however?

His overall numbers are not impressive, with a 4.53 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, but he has a huge advantage over the rest of the field in that he has the Yankees offense supporting him.  If wins are what you are chasing, he is a solid option.

He is coming off one of his best starts (against the Blue Jays in Toronto).  He allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings.  Of course, you also have to keep in mind that in his six starts, he’s allowed 4 earned runs or more three times.  Plus, even in a solid start, he had a WHIP of 1.50.

However, the A’s are one of the weakest hitting teams in the league.  They have scored just 510 runs, 26th in the league.  They also have hit just 79 HR, worst in the majors.  That certainly seems to make him a strong flier, doesn’t it?

Before we get too excited, there is some downside. Read more