Baseball Notes for May 6, 2013

Clay

Cheating has a long and interesting history in baseball. From sharpened cleats, corked bats, banned substances and doctored pitches, players and teams are seemingly always in search of an edge. As former Chicago Cubs’ first baseman Mark Grace once famously said, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

That being said, there can be a fine line between what is cheating and what is simply gaining an edge. When something questionable is identified, there is typically a race to classify it as legitimate or cheating. Hardly a year passes without at least one instance of a player being caught or being accused of nefarious actions. This year is no exception. Continue reading

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Baseball Notes for November 26, 2012

More moves and rumors are starting to come in now that the baseball offseason is in full-swing. It’s always interesting to see the jostling that takes place, as teams seek to set their 2013 rosters, while battling other teams for resources. Despite Thanksgiving dominating this past week, there was still a flurry of activity that provided a lot of fuel to the hot stove fires. Continue reading

Texas Rangers Offseason Eight Ball

The Rangers are probably seeking a catcher or two, an outfielder and adding pitching both starters and bullpen help.

Guaranteed Contracts

Ian Kinsler, 2B: $75M throught 2017
Adrian Beltre, 3B: $51M through 2015
Yu Darvish, SP: $50.5M through 2017
Derek Holland, SP: $24.3M through 2016
Michael Young, UT: $16M through 2013
Elvis Andrus, SS: $11.3M through 2014
Nelson Cruz, OF: $10.5M through 2013
Leonys Martin, OF: $8.75 through 2015
Colby Lewis, SP: $2M through 2013

Arbitration Eligible Players [estimated salaries] Continue reading

AL Cy Young Award: Verlander vs. Price

The regular season is almost a full week from conclusion and two of the first round playoff matchups have two teams up 2-0 on their opponents. It seems, to me, like the season only started three months ago but baseball will be without games in another month but baseball season never ends thanks to an offseason that is more active than any other sport.

One of the big topics for the offseason is awards. Who will win? Who will get shafted? Which award will cause the most debate? When it comes to the American League Cy Young Award voting there are only two names that I believe should be at the top of voters ballots: Justin Verlander or David Price. The race for the award probably will not be as close as the two are in stats but there is still case to be made for either pitcher. Let’s take a look at their stats side-by-side with American League ranks in parenthesis: Continue reading

One Fan’s Rooting Section

Continuing a theme started in the last post I wrote on this site, any baseball writer who says he isn’t a fan is a liar. We wouldn’t be in this business if we weren’t fans of this great sport. Oh, there have been some truly terrific writers about baseball who haven’t set out to be baseball writers, but on the whole, you have to love this stuff to write about it every day.

Of course, if we have to consider ourselves, “journalists,” then that fan thing has to take a back seat to objectivity. I wrestle with this all the time. We writers who let our fan-selves get in the way too often jeopardize our credibility if we don’t hold it back. Joe Posnanski has drawn the line that he won’t root for teams as a journalist but he does root for players. Fair enough. If it’s good enough for the Great Pos, then it’s good enough for me. What follows is a list of players I will be rooting for this season. There is no rhyme or reason for the wish list. They are simply players that capture one writer’s imagination. Some aren’t great players and I know they will continue not to be great players. But what the heck, eh? A fan is a fan is a fan.

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Locking Up Moore is Huge for Him and the Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms with top prospect Matt Moore on a guaranteed $14M over five years and the entire deal could be for $40M over eight years if all three options are picked up and Moore meets all the escalator clauses in the contract.

What does this deal mean for Matt Moore?

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Matt Moore Left Me in Awe

If you missed the Tampa Bay Rays against the New York Yankees last night then you missed the first ever start by the top pitching prospect in all of baseball. Spoiler alert: It gave me goosebumps and he was absolutely filthy!

Matt Moore went up against a somewhat depleted Yankee lineup last night but it still had Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones, and Jorge Posada. Not to mention the start was in Yankee stadium and Moore is a mere 22 years old.

Moore had zero problems with this lineup and environment. He went 5 innings (84 pitches) and allowed only 4 hits, 1 walks, and struck out 11. You read that right, 11 strikeouts in 5 innings. That, my friends, is a record against the Yankees. No one, not rookies or veterans, has ever struck out that many in 5 innings against the Yankees.

Take a quick look at his pitch f/x chart from last night:

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