Tag:New York
Posted on: December 1, 2010 4:49 pm
 

Top 20 Second Baseman

After looking over my top 20 shortstops list i was very dissapointed in myself. I left off some key players who had injury issues but were better than the some of the players lower on my list. So i hope i will redeem myself on this list of the top 20 second baseman where i tried to look much deeper into the stats. Also i am not including guys who i consider utility players on this list as later i will do a ranking of the best utility players.

1. Chase Utley (PHI)
While he may be heading towards the downside of his career and injuries are starting to hit him, he is still the best all around 2nd baseman in the game. He missed some time last year but his bat is still good (.275/.387/.445 line in 425 AB) and he still plays great defense with a 10.3 UZR. Many people may think that Robinson Cano has passed Chase Utley up, and with the bat he has but Utley is still the all around better player specificaly when you compare their defense (Cano career -36.8 UZR, Utley career 80.1 UZR). But the gap is quickly closing as Utley is starting to regress and Cano is in his prime.

2. Robinson Cano (NYY)
As we discussed earlier Cano is the best offensive second baseman in the majors right now. He has some problems defensivly although he does have a good arm. Not a typical middle infielder as he hits for excellent average (career .309/.347/.489) and power but lacks great speed on the basepaths. Like Utley he is more of a middle of the order hitter but unlike Utley he is in the prime of his career with plenty of time to put up more awesome offensive numbers.

3. Dustin Pedroia (BOS)
He missed a lot of time due to injury last year but when healthy he is an elite second baseman. Unlike the 2 guys ahead of him he is more of a top of the order hitter (2 hole), he hits for a good average, has average power with good speed. He also plays good defense, maybe not as good as Utley but significantly better than Cano. He is good in almost every defensive category although he does lack a strong arm. He is a good all around shortstop who can be elite in terms of contact and defense but is average everywhere else.

4. Ian Kinsler (TEX)
Pedroia and him were neck and neck in my analysis but i gave the edge to Pedroia because he has an MVP to his credit. And similar to Pedroia, Kinsler was injured a lot last year but can put up elite offensive numbers for the position. Kinsler dosnt hit for as high of average as Pedroia but he does have more pop (career .281/.356/.466 line and in 09' he hit 31 home runs). Overall i like Kinsler's offensive game a little bit better than Pedroia's but Kinslers defense does not matchup to Pedroia at all. While Pedroia has a career 23.7 UZR, Kinsler has a -9.9 UZR. Kinsler does have more speed which gives him better range but hands are not as good as Pedroia and he is not as accurate. But all in all Kinsler is still and elite second baseman, he may lack great defense but he is an outstanding offensive secondbaseman.

5. Brandon Phillips (CIN)
The second tier was definitely the hardest to rank as all of the players are equally as good in my opinion. But in terms of all around ability and being a true second baseman Phillips is the best of the second tier. He has some issues offensively as he is not a great OBP guy but he does hit for a solid average and has some pop (career .267/.316/.430 line) and speed. What really sets him apart from the guys below him in this tier is his defense as he is the only one with a positive career UZR (8.1). As you are probably starting to see i tend to favor players who are skilled in multiple areas rather than big power guys or speed guys. The fans really like defense as his fan scouting ranks him as the top second baseman defensively, and he is not rated below a 70 (100 point scale) in any category.

6. Dan Uggla (ATL)
There were some players who put together all around better offensive numbers but none of them have put up those types of numbers consistently. Dan Uggla may not be a good fielder by any means and he may strike out too much but he is a consistent 30 HR power threat at a position that lacks that. He is in the heart of his prime years and so we will likely see this type of production for several more years. But as i said he is somewhat of a one dimensional player, his game revolves around power although he did put up a good average last year (.287/.369/.508 line in 10'). The biggest knock on Uggla's game is still his defense, i will always remember his 3 errors in his first all star game. The fans rate all of his defensive skills below 45 and he has a career UZR of -22. Uggla is a good power hitter but he probably should be playing third base.

7. Rickie Weeks (MIL)
He came back from injury in 09' to put up a career year as he hit .269/.366/.464 with 29 home runs. He is another slugging second baseman who struggles hitting for contact. But i would rate his defensive ability above Uggla's, while he has a career -24.8 UZR he did post a 1.8 UZR last season and has been around average the past few years. The only reason i rank Weeks behind Uggla is because Weeks has not consistently put up these numbers, but he is in his prime years so he may put up these numbers again.

8. Kelly Johnson (ARI)
Johnson is another guy who came out of nowhere to put up some pretty good power numbers. Johnson had put up solid numbers in 07' and 08' but fell out of favor in 09' with the Braves and was nontendered and the Diamondbacks signed him. He then went on to post a .284/.370/.496 line with 26 home runs. His numbers were way off from his career averages in terms of power so there has to be some regression but his strikeout numbers where higher than his career so he may have changed his approach (I havent watched him so i dont know). He also put up good fielding numbers last season (7.1 UZR) and is in the prime of his career so we could see some more years like this. But as with Rickie Weeks he has not put up these numbers consistently so i cant rank him higher than this.

9. Orlando Hudson (FA)
There is a significant dropoff after the second tier, not that Hudson is a bad ballplayer but he is nowhere near as good as the people ahead of him. Hudson has been a good hitter before but showed some regression last season as he has passed his prime years. He is still a guy who can hit around .270/.340/.370 and give you quality defense which can be hard to come by and somebody will give him some money for his skill. He still plays good defense as he had a 9.8 UZR last season and the fan scouting shows he is still a solid defender. The only major weakness in his game is his arm but everything else is near or above average. Hudson is a solid all around second baseman but is firmly in the third tier.

10. Brian Roberts (BAL)
He like Hudson is on the downside of his career but after coming back from injury he showed he can still play and seemed to get the Orioles offense going. He still provides a solid batting average, above average speed and a solid glove. He seems to have lost the power that he did have which is why is 10th on this list and really could go below him but his track record of success is what keeps him this high. As i have said before i think the most valuable guys are the ones that have the complete package and have a proven track record. Roberts defines all of those characteristics and at 33 I still think he has some gas in the tank to put up some solid seasons for the Orioles.

11. Aaron Hill (TOR)
12. Chone Figgins (SEA)
13. Mark Ellis (OAK)
14. Freddy Sanchez (SF)
15. Howie Kendrick (LAA)
16. Neil Walker (PIT)
17. Jeff Keppinger (HOU)
18. Gordon Beckham (CWS)
19. Ryan Theriot (STL)
20. Mike Aviles (KC)

Thats my top 20 second baseman and look out for my top 20 center fielders tomorrow. And if you havnt already please check out my other blog which will have our first podcast up over the weekend.
http://sportstalkwithchrisandkevin.
blogspot.com/
Posted on: November 30, 2010 10:08 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 10:10 pm
 

Top 20 Shortstops

In light of Troy Tulowitzki's recent extension to the 2020 season i wanted to see how he stacked up against the rest of the shortstops in the league. I spent several hours pouring over stats and scouting reports to make my list of the top 20 shortstops. I will give in depth analyisis of the top 10 and then just list the bottom ten.

FIRST TEIR


1. Troy Tulowitzki (COL)
I think he has to be the obvious number one choice, Hanley Ramirez was definitely considered but he is more of a hitter than a true shortstop. Tulowitzki has the full package, he can hit for average, power, he has some speed and plays excellent defense. I realize his offensive numbers are slightly skewed due to playing at Coors field (altough not as much as you would think as he still hit .291/.358/.504 on the road) but he is still an outstanding bat at shortstop.

2. Hanley Ramirez (FLA)
In terms of offense he is the best in the league with a career .313/.385/.520 line. But the reason he is number 2 is because is glove is no where near Tulowitzki's, he has a career -39.3 UZR and a career .969 fielding percentage. On the Fans Scouting Report on Fangraphs.com they think Hanley has good speed and a decent first step and arm but he gets low marks for his hands, release, instincts and accuracy. At some point in his career i think he will get moved to third similar to A-Rod becaues his bat will still hold up as a corner infielder. But even with his defensive deficiencies he is still an elite shortstop.

Second Tier

3. Stephen Drew (ARI)
There is a significant drop off after Tulo and Hanley, but Stephen Drew is a solid second tier shortstop. He does not have an elite bat but it is above average for a middle infielder ( career .272/.332/.448 line). He has managed to improve his defense which is really what has pushed him to this level, as he evolved from a 2 win player to a 5 win player last year. His career UZR is not good but he has posted positive UZR's the past 2 season with an 8.7 this year. The fan scouting dosnt suggest that any of his tools are great but he is mediocre across the board.

4. Alexei Ramirez (CWS)
From the minute he burst onto the scene in 2008 he has been an upper level offensive shortstop, hitting for a solid average and providing some pop at a position that tends to lack it. He is not elite in any one category but is above average across the board with a career .283/.321/.430 slash line and averaging over 10 steals a season. His defensive ratings have improved every season as well posting a 10.8 UZR this season. The Fans scouting suggests that he has a good arm and above average speed and first step. His main area of concern in his defense are his hands and his release. Alexei Ramirez is right up there with Stephen Drew in the second tier of shortstops.
 
5. Jose Reyes (NYM)
He came back from missing most of 2009 to posting solid numbers in 2010. When healthy Reyes provides a leathal combination of contact/speed and power at the top of the Mets lineup. He is at the early part of his prime as well so he has the potential to get back to the upper tier of shortstops. His defense is pretty good as well with a career UZR of 16.6 but he did have a rough season last year dropping to a -5 UZR. The fans scouting report shows he has a good first step with great speed and a great arm. His main weakness is his hands but other than that all of his other areas are rated at least average. Reyes is a young shortstop who has proved he can be elite before and could be again but for now is in the second tier.

Third Tier

6. Yunel Escobar (TOR)
He had a rough year at the plate with the Braves but was much better with the Blue Jays. Even when he is on he is still a third tier shortstop in my mind but he will hit for average (career .289 hitter) and some pop. But he doesnt have the speed of some of the other shortstops ahead of him. He can be a 3-4 win guy and is hitting his prime ages so we could see him possibly move up to the second tier. He also plays solid defense as he has a career 9.6 UZR, the fan scouting shows him to be proficient in almost every category and they rate his arm very highly. Again the only area he really isnt great at is his speed which may hurt his range a little bit. Overall he is an above average player in almost every category but is not great in any category either.

7. Elvis Andrus (TEX)
I know that he may not hit for a great average yet or hit for any power but he does have blazing speed and plays outstanding defense. I would consider his last season a sophmore slump and he still put up a .1 UZR and hit for a .265/.342/.301. He has the potential to be one of the best defensive players in the game with a potential line of .280/.350/.380 with 30-40 SB. The reason he ranks higher than people who may have put up better numbers last season is his age as he is only 22 years old and is already a star. The fan scouting shows he is above average in every category except his accuracy, and has very good instincts, speed and first step. He is one of two really good young shortstops who will likely move to higher tiers as they get older.

8. Derek Jeter (NYY)
 I know i may get some flak for ranking him this high but even in his worst season of his career he was a 2.5 WAR player. His skills are eroding as he is now 36 years old but he still has the ability to hit for a solid average and get on base. He is one of the best shortstops of all time and should get his 3,000th hit next season as he is 74 hits away and is a first ballot hall of famer. The one thing that has always been overrated about Jeter's game is his defense. Looking at his defensive metrics he has been a below average defender his whole career. He has a -42.4 UZR since 2002, posting only 2 postive UZR seasons. He dosnt have the range to really play short anymore but the Yankees dont have to have great defense to succeed so he will likely finish his career there. The only attribute that the fan scouting thinks is above average is his hands which is true as he only made 6 errors last season. If he can get to the ball he will make the play, but its his ability to get to the ball that is in question. That being said he is still in the third tier which is pretty good for his age.

9. Alex Gonzalez (ATL)
If it was not for his resurgent offense last year he would be ranked this high but he managed to put up some stellar offensive numbers for a shortstop last season (hitting 23 home runs and knocking in 88 runs). He doesnt provide much in terms of average or OBP but has good pop and can knock in runs. His best asset is still his defense as he has a career 44.6 UZR since 2002 and had a 5.1 UZR last season. The fan scouting shows that he has above average hands and release but is weak in terms of his first step, speed and arm. I think this ranking is a little bit high but i didnt want to show to much favoritism to the next guy on this list.

10. Starlin Castro (CHC)
Of all of the young shortstops in the majors i would say he has the highest ceiling but even if he doesnt reach that he is already an allstar caliber shortstop. He showed that he can hit for great average putting up a .300/.347/.408 line in his rookie season. He has the potential to be an excellent leadoff hitter who could contend for batting titles and already has such a good approach at the plate. His main issue is inexpierence and immaturity as he is only 20 years old, he will have mental lapses from time to time but thats part of the growth. Also he is no where near his prime years so we may see some inconsistincey at this time in his career. His defense is a work in progress, looking at the fan scouting he has above average speed and first step and has a great arm. But he stuggles with his hands, release and accuracy as he made 27 errors. Unlike Elvis Andrus i think Castro could become a first tier shortstop, his strengths will likely lie in his average but he has power potential in his body. He is the most exciting player on this list in my opinion.

Fourth Tier

11. Cliff Pennington
12. Marco Scutaro
13. Jhonny Peralta
14. Erick Aybar
15. Jason Bartlett
16. Ian Desmond

Fifth Tier

17. Orlando Cabrera
18. Alcides Escobar

BAD

19. Cesar Izturis
20. Yuniesky Betancourt

If you want more of my analysis check out my new site
http://sportstalkwithchrisandkevin.
blogspot.com/
You can submit questions to me and this friday we will be recording our first podcast so look out for that.

Posted on: November 22, 2010 7:19 pm
 

New Blog

Hey everybody i just wanted to let you know that along with this blog on cbssports a friend and i have started a blog on blogger that will feature a bi-weekly sports podcast show. The podcasts wont start until after thanksgiving break but i hope you will check out the new blog. The address is below, and dont worry i will still blog on here as frequently as i can.

http://sportstalkwithchrisandkevin.
blogspot.com/
Posted on: November 12, 2010 8:45 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2010 12:42 pm
 

Offseason Preview

Hey everybody, this has to be one of my favorite times of year as i already discribed in my previous post. The main reason being that its offseason baseball time, the time where teams success or failure can be determined. Every team has an offseason agenda, a list of things that they want to do to improve their ball club wether it be coaching changes, signing free agents, or trading personell. So today i wanted to start a series of posts dedicated to outling each teams offseason agenda and moves that i think they should make. Lets start with the NL West.

Atlanta Braves-
Well the Braves did make the post-season for Bobby Cox's final season but they didn't get very far. Similar to their dynasty days they have good pitching, but they do have a flaw in my opinion and that is their offense. While they have some nice pieces in Brian McCann, Martin Prado and Jason Heyward they do not have that middle of the lineup punch that a playoff team needs. Until they can acquire a big bat they will struggle to compete with the Phillies for this division. Their major priority should be to some good bats, and their are several positions that they could use one at. Outfield is a major hole, with the exception of Jason Heyward they do not a have another quality starter (Sorry Matt Diaz and Nate McLouth). Both corner infield positions are also glaring holes as Chipper Jones probably wont be returning if he hasnt already announced it(I think he said he was retiring but i can't remember sorry), and Derrek Lee and Troy Glaus are both free agents. They could look to improve these areas via trade which i would recommend they do for their outfield holes, because the Braves do not have a realistic shot at Carl Crawford. First base is an area they can improve through free agency and at a fairly low cost because there is a bevy of first basemen available. There is also a chance that Jurrjens gets traded and he could help acquire some offense but i have heard the Braves are hesitant to move him. It will be interesting to see how Fredi Gonzalez does in Atlanta, he did an amazing job with what he had in Florida and I was amazed when they let him go. He seems like a quality manager and is an able replacement to Bobby Cox. The Braves will be competitive but i dont think they can contend unless they get some quality bats via trade.

Florida Marlins-
They never are going to be big spenders in the offseason so really the only way they can improve their club is through trade. They have some nice young pieces but im not sure its enough contend. The story to follow will be Dan Uggla's contract extension negotiations because if they can get a deal done it would be in the Marlins best interest to trade him. I dont think his value is going to get higher than it is now, so they should get the best possible return that they can from him. I do like the pieces that they have in place and they could contend in 2011 if their young players develop into stars. There really isnt a lot florida can do in the offseason to change this team other than trading Dan Uggla. They may add some small pieces in free agency or make some small trades but i doubt any big deals will be made.

New York Mets-
The Mets need to make some big moves if they want to get back into contention. They still have a nice core group of players in David Wright, Jose Reyes, Ike Davis, Angel Pagan and Johan Santana. But they dont have great starting pitching depth and they have holes in the outfield. They are going to have to hope that Jason Bay returns to form next year along with Carlos Beltran or else they will strugle again. I dont see the Mets making any big free agent signings but they should try to make some trades for pitching. I dont think the Mets will be very close to competing this year but if they make the right moves this offseason and next they could get back there.

Philadelphia Phillies-
The Phillies are in the best shape of any of the teams in this divison, they have a dominant pitching staff and a stacked offense. But the lose of Jayson Werth is going to hurt as he was the righty power bat of this team. I do like Dominic Brown but he still cannot makeup for the lose of Werth. The Phillies really dont have any money to throw around to change things. They will probably re-sign Jose Contreras but other than that they are not going to sign free agents. The only thing they can do is try to bring in a right handed outfielder with power to replace Werth via trade and im not sure who they could get. The Phillies are good now but they have a lot of money locked up in a lot of big contracts so it may hurt them in the long run. But for now they have the control of the division but they need to make some deals for the long term.

Washington Nationals-
The Nationals are a team on the rise who have some good prospects on the way to go along with a lot of money to spend. These next few years are really going to shape how competitive the Nationals will be in the long run. They need to make sound investments that can help them continue to improve. I like thier young players in Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, and Drew Storen. They have a good trade chip in Josh Willingham who could fill a hole on multiple teams and could bring in some desperatly needed pitching. I wouldnt be suprised to see Willingham moved, and the Nationals will sign at least 2 free agent pitchers most likely Jorge De La Rosa and Brandon Webb. The big hole they will need to fill is first base but it seems everyone already assumes they are going to sign Carlos Pena who would be a defensive upgrade and a change of scenery could help him. I think they will lose a win by replacing Dunn with Pena but Pena will be significantly cheaper. It will be very interesting to see this franchise continue to get better and i cant wait to see Bryce Harper in washington in a few years. This is the franchise that is on its way up and i really think that in 2-3 years they could be playoff bound.


Posted on: July 31, 2010 6:51 pm
 

Deadline recap and analysis

Well the 2010 MLB trade deadline is officially in the books and it was a rather tame one to say the least. It was a buyers market for sure, which i think prevented some teams from being willing to give up their top talent. The most interesting trade was the 3 team deal sending Ryan Ludwick to San Diego, Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals and prospects to the Indians. The Padres seem like the winners in this one, aquiring a solid middle of the order bat to protect Adrian Gonzalez. The losers have to be the Cardinals, they trade away their starting right fielder who is a middle of the order hitter in a mediocre offense for a below average starting pitcher. Im sure there we be those who believe the pitching god of Dave Duncan can make him into a good pitcher but i have my doubts. Another interesting trade involves the Cubs and Dodgers, Chicago is sending Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt and 2 AA pitching prospects. The Dodgers are getting a solid middle to back of the rotation pitcher in Ted Lilly. He may not have his best stuff any more but he has excellent control and can be dominant on occasion (such as his 1-hitter against the White Sox). The Dodgers also get a solid SS/2B with some speed who will hit around the .290/.330/350 mark and is an average defender. The Cubs get a mid level starter prospect and a throw in reliever prospect, to go along with 2B/3B Blake DeWitt. DeWitt is a 25 year old who was called up a little to soon in his career and hasnt shown a lot but has some potential. Although this year he has been a better player than Theriot, really this is a move that helps the Cubs get younger and cheaper as the attempt a quick rebuild. I think the Cubs get the edge in this one because they achieved what they wanted to. They dumped salary(although not all of it) they got some pitching prospects and got younger at 2B. The dodgers did get a pitcher who will help them down the stretch but DeWitt may be a bit better than Theriot at 2nd. Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Austin Kearns are all headed to the Yankees where they continue to assemble the best talent possible. Lance Berkamn is definatly a win because he is a very skilled player who is just having a down year, and the salary dosnt really affect the Yankees. The Astros are a completley different team then the ones that played the Cubs a few days ago, with Brett Wallace as the new first baseman and JA Happ replacing Roy Oswalt. The Pirates are really starting to show they are on the way up with some excellent deals. They moved some veteran relievers they signed in the winter such as Octavio Dotel(dodgers), DJ Carrasco(D-Backs) and Javier Lopez(Giants) and aquiring players with huge upside (John Bowker,Joe Martinez,James McDonald, Andrew Lambo,and Chris Snyder to name some). I think you have to consider the Pirates as really winners in the trade market, they may not be anywhere near contention but they have stockpiled a ton of prospects the past few years to where once some of them develop and they become contenders they will still have some in which to trade to push them over the top in a pennant race. That being said they are a while a way from contention. I was not suprised to see Adam Dunn stay mainly because i think the Nationals value him much more than any other team in baseball and they will most likely extend him long term because they will pay him more then anyone else. The MLB landscape has not changed that much through these trades, really the biggest impact is going to be the Berkman trade in my opinion, outside of that the rest of the moves wont achieve that much this year.
Posted on: July 30, 2010 4:59 pm
 

Trade Deadline Approaching

Well were about 24 hours away from the 2010 MLB trade deadline and as usual the trades and trade talks are picking up. The most recent trade coming when the White Sox aquired Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson and a prospect. I dont see the Sox holding on to him, most likely the will flip him in an attempt to aquire Adam Dunn. Im not sure that is smart for either side. Adam Dunn has made it clear he wants to play in the NL and he dosnt want to DH. And i think Edwin Jackson is extremely overvalued, yes he can be dominating but he has extreme control issues. The only place i see him succeding is in St. Louis if he works with Dave Duncan but there is no way that will happen. The Nationals have been doing well with trades so far, aquiring Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa from Minnesota in the Capps deal and i hear they got some good A ball prospects for Christian Guzman. The good thing about these trades is that they got quality prospects for players that were not essential to this years competitivnes or long term. Guzman had been a starter but since Ian Desmond came up at SS he as been relegated to a utility role. Matt Capps has been an outstanding closer this season and has made the Pirates look bad for letting him go. But he is playing somewhat over his head and the Nationals have a closer in the wings with Drew Storen. Even if Storen doesnt become the closer right away the Nationals are not contending this year and why do you need a good closer if your not going to win. Another interesting trade happened yesterday when the Phillies aquired Roy Oswalt for very little in my opinion. The Astros the flipped the main prospect in the deal (I dont remember his name just that he was a speedy CF similar to Michael Bourn) for Brett Wallace. Brett Wallace is going to have played for every MLB teams farm system before he gets called up it seems. The Phillies getting Roy Oswalt is more of an appology to their fans for not keeping Cliff Lee. I know everyone is saying this but just think had they kept lee and got oswalt what that playoff rotation could have achieved. Some other notable trades included- Angels aquiring Dan Haren for Joe Saunders and prospects, Tigers aquiring Johnny Peralta, and the Rangers aquiring Jorge Cantu. What i am really interested to see is who gets Ted Lilly and is Ryan Theriot or other Cubs players a part of the deal. I think the Dodgers want Lilly the most but im not sure who the Cubs get in return. There is a lot of interesting things going on in major league baseball and this along with the winter meetings is one of my favorite non-playing events in baseball.
Posted on: April 21, 2010 7:47 pm
 

A Cold Start

Well the Cubs have played 14 games and as far as i can tell they are a complete disaster. They cant hit, play defense and the releivers can not close out games. The only strength we have right now is that are starting pitching has been excellent, which is not a suprise since thats what carried us last year. Lets really break this down though, i want to analyze each are and look at the problem.

Offense-

It is not that the Cubs can get on base, its that they can drive runs in. Which was the problem last year as well. Now i am not overly concerned with that because A-Ram is the RBI guy and he is in a bit of a slump. But some of the other players need to contribute as well, but i really blame the Cubs offensive woes on the lack of production from A-Ram. The positives are that Geovany Soto is looking pretty good, the biggest thing is his patience at the plate, he is walking and has limited his strikeouts. Marlon Byrd has also been pretty good altough not very consistent.

Defense-

Soriano has been playing abismal defense along with Xavier Nady (He still cant throw very far due to surgery.), Tyler Colvin comes in during the 7th or 8th nearly every game. Fukudome and Colvin are good and Byrd is decent. Fontenot has played solid defense at 2nd but Theriot's defense at short is very average. I think the thing i have been the happiest with is that Geo has been throwing out a lot of baserunners. Actualy i am very happy with Geo this season, he is hitting better and playing good defense.

Pitching-

The starting has been great with the exeption of opening day. Carlos Silva has been dominant, and Dempster is continuing to prove he was worth the contract extension they gave him in 09'. Lilly is coming back this weekend and Randy Wells has not had a sophmore slump. The bullpen has been the main issue, so much so that Zambrano has been put into a set-up role to hold the fort until the front office can bring in a true set up man. Carlos Marmol has been pretty good though, he has gone 3/4 in save opportunities and has not lost his control yet with a 12:2 K:BB ratio. But outside of Marmol the rest of the bullpen has sucked. They are to inexpeirenced and they need a veteran to anchor the pen until the young guys mature. Also the Cubs need to quit this unwarrented obsession with Jeff Samardzija, he just does not deserve a major league roster spot.


Posted on: April 9, 2010 11:15 am
 

First series in the books

Well the Cubs just wrapped up their opening series against the Braves with a solid 2-0 win. While i was not amazed by the Cubs performance through out the series there were some positives. One thing that stuck out to me was plate discipline, from the 2 games i got to watch they seemed very patient at the plate. That was a key to the 08' run and was something they lost in 09' hopefully that will continue. Another exciting thing i saw was the confidence that Marlon Byrd has, he has looked outstanding in almost every at bat. While he may not get hits in every AB, he is getting great contact with the ball and already has 2 HR. The last positive observation i would like to make is about the pitching. Excluding Carlos Zambrano, both starters pitched excellently and Dempster should have gotten the win. The bullpen has also been solid with the exception of Jeff Samardzija. Even Carlos Marmol looked as if he was in his 07'-08' form, and i am really liking Esmailin Caridad. So while the Cubs are only 1-2 there are many positives to take away from this game. they may not be hitting great yet but they look pretty good. I cant wait to see them tonight in Cincinnati, Carlos Silva is facing Homer Bailey at 7:10 Eastern Time.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com