Posted on: October 27, 2009 7:35 pm

D-Backs Wrap up

Hello readers, sorry its been a while since my last post it has been very busy with MLB playoffs, NFL season, NBA opening night tonight, NHL season, plus the college im going to next year is having their pre-season scrimmage tommorow so there is a lot going on. But i finally got around to finishing the D-Backs today. Lets talk about their outfield.

Outfield  C

LF- Conor Jackson
CF- Chris Young
RF- Justin Upton
OF- Eric Byrnes

Justin Upton may be the best player on this team, and i think he is better than his brother B.J. He put up great numbers last season putting up a .300/.366/.532 stat line. For a 22 year old outfielder those are phenominal statistics. He also has good speed, swiping 20 bags in 25 chances, and he had a positive UZR rating according to fangraphs.com. Upton is just an all around good player, the only thing he could improve upon are his strikeout and walk numbers (55 BB, 137 K). Chris Young had a rough year in 2009, he struggled to hit over .200 and struk out 30 percent of the time. He put up a disappointing  .212/.311/.400 stat line and he only stole 11 bases. He also had a negative UZR rating according to fangraphs.com. Young has never been a contact hitter but he really struggled this year, his value has gone down each year and if he continues to get worse the D-Backs may need to find a different answer in center field. Conor Jackson was out most of the season, and even when healthy he is an average hitter and an average fielder. He makes solid contact but puts up low power numbers for the positions he plays. I think he is more of a reserve type player, not a starter.Eric Byrnes has really fallen from his once elite status although he did improve some from last year. He has become exclusivly a reserve outfielder, but should Jackson be injured he could be a decent fill in option. They have a couple of young options for backups, but none with immediate impact. All in all an average to below average group.

Overview C+

I like the pitching staff, the bullpen is pretty good. But their offense needs some work, they have players to build around but are still several good players away from contending. I like Justin Upton, he seems like he could be one of the best players in the league eventualy and Mark Reynolds is a good power hitting 3rd baseman but outside of those two they are mediocre. They are not in horrible shape though and have the possibility to contend.
Posted on: October 21, 2009 10:45 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2009 10:46 pm

MLB Team Analysis- Arizona D-Backs part 3

Infield   C+

C- Miguel Montero
1B- Brandon Allen
2B- Ryan Roberts
3B- Mark Reynolds
SS- Stephen Drew
IF- Augie Ojeda
IF- Chris Snyder

Miguel Montero    finally broke out this season and became one of the NL's top backstops. He posted excellent numbers for a catcher with a .294/.355/.478 stat line in 425 AB. If he continues on his pace he could be a top 5 catcher, but the D-Backs history with young talent dosnt encourage that thought. Brandon Allen showed good pop in the minors last season but struggled in the majors. In his limited playing time he posted a .202/.284/.385 stat line. His fielding was also substandard, i realize that were looking at a small sample size but i still consider Allen a below average first baseman. Ryan Roberts had a pretty decent rookie season posting a .279/.367/.416 stat line in 305 AB, offensivly he may be average to above average for 2nd baseman. Defensivly he is also average to above average, the only thing for him that stinks is that he is a 29 year old. He is a short term option at 2nd. Mark Reynolds is the D-Backs blue-chip bopper, the dude can slug. He posted a .257/.349/.543 stat line which is impressive for the amount of strikeouts he gets (223 this season). He also has some speed, stealing 24 bags this season, and is a below average fielder. He is a .250 average 40 HR 100 RBI 20 SB guy, a solid middle of the lineup guy. Stephen Drew has been talked about as a possible trade canidate and he does have some value. He posted a .261/.320/.428 stat line, and in 2008 he did hit 21 HR. He is an average to below average fielder. He is a solid option at SS but the D-Backs might be able to get a good trade for him. The backup infield dosnt appear to be that great, Augie Ojeda is a decent back up infielder and Chris Snyder is a decent backup catcher but there isnt a lot of depth here. If they can find a solution at first (Conor Jackson could play it if healthy) they will be a pretty decent infield. There is room for improvment though. Tommorow we will wrap up the D-Backs with their outfield and their overview. So look for that tommorow evening.

Posted on: October 20, 2009 9:02 pm

MLB Team Analysis- Arizona D-Backs part 2

Hey everyone and welcome to part 2 of the D-Backs team analysis. Today we are going to take a look at their Bullpen. When i think of the D-Backs bullpen the first name that comes to mind is Clay Zavada. Not neccesarily because of his talent but because of his mustache, although he is a pretty good pitcher. The D-Backs have several quality relievers so lets take a look at them.

Bullpen  B-

CL- Chad Qualls
MR- Juan Gutierrez
MR- Esmerling Vazquez
MR- Clay Zavada
MR- Leo Rosales
MR- Blaine Boyer
MR- Daniel Schlereth

Chad Qualls has been an excellent reliever, and over the course of his career has never had an ERA higher than 3.76 and has never had a BB/9 ratio over 2.84. He has the potential to be an excellent closer an hopefully with a better team behind him he can put up great numbers. He did save 24 games in 29 chances last season so we know he can get saves. I really think that he can be a solid closer but we'll have to wait and see. Juan Gutierrez put up solid numbers in his first full season, mantaining a 4.06 ERA and had a 8.37 K/9 ratio. Hopefully he will continue to develop into a solid set-up man, another interesting stat about Gutierrez is that he managed to accumulate 9 saves in 10 oppurtunities.Esmerling Vazquez is another 26 year old reliever who showed some promise last season. He had a high ERA last season (4.42) and that was probably due to his high walk numbers (4.92 BB/9). Throughout his minor league career he has struggled with walks so it wont suprise me if that trend continues throughout his career. He decent strikeout potential but is very average. Clay Zavada is the dude with the coolest mustache, you have to look him up on google images he is ridiculous. But Zavada is actualy a good pitcher, he is only 25 years old and posted a 3.35 ERA over 51 innings. He also has strong strikeout potential posting a 9.18 K/9 ratio but he does struggle with walks posting a 4.24 BB/9 ratio. All of his numbers are pretty good and he could turn into an excellent set up man for this D-Backs bullpen. Leo Rosales is an average middle reliever who is more suited for a mop up role. He posted a 4.76 ERA over 45 innings although outside of that his numbers are not that bad. He had a .238 opponent batting average and his walk numbers (2.38 BB/9) arnt that bad. As i said before an average middle reliever. Blaine Boyer bounced around a lot last year but he finally settled down in Arizona and performed well. In Arizona he posted a 2.68 ERA and struck out 18 over 37 innings. His career numbers do not suggest that he will perform that well but he could be a solid middle reliever. For a reliever his batting average against is not that great (career .267) and he has a career ERA of 4.76, including a 5.88 ERA last season over 72 innings. He is another mop up guy. Daniel Schlereth is only 23 years old so dont judge him on this years stats (5.89 ERA) and it was only over 18 innings. He's put up good numbers in the minors so far but he hasnt been there long so its hard to say how good he'll be and his major league stats are to small of a smaple size for me to judge him. At best he is a solid middle reliever at worst he gets sent down to the minors. Overall this is a pretty solid bullpen, they are pretty young but that will probably help in the long run. I wouldnt change anything with this group, lets just see how they do this season and move from there. But all in all they have the potential to be very good.
Posted on: October 19, 2009 3:53 pm

MLB Team Analysis- Arizona D-Backs part1

Hey everybody sorry i didnt post anything sunday, starting at about 12pm on sunday's i sit down on the couch to watch football and dont get up until after the sunday night game (i do get up for food and to stretch my legs.) So obviously i didnt get a chance to post anything. I did think about a few changes i wanted to make. From now on i am not going to analyize the whole team in one post, but break it up into parts for example todays post will be about the Diamondbacks rotation.

Arizona Diamondbacks          2009 record  70-92 (5th NL West)

Rotation   C+

1. Dan Haren  $8.25 mill
2. Brandon Webb  $8.5 mill
3. Max Scherzer  $1.45 mill +
4. Billy Buckner  $403,000
5. Yusemeiro Petit  $412,000

Dan Haren is one of the elite pitchers in major league baseball, that is a fact. He has pitched over 210 innings in 5 straight seasons, won at least 14 games for 5 straight seasons, and had at least 163 strikeouts for 5 straight seasons. Since becoming a D-Back he has gone 30-18 with and ERA around 3.23 and 429 strikeouts in 2 season. He is a true ace and can compete against any pitcher in the league.
Brandon Webb was injured for pretty much the entire 2009 season. The D-Backs need him to return as good as he was before he was injured. Before his injury he had been on a pretty good run. Over the previous 4 season he went 70-37 with a mid 3's ERA and was averaging just over 180 strikeouts a season. Webb is really the key to this rotation, if he can return to form they will be better than i am rating them. If he is really bad they will be worse than what i am rating them. The D-Backs playoff hopes for next season could rest on Webb's season.
Max Scherzer
is the future of this diamondbacks pitching staff. He put up solid numbers for his first year as a full time starter. He has excellent strikeout potential with a 9.19 K/9 ratio last season. His walks numbers are not that bad either with a 3.33 BB/9 ratio last season. Hopefull he will continue to get better in which case he has top of the rotation potential. But unfortunatly the rotation drops off after Scherzer.
Billy Buckner was a very hitable pticher last season allowing a .301 opponent batting average. Now last season was not a large enough sample size to judge his career just on that alone, but you have to wonder. Buckner had a 6.40 ERA over 77 innings and gave up 12 HR. His strikeout and walk numbers werent bad though. He posted a 7.45 K/9 ratio and a 3.38 BB/9 ratio. So Buckner is not completley usless, if he dosnt get hit as bad he could be a viable starter but for now he isnt.
Yusmeiro Petit wasnt nearly as bad as Buckner but a 5.82 ERA isnt something to brag about. He allowed a .287 opponent batting average which isnt awful but he alloed 19 HR in 89 innings, that is bad. Petit, similarly to Buckner has decent strikeout and walk numbers (7.43 K/9 and 3.42 BB/9) so he has potential to. Both of these guys have potential but they are a ways away. Despite my rating of this rotation if Brandon Webb is back to full strength this season or even anywhere near it and one of their back of the rotation starters is moderatly good, i really think they could be very good. This is my pesimistic view of their rotation.
Posted on: October 17, 2009 12:55 pm

MLB Team Analysis- San Diego Padres part 2

Yesterday we looked at the Padres pitching, today we will take a look at their offense and defense. Also i will hopefully get another post up tonight for another team i havnt decided who so if you want to make a suggestion on who i should analyize next please leave a comment and tell me who you want. (Note stat lines listed are AVG/OBP/SLG)

Infield  C

C- Nick Hundley  $404,000
1B- Adrian Gonzalez  $4.75 mill
2B- David Eckstein  $1mm
3B- Kevin Kouzmanoff  $432,000+
SS- Everth Cabrera  $400,000
IF- Edgar Gonzalez $407,000
IF- Luis Rodriguez  $675,000+

This is an infield based around 1 player Adrian Gonzalez . Even though he plays in the biggest pitchers park in the majors he still can have 40 HR seasons. So just think if Adrian played at any other ballpark, his home away splits are very different. He hit a .244/.413/.446 line at home (12 HR) and a .306/.402/.643 line away (28 HR). He also is a solid deffender. David Eckstein is one of those guys who bounces around everywhere, he dosnt have that much talent and seems to have peaked in 2007 with the Cardinals. He dosnt play that great of defense, he is a light hitter and dosnt run so he dosnt have that much value. Kevin Kouzmanoff is a very average 28 year old third baseman. He is a good deffender and has some pop and is the Padres 2nd best hitter. Gonzalez and Kouz make up the heart of the Padres order. His career numbers include a .261/.308/.435 stat line. Not great but again PETCO park is a major factor in players stats. At C Nick Hundley is the Padres #1 guy. He dosnt hit for a good average but if he is given more playing time he should show some good pop. His slugging went up from .359 in 08 to .406 this season. He projects to be a middle of the pack catcher. His back up Eliezer Alfonzo is very average and donst project to be very valuable. Everth Cabrera will be the starting SS and his main use is speed. He led the team with 25 stolen bases last season in 377 AB. He is a light hitter and is a bad deffender. He has decent potential though if he can steal more bases next season. The infield reserve players rate as average to below average. Edgar Gonzalez , the older brother of Adrian Gonzlaez has a little pop but really is nothing more than a below average utility player, the same goes for Luis Rodriguez. So overall the infield is below average defensivly and they only have 2 legitamate hitters with Gonzlaez and Kouzmanoff.

Outfield  C

LF- Kyle Blanks  $400,000
CF- Tony Gwyn Jr.  $405,000
RF- Will Venable  $402,000
4th OF- Chase Headley  $412,000

A very young group of players they wil have to prove themselves over a full season before i rate them any higher. They do have potential but that dosnt meen they will actualy perform over a full season. Kyle Blanks in 54 games put up a .250/.355/.514 stat line. Although this is a small sample size i think he could become a star in LF as he is only 23 years old. Blanks is an average fielder. Tony Gwyn Jr. is now roaming CF for the Padres. Gwyn has started show signs of becoming a contact hitter although he will never be as good as his father. Gwyn also has some speed stealing 11 bases this season, he also is a plus deffender. Gwyn is another guy who has a lot of potential and is still only 27. Will Venable is also a 27 year old outfielder who has a lot of potential. He hit .284 with 11 HR and drove in 32 runs in the second half. He could become another big slugger in the outfield for the Padres. Chase Headley was a starting outfielder this year and played fairly well. He is only 25 and could be a starter next year and replace either Blanks or Venable. He hasnt hit for huge power yet as his career line is .263/.340/.400. He hit 12 HR this season in 543 AB. But he has solid potential and was fairly consistent this year. So the Padres have 4 solid starters and Drew Macias is another reserve outfielder on thier roster but he dosnt project that well. This group of outfielders have a lot of potential, Blanks could be a .260 20HR 60RBI guy next season and Venable could put up similar numbers but they could also flop. I think by 2011 they will be more of a B level outfield.

Team Overview  C

This is not a horrible team by any means but they are not at contention level yet. The NL West is one of the best in baseball with the Dodgers, and Giants being excellent teams. But if the Padres young talent develops they could be competitive by 2011. Their Pitching is average right now, i think they need to bring in a low cost veteran pitcher to mentor their young pitchers. The Bullpen is currently the Padres strength and they have enough depth to trade Heath Bell and still be an elite bullpen. They also have a solid core on offense built around Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff. If their young outfielders develop their only concern should be infield defense up the middle. They could be in the upper 70's in wins this year but as i said before they are not at contenton level yet. Hopefully whoever steps in as the new GM will be able to do as good of a job as Towers. The best thing about this Padres team is how close they are to contention with only about 30 mill commited to player salaries next year.  

Posted on: October 16, 2009 6:35 pm

MLB Team Analysis- San Diego Padres part 1

Hey everybody sorry i was able to post this last night, i was having some technical diffiulties. I also want to apologize that i could'nt analyize the Giants as i said i would on my last post. One of my sources who provides stats wont be able to give me some stats on them for a while. So i figured i would stay in the same division. And there is one more update i am changing my pds system to a letter based scale from the plus symbols i had used before. But lets get to the point, the San Diego Padres. Many considerd this a AAAA team at the begining of last season. But they were able to actualy post good numbers, they got rid of Jake Peavy and still managed to have a decent rotation in place for the future. The bigest change to this team for next year will be the absence of GM Kevin Towers. Which in my opinion will significantly hurt them. But we will have to wait and see who his replacment is. Now to the analysis.

San Diego Padres  2009 Record- 75-87 (4th NL West)

Rotation   C+

1. Kevin Correia
2. Chris Young
3. Matt Latos
4. Clayton Richard
5. Tim Stauffer
Well for the first time in 8 years Jake Peavy will not be a part of the Padres rotation. They may feel it right now but they have a plethora of young talent that may be able to make this a much better rotation than it was with Peavy. Kevin Correia came over to the Padres as a unsuspecting starter and by the end of the year he was staff leader. He is more of a middle to back of rotaton guy but he put up solid numbers this season going 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA.Chris Young will enter his 5th season as a Padre next season and has shown that he is inconsistent and injury prone. He hasnt started more than 18 games in a season since 2007. When healthy he can put up solid numbers but he will never be a top tier starter since he has never pitched more than 180 innings in a season in his career. Matt Latos is one of the Padres many young starters who proved to be a solid starter, he really could pitch in the 4 or 5th spot to. He shows decent strikeout potential and a low average against. Clayton Richard was the main piece in the Jake Peavy trade. He has the best potential of the starters in this rotation. He dosnt have a ton of strikeout potential but he was pretty good last season going 9-5 with a 4.41 ERA in 153 innings. Tim Stauffer is yet another one of the Padres many young talents, and again not a huge strikeout guy. But in his 14 starts he went 4-7 with a 3.58 ERA. He also has some good potential, he mainly likes to throw fastballs and sliders. The Padres also have several guys in the minors including former Cubs star prospect Sean Gallagher who came over in the Scott Hairston trade, and Wade LeBlanc.

Bullpen  B

CL- Heath Bell
SU- Luke Gregerson
SU- Mike Adams
MR- Joe Thatcher
MR- Greg Burke
MR- Luis Perdomo
MR- Edward Mujica

The Padres actually have a really good bullpen, featuring an amazing closer in Heath Bell . Bell is a dominant closer who went 42/48 in saves this season. But chances are Bell will get traded as he is at his top value right now. The supporting cast is actulaly pretty good, Mike Adams was utterly dominant. He posted a 0.73 ERA in 37 innings with a healthy 45 strikeouts. Luke Gregerson was also solid posting a 3.24 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 75 innings. The middle relief is above average with guys like Joe Thatcher, Greg Burke, Luis Perdomo, and Edward Mujica . Joe Thatcher being the best putting up a 2.80 ERA and 55 strikeouts over 45 innings. The rest are very average bullpen arms but thats to be expected for the back of the bullpen.

I will continue with this analysis tommorow, so look for part 2 on saturday. I will talk about the infield and outfield and the team as a whole.

Posted on: October 14, 2009 7:36 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 9:38 pm

MLB Team Analysis- Kansas City Royals

Welcome to part 2 of my MLB Team Analysis series, today we will take a look at the Kansas City Royals. A franchise that has flirted with futility for a while now. At the start of last season i really thought they had a chance to make a run at the weak AL Central. I was right that the AL Central was weak, but the Royals flopped after a strong start. Now when i go back and look at their roster i realize i was living in a fantasy world if i thought they were going to compete. I am not exactly sure what Dayton Moore is doing in Kansas City, similar to the Reds they are a team that cant decide wether to build through young talent or veteran free agent, they are sending mixed messages to the fan base. But despite all of that the Royals saw a solid rise in their attendace, probably attributed to Zack Grienke's should be CY Young season.

Kansas City Royals  2009 Record  65-97 (T-5th AL Central)

Rotation +++

Zack Grienke ($7.25 mill) ......that's all i have to say about this rotation. Grienke was sick this year posting a 2.16 ERA and coming 2 strikeouts away from tying the Royals strikeout record with 242. He was a work horse picking up 6 complete games and 3 shut outs over 229 innings. Behind Grienke there is a significant drop off in talent.
Gil Meche (12 mill)  had a disasterous season tying his career high ERA with a 5.09. A lot of his struggles were due to a multiple injuries. He put up solid numbers his previous 2 seasons in Kansas City and when healthy him and Grienke form a solid 1-2 punch.
Brian Bannister (1.74 mill +) recovered from an awful 08 season, but he is an injury concern next year with a shoulder injury that may require surgery which wouuld put him out for the year next season. If he is able to play consider him a solid back of the rotation guy. He dosnt strike guys out but he out thinks them and induces a lot of ground balls.
Luke Hochevar (1.32 mill)  is one of the many Royals prized prospects that has failed to live up to the hype (see Alex Gordon below) . But he has shown flashes of brilliance, for example his complete game shut out in which hw threw under 100 pitches. His walks have gone down and should he continue to improve he could become a viable starter but right now he is not major league material.
Kyle Davies (1.3 mill +) is a guy who looked good last year and he was horrible this year but he really struggled with his command. He posted a 86/66 strike out to walk rate over 123 innings. He could bump Hochevar to the 5th spot if he can regain his command. But have no doubts this is Zack Grienke's staff, none of the other starters are any where near Grienke's talent level.

Bullpen ++

CL- Joakim Soria $3 mill
SU- Juan Cruz $3.25 mill
SU- Kyle Farnsworth $4.5 mill
MR-John Bale $1.2 mill +
MR- Robinson Tejada $437,000 +
MR- Roman Colon $435,000 +

The Royals have a bonafied closer in Joakim Soria who is 72/78 in save/oppurtunities over the past 2 years. He has a good strikeout rate and has a career ERA of 2.09. He is the Zack Grienke of thier bullpen. Juan Cruz just flat out stunk last season but his career numbers show that he tends to have bad years every once and a while and recovers pretty well. Cruz is also a pretty good strikeout pitcher but struggles with walks. Kyle Farnsworth a hard throwing pitche but is very inconsistent, but both he and Cruz are a bit overpaid for a team that perennialy is near the bottom of their divison. John Bale really dosnt have that much value and is more of a mop up guy, same goes for Roman Colon , Neither pitcher has much potential. Robinson Tejada on the other hand was impressive this year, in a few spot starts he looked great and has an outside shot to make the rotation. He posted a 3.54 ERA along with 87 strikeouts in 73 innings. This isnt an awful bullpen but there isnt a lot of depth after a couple of decent pitchers and a great closer.

Infield ++

C- John Buck $2.9 mill +
1B- Billy Butler $421,000
2B- Albero Callaspo $416,000
3B- Alex Gordon $457,000 +
SS-Yuniesky Betancourt $2 mill
DH- Mike Jacobs $ 3.25 mill +
IF/OF- Mark Teahen $3.57 mill +
IF/OF- Willy Bloomquist $1.7 mill

The Royals have found the teams offensive leader in Billy Butler . He is only 23 and he is putting up .300/.362/.492 stat lines. He also drove in 93 runs and played decent defense. Now the Royals just need a couple more players like him. John Buck is a solid catcher, he dosnt hit for a great average but he does have some good pop and Bryan Pena is a solid backup . The biggest suprise on this team to me was the emergance of Alberto Callaspo , a solid contact hitter who can be a steady number 2 hitter. The Addition of Yuniesky Betancourt helped soften the blow of losing Mike Aviles although he wasnt really contributing before he got injured. Betancourt isnt a long term solution and i almost like Willy Bloomquist better here than Betancourt. Willy Bloomquist has good speed and could steal around 30 bags and hit for a little better contact last season and is significantly better deffensivly in my opinion. At third there is the royals formerly prized prospect Alex Gordon who has not lived up to the hype of succeding George Brett as the Royals great 3rd baseman. He has all of the tools to be a great player but was hurt most of last year with a broken hip. If he can play a full season look for him to be a break out player. He had showed improvment his previous 2 seasons. Mike Jacobs was also very disappointing in his first year as the Royals DH. He has pop in his bat but his .228/.297/.401 stat line is not impressive at all. For the Royals to be good at all they will need a break out year from Alex Gordon, a rebound year from Betancourt and Jacobs and continued success from Butler and Callaspo.

Outfield ++

LF- David DeJesus $4.7 mill
CF- Mitch Maier $401,000
RF- Jose Guillen $12 mill
OF- Josh Anderson- $400,000

This is a spot the Royals really need to improve on, they thought they had done that last year when they signed Coco Crisp. But when they lost him for the season that hurt. They obviously will not bring him back for the 2010 season. David Dejesus has really been the heart and soul of this Kansas City team for quiet some time. He provides steady numbers and solid defense. Jose Guillen on the other hand has been dissapointing, he was injured for a significant amount of time this year which was probably a huge part ( It seems like every team had a lot of injuries this season.). But he needs to stay healthy so the Royals can have that RBI guy in the heart of their order. Mitch Maier seems like he could project to be another David Dejesus, and Josh Anderson is a speedster. This is still a pretty thin outfield.

Overview ++

The Royals have a ways to go to contend. The Rotation is their best asset and Zack Grienke will be able to draw crowds. But they have a lot of issues offensivly. They dont have that big bat/RBI guy. The Royals thought they had gotten that in Jose Guillen but he has yet to prove he can be a true cleanup hitter. There are some nice pieces such as Billy Butler and Alberto Callaspo but they dont have that game changing hitter like they do on the pitching end with Grienke. This is a bottom end of the division team until they get a true power hitter and add better depth across the board. If they are out of contention by the trade deadline which im sure they will be they should trade guys like Jose Guillen, Mark Teahen and Mike Jacobs for younger guys with more potential. I like the idea of a Mike Fontenot and someone else for Mark Teahen. But overall this is a team that needs some work and is 2-3 years from contention.

Tommorow's Post- MLB Analysis San Francisco Giants

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 7, 2009 3:04 pm

Allstar break is almost upon us

The All star break is nearly here, so i wanted to break down what has happened thus far and grade player performances.

Record as of July 7th-  41-39

Starting rotation-

Carlos Zambrano- 4-3   Im waiting for Big Z to go on a tear, he has pitched okay but the bullpen hasnt helped him out either. Grade C +
Ryan Dempster-  5-5   So far Dempester has showed that last year was a fluke and he just performed for his contract.   Grade C
Ted Lilly-             8-6  Lilly has been the most consistent starter for the Cubs the past 3 years and is their lone all star  Grade  B +
Rich Harden-       5-5  Has been inconsistent and injury prone, he needs a good second half.                                      Grade  D + 
Randy Wells-      4-3  Has been dominant since coming up even with recieving bad run support.                                  Grade  A


CL- Kevin Gregg- 15 sv  He has started to settle down, he was awful at the begining of the season but has had a solid June. Grade C +
SU- Carlos Marmol- He has shown flashes of dominance although not like last year, he is very wild.                                    Grade  C +
SU- Aaron Heilman- Has been really bad most of the season, he is better as a middle reliever.                                           Grade D +

C- Geovany Soto-  He has gone through a sophmore slump but is starting to wake up.                                                Grade C

1B- Derek Lee-  After an awful april has become the best hitter on the team.                                                             Grade B +

- Has been split between a lot of players the best fit being Jake Fox on offense and Andres Blanco on defense            Grade D +

SS- Ryan Theriot- Has increased power but batting average and on base percentage have gone down.                            Grade B

3B- Aramis Ramirez is finaly returning from his injury. While he was gone this was a though position to fill.                     Grade D

LF- Alfonso Soriano- Started out hot but has cooled off really bad. Needs to have a good second half             Grade C

CF- Split between Fukudome, and Reed Johnson has been very average                                                      Grade C +

RF- Milton Bradley- May be the biggest disappointment on this team, and a waste of 30 million dollars                    Grade D

1st half Grade- C

They have underachieved to an extreme, that being said they only 2 1/2 games out of first. If they have a good second half they could win the division. The offense needs to be consistent and the bullpen needs to keep the leads. The Starting pitching needs to continue what its doing, the main reason the starters dont have a ton of wins is bad run support and many blown games by the bullpen.If they can maintain what they have been doing and the other parts of the team can improve they could be in the playoffs. This has been a year of career worst so if they could get in that would be amazing.

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com