Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Random Early Season Thoughs and Observations

The 2015 baseball season is a little over a month old now.  I am going to give you all a few items of note that popped in my head while watching some games.  Nothing significant enough to write a whole story about but relevant enough to share.
2015 Topps Heritage

Has Alex Rodriguez finally become a good teammate?  He seems to be more humble after being away from the game for a year plus due to his suspension.  Of course, the season is very early.  He could still have an ARod being ARod moment or two.

Speaking of Yankees. They are playing above my expectations. Their bullpen seem to be the biggest contributing factor in their early success. Taking a page from the Royals and shortening the game.  The 1-2 punch of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner at the top of the order with Mark Teixeira and ARod hitting like they used to are also helping out.  Yankees should contend all year, but are an injury away from falling in the standings.

This maybe the worst American East in a very long time.  Every club is mediocre at best. Orioles loss of Nelson Cruz, and a lack of legit pitching ace. The Yankees with their the age and overall health questions. Blue Jays are lacking pitching. Rays are in a rebuilding mode and the Red Sox have pitching questions and now injury problems.  Who you got? Not sure for me and I would not put money on any of them in winning a playoff series.

From afar, I still don't know why Rays gave up and traded OF Will Myers so early.  He was the big pick up for Tampa in the James Shields trade. Myers had a dismal year in 2014 after winning the Rookie of the Year award the year prior.  Rays still had several years of Myers control and his talent before free agency.  They usually keep the younger players until they become unaffordable and deal for younger players.  Myers is having a nice comeback year with San Diego.  Time will tell what we think of Myers and the trade to the Padres.

The Washington Nationals looks to be the most overrated team of 2015.  Their defense is terrible and will not win any pennants when they are making laughable errors on an almost nightly basis.  They seem to be proof that you can not build a team like a fantasy team.  It takes more than names and numbers to field a winning team in the major leagues.

A few years ago the Detroit Tigers had one of the worst defenses in MLB.  The Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade, the return of shortstop Jose Iglesias and the addition of Yoenis Cespedes has made the Tigers a pretty decent defensive team.
2013 Topps Update
Mets young outfielder Juan Lagares is a star in the making.  He is already widely considered the best overall defensive centerfielder in the game.  Now his bat is catching up to his glove.  He should be a mainstay in the Mets outfield and at Gold Glove banquets for years to come.

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has been getting praise since debuting in 2012 and deservedly so.  But there is another young third baseman who may end up having a better career -Nolan Arenado of Colorado. He has won Gold Gloves in each of his two seasons in the majors and also had a 28 game hitting streak in 2014.  Nolan Arenado is legit.

I totally agreed how the Chicago Cubs handled Kris Bryant and his MLB debut.  Even if it was obvious that the team delayed Bryant's debut until after the date that would put his contract in control of the Cubs for an additional year.  I rather have a player cheaper for another year than have him play a few more weeks at the onset of his career.  Plus on a purely baseball point of view, a prospect usually don't pan out by staying in the minor leagues too long as opposed to being the big leagues too soon.

Is it coincidence that the Miami Marlins started winning games since catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was benched and subsequently released?  I think not. On my team, I rather have a catcher who hits .200 and handles the pitching staff well over one that hits and the pitchers don't really like throwing to.  Saltamacchia was benched during the Red Sox World Series championship in 2013 and now is replaced by a rookie(J.T. Realmuto) in Miami.