Sports blogger for The Pewter Plank and Call to the Pen, as well as the editor for Autzen Zoo.
dWAR is really suspect, and I'm not one of the people who thinks the Cubs can truly build around Barney specifically. However, they can build around Castro and Barney, and both form one of the more promising duos in the middle infield in baseball. Getting a useful bat at second combined with good defense is never easy, so Barney holds value. Every other team in the league doesn't seem to value Barney as a starter, which is- honestly- stupid on their part. I agree that Barney is important to them, and I would also be surprised to see him go solely because the Cubs value him much higher than the other teams in the league that are currently low-balling him.
1 year, 8 months ago on Chicago Cubs Rumors: Darwin Barney
@Double Down Yup, Vlad is still able to hit well, if walks aren't part of the equation. The Damon experiment has gone horribly wrong for Cleveland, but he is a better defensive player than Guerrero for sure and that ability to survive in the field is more appealing to Cleveland. There is no question that Vlad is a better hitter. He's not going to Detroit, but I think he could latch on to a below-average team somewhere but in the AL so that he can also DH. What team could that be? It looks like nobody at this point, but somebody should take a flier on him with a minor league deal. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up dumping him off again after a couple of games, right?
1 year, 8 months ago on Rumors: Vladimir Guerrero not close to signing
@The5_5Hole The team is, because Mauer's injury isn't serious at all, and I highly doubt he- or Capps- hit the DL.
1 year, 8 months ago on Minnesota Twins not concerned about Joe Mauer
Brian Campbell is a no-brainer, and Jonathan Quick should win the Vezina. It wouldn't be a travesty if Lundqvist win, but I hope his coach doesn't win the Jack Adams over Hitchcock or MacLean. I think MacLean's job this season has been understated, as his coaching performance definitely warrants at least a close second.
1 year, 8 months ago on NHL Awards Preview Part 2 - Vezina, Lady Byng and Jack Adams
@The5_5Hole If you're the Yankees, why waste time on getting an average, veteran starter when you can get those guys in FA? It's tougher to get a guy with a track record in the AL East and who is improving and is a 4+ WAR guy. The contract is definitely team friendly, unlike Dempster's slightly inflated $14 million. The choice seems obvious from every point of view, unless if the Cubs ask for too much.
1 year, 8 months ago on MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees More Interested in Matt Garza
For the sake of my Red Sox friends, I hope Podsednik keeps this up. I was critical of this move when it first happened, but I hope Podsednik keeps it going and shows he has something left after being out of the Majors for some time. The move was a desperation move, but the Sox are looking good with Pod's play. By the way, Repko is a guy who is a terrific defensive player with a great arm but can't hit a lick and had one OK-ish season in Minnesota a few years ago.
1 year, 8 months ago on Scott Posednik Tearing Cover Off The Ball For Red Sox
Yeah, he had a monster game yesterday, especially that triple you alluded to. He'll be better than he was last year and isn't a poor player, so he does have something left in the tank for sure, especially as a hitter. Guerrero isn't going to retire? Again, we should all be good with whatever his choice is, but I'm honestly relieved to hear that he won't be retiring. One thing to keep in mind that this is a rumor, and the piece was titled as a question to show that this is a rumor. And yeah Doubled Down, that triple was awesome. By the way, Guerrero has already declined. He still has a useful bat, but he isn't an average player anymore that's for sure. Thanks for the comments guys, and this whole Guerrero stuff sure is interesting.
1 year, 8 months ago on Toronto Blue Jays Rumors: Has Vladimir Guerrero Given Up?
Giolito was definitely worth the risk in the middle of the first, because he is about as good as Mark Appel in terms of over talent. That means that Giolito is a number one pick quality player without the injury concerns. With them he's still somewhere in the top ten. I mean, a lot of great young pitchers like Mariano Rivera have had Tommy John surgery early on in their career. In this day and age, injuries happen to pretty much everyone. Giolito is a curveball guy and not a slider guy, so that mitigates a whole lot of concerns. It's tough not to like this pick for the Nats, and Giolito could very well be a 4+ WAR pitcher. I think the hardest part for Giolito will be proving himself and getting into the Majors healthy. If he can do that, I think he will at least end up being a No. 3 starter once in the Majors and most likely a #2 quality starter.
1 year, 9 months ago on The Washington Nationals and Draft Dominance
Nothing is impossible Alan, and I think a lot of it depends on not just on money but Revis's ambitions himself. He can choose to be the villain here by either leaving or forcing the Jets to spend and obscene amount of money (tough to overpay when someone is that good, but that almost happened to Carl Nicks in free agency) or just leaving entirely. I think he plays it smart and avoids a bigger PR mess by staying, but the Jets and Revis need to compromise. Revis needs to get his act together and quit acting like DeSean Jackson.
1 year, 9 months ago on Could Darrelle Revis' Career with the Jets Be Ending?
I remember back when I wrote up an analysis piece on this deal when it was done, and a writer on this site (maybe it was you, Aaron) and I agreed that Brad Lidge would be a positive addition to the team due to him being around an average reliever and a good presence for the younger arms. He did just that in that limited time, and this step forward is huge for the stability of the bullpen due to inconsistency among the high leverage relievers with Drew Storen out. The guys that need to step up haven't, and maybe Lidge can be that guy to come through or at least flow some veteran know-how into the other guys so that they will improve.
1 year, 9 months ago on Brad Lidge to Begin Rehab Assignment Monday
@TylerMcMullen @Paulmatthew222 I don't think we're paying Smith on potential, because he was great and made huge strides in 2010. He digressed last season, however, but I think he'll build on his 2010 form this year. It isn't all based on potential, because Smith has shown he can play at a high level before.
1 year, 9 months ago on Six Break Out Candidates for the Miami Dolphins
@TylerMcMullen As a Panthers fan, I have no problems with Marshall. I agree that he is a very good corner, but I think Smith is at least as good as Marshall and has the upside to be better. I thought Marshall was quite poor last season with the Cardinals after some great years with the Panthers, so maybe that was an anomaly. As I said, he can lock down receivers but is prone to giving up a big play.
Thanks for writing the piece man, I enjoyed it.
I think Burficit ends up being the starter at some point this season, and he deserves to, to be honest. He may be an idiot, but he's going to tone it down in the NFL, or somebody is going to do it for him. I think Burficit is starting to understand that everything falls on him, because going from being a bona fide draft prospect to an undrafted player has to cut deep, and it could make him rethink things. Burficit is just such a great talent and a monster against the run. He really does inspire fear into opposing backs, and I saw it first hand while watching him dominate the Pac-12. He's a gem, and I would start him, because football is a game where talent wins out on the field. Being a headcase shouldn't affect if someone starts or not; it's all about talent. If Burficit was a top ten pick, then he would start from day one. He should be starting for the Bengals.
As for Manny Lawson, he's solid in the 4-3 because of his versatility, but I'll miss watching him rush the passer at a crazed pace in the 3-4 in SF. I hate how people knocked him for low sack totals, because pass rushers need to pressure the quarterback, and it isn't always about sacks.
1 year, 9 months ago on The Importance of Bengals MLB Vontaze Burfict
I thought Smith broke out a couple of years ago and was one of the top 25 CBs in the league at one point, but he has digressed due to inconsistent play. He and Vontae Davis will shut it down in the new zone scheme, and I would rather have Smith than Richard Marshall. Marshall does a good job of limiting catches, but he gets burned too much and doesn't have as much upside as Smith. I think he can end up being a lockdown corner as well with his elite physical tools and ball skills, and he should make the jump as one of the best 30 corners in the league this year; he's certainly one of the most talented ones.
@PoolExperts I'm not a purist, but I actually agree that the negatives to instant replay make it an issue that isn't at the top of the list right now. To me, instant replay should be used like in football, otherwise the game's will be taken too long. It should be used for unclear calls that have a huge direct impact on the game that are reviewed "by the booth". Each manager gets three challenges, but there is no penalty for being wrong on a challenge (unless if you want to give them an extra strike or something, idk). Balls and strikes cannot be challenged. Those are just some notes on this topic, but I actually like the fact that calls can impact the game. However, instant replay is good because it takes out the blatantly bad calls (not going to name any for Jim Joyce's sake..whoops).
1 year, 9 months ago on Bud Selig Feels No Pressure To Expand Instant Replay
@LasordasLair Thanks for the link, and you guys are right, I screwed up by saying that. However, I meant to say that Ethier's defense will decline by the end of the deal and he will most likely be a liability at that point. The problem is that he's slow, and I would never call him great. He has a great arm and can make plays, but his range is going to vastly decline by the end of this figurative deal. Stacie, I think he will garner more than $40 million as well, especially if he breaks out and meets his ZiPS in-season projection of 4.5 WAR. Then, he's on his way to something near $60 million. However, he would be 35 at the end of such a deal, so paying him more than $50 million might not sit well with some people. They'll do it anyway, and we wouldn't think less of the Dodgers for making that move to keep (I'm not a Dodgers fan but from what I see) a fan favorite.
1 year, 9 months ago on Los Angeles Dodgers News: No Deadline on Andre Ethier Extension Talks
@Cardswin Oh man, I love and hate these comments. I love them because it's a way to talk baseball, but I hate them because I can't vouch for everyone who submitted their rankings. In truth, I had the Cards fourth, for the reasons you stated. They hit like crazy, and their pitching is solid. And yet, a ranking outside the top five is justifiable due to the concerns some people have about their pitching. Do I think they were ranked low? Yes. ERA is misleading at the beginning of the season, but I get your point; they've been pitching well so far this year. So yes, they may have been ranked too low, but I can't argue the points that the others who voted on these rankings will make. Thanks for the comment, but I would like to know which defensive metric you used. Please say DRS or UZR and not FLD%.
1 year, 10 months ago on MLB Power Rankings: Los Angeles Dodgers Surge
@MJCastelli Haha, Dodgers fit better in Brooklyn anyway. Green was insane in '02, just looked it up and saw that he was worth 5.7 WAR with 42 dingers. Crazy thing is, he was actually significantly better the year before. Green had some great years. It definitely doesn't take anything away from Hamilton's defeat and gives the due credit to Green that I was, in essence, taking away. Glad to see Dodgers fans getting a great season and a team-friendly ownership group. You guys deserve it.
@MJCastelli Thanks, great catch MJ. Forgot about Green's monster game in '02 and should have done better research. The mistake is now fixed, thanks to your help.
@TRO_PRICE "Power Rankings" just means ranking teams based on how good you think they are. The definition is more ambiguous than the one you just proposed, and there were people who sent in their power ranking ballots and- based on their picks- agreed with your definition. However, there are others who believe that overall talent vs. luck is also a factor, and there were some writers who thought that as well. I was honestly surprised to see the Blue Jays above the Orioles, but I thought the Yankees deserved their ranking.
1 year, 10 months ago on MLB Power Rankings: Texas Rangers on top