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.
2 years, 7 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?
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 8 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.
2 years, 8 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.
2 years, 8 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.
2 years, 8 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).
2 years, 8 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.
2 years, 8 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%.
2 years, 8 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.
2 years, 9 months ago on MLB Power Rankings: Texas Rangers on top
@musicom Thanks for dropping by Matt, always a pleasure. These power rankings were fun to do, and they turned out great. Although, Boston was too low and LAD too high. Still, that's the fun of it. Plenty to disagree with, but everything fits because many talented writers helped to compile these, and all the methods of voting (performance vs. regression) are turned into some sort of a middle ground in most aspects.
2 years, 9 months ago on MLB Power Rankings: Los Angeles Dodgers surprise
I say yes to the Pitch F/X in the minors to test, because it eliminates these sorts of questions and makes balls and strikes consistent for every game and ump. It obviously has to be tested first for flaws, and this seems like an interesting step that should at least be tried. Sorry for not getting this via Twitter, but I doubt that would have been within 140 characters.
Terrific work Doug, and I agree that Vanover was right in being consistent. The Rays are certainly a clever bunch and proved it again by getting Ross out in this scenario. But still, I feel for Ross, especially since he was up to bat after an intentional walk.
2 years, 9 months ago on Did Cody Ross Have A Beef?
@WilliamGregory Hey William, appreciate the comment and the strong case for Braun being the MVP over Kemp. Braun was innocent, so I agree with you on that point and people were too eager to make him guilty in their minds. Nobody gets the benefit of the doubt these days. Still, I thought Kemp had the better season, because I think it is more valuable for a CF to post those numbers than an LF. Braun had the better numbers, but Kemp had more value in my eyes. You can definitely- as you did- make a great case for Braun, and this has nothing to do with a failed drug test. Again, thanks for commenting. On a side not, I'm not the biggest fan of range factor, but I agree that Kemp had a poor year on defense (still a vast improvement from his non-existent defensive display in 2010).
2 years, 9 months ago on Matt Kemp off to a hot start
@organicallyrude @SorianoJoe The Sox can live with his poor hitting, as long as he isn't terrible. He is a defense-first CF, so they just need him to hit well enough to provide 1-1.5 WAR to them.
2 years, 9 months ago on Jason Repko called up, will start
@organicallyrude Repko has value for this team if he can hit around 80 wRC+ with his great defense. Thanks for the comment Stacie, and it will be interesting to see what this former Twins player can do. Sox just swept the Rays, and Repko went 0-3 with a K. He's definitely a better fielder than Ross and a better hitter than Lin, so the move makes sense for Boston.
@musicom Thanks for commenting Matt. The injury does hurt the Giants, but it isn't exactly devastating as some say. Sergio Romo is actually a better reliever than Wilson and deserves to close (finally getting his chance), Casilla is adequate, and Javier Lopez is one of the better, more underrated SUs in the game. They don't need to acquire somebody, especially not Brett Myers.
2 years, 9 months ago on Analysis: Brian Wilson Injury
@Fakeclayrhodes Haha, love the username. Rhodes is a monster. You know the Public Enemy song "Rebel Without A Pause"? Well Clay Rhodes blocks without a pause. He's the best recruit in the state, and I think anybody who gets him is picking up a very good tackle with elite lateral movement. He can keep up with the quick pass rushers off the edge and can pave the way for his RB at a high rate. I hope we can bring him into Kansas, but I just want to see this guy start at the college level; it's a joy watching his tape.
2 years, 9 months ago on Clay Rhodes Purdue offer
@JohnMorrow Good point John, so we'll get him for his senior year. Releford will develop in that one-year grace period before replacing Elijah Johnson, and he's a better player than Johnson. It will still be great to have him in 2013, because his court vision and- maybe- three-point shooting will improve. Thanks for the comment John, and the reminder that we need to be patient.
2 years, 9 months ago on Trevor Releford could transfer to Kansas
I would stay put if I am the Cardinals front office, because they have enough depth to the extent that they can succeed with what they have now and don't have to spend on a starter. However, I would obviously get something done in a heartbeat if Oswalt has enough interest in going to the Cards and joining on an inexpensive deal.
2 years, 10 months ago on Rants Daily: Wainwright extends scoreless streak in Cardinals' win over Marlins
Penn is criminally overrated, so picking Kalil would be huge. Kalil is slightly better than Clairborne, and their future importance to the team is a wash; I'll take Kalil. I would much rather have Penn than Trueblood, because at least Penn can block for Freeman.
2 years, 10 months ago on Analysis: Vikings Picking Claiborne Wouldn't Hurt Bucs
Tuesday was actually the 20th, but t doesn't matter because that was a great review of the starters in Spring Training for the Reds thus far. Bronson Arroyo is terrible and Jeff Francis isn't going to get a spot in the rotation; those are the two weak points among the pitchers. Latos is one of the best pitchers in baseball, Cueto is a quality No. 2 or 3 starter for most teams, and Homer Bailey is really the X-Factor here. I hope he ends up making the jump and putting peripherals to good use; loved that AB against Dunn the second time around. They need that kind of swagger on the mound out of Bailey.
2 years, 10 months ago on Cincinnati Reds Rotation Showing Signs of Life
Man, it's too bad that Miggy's re-appearance at third will be a delayed a few weeks into the regular season. Glad those sunglasses protected him.
2 years, 10 months ago on Miguel Cabrera out “a couple of weeks” with small fracture
That was as bad of a game as your going to see, and Ryan Anderson was horrible. Just horrible. He needs to get back on track fast, because Howard can't do it alone. And Lucas with 20? Nice for him. We always knew Chicago was going to win, but by this much? Van Gundy nailed it, pathetic.
www.autzenzoo.com, a Ducks FanSided site
2 years, 10 months ago on Bulls Shut Down Magic 85-59
Nice, I see that you are bringing the WBN method of page break to Stripe Hype, and it's very effective. What I do want to say about this move is that the Broncos really need to get another receiver. Thomas is a guy I love to watch, but he's a No. 2 with upside and Decker is a good WR, but a No. 3 when all is said and done. Denver needs a No. 1, and Nice Pick Cowher is saying that it will most likely end up being Mike Wallace. The best WR available is Cotchery at this point, and he's like a No. 4 receiver. Thoughts on that Jason?
2 years, 10 months ago on How Peyton Manning to Denver Affects Bengals
I hope Wallace doesn't go, and Brian Xander always needs his head examined haha. Wallace is already one of the best ten receivers in the NFL, and he is a better than decent route-runner, even if nobody outside of Pennsylvania is willing to admit as much.
2 years, 10 months ago on Peyton Manning To Sign With Denver - Is Steelers Mike Wallace Next?
Hubbed, and you guys are lucky. We just dropped a 3 game set to freaking Washington.
2 years, 10 months ago on UCLA Baseball: The only thing that can stop UCLA is the FREAKING RAIN
Manningham is honestly overrated, and he will be even more overrated due to that catch. However, he is in the right position with San Francisco as the third option in their passing attack and will give them another guy (Moss is the other) who can stretch the field. His routing running is terrible and overall play inconsistent, but he can haul in that big catch, as we saw, when you need him. I remember when it was reported that he would go to the Bucs (I write for The Pewter Plank), and I was glad that I held off on the reaction post. I can't play Manningham for picking the better NFC West team, although this leaves the cupboard a little more bare for Fisher.
2 years, 10 months ago on San Francisco 49ers get another wide receiver after signing Mario Manningham
Oh man, this is going to be one great game. Madden? I remember back when he was with the Devils. I'm actually going to pick the Sabres to win this one, and it's because of Vanek. I think he and Pominville will come up big in a 3-2 game that could obviously go either way. But c'mon, there's nothing like a devil's advocate in the comments section. Anyway, what the Panthers have done this year has been just insane, and you gotta love that 105 day stat.
2 years, 10 months ago on Game Day Preview: Sabres vs. Panthers. So Hot We're Throwing Flames
I love that you gave credit to Sipp, who is one of the most underrated relievers in baseball. I have to agree with you that the Twins lefties are better than the Tigers, even though I dislike the Perkins extension. Perkins is a legit 1 WAR RP at his best. Matt Thornton is the class of the lefty relievers in this division, but Ohman is what he is; a journeyman. I was reading on FanSided's Mets blog, and their editor said that former Tiger Dontrel Willis would make a good LOOGY. I agree. Any thoughts on that John? Thanks.
2 years, 10 months ago on Ranking The A.L. Central Lefty Relievers
I combined this rumor with the pitching one that Cecil and Drabek were receiving offers from other teams. Right now, it looks like J.P. is more likely to get traded than d'Arnaud, and I wouldn't blame the Jays for taking d'Arnaud over Arencibia. One of those catchers is going to get traded at the end of the season, so the Jays will definitely be taking a close look at what they have in their top 15-20 prospect.
2 years, 10 months ago on Blue Jays Rumors: Teams Eyeing J.P. Arencibia and Travis d'Arnaud
I would go for Nieves or Corky at this point, but nobody available is adequate. This is a huge blow for the Royals, because Perez is their catcher of both the present and future, and we were all looking forward to see what he could do.
2 years, 10 months ago on Salvador Perez Sidelined 3-4 Months Following Knee Surgery
Hundley really came round two years ago and broke through from being a fringe starter to a quality backstop, and it's tough to have a nice OBP at that position. Hundley is a solid cog for this team, and it's wise to lock him up.
2 years, 10 months ago on Nick Hundley, San Diego Padres Extension Talks "Heating Up"
The Law Firm would make a nice tandem with Benson, and I think the Bengals should also target Kendall Langford, who is an underrated player and is better than Anderson. Jamaal Anderson isn't as bad as some people think he is, because not many people value run-stopping rotation defensive linemen enough. However, Cincy doesn't need that type of a player and should focus on Langford instead. Jacob Bell is an aging, overrated, and expensive player who isn't worth signing, while Tracy Porter is clearly the better option at corner. He gets a little too much hype, but I'd rather pay more for him than sign Aaron Ross.
2 years, 10 months ago on Current Bengals Free Agent Visits
Just hubbed this piece, and Hill had a great season and will improve next year.
2 years, 10 months ago on The Arizona Wildcats Basketball Season in Review: Solomon Hill
I completely agree, and I can see Willis working out as a LOOGY down the road. It is definitely a worthy risk for any team to take, especially the Mets due to the Byrdak injury. I hope Alderson at least looks into this, because those stats against lefties are tantalizing and enough to land him a minor league deal.
2 years, 10 months ago on Should The Mets Sign Dontrelle Willis?
Interesting, I'm not the biggest Ta'amu fan, mostly because I am the Ducks writer at autzenzoo.com. He's just going to end up being a depth guy, but it never hurts to take a flier on a guy who could possibly help the Colts move into the 3-4. Would rather take a corner in that spot, but NT wouldn't be a bad choice either.
2 years, 10 months ago on Indianapolis Colts 2012 Mock Draft: Round 4
Happy St. Patrick's day to you too Tom. And I must say that Marte has a ton of potential, but that will only be realized if he can work on his patience. I see a successful minor league stint on the horizon, provided he is willing to work on his patience. As for the quote, what is he talking about? Yeah, he's still got a lot to learn.
2 years, 10 months ago on Pirates Starling Marte Talking About Himself in Third Person Already?
Yeah, Voss and Smyly are two Eerie pitchers who definitely deserve a closer look, and I can't wait to see Voss pitch in the Majors. I don't get why the Tigers aren't utilizing him much, because Voss is a solid pitcher whom the Tigers need to see what they have in him. As for Smyly, I think he still needs more time before he makes the Tigers MLB roster. I'd rather have Below over him at this point.
2 years, 10 months ago on Projecting The Erie Rotation
Great deal for the Wizards, and I would hate to have Nick Young on my team. He never passes, and he takes the stupidest shots in the world; it's like he wants to play 1 on 5 basketball. Young is also a liability on defense, and the only value he provides is good corner-3 shooting. Yeah, not worth it. Nene is a great defensive player, and I agree that he is one of the best low-post players and centers in the NBA.
www.autzenzoo.com, an Oregon Ducks FanSided site
2 years, 10 months ago on Wiz of Awes Round Table: Nene Trade
You guys haven't been going crazy like the Bucs (I write for thepewterplank.com), but the Jaguars have done a great job so far. Henne and Robinson should be the staple of the passing game, and it's hard not to like Mincey's explosiveness. Mathis played better last season with a functioning secondary, so it was obviously important re-sign both him and Dwight Lowrey.
2 years, 10 months ago on Grading the Jaguars' Free Agency (So Far)