Monday, September 15, 2014

Can Pittsburgh Sneak Into The Playoffs?

The 2014 season has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After having high expectations going into the year, they have certainly looked like playoff pretenders at times during the year. However, they are heating up at just the right time, and they could sneak in as a wild-card team in the National League. In fact, they might even be able to contend with the St. Louis Cardinals to win the National League Central.

Everything starts with fantasy baseball standout Andrew McCutchen for the Pittsburgh Pirates. As long as he is performing at a high level, this team has a shot. He is looking like a MVP candidate for the 2nd year in a row, and he has put some nagging injuries behind him to make a strong playoff push in the month of September. That has allowed Pittsburgh to play very well in the last couple of weeks, closing the gap in a hurry.

Milwaukee and Atlanta are the 2 teams that they are going to be fighting against for a wild-card spot, and fortunately Pittsburgh will be able to play both of them in a series. That all begins on September 19, so in a way Pittsburgh controls its own destiny for a spot in the playoffs.

Pitching is still somewhat of a concern for the team in general, but they feel like the hitting is coming along nicely. They were a feel-good story a year ago, and now they are just trying to live up to expectations. No one knows for sure what will happen in the last few weeks of the regular season, but Pittsburgh has a chance to show that last year was not a fluke by any means. If they play well against the 2 teams competing with them right now, this team will be riding a hot streak right into the playoffs as a very dangerous team.

Guest Writer: Mark Jenkins

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Impact of Alejandro De Aza

When the Baltimore Orioles acquired outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the Chicago White Sox, it was merely looked at as a fluff move with no real future impact.  Boy oh boy, that has been far from the case.  Through his first 8 games played with the O's, he's hit .424 (14-33) with 5 R, 1 DBL, 2 TRPL, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 2 SB and a 1.244 OPS.  All 8 games have been wins for the Orioles as well.  That's impact!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Zach Walters: Hitter of Homeruns

Zach Walters was traded from the Washington Nationals to the Cleveland Indians before the Trade Deadline in the Asdrubal Cabrera deal.  He is a 24 year old prospect that is capable of playing all over the field, so as long as he hits, he'll find a way into the lineup.  Walters doesn't have much to show for in terms of batting average (.208 in 72 at bats).  However, when he does seem to get a hit, it often goes over the fence.  Of his 15 hits this season, 7 have gone for homeruns.  Splits: Nationals - 8 H, 3 HR, Indians - 7 H, 4 HR, which equals a .514 slugging percentage.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Michael Martinez Historically Horrible (Update)

Michael Martinez might seem like a harmless individual. Those outside the state of Pennsylvania probably don't understand the depths of his awfulness.  Thanks to parts of 4 seasons in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh he's amassed enough playing time to sink to historically horrible levels.  Mini-Mart's career batting average is down to .182, which ranks 4,440 out of  4,449 since 1900 for non-pitchers with 400+ plate appearances.  His disastrous OPS is at a  low of .483, that ranks him 4,436 out of 4,449.

I know the Phillies GM, Ruben Amaro, is a poor judge of talent/value, but what the hell is wrong with the Pirates GM Neal Hunnington?

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Good Returns on Small Investments

Below you will find a 25-man roster compiled of players that were signed to minor league contracts this past offseason. The bullpen is solid, the offense would likely be better than some actual MLB teams', but the rotation is poor.

Michael McKenry/COL - 30 G, .337/.891, 0.7 WAR
John Baker/CHC - 52 G, .206/.542

First Base:
Mark Reynolds/MIL - 94 G, 41 R, 19 HR, 39 RBI, .208/.722, 1.5 WAR
Lyle Overbay/MIL - 83 G, .228/.647

Second Base:
Emilio Bonifacio/CHC/ATL - 73 G, 35 R, 16 SB, .278/.691, 1.4 WAR

Short Stop:
Munenori Kawasaki/TOR - 42 G, .277/.645

Third Base:
Justin Turner/LAD - 72 G, 31 R, 23 RBI, .308/.804, 2.4 WAR

Utility Infielder:
Ramon Santiago/CIN - 50 G, .235/.642, 0.4 WAR

Chris Coghlan/CHC - 74 G, 31 R, 20 RBI, .292/.846, 0.4 WAR
Sam Fuld/OAK/MIN - 65 G, 22 R, 21 RBI, 16 SB, .262/.712, 1.6 WAR
JD Martinez/DET - 72 G, 34 R, 18 DBL, 15 HR,48 RBI, .312/.936, 2.5 WAR
Reed Johnson/MIA - 78 G, .239/.628

Designated Hitter:
Delmon Young/BAL - 54 G, .327/.824, 0.8 WAR

1. Chris Coghlan/LF
2. Justin Turner/3B
3. JD Martinez/RF
4. Delmon Young/DH
5. Michael McKenry/C
6. Sam Fuld/CF
7. Emilio Bonifacio/2B
8. Mark Reynolds/1B
9. Munenori Kawasaki/SS

Starting Rotation:
Erik Bedard/TBR - 17 G, 15 GS, 75.2 IP, 64 K, 4.76/1.49
Aaron Harang/ATL - 23 GS, 142.1 IP, 110 K, 3.41/1.39, 1.8 WAR
Colby Lewis/TEX - 20 GS, 111.1 IP, 91 K, 5.50/1.65
Daisuke Matsuzaka/NYM - 28 G, 9 GS, 74.1 IP, 71 K, 3.87/1.33, 0.2 WAR
Tsuyoshi Wada/CHC - 4 GS, 21.1 IP, 19 K, 3.32/1.34, 0.8 WAR

Scott Atchison/CLE - 47 G, 49 IP, 35 K, 2.76/0.94, 1.2 WAR
Matt Guerrier/MIN - 27 G, 28 IP, 12 K, 3.86/1.43, 0.3 WAR
Pat Neshek/STL - 50 G, 46.1 IP, 49 K, 0.78/0.60, 2.3 WAR
Tony Sipp/HOU - 37 G, 33.2 IP, 43 K, 2.41/0.86, 1.1 WAR
Zach Duke/MIL - 52 G, 44.1 IP, 60 K, 1.83/1.04, 1.2 WAR
Juan Gutierrez/SFG - 46 G, 50 IP, 34 K, 2.70/1.00, 0.6 WAR
Zach Putnam/CHW - 33 G, 38.1 IP, 32 K, 2.35/1.20, 1.1 WAR

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Michael Martinez is Bad at Baseball

As a Phillies fan, I am well aware of the magnitude of suck that Michael Martinez brings to a team.  However, poor Pirates fans may have no clue what they're getting into.  I'm here to make it blatantly clear just how awful Mini-Mart is.

Since 1901, 4439 batters (non-pitchers), have been to the plate 400+ times (Martinez currently at 407 plate apperances).  He ranks 4427th with a .185 batting average and 4421st with a .492 OPS.  How the hell does this man continue to hold a job?  That is historically horrible.