Results tagged ‘ Dan Uggla ’
Although games aren’t scheduled to be played until March 1st, for every baseball fan Spring Training officially begins when pitchers and catchers first report. Five clubs saw their pitchers and catchers report on Wednesday, with the remaining teams’ hurlers and backstops trickling in over the next few days, leaving every team with their respective pitchers and catchers in camp by Sunday.
Therefore, baseball is finally back.
But for a number of free agent players who have yet to find homes so far this offseason, Spring Training is going to have to wait — at least for now. Before they can report to a camp, every free agent needs to come to terms with a team that they’ll wind up calling home for the 2016 season.
Given, there’s still over a month until the regular season, and most if not all of the free agents will sign before too long. But time is slowly running out. With that in mind, I thought I’d go over the free agent players still on the market, position by position, who are more than capable of still helping out a big league club, but have yet to sign for one reason or another.
Beginning with the starting pitching role, the best remaining free agent starter who remains up for grabs is Yovani Gallardo. While Gallardo has been linked to talks with the Orioles, he is still technically in play for all thirty clubs. Although he isn’t going to be the ace of any team’s staff, Gallardo is still a really good pitcher who you can count on for numerous innings (180+ for each of the past seven seasons) and will give his team a chance to win each and every night.
Appropriately following the starting pitcher in this post is the relief pitcher, with there being several quality reliever options remaining. The one that stands out the most to me, however, is Casey Janssen. He didn’t have the best season in 2015, but a three year stretch from 2011-2013 saw him as one of the best relievers in the game. With him holding a career ERA of 3.63, Janssen doesn’t immediately jump off the page, but he can be an asset to a number of teams.
Justin Morneau leads the pack of available free agent first basemen. After a 17-homer season back in 2014, Morneau only played in 49 games last season due to injuries which ultimately held his numbers down. But I look for Morneau to have a bounce back season in 2016, if he can be healthy. Although his days of dominating the first base position are likely over, the days of him being a solid player definitely aren’t.
At second base, the only free agent left is Dan Uggla, making him the only option to discuss. I’m not sure what the future holds for Uggla, who was once one of the best second baseman in baseball. Uggla blasted 30+ homers for five straight seasons early in his career and has been an impactful player, but he hasn’t had a very productive season since 2013. However, with all of that said, Uggla could surprise some people if given a chance.
David Freese manning the hot corner is something any team would want to see, but for some reason he has yet to be signed. Freese is a reliable third baseman who you can count on year in and year out to hit double digit homers and drive in runs in the majority of key situations. After all, Freese was the reason the Cardinals survived game six of the 2011 World Series and ultimately went on to win. He falls under the low risk, high reward type of player, and would be a nice pickup for any team.
The shortstop position is currently one of the weaker spots as far as free agents is concerned, but Ian Desmond is the big player of the group. Following a somewhat mixed departure from the Nationals, where Trea Turner looks ready to take over the shortstop role, Desmond has been linked to a number of teams this offseason but has yet to land anywhere. Even so, Desmond is still a valuable player, coming just one homer shy in 2015 of a fourth straight 20+ home run year.
As far as the outfield, there are a number of above average free agents still there for the taking. Looking merely at the position as a whole — not individually at right, left and center — the the top three free agent outfielders in my mind are Austin Jackson, Dexter Fowler and Marlon Byrd. They’re each mid-to-upper .200’s career hitters, and each had solid 2015 campaigns. For that reason, while they still remain without a team to call home, chances are they won’t be that way for long and will have some amount of impact this coming season.
Despite every position previously mentioned having players available to sign, if your favorite team is in need of a catcher, they’ll have to look for other options besides free agency. There are no remaining catchers on the market, making it the only position without a single player left. However, there are more than plenty of other positions to snag above average players from that can impact any roster.
As history has shown, the majority of free agents always wind up signing with a team, even if it takes until the very last second to do so. But now that Spring Training is upon us, they no longer have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for the right offer and the right time to arrive. With spring being the time teams find themselves and form chemistry each year, the time for free agents to begin their final pushes towards signing is now.
If you never read the entry that jinxed Dan Uggla, CLICK HERE, to read it. If you’ve already read it, continue reading…..
My apology to Dan Uggla for jinxing him is as follows:
Dear Dan Uggla,
As you probably haven’t heard, I posted a blog entry on you yesterday. It was about your 33 game hit streak and my prediction of how far I felt you would go before your streak was broken.
I quickly got my answer.
Mere hours after the entry was posted, the ballgame was over, and you had gone hitless.
It was my fault.
Knowing that I am the BIGGEST jinx in the world, I posted the entry anyway. The entry that ruined your chance of extending your hit streak to 34 games.
So, I apologize. For doing the stupidest thing, that a jinx can do. Jinx you, by talking/writing about your hit streak.
Please accept my apology.
Your biggest jinx,
And there you have it. My official apology to Dan Uggla.
I hope he accepts.
Dear reader. I know that Dan Uggla will NEVER see this. (I’m not THAT stupid.) It was just a fun little entry in which I apologized *to* Dan Uggla.
Just wanted to make that clear.
A hit today and tomorrow would tie him, with Chase Utley and Luis Castillo, for the longest hit streak ever for a second baseman, with 35 straight games. A record that seems more than likely, with the way Uggla’s been hitting lately. Completley locked in.
So, three more games with a hit would put him in the record books for the longest hitting streak ever for a second baseman. And five more games with a hit would make him the lone record holder for longest hit streak in Braves franchise history. (A record currently held by Tommy Holmes. As he went on a streak of 37 straight games for the Boston Braves, back in 1945.)
Considering the fact that Dan Uggla seems to be locked in while at the plate lately, I’d say he has a great chance of passing Tommy Holmes record, and possibly reaching a hit streak of 40 games. But what are his chances of passing, or even coming close to Joe DiMaggio’s record of 56 games, set back in 1941? Only time will tell.
The only thing that is for certain is that Dan Uggla is hitting better than anyone else in MLB. That isn’t an opinion, it’s an actual fact, supported by his incredible stats.
If Uggla does continue his streak 23 more games to tie DiMaggio for longest hit streak ever, it will come on September 6 in Philadelphia. (With Uggla breaking DiMaggio’s record on the 7th.)
But that’s a long way off, and a lot has to, and could happen, between now and then.
We’ll have to just wait and see.
So what do you think Dan Uggla’s chances are of breaking DiMaggio’s record of a 56 game hitting streak that has stood for the past 60 years? Do you think he will break it? If not, how many games do you think he’ll get to before the streak is broken? Leave a comment, and let me hear your thoughts…….
(Personally I think Dan Uggla will make it to 42 games with a hit, before failing to get a hit in the 43rd game. Why 42? I don’t know. It’s just a number that stands out in my head.)
Well, the Braves game is over, and so is the streak. My apology to Dan Uggla for jinxing him will come in my next entry. No really. I’m going to post an entry apologizing to Dan. It’ll be up tomorrow……
Here’s the link to my apology: CLICK HERE