Results tagged ‘ Hitting ’

Latest MLB Leaders (April 3rd – May 31st)

With the first two months of the 2016 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Matt Duffy and Edwin Encarnacion (54).

Most At-Bats – Mookie Betts (230)

Most Hits – Daniel Murphy (77)

Highest Average – Daniel Murphy (.397)

Highest OBP – Ben Zobrist (.445)

Highest SLG – David Ortiz (.716)

Most Runs – Mookie Betts (49)

Most Doubles – David Ortiz (23)

Most Triples – Thirteen players tied for most (4).

Most Home Runs – Nolan Arenado and Todd Frazier (16).

Most RBI’s – David Ortiz (47)

Most Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (49)

Most Strikeouts – Trevor Story (76)

Most Stolen Bases – Jonathan Villar (19)

Most Caught Stealing – Norichika Aoki and Mallex Smith (7).

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Bryce Harper (13)

Most Hit By Pitch – Brandon Guyer (14)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Chris Carter and Bryce Harper (5).

Most Total Bases – David Ortiz (126)

Most Extra Base Hits – David Ortiz (38)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Albert Pujols (10)

Most Ground Outs – Adam Eaton (90)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Mike Trout (1,038)

Most Plate Appearances – Mookie Betts (246)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Jake Arrieta, Chris Sale and Stephen Strasburg (9).

Most Losses – Five players tied for most (7).

Best ERA – Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta (1.56).

Most Games Started – Forty-six players tied for most (11).

Most Games Pitched – Zach Duke (28)

Most Saves – Jeurys Familia and Jeanmar Gomez (17).

Most Innings Pitched – Clayton Kershaw (86.2)

Most Hits Allowed – Wily Peralta (85)

Most Runs Allowed – Anibal Sanchez (47)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Dallas Keuchel (43)

Most Home Runs Allowed – Max Scherzer (15)

Most Strikeouts – Clayton Kershaw (105)

Most Walks – Tom Koehler (35)

Most Complete Games – Four players tied for most (3).

Most Shutouts – Clayton Kershaw (3)

Best Opponent Avg. – Jake Arrieta (.161)

Most Games Finished – Jeurys Familia (25)

Most Double Plays Achieved – Martin Perez (17)

Most Wild Pitches – Sonny Gray (9)

Most Balks – Matt Andriese and Joakim Soria (3).

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Noah Syndergaard (15)

Most Pickoffs – Nick Tropeano (4)

Most Batters Faced – Johnny Cueto (318)

Most Pitches Thrown – Justin Verlander (1,191)

Latest MLB Leaders (April 3rd – April 30th)

With the first month of the 2016 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – David Peralta (26)

Most At-Bats – Jean Segura (111)

Most Hits – Jean Segura (37)

Highest Average – Aledmys Diaz (.423)

Highest OBP – Dexter Fowler (.474)

Highest SLG – Aledmys Diaz (.732)

Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (24)

Most Doubles – Four players tied for most (11).

Most Triples – Jackie Bradley Jr. (4)

Most Home Runs – Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story (10).

Most RBI’s – Robinson Cano, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rizzo (24).

Most Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (25)

Most Strikeouts – Justin Upton (38)

Most Stolen Bases – Jose Altuve (9)

Most Caught Stealing – Cesar Hernandez, Mallex Smith and George Springer (4).

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Brandon Crawford and Joe Mauer (5).

Most Hit By Pitch – Brandon Guyer (6).

Most Sacrifice Flies – Seven players tied for most (3).

Most Total Bases – Manny Machado and Trevor Story (64).

Most Extra Base Hits – Four players tied for most (17).

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – David Freese and Dustin Pedroia (6).

Most Ground Outs – Yunel Escobar (46)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Hunter Pence (497)

Most Plate Appearances – Jean Segura (116)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Four players tied for most (5).

Most Losses – Brett Cecil (5)

Best ERA – Jordan Zimmermann (0.55)

Most Games Started – Chris Archer and Zack Greinke (6).

Most Games Pitched – Zach Duke and Neftali Feliz (14).

Most Saves – Kenley Jansen (9)

Most Innings Pitched – Chris Sale (38)

Most Hits Allowed – Zack Greinke (47)

Most Runs Allowed – Jorge De La Rosa (24)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Jorge De La Rosa and Zack Greinke (23).

Most Home Runs Allowed – Seven players tied for most (7).

Most Strikeouts – David Price (46)

Most Walks – Yordano Ventura (20)

Most Complete Games – Seven players tied for most (1).

Most Shutouts – Six players tied for most (1).

Best Opponent Avg. – Danny Salazar (.139)

Most Games Finished – Jeanmar Gomez (12)

Most Double Plays Achieved – Martin Perez (11)

Most Wild Pitches – Trevor May (5)

Most Balks – Twelve players tied for most (1).

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Noah Syndergaard (9)

Most Pickoffs – Four players tied for most (2).

Most Batters Faced – Zack Greinke (166)

Most Pitches Thrown – Chris Archer (586)

Takeaways as Spring Training Winds Down

As history has shown us, Spring Training virtually means nothing when it comes to projecting how any given team or player will fare when the regular season actually rolls around. Spring

In season’s past, teams that “won” their leagues in the Spring wound up finishing in last place when the games actually mattered, with the opposite holding true for other teams that had poor Spring Trainings. The same applies to players, some of which vastly underperform or overperform in the Spring but return to their expected selves when April begins. For that reason, looking at the standings and stats is useless.

But that doesn’t stop me from checking them out anyhow. With Spring Training nearly over, and regular season games set to begin on April 3rd, I figured I’d share some of the things I took away from a quick glimpse at the standings and stats of teams and players around the baseball world.

The Mets and Cardinals are expected to do big things in their given divisions in 2016, but you wouldn’t reach that conclusion from peering at their Spring record. Each is well below .500, despite individual players on both teams shining at times. But that will inevitably change when the year actually begins.

On the flip side of things, the Phillies have a great record in the Grapefruit League, with the Rockies and Brewers doing well in the Cactus League side of things. But although they are outplaying other teams to this point, none of them are expected to do much of anything this season, with a last place division finish possible for each of them when all is said and done.

Individually, player’s stats can also be somewhat misleading.

PeraltaDavid Peralta and Christian Yelich — each of which were terrific in 2015 and have the ability to hit for a very high average — are ice cold thus far in Spring Training. However, they should easily turn things around when the true games begin. Likewise, as far as pitchers are concerned, veterans Jake Peavy and Jeff Samardzija haven’t faired much better than Peralta or Yelich, as each is doing horrible this Spring. But fortunately for them, the likelihood that all of these players continue to perform at such a low level is extremely low.

So if your favorite team or player is having a terrible Spring Training, don’t panic — at least not just yet. Theses things always seem to find a way of working out. But all the same, don’t set your hopes too high on a player or team who is putting up stellar numbers but is expected to do poorly this year. It likely won’t be able to last over the long 162-game year.

But then again, that’s why the games are played. Anything is truly possible from one year to the next.

Bryce Harper Speaks Out for More Emotion

The regular season is still several weeks away and Bryce Harper is already making headlines across baseball. Not for an amazing throw or catch, or even a mammoth homer out of the ballpark. Instead, Harper is being talked about for his recent comments on baseball’s unwritten rules that involve one of the game’s touchiest topics: emotion.

HarperIn recent seasons, certain players have taken some heat for showing emotion on the field after making a game-changing play. Guys who have taken their sweet time rounding the bases after a home run, such as David Ortiz, or pitchers who have pumped their fist in celebration of a big time strikeout, i.e. Jose Fernandez, have had a negative light put upon them by opposing teams and fans alike.

Because of this, Bryce Harper (who has also been criticized numerous times for his emotional gameplay) took a very verbal stance recently, opposing those who feel individual celebration and emotion have no place in baseball, saying, “It’s a tired sport, because you can’t express yourself . . . I’m not saying baseball is, you know, boring or anything like that, but it’s the excitement of the young guys who are coming into the game now who have flair.”

I’m not sure I agree with Harper in going as far as to say baseball is a tired sport. I for one think baseball is more exciting than ever, with players getting seemingly more and more talented each season, and subsequently posting some unbelievable numbers. But I do agree with him that it’s time for emotion to find a place in baseball, assuming the situation calls for it (I don’t want to see celebrating after a bases-empty single), as it is a natural reaction as a human being to have some sort of emotional display after doing what is essentially your job as a big leaguer: to help your team win.

What’s become tired to me is isn’t the sport, as Harper suggests, but players allowing their feeling to be hurt so easily because the opposing team’s batter took too long to circle the bases on a home run or stood and watched the ball for too long, resulting in them being plunked in their next at-bat as a form of retaliation. That’s what is making baseball a tired sport.

Not surprisingly, however, some players don’t agree with Harper’s words (or my opinions). San Francisco Giant’s reliever, Sergio Romo, stated, in response to Harper’s comments, that there is undoubtedly ways to show emotion without showing up the other side. But I find that hard to envision. Inevitably, there will always be someone who views another player’s celebratory action as uncalled for, no matter how innocent the intention may have been. That’s the way the world works, so players might as well just do their thing and not care what anyone thinks.

But while guys such as Bryce Harper obviously couldn’t care less what people think or say about them, I imagine they Bautistado care what opposing pitchers do in retaliation. In the recent past, as previously touched upon, it’s been common “tradition” to get back at a team who had a player celebrate a home run or big play by drilling another player — usually the superstar player — with a fastball. Giving every player the okay to be themselves and celebrate would hopefully cut down on these over the top retaliations.

Baseball has long been a sport of tradition, and while I’m all for that, I think baseball also needs to grow with the times. There is a rule in the official Major League Baseball rule book that states that players aren’t allowed to fraternize with opposing players at any point before, during or after the game; yet players are laughing and joking with each other from the time they take the field until the last out. The game has historically changed with the times, and we have reached a new point in that timeline.

Recent changes to the written rules have seen second basemen being protected from takeout slides, as well as advanced instant replay rules being put into place to help get calls correct. In my mind, it’s time for the unwritten rules to be looked at as well. I don’t want things to go as far as players dancing after every base hit, but I don’t think things will reach that point. All that players such as Harper are asking is that they be allowed to show off their talent while having fun with it all.

Emotion takes baseball players back to their little league days when baseball was simply just a game. That emotion is needed in baseball, not because “showing up” the opposing team is a good thing, but because baseball is a much better sport when players are being genuine with who they are and the way they are feeling.

As Bryce Harper put it, it’s time players showed their “flair”.

Latest MLB Leaders (April 5th – October 4th)

With the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take today to recap the entire season. It was all very exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that took place this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that lead that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Manny Machado and Kyle Seager (161).

Most At-Bats – Jose Altuve (638)

Most Hits – Dee Gordon (205)

Highest Average – Miguel Cabrera (.338)

Highest OBP – Bryce Harper (.460)

Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.649)

Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (122)

Most Doubles – Michael Brantley (45)

Most Triples – Eddie Rosario (15)

Most Home Runs – Chris Davis (47)

Most RBI’s – Nolan Arenado (130)

Most Base On Balls – Joey Votto (143)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Davis (208)

Most Stolen Bases – Dee Gordon (58)

Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (20)

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (29)

Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (30)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Nolan Arenado (11)

Most Total Bases – Nolan Arenado (354)

Most Extra Base Hits – Nolan Arenado (89)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Trevor Plouffe (28)

Most Ground Outs – Joe Mauer (242)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Joey Votto (3,020)

Most Plate Appearances – Manny Machado (713)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Jake Arrieta (22)

Most Losses – Shelby Miller (17)

Best ERA – Zack Greinke (1.66)

Most Games Started – Chris Archer (34)

Most Games Pitched – Kevin Siegrist (81)

Most Saves – Mark Melancon (51)

Most Innings Pitched – Clayton Kershaw (232.2)

Most Hits Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (228)

Most Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (122)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (118)

Most Home Runs Allowed – Kyle Kendrick and James Shields (33).

Most Strikeouts – Clayton Kershaw (301)

Most Walks – Tyson Ross (84)

Most Complete Games – Six players tied for most (4).

Most Shutouts – Jake Arrieta, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw (3).

Best Opponent Avg. – Jake Arrieta (.185)

Most Games Finished – Jeurys Familia (65)

Most Double Plays Achieved – John Lackey and Mike Pelfrey (29).

Most Wild Pitches – Garrett Richards (17)

Most Balks – Al Alburquerque, Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels (4).

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Jon Lester (44)

Most Pickoffs – Clayton Kershaw (9)

Most Batters Faced – Dallas Keuchel (911)

Most Pitches Thrown – Dallas Keuchel (3,492)

Latest MLB Leaders (April 5th – August 31st)

With the first five months of the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Manny Machado and Kyle Seager (131).

Most At-Bats – Yoenis Cespedes (523)

Most Hits – Jose Altuve and Dee Gordon (161)

Highest Average – Miguel Cabrera (.358)

Highest OBP – Miguel Cabrera (.460)

Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.626)

Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (101)

Most Doubles – Michael Brantley (40)

Most Triples – Kevin Kiermaier (12)

Most Home Runs – Nelson Cruz (39)

Most RBI’s – Josh Donaldson (108)

Most Base On Balls – Joey Votto (115)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Davis (175)

Most Stolen Bases – Billy Hamilton (54)

Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (16)

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (24)

Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (25)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Edwin Encarnacion and Ryan Zimmerman (9).

Most Total Bases – Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson (298)

Most Extra Base Hits – Josh Donaldson (72)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Trevor Plouffe (24)

Most Ground Outs – Nick Markakis (191)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Joey Votto (2,454)

Most Plate Appearances – Josh Donaldson (578)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Jake Arrieta (17)

Most Losses – Matt Garza and Aaron Harang (14).

Best ERA – Zack Greinke (1.61)

Most Games Started – Four players tied for most (28).

Most Games Pitched – Kevin Siegrist (66)

Most Saves – Mark Melancon (43)

Most Innings Pitched – Corey Kluber (200.1)

Most Hits Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (195)

Most Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (102)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (98)

Most Home Runs Allowed – Dan Haren and Anibal Sanchez (29).

Most Strikeouts – Clayton Kershaw (236)

Most Walks – Tyson Ross (74)

Most Complete Games – Mark Buehrle and Corey Kluber (4).

Most Shutouts – Nine players tied for most (9).

Best Opponent Avg. – Zack Greinke (.189)

Most Games Finished – Mark Melancon (54)

Most Double Plays Achieved – Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey (24).

Most Wild Pitches – Nathan Karns and Garrett Richards (14).

Most Balks – Johnny Cueto (4)

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Jon Lester (39)

Most Pickoffs – Brett Anderson (6)

Most Batters Faced – Corey Kluber (793)

Most Pitches Thrown – Corey Kluber (2,931)

Blue Jays Headed for Playoff Run?

At the beginning of the season, I didn’t see the Blue Jays doing much of anything in 2015. In fact, I had the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles all finishing ahead of them in the standings. But it seems that I will turn out to be very wrong when all is said and done.

The Jays currently sit second in the American League East, just behind the surprisingly dominant Yankees by four and a half games. As recently as a week ago, Toronto was six games back of first, and two out of the American League wild card. MLB: Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue JaysNow, after a terrific recent stretch of games that includes a four game winning streak to date, the Jays are in line to make the playoffs for the first time since 1993 when they won the World Series.

When the season kicked off in April, the Blue Jays were given a 27 percent chance of making the playoffs, but now they sit at a respectable 65 percent. The remaining schedule the Jays have left isn’t a cakewalk by any means, but if the Jays can continue their hot streak things could get very interesting down the road.

Although the Jays were already having a decent year before the trade deadline, a big reason for their recent run can somewhat be attributed to their acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price.

With Tulo in the lineup, the Jays take a dangerous middle of the order and turn it into a dangerous entire lineup from the very first pitch. Likewise, Price adds depth to their rotation, and should be able to help power their team forward as the year progresses.

No matter whether or not the Blue Jays end up making the playoffs — after all, there is close to two months still remaining — just the idea of it is enough to excite the fans around Toronto and around the baseball world in general. But if things continue to roll for the Jays and they make it into October, they could turn out to be a very formidable team to take on in a playoff series where anything can happen.

Latest MLB Leaders (April 5th – May 31st)

With the first two months of the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Marcus Semien (53)

Most At-Bats – Dee Gordon (207)

Most Hits – Dee Gordon (78)

Highest Average – Dee Gordon (.377)

Highest OBP – Bryce Harper (.469)

Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.724)

Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (43)

Most Doubles – Four players tied for most (17).

Most Triples – Paulo Orlando (5)

Most Home Runs – Nelson Cruz and Bryce Harper (18).

Most RBI’s – Giancarlo Stanton (44)

Most Base On Balls – Bryce Harper (44)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Carter (69)

Most Stolen Bases – Billy Hamilton (21)

Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (7)

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt (10).

Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (13)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Stephen Vogt (5)

Most Total Bases – Nelson Cruz (128)

Most Extra Base Hits – Josh Donaldson (29)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Casey McGehee and Andrelton Simmons (12).

Most Ground Outs – Nori Aoki (89)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Mookie Betts (925)

Most Plate Appearances – Jason Kipnis (238)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Bartolo Colon and Felix Hernandez (8).

Most Losses – Four players tied for most (7).

Best ERA – Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller (1.48).

Most Games Started – Twenty players tied for most (11).

Most Games Pitched – Jeremy Jeffress (27)

Most Saves – Glen Perkins (19)

Most Innings Pitched – Dallas Keuchel (81.2)

Most Hits Allowed – Jerome Williams (78)

Most Runs Allowed – Kyle Lohse (45)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Kyle Lohse (45)

Most Home Runs Allowed – James Shields (15)

Most Strikeouts – Corey Kluber (96)

Most Walks – Aaron Sanchez (37)

Most Complete Games – Four players tied for most (2).

Most Shutouts – Felix Hernandez and Shelby Miller (2).

Best Opponent Avg. – Shelby Miller (.175)

Most Games Finished – Glen Perkins (23)

Most Double Plays Achieved – Kyle Gibson (13)

Most Wild Pitches – Scott Feldman, Aaron Sanchez and C.J. Wilson (7).

Most Balks – Johnny Cueto (4)

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Tyson Ross (21)

Most Pickoffs – Julio Teheran and Alex Wood (4).

Most Batters Faced – David Price (314)

Most Pitches Thrown – Cole Hamels (1,169)

Yankees Setting Up for Contention In 2015?

As everyone is aware, the New York Yankees failed to make the playoffs in Derek Jeter’s farewell 2014 season, which was very disappointing to a great number of people. One of the few times in their storied franchise history that the Yankees went consecutive seasons without making the playoffs, things are currently in somewhat of a lull for the Bronx Bombers.

Now that Jeter is officially retired, and with the loss of their 2014 closer, David Robertson, to the White Sox via free agency, many are beginning to wonder just how much of a competitive team the Yankees will be in 2015. After finishing twelve games back of first in the American League East last season, they have a lot of ground to make up, but a division title Tanakaisn’t seemingly as far out of reach as it would appear.

Some of the Yankees offseason pickups last year failed to produce in 2014, due to either injury or a down statistical season. From Masahiro Tanaka to Jacoby Ellsbury to Carlos Beltran to Brian McCann — if those players can get back to their normal selves next season, combined with the already good bullpen of Dellin Betances and recently signed Andrew Miller, things should be better in 2015 for the Yankees.

But that’s without any changes whatsoever.

The Yankees, however, have in fact made a few tweaks to their roster that could have a big impact on their season success throughout the 162 game stretch.

Beginning with a trade that saw promising young shortstop Didi Gregorius coming to New York to take over the vacant spot left by Jeter, the Yankees would appear to have a long term “replacement” for the long time Captain.

Though Gregorius won’t be able fill the enormous legacy of Derek Jeter — no one could ever do that — he will give them a little added thump in their lineup and defense at the position. Another such player being Chase Headley, who the Yankees signed to a 4-year, 52 million dollar contract on Monday.

There’s a slight issue in the signing that everyone is pointing out, however: Headley plays third base. With the Yankees still owing third baseman Alex Rodriguez — who was out all last season due to a PED suspension — over 20 million a season for the next few years, it would be hard to envision them filling A-Rod’s place at the hot corner with a bargain priced third baseman. But it appears that the Yankees are doing just that.

Although the Yankees could move Headley around from time to time as the season progresses, it lines up that A-Rod is headed for merely a designated hitter role in 2015. After hitting 31 home runs to go along with 115 RBI’s back in 2012, chase-headleyHeadley hasn’t been that MPV-type of player since, but really impressed the Yankees after coming over from the Padres last season, hitting .262 in the 58 games with them to finish out the year.

If Headley can be solid at third base, and if Rodriguez can provide any sort of offensive production at the plate, the Yankees should be in good shape next year. But, where exactly would they fall if the season began tomorrow?

For me, I see them being like they were last season — a team that could potentially win a lot of games, but has to have a lot of things go right for them to post those type of collective numbers they’re capable of.

As stated earlier, if the Yankees can get full, healthy seasons out of Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann, etc., their overall production will increase naturally.

Another team in the division that should see their production increase due to several key moves is the Blue Jays. Signing veteran catcher Russell Martin, and trading for All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson, the Blue Jays could be a very competitive team in 2015. Though I feel they still need another year or two to put everything together, you never know for sure how a team will fare.

Even so, I feel the Red Sox are the team that has done more than enough to put themselves in line to win the American League East division. Signing Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez a few weeks ago, and adding much needed starting pitching in Justin Masterson, Rick Porcello and Wade Miley, Boston has put together a very solid team after their disastrous 2014 season.

Just the opposite, the Orioles have seen their team taken apart. Losing breakout slugger Nelson Cruz, veteran outfielder Nick Markakis, and dominant reliever Andrew Miller (to the Yankees), Baltimore certainly has some work to do before the start of the season in April. (The Rays also fall into that category, in my opinion.)

So, with such a packed division, seeing that every one of the teams in the east could potentially make big runs towards the division title, it should be fun to see how things play out. If I had to predict things right now, though, I feel confident in saying that the Yankees are setting themselves up to break their postseason drought in the coming year.

Orioles Losing Pieces As the Offseason Rolls Along

After around a dozen Baltimore Orioles players from the 2014 season declared free agency, you knew it was only a matter of time before the O’s began to lose at least a few of those players to other teams. Nelson+Cruz+Texas+Rangers+v+Baltimore+Orioles+sPqX6mLlElhl

However, that doesn’t make things any easier for the Orioles or their fans, as after losing breakout slugger Nelson Cruz to the Mariners they are now losing long time Oriole Nick Markakis to the Braves.

Cruz officially departed the team a few days ago, when he signed a four-year contract with the Mariners worth 58 million dollars, choosing to head to Seattle after a mega-breakout season with the Orioles in 2014.

Coming off a performance enhancing drug scandal in 2013, Cruz proceeded to dominate last season, blasting a major league leading 40 home runs while driving in 108 runs and hitting a solid .271.

While those numbers came at Camden Yards, Cruz should still have a good deal of power at Safeco Field — a place known to not be a very hitter friendly ballpark. Combined with a lineup of Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager, who just recently signed a seven-year extension worth 100 million dollars, the Mariners look to be in good shape for 2015.

Another team that would appear to be improving and shaping up for a good 2015 season is the Atlanta Braves. Picking up Nick Markakis — the second big free agent loss for the Orioles thus far — to fill the right field spot left vacant by the trade of Jason Heyward, the Braves found themselves a nice replacement in the outfield.

MarkakisMarkakis continued a string of solid statistical seasons last year, hitting .276 while blasting 14 homers and recording 50 RBI’s. Getting a four-year, 44 million dollar deal from the Braves, Markakis should provide them with a good leadoff option beginning in 2015.

By also adding former Orioles pitcher Jim Johnson to their bullpen for a mere 1.6 million dollars, the Braves should see some improvement in 2015 if all goes as planned.

But while the loss of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis are sure to have an affect on the Orioles moving forward, things seemingly aren’t over yet.

Dominant free agent reliever Andrew Miller is also going to be on the move following a 62.1 inning season in which he posted a 2.02 ERA while striking out 103 and limiting opponents to a .153 batting average, after coming over from the Red Sox midseason. He will undoubtedly be a valuable pickup for whichever team signs him.

With the key losses that have already occurred for the Orioles, and with there soon to be even more triming to their overall roster, many people are wondering where it all will cause the Orioles to fall in 2015. In my opinion, that’s a very good question.

The Orioles still have a solid depth of starting pitching, including Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, and Kevin Gausman, as well as a decent bullpen, consisting of pitchers such as Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day. However, while they could get by with the pitchers they have, you can never have too much pitching.Miller

In my mind, the Orioles need to add a bit more depth to their bullpen. With the looming loss of Andrew Miller, the Orioles have a hole or two to fill in the back end of games. But they still have plenty of time to do so and plenty of options to choose from.

What the Orioles currently have none of, however, is outfield depth, after the loss of Markakis. With Adam Jones performing at an All-Star level being a given, the rest of their outfield options, including Steve Pearce, who had a career high 21 homers in 2014, remain a question mark. (Reportedly, there have been talks of a trade to bring Matt Kemp over from the Dodgers, but that’s yet to take off.)

Coming off a 96-win season, the Orioles very well could play to that level if the season began tomorrow, especially with the return of Matt Wieters and Manny Machado, who both experienced some health issues last season. However, in the more likely scenario, they would take a bit of a fall in the standings, which is why some changes need to be made.

Reaching the playoffs in 2014, only to be swept by the Royals in the American League Championship Series, the Orioles certainly have to make some moves to help counteract the missing production of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis. Lucklily for them, we’re just 36 days removed from the World Series, leaving around four months until the start of the 2015 season for the Orioles to throw together another championship-caliber team.

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