Tag Archives: Polanco

Santo elected to HOF

Ron Santo, who played in Chicago from 1960-1974, was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Santo played for the Cubs in all but his last season, when he went to the Big Bad Leroy Brown part of town (the South Side of Chicago, where the White Sox reside).

Santo hit 342 career HR, 337 as a 3B. The only players to hit more HR as a 3B were Schmidt, Mathews, Chipper Jones, Nettles, and Matt Williams. Santo’s 337/342 is just above Gary Gaetti’s 332/360. If you are shocked that Gaetti had 360 HR, you aren’t alone. So was I.

Santo was a 9x All-Star, with 5 Gold Glove awards. His .277 average and 342 HR were established in an era known for its pitching (Carlton, Seaver, Gibson, Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal, Bunning). Santo’s OPS+ was a 125. Four times he finished in the top 10 of MVP voting. He topped 30 HR each year from 1964-1967 and he drove in 100 or more runs four times. He died last year at the age of 70. Santo retired at the age of 34. He battled diabetes his whole life and eventually had both legs amputated.

Of course, as a Cub (before divisional play and the wild card), Santo, like his teammate Ernie Banks, played in no postseason games.

Missing out in the Veterans Committee vote were Jim Kaat, Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, and my personal favorite, Allie Reynolds, among others.

So I read today where Brett Favre will listen if the Bears (hurting for a QB with Cutler out) come a’calling. My response, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I read good things about Yankees prospect Mason Williams today. How some in the organization expect the 20 yr. old OF to rise quickly, and they expect him to start at High-A Tampa. Williams hit .349 with 28 SB at Staten Island this past season, in just 68 games. I will just beat John Sterling to the punch right here with the first “Classical Gas” mention of Mason Williams. (If you don’t know…Classical Gas was a hit instrumental for a musician named Mason Williams in 1968).

So, you are wondering why the Yanks haven’t made a move yet? Try this. The Yanks asked about John Danks from the White Sox. The asking price? Manny Banuelos AND Jesus Montero. For a guy who was 8-12, 4.33, ERA+ 97 last year and who is 54-56, 4.03 ERA+ 111 in his career.

Supposedly the Phils are shopping Polanco. One report has that they were going to trade him for Michael Young of the Rangers last year. The Rangers backed out. Could you imagine Young on the Phils?

Hmmm. Aaron Harang goes to the Dodgers, who got Adam Kennedy last week as a backup inf. Harang was 14-7, 3.64, ERA+ 98 for the Padres in 2011. 95-94, ERA+ 101 (epitome of average?) in his career. Then the Dodgers sign Jerry Hairston, Jr. (.270-5-31, OPS+ 99 for Washington/Milw. this past season). Previous to that, they signed Chris Capuano. I thought they were broke after that McCourt divorce and were for sale?

Rumor is that the Nats have offered C.J. Wilson a six-year deal. They better hope if they get him that his first year in D.C. is better than Jayson Werth’s.

Miami (after Bell and Reyes) is now after Pujols? Since when did they become the Yankees?

Update: Apparently it’s not the Nats who offered the six-year deal to Wilson. I like what SI’s Jon Heyman wrote:

Excellent point by an al exec: “if cj wilson has a legitimate 6 year offer he should just take it.”

The Angels are in on Wilson, which would give them Wilson, Haren, Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana.

Meanwhile,  another tweet from Heyman:

hearing #Marlins boosted offer to pujols to 10 years, matching arod’s in length. they are obvs pushing hard.

Umm….if Pujols isn’t 31 (many suspect he’s older), that 10-year deal could really be a problem.

Outside the lines.

Interesting stuff going on elsewhere in baseball.

A lot of rib cage injuries, Jason Bay being the latest. It’s funny how Suzyn Waldman on the radio said to stop the weightlifting. She does have a point. I remember a comment made years ago by Tony Kubek advising flexibility and not muscle-boundness. Interesting.

The sordidness of the Bonds trial is also interesting. The Giambis testimony. Jason’s testimony casts a dark spell on his time in 2003 with the Yanks (but then you wonder how it also affected his poor 2004 and therefore the ALCS of that year). So much went on then, with so many players that all you can do is shake your head. Sad. If you think this is bad enough, what happens when Clemens goes to trial?

Now the Phils have Lidge out 3-6 weeks. Utley already a question mark. Polanco has problems. … and more. Bad Karma there. I wonder what the Phils’ fans that I heard not long ago who predicted 105 wins are saying now? Hey, it’s like I’ve been saying. You have to play the games.


S.T. Game #18. Finally down to business?

The game recap may be in a different thread. Stay tuned.

One reason for that is because I want the title and purpose of this post to stay. Here is today’s lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C

RHP Freddy Garcia

Outside of Brett Gardner, what do you see? You see a lineup of regulars. No offense to the scrubs, but there are no bench players in the starting lineup today. No Nunez, Pena, Maxwell, Laird, Vazquez, Montero, Golson, etc. … Nope. What you see could be a lineup in July. With Garcia on the mound.

Not only that, Rivera should be making his first appearance in a game today. LoHud states: We’ll see a lot of the regular Yankees bullpen, with Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson also scheduled to pitch.

Together with that lineup, it’ll seem like a regular season game.

Available in the bullpen today: Rivera, Soriano, Chamberlain, Robertson, Brackman, Romulo Sanchez, Steve Garrison, Ryan Pope, Eric Wordekemper and Dellin Betances. Everyone after Brackman seems to be a backup.

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Eric Chavez, 2B Ronnie Belliard, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Kevin Russo, LF Melky Mesa, CF Austin Krum, RF Daniel Brewer and DH Kyle Higashioka.

In other words, NOW we get serious. Hopefully not much more (if any) looks at Rule 5 pitchers or pitchers AAA or AA bound that we know aren’t prospects (I’d love to see more of Banuelos and Betances, though). Now I also want to know how long the starters go. Six? Seven? No more three innings and out anymore.

Cuts should be today.

Something to watch out for: There is a nice piece by Phil Rogers today about a potential developing deal that could have serious ramifications for the AL and NL pennant races. As you know, Michael Young isn’t too happy with his situation in Texas. Young can play 2B, SS and 3B. The Phils have concerns about Chase Utley’s knee. Could Texas and Philly be working on a deal to send Young to Philly, maybe for a pitcher (no, not Halladay or Lee)? Rogers states that according to sources, the Phils proposed Blanton and Polanco for Young. After losing Jayson Werth via free agency to Washington, the Phils are top-heavy in lefty hitting. Young would alleviate that with his righty bat. Texas could get back some pitching help to alleviate the hit they took when Lee signed on with Philly. Rogers reports that the Phils (currently 2nd in payroll to the Yanks) wanted Texas to pick up the $16MM Young is owed in 2013, when Blanton’s and Polanco’s deals will be off the books. The Rangers passed, but it’s something to keep eyes on. It’s one of those deals that does make sense all the way around, and one that could have huge implications throughout both leagues. Could the Rangers hold out for Oswalt or Hamels and break up that Phab Phour before they get rolling? Who knows. I’ve wondered why the Phils don’t look at David Eckstein. He’s a free agent, and a pest who has won two WS rings and a WS MVP. Eckstein has no power and is 36, but is one of those players who knows how to win. He does all the little things (and no, that is not a joke on his height). I’d look at him if I were in that situation. Anyway, Rogers says that Texas CEO Nolan Ryan and Phils’ special assistant Charlie Kerfeld are good friends from when they were teammates on the 1986 Astros’ NL West Champs. He also states that both teams have been closely following each other. This is a good “heads up” by Rogers about something that has serious potential. Kudos to Rogers for the info.          

Update from the Lower Hudson Journal (LoHud):

Looks like we have our first set of cuts. Adam Warren and D.J. Mitchell are clearing their lockers. The lockers for David Phelps, Hector Noesi, Brian Anderson, Andy Sisco and Buddy Carlyle are already empty.

Therefore we learn one thing. The #4 and #5 slots won’t go to longshots Phelps, Warren or Noesi. They’ll be AAA-bound. It’s between Nova, Colon, Garcia and Mitre.  

Happy birthday, Manny Banuelos. The young phenom turns 20 today. As LoHud states, youngest guy in camp.

Also cut: Neal Cotts. More from Lohud:

The only minor league starters still in big league camp are Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos (and maybe Steve Garrison, depending on how the Yankees plan to use him this season). Might not be long before the Yankees have to send some of the Killer Bs down as well to give them innings.

(My note: midseason call possibilities?) Combined spring numbers for Mitchell and Warren: 8 G, 10.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 2.53 ERA. Mitchell walked no one. Warren allowed just one earned run.


Game 79. Which AJ do we get? Did Dr. Eiland fix him?

Before getting to AJ, some news.

I’m more a grind it out ground guy, but join fans of the passing game in bidding farewell to Don “Air” Coryell, a father of the passing game. He didn’t get Fouts and Co. to the Super Bowl, but was a great NFL coach and innovator. Coryell died at the age of 85.

Doc Rivers and Phil Jackson are coming back to coach another season. For Jackson, he’ll be shooting for his 12th NBA title as a coach.

Already I’m sick and tired of the Lebron James talk. I hope he decides soon.

This should be an interesting month, and not only for the Cliff Lee debate. Where does Lee go. It could be interesting because of teams looking to fill needs. Needs dictated by the DL? Can the Yanks get a bat to replace the one DL’d Nick Johnson was supposed to provide? With Chase Utley out two months (and Polanco also on the DL) can the Phils pick up an infielder? Heck, Rollins missed most of the year so far. What about Boston, which has Martinez and Pedroia out with fractures, and who have missed Ellsbury and Cameron for much of this year? What about guys coming back? Will Beltran make a difference?

Maybe the Phils (with Utley out) can move Polanco back to second (once he gets off the DL) and make a push for Mike Lowell. (Update: Lowell is on the DL, but when it gets closer to the deadline, if Lowell is off the DL, will he be available? Attractive? He hasn’t played much this year and is a gamble, but…if his hip is ok and he proves that he can play 3B a few times a week, or platoon with Dobbs…) 

I’d love for the Yanks to get Ty Wigginton. Versatile, can spell Alex, Cano or Teix for a day, can DH, can even play some left. With Utley’s injury, I would not be surprised to see the Phils in the Wigginton mix.

Which AJ today?
Which AJ do we get today? The Dr. Jekyll who started
4-0, 1.99 or the Mr. Hyde who has gone 0-5, 11.35 over
the last month?

It may be too much to ask Dave Eiland, just off his hiatus, to immediately fix what’s been wrong with A.J. Burnett. But fix it he must. A.J. is like the monster, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. You don’t get anything in between, it seems. He is either very good or very bad.

The Yanks are in first with basically three starters clicking all year. Hughes and Andy have been pretty consistent all year. A.J. was there early while CC had some struggles and Javy was awful. Now CC is coming on. Javy is more consistent (although not great) but A.J. has tanked. For the most part it has been 3, maybe 3 1/2 starters clicking. You’d like to have all five, but that may be unrealistic.

But if they can get that fourth starter clicking (and why we hope AJ is straightened out, and soon), maybe the Yanks can open up some breathing room by the break or shortly after it. Right now you have the Yankees 1 1/2 up on Boston and 2 up on Tampa. Tampa has the 4th best record in baseball (Texas is #2 and Boston #3) but is only third in their own division. I never liked the 3-division with a wild card setup. It’s too easy to have three great teams in one division and some 84 win division winner elsewhere.

Which A.J. do we get today? Put it this way, he can’t be worse than he was in June, can he? We hope not.

Dustin Moseley had an out in his contract as of July 1st. The Yanks pulled him out of a start in SWB but haven’t put him on the big league roster yet. Maybe they do today. They may just be wondering who to can—Gaudin or Park.         

Interesting. One guy wrote about Jose Montero a few months ago. Now the same guy writes of Jesse Montero. You’d think a first name like JESUS wouldn’t be too hard to forget.  

UPDATE: LoHud is reporting that Moseley is in the bullpen for today but the corresponding move hasn’t been made yet. Moseley, the former Angel, is 8-7, 5.41 in his MLB career. The 28 year old righty was 4-4, 4.21 at SWB.   

Update II: Logan was sent down.  

Boston Bruised, Battered

 Tough times for the Red Sox, even though they are only a couple of games behind the Bombers.


Fractured bones for 2B Dustin Pedroia and C Victor Martinez.

Another tough outing for Stephen Strasburg tonight. Six scoreless, no support, then a botched DP ball by the SS helps lead to two runs in the 7th.

LoHud reports that Dustin Moseley could be on his way to the Yanks. It’ll be interesting to see who he replaces. Gaudin? Park? Moseley’s MLB career shows an 8-7, 5.41 mark. The 28 year old was 4-4, 4.21 at SWB.

Gardner just has a bruised wrist after an HBP. No break, thank goodness.

If you get a chance, check out Phil Mushnick’s NY Post column today in which he rips Sterling and Waldman.

Update: Now the Tigers have someone go down as Joel Zumaya fractures a bone in his elbow and is done for the year. Check out the YouTube video on that. Ouch.

Minors: 17 year old C Gary Sanchez at GCL Yankees. 11 for 26. .423. 3 doubles. 3 HR and 11 RBI. Granted 20 year old Montero is having a rough time at AAA this year (.251-6-31 but picking it up lately) but 21 year old Romine isn’t doing badly at AA (.286-5-41). Granted for their youth, the catching prospects are looking good. Struggling is Kyle Higashioka at low A Charleston. .200-5-17

More ouch as the Phils put Utley AND Polanco on the DL.



Weekend wrap

As we head into the weekend, what do we see over the past couple of days?

The Rose Bowl is set. Oregon (who beat Oregon St. in what basically was the Pac-10 title game) vs. Ohio St.

The Phils got a 3B. 34 year old Placido Polanco is going back to Philly, where he spent part of 2002, all of 2003 and 2004 and part of 2005. He hit .285-10-72 for the Tigers last year, OPS+88. Gold Glove at 2B (which he also won in 2007). The Phils will move him from 2B to 3B. Earlier, the Phils didn’t renew the contract of Pedro Feliz, their 3B from this year. Polanco is a .303 career hitter, OPS+98, who doesn’t strike out much (43 per 162 g. average) but doesn’t walk much either (35 per 162). His 162 g. average is .303-10-64. I hear talk of him in the #2 spot behind Rollins with Victorino dropping down. I think that may be a mistake. Maybe the Phils should bat Victorino (.292-10-62/.358 OBA/.445 SA/OPS+ 109/25 SB) leadoff and move Rollins (.250-21-77/.296 OBP/.423 SA/OPS+ 86/31 SB) down. Keep the better OBP in front of Utley and Howard and drop the better slugger down. Polanco at 2? .285-10-72/.331 OBP/.396 SA; doesn’t have the steals, but… The Phils could go Victorino (S)/Polanco (R)/Utley (L)/Howard (L)/Werth (R)/Ibanez (L)/Rollins (S)/Diaz (R)/pitcher. They have Brian Schneider (L; 2009 Mets .218-3-24 in 59 games, OPS+67) to backup Diaz (R; .255-9-43 in 107 games OPS+ 104).   

The Braves signed Billy Wagner. The 38 year old missed most of 2009 due to TJ surgery which ended his 2008 season. In 2008 for the Mets, Wags went 0-1, 2.30 with 27 saves before the injury. Last year, in 17 games, just 15 2/3 IP (Mets and Red Sox), Wagner was 1-1, 1.72. He has 385 saves in his MLB career with a 2.39 ERA.

Not to be outdone, and getting someone OLDER to share the closer’s spot with Wagner, the Braves also signed Takashi Saito off of Boston. Saito will be 40 next Valentine’s Day. He was 3-3, 2.43 for the Red Sox this past year. In his short MLB career (he didn’t come over from Japan until he was 36 in 2006) he is 15-10, 2.05. He spent 2006-2008 with the Dodgers before going to Boston.

Apparently the Braves felt that they would lose both Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano. I am reading a lot about how the Yanks are very interested in Soriano, who was 1-6, 2.97, 27 saves for the Braves in 2009. 102 K in 75 2/3. They see his power arm as setting up RIvera (with, conceivably, both Joba and Hughes possibly in the rotation—especially if Pettitte retires). Soriano is 8-18 in his MLB career, but with an ERA of 2.92 and a 9.9K/9IP ratio. The soon-to-be 30 year old did have injury issues for Seattle in 2004-2005 and with the Braves in 2008. He is a righty. Interesting that (with Robertson, Melancon, as well as Hughes, Aceves and Joba) that the Yanks’ interest is in Soriano, when you might think it would lie more with the lefty Gonzalez, being that the Yanks’ lefties are Marte and Coke. I wonder, after his excellent postseason, how much stock the Yanks have in Marte, who is still signed for two more years at a nice piece of change.

In a recent column, Joel Sherman lists alternatives if the Yanks can’t bring back Damon. He is not thinking Bay or Holliday but cheaper—Cameron, Winn, bring back Nady, Ankiel, Juan Rivera. One name he floats is someone I liked a few years ago. Before signing Damon (something I didn’t see coming, an ultimate Red Sox “idiot” coming to the Bronx), I advocated two people for CF as Bernie’s successor. One was Victorino, then in the Phils minor league system. The other is someone Sherman puts out as one of the names (not mentioned above)—David DeJesus. DeJesus hit .281-13-71 OPS+106 in KC and maybe Yankee Stadium could suit his lefty swing a bit better. A local lad from Brooklyn, he will be 30 in a few weeks. $3.6M, mostly LF but CF in the past and you know how I feel about CF playing LF in Yankee Stadium (basically that with the 399 to LCF, you need to CFs out there, with the weaker one in LF. Damon, a former CF, fit that bill this year like Chad Curtis did in 1998-1999). Sherman says $4.7M for DeJesus in KC in 2010. Not the power of Matsui or Damon, but not bad production for the price (and we know the price of Matsui and Damon was $13M each in 2009).

George King floats that if Damon is lost at #2, that Chone Figgins could play LF and leadoff (dropping Jeter back to #2). Figgins could play 3B on days where A-Rod DH’s. Interesting. Figgins also matches that “CF actually in LF” mode. Should that ever come to be and you had say, Figgins leading off with Jeter second and say, it’s a game where Brett Gardner is in CF batting 9th…the other team’s catcher could be going nuts. Do I see Figgins in NY? No, but just riding King’s thought a little here.

Update:I see that Figgins is going to Seattle. Interesting in how he has been such a pain in the ass to Yankee fans while with the Angels. I have to e-mail “Uncle Joe” Colarusso from YFCR. You know how much he hates the Angels. Does this mean the Angels will be less of a thorn in the Yankees side? Seattle would then have Figgins and Ichiro as leadoff guys. King Felix will like that. But how much (if anything) does Junior have left at 40? Will Beltre return?  

Seattle is also apparently heavily after Jason Bay. It looks like they may be big players this offseason.

Marco Scutaro to Boston to be their next SS. I saw rumors of the mighty mite, Pedroia going to SS. Just rumors, it appears. Scutaro was .282-12-60 for Toronto last year. OPS+111, the only year the 34 year old has been over 100 OPS+ in his career. 162 g. average, .265-10-57, OPS+ 92. It seems like a nice, but not earth-shattering pickup.  

I watched the WS DVD. Nice to be reminded (in Games 3 and 4) of how close JD may have been from winning the WS MVP himself—and not Matsui. He did so much in both of those games, and not just the double-steal.

Also, it was interesting to see the one hit that Utley had that wasn’t a HR. Utley had six hits in the Series, five of them homers (tying Reggie Jackson for the most in a WS). Do you know what that sixth hit was? It was a double hitting high off the RF wall, where the Phils have that two feet of Plexiglass or whatever the heck it is. So, for three feet or so, Utley may have had the record to himself and could have had six HR in one WS.

Also nice to be reminded on the DVD of Lee being the first to have 10K/0 BB in a WS game since Deacon Phillippe in the very first WS game in 1903; Andy’s 18 postseason wins; Rivera’s 0.74 postseason ERA (WS ERA 0.99); and the quartet (Core Four as also known) each with five WS rings—most by teammates since 1962, when Yogi got #10, Mickey #7 and Whitey #6.

One tidbit on the DVD that will make you smile is the piece in which Jeter mentions Pettitte always talking about his hitting and now with the hit and WS RBI Jeter will have to hear Pettitte talk about it at Old Timers’ Days 30 years from now. Funny…and cute. 

Did you see the photo of a guy on a plane who was so obese he was taking up one seat and half the aisle? C’mon buddy, lose the weight. Not to be cruel, but a huge safety and security issue. I mean this guy was so huge that getting out the emergency exit would be a struggle! Check out the photo for yourself.

Fat man on plane
I hope the passengers didn’t have to use the bathroom.

Speaking of fat guys, I guess you saw that Mangino resigned (or was forced to) from Kansas based on how he was supposedly treating and abusing players. If those allegations are accurate, Kansas had no choice.

The Post states that besides Aroldis Chapman, that the Yanks are also looking at another heat-throwing Cuban defector—Israel Soto.

Got to love the Tiger jokes in the Post today…cruel, but good…hey, he has no one to blame but himself.

Thanks to Mike F. for sending along the SI write-up on Sportsman of the Year Jeter. As Jason wrote, good piece in there of Jeter ripping Witasick after Game 6 of the 2001 WS (a game in which Witasick was pathetic but seemed to “shrug it off.”). Funny how each of the four outs Witasick got were K’s…but he also gave up 9R, 8ER, 10 hits in that 1 1/3 IP. In the article, Posada remarks that it was as mad as he ever saw Jeter get. I wish I was a fly on the wall to hear Jeter tell Witasick off. Witasick’s 2002 WS appearance (for SF) wasn’t any better…

If you didn’t like Skip Caray on TBS you are in luck. He isn’t there anymore. TBS let him go.