Posts Tagged ‘toronto blue jays’

Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: Matt Moore Loses, David Wright Breaks Finger & More for @TheFantasyFix

Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: Matt Moore Loses, David Wright Breaks Finger & More for The Fantasy Fix: http://www.thefantasyfix.com/1/post/2012/04/lang-dailyfix-41112.html.

The column covers fantasy baseball and roto impressions from last night, focusing on Matt Moore, Austin Jackson, Dee Gordon, Daniel Bard, Edwin Encarnacion, Kelly Johnson, Neftali Feliz, Kyle Lohse, David Freese, David Wright, Justin Turner, Wei-Yin Chin, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Kyle Drabeck, Chris Young, Edinson Volquez, and much more!

Henderson Alvarez: 2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper, Future Stud for @thefantasyfix

Henderson Alvarez: 2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper, Future Stud for The Fantasy Fix:

http://www.thefantasyfix.com/1/post/2012/03/henderson-alvarez-2012-fantasy-baseball-sleeper302.html.

The more I look at Henderson Alvarez the more I like him for the year in Fantasy Baseball and future years. He’ll be a stud.

Kelly Johnson, 2012 Fantasy Baseball & Roto Outlook for Razzball

Kelly Johnson, 2012 Fantasy Baseball & Roto Outlook for Razzball: http://razzball.com/kelly-johnson-2012-fantasy-outlook/

Check You out on the Flip Side: Ken Schrom

For some reason, the cards with the most interesting information seem to be from players who had limited to no appearances after 1987 (and obviously the 1987 Topps set was the gold standard for back-of-card information – or lack thereof).

Schrom was no different. He wrapped up his seven-year career in 1986 by posting a 6.50 ERA, 5.70 FIP and 1.57 WHIP in 153.2 IPs.

Until then, Schrom had been a reasonably, albeit completely average, innings eater over the course of his career.

His best season (which wasn’t the year he made the All-star team, oddly (or not) enough) was 1983 for the Minnesota Twins. He went 15-8 in 196.1 IPs, and posted a 3.71 ERA, 4.23 FIP and 1.41 WHIP.

His All-star appearance in 1986 was almost entirely driven by the BABIP gods. Before the ASG, his BABIP was .241 and he had a 3.88 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. After the ASG, his BABIP was .291 and he had a 5.44 ERA and 1.39 WHIP – holy regression monster.

Schrom definitely learned the ins and out of baseball however. While playing, he spent over 15 seasons with the El Paso Diablos and now is an executive of the Corpus Christi Hooks. I always remark on the odd jobs players had to have in the off-season, even in the 80s. As odd jobs go, working with a minor league squad seems about the best.

If you don’t know the Diablos, the organization graduated such notable players as Tom Brunansky, Bob Ferris, Teddy Higuera, Randy Johnson, Byung-Hyun Kim, Carney Lansford, Lyle Overbay, Brad Penny, Gary Sheffield, Dan Uggla, Brandon Webb, Cory Lidle, Carlos Quentin and Chris Snyder.

It has to be pretty to cool to both be a major leaguer and help develop major league talent. Kudos to Schrom!

Follow h2h_corner on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/h2h_corner

h2h Corner ~ Check You out on the Flip Side: John McDonald

I really don’t want to drag McDonald through the mud…but the person who wrote the back of this card must have about the loosest grasp of the game of baseball as anyone.

Since when does a pivotal base runner steal just six bases? If your previous career high was 3 stolen bases two years ago, saying he established a career high is meaningless. Rickey Henderson or Tim Raines establishing a career high, now that’s back of card worthy.

Similarly, two years before this card was printed McDonald accumulated 14 RBIs. It’s just not interesting (or maybe in that fact that it is so uninteresting it has become interesting) that he beat that total by two.

The author did get something right – it looks like McDonald was good defensively in 2005. He had the third best UZR of his career, so there’s that.

In actuality, 2005 was McDonald’s best season, but not because he stole six bases or knocked in 16 guys. No sir. It was the only time his average on balls in play was above .290 (his career number is .267). It’s really amazing that he has stuck around for 13 seasons. I can’t imagine the author of the back of this card lasted that long.

Still, his career isn’t without note. In 2007, he was voted the most popular Blue Jay (beating Roy Halladay). He is often known as the “Prime Minister of Defense” which, apparently, is a play on the first prime minister of Canada (yeah I thought they just let those Mounties run the country also).

But, most notably, McDonald is one of two players in major league history, according to Wikipedia, to be traded for himself.

Of course the most momentous trade of McDonald’s career would come in 2011, when the Blue Jays shipped him and Aaron Hill to Arizona for Kelly Johnson. The desert wasn’t kind to McDonald who batted just .169/.222/.203 for his new team, but he’s been average on defense!

As a glove man, he’s fantastic. As a baseball player, he’s better than Willie Bloomquist.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out on the Flip Side: Hoyt Wilhelm (via Candy Maldonado)

Before the summer of 1991, when I was just 9, I thought I knew everything about baseball – and, if not everything about baseball, everything about the Baltimore Orioles. I grew up going to games with my family. I also tagged along with my father and some of his college friends, one of which played “fantasy baseball.” This particular friend was astounded at my ability to recall statistics, trades, etc.

What changed that summer? I rode in a car driven by my father to Cooperstown, New York. We had an old Volkswagen Rabbit (I think) without A/C. I had purchased Pocket Full of Kryptonite (holy crap what a video) before the trip and we listened to it on repeat the entire way – my father must have hated the Spin Doctors.

Anyway, the whole city is amazing, baseball card stores, memorabilia abounds – and that doesn’t include the awesome history-rich spectacle that is the Hall of Fame. On this trip, I opened a 1989 Upper Deck pack and received a Ken Griffey, Jr. card. Magic.

Getting to actually go into the Hall was a special thrill. I got my picture taken in-between the plaques of Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson. Then we wandered around and I saw Hoyt Wilhelm. I had no freaking clue who Hoyt Wilhelm was. I had never studied my Candy Maldonado cards apparently (probably because I hated Maldonado even though I sort of liked the Blue Jays teams from the early 90s…Maldonado always seemed to make errors and lollygag. But, I’ve already written about Maldonado so there’s no reason to dwell).

Wilhelm, who pitched as a 48-year-old, had a career that spanned 21 seasons and 2,254 innings and he racked up a bunch of records on the way.

Wilhelm appeared in the fifth most games in history by a pitcher: 1,070, which trails only Dennis Eckersley, Mike Stanton, John Franco and Jesse Orosco – modern day relievers. He also owns the 30th best ERA (2.52) by a pitcher with at least 1,500 IPs. He owns the most career victories in relief: 124 – a record not likely to ever be broken. He also pitched the most innings in relief in MLB history: 1,871.

And that knuckleball was devastating, resulting in the eighth lowest opposing batting average – people hit just .216 off him – a mark better than Randy Johnson. Hell his knuckleball was so good, the Baltimore Orioles created a bigger mitt so catchers could handle it.

And, really, it wouldn’t be until he joined the Orioles that his career would take off. He spent eight seasons with the New York Giants, St. Louis, and Cleveland, until the Indians gave up on him and Baltimore claimed him off waivers. He pitched for parts of five years for the Orioles, amassing 14.7 wins above replacement player, a 2.42 ERA and 2.28 K:BB walk rate. Eventually he would be part of a trade that brought the Orioles Luis Apiricio.

Still, Wilhelm is probably most remembered for September 20, 1958 when he threw a no-hitter against the hated Yankees and Mr. Perfect, Don Larsen. The Yankees wouldn’t be no-hit for another 45 years.

Then, the following year, on August 6, 1959, Wilhelm almost pitched a no-hitter in relief. Entering the game at the start of the ninth inning, Wilhelm held the White Sox hitless for 8⅔ innings before finally surrendering a hit in the 17th.

Wilhelm also fought in Europe during World War II and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. He received the Purple Heart.

I’ve found my way to a number of Hoyt Wilhelm cards over the years (all pictured here). I realize he’s a borderline Hall of Famer, at best, but his career remains terribly fascinating to this day. I stumbled upon his life much the same way I stumbled onto this topic – just cruising through baseball history looking to soak up knowledge. Who knew something good could come from Candy Maldonado?

Follow h2h_corner on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/h2h_corner

Don’t Look Back in Anger: Brett Cecil, Felipe Paulino, Edwin Encarnacion

Don’t Look Back in Anger: Brett Cecil, Felipe Paulino, Edwin Encarnacion For Razzball:

http://razzball.com/don%E2%80%99t-look-back-in-anger-brett-cecil-felipe-paulino-edwin-encarnacion/

 

Don’t Look Back In Anger: Adam Lind, Brandon Morrow, Justin Masterson

At Razzball: http://razzball.com/dont-look-back-in-anger-adam-lind-brandon-morrow-justin-masterson/

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Rance Mulliniks

mullinkis backmullinkis frI feel like I am incredibly qualified to comment on the back of this card. See, my full name is Albert Leroy Lang III.

The name Albert stands out…and not in a good way like the name Dylan (stupid 90210) does. Furthermore, with a middle name like Leroy (even if it means ‘the King’ – and I do nominate we call LeBron LeBroy) there isn’t much to fall back on. So, for most of my life, I kinda sorta didn’t like my name.

But that began to change as I began to age and standing out of a crowd was much better than fitting cozily inside a fence. My name, while unoriginal, is original. But, more importantly, it represents the history of my family on my father’s side. Plus my initials spell a word – take that haters/younger me!

The original ALL was a hilarious and generous man who never graduated high school. He was a decorated member of the Baltimore City fire department and started his own plumbing business. He was a fierce Baltimore Colts fan and could pick a crab cleaner than Ozzie Smith could a ground ball.

The sequel would be my father, who went to local Loyola College, became a mathematician and NSA employee, got some MBAs, grew to understand the wave of the future (computers) and met my mom! Not bad…he was also a devoted Baltimore Colts fan…who has grown into a reasonable Washington Redskins fan.

I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan. The one thing all three iterations have in common – outside of our name – is a love of the Baltimore Orioles. I & II are the reasons I can recite the great Balmore teams of the Robinsons, Paul Blair, Boog Powell, Len Sakata, Apparicio, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray and the immortal Earl Weaver.

So, when I first checked out the back of Mulliniks card, my initial reaction was why would your ever name you kid Rance? But just like with Bert Blyleven, initial reactions betray us; the card quickly lead me to thoughts of my own lineage. Thoughts I’m incredibly proud of.

Hopefully Rance II is as proud of his father’s accomplishments – he should be. Mulliniks would see his first major league action in 1977 as a 21 year old with the California Angels. However, he’d be used sparingly (appearing in just 150 games over three years with the major league club).

In 1979, he’d be traded with Willie Aikens to the Kansas City Royals for Al Cowens, Todd Cruz and Craig Eaton. Unfortunately, it’d be the same ole same ole for Mulliniks, as he’d see action in just 60 games over the next two seasons.

Then, at age 26, he’d be traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Phil Huffman. Primarily a shortstop/utility man for the Angels and Royals, the Blue Jays would make Mulliniks a third basemen and he’d take off (sound familiar, Jose Bautista – well sort of).

In his first season, he received 353 plate appearances, and would post a decent slash line (.244/.326/.363) – this was 1982 after all. Then, in what should be called his second full season, Mulliniks would go .275/.373/.467. He clearly understood the point of the game was to avoid making outs. From 1983-1988 (his 26 through 32 birthdays), Mulliniks averaged a .374 OBP and only once had an OBP lower than .371.

He’d be out of the majors three years later, but not much could beat that prime of his – of course except for the opportunity to pass along one’s namesake.

When it was all said and done, Mulliniks posted the 16th highest batting average as a pinch hitter (min. 150 ABs) in MLB history.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Brandon Morrow

morrow backmorrow frontReally? I call poppycock on this! In no way did the Mariners feel that Morrow was just a “dose of command and a dash of consistency away from becoming a big winner.” If they did, they wouldn’t have traded him for Johermyn Chavez (a low-level minor leaguer but with some potential) and Brandon League (a, albeit good, relief pitcher). Or if they did believe it, that means they value relief pitching way too much.

After the Mariners were done yanking him between pitching roles, the Blue Jays decided to let Morrow start and let the chips fall where they may. While he started 15 games total for the Mariners and appeared in 116 others, he started 26 games for the Blue Jays, and shockingly, only appeared in 26 games.

He also pitched 146 innings for the Jays in one season, compared to the 197.2 IPs he threw for the Mariners across three seasons (of course there were some demotions and injuries, but still). According to Baseball America, Morrow was worth 1.6 wins above a replacement player last season. In his career (seven seasons), League has earned exactly 1.6 WAR (including -0.1 last season).

If you’re scoring at home, folks, this trade was a TKO for the Jays. Sure the odds of Morrow both staying healthy and continuing his 2010 form are slim given his history. But the Jays already won. League would have to pitch another seven seasons for the Mariners to fully return the value that Morrow had in just one year.

So what about Morrow’s future? It is hard to say given the incredible amount of young pitchers the Jays have and the volatility in any arm asked to throw a baseball. Can he be better than he was last year? I think so, absolutely. While he benefited from an above-average strand rate (69%), his BAbip was .348 – a number that typically rests around .300 for a major league pitcher and has been .310 for Morrow’s career.

At the time, I remember being somewhat confused with the trade. I mean, at the worst, Morrow is an above average reliever, which League is. At best, Morrow can be a #3/#4 starter or above-average innings eater. I assumed Morrow was injured again, clearly he wasn’t. Maybe I am missing something with Chavez, but he seems pretty far from the majors to me to even out this trade.

You have to give the Jays a lot of credit for this move and the way their organization is going. They have some shades of the Rays going on right now.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,756 other followers