11/30/11

Wade LeBlanc, Ryan Madson, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Jose Reyes, David DeJesus

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Wade LeBlanc succeeded in PETCO Park, where he had a 2.97 career ERA, but had a 6.16 ERA in his road appearances since debuting in 2008. The 3.19 difference between road and home is the largest for any pitcher who pitched at least 100 innings in the last four seasons, and is largely due to LeBlanc’s rate of home runs allowed (one every 5.4 innings on road, every 8.7 innings at home). Leblanc, a lefty, has two issues that the Marlins staff will look to fix. One is a cutter that got 48 outs and allowed only 14 hits against right-handed hitters, but got just 10 outs and yielded 11 hits to lefties. The other is that his stuff is simply too hittable. Left-handed hitters were 29-for-61 when making contact against LeBlanc last season. Of the 60 balls that lefties hit that stayed in the ballpark, nearly half (28 of them) were classified as line drives. LeBlanc’s 47 percent line drive rate versus lefties last season was the worst in the majors http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/32863/a-closer-look-at-nathan-barmes-leblanc

Ryan Madson – $7 - It’s funny how quickly a narrative can change. At this time last year, there were a lot of people wondering if Madson had what it takes to close (not necessarily FanGraphers, but the sentiment was certainly out there), and now he’s the best free agent closer on the market after the Phillies decided to let him walk in favor of Papelbon. Madson went 32-for-34 in save chances and ended the season with dynamite peripherals — 9.20 K/9 (25.2 K%) and 2.37 BB/9 (6.5 BB%) with a 48.8% ground ball rate — that were right in line with his 2009-2010 performance. At 31 years old and with no significant injury history, there’s little reason to expect a significant drop-off from Madson next season. Now, if we only knew what uniform he was going to be wearing… http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/2012-closer-keeper-rankings-tier-two

The posting period for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima has begun. The Seibu Lions posted Nakajima and MLB teams now have until 4pm CDT this Friday to submit bids, according to a Sponichi report relayed by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. The MLB team that places the highest bid won't necessarily obtain Nakajima, however. The team would obtain an exclusive 30-day negotiating period during which the sides can work toward a deal and would only pay the posting fee if they come to terms on a contract http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/seibu-lions-post-hiroyuki-nakajima.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Jose Reyes is when his stupid hamstrings don’t grab at him and remind everyone that for the excitement, the talent, the pure aesthetic of his brand of baseball, there is the ever-present injury factor he just cannot shake. Healthy, Reyes gets Crawford money: $140 million or thereabouts. As he is, Reyes should crack nine figures but not much higher. Granted, Reyes really has missed only one year because of injury: his brutal 2009 season. He was the National League’s best player for the first three months of last season until his hamstrings tightened up and tethered him to a bench. That was enough to affect his market such that the Marlins actually believe they can get him, while Milwaukee continues to target him, St. Louis has him as part of the sans-Pujols backup plan and the Mets hold out hope that he loves New York as much as New York loves him.Reyes is lucky he’s a free agent now. Another year of injuries and he could be Grady Sizemore. www.yahoo.com

One of those players could be Manalapan, NJ native and former Rutgers star David DeJesus.  A source close to the 31-year-old free agent outfielder said the Mets and DeJesus' agent have spoken on multiple occasions, setting the stage for a possible return to the East Coast. After playing the first eight years of his career with the Kansas City Royals, DeJesus spent 2011 with the Oakland Athletics.  A career .284 hitter, DeJesus batted .240 with 10 home runs, 48 RBI and 60 runs scored in 131 games during his only season with the A's. http://newyork.sbnation.com/2011/11/29/2595692/new-york-mets-free-agency-rumors-news-2011

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