4/2/12

Baseball and Stuff - Dante Bichette Jr., Ryan Braun, Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hoover

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Baseball and Stuff

·        Dante Bichette Jr. grew up in Orlando, about a 20-minute drive from Osceola County Stadium here, and played many games here as a child and a teenager. But on Saturday, instead of being on a local travel team, he was playing for the Yankees, and the manager was Joe Girardi, one of his father’s closest friends, while his parents and younger brother watched from box seats next to the dugout. Junior made the most of it. Bichette, who doesn’t turn 20 until Sept. 26, saw only two pitches in his first two major league spring training at-bats. He turned both of them into home runs. http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/

·        Ryan Braun, MIL – Go ahead, freak out.  How could I possibly go with Braun over Kemp after the season the Dodgers’ outfielder put up last year?  IDIOT.  MORON.  “YOU PLAY BALL LIKE A GIRL!” Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get down to business.  When it comes down to Braun vs. Kemp, we are really splitting hairs, but there are a few reasons why Braun tops my list.  One is consistency.  In Braun’s 5 full seasons, he’s hit below .300 once (.285), less than 30 home runs once (25), less than 100 RBI once (97), never less than 90 runs and never less than 14 steals.  Matt Kemp has one disappointing season under his belt (2010) and strikes out too much (23.4%).  It’s literally that close, but hey, when you’re picking between #1 and #2, you have to be that critical.  I’ll take the guy who hasn’t missed yet. http://bullpenbanter.com/rtmenu/721-fantasy-preview-top-50-outfielders

·        Cleveland sends Kevin Slowey and Frank Herrmann to AAA.

·        Rangers trade Kyle Hudson to Rays for future considerations

·        Kyle Hudson‏ @KHud21 - Thanks for all the comments and support! Very excited to be joining the #Rays organization! I'm ready to go to work!

·        The Mariners have released Aaron Heilman.

·        Yankees sign RHP Jason Bulger to minor league deal

·        Drew Smyly wins No. 5 spot in Tigers rotation

·        Asdrubal Cabrera had one of the most surprising seasons among all players last season, but his power was largely a mirage. He was physically stronger, at least a little bit, but talent evaluators believe he’s a guy with more gap power than home-run power. He’ll hit plenty of doubles, but he’s only reliable for, at most, 15 homers; PECOTA agrees. Even with a power drop-off, Cabrera contributes to five categories, but leaguemates who place undue emphasis on his anomalous 2011 will likely drive his price up. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16347

·        Hoover is no slouch, though. Hulet writes that he “has the potential to be a solid No. 4 starter at the big league level.” Last September, John Sickels wrote the same, writing:

·        J.J. Hoover has the four classic pitches: fastball, curveball, slider, changeup. His heater is a tick above average in the low 90s, but works well due to the contrast with his secondary pitches. All three of his non-fastball offerings are rated as solid major league average. Although he doesn’t have a genuine plus pitch, none of them are weak, arsenal is diverse, he mixes them well, throws strikes, and has been extremely durable in his career. He’s maintained his strikeout rate and K/BB ratios at each level, and he’s never had a serious injury. He is a strong fly ball pitcher, but doesn’t give up an excessive number of home runs.  For most teams, Hoover would profile as a solid number three or four starter, chewing up innings at a good clip with consistent performance. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/braves-trade-j-j-hoover-to-reds-for-juan-francisco/

·        "Power is power" - Game Of Thrones 

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