Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds - Best Case: MLB.com's No. 14 prospect shows why former fellow Reds catching prospect Yasmani Grandal was expendable in the Mat Latos trade. Plugged into a lineup featuring Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, Mesoraco feels little pressure to produce ... so he does. Many of his would-be two-baggers at Triple-A Louisville become home runs at Great American Ballpark. By July, the 23-year-old assumes full-time catching duties, relegating incumbent Ryan Hanigan to a backup role. He still receives plenty of days off as manager Dusty Baker looks to preserve his backstop of the future for the future. - Worst Case: Splitting time behind home plate stunts Mesoraco's growth defensively. Plus with too many days between starts, he sputters offensively. Baker sees the hitter who batted .180 in his first 18 big league games rather than the hitter who batted .289 in his last 120 Minor League contests. Mesoraco stays in the bigs, contributes occasionally on a playoff team (remember, there are two Wild Card teams) but fails to emerge in the fashion many Cincinnati fans expected.
· A few days ago, the Giants locked up Matt Cain long term by inking him to a contract that could be worth up to $126 million over six years. This is a lot of money to give a guy who’s going to be your number two starter, but if you take a look at the numbers and what very good, young pitching is going for these days, it was the right move. Cain was supposed to hit the free agent market this winter and now that he’s gone, Cole Hamels is the biggest free agent pitcher left out there. So how does he benefit from this? BTBS
· Lefthanded starting pitchers threw their 4-seamers less than 1 MPH slower than righties on average in 2011
· The 19 lowest paid players on the Pirates make a combined $15M. The team's highest paid player, A.J. Burnett, makes $16.5M
· Roy Halladay's final line: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HBP ... 65 of 92 pitches for strikes
· Valverde blows 1st save in 2 seasons but Tigers beat Red Sox 3-2 behind Austin Jackson's walk-off single and Verlander's gem.
· Word from the Cubs is that Nats Stephen Strasburg's changeup was "incredible”.
· Playing center field today in his Triple-A debut, Bryce Harper lined a double to right field in his first at-bat, finishing the day 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a strikeout.
· April 5, 1977 – The New York Yankees traded Bob Polinsky (minors), Oscar Gamble, LaMarr Hoyt and $200,000 to the Chicago White Sox for Bucky Dent. This trade set to stage for future success for both teams. Bucky Dent was a young shortstop entering his 5th season at age 25. To this point in his career, he had accumulated just 2.0 WAR, including -2.2 dWAR of which -1.2 dWAR had been tallied the previous season. So, not an obvious choice as a starting SS for the defending AL champions. The Yankees, though, were still seaching for their next shortstop to succeed Gene Michael, having tried out Jim Mason and Fred Stanley the previous 3 seasons. Whether by shrewdness or luck, things worked out well for New York – from 1977 to 1981 Dent delivered 12.1 WAR including a nifty 7.3 dWAR, backstopping the Yankees to 3 pennants and 2 world championships. Oh, and you may recall that he also hit a rather important home run on the last day of the 1978 season. For the White Sox, Hoyt was still two years away from his major league debut, starting out as a swing man, then a middle reliever/closer, and finally, starting in 1982, as a fixture in the White Sox rotation. Hoyt won 19 in 1982 and then 24 in 1983 as he won the Cy Young award, leading the ChiSox to the AL West title and their first post-season appearance in 24 years. Hoyt’s career 1.91 BB/9 ranks among the top 20 career marks (min. 1000 IP) since 1969. link