Cuban pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez has defected from Cuba and will establish residency in another country. Ben Badler is very high on the 19-year old –
Righthander Vladimir Gutierrez, one of the top young pitching prospects in Cuba, has left the Cuban team at the Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico, along with shortstop Dainer Moreira, Baseball America has learned. USA Today and El Nuevo Herald also reported earlier that the two players have left the team.
Baseball America ranked Gutierrez, 19, as the No. 12 player in Cuba in August, and his stock has only improved since the 2014-15 season began in September. At 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, Gutierrez has a tall, lanky frame with long arms and plenty of room to add weight, which should help him add to a fastball that sits at 88-93 mph. Gutierrez’s best pitch is his plus curveball—arguably the best curveball in Cuba—that has tight spin and sharp action at 77-80 mph. Gutierrez primarily operates off those two pitches, though he has flashed an average changeup at times. - http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/vladimir-gutierrez-top-cuban-pitching-prospect-leaves-team-caribbean-series/
You may be asking, what exactly is awesome about having a fastball that sits at about 87 MPH, and a set of off-speed pitches that sit at around 80 MPH? Well nothing, unless you are able to be one of the more dominant pitchers in all of Major League Baseball in 2014 while throwing no harder than a good varsity high school pitcher. That’s just what Fister did. The 30-year-old ground ball pitcher capitalized on his move away from one of the worst infield defenses in baseball to post career high numbers, finishing last year’s campaign going 16-6 in just 25 starts, with a 2.41 ERA and walking just 1.32 batters per nine innings.
You know what else is awesome? Pitching like this. Despite being one of the game’s slowest throwers, Doug Fister is one of the games fastest pitchers, which keeps things interesting. But it isn’t just for entertainment value, he does this for two reasons. First, it allows him to control the rhythm of the game. Hitting and pitching is all about rythm, and when you don’t throw above 90 mph, it’s even more important to control this aspect of the game. By moving quickly, he keeps hitters off balance. Second, it helps him tremendously with keeping runners on base. With his six foot eight inch frame, and his low velocity, he should be relatively easy for runners to advance on. However since he gets to the plate so quickly, he also makes it harder for runners to get into a rhythm against him as well, which helped contribute to his outstanding left-on-base percentage of 83%.
What else is awesome about Fister? Well for one, his middle name is Wildes, which I can’t believe we haven’t talked about before. Want more? How about the fact that he and his wife gave tons of Nats fans free Starbucks over Twitter for Christmas, just because? - http://thenatsblog.com/2015/01/which-nats-starter-is-the-best-doug-fister/
Victor Martinez injured his left knee during an offseason workout last week, and was examined today at the Watson Clinic. According to an update released by the Tigers, Martinez tore his left meniscus and will undergo surgery with Dr. James Andrews next week. Martinez will miss all of spring training, putting his status for Opening Day in doubt.
Martinez is coming off the best offensive season of his career in 2014. He hit .335/.409/.565 with 32 home runs and 103 RBI, finishing second to Houston's Jose Altuve in the batting title race. He was worth 4.4 WAR despite serving as the team's primary designated hitter, and finished second in the AL MVP voting to Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. The Tigers rewarded Martinez with a four year, $68 million contract extension this offseason. The 36-year-old Martinez iterated his desire to finish his career in Detroit. He will be 39 years old during the final season of his contract, in 2018. - http://www.blessyouboys.com/2015/2/5/7987727/victor-martinez-meniscus-injury-spring-training-tigers
From Chris - http://tpgmets.blogspot.com/p/rule-5.html
Rule 5 - Last updated on 2/5/2015 - The following players will be eligible for the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft on December 10, 2015 (players in bold will be eligible for the first time). Teams can protect players from the Rule 5 draft by placing them on the 40-man roster. The deadline to add a player to the 40-man roster this year is November 20, 2015.
Added to 40-man roster, no longer eligible for the Rule 5 draft - None
AAA --- Las Vegas 51s
AA --- Binghamton Mets
A+ --- St. Lucie Mets
Maikis De La Cruz
A --- Savannah Sand Gnats
A- --- Brooklyn Cyclones
R --- Kingsport Mets
R --- GCL Mets