Friday, April 10, 2015

Five Bold Predictions For 2015 Major League Baseball

five 2015 bold predictions
We have begun the 2015 Major League Baseball season. It is too early to fully analyze what has happened, so here are five potential surprising story lines for 2015.

1 The Minnesota Twins trade Joe Mauer - On March 21, 2010, the Twins signed Joe Mauer to an eight year, 184 million dollar contract. The Twins thought they were getting a perennial MVP candidate. Instead, they have gotten a player of whom injuries have forced him to first base, a player who hits for contact, a player provides no power and RBI potential. We know that if Twins general manager Terry Ryan can find a taker for Joe Mauer's ridiculous contract, he will gladly take it and run. Don't be surprised if he finally finds that in 2015.

2. Cole Hamels gets traded to the Tigers - The Cole Hamels trade saga has been one of the most entertaining player transaction story lines ever. The Phillies, Cubs, and Red Sox are all involved in this saga. This is like three great poker players in a stare down for the ages across the table from each other. Look for a dark horse team to come in late at the trade deadline and grab Hamels while the Cubs and Red Sox refuse to budge. 2015 is the Detroit Tigers last chance, and don't be surprised if they push the rest of their chips into the table for Hamels.

3. The Houston Astros win 80 games - The Houston Astros rebuilding project has been well publicized and in fact, there have been several feature articles written on it, including myself. The Astros are a young team on the rise, and it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Don't be stunned if the Astros make a huge jump in 2015.

4. Wily Peralta wins the Cy Young - I have been the conductor of the Wily Peralta train since before most Brewers fans knew who he was. Peralta has an ace's arm, and took a big step forward in 2014. Don't be stunned if Peralta takes another big jump, and wins the Cy Young.

5. The Miami Marlins win the World Series - Right now, the Washington Nationals are the heavy favorites to win the National League East, and many are predicting them to win the World Series. Don't be surprised if this young, hungry, and super talented Marlins squad stuns the world, wins the National League East, and then wins the World Series.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

MLB 2015 Preview Team By Team

Well, we have reached that time of year again. Baseball season is just days away so that means it is time for me to give you my 2015 MLB baseball preview. Let's begin with the American League.

1. Toronto Blue Jays- The Blue Jays have been pushing hard the last couple of years to make something happen. Baltimore is taking a step back and I am not sold on the Red Sox rotation so their time is now.

2. Boston Red Sox- The Red Sox spent a lot of money this off season. However, as stated above, I am not sold on the rotation. That could change though, as the Red Sox are one of the leaders in the clubhouse right now for Cole Hamels.

3. Baltimore Orioles- Baltimore is going to take a step back this season. Still, a third place finish is not out of the question.

4. New York Yankees- The first season without Derek Jeter will end in a 4th place finish.

5. Tampa Bay Rays- This team once owned this division. But their time is no more. Expect a last place finish, and possibly the worst record in the league. They will also be trading Evan Longoria at some point.

1. Detroit Tigers- Currently the Tigers have five players under contract for 2016. I expect that to change during the season, but still, this is an old team. 2015 will be the last stand of the Detroit Tigers.

2. Kansas City Royals- I don't expect this team to fall as far as everyone thinks. Still, a second place finish seems about right.

3. Chicago White Sox- The White Sox made a lot of moves in the off season. But I am not sold on this team as a playoff contender right now.

4. Cleveland Indians- Another year, another 4th place finish for Cleveland.

5. Minnesota Twins- This team is getting better. But they will still finish last. Won't be long though before they are really, REALLY, good.

1. Los Angeles Angels- This is still the best team in this division. However this division is not as strong as it has been the last few years.

2. Seattle Mariners- The Mariners have been opening up the checkbook recently. I think it finally results in a playoff appearance for this team as a Wild Card.

3. Oakland Athletics- The Athletics time at the top of this division has come to an end, again. They will be rebuilding.

4. Texas Rangers- The Rangers were the most injured team in the league a year ago. I don't expect them to be that injured again. Still, the reality is this is an old team that needs to be rebuilt.

5. Houston Texans- Same situation as the Twins. Getting better, and won't be long until they are good.

Cy Young - Felix Hernandez/Seattle Mariners- King Felix will have his best season to date in 2015, a year in which Seattle will make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

AL Champion - Toronto Blue Jays
AL Rookie of the Year: Alex Meyer/SP/Minnesota Twins- Meyer is the future ace of this team. The future begins now.

AL MVP: Mike Trout/CF/Los Angeles Angels- Trout has finally gotten the purists on his side. Expect 2014 to be the beginning of a long stretch of MVP awards for him.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NL Central Regrets - Who Will Pay Big Time In 2015?

NL Central 2015
Spring Training is officially underway for all 30 teams. Unlike in the past, all notable free agents have been signed and all players who are going to be traded with the exception of Cole Hamels, have been traded. So there will be no major additions to any team during Spring Training. Let’s take a look at each of the five National League Central Teams, and what I believe they will be regretting by the end of the 2015 season.

St. Louis Cardinals: The St. Louis Cardinals will regret not finding a more suitable backup for Yadier Molina during the off season- Lat season, Yadier Molina, the heart, guts, and soul of one of the best franchises in American sports, missed several months with a hand injury. The Cardinals are lucky it did not cost them a spot in the postseason. However, he did have further injury issues during the postseason and that was one of the contributing factors of their National Championship Series loss to the Giants. The Cardinals should have invested some resources into finding a better backup for Molina and it may cost them in 2015.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pittsburgh Pirates will regret not extending young talent Gerrit Cole this offseason- Many teams are banking on young players, and signing them to long term contracts before they barely get their careers underway at the Major League level. Gerrit Cole is a mega-talent on the verge of stardom and is due for a breakout season. The Pirates will regret not getting him signed to a long term contract before he becomes too costly.

Chicago Cubs: The Chicago Cubs are going to regret not trading for Cole Hamels or deciding they are not going to trade for Cole Hamels ever- Let me explain a little further because that may be distracting. All off season after the Jon Lester signing, all we heard about were Cole Hamels rumors and they were directed at two teams, the Chicago Cubs, and the Boston Red Sox. All of these rumors may distract these young players causing them to think about which ones may be traded still. Theo is going to regret not ending this nonsense one way or the other before the end of the off season.

Milwaukee Brewers: The Milwaukee Brewers are going to regret not trading Kyle Lohse when they had the chance- For the last several years, the experts have listed Kyle Lohse as an ideal trade candidate and rightfully so. After all, he has had a pair of solid seasons, and provides good value in a trade due to his big game experience. Well there is just one problem, the man is 36 years old, and I believe Father Time is going to begin knocking this season, which will wreck his trade value.

Cincinnati Reds: The Cincinnati Reds are going to regret not trading Jay Bruce this off season, as he will become a distraction- I don’t know about you, but there is just something about Jay Bruce that just rubs me the wrong way. He has a lot of talent, but he seems to have a bit of an attitude. I believe not trading him will have a negative impact on this team, and it will affect them this season.