Pitchers and catchers are reporting to their respective camps and there are a descent amount of free agents still left unsigned. One of those being named Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo is entering his 15th major league season and at the age of 36 (37 at the end of February) he is no stranger to the mound. The guy even has a world series ring. A no brainier starting rotation option for many teams looking to upgrade. He’s been linked to many teams this off-season such as the Twins, Orioles, Dodgers and Diamondbacks.
Bronson Arroyo would be a perfect marriage with the Arizona Diamondbacks. A team that has upgraded with some power in the outfield and have bolstered their back end of the bullpen this off-season. The Diamondbacks appear serious about making a run for the postseason in 2014. In a division with a loaded Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2010/2012 champion Giants, a starting pitching upgrade would improve the dbacks chances of shaking up the division and provide veteran leadership for their young starters.
Currently the Diamondback rotation shakes out like this..
1. Patrick Corbin
2. Trevor Cahill
3. Wade Miley
4. Brandon McCarthy
5. Randall Delgado/Archie Bradley
Spots 1-4 are a lock, but Arizona has room to sign Arroyo if they feel the need and Kevin Towers has made it clear he will do whatever it takes to improve the club. Bradley will most likely head to AAA Reno and shifting Delgado into the bullpen or sending him back to Reno to start the year is possible. Since 2005, Arroyo has pitched under 200 innings once (199 IP in 2011) and holds a career 4.19 ERA making him a reliable and stable starting pitcher. A 2 year deal will likely do it and it would be wise to not let him slip away to a rival team.
Surely by now you have realized or heard by now that this is the first time the Pittsburgh Pirates have made the postseason since 1992. A lot of things has happened over the last 21 years in baseball but it’s finally time for baseball fans in the steel city to throw on their eye patches and root for their Pirates as they take on the division rivals and champion, the St. Louis Cardinals.
First the Pirates had to survive the one game playoff game against another division foe, the Cincinnati Reds to get the shot to move on and play the National League’s best record (97-65) St Louis Cardinals. Francisco Liriano spun a gem and Russel Martin smacked 2 home runs en route to a 6-2 victory over the Reds, the first postseason victory at PNC Park.
Starters: The St. Louis Cardinals closed out the regular season with 6 straight victories and are putting their ace, Adam Wainwright on the hill for game 1. The NL leader in Wins (19), will face the Pirates for the 4th time this season and owns a 3.00 ERA over the first 3 starts. The Pirates are throwing AJ Burnett on the mound who has faced the Cards 6 times this season, posting a 3.67 ERA. I give the Cardinals the starting pitching advantage in game 1 of the NLDS.
The two teams have faced each other 19 times this season, with the Pirates taking the booty 10 times. But the Red Birds have won the last 4 of their match-ups. Pittsburgh has displayed more power, hitting 14 more home runs than the Cards in their 19 games but give St. Louis the upper hand if you’re talking recent postseason experience. I do feel that if it is close late in the game, the Pirates can do a better job keeping the lead close with their bullpen arms.
Statistics really only go so far when it comes to October baseball. Who will be the hero? I think the St. Louis Cardinals will take Game 1 but mark my words, without Allen Craig I think the Pirates have a legitimate shot at taking the Cardinals down in the NLDS.
Entering the 2013 baseball season, there appears to be a little competition at the Braves spring training camp. Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco are in a battle for the everyday third baseman job. And both Johnson and Francisco are having good springs. Who should claim the job? It seems possible that the Braves could platoon them at third, but as a fan, I’d like to see one guy prove he can handle the job by himself.
Chris Johnson, a career .276 hitter, was acquired this offseason in the Justin Upton trade that sent him packing from Arizona to Atlanta. Last season in 136 games between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Houston Astros, Johnson hit a slash line of .281/.326/.451 coupled with 15 dingers and 76 runs batted in. He provided much needed pop toward the end of the season for the Dbacks on their quest to try and birth a wild card spot. He had pretty average defense at the position committing 19 errors in 127 games for a .940 fielding percentage. He’s the type of player that works hard to try and become better ball player. This spring, in 9 games Johnson is hitting .364 with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI’s and only striking out once. I feel Chris Johnson is an underrated player in the MLB and this could be his season to show everyone what he can do.
Juan Francisco, acquired in a deal that sent him to the Braves for right hander J.J. Hoover from the Cincinnati Reds. Francisco struggled a bit with the Reds and out of minor league options; they traded him rather than putting him on waivers and risking a claim. In 93 games last season he hit .234 with an on base percentage of .278, only walking 11 times in that span. He does have power potential but in order to see more playing time he needs to show patience at the plate and be more selective with his swings. He owned a .935 fielding % with 6 errors in 49 games at third base. This spring he is hitting .360 with 1HR and 4 RBI’s and striking out 4 times in 9 games.
Both players are almost dead even in spring training with no clear favorite. If I had to guess, it would be that Chris Johnson out plays Juan Francisco for the job and doing so early on. Should be an exciting year for the Braves. Thanks for reading Fully Torqued!
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Can you smell that? No, not the 5 Guys. It’s March 1st and a new baseball season has dawned upon us. A few days into spring training games and baseball has left us already drooling for more. An incredible offseason of free agency (a few surprises too) and trades has me anticipating this 2013 season. Here is a list of 5 major leaguers that I’m excited to watch in 2013.
Brett Anderson, SP Oakland Athletics
When Brett debuted in 2009, just 21 years young, he proved he could hang with the big boys. Going 11-11 in 30 starts and posting a 4.06 ERA with a 7.7 K per 9 he showed spots of brilliance and a young man’s career had blossomed before our eyes. A few injuries and fast forward to the tail end of the 2012 season where he came back from the three words no fan wants to hear, Tommy John Surgery. Brettdude hurled 6 starts at the end of last season to the tune of a 2.57 ERA and reminded everyone that he’s only 24 and can dominate. Now 25, getting the opening day nod and is a guy I’m excited to watch in 2013.
Aroldis Chapman, SP/RP Cincinnati Reds
No surprise here, Aroldis is without a doubt one of the best electric young lefties in the game. The big mystery is how Dusty Baker handles his transition back to a starter. This is nothing he hasn’t done before since he was a starter in Cuba and blew through minor league batters as a starter. Limit the free passes, keep his velocity down (yes, down) along with figuring out his out pitch whether it be the Changeup or Splitter. No doubt when he pitches I’ll be glued to my laptop. What an incredible year he had last year. He is for sure a guy I’m excited to watch in 2013.
Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners
This guy intrigues me. Manning the hot corner for the Mariners last season and his first full season in the majors, he managed to knock 20 bombs, 35 2B’s, Knocked in 86 and even swiped 13 bags. Yes, the 110 strikeouts led to a lower batting average, but still. He was a bright spot for the Mariners season last year and just 25 years young. A career slash line of .328/.401/.474 in the minors suggests that he can improve in the majors. With the fences being moved in at Safeco there’s a safe bet he can improve his home run total. Besides, he couldn’t swing the bat any worse there. He’s defiantly a guy I’m excited to watch in 2013.
Matt Moore, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
What’s up Matt Moore? Remember that incredible post season you had in 2011 after only logging in 3 appearances in the season for your first taste in the majors? You left me with my tongue hanging out of my mouth, drooling to see what you would do in your first full season in the bigs. And you know what? You delivered. What seemed like a quiet season for Matt, being overshadowed by the man himself…David Price. Mattdude tossed 31 starts which led to a 3.81 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 11 wins. If he can keep his walks down (81 last season) and keep the ball in the park a bit moore (get it?) he will no doubt have a stellar sophomore year. He’ll be one major factor for the Rays to make the playoffs this year. I excited to watch Moore in 2013.
Brett Lawrie, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
Brett got his shot last year starting for the Jays at 3rd. I honestly thought many people had too high of expectations for the kid. But he whittled a pretty good season. This dude can play, and play hard. Perhaps he should turn the temper down a bit, but that’s just who he is. He’s got a lot of heart and really sacrifices his body to make every play. At the same time, that’s what landed him some DL time. Although that play where he flipped over the dugout railing and nailed his leg was quite bad ass. No doubt Brett is an exciting player to watch in 2013 and let’s be real, isn’t the entire Blue Jay’s team? The pressure is off him and no doubt in my mind that he will succeed.
Those are just 5 of the guy’s i’m keeping an eye on, in what should be an incredible baseball season. Thanks for reading my first real blog post!
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