Home is where the heart is.
At least for Joe Girardi, who agreed to stay in New York for $16 million over 4 years including incentives along the way. Yankee fans can now sigh with relief as they will see their skipper signed to the end of the 2017 season. Joe is a family man with a family plan and made sure that the move was right for his family first. Girardi states “We decided this is where we wanted to come back” and he feels he can turn this club around in what appears that the Yankees may go through a slump next season.
Girardi has a manager of the year under his belt from the 2006 with the Florida Marlins and the year the Yankees won their 27th World Series title he placed 3rd. He will likely place somewhere in the top 5 with his 2013 season performance where he gave the Yankees a near chance to make the playoffs even given the roster being filled with aging players, countless injuries, and the whole Arod situation. Over the last 6 years with Joe as the Yankee manager, they had a 564-408 (.580%) winning record. 1 Pennant and 1 World Series to add to that having finished no worse than 3rd in the AL East division.
The Yankees basically squashed any rumors of him leaving and going to the Chicago Cubs. There were talks that the Cubs were prepared to offer more money than what the Yankees would offer but it looks like the Yankees had the final say and I, as many look forward to seeing Joe Girardi back in the Bronx for the next 4 years.
Tomorrow marks the start of the second half of the baseball season. Midway through the hot blistering summer, this is where teams prove they are for real and other teams start to fade. The trade deadline is coming up and teams look to scramble around to add any additional pieces they need to succeed.
One division I’m really looking forward to watching in the second half is the AL East. It’s not just a 2 team race anymore. Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, and the Yankees are all within 6 games of each other and all have 51 or more wins. The Blue Jays sit at the bottom with a 45-49 record and 11.5 games back. But heck, with the expectations they had coming into the season and a healthy Jose Reyes now, they could land anywhere in that division.
It appears as if the Yankees may be buying and selling, Red Sox could be buyers, Rays will likely rely within and the Blue Jays are possible buyers. The Orioles have already acquired an arm in Scott Feldman and are making more moves.
One thing for sure is the Baltimore Orioles just called up outfielder Henry Urrutia from Triple A Norfolk.
I don’t know a whole lot about this 26 year old Cuban outfielder but what I do know is that he is hitting. Urrutia was signed last season for under 800,000 dollars and after some visa issues he made his debut this year. Starting 52 games in Double A Bowie and 15 games at Triple A Norfolk. Combing the two, he is hitting a .365/.427/.531 slash line with a .958 OPS. He has 7 homeruns (all at AA), also is drawing walking and playing great defense. He hasn’t committed any errors in the outfield and has 8 assists.
The Orioles figure they have seen enough in Henry Urrutia and decided to solve their DH woes by calling up one of their own. My guess is he’ll see some time at DH and some time in LF and RF as well to give Nate McLouth and Nick Markakis some days off in the field. And why not? It’s worth a shot.
The Orioles are making moves and making them early.
A big part of baseball for me is watching young talented prospects develop and learn the game through the minor leagues. Some develop into some of the best hitters and pitchers, some settle into bench roles or middle relief and others don’t meet expectations or fizzle out. Baseball is grueling, brutal and one of the toughest sports to play. Despite some people thinking it’s like watching grass grow.
Everyone has their favorite little all stars that are prime to brake out and i’m sure many of you lurk the top 100 baseball prospects list year to year like I do. Here’s a list of guys that are having themselves a strong season as they try to make a name in baseball.
Peter O’Brien, C, New York Yankees – Originally drafted by the Rockies in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft. Peter chose not to sign and attend the University of Miami. The following year in the 2012 draft, the Yankees drafted him in the 2nd round, 94th overall and he signed with the bombers. He’s a 6’3 righty catcher with power. He’s down in single A Charleston and tearing the covers off baseballs. He’s hitting a slash line of .333/.404/.640 with 11 homeruns and 41 RBI’s in 51 games. What’s also impressive is that he clubbed 22 doubles in that time.
Max Muncy, 1b, Oakland Athletics – Max was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 41st round of the 2009 draft coming out of high school. He chose not to sign and attend Baylor instead. Then in the 2012 draft, Max was selected in the 5th round by the Oakland A’s. Not an overly large first baseman, being only 6 foot but this kid has some power. There is one thing that sticks out to me from his rookie season last year at single A Burlington and this year at high A Stockton. In roughly about the same amount of games, in 2012 he hit 20 doubles and 4 HR’s. This season he’s translated that swing in a big way, hitting 9 doubles and a whopping 18 HR’s. Couple that with his .303/.422/.539 slash line and 61 RBI’s. But perhaps his best feature is the fact that he has more walks than strikeouts, 47:46 which is huge for a developing young ball player. Keeping my eye on this kid.
Anthony Ranaudo, P, Boston Red Sox – The first rounder from 2010 is making heads turn again. He struggled in 2012 with the Portland Sea Dogs posting a 6.69 ERA and basically walked everybody. This season he’s back at AA Portland and it seems that he’s adjusted quite nice. In 12 starts, Ranaudo posted a 2.12 ERA, only allowed 41 hits in 67 innings with a K:BB of 76:21. Looks like Boston has an ace in the making here and this dude is 6’7″. SIX SEVEN!
Rafael Montero, P, New York Mets – This kid amazes me. I think the Mets really have something in this arm. He hails from the Dominican Republic and signed with the Mets in 2010. What intrigues me is that he’s only walked 43 in 271.2 innings in his minor league career. In AA Binghamton, Montero posted a 2.43 ERA with a WHIP of .915 and a nice 9.7 K per 9. There is a reason why the Mets called him up to AAA Las Vegas and in 2 starts he’s pitched quite well. Don’t expect the Mets to call him to the majors just yet because of his innings but who knows, it’s baseball.
On this day, March 4th of 2008, Brad Hawpe and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a 3-year contract worth $17,425,000. The first 2 years of the deal turned out pretty nice for both parties. The third year of the Triple Hawpe’s Brewed contract, not so much. B-rad hit .255/.343/.432 and 7 HR’s in 88 games with Colorado before ending the year with the Tampa Bay Rays. The following year, attempting to have a bounce back season he signed with the San Diego Padres. Only playing 62 games for the Padres and that was all the big league action Brad Hawpe saw after that.
This article is about five players I think will bounce back in the 2013 season:
Ike Davis, 1B, New York Mets
Ike Davis burst on the scene in 2010 as a rookie with the Mets with a stellar rookie campaign. He reached just over 600 plate appearances with a slash line of .264/.351/.440. Ike hit 19 HR’s, knocked in 71, scored 73 times. Even walking 72 times. Last year he was coming off a injury plagued 2011 season and had some bright spots in 2012. Those being a career high, 32 homeruns and 90 RBI’s. You’re probably thinking, why would be be on this list? He hit a measly .227 with an On Base Percentage of .308 and was bothered by a nagging ankle and trying to fight off the valley fever. Yes, valley fever is a real thing. Coming into this season he’s healthy, more alert and has his energy back. I don’t think he’ll top the homers, but everything else should rise.
Dan Haren, SP, Washington Nationals
I never thought of Dan Haren being on any sort of bounce back or comeback list. I mean, it’s Dan freakin’ Haren. But here it is. Now 32, had his option declined by the Los Angeles Angels and a botched trade to the Chicago Cubs. Haren was snatched up by the ever so loved Washington Nationals for 1 year, $13 Million. Coming off a season dealing with back soreness that had him see some DL time. He simply just gave up too many hits, 190 in 176.2 innings and served up 28 long balls. The ERA a lofty 4.33. The Nats don’t see the back problems striking again, or at least hope so. I think the return to the National League and a change of scenery will do him right.
Brett Gardner, LF, New York Yankees
Brett Gardner missed most of last season with an arthroscopic procedure removing inflamed tissue from his elbow. Limiting him to just 16 games. Though a small sample size, in those 16 games he hit .323 with an On Base Percent of .417. Possible career year? We’ll never know. If it’s one thing he’s good at it’s getting on base (career .355 OBP) and stealing them. Thus a possible position shift to Center this year. I went to a game in 2009 at Yankee Stadium and witnessed him steal 2nd and 3rd back to back. Dude is crazy fast. The Yankees are going to rely this year partly on roadrunner’s ability to stay healthy and utilizing his speed to contend this year. I can see him bouncing back with 40+ steals in 2013.
Vance Worley, SP, Minnesota Twins
Vance stepped into a big role with the Philadelphia Phillies as a starter and he delivered big in 2011. The Vanimal went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 starts and 25 total appearances that led him to a 3rd place finish in Rookie of the Year voting. Which is a nice honor. In the 2012 season he was hit with some right elbow problems, leading to 2 trips to the disabled list including missing his last 3 starts to remove bone chips from his elbow. The main difference from the 2012 and 2011 seasons was less strikeouts and giving up more hits. Part of the trade that sent him and Trevor May to the Twins for the speedy outfielder Ben Revere, he is healthy and in Twins camp. He will fill a much needed role in the Twins rotation. Though he never topped 133 innings and making a transition to the American League, he is still only 25 years young and I have faith he can string together a descent comeback. Though he wont get many wins.
Victor Martinez, C/DH, Detroit Tigers
This counts as a bounce back candidate, right? He did miss the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL from a preseason workout. Another weapon is back for the Tigers, who have another possible shot at winning the World Series. Victor will mostly serve as the DH but could see some time giving Prince a rest at 1st, and possibly behind the plate. Jim Leyland claims Martinez is good to go and his knee shouldn’t be a problem going forward. He owns a career line of .303/.370/.470 in 1149 career games. The guy has such a passion for the game, remember when he teared up when he was traded to the Red Sox? A true class act and he’ll probably hit 5th in what might be one of the best lineups MLB has seen. If the knee holds up, expect big things.
There you have it, 5 players that I think will bounce back in this coming 2013 season. No doubt this year will be one for the ages. Thanks for reading Fully Torqued.
Follow me on the Twitterverse! @ItsTimWilliams