Category Archives: johnny cueto

2017 MLB Season Preview: San Francisco Giants

2017-MLB-Season-Team-Preview-San-Francisco-Giants-Mark-Melancon-funnyThe San Francisco Giants are one of the most well-run sports franchises in American sports. They always seem to be competitive, you never hear about them having a barren farm system and they always get the most out of their roster.

The Giants will battle the Dodgers for a playoff spot this season. Neither team has a glaring weak spot. If you’re pressed to find one, the Giants bullpen was a problem last year, but they made some big additions this offseason.

They have one of the best ballparks in the country. I need to make it out to see a game at AT&T Park before that area gets too gentrified and I can afford the cheapest hotel.

Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the San Francisco Giants.

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2016 MLB Season Preview: San Francisco Giants

Jeff Samardzija san francisco giants 2016 season mlb preview america's white boyThe San Francisco Giants had one hell of an offseason. They didn’t have to worry about keeping their own roster intact since most were all under contract, so they went out and signed two of the best pitchers in free agency.

The Giants needed to add some arms in order to keep up with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have proven they don’t care about the luxury tax and will spend accordingly. The Giants don’t have the same mindset, but they are smart about their money when they do open their checkbooks.

The Giants are dangerous when they have elite pitching. Can they win another World Series this season?

Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the San Francisco Giants.

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2015 MLB Team Preview: Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds 2015 MLB team preview Rob Lowe funny weird shirtless vintageThe Cincinnati Reds have been NL Central contenders for the last few years, but Pittsburgh and St. Louis have taken control of the division. The destiny of the Reds rides on the health of Joey Votto, who missed a huge chunk of time in two of the last three seasons.

The Reds will rely heavily on their starting rotation. They do have a slight edge in that category over the top teams in the NL Central. They need their offense to come back (28th in Runs Scored in 2014) in order to take advantage of having aces Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey.

Can Devin Mesoraco become an elite catcher?

Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Cincinnati Reds.

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2014 MLB Team Preview: Cincinnati Reds

Sexy Hot Cincinnati Reds fan girl 2014 MLB Team PreviewThe Cincinnati Reds have been NL Central contenders for the last few years, but Pittsburgh emerged and St. Louis doesn’t seem to have an off-year. They lost Shin-Soo Choo and Bronson Arroyo to free agency and didn’t do much in free agency.

Their biggest offseason move was firing Dusty Baker. They hired pitching coach Bryan Price as their new skipper. He’s an experienced and heralded pitching coach, but this will be his first season as a manager.

The Reds will rely heavily on Jay Bruce and Joey Votto to drive in runs this season. They also need Todd Frazier to bounce back from a forgettable 2013 season. It’s not much to ask since he looked like a future All-Star his rookie season.

Super prospect Billy Hamilton is expected to be on the Opening Day roster. He is one of the best base runners in all of baseball, but is expected to have issues getting on base. Will he succeed or end up in the minors at some point?

Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Cincinnati Reds.

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2013 MLB Team Preview: Cincinnati Reds

BAKERIn 2012, the Cincinnati Reds won the NL Central by nine games, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

Walt Jocketty, the general manager of the Reds, doesn’t want to just make the playoffs, he wants to win. He made a trade in the offseason to acquire Shin-Soo Choo, a move shows the Reds are built to win now.

The biggest offseason news was the decision to move Aroldis Chapman into the starting rotation. He was such a dominant relief pitcher, but the transition has been successful with pitchers in the past. Will Chapman succeed as a starter?

Now that Joey Votto is healthy, will have another MVP caliber year?

Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Cincinnati Reds. Continue reading

Fire Dusty Baker

I am finally going to take part in the whole blog stereotype by calling for someone’s job. I have yet to do it in all of my time as a blogger, but it needs to be done. Dusty Baker, the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, needs to be fired. To make it even more clear, I’m not even a Reds fan, not at all. I live in Columbus, OH, so I get every Reds game on Fox Sports Ohio, but I usually just watch them if they are playing the Cubs or I see a guy on my fantasy baseball team up to bat.

Dusty Baker is like Godzilla destroying the Reds, one pitcher at a time. Last season, a lot of the experts expected the Reds to have a good season. Their pitching staff was rated as one of the best, since they had young arms like Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto. The mood was high and every Reds fan was excited about the young arms and guys like Jay Bruce waiting in the minors waiting to be called up. Baker had success with the Giants and Cubs as the manager, even making it deep in the playoffs with both teams. After Baker left, it looked like a 100-foot lizard destroyed the entire franchise.

Let’s start with Baker’s destruction of young pitching. I would like to coin a word and say the “Bakerification” of a pitcher, which would be the utter and total annihilation of a young pitcher’s career. In San Francisco, Baker the only elite pitching prospect that the Giants had while he was manager was Shawn Estes. He was teh 11th overall pick in the 1991 MLB amateur draft. He made his pro debut in ’95, and had a great year in ’97 (19-5 3.18 ERA). He had a good 2 1/2 year run as an elite pitcher, but he fell off the face of the earth. Except one decent year in Colorado, he has bounced around as a 5th or spot starter. Baker used him and pushed him over 200 innings and kept him in games in which they were behind by a large number of runs.

In Chicago he had a full plate of young pitching prospects. Kerry Wood and Mark Prior being the best two young pitchers the Cubs had seen since Greg Maddux. They had high expectations and were going to be a great #1 and #2 starters for a long time. After the 2003 season, both pitchers were never the same. They have missed complete seasons each and have had a laundry list of arm problems. Prior hasn’t really pitched in the big leagues since and Wood was converted to a closer, but not as dominant as he once was (he is a closer for Cleveland and has a 4.72 ERA this season). The lone young pitcher that seems to be standing after the Baker era in Chicago is Carlos Zambrano. I think there must be some truth to the rumors that he is actually a zombie.

This all circles back to the present-day Cincinnati Reds. It was announced last week that Edinson Volquez underwent Tommy John surgery and could miss the entire next season, as well as the rest of this season. To add more fuel to the fire, Johnny Cueto has had arm troubles this season and he’s now injured with a hip injury. Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang both had great season a few seasons before Baker became skipper, but the last two years they have been horrible. You can’t blame run support for their losses, since they have been sporting ERA around 5.00. So it’s not only the young pitchers who are prone to “Bakerification.”

You can’t blame GM Walk Jocketty for sticking with Dusty Baker. He was the man who hired Tony LaRussa in St. Louis, so he likes guys with winning experience. I think it’s time to let Baker go and find a man himself. The former GM Wayne Krivsky hired Baker as a last-ditch effort to save his job, kind of a desperate man’s final meal. He needed to make a splash, but he clearly had no plan for the future of the club. He was hoping that Baker could catch lightning in a bottle, but I think he more or less caught something else that needs some penicillin to clear up.

Once again, I would like to reiterate that I am not a Reds fan, I’m a Cubs fan, but I would like to see them competitive again. I have the same feeling about the Pirates too, but if both of those franchises ever get to a point where they are actually contending for the NL Central, I may not be too pleased. The Reds need to be blown up and get rid of guys like Harang and Arroya and build around some guys like Bruce, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and future-star Yonder Alonso. The start this process, fire Dusty Baker!

Jay Bruce Is The Next Pete Rose

I haven’t seen any baseball player make such an instant impact on a team in my lifetime. The Cincinnati Reds called up the #1 prospect earlier this week and it makes you wonder why they started out the year with Corey Patterson in centerfield. In Jay Bruce’s first five games, he is 11 for 19 with a hand-full of walks and today had a walk-off homer in extra innings. Bruce was hitting well over .300 in the minors and seemed to use every excuse to not give him a call-up. Dusty Baker doesn’t like to play rookie position players, but looks like Bruce gave the Reds no chance to leave him in the minors. Bruce has excellent plate discipline, above average power, very good speed, and can play good defense in centerfield.

I haven’t seen Cincinnati be this excited about a player since Charlie Hustle was donning a Reds uniform. With the young talent the Reds have, this team could become very dangerous for many years to come. Edinson Volquez, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, and Bruce makes up some nice pieces for the future. If the Reds can trade Dunn and Griffey for some blue-chip prospects, this Reds team could make a run at the pennant in the very near future. Let’s hope Dusty Baker doesn’t go all “Wood and Prior” on Volquez and Cueto. They need to make sure they don’t overuse these young arms up and make the Disabled List All-Stars like Kerry Wood and Mark Prior was for a few years.

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