Category Archives: Starlin Castro

2017 MLB Season Preview: New York Yankees

2017 MLB Season Team Preview New York Yankees Aroldis Chapman funnyBefore last season, I proclaimed, “The Yankees championship window is closing shut.” Well, thanks to the Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller trades, they jammed a crowbar in that window and swung it wide open. They made out like bandits in both trades.

There are rumors that the Yankees are stockpiling prospects to make a move on Angels outfielder Mike Trout, but I doubt any team will have enough talent to swap for the perennial MVP candidate.

I like the Yankees this season, but think they could run into some issues with their starting rotation. Will they try to make some moves early in the year to improve it?

Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the New York Yankees.

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2016 MLB Season Preview: New York Yankees

Starlin-Castro-New-York-Yankees-americas-white-boy-2016-MLB-season-previewThe New York Yankees championship window is closing shut. They were quiet this offseason when it came to free agents, but they made two important trades to acquire shortstop Starlin Castro and closer Aroldis Chapman.

The AL East is expected to be one of the most contested divisions in Major League Baseball. Boston added some big free agents, Toronto’s offense is a beast, Baltimore is always dangerous and Tampa Bay is on the rise.

Does A-Rod, Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira have one more championship run left in them?

Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the New York Yankees.

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2015 MLB Team Preview: Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs 2015 mlb team preview mr t funny weird shirtlessThe Chicago Cubs are nearing the end of a long-term rebuilding plan. It feels like Theo Epstein has been working on this plan for a decade. Many of Chicago’s young, homegrown players will be called up by the end of the year.

The Cubs made a big splash this offseason by signing Jon Lester to a long-term deal and by hiring Joe Maddon after he opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay. He turned around that franchise and is one of the smartest managers in the game.

Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler have Cubs fans drooling. The trio make up the corps of young talent Chicago has been developing in the minors.

Can Chicago be a real contender this season or is it a year too early?

Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Chicago Cubs.

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Cubs trade Samardzija & Hammel to Oakland for Prospects

Jeff Samardzija Jason Hammel Trade Chicago Cubs Oakland As Addison RussellThe Chicago Cubs FINALLY made the trade fans knew was coming for a long time.

Cubs’ fans assumed it would take two separate deals to trade both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but they found their trade partner in the Oakland A’s.

The Cubs need young pitching, so you would expect the deal would surround some young arms. Right? Not exactly.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Top 40 Shortstops

Derek Jeter Elmo New York Yankees MLB Fantasy Baseball Shortstops Rankings 2014It was once hard to find power at the shortstop position, but now there are a dozen options who could hit 20+ homers this season. You have all the usual suspects (Hanley Ramirez & Troy Tulowitzki) and a few emerging stars (Andrelton Simmons & Jean Segura).

This will be Derek Jeter’s farewell season. Does he go out with a relevant fantasy season?

My shortstop fantasy baseball rankings are based on a standard 5×5 league. If you have any specific questions about a different league, email me BobbyMcrib@gmail.com.

1. Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles DodgersBefore the injury bug hit Ramirez, he was once the #1 overall fantasy player. He has missed an average of 50 games each of the last three seasons. He only appeared in 86 games, but he hit .345 and smacked 20 homers. If he can stay healthy, I expect some big numbers from Ramirez.

2. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies – Tulo had a few injuries that kept him from playing, but they were random injuries. His injuries weren’t any associated with someone breaking down. He came back from core muscle surgery last season and put up decent numbers in only 446 at-bats. If he gets near 550 at-bats, he should have another 30/100/.305 season. That is worth #1 or #2 on this list.

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2014 MLB Team Preview: Chicago Cubs

Hot Sexy Fan Girl Chicago Cubs 2014 MLB Team PreviewThe Chicago Cubs are in the middle of a long-term rebuilding plan. They are building the team through the draft and their farm system is now one of the best in baseball. Many of those prospects are still a year away, so many Cubs fans are already looking ahead to the 2015 season.

Expect the Cubs roster to looks drastically different by the end of the season. Jeff Samardzija may even be traded before the season begins.

New manager Rick Renteria takes over a team of mostly cheap role players keeping seats warm until Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant are ready to appear in the Majors.

Can Starlin Castro regain his All-Star form? Will Anthony Rizzo make a leap forward and become a better all-around hitter?

Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Chicago Cubs.

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Are Trade Rumors Having a Negative Effect on Starlin Castro?

‘America’s White Boy’ has been Starlin Castro Central over the past week. I had an opinion on the latest Chicago Cubs trade rumors that possibly involved Castro and had a post where I compared the current Castro situation to the 1988 trade Rafael Palmeiro.

Castro committed a pretty bad defensive gaffe when he didn’t even attempt a double play because he thought he already recorded the third out of the inning. He held onto the ball and the tying run scored on the play. The Cubs lost 3-2 to the San Francisco Giants.

Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein shot down rumors they were shopping Castro. Trade rumors can affect a person’s confidence even when they are not involved in the rumor.

What is the best way to deal with his lack of concentration? Is benching him the right answer?

Cubs manager Dale Sveum hinted that Castro could see himself out of the lineup tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers. Sveum has been vocal when the 22-year old has made a mistake and even called his last error “unacceptable.”

This wasn’t the only lapse in concentration that Castro has committed recently. He pulled up on a steal attempt because he thought Joe Mather had fouled off the pitch. Mather didn’t make contact and Castro was caught in a rundown. He had a problem last season when Bobby Valentine, current manager of the Boston Red Sox and former ESPN baseball analyst, criticized him for not being set defensively when the pitcher threw the ball. Castro had his back to the play and was bashed by the rest of the media after Valentine pointed it out on live television.

Castro has been the only consistent offense for Chicago this year. Bryan LaHair and Alfonso Soriano have been hot at different times, but Castro has batted over .300 since Opening Day.

Chicago has one of the worst records in baseball (18-36) and it isn’t going to get any better this year. They will be openly shopping Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Soriano and other players at some point in the season.

Castro needs to look at the team’s struggle as a mental test. Unless you are Derek Jeter, a player isn’t going to be on a winning team every year. If he handles losing poorly, he will not progress in his development. I hope Sveum continues to be hard on him. I believe he deserves to be benched for a couple games, but then openly praised if he comes back playing harder than ever.

The Cubs fans are rooting for you, Starlin. Please lead by example and your teammates will follow.

By: TwitterButtons.com

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

Starlin Castro Could Be Next Rafael Palmeiro

Last night, I wrote a post about the trade rumors that surround Starlin Castro. The post was informative with very little opinion. I am usually very opinionated when it comes to the Chicago Cubs. I have been a fan since I was old enough to understand what the hell Harry Caray was saying. I didn’t add much opinion because I was shocked that two high-ranking members of the Cubs organization would tell USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that “everyone but Jeff Samardzija is available.”

Epstein refuted that statement late Thursday to The Sporting News by saying, “Starlin Castro is the type of player we’re looking to build around. There has been no trade consideration with him, whatsoever.”

Epstein’s statement is “sports speak” and politically correct. This is coming from an executive who once traded Nomar Garciaparra in the middle of a pennant race.

I want to point out the similarities to Starlin Castro and Rafael Palmeiro, who the Cubs traded to the Texas Rangers in 1988 when he was a 23-year old. The Cubs received a package of six young prospects. Did I mention the Cubs also traded Jamie Moyer away in the same deal?

There is no doubt that Epstein has an itchy trigger finger. He wants to show Cubs fans that he is there to win.

If Starlin Castro is traded, could he be a part of the next Rafael Palmeiro trade disaster?

Let’s take a look at the organization similarities in 1987-88 and 2011-12.

1987-88: The Cubs fired Dallas Green as the general manager and hired Jim Frey to take over the job. Frey previously worked in the Baltimore, Kansas City, and New York Mets organizations. He even worked under Green as the Cubs manager from 1984-86. He was not married to any player in the organization, especially Moyer and Palmeiro, who both made their professional debuts in ’86…after Frey was fired.

2011-12: Jim Hendry, who had a great beginning to his GM tenure in 2003, fell short in his last few years on the job. After he fired Dusty Baker, he hired Lou Piniella as the team’s savior. He couldn’t do much with the talent. Expectations began to lower and fan frustration was on the rise. Hendry was finally fired after the 2011 season. The Cubs hired former Boston Red Sox’s executive, Theo Epstein as the President of Baseball Operations. He then hired former San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer to take over the same position with the Cubs. Neither Epstein or Hoyer have any ties to young talent and/or the veterans on the 25-man roster.

The Cubs situation in both eras are parallel. A change in the front office and the desire to blow up the team and start fresh. Frey was already quite familiar with the Cubs organization. You would think that he would have tried to hold onto Palmeiro and Moyer, but Green acquired those players. Green was the GM who fired Frey and on a personal level, it could have swayed his decision to rid the team of some talent and get back younger players that could help the team in the future. He would get all of the credit for the turnaround.

Let’s take a look at Rafael Palmeiro in 1986-88 and Starlin Castro in 2010-12.

Rafael Palmeiro in 1986-88: He was drafted in the first round of the 1985 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs. He came up for a short time at the end of the 1986 season and showed plate discipline and a little pop. He was called up in June of 1987 and hit 14 home runs in only 221 at-bats. It was the first sign of his power numbers that he would later hit in his career. He came into the 1988 season as the starting left-fielder and played a little at first base. He hit .307 with eight home runs in 580 at-bats. His power numbers were down but he only struck out 34 times in 152 games. Palmeiro was showing all of his tools, but he only had four. His defense was a glaring hole in his game…the reason Frey used when he traded him in December of 1988.

Starlin Castro in 2010-12: He signed as an amateur free agent in 2006. He played 125 games in 2010 with a line of 3/41/.300. He finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. In 2011, he came into his own and earned his first All-Star selection. He finished the year with a line of 10/66/.307 and had some votes for NL Most Valuable Player. He led the National League in hits with 207 in 2011. So far in 2012, he has a line of 4/32/.317 in 205 at-bats. He has the same questions about his defensive ability as Palmeiro had at the same point in their careers. He committed a total of 56 combined through 2010-11 and has already has 9 errors through the first 50 games in 2012.

If we go back to Nightengale’s piece in the USA Today, the top ranking Cubs official said they would move Castro for “two impact prospects.” I argued that he is only 22-years old and the impact free agents would be roughly his age with less MLB experience and a lower talent-ceiling.

Let’s look at what GM Jim Frey got in return for Moyer, Palmeiro and pitcher Jim Hall in 1988.

The Cubs got back minor leaguers Luis Benitez and Pablo Delgado, pitchers Paul Kilgus, Mitch Williams, Steve Wilson and IF Curtis Wilkerson. At the time, they thought that their return on Moyer and Palmeiro was tremendous. Chicago had a lot of holes and Frey believed they would be a very talented team in the near future.

The pitchers in the deal, Kilgus, Williams and Wilson, were a combined 21-35 during their tenure with the team. Williams was an All-Star in 1989, but began to earn his “Wild Thing” nickname by becoming more unreliable in 1990. The Cubs traded him to the Phillies in 1991 for pitchers Chuck McElroy and Bob Scanlan…both of whom had longer tenures with the Cubs than any pitcher received in the Moyer/Palmeiro deal.

Benitez, Delgado and Wilkerson, the position players in the trade, contributed less than the pitchers. Benitez and Delgado never made it to the Majors with Chicago or any team for that matter. Wilkerson served as a utility player for two seasons. He only contributed one home run and a batting average that hovered near the Mendoza line.

Scouting has advanced greatly since 1988 and the odds of making such a terrible trade is lower. I just wanted to point out the dangers in trading young stars who have had early success in their careers.

Moyer had a winning record in his first season with the Cubs and went on to have a great career. He didn’t pan out for the Rangers during his time with the team, but really began to dominate at the age of 34 with Seattle.

Palmeiro went on to hit 569 homers and over 3,000 hits in his career. He spent the remainder of his career with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He was suspended at the end of his career for a failed drug test after he testified in front of the U.S. Congress. His career will now be looked at as a result of performance-enhancing drugs.

Starlin Castro has all of the tools that Palmeiro possessed as a 22-year old. The power numbers may not be there or will ever be there, but he is one of the best young talents in the game. Now is not the time to trade him in hopes that the young prospects they would get in return, would turn into…well, Starlin Castro clones?!

Even though Epstein put out the fire by saying that he wasn’t currently shopping Castro, be aware of a statement that he made earlier in the week.

“I never understood why there would ever be an untouchable. All you’re doing is limiting your opportunity”

Brace yourselves Cubs fans, it could be a very long summer.
By: TwitterButtons.com

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.