Category Archives: Matt Garza

2016 MLB Season Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

Chris Carter Milwaukee brewers 2016 mlb season preview america's white boyThe Milwaukee Brewers are a long way away from the team that once had a deep farm system. The Brewers didn’t win any championships with Prince Fielder and company, but they did bring this franchise back from the dead. They do have some gems in the minors ready to be called up in the next few years, but their current Major League roster is a bit thin.

The Brewers currently have nine players in camp trying to win the starting center field spot. All nine players are somewhere in-between a Four-A player and a washed-up veteran. Their outfield defense will not be pretty.

Chris Carter and Domingo Santana both have a ton of power, but opposing pitchers will rack up plenty of strikeouts against them this season.

Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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2015 MLB Team Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers 2015 mlb team preview funny shirtless hat weirdOn paper, the Milwaukee Brewers have one of the most talented starting lineups in the National League. Unfortunately, they are thin on depth. It could be a long season if something unforeseen happens.

Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura are two of the best defensive players in the National League. Their bats aren’t too shabby either. They should both be All-Stars in 2015.

Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse anchor a starting rotation that is a bit top-heavy. Mike Fiers was hot at the end of the year, but he hasn’t been able to put together an entire season. The back of the rotation could have trouble.

Khris Davis struck out in nearly 25% of his at-bats in 2014. Will he be more patient this season?

Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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2014 MLB Team Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

Hot Sexy Milwaukee Brewers Front Row Amy Williams 2014 MLB Team PreviewIt’s easy to point the finger at Ryan Braun for the Brewers sub-par season, but they had other issues. They were trying to move on from Prince Fielder and new players were pressured to contribute right away.

Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura had breakout seasons and look to improve further in 2014. The ceiling is high for both players and they could both find themselves on the National League All-Star team.

Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Cincinnati are all projected to battle for the NL Central crown. Where does that leave Milwaukee?

Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Texas Rangers Acquire Matt Garza from Chicago Cubs

Matt+Garza+Chicago+Cubs+Photo+Day+Mu-69jJJlZ1lThe Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs finally put together a deal for pitcher Matt Garza. The Cubs are sending Garza to Texas for 3B prospect Mike Olt, minor league pitcher C.J Edwards, starter Justin Grimm and the infamous, player to be named later.

The trade has been on and off for over a week and as a Cubs fan, I’m just glad the Matt Garza trade drama is over. He’s been included in trade rumors soon after he began his first season on the North Side.

Mike Olt has shown power in the minors and is much more MLB-ready than recent #2 overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, Kris Bryant. Olt does have position flexibility, since he’s been working on his outfield defense. That was the only way he would have been called up to the Rangers, since Adrian Beltre blocked him at third base. So, if things work out as planned and Bryant is brought up in 2016, it shouldn’t be a problem to get these two guys in the lineup regularly.

C.J. Edwards has been lights out in A-ball this season. He has a K/9 over 11.00 and a K/BB ratio hovering around 4.00. He is projected to be a middle of the rotation guy or better.

Good luck to Mr. Garza in Arlington.

(I’m horrible at Photoshop, so I’ve embraced MS Paint. It’s funny, so expect more awesome photos that look like they’re edited by a four-year old.)

2013 MLB Team Preview: Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are in the middle of rebuilding their team the right way, through the draft. They are avoiding the offseason barrage of high-priced free agents, which was their vice during the final years of the Chicago Tribune ownership. The new owners, the Ricketts family lured Theo Epstein away from the Boston Red Sox before last season and ended the season with  101 losses in 2012.

Cubs fans aren’t expecting a World Series championship in 2013, but they want to see improvement. A few young prospects are expected to be called up at some point and those are the players the fans will have an interest in.

Should fans expect an All-Star season from Anthony Rizzo?

Will Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano be traded at some point this season?

Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Chicago Cubs. Continue reading

MLB Trade Rumors: Dempster, Garza, Grienke & More

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is less than a week away. The rumors are swirling and the buyers and sellers are yet to be set in stone. The extra wild-card spot has generated more buyers this year.

The NL Central bottom dwellers are destined to be the most active sellers. The Houston Astros have already made a few deals and the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are the teams who have the most rumored marquee players on the trading block.

Can Chicago finally find a few home for Ryan Dempster? Will the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers acquire pitching help?

Here are the latest MLB trade rumors gaining the most traction.

– The Dodgers have a leg up on the competition to acquire Dempster. Chicago has asked for minor-league pitcher Allen Webster. If Los Angeles don’t want to part with him, they have Zack Grienke and Josh Johnson in their sights.

– Grienke’s list of suitors keeps growing as Milwaukee keeps losing games. Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, and Chicago White Sox all occupy that list. Atlanta and Texas have the best top-tier prospects, but Grienke would have to agree to sign an extension if Milwaukee hopes to get the maximum return for him.

– Josh Johnson is another pitcher on many teams’ wishlist. The Miami Herald doesn’t believe a deal will happen unless they get an offer too good to turn down. They have already dealt Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, so anything is possible.

– The Cincinnati Reds are looking to acquire a speedy outfielder. The Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span and Philadelphia Phillies’ Juan Pierre are their top trade targets. Span has more tools than Pierre, but would cost more. The Washington Nationals are rumored to be looking at Span as well, so a small bidding war could take place.

– The Twins hot and cold starter, Francisco Liriano, could land on the team who loses out on the Garza, Dempster, and Grienke sweepstakes. The St. Louis Cardinals, Washington, Texas and both Los Angeles teams are rumored to be scouting him. He is a high-risk/high-reward player, but a team wouldn’t have to mortgage their future to obtain him.

Matt Garza was supposed to be the belle of this year’s trading deadline, but an average first-half have dulled trade offers. The best rumored offer has been a package from the Dodgers that would include 20-year old pitching prospect Zach Lee. Dempster’s unwillingness to agree a trade to Atlanta has left Chicago in a difficult situation. The Dodgers appear to be his ideal destination, but a Dempster rental won’t haul the level of prospects Chicago covets.

– The Los Angeles Angels are talking to the Tampa Bay Rays about pitchers Wade Davis and James Shields. Davis is a cheaper option and could pitch at the back-end of the rotation or come out of the bullpen.

– The New York Yankees aren’t expected to trade for third base fill-in for Alex Rodriguez. Mark Reynolds and Chone Figgins would have been ideal candidates, but Eric Chavez is expected to take over the everyday role.

– Hoping to stay in the AL East division race, the Baltimore Orioles are hoping to land a mid-rotation starter. They are finding it difficult since every team is asking for top prospects Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado. They are rumored to be shopping prospects Jonathan Schoop and Xavier Avery, but aren’t looking for a pitching rental. Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton, Shaun Marcum, and Liriano are the pitchers rumored to be Baltimore’s trade targets.

– The shortstop trade market is saturated with starter-level talent. Stephen Drew, Yunel Escobar, Marco Scutaro, Jimmy Rollins, Jamey Carroll, Brendan Ryan, and Jed Lowrie are all on the trading block. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay, and Milwaukee are all looking for shortstop help. Drew is getting the most interest from Pittsburgh and Boston.

Justin Upton is no longer on the trading block. I didn’t see the Arizona Diamondbacks being serious about trading their franchise player. They just wanted to see what kind of offers were out there.

– Milwaukee could deal Aramis Ramirez before July 31st. He is in the first year of a three-year deal. San Francisco and the Dodgers are in need of third base help. Los Angeles just acquired Hanley Ramirez, but he was a horrible third baseman in Miami.
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.

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.

The Cubs to Trade Starlin Castro, Others?

The Chicago Cubs are 18-32 and have already had a double-digit losing streak this season. They knew going into this season that big changes could be made to their team.

Bob Nightengale of the USA Today reported that every player on the Cubs current roster, except Jeff Samardzija, is available for trade.

The biggest surprise in Nightengale’s story is that 22-year old All-Star, Starlin Castro, is among the Cubs players that the organization would consider trading. He is among the team leaders in nearly every offensive category.

Is publicly announcing that the entire roster is available for trade a smart move? What is the Cubs asking price for Castro?

Theo Epstein signed on as the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs and hired Jed Hoyer as the General Manager. Epstein came from the Boston Red Sox and Hoyer was previously the San Diego Padres GM. To make a long story short, they didn’t draft or sign any of these players, so they are not married to them.

“We’re starting to get some early calls now,” Epstein told Nightengale. “There might be fewer sellers than usual and a lot more buyers. This has the chance to help us. We need core players.”

The Cubs will move Starlin Castro for ‘two impact prospects’ and Bryan LaHair, Matt Garza, and Ryan Dempster are the others that will be highly sought after. Alfonso Soriano was also mentioned, which isn’t a new development, the Cubs has been trying to trade him for three seasons. They would eat most of his contract just to make space in the outfield ($18 million per season through 2014). Soriano is on a hot streak since reducing his bat weight by over an ounce. It could be the perfect time to talk a team into taking him off their hands

Let’s go back to Epstein’s remark that the Cubs “need core players.” Castro has proven that he can produce at the major-league level (over 200 hits in 2011). He has struggled defensively this year and analysts are questioning if he would be more suitable at a third-base. Unless the Cubs think that minor-league shortstop Junior Lake is a better long-term answer at the position, I would rather have Castro than two wild-cards at this point.

If the Cubs make a few moves and clear spots on the 25-man roster, they will bring up some talented minor leaguers. First Baseman Anthony Rizzo is tearing up Triple-A and will be the first player they call up. If Rizzo is their #1 prospect, outfielder Brett Jackson is #1a. Jackson has been touted as the center fielder of the future. RHP Trey McNutt and 3B Josh Vitters could also be considered for a call-up.

Epstein can’t trade the entire roster. They are an 18-32 team, he couldn’t even give away most of them. Publicly announcing that the team is up for trade could lead to disgruntled players and low morale. He could have had personal discussions with other teams’ front office staff. He did it as a message for fans that he will not stand pat and will do everything he can to improve the Cubs. I can understand that, but it just seems pretty early to be making bold statements.

I’m a Cubs fan and I have been very patient with the organization. I am ready for a change, but I hope they don’t trade young established talent for even younger unknown commodities. You can make a bad situation even worse if those prospects don’t pan out and the player you traded away is voted into the All-Star game every year.

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.