Category Archives: zack greinke

2017 MLB Season Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

2017 MLB Season Team Preview Arizona Diamondbaks Taijuan Walker funnyFormer Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo takes over as manager for the Diamondbacks this season. The team has a lot of needs, but does have a true ace with Zack Greinke and an All-Star power hitter in Paul Goldschmidt. Most managers don’t take over a team with those kind of cornerstones. The rest of the roster needs work, but new general manager Mike Hazen could make some moves this season.

The NL West is one of the best divisions in baseball with the Dodgers and Giants expected to battle for playoff spots. How long until Arizona is in that mix?

Will Arizona make some huge in-season trades in hopes of rebuilding or will the new general manager try to avoid a lengthy rebuild and just attempt to retool?

Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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2016 MLB Season Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

zack greinke arizona diamondbacks mlb team preview 2016Chip Hale had a decent first year as Arizona’s manager. They overachieved last season and went on to make some bold moves this offseason.

The Diamondbacks started the offseason by out-bidding the entire league to sign pitcher Zack Greinke. They followed that mega-deal by trading former #1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson and other prospects to Atlanta for pitcher Shelby Miller. They appear to be figuratively swinging for the fences.

Will Arizona’s big spending pay off this season?

How will Greinke and Miller fare at the top of the rotation?

Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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2015 MLB Team Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers 2015 MLB team preview Ceelo Green funny weird shirtlessThe Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the best rosters in the Majors. They are loaded with established veterans, enthusiastic youth and one of the best starting rotations in the league. This could be a big season for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have deep pockets and have been throwing money at players since they signed their lucrative TV deal. They didn’t splurge this offseason on free agents, but they did do some targeted trades. They knew what they needed and went out and filled holes.

Don Mattingly has been on the hot seat since the Dodgers hired him. He has dealt with lofty expectations and um, Yasiel Puig’s antics. Can he corral Puig’s shenanigans and keep him in line this season?

Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Los Angels Dodgers.

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2014 MLB Team Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

Hot Sexy Alyssa Milano Los Angeles Dodgers Fan 2014 MLB Team PreviewThe Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t look like a very good team early in the season. Manager Don Mattingly actually looked like he was about to be canned. They called up Yasiel Puig and suddenly became the best team in baseball.

The Dodgers have deep pockets and have been throwing money at players since they signed their lucrative TV deal. They signed Clayton Kershaw to a long-term deal and have a half dozen players making more than $15 million this season.

Can Yasiel Puig repeat last season’s breakout season? Will Matt Kemp be moved before the end of the season?

Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Los Angels Dodgers.

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2013 MLB Team Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

forsaleThe Los Angeles Dodgers are officially all-in on competing for a World Series win in 2013. The Magic Johnson-led ownership group are working on finalizing a TV deal that’s upwards of $7 billion dollars over the course of the deal. They have the money to sign every major free agent and they started with signing pitcher Zack Greinke.

Will the ex-Boston group of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett bounce back from an ugly 2012 season?

Is Don Mattingly a lame duck manager or will the Dodgers sign him to a new deal soon?

Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Los Angeles Dodgers. 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.
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Who Will Win American League Cy Young?

The American League Cy Young race is full of the usual suspects. You usually have a dominant picther from the Yankees and Red Sox (check), one from the AL Central division leader (check), and a few dark horses that are no longer in the divisional race (check). Check out who are the favorites and who could come from behind over their last 7 or 8 starts of the season.

Leading Candidates

Justin Verlander – He is tha anchor of a nice pitching staff in Detroit. He currently 14-7 with a 3.38 ERA and has an alarming 211 strikeouts in only 181 innings of work this season. He had a dismal 2008 season and it is nice that he bounced back. The Tigers are currently winning their division, but it could hurt him that he won’t get as much exposure as pitchers on the Red Sox and Yankees. I think he will at least finish in the top three in voting and could take the award.

C.C. Sabathia – He had a rough start to the season, but over the last two months, he has been great. It helps him that he gets a lot of run support from the modern-day “Murder’s Row” the Yankees have assembled. He has a fairly high ERA to be up for the Cy Young, he’s currently at 3.59. He is leading the league in wins (15-7) and his WHIP is 1.13, which is great. It will help him that he’s on the Yankees and that he probably should have won the award last season, but he switched leagues mid-season.

Roy Halladay – His season has been marred with “Am I getting traded?…okay, how about now?” banter all season. He has had a great year despite all of the distractions, he’s 13-7 with a 3.03 ERA. He has been a workhorse with five complete games and will easily get to 200 innings this year. He’s still a leading candidate for the Cy Young, even if his chances aren’t as great as Verlander or Sabathia’s at getting another Cy Young.

Zack Greinke – If the season ended at the beginning of June, then Greinke would have been the unanimous winner, but the Royals hit bottom and Greinke had a few bad starts. He still had a great year and is still leading the AL in ERA with a 2.43, a full .3 a head of the next guy on the list, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez at 2.73. Greinke has a 12-8 record with 5 complete games, if he were on a contender, I am confident that he would be a 20-game winner. He is also currently 2nd in the AL in strikeouts with 197. If he had run support, Greinke would be in stronger position to win the AL Cy Young.

Dark Horses

Josh Beckett – The Red Sox may not win the AL East this year, but they are fighting for their Wild Card life. Beckett has helped them by pitching well, but he has been erratic at times. He has a 3.65 ERA, but is 14-5 this year. He had a month-long stretch that he barely gave up any hits, but that streak has ended and he’s hittable again. I would say that he’s a dark horse to win it, unless he can pull out a perfect game between now and the end of the season.

Scott Feldman – The young ace of the Texas Rangers isn’t used to being considered for end of the year awards, but he deserves a little recognition. He’s currently 13-4 with a 3.87 ERA for the Rangers, but only has 84 strikeouts, but that isn’t his expertise. He has helped the Rangers contend for the AL Wild Card and with Kevin Milwood, Dexter Holland, and Tommy Hunter has transformed the Rangers starting rotation. He has too high of an ERA to win, but should garner some votes.

Jared Weaver – Weaver had a horrible first couple weeks of the season. At one point his ERA was nearing double digits. Over the last few months, he has trimmed his ERA down to 4.03. He is 13-5 with 143 strikeouts for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Over the course of his dominance, they have bolted all the way to the best record in the American League. Weaver also has a high ERA to win this award, but the way he has pitched lately could change some minds.

Jeff Niemann – At the beginning of the year, The Tampa Bay Rays were needing to trim down their starting rotation and Niemann was almost the odd man out. He has pitched great this year and especially at home in Tropicana Field, he has a 2.67 ERA at home. This season, Niemann is 12-5 with a 3.87 ERA, something that the Rays didn’t expect from him, those numbers were expected out of David Price, Scott Kazmir, or Andy Sonnanstine. He’s not a sexy pick for the Cy Young, but if can get the Rays into the playoffs and dominantly pitch the rest of the way, there’s a slim chance.

I would say that award is Justin Verlander’s to lose. He just has to stay the course and pitch consistently and he should take it home. C.C. Sabathia should finish second, but as much press that the Yankees garner, he could leapfrog Verlander if they keep winning and getting ample run support for their pitchers. At this point it’s too close to call, but when it’s all said and done, Verlander should finally win the AL Cy Young.
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