MLB


The Beast of the Week: Madison Bumgarner

October 2, 2014 3:55 pm

Madison_BumgarnerMadison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants pitched a complete game shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates to send the Giants to the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals.

It was a one-game playoff which saw Bumgarner throw nine innings where he struck out 10 and held the Pirates to 4 hits in their 8-0 win on the road.


You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP

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Throwback Thursday: A-Rod Hits 564th Home Run to Pass Reggie Jackson

June 26, 2014 7:30 am

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On June 26th, 2009…Yankees’ slugger, Alex Rodriguez, launched a two-run homer in the top of the 8th inning against cross-town rivals, the New York Mets, as Yankees fans cheered while Rodriguez ran around the bases knowing he just passed Reggie Jackson on the all-time home run list.

Although Rodriguez passed Reggie Jackson to move into 11th place on the all-time homer list, Jackson, who was in attendance on the night Rodriguez launched number 564th to right field, couldn’t resist giving Rodriguez a hug in the visitors clubhouse at Citi Field.

“Here’s a guy who is probably going to end up with 700 or 800 home runs. I want to enjoy the night tonight and watch my friend hit No. 564 and maybe drop my name in the paper,” said Jackson in an interview after the Yankees 9-1 victory against the Mets.

After surpassing Jackson, a hall of fame baseball player who also played for the New York Yankees; Rodriguez was happy to have the legend there in attendance.

“It’s pretty special to have Reggie here,” Rodriguez said. “I remember the first time I met Reggie was at an Upper Deck Classic in California when I was 17. Reggie is an American icon. He’s done a lot of great things, and all the history he brings to the Yankees is special.”

In that same season, Rodriguez led the Yankees to the World Series where they beat the Philadelphia Phillies for their 27th World Series Championship and the first of Rodriguez’s career. He was also awarded the Babe Ruth Award as the Postseason MVP to cap off his unforgettable season.

Since that memorable June 26th night in New York, Rodriguez has moved up on the list. After five years, Rodriguez sits at number 6 on the all-time home run list with 654. Although the 38-year-old third baseman might have seen his playing days end due to trouble off the field – it is without a doubt an incredible accomplishment of his major league career.


 

You can follow David Pradel on Twitter: @davepradel_

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The Beast of the Week: Josh Beckett

May 31, 2014 2:50 pm

Josh Beckett of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw his first career no-hitter on Sunday at Citizens Bank Ballpark against the Philadelphia Phillies. It is the first no-hitter in the major leagues this season.MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies

Ever since Jayson Werth got hurt in 2012 and the Phillies fans taunted him, nothing has gone well for them. Sunday wasn’t any different. The hitting was atrocious and Josh Beckett gets to add this to his already stellar resume that includes two World Series championships and a World Series MVP award.

It took him 128 pitches, but he stayed in the game and it will be remembered forever. This is the first no-hitter the Dodgers have thrown since Hideo Nomo in 1996.


You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP

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LA Dodgers 2014 Starting Lineup Projections

March 4, 2014 12:33 pm

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the most electrifying lineups in all of baseball. If the offense can help out the Dodgers’ fantastic pitching staff, they will undoubtedly compete for the World Series.

1. Yasiel Puig

Puig’s rookie season in 2013 is one for the ages. He finished the season with 19 home runs, most of which happened right after he was called up. His .319 batting average was spectacular, especially for a rookie. If he gets better, he will be one of the best players in the game.

2. Carl Crawford

Crawford had a good 2013 which he needed. The veteran had never really hit his stride since leaving Tampa Bay, but last season he batted .283 with 30 doubles. Crawford needs to stay consistent because the Dodgers have four big name outfielders. Crawford has hit home runs in the All Star Game – where he was MVP – and the World Series. With tons of playoff experience, Crawford will be a key factor to this team and has proved he can be one of the best.

3. Hanley Ramirez

The former rookie of the year is coming off a season where he only played 86 games but managed to hit .345 with 20 home runs and 25 doubles. If he can put up those numbers the whole season, that will boost the team’s World Series chances even more.

4. Adrian Gonzalez

Last season Gonzalez hit .293 with 22 long balls and 100 runs batted in. He was the number one overall pick in the 2000 MLB Draft from Eastlake high school in San Diego. He has played with the Rangers, Padres, Red Sox and now the Dodgers. Known for his power, Gonzalez has hit home runs in the NLCS and the All Star Game. He is one of the most feared hitters in the league, and he has led the league in walks.

5. Matt Kemp

Kemp finished second in the MVP race to controversial Ryan Braun in 2011. Since then Kemp has struggled with injuries. In 2013 Kemp played in only 73 games and hit .270. Overall, he is a career .293 hitter. He has led the league in home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, and WAR. He has also flashed the leather by winning the Gold Glove.

6. Juan Uribe

Uribe finished with a .278 batting average in 2013 which was up from the .191 he hit in 2012. He was able to contribute nicely for the Dodgers by hitting 12 home runs and knocking in 50 runs. Uribe won the World Series with the Giants and can be a threat everytime he steps up to the plate.

7. A.J. Ellis

Ellis hit a homerun in the NLCS, but overall, his 2013 season wasn’t as good as his 2012. His average was .238 in 2013 which is 32 points below his previous season. He is the favorite catcher for some of the Dodgers’ pitchers including Clayton Kershaw. Anything he can contribute on offense is a bonus.

8. Alex Guerrero

Guerrero just signed a four year contract with the Dodgers this offseason worth 28 million dollars. At just 26, and from Cuba, it appears he should be able to put up some great numbers. His stats from last season in Cuba are pretty impressive for a second baseman where he hit .290 with 21 home runs.

Bench

Andre Ethier

Ethier is a former great player who has won the Gold Glove and has hit home runs in the NLDS and NLCS. Last season he batted .272 with 12 home runs and 33 doubles. His role with the Dodgers for 2014 is still up in the air but he will most likely find himself pinch hitting a lot.

Tim Federowicz

Federowicz went up and down from the Dodgers and their minor league affiliate last season. He filled in with his .231 average in 56 games.

Dee Gordon

Gordon, the son of a former player brings plenty of speed to the Dodgers. Like Federowicz, Gordon also spent portions of time between the minor leagues and the Dodgers. Last season he played in 38 games and batted .234. In 181 career games he has batted just .256. If he can contribute, he can become a key part of this Dodgers team. If he can’t contribute, his career could be numbered.

The Dodgers will be World Series favorites if everything goes right on offense. They don’t even have to hit that well because of how good their pitching staff is.


You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP

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San Diego Padres 2014 Starting Lineup Projections

February 21, 2014 12:53 pm

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The San Diego Padres look to make a big splash this season. Many analysts list the Padres as a team on the rise and some including Buster Olney think that the Padres will make the playoffs. Here is what the Padres starting lineup might look like.

Starting lineup:

1. Everth Cabrera, shortstop

Cabrera played in only 95 games before his season was ended due to a suspension. He was having a great season batting .283 with 15 doubles. Cabrera had also been on pace to lead the league in stolen bases like he had in 2012.

2. Will Venable, outfield

The former Princeton basketball player hit his stride with the Padres last season when he batted .268 and hit 22 home runs.

3. Chase Headley, third baseman

In 2012 Headley led the league in rbi’s and batted .286 with 31 home runs. 2013 was almost the exact opposite as he only hit .250 with 13 home runs. If Headley can get back into 2012 form, then the Padres will be a lot better.

4. Carlos Quentin, outfield

Quentin has missed a lot of time in his career due to injuries. Last season in 82 games, Quentin hit .275 with 13 home runs. Over his career he has hit .255 with 150 home runs.

5. Yonder Alonso, first baseman

Alonso is entering his third season with the Padres. In his first year, he had 39 doubles as a rookie. He was originally drafted seventh overall by the Cincinnati Reds in 2008, then traded to San Diego. In his second season he was injured a little bit, appearing in 97 games with a solid .281 batting average.

6. Jedd Gyorko, second baseman

Gyorko started off last season hot, but cooled down a bit finishing with a .249 batting average. He seems like a player who will and has probably been working hard so that this season can be an improvement. He came up big at times, finishing with 23 home runs and 63 runs batted in as a rookie.

7. Cameron Maybin, outfield

Originally drafted tenth overall by the Detroit Tigers, some have started to doubt that he will live up to the hype. He has a career .248 batting average, and only hit .157 last season in 57 at bats. The potential is there. If he plays great, it will energize the team and the town.

8. Nick Hundley, catcher

Like Maybin, Hundley has the potential to become a breakout star. Last season Hundley hit a career high 13 home runs. However his batting average of .233 means that he better step it up because Yasmani Grandal and soon Austin Hedges will do whatever they can to be the starting catcher.

Bench

Yasmani Grandal, catcher

He has played in 88 games since he made his major league debut in 2012. A rough injury and suspension took away much of his 2013 season. However, when he plays, he has a career .271 batting average with 15 doubles.

Chris Denorfia, outfield

Denorfia is a player who doesn’t get the credit he deserves. In 2013, he had ten home runs and 21 doubles while keeping a fairly strong .279 batting average.

Alexi Amarista, infield and outfield

Coming off the bench and filling in where he was needed was Amarista’s role in 2013. He only batted .236 but with his speed he was able to get 14 doubles and 32 rbi’s.

Seth Smith and Kyle Blanks, outfield

Smith and Blanks should be solid pinch hitters and they can also start at times when needed. Smith was acquired from Oakland and hit 27 doubles last season. If he does that again this year, then he could find himself in the starting lineup. Blanks has shown his potential on occasion and if he can hit home runs with consistency, the Padres won’t be taking him out of the lineup.

If these players can all produce, the Padres will be hard to stop.


You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP

 

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Padres Fanfest: High Hopes For San Diego

February 11, 2014 12:24 pm

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On Saturday the San Diego Padres hosted their annual Fanfest at Petco Park. At the Fanfest, the Padres allow fans to tour the clubhouse, go on the field, throw in the bullpen, meet many of the players, and much more. They do a great job. Most of the Padres players are ready and excited for the season to start.

“This season definitely should be good,” said starting pitcher Tyson Ross. Ross had a pretty good season last year and he says he, “Just wants to have another good year.”

Cory Luebke isn’t going to let his new injury take him down. Luebke hasn’t played since the 2012 season and will now miss all of 2014. Luebke is going to work hard and says, “I’ll be ready,” when he is able to get another chance.

Closer Huston Street is excited about this season. Street talked about the bullpen saying, “It’s good this year and it’s gotta be up there,” when comparing it to other bullpens that he has been a part of.

Nick Vincent is going to be a big part of this bullpen. He hasn’t gotten too far ahead of himself and just wants to, “Stay healthy and get out of Spring Training.”

Overall, all of the Padres are optimistic as they should be. Hopes are high and they should be able to make the playoffs.


You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP

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San Diego Padres 2014 Season Preview

January 25, 2014 12:57 am

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The San Diego Padres are a team to take seriously this year. For the first time in about 3 years I can say with confidence, the San Diego Padres will make the playoffs this year. Let’s look at the reasons why I believe the San Diego Padres will make the playoffs in 2014.

The Pad squad went out and signed former ace Josh Johnson. Josh was in Toronto last year in a very disappointing season with the Blue Jays where he went 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA with only 81.1 innings pitched. What’s wrong with him? Remember, this is a guy who was a Cy Young winner in 2010 with an 11-6 record and 2.30 ERA. I think what is truly wrong is his confidence. And the fact he needed surgery on his elbow to remove a bone spur. Remember Petco Park is a place where John Garland and Aaron Harang remade their careers, and I think Josh Johnson wins comeback player of the year.

I think the rotation looks like this on opening day: Cashner, Johnson, Kennedy, Ross, Stults. That gives manager Bud Black a filthy rotation. Not to mention they have a very good young lefty waiting in Cory Luebke. Once he comes back to form he will be the 5 starter right behind Ross and the rotation will be one of, if not the best rotation in baseball, and I truly do believe that.

Another great move was signing Benoit this offseason and acquiring left handed specialist Alex Torres who was absolutely shut down last season posting a 1.71 ERA with 62 Ks in 58.1 innings pitched. The Padres bullpen is stronger than I have seen it in sometime. If this team has a lead going into the 6th inning, the Padres will have a very good chance of winning. Bullpen consists of: LHP Cory Luebke and Tim Stauffer, LP Alex Torres, RP/SU Nick Vincent, Dale Thayer and Joaquin Benoit, CP Huston Street.

The Padres also went out and acquired Seth Smith from the Oakland A’s who is very good at hitting right handed pitching, which the Padres were so very desperate in finding. Padres opening day lineup should look something like this: E. Cabrera, S. Smith, C. Headley, C. Quentin, J. Gyorko, Y. Alonso, C. Maybin, N. Hundley.

I think the lineup is very underrated as they were top 10 in the league at scoring runs before Yonder, Jedd and Quentin all got hurt last year. I think the biggest X Factor this year will be Cameron Maybin. If he can stay healthy and play the way he did back in 2010, the Padres will have a very good team this season.

I’m projecting the Padres at 90-72 and getting third place in their division, only behind Dodgers and D-backs, all three of which will have over 95 wins. This means that the NL West will have 3 playoff teams.

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Ranking The Best & Worst Divisions in Baseball

January 25, 2014 12:55 am

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Ahhh yes it’s that time of the year again. It’s Baseball season. It’s time to start looking at the best and worst divisions in Baseball. Here is my list of divisions from worst to best. These rankings come off of what moves teams have made and have not made this year and how many playoff teams were in the division last year.

#6.) AL Central:

The Tigers obviously own this division. But losing Doug Fister and Prince Fielder and adding only Ian Kinsler? I think this division winner doesn’t win 90 games. Let’s not sleep on Cleveland, however, as they were a playoff team a year ago. But I still believe Detroit takes this division with 85 wins, which makes it the worst division in Baseball.

#5.) NL East:

NL East is the worst division in the NL, although I think they have the best overall team in the NL in the Nationals. Even after having a year like last, they are loaded with talent. With the addition of Doug Fister to the rotation they got the 4th starter they needed. With the offensive weapons they have I have no doubt that they can handle the overrated Atlanta Braves for the division title. I think they get 90-95 wins and a 3 seed in the strong National League this year.

#4.) NL Central:

4th-1st is really close in my opinion. But I think the NL Central is a little overrated. The best team in the division is the Cardinals no doubt. But then you have the Reds and the Pirates. Two teams who also made the playoffs a year ago, but I don’t think either team will make it this year. Cardinals will get 95-100 wins and win the division once again by 10+ games.

#3.) AL West:

I think the AL West is a force to be reckoned with this year. Seattle will be a lot better with the addition of Robinson Cano. Rangers went out and got Prince Fielder AND Shin-Soo Choo to add to an already loaded lineup and the Angels went out and got pitching, which they needed desperately. Astros went out and got Dexter Fowler, in a great move for them. They will be improved this season.  The A’s however haven’t gotten that much better. They went out and acquired Padres relief man Luke Gregerson but he has been getting hit more since the All Star break last year. They also lost a nice bat in Seth Smith and their closer in Grant Balfour.

I can very well see the winner of this division getting 100 wins and the number 2 seed in the playoffs; the number 1 seed will be from the East.

#2.) NL West:

The NL West, just like the AL West, is another division to look out for. The Dodgers will win 100 games and get the 1 seed in the playoffs, and this division could very well send in two more teams, which I think they will do. The Giants went out and got Michael Morse, a power hitting outfielder along with right handed SP Tim Hudson. The Padres have a stacked rotation this year when they went out and got Josh Johnson. They have a strong bullpen after signing Benoit and acquiring Torres yesterday from the Rays. The Rockies replaced Helton with Morneau, but have lost a valuable leadoff man in Dexter Fowler. They are the worst team in this division, but aren’t that bad of a team. The D backs are my sleeper team of the year. Acquiring Mark Trumbo and Addison Reed have made them a contender.

#1.) AL East:

The World Series Champs reside here, and no that’s not the main reason why this is number 1. This is number 1 for me because of two reasons. 1. 4 teams in this division had a .500 record or better (Yanks, Red Sox, Orioles, Rays), and 2. You can make a case that those 4 with winning records are one of the best in the AL. Yankees went on a spending spree and picked up Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. Red Sox didn’t acquire anyone new; in fact they lost Ellsbury but did resign Mike Napoli. Rays went out and acquired Logan Forsythe, a utility player who has played 2B, SS, 3B and right field for the Padres in exchange for Torres and Hahn, a 6’3 right handed pitcher who was in single A last season. The #1 seed will come from this division with 100 wins and 4 teams with winning records again and could very well send three to the postseason.

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Review: Who is the Beast of the Year?

January 2, 2014 10:04 pm

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Well, the 2013 season is officially over and so it is time to look back on all of our Beasts of the Weeks. And as we like to do here at TheBeastBrief, I will also be giving my Beast of the Year candidates. Our first ever Beast of the Week was the number 1 pick in last year’s NFL draft, Eric Fisher. Although Eric Fisher hasn’t turned out to be what Kansas City expected, they really can’t be mad as they are in the playoffs.

Our most picked Beast of the Week goes to the sheriff, no he doesn’t wear a star, but a Bronco, Peyton Manning. And the one they call Big Papi, David Ortiz.

Peyton Manning’s first one came on a night where he threw 7 TDs vs. the Ravens. His second came when he faced the Eagles and absolutely torched them for 327 yards and four touchdowns with a completion percentage of 82.4. He has definitely earned his MVP for this season, although it hasn’t been announced yet.

The second guy who has just as many as Peyton is Mr. World Series MVP himself, David Ortiz. David Ortiz went 11 for 16 (.688) with two home runs and six RBIs against the Cardinals, leading the Sox to their third World Series title since they broke the curse in 2004 vs. these same Cardinals.

So, now that we have seen who was the most productive this year as far as Beast of the Week, who should be the Beast of the Year? I’ve given you three choices…now vote!

Who do you think is the Beast of the Year?

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Beast Brief’s 2013 MLB Awards

November 14, 2013 6:48 pm

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AL CY Young: Max Scherzer.

Who else really deserves it more than him this year? With a record of 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and the opposition batting .198, he should be the CY Young. But knowing how the win category has been essentially losing all credentials as years go on, he could lose it to Colon. In a relatively perfect world, he will win it unanimously, which is what will most likely not happen. Nonetheless, Scherzer will walk away with the CY Young.

NL CY Young: Clayton Kershaw

Another no brainer. Kershaw had arguably one of the greatest seasons EVER by a pitcher with a record of 16-9 and an ERA of 1.83. The opposition also batted .195 against him. Kershaw’s ERA was ranked 147th best in the history of the game, according to www.baseball-reference.com. Only competition Kershaw has for the CY Young is Miami’s own Jose Fernandez. He is a stud and he will come away with Rookie of the Year honors.

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AL Most Valuable Player: Miguel Cabrera

This will mark back-back MVP’s for a future Hall of Famer. Believe it or not, he actually had a BETTER year this year than he did during his Triple Crown Campaign from a year ago. He actually had a better batting average this year (.338) as he did in 2012 (.330). Essentially the same amount of RBIs as a year ago (139 in 2012 and 137 in 2013) and equaled his home run total (44). Remember he also missed time at the end of the year, or he would have easily exceeded his past years totals. I said in the beginning of the year, if he would have hit for back to back triple crowns, he would have been the best right handed hitter of all time. Well, no thanks to Chris Davis, he didn’t. He came up just 1 RBI and 11 home runs short of it.

NL Most Valuable Player: Clayton Kershaw

For the second time in 3 years, a pitcher will come home with the MVP and CY Young award (Justin Verlander in 2011). Kershaw had an unbelievable year this year and is clearly the best pitcher in MLB. This might be unanimous also and I don’t think we have ever had two unanimous MVP votings in Major League Baseball’s history.

AL & NL Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle and John Farrell

The obvious two for the award. Clint Hurdle ended a 20 year playoff in Pittsburgh by taking home the play in game against the Reds. But he would eventually lose to the Cards in 5 games. Continue to watch these guys as they are up-and-coming and could very well be a World Series contender next year.

Next manager is Mr. World Series winner himself, John Farrell. He will win this award unanimously. He took a last place Boston Red Sox team to the promised land in only his FIRST YEAR. That’s tough to do. But even though they did get last place, they still had keys to their team there with Ortiz, Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Lester. Red Sox are the kings of the Baseball world, yet again, in large part to the way Farrell handled this team.

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