Waiver Favor – June

Well, I think I kind of hit a home-run last month with Lance McCullers of the Astros. He’s more than held his own and should be a mainstay in that rotation. Also, don’t sleep on his teammate Vincent Velasquez who has shown good stuff so far despite his control issues.

In the relief pitcher realm, Ziegler, McGee, and Betances all turned out to be good adds for your fake team. Both Betances and McGee could close for the rest of the season while adding plenty of Ks to boot.

Now, I did drop the ball on the position players. Bourjos is getting some at-bats but is doing very little with them. Freddy Galvis is apparently suffering the Curse of Vince because he’s plummeted to a .265 BA since I suggested he be added. Sorry, Freddy.

It’s time for some shiny new pickups.

PITCHERS

MATT WISLER, BRAVES

The Braves promoted the prize of the Melvin Upton Salary Dump Trade with the Padres by calling on Matt Wisler this week. Yes, they had to give up all-world closer Craig Kimbrel but this could pay huge dividends down the road. Wisler responded by throwing (8) innings of 1-run ball in his debut. Yes, he can help your team. Continue reading Waiver Favor – June

Teams with High Expectations Struggling

There are a number of teams going into this season that felt that they had an excellent chance of printing post season tickets. Right now I have six of these teams in the category of missing the playoffs despite high expectations. Let’s take a look at where they are now, what’s gone wrong and moving forward.

Angels – 35-35 – Third Place AL West – 5.5 Games Out of 1st

For the Angels it’s very simply. They need to go out and get another strong bat to go with Trout and Pujols. This team is 19th in MLB in runs scored. Their pitching has been good as they are 11th in the league in team ERA.

Going Forward – This division is up for grabs. While I believe the Astros are talented I wonder about them in the second half of the season. For most of those young Astros it will be their first rodeo of pennant race baseball.

Boston – 31-40 – Last Place AL East – 9 Games Out of 1st

While everyone thought the Red Sox would need some pitching help, many experts felt the Sox would bash their way towards the top of the mediocre AL East. The division has lived up true to form but we cannot say the same about Boston. In terms of pitching Boston ranks 28th in MLB in team ERA at 4.46. The rotation has not been good with the biggest disappointment being Rick Porcello, who is carrying an ERA of 5.61. Everyone felt (including yours truly) with their lineup the Red Sox would score a ton of runs and be a force at home. Neither has happened as Boston is middle of the pack in runs scored (15th in MLB) and is below 500 at home with a 16-18 record. Continue reading Teams with High Expectations Struggling

The Amazing Rays

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were the worst team in all of baseball in 2007. They showed promise with young players having good seasons such as  twenty-three year old B.J Upton, Carl Crawford and rookie sensations Akinori Iwamura and Delmon Young. The pitching was not strong and was a clear need for the club. Andrew Friedman the team’s former GM acquired pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Jason Bartlett and a minor leaguer for Brendan Harris, Jason Pridie and Delmon Young. The Devil Rays became the Rays. much more changes were made that offseason. The Rays won the AL pennant that season.

Today the Rays are powered by third baseman Evan Longoria and  one of the best rotations in base ball. The Rays acquire struggling players on short-term minor league contracts and they always gets 100% out of their twenty-five man roster. The real amazing part about the Tampa Bay Rays is a stat from ESPN analyst Jason Stark.  He wrote that three injured New York Yankee infielders from 2013 were be paid over 67.5 million dollars this season alone. Those three players are third baseman Alex Rodriguez,first baseman Mark Teixeira and short stop Derek Jeter. Continue reading The Amazing Rays