AZ Diamondbacks Player Mark Trumbo

Spring Training has arrived for the Arizona Diamondbacks and, as we know, there will be a new Manager, new coaches, several new players and hold-over players that will play new positions.

One of those hold-over players in a new position will be Mark Trumbo. Trumbo, who just turned 29 a few weeks ago, will be starting in right field for the 2015 season. He did not play that position at all last year with the Diamondbacks. However he has played 65 games in right field before, when he was with the Angels. Trumbo, when he was healthy during the 2014 season, split time between left field and first base. He moved to first base when Paul Goldschmidt was sidelined in early August. A foot injury cost him a lot of playing time during his first season with the Diamondbacks. He hit just .235 in 88 games with 14 homeruns and 61 RBI during 2014. In Trumbo’s former position in left field look for Ender Inciarte and David Peralta to platoon with Cody Ross for playing time, if Ross makes the team out of Spring Training.

Trumbo, who is arbitration eligible this off-season, has filed for $6.9 million, while the Diamondbacks filed for $5.3 million. They will eventually work out a deal and, when they do, the fans will be looking for a healthy Trumbo to provide the power and the RBI production he put up when he was with the Angels. He is looking to have a bounce back season and he needs to be the slugger the Diamondbacks acquired in order to give Goldschmidt lineup protection. Continue reading

The Off-Season Mover & Shaker Add Big Game James. World Series Next?

Well last week there was one big fish left to reel in on the MLB Free Agent Market and the San Diego Padres once again got the job done. If there was any doubt who was the #1 mover / shaker this baseball off-season there isn’t anymore. If one could put a bet down in Las Vegas right after the World Series on the odds of the Friars being the #1 mover / shaker this off season what would have been the odds?

The Padres have gone from a team looking towards future years to being on equally footing for winning the NL West. That is some statement since the division houses one of the best MLB teams in the Dodgers and the World Series Champions SF Giants. While the Giants have taken a step or two backwards it appears the Padres have taken 10 steps forward. To me unless each team has some serious injuries both the Padres and Dodgers are heavy favorites to be in the Playoffs in 2015. The Padres pitching with the addition of Shields is very strong. Lead by future ace Andrew Cashner (just has to stay healthy), followed by James Shields, Tyson Ross (one of the best starters in the NL that no one knows about), and Ian Kennedy as your #4, the Friars have a very deep talented rotation. The Padres bullpen is deep and really good. They remind me of the old no name Miami Dolphins defense in the sense none of the names blow you away but this is a very deep and talented group. The Padres lineup is lead by Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Gyorko, Will Middlebrooks. For now it appears the Padres will go with a platoon of complementary players at both First and Short. Although let’s not put anything past the Padres to add another piece to one of those positions during Spring Training. Continue reading

College Baseball Central Top 25 – 2/16/2015

We’re now one full weekend into the college baseball season, and what a weekend it was. We had some upsets, some lopsided blowouts, and some real nail-biters along the way. Thankfully, with the new lower-seam baseball in play, we also had more than a fair share of home runs once again. But most of all, we had college baseball. After a long offseason, it was a sight for sore eyes.

With that, College Baseball Central is ready to unveil its first composite top 25 of the new season.

Note that, as the name suggests, this is a composite ranking, made up of the individual rankings of each staff writer at College Baseball Central. As such, standard poll mechanics may not apply, as a team’s ranking can vary a bit between each poll.

The Virginia Cavaliers top our first composite poll, and understandably so, as they swept a series on the road against a game East Carolina club.

Close behind are the Vanderbilt Commodores, who won their series against the Santa Clara Broncos. They did drop a game in the series and the finale ended up in extra innings, but we’re betting on that having more to do with what Santa Clara did over the weekend and less to do with anything Vanderbilt failed to do. Continue reading

Pre-Spring Training 2015 Division Ranking Predictions

It’s February. A month where we as baseball fans desperately count down to when Spring Training kicks off, begin to collect the season’s full sets of cards, and read predictions. To me, it’s not just reading the predictions, but I also enjoy writing predictions.

Last June, I made playoff and division ranking predictions for the rest of the 2014 season. Funny thing was, I predicted the 2014 World Series to be the Kansas City Royals against the San Francisco Giants, with the Giants winning, and that actually happened. This time, I’m not going to predict the playoff pattern as I feel it’s too early to know who can compete for any particular titles, however I am going to predict the rankings for each division for the 2015 season, as well as why I think so.

NL East

1. Washington Nationals

2. New York Mets

3. Miami Marlins

4. Atlanta Braves

5. Philadelphia Phillies Continue reading

AZ Diamondbacks Player Aaron Hill

When Spring Training begins for the AZ Diamondbacks one player the team is counting on to bounce back is Aaron Hill. Hill is coming off a disappointing 2014 season in which he hit just .244, with 10 home runs, 60 RBI and 92 strikeouts; significantly down from his average of .277, 18 homeruns and 77 RBI. Just two seasons ago Hill was awarded the Silver Slugger after clubbing 26 home runs, with 85 RBI and hit .302 over 156 games. This led the Diamondbacks to offer Hill a big contract after that 2012 season. Hill will be 33 years old by Opening Day and he is owed $24 million, through the 2016 season.

During Hill’s tenure with the Diamondbacks, staying healthy has been a concern. In two of his four seasons with the team, he has failed to play 90 games. He started strong during the 2013 season, but was injured and limited to only 87 games and 327 at bats.

Hill needs to be the everyday player at 2nd base. He plays excellent defense, is a great clubhouse leader and, if he stays healthy, should be able to contribute in the lineup with his bat. If he has a slow start to the 2015 season, either in his return from his injuries or his lackluster play, look for General Manager Dave Stewart to try and trade him at the July deadline or sooner. If a team is interested in him, the Diamondbacks would probably still have to pay most of his remaining salary, which puts them in a challenging position.

Aaron Hill will focus on staying healthy as he begins the 2015 season as the primary second baseman. He also might see time at third base and possibly even short-stop. Continue reading