Archive for the ‘2011’ Tag

Just Fair 2011: David Freese Custom Card   Leave a comment

Cardinals David Freese Just Fair 2011 custom card Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals. They defied all odds and won the World Series despite not having probably even a top 5 team in the major leagues in my opinion. They got hot and caught all the breaks for a while and did something amazing. David Freese was amazing and took the MVP award. I just hope all the praise for Albert Pujols and his performance takes into consideration that he had hits in just 2 of 7 World Series games. He doesn’t even deserve a mention as World Series MVP. You know who does? The Game 6 rain out. Without it the Cardinals DO NOT win the World Series.

Just Fair 2011: Evan Longoria   3 comments

Rays Evan Longoria Just Fair 2011 custom cardIt turns out that Longoria’s extra innings home run was just fair so this seems appropriate. What a great moment. It was the perfect end to probably the best night of baseball I will ever see in my life.

Royals Report Card: Part 2   Leave a comment

Here is the second half of my 2011 Royals report card (aka the pitchers) If you missed Part 1 here is the link. I will reiterate that these are my options I have drawn from watching games and following the team from the outside. I have the same or less access to the team than anyone reading this.

Luke Hochevar – Grade C+

The Royals “Ace” progressed this year. He is still not pitching like a #1 guy, probably more like a 3-4 in the rotation guy. He was finally more consistent. He stayed healthy all year but the Royals still need more out of him.

Jeff Francis – Grade D+

He was coming off a major injury but the expectations were still higher than what he gave. He led the team with 16! losses and opponents hit .301 against him.

Bruce Chen – Grade B

He led the team in wins again and was a solid arm every fifth day. He isn’t going to impose the other team much on the mound but remained solid all year.

Sean O’Sullivan – Grade D-

O’Sullivan showed that he is likely a 5th starter at best. It appears he might just be another Kyle Davies; if that is possible. His 7.25 ERA was not major league worthy.

Kyle Davies – Grade F-

I know F- doesn’t exist but the Royals may have employed one of the worst pitchers of all-time. Luckily the Harim Davies days are officially over.

Vin Mazzaro – Grade F

His ERA is inflated from being thrown to the wolves in Cleveland one game but he still was inconsistent and unimpressive. You can’t shake the feeling that if he wasn’t “who we got for Dejesus” he would be gone and a non-factor.

Felipe Paulino – Grade B

His numbers weren’t great but a 4.11 ERA on this staff is actually pretty good. Considering he was a gift from the Rockies; he was great. He showed signs of being a solid starting pitcher and has a good shot at the rotation in 2012.

Danny Duffy – Grade C

Duffy’s 5.64 ERA was high for how he pitched. He had a standard rookie start but showed progression in many games. His curveball is great and when he learns how to pitch a little more he should be a front of the rotation guy.

Everett Teaford – Grade B-

Teaford had a very good rookie year. Because he is left handed he should be a Royal in the future. He pitched strong in 2/3 starts he made in September but really looks to be more a bullpen guy to me where he was very solid in 2011.

Luis Mendoza – A-

Fantastic in 2 big league starts and was AAA Omaha pitcher of the year. Short look in Kansas City but has a good shot at the rotation next year.

Nate Adcock – Grade C-

Long relief guy made a couple starts. Never impressed too much and wouldn’t have remained with the club if he wasn’t a rule 5 guy. He has a sinker good enough to get ground balls and be a Jamey Wright type of pitcher.

Joakim Soria – Grade C+

Despite horrible early season struggles he managed to put together an average year for a reliever, not great for a closer though. He ended up 27/35 saves/opportunities and with a 4.03 ERA. Those aren’t great numbers but indicate it may have been just a down season.

Aaron Crow – Grade C

Crow was the Royals All-Star in 2011. You would never know it by his second half performance. He had a great first half and was dominant. He lost a “baulk off” in Chicago and wasn’t the same pitcher after that. He should get a shot at the rotation next year but is where he belongs in my opinion.

Tim Collins – Grade C

Collins was the lefty specialist for much of the year despite not being very good against lefties. He had a 3.68 ERA and .211 batting average against but walked way, way too many. If he cuts down on the walks he could be a big part of the 2012 bullpen.

Jeremy Jeffress – Grade C-

Jeffress is a fireballer. He showed spots in KC of being dominant but ultimately walked 11 batters in 14 appearances. He will get a rotation shot next year but once again I think he is better suited to be a setup man getting groomed for a closer spot.

Jesse Chavez – Grade F

The fact that Chavez wasn’t released after 2010 angers me still. He isn’t effective and needs released.

Blake Wood – Grade B

Wood was surprisingly good in his 54 games. He was a rare guy out of the pen the Royals could count on. If the Royals got the same season out of him next year they should be happy.

Greg Holland – Grade A-

The most surprising Royals pitcher of 2011. A sub 1.00 WHIP and under 2.00 ERA over 46 games was fantastic. He has potential to be a centerpiece of the middle relief for the team next year.

Robinson Tejada – Grade F

Tejada had big expectations after showing real flashes the last couple seasons. He and Soria were the only locks for the bullpen coming into 2011 and Tejada only pitched 9 games for the team. The Royals wanted to deal him at the deadline for somebody but he diminished his value so bad nobody wanted him.

Kanekoa Teixeira – Grade C+

Just another middle relief guy the team parted with. His ERA was under 3.00 but opponents hit over .400 against him.

Louis Coleman – Grade A-

Coleman pitched great out of the bullpen all year. In 48 games he limited teams from getting a big inning and posted a sub 3.00 ERA. He showed great poise in his rookie season and should be a valued member of the bullpen in 2012.

Kelvin Herrera – Grade D+

Herrera didn’t have a fair shot to prove himself only pitching 2 innings but showed good stuff despite getting roughed up in his debut.

Royals Report Card: Part 1   3 comments

So this is my Royals report card. I realize that this is nothing original, The Kansas City Star does it every year I believe. This will be my perspective and it would be cool to measure up my grading against theirs. This is strictly subjective and I took into account expectations, performance, stats and even attitudes that I have noticed from my limited perspective. I am going to do this in 2 parts; pitchers and hitters. I’ll start with the offensive side of things(also accounting for defense of course.)

Matt Treanor – Catcher: Grade B

The Royals bought Treanor from the Rangers and have since sold him back. All things considered, Treanor did exactly what the Royals wanted him to do, he was a veteran catcher and provided some experience to a really young team. His offense was alright, defense was great. I hope Brayan Pena was paying attention.

Brayan Pena – Catcher: Grade D

Pena wasn’t paying attention. Pena solidified the perception that he can never be a starting catcher in the major leagues this year. He is below average offensively and defensively in my opinion. He is a stop-gap backup catcher and he shouldn’t be on the team next year. Royals fans will always remember his falure to get tags down that directly cost the team a couple games this year.

Manuel Pina – Catcher: Grade B-

Pina was a spark when Treanor went on the DL. He got a very short look while the team waited on Salvador Perez. Pina did nothing wrong but didn’t wow fans the way Perez has. He should be a solid backup for Perez.

Salvador Perez – Catcher: Grade A

How can you complain about Salvador Perez? He has a cannon arm and has showed it. He is also hitting a not-so-modest .333 at this point. He has showed great power the other way and the ability to hit at the major league level. Expect a drop offensively next year but not defensively.

Kila Ka’aihue – 1st Base: Grade D

Kila just didn’t cut in KC. He only had 23 games to strut his stuff and had a big walk-off home run but only hit .195. He was surpassed by Eric Hosmer’s performance in every aspect.

Billy Butler – 1st Base/DH: Grade B+

#CountryBreakfast can flat out rake. He had a slow first half but really kicked it up after the break. He has pushed over 90 RBI now (career high) and had a power surge in the early second half. He was pushed to strictly the DH role by Hosmer and has now embraced it.

Eric Hosmer – 1st Base: Grade A

Eric Hosmer has been nothing short of spectacular in his rookie season. He has hit for power, average and been a very good at first base (no matter what certain stats say.) He is a very strong rookie of the year candidate and in less than one season has become the face of the franchise.

Chris Getz – 2nd Base: Grade C-

Chris Getz has a lot of haters. He doesn’t hit for a high average or extra base hits. He is good defensively and very good on the basepaths but these thing don’t redeem his insecurities at the plate. The team would likely be better off with Navarro as a utilityman than having Getz on the roster in 2012.

Johnny Giavotella – 2nd Base: Grade C+

Hasn’t been great defensively and has been average at the plate. He has had a typical half rookie season.

Alcides Escobar – Shortstop: Grade A-

Escobar is great in the field. He makes fantastic plays that most shortstops don’t. After a couple seasons of Yuni at short for the Royals, Escobar is a godsend. He is a .250 hitter and doesn’t really project to be a whole lot better. He doesn’t have much power but that should improve. With his defense he could hit .250 for the remainder of his career and remain a starter.

Mike Aviles – 3rd Base: Grade F

Aviles was the Royals starting third baseman on opening day. This is hard to believe now. He was terrible in the field and at the plate. He then proceeded to whine about playing time after Moustakas’ callup. He has been good for the Red Sox but contributed almost nothing to the Royals in 2011.

Wilson Betimit – 3rd Base: Grade C+

Betimit was trade bait from opening day on. His value never really got any higher than that day either. He had an average year and didn’t fetch much in a trade.

Yamaico Navarro – 3rd Base: Grade B-

In my opinion a fantastic trade. Aviles was dead weight and couldn’t play the field. Yamaico hasn’t played much for Kansas City. Navarro isn’t great but should be a solid utility infielder for the team in 2012.

Mike Moustakas – 3rd Base: Grade B-

He was no Hosmer in 2011 but still ended up having a respectable rookie campaign. He got hot at the end of the season and raised his average about 50 points. He started driving the ball and stopped popping out to 3rd base. He showed many encouraging signs for 2012.

Alex Gordon – Left Field: Grade A

After a few years of being a borderline major league player he lived up to his immense talent and had a just-off MVP type season. He was great in left field, had a ton of assists and has an outside shot at a gold glove. He showed good power and the ability to drive in runs which was my biggest concern in the past for him.

Melky Cabrera – Center Field: Grade A

For what Melky was expected to do how could you possibly complain? 201 hits? Nobody would have guessed that, not even Melky. He hit for good power, stole bases, scored runs and was the exact type of player this team needed. I hated this signing but he proved me wrong.

Jarrod Dyson – Center Field: Grade C

Dyson is good and field and has amazing speed. He is a liability at the plate and until he can get on base consistently will contribute very little in the big leagues. He is super fast and is worth carrying as a pinch-runner but needs to hit.

Jeff Francouer – Right Feild: Grade A

Francoeur was another signing I didn’t like. He didn’t walk and would swing at anything. He resurrected his career this head and had an amazing season. He never failed to impress in right field and has a cannon. He didn’t swing at junk as much as the past and maintained a good average. He was a great clubhouse guy and showed he will be a great leader for this young team.

Mitch Maier – Outfield: Grade B-

Maier never got a lot of playing time because of A) no injuries and B) great outfielders ahead of him. When he got a spot start he did admirably but never really got a chance to impress this year.

Lorenzo Cain – Outfield: Grade B

Cain tore up AAA Omaha and never got to the Royals until the last week of the season. He is ready to go but has no place to play. He would be very good trade bait for a starting pitcher if packaged with another high-end prospect.

2011 Just Fair: Ervin Santana   Leave a comment

Angels Ervin Santana Just Fair 2011 custom cardMy Just Fair card series comes back to honor Ervin Santana who threw a no-hitter today against the Cleveland Indians. Another Angels pitcher who can be dominant. This team could be really dangerous in the playoffs.

2011 Mustangs: Ryan Rush, Ryan Richardson and Shane Segovia   Leave a comment

2011 Mustangs Shane Segovia

2011 Mustangs Ryan Rush2011 Mustangs Ryan Richardson

If my calculations are correct; 3 different players have worn the number 31 for the St. Joe Mustangs this year. Beyond that; all 3 have been second basemen. The current number 31 on the Mustangs is Shane Segovia who only has a couple games under his belt with the team. Ryan Richardson preceded him for a while and the first number 31 was Ryan Rush.

2011 Mustangs: MINK League Champions! Adam Maddox throws no-hitter   Leave a comment

2011 Mustangs Adam MaddoxSo it was Adam Maddox that took the mound tonight against the Nevada Griffons. Manager Matt Johnson obviously made a great choice by calling number 22 to the mound as he led the team to their first MINK league championship title. Oh Yeah, he also didn’t give up one stinking hit all night. Adam Maddox pitched a complete game no-hitter against the Nevada Griffons to clinch the MINK league championship!

Maddox was fantastic. He had hitters off balance all night. His breaking pitches were amazing. It seemed as if he got a lot of called strikes. This is an accomplishment because he was not receiving a generous strike zone. The umpire would not give Maddox the low strike. This caused a lot of long stares in at catcher TJ Daily for Maddox wondering why he couldn’t get that pitch called a strike.

Maddox had trouble with the small strike zone as he walked 6 batters throughout the game. To be as effective as he was on this night he had to be what pitching coaches call “effectively wild” anyway. The final strike of the game was high, in all fairness, it was high. Maddox had earned that call by being around the zone all night. If you don’t get the lower half of the strike zone you should get the high strike. This is an amazing accomplishment and I’m sure it has to be the greatest performance of the young pitcher’s career. I remember Maddox pitching a similar game last year actually. St. Joe was in the playoff heat with the Chillicothe Mudcats and the Mustangs had to sweep 3 straight games against the Mudcats. Maddox got the call in the first game and pitched what I think was a complete game shutout. This is all to the best of my recollection. Big kudos should also go out to Maddox’s catcher TJ Daily, the catcher never gets credit in a no-hitter but should.

Every no-hitter has a great play or two to attribute to the great game, it is almost inevitable. This game was no exception. The first great play came in I believe the top of the third inning. A high chopper was hit over the middle and second baseman Brent Seifert ranged all the way to the shortstop side of the bag to snag it and make a strong throw on time to first baseman Brock Chaffin. Getting to the ball was an accomplishment but the throw was something to behold. It was a long throw against his body and he delivered it to first base in time. The second great play came around the 6th inning. With a runner on 2nd base and 2 outs a low line drive was hit to center field and Cameron Bentley made a diving catch coming in on the ball. He caught the ball what must have been inches from the ground; in fact; I thought live that the ball had dropped. The second base umpire ruled it a catch and I’m sure it was the correct call.

On a personal note; it was simply amazing. I never thought I would EVER get to witness a legitimate no-hitter in person. I am a huge baseball fan and this is really one of the “holy grail” accomplishments. I was tremendously jealous when Mustangs pitcher Cody Cunningham threw a no-hitter earlier this year against the Omaha Diamond Spirit. The game was in Omaha so I obviously did not attend; but this time, I saw every pitch.

A big congratulations and thank you goes out to Adam Maddox.