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The American League West teams are set up pretty good at 1B for 2016

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Season Previews by joelapinski on Saturday 6 February 2016 at 8:15 pm

The American League West teams are set up pretty well at 1B for the 2016 season.  Here is how I rank the American League West teams for 2016 at 1B:

1. LOS ANGELES ANGELS:  36-year old righty swinging Albert Pujols will likely play more games at 1B than at DH in 2016, as he is better defensively there than 26-year old righty swinging C.J. Cron is.  Pujols and Cron will likely be sharing the 1B and DH spots, with both of them starting on most days.  Pujols found his power stroke again last year.  He played in 157 games for the Angels last year and he was 147 of 602 (.244 avg, .787 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 40 homers, 95 RBIs and 5 stolen bases.  Pujols played in 95 games at 1B last year and he had 5 errors, but also saved four runs there!  Cron played in 58 games at 1B for the Angels last year and he had 6 errors and -5 runs saved.  24-year old switch-hitting Ji-Man Choi could make his way onto the Angels’ roster in 2016.  Choi played in 23 games in Rookie+AAA-ball for the Mariners in which he was 20 for 69 (.290 avg, .793 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 1 homer and 18 RBIs.

2. SEATTLE MARINERS:  The Mariners traded for 32-year old lefty swinging Adam Lind over the winter and he will start against all righty pitchers.  Lind played in 149 games for the Brewers last year and he was 139 of 502 (.277 avg, .820 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 20 homers and 87 RBIs.  Lind had 4 errors and he saved 5 runs last year in 138 games at 1B last year.  26-year old righty swinging Jesus Montero, 33-year old righty swinging Dae-ho Lee and 32-year old righty swinging Gaby Sanchez will compete this spring to see who Lind’s platoon partner will be in 2016.  Montero played in 38 games for the Mariners last year and he was 25 of 112 (.223 avg, .661 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 5 homers and 19 RBIs.  Montero played in 27 games at 1B last year and he had 1 error and he was -2 runs saved.  Lee played in 141 games for Softbank in Japan and he was 144 of 510 (.282 avg, .892 OPS) with 63 runs scored, 31 homers and 98 RBIs.  Sanchez played in 66 games for Rakuten in Japan last year and he was 45 of 199 (.226 avg, .720 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 7 homers, 18 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.  He last played in the majors in 2014 for the Pirates.  Sanchez has played in 700 games in his first seven years in the show and he is 508 of 1,998 (.254 avg, .744 OPS) with 236 runs scored, 61 homers, 266 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.

3. TEXAS RANGERS:  The Rangers handed 1B over to 30-year old lefty swinging Mitch Moreland last year and he never looked back.  Moreland played in 132 games for the Rangers last year and he was 131 of 471 (.278 avg, .812 OPS) with 51 runs scored, 23 homers, 85 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  Moreland played in 120 games at 1B for the Rangers last year and he had 4 errors and 2 runs saved.  Moreland is versatile enough to handle either outfield corner spot defensively if the need arises for him to play there.

4. OAKLAND ATHLETICS:  The A’s dealt for 28-year old lefty swinging Yonder Alonso and he will be the starter or at the very least, the better part of a platoon set up.  Alonso played in 103 games for the Padres last year and he was 100 of 354 (.282 avg, .742 OPS) with 50 runs scored, 5 homers, 31 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.  Alonso doesn’t hit for a lot of power, but he does hit for a pretty good average.  Alonso played in 102 games at 1B for the Padres last year and he had 3 errors and saved 9 runs, as he is pretty slick with the glove.  27-year old righty swinging Mark Canha could have his playing time in 2016 split between 1B and an outfield corner spot.  Canha played in 75 games at 1B for the A’s last year and he had 4 errors and was -3 runs saved.  25-year old lefty swinging Max Muncy could also figure in at 1B for the A’s at some point in 2016.  Muncy played in 45 games for the A’s last year and he was 21 of 102 (.206 avg, .660 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 3 homers and 9 RBIs.  Muncy had 2 errors and 0 runs saved in 23 games at 1B for the A’s last year.

5. HOUSTON ASTROS:  As it stands now, first base will be a two man battle in spring training for the Houston Astros.  24-year old lefty swinging Jon Singleton is the favorite to win the job, but 22-year old lefty swinging red hot prospect A.J. Reed won’t just give it to him without a fight.  Singleton played in 19 games for the Astros last year and he was 9 for 47 (.191 avg, .625 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer, 6 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  Singleton also played in 102 games in AAA-ball for the Astros last year in which he was 96 of 378 (.254 avg, .865 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 22 homers, 83 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.  Singleton played in 14 games at 1B for the Astros last year and he had 1 error and had -1 run saved.  Reed played in 135 games in A+AA-ball last year for the Astros and he was 178 of 523 (.340 avg, 1.044 OPS) with 113 runs scored, 34 homers and 127 RBIs.  Reed also has a good eye at the plate, as he walked 86 times for the Astros in the minors last year.

 

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Marcus Allen was the man back in the day!

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General,Hall of Fame,Milestones by joelapinski on Saturday 6 February 2016 at 1:23 pm

Running back Marcus Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003!  He had a long career in the NFL!  He played 16 years in the NFL, covering 222 games (168 starts) in which he carried the ball 3,022 times for 12,243 yards (4.1 ypc) with 123 TD runs.  He also caught 587 passes for 5,411 yards (9.2 avg) with 21 TD grabs!  Allen is still #12 in NFL History in rushing yards (12,243), #3 in TD runs (123) and #72 in passes caught (587).  Allen’s best year of his NFL career came in 1985 with the Los Angeles Raiders when he carried the ball 380 times for an NFL leading 1,759 (4.6 ypc) with 11 TD runs!  He also caught 67 passes for 555 yards (8.3 avg) with 3 TD grabs in 1985 for the Raiders!  But as great as he was in 1985 for the Raiders, he will always be remembered for his awesome playing in the post-season that led them to a Super Bowl win over the defending champion Washington Redskins.  Allen played in 3 games in the 1983 post-season and he carried the ball 58 times for 466 yards (8.0 ypc) with 4 TD runs.  He also caught 14 passes for 118 yards (8.4 avg) with 1 TD grab during the 1983 post-season.

Allen only rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season three times in his 16 years in the NFL.  He caught 50 or more passes in a season four times in his NFL career.  He also had 10 or more TD runs in a season six times in his career and he led the NFL in TD runs in both 1982 with the Raiders (11) and in 1993 with the Kansas City Chiefs (12)!

Allen spent 11 years with the Raiders and he is all over their franchise record books.  Allen is the Raiders’ all-time leader in both rushing yards (8,545) and rushing TDs (79).  Allen is also #5 in passes caught (446), #7 in receiving yards (4,258) and he’s tied for 16th in receiving TDs with Jerry Rice (18) in Raiders’ history!  Allen finished up his career with 5 years with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Allen is #7 in Chiefs’ history in rushing yards (3,698) and he’s #3 in TD runs (44)!  Marcus Allen also had the greatest Super Bowl run I have ever seen and it’s in the video below!

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The San Francisco Giants sign Conor Gillaspie

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Comings & Goings,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Saturday 6 February 2016 at 1:15 pm

The Giants have signed 28-year old lefty swinging 3B Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal.  Gillaspie had a minor breakout year in 2014 for the Chicago White Sox.  He played in 130 games for the Pale Hose last year and he was 131 of 464 (.282 avg, .752 OPS) with 50 runs scored, 7 homers and 57 RBIs.  But, last year, Gillaspie hurt his foot and he tried to gut it out….which didn’t work out too well.  Gillaspie played in 75 games for the Angels and White Sox last year and he was 54 of 237 (.228 avg, .627 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 4 homers and 24 RBIs.  He has now played in 368 games in his first six years in the majors and he is 294 of 1,153 (.255 avg, .699 OPS) with 115 runs scored, 25 homers and 125 RBIs.  The Giants tried to sign Juan Uribe, but he wanted too much money for their taste.  So, Gillaspie will have a shot this spring to secure a bench job for the Giants.

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The Los Angeles Clippers shouldn’t deal Blake Griffin

Blogged under Basketball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Trade Rumors by joelapinski on Saturday 6 February 2016 at 1:09 pm

There is no way that the Los Angeles Clippers should deal 26-year old power forward Blake Griffin!  Whispers have had the 76ers and Nuggets being interested in dealing for Griffin.  No doubt that it would help the Clippers for this season to deal Griffin, as he is going to be out deep into the 2015-16 season.  But is getting Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel or Kenneth “The Manimal” Faried going to be an improvement down the road over Griffin?  I think not!  Now, the Clippers would get one of those guys and a lot more for Griffin, but is it really worth it?  Griffin has played in 30 games (all starts) for the Clippers so far this year and he is averaging 34.9 minutes, 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocked shots per game.  He has now played in 405 games (all starts) in his first six years in the NBA and he is averaging 35.5 minutes, 21.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steal and 0.6 blocked shots per game.  He has made it to the All-Star team in five of his first six years in the NBA, and he would have likely made it again if he didn’t get injured.  Despite only being in his sixth year with the Clippers, he’s all over the record books of the team and he’s climbing!  Griffin is already #6 in offensive rebounds (1,041), #6 in defensive rebounds (2,852), #7 in total rebounds (3,893), #5 in assists (1,633) and #5 in points scored (8,749) in Clippers’ history!  I’m sure that the Sixers and Nuggets are not the only teams that are going to call the Clippers about Griffin, as the Boston Celtics have been collecting young players and draft picks the last few years in an effort to deal for a star player.  But, the Clippers should just say no!

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Cam Newton vs. Peyton Manning

Blogged under Bloglockers,Football,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Saturday 6 February 2016 at 10:19 am

26-year old Cam Newton and 39-year old Peyton Manning are the starting QBs in this weekend’s Super Bowl and they are players going in different directions.  Cam Newton is a player still on the rise.  He played in 16 games (all starts) during the regular season in 2015 and he completed 296 of 496 passes (59.7%) for 3,837 yards with 35 TD passes and 10 INTs (99.2 QB Rating).  He also carried the ball 132 times for 636 yards (4.8 ypc) with 10 TD runs!  Newton is likely to be the NFL’s MVP this year.  Peyton Manning is the all-time leader in passing yards (71,940) and passing TDs (539) in NFL history!  But, Manning actually lost his starting job at one point this year to Brock Osweiler.  Manning played in 10 games (9 starts) during the 2015 season and he completed 198 of 331 (59.8%) passes for 2,249 yards with 9 TD passes and 17 INTs (67.9 QB Rating).  Manning also had 6 carries for -6 yards (-1.0 ypc) in 2015.  He is running on fumes as he has to put his whole ass behind the ball to throw it 10 or more yards down the field.

Newton is taking his game to a higher level in the playoffs.  He has played in 2 games in the playoffs so far this year and he has completed 35 of 50 passes (70%) for 496 yards with 3 TD passes and 1 INT (113.4 QB Rating).  Newton has also carried the ball 21 times for 50 yards (2.4 ypc) with 2 TD runs.  Manning has been in game manager mode during the playoffs.  In his first two games in the playoffs this year, Manning has completed 38 of 69 passes (55.1%) for 398 yards with 2 TD passes and 0 INTs.  He has also carried the ball 5 times for 10 yards (2.0 ypc) so far in the playoffs.

With both teams having great defenses, it will be the quarterback that makes the least mistakes that will lead his team to a championship this Sunday.  I think that will be Cam Newton.

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The Los Angeles Angels claim Christian Friedrich off waivers

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Comings & Goings,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 5 February 2016 at 7:41 pm

The Los Angeles Angels have claimed 28-year old lefty reliever Christian Friedrich off waivers from the Colorado Rockies.  Friedrich pitched in 68 games (0 starts) for the Colorado Rockies last year and he was 0-4 with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 100 games (19 starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 5-16 with a 5.81 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP.  To make room on the 40-man roster for Friedrich, the Angels designated 26-year old righty swinging 2B/SS Taylor Featherston for assignment.  He played in 101 games for the Angels as a rookie last year and he was 25 of 154 (.162 avg, .459 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 2 homers, 9 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.  The Angels hope that Featherston clears waivers as they kept him on their active roster the entire 2015 season, as he was a Rule 5 Pick.  The Angels hope that getting Friedrich out of Coors Field will get him back on the right track.

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The Toronto Blue Jays sign David Aardsma

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Comings & Goings,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 5 February 2016 at 7:14 pm

The Blue Jays have signed 34-year old righty reliever David Aardsma to a minor league deal.  Aardsma pitched in 33 games (0 starts) for the Mets last year and he was 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 331 games (0 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 16-18 with 69 saves, a 4.27 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.  Aardsma is the second veteran in the last two days that they have signed (Gavin Floyd was the other).  He will have a shot to make the Jays’ pen this spring.

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Seven NBA teams appear ready to unload some players at the trade deadline

Blogged under Basketball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Trade Rumors by joelapinski on Friday 5 February 2016 at 2:15 pm

There are seven teams in the NBA that are open for business, with their eyes on the future instead of the now!  Here is a look at them:

BROOKLYN NETS:  The Nets are an awful 12-38 so far this year.  The Nets are receiving calls about power forward Thaddeus Young, but they would be smart to keep him.  Young and Brook Lopez make a nice pair around the basket.  The Nets will try like heck to move 34-year old SG/SF Joe Johnson.  Johnson has played in 50 games (all starts) for the Nets so far this year and he is averaging 34.2 minutes, 11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.  Johnson still has some game left, as long as he doesn’t have to carry an offense.  His salary will make it difficult to deal him.  30-year old power forward Andrea Bargnani, 29-year old shooting guard Wayne Ellington and 28-year old point guard Donald Sloan are cheap enough to be of interest to other teams.  Bargnani is an offense first player.  He has played in 44 games (0 starts) for the Nets so far this year and he is averaging 14.0 minutes, 6.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game.  Ellington has played pretty well since moving into the starting lineup.  Ellington has played in 49 games (15 starts) for the Nets so far this year and he is averaging 20.0 minutes, 7.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.  Any team needing a solid backup point guard could use Donald Sloan.  Sloan has played in 30 games (13 starts) for the Nets so far this year and he is averaging 19.1 minutes, 5.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS:  The 76ers are a pathetic 7-42 on the season.  With that being said, I think they should resist trading one of their big time young players in a deal.  21-year old PF/C Nerlens Noel appeals to a lot of teams.  Noel is more of a center than a power forward, which causes some issues with the Sixers.  Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid are only centers, causing a log jam at the position.  Noel has played in 43 games (39 starts) for the 76ers so far this year and he is averaging 29.0 minutes, 10.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocked shots per game.  To even consider dealing Noel, the Sixers would need a package of young players and draft picks.  Which makes them a match for a team like the Boston Celtics.  That being said, I wouldn’t deal Noel.  He has too much of an upside, as he is just scratching the surface of his potential right now.  32-year old power forward Carl Landry started this year late due to injury.  I think it would be smart to keep him around, as he is a good influence on the younger Sixer players.  Landry has played in 12 games (2 starts) for the 76ers so far this year and he is averaging 13.0 minutes, 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game.

DENVER NUGGETS:  The Nuggets are 19-31 on the year, as they have actually played a little better than expected.  They are open for business and would trade almost anyone on the roster for the right return.  33-year old point guard Jameer Nelson, 27-year old power forward/center J.J. Hickson and 32-year old shooting guard Randy Foye could be of some interest to teams in search of players in specialized roles off the bench.  Nelson is still a good general on the court.  He has played in 38 games (15 starts) for the Nuggets so far this year and he is averaging 27.1 minutes, 7.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.  Hickson is a good rebounder and offensive player around the basket.  Hickson has played in 19 games (9 starts) for the Nuggets so far this year and he is averaging 16.0 minutes, 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game.  Foye has played in 50 games (7 starts) for the Nuggets so far this year and he is averaging 19.6 minutes, 6.0 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.  Foye has not shot well from the floor so far this year, but he has been a solid long range shooter in his career.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES:  The Timberwolves are only 15-36 on the season.  I look for the T-Wolves to try to deal everyone on the roster over 30 years old……except Kevin Garnett.  33-year old shooting guard Kevin Martin can offer a team with instant offense off the bench.  He has played in 35 games (12 starts) for the T-Wolves so far this year and he is averaging 22.6 minutes, 11.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.  Trading Martin would open up more P.T. for Zach LaVine and that would be a good thing for the T-Wolves.  30-year old center Nikola Pekovic can still play….when he’s healthy.  Pekovic has played in 12 games (3 starts) for the Timberwolves so far this year and he is averaging 13.0 minutes, 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.  35-year old small forward Tayshaun Prince is running on fumes, but he can still give a team veteran leadership and know how.  Prince has played in 51 games (40 starts) for the Timberwolves so far this year and he is averaging 21.5 minutes, 3.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.  39-year old point guard Andre Miller can still help a team off the bench.  Miller has played in 23 games (0 starts) for the T-Wolves so far this year and he is averaging 10.8 minutes, 3.6 points, 0.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

PHOENIX SUNS:  The Suns are a very, very disappointing 14-37 on the season!  I look for them to make a couple of deals at the trade deadline or before.  The first thing on the agenda is getting rid of 26-year old power forward Markieff Morris.  Morris has been a head case all year and it started when the Suns traded his brother to the Detroit Pistons last summer.  He showed an utter lack of respect to ex-head coach Jeff Hornacek.  The Suns have recently put Morris back into the starting lineup to showcase him for a deal.  Morris has played in 34 games (21 starts) for the Suns so far this year and he is averaging 23.9 minutes, 10.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.  30-year old small forward Mirza Teletovic will interest a team that needs a long range shooter.  He has played in 49 games (1 start) for the Suns so far this year and he is averaging 18.2 minutes, 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.  30-year old shooting guard/small forward P.J. Tucker is also in demand trade wise.  Tucker has played in 51 games (49 starts) for the Suns so far this year and he is averaging 29.3 minutes, 6.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game.  Tucker is a glue kind of guy, as he does whatever his team needs him to do.  33-year old center Tyson Chandler can still rebound and play D.  Chandler has played in 42 games (36 starts) for the Suns so far this year and he is averaging 23.3 minutes, 5.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS:  The Pelicans had high hopes for the 2015-16 season, but they are sitting at 18-31 on the year.  That means that they are going to try to deal some veterans for draft picks and younger players in an effort to build a winner around power forward Anthony Davis.  27-year old forward Ryan Anderson is the Pelicans’ top trade asset and they will want a nice return for him.  Anderson has played in 47 games (7 starts) for the Pelicans so far this year and he is averaging 31.5 minutes, 17.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.  26-year old shooting guard/small forward Tyreke Evans and 27-year old shooting guard Eric Gordon are going to be harder to deal, as they are talented but injury prone.  Evans has played in 25 games (all starts) for the Pelicans so far this year and he is averaging 30.6 minutes, 15.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.  Gordon has played in 41 games (40 starts) for the Pelicans so far this year and he is averaging 33.4 minutes, 14.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steal per game.  For a team looking for a rebounder and rim protector, the Pelicans can offer 29-year old center Omer Asik.  Asik has played in 42 games (38 starts) for the Pelicans so far this year and he is averaging 17.1 minutes, 3.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game.  For teams in need of bench players, the Pelicans have 29-year old SG/PG Toney Douglas and 29-year old SG/SF Alonzo Gee.  Douglas has played in 28 games (0 starts) for the Pelicans so far this year and he is averaging 14.6 minutes, 6.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game.  Douglas is shooting 41.5% from three point range, which could interest other teams.  Gee has played in 49 games (34 starts) for the Pelicans so far this year and he is averaging 21.6 minutes, 4.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS:  With the Lakers sitting at 11-41 on the season, it makes sense to trade all of their veteran players (except Kobe Bryant, of course).  30-year old shooting guard Lou Williams will be of the most interest to other teams.  Williams is still a really good offensive basketball player.  He has played in 49 games (31 starts) for the Lakers so far this year and he is averaging 29.6 minutes, 15.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steal per game.  29-year old center Roy Hibbert could help a contender with rebounding and defense.  Hibbert has played in 52 games (all starts) for the Lakers so far this year and he is averaging 24.8 minutes, 6.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.6 blocked shots per game.  30-year old shooting guard Nick Young could help out with instant offense off the bench.  Young has played in 42 games (0 starts) for the Lakers so far this year and he is averaging 19.0 minutes, 7.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.  30-year old power forward Brandon Bass is also available.  Bass has played in 44 games (0 starts) for the Lakers so far this year and he is averaging 18.4 minutes, 6.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

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Charlie Hough had an amazing Major League Career

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Hall of Good by joelapinski on Friday 5 February 2016 at 12:59 pm

Charlie Hough had a 25-year old Major League Career, as he retired at the age of 46!  Hough came up with the Dodgers as a reliever and he was a pretty darn good one.  His best year with the Dodgers came in 1976 when he worked in 77 games (0 starts) in which he was 12-8 with 18 saves, a 2.21 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.  Hough threw an amazing 142 2/3 innings for the Dodgers in 1976!  The righty knuckleball pitcher was didn’t become a full-time starting pitcher until he was 34 years old and pitching for the Texas Rangers.  He made it to his only All-Star game of his career in 1986 with the Texas Rangers.  Hough pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Rangers in 1986 and he was 17-10 with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.  Throwing the knuckleball allowed Hough to have a long career.  At the age of 45, he started the first game in Florida (now Miami) Marlins’ history and they won the game 6-3.  He was the winning pitcher as he worked the first six innings of the game and allowed 6 hits, 3 earned runs and two walks while whiffing 4 batters.

Hough pitched in 858 games (440 starts) in his 25 years in the majors and he was 216-216 with 61 saves, a 3.75 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.  He also had 107 complete games and 13 shutouts in his career.  Hough is #36 in games (858), tied for #84 in wins (216) with Wilbur Cooper and Curt Schilling and he is also #44 in strikeouts (2,362) in Major League History!  From 1982-1990, Hough won at least 10 games every year and in six of those years, he won 15 or more!  Hough led the Majors in Complete Games (17) in 1984 and he led the Major Leagues in Innings Pitched (285 1/3) in 1987!

Hough is all over the Texas Rangers’ record books!  Hough is the Rangers’ all-time leader in games started (313), complete games (98), wins (139), innings pitched (2,308) and strikeouts (1,452)!  Hough is also #4 in games pitched (344), tied for 8th with Joe Coleman in WHIP (1.282) and he’s tied for 3rd in shutouts will Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven (11) in Rangers’ history!  From his Dodgers’ days, Hough is still ranked #6 in Dodgers’ history in games pitched with 401 of them!  Although Hough was never an elite pitcher in his career, he was a pretty darn good one!

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It’s February 5th and some big name free agents are still available

Blogged under Baseball,Bloglockers,Free Agency Previews,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Friday 5 February 2016 at 11:38 am

It’s amazing to me that it’s February 5th and some really good players and pitchers are still looking for work.  Here is my breakdown of the top ten position players and the top ten pitchers left on the market:

POSITION PLAYERS:

1. Ian Desmond, shortstop –  Having a qualifying offer attached to his name has caused teams to back off of Desmond.  Desmond played in 156 games for the Washington Nationals last year and he was 136 of 583 (.233 avg, .674 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 19 homers, 62 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.  He won the National League Silver Slugger Award every year from 2012 through 2014!  In his last four years, Desmond is averaging 22.0 homers, 76.5 RBIs and 19.8 stolen bases…..which are damn good numbers for a shortstop!

2. Dexter Fowler, outfielder –  Fowler also is saddled with a qualifying offer, which is hurting him right now.  Fowler played in 156 games for the Cubs last year and he was 149 of 596 (.250 avg, .757 OPS) with 102 runs scored, 17 homers, 46 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.  Fowler can play all three positions in the outfield and play them pretty well!

3. Austin Jackson, outfielder –  Jackson is coming off an off year for him, but he can still play.  He played in 136 games for the Cubs and Mariners last year and he was 131 of 491 (.267 avg, .696 OPS) with 56 runs scored, 9 homers, 48 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.  Jackson, like Fowler, can handle all threw outfield spots defensively.

4. Marlon Byrd, outfielder –  Byrd keeps producing despite his advancing age (he will be 38 on opening day), but he keeps humming along.  Byrd played in 135 games for the Giants and Reds last year and he was 125 of 506 (.247 avg, .743 OPS) with 58 runs scored, 23 homers, 73 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.  Over his last three years, Byrd is averaging 24.0 homers and 82.0 RBIs per season!

5. Pedro Alvarez, DH/1B/3B –  Lefty swinging Pedro Alvarez’ best fit would be with an American League team needing a DH, as he is an awful defensive 1B or 3B.  Alvarez played in 150 games for the Pirates last year and he was 106 of 437 (.243 avg, .787 OPS) with 60 runs scored, 27 homers, 77 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.  Alvarez led the National League in homers in 2013 for the Pirates.  Over his last four years, Alvarez is averaging 27.8 homers and 79.5 RBIs per season!  He has the best pure power of any hitter still on the free agent market.

6. Justin Morneau, first baseman –  Lefty swinging Justin Morneau still has a nice swing, as he won the National League batting title with the Colorado Rockies (.319) in 2014.  Morneau played in 49 games for the Rockies last year and he was 52 of 168 (.310 avg, .821 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 3 homers and 15 RBIs.  It might be best if Morneau could find a gig as a DH in and effort to keep him healthy!

7. Alex Rios, outfielder –  Every time you think Alex Rios is toast, he bounces back with a big year….so it’s worth it for some team to take a 1-year flier on him.  Rios played in 105 games for the Royals last year and he was 98 of 385 (.255 avg, .640 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 4 homers, 32 RBIs and 9 stolen bases.

8. David Freese, third baseman –  David Freese is a solid everyday player and he is clutch if you are playing important games late in the season.  He played in 121 games for the Angels last year and he was 109 of 424 (.257 avg, .743 OPS) with 53 runs scored, 14 homers, 56 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  He was an All-Star in 2012.

9. Juan Uribe, third baseman –  Juan Uribe played for three teams last year and showed he still has some sting in his bat.  Uribe played in 119 games for the Dodgers, Mets and Braves last year in which he was 91 of 360 (.253 avg, .737 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 14 homers, 43 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

10. Jimmy Rollins, shortstop – Jimmy Rollins’ starting days might be over, but he could still help someone as a backup.  Rollins played in 144 games for the Dodgers last year and he was 116 of 517 (.224 avg, .643 OPS) with 71 runs scored, 13 homers, 41 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.  Rollins was the National League MVP in 2007 for the Philadelphia Phillies.  He has also won 4 Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award so far in his career.

PITCHERS:

1. Yovani Gallardo, starting pitcher – Teams have been balking at signing Gallardo do to him getting a qualifying offer from the Texas Rangers.  Gallardo pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.  Gallardo was won 12 or more games in six of his last seven years!  He was an All-Star with the Brewers in 2010 and he finished 7th in the N.L. Cy Young Award voting in 2011.

2. Mark Buehrle, starting pitcher –  Buehrle is a better pitcher than Gallardo, but he is considering retirement…..so he’s likely only looking for a one year deal.  He pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the Blue Jays last year and he was 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.  The lefty will be 37 years old on Opening Day, but that shouldn’t scare anyone off…..as he had 4 complete games last year!  Buehrle has won double digit games for 15 consecutive years, showing just how consistently good he has been so far in his career.  He is a 5-time All-Star and he has won 4 Gold Gloves so far in his career!

3. Tyler Clippard, reliever – Righty reliever Tyler Clippard is the best back end reliever left on the market.  He pitched in 69 games (0 starts) for the Mets and A’s last year in which he was 5-4 with 19 saves, a 2.92 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.  Clippard saved 32 games for the Washington Nationals in 2012 and he has been an All-Star twice so far in his career.

4. Mat Latos, starting pitcher –  Latos moved around a lot last year, which shows that a lot of teams wanted him…..despite not getting good results.  Latos pitched in 22 games (21 starts) for the Dodgers, Angels and Marlins last year in which he was 4-10 with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.  Latos won exactly 14 games three times in his first seven years in the show.

5. Alfredo Simon, starting pitcher –  Simon was an All-Star with the Reds in 2014, so maybe a return to the National League would be smart for him in 2016.  Simon pitched in 31 games (all starts) for the Tigers last year and he was 13-12 with a 5.05 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.  Some team could sign Simon for the bullpen too, as he has pitched well in that role earlier in his career.

6. Tommy Hunter, relief pitcher –  Hunter is a big ole boy that can really fire the ball up to the plate.  Given the right pitching coach, Hunter could really excel.  Hunter pitched in 58 games (0 starts) for the Cubs and Orioles last year and he was 4-2 with 1 save, a 4.18 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

7. Neal Cotts, relief pitcher – Cotts pitched really well last year.  He pitched in 68 games (0 starts) for the Twins and Brewers last year in which he was 1-0 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.  Cotts was really awesome in 2013 for the Texas Rangers.  Cotts pitched in 58 games (0 starts) for the Rangers in 2013 and he was 8-3 with 1 save, a 1.11 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP!

8. Ryan Webb, relief pitcher –  Webb can’t throw a straight pitch.  He pitched in 40 games (0 starts) for the Indians last year and he was 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

9. Franklin Morales, relief pitcher – Morales really pitched well for the Royals as a full-time reliever last year.  He pitched in 67 games (0 starts) for the Royals last year and he was 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.  He has potential to be a really nasty reliever as he still has great stuff.

10. Blaine Boyer, relief pitcher – Boyer is the late bloomer of this list, as he was outstanding for the Twins last year.  Boyer pitched in 68 games (0 starts) for the Twins last year and he was 3-6 with 1 save, a 2.49 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

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