Monday, April 26, 2010

April All-Star Teams

I think it’s crazy that three weeks into the season, the All-Star ballot is already online, but since it is I will do my first monthly All-Star team. I will say who I think the All-Star team should be if the game was today.

AL: stats as of April 24th

C: Joe Mauer, MIN (.333 AVG, 1 HR, 10 RBI) – Joe leads all Al catchers on the ballot in RBIs and batting average. He is hitting .333, and even though he has just one home run so far this year, he is still the best of the catchers.

1B: Miguel Cabrera, DET (.353 AVG, 4 HR, 21 RBI) – Miguel is hitting .353 so far this year, which is 2nd among AL first basemen, and he is also second in home runs with four. But Miguel’s best stat this season is RBIs, as he leads all of major league baseball with 21.

2B: Robinson Cano, NYY (.333 AVG, 4 HR, 12 RBI) – Robinson leads all AL second basemen on the ballot with a sufficient number of at-bats in batting average by a lot, as no one else is even hitting .300. He also is second in both home runs and RBIs.

SS: Derek Jeter, NYY (.328 AVG, 3 HR, 10 RBI) – Derek has a great batting average, and, like Cano, he is leading AL shortstops in batting average at .328. His power numbers aren’t too shabby, either, with 3 homers and 10 RBIs.

3B: Alex Rodriguez, NYY (.322 AVG, 2 HR, 11 RBI) – Alex has had a great year so far this April, leading AL third basemen in batting average, and is tied for second in RBIs. Alex rounds out the 75% Yankee starting infield, which was painful to make, since it’s the Yankees.

DH: Jose Guillen, KC (.354 AVG, 6 HR, 13 RBI) – Jose leads the American League DHs in batting average, home runs, and RBIs, so I really don’t think there’s much to argue about in this spot in the lineup, although Vlad is the closest to catching him.

OF: Nelson Cruz, TEX (.327 AVG, 7 HR, 17 RBI, 5 SB) – Nelson is tied for the major league lead in home runs, leads AL outfielders in RBIs, and is hitting well over .300, with is batting average at .327. That doesn’t even mention his 5 stolen bases, 6th among balloted AL outfielders.

OF: Vernon Wells, TOR (.344 AVG, 7 HR, 13 RBI) – Vernon is tied with Nelson for the major league lead in home runs, and also has a batting average way above .300, at .344. The only thing that he has going against him is that he’s driven in himself more than he has his teammates.

OF: Scott Podsednik, KC (.415 AVG, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 7 SB) – Scott leads the American League in batting average at .415, so he obviously leads the outfielders. Even though he has poor power numbers, anybody hitting .400 or above with 7 stolen bases deserves to start.

SP: Jon Danks, CWS (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 21 K) – Jon leads the American League in ERA, and has a plethora of strikeouts (that’s a good vocab word). At 2-0, he is tied for 3rd in the AL in wins, so he is toward the top of all three major categories.

C: Jorge Posada, NYY (.320 AVG, 3 HR, 9 RBI)
Matt Wieters, BAL (.311 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI)
1B: Kendry Morales, LAA (.303 AVG, 5 HR, 13 RBI)
Justin Morneau, MIN (.356 AVG, 2 HR, 11 RBI)
2B: Dustin Pedroia, BOS (.271 AVG, 5 HR, 13 RBI)
SS: Alex Gonzalez, TOR (.292 AVG, 5 HR, 13 RBI)
Elvis Andrus, TEX (.286 AVG, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB)
3B: Alberto Callaspo, KC (.302 AVG, 3 HR, 11 RBI)
Evan Longoria, TB (.297 AVG, 3 HR, 13 RBI)
DH: Vladimir Guerrero, TEX (.345 AVG, 2 HR, 8 RBI)
OF: Michael Cuddyer, MIN (.324 AVG, 3 HR, 15 RBI)
Carl Crawford, TB (.328 AVG, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 7 SB)
Shin-Soo Choo, CLE (.286 AVG, 4 HR, 12 RBI)
Franklin Gutierrez, SEA (.391 AVG, 0 HR, 10 RBI)
SP: Matt Garza, TB (3-1, 2.17 ERA, 25 K)
Justin Duchscherer, OAK (2-0, 1.82 ERA, 15 K)
Doug Fister, SEA (2-1, 1.42 ERA, 9 K)
Francisco Liriano, MIN (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 17 K)
Andy Pettite, NYY (2-0, 1.35 ERA, 14 K)
CJ Wilson, TEX (1-1, 1.37 ERA, 16 K)
Ricky Romero, TOR (1-1, 1.57 ERA, 22 K)
RP: David Aardsma, SEA (6 SV, 0.00 ERA, 7 K)
Jon Rauch, MIN (6 SV, 1.29 ERA, 5 K)
Mariano Rivera, NYY (6 SV, 0.00 ERA, 6 K)
Kevin Gregg, TOR (5 SV, 1.17 ERA, 9 K)
Jose Valverde, DET (5 SV, 1.29 ERA, 4 K)

Players by Team:
New York Yankees – 6
Minnesota Twins – 5
Toronto Blue Jays – 4
Texas Rangers – 4
Tampa Bay Rays – 3
Kansas City Royals – 3
Seattle Mariners – 3
Detroit Tigers – 2
Boston Red Sox – 1
Baltimore Orioles – 1
Chicago White Sox – 1
Cleveland Indians – 1
Oakland Athletics – 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 1

NL: stats as of April 25th

C: Ivan Rodriguez, WAS (.434 AVG, 0 HR, 8 RBI) – Pudge leads the major leagues in batting average at .434, and I really wish he was still a Ranger, especially with our catching struggles this year. He is also tied second among National League balloted catchers in RBIs.

1B: Adrian Gonzalez, SD (.322 AVG, 5 HR, 12 RBI) – Adrian leads NL first basemen in batting average, is 2nd in home runs, and is 3rd in RBIs. He in the top three in all three categories, and is the only NL first baseman to do that.

2B/DH: Kelly Johnson, ARI (.327 AVG, 6 HR, 10 RBI) – Kelly is tied with Chase Utley among balloted second basemen in home runs, but he has a 30-point edge in batting average on him. Kelly has made a very good first impression with his new team.

2B/DH: Martin Prado, ATL (.409 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI) – Martin is hitting over .400 this year, which obviously leads NL second basemen, but with the strength at the NL second base position, he needed a DH spot to be a starter.

SS: Rafael Furcal, LAD (.329 AVG, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 8 SB) – Rafael leads all NL shortstops in batting average and stolen bases, which makes up for his lack of power numbers, especially with how weak the shortstops have been in the National League.

3B: Casey McGehee, MIL (.338 AVG, 4 HR, 14 RBI) – Casey has been incredible for the Brewers this year, as he is 4th among NL 3B in batting average, is tied for 2nd in home runs, and is tied for 3rd in RBIs. Those are some pretty good stats.

OF: Ryan Braun, MIL (.382 AVG, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 4 SB) – Ryan has been incredible this year, and is much deserving of the number one starting outfield spot in the NL. He is 1st among NL outfielders with at least 45 at-bats in batting average, is tied 2nd in home runs, and is tied 1st in RBIs, and he also has four stolen bases. If that’s not an All-Star starter, I don’t know what is.

OF: Andre Ethier, LAD (.362 AVG, 5 HR, 16 RBI) – Andre is 2nd in batting average among outfielders with 45 or more at-bats, behind only Ryan Braun. He is also tied with Ryan in home runs with 5, and is tied 3rd in RBIs in the NL outfield.

OF: Matt Kemp, LAD (.319 AVG, 7 HR, 20 RBI) – Matt is tied for the major league lead in home runs with 7, and even though his batting average doesn’t quite match up with Braun’s or Ethier’s, it’s still very good, and he leads the NL outfield in RBIs along with Ryan Braun.

SP: Roy Halladay, PHI (4-0, 0.82 ERA, 28 K) – Roy is tied for the major league lead with Tim Lincecum and Ubaldo Jimenez in wins with four, is 2nd in the majors in ERA behind Livan Hernandez, and is towards the top in the MLB in strikeouts, too.

C: Bengie Molina, SF (.313 AVG, 1 HR, 8 RBI)
1B: Albert Pujols, STL (.275 AVG, 6 HR, 16 RBI)
Joey Votto, CIN (.290 AVG, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 SB)
2B: Rickie Weeks, MIL (.324 AVG, 3 HR, 12 RBI)
Dan Uggla, FLA (.333 AVG, 4 HR, 11 RBI)
SS: Orlando Cabrera, CIN (.254 AVG, 2 HR, 13 RBI)
3B: Jorge Cantu, FLA (.278 AVG, 4 HR, 20 RBI)
Ian Stewart, COL (.322 AVG, 4 HR, 11 RBI)
Ryan Zimmerman, WAS (.341 AVG, 2 HR, 10 RBI)
Chase Headley, SD (.379 AVG, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 SB)
OF: Jayson Werth, PHI (.333 AVG, 3 HR, 10 RBI)
Josh Willingham, WAS (.321 AVG, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 SB)
Marlon Byrd, CHC (.338 AVG, 3 HR, 14 RBI)
Brad Hawpe, COL (.357 AVG, 3 HR, 7 RBI)
SP: Livan Hernandez, WAS (2-1, 0.75 ERA, 9 K)
Mike Pelfrey, NYM (3-0, 0.86 ERA, 16 K)
Ubaldo Jimenez, COL (4-0, 0.95 ERA, 25 K)
Carlos Silva, CHC (2-0, 0.95 ERA, 12 K)
Tim Lincecum, SF (4-0, 1.00 ERA, 32 K)
Barry Zito, SF (3-0, 1.32 ERA, 19 K)
Brad Penny, STL (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 13 K)
RP: Matt Capps, WAS (7 SV, 0.87 ERA, 12 K)
Francisco Cordero, CIN (6 SV, 3.12 ERA, 10 K)
Matt Lindstrom, HOU (6 SV, 3.00 ERA, 10 K)
Leo Nunez, FLA (4 SV, 0.00 ERA, 10 K)
Brendan Donnelly, PIT (1-0, 0 SV, 2.25 ERA, 9 K)

Players by Team:
Washington Nationals – 5
Cincinnati Reds – 3
Colorado Rockies – 3
Florida Marlins – 3
Los Angeles Dodgers – 3
Milwaukee Brewers – 3
San Francisco Giants – 3
Chicago Cubs – 2
Philadelphia Phillies – 2
San Diego Padres – 2
St. Louis Cardinals – 2
Arizona Diamondbacks – 1
Atlanta Braves – 1
Houston Astros – 1
New York Mets – 1
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1

Come back next week for my April Awards.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jon Daniels Trade Analysis Part 3

It’s been a while since I did a summary of Jon Daniels’ trades. The last time I did it was in October of 2007, at which time I had given him a 16-4-7 record for all of his trades up to that point. This week I continued my Jon Daniels Trade Analysis, taking up where I left off, and gave each trade a win, loss, or a draw, and analyzed them.

One thing that’s tough about analyzing these recent trades is trying to project what prospects might do in the future. So I didn’t do that, meaning I’m scoring each trade on the basis of the impact at the major league level as of today, because impact at the major league level is ultimately how each trade will be judged. That means that many of the scores will probably change sometime in the future.

12/6/07 - Acquired 1B Chris Shelton from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for OF Freddy Guzman

Draw – Chris was terrible as a Ranger. In his 97 at-bats as a Ranger, Chris hit just .216, and had a terrible .330 slugging percentage. Not only did he hit .216, Chris struck out 33 times, 34% of his at-bats. Freddy Guzman has just 10 at-bats and one hit since the trade.

Record: 16-4-8

12/21/07 - Acquired OF Josh Hamilton from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for RHP Edinson Volquez and Minor League LHP Danny Herrera.

Loss – Josh and Volquez have basically done the same so far, they both had All-Star years in 2008, and then were injured for much of the year in 2009. So they cancel each other out. But the Reds also got a very solid relief pitcher in the trade. Danny Ray Herrera had a 3.06 ERA in 61.2 innings pitched in 2009. Herrera is a very valuable left-handed specialist in the Reds bullpen. There is a great chance when it’s all said and done this trade will be a win, but as of today, it’s slightly in the Reds’ favor.

Record: 16-5-8

2/5/08 - Acquired OF Michael Hernandez from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for RHP Armando Galarraga.

Loss – Armando had a great year in 2008 with the Tigers, as he had a 13-7 record and a 3.73 ERA in 178.2 innings pitched. He had a .226 opponents batting average. He didn’t have anywhere near as good a year in ’09 as he did in ’08, with a 5.64 ERA in 143.2 innings pitched. That is in exchange for Michael Hernandez, who has never made it to the majors.

Record: 16-6-8

3/28/08 - Acquired RHP Dustin Nippert from the Arizona Diamondbacks for non-roster RHP Jose Marte.

Win – Dustin Nippert has been a very good contributor to the Rangers, while Jose Marte has never made it to the big league for the Diamondbacks or for any other team. Dustin had a 3.88 ERA in 69.2 innings for the Rangers in 2009 and is very valuable, as he can be used as a long reliever or a spot starter.

Record: 17-6-8

8/25/08 - Acquired RHP Mark Hamburger from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for LHP Eddie Guardado

Draw – Eddie pitched only 7 innings for the Twins in ’08 after the trade before coming back to the Rangers for the ’09 season. Mark Hamburger has not yet made it to the Rangers (and is currently with the High-A team), but the Rangers only gave up 7 innings to get him. This trade made no difference to either team to this point, but has the chance to become a win for the Rangers depending on what Hamburger does.

Record: 17-6-9

11/20/08 - Acquired OF Greg Golson from the Philadelphia Phillies for OF John Mayberry.

Draw – Neither player has played significant time in the majors since the trade, although John Mayberry, Jr. did get 57 at-bats with the Phillies last year (and also got a World Series ring). But he hit just .211, even though he did hit four home runs. Golson got just one at-bat as a Ranger. Even though Mayberry has been better, it’s not significant enough to make it a loss at this point. That could change in the future, though, as Mayberry is still with the Phillies while Golson is out of the Rangers’ organization.

Record: 17-6-10

12/8/08 - Acquired RHP Guillermo Moscoso and RHP Carlos Melo from the Detroit Tigers for C Gerald Laird.

Draw – Even though the Rangers really struggled at the catcher position offensively last year, and Salty got injured, Gerald Laird didn’t have a good season either. He hit just .225 with four home runs and 33 RBI’s in 413 at-bats for the Detroit Tigers last season. Moscoso has pitched 14 innings in the majors for the Rangers (3.21 ERA), which obviously isn’t significant time, and Carlos Melo has not yet made it to the major leagues (and it looks like he’ll be on one of the short season clubs this year).

Record: 17-6-11

Come back next week for Jon Daniels Trade Analysis Part 4 and a GM Comparison.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rangers Week 1 Recap

I will have a short post this week because I had an all-weekend baseball tournament out in Mansfield. There’s an amazing baseball complex in Mansfield called Big League Dreams. Each of the eight fields is a replica of a classic major league ballpark. The attention to detail is incredible. This weekend, our games are in replicas of the Polo Grounds and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. They also have replicas of Ebbets Field, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Sportsman’s Park, and Crosley Field. They have two pretty nice restaurants too (one called the Diamond Club and one called the Stadium Club), each overlooking four of the fields. Even if you don’t have a game there, you can tour the complex for $3, eat at the restaurant, and watch whatever games are being played. It was the coolest place I’ve ever played at.

This week I will give a brief recap of the week’s Rangers games.

Opening Day vs. Toronto (1-0):
Scott Feldman pitched really well other than just a couple of bad pitches (he went 7 innings and allowed 3 runs). Neftali Feliz came on in the eight and he really struggled, allowing one run and walking two while getting just one out. Darren Oliver and Frankie Francisco came in to pitch after him, and got the job done. The Rangers got no-hit through six and a third innings before Vlad singled (following a Josh Hamilton walk), followed by a Nelson Cruz home run to tie the game at 3 in the seventh. After Feliz gave the Blue Jays the lead back in the 8th, the Rangers got the bases loaded with one out in the ninth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia came up and hit a walk-off single to win the ballgame. They won 5-4. We were at this game and it couldn’t have been a better day.

Wednesday, April 7th vs. Toronto (1-1):
Rich Harden started for the Rangers and really struggled. He went just 3 and two-thirds innings, allowed just one hit, three runs (one earned), and struck out eight, but he walked five batters. 8 of his 11 outs were strikeouts. Dustin Nippert came in after Harden, and didn’t do any better, allowing three runs and walking four in 2 and two-thirds innings. Darren O’Day came in after him and threw 1.1 scoreless innings, but Darren Oliver gave up a solo home run to Vernon Wells. Chris Ray got the final two outs for the Rangers and allowed no runs. Borbon, Young, Hamilton, Arias, Murphy, Salty, Andrus, and Teagarden combined to go 1-22, (a .045 batting average) and Josh struck out in all four of his at-bats. Nelson Cruz and Vladimir Guerrero hit back-to-back home runs, but they were basically the Rangers’ whole offense, and they lost 7-4.

Thursday, April 8th vs. Toronto (1-2):
CJ Wilson pitched great, and he went 7 shutout innings, striking out 9 and allowing only 7 batters to get on base. After CJ, Feliz came in and threw a perfect 8th inning, but after him Frankie Francisco came in to pitch, and he was terrible. He got just two outs, allowed four hits, three runs (all earned), and walked one, to make his ERA 16.20. Darren Oliver got the last out of the 9th inning. The Rangers hit just as bad in this game as they did on Wednesday, as Borbon, Young, Garko, Arias, Teagarden, Blanco, Hamilton, and Andrus combined to go 0-for-21, while Cruz and Guerrero went 4-for-7. The Rangers lost the game 3-1.

Friday, April 9th vs. Seattle (2-2):
Colby Lewis started this game and picked up the win, going 7 innings, and allowing just one run. Chris Ray pitched the 8th inning, and allowed a solo home run to Casey Kotchman. Doug Mathis then pitched a perfect ninth inning, and struck out two. Nelson Cruz hit his third home run of the season, and him and Guerrero combined to go 5-for-8 in this game. After Cruz’ fourth inning home run, the Rangers scored four runs in the 6th inning, and one run in the 7th. The Rangers won 6-2.

Saturday, April 10th vs. Seattle (2-3):
Matt Harrison started for the Rangers and pitched really well, giving up just one run in six innings of work. Dustin Nippert and Neftali Feliz both followed that up with scoreless innings of their own. But then, once again, Frankie Francisco came in to pitch the ninth, and got one out, allowing three runs. And the out was on a sac bunt, so he didn’t really even get that one, either. Darren O’Day then came in to finish off the inning for the Rangers. Besides Joaquin Arias, the Rangers combined to go 4-for-29 (a .138 batting average). Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer in the sixth, but due to Frankie’s poor pitching, the Rangers lost 4-3.

Sunday, April 11th vs. Seattle (3-3):
Scott Feldman had 7 strong innings once again on Sunday against the Mariners. He allowed just two runs (one earned) in his 7 innings of work, and picked up the win. Doug Mathis and Chris Ray each pitched scoreless innings after him. The Rangers hit much better on Sunday, as everyone got a hit except for David Murphy, and he became the first player ever to get on base by two catcher interference calls in the same game. Michael Young hit his first home run of the year in the first inning off Ian Snell, and, once again Vlad and Cruz both had really good games. Josh Hamilton also doubled twice and walked in the game. The Rangers won 9-2.

Through one week, the Rangers should be 5-1, but their “closer” has made them 3-3. The Rangers’ hitting besides Guerrero, Cruz, Arias, and Hamilton has got to pick up. I’m starting to get a little worried about Chris Davis, but the starting rotation is looking great.

Come back next week for more analysis on the Rangers.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Recent Rangers Moves

This week I’ll catch up on all of the Rangers’ trades and acquisitions from the last few weeks, and analyze them.

On March 9th, the Rangers acquired Edwar Ramirez from the New York Yankees for cash considerations:
I like this trade, because we basically got a major league relief pitcher for nothing. Edwar had a good year with the Yankees in 2008, going 55.1 innings with 3.90 ERA, but then struggled in ’09, going only 22 innings with a 5.73 ERA. But he pitched well in Triple-A, as he had a 3.18 ERA in 51 innings with Scranton Wilkes-Barr (that’s a long name for a city). Cash considerations means that the Yankees might get some cash from the Rangers depending on how Ramirez performs. The Rangers ended up trading Ramirez to the A’s right after that, though.
Grade: C, it isn’t meaningful enough for a high grade

Then, on March 13th, the Rangers claimed Hernan Iribarren off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. This was a good move, as the Rangers needed more infielders since Khalil Greene couldn’t make it with his social anxiety disorder, and when the Rangers claimed him he actually had a shot to make the team. But he didn’t perform well in Spring Training, as in his 19 total at-bats (Brewers and Rangers) he had just three hits, all of them singles. He has 27 career major league at-bats, and has five hits, a .185 batting average.

On March 22nd, the Rangers traded Ray Olmedo to the Milwaukee Brewers for Matt Treanor:
I like this trade, also, because Ray Olmedo was not going to make the team, and the Rangers needed another catcher in case Salty wasn’t ready to go at the start of the season. Matt has a career .232 batting average in 736 major league at-bats. He is a good defensive catcher, with a career .988 fielding percentage. Like Iribarren, Treanor did not end up making the team, but could be an option to fill in during the season if they need temporary help.
Grade: B-, Matt could still end up being helpful if Salty gets injured again

On March 24th, the Rangers traded Edwar Ramirez to the Oakland Athletics for Gregorio Petit:
I’ve already covered Edwar Ramirez, so I’ll just cover Petit for this trade. Gregorio Petit had 54 major league at-bats for the A’s between ’08 and ’09, and hit .278. Last year with Triple-A Sacramento, Petit hit .244 with five home runs and 32 RBI’s in 357 at-bats. Petit had a very good chance of being the Rangers’ utility infielder until they traded for Andres Blanco, who eventually ended up getting the job.
Grade: C+, Petit could have been valuable, while Ramirez probably wasn’t going to make the team. Ramirez may have had more long-term value though.

On March 27th, the Rangers acquired Andres Blanco from the Chicago Cubs for either a player to be named later or cash:
This is a very good trade, as even though Blanco isn’t the nicest guy (I found that out at the Rangers Spring Training game in Frisco on Saturday), he still will be a solid utility infielder for the Rangers. He is a very good defensive player, and hit well with Triple-A Iowa last year, with a .304 batting average. The Rangers gave up almost nothing to get him, and he should help the team throughout the year. I don’t see any way this ends up being a bad trade. Unless the player to be named later is a legitimate prospect, which is doubtful, even if Blanco doesn’t perform, we didn’t give up anything for him.
Grade: A-, it’s not a big enough trade to go above an A-

On April 1st, the Rangers traded Edwin Escobar to the San Francisco Giants to keep Ben Snyder:
Ben Snyder was the Rangers’ Rule-5 draft pick that they received from the Orioles as part of the Kevin Millwood trade. Snyder didn’t make the team, so he would have gone back to the Giants had the Rangers not made this trade. Ben did not have a good spring (9.00 ERA), but has good stats in the minors, with his ERA not rising above 3.75 in his minor league career. Edwin Escobar went 2-5 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 games with the Arizona League Rangers last year. Escobar has some potential but I think Snyder’s is higher and he’s much closer to contributing to a major league team.
Grade: B-, once again this wasn’t a big enough trade to go much higher

On April 1st, the Rangers claimed Ryan Garko off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. This is a great move. The Rangers have been trying to get Garko since last summer, and he will be the backup corner infielder for the Rangers to start the season. The Mariners waived him after he had a bad spring, batting in the low .200s. Ryan will be a big addition, and I’d much rather have him than Matt Brown or Max Ramirez.

On April 2nd, the Rangers traded Luis Mendoza to the Kansas City Royals for cash:
Luis was out of options and wasn’t going to make the Rangers’ roster. The Rangers got nothing for him (not surprising). In his career, Luis has a 7.73 major league ERA in 80 innings, and personally, I’m happy to get rid of the guy. He just wasn’t performing, but was still in the mix for a bullpen job early this spring.
Grade: C, it doesn’t matter at all

Also, on the day that I left Surprise, news broke that Ron Washington took cocaine last season. It was a stupid thing to do, and I can’t believe he would do it. I really still don’t know what to think of it, and I’m hoping that it will make the players more determined, so that they can show that their manager is a good one.

I enjoyed spring training, but I’m glad it’s over. I can’t wait for opening day tomorrow.

Come back next week for a breakdown of week 1 of the season.