Before the 2009 season, the Oakland A’s made a win now move. They acquired superstar left fielder Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies. They gave up three players,
- Previously untouchable OF prospect Carlos Gonzalez
- Closer Huston Street
- LH starting pitcher Greg Smith
Gonzalez hasn’t hit well in the majors yet, but he has been destroying pitching at Class AAA Colorado Springs to the tune of a .339/.418/.630 line, and is still only 23 years old.
Street is having a renaissance season in Colorado, his numbers closely mirror his numbers in his fantastic 2006 season.
Smith is a nobody. He has bottomed out in the majors, and has been bombed at Triple-A. He has found some sucess at Class A+ Modesto, but that seems to be the extent of his abilities.
In his three months as a Oakland Athletic Holliday hit for a .286/.378/.454 line. Solid, but no spectacular, and nowhere near his production from 2006-2008. More importantly perhaps, Holliday gave A’s fans hope. Hope increases ticket sales, Holliday provided a valuable marketing boost. He also took pressure of prospect Aaron Cunningham, who was set to take over in left field.
When Oakland flipped him to St. Louis, they received three players,
- top infield prospect Brett Wallace
- Class AA 1B/OF Shane Peterson
- RHP Clayton Mortensen
- No compensation draft picks
Brett Wallace, the Cardinals’ first-round selection in the 2008 draft is the kind of hitter that the Oakland front office loves. A patient hitter who draws his walks, and hits his 20-25 homeruns and 35 doubles. He isn’t the best defender, but should fill the gaping hole that Oakland has had at third base ever since Eric Chavez met the injury bug.
Shane Peterson is a power/speed guy with good defense in the outfield and at first base. His tools profile best as a center fielder. If he can stick in centerfield he will be a valuable starter, if not, a top bench player.
Clayton Mortensen, another former first-round draft pick is a starting pitcher with okay rate stats who could develop into a fifth starter. Think of him as Greg Smith+.
In acquiring Matt Holliday, Oakland received a much needed marketing boost, and was able to get rid of a horrible pitcher, and a pitcher they didn’t need, really, all the gave up was Carlos Gonzalez, who still hasn’t proved himself in the majors. After falling out of contention, Holliday was flipped for another top prospect, one that fills one of Oakland’s most glaring needs, a promising versatile outfielder, and an extra 50/50 risk player. St. Louis adds a threatening bat to the lineup to go with the game’s best player, Albert Pujols. But will it push them to the playoffs, right now I don’t think so. Right now this trade is a win for the A’s, but the Cardinals could even it out with a playoff drive.
According to MLBTradeRumors, the Indians have traded utility man Mark Derosa to the Cardinals, in return, Cleveland will receive RP Chris Perez, and and a PTBNL.
I like this deal a lot for the Indians. They are receiving one of the best closer prospects in the game in Perez, Perez is a flamethrower who gets by with two pitches, a blazing fastball and a wicked slider. His only issue is a big one: walks. I see the the Indians using Perez in the closer role this year to get him used to the role and to work on his control problems, then having him take his potential to the next level as the closer in 2010.
The Cardinals have established that they are going for it all this year. While Derosa will fill their glaring hole at third base, they did not need to give up Perez to get him, they could have called up David Freese. Half a season of Derosa was not worth Perez. St. Louis will pay.
Before I get to the main subject of today’s post, a few quick notes…
- Congratulations To Red Sox Pitcher Jon Lester For Taking A Perfect Game Into The 7th
Jon Lester is a success story to many. A miraculous recovery from cancer, pitching again, winning the last game of the 2007 World Series, and finally pitching a no-hitter in 2008. Lester’s story runs almost parallel with another player’s: Dave Dravecky. At the beginning off the 1988 season, Dravecky had a cancerous desmoid tumor removed from his pitching arm, along with half of the deltoid muscle, and freezing the humerus bone. On August 10, 1989, Dravecky made a remarkable return to the majors, pitching 8 innings, and giving up three runs. However tragedy struck in his next start, Dravecky’s humerus bone snapped while he was delivering a pitch, ending his career. Let’s hope that Lester’s career won’t mirror Dravecky’s that closely!
- Chad Tracy, Stephen Drew, Chris Young, and Eric Byrnes, You Should Be Ashamed
Diamondbacks pitcher Max Scherzer has a .667 OPS, horrible, right? What else would you expect from a pitcher? Four D-back starters, 1B Chad Tracy, SS Stephen Drew, CF Chris Young, and RF Eric Byrnes, have lower OPS’s than Scherzer! The D-backs offense should be ashamed.
es (257), Mets (286) and Cardinals (351) skipper becomes the first person in big league history to have to reached the milestone and also have at least 2,000 hits as a player.
It’s still early in the season, but when your offense can’t score, when your marquee player is injured, and when this happens you’re sunk…
- Indians demote Fausto Carmona to Rookie League to “Work on his mechanics and mental approach”
What has happened to the 2007 version of Fausto Carmona? As a quick reminder, that year, Carmona went 19-8, with a 3.06 ERA, and pitched 215 innings, more than he’d ever pitched in a single season. Carmona’s performance came with an abnormally low BABIP. What could be so bad in his mechanics to justify sending him down to Rookie league. Sending a player to Rookie League to work on something, not rehabilitation, but i.e. mechanics, does not motivate a player, to try harder, it makes him feel insulted, and work less. Back to the main question, what was his mechanical problem?
- Grady Sizemore’s injury
Elbow inflammation+possible hamstring injury = bad. Now he may have surgery and miss six weeks . I’ts time for Cleveland to sell players like Mark Derosa, and Cliff Lee.
This Day In Baseball History
1920-The Cardinals play their last game at Robison Field (renamed Cardinal Field in 1917), their home field since 1893, beating the Cubs, 5-2. One of new owner Sam Breadon’s first decisions is to agree to a ten-year lease for $20,000 annually allowing his team to move six blocks to share Sportman’s Park with the Browns, and then using the money from selling the aging ballpark to finance Branch Rickey’s idea of establishing a farm system by investing in a club afflilation with a minor league team in Houston, Texas.
1925-White Sox Eddie Collins, at the age of 38, becomes the sixth major leaguer to collect 3000 hits when he doubles off Washington’s Walter Johnson.
1934-Myril Hoag becomes first Yankee in franchise history to collect six hits in one game, a major league record of six singles. The 26-year old outfielder’s 6-for-6 performance helps the Bronx Bombers rout Boston at Fenway Park, 15-3.
1939-Bert and George Bebble and Carl Stotz form the Little League organization in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The three youth teams in the league have uniforms thanks to a $35 donation.
1940-Warren Spahn, who will become the winningest left-hander in baseball history with 363 victories, signs a contract with the Boston Bees (Braves). Due to a clash with manager Casey Stengel and his enlistment in the U.S. Army, the 19-year old southpaw will have to wait six years before he gets his first major league win.
1941-The New York Giants become the first team to wear protective headgear as they don plastic helmets in a game against the Pirates.
1957-After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to poor visibility.
1958-Osvaldo ‘Ossie’ Virgil becomes the first black player to appear in a Tigers’ uniform. The versatile Dominican will eventually play every position but pitcher during his nine major league career.
1965-Tom Tresh hits three consecutive home runs as the Yankees blast the White Sox, 12-0.
1976-After a storm drops seven inches of rain causing floods in Houston, twenty fans canoe to the Astrodome to get rain checks for the canceled game at the enclosed stadium.
1986-Before the game against the Braves, Padres’ skipper Steve Boros tries to give ump Charlie Williams a videotape of a disputed play from the previous night and is ejected prior to the first pitch of the game.
1992-Eddie Murray drives in two runs against the Pirates to surpass Mickey Mantle (1,509) as the all-time switch-hitter RBI leader.
2002-The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission agrees to drop its lawsuit against the Twins and Major League Baseball. The deal settles a lawsuit blocking baseball’s contraction plan and removes the Twins from consideration for elimination for the 2003 season.
2006-When Eric Gagne, who will earn his first save in over a year, throws his first pitch to his receiver Russell Martin, the pair become the first All-French-Canadian battery in major league history. The pitcher and catcher both attended Polyvalente Edouard Montpetit High School, one of the few schools in Montreal which had a baseball program.
2007-At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman becomes the first reliever to save 500 games. It takes the all-time saves leader 10 ninth inning pitches, including an 87 mph fastball thrown past Russell Martin for the final out, to reach the milestone in the Padres 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.
One no two no three big things happened in baseball yesterday…
- The Pirates Trade Nate McLouth to the Braves
I will start off by saying that I am of the opinion that Nate McLouth is overrated. He creates runs with his power bat, (which I am skeptical of), and his base running intuitiveness, but gives up runs with his poor defense. However, he is still an excellent partial fix to the Braves’ outfield problems. Atlanta was able to give up some good, but expendable prospects, to get McLouth. The Pirates were able to get three players:
- Pirates Promote Andrew McCutchen
Well, the Pirates did promote Andrew McCutchen, to replace McLouth. What else were they supposed to do.
- Sammy Sosa Retires
Sammy Sosa you helped save baseball in 1998. PED’s or not, you belong in the Hall Of Fame.
- White Sox Promote Gordon Beckham
Welcome to the first player from the 2008 draft to reach the majors. Beckham’s here to stay, mark my word.
- Geographical Interleague “Rivalries”
I understand that MLB is trying to create local rivalries, and some, like the Subway Series, and the Windy City Series are actually interesting, but others, such as the Battle Of The Beltway, the Rays-Marlins Series, and the Rangers-Astros Series are ridiculously one-sided. For the 2010 season maybe MLB should try something different, perhaps Classic World Series matchups, like Red Sox-Cardinals, Twins-Braves, or Orioles-Pirates.
- Mets 3 Red Sox 2
What does it take for a injury-depleted team working with a two-man bench to beat one of the best closers in the game? Answer: A miracle
- Diamondbacks 8 A’s 7
This game turned out to be a thriller at the Oakland Coliseum, the D-backs scored four runs in the 8th inning on key hits by Eric Byrnes, and Chad Tracy, tying the score at 5-5. The game went into extra innings, and the D-backs appeared to seal the game when they scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th inning, but Oakland came back in the bottom half, scoring a pair of runs off D-backs closer Chad Qualls, and had runners at the corners with one out, when Jack Hannahan grounded into a double play to end the game. The Diamondbacks won their third straight, but are still 10 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.
- Two More Interleague Shutouts
White Sox 4 Pirates 0