Friday, February 8, 2008

2008 Power Rankings- Pre Season MLB


Spring training is right around the corner and I couldn’t be happier. Days pass with little excitement in the sports world. Other than reading the blogs on LSWTF and making adjustments on my fantasy rosters, the work week has been rather dull. Not alot seems to have happened in terms of the waiver wire and trades since last week, but enough to irritate a few members of this fine board. Side note, we did have some fine Caribbean World Series action!! Other than Miguel Tejada becoming the all time Latin League HR king, I didn’t pay much attention to the series it either.

1 (1). Boston Red Sox- They continue to impress me. Just when you think they are finished cleaning up, they sign lefty powerhouse Sean Casey and resign Bobby Keilty. This team has depth as deep as the Atlantic Ocean. But bad news proceeds. Curt Schilling is still hurt and may not be ready for Spring Training. Granted its Spring Training, but Ill bet dollars for donuts he hasn’t touched a baseball since October. Its a good thing they held onto Lester.

2 (2) Detroit Tigers- Their biggest off-season trade wasn’t Willis or Cabrera, it was the departing Johan Santana. They also gave Granderson a very well deserved contract extension.

3 (3) New York Yankees- I really liked their acquisition of Morgan Ensberg. He is a true utility player and this will allow Girardi to rest his infield once in awhile.

4 (4) Chicago Cubs- Seems those Brian Roberts trade rumors have quieted down a bit. Good news for Oriole fan, whether they will admit it or not.

5 (5) LA Dodgers- Seems they are content with their off-season. I don’t blame them, They have solid athletes all over the field.

6 (6) New York Mets- They pulled the trigger and gave Johan exactly what he wanted. A happy Johan equates to a 20 win season Johan.

7 (7) San Diego Padres- Enrique Gonzalez adds depth to an already phenomenal bullpen.

8 (8) Cleveland Indians- The biggest off-season acquisition for the Indians was the departing of Santana. I will continue to stress this. They also added some pitching depth with the signing of Brendan Donnelly

9 (8) LA Angels- How could you let Dallas McPherson go?? Chone isn’t getting any younger (or durable)

10 (10) Arizona Diamondbacks- The DBacks announced that Brandon Lyon is their new closer. Im not quite sure how I feel about it, but he didn’t do half bad as a setup man. Their is a huge difference in those 2 roles though. Time will tell.

11 (11) Chicago Whitesox- I honestly don’t know what else they could do to get any better. Maybe a 5th starter?

12 (12) Colorado Rockies- I like that they brought in Josh Towers. I liked him in Baltimore and in Toronto. He could get a real chance to prove himself this season.

13 (13) Houston Astros- With Ensberg gone, who will be their go-to utility guy?

14 (14) Milwaukee Brewers- Not much action this week

15 (15) Tampa Bay Rays- I really wish I put a bet on the Rays winning it all this season. They signed former ROY Eric Hinskie, which gives them tremendous depth in the infield, if he can stay healthy of course

16 (16) Philadelphia Philly’s- Still scratching my head as to why they wont make an attempt to pick up any starters. I repeat, other than Cole Hammels, who do you have??

17 (17) Washington Nationals- Rumor has it Livan Hernandez wants to come back to Washington. I’m not a fan of him at all but this makes sense. He eats innings as if they were bear-claws. This is what the Nats rotation needs badly, especially those young guys. For the sake of Nats fans everywhere, I hope they can reach an agreement.

18 (18) Atlanta Braves- I’m still trying to figure out what they are trying to do. Holes all over the lineup and bullpen. I’m sorry, Mike Hampton is not going to save this team!

19 (19) Minnesota Twins- At least they have a solid lineup, setup man, and closer. But the starting pitching is all gone. This season could be over before it even starts.

20 (20) Toronto Blue jays- B.J Ryan appears to be healthy, which is great news. Their closer by committee worked well last season, but those guys are better as setup men.

21 (21) Seattle Mariners- Bedard is currently in Seattle taking his physical. About 4 weeks later than he should have been. Cant blame Seattle for this, Baltimore executives have redefined how NOT to manage a ball club.

22 (22) Cincinnati Reds- A minor acquisition in Catcher Paul Bako. At least it addressed a need for depth.

23 (23) San Francisco Giants- I see dark days ahead. We didn’t even make a move on Dallas McPherson and haven’t even considered Tony Clark. Both would be immediate upgrades to what we have, defensively speaking that is.

24 (24) St Louis Cardinals- Juan Gonzalez has been offered a spring training invite. At his peak, I don’t even think he could save this team.

25 (25) Oakland A's- Apparently Chavez is healthy. Ill be impressed if he is playing baseball in May.

26 (26) Pittsburgh Pirates- They have potential to play spoiler come September, but that’s about it

27 (27) Texas Rangers- Their saving grace is the fact that the AL West is beatable.

28 (28) Kansas City Royals- They may win a few more games now that Santana is out of the division.

29 (30) Florida Marlins- Yes, your not the worst anymore. You signed Mr. Extra-base hits himself, Luis "Gonzo" Gonzalez and a young talented 3b in Dallas McPherson. You all know my thoughts on Dallas and what he could be if given a chance. And Gonzo is pretty good also, even as a 4th option in LA last season. Anibal Sanchez says he is healthy, and if he truly is, he will make for an excellent #3 starter. VERY well done Florida.

30 (29) Baltimore Orioles- Daniel Cabrera is your soon to be Ace and as much as I like Adam Jones, he has not proven himself yet.....Get used to last place.

31 comments:

Dews said...

Could have sworn the Giants had some stud First baseman almost ready for the Majors, why not give him a shot in Spring training?

As far as the O's go, Cabrera isn't even in the top two for the rotation minus Bedard. It will go Guthrie, then Loewen, then maybe Cabrera and Olsen... May finally be time for Penn to come up and do something without some internal organ exploding.

I still don't buy that in a hypothetical 7-game series with say, the Pirates, that the O's would lose the series, thus I think you ranking them last is really not justified...

Don't get me wrong, they are going to be awful this year, maybe winning 75 games, but they play far better competition then just about anyone in the NL already.

Dews said...

Also, Schilling is done man... Best case is he has surgery and is back by the all-star break.

Worst case he "re-habs" and turns into this years Bartolo Colon, just refusing to admit his arm is messed up...

Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe said...

I'm with Dews in part on this one. I think that in general AL teams are stronger than NL teams, and I think that power rankings should be broken down into AL rankings and NL rankings. The disparity is getting to the power of comparing apples and oranges.

Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe said...

Agreed. The Sox rotation is looking like Beckett, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Lester, and Bucholz. I like that rotation, but it has a lot of question marks. Matsuzaka has to improve his control, Wake's back has to hold up, Lester is young, and Bucholz is unproven. As much as Schilling is no ace, he can still crank it if he gets himself into shape. He can win games.

I would tentatively put them at 2nd or 3rd until the Schilling thing is resolved. They may need to score 900 or 1000 runs to win the AL East.

Dews said...

I dunno man, I think I'd rather have Bucholz in that rotation then a creaky cranky Schilling...

Maybe not come playoff time, but I'd be psyched going into next year with Bucholz shoring up the rotation

SayHey Kid said...

We have Travis Ishikawa and Travis Denker, both great prospects. But I dont see them on our opening day roster. Maybe June or July Call-ups.

I like Guthrie alot (Younger Bedard if you ask me) but Loewen isnt as consistant as you think he is. Unless a miracle happens, Cabrera will throw out the first pitch. Hayden Penn has been hyped for years. And he has suffered countless injuries on top of that. I dont see him putting up great numbers if he is healthy.

Im not saying that the Pirates will take a 7 game series. But you have to admit that the O's in the AL East dont stand much of a chance at all. Its extremely competitive and they will lose more games being in that division. The Pirates are in a much weaker division and have the chance to win more games.

Jack Gonzo, MD said...

Actually I'd move Wake into the bullpen, Clay proved enough last year, and bring up some young players and rotate them in at the 5th spot till you find someone. You have the offensive fire power to allow yourselves to do this.

SayHey Kid said...

I dont like Schilling much either. Lester and Bucholtz will fill in nicely

Dewey- Your saying, pound for pound, the Red Sox do not have the best rotation in baseball? I dunno, your bullpen will hold those 1 run leads if need be. You get #1 because A) World Series Champ B) Depth, C) Solid lineup, D) Great defense, E)Solid minor league system, F).....should I continue???

Dewey also- 2 PR's? Would be difficult to gauge who is truly the best in baseball. I can try it though if thats what the board wants.

SayHey Kid said...

Agreed, if I recall, Wakefield spent his rookie season in the bullpen right?

Dews said...

No chance in hell Cabrera is the opening day starter, unless Guthrie AND Loewen are hurt, I can guarantee that.

Loewen hasn't pitched enough to be "consistent" as he's still 23, but he's been constantly referred to as #2 or close to #1 type.

Penn has had some bizarre injuries, but Olsen has passed him on the depth chart (also all of 23 years old) by his solid AAA season last year.

Penn by the way is still only 22 years old...

Dews said...

How close is Masterson Dewey?

I keep hearing him as the heir apparent in your system after Clay is in the Majors.

SayHey Kid said...

Only Spring Training will tell Dews. But I do predict Cabrera your opening day starter.

Remember a kid by the name Kurt Ainsworth?? He was young for you guys, got hurt, and never regained his potential. Thats who I compare Penn to.

Look, the O's are in last place not based on rookie potential or "for next season". I hardly look at either of those factors. Face it, the O's will be one of the worst teams in baseball.

That being said; Remember that my PR is based on Pre-Season. Once Spring training starts, things could get more definite.

Dews said...

Course I remember Ainsworth, he was part of us trading the fat toad (Sir Sydney Ponson) to you guys and he was part of what we got back

Lincecum has a history of arm trouble as well, but I'm fairly certain he enters into your ranking for the Giants not dropping off the face of the earth?

Dews said...

Also, Jair Jurrjens is my stealth pick for ROY and "come out of nowhere" to help the Braves make the playoffs...

SayHey Kid said...

Tim Lincecum didnt miss a single scheduled start last season or in 2006 in A ball. He made 35 starts between his final college game and first game in SF. Tell me he isnt durable agian?? I Double dare you =)

Oh, and Hideki Irabu is Fat Toad, Sidney Ponson is "Pontoon Boat".

Dews said...

Lincecum's career in college = Brett Myers.

Just wait man, his arm will fall off...

:)

Dews said...

Not Brett Myers... damnit, forget the guys name...

SayHey Kid said...

Yeh, just like EVERYONE has the potential for major injury......You got me there Dews.

You also seem to forget, Dave Raghetti is a VERY conservative pitching coach. He has Cain and Lincecom on a pitch count, hence why they dont get hurt. Try again my friend.

Dews said...

Doesn't matter if God is your pitching coach, injuries happen.

Its a give and take, if he's conservative you may not get enough innings out of him, thus hurting your bullpen, if your aggressive you leave him in a little longer to possibly get shelled.

Pitching coach doesn't make the final decision on pulling a guy anyway.

SayHey Kid said...

BTW, how many times do I have to tell you that I dont hate the O's. Why are you hating on the Giants??

SayHey Kid said...

You completely controdicted your last comment. "His arm will fall off" but now EVERYBODYS arm will fall off. Your making no sense man.

Very true, but a good coach will listen to his pitching coach. Unlike Dusty Baker of course. My point is, Bouchy isnt letting Cain or Tim pitch til it hurts and you saw it last season when they didnt miss a single start.

Dews said...

no, what I'm saying is your rationale for the O's failings has to apply equally for everyone, its not like they're the only ones that have to deal with injuries, nor are predisposed of said injuries.

SayHey Kid said...

In my PR, when did I mention 1 Oriole injury?

You brought that whole topic up with Lincecom and his "arm falling off"

My rationale for them is simple. No offseason acquistions that will impact them THIS 2007 season, the loss of key players, a tough AL East, Tons of potential but NOT proven talent, and management who doesnt seem to care. Tell me im wrong here?? Its a 2007 PR for a reason, it reflects this 2007 season!! Not 2008 or 2009.

SayHey Kid said...

Errrrrr 2008 season, my bad

Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe said...

I'd say Masterson is a year away. He finished up 4-3, 4.34 ERA, 58 innings, 59 K with AA Portland. He'll probably be at Pawtucket for the beginning of the season, maybe get a call-up for the pen if someone goes down. I'd guess he can make the major league club in 2009.

Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe said...

I'm saying I understand the #1 ranking, but the team could easily fall off with an injury at the wrong time. And I suppose I'm not giving the minor league system much credit as a mid-season replacement factory for injured players. I think that the Red Sox have the best rotation in the American League, but the Tigers are right there with Verlander, Rogers, Bonderman, Willis, and Robertson as their projected starts. And the Tigers have a great lineup.

As much as the Sox have great potential this season, the team is also taking some big risks, in my opinion.

Jack Gonzo, MD said...

One problem, SHK doesn't believe in Tigers pitching

Dews said...

Not a huge believer in Willis, but the rest of that rotation looks pretty solid.

I'm still dumbfounded why the Tigers have wanted Willis for so long...

SayHey Kid said...

Dewey- I see where your coming from and if there was an injury, that would alter the PR for any team. However, We are not yet in Spring Training for that to be plauable

Jack- I like Tiger pitching, but Rogers has alot of elbow and shoulders issues, Willis is coming off a terrible season, and Robertson missed significant time last season. Plus the bullpen is iffy

Steve said...

its hard for me to not be excited to have schilling go down...i know it sounds awful but...

Buchholz is going to be our 5th starter and he probably is in the top 10 pitchers in the majors in terms of "stuff". Hard not to like that...

I think by the end of the year Buchholz is the #3 guy behind Beckett and Matsuzaka.

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