Tag:Alfonso Soriano
Posted on: February 26, 2009 10:32 am

Draft Hanley Ramirez No. 1 in all formats

We rarely change the projections of the elite players if they are not injured, but Hanley Ramirez is hitting third now for the Marlins instead of leadoff.

Other than the idle talk of Jose B. Reyes or Alfonso Soriano moving to the three-hole, Ramirez actually will. NL ROY candidate Cameron Maybin will lead off.

The move caused us to drop Ramirez's runs scored from 120 to 100, but it added RBI from 75 up to 110. We also had to knock off a couple of steals 40 to 38.

Those changes keep Ramirez the No. 1 overall player in Rotisserie formats and now has him also the No. 1 in CBSSports.com standard scoring Head-to-Head rankings. Alex Rodriguez was No. 1 in that format, but the added RBI for Ramirez propels him to the top there now, too. So, Hanley Ramirez... take him No. 1 overall every format.


Posted on: February 25, 2009 1:06 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2009 6:20 pm

Spring training opener

FORT LAUDERDALE -- The Orioles open the spring season against the Mets, Wednesday, Feb. 25. A few random observations:

-- Luis Castillo is leading off. Forget the talk the Mets will do that with him during the season, moving Jose B. Reyes to the third spot. It is ridiculous talk. Think about it: If you are the Mets -- a three-time choker down the stretch -- what story do you want the mass media to write on Day 1 of full-squad workouts? The choker story? Or one about one of the best leadoff men in baseball hitting third? A stroke of genius by Jerry Manuel. In fact, Lou Piniella did the same thing with the choking Cubs. Hey, welcome back to baseball, Cubbies. Oh, and by the way, Alfonso Soriano might hit third. It sure took the emphasis off the end of the previous season, right?

-- Brad Hennessey, former Giants starter/reliever, started for the Orioles. He is a candidate for the rotation and his veteran status gives him a chance. I would hardly touch him in deeper AL-only leagues, though.

-- There's the first pitch... strike one. Baseball season is under way.

... oh, and another weak groundout for No. 8 hitter Castillo.

-- Daniel Murphy, hitting No. 2, drew a walk. He has a well-documented, sound approach at the plate. He has sleeper written all over him. Look at his high Class A numbers and compare them to that of David Wright. Now, Murphy doesn't have superstar stature in the future, but there are signs of a possible hidden diamond in the rough.

-- Angel Pagan hit third. He singled. Remember that guy? He is one of the stars of last spring before a shoulder injury ended his season early. He looks much thicker, less built to run. It looks like he will need another great spring to make the team, but it is hard to see that happening. I wouldn't touch him even in deep NL-only leagues right now.

-- Ryan Freel led off against Mets reliever Sean Green -- acquired in the J.J. Putz deal. Freel is going to be a platoon outfielder and super utility man. It makes him intriguing in AL-only Rotisserie formats. Freel did his thing, beating out an infield hit. He stole second and scored on the next pitch on a single to center by Ty Wigginton. Freel and Wiggy are going to be two great bench players for the O's and deeper AL-only leagues this season. Freel can steal 20-plus bases for Rotisserie owners. Wiggy can hit 15-plus bombs. Both should get 400 at-bats, starting about half of the team's games.

-- Green left in the middle of the first with a blister problem. Lefty specialist Pedro Feliciano replaced him in the first and pitched the second.

-- There was a Fernando Martinez sighting. He was hitting ninth as the DH, dealing with a sore elbow from winter ball. He struck out with the bases loaded on a ball in the dirt by lefty Chris Waters. It's telling. F-Mart needs more of a Murphy approach at the plate, quit swinging at junk, and he needs to hit lefties better. He solves those two problems, he could be an impact player for the Mets and deeper Fantasy leagues by the end of 2009 at the age of 20.

-- Luis Castillo can't get out of his own way. He singled home two runs with the bases loaded, slashing one to right between second and first. He then proceded to get picked off first on the play as right fielder Luis Montanez hit the cutoff man.

-- OK, Pagan beat out and infield hit. He can still move, even though he looks thicker in his bottom half. Last year, he was a bit more wiry and sprinter-like. Strength helps, too, I guess.

-- Ryan Church, he of the multiple concussions, goosed one to center for a double, scoring Pagan. That ball was ripped. Church can really smoke it when he is healthy. Remember, he was one of the Mets MVPs before Yunel Escobar kneed him in the head, costing him much of the summer and ruining his breakthrough season. That swing drew a quick, loud crowd reaction as it soared over Adam Jones' head. That was a mean drive. Church just might be back. I will try to catch up with him later.

-- A day after saying he would "steal 30-40 bases, why not?" -- Jones stole a base in his first attempt in spring training. He made it without a throw. It takes more than athletic ability to steal bases. It takes timing and knowledge of the pitchers and catchers. Jones had the timing part down perfectly. We don't see his optimistic numbers, but 20 is apparently possible. Look at Nick Markakis' jump from Year 1 (2) to Year 2 (18). Jones could go from 10 to 20. If you add his added muscle and increased power potential, Jones is a big-time sleeper in all formats, especially Rotisserie leagues. Jones looked real good scoring from second on an RBI single to left.

-- Two sharp singles to left by Nick Evans. He is a nice consolation in NL-only leagues if you miss out on Murphy, but we think Evans begins the year in Triple-A. He should be up at some point and he has a chance to serve as the right-handed portion of a platoon with Church or Murphy.

-- Jones, by the way, said gold glove for him this year, taking one from Torii Hunter. He put his glove where his mouth is, diving for a bloop off Jose Valentin's bat. That was a nice play. Dangerous for Game 1 of spring training, but a nice play.

-- Fernando Martinez... hard single to right. Don't throw that 20-year-old fastballs. He can rip.

-- Oh, that Luis Castllo fellow... two-run double over the head of Luke Scott in left -- opposite field off the righty. That's four RBI. And that's why Mr. Scott will be the primary DH this season. He played that one like someone on my slow-pitch softball team. We give up doubles and triples like they are candy on Halloween.

The postgame quotebook:

Luis Castillo: "I've got to get off to a good start. I know they want me to get off to a good start."

Mets manager Jerry Manuel on Luis Castillo: "That is exactly what Luis needed. We talked about getting him off to a good start. That was appropriate for him."

Manuel on motivating Castillo and Ryan Church coming into spring: "I should challenge other folks, now, too. It is exactly what you wanted to see from them."

O's manager Dave Trembley on catalyst Ryan Freel's head-first style: "It will be hard to control Ryan Freel."

Ryan Church on his concussion issues: "There were no affects today and there haven't been (this spring)."


Posted on: June 15, 2008 12:24 pm

John Dewan's Stat of the Week

The latest installment of the John Dewan Stat of the Week, reprinted with permission:

Who can score from the 7-8-9 slots?

June 12, 2008

The Chicago Cubs have the best record in baseball. But here in Chicago the debate continues -- where should Alfonso Soriano bat? It will be a moot point for the next six weeks or so because Soriano broke a bone in his left hand after getting hit by a pitch last night.

The key reason that many folks want to see Soriano bat further down in the lineup is his power. Soriano has a ton of solo home runs, and game leadoff home runs. It's nice to get that 1-0 lead after your first batter of the game, but wouldn't it be nicer if some of those home runs came with men on base?

The Cubs are winning and all things are rosy on the north side of Chicago. People are beginning to lighten up on Soriano. One of the reasons is that the hitters ahead of Soriano are scoring runs, despite the fact that it's the weakest part of the lineup. The average NL team (not counting the Cubs) has scored 66 runs out of their 7, 8 and 9 slots so far this year. The second-best team, the Phillies, have scored 80 runs from their 7-8-9 slots. The Cubs have scored 92. They are scoring almost 50% more runs than the other NL teams from their 7-8-9.

Runs Scored from 7-8-9 Slots
Chicago Cubs  92 
Average of other NL teams  66 

Even the nine slot is hitting .238 for the Cubs. Compare that to the average pitcher who hits about .140. Counting pinch hitters, double switches, and the Tony La Russa strategy of batting your pitcher eighth, the NL nine hole is averaging a .182 batting average overall.

Over in the AL, only two teams have a higher OPS than the Cubs out of their 7-8-9 slots. The White Sox have the best (.804), the Red Sox No. 2 (.758), and the Cubs have the third best (.756) in all of baseball despite having their pitchers bat.

Source: Baseball Info Solutions (through games of Wednesday, June 11, 2008)

Copyright © 2008 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 5, 2008 6:02 pm

Putting my money where my mouth is

When doing the Stockwatch this week, I realized how easy it might be to merely pick the hot players and most-added ones in that weekly feature.

Well, that does you little good. You are being told what you already know. So, I decided to pick some players who are struggling but I expect them to still be fine. Here are a few only semi-bold predictions this week:

  1. Max Scherzer will be mildly disappointing in his first start, but he and the D-Backs are still talented enough to win anytime out.
  2. Khalil Greene will get hot. He is too good to be held down for long.
  3. Nick Adenhart will shake off his awful debut and pitch lights-out this week.
  4. Bronson Arroyo is going for a checkup and might be a DL candidate. Homer Bailey could get the call for him later this week.
  5. The only real bold prediction: Esteban Loaiza will give way to Clayton Kershaw by next week.
  6. You bench a stud like Alfonso Soriano and he goes off in a big way.
  7. Eric Gagne loses his closer's role by the weekend.
  8. Mike Pelfrey and the command of his 97 mph stuff improves in the coming weeks.
  9. Jered Weaver goes on a tear soon.
  10. Howie Kendrick comes off the DL hot... just a guess.

Feel free to abuse me or applaud me (blech!) if my bold predictions go up in smoke.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com