NL East Notes: Harvey, Syndergaard, Prado, Braves

Sep 19, 2017 | No Comments

Mets righty Matt Harvey turned in another abysmal start last night, leaving him with a 13.19 ERA in his four outings since returning from the DL. As Marc Carig of Newsday writes, Harvey seemed rather dejected after the game, calling his work “terrible all the way around” — though, perhaps, there’s at least some cause for hope in the fact that he is working in the mid-nineties with his fastball. Of course, that’s hardly sufficient in and of itself, and the results have been sobering. “Everybody’s watching,” said Harvey. “I don’t really know what there is to say except for there is nothing to say. It’s terrible. It’s not fun. There’s really nothing to say.

No two ways about it: Ohtani one of a kind

No two ways about it: Ohtani one of a kind

Sep 19, 2017 | No Comments

What if the talents of both a top pitcher and a top hitter could somehow come in the form of one single player? How would it work? That’s what teams considering bidding on Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani are trying to figure out now that it seems certain he’ll be posted this offseason.

Three Needs: Toronto Blue Jays

Sep 18, 2017 | No Comments

This is the latest edition in MLBTR’s Three Needs series. Click to read entries on the Braves,  Tigers, Reds, Pirates, Giants and Mets. After reaching the ALCS in the previous two seasons, the 2017 Blue Jays stumbled out of the gate to a brutal 2-11 start and simply never got on track.  The team did have some good stretches and was still hanging around the wild card race in late August, so it could be tempting to write the season off as a by-product of some brutal injury luck, as several Jays regulars spent significant time on the disabled list.  It could also be argued, however, that the injuries simply exposed some underlying issues with the roster that would’ve prevented Toronto from contending even at full strength. A rebuild isn’t in the cards given the talent (and big contracts) still on hand, so the Jays are planning for a big rebound in 2018.  Here are a few of the areas that need to be addressed in order for the Jays to return to contention… [Related: Blue Jays depth chart and payroll information at Roster Resource] 1.

‘Stro biz: Verlander home debut is clincher!

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

A chance to clinch the American League West title and the home debut of Justin Verlander had the Astros in the mood to party on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Quick Hits: Otani, Syndergaard, Mets, Prospects

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

Japanese sensation Shohei Otani is reportedly primed to head to the majors in the offseason, but don’t be surprised if he changes his mind, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes. The right-handed ace/left-handed slugger did just that in the past when it looked as if he’d come to North America out of high school, but he instead decided to play professionally in his homeland. Some major league executives wonder whether an agent will talk Otani out of leaving Japan in the offseason, given that the 23-year-old would stand to benefit financially (to an enormous degree) by waiting until he’s 25. At that point, he’d be able to sign a mega-deal that would crush the relatively small contract he’ll land if he makes his way to the big leagues during the upcoming winter. Thanks in part to the international spending limits in the new collective bargaining agreement, where Otani will sign in the offseason is he does emigrate from Japan in the offseason is “shrouded in mystery,” according to Buster Olney of ESPN. “It’s incredible how many unknowns there are,” one evaluator said of Otani, who could consider factors such as geography, market size, friendships, endorsement opportunities and the designated hitter rule when choosing a team, Olney suggests. The Mets have some reservations about using ace Noah Syndergaard again this year, Matt Ehalt of The Record reports (on Twitter)

Three Needs: Atlanta Braves

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

This is the latest edition in MLBTR’s Three Needs series. Click to read versions on the Tigers, Reds, Pirates, Giants and Mets. The Braves were among baseball’s absolute worst teams in each of the previous two seasons, finishing near the bottom of the majors in both wins and run differential. While they’re still below average in those categories (22nd in winning percentage, 19th in run differential), there has been progress this season. At 67-80, the Braves should surpass the 70-victory mark for the first time since 2014. That would obviously be a baby step, but moving forward with a healthy Freddie Freeman and the game’s No. 1-ranked farm system give the Braves legitimate reasons for hope heading into 2018.

Porcello finds form as Red Sox keep 3-game lead

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

Rick Porcello kept the Rays bats in check for 7 1/3 innings and received enough run support to lead the Red Sox to a 3-1 win over the Rays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Three Needs: New York Mets

Sep 17, 2017 | No Comments

This is the latest edition in MLBTR’s Three Needs series. Read versions on the Tigers, Reds, Pirates and Giants. Fresh off back-to-back playoff seasons, the Mets entered 2017 with championship aspirations but have instead endured a Murphy’s Law campaign. Injuries and subpar performances have been the norm this year for the Mets, who have limped to a 63-84 record and have allowed 84 more runs than they’ve scored (783 to 679). With the exception of right-hander Jacob deGrom, all of New York’s stars have missed significant time with injuries. Even the Mets’ brightest spot of 2017, breakout outfielder Michael Conforto, couldn’t get through the year unscathed. Conforto suffered a torn left shoulder capsule in August, though the Mets don’t expect it to negatively affect him next season. As the Mets hope Conforto fully recovers from surgery over the next several months, their general manager (be it Sandy Alderson or someone else) will use the offseason to upgrade their roster in the hopes of returning to contention in 2018. Here’s a look at a few things New York could do during the winter… 1.) Add reliable starting pitching: Ace Noah Syndergaard hasn’t pitched since suffering a torn lat muscle in his right arm on April 30, thus depriving the Mets of one of the game’s elite starters for nearly the entire season. He and deGrom will front the Mets’ rotation next year, though, giving the team an enviable one-two punch and taking pressure off the remainder of the rotation

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: AL Cy Young, J.D., Phillies, Tribe, Padres

Sep 16, 2017 | No Comments

This week in baseball blogs… Cleveland Indians Perspective compares the work the American League’s top two starters, the Tribe’s Corey Kluber and the Red Sox’s Chris Sale, have done against playoff-bound teams this season. The Sports Tank regards the Diamondbacks’ summer acquisition of ex-Tigers slugger J.D. Martinez as one of the greatest midseason moves in baseball history. Sports Talk Philly wants the Phillies to inquire about Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman in the offseason. Big Three Sports delves into Indians righty Carlos Carrasco’s success

5 Key Stories: Calhoun, Otani, Nelson, Athletics

5 Key Stories: Calhoun, Otani, Nelson, Athletics

Sep 16, 2017 | No Comments

Here are the top stories from the past week here at MLBTR. Rangers promote Willie Calhoun, release Tyson Ross. In a pair of related moves, the Rangers promoted top prospect Willie Calhoun (the headliner in this summer’s Yu Darvish trade) and released veteran starter Tyson Ross. The 22-year-old Calhoun had batted .300/.355/.572 with 31 homers at the Triple-A level this year.