Yesterday was a big news day in major league baseball headlined by the big contract extensions given to Tigers ace and former Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, and Giants catcher and reigning MVP Buster Posey. Verlander received a 5 year, $140 million extension, while Posey received a 8 year, $159 million extension. Asked for his thoughts on the Verlander extension, Clayton Kershaw just smiled, and giggled in an evil voice. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti couldn't be reached for comment, but was seen downing shots of Jameson at lunch yesterday.
Manny Machado to bat second
Third baseman Manny Machado is slated to bat second in the Orioles lineup to start the season, behind Nick Markakis, and just ahead of Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. I think this is a good spot for him, as he should see better pitches than if he was batting 8th. I just wonder how long he will stay in the second spot in the lineup, especially if Brian Roberts can stay healthy this season. I have to think that if Roberts proves healthy, he should move up in the Orioles lineup. Here is my projection for Machado from the 2013 third base rankings:
2013 Projection: I see Machado hitting .260 with 16 HRs, 70 runs, 75 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 2013. He should be drafted around the 15th round in mixed leagues and 7th-8th round in AL only leagues.
Machado will struggle at times this season, but has all the tools to meet this projection.
Nolan Reimold set for a breakout?
Speaking of the Orioles, what do Fake Teams readers think of outfielder Nolan Reimold? He has the talent to put up double digits in home runs and stolen bases, but has always lost time to the injury bug. He turned 29 in October and has yet to see more than 358 at bats in any one season. Back in 2008 in AA, he hit 25 home runs, with 87 runs, 84 RBI and 7 stolen bases. I am not sure he can reach 25 home runs this season, but 20 is not out of the realm of possibility, if he can stay on the field.
The Rockies optioned outfielder/first baseman Tyler Colvin to AAA yesterday, much to the chagrin of my big money NL only league roster. So, with this move, the Rockies have decided to keep Jonathan Herrrera and Reid Brignac over Colvin. I imagine this is very good news for Eric Young Jr. as he will serve as the Rockies 4th outfielder and play in a super utility role, playing all three outfield positions as well as backing up second baseman Josh Rutledge.
I will now have four moves to make on April 8th in my NL-only league, having to make DL moves for Hanley Ramirez, Adam Eaton, and Cory Luebke and a minors moves for Colvin and Nolan Arenado. This can't be good, but sets my team up for a nice run come June. Hopefully this will allow my team to grab some of the early prospect call ups like Oscar Taveras. Fingers crossed.
Saturday morning updates
The Pirates gave their fifth starter spot in their rotation to Jonathan Sanchez. Like I mentioned on Twitter, the Pirates love to take on reclamation projects, but Sanchez is a different breed of projects, as he has the talent to succeed, but not the control. Last season, he walked more than he struck out, which is pretty hard to do. In an era where strikeouts are rising, Sanchez has seen his strikeouts per nine drop in every year since 2009, from 9.75 K/9 in 2009 to 6.26 K/9 last season. At the same time, his walk rate has seen a steady increase, from 4.27 BB/9 in 2008 to an unheard of 7.38 BB/9 last season.
Luckily for the Pirates, they have Gerrit Cole in AAA, so he is not too far away. Cole impressed in AA last season, so once the team is fed up with Sanchez, I can see them calling up Cole by June at the earliest. Cole threw 57 innings at High A last season, going 5-1 with a 2.55 ERA, 3.19 FIP, and a 9.27 K/9. In AA, he went 3-6 in his 12 starts, with a 2.90 ERA, 2.88 FIP and 9.15 K/9 in 57 innings of work. The team is committed to winning, and I wonder if they will start to use some of their prospect currency for an ace starting pitcher to get them over the hump, similar to what the Royals did this offseason.
As I asked on Twitter last night, who do you think gets called up first in 2013: Cole or Dylan Bundy? I think it is Cole, as the Pirates will tire of Sanchez by June, if not sooner.
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval left his game last night with more soreness in his right elbow, and it appears he will start the season on the DL. The Giants will probably go with Nick Noonan or Joaquin Arias at third base while Sandoval is out, assuming he is eventually placed on the DL.
The Brewers went back and forth with the makeup of their starting rotation over the last few days. At first, they had Michael Fiers in their bullpen, with Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Marco Estrada, Wily Peralta and Chris Narveson in their rotation. Then yesterday they announced that Fiers is in the rotation and Narveson is out. The rotation now includes three starters in Gallardo, Estrada and Fiers with the potential to strike out a batter per inning, and Peralta could put up a K/9 in the 7.50-8.00 range if all goes well in 2013. The guy I want in this rotation is Marco Estrada as he has more control than Gallardo and strikes out just as many batters on a per inning basis.
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