Monday, December 27, 2010

Garrett Wittels

Robin Ventura was an outstanding MLB third baseman who had a sensational career at Oklahoma State University. When you talk about collegiate superstars, Ventura is definitely in the discussion. And his 58-game hitting streak in college is the Division I record.

It's a record that is currently being challenged by Florida International's Garrett Wittels, who happens to be Jewish. But Wittels didn't burst onto the scene like Ventura did as a freshman. In fact, I would say Wittels and Ventura are a study in contrasts.

Ventura's line as a freshman was .469/.574/.846 for an OPS of 1.420 in 241 ABs. He hit 21 HRs and 28 doubles. Wittels' line as a freshman was .246/.323/.314 for an OPS of .637 in 118 ABs. He hit 1 HR and 5 doubles.

Flash forward to 2010. Wittels' line as a sophomore was .413/.463/.541 for an OPS of 1.004 in 242 ABs. He hit 2 HRs, 2 triples, and 21 doubles. Not a ton of power, but that's a lot of extra base hits. And his BB/K ratio was 22/19. Ventura had another beastly season as a sophomore, putting up a line of .428/.536/.768 for an OPS of 1.304 in 271 ABs. He hit 21 HRs, 1 triple, and 27 doubles.

Ventura would go on to have a terrific junior season as well. Wittels will enter his junior season with a 56-game hitting streak on the line. That's insane. I don't care what level you're playing at. Getting a hit in 56 consecutive games is unbelievable.

Like Ventura before him, Wittels is a third baseman (and a second baseman). He's also 6-1, the same height as Ventura. That's about as much as they have in common.

Wittels is said to have a good inside-out swing a la Derek Jeter. He's not the type of player who can swing for the fences, but by the looks of his 56-game hitting streak, that hasn't hurt him any. No, he's not much like Robin Ventura, but he is a serious threat to his record.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time In The Minors: A Review

I recently had the pleasure of watching Time In The Minors. Tony Okun was kind enough to send me a copy of his wonderful documentary. As I mentioned in a previous post, the film chronicles two minor league players and their arduous journey in trying to make it to The Show. And make no mistake about it: it is a journey.

There is also an elusive destination. Tony Schrager and John Drennen see light at the end of the tunnel. Like other minor league players, they are consumed with the desire to reach the seemingly unreachable. Though the odds are stacked against them, they never waver in their quest for baseball immortality.

Schrager and Drennen are endearing figures. They put their heart and soul into their work with one singular goal in mind. They endure the long bus rides, live in sparse hotel rooms, and constantly work on their swing. There are highs and there are lows. As physically demanding as the sport is, mentally it may be even more so.

Drennen was drafted out of high school in the 1st round by the Indians back in 2005. Schrager was drafted out of Stanford in the 6th round by the Cubs in 1998. He retired from professional baseball in 2006.

Schrager paid his dues and worked his way to AAA. His career line was .258/.370/.424 for an OPS of .794. Pretty good numbers for a middle infielder. Had he ever been given a chance, I believe he could have stuck in MLB as a utility player. He had versatility, excellent plate discipline, and a little pop. The only thing missing was an opportunity. Cody Ross, a former teammate, thought he had what it took.

Drennen has worked his way to AA. His last 2 seasons have been solid. I believe he'll be in AAA at some point in 2011. He has also paid his dues. In Time In The Minors, we see his transformation from a fresh-faced kid to a young man. There is a great moment in Okun's film where Drennen takes a notable pitcher deep in a rehab start.

What does the future hold for John Drennen? I don't know. But the dream is alive and well. And isn't that what life is all about?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hot Stove Brings Youk Back To Hot Corner

In anticipation that the Red Sox would not reach an agreement with Adrian Beltre, Kevin Youkilis began preparing himself about a month ago to play third base in 2011. Now that the Sox have acquired Adrian Gonzalez to come play first base, Youk will most assuredly move back to the hot corner.

Known more for his Gold Glove defense on the other side of the diamond, it should be noted that Youk is still a competent third baseman. In fact, the metrics say he has been above average. That should come as no surprise; he was drafted as a third baseman. In MiLB, he played 340 games at third. In the Majors, he has played 575 games at first and 219 games at third.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Time In The Minors

Jewish filmmaker and producer, Tony Okun, is proud to present a new documentary called Time In The Minors, which chronicles the compelling story of two very different minor league players (an 8-year veteran and a million-dollar rookie) through one season on their arduous journey in trying to make it to The Show.

The film features John Drennen, a former first round pick in 2005, and Jewish minor leaguer, Tony Schrager, who had a solid career as a middle infielder. Time In The Minors was recently released on DVD. Here is a trailer of the film. Did you catch Cody Ross in there? For anyone who has ever had a lofty dream, this film is for you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

2010: A Year In Review

JMLs on the DL: that was the predominant theme in 2010.
Brad Ausmus - After making his debut all the way back in 1993 with the Padres, Brad Ausmus finally called it a career. For the season, he finished with a line of .222/.310/.254 for an OPS of .564 in 71 PAs. He found himself on the DL for the 1st time in 18 seasons. For most players, that would be a remarkable accomplishment. For a catcher, it's almost unheard of. Durability, thy name is Brad Ausmus. After undergoing lower back surgery in April, many doubted Ausmus would ever put on the gear again. But he felt obligated to return because he signed a contract, and he's old school. Gotta respect that. Looks like he retired at the right time, though. The 5th oldest active player in baseball didn't throw out any baserunners this year in 17 attempts. For a guy who threw out 35% or more baserunners 8 times in his career, that had to be a hard pill to swallow. He finished in the top 5 in caught stealing percentage 5 times; he led the NL in 1997. He threw out 42% in 1995, 49% in 1997, and 48% in 2000 and 2001. He won 3 Gold Gloves and was voted an All-Star in 1999 with the Tigers. That was his best offensive season; he posted a line of .275/.365/.415 for an OPS of .779 in 527 PAs. That season, he set or tied career-bests in HRs (9), doubles (25), triples (6), RBIs (54), runs scored (62), extra base hits (40), HBP (14), OBP, SLG, and OPS. Known more for his defense, he still did some impressive things on offense. He stole 102 bases, swiping 10 or more bags 5 times. He stole 16 bases (a career-best) in 1995 with the Padres. He had a BB/K ratio of 53/60 in 1998, 69/79 in 2000, and he actually walked more than he struck out in 2005 with a BB/K ratio of 51/48. His career line was .251/.325/.344 for an OPS of .669. That translates to an OPS+ of 75. He hit 80 HRs, 270 doubles, and 34 triples. He drove in 607 runs, scored 718 runs, drew 634 BBs, and amassed 1,579 hits. His postseason line was .245/.308/.377 for an OPS of .685 in 119 PAs. Among JMLs, he ranks 1st in games played (1,971), 4th in SBs, and 5th in hits and doubles. He was 1st in assists as a catcher in 1995 and 2000. He finished in the top 5 in assists 11 times. He was 1st in putouts as a catcher 4 times. He finished in the top 5 in putouts 12 times. He was 1st in fielding percentage as a catcher 4 times. He finished in the top 5 in fielding percentage 10 times. He was 1st in range factor as a catcher in 2002. He finished in the top 5 in range factor 9 times. He's 13th all-time in caught stealing percentage (35%). He led the AL or NL in games caught 3 times. He finished in the top 5 in games caught 9 times. In 2006, he caught 138 games, the 2nd most games ever caught by a catcher at the age of 37, trailing only Bob Boone's 147 games. Ausmus is 7th all-time in games caught and 2nd all-time in putouts as a catcher. Without a doubt, Ausmus was one of the greatest defensive catchers of all time.

Ryan Braun - Kind of an up and down season for Braun, who won his 3rd Silver Slugger Award and finished 15th in MVP voting. But a good season, nevertheless. Braun put up a line of .304/.366/.501 for an OPS of .866 in 684 PAs. His OPS+ was 133. He hit 25 HRs, 45 doubles, and 1 triple. He drove in 103 runs, scored 101 runs, and stole 14 bases. He set a career-high in doubles but also a career-low in HRs, triples, SLG, and ISO (extra base hits per AB). Since his rookie year in 2007, he has gradually walked more every season and struck out less every season. His BB% has gone from 5.9 to 6.3 to 8.1 to 8.2. And his K% has gone from 24.8 to 21.1 to 19.1 to 17. Those are great trends. His BB/K ratio (56/105) was a career-best. Unfortunately, his ISO has gradually gone down every year as well. It has gone from .310 to .268 to .231 to .197. That's not such a great trend. He also swiped 11 bags the first 2 months of the season. It looked like he was going to make a serious run at 30 stolen bases, but then he only swiped 3 bags the rest of the season. His 2nd half (.917 OPS) was significantly better than his 1st half (.827 OPS). He drove in 100 runs for the 3rd consecutive season and scored 100 runs for the 2nd consecutive season. He joined Cecil Cooper as the only other Brewer to have consecutive 100-RBI, 100-run seasons. He ranked 2nd in the NL in hits (188) and doubles, 5th in total bases (310), 6th in runs scored, 7th in RBIs and extra base hits (71), and 9th in batting average. He was selected as the starting NL All Star left fielder for the 3rd consecutive season. He also led all MLB outfielders in All Star balloting for the 3rd consecutive season. In the field, he had the most putouts (279) in left field for the 3rd consecutive season, the 4th most assists (6), and was 2nd in range factor.

Craig Breslow - One JML pitcher stood out for all the right reasons in 2010; that pitcher was Craig Breslow. In 74 2/3 innings (a career-high), he was 4-4 with 5 saves (a career-high), a 3.01 ERA, 1.098 WHIP, 71 Ks (a career-high), 6.4 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 3.5 BB/9 (a career-best), 8.6 K/9 (a career-best), and a 2.45 K/BB ratio (a career-best). He was 2nd in the AL in appearances for the 2nd consecutive season, appearing in 75 games. He held hitters to a .191 BAA (a career-best). Righties hit .201 against him while lefties hit only .181 (a career-best) against him. He left 80.7% of baserunners stranded (a career-best). Just a dominant season from start to finish. He gives the A's bullpen versatility, as he is able to come in the 7th, the 8th, or the 9th inning. For his humanitarian work with the Strike 3 Foundation, Breslow was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award. The Sporting News named him the smartest athlete in all of sports. He recently turned 30, so age shouldn't catch up to him for awhile yet.

Ike Davis - Considered one of the top prospects in the minors coming into the season, there was a lot of hype around Ike. He definitely lived up to the hype, posting a line of .264/.351/.440 for an OPS of .791 in 601 PAs. His OPS+ was 115. He hit 19 HRs, 33 doubles, and 1 triple. He drove in 71 runs, scored 73 runs, and drew 72 BBs. He ranked 2nd among NL rookies in runs scored, doubles, BBs, and extra base hits. He ranked 3rd among NL rookies in HRs and RBIs. Given those numbers, he probably deserved to finish higher than he did in the NL RoY vote, but he ended up in 7th place. He set the Mets rookie record for total bases (230) and tied the Mets rookie record for BBs and extra base hits. He did all of this at the age of 23 surrounded by a bad lineup (.697 team OPS) and in a pitcher's park. He led all JMLs in BBs. He batted cleanup in 58 games and 5th in 45 games. He posted an OPS of .805 against lefties in 138 PAs and an OPS of .812 at Citi Field in 295 PAs. He struck out a lot, but he also showed good plate discipline with his 12% walk rate. His 1st HR traveled 450 feet onto Shea Bridge at Citi Field. He hit a walkoff HR against the Padres on June 8. Ike was equally impressive at first base. He ranked 1st in defensive runs saved in the NL at 14. His UZR/150 of 11.9 put him 2nd in all of baseball at first base behind Oakland's Daric Barton. He didn't win the Gold Glove Award, but you have to figure he'll be a strong candidate to win for years and years.

Scott Feldman - Believe it or not, Feldman was the Opening Day starter for the Rangers in 2010. It was all downhill from there. It really looked like Feldman had turned a corner last year as a starter. But perhaps the writing was on the wall with his mediocre peripherals. He finished this season with a 7-11 record, a 5.48 ERA, and a 1.599 WHIP in 141 1/3 innings (22 starts). The only area where he improved in 2010 was in BB/9, which was 2.9 (a career-best as a starter). Last season, he induced more groundballs (46.8%) and less flyballs (32.7%). The opposite was true in 2010 (42.6 % groundballs, 37.3% flyballs). His ERA at home was 4.90 while his ERA on the road was 6.07. That's somewhat odd, considering he was a road warrior last season. He had a little more success as a reliever (4.61 ERA in 13 2/3 innings) than as a starter (5.57 ERA in 127 2/3 innings). Not wanting to be excluded from all of the other JMLs who were hurt this year, Feldman was on the DL for about 2 weeks with a bone bruise in his right knee in late August and early September. Overall, it was a pretty bad season. He went from being the Rangers' Opening Day starter to their 5th starter to a mop-up reliever to being left off the postseason roster. He'll turn 28 in 2011, and he stands to make a lot more money in the next few years. Hopefully, he can redeem himself and earn some of it.

Sam Fuld - Fuld didn't do much in The Show this year, but then he didn't get much playing time. He put up a line of .143/.226/.179 for an OPS of .404 in 31 PAs. He only started 4 games. I think last season is more indicative of the type of player he is in a larger sample size. Oddly enough, his 3 RBIs in 2010 beat his total from last year. So, that's something.

John Grabow - Not what the Cubs were looking for when they signed him to a 2-year deal. Grabow was hampered by knee problems all season, and it showed. Just when it looked like he was finally getting it together in June, he went on the DL with a torn MCL. His 25 2/3 innings were the lowest single-season total since 2003 when he was a September call-up. Based on his age (32) and previous 2 seasons, I think we could be looking at a bounceback season in 2011.
Ryan Kalish - Called up on July 31, Kalish got a chance to play the last few months of the season for the Red Sox. He struggled out of the gate in August but was solid in September and October. He played in 53 games altogether, and in his last 26 games he put up a line of .274/.344/.464 for an OPS of .808 in 94 PAs. Overall, his line was .252/.305/.405 for an OPS of .710 in 179 PAs. His OPS+ was 88. He hit 4 HRs (2 grand slams), 11 doubles, and 1 triple. He drove in 24 runs, scored 26 runs, and stole 10 bases (only caught 1 time). Most of his starts were in center field. He'll turn 23 next season and should get a chance to battle for a roster spot. Kalish is considered one of the top prospects in the Red Sox organization and possesses all the tools. You've got to like the upside.

Gabe Kapler - Kapler played well for the Rays last year and the Brewers the year before. Not so much in 2010. He put up a line of .210/.288/.290 for an OPS of .578 in 140 PAs with the Rays. Definitely his worst season. Only had 6 extra base hits. He tied a career-best with 3 HBP. He's 35 now, so he may decide to hang 'em up soon - again. As a strong defensive outfielder who leaves it all on the field and has always hit well against lefties, Kapler should still have some value.

Ian Kinsler - It was an injury-riddled season for the 28-year old Kinsler. He missed most of April with an ankle injury and all of August with a groin injury. As a result, Kinsler played in only 103 games, the lowest single-season total of his career. He put up a line of .286/.382/.412 for an OPS of .794 in 460 PAs. His OPS+ was 113. He hit 9 HRs, 20 doubles, and 1 triple. He drove in 45 runs, scored 73 runs, and stole 15 bases. He set a career-high with his OBP and a career-low with his SLG. His BB/K ratio (56/57) was a career-best. He walked 12.2% of the time, also a career-best. However, his .125 ISO was a career-low. So while he was more patient at the plate, his power numbers were down. He posted an OPS of .957 in 110 PAs against lefties. According to the defensive metrics, his fielding was once again solid at second base. His UZR/150 was 4.1, putting him 4th in the AL in that category. His range factor was down a little, but given his injuries that was to be expected. He was selected to his 2nd All Star game. He reached 100 career stolen bases, and with 92 HRs he should reach 100 in 2011. Kinsler was also part of an historic Rangers team that reached the playoffs for the 1st time since 1999 and got to the Fall Classic for the 1st time in franchise history. Although Kinsler didn't have a great World Series, his overall postseason numbers were good. He posted a line of .296/.381/.537 for an OPS of .918 in 64 PAs. He hit 3 HRs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, and swiped 3 bags. His BB/K ratio was 8/7, he drove in 9 runs, and he scored 7 runs.

Jason Marquis - Definitely a lost season for Marquis. A few streaks ended for him. His 10 consecutive postseason appearances dating back to 2000 was broken. That one didn't take any of us by surprise, given the team he played for. Dating back to 2004, he also had 11+ wins and 28+ starts every year - until 2010. His first 3 outings in April were disastrous, probably because he needed elbow surgery. He came off the DL in August and pitched fairly well the rest of the way, posting a 4.29 ERA in 10 starts the last 2 months of the season. He was particularly sharp in his last 8 starts, where he posted a 3.61 ERA, a 1.417 WHIP, and 5 quality starts. During that stretch, he didn't receive much run support, as his 2-4 record suggests. With 1 year left on his contract with the Nationals and 96 career wins, he should reach 100 wins next year.
Scott Schoeneweis - I think it's safe to say Schoeneweis has thrown his last pitch as a JML. He was so ineffective with the Red Sox that they only allowed him to pitch 13 2/3 innings, by far the lowest single-season total of his career. He did have 13 Ks, though. On a sad note, the Sox let him go on the anniversary of his wife's death from drug overdose. Wow, bad timing much? If his career is indeed over, he finished with a 47-57 record, 9 saves, a 5.01 ERA (92 ERA+), and a 1.474 WHIP in 972 innings pitched. Righties had him figured out to the tune of an .838 OPS. However, he held lefties to a line of .229/.304/.309 for an OPS of .612. And that's why he will be remembered as a lefty specialist.

Adam Stern - Not much to say, except he played in The Show for the 1st time since 2007. Only had 8 PAs with Braun's Brew Crew. No hits to speak of, but he drove in a run. Stern will be 31 next season, so he could still find a job somewhere. Now that steroids are being removed from the game, speedburners like Stern have a lot more value.

Danny Valencia - Valencia made his MLB debut on June 3. He led all rookies and JMLs with his .311 BA, putting up a line of .311/.351/.448 for an OPS of .799 in 322 PAs. His OPS+ was 116. His .448 SLG and .799 OPS were the highest among AL rookies with 300 or more PAs. He also came in 3rd among AL rookies in hits (93) and total bases (134). As a result, he finished in 3rd place in the AL RoY vote. He displayed his power potential in September when he hit 5 HRs in 8 games. His 1st HR was a grand slam off Zack Greinke. Altogether, he hit 7 HRs, 18 doubles, and 1 triple. He drove in 40 runs and scored 30 runs. He mashed against lefties (.967 OPS in 111 PAs) and did surprisingly well at Target Field (.979 OPS in 141 PAs). His defense at third base was also quite good. His UZR/150 was an impressive 10.2, putting him 4th in the AL in that category. The Twins have been looking to fill a gaping hole at the hot corner for years. At 25, Valencia looks like he could fill that hole rather nicely. In fact, he looks like the best Jewish third baseman since Al Rosen.

Kevin Youkilis - Youk was having another excellent season until he went down on August 3 with a muscle tear in his right thumb. He played in only 102 games, his lowest single-season total since 2005 when he was a part-time player. He put up a line of .307/.411/.564 for an OPS of .975 (a career-high) in 435 PAs. His OPS+ was 157 (a career-high). He hit 19 HRs, 26 doubles, and 5 triples (a career-high). He drove in 62 runs and scored 77 runs. Despite missing much of the season, he ranked 9th in the AL in triples and 10th in HBP (10). He struck out only 18.5% of the time, beating the 19.9% mark he set in 2007. His .257 ISO tied the career-high he set in 2008. His BB/K ratio (58/67) was a career-best. He also hit his 100th career HR off C.C. Sabathia, his 200th double, and scored his 500th run. Against lefties, he posted a line of .404/.513/.798 for an OPS of 1.311 in 113 PAs. Youk will turn 32 in 2011, so he's on the outskirts of his prime. Still, there's no reason to think he can't be just as productive next season. He has begun working out at third base, in anticipation that he may be moved back to the hot corner if the Sox and Adrian Beltre can't reach an agreement.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting You Caught Up

Jordan Farmar, now with the New Jersey Nets, recorded his 1st career double-double the other night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Farmar scored 15 points and had 12 dimes (a career-high) in 34 minutes and 35 seconds on the floor (also a career-high).

In a game where he scored 20 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers in October, Omri Casspi made 6 three-pointers (a career-high) out of 7 attempts.

Farmar and Casspi will square off against each other on Friday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hey Rookie... You Were Good

Danny Valencia finished a distant 3rd (one 2nd place vote, nine 3rd place votes) in the AL RoY vote behind Austin Jackson and Neftali Feliz. Valencia finished ahead of Wade Davis, John Jaso, Brennan Boesch, and Brian Matusz.

Ike Davis finished 7th (two 3rd place votes) in the NL RoY vote behind Starlin Castro, Neil Walker, Gaby Sanchez, Jaime Garcia, Jason Heyward, and Buster Posey. Ike finished ahead of Jose Tabata and Jonny Venters.

2011 Projections Courtesy of Bill James

Note: There were no projections for any other JMLs, former or current.

Ryan Braun
: .310/.372/.551 for an OPS of .923, 33 HRs, 46 doubles, 4 triples, 114 RBIs, 108 runs scored, 196 hits, 349 total bases, 83 extra base hits, 15 SBs, 5 CS, 159 games, 689 PAs

My Thoughts: Exactly the type of numbers you would expect from Braun in a season where he'll be entering his prime at 27. He would set or tie career-bests in games played, doubles, extra base hits, and RBIs. Additionally, his ISO (extra base hits per AB) would rebound from the decline of the last 2 seasons. He would almost certainly get another Silver Slugger Award and might even be in the MVP discussion, depending on where the Brew Crew finishes in the standings.

Craig Breslow: 5-4, 2 saves, 72 appearances, 77 innings, 3.04 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 70 Ks, 7.2 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 8.2 K/9, 2.26 K/BB, .222 BAA

My Thoughts: Another great season for Breslow. Once again, he'd be making a lot of appearances out of the bullpen. That's to be expected. Very similar numbers to 2010, except he'd get hit a little harder, causing his WHIP to go up some. Still missing a lot of bats, though, which would be nice to see. If I were the A's, I would take this season from Breslow.

Ike Davis: .283/.374/.488 for an OPS of .862, 23 HRs, 36 doubles, 1 triple, 80 RBIs, 78 runs scored, 148 hits, 255 total bases, 60 extra base hits, 75 BBs, 147 games, 598 PAs

My Thoughts: Very nice line for the 24-year old sophomore slugger. Ike's BA and OBP would increase about 20 points each, and his SLG would increase nearly 50 points. Talk about making strides! His walk rate would go up a little, and his strikeouts would go down a little. I think he could wind up playing 150+ games and producing more runs than James projects here, even in that bad Mets lineup. Can't really complain about this projection. I don't know if he'll do it next season, but I believe Ike is capable of hitting 25+ HRs.

Scott Feldman: 5-7, 27 games, 14 GS, 105 innings, 4.46 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 9.5 H/9, 1.03 HR/9, 3.26 BB/9, 5.06 K/9, 1.55 K/BB, .273 BAA

My Thoughts: Not nearly as good as his 2009 numbers (could have been an anomaly), but after last season I'd take it. The record is nothing to write home about and neither are the innings pitched, but the ERA is respectable. It would probably be close to league average. With only 14 starts, it looks like the Rangers would be using Feldman as a spot starter. Feldman's starter status could hinge on what the Rangers decide to do with Neftali Feliz and whether or not they are able to re-sign Cliff Lee.

Ryan Kalish: .271/.340/.452 for an OPS of .792, 20 HRs, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 82 RBIs, 94 runs scored, 158 hits, 263 total bases, 62 extra base hits, 43 SBs, 8 CS, 151 games, 641 PAs

My Thoughts: Wow, this would be an outstanding first full season. I think it's possible Kalish could get more playing time than in 2010, but I don't know about him being a starter next year; I see that happening in 2012. With numbers like these, the run production is realistic in that Red Sox lineup. I don't know if he could hit with this much power or swipe this many bags as a 23-year old, but he certainly has the tools to do it. His 43 SBs would shatter the JML record for SBs in a season (35 by Shawn Green in 1998).

Gabe Kapler: .250/.320/.385 for an OPS of .705, 4 HRs, 9 doubles, 20 RBIs, 22 runs scored, 78 games, 170 PAs

My Thoughts: Kapler is currently a free agent, so we'll see how that pans out. These aren't eye-popping numbers, but they're certainly better than what he did this year. And when you consider how pitchers are dominating right now, Kapler's line would probably be close to league average. Given his defensive prowess, I think a lot of teams could live with that from a veteran coming off the bench.

Ian Kinsler: .275/.358/.453 for an OPS of .811, 20 HRs, 33 doubles, 2 triples, 74 RBIs, 98 runs scored, 64 BBs, 150 hits, 247 total bases, 55 extra base hits, 21 SBs, 6 CS, 137 games, 609 PAs

My Thoughts: This would be a nice bounceback season for Kinsler, in terms of health and power. Believe it or not, but if he played 137 games, that would constitute the 2nd highest single-season total of his career. And with 20 HRs and 33 doubles, his ISO would revert back to what he did in 2007, which is nothing to sneeze at. This would be his third 20/20 season. His 64 BBs would be a career-high. If he's completely healthy, and that's always a big if with Kinsler, I don't think a 25/25 season is too much of a stretch. Let's not forget he'll be 28/29 in 2011, so he'll still be in his prime.

Jason Marquis: 5-7, 21 GS, 105 innings, 4.46 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 9.5 H/9, 1.03 HR/9, 3.43 BB/9, 4.89 K/9, 1.43 K/BB, .273 BAA

My Thoughts: Pretty much a carbon copy of Feldman's projected season, no? Marquis hit a roadblock in 2010, but his track record suggests that he should be able to rebound from it. I think he'll make close to 30 starts and log close to 200 innings. All of the peripherals are consistent with what he's done his entire career. I have no problem with those projections. The 5-7 record isn't inspiring, but it would give him 100 wins. Marquis will be 32 for most of the 2011 season; he'll turn 33 in August. It should be noted that 2011 will be a contract year for him.

Danny Valencia: .290/.337/.434 for an OPS of .771, 10 HRs, 35 doubles, 2 triples, 62 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 139 hits, 208 total bases, 47 extra base hits, 137 games, 513 PAs

My Thoughts: These are solid numbers, but I think James is selling Valencia a little short. I believe he'll play 145+ games and could hit anywhere from 12-16 HRs. If he plays enough games and reaches his ceiling, it's possible he could even approach 20 HRs. The raw power is there, and at 26 next season he still won't have quite entered his prime years. The BA is probably where it should be, but I think his walk rate will improve. His track record in MiLB suggests that he'll draw more walks once he gets more acclimated to the Major League level. I also believe the run production will be better than what you see here by 10-15 runs.

Kevin Youkilis: .294/.398/.507 for an OPS of .905, 25 HRs, 41 doubles, 2 triples, 95 RBIs, 103 runs scored, 87 BBs, 165 hits, 285 total bases, 68 extra base hits, 151 games, 649 PAs

My Thoughts: Don't get me wrong: This would be a fantastic season, but it would also signal that Youk might be starting to slow down. His OPS the last 3 seasons has been well above .950, and he's hit over .300 in each of those seasons as well. Youk will turn 32 in 2011, so realistically he may start to slow down. However, if he has a season like this, we're not talking about a rapid decline. Youk would set career-bests in games played and runs scored. This would be his 3rd season with 25+ HRs and 40+ doubles. The 87 BBs would be his highest total since 2006. It looks like Youk might be moved back to third base out of necessity. I don't think that will adversely affect his numbers too much; on the contrary, it should only make him more valuable.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Braun Takes Home More Hardware

Ryan Braun has won his 3rd consecutive Silver Slugger Award. By the way, MLB Network crunched the numbers and concluded that had the award been around in Hank Greenberg's day, he would have won 7 Silver Slugger Awards.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Feldman Undergoes Knee Surgery

Scott Feldman just underwent surgery on his right knee to repair torn cartilage. He will be sidelined for 3 months and will be limited at the beginning of Spring Training. You may recall Feldman went on the DL in late August with a bone bruise in his right knee.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Dish On Kalish

According to the Jewish Sports Review, Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish is a JML on his father's side. Baseball America had Kalish ranked as the 5th best prospect in the Red Sox's farm system coming into 2010 and the 96th best prospect in the minors coming into 2008. I have, of course, added Kalish to the Minor League Standouts In 2010.

Monday, November 1, 2010

WS Game 5

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 0-2 with 1 BB against the Giants. The Rangers lost the World Series in 5 games. Still, pretty cool that Kinsler was part of such an historic season for that franchise.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

WS Game 4

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 0-2 with 1 BB against the Giants. He was robbed of a hit by Cody Ross. The Rangers are down 1-3 in the World Series. Their backs are really against the wall. Game 5 will be played tomorrow. Can Cliff Lee stave off defeat?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

WS Game 3

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-4 with 1 SB (his 3rd of the postseason) against the Giants. The Rangers got a big win tonight. They are down 1-2 in the World Series.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

WS Game 2

Batting 5th, Ian Kinsler was 1-4 with 1 double (his 2nd of the postseason) against the Giants. Kinsler just missed hitting his 4th HR of the postseason. Kind of unlucky there. The Rangers were in this game until they completely fell apart in the 8th inning. They are down 0-2 in the World Series. Games 3 and 4 will be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WS Game 1

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-4 with 1 BB and 1 run scored against the Giants. He scored all the way from 1st on a double in the 6th inning and made a great play early in the game to double up Freddy Sanchez. He also had his 2nd baserunning gaffe of the postseason. Thinking the ball had gotten away from Aubrey Huff at 1st on his infield hit, Kinsler made a wide turn and was tagged out. The Rangers are down 0-1 in the World Series.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Minor League Standouts In 2010

Triple-A

Sam Fuld (OF, 28, Cubs): Fuld put up a line of .272/.383/.394 for an OPS of .777 in 440 PAs. He hit 4 HRs, 15 doubles, 9 triples, swiped 21 bags, drove in 27 runs, and scored 69 runs. He posted the best BB/K ratio of his career at 66/37. That's nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts. Pretty impressive. With the loss of Derrek Lee, the Cubs are seriously contemplating moving Tyler Colvin to first base. Should that come to pass, Fuld could see more playing time.

Ben Guez (OF, 23, Tigers): Guez split time at 3 levels this year. He played 28 games in Class A-Advanced, 9 games in Double-A, and 68 games in Triple-A. In Triple-A, he put up a line of .251/.339/.439 for an OPS of .778 in 259 PAs. His overall line for the season was .249/.341/.411 for an OPS of .752 in 393 PAs. He hit 10 HRs, 19 doubles, 3 triples, swiped 14 bags, drove in 43 runs, and scored 43 runs. Considering Guez was playing in Single-A last year, he's moved up fairly quickly through the Tigers' farm system.
Jason Hirsh (RH SP, 28, Yankees): Hirsh was 9-7 in 122 1/3 innings (19 starts) with a 3.90 ERA, 1.153 WHIP, 95 Ks, 7.5 H/9, 1.3 HR/9, 2.9 BB/9, 7.0 K/9, and 2.44 K/BB. Hirsh pitched well after he joined the Yankees' organization towards the end of 2009, but this was really his 1st good season since 2006. He will most certainly get another Spring Training invite.
Ryan Kalish (OF, 22, Red Sox): Kalish played 41 games in Double-A and 37 games in Triple-A. Overall, he put up a line of .294/.382/.502 for an OPS of .884 in 343 PAs. He hit 13 HRs, 18 doubles, 2 triples, drove in 47 runs, scored 57 runs, and stole 25 bases (only caught 3 times). His BB/K ratio was 42/53. Kalish could very well be a 5-tool player. He figures to get more playing time next year with the Sox. He may even get a shot to start at some point.

Aaron Poreda (LH RP, 24, Padres): Poreda pitched 25 innings in Double-A and 29 innings in Triple-A. Throwing strikes started to become a problem for Poreda last season, and this season was no different. Poreda's BB/9 in Double-A was 9.4 and 11.8 in Triple-A. That's obviously abysmal. However, his other peripherals were actually quite good. Only gave up 1 HR all year. And he didn't give up many hits, either. His H/9 was 5.2 (6.5 in Double-A, 4.0 in Triple-A). His K/9 was also respectable at 7.8 (9.0 in Double-A, 6.8 in Triple-A). Control issues aside, still a lot of upside here.

James Rapoport (CF, 25, Cardinals): Rapoport played 25 games in Double-A and 112 games in Triple-A. His overall line was .276/.350/.354 for an OPS of .703 in 560 PAs. He hit 4 HRs, 18 doubles, 4 triples, swiped 8 bags, drove in 46 runs, and scored 74 runs. This Stanford product's BB/K ratio was 54/69.
Michael Schwimer (RH RP, 24, Phillies): Schwimer pitched 40 innings in Double-A and 20 innings in Triple-A. In Triple-A, he was 2-2 with a 1.35 ERA, 1.150 WHIP, 7.2 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 8.1 K/9, and 2.57 K/BB. In Double-A, he was 5-3 with 11 saves, a 3.60 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 7.6 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 13.0 K/9, and 4.14 K/BB. Overall, he was 7-5 with 11 saves, a 2.85 ERA, 1.183 WHIP, 7.5 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 11.4 K/9, and 3.62 K/BB. I think we'll see his MLB debut some time in 2011.

Adam Stern (OF, 30, Brewers): Stern put up a line of .325/.399/.462 for an OPS of .860 in 322 PAs. He hit 5 HRs, 18 doubles, 3 triples, drove in 29 runs, and scored 48 runs. His BB/K ratio was 35/47. This was his best season since 2004.

Josh Whitesell (1B, 28, Nationals): Before signing with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, Whitesell played 54 games for the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate, putting up a line of .304/.406/.446 for an OPS of .852 in 219 PAs. If you're the curious sort, you might be interested to learn that with the Swallows, Whitesell put up a line of .309/.399/.591 for an OPS of .990 in 230 ABs. Combined, he hit 19 HRs, 28 doubles, 3 triples, and drove in 87 runs in 414 ABs.

Double-A/Class A-Advanced

Dylan Axelrod (RHP, 25, White Sox): Axelrod pitched 99 1/3 innings (13 starts) in Class A-Advanced and 10 innings (2 starts) in Double-A. Overall, he was 8-4 with a 2.06 ERA, 1.079 WHIP, 8.5 H/9, 0.2 HR/9, 1.2 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, and 6.13 K/BB. That K/BB ratio is filthy.

Richard Bleier (LH SP, 23, Rangers): Bleier was 7-11 with a 5.04 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 10.5 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 1.5 BB/9, 4.5 K/9, and 2.93 K/BB in 164 1/3 innings (28 starts in Double-A). Like Axelrod, you've got to like the command. Just needs to miss more bats.

Charles Cutler (C, 23, Cardinals): Cutler played 38 games in Double-A and 41 games in Class A-Advanced. His overall line was .260/.350/.341 for an OPS of .691 in 314 PAs. He did very well in Class A-Advanced but struggled in Double-A. His BB/K ratio was 32/33. He threw out 25% of the baserunners who attempted to steal against him. I could see him being another Ryan Hanigan or Francisco Cervelli.

Jonathon Fixler (C, 24, Astros): Fixler played 20 games in Single-A and 33 games in Double-A. In Double-A, he put up a line of .265/.363/.500 for an OPS of .863 in 115 PAs. His overall line was .242/.344/.427 for an OPS of .771 in 185 PAs. Not bad for a catcher.
Jason Kipnis (2B, 23, Indians): Kipnis played 54 games in Class A-Advanced and 79 games in Double-A. In Double-A, he put up a line of .311/.385/.502 for an OPS of .887 in 355 PAs. His overall line was .307/.386/.492 for an OPS of .878 in 592 PAs. He hit 16 HRs, 32 doubles, 8 triples, swiped 9 bags, drove in 74 runs, and scored 96 runs. Kipnis was named the Indians' Minor League Player of the Year. May not be long before he joins his old teammate from Arizona State, Ike Davis, in The Bigs. Has September call-up written all over him for 2011.

David Kopp (RH SP, 24, Cardinals): Kopp pitched 121 innings (21 starts) in Double-A and 24 innings (5 starts) in Triple-A. In Double-A, he was 12-4 with a 3.05 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, 9.4 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.9 BB/9, 5.8 K/9, and 2.00 K/BB. Overall, he was 12-9 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.476 WHIP, 10.2 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.1 BB/9, 5.6 K/9, and 1.80 K/BB. He struggled mightily during his 5 starts in Triple-A, just like he struggled mightily in his 5 starts in Double-A in 2009. If the pattern keeps up, he'll pitch well in Triple-A next season and struggle mightily in The Show.
Ryan Lavarnway (C/DH, 23, Red Sox): Lavarnway played 82 games in Class A-Advanced and 44 games in Double-A. In Double-A, he put up a line of .285/.395/.494 for an OPS of .888 in 190 PAs. His overall line was .288/.393/.489 for an OPS of .882 in 550 PAs. He hit 22 HRs, 27 doubles, drove in 102 runs, and scored 91 runs. His BB/K ratio was 70/104. He also threw out 33% of the baserunners who attempted to steal against him. For the 2nd consecutive season, Lavarnway was named the Offensive Player of the Year in the Red Sox's farm system. If he remains a catcher, he should have a ton of value moving forward. Catchers who can swing the lumber like he can don't grow on trees. Could be a September call-up next year.
Josh Satin (2B/INF, 25, Mets): Satin played 58 games in Class A-Advanced and 79 games in Double-A. In Double-A, he put up a line of .308/.395/.472 for an OPS of .867 in 332 PAs. His overall line was .311/.399/.467 for an OPS of .866 in 577 PAs. He hit 12 HRs, 39 doubles, 1 triple, drove in 74 runs, and scored 76 runs. As a second baseman, he gets overshadowed by Kipnis, but he's another potential September call-up next year.

Scott Schneider (RHP, 22, Cardinals): Schneider pitched 74 innings (13 starts) in Class A-Advanced and 63 2/3 innings (8 starts) in Single-A. Overall, Schneider was 8-9 with 2 saves in 137 2/3 innings, a 3.46 ERA, 1.140 WHIP, 7.6 H/9, 0.5 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, and 2.88 K/BB.

Single-A
Nathan Freiman (1B, 23, Padres): Freiman put up a line of .294/.369/.457 for an OPS of .826 in 594 PAs. He hit 14 HRs, 43 doubles, drove in 84 runs, and scored 83 runs. At 6' 7", he certainly looks the part of a first baseman. According to his numbers, he also plays the part pretty well.

Casey Haerther (1B, 22, Angels): Haerther put up a line of .307/.352/.432 for an OPS of .784 in 471 PAs. He hit 8 HRs, 26 doubles, 2 triples, swiped 10 bags, drove in 74 runs, and scored 54 runs. Very nice all-around 1st full season season for the former UCLA Bruin.
Jason Knapp (RHP, 20, Indians): Knapp missed most of the season because he was rehabbing from shoulder surgery in the offseason, but his numbers were impressive when he finally did pitch. He pitched 12 1/3 innings (5 starts) in Rookie League and 16 innings (4 starts) in Single-A. Overall, he was 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.024 WHIP, 47 Ks in 28 1/3 innings, 5.4 H/9, 0.0 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 14.9 K/9, and 3.92 K/BB. Coming into the season, Baseball America had him ranked as the 64th best prospect in the Minors, just behind Ike Davis at 62. It's still unclear whether Knapp will remain a starter or be converted into a reliever, but one thing is certain: he's a power pitcher who can rack up the Ks.

Tyler Kolodny (3B/1B, 22, Orioles): Kolodny played 10 games in Short-Season A and 41 games in Single-A. His overall line was .251/.365/.525 for an OPS of .890 in 220 PAs. He hit 11 HRs, 11 doubles, 3 triples, swiped 9 bags, drove in 33 runs, and scored 37 runs. From what I've read, the Orioles plan to move him to the outfield.

Brett Lorin (RH SP, 23, Pirates): Lorin missed most of the season because of a hip injury. He pitched 7 innings (3 starts) in Rookie League and 41 2/3 innings (9 starts) in Single-A. Overall, he was 2-3 in 48 2/3 innings with a 4.62 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 9.4 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 2.2 BB/9, 7.8 K/9, and 3.50 K/BB. It'll be interesting to see what he can do in a full season.

Jason Markovitz (LHP, 22, Mariners): Markovitz pitched 19 2/3 innings in Short-Season A and 20 innings (2 starts) in Single-A. Overall, he was 2-2 with 4 saves in 39 2/3 innings, 40 Ks, a 3.86 ERA, 1.160 WHIP, 8.4 H/9, 0.5 HR/9, 2.0 BB/9, 9.1 K/9, and 4.44 K/BB. With those peripherals, he probably deserved a better ERA. Didn't log too many innings at Long Beach University where he was teammates with Lorin for a year, but his numbers there were solid.

Jason Novak (RHP, 22, Cardinals): In 36 1/3 innings, Novak was 3-1 with 1 save, a 3.47 ERA, 1.239 WHIP, 7.9 H/9, 1.5 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 11.1 K/9, and 3.46 K/BB. Novak played with Haerther and Gabe Cohen at UCLA.
Daniel Rosenbaum (LH SP, 23, Nationals): Rosenbaum pitched 101 innings (18 starts) in Single-A and 43 innings (7 starts) in Class A-Advanced. Overall, he was 5-7 in 144 innings with a 2.25 ERA, 1.188 WHIP, 8.1 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9, 7.2 K/9, and 2.80 K/BB. The 5-7 record doesn't do him justice. Rosenbaum and Hirsh were the best starters in the minors this year, IMO.

David Rubinstein (OF, 23, Pirates): Rubinstein put up a line of .289/.347/.409 for an OPS of .755 in 480 PAs. He hit 3 HRs, 37 doubles, 3 triples, swiped 23 bags, drove in 50 runs, and scored 54 runs. Doesn't possess a lot of power, but 37 doubles is nothing to sneeze at.
Josh Zeid (RHP, 23, Phillies): Zeid was 8-4 with 8 saves in 107 1/3 innings (12 starts), a 2.93 ERA, 1.137 WHIP, 111 Ks, 8.0 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 9.3 K/9, and 4.11 K/BB. Outstanding numbers across the board. Zeid was voted as the Best Reliever at the Single-A level. With Schwimer, B.J. Rosenberg (injured for most of the season), and Zeid the Phillies have a solid core of relievers in their farm system.

Short-Season A/Rookie League

Jeremy Gould (LH RP, 22, Mets): In Rookie League, Gould was 1-2 with 1 save in 17 1/3 innings, a 3.12 ERA, 1.212 WHIP, 7.3 H/9, 0.5 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 5.7 K/9, and 1.57 K/BB. Didn't pitch much at Duke; he was a solid every day player there.

Alex Kaminsky (RH SP, 22, Indians): Kaminsky pitched 69 innings (14 starts) in Short-Season A and 3 innings in Double-A. Overall, he was 7-5 with a 2.38 ERA, 1.069 WHIP, 7.1 H/9, 0.5 HR/9, 2.5 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, and 3.00 K/BB. Not bad for a guy who inexplicably went undrafted. Had a pretty good career at Wright State University.
Jake Lemmerman (SS, 21, Dodgers): In Rookie League, Lemmerman put up a line of .363/.434/.610 for an OPS of 1.044 in 303 PAs. He hit 12 HRs, 24 doubles, 2 triples, drove in 47 runs, and scored 69 runs. This former Blue Devil was teammates with Freiman and Gould at Duke. Middle infielders with this kind of pop are few and far between. If he sticks at shortstop, he could go real far.

Ben Orloff (INF, 23, Astros): In Short-Season A, Orloff put up a line of .307/.405/.324 for an OPS of .729 in 285 PAs. He hit 4 doubles, swiped 23 bags (only caught 5 times), drove in 16 runs, and scored 52 runs. Also had a nifty BB/K ratio of 34/19. Was teammates with Axelrod for 2 years at the University of California-Irvine.

Andrew Pevsner (LHP, 22, Dodgers): In Rookie League, Pevsner was 3-0 in 28 1/3 innings (18 appearances) with a 1.91 ERA, 1.376 WHIP, 30 Ks, 7.9 H/9, 1.0 HR/9, 4.4 BB/9, 9.5 K/9, and 2.14 K/BB.

Justin Schumer (RHP, 22, Giants): Schumer pitched 5 2/3 innings (1 start) in Rookie League and 21 1/3 innings (4 starts) in Short-Season A. Overall, he was 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA, 1.185 WHIP, 6.3 H/9, 0.0 HR/9, 4.3 BB/9, 6.0 K/9, and 1.38 K/BB. Schumer went undrafted. He obviously took umbrage at that.

Michael Schwartz (1B/DH, 23, White Sox): In Rookie League, Schwartz put up a line of .241/.414/.339 for an OPS of .753 in 146 PAs. His BB/K ratio was 26/33.

Mauricio Tabachnik (RHP, 20, Padres): In Short-Season A, Tabachnik was 3-4 in 62 innings (6 starts) with a 3.48 ERA, 1.306 WHIP, 10.0 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 1.7 BB/9, 6.1 K/9, and 3.50 K/BB. Great name to go along with a great BB/9.

Jeff Urlaub (LHP, 23, A's): In Rookie League, Urlaub was 1-0 with 2 saves in 26 1/3 innings, a 2.39 ERA, 0.987 WHIP, 26 Ks, 7.9 H/9, 0.0 HR/9, 1.0 BB/9, 8.9 K/9, and 8.67 K/BB. That's about as dominant as it gets. Was teammates with Ike Davis for 1 year at Arizona State.

Friday, October 22, 2010

World Series-Bound!

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-2 with 1 BB, 1 double (his 1st of the postseason), 1 sacrifice fly, and 1 RBI against the Yankees. The Rangers have been in Texas for 39 years. They've been a franchise for 50 years (dating back to when they were the Washington Senators), and for the 1st time in franchise history, they will be playing on the grandest stage of all: the Fall Classic.

Kinsler's line in the postseason so far is .342/.409/.658 for an OPS of 1.067 in 45 PAs. He has 3 HRs, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 SBs, 9 RBIs, and 6 runs scored.

Edit: Game 1 will be played on Wednesday against the Giants in San Francisco.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ALCS Game 5

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 2-4 with 1 SB (his 2nd of the postseason) against the Yankees. The Rangers are up 3-2 in the series. Game 6 will be played on Friday, and if necessary, Game 7 will be played on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rangers Have A Commanding Lead In ALCS

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-5 with 1 RBI and 1 SB (his 1st of the postseason) against the Yankees. The Rangers are up 3-1 in the series.

Monday, October 18, 2010

ALCS Game 3

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 0-4 against the Yankees. I didn't think he went around on the appeal in his last AB. The Rangers are up 2-1 in the series. Games 4 and 5 will be tomorrow and Wednesday in New York.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

ALCS Game 2

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-3 with 1 sacrifice bunt, 1 triple (his 1st of the postseason), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Yankees. Also made this fine play in the 8th inning. The Rangers have evened the series at 1 apiece. Game 3 will be on Monday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rangers Let Game 1 Get Away

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 0-2 with 2 BBs against the Yankees. It looked like the Rangers had this one in the bag through 7, but their bullpen completely imploded. Kinsler getting picked off in the 8th inning didn't do them any favors, either. They are down 0-1 in the ALCS.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kinsler Leads The Charge

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 3-4 with 1 HR (his 3rd of the postseason), 3 RBIs, and 1 run scored against the Rays.

The Rangers have won their 1st playoff series and will advance to the ALCS for the 1st time in franchise history.

Kinsler hit safely and scored a run in all 5 games of the ALDS. He hit a team-best .444 (8 for 18) with 2 BBs, 3 HRs (tied with Nelson Cruz for the team lead), scored 5 runs, and drove in a team-high 6 runs.

Can't really have a better series than that. The ALCS kicks off on Friday in Texas. Bring on the Yankees!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Back And Forth Series

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-3 with 1 BB and 1 run scored against the Rays. The series is tied at 2 apiece. Game 5 will be played on Tuesday. Same pitching matchup as Game 1: Cliff Lee vs. David Price. Should be a good one.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Twins Eliminated, Rangers Still In Driver's Seat

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-3 with 1 BB, 1 HR (his 2nd of the postseason), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Rays. Kinsler's solo shot gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead in the 7th inning. Unfortunately, they couldn't hold onto that lead. They are up 2-1 in the series.

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 1-4 with 1 double (his 1st of the postseason) and 1 run scored against the Yankees. The Twins were swept. They only scored 7 runs in the series, and Valencia produced 3 of them (2 RBIs, 1 run scored). Not a bad showing for the rookie.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Twins And Rangers Going In Opposite Directions

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 2-4 with 1 HR (his 1st of the postseason), 2 RBIs, and 1 run scored against the Rays. This was his 1st long ball since September 15. The Rangers are up 2-0 in the series.

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 0-2 with 1 RBI against the Yankees. The Twins are down 0-2 in the series.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

And Away We Go

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 1-3 with 1 BB and 1 RBI against the Yankees. He drew a walk with the bases loaded in the 6th inning to tie the game at 4 apiece. And with his infield hit in the 8th inning, he represented the tying run (until a pinch runner took his place), but it wasn't enough. The Twins are down 0-1 in the ALDS.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-4 with 1 run scored against the Rays. He scored the 1st run of the postseason. The Rangers are ahead 1-0 in the ALDS. As expected, Scott Feldman was left off the Rangers' postseason roster.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ausmus Calls It A Career

Batting 7th, Brad Ausmus was 2-4 with 1 double (his 2nd) against the Diamondbacks. Good game to go out on.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-2 with 1 double (his 20th) against the Angels.

Batting cleanup, Ike Davis was 1-6 against the Nationals.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 0-2 against the Reds.

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 0-3 against the Blue Jays.

Sam Fuld was 0-1 against the Astros.

Craig Breslow picked up his 5th save of the season. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings on 3 hits and 2 Ks against the Mariners.

Season recap to follow in the coming days...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Breslow And Braun Doing Their Thing

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 1-3 with 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 double (his 45th), and 1 run scored against the Reds.

Batting cleanup, Ike Davis was 1-4 against the Nationals.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 0-3 with 1 BB against the Angels. Kinsler is 2 for his last 17.

Batting 5th, Danny Valencia was 0-4 against the Blue Jays.

Craig Breslow picked up his 4th save of the season. He pitched 1 inning and gave up 1 run on 1 hit and 1 K against the Mariners.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Future Skipper?

As was the case last year, Joe Torre graciously handed the reins over to Brad Ausmus to be acting manager for a day. Unlike last year, Ausmus did not win this time around.

Batting cleanup, Ike Davis was 1-3 with 1 BB, 1 HR (his 19th), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Nationals.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 0-3 with 2 BBs against the Reds.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 0-4 with 1 HBP and 1 run scored against the Angels.

Batting leadoff, Sam Fuld was 0-4 with 1 BB against the Astros.

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 0-4 against the Blue Jays.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coming Down The Home Stretch

Batting 7th, Danny Valencia was 1-3 with 1 BB, 1 double (his 18th), and 1 run scored against the Blue Jays.

Batting 2nd, Ryan Braun was 1-4 with 1 BB, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Mets. Braun has now scored 100 runs in 2 consecutive seasons.

Batting 5th, Ian Kinsler was 0-2 with 1 BB and 1 HBP against the Angels.

Ike Davis was 0-2 against the Brewers.

Sam Fuld was used as a late inning defensive replacement in left field against the Padres.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ausmus To Start Season Finale On Sunday

Brad Ausmus hasn't started in a game since September 12. For that matter, he hasn't seen any action at all since September 19. But on Sunday October 3, he will play his final game in the Majors, capping off 18 seasons.

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 3-4 with 1 run scored against the Royals.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 1-5 against the Mets in the 1st game of a doubleheader. Braun was 1-3 with 1 HBP, 1 double (his 44th), and 2 RBIs against the Mets in the 2nd game. Braun's 2-run double in the 8th inning won the game for the Brewers.

Batting leadoff, Ian Kinsler was 1-5 with 1 run scored and 1 SB (his 15th) against the Mariners.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 0-2 with 3 BBs against the Brewers in the 1st game of a doubleheader. Batting cleanup, Ike was 0-2 with 1 BB and 1 RBI against the Brewers in the 2nd game.

Sam Fuld was 0-1 against the Padres.

Craig Breslow pitched 2 scoreless innings on 1 hit, 3 BBs, and 1 K against the Angels.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Marquis All Or Nothing Against The Phillies

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 1-4 with 1 double (his 33rd) and 1 run scored against the Brewers.

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 1-4 against the Royals.

Ian Kinsler had the night off. Resting for the playoffs, no doubt.

Ryan Braun was a late scratch from today's lineup due to flu-like symptoms.

In his last start of the year, Jason Marquis received a no-decision against the Phillies. He went 6 innings and gave up 1 run on 7 hits, 1 BB, and 7 Ks. His groundball to flyball ratio was 15-2. At the plate, he was 1-2. Marquis had 4 quality starts in his last 5 outings. He's really been all or nothing against the Phillies this year. In 2 of his starts against them, he gave up 13 runs (12 earned) in 4 2/3 innings. Ouch. In 2 other starts, he gave up 2 runs in 11 innings.

Scott Feldman picked up his 11th loss of the year. He went 4 1/3 innings and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits, 2 BBs, and 2 Ks against the Mariners. Let's be real. The Mariners don't strike fear in the hearts of any pitching staff. I didn't like Feldman's chances of making the Rangers' postseason roster before this start...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Walk, Don't Run

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-3 with 1 BB against the Mariners. Kinsler has drawn 54 walks against 55 strikeouts. That's a pretty nice ratio. However, this will be his 1st season since 2006 (when he was a rookie) where he doesn't swipe 20+ bags or hit 15+ HRs.

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 0-5 against the Royals. He is 2 for his last 22.

Sam Fuld was used as a late inning defensive replacement in left field against the Padres.

Ryan Braun and Ike Davis didn't play because their game was cancelled. They will play in a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finishing With A Flourish

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-4 with 1 BB, 2 HRs (his 24th and 25th), 4 RBIs, and 2 runs scored against the Marlins. This was Braun's 1st multi-HR game of the year and the 11th multi-HR game of his career. It marks the 3rd consecutive season where he's driven in 100 runs.

Batting 6th, Ike Davis was 1-3 with 2 BBs (1 IBB) and 1 run scored against the Phillies.

Batting leadoff, Sam Fuld was 0-3 with 2 BBs against the Cardinals.

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 0-3 against the Tigers.

Ian Kinsler has dropped his appeal of a 1-game suspension. It was initially reported that the suspension had been rescinded, but apparently that was false. Kinsler served his suspension today.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Valencia Making A Late Push For AL ROY

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 2-7 with 2 HRs (his 6th and 7th), 5 RBIs (a season-high), and 2 runs scored against the Tigers. Valencia's 1st long ball was his 2nd grand slam of the season. This was the 1st multi-HR game of his career. I don't see Valencia getting more votes for AL Rookie of the Year than Neftali Feliz or Austin Jackson, but he'll be in the running.

Batting 5th, Ian Kinsler was 2-3 with 1 BB, 1 double (his 19th), 1 run scored, and 1 SB (his 14th) against the A's. The Rangers have clinched the AL West. This will be Kinsler's 1st postseason appearance. Not sure if Scott Feldman will be included on the postseason roster...

Batting 7th, Sam Fuld was 2-4 with 2 RBIs and 1 run scored against the Cardinals. Fuld drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run in the 3rd inning.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 1-4 with 1 run scored against the Phillies.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 0-4 against the Marlins.

Craig Breslow pitched 1 scoreless inning on 1 hit against the Rangers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shop Smart, Shop S-Mart

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 3-4 with 1 double (his 32nd) and 1 run scored against the Phillies.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-4 with 1 double (his 43rd) and 3 RBIs against the Marlins. His SLG is over .500 for the 1st time since June 15.

Batting 5th, Ian Kinsler was 2-5 with 1 double (his 18th) and 1 run scored against the A's.

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 0-3 against the Tigers.

Batting leadoff, Sam Fuld was 0-4 against the Cardinals.

According to The Sporting News, Craig Breslow is the most intelligent athlete on the planet. They recently ranked the Top 20 Smartest Athletes, and Breslow landed in the top spot. Breslow graduated from Yale in 2002. Brad Ausmus also made the cut. He was ranked number 9.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Feldman Finally Gets Some Work In

Batting 5th, Ian Kinsler was 0-3 with 1 BB against the A's. Kinsler is 2 for his last 16.

Sam Fuld was 0-1 against the Giants.

Ryan Braun had the night off.

Scott Feldman pitched 2 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits and 1 K against the A's. Believe it or not, this was Feldman's 1st appearance since September 10.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Make Last Games Count For The Counting Stats

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-3 with 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 double (his 42nd), and 1 run scored against the Reds. He was taken out of the game after he was hit in the elbow a la Tommy Hanson earlier in the season. He is listed as day-to-day. Braun needs to score 3 more runs and drive in 7 more runs to reach 100 runs scored and 100 RBIs. He has 11 more games to do it.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis 2-4 with 1 run scored against the Marlins.

Batting cleanup, Danny Valencia was 0-4 against the Indians. This was the 1st game all year where he has hit 4th in the lineup.

Batting leadoff, Ian Kinsler was 0-6 against the Angels.

Sam Fuld was used as a late inning defensive replacement in left field against the Giants.

Jason Marquis received a no-decision. He went 6 innings and gave up 2 runs on 7 hits, 1 BB, and 2 Ks against the Astros. I'd say he atoned.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Does Valencia Give The Twins An Edge?

Batting 7th, Danny Valencia was 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored against the Indians. Valencia scored the game-winning run in the 8th inning. The Twins have officially clinched a postseason berth. They haven't had a third baseman as good as Valencia since the days of Corey Koskie manning the hot corner. Could make a world of difference come October...

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 2-4 against the Marlins.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-3 against the Angels.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 0-2 with 1 BB, 1 HBP, and 1 run scored against the Reds.

Sam Fuld was 0-1 against the Giants.

Craig Breslow pitched 2/3 of an inning on 1 BB and 1 K against the White Sox.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Breslow Is A Workhorse Out Of The Pen

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 1-4 with 1 HR (his 5th), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Indians. Wow, that ball was crushed. Valencia has 3 HRs in his last 4 games.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 1-4 with 1 double (his 41st) and 2 RBIs against the Reds.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-4 with 1 HBP against the Angels.

Craig Breslow picked up his 3rd save of the season. He pitched 1 scoreless inning on 1 BB against the White Sox. Quite a workload he's undertaken the last 2 years. He ranks 3rd in the AL in appearances.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Braun Has Pop And Hops

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 1-4 with 1 HR (his 23rd), 2 RBIs, and 1 run scored against the Giants. Check out our boy robbing Cody Ross of a home run! What a spectacular catch!

Batting leadoff, Sam Fuld was 2-6 with 1 double (his 1st), 1 RBI, and 2 runs scored against the Marlins. Tyler Colvin's season is over after he was impaled by a broken bat in his upper left chest. Wow, that blows. Fuld will likely get more playing time as a result, though.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 2-4 with 1 run scored against the Braves.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-3 with 1 BB against the Mariners.

Batting 7th, Danny Valencia was 0-3 with 1 BB against the A's.

Brad Ausmus was used as a late inning defensive replacement against the Rockies.

Craig Breslow pitched 1 scoreless inning on 2 Ks against the Twins. Breslow got Valencia to ground out to 2nd.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

An Unheralded Contributor

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 2-4 with 1 HR (his 4th), 3 RBIs, and 1 run scored against the A's. Valencia's 3-run shot in the 6th inning ultimately won the game for the Twins.

Batting 5th, Ian Kinsler was 1-4 with 1 BB, 1 double (his 17th), and 1 run scored against the Mariners.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 0-4 against the Giants.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 0-4 against the Braves.

Sam Fuld was used as a late inning defensive replacement in left field against the Marlins.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Marquis Needs To Atone For This Outing

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 2-3 with 1 BB, 1 HR (his 3rd), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the A's.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 3-5 with 2 doubles (his 39th and 40th) and 2 runs scored against the Giants. Braun's 40 doubles this season are a career-high for him.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 0-3 with 1 BB and 1 run scored against the Braves.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 0-3 against the Mariners.

Sam Fuld was used as a late inning defensive replacement in left field against the Marlins.

Craig Breslow picked up his 16th hold of the year. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings on 1 BB against the Twins.

Jason Marquis picked up his 9th loss of the year, and deservedly so. He lasted just 1/3 of an inning and gave up 6 runs on 6 hits, 1 BB, and 0 Ks against the Phillies.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kinsler's Suspension Dismissed

Earlier in the week, Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game for arguing balls and strikes. He was then suspended for 1 game after returning to the field when Nelson Cruz hit a walk-off home run. Kinsler appealed his 1-game suspension, and it has been dismissed.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 1-3 with 1 BB, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Pirates.

Batting 7th, Danny Valencia was 1-3 with 1 BB against the White Sox.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Extra-Base Hits Galore

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-5 with 1 HR (his 22nd), 1 double (his 38th), 3 RBIs, 1 run scored against the Astros.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 2-3 with 1 HR (his 9th), 1 sacrifice bunt, 3 RBIs, and 1 run scored against the Tigers. I guess he took exception to the power waning remark...

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 2-3 with 1 double (his 17th), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the White Sox.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 1-3 with 1 BB, 1 double (his 31st), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Pirates.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

As Kinsler's Power Wanes, His Patience Waxes

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-4 with 1 HR (his 21st), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Astros.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-2 with 3 BBs, 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Tigers. Kinsler's power numbers may be down, but he's drawn 49 BBs to 50 Ks; that's an impressive ratio. His walk rate is 12.5% this year. His previous high was 11%, set in 2007.

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 1-3 with 1 BB, 1 RBI, and 2 runs scored against the White Sox.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 0-3 with 1 BB against the Pirates.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A's Must Be High On Breslow

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-4 with 1 BB, 1 double (his 37th), and 1 run scored against the Astros.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 1-4 with 1 double (his 30th) against the Pirates. If Ike hits 2 more HRs before season's end, he'll become the 1st JML to hit 20 HRs and 30 doubles as a rookie. Others have hit 30 HRs and 20 doubles before (Braun and Al Rosen) but never the inverse.

Craig Breslow picked up his 15th hold of the season. He pitched 1 scoreless inning on 1 hit against the Royals. Breslow ranks in the top 5 in the AL in appearances.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Driving In And Scoring Game-Winning Runs

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-4 with 1 double (his 36th) and 1 RBI against the Cubs. Braun drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run in the 5th inning.

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 1-4 with 1 RBI against the Indians.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 0-2 with 2 BBs, 1 run scored, and 1 SB (his 13th) against the Yankees. Kinsler scored what turned out to be the game-winning run in the 7th inning.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 0-3 against the Phillies.

Batting 8th, Brad Ausmus was 0-4 against the Astros.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ike Raking, Marquis In Rare Form

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 4-4 with 1 double (his 29th) and 3 RBIs against the Phillies. His 2-run single in the 7th inning ultimately won the the game for the Mets. Ike has brought his average up to .264 and his OPS up to .802. As of September 1, his average was .246 and his OPS was .748.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 2-4 with 1 BB, 1 double (his 16th), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Yankees.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 0-4 against the Cubs.

Batting 8th, Danny Valencia was 0-5 against the Indians.

Sam Fuld was used a late inning defensive replacement in left field against the Brewers.

Jason Marquis picked up his 8th loss of the year, although he pitched very well. He went 6 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits, 1 BB, and 8 Ks against the Marlins. Marquis hadn't struck out 8 batters in a game since September 1, 2008. In his last 5 starts, Marquis has a 2.40 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.

Craig Breslow picked up his 14th hold of the season. He pitched scoreless inning on 1 K against the Red Sox.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Feldman Gets A Vulture Win

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 2-4 with 1 BB, 3 runs scored, and 1 SB (his 12th) against the Yankees.

Batting cleanup, Ike Davis was 2-4 with 1 double (his 28th), 1 run scored, and 1 SB (his 3rd) against the Phillies.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 1-4 against the Cubs.

Batting 7th, Danny Valencia was 0-3 against the Indians.

Scott Feldman picked up his 7th win of the season. He pitched 1 scoreless inning on 2 hits and 1 BB against the Yankees.

Craig Breslow pitched 1 scoreless inning on 1 BB and 2 Ks against the Red Sox.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Obligatory If Uninspired Post

Batting leadoff, Ian Kinsler was 0-5 against the Blue Jays.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Pair Of Long Balls Not Related To Larry David

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-4 with 1 HR (his 20th), 4 RBIs, and 2 runs scored against the Cardinals.

Batting leadoff, Ian Kinsler was 2-5 with 1 HR (his 8th), 1 RBI, 2 runs scored, and 1 SB (his 11th) against the Blue Jays.

Batting cleanup, Ike Davis was 0-4 against the Nationals.

Sam Fuld (just recalled) was 0-1 against the Astros.

Danny Valencia sat out.

Craig Breslow picked up his 13th hold of the season. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings on 1 K against the Mariners.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ike On A Power Road Trip

Batting cleanup, Ike Davis was 2-3 with 1 BB, 1 HR (his 18th), 3 RBIs, and 1 run scored against the Nationals. Ike has 3 HRs in his last 4 games.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 1-4 with 1 run scored against the Cardinals.

Batting leadoff, Ian Kinsler was 0-5 against the Blue Jays.

Scott Feldman picked up his 10th loss of the year. He went 4 2/3 innings and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, 1 BB, and 4 Ks against the Blue Jays.

Danny Valencia sat out again. Ron Gardenhire said Valencia probably won't return to the lineup until Friday, at the earliest.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kinsler Batting Leadoff Again?

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-4 with 1 BB against the Cardinals.

Batting leadoff, Ian Kinsler was 1-5 against the Blue Jays. This was the 1st time Kinsler has been the leadoff man this season.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 0-2 with 2 BBs (1 IBB) against the Nationals.

Batting 8th, Brad Ausmus was 0-2 with 1 BB against the Padres.

Danny Valencia sat out again.

Craig Breslow pitched 1/3 of an inning and gave up 1 run on 1 hit and 1 BB against the Mariners.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ike Enjoying The Friendly Confines

Batting cleanup, Ike Davis was 4-6 with 1 HR (his 17th), 1 double (his 27th), 3 RBIs, and 3 runs scored against the Cubs. This was Ike's 2nd game where he's collected 4 hits. He only had 6 extra-base hits in August. He already has 4 extra-base hits in September.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 3-5 with 1 double (his 35th) and 2 runs scored against the Phillies.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-3 with 1 BB and 2 runs scored against the Twins.

Danny Valencia sat out again.

Jason Marquis picked up his 2nd win of the year. He went 6 innings and gave up 1 run on 6 hits, 0 BBs, and 2 Ks against the Pirates. By far his best start of the season. At the plate, he was 0-3 with 1 run scored.

Because Cliff Lee will be skipped for his next start on Tuesday against the Blue Jays, Scott Feldman will likely take his place for a spot start.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Making Up For Lost Time

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 2-4 with 1 HR (his 7th), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Twins. Kinsler didn't play at all in August while he was on the DL. This was his 1st HR since July 20.

Batting 6th, Ike Davis was 2-4 with 1 HR (his 16th), 1 RBI, and 1 run scored against the Cubs. Ike went deep for the 1st time since July 29, and I was there to see it.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 1-4 against the Phillies.

Danny Valencia sat out against the Rangers.

Craig Breslow picked up his 12th hold of the season. He pitched 1 inning and gave up 1 run on 1 hit against the Angels.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kinsler Returns, Valencia On His Way Out?

Batting 7th, Danny Valencia was 2-3 with 1 SB (his 2nd) against the Rangers. Valencia left the game in the 7th inning with tightness in his right hamstring. He is listed as day to day.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 1-3 with 2 BBs against the Cubs.

Batting 6th, Ian Kinsler was 1-4 with 1 run scored against the Twins.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 0-3 with 1 BB against the Phillies.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Two Impressive Rookies

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 3-5 with 2 RBIs and 1 run scored against the Tigers.

Batting 6th, Ike Davis was 1-2 with 2 BBs and 1 double (his 26th) against the Braves.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pretty Good Way To Kick Off September

Ian Kinsler has been activated from the DL.

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 2-4 with 1 RBI against the Tigers. He hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the 10th inning to win it for the Twinkies. Clutch.

Batting 6th, Ike Davis was 0-2 with 1 BB and 1 run scored against the Braves.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 0-4 against the Reds.

Craig Breslow pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings on 1 hit against the Yankees.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Valencia Is A Hitting Machine

Batting 7th, Danny Valencia was 3-4 with 2 doubles (his 15th and 16th) and 1 RBI against the Tigers. Were Valencia to play a full season - at his current pace - he would wind up with 43 doubles. With 204 ABs under his belt, I don't know if we can completely write off his .328 BA.

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-4 with 1 BB and 1 run scored against the Reds. Braun finished the month with a sterling line of .424/.496/.586.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 0-3 with 1 BB against the Braves. Despite only hitting .250, Ike posted a .369 OBP in August.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Closing In On 100 Wins

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 2-5 with 1 RBI and 1 SB (his 14th) against the Reds. The SB was his 1st since July 24.

Batting 5th, Ike Davis was 1-5 with 1 double (his 25th) against the Braves. Ike has hit a double in 3 consecutive games and has 4 extra-base hits in his last 6 games.

Jason Marquis picked up his 1st win of the season. He went 5 2/3 innings and gave up 3 runs on 7 hits, 3 BBs, and 1 K against the Marlins. Marquis needs just 5 more wins for 100.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Braun Finishing Strong - Hopefully

Batting 3rd, Ryan Braun was 4-4 with 1 BB, 1 HR (his 19th), 2 RBIs, and 3 runs scored against the Pirates.

Batting 6th, Ike Davis was 1-4 with 1 double (his 24th) and 1 run scored against the Astros.

Batting 8th, Brad Ausmus was 0-3 with 2 BBs and 1 run scored against the Rockies.

Batting 6th, Danny Valencia was 0-3 against the Mariners.

Craig Breslow pitched 2 scoreless innings on 1 K against the Rangers.