Archive for the ‘American League’ category

Midseason All-Star AL Depth Chart

July 13, 2008

People like when things are ranked. Maybe that’s why High Fidelity was so appealing. No top fives here, but one big top 25 of a semi-feasible assortment of players. The goal is to assemble the best 25-man squad based on 2008 performance at the halfway mark. The best players will occupy the starting position, and notable backups will be recognized for their efforts too. Not all positions will have a backup as they can be covered by players already in backup roles. Starters are in bold.

My team consists of

  • 2 C
  • 1 1B
  • 1 1B/3B
  • 1 2B
  • 1 SS
  • 1 3B
  • 1 IF
  • 5 OF
  • 1 DH
  • 5 SP
  • 6 RP

Catchers

  1. Joe Mauer-Minnesota Twins
  2. Kelly Shoppach-Cleveland Indians

Mauer is having a great season for the always in contention Twins. He is 3rd in the AL with a .322 batting average and while the power numbers haven’t been there, he has been making up for it by getting on base (.417) and great defense. Kelly Shoppach is our backup catcher. He has split time behind the plate with the now injured Victor Martinez and is hitting .248 with 7 home runs. (more…)

Advertisements

2008 AL All-Star Snubs

July 7, 2008

The 2008 All-Star rosters have been announced. Here’s the AL version. Way too big and I am still not a fan of each team getting a representative. The voters, coaches, and players got a lot right this year, but as usual, a few mistakes were made.

3B Mike Lowell-Boston Red Sox

Mike Lowell is statistically better than Joe Crede this year, but Crede managed to get the All-Star nod as a reserve. Lowell is batting .297/.356/.517 while Crede is at .261/.338/.478. Crede is winning in one aspect and that is home runs; 15 for Crede and 13 for Lowell. Another stat that makes Lowell a better pick is his defense this year. Only five errors for Lowell and an atrocious 17 errors for Crede. That’s more errors than home runs and Crede is a power hitter.

Any AL catcher who missed the cut

Jason Varitek and his .219 batting average found their way onto the All-Star squad. It seems like if you live in Boston, you can suck as much as you want and still receive positive recognition. I could show my report card or burp the alphabet at Fenway and get a standing ovation. Don’t get me wrong, I think Varitek has been a great catcher and there is no doubt he can handle a staff, but come on. An average of .219, an OBP a smidge over .300, and 7 homers is not an All-Star. It’s not even an All-Average. It’s Paul Bako. There is one catcher in the AL who gets regular at bats with a lower batting average than Vartiek and it’s Angels C Mike Napoli. Napoli’s 12 homers are nice though and his OPS is 119 points better than Varitek.

OF Nick Markakis-Baltimore Orioles

RP George Sherrill will represent the Orioles as their All-Star, leaving a more deserving guy at home. Nick Markakis is a rising star who is batting .297/.394/.486. The Orioles are over .500 right now which has been pretty shocking. 2B Brian Roberts is on the Final Vote ballot which is good news for the O’s. Still, Markakis deserves some press because he is on his way.

P John Danks and P Gavin Floyd-Chicago White Sox

Danks has been pitching like an ace and Gavin Floyd is also pitching well for the AL Central leading White Sox this season. Somehow, his name isn’t on the All-Star roster. In fact, no Chicago White Sox pitcher made the list…

  • John Danks: 6-4, 2.52 ERA, 107.0 IP, 1.17 WHIP
  • Gavin Floyd: 10-4, 3.22 ERA, 109.0 IP, 1.12 WHIP
  • Bobby Jenks: 18 for 21 in saves, 1.95 ERA

It’s harder to make the case for Jenks this year with the good AL relief pitching we have seen, but Danks and Floyd have been having great years so far and deserved some more votes.

AL Final Ballot

  • Jermaine Dye-Chicago White Sox
  • Jason Giambi-New York Yankees
  • Jose Guillen-Kansas City Royals
  • Evan Longoria-Tampa Bay Rays
  • Brian Roberts-Baltimore Orioles

This will be a close race for the last spot on the team. Giambi has been on fire since he grew the stache, Dye has 19 homers and is batting over .300, Jose Guillen keeps making noise, Longoria is helping the Rays to the best record in baseball and has been flashing the leather, and Brian Roberts is one of the AL’s top second basemen. My vote goes to Jermaine Dye because even though his OPS is 19 points lower than Giambi’s, Dye has been much more consistent this season. And a first place team like Chicago deserves more than two all-stars.

April (and some of March) in review…(AL)

May 1, 2008

The first month of the season has come to a close, so let’s hand out some hardware.

Note: These are for the baseball played since the first series in Japan in late March, through the end of April. Some of these acknowledgments will be completely irrelevant in May (if they are even relevant now)…

Best Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are tied with Oakland for the best record in the AL. However, I give the edge to the Angels because the A’s will fizzle. LA just has more star power. Their pitching staff, led by Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, both have ERAs under 3 and Jered Weaver pitched like an ace the other day against the potent Detroit offense. Santana is stepping it up while Jon Garland is sucking and Kelvim Escobar’s career could be over. K-Rod is 11 for 12 in save opportunities.

The offense is really clicking this season for the Angels. They have scored 140 runs so far with their strong lineup. Casey Kotchman is off to a great start batting .344/.406/.594. Chone Figgins is having an all-star season so far batting .313 with 8 steals. Offseason acquistion Torii Hunter is fitting in very nicely with his new squad and Vladimir Guerrero is batting .271, which is good, but will most likely rise because he is very dangerous. SS Erick Aybar is a young guy to keep an eye on batting .318 so far. He also plays a good shortstop.

Los Angeles is doing just fine without stud pitchers John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. Though Escobar won’t be back, Lackey should be around soon, and he will only help the Angels pull ahead of Oakland for what looks to be another championship season. (more…)