The Official Baseball Blog of @BaseballBo

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Todd Frazier making huge bid for NL Rookie

7 years of age is a huge difference in an athletes career but 26 year old utility player Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Slowing down in the 2012 NL Rookie race that is.
   So far this 2012 season, much hype has surrounded Bryce Harper, the 19-year old outfielder for the Washington Nationals. He's been decent with the stick and contributing well to the best team in baseball now (The 66-43 Nats) even with him at the age where he can't legally enjoy a cold one after a team win. But even with the media preaching everything about the young superstar, if you dig a little deeper, you'll find NL rookies such as Wade Miley, Zack Cozart, Norichika Aoki, and more, who are making a better bid than Harper for the NL Rookie. One of the other rookies making a better bid is 26 year old Todd Frazier. Frazier was a shortstop in college at Rutgers but converted to a third baseman/left fielder once in the majors. In 2011 he played 41 games for the Reds putting up an acceptable .232 batting average. He was not eligable for the NL Rookie award because he only had 112 at bats when 130 is the standard for a rookie. This season though, he has played 82 games for the Reds with 261 at bats and a .268 batting average. Compare this to Harper who has played 87 games, had 343 at bats, and an acceptable .257 batting average. Not only does Frazier have a better batting average in less games, he also has more home runs (13 to Harpers 10), a better Slugging (.517 to Harpers .420), a better On-Base Plus Slugging (.842 to Harpers .751), and finally more RBI's (42 to Harpers 30). Sure there are some stats the Harper is beating Frazier such as stolen bases or On-Base Percentage but overall the stats are on Frazier's side.

   With Votto out with an injury, Frazier had to fill in at first base which is not his normal position and not to mention, those are huge shoes to fill. He has done a fine job at first base and it has shown as the Reds are tied with the Nats for the best team in baseball (66-43) and are 7-3 in their last 10. The pressure must've been unbearable for Frazier but he pushed through which is another aspect about him; he performs under pressure.

   Both kids are fantastic ball players but I feel that not enough light is being shined on Todd Frazier. He has been nothing but phenomenal this season and definitley deserves to be considered with all the NL rookies at the end of the season. People say the media overblows stories, which is true, but this time their under-blowing the story and amazing season of Todd Frazier.

Twitter: @BaseballBo
(All Stats used from

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Orioles Flying High

Guess who's first in the AL East? Wrong. Not the Yankees, not the Red Sox, not the Rays and not even the up and coming Blue Jays. It's the Baltimore Orioles. Coming into the season a total of 8 out of 8 of the baseball experts picked the Orioles to come last in the AL East. I think everyone did but now we're seeing everyone might be wrong.

Even though the Orioles are leading the AL in homeruns with 50, this team isn't only hitting the ball out of the park but their pitchers are keeping the ball in the park. Their team ERA is 3.27, lowest in the AL, and they have the second most saves in the AL, behind Cleveland with 12. This proves not only has their pitching staff been getting the job done but their bullpen has been closing out games and shutting down the opposition. Their rotation consits of Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, and Brian Matusz. This rotation has been lights out but there are two starters in particular.

 Wei-Yin Chen has been dominant with a 2.68 ERA and has literally come out of no where. This is the left-handers first year in the MLB because before this he was playing for the Chunichi Dragons in the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) in Japan. Chen has a nice high-80 to low-90 fastball with a very slow curveball to keep hitters on their toes. He has definately been what the Orioles were looking for but he hasn't been the most dominant pitcher in the rotation as a matter of fact.

Jason Hammel, the right-hander who came to Baltimore along with Matt Lindstrom from the Colorado Rockies in the trade for Jeremy Guthrie, has been the most dominant pitcher for the O's. He has an AL 5th best 2.09 ERA and an AL 11th best 38 strikeouts. Saying this guy has been lights out would be an understatement. I don't even think the O's expected Hammel to be this good. He has definately appreciated his move from one of the hardest parks to pitch, Coors Field, to Camden Yards.

The Baltimore Orioles don't seem like the kind of team put together to win the AL East but if their pitchers keep doing what they're doing and their hitters keep racking up those homers, why not? There is obviously a lot of things that have to go right for the Orioles in this talented divison if they want to make this a productive season but with a 20-11 record (Tied for first in the MLB) they are on the right track.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The Boston Red Sox feeling Blue

First in the MLB in runs. First in the MLB in doubles. First in the MLB in RBI's. Second in the MLB in hits. Second in the MLB in team batting average. Second in the MLB in team slugging percentage. Second in the MLB in team OPS (On-Base percentage + Slugging). But yet the Boston Red Sox are still last in the AL East with a losing record.

With all these fantastic stats going for them, you would think the Boston Red Sox would not only be first in their division, but a top team in the MLB. At a closer look though, you will realize that all these stats are offensive stats. Go figure. A team with Youkilis, Pedroia, Ortiz, and the newly imported Cody Ross, you'd expect them to be an offensive force, but what about the pitching?

The Boston Red Sox have the worst ERA in the MLB at 5.86, third in homeruns allowed, and they have the second highest WHIP in the MLB. The Boston Red Sox rotation and bullpen is not getting the job done.

After the Andrew Bailey injury to begin the season, the Red Sox had to find a pitcher to fill the closer role. Their two options were Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves. A lot of people would say that Daniel Bard would fit the closer role, but the Red Sox needed someone to fill that 5th spot in the starting rotation therefore the closer job was for Melancon or Aceves. The Red Sox made Aceves the closer but him and Melancon have both had oppurtunities to close games. This is where the bad news comes into play. Melancon has a 49.50 ERA and Aceves has a 14.40 ERA so far this season. This is a combined 63.90 ERA between the two. Totally unacceptable but you cannot put all the blame on the closers.

The starting rotation has been a huge problem. The funniest thing is that their number 5 starter, who was just introduced to the starting role this year, has the lowest ERA at 3.72 between the rest of the starters. Between all the starters, they have an outrageous 27.24 combined ERA. To put it into perspective, the team ahead of them in their division, the Toronto Blue Jays, only have a 19.34 combined ERA between the starters.

By putting all these stats into perspective, you can see that the clear problem for the Boston Red Sox right now is their pitching. Something has to change for the Red Sox pitchers to get them going. The Red Sox could be in the midst of discussing a trade or maybe even signing Roy Oswalt to beef up their rotation. If the Red Sox were to sign Roy Oswalt, then they could move a player such as Bard to the closing position, but that's just a thought.

Pitching is key to the success of the Boston Red Sox especially with a beefed up, hard hitting AL East this year. The problem is clear for the Boston Red Sox, they just need to slove it.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Should the DH rule take a walk?

The Designated Hitter (DH) rule has been embraced in baseball leagues worldwide. Why would the MLB ever put something like this in place? Money. The owners of teams wanted the DH slot because it would make the scores in baseball games higher in turn making the teams more money. Sometimes I like watching players such as David Ortiz or Billy Butler at the plate hitting homers but othertimes I think that even if your good at swinging the bat, it shouldn't excuse you from playing defense.

Lets face it. Designated Hitters aren't put on the team for their defensive skills. They're put on the team because they can swing the bat. This seems crazy at times, in my opinion. I think that the 9 players out there playing defense should be the 9 players at the plate (unless there is a pinch hitter situation). Playing defense on the field should earn you the right of playing offense at the plate. Having a DH is like having a point guard in basketball who is amazing on the offense but lacks on the defense and you sub him in only when your team has possesion of the ball. No. It doen't work like that. To play a sport you have to be able to play both the defensive side and the offesnive side of the game.

The trouble is that I, and many other fans, would much rather see David Ortiz at the plate than Tim Licecum. We are all suckers for offense and runs. A lot of us like those high scoring games with lots of homeruns, so does this make the DH rule a better option?

The DH rule is a very complicated subject that should definatley be looked into by the MLB in the near future. At the moment, when there is inter-league play, the home team uses their leagues rules whether it be the AL or NL rules. An idea that the MLB could look into is they could switch that around so AL cities get to see there pitcher hit live and NL cities getto see the DH rule live. Lets say the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing the New York Yankees at Yankees Stadium, then the pitchers would have to hit. If the Yankees played in Pittsburgh, they'd use the DH rule. It's just an interesting idea that I've talked over with a few fans. I think we as baseball fans have to figure out if we want to see more runs or see the players who are out there playing defense, play offense.

Please leave comments with your opinions, I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The 2011 World Series Champions better in 2012?

Can the St. Louis Cardinals be better in 2012? As crazy as it sounds, I think they may have improved as a team, even with the loss of Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels. As well as losing future hall of famer Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals lost the legend, Tony La Russa. You'd think they'd be completely destroyed? Wrong. The Cardinals managed to sign extensions with Lance Berkman and Chris Carpenter and re-sign Rafael Furcal but more importantly they will still have their core from 2011 for 2012 - Matt Carpenter, David Freese, Skip Schumaker, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright, and Yadier Molina.

To make up for the loss of Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals added outfielder Carlos Beltrán who is a .283 carrer hitter which is nothing compared to Albert Pujols' . 328 carrer average. It's still an improvement to the lineup for 2012 since Beltrán had a .328 batting average and 7 homers last year in 44 games at the pitching park of the San Fransico Giants.

Who will replace Tony La Russa though? Well Mike Matheny of course. Sound famaliar? Didn't think so. Mike Matheny will have a tough rookie season as a manager defending the World Series Title. Mike Matheny is a former back catcher for the Cardinals. I think he will bring a new attitude and good energy to the club house.

Another reason why the Cardinals could be better in 2013 is because of their division. The Milwaukee Brewers have lost Prince Fielder just like the Cardinals have lost Albert Pujols so this year I think that the Brewers will not be as big competition for the Cardinals. I feel the Cardinals will take first place in their division this season with the Milwaukee Brewers battling with the Cincinnati Reds for second. The Cardinals are revamped and have tones of confidence coming of last season. I wouldn't be surprised if they make another run at the World Series. In 2013, we'll find out if the Cards can take off and fly high.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Is Baseball Too Slow?

Slow is a word that many people who don't like baseball use to describe the sport. Is it fair for them to say that? Yes. Everyone is entitled to there own opinion but MLB games average around 3 hours, so you could call the MLB the tortoise and other sports the hare. Other sports such as hockey, basketball, and football are much faster while baseball games tend to be slow and ponderous. Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and speedy wins the excitment. In what way could we make baseball games faster so they become more exciting?

I've heard many concepts in finding a solution to speeding up the game of baseball. One of them is the batters and stepping out of the batters box after every pitch. Now I have never asked anyone from the MLB how valuable the act of stepping out of the batter's box is to refocus yourself, think about the next pitch, take a deep breath, and step back in the batter's box. I imagine they would say it's pretty important but it all adds up to making the game a whole lot slower and at times it can be taken to extremes. Let's do some math to see how much time this could take up. There is 9 batters on each team and each batter gets up to bat 4 times. Lets say the average is 5 pitches thrown to each batter and inbetween each of those 5 pitches he steps out of the batters box for 6 seconds. That would be 9x4x5x6 which would equal 1080 seconds. !080 seconds for one team, but theres two teams in a gem so that would be 1080 x 2. That's 2160 seconds which is equivalent to 36 minutes. 36 minutes of a batter just standing around. That is more than half a football or basketball game. Now I've heard a few people say and write about just completely getting rid of the rule so the batter will not be able to leave the batters box. I can't wrap my head around that. The batter not being able to leave the batter box? But that or shortening the time he has outside of the batters box seems like the only option to cut down or elminate the 18 minutes of batters standing around.

There are some other options I've heard about aswell but the one that has come up a lot and the option I like the most is limiting the amount of mound visits by a catcher in a game. Catchers visiting the mound slows down the game immensly. I've looked for stats on how many times the catcher visits the mound and how long he stays there, but I've had no luck. It's just shocking how many times you see catchers running to the mound and how long they stay there. It is necessary to visit the mound, don't get me wrong, but multiple times in innings, tremendous amounts of times in games for a substantial amount of time is unesscary and ultimatley makes the game move more slowly which makes it less enjoyable for the fans. This rule should be imposed where there is a limited amount of times the catcher can visit the mound in a game. It will make the game move faster.

Believe me, I love baseball, but research needs to be done into exploring ways to make the game move faster whether it is eliminating or shortening the time a batter has to leave the batters box inbetween pitches or imposing a limit on how many times the cathcer can visit the mound. Something has to be done to make the game move a little bit faster to make it more exciting and better for the fans.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Fresh Prince... of Detroit?

According to reports, Prince Fielder has signed a 9-year deal worth $214 million dollars with the Detroit Tigers. What does this represent? It represents that anything can happen because most of the people I know and listen to, including me, was either saying Texas or Washington. In my previous blog post about Prince Fielder, I said that I'm leaning towards Texas as Prince Fielder's choice, but like I said in the end, you never know.

Why Detroit though? Well first off, Prince was looking for a long term deal which they offered. Aswell Detroit has a very attractive division and lineup that would flirt with anyone wanting to get to the World Series. You have Justin Verlander-2011 MVP, Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson, and a whole lot more outstanding players. The AL Central doesn't really have to much competition at the moment, I mean in my opinion the Detroit Tigers are the clear favorites to win the division especially with the addition of Prince Fielder. Also Miller Park is not to much different from Comerica park in run statistcs (with Comerica being #9 and Miller Park being #10 on MLB Parks Runs List). This shows that Prince is moving to a park were he can hit just as well as last year.

Before Prince Fielder was signed, Victor Martinez got injured. With a .303 batting average, Martinez is hard to replace, and to get someone better? Unthinkable. The Tigers managed to do that picking up Fielder for healthy load of money. There is no doubt that the Tigers look great this year and will be talked about with teams such as the Yankees, Angels, and Rangers for the AL title. He is a great addition to the team filling a void that almost looked irreplacable. We'll get to see this season unfold for Prince and see if he can become "The Fresh Prince of Detroit".