Playoff Pitching Leaders

Well, the White Sox have been pushed off the post-season stage and, thanks to yesterday’s rainout, the Cubs still need to take 2 from the Marlins to avoid the same fate.  It’s time to take our updated look at the pitching leaders from the now 30 post-season games I’ve attended since the White Sox won the AL Central in 2000.

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 2
Jon Lester 2
Jake Arrieta 2
25 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Matt Clement 2
29 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Aroldis Chapman 0.00
Stephen Strasburg 0.00
Kyle Freeland 0.00
Johnny Cueto 1.13
Chad Billingsley 1.35

Strikeouts

Name Total
Jon Lester 25
Jake Arrieta 22
Mark Buehrle 13
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Nationals All Time Leaders – Through 2019

nationalsWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams.  We start today with the franchise I have seen the least and the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals.

The Nationals began life in 1969 as the Montreal Expos.  When the Expos missed out on their best opportunity to win a World Series due to the work stoppage of 1994, followed by years of alleged mismanagement, fan support dropped away, and the team moved to Washington in 2005.  I’ve seen them play 17 times, 5 as the Expos and 12 as the Nationals, most recently on August 24, 2019.

Home Runs

Name Total
Danny Espinosa 2
Terrmel Sledge 2
Trea Turner 1
Adam LaRoche 1
Tony Batista 1
Michael Taylor 1
Vladimir Guerrero 1

Hits

Name Total
Maicer Izturis 6
Ryan Zimmerman 6
Ian Desmond 5
Endy Chavez 5

Runs

Name Total
Trea Turner 4
Maicer Izturis 3
Ian Desmond 3
Juan Rivera 3
Nyjer Morgan 3
Brad Wilkerson 3
Juan Soto 3

RBI

Name Total
Terrmel Sledge 5
Michael Taylor 4
Danny Espinosa 3
Brian Schneider 3
Tony Batista 3

Doubles

Name Total
Juan Rivera 2
17 tied with 1

Triples Continue reading →

Fortifying The Staff

After missing out on Zack Wheeler earlier in the offseason, the White Sox looked idly by as the remaining big names vanished off the free agent board: Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Madison Bumgarner.  Last week, however, the struck on their plan B, signing Gio Gonzalez to a one year deal on Friday and coming to terms with Dallas Keuchel on a reported 3 year deal on Saturday.

Keuchel, a 31 year old left hander, sat out the first half of last season, signing after the draft (and the expiration of the draft pick compensation attached to him) and helping the Braves to the NL East title.  He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015, and should help stabilize the White Sox rotation, both on the mound and as a mentor on the bench.

Gonzalez, 34, enters his third stint in the White Sox organization.  Originally signed as the team’s first round draft pick in 2004, he was part of the deal that brought Jim Thome from the Phillies following the 2005 season.  He was reacquired from the Phillies a year later, along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia.  He was traded again in 2008 as part of the ill-fated Nick Swisher deal with the A’s.  He will now bolster the back end of the White Sox rotation.

These moves give the White Sox plenty of pitching depth as they go into spring training, allowing Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon to return from injury on their own timetable and keeping the likes of Dylan Covey and Ross Detwiler far from the pitching mound at Guaranteed Rate Field.

2017 BBWAA Award Predictions

2016wsballThe Baseball Writers of America have announced the finalists for their awards for the just completed baseball season, which will be announced next week.  It is a good bet that few of my original predictions for the winners will be accurate.  Hopefully, these new predictions will be slightly better, especially since I’ll have a 33% chance of being right.

American League

Most Valuable Player: Jose Altuve, Aaron Judge, Jose Ramirez

Francisco Lindor was was my pre-season selection to win the award this year, but he was left out of the top three in part to his teammate Jose Ramirez.  Judge should be a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year, leaving Jose Altuve to take home the award, adding to his hardware.

Cy Young Award: Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, Luis Severino

Ironically, in his first year away from the White Sox, Chris Sale will finally win his first Cy Young award.

Manager of the Year: Terry Francona, A.J. Hinch, Paul Molitor

Once again, I didn’t make any predictions for this award prior to the season.  I’m guessing the surprising Twins will give Paul Molitor some love, but A.J. Hinch should take home the award.

Rookie of the Year: Andrew Benintendi, Aaron Judge, Trey Mancini

Another award I didn’t predict prior to the season.  Judge just might be a unanimous selection.

National League

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2015 Predictions Revisited

baseballs2Six months ago, as the 2015 baseball season was scheduled to kick off at Wrigley Field, I made my annual predictions as to who would win what.  Now that the regular season has come to an end, it is time revisit those predictions and see what, if anything, I got right.

American League

East: Blue Jays

After a middling first half, the Blue Jays turned things around after the All Star break, especially after acquiring David Price and Troy Tulowitzki at the trade deadline, earning them their first division title since 1993.

Central: Indians

Well, I correctly predicted the end of the Tigers reign after four seasons, but I wrongly assumed that the Royals would regress after their World Series appearance last year.  Instead, they went and ran away with the AL Central crown while the Indians struggled to stay out of the cellar.

West: Angels

It came down to the final day, but the Rangers, who finished in last place in 2014, managed to hold off the Astros and the Angels to win the division.

Wild Cards: Tigers, Mariners

I completely missed the boat here, as both teams failed to live up to their pre-season expectations.  The Yankees return to the post-season and so do the surprise Astros.

AL Champion: Angels

Cy Young: Felix Hernandez

MVP: Mike Trout

Only one of these seems like a possible choice at this point, with Mike Trout the frontrunner for the MVP award.  The Cy Young award is up in the air at this point.

National League

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2015 Predictions

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersThe 2015 baseball season is scheduled to kick off tonight at Wrigley Field, as the Cubs battle the Cardinals.  For the fifth consecutive year, I’ve looked into the crystal ball to make my picks for the upcoming season.

American League

East: Blue Jays

Central: Indians

West: Angels

Wild Cards: Tigers, Mariners

AL Champion: Angels

Cy Young: Felix Hernandez

MVP: Mike Trout

National League

Continue reading →

BBWAA Award Predictions

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersThe Baseball Writers of America have announced the finalists for their awards for the just completed baseball season.  It is a good bet that few of my original predictions for the winners will be accurate.  Hopefully, these new predictions will be slightly better, especially since I’ll have a 33% chance of being right.

American League

Most Valuable Player: Michael Brantley, Mike Trout, Victor Martinez

Mike Trout was my pre-season selection to win this award, and I think, for once, I might have gotten one right.  With Miguel Cabrera out of the picture, thanks to an injury-plagued campaign, Trout should bring home the award that many thought he deserved the past 2 seasons.

Cy Young Award: Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber

My initial guess of David Price obviously did not make the cut.  While Chris Sale is the sentimental choice around these parts, smart money says that Felix Hernandez will take home the prize.

Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter, Mike Scioscia, Ned Yost

Once again, I didn’t make any predictions for this award prior to the season.  Normally, I would go with Ned Yost, who led the Royals to the post-season for the first time since 1985, but if there is one thing the national media agrees on, it is how bad Ned Yost is as a manager.  My guess is that the award will go to Buck Showalter, who lead the Orioles to their first division title since 1997.

abreuRookie of the Year: Jose Abreu, Dellin Betances, Matt Shoemaker

Another award I didn’t predict prior to the season.  This one should be a no-brainer.  I would expect Jose Abreu to bring the award back to the south side for the first time since Ozzie Guillen in 1985.

National League

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2014 Predictions Revisited

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersBack in March, just as the baseball season was about to get underway, I made my annual predictions on who was going to win what.  Now that the regular season has come to an end, it is time to take a look back and see what, if anything, I got right.

American League

East: Rays

Well, not a great selection here, as the Rays finished 4th in the East.  Instead, the Orioles won the division for the first time since 1997.

Central: Tigers

It came down to the last day of the season, but the Tigers were able to hold off the upstart Royals and win the division for the fourth consecutive season.

West: Angels

Well, what do you know?  Year after year, I pick the Angels to win the division and year after year, they disappoint.  This year looked to be no different, but they caught fire just as the A’s started to fade, leading to their first divisional title since 2009.

Wild Cards: Red Sox, Rangers

Oof.  The Rangers, thank to injury after injury, finished the year with the worst record in the American League.  The Red Sox, fresh off a World Series title, were not too far behind.  Instead, the small market A’s and Royals took the wild card spots.

AL Champion: Tigers

Cy Young: David Price

MVP: Mike Trout

Only 1 of these still seem like viable choices.  The Tigers managed to get swept in the ALDS by the Orioles and David Price has little to no chance of bringing home another Cy Young Award. Mike Trout, meanwhile, is certainly still in the MVP conversation.

National League

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2014 Predictions

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersThe 2014 baseball season is scheduled to officially kick off tonight, last week’s trip to Australia not withstanding.  For the fourth consecutive year, I’ve looked into the crystal ball to make my picks for the upcoming season.

American League

East: Rays

Central: Tigers

West: Angels

Wild Cards: Red Sox, Rangers

AL Champion: Tigers

Cy Young: David Price

MVP: Mike Trout

National League

East: Nationals

Central: Cardinals

West: Dodgers

Wild Cards: Braves, Giants

NL Champion: Dodgers

Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg

MVP: Jason Heyward