After an altercation with a Seattle Mariner’s scout Butch Baccala, catcher Jesus Montero has been placed on the team’s suspended list and has been shut down from all baseball activities. Last Friday was Montero’s first day on rehab assignment when a scout for the team yelled at Montero, who was the first base coach at the time, to move faster. Later Baccala sent an ice cream sandwich to Montero when he was in the dugout. Montero came out of the dugout, brandishing a bat, and got into a very heated argument with Baccala and had to be held back by teammates.
The team’s general manager Jack Zduriencik made this statement about the issue.
“First off, it is clear that both Jesus Montero and Butch Baccala engaged in behavior that is far below what we expect from members of our organization, including bad judgment at nearly every stage of this incident,” Zduriencik said.
“I want to apologize on behalf of the Mariners franchise to the Boise Hawks (who played the AquaSox on Thursday) and their fans. We recognize that fans, including children, were impacted by this incident, and the language that was used. We recognize the severity of this incident, and want to assure the Hawks and their fans that it will be dealt with appropriately.”
There seems to be conflicting reports about the incident in question. Baccala has come out about the incident but has stayed vague about it do the team’s investigation. “Of course I wasn’t,” Baccala said, “Why would I? I work for the Mariners. I’ve worked my tail off for the Mariners. Why would I do anything to hurt anybody? That wasn’t even close to my intention.”
As for Montero being suspended this isn’t the first time he’s run into issues outside the field and found himself suspended. Last season he was given a 50 game suspension for being linked to Balco and testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. When asked about his future Zduriencik had this to say.
“We are going to separate the baseball part of Jesus Montero from the human element part of Jesus Montero. Our intent is to address Jesus’ issues. There’s a history here of things that have happened. We are very, very disappointed in him,” Zduriencik said. “I think more than anything else, from a human standpoint, we have to look at Jesus Montero as a person, as a father and as a husband and how can we help Jesus Montero and his family get through this. That’s our intent. That’s our first and foremost intent. We are in the process as we speak.”
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The Astros continue to make news off the field for reasons that have very little to do with the team itself when they announced the firing of manager Bo Porter. General manager Jeff Luhnow said this had little to do with the teams’ poor record this season, 59-79, and more to do with the team heading towards a “new direction” and that the team needed a “united message throughout the entire organization.” Many within and outside the organization saw a growing rift between Porter and Luhnow about how the team was being run and some of the decisions that had happened. Tony Lawless has been named the intern manager along with bench coach and former Astro Adam Everett.
Jeff Luhnow has stated that the decision to let Porter go was not do to the record saying:
“I recognize that our win-loss record is largely a product of an organizational strategy for which I am responsible,” Luhnow said in a statement. “Rather, I made this decision because I believe we need a new direction in our clubhouse.”
He went on to say:
“Once you make a decision it is in everyone’s best interest to move it along,” he said. “It’s easier to wait until the end of the season in some respects, but it’s not fair to Bo and it’s not fair to us.”
Luhnow also talked about looking for the next manager for the team:
“What we will seek going forward is a consistent and united message throughout the entire organization,” Luhnow said. “It is essential that as an organization we create an atmosphere at the major league level where our young players can come up and continue to develop and succeed.”
“Ultimately, I am responsible for creating that culture, and I will do everything in my power to do so — even when it means making difficult moves like the one we made today.”
Bo Porter also made a statement on Monday about his firing.
“During my time in Houston I dedicated myself to do everything I could to help this organization win, in the short-term and for the long-term,” he said in the statement. “I am proud of what we were able to accomplish in Houston with an organization in transition. I’m gratified we were able to bring some excitement to this city as a result of our improvement from 2013 to 2014.”
The team has had its fair share of difficulties this year beyond Porter’s firing which include: the team having private trade conversations leaked, the failure to sign number one pick in the 2014 draft Brady Aiken, and decision like having Mark Appel throwing with the team in the off-season and calling up George Springer (though that one did end up for the better). Many names have been linked to potentially becoming the next manager, the bigger names mentioned so far are Nolan Ryan and Craig Biggio.
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Thinking about betting on a baseball match?
But despite baseball betting being a completely different animal than tennis or boxing, it is probably the easiest for beginners to understand. In fact, it might even be easier than casino slot machine betting – which is deemed the easiest by casino goers – once you understand the basics. HTML5-based slot machine site InterCasino, the first casino that was offered online in 1996, shows just how these machines have evolved from the 90s. Apart from hundreds of payout lines that players need to be familiar with, they also need to know how progressive jackpots work and what rescue bets are for in order to completely understand how slot gaming works.
In baseball betting, however, one only needs to predict which team will win the game.
Baseball betting uses the “Money Line” gambling format. Money Line is used for sports that have no actual way of measuring how much a player wins or loses. Baseball, tennis, and boxing all use the Money Line betting format.
Money Line betting works like this: players need to wager more money for teams that are expected to win (AKA the Favorite), and less money for the underdog. This way, there will be balance in the bettors of a match.
For example, the match is between the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins. Let’s say The Royals are the favorite at this point. Based on the current MLB standings, the money line between this match wouldn’t be even. This means that The Royals bettors would need to wage more money than the bettors of the underdog, in this case the Twins. A sample money line in this case would be a $300 bet to win $100 in favor of the Royals, and a $100 bet to win $280 in favor of the Twins.
The money line for this match would be listed as something like this: Royals -300 / Twins +280
Keep in mind that the $100 or $280 win is not inclusive of the bettor’s wager yet. So in total, if the Royals win, their bettors would get a total of $400 ($300 bet + $100 winnings). If the Twins miraculously win, their bettors would get a total of $380 ($100 bet + $280 winnings).
A man hitting only .220 on the season for the lowly Chicago White Sox of the AL Central should serve as an upgrade for the Oakland A’s, and here’s why:
The all or nothing 34-year-old designated hitter has an on-base plus slugging percentage that is nearly 200 points better than Alberto Callaspo, who has logged the most games as the A’s DH in 2014.
The only other Athletic who has started more than 15 games at DH going into the club’s Labor Day contest with the AL West-third place Seattle Mariners is John Jaso, who currently is on the seven-day disabled list due to concussion-related symptoms.
Jaso, a left-handed hitter just like Dunn, had an OPS six points lower than the four-time single season leader in strikeouts prior to his DL stint.
The biggest thing Dunn brings to the table is his ability to hit right-handed pitching, with an OPS north of .800 and a batting average on balls in play of nearly .300 against righthanders on the season.
Dunn also packs some serious power in his bat against righties with 19 long balls (counting his HR on Labor Day against Seattle’s Chris Young) through the first five months of the 2014 campaign.
In contrast, Jaso has gone yard only nine times against right-handed pitchers going into the final month of the season.
As for Callaspo, he’s gone yard even less than Jaso against righties, with only three big flies on the season.
Callaspo’s also only accumulated 80 total bases and a batting average on balls in play of nearly 40 points under .300 against RHP.
The former Angels and Royals utility infielder has been nowhere near valuable enough to start or even to platoon on a consistent basis at the DH spot in the A’s lineup, as he’s been worth nearly negative one win above replacement in 112 games played for Oakland this season at multiple positions.
In contrast, Dunn has been worth nearly half a win above replacement, and offensively, he produced one win above replacement in 106 games as a member of the South Side of Chicago’s MLB team before being dealt at yesterday’s waiver deadline.
As for the rest of the A’s bats, only Josh Reddick and Stephen Vogt have played in more than 65 games and have fared better versus righties than Dunn in terms of OPS, with on-base plus slugging percentages greater than Dunn’s present mark.
Thus, the Texas native in Dunn is the perfect left-handed solution for Oakland skipper Bob Melvin at DH until Jaso returns from the concussion list.
In other good news for A’s fans, once Jaso gets back to game action, All-Star catcher Derek Norris can more readily fulfill the responsibilities of a platoon at DH alongside Dunn, as the right-hander has hit above .300 and recorded an OPS north of .900 in 50-plus games and 120-plus at-bats against southpaws in ’14.
So if the “Big Donkey” continues to show that he has some giddy up remaining, the platoon of Norris and him should prove to be a fruitful one for Melvin and the A’s as they attempt to make it to the playoffs for a third straight October.
Follow OPSN contributor Vito Chirco on Twitter @VitoJerome for more of his opinions on all the latest MLB happenings.
Baltimore Orioles acquire veteran OF Alejandro De Aza for Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus. The Orioles have also acquired Kelly Johnson from the Boston Red Sox for Michael Almanzar. With Steve Pearce will most likely play 1B while De Aza will play in the OF. Johnson is likely going to play 3B with Manny Machado being out for the season and also likely be utilized at 2B at times as well.
Alejandro De Aza has had a off season having a below average slash line of .243/.309/.354. It’s a far cry from his break out season in 2012 and while no trends are forming just yet the numbers are showing some regression. His HR/FB rate fell from an impressive 10.8% to 5.7% this year and with the lowered ISO its not surprising. He’s also lowered his FB% and raised his GB% is a clue to what kind of contact he’s been making. One bad sign for De Aza is his O-Swing% has gone up 4% this year and contact with those pitches has dropped 4% as well. He’s become less selective with his pitch selection and its hurt him with weak contact. Looking at the declining trend it seems that his 2012 may have been a break out season pure and simple but we shall see.
Kelly Johnson hasn’t been the same since 2010 when he was on the Diamondbacks. The increased swings outside the zone since 2010 is a bad trend but he does actually make a decent amount of contact with those pitches. Of the 29.2% he’s swung at pitches outside the zone he’s made contact 62.1% of the time. But contact isn’t always a good thing and quality of that contact is more important. Johnson’s GB% has risen an astounding 12% ending up at 51.5% and his FB% has dropped to 28.7% a similar drop of 12%. He’s making such weak contact its no wonder he’s batting so poorly but more importantly it’s the power that has disappeared even if he is hitting for just as many HR’s as he’s done in the past.
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Oakland A’s trade minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn and an undisclosed amount of cash to Chicago White Sox for Adam Dunn. The A’s have been struggling ever since the trade deadline and lack of power has been a major reason. The trade seems to be a result of the Lester/Cespedes trade at the deadline. After the trade Dunn made it clear he wanted to play for a contender this year for this is very likely to be his last season. He was asked about his time as a White Sox he said:
“Yeah, I mean, I’m not going to beat around the bush and say the four years here was great, because it was, um … it was just bad,” Dunn said. “I did it completely to myself. I don’t blame anyone, I blame myself. But I met a lot of great people here. I wish things would’ve worked out better, but it didn’t.”
Robin Ventura even chimed in adding:
“Well, I mean, great teammate. Those are the things, for me, that are really important things that people don’t see, is him inside the clubhouse, just kind of how to act, how to go about your business and be accountable,” Ventura said. “I think he’s one of the best I’ve ever been around for that, so I’m happy that he gets to go somewhere and get a chance to make it to the playoffs. But he’s a guy that came in and I know that for all three years, he’s been a leader.”
As for Dunn’s retirement he has left it in the air but has said it would take “a lot” for him not to retire at the end of this season. If that means he’d come back for a big contract or a playoff team only we have to see.
Dunn has had a very “Dunn” year, low batting average and high on-base percentage has been the normal for Dunn over his career. The only real oddity to his numbers has been the lowered ISO but with age comes loss of speed so that could be more of a lack of doubles than homers. Dunn is a very “get what you see” player and that’s not changing this year and was a model of consistency for years.
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By Henry Simms
As far as major MLB awards are concerned, about the only one that has yet to be determined is National League MVP. Realistically, there are 4 candidates at this point in time with a shot to take home the prize. It will all come down to who plays well in the final month of the regular season to finish with strong numbers.
The leader right now statistically is probably Giancarlo Stanton. He is currently leading the majors in RBI, on-base percentage and total bases. He is also the National League leader in home runs, walks and slugging percentage. However, Miami is also probably not going to make the playoffs, and that is going to hurt his chances at least somewhat. There is not much he can do when it comes to the fact that he plays on a rebuilding team, but if others put up decent numbers, it’s something to watch.
Andrew McCutchen is the reigning MVP in the National League, and he is right in the race again. Some nagging injury issues have put a damper on his season lately, and it could ultimately rob him of the prize this year. He is the best all-around player in the National League, but the lack of playing time down the stretch could hurt his chances.
Clayton Kershaw is pretty much a lock for the Cy Young Award, but winning the National League MVP is a little bit different. His numbers in fantasy baseball have been outstanding, but voters have a hard time getting the award to someone who only pitches every 5th day. Many believe that he already has the award for his position, so there’s no need to make him the MVP as well.
Finally, the dark horse is catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers. No one could have predicted that he would be a potential MVP candidate in 2014. Not only is he doing in excellent job behind the plate calling the game, but he is also leading the team in offense. If Milwaukee does in fact win the National League Central, he should at least get a little bit of consideration.
Just three days ago, Dodgers’ premium prospect in Joc Pederson, was awarded the 2014 Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player honors. Despite the fact that Dodgers’ home-grown prospects such as Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig had good Triple-A stints, Pederson is the first Dodger to win the award in 13 years. Pederson received well over half of the Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player votes from those of media representatives and league managers. Thus, Pederson surpassed rookie sensation Javier Baez, Iowa’s superstar in Kris Bryant, just to name two of the top candidates.
In comparison, Pederson had a historical 2014 Minor League season being the only player in nearly 80 years to hit 30 plus homeruns, while stealing 30 bases in the Pacific Coast League. Along with his MVP honors, Pederson was granted the league Rookie of the Year award and was named a member of the All-PCL team, due to his impressive efforts.
Though Pederson missed a slight majority of games to begin his 2014 campaign, it was not to hold him back, as he posted a slash line of .304/.434/.590 over the course of 120 games. In analogy, the 22-year old outfielder gathered together 135 total hits in which 78 of those hits were also accounted for as runs batted in. Likewise, Pederson hit 33 homeruns, which is the most in the Pacific Coast League, as Pederson also leads in on-base percentage, balls on base (99), total bases (256), and OPS (1.026).
However, Pederson’s minor league assignment is nearing an end as the Los Angeles Dodgers’, as well as all other 29 teams, may add players to expand their Major League roster for September call-ups. In spite of Pederson’s mind-boggling season, better yet, above average Minor League career, the Dodgers’ are eager to see him compete at a Major League level, but it may be difficult to find playing time. Without a designated hitter and a stacked outfield consisting of three All-Star players at one point, Pederson will have to seize any opportunity he is given.
On the other hand, Pederson through five Minor League seasons, has a fielding percentage of 978%, in which he also committed 20 errors, put out 835 men, and has an RF/G (putouts plus assists divided by games played) of 2.03.
With fantastic hitting skills, and fielding alike, it seems as if Pederson will be proficient ball player, perfecting every aspect of his game along the way.
Colorado Rockies place both catcher Wilin Rosario and and LHP Boone Logan on the 15-day DL. Wilin Rosario is recovering from inflammation in his left wrist and Boone Logan is heading to the DL recovering from inflammation in his left elbow, his second time this year with this injury and third time on the DL overall. The team has called up LHP Christian Fredrich and catcher Jackson Williams from AAA.
Wilin Rosario has had yet another injury plagued season and it shows in the stats. Rosario is always going to be an AVG risk but this year his power is slightly down as well only having an ISO of .151 compared to a career .207. One good sign for Rosario is the lowered BABIP of .276 compared to his career .307. Next year this number should average out and if he does it could mean a nice bounce back for Rosario and with the increase in AVG his power should also average out as well. Rosario is a free swinger and the K% shows it though it is technically down this year and his BB% is up the numbers don’t support this as a growing trend and more likely due to lack of plate appearances. Next year is going to have to be his year since this year looks like a lost cause. This is the last season for his current contract and the Rockies are going to have to make a choice to stay with him or look elsewhere.
Boone Logan signed with the Rockies this last offseason after a successful season with the New York Yankees as a LH specialist. This season has not been a good showing for him even when he has been healthy. His ERA is the highest he’s had in his career since 2006 when he first got called up to the majors, his FIP supports his poor play. There are some things that could be a good sign for Logan; an 11.52 K/9 is a very elite total and can actually balance out his higher BB/9 3.96. The injuries could also be taking its toll on this year since his BABIP is at .379, an extremely high average for a relief pitcher and 50 points higher than his career BABIP. The big question is how much of these struggles are due to being in Colorado? This year is his career worst HR/9 which is a classic symptom of Mile High. Logan had a 1-year deal with the Rockies and with the performance he’s shown this year I doubt the Rockies will bring him back.
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After the walk off win against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday Ned Yost had this to say to fans.
“We’ve been working hard to try to make our fans happy and make our fans proud of us for a lot of years,” Yost said, “and we’d like them to enjoy a night like that.”
He went on to say:
“The reason I do this job, there’s two reasons: One is I’ve been to the World Series six times. I know that feeling. I know the excitement. I know what goes along with it,” Yost said. “And one of my main things is I want these players to experience that, because it’s very, very important. And the opportunities to do it are far and few between.”
“And the other thing is I want the fans to experience that,” he said. “It’s a special time. It’s been a long time since our fans have been able to enjoy a playoff run.”
The main question is does Yost have the right to say anything or not? The team hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1985 and it shows with the fan base not believing the team right now. Yost even mentions this as being a potential reason and I don’t blame the fans. The team has a strong chance to make the playoffs this year but with the teams history the fans are skeptical. KC has some of the more loyal fans in the sport, when they start winning and when it comes closer to the playoffs they will come. The Kansas City Royals currently rank 25th overall in attendance even being in 1st in their division.