Results tagged ‘ Brennan Boesch ’
A few days ago, the Detroit Tigers decided to cut their ties to outfielder Brennan Boesch, giving him his outright release. Fortunately for Boesch, it didn’t take long before the New York Yankees signed him to a one-year deal which could be worth just over two-million dollars.
Now it’s not too often where I feel the need to compliment the Yankees about signing a free agent, but this really does seem like a pretty perfect fit. There’s not too many Yankees that haven’t been bit by the injury bug, and they certainly needed to sign an outfielder before the season begins. Although I’d imagine Curtis Granderson will be back with the team by the middle of May, the Yankees lack any sort of outfield depth.
Although I’m not quite sold on Boesch, his left-handed power swing plays perfectly at Yankee Stadium with their short porch in right field. It was originally reported that the contract was 1.5 million dollars guaranteed with the potential for an additional 600 thousand dollars in incentives, but it turns out that was incorrectly report. In fact, Boesch signed what is referred to as a split contract. If Boesch plays for the New York Yankees, he’ll make the 1.5 million, but if he’s sent to the minor leagues, he’ll only make half of a million dollars (not including the money he received from the Tigers when they released him).
I’d find it hard to believe that Boesch won’t make the opening day roster, because if he struggles, they can always option him back to triple-A once Granderson returns to the team. A change of scenery should do Boesch well, as his struggles in Detroit were doing nothing more than preventing top prospects Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia playing time.
Also, you can find out more about my thoughts on Brennan Boesch and his fantasy baseball value by clicking HERE.
The Tigers announced today that Andy Dirks has been recalled from Triple-A Toledo and have subsequently designated Don Kelly for assignment. A lot of people had suspected that Ryan Raburn was going to be the player to move, but in the end, Kelly was the odd man out.
Neither Kelly nor Raburn have provided the Tigers with any real offensive production, although Kelly did provide a lot more value to the team, in terms of defensive abilities. On the year, Raburn has posted a line of .172/.225/.258, whereas Kelly was .175/.267/.243. Unfortunately, Kelly is a left-handed batter, which took away much of his value.
When the emergence of Quintin Berry, Andy Dirks returning from his rehab assignment, and a productive Brennan Boesch, the Tigers found themselves with three better outfielders who all hit left handed. Simply put, Kelly’s services were no longer necessary.
Even though Raburn has struggled mightily this year, he bats right handed and plays both second base and the outfield. Having that option on the bench provides more flexibility and options for manager Jim Leyland, and he’s always spoken about the importance of having players who can play more than one position.
It’ll be interesting to see where Kelly ends up landing, whether he gets claimed through waivers, or if he’ll end up back in Toledo. I’ve yet to hear anything bad about him, so I wish him the best in all of his future endeavors. Thanks for everything, especially for providing us with this memorable moment.
The Tigers have been on a downward spiral the last week, losing five of their last seven games. When Rick Porcello takes the mound tonight against the Red Sox, the Tigers need to find a way to get back to their winning ways.
Entering the game, the Tigers find themselves three games back of the first place Chicago White Sox. Although it’s by no means an insurmountable number, you don’t want to find yourself trailing by more than five games entering September. As long as they can keep pace with the White Sox, they should certainly find themselves fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
In an attempt to shake things up, the Tigers are now going to have Brennan Boesch hitting fifth in the lineup instead of Delmon Young. During the month of July, Boesch hit .295 with a .538 slugging percentage. By comparison, Young hit for a disappointing .250 average and a .417 slugging percentage during that same time. If Boesch can keep that production level during August, it should lead to more runs being scored.
If that doesn’t work, don’t be surprised if the Tigers attempt to make a move through waivers, similar to how they acquired Young last year. When you have Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the heart of your lineup, there’s no reason why the Tigers shouldn’t be scoring more runs. Of course you can’t put all of the blame on the lineup, as Detroit’s starting pitchers have also struggled in the last few weeks.
For the 2012 season, the Tigers rotation has struggled to show signs of consistency. In fact, the Tigers starting pitchers have an ERA of 4.19 on the year, which ranks them 21st in all of Major League Baseball.
Of course the hope is that acquiring Anibal Sanchez will help strengthen their rotation, but if the Tigers want to make it back to the playoffs, their starting pitchers have to do better. There’s still plenty of baseball left to be played, and plenty of time to turn it around.
As the Tigers look forward to the trade deadline, I often find myself thinking about potential trades they could make. I’ll admit, some of them are more far fetched than others, but some seem to be pretty realistic. So I present to you a trade the Tigers should consider making, even though there’s a very minimal chance that it will actually happen.
There’s no denying that the Tigers are lacking offensive production from their corner outfielders, so it would make sense to trade for one, especially if he happens to be on one of the worst teams in baseball, right?
Entering today, the Colorado Rockies are sitting at 28-44, in a tight race with the San Diego Padres for the worst record in the NL West. If that doesn’t make them sellers at the trade deadline, I’m not sure what it would take.
They have a star player in Carlos Gonzalez, who would certainly attract plenty of teams come the middle or end of July. Any deal for Gonzalez would likely include a slew of prospects, as well as a couple major-league ready players. The Tigers have just enough depth to do just that.
I propose offering our best pitching prospect, Jacob Turner, along with outfield Brennan Boesch and relief pitcher Luis Marte. If that’s still not enough, I’d even be willing to add Quintin Berry to sweeten the deal.
I’m not necessarily sure that the Rockies will even consider trading Gonzalez, who is due only 71 million dollars over the next five seasons. I say only 71 million dollars, because if he continues at his current pace, he’ll likely have a true market value that is high above that.
Sure, there’s some reason for concern. When you look at the numbers, Gonzalez has always done significantly better at home than on the road. Is this just a coincidence? Coors Field has always been considered a hitter-friendly ballpark, so I don’t think it’s completely worth dismissing.
From 2009-2011, Gonzalez has a line of .347/.404/.653 at home, compared to .271/.325/.452 during road games. That certainly should cause some alarms to go off, but I don’t think that should prevent you from wanting him on your team.
Again, I don’t think there’s any sort of realistic chance that the Tigers would make this move, and there hasn’t been any reports that the Rockies are willing to even trade Gonzalez. But if they are, the Tigers should definitely consider giving them a call.
The Tigers have won four of their last six games, but there’s still the question of how can they find ways to improve. Perhaps the Tigers will be looking to make a trade in the upcoming weeks.
There’s been some reported speculation that the Tigers are interested in trading for Carlos Quentin from the San Diego Padres, but I don’t think Detroit fans should be excited about this. It’s hard to speculate about a trade without knowing what the other team wants, but I’d imagine it’d be one of our young outfielders such as Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch, plus a top-tier pitching prospect.
Simply put, I think the Padres are going to want a lot more for Quentin than he’s worth for the Tigers. We’ve dealt with one poor defensive left fielder already this year, so I don’t need to go through that again. If you tell me the Padres are willing to accept Delmon Young as part of the package, then I’d welcome it with open arms.
Freeing up Young would allow the Tigers to play a combination of Dirks (once he returns from the disabled list), Austin Jackson, Boesch and Quintin Berry in the outfield, allowing Quentin to be our primary DH. Granted I think it’s quite possible that one of the outfielders I just mentioned would likely be involved any deal, though.
Another intriguing possibility would be signing Vladimir Guerrero to be our DH. Not only would it prevent us from having to further deplete our farm system, but it would also cost us a lot less money. Quentin is making just over seven million dollars this year, whereas Guerrero would likely cost significantly less. I’m not saying either is likely, but I think it’s a worthwhile comparison.
I do think it’s very likely that the Tigers will consider themselves to be buyers at the trade deadline, but I’m not willing to trade our entire farm system just for the sake of adding a bullpen arm and an extra bat. I’m not saying that prospects like Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos are untouchable, but I wouldn’t let them go cheaply, either.
During his rookie season in 2010, Austin Jackson had a remarkable debut in which he hit .293 with an on base percentage of .345. 2011 was not as good to Jackson, where he struggled to find consistency at the plate and ended up batting .249 and struck out 181 times. People in Detroit started to wonder which version of Austin Jackson would we see in 2012, and so far, the answer is neither.
It’s a bit cliché to say, but Jackson stormed out of the gate to start the season, hitting .412 after nine games. Watching Jackson play this year, you can help but notice he’s playing with a lot more confidence, and seems to be really hitting his stride at the plate.
Speaking of strides, one of the biggest changes the Tigers tried to make with Jackson’s approach at his plate was to shorten his leg kick. Last year, Jackson was known to be taking a high leg kick with his left leg as the ball approached the plate, making it harder to time fastballs. Once Jackson started to fall behind early in the count, he became increasing susceptible to chasing pitches out of the strike zone. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, Jackson is going to still strike out quite a bit during the course of the year, but an important factor for his potential success will be his ability to get ahead early in the count, and put himself in a better position to be in control of the at bat. Something that seems to have gone largely unnoticed, is the fact that Jackson has already walked seven times this year. Keep in mind that he only walked 56 times during the entire 2011 season.
What this means is that he’s not as willing to chase pitches out of the strike zone. With the lineup that the Tigers have, if Jackson can find ways to get on base, then guys like Brennan Boesch, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder should have no problem finding ways to bring him in to score.
Time will tell how Jackson will fare during the course of the season, but for now, I like what I see.
Earlier today, I completed my first ever fantasy baseball auction draft for a 12 team head to head league. I heavily suggest you and your friends giving it a try sometime, as it adds a fun and competitive dynamic not found in a traditional draft. The concept is quite simple, even for first time participants. You start out with a certain amount of “dollars” to spend on your team (for us, it was 260 dollars). Instead of going in order to draft players, you rotate nominating players, in which all teams have the option of bidding on said player. The catch is you must be able to bid at least one dollar on every single player, and you cannot spend over your bankroll on your entire draft. This creates a challenge when you big top dollar on players early in the draft, but find yourself too low on funds to bid on players in the later rounds.
Here’s my team, and how much I bid on each player.
Catcher: Alex Avila-$13
First baseman: Joey Votto-$47
Second baseman: Ryan Raburn-$1
Shortstop: J.J. Hardy-$6
Third baseman: Placido Polanco-$5
Outfield: Curtis Granderson-$32
Outfield: Brennan Boesch-$7
Outfield: Drew Stubbs-$7
Utility: Corey Hart-$7
Utility: Carlos Beltran-$5
Bench: Jhonny Peralta-$1
Bench: Yadier Molina-$3
Bench: David Freese-$4
Bench: Neil Walker-$3
Starting pitcher: Roy Halladay-$42
Starting pitcher: Doug Fister-$15
Relief pitcher: Jose Valverde-$14
Relief pitcher: Phil Coke-$3
Pitcher: Rick Porcello-$6
Pitcher: Mat Latos-$12
Pitcher: Ryan Madson-$6
Bench: Max Scherzer-$4
Bench: Tim Hudson-$2
Overall, I really feel like my team is very solid all around, with enough star players to make a difference. My strategy going into the draft was to not spend more than 20 percent of my budget on any one player, and to not have more than three people combine to cost more than 60 percent of salary cap. I was able to get my three most expensive players for 46.5% of my budget. By doing this, I had plenty of money available in the later parts of the auction to outbid people who spent foolishly early on. If you do find yourself in an auction draft, I suggest using a similar strategy, as I thought it worked quite well.
So yesterday I had my first fantasy baseball draft of the year. Today, I’m going to break down the rationale behind all my selections, and try to give you a little incite as to what I think you should do if you find yourself doing a fantasy baseball draft without a strategy. The draft was for a 25 man roster, so be warned that this entry will be longer than usual.
For the record, this was for a ten person, rotisserie scoring league.
1st round (5th pick): Jose Bautista- “Joey Bats” has been an absolute monster the last two years, and has proven to not just be a one-season wonder. A nice added value in Bautista is the fact that most leagues have him listed at multiple positions, which makes him a well above average third baseman, and a solid outfielder, too.
2nd round (16th overall): Prince Fielder- Most fantasy experts have Fielder ranked in the top 20, so I thought it was an okay selection with the 16th pick. I do not believe this pick has anywhere near the top value, but there’s no reason to expect that Fielder won’t be a top-five offensive first baseman for the Tigers. A bigger home field should limit his home run numbers a bit, but Comerica is quite forgiving for left-handed power hitters. Look at Fielder to hit doubles in the right-centerfield gap all year long.
3rd round (25th overall): Jered Weaver- With Verlander, Kershaw and Halladay all off the board, I thought it was necessary to get myself an ace for my team before the options got too thin. The Angels should be significantly improved this year, so if Weaver can have an average year for his standards, expect his wins to be up a bit compared to 2011.
4th round (36th overall): Mike Napoli- I admit this was one of the tougher selections I made in the draft, but there’s so few quality offensive catchers, that I felt like it gave me a chance to secure an edge in comparison to other teams from that position. I expect most of Napoli’s number’s to go down a bit, but he should be much more productive at the plate in comparison to the majority of catchers in baseball.
5th round (45th overall): David Price- I’d categorize this as one of the many steals I had in the draft. Price should be dominant once again in Tampa, and to pick him at 45th in the draft is slightly below where he was projected in most leagues to get picked. I wasn’t necessarily looking to add a starting pitcher with this pick, but didn’t know how to pass Price up.
6th round (56th overall): Brandon Phillips- Besides being a twit-a-holic, Phillips has been one of the most consistent second baseman the last few years. Take into consideration that he’s also in a contract year, and expected to sign quite a large deal, I don’t think it’s hard to envision him putting up solid numbers in 2012. It’s hard to not consider him a top five second baseman, so there’s excellent value in him at this point in any draft.
7th round (65th overall): Dee Gordon- I’d imagine that this is a name that not a lot of recreational baseball fans are familiar with, but you might want to capitalize on that. In just 56 games with the Dodgers in 2011, Gordon hit .306 with 24 stolen bases. If you’re in a league that counts stolen bases, Gordon may very well steal more bases than any other shortstop in baseball. Don’t expect him to hit over .300 for the season, but don’t let that be a deterrent.
8th round (76th overall): Carl Crawford- There’s a lot of fair-weather fans that think Crawford is going to be a complete bust again, but I just don’t think I can agree. Sure, Crawford should not be drafted in the top five rounds, but picking him up in the eight round has tremendous value. Due to an injury, Crawford will likely miss the first two weeks of the season, but I think he’s going to prove to baseball that he’s back to his usual self in 2012.
9th round (85th overall): Ichiro Suzuki- 2011 was not a good year for Ichiro, who put up a career low .272 batting average for Seattle. A lot of people in baseball believe that Ichrio’s career is far from over, and his talent level would certainly support that claim. Despite being 37 years old, Ichiro did still manage to steal 40 bases. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t think that Ichiro will get his batting average up to .300 and steal at least 35 bases this year.
10th round (96th overall): Michael Young- If you’re willing to pass up a guy who seems to get 200 hits every year, and is a lifetime .304 hitter in the tenth round, you should really just let your computer autodraft for you.
11th round (105th overall): Jose Valverde- Even as a Tigers fan, I don’t expect Valverde to go 49 for 49 again in save opportunities. With that being said, I do expect him to get plenty of saves for a team that should be able to easily win 90 or more games. I thought this was about the right time to start drafting a few relief pitchers, since they’re aren’t that many true quality relievers. I always prefer to get closers when drafting relief pitchers, and you should, too.
12th round (116th overall): Brennan Boesch- I know there’s going to be a lot of people who think this was an absurd pick in the 12th round, but I respectfully disagree for one main reason. When Boesch comes up to bat this year, take a look at who is on deck, and who is in the hole. No pitcher is going to want to walk Boesch to face Cabrera and Fielder with a runner on base, and I truly think he’ll be able to benefit greatly from it.
13th round (125th overall): Josh Johnson- I definitely gambled a bit on this one, but a healthy Josh Johnson is a dominant pitcher for what should be a very competitive team in Miami. I think the risk vs. reward definitely helps make this pick a pretty easy one.
14th round (136th overall): Doug Fister- “Mister” Fister will likely not be able to duplicate what he did after getting traded to Detroit last year, but odds are he will be a quality number two pitcher for a team that should win 90 games. You can never get enough wins from your starting pitchers in fantasy baseball, so there’s always extra value in drafting starting pitching from teams that are likely going to make it to the playoffs.
15th round (145th overall): Heath Bell- If your fantasy team awarded points to pitchers who can slide, Bell would be a first round pick. With that being said, he’s definitely a top-tier closer, and I was quite shocked that he was still on the board this late in the draft. Again, I like to draft pitchers from winning teams, and from everything I’ve seen and read, Bell seems like an easy guy to cheer for.
16th round (156th overall): Ryan Roberts- Truthfully, I’m not sure what to expect from this pick. I liked the fact that he is listed at multiple positions in my league, and he seemed like a cool guy from my brief interactions with him in Arizona. If he can hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases for Arizona this year (which he could very well do), then I got excellent value for a late-round pick.
17th round (165th overall): Kyle Farnsworth- A bit of a wildcard for me, since he seems to always go up and down throughout his career. His raw stuff is amongst the best in baseball, and he should get plenty of save opportunities for Tampa Bay this year.
18th round (176th overall): Yadier Molina- It’s too bad that defensive abilities don’t count in fantasy baseball, since Molina is without a doubt one of the best catchers in Major League Baseball. His offensive numbers aren’t terrible, which makes him a quality backup in most fantasy leagues.
19th round (185th overall): Ryan Raburn- Despite not being an everyday player for the Tigers, Raburn should get enough playing time between second base and the outfield to hit 15 home runs and drive in 60 runs. It’s hard to ask for much more than that from a bench player in any league.
20th round (196th overall): Jesus Montero- No clue how he fell this far in the draft, but I like having a guy on my team who may very well end up winning the Rookie of the Year award in the American League on my team. Getting him in the 20th round is an absolute bargain for a guy who is going to be a quality hitter for many years to come.
21st round (205th overall): Emilio Bonifacio- In 2011, Bonifacio hit .296 and stole 40 bases. I’d imagine that both of those numbers are very likely to go down in 2012, but he definitely gives you great value and depth as a bench player.
22nd round (216th overall): Delmon Young- Delmon does one thing well, and that’s hit. I’m expecting him to get an opportunity to drive in 100 years for Detroit this year, and being a contract year for him, one would think he’s going to do everything he can to showcase himself and prove he’s worth signing to a multi-year contract. I’d imagine you don’t normally see a guy who will drive in 80 or more runs after the 20th round, so take advantage if you can.
23rd round (225th overall): David Robertson- As much as I hate rooting for the Yankees, Robertson proved to be one of the best relievers in 2011. Take into consideration that he would likely be Mariano Rivera’s replacement if he gets injured, and this was an absolute no doubt pick.
24th round (236th overall): Yoenis Cespedes- This was a bit of a shot in the dark for me, but the Athletics seem convinced that he’s going to break camp with the team. If he can come close to any of the hype he built in the offseason, Cespedes will go about 100 picks earlier in 2013, making this a low risk, but great return selection for me.
25th round (245th overall): Chris Perez- For my final selection, I was debating between Bryce Harper and Perez, but ultimately selected Perez since I know he’ll be playing for the Indians the entire season. It’s nice to find a decent closer in the 25th round, but I’m still not sure about how much I like this pick. The nice thing about it is that usually your 25th rounder doesn’t mean a whole lot to your team, so if he starts off slowly this year, I can always drop him and hit the waiver wire.
That’s all for this draft breakdown. Hopefully this will help make your draft-day decisions a little bit easier for you.
As I was driving home tonight, there was an interesting topic that they’ve been debating on sports talk radio the last few nights, and was also mentioned in the newspaper today, and it’s this: Small ball is overrated in Major League Baseball. Whether you agree or disagree with it, there’s certainly plenty of evidence to support either side.
For what it’s worth, I do believe that every team in Major League Baseball either does, or could benefit from implementing a few basic ‘small ball’ tactics. The phrase, ‘Get ‘em on, get ‘em over and get ‘em in’ has been heard around baseball for at least as long as I’ve been alive, and it’s for a good reason. By being able to steal bases, or advance runners with a sacrifice bunt (or fly), you are able to put yourself in a significantly easier situation to score. Sure, it’s not always quite that simple, but for a sport that has always been about increasing every possible edge, why wouldn’t you want to put your team in a better position to win?
A perfect example took place during the Tigers game today, in which the score was tied 7-7 in the bottom of the 8th inning. First, Danny Worth led the inning off with a line-drive single to right field. Then, with no outs and a runner on first, Austin Jackson came up and laid down a sacrifice bunt. By getting the sacrifice bunt down, you assume you’re putting the potential go ahead run on second base with just one out. However, as was demonstrated today, they tried to get Worth out at second, and instead Twins reliever Phil Dumatrait threw the ball in the dirt. This allowed Worth to be safe at second, and Jackson reached first on the sacrifice. Now with runners at first and second, Casper Wells laid down a bunt down the third baseline which allowed both Worth and Jackson to advance. Finally, Brennan Boesch came up and hit a lazy sacrifice fly to right field which scored Worth, which proved to be the game winning run.
Am I saying that a team only wins by playing small ball? No, but I think there is almost always a time and a place for it, especially in situations where teams are struggling offensively. Sure, there’s a reason why guys like Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols get paid millions of dollars to hit home runs, but by finding other ways to score runs, it not only takes pressure off the big bats, but it will more often than not give your team in a better chance to win.
Until next time, let the debating begin.
Today with no doubt will be a big game for the Detroit Tigers and Brad Penny. After having two disappointing starts, there are a lot of questions as to whether or not he’s still a pitcher worth keeping around. I’m curious to see how he handles a rather difficult Texas lineup, but hopefully he can at least put together a quality start.
And as promised, here’s the current 2011 Tigers PPA% updated through 4/11/2011
(Sorted by number of PA)
Miguel Cabrera:. 512
Austin Jackson: .262
Victor Martinez: .262
Will Rhymes: .316
Jhonny Peralta: .429
Brandon Inge: .273
Brennan Boesch: .424
Alex Avila: .355
Magglio Ordonez: .346
Ryan Raburn: .375
Don Kelly: .250
Ramon Santiago: .400
Casper Wells: .333