Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Beltran’

I don’t sleep a whole bunch. I don’t know if it’s my work schedule that I’ve been on for 20 plus years or if I’m just wired like that, but if I get 3 or 4 hours of sleep in a row I’m lucky. When that 5 hour night of sleep comes through it’s amazing. When I wake up in the middle of the night I fire up the computer and catch up ion what’s going on in the sporting world. Sometimes it’s as easy as checking a box score or going through my fantasy line up to see how my night went. Other nights it’s looking up an injury to see ow long a player might be out or looking for blog material. The times I hate it the most is when I turn on the computer and I see a headline like I saw early this morning; Muhammad Ali passes away at 74.

No questions asked Muhammad Ali was “The Greatest”. He referred to himself as that all the time in his interviews and the bottom line is he’s the best boxer of all time. There will always be people out there with arguments for other boxers, but as great as those guys where they don’t compare to Ali. Not only was Ali great in the ring, but the promos he did for his fights where incredible and some of the things he’d do with Howard Cosell where legendary.  Ali was also a social activist. Don’t forget that in 1967 Ali was stripped of the heavyweight title for refusing to serve in the U.S. Army and was looking at a possible prison sentence. Due to that legal trouble it was 3 1/2 years before Ali would fight again. Ali had some of the most talked about fights in the heavyweight division and boxing as a whole. He had the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire as well as the Thrilla in Manila against Joe Frazier. Ali won both of these high profile fights by the way. It seemed as though the bigger the stage the better Ali performed. Ali was a 3-time heavyweight champion and don’t forget that he also won an Olympic gold medal as a light heavyweight when he beat Zbigniew Pietrzlowski of Poland in September of 1960.  Ali had many nicknames for himself or the things he’d do in the ring and if he didn’t live up to them he got closer than anybody else could. Sadly I wasn’t even 10 years old when Ali had some of the biggest fights of his career, but looking back at what he did in the ring and what he stood for outside of the ring he was far and away “The Greatest” and he lost his final fight early this morning at 74 years old.

The San Francisco Giants are 35-22 and have a 5 1/2 game lead in the National League West. On Wednesday Hunter Pence was running down the 1st base line when he suddenly stopped and grabbed the back of his right leg. Pence came out of the game immediately and was diagnosed with a torn hamstring that will require surgery. Pence is scheduled to be out about 8 weeks. Pence was hitting .298 with 7 home runs and had driven in a team leading 36 runs. While it appears that Pence will return in August the question is; do the Giants need to look into the trade market for an outfielder? San Francisco has veteran Gregor Blanco on the roster and 25 year old Mac Williamson was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to fill Pence’s roster spot. Don’t forget that outfielder Angel Pagan has also had some injuries this season. Pagan has what I believe is his second strained left hamstring of the season and the Giants are hoping he can recover without having to go on the disabled list. Pagan was unable to stay off the disabled list as the Giants put him on it May 24th and called up Jarrett Parker to take his roster spot. Also 2nd baseman Joe Panik was dealing with a sore groin earlier in the week, but has returned to the starting line up. San Francisco is currently carrying 4 outfielders on their roster. They have Williamson, Parker, Blanco and Denard Span. They do have some flexibility as Brandon Belt has spent time in the outfield. If Belt is needed in the outfield that would allow San Francisco to give Buster Posey a break from behind the plate as he would most likely fill in for Belt at 1st base. So looking at what the Giants have here we go back to the question of; do they need to deal for an outfielder? Of course with the season only being about 1/3rd of the way over which teams are ready to start making deals and would San Francisco look for a high profile outfielder or just a guy who could be used in a rotation when Pence returns. There are always the rebuilding teams like the Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves. I’m not sure if the Braves have an outfielder that would fit the Giants needs and would they want to pay the price for a high salaried player like Jay Bruce or even Ryan Braun. Could the New York Yankees Carlos Beltran be an answer. While Beltran is making $15 million this season it is the last year of his deal. Of course Beltran does have a history of injuries himself and you have to wonder if he could play everyday. I think if the Giants decide to make a trade it will be for a player along the lines of Oswaldo Arcia of the Minnesota Twins. Arcia has struggled to start the season; hitting just .217, but did hit .276 in limited time last season. He hits left handed and is just 25 years old. Now I’m not saying that Arcia will be the player that San Francisco acquires, but I think if they do deal for an outfielder it will be a player like Arcia.

What do you think? Do the Giants need to go out and get the top outfielder on the market or can they get by these 8 weeks with just the players they’ve called up from the minors?

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We’re on our last spot in the outfield; rightfield. In Chicago it’s a look at two players with limited experience; while in New York it’s two veterans in the position. We’ll start in Chicago today.

Jorge Soler is the Chicago Cubs rightfielder and in a small sample size last season he proved he could hit. Soler played in just 24 games, but he out up a .292 batting average. Soler had 8 doubles, 5 home runs and had 25 RBI’s last season. Like a lot of the young Cubs Soler will strikeout. Soler averaged 1 strikeout per game last season; which isn’t bad compared to some of his teammates. Soler committed 2 errors in rightfield last season, but did have 2 assists and posted a fielding percentage of .958. Soler is reported to have a strong throwing arm; so we’ll have to see if it pays off on the defensive ends for the Cubs in 2015. Soler may not be the first rookie mentioned when people start to talk about the Cubs, but at the end of the 2015 season don’t be surprised if he’s a frontrunner for National League Rookie of the Year  in 2015.

The Chicago White Sox are hoping to get a full season out of Avisail Garcia in rightfield in 2015. Due to injuries Garcia played in just 46 games last season. Garcia struggled at the plate as well; putting up a batting average of .244 much lower than his career batting average of .272. Garcia did hit 7 home runs; added 8 doubles and had 29 R.B.I.’s in 2015. Garcia has never played more than 72 games in a season; so it will be interesting to see what kind of offensive numbers Garcia can out up in a full season. Garcia did have a good fielding percentage of .978; committing just 2 errors and picking up 4 assists in 2014. Garcia is just 23 years old, but did get 23 post season at bats with the Detroit Tigers in 2012 where he put up a respectable .261 batting average. Garcia is another player who will be interesting to watch and see what kind of offensive numbers he might out up in a full 2015 season.

This is another position that is very difficult to pick. It’s two up and coming 23-year-old baseball players. I’m picking Soler at this position. While the players are very even I picked Soler over Garcia based on injury history.

In December of 2013 the New York Mets signed Curtis Granderson to a four year $60 million dollar contract after four season with the New York Yankees. Granderson did play in 155 games last season, but hit just .227. He did hit 20 home runs and had 66 RBI’s adding 27 doubles and 2 triples. In 2007 and 2008 Granderson led the American League in triples with 23 in 2007 and 13 in 2008 he was with the Detroit Tigers then, but in 2011 with the Yankees he led the AL in R.B.I.’s with 119 and runs scored with 136. At 34 I doubt he’ll be leading the N.L. in triples any time soon, but a closer return to form at the plate would be a big plus for the Mets. Granderson is a career .257 and I’m sure the Mets and their fans would take a 30 point improvement in batting average this season. Granderson is a good defender and posted a .994 fielding percentage in 2014 committing just 2 errors in the outfield while picking up 8 assists and being involved in a double play; his career field percentage is exactly what he posted last season .994. Granderson still has power, but he needs to get his batting average closer to his career numbers as the Mets look for a playoff spot in 2015.

Carlos Beltran hit a career low .233 yesterday in 109 games with the New York Yankees. Injuries have limited the number of games Beltran has been able to play in 5 of the last 8 seasons. The Yankees need a full season out of Beltran if they want to contend in the A.L. East. Beltran did hit 15 home runs and had 49 R.B.I.’s adding 23 doubles. Beltran has been an All-Star 8 times, won the R.o.Y. in 1999 and was a candidate for MVP and got votes for the award in 7 seasons. Beltran is a 3 time Gold Glove winner, but posted a career low in fielding percentage last season at .946. Beltran had 3 errors in rightfield last season with 2 assists, but did have a double play last season. Beltran will turn 38 years old a few weeks into the 2015 season and is in the 2nd year of a 3 year $45 million dollar deal. The Yankees need a healthy season and solid numbers out of Beltran to compete, but can a soon to be 38-year-old with a long injury history do that for them.

A tough pick between two veterans, but I’m going with the aging Beltran over the declining Granderson. If Beltran can stay healthy he has a shot to put up numbers, but Granderson’s number have been falling the last few seasons and not because of injury.

The Vs. Series is off tomorrow for the regular Let’s call it Wednesday blog, but it will be back on Thursday to break down the catching position for our four shared city teams.

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