Posts Tagged ‘Didi Gregorius’

Vs. Series (Shortstop)

Posted: March 12, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports
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The Vs. Series returns after a day off to look at who will be playing shortstop for the teams in New York and Chicago. It looks like this is the first position that there isn’t any decisions to be made and each team knows who their opening day shortstop will be. Let’s start in New York. Before spring training started it looked like the New York Mets would have a competition between Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores to see who the opening day shortstop would be. Apparently there wasn’t a competition in the Mets mind as it’s being reported that the job belong to Flores. Flores played 78 games last season hitting .251 with 6 home runs. 51 of those games where at shortstop where he made 4 errors and had a fielding percentage of .979. Flores spent seven seasons working his way through the Mets minor league system where he batted .292 overall which is a batting average the Mets will be looking for out of Flores.  The Mets stayed away from making a big move at shortstop to give Flores a shot; so now they’ll see if he’s the right guy. The New York Yankees needed to find a replacement for their “Captain” and future Hall of Fame inductee Derek Jeter. So on December 5th, 2014 the Yankees sent Shane Greene to the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers sent minor league player Domingo Leyba  and Robbie Ray to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Diamondbacks sent Didi Gregorius to the Yankees.  Gregorius has played 191 games in three major league seasons. 21 of those games where at the end of the 2012 season with the Cincinnati Reds. He is a career .243 hitter with 13 home runs. In 173 career games as a shortstop Gregorius has a fielding percentage of .976. This was a situation where most experts thought the Yankees would go out and get and established shortstop to fill Jeter’s position. Gregorius is just 22 years old and you wonder if the Yankees and their fans will give him the time he might need to develop as an everyday shortstop. It’s a difficult choice to make between  Gregorius and Flores. This will be each players shot at being a full-time shortstop at the major league level. Both the Mets and the Yankees are expected to contend for a playoff spot; be it wild card or winning a division; so they’ll need good shortstop play to do that. You have to wonder which team would make a switch at the position first if either guy struggles out of the gate. Since I have to make a choice I’m going with  Gregorius just by a tiny margin. In Chicago both the Cubs and the White Sox have familiar faces manning the shortstop position for the 2015 season. The White Sox have  Alexei Ramírez who is entering his 8th season with the White Sox; the 33-year-old. Ramirez had a hot first half in 2014 and it earned him his first All-Star appearance, but by the end of the season he hit .273 with 15 home runs, 74 RBI’s but added 21 stolen bases. You can count on Ramirez being in the line up as he’s played in 158 games in each of the last four seasons. Ramirez made the switch to shortstop in 2009 and his defense with the exception of one seasons has improved. Last season Ramirez made 15 errors and had a fielding percentage of .978. Ramirez led all AL shortstops in assists with 486 and double plays turned with 119. The biggest question with Ramirez might be will he stay with the White Sox the entire 2015 season as it seems his name is linked to every trade rumor involving the team. Starlin Castro is still just 24 years old, but is entering his 6th season as the Chicago Cubs starting shortstop. After a disappointing 2013 season Castro bounced back to tie his career high in home runs with 14 while hit for a .292 average and adding 33 doubles. Castro is another Chicago shortstop that will play a lot of games. Last season Castro played 134 games which was his lowest total since his rookie season when he played 125 games. Fielding has been a question for Castro, but last season he posted the highest single season fielding percentage of his career .973. He committed just 15 errors in the 2015 season; down from 22 in 2013. Also don’t forget that Castro is a 3 time NL All-Star selection. To be honest I thought the Cubs would deal Castro in the off-season and I’ve said on the podcast a few times that I thought he would be the guy to take Jeter’s spot in New York. This is another tough choice and you have to wonder if there’s a chance both guys are playing for another team by the end of the 2015 season. I think in this situation you go with Castro. He’s nine years young than Ramirez and they’re pretty equal stats wise. Tomorrow (Friday) we’ll look at the 3rd base positions for the Mets, Yankees, Cubs and White Sox. Follow me on Twitter @Burketime



While the NBA season is only about 20 games old for most teams there are some questions out their this early in the season. If you’re a fan of the New York Knicks are you asking yourself if the triangle offense is the right fit for your favorite team. The Knicks are off to a 4-17 start to the season after a last second loss last night to the Charlotte Bobcats 103-102. Carmelo Anthony is averaging 23.2 points per game, but Amar’e Stoudemire is the only other Knicks player averaging in double figures per game at 12.8. Stroudemire also leads the team in rebounds per game with 7.8. At 3.9 assists per game Jose Calderon is leading the Knicks in that category. While those might be solid individual stats for players it’s the team stats that show where the Knicks are suffering. The Knicks average 93.5 points per game and this is good for 26th place out of 30 teams. They are 13th in opponents scoring giving up 98.9 points per game for a difference of -5.4 points a game. As a team the Knicks are shooting .448 % from the field which puts them in 19th out of 30 NBA teams. Knicks opponents are shooting just a little better per game at .450 % from the field which ranks at 13th out of 30 teams. New York is one of the better 3 point shooting teams in the NBA. The Knicks make .371 % of the 3’s they take which is tied for 7th in the league. In return though opponents shoot a better percentage from behind the 3-point line. Knicks opponents make .379 % of the 3’s they take which is 25 out of the 30 NBA teams. New York is middle of the pack with turnovers per game at 14 this ranks tied for 14th in the NBA. There opponents are committing 13.9 turnovers per game which ranks 15th out of 30 teams. Before the season started the experts said it would take the Knicks some time to adjust to playing the triangle offense. How long is too long? To use the old if the playoffs started right now line; yeah the Knicks wouldn’t be close. The Knicks are 5 1/2 game behind what would be the 8th seeded Brooklyn Nets. I heard someone say just yesterday that resigning Anthony in the off-season was a mistake, but without him who’s scoring for this team. The triangle offense can and has worked with one top scorer in it. It’s the pieces around that player that have to really fit the system. Anthony doesn’t quite fit the triangle like Michael Jordan did for the Chicago Bulls or Kobe Bryant did for the Los Angeles Lakers, but there’s no doubt he can score. You have to wonder how Knicks fans will react if this team misses the playoffs for the second straight season in a row in the Eastern conference.

It was brought to my attention that I forgot to add Greg and Mr. Fantasy’s sleeper picks for Week 13. So here are there picks; so we’ll be all caught up. Greg went with Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery was targeted 5 times; he caught 2 of those targets for 20 yards and 3.50 points for the week. Cotchery was 95th among scoring for wide receivers in Week 13. Mr. Fantasy picked Indianapolis Colts running back Dan “Boom Boom” Herron. Herron carried the football 8 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. He was also targeted twice in the passing game catching both passes for eight yards. Herron did lose a fumble, but totaled 18.35 points in Week 13 was 12th highest scoring running back for the week. Now we’re all caught up and we’ll see who Greg and Mr. Fantasy like in Week 14.

Did your fantasy football playoffs start this Thursday when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 41-28? The better question might be; did you make the fantasy football playoffs? For your leagues Week 14 is the last week of the regular season and I find myself on the outside looking in, but I am in position to sneak into the playoffs. In our Next Year is Here league I am in 9th place and 8 teams make the playoffs; so I need a win and then a loss by the team ahead of me. In the Sports Time Radio league which is our auction draft league I sit in 10th place, but record wise just 1 game out of 8th place. I did have a couple of players go in the Thursday night game, but my guys didn’t put up great numbers. Our Next Year is Here league is the one you always hear us joke about that we start two tight ends a week. I have Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboy as one of my starting tight ends. Witten caught 2 passes for 26 yards and put up 4.10 points in our scoring system. Witten was projected to score 11.71 points in Week 14; so that team is in the whole to start. I the Sports Time Radio league I had two players going in Thursday’s game; both wide receivers. Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears and Terrence Williams of the Cowboys. Marshall looked like he was on his way to putting up good numbers for me, but a rib and lung injury ended his game and what appears to be his season. Marshall had 4 targets catching 3 of them for 61 yards. Marshall was projected to score 14.90 points in Week 14, but ended up scoring 8.35 points. Williams on the other hand had 0 targets which of course means 0 catches and 0 yards for a total of 0 points. While Williams wasn’t expected to put up huge numbers; he was projected to score 8.20 points in Week 14, but it’s tough to come back from a starter getting a big old 0 in points for your team. Here’s hoping your Week 14 started off better than mine did. That is unless you’re playing against my team.

The New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers have officially announced a three-team trade sending shortstop Didi Gregorius from the Diamondbacks to the Yankees, right-hander Shane Greene from the Yankees to the Tigers, and left-hander Robbie Ray and infield prospect Domingo Leyba to the Diamondbacks. Is Gregorius the long-term answer for the Yankees at shortstop or is he going to just be a gap filler until a bigger name comes along. In two seasons with Arizona Gregorius played in 183 games. He is a career .241 hitter with 25 doubles, 8 triples and 13 home runs. They Yankees also announced the signing of Andrew Miller to a four-year contract. Miller, a client of Frontline Athlete Management, will reportedly receive a $36 million dollars guarantee, but the contract does not include a no-trade clause. The 29-year-old Miller (30 next May) broke out in a huge way in 2014, pitching to a 2.02 ERA with an eye-popping 14.9 K/9 (an AL record) in 62 1/2 innings for the Red Sox and Orioles. He went on to throw another 7 1/3 shutout innings with an 8-to-1 K/BB ratio in the postseason as well. Miller will pair with Dellin Betances; an electric breakout story himself at the back of the Yankee bullpen, giving manager Joe Girardi a pair of dominant late-inning options. Does signing Miller mean that David Robertson is no longer in the Yankees plan. Will the Yankees still add a starting pitcher; which a lot of experts think they need. There’s still a lot of off-season left for teams to sign or trade for players; so we’ll see who ends up where before the 2015 season starts.

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So how was your week?