Posts Tagged ‘Matt Wieters’

How was your week

Posted: February 11, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in sports
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Spring training opens next week with most camps opening February 14th. Pitchers and catchers are the first group of players scheduled to report, but not all catchers have a team to report to. Matt Wieters is still out on the free agent market. Wieters will turn 31 in May and is big for a catcher at 6’5 and 230 pounds. Wieters did have Tommy John surgery back in 2014 and you have to wonder if that is scaring some teams off. What looks like his former team the Baltimore Orioles handled him very carefully after the surgery. Wieters caught in just 55 games during the 2015 season, but came back last season to catch in 117 games; so health doesn’t look like an issue. Last season Wieters accepted the qualifying offer from the Orioles which paid him $15.8 million dollars, but this season Baltimore didn’t put a qualifying offer on Wieters; so there’s no draft pick attached with signing him. That makes it even more confusing as to why Wieters hasn’t been signed. Now Wieters is represented by Scott Boras and there are teams that don’t like to deal with him and his clients, but if you’re still looking for a catcher this late in the off season you have to look at Wieters. Last season Wieters hit .243, but for his career his batting average is .256. He hit 17 home runs with 66 RBI’s. His fielding percentage as a catcher last season was .994 and he threw out 35% of runners who tried to steal against him. Those numbers are right in line with his career numbers .993 fielding percentage and 33% of baserunners thrown out. Wieters won the Gold Glove award in back to back season 2011 and 2012 and is a four time All-Star. The negative on  Wieters appears to be the overrated pitch framing stat. According to StatCorner; Wieters ranked 68th in framing among catchers who received at least 1,000 pitches last season, saving -7.3 runs compared to the average catcher. Buster Posey was first at +26.8.

Now there are some teams out there that Wieters would be an upgrade at the catching position and a couple of them are considered contenders for the upcoming season. The Washington Nationals added Derek Norris in a trade this off season, but he’s had a couple of down years. Will moving to a better team help Norris? Jose Lobaton appears to be the back up, but Washington does have a young catching prospect in 23 year old Pedro Severino. If the Nationals signed Wieters to a one or maybe two year deal he could hold down the position until Severino is ready. How about another National League East contender the New York Mets. It appears as the Mets like Travis d’Arnaud, but he’s been injury prone and hasn’t produced at the plate. Maybe a one year deal allowing d’Arnaud to be the back up might help him overall. The Colorado Rockies have been very active on the free agent market this off season spending close to $100 million dollars, but behind the plate it looks like they’re going with the young duo of Tom Murphy who’s 25 and Tony Wolters who’s 24. A veteran like Wieters could be a big upgrade for Colorado. The Arizona Diamondbacks sign renowned pitch framer Jeff Mathis who’s a career .197 hitter. They also added Chris Iannatta on a one year deal. Arizona has also added Josh Thole and Hank Conger to minor league deals. This is another situation where Wieters would be a huge upgrade. The Tampa Bay rays signed Wilson Ramos as a free agent, but he’s recovering from a knee injury and might not be ready for the start of the season. That leaves the Rays with Curt Casali and Luke Maile as the catching duo to start the season. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim acquired Martin Maldonado a highly regarded pitch framer in a trade and they have a prospect in Carlos Perez, but again Wieters would be a huge upgrade. The Chicago White Sox appear to be in full rebuild mode. They’re going into the season with a young starting rotation and relying on Geovany Soto behind the plate. If the White Sox could add Wieters on a one year deal he could work with the young rotation while also being used as trade bait to help the rebuild along. It’s highly unlikely that Wieters would return to the Orioles. Baltimore brought back Mark Trumbo on a free agent deal and it looks as though they’re settled on Wellington Castillo as there catcher. The Orioles also have some big time players looking to enter free agency at the end of the 2017 season. Manny Machado, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton are three of the Orioles who enter free agency at the end of the season. If the Orioles intend to bring back any or all of those three players then Wieters might be the expendable piece. There’s a few options still out there for Wieters. Where do you have him landing?

The Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies last night 122-107 and in the game Draymond Green had a triple-double. That may not be a huge news grabbing type of story as the Warriors win a lot of games and there is always a plyer on the Warriors who could get a triple-double. Now when you dig deeper into Green’s triple-double you’ll see that he had 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals while only scoring 4 points. It’s the first time in NBA history a player has recorded a triple-double while not scoring at least 10 points. It also was only the second in NBA history with at least 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in a game. The first one was back in 1986 by Alvin Robertson, but he scored 20 points when he did it. Green was the first player in NBA history to record 10 steals and five blocks in a game since the 1973-74 season; when those became official statistics. Green’s 10 steals set a Golden State record and it was the first time a player had 10 steals in a game since Brandon Roy did it in 2009. Green has always been considered a unique player and this kind of a stat line really shows that about him.

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The NFL is into the playoffs and they started last Saturday with wild card weekend. So since there where games we made picks. Schaumburg Stu and I went 4-0 for the first weekend of the playoffs while Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy went 3-1. Dan the Man thought the Oakland raiders would get a win with 3rd string quarterback Connor Cook under center while Mr. Fantasy’s loss was the Miami Dolphins.

Now we’re into the divisional round. There again are 4 games. Two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Saturday starts with the Seattle Seahawks at the Atlanta Falcons. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. The second game has the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots. The scheduled kickoff for this one is 7:15 p.m. On Sunday the first game is scheduled to kickoff at 12:05 p.m. as the Pittsburgh Steelers are at the Kansas City Chiefs. The second game features the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys. The scheduled kickoff for this game is 3:40 p.m.

There where no upset in the wild card round and let’s face it the games where pretty boring. All the home teams won and the closest game was 27-14 between the won by the Houston Texans over the Oakland Raiders. Now the match ups look a little better this week; so we’ll see a higher seed lose?

It came as a little bit of a surprise yesterday when the Oakland Raiders announced that they wouldn’t be retaining offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. The Raiders offense was ranked 6th in the league in total offense and they scored the 7th most points in the NFL. With quarterback Derek Carr becoming an M.V.P. candidate before breaking his fibula in Week 16. It was reported that Oakland’s head coach Jack Del Rio told the rest of the staff Tuesday afternoon of the move. Musgrave was the Jacksonville Jaquars offensive coordinator in 2003 and 04 when Del Rio was the head coach there. Quarterback coach Todd Downing will take over the offensive coordinator duties. There where reports that Downing had a very good chance of getting an offensive coordinator job with one of the teams hiring a new head coach and there are people wondering if this facilitated this move. Musgrave did have his critics. They pointed out how the Raiders offense seemed to be slow starting and then when they got a lead Musgrave would get too conservative.  Now the Raiders defense finished ranked 26th on the season, but reports are that defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s job is safe.

I was stunned yesterday when I saw the headline that Carl Edwards was walking away from the Joe Gibbs Racing and the #19 car. It was announced that Edwards was retiring from NASCAR immediately. Joe Gibbs Racing has called a news conference Wednesday where Edwards is apparently going to example why he’s walking away from NASCAR. Edwards is 37 years old and showed no sign of injury after an accident, yet he is stepping away from the sport. Certainly any team would want him if he ever decides to return. The timing of the decision certainly leads to speculation of a variety of reasons Edwards could want to stop racing. Maybe Edwards was just mentally spent after another near miss at the championship. Maybe the Joe Gibbs Racing driving corps isn’t as tight as it’s portrayed. Maybe he really is a Ford guy who has a plan in the back of his mind to return to that stable in the future. Maybe he has another job lined up in television? Edwards has done some commentary before and is very good in the booth calling the races. Edwards does have 28 career wins, but never did win a Cup title. He does have two 2nd place finishes on his record. 2016 Xfinity champion Daniel Suarez is expected to take over the #19 car. Suarez, who helped bring the Arris sponsorship to Joe Gibbs Racing makes the jump, but it might of happened a year or two early. Joe Gibbs Racing seemed to have quite a stable of drivers and you had to wonder down the line which driver might lose there ride. Matt Kenseth signed a contract extension last season. It’s being reported that Denny Hamlin has signed a contract extension as well. Kyle Busch is one of the top drivers in NASCAR and Eric Jones has been set up with Furniture Row Racing for the 2017 season, but is expected to return to Joe Gibbs Racing in either 2018 or 2019. Maybe Edwards felt like the odd man out and just decided to walk away. It looks like the question now is; will we ever see Carl Edwards in a full time NASCAR ride again?

We had a couple of more free agents sign in the last couple of days. Outfielder Colby Rasmus agreed to a one year $5 million dollar deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Rasmus is coming off his worse season batting average wise. Rasmus hit .206 in 107 games with the Houston Astros. Rasmus did have 15 home runs and drove in 54 runs. Rasmus has played all three outfield positions, but it looks as though he’ll spend the majority of his time with the Rays as a corner outfielder.

The other signing has Trevor Plouffe going to the Oakland A’s on a one year $5 million dollar deal. Plouffe has spent his entire seven year career with the Minnesota Twins. Plouffe was limited to just 84 games last season do to injury. Plouffe is a career .247 with 96 career home runs. Plouffe spent time at 1st and 3rd base last season, but it appears as though the A’s will use him at 3rd and Ryon Healy will shift to 1st base and spend time at Designated Hitter.

While slowly, but surely players sign with new teams you have to wonder how much longer it will be before players like Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista and Matt Wieters sign new deals. It seems as just about every team in baseball has “checked in” on Trumbo and you have to wonder why he isn’t signed yet. Apparently the Texas Rangers are the team with the most interest in Trumbo right now. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have shown some interest in Wieters, but there seems to be very little interest in Bautista. Is Bautista the guy in this free agent market that’s going to have to take a one year prove it type of deal and then try the free agent market again next season.

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