I’m taking this occasion to catch up on a few things before the season starts and would like to direct you to view my video below on a feature I came up with entitled “Outfielders of the Upper Midwest.” It’s been a tough winter around here and if you go north it has only been tougher. There are a few guys, young and not so-young, relatively speaking, that I’ve picked out, and how they perform is not crucial to any of these teams’ hopes in 2014, (save for maybe Ryan Braun of the Brewers). That’s because all four–the Twins, White Sox, Cubs, and Brewers don’t–on paper–have enough to contend for a playoff spot this season. But the clubs are counting on the guys I’ve picked out to make things respectable.
Joe Sheehan is in the process of publishing his predictions for 2014 and he’s calling for rumblefish in Philly, with a number of 93 on the losses side. I try to fight it, I feel I must be related to Ruben Amaro, Jr. somehow, but I don’t see it any other way myself. There are several guys 34 or older in the starting lineup and the starting pitching is a little thin. Have you seen Jimmy Rollins lately? And I’m a big fan of his. Great Phillie. They could have made moves over the last two years to reload but they stood pat, essentially. They could bottom out this season and my faux relative will have to find a new place to live by October.
The Los Angeles Angels made a great move by locking up Mike Trout through his arbitration years and three years of free agency through his age-28 season. Baseball’s best player is signed for the next seven seasons and I feel good for the Angels. As I said the other day, they have a shot this season if some things go right, like Albert Pujols and David Freese rebounding and Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson doing what they can do, but it would be interesting if they could pry away one of those outfielders the guys in Chavez Ravine employ. Just a thought. The Dodgers should keep Kemp, Puig, Crawford, and Ethier for now anyway. The money’s been spent, they don’t really know what they have with Matt Kemp anymore, and none of that group adds up to a center fielder.
On with the show! Thanks.