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The Official 2014 AL East Thread

Discussion in 'Other Sports Forum' started by finyank13, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    We (Nappy, Ray Finkle, and myself) decided to do something different this year. Rather than have 3 separate team threads, with Nappy hijacking them all:lol: we just decided to combine it. More efficient yo.


    Anywho I will go first as the Yanks didn't make the playoffs, call it as you will highest draft pick for the lowest team.


    Ladies and Gentlemen YOUR 2014 New York Yankees!!! (Boos and Cheers)


    Goodbye:
    SP Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mariano Rivera (retired), Alex Rodriguez (suspended), Andy Pettitte (retired), Joba Chamberlain, Vernon Wells, Phil Hughes


    Hello:
    OF Jacoby Ellsbury, C Brian McCann, SP Masahiro Tanaka, OF Carlos Beltran, 2B Brian Roberts, LHP Matt Thorton, UTL Kelly Johnson


    Outlook:
    I think the correct words for this years installment of the pinstripes is "question mark". This team either has the ability to be really good OR really bad.


    Rotation (Projected):
    1)CC
    2)Hiro
    3)Nova/Tanka
    4)Tanka/Nova
    5)Pineda/Phelps/Warren/somebody


    CC had a bad year last year, and frankly hasn't been the same the past 2 years, Hiro needs to monitored this year ie Take him out in games in non-save situations in May up 6-1 etc, Sterling used to say WHAT Ivan are you going to get the good one or the bad one, this remains true here. The 5 spot is intriguing as there is in this rotation and the spring should answer it. But again question marks everywhere here. It could be a mediocre rotation or a rotation that could win 75-85 games between themselves. Tell will tell. Would obviously love to see CC adapt to more of a location guy now that he has less power alla Schilling did, Nova I believe needs to just develop or mature now (he could be a fantasy sleeper as far as a breakout year for you FBB players) and if Pineda just stays healthy this year I believe he is will ok, think like 150-160 IP. I wonder if they put him on an innings limit this year.




    Lineup (Projected):
    1)Ellsbury
    2)Jeter
    3)Beltran
    4)Tex
    5)McCann
    6)Sori
    7)Johnson
    8)Roberts
    9)Gardner


    Obviously it goes without saying losing Robbie is a monumental loss, even though it was the right move for the money owed. The key is trying to wade the water until finding a suitable replacement. Once again barring injuries this lineup has a chance to put up some good numbers. I really hope they keep Gardner in the 9 hole, I would love to see Ellsbury follow him in the lineup. 2 singles would be men on 1st and 3rd with a good possibility of Ellsbury stealing 2nd. The options they have are numerous should they all remain healthy (big if). They wont be hitting many home runs though, besides slight upticks in Ellsbury and McCann's this lineup especially the infield is powerless. But that is okay, again IF healthy we can all agree that they are a pretty good ball on bat hitting lineup besides Roberts and Johnson. As for Roberts he can only go up.


    Bullpen:
    Replacing Mo. Simple as that. I hope D-Rob can do it, but I have my reservations about him. He has a large K rate but IMO he walks too many people. IF he can cut the BB, rely on his fastball to get into pitchers counts and out with the 12/6 he could be very good. Other than that though they are a pretty weak BP IMO, they went from having a decent one to a questionable one in a matter of one year. We may actually see Dellin Betances this year. They will have to find an 8th inning guy. Whoever isn't the 5th starter will get floated to the BP with the exception of Pineda. But yeah this BP scares me.

    Wrap-up:
    In the end I think they will be better than last year, just how much remains to be seen. I do believe that Boston will remain roughly the same not really better or worse, same with Tampa, Toronto who know what you will get, do they start slow again and fade? But IMO Balt will be more competitive. The AL East will in fact be a meat grinder this year, but that sems to be par for the course these years.


    Lastly, for me, this year will be special because of Derek. Watching him through the years, which was all the 5 championships I have seem, whether you like him or not he has provided us with multple memories. He did it the right way as well, I would just enjoy him because once he is gone folks much like Mo there are many like him around.


    When you think about it, Jeter has lived about the most ideal sporting life one could ever imagine. He played the best position in the best City (baseball wise) and seemed to do it seamlessly, all the while winning every award in baseball besides MVP without getting into the babymama dramas everybody else seems to be in. A true player that played the game his way, it is very impressive actually. Almost so impressive that he always seems to have things go his way as if he were to have a silver spoon in his mouth (banging a HR off the Top 3 LHP in YS for his 3000 hit comes to mind). I know people are predicting his downfall this year, but if he were to stay healthy would it really surprised you if Jeter hit .300? He did after all the year before his injury lead all of MLB in hits......

    Prediction:
    89-73 Misses playoffs by 2 games.
     
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  2. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Yeah so you might have heard the 2013 Boston Red Sox had a pretty good season last year. Ok fine, they won the whole damn thing. Anyway here’s a quick run down:

    Some of the key players that are no longer with the club: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew (for now), Franklin Morales, Andrew Bailey, Joel Hanrahan and Ryan Dempster (retirement)

    Some of the new guys brought in: Edward Mujica, Burke Badenhop, Chris Capuano, AJ Pierzynski (I finally learned how to spell his name after all these years), Jonathan Herrera and Grady Sizemore.

    Once again the Sox FO stayed away from signing FAs to high priced and long term deals that crippled them and so many other teams in the past. Mujica was their “biggest signing” i.e. the only FA signed to more than 1 year.

    Offense:

    They certainly take a hit losing Jacoby Ellsbury in terms of both hitting and on the bases, while I think in time JBJ will be able to give the Sox similar production at the plate as Ellsbury with a better OBP I don’t think it will happen right away so the offense from the CF position will be a downgrade in 2014. Believe it or not an upgrade on defense with the glove, range and arm although obviously JBJ can’t match Ellsbury’s speed.

    Another downgrade in offense will be at the catcher position, as I think Pierzynski (seriously it’s not hard to spell once you get used to it, same can be said for Saltalamacchia) is a downgrade to Salty. Defensively he’s a slight upgrade. I figure Ross and Pierzynski will split time behind the dish depending on the match ups, which could figure to be a decent platoon. Hopefully Pierzynski will learn to take a few walks this year.

    Speaking of walks, I have no clue what to expect from Middlebrooks but he can’t be any worse than he was last year. In fact the 3B position was a black hole for the team all year. I do think the Sox have at least some confidence in Middlebrooks being able to rebound or I think Stephen Drew would have been signed by now even if just for depth purposes.

    The “X” Factor in the Sox line up might just be Xander Bogaerts, future MLB & Red Sox Hall of Famer. The sky is the limit for the kid who showed he could handle the pressure and spotlight by putting up some very impressive at bats in the playoffs against some of the better pitchers. I’m very excited to watch him play everyday.

    In terms of minor league prospects the Sox have that could make an impact or get a cup of coffee this year, I’d say only Christian Vazquez, Garrin Cecchini and Alex Hassan are the only ones with realistic shots. Vazquez is a plus defensive catcher with an average bat and Cecchini is a sound “professional” hitter but needs work defensively. Cecchini is being compared to Bill Mueller and even Youkilis due to his plate discipline and where Youk was as a prospect. Sox hope Cecchini will develop power like Youk did as he got older. Hassan is a 1B/OF, more of a 24th or 25th guy and would provide depth if an OFer went down.

    Pitching

    Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Doubront and Peavy are the 5 starters with Capuano as the swing man and plenty of back up in the minors with Workman, Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Anthony Ranuado, Matt Barnes and maybe Henry Owens although he still looks to be a year or 2 away.

    I really like how the Sox made some slight upgrades to the pen with Mujica and Badenhop which are two guys that throw strikes, get ground balls and don’t walk people. Seems like the Sox are targeting those types of Rpers for the past 2 years, which is one of the reasons why they went after Koji last year. I like the LHPers in the pen with Breslow and a returning from injury Andrew Miller.

    Outlook in 2014

    Look, let’s be honest A LOT went right for the Sox in 2013, obviously. I still think the 2014 version will be good and still should be one of the better teams in the AL, if not all of baseball. I think it’s going to be another dog fight with Tampa Bay and I do think the Yankees will remain in the mix, even if I think they are slightly below the Sox and Rays in terms of roster talent. I can see the Sox making the playoffs whether it is winning the East or getting a Wild Card spot and from there it’s a crap shoot. Like every year it all comes down to health and roster depth.

    Go Sox!
     
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  3. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    First AB of the year for Jeter.....

    9 pitch groundball into a DP.....the 2nd basemen positioned up the middle, would have been a single most likely if there was nobody on....:lol:

    Nappy I cant wait to hear your outlook bro on TB....In-depth Tampa talk!!!
     
  4. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]


    Goodbye:
    José Lobatón(Traded), Álex Torres(Traded:angry:), Sam Fuld, Luke Scott, Jeff Niemann, Ryan Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Roberto Hernandez, and Fernando Rodney

    Hello:
    C Ryan Hanigan, CL Grant Balfour(WELCOME BACK!), Heath Bell, Logan Forsythe and Erik Bedard

    Outlook:
    Excited with high expectations.


    Rotation (Projected):
    1)Price
    2)Cobb
    3)Moore
    4)Chris Archer
    5)Jake Odorizzi/Erik Bedard(Until Hellickson returns from surgery)


    Being able to retain Price yet another season was huge. He is flat out dominate. Alex Cobb is listed as the #2 guy, but he and Price form a duo of #1s at the top of the rotation currently. If Moore figures it all out, he could force his way into being the 3rd #1. As of right now, he is inconsistent and showed a bit of regression last year. Despite his 17-4 record, he didn't pitch all that well, especially in the 2nd half of the season. He was pretty lucky. I expect him to continuing improvement however, and if he does, don't look for his numbers to regress. Archer has some of the best stuff on the staff. His mid 90s fast ball and explosive slider is a heavy combination. Like more though, he has some control issues that need to be monitored. Hellickson I believe will be a bounce back guy. He went from being a very good young pitcher, to being dumped on every 5th day. He was dealing with elbow issues through out the entire season however, he had surgery to hopefully fix the issue. Odorizzi could surprise some. He has been working on a cutter this off season in hopes of getting lefties out at a better rate. Bedard is a wildcard.




    Lineup (Projected):
    1) DeJesus
    2) Zobrist
    3) Longoria
    4) Loney
    5) Myers
    6) Joyce
    7) Jennings
    8) Escobar
    9) Hanigan

    Losing Kelly Johnson shouldn't be an issue as they went out and traded for Forsythe whom they love. They were able to get DeJesus and Loney to return which was big. Loney, while not hitting for much power which was career norm, hit the ball really well in big spots and in general, hitting .299. Myers with a full season under his belt should be very exciting(already purchased my Myers jersey). Jennings, Joyce, and Escobar are all going to be the same issue. Consistency. Hanigan hopefully rebounds from his injury filled slump to become a decent hitting catcher again. The most important thing in this lineup is going to be keeping Longo healthy. Hes the key. The Cog. The sultan of swat. Ok, thats to far. But hes very good, and very dangerous when healthy.


    Bullpen:
    Letting Rodney go of 2 years ago would be a huge mistake. However, he was extremely inconsistent last season, which other then two seasons ago, was his career norm. Despite the probability of Balfour regressing a tad from last season, he should be much more stable and consistent then Rodney last year. Jake McGee has added a curve ball to his repertoire. Which pretty much consisted of a fastball only(his changed sucked ***). With Peralta, McGee and Bell in the late innings, I believe our bullpen has improved leaps and bounds. Making this the main key to why there is so much excitement coming from the bay area.

    Wrap-up:
    Lets be honest with ourselves AL East foes, the Rays just usually seem to make the right moves. They bring in guys that have career years, bounce back years, and just stay in contention. It should be no different this year. They went to the playoffs last year despite having injuries to Moore, Hellickson and Cobb in the rotation.

    I believe this year will be no different. Pitching and defense rules and the Rays have plenty of BOTH. With Longoria, Myers, Loney, Zobrist, Jennings, Escobar, DeJesus, and hopefully Hanigan bouncing back, this should be the best, most consistent offense we have had. All 5 teams in this division will be fighting until the end however, so it will be no easy task to even get the playoffs, much less win the division. I think they do with their pitching though.

    Prediction:
    95-67 Division win

    [​IMG]

    GO RAYS!!!
     
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  5. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    Ugh that right I forgot you guys have Balfour.....
     
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  6. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Mac may be on the wrong side of 30 but don't worry he'll be a significant upgrade over whatever the Yankees had at catcher last season. The question mark for him is more for the duration of the contract.
     
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  7. Mainge

    Mainge Season Ticket Holder

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    This is a pretty good idea. Maybe we should do the Mainge Boik and Atlanta Braves thread
     
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  8. muscle979

    muscle979 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    There are a decent number of Marlins, Mets, and Braves fans here. An NL East thread could work too. This division thread is a great idea.
     
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  9. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    Kudos to RF and Nappy for originally coming up with it...
     
  10. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    Whats your honest opinion on Jeter for fantasy? I just dont know if I can commit to him, not knowing how many games he will play this year.
     
  11. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    I wouldn't touch him to be honest with you. I just see way too much risk there and you could find better value with someone else. He's going to be a 40 year old SS coming off of a missed year due to a major ankle injury, so you have to figure his days of stealing are over and he was never a power hitter. The only thing you can hope he still helps you with is BA and runs scored but again it all depends on how much he plays. Realistically I bet he hits around .270 to .280 with a .330 to .340 OBP and around .400 SLG %.

    I don't know how deep your league is but do you think he'd be a top 15 SS this year?
     
  12. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    It was a team effort my friend. But yeah I did come up with it, mainly because I felt bad for Nappy.
     
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  13. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    Extremely deep. 20 team league. All mlb buffs with 5 keepers each team.
     
  14. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    I always felt like the little brother on the outside of a circle. Jumping up and down trying to get a word in.
     
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  15. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Haha nah.

    Hey good thing the Rays didn't trade Price for Walker huh? Walker is getting an MRI on his shoulder.
     
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  16. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Don't you already have Bogaerts in that league? What's the starting line up? All 9 offensive positions? Or does your league have extra spots for a CIF, MIF, COF etc?

    I'd probably rank Jeter around the 15th to 20th spot to be honest with you. SS isn't super deep but everyone after 10th spot is pretty similar. I'd still look elsewhere. Maybe try to grab someone like Addison Russell if he's not taken already who might be up mid-season. Or another SS prospect like Lindor or Baez who have an outside shot for this year but should be in the mix for next year.
     
  17. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    I watched his ab's closely yesterday....his swings were ehh, but the timing thing is due to the layoffs IMO....what I paid attention too was how he ran....IMO he ran down the line REALLY well....If he stays healthy he will play, Joe will see to it, whether it be at SS/DH and IMO will be a good candidate to break 100 runs....its out of the realm for him to bat 270-280 either....you know what you get from Jeter, singles, doubles, walks and runs....he is intriguing but if you cant get in the later rounds I would do it...honestly in a 20 team league you could do worse...

    Not that it means anything but he lost 8 pounds going from 199 to 191....at 4 pounds of pressure relived for every pound lost on your knees and ankles 32 pounds of pressure is a good number to lose...

    here take a look....

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb...md=20140227&content_id=68428106&vkey=news_mlb

    his AB's at the end of that video...
     
  18. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    The Vegas MLB Over/Under win totals were released a few days ago:

    AL East:
    Blue Jays at 79.5
    Orioles at 80.5
    Yankees at 86.5
    Red Sox at 87.5
    Rays at 88.5

    Basically Vegas thinks it's a toss up for who wins the East.

    Other AL teams of note:
    Tigers at 89.5
    A's at 88.5
    Rangers at 86.5
    Angels at 86.5

    So based off of the over/unders Vegas thinks the Rays, Tigers and A's are going to win their divisions with the Red Sox winning 1 of the WC spots and a three team tie for the 2nd between the Yankees, Rangers and Angels.

    Win totals aside I kind of agree that it will probably be these 6 or 7 teams fighting for 5 spots where 1 win or loss could make the difference. Again its that small margain of error that kind of confuses me that the Yankees aren't seriously considering signing Stephen Drew who would probably be a 1 to 3 win gain over the Kelly/Johnson/Roberts/Nunez/Sizemore group.
     
  19. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    Why overpay though, because that's what you are going to get with him, and that's what Boras wants to be honest. Heres how that happens. If Drew stays unsigned until after Opening Day, it disqualifies him from be able to be offered arbitration at years end. That is one. Two if he stays out past the MLB Draft, the compensatory pick goes away. At this point Drew should wait until after OD at least to get next year locked in, same with Morales and Santana....June is another story...
     
  20. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Is that a fact? Never heard that before.

    I'm not saying overpay, I still think you'd be able to get him on a pretty team friendly contract right now and maybe work out a deal where if you only want him for 1 year agree not to give him the QO. Of course that wouldn't matter if the team can get him to sign a multi-year deal, which would make sense for a team like the Yankees who will need a SS next year and there's no guarantee either Hardy or Hanley will be available and that the Yankees can even sign them. Plus teams might not want to wait until after Opening Day or June to sign these guys as a win or 2 could make all the difference in playing in October. Plus I think it would be incredibly dumb for a healthy player to willingly sit out until June.

    I don't think any of the Drew/Morales/Santana trio is going to sit out until June. Again just a friendly reminder that on March 25, 2013 the Brewers signed Kyle Lohse and pitched in his Brewer game on 4/5 which was their 4th game of the season. Today is only the 28th of February. There is still a lot of ST left.

    In fact with the Walker news, I bet Seattle jumps into the Santana market soon. All it takes is an injury for teams to start calling.
     
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  21. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/...ts-may-hold-out-until-after-june-draft-022314

    Boras isn't playing this game again with Drew, especially at present time both Hardy and Hanley aren't extended yet.....I don't see him signing until after OD...
     
  22. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    Me either for pitchers.....but for the position players? I can see it,,,
     
  23. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    I can't, it just wouldn't make sense for the player. If Drew signed the day after opening day he'd still need about 2 to 3 weeks to play in extended ST/minor league games to get in game ready baseball shape so he wouldn't join the MLB club until mid April, the earliest. It makes zero sense. Again players get hurt all the time in ST. All it takes is for a team to lose their player to injury or underperformance and Drew's phone will ring.
     
  24. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    Agreed, if everyone remains healthy? on all teams at that position? I just think Boras aint hearing it....time will tell...

    Again I am taking Opening Day not June...
     
  25. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    Tanaka is ok on Saturday, however the thing that is of a concern right off the bat is CC velo, he TOPPED out at 88MPH. Yikes. That is AP-ville, he will really need to spot his pitches if that's what it is....
     
  26. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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  27. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Nothing to be too concerned about on March 1st, but something to keep an eye on. Last year CC's FB velo average was around 91 mph.
     
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  28. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    I had Bogaerts, but I traded him this off season for an $17 James Shields(Bogaerts was $10)




    Tanaka's split was filthy. Pretty impressed with him in those 2 innings.
     
  29. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Awful trade Colletti.
     
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  30. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    NEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD :lol:
     
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  31. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    I have a feeling Moore is going to have a very good year....
     
  32. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    It was tough giving Bogaerts up. But I know what I am going to get from Shields. I think Bogaerts is going to be a good player, but who knows if he can even come close to James production this season. Especially if you guys go out and sign Drew back.
     
  33. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    The tale of two Moores. The Moore with good command and velocity. The Moore with bad command and dropped velocity. He had some elbow issues last year that may have had a pretty good amount of reason for it. But I really can't blame it all on that. His command has always been erratic in the minors. Hopefully it improves.
     
  34. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    Obviously just breaking stones but and maybe it's just me I would never trade a young top position prospect, especially at a premium position for a pitcher. But I'm all about offense in fantasy I usually just patch up my rotation with 3s and 4th starters.
     
  35. Nappy Roots

    Nappy Roots Well-Known Member

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    20 team league. 6 starters a team. Max 7 starts a week. I think pitching is a pretty good premium.

    I agree in a normal life with your thinking. But I have to live for next season.
     
  36. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    He prepared differently this offseason though....he changed somethings up he was saying, worked out alot harder because he was pain free.....I think he goes off this year.....

    Nova was talking about how the trip to AAA last year pissed him off and he made it a point from that day on to stay up in the bigs.....Go look at his numbera AFTER the All-Star beak last year....hr came into camp ready to this year, I like his maturity development...now of course he is known for the slumping shoulders after a hit so hopefully that changes too...

    Very interested in him and also Nova, if you can get Nova cheap on a trade Nappy I might do it....
     
  37. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    BIG day tomorrow for Pineda....crossed fingers...
     
  38. finyank13

    finyank13 Reality Check

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    I mean what are they busy throwing BP to A-Rod? wtf...
     
  39. Ray Finkle

    Ray Finkle Member

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    That is completely and utterly ridiculous that he had no one to throw him BP. I mean how is that even possible for that to happen?
     
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  40. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    It doesn't seem like it is but....m
     

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