Projections and Paces – Brewers

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The article below is meant to provide a quick look at how my
preseason projections match up with the paces of select major league

Prince Fielder
2008: .276/.372/.507, 34 HR, 86 R, 102 RBI, 3 SB in 588 AB
Proj..: .289/.401/.552, 38 HR, 93 R, 116 RBI, 3 SB in 567 AB
Pace: .302/.430/.595, 39 HR, 98 R, 157 RBI, 0 SB in 569 AB

If he can keep it up, Fielder would be the first National League to
drive in 150 runs since Sammy Sosa in 2001. Ryan Howard just missed in
2006 (149) and 2008 (146).

Ryan Braun
2008: .285/.335/.553, 37 HR, 92 R, 106 RBI, 14 SB in 611 AB
Proj..: .296/.352/.567, 39 HR, 110 R, 107 RBI, 18 SB in 626 AB
Pace: .321/.416/.575, 34 HR, 120 R, 118 RBI, 12 SB in 589 AB

Braun was talked about as a legitimate MVP candidate for his 2008
performance. He’ll be more deserving this year if he maintains his
current pace, but he’s still not the best hitter on his own team.

Mike Cameron
2008: .243/.331/.477, 25 HR, 69 R, 70 RBI, 17 SB in 444 AB
Proj..: .248/.338/.455, 23 HR, 74 R, 78 RBI, 18 SB in 517 AB
Pace: .250/.358/.477, 29 HR, 76 R, 76 RBI, 5 SB in 540 AB

Cameron remains one of the game’s most underrated players, but he
hasn’t been quite as valuable as the OPS suggests this year, as he’s
hitting just .118 in 51 at-bats with RISP. Nine of his 12 homers have
come with the bases empty.

Corey Hart
2008: .268/.300/.459, 20 HR, 76 R, 91 RBI, 23 SB in 612 AB
Proj..: .286/.339/.480, 22 HR, 83 R, 98 RBI, 20 SB in 594 AB
Pace: .264/.325/.452, 22 HR, 101 R, 79 RBI, 10 SB in 587 AB

Hitting at the top of the order has resulted in a reversal of Hart’s
run and RBI numbers. I think his speed would be more useful behind
Braun and Fielder, since it makes little sense to risk getting thrown
out on steal attempts with those two up. Cameron is the better fit as a
No. 2 hitter.

J.J. Hardy
2008: .293/.343/.478, 24 HR, 78 R, 74 RBI, 2 SB in 569 AB
Proj..: .274/.335/.456, 23 HR, 86 R, 72 RBI, 3 SB in 570 AB
Pace: .219/.301/.344, 15 HR, 79 R, 71 RBI, 0 SB in 528 AB

Perhaps he’s finally starting to come out of it now. Hart went
5-for-12 with a homer and four RBI in the series against the Indians.

Jason Kendall
2008: .246/.327/.324, 2 HR, 46 R, 49 RBI, 8 SB in 516 AB
Proj..: .260/.343/.328, 2 HR, 55 R, 40 RBI, 6 SB in 470 AB
Pace: .232/.324/.276, 0 HR, 49 R, 44 RBI, 2 SB in 454 AB

Unfortunately, there’s just nothing separating him from Brad Ausmus at this point.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.