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
hitters.

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.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.