Projections and Paces – Indians

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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.

Victor Martinez
2008: .278/.337/.365, 2 HR, 30 R, 35 RBI, 0 SB in 266 AB
Proj..: .296/.368/.459, 19 HR, 71 R, 92 RBI, 0 SB in 538 AB
Pace: .345/.424/.550, 26 HR, 112 R, 119 RBI, 0 SB in 615 AB

Martinez is on pace for new career highs in every category except
steals. He actually did have one stolen base in his rookie season in
2003. He hasn’t even attempted one since 2005.

Mark DeRosa
2008: .285/.376/.481, 21 HR, 103 R, 87 RBI, 6 SB in 505 AB
Proj..: .271/.350/.411, 15 HR, 85 R, 71 RBI, 7 SB in 557 AB
Pace: .280/.348/.479, 31 HR, 110 R, 114 RBI, 0 SB in 612 AB

DeRosa has raised his average from .236 in April to .291 in May to
.323 so far this month. His trade value is increasing as well.

Shin-Soo Choo
2008: .309/.397/.549, 14 HR, 68 R, 66 RBI, 4 SB in 317 AB
Proj..: .287/.367/.459, 15 HR, 84 R, 83 RBI, 11 SB in 516 AB
Pace: .297/.409/.464, 21 HR, 100 R, 98 RBI, 26 SB in 569 AB

Stolen from the Mariners for Ben Broussard two years ago, Choo has
turned into one of Cleveland’s building blocks. He is currently
sporting a .293/.388/.484 line in 748 major league at-bats, and he’s a
perfect 11-for-11 in his steal attempts this season.

Jhonny Peralta
2008: .276/.331/.473, 23 HR, 104 R, 89 RBI, 3 SB in 605 AB
Proj..: .273/.343/.449, 21 HR, 89 R, 88 RBI, 2 SB in 583 AB
Pace: .252/.331/.338, 5 HR, 45 R, 62 RBI, 0 SB in 529 AB

It looked like Peralta came out of his early-season funk when he hit
.316 in May, but his average is down again recently and he still hasn’t
found his power stroke. The Indians seem pretty frustrated, but it’s
not like they can give up on him. A return to form remains likely.

Ben Francisco
2008: .266/.332/.438, 15 HR, 65 R, 54 RBI, 4 SB in 447 AB
Proj..: .271/.333/.432, 12 HR, 60 R, 63 RBI, 13 SB in 431 AB
Pace: .233/.297/.372, 12 HR, 67 R, 55 RBI, 24 SB in 512 AB

Francisco, on the other hand, needs to be turned into a fourth
outfielder. It could well happen if Grady Sizemore returns. Also, the
Indians will want to give Matt LaPorta and Trevor Crowe real
opportunities after the break.

Asdrubal Cabrera
2008: .259/.346/.366, 6 HR, 48 R, 47 RBI, 4 SB in 352 AB
Proj..: .281/.352/.409, 10 HR, 77 R, 68 RBI, 9 SB in 531 AB
Pace: .316/.374/.427, 5 HR, 91 R, 64 RBI, 17 SB in 491 AB

Cabrera does fan quite a bit, so he wasn’t likely to keep up the
.316 average. Still, the Indians miss his offense and his defense even
more.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.