Golden Baseball League stats

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Aaron’s mention of Scott Spiezio signing to play in the Golden Baseball League got me curious, so here’s a look at the stats of the notable and semi-notable players participating in the league this year.
Walter Young – .329/.394/.482, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 15/5 K/BB, 0 SB in 85 AB
Hulking first baseman got a brief look with the Orioles in 2005, hitting .303/.378/.424 in 33 at-bats, but the team was never interested in giving him a real shot when they could go with over-the-hill players like Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Kevin Millar and Jeff Conine. He’s been drifting between indy leagues since 2007.
Kris Honel – 4-4, 4.30 ERA, 36 H, 45/43 K/BB in 46 IP
Honel, the 16th overall pick in the 2001 draft, was regarded as one of baseball’s top pitching prospects before blowing wrecking his arm in 2004. After Tommy John surgery at the end of 2005, he returned with decent stuff and no command in 2007. The numbers suggest that nothing has changed since.
Joey Gomes – .305/.343/.547, 10 HR, 43 RBI, 28/13 K/BB, 2 SB in 190 AB
Jonny’s older brother typically put up solid numbers, but never made it higher than Double-A after the Rays drafted him in the eighth round in 2002.
Jo Matumoto – 4-5, 4.62 ERA, 91 H, 74/25 K/BB in 78 IP
It was something of a big deal when the Jays signed Matumoto, the then 36-year-old ace of Brazil’s national team, in 2007, but mid-3.00 ERAs in both Double- and Triple-A weren’t enough to get him a look during his two years in the organization.
Jose Lima – 5-5, 2.93 ERA, 84 H, 51/10 K/BB in 83 IP
Lima will never see the majors again, but he can still get it done against lesser hitters.
Hideki Irabu – 5-3, 3.58 ERA, 62 H, 66/19 K/BB in 65 1/3 IP
Irabu was using the Golden League as a springboard for a comeback in Japan. He recently returned to his native land, though he’s pitching in a minor league at the moment.
Sergio Pedroza – .330/.443/.583, 14 HR, 60 RBI, 54/44 K/BB, 10 SB in 230 AB
It seems the scouts were right about Pedroza, who tore up A-ball pitching but flopped in Double-A last year. The 2005 third-round pick still has a career OPS of 883 in four minor league seasons, but it appears that he didn’t get any offers he liked after being let go by the Rays after last season.
Josh Karp – 0-1, 19.29 ERA, 20 H, 5/2 K/BB in 7 IP
Karp’s stay was a short one. The sixth overall pick in the 2001 draft hadn’t played in the minors since 2005 before staging his brief comeback.
Alexis Gomez – .340/.419/.698, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 8/8 K/BB, 8 SB in 53 AB
In his last major league action, Gomez hit .272/.318/.388 in 103 at-bats for the Tigers in 2006. He is still a pretty good Triple-A regular, so he’s rather overqualified for the Golden League.
Damian Jackson – .363/.412/.514, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 28/21 K/BB in 212 AB
Jackson’s 11-season major league career came to an end when he hit .198/.295/.371 for the Nationals in 2006. That said, he still might be a better player than most of the shortstops the Royals have trotted out in the three years since.
Robert Fick – .323/.378/.513, 5 HR, 38 RBI, 24/15 K/BB, 0 SB in 158 AB
Like Jackson, Fick is a former Padre playing for Phil Nevin on the Orange County squad. He last played in the majors with the Nationals in 2007.
Jonathan Rouwenhorst – 0-1, 2.13 ERA, 26 H, 23/7 K/BB in 25 1/3 IP
Rouwenhorst possesses one of my favorite deliveries in baseball, but after experiencing a great deal of success at lower levels, he stalled out in Triple-A and failed to reach the majors with the Angels or Braves.
Dustin Yount – .297/.380/.462, 7 HR, 39 RBI, 32/28 K/BB in 212 AB
Robin’s son was the Orioles’ ninth-round pick in 2001. He topped out in Double-A in 2006 and was released after hitting .228/.323/.347 in 167 at-bats at the level.
Emiliano Fruto – 0-2, 3.96 ERA, 22 H, 39/11 K/BB in 25 IP
Maybe the most talented hurler in the league, Fruto had a 4.36 ERA and a 549/299 K/BB ratio in 566 1/3 innings as a major leaguer. Last year, he fanned 102 and walked 59 in 89 innings for Triple-A Tucson. He’s still just 25 now, so odds are that he’ll return to affiliated ball at some point.
Other notables
Manny Ayala – 2-3, 8.23 ERA, 40 H, 12/20 K/BB in 27 1/3 IP
Lorenzo Barcelo – 6-5, 5.13 ERA, 97 H, 75/5 K/BB in 79 IP
Eude Brito – 3-0, 3.48 ERA, 34 H, 22/8 K/BB in 31 IP
Matt Durkin – 8-3, 3.77 ERA, 81 H, 34/46 K/BB in 83 2/3 IP
Bartolome Fortunato – 2-1, 2.63 ERA, 18 H, 33/6 K/BB in 24 IP
Mac Suzuki – 4-3, 5 Sv, 2.35 ERA, 31 H, 59/8 K/BB in 38 1/3 IP
Wayne Franklin – 1-2, 3.38 ERA, 38 H, 21/23 K/BB in 40 IP
Ismael Castro – .316/.330/.449, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 21/5 K/BB, 7 SB in 225 AB
Ben Johnson – .545/.583/1.091, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3/1 K/BB, 0 SB in 11 AB
Angel Sanchez – .266/.412/.525, 11 HR, 33 RBI, 46/37 K/BB, 3 SB in 177 AB
Juan Senreiso – .284/.386/.403, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 21/20 K/BB, 11 SB in 134 AB
Junior Spivey – .326/.436/.478, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 7/9 K/BB, 0 SB in 46 AB
Ruddy Yan – .362/.438/.402, 0 HR, 30 RBI, 22/28 K/BB, 22 SB in 199 AB

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.