It may be too early to vote, but I got to show appreciation to the guys off to the hot starts so I voted. Here are my all stars as of today. I’ll just give you the starters and then I’ll do a complete all star roster (my opinion) when the full rosters are revealed.
1B Kevin Youkilis
.395 5 HR 15 RBI 1 SB
2B Ian Kinsler
.322 7 HR 20 RBI 7 SB
SS Marco Scutaro
.281 5 HR 15 RBI 1 SB
3B Evan Longoria
.369 6 HR 24 RBI 1 SB
C Victor Martinez
.386 5 HR 11 RBI
OF Jason Bay
.324 5 HR 19 RBI 2 SB
OF Torii Hunter
.325 8 HR 16 RBI 1 SB
OF Nick Markakis
.381 2 HR 22 RBI
1B Albert Pujols
.337 8 HR 28 RBI 4 SB
2B Chase Utley
.342 7 HR 20 RBI 2 SB
SS Hanley Ramirez
.289 2 HR 12 RBI 3 SB
3B Ryan Zimmerman
.289 5 HR 16 RBI
C Bengie Molina
.329 4 HR 18 RBI
OF Andre Ethier
.306 5 HR 22 RBI 1 SB
OF Raul Ibanez
.359 7 HR 17 RBI 3 SB
OF Manny Ramirez
.372 5 HR 15 RBI
Season Preview: San Francisco Giants
Projected MLB Rank: 9th (t) — NL Rank: 6th (t) — NL West Rank: 3rd — Record: (88-74)
The Giants had a rough season last year with a 72-90 record with few highlights, with the exception of star righthander Tim Lincecum. This year I would expect a difference if the offense can find a way to produce some runs. They were second to last in the league last year in runs per game with 3.95 and were the only team in the major leagues to not top 100 homeruns as a team. This year I think that will change.
They have a bunch of good young players that should step up and improve their batting from last year. A big part of the improvement should come from thirdbaseman Pablo Sandoval. The 22 year old hit .345 with 3 homeruns and 24 RBIs in 41
games last season. Once he gains some patience at the plate, watch out for this kid. Quick leftfielder Fred Lewis should get on base and steal some bases for this lineup and give the middle of the order players a chance to drive in some runs.
Along with Sandoval, the middle of that lineup should consist of veterans Bengie Molina and Randy Winn. Molina nearly hit .300 last season while hitting 16 homeruns and driving in 95 runs. Winn hit over .300 and provides a little bit of production while stealing some bases at the same time. Aaron Rowand also has the potential to hit in the middle of the order. He doesn’t hit for too much power, but he’s as blue-collar as it gets concerning his work on the field.
The right side of the infield consists of guys who are competing for starting spots. The projected starters are Travis Ishikawa and Kevin Frandsen at first and second bases, respectively. Ishikawa doesn’t hit for much power but posts a good on base percentage. Also in the running for the firstbase job is John Bowker and even Sandoval, if he doesn’t start at third. Frandsen and Emmanuel Burriss seem to be the main candidates for the secondbase job. Shortstop is a position they upgraded this offseason by bringing in veteran Edgar Renteria. Last year with the Tigers, Renteria hit .270 with an OBP of .317 while driving in 55 runs.
As we know, in baseball, pitching wins ballgames. The Giants certainly have pitching. It all starts with reigning Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum. With the struggling offense last season, Lincecum found a way to chalk up 18 wins while having the lowest ERA in the National League and leading the entire league in strikeouts. In three full seasons, righty Matt Cain has yet to breakout as he’s posted an ERA in the high threes and having similar strikeout totals. He’s still only 24, so all hope in not lost in the young Cain.
Another offseason acquisition, Randy Johnson, should help this team out a bunch. The future hall of fame lefthander is 45 years young and can still pitch well. Last season he posted a 3.91 ERA and won 11 games. Then fellow lefty Barry Zito, who seems to haven’t been the same since he got to San Fran in 2007, is now considered the fourth starter. One thing he has proved is that he’s reliable despite the high ERA, WHIP, and bad strikeout to walk ratios. The fifth starter looks like it will be Jonathan Sanchez who is a good power pitcher that needs to find his control if he wants to stay a major league pitcher.
The offseason acquisitions continue as we move to the bullpen. Southpaw Jeremy Affeldt, coming over from the Reds has great stuff and will be in the set up mix along with fellow winter add on Bob Howry. Howry had a rough year in 2008 statistically but I think he fits in with the Giants nicely. Rounding out the solid bullpen in righty Sergio Romo (2.12 ERA / 0.71 WHIP / 29 games), lefty Alex Hinshaw (3.40 ERA / 48 games), Merkin Valdez (1.69 ERA / 17 games), and many others. Brian Wilson will get many chances for saves once again as he posted 41 of them last season. He posts a nice strikeout rate but last season had a high ERA and WHIP.
I think that this pitching staff may be the most underrated in the league (thus why I have them ranked so highly). Look for a Blue Jays-esque season with the Giants as I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs but I have them tacking a win total in the high eighties. Awesome pitching staff with improving bats could lead to a productive year by the bay.
I haven’t written in a while, a long while. So for the few (or none) that read this, I apologize.
So Manny Ramirez turned down a one-year $25 million contract offer from the Dodgers today. He needs to realize that if he hasn’t been offered a multi-year deal at this point, he is not going to get it at the price he wants. There’s no doubt in my mind that Manny will be signed by the time Spring Training games start. He is only one of the best right-handed hitters of all time. At 36 years young, he came off a season in which he hit .332 overall with 37 homeruns. He was the most deadly hitter in the game after the deal that sent him from Boston to Hollywood.
So who wouldn’t want him in their lineup? No one. Who wouldn’t want the annoying antics that come with such a producer over several years? Everyone. But the teams that need the production have to take the good with the bad. So Manny and his career .314 average and 527 homeruns will have to either lower the price for a multi-year deal or take the $25 million for a year from LA.
Three teams where he would “fit”:
Los Angeles Dodgers
Why would they not want him back? Without him, they very well could not have made the playoffs last year. As far as I know he was appreciated in the locker room. If they fail to sign Manny, they will need to go after an Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu because their pitching won’t be as good as it was last year.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants need some kind of offensive threat. They have some of the best pitching in the league so landing Manny would make them a contender in the NL West and would also add to the still talented veterans that they have in Bengie Molina, Randy Winn, Edgar Renteria, and Aaron Rowand.
Los Angeles Angels
Manny moving across town really makes no sense for the Angels who are outfield heavy but would like to replace the production they lost when Texeira signed with the Bombers.
So lets all watch the Manny & Boris Blues continue.