Results tagged ‘ Athletics ’
As I did last year, and the year before, and the year before that, I’ll be keeping a running list of the Top 100 Players Right Now as they are revealed on MLB Network, eventually compiling the entire list.
They will have revealed all 100 by the end of Friday, February 27th. I’ll update this same space as they reveal the remaining entries.
As always, I will understandably highlight the Brewers players on the list. The Brewers had six players on the list entering 2012. Rickie Weeks was 83, John Axford was 77, Yovani Gallardo was 72, Aramis Ramirez was 66, Zack Greinke was 64, and Ryan Braun was too low at number 9. Entering 2013, the Brewers only had three players featured on the list (at the time it was revealed). Yovani Gallardo repeated his position at 72, Aramis Ramirez jumped all the way up to 32, and Braun settled in at 6. Kyle Lohse made last year’s list as well. As for 2014, just three players once again. Jean Segura checked in at 60, Carlos Gomez debuted at 44, and Ryan Braun dipped to 24.
The criteria for the list remains the same:
- Emphasized stats from the last three (3) seasons, weighting 2014
- Projected 2015 performance
- Defensive position
Here now are the Top 100-1* Players as listed by MLB Network:
100. Joe Mauer – 1B – Minnesota Twins
99. Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
98. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers
97. Prince Fielder – 1B – Texas Rangers
96. Yordano Ventura – RP – Kansas City Royals
95. Pablo Sandoval – 3B – Boston Red Sox
94. Ben Zobrist – 2B – Oakland Athletics
93. Adam Eaton – OF – Chicago White Sox
92. Gerrit Cole – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates
91. Devin Mesoraco – C – Cincinnati Reds
90. Russell Martin – C – Toronto Blue Jays
89. Jake Arrieta – SP – Chicago Cubs
88. Lance Lynn – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
87. Kenley Jansen – CL – Los Angeles Dodgers
86. Jose Reyes – SS – Toronto Blue Jays
85. Andrelton Simmons – SS – Atlanta Braves
84. Nolan Arenado – 3B – Colorado Rockies
83. Chris Carter – 1B – Houston Astros
82. Jeff Samardzija – SP – Chicago White Sox
81. Starling Marte – LF – Pittsburgh Pirates
80. Jose Fernandez – SP – Miami Marlins
79. Christian Yelich – LF – Miami Marlins
78. Julio Teheran – SP – Atlanta Braves
77. Alex Cobb – SP – Tampa Bay Rays
76. Jayson Werth – LF – Washington Nationals
75. J.D. Martinez – RF – Detroit Tigers
74. Todd Frazier – 3B – Cincinnati Reds
73. Neil Walker – 2B – Pittsburgh Pirates
72. Carlos Santana – 1B – Cleveland Indians
71. Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City Royals
70. Sonny Gray – SP – Oakland Athletics
69. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals
68. Doug Fister – SP – Washington Nationals
67. Freddie Freeman – 1B – Atlanta Braves
66. Nelson Cruz – DH – Seattle Mariners
65. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals
64. Josh Harrison – 3B – Pittsburgh Pirates
63. Ryan Braun – RF – Milwaukee Brewers
62. Yasiel Puig – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers
61. Aroldis Chapman – CL – Cincinnati Reds
60. Matt Harvey – SP – New York Mets
59. Masahiro Tanaka – SP – New York Yankees
58. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Los Angeles Dodgers
57. Kyle Seager – 3B – Seattle Mariners
56. Yan Gomes – C – Cleveland Indians
55. Matt Kemp – RF – San Diego Padres
54. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF – New York Yankees
53. Anthony Rizzo – 1B – Chicago Cubs
52. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox
51. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays
50. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
49. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays
48. Hunter Pence – RF – San Francisco Giants
47. Hisashi Iwakuma – SP – Seattle Mariners
46. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals
45. Yu Darvish – SP – Texas Rangers
44. Jason Heyward – RF – St. Louis Cardinals
43. Jon Lester – SP – Chicago Cubs
42. Carlos Gonzalez – RF – Colorado Rockies
41. Jhonny Peralta – SS – St. Louis Cardinals
40. Greg Holland – CL – Kansas City Royals
39. Wade Davis – RP – Kansas City Royals
38. Carlos Gomez – CF – Milwaukee Brewers
37. Justin Upton – LF – San Diego Padres
36. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox
35. Jordan Zimmermann – SP – Washington Nationals
34. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves
33. Victor Martinez – DH – Detroit Tigers
32. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds
31. Anthony Rendon – 3B – Washington Nationals
30. Jose Altuve – 2B – Houston Astros
29. Ian Desmond – SS – Washington Nationals
28. Zack Greinke – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
27. Hanley Ramirez – LF – Boston Red Sox
26. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants
25. David Price – SP – Detroit Tigers
24. Bryce Harper – RF – Washington Nationals
23. Jonathan Lucroy – C – Milwaukee Brewers
22. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles
21. Michael Brantley – LF – Cleveland Indians
20. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers
19. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals
18. Josh Donaldson – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays
17. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies
16. Johnny Cueto – SP – Cincinnati Reds
15. Corey Kluber – SP – Cleveland Indians
14. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
13. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – Arizona Diamondbacks
12. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays
11. Max Scherzer – SP – Washington Nationals
10. Robinson Cano – 2B – Seattle Mariners
9. Jose Abreu – 1B – Chicago White Sox
8. Buster Posey – C/1B – San Francisco Giants
7. Miguel Cabrera – 1B – Detroit Tigers
6. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Chris Sale – SP – Chicago White Sox
4. Giancarlo Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins
3. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners
2. Mike Trout – CF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
1. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
Ryan Braun has been revealed as the 63rd best player in Major League Baseball “Right Now” entering 2015. As the criteria for the rankings weights 2014 the most and pretty much only relies on the last three years of stats at all, this is an understandable position for Braun right now. I have a feeling though that at this time next year Braun will have rebounded a bit.
Carlos Gomez moves up six spots from 44 last year to check in at 38. I’d rather have Gomez than Justin Upton at 37.
And due to a Twitter tease, we know (or at least Brewers fans do) that Jonathan Lucroy will be number 23 when they get there.
I’ll update more once I see who is around the Brewers, but that’s the only three I expect to make the list.
Here’s the 2015 Spring Training schedule! Cactus League action, come for the scorpion stings, stay for the cactus spines in your foot!
Below is the official press release with all of the dates/times/opponents.
Here are the quick hit highlights:
- P&C (and my annual viewing of the movie Major League) is officially set for Friday, February 20th
- Position players must report by Wednesday, February 25th
- Open with an exhibition against the UW-Milwaukee Panthers baseball team
- Gone is the traditional Maryvale opener against the Oakland Athletics. (Related to the Nashville Sounds re-affiliation?)
- No Miller Park exhibitions in 2015
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the team’s 2015 Spring Training schedule, which consists of 31 Cactus League games, including 16 at Maryvale Baseball Park.
The Brewers will open the spring schedule on Wednesday, March 4, against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team at Maryvale Baseball Park. This will mark the first time the Brewers will face a collegiate team in an exhibition game since 1983 when they played the Arizona State University men’s baseball team. It will also mark the first-ever contest between the Brewers and the Panthers.
The Brewers will host their National League Central rival Chicago Cubs on Saturday, March 14. The spring slate includes one scheduled split squad date on Sunday, March 15 vs. the Oakland Athletics at Maryvale Baseball Park and also against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Following an off day on Monday, March 16 – the first of two off days (also off on Monday, March 30) – the Brewers will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a game against the San Diego Padres in Peoria on Tuesday, March 17.
The Brewers will play three night games this spring. They include Friday, March 13 against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex (7:05 p.m. local start time); Tuesday, March 24 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Talking Stick (6:40 p.m.); and Friday, March 27 with a 7:05 p.m. game against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. All other spring games are day games, most of which will begin at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time (the games on Thursday, April 2 and Saturday, April 4 will begin at 12:05 p.m.).
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Friday, February 20. All position players have a report date of Wednesday, February 25. The first full workout is scheduled for Thursday, February 26.
Tickets for the Milwaukee Brewers’ home Spring Training games will go on sale at 9 a.m. CT on Monday, December 8 at Brewers.com and by phone at 800-933-7890. Normal business hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT. Sales at the Maryvale Baseball Park Box Office will begin on Monday, February 9, 2015. Tickets are available in four seating areas: Field Box ($23), Infield Reserved ($17), Outfield Reserved ($13) and Lawn Seating ($8). In addition, there will also be a limited number of advanced parking passes available for $5. Information on Spring Training Season Tickets can be obtained by calling the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at 414-902-4000.
Please note that games and times are subject to change. (Home games are in bold.)
Date Time (CT) Opponent Location
Wednesday, March 4
2:05pm – UW-Milwaukee – Maryvale
Thursday, March 5
2:05pm – LA Angels of Anaheim – Tempe
Friday, March 6
2:05 pm – Los Angeles Dodgers – Maryvale
Saturday, March 7
2:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Maryvale
DAYLIGHT-SAVING TIME BEGINS MARCH 8
Sunday, March 8
3:05 pm – Los Angeles Dodgers – Camelback Ranch
Monday, March 9
3:05 pm – Kansas City Royals – Maryvale
Tuesday, March 10
3:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Maryvale
Wednesday, March 11
3:05 pm – San Francisco Giants – Scottsdale
Thursday, March 12
3:05 pm – Colorado Rockies – Maryvale
Friday, March 13
9:05 pm – Seattle Mariners – Peoria
Saturday, March 14
3:05 pm – Chicago Cubs – Maryvale
Sunday, March 15
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Maryvale – SPLIT-SQUAD
3:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Surprise – SPLIT-SQUAD
Monday, March 16
Tuesday, March 17
3:05 p.m – San Diego Padres – Peoria
Wednesday, March 18
3:05 pm – Kansas City Royals – Surprise
Thursday, March 19
3:05 pm – San Francisco Giants – Maryvale
Friday, March 20
3:05 pm – Arizona Diamondbacks – Maryvale
Saturday, March 21
3:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Surprise
Sunday, March 22
3:05 pm – Chicago White Sox – Maryvale
Monday, March 23
3:05 pm – Colorado Rockies – Talking Stick
Tuesday, March 24
8:40 pm – Arizona Diamondbacks – Talking Stick
Wednesday, March 25
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Maryvale
Thursday, March 26
3:05 pm – Seattle Mariners – Maryvale
Friday, March 27
9:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Goodyear
Saturday, March 28
3:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Maryvale
Sunday, March 29
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Mesa
Monday, March 30
Tuesday, March 31
3:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Maryvale
Wednesday, April 1
3:05 pm – Chicago Cubs – Mesa
Thursday, April 2
2:05 pm – San Diego Padres – Peoria
Friday, April 3
3:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Goodyear
Saturday, April 4
2:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Maryvale
They will have revealed all 100 by the end of Friday, February 21st. I’ll update this same space as they reveal the remaining entries.
As always, I will understandably highlight the Brewers players on the list. There were six Brewers on the list entering 2012. Rickie Weeks was 83, John Axford was 77, Yovani Gallardo was 72, Aramis Ramirez was 66, Zack Greinke was 64, and Ryan Braun was too low at number 9. Last year, the Brewers only had three players featured on the list (at the time it was revealed). Yovani Gallardo repeated his position at 72, Aramis Ramirez jumped all the way up to 32, and Braun settled in at 6. Kyle Lohse made last year’s list as well.
My early prediction? The Brewers could have six (6) this year (Braun, Ramirez, Kyle Lohse, Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura, Jonathan Lucroy) but I think Garza falls short for sure. (UPDATE: Looks like the Brewers will only have three again. Ramirez and Lohse both fall off the list and Lucroy gets no love either.)
The criteria for the list remains the same:
- Emphasized stats from the last three (3) seasons, weighting 2012
- Projected 2014 performance
- Defensive position
Here now are the Top 100-1* Players as listed by MLB Network:
100. Derek Jeter – SS – New York Yankees
99. Brandon Phillips – 2B – Cincinnati Reds
98. Torii Hunter – RF – Detroit Tigers
97. Andrelton Simmons – SS – Atlanta Braves
96. Shane Victorino – RF – Boston Red Sox
95. Ian Kinsler – 2B – Detroit Tigers
94. Gerrit Cole – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates
93. Shelby Miller – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
92. Michael Wacha – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
91. Trevor Rosenthal – CL – St. Louis Cardinals
90. Patrick Corbin – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks
89. Clay Buccholz – SP – Boston Red Sox
88. Matt Cain – SP – San Francisco Giants
87. Josh Donaldson – 3B – Oakland Athletics
86. Joe Nathan – CL – Detroit Tigers
85. Matt Wieters – C – Baltimore Orioles
84. Billy Butler – DH – Kansas City Royals
83. Jon Lester – SP – Boston Red Sox
82. Koji Uehara – CL – Boston Red Sox
81. Chase Utley – 2B – Philadelphia Phillies
80. Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
79. Pedro Alvarez – 3B – Pittsburgh Pirates
78. Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City Royals
77. Carlos Santana – C/3B – Cleveland Indians
76. Josh Hamilton – RF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
75. Eric Hosmer – 1B – Kansas City Royals
74. Hunter Pence – RF – San Francisco Giants
73. Michael Cuddyer – RF – Colorado Rockies
72. Justin Upton – LF – Atlanta Braves
71. Anibal Sanchez – SP – Detroit Tigers
70. Jason Kipnis – 2B – Cleveland Indians
69. Gio Gonzalez – SP – Washington Nationals
68. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants
67. Greg Holland – CL – Kansas City Royals
66. James Shields – SP – Kansas City Royals
65. Matt Carpenter – 3B – St. Louis Cardinals
64. Brian McCann – C – New York Yankees
63. J.J. Hardy – SS – Baltimore Orioles
62. Ian Desmond – SS – Washington Nationals
61. Jose Reyes – SS – Toronto Blue Jays
60. JEAN SEGURA – SS – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
59. Matt Kemp – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers
58. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals
57. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
56. Jordan Zimmermann – SP – Washington Nationals
55. Hisashi Iwakuma – SP – Seattle Mariners
54. Cliff Lee – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
53. Allen Craig – RF – St. Louis Cardinals
52. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Los Angeles Dodgers
51. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF – New York Yankees
50. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays
49. Jayson Werth – RF – Washington Nationals
48. Ryan Zimmerman – 3B – Washington Nationals
47. Carlos Beltran – RF – New York Yankees
46. Prince Fielder – 1B – Texas Rangers
45. Freddie Freeman – 1B – Atlanta Braves
44. CARLOS GOMEZ – CF – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
43. Wil Myers – RF – Tampa Bay Rays
42. Shin-Soo Choo – LF – Texas Rangers
41. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals
40. Victor Martinez – C/DH – Detroit Tigers
39. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays
38. Zack Greinke – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
37. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals
36. Jay Bruce – RF – Cincinnati Reds
35. Aroldis Chapman – CL – Cincinnati Reds
34. Joe Mauer – 1B – Minnesota Twins
33. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers
32. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
31. Yu Darvish – SP – Texas Rangers
30. Chris Davis – 1B – Baltimore Orioles
29. Manny Machado – 3B – Baltimore Orioles
28. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox
27. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox
26. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves
25. David Wright – 3B – New York Mets
24. RYAN BRAUN – RF – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
23. Yasiel Puig – RF – Los Angeles Dodgers
22. Bryce Harper – LF – Washington Nationals
21. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles
20. Giancarlo Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins
19. Chris Sale – SP – Chicago White Sox
18. Jose Fernandez – SP – Miami Marlins
17. Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants
16. Hanley Ramirez – SS – Los Angeles Dodgers
15. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays
14. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals
13. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies
12. Max Scherzer – SP – Detroit Tigers
11. Carlos Gonzalez – CF – Colorado Rockies
10. David Price – SP – Tampa Bay Rays
9. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds
7. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners
6. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers
5. Robinson Cano – 2B – Seattle Mariners
4. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates
3. Miguel Cabrera – 1B – Detroit Tigers
2. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
1. Mike Trout – CF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
So that’s the list! Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think. Did your favorite player make the list? Was he too high? Too low?
Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.
This year, I decided to supplement those rankings by giving you a place to find all of the Top 10 Right Now positional rankings as well.
I’ll add to this post as the episodes air on MLB Network over the next few weeks.
On Friday, January 10, 2014 the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. (See them below.) On Friday, January 17th both Starting Pitchers and Right Fielders were unveiled. Friday, January 24th brought us Left Fielders and First Basemen. Relief Pitchers and Second Basemen were revealed on Friday, January 31st.
Catchers and Third Basemen will be revealed on Friday, February 7th, so look for a couple more Brewers to make it.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”
- Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
- Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
- Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Carlos Gomez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Austin Jackson – Detroit Tigers
- Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
- Dexter Fowler – Houston Astros
- Coco Crisp – Oakland Athletics
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders was Darryl Hamilton. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Ellsbury, Gomez, Gonzalez, Jackson, Jones, Kemp, Desmond Jennings (TB), Leonys Martin (TEX)
James: Trout, McCutchen, Jones, Ellsbury, Gomez, Gonzalez, Jackson, Michael Bourn (CLE), Jennings, Denard Span (WAS)
Hamilton: Trout, McCutchen, Jones, Ellsbury, Gomez, Kemp, Jackson, Crisp, Gonzalez, Bourn
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
- Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
- Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royal
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops was Bill Ripken. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Reyes, Desmond, Andrus, Peralta, Derek Jeter (NYY), Simmons, Segura, Everth Cabrera (SD)
James: Tulowitzki, Hardy, Reyes, Jed Lowrie (OAK), Simmons, Andrus, Segura, Ramirez, Erick Aybar (LAA), Escobar
Ripken: Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Hardy, Simmons, Desmond, Segura, Stephen Drew (FA), Lowrie, Andrus, Reyes
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”
- Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies
- Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
- Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
- Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
- David Price – Tampa Bay Rays
- Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners
- Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
- Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
- Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers was John Smoltz. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Kershaw, Verlander, Lee, Hernandez, Wainwright, Yu Darvish (TEX), Scherzer, Fernandez, Madison Bumgarner (SF), Sale
James: Kershaw, Scherzer, Lee, Wainwright, Verlander, Zack Greinke (LAD), Sale, Jered Weaver (LAA), Hernandez, Darvish
Smoltz: Kershaw, Fernandez, Hernandez, Scherzer, Darvish, Verlander, Jon Lester (BOS), Stephen Strasburg (WAS), Wainwright, Price
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”
- Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
- Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
- Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
- Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals
- Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees
- Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
- Shane Victorino – Boston Red Sox
- Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
- Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders was Mark DeRosa. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Braun, Stanton, Puig, Heyward, Werth, Bautista, Craig, Jay Bruce (CIN), Wil Myers (TB), Pence
James: Braun, Bruce, Stanton, Heyward, Pence, Bautista, Victorino, Beltran, Puig, Torii Hunter (DET)
DeRosa: Beltran, Stanton, Bautista, Werth, Craig, Pence, Bruce, Hunter, Puig, Michael Cuddyer (COL)
You read that correctly. Mark DeRosa doesn’t Ryan Braun in his Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now despite Brian Kenny and Bill James both ranking Braun #1 and the Shredder ranking him second. DeRosa says Braun “should be 1” but since he has to earn back the respect of fans, his teammates, etc. DeRosa “hopes” he comes back and performs and is #1 next year, but he couldn’t discount other guys.
As for the Shredder, Brian Kenny said he was shocked not only that Braun wasn’t first but that Puig was. I’m guessing Braun was dinged by the Shredder for how many games he missed last year. That’ll happen in an algorithm.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”
- Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
- Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
- Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
- Justin Upton – Atlanta Braves
- Shin-Soo Choo – Texas Rangers
- Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Daniel Nava – Boston Red Sox
- Carlos Quentin – San Diego Padres
- Josh Hamilton – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Brett Gardner – New York Yankees
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders was Eric Byrnes. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Harper, Choo, Holliday, Marte, Upton, Gordon, Gardner, Yoenis Cespedes (OAK), Domonic Brown (PHI), Khris Davis (MIL)
James: Choo, Holliday, Gordon, Gardner, Nava, Harper, Upton, Brown, Cespedes, Hamilton
Byrnes: Holliday, Harper, Upton, Choo, Alfonso Soriano (NYY), Gordon, Marte, Hamilton, Nava, Brown
MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
- Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
- Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
- Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
- Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
- Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
- Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
- Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen was Sean Casey. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt, Freeman, Mauer, Fielder, Davis, Encarnacion, Brandon Belt (SF), Ad. Gonzalez
James: Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Votto, Davis, Mauer, Freeman, Encarnacion, Ad. Gonzalez, Napoli, Eric Hosmer (KC)
Casey: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt, Freeman, Davis, Fielder, Ad. Gonzalez, Mauer, Albert Pujols (LAA), Encarnacion
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”
- Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
- Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
- Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
- Joe Nathan – Detroit Tigers
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
- David Robertson – New York Yankees
- Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
- Luis Avilan – Atlanta Braves
- Joaquin Benoit – San Diego Padres
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers was Dan Plesac. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Kimbrel, Holland, Jansen, Chapman, Uehara, Trevor Rosenthal (STL), Perkins, Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon (PHI), Benoit
James: Kimbrel, Jansen, Chapman, Uehara, Holland, Nathan, Papelbon, Perkins, Rosenthal, Mark Melancon (PIT)
Plesac: Kimbrel, Holland, Chapman, Uehara, Jansen, Nathan, Jim Johnson (OAK), Perkins, Jason Grilli (PIT), Rex Brothers (COL)
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”
- Robinson Cano -Seattle Mariners
- Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
- Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
- Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
- Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
- Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Marco Scutaro – San Francisco Giants
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen was Harold Reynolds. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Cano, Pedroia, Kipnis, Utley, Hill, Zobrist, Kendrick, Kinsler, Walker, Omar Infante (KC)
James: Cano, Pedroia, Zobrist, Kipnis, Utley, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Kinsler, Infante, Jose Altuve (HOU), Kendrick
Reynolds: Cano, Pedroia, Phillips, Kipnis, Kendrick, Utley, Kinsler, Scutaro, Infante, Walker
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- Josh Donaldson – Oakland Athletics
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
- Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
- Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen was Mike Lowell. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Wright, Longoria, Beltre, Carpenter, Donaldson, Machado, Zimmerman, Headley, Kyle Seager (SEA), Martin Prado (ARI)
James: Longoria, Beltre, Wright, Carpenter, Zimmerman, Headley, Machado, Prado, Donaldson, Seager
Lowell: Beltre, Longoria, Wright, Machado, Donaldson, Ramirez, Headley, Carpenter, Zimmerman, Pedro Alvarez (PIT)
Neither Brian Kenny or Bill James included Aramis Ramirez in their personal Top 10.
Best line of the show? Kenny asked James why he put Longoria over Beltre and Wright. James’ response: “Probably fear.” He then admitted that he might be biased by working for the Red Sox.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”
- Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
- Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
- Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
- Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- Jason Castro – Houston Astros
- Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
- Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies
- Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies
- Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers was Dave Valle. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Posey, Molina, Santana, Brian McCann (NYY), Perez, Lucroy, Castro, Ruiz, Russell Martin (PIT), Montero
James: Posey, Molina, Perez, A.J. Pierzynski (BOS), Matt Wieters (BAL), Santana, Rosario, McCann, Lucroy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia (MIA)
Valle: Molina, Perez, Posey, Wieters, Ramos, Martin, McCann, A.J. Ellis (LAD), Lucroy, Castro
So there you have it. All 10 positions worth ranking in MLB by the Shredder and the MLB Network personalities.
There are five Brewers among the 100 names listed by The Shredder. They are: Carlos Gomez (CF, 6th), Jean Segura (SS, 5th), Ryan Braun (RF, 2nd), Aramis Ramirez (3B, 7th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 6th)
Good morning, and happy July, Brewer Nation!
It is officially trade season in Major League Baseball as the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros were all involved in moves over the past couple of days. Trade winds are beginning to pick up speed all around the league, and as has been documented numerous times by a multitude of baseball scribes, the Milwaukee Brewers could be at the center of a lot of activity. Whether that happens is truly up to some decisions by Doug Melvin (likely with Mark Attanasio’s input) about the short-term goals of the team.
Scouts have begun showing up in earnest at Brewers games, many centering around the starts of Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse. Some of that is due diligence and “normal coverage” but some of it isn’t.
I was made aware of some specific interest in a pair of Brewers players late on Tuesday night which I’m passing along now, but not before the sadly necessary caveat that:
- I’M NOT REPORTING IMMINENT TRADES!
- I’M ALSO NOT SAYING THAT THERE HAVE EVEN BEEN WORTHWHILE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE TEAMS ABOUT THE PLAYERS YET.
All I’m saying is that these teams are known to have shown interest in the players to which I’m about to connect them.
This first one is easily guessable based on the need of the team and has been discussed by myself and others on Twitter already.
The Detroit Tigers have shown interest in Francisco Rodriguez.
The Tigers’ bullpen is perilously thin at the back end, what with their desperate attempt to get something out of Jose Valverde this season after initially choosing not to bring him back following his late 2012 implosions. K-Rod has pitched very well for Milwaukee, and he’s on a cheap deal for the rest of 2013. The Brewers should be extra motivated to move Rodriguez to the right bidder given that he’s only on a one-year deal and will likely command a much higher price tag in free agency after the season.
Two teams are tied to the next player I’m discussing tonight.
Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics have shown interest in Norichika Aoki.
Given that Aoki is controllable at an inexpensive rate in 2014, any team acquiring the former multi-time Japanese batting champion will be getting a year and a half of service out of him at the minimum.
In Oakland’s case, they don’t have an immediate need in their outfield but Aoki has proven to be a good hitter that would absolutely be useful for them. It could be a move with an eye on 2014 as well, however, as Coco Crisp is a free agent following this season.
For Tampa, they entered Tuesday just 2.0 games behind in their division and are barely getting any offensive production out of Matt Joyce at this point. Aoki would immediately upgrade their offense out of that lineup spot. Aoki has shown the ability to hit either first or second in a lineup, and both of those spots are currently filled normally by under-performing hitters.
So there you have it. Two ideas to wrap your minds around and see what you think about them. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know that actual discussions have taken place between these teams and Milwaukee, so I don’t know what (if any) possible return the Brewers could expect from these possible trade partners.
The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired third baseman Stephen Parker from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for right-handed pitcher Darren Byrd.
Parker, 25, was selected by Oakland in the fifth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Brigham Young University. Over four minor-league seasons, he is a career .277 hitter with 43 HR and 262 RBI in 448 games. His best season came in 2010, when he batted .296 with 21 HR and 98 RBI in 139 games at Class-A Stockton and was a midseason and postseason California League All-Star.
Byrd, 26, spent three seasons in the Brewers’ farm system (2010-12) after signing as a minor-league free agent on June 28, 2010. He appeared in one game this spring before he was returned to minor-league camp on March 7.
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the Club’s 2013 Spring Training schedule which opens on Saturday, February 23 at Maryvale Baseball Park against Oakland. The Brewers will play a total of 35 Spring Training and exhibition games in 2013, including 17 at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix and two games at Miller Park.
The Brewers will play games at Maryvale against NL Central rivals Cincinnati on Saturday, March 16 and against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, March 22. Other home highlights include a St. Patrick’s Day game (Sunday, March 17) against Los Angeles in Glendale and a matchup versus Team Canada’s World Baseball Classic entry on Tuesday, March 5.
The team has two split squad games scheduled during the spring. The slate includes Monday, February 25 vs. San Diego (SS) and at Cincinnati, and Sunday, March 24 vs. Colorado and at San Diego.
The final home game at Maryvale Baseball Park for the Brewers is set for Wednesday, March 27 against Kansas City. The Brewers will return home to Miller Park to play two games against the White Sox to round out the exhibition season, scheduled for Friday, March 29 at 7:10 p.m. and Saturday, March 30 at 1:10 p.m.
All Brewers games played in the Cactus League are scheduled for 1:05 pm starts (Arizona Time), except for Wednesday, March 13 at the Diamondbacks (7:10 p.m. local/9:10 p.m. CT start).
Pitchers and catchers with zero to three years of Major League service time are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Tuesday, February 12. All position players and pitchers and catchers with three-plus years of Major League service have a report date of Friday, February 15, 2013.
Tickets for the Milwaukee Brewers home Spring Training games will go on sale at 10 am CT on Monday, December 3 via the internet at Brewers.com and by phone at 1-800-933-7890. Normal business hours are from 9am – 5pm CST. Sales at the Maryvale Baseball Park Box Office will begin on Monday, February 4, 2013. Tickets are available in four seating areas: Field Box ($22), Infield Reserved ($16), Outfield Reserved ($13) and Lawn Seating ($8). Information on Spring Training Season Tickets can be obtained by calling the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at 414-902-4000.
Please note that games and times are subject to change.
Milwaukee Brewers 2013 Spring Training Schedule
Date Time (local) (CT) Opponent Place____
Sat, Feb 23
1:05 pm 2:05 pm Oakland Athletics Maryvale
Sun, Feb 24
1:05 pm 2:05 pm Cleveland Indians (SS) Maryvale
Mon, Feb 25
1:05 pm 2:05 pm San Diego Padres Maryvale
1:05 pm 2:05 pm at Cincinnati Reds Goodyear
Tue, February 26
1:05 pm 2:05 pm Seattle Mariners Maryvale
Wed, Feb 27
1:05 pm 2:05 pm at Kansas City Royals Surprise
Thu, Feb 28
1:05 pm 2:05 pm Chicago White Sox Maryvale
Fri, Mar 1
1:05 pm 2:05 pm at Colorado Rockies Talking Stick
Sat, Mar 2
1:05 pm 2:05 pm Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Maryvale
Sun, Mar 3
1:05 pm 2:05 pm at Chicago Cubs (SS) Mesa
Mon, Mar 4 OFF DAY
Tue, Mar 5
1:05 pm 2:05 pm Team Canada Maryvale
Wed, Mar 6
1:05 pm 2:05 pm at Seattle Mariners Peoria
Thu, Mar 7
1:05 pm 2:05 pm Arizona Diamondbacks Maryvale
Fri, Mar 8
1:05 pm 2:05 pm Texas Rangers Maryvale
Sat, Mar 9
1:05 pm 2:05 pm at Cincinnati Reds Goodyear
DAYLIGHT-SAVINGS TIME BEGINS MARCH 10
Sun, Mar 10
1:05 pm 3:05 pm San Francisco Giants Maryvale
Mon, Mar 11
1:05 pm 3:05 pm Los Angeles Dodgers Maryvale
Tue, Mar 12
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at Texas Rangers Surprise
Wed, Mar 13
7:10 pm 9:10 pm at Arizona Diamondbacks Talking Stick
Thu, Mar 14 OFF DAY
Fri, Mar 15
1:05 pm 3:05 pm Cleveland Indians Maryvale
Sat, Mar 16
1:05 pm 3:05 pm Cincinnati Reds (SS) Maryvale
Sun, Mar 17
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at Los Angeles Dodgers (SS) Glendale
Mon, Mar 18
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at Cleveland Indians Goodyear
Tuesday, March 19
1:05 pm 3:05 pm Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Maryvale
Wed, Mar 20
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at San Francisco Giants (SS) Scottsdale
Thu, Mar 21
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at Chicago White Sox Glendale
Fri, Mar 22
1:05 pm 3:05 pm Chicago Cubs Maryvale
Sat, Mar 23
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Tempe
Sun, Mar 24
1:05 pm 3:05 pm Colorado Rockies Maryvale
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at San Diego Padres Peoria
Mon, Mar 25
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at Oakland Athletics Phoenix
Tue, Mar 26 OFF DAY
Wed, Mar 27
1:05 pm 3:05 pm Kansas City Royals (SS) Maryvale
Thu, Mar 28
1:05 pm 3:05 pm at Colorado Rockies Talking Stick
Fri, Mar 29
7:10 pm Chicago White Sox Miller Park
Sat, Mar 30
1:10 pm Chicago White Sox Miller Park
• Home games in bold
• Note: Daylight-Savings Time begins on March 10
• All Games/Times subject to change
Want a more colorful look at the Brewers’ 2013 Cactus League slate? Click the image.
While there’s still work to be done in 2012, Major League Baseball released it’s preliminary 2013 schedule today.
The Milwaukee Brewers open at home with a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies beginning on Monday, April 1st.
They’re home for six games over seven days before hitting the road where they’ll help the Chicago Cubs open their home season at Wrigley Field on Monday, April 8th.
The biggest changes for 2013 are of course the nearly daily occurance of at least one interleague game on the schedule, a move necessitated by the shifting to the American League from the National League of the Houston Astros.
The Brewers’ first interleague series is a short two-game set against the Texas Rangers on May 7-8 at Miller Park. The Brewers do play the Astros in Interleague play as well, heading to Houston for a three-game series June 18-20.
Their old “natural” rival Minnesota Twins are faced in what’s basically a “home-and-home” pair of two game series between May 27-30. The first two are played at Miller Park with the final two at Target Field in Minneapolis.
In all there are seven Interleague series for the Brewers in 2013. They host the Oakland Athletics from June 3-5. They’ll be in Seattle from August 10-12 before heading to Texas for a pair of games August 13-14. Their last interleague series of the year will be run from August 30-September 1 when Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels come to town.
Milwaukee closes the 2013 season with a seven-game road trip to Atlanta to face the Braves for three games and Flushing where they’ll close the regular season with a four-game set against the Mets.
Click here for a PDF version of the schedule: http://mlblogsbrewers.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/mb-2013-schedule-h-no-allfan.pdf
By: Big Rygg
With Trevor Hoffman finally closing in (pun intended) on career save number 600, I wanted to definitely to highlight the forthcoming achievement in some way.
I thought about a career retrospective but decided that would be best left for once his career is actually complete.
I considered a chronicle of his year plus spent in a Brewers uniform, but that too isn’t a chapter that is finished being written.
A listing of accolades for Hoffman could write itself and easily eclipse 1000 words without even trying, and a thoughtful piece about what it must mean for Hoffman to have fallen so hard and fast off of what appeared to be the edge of the Chasm of Old Age only to right his ship, so to speak, and once again be considered as a reliable option just seems like it might be a bit premature.
In other words, that seems like it ought to wait until 600 has actually been reached as opposed to only being somewhere off on the seemingly distant horizon.
So instead, I offer this tried and true format of placing Hoffman in a list of his game-ending brethren because quite frankly whether he never records another save or notches his 600th on Saturday (two games from now since he’s still only at 598), it won’t affect my feelings as to where he places in said list.
Read it, debate it in the comments, call me names, dispute my opinions, offer me new-school statistics to support your points and refute mine…or simply agree with me.
Either way, let’s have some fun with this, okay?
10. John Smoltz
Full disclosure: John Smoltz is my favorite pitcher of all time.
Continued disclosure: if not for injury, John Smoltz never closes a single game.
During his short three-plus seasons as a closer, though, Smoltz saved 154 games.
Perhaps dominant starters make great closers regardless of who they are. Another name you’ll see later in this slideshow, Dennis Eckersley, is a big piece of supporting evidence. Jonathan Papelbon is a contemporary example for you younger readers.
But plenty of pitchers fail at the end of the game regardless of how good they might have been at the beginning of it.
To coin an old cliche, John Smoltz took to the ninth inning like a fish to water. He was simply excellent at closing.
Longevity is a big deal in a list like this, no doubt about it. Sheer dominance and ultimate projectability counts for something too.
And with so many names that could have gone at this spot (and probably would go before Smoltz on many people’s lists) why not reward a guy that was forced into the role and absolutely owned it?
9. Tom Henke
Tom Henke has 311 career saves.
Tom Henke could have had 400 or more had he not inexplicably retired at age 37 after a season of 36 saves and a 1.82 ERA both of which garnered him some MVP votes.
Some of Henke’s other career numbers:
Only 14 seasons played
Perhaps there was a different reason that “The Terminator” hung up the spikes when he did, but for being as dominant as he was while he was in the game, he definitely deserves a spot on this list.
8. John Franco
A very different kind of closer, John Franco was as consistent as they come for a very long time. Call his inclusion on this list a lifetime achievement award if you want to, but 424 saves count the same as the those posted by fireballing, high-strikeout pitchers.
Franco pitched for 21 seasons (though only about 14 or 15 years as a real game-finishing option) and has high totals in the counting stats to show for it. He also has a 2.89 career ERA and a 138 career ERA+.
What he lacked in flash, he more than made up for in substance.
Again, he wasn’t always perfect, but got the job done for a long, long time.
As any pitcher will tell you, those final three outs are different. John Franco handled them as well as anybody for the most part.
7. Lee Smith
802 games finished, 478 career saves (third all-time), 10 seasons of 30+ saves (including three consecutive of 43+ saves) in a career that quite frankly lasted two seasons too long.
A 3.03 career ERA that would have been under 3.00 (2.94) if not for his last two years of bloated run totals.
A seven-time All-Star, Lee was a workhorse closer who averaged 68 appearances per 162 games. He set the bar very high during his career and when he retired he was the all-time leader in both games finished and saves.
6. Billy Wagner
Not many left-handed pitchers in the history of the game have been able to tickle triple-digits on the radar gun.
Billy Wagner is one of those few.
…what? Velocity isn’t enough to be included on this list? Look, I understand that completely. I also understand that you might see Billy Wagner’s name and question his inclusion at all, but this is a case where raw numbers don’t lie.
414 career saves (fifth all time and second only to John Franco’s 424 among lefties), a career ERA of 2.35 (perhaps a tick lower after tonight’s scoreless, three-strikeout inning), 1167 strikeouts in only 886.1 innings pitched, and he’s just one lead-preservation away from his ninth 30+ save season out of 14 as a healthy closer…
Do you get the idea?
Wagner has been very good for a long time. The only negative in all of this (other than the basically wasted 2009 season in which he was mostly recovering from elbow surgery) is that he announced earlier this season that he plans on retiring at the end of 2010.
When you’ve got 29 saves (already), an ERA of 1.74 and 75 strikeouts in 52.2 innings pitched, I think you’ve shown that you’re still quite capable of performing at a high level.
For his sake, if he truly is done at the end of the year, I hope he finds a way to record at least 11 more saves down the stretch. A 40-save season to closer things out and to become the all-time left-handed pitcher career saves leader would be a fitting end to a stellar career.
If he plays for a few more years, however, I simply wonder where he’d end up on this list then.
5. Goose Gossage
Despite only compiling 310 saves during a 22 year career, when Gossage was locked in, there might not have been a closer in the game that hitters feared more during his tenure as a stopper.
In a season (1983) in which he appeared in 57 games (zero starts), finished 47 of them and amassing 22 saves, Gossage also went 13-5.
He may have only saved 30+ games in a season twice (33 in 1980 and 30 in 1982), but sometimes raw totals don’t tell the entire story.
Though his 1981 season which saw a 0.77 ERA and an ERA+ of 465 sure looks pretty, doesn’t it?
Suffice it to say that if I needed a closer for my team in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, there isn’t anybody else I’d have picked first. 13 years of intimidation and results is nothing to shake a stick at.
4. Rollie Fingers
Still the owner of the moustache which all others are measured by (and subsequently fall short of), Rollie Fingers was not your kid’s closer. He was most definitely a different breed than what is commonly referred to as the “modern” closer.
Pitching more than one inning in well over half of his career saves, Fingers could be given the ball at any point of the late-going of a game with a lead, and save or not, you were virtually assured of Fingers being able to finish it off.
Fingers pitched over 1700 innings in 944 games during his 17 year career. Total games started? 37.
Yes, a different breed to be sure, but any less good as a closer? You won’t be able to convince me of that.
3. Dennis Eckersley
Dennis “Eck” Eckersley was a great pitcher throughout his 24 year MLB career.
He was a 20-game winner as a starting pitcher in 1978 with the Cleveland Indians as a 23-year-old. He saved 51 games for the Oakland Athletics in 1992 as a 37-year-old.
In 1990 he allowed fewer baserunners than the number of saves he recorded (48 saves for the record). That’s ridiculous.
Had he been a closer throughout his career, there is even a chance that he challenges for the top spot in this list. He was, after all, one of the first names I knew as a kid.
I don’t remember him as an Indian, Red Sox or (shudder) a Cub. He was always in green and gold first to me and I only knew him as a closer.
Just as a closer, though, despite his excellence, he didn’t do it long enough for him to break into the top two.
2. Trevor Hoffman
Here is where we find Trevor Hoffman.
I battled with myself on this slotting simply because Dennis Eckersley was so good while he was a closer, but Hoffman gets this position on my all-time Top 10 list because he has done it so well for so much longer.
As I sit in front of my laptop, Hoffman is no doubt back in Milwaukee where he will get to relax during a second team off-day in four days. I just watched the replay of him entering a one-run game in the bottom of the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals, a team which has had his number a lot in the last two years, and a team which had already driven in two runs in the inning and reloaded the bases off of current Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford.
Three pitches, three strikes (two foul balls and a swing-and-miss variety on the third for the K), and another career save.
It was a thing of beauty after the first pitch which was over the heart of the plate but which Brendan Ryan pulled foul. The second was spotted in the low-outside corner of the strikezone. Ryan swung but harmlessly fouled it back. The third was a signature change up down the middle of the plate that Ryan waved at helplessly.
18 seasons, 598 saves (a Major League Baseball record) 847 games finished (another MLB record he holds)…nobody has done it as well for as long as Trevor Hoffman.
1. Mariano Rivera
Despite being second on the all-time saves list, Rivera transcends all others in the category of closer.
His career numbers are incredible and his presence in the back of the Yankees bullpen is a major contributing factor to their dominance.
Rivera’s worst season since becoming the full-time closer in 1997 still saw him amass 30 saves with a 3.15 ERA. That’s nearly a third of a run higher than his next worst season ERA as a closer of 2.85.
A career WHIP of 1.001, a career ERA of 2.21, a career ERA+ of 206, over 1000 strikeouts as a relief pitcher (1004 to be exact as of this writing)…these numbers and plenty of others speak loudly.
So again, while he might not be at the top of the Saves list yet, he currently sits at 550 for his career and has shown few signs of slowing down.
Does the ageless one have two more years in his right arm and cut fastball to surpass whatever Hoffman’s total might end up being? Perhaps he does.
Regardless of the final tally, Rivera wins the title of G.O.A.T. as far as closers are concerned.
Today is the first full game of the spring. You might not recognize half the names after the 5th inning, but competitive baseball is about to be played again.