Results tagged ‘ Braves ’

MLB Network’s Top 100 Players Right Now Entering 2014

Top100RightNowLogo

As I did last year, and the year before, 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 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
  • Accolades
  • Intangibles

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?

Full 2014 Brewers Schedule (All Game Times Released)

Milwaukee Brewers

Here is the entire Milwaukee Brewers regular season schedule, complete with all but one game time announced. That game is Saturday, August 20th in San Francisco against the Giants. I’ll update this space when I notice that game time having been set.

All times listed are CT.

March/April

Monday, March 31: Atlanta Braves, 1:10pm
Tuesday, April 1: Atlanta Braves, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 2: Atlanta Braves, 12:10pm

Friday April 4: at Boston Red Sox, 1:10pm
Saturday, April 5: at Boston Red Sox, 6:10pm
Sunday, April 6: at Boston Red Sox, 12:35pm

Monday, April 7: at Philadelphia Phillies, 2:05pm
Wednesday, April 9: at Philadelphia Phillies, 6:05pm
Thursday, April 10: at Philadelphia Phillies, 6:05pm

Friday, April 11: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Sat, April 12: Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:10pm
Sunday, April 13: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:10pm

Monday, April 14: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Tuesday, April 15: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 16: St. Louis Cardinals, 12:10pm

Thursday, April 17: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Friday, April 18: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, April 19: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Sunday, April 20: at PIttsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Monday, April 21: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm
Tuesday,, April 22: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm
Wednesday, April 23: San Diego Padres, 7:10pm

Friday, April 25: Chicago Cubs: 7:10pm
Saturday, April 26: Chicago Cubs: 6:10pm
Sunday, April 27: Chicago Cubs: 1:10pm

Monday, April 28: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Tuesday, April 29: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Wednesday, April 30: at St. Louis Cardinals, 12:45pm

May

Thursday, May 1: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Friday, May 2: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Saturday, May 3: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Sunday, May 4: at Cincinnati Reds, 3:10pm

Monday, May 5: Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:10pm
Tuesday, May 6: Arizona Diamondbacks, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 7: Arizona Diamondbacks, 12:10pm

Friday, May 9: New York Yankees, 7:10pm
Saturday, May 10: New York Yankees, 6:10pm
Sunday, May 11: New York Yankees, 1:10pm

Tuesday, May 13: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 14: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Thursday, May 15: Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:10pm

Friday, May 16: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Saturday, May 17: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Sunday, May 18: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm

Monday, May 19: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Tue, May 20 at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Wed, May 21: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm
Thursday, May 22: at Atlanta Braves, 6:10pm

Friday, May 23: at Miami Marlins, 6:10pm
Saturday, May 24: at Miami Marlins, 3:10pm
Sunday, May 25: at Miami Marlins, 12:10pm

Monday, May 26: Baltimore Orioles, 1:10pm
Tuesday, May 27: Baltimore Orioles, 7:10pm
Wednesday, May 28: Baltimore Orioles, 7:10pm

Friday, May 30: Chicago Cubs, 7:10pm
Saturday, May 31: Chicago Cubs, 3:10pm

June

Sunday, June 1: Chicago Cubs, 1:10pm

Monday, June 2: Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Tuesday, June 3: Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Wednesday, June 4: at Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm
Thursday, June 5: at Minnesota Twins, 7:10pm

Friday, June 6: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, June 7: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 3:05pm
Sunday, June 8: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Tuesday, June 10:  at New York Mets, 6:10pm
Wednesday, June 11:  at New York Mets, 6:10pm
Thursday, June 12: at New York Mets, 6:10pm

Friday, June 13: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Sunday, June 14: Cincinnati Reds, 6:15pm
Sunday, June 15: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Monday, June 16: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Tuesday, June 17: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Wednesday, June 18: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40pm
Thursday, June 19: at Arizona Diamondbacks, 2:40pm

Friday, June 20: at Colorado Rockies, 7:40pm
Saturday, June 21: at Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm
Sunday, June 22: at Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm

Monday, June 23: Washington Nationals, 7:10pm
Tuesday, June 24: Washington Nationals, 7:10pm
Wednesday, June 25: Washington Nationals, 1:10pm

Thursday, June 26: Colorado Rockies, 7:10pm
Friday, June 27: Colorado Rockies, 7:10pm
Saturday, June 28: Colorado Rockies, 3:10pm
Sunday, June 29: Colorado Rockies, 1:10pm

July

Tuesday, July 1: at Toronto Blue Jays, 12:07pm
Wednesday, July 2: at Toronto Blue Jays, 11:37am

Friday, July 4: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Saturday, July 5: at Cincinnati Reds, 3:10pm
Sunday, July 6: at Cincinnati Reds, 12:10pm

Monday, July 7: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Tuesday, July 8: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 9: Philadelphia Phillies, 7:10pm
Thursday, July 10: Philadelphia Phillies, 1:10pm

Friday, July 11: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Saturday, July 12: St. Louis Cardinals, 3:10pm
Sunday, July 13: St. Louis Cardinals, 1:10pm

Friday, July 18: at Washington Nationals, 6:05pm
Saturday, July 19: at Washington Nationals, 6:05pm
Sunday, July 20: at Washington Nationals, 12:35pm

Monday, July 21: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Tuesday, July 22: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Wednesday, July 23: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Thursday, July 24: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Friday, July 25: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Saturday, July 26: New York Mets, 7:10pm
Sunday, July 27: New York Mets, 1:10pm

Monday, July 28: at Tampa Bay Rays, 6:10pm
Tuesday, July 29: at Tampa Bay Rays, 6:10pm
Wednesday, July 30: at Tampa Bay Rays, 11:10am

August

Friday, August 1: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Saturday, August 2: at St. Louis Cardinals, 6:15pm
Sunday, August 3: at St. Louis Cardinals, 1:15pm

Tuesday, August 5: San Francisco Giants, 7:10pm
Wednesday, August 6: San Francisco Giants, 7:10pm
Thursday, August 7: San Francisco Giants, 1:10pm

Friday, August 8: Los Angeles Dodgers, 7:10pm
Saturday, Aug .9: Los Angeles Dodgers, 6:10pm
Sunday, August 10: Los Angeles Dodgers, 1:10pm

Monday, August 11: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Tuesday, August 12: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Wednesday, August 13: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Thursday, August 14: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm

Friday, August 15: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 9:10pm
Saturday, August 16: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:10pm
Sunday, August 17: at Los Angeles Dodgers, 3:10pm

Tuesday, August 19: Toronto Blue Jays, 7:10pm
Wednesday, August 20: Toronto Blue Jays, 1:10pm

Friday, August 22: Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10pm
Saturday, August 23: Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:10pm
Sunday, August 24: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:10pm

Monday, August 25: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm
Tuesday, August 26: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm
Wednesday, August 27: at San Diego Padres, 9:10pm

Friday, August 29: at San Francisco Giants, 9:15pm
Saturday, August 30: at San Francisco Giants, TBA
Sunday, August 31: at San Francisco Giants, 3:05pm

September

Monday, September 1: at Chicago Cubs, 1:20pm
Tuesday, September 2: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm
Wednesday, September 3: at Chicago Cubs, 7:05pm

Thursday, September 4: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Friday, September 5: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 6: St. Louis Cardinals, 7:10pm
Sunday, September 7: St. Louis Cardinals, 1:10pm

Monday, September 8: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Tuesday, September 9: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Wednesday, September 10: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm
Thursday, September 11: Miami Marlins, 7:10pm

Friday, September 12: Cincinnati Reds, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 13: Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Sunday, September 14: Cincinnati Reds, 1:10pm

Tuesday, September 15: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Wednesday, September 16: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm
Thursday, September 17: at St. Louis Cardinals, 7:15pm

Friday, September 18: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Saturday, September 19: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05pm
Sunday, September 20: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:35pm

Tuesday, September 22: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Wednesday, September 23:: at Cincinnati Reds, 6:10pm
Thursday, September 24: at Cincinnati Reds, 11:35am

Friday, September 25: Chicago Cubs, 7:10pm
Saturday, September 26: Chicago Cubs, 6:10pm
Sunday, September 27: Chicago Cubs, 1:10pm

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” Rankings Entering 2014

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.


image

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”

  1. Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  2. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
  5. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Carlos Gomez – Milwaukee Brewers
  7. Austin Jackson – Detroit Tigers
  8. Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
  9. Dexter Fowler – Houston Astros
  10. 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


image

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”

  1. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
  2. Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
  5. Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers
  6. Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
  7. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
  8. Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
  9. J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
  10. 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


image

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies
  3. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
  4. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
  5. Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
  6. David Price – Tampa Bay Rays
  7. Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners
  8. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
  10. 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


image

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”

  1. Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
  5. Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals
  6. Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees
  7. Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
  8. Shane Victorino – Boston Red Sox
  9. Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
  10. 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”

  1. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
  3. Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
  4. Justin Upton – Atlanta Braves
  5. Shin-Soo Choo – Texas Rangers
  6. Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Daniel Nava – Boston Red Sox
  8. Carlos Quentin – San Diego Padres
  9. Josh Hamilton – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  10. 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”

  1. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  2. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  3. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
  6. Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
  7. Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
  8. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
  9. Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
  10. 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”

  1. Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
  2. Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
  3. Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
  5. Joe Nathan – Detroit Tigers
  6. Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
  7. David Robertson – New York Yankees
  8. Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
  9. Luis Avilan – Atlanta Braves
  10. 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”

  1. Robinson Cano -Seattle Mariners
  2. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
  3. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
  5. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
  6. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
  7. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  8. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
  9. Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks
  10. 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


image

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”

  1. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  2. David Wright – New York Mets
  3. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Josh Donaldson – Oakland Athletics
  6. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
  7. Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
  8. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
  9. Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
  10. 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”

  1. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  3. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
  4. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
  5. Jason Castro – Houston Astros
  6. Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
  7. Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies
  8. Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
  9. Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies
  10. 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)

 

Hot Stove Report: A Pair of Conversations

I woke up this morning to a text message saying that the Brewers met with the Atlanta Braves last night. Despite the previous talk this off-season about the Braves coveting Kyle Lohse, the part of the conversation I was alerted to dealt with another Brewer. That’s not to say there wasn’t more and differing topics on the table, but I was just told what I was told.

Then, later in the morning the same player was brought up in that the Brewers were discussing him with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The player in question is second baseman Rickie Weeks.

The Braves conversation was just that. The sides talked. No word on whether they made progress toward anything.

The conversation with the Blue Jays, however, got a little more specific. I was told that there was a trade discussion centering around Weeks and 1B Adam Lind. While I worked on corroborating that, a Twitter follower let me know that something similar was discussed on Canadian radio. That seemed to puff up to a three-team deal with Lind still coming to Milwaukee but Weeks heading to Kansas City and Billy Butler moving north of the border.

The Weeks part of that equation does make sense. If you recall the Royals expressed some interest in acquiring Weeks during this past season. Also, Ned Yost still manages in K.C. and we all know his affinity for Weeks.

This afternoon though, I was told that currently nothing is building with Toronto as they are reportedly posting a high asking price. To me that sounds like Toronto wants more than just a straight up swap, whether that be two-way or three.

Still, it’s telling that there would be conversations about the veteran second baseman during the Winter Meetings. It may not lead to a deal before the Brewers report to Maryvale, but as they say: feeding your grass before the snow falls often yields a lush lawn come springtime.

Gomez Stares Down Maholm After Home Run, Braves Take Offense

First, the video.

Now, the backstory.

Paul Maholm and Carlos Gomez have a lengthy history. Maholm has hit Gomez with more than one pitch during their careers, including intentionally throwing a baseball at Gomez during a game back in June at Miller Park. Gomez was hit in the knee and not only had to leave that game but missed the next three. Gomez entered that day hitting .314/.354/.572 on the season. He’s dropped to .280/.333/.501 as he’s dealt with the knee and other nagging injuries all season.

Gomez also has quite the track record of success hitting off of Maholm as evidenced by his career slash line of .450/.500/1.350 in 22 plate appearances.

Now on to the issue at hand. Gomez hit a monster shot off of Maholm in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game and stared both the ball and then Maholm down.

Then someone on the Braves told Gomez to “Fuckin’ run, God damn it!”

Then Gomez started to run and Freddie Freeman started to say something to him as he rounded first. Gomez started to chirp back.

While rounding third, Gomez pointed at his knee where Maholm hit Gomez back in June and continued to bark at Maholm.

Then, to top it all off, catcher Brian McCann physically stood in Gomez’s way before he could get to home plate in order to jaw at Gomez. McCann was visibly angry in the face as he screamed at Gomez. Gomez didn’t back down and at that point the benches cleared and tempers really flared. Reed Johnson ran in and punched Gomez for “good” measure.

Lots of discussion occurred on Twitter immediately following. You can guess the majority of the sentiment.

And wouldn’t you know it? The Braves come to Miller Park to open the 2014 regular season. Whether Brian McCann or Paul Maholm are on the Braves next season is up in the air though, as they are both free agents following 2013.

Logan Induction Set For June

Former Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan will be honored on Thursday, June 6 as the newest member of the Miller Park Walk of Fame. In January, the Brewers announced Logan received over 72% of the vote (32 votes) in Walk of Fame balloting, which includes members of the media throughout Wisconsin as well as Brewers executives.  Logan’s election marks the first time since Lew Burdette (2010) that a player will be inducted. 

Logan played in Milwaukee from 1953 – 1961 and appeared in four All-Star Games as a member of the Braves. For his 13 year career, Logan hit .268 with 93 home runs and 547 RBI.  He was a member of the Braves World Series Championship team in 1957 and the National League Championship team in 1958.  Logan was signed by the Boston Braves in 1947 and made his Major League debut with Boston in 1951.  After playing in Milwaukee, he played three seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Other past winners of the award include Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, and Robin Yount in 2001; Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and Cecil Cooper in 2002; Bob Uecker and Harry Dalton in 2003; Jim Gantner and Gorman Thomas in 2004; Don Money and Harvey Kuenn in 2005; Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and John Quinn in 2007 (the first year that former Braves players appeared on the ballot); and Lew Burdette in 2010.

Each inductee is honored with a granite plaque that is placed into the terrace area walkway that surrounds Miller Park.

Former Milwaukee Brave Johnny Logan to Be Inducted Into Miller Park Walk of Fame

loganFormer Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan will be honored this summer as the newest member of the Miller Park Walk of Fame. Logan received over 72% of the vote (32 votes) in Walk of Fame balloting, which includes members of the media throughout Wisconsin as well as Brewers executives.

Logan’s election marks the first time since Lew Burdette (2010) that a player will be inducted.  Other players who received strong support this year included Braves first baseman Joe Adcock (27 votes, 61.4%) and Brewers pitcher Teddy Higuera (26 votes, 59.1%). Election requires votes from 65% of those who return ballots.

Logan played in Milwaukee from 1953 – 1961 and appeared in four All-Star Games as a member of the Braves. For his 13 year career, Logan hit .268 with 93 home runs and 547 RBI.  He was a member of the Braves World Series Championship team in 1957 and the National League Championship team in 1958.  Logan was signed by the Boston Braves in 1947 and made his Major League debut with Boston in 1951.  After playing in Milwaukee, he played three seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“This is a very special honor for me to be honored in this great city, especially for this New York boy,” Logan said. I want to thank the greatest fans in baseball, and everyone in the media and community, for their support.”

Five former Brewers and one former Braves player did not receive the necessary three votes to remain on the 2014 ballot.  A total of 44 ballots were returned this year and there were a total of 26 Brewers players and nine Braves players on the ballot. The ballots included on-field personnel who wore a Brewers or Braves uniform for a minimum of three seasons but have been retired from playing/managing roles for at least three seasons. All players and managers receiving votes on at least 5% of the ballots will remain eligible in 2014.

“Johnny is one of the all-time great personalities of the game, and this is a special opportunity for us to honor someone who still calls Milwaukee home,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We congratulate Johnny and look forward to his induction later this summer.”

Other past winners of the award include Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount in 2001; Commissioner Bud Selig and Cecil Cooper in 2002; Bob Uecker and Harry Dalton in 2003; Jim Gantner and Gorman Thomas in 2004; Don Money and Harvey Kuenn in 2005; Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and John Quinn in 2007 (the first year that former Braves players appeared on the ballot); and Lew Burdette in 2010.

A date for Logan’s induction, which will take place prior to a Brewers home game, will be announced in the near future. Each inductee is honored with a granite plaque that is placed into the terrace area walkway that surrounds Miller Park.

A complete list of voting totals is listed below.

TOTAL BALLOTS 44
BREWERS
LAST FIRST

VOTES

PERCENTAGE

Augustine Jerry

3

6.8%

Bamberger George

19

43.2%

Bando Sal

8

18.2%

Burnitz Jeromy

2

4.5%

Caldwell Mike

18

40.9%

Castro Bill

4

9.1%

Cirillo Jeff

19

43.2%

Deer Rob

0

0.0%

Garner Phil

5

11.4%

Haas Moose

2

4.5%

Higuera Teddy

26

59.1%

Hisle Larry

7

15.9%

Jenkins Geoff

17

38.6%

Lezcano Sixto

3

6.8%

Moore Charlie

6

13.6%

Oglivie Ben

13

29.5%

Plesac Dan

12

27.3%

Schroeder Bill

3

6.8%

Scott George

9

20.5%

Simmons Ted

11

25.0%

Slaton Jim

7

15.9%

Surhoff B.J.

2

4.5%

Sveum Dale

3

6.8%

Vaughn Greg

7

15.9%

Vuckovich Pete

14

31.8%

Weathers David

0

0.0%

BRAVES
LAST FIRST

VOTES

PERCENTAGE

Adcock Joe

27

61.4%

Bruton William

4

9.1%

Buhl Robert

4

9.1%

Crandall Del

10

22.7%

Haney Fred

6

13.6%

Logan John

32

72.7%

Mantilla Felix

3

6.8%

Pafko Andy

3

6.8%

Torre Frank

0

0.0%

2013 Milwaukee Brewers Schedule, Highlights

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

Trevor Hoffman’s Place In the Top 10 Closers in MLB History

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:

2.67 ERA
1.092 WHIP
9.8 K/9
157 ERA+
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.

Period.

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,412 other followers