Posts Tagged ‘Cardinals’

Update time!  Join us, as we count down the Top 50 Current Pitchers, 50-46 were named last night, and in case you missed it… Click here: https://jacobsports.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/king-of-the-mound/

NOTE: Only pitchers currently on the 25 Man roster of a MLB team count… Whereas Jake Peavy is not currently eligible, nor is Stephen Strasburg.  Santana made this list because he is only on the 15 day DL.

Pitcher #45 Kyle Lohse

Call him "K-Lohse"

The day after he threw a complete game shut out, I hurried to make a quick post about him, because I find this guy as the most underrated pitcher in the National League.  He’s not going to strike anyone out with pure speed, but his off-speed stuff can get pretty nasty, just ask the Nationals.  With three wins under his belt, the 32 year old has already proven to himself, and his team, that he can run the show.  More importantly though, Lohse’s arm seems to be healthy, and well-rested, and for a good pitcher, those are the essentials to become a great pitcher.

Pitcher #44 Johan Santana

He'll be back, you best believe it.

If this list was created four years ago, he would be the King.  Unfortunately, four years and a lot of injuries later, Santana would seem to fail in comparison to almost everyone else on this list.  Out of everyone who I mentioned so far, viewers are more than likely uneducated on Johan Santana.  He is currently on the 15 Day DL for a shoulder injury, and last season he pitched 199+ innings, but with an 11-9 record.  His fastball is no longer fast, his slider barely slides, but still… Santana, now a veteran, knows how to win games, and when he steps off of that DL, watch out.

Pitcher # 43 Aaron Harang

Wild. Wild. Wild.  That was almost always the case for Harang while he was on the Reds, but now, he’s changed.  A Padre now, Harang has transformed as if he’s taken in the name, Optimus Prime.  Throwing in only four starts thus far, Arroyo has been flawless, a 4-0 record complimented by 21 K’s.  The main reason to his success with the struggling San Diego team is his control, he’s kept his pitch count low, he’s beginning to throw far more strikes than balls and most importantly? He’s throwing plenty of first pitch strikes.  He deserves to be the Padre’s ace, not the fourth starter.

Pitcher # 42 Javier Vasquez

The veteran has played on seven teams, the most recent and the current team being the Marlins, Vasquez has showned that they Yankees should have resigned him.  Or maybe not.  Vasquez is currently 1-1, with an ERA I shouldn’t mention, out of kindness.  But you see, that’s just the thing, Vasquez still has control.  Believe me.  I remember back in the day when he was an Expo, he would just zip the ball past a batter, and on occasion, he still does.  Albeit, with the line-up that the Marlins have, they only need him to throw strikes.  He will do just that.  Watch out fantasy owners, this guy’s got one last whiff in his arm.

Pitcher #41 Matt Garza

Former Ray's, Pena and Garza are yet to produce big for Chicago

He was better when he was a Ray. Enough said, right?  Its not like anything has changed, his fastball still hits 92, his curve ball still does sink in on a left handed batter, its just… He’s not going to win as many games this season, because the Cubs aren’t winning many games.  Still, Garza keeps the ERA low, and he strikes out a good number of batters, and that gives any team a chance to win… Thats all you can ask of a starting pitcher, right?  Garza, won 14 last season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit 14 again.  Remember though, he’s a Chicago Cub, and historically, the Cubs have been an organization where big names go to become a scrub.

Check in early this afternoon, for another update!

I smile to myself as I watch the Nationals game, knowing that the Cardinals starting pitcher, Kyle Lohse, is on all three of my fantasy teams.  He threw his sixth strike out of the game, and that’s when I finally realized Lohse would go the distance.

If Lohse keeps throwing, his baseball card demand will go way up.

Lohse isn’t young, but I still deem him as the most under rated pitcher in the National League, Gavin Floyd being the most underrated in the American side.  It wasn’t Lohse’s complete game shut out that struck me as amazing, but its his stats this season that strike me.

In just four start’s Kyle has proven himself to have some nasty stuff, throwing just over 31 innings, with an ERA just over two runs… This guy is someone who you need to have on your fantasy team!  He won’t get a lot of K’s, but the innings and wins will pile up for you.

One might ask, why is this guy so underrated as you say he is?  The answer is simple.  Lohse has not always put up W’s… In fact outside of 2008, he never really got out of single digits in that category, throwing for 15 that season.

Still though, with 91 career wins, and three already this season, this guy is one heck of a sleeper.

____________________________________________________________

The Nationals.  What comes to your mind when you think of them?  And I can guess what it was too…

A) Your an average fan, your thinking, a team that probably will never see the playoffs, and trade away any prospects they have.

B) Your a baseball fanatic, your thinking, other than the Royals, they have the best minor league affiliation there is.  They will see a trophy someday.

Now, if this is a test, the correct answer is B.  As of this morning, the Nationals are 9-9, with lots of hope, Bryce Harper just hit his second career homer down in AAA the other day, and Strasburg is slowly recovering.

Veteran Livan Hernandez goes for consecutive start #450 tonight

Much like the Cardinals, they have an underrated pitcher in, Livan Hernandez.  A guy whose now a total veteran, throwing 168 W’s in 16 MLB seasons, more impressive though is his start this season. 2-1, with an ERA under three, the thirty six year old goes for his 450 consecutive start tonight against the Pirates.

The shocking part of this post is that I think the Nationals will make the playoffs this season, if they stay healthy.  Sure, it’ll be tough, the Phillies and Marlins are both in their division, but the Hernandez and the Nationals might be able to pull out a miracle.

A conclusion to the “curse” will probably be in another hundred years.  What curse? The curse that prevents the Chicago Cubs from winning a World Series, frankly, this title would suggest I believe that the Cubs will never win a World Series.  In this, my second divisional breakdown, I touch on why the Cubs will not even make the playoffs! Feel free to vote in the poll, as well as comment!

Teams are in no order!

Chicago Cubs logoChicago Cubs I have to admit, they did make a few impressive moves this off season by signing ex-Rays, Carlos Pena and Matt Garza, albeit Pena is a scratch since Derek Lee is now an Oriole.  Also, shortstop Starlin Castro shows potential to be a Star in the MLB, unfortunate for the Cubs though is that so few others in their organization show this special quality!

Bright Spot: Lucky for the Cubs, everybody wins eventually (most of the time), and being a large sports market like Chicago, there is no way they can continue to have terror in not winning.  New manager Mike Quade, finished the season terrifically for the Cubs last season, and with the new addition of Pena, the infield looks that much better!

Big Question: Will prodigy shortstop Starlin Castro prove consistent this year, unlike last year?

Cincinnati Reds logoCincinnati Reds The Reds have picked up right where they left off last year, now in Spring Training, with a record of 5-2.  The reigning division winner, Cincinnati fans are wondering if pitching will be enough to propel them to another 90 win season.  Certainly Volquez, Cueto, and Arroyo are impressive, but the infield lacks talent.

Bright Spot: Every good team needs pitching, and the Reds have a fantastic line-up, albeit at times they struggle keeping the runs off the scoreboard.  Also, I have heard from numerous sources that their farm system is great, thats always good to hear as a fan.  Really though, its hard to blog about the Cincinnati Reds, I mean, they have an infield that poses consistency questions, and their outfield lacks power, likewise, I do not think they will have a great season.  So, what was the bright spot? The pitching.

Big Question: Will Edison Volquez stay healthy and have control this season?

Pittsburgh Pirates logoPittsburgh Pirates Ay mateee! Climb aboard!  Many will climb aboard the Pirates bandwagon this year, as I predict the young talent will go around five hundred!  Unlike the Reds, they have a question mark at the pitching rotation, and more thorough of a batting order.  Andrew McCutchen hit for average last year, and again will this year.

Bright Spot Andrew McCutchen, as previously established, the Pirates do have a few players that can go deep at anytime, like Lyle Overbay, but the young team is yet to prove itself… Most of their players are no-namers, like Walker and Alvarez… I just see a good year coming for them!  I do not know much about their farm system, albeit I saw one game of their AAA team… And they looked great!  Pirates need some luck though!

Big Question: Is the young talent they have really as good as people say it is going to be?

St. Louis Cardinals logoSt. Louis Cardinals The Cardinals seized to disappoint fans, and surprise sports writers last year after not making the playoffs.  When Pujols trade rumors flew around this off-season, fans again were shocked…. Until Pujols was re-signed and all ended well…. Only it has yet to begun, as questions rise, whether the little-depth covered Cardinals can have a bounce back season or not… I think yes!

Bright Spot: After all the rumors, Albert Pujols is a Cardinal, and he reported to Spring Camp recently, putting a smile on numerous faces.  With newly acquired Lance Berkman and Ryan Theriot, the Cardinals should win this division!

Big Question: Will Chris Carpenter have help from the rest of the rotation in St. Louis?

Houston Astros logoHouston Astros Speaking of trade rumors, many thought that Wandy Rodrigues would be delt recently, contrarily though, he re-signed for three more years!  This news really helps out the Astros, who have a decent line up, with Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence.

Bright Spot: Hitting…. You can not win a ball game if you do not score runs, and the Astros should score plenty of them!  With previously mentioned Lee and Pence, the Astros should have a few big name players who will come to join them in coming years!

Big Question: Will the young players around Carlos Lee contribute enough to win games?

Milwaukee Brewers logoMilwaukee Brewers Really, it is difficult to write about this division, mainly because there are so many question marks around it, none more than with the Milwaukee Brewers!  Other than the top of the rotation, no one is aware of how the pitching will be, and a young team is always dangerous in a weak division.

Bright Spot: Zach Greinke may just have been the best pitcher in the American League last year, and now he is a Brewer!  He will more than likely obtain a Cy Young award this year, seeing as its a pitchers division… Milwaukee still boasts the presence of Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, making them a contender.

Big Question: Will the bull-pen be as good as it needs to be?

Predictions on who will win the division (below are standings):

  1. Milwaukee Brewers
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Cincinnati Reds
  4. Chicago Cubs
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Houston Astros

Thanks for reading! Vote on the poll! Always purchase music through authorized retailers!