August | 2011 | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Articles from August 2011

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective 8/25/11

–       I guess it is a good thing that Rangers catcher, Mike Napoli, doesn’t play wide receiver.  Big Papi didn’t even look like he was planning on barreling over Napoli, yet the catcher still heard footsteps and lost the handle on what should have been an easy out at the plate.  And he’s a catcher?

–       As you may have heard, thanks to Buster Olney, the Astros pulled Wandy Rodriguez back after he was claimed by the Rockies.  Not sure how I feel about this.  While I do think that Wandy is undervalued as a pitcher, it is embarrassing to watch Houston trot him out there as an ace.

–       Man I hate how much coverage the NFL gets during the month of August.  I know that it’s the most popular sport in America and all, but this is the most significant time of year for MLB.  Who the hell cares about pre-season football?  The players themselves don’t even care about pre-season games that much.

–       After hearing how Jered Weaver told his agent, Scott Boras, that he was going to take less money to stay in LA, I almost shed a tear.  Then he had these quotes about the whole ordeal.  The Angels are extremely lucky to have a guy like this leading their staff and team.  I pray that youngsters realize this is how to go about baseball.

–       After reading Dee’s article on the Connie Mack World Series vs. Area Code Games, I felt compelled to shout it out.  If you haven’t peeped it yet, do so.

–       Why is it that in the world of baseball, people are so slow to accept change?  Older generations hold on to outdated theories and philosophies with such a stranglehold that it makes me laugh.  This not only refers to SABR oriented views, but also on mechanical philosophies, coaching styles, and everything in between.  Maybe it is because I am of a new, younger generation.  Maybe it is because old people detest and refuse change.  Maybe it is because the older one gets, the more out of touch they become with the youth.  Whatever the reason, it is so bothersome to see older coaches worrying about doing things their way, as opposed to do what is in the best interest of the kids.

Golden Sombrero: Alex Gordon (again)

Top 1: Alex Gordon stuck out swinging against Brandon Morrow

Top 2: Gordon struck out swinging against Morrow

Top 4: Gordon struck out swinging against Morrow

Top 6: Gordon singled to left against Will Ledezma

Top 8: Gordon called out on strikes against Joel Carreno

Final Line: 1-for-5, 4 K

Notes: Gordon’s golden sombrero on Tuesday night was his second of the season, both of which have featured a hit in addition the to four punchouts.  He accounted for three of Morrow’s five strikeouts in the game.  If not for the single in the sixth inning, Gordon would have contended for this year’s first platinum sombrero.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 95

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 8/24/11

Apologies for those of you looking for this article yesterday.  At the middle school where I teach we had to teach the new 6th graders how to use and open their lockers, as well as distribute laptops to each individual student.  If that sounds like sitting in hell with a puffy coat on, it’s because it is.  Straight miserable.  Thankfully it is done and over with and I now have time this morning to write.  Here it goes.

–       I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to play baseball in front of 30,000 plus fans…at the age of 12.  Watching those kids in the LLWS is truly inspiring.  If you are to buy into what C.J. Wilson had to say earlier this season, pitching in Williamsport is better than throwing a game in Oakland.

–       On the other side of things in Williamsport, is anyone else bothered by how many breaking pitches are being thrown?  And did you see the utterly shat on ball that Jake Fromm hit last night?  WOW.

–       Nice to see Adrian Gonzalez finally leave the yard again.  80+ at-bats without a bomb probably had fantasy owners worried.  Don’t sweat it.  That was merely the calm before the storm.

–       In Astros news, Wandy Rodriguez has been claimed off waivers by the Rockies, but no trade has been finalized yet.  After acquiring Barmes this off-season, it appears that Houston and Denver are becoming comfy with each other.  I hope the ‘Stros bring back more talented prospects to help the rebuilding push.

–       Seth Smith for president, anybody?  Dude hit another jack last night giving him an August slash of .296/.387/.685 to go along with 7 HR’s and 3 SB’s.  Get him while the getting’s good friends.

–       Is Picasso painting the NL MVP picture?  That race is a mess.  My personal vote goes to Ryan Braun, if I am voting today.  However, if the D-Backs end up winning their division, I find it hard not to go with Justin Upton.

–       When will parents begin to realize that they should never give a game ball to their kids at the game?  Seriously.  Wait until afterwards.  Although in the defense of the children, it has been hysterical to watch them throw so many balls back this year.

–       Way to go fat kid!  Prince is the first to 100 RBI this year.  I love watching that big ‘ol fat kid swing a baseball bat.

–       And speaking of fat kids, Big Fat Bartolo Colon might have hit a wall.  He is strong for 3-4 innings, but then begins to lose velo…and too much of it to be successful.  It was great while is lasted.

Minor League Links: Bauer, Odorizzi, Viciedo and Nimmo

Currently ripping through Minor League hitters, Trevor Bauer is on the fast track to the Show.  The best pitcher in college baseball in 2011, Bauer features three plus pitches (fastball, curve and changeup) and possesses the ability to work deep into games.  The third-overall selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bauer fanned 17 hitters and allowed just seven hits over nine innings at High-A Visalia before he was promoted to Double-A Mobile.  There it has been more of the same: two starts, eight hits and 17 strikeouts in 10 innings.  With the mechanics, repertoire and competitiveness that draw comparisons to Tim Lincecum, Kevin Goldstein wonders if Bauer is “The Next Freak?” (*Baseball Prospectus subscription required)

Considering that Bauer was considering the most Big-League-ready pitcher in this year’s draft, and given his rapid ascent through the Minors, many baseball writers and scouts believe that the right-hander is poised for a September call-up.  Over at Fangraphs, Jack Moore argues that Bauer can make an immediate impact and that the Diamondbacks should call him up.

In a recent installment of “9 Innings,” Greg Schaum of Pine Tar Press sat down with Royals’ pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi to pick his brain.  Odorizzi discusses the adjustments he’s had to make between levels, emotions associated with being traded, and his workout routine in the off-season and between starts.

My favorite MiLB writer, John Sickels, continued to review his pre-season Top 20 organizational prospects by reflecting on the White Sox farm system.  Suffice it to say, my favorite team’s system is depleted and pretty unimpressive.

Speaking of the White Sox, with Carlos Quentin’s shoulder injury—not to mention his inability to play with even the slightest amount of pain—Larry from South Side Sox writes that “It’s Still Time for Viciedo,” who, in my opinion, should have been recalled well over a month ago.

One of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s MLB Draft is Brandon Nimmo, who was selected by the Mets in the 13th-round to become the first-ever first-round selection out of Wyoming.  Coming from a high school that lacked a baseball team, Nimmo established himself as a top-prospect thanks to a remarkable season for his American Legion team.  With a projectable frame and great, raw athleticism, Mets 360 wonders if Nimmo is the next Josh Hamilton.

*Golden Sombrero update: On Monday night, Nimmo fanned in all four at-bats and is now 3-for-15 (all singles) in his budding, professional career.

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective: Harper, A-Rod, Weaver and A.L. Central

Lefty pitchers are baseball’s equivalent of kickers in the NFL.  They are just a little bit different.  However, because we lefties are such a minority in the realm of baseball, it allows us to provide the rest of you with a unique perspective on the game.  Since I have this special ability to provide a different look, I will be giving that to you each and every day.  So, without further ado, here is the first ever issue of “Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective.”

–       While it may not be the most honorable reaction, I was thrilled to find out that Bryce Harper’s season was ended early due to a hamstring issue.  I suppose that is what happens when you decide to run hard for a full 90 feet.

–       Seeing Joe Mauer play right field made me laugh.  Any coach that is worth his paycheck could probably teach a monkey to play a corner outfield spot.  Mauer looked like a natural by the third fly ball he caught.

–       Watching A-Rod make a nice barehanded run-through play to get Ben Revere out on Sunday makes me think he will be just fine post surgery.  Did you realize that he is already 36?

–       Big ups to Jered Weaver on that healthy new contract.  Here’s hoping that he turns out to be more like Cliff Lee or C.C. Sabathia, and does not turn in to John Lackey or A.J. Burnett.

–       It finally appears that someone really does want to win the A.L. Central.  The way the Tigers beat down Cleveland, coupled with Justin Verlander leading that staff, leads me to believe that they will find themselves in the ALCS.  Just don’t let Miggy have any champagne.

–       Even though the Astros have the worst record in the bigs, I still believe that they are only the second worse team in the league.  The Cubs are pathetic.

–       I am so happy that my Astros will be getting the first overall pick next June.  I have to find some sort of light at the end of this tunnel.