Second Base

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Second Base last won the day on January 6 2018

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  1. Second Base

    2019: How it all went right

    I know Jeeves, difficult to read isn't it?
  2. That's really the benefit of struggling to that degree. The amount you learn, and the inner strength you build from it really sets you up for life beyond that struggle. The only thing that I'd say wasn't clarified is that this wasn't just one year of erratic results. He's been pretty inconsistent for a few years now. That may just be who he is as a player. Streaky.
  3. Second Base

    2019: How it all went right

    The line between remotely possible and laughable improbable is a thin one to traverse.
  4. Second Base

    2019: How it all went right

    Good fan fiction, right?
  5. Just an examination on how it all could go right (and wrong in a follow up post). The way this all goes right begins first and foremost with pitching, and that begins with catching. Specifically, Jon Lucroy. The Oakland A's 2017 team ERA before Jon Lucroy arrived, 4.67. The A's team ERA once Lucroy began working with their pitching staff, 3.81. Every pitcher on the Angels staff improves with his guidance. 1. Matt Harvey rediscovers his "Dark Knight" form. Arrogant, yes. Not the best at making friends, absolutely. But when it's going right and he's healthy, he's among the best in baseball. The velocity spiked to end 2018, and heading into 2019, Matt Harvey is in classic form. 180 innings, 190 K's and. Clean 3.00 ERA. 2. Trevor Cahill reinventing his approach upon moving to the bullpen in Chicago helped him. Last year, Cahill coupled with Lucroy to deliver some impressive results, but it was an injury shortened season. Cahill has been healthy enough throughout his career to know what it takes to stay on the mound for a full 30 starts. 180 innings, 170 K's and a 3.70 ERA. 3. Tyler Skaggs has already pitched like an ace for an extended period of time, and in 2019, he just does it for 10 more starts. 180 innings, 190 K's and a 2.75 ERA. 4. Andrew Heaney is further separated from injury, takes another step forward in his development as a pitcher, and now has a great catcher helping guide him. 180 innings, 180 K's and a 3.50 ERA. 5 Jaime Barria, we'll make this one simple. Take his FIP from last year, and subtract .80 from it as that's how much the A's improved under Lucroy's tutelage. 150 innings, 120 K's and a 3.70 ERA. 6. The bullpen. Billy Eppler warned against judging Cody Allen by his ERA and maybe he's right. The velocity was still there, as we the quality off-speed offerings and location. Allen successfully locks down the 9th in stress-free fashion for the Angels, while Robles, Buttrey and Garcia all blow through the middle innings with their own flavor of 95+ velocity. The bullpen gets a big boost mid-season by the returns of JC Ramirez, Key Middleton, and because of the author, you guessed it, Alex Meyer. The Angels will have the hardest throwing, most successful crop of relievers in baseball. 7. The offense. Lucroy is an improvement over Maldonado. Bour helps supplement Pujols at 1B, and Thaiss breaks into the majors around August, which further improves the offensive output from that position. Luis Rengifo shocks the world and wins 2B outright, and gets on base at a .350 clip in front of Mike Trout. Andrelton Simmons does improve in the power department and makes his first all-star appearance. At third base, Cozart flames out as expected, but the acquisition of Tommy La Stella actually solidifies the position until Taylor Ward develops far enough along that he takes over as the starter for good. Bats .260/.340 with power and speed. Upton is the same as he was last year, and pretty much every year, except now he hits with RISP again. Trout is healthy for a full year, and is even better than he was before, and posts a 12 win season. In RF, Calhoun has the man that fixed his swing keeping a watchful eye on him, and Calhoun ends up hitting .240, but with power and solid enough defense to get the Angels by until Jo Adell proves he's ready, which will happen come August, when the Angels shockingly "fix something that isn't broken" by subbing Calhoun and Adell. They normally wouldn't do this, but Adell is batting .400 in AAA and the Angels amazingly find themselves with a 5 game lead in the West. Shohei Ohtani does what he did last year, but even better, and across close to a full season. The result is an Angels offense that performs near the top of the league. 8. And one final surprise to finish the season. Shohei Ohtani's recovery from TJ surgery goes better than anticipated. He starts making relief appearances in garbage time in September. Come playoff time, Ohtani not only provides the left handed boost they need in the middle of the lineup, but also makes some key pitching appearances in crunch time. 9. The Angels win 96 games, and the division by three games and face the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. The Indians pitchers stifle the Angels 1, and 6-9 hitters, but cannot quiet Trout, Ohtani, Upton and Simmons. The Angels pitchers limit, but can't fully shut down the Indians bats. The series goes a full 5, but is closed out by a dominant performance by Tyler Skaggs, and as a dagger through their heart, Cody Allen striking out the side of his former team. The Angels next see the Yankees in a 2009 ALCS rematch. This series ends quickly as the Angels offense absolutely trounces the Yankees pitchers, and the Yankees big bats come up empty against Harvey in a return performance at NY, and Skaggs official coming out party as a staff ace. SWEEP. The Angels will face the Philadelphia Phillies in a bit of drama for the 2019 World Championship. Harper signs with the Phils, so it's Trout vs Harper all over again, and with Trout oft connected to Philadelphia, it's seen as a bit of a coming home party for him with the entire town of Millville attending the games. The media absolutely hounds him about his potential future playing in Philly, which drives the Angels fans insnane and irritates Trout to the point where he makes them pay on the field. And Trout doesn't disappoint at all, with one of the greatest offensive clinics ever put on in a series. By game four, the Phillies can do nothing except intentionally walks him, even with the bases loaded and two outs, and the legend only grows from there, The Angels pitchers can' slow down the Phillies offense though, and this one turns into a very high scoring series. Come game 7, the Angels pull out all the stops. Skaggs starts the game, but runs into trouble in the third inning, and Brad Ausmus stunningly turns to Cody Allen to bail him out. Allen returns for a stress-free fourth. But the Phillies offense erupts in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 6-3 lead over the Angels. In the seventh, Ohtani hits a three-run bomb to tie the game. With a righty on the mound, Ausmus opted to start Calhoun in this pivotal game. In the 8th, Calhoun gets a bloop single and is subbed for Jo Adell. Adell promptly steals second and third base. Adell then shocks the world and tags on a short fly ball to RF with one out, and slides in just under the tag of Realmuto from a strong, yet high throw from Bryce Harper. Angels take a 7-6 lead. With the Angels pitching staff completely exhausted and unreliable due to the onslaught of offense from the Phillies, Brad Ausmus uses his last trick up his sleeve. He brings Shohei Ohtani out of the DH spot to close out the ninth inning. With a fresh arm, and the biggest moment of his life, Ohtani is absolutely juiced and is registering 102-103 on the radar gun. He strikes out the side and the Angels are World Champs. 10. Mike Trout signs that extension, and remains in an Angel uniform for the rest of his career. He adds World Series MVP to his ever growing mantle of awards. The Angels also sign Skaggs, Ohtani and Simmons to major extensions, and the Angels core is in place to make many more return trips.
  6. Second Base

    2018 Hot Stove League

    Eppler hasn't explained why, but he is reasonably confident that Harvey can return to form. He didn't site anything specific, and you can go one of two ways with that. Either it's proprietary information and analysis that causes him to believe this, or there's really nothing to go on and he's just hoping. But given Eppler's track record with buying low on pitchers, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. If there is one thing to worry about in my opinion, it's injury. Most of the guys that Billy has bought low on have all performed well, but have also gotten injured. Harvey and Cahill both have a history of injury. So if you had to wager on anything given a Eppler's evaluation history, I'd say it's likely that both Cahill and Harvey do pretty well in an Angels uniform, but will likely get injured I think that's why I see the Angels going with a piggyback rotation for much of the second half. Cahill has proven to be outstanding in relief, and Harvey's velocity indicates he could perform on par with Eovaldi in a relief capacity as he did in October last year. With other guys like JC Ramirez and Alex Meyer getting healthy, as well as Griffin Canning and Suarez progressing into a major league role. Maybe something like 3 innings each, while offering hitters different looks. Cahill, Ramirez and Suarez would really mix it up.
  7. Pretty optimistic. Adell - Pretty much what I see, except I don't think he will be a September call up. Canning - He'll be a front of the rotation starter someday, but I think that is going to take a few years. He'll take his lumps first. Marsh - Bingo. I think he going to catch Adell in terms of development. He won't be his equal as a prospect, but every Jordan needs a Pippen. Suarez - Left handed Barria. Which is a young back end starter. Jones - Huge breakout. We saw it in the AFL. Legitimate 20/20 starting 2B. Will arrive at the same time as Marsh and Adell. Rengifo - Good take on him. Adams - Will breakout because of a focus on baseball and furtheand development. Numbers will be inflated by pioneer league, which is always fun. Remember what that did for Cowart's stock? Ward - I see a better version of Cowart. First round pick with a sudden breakout and he is major leagle ready, but that's where he stops. Sandoval - There's some untapped potential there. The numbers show it but the stuff hasn't taken a step forward yet like I think it will, like the Astros ought it would when they signed him for an overslot bonus. Thaiss - This is how I see it playing out. Pujols and Bour will both produce pretty much nothing. And Thaiss, will keep getting better and better in AAA. He'll take over 1B in August and will be halfway decent. But entering 2020, the Angels will want better than decent, and will be looking for ways to keep Upton's bat in the lineup while also playing Marsh. So Upton will play 1B half the time, and DH the other half when Ohtani isn't. That means Thaiss will be playing 1B the other half of the time. So he won't ever be a star, but he'll be a decent part time player.
  8. Second Base

    Machado to Padres....

    The Padres have the most loaded crop of prospects I've ever seen, on par or better than the Royals group from 8 years ago, which fueled a World Series team. But we should keep in mind, I focus largely on a select few systems. The Angels, Padres, Rockies, Nationals, Blue Jays. The Blue Jays group prospects look really good in Guerrero, Bichette and Biggio. I like what the Nats have in Robles and Kieboom. The Rockies system produces strong hit tool guys, but they aren't developing any with plate discipline which is concerning. The Padres arms are going to be very good in my opinion, particularly when they're pitching at Petco. They legit have 15 starting caliber pitchers in their system right now, 7 of which appear to be mid rotation or better, 5 of owe will be ready in two years. And even if things don't swing their way, the most pessimistic outlook would indicate the Padres will have a strong homegrown rotation. Optimistic, you're looking at 90's Braves level pitching, or 2005 A's caliber pitching. And they've got more offensive firepower in the majors and many realize. Machado, Myers, Hosmer, Cordero, Reyes, Renfroe.....they can all hit. Tatis looks looks like a Machado level star to me. 2019, Padres are probably an 80 win team. 2020, they're closer to a 90 win team. 2021 and beyond, that division should be theirs, unless the Dodgers spend at a level that far exceeds anything we've seen from them.
  9. All the same things I've said all along.
  10. Second Base

    Expectations for Skaggs and Henaey

    Im good with that. I don't feel like it was overly homerish or optimistic. Some good, some not so good.
  11. I think this will be Upton's last year in LF. Albert just wont be effective this year. The knees, the elbow, the age... Right around June he will decide this is his play campaign. In the mean time, we will see breakouts from both Marsh and Adell in the second half of the season. Adell will start off slow in AA, and finish the year by absolutely torching AAA. Marsh will stay at inland empire and it will be top ready for him, and he'll have momentum carry him through AA. He will finish the season with a short stint in AAA. By May of next year, Adell will be staying in LF, Trout in CF, Marsh in RF and Upton at 1B, while getting starts at DH when it isn't Ohtani, and effectively serving as the 4th OF because both Adell and Marsh can play CF too. The OF defense will be unparalleled.
  12. I will give you Arol, but If I'm not mistaken, I was the first to predict a breakout from knowles and a top 100 appearance. Though you take it much further and predict a 3 level jump and finishing the season in AA. Predicting an 18 year old to reach AA after such relatively humble beginnings as an amateur is too rich for my blood. I think the swing and miss tendencies will prevent that. But I do think he will finish at inland empire.
  13. Second Base

    Expectations for Skaggs and Henaey

    Skaggs - 180 innings 2.90 ERA 190 K's. Developes into a legitimate ace. Negotiations on extension are kicked into gear. Heaney - 195 innings 3.45 ERA 185 K's. Is a true workhorse. Angels but out option years plus one year of FA. Harvey - 130 innings 3.90 ERA 140 K's. Starts the year off right, but ineffectiveness settles in mid May, is slowed by injury in June, comes back as a part of a bullpen game with JC Ramirez, Trevor Cahill and Suarez/Canning and thrives in that role in July and is traded in August. Cahill - 90 innings 3.20 ERA 90 K's. Is injured on and off for much of the first half. Eventually settles into a bullpen role, eating three innings as part of a bullpen game with Harvey, Suarez and Canning. Barria - 90 innings 4.50 ERA 70 K's. Gets knocked around to start the year before getting demoted and returning in August. Suarez - 50 innings 4.30 ERA 55 K's. Does decent in bullpen games and enters 2020 as a swiss army knife in the bullpen, serving as a lefty specialist, multi inning reliever and shot starter. Canning - 75 innings 4.10 ERA 70 K's. Stuff really plays up at the major leagues, though under developed out pitch will hold him back somewhat. Works his way into a long bullpen role midway through the year. Enters 2020 as the fifth starter. Enjoys a career similar to that of Trevor Bauer. 2020 rotation will be Ohtani, Cole, Skaggs, Heaney, Canning and they will win 90 games that year. In 2021 they'll win 98 games and the world series.