Dark Horse Teams

by on March 14, 2011   4 Comments

It’s easy to start predicting great things for teams who have added big-name players and have a recent history of success. Even then, a team could disappoint you due to injuries or a simple failure to live up to the hype. This season the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox are the teams for which you could make such rosy predictions.

It’s a lot more difficult to choose the team that really comes together. Last season it was the Cincinnati Reds, a couple seasons before it was the Tampa Bay Rays, and just before that was the Colorado Rockies. These are usually young teams who finally develop some consistency. Dark horse teams are difficult to predict and if you do it correctly you look like a genius. In my attempt to look like a baseball Nostradamus, I offer my dark horse candidates from each league:

Top National League Off Season Moves By Division

by on January 1, 2011   3 Comments

There are few big names left on the Free Agent Market. Some teams may have missed out on their top choices and have resorted to their back up plans. The Texas Rangers have done this after falling short in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes by signing Brandon Webb. Webb is a gamble, but has a high reward if he can return to his 2006 Cy Young pitching form.

No team can ever fully expect to fill the holes exactly how they mapped out before the off season started.  This off season is a great example of that. Once your ideal player has been taken as a general manager you must move on to the next best option. The following is the first of two  lists of the teams that made the moves to best improve themselves within their divisions. It doesn’t take into account the long term impact a big contract may have, just how it helps the team this season.

Look For These Guys On The Comeback Trail

by on March 8, 2010   One Comment

2010 could see a bevy of good comeback performances for some key players that suffered from injuries last season. Some notables include;

Xavier Nady: Signed pretty quietly with the Cubs after undergoing Tommy John for the second time in his career, which should say something to his ability to recover from injury. After a career year in 2008 the Cubs  should be optimistic of the production a healthy Nady can bring. A line of .280-18-75 seems entirely possible.

Jay Bruce: Lets forget that Bruce plays in an extreme hitters park and his disappointing .223 AVG last year. Bruce hit 22 home runs in 68 fewer at-bats than when he hit 21 in 2008. He also missed 2 months with a broken wrist, but finished the year very strong with .326-4-17 in his final 46ab’s. Bruce turn’s 23 in April and has a very, very high ceiling. A .353 average in September points to a big 2010.

Brandon Webb: After throwing only 4 innings last season, Webb is primed for a comeback. The most recent reports have him feeling “good” after his latest throwing session and before this injury he was arguably the most consistent pitcher in baseball, never sporting an ERA above 3.59.  A lot of eyes will be on him for the rest of the spring and after picking up his 8.5 million dollar option, the D’Backs will probably be pretty cautious.