Playoff baseball is near and the chase is on for a spot in the NL Wildcard. With time running out for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Houston Astros delivered a near fatal blow to the team's playoff hopes yesterday with a 5-4 win. Can the Cardinals rally the troops and pull off a last minute streak of wins and knot up the NL Wildcard race? Jake Westbrook takes the mound tonight with a 12-9 record this season and an era of 4.48. Cardinal offense will need to strike early and fast to keep the momentum up. Astros will start pitcher Henry Sosa tonight who hasn't seen nearly the same amount of games as Westbrook with a 3-5 record and a 4.68 era. St. Louis will close out the season against the Houston Astros with the next two games in Houston. Tonight's game kick's off at 7:05pm CDT and should be an exciting one to watch! Click the link for more.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Every year when the snow melts and MLB camps begin to open up, there is always a buzz about who will take home the ROY hardware, who's the next 'can't miss' prospect coming through the ranks? While this year didn't boast a Strasburg, Posey or Feliz, it definitely has had it's share of deserving candidates. For the record, it's worth noting that in the AL, 4 of the previous 6 ROY winners have been pitchers and some good ones at that (Verlander and Feliz to name a couple). In the NL a pitcher hasn't won since 2003 when Dontrelle Willis won and we all know how that turned out. Coincidentally the previous year 2002 a pitcher also took home the NL ROY, Jason Jennings... who? The NL track record hasn't been the greatest for ROY pitchers. However I believe that is all changing.
Living in Canada and watching the Blue Jays and, formerly, the Expos we have been given a chance to see some truly great feats and fantastic players that may be lost on our American counterparts. Whether it was Carlos Delgado’s amazing 2000 (.344/.470/.664/1.134, 41 HR, 137RBI), Bill Stoneman’s two no-hitters (’69 and ’72) or something as small as watching John Macdonald show his range and start a double play. Well, for the past season and a half us ‘Nuckers have been privy to catch first hand the evolution of Jose Bautista. Every season there are numerous players in the league that are deserving of the most valuable player award and this year is no exception. We currently have 8 players who are batting over .320; we have 3 players with a legitimate shot at 30/30, 2 that may catch fire and go for 40/40; 18 players with an ERA below 3! And one with an ERA below 2! (for the record there have only been 20 pitchers who have won the MVP award since 1931 in the American and National league combined; most recent was Dennis Ecklersley in ’92 for Oakland).
Saturday, 21 May 2011
As the 2011 season began MLB listed there top 50 prospects - http://t.co/KKJ9V59, and some of the top prospects have been called up or started in the show this year (Chapman, Drabek, Brown, Hosmer) However, there are many prospects still either just starting their career in the minors or knocking on the door to the bigs. Cans is taking a quick look at 10 of the top 20 remaining on MLB's pre-season list.
Thursday, 19 May 2011
Over the past 8 years I've had the chance to go to St. Petersburg three times to see the Rays play. Eight years ago on my honeymoon I saw the, then Devil Rays, just starting out with their young up and coming core of players. Led by rookie, Rocco Baldelli, they were perennial AL East doormats, stockpiled with young talent. The stands were half full at best, with the Yankees in town to boot. Last year again I went to a game to see the new Rays, now an unlikely AL East power, against all odds led by all-world 3B Evan Longoria. They were an exciting team loaded with young, incredibly talented players competing against (and beating) teams with 4 times their payroll. A real compelling story. Again, fans in the stands were sparse. This year I had the chance to take in a game in late April, fresh off the Manny Ramirez fallout. The Rays had been playing poorly, Manny was gone, Longo was on the DL, but still they were a pretty decent team with some exciting new players (Sam Fuld anyone?). Again the fans in the stands were sparse.
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Last week Cans of Corn highlighted 6 of the top names looking to go in the first round of this years MLB Draft held in June. If you missed them, please check back and give it a gander. This week we'll be focusing on 5 more talented players that will more than likely be chosen in the first round. In case you're wondering what the draft order is I have listed it below and you can also check out http://riveraveblues.com/2011-draft-order/ for an excellent break down on when and why.
Saturday, 7 May 2011
As the 2011 MLB draft approaches (June), Cans of Corn is bringing some scouting reports on a number of the top prospects expected to go in the draft. This is part 1 of the series and before we get started we should check out some of the teams positions in the draft.
Teams now more than ever are placing higher value on drafting and grooming prospects from within, less likely to let them go through trades or off season signings. This puts a lot of weight on the draft in June and it should be noted that some teams are in better positions than others for sure.
Tampa Bay has an excellent position, drafting 10 times throughout the first 60 picks.
Toronto Blue Jays will select 5 players through the first 60 picks.
Pittsburgh Pirates have 1 pick in the top 60, the first overall, so it best be a good one.
Seattle Mariners will select 2nd overall, their only pick through the first 60.
San Diego Padres have 5 picks in through the first 60, beginning with 10th overall.
Boston Red Sox have 4 picks through the first 60, beginning with 19th overall.
New York Yankees have just one selection and it's the 51 overall.