2013 Reds / Series Preview

Series Preview: The LA Dodger$

In the film Chinatown, there’s a memorable exchange between private detective Jake Gittes, played by a young Jack Nicholson, and an aging Noah Cross, the monstrous antagonist played with glorious depravity by John Huston. Their conversation, about the excesses of Cross’s wealth, goes like this:

Gittes: How much are you worth? More than 10 million?

Cross: Oh my, yes!

Gittes: Then why are you doing this? How much better can you eat? What can you buy that you can’t already afford?

Cross: The future, Mr. Gittes! The future.

Chinatown was set in Los Angeles. In 1937. Because $10 million, LOL.

Future Shock

In 2012, a group led by Magic Johnson bought the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.15 billion dollars, doubling the previous highest purchase price of an American sports franchise (Miami Dolphins, $1.1 billion). Less than a year later, the Dodgers reached an agreement with Time Warner for a local television contract worth between $7 and $8 billion (with a “B”) and structured to place much of the income beyond MLB’s revenue sharing policy.

Within a year, the Dodgers have used their giant stack of freshly minted cash to amass a $220 million payroll for 2013 ($95 million in 2012). Other than the Dodgers and Yankees, no team in baseball spends more than $165 million on their players. The Dodgers’ payroll is more than double the Reds’. To put that apparently-not-scandalous gap in perspective, it’s equal to four or five Joey Vottos.

[This might be a good week to reflect on how much effort the higher-ups in MLB expend combating the relatively small unfairness of cheating with PEDs as compared to one organization spending twice or more than another on their players.]

And the Dodgers’ spree is nowhere near finished.

The financial earthquake in LA produced aftershocks across the MLB landscape. Overnight, every baseball owner was substantially wealthier and lucrative regional sports network contracts became a First Amendment right. Within two weeks of the Dodgers’ landmark sale, the Cincinnati Reds signed surprising extensions of $225 million with Joey Votto (which, amazingly, hasn’t started yet) and $72.5 million with Brandon Phillips. That timing was no coincidence.

Noah Cross’s future had arrived in the blink of a Dodger Blue eye.

The Most Difficult Series of the Season

Then: Despite, or possibly because of, their mega-sized payroll, the Los Angeles Dodgers struggled at the start of the 2013 season. Just one month ago, after 72 games, manager Don Mattingly’s team stood at 30-42 and they were dead last in the NL West, 9.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Now: The Dodgers finished 17-5 before the All-Star game. They have won six straight since the break, outscoring the Washington Nationals and the Toronto Blue Jays 47-22. The Dodgers (53-47) return to Chavez Ravine in first place in the NL West, baseball’s weakest division.

The Dodgers aren’t just the best team money can buy — they’re playing like it.

If the Reds don’t show up with their A-plus game this series, they’ll know what Jack Kerouac meant when he wrote that “Los Angeles is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities.”

The Dodgers’ Offense

Through June 1, the Dodgers’ offense was as cold as the foam tops you can get with your $10 beer at Dodger Stadium, scoring the third fewest runs in the NL. Their $100 million offense was mired in slump and injury.

On June 3, they called up a 21-year-old outfielder from Cienfeugos, Cuba named Yasiel Puig from their AA club in Chattanooga. The next day they activated shortstop Hanley Ramirez from the disabled list. And over the last month, the Dodgers have scored the second-most runs in the NL — 41 in the last four games.

[I made it nearly 600 words before the obligatory breathless mention of Puig.]

Stats through Tuesday, including OPS+ which Jason discussed yesterday:

Player Bats Pos Age OBP SLG OPS+ HR SB oWAR dWAR
Carl Crawford (L) LF 31  .337  .420  112  5  10
 1.1  -0.6
Yasiel Puig (R) RF 22  .409  .571  173  8  6  2.0  0.5
Adrian Gonzalez (L) 1B 31  .354  .483  96  15  0  2.0
 0.2
Hanley Ramirez (R) SS 29  .446  .705  213  10  5  3.1  0.2
Andre Ethier (L) CF 31  .349  .401  111  7  3  1.1  0.0
A.J. Ellis (R) C 32  .348  .394  109  5  0  2.0  0.8
Mark Ellis (R) 2B 36  .322  .351  90  4  3  0.9  0.7
Juan Uribe (R) 3B 33  .336  .398  111  7  3  1.1  0.0

You might ask: Where’s Matt Kemp ($20 million), the runner-up to Ryan Braun for the NL MVP in 2011? He missed over a month of games with a strained hamstring and irritated shoulder joint. On Sunday, he returned to the Dodger lineup, promptly homered and doubled, then sprained his ankle. X-Rays were negative, but Kemp was still reassigned to the DL yesterday and will miss the series.

One of the first actions the Dodgers took with their big pile of money was to sign an international player. Yasiel Valdes Puig ($3.7 million) inked a record, $42 million, seven-year contract. On the day of Puig’s signing, Logan White, LA’s assistant general manager in charge of scouting said, channelling his inner Noah Cross: “If you want to play in the game and make the Dodgers great, it’s going to cost money, and it feels great.” Whoever said money can’t buy happiness hasn’t met Mr. White.

Puig hit .391 in his last 150 plate appearances before the All-Star game. His emergence as a phenomenon reminds people of the excitement caused by Manny Ramirez in LA five years ago. Remember MannyWood? Incredibly, the Dodgers are still paying deferred money — $4 million — to Manny this season.

Lost amidst Puigmania has been the spectacular return of Hanley Ramirez ($15.5 million), who had spent a month on the DL with a hamstring injury. Ramirez matched Puig’s torrid start in June, but while July has seen the rookie cool off (.254/.286/.356), the veteran shortstop has remained blazing hot (.400/.466/.738). It’s Ramirez, not Puig, that’s swinging the most dangerous Dodger bat.

The Dodgers’ Starting Pitching

The Reds face two Cy Young winners and three lefties in the series, with particularly eye-popping match-ups in the first two games. Remember that FIP is the most important column in predicting future pitching performances. FBV = fastball velocity.

Start Time Pitcher ERA FIP FBV BABIP K/9 BB/9 WAR
Thu 10:10 pm Mat Latos 3.53 3.11 92.3 .315 9.5 2.9 2.7
Zack Greinke 3.36 3.61 91.2 .299 7.0 3.0 1.1
Fri 10:10 pm Homer Bailey 3.84 2.81 93.9 .311 9.3 2.2 3.1
Clayton Kershaw (L) 2.01 2.58 92.4 .230 8.7 2.1 3.9
Sat 9:10 pm Bronson Arroyo 3.19 4.17 86.9 .255 5.1 1.6 1.0
Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) 3.25 3.55 90.5 .294 7.1 3.0 1.7
Sun 4:10 pm Tony Cingrani (L) 3.18 3.97 92.1  .249 10.1 3.7  0.8
Chris Capuano (L) 5.03 4.08 88.1  .323 7.2 2.3  0.3

Zack Greinke ($24 million), winner of the American League Cy Young Award in 2009, was signed by the Dodgers last off-season to a $159 million/6-year contract. He missed a decent chunk of 2013 after suffering a broken collar bone in a fight with the Diamondbacks. Greinke has thoroughly dominated the Reds in six starts, with a 4-0 record. In 42 innings he’s struck out 52 and walked only 9. The Reds are hitting a combined .172 against him.

And that’s not all. Greinke is quietly having the all-time greatest season at the plate for a pitcher (.409/.486/.469). He’s Babe freakin’ Ruth. As a batter, Grienke has walked more than he’s struck out. Zack Greinke’s oWAR is higher than that of the Reds’ shortstops, left fielders and catchers — combined.

Clayton Kershaw ($13 million) may be the most dominant pitcher in baseball. Since he’s a Dodger, that means he’s about to become extremely wealthy. Kershaw is reportedly negotiating a contract extension that may reach $300 million, the richest in the history of the sport. It might be money well spent.

Kershaw won the Cy Young award in 2011 and finished second last season. Only the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright stands in the way of Kershaw winning in 2013. And Koufax Kershaw is the same age as Mike Leake and Mat Latos.

Kershaw’s pitch portfolio includes a curveball that has been called the dirtiest curve in baseball and compared to a whiffleball pitch. According to the pitch trackers at FanGraphs, Kershaw has thrown his curveball just under 2,000 times in a major league game without giving up a home run on it. By comparison, Bronson Arroyo has thrown about 3,800 curve balls since 2007 (when pitch tracking began) and surrendered 40 homers on those pitches.

Kershaw’s one career win and loss against the Reds came in 2010. If both Kershaw and Homer Bailey are pitching well, the match-up could be a classic. Dusty Baker will play it so tight he’ll order sacrifice bunts with no one on base.

Hyun-Jin Ryu ($3.33 million ) is a 26-year-old, rookie, left handed pitcher from South Korea. In December, the Dodgers signed him to a $36 million/6-year contract. They also paid a $25.7 million fee just for the right to negotiate with him. He pitched seven years for the Hanwha Eagles in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he had a 2.80 ERA.

Chris Capuano ($6 million), like Zack Greinke, used to pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Reds have faced the 34-year-old lefty thirteen times with a reasonable degree of success. Capuano has started 12 times this season and given up five runs or more in five of them.

The Dodgers’ Bullpen

Overshadowed, like everything else, by Yasiel Puig’s exploits has been the recent effectiveness of the Dodger bullpen. Mattingly started the season with Brandon League ($5.5 million) as their closer. League (4.5 K/9) blew four saves in seventeen opportunities and was replaced on June 12 by Kenley Jansen (12.6 K/9), who has remained LA’s closer.

Since the switch in ninth inning responsibilities, the Dodgers’ bullpen has been outstanding. Ronald Belasario and Paco Rodriguez (L) generally handle the seventh and eighth. Chris Withrow and Jose Dominguez have power arms that get important outs. Dominguez has an average fastball velocity of 98.5, which puts him ahead of Aroldis Chapman (97.9). J.P. Howell (L) is the lefty-on-lefty specialist. 

Dominguez went on the disabled list on Tuesday and the Dodgers called up Carlos Agustin Marmol (yes, that Carlos Marmol) from their AA club in Chattanooga. Meet the new Marmol, same as the old Marmol. In his first relief appearance for the Dodgers, he gave up four hits, a walk and three earned run.

73 thoughts on “Series Preview: The LA Dodger$

  1. I just hope the Friday night game ends before the Saturday night game is scheduled to begin, with that pitching matchup….

  2. Living in L.A., it’s been an eye-opening few weeks. Mattingly was on the verge of getting fired before they called up Puig, but now, the fair-weather fans are coming out of the woodwork. Plus, tonight is Vin Scully bobblehead night; there won’t be an empty seat in the house.

    One of those seats will belong to me. Perhaps because I already saw one game this year — Cingrani’s win in Washington, where he K’d four in one inning — I’m more nervous than excited. Cincy’s finally heating up, but the Dodgers have been on fire. I’m cautiously optimistic, but also realistic. A split would be good; anything more, gravy.

  3. Wow, this looks like the most intimidating team on paper that the Reds have seen all year.

    The Cardinals at least have holes, Mark Ellis is the ‘floor’ at an OPS+ of 90?!

  4. I like our chances in 3 of the 4 games this series, Kershaw being the only exception (but not by much). I don’t see why we can’t at least split. Take 2 of 3 from the Padres and we go home 7-4.

    But is that enough in this division THIS year?

  5. Nice link to the wiffle ball pitch. Pretty nasty stuff. Votto hit a homer off Darvish in spring training, I think, on a similar curve. It would be nice to see him be the first to take Kershaw’s out of the yard.

  6. The Pirates have 3 games at Miami this weekend. The Cards have the Braves this weekend. Then next Monday, the Cards and Pirates have a 5 game series with a DH on Tuesday. With 9 more after that. Lots of things still to shake out. Cards have a really difficult schedule still to play. And the trading deadline expires on Wednesday (4:00PM EDT) next week in the middle of that Cards-Buccos series. This time next week things will be quite a bit different than they are today. Just how much so, we’ll have to wait and see. This is going to be a very interesting week.

  7. 1-3 would be disheartening but not disasterous, 2-2 would be a success, 3-1 would be just… hmmm.. can’t find an adj suitable for mixed company.

    Especially given the way LA’s been playing recently.

  8. Nice preview. Chinatown has been one of my favorite movies for years. Regarding your comment, “If both Kershaw and Homer Bailey are pitching well, the match-up could be a classic.”, This does not appear likely as Bailey is coming off of a 120 pitch performance. While he may be strong enough to get through an outing of that length, his record in the games following a high pitch count outing is not very good.

    • @MikeC: That decision by Baker to leave Homer in so long in his last start may cost the Reds two games. I had done enough work on the preview back then to know that Homer was lined up to face off with Kershaw and the Dodgers.

      On the other hand, it will be a great opportunity to see if Homer can rise up to the moment, like he did in the NLDS last year. Biggest regular season stage possible. I’m already counting down the hours. :-)

      • @Steve Mancuso: The decision to leave Homer in was bad. The decision to leave Cingrani in was much, much worse. I hope that–and a Dusty Sunday Special lineup–doesn’t bite us in the most winnable game of the series (on paper).

  9. This whole column is bloody priceless. Jack Kerouac, Chinatown Nicholson refy (for LA sports, come on, you have to have a Nicholson refy), wiffle ball Koufax er Kershaw pitch.

    But the best line:

    “Dusty Baker will play it so tight he’ll order sacrifice bunts with no one on base.”

    the sad thing is that we can all picture that move

    Go REDS

  10. As an aside, does anyone else think it’s funny that the “gurus” are still saying Puig would’ve “helped the game” by being in the AS game? They claim that the fans would’ve liked it.

    Um, the Final Vote was literally the fans saying, “NO.” Why can’t ESPN and other media outlets understand that?

    • @rhayex: Because they they don’t live in the real world. Puig may turn out to be one of the greats but he also may turn out to just be a good player. He’s not even been in MLB for half a season. We have no idea what his numbers will look like over the next 2-3 years.

    • @rhayex: But you’re assuming that all fans voted on whom they wanted to see, not who was most deserving.

      It’s quite possible that Puig won the “I want to see him” vote, whereas Freeman won the “He deserves it most” vote.

      • @renbutler: Or, perhaps Freeman won the “Puig doesn’t deserve it so I’ll do everything I can to make sure he doesn’t make it” vote. And yes, I bet there were enough people with that attitude to make their bloc statistically significant.

        • @renbutler: Count me as one of those people. That Final 5 was ridiculous–no Jay Bruce?–so I waited to see who was leading and then voted for him as many times as possible. ABP was my motto. If I could have voted against him rather than for someone else, I would have. I was pleasantly surprised Puig didn’t win the vote.

    • @rhayex: You are forgetting the most important thing: MLB didn’t want him there. The whole thing was a farce. They put A-Gon on the list, as well, which split the Dodger vote. They knew that would happen, I firmly believe.

  11. All I can think is – do we really have to play them?

    Reds are as hot with bats as they have been outside of early in the year. Pitchers will have to step up, in particular Homer & Mat. It is their opportunity to carry the club for the next two nights.

    Honestly, my greatest concern: is Dusty is up for it? I’m keeping my eye on the #2 spot when lineups are announced. Devin needs to start 3 of the 4 games. Come on Dusty, don’t let the team down. Play to win ‘em!

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Leake’s not pitching this series, so I believe that means normally (i.e., pre-Hanigan-injury), Mes would catch *one* game out of the 4.

      This is an interesting test for Baker. He can sidestep the issue by playing Mes 2 or 3 games with the reasoning that Hanigan needs to be brought along slowly.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Well, you know he’s not catching Bailey. And after all these years I can’t imagine Baker breaking up Hanigan and Arroyo. So, he’ll probably catch Latos (vs RHP), miss two games vs LHP, then catch Cingrani vs the weakest of the three LHP. Two games out of four will be progress vs the past, but still hurt the team unnecessarily. He should catch 3 of 4 but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  12. Am I the only person that finds the Pirates irrelevant?

    If the Reds finish ahead of the Cards, they’ll win the Central, I’d say. If they don’t, I don’t mind the Pirates winning all these games—these are theoretically teams that could compete with the Reds for the second wildcard (such as the Nats).

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I’m not particularly scared of the Pirates, but no, I don’t find them irrelevant.

      For starters, if the Reds don’t win the division, I’d prefer that they are the first wild card team so that the one game playoff is in Cincy. So that means catching the Pirates.

      But the biggest reason that they are important is that they play the Cardinals so many times. If those two teams basically split their 13 games, the Reds should have a decent chance of making up ground if we are playing well like we have been.

      • @al: Personally, I don’t really care about home field that much. That might be why I’m less concerned.

        I just don’t see the Reds catching the Cards…that’s another reason.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I think the Pirates are very relevant to anyone who believe the Reds have any sort of shot at catching the Cards. It is hard to put together a scenario where that happens unless the Pirates win at least half of those 13 games left between the Birds and the Bucs.

      If as you suggested on down the thread, the Reds are playing to protect a wildcard slot then the Pirates don’t really matter a lot unless a 4th team catches fire down the stretch.

  13. I probably won’t be able to watch the game tonight, and I missed prime reading time for the game recap, so I’ll post it here: Joey Votto came to the plate last night with RISP three times and got ZERO hits. Of course, he had a sacrifice fly which gave us the early lead; he had a two-out single which ignited a three run rally to open up some breathing room; he hit a ball which got another run in and advanced a guy to 3rd where Phillips could plate him with a sac fly; he tripled, knocking in no one but setting up another multiple run inning to put the game safely out of Ondrusek Range.

    I think this game perfectly encapsulates why judging Votto solely or even primarily on hits with RISP is so ridiculous. Point your friends–or Marty–to this game log when they fall into that trap.

    • @Eric the Red: Nice observation. I didn’t get to watch or listen (Thank MLB!), so I didn’t realize Votto didn’t have a hit with RISP. I just knew he was having a pretty good game.

  14. Steve, your previews are intelligent, witty, and insightful. It is a real pleasure to read your stuff. Love it.

    Only comment is that I’m glad Greinke is going tonight, just in case there is any bad blood by the end of the series they won’t have Zack to go head-hunting.

  15. The top twelve pitchers in MLB based on FIP (fielding independent pitching):

    1. Matt Harvey 2.07
    2. Adam Wainwright 2.20
    3. Anibal Sanchez 2.39
    4. Clayton Kershaw 2.58
    5. Felix Hernandez 2.60
    6. Homer Bailey 2.80
    6. Max Scherzer 2.80
    8. Derek Holland 2.91
    9. Chris Sale 2.93
    10. Shelby Miller 2.98
    11. Jhoulys Chacin 3.09
    12. Mat Latos 3.11

    How about that Friday night match-up!!

    • @Steve Mancuso: It should be a great one.

      Seeing Harvey on top of that list makes me feel a little better about facing these strong Dodgers pitchers. As I recall, we smacked him around pretty good in NY.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Yes. Really nice. I just hope when Homer’s pitch count gets up there, they keep a close eye on him.

      Unfortunately, I could easily see Homer pitching a fabulous 6+ and start to lose it while DB just sits in the dugout. After 120+ pitch count games, Homer seems to tire quicker. Just something to keep our eyes on.

  16. I think this is going to b ea great series for the Reds, and maybe even the turning point of the season. It has the chance to be a huge message to the rest of the league, because right now it seems like all eyes in baseball are on the Dodgers.

    I think the Reds take another 3 of 4, which will give the team a huge boost in confidence, and put the rest of the league on notice.

    The fact that we’re facing three lefties also helps. Mesoraco, Votto, Bruce, Heisey, Frazier, and Phillips have all been hitting lefties really well this year, and Choo still gets on base a third of the time vs. L.

  17. Homer Bailey and Max Scherzer have identical FIP at 2.80. Homer’s record is 5-9 and Scherzer’s is 14-1. They have each started 20 games.

    In Scherzer’s starts, the Tigers have scored 0-3 runs 4 times and 5 or more runs 14 times. In Homer’s starts, the Reds have scored 0-3 runs TEN times and scored five or more runs six times.

    So the W-L records are almost directly in proportion to the offensive output.

    The next time a friend tries to tell you that wins are a good indicator of how a pitcher has done (well, first, why are you hanging out with Harold Reynolds) just point out this example.

    • @Steve Mancuso: And if Homer complains about that run support, ask him why he seems to prefer throwing to light-hitting catchers. Corky over Mesoraco? You may not get 5 runs, kid.

  18. Any idea how the Dodgers do against LHP vs RHP? I’m just wondering if there’s any temptation to start Reynolds over Cingrani. Cingrani is clearly the better pitcher, but if they’re worried about keeping him fresh/available for later in the year and therefore are watching his innings then maybe they need to skip a start here and there. I also can’t believe they’ll send Reynolds down and risk losing our only starting pitching depth via a waiver claim. So maybe they use him and Cingrani creatively based on matchups, or start Cingrani but bring Reynolds in behind him. Thoughts?

      • @Steve Mancuso: Thanks. I started to wander into a broader point about Cingrani and Reynolds. If it’s true we can’t send Reynolds back down without putting him through waivers–which I still find hard to believe–do you think the Reds will keep him up? And if so, do you think they’ll look to keep him starter-sharp and starter-stretched out by pairing him with Cingrani somehow? (I assume they keep Cingrani up as well, and send out Ondrusek or Partch).

        • @Eric the Red: I believe Reynolds still has options, so he can be sent down without putting him on waivers. They would have to put him on waivers to take him off of the 40-man roster, and someone will have to be taken off when Marshall comes back.

        • @Eric the Red: My guess is that they will send him down, and keep him starting in case of another injury. Now that they’ve traded Galaraga, he’s clearly the next man down the depth chart.

          I was actually sort of surprised that they didn’t send him down immediately, since he couldn’t pitch the day after he started.

    • @rhayex: Since Ludwick just started his rehab assignment, I think the possibility of the Reds get an outfielder is less than 1%.

      Jocketty seems to be a GM who believes you can never have too much pitching, so that would be my guess.

      • @al: It does seem like strange timing. The Reds have lived with mediocre (at best) left field output all season and now that Ludwick is about to return, we trade for another LF? I get that it takes two to make a trade and that teams are willing to trade now that weren’t in April, but where would the new player play?

        • @Steve Mancuso: I actually like the idea of getting de Aza. It’ll help the OF situation for the next few years, and the Reds can always do what the Dbacks did and trade away surplus in the offseason if they have to. Losing Choo doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, as we’ll get a first round pick as compensation (plus, he’ll be way too expensive). If you trade for de Aza, you can put off the Hamilton callup until he’s truly ready, which is increasingly looking like 2015, instead of 2014.

          I’m not convinced at all Ludwick will be productive with the Reds (through no fault of his own–who can blame him for hustling?). This shoulder injury probably ended his career as a power threat.

    • @rhayex: De Aza would be a fairly major commitment – not necessarily financially, but in terms of years. He’s team controlled through 2015.

      He’s a good player and could lead-off and play CF for a couple years. He’s having an excellent 2013 (take away an awful April).

      • @Steve Mancuso:

        I have given up th ghost on WJ making a trade for a RH LF to bat #4. If WJ makes a trade for an OF, I feel confidant it will be someone who can bat in the #2 spot this year and possibly leadoff next year. They will be an insurance policy in case Choo leaves and opts for FA. Or an insurance policy if BHam isn’t ready next year. Or if Choo were to re-sign, then an insurance policy for LF if Ludwick doesn’t respond very well.
        De Aza fits that bill. De Aza bats LH and is 29. Peter Bourjos (currently on the DL, supposed to be back 1st week of Aug.) also fits the bill and is 26. Bourjos bats RH. There are a few others, but not many who fit this bill. Limited options.

  19. All I’m saying is, that preview terrifies me. I like the optimism above about winning 3/4, but I’m not sure I can share in that optimism.

  20. I think it comes down to the hitters. Our pitching matches up all four games, including Bailey against Kershaw.

    So the optimism would come from the fact that our offense has been about the best it has been all year on the road trip and not being carried by any one person.

  21. Its short notice but:

    ALL the Los Angeles Members of Redleg Nation who are interested in seeing the Reds drub the Dodgers this weekend and would like to meet up at the game reply to this post and I’ll take the initiative to set it up and find a group of seats on stub hub.

    I go to at least 2 games when the Reds come to town, and I’ll be there tonight with some guys from work who are diehard Dodgers fans. I’ll provide some pictures of the great Reds turnout tonight at Chavez Ravine!

    But again let me know which L.A. Redleg Nation fans would like to catch a game on Saturday or Sunday.

  22. Great writing, as usual, Steve! I love these previews! keep up the good work.
    You really should send your resume to the Cincinnati Enquirer. They could give you the beat writer’s job.

  23. Here comes our new left fielder! Ha!

    Royals released OF Willy Taveras.
    Taveras, now 31, was hitting .238/.308/.340 through 79 games with Triple-A Omaha this season. He’ll attempt to latch on elsewhere, but there’s little hope of him resurfacing in the majors at this point.

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