Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SweetSpot Roundup: 1/25

Austin's Astros 290 Blog: Finding optimism in non-roster invitees
The Astros are inviting fewer retreads and more prospects this time around, and Austin hopes this is a good sign.

Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Leaving His Mark
Frank Wren's put together a new Rookie Development Camp for Braves prospects that brings the youngsters to Atlanta to work out with the Big Leaguers and get a taste of the Majors.  CAC approves heartily.  Sounds very cool.

Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): What do we look for in a Rickie Weeks contract extension?
Jack points out that, when he's healthy, Ricky Weeks might be the best player on the Brewers.  But can he stay healthy long enough to make a multi-year extension an acceptable risk?

Fungoes (Cardinals): Pujols and contract comparables
Pip looks at the benchmarks to which Prince Albert will want to be compared and, well, it doesn't look good for St. Louis.

The View From the Bleachers (Cubs): A look at the prospects in the Gorzo Trade
Joe tracks down fellow SweetSpotter Harper Gordek of Nationals Baseball, and gets his reaction to the latest Cubs acquisitions.

Dodger Thoughts: The 2011 National League West, A First Look
Jon Weisman's got a solid preview of the NL West and thinks the Dodgers are looking up at at least one of their rivals.

Bay City Ball (Giants): BCB's Top Prospect List #5-1
Otis and Chris shepherd you through the best players in the Giants' farm system.

Mets Today: Ike Davis, Mets LOOGY?
The craziest damn idea you'll hear today: "Of course, there are some issues to work out, such as getting Davis enough warmup pitches prior to the inning in which he’d be used. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of whether he’d be good enough to retire MLB hitters.  But the idea isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds, considering that Davis — son of former late-inning reliever Ron Davis — was a pretty good pitcher in college."

Nationals Baseball: The Education of Mike Rizzo
"There is value in security and bringing in Gorzelanny gives the Nats more security that a healthy major league caliber arm will be filling a rotation spot. It may not be flashy but it's an important step in being a respectable team."

Ducksnorts (Padres): Great Pitchers Duels in Padres History
Everybody remembers Andy Hawkins lost a no-hitter 4-0, but they often forget that he was a pretty good pitcher too, from time to time.  Here, Hawkins goes toe-to-toe with Orel Hershiser in the middle of his consecutive scoreless innings streak.

Redleg Nation: On Bob Castelini
Not every fanbase hates the fatcats in charge: "Castellini has been at the helm as a ship that had been drifting for a decade was finally set back on course. He deserves immense credit for leading this resurgence, and getting the right baseball people in the right places."

Baseballin' On a Budget (A's): Top Fives, The Best Centerfielders in Team History
The A's have had a lot of solid centerfielders, but no real superstars.  Number one is a surprise, but it's also one of TCM's favorite players and Carl Weathers lookalikes.

ProBall NW (Mariners): Will the Spending Catch Up to the Angels?
"So far they’ve survived, winning the AL West five times in the last eight seasons.  They’ve seen some very bad contracts come and go over the period, but they’re far from being in the clear.  How much longer can they keep being competitive while taking on overly rich deals?"

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Paying the MVP
And if you don't, what happens when he leaves?  "The corresponding P.R. hit could be massive if he's permitted to walk away and is still producing All-Star numbers, but the front office has increasingly shown that it's more interested in making judicious baseball decisions than catering to the fans' every whim, and if there's one thing we learned about a bad P.R. image in 2010, it's that winning cures everything. Absolutely everything."

The Ray Area: So. Anything happen over the weekend?
On the Manny and Damon signings: "We got better because the Rays made a bold statement to all the teams in the AL East (including their own): we are still the defending champs and we still think we have a shot to repeat in 2011.That bold gesture had two positive effects. Everyone in this community was talking about the Rays this weekend.  More importantly, the players that are still in the Rays’ clubhouse got a nice reminder from management that no one has given up on anything in 2011."

Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): Can Salty Hack it in 2011?
"While the Yankees are staring down the possibility of starting Sergio Mitre as their #5 rotation-mate, the Sox are staring down the barrel of a different gun — that of Jarrod Saltalamacchia beginning the season as the club’s #1 catcher.  No one’s excited about it."  Not true.  I'm sure he has a mother.  Probably a girlfriend.

Royals Authority: The Butler Extension
Why is Clark not worried if Billy Butler has to become a fulltime DH?  Read on.

The Daily Fungo (Tigers): Tigers' Treatment of Sparky Anderson Descends From Sour Grapes to Bush League
"Yes, the fact the Tigers are honoring Sparky is a good thing — and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Dave Dombrowski that finally convinced Ilitch that the Great Sparky Schism needed to end.  But still, two months after his death? 18 months after the last, best opportunity?  Sorry.  “Better late than never” just doesn’t work for me in this instance.

Nick's Twins Blog: Saying Goodbye
We aren't the only ones flummoxed by the Twins' refusal to bring Nick Punto back for less than a million dollars.

It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): R-E-R-E-B-R-E-B-O-U-N-D, Rebound for Tex and A-Rod?
If these two cornerstones of the Bombers bounce back, the AL East is going to be a lot more interesting.

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