It’s time for Moniker Madness again! Everett AquaSox outfielder Chantz Mack and the Tacoma Rainiers Chance Ruffin have been selected as contestants in this season’s edition of MiLB.com Moniker Madness. Fans are invited to go online and vote for the best name among the thousands of active Minor League players. Last year’s winner was Rock Shoulders, and the year before it was Seth Schwindenhammer. How could you forget those guys?
According to a CBS News release, “60 Minutes” has learned that, in February, members of Alex Rodriguez‘s inner circle obtained and leaked documents that implicated Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun as well as Rodriguez’s own Yankees teammate, catcher Francisco Cervelli, in the doping scandal that has enveloped Major League Baseball. The leak came just days after the weekly newspaper, Miami New Times, published documents in January detailing Rodriguez’s pervasive use of performance enhancing drugs.
For his career, Phil Hughes has a 1.44 ERA as a reliever and a 4.73 ERA as a starter—though that relief sample size is just 56 1/3 innings. In a piece from MLB Trade Rumors by Steve Adams entitled Hughes Will Consider Signing As Reliever This Offseason, Adams states:
“There’s also a belief that Hughes — an extreme fly-ball pitcher — simply needs to escape the homer-friendly Yankee Stadium and move to a larger park. That’s also understandable, as he’s pitched to a 6.18 ERA with 16 homers in 62 2/3 home innings this season (2.3 HR/9) compared to a 3.67 ERA on the road with just six homers allowed on the road. Since moving back into the rotation full-time in 2010, Hughes has a 5.02 ERA and 5.10 FIP at Yankee Stadium. His road marks of 4.08 and 3.81 are much more respectable.”
Hughes might fit well in The Safe…and at a reasonable cost.
Catcher Brandon Bantz had another good game defensively, picking a runner off at first base and nailing another one trying to steal. Bantz is throwing out 41.9% of attempted base stealers so far this season in the PCL – he’s gunned down 18 of the 43 potential thieves. That would be the third-highest rate in the PCL, if Bantz qualified. To qualify, a catcher must appear in half of his team’s games, and Bantz falls short. However, there have actually been more base-stealing attempts against Bantz than against the man who leads the league, Tuffy Gosewisch of Reno, who has gunned down 51.2% of the 41 attempted base stealers. Bantz has thrown out 45.8% between double-A and triple-A this season, and he has been particularly hot throwing out attempted base stealers recently, nailing eight of the last 12 to try.
Fox made some major concessions with media providers to get their new Fox Sports 1 launched, according to Ken Fang of Awful Announcing. As he put it, “When we learned about Fox Sports 1 suddenly getting clearance from DirecTV, Dish and Time Warner earlier this week, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that Fox had to make some concessions in order to get Fox Sports 1 into its desired 90 million homes for Saturday’s launch. Fox had been seeking 80 cents per subscriber for the new all-sports cable network. However as Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand reported, with Fox Sports 1 taking the place of Speed and the deals for the old channel yet to expire, the company agreed with Cablevision, Cox, DirecTV, Dish and Time Warner to keep the present rate of 23 cents per subscriber per month for now. In hopes of getting viewers hooked on FS1, Fox is leaving millions of dollars on the table.
The Ms 2013 first round draft choice Douglas Anthony Peterson, for whatever reason known as D.J. Peterson, played 29 games for the Everett Aqua Sox and was then promoted to Clinton where he has played 19 more games so far. He has hit 12 dingers total, 6 for each team, with a combined .296/.359/.548/.908 line and 37 SO and 19 BB, with 40 RBI and 102 total bases in 186 PA. The Ms second round choice Austin Wilson is still in Everett with .211/.291/.317/.607 line, with 12 extra base hits, including 2 HR in 161 PA. He’s attempted 5 stolen bases and been successful twice.
In a piece titled “Angels, Rangers on Different Tracks” by Peter Gammons on his Gammons Daily site he notes:
“In 2014, they have $80M committed to Hamilton, Pujols, Weaver and Wilson, $110M if you throw in Howie Kendrick, Blanton, Erick Aybar and Chris Iannetta. In 2015, when Hamilton and Pujols will take home $55M, they have $83M committed to The Big Four. Oh yes. And there are some dudes named Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo standing in the arbitration line.”
According to an MLB.com article by John Schlegel more games are going past 9 frames this season. He states:
“With a mid-August flurry and a pace continuing to trend toward the historic, extra-inning games are helping define the 2013 Major League season as one with a flair for the dramatic. After six games went beyond the regulation nine innings Tuesday night, another five went into extras Wednesday to put the current tally at 191 for the season. The all-time record for a full season was set just two years ago, with 237 games going into extra innings in 2011, and that appears very much in jeopardy at this point. The 2013 total is on a pace for approximately 259 extra-inning affairs this year, based on the percentage of games played thus far in the 2,430-game regular season. The pace was at 257 as of mid-June, so the possibility that 2013 will eclipse ’11 remains real. Also still on the rise are extra-long games, with 23 games of 14 innings or more played through Wednesday. There were 20 such games in 2012 — another reason ’13 is turning out to be extra special.“
Shannon Drayer on her mynorthwest.com blog had an interesting take on Justin Smoak and his place in the lineup:
“On the post game show Tuesday night, Matt Pitman asked if I could see Robby Thompson move Smoak up in the order. This is where things get interesting. His numbers would suggest he has yet to get comfortable in the middle of the order. The majority of his at-bats this year have come at sixth, where he has hit .267/.366/.422/.788. Move him up one spot and those numbers plummet (half the sample size) to .217/.309/.325/.634. Hit him seventh in almost the same number of at-bats and you find his best line: .393/.479/.738/1.217.“
In a piece titled Would An August 15 Deadline Have Made A Difference? by Charlie Wilmoth at MLB Trade Rumors he concluded;
“This year, teams that traditionally would have been sellers had other priorities — keeping the team together, pursuing a winning season, and so on. Teams that traditionally might be buyers were circumspect, guarding their prospects and, in some cases, their wallets. Maybe the conditions that shape the market will change next year. Having so many bigger-market teams, like the Phillies, Giants, Mets and Mariners, out of the running probably didn’t help this season, for example. But the second Wild Card wasn’t much of a factor in 2013, and moving the deadline to mid-August probably wouldn’t have changed much, either. It doesn’t matter when you schedule the dance if no one wants to go.”