Archive for March, 2015

NPB Opens Season

Friday, March 27th, 2015

The Japanese opened their season today, with all the teams active. Below are the scores from the games and a few highlights.

Chibba Lotte Marines 3 Softbank Hawks 1

The Marines are waiting for Alfredo Despaigne to join the team to give them a bat. Hideaki Wakui threw six innings of shutout ball to lead the Marines in their opening day win to void the need for the bat. Tadahito Iguchi hit a solo shot among his two hits to give the Marines an insurance run.

Nippon Ham Fighters 5 Rakuten Golden Eagles 2

Brandon Laird stitched together three hits to lead the Fighters to a win. Shohei Otani got the start working five plus innings to get the win, giving up one run. Zelous Wheeler hit a solo homerun in a losing cause.

Seibu Lions 1 Orix Buffaloes 0

Ernesto Mejia drove in the only run with a single and Kazuhisa Makita threw seven innings of shutout ball to give the Lions the win. Brandon Dickson pitched seven innings for the Buffaloes and gave up one run to take the loss.

Yakult Swallows 4 Hiroshima Carp 2

Lastings Milledge banged a two run triple in the 11th inning to give the Swallows an opening day win. Tony Barnette pitched two innings of relief to pick up the win. Kenta Maeda got the start for the Carp and coughed up two runs in seven innings. He avoided the loss when the Carp tied the game in the bottom of the eighth when Ryuhei Matsuyama roped a two run double.

Hanshin Tigers 5 Chunichi Dragons 4

Matt Murton banged out a walk off single to give the Tigers the win. It was his first hit in five at bats. The Tigers had rallied for three runs in the eighth on an RBI single by Tsuyoshi Nishioka and a two run double by Mauro Gomez.

Yomiuri Giants 3 Yokahama Bay Stars 2

The Gourriel brothers are ignoring the Bay Stars inquiries about their availability for the season. The Bay Stars are threatening to cut off their pay for missed games. Not a good start for a Cuban contract. The Bay Stars did get two solo homeruns from Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Taiki Sekine but it was not enough to hold down the Giants. The Giants got a two run homerun from Yoshiyuki Kamei to put them on a top. The Giants had a record crowd of 45,524 attend the game.

MLB Top Ten Franchises

Friday, March 27th, 2015

The New York Yankees are tied with the Dallas Cowboys as the top valued sports franchise in the United States valued at $3.2 billion according to Forbes. The top franchise in the world is the Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, valued at $3.44 billion. The total value for all major league baseball franchises is $36 million. The average revenue per team was estimated at $262 million, most of it due to increased television revenue.

1. New York Yankees $3.2 billion
2. Los Angeles Dodgers $2.4 billion
3. Boston Red Sox $2.1 billion
4. San Francisco Giants $2 billion
5. Chicago Cubs $1.8 billion
6. St. Louis Cardinals $1.4 billion
7. New York Mets $1.35 billion
8. Los Angeles Angels $1.3 billion
9. Washington Nationals $1.28 billion
10. Philadelphia Phillies $1.25 billion

The team who is last on the list is the Tampa Bay Rays at $625 million. For the complete list see the link below:

Forbes top ten franchises

Ciego de Avila Stuns Granma

Friday, March 27th, 2015

In the opener the Stallions took it to the Tigers 9-2. Ciego raised the ante bashing four homeruns and 25 hits to beat Granma 16-5 to even their series. Osvaldo Vazquez sent two deep to drive in three runs and Raul Gonzalez and Yeniet Perez also powered homeruns. Gonzalez drove in four runs with his three hits. The big hit man was Ariel Borrero with five.

The Stallions were never in the game with Ciego bolting to a 8-0 lead after the first three innings, scoring in every inning but the fourth. Dariel Gongora got the start for the Stallions and could not survive the first inning. Yander Guevara worked six innings to get the win for Ciego.

The box score for the game can be found below:

boxscore

Victor with the Victory

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Victor Martinez hit his first homerun of the spring, a two run shot that gave the Tigers a 6-4 win over the Orioles. Joakim Soria pitched the last inning and retired the side in order to get the save. For the Tigers this was a good sign with the struggles of Joe Nathan this spring and the lack of a lock down closers in the bullpen.

Rajai Davis led the Tigers to their first two runs, walking in the opening frame and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Cabrera. In the third he laced a gapper into left center and legged it into a triple, scoring on a single by Miguel Cabrera. Both runs were scored against Chris Tillman, who worked five innings, retiring the last seven hitters he faced after giving up the Cabrera hit.

David Price retired the first 10 hitters he faced. He ran into trouble after that, giving up back to back singles to Dario Alvarez and Jimmy Paredes. Delmon Young ripped a ball into right centerfield and showed off his legs, racing to third to complete the triple. Nolan Reimold hit a ball deep enough into center field to score Young to give the Orioles a 3-2 lead. Price returned to his dominant pitching by retiring the last 10 hitters he faced.

The Tigers used their power to recapture the lead off reliever Tommie Hunter. First Miguel Cabrera drove a line drive that barely cleared the left field fence in the sixth inning on the first pitch thrown by Hunter to tie the game. Yoenis Cespedes powered a ball into left centerfield on the first pitch thrown by Tommy Hunter in the seventh inning to give the Tigers a one run lead.

The Orioles got an unlikely hero in the eighth when Jayson Nix sent a pitch from Joe Nathan far over the left field wall to tie the game. Nix was the first hitter faced by Nathan, who retired the next two hitters to keep the game tied.

In the bottom of the eighth Kevin Gausman came on in relief. He retired the first two hitters before giving up a single to Hernan Perez. Victor Martinez clocked an 88 mile per hour non breaking ball over the right field wall to give the Tigers a 6-4 lead. Joakin Soria retired the Orioles in order to give the Tigers the victory.

Game Notes: David Price worked two outs into the seventh inning, retiring the hitters in order except for a three hitter span when the Orioles scored their three runs…Yoenis Cespedes made two acrobatic catches to rob Christian Walker and Dario Alveraz of doubles…Kevin Gausman was used in relief because that may be his role with the Orioles in 2015 season to limit his innings. The Orioles also have a surplus of starting pitching with Ubaldo Jimenez pitching well of late. Gausman hit 100 on the radar gun pitching in relief…Chris Parmelee tried to lay down a bunt in the eighth to beat the shift. Jefry Marte was able to throw him out at first. This is the second time myworld has seen a hitter lay down a bunt on the third base side to beat the shift…The Tigers have an impressive lineup with Kinsler, Cabrera, Martinez (2), and Cespedes in the middle of the lineup to provide power. The lack of speed will limit them to a one base at a time advance and they will ground into a lot of double plays…J.D. Martinez blooped a ball into right field and watched it from home plate, perhaps losing site of the ball. Once he realized it was going to fall in fair territory he broke to first. When he came back to the dugout after being thrown out at home by Delmon Young on a Nick Castellanos single for the last out of the second inning, Brad Ausmus had a talk with him, telling him he should have been on second base if he had run out the bloop hit, which would have allowed him to score from third on the single instead of being thrown out from second base…Tommie Hunter struck out the side after giving up his second homerun of the game. He throws the ball hard but it flies to straight.

Pirates Even Series; Stallions Win in Cuban Playoffs

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Rigoberto Gomez drove in three of the four runs for Isla de La Juventud, one on a ground out in the ninth inning to tie the game and the last on a two run single in the 11th inning to give the Pirates a 4-2 win. Hector Manuel retired Matanzas in order in the bottom frame to preserve the victory. Danny Aguilera worked two plus innings for the Pirates and got the win. During the regular season Danny won ten games in relief against zero losses. The series is now even at one game apiece.

Jonder Martinez got the start for Matanzas and pitched seven shutout innings before giving up his first run in the eighth inning.

The Granma Stallions had an easy time over Ciego de Avila 9-2. Yordanis Samon banged out three hits, two doubles and a homerun to drive in three runs to lead the offense. Alfredo Despaigne and Lazaro Alfredo each drove in two runs. Lazaro Blanco worked six innings to get the win and Juan Ramon Olivera closed out the last three innings to pick up the save. Ismel Jimenez got the start for Ciego de Avila and did not finish the fifth, giving up six hits and three runs.

Holaday Slam Leads Tigers

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Sam Dyson did not have a bad sixth inning. He had an unlucky sixth inning, giving up six runs. Bryan Holaday hit the only barrel of the ball contact off him when he connected on a 95 mile per hour fastball and drove it over the left field fence with the bases loaded. The Tigers went on to win the game 8-4.

Prior to that the game was all in favor of the Marlins. Alfredo Simon got the start and struggled throughout, putting runners on third base in all five innings he pitched. He survived the first inning leaving a man on third thanks to a diving stop at first by Miguel Cabrera to prevent a run from scoring. In the second inning he gave up a leadoff homerun to Donavan Solano into the berm in left field. He later loaded the bases in the inning, getting just one out when a nice scoop by Miguel Cabrera and a throw home prevented a run from scoring.

The Marlins stranded another runner in the third but failed to score. In the fourth a triple by Jordany Valdespin to deep centerfield put a fourth runner on third base in four innings. This time a Jhonatan Solano deep fly ball to left field scored the Marlins second run. In the fifth inning Marcell Ozuna doubled down the left field line and Don Kelly doubled down the right field line to start the inning. A Jordan Lennerton error scored the second run of the inning, giving the Marlins an early 4-0 lead. Zack Reininger was called on to get the last out, walking the first batter he faced to load the bases before getting Jhonatan Solano to end the inning.

David Phelps was unhittable for the Marlins. In his five innings of work he allowed only two hits and two walks, not allowing a runner to reach third, hitting 91-93 miles per hour with his fastball. He struck out three.

Sam Dyson started the sixth inning for the Marlins, hitting 97-100 mile per hour with his fastball. Anthony Gose started the inning skipping a single past the glove of third baseman Scott Sizemore. Ian Kinsler followed with a single and Jordan Lennerton grounder a single past the shortstop Reid Brignac to score the first run. A Victor Martinez single scored a second run and a broken bat single by Rajai Davis that dunked into right field while Davis stepped on first holding the handle of the bat loaded the bases. Dyson bore down and struck out Hernan Perez for the second out, but Bryan Holaday took a 95 mile per hour fastball and sent it over the left field fence for a grand slam and a 6-4 Tiger lead.

Joe Nathan came on to work the sixth and loaded the bases before getting the final out. Ian Kinsler made a bad flip to second on a possible double play grounder to extend the inning. Joba Chamberlain came on in the seventh and also loaded the bases after retiring the first two hitters. He got Cole Gillespie to fly out to right to end the inning.

The Tigers tagged Nick Massett for two more runs in the seventh. Tyler Collins started the inning with a double down the leftfield line. A walk to Josh Wilson and a double steal put runners on second and third. Jordan Lennerton took advantage by lofting a double into the left centerfield gap for his second hit of the game, driving in two runs to give him three RBIs for the game.

Bruce Rondon pitched the eighth, retiring the Marlins in order. He threw a number of breaking balls, but did hit 101 with his fastball. Joe Mantiply pitched to three batters in the ninth to finish the game.

Game Notes: A couple SABR guys from Washington D.C. representing the Mayo Smith society handed out a plague to Victor Martinez for his accomplishments on and off the field. They got a lot of opportunities to pose for pictures with Victor. Myworld has no doubt those pictures will be forwarded over the internet…Centerfield for Lakeland is 420 feet from home plate, so there are a number of opportunities for fast legs to stretch hits there into triples. Down the line and in the power alleys it is 340 feet so homeruns are not difficult…Miguel Cabrera made a couple nice defensive plays in the first two innings, both plays preventing runs from scoring…Sam Dyson hit 100 on the radar gun. Bruce Rondon hit 101. Bruce showed a better breaking pitch…The Solano brothers were in the lineup together. Last year Jhonathan played for the Nationals. The two combined to go 4 for 7 with one homerun and two RBIs.

Matanzas Mauls Pirates

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Matanzas took the opener 11-1 in the Cuban semi-finals. The game lasted only seven innings because of the slaughter rule. Yadiel Hernandez collected four hits in four at bats, driving in three runs, including a solo shot in the sixth inning. William Luis drove in the first two runs of the game with a single in the second inning. He finished the day 2 for 2. Yadier Hechavarria got the win after relieving Yoanni Yera in the fourth inning, throwing three innings and giving up the only run. Ulfrido Garcia took the loss pitching only one inning and giving up two runs.

The box score for the game can be found at the link below:

boxscore

Hector Olivera is the Cuban du Jour for Dodgers

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

The Dodgers signed a second Cuban in two days after Pablo Millan Fernandez agreed to an $8 million bonus yesterday. Hector Olivera was the Cuban du jour today, the Dodgers agreeing to pay him a six year $62.5 million contract, including a $28 million bonus. Hector has earned his money after being a star in the Cuban league for a number of years. This may be bad news for Alex Guererro, a younger and less polished version of Hector, who has a provision in his contract that he can not be sent down to the minor leagues without becoming a free agent. The two players play the same position.

Olivera played for Santiago de Cuba for a number of years but missed the 2011/2012 season and was used primarily as a DH for the 2012/2013 season. He had a career .323 average in a league that could be equivalent to AAA, hitting in the double digit teens with the homeruns. At 29 years of age he will be 35 when the contract is ready to expire.

The Dodgers recently traded for Howie Kendrick to play second base for them this year. Hector Olivera will only need a half a season to get ready for the 2015 season. With Juan Uribe a free agent after this season perhaps the Dodgers will groom Olivera for third base. Howie can also become a free agent after the 2015 season. Alex Guerrero could take over at second base in 2016 after being groomed as a utility player to keep him on the roster.

The Dodgers are getting to the point where their AAA team could be good enough to beat some major league teams if they keep stashing high salaried players in the minor leagues as depth because they have no room on their major league roster. A number of teams were in the running for Olivera, but only the Dodgers with their vast resources were willing to offer Olivera a six year contract. They will be the team agents will use to inflate free agent prices for premium players like the Yankees were once used in days gone by.

The appetite the Dodgers have for premium players has not been satiated with the signing of Olivera. They continue to look over the menu because there are plenty of Cubans on the entrée list and the Dodgers have unlimited resources to sign them.

Another European Top Prospect List

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

If you want to see another top European prospect list you can go to Mister Baseball at the link below. The difference between their list and myworld’s list is they only identify players who have developed in Europe. This could eliminate players from Curacao or who were born in Europe but developed in the United States.

To see the list you can go below:

European top 15 prospects

KBO Changes

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

There will be some changes in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), the big one being a new team entering the fray. The KT Wiz will be the tenth team, ending the three day byes teams had with an uneven nine teams last year. The number of games will also be increased from 128 to 144.

With the addition of one more team in the league the playoff structure has been tweaked. Now the fifth place team will qualify for the playoffs, almost imitating major league baseball with a one game playoff if the fourth place team wins. The fourth place team starts the best of three series up one game to zero. If the fifth place team wins the two will play another game and the fifth place team will have to win a second game to advance in the playoffs. The fourth place team will be the home team in both games. The winner of the division still has to wait until the final playoff team is whittled down in a fifth versus fourth, then the winner versus the third place team and finally the winner versus the second place team.

The roster for the KBO has been expanded from 26 to 27. Of those 27 only 25 can play in that day’s game. The Wiz being an expansion team is allowed a 28 man roster, of which 26 can play in that day’s game.

Also, in an attempt to speed up the game once a hitter steps into the batter’s box he must always keep at least one foot inside the box. If he steps outside the box he will be fined the equivalent of $180. Myworld believes some exceptions are allowed but they were not disclosed, such as a hitter fouling the ball off their foot, or having to go back to the dugout to retrieve a new bat if their current bat is broken after a foul ball.

If a batter is hit by a pitch he must run to first base before taking off his gear. Pitching changes must also be completed in two minutes and 30 seconds.

You can read more on the KBO changes at the link below, courtesy of myKBO.net. The season begins Saturday.

KBO changes