Tag Archive | "Consistency"

Pirates Gear Up For Playoff Run

A day after major changes for both franchises, the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets completed a trade that alters the remainder of the season for both.

Marlon Byrd

The Mets were told their ace pitcher, Matt Harvey, would miss the remainder of the season due to a UCL tear.  Meanwhile, the Pirates fell out of first place when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds in dramatic fashion.  The events of yesterday got the gears turning for both clubs and an agreement was reached.

The news was first reported by Anthony DiComo, the Mets beat writer for MLB.com.

The Pirates have acquired Marlon Byrd and John Buck from the Mets in exchange for second base prospect Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.

Byrd is the notable piece of the deal for the Pirates as his stellar play this season shores up an outfield that has struggled for consistency.  His bat plugs nicely into the heart of the Pirates order and he brings with him 21 home runs and 71 runs batted in.  He has continued to produce in a season that was all but written off before it started.  Byrd was not expected to be a key piece at his age but he has provided a consistent bat and above-average defense to Pittsburgh and, more than likely, play right field alongside Andrew McCutchen while Starling Marte continues to recover from hand issues.

Buck, meanwhile, is a depth move that adds veteran leadership, solid defense, and a inconsistent bat to the bench.  He continues to throw out 30 percent of would-be base stealers and can drive in runs from time to time when he is playing well.

The Pirates part ways with a minor league second baseman who projects to be a decent hitter when he arrives at the big league level.  Herrera is only 19 years old and ranks just outside of the top ten prospects in the Pirates organization.  He benefits well from above average speed and surprising power, according to Baseball America, who ranked him 20th among Pirates prospects prior to this season.

The Pirates added two veteran pieces and a solid bat to their lineup as they enter the final push of a playoff run.  It is the type of mood that the Cardinals would have made under the Tony LaRussa leadership.

Cardinals fans hope it is not worthy of the same results LaRussa normally found.

Bill Ivie is the founder of i70baseball.
You can find his work on Yahoo!InsideSTL, and here on i70.
Talk baseball with him on Twitter @poisonwilliam

Posted in Cardinals, MLBComments (0)

The Royals Send Luke Hochevar To The Bullpen

It’s been a bumpy and inconsistent ride for Luke Hochevar, the former 2006 No. 1 overall draft pick. Except for a few bullpen outings early in his career, Hochevar was a starter for the Royals since 2008. With the team’s upgrades to the starting rotation, Hochevar, Bruce Chen and Luis Mendoza were in competition for the fifth starting spot. But after two spring starts, the Royals made the decision to move Hochevar to the bullpen.

Luke  Hochevar

It wasn’t like Hochevar made a case for being the fifth starter. In two spring starts, Hochevar pitched eight innings and gave up six earned runs, six walks, two home runs and eight strikeouts with a 6.75 ERA. It’s only two starts, but it’s clear Hochevar’s spring struggles influenced the Royals to move him to the bullpen.

Royals Manager Ned Yost put a positive spin on the move, saying it gives Hochevar a chance to help the Royals win every day instead of every five days. But the last few years, Hochevar hasn’t given the Royals many chances to win every five days as a starter.

The Royals see Hochevar as a late-inning setup man, joining Kelvin Herrera, Tim Collins and Aaron Crow for closer Greg Holland. The team believes having Hochevar pitch one or two innings and getting acclimated to the bullpen during Spring Training will improve his consistency on the mound.

But will moving Hochevar to the bullpen make a difference? The frustrating thing about Hochevar’s meltdowns was they didn’t always happen after pitching a few innings. One start, he might melt down in the first inning. Another start, he might fall apart after three or four innings. Or in another start, he might pitch seven or eight masterful innings, getting the win. When Hochevar took the mound, you didn’t know which Hochevar would show up.

Hochevar has some advantages. He’s durable, and when he’s on, he’s almost unhittable. And having Hochevar face fewer batters and being “on call” to pitch every day might sharpen his mental focus and improve his consistency.

The team made the logical decision and moved Hochevar to the bullpen. The Royals weren’t going to release Hochevar and it’s unlikely he would go to AAA Omaha. And he doesn’t have much trade value, at least for now. The team has nothing to lose by doing this and it could be a move that resurrects his career. Or it could be Hochevar’s last gasp in a so far inconsistent, disappointing Major League career. For the good of the team and Hochevar, I hope this works out.

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Salvador Perez Is Coming Back

While throwing to rookie Salvador Perez in the second half of 2011, Kansas City Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar had his most consistent run of success in his career.

Luke Hochevar has been an enigma for most of his career. Early on, he was mostly bad with a few starts here and there that showed the ability that the Royals saw when they drafted him 1st overall in the 2006 amateur draft. Over the years, the good starts became a little more frequent, with a few outstanding performances thrown in. But when he was bad, he was really bad. It wasn’t until the second half of last season that Hochevar began to show some consistency. He still had some great starts, but his off-days were average instead of horrendous. They say that a pitcher should be judged on how he performs on his worst day, rather than on his best day. Hochevar’s worst days became much better in the 2nd half of 2011, which gave Royals fans much hope for him to continue this trend in 2012. Unfortunately, it was not to be. On April 13 for the Royals home opener, Hochevar gave up 7 runs in the top of the 1st inning which would be the beginning of one of the most horrific stretches of pitching for a starting pitcher in recent American history. His ERA currently sits at 7.02 for the season while pitching to Humberto Quintero in all 8 of his starts this season.

Salvador Perez was called up by the Royals last August and started his first game at Catcher on August 10. He caught each of Hochevar’s last 7 starts of the season. During this stretch he threw 45 2/3 innings and gave up 22 runs for a 4.34 ERA. In the first start he gave up 5 runs, so if you take out that one, assuming he was getting acclimated to having a new catcher behind the plate, the ERA is lowered to 4.17. Now, while an ERA over 4.00 will not win Hochevar any Cy Young awards, Royals fans would undoubtedly be pleased if he could provide numbers like this on a consistent basis.

While it may be a stretch to try and make this correlation, it cannot be discounted that if Hochevar can experience some success once Salvador Perez returns, that he will be the one common denominator. It cannot be understated how important consistency at the Catcher position is to the success of a pitching staff. And while Royals fans have seen pitching coaches come and go, and starting pitchers displaying maddening levels of inconsistency, perhaps it is the game of musical chairs that the Royals have played at the Catcher position over the last several years that is most responsible for this. Time will tell. Perez is due back in a couple weeks. Hopefully he can help Hochevar “turn the corner” one more time.

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St. Louis Cardinals lineup better with balance and without Pujols

The St. Louis Cardinals lost a huge part of their offense when Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $240-million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but that also forced the team to build a more balanced lineup. Now every spot in the order consistently pushes across enough runs to put the Cardinals atop the NL Central as April comes to a close.

But, the margin for error is much slimmer without Pujols. There were times during the last decade when Pujols basically won an entire game with his bat. If it was a close game late, Cardinals fans always felt like the team had a chance to win as long as Pujols got another at-bat.

That’s no longer the case. The 2012 Cardinals have to string together multiple hits to score runs in bunches, but they have done surprisingly well to start the season. From shortstop Rafeal Furcal to centerfielder Jon Jay, each part of the lineup is contributing to give the Cardinals a .278 team batting average, which is the best in the National League.

Hopefully, the increased responsibility on each spot in the order will make this team more slump-proof than previous Cardinals teams. Pujols could mask a bunch of deficiencies in a lineup, but there were times when he would be the only hitter consistently producing runs. So far this season, Cardinals hitters have done an excellent job of picking each other up and getting base hits to keep the line moving.

For example, the Cardinals smashed the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night with 13 runs, but they didn’t particularly smash the ball. Instead, the Cardinals laced together 15 hits, and only four went for extra bases with no homeruns.

I’m not saying the Cardinals can’t hit homers. They sit second in the National League with 24 homeruns, but they also have the consistency to manufacture runs without the long ball. That, combined with the excellent starting pitching the team is getting from its starting rotation, could make the Cardinals quite a force during the course of the season in the National League.

All of those offensive topics are even sweeter considering Pujols is still searching for his first homerun as an Angel, going 21 games to start the season without a homer.

In fact, the Cardinals likely have the most complete team in the division despite preseason concerns that the Cincinnati Reds might have more firepower. The Reds’ pitching staff has some significant holes.

Johnny Cueto has been fantastic to lead the staff with a 3-0 record and 1.39 ERA, but he is the only starter in the Reds rotation to have more than one win. Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey have a combined 3-7 record with a 4.65 ERA.

The Cardinals rotation, by contrast, has an ERA of 2.81, and that’s while carrying Adam Wainwright’s 7.32 ERA.

Cardinals fans could not have realistically expected a better first month to the season, and fortunately there is plenty to be excited about over the course of the next five months.

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It’s Miller time, well almost

If 2011 wasn’t exciting enough, 2012 will likely bring the debut of the 21-year-old Miller…at some point.  Shelby Miller is a gem in a talented and improving St. Louis Cardinals’ system.  Cardinal Nation needs to start getting excited.

With a rotation that already features Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and the emerging Jaime Garcia, the Cardinals are in great shape for years to come. Adding Miller to the mix in or around September will only boost a great pitching staff and make the Cardinals better.

He is unquestionably one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball. Hype like that calls for future ace status.

Here are three reasons why Shelby Miller won’t disappoint.

Shelby Miller possesses a fastball which always lingers around the mid-90′s. More importantly, Miller has an incredible ability to command the pitch.

His ability to paint the strikezone’s corners make the fastball his best asset.

The Major League is full of sluggers who can drive breaking balls out of the park and, as a result, the fastball is becoming more important than ever.

Shelby Miller doesn’t need to worry about that. If he becomes a true ace, much thanks will go to his fastball.

At just 21, Shelby Miller is showing a lot of discipline and consistency with his entire delivery.

It is that delivery that is helping the righty remain one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

Miller’s delivery is nothing flashy. It is compact and coordinated. Perhaps the best feature is his leg strength.

His leg power allows for an excellent push-off on the mound, giving him the extra momentum on his fastball that can now reach up to 97 mph.

His 6-foot-3 frame certainly helps as well.

If Miller builds on his delivery and progresses, we could be looking at one one of the least hittable young pitchers in baseball.

Right now, Shelby Miller has no reason to complain about his situation.

The Cardinals aren’t rebuilding or a struggling team looking for a face to boost their franchise, and they already have two bona fide aces on their staff in Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter.

But how long will those guys be around?

Wainwright hasn’t pitched in nearly a year due to Tommy John surgery and Carpenter will be a seasoned 37 years old come April.

If the spotlights get dimmer on both Carp and Wainwright, Shelby Miller will be there to pick up where the left off.

He has no other choice.

Jaime Garcia is not a No. 1 pitcher and the other St. Louis prospects will take much longer than Miller to develop.

Shelby Miller must be the ace of the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Molina Brings Consistency To Cardinals

Nearly complete with our look around the St. Louis Cardinals we land on catcher this week.  With the absence of both Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan, Yadier Molina’s role might be more important than any other Cardinal heading into 2012.

New manager Mike Matheny originally joined the St. Louis Cardinals before the 2000 season and stuck around through 2004, bringing great stability and defensive prowess behind the plate for St. Louis. He handed the reins of the pitching staff over to his understudy, Yadier Molina, in 2005, and the rocket-armed, Molina has been there ever since.

The four-time Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina enters spring training this year a lifetime Cardinal seeking a long-term extension, just like Pujols a year ago. Molina is heading into the final year of his contract and he would like to stay in St. Louis.

The 29-year-old Molina, the youngest and most talented of three brothers to catch on in the major leagues, is coming off perhaps his best season. In addition to a strong year behind the plate, he set career offensive highs with a .300 average, 14 homers and 65 RBIs, then added nine RBIs in the World Series. This in addition to his handling of the Cardinals pitching staff and assault on base runners

However this season presents another challenge for Molina. One he has been able to avoid so far in his Cardinal Career.  Whether or not his contract talks affect his play will take time to tell. One thing is for certain. Molina enters this spring as the best back-stop in the National League, let alone his own division.

Geovany Soto, Cubs.  Catcher Geovany Soto slumped in 2011, hitting .228 with 17 homers, 54 RBIs and 46 runs scored.  Soto struggled with injuries early in the season and never got on track, striking out 124 times in 421 at-bats. There is still plenty of power in his bat and Soto could collect more hits in 2012. 20 to 25 home run potential.  Just know he could hit anywhere from .215 to .290 any given season.

Ryan Hanigan, Reds. Hanigan appears to be a good bet to pair in a catching tandem next season, splitting time with Devin Mesoraco.  After hitting .354 in August, Hanigan came back to Earth with a .235 average in September. With a .267 average and minimal to no power Hanigan will be fighting for his job most of the spring and regular season.

*Devin Mesoraco, Reds.  Super prospect failed to impress in his September call-up.  Maybe this will keep him under the radar, because he has all the tools to be a top 5 catcher for years to come.  He hit .289 with 15 home runs in AAA last year.

Jason Castro, Astros. Missed all of last season after undergoing major knee surgery, will miss the first part of Spring Training after undergoing surgery in December.  He hit .205 with two homers and eight RBIs in 195 at-bats in his Major League debut in 2010. Still, the injury casts some uncertainty over Houston’s catching situation entering spring camp. Castro, the club’s first-round pick in 2008 out of Stanford, is slated to be the starter next year in what would be his first full season in the Major Leagues.

Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers. Lucroy put together a fine sophomore campaign with 12 homers, 59 RBIs and a .265 average.  Lucroy went deep five times in May but didn’t show a lot of power the rest of the way. His .247 average after the break will cast some doubt on his 2012 value but regular playing time should help him.

Rod Barajas, Pirates. Playing for the Dodgers, where he started 85 games behind the plate and batted .230 with 13 doubles, 16 homers, 47 RBIs and a .287 on-base percentage. He missed nearly a month during the summer while recovering from a right ankle sprain.  A short-term commitment for the Pirates, who are hopeful that top catching prospect Tony Sanchez will be ready to ascend to the Majors in the next year or two.

Yadier Molina, Cardinals. Molina’s ability to hit for average and supply respectable power makes mixed with his superior work behind the plate means that he will continue to get as much playing time as he can handle.  In 2011 the Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina slugged 14 homers, stole four bases, drove in 65 runs, scored 55 times and hit .305. Career highs across the board.

By the time 2012 is said and done here is how I see things shaking out amongst the NL Central backstops. Here more than any other position I factored non-batting statistics and play into the equation.

  1. Yadier Molina
  2. Geovany Soto
  3. Jonathan Lucroy
  4. RobBarajas
  5. Ryan Hanigan
  6. Jason Castro

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Who Is The Royals Big Game Pitcher?

Our good friends over at Kings of Kauffman posed an interesting question on Twitter. If the Royals were in a one-game, must-win situation, which starting pitcher would you put on the mound? The response thus far has been mostly in support of Bruce Chen, and when I saw that I wondered what criteria their followers had for making the selection. Not that I necessarily thought Chen was wrong, but were they just picking him because he’d been the Royals most reliable and (and by virtue of the others’ lows) best pitcher? Is that what you want in a one-game, must-win situation? I’m not so sure.

If I’m facing a must-win situation, I want the guy with the highest ceiling, almost regardless of his floor. Theoretically, in a must-win situation nearly everyone is available, so it is fairly easy to circumvent an “off” night from your starter by simply giving someone else a chance. Sure, you have to be ready to have a quick trigger finger, but the reward of a dominant performance outweighs the risk, at least in my mind. That being said, which Royals starter has the highest one-game upside heading into 2012? Let’s take a look:

For the purposes of this study I did not consider anyone with less than a full season at the major league level. That rules out phenoms Mike Montgomery, Jake Odorizzi, and even Danny Duffy. One of them may very well turn into the best pitcher on the club, but for now it would be ridiculous to suggest giving the ball to them when it is all on the line. Let’s take a look at the other four probable starters for the Royals, starting with the favorite on Twitter:

Bruce Chen- I certainly do not want to disparage the 2011 Royals Pitcher of the Year. His consistency and, for lack of a better word, craftiness, have been essential to the Royals maintaining some sort of a rotation. That being said, I came into this study expecting that Chen’s ability to dominate a major league lineup was much less than it is. Five times last season Chen pitched 8 innings while allowing one run or less. That is absolutely dominant and far more than I remembered. As impressive as that is, it is important to note that he accomplished against the Mariners, White Sox (twice), and Twins (twice). Those teams ranked 18th, 25th, and 30th in runs scored last season. Furthermore, three of the games came in September, against the Sox and Twins who had absolutely nothing to play for. Chen had accomplished this feat just once before in the last five years and heads into the season as a 34 year old with four career complete games and a 4.52 career ERA (4.28 with the Royals). Surely we have someone more likely of putting up a dominant performance, right?

Felipe Paulino- Okay, I love Paulino, and so does Rany…but let’s not get crazy here. A workhorse he may be, but that has not, to this point, translated into dominant performances. His K/9 innings ratio is outstanding, and good for 6th in the AL last year, but not quite enough to outweigh his control issues. Does Paulino have the greatest potential amongst Royals starters? Maybe, but the unknown makes him too risky.

Jonathan Sanchez- As the only real splash made by the Royals this offseason I am surprised Sanchez didn’t get more love. He had four of these “dominant” performances in 2010, after posting one each in 2008 and 2009. He is five years younger than Chen, and certainly is regarded to have more “dominant” stuff, at least when he throws strikes. That “when he throws strikes” issue is probably the reason more people didn’t choose him, but is there any more easily assessable problem with pitchers than not having control of the zone?

Luke Hochevar- I may be biased here, because Hochevar is my pick for a breakout performance in 2012, as Cool Hand Luke has lowered his ERA over the last three seasons from 6.55 to 4.68. He is 28 years old and, in my opinion ready for a career year in 2012. Hochevar has been maddeningly inconsistent, and has only thrown four so-called “dominant” starts in the last three years. Still, Hochevar posted a 3.52 ERA from the All-Star Game forward in 2011, allowing opposing hitters to hit just .222 off him. I can certainly understand the argument against him, but I’m betting by June he may be our number one choice, with a bullet.

The bottom line is this is absolutely a subjective choice, and subjectively I would absolutely take Cool Hand Luke in a “one-game must-win situation.” Chen may very well be the “ace” because his consistency makes him the guy you want out there the most often. Sanchez may be the most hyped just because Dayton would like to pump up his new acquisition. But for my money, I’ll take Hochevar when it is all on the line. Disagree? I’d love to here your choice in the comments.

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The Royals Need A Rival

Just over 30 years ago the Kansas City Royals were embroiled in one of the best rivalries in baseball with the hated Yankees. It had everything a great rivalry needs; success on both sides, regular and postseason match ups, incredible stories, fights, and most importantly a general disdain for the other team. The Yankees got the better of the Royals during the rivalry, but you could never say the Royals did not put up a fight. Whether it was George Brett jumping up to punch Craig Nettles at third base, the 1980 ALCS when the Royals finally prevailed, or the Pine Tar Game, the Royals did their part to keep the rivalry interesting and relevant.

I bring this up because unlike that moment in time, today the Royals seem to be without a rival altogether. The Yankees have long since moved on, winning championship upon championship as the Royals dreamt of mediocrity. The division has not been much help, either, as it is harder to have a rival (at least one that takes you seriously) when you have been as bad as the Royals have been. Over the past 20 years the team has been competitive with no one and has really not given any team a chance to genuinely dislike them while every team in the AL Central has taken their turn at being good, and appeared in a World Series. With the infusion of young talent the team has seen over the past 18 months, we are expecting that part of the equation to change.

The other major impediment to forming a rivalry for the Royals has been the lack of consistency in their roster. Just three regulars from the Royals 2007 team figure to be on the Royals 2012 roster. That 2007 team featured only 1 significant part from the 2002 team 5 years before. It is hard to develop, and especially maintain, a rivalry when you are turning over 90-95% of your roster every 5 years. With a team full of talented players that the Royals mostly have several years of control over, that part of the equation should change, too.

So, with the Royals seemingly ripe for improvement, while at the same time developing some long term consistency in their lineup, it seems they are more than ready to develop a rivalry. Who should that rival be? Well, you would think anyone in the division would be a candidate, but it is hard to consider the Twins. For one, the Royals seem to be aspiring to be just like the Twins and seem more complimentary than anything. For two, with the health of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau figuring to be in question for the many years they have left on their contracts, it is hard to see them as a contender.

The only team you could even consider outside the division as a rival would be the cross-state St. Louis Cardinals. Ask Royals fans and they will probably tell you that the Cardinals are their biggest rival, but Cards fans are pretty clear that the Cubs, or even Brewers, are much more of concern for them. As much as KC may dislike the Cardinals and their fans, it is hard to have a rivalry with a team from another league that does not consider you a rival.

That basically leaves us with the Tigers, Indians and White Sox. The Sox are just beginning their rebuilding project, and just lost their most controversial part, Manager Ozzie Guillen. The chances of them being at the top of the division race, or even in the middle, seem pretty small right now. The Indians are right where the Royals are, if not a little ahead. That being said, there is just something about the Tigers that makes them the favorite to me.

The Royals and Tigers have quite a history of brawls, including the beating that Mike Sweeney laid on Jeff Weaver. Maybe that is shaping my opinion, but what had more to do with it is the Tigers position. They are much older than the Royals or the Tribe and they are the established favorite in the division right now. For either young upstart to take over the division, they will have to go through the Tigers and that could spark a rivalry more than any fight from a decade ago.

Honestly, I do not really care who it is, I would just like for the Royals to be relevant enough for someone to consider them a rival. Maybe if they start winning enough those Cardinals fans will change their mind. Maybe if I find a way to mention Don Denkinger every week that will help?

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Cooperstown Choices: Phil Nevin

With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2012, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

There are twenty seven men on the ballot this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2012 menu at the top of the page.

Tune in Saturday, January 7, 2012 as I-70 Baseball Radio will host a panel of writers discussing the Hall Of Fame Ballot in a 2-hour special.

In this article, we take a look at Phil Nevin.

Phil Nevin
Phil Nevin spent 12 season playing for seven teams in Major League Baseball. His career was set in motion to spend time with multiple teams from the beginning, as he opened his rookie campaign in 1995 with Houston and finished it in Detroit. Just to ensure consistency, Nevin would play for the Rangers, Cubs, and Twins in 2006, his final year in baseball. This is his first time on the ballot.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1995 TOT 47 156 13 28 4 1 2 13 1 18 40 .179 .281 .256 .537 44
1995 HOU 18 60 4 7 1 0 0 1 1 7 13 .117 .221 .133 .354 -1
1995 DET 29 96 9 21 3 1 2 12 0 11 27 .219 .318 .333 .652 70
1996 DET 38 120 15 35 5 0 8 19 1 8 39 .292 .338 .533 .872 116
1997 DET 93 251 32 59 16 1 9 35 0 25 68 .235 .306 .414 .720 87
1998 ANA 75 237 27 54 8 1 8 27 0 17 67 .228 .291 .371 .662 70
1999 SDP 128 383 52 103 27 0 24 85 1 51 82 .269 .352 .527 .880 127
2000 SDP 143 538 87 163 34 1 31 107 2 59 121 .303 .374 .543 .916 136
2001 SDP 149 546 97 167 31 0 41 126 4 71 147 .306 .388 .588 .976 158
2002 SDP 107 407 53 116 16 0 12 57 4 38 87 .285 .344 .413 .757 108
2003 SDP 59 226 30 63 8 0 13 46 2 21 44 .279 .339 .487 .825 121
2004 SDP 147 547 78 158 31 1 26 105 0 66 121 .289 .368 .492 .859 130
2005 TOT 102 380 46 90 16 1 12 55 3 27 97 .237 .287 .379 .666 77
2005 SDP 73 281 31 72 11 1 9 47 1 19 67 .256 .301 .399 .699 88
2005 TEX 29 99 15 18 5 0 3 8 2 8 30 .182 .250 .323 .573 48
2006 TOT 129 397 54 95 13 0 22 68 0 48 106 .239 .323 .438 .761 93
2006 TOT 62 218 28 46 9 0 10 35 0 31 54 .211 .313 .390 .703 81
2006 TEX 46 176 26 38 8 0 9 31 0 21 39 .216 .307 .415 .721 84
2006 CHC 67 179 26 49 4 0 12 33 0 17 52 .274 .335 .497 .832 108
2006 MIN 16 42 2 8 1 0 1 4 0 10 15 .190 .340 .286 .625 67
12 Seasons 1217 4188 584 1131 209 6 208 743 18 449 1019 .270 .343 .472 .814 114
162 Game Avg. 162 557 78 151 28 1 28 99 2 60 136 .270 .343 .472 .814 114
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
SDP (7 yrs) 806 2928 428 842 158 3 156 573 14 325 669 .288 .359 .503 .862 129
DET (3 yrs) 160 467 56 115 24 2 19 66 1 44 134 .246 .317 .428 .745 91
TEX (2 yrs) 75 275 41 56 13 0 12 39 2 29 69 .204 .287 .382 .668 71
MIN (1 yr) 16 42 2 8 1 0 1 4 0 10 15 .190 .340 .286 .625 67
CHC (1 yr) 67 179 26 49 4 0 12 33 0 17 52 .274 .335 .497 .832 108
ANA (1 yr) 75 237 27 54 8 1 8 27 0 17 67 .228 .291 .371 .662 70
HOU (1 yr) 18 60 4 7 1 0 0 1 1 7 13 .117 .221 .133 .354 -1
NL (9 yrs) 891 3167 458 898 163 3 168 607 15 349 734 .284 .355 .496 .851 125
AL (6 yrs) 326 1021 126 233 46 3 40 136 3 100 285 .228 .304 .397 .700 80
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2011.

Why He Should Get In
Nevin found himself in his one and only All Star Game in 2001 as a member of the San Diego Padres, the only franchise he seemed to find a home in. Nevin would also post three seasons of 100 or more runs batted in during his tenure with the Padres.

Why He Should Not Get In
Playing for multiple teams does not put a player into Cooperstown. Nevin’s career gave memories to fans from various cities but his numbers do not stack up well enough to see him bronzed in the hall.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

Posted in Classic, Cooperstown Choices 2012, I-70 Baseball ExclusivesComments (0)

Bruce Chen Returns To Royals

Bruce Chen has played for ten different major league teams and never for one team longer than three years. That changed today.

On the heels of another consistent showing in 2011, Chen has agreed to a new contract that will put him in Royal blue for two more years. It will extend his time with the club to a total of five years, two years longer then his stays in Atlanta and Baltimore in his career.

Chen has been consistent and solid for the Royals over the last three seasons and looks to shore up a rotation that includes newcomer Jonathan Sanchez, Luke Hochevar, Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy.

Chen will earn $9 million over the next two seasons with bonuses and incentives that could bring that to a total of $11 million.

Here’s a look at Chen’s numbers with Kansas City:

Year Tm W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009 KCR-min 4 2 3.40 14 13 0 3 3 0 82.0 57 33 31 8 23 69 0.976 6.3 7.6 3.00
2009 KCR 1 6 5.78 17 9 4 0 0 0 62.1 74 42 40 12 25 45 1.588 10.7 6.5 1.80
2010 KCR-min 0 1 1.31 3 3 0 0 0 0 20.2 13 3 3 0 5 20 0.871 5.7 8.7 4.00
2010 KCR 12 7 4.17 33 23 4 1 1 1 140.1 136 68 65 17 57 98 1.375 8.7 6.3 1.72
2011 KCR-min 0 1 8.18 3 3 0 0 0 0 11.0 16 10 10 3 1 10 1.545 13.1 8.2 10.00
2011 KCR 12 8 3.77 25 25 0 1 0 0 155.0 152 71 65 18 50 97 1.303 8.8 5.6 1.94
KCR (3 yrs) 25 21 4.28 75 57 8 2 1 1 357.2 362 181 170 47 132 240 1.381 9.1 6.0 1.82
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/23/2011.

Fans and experts seemed to think Kansas City was a good home for Bruce Chen. His return to the team solidifies a rotation that may not wow many fans, but is certainly looking to shape up for consistency for the young Royals. The only question that remains was the price tag and whether or not Chen can live up to it.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
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