Tag Archives: Paul Goldschmidt

Arizona DiamondBacks 2014 Team Preview

Kirk Gibson

Gibby always looks like he’s ready to break his foot off in someone’s ass.

The 2013 Arizona DiamondBacks went 81-81, spending a lot of time clearing water out of the boat after General Manager Kevin Towers traded Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves declaring he wasn’t a ‘winning player’.

Paul Goldschmidt went out and became one of the best all around hitters in the game by earning a 7.1 WAR with 36 home runs, 125 RBI, and a shiny .302/.401/.551 slash-line that led to a .952 OPS that led the National League. It seemed every time we turned on the television that Goldschmidt was knocking a ball off the fence.

Kevin Towers is going to need to find a lot more ‘winning players’ if the Diamondbacks are going to make some hay in 2014 and beyond. They’re not there yet.

Major Off-season Moves:

  • Traded for OF Mark Trumbo.
  • Traded for RHP Addison Reed.
  • Signed RHP Bronson Arroyo to a two-year, $23.5 million dollar contract.
  • Signed LHP Oliver Perez.

I’m not as sweet on the DBacks as many – as I think they’re in for another year mired in mediocrity. They do have some really nice pieces, and any time you can go to battle with one of the best all around players in the game day in and day out, you’ve got a reason to be at least moderately excited. Continue reading

We’re Under 30 Days to the Dodgers-Diamondbacks Opener in Australia

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Because this horrifying month is the shortest of them all, we’re down to some 28 days and a wake-up from the Major League Baseball Opening Series in Sydney Australia on March 22nd.

The opening series will be entertaining not only because it’s the first counting baseball that we’ve had since October, but it will be held at marvelous Syndey Cricket Ground.

Throw in Yasiel Puig, Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo, and Hanley Ramirez into a friggin’ cricket stadium and make them play baseball, and you’re bound to see something interesting.

There’s another thing you may not realize that will make this opener unique in it’s own way. For fans in the United States, the opener will actually take place at 4 AM Saturday morning. For fans like us, there’s a good chance we just ride out Friday evening and turn it into an all-nighter. At some point, people will need to sleep. And that’s not just because you can’t function without it. It’s because at 10 PM that Saturday evening, Vin Scully will be back on the air calling the second game of the series.

For some nutbags out there, that’s two games packed into one Saturday. Then there’s all day Sunday to recover for work on Monday.

It literally cannot get here soon enough. When I hear that jolly old man telling stories and calling the auction in the wee hours of the night that glorious March 22nd day, I’m going to be like a kid on Christmas.

Examining MLB Futures Odds

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As much as I like to gamble, and as good as I can be at forecasting the sport of baseball; I’ve never been able to talk myself into laying money on a team to win the World Series or the pennant or anything of the sort. I think the reason for it is I’ve seen too much baseball. Too many things have to truly align. No matter how good a team really is; that team will need a fair degree of luck to simply reach those heights. When I start thinking about that, it scares me away.

Now, one of the MLB futures odds that I do like to look at every year are things like the NL and AL home run champion and the Cy Young in respective leagues. That’s something I feel like a handicapper can have an outside shot at really nailing on a gut feeling.

As for how the futures look right now in baseball, here’s a few highlights:

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers are 7/1 to win the World Series as of today. Throw a $100 on the Dodgers, and if everything goes right in October and Yasiel Puig is spraying Clayton Kershaw with champagne and riding Tommy Lasorda around the clubhouse like a midget, and you’ll walk away with $700. Not a great payoff for a lotto ticket. I feel like you’re better off taking that $100 and parlaying it on three teams to win on one given night. The pain and anguish is much quicker that way instead of a long and agonizing crawl to your loss.
  • The Detroit Tigers are not far behind at 8/1. I feel that the Tigers are loaded enough, sure. But a gut feeling tells me they’re not winning it all in their first year under Brad Ausmus.
  • The best value may very well come from teams like the St. Louis Cardinals or Washington Nationals at 11/1, or the Boston Red Sox at 12/1, though I don’t feel a repeat.
  • The New York Yankees equal their rivals at 12/1.
  • The Cincinnati Reds check in at 20/1 to win their first title since 1990. Vegas sees their chances equal with that of the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants.
  • The longest odds? The Houston Astros are 250/1. Please save your money.

As for the Home Run and Cy Young Odds, those aren’t out yet (boo). I’ll give you my early favorites to take home the crowns though – and this is subject to change obviously between now and April.

NL: Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Jay Bruce

AL: Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder

NL CY: Stephen Strasburg

AL CY: Justin Verlander

It will be interesting to see where the odds come in on these players as the season draws closer.

Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week: Paul Goldschmidt

Goldy

The next time the man known as “Bear Jew” has a week like this, I hope he’s not owned by the guy who is hot on my tail in fantasy baseball.

There was no other player who could win the inaugural Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial award. We won’t do an honorable mention today partly because we’re at work, and partly because Bear Jew really did that good of a job steamrolling the rest of the field.

For the week that was, Paul Goldschmidt did this:

.480 (12 for 25), no walks (but still good for a .480 on-base %), 3 home runs, 5 RBI

The weeks all blend together, but the week before he hit a couple of game-winning jacks out in LA (off League, Kershaw, Jansen) to get his team going. He’s had a monster couple of weeks. He is a Bear Jew gone mad. He’s going to have a season like Joey Votto did in 2010 when he won the MVP.

He is the first winner of the HHMWMPOTW Award. Yea, that’s not going to work abbreviating that.

Arizona Diamondbacks 2013 Season Preview

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I am Bear Jew, hear me roar.

It wasn’t long ago that the Diamondbacks were the feel good story in all of baseball. It seemed like that 2011 team was Justin Upton and a bunch of guys, and they rolled into the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers where they came ever so close to advancing to the 2011 NLCS. The model worked as it should, a team built around a young superstar overachieved a year ahead of schedule. Bruce Springsteen was being played on the stadium organ. Good times were had by all. With some luck and decent moves, a supporting cast would be built around Justin Upton for years to come.

It would never be more than a mirage for Arizona. This offseason wasn’t about who they added, but rather the trade that sent their franchise player to Atlanta to play with his brother. The package the Dbacks received in return for Upton wasn’t all that exciting, and it’s clear that they settled for much less than they could have yielded at other points if they were so set on trading Upton.

The organization continually remarked behind closed doors that Upton wasn’t “a winning player”. Go ahead and Google it now, you won’t find any other reasons behind why Upton was dealt. That’s because there were no good reasons. It was a stupid move and even when Arizona makes it back to the postseason in another eight or so seasons, it still won’t be a good move. It didn’t have to go down this way, and the Dbacks have unofficially stuck their flag in rebuild mountain.

They traded Trevor Bauer for being a dipshit, too.

Major offseason moves:

  • Traded Justin Upton for Martin Prado and Randall Delgado
  • Signed Eric Chavez
  • Traded for Tony Campana
  • Signed Rod Barajas
  • Traded Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius
  • Signed Brandon McCarthy to a 2-year, $15.5 million dollar contract

After the jump we’ll take a look at the 2013 Diamondbacks projected lineup and pitching staff.

Continue reading

10 Bold Predictions for 2012: Justin Upton & the Arizona Diamondbacks Regress

As part of our preview for the upcoming 2012 season, we’ll be doing a 10 Bold Predictions for 2012 series that will be featured between now and Opening Day. Our sixth prediction is that Justin Upton and the Arizona Diamondbacks are in for a long 2012 campaign.

Justin Upton was unbelievable last season. If it weren’t for J-Up and his motley crew that made up the rest of the band, what would we have possibly done with ourselves down the stretch run? As unheralded and unlikely as the Diamondbacks were, they came so very close to reaching the NLCS last fall.

Upton had a season that will always stand out on the back of his baseball card as his breakout performance. He finished 4th in MVP balloting with a .289 average, 31 home runs, 105 runs, 88 RBI, and 21 stolen bases. His slash line was a pretty .369/.529/.898, falling just short of that rare .900 OPS air. He was a 6.4 fWAR player at age 23, entering even more rare company.

And now it all comes crashing down for Upton, at least somewhat. A large part of his success last season was because he appeared in 159 names, such is always half the battle in putting together a big time season. We’re going to predict a season in which he has a production similar to 2010 (.273, 17 HR, 69 RBI, .356/.442/.799). And it’s going to be due to a catastrophic injury of some type that limits his playing time to less than 120 games rather than regression of ability. That’s the only thing that bring a talent like Upton’s to a screeching halt at this point.

It’s not due to any data or evidence either. Like with all of our predictions, this one deals with gut feeling. We don’t think it’s likely that Upton strings together another season in which he playas in over 150 games. Maybe it’s because we took him with our first pick in fantasy baseball in one of our most important leagues–and things like that just usually don’t work out for us. But we feel that something out there will keep Upton from staying on the path of becoming the next Junior Griffey type talent of baseball.

And such leads to the snowball of the Diamondbacks who will go as Upton goes in 2012, and they know it.

Kirk Gibson willed this team to 94 regular season wins in 2011, no small feat when your regulars were guys like Gerardo Parra, Ryan Roberts and Willie Bloomquist among others. A summer to remember it will be, especially when the Diamondbacks struggle to get to 75 wins in 2012.

Another guy we see the regression grim reaper coming for in a large way is closer J.J. Putz. He was a strength last year with 45 saves and a 2.12 ERA, but he’ll be 35 this season and last season’s remarkable performance came on the heels of three straight up and down campaigns for Putz. Expect David Hernandez to emerge as the closer by mid-season for one reason or another.

We think that Daniel Hudson will actually be a lot better in 2012, but there’s no way Ian Kennedy goes 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA again. Trevor Cahill, Joe Saunders, and Josh Collmenter won’t combine to do much for you after those two, either.

Everyone is predicting a breakout year for Paul Goldschmidt whom we love, but 30 homer projections are probably a year early at this point. Stephen Drew is banged up and the scab under the band-aid peels completely off this season, while guys like Roberts and Chris Young settle in to who they really are as players rather than having career years again.

This team will finish no greater than third in the NL West to pitching rich San Francisco and the underrated Rockies.

The Baseball Show: Hamilton, Memoribilia, Mickey Mantle Racing Limousines and more!

Business is about to pick up in the sport of baseball, and business picked up last night on The Baseball Show, Mike Rosenbaum of The Golden Sombrero and M.J. Lloyd of Off-Base Percentage and Halo Hangout discussed the following with me:

-The latest chapter in the Josh Hamilton relapse saga
-M.J. tells a Mickey Mantle story about racing a limousine
-We talk memorabilia, baseball cards, collectibles (who remembers Fleer Ultra?)
-PECOTA Projections, top 5 in each league, Gordon Beckham, Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce, etc.
-Top Prospects List

As we always do, we cover a variety of subjects in between the main melody line. Another great installment of The Baseball Show awaits you.

Paul Goldschmidt is earning Quite a Reputation in these parts

Our boys over at the Golden Sombrero have created a nickname for the D-Backs first baseman that trumps our short lived “Big Hit” Goldschmidt that we gave him this morning while having coffee.

Ladies and gentleman of the free world, meet Paul Goldschmidt: Bear Jew.

It’s pretty much the greatest thing ever created on this planet. If Goldschmidt doesn’t hit the postseason granny last night, Bear Jew is probably never born. I don’t think these players realize how important it is to their legacies to reach the postseason.

National League Division Series Wednesday

Paul “Big Hit” Goldschmidt and the Arizona D-Backs got a big 8-1 win against the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday in game three of the NLDS. The Cardinals dropped their game in St. Louis 3-2 to the Phillies. Both series are now at 2 game to 1 and we’ve got some big time baseball on television tonight and both will be ‘elimination games’ for Arizona and St. Louis.

If you’re a baseball fan outside of Philly or Milwaukee you’re pulling for a couple of game fives, I would think.

The Yankees did their part last night in giving us at least one game five of this first round–and now you we’ll have a chance for three. Now one thing to worry about is that these NLDS possible game 5′s would take place on Friday night. And my wife is really good at arranging plans on Fridays so there is a remote possibility that I would see absolutely none of either game. Or just the tail end of the second game when Philly is crushing St. Louis and Milwaukee has already won.

But let’s just worry about first things first here. We hope the D-Backs and Cardinals handle their business tonight and provide the sport with some fall drama beyond what will go down at New Yankee Stadium tomorrow evening.

Welcome to the Postseason, 2011 Arizona DiamondBacks

The D-Backs are in the playoffs. They did it by going through the front door, defeating the defending World Champions 3-1 in Arizona. The big blow was yet another big hit by Paul Goldschmidt, a two run triple in the 8th inning with the game tied.

There’s nothing sexy about this team. In my opinion they’ve got the NL MVP who they’re built around, and a gritty manager who will be great for years to come in Kirk Gibson. Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy have been phenomenal; and J.J. Putz has had a great year. But other than that little core–they’re chalked full of guys that if they ran out together for another 20 seasons would never be able to repeat this feat.

And it’s because of this unlikely turn of events that we’ve hopped on the D-Backs bandwagon. This is awesome. Justin Upton and Kirk Gibson against the world. We hope they write the first chapter in a remarkable story this fall.

Something Special is going on in Arizona

Every year a team makes an unlikely run to the playoffs out of nowhere. And every year that run is fueled by said team winning a game that they had no business winning with a roundabout bunch of characters. Odds and ends, compiled from around the world of baseball. In any other year this team is probably good for about 85 losses. This year, they’re a magical combustion that is going to challenge for the playoffs.

The 2011 Arizona DiamondBacks have taken the spot as this year’s Cinderella–and last night was the miracle game they should not have won after you fell asleep.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a 2-2, 2-out, bottom of the 9th inning pitch deep into the seats in left field. It was an absolute bomb and as dramatic as any home run hit this season so far. It was followed up with a three-run bomb in the bottom of the 10th inning by Chris Young that won it for the unlikely heroes out in Arizona.

See MLB.com’s video of the drama here.

I’m telling you, these guys are like the ’95 Mariners without a Randy Johnson (or a Jay Buhner, but that was a different era anyways).