Unrestricted View

"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

From The Mailbag

Once again thses are questions taken directly form MLB team websites.

After an up and down season for Justin Morneau, what do you think you can expect from him this year?
-- Steve A., Brooklyn Park, Minn.

The Twins are counting on Morneau to improve, which shouldn't be difficult given his performance last year. Whether or not he hits will be a big factor on the Twins chances of winning the division.

I had originally assumed that much of Morneau's struggles were a result of the pitch he took to the face. It's not uncommon for a player to become tentative after being drilled. The effect can last quite some time, as we saw with Sammy Sosa a few years back. So I checked his 1st and 2nd half numbers hoping to find evidence to support my theory. What I found is that the opposite is true. Morneau actually hit better in the first half than he did after the All-Star break.

His main problem seems to be plate discipline and the ability to hit lefties. I still assume he'll improve, but that's based solely on his age.

I expect his end of year numbers to be about .260/.330/.465.

What is meant by "picking up the option"? This was done recently for one of the Braves pitchers.
-- Leah P., Lakeland, Fla.

I don't understand how somebody can be a big enough baseball fan to take the time to write a question to MLB.com, yet not know what "picking up the option" means on Player X. To top it off, she can't even remember Player X's name. This would be similar to me going to a Republican Womens Meeting with my mother and then asking who the President is.

To answer the question, picking up the option means exactly what you would think it means. The Braves had the $4.5 million option on John Thomson's contract. they could choose to pay him that amount and keep him under contract for another year, or let him become a free agent. Next question please.

What do you think about the Cardinals trying to do a sign-and-trade with Matt Morris? His value should be very high and the team might be able to address some needs in the outfield or bullpen. -- Greg C., Quincy, Ill.

Sign and trades rarely happen in baseball, if ever. The reason they are so popular in basketball is due to their salary cap restraints. A team can sign it's own free agents at a higher salary than other teams. Therefore, a player who would like to play elsewhere, can sign with his previous team and than be traded. A baseball player has no incentive to do this.

With all these questions about free agency or trades, have the Angels considered giving a chance to prospects like Brandon Wood or Kendry Morales as full-time starters? -- Everardo B., Los Angeles

This is a good question. It's also why I don't understand the Angels pursuit of Paul Konerko. I know Morales is only 22 but he has absolutely killed minor league pitching. He has nothing left to prove outside of the big show. Casey Kotchman is in the same position as Morales. Signing Konerko would only block these 2 guys from coming up to the majors. I think it's time to give them a shot. Signing a lower priced 1st baseman as insurance or to platoon may not be a bad idea, but bringing in Konerko on a long term deal is absurd.

After beginning his GM career with one of the most unpopular (at the time) but savvy trades of Matt Williams to the Cleveland Indians for Jeff Kent, Jose Vizcaino, Julian Tavares and Joe Roa, Sabean's magic touch is not always evident. How will Sabean's trade of Joe Nathan and top prospect Francisco Liriano for A.J. Pierzynski rate among the worst trades in SF Giants history?
-- Glen B., Lubbock, Texas

I'm a Twins fan so I hope it goes down as the worst in Giant history. The Giants gave up a top closer and Liriano, who appears to be on his way to a stellar career. In return they recieved 1 year of a pouting AJ Pierzienski.

Complete evaluation of the deal has to be withheld until Liriano develops. I know it's hard to project young pitchers but let me say this. I watched Santana come up through the years and I've seen Liriano pitch. Liriano's probably got better stuff and he's further along at age 21 than Santana was. I'm not saying Liriano will be as good as Santana. I'm just trying to give you an idea of how high this kid's ceiling is.

When all is said and done, the deal might rank up there with the Sox trading Bagwell and the Cubs trading Brock. Hopefully.

If the Padres don't resign Giles, what's the chance they would pursue Jacque Jones for a corner outfield spot? He does have a background in San Diego. -- Marquis B., San Diego

This scenario is exactly what I've been expecting for 3 months now. We know Jacque won't be back in Minnesota. The only reason he was back last year is the injury to Kubel. Giles said today he would be willing to take a slight discount to remain in San Diego. I still think he's gone though. (St Louis is my guess) So the Pads court Jones. Jones being from SD signs quickly. Jacque, the least disciplined of the "Soul Patrol" (that's what Twins fans call the outfield trio), plays excellent defense but struggles at the plate. His OBP will remain around .330 but his slugging drops to .425. He'll text Torii in between innings on his Sidekick and appear on Best Damn 2-3 times a week. That's my prediction.

Digg it   ♦del.icio.us   ♦Technorati   ♦StumbleUpon   ♦Google   ♦Yahoo   ♦reddit


Post a Comment

<< Home

WWW A Cub Fan Rants Unrestricted View