Mike Trout is far and away the best baseball player in the MLB. Problem is he's not on a good team. The Angels in 5 years with Mike Trout have only made the playoffs once and have had a losing record 2 of the 5 years he's been there. Obviously when you're the best player baseball people expect your team to be highly competitive, which hasn't been the case with the Angels recently. It doesn't help that they're playing in one of the toughest divisions in baseball with the Rangers, Astros, and Mariners all being very good teams. The Angels haven't been to the playoffs in 2 years, Mike Trout is the reigning MVP, and although regular season awards are great, October is where legends are made. Will Mike Trout be able to carry the Angels into the postseason in 2017?
With the competition in the AL West it's going to be nearly impossible to win the division. The Wildcard will be just as competitive, so if the Angels want to get in they're going to have to win 90+ games. Now, is their roster talented enough to do so because Mike Trout obviously can't lead an entire baseball team to 90+ wins by himself.
The Angels lineup should be improved from last year. The Angels added Cameron Maybin and Danny Espinosa to the lineup. Maybin was great last year when he was healthy, if he can be a good contact hitter for this team while providing a speed threat on the bases he could really benefit a lineup that struggled last season. Espinosa isn't going to get on base much, his .209 average last year clearly suggests that, however he is a nice power threat. Meanwhile last year they had hot garbage at second base, so Espinosa is a nice upgrade. Andrelton Simmons is a premier defender at shortstop and last year he improved drastically at the plate. He went from being a .260 hitter to a .282 hitter last season, if he an stay right around that .280 range he'll be a key asset to this team' succeeding. Kole Calhoun is really going to have to step up and be the third star in this lineup, the more he produces the more competitive the Angels will be. Calhoun is a true X factor in how far the Angels will go this season. Pujols you know what you're getting with him at this point, a lot of power, not a high average, which is a perfect role for him in this lineup. If the lineup lives up to expectations they'll certainly be an above average offense in terms of scoring.
The pitching staff is where the cause for concern is. No matter how many runs the Angels can score the still have to be able to hold the other team to less runs in order to win, obviously. They'll get their ace Garrett Richards back this year which is a huge boast to this staff. Matt Shoemaker showed a lot of promise last year and just might be able to turn into a very good pitcher. Tyler Skaggs is a young arm looking to take advantage of his opportunity in his first full year healthy back from injury. If he can be the pitcher they expect him to be he'll be a big boost to this poor rotation. The other two starters don't look promising so it's tough to be optimistic about them, but in baseball you never know, maybe they'll get the job done. As for the bullpen they have 3 solid arms in Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, and Cam Bedrosian. They should be able to hold down the bullpen for the most part, so I don't see much cause for concern there. If the starters can out do themselves then this team can actually be quite successful.
Mike Trout is still going to need to have one of the greatest seasons ever to get this team into the postseason. I'm talking 40 steals, 40 homers, hit .325+, 130 RBIs, and be a vacuum in center field. That's the only possible way the Angels even sniff playing in October this season. It's a tall task to say the least, however when your the greatest player of a generation the expectations are supposed to be high. Let's see just how legendary Mike Trout truly is.
The 2017 MLB season is just 4 days away, containing this much excitement is unhealthy, so I've decided to give out my predictions for the upcoming season. I'll pick who I believe will win each division, who the wildcard teams will be, and the season award winners. Of course my 2017 World Series Championship pick as well. I'll release the NL first than the AL, the World Series pick will be in the AL edition of my predictions.
NL West Division Champ: San Francisco Giants
If it wasn't for having the worst bullpen in all of baseball last season, the Giants probably would've been NL West champions last year. Unfortunately for them that was not the case and the Dodgers took advantage of the Giants struggles capturing their 4th straight division title. Well, that all comes to an end this season. Giants have great starting pitching and the addition of Mark Melacon to their bullpen should help tighten up the end of ball games. Neither the Dodgers or Giants added any big pieces to their lineups this offseason, except for the addition of second baseman Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers, so it's not like their squads have had a ton of turnover. However, new season means everyone's healthy and when healthy I just think the Giants are just flat out the better team.
NL Central Division Champ: Chicago Cubs
Only way the Cubs don't win the central is if they're decimated by injuries throughout the course of the year. I don't mean one or two guys go down, I mean like some real half the roster out, worst luck ever type shit. The Cubs curse is broken, the monkey is off their back, the black cat is dead, and the Cubs dynasty has just begun. Now that all that bad mojo is out of the way these studs can play loose and let it rip. When players play with that attitude it usually pays off with incredible showing in the regular season. In the postseason they'll need to drop that loosey goosey shit and get back to win or die mode. They'll find their switch and it'll benefit them greatly in the long grind of the MLB season. With the Pirates beginning to crawl back into their hole of irrelevancy, the Cardinals seem to be the only true threat to the Cubs, and I just can't buy into the Cardinals being able to win enough games this year to dethrone the Cubbies.
NL East Division Champ: New York Mets
Something about having starting pitching depth that never ends and is filled with filthy arms that makes me keep believing in this Mets team. I know they can't score runs, they live and die by the homerun ball, they can't stay healthy, yet they're always right there in the hunt come late September. Last year even after being cursed with injury after injury they somehow managed to piece together a good enough regular season to get into the wildcard game. That to me speaks volumes. Now with all their pitchers healthy, a healthy lineup, and another year of experience under their belt I believe this will be the year the Mets assert themselves as a juggernaut in the NL East.
Wildcards: Los Angeles Dodgers and St.Louis Cardinals
Yeah I know, what about the Nationals, and I'll get to that, but first I'll explain why the Cardinals and Dodgers are getting into the postseason. Cardinals will get in solely because they're the Cardinals and they're too damn good of an organization to miss the postseason back to back seasons. An early blow to their rotation with Alex Reyes being out, however I believe they'll be able to manage since they have Lance Lynn, Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and Carlos Martinez to still hold the rotation together. The lineup this year should be just fine with Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Matt Adams, and newly acquired Dexter Fowler leading the way. Cardinals were down last year, but they won't be out for much longer. As for the Dodgers them and the Giants will be neck and neck all year for the division, so regardless of who wins the division, I believe both teams get into the postseason. The Nationals are just a team I don't trust. They added Adam Eaton to improve the lineup, although I don't think it's enough. Matt Wieters can't replace the offensive production that Wilson Ramos brought last year and the pitching staff I have no faith can stay healthy and consistent throughout the 162 game season. Also, I don't believe it's the healthiest club house in the world, hard to be when one guys ego is bigger than the entire organization. That's exactly why I have the Nats being left out of the postseason this year and exactly why I have the Dodgers and Cardinals playing in October for a spot to get into the real deal.
NL Rookie of the Year: Dansby Swanson
Dansby Swanson played a little bit last season, however he did not go above 130 AB's, so technically he's still considered a rookie in the eyes of the league. Swanson hit .300 last year, showed off a little bit of power, all the while flashing a great leather at shortstop. Swanson has it all, he'll be an easy favorite to win the NL ROY, in my estimation he'll probably run away with the award like Corey Seager did last season. The competition doesn't seem like much right now, but typically a dark horse emerges pretty early on in the year. Dansby Swanson will continue the trend of outstanding young shortstops flooding into our league.
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
Easiest prediction of the year by far. Clayton Kershaw is by far the best pitcher on the planet and many would consider him the most valuable player in all of Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, he can only play 1 in every 5 games for the Dodgers, or else he'd be by far the most valuable. Kershaw is basically a guranteed win when he takes the mound, his ERA last year before he went down with injury was a 1.69, which is unheard of. Expect more of the same from Kershaw this year as he struts towards his 4th Cy Young award.
NL MVP: Corey Seager
Seager won the NL ROY by a landslide and a half last year, he was actually highly considered in the MVP voting as well, finishing 3rd. If he builds on last year's amazing start to his career they'll have no choice but to name him MVP of the NL. Seager is going to have to carry an offense that doesn't have much pop to it besides him, an aging Adrian Gonzalez, and Justin Turner. If Seager can lead the Dodgers to a playoff spot, which I believe he will, while putting up comparable numbers to last year, he's got the award in the bag. If he can hit 30+ bombs, have an average of .310+, and drive in 85 RBI's from the lead off spot there's no way you can deny him what he's rightfully earned. Kris Bryant followed his rookie year up with an MVP award, let's see if Seager can do the same.
AL West Division Champ: Seattle Mariners
I love the Mariners this year as my sleeper to win the AL West. All the hype beasts will fall in love with the Rangers even though they've shown year after year they're clearly overrated and aren't getting any better/younger. The Astros are also a team the hype beasts love, they added some veteran pieces, and now all of the sudden they're favorites to win one of the toughest divisions in baseball, yeah I don't think so. Mariners actually made real moves this offseason, they brought in Drew Smyly from the Rays who looked absolutely outstanding in the WBC. That'll give the Rays 3 very quality starters. The bats are loaded with Cano, Seager, and Cruz, so scoring runs certainly shouldn't be an issue for this club. It's been a long time coming but I think the Mariners are finally ready to make it back to the postseason for the first time since 2001.
AL Central Division Champ: Cleveland Indians
The Indians made a ton of noise this past October, coming within a few outs from a World Series victory after not making the postseason the year prior. Indians did all this without their pitching staff being entirely healthy. Kluber, Tomlin, Bauer, Carrasco, Salazar, and Ryan Merritt, who looked impressive in his postseason start against the Blue Jays, will make up one of the best pitching staffs in the AL. The bullpen with Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, and Andrew Miller will also will be one of the best bullpens in the AL, if not the entire MLB. The addition to Edwin Encarnacion to the lineup along with Michael Brantley coming back from injury, makes the Indians a way more feared than last year's World Series lineup. Indians only got better and they were already pretty fucking great. Indians will run away with the AL central and are the early front-runner to win the pennant as well.
AL East Division Champ: New York Yankees
Call me crazy, call me stupid, call me biased, I really don't care, I believe in the boys in pinstripes, and I'll be the one with the last laugh at the end of the season. The Yankees finished with 84 wins last year, leaving them 6 games above .500. Well, at the trade-deadline when we traded all our valuable assets away, we were floating around .500. The new look Yankees took over and we went 31-24 the rest of the way. Nice little sample size, and the results improved a lot with the younger squad. Now, the Yankees added Aroldis Chapman back, signed Matt Holiday, and Greg Bird is healthy again, so the lineup and bullpen improved greatly. The starting pitching seems to be the big concern surrounding the Yankees. Tanaka is an ace, so we have a true #1 we can rely on every 5 days. Pineda shows flashes of greatness, striking out batters in abundance leading to the most K's/9 inning in the AL last year. However, after about 4 inning he falls apart. If Pineda can pitch smart and last deeper into games I truly believe he'll be a great pitcher in this league. Sabathia isn't anything he used to be, but if he can keep us in games for 6 inning that's all we'll need out of him. Severino is currently the 4th starter. He was horrendous last year as a starter, yet filthy as a long reliever, which proved he had filthy stuff at least. Severino needs to seize the moment and become the young stud he was already supposed to develop into. As for the 5th spot I'm pulling for Jordan Montgomery to get the job, who knows who the Yankees will choose, though. Regardless, we have too much young pitching for one of them not to be decent enough to be effective in the major leagues. The bottom line is the Yankees get mediocre starting pitching and we'll win a lot of games. Lineup and Bullpen is too good not to. Yankees are bout to be back.
AL Wildcard Teams: Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays
It's no secret that the AL East is the powerhouse division of the AL. That's why I believe this division will produce 3 playoff berths this year. Most people would disagree with me saying only two would make it, however I believe in the Yankees. The Sox are the clear favorite in the division. Pitching, hitting, defense, bullpen, speed, they have it all. Exactly the reason I believe it can only go wrong from here on out with the Sox. David Price will go down early that's a guarantee, no pitcher is safe in the AL East, check every pitchers stats after joining the Red Sox last year, and shit happens between injuries, slumps, and players regressing. Basically, the Red Sox will be very good, I can't find anything truly bad to say about them right now, but I refuse to crown them my preseason champions. The Blue Jays lost some pop in their lineup with the Encarnacion departure, they had plenty already, so it shouldn't be a problem. The pitching staff is supposedly going to great, or as Marcus Stroman said the best in the league. If that's the case the Blue Jays are going to be a very scary team to play. AL East race will be decided by a game or two between all 3 of these teams, the ones that don't win the division will get the pleasure of playing each other one last time for their spot in the 2017 playoffs.
AL Rookie of the Year: Andrew Benintendi, OF
When I saw this kid play last year I instantly knew for the next ten years this little scrappy motherfucker is going to shred the Yankees, and every other team in the major leagues. He's one of those players that every team needs, he makes things happen whether it's on the bases or at the plate. He does everything very well, he might look small, but he's got a big bat. Judging off the pictures he posted this off-season, he's bulked a lot, which should only make him a more feared hitter. In just 34 games last year he posted a .295/.359/.476 slash line, incredible if he can do that for the duration of his first full year in the big leagues. Look for this stud to finish the year hitting towards the top of the Red Sox lineup. He's going to hit for a high average, he'll score a ton of runs, and he'll be a sparkplug in the Red Sox powerful lineup. The Red Sox have an outstanding player in this kid and he'll be the rookie of the year without question.
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez, SP
King Felix is coming off the best spring of his career proving that his arm is feeling great coming into the season. In the WBC when he pitched for Venezuela against the USA he dominated, his stuff was untouchable, and that's facing an all star lineup. He won't have to face a lineup close to as good as that this year. If he can pitch at that level or close to that level the rest of the season King Felix will have one of his classic dominant seasons. It's been awhile since he's been able to put together a complete season of dominance, but I believe this is his year. The Mariners have the best team they've ever had, meaning his run support will be up, and his desire to pitch better will be at an all time high with the potential to make the playoffs for the first time in his career. One Cy Young award is not good enough for one of the greatest pitchers to ever take the bump. Look for Hernandez to continue to build his HOF resume this season winning his second Cy Young award while making the playoffs for the first time in his career. Big year ahead for King Felix.
AL MVP: Mike Trout, OF
Best player in baseball and it's not even close. Mike Trout should've won this award like 4 times already, but he's only got two because of the morons that vote on these things. Anyone that watches baseball or just knows what baseball is knows that Mike Trout is far and beyond the best player in the sport. That's all there is to it, just give the man the award right now.
World Series Prediction: Mets-Red Sox
The rematch. Mets-Red Sox 31 years later is what we'll be witnessing this year come late October. The two best pitching staffs in all of baseball with very capable bullpens is what makes me very confident in this selection. Mets live or die by the long ball a little too much, however I love the depth they have in their lineup, and I truly believe the offense will turn it around this season. The Red Sox lineup is stacked, no one will be surprised to see them in the World Series, I mean if they don't get there with this team will they ever again without David Ortiz performing postseason magic? Mets been working on this mission for three years now and they'll finally accomplish it. Mets win the World Series in a 7 game classic over the Red Sox to end the drought in Queens.
ESPN- "The New York Yankees likely will bat power-hitting catcher Gary Sanchez second in their lineup at the start of the season.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday that he was leaning toward having Brett Gardner bat leadoff, followed by Sanchez, Greg Bird, Matt Holliday and Jacoby Ellsbury."
New year, new team, new lineup that's how it should be and that's how it will be this season with the Yankees. For the past couple seasons we've come accustomed to seeing Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner be the 1-2 punch atop the Yankee lineup. There will be no more of that, thank god. Joe Girardi has finally realized that it never worked and is now trying something different. You have to respect that he was willing to admit that it had failed, a lot of managers would've just stuck with their bad decision for the long haul. The opening day lineup should look something like this if Girardi doesn't backtrack on his decision:
1) Brett Gardner, LF
2) Gary Sanchez, C
3) Greg Bird, 1B
4) Matt Holliday, DH
5) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
6) Starlin Castro, 2B
7) Chase Headley, 3B
8) Aaron Judge/Aaron Hicks, RF
9) Ronald Torreyes, SS
That'll be your New York Yankees Opening day starting lineup. Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks are still battling it out for the job in right field, well at least that's the impression that we're under. I'm fine with either one starting to be honest, keep whoever they select to start on a short leash, if he doesn't produce just swap him with the other. That's the beauty of 162 game season, gives plenty of time to evaluate the future talent, see what works and what doesn't, and that's exactly what this year will be for the Yankees. When Didi Gregorious comes back, which is hopefully sooner than later, he'll replace Torreyes at shortstop and the lineup will shift a little bit. Didi will probably slide into the 6 spot and everyone will move down one spot after him. If Sanchez isn't producing in the 2 hole or Bird isn't hitting great either, look for Didi to maybe be moved into the 2 hole and have Sanchez move back to the 3. If it ain't broke don't fix it and if it needs fixing don't be afraid to experiment for the future to see what really works. Patience, persistence, and a lot of beer are what us Yankee fans need to get through this year. Let's make it a good one. Opening day is 5 days away, if that doesn't get your boxers wet I don't know what will.
NY Daily News- "With Opening Day just eight days away, the Mets are already dealing with a pitcher injury.
Steven Matz was scratched from his scheduled Monday start because of "tenderness" and "irritation" in his surgically repaired left elbow, Sandy Alderson announced Sunday. The Mets’ lefthander has been examined by team doctors and reassured it is not his ulnar collateral ligament, which was replaced in 2010 during Tommy John surgery.
Matz described himself as not worried and said he will throw long toss on Monday to begin a throwing program.
“It’s just a little tenderness, just a little setback,” Matz said, indicating it could be a side effect of his offseason surgery to have a bone spur removed. “We’re in spring training. You have that luxury of just trying to take a little off the throttle.”
The Mets GM said that team has been aware of this issue at least since Matz’s last start on Wednesday, but they are not “concerned about it at the moment.” Alderson said that Matz is on medication but has not had an injection for the discomfort yet.
“He’s got a little tenderness in his elbow and a irritation and he’s got to work that out,” Alderson said. “We don’t think it’s anything significant, but at the same time it bothers him a little bit on extension, so he’s not going to pitch tomorrow."
Just when Mets fans were finally regaining confidence about their upcoming season, this happens. Nothing like an early injury before any games have been played to set you back already, that always sucks. Especially when you've been trying to get your rotation full of young studs all healthy at the same time to see how good your pitching staff can truly be. Well people, this is the Mets, so anything orthodox or easy just doesn't happen within the walls of that organization. It's nothing serious yet according to the reports, however anyone who pays attention to the Mets knows this is only going to end badly.
Now, with all that being said if you're a Mets fan it's no time to panic. The least of your worries should be a pitcher getting hurt. Yes, injuries obviously suck and no one wants to see one of their young stud players be plauged by injuries, but if there's one thing the Mets never run out of, it's starting pitching. Let's not forget the Mets have Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman that proved last year they could be quality starters in the big leagues. Zack Wheeler is also back for the Mets this year, so even if Matz will be forced to miss some starts at the beginning of the regular season the Mets will have plenty of ammunation to not miss a beat until he gets back.
The last thing anyone wants is a young stud to get injured though, it's not even about the he's missing time so he's not helping out the team aspect. It's more of a he's missing time he's not getting any better or developing properly aspect that really hurts the franchise. When you have a prospect with big potential the last thing you need is for injuries to destroy his developmental stages, and I think that's where most of the concern is with Matz right now. Also, let's not forget to mention how many problems his elbow has already had, the absolutely last thing you need is to keep piling onto that list because before long that elbow won't be able to throw anymore. Matz will take some time off, hopefully be back for the start of the season, and most importantly will have a long prosperous career.
Finally, after 4 attempts the USA baseball team is champions of the baseball world. The thought of another USA early exit was frightening, anything besides a championship would be a failure, and the boys from back home got it done. The road to glory was not a smooth one in the slightest, at the end of the day the destination is all the same, and oh boy did it feel good to officially establish that USA is the best country in the world at baseball. The Japanese gave us a good run, not gonna lie, I at no point was comfortable with thinking that we were going to win that game. We got the job done, though. Then we were sent onto to face the powerhouse Puerto Rico.
USA sent Marcus Stroman to the mound in the championship game against Puerto Rico. A controversial move by Jim Leyland with Chris Archer also being availiable to start. Especially when you take into consideration the last outing Stroman had against Puerto Rico, earlier in the tournament. Stroman had been criticized all WBC by the Puerto Rico fans due to him originally saying he'd play for Puerto Rico, instead he ended up playing for USA, the country he was born and raised. Stroman and his mother received awful hate tweets from fans and he was very unhappy about it. Well, he took it out on the PR lineup, he got through 6 innings allowing no hits and only one walk. Talk about a performance of a lifetime, the team you were originally going to play for, throw in the fan disrespecting you and your mother, and this has got to be at the very top of Stroman's favorite performances in his lifetime. Oh by the way, he won MVP. A tip of the cap to you Mr. Stroman, way to put the country on your back.
Ian Kinsler, also had a spite with team Puerto Rico. Right before the game he made comments about the difference in play between the Americans and the Hispanic speaking teams. Saying something along the lines of the Americans don't show much emotion on the field meanwhile those teams are dancing around acting like kids playing a game. Well Ian, they are just kids playing a game, so I kinda didn't agree with him. However, it's true they do take it a little overboard when they come out of the dugout after every homerun, act like you been their before, show some class. Kinsler put his money where his mouth is though, he took Seth Lugo deep early to get the USA off and running. After the homerun no one came running out of the dugout, just high fives all around as he acted like he's been their before. Play how you want to play, celebrate, have fun, just respect the other team.
USA won in dominating fashion 8-0, a surprising result based off of how dominate Puerto Rico had been all tournament. They were a perfect 7-0 going into the championship game against USA. Unfortunately for them, they ran into a team of destiny.
All in all just happy the USA accomplished the mission. After the previous three WBC's where the USA didn't even place in the top 3, let alone make it to the championship game, baseball in our country needed this. I know people say we don't send all our best players, but none of the teams do, so that's no excuse. You are represented by who is playing for your team, there's no excuses for failure besides you just weren't good enough. Another failure would've been a real wake up call, especially if it were Japan that beat us. You already know they'd be thinking they're league is better than ours is if they just kept on beating us, so we really needed that win. All those Hispanic countries just have so much unreal talent, losing to them is acceptable because they produce baseball players like middle east produces oil. In four tournaments we should be able to get at least one, and we finally did. USA USA USA!
Everyone that follows the Yankees even remotely close knew the second Teixiera announced his retirement that Greg Bird was our new first baseman. Yeah the Chris Carter signing raised some questions, but we knew as long as Bird was healthy enough to play he'd be starting for us come opening day. No surprise at all, just the Yankees making it official. The real question is can he produce for us like we saw briefly in the past during the 2015 season.
In 2015 Bird had a batting average of .261, hit 11 dingers, and had 31 RBIs in about 40 games. Give me that pace all season long and he'll be one of the best power hitters in the league. Bird has the potential to be the Yankees #4 hitter for the next decade, with that sweet stroke and the short porch in right it's going to be a match made in heaven. Bird is continuing to prove just how good he is this spring posting a .421 average along with hitting 4 home runs.
Bird and Sanchez in the heart of our lineup is something I can be confident about going forward. I know they're young so it'll require some patience, nevertheless in a few years they could be one of the best one two punches in baseball. If we can get through year one healthy without any tragic slumps or regression from the both of them the Yankees will have to view that as a huge success. The biggest thing with these kids right now is time. Getting them the reps they need in order to become the superstar players all of us Yankee fans expect them to be. For us fans patience is all it's going to take, unfortunately that'll be hard when he's hitting two homeruns in a game one day and the next 20 at bats he gets 2 hits. That's the life of a young prospect though, just have to be prepared for it.
ESPN: "If you like free food and watching Tim Tebow attempt to play baseball, the Greenville Drive may have the perfect promotion for you.
On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox Class A affiliate tweeted that when Tebow's new team -- the Columbia Fireflies (the Mets' Class A affiliate) -- comes to town June 13-15, fans in attendance could win free Burger King Whoppers if the 29-year-old strikes out three times in a game during the series."
Is it unfair that Tim Tebow is essentially the laughing stock of the minor league, no, I'd say it's totally fair. Tebow made a bold move trying to just pick up becoming a professional baseball player like it's not one of the hardest crafts to master. Now, he's made his bed, he's an awful player, so he will be publicly humiliated by every team that faces him. If he plays well this can all be avoided, although anyone that watched him play this spring knows damn well that's not going to happen.
Tim Tebow, if he's actually the saint he portrays himself to be, even though I'm not buying it whatsoever, definitely doesn't deserve all the bullshit he's had to face his entire sport's career. Between the media being up his ass in NFL essentially forcing him out of the league and now this, just let the poor guy live his life. There's a part of me, a rather large part of me actually that thinks he actually likes all the attention, so I take that back, keep giving him hell.
CBS Sports: "Didi Gregorius, who was second in RBI in the World Baseball Classic, left the Netherlands team to undergo tests on his right shoulder Monday prior to the team’s loss to Puerto Rico. On Tuesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the club believes Gregorius could miss all of April because of the injury."
Just when you thought the Yankees season was beginning to look bright, the baseball Gods give us this horrible news. Being without Didi for the first month of the season is going to be a huge blow to the Yankees lineup. Gregorious was having a huge WBC, carrying the offensive load for the Netherlands, driving in 14 RBI's in just 6 games before getting injured. Netherlands sure could've used him last night, and the Yankees can certainly use him come opening day, but one of those didn't happen and the other isn't going to happen. Fuck.
Now, Tyler Wade or Ronald Torreyes will take his spot, and if we're lucky we'll get half the production. Neither of these guys touch Didi's ability to field at the shortstop position, and certainly neither of them come close to swinging the bat like him, so for at least the first month of the season we'll be completely handicapped at shortstop. Yankee fans are excited for the chance to see Wade play, I've also seen plenty of reporters say he's projected to be a Ben Zobrist type player, yet I refuse to buy into the hype. I'm not excited to see this kid play because I know he can't, there's nothing extraordinary about his game, and we'll be lucky if he can play mediocre shortstop for a month.
The worse part about this Didi injury is that it doesn't open up the spot for Gleyber Torres to come up and shine. The Yankees have already said he'll stay in AA to start the season, and realistically we probably won't see him called up till the beginning of next season at the earliest. He might be shredding in spring training, however they say he's still far away from being an everyday player in the MLB. I think the Yankees should just throw him into the fire, worked with Sanchez pretty well, although it's a very different situation. All I'm saying is it'd be better than watching Wade or Torreyes play for a month. God Didi, please get better soon the Yankees need you immensely.
Just when I thought the Netherlands was really about to pull off the upset of the century, beating Puerto Rico to advance to the WBC finals, Puerto Rico had another gear to shift into. The Netherlands were without young Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorious, who had to leave the WBC due to a shoulder injury. When I caught news of this I basically wrote Netherlands, and just this game in general off. Turns out I couldn't of been more wrong, the semi final game was a war for the ages, Netherlands rallied around the guys they had proving they have more talent than you think, and represented their country with great pride with the performance they gave during this classic. Unfortunately for the Netherlands, Puerto Rico is a helluva of a ball club, with a helluva a lot of outstanding players, so to make them work that hard for a W is something to be proud of.
A few players really stood out for the Netherlands in this tournament, though. Wladimir Balentein is a name you'll definitley start hearing some buzz around. Balentein had a monster tournament, he hit 4 long balls, had an average of .640, and drove in 12 runs, now if that's not worth giving the kid an extra look I don't know what is. He's only 24, so teams should be drooling all over this kid, but for whatever reason he's gone this long unnoticed. The Netherlands head coach is another guy looking for a job at the major league level. Hensley Meulens is hoping he get some interest from clubs around the MLB for a manager position since he did so well with this Netherlands team. I'd say why not give him a shot, no way I thought the Netherlands would be fighting for a WBC finals spot, and there they were in extra innings fighting for a spot in the championship game. That has to earn Meulens some props.
The blonde hair bandits are just too experienced, composed, and talented to not make it to the WBC finals. Seems like no matter what the Netherlands did, Puerto Rico had an answer. Whether it was Yadier Molina making heads up plays by throwing an unsuspecting baserunner out or it's Carlos Correa carrying the whole damn country on his back, this team just finds ways to win. It's no wonder why they've made it to back to back championship games. The only thing is, they'll be especially hungry to win this time around since they came up short in 2013. No team has looked hungrier than Puerto Rico in these games and their undefeated record seems to prove that. If USA can get passed Japan, they're going to have a tall task at trying to take down the blonde hair bandits. Either way though, USA technically wins because I'm pretty sure Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, just saying.