Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 18, 2014



Today on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, the topic is the Baltimore Orioles.

The Birds made a pair of signings this weekend that confirm what I already believed about them: There is no predicting what is happening in Baltimore. They could be great or they could be one of the worst teams in the AL. And there is a lot of gray area in between.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 18, 2014

The Giants and Rockies took my advice

I like to think that most GMs like to read Sully Baseball on a daily basis and they take my suggestions to heart. And it seemed that the Giants and the Rockies may have done just that.

Last May I gave the Giants some advice in what looked like a potential playoff run.

Brian Sabean listened to some of my advice (recalling Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey sooner than later and giving Pat Burrell a shot) and ignored others (signing Jermaine Dye and seeing if Eric Hacker could handle long relief).

One thing I suggested was dealing Zack Wheeler for a bat. I figured that while you almost never deal young pitching, this was the exception if it would bring a difference making bat. Now as it turned out, they didn’t need the difference making bat last year. There is no way that even bringing Albert Pujols onto the 2010 Giants would have improved anything.

Put away the calculators and getting ready to show me Pujols’ OPS+ and Base/Hit to Contact Adjusted ratio. (I just made that up, but I am sure it is being used by SOME stat head.)

If you put Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton on the 2010 Giants, the end result would not have improved… because the end result was a World Series Championship.

Well I for one gave a big grin when I saw Wheeler was dealt for Carlos Beltran, a deal that screamed “No Brainer” for me.
Sure Wheeler has a chance to be a big time pitcher for the Mets. Beltran has a chance to help cement the Giants as a national brand.

People are noticing the Giants, and as I suggested in the video we made last January, they are slowly becoming an alternative bandwagon to the ultra serious and competitive Red Sox and Yankees turf wars.

Another October run with this cast of characters could solidify them as a big time franchise and destination place for free agents. Ask yourself, 4 or 5 years ago was Philadelphia considered to be a desirable landing spot for star players?
If the Phillies could make that kind of turn around based on a World Series title, some more post season appearances and a dash of cool, why not the more extroverted Giants?
A nice pitching prospect is a small price to pay for helping build a national brand, especially with Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Volgelsong and Sanchez all still in the rotation.

I know the Giants are only 2 games up on Arizona. No part of me is worried. They are heading back to the playoffs and have as good a chance of anyone to get to the World Series.

Meanwhile the Rockies did EXACTLY what I told them to do. A few weeks ago I begged them to deal Ubaldo Jimenez while people still thought he was an ace pitcher.
I don’t think he is. I think he is a good pitcher who had a great half of a season. He’s not an ace. He’s an ace flavored product.
And if the Rockies dealt him while he still looked and felt like an ace, they would get more in a haul for him then if they waited for Ubaldo to reveal that he isn’t a true #1.
While I admire the Indians for going for it and picking up a guy who clearly isn’t a rental, it’s unlikely that Cleveland would have parted with four players including highly touted prospects Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, if Jimenez started piling up .500 seasons with mediocre ERAs in Denver.
Yeah Jimenez was a popular member of the Rockies. So was Matt Holliday. The Rockies dealt HIM when he still had a “potential MVP” aura about him and wound up getting Carlos Gonzalez and Huston Street in the deal.
I think before long, the dealing of Matt Holliday and Ubaldo Jimenez, as unthinkable as it may have been when they were contending for big awards, might be the best thing that ever happened to the Rockies franchise and could lead directly to another pennant very soon.
Just glad they took my advice.

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ROCKIES! Trade Ubaldo Jimenez!

At one point last year, Ubaldo Jimenez looked like he could win 30 games. 25 was a lock.
He was the 26 year old home grown ace of the Rockies and things were just going to get better.

He was 15-1 at the All Star break.
His ERA was sub 1.00 into June.

The second half? He went 4-7 with a decent (especially for pitching 1/2 his games in Denver) 3.80 ERA.

His numbers were solid and Cy Young worthy. But there was something mildly disturbing.

His whole career he’s been a decent pitcher who put up decent numbers. And for one half of a year, he was a Cy Young candidate.

What if that one half of a season was a fluke?
What if it was an anomaly?

What if this is… *GASP*… Javier Vazquez all over again?
As I wrote before, Vazquez had a terrific 2001 with Montreal and coasted on the reputation of that season until 2009 when he had another great year for Atlanta.

The Yankees were of course burned when they brought him back… but my point is this:

Jimenez might not be an ace. But teams might THINK he is!
He started the 2010 All Star Game. That was almost exactly a year ago.

When exactly will his value be higher than RIGHT NOW?

The Rockies are sub .500 now and don’t have the arms to catch up with San Francisco for the West nor for Atlanta for the Wild Card.

So take a look at Jimenez as a chip. A young good starting pitcher who everyone thinks is an ace!

Why hold on to him until people figure out he’s NOT an ace?

If the Yankees want to give up some of their top prospects (and supposedly Jesus Montero is being offered) take it.

Drive up the price as the Yankees, Tigers, Reds and almost every other contender is looking for an arm.

With Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki locked up for long term deals, the Rockies can’t really afford many expensive mistakes. And expecting Jimenez to be the pitcher that he was for 1 half of a season as opposed to the pitcher he was for 3 seasons is a risky prospect.

Get two quality players and let him become a decent but not great player for another team!

And don’t wait too long.
Did someone say “Brandon Webb?”

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