Friday, September 23, 2011

Two Major One Minor 092311

Personal issues have kept me away from the keyboard but I will make one last segment this season. I will resume the segment when the new season resumes next spring. The final three being covered this season are Lucas Duda, John Mayberry Jr and Matt Adams. One thing all three have in common is they are big thumpers that could be mistaken for their gridiron brothers.

Duda has split his time between first and the outfield for the New York Mets this season. He is an imposing 6-foot-4, 255 pounds and has shown some good power while still only 25. He was a late season call up in 2010 when he hit .202/.261/.417 with four home runs, 13 RBI, 11 runs and zero steals in 29 games. He had started 2010 rising from Double A to Triple A while hitting .304/.398/.569 with 23 home runs, 87 RBI, 74 runs and one steal in 115 games. This season with the Mets he has hit .292/.370/.482 with 10 home runs, 50 RBI, 38 runs and one steal in 100 games. He isn't helped by playing in a pitchers park but I picked him up after he went on a doubles tear early and I think that will eventually translate into more home runs like Billy Butler of the Royals is starting to make that transition. He was originally drafted by the Mets in the seventh round in 2007.

Mayberry is in his first full season with the Philadelphia Phillies and has also split time between first and the outfield. He stands 6-foot-6, 230 pounds and just entered his prime at 27. He has used his bat to earn more playing time for the National League East champs as he hit .278/.339/.532 with 15 home runs, 49 RBI, 36 runs and 8 steals in 98 games. He first came on my radar in 2007 when he managed 30 home runs and 16 steals in the minors playing Class A advanced and Double A. That power and speed combo was worth monitoring because he had the promise to blossom given the chance. I picked him up early in the season when he filled in for Shane Victorino when he was on the DL. I then dropped him and watched as the switch clicked on as Mayberry started getting more hits including a couple home runs. I scrambled to put a bid to pick him back up and crossed by fingers. Since that point I have benefited with the Phillies from his most recent 10 home runs. He was originally drafted by the Rangers with the 19th pick in the first round in 2005.

Adams spent this season playing first base for the St Louis Cardinals Double A team. He is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds and appears to be developing into a power hitter while still only 23. This season he hit .300/.357/.566 with 32 home runs, 101 RBI, 80 runs and zero steals in 115 games. Being at first his future may hinge on what happens with Albert Pujols and whether he stays in St Louis or goes elsewhere. Or they could possibly try to convert him to another position. He was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the 23rd round in 2009.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mariano Rivera sets saves record

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera set the career saves record yesterday when he recorded his 602nd while preserving a 6-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins. He pitched a perfect ninth inning facing the minimum three while striking out one. Russell Martin was behind the plate for the historic performance.

For the season the right-handed Rivera is 1-2 with 43 saves, a 1.98 ERA, 57 strikeouts and  0.90 WHIP in 59 innings over 61 games. Over his career he is 75-57 with a 2.22 ERA, 1108 strikeouts and 0.99 WHIP in 1209 innings over 1039 games spanning 17 seasons. This is his eighth season with 40 or more saves. He originally signed with the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1990 out of Panama.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Matt Diaz traded to Braves

Matt Diaz was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Atlanta Braves on August 31, 2011 for a player to be named later. Diaz is a right handed outfielder who had spent five of his previous eight seasons in Atlanta after starting his career with the Rays followed by a short stop with the Royals. Before the trade he was hitting .259/.303/.324 with zero home runs, 19 RBI, 14 runs and 4 steals in 100 games. For his career he has hit .397/.344/.440 with 43 home runs, 211 RBI, 199 runs and 32 steals in 660 games. He was originally drafted by the Rays in the 17th round in 1999.