Results tagged ‘ Matt Cain ’

After Saturday Goes the Way We Expected, Cain and #SFGiants Go For Sweep Against Greinke and #Dodgers

Saturday’s showcasing of Madison Bumgarner throwing double-digit K’s against Paul Maholm and the Dodgers, I was relieved that the Giants took care of a game they should have had. Maholm is a back-end guy that hitters can take advantage of, while your chances are normally fewer against a starter like Bumgarner. While the Giants bullpen isn’t perfect, they’re not an awful bunch, especially when you get into the higher leverage situations. Still, having a 7-1 lead when Bumgarner left and winning 7-2 is right along the lines of what I expect to see when the Giants throw out one of their top four guys and the opposition sends out someone that is not of the front-line variety. Tonight’s game will not fit that description, as Matt Cain and Zack Greinke are both solid #2 guys in a top-heavy rotation, and while I hope the Giants sweep and win 18-0, seeing a low-scoring one-run game should be the expectations of near everybody.

The Starters — A recap of their first games

Zack Greinke and Matt Cain both went five innings in their first starts, not really reaching the distance fans know they are capable of. Both saw their pitch counts get into the nineties at the close of the fifth inning and each walked two batters. Cain saw seven hits get allowed, but no home runs, while Greinke fell victim to only two hits, one of which suffered the wrath of the hot start by Seth Smith. Both are pitching on four days of rest.

The Bullpen — Who’s Probably Out

Santiago Casilla threw thirty-seven pitches for the Giants in five outs of relief, so I’d say he’s to be used in emergency situations only. For the Dodgers, Jose Dominguez has been used in two straight games, so I’d expect him to be in the same boat as Casilla. Jamey Wright has also pitched in two straight, but only needed two pitches to do his work on Saturday, though I’d imagine Don Mattingly would like to avoid using Wright tonight. Paco Rodriguez leads the league in appearances at five, and it’s not difficult to remember that Paco got tired at the end of 2013, possibly due to overuse. The Dodgers have played seven games so far, and I’d hope Paco is getting a day off.

The Lineups

For the sweep-minded Giants:

Thoughts on the lineup: A good lineup, I just might like Buster up in the 3-spot a little better. No Giants player has more than ten plate appearances against Greinke, so the players are still getting used to him, relatively speaking. That, as opposed to some of the Dodgers and Matt Cain, who’s been pitching in the NL West since 2005.  For the close-to-.500 Dodgers:

Thoughts on the lineup: Andre Ethier has a .441/.467/.574 career line against Matt Cain and Adrian Gonzalez has four career HR off of Cainer, so it’s no surprise that they are in the so-called “heart” of the lineup, but I don’t think I agree with him being this far down. I think you can take Dee Gordon and put him behind Juan Uribe and get better results.

The Prediction

The Giants have won five straight at Dodger Stadium dating back to September 13th of last season, and have won seven of their last eight meetings with LA. I think they continue to deliver the pain, winning tonight against Greinke with most of the damage coming against and often-used bullpen in a 4-2 victory on national television.

Bringing Together the Fantasies: Matt Cain Projections for 2014

Some people might be worried Matt Cain is finally regressing, that his luck has run out. Worried that his stats have fallen back to 2006 levels — the last time he pitched less than 200 innings and had above a 4.00 ERA. Even so, his walk rate was below 8% for the fourth year in a row, BABIP consistently around the .260 area, and his K% above twenty percent, among other numbers that might also tell you there’s not much to worry about. Giants fans will remember though that it was the home run ball early on in the season that was dooming Cain’s stats and probably made him a fantastic buy-low candidate after he’d given up nine home runs going into May. Yes, those nine bombs did match his overall 2011 total of HR given up, but consider that his total HR allowed the past five seasons from 2009 is 22, 22, 9, 21, 23, Cain ended up being in the area where we might have expected him, just with a bloated ERA and HR/FB%.

All this knowledge is pretty well spread out by now, so the only people that will be fooled by Matt Cain’s ERA and are not citing possible physical concerns are the people that don’t read up on fantasy baseball. Everyone is reading he’s a “buy low” and if he falls to you at the average draft position, you’re probably getting a good deal for the spot in the draft.

Other opinions on Matt Cain:

  • “He afforded a home run on 10.8 percent of the fly balls he allowed, an increase of more than 3 percent and a change that can influence a pitcher’s ERA by as much as a half-run… The smart move is to pick Cain assuming a mild rebound, anything more first requiring a sacrifice to Homerperflyeus, the Greek god of keeping fly balls in parks.” –ESPN
  • #2 on Jim Bowden’s “Undervalued guys to target,” including a sub-3 ERA projection from the former GM. Cain has only done that once in his career (2011).
  • 78% of Fantasy Experts connected with FantasyPros would draft Cain sooner than his #88 ADP
  • “You look at Cain’s peripherals, there are no real serious outliers. He just had a terrible start to the season. As for his low win total, blame that on the Giants’ offense… Cain is one of those players Fantasy owners might overlook on Draft Day coming off a down season, but don’t fall into that trap. He’s still a top 20 Fantasy starting pitcher.” –CBS Sports
  • The writers over at SB Nation’s Fake Teams have Matt Cain in their Top 25 SP overall
  • Some projections, including the Fans from Fangraphs thinking good things about Cain like they did about Brandon Belt:

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 9.08.36 AM

The fans, and some of the projections seem to agree with the numbers from PECOTA, where it listed Cain as throwing around 207 IP with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Those would be very welcome numbers, and if he can pull that off with who knows who at second base and Michael Morse in left field for two-thirds of the game, that’s going to make life pretty good for fantasy owners of Cainer. The Steamer projections are the lowest on Cain, projecting a 3.75 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Even the worst projections for Cain aren’t too awful, but they’re not the Matt Cain we’ve become spoiled with during his age 24-28 seasons. Yes, Matt Cain is entering his age 29 season, and the Giants can choose to utilize his services through 2018 at $20MM/year, except ’18 would be a $21MM team option. Neat that we get to watch what probably will be Matt Cain’s best years.

What I’m worried about for this year: do the injuries come back? Spring Training game performance reports have been positive thus far. What about the defense? ERA is dependent on a capable defense, and with Pablo Sandoval trimmer, Brandon Crawford healthier, and a commitment to Brandon Belt at 1B, the infield defense should be good. Left field with Morse is my only question mark, and if he gets injured, we know the Giants have plenty of gazelles they can replace him with.

My 2014 Projection: Matt Cain continues to steal our hearts and inspire tweets that only say “MATT CAIN” in them. There will be disturbing pictures of horses. It will be a good year. Twelve wins, 3.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 20 HRA. K% drops a little below 20% while the BB% stays below 8. He’s a good pitcher. I want to be like him.

Will I get to draft him: No. I’ll probably be drafting hitters when Cain gets picked up, so I’ll just watch Matt Cain win categories for my opponent in our head-to-head matchups. It’ll be a mix of great happiness and great sadness. I will regret not picking him up.

NL All Star Game Vote Counts Released — Posey and Panda lead the way for SF

Yesterday the counts for the American League were released, and so today the home National League’s vote count is out to the people where you can view here. Some facts and reactions:

Surprises for me are Pablo Sandoval at third, Bryce Harper gets the celebrity vote, as you could argue Carlos Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez, and Shin-Soo Choo are among those more deserving with the stats, but I’ll let that slide.

Buster Posey is the story of the day with the amount of votes he’s getting, but he’s not blowing away the competition.

It’s true, when Angel Pagan is 8th and Gregor Blanco is 11th, and neither is having an All Star caliber season, that is a fair statement. Giants fans are at it again.

Brandon Crawford is about 350,000 votes behind Troy Tulowitzki, Brandon Belt is about 500,000 behind Joey Votto, and Marco Scutaro is 200,000 behind Brandon Phillips. I really feel like Matt Carpenter needs to be getting more of a look, as he’s quietly put up a pretty valuable year.

The challenge for other clubs is can they get their fanbase to vote their one guy (for the Brewers two guys) in to out do what the Giants fans are doing for all their outfielders.

Right now, I’d say Posey is the only ASG starter I could argue that the Giants have. Yadier Molina winning that over Buster would not be a problem by me, he’s really good as well. We saw what Giants fans did last year, voting in Melky Cabrera in addition to Panda and Posey, and Matt Cain took the bump for the NL. There were many unhappy within the NL, although the NL would end up winning, with the Giants players providing plenty of production, in a shutout victory over the American League, giving the Giants of all teams home field advantage in the 2012 World Series.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, on Tuesday, July 16.

GIFCap: Reminding you what a #SFGiants win looks like

If it seems like it’s been a while since the Giants won, and it’s true: Sunday was the last time. Today is Thursday, and the last two days in Toronto have been nightmares thanks to the defense and the pitching of the squad. Here are some GIFs that might make up a victory in the regular season.

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly when Matt Cain started out by striking out Dexter Fowler.

But then Matt Cain started allowing dingerz and not catching breaks at the plate.

BUT THEN Brandon Crawford begins being the star of the show by hitting a bases clearing double with 2 outs in the 4th.

And then goes all Golden on the Rockies

Barehanded, ya’ll

The Giants would score some more runs, yada yada details, and then you bring in Sergio Romo to strike out Dexter Fowler just like the game started for the Rockies at bat.

Here’s a jump where Angel Pagan is unhappy with Hunter Pence.

Here’s some lovin between Marco Scutaro and Crawford

And those are some of the things that make for a Giants win. That feels good after two days of destruction and nearly happened again tonight after being down 6-0 at the end of 3. Eight straight runs to win a Thursday evening game? Yes, thank you! But less allowing runs to the other team, please.

The Numbers of April: Surprise!

Hot starts don’t necessarily dictate the results of May through October, because that’s only one month of baseball done, and even one month’s worth of goodies is a small sample size of information. Still, it’s not like it’s not fun to look at some of the numbers that were a little unexpected.

Win and Losses Division

The AL East really was, and still is anybody’s division to win, and so maybe Boston’s 18-8 record — and the best in baseball — shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. What is the bigger surprise can be found at the bottom of the division where the Toronto Blue Jays reside at 10-17. There are three teams with a worse record than that, two won’t surprise you, one may: Astros, Marlins, Angels.

Another unexpected positive performance has come from the NL West leading Colorado Rockies, and second place Kansas City are only a half game back of the 2012 AL Champs. Different league, but still the Central, the top four teams in the NLC are all within one game of each other.

Position Players Division

Surprising that Justin Upton has 12 homers? Probably not. Surprising that New York Mets catcher John Buck is tied for second with 9? Very! We always knew Chris Davis had power, just wondered if his contact rate would get in the way. You expected him to have more of a slash line like Anthony Rizzo than one like Bryce Harper.

This may not surprise you, but I did not think Carl Crawford would have as solid of an April as he’s had. 1.3 fWAR with a .390 wOBA, including 4 HR and SB. You do that every month and that gets you MVP votes.

Players in the bottom 15 of fWAR include players like Melky Cabrera (0 HR), Matt Kemp (84 wRC+), and Josh Hamilton (51 wRC+). I’m sure Melky’s place there doesn’t surprise the PED skeptics, but bottom 15 bad?

Starting Pitchers Division

Continuing with the bottom, it surprises me that two of the bottom seven fWAR performances belong to starters on the Giants staff, and neither of them are Barry Zito (Matt Cain, and Ryan Vogelsong). Brandon McCarthy may sport a horrible 7.48 ERA, but his 3.67 FIP is better than league average, and that 3.82 residual is pretty astounding for anybody.

Your leader in complete games with two is Jordan Zimmermann. He and seven others, including Bartolo Colon, have a complete game shutout to their name in the 2013 season.

The 4th highest K% at 32.9% is A.J. Burnett. The 8th highest at 30.3% is Hyun-jin Ryu, higher than teammate Clayton Kershaw.

In a shocking development, Stephen Strasburg and Jeff Samardzija‘s 1-4 W-L record may not tell you that they’ve actually done quite alright for their team, it’s just, you know, that whole run support thing.

Two Cardinals starters have not allowed a homer this year: Adam Wainwright and Jake Westbrook. Wainwright allowed 15, and Westbrook allowed 12 in 2012.

Relievers Division

Sergio Romo, Jason Grilli, Mariano Rivera, and Jim Johnson may have ten saves, but your leader for relievers in fWAR is James Russell of the Cubs and Craig Kimbrel, Matt Belisle, and four others at 0.6.

Speaking of Sergio, no “closer” has been brought into more games than him. 15. Brad Ziegler leads in appearances with 17. That’s a pretty healthy dose of usage early on.

I know John Axford was on the decline, but that 8 ERA and 7 FIP are more of a fall from grace than just a “decline.”

Carlos Marmol does not have the highest walk rate amongst all relievers. Henry Rodriguez (Nationals) and Nick Hagadone (Indians) beat Marmol out this month.

If you added Brandon League and Huston Street‘s K% (I know it doesn’t work like that, but work with me here), it would be 20.0%. Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Bailey, and Greg Holland would still have more than double that K%.

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So there are some of your surprises from this month, definitely varying on the spectrum of surprisability, but those are some of the things that got my attention. What surprised you this month?

Lineups Posted: Grinding #DBacks look to out-will slumping #SFGiants

The Diamondbacks are tied with the Rockies for first place, while the Giants have had trouble finding the win column of late, losing five in a row and eight of their last twelve. Opening Day starters Matt Cain and Ian Kennedy will square off as the Giants hope they can beat the intangibles out of the Snakes and take some quick revenge for losing their last series at home to them. In case you’ve been lucky enough to miss this stretch of losing, it has been a combination of the pitching, defense, and getting the hits with RISP for the Giants. Normally, most fans would be less irritable if it were just one or two of those, but to have all three of those facets of the game plaguing the Giants right now is bringing about some panicked breathing around the internet tubes.

The lineup for the visiting Gigantes:

So today isn’t Marco Scutaro‘s day off and Brandon Belt is batting 8th. Also, a note on Sandy Rosario and Jose Mijares:

and for the home team Diamondbacks:

Remember, Didi Gregorius was put on the 7-day DL for a concussion yesterday retroactive to Saturday so he’ll miss this series.

Cain and Kennedy will both get to embark on their sixth start of the year, and the month, so I’m going to put up their game logs for April. Starting with Cainer:

Date Opp Rslt DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str
Apr 1 @ LAD L,0-4 99 6.0 4 0 0 1 8 0 1 0.00 23 93 55
Apr 7 STL L,3-14 5 3.2 7 9 9 2 2 0 0 8.38 20 66 39
Apr 12 @ CHC L,3-4 4 7.0 7 2 2 2 6 2 0 5.94 30 113 72
Apr 18 @ MIL L,2-7 5 6.0 7 7 7 0 4 3 1 7.15 26 98 67
Apr 23 ARI L,4-6 4 6.0 5 4 3 1 6 1 0 6.59 25 90 60
28.2 30 22 21 6 26 6 2 6.59 124
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2013.

I’m not sure I like where this pattern is going, especially if last start was supposed to be his “good” start, and this is another start where he’s had five days of rest. Hopefully, Cain has worked out whatever kinks there were in his delivery. Having even three of his pitches show up and be excellent would be an improvement over the starts of his I’ve been able to see (can you tell I missed Opening Day?). At least Matt Cain hasn’t been walking everybody, while still getting his share of K’s.

For IPK it looks like this:

Date Opp Rslt DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str
Apr 1 STL W,6-2 99 7.0 5 2 2 1 8 0 0 2.57 25 94 67
Apr 7 @ MIL W,8-7 5 6.0 7 4 4 1 4 1 2 4.15 26 90 62
Apr 13 LAD L,5-7 5 5.2 10 6 6 4 4 1 0 5.79 30 108 68
Apr 19 @ COL L,1-3 5 6.0 3 3 3 3 6 1 0 5.47 24 106 66
Apr 24 @ SFG W,3-2 4 6.0 4 1 1 2 4 0 1 4.70 25 106 72
30.2 29 16 16 11 26 3 3 4.70 130
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2013.

“So you’re saying there’s a chance,” is what I can hear from you. While Cain has allowed double the HR that Kennedy has, clearly, outside of his last start, he hasn’t been as sharp as he can be, although he seemed to be fine against the Giants. Funny how that goes when you’re in the midst of a losing streak. I’m sure the career numbers of Kennedy versus the Giants have been and will be widely discussed as the game goes on.

Tonight’s game will be at 6:40PM PST, and my weather app says it will be somewhere around 97-99 degrees at gametime in Phoenix. It’s not even May yet!

Sunday AceFest from AT&T: Lineups Posted

Today is a day of Aces. Don’t believe me?

I mean, thats a great lineup of baseball for the people to take in and watch. The one our attention is turned to the most is the one with Adam Wainwright and Matt Cain. The lineups have been posted for this Sunday baseball matchup of the #1′s.

For the 2012 NL runner-ups:

No Matt Holliday to boo in the lineup, and Matt Adams takes the corner at 1B for today.

For the 2012 Ring Masters:

Once again, same soup for the Giants in this last game of the series before they welcome in the Colorado Rockies beginning tomorrow night.

Important information about the ring ceremony:

If it’s going to be as fun as the 2011 one was, this should also be a must-see event. I’m planning on watching and will get the GIF-machine revved up and ready to go. Until then, enjoy the day baseball before the rings get showed off and we all dream of owning one for ourselves.

P.S.: if you’re at the game and have an extra replica ring, I’d love to talk to you about how we may arrange for you to give it to me :)

Some of February 25th’s Action in GIFs

Baseball has started early as teams get ready for losing some of their system to the World Baseball Classic. All the seats may not be filled at the stadium, but some of the action is still worthy of many eyes being on it. Only some of the games right now are being televised, so there is a limit to what can be GIF’d at the moment. With that, here’s some of today’s good stuff:

Cliff Lee‘s cutter is working

Can’t wait to see the Giants face him, should greeeeeat

Alex Castellanos punishes a Jonathan Papelbon pitch to RCF

Catcher wanted low, ends up being up and away

Miguel Cabrera turns on a mistake from Pap

Catcher wanted it low, pitch thrown up and in, estimated distance was 440-450 feet.

Orioles turn a double play!*

*shouldn’t have been a double play

Juan Uribe shows you what a real double play looks like

Uribe just helping the slow Spring Training games move along a little faster

Marlon Byrd with the bat flip of the day

Love how you can see the bat flip when the camera from behind the plate goes on

Ross Ohlendorf with a sweet barehanded play

I’m just mad he did this after I posted the original article. Way to consider others, Ross.

One of three quotes of the day, this one from Zack Greinke:

The other ones from the Giants starting pitchers Matt Cain on how his knee is feeling:

…and Madison Bumgarner on his pitching motion:

Cue that “I think I’m turning Japanese” song our parents grew up on.

Lots of Future in MLB settling in, but for #SFGiants, their “Future” is very much now

With Spring Training happening now, prospect lists are coming out, from Baseball America and MLB most notably, fans start to compare farm systems and search within themselves how much that farm system matters to how they feel about their team. If you’re the Cardinals, you take pride in knowing the club you have at the major league level is of very good quality, and your farm provides plenty of promise. If you’re the Padres, you hold out hope for the future, because your farm has been good for some time while fans in San Diego have been left with a 2010 rush but not much else recently. If you’re a fan of the Giants, you’ve been given proof in postseasons and parades that the team at the major league level is worthy of being taken seriously, while the system may not be as top-heavy as it has been in the past, so you wonder how long the current MLB club can hold on until you will need reinforcements from the farm, not just on journeymen AAAA players.

While many of the Top 10 prospects of national lists have an estimated time of arrival in 2013, the MLB should expect to see plenty of new, highly-touted arms and bats before the end of the season, we’re not sure who from the Top 10 lists (or really any list) of San Francisco Giants minor leaguers that haven’t had their shot will crack the 2013 rosters AND be a useful piece.

The Outfield

Sure, Francisco Peguero could be useful here and there if one of the corner outfielders find the disabled list, but I haven’t seen a recent report that suggests he has the profile for an everyday spot. Gary Brown, the former number one prospect of the Giants could be that guy, especially with his strong second half he put up in Double-A Richmond. Roger Kieschnick‘s name got whispered last year by some fans, and he’s on the 40-man.

The Infield

Conor Gillaspie has 48 PA across three different seasons, and you just hope he’ll be a good backup when the time comes, and you hope the same for the featured Fanfest kid Nick Noonan. All we’ve heard about Kensuke Tanaka is from Marty and his “Japanese feet.” Brock Bond has a cool name. That’s pretty much it when it comes to Giants prospects and who makes their living on the dirt.

The Rotation

The big names are all years away, although Chris Heston could be of use if one of the five go down. If he’s no good, then the Giants will probably draw from the AAA well, none of the others being prospects, mmmmaybe before checking in on Michael Kickham. Eric Surkamp is the wild card in all this, who says he’ll start resuming activities in July. Keep all this in mind as you consider whose contracts and service time with the Champs could be coming to a close after 2013.

The Bullpen

If there’s anything we’ve seen with Sabean in the last few years, it’s that he’s got this, and this year he may not have to even trade any fringe major leaguers to shore up the ‘pen. Prospect Heath Hembree, still thought by Jonathan Mayo to be a potential closer, could start the year in Fresno and then force the issue after the first month of the season if someone in the bullpen goes down or gets consistently lit up. Perhaps Bochy sees that the front office calls up son Bret Bochy. Jason Martinez of MLBDepthCharts (who also wrote a “window of opportunity” article for ESPN that you should read) also has minor leaguers Jake Dunning and Fabio Castillo as other names to watch that haven’t had a taste of the Major League coffee yet.

Whose Swan Song Might 2013 Be

The Giants have about $70MM of their nearly $140MM budget committed to their rotation this year, but this could be the last year San Francisco pays to have two guys in Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito on their roster. Unless Ryan Vogelsong magically disappears this year, his $6.5MM option will be picked up, and the Giants will still be left wondering who to fill in to the 4th and 5th spots of the rotation with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner still leading a formidable 1-2 punch out of the gates. Do they commit the money that comes off the books to pitching? Posey? (<–the right answer. your argument is invalid.) Other offense?

The Giants got Hunter Pence for his bat, but his price tag is also very high, but one wonders how much it goes down if he continues what he did as a Giant in the regular season in 2013. If it doesn’t, though, do the Giants put out? Andres Torres, Javier Lopez, and Jose Mijares might also be tipping their caps to SF when the last game ends.

The Future is, and has been, now

Since the Giants have had a stable of young arms (plus Zito), people wondered what would happen if a team drew San Francisco in a best-of-series. 2010 was pretty much what some thought could happen, even if it did with a group of misfits. 2012 was a different set of happenings because the Giants went from three guys they could rely on with Jonathan Sanchez either walking everyone or finding his release point in ’10 to now in three guys and omg what about Lincecum and Zito? Still though, if you have a good to great rotation, and a strong top three for the playoffs, life might not be so bad for you (part of the reason why teams like the Nationals and Tigers should scare you). After this year, the questions arise: Who will be that #4? #5? Who will pick up the offense for an aging Marco Scutaro? (I’m pretty certain he isn’t going to be hitting what he did from acquisition & playoffs throughout his contract time.) Can Gary Brown be an answer?

This doesn’t mean that this is the very last year the Giants will compete in forever, but I believe if Lincecum is let go (which could be the right move in the long-term), and another offensive piece is not found/brought on, 2014 will be a difficult year with some of the top prospects starting to knock on the door for 2015. Therefore, if any big injuries happen to the rotation, or to the offense in 2013, Giants fans could find themselves grumbling for a couple of years before they can realistically start dreaming of parades again. Hopefully, health will be on their side, and everyone’s side, for that matter.

The Best Individual Seasons of 2012: 41st through 60th

Idea: Rank the best individual seasons of the 2012 MLB regular season (Spring Training, Minor Leagues, and Postseason are not included), while considering offensive and defensive facets of the game.

Consider: Using the individual metrics to measure individual performance; full avoidance of projecting results for shortened seasons, and past years performance to justify or dictate standings.

This is not: “Most Valuable” anything. Rather, this is “best,” like Baseball America does, so there is no confusion as to what I am ranking. It is also not a “this is a ranking of who I want in 2013, or wanted in any other year.”

This is: My opinion, and will be disagreed with by many.

Intro

81-100

61-80

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60. Matt Cain (219.1 IP, 7.92 K/9, 3.60 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – In the battle of Cain v. Kuroda, if you really value WAR, you’ll take Kuroda, but the FIP and tERA speak to me more, as does Cain doing the work in one less start than Kuroda.

59. Elvis Andrus (31 2B, 21 SB, .322 wOBA, 4.2 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – Imagine if this kid can get the bat going more, and he will be a talent that not just demands, but deserves the 9-figure deal.

58. Jose Reyes (37 2B, 40 SB, .335 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 2.8 rWAR) – I almost had a pretty neat string of 2013 Toronto Blue Jays going, but I think Jose will have a great time frolicking with an organization that isn’t made of pure Snakeinthegrass.

57. James Shields (227.2 IP, 8.82 K/9, 3.52 tERA, 4.3 fWAR, 2.2 rWAR) – Though he may be one of the better pitchers in the game, I think it is reasonable to worry about whether he will be what the Royals traded him for (their ace).

56. Alex Rios (25 HR, 23 SB, .361 wOBA, 4.3 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Now this is more along the lines of the Alex Rios people thought Toronto would trade away back in the “Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum” days.

55. Josh Hamilton (43 HR, 31 2B, .387 wOBA, 4.4 fWAR, 3.4 rWAR) – Forever will be remembered by me as “the guy that didn’t hit enough HR” in 2012, or for his 2011 Game 6 HR that really should have given Texas a Title.

54. Melky Cabrera (25 2B, 10 3B, .387 wOBA, 4.6 fWAR, 4.7 rWAR) – Like Chooch, not sure how much the PED helped Melky, but Toronto is certainly willing to find out.

53. Edwin Encarnacion (42 HR, 13 SB, .396 wOBA, 4.4 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – Maybe everybody’s hitters should take some time in Toronto over the off-season to get coached to find a new timing mechanism to get them the power. We’ll get to see if this was a fluke year, or if him and Joey Bats are just getting started.

52. Dustin Pedroia (39 2B, 20 SB, .344 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 4.4 rWAR) – His glove is what gets him here, along with his low K numbers, power, and speed at a position not known for such attributes.

51. Ryan Zimmerman (25 HR, 36 2B, .352 wOBA, 4.5 fWAR, 3.8 rWAR) – Like Peavy, it was good to see Zimm healthy for most of the season, and reminded the people that he can be an integral part of a championship-level team.

50. Jake Peavy (219.0 IP, 7.97 K/9, 3.99 tERA, 4.4 fWAR, 5.0 rWAR) – Maybe he’s returning to his San Diego performance days, and I know the White Sox are certainly hoping so as well.

49. Adam Wainwright (198.2 IP, 8.34 K/9, 3.72 tERA, 4.4 fWAR, 5.9 rWAR) – Had he a better defense, and better run support, he probably would have been a bigger competitor in any award he was eligible for. Nearly a 0.80 difference between his ERA and FIP.

48. Adam Jones (32 HR, 16 SB, .361 wOBA, 4.6 fWAR, 3.4 rWAR) – Speaking of walks, Adam Jones does not, but he provides the boom as a replacement. May be a problem as he gets older, but he just completed his age 26 season.

47. Wade Miley (194.2 IP, 6.66 K/9, 4.11 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Just a rookie, Miley did a great job keeping the walks down, as it’s hard to find many of the top starters on this list that had lower than a 2.00 BB/9.

46. Angel Pagan (15 3B, 29 SB, .334 wOBA, 4.8 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – Giants fans are just glad he got out of his slump in the leadoff spot well in time for the later months and postseason run.

45. CC Sabathia (200.0 IP, 8.87 K/9, 3.87 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 3.3 rWAR) – And all that was done in 28 starts, too, which is the same amount of starts Strasburg had.

44. Johnny Cueto (217.0 IP, 7.05 K/9, 3.91 tERA, 4.8 fWAR, 5.8 rWAR) – Had Cueto kept up his first half dominance, he probably would have run away with the Cy Young Award.

43. Josh Reddick (32 HR, 11 SB, .326 wOBA, 4.8 fWAR, 4.5 rWAR) – Shocked that he was healthy a whole year, Reddick proved to be a fantastic surprise of healthiness for the surprise AL West Champs.

42. Max Scherzer (187.2 IP, 11.08 K/9, 3.71 tERA, 4.6 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – I was debating how he and Cueto should match up, and a lot of people might sight his ERA, but I’m not sure why the awful defense behind him should give the edge to the NLDS Game 1 SP from Cincy.

41. Cole Hamels (215.1 IP, 9.03 K/9, 2.75 tERA, 4.5 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Every time I see “Cole Hamels” all I think is “Coal Hammels,” and I have even once typed in “Hammels” on accident.

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