Read + Write + Report
Home | Start a blog | About Orble | FAQ | Blogs | Writers | Paid | My Orble | Login

Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Steven Stamkos

The Diamondbacks brought in an assorted group of solid players that included JJ Putz, Armando Galarraga, and Zach Duke. However, they lost their second best player in Mark Reynolds in what was a terrible deal that was a steal for the Orioles. Adam LaRoche had a nice year in 2010, but he's gone as well. The D'Backs also lost injury prone ace Brandon Webb, who could turn out to be monstrous if he can get healthy again. The Diamondbacks got a little bit worse this offseason, thanks to the loss of Reynolds. That won't bode too well for a team that finished in last in the division last season. Expect another dismal year in Zona.

Reliever David Hernandez was the only useful player they got in the Mark Reynolds deal. Juan Gutierrez make up a boom or bust set-up man duo. Closer JJ Putz is another boom or bust player at closer. If he reverts to his old form, the D'Backs might actually have a solid bullpen. If Putz gets injured or does poorly, then this bullpen will be quite awful. If he only does okay, I would still consider the pen to be a liability.

It is pretty pathetic that Juan Miranda is the starting first baseman for this team. They will dearly miss the solid play of Adam LaRoche, but they should keep their fingers crossed in the hope that Miranda turns out to be as good as fellow heralded former Yankees' prospect Ian Kennedy was in his debut year on a new team. I don't think that happens. Kelly Johnson was great last year, and I think he and Stephen Drew make up a solid middle infield duo. Melvin Mora is a poor player at this stage in his career, so I don't have high hopes for them at the corner positions.

Going back to Miranda, I wouldn't be surprised to see Russell Branyan take over at first. The Diamondbacks signed him to a minor league deal. Branyan isn't anything good- he strikes out far too much- but he makes up for that with really good power. You won't get anything in the field or contact wise, but you will get some hefty power. Miguel Montero is a lock at catcher. He has some solid pop and isn't bad in any specific category. He is a solid player and hitter, and that's all you can ask for from a catcher.

Xavier Nady might be a useful contact hitter, but I really don't see anything else that this guy could hope to bring to the table. I think he's done. Gerardo Parra will overtake him in left field. Chris Young and Justin Upton are the D'Backs' two best players. They are the team's only hope. Both of them are extremely talent young outfielders that are great all-around players. Upton is disappointingly inconsistent- much like his brother- but I think Justin is better than BJ and should be able to break out of his shell. I love that outfield duo.

Joe Saunders and Ian Kennedy are two decent pitchers that should fill in their slots nicely. I love Daniel Hudson, and that Edwin Jackson trade was a real steal. Hudson is one of the best prospects in baseball, and they also got highly touted shortstop prospect Dave Holmberg. Hudson is the best pitcher on this staff. Barry Enright is solid. He doesn't do anything great, but he isn't terrible at any one category. He slots in nicely. Zach Duke has a chance to really impress with a change of scenery. Duke has always had the stuff, but he was always stuck on the Pirates. The D'Backs stink, but they are much better than the Pirates. Duke has the chance to be great, but it's only a chance and not a lock.

Armando Galarraga has name recognition for his near perfect game, but I think he is only an average pitcher. That being said, he isn't bad and he gives the D'Backs more depth. They also signed Micah Owings to a minor league deal. The Diamondbacks have no star power in their staff, but it is a deep one with solid talent. I think they do okay there, but they will still end up as the worst team in their division.
Looking to Break Out

2011 Season Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

February 17th 2011 15:47
The Tampa Bay Rays lost a lot of talent this offseason because the team needed to shave some payroll. They lost their best player, Carlos Pena, Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and five good relief pitchers. Their bullpen is completely different, and they lost key players and leaders. The fact that Crawford and Soriano- two of their best players- went to their division rivals in Boston and New York respectively only adds to the pain in Tampa. This team lost a ton of talent and the guys they added were Manny, Damon, Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth, Casey Kotchman, and Felipe Lopez. The losses far outweighed the arrivals.

I really don't like this team at all. I can't tell you where I think they will be until I do my full breakdowns and final predictions in March. What I can tell you is that you shouldn't be shocked to see this team fall off. They are lucky that the Blue Jays lost quite a bit of pitching talent, but I could still see them in a tough battle with those two teams. It will certainly be tougher than what they have been used to in the past three seasons.

I hate their bullpen. It is awful. When Kyle Farnsworth is your closer, then you have some serious issues. This is arguably the worst bullpen in major league baseball. They don't even have an established closer. Andy Sonnastine and Joel Peralta are solid, but I don't see anybody that can at least qualify as average beyond those three guys. The Rays have nowhere near the solid bullpen they used to have. This is a pathetic pen. Sonnastine may or may not be in the pen. We'll see what happens there.

Their one savior is their pitching staff. David Price has blossomed into one of the best pitchers in baseball, and James Shields doesn't get enough credit for what he does anymore. He is the team's new leader, he pitches deep into games, and he will definitely bounce back from last year. Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are solid young pitchers, and I love the upside of prospect Jeremy Hellickson. That guy is amazing. I can't wait to see him in action.

I hate the Rays' infield. It isn't quite as bad as their bullpen, but it is terrible. Reid Brignac, Dan Johnson, and John Jaso are poor players. Sean Rodriguez is alright, and the one thing that saves them is that they have Evan Longoria. He is now the best third baseman in baseball, but his numbers will go down this year with less talent in the lineup. He'll still be great though from a non-statistical look. Longoria is a stud.

The outfield is the strength of the team. BJ Upton is a disappointment year in and year out, so I hope people stop expecting so much on him. Upton isn't a great player, but that doesn't mean he is a solid one that is capable of playing at a high level during certain points in the season. He gets a lot of pressure placed in his direction, and the loss of Crawford definitely won't help him. I like prospect Desmond Jennings, and I expect him to replace Johnny Damon. Damon has no arm strength, no power, and his speed is going away. He's just an older player with a name.

Ben Zobrist is a star, and his importance to the team just increased by some really big number that is tough to express. Zobrist is a do-everything player. Manny Ramirez is a poor player. He can't hit for contact anymore, and he is going to line up as the DH. I don't have high hopes for him at all, but he will make some home runs from time to time. He could get to 20 dingers, but that will be meaningless when you look at some of the other things he will do.

I love Joe Maddon, but there's really nothing he can do to avoid a bad season in Tampa. At best he can slot them in at third, but this team is in shambles and extremely weak in the pen. I think they slip no further than fourth in this division, but they won't be too far off from third.
I'd Much Rather Have Brad Hawpe


Joe Soriano's Blogs

153 Vote(s)
7 Comment(s)
4 Post(s)
26731 Vote(s)
81 Comment(s)
294 Post(s)
78 Vote(s)
0 Comment(s)
3 Post(s)
Moderated by Joe Soriano
Copyright © 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 On Topic Media PTY LTD. All Rights Reserved. Design by
On Topic Media ZPages: Sydney |  Melbourne |  Brisbane |  London |  Birmingham |  Leeds     [ Advertise ] [ Contact Us ] [ Privacy Policy ]