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The good folks in Vegas have come out with the Win total Over/Unders for 2009.

I can normally see a few really obvious bets every year when the season lines comes out.  I had a little bit on the Rays Over last year and they passed their projected total with weeks to spare.  However, nothing is really jumping out at me this year.  I am leaning towards the Overs on Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Philadelphia and the Under on the Yankees - I always seem to find the Yankee line inflated.

Who do you like ?

* Over/Under totals are from the Canadian site

Season Win Total Over/Unders | 71 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#197129) #
Orioles and Athletics over, Yankees and Nationals under.  The Yankees are the only ones who are off more than 5, in my view.
Anders - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#197131) #
Might take the under on the Yankees, definitely the Marlins, the Astros Giants and the Pirates, I think you would have to seriously consider taking the under on the Jays... As for overs, I like Cleveland to have a big year, and the Mets to clear the bar... don't know if the odds change with Manny back but you have to take the over on the Dodgers.

Just for fun I added up the projected win totals, which averaged out to 81.3... I would have thought it would be a little higher, as everyone thinks there own team is going to do better than it is, which presumably could be advantageous to oddsmakers.

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#197133) #
I presume that the Yankee number pre-dated A-Rod's injury and now surgery. 

I'd take the under if the Yankee number was 92. 

John Northey - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#197134) #
My bets would be on Anaheim, NYY and Tampa for under.  Give it another two weeks and I might shift the Jays one way or the other depending on Mills/Cecil as those two, if for real, change everything here and if not could change it the other way.

Anaheim was very, very lucky by any statistical measure last year and are due for a fall, the Yankees are overrated, and Tampa is due for the plexiglass principle (big leap one year, big drop the next) plus they had a fair amount of good fortune which probably won't repeat. 

So now watch the Yanks win 100, Tampa 95, and Anaheim 95 just to make me look foolish :P
rpriske - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#197135) #
Jordan Bastien just reported on Twitter that Brian Wolfe left the game today after feeling a pop in his shoulder and is now seeking medical attention.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#197137) #

Under: Yankees (but not by THAT much, Mike), A's (who are going to suck)
Over: Rangers, Tigers, Giants (the oddsmakers just hate the G-men, huh?)

The typically inflated New York bump really helps the Yankee number, but the Mets are right about where they should be. If I had to pick one or the other, I'd go "under" for them, too, though.

brent - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#197138) #

Yankees under

CWS over

Det over

Minn over

Flor over

Hou over

St.L over

Arizona under

I think it is hard to pick which of the bottom teams are really going to take and win 60 games. I think it might be San Diego this time.

Jdog - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#197139) #
Dodgers and Rangers are both going to be over.
TamRa - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#197140) #
Baltimore - a tough one but I'l take the over...slightly
Boston - over
NYY - under
TB - that's right on where I have them...over by a hair's bredth
Toronto - over. EASY.
CWS - over
Cleveland - over
Detroit - over
KC - over
Minn - under, slightly...just a hunch
AA - over, slightly
Oakland - over
Seattle  - under
Texas - over

Atlanta - over
Florida - under, very slightly
NYM - under
Phil - over
Wash - under
Cubs - over
Cinn - under
Houston - slightly over
Milw - over
Pitt - under
St. Louis - over
Arizona - under
Colorado - under
LAD - over
SFG - under
SD - under

Alex Obal - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#197141) #
Yankees under. Cleveland under. White Sox over. A's over. A's are a tricky case - if they get off to a bad start they'll be very unlikely to finish over. I'm happy to bet against it.
Geoff - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#197146) #
If I may interject the Vegas-speak to ask, are there going to be team previews this year?
scottt - Tuesday, March 10 2009 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#197149) #
Yankees under, White Sox over, Phillies over, Mets over.
brent - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 03:57 AM EDT (#197152) #
Willrain, the Jays over is easy as long as Doc is healthy. Otherwise, it could be perhaps a 5 win shift (counting extra ripple effect on the bullpen and having to use a replacement starter).
Glevin - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#197155) #
The Dodger's look pre-Manny so they are the biggest over. I think the Twins could easily win the Central, so they are about five or six wins off. I think New York, Boston, and Tampa should all be around 92. Washington looks like the worst team in baseball again and I think over 70 wins will be very lucky in a tough division.
Pistol - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#197163) #
I looked at the O/U against PECOTA and there were very few significant differences like there normally is.

A's and Pirates over.  Jays and Astros under.
youngid - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#197164) #
Over on the dodgers and mariners, under on the yankees, angels and dbacks.

LAD should be significantly better than a .500 team, they're solid across the board.  The mariners have improved defense, and with bedard coming back I think they'll get at least 75 wins. 

97.5 wins is a really high number, even if the yankees have a good season.  The angels are looking older and weaker, and e. santana is having elbow problems.  The diamondbacks just aren't very good.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#197165) #
This is can be a disaster.  Brian did well for us since he came over in the Koskie trade.  He did everything he was asked to do.  An additional asset was the ability to sent him done (had options) when the Jays got stuck with too many people without options.  This may also limit Toronto's options for moves this spring.
TamRa - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#197166) #
Willrain, the Jays over is easy as long as Doc is healthy. Otherwise, it could be perhaps a 5 win shift (counting extra ripple effect on the bullpen and having to use a replacement starter).

Yeah, well of course. I always assume health except in known issues like McGowan.

When I state win totals I tend to think of them as a +/-3 range because of the normal variance from "should win" pythag and what they actually do.

So with that in mind, I make them as a roughly 86 win team (I know that's the same as last year but they underachived their pythag last hear so i'm suggesting the will be somewhat worse but not be as unlucky)

My heart says that if everything goes right they could creep into the 90's but i dispair that there will ever be a year when everything goes right.

IMO, .500 or less would be the result of yet another snakebit year.

parrot11 - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#197167) #
BAL - Over
TOR - Under
NYY - Under
TB - Over
BOS- Push

Chuck - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#197168) #

This is can be a disaster. 

With all due respect, disaster is probably a wee bit of an overstatement. While Wolfe has pitched well in his limited, low-leverage innings the past two seasons, he could rank as low as 10th on the bullpen depth chart. LHR: Ryan, Carlson, Downs, Tallet. RHR: League, Frasor, Accardo, Janssen, Camp.


Mick Doherty - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#197169) #

If I may interject the Vegas-speak to ask, are there going to be team previews this year?

We are discussing that currently. I think the short answer is yes, but not precisely as they've been done in past years. More information forthcoming, presumably.

Was that vague enough? I *love* PR!

brent - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#197170) #
Glevin - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#197171) #
"Does anyone know what kind of pitch Richmond is throwing in the picture?"

Looks like a circle change. Certainly a change-up of some sort.
Greg - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#197172) #
Kind of looks like the ol' 3-finger change
SheldonL - Wednesday, March 11 2009 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#197173) #
A while back we had a discussion of the top 25 pitchers in baseball and this is what I wrote

"My top 25 in no particular order:
Johan Santana
Roy Oswalt

The guys below have to scrap it out to deserve the final 3 spots

Felix Hernandez
Chris Young
Guthrie "

Well, check out Andy Behrens top pitchers

Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 04:59 AM EDT (#197176) #
Why is Roy Halladay so undervalued by the 'poolies'?  His stats are always respectable, occassionally flashy, very comparable.
Glevin - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#197178) #
"Why is Roy Halladay so undervalued by the 'poolies'?  His stats are always respectable, occassionally flashy, very comparable."

He's not. He's ranked generally as a top-5 SP in mixed league drafts and top 2 in AL-only, which considering his division and team is very high.
Pistol - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#197181) #
BP's top 11 Jays prospects.  Collins had a surprising profile to me, and I was a little surprised to see Ahrens not make the top 11.
Flex - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#197182) #
I was even more surprised by the stats of Brad Mills — at least the ones BP linked to. Seems he was born in 1957 and his best year was in 1980.

Talk about a system having no young prospects!
Ron - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#197183) #
KG previously said when he talks to scouts, the general consensus is that they can't believe Ahrens was a first round pick. BP 2009 didn't even bother to give him a full profile in the book. I've never seen Ahrens play, but his numbers have been very underwhelming. Hopefully he turns it around this season.
Ryan Day - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#197184) #
That seems a bit revisionist. BA projected him to go 15th - before the Jays took him - and at the end of 2008 they rated him the third best prospect - ahead of Arencibia and Jackson.
92-93 - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#197185) #
BP also has an interview with Brett Cecil up. Here's the link, and the quote I found most interesting.

"DL: Looking at your mental makeup, repertoire, and stuff, do you feel you're better suited to be a starter or a closer?

BC: It really depends. I love closing; I love the intensity of it. I think I have more of the makeup to be a closer, but as of right now I think I'm better suited, and can help the team better, as a starting pitcher. That's just because I can use all of my pitches; I think I'm pretty good at setting people up and working the counts—stuff like that."

It almost sounds like to me that he sees himself as a closer but gave the politically correct answer to keep everyone happy.
92-93 - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#197186) #
Okay, I clearly have no idea how to post a link. That's the proper address, just the link doesn't work. Sorry.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#197187) #
Here you go. Somehow, you added a */ to the link code at the end of the URL (the code behind the text that shows in the browser). This one should work.
Flex - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#197188) #
Not your fault, 92-93. It's a browser compatibility issue. Didn't work for me with Firefox either.

Trying Safari:

No, I don't think that works either.
Flex - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#197189) #
Mick, what browser did you use, and are you on Windows or Mac?
Geoff - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#197190) #
Yahoo! rated Halladay's 2008 stats as the best performance in the majors by a pitcher, and 4th most valuable overall based on their 5x5 calculations.

(behind Pujols, Wright and ManRam, respectively)

Halladay was every bit as deserving of the '08 Cy as Lee -- and by every bit, I mean probably more.

Geoff - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#197191) #
The link tool is definitely broken for Firefox users, and I thought other browsers too. Has been for going on a year now.

I thought it was common knowledge around da Box here, but methinks Mick is being intentionally vague about the problem now that he's a PR man.

So yes, the linking tool in the editor is broken, or just intentionally esoteric. The only way I make links is to edit the HTML in plain text and switch back to HTML mode before submitting.

Geoff - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#197192) #
So I might as well add the BP link for you. BTW, linkification is an excellent add-on for Firefox that will read text of every web page and make text that reads out as into a clickable link.

Only thing is you will want to set its options to ignore Google pages and perhaps your webmail if you use any. Been using this linkification add-on for a few years and its great, particularly to easily go to a link posted by people who don't know how to make an address a direct link.

Mick Doherty - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#197193) #

Actually, I was being unintentionally vague, which is more my life than my profession.

I am a Firefox guy, but here at work we are mandated to use MSIE, so I guess that was the issue.

soupman - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#197194) #
I'm surprised no one is that high on Texas this year - especially given the division they're in. I think they're a lock for 80 barring obscene injury problems. Sure their ptiching still reeks, but that offense has the potential for pure dominance.
Jdog - Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#197195) #
I think JP needs to get on the phone and work out a deal for Kyle Blanks. What do you think the asking price is? I know SD wants pitching. I would do a Ricky Romero + Adam Lind for Kyle Blanks.
Glevin - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 03:11 AM EDT (#197196) #
"I think they're a lock for 80 barring obscene injury problems. Sure their ptiching still reeks, but that offense has the potential for pure dominance."

I don't think their offense is that good. It's good for sure (largely helped by the park) but Young, Blalock, Crux, Andrus, and Byrd are all below average for their positions and their pitching is not just bad, it' atrocious with very little upside. That said, if they can swing Salty for a young pitcher and have some of their great prospects develop, they could be a force in a few years.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#197197) #
I would leap on the over for the Dodgers but I suspect that's a pre-Manny line that's no longer there.

So being conservative, I'll keep it to what I think are the three best bets - the over on the Orioles and the Rangers and the under on the Blue Jays. I find it easier to choose teams lower in standings as there aren't as many wins to play with.
John Northey - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#197198) #
An interesting interview with Brett Cecil at Baseball Prospectus. Rob Ray taught him a pitch last year, which is kind of interesting eh?
zeppelinkm - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#197199) #

I'm surprised so many people are picking the Jays for under, and calling it a good bet at that. The bar wasn't exactly set high for them.

They still have Roy Halladay. He of a career 131 - 66. He went 19-7 one year when the Jays went 78-84. That was a bad ball club. This years pitching staff is definitely better than that year's club - the guys who started for the Jays that year aside from Doc, and their ERA+ that year?

Loaiza (25 starts, 81 ERA+), Walker (20 starts, 107 ERA+), Miller (18 starts, 84 ERA+), Parris, Carpenter, Prokopec, and Lyon started a combined 49 games and their ERA+ ranged from 68 - 88. Pretty brutal group. The bullpen was not good. Certainly not incredibly awesome, like this years club is.

Their offence had Delgado (had a terrific year), Hinske (had a good year). Shannon Stewart and Woodward were the next two best starters on offence. (Josh Phelps did play well in 74 games).

So what am I saying is? It is hard to go under .500 when you have Doc Halladay making 30+ starts in a season. Infact, that is the only season in his career the team finished below .500 and he started more than 30 games. They went 80-82 in 2005 when he made 19 starts. Pretty sure another 10 starts and that team would have comfortable finished at something like 85-77.

This year we have an excellent defensive ballclub. We have Hill returning to 2B, which on a whole, will upgrade the infield D. Our OF defence will remain largely unchanged. We have an outstanding bullpen.  Our offence will be better than last year through addition by subtraction (no Stewart, Wilkerson, Mench, replace them with Lind/Snider). I think it's a safe bet Rios will be better than last year, although admittedly, we have some pretty significant question marks in Overbay, Rolen, and I would say even Wells, given his bipolar hitting track record. 

If you think the team can go 22 - 11 in 33 Doc starts (which is clearly the basis for my argument), they would have to go 59 - 70 in their remaining other games. I think this team is better then that.

John Northey - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#197200) #
This team easily could surprise in either direction in 2009.

Only 2 guys cracked a 110 OPS+ last year over 100+ AB's - Wells at 121 and Rios at 111. Snider was at 112 over his 73 AB's. We had tons of AB's eaten in LF by Stewart (69), Wilkerson (68) and Mench (81) who are all long gone. DH was a nightmare with Stairs (96) and Thomas (71) - both also gone.

We'll have Hill (83 OPS+ in 2008, 96 lifetime) for most of the year (hopefully) taking playing time from Inglett (103) who will be taking up mainly Eckstein AB's (260 AB, 91 OPS) while Scutaro (87) takes the SS position (assume Eck's AB's are utility ones that Inglett now owns, while Scutaro was an everyday player last year and this). Bautista's 89 OPS+ (lifetime) will be our main bench/RH platoon guy mixed with Inglett. Rolen and Overbay both hit for a 107 last year but hopefully will be closer to their lifetime figures of 125 and 110 respectively (OK, Overbay was there for all intents and purposes).

Lind and his 99 OPS+ should improve and his 326 AB's should increase (taking from the SMW crew) while Snider should outhit Stairs/Thomas at DH with ease. Zaun's 87 OPS+ will be missed, getting Barrett's 58 (89 lifetime) instead [hopefully JPA or Jeroloman will be ready soon]. Rios/Wells should be able to average a 120 OPS+ between them one hopes.

Thus the offense should outperform last years with ease, perhaps by a fair amount.

Pitching? The pen almost has to drop one would think, with 9 guys who were used the most having ERA+'s over 100 last year, however BJ Ryan should be fully recovered now, while the competition should push them all quite a bit.

Starting is the big, big variable in the end. Halladay is Halladay. Litsch should drop a bit (one would think, although I didn't think he'd do as well last year as he did either). The big questions are the kids - Purcey, Cecil, and Mills mainly - and the sub's for the rotation (Richmond, Clement, whoever else) plus McGowan. If they can average a 105 ERA+ they will match the non-Halladay/Litsch guys from last year. Better than that and we're laughing, worse and we are crying.
uglyone - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#197201) #

It's pretty easy to be very positive about this team, just like it's pretty easy to be very negative.

Why am I choosing the positive side (other than the fact that I'm a deranged homer)?


That's right - i'll gladly make the sacreligious claim that MANAGERS ARE IMPORTANT IN BASEBALL.

The vast turnaround in the team once Cito got here last year was no fluke, IMO - especially the impact he had on key guys like Rios and Wells.

The way I see it, this team was vastly underrated last year. They were 4th in all of baseball in run differential, playing in the toughest division in baseball.

That means something.

Our pitching wasn't just good last year - it was crazy awesome spectacular, and far, far better than anyone else's pitching. Our pitching can take quite a hit from last year and STILL be a well above average pitching staff.

Meanwhile, our offense wasn't awful last year - it was merely average. And once Cito came in, and Lind and Snider were added to the lineup fulltime....our offense was just plain GOOD.

Meanwhile, we have some very, very talented kids coming up right in the roles that we are most lacking - we've got Cecil and Mills, two ace minor leaguers last year with great stuff and makeup, to slot into the gaping holes in the rotation. We've also got one of the best slugging prospects in baseball to step into the big slugging hole in the middle of the lineup. Is it a coincidence that our best and most MLB-ready prospects happen to fill our greatest needs at the moment?....or is it a sign that our luck is finally turning?

(The answer is obviously the latter, of course).

I don't think there's much of a stretch at all to predict that both the pitching and the offense could both be well above average this year.

And who knows? maybe we not only stop failing our friend Pythagoras, but maybe finally we just get outright lucky and do better than even Mr.Pythagoras would guess.


No more underachiving players, giving us a lineup riddled with career worst seasons every year.

No more underachieving team, significantly underperforming their Pythag every year.


Cito Gaston, baby.




Mike Green - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#197202) #
If you take an average of the CHONE and ZIPS projections for the 12 Jay pitchers who are likely to pitch and for whom the projections are within some reasonable range (Halladay, Litsch, Purcey, McGowan, Janssen, Frasor, Ryan, Downs, League, Carlson, Tallet and Camp), you get 1147 IP and 534 runs.  For the remaining 300 innings, a reasonable projection is between 160 and 180 runs.  If you mark the club down for 700 runs allowed in 2009, you are likely to be close. 
John Northey - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#197203) #
An interesting estimate Mike.  So for the backup pitchers you expect an ERA of 4.80 to 5.40, vs the regulars at 4.19.  Last year the team ERA was 3.77, 610 runs allowed.   That is an extra 90 runs allowed, or roughly 9 fewer wins via pitching/defense.  Subtract 9 from the win total runs for/against suggested for 2008 - 93-69 dropping to 84-78 - you still have a team over 500 even without any offensive improvement.  If you just take those 90 runs off the run differential you get a +14 for runs for/against which suggests 82 or 83 wins.  Again, assuming the offense is as offensive as last year.

Now, mix in what happens if one of the kids produces in the rotation.  Mix in what happens if the offense is just slightly improved.  Mix in a bit of good luck in wins vs runs for/against (gotta happen one of these years) and suddenly that 82-84 win team can shoot over 90 easily.  Of course, you can do the reverse and get a 70 win team but still, there is reason for optimism and also being hopeful is a lot more fun :)
Mike Green - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#197204) #
If you do the same thing for the offence, you end up with 653 runs created out of Rios, Wells, Snider, Lind, Rolen, Scutaro, Hill, Overbay, Barajas, Inglett, and Barrett with roughly 750 PAs unaccounted for.  That means a rough projection of 725 runs scored. 

If a gun was put to my head, I'd pick the Jays over.  The overrating of the Yankees leads to underrating of other teams in the division, with the Orioles off by 3-4 games and the Jays by 1-2.  The Rays are also probably underrated by 2. 

greenfrog - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#197205) #
I think 80.5 is about right for the Jays. I could see them ekeing out a few more wins if the team stays more or less healthy. The plus defense could allow some of the young pitchers with good control (Litsch, Mills, Cecil, Richmond) to do reasonably well. Realistically, though, injuries will happen. And the usual problem of depth is likely to hit the Jays again this year.

One player I really hope kicks it into gear is Lyle Overbay. He's looked pretty sorry at the plate ever since that hand injury. I really hope he did some serious hand rehab over the off-season. Maybe it's because he's so laid back, but sometime he just seems lackadaisical. I realize that's just a surface impression, and possibly unfair. More likely he's just moving past his prime, and has lost a bit of bat control as a result of the injury.
zeppelinkm - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#197207) #

The team needs to do a better job of aligning players with their strengths. Overbay should definitely be starting every game against RHP, while Bautista, if they can make his D passable at first, should be starting the bulk of the games against LHP. The offence will be better as a result, and the defence worse but it is a trade-off I'll gladly take.

Further to that note, Wells should be moved out of CF to allow the superior defender who plays next to him to take over in CF. Just sticking to these two things would improve the Jays a bit without changing anything about the team, just the way they're deployed. I know I'm beating a dead horse on this issue around these parts, but it is so maddeningly frustrating to see relatively easy ways to improve the team and not know if they'll be followed.

Unfortunately, politics play too much of a role to allow the best course of action to always be taken.


Chuck - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#197208) #

Unfortunately, politics play too much of a role to allow the best course of action to always be taken.

With respect to position changes, that is a problem as old as the game. Unless players come forth and suggest a position change (isn't this what Robin Yount did?), it is awfully difficult to move an entrenched player from a position at which he was once a top notch defender or, in the case of Jeter, perceived as such. Would that it weren't so, but those are shark infested ego-filled waters for management to navigate (to mix a metaphor or three). I think Wells will only be moved out of center field long past the point he should have been.

Magpie - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#197209) #
(isn't this what Robin Yount did?)

I think Yount was moved to the outfield because he started having problems with his shoulder. By September 1984, he was DHing every day and by 1985 he was an outfielder.

Yount's longtime teammate Paul Molitor was always willing to change positions for the good of the team, but he's probably Exhibit A for why no one wants to leave their comfort zones. Molitor, of course, kept getting injured while he was doing this. It's a strange and twisted saga. He came up in 1978 as the everyday shortstop (Yount was holding out and contemplating a career playing golf) and moved over to 2b when Yount came back in May. Molitor got hurt playing 2b in 1980 and Jim Gantner stepped in and seized the job. So Molitor was moved to CF for 1981. Gorman Thomas had a bit of a sulk over the whole business, but Molitor soon got hurt out there, and when he came back he played some CF, some DH before getting a very brief look in RF at the end of the season. By 1982 he was a third baseman. Which is where he put together the only two years of his career where he played 140 games at one defensive position (before getting hurt again and missing almost the entire 1984 season.)

Before they were done with him, the Brewers moved him back to 2b (yes, they really did, in 1990) and then over to 1b. Finally he came to Toronto where Cito Gaston put an end to all that nonsense.
Chuck - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#197210) #
Re Yount, thanks Magpie. The old memory, she ain't what she used to be.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 13 2009 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#197212) #
It is hard to go under .500 when you have Doc Halladay making 30+ starts in a season. Does that apply to San Diego and Jake Peavy? They're listed at 71.5, and the only mention I noticed was in Willrain's post, and he took the under. I think if having one all-star pitcher guaranteed you 81 wins, we would not have heard about Steve Carlton's 1972 season as often as we have. As much as I love the Doc, I think the under on the Jays is one of the safest bets on that board.
scottt - Saturday, March 14 2009 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#197214) #
It's going to be interesting to see how the rotation works out. Purcey, Clement, Janssen and Cecil are looking good so far.

There's a few things that would make the team uncompetitive: starting Snider in AAA, giving McDonald at-bats, sending Cecil down, starting less than 8 right handed bats against lefties. Otherwise, this team can play solid ball, especially under Cito.

Speaking of Cecil, he was upset for walking 4 batters todays even though he only gave up one 1 hit and no runs. Accardo needs more time, but that's ok, he's not even in the setup mix right now.

92-93 - Saturday, March 14 2009 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#197220) #
"starting less than 8 right handed bats against lefties."

This of course is going to happen, and often. Even if Bautista sends Overbay to the bench, there's still Snider and Lind.

"Accardo needs more time, but that's ok, he's not even in the setup mix right now"

Didn't Cito, for some strange reason, say that Accardo was the only righty with a job?
ramone - Saturday, March 14 2009 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#197221) #

Cito has been all over the map with what he's said this spring, Bastian said Cito has now said Accardo has to make the team and that League and Frasor are now in the lead for the righties in the pen.


92-93 - Saturday, March 14 2009 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#197222) #
Brian Jeroloman, he of the "major league ready defensively" tag, has already allowed 2 passed balls in his first frame behind the dish this afternoon.
scottt - Saturday, March 14 2009 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#197223) #
Someone quoted Cito saying that Accardo was going to be stretched and tried in the rotation.

Maybe Cito is just playing around with some reporters.

ramone - Sunday, March 15 2009 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#197233) #

Well the rotation race has been narrowed down some what, on Jordan Bastian's twitter page this morning he said that Cecil was retuned to the minors camp and it's up to Maroth to either head to the minors camp or take and unconditional release.


ramone - Sunday, March 15 2009 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#197234) #

Don't mind my spelling mistakes above, sorry about the double post but Bastian's written in his blog regarding Cecil and Maroth if you'd rather read that than the two lines on his twitter page:

Bastian's Blog

China fan - Sunday, March 15 2009 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#197236) #

Bastian also hints, in an article yesterday, that Matt Clement might open the season in the minors because he needs more time to build strength after his injuries.  So that would leave three candidates for two open slots:  Janssen, Richmond and Mills.   In today's game against the Reds, meanwhile, Mills has (so far) pitched three shutout innings, to reduce his spring ERA to 2.08.   Sounds like he has a genuine chance to make the team. Rather remarkable for a kid who spent most of last season (81 innings) at Lansing.

ramone - Sunday, March 15 2009 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#197237) #
Mind you his 5 walks in 4 innings today, including one with the bases loaded, may have hurt his chances of taking that 5th starter spot.
scottt - Sunday, March 15 2009 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#197239) #
Inglett started at short today. Lane was DH and hit his 4th homerun.  Mills gave up 2 run in 4 innings, but walked 5 and struck out 2.

chips - Sunday, March 15 2009 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#197241) #
I was at today's game. Mills lost focus in the fourth, but looked good the first three innings. Brandon League looked very good as did Jose Bautista. His bat was quicker from his WBC experience. All his at bats were quality. Unfortunately, Michael Barrett had three very poor at bats and had a high throw to third base on a steal. He will need to do more to impress.
Mylegacy - Sunday, March 15 2009 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#197242) #

Personally, I'd be delighted to see Roy, Lirtch (not a spelling mistake), Purcey, Janssen and Mills start the season. Earlier I thought that Richmond and Clement would be in those two spots.

Quietly, day by day, at bat by at bat - Rolen is slowly beomming Rolen.

I predict Lind, Rolen, Hill and Snider will all be real improvements with Wells - who knows and Rios - ugh. Rios has been batting in the WBC like my great Aunt Maude - he looks hopeless.

Bautista and Lane DESERVE to make it. Inglett deserves to make it from what he did last year - and he's a left handed bat. Millar has been a bag of balls for sometime. Barrett looks like he's been watching Rios.

I get a kick out of the US announcers continually calling the Dutch, "The Kingdom of The Netherlands." Cool.

Anyone see the Dutch catcher throw a guy our at second from his knees? Kid's got some arm.

timpinder - Tuesday, March 17 2009 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#197270) #

Hardball Times has an good article up on Vernon Wells and whether or not he's worth his contract.  It doesn't look good:

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