1. Tampa Bay Rays (+1, 35-25, 1st in AL East)
This Week: vs. NY Mets (3), vs. Miami (3)
Not a bad ending to the week with a sweep of the Marlins in Miami to remind Florida who the best team in the Sunshine State really is. The Rays have been winning games mostly without any help from their offense throughout the year, but Ben Zobrist may be turning it around. Over the last week, he’s hit .304 with two home runs. Should the team get better play from their super utility man to partner with Matt Joyce and B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay becomes more about just pitching.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (+4, 39-22, 1st in NL West)
This Week: vs. LA Angels (3), vs. Chicago White Sox (3)
Outside of the six-pitcher no-hitter the Seattle Mariners somehow managed to twirl against the Dodgers this week, the team was bashing everything. They swept the Phillies for four, and won the final two in Seattle. And, all the while, they’ve done it without Matt Kemp (DL) and Andre Ethier (2 for his last 26). That’s fine, since apparently Jerry Hairston Jr. and Bobby Abreu are offensive studs recently. How long that lasts, well, nobody really knows.
3. Washington Nationals (+0, 35-23, 1st in NL East)
This Week: @ Toronto (3), vs. NY Yankees (3)
A three game sweep in Boston, even if the Red Sox aren’t at full strength, is still impressive. While Stephen Strasburg gets all the headlines nationally, its Gio Gonzalez that is leading the league’s most dominant starting rotation. His 8 wins are tied for 2nd in the National League, and he sports a 2.35 ERA with 89 strikeouts, second behind Strasburg’s 92. Long story short, those two at the top of the rotation will keep the Nationals in first place.
4. New York Yankees (+3, 34-25, 2nd in AL East)
This Week: @ Atlanta (3), @ Washington (3)
After a completely wasted start against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday’s performance against the Mets (6.1 innings, 6 Ks, 2 runs) marked two straight strong performances for Phil Hughes. If Hughes proves this recent string of success is more than just a flash in the pan, with the Yankees ability to hit long balls, they’ll be more than just another playoff team moving forward.
5. Atlanta Braves (+7, 34-26, 2nd in NL East)
This Week: vs. NY Yankees (3), vs. Baltimore (3)
There is no team in baseball this season that is more prone to extended hot or cold streaks than the Atlanta Braves, and I just don’t see that changing. After losing eight consecutive games two weeks ago, the Braves rattled off six straight last week before falling to the Blue Jays on Sunday. If there is any rain to pour on the Braves’ parade, Tim Hudson missed his scheduled start this weekend. The last thing this team needs is another injury to their de-facto ace, especially when Julio Teharan continues to prove he’s not ready for Major League action. Read more…
Well, that didn’t take very long.
After an offseason filled with praise for Cashman and Co. and the job they did to bring the much-maligned starting rotation up to the level of the offense, the wheels have come off big time over the first few weeks. The news came out this afternoon that Michael Pineda will miss the remainder of the year with a right shoulder anterior labral tear, and will go under the knife on May 1st. Two recent examples of pitchers that had serious shoulder surgery are Johan Santana and Chien-Ming Wang. Both needed over a year to come back, although Santana has looked better recently. The Yankees have hope that he might return to form next year, and with his youth he still has time to develop into the pitcher they thought they were getting when they traded Jesus Montero to the Mariners. But while there is still hope for the future, this is just the latest development in a rough start to the season for the starting rotation. Read more…
The New York Yankees announced midday Friday that the team had signed former ace Andy Pettitte to a one-year, $2.5 million minor league contract. The lefty from Baton Rouge, Louisiana begins his third stint with the Yankees organization early next week when he joins the team in Tampa, Florida.
When fellow WaiverWireBlog.com writer Vinny Ginardi first relayed this story to the staff, I was amazed. Happy, but amazed. How in the blue pinstriped hell was this Yankees team going to fit in another starting pitcher? They already have six hurlers in competition for five spots: CC Sabathia locked in at SP1, with Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia and Hiroki Kuroda looking to fill out the rotation. Even if this “new” hurler has won 240 regular season games and is the winningest pitcher in postseason history
Then, I noticed a tweet from @YESNetwork; Yankees GM Brian Cashman was about to partake in a booth interview during the third inning of the Yankees’ spring training game with the Washington Nationals, broadcast live on the YES Network.
With baseball season fast approaching, it is time for TheWaiverWire’s inaugural Baseball Preview package. We will look at every division in baseball, starting in the American League and moving from East to West by division. Also, we each team by who will finish last to first. So, the first team you read about from each division is in the basement, and the last is who we determine to win the division.
Division Winner: New York Yankees
Second Place: Tampa Bay Rays, WC Winner (read season preview here)
Third Place: Boston Red Sox (read season preview here)
Fourth Place: Toronto Blue Jays (read season preview here)
Fifth Place: Baltimore Orioles (read season preview here)
Yesterday, the New York Yankees traded top catching prospect Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for All-Star right hander Michael Pineda and pitching prospect Jose Campos.
When I first learned of the trade through WaiverWire writer Zak Lansing, my initial reaction was “You cannot be serious”. A solid 18 hours later and much more time to think about it, my initial reaction stands. In fact, I went as far to say on Facebook last night that if a Yankee fan didn’t love this trade, then they need to switch the fanhood to a different team. Read more…
Yankees star hefty lefty C.C. Sabathia announced in a video that he will stay with the New York Yankees instead of opting out of his contract to test the free agent market this off-season.
The deal is reportedly worth five-years at $122 million. Sabathia had four-years and $92 million left on his current contract, so Sabthia essentially re-upped for an additional year and $30 million.
Since joining the Yankees, Sabathia has been the straw that stirs the New York rotation. His 39 wins in three seasons easily lead the team. What’s more, Sabathia is the only reliable starting pitching option the Yankees have had going for them over the last couple of seasons. A.J. Burnett has been unable to live up to his monster contract, Phil Hughes suffered a huge setback in his sophomore campaign and time will tell how consistant Ivan Nova will prove to be. Other then that, the Yanks have paraded out the likes of Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Sergio Mitre, among others, to fill the holes at the end of their rotation. Read more…