Yankees Notes

First, I like the consistency of the lineup the first 4 games. It needed to change, but that consistency is positive, and definitely has an effect (mentally).

However, it was an average lineup at best. I like Girardi, just saying I put together a better lineup…which would currently be.

Ellsbury CF
Castro 2B
Holliday DH
Carter 1B
Judge RF
Headley 3B
Gardner LF
Romine C
Torreyes SS

- Ellsbury should undoubtedly be the leadoff batter. Career wise, he has a higher average and more stolen bases. That’s not why though…it’s because he fits the role perfectly, by look, experience, intimidation factor. As a starting pitcher, I wouldn’t feel like an immediate challenge was presented with Gardner, I would with Ellsbury. If it were a video game, the pitcher would get a +5 boost in confidence to start the game. Eliminate that with the speedy, talented veteran Ellsbury leading off. I’m sure Gardner is talented, but the word that describes him to me, from an opposing pitcher standpoint, would be grunt. Ellsbury’s descriptor would be clean-cut talent. Just saying, there’s two ways to start the game off for the opposing pitcher.

- Castro 2nd because he’s currently hitting, and he hits an appropriate amount of homeruns for a 2 hitter. Also, just fits the role.

- Holliday, no explanation needed.

- Carter. The strikeouts make you cringe…until you see 41 HR’s. Due to that, and the lack of experience Judge currently has, Carter lands 5th.

- Judge 5th because he’s currently hitting, and he is a talent who needs to be accelerated experience wise. Plus, he’s better than the rest of the hitters im about to list.

- Headley. Almost went Gardner here, because I think Headley’s intimidation factor is 0. However, his power slots him here, that’s the main reason (it also just fits).

- Gardner. Because he’s better than the next two guys.

- Romine. Because he’s too slow to bat 9th (obviously). Worst hitter in the lineup, want to see this Higashioka guy play. Still, veteran catching outweighs a slightly better hitter if Higashioka is one. If it’s only 4 weeks for Sanchez, it won’t be too bad.

- Torreyes. It would be nice if there were a better option (don’t think Kozma is it). There was one or two infielders in spring training who looked like they should have stayed on, in my opinion, but didn’t. Unless one of them is beasting in the minors, Torreyes is currently the best option. It’s a team appeal thing.

As far as Hicks, primary utility.


Boston Red Sox Notes


Today’s lineup in the other game proves once again why Moreland should not bat in that slot in the lineup.

I like the idea behind todays lineup. DH Young and bat him third to see if he steps up to the challenge…good idea. Sucks he didn’t step up.

Today (march 23rd) is a perfect example of why that lineup works. 7 hits from the batter in front of Benintendi and the two behind him. The obvious change is switching Pablo and Moreland. I’m sure it’ll take time to realize you’re wrong like it always does, but this lineup will be better with Moreland out. If you insist on keeping him in, definitely switch him and Pablo, that should be jumping off the page when you look at todays box score. You would have scored even more with Pablo where Moreland is.

This is a winning lineup, performances speak through them.

Tell Jackie Bradley to relax a little bit when he’s hitting.

I see Moreland is #1 in the depth chart. I agree that he is a good player, and a good hitter. I just don’t think he fits into the lineup properly. With all of the other players in the lineup, .233 with 22 HR isn’t that big of a need. The .233 and his lack of speed is why I’m saying this. Try it, it could work, but if you aren’t winning I recommend going with Young. .276 with 9 HR AND speed would be more beneficial at the bottom of the lineup (where Moreland would be anyways), and the bottom of the lineup already has two lefties if you do it right (Bradley and Leon). Once again, not knocking Moreland at all, just not sure he’s the best fit in the lineup.

Why isn’t Castillo in there? I’d take him over Holt all day.

You notice how the two guys behind Benintendi had 5 hits when he’s batting 2nd. As well as Benintendi having a hit himself. (March 19th)

You notice how a lot of people got hits when Benintendi was batting second, including himself, right? Then you go and change it the next two games and everyone hits terribly. When will you stick with it?

UPDATE: The Lineup
I read the article on batting Benintendi 3rd, and here is my response in the form of the current ideal lineup.
Pedroia R <- If he struggles you move Bogaerts up, and switch their slots.
Benintendi L Might set the tone better and be a bigger fan draw batting leadoff.
Betts R <- You dont move him because he crushed it there last season, and you want him to keep that same confidence
Hanley R
Pablo L/R
Bogaerts R
Bradley L
Leon L/R
Castillo/Young/Hernandez DH

This solves the righty/lefty problem. I’m going to lose my shit if Betts doesn’t bat third.

The article seemed to leave out Pablo as an impact player, one year off doesn’t mean he isn’t Pablo…I could see him at 4th if Hanley struggles.

Most managers these days would move Bogaerts down to 8th or 9th if he’s not one or two. This concept is garbage. Speed at the bottom is trumped by high average needing to be in the core.

My current placement of Pablo is on a gut feeling that he’s going to do well. If not, his slot is easily (and some would argue more optimally) replaced with Bradley.

A quick note about Sandy Leon. If a guy is ever batting .380 like he was last year, you put him in the top 6 no matter what.

Now to the big question…DH
From the look of it, it appears Castillo is the front runner right now. Whoever it is has to have speed, at least slightly above average speed, since it appears they’re going to be batting 9th. Marco Hernandez appears to be an option. I know Chris Young, and my personal assessment is that he doesn’t make an impact unless he’s playing everyday. His ego is too big to be a bench player, no matter how much he tries to hide it. So putting him there, and letting him know it’s his spot (not just seeing how it works out), has a agood chance of paying off if he steps up to the role like he’s capable of doing. This would also take care of needing speed at DH with the above lineup. Moreland is too slow to DH in the current configuration, but there is an option to include him.

You could DH Pablo, put Hanley at 3rd and put Moreland at first. So you’re basically looking at either a power focused lineup (Moreland at 1st) or a speed balanced lineup (Castillo, Young, Hernandez) at DH. Castillo currently looks like the safest bet, Young has the possibility to pay off more if you play to his ego, and Hernandez would be the third option.

If you go the Moreland route, the lineup would be…
Pedroia R
Benintendi L
Betts R
Hanley R
Pablo L/R
Bogaerts R
Bradley L
Leon L/R
Moreland L

My first thought is that this is a less effective lineup. Leon then Moreland at 8 and 9 isn’t good. You don’t move Bogaerts down because his average is too good, nor do you move Bradley down. So basically I wouldn’t go with this one.

These lineups have been with the idea that Pedroia has to bat leadoff, which I don’t think is true. The only reason to put him there right now is because he’s a veteran who will make the pitcher go deep into a count to start the game off. That’s what I see as his perk at leadoff.

Here is the lineup I think is actually the best.

Your #1 infield utility guy is Hernandez. #2 is Rutledge.

Your #1 outfield utility guy is Young. #2 is probably Selsky. For some reason I’m not a big fan of Brock Holt, I think he played entirely too much last year.

(Note): I am not paid by the Red Sox, so if you like this analysis, feel free to get in touch.

p.s. And if they don’t pay me this year, I’m sure they’ll just shit the bed in playoffs like they did last year.
—————————Older Stuff————————————
I think the Red Sox have two issues. The first is replacing Papi, and the second is managerial.

For the last two months of the season, the Red Sox were on a roll, they had a double digit win streak. The key to this streak was their lineup, so why a manager suddenly decided to change it come postseason…blows my mind. No offense John Farrell, but that move made me think you aren’t right for the job.

I never thought much of Brock Holt, and still don’t, so batting him second for the postseason, and swtching up an unbeatable lineup (the one they streaked with) is kind of unforgivable in my mind. The point is, whoever made that call to change that perfect lineup needs to either be sat down and have a stern talk, or needs to be fired. It simply shows that whoever made that decision doesn’t know what they’re doing.

The next issue is replacing DH, and Yeonis Cespedes seems like a perfect candidate, if you have the money for him. If not, Encarnacion would do fine as well.

And yes, David Price could have pitched much better in the postseason. However, the series still could have been won if the right lineup was in place.

When looking at the importance of a lineup, it’s not so much as the strategic aspect that matters, such as righty lefty or certain players hitting better off certain pitchers…it’s about setting the mentality for the players on that day. So when the lineup in August created a 10+ game win streak…the players walk into the clubhouse knowing they can have confidence in that lineup, because they’ve won with it before. This is why the new playoff lineup, with a new #2 hitter, threw uncertainty into the mix among the players. They hadn’t won with that lineup before (Idk if they even played a game with that lineup before), so how can you have confidence in it walking into the game?

I was going to say it might be time to welcome Franconia back to Fenway, but he’s not an option right now. So if you want to win, maybe you should hire, idk, me. It is fair to say I knew the lineup better than both the coach and the GM. Farrell should be under more scrutiny out of those two positions but Dave…the Pomeranz deal made no sense to me, and you didn’t even make sure he was healthy. Plus, in my opinion, any GM for a team with as much rich history as the Red Sox should know that lefties (who arent Price) aren’t really the ideal fit for pitching half
of their games at Fenway. More excusable than Farrell’s lineup blunder, yet still inexcusable for Red Sox standards. Maybe you need a coach or GM who has multiple friends on the team…but where would you find that guy???

Additionally, and once again, ANYONE who questions the David Price deal or even spends an ounce of their time talking about the David Price deal is a moron. This deal WILL pay off, the real question is this…what did the Red Sox do to change his outlook during the post season, after spending $200+M KNOWING he struggled in the post season? Did you even address the issue and try to solve it? If not, why spend so much and not optimize your product? Once again, maybe you need the right person there…I could have sent a simple tweet to change his mindset before the game (but I didn’t because you don’t pay me). A tweet is ridiculous you say? Well it worked for Jake Arrieta (and that’s just because I wanted to see the Cubs win). He went from pitching like garbage in the NLCS, one motivational/shit-talk tweet later and he went 2-0 in the World Series, and was warming up like a damn bulldog in the last inning of Game 7. Check the timing of it, simple mental injections can and do make a big difference with top talent.

Very solid move getting Sale, he is exempt from the ‘Boston shouldn’t get average lefties’ rule.

Detroit Tigers Notes

Upton Jr. makes perfect sense and the Tigers would have my undivided attention this year if they do it.

He would be the best choice for leadoff, because Kinsler’s 28 HR are too much at leadoff. Obviously the best choice in center as well.

After watching today, you really HAVE to bat Upton 4th.

I did say Upton batting 4th, not Victor. Victor can bat 5th this year. If you don’t do this, you deserve all the losses you take.

I’ve only watched one game so far, and the first thing that jumped out to me was ‘Moya has to start’. He’s just too much of a physical specimen to have on the bench, and switching things around will take care of the problem in centerfield, because Collins should not play.

On second look, Jones stats in center are good enough to justify playing him there. Idk why he’s listed at 3B. Mahtook and Collins should not play center.

So you have two options for an outfield.
Upton LF
Jones CF
Martinez RF (If he’s hurt, Moya)

Or here’s an option I was thinking before seeing Jones stats.
Martinez LF
Upton CF
Moya RF

I don’t care what anyone says, Justin is fast enough to play center field. So if Jones struggles, this is an option, and a powerful one.

Now, onto the lineup. There are a few options here. I like Kinsler at leadoff, but the problem is that he hits too many HR’s to leadoff. I don’t think Iglesias or Machado are good enough to leadoff in a lineup with so many good hitters, therefore it’s probably best to put Kinsler there.

Kinsler 2B
Castellanos 3B
Miggy 1B
Upton LF
V Martinez DH
JD Martinez RF
<---------THESE 6 GUYS HAVE TO BE IN THE TOP 6----------->
McCann C
Iglesias SS
Jones CF

The problem with this lineup is that you have one guy who hits left handed, and he’s a switch hitter. So here’s the remedy to that.

Kinsler 2B
Castellanos 3B
Miggy 1B
Upton CF
V Martinez DH
JD Martinez LF
<---------THESE 6 GUYS HAVE TO BE IN THE TOP 6----------->
Moya RF
McCann C
Iglesias SS

Personally, I’d take the risk and go with this one. No one can reasonably argue Justin isn’t fast enough for center.

This is the year to treat Justin as the 2nd best hitter in the lineup, behind Miggy. If the second half of last year didn’t prove it, I don’t know what will. Definitely don’t bat him 6th, don’t even bat him 5th. It should be Miggy and then him, or him and then Miggy. He should be 2nd, 3rd, or 4th…no exceptions. Anything else is disrespectful, and he’s not going to play to his full potential. Put him in a star slot, and he will play like a star.

To summarize:
- Jones are Upton in CF, no one else.
- Consider Moya in right, Upton in center. Strongly consider it.
- Top 6 guys need to be in top 6. Iglesias at leadoff is a waste of a hitter with those 6 guys behind.
- Castellanos or Upton batting 2nd.
- Miggy or Upton batting 3rd.
- Miggy or Upton or Victor batting 4th.
- Victor or JD batting 5th.
- JD or Castellanos batting 6th.
- If you use the Jones lineup, bat him 9th. If you don’t, bat Iglesias 9th.

Here’s what the Tigers should do…

1. Don’t trade Miggy

2. Don’t trade Kinsler

3. Replace Collins, he isn’t a big league outfielder

There’s no need to sell off or restructure the organization. If Upton started performing early in the season like he did later on, then you would have been in the playoffs. Therefore there is no need to readjust.

All that’s needed is to replace Collins, maybe add a starting pitcher or two…and strengthen the bullpen. The season came down to Upton performing, which was unfortunately late.

Furthermore, I believe Upton needs to be, ideally, batting behind Miggy. Worst case, batting 5th. He put up MVP numbers in the last month and a half, maybe its time to start treating him as such.

I get that you saw what the Yankees did and want to cut payroll and win more games…but that formula doesn’t work for everyone. They had older guys who needed to go, this is not the case with the Tigers, all their older guys still perform like they need to, therefore the same strategy doesn’t apply.

Verlander is the only guy who I’m not saying to 100% keep. Losing him wouldn’t be as big of a loss as Miggy, JD or Kinsler. I only say this because he doesn’t seem as into it after signing his deal. This attitude can be changed if someone has the balls to address it with him.

Not only is Collins not good enough, he also doesn’t fit into the personality of the team.



The Tigers can upgrade in a few areas. The first and only necessary one is centerfield. If Dexter Fowler is available, get him. Not sure if BJ, or Melvin, is available, but if the reason they don’t play well together is addressed, maybe they can overcome it. Bottom line, adding a centerfielder is absolutely essential. Justin and Dexter are friends, so that would be a good fit.

Another issue they need to realize, and why they shouldn’t sell anyone off, is that all their high salaried players are earning their paychecks…this wasn’t the case for the Yankees, and that’s why they shouldn’t follow the same philosophy.

Additionally, they could upgrade their catching situation. Both guys are so-so, so if it’s done it needs to be a horse, not an average guy like they currently have.

Once again, a starter or two and strengthening the bullpen are the only other aspects they need to cover. You paid big money last year because you wanted to win, and you were ONE game off, don’t give up now.


UPDATE: JD Martinez

Why would any team want to trade JD Martinez? Especially the Tigers, a team he already fits in well with. They don’t have the center fielder you need to make the trade worthwhile. I’m assuming it’s a budget minded move, still, don’t do it unless you don’t have a choice.

I read the 5 center field options the Tigers can acquire for center field, and the only choice is Dexter Fowler. Maybin’s presence needs to, er has to, be replaced in the lineup. And no its not racist to say because he’s black, racial dynamics on a roster are important. The Tigers had the perfect racial mix last year..until they messed it up with Collins. That guy can not be a starter, and that’s the 5th time Ive said this, so believe me, your season will be blown if you start him. He doesn’t fit in and he’s not good enough, and he’s not fun to watch. The point is that Dexter Fowler is your only choice. I have been in Justin Upton’s living room with Dexter Fowler there and these two guys get along great…plus Dexter is a stand up guy, he would be a perfect fit for the Tigers, and both he and Justin will play better if this move is made.

You have to bat Upton 2nd, 4th or 5th. No other spot should be an option.

Dodgers Notes

Throwing a 20 year old over Kazmir in the post season was kind of boneheaded. Regardless of that guys stuff and Kazmir’s struggles at the time, Kazmir has pitched in the World Series before…he had the experience that would have made a difference, might have put you in the World Series actually.

When it comes to the Dodgers, I’m mainly a Kaz specialist. He requires a lot of mental tweaking to optimize, but he’s worth it if you do it right.

More to come.

Mets Notes

Clearly goal #1 is to keep Yeonis Cespedes if you can.

Outfield: Granderson in center and Bruce in right are both solid locks. Ideally Cespedes in left, if not, Conforto would be alright, not optimal though.

Infield: Dave should be alright at 3rd. Personally, I like Reyes at short over Cabrera if he can play at the level he is capable of. Neil Walker is an obvious lock at second and Duda will do just fine at first. Kelly is a good utility guy because of his speed, so I’d keep him on the roster.

Catcher: This is the iffy position. Travis can’t come out and have the same season he had last year. He needs to be in the cage all offseason working on his hand wrapping motion, and fixing it. If it isn’t looking promising, then you may need to replace him, because as I said, you can’t have the same performance out of him again.

Starting Pitching: The starting 5 is stacked. Syndergaard, DeGrom, Matz, Harvey and Wheeler should be the top 5 in my eyes.

Relief Pitching: Closer is solid, obviously. Other than that the rest of the guys look alright, maybe add one more guy but it’s not the most pressing issue.


In summary, they need to keep Cespedes if they can. If they can’t, I’d first look to replace D’Arnaud before I replaced Conforto. Conforto can be the guy, if you give him an everyday role, but it’s not a lock. So, in order.

1. Keep Cespedes.

2. If you don’t, first replace D’Arnaud.

3. Replace Conforto after getting a catcher.

4. Add some bullpen depth.

That’s it, as long as they stay healthy this is definitely a winning team.

Cubs Notes

Will team chemistry be the same without Fowler?

I do it for free because I love the game, but as the Red Sox learned, free advice goes dry once the postseason arrives.

Here’s a freebie for you…get Papelbon (figure out why I would say this Theo).

This content is currently unavailable because I don’t have any friends on the team. If hired, this would change.

Top 10 Pitchers

1. Jake Arrieta
Why? His stuff, but mainly his mentality.

2. Clayton Kershaw
Why? His numbers.

3. David Price
Why? Because I don’t think he has peaked yet. Much like J Upton, he still has untapped potential.

4. Madison Bumgardner
Why? No explanation needed.

5. Max Scherzer
Why? His numbers and his personality. I’ve been in a club with the guy, total nerd, which is what you want.

6. Chris Sale
Why? His stuff is electric.

7. Justin Verlander
Why? Because he would be much higher if his sights were off his hot wife.

8. Stephen Strasburg
Why? Because he would be much higher if he wasn’t coddled so much.

9. Chris Archer
Why? His curveball, mentality and overall explosiveness.

10. Noah Syndergaard