by Craig Merrens | email@example.com |
Less than three weeks after losing Pujols to the now mighty Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Cardinals signed Carlos Beltran to a two-year, $26 million dollar contract this Thursday. Beltran, who turns 35 in a few months, is a veteran player who, when healthy, is capable of putting up big numbers. A six-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year, Beltran looks to be the biggest piece in the “replacing Pujols” puzzle.
Last year, his first full season since 2008, Beltran came back strong with the Giants after a midseason trade from the Mets. He hit .300, had an OBP of .385, and an OPS of .910. That’s not too shabby for anyone, let alone someone who played 145 games in the previous two seasons combined. By the way, those numbers are all higher than what Pujols put up last year in the same categories. He also had a higher wOBA with .389 to Pujols’ .385.
MLBDepthCharts.com is the creation of baseball junkie Jason Martinez, who has been intrigued by the construction of rosters since childhood. The website, and a soon-to-be-released digital magazine, allows readers to follow along as he deconstructs and rebuilds the pieces to the roster puzzle for all 30 major league organizations. The website has become a valuable resource for baseball fans, fantasy geeks, beat writers, reporters, scouts, and front office executives. In July 2011, MLBDepthCharts was named to SI.com’s inaugural Twitter 100, a list honoring the most essential twitter feeds in the sports world.
Jesse Behr: Since the story is hot off the press, what’s your reaction to the Marlins reeling in Heath Bell?
Jason Martinez: I understand the concerns people are going to have. Giving a 34-year-old with a declining strikeout rate a three-year, $27 million deal is risky for obvious reasons. But let me put a positive spin on this, since I’ve watched him on a daily basis here in San Diego. His stuff is still there. I couldn’t tell you the reason why his K rate is down, but the mid-90′s heater and sharp breaking ball haven’t gone away. He’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for the past five seasons, first as a setup man to Trevor Hoffman, then as the Padres’ closer. Bell will be fine for the first two years in Miami. I’d worry how effective he’ll be in year three of the deal when he’s 36 years old. But that’s less of a concern for a team that has a sense of urgency to compete in 2012.
Though it certainly doesn’t hurt, you don’t have to play pro ball or go to an Ivy League school to become a GM. Here are the ‘imperfect’ roads taken by the current class of *general managers, listed in reverse chronological order:
Dan Duquette, Baltimore Orioles
Amherst College, 1980
Played baseball as a catcher at Amherst College. Started his career with the Brewers as a scouting assistant. Served as General Manager of the Montreal Expos (1991-1994) and Boston Red Sox (1994-2002). Named General Manager of the Orioles in November 2011.
Because he did, and they didn’t. You’re welcome, America.
by Jesse Behr | @jj_behr | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero … While we speak, envious time will have fled, seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.”
This Latin phrase from Horatius’ “Odes” tells of a lesson that all ballplayers should live by. For October baseball, one can’t look past the series, the game, the inning you’re in; there is no trust in the future.
Enter Carpenter Diem.
Christopher John Carpenter’s career began as a Blue Jay. He pitched in six seasons with Toronto, where he won 49 games, posted a 4.83 ERA and a combined WAR of 6.8. He never threw a pitch in the playoffs.
Shoulder issues forced Carpenter out of Canada and sent the right-hander packing for the States, where he signed a one-year deal with St. Louis in 2003. Eight seasons later, Carpenter has won 104 games (95 during the regular season, 9 in the postseason), a combined 25.7 WAR, a Cy Young award, and two World Series rings with the Cardinals.
Adam Wainwright (left) headed into the 2006 postseason with three career saves. Jason Motte (right) “closed-by-commitee” during the 2011 regular season. Both left the mound in October as World Champions.
Game 6: W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 91 pitches, 53 strikes
2011 Postseason: 4-0, 3.25 ERA, 6 GS, 36.0 IP, 31 H, 13 ER, 11 BB, 21 SO
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
We’ll see you for Game 7.