Archive for November, 2011

Rule 5 Exposures

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

As part of every MLB Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 draft. Wikipedia has the following describing how it works:

As in the amateur draft, the selection order of the teams is based on each team’s win-loss record from the prior regular season, each round starting with the team with the worst record and proceeding in order to the team with the best record. Any player selected under Rule 5 is immediately added to his new team’s 40-man roster; thus, teams who do not have an available roster spot may not participate in the Rule 5 draft. Players who are not currently on their team’s 40-man roster are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, but only after a standard exemption period has elapsed. See Selection eligibility below.

If chosen in the Rule 5 draft, a player must be kept on the selecting team’s 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft—he may not be optioned or designated to the minors. The selecting team may, at any time, waive the Rule 5 draftee. If a Rule 5 draftee clears waivers by not signing with a new MLB team, he must be offered back to the original team, effectively canceling the Rule 5 draft choice. Once a Rule 5 draftee spends an entire season on his new team’s 25-man roster, his status reverts to normal and he may be optioned or designated for assignment.

To prevent the abuse of the Rule 5 draft, the rule also states that the draftee must be active for at least 90 days. This keeps teams from drafting players, then placing them on the disabled list for the majority of the season. For example, if a Rule 5 draftee was only active for 67 days in his first season with his new club, he must be active for an additional 23 days in his second season to satisfy the Rule 5 requirements.

Any player chosen in the Rule 5 draft may be traded to any team while under the Rule 5 restrictions, but the restrictions transfer to the new team. If the new team does not want to keep the player on its 25-man roster for the season, he must be offered back to the team of which he was a member when chosen in the draft.

Recently the Cubs made a few moves to add some players to the 40 man roster in an effort to protect them from the draft. Jeff Beliveau, Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, and Matt Szczur were the names protected, which left some guys still open to be drafted.

Abner Abreu, OF
Jim Adduci, OF
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Adrian Aviles, LHP (ex-OF)
Dan Berlind, RHP
Smaily Borges, OF
Michael Brenly, C
Justin Bristow, RHP
Michael Burgess, OF
Kyler Burke, LHP (ex-OF)
David Cales, RHP
Esmailin Caridad, RHP
Hung-Wen Chen, RHP
Manolin DeLeon, RHP
Carlos Figueroa, INF
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Ryan Flaherty, IF-OF
Marwin Gonzalez, IF-OF
Miguel Gonzalez, C
Yohan Gonzalez, RHP
Gian Guzman, IF-RHP (player coach)
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Jay Jackson, RHP
Blake Lalli, 1B-C
Jordan Latham, RHP
David Macias, IF-OF
Oswaldo Martinez, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Craig Muschko, RHP
Jon Nagel, RHP
Jake Opitz, INF
Blake Parker, RHP
Nelson Perez, OF
Ramon Reyes, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Rebel Ridling, 1B
Carlos Romero, C
Nate Samson, INF
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Kyle Smit, RHP
Marquez Smith, 3B
Matt Spencer, LHP (ex-OF)
Larry Suarez, RHP
Jose Tineo, RHP
Ty Wright, OF

Looking at the list, I’m worried about losing Ryan Flaherty, Jay Jackson, Marquez Smith and Ty Wright.

Jackson has declined in value since a really nice 2009 season that spanned a few levels of minor league ball. I felt like he was close to ML ready at that point and so I’m not willing to give up yet. You can’t tell me he’s worse than someone like Casey Coleman from last year. I would think someone would take a chance and stash him in the pen for the year.

How we’re not protecting Flaherty is beyond me. He’s a 1st round pick from 2008 that can hit for power and drive in runs. He’s by nature a second baseman, but can play short and third and even dabbled in the outfield this year. I’ll be pissed if he stays unprotected and gets selected.

Marquez Smith is a name I’m curious why we’re not at least taking a chance on. With Aramis Ramirez moving on, he’s just one year removed from a decent breakout year in 2010. Why not give the kid a shot to beat out the guys that will be competing for that spot. The only reason I can think of is that Theo and Jed don’t feel he’ll get selected and will be safe. That and the fact that someone like Jeff Baker or DJ LeMahieu can produce more at this point.

Ty Wright is just a guilty pleasure. He’ll be 27 this year, but I like his skills at the plate.

What about you? Are there guys on this list you think have a legit shot at being selected considering the fact that they eat a 25 man roster spot?

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Morning News: AL MVP, Death, and Rex Ryan

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

And the AL MVP goes to: None other than Detroit’s own Justin Verlander. He had 13 first-place votes which was 9 more than Jacoby Ellsbury, who came in 2nd. It seemed kind of obvious that Verlander would win it even though many people think that pitchers should not be eligible for the award because they do not have to experience the daily grind like position players do. Jim Ingraham compared starting pitchers in the MLB to starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Ingraham left Verlander off his ballot completely. Verlander got 24 of the Tigers 95 wins (that’s 25% for you math people out there). Without his wins, they would have been in the same boat as Kansas City.

Verlander was also the 2006 Rookie of the Year and he won the AL Cy Young this year. He’s the first starting pitcher to win MVP since Roger Clemens did it in 1986.

Would you have picked Verlander for MVP? If not, who would you have picked instead?

Death in Major League Baseball: Seattle Mariners’ Outfielder Greg Halman was found bleeding of a stab wound in a home in the Netherlands on Monday. The Dutch police arrested his brother as a prime suspect in the case.

Halman started in all 3 outfield positions for Seattle and was later optioned to Triple A Tacoma.

Rex Ryan Fined: New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan was fined $75,000 for cussing at a fan last week (8 days ago).  He says that he is not going to appeal the fine because he should be held accountable for his actions. He is also a repeat offender, which may be why the fine was so steep. Way to keep it classy, Rex.

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Morning News: Injuries, Bending it Like Beckham, and the BCS

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Strike One:  Yesterday Adrian Peterson left the Vikings game in the first quarter with a wonky ankle.  The Lions are perpetually a Matthew Stafford injury from another lost season.  And the lowly Eagles had to make due with Vince Young after Michael Vick broke a couple ribs.  Some injuries can mean the end of a season for the player–other can effectively end the season for the whole team.  Jay Cutler broke his right thumb on Sunday, and he may not play again in the regular season.  Losing him casts a shadow over the Bears’ resurgent season (they’ve won five straight games), and may bring an end to their playoff hopes.  Which injuries or lost players have derailed seasons for your beloved teams?

Strike Two:  Five years ago, the LA Galaxy signed David Beckham, hoping to bring international credibility to the MLS and heighten the profile of futbol soccer in America.  Last night, in what is probably Beckham’s last American soccer match, the Galaxy won the MLS Cup.  Did Beckham’s occasional presence in American soccer heighten your interest in the MLS?  Has the increased profile of international soccer won you over as a fan?  What international sports/teams do you follow?

Strike Three:  The BCS had another shake-up this weekend, when Oregon, Clemson, Oklahoma (thanks a ton, Baylor), and my Oklahoma State Cowboys all endured upset losses.  Now the top three teams in the country all come from the SEC West, and look to be on a collision course as the season nears an end.  At least half a dozen other teams have some kind of path to the BCS Championship, requiring various kinds of help from the teams above them.  Where’s your rooting interest lie?  Who do you want to see playing for the crystal ball?

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Sunday, November 20th, 2011

It’s that time again! The Magnificent Lights Festival in Chicago kicked off the holiday spirit this weekend. A chill in the air is FINALLY making it feel like mid-November. Christmas music is playing WAY too early on the radio. And you all get another edition of the best of the best this week!

The Wizzies

  • Just say ‘no’ to long term, high priced, relief pitchers.
  • If I can’t have Tony LaRussa, give me Satan. Satan could easily make a deal with himself in order to produce wins. Satan would be unlikely to lose an argument with an umpire as they are his subordinates. Satan could make the wind change directions depending on which team is batting. Carlos Zambrano would act like a choir boy, and finish the season with an Era around zero. The only down side would be any hispanic players in the minors with the first name of Jesus would need to be traded. No sense freaking out the new manager.
  • All of the front office personnel should be with held from “marital favors” by their spouses until they ramp up the pitching depth of the whole system.
  • Seattle sounds like the perfect place for Buerhle to sign a five-year deal for more money than he’s worth.
  • I hope I am wrong, it does happen every now and then…………………1978 I last recall.
  • I’ll be nervous if he starts in with the Starlie, Jeffie, Marmie stuff.
  • If the Cubs are chasing Grady Sizemore, they should catch him easily. He can barely walk after all the knee injuries.
  • I wonder if we’ve ever hired bald managers in succession. 
  • I hear that Sveum has already had the fungo out and has Castro’s defense top-notch. He also caught a bullpen session where he worked out Marmol’s heater. He is currently tossing bp in the cage to Byrd, and his patience at the plate is rapidly improving.
  • I guess it’s easier to spell than Samardzija.
  •  Sub-par-mardzija.
  • So you’re saying Rodrigo Lopez won’t win 300 games?
  • Shark’s only 288 shy of 300.

Top Wizzie Contributors


Doc Raker-41



Seymour Butts-23

Doug S.-21




Eddie Von White-11

Question of the Week

One positive and one negative about Dave Sveum. Aaaand go.

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Has the 300-Game Winner Become Extinct?

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

It seems like every time a pitcher reaches the magical mark of 300 wins, many fans and baseball people wonder aloud: “Is this the last time we’ll see someone reach 300 wins?”  That was a popular sentiment after Greg Maddux reached the mark in 2004, then Tom Glavine (2007), and most recently Randy Johnson (2009).

At the end of the 2011 season the closest active pitcher to 300 wins was Tim Wakefield, Boston’s 45-year old knuckleballer.  Wakefield notched career win number 200 on September 13.  Of course, the seemingly immortal Jamie Moyer has 267 career wins and is attempting to come back from Tommy John surgery, but Moyer turns 49 in four days (November 18).  It seems unlikely that either of these two veterans will reach 300 wins. Is the 300-game winner an extinct breed?

Not at all.

Each year, in the Bill James Handbook¸ Bill lists the players he thinks are the most likely to reach 300 wins based on a formula he devised to measure a pitcher’s chances for this sacred milestone. The key to the formula is the pitcher’s momentum (wins in recent seasons) matched up with his win total thus far in his career.

Here are the top-five 300 win candidates heading into 2012:


2011 Age


Chance at
300 Wins

Roy Halladay




CC Sabathia




Justin Verlander




Cliff Lee




Dan Haren




Roy Halladay and CC Sabathia each have around a 50-50 shot at winning 300 games.  Justin Verlander only had a 10% chance at 300 wins entering the 2011 season, but after a 24-win season, his chances skyrocket to 31%.  The chance that one of these five gets 300 wins in his career is about 90%.

For the complete list of 300 win candidates, check out the Bill James Handbook 2012, in stores and available at now.

Used with permission from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week®,

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