Looking Back and Peeking Ahead

The World Series is history and now it’s time to take a quick look back at the season that just ended and look ahead to 2014.

I was very bullish on the Padres prior to the beginning of the season. I think they have some quality players, but injuries just destroyed any chance they may have had. Now, with a new, bigger player budget moving forward, I think the Padres will be in the conversation.

I totally understand the Dbacks quest for at least one more bat. In the second half of the season, Paul Goldschmidt’s walk rate increased and he saw fewer quality pitches to hit.

I have great concern about the Tigers being able to knock down the door. I think they’ll miss the power bat of Avisail Garcia in the future. I have concern about the physical condition of Prince Fielder. I hope he takes a page out of the Big Papi playbook and comes back leaner and meaner. I think Miguel Cabrera will be as good as new. But the bullpen?

I will understand if the Indians don’t offer the sun, the moon and the stars for Ubaldo Jimenez. There’s no guarantee he will be able to consistently harness his delivery. Pitchers like Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco might be able to pick up the slack. I have no idea if Scott Kamir can repeat his outstanding performance.

Pittsburgh enjoyed the same type of season the Orioles had in 2012. Things fell in place well. Here’s hoping they can ride that great young pitching to the next level. They may be the new “America’s Team.”

At the beginning of the season I didn’t think teams would pitch to Giancarlo Stanton. They really didn’t. For his sake, I hope they find another bat to protect him. I don’t think the team will trade him this winter. Maybe later. Not this winter.

Brian McCann is a natural for the Yankees if he doesn’t sign with the Braves.

I’ve never heard a single person say…”Let me be perfectly dishonest with you….” But I wish
I had a nickel for every time I hear…”Let me be perfectly honest with you.” Just something we say, I guess. We do have some weird phrases, don’t we?

How would you like to face Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly, Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist and Seth Maness when playing the Cardinals? Get ready again National League. And that’s not all of em. The club is just loaded with arms. And they’re still young and learning.

Real risk/reward with the White Sox signing of Jose Abreu. I haven’t watched any video, but he can be a game changer. Or–Yikes! I don’t like the alternative at that price.

The Orioles Chris Tillman had a very fine season. I look for him to continue the roll. He has an outstanding arm.

The Blue Jays are in the hunt for pitching. But do they trade hitting for pitching? Then they’ll have to chase hitting. It’s the old baseball conundrum.

The Rangers have to find a place for Jurickson Profar. Seems to me much depends upon what happens with Ian Kinsler. Will Kinsler change positions? If not-does Profar move to center? If not there, where?

The club has some ???. Will Joakim Soria close? What about Neftali Feliz? Tanner Scheppers? Who’s the closer? Does Colby Lewis come back? How about the shoulder of Alexi Ogando? Is it sound? Lots of questions with the Rangers.

I said last week I felt the Nationals made a great hire with Matt Williams. I think Brad Ausmus will do an outstanding job with Detroit. He’s intelligent, articulate, knows the game inside out and he’s played for a winner with the Astros. He was a great hire in my opinion.

I’ll be looking ahead to next season quite often in the coming days right here at BERNIE’S BASEBALL WORLD. But in my next blog, I’ll share my thoughts on players in the Arizona Fall League. Or-I may share my off-season award opinions. Hope you’ll keep reading.

That’s it. I’m done.

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