May 13th, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

Maybe someone put two and two together with Marlins super star pitcher Jose’ Fernandez after his last start in San Diego. In that game, he gave up 5 earned runs on 6 hits in just 5 innings. The start before, he yielded 2 earned runs in 7 innings against the Dodgers. He hadn’t given up a run in the 3 previous starts. As a matter of fact, Fernandez’ velocity had dropped from 97.6 mph in March to 95.9 mph in May. That isn’t a huge drop, but it causes some to wonder. The results just weren’t like Fernandez. Something was wrong. Now, on the brink of becoming a top shelf, All Star quality pitcher in the same conversation with Clayton Kershaw, Fernandez is on the shelf with an elbow issue. He’s likely to have Tommy John surgery. It hasn’t been announced, but it sure sounds like it. I’ve said it many times. He has the best curveball I’ve seen in a long time. And that pitch is right now or is very close to being the equal of the one thrown by Kershaw. And that’s saying something. We wish Fernandez all the best as he deals with a blip in his career. Hope that’s all it is. A blip and not a huge speed bump.

I like Chris Owings. I like Aaron Hill. But the Dbacks need pitching. Where do they go? They have to give up someone in trade for any type of starter they can find. One that can hang around Arizona for a while. Trade candidates include Hill, Martin Prado. Didi Gregorius or Nick Ahmed. Who’s available for Arizona? I have an idea. How about the Cardinals. They have the pitching. They can move Peralta back to third. Put Carpenter back at second. Bring in either Gregorius or Ahmed at shortstop. It would be good for both clubs. I won’t even guess which pitcher among their outstanding depth at that position might fetch a Didi. Ahmed would be less expensive. He’s a darn good defensive shortstop. I think that’s what the Cardinals need now. I like Peralta much better at third because of his lack of range at shortstop. It’s a good match.

I’ll say it again. After watching both John Axford and Addison Reed implode and lose games because of their penchant to give up the long ball, I have to wonder why set-up men can’t start the 9th. It must be illegal.

Charlie Blackmon is legit.

Puig or Braun?

If you’re the Dodgers, do you try to get H. Ramirez to sign a lengthy contract? Does his health concern you? I’m just wondering. It sure does concern me if I’m them. But I’m not them. They’re them. I would look to find a shortstop like Stephen Drew and play Dee Gordon at second while moving Ramirez to third this season. Then, I’d try to find a third baseman for next year.

What happens to David Price at the July trade deadline? And how about Justin Masterson? Both could be sent to contenders. Price has more value because he has a year and half. Masterson only from July through the playoffs. But he can help someone.

C.C. has been less than so so so far. And now he’s hurt. Is he toast? I’m concerned about the drop in velocity and the bum knee. He’s on the DL. But can the Yankees count on him? David Price? But who do the Yankees have to trade. Ah-a catcher. Maybe Gary Sanchez and a pitcher like Dellin Betances. Just thinking out loud. It might take more than that. No middle-infielders available on the Yankees. They need them themselves. Maybe a three way trade with the Indians. Plenty of middle-infielders. Start with Asdrubal Cabrera. Betances could be a closer some day. If he can command that wicked fastball.

If you haven’t watched Rougned Odor of the Rangers yet, you should. He has a combination of power, speed and defense that belies his 20 years of age. Just an amazingly quick journey through the farm system to the parent club. He has it all. Jurickson Profar got all the hype, but Odor is really quite a player to watch.

Sweet swing you ask? Try Christian Yelich. It says in my brain that he’s on his way to becoming a very dangerous hitter. Very dangerous. But then you knew I liked him. I’ve been raving about him for three or four years now.

Sleeper you ask? Wilson Ramos of the Nationals. Not even in the catching conversation. Hits and plays outstanding defense. Hitting 4th for the Nationals now.

Jonathan Singleton time soon in Houston. Soon. Springer and Singleton=hope. But not NOW. Be patient.

Gregory Polanco time in Pittsburgh? They can’t wait much longer. He’s the real deal. Pirates fans will love him. He’ll be a fantasy darling. And man, can he play. Great arm. Solid bat with power. Patience though. He’ll be adjusting to the way pitchers adjust to him. All Star time promotion. Sooner if it were me.

Oscar Taveras? Also soon. I see him moving in to his new home in right field in St. Louis and hitting the ground running. Exciting player.

Will the Phillies trade Cliff Lee? Yankees could sure use him, right?

How long does Kansas City wait for Mike Moustakas? What should they do? Does he have any trade value? Yes. Third base is not a deep position. Maybe a change of scenery will work for him.

Would you give Pablo Sandoval a long-term contract if you were the Giants? At big, big bucks? They have a decision to make.

Did Max Scherzer make the right decision turning down more money from the Tigers than is in my home town bank on any given day? Didn’t we watch that movie starring Ubaldo Jimenez just last year? I know Scherzer isn’t Jimenez, but the concept seems similar to me. How ca you say “no” to more money than they have in some city governments? Gutsy. I guess.

The day after the MLB draft should be fun. We should be seeing Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales sign contracts. But where?

Thanks for reading my work on MLBPipeline.com and for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff. And listen to Short Hops on iTunes.

Thats’ it. I’m done.