Some things to talk about while Brett Wallace works on his swing...
1) M's grab another DH option
C'mon Seattle. Is this all payback for Houston signing Phillip Humber, after he embarrased you guys so badly last season?
What other explanation is there for Seattle hoarding all the interesting first base/DH options like this. First, you trade for Kendrys Morales. Okay, not that big a deal. He'd have been a nice addition, but it's no big loss. He's not a perfect hitter by any means.
But, going out and picking up Mike Morse, in a three-team trade? That's low. That's worthy of retaliation of some kind. You know we TCBers have been eying Morse across that dance floor for much of the offseason. After the Nats signed Adam LaRoche, we were thinking very hard about walking across and asking him to dance.
But, you had to swoop in with your fancy shoes and great haircut trading a backup catcher and a former Nats top pitching prospect for him. Who do you think you are?
Just for that, I hope Jeff Luhnow Luhnow's you into trading Justin Smoak down here and I hope he turns into the Smoak Monster in MMP. MVP like season, just to rub in your face.
Just know we'll be watching you, Seattle. Don't take any more of our potential players.
2) Altuve in WBC, no other Astros on Team USA
Reportedly, Jose Altuve will suit up in the World Baseball Classic for Team Venezuela while there may be Astros players on the field for Team Spain and Team Taiwan. But, there will not be any Astros on Team USA, which released its roster earlier today. Per Brian T. Smith:
Team USA roster:
Jeremy Affeldt – San Francisco Giants – LHP
J.P. Arencibia – Toronto Blue Jays – C
Heath Bell – Arizona Diamondbacks – RHP
Willie Bloomquist – Arizona Diamondbacks – UTL
Mitchell Boggs – St. Louis Cardinals – RHP
Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers – OF
Steve Cishek – Miami Marlins – RHP
Tim Collins – Kansas City Royals – LHP
R.A. Dickey – Toronto Blue Jays – RHP
Luke Gregerson – San Diego Padres – RHP
Derek Holland – Texas Rangers – LHP
Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles – OF
Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves – RHP
Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers – C
Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins – C
Kris Medlen – Atlanta Braves – RHP
Chris Perez – Cleveland Indians – RHP
Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins – LHP
Vinnie Pestano – Cleveland Indians – RHP
Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds – IF
Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies – IF
Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins – OF
Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees – IF
Shane Victorino – Boston Red Sox – OF
Ryan Vogelsong – San Francisco Giants – RHP
David Wright – New York Mets – IF
Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays – UTL
3) Adding a 100-loss team to the division
A while back, Buster Olney had a column up on ESPN where he talked about how excited the other teams in the AL West should be to add a potential 100-loss team to the division. The reasoning is that a bad team will make it easier for the teams there to increase their win totals.
Not being one to let baseball accepted truths to get in the way of facts, I decided to comb through Baseball Reference and figure out how 100-loss teams have affected their divisions in recent history. I went back to 2006, and found nine divisions with 100-loss teams. That make a pool of 36 teams total who played against really bad opponents in division.
Of those, 14 teams saw a decrease in their win total from the previous season. For some of those, it was only a slight decrease, like the 2008 Oakland A's seeing a one-win drop in records. For others, the drop was a free fall from a previous high, like the 2009 New York Mets, who lost 19 games from their record, but still were two games over .500 against the 100-loss Washington Nationals.
That's the most damning part of this. Onlytwo teams had losing records against those 100-loss clubs: the 2008 Atlanta Braves, who were six games under .500 against the Nats and the 2010 Cubbies, who were five games under .500 to the Pirates.
By and large, teams do win more than half their games against super bad teams. That implies that the other AL West teams may have something to look forward to with the Astros coming to town. Then again, there are plenty of cases where a team just suffers a drop in talent anyways that a 100-loss team in division can't cure.