With several divisions throughout Major League Baseball still up for grabs and numerous contenders still in the hunt for the Wild Card, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports runs through the strength of the rest-of-season schedule for each of the 14 teams with realistic hopes of securing a postseason bid. The Diamondbacks draw the unwelcome distinction of facing the toughest schedule of any team in baseball between now and season’s end, Passan notes, pointing out that from Sept. 6-26 they’ll play 20 games in 20 days against a grouping of teams with a combined .560 winning percentage. The Indians, meanwhile, land on the other end of the spectrum. Despite the fact that they have seven games against the Red Sox remaining, the rest of their schedule is more or less a romp through the hapless AL Central, with 10 games against the Royals and six against the White Sox highlighting what should be an easy path to the AL Central crown.
Some other miscellaneous items for your afternoon perusal…
- Lefty James Pazos has been among the Mariners’ best relievers over the past two seasons, but Seattle optioned him to Triple-A on Sunday. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times examines the move, citing manager Scott Servais in writing that the organization feels that Pazos is in need of some mechanical corrections to get back into top form. Specifically, Servais indicated that Pazos “hasn’t been as consistent with his fastball” over the past six weeks or so, which has gotten him into trouble at times. The Mariners don’t expect Pazos to spend much more, if any, than the 10-day minimum in the minors as he works out the kinks, but Servais notes that he’s been falling behind hitters of late due to that fastball inconsistency. The organization, per Divish, has a “very detailed” plan for Pazos to follow in what sounds to be a brief trip to Tacoma.
- Cardinals manager Mike Shildt tells Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the decision to move right-hander Luke Weaver from the rotation to the bullpen was “not an easy one.” Weaver looked to be among the game’s more promising young starters in 2017, and he’s shown flashes of brilliance in 2018, too, but has generally been inconsistent. Weaver cites his own lack of fastball control as the root of his struggles in a harsh self-evaluation but sounds to be taking the move in stride. “This move is not a slap in the face,” says the soon-to-be 25-year-old. “It’s about … finding a way where I can help the team, wherever it is. … It’s not going to shake me.”
- The upcoming Mets/Giants series will provide fans with a contrast between a club that has excelled in terms of building minor league depth (the Giants) and one that has failed at doing so in recent seasons (the Mets), writes Tim Britton of The Athletic (subscription required). Britton notes that in Ryan Vogelsong, Santiago Casilla, Andres Torres and several others, San Francisco has consistently found value in minor league free agency. This season alone, he observes, the Giants have three minor league signees — Derek Holland, Dereck Rodriguez, Alen Hanson — who’ve provided the team with more than a win above replacement (per Fangraphs); conversely, the Mets have had only two players over the past four seasons combined that have reached even half a win by that same measure: Rene Rivera and Jose Reyes. Britton explores the Giants’ method of aggressively approaching minor league free agency, headed by assistant GM Jeremy Shelley, in an interesting look at the stark difference between the two clubs.
Not sure of that analysis re: Mets/Giants is really all that fair; as a practical matter it is easier to sign higher end minor league contract free agents if you are (1) expected to be good, and (2) if your farm system is weak enough that you have the ability to add these players to your 40 man roster as they become needed. The Mets have n’t really fallen squarely in both of those descriptions, whereas the Giants have.
In the last 4 years the Mets have gone to the world series one and the Playoffs once….so not sure what your definition of winning is…and this year they were picked to contender for a wild card…
they have constant injuries which allows space to open up on the 40 man with the 60 day dl….and a mediocre AAA has been constant throughout
Pitches Love Velocity
Reread. OP is saying you can attract better minor league gems easier if
1. You are expected to compete
2. You have room on the 40
Giants fit both criteria given their ws runs- division- and minor system which is super weak.
Mets on the other hand are seeing phillies and braves leaving rebuilds to compete have nats who can sustain success if robles lives up to be harpers replacement.
Hey dp-stop playing the injuries card. We are three years removed from the WS appearance where they were completely smoked.
The Mets have POOR minor league system. The Three Stooges and their predecessor, Sandy excuses have played the game so that Abbott and Costello continue to sign their pay checks.
The team is an embarrassment to Mets fans as mutt and Jeff’s end game is robbing the fans to line their pockets
Indians schedule should allow them to catch AL West winner for 2nd best record and probable home field advantage
Especially if Mariners and A’s put up a strong fight against the Astros.
How insane would it be if the Yankees or Astros weren’t able to make the playoffs?
Doubtful either club misses completely, let alone both.
Quite possible they meet in the 1 game WC though, and that one if the two has a very fast exit
No way either one of the Yankees and Astros miss the playoffs. At the very least the Yankees and Astros will get the wildcard spots. Everyone is jumping on the A’s bandwagon, they will lose the wildcard game at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately for them Judge and Sanchez will be back by then.
I’d say it is far from certain Judge is back for that game.
I’d also guess it’s 50/50 whether Sanchez starts that game (at catcher).
Many downvotes. I geuss A’s fans don’t like the truth that the Yankees and Astros are better.
Nobody doubts the Yankees and Astros are great. They are super teams, with far more talent than the A’s. But at one point, you have to understand that any team is dangerous in the playoffs, and whatever team gets hot definitely has an advantage once playoffs hit. Oakland has been the best team in the last 2 months, who knows what they will be the week before playoffs, but if they keep rolling, I would pick them over the Astros or Yankees, especially if the Astros and Yankees keep up the struggles and play just .500 baseball the rest of the way through.
What if that game is in Oakland or Houston?
Judge might not be back this year, and if he is back, will he be the same?
Sanchez has been a mess all season? Do you really trust him behind the plate of a do or die game?
The Yankees west coast trip will most likely decide the WC, but I wouldn’t be so confident they will be the number 1 WC.
The next 13 games are against teams that they should beat, but their last 10 were against NYM, TB, and Tor and they went 6-4 in those games, which is good, but they should have gone 8-2.
You don’t watch much baseball, I guess. The term “no way” never completely applies. Whoever is rockin’ at playoff time is the ‘best’ team. Happens every year.
Judge is not going to be out 6 more weeks…
Did you just guarantee a team a loss in a one game playoff? You realize you could put a team like the Orioles in the playoffs and they could win a couple series, right? It’s all about whose hot
Their last 10 games have been against the Rangers, Mets, Rays and Jays and you are correct when you say they went 6-4 in those games. However, why arbitrarily pick a game in the middle of series because it was a loss? They are 7-3 in their last 3 series and they dropped a make up game with the Mets (7-4 last 11). If you go back one more series to the White Sox, the Yanks are 10-4 in their last 14
Interesting contrast between the Mets and Giants.
That said, if your club is to the point you are constantly relying so heavily on multiple minor league free agents, their individual success is ultimately not all that important.
In fact, when considering draft positioning, one could make an argument the Giants are hurting themselves by so aggressively searching out marginal wins for a marginal club
Those darn Giants. If they just tried not to win they might win.
When speaking of multiple minor league cast offs from other clubs you expect you might need to rely on heavily because of how shallow your depth chart is otherwise – well, it is much less “trying to win” and much more “trying to mask the fact you’re loosing and need a rebuild”
I want to say you are wrong but you aren’t really. The Giants have hovered around .500 all year and it is tough to win but also tough to build a winner when you float there since you are not good enough to win but not bad enough to draft highand pick up a lot of waiver guys .
The analysis of Mets v. Giants is hogwash at best. The Giants took on huge salaries of Mccutchen & Longoria and currently sit about 6 games ahead of the Mets. So, let me get this right…. Britton is suggesting that had the Mets just made a bit better usage of minor league signings, they could still be sitting out of the playoff race still while also getting a draft pick closer to 12 than 6 just so they could say how good they were at judging slightly better than mediocre talent? Getting a bit lucky on a minor league contract is not exactly something to brag about – it means you were one of a few willing to give a marginal guy a shot and he beat your expectations. Otherwise, you would have signed him the MLB contract in the first place.
Yeah the Mets situation is better with less dead money long term. Bruce and Cespedes is not as bad as Longo, Melancon, Cueto, Samardzija
Melancon is just bad now and samardzija is ??? but you could still get a good year out of cueto when he comes back and longo isn’t too expensive relative to his output. don’t forget though that there is dead money in wright who is under contract through 2020
Longoria is owed at least $65 million over the next 4 years. He’s produced 0.4 WAR this year.
Melancon has pitched 55 innings combined with the Giants and is owed $28 million.
Cueto is owed at least $70 million and he won’t even throw a competitive pitch next year.
Samardzija is owed $39 million and has been worse than league average.
In 2019, you’re going to pay $70 million dollars to these 4 players and you might get 2 WAR. Ouch.
Not sure why you felt compelled to post what you did, since it’s not at all germane to the point being made in the article, but:
Longoria gets a pass, at least temporarily because almost every player struggles at first when changing leagues And just as he was starting to hit he gets his hand broken in a HBP.
The rest were all affected by injury. But Melancon has been pitching well lately. Cueto gave them a sterling 2016 season, and will be back eventually. And Samardzija, if he returns to what he was, has value as an innings eater, especially at the back of the rotation
But when all is said and done, the Yankees will give Jacoby Ellsbury $169MM. He gave them 1 good year, he hasn’t seen an AB or a single inning in the field this season, and he’ll be paid through 2021. You know how the saying goes about people who live in glass houses, right?
“Melancon is just bad now…”
How so? He has a 138 ERA+ so far this season. Bochy has been using him late in tight games. Maybe he’s not great, just decent, but certainly not bad.
Don’t you look at a guy’s stats before proclaiming him to be bad?
No, I watch the guy. He always had traffic, he had turned into a 1-2 out guy but he struggles to finish innings. Sometimes with releivers era and era+ aren’t the best indicators of how a guy is doing because it allows for the guy after you to make up for your mistakes
Maybe you watch him, but do you look at stats? By just looking you’re relying on perception, which isn’t always accurate. In his last 8 games he’s only failed to pitch an entire inning once. In those 8 2/3 innings he’s allowed only 1 earned run, on 5 hits and 1 BB. Not sure what your criteria is for relievers , but that doesn’t fit the definition of “just bad now”.
Neither team has anything to brag about this year(NY,SF)but around Baseball there is no comparison in organizations,hands down SF,at least they expect to win,NY Hopes to win and while NY overachieved one year recently,SF has 3 Championships recently sorry pointing at the Scoreboard on that one on what really matters!
“Getting a bit lucky on a minor league contract is not exactly something to brag about – it means you were one of a few willing to give a marginal guy a shot and he beat your expectations.”
Wow, really bending over backwards to keep from admitting the Giants might be doing something right, aren’t you. The quote shows an obvious attempt to diminish their achievements. If you read the article you’ll note it wasn’t getting lucky on one contract. There were 3 good signings this season alone, and it’s also something they’ve done well in the past.
And that last part is ridiculous. Every team in baseball makes multiple FA minor league signings. That’s some objectivity you’ve displayed there.
Enough about Weaver. When will Bryce join the ballclub? Signed, Cards Fan
Looking forward to hearing that the Brewers claimed Murphy to shore up the infield for a third time.
I have to say this is some exciting few weeks of baseball tho. No matter who ends up on top this is one of the changes to baseball I’ve enjoyed…
The two wild card teams.
I’m going to be crying laughing if the A’s and Mariners bump the Yankees and Astros out of the postseason, because that would be so perfect after hearing everyone tell us how good they are all year when they were really just beating up on bad teams.
Also, Houston are a trash franchise for trading for Osuna. Karma would be amazing if they missed the playoffs after getting him.
First, it’s almost for the Yankees to lose out on the wild card. Not impossible but highly improbable. If the Mariners, A’s and Astros play .500 against each other in their remaining matchups, that is a good thing for the Yankees. If one team dominates that is a good thing for the Yankees. If the Yankees go 19-19 in their last 38 they will finish with 97 wins meaning Seattle will have to go 26-11 (.702) to tie. When you factor in that they have 13 games against the A’s and Astros remaining and they will have to go 9-4 in those games just to stay in contention you can begin to see how it will be difficult for all three teams to finish ahead of the Yanks. Houston has more of possibility to get knocked out because the 3 teams are closer in record and they have a lot of games to play between them.
Second, nothing can be further from the truth when you say the Yankees have only been beating up on bad teams. The last 4 games against the Red Sox not withstanding, the Yankees have actually done quite well against the better teams and have only played about .500 ball against teams like the Mets, Rays and Orioles. Hopefully the Yankees will turn that trend around because they have a lot of game left between some of the worse teams in MLB. I’m expecting the Yanks will go 23-15 (at worse) to finish the season with exactly 100 wins
I love all the spin to keep from acknowledging the Giant’s ability to find talent. My guess is these same people had previously gone on record suggesting the Giants MO is something approaching incompetence. Rather than all the convoluted explanations on how the Giants “got lucky”, maybe employ Occam’s Razor. The simplest reason is they’ve excelled at scouting the minor leagues.
And apparently these people are unfamiliar with the past results of the draft. With all the high selections that have failed, and with guys like Trout going 25th, losing 6 to 10 spots in the draft mean little. This isn’t the NFL or NBA, where players are much closer to being productive and talent better defined. The Giants won 3 titles with mostly homegrown talent. Their scouting department has proven itself.
That article about Mets giants sounds terrible. That is what you call making a story out of nothing.
But I bet if it was about some success that the Orioles had you’d think it was about something, and not terrible.
Glad Weaver got placed in the bullpen. Hopefully he can figure out his struggles pitching only an inning or 2. Got 2 more long hard fought games left in LA against a very tough Dodgers team.