Tulo Heads to Toronto

When Troy Tulowitzki signed a 6 year extension worth roughly $120 million with the Colorado Rockies in November of 2010 he likely thought he would stay a Rockie until the deals expiration in 2020. However, with the Rockies sitting fifth in the NL West at 42-55, it looked to be time to sell off one of their best assets. The Rockies have finished with 66, 74, 64, 73, and 83 wins in each of the last 5 seasons. Those win totals won’t compete for championships and so rather than continue to pay who was the face of their franchise in Troy Tulowitzki, the Rockies dealt him to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Will Selva - troy tulowitzki

Tulowitzki is heading to Toronto

The Blue Jays receive one of the best shortstops in the game. Tulo is currently hitting .300 with 12 home runs and 53 runs batted in. While he has had his fair share of injuries, Tulo has one of the best bats in the game from the shortstop position. With the Blue Jays at 50-50, they look to be all-in in their hunt for a postseason berth. They’re 7 games back of the New York Yankees in the AL East and just 3 back in the Wildcard race. The addition of Tulowitzki to a lineup that already features power in Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson should make for some tough nights for opposing pitchers.

Tulowitzki felt “blindsided” by the move. Here’s what he had to say, “I felt like I got blindsided a bit. I thought I was in the loop, in the conversation.” This comes after Troy had been told the Rockies would keep him or if a trade arose, they would inform him of the possibility of moving him.

The Rockies in return received shortstop Jose Reyes and pitching prospects Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro. Reyes like Tulowitzski is going through some strange times. In December of 2011, Reyes signed a free agency deal with the Miami Marlins for 6 years $106 million. Expecting to spend the duration of the contract in Miami, Reyes was shipped in a salary dump to Toronto in just the second year of his deal. Reyes felt betrayed by Marlins President Jeffrey Loria. He now is moving onto Colorado, another destination he probably thought he wouldn’t be playing out his current contract in. Jose should not get too comfortable though. It’s extremely likely that the Rockies as sellers at the deadline will look to move Reyes again.

Here Come the San Francisco Giants

Will Selva - SF GiantsAfter starting the season 4-10, 5th in their own division, the Giants are beginning to hit their stride. Currently on a 5 game winning streak and having won 7 of their last 10, the Giants are now 22-18, good for second in the NL West. Lets take a look at what has changed and gone right for the Giants since their slow start.

SP Madison Bumgarner

After starting 1-1 with an ERA over 5, Bumgarner has settled down. It was noted that he may struggle because he had thrown 270 innings between last regular and postseason. In three starts for the month of May, Bumgarner is 2-1 and sporting a 2.33 ERA. For the year, he’s now 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA. He has certainly improved since early on and I expect his numbers to get even better has the Giants get more competitive in the NL West.

C Buster Posey

Buster Posey was also off to a slow start hitting .229 with just 2 home runs and 6 runs batted in. Posey is now hitting right on par with his career .307 average with a .308 average. He also has 7 home runs to go with 21 runs batted in. He only has 3 doubles which is a bit concerning but he should find the gaps sooner or later.

Giants Hitting Overall

The Giants are hitting as a team .268, good for fourth in the MLB. A lot of this rides on Angel Pagan, Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Nori Aoki, Joe Panik, and Matt Duffy who all hold averages over .286. Nori Aoki has also flashed some speed on the base paths having swiped 10 bags this season. Belt, Pagan, and Posey all have averages over .300 for the season.

The Giants just got Hunter Pence back and hope to have pitcher Matt Cain back around the All-Star break. With the Giants also in the market for a third baseman, look out for the upward trending San Francisco Giants.

Optimism for the Defending NL Champs

The San Francisco Giants are off to a slow start in 2015. At 4-10, they currently sit 5th in the NL West, six games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. While they did lose third basemen Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox in the off season, many of the pieces from last year remain.. they just may be currently sidelined or off to a slow start.

OF Hunter Pence

Last year, Pence was a cog in the Giants lineup hitting .277 with 20 home runs, 74 runs batted in, 29 doubles, and 10 triples. He even swiped 13 bags. He was hit by a pitch in spring training back in March and is expected back in the coming weeks. He should bring more pop to the lineup which is currently hitting .233 as a team.

SP Matt Cain

Will Selva - Matt Cain

Pitcher Matt Cain is dealing with injury

Cain has been with the Giants since 2005 and has been the ace of the staff at times. Cain can be dominant and a big plus for the Giants when healthy. When healthy is a question mark. Cain started only 15 games last year and currently has yet to see the field. He’s currently on the 15 day disabled list with a flexor tendon strain and may be out longer than expected. While he was expected to begin throwing on the side next week, some are saying he still may not be ready. When healthy, Cain can be a top of the rotation pitcher for the Giants.

C Buster Posey

Posey is a career .307 hitter which is phenomenal for a catcher. However, Posey has got off to a slow start hitting just .229 with 2 home runs and 6 runs batted in. This should not last long and should be seen only as an early season slump. Posey has never hit lower than .284 for a season.

SP Madison Bumgarner

Bumgarner was unstoppable last year in both the regular and post season. He ended up pitching a total of 270 innings last year which can be much on a young arm. He too has got off to a slow start with a 1-1 record and an ERA of 5.29, a whole 2 points above his career ERA of 3.10. He’s closing in on 1,000 innings pitched at the major league level and is still just 25 years old which is extremely worrisome when he is pitching the way he has this year. Hopefully, it’s just the case of a few rusty starts and he regains form.

Some of the Worst Contracts In Baseball

Every offseason, there’s a team that was on the fringe of making it all the way, or just missing the playoffs and they vow to make it up to their fans by making a splash in the offseason. How big of a splash? Does it matter? These teams have a lot of money and want to deliver. General Manager’s jobs are on the line if they don’t win. So they’ll spend top dollar on talent, even if the player is already in decline. Does it work out? Sometimes, but sometimes not. Let’s take a look at two of the worst contracts teams are wishing they didn’t pull the trigger on.

Albert Pujols – 1B Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
images-3Following the 2011 season in which Pujols hit .299 with 37 HRs and 99 RBIs, Albert was looking to cash in. At the time, he was one of the most feared hitters in baseball. A consistent .300+ hitter to go with a guaranteed 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs, everyone lined up for the then 32 year old Pujols. The Angels opened the check book and gave him a guaranteed 10 year $240 million deal. What the Angels paid for and what they got are two different things. Pujols hit .285 with 30 HRs and 105 RBIs in his first season. He was hurt the following year and posted career lows across the board with .258 17 HRs and 64 RBIs. This past season, Pujols hit .272 28 HRs and 105 RBIs. Good numbers, but not exactly the most feared hitter in baseball. The Angels have plenty years left of Pujols deal and he’s only getting older.

CC Sabathia – P New York Yankees
images-2Sabathia was smart about his deal. After signing his initial $100 million dollar deal with the Yankees, he added an opt-out clause so he could opt out and re-up his $100 million deal and make it last well into his latter 30’s. The Yankees, who were in a tough spot at the time, had to bring back Sabathia, and with starting pitching always at a premium, they gave him 5 years $122 million which essentially added another year and $30 million to his old deal. With all this happening at the age of 31, you figured Sabathia would deliver early on and towards the end he would decline. Well the decline has set in earlier than expected. Following the 2012 season in which Sabathia posted a 15-6 record with a 3.38 ERA the wheels fell off for CC in the playoffs. CC was shelled by the Tigers in the ALCS and the Yankees were eliminated. The following season, CC posted a below mediocre 4.78 ERA to go with a 14-13 mark, not exactly top dollar numbers. The Yankees did not reach post season play. 2014 was not any better as Sabathia posted a 5.28 ERA in just 8 starts while going 3-4. The velocity wasn’t there and nor was his dominance. CC’s best days may be behind him but he’ll receive a rich paycheck from the Yankees for a few more years.

With these two examples, maybe it isn’t best to shell out all this money with no regard to age. Many teams are turning their focus to the farm system and want to develop players internally. While it is ok to grab a necessary free agent, teams are beginning to be more wary of potential blockbuster busts.

James Shields Lands In San Diego


James Shields

The top of the crop has officially dried up in Major League Baseball free agency. James ‘Big Game’ Shields signed a 4 year $75 million deal with the San Diego Padres. A bit of a surprise to some as he was expected to be after something near the 7 year $210 million deal Max Scherzer received from the Washington Nationals. Fact of the matter is this, at age 33, James Shields is roughly 3 and a half years older than Scherzer. While Shields age may be worrisome, it has also been a great representation of his durability as he has thrown over 200 innings in each of the last 8 seasons.

While Shields has proven to be a durable starting pitcher in the majors, many teams were scared off due to how he would hold up in the latter years of his career. While what he has done is impressive, it’s also a sign of what is maybe to come, arm fatigue or injury. The market cooled off on him and he ended up with a 4 year deal for $75 million with a team option for the 5th year.

Shields holds a career mark of 114-90 with many of those years. He’s logged 1,910 career innings pitched to go with 1,626 strikeouts. For spending the majority of his career in the AL East facing the bats of the Yankees, Red Sox, and even the Blue Jays of late, Shields has managed a respectable career ERA of 3.72. The Padres hope that his numbers can only get better as he’ll face one less DH and one more pitcher at the plate.

Shields best year was in 2011 when he finished 16-12 with 225 strikeouts in 249 innings, 11 complete games, and an ERA of 2.82. Shields has struggled to live up to the name ‘Big Game’ in the playoffs of late but the Padres hope he can find his groove in a new environment in San Diego.

Tailgating Ideas For This Season!

This season, loyal fans and tailgaters are taking to the parking lots and outskirts of college and NFL stadiums across the country. The smell of grilled burgers and baked brownies extends east to west, proving that tailgating traditions are rooted in American culture. A few of these tips from avid tailgaters include:

Get to the game early. It’s important to arrive early to secure the location where you’d like to set up and begin unpacking your food/ utensils/ decorations, etc.

Study a map to beforehand to pinpoint which location you want. A map of the stadium and the surrounding area will inform you of the best areas to set up your tailgate. Most likely, you’ll choose a spot based on where you need to enter the stadium or where there’s room left for parking. Hopefully not somewhere too faraway!

Stick to the essentials. Avoid overpacking, but to make sure you need the necessities to ensure a great tailgating experience for all.

Keep track of your supplies (label them if need be). With many tailgaters in the same place, supplies can get lost or misplaced. Make sure to keep track of what you bring with you. Resort to labeling the supplies if you need to.

Bring a variety of food options for guests. Ensure your guests have an assortment of foods in case some have allergies or preferences.

Fore additional tips check out this presentation:

Machado Deserves MLB Wrath

Bat-tossing may become an obscure Olympic sport sometime, but it’s frowned upon in baseball, especially if there’s intent to do harm, which brings us to Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and what he did Sunday versus the A’s. One gander at the video and you can clearly see the bat didn’t just slip out of his hands. He flung the piece of lumber in the hopes that it landed on a player’s dome.


Immediately after the game, Machado, who was ejected said the “bat slipped out of my hands. I was trying to make contact.” Yeah, riiiight. I don’t think so and you can bet Major League Baseball will agree with me. He deserves a hefty fine and a long unpaid vacation for pulling that off. There’s no place in baseball for it. He’s 21 going on 12. It appears Machado took severe umbradge with getting pitched inside by Fernando Abad because, ya know, that never happens in the sport.

He also didn’t like the routine tag A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson placed on him Friday night. That’s right, FRIDAY NIGHT. With the latter point, Machado never really said why the tag was a problem: “Donaldson made the right play, but I just didn’t agree on the tag that he made on me, and I just had to get up and confront him.” Uh, so explain to me why you are angry again? Manager Buck Showalter wasn’t sure what set off Machado but added, “Until you’ve walked a mile in a man’s shoes, you really don’t know what goes on, but it’s a pretty easy call for me what side of the fence I’m going to sit on.” C’mon, really? It was dangerous. It was dumb. There must be something about the name Manny that brings out this kind of kooky, head-scratching behavior because I don’t know how else you can explain away what Machado did on Sunday.

Puig Conundrum

A tweet earlier this week stated that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was 5 minutes early for a workout. Baby steps, right? Ahhh, such is la vida loca in Puigland where every nuance, move and look is now scrutinized more than the CBS cutaways of crying kids during the NCAA Tournament.


The latest Puig news bulletin pertains to a team meeting, one that did not involve sitting around a campfire, but rather a frank “clear the air” skull session about the young Cuban that was supposedly productive and sorely needed. In reality, it was a lot closer to an intervention than anything else.

The Aussie experience clearly showed that his act was wearing thin with his teammates and manager on not just one continent, but two. Think about if they had started the season 0 and 2? Quite frankly, they had to nip this early. He’s already grated on opponents’ nerves with his bat-flipping on routine pop-ups. His other perceived showboating antics could inevitably make him an easy target for pitchers trying to make a point. He needs the clubhouse support. The first two boxscores of the season encapsulated the maddening dichotomy that exists within Puig’s very nature: Either budding star possessing unbridled potential or volatile headcase prone to head-scratching mistakes. He was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts in the opener, but then followed that up with a 3 for 5, 2 RBI performance. You never quite know what you’re going to get. We’ll see if the stern message delivered by his teammates is actually received or whether he’ll be nothing more than Raul Mondesi dressed in a 66 jersey. It’s all about baby steps.