The weekend is upon us. I’m sure you all have plans to have a nice meal with your significant other, or at the very least to meet your homies somewhere to pull back on a few brews while ogling the opposite sex (at least that’s what I do when I’m out with my friends). If you have time to squeeze in some baseball, and I hope you do, here is just enough info to wet your whistle until we hit things full-time next week (you can join my Twitter following to get some of my thoughts over the weekend, cause you know I can’t stay away for too long – sports are in my blood).
I gave a quick snapshot on my thoughts about some of the prospects I witnessed firsthand in the Arizona Fall League in my piece titled AFL Impressions. For a bit more depth on some of those players make sure you give Jason Collette’s piece, AFL Review, a read. And yes, we both noticed how young and smallish looking Buster Posey appears to be.
Jeff Francoeur might end up with the Mets long-term after all, he is under their control through 2012 if they abide by the arbitration process, as the team might be interested in signing him to an extended contract. Honestly, the guy has been mostly a mess the past couple of seasons, but he is just 26 years old and hit .311 with 10 homers and 41 RBI in just 75 games with the Mets. He still has simply atrocious plate discipline, he has 104 walks since the start of the 2007 season or just three less than his former teammate Chipper Jones had last season, but he still has one live stick. If someone could just teach him some strike zone control Frenchie really could be something.
Braden Looper will not be back with the Brewers in 2010 after his option of $6.5 million was declined by the club. Seems like the Brewers would prefer not to give the aging innings eater another 34 starts since he posted a 5.22 ERA while allowing the most long balls in baseball, an amazing total of 39. Maybe he should go to the New York Yankees and that explosive home park of theirs – I’m sure that would help him to reign in that trend.
Ben Sheets – remember him? You know, the guy who owns a 3.72 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 7.60 K/9 mark in his career. Last we saw him was 2008 when he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP for the Brewers. Alas, he ended the year injured, and then missed all of the 2009 season following surgery to his flexor tendon in his elbow. After a few reports that he was going to call it a career, his agent came out and said that his client fully intends on pitching, somewhere, in 2010. Dr. James Andrews performed the same surgery on Andy Pettitte back in 2004, and he has done pretty well since then. Will Sheets be able to follow that roadmap back to success?
Vernon Wells had surgery on his wrist, and as I wrote on my Twitter acct (you can access it below), Wells “should be fine for ’10. Though ‘fine’ is subjective after last year’s debacle.” I’ve watched the guys for years, and much like former teammate Alex Rios, if you catch him on the right day he clearly looks like a 5-tool monster on the field. Problem is Wells is often injured, and the Jays are being hindered in their attempts to improve their squad as they continue to operate under the onerous conditions of the massive dollars they threw at Wells a few years back (he is entering just the third of seven seasons on a deal worth $126 million). The Jays probably would have been better off giving that money to Roy Halladay, don’t you think? Still, don’t sleep on Wells on draft day. After all, just a season ago he hit .300 with 20 homers, and last year when he struggled to hit .260 with 15 homers he did swipe 17 bases to add plenty to his value.
Jack Wilson signed a 2-year deal worth $10 million to stay with the Mariners. That’s certainly better than the $8.4 million option he had that was turned down, but at the same time Wilson hit .255 with five homers, 39 RBI and 37 runs scored over 373 ABs. He still plays solid defense at 31 years of age, but man, doesn’t that seem like a lot of dough to give a guy who isn’t even major league average at the dish?
Don’t forget to visit my Twitter Account during the day for hourly updates about what is going on in the world of baseball.
By Ray Flowers