The Scoop

By Dalton Del Don

Manny Ramirez is off to a fantastic start this season, entering Tuesday with a line of .347/.413/.643. All the extra offseason work seems to have really paid off, and it’s apparent his career isn’t in such the decline last year suggested. That said, his .424 BABIP is the second highest in all of baseball, and his contact rate and walk rate are the lowest they’ve been over the past five years, so he has been fortunate. Ramirez is in such a good situation in Boston I wouldn’t call him a sell-high, but he’s unlikely to have another month this season that matches his April.

It’s safe to say the Angels were on the wrong end of the Jon Garland/Orlando Cabrera trade. Garland’s 5.94 ERA and 1.73 WHIP are ugly, but his 9:12 K:BB ratio over 36.1 innings is hideous. He more than doubled his season K total with five punchouts during his last start on Monday.

After further review, and by review I mean I’ve seen it 58 times on HBO, “The Departed” has to be one of the worst movies ever to win Best Picture. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally entertaining and completely rewatchable, but Jack Nicholson’s performance is mind-boggling, and the ending is embarrassing.

Blindly believing in talent, I like Delmon Young as a buy-low right now. The numbers aren’t pretty (.258/.287/.309 with zero homers), and it’s disconcerting that he’s never slugged better than .440 in any month during his career. In fact, he’s slugged less than .400 in five of the seven months he’s been in the big leagues. Still, the fact he already has six stolen bases is a great sign, and his swing produces so many line drives he should post a solid average despite the high K rate. He’s a future 30/30 hitter, and he still might reach 20/25 as soon as this year.

Barry Zito is the highest paid middle reliever of all-time. What’s going to happen when he doesn’t straighten things out? This situation is only going to get worse, and it’s put the Giants (and Zito) in one of the more awkward positions ever.

It’s never easy to trade a catcher, but Geovany Soto is officially a sell-high candidate. After basically coming out of nowhere last year, he has a fine .927 OPS for his career. However, he’s followed last year’s ridiculous .486 BABIP with a .407 mark this season, the fifth highest in the game. During his previous three years in the minors, he was consistently in the .320-.330 range, so this can’t possibly last. He’ll provide good pop for a backstop, and his improving ability to walk is a plus, but Soto is due for a crash.

The opposite is true for Robinson Cano, who has the second lowest BABIP (.165) in the majors. He got off to a slow start last year as well, hitting just three of his 19 homers over the first three months. Someone making contact 88 percent of the time simply should not be batting .153. With terrific lineup support around him, Cano has the upside of a top-25 fantasy player. Go get him.

Nothing would surprise me when it comes to Roger Clemens at this point. If he had just stepped up and apologized to begin with, none of this would have ever came to light, and he’d be out of mind, out of sight by now. I mean really, 15 years old?!

Looks like Johnny Cueto is going to have some bumps in the road, after all.

My take on Gavin Floyd? Sell, sell and sell. The former top prospect has a pretty 2.84 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, so on the surface it might appear as if he’s finally living up to his potential. Unfortunately, those numbers are accompanied by a poor 14:12 K:BB ratio, and only Cliff Lee has a lower BABIP (.161) in all of baseball. If that’s not enough, he also sports an inferior 0.67 groundball to flyball ratio while pitching in the AL’s best park for homers. Don’t get off the phone until you’ve traded him.

16 Responses to “The Scoop”

  1. Davidian says:

    Dalton, I know you were high on Austin Kearns but look at his stats, wtf?

  2. RotoScoop says:

    I hear you Davidian. Believe me, he’s KILLING me in multiple leagues, including extremely important ones like LABR. He’s walking a good amount and his BABIP is .205, so there is some cause for optimism. He’s going to improve, but I’m pretty frustrated. He’s had a lot of baserunners on for him this year and too often grounds out. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried. He’s kind of a bum.

  3. The Jewru says:

    Dalton where do you get your BABIP data?

  4. RotoScoop says:

    RotoWire. Baseball Prospectus has it too. And I’m pretty sure even ESPN does too, but they call it something different. And it’s free not Insider, at least last year it was.

  5. gordonjer says:

    gotta partially agree on The Departed. Even when I saw it in the theaters I was already ranking it below Godfather, Goodfellas, and even Donnie Brasco.
    If you want to see a good recent Scorsese movie see “Shine a Light”

  6. Dreamweapon says:

    To recycle another guy’s line, oh, c’mon–would the media make such a big deal out of it if Josh Beckett was banging Hannah Montana? I LOVE this Clemens story. Honestly, Bostonians must be in hog heaven right now. If I was a Sox fan, how could this not be at least as good as a World Series championship? It’s like they’re getting two in one year. The Post is so far up Clemens’ ass now that their reporters could play hacky sack with his kidneys. It’s only going to get worse (or, for the rest of us, much, much better), supposedly these are just the first couple of leaks in the dam. Once the whole facade cracks, hooooboy. If Roger was a real and honorable man, I could see this ending with him ducking his head in a noose and kicking the chair away, the fall and humiliation are THAT severe, but he’s too chickenshit and deluded for that. Congratulations, Barry! You need to send this joker some Omaha Steaks or a fruit basket or something.

    Also, ‘The Departed’ isn’t even close to the worst–here are some films that won best picture in the past decade or so: ‘Braveheart’, ‘Gladiator’, ‘Titanic’, ‘Chicago’, ‘Shakespeare in Love’. The whole thing is a joke, I don’t think there has been a winner that actually deserved it since ‘Unforgiven’ in ’92. That said, yes, Nicholson was terrible, just terrible, and is probably finished as an effective actor unless he somehow ends up with a landmark director who won’t brook his antics. Most of those guys are dead. Maybe Malick, maybe P. T. Anderson, I can’t see any others. And Scorsese has been in radical decline for a long time, tho ‘Departed’ wasn’t even 1% the shitfest that ‘Gangs of NY’ was.

  7. The Jewru says:

    Thanks for the info Dalton. I enjoyed The Departed but to even mention it in the same sentence as Godfather is ridiculous. Juno was the best movie last year period. Matt Damon was pretty damn good in The Departed and Alec Baldwin at the driving range explaining the advantages of being married to get ahead professionally was a great scene.

  8. Robby says:

    I just saw “The Ten” and thought it was pretty funny. Anyone else see it?

  9. RotoScoop says:

    Dreamweapon – I agree about Barry owing Clemens a few drinks, and this train wreck is hard not to watch. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy too.

    Good point about the other Best Pic winners – I must have blocked those out of my mind. What a joke. It’s not even close to the worst.

  10. RotoScoop says:

    And nice Arrested Development line.

  11. RotoScoop says:

    Jewru – Alec Baldwin’s scenes were all fantastic. The one you mentioned, and there’s another gem when he’s giving another speech and has a stain on his shirt.

  12. RotoScoop says:

    Robby – The “Ten” was very hit-and-miss (which can be expected, given the format), but overall, ya, some definite quality sketches. It’s worth seeing.

  13. Sav says:

    Trade Soto at your own risk because he’s the real deal. Two more homers tonight plus a rocket caught at the track. He’s not the same hitter he was years ago so those minor league stats of the past are irrelevant.

  14. Dreamweapon says:

    PS–I’ll tell you what else, Nicholson’s “Best Actor” award from 1997 for the execrable ‘As Good As It Gets’ should be taken back and given to Robert Duvall for his work in ‘The Apostle’, which may have been the most impressive performance of the 90s (and he wrote the script to boot). What a joke. I want to throw up just thinking about that travesty. Not only did that movie straight-up suck, but even Greg Kinnear blew Nicholson away in their shared scenes. Greg Kinnear!!!

  15. RotoScoop says:

    I wouldn’t advocate trading Soto, you’re right, since catcher is so thin and he’s one of the top-5 or 6 at the position. But I can promise you he won’t finish with a BABIP over .400.

  16. RotoScoop says:

    Haha, ya I remember Greg Kinnear’s riveting performance. The Oscar’s are often a joke.

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