BaseballHQ: Whose Playing Time Is Rising/Falling?

Feb 8, 2013

BaseballHQ Rec2This week, BaseballHQ debuted its new Playing Time Today column. Each selected news item that requires an adjustment to BaseballHQ’s playing time projections is rated for importance, and then any playing time adjustments (AB, IP, percent of team saves) are summarized at the bottom of each item. Below is a summary of recent news items along with BaseballHQ’s take on their impact…


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National League


Cardinals | Chris Carpenter not expected to pitch this year
St. Louis Cardinals SP Chris Carpenter (shoulder) is not expected to pitch for the team this year due to issues related to his shoulder problems last year, and general manager John Mozeliak doesn’t expect Carpenter to pitch for the team again. Carpenter encountered setbacks as he ramped up his throwing this offseason, and he’s considering retirement, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. He will meet with the medical staff to determine his next step.  Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Derrick Goold
BHQ take:  If he decides to retire, he leaves the game with a Cy Young award, three All Star selections, three victories in the World Series, and two World Series rings.  —Mike Shears
Impact: High
Carpenter, Chris    PT Loss: -10%

Cardinals | Prepared to go with in-house options
St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said the team is prepared to enter the season with their in-house starting rotation options now that SP Chris Carpenter (shoulder) is expected to miss the entire season. SPs Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal are the options to replace Carpenter. However, the team won’t rule out outside help, including re-signing SP Kyle Lohse.  Source: – Stan McNeal
BHQ take: If they don’t find outside help, one of the kids (Kelly, Miller, and Rosenthal) is going to have to grow up fast. Each got some time in the majors last year, and all 3 have starter-worthy skills. Lynn was considered the front-runner for the #5 SP before the Carpenter announcement. He’ll need to show he can handle a starter’s workload for a whole season.  —Mike Shears
Impact: High
Miller, Shelby PT Gain: 3%
Kelly, Joe PT Gain: 3%
Rosenthal, Trevor PT Gain: 5%

Pirates | Jonathan Sanchez official
The Pittsburgh Pirates officially signed free-agent SP Jonathan Sanchez (Rockies) to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.  Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – Rob Biertempfel
BHQ take: An 8.07 ERA last year, control issues, two consecutive years of dealing with left biceps tendinitis, and several other starter options make Sanchez a spot starter or, at best, a mid-season replacement.  —Mike Shears
Impact: Low
Sanchez, Jonathan O  PT Loss: -4%

MLB | Brian Wilson doesn’t impress
Free-agent RP Brian Wilson (elbow) threw only 20 pitches with low velocity when he auditioned for the New York Mets last month in California, and he doesn’t appear to be ready to return from Tommy John surgery just yet.  Source: – Adam Rubin
BHQ take: Looks like Wilson may need to spend some time in the minors to get back into closer form.  —Mike Shears
Impact: High
Wilson, Brian P PT Loss: -1%  SV Loss: -20%

Marlins | Logan Morrison rehab update
Miami Marlins OF Logan Morrison (knee), who will be transitioning from left field to first base this season, will not be running at full strength when camp begins, but he may be cleared to pick up the pace at the end of the month. ‘We’re going to be patient,’ president Larry Beinfest said. ‘We’ll wait for him to be back. We’ll work with Dr. Steadman and Dr. Kaplan on anything that’s going on with the knee.’ There is still a chance Morrison won’t be ready by opening day. 1B Joe Mahoney is expected to see a good look at first with Morrison still recovering during spring training. 3B Greg Dobbs and OF Austin Kearns will also see work at first.  Source: – Joe Frisaro
BHQ take: The news on Morrison’s health is not getting better. However, if he can ever get back on the field—and stay there—he could be productive for a Marlins team that can use all the help it can get. Note he’s never had a PX below 100 and it’s been as high as 145.  —Phil Hertz
Impact: High
Morrison, Logan PT Loss: -15%

Marlins | Jon Rauch signs
The Miami Marlins signed free-agent RP Jon Rauch (Mets) to an undisclosed one-year deal Tuesday, Feb. 5. In a corresponding move, OF Bryan Petersen was designated for assignment.  Source: The Sports Network
BHQ take: Rauch is less likely to get saves in Miami with Cishek and prospects like Ceda ahead of him. He has had success in the past as a setup guy and will likely get a shot at the seventh or eighth innings with the Marlins.  —Phil Hertz
Impact: Med
Rauch, Jon   PT Loss: -1%  SV Loss: -5%

Padres | Freddy Garcia agrees to terms
The San Diego Padres have agreed to terms with free-agent SP Freddy Garcia (Yankees) on a minor league deal. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. He is expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.  Source: – Jerry Crasnick
BHQ take: Has a chance to put up some innings early on, before the SD rotation gets healthy. But his best shot is as a long man out of the pen. With PETCO fences coming in and Garcia now mediocre, he landed in SD at the wrong time in his career.  —Jock Thompson
Impact: Low
Garcia, Freddy    PT Gain: 1%

Marlins | Justin Ruggiano, Alfredo Silverio still recovering
Miami Marlins OF Justin Ruggiano (shoulder) should be at full speed this spring, and he’s the front-runner to start in center field this year. ‘Ruggiano was banged up at the end of the season,’ president Larry Beinfest said. ‘He has no restrictions coming into camp.’ OF Alfredo Silverio (neck, back, elbow) will not be fully cleared to participate at the start of spring training after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. He will likely enter the season on the disabled list.  Source: – Joe Frisaro
BHQ take: Silverio is a guy to watch down the road. He was a highly thought of prospect before hurting himself last winter in a car crash. However, the news that he won’t be ready at the start of spring training makes it very likely he’ll be in the minors for a good chunk, if not all, of 2013.  —Phil Hertz
Impact: Low
Silverio, Alfredo PT Loss: -5%

American League


Astros | Tyler Greene has chance to earn starting role
Houston Astros SS Tyler Greene will battle with SS Marwin Gonzalez in spring training for the starting shortstop job after the team traded SS Jed Lowrie to the Oakland Athletics. Barring another transaction, they will be spelled by INF Jake Elmore, who has played in only 30 career games, at the position. ‘Whenever opportunity knocks, sometimes the real player really shows up,’ first-year manager Bo Porter said. ‘So we’re hoping that one of those guys grabs the bull by the horns and takes charge of the shortstop position.’ Gonzalez is a switch hitter who is more comfortable from the left side, so he will make a nice platoon option with Greene, and Gonzalez presents the team with better defense.  Source: Houston Chronicle – Brian T. Smith
BHQ take: Big break for Greene, who has yet to hit for enough average to make his speed and pop play for more than 300 AB—but might be able to with the lowly Astros. Both Gonzalez and Elmore will try to take SS AB away from him, though neither are worth rostering for now.  —Jock Thompson
Impact: High
Gonzalez, Marwin PT Gain: 15%
Elmore, Jake PT Gain: 5%
Greene, Tyler PT Gain: 35%

Royals | 2B battle to be a good one
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost expects the battle for the starting second base job this spring between 2Bs Chris Getz (thumb) and Johnny Giavotella to be an intense one. Yost said Getz is healthy and has added some bulk in the offseason. Giavotella had a slash line of .250/.276/.330 with a home run and nine RBIs in 32 games after Getz broke his thumb in August. Giavotella’s weak spot has been his defensive play.  Source: The Kansas City Star – Pete Grathoff
BHQ take: Giovatella has little to prove on the offensive side in the minors, and maybe MGR Yost will stick with him after this year’s Spring Training ends. He was declared the favorite to win the 2B job last year, but a mediocre Spring Training got him demoted. KC’s upgrades to the pitching staff may allow Yost to be patient with him, or his poor defense may get him a ticket to Triple-A.  —Mike Shears
Impact: High
Getz, Chris PT Gain: 35%
Giavotella, Johnny PT Gain: 15%

Blue Jays | Henry Blanco the favorite to be backup
Toronto Blue Jays C Henry Blanco is the favorite to serve as the backup to C J.P. Arencibia this year. Blanco will face competition from C Josh Thole this spring, though, but Thole has minor league options remaining.  Source: – Chris Toman
BHQ take: Blanco’s playing time has been in decline since 2009, and at age 41, may not have much left in the tank (hitting .188 in 2012). Thole may still have options remaining, but should still be expected to get more of the backup catcher ABs than Blanco.   —Matt Dodge
Impact: Med
Thole, Josh PT Loss: -15%
Blanco, Henry PT Gain: 15%

Blue Jays | Casey Janssen will close
Toronto Blue Jays CL Casey Janssen will serve as the team’s closer once again in 2013, according to manager John Gibbons. There was thought that Janssen would face competition from RP Sergio Santos, who opened 2012 as the club’s closer before being lost for the season with a shoulder injury after just six appearances. But Janssen posted a 2.54 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over 63 2/3 innings.  Source: – Chris Toman
BHQ take: Janssen’s official naming as closer increases his saves projection; expect Santos to pick up any remaining saves.  —Matt Dodge
Impact: High
Santos, Sergio  SV Loss: -10%
Janssen, Casey C  SV Gain: 10%

Rangers | Jurickson Profar could play OF
Texas Rangers SS Jurickson Profar could be given the chance to play outfield in spring training if it gives him the opportunity to play frequently and make the opening day roster. ‘Our stance on Jurickson is that if he demonstrates he’s one of the best 25 or the best nine and we’re comfortable there’s enough of an opportunity for him to play and that it doesn’t hurt his progress,’ general manager Jon Daniels said. ‘I see him long-term as a shortstop or middle infielder. But he may take some balls out there as well. We’ll see what happens.’ Profar or 3B Mike Olt could be auditioned in right field in case OF Nelson Cruz is suspended for performance-enhancing drugs. – Richard Durrett
BHQ take: Anything to boost Profar’s potential PT in 2013 is a good thing for his owners, and TEX does have enough uncertainty in the OF to watch this situation closely. It seems likely Profar will get several hundred AB for the Rangers this year, one way or another.  —Rod Truesdell
Impact: Low
Profar, Jurickson PT Gain: 10%

Angels | Ryan Madson could miss first week
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim general manager Jerry Dipoto said RP Ryan Madson (elbow) should only miss the first week if he’s not ready for the season.  Source: Los Angeles Times – Mike DiGiovanna
BHQ take: We’d projected Madson—the front office favorite to close—to miss the first month. If DiPoto’s comments come to pass, incumbent Ernesto Frieri will have less time to make his case. The situation remains one to watch this spring and throughout April.  —Jock Thompson
Impact: Med
Madson, Ryan SV Gain: 10%

Athletics | Jed Lowrie acquired
The Oakland Athletics have acquired SS Jed Lowrie and P Fernando Rodriguez from the Houston Astros for 1B Chris Carter, SP Brad Peacock and C Max Stassi.  Source: – Jon Paul Morosi
BHQ take: Carter will slide into the 1B/DH mix with Carlos Pena and Brett Wallace — unless Wallace moves to 3B to challenge Matt Dominguez. There should be more PT news and fallout from this one in the days ahead, but Nate Freiman’s sleeper status is the big immediate loser. Peacock joins a long list of rotation hopefuls, though he still looks like a good bet to begin the season at Triple-A.  —Jock Thompson
Impact: High
Carter, Chris
Peacock, Brad

BHQ take: Lowrie’s PT won’t take a hit, but his production will, moving to Coliseum for half his games. However, Lowrie is expected to play all over the infield, with multi-position eligibility a nice benefit. Chris Carter’s departure from OAK opens up more 1B time for Brandon Moss on the good side of a 1B platoon with Lowrie, and helps alleviate the glut of OF time by spreading multiple players through the OAK DH slot. Barring another trade, PT prospects for the likes of Scott Sizemore, Jemile Weeks, and possibly Josh Donaldson have taken a hit, and at least one of those three likely headed to Triple-A to start the season.  —Rod Truesdell
Impact: High
Lowrie, Jed PT Loss: -5%
Rodriguez, Fernando

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