Earlier this week Ichiro Suzuki was traded the the AL East leading New York Yankees for two minor league relief pitchers the Yankees won’t miss. Although Ichiro is no longer the Japanese superstar who took the MLB by storm in 2001, a season in which Suzuki batted .350, notched a rookie-record 242 hits, stole 56 bases and won both the Rookie of the Year and AL MVP awards, he is still the player the Yankees have been missing since left fielder Brett Gardner‘s season ending injury.
Suzuki today, is probably faster than Gardner, even if his numbers don’t show it. Many scouts and analysts are saying the decline in Ichiro’s numbers aren’t due to age, but he was playing down to the basement level of the Seattle Mariners. I’ll go ahead and say it’s a mix of the two. The Mariners have been nowhere near sniffing the playoffs, so this change of scenery is long overdue. While Ichiro isn’t going to be hitting .350, he can flirt with .300 hitting in the bottom of the Yankees’ order for the remainder of the season. Suzuki puts the ball in play, and some time with hitting coach Kevin Long will help his approach at the plate. (more…)
BY JOHN MCCULLOUGH, Feedcrossing.com syndication
The Braves are rumored to be interested in Chicago Cubs‘ starters Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. Garza earns $9.5MM this season and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time this offseason. He currently has a 4.07 ERA, but he is still only 28 years old and has a 3.85 career ERA.
Dempster is 35 years old and has a 2.11 ERA this season. He is in the final year of a four-year contract with the Cubs. He has a career 4.33 ERA.
The Braves’ starting rotation currently has the fourth-worst ERA in the National League. Those numbers include Beachy, who was the major league leader in earned run average. Tommy Hanson is the only pitcher with above average numbers at the moment. Tim Hudson has had an up-and-down season thus far and will likely be pitching with ankle soreness for the remainder of the year. (more…)