Cabrera & Pujols & more @ MLBRT 9/22

 

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Miguel Cabrera? 3000 hits? Maybe 4000?
Albert Pujols? 700 HRS? 
The crew discusses their chances and lots more at this week’s roundtable…
1) The Red Sox just swept the Yankees four straight over the weekend and did it by coming from behind in all 4 games (scoring runs in the 6th inning or later) …

Are the Red Sox that good or are the Yankees that bad, or, is the answer somewhere in-between?  

(Editor’ note: My apologies to all… The question was meant to be a discussion about how good the Red Sox are this season and not another question on how good (or bad) the Yankees are. I think by using the last Red Sox/Yankees 4-game-series as the juxtaposition for the comparison that I may have lead you all astray.) 

Archie: I think I said we could forget about the Yankees over a month ago. We keep rehashing the storyline of the Baby Bombers and the fact remains they should NOT be expected to make the playoffs this year.Craig Kimbrel, Christian Vazquez

And, if, you really compare them to the Red Sox this year then the answer is “No, they are nowhere near as good as the Red Sox.”

Dan: I think it’s a combination of a couple of things. The first is that the Red Sox are just an incredibly great offensive team and a total team all-around. They’ve played great all season and are really on pace to take the American League by storm coming into the playoffs.

The other reason has something to do with the Yankees’ bullpen. They aren’t the same lockdown trio they had at the beginning of the season. Andrew Miller is gone. Chapman is gone. That is a big part of the reason the Yankees gave up leads late four games in a row. There really isn’t any excuse for it. 

Earl: Its in between. I was having this discussion with a Yankees fan this past Saturday and I don’t believe the Red Sox are that great. Yes, they are a better team from what they were last season, and they will likely hold off the Orioles and Blue Jays to win the AL East but I don’t know if the Sox are the best team in the American League. However, they are better than this Yankees team which has been a good story for the past two months but they apparently are just not good enough to make that wild card run.red-sox-2

Joe:  For a long time, this season, I used to think the Red Sox were playing over their head. That their pitching would eventually let them down big time. That Porcello was just having a real good stretch and he would return to his former piss poor self (he’s never won more than 14 games before and usually has an ERA over 4.00). That they were staying in the race for the AL East by smoke and mirrors.

Now, after watching the beating they put on the Yankees by coming from behind all in all 4 games and the continued winning/dominance they seem to be displaying as they then beat Baltimore 3 times in a row… I’m not so sure they aren’t he real deal after all. they are starting to become scary good. Solid defense, very solid hitting, so-so to decent pitching (just good enough) and even the bullpen hasn’t been too shabby lately.

I think the Red Sox are that damn good.  red-sox-3

Steve: I think the Red Sox have a demeanor where they have no quit and no deficit is insurmountable.The Yankees are young, while the Red Sox are filled with veteran players who know how to win in September.

The Yankees are not a bad team, but, they are inexperienced when it comes to playoff races (at least with this team.) It feels weird saying that about the Yankees, but, the Sox simply played like they wanted it more and played like they are primed to make a run at the pennant. 

2) Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera recently got his 2,500th hit at age 33. Only 7 other players have ever done that…Ty Cobb: 2,856; Rogers Hornsby: 2,705; Hank Aaron: 2,618; Robin Yount: 2,602; Alex Rodríguez: 2,531; Mel Ott: 2,528; Jimmie Foxx: 2,516 and Miguel Cabrera: 2,500 and counting. (Notice Pete Rose isn’t on that list as well as some other notable players who did get 3,000 hits. Also, note some of those players who achieved the age 33 feat never did get to 3,000 hits. CBS.com says Cabrera should reach the 3,000 milestone by 2018… 2019 at the latest

The question is: Can Cabrera reasonably get to 3,000 (1) within CBS.com’s time frame or (2) will it take him longer if at all, and, (3) what is the ceiling on Cabrera’s hit total?

Archie: I think it is going to take him another 3 seasons, (probably more like  2 1/2). His 162 game average is 194 and that puts him somewhere over the two-year mark. I don’t think, however, he will have any trouble making the 3K mark unless he gets plagued with injuries.cabrera-1

Dan: Throughout his career he has averaged 194 hits per season. He’s 33-years-old so his numbers aren’t going to be the same as they used to be in the coming years. CBS says that he’ll reach 3,000 hits in 2-3 years. That means, he needs 500 hits in the 2-3 year frame, averaging to 166.66-250 hits. If, he averages just 170-180 per season, and granted he doesn’t hit any more this season (which is incredibly unlikely), he’ll definitely reach the 3,000 mark within CBS time frame.

I think the ceiling on his hits total is about 3,500. That’s 1,000 and he can hit that in six years, if, he gets 170 hits per season, and,.I do think he’ll play a total of 6-7 more years before he retires. 

Earl: Wow. Interesting list, and I’m surprised that many of those players didn’t reach 3,000 hits but I expect Cabrera to get there and 2018 sounds about right.

He’s relatively healthy, can be played as a designated hitter, and, I don’t see Detroit moving him on anytime soon, so, he should have ample opportunity to get there as long as he can play.

Joe: Barring injuries, I see no reason why he can’t keep playing at a high level and attain 3,000 in the next 2 to 3 years.

As for his ceiling… again, barring injury… he is under contract until 2023, that takes him to age 39. I see no reason he can’t continue to hit at, or be slightly below, his current level until then. If, after he attains 3,000, he averages 170 to 180 hits for the next 4 to 4 ½ years, then, he should get somewhere in the vicinity of 680 to 720 hits. That takes him to… if, we middle those numbers… to about 700. That means he should, if he retires then, hit 3,700, give or take. So, he has an outside shot at 4,000.

Steve: I think he can get to 3000 by 2019, it all depends on his health and, if, he can maintain the dominance he has shown. He is still a relatively young man, and can still be very productive.

I don’t see it in two years, that would mean he would have to have well over 200 hits in each of the next two seasons. I could see the summer of 2019, as a realistic timeframe.

3) Another Miggy question… CBS.com says Cabrera is having another MVP caliber season. What are Cabrera’s chances to win this year’s AL MVP? If not win, then how high will he place among the voters?  

Archie: I am going to write a rant/prelude to this answer: Did you know that in a 20 year career Big Pappi has struck out over 100 times only six times? Did you know that Big Pappi is LEADING  everyone in OPS this season? Did you know Big Pappi is leading everyone in OBP this season? Did you know that NO DH has ever won the MVP?

Okay, having said all that, Big Pappi will still NOT win the MVP this season but By-God-He-Should!…cabrera

Back to Miggy, he will not win it, either, if, the Tigers do not make the playoffs. While Mike
Trout is an obvious candidate, the fact his Angels are in the cellar does nothing to help his case. Jose Altuve is a strong candidate given the Astros are still competing this late for a playoff spot. So, IF the Tigers make the playoffs Miggy WILL BE in the hunt, and, if, they do not, then, I don’t think he will capture the gold.  

Dan: I think he has a pretty good chance but will have some solid competition by David Ortiz among others. He’s having a great season this season, but David Ortiz is going crazy in his final year, really going out with a huge shebang.

I don’t think Cabrera will end up winning the MVP; I think he gets a top-3 finish

Earl: The Tigers won’t win the Central or make one of the Wild Card spots (although they are in contention). Failing a playoff appearance, I would write Cabrera off as a winner, but I can see him in the top 5 in the voting process.

Joe:  In my opinion, Cabrera should be in the conversation but he won’t win the MVP. There are other candidates that are having better years…. Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and, yes, Mr. “Still only 40-years-old” David Ortiz.  

Steve: Until recently, I thought Jose Altuve of Houston had this award locked up, but, because of Altuve’s recent struggles, Cabrera should be in consideration for the award. He is having yet another monster season and has the Tigers in the playoff hunt.

I would not be surprised if he walks away with the award, now that there is not a real clear cut winner.

4) On Saturday night (9/17), Albert Pujols hit the 590th home run of his career. Pujols remains under contract for 5 more years and it is unlikely the Angels will release him as long as he keeps having 30-HR seasons. He will be 37 in January.

Does he have a legitimate shot at reaching the 700 HR milestone?  

Archie: When he was in St. Louis I felt sure that Fat Albert would touch that mark, now, I am not so sure.

If, he does have a shot at 700, I think, it will be that he actually does play the full 5 more years.  

Dan: I think Albert Pujols has a very legitimate shot at hitting 700 home runs. He’s at 590 rightMLB: Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers now. If, he doesn’t hit any more this year, which I doubt, then, he’ll need to average 22 home runs per season for the remaining five years on his contract, which, I’m assuming he’ll finish out.

And, since, he’s hit 30 home runs in 14 consecutive seasons, I don’t see 22 home runs per year as a problem. 

Earl: This might sound bad but I almost forget that Pujols is still in the major leagues. Going to the Angels might have been great for his pockets, but I swear I feel like he fell off the map once he left St. Louis. Anyway, I do not give him much of a shot at getting to 700 home runs. Yes, he does have five years left on his deal but he will be 37 on opening day. I can’t see him finishing up his deal at 42 and I can’t see him hitting 110 more home runs to get to 700.

Joe: I keep writing Pujols off and I think I should stop that habit. He keeps surprising me. 

If, he (also, avoids injury) plays for another 4 years… I think he gets to about 680 or so HRs. I don’t think he will get to 700.albert2

He has a shot but its small. He will fall short. 

Steve: Sure he has a shot if he plays for the next five years and averages 22 HR. Which is attainable for Pujols, assuming he stays healthy during this time span.

I think it would be great for Baseball if he does it too, because Pujols has done it the right way, and, so far, there has not been any controversy surrounding him

5) At the All-Star break the San Francisco Giants were on a pace to win 102 games… and the Dodgers were 6 ½ games off pace in 2nd.  Since the break the Giants are 20-35, including 5-8 in September and the Dodgers now lead the NL West by 5 games

If, the Giants don’t make the playoffs, how epic will their “collapse’ have been?

Archie: Red Sox-Braves-esque…. There is really no reason for their demise. They are Not plagued with injuries; just have not been getting it done.

If, you go to http://www.espn.com/mlb/team/stats/pitching/_/name/sf/san-francisco-giants you would think they are still running away with the west. Hard for me to say what the hell has happened to their winning ways. blown-save-2

Dan: I think this collapse will be at the extreme “epic” level and one of the worst collapses in all of history. They were on pace right along with Chicago for the top two teams in the MLB. They made some moves at the deadline, including to get Will Smith from the Brewers to help shore up the bullpen. Their team has just shut down and is appearing as if they’ve used all of their good play up in the first half.

This was one enormous, horrible collapse for San Francisco. 

Earl: Their collapse would be epic. The Mets can’t hit worth a damn, but they find ways to win, and now they are in the number one wild card spot and they also have a favorable schedule to end the season. The way the Giants are playing, I would expect the Cardinals to catch them. I know I keep going back and forth on that, but the Giants look dreadful and unless they right the ship fast, they are going to miss out on this postseason.

Joe: Pretty damn epic. As it stands now, I believe, they will have done something no other team will have done before… have the best first half o the season in MLB and, then, follow that up with the worst second half of the season. 

As for why they suck so much? Go no further than their bullpen. Last time I looked the bullpen had 29 blown saves.giant

FYI..The record is 39 by the 1996 Colorado Rockies… the record looks safe for now. 

Steve: It would go down as one of the most epic collapses of all time. It reminds me of the Angels in 1995, when they had a 10 game lead in August and lost to the Seattle Mariners in a one game playoff and lost the division.

On paper, this team should be running away with the division, they have a great lineup, an outstanding pitching rotation, and a pretty good bullpen. How they are not up there with the Chicago Cubs, is a mystery to me.

Extra Innings… 

From Retro Simba… 

On September 22, 1948… 

musial1“Like a scene from the movie “The Natural,” Stan Musial achieved one of baseball’s rarest hitting feats with flair.

Shedding the bandages from his ailing wrists, (he had jammed one wrist while making a diving catch 5 days earlier and the was hit on his right wrist the next day) Musial took just five swings in the Cardinals’ game against the Braves at Boston on Sept. 22, 1948.musial2

Each swing produced a hit.

It was Musial’s fourth five-hit game of the season.

No major-league player had done that in 26 years.

Only two have done it in the 65 years since.

Joining Musial as the only big-league players with four five-hit games in a season: Willie Keeler (1897 Orioles), Ty Cobb (1922 Tigers), Tony Gwynn (1993 Padres) and Ichiro Suzuki (2004 Mariners).”

 

 

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