ONE MORE DAY until the games are for reals (Season Opener Thursday 12 PT/3 ET)
carry on. I will be putting up a GDT in time for the season opener on April 5th. This discussion thread will run its course to 1000 posts though, whether that happens the day before opening day or 3 weeks after.
As for wallpapers and avatars and whatnot, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
"Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent."
Sorry, I am not taking signature requests at this time.
Making your preseason picks for minor league player of the year honors has a bit more complexity than big league awards. The biggest issue, of course, is playing time. Tampa Bay Rays lefty Matt Moore, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout are universally seen as the top three prospects in baseball, but none of them are good picks for 2012 honors. Moore will open the year in the big leagues, with Harper and Trout likely following suit. In fact, those three showed up on last year's version of this list.
When searching for minor league POY, you need a player who will spend the entire year away from the majors -- and in an environment that is conducive to putting up numbers -- or with an assignment in which the player can impress for other reasons. Here are my top 10 preseason candidates for the unofficial minor league POY.
Travis d'Arnaud, C, Toronto Blue Jays
With Jesus Montero, a catcher in name only, now a big leaguer, d'Arnaud will begin the 2012 season as the best catching prospect in the game. After winning Eastern League MVP honors last season with a .311/.371/.542 line, he's moving to Triple-A Las Vegas, where the ball flies out of the park. Two years ago, J.P. Arencibia hit 32 home runs and slugged .626 in 104 games in Vegas before being called up to Toronto, and one wonders if d'Arnaud can force some difficult decisions with a similar performance.
For those wondering who Tepera is, he was drafted by the Jays in the 19th round of the draft in '09. He was 23 years old last year when he played out the year in A+ ball with Dunedin, posting a 11-6 W/L record and 4.43 ERA in 146.1 IP.
Neither John Farrell nor general manager Alex Anthopoulos would spit out the names of the final five on Wednesday, but a reading of the tea leaves suggests it’s all but a done deal.
When the Jays head north on April 3 following their final spring training game, they will likely sport a rotation that consists of Ricky Romeo, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Henderson Alvarez and Kyle Drabek.
No big surprises there.
The odd men out will be Dustin McGowan, who will likely go on the disabled list due to his bout of plantar fasciitis and lefty Aaron Laffey, who will open the season at triple-A Las Vegas.
I can see it happening like something out of pro wrestling. The Jays are losing and Farrell looks defeated and despondent watching from the bench. Then all of a sudden the Rogers Center lights go out, and the music starts up. Then in a blast of pyro, Cito emerges from the tunnel. Cue Buck in the broadcast booth:
Lawrie is at the plate and he looks back to see Cito. Cito points and nods, and with that, Lawrie turns back to the game and knocks the next pitch out into the topmost glass of Windows Restaurant. Jays win. Everyone goes nuts...
I have no idea what possessed me to think up all of that. I haven't even watched wrestling in like 10-15 years.