Archive for November 2013

MLB Hot Stove: Moves that get overlooked so far this winter

November 25, 2013

When it comes to the MLB offseason and Free Agency everyone looks to the Jhonny Peralta’s new 4 year contract with the Cardinals or the big trade swap between Texas and Detroit involving Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler. While those deals are significant for the 2014 season, there are moves that go on throughout the winter that doesn’t get everyone’s attention on television or in the newspaper that should be noted to all baseball fans.

Nick+Punto+Arizona+Diamondbacks+v+Los+Angeles+JTUk13Yrdh4xLet’s start with infielder Nick Punto signing with the Oakland A’s. In Los Angeles last season with the Dodgers, he had a very good defensive year at 3rd Base and Shortstop. But let’s start off with his value. He had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.2 and 22 RAR (runs above replacement). He had a line of .255/.328/.327 in 335 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers but it wasn’t his bat that makes him so important because he defense makes up for that line. His Rdrs/year (Defensive Runs Saved) at 3rd and SS was 11 which is very good at the hot corner including 48 double plays turned and a .974 fielding percentage. Note, this is a utility player who will bring leadership and depth to a team that was lacking that in the postseason. Like I said, this is not a sexy signing but it is very influential to the Oakland A’s ball club in 2014.

Colby+Lewis+Toronto+Blue+Jays+v+Texas+Rangers+kQR2Vtq3VDmlNext is a signing that occurred today with Colby Lewis and the Texas Rangers. He signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. If Lewis makes the major league team, he’ll make $2 million in base salary and can earn up to another $4 million in incentives. He won 26 games for the Rangers in 2010-11 and in the playoffs he was 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA. Here is the important part, he started 200 innings in both of those years and had a winning record in a ballpark that is tough to pitch in. The Rangers will lose Matt Garza and lack veteran leadership in their rotation. If he can get it right after shoulder surgery in 2012, he can be an innings eater and can be that important back of the rotation guy at a very low cost compared to the Royals signing Jason Vargas for 8 million a season with a career 4.30 ERA. At the age of 34, he shouldn’t be the same pitcher we saw 3 years ago but I expect him to be effective and help the club get more wins this season. Watch for his story when Spring Training arises. I like his comeback potential.

penaCatchers are at a premium in baseball, especially defensive ones. When the Cincinnati Reds signed Brayan Pena and the Tampa Bay Rays signed Jose Molina on two-year contracts, I thought they were extremely smart moves from both clubs.

For the Tigers last season, Pena had a good percentage catching 30% of runners stealing bases. He also presented some pop in his bat with a .297 average, 4 home runs, and 11 doubles in 71 games. Not many backups catchers have those types of numbers in the big leagues and the Reds lacked a catcher with home run power and strong defense behind the dish.

molina raysOn the other side, Molina is a defensive wizard and is essential for Tampa Bay’s pitching staff. During the 2012 season he held the staff to a 3.22 ERA and a 3.74 in 2013. He had a value defensively of 6.2 compared to the league average of 0.9 in 2012 and 3.9 compared to league average 1.4 in 2013. In his two years with a Rays uniform he has had 55 runners killed on the base paths which shows how valuable he is compared to any other catcher in the market. Plus, he ranks first in framing runs above average with 33 which is 5 better than his brother Yadier Molina who is the best defensive catcher in the National League.

As for the offense, he has batted a poor .228 with the Rays but his defense is more valuable than his offense and you could see that in the 2013 Wild Card game against the Indians as he led Alex Cobb to 6 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out five.

So after reading this I hope you realize that while adding a player like Robinson Cano can make a huge difference in wins for any roster in the major leagues, it is the buying low and getting high reward players that fans don’t know about going into spring training. I hope I have kept you informed on smart deals for teams that needed improvements at those positions.

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Video Recap: Fordham Basketball falls to winless Sacred Heart 85-73

November 24, 2013

The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer covers Fordham’s first home loss to the Sacred Heart Pioneers at the Rose Hill Gym 85-73. Branden Frazier had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Jon Severe had 23 points and 9 rebounds. The Pioneers outrebounded the Rams 49-35 and Louis Montes finished with a double-double of 16 points and 13 boards. The Rams take on Manhattan in the Battle of the Bronx this upcoming Tuesday.

Fordham Basketball 2-1 after 80-72 win over Lehigh

November 17, 2013

The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer covers Fordham’s second win of the season at home against Lehigh. The Rams got double-double performances from Branden Frazier and Mandell Thomas, grabbed 52 rebounds, and forced the Mountainhawks to shoot 13 % from 3 point range.

Fordham Basketball 1-0 with 87-67 win over St. Francis (PA)

November 10, 2013

The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer is at the Rose Hill Gym for the Rams season opener against the Red Flash of St. Francis. Jon Severe sets freshman record for most points scored in an opener with 28 and Junior Bryan Smith scored 18 to lead the Rams to 87-67 victory.

 

Video: Fordham Men’s Basketball 2013-2014 Non Conference Schedule

November 8, 2013

The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer discusses the Rams 2013-14 non conference season schedule with some history and key players to watch out for. He also shows what the Rams need to do to be consistent this upcoming year.

Fordham Basketball defeats Northwood University 98-80 in exhibition to start season

November 2, 2013

The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer is at the Rose Hill Gym for full recap of the exhibition contest between Fordham and Northwood University. The Rams got 23 points from Senior Branden Frazier, 20 from Sophomore Mandell Thomas, 17 from Travion Leonard, 15 from Freshman Jon Severe, and a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds by Junior Bryan Smith. Fordham won 98-80. They begin their regular season at home against the St. Francis University Red Flash at the Rose Hill Gym part of a double header with the women’s game first at 6 PM.