Should Ubaldo Jimenez Elevate his Slider?

ubaldo jimenez orioles

Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles open their American-League-East-title-defense campaign next Monday at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, but we still don’t know a whole lot about how their starting rotation will look heading into 2015. Kevin Gausman, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez seem to be the most likely of candidates to comprise the five-man carousel, but what order […]

The Fascinating Development of Ian Kennedy’s Knuckle Curveball

ian kennedy

Looking ahead to Major League Baseball’s 2016 free agent class, starting pitching figures to once again be at an understandably high premium for big league front offices. If the market were set today, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Rick Porcello and Jordan Zimmermann would headline an incredibly deep pool of available veteran arms, with the possibility of Zack Greinke and a […]

Desmond Jennings and His Breaking-Ball Issues

desmond jennings rays

On the one hand, it seems like just yesterday when the Tampa Bays Rays promoted Desmond Jennings to their big-league roster for the first time, a highly anticipated move that concluded a sterling minor league career defined by athleticism, production and stratospheric potential. But on the other, that seems like a while ago at this point, which it certainly has; Jennings’ call-up transpired more than […]

Yordano Ventura Misses Bats; Can He Get Hitters to Chase?

yordano ventura royals

As of Thursday morning, Ned Yost hasn’t formally announced who will take the hill for the Kansas City Royals when the club opens its season April 6 against the Chicago White Sox. But the presumptive favorite to land the Opening-Day gig seems to be flamethrowing right-hander Yordano Ventura. Despite a rather rough go at it in spring training […]

Mike Trout Vows to be More Aggressive — is it the Smart Move?

mike trout

Predictably, Mike Trout‘s spring training has begun on a rather scorching note. The 23-year-old reigning American League MVP owns a slash line of .545/.630/1.136 (10 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI) through 27 plate appearances for Mike Scioscia, going three-for-three in stolen base attempts with a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 5:3. There’s a legitimate argument to be made that pre-season […]

Will C.J. Wilson Find the Strike Zone in 2015?

c.j. wilson angels

The Los Angeles Angels’ starting rotation has potential to be pretty darn good this season. Garrett Richards, who posted a 2.60 FIP over 26 starts in 2014 prior to season-ending surgery to his left knee last August, looks healthy and ready to perform by the end of April. Matt Shoemaker, whose 1.66 ERA after August 1 last season led the American […]

Justin Verlander and the Effects of a Declining Changeup

justin verlander

With the loss of Max Scherzer in free agency to the nation’s capitol, Rick Porcello‘s trade departure to Boston and the increasing likelihood of David Price seeking a nine-figure contract that his current club may or may not be able to give him next winter, starting pitching has become an uncharacteristically sizable question mark for the Detroit Tigers in recent […]

With Strong Lower Half, Will Joe Mauer’s Plate Coverage Return?

joe mauer twins

As the Minnesota Twins prepare for their first season under the direction of Paul Molitor, speculation involving the health and durability of catcher/first baseman Joe Mauer has loomed large at the team’s spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla. For the first time in two years, the 31-year-old participated in an off-season training program without any limitation after injuries prevented him […]

Elevate to Jorge Soler at Your Own Risk in 2015

jorge soler

It’s difficult to internalize all that Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs have done this winter without cracking a smile or two out of genuine fervor. With 108 years of World Series-less baseball behind it, the organization invested six years and $155 million in December on free agent starter Jon Lester to assume the role […]

Ryan Braun’s Thumb is Healthy — Will His Inner-Half Potency Resurface?

ryan braun brewers II

Aside from the compulsive denials, legal action and subsequent public backlash elicited from his performance-enhancing drug use, the most prevalent story-line connected to Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun over the past two years has been the health of his right thumb. The 2011 National League MVP has battled soreness and discomfort in his right hand since the middle […]