First, don’t the Braves already have a solid second baseman in Kelly Johnson? Yes they do, but Orlando Hudson could be an upgrade. Hudson is not that far removed from winning a Gold Glove and will also hit for a higher average. Johnson has the edge in power, but also racks up more strikeouts. Hudson missed time last year but his health issues should be finished if Atlanta is considering him.
Orlando Hudson would come at a significantly cheaper price tag than he first imagined at the beginning of free agency. Johnson would still be much cheaper but he has trade value that Atlanta could use in their attempt to acquire a power hitting left fielder such as Ryan Ludwick. The biggest advantage Hudson has is the batting average. As a second baseman he wouldn’t need to be relied upon for power numbers. Hudson had fewer strikeouts than Johnson, a higher OBP, and could have been better in home runs and walks had he played the entire season.
Moving Kelly Johnson to left field doesn’t seem like a great option. Johnson underwent Tommy John surgery and who knows how much is left in his arm. Second base isn’t exactly the best place to build up arm strength either.
The Cardinals have expressed interest in Kelly Johnson and packaging him with a minor league pitcher or two could land Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick would easily provide Atlanta’s outfield the much needed boost in offense that they have desperately been looking for. Pat Burrell could have been an option before he landed with Tampa Bay.
Ludwick strikes out more than what would be wanted but that comes with the territory of big power numbers. Ludwick would also come cheaply at less than $1MM next season. He is the big, right-handed bat Atlanta has been looking to sandwich in between Chipper Jones and Brian McCann. Jeff Francoeur can still be that player, but I don’t think the Braves want to take any chances and have him have another down season. Adding Ludwick could take pressure off of Francoeur and let him develop more out of the spotlight.
Well it looks like I was 1 for 4 in my playoff predictions. The only series I got right was the Tampa-Chicago series. The Angels lost to the Red Sox and proved me wrong…again.
It turned out that the Red Sox were a little better than I thought and made the Angels look bad. It happens. Tampa played just the way I thought they would and took it to the White Sox. The Red Sox are on a roll and the Rays are just to young. In all honesty I really want the Rays to win. They deserve it. I just really don’t think they are a better team than the Red Sox.
They may have had a better record but I just don’t think that when the occasion arises that they will step up. Boston just has to much talent and experience. Tampa has so much talent its not fair but they have no experience.
Tampa has home field advantage so I think they will win at least 2 games. Even with home field advantage I doubt that the Rays will be able to beat Boston when it counts. The Rays are the feel good story of the year but they just don’t have the experience needed to succeed this far into the season. Next year looks good if they can keep the team together or add a piece.
As much as I like the Rays, Boston is just to good and will win this series. It will be a Boston-Los Angeles World Series this year. Yes, Manny will return to Boston but as a Dodger.
Now is the time of year that everyone makes their bold playoff predictions. Who will be a bust? Who will be the Cinderella team? Who will win it all?
The first series will be the Twins/White Sox vs. the Rays. I don’t think it matters who wins in the Twins/White Sox playoff, the Rays are going to win this series. Scott Kazmir and the defense are excellent. The Rays don’t have a tremendous offense but they do have home field advantage and will win this series.
The Red Sox and the Angels I feel is the best series by far. I think this will go 5 games and will have Franky Rodriguez shut the door in the ninth to clinch the series. Don’t get me wrong Bo Sox fans, the Red Sox are an excellent team. The Angels however are better. With the addition of Teixeira the Angels became the best team in all of baseball. Boston will not go down without a fight, but the Angels will prevail.
Next up is the Brew Crew and the Phillies. I am almost positive that C.C. Sabathia will completely overwhelm the Phillies offense and get at least 2 victories in the series. I think this will go at least 4 games. But in the end the Brewers have C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets. Oh and don’t forget about that Prince Fielder guy, he isn’t bad either. Brewers take the series in at least 4 games.
The final division series is the Cubs and the Dodgers. I think of this as more of a warm up series for the Cubs. Even with Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers are not very good. They have some pitching. Ok, I lied. They don’t have any. The Cubs happen to have 2 aces. Ryan Dempster is their third guy. He would be the second one on almost any other team. The Cubs have way to much pitching and way to much offense. I’m calling the sweep, 3 games and out for the Dodgers.