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We will need some improvement from returning players to compete in 2016


Frobby

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We clearly need to re-sign or replace some of our pending free agents, but to compete next year, we are also going to need to see improvement from some of the players who are returning. I'm thinking primarily of:

J.J. Hardy -- the glove is great, but at a .550ish OPS he's Cesar Izturis.

Chris Tillman -- he needs to be the 200 inning horse he was in 2013-14.

Miguel Gonzalez -- he needs to be back to the reliable starter he was until this June.

Kevin Gausman -- he's finishing the season fairly strongly, but needs to make another step up next year and become a TOR starter.

I don't think Jonathan Schoop needs to improve on what he's done this year, but he needs to play a full season and not backslide much.

I really don't expect more than we're already getting from Jones, Machado, Joseph, Jimenez and the bullpen guys. We'll be fortunate to hold serve there.

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Unless he was injured the entire second half, I don't see Gonzalez improving at age 32. It's more likely his decline has begun. I'd like to see them trade him and find a younger pitcher elsewhere.

I'm thinking Gonzo bounces back. Plus we'd be selling him with his value at an all time low. Bad season plus first year arb eligible.

If we're talking returning players improving, then I got to go with Jimmy Paredes. Let him play LF in winter leagues and in ST. Overall he had a nice year. I think there's still potential to be better with his bat. I know Schoop is younger but he made a huge adjustment after his first full season of AB's. Hopefully Jimmy can have the same type of improvement with pitch recognition and patience.

Really I don't see us bringing O'day back. So Givens, Roe, Drake, and Wright all need to be better in the pen. It's reasonable to think that those players combined with Paredes improvement is all we will be depending on. I really hope we're not in a position next season where were having to rely on a somebody to have a breakout year to fill the rotation spot. Same thing with filling out the lineup.

Spend the money on keeping Davis. Add a vet SP, and find an everyday player for LF or RF. I can live with a platoon in one OF spot and at the DH spot. Something like

vs RHP

Pearce-LF

FA-RF

Paredes-DH

Clevenger-C

Vs LHP

Nolan-LF

Pearce-DH

FA-RF

Joseph-C

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Given up on Ubaldo?

OP said he doesn't expect more from Ubaldo and I think that is fair. He has had two years here and has shown a few flashes, but overall we know he is going to walk a lot of guys and give up some runs. If anything, I would be worried he will at some point regress back to his 2014.

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Unless he was injured the entire second half, I don't see Gonzalez improving at age 32. It's more likely his decline has begun. I'd like to see them trade him and find a younger pitcher elsewhere.

I think that's the key question about Miguel: was a large part of his demise attributable to injury. I have no idea.

The returnees listed in the OP included one OF and no first baseman or DH. I have been impressed recently with Reimold (.952 OPS in the last 30 days, with just 45 PAs), Pearce and Clevenger. I would like to see them back, Pearce with a salary cut and incentives.

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OP said he doesn't expect more from Ubaldo and I think that is fair. He has had two years here and has shown a few flashes, but overall we know he is going to walk a lot of guys and give up some runs. If anything, I would be worried he will at some point regress back to his 2014.

Ubaldo's 2015 performance is about what I expected his average performance to be over his four year deal -- maybe slightly worse, but in the ballpark. It's possible we'll get an above average year out of him in 2016 or 2017, but I'm not really counting on it.

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OP said he doesn't expect more from Ubaldo and I think that is fair. He has had two years here and has shown a few flashes, but overall we know he is going to walk a lot of guys and give up some runs. If anything, I would be worried he will at some point regress back to his 2014.

He is pretty much the pitcher he always was.

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I think that's the key question about Miguel: was a large part of his demise attributable to injury. I have no idea.

The returnees listed in the OP included one OF and no first baseman or DH. I have been impressed recently with Reimold (.952 OPS in the last 30 days, with just 45 PAs), Pearce and Clevenger. I would like to see them back, Pearce with a salary cut and incentives.

It could be. But for someone who magically out performed all his predictive peripherals for a real long time, the fact that Miguel has given it his all and it is just not good enough in today's pitching arena does not surprise me if that is the answer as well.

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