#1 TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips answers three questions each week. [url=http://www.baseballbravesproshop.com/ozzie-albies-braves-jersey/]Oz zie Albies Braves Jersey[/url] . This week, topics cover Ricky Romeros future with the Blue Jays, the quality o von jokergreen0220 27.08.2019 04:42

TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips answers three questions each week. Ozzie Albies Braves Jersey . This week, topics cover Ricky Romeros future with the Blue Jays, the quality of Torontos starting rotation, and the value of MLBs games in Australia to start the season. 1) After a very rough outing on Tuesday, the Blue Jays sent Ricky Romero to minor league camp. Does Romero need a change of scenery at this point, or do you think hes lost it? Ricky Romero entered Tuesdays game having pitched well this spring. He had a 1.29 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in seven innings. But his implosion on Tuesday in which he walked five, threw two wild pitches and hit a batter effectively imploded his Blue Jays career. That one inning in which he gave up three runs showed the return of the "thing." What is the "thing" you ask? It is the inability to throw a baseball where one wants to throw it. It is a voice in a pitchers head that says, "You are in trouble. You have no idea how hard to grip the ball or when to release it." It is a voice that forces a pitcher to think about throwing instead of just doing what comes naturally. The pitcher feels like he has to aim the ball. Romero looked like he had quieted that voice for a while. He was a little better at triple-A last year than he had been in the big leagues in 2012. This spring, before Tuesday, that voice was but a whisper. Unfortunately once a pitcher hears the voice he is susceptible to it coming back. One wild pitch or one hit batter and boom, there it is again. That voice that can make even the strongest of pitchers start to doubt themselves. On Tuesday that voice screamed into a megaphone and Romero couldnt quiet it. So he heads back to double-A hoping to plug his ears. The Jays need to do the merciful thing and trade or release Romero. There are just too many things that can trigger the negative thoughts and the increased volume of the doubts as a member of the Jays. He may find a way to quiet the noise in another organization but it wont happen in a Jays uniform. 2) While most observers agree that the Jays have enough hitting, do you think they can get enough from the back end of their rotation to be competitive for a playoff spot this season? Spring Training is great because every team has hope as they prepare for the upcoming season. Last year is forgotten, as the standings and all of the stats are wiped clean and there is a fresh start. The rosters are changed in large and small ways. Maybe even general managers, managers and coaches have changed. However, some things never change. Good pitching is the key to success. Very rarely do great offensive teams win despite their pitching. Far more often teams win with marginal offence and a great pitching staff. We know the Jays are going to score a bunch of runs but their success will be driven by the arms of the pitchers and not by the bats in the lineup. Even though we wipe the slate clean from a year ago and start anew, last season can give us a perspective on what it will take to win this year. There were ten teams that made the playoffs in 2013: Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates, Braves and Reds in the NL; and Tigers, Red Sox, As, Indians and Rays in the AL. One thing they almost all had in common was successful starting pitching. In fact the average record of their stating rotations last season was 68-47 and 976 innings pitched. Their starters pitched well and deep in the games. The Blue Jays starters had a 46-57 record in 2013 and threw only 899 innings. Clearly, a long way away from a playoff-caliber rotation. So, although it is fair to wonder whether the Jays have enough pitching at the back end of the rotation the greater question is do they have enough at the front end? There is no doubt that if the Jays are going to be a playoff team they will need J.A. Happ to be healthy and throw strikes and they will need production from all of Todd Redmond, Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, Kyle Drabek and Esmil Rogers. Every team needs anywhere from 16-20 pitchers to contribute during the season. There are certainly questions about what is fair to expect from the pitchers just mentioned but make no mistake about it the bigger question is whether R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and the oft-injured Brandon Morrow can do their part. Most playoff teams have four starters that reach double-digit wins. With the questions at the back end of the rotation the Jays really need close to 50 wins from their Big Three. Last season only Dickey (14 wins) and Buehrle (12 wins) won double-digit games. Needless to say the Jays rotation has their work cut out for themselves. 3) Dodgers starter Zack Greinke stated he wasnt a fan of the club opening the regular season early (this weekend) in Australia. Do you think the MLB brand really benefits from these games? Not only does the MLB brand benefit from playing regular season games internationally but so does the brand of the teams participating and the brand of the players on the teams. My 2000 New York Mets team started the season in Japan against the Chicago Cubs. Just like the Dodgers and D-Backs are doing on the trip to Australia we played exhibition games, held clinics and made appearances to promote the games before we took on the Cubs in a two-game series. It was a long flight and we battled jet lag for about a week on the back end of the trip. But it was worth it. Sure there were challenges but I considered it an honour to represent Major League Baseball. Plus, on international trips, players and executives are treated like royalty. Zack Greinke sounded ignorant and ungrateful. Almost 50 percent of minor league players are foreign-born players. Over 25 percent of big leaguers are foreign-born and almost 37 percent of the 2013 All-Stars are foreign born. Baseball is an international game. It is critical that MLB continues to develop and grow its brand. From a clubs perspective I always believed there was an advantage to play in front of international fans. Brand recognition for the team is financially beneficial for potential sponsorship deals as well as merchandising. But most importantly, brand recognition among baseball players in other countries is huge. The more professional and amateur players can recognize and connect with the brand of a team the better the chances of that team in landing talented players in the future. Individual clubs and players dont only have a responsibility to their own organization but they have a responsibility to the game itself. Many players, teams and executives have gone before those of us benefiting today from this extraordinary way to make a living. Todays players need to pay it forward just like those who paved the trail for them. Opening Day is Saturday at 4am ET. I will be watching. Will you? So you want to be a GM? The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray...what is a general manager to do? I find myself sympathizing with general managers all around the game. There seem to be so many injuries this spring that have the potential to cripple teams even before the season begins. Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy of the Braves, Patrick Corbin of the D-Backs, and Jarrod Parker of the As are all headed for Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season. The Tigers young shortstop Jose Iglesias, a defensive wizard, is out for months with stress fractures in his shins. Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was drilled in the face by a line drive and needs a plate put in his head and could be out until June. There is no telling how he will be affected mentally by this injury. The Braves, As, Tigers and Reds all made the playoffs last year. I would have predicted all four to make the playoffs again this year prior to these injuries. The D-Backs were a sleeper team in the NL this year prior to losing their best pitcher in Corbin. So what should the GMs do? They will just do what they do. Frank Wren, the Braves GM, moved quickly and stole Ervin Santana away from the Jays and Orioles. But that may not be enough. Kevin Towers, the Diamondbacks general manager, pushed all winter to land an ace starter but came up short settling for veteran Bronson Arroyo. That pushed Patrick Corbin into the role of Opening Day starter for a team built to win now with the highest payroll in franchise history. With Corbin out for the season and no obvious starting pitching available Arizona may have to go with kids in the fifth spot in the rotation. This will not only hurt the rotation but the bullpen as well since Corbin was a guy who would often pitch deep in the game. The Reds could not have foreseen the injury to Chapman. His loss though creates a real problem as the physical status of his two most experienced replacements, Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton, is a big issue. The Reds bullpen could be a mess at the start of the season. There are no closers available on the trade market. Saves blown in April and May could cost the Reds an October playoff berth. The Tigers have been a staple of October baseball the past few years. They were once again favoured to win the AL Central. Last August the Tigers acquired Jose Iglesias to be the shortstop for the next 10 years. But that plan included him to be the shortstop this year that is in a "win now" window for the franchise. Stephen Drew, the Red Sox shortstop a year ago, is still available. Scott Boras has had success getting to owner Mike Illitch in the past and making deals. The Tigers have no good internal option to replace Iglesias and my ultimately save Boras by having to make a deal with Drew. But a Drew signing wont come cheap and will include the Tigers giving up a first round draft pick. So you want to be a general manger. There is no manual that tells you what to do when you have done everything right but circumstances turn against you. It is a long season and these teams have time to plug their newfound holes but it wont be easy. In one week that has been full of injuries the playoff races opened up in a very significant way. No one said life was fair. Adam Duvall Braves Jersey . The CFL will help tackle womens cancers by playing four special "CFL PINK" games this weekend. Sean Newcomb Jersey . And theyre pointing to the NHLs biggest market: Toronto. With Gretzky paid out for what is believed to be $7 to 8 million, Gretzky may be eager to get back into the NHL and TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that the Maple Leafs are very much interested in The Great Ones services. http://www.baseballbravesproshop.com/chipper-jones-braves-jersey/ . The Sioux Falls Canaries scored two in the seventh and three more in the eighth to come back from a 3-0 deficit and defeat the Winnipeg Goldeyes 5-3 in front of 6,769 at Shaw Park on Sunday afternoon.The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to pick up where they left off before the Olympic break when they visit the John Tavares-less New York Islanders in Thursdays clash at Nassau Coliseum. Toronto was one of several NHL teams that had hot streaks interrupted by the NHLs Olympic break. The Maple Leafs had won five of six right before the hiatus and the club is 11-2-1 over its last 14 games. With 70 points, the Maple Leafs are currently holding on to the seventh of eight playoff spots in the East. Toronto also is just one point in back of both Tampa Bay and Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division. The top three teams in each division get an automatic bid to the postseason. Toronto is aiming to qualify for the postseason for the second straight spring. Last season the Leafs halted the longest playoff drought in franchise history by making the postseason for the first time since 2004. The Maple Leafs emerge from the break with a road-heavy schedule ahead of them over the next few weeks. Toronto, which is just 11-12-5 as the away club this season, will play two straight and eight of its next 10 on the road. The Islanders, meanwhile, get to continue a five-game homestand on Thursday, but theyll do so without the services of captain and star centerman Tavares. Tavares helped Team Canada win the Olympic tournament, although he missed the semifinals and gold medal game after suffering a partial tear in the MCL of his left knee. Although the injury was originally feared to be worse, it will still keep Tavares sidelined for the remainder of the regular season. However, he will not need surgery as was originally believed. The culmination of the regular season could mark the end of the 2013-14 campaign for the Islanders, who are already 14 points out of the Easts final playoff berth. Tavares, who expects to miss 8-to-12 weeks while recovering, is New Yorks leading scorer with 66 points and is tied for the team lead with 24 goals. He is also third in the NHL in points. The Islanders lost seven of eight games before the break in a stretch that did serious damage to the clubs postseason chances. Without Tavares, the club expects to have a difficult time getting back into the thick of the playoff race. New York and the Leafs have split two meetings so far in 2013-14, but the Isles are 4-1-1 over the last six encounters between the clubs. Toronto, however, has won three straight and four of the past five games at the Coliseum. The Isles are 8-14-8 as the host team this season. The club is playing the third test of its five-game homestand tonight and will complete the stay on Long Island after welcoming New Jersey and Florida on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Detroit Red Wings at Ottawa Senators The 2013-14 season has largely been a disappointing one for the Ottawa Senators so far, but the club hopes to start anew when it begins the post-Olympics schedule with Thursdays home tilt against the Detroit Red Wings. The Senators, a playoff team in each of the past two seasons, are only three points behind Detroit for the last postseason berth in the Eastern Conference, but Ottawa has struggled with consistency in 2013-14. Ottawa posted a 9-2-3 record during one of its best stretches of the season from Dec. 28-Jan. 30, but the club then went 2-2-1 to begin the month of February. The Sens also ended their pre-Olympics slate by losing 7-2 to the Boston Bruins on Feb. 8. The Sens have one game at home before jetting off to Vancouver, where it will play an outdoor game against the Canucks on Saturday. The game at BC Place, which features a retractable roof, kicks off a four-game road trip for Ottawa. Star defenseman Erik Karlsson is coming off an Olympic run that saw him help Team Sweden pick up a silver medal at the recent Sochi Games, and he is eager to aid the Senators in the push to the playoffs. "Im looking forward to start playing hockey here again," Karlsson told the Senators official website. "It feels like the vibe is good in the room and were looking forward to the last stretch here." Karlsson was a teammate of former Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson at the Olympics and his countryman will play his third career game against Ottawa on Thursday. Alfredsson spent his first 17 NHL seasons with the Senators before leaving to sign with Detroit over the summer. Alfredsson, who was greeted with a standing ovation by the Ottawa crowd when he returned to Scotiabank Place on Dec. 1, has one goal and one assist in his two games against the Senators this season. On the injury front, Ottawa forward Clarke MacArthur and defeenseman Chris Phillips headed into the Olympic break with injuries, but both players are expected to be ready to go for Thursdays game. Darren ODay Braves Jersey. Ottawa is 2-1-0 against the Red Wings this season, but Detroit has won five of the last seven meetings against the Senators overall. The Wings have won three straight, four of five and six of the past eight meetings at Scotiabank Place. The Red Wings earned a victory in their first game after the break, downing the Montreal Canadiens in overtime on Wednesday. Gustav Nyquist scored with just 27.3 seconds remaining in the extra session to help lift Detroit to the 2-1 road win. Detroit allowed the Canadiens to tie the game on Brian Giontas goal with just 28.7 seconds left in regulation but recovered to win the tilt in OT. Johan Franzen, returning from a concussion that sidelined him for 22 of Detroits final 23 contests prior to the stoppage, assisted on Nyquists game- winner as well as Todd Bertuzzis first-period power-play goal. Jimmy Howard stopped 19-of-20 shots to help the Red Wings improve to 4-1-1 over their last six outings. "We played a great game. We didnt give them much room," said Franzen. Detroit is playing the third test of a four-game road trip that began before the Olympics. The Red Wings, who are 16-9-4 as the guest this season, will cap the swing Tuesday in New Jersey. Minnesota Wild at Edmonton Oilers The Minnesota Wild hope to maintain a firm grasp on a playoff spot as they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, when both clubs return to action following the Olympic break. The Wild come out of the hiatus a distant 10 points behind the Colorado Avalanche for third place in the Central Division, but with a five-point edge for one of the two wild card spots in the Western Conference. Minnesota won its final two games before the Olympic break and is 4-1-2 in its last seven games. While Zach Parise and Ryan Suter return from a disappointing showing by Team USA in Sochi, Russia, Mikael Granlund had a solid performance to help Finland win bronze. Granlund, who turned 22 on Wednesday, had three goals and seven points during the Olympics, getting named to the All-Tournament team. "You can tell that theyve been playing at a high speed over there, and I expect them to step right in where they left off," Wild coach Mike Yeo told his teams website of his three Olympians. Minnesota is looking to get healthy for the stretch run and is close to getting forward Mikko Koivu back from a right ankle injury that required surgery. He suffered a break blocking a shot on Jan. 4 and was unable to play for Team Finland. Koivu may return tonight or Friday versus the Vancouver Canucks. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom, meanwhile, has been out since Jan. 30 because of a strained abdominal, but could suit up tonight. If not, John Curry would serve as the backup to Darcy Kuemper. Backstrom is 25-4-1 with a 1.91 goals against average and four shutouts in his career versus the Oilers, while Kuemper has faced them once before. That came this season, a 4-1 home victory on Jan. 16 in which he made 20 saves. Minnesota has won five of six and 14 of its last 17 versus the Oilers, including two straight and seven of eight in Edmonton. With the playoffs about out of reach, the Oilers are looking to finish strong ahead of next season. They are last in the Western Conference with 47 points, 18 out of a playoff spot and five ahead of Buffalo for the fewest in the NHL. Edmonton did win five of seven before the break and kick off a five-game homestand tonight. One thing to watch for the Oilers is the situation in net, where the clubs have a pair of upcoming free agents in Ilya Bryzgalov and Ben Scrivens. Bryzgalov signed with Edmonton during the season, while Scrivens was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Head coach Dallas Eakins is looking for both to play well and is unsure of how the starts will be split between the two. "Its hard to say. I dont have a crystal ball next to me so itll depend on their play," said Eakins. "It may come down to if Ben plays well and Bryz is playing well, yeah we may give Ben a couple of extra starts. I think Bryz would understand that. Or, we might split it down the middle. I wont know until we get started here." Bryzgalov is 7-8-0 with a 2.64 GAA in his career versus the Wild, while Scrivens faced Minnesota for the first time in his career when he made his Oilers debut on Jan. 16 . He took that 4-1 loss, giving up four goals on 33 shots. ' ' '

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