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Monday, March 10, 2014
New blogs: Giants, Rangers, Rockies

By David Schoenfield

I'd like to officially welcome aboard three new members of the SweetSpot network: West Coast Bias, One Strike Away and Rockies Zingers.

Some introductions ...

West Coast Bias (San Francisco Giants)

West Coast Bias is run by Connor Grossman (@GiantsBaseball), a Giants fan from the Bay Area attending Syracuse University where he's majoring in broadcast and digital journalism, and Andrew Treedy (@nyy_baseball), a Yankees fan from San Francisco (what?) attending Southern Cal and also studying broadcast and digital journalism. Maybe we'll see them co-anchoring SportsCenter some day. For now, they enthusiastically write about the Giants.

Here's a recent piece from Connor and Andrew where they analyze the Giants' offseason. They write:
Connor: As touched upon in a previous piece, I think the Giants come into 2014 with more “lineup presence,” than even the defending World Champions last year. Assuming (a grave assumption, at that) that there are no major injuries during Spring Training that would affect the Opening Day lineup, they do have a lineup of that of a contending team. The rotation was fortified by the Tim Hudson signing, effectively replacing Barry Zito. Ryan Vogelsong will look to bounce-back (story of the Giants for the last few years, huh?) from his injury-plagued 2013 to hold his own in presumably the fifth spot of the rotation.

Andrew: While the current Giants lineup appears to have the potential to contend in 2014, I still see some major issues with this team. As much as I am worried about how much stock San Francisco is putting into Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval, my main concern with this team is depth. A quick look at the Giants projected bench for 2014 reads as follows: Joaquin Arias, Gregor Blanco, Hector Sanchez, and Tony Abreu.
One Strike Away (Texas Rangers)

Brandon Land runs One Strike Away. You can follow him on Twitter @one_strike_away). He just wrote a post on why the pitching situation for the Rangers isn't all bad even with the injury to Derek Holland and the likelihood that Matt Harrison won't be ready for Opening Day. Brandon writes:
More than anything, I believe that scheduling and the presence of Yu Darvish will allow the Rangers to succeed despite some holes in the rotation at the beginning of the season.

In Darvish, the Rangers are the favorite to win every fifth day. While we all know that doesn't directly translate to wins -- just ask Seattle how that translates with Felix Hernandez -- having an anchor at the front of the rotation is something every team in Major League Baseball wants.

After opening the season with a 3-game series at home against Philadelphia, the Rangers go on the road for 6 games against the Rays and Red Sox. Those games figure to be tougher, but following that, the Rangers will have a 10-game homestand in which they will host the Astros, Mariners, and White Sox. Those should all be winnable games no matter who is on the mound for Texas. By that point, it's expected that Matt Harrison will be ready to go, at which point the club will need to choose between Colby Lewis, Joe Saunders, Tommy Hanson, Nick Tepesch, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers, Michael Kirkman, and Jose Contreras -- all to fill one spot in the rotation.
Rockies Zingers (Colorado Rockies)

Richard Bergstrom, a Rockies fan since 2004, has launched Rockies Zingers. He promises analysis, silliness and, yes, some compliments. Speaking of compliments, here's a recent piece on four things Dan O'Dowd does well. Richard writes:


#2 The Rockies value defense.

Unlike, say, Seattle, where they have shifted second basemen to the outfield to be flanked by two firstbasemen playing in the corners, the Rockies have generally placed a value on defense. Perhaps it was the emergence of Troy Tulowitzki and the many articles about the Rockies defense that came from the Rocktober run to the World Series in 2007, but the Rockies have kept to that mantra. Helton, Tulowitzki and Gonzalez were all signed to long contracts, in part, because they were seen as good with the glove. Maybe O’Dowd realized that it was one of the things at altitude that he could control. It does seem that, for the most part, any middle infielders that the Rockies call up can at least flash the leather. Sometimes, however, the Rockies love defense almost to a fault as certain players get demoted (Iannetta, Fowler) or discarded (Atkins, Hawpe, Smith, Young, Fowler?) for perceived faults in the field.


Welcome aboard to the new blogs!