Tag: Gaby Sanchez

Florida Marlins Review: Can The Fish Offense Contend In The Nl East?

The Florida Marlins enter this year with a new ball club. They have so far made some necessary subtractions and some great additions,but as the Marlins make these changes division rivals are making strong notable improvements and these worry fans within the NL East.

Never the less the Marlins have made some big moves this off-season and here we will review their importance and value to help the marlins offense secure a playoff spot this 2011 season.

This review will take an in depth look at each position and how it has changed for the 2011 season.

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2011 Florida Marlins Projected Lineup, Rotation, Bench, Bullpen and Predictions

With the majority of the major offseason activity behind them (trading Dan Uggla, Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin; acquiring Omar Infante, Mike Dunn, Dustin Richardson, Ryan Webb, and Edward Mujica; signing Javier Vazquez John Buck, and Randy Choate; extending Ricky Nolasco until 2013), we take a glance at the potential Florida Marlins lineup, starting rotation, bullpen, and bench and put it all together to come up with bold predictions for the 2011 season in a crowded NL East. Let’s take an early look at what we can expect to see from the fish in their final season at Sun Life/Land Shark/Dolphin(s)/Pro Player/Joe Robbie Stadium.

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MLB Offseason: Florida Marlins To Bring Back Edwin Rodriguez, Guru Perry Hill

After various rumors circulating throughout the postseason as to who will manage the Florida Marlins in 2011, the ballclub wasted no timing in making a decision as they are expected to bring back interim manager Edwin Rodriguez on a full-time basis. 

Edwin Rodriguez went 46-46 with the Marlins, ending up in third place in the NL East but dealt with injuries to ace Josh Johnson, co-ace Ricky Nolasco, and injuries to Hanley Ramirez and Chris Coghlan.

Current Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was dismissed in late June at 34-36 and in fourth place in the NL East.

Whether Edwin Rodriguez remains beyond the 2011 season remains speculative and hinges on the team’s performance on this upcoming season eve to the new ballpark in 2012.

Reports are that owner Jeffrey Loria is craving on a high-profile name in time for the 2012 season after swinging and missing on Bobby Valentine and Ozzie Guillen in recent weeks.

The offseason now focuses on the Marlins filling out the rest of coaching staff and roster, which is expected to get a boost on the defensive side.

According to Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel, an announcement is forthcoming on both Edwin Rodriguez’s hiring and the return of infield guru Perry Hill who was with the Marlins from 2002 to 2006.

Perry Hill might prove to be the biggest offseason addition for the Marlins who were in the bottom of most defensive categories last season. Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla and Gaby Sanchez had a combined 45 errors last season with the latter two setting career highs in that category.

Hill was most recently with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 as the Pirates infield and first base coach but was out of baseball last season after the ballclub refused to release him of his contract he wished to leave behind.

Beyond the coaching end, the Marlins will now set their sights on retaining infielder Dan Uggla and pitcher Ricky Nolasco on long-term deals which figure to be the cornerstones to the new era of the Florida Marlins in 2012.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Would Instant Replay Ruin Baseball? Derek Jeter Knows It Would, Do You?

It makes me chuckle.  Really, it does.  I sit back and listen to people, both fans and broadcasters whine and moan about instant replay in baseball. 

They point fingers at Derek Jeter’s infamous home run in 1996 against the Baltimore Orioles.  They cast aspersions at Jim Joyce for blowing the call that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game.  Then there was the uproar about the ball hit by Gaby Sanchez of the Marlins in the ninth inning of a game against the Phillies that was called foul, but was apparently fair. 

Proponents of instant replay in baseball would tell you that these wrongs—and apparently up to 40 percent of other bad calls by umpires would be righted by instant replay.  That the world would somehow be a better place, there would be peace in the Middle East plus we would get the added bonus or cats and dogs playing nicely together. 

All if only Bud Selig and the rest of the staunch traditionalist baseball executives would let go of their ties to over a hundred years of “we do it this way and that’s it” thinking.

I’m going to say it here and now for everyone to read: instant replay in baseball would ruin the game.  Period. 

And I’m going to give you some really good reasons why.  Not all of this is concrete and logical but take it from me, someone who has played at the professional level and been in championship games—instant replay has no place on the field of play. 

Furthermore, I question its use in the NFL.  Anyone watching the Bears versus Lions game last week will tell you that the pass to Calvin Johnson was caught and touchdown.  Well, everyone except Bears fans—of course.  But instant replay took it away.  The human being on the field made the gut call, the correct call.  But the letter of the law took it away. 

It’s a bad rule and the NFL needs to rethink that rule.  But I digress…

The Umpires

Everyone is so upset at the umpires this season.  I listen to broadcasters complain how bad the umpires are—and maybe they are. 

If they are that bad, the answer here is not instant replay, it is fire the umpires and get better ones.  Stop second-guessing and taking the authority away from the people who are paid to be the authority figures on the field. 

The main side effect of continuing this course of action will be to make players and coaches mouthier towards the umpires, which will result in what we are seeing over the past two months of the season. 

Phillies fans love to point fingers and say that Ryan Howard should never have been tossed from the game for looking crossly at Scott Barry then tossing his helmet and bat.  But doesn’t the baseball fan base see that the umpires feel threatened and are acting-out, not unlike a four year-old who has been scolded for bad behavior. 

They are retaliating against the players because everyone is telling them how bad they are at their jobs.  Again, if the umpires are that bad, then fire them and replace them.  But I offer this up to you: they aren’t that bad.  We simply have the technology to remove the human element from the game. 

I have been hosed on a number of calls during high-pressure, game-changing situations through the years in high school, college, and semi-pro ball.  I’ve had strikes called balls, and even had a perfect game turned into a no-hitter because of a bad call at first base. 

That would be enough to make you angrier than a hornet’s nest. 

But when you step back and look at these things a little more objectively you see that more often than not, bad calls go both ways.  A good umpire will make mistakes but he will do it for everyone, not just the Yankees or the Phillies. 

aseball is a game of humanity; it is a game of getting screwed and having the bad call to go your way.  Take that away and it is a totally different game, one I certainly don’t know if I’d be interested in.

The Rhythm

Like it or not, baseball has a rhythm to it.  Watch a batter when he approached the plate. Most professional hitters have a routine; they approach the plate and each at bat identically.  When that sequence of actions gets interrupted the best in the game will step out.  You will see them put that hand up and leave the batters box.  Then you can see them repeat the process of getting into their individual groove

Pitchers are very similar. 

Some pitchers start their process hours before the game, some do it when they step foot on the field and some only do it pitch-to-pitch.  Heck, I remember an interview with Dave Righetti (if you kids don’t know who he is, go Google one of the premier relievers of the 80’s now—ok, you back yet?) who threw a no-hitter for the Yankees on July 4th, 1983. 

He began his career as a decent starter and when asked what his routine was on gameday, he said his routine started the night before with a bowl of spaghetti and bed by eight. 

Ever notice how often batters step out of the box when a pitcher is throwing a great game?  They try to interrupt the pitcher’s rhythm.  What is the point of my rambling about player routines? 

Has anyone watched what happens to a football game when someone “goes to the replay”?  It stops, sometimes for up to 15 minutes.  Have you ever noticed that any time a rain delay goes on for more than 15 or 20 minutes that whomever was pitching often does not come back out? 

The reasons for this are many, but the most compelling are that their rhythm has been interrupted more than usual and their muscles tighten up.  This is a dangerous and game-changing issue for the pitcher and the team.  Any time you stop a baseball game for any length of time and then expect the athletes to just jump back into the fray you risk serious injury.

Not a compelling enough argument?  OK, let’s take the Gallaraga game for example. 

Take a minute and get inside Armando’s head before the blown call.  He knows he is throwing a perfect game, he knows he is close and he also knows that all he has to do is relax and let it come to him.  Galarraga just needs to keep doing what he’s been doing for the previous eight innings and he knows that. 

He’s got his mindset and his rhythm on the mound.  The ground ball was hit, the bad call gets made and Jim Leyland storms out of the dugout demanding instant replay.  The umpires acquiesce and go to the video tape (extra points if anyone can tell me who that is a shout out to!).  Television goes to commercial.  Galarraga stands chatting with Miguel Cabrera kvetching about the call. 

Ten minutes goes by and Gallaraga is ramped up expecting the call to go against him, maybe soft tossing with Cabrera to try and stay loose. Fifteen minutes later the umpires come back, reverse the call, and Comerica Park erupts in joyous celebration that the perfect game remains intact! 

Now, all Gallaraga has to do is get back on the mound and finish it out.  Wow, did I just make getting back into the mindset of a pitcher in the ninth inning throwing a perfect game sound easy?  It’s not.  The odds of throwing a perfect game are minute at best.  The odds of finishing out that perfect game after that call are next to zero. 

A pitcher’s ability to come down off that emotional rollercoaster, and continue at the same level he was just on with the flip of a switch is impossible.  The best might be able to do it in a pitch or two—but all it takes is one mistake to end that perfect game, as we all know. 

So all you peeved Tiger’s fans, the lesson here is you can’t get it back.  The odds are that instant replay would not have made a difference, the ump blew the call—it happens.

You Can’t Get It Back

That leads me to my last point —some plays cannot be gotten back! 

Unlike football where it’s 15 seconds of action for every 10 minutes of nothing, you can’t get most baseball plays back.  Yes, home runs can be fixed but almost everything else in baseball is not fixable. 

You can’t instant replay balls and strikes, it’s just not possible.  You can fix a percentage of plays at bases—safe and out calls, but as I demonstrated in the Galarraga example, it simply is not worth it.  The odds are that the stoppage of play will do more harm to the game then the bad call. 

The media was all over the umps at that Phillies versus Marlins game, saying instant replay would have corrected the call—how?  The umpire called it foul.  You can’t change the call and give him a base hit, it is just not possible. 

Your best-case scenario is to do the play over again, which takes a strike away but again ask yourself is it worth the 10- to 15-minute stoppage of play or would that change the face of the game too much?


While I am a solid opponent of instant replay in sports, I will concede that it can help umpires out in certain situations.  It can correct home run calls, and that is something MLB has been using since August of 2008.  I stand by my opinion that beyond that it would ruin the game for real fans.  Games move slow enough as it is, is it really worth extending games by another 30 to 45 minutes?  Keep the humanity in baseball!

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Florida Marlins Can Blame Themselves for the Nyjer Morgan Mess

Well, I suppose you have to do something to liven things up when the two teams playing are a combined 32 games out of first place in their own division, with only a month left to the season. This goes double when the game is already a blowout in the sixth inning.

The Marlins and Nationals apparently decided to liven things up, ironically, by trying to kill each other.

Well, it was a little more complicated than that.

In the top of the 6th inning of a 15-5 drubbing, Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan evidently took umbrage at the fact that the Marlins were throwing at him, and charged the mound. What Morgan (generously listed at “six feet” tall and 175 lbs) thought he was going to do to Chris Volstad (6’8″, 230 lbs) is beyond my comprehension.

For his part, Volstad seemed singularly unimpressed as Morgan charged at him, throwing his glove down in arrogance and dodging Morgan’s only real punch, that jumping left hook he learned from watching too many action movies.

It didn’t work.

And, I would guess that among the things going through Morgan’s mind as he ran out to the mound, he probably didn’t imagine being flattened by a man named “Gaby.”

Instead, Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez, not much taller but about 50 pounds heavier than Morgan, clotheslined him and brought him to the ground, whereupon everyone else joined in the scrum. It took 10 or 15 minutes for the figurative dust to settle, and when it did, both Volstad and Morgan had been ejected, of course.

Additionally, Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez (presumably for complicity in, if not actually ordering the plunking) and relief pitcher Jose Veras, whose only crime as far as I can tell was that he happened to be standing next to one of the umpires when they were looking for another scapegoat, were also ejected.

During the course of the brawl, various players, coaches, and even (I think) the Nationals bullpen catcher had gotten into the mix. Nationals third base coach Pat Listach was clobbering Volstad at the bottom of the melee, and others can clearly be seen throwing hard punches on the video replay, but nobody else was ousted.

In most of the highlight reels, Morgan ends up looking like the bad guy, and with good reason.  Namely, that he makes himself look like a bad guy. I mean, not like a Hitler-type of bad guy, more the professional wrestler type of bad guy.

A guy who shoots off his mouth and tries to back his words up with action and even when he’s more or less defeated, feels the need to save face by, well, yelling more. A guy who seemingly walks around all the time as though he’s still hitting the .351 he smacked for the Nats last year, rather than the .257 mark he’s posted this year.

The truth, however, is rarely that simple.

The problem did not start in the top of the sixth on Wednesday night. It didn’t even start Wednesday, but rather Tuesday night, in a scoreless tie in the top of the 10th inning. Running full speed, Morgan bowled over Marlins’ catcher Brett Hayes, trying to score from second base on a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The result was a separated shoulder for Hayes and probably the end of his season.

Morgan went back to touch the plate, just in case, but Hayes had held onto the ball, and he was out. Reportedly, Morgan didn’t say anything to Hayes either then or after the game, and evidently the Marlins didn’t appreciate that. I guess they think that an opposing player ought to apologize for trying to win the game any way he can, even though it was essentially a clean play that just ended badly for their guy.

What they should have taken exception to, if anything, was the slow reaction and lazy throw to home plate, which clocked only 69 miles per hour.

Ramirez has a major league shortstop’s arm, and is certainly capable of throwing a baseball at 90 mph, perhaps more. But this lobbed throw forced Hayes to catch it as Morgan came barreling towards him, giving him no time to set himself for the collision. A 90 mph throw would have given him an extra 0.2 seconds to set himself, which is longer than it sounds like, and might have helped him to stave off injury.

For that matter, if Ramirez had been paying closer attention to Morgan, he might have seen him running full steam sooner and therefore given Hayes enough time to avoid the collision all together. If the Marlins are looking to blame someone for Hayes’ injury, they need look no further than their own All-Star shortstop.

Morgan, for his part, was just playing heads-up baseball—risking injury to himself as well, it should be noted—trying to win a scoreless, extra-inning game for his team. His effort to hit the catcher hard enough to dislodge the ball is no more or less than thousands of players have done in thousands of baseball games over the last century and a half of professional baseball.

That the Marlins didn’t appreciate the outcome—and they did eventually win the game, after all—is their problem.

But they didn’t see it that way. With the score 14-3 Marlins, with one out in the top of the fourth inning the next night, Morgan came to bat, and the Fish saw their opportunity. Volstad hit him with a 92 mph fastball and then stared Morgan down, waiting for a reaction. Nyjer didn’t give him the satisfaction though, turning away from the pitcher, briefly rubbing his highly-padded elbow and scampering down to first base.

But the Marlins made a bad gamble, doing for Morgan the one thing he’s largely been unable to do for himself this year: they put him on base. While Morgan is not a terribly effective base stealer, on a pace to lead the NL in times caught for the second time in his career, he also had 30 successful steals so far this year, so he’s nothing if not fast.

Plus, he’s got a chip on his shoulder and a reason to show them up now, so he stole second base, and then stole third three pitches later. That gave him all the opportunity he needed to score a run when the Marlins’ second baseman Donnie Murphy stumbled and sustained an injury catching a pop-up. They really showed him, huh?

So the Marlins, feeling that the “lesson” had not yet sunk into Morgan’s head, decided to try to sink a baseball into it instead. But Volstad missed this time, throwing behind him and eliciting the Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon response you’ve probably already seen a dozen times on SportsCenter.

Obviously warnings were given to both benches after the fracas, so when Gaby Sanchez got plunked an inning later both pitcher Doug Slaten and manager Jim Riggleman were ejected. Everyone else was allowed to finish their regularly scheduled program, in the form of a 16-10 trouncing that was frankly an embarrassment for both franchises.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

5 Things the Marlins Need to do to get to the Playoffs

The Marlins are having a rather poor season but don’t count them out of the Playoff hunt yet, they are just one winning streak away from being in the reach of their first playoff appearance since 2003.

But after a sweep by the Reds, the Marlins need to make serious adjustments in order to stay alive and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Here are the 5 thing that the Marlins are going to have to do to get to the postseason.

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Fantasy Baseball: Chris Coghlan To the DL, Logan Morrison Called Up

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all. BAM!

The latest injury: a torn meniscus during the now common celebratory pie to the face.

That is the unfortunate fate suffered by the pie giver, Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan.

There is no question this ranks amongst the most bizarre/embarrassing injuries of all time, but how does it impact fantasy circles?

After a red hot .377 and 30-run June, Coghlan reverted back to his April form in July hitting .209 with one RBI.

He’ll miss six to eight weeks, but regardless, his deficient production and wild inconsistency made him a nearly unreliable fantasy option in thinner leagues.

The Marlins have promoted sterling prospect Logan Morrison to the big club to replace Coghlan on the active roster.

A first baseman by trade, Morrison’s 2010 call up had been thwarted to this point by the excellent play of Gaby Sanchez.

At one time trading Sanchez to clear the path for Morrison seemed like a viable option for the Marlins, but that seems far-fetched now with his .301, 11 HR, 45 RBI stat line.

Sanchez played some third base in the minors, and a return to the hot corner could be entertained—but not mid-season.

Morrison is expected to split time in left field with Emilio Bonifacio in the immediate future. If Jorge Cantu is dealt prior to the July 31 deadline, Bonifiacio could be moved to third base and open regular playing time in the outfield.

Morrison played seven games in the outfield for Triple-A New Orleans prior to Coghlan’s injury, so expect the Marlins to be wheelers and dealers this week.

Morrison is an excellent athlete for his size (6’3″, 235 pounds), but it’s unclear whether he can hold his own defensively in the outfield. One thing that is abundantly clear is his mastery in the batter’s box.

He was hitting .307 with six home runs and 45 RBI in the Pacific Coast League prior to getting the call. He injured his shoulder (collision) in May and has played in just 68 games.

He’s incredibly seasoned for a 22-year-old, drawing 48 walks against only 35 strikeouts. A left-handed stick, he hit .314 in 70 at-bats against left-handed pitching.

If the numbers are any indication, Morrison should make a swift adjustment to big league pitching.

Bottom Line:

1. Coghlan is not in danger of losing a starting job when healthy. Despite his on/off play in 2010, he possesses excellent bat control and provides versatility defensively. He can see time at second or third base and left field. However, none of these qualities help the fantasy owner.

2. If Morrison hits, he’s going to play. Bonifacio was wallowing in the minors for good reason. He provides a speed element, but his plate discipline, or lack thereof, will be exposed over the course of regular at-bats. He has yet to draw a walk in 2010. The Fish didn’t call up Morrison to sit and disrupt his maturation. 

3. Who bats leadoff when Bonifacio sits? Does Hanley occupy that spot? If so, this injury could have a confounding effect on his fantasy value and run production.

4. Roster assembly issues likely won’t come into play until 2011. The aftermath of the trade deadline could change matters, but it’s a good bet Sanchez will be taking grounders at third base come spring training.

Written by Adam Ganeles exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com.  Adam is the epitome of awesome and anyone who doubts it can take it up with him personally on any street corner at any time.

Think Logan Morrison can make it in the BIGS?
Leave a comment and let us know, or reply to us on Twitter@TheFantasyFix


Here are some more articles that will not self destruct in ten seconds…


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MLB: Midseason Fantasy Baseball Pick Ups

Stats as of July 24th ,2010 courtesy of ESPN.


1st Basemen

Gaby Sanchez   

41.9% owned in ESPN Leagues

Sanchez can be a good backup 1st baseman in most leagues, putting up respectable numbers, .302/.366/.470. After a hot June where he batted .375, Sanchez has cooled down in July.

I would recommend to start Sanchez when the Marlins are playing against a lefty. Sanchez bats .361 vs. lefties as opposed to .283 vs. righties. Sanchez doesn’t put up the power numbers you would want from a first basemen, but if your team lacks hitters, I would pick him up.


2nd Basemen 

Neil Walker  

7.1% owned in ESPN Leagues

The youngster doesn’t get much attention because he plays for the lonely Pirates, but lately he has put up good numbers (.314/.353/.463). He has been hot since the All-Star Break. In 33 at bats he has 16 hits, 5 doubles, and 9 RBI.

The thing about Walker is that he is a very situational hitter. He bats .336 at home vs. .241 on the road, not to mention Walker is a righty killer. In 130 at bats against righties, Walker has 44 hits (.338 average). Walker is also a Brewers/Astros killer, combining for 20 hits in 53 at bats against those teams. In a weak year at 2nd base, Walker can be a good pickup.



Starlin Castro   

36.3% owned in ESPN Leagues

The 20 year old is starting to adapt to major league hitting. After batting .310 in May, his first month in the majors, Castro had a mediocre June where he hit .227. Castro has been able to turn things around, batting .388 in July with seven doubles, three triples, a homer, and three stolen bases.

What even more impressive, is the fact he is batting .500 after the break. He should cool down, but his batting average shouldn’t dip below .290. His .308 season batting average is impressive for a 20 year old and his power numbers are going up, but don’t expect much there. If you’re in a keeper league, I would recommend picking him up.


Tyler Colvin   

6.4% owned in ESPN Leagues

Colvin has been a home run machine the past two months. He only hit five home runs in the first 2 months of the season, but has launched 10 homers in June and July, bringing his total to 15. However, his batting average (.264) has dipped since June, thus keeping some fantasy owners away. Big Lou has recently put Colvin in the leadoff spot, so expect batting average to increase.



Brett Myers  

21.8% owned in ESPN Leagues

Myers won’t win you a lot of games, mostly because he plays on the abysmal Houston Astros. Despite that, he is still having a great year, posting a 3.24 ERA. He had a decent June with a 4.24 ERA, but he is having a great July so far, 1.88 ERA.

If you’re going to pick up Meyers, I would try and avoid using him in away starts. His ERA on the road is a respectable 3.87, but no way near his microscopic home ERA of 2.48. Meyers could be traded to a contender at the break, which will immediately increase his value. If you need a spot start, I would recommend Myers.


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Josh Johnson, Gaby Sanchez: MLB’s and Florida Marlins’ Hidden Gems

Josh Johnson makes history each time he takes the mound.

Since he plays for the Florida Marlins, however, media outlets fail to mention him in the NL Cy Young race as often as Ubaldo Jimenez and Adam Wainwright.

Jimenez, whose 15-2 record comes thanks to a hot start in April and May, fares much better with his team’s run support.

Over his first 17 starts, the Colorado Rockies pitcher went 13-1 with a 1.15 ERA. In Jimenez’s last six starts, he is 2-1 with a 7.64 ERA.

Against the Marlins, he had his second-worst outing of the season; five 1/3 innings of a six run- (four-earned) ball game.

But he got a no-decision when Florida blew a lead.

Five times this season the Florida Marlins’ troubling bullpen has lost a lead during Johnson’s starts.

It has prevented him from a 15-3 record, which would put him alongside Jimenez.

Four times this season the righty has had a no-decision when allowing just one run. The 26-year-old pitcher even lost during Roy Halladay’s perfect game despite giving up only an unearned run. 

Unlike Jimenez, Johnson has been consistent all season long.

He leads all of baseball with a 1.61 ERA, and over his last 13 starts, he has gone at least six innings and given up one run or fewer.

That streak is the longest since Greg Maddux achieved it in 1995. 

Eighteen of Johnson’s 20 starts are quality ones, with the season opener against the New York Mets his worst: a five-inning, four-run affair.

He has fanned 141 batters, fourth-best in baseball, and has walked just 29 in 134 1/3 innings. 

Despite these statistics, Bleacher Report doesn’t even have a tag for him!

And in the NL Rookie of the Year battle, 26-year-old Gaby Sanchez continues at a consistent pace.

Instead of the first baseman, though, 20-year-old phenom Mike Stanton attracts all the attention since he’s one of the top prospects in baseball.

Stanton’s power is that of legend. Five-hundred-foot homers have been sighted.

Yet, Sanchez’s numbers speak for themselves: .304 average, 11 home runs, 44 RBI, 23 doubles, and 46 runs.

In comparison, Atlanta’s Jason Heyward, who was voted as an All-Star starter, brings a media circus with him.

After coming back from a thumb injury, he is batting .266 with 11 homers and 48 RBI.

San Francisco’s Buster Posey, who has been on a tear during the month of July, is batting .358 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in just 47 games.

Time will tell if the rookie catcher stays on such a torrid pace.

All this begs this question: Where would both Johnson and Sanchez be if they played for an organization with a larger fan base and more national attention?

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Justin Morneau to the DL: Fantasy Baseball Pickup Options

Justin Morneau has been placed on the 15-day disabled list “as he continues to recover from a concussion that he suffered on July 7,” according to the Minnesota Twins’ official website.

Morneau was attempting to break up a potential double play at second base, when he was accidentally kneed in the head.

This is Morneau’s second trip to the disabled list with concussion symptoms in his career. In 2005, he was hit in the head by a Ron Villone pitch that subsequently landed him on the DL.

Justin will be eligible to come off the disabled list on July 23. 

Despite fantasy baseball owners only missing their starting first baseman for a week, it comes at a crucial time in the season.

With week 15 shortened due to the All-Star break, head-to-head owners were hoping Morneau’s stellar first half numbers carried over into the shortened week, to cash in on a quick head-to-head victory.

Morneau currently leads the majors in on-base percentage (.437), is second to Miguel Cabrera (.346) with a .345 batting average, has blasted 18 homers, and has driven in 56 runs.

For those managers who don’t have a player to fill the void left by Morneau over the course of the next week, check out these potentially available first basemen in mixed leagues of 10 teams or more..

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