Buster Posey making an immediate impact, but will the Giants keep him up?

Giants fans had been waiting since the end of spring training for their team to recall top prospect Buster Posey from Triple-A Fresno. The club teased fans by announcing that Posey had a shot to make the big league club in the spring, then pulled the chair out from under them at the last second while sending him back to the minors. (And laughing the entire time.)

“Ha, ha! Posey isn’t going to make the team, idiots. Now go watch Eugenio Velez play everyday…and lead off.”

But then on May 29, the impossible happened: the Giants actually called Posey up from the minors. Better yet, he delivered.

He went 3-for-4 with three RBI in a win over the Diamondbacks on Saturday night and then chipped in three more hits (including a pair of doubles) and an RBI in the Giants’ win over Arizona on Sunday. His two extra base hits allowed San Fran to stay in a game they probably would have otherwise lost. He provided a spark to their offense that has been missing all season.

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2010 MLB Preview: NL West

In order to help get you ready for the MLB season, we’re doing division-by-division rankings with quick overviews on how each club could fair in 2010. Next to each team, you’ll also find a corresponding number written in parenthesis, which indicates where we believe that club falls in a league-wide power ranking. Be sure to check back throughout the next two weeks leading up to the season, as we will be updating our content daily. Enjoy.

All 2010 MLB Preview Content | AL East Preview | AL Central Preview | AL West Preview | NL East | NL Central | NL West

Last up is the NL West.

1. Colorado Rockies (7)
Before I wax poetically about the youthful Rockies, I have an axe to grind about the television broadcasting crew of Drew Goodman, Jeff Huson and George Frazier. Those three form one of the most biased, nonobjective broadcasting teams in baseball history. I’m not kidding. The Rockies never get the same calls as their opponents do. The Rockies never get the national recognition like everyone else does. The Rockies are the greatest team to ever walk the planet and if they played a roster compiled of Jesus, Moses, God and the 12 apostles, Colorado should win 5-4 in extras nine times out of 10. If not, the Rockies beat themselves, because there’s no way Jesus and the gang were better. Don’t believe me? Just ask Goodman, Huson and Frazier. All right, now that that’s out of the way – the Rockies are a damn fine club and should leapfrog the Dodgers in the division this year. Their core – Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta, Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez – are all 27 years old or younger and that doesn’t include 26-year-old stud Ubaldo Jimenez, who is absolutely filthy when he’s on. Throw in key veterans like Todd Helton (a perennial .300 hitter) and Jeff Francis (who could win 15-plus games filling in for the departed Jason Marquis), and Colorado has the tools to make a deep run. The question is whether or not starters Francis and Jorge De La Rosa will keep their ERAs below 5.00 and the young offensive players can move forward in their development and not backwards. But outside of the ultra-annoying broadcast team, I love the Rockies from top to bottom this year and believe they can do some damage in 2010.

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Cards trade three prospects to A’s for Holliday

The St. Louis Cardinals have finally found slugger Albert Pujols some protection in the lineup, as the Red Birds traded three minor league prospects to the A’s in exchange for outfielder Matt Holliday according to ESPN.com.

One of those three minor leaguers was Brett Wallace, who was Baseball America’s 40th-best prospect entering the season, while the other two were 24-year old right-hander Clayton Mortensen and outfielder Shane Peterson, who was a second rounder in 2008. Apparently Oakland will also chip in $1.5 million to help pay for some of the $6 million still left on Holliday’s contract.

After a slow start, Holliday is now hitting .286 with 11 home runs and 54 RBI. He instantly makes the Cardinals the favorites to win the NL Central and challenge the Dodgers and Phillies for the NL Pennant by adding much-needed protection behind Pujols in the lineup. His presence in the order should also make players like Mark DeRosa and Ryan Ludwick better as well.

Billy Beane once again did well in a trade. The Oakland GM wanted to get Holliday’s contract off the books (or as much of it as he could), but he also didn’t want to just stick a for sale sign in Holliday’s forehead and give him away for free after trading multiple players to acquire him from Colorado last winter. With Holliday set to become a free agent at the end of the season, Beane did well to not only shed salary, but also get one of the Cards’ best prospects in Wallace.

What will be interesting to keep an eye on over the next two weeks as the trade deadline approaches, is whether or not the Cubs or Brewers will make a big move to counter this trade. Chicago doesn’t have much to offer in its farm system, but Milwaukee, as usual, is stacked and could look to add a pitcher. Although it would require giving up a haul, it’ll be interesting to see if the Brew Crew makes a run at Roy Halladay or the Tribe’s Cliff Lee.

Time for the Cubs to stop playing Board Games

It’s safe to say that this past offseason has been one of the worst for Jim Hendry during his tenure as General Manager of the Chicago Cubs. The Los Angeles Dodgers made a mockery of the Cubs’ right-handed lineup in the playoffs by not throwing a single left-handed pitcher at them, and the Cubs responded to this glaring weakness by trading Mark DeRosa, the most versatile and well-liked player on the team – not to mention cheap, since he was in line to make an affordable $5.5 million in the final year of his contract – in order to free up some cash to sign a left-handed power hitter. For God knows what reason, Hendry doesn’t even make an attempt to sign Raul Ibanez, a clubhouse prince who is good for 25 home runs and 100 RBIs year in and year out. Nope, Hendry set his sights on Milton Bradley, a talented but mercurial journeyman (the Cubs are the eighth team he’s played for since his Major League debut in 2000) who just happened to put up career numbers in a contract year. The words “career numbers” sound good, but they come with one big-ass asterisk. Take a look at Bradley’s career year numbers versus the 2008 stat lines of DeRosa and Ibanez:

Raul Ibanez: .292-85-23-110-2
Mark DeRosa: .285-104-21-87-6
Milton Bradley .321-78-22-77-5

It’s a pretty average stat line as career numbers go, and don’t forget that he put up those numbers primarily as a DH, and he still only played 126 games due to nagging injuries. Yep, this is the man that the Cubs hoped would save them, to the tune of three years and $30 million. To add insult to injury, DeRosa now plays for the rival Cardinals.

“Let’s see, if I strike out like that 100 more times this year…I still make $7 million! Ahhhh hahahahahahaha!”

And would you look at that; now that Bradley has his money, he can’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. Well, let’s qualify that — he’s actually hitting .333…from the right side of the plate. He’s hitting .194 as a lefty, has been suspended for bumping an umpire, sent home by his manager after trashing yet another water cooler, and poisoned yet another clubhouse with his unpredictable temper. Bradley said before the season started that he had changed, that those days of flying off the handle (remember when he tore his ACL yelling at an umpire?) were long gone. How on earth did the Cubs believe him? Didn’t they see the “South Park” movie? Bad people always say they’ll change, but they never do.

So what do the Cubs do with Bradley now? He’s expected to take the next two days off to work on his approach from the left side of the plate with new hitting coach Von Joshua. A good start, but we have some other, admittedly extreme suggestions to the Bradley problem that we think the Cubs brass should consider.

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Report: Cardinals to go after Holliday

According to a report by the St. Louis Dispatch, the Cardinals are “redoubling efforts” to acquire A’s outfielder Matt Holliday, who is 29 and will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Even though the club acquired utility man Mark DeRosa from the Indians over the weekend, St. Louis manager Tony La Russa still wants to add a bat to serve as protection for Albert Pujols, who is essentially exposed in the Cards’ lineup with nobody hitting around him.

Holliday certainly isn’t setting the world on fire with his bat (he’s hitting just .274 with 8 HRs and 39 RBI) this season, but he could certainly get hot in the second half, especially if he winds up back in the NL were he’s used to the pitching.

The Cards actually tried to acquire Holliday last fall, but weren’t unwilling to part with the prospects that the Rockies wanted in order to complete the deal. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch speculates that the Red Birds would be willing to include Ryan Ludwick and either reliever Jason Motte or Kyle McClellan, plus a prospect.

St. Louis already has enough offense to battle the Brewers in the NL Central, but if they could acquire Holliday to go along with the addition of DeRosa, the Cards might be able to create some separation in the division.

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