Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 7/30/16

  • July 29, 2016

Quick takes on the two deals consummated Friday in Major League Baseball.

The Giants pried Eduardo Nunez away from the Twins, and it’ll be interesting to see how Nunez gets used by San Francisco. Nunez is not a good defender, but that’s not why the Giants went after him. They’re hoping he can maintain the surprising offense he’s generated all season. Nunez has, in fact, been one of the bigger surprises in baseball from this vantage point. There’s pretty much no way I could have envisioned him making the All-Star team.

I like this deal for Minnesota. Adalberto Mejia is a lefty who has probably seen his stock go up this season. Mejia was very effective at AA, and while the numbers haven’t been as impressive at AAA, he’s been winning games and he’s missing his share of bats. Mejia profiled as a back of the rotation type prior to this season, but he might possibly be a bit better than that.

I would say the Twins did okay in terms of value for Nunez, and the trade also should allow them to take a better look at prospect Jorge Polanco. He’s had a pretty good year at Rochester and didn’t appear overmatched in an earlier callup. Polanco has developed a bit of power this season, and I would hope the Twins give him enough AB’s to figure out if he can become a starter next season.

The other deal that went down was a multi-player swap between the Padres and Marlins. Enigmatic Andrew Cashner will try to fulfill his longstanding potential in a new location. It’s an understatement of ample proportions to suggest Cashner has become a study in frustration the last couple of seasons. Even off his 6-16 2015 campaign, there were peripheral indicators that pointed toward Cashner being much better than he’s been. At this point, I really don’t know what to expect. The talent is there, but something hasn’t clicked for Cashner. Maybe he’ll put it together in Miami, although I won’t wager the farm on that assessment.

Colin Rea also went coast to coast in the deal, while the Padres scored a 2015 first round draft choice in return. Josh Naylor was the 12th overall pick in last year’s draft, although I thought the Marlins chose him that high based on his willingness to settle for below-slot money. Naylor has not shown his anticipated big power in his first professional season, but that tool definitely exists. The fact he started the season at just 18 years old should absolutely be factored in as far as any analysis is concerned. Naylor has a chance to be a fixture at first base down the road for the Padres, although he’s likely three years away at this point.

The Padres also snared Jarred Cosart in this trade, as well as Carter Capps and a hard throwing prospect named Luis Castillo. Cosart doesn’t look like anything more than an end of the rotation guy, and I suspect he’ll eventually be a bullpen piece. Capps had a phenomenal breakout last season while utilizing a very controversial delivery that many believe to be illegal. Capps will hopefully return healthy next season, and if he picks up where he left off, the Padres might have themselves a late-inning stud. Castillo has seen his stock rise with a stellar showing at Hi-A, but it remains to be seen how he’ll fare as he climbs the ladder. One other player was in this deal, with the Marlins obtaining Tayron Guerrero, but he has had a very rough season at two levels and looks like organization fodder at this point.

This a tough deal to gauge, as Cashner remains a tease with a chance to be much better than he’s been, while Naylor and Capps could each end up as formidable assets in San Diego, though we’ll have a long wait on Naylor.

There’s reportedly a major deal that’s close to completion with Jay Bruce as the centerpiece, so hopefully I’ll have another trade or two to size up in Sunday’s blog.

I managed to squeeze out a profit on Friday, splitting four baseball games and winning again in the CFL. Roughly three-quarters of a unit in black ink for the night, and two more days to try and finish off what has been a decent July.

For info on my available services, including Football 2016, shoot me an email at

The Cardinals bombed out Jose Urena in rolling to a 9-1 lead at Miami. The Marlins briefly made things interesting with a big inning, but this one was pretty easy for anyone on the Redbirds side. Here’s the free play from the big Saturday slate.

REDS (DeSclafani) at PADRES (Friedrich)

Take: PADRES +120

At first glance, it probably seems easy to back the Reds here. Anthony DeSclafani still hasn’t lost a decision, and he’s had several good outings for Cincinnati. On the flip side, Christian Friedrich has not been effective for San Diego and he’s really not a guy who generates much confidence.

But all that is in the betting line, which as always is weighted heavily based on the starting pitchers. That’s where I think we garner some value here. The fact remains Cincinnati is an awful road team. They’re 17-33 away from home, and even with a good starting pitcher on the hill, I find it really tough to justify a team that inept on the road laying this much chalk.

It’s also worth noting that the Reds have not produced a whole lot of offense when facing southpaws on the road, so maybe we can get a handful of okay frames out of Friedrich tonight.

No matter how you slice it, this is the worst team in baseball in net runs (-137 for this season) spotting what I feel is an overly generous price on the road, and I’m comfortable with fading the Reds here. I’ll gulp with Friedrich and will back the Padres.