Call to the Pen
Covers baseball in general for FanSided MLB
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MLB: Unexpected Contenders for the 2017 Season
Every year, there are MLB teams that surprise us all. Some surprises are positive, and others are negative. Here, we take a look at three teams that may positively surprise us all as contenders in 2017. Every year, we see the same familiar faces ...
MLB: Johan Santana Is Not a Hall of Famer, and a Comeback Won’t Change That
Even if he successfully makes a return to MLB, Johan Santana won’t help his Hall of Fame candidacy much. Let me just kick this off by saying that Johan Santana is not a Hall of Fame pitcher. Santana is reportedly attempting yet another come...
Tampa Bay Rays: Should They Trade Another Starting Pitcher?
Even after dealing Drew Smyly, the Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly open to trading another starter. Given their other recent moves and current roster, should they proceed? The Tampa Bay Rays, typically one of the league’s quieter teams, have ...
New York Mets and the Las Vegas 51s: not so perfect together
The New York Mets, a team ravaged by injuries this past season, had to deal with the unfortunate fact that their Triple-A affiliate resides two time zones away. But has it hurt them in their evaluation of their prospects? The New York Mets union...
Los Angeles Dodgers Biggest Offseason Mistakes This Winter
The Los Angeles Dodgers offseason has included a few key mistakes that could hold them back in 2017. In recent years, we have seen the Los Angeles Dodgers offseason include several big moves. Rarely do they shy away from big contracts or blockbus...
MLB: Tim Lincecum Not Ready to Retire, Move to the Bullpen
Tim Lincecum remains hopeful that he can pitch in the 2017 MLB season. He also remains confident that his next job will be as a starting pitcher. Retirement doesn’t appear to be an option for pitcher Tim Lincecum right now. A move to the bullpe...
KC Royals Yordano Ventura, Andy Marte Killed in Car Accident
In tragic news Sunday morning, the MLB lost a former top prospect and a current young up-and-coming young pitcher, as KC Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura and former player Andy Marte were killed this morning. According to a report from MLB...
Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton Chasing Billy Hamilton
Cincinnati Reds speedster Billy Hamilton shares a name with another exciting speedster from the early days of baseball. However, it will take quite some time before this Hamilton can catch the original Billy Hamilton. Last year, Cincinnati Reds s...
Cincinnati Reds REVISED Top 10 Prospects For 2017
The Cincinnati Reds traded away starter Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins. How did it affect their top 10 list? An Introduction Our minor league top 10 series is coordinated by Benjamin Chase, one of our contributors at Call To The Pen. He has pou...
Miami Marlins REVISED Top 10 Prospects For 2017
After trading some significant pieces to acquire lefty Dan Straily, how does the Miami Marlins top 10 list fare? An Introduction Our minor league top 10 series is coordinated by Benjamin Chase, one of our contributors at Call To The Pen. He has p...
Houston Astros Done Making Significant Moves
At Houston Astros FanFest on Saturday, GM Jeff Luhnow suggested that the team is likely done making big moves. Over the past month or so the Houston Astros have been linked to multiple pitchers in trade talks with Sonny Gray, Chris Archer and Jos...
Toronto Blue Jays, Jose Bautista Happy With His Return
On Saturday, Jose Bautista joined his teammates and fans by expressing his mutual excitement of resigning with the Toronto Blue Jays. Following an offseason of uncertainty, Jose Bautista inked a deal that brings him back to the Toronto Blue Jays....
Yankees History: Yankees First Team to Number Uniforms
As the saying goes, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. That was especially true in the days before player uniforms had numbers on them. On this day in 1929, the Yankees became the first team to number their jerseys. Numbers on ...
Cleveland Indians Improved Roster Makes Them World Series Favorites
The Cleveland Indians look to top their 2016 World Series appearance with a 2017 World Series win. Given that their roster looks even better in 2017, I wouldn’t put it passed them. Deservedly so, the Chicago Cubs were the story of the MLB i...
MLB: 2017 Playoff Predictions Using MLB The Show
When trying to put together a justified guess, some people turn to video games to provide a simulation. This is no different, as we will simulate the 2017 MLB season and see exactly what may happen. Video games are not the most reliable sources o...
2017 Fantasy Baseball: Five Prospects to stash
Who are five prospects for you stash on your 2017 Fantasy Baseball rosters? As we get closer and closer to the 2017 fantasy baseball season, I’m going to give you all the tools that you need to dominate your league. Our positional rankings ...
Miami Marlins: Time to Let Justin Bour Take Over at First
The Miami Marlins are looking at veteran power hitters to platoon at first base. They may already have their answer in Justin Bour. There’s no secret that the Miami Marlins’ biggest target of the offseason was rebuilding a rotation left w...
Atlanta Braves Agree to Sign Kurt Suzuki to One-Year Deal
The Atlanta Braves will add Kurt Suzuki to their mix at catcher, agreeing to sign the experienced backstop to a one-year major league contract. The Atlanta Braves have not been shy about adding veterans this offseason as they continue their rebui...
St. Louis Cardinals: Do They Have Enough to Startle the Cubs in 2017?
The Chicago Cubs bested the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time in quite a while last season. The St. Louis squad is not one for second place finishes. Can the Cardinals overtake the Cubs in 2017? Who would have imagined a handful of years ago...
Texas Rangers Sign James Loney to Minor League Deal
The Texas Rangers have added a bit more depth at the first base position by agreeing to a deal with James Loney. On Friday, it was reported that the Texas Rangers had agreed to a minor league deal with first baseman James Loney. The announcement ...
MLB: Not Your Everyday Players – Current Household Names in Baseball
If someone is a baseball fan, they’ll more than likely know a majority of professional baseball players. However, they are only a few MLB players that are popular and talented enough to be household names. What does it really take to be a h...
Ozzie Guillen: No Major Leaguer Should Play Winter Ball
Every year, more than a thousand ballplayers head down south to play in the Caribbean winter leagues. The majority have never seen a major league diamond, and likely never will. Still, some current Major Leaguers choose to play winter ball despit...
Rob Manfred Talks Pace-of-Play Changes on Hot Stove
While appearing as a guest on Hot Stove, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred shared his thoughts on the pitch clock while giving other practical ways to improve the pace of the game. Nearing his two-year anniversary as the commissioner of baseball, Rob ...
MLB: Top 5 Remaining Free Agents on the Market
With the calendar turning to 2017, the MLB offseason will be over before we know it. Playoff football will divert everyone’s attention for another month until all of a sudden it’s Spring Training again. Baseball is likely the last thing on pe...
Oakland Athletics Closer Role Up For Grabs
The Oakland Athletics made their signing of Santiago Casilla official yesterday, as the former San Francisco Giant closer joined in on a conference call with local media from both the A’s and Giants. Nobody is kidding themselves about the O...
Baltimore Orioles: Zach Britton Wants Long Term Extension
Zach Britton has established himself as one of the best closers in baseball. Yesterday, the Baltimore Orioles standout reiterated his desire to stay with the team on a long term deal. Since transferring to the bullpen, Zach Britton has establishe...
Yankees History: Joe Dimaggio Snubbed on First HoF Ballot
When one thinks about the greatest players to ever appear in the Majors, Yankees legend Joe Dimaggio will come up on that list. However, on this day in 1953, Dimaggio was passed over on his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot. The Hall of...
Hall of Fame Commits Another Crime Against “Crime Dog” Fred McGriff
Fred McGriff was once again not voted into the Hall of Fame. The “Crime Dog” only got 23.9 percent of vote, but the stats show that McGriff should already be in Cooperstown. Jeff Bagwell was the 23rd first baseman voted into the Hall...
MLB History: Looking Back at MLB Teams That Relocated
With so much buzz over the recent relocations of NFL teams, baseball fans might question how franchise movements have worked out in MLB. Relocation does not occur as frequently in baseball, so the moves that have been made are historic. First we...
Miami Marlins Pay High Price for Dan Straily
The Miami Marlins are certainly in need of pitching, but was Dan Straily worth what they gave up to acquire him from the Reds? Continuing their push for rotation help, the Miami Marlins acquired right-hander Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds y...
Boston Red Sox: Risk and Reward of Betts and Bogaerts Not Seeking Long-Term Contracts
Two of the Boston Red Sox’s young stars are not eager to sign long-term deals yet. Is that good or bad news for the club? Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are two of the game’s biggest young stars. Each has made an impact with the Bos...
Los Angeles Angels Add Infield Depth with Luis Valbuena
The Los Angeles Angels made another offseason addition to their infield by agreeing to a two-year deal with Luis Valbuena. The Los Angeles Angels entered the offseason with a need in their infield, which they have now addressed with a couple of m...
Diamondbacks Sign Gregor Blanco to Minor League Deal
With the San Francisco Giants for five seasons, Gregor Blanco played a pivotal role for the 2012 and 2014 championship teams. The 33-year-old outfielder could help out the Giants’ division rival in 2017. On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Arizona Dia...
MLB: Josh Johnson to Retire
After pitching in parts of nine MLB seasons, starting pitcher Josh Johnson has decided to retire. According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Josh Johnson has decided to retire. The righty signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants...
New York Yankees: Steinbrenners Plan to Own Yankees “For Eternity”
Since 1973, the Steinbrenners have owned the New York Yankees. George Steinbrenner purchased the franchise from CBS for $10M. Under the Steinbrenner’s control, the Yankees have won seven World Series. And recently, they affirmed there is n...
MLB 2017: American League East Rankings
Over the next six weeks, I will be taking a look at every team in baseball by evaluating each team’s rotation, infield, outfield, lineup and bullpen to figure out who will win each division in our MLB 2017 preview. Today, I will start with ...
Chicago White Sox Prospect Yoan Moncada Better Off in Windy City
Chicago White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada begins the 2017 season with a new franchise. Is he in a better spot than he was one year ago? Playing for the Boston Red Sox has some great benefits. Aside from the occasional Ben Affleck encounter, there...
Miami Marlins Turn Ballpark into a Racetrack
Every team looks for a way to utilize their ballpark during the MLB offseason. The Miami Marlins have done just that in a truly novel way, as they turned Marlins Park into a racetrack. Fans of the Miami Marlins are certainly used to seeing speed ...
MLB History: Commissioner Landis Bans Boxing for Current Players
Before MLB salaries exploded, baseball players would need to work other jobs to make ends meet. While most would work other mundane jobs, a few would dabble in other sports. On this day in 1930, Commssioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned players ...