Jake and Jordan continue their baseball journey in San Francisco, with a brief stop in jail.
Alcatraz was once the Barry Bonds of the United States Penitentiary System. Today, it is merely the Barry Bonds of San Francisco’s tourist attractions. The island, located about a mile and a half away from shore, was once home to the country’s most secure prison. From 1934 to 1963, some of America’s most dangerous criminals spent time behind bars on what many call “The Rock.” Jordan and I are big history buffs who have never been to prison (yet) so we decided to hop on the ferry, head over to The Rock, and buy an Al Capone shirsey or two.
Last week, I said that Doolittle’s return from injury meant it was safe to drop Tyler Clippard in most leagues. I really hope you didn’t listen to me. After just one outing, Doolittle felt discomfort in his shoulder and will be shut down for two more weeks before starting another throwing program. This should give Clippard the closer role for at least three more weeks, if not longer. His team is struggling this year, his walks are way up, and his strikeouts are way down, so Clippard is certainly not a high-end closer option. With that being said, he’s still going to grab the save chances in Oakland, and that’s obviously valuable. Evan Scribner could be a sneaky add if you think Clippard’s performance will start looking more like his peripherals, as Scribner’s been phenomenal this year and is likely next in line for saves.
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After a solid big-league debut against the Rays on May 20th in which his fiery mound presence stole the show, I spotlighted Perez as an interesting two-start candidate last week, and he responded with 13 innings of one-run ball and wins against the Dodgers and Giants. That brings his tally to 18 innings as a starter in which he’s allowed two runs while collecting 17 Ks. So who is this guy, and how much value, if any, does he have going forward?
An unheralded international signee out of Venezuela, Perez made his stateside debut as a 19-year-old in 2010. After a couple of seasons in Rookie ball, he’s been a level-a-year player as a solid-if-unspectacular rotation piece, with an arsenal built around a sinker/changeup combination that’s gotten him grounders and limited his vulnerability against left0handers. Over the past three seasons through High-, Double-, and Triple-A, he’s posted ground-ball rates north of 50 percent with a 3.61 FIP against lefties compared to a 3.20 mark against right-handers.
It's never wise to draft by need, but sometimes the best player available and what a team's system is lacking can line up.
Let’s get this out of the way: Drafting for need is generally a good way to end up with a poor farm system. None of these players is likely to make an impact for at least a year—likely more—and by the time a prospect is ready to contribute, a team’s needs have likely changed, maybe more than once. Take the best player on your board, and if/when it creates a roster problem, consider it a good problem that allows you to get creative with your roster rather than necessitates it.
With that being said, there is a difference between drafting for need on the big league club, and filling holes in the system. Even the best systems—with one exception, that we’ll get to soon enough—have organizational flaws, and while I would never recommend a team stray away from their board, here and there a club’s lack of depth at a position or lack of a tool matches up with the best player available, and it can make sense to address that need early in the draft.
The Rangers summon their second top prospect of the week.
The Situation: Fans of the Texas Rangers held their collective breath when Adrian Beltre came out of the game on Sunday after a hard slide into second base. That turned to a mixture of sadness and rampant speculation when it was announced that Beltre would miss at least two weeks with a thumb sprain and laceration, opening the door for a replacement third baseman. The organization has multiple options at the hot corner, but many minds immediately jumped to top prospect Joey Gallo, who has crushed Double-A pitching this year, to the tune of a .314/.425/.636 line, with a strikeout rate of 33.6 percent. So rather than recall Rougned Odor to man second base, while shifting either Adam Rosales or Hanser Alberto over to third, the Rangers have decided to make a splash with their empty 40-man roster spot.
Updates on Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson, Ryan McMahon, and more.
Pitcher Of The Day: Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Potomac Nationals, A+): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO. He’s only made five starts this year but this was Giolito’s second-best outing. The wunderkind had two meh starts heading into tonight, so it was good to see him tease at dominance tonight. We all know the scouting reports are extreme, so this is all about growth at this point in the game.
The worst team in baseball used to have the best farm system in baseball. Here's how it played out.
The Brewers have the worst record in baseball and appear to be at the bitter end of their contention cycle. Eleven years ago, it started with the best farm system in baseball. This piece originally ran on Feb. 8, 2013.
In three weeks or so, Jason Parks is going to publish his organizational rankings. Rankings like these, prospect writers will remind you, are a snapshot. They capture reality at a particular moment, the publication upon which that reality immediately shifts into something slightly different or significantly different. There’s no permanent truth for prospects.
Through two months, Pedroia's power has returned. Can it continue?
It may seem odd to lament a decrease in home runs for a player who has topped out at 21 in a season, but that’s exactly where we found ourselves after Dustin Pedroia finished an injury-marred 2014 with just seven bombs. Coming into this season, Pedroia’s power numbers were trending, and not in a good way.
A look at how the wise guys spent their money in experts leagues this week.
Depending on how long you have been a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, welcome or welcome back to the Expert FAAB Review. Every week, I’m going to take a look at the players and the process behind the expert bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and Tout Wars AL. Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I will provide insights behind the reasoning on some the bids. Budgets in all three leagues start at $100 at the beginning of the season.
Random Quote of the Week: “I really wish I had thought through the fact that I would have to come up with 26 different quotes this year when I inserted this feature into the Expert FAAB Review.” – Mike Gianella