Atlanta Braves C Alex Jackson was recently placed on the DL for an undisclosed injury. Jackson is in his first year for the Braves, after being acquired this past offseason. Similarly, this is also his first year catching. He is tied for second in home runs with Cincinnati’s Gavin LaValley in the pitcher friendly Florida State League with 10, behind leader Logan Hill whom has 13. Hill plays for the Pirates’s affiliate Bradenton Marauders.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Notes on Michael Chavis, Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez, Lewis Thorpe, Ian Anderson, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 5-9, 2 BB, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K, E
It’s tough to overstate just how hot Chavis has been to start the season, as yesterday’s outburst in a double-header included his fifth multi-hit game in his last ten and raised his season’s line to .360/.440/.712 through 37 games. The former first-rounder started hot last year, too, before a thumb injury derailed his season. He’ll look to continue this round of early dominance after an inevitable promotion to Double A comes, likely on the sooner side of later at this rate.
Matt Adams gets newfound attention. Max Moroff continues to rake in the minors.
The Dynasty Guru Experts League is a 20-team (40-man roster) 5x5 rotisserie dynasty league founded by BP managing editor Bret Sayre in 2014. It is intended to satisfy the deep-league needs of all, down to just the right amount of Alexi Amarista. We roster 23 starters (C/1B/2B/3B/SS/MI/CI, along with two additional utility hitters, five outfielders and nine pitchers). We also roster seven bench slots and have 10 spots designated for minor leaguers, although a quick scan of the league finds that most teams utilize most of their bench spots for additional prospects. That means that there are an additional 100-120 prospects that are rostered above the 200 spots reserved for them.
These write-ups are intended to pair nicely with Mike Gianella’s Expert FAAB Review, as we will look at each week’s TDGX free-agent acquisitions, as well as include thoughts on every major trade that occurs during the season. The yearly budget for free-agent transactions is $100, with $0 bids allowed for major leaguers and prospects.
Castellanos has been a big disappointment. Will that change with an adjustment?
During the pre-season I spouted several things that, at least so far in the few months since, have proven to have been damned, dirty lies. One of these things was that Nick Castellanos was gonna be a Guy. The pedigree as an elite hit-tool guy was there, I noted, and at 6-foot-4, 210 with a rapidly heightening launch angle, he was a perfect candidate to break out in a big way.
It's a rough week in the NL, where no one with two scheduled outings is worthy of automatic, fore-sure, consecutive starts. Carlos Carrasco and Chris Sale, conversely, are ready to pitch two.
Every Friday, we preview the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. Hopefully that gives enough insight to make educated lineup moves and FAAB decisions over the weekend. As the old wrestling promoters would always say, “Card Subject to Change," because lots can happen between the time this goes up and first pitch. Unfortunately—weather, injuries, and tinkering managers make this less than a science. I’ll do my best, though, and should new information present itself after this posts, we can go over it in the comments. We’ll crowdsource this as well, so if you hear anything, feel free to comment and we all can offer our takes, hot or not.
Here’s how this works. The pitchers will be split by league using these categories:
Through 33 games, the Detroit Tigers stalwart is having his worst season since he broke in as a 20-year-old in 2003. He just turned 34, but have physical issues caught up the likely Hall of Fame slugger?
For more than a decade, Miguel Cabrera has been one of the truly elite hitters in all of baseball. Despite consistently great performances, fantasy owners in recent seasons have been wary of using first-round picks (or equivalent money in auctions) on the future Hall of Famer, with concern for his imminent decline engrained in discussions of his value. Repeatedly, he’s proven that kind of talk to be silly, and that he’s still an elite hitter. Still, time eventually catches up with all of us, and even Cabrera isn’t immune to the aging curve.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering how Cabrera has struggled to start the season. At least, he’s struggled relative to the standards he’s set for himself. Through his first 139 plate appearances, he is hitting .264/.360/.430 for a TAv of .267. Prior to this season, his lowest TAv not including his rookie year was .295, and that was way back in 2008. He’s ranked as the 32nd first baseman on the Player Rater, right between Mike Napoli and Wilmer Flores. To put it simply, this is not the kind of performance at the plate that we’ve come to expect from Cabrera. Is this the start of that decline we’ve long been worried about—or is it just a blip on the radar?
Brandon Phillips and the illusion of hindsight, by way of the one-time elite prospect.
Jurickson Profar first graced the electronic pages of Baseball Prospectus in Kevin Goldstein’s 2011 Top-101 prospect list. He checked in at 78th overall, sandwiched between Jake Odorizzi and one-time teammate Tanner Scheppers. By August of that same year, Jason Parks was listing him neck-and-neck with Manny Machado as the top shortstop prospect in the minors, extolling his five-tool talents and confidence, projecting him as a “first-division starter with All-Star appearances in his future.” We all know Profar’s story from that point on. He slotted in fourth overall by the next year’s list, and was a consensus no. 1 overall prospect on the 2013 iteration.
The push and pull between hitters and pitchers is changing.
Unique pitching lines typically don’t tell us anything about baseball, not in the sense of helping us understand the current state of the game anyway. They might tell us something about the expanse of possibility within the confines of the game, or about nature of the individual pitcher making that small bit of history. But very seldom are these lines worthy of including in a hypothetical time capsule.
Carlos Martinez’s start against the Yankees on April 15 doesn’t seem likely to offer a representative picture of any version of baseball—past, present, or future. It does, however, allow us to spend a moment in that unlikely—but possible—world where real, familiar phenomena progress to their illogical extremes. Like an episode of Black Mirror that edges too close to the realm of the believable.