PECOTA appears at MLB.com, and BP publishes new stat reports and updates to PITCHf/x products and player cards.
Often, the content on the Baseball Prospectus website is driven by data collected during the research leading to an article. And readers can now benefit from some recent research on a daily basis, as six new reports have been added to the sortable statistics page, all of which will be updated daily throughout the season.
Paul rolls with the red-hot Alfredo Simon and trusts Drew Smyly in his first start of the year.
I’m looking at three no-name starters to lead me to the promised land on Friday.
Lineup of the Day DraftStreet offers one of the best lineup constructions in the industry allowing for three pitchers, two starters and a starter/reliever. Additionally, they don’t overvalue the win as it is worth just two points. The rest of the scoring and roster setup can be viewed here if you aren’t already familiar with it.
George Springer made his big-league debut on Wednesday night, and in the process opened the season on service time–related debates. Such arguments have become commonplace in early-season baseball, particularly in recent years, as teams have grown more cognizant of the Super Two service time deadline, which determines which players will be eligible for arbitration four times instead of three. But as much as we talk about the status quo, there's seldom talk about how things should change. So how could the Super Two rules be altered (by collective bargaining) for the better? Here are three proposals.
Eliminate Super Two
The extreme solution doubles as the most obvious way to end service-time manipulation. Teams would continue to hold their best prospects down for about two weeks, just long enough to gain the seventh year of control, but would thereafter have no reason to keep the youngsters down for artificial reasons. The downside to eliminating the Super Two designation is that it would further limit the earning power of the class of players who already have the least leverage in the league. This arrangement would be a win for the teams and the fans, but a loss for the players.
Incorporate performance into the Super Two equation
The Yankees' new starter appears to have the most important attribute of them all: the ability to make adjustment.
When I wrote about Masahiro Tanakaover the winter, my analysis was limited to the piecemeal footage that could be found across the interwebs, which led to a lot of caveats about what we could expect of his performance in the majors. There were many reasons for caution when projecting the state-side translation of his skill set, ranging from his workloads and pitch selection to his mechanics and statistical profile. With a trio of big-league starts now under his belt, we have a much clearer picture of his talent.
Advice on how to approach your league's supplemental draft, plus matchup-based start/sit decisions for the coming week.
In Scoresheet baseball, the first supplemental draft is a time when the dreams of spring training are dashed against the rocks of designated for assignment statuses and hamstring strains. For all but the most active/desperate traders, this is your first chance to reshape your team, if even slightly, to cover up for some of the inevitable strains against your depth chart.
To help prepare you for the upcoming draft, we podcasted what may be the first-ever mock Scoresheet supplemental draft, a feat for which we are duly proud and ashamed. In order to determine who was eligible for the draft, we randomly selected 25 public continuing Scoresheet leagues, both American and National format, and found whether the players were available in that league. Players who were available in 60 percent or more of these index leagues were listed as available.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon.
Mac Williamson, OF, Giants (San Jose, A+): 2-4, 3 R, 2B, HR. We know Williamson has power. The question is whether he will hit. There’s some serious swing-and-miss to his game, but thus far in a repeat of the California League, he’s controlling the strike zone better than he did last year.
Zoilo Almonte, OF, Yankees (SWB, AAA): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K. I’m almost afraid to mention Almonte because I talked about him a lot this winter, but a pair of home runs is a day worthy of any update. With the injuries the Yankees have already put up with, Almonte is just a pulled hamstring or tweaked quad away from being called on for big-league duty.
RHP Hunter Harvey (Orioles)
6-foot-3 accurate; nice broad shoulders and beautiful frame to add good weight; great physical projection; very athletic; 3/4 arm slot; uses high kick to create good momentum toward the plate; stretch: 1.40 to 1.53 range; has slight crossfire; also can open early and land toward first-base side; front-side glove can get big, creating deception before throwing front side through; ball explodes out of his hand; hips and shoulders rotate in unison and arm comes through fast; easy release; low-effort delivery; stays over top of pitches well; uses tall frame to create plane; repeatable mechanics; presently more of a thrower than pitcher and needs work with pitchability; very good demeanor and killer mentality on the mound and I love it; also plus-plus hair flow.
And why the Astros would have been silly to promote George Springer sooner.
If you stretch, maybe you could come up with a good baseball reason for the Astros not to have called up outfield prospect George Springer until earlier this week. And yes, GM Jeff Luhnow probably did need to stick with baseball reasons in his public explanations of the delayed promotion: Springer needed some more at-bats to work on cutting down his strikeouts, or the team wanted to see whether Robbie Grossman could start this season as strong as he finished the last one, etc.
You understand why Luhnow can’t say the real reason, but at some point, you wish that we could let a smart guy be a smart guy and tell you that by waiting two weeks, he was able to exchange a minimal amount of Springer in a bad season for a full year of Springer in what could be a good season. That would be the 2020 season, which is now part of the Astros’ control period on Springer as he won’t have a full six served after 2019. (Read more of the details in this Evan Drellich piece at the Houston Chronicle.)
Thoughts (both deep and shallow) inspired by Wednesday's games.
On Opening Day, I jotted down an assortment of thoughts and threw them all into this article, below which reader “cmyiii” commented, “Something like this every day—or even just once a week—is worth the price of admission.” Daniel Rathman’s column, What You Need to Know, delivers that daily fix, but by the request of at least one reader, I’ll be doing the same whenever I have enough disjointed observations from a single slate of games to add up to an article. Daniel covered Johnny Cueto’s complete game, the Yankees’ day-night shutout, and a couple other topics in today’s WYNTK; my topic grab bag is below.