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*in para2: Gibbons felt his ace couldn't start Game 1 of the *ALCS!
The Medlen/Young Game 4 decision is interesting - all indications were that Medlen would pitch Game 4 in the ALCS (Medlen spent the last month and half in the rotation while Young was in the pen). But the weather threw everything off-kilter, and then Young looked outstanding in his relief innings. Yost will want a swing-man ready at all times to save his bullpen from an errant start, so a quasi-tandem start is out for Game 4. I think Medlen's perceived ability to go deeper into games + Young's recent familiarity/history of pitching out of the bullpen will push Yost to start Medlen game 4.
Another odd observation was Gibbons' use of Price in Game 4 with a 6-run lead. The storyline has focused on why he sidelined his ace from starting Game 5. But pushing Price as far as he did in Game 4 made Gibbons feel that his ace couldn't start Game 1 of the ALDS. So instead of having Price games 1 & 5 - virtually guaranteeing two starts - and available for relief in game 7, Price is now limited to 2 & 6 with no relief. Very much a defensible decision at the time, but one that may have an impact on this series (as Royals fans breathe a slight sigh that they avoid the potential of facing an imposing lefty 3 out of 7 games).
Its also astounding how all-around great the Blue Jays are. Best offense & best defense in baseball, and above-average starting rotations and bullpens. The 221+ run differential (next best in baseball was that Cardinals @ 122+) that could easily have been 250+ had Price and Tulowitzki played for the team for more than just a few months. That said, unless Blue Jays pitch out the first pitch of each game or Escobar forgets to do the one thing even coaches are forcing him to do, Royals in 7 (because why not, what else has made sense in this postseason).
This is an amazing article. Thanks!!
Awesome stuff. Can't wait!!
Which <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Cody+Reed">Cody Reed</a></span>?
Nice article! Just as an edit - Royals rented Jay Bell at SS, not Jeff King.
Wow. I normally don't comment, but had to here -- I'm very impressed that the Editor-in-Chief responded to all these comments very quickly and with a great tone.
Congrats on the new advisory board, and the hiring of Bradford Doolittle. I followed him when he was at the KC Star, and really enjoyed his writing.
As for my piece of feedback... I hope he'll keep with the traditions of some of the great sabermetric writers out there - Bill James, Rob Neyer, Rany Jayazerli - and spend just a little too much time writing about the Royals :)
KG's right that you it's baseless to criticize Ventura. But you can criticize the White Sox for their decision making. They're taking an undue risk when there are other known, experience and proven managers or assistant coaches.
Normally to take this kind of risk, the upside has to be huge. Either that or they don't think it's a risk while the rest of the world does. I don't think folks see his upside as huge, and I don't think white sox nation is in the mood to take another risk (see: Adam Dunn).
Kansas seems to also be the home of modern sabermetrics with Bill James (and "disciples" like Rob Neyer) doing much of his work not too far away in Lawrence, KS. Those guys (Rany included) love their Royals.
Generally good players gain the opportunity to take more walks as they get older - the assumption is that a pitcher's ball/strike ratio will increase as he gains more "respect" for the batter.
Some players choose to take the walks (Sammy Sosa). Others (Garret Anderson) choose not to.
Great news (except for Joe leaving). I'm very excited about Cot's Contracts as well as the other additions. I'm curious - will Nate be writing some articles in 2010?
What about John Mayberry?
Very much interested in a Chicago Pizza Feed!