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Newsletter: Thursday, August 9, 2012


MEDIA

BP chat
R.J. Anderson - BP Chat moderated by R.J. Anderson. Click
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=952 to join or submit a
question.
08-09 1:00 PM EST

BP chat
Doug Thorburn - BP Chat moderated by Doug Thorburn. Click
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=953 to join or submit a
question.
08-10 2:00 PM EST

NEW PREMIUM CONTENT

What Scouts Are Saying
How Soon is Now?

by Kevin Goldstein and Jason Collette

Scouts weigh in on some familiar prospect names from the high minors, and some
not-so-familiar names from the complex leagues.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17956

Prospects Will Break Your Heart
Too High/Too Low

by Jason Parks

Jason doesn't always agree with how some prospects are seen nationally, and so
he examines three he likes more--and three he likes less--than most others.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17953

Transaction Analysis
Yuni to Get Out of Here Now

by R.J. Anderson

The Royals' second dance with Betancourt ends in tears, while the Diamondbacks
ditch Overbay and the Indians DFA Jose Lopez.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17954

Future Shock
Considering a Trout Extension

by Kevin Goldstein

The Angels will have to decide on a Mike Trout extension at some point. What
are their options?

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17948

Daily Hit List
Wednesday, August 8

by Matthew Kory

You don't have to be old to be lousy.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17949

Future Shock Blog
Minor League Update: Games of August 7

by Kevin Goldstein

A look at Aaron Hicks'rebound and notes from around the day in the minors.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17950

NEW FANTASY CONTENT

Resident Fantasy Genius
Improving Your Team, or Butting In?

by Derek Carty

If you're out of the money, is it fair to your league's leaders to make trades
that could affect the first-place finish? Is it fair not to?

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17955

Value Picks
Starting Pitchers for 8/9/12

by Paul Sporer

VP returns to the land of healthy veterans this week, highlighted by Blanton,
Colon, and Bedard (yes, we're just as surprised as you that Colon and Bedard
qualify as "healthy veterans").

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17957

NEW BASIC CONTENT

On the Beat
Snaking Up the Standings

by John Perrotto

Despite an early deficit, the Diamondbacks are making up ground in the NL
West. Also, a conversation with Chris Sale, and tons of notes from scouts and
front-office types.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17946

BP Unfiltered
Saved by the Rule

by Geoff Young

If you thought Jerome Williams' save was ugly, you should have seen Dave
Goltz's back in 1973.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17959

What You Need to Know
Thursday, August 9

by Daniel Rathman

The A's withstood the challenge of beating the Angels' top pitchers in their
most recent series.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17944

BP Unfiltered
Who Assumes Trout's Vacated Title of Baseball's Best 20-Year Old?

by Bradley Ankrom

Happy belated birthday, Mike Trout.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17952

BP Unfiltered
Craig Kimbrel and the Only Pitch That Matters

by Sam Miller

Craig Kimbrel has been unhittable after a first-pitch strike.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17951

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: AUGUST 9

THE WEDNESDAY TAKEAWAY

They say that to be the best, you have to beat the best. Well, the Athletics
saw the Angels’ three best starting pitchers—Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, and
Zack Greinke—at the Coliseum this week, and the home team took two out of
three, joining the Orioles atop the American League wild card standings at
60-51.

On Monday night, Jered Weaver fired a four-hit shutout to pave the way for a
4-0 Angels victory that temporarily moved the Halos a half-game ahead of
Oakland. That goose egg might have set the tone for the series, but Bob
Melvin’s team had other ideas, splitting 19 runs between Tuesday’s 10-4 win
and yesterday’s 9-8 rubber match. Those two games marked the first time that
the A’s and their opponents have combined for 13 home runs in back-to-back
contests at the Coliseum.

The A’s took the Angels’ best shot in Wednesday’s matinee: Four of those 13
homers came off of rookie starting pitcher Daniel Straily in just 4 2/3
innings. They responded by dropping four runs on an erratic Greinke in the
second inning, and then tagged LaTroy Hawkins, who had been charged with only
seven runs in his first 33 appearances, for the decisive five in the sixth.

Along the way, the Athletics exposed the Angels’ biggest flaw—a porous bullpen
that was chiefly responsible for the defeats during their 4-6 road trip.
Hawkins’ implosion capped a 10-game stretch that saw Mike Scioscia’s relief
corps allow 32 earned runs in 27 1/3 innings, resulting in four blown saves
and five losses. And while the aforementioned big three, plus former Athletic
Dan Haren, can mask the bullpen’s ineffectiveness by working deep into games,
general manager Jerry DiPoto may regret not adding a reliever at last week’s
deadline.

For the A’s, the series win is yet another step toward shedding the
“pretender” label and earning a junior-circuit playoff spot despite trading
away Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey this past winter. Fifty-one games stand
between Oakland and the postseason, and the Athletics will need all the wins
they can get now, because the road ahead only gets steeper.

The good news is that reinforcements—in the form of Brandon McCarthy and Brett
Anderson—are on the way, with the former set to make his return in Friday’s
series opener at U.S. Cellular Field. The bad news is that after a relatively
easy second half of August, the A’s will play only six games against
currently-sub-.500 teams after Sept. 2.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR ON THURSDAY

Three National League pitchers—A.J. Burnett, Johnny Cueto, and R.A. Dickey—are
tied with 14 wins, and this afternoon, Dickey will get the first crack to draw
even with American League leader Jered Weaver. The knuckleballer has issued
three walks in back-to-back starts after doing so only once in his previous
15, so he’ll hope for better control in the series finale against the Marlins,
who will counter with Josh Johnson (12:10 p.m. ET).

***

If Adam Wainwright’s last four starts are any indication, the 30-year-old
right-hander is back to his pre-Tommy John surgery form. The Cardinals are
just 2-2 in those four games, but Wainwright has allowed only six combined
earned runs and logged a 28-to-2 K/BB over 29 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA
from 4.62 to 4.03. He will take on Madison Bumgarner, who has earned the win
in both of his previous outings at Busch Stadium, in the series finale (1:45
p.m. ET).

***

Mike Trout turned 21 on Wednesday, prompting Bradley Ankrom to wonder who
would supplant the Most Valuable Player candidate as baseball’s best
20-year-old.  Right on cue, the Orioles made their case for super-prospect
Manny Machado, promoting him from Double-A Bowie to take over as their third
baseman for the stretch run. Machado, the third-overall pick in the 2010
first-year player draft, hit .266/.352/.438 with 11 home runs and 13 stolen
bases for Bowie, and he is expected to make his major-league debut tonight
(7:05 p.m. ET).

***

Need to snap a losing streak? Lucas Harrell’s your man. On July 29, the
sinkerballer stumped the Pirates to halt a 12-game skid. On Aug. 4, he stymied
the Braves to end a four-gamer. Well, just like that, the Astros have lost
four in a row again, and it’s Harrell’s job to get them back into the win
column and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Nationals. Houston is 2-0 in
Harrell’s last two starts and 0-8 in the intervening eight games. (8:05 p.m.
ET).

PODCASTS

EFFECTIVELY WILD, THE DAILY BP PODCAST - EPISODE 17: MANNY COMIN'
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/a/17958

BP PODCAST EPISODE 100: I JUST REALIZED I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BASEBALL
We wanted Episode 100 to be a blowout, but we never imagined it would end up
like this. Of course, no celebration would be complete without a visit from
Mom, who shares some racy stories from the 1960s. On a baseball level, our
special guest in Rick Giolito, who tells one of those great untold stories. We
all hear about the kids every draft year, but what is it like to be a father
of one of those kids? It's a frank, honest and fascinating discussion. The big
get is Artie Lange, who tells my favorite baseball story of all time, when he
went on the field as a child following a Yankees world championship.
Seriously, we got Artie Lange. We even find time for a listener of the week.
That wasn't planned, but then Carl got an interesting tattoo. When listening
back to the show, there was one disappointment. We didn't thank the listeners
enough. We've been constantly amazed by the show's popularity. We know it's
not for everyone, it was never designed to be so, and the fact that so many of
you listen, write us emails, let us know on Twitter touches us with each
episode, and it's the reason we have no intention of stopping. Thanks
everyone, truly.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17891

BP FANTASY PODCAST EPISODE 15: THIRTEEN OF ANYTHING IS TOO MANY
Jason took the week off for a family vacation in a place whose wifi is weaker
than Omar Vizquel's power stroke these days. Paul takes over the controls this
week and welcomes in Riley Breckenridge of Productive Outs fame as his co-host
this week. There is plenty of Angels talks, Trade Deadline talk, Twins talk,
frustrating middle infielders, hurt dirtbags, and pitching studs and duds.
This show has it all! If you are an Android user and are still having issues
with the show, please join our Facebook page (linked below) as many members
have posted how they are able to listen to the show. There is also an embedded
audio player at the link below.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17905

ANNOUNCEMENTS

INTRODUCING THE CALL-UP 2012 E-BOOK
Like our bestselling annual, this mid-season debut provides the latest scoops
and analysis to help fans follow their favorite teams and win their fantasy
leagues. The e-book highlights the most notable teams and players of the
season's first half, offering over 50 new player comments by 10 of your
favorite BP authors, a preface by e-book editor Ben Lindbergh, and some of the
best of BP's recent online articles, as well as rest-of-season PECOTA
projections for all players profiled. For more information and to order the
e-book from Amazon.com, click the link below.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17651

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS 2012 APP NOW AVAILABLE
At long last, the Baseball Prospectus 2012 annual app is now available for the
iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Follow your favorite MLB teams and players
throughout the season with Baseball Prospectus analysis that includes team
overviews, player assessments, detailed stats, and 2012 projections for over
2000 players. All of that and more for just $4.99 if you purchase it in the
next two weeks. For more information and to access the download page, click
the link below.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16776

BROOKS BASEBALL NOW AT BP
The outstanding PITCHf/x work of Dan Brooks, Harry Pavlidis, and co. is now
available through BP. For more details on the integration of Brooks Baseball,
see the post by Joe Hamrahi linked below:
bbp.cx/a/17621

BALLPARK EVENT TICKETS NOW ON SALE
Join your favorite BP writers and industry insiders at our upcoming ballpark
events. For more information and to purchase tickets, click the links below.
August 11 at Minute Maid Park in Houston: bbp.cx/a/17647

SUBMIT A QUESTION TO THE RESEARCH MAILBAG
Got a burning baseball question you want answered? Submit it via email to
Bradley Ankrom (bankrom@baseballprospectus.com) and we'll do our best to find
the answer. Our research staff will select its favorite questions from the
batch and feature them in the mailbag the following week.

PLAYOFF ODDS AVAILABLE DAILY
The season is underway, and our playoff odds report is now updated to account
for the double wild card. Check it out here:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/odds/

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BASEBALL PROSPECTUS TWITTER FEED
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following @BaseballPro ( http://www.twitter.com/BaseballPro ) on Twitter for
updates throughout the day.

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Cee Angi @ceeangi (http://www.twitter.com/ceeangi)
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