Newsletter: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the latest in the great line of Baseball
Prospectus publications...The Call-Up 2012 e-book! Click for details:
WTMY - 1280 AM Sarasota, FL
Jason Collette - Jason joins the guys "in the box" to talk baseball each
Tuesday night at 9:18 ET
08-21 9:18 PM EST
WLQR 106.5 FM (Toledo, OH)
Jay Jaffe - Jay Jaffe talks baseball with Norm Wamer on "The Front Row,"
Wednesday at 3:15 pm CT/4:15 ET. Streaming via their website at
http://www.1065theticket.com as well
08-22 3:15 PM CST
KROD 600 AM (El Paso, TX)
Jay Jaffe - Jay Jaffe runs down the week in baseball with Steve Kaplowitz.
Streaming at http://krod.com as well.
08-22 4:20 PM MST
NEW PREMIUM CONTENT
Prospects Will Break Your Heart
Bring Me the Head of Gordon Beckham
by Jason Parks
What the heck happened to Gordon Beckham?
Before Felix was King
by Geoff Young
Despite Felix Hernandez's recent 99 Game Score in his perfecto, Seattle has a
history of losing well-pitched contests.
Monday Morning Ten Pack
by Kevin Goldstein
Loads of pitchers from the weekend continued to reestablish themselves as
players to watch.
Are Closers Worse When They're Surprised?
by Russell A. Carleton
Closers are unusually erratic when they're faced with an unexpected save
situation, but are they any less effective?
The Stars are Re-Signed
by R.J. Anderson
The Cubs lock down Starlin Castro for at least seven years.
Out of Left Field
Bobby Valentine's Communications Problem
by Matthew Kory
Well, sure, these conversations explain everything.
Daily Hit List
Monday, August 20
by Matthew Kory
The Angels' playoff odds drop below Oakland's for the first time.
NEW FANTASY CONTENT
Examing the Increasing Strikeout Trend
by Jason Collette
With strikeout rates at an all time high, Jason examines some of the common
explanations for the feat.
First, Third, and DH for 8/21/12
by Michael Street
Michael graduates one Value Pick and welcomes another one back, while the rest
of his list keeps delivering value to fantasy owners looking for corner
Resident Fantasy Genius
Six Starters for the Desperate Owner
by Derek Carty
Injuries and attrition have probably wiped out at least a portion of your
rotation. Here are six pitchers with upside that are probably available.
Second, Short, and Catcher for 8/20/12
by Josh Shepardson
Catchers dominate the Arrivals section of this week's VP with Rosario,
Grandal, and Jaso joining the group.
NEW BASIC CONTENT
Chipper vs. Cal
by Larry Granillo
Cal Ripken's 2001 season is a good example of why Chipper Jones should still
retire after this season, no matter how great he's hitting.
What You Need to Know
Tuesday, August 21
by Daniel Rathman
A pair of games on the coasts dominated Monday's action, as fans reveled in
ice cream and high-strikeout games.
How Low Will Jim Crane Go with the Astros?
by Maury Brown
A look at Houston's rebuilding plan following their sale this past winter.
The Week In Quotes
by Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum, Andrew Koo and Matthew Rocco
Running through the notable quotes of the week that was.
Fact-Checking the Chris Perez Profanity-Laced Tirade
by Ben Lindbergh
Chris Perez cursed out an A's fan. In between swear words, he said some things
we can tell were either true or false.
Tater Trot Tracker
Trot Times for August 19
by Larry Granillo
The tater trots for August 19. Pedro Alvarez wins it for Pittsburgh, Bryce
Harper hits another.
What You Need to Know
Monday, August 20
by Daniel Rathman
The Angels' chances for the postseason are sinking, despite having a staff
stocked with aces and two excellent position players.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: AUGUST 21
THE MONDAY TAKEAWAY
Some nights, the takeaway writes itself. Monday night was one of those
Two National League showdowns, one on each coast, highlighted the 12-game
slate. And whether you prefer #weirdbaseball and ice cream or a pitchers’ duel
for the ages, neither would disappoint.
In the nation’s capital, where the Braves were looking to chip away at the
Nationals’ five-game lead, the expected duel between Tim Hudson and Jordan
Zimmermann did not materialize. Each starter was charged with four earned
runs, and both were pulled before the seventh inning, but the bullpens
maintained the 4-4 tie through nine—and 10, and 11, and 12.
In the 13th, with his All-Star closer, Craig Kimbrel, still warming the
bullpen bench, Fredi Gonzalez stuck with Cristhian Martinez, and the Nationals
infield-singled him into submission. Ian Desmond reached on one to second.
Danny Espinosa’s sacrifice-bunt attempt failed, as the Braves erased Desmond
at second base. But Kurt Suzuki reached on another infield single to third.
And pinch-hitter Chad Tracy delivered the deathblow: a hot shot to
second—initially ruled an error—that Dan Uggla could not dig out of his glove.
The result: A 5-4 Nationals victory that padded their cushion in the East,
which now stands at six games with 50 left to play.
In Los Angeles, where the Giants entered a half-game behind the first-place
Dodgers, the anticipated duel between Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw
topped virtually everyone’s lofty expectations. Both pitchers went eight
innings, neither walked a batter, and each struck out 10. The last time that
happened in the Live Ball Era: never, as Julian Levine of Giants Nirvana
pointed out on Twitter.
The Giants, who fell victim to a complete-game shutout in their last meeting
with Kershaw and had been blanked in their past two games against the Dodgers,
manufactured a first-inning run on a double by Angel Pagan, a sacrifice bunt
by Marco Scutaro, and a sacrifice fly by Pablo Sandoval. A two-out rally in
the sixth inning, capped by Sandoval’s RBI single, provided an insurance run
that proved crucial when Hanley Ramirez took Sergio Romo deep in the ninth.
Ramirez’s homer was only the Dodgers’ fifth hit of the game, and two of those
were singles by Kershaw.
Bumgarner’s four-hit effort dropped his ERA for the season to 2.83, the best
in the Giants rotation, and tops among National League lefties. His
strikeout-to-walk ratio for the season now stands at 160-to-32 (an even 5.00),
bested only by Cliff Lee and Joe Blanton, who will lock horns with Tim
Lincecum and try to flip the half-game margin back to the Dodgers tonight
(10:10 p.m. ET).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR ON TUESDAY
Stephen Strasburg’s season may be winding down, but he still has plenty of
time to make an impact, beginning with tonight’s matchup with the Braves. The
Nationals’ six-game edge marks their largest National League East lead of the
season, and another win or two in this series could put Atlanta firmly in the
rearview mirror. Washington is 2-1 in Strasburg’s three starts versus the
Braves this season, but the hard-throwing righty has not completed the sixth
inning in any of them, posting a 4.87 ERA that stands in stark contrast to his
2.43 ERA against everyone else. Atlanta will counter with Paul Maholm, who has
yet to battle the Nationals this year (7:05 p.m. ET).
The Blue Jays head trainer, Mike Poulis, has been a busy man in recent weeks,
and injuries to key players like Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie have
predictably hindered Toronto’s offense. After ranking 12th in the majors with
a 753 team OPS in July, the Jays have compiled a league-low 605 OPS in August,
33 points worse than that of the 29th-ranked Astros. Fortunately, Lawrie, who
has been on the disabled list with a strained oblique since Aug. 4, is
expected to be in the lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Tigers.
The 22-year-old third baseman has endured a sophomore slump after dazzling
during his 2011 debut, but he should provide a significant upgrade over Omar
Vizquel, and as importantly, move Yunel Escobar’s .327 slugging percentage out
of the cleanup spot (7:05 p.m. ET).
Speaking of long-awaited returns, Jhoulys Chacin—who has been out since
early-May with inflammation in his right shoulder—is back with the Rockies and
set to take the mound at Citi Field tonight. The 24-year-old righty was
knocked around to the tune of a 7.30 ERA in five starts before he hit the
shelf, but if he can rein in his walk rate, Chacin has the potential to be an
important part of the Rockies future. He will take on Chris Young in game two
of a four-game set against the Mets (7:10 p.m. ET).
Staying on the subject of returning starters, the Athletics—who lost their
series opener to the Twins, 7-2—will welcome Brett Anderson back to their
rotation in game two. The 24-year-old southpaw has been out since June 5,
2011, after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but he logged an 18-to-5 K/BB
during his six-start rehab assignment and will now be asked to write his own
chapter in Oakland’s storybook season. Anderson won’t be the only one making
his 2012 A’s debut on Tuesday, either: Billy Beane finally nabbed Stephen Drew
from the Diamondbacks last night, and the shortstop should arrive in time to
be in Bob Melvin’s starting lineup against Twins starter Cole De Vries (10:05
Two Hernandezes—Roberto and Felix—will go toe-to-toe at Safeco Field in the
second game of the series between the Indians and the Mariners. Roberto served
up 10 hits and was charged with eight runs (five earned) in his 2012 debut at
Angel Stadium, while Felix tossed the first perfect game in Mariners history
in his most recent outing against the Rays. Roberto went 2-3 with a 3.10 ERA
in seven starts versus the Mariners during the Fausto Carmona era, while Felix
owns a 5-4 ledger and a 3.08 ERA in 12 career meetings with the Tribe. Look
out for Jack Hannahan, who has somehow authored an 8-for-18 line with two
homers in his past encounters with Felix and may pose an unexpected threat to
the 26-year-old northpaw’s bid to join Johnny Vander Meer in the history books
(10:10 p.m. ET).
EFFECTIVELY WILD, THE DAILY BP PODCAST - EPISODE 25: STARLIN CASTRO'S MAKEUP
BP PODCAST EPISODE 101: LET'S NOT EVEN TRY
After our big celebration for Episode 100, we're back to normality, or at
least as normal as the show gets. We talk about the Manny Machado call-up,
some prospects that we are higher or lower than most on, and also just what to
make of Austin Wood. Then we try to gauge Mike Trout's value (good luck) and
talk about scouting little league games. Our special guest is a good friend of
the show in Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger who talks about the
future of the Mets, and then our listener of the week is the amazing Craig
Robinson, better known to many of you as the Flip Flop Flyin' guy. From there
it's the goofy stuff with a tribute to the late, great Juan Deli, and some
talk about weird neighbors ... and mattresses.
BP FANTASY PODCAST EPISODE 16: IT IS NOT ALL LUCK
Jason and Paul begin with the pitchers, hitting on Mike Fiers and Chad
Billingsley among starters, and then moving on to discuss Jeremy Affeldt's
value in the Giants' new closer-by-committee bullpen arrangement.
Recently-promoted rookies, Manny Machado and Starling Marte, highlight the
hitters discussed in the second hour. All that and much more at the link
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.
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.
September 15 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles: http://bbp.cx/a/18042
BROOKS BASEBALL 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:
SUBMIT A QUESTION TO THE RESEARCH MAILBAG
Got a burning baseball question you want answered? Submit it via email to
Bradley Ankrom (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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:
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BASEBALL PROSPECTUS TWITTER FEED
Stay up to date on the latest articles, events, chats, authors and stats by
following @BaseballPro ( http://www.twitter.com/BaseballPro ) on Twitter for
updates throughout the day.
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