Newsletter: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the latest in the great line of Baseball
Prospectus publications...The Call-Up 2012 e-book! Click for details:
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
Jason Parks - BP Chat moderated by Jason Parks. Click
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=957 to join or submit a
08-23 1:00 PM EST
NEW PREMIUM CONTENT
Is the Answer to Imperfect Umpiring Really Robot Umps?
by Colin Wyers
We all want to see more plays called correctly, but altering the existing
umpiring system could have unintended consequences.
The Hidden Complexities of Baseball's Unwritten Rules
by Adam Sobsey
In some cases, baseball's on-field etiquette seems clear, but there is often
more to the story than either we or the players know.
The Shame of Your First Big-League Hit
by Sam Miller
Every player's first hit is special, but some players' first hits are dumb and
San Diego Excises Bartlett
by R.J. Anderson
Cardinals extend Westbrook, Braves pick up Overbay, Sean Rodriguez has options
The A's Acquire Stephen Drew *UPDATED*
by Ben Lindbergh and Kevin Goldstein
Oakland gets a new shortstop for the stretch run, as the Diamondbacks dump
some cash commitments.
Daily Hit List
Tuesday, August 21
by Matthew Kory
The Angels figured out a way to improve their playoff odds!
Future Shock Blog
Minor League Update: Games of August 20
by Kevin Goldstein
The monster stats of Giants RHP Clayton Blackburn and a trip through the
NEW FANTASY CONTENT
Relievers for 8/22/12
by Dan Mennella
More uncertainty in Milwaukee and San Francisco keeps this week's VP rolling.
NEW BASIC CONTENT
The Other Side of Scoreboard Watching
by Ian Miller
Ian spends a day in one of the coolest seats in the park (seat not included).
The Lineup Card
Nine Memorable Late-Season Call-Ups
by Baseball Prospectus
Which September call-ups does the BP staff remember the best?
Paul O'Neill Promises Two Home Runs
by Larry Granillo
A late-1995 game provides a memorable moment for Yankee favorite Paul O'Neill.
What You Need to Know
Wednesday, August 22
by Daniel Rathman
Brett Anderson made a triumphant return from Tommy John surgery thanks to a
rare baseball play.
Baseball and Base 3
by Zachary Levine
We think about almost everything but baseball in base 10, but the national
pastime stubbornly insists on a base 3 system. It doesn't have to be this way.
Tater Trot Tracker
Trot Times for August 18
by Larry Granillo
The tater trots for August 18: Giancarlo Stanton keeps hitting in Denver, Adam
Dunn reaches a milestone.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: AUGUST 22
THE TUESDAY TAKEAWAY
The triple play has always been a pitcher’s best friend. Decades ago, a torn
ulnar collateral ligament was his worst enemy. Just fourteen months after
sustaining the latter, Brett Anderson rode the former to victory on Tuesday
Making his first start since June 5, 2011, Anderson held the Twins to four
hits—all singles—and no walks in seven innings of one-run ball, striking out
six along the way. His command, often the last hurdle pitchers must clear
after returning from Tommy John surgery, was solid with the exception of a
first-inning wild pitch that marked the only blemish on his line. And Anderson
needed only 86 pitches (62 strikes) to record 21 outs, in part because
one-seventh of them came on this play.
After coughing up back-to-back singles to Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit to
start the sixth inning, Anderson threw a first-pitch curveball to Trevor
Plouffe. The 26-year-old third baseman, already mired in a 2-for-27 August
swoon, chopped it to his counterpart, Josh Donaldson, who touched the bag and
sent it on its way around the horn. An outstanding turn by second baseman Adam
Rosales made possible the 21st triple play in A’s franchise history, the
eighth since their move to Oakland, their first at the Coliseum since July 18,
1983, and their first in general since Randy Velarde’s unassisted effort on
May 29, 2000.
Meanwhile, with A.J. Griffin on the disabled list and Daniel Straily back in
Triple-A, Anderson’s return gives the A’s critical rotation insurance for the
40 games remaining on their schedule. Still only 24 years old and armed with a
fastball-slider combination that is the envy of almost every left-hander in
the game, Anderson could be the X-factor that keeps Oakland—which remains in
third place, a half-game behind Baltimore in the wild card race—afloat when
its schedule toughens in September.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR ON WEDNESDAY
Do you like watching young pitchers try to adjust to the majors? If so, you
might want to call in sick today to take in the first game of the doubleheader
between the Marlins and the Diamondbacks. Jacob Turner, who came over to Miami
in the trade that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit, will make
his first major-league start since the swap, matching wits with a fellow
21-year-old, Arizona rookie Tyler Skaggs, who headlined the Dan Haren deal
with the Angels in July 2010. Skaggs earned the promotion by compiling a
116-to-37 K/BB in 122 1/3 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A; the
lefty ranked 19th on Kevin Goldstein’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects list (3:40
Last Friday, I wrote about Kris Medlen’s string of impressive performances
that began when he joined the Braves rotation on July 31, while cautioning
that his 2.46 FIP and 1.05 ERA as a starter might be a mirage produced by
weak-hitting opponents. Well, the 26-year-old northpaw can silence the
skeptics and seal his spot in Fredi Gonzalez’s September rotation by defeating
the Nationals and helping the Braves to avoid the brooms in Washington, D.C.
He’ll take on Ross Detwiler, who defeated Atlanta with seven innings of
two-run (one earned) ball on July 22. In addition to a quality outing from
Medlen, the Braves will need Martin Prado—who is 9-for-16 lifetime versus
Detwiler—to maintain his success against the Nationals southpaw (7:05 p.m.
Clay Buchholz has been on a roll of late, compiling a 2.03 ERA in seven starts
since the All-Star break, partly thanks to a recently added splitter. The
28-year-old has tossed at least seven innings in each of his last six trips to
the mound, and the Red Sox are 5-1 in those contests. However, the 11-3
right-hander’s recent surge will be tested in tonight’s battle with Jered
Weaver (15-3) and the Angels, who snapped a four-game skid in Monday’s opener.
Buchholz has gone 6-1 with a 4.10 ERA in 11 starts at Fenway Park this season,
while Weaver is just 1-3 with a 7.16 ERA in his six career outings on Yawkey
Way (7:10 p.m. ET).
Matt Holliday, who was red-hot from May through July, has come crashing down
to earth in August, going 16-for-78 (.205 average) with 19 strikeouts in 19
games this month. Now within a game of the National League wild card lead, the
Cardinals need their left fielder to get back on track in a hurry, because a
critical, 10-game road trip to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Washington begins
on Friday. Holliday went 1-for-4 in last night’s series opener, and he’s gone
7-for-27 (.259) with a couple of homers in his career against Wednesday’s
Astros starter Bud Norris. The home team will send Kyle Lohse to the hill
hoping to take care of business by clinching a series win (8:15 p.m. ET).
Ned Colletti often catches flak for his high-priced mistakes, but inking Chris
Capuano to a two-year, $10 million deal this past offseason was a
masterstroke. Capuano has been worth 2.0 WARP in 2012, easily exceeding the
value of his contract, and he has been particularly strong at Dodger Stadium,
logging a 2.17 ERA over 12 starts. The 34-year-old lefty will be tasked with
outdueling Matt Cain in the series finale (10:10 p.m. ET).
EFFECTIVELY WILD, THE DAILY BP PODCAST - EPISODE 26: THE RETURN OF BRETT
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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updates throughout the day.
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