The Angels' pitching staff returns to health. The David DeJesus era begins for the Royals. The Phillies have an epic battle going for the role of fifth starter. The Mariners hit a home run with the Freddy Garcia deal. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
The Angels' Disabled List is thinning out. Nomar's back for the Red Sox. Paul Abbott slides into the fifth starter's role with the Phillies. And the Practically Perfect Backup Catcher earns his stripes as a starter for the Blue Jays. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
The Braves' bench looks ugly. The Dodgers make some nifty deals. The Mets inexplicably hand starting jobs to Tyler Yates and Scott Erickson. The Rangers unload Einar Diaz on the Expos. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
Transactions galore: the Yankees practice running in place; the Red Sox beef up their bullpen; the Giants aquire a starter for the postseason; the A's add a little power to their outfield; and the Reds throw up the white flag, but get some pretty good arms in return. All this and much more news from around the league in your post-Trading Deadline edition of Transaction Analysis.
The Angels staff has been tateriffic; Mark Bellhorn is getting the cold shoulder in Chicago; and the Tigers have shifted their lineup around, with the hope of reaching 50 wins. All this and much more from Anaheim, Chicago, and Detroit.
I Think I'm Gonna Hurl: While there are a number of differences between the 2002 and 2003 versions of the Anaheim Angels, the greatest disparity comes in the performance of their respective pitching staffs. Where in 2002 the Angels fielded one of the best rotations in all of baseball--a group that finished third in the league in Support-Neutral Value Added (SNVA)--this year's staff has done nothing but struggle, and is currently fourth from the bottom in SNVA, just a notch ahead of the Tigers.
The Diamondbacks' rotation is a mess, Bruce Chen's latest destination is Boston, Willie Harris gets his shot with Aaron Rowand going Mario Mendoza in Chicago, and the Devil Rays scrap the publicity stunts to play the kids. Plus news and witticisms on 19 other teams.
The Snakes bury John Patterson, the Red Sox sort through a batch of soft tossers, the Marlins vie for a 25-catcher roster, and the Devil Rays solve all their problems by grabbing Al Martin and Damion Easley.
After using PECOTA-generated roto values at the recent Tout Wars National League draft, Nate Silver runs the numbers to produce values for the AL. Hint: as in the NL, pay the premium for studs. And do everything you can to get Pedro.
You can import these values into a spreadsheet by selecting them in your browser and copying them, pasting them into a text file (i.e. Notepad), and opening the new text file with your spreadsheet (i.e. Excel).
People complain that it's unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with "natural rivalries" and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window.
The unbalanced schedule rules.
People complain that it's unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with "natural rivalries" and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window. At least divisional play can make for great matchups, unlike, say, the thrilling mid-week sweep of the Brewers by the A's in June.
This comes up because there's an awesome division race in the AL West, and I get to see it because I'm lucky enough to be in Seattle. I honestly prefer this year's nail-biting, wonder-if-we'll-make-it marathon to last year's record 116 wins, when it was obvious by the All-Star break that the Mariners were heading to the playoffs.
As I write this, the Ms are two-and-a-half games up on the Angels. Anaheim has put together the weirdest run at .600 ball and a division title as I can remember, a straight batting average and no-strikeout attack. If you look at the raw stats, they're right up with the Mariners in run scoring, despite giving up 16 points of OBP and having a comparable slugging average. Park-adjusted, the offenses aren't close, but I still look at the daily standings and shake my head. Neither team made race-changing trades before the deadline, though the Angels picked up a spare outfielder--Alex Ochoa--who the M's could have used.
Meanwhile, Oakland made moves to improve for the stretch run, trading for Ricky Rincon and Ray Durham, and they're just four games back, with a front-line pitching rotation that can put the hurt on anyone and a dangerous offensive core.
The Mariners play both teams six more times, a home-and-home series each, including a can't-miss-it buy-your-tickets-now September homestand against the Angels and A's starting September 20 (just after the most likely strike date, for my convenience).
Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28]
I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.