Breaking down the 2013 interleague schedule for all 30 teams. What teams are forced to deviate from their regular roster/lineup construction for the longest stretch of the year?
With the Astros finally moved into the American League, we have a very different interleague schedule this year. Not only does it mean that there is now at least one interleague series happening each day of the season, from April to October, it also means that the "rivalry weekends" that were the highlights of the interleague schedule fifteen years ago have been re-shaped. Additionally, the newly balanced divisions mean that, outside of the rivalry games, all teams in a given division can play the exact same teams as their divisional opponents. No longer do the schedule makers have to worry about a six-team division matching up with a four-team division.
So how did the schedule makers do? Did the schedule turn out as balanced as can be? Were they able to ensure that teams from any one division would have the same opponents as their division-mates? Were all clubs given the same number of interleague matches or did some lucky squad or two end up a series short? One thing to remember here is that, with interleague games happening all year long instead of on two or three specific weekends, clubs are now on unequal footing when it comes to setting their rosters for the change in league rules. If one team, for example, only ever has to worry about forcing their pitchers to hit one weekend a month, they are probably in a better situation than the club forced to suddenly remove their all-star DH for nine straight games. National League clubs playing in American League ballparks will have similar problems in trying to add a DH for extended periods of time.
A.J. Cole tries to right the ship, Wil Myers is blocked, and Matt Harvey could be an appealing call-up candidate for the competing Mets.
Tim Beckham, SS, Rays (Triple-A Durham)
It was easy to just write off Beckham in late April. The number-one overall pick in the 2008 draft was hitting .204 in his first 11 games of the season before being hit with a 50-game suspension for a 'drug of abuse.' Beckham's progress though the system had been steady but exceedingly slow, and losing one-third of a season due to stupidity was enough for some to simply give up on him. He's 14-for-39 (.359) since returning to the Bulls, however, including an 8-for-14 weekend that included his first home run of the season, and it's an important reminder that not every player is painted in black and white strokes of either a “star” or a “bust.” Those are the two least likely outcomes for Beckham, actually, who, like many prospects, looks like a big leaguer, just not an impact-level one.
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The U.S. and World rosters for this year's Futures Game have been announced.
The rosters for this year's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, taking place on July 8th in Kansas City, were announced today. Complete rosters and current-season statistics for all 50 players named to the U.S. and World teams can be found right over here, and the game will be televised live via ESPN2 and MLB.TV.
Though it looks like a two-horse race in the NL West, even those players on losing clubs have something to play for.
In Phoenix, the Diamondbacks have skidded into a five-game losing streak after riding the heroics of a succession of first basemen (Brandon Allen, Paul Goldschmidt, Lyle Overbay... perhaps it is time to put in a call for Travis Lee?). In San Francisco, the Giants struggle to stay healthy, a problem that dogs all old people, not just those who play baseball for Brian Sabean's geriatric club.
Oakland's future star outfielder, Washington's trick pitcher, and two potential everyday catchers highlight this week's Ten-Pack.
Bobby Borchering, 3B/1B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia)
If you are looking for a mixed bag when it comes to prospects, Borchering is your guy. A first-round pick in 2009, Borchering finished his full-season debut with a strong second-half and was expected to build on it in 2011. Some scouts say he is, some say he isn't. A switch hitter with a swing that appeals to anyone with a sense of beauty, Borchering went 5-for-11 with a pair of home runs over the weekend to lift his seasonal numbers to .268/.327/.481, and that line alone shows you the good and the bad in his game. While he's having a breakthrough on a power level, he's also struck out 109 times in 362 at-bats and remains prone to swinging at bad pitches. Scouts love his hit tool, but it's not going to matter until he cleans up his approach.
In which Joe takes Bud Selig to task for failing to understand the real reasons for the All-Star Game's decline in popularity.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Does Bud Selig believe that baseball isn't an inherently interesting game? So said Joe in the article below, which originally ran as a "Prospectus Today" column on July 13, 2006.
Another Home Run Derby requires another reminder--from the players, this time--that participation doesn't result in second-half slumps.
CLEVELAND— Sometimes, it happens just to break up the monotony of the day. At other times, it happens because natural competitiveness bubbles to the surface. Around any given batting cage, on any given day, a big-league team's pre-game batting practice can suddenly morph into an impromptu Home Run Derby.
Few Yankees are better in this setting than second baseman Robinson Cano, whose knack for squaring up the ball on the barrel of a bat translates into mammoth homers. Fans will get a chance to see it for themselves when Cano, who doesn't fit the mold of a typical slugger, takes part in the Home Run Derby.
Four Pujols homers, a Marlin massacre, and more of the same from Morton give the Cardinals, Brewers, and Pirates reason for optimism.
“The season is a marathon, not a sprint."—A thousand writers looking for an easy lead-in to their articles.
The marathon nature of the baseball season lends itself to a number of quirks, one of which is a tendency to stretch small problems into colossal issues that are set to sink the entire season. When Josh Hamilton started off the 2010 campaign hitting .205 in his first 13 games (and .242 as late as April 26), baseball fans everywhere—and, in particular, in the Dallas area—were wondering if he could "break out of his slump" or if he would ever regain his form from 2008. Of course, Hamilton would go on to win the American League Most Valuable Player award and lead his team to the World Series, but no one could know that at the time. All anyone could see was that a star player was slumping, which was regarded as a cause for concern.
Rays lefty David Price is having a fine full first season in the major leagues, along with other news and notes from around the majors.
All talk about pitching phenoms now begins and ends with Stephen Strasburg. That is quite understandable as no pitcher in baseball history has ever arrived in the major leagues with quite the fanfare that the Nationals' right-hander did last month.
Is there is or is there ain't an All-Star Game effect as far as getting rest or less?
Starting in early June, it seems like nearly every injury story is going to have the phrase "the All-Star break" in it. A player is coming back just before it, while another player is expected back after it, and yet another is hoping to rest over the break in order to be ready for the second half. The problem is, it doesn't appear to work that way. The break is three and sometimes four days when a player doesn't have games. It's the only scheduled break like that during the long grind of the season, no doubt, but three days is seldom enough time to heal something minor, let alone be able to have some sort of medical breakthrough.
Ready and rested, Will dives into dissecting a week's worth of breakdowns and injuries.
¡Hola, amigos! Acabo de regresar de una semana en Mexico - una semana de playa hermosa, la cerveza, y el beisbol no. (Mi espanol mejoro un poco tambien.) Oh, wait... English now. A week away provides a perspective, the same way that a fortieth birthday does. Being away, especially during a week where player after important player seemed to go down, reminded me why I do this every day. I see baseball through the lens of health and while sometimes, it would be a bit more accurate to wait or do something like write once a week or so, the story is lost. A player is injured-how bad is it? What is the medical staff doing? How are the players reacting? Is there a roster move? Is the team capable of filling in for the lost player? So much more happens than just the injury. Some of you missed having UTK here every day, some of you didn't, and the vast majority didn't notice, reading the rest of the content here. That's okay with me. I'm telling stories that involve injuries, not writing about injuries. It took me years to realize that and a beach. No matter ... a las lesions!