In his major-league debut, Heaney came out firing from the get-go, dialing up seven of his first 15 fastballs at 94 MPH or higher. Unfortunately for the ninth-overall pick of the 2012 draft, David Wright crushed one of those 94 MPH heaters to center field and off the Marlins Park home run sculpture for a solo blast.
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The A's lefty logs his first complete game since 2006, plus more recaps from a walkoff-filled Wednesday and previews for Thursday.
The Wednesday Takeaway
Fans at Oakland Coliseum were treated to a fantastic pitchers’ duel between Scott Kazmir and Anibal Sanchez on Wednesday, and the visitors started the bottom of the ninth inning with a 1-0 advantage.
Kazmir was in line for a complete-game loss, in which he threw 76 of his 103 pitches for strikes and struck out eight batters without issuing a walk. The lone mistake he made was a slider left up that Torii Hunter deposited over the right-center field wall. Kazmir was able to subdue the Tigers with his changeup, as he threw 19 of his 26 off-speed offerings for strikes—nine of them of the swing-and-miss variety. The southpaw was able to hold his velocity over the course of the game, registering his fastest four-seamer of the game with his second-to-last pitch.
Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton give Mauricio's ideal Roto squad big-time power potential if they stay healthy.
On Friday, Mike Gianella released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
A closer look at the 12 pitchers who fared best during the summer in the statistics they could directly control.
As the playoffs are coming to an end in a fashion that seems to get crazier and crazier by the game, we continue to use this opportunity to look back on the 2013 season to see what we can learn going forward. Two of the biggest areas to explore for uncovering undervalued assets are hidden improvements over the course of the previous season and digging beyond the raw stats to the more predictive ones. In this exercise, we’re going to combine the two to see if anything interesting is uncovered when using FIP to determine more of a true performance level after the dust cleared from the All-Star festivities in New York.
There were 12 pitchers who posted a FIP of 2.75 or lower in the second half of the 2013 season. Here they are in reverse order:
Jarrod Parker meets Anibal Sanchez with a 2-1 series lead at stake.
Oakland squeaked by Detroit in Game Two as Sonny Gray and Justin Verlander gave us the best game of the playoffs thus far with an incredible duel on the mound. Gray mattered more as the A’s got to Al Alburquerque for the walk-off win.
Seven years later, the book still isn't closed on the mega-deal between Boston and Florida.
After the 2005 season, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein donned a gorilla costume and snuck undetected out of Fenway Park. Going back centuries, this is how Epsteins quit their jobs. A few months later owner John Henry coaxed Epstein back to work. (He wore, as is the family custom, an alligator outfit). While he was gone, the Red Sox’ reins were held jointly by three people: Jed Hoyer, now general manager of the Cubs under Epstein; Ben Cherington, Epstein’s eventual successor as general manager in Boston; and Bill Lajoie, a veteran front office man and former player who ran the Tigers in the mid-to-late ’80s. Despite persistent rumors that Epstein would come back, the Red Sox didn’t sit around waiting. While Mark Loretta and top prospect Andy Marte were intriguing acquisitions, the group’s crowing achievement was sending Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Harvey Garcia, and Jesus Delgado to Florida for Josh Beckett, Guillermo Mota, and Mike Lowell. It was a polarizing trade at the time and remains one to this day.
This past summer, seven seasons after the trade was consummated, an ending of sorts occurred. The Dodgers acquired both Ramirez and Beckett from Miami and Boston, respectively, while Miami dealt Sanchez to Detroit. Thus, as the 2013 season dawns, all of the players in the deal have moved on from their acquiring teams. This seems like the perfect time to look back at the deal.
If an expansion team with a Yankees budget wanted to build a team out of this year's free agents, what would it look like?
You can’t build a team around free agents, say the people who don’t think you can build a team around free agents. To them, the only way to build a team is through the draft, waiver claims and occasional trades. To paraphrase the great movie Waterboy (which is such a great movie that you can watch it for free on YouTube), “Free agents are the devil!” Well, maybe so if you’re living in the real world, but this is Baseball Prospectus where we can do anything we want provided it fits on a spreadsheet and won’t wake our parents upstairs.
Another thing some people like to say is that baseball teams aren’t just names on paper. They’re real people. Well, not here they aren’t, mister! Here players are one-dimensional entities devoid of emotion and everything else that won’t show up on our computer machines. In that spirit, I’m not only going to build a baseball team exclusively out of free agents, but I’m going to do it only on (virtual) paper. Eat that, straw men I just created!
A retired pitcher considers a comeback, the Rockies come closer to naming a manager, and the Dodgers are interested in every starter.
With all eyes on the election, Tuesday was yet another quiet day on the hot stove. But for the second time in as many offseasons, we might be in for another blast from the past.
Javier Vazquez considering return to the majors
In March, Andy Pettitte—seemingly done after sitting out the 2011 season—signed a one-year deal with the Yankees that few could have foreseen. Now, according to Peter Gammons, Pettitte’s former teammate, Vazquez, is reportedly itching to return to the mound, too.