News and notes from around the league for June 24, 2013.
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Probable Pitchers for June 24, 2013
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A.J. Burnett, Jake Arrieta, and Alex Cobb for the crux of this week's VP rotation
Last Chance: Time to get on board with these arms before they are snapped up in your league. These entries are becoming less available with each passing start and find themselves on rosters in 30-plus percent of the leagues at two of the three outlets and over 50 percent at one or more of them. We won’t necessarily have options in this field each week.
The Padres are off to a horrible start, so a housecleaning might be forthcoming. Who stays and who goes?
The San Diego Padres, perhaps predictably, have gotten off to a miserable start in 2012. Although expectations were not high coming into the season, almost nothing has gone right for the club. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, not to mention ongoing ownership/television deal issues (I live 15 minutes from Petco Park and cannot watch the team on TV in my home, which might qualify as “charmingly retro” if it weren't so annoying), the Padres are staring at their worst-case scenario only a month into the campaign.
Last week, Kevin Goldsteinsuggested that a “housecleaning in San Diego could be coming.” Reader pobothecat wondered what such a housecleaning might look like, and so did I.
Capuano, Bass, McDonald, and Wei-Yin Chen join the VP ranks this week
Another week has gone by, and we have flipped the calendar over to May. We’re reaching the point where even the fantasy managers who try to practice patience with their rosters begin to feel comfortable making a decision on a guy who is off to a slow start. If your league is populated by these types of managers, you will start to see more activity on your waiver, forcing you to act more swiftly when you see someone who strikes your fancy. Without further ado, let’s dive into the week’s value picks.
The Padres pitching staff pools its knowledge about offense in an attempt to snap a hitless streak.
Pitchers are terrible hitters, but their terribleness is at least consistent. Since 2000, as offense overall has declined, pitchers have never slugged lower than .175 (nor slugged higher than .195). They've never batted lower than .130 (or batted better than .150). Pitchers can't do what you want them to do, which is get a hit, but at least they fail at a rate you can rely on. There's something okay about this arrangement.
This year's pitchers, though, are just so bad at hitting. They're hitting .110, and they're slugging .123. Both of these totals would be the lowest in the post-WWII era, and probably the lowest ever. We can't even blame it on some sort of seasonal disadvantage that hitting pitchers face in the spring. Switching to TAv, we find that April has traditionally been a strong month for pitchers at the plate, with April representing pitchers' best months of the 2009 and 2010 seasons:
Saturday's Padres-Diamondbacks matchup personified both clubs' 2011 seasons.
If the 2011 National League West could be distilled into a single game, Saturday night's contest between the Padres and Diamondbacks in Phoenix would make for a strong candidate. Both teams battled for nine innings (and then some), and the contest ended on a walk-off walk followed by a protest that threatened to put both teams back on the field to finish the next day.
Optioned RHP Kam Mickolio to Norfolk (Triple-A); recalled LHP Brian Matusz from Bowie (Double-A). [8/4]
Traded C-S Gregg Zaun to the Rays for a PTBNL or a cash settlement TBDL; purchased the contract of C-RChad Moeller from Norfolk (Triple-A). [8/7]
A selection of surprise teams, good programs, and underrated college squads you should keep in mind following this year's season.
Many of us have already began rejoicing that baseball is back, in as much as pitchers and catchers reporting represents the return of baseball. But this Friday baseball will be back in another sense, as the college baseball season's uniform start date will see almost an entire nation's worth of universities hit the field for the first time. Since the New Year, we have gone over the nuances of the college game, the changes it will undergo, the players likely to be the most dominant, and we have gone through the teams themselves. After looking at the 2007 Omaha teams and then reviewing last year's next-best teams last week, I wanted my last pre-season college piece to review 16 more teams that could make some noise in 2008. It's a mix of good programs and underrated programs.