The issues plaguing the Cub third baseman indicate this is no ordinary slump.
What is up with Aramis Ramirez? The Cub third baseman missed half of 2009 with calf and shoulder injuries, but still put together a solid .317/.389/.516 slash line with 15 HR and 65 RBI. Healthy entering this year and among the top fantasy choices at third, Ramirez opened 2010 with a pair of hits - including a home run - against the Braves. One month into the season, that remains his only multi-hit game of the year. By his second game, Ramirez was kicking off a stretch where he would go hitless in 23 plate appearances.
As we enter May, he’s still trying to find his footing.
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The Red Sox have concerns over Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, the Dodgers rest regulars for good reasons, plus more.
Josh Beckett (10/2)
Dave Cokin nailed the problem when we talked on his new Las Vegas show Tuesday night. Beckett's back problem causes him to not finish his pitches, leaving them up and taking the bite and velocity off. Beckett is a thrower more than a pitcher, with his secondary pitches all being solid, but all of them succeed off of his plus fastball. Without it he's average, and worse, he gets frustrated on the mound rather than adjusting. Beckett could be at that place where Roger Clemens found himself in and at the same age. That age-30 to -34 season dip in Clemens' career was solved as much by a change in style and adding the splitter as it was by steroids, so Beckett will need to get the kind of focus on conditioning that Clemens had, or some approximation, if he hopes to make it very long in baseball. Beckett's heroes are supposedly Clemens and Nolan Ryan. We'll see if he has their work ethic or just their fastballs. He's expected back on Saturday, but if he heads into the playoffs as anything other than the team's ace, the Sox's chances go way down. We'll see if the cortisone he got on Monday works.
Are injuries on the upswing? Plus losing the Big Unit and supersub Mark DeRosa for long stretches and other injury news.
On Tuesday, Michael Schmidt of The New York Timeswrote an article about the pace of injuries in baseball. (Actually, he wrote two, because this one is well worth checking out as well, though any regular reader knows that this type of thing is going on not just with teams, but right here. The categories on the board should look familiar.) There's no long historical database where we can really check trends or make any statistically valid argument one way or the other, but I can use data to show there's some issues that aren't really considered, here:
The crosstown rivals are both defending division champs stuck in the middle of the standings as they gear up to go head to head.
Christina Kahrl: Given that both of these clubs made the postseason last October, and both of them are not in first place now, how disappointing has baseball been for Windy City fans, and what do you think each team should do about it?
While the ballot box can be used for good, that doesn't mean all votes were equally valuable.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Baseball Reporters Association of America announced that Dustin Pedroia had won its American League Most Valuable Player award, the last of the BBRAA's eight awards for the 2008 season.
The pitchers line up for Game 4.7, Moneyball: The Movie, plus rumors and rumblings from around the major leagues.
PHILADELPHIA-Charlie Manuel is usually media-friendly, accessible, and easy-going, but the Phillies manager refused to talk to reporters Monday night after Game Five of the World Series was suspended due to rain with the score tied 2-2 in the middle of sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Word was that Manuel was upset about the way the whole situation was handled, and he did not completely deny that on Tuesday while talking to reporters after MLB decided to delay the resumption of the game until Wednesday in a series the Phillies lead 3-1.
As in the AL, the Central division is as tight as can be, while in the East two Mets are predicted to take home some hardware along with their division flag.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the National League, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.
Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
The league's best-record playoff team against its worst, but you might be surprised who the favorite really should be.
Who would have thunk that we'd see the Diamondbacks playing the Cubs in a postseason series? Well, you'd might have thunk it if you'd done been reading PECOTA, which predicted both of these mild surprises. That not withstanding, this is not the even matchup that you might expect from two teams that took until the last weekend of the season to confirm their date at the prom. One of these clubs, if fact, has no excuse for losing.
If you want fame, acclamation, and All-Star recognition, maybe playing time--more playing time--is the best way to judge.
Welcome to the latest edition of Prospectus Toolbox. We're back to conceptual topics this week-we're not going to talk about a specific statistic or report, but rather the factor that effects how statistics and performance are perceived. That factor is time, specifically playing time.