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May 8, 2013 5:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Fernando Rodney: Tapped Out?

2

Jason Collette

The Rays closer is off to a rocky start, but could a mechanical fix bring back his dominant 2012 form?

This year’s player profile for Fernando Rodney closed with this note: “The Rays' 2013 option on Rodney pays him $2.5 million. If he's only half as good as he was last year, he'll still be a bargain.”

So far, the Rays, their fans (save your tired jokes), and fantasy owners wish he was even a fourth as good as he was last year. The Archer is struggling to hit his targets in 2013.

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August 3, 2012 7:20 am

Raising Aces: Throwdown: Zack Greinke vs. Jeremy Hellickson

4

Doug Thorburn

Earlier this week, Zack Greinke opposed Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson in his Angels debut. Doug reviews each player's approach to pitching.

The Angels showed off their new prize last Sunday, as deadline acquisition Zack Greinke made his Anaheim debut in a face-off with 2011 Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson. Greinke returns to the American League after a year and a half spent taking swings in the senior circuit, arriving via a July 27th exchange for three Angels minor leaguers, including Futures Game LVP Ariel Pena. Hellickson made a comeback of his own on Sunday with a return from his first trip to the disabled list, a 15-day hiatus to rest from shoulder fatigue. Greinke and Hellickson are advanced students of the game, and Sunday's throwdown between the two pitch-sequence savants did not disappoint.

The Duel
Sunday was a clinic for pitcher target practice. The two starters yielded just a single free pass between them, with excellent mechanics contributing to masterful pitch execution on both sides, though each player employed his own unique gameplan. The young Helix posted the superior stat line, allowing just a pair of singles while showing off his penchant for inducing weak contact. Hellickson was also the beneficiary of an opposing lineup lacking Mike Trout, who gave way to out-machine Vernon Wells in a swap that cost about 900 points of OPS


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Digging deeper into the new CBA.

In Part One of this series on MLB’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the focus was on the changes to the draft system. Today, we look at changes to minimum salaries and the soft-cap via a luxury tax on total player payroll.

Each time a new labor agreement is reached in professional sports, there is invariably the question of, “Who came out on top?” You might be able to say the needle swung slightly one way or the other, but in the end the only real winner is “compromise.”

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A Rays righty discusses his craft.

Wade Davis knows pitching. You can’t make it to the big leagues without a good understanding of your craft, and while the 25-year-old right-hander is still learning, he knows enough to have established himself as a mainstay on a talented Tampa Bay Rays staff. Davis discussed the ABCs of pitching prior to last night’s game at Fenway Park.

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March 18, 2011 9:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Brian Duensing

2

David Laurila

With a spot secure in the Twins' rotation, Duensing discusses his pitch repertoire, BABIP, and sequencing.

Brian Duensing is out to prove that his 2010 season was a sign of things to come and not a luck-influenced anomaly. The 28-year-old southpaw began last year in the Twins’ bullpen, only to move into the starting rotation after the All-Star break and impress to the tune of an 8-2 record in 13 starts. He was no less effective as a reliever, as his overall totals included a 10-3 record and a 2.62 ERA in 53 appearances. It was a heady first full big-league campaign, but two numbers offer a cautionary tale going forward: a .272 BABIP and a 5.37 K/9 rate.

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Burning bridges, mending fences, breaking hearts, and did someone say something about the Yankees?

BOOMER WILL PUNCH THAT 68-YEAR-OLD PUNK RIGHT IN THE FACE

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August 12, 2008 2:15 pm

Prospectus Today: Busted

0

Joe Sheehan

As the deadline to sign 2008's draft picks nears, what do so many big-buck standoffs really signify?

With four days left until the August 15 deadline for teams to sign their draft picks, more than a third of the June draft’s first-round picks remain unsigned, including four of the first five players taken. As Kevin Goldstein noted last week, the implementation of that deadline pushed many players to wait until the deadline to reach an agreement, and those that waited did so successfully. So for many players—such as Buster Posey and Eric Hosmer—this may go down to Friday at midnight.

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An in-depth discussion about mechanics with the motion analysis coordinator and coach of the National Pitching Association.

Pitching is both an art and a science, and from youth leagues to the big leagues, so is the challenge of keeping pitchers healthy. The National Pitching Association (NPA) is on the cutting edge of research and instruction on all three fronts, and many of their concepts are shared in their forthcoming book, Arm Action, Arm Path, and the Perfect Pitch: a Science-Based Guide to Pitching Health and Performance. David talked to the NPA's motion analysis coordinator and coach, Doug Thorburn.

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July 20, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Tom House

0

Jason Grady

BP recently visited with Tom House at the National Pitching Association (NPA) lab in San Diego and observed him instructing some youngsters at his mini-camp.

Baseball Prospectus: You last spoke to BP a couple of years ago. Just to get started, what's new at NPA since then?

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April 23, 2004 12:00 am

Can Of Corn: Off Balance

0

Dayn Perry

One tiresome and mundane quip columnists and pundits often trot out when this issue is foregrounded every couple of years is that Major League Baseball needs to be more like the NFL. I take this to mean crappier uniforms, roughly 12 minutes of action per game, a less meaningful regular season and inscrutable financial schema. But what the talking heads really mean is more competitive balance. Smarter people than I have cut this argument to ribbons, but I would like to point out that what passes for noble egalitarianism in the NFL is really just structural distinction. By that I mean, the NFL has a players union that's weaker than sun-toasted Bud Light, and they play 16-game schedule, from which they award 12 playoff spots. MLB, of course, plays a 162-game slate, which much more ruthlessly divides wheat and chaff, and doles out only eight playoff spots. With those differences in mind, let's see how the MLB would've fared over the last five seasons--the reputed dark age of competitive balance--had they been playing by the NFL's rules.

The competitive-balance wailing--once as persistent, irksome and difficult to mollify as an incontinent toddler riding coach on a transatlantic red eye--has waned in recent times, thanks mostly to the Marlins and Angels and the more salacious media distractions found within the steroids issue. Still, once the music starts swelling on the current collective bargaining agreement, you can expect Selig and his charges to solemnly drone on about how more must be done to ensure that everyone gets to hang out with the cool kids of the AL East.

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August 16, 2002 12:00 am

Bridging the Gap

0

Doug Pappas

The owners' current offer calls for all clubs to share 50% of their local revenues, and for high-payroll clubs to pay an additional "luxury tax" of 50% on the portion of payrolls over $98 million. The players oppose the luxury tax and have proposed revenue sharing at a level of 22.5%, with a higher percentage of the shared money going to the lower-revenue clubs.

If, as the owners insist, the combination of revenue sharing and a luxury tax is necessary to improve competitive balance, then a key question to ask is whether their proposal will actually improve competitive balance. It won't. A fundamental flaw in the owners' revenue sharing formula almost guarantees that if adopted, it would increase the number of teams that "can't compete."

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April 1, 2002 4:08 pm

The Daily Prospectus: Solving Competitive Imbalance

0

Derek Zumsteg

My recent articles about competitive balance generated a ton of e-mail in which many people made reasoned, passionate, and most of all intelligent arguments about why competitive balance is so important to them as fans of baseball. I've been convinced. Baseball is entertainment, and what's more entertaining than parity? So I solicited the other authors and with their help (particularly Keith Woolner's), I've assembled this list of sweeping reforms that will guarantee the competitive balance I think we all can agree would be best for the game. Now, some of them run into each other a little, but we're putting these out in the hopes that they'll generate new ideas and elevate the level of discussion.

My recent articles about competitive balance generated a ton of e-mail in which many people made reasoned, passionate, and most of all intelligent arguments about why competitive balance is so important to them as fans of baseball.

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