On the 10th episode of DFA, Bryan and R.J. reflect on the downgrade in Anaheim from Mike Trout to Eric Young Jr. Across Los Angeles, Brandon Morrow returns to the Dodgers' bullpen, and the guys marvel over the players they didn't know were still in the league. Plus much, much more!
It's Baseball Prospectus's newest podcast: DFA! Host Bryan Grosnick (Baseball Prospectus), co-host R.J. Anderson (CBS Sports), and producer Shawn Brody (Beyond the Box Score, BP Mets) are talking about all the transactions and roster moves that make MLB go. From trades and signings to callups and disabled list stints, DFA is here to provide analysis and commentary on all things baseball.
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion supply big-time power, but what else is there for fantasy owners to see north of the border?
The Blue Jays were crowned by many as the 2012-2013 offseason champions after emptying their farm system and adding four All-Star-caliber players to their roster last winter. As so often happens, the team that “won the offseason” underwhelmed during the regular season, and Toronto finished in last place in the AL East, winning just 74 games.
Injures—especially to the pitching staff—were partially to blame for Toronto’s collapse, with disappointing performances by some stars and young players contributing as well. But despite the bad taste that the 2013 Jays may have left in the collective mouths of fantasy players, there’s still plenty of talent in this organization, and that’s particularly true when it comes to hitting.
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If an extra two wins or an extra two dozen strikeouts will make a big difference in your standings, here's where to look.
Over the past week, I’ve discussed the importance of prioritizing categorical impact over raw value with the season nearing an end. At this point I think I’ve given the concept more press than Psy is getting, and while "Gangnam Style" becomes no less brilliant play after play, I fear me talking anymore about this would have the opposite effect. So, I’ll simply point you towards my one-category contributor articles for saves and homers and steals and invisible horse dance my way onto the meat of today’s article...
The best strategy when chasing wins is to play the match-ups, if you have the luxury of doing so in leagues with daily transactions and/or deep-ish free agent pools. Ideally, you’ll target pitchers with good skills and potent offenses who are facing weak offenses. Mixing and matching is almost certain to be better than rolling with a single starter come hell or high water. Still, if you need to for whatever reason, here are a few to consider.
Drops in fastball velocity usually lead to spikes in ERA, but a handful of pitchers have made slower fastballs work for them this year.
There’s more to being a major-league pitcher than throwing hard. Plenty of pitchers have had successful careers without making the mitt pop. On the whole, though, throwing hard helps. All else being equal, the harder a pitcher can throw, the more effective his offerings are, and the easier it is for him to get away with mistakes. It’s no coincidence that the team with the hardest-throwing staff this season, the Nationals, also boasts the big leagues’ best ERA.
In a 2010 study, PITCHf/x analyst Mike Fast found that starting pitchers from 2002-2009 allowed, on average, 0.28 fewer runs per nine innings for every mile per hour of velocity gained. Relievers, who tend to rely more heavily on their heaters, shaved 0.45 runs for every extra tick.
Oswalt, Norris, Morrow, and Hanson all make the cut for the first SP Value Pick column of 2012
Baseball Prospectus Fantasy 2012 is GO. With PECOTA and the PFM now available for public consumption, we’re back for another season of fantasy analysis. Today, I follow the first twoMikes by kicking off my portion of the preseason series with a look at a few starting pitchers who may be undervalued in early drafts, plus a check in on the health of one of the most promising young starters in the game.
Examining five pitchers worth considering in your keeper league.
As we transition to the offseason, “Value Picks” has become “Keeper Reapers”, the full description of which you can check out in the preface to Rob McQuown’s column from Monday. The idea is that each week we’ll be looking at a few different players from each position who might be tough keeper choices in leagues of varying depth.
Obviously, you don’t need me to tell you that if you have Justin Verlander or Clayton Kershaw, you’re probably going to want to hang onto them. But what about the guys further down on the list? For the purposes of this conversation, we’ll use the auction prices currently shown at lastplayerpicked.com’s Roto Price Guide.
While Tim Wakefield limped to his 200th win, Mariano Rivera continued his string of excellence.
Tuesday night was a momentous one as far as forty-something pitchers earning round-numbered career milestones of questionable significance go. In Boston, Tim Wakefieldwobbled but didn't fall down, earning career win number 200. Hours later and about 2,500 miles away in Seattle, Mariano Rivera earned his 600th career save. Wakefield labored to become the 108th pitcher to reach his plateau, while Rivera looked almost effortless in becoming just the second pitcher to reach his, but neither accomplishment changes how those venerable hurlers should be viewed in the context of history.
Which pitchers succeed by leading with their off-speed stuff and saving their heaters for later?
“Too many guys pitch backward. They throw their breaking ball so much that it’s almost like their fastball is their off-speed pitch.”—Tom Glavine
On a spring day in 1984, Jim Palmer began talking to Jay Howell. The conversation likely started with pleasantries—a comment about the Florida weather, or a crude remark directed toward a female in the stands—but it developed into a dissection of Howell’s approach on the mound. Palmer, the aging Oriole, instructed Howell, then a 28-year-old Yankee, to take advantage of his fastball velocity (90-to-92 miles per hour) and establish the pitch before using his breaking stuff against batters.
The Brewers' first-round draft pick decided to forego pro ball for now after being diagnosed as a Type-1 diabetic.
Dylan Covey was out celebrating his birthday a day early at an amusement park. Covey wouldn’t receive his real birthday gift, though, until three days later, on August 16, when he planned to sign a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, the team that selected him in the first round, 14th overall, in the June draft following his senior year at Maranatha High School in Pasadena, California.
Covey got a phone call while at the park from his dad, Darrell, who told Dylan that he needed to go to the emergency room of a local hospital. The blood work had come back from Covey’s physical examination with the Brewers, and his blood sugar levels were extremely high. Neither the doctors in the emergency room nor the Brewers medical team were completely certain about what was wrong, but they had an idea of what was going on.