The fantasy implications of these manager decisions.
Evaluating players based on lineup position is a tricky science. On one hand, it can have a dramatic impact on a player’s value. Take a guy batting eighth in an NL lineup, move him second, and it can be as much as a $5 boost. On the other hand, batting lineups are fickle constructs, so sometimes it is best not to put too much stock in where a player is hitting at the moment and focus on skills instead.
Lineup position also has an obvious compounding effect—that is, players who are already hitting well tend to be the ones who benefit from moving up in the order, and vice versa. Still, whether through injury or merit, when a player has moved into a more (or less) favorable hitting position, it’s worth reviewing who has seen their value affected thus far in 2013.
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Lawrie had an excellent 2011 major-league debut (albeit one tempered by two separate hand injuries that cost him more than a month’s worth of games), posting a .293/.373/.580 line with nine homers and seven steals in 171 plate appearances. Fantasy owners gobbled him up in the early rounds of the 2012 draft—even in expert leagues—and Lawrie seemed to be paying them off over the first half of the season. Through the end of June, he was hitting .293/.341/.438 with eight longballs and 11 steals in 320 plate appearances.
The Week in Quotes is a feature that ran roughly forever at BP, more or less from the advent of the site until last July, when it was temporarily retired. Since then, it's become the BP equivalent of Arrested Development—you've never stopped asking us to bring it back. Thanks to the hard work of BP interns Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum, Andrew Koo, and Matthew Rocco, we are bringing it back, and unlike the new season of Arrested Development, you don't have to sign up for Netflix to see it. For the most part, we're following the old format, but we've also added a section for the week's best tweets by beat writers and players. Please let us know if there's anything else you'd like to see included.—Ben Lindbergh
Thirteen reasons why the national pastime isn't always rated PG.
When I moved up from the 11-and-12 league to 13-and-14, there was a 14-year-old kid named Andrade who had grown himself a pretty good mustache. He caught, and whenever a pitch would get past him, he would yell “F***” as he turned to retrieve the pitch. The first time I heard this, I was shocked, and almost embarrassed. I’d used my share of swears, but never like this, in front of grown-ups. I had no idea that swearing was possible on a baseball field.
Of course, swearing is very possible on a baseball field. Perhaps going back to 1898, major-league baseball has been a place where profanity has thrived. On-field microphones rarely pick up the audio (except in Boston, I've found), but the cameras are careful to catch foul lips in high definition. “Well, if you can read lips,” the announcers sometimes will say. “Hey you can’t say that you’re outta here,” the umpires sometimes will say. Mostly, though, we just move on and don’t talk about it. Let’s talk about it. Why not? We might as well talk about it. What follows is a taxonomy of 13 major-league F-bombs. NSFW? I honestly don't know.
Brett Lawrie was right to be upset about the two strikes that got him ejected on Tuesday, but framer extraordinaire Jose Molina had as much to do with the calls as umpire Bill Miller.
On Tuesday night, the Rays beat the Blue Jays 4-3. All of the scoring was over by the seventh, but the real action occurred in the bottom of the ninth, when Brett Lawrie was ejected by umpire Bill Miller after arguing balls and strikes, first with loud body language, then with loud words, and finally by transforming his helmet into flying suspension bait. Lawrie probably brushes his teeth more intensely than you’ve ever done anything, so you can only imagine what he looks like when he’s called out on borderline pitches in a close game against a division rival. Actually, that’s not true—imagining it isn’t the only thing you can do. You can also watch this video:
Brett Lawrie crossed the line when he threw his batting helmet at an umpire.
The Tuesday Takeaway Brett Lawrie can hit, and the 22-year-old is rapidly learning how to pick it at the hot corner. But the questions about his makeup that led the Brewers to ship him to the Blue Jays in a one-for-one deal that brought back Shaun Marcum reared their ugly heads again last night in an incident that is likely to result in a suspension.
At the plate with nobody on and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, with Toronto trailing Tampa Bay 4-3, Lawrie worked the count to 3-1. Then, home plate umpire Bill Miller clearly gipped him of a walk, calling a Fernando Rodney fastball that crossed the plate at least four inches outside a strike. The payoff pitch was a changeup that threatened the upper fringe of the zone but stayed an inch or so too high. Miller rang Lawrie up, and—moments later—the young third baseman seemed ready to ring the ump’s bell.