News and notes from around the league for May 4, 2013.
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Probable Pitchers for May 4, 2013
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There are surprises that are awful, like Carl Crawford's collapse. Then there are the other kind.
As sabermetricians, we are imbued with the idea of sample size. The larger the amount of data we have, the more certain of our conclusions we can be. But sometimes it’s the strange things that happen over a third of a season, the very things you’d be nuts to predict, that make the season exciting.
Take, for example, Daniel Nava. He plays left field for Boston. That’s weird, you say, because the Red Sox have a left fielder. True. His name is Carl Crawford. He played nine years for the Rays/Devil Rays, displaying defensive brilliance, above-average power, and speed that could alter the molecular structure of water. Between 2004 and 2010, his last season in Tampa, Crawford hit .301/.344/.461 with gold glove defense (as opposed to Gold Glove defense which is often worthless). After that, the Red Sox snapped him up for seven years, $142 million. He was the heir apparent to Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, and Manny Ramirez.
Will goes long covering the action in trainers' rooms around the leagues as teams try to get their best ready for October's big test.
Normally, Under The Knife and UTK Wrap cover the ten biggest injuries in the game. It's sometimes necessary to add one, or there are not enough good ones and I just go with eight or nine, especially if there's a lot to say about someone. My editors like it when I keep my word count down, after all! [Ed. note: We do not.] For today's Wrap, there are too many to cover, so I'm going seventeen deep to make sure that we get to all of the important injuries that could affect who's in and who's out for the playoffs. Since it's already running long, I'm not going to ramble. Powered by Ron Santo for the Hall of Fame, on to the injuries:
With less than two weeks to go, the roster shuffling continues for teams trying to work their way around key injuries.
Ben Sheets (5 DXL) Yovani Gallardo (150 DXL) David Riske (10 DXL)
About halfway into the e-mail barrage that happened last night, reader Bobby Mueller fired this one off to me: "I'm guessing you're getting flooded with questions about Sheets. I don't have a question, I just thought I'd mention that anyone who has Sheets on a fantasy team and is freaking out about this should be reminded that we (I have him on two teams myself) got 196 innings with a 2.98 ERA and 13 wins from Sheets this year-which is much more than we could have hoped for." That's small comfort for the Brewers, though maybe last night's win will help. Sheets left after two innings with forearm tightness, a worrisome diagnosis. This could be anything from cramps, to a flexor tendon problem, and everything in between, but a post-game revelation that he's been playing with pain for nearly a month is not a good sign, and neither is the "cutting sensation" that Sheets described. It's unclear if this is related in any way to his groin strain, or if that was just a cover for the elbow injury, but Sheets isn't ruling out a quick return, saying it's been "up and down" throughout the period he's been playing through it. The timing couldn't be worse for the Brewers, who need Sheets to make his next three scheduled starts, or for Sheets, who's on the verge of free agency. This could force the team to move up the return of Gallardo, though he will be working out of the bullpen; after a simulated game on Tuesday, Gallardo could join the team rather than throwing another that had been scheduled for Friday. Gallardo will be more of a replacement for Riske, who is schedule for elbow surgery to remove bone chips.