Nobody else is talking about these free agents, but we will.
Opening Day 2013 is fewer than four weeks away. That means the time to talk about free agents is behind us. Even when the spotlight does turn to those remaining unemployed players it tends to hover on Kyle Lohse and Jose Valverde. Yet there are numerous other notable players still available. Let's take a look at a few of their situations.
Bobby Abreu Latest MLB Trade Rumors mention:2/15, "The Orioles may consider signing outfielder Bobby Abreu, but first plan to 'see what they have in camp.'"
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Who are the weakest humans in Major League Baseball? If we can't figure that out, we don't deserve to be here.
For lots of obvious and good reasons, we don't spend a lot of time talking about weak hitters. I don't mean bad hitters, because we actually do spend a lot of time talking about them ("Who's the worst everyday player in baseball?" is a common question, for instance). I mean weak hitters—guys who have an ability to put the bat on the ball but are completely incapable (or unwilling?) of doing so with any force, of causing the ball to travel at extreme velocities, of making a crowd, even a very inexperienced crowd, rise to its feet as it perceives the possibility of a home run.
Before we get deep into it, I want to give full credit to my sources, so I'll tell you about the genesis of this topic: this weekend, I listened to Sam Miller and Riley Breckenridge discuss how well they thought Sam would hit in adult-league baseball against low-80s heat and guys with no breaking stuff, which led to the question of how well reasonably athletic but really not terribly talented adults would do in the major leagues (one hit in 20? 30? 100?), which itself led to the question of which players in baseball have the least upper-body strength. I was along for the ride, as my brain tends to operate on a glacial scale, making me something less than a scintillating conversationalist, but then I got to thinking about weakness.
Mariano Rivera's injury isn't just a blow for the Yankees.
The Thursday Takeaway Joe Blanton pitched a shutout for the Phillies. Bryce Harper drove home the game-winning run for the Nationals. The Royals won at home for the first time this season.
And none of it matters, because Mariano Riverawrecked his knee. He did not slip off the mound. He was not scrambling to field a bunt. He did not trip while covering first base. Rivera was doing something else that virtually every pitcher does and that he has thoroughly enjoyed doing throughout his career: shagging balls during batting practice.
It's too early to look at statistical leaderboards, but sometimes we have to anyway.
April 19, 2011: "Somehow, someway, Carlos Lee is second with a 53.2 UZR/150. I will literally eat broken glass if he finishes with a positive number this season. (Someone hold me to it.)" —This guy, who is now dead, from eating glass :(
We have such a weird relationship with April stats. I’m trying to think of anything else where we consider a 10-percent sample almost totally useless. On election night, when they show the vote totals, I start to take them seriously once 10 percent of precincts are in. If you could see only 10 percent of a human, you could still probably figure out whether he was tall, fat, into rockabilly, etc. But the first 10 percent of a baseball season is like the first 10 percent of the sausage race in Milwaukee: filled with narrative, almost entirely misleading, and a place where Randall Simon doesn’t belong.
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.
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 American and National Leagues. 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 with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
Jason took part in a slow mock draft with other fantasy experts and is now here to share what he learned from the experience.
I recently had the pleasure of doing a slow—and I mean slow—mock draft over the past four weeks with a few of my friends and colleagues in the fantasy baseball industry. That group included most of the mlb.com folks, Fernando DiFino, and the legendary Joe Sheehan. The draft started on February 17 and survived a few lost weekends, DiFino’s nuptials (congrats!) and several copy and paste issues from some of us that are still using not-so-smartphones.
Continuing an examination of Cliff Lee's season, here's a closer look at his home run and walk rates.
I've been thinking an awful lot about walks lately—not the kind I try to take each night before bed, but rather the kind that Cliff Lee now avoids with startling regularity. My last two Seidnotes columns focused on his fantastic season in an attempt to deduce whether or not anyone ever matched his potentially historic pace. Additionally, I used his numbers to illustrate the differences between the more common strikeout-to-walk ratio and the strikeout-minus-walk differential. Today, I frame his walk-averse campaign in a slightly different light. Entering his most recent complete-game loss, Lee issued seven walks while surrendering nine home runs.
Yes, the man had walked fewer batters than he had allowed home runs! An out-of-character, two-walk performance on Sunday tied the numbers, but I began to wonder how rare it is for dingers to exceed walks. With that in mind, my goals today are to explore this very phenomenon, and to discuss walks and walk rates on a very basic level, as the numbers are used very frequently, yet leaders in the respective categories are not exactly common knowledge.