Five widely available middle relievers that can make the difference in September.
Whether you’re in a head-to-head or a rotisserie format, your team is likely in one of three places as the calendar flips over to September. You’re either a front-runner looking to load up for a potential playoff/championship push, or you’re on the periphery of the playoff race and desperately trying to make a run, or you’re completely out of it forced to focus on the future in a keeper or dynasty format.
When it comes to pitching statistics this late in the year, especially in a rotisserie format, there are two approaches you can take. If you are in the position where the rate statistics don’t matter and you’re just looking to pick up ground in wins and strikeouts, trolling the free agent wire for low-end streaming options is the way to go. If you’re looking to do the exact opposite, protect your ratios, then one of the most efficient ways to accomplish that is to load up on impact middle relievers.
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Assessing Capps' long-term value is harder than deciding if a hot dog really is a sandwich.
The buzz regarding Carter Capps' transformation into the baseball equivalent of Techmo Bowl Bo Jackson, thanks to a borderline illegal delivery, has mercifully cooled off with the flurry of activity at the trade deadline over the last week. No matter what you think of his truly bizarre style, it’s impossible to overlook his meteoric rise from relative obscurity to being baseball’s most-feared reliever.
A look at some of the promising new offerings that pitchers have unveiled this month.
Every year, a few pitchers add a new pitch to their in-game arsenal after working on it over the winter or in spring training. Sometimes, the new pitch goes nowhere: it doesn’t produce results and is quickly abandoned, or it lingers but fails to make an appreciable impact. Other times, it helps a pitcher achieve some specific goal, like limiting opposite-handed hitters, but it doesn’t propel him to much greater heights. And every now and then, a new pitch transforms a pitcher into something far superior to what he was before, like Mike Scott’s splitter, Esteban Loaiza’s cutter, or, more recently, Jason Hammel’s sinker, which he added to great effect in 2012.
According to the custom, PITCHf/x-based pitch-type classifications provided by Harry Pavlidis of Baseball Prospectus and Brooks Baseball, five pitchers have already unveiled new offerings in 2013. It’s too soon to say for sure whether they’ll all be successes, but a small sample can often reveal more about a single pitch than it can about a player’s overall performance. Here’s an early assessment of each one.
Ten American League Prospects Who Could Start the Season In the Majors
With the new year upon us, we can now officially say that Spring Training starts 'next month'. The Spring Training version of the Minor League Update will be highly-focused on prospects who are getting a chance to showcase their talents in big league games and have a pretty decent shot at making a 25-man roster.
Not all of the players poised to break out are bonus babies and first-round picks.
Interest in the Major League Baseball draft has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Thanks to great coverage—including a national television audience—many casual fans can name their team's first-round pick from last June, and maybe even the big bonus babies from the later rounds. Believe it or not, there was a time when the draft was a secret. Baseball feared the college game would use the draft as a free recruiting tool, so lists were once kept shrouded until players signed. With 1,530 players selected in the 2011 draft, there are still plenty of secrets to be uncovered. Here are 10 players who were not taken in the first round, nor the recipients of greatly over-slot bonuses, who have a good chance to become more well-known in 2012.