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It's only two starts, but James Shields looks awful.
Justin Morneau returns to the AL Central and Ike Davis returns to New York.
An art-history perspective on Chicago's season so far. The archetype of the slugging first baseman is over. After trending downward, this year's cold corner is the worst it's been in at least six decades.
It started, like most things in my life do, with an argument about
. Joe Mauer
In trying to figure out the Twins’ best (or perhaps more accurately least-worst) option to be the mandatory All-Star rep for a last-place team I noticed that Mauer ranks third among American League first basemen in
+ and fourth in OPS despite a modest-looking .281/.388/.409 line in 56 games. Basically, only WARP and Miguel Cabrera have clearly been better than Mauer this season. Eric Hosmer
I never pass up a chance to paint Mauer in a positive light, but that surprised me. He’s having a good, solid season—and taking a big step in the right direction after back-to-back rough years following a career-altering concussion—but the notion of a first baseman with a .409 slugging percentage and sub-.800 OPS ranking among the league’s best is hard for my brain to comprehend.
Read the full article... The small move that went so, so bad in a season that is sliding in that direction.
The Braves aren’t playing
all that much, which is smart. The entire plan in Atlanta this season is to lose games, after all, and Flowers poses a threat to that mission. In 115 plate appearances thus far, Flowers has a .260 Tyler Flowers , and he’s been his usual (very good) framing self behind the plate. He’s been worth 0.8 TAv already, despite his part-time role, but WARP has saved the team from disaster with his .185 TAv and -0.8 WARP. The best news for the Braves, though, is that their two backstops make just $5 million combined this season. To take up two roster spots, keep the team replacement-level or worse, and leave so much money in the pockets of corporate owners is about as much as the team could ask from a catching tandem. Every nickel not spent on payroll is another nickel the team can spend on the effort to get their next new stadium built with other people’s money. A.J. Pierzynski
Let’s say that you weren’t the Braves, though. Let’s say you’re a team that wants to win games this season. If you were such a team, you probably wouldn’t want Pierzynski and Flowers for your catching duo. At the very least, you might seek to play Flowers more often, and Pierzynski less, so that you would get at least the half a win or so above replacement that $5 million usually buys in free agency. Really, though, it’s a pretty unappealing catching situation. It’s hard to imagine a contender who would envy it. There is one, though, and here’s the funny part: It's the only other team that has employed this exact pair in the past.
Read the full article...
Chicago takes James Shields off San Diego's hands for a pair of prospects.
Until Abreu hits like his past (if not every indicator) suggests he should, the White Sox won't know what they really are.
Matt Albers delivers the big double. Meanwhile... the rest of baseball stops what it's doing to consider Matt Albers delivering the big double.
Even division rivals hope the Royals' run doesn't end on a grim injury. The White Sox ace finally gets hit, while Matt Harvey continues to get hit and Jackie Bradley continues to get hits.
The Tuesday Takeaway
In his first nine starts, has been brilliant at best and close to it at worst. In his tenth start, though, he was far from either. Chris Sale
Sale entered Tuesday following back-to-back complete games, with just one run allowed in each and no walks in either. Against the Indians, he was at first business as usual—five strikeouts through his first eight outs, scoreless. But with two outs in the third, he started missing his spots, and Cleveland took full advantage. It began with something Sale hadn’t allowed in his last 26 innings at that point: a walk, thanks to a slider that was a bit all over the place and a who refused to fall for it. Jose Ramirez Read the full article...
Jose Abreau is off to a bad start that has the White Sox worried, but should they be?
The White Sox ace is having a sensational season, but even with his success he has made adjustments.