Dee Gordon hits his first home run, two bench players push the limits of bad batting, Chris Davis keeps hitting, Clay Hensley exposes the unearned run, Derek Jeter hits cleanly in three of his five at-bats (or does he?), and more.
Five things I wanted to write about happened in last night’s games, but none of them was substantial enough on its own for an article. The solution: drop all five unrelated observations (plus a few more for good measure) into the same article draft and call it a column. Trick of the trade.
Derek Jeter goes 3-for-5 and gets accused of steroid use by this one guy I talked to
I live in a baseball discourse bubble.
Despite facing divisional heavyweights in the Phillies and the Braves, the Marlins might have what it takes to play in October.
In the world of fantasy baseball, stars and scrubs is a viable fantasy strategy in auction leagues. Take a large chunk of the dollars you have and allocate them toward the league’s finest, then use the remainder of your cash to fill out your roster as best as possible. In real baseball, this strategy falls apart. There has to be some level of complementary talents for the team to win. The most recent example might be the Mariners, who had Ichiro and Felix Hernandez, but finished with the league’s second-worst record in 2010.
The Marlins certainly have the star portion down. Hanley Ramirez is arguably the best shortstop in baseball and one of the game’s best players overall. Josh Johnson shares a similar distinction for starting pitchers. It’s hard to find too many teams who have better one-two punches in star and performance value than the group assembled in South Florida. Where the Fish stood to improve heading into the offseason was the rest of their roster, and despite trading Dan Uggla, they did just that.
Who will round out the rotations of the Cleveland Indians and Florida Marlins?
Mitch Talbot has spent seven seasons in the Minor Leagues and his hard work has finally paid off. He spent most of 2009 and all of '08 and '07 in Triple-A Durham, the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate, where he has shown steady improvement. Talbot has shown good control and an above-average ability to strike hitters out; the question now is whether or not that can translate to the Major Leagues.
The 2007-09 stats on Talbot's line above only include his nine and two-thirds innings at the Major League level with the Rays in '08. I think it is safe to say that that can be ignored. As far as projections, PECOTA's seems realistic except it may be underestimating the amount of innings he will be pitching in Cleveland. I would expect a WHIP between 1.3 and the low 1.4's as opposed to the 1.5 PECOTA expects simply because he is a control pitcher who has held Triple-A hitters to a 1.36 WHIP in 376 innings.
Before all the IBA ballots are counted, staff picks give a hint as to what hands the awards may find themselves in.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Travis Hafner posted the highest OBP in the AL while nobody noticed, while Neifi Perez ended up getting playoff PT. The young guns had their day and then some. Jermaine Dye gave a lengthy spanking to his 90th percentile PECOTA projection (PECOTA's .288/.359/.516 versus an actual .315/.385/.622). The crop of AL rookies included a guy with a 0.92 ERA finishing third, and rooks like Jered Weaver (105:33 K:BB) and Francisco Liriano (144:32) threatening to be Johan Santana's biggest challengers in 2007. The National League featured tighter races, including a four-way brawl for the Pitcher of the Year and another impressive crop of newbies.
Eight staff members weighed in on the season that was, casting their ballots for the Internet Baseball Awards. We summarized their findings below, and then let them have their individual say.
Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia get rewarded for 2002. The Indians and Rangers swap pitching prospect for hitting prospect. The Yankees grab Armando Benitez in a non-Sierran move. The Jays get a steal in Stewart-for-Kielty. These and other tidbits, plus a full array of Kahrlisms, in this edition of Transaction Analysis.