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Ben and Sam discuss Manny Machado's surprising promotion to the majors and Roy Oswalt's tumultuous transition to the bullpen.

Effectively Wild Episode 17: "Manny Comin'"

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June 28, 2007 12:00 am

Future Shock: The Draft Spectrum, Part Two

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Kevin Goldstein

In the second part of his series, Kevin investigates where players come from across the defensive spectrum.

Last week, I began to delve into the concept of the draft spectrum. To recap: I decided to try going through today's players to see if we could identify any trends when it comes to where a player plays and how he entered the pro game (the term I'm using is "source"). The player pool I'm using here consists of 254 players, defined in this exercise as starters, chosen by selecting the player on each team with the most playing time at each defensive position. So 30 x 8 = 240 + 14 designated hitters = 254. Then I identified their source of entry into the pro game. Admittedly, this is a quick-and-dirty system. There are players who are normally starters but are not counted due to injury, and there have already been job changes that will lead to the pool having a turnover somewhere in the 10-20 percent range at the end of the season.

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September 7, 2006 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: What to Do With Papelbon

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Nate Silver

Nate picks up where he left off last week, and wonders what the Red Sox should do with their new closer.

Since 1946, there have been exactly 100 pitchers who pitched at least 80% of their innings in relief after having pitched at least 80% of their innings as a starter in the previous season (minimum 50 IP in year n and 100 IP in year n-1). Sometimes, these were pitchers like

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October 23, 2003 12:00 am

Prospecting: Conversions

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David Cameron

On September 9th, Edwin Jackson assumed he would be celebrating his 20th birthday with a few friends. Instead, the Dodgers summoned him to join the big club in Phoenix and make his major league debut. Towing the rubber for the Diamondbacks was Randy Johnson, who we've heard is a decent pitcher in his own right. The 36,488 people in attendance could hardly be classified as friends, and we are fairly certain that most had never heard of him before game day. Jackson made himself at home anyways, holding Arizona to one run on four hits in six innings to earn his first major league win. Very few pitchers can make the necessary adjustments to debut by their 20th birthday, but Jackson's climb up the ladder is even more remarkable than most. He is a conversion, having made the transition from high school outfielder to major league pitcher after the Dodgers selected him in the sixth round of the 2001 draft. Jackson is not alone, as the presence of converted position players on the mound is growing in the major leagues, and more teams are viewing a pitching career as a viable alternative to releasing struggling hitters who were blessed with strong arms.

Very few pitchers can make the necessary adjustments to debut by their 20th birthday, but Jackson's climb up the ladder is even more remarkable than most. He is a conversion, having made the transition from high school outfielder to major league pitcher after the Dodgers selected him in the sixth round of the 2001 draft. Jackson is not alone, as the presence of converted position players on the mound is growing in the major leagues, and more teams are viewing a pitching career as a viable alternative to releasing struggling hitters who were blessed with strong arms.

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