A look at the roller coaster ride that has been the career of Joaquin Arias.
Prior to this year, if you’d heard of Joaquin Arias at all, you probably knew of him as “the guy the Rangers selected instead of Robinson Cano.” The story is practically cliché by now: the Rangers traded Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later. The list of PTBNLs consisted of five players, including Arias and Robinson Cano. Because he was two years younger and considered a better defender, the Rangers picked Arias over Cano.
Seven-and-a-half years later, Cano has won a Rookie of the Year award, a Gold Glove, three Silver Sluggers, and a Home Run Derby while posting a 30.9 WARP. Arias, meanwhile, sustained a shoulder injury in 2007 from which he’s never fully recovered and was eventually traded to the Mets for Jeff Franceour (cruel fate!). Released by the Mets, he was picked up by the Royals, and Arias spent the entire 2011 season in Triple-A Omaha, who designated him for assignment the following December. Thin up the middle, the San Francisco Giants signed him to a minor league deal for the 2012 season, and it wasn’t long before they needed him: Arias has been with the big club since late April, and while he hasn’t magically turned into Robinson Cano, he’s been far better than PECOTA predicted and pretty damn good for a guy who’s career should be over.
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Ben Sheets comes up with a new way to describe routine soreness.
Every pitcher goes through the occasional "dead arm" period, most often early in the season. But when you've spent 345 career days (and two entire seasons) on the disabled list, the way Ben Sheets has, you need a stronger way to describe it:
Tom Nieto and Floyd Rayford are bullish on Wilson Ramos, and for good reason. The 22-year-old Ramos is not only one of the top prospects in the Twins organization, he is among the best catching prospects in the game. A solidly-built native of Venezuela with light-tower power, Ramos is beginning the 2010 campaign in Triple-A Rochester. Nieto and Rayford, the club’s manager and hitting coach, respectively, discussed the talented young backstop prior to last night’s International League opener.
The dirty half dozen throw their money around in different ways and to different extents, but are adaptations coming?
The great Red Smith wasn't a fan of baseball's six division/two Wild Card format. Though he died 12 years before the plan came to fruition, he saw it coming as early as 1978, when he wrote that, "[T]he powers, principalities, and archangels of the game are considering a plan to restructure the major leagues so that almost every team can be a winner, or look like one."
A knee injury seems to be in vogue, while the Tigers have even more reason to worry about their already-troubling bullpen.
I got the chance to see some actual baseball-assuming that you count drills and side sessions as actual baseball-last week in Florida. Hearing the crack of the bat or the mitt popping as a fastball comes in is always amazing. Standing out on the field, wet from the dew and with the fresh-cut smell is one of the most amazing experiences. I felt the grass beneath my feet ,and for just a moment, I thought I could play again. Of course, fantasy baseball is going to be as close as I come this year, and that's just fine. While the players are warming up and just starting to play games, BP is in mid-season form, with the PECOTA cards up and this year's edition of the annual on shelves. We'll take a look at all the injuries around the league-and there's already quite a few-while adding in our 2008 Injury Cost numbers for those players that will miss time.
A tough weekend for player health has Will scrambling to keep up. Check inside for info on Marcus Giles, Billy Wagner and more.
In pennant races, little things get amplified. A win in April is worth as much in the standings as a win in August is, but as the days wane, the pressure intensifies and the opportunities to make up ground grow short. As good as It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over is, it lacks the data on how injuries affected races, something I believe to be very important. As you look at the chases in that book, realize that in the past, absent big coverage from the dailies, we don't know much about how injuries impacted the outcomes. There's no database of injuries. Rest patterns have to be reconstructed from microfilm or Retrosheet. Today, it's the little things--games missed, starts lost, or the hard work of a training staff getting someone back a day early--that make or break teams. I don't think it was much different in the past.