Parmelee, Mayberry, McLouth, and Ruf join VP this week.
Arrivals Chris Parmelee(Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 3%) is rising from Triple-A for the fourth time this season and hoping he can finally stick in the Twins’ lineup. With Denard Span hitting the 15-day DL yesterday, Parmelee has a small window to produce and prove himself for next season. The 24-year-old Parmelee destroyed Triple-A this year to the tune of .338/.457/.645 but has been tamed so far in the majors, batting just .207/.281/.319 in 128 trips to the plate. As a non-contending team, the Twins would be wise to play Parmelee every day and get a good look at him for next year. He should have that chance as long as Span is out, making him a nice two-week rental in deeper mixed and AL-only leagues.
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DeWayne Wise and the Yankees get a gift from umpire Mike DiMuro.
Everyone cuts corners. Yeah, if you don't do the reading for class, you probably won't get called on. Sure, that stadium is probably up to code. And that left fielder who fell into the stands? He probably held on to the ball. It's always easier not to do an inspection.
The Yankees' double switch on Saturday leads to a dumbshow in the outfield.
In the eighth inning of Saturday's Yankees-Nationals game, Joe Girardi attempted to double switch. The goal was to replace pitcher Cory Wade with Boone Logan, shift DeWayne Wise from left to right field, and bench Andruw Jones in favor of Jayson Nix. But the Yankees, being an AL team, don't double switch often. All hell broke loose.
Mark Buehrle's got rhythm, making his getting into this groove all the more inspiring.
When I first heard that Mark Buehrle had thrown a perfect game, I went through a quick mental calculus that minimized the feat almost immediately. I figured it was a getaway day that featured the kind of strike zone a command pitcher like Buehrle would exploit. Thinking about the Rays, I dismissed them as a team that can't hit lefties, and one that likely played some of its bench players for the day game after a night game that closed the four-game set. It seemed to me, initially, that this would be the perfect setup for a pitching feat, one where the context of the performance was as critical to the story as the performance itself.
The changing nature of leadoff hitter performance, and how different teams are adopting different solutions in making their selections.
Thirty years or so on, sabermetrics has been around long enough to have a few canards of its own to live with or live down. Take for example the old assertion from the '80s, that lineup order doesn't matter. That's taken as a literal, absolute truth in some quarters, but lineup optimization does mean the difference of a few extra runs here and there, fueled in no small part by the relentless mathematical fact that any one team's leadoff hitters will collectively get 120 more plate appearances in a season than their ninth-slot batters, and you'd much rather invest that additional playing time in better ballplayers. Operating in an environment where teams pursue fractions of runs' worth of difference in individual matchups or on the bases by running with more and more efficiency, and paying attention to who bats where, makes for another area where clubs can and do help themselves.
There are very few teams that enjoy the benefits of employing an obvious star-quality leadoff hitter, the guy who gets on base, steals bases, and even kicks in some power. Today we have the Orioles' Brian Roberts or the Mets' Jose Reyes, carrying on the game-changing precedents we might identify in Rickey Henderson or Tim Raines or perhaps even Bobby Bonds. Most other teams have to come up with something, because somebody has to lead off. The classic stathead working solution-or Earl Weaver's, or Joe McCarthy's-would be to put a better OBP up top. The Yankees have elected to do this with Derek Jeter, but that's not tied to his declining value as a slugger as much as it has always been something of a fall-back option during his entire career, as The Captain moved down to hitting second when the Yankees added Chuck Knoblauch in the '90s or, more recently, Johnny Damon. Deciding to put Damon's power behind Jeter's OBP is just a worthwhile adaptation to their respective talents at present. American League leadoff hitters generated a collective .347 OBP last season, so Jeter's career leadoff OBP of .389 or our PECOTA-projected season OBP of .360 suggest he's a good choice.
Forgive me a second, as I doff the analyst's cap. As is, I lack the gifts of a Silver or a Sheehan, or a Davenport, Fox, or Woolner. Instead, bear with me as I simply go over a trip to the ballpark yesterday. One that just happened to be in an October, and one that just happened to be in my favorite place, Chicago.
In a long life as a fan and a somewhat shorter career as a writer, there are many things I've done, but many things I still had yet to do. While I have caught a foul ball (promptly handed off to the nearest kiddo), and made the trek to the Cactus League a couple of times for spring training, I haven't seen a no-hitter in the flesh, for example. Obviously, some things are not like others—random luck can put you in the right seat and/or at the right ballgame, while time and/or money can put you in Phoenix in February or March, or at a playoff game in October. Even so, I had yet to experience a post-season ballgame in the flesh. That changed yesterday, courtesy of the White Sox, as the always-crisp crew of Scott Reifert in Communications and Media Relations played host to the Fourth Estate for Game Three of their ALDS, and generously made space for Nate Silver, Kevin Goldstein, and myself among the ranks of the chattering classes.
The Sox played their way into October with two dramatic wins this week, while the Rays won their division with six dramatic months. Who holds the advantage?
Each year, the White Sox graciously host a University of Chicago alumni event, where Christina Kahrl and I speak to 150 or more nerds in the U.S. Cellular Conference & Learning Center. The group gets tickets to the game too-which usually means a contest against the Orioles or the Royals, or perhaps a thrilling interleague tilt against the Pirates; clubs that don't motivate many Chicagoans to give up an afternoon from their short summers to come out to the ballpark.
There are positives to the Garret Anderson deal after all. The Tigers recall Uggy Urbina in their quest for 70 wins. The Royals lose Angel Berroa to migraines. The Expos re-sign Livan Hernandez to a three-year deal. And the A's finally lose Chad Harville, but pick up Kirk Saarloos to replace him. All this and much more news from around the league in your Tuesday edition of Transaction Analysis.