Eric Chavez and Josh Vitters join a strong Value Picks list this week, as two VPs look towards their imminent graduation.
In mywrite-ups of Travis Hafner(Yahoo! 7%, ESPN 0%, CBS 9%), I often reference his fragility, but Hafner’s owners still have to be disappointed at the news that his injured back could sideline him for the rest of the season. If that’s true, Pronk finishes the year with a .239/.355/.453 triple-slash with 11 home runs and 32 RBI, respectable totals in all categories but batting average.
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The Mets' decision to revoke Howard Megdal's press credentials is yet another worrisome misstep for the franchise.
Over the past few weeks, two relatively prominent writers have had their voices silenced for making disparaging comments about their respective teams’ owners. First, it was Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, whose accidental tweet about Browns owner Randy Lerner resulted in his removal from the beat. Yesterday, LoHud Mets blogger Howard Megdal learned that his book Wilpon’s Folly had put his press credentials in limbo.
Despite these parallels, there are important differences between the two cases.
Baseball Prospectus welcomes aboard fresh talent to the regular staff for the new year.
I want to show you something personal I think about a lot. It’s a picture that suggests to me how random existence can be, how good things can come from unexpected events. This is a picture of the Free French Battleship Richelieutaken about February 1943:
As the Mets embark upon an uncertain rebuilding phase, they're putting their faith in young pitchers, as they've done before.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Jonathan Bernhardt is a freelance writer born in Baltimore who lives and works in New York City. He is an occasional contributor to the Et tu, Mr. Destructo? blog.
A trip through online archives reveals that the history of baseball's pun-happy headlines isn't as old as that of the game itself.
Peripheral vascular disease is what is known as a disease of affluence. Such diseases tend to correlate positively to a society’s wealth, so that a rising standard of living causes greater incidence of the disease. Peripheral vascular disease—which creates a narrowing of the arteries that supply the legs, and resulting pain, swelling and discoloration—is caused by hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, all of which are also diseases of affluence. Asthma is a disease of affluence. Gout is a disease of affluence.
Puns in baseball headlines are a disease of affluence. One hundred years ago, nobody would have ever thought to use a headline like this:
After a strong week from most of his Value Picks, Michael makes a few tweaks and offers plenty of post-September-callup analysis in Playing Pepper.
Nearly every VP performed well enough to remain this week, and there’s plenty of other waiver wire value to be found, although September callus—a while unlikely to be valuable in and of themselves—can affect those waiver-wire decisions. I’ll look at those angles, along with other potential VPs, in a heaping helping of Playing Pepper.
As the calendar turns to September, Michael digs deep for corner infield options that will help your fantasy team in the stretch run.
Except for unexpected call-ups, September usually holds few fantasy surprises on the waiver wire, but there are still a few undiscovered gems available out there, including one of the top prospects in the game. Whether you’re in contention or not, remember what your mamma always told you: quitters never win, and winners never quit (assuming your mamma was Vince Lombardi).
The speedy Ben Revere and much-hyped Brandon Belt return to VP this week.
Last week's choice of players spurred some interesting discussion in the comments about Casper Wells, with a smart reader looking even smarter now, as Wells has posted a nice .308/.400/.538 batting line this week. However, the Mariners seem to agree with this author's opinion that he's nothing more than a fourth outfielder, limiting him to just 15 plate appearances. He's someone to keep an eye on, to be sure. Meanwhile, owners who were able to find space for AL-only multi-position pick Trevor Plouffe were rewarded with a fine .308/.357/.500 batting line and 28 plate appearances. Meanwhile, former NL-only VPTrent Oeltjen had a nice eight (8) plate appearances, hitting .429/.500/.857 and stealing a base, raising his season line to .250/.387/.438. Of course, as Derek Carty points out, he's started only one game in the past (nearly) two months, so he's purely deep-league filler. Onward to more significant players...
Mike welcomes an under-the-radar middle infield prospect and a finally-healthy catcher to VP this week.
Departures Mark Ellis, Colorado Rockies (Yahoo! 4%, ESPN 2%, CBS 11%)
Ellis is hitting poorly (.179/.200/.179 since the start of the last road trip on July 22) and, more importantly, is ceding playing time once again to bench players in Colorado's never-ending quest to find a consistent player to man second base. Ellis lost two recent starts at second base in favor of Chris Nelson, and if he continues to struggle, expect Jim Tracy to make a change yet again.
Bill welcomes a once highly-regard prospect and a hard-throwing LA rookie to VP.
Newcomers Jeff Niemann, Tampa Bay Rays (11% Yahoo!, 6% ESPN, 44% CBS)
Niemann thrust himself onto the fantasy baseball map with an eight-inning masterpiece against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. He allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out ten, continuing a trend of good pitching since joining the rotation on June 20. He has gone at least six innings and allowed one run or fewer in four of his five starts since with an ugly start against the lowly Houston Astros smudging his report card.
Michael welcomes a toolsy young shortstop and a rugged veteran with a history of quality hitting (and injuries) to VP this week.
Departures Orlando Hudson, San Diego Padres (Yahoo! 4%, ESPN 2.3%, CBS 16%)
Hudson was conspicuously absent last week despite not being officially removed from the list, but this week he receives his pink slip. The concern is that Hudson will not steal enough bases to be worth his currently poor batting average, and unlike fellow Padre and Value Picks member Jason Bartlett, he does not have the history of stolen base attempts that would support him continuing to grab bases. For now, we'll look at more interesting names here at Value Picks.