The Indians are counting on more from one of their stars, while the Astros are talking to [quizzically stares at cue card for 15 seconds before saying] one of the best pitchers available.
Indians expect more steals from Michael Bourn
The first two years of Michael Bourn’s four-year hitch with the Indians have been a boon for the player and a disappointment, if not an abject disaster, for the team. Bourn has raked in $20.5 million in exchange for 1.6 WARP, sliding both defensive and at the plate, and virtually collapsing on the base paths.
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PECOTA likes the Astros' chances of producing insane strikeout totals. Also, more importantly, it likes the Astros' chances of scoring copious runs.
If you were on baseball Twitter Sunday, you saw the uproar new commissioner Rob Manfred caused by throwing out the possibility of perhaps thinking about maybe banning the shift to increase offense. Yeah, it doesn’t take much to get baseball Twitter angry. But it did lead to strong discussions about other possible causes of baseball’s scoring problem (and boring problem), such as the enlarged strike zone.
However, trade talks hit a snag over the weekend according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who writes that the two clubs have not even engaged in any talks regarding Papelbon since Thursday. Haudricourt writes that the Brewers want the Phillies to sweeten the pot financially in any potential deal for Papelbon, who is owed $13 million next season and reportedly would require any team on his no-trade list (which includes Milwaukee) to guarantee his $13 million vesting option for 2016.
Singleton might be squeezed out of Houston's outfield, and Ryan Vogelsong might be squeezed into the Giants rotation.
Jonathan Singleton could be odd man out in Houston
The Astros outfield has been in a fluid state during the past week, with the club acquiring Evan Gattis from Atlanta, bidding farewell to Dexter Fowler and, on Tuesday, formally introducing Colby Rasmus as the latest addition to the club. Assuming the Astros are done swapping outfielders, Rasmus and George Springer are virtual locks to be penciled into the lineup come Opening Day, with the final outfield spot to be sorted out come spring training. However, general manager Jeff Luhnow tipped his hand at Tuesday’s press conference, indicating that Jake Marisnick stands to be the front-runner to receive the bulk of playing time at that spot.
“I got to say, based on how Jake did at the end of last year, he’s going to be strong consideration for a starting spot,” Luhnow said. “But you know, I think part of the theme of how we’re constructing the roster is there’s options at every position. … Based on what Jake did second half of last year with us, yeah, he deserves every opportunity to be a starting outfielder, and he’ll probably get (that opportunity).”
Craig Biggio is a well-deserving Hall of Famer and the first Astro to be enshrined, but it's odd that he may not even be the best player eligible for Cooperstown on his Astros teams.
Fifty-three years into a lifespan that’s included—to various degrees of infuriation—one decade of infantile ineptitude, two more of talent and teases, another of almost-excellence and a most recent of putridity, the Houston Astros have their first Hall-of-Famer.
Adding a win affects playoff odds by a higher magnitude than if a win is taken away. Why, and what does it mean for teams?
The first time you find yourself immersed in a group of sabermetricians is a magical experience. For me, it was the SABR Analytics Conference in March 2013. I have vivid memories of just about everything that happened that weekend: the roar of the crowd when the U.S. played Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, the patience of the numerous baseball luminaries who gave me the time of day even after talking to umpteen other kids, how lost I got on the first day when I assumed the streets of Phoenix were laid out in chronological order of the Presidents for which they were named.
In what direction are voting totals trending for marginal candidates, and are steroids actually to blame?
Every year, the Hall of Fame vote brings a great deal of vitriol to baseball. With each year’s ballot, we are confronted by the specter of the steroid era, always a sore subject. But even neglecting the steroid era candidates, the BBWAA voters manage to produce a handful of idiotic ballots, defended with harebrained rationales, sometimes leading to obvious omissions.
It would be easy to pin the Hall’s recent mismanagement solely on the steroid issue, but the problems do not stop there. There’s a clear backlog of players that’s been developing for more than ten years, leaving deserving stars (with no steroid evidence against them) like Tim Raines and Curt Schilling on the outside. The situation is especially dire for pitchers, where the voters seem to rely upon outdated benchmarks like 300 wins, which even the best modern pitchers simply cannot hope to reach. This failure is through no fault of their own—pitcher usage patterns and injuries have changed the game. Clinging to the old milestones has the effect of artificially increasing the standards for induction, so that only the most inner-circle, obvious Hall players can make it.