Will Carroll's Under The Knife is called the "industry standard" by
Peter Gammons and that's good enough for us. Carroll's groundbreaking
work on injuries have led to it becoming a standard part of the
discussion in baseball. Whether you're a fantasy fan or checking out
how your team will be without a star, there's simply no other place to
get this kind of daily information.
With names like Beckett, Sheets, and Bedard on the list of pitchers with problems, teams are working around their top starter's absences.
Josh Beckett (0 DXL)
The Red Sox pulled Beckett from his start last night, citing a stiff neck as the cause. They were ready, having David Pauley up from Pawtucket, but holding off on the official roster move until they knew they needed to make it, which shows that this didn't just happen immediately before the start. The Sox didn't really say much about the flu going around the clubhouse, but the Boston Globe noted that Beckett was dealing with some flu-like symptoms, and that they likely factored into the decision. Right now, the Sox are in wait-and-see mode with Beckett, unclear over whether they will skip his start or if they'll slot him in later this week. I'd bet on the latter, which will also, in essence, buy them one of those extra days of rest for their young pitchers and for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Expect some roster juggling, because Pauley didn't pitch well, and the Sox may not need to keep him up.
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Sometimes the line between the two gets particularly thin.
I spent Game Seven of the ALCS talking about the game with a bunch of BP readers in our chat module, and you can see a lot of the first-take reactions to the game's events there. Today, I want to look back at the game through the people who mattered the most, in some rough order of importance.
Through strong drafting and several savvy trades, Mark Shapiro and the Indians have the pieces in place for a multi-year run atop the AL Central.
For the most part, the Indians are a self-built team, getting good production out of their top prospects, but also valuable contributions from some unlikely sources. More importantly, based on the team's age and the contract status of its players, this squad is built to last.
The Indians take a 2-1 lead in the series by getting execution from some of their second-tier stars--their third starter, their set-up man, and Kenny Lofton.
CLEVELAND-Casey Blake pondered the numbers for a moment as he stood in front of his locker in the victorious clubhouse. The Indians third baseman had just been told that teammate Kenny Lofton had just played in his 91st post-season game, spanning 11 years and 21 series.
Unlike the NLCS expansion-team tandem, in the AL, it's a classic confrontation between two of the original eight.
The Red Sox and Indians tied for the major league lead with 96 wins this year, but that doesn't mean these two teams are exactly equal. The Sox outscored opponents by 210 runs, the largest margin in the majors, and finished with a third-order projection of 103.2 wins. The Tribe's run differential was about half as large (107 runs), and their third-order projection of 88.2 wins suggests a good deal more separation between these two teams than meets the eye.
The Angels lacked the quality of their purported virtues, while the Yankees have to go into their Game Four sans Joba.
This had been a bland postseason to date. In most games, the losing team has gotten down and stayed down. Nine of the 12 losing teams have scored three runs or less in their efforts, limiting the amount of back and forth we've seen after so much anticipation. Some of the games have been tense and low-scoring-Game One between the Cubs and Diamondbacks, Game Two between the Yankees and Indians-but most have just been nondescript. Pitchers' duels are fun, but a mix of games makes for a good postseason. So far, we haven't had that. The pitching of the Red Sox, Indians, Rockies, and Diamondbacks has limited the excitement.
Can the Indians take the Bombers, or will baseball's best offense rock on?
A repeat of a matchup which produced some thrilling postseason baseball back in 1997 and 1998, this Divisional Series matches the American League's two hottest teams since the All-Star break, two teams that didn't earn their postseason berths until putting together a finishing kick that separated them from the rest of the pack. For the Indians, this marks a return to glory, their first division title since 2001 after a run in which they'd made the playoffs six years out of seven. For the Yankees, though their nine-year run atop the AL East came to an end, this marks their 13th straight postseason appearance, a streak that predates Joe Torre.
Running down some of the long-term decisions that have helped create Colorado's recent success.
Colorado's eight-game win streak has propelled the team into contention and created one of the most positive seasons in the organization's existence. One of the accompanying narratives is that they are learning how to win in Coors Field. Another is the declining park factor in Colorado has allowed for a more stable pitching staff. While there is some truth to these, for me the Rockies are more than the product of an evolving ballpark-related dynamic. Rather, they are a perfect case study in proper player development.
Beware of a Schuerholz offering prospects, the Dodgers' third base problem, and that little thing called run support.
The trading deadline is upon us, and if you've stumbled in here only because you've grown weary of reloading various web sites 20 consecutive times in a row in the hopes that your team snagged Eric Gagne for a Low-A catcher with the offensive upside of a dying elm tree, no worries. We've got a little deadline flavor to offer you here, too.