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.
Will covers the injury angles of yesterday's big deals and checks in on UTK regulars Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi and Mark Prior.
Still, the topic of the night wasn't injuries, prospects, or even the appearance of newly-promoted Assistant GM Jon Daniels. The topic we all came back to was the lack of trades, and even the lack of talk of possible trades. At best, I had hints - the Yankees weren't getting Randy Johnson, the Twins had cold feet on Kris Benson, and the Marlins were going to be active.
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One of the favorite terms of baseball officials is "development path," used to describe the gradual improvement of a prospect into a major league player. As Nate Silver's PECOTA system shows us, most players follow a somewhat normal path of improvement and can be classified into a certain type of player depending on their skill set. Some low-level shortstops are that in name only, really possessing offensive skills destined for a corner spot. Others are highlight-reel defenders who hit like pitchers, but amaze and entertain with their prowess in the field. Occasionally, though, we run across a prospect that simply bewilders, showing wildly different skill sets in different years, and making future projections a bit trickier. Jose Lopez is one of these players. The 19-year-old shortstop from Venezuela has made a name for himself and has responded well to the Mariners' willingness to push him quickly through the system, being one of the youngest players in the league during each of his first three professional seasons. However, his performances have been anything but consistent, and the reports on him are nearly as confusing.
Jose Lopez is one of these players. The 19-year-old shortstop from Venezuela has made a name for himself and has responded well to the Mariners' willingness to push him quickly through the system, being one of the youngest players in the league during each of his first three professional seasons. However, his performances have been anything but consistent, and the reports on him are nearly as confusing.
The A's usually don't have to deal with injuries to their pitchers and as we all know, never have to deal with arm problems. In Tuesday's game, Mark Mulder left the game with a strained right hip. It's too early to tell yet how serious the injury will be and if he might miss a start or more. As I reported yesterday, I still think that Tim Hudson will be pushed back, despite signals from the A's that he'll be ready. I say this in the most respectful way, but we can't trust the A's completely when it comes to injuries. No one is better at keeping things close to the vest, but unlike most things the A's try to do, this one gives them no advantage. In Tuesday's game with the A's, Derek Lowe was forced out just after Mulder. Lowe had a recurrence of blistering on his pitching thumb. Reports conflict on the location of the blister and whether it is the same area where Lowe had blisters in June. Again, I'll point out that even a small injury such as this could be the difference between the Sox making the playoffs or not. I'll be following this one closely.
I discounted it at the time when Bartolo Colon bent over late in a start just a few weeks back, but that could have been the sign of things to come. Colon has been rocked lately, leaving pitches up, lacking velocity and command, and ceding the team ace status to Mark Buehrle. As with Derek Lowe, even the slightest injury could be the tipping point for the tight AL Central, and Colon's next start will be pivotal.
So, powered by a 2001 White Merlot, onto the injuries...
Nevertheless, in the wake of the most bizarre deal we've seen in a very long time, I couldn't help myself; I peeked around. Now, I have a lot of respect for Rob Neyer, and for Rob's work. As a fellow product of the analysis revolution of the '80s, I suspect we share a basic philosophy of trying to inject some element of quantitative analysis to provide better qualitative commentary. That said, I think any attempt to quantitatively assess the trade of Jeremy Giambi--regardless of your opinion of Win Shares and their utility--ignores two basic problems.