Taking a peek at the bare cupboard that is the remaining free-agent outfielders.
Outfield went from a position of reasonable depth to a veritable wasteland in under a week. Andruw Jones, Johnny Damon, and Manny Ramirez—outfielder emeritus—all came off the board. There are a few players left who look primed to provide solid value, but if the outfield is a perceived spot of weakness for a team, acting soon would be virtuous. Outside of the five players listed here, the options turn rancid quickly.
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Taking a look at the futures of some older batsmen.
Welcome to the second and final part of To Play or Not to Play. As you may recall, last week we took a look at some free-agent pitchers who have been mulling retirement as the 2011 season draws nearer. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a few team-less hitters who find themselves in similar potential retirement situations. By looking at these batters’ performances from seasons past, we’ll aim to give some well-informed advice on whether they should stay in the game.
Three different groups making the selections performed at three very different levels in the quality of their choices.
I'm pretty critical of MLB's practices, so I should mention how much I like that they've turned the announcement of the All-Star teams into an event. Becoming an All-Star is actually more significant than anything a player might do in the game-it's an honor being selected, whether by the fans, the players, or the managers, and the highlight is that moment. If anything, I'd take this off Sunday and TBS and try to get ESPN to run it before a Monday night game in prime time.
Remaking his disappointing club is job one for Kenny Williams. Nate provides some helpful suggestions.
After having gotten swept by Philadelphia, the White Sox record now stands at 27-35, and they barely have a 1-in-1000 shot of making the playoffs. Let me be honest for a second. If I had picked any other team to go 72-90 this season, and everyone thought I was an idiot for having done so, and that team in fact played down to my expectations, I would be doing a lot of gloating about that prediction. But since that team is the White Sox, a franchise that I have a great deal of affection for, it's been at best a bittersweet pill.
Before all the IBA ballots are counted, staff picks give a hint as to what hands the awards may find themselves in.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Travis Hafner posted the highest OBP in the AL while nobody noticed, while Neifi Perez ended up getting playoff PT. The young guns had their day and then some. Jermaine Dye gave a lengthy spanking to his 90th percentile PECOTA projection (PECOTA's .288/.359/.516 versus an actual .315/.385/.622). The crop of AL rookies included a guy with a 0.92 ERA finishing third, and rooks like Jered Weaver (105:33 K:BB) and Francisco Liriano (144:32) threatening to be Johan Santana's biggest challengers in 2007. The National League featured tighter races, including a four-way brawl for the Pitcher of the Year and another impressive crop of newbies.
Eight staff members weighed in on the season that was, casting their ballots for the Internet Baseball Awards. We summarized their findings below, and then let them have their individual say.
Joe chimes in on the absence of White Sox on his MVP ballot, the Dodgers' bullpen usage, the absurdity of some official scoring, and more.
Aside: someone asked why, when the metrics mostly point Mauer's way, I have Jeter on top. It's the extra playing time and a sense that Mauer's fielding runs (FRAR) may be a tad inflated. So may Jeter's, however. Ask me again after Labor Day.
A rematch of the World Champs and the NL pennant winners is what Derek's clicker dials up this time around.
It's been a busy week for both ballclubs. The Astros had the season debut of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens on Thursday, making the decision to have Clemens go against the Minnesota Twins at home, rather than pitch against the White Sox in Chicago. Clemens was hardly dominant in a game where young phenom Francisco Liriano emerged victorious.