News and notes from around the league for April 18, 2013.
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Probable Pitchers for April 18, 2013
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The Angels and Dodgers lose close games they badly wanted to win.
The Tuesday Takeaway
If the Angels and Dodgers narrowly miss the postseason, they will look back on Tuesday’s defeats with the utmost regret. Each of the Southern California contenders lost by a run in a game that it badly needed to win.
The Dodgers went first behind Clayton Kershaw—who was scratched from Sunday’s series finale against the Giants with a sore hip—but they might as well have put 76-year-old Sandy Koufax on the mound. After all, you can’t win if you don’t score.
Stephen Strasburg's return and a deep farm system give Washington hope.
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade—whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski, and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview.
Stephen Strasburg may be out for the year, but the surviving Nationals starters are giving Washington hope for escaping the NL East cellar.
With Stephen Strasburg shelved until at least September, and probably for the season, after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last September, the Nationals' starting pitching appeared to be suspect coming into this season. The lack of appealing rotation options caused many analysts to tab the Nationals for a fourth straight last-place finish in the National League East.
Everyone wants to know whether or not phenom Stephen Strasburg will be able to avoid arm injuries.
The Summary: Washington is kind of the Evil Spock of consistency to Toronto's comparative randomness when it comes to injuries. That's because no team has been more injured than the Nats, despite being in different cities, stadiums, and training rooms, despite different GMs and front offices, and with a succession of trainers. The tide of DL days has broken past the sandbags every year, leaving the already short-handed team even more shorthanded. The Nats are also one of the only teams not to see any sort of positive bump from moving into a new stadium. Equipped with more money, better facilities, and starting to acquire talent, there should be a reduction, but it hasn't shown up yet. If the team stays at the bottom of the rankings for a fifth straight year, we're going to have to get a live chicken involved.
A few surprise performers from rotations around the game, and what you might expect from them in 2009.
This week we will take a look at a few surprise starting pitchers on the Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added above Replacement (SNLVAR) leaderboards to see what we can expect from these players next year. Since SNLVAR adjusts for the difficulty of competition and measures production, it's a wonderful tool for valuing a pitcher's production, but by itself it is not predictive of future performance. For that, we have other tools, such as QuikERA (QERA) that are more accurate for measuring performance than actual ERA; when you combine the two together, analyzing pitchers becomes that much easier.