News and notes from around the league for May 15, 2013.
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Probable Pitchers for May 15, 2013
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The majority of Michael’s VP list turns over this week, but he’s got plenty of replacements lined up, including three who picked up their first home run of the year last week.
Statistically speaking, a single home run (like a single hit) is fairly meaningless. It’s the ultimate small sample, showing how one batter did against one pitcher (and one pitch) under one specific set of conditions. But psychologically speaking, when it’s the first home run of the season, it can mean so much more. The hitter feels confident in his swing or relieved at having gotten his first longball of the season out of the way, and it could mean a turnaround is coming. Look at Albert Pujols: in 27 plate appearances since his first jack of the season, he’s picked up 5 RBI—as many as he picked up in the 114 plate appearances before he finally went yard.
Roundtable discussion of the pressing questions facing the NL East teams as we approach the start of the season
1) After a disappointing sophomore campaign, what can we expect of Jason Heyward going forward?
MJ: Jason Heyward had an injury-riddled sophomore season in Atlanta, but there is a lot to like about his chances at a rebound campaign in 2012. His offensive line was deflated by a .260 BABIP, but his peripherals were once again stellar. His 11.6 percent walk rate represented a regression from 2010 but cannot be considered poor, and his .162 ISO likewise dropped from the previous year but did not experience a precipitous fall.
Wrapping things up by running down the National League's best candidates to benefit from hot spring starts.
Picking up where we left off on Tuesday, let’s complete our circuit of the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues by identifying some less established NL players who may have put themselves in stronger consideration for roster spots this season on the basis of small-sample spring performances thus far.
Acquired for a song, the Indians' middle infielder might be the long-term answer to their problems at either spot up the middle.
After being picked up as Jhonny Peralta insurance in 2006, Asdrubal Cabrera has instead turned into Josh Barfield's replacement at second during this season. The slick-fielding 21-year-old now finds himself on a team fighting for an American League Championship Series berth during his rookie campaign. What does the future hold for this middle infielder, and what does he bring to the table for this potentially World Series bound Tribe?
While the average player peaks between the ages of 26 and 28, individuals have a great variety of career paths. Chaim Bloom takes a look at what happens to players who have big seasons before turning 24.
This crucial knowledge informs every team's player moves, and when it does not, leads us to question them. For instance: