A look at 10 new managerial candidates, and a conversation with Mets manager Terry Collins.
The All-Star break is coming into view, yet no managers have been fired this season. In fact, there have been only a few reports of any of the 30 major-league skippers even possibly being in trouble. But it will eventually happen. Some owner will finally get fed up, drop the axe, and his club will begin a managerial search.
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As the Mets embark upon an uncertain rebuilding phase, they're putting their faith in young pitchers, as they've done before.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Jonathan Bernhardt is a freelance writer born in Baltimore who lives and works in New York City. He is an occasional contributor to the Et tu, Mr. Destructo? blog.
CHIPPER isn't feeling chipper about the Mets' chances of avoiding injury, but given their recent history, that comes as little surprise.
The Team Injury Projections are here, driven by our brand new injury forecasting system, the Comprehensive Health Index [of] Pitchers [and] Players [with] Evaluative Results—or, more succinctly, CHIPPER. Thanks to work by Colin Wyers and Dan Turkenkopf and a database loaded with injuries dating back to the 2002 season—that's nearly 4,600 players and well over 400,000 days lost to injury—we now have a system that produces injury-risk assessments to three different degrees. CHIPPER projects ratings for players based on their injury history—these ratings measure the probability of a player missing one or more games, 15 or more games, or 30 or more games. CHIPPER will have additional features added to it throughout the spring and early season that will enhance the accuracy of our injury coverage.
These ratings are also available in the Player Forecast Manager (pfm.baseballprospectus.com), where they'll be sortable by league or position—you won’t have to wait for us to finish writing this series in order to see the health ratings for all of the players.
The 2006 class is a tough one to beat among a strong recent group of rookie classes.
Earlier this week, the folks at Beloit College released their annual MindsetList, a document designed to explain the cultural differences between the incoming class of college freshmen and the older faculty hired to teach them. The idea is to highlight the small and large ways the world has changed in the last 20 years by mentioning things that were true during the life span of oldsters that were never true for those under 20, e.g., the existence of things like a telephone cord, a country called Czechoslovakia, and a baseball commissioner not named Bud. For me, a man who fervently hopes Jamie Moyer comes back next spring to ensure I won’t have to face being older than every major-league ballplayer, this is always a time to reflect on youth and age, both in life and in baseball—especially so this year, since the current Mindset List includes a reference to the term Annus Horribilus, which I happened to use in last year’s BP Annual, but which I now know dates me almost as much as saying “23 Skidoo.”
The Reds are in contention for the first time in a decade, along with other news and notes from around the major leagues.
Dusty Baker couldn't resist having a little fun with the reporters gathered around him. The Reds manager was asked Tuesday night how he planned to set up his starting rotation for next week's pivotal series against the Cardinals. Baker grinned then playfully did not answer the question.
Playoff teams are sifting through their first-aid kits to see what will work in October.
Vladimir Guerrero (5 DXL) Torii Hunter (7 DXL) Erick Aybar (20 DXL) Howie Kendrick (30 DXL)
Welcome to what might be considered "Under the Knife, Angels Edition." You'd think that with all of these injuries that the team would be struggling, but they're not. Even with a number of name players out and the division long since clinched, the Angels just keep winning. They're 7-3 through the last ten, though two of those losses came against the White Sox, the one winning team they've faced in September. Good teams beat whoever you put in front of them, and despite the injuries, the Angels' depth is doing enough to win. When the calendar flips, the team needs to not only have its best players healthy, they need to know who their best players are. Right now, it would seem that as many as four spots on the playoff roster are in doubt. With Guerrero's chronically sore knees, Hunter's ongoing problems with his quads and hamstrings, Kendrick's current hamstring issues, and Aybar's hamstring strain... oh yeah, you noticed the pattern too? None of these should hold any of the players out into the playoffs, but with Guerrero and Kendrick, their fragility has to be considered when filling out the roster. The biggest question mark in the bunch is Kendrick, who will head over to Arizona to get in some instructional league at-bats.