News and notes from around the league for April 6, 2013
As we begin the 2013 season, we introduce another new feature here at Baseball Prospectus. Thanks to Jason Martinez and Clint Chisam of MLB Depth Charts, we'll now be bringing you daily news, notes, transactions, injury updates, and notable performances from the previous day's games...throughout the entire season! (For the first full week of the new campaign, this feature will be completely free to all readers!)
And if you like what you see here, don't forget to check out MLBDC's Insider subscription (http://www.mlbdepthcharts.com/2013/02/mlbdepthcharts-insider.html), which also includes starting pitcher rankings and matchups, top 25 batter vs pitcher stat rankings, lineup tracker (includes lineups from past 7 games), rotation report, stat tracker, and more!
Michael looks at his best and worst Value Picks for the 2012 season.
As the season winds down, Value Picks takes a fond look back at our picks from the season, looking at the hits and misses we collected in our efforts to find value among the overlooked players on your league’s waiver wire. As with assessing fantasy players, the notion of “value” can be slippery to pin down, especially when looking at players who are largely castoffs from other fantasy squads.
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The longest home run hit in almost three years went out on Friday night. You know you want to watch it.
On Friday night, with the Marlins losing 5-4 to the Rockies in the top of the sixth and Josh Roenicke on the mound, Giancarlo Stanton hit an important home run. It wasn't important because it tied the game, although the Marlins would go on to win by one run. This was a matchup between two last-place teams, so the outcome was about as inconsequential as the outcomes of baseball games come. It was important because it looked like this:
What do pitchers look like just after allowing one of the longest home runs of the season?
If we learned anything from the Home Run Derby, it's that people enjoy watching home runs go far. We didn't actually learn that from the Home Run Derby. We knew that all along! It is a pretty well-established thing about baseball. I suppose we could just as easily say if we learned anything from the Home Run Derby, it's that large physical bodies such as the earth create an attractive pull whereby things that are flung up in the air will be drawn back down, the distance of flight correlating to the force exerted on the object. If you knew nothing before the Home Run Derby, you learned about gravity, and you learned that people enjoy watching big home runs. This is an introductory paragraph, and it is complete.
There is one small subset of the population we might not expect would enjoy watching big home runs: the pitchers who allow those home runs. We might not expect them to enjoy watching big home runs, but maybe they do. Maybe they have perspective on the thing. Maybe they appreciate the aesthetics of a baseball soaring impossibly deep into the sky. Maybe they're fans, just like you. Maybe not. I honestly don't know.
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.
Reviewing the best and worst first-half position players on each team.
In the numerical sense, the halfway point of the season arrived about a week ago. However, the All-Star break marks the arbitrary end point of the first half, bringing a few days of festivities and vacations to the forefront. That period of inactivity in games that matter offers a window into the frozen stats for each team, allowing us to see who is leading the charge and who is failing the team so far.
In order to determine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, I’ll enlist the aid of the Wins Above Replacement metric. Next time, we’ll cover the pitchers, but for today, it’s all about the position players.