Why we might be overestimating pitchers' offensive abilities. Yes, OVERestimating.
You can see what Buck Showalter was going for on Tuesday night. Mark Reynolds is a hitter. Not always a great hitter, but one of the couple hundred best in the world, and very capable of ending the game with one swing. The guy behind him was a pitcher. Not a terrible hitter, pitcher-wise, but a pitcher. In the categories our brain creates, pitchers are non-threats. Given the choice between a threat and a non-threat, the decision to intentionally walk the threat to face the non-threat feels obvious, if you don't do the math. But you should do the math:
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In the debut edition, Jeff looks at the DH options of the NL clubs who will visit AL parks and the lineup changes for AL clubs losing the DH.
I am excited to introduce our weekly fantasy baseball Interleague Report. With interleague play now being year-round, we can benefit from keeping tabs on teams that have played or will be playing games in opposing leagues. The plan is to give you helpful info whether it relates to daily or weekly lineups, waiver or FAAB pickups, or changes in positional eligibility. The Interleague Report will cover last week, this week, and the following week.
The Yankees talk to the Padres about another infielder, and Mark Reynolds receives interest.
Yankees chatting with Padres in search of infield depth
General managers Brian Cashman and Josh Byrnes have already combined for one trade this offseason: a November swap that sent minor-league reliever Ben Paullus to San Diego for minor-league infielder Dean Anna, who was deemed expendable when the Padres faced a 40-man roster crunch.
The thing about driving a long distance alone is that you have a lot of time to think meanderingly. When you're driving a long distance alone on your way to a baseball event, your thinking tends to bend toward baseball.
During the particular trip I took last weekend to FanFest in Oakland, I saw a sign, I think somewhere near Coalinga, California, a perfectly usual sign, reading "high winds" or something else to that effect that got me joking
Mark Reynolds, the stories said, was born to play baseball. He could hit 40-plus home runs in a season, or he could steal 20-plus bags in a season, or he could even do both simultaneously. He was a Big Bat who could help almost any fan’s team.
"He could be a good player for the Rays to sign," wrote Bleacher Report. "Reynolds will be the only player that could bring that sort of offensive production to the third base position for (the Cubs)," wrote Bleacher Report. Then Bleacher Report added: "If the Yankees were to prefer to add some power to their lineup, Reynolds has that in spades." And, according to Bleacher Report, "There seem to be significant reasons why Boston wouldn't want Reynolds, but his value becomes more apparent upon closer inspection." Finally, writing about the Phillies, the sports web site Bleacher Report wrote that "he hits home runs."
A look at the surprising early season success of Baltimore's hitters
Your computer is not broken. The Baltimore Orioles do indeed lead all of baseball in home runs this season with 56. They were quietly the fourth-best team last year with 191 home runs, trailing only the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers. Last season, the Orioles hit 1.18 home runs per game, but in 2012, that pace has spiked to 1.6 per contest… with essentially the same personnel as last year, no less. Nick Johnson—who anointed Joel Peralta his favorite pitcher this weekend when he took him deep twice—is the lone addition to the lineup.
Albert Pujols may be struggling, but there are major-league regulars doing even worse.
Albert Pujols you know about. The $240 million man has yet to get untracked for the Angels and ended the month of April hitting a paltry .217/.265/.304 without a homer. He's hardly the only hitter who has begun 2012 in a funk, though. In fact, 41 other hitters came into Tuesday with True Averages lower than or equal to that of Pujols' .225 in at least 65 plate appearances, i.e., enough to qualify for the batting title. Sure, those are small samples sizes, but we're 14 percent of the way through the season, with one page of the calendar wadded up into a ball, so it's not like we can't at least gawk at the outliers. What follows is a look at a half-dozen AL hitters—none of them as good as Pujols to begin with, admittedly—who are struggling to an even greater degree than the Angels slugger, and where they and their teams might go from here.
Some off-beat statistical milestones are within reach in the season's finals days.
With four days left in baseball’s marathon season, most eyes will be focused on the two matchups which have a direct bearing on the playoffs: the Padres/Giants pitching festival in San Francisco, and the Phillies/Braves set in Atlanta. Nonetheless, there are 13 other series to be played before we can close the books on the 2010 regular season. Often these late-season contests spark little interest outside of those with game tickets, family members on the team, or the need for a few more Joakim Soria saves to clinch their fantasy baseball championship. To add a little spice to these contests while our early-season heroes play out the string or prep for the postseason, I’ve decided to share with you a few slightly off-beat statistical milestones that could be met in the next few days. None of these numbers are as sexy as .400 or 61*, but they may help you appreciate a few of the more unexpected or unreported achievements of the 2010 season.