Out Of Work Former Big Leaguers Auditioning in the Caribbean Winter Leagues
There are several former big leaguers playing ball in the Caribbean Winter Leagues -- some who have had just a short stint or two in the big leagues, some former All-Stars -- as they try and prove that they still have something left in the tank in order to earn at least a minor league deal with some team. Here are a few that could garner interest over the next several weeks as teams finalize their rosters before Spring Training.
Following up on Chris Heisey, at present there's no real competition for a starting spot, and unless that changes, he should get about 90 percent of the playing time, which would be almost 600 at-bats, given his low walk rate and where he's likely to bat in the lineup. He hasn't been labeled a "proven veteran" yet, so there's always that chance that he could wash out, but Dusty Baker is loyal to players and sticks to his opinions, so it's more important that Heisey impress his manager in spring training than it is for him to post a 1.5 WARP in the first half.
The tater trots for August 2: five multi-home run games and a couple of notable shots in the Cubs game. The home run call for Jose Reyes' shot is something special.
Yesterday, I made a special note of the four multiple home run days hit across the league on Monday. Well, if four was special on Monday, then the five on Tuesday must be even more special. Of course, there were forty-two home runs hit in total on Tuesday as opposed to the twenty-six on Monday, so maybe that dilutes it somehow. I doubt Ryan Howard, Alfonso Soriano, Garrett Jones, Mark Teixeira, and Omar Infante would care, though.
The tater trots for July 14. After two weeks off, the tracker returns for Byrd's first home run with a cheek protector.
It's been two weeks since I've been around these parts - well, except for one very notable exception - but, with the All Star break over, it's time for me to join baseball in the second half of the season. I now have about ten days' worth of trots to backlog, but that won't keep me from getting on with each day's trots.
The tater trots for May 18: only eleven home runs around the league; the Chicago/Florida matchup had three of the best.
Another day of little offense around the league. As many have said today, Wednesday's 95 runs in 15 games played is the fifth lowest number of runs scored in a full-slate of games since the league went to thirty teams. Mostly that's just an interesting little factoid, but it does make a difference when talking about the number of home runs hit. There were only eleven hit around the league Wednesday night.
The action from Riggs' 2010 return to Wrigley evens the series.
CHICAGO—Another April ballgame, another venue, another city. It's a cold night in Lakeview, with the wind coming in from the north and the game-time temp in the low 40s. It's one of those nights when the hardy fans who come to Wrigley alternate beers and hot chocolate, as Kenny Kaduk detailed in his boozy ballpark bildungsroman, Wrigleyworld. With that sort of mixed pleasure to look forward to, you understand why the 30,000 folks in attendance trickled in. But it would only get colder as the night goes on, one of those seasonal features of Wrigley in April that encourages all concerned to gun for quick games made more quickly still by small-ball tactics.
Sorting out the expense of making yesterday's problem somebody else's issue.
Over the years, baseball analysts of a statistical bent have worked hard to quantify many of the basic components of major-league success. Batting, fielding, pitching, baserunning, even managerial decisions-each have been broken down to their atomic ingredients and reassembled into metrics that best correlate to scoring or preventing runs, producing wins, and generating monetary value. One factor that hasn't been quantified, however, is that hoariest of journalistic chestnuts: team chemistry.