On the 27th episode of the DFA podcast, Bryan and R.J. discuss the Tigers' flash teardown and their deals of Justin Verlander to the Astros and Justin Upton to the Angels. Plus, the other little moves that made our second deadline so exciting, including Mike Leake to the Mariners, Brandon Phillips to the Angels, and more.
Welcome back to the DFA podcast! Hosts Bryan Grosnick (Baseball Prospectus) and R.J. Anderson (CBS Sports), plus producer Shawn Brody (Beyond the Box Score, BP Mets), are talking about all the transactions and roster moves that make MLB go. From trades and signings to callups and disabled list stints, DFA is here to provide analysis and commentary on all things baseball.
Do pitchers target a tough opponent's weakness, or stick with their own strength?
Every hitter has a hole. Barry Bonds, during spring training, had given an interview with ESPN in which he as much as said, "if you make your pitch, you can get me out." The issue wasn't whether a hitter had a weakness, but where it was. Every pitcher in the big leagues knew that Giambi's hole was waist-high, on the inside corner of the plate. It was about the size of a pint of milk, two baseballs in height and one baseball in width. Which raised an obvious question: why don't the pitchers just aim for the milk pint? — Moneyball, Chapter 7, "Giambi's Hole."
There seem to actually be two points in that paragraph, and they contradict each other. "Every pitcher in the big leagues" was saying that Giambi had a weakness, and that if you could throw him kryptonite it would get him out. But Bonds seemed to be saying something else: "If you make your pitch, you can get me out." Your pitch.
Paul & Doug discuss what is wrong with Jon Lester since mid-May and dive into Strasburg's season. Next GOTW: Francisco Liriano at Mike Leake
Stephen Strasburg gives the guys a very interesting start to discuss as he shows flashes of brilliance in a start that ended up rather mediocre statistically speaking. Robbie Erlin suffers a tough day, but the outlook isn't quite as grim.
The Giants finally score some runs, and even the series against the Reds.
There was a pretty good chance the Giants were going to lose on Tuesday. As you’ll recall, they had one hit through nine innings; they drew one walk; they scored because of a passed ball and an error; etc. They could have very, very easily lost on Tuesday. And if they had, Tim Lincecum’s season highlights would have looked like this:
Hughes, Hutchison, and Leake bring the VP jelly to BP this week.
With a big wave of interleague on the horizon, pitcher values vary in a way we haven’t seen yet this year as they face new teams in new venues. For example, the Angels and Athletics have featured some useful starting pitchers this year, the former more so than the latter, but as they each head into Coors Field to face the Rockies over the next week, there could be some trouble on the horizon. This could be especially problemsome for Ervin Santana, Bartolo Colon, and Tom Milone given their home run rates.
Take a deep breath before assuming your favorite team's pick today is a future star.
Unless you live under a rock, and no offense to those living under a rock, you know the draft takes places tonight. The draft creates a lot of excitement, but it's important to be realistic as well about the player that gets added to your favorite. Whomever your favorite team takes, it's not time to start inserting him into future lineups. The attrition rate for top picks has improved dramatically, yet remains brutal. So for a little dose of reality here are the top five hitters and pitchers for each slot. Of the 47 players taken in draft history, this is the cream of the crop, and it can be a bit of an eye-opener. A big note of thanks to Bradley Ankrom for doing the leg work here.
The tater trots for May 21: Giancarlo Stanton is a mother'... Also, Leake's great sprint on his first career home run.
A broken scoreboard. An ultra-quick pitcher trot. A man catching both home run balls when two players go back-to-back without moving from his seat. David Ortiz. All we needed last night was a walkoff home run and we would have truly had everything.
Obvious Good Move: Slipping Aroldis Chapman onto the active roster. Think K-Rod 2002 without the roster chicanery. Think Livan Hernandez in '97 or David Price in 2008, since he's good enough to shut the door or get something started. If anything goes wrong with any component of the staff, the hard-slinging Cubano has the potential to dominate.