We here at Baseball Prospectus take democracy very seriously. We're proud of our longstanding tradition of using witchcraft... erm, math to talk about all sorts of issues in baseball. And now it's election season again. In a few short weeks, the annual Midsummer Classic will take place in New York City, and your votes will determine the starters. And because this must be said before every election, "This is the most important election of our lifetimes." I can't wait for the first debate between Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano before the next Yankees-Red Sox series.
The Orioles and Tigers announcers give a clinic in how to determine intent and stick up for the good guys in 15 seconds.
After the Tigers hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning this afternoon Jason Hammel hit Matt Tuiasosopo with a high breaking ball on the first pitch of the subsequent at-bat and Hammel was ejected.
Taking a closer look at the young Oriole starter's mechanics.
Kevin Gausman was the first pitcher chosen in the 2012 amateur draft, selected fourth overall out of LSU by the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander soared through the minor leagues, earning a 2013 assignment to Double-A following just 15 innings in the low minors and then needing fewer than 50 innings at Bowie before the Orioles deemed him ready for the Show. Gausman’s quick promotion, following that of Jose Fernandez, is another example of the philosophy that powers TINSTAAPP.
Minor League Stats
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The Orioles summon one of baseball's top pitching prospects to plug a hole in their rotation.
The Situation: The Orioles have dropped six of their last seven and now find themselves four games back in the AL East. Injury and underperformance in the starting rotation have already forced the Birds’ hand, with Freddy Garcia logging four underwhelming starts over the past three weeks. Rather than turning to T.J. McFarland or Jake Arrieta for Thursday’s start north of the border, Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter will turn the ball over to the no. 2 prospect in the Orioles’ system (and no. 13 prospect in baseball), Kevin Gausman, in an attempt to inject the rotation with some life, not to mention some electric stuff.
Background: Gausman was a sixth-round selection by the Dodgers out of Grandview High School (Aurora, CO), but he turned down first-round money in favor of two years at LSU, where he immediately made an impact, finishing eighth in the SEC in strikeouts, ninth in hits allowed, and fifth in batting average against. After a strong summer as part of USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, Gausman dominated the SEC as a sophomore, leading the conference in strikeouts and finishing third nationally while serving as the Tigers’ Friday night starter and earning All-American honors from multiple publications. He was the first pitcher selected in the 2012 draft, going fourth overall to the Baltimore Orioles, and he signed a $4.32 million dollar deal, $120,000 over slot allotment.
The final installment of a five-part series on the pressing questions confronting each team in 2013.
In the week leading up to Opening Day, we're asking and answering three questions about each team in a five-part series ordered by descending Playoff Pct from the Playoff Odds Report. Today, we continue with a look at the group of six teams with the worst odds of winning at least a Wild Card. As a reminder, you can find links to our preview podcasts for each team here.
The 1999 meeting between Cuba and the Baltimore Orioles did not go well for the major league squad.
The Baltimore Orioles, led by their owner Peter Angelos, made a bid at international diplomacy in 1999. After a large push by Angelos, Major League Baseball and the Cuban government (along with a little help from the State Department, I'm sure) agreed to play a home-and-home series between the Cuban national team and Angelos' Orioles at the start of the season.
The first game was played in Havana in March before a roaring crowd of 50,000-plus. Angelos was joined in the front row behind home plate at Estadio Latinoamericano with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Cuban leader Fidel Castro. After the home team tied it up in the bottom of the 8th, the crowd was treated to a 3-2 Baltimore victory when an 11th-inning single from Harold Baines scored Will Clark from second. It was a thrilling but, ultimately, predictable game.
We all missed on last year's Orioles and A's, so we're determined to see the next similar surprise team coming. But are we sure that one will?
“I know a lot of the national reporters say we’re going to finish last and lose a lot of games again. You know what? Oakland was supposed to be last [in the division] last year, Baltimore was supposed to be last, and they both ended up making the playoffs.” —Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, February 5.
Sometime between now and Opening Day—if you haven’t already—you’ll probably hear someone speculate about the surprise team(s) of 2013. Every spring, fans and analysts attempt to predict which teams will surpass the expectations of PECOTA and the pundits. Most of those predictions, of course, don’t come to pass. It’s tough to beat the stats, the oddsmakers, and the combined predictive powers of people who spend large chunks of their lives watching and reading and writing about baseball teams. Especially since some of the people who can beat the consensus consistently start publishing their predictions, the consensus becomes a bit better and harder to beat.
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."