Joe Nathan could be a fit for the Tigers, Carlos Ruiz could be headed to Colorado, and Rafael Furcal might be a fit for the Mets.
Tigers Looking for an Experienced Closer
Dave Dombrowski’s seemingly eternal search for a ninth-inning force continues this offseason, as Joaquin Benoit ponders his future in free agency. The 36-year-old Benoit performed well during the final season of his three-year, $16.5 million contract, recording 24 saves in 26 regular-season chances while amassing a 2.01 ERA and 2.90 FIP. Benoit is “in the mix,” but Dombrowski has a host of choices in this winter’s free-agent crop.
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The Twins replace Michael Cuddyer with Josh Willingham, the Cardinals bring back Rafael Furcal, the Red Sox add two bench players, the Diamondbacks sign Takashi Saito, the Phillies board the D-Train, and the Giants re-sign Guillermo Mota.
A lineup of the usual suspects, and a small-timer in the background who may be ready to make good.
Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira. Rafael Furcal. Mark Teixeira.
The shape of the blistering-hot performance of the Dodgers shortstop.
Past experience can generate expectations. Certainly, when they signed Rafael Furcal to a three-year, $39 million deal following the 2005 season, the Dodgers believed that the former Braves leadoff batter would provide a significant spark to their offense. He did not disappoint in 2006, finishing 14th in NL MVP voting. Last year, however, a nagging ankle injury suffered in spring training kept him out of action for the first couple of weeks as well as the final weeks of the season; it also hindered his production level during the 138 games in which he played. A player whose modus operandi involves speed playing with an ankle injury is not a good combination.
Similarly, when Joe Torre signed on to manage the team this offseason, he was fresh off of managing a shortstop that happened to be the longtime face of the most prominent franchise in sports. He may have known his new shortstop could produce at an all-star level even, after that rough 2007. Suffice it to say he could not possibly have had any idea Furcal would be this productive.
Dan starts to bring it all home in his look at baserunning, as he tallies up each of his metrics and shows us the best and worst runners from 2000-2005.
So we've finally reached a turning point in our series on quantifying baserunning. Since mid-July we've developed a methodology and framework for crediting baserunners for advancing on ground outs (Equivalent Ground Advancement Runs, or EqGAR), advancing on outs in the air (Equivalent Air Advancement Runs, or EqAAR), and attempted stolen bases as well as pick offs (Equivalent Stolen Base Runs, or EqSBR). This week we'll look at total picture and evaluate which players got the most and least from their legs over the past six years.
Greg Maddux throws a gem as Derek watches the Giants and Dodgers duel.
Taking the Dodgers first, they've hit the top of the division after residing in the cellar just a little over two weeks ago, going on an 11 game streak which was broken on Wednesday in Colorado, followed by a three game winning streak coming into today's matchup. Let's take a look at how a few Dodgers have performed during this stretch (courtesy of Dave Pinto's Day by Day Database):
The Braves may be handcuffing themselves by carrying Eddie Perez. The Twins could find a second-base solution in Michael Cuddyer. The Devil Rays have had a much tougher time developing pitchers than hitters. These and other news and notes in today's Prospectus Triple Play.
Sweet Memories: Sometimes people keep mementos of lost friends and relatives. You might save Grandpa's favorite chair or a letter from a friend. It can be healthy to reflect on the good times you've had with a loved one.
For most of the past decade, the Atlanta Braves have been
about two things: winning, and winning quietly. The
Braves made a postseason appearance an event as unremarkable
as a Pedro Martinez shutout, a Felix Martinez
rabbit punch or a security violation at Los Alamos; it's
almost more interesting when it doesn't happen.
Among the biggest stories in baseball every spring is the emergence of a
new crop of phenoms, those great talents that take the relaxed atmosphere
of spring training by storm before they take their first legal drink--or
their first swing in Double-A. This year, the name on everyone's lips
depended on the humidity: in arid Arizona, it was the Cubs'
does-it-all-except-walk center fielder, Corey Patterson, while in
sultry Florida, it was the Braves' does-it-all-except-hit-for-power
shortstop, Rafael Furcal.