The ultimate unintended consequence of the ever-expanding bullpen.
In the sixth inning of a recent Cubs game, Addison Russell (a right-hander) singled off Gio Gonzalez (a left-hander) to bring the Cubs to within one run of the Nationals. Blake Treinen (a right-hander) relieved Gonzalez (the left-hander) to face Tim Federowicz (a right-hander), who was immediately replaced by Tommy La Stella (a left-hander), who walked to load the bases for Ryan Kalish (a left-hander), pinch-hitting for Clayton Richard (a pitcher), at which point Dusty Baker (a right-hander) walked to the mound (a no-hander) and signaled for Sammy Solis (a left-hander (who bats right)), which is when the ride stopped. Solis faced Kalish. It took some doing, but Baker finally got his platoon advantage.
Do early-season phenoms fade once the rest of the league learns to stop giving them pitches to hit?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Every team has positions that seem to chronically drag them down, but these teams ought to consider addition by excision.
When it comes to playoff races, every edge matters. Yet all too often, managers and GMs fail to make the moves that could help their teams for reasons rooted in issues beyond a player's statistics, allowing sub-par production to fester until it kills a club's post-season hopes. Back in 2007, I compiled a historical all-star squad of ignominy for our pennant race book, It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, identifying players at each position whose performances had dragged their teams down in tight races: the Replacement-level Killers. The concept has been revisited on a more or less annual basis here at Baseball Prospectus, both bymyself and by my colleagues, with an eye toward what teams can do to solve such potentially fatal problems.
Making some tough choices doesn't have to mean being non-competitive.
So, the Padres came up short, if only just, and the legacy of their big finish in 2009 just heralded a nice surprise and second-place irrelevance in 2010. That's the heartbreak of transient happiness for you, but with a roster stocked with plenty of passing fancies and the clock ticking on most of the club's big-name ballplayers, there are few one-day fixer-uppers more challenging than trying to sort out what to do with the Padres.
A continually updating look at the fantasy impact of the trade deadline's swaps.
Deadline day is finally upon us, meaning there is no shortage of things to write about. This will be updated as trades occur, so check back.
4:56 PM EST: Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth are headed to Atlanta. Farnsworth doesn't have any value, but Ankiel, as a center fielder, is a decent pickup in deep leagues (to be honest about it, I'm upset Ankiel went to the NL, as I have him in an AL-only league where you are required to have five outfielders). Ankiel is hitting .267/.317/.467 this season in limited time due to injury, and is a career .252/.311/.453 hitter. His OBP is of no help, but if you're in a batting average league and need some pop from a center fielder, then Ankiel can assist you. His ISO from the previous four years: .250, .242, .156, .207.
Like the rest of us, baseball players are sports fans, and for some that passion extends to soccer. Lars Anderson and Ryan Kalish, two of the top prospects in the Red Sox organization, can be counted among that group. With the World Cup final -- Holland versus Spain -- coming up on Sunday, Anderson and Kalish shared their thoughts on the world’s most popular sporting event.
Looking ahead to who could top next year's prospects lists in the junior loop.
One of the most frequent questions I get, be it via e-mail, chats, or the comment sections in the articles, is which player on [insert team here] has the best shot at moving into the Top 101. That's a much different question from who is the best prospect not in the Top 101, as the focus needs to move solely to growth potential. Building on last year's "Future Top Dogs" series, let's keep that category in this year's version, while also taking an honest list at last year's prognostications.