Don Mattingly's affinity for the bunt could be keeping the Dodgers from scoring more runs.
Like many a Dodger fan, I found myself pulling out clumps of hair on Tuesday night. The Dodgers—a first-place team at 19-10 to that point, surprisingly—were facing the Giants (14-15) in L.A. Despite having Clayton Kershaw on the hill, they were on the short end of a 2-1 score, because with a man on base in the second inning, their ace left a high fastball to Brett Pill a bit too far out over the plate, and Pill drove it 384 feet into the left-field bleachers. The Dodgers had plated a run against Ryan Vogelsong in the bottom of the second thanks to a pair of doubles, but they could get no more, and as the innings passed, the situation grew more desperate.
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The Giants have a lot of misplaced faith in the depth of their starting rotation.
Barry Zito is going through deliveries like frat houses go through 30-racks of beer. The latest version is supposed to add drop and drive to his delivery, giving him more momentum toward the plate, and perhaps putting some extra gas on his mediocre fastball.
Unfortunately for the Giants, their $126 million man is not an old dog up to new tricks. Zito has been using this trick—claiming he has altered his mechanics—for five years, giving fans futile hope that he might finally reinvent himself. It has not worked to date, and it probably will not work in 2012.
Non-roster invitees are swarming to spring training, but do these players ever pan out? Ben looks for an answer in the best of last season's NRI crop
"I’ve always said when it comes to a minor-league contract there’s no such thing as a bad one. There’s no guarantee from the club’s standpoint other than a flight to and from spring training."—Alex Anthopoulos, January 2012
While you’re busy celebrating Presidents Day in traditional American fashion—crossing the Delaware, roadtripping to Mt. Rushmore, trying to keep your anticipation for next week’s 87th Republican primary debate in check—pitchers and catchers will be reporting to training camps across Florida and Arizona. Not quite all of the pitchers and catchers or all of the camps—Mariners pitchers, catchers, and position players reported about a week before everyone else, so Mariners non-roster invitees have already been ostracizing members of their 40-man for days.
Of the top 500 2011 WARP earners, we missed three in last year's annual. Here are their names, why we missed them, and what we should've written.
It was a pretty big weekend for Baseball Prospectus, as we put the 2012 annual to bed. There are darned near 2,000 player write-ups in it, which gets us pretty close to including every player who will play a role in the coming season. But, inevitably, some slip through. Of the top 500 players in 2011, as measured by WARP, we included 497 in the 2011 annual. That’s pretty great! We told you about Chris Parmelee. We caught Mike McCoy. We included Louis Coleman, who is a player I’m learning about right now, this very moment, as I write this sentence. But we missed three, and that’s something we need to reckon with. These are the three:
Examining the approach that has made Ryan Vogelsong a giant among Giants with the aid of PITCHf/x.
In January, Ryan Vogelsong signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants. He compiled a 3.27 ERA in 22 solid innings in spring training but was sent to Triple-A Fresno to begin the year. He followed that up with two strong starts at Fresno, allowing three runs and striking out 17 in 11 1/3 innings. On April 17, Vogelsong joined the big club when Barry Zito went on the disabled list with a foot injury, and on April 28, he took Zito’s place in the Giants starting rotation.
The Diamondbacks keep cycling through injuries. The Red Sox keep cycling through relievers. Lima Time has Royals fans cowering. Izzy returns to a battered bullpen. News, notes, and Kahrlisms from 21 major league teams in the latest edition of Transaction Analysis.