Tyson Ross baffles the Giants, the benches clear at PNC Park, plus other recaps from the weekend and previews of today's action.
In the past, Tyson Ross has been viewed as a player with the raw talent to be a successful big-league pitcher, but one unable to put his skills toward sustainable success at the big-league level.
However, after an excellent outing on Friday against the Giants, Ross looks like a very good big-league pitcher. He completed eight innings with nine strikeouts, four hits, one walk, and no runs. This comes directly after another strong showing against the Tigers, in which he threw seven innings with seven strikeouts, six hits, one walk, and one run. Obviously, a two-game sample does not define the greatness of a big-league pitcher, but it is certainly a promising start. On the season, he owns a 2.13 ERA, a 2.95 FIP, and 25 strikeouts. Considering that he had a very solid second half of last season as well (2.93 ERA, 85 K in 80 IP), he may be hitting his stride.
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A look at 10 new managerial candidates, and a conversation with Mets manager Terry Collins.
The All-Star break is coming into view, yet no managers have been fired this season. In fact, there have been only a few reports of any of the 30 major-league skippers even possibly being in trouble. But it will eventually happen. Some owner will finally get fed up, drop the axe, and his club will begin a managerial search.
The Week in Quotes is a feature that ran roughly forever at BP, more or less from the advent of the site until last July, when it was temporarily retired. Since then, it's become the BP equivalent of Arrested Development—you've never stopped asking us to bring it back. Thanks to the hard work of BP interns Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum, Andrew Koo, and Matthew Rocco, we are bringing it back, and unlike the new season of Arrested Development, you don't have to sign up for Netflix to see it. For the most part, we're following the old format, but we've also added a section for the week's best tweets by beat writers and players. Please let us know if there's anything else you'd like to see included.—Ben Lindbergh
David Wright's newfound plate discipline has helped him bat near .400 for the season's first two months, and an interview with Yu Darvish.
David Wright and Ike Davis play on opposite corners of the Mets' infield. Their hitting approaches and results in the first quarter of this season also couldn't be more opposite. Wright is off to the best start of what has been a fine career. The 29-year-old third baseman has a triple-slash line of .399/.497/.601 in 173 plate appearances. Now healthy after being limited to 102 games because of back problems last season, Wright seems to have taken his game to another level in 2012.
Now that the regular season has wrapped up, here's a look at who BP staffers think should win the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff choices for the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
Since baseball is an individual game wrapped in a team concept, selfishness by Beltran and Reyes actually could be a good thing. I heard that with Wright and Ike Davis out of the lineup and Jason Bay still in freefall, Terry Collins actually went to Beltran recently and told the switch-hitter to get greedy in RBI situations. The Mets manager liberated Beltran to essentially become an RBI whore.
As Craig Calcaterra suggested, the whole concept of the “RBI whore” is questionable, because when is a player trying not to drive in a run in an RBI situation? This is not “Bartleby, the Ballplayer”—no hitter, confronted with ducks on the pond, says, “I would prefer not to.” The only possibility I can think of is that Collins is suggesting that Beltran expand his strike zone with runners on, hack away instead of taking close pitches and working a walk. This hasn’t been a big issue for Beltran so far—he’s taken all of eight walks in 53 PAs with runners in scoring position, leaving him swinging away 85 percent of the time. Still, it’s possible that Collins is gripped by the same questionable thinking that confronted Ted Williams back in his day, that a walk taken with runners in scoring position was a wasted opportunity.
Pitchers have gotten bent, causing hitters to complain about too much tail.
NEW YORK—Mets manager Terry Collins caught a glimpse of the evolution in relief pitcher Bobby Parnell.
It happened sometime last year when both were at Triple-A Buffalo, Collins as the team's minor league field coordinator, and Parnell as the ninth-round draft pick with a fastball that routinely tickles the triple digits. Collins had seen the flame-throwing type before, although during his time in the game, they have become much more common.