Adam Dunn walks away. Alex Gordon walks away. Other players' walks, also, have gone away.
Not all samples are small, but all samples are samples. Still, some samples are better samples than other samples. Russell Carleton showed us which are which last year, by which I mean that he showed, for a variety of stats, how big a sample we need for the signal to outweigh the noise. One happy outcome from that study is that walk rate for hitters is a stat that "stabilizes" faster than almost any other.
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Zack Cozart and Ruben Tejada form this week's VP middle infield tandem.
The non-waiver trade deadline came and went, and Chase Headley is still a member of the Padres. That means no path was cleared for Jedd Gyorko(Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 10%) to receive regular playing time in the majors. Gyorko has done plenty to earn a look this year, and I fully expect he'll get that shot, but without guaranteed steady playing time when he reaches the bigs and an uncertain call-up date, he can safely be cut loose in most redraft leagues.
Which players are the most likely to go the longest before their first walk of 2012?
No one personifies this better than Angels’ shortstop Gary DiSarcina. DiSarcina went deep into April of the 1998 season before drawing his first walk, and proudly stated that it was a goal of his to not walk all season. He believed he was a better hitter when hacking away and being "aggressive". DiSarcina’s career OBP of .291 and five full seasons of .294 or lower haven’t deterred him, or moved the Angel coaching staff to dissuade him of the notion. So in honor of our misguided friend, I’ve elected to establish the DiSar Awards.
—Joe Sheehan, 2000
On Friday, with one out in the eighth inning of the Braves' 9-8 victory over the Rockies, Kris Medlen threw a 3-1 fastball up and in to Ramon Hernandez, and the Rockies catcher took it for a ball. It was Hernandez’ first walk of the season, in his 67th plate appearance. That is the longest stretch without a walk by any player to start this season, which means Ramon Hernandez is the DiSars leader in the clubhouse.
The situation: The slumping Angels could simply wait no longer. Despite all of the roster difficulties created by the Albert Pujols signing, the team finally solved them by flat-out releasing what's left of Bobby Abreu and giving Trout the call after the 20-year-old hit a whopping .403/.467/.623 in 20 games for Triple-A Salt Lake.
Rounding out the NL East and turning the antics in Wrigleyville.
Obvious Good Move: Nothing in particular. With so many of the usual suspects summoned up for their third or fourth or fifth spin in Wrigleyville, it isn't like these guys don't know their way around the cramped clubhouse, or the names of the guys already here. Maine might come in handy as an extra lefty, but his rates at Iowa were bass-ackwards. Welington Castillo should get a few more reps behind the plate with Soto done for 2010, not least because there's something sort of depressing about the proposition that Koyie Hill could end up starting a third of your team's games behind the plate, but also because Castillo is a decent prospect who's up after a slugly season for the I-Cubs, with a .243 ISO while gunning down 39 percent of opposing base thieves (to accentuate the positive).