Everyone’s an All-Star for the Braves; the Twins have fallen and can’t get up; and just about everybody’s been better than Lance Carter this season. All this and much more news from Atlanta, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay in your Wednesday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
I had 600 emails–really, 600 even–when I came in early Tuesday morning. Sure, some were spam, some were from meetup.com, and some were in regards to the Charity Auction. Most, predictably, were regarding Corey Patterson. Saying it was mild was an obvious misstep on my part and proof that seeing an injury doesn’t tell the full story. Patterson’s hyperextension tore his left ACL and medial meniscus. Early reports had a torn MCL as well, but those proved false. Patterson’s done for the season and will go under the knife in around a week. The best case scenario is that he’s fully recovered around next year’s spring training and resumes patrolling center in Wrigley.
Allen Barra has written for numerous publications since the late-1970s, including The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, and currently The New York Times. In 2002, Barra authored Clearing the Bases: The Greatest Baseball Debates of the Last Century, which took a refreshing look at some of baseball’s most argued topics. Recently, BP correspondent Alex Belth caught up with Barra to discuss his early days as a writer, the influence of Bill James on his work, and Major League Baseball’s marketing department.
Jamie Moyer is an acquired taste. His fastball couldn’t catch a Ford Festiva at top speed; his curve is good, but it doesn’t have jaw-droppingly sharp movement; he has a unremarkable mound presence, generally stoic and composed; and is listed–ever-so-generously–at six feet, 175 pounds. Watching Moyer face one batter, you’re probably not going to be impressed at all. After two, though, you start to notice exactly how slow he’s throwing, how the change-up hangs up for what seems like entire seconds. Through a game, you’ll see him work location and speeds and most likely come out of the game having pitched well, and probably not notice that he racked up five, six, or maybe even eight strikeouts–each of them on a pitch that you’d expect to see hit in the minors.
Prospectus Triple Play breaks down the effects of the Roberto Alomar and Carl Everett trades in Chicago, looks at St. Louis and teams past with five All-Stars and pedestrian records, and examines the trade market for Texas and Rafael Palmeiro.
At some point, you just have to laugh.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are fading into oblivion, unable to put together much in the way of an inning, never mind an entire game. They’ve scored 14 runs in their last eight contests, or as many as the Diamondbacks tallied in the last five innings of their win on Monday night. They might not reach 300 runs by the All-Star break, a feat I didn’t think was possible in the modern era of late-March starts and league RAs in the mid-4.00s, and they’re on pace to be the first NL team since 1993 to not score 600 runs.
I’ve watched almost every inning of Dodger baseball in July, and I have to say, I deserve something for that. For the past week, the Dodgers have been just as bad as the Tigers–who might be The Worst Team in 40 Years–were back in April…
Welcome to the first installment of Top 10 Prospects, Baseball Prospectus’ weekly look at the 10 best prospects currently active in the minor leagues. Every week, David Cameron will look at those prospects who display the best combination of long-term potential, current performance, historical performance, and minimal risk. He’ll also include a weekly list of Honorable Mentions, and Rising and Falling prospects. Dig in to find out who made the list.
The All-Star teams were named yesterday, announced all at once as part of the new system of choosing the teams in which the players select about half the roster.
It makes for a different kind of analysis, because where in the past the disputes were with the managers and league offices, those entities have been reduced to little more than the job of filling token slots for bad teams and replacing injured players.
No, the interesting picks this year were by the players, who in their first contribution to the process in my lifetime proved themselves to be short-sighted as to the definition of “All-Star” as the people outside the game.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Kenny Williams doesn’t want the Sox to become “Prospects ‘R Us.” Roberto Alomar could use a lesson in MLB Standings. Mike Mussina got his All-Star vote right. Eric Chavez and Miguel Tejada may get taken back to the factory for Re-Neducation. These and other quips in The Week In Quotes.
The normal goal of any rehab start is to get through it without injury, shake off some of the rust, and make another step towards an effective return to the major leagues. In other words, remain healthy. Randy Johnson met every goal in his first rehab start on Saturday, going four perfect innings on 44 pitches. Johnson will make two more starts with Tucscon, each with an increased pitch limit, before returning to the D’back rotation.
Curt Schilling is just ahead of Johnson’s timetable, making one more start in Tucscon, then getting in a start for Arizona just before the ASB. That this start will likely come against the division-leading Giants says a lot about the confidence the organization has in Schilling. Schilling’s rehab start may not have been as dominant, but is was equally as successful and has to not only bother the Giants and the fading-fast Dodgers as well. Danny Bautista and Junior Spivey are also getting closer and the Diamondbacks are beginning to look like the team Joe Garagiola had in his head when the season began…or perhaps he has one more move to make.
The Expos are once again discussing the timetable for Vladimir Guerrero as early August, but the crew in Miami working on Vlad is much more encouraged. I’ll wager that this is just the Expos hedging against a setback, but let’s remember that getting Guerrero back before the non-waiver trading deadline could be important. Lots of teams will be inquiring, even if the Expos say they’re not selling. With Minaya a leading candidate for the Mets GM slot and MLB owning the team, who would stop a deal like that?
Making up for July 4, today’s Prospectus Triple Play is actually a Prospectus Six Pack. The Astros have done a good job of making up for Roy Oswalt’s absence. The Brewers have a beef with Questec. The Expos can rival the Diamondbacks for team heaviest hit by injuries. The A’s need a bat to complement Erubiel Durazo. The Giants have opened up their lead in the NL West thanks to Jerome Williams and friends. The Blue Jays’ Greg Myers deserves an Al-Star berth. These and other news and notes out of Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Oakland, San Francisco, and Toronto in today’s Double Stuft PTP.
The news that Randy Johnson had a setback during his rehab is a bit overblown. Jim Duquette seemed surprised by the reports that Mike Piazza was throwing from a crouch. Eric Chavez had X-rays on his foot Wednesday that came back negative. Trevor Hoffman is playing catch. The Pirates are using Brian Giles in CF. Craig Counsell is close to a return after missing much of the season with a thumb injury. Bad news for Luke Prokopec and his comeback. Will Carroll has all the injury news in today’s Under The Knife.