Here at Baseball Prospectus, we are dedicated to providing you with oodles of cutting-edge sabermetric analysis and keeping our finger on the pulse of the baseball world. With a slew of daily articles, it’s easy for one piece to get lost in the shuffle or for you to overlook a post while you’re busy hiding your monitor from your boss. Just in case this happens to be your situation, here’s what you might have missed this week at BP.
Sad news broke on Sunday afternoon when it was announced that Duke Snider, one of Roger Kahn and the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Boys of Summer, died at age 84. Monday, Jay Jaffe broke down the Hall of Famer’s road to the majors, detailed his illustrious major-league career, and highlighted the time he nearly walked away from the game.
- Spring training’s arrival means that hope is in the air; teams are turning that metaphoric new page, and even the Pirates and their fans can speak optimistically about their chances of winning for an entire month. But honestly, do all clubs have a legit shot at post-season glory? Tommy Bennett is on the case.
- With all of the glum day-after chatter about James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s Oscar hosting performances, there was a definite need for a pick-me-up. Christina Kahrl seized the opportunity to go Hollywood and find 10 examples of baseball movies that should be made.
- If your appetite for Vegas wasn’t appeased after last week, no worries; Ken Funck has returned to the land where lights aren’t the only things that are flashing to set the over/under on National League player performances. He also sets up the opportunity for you to win a signed copy of BP 2012.
- BP has seen major expansions since its humble, pre-Cardinals chapter beginnings. But who has been responsible for keeping the site chugging along as the little think tank that could? Ben Lindbergh finds one woman has faithfully jabbered for over 10 years, and tracks how over 195 people have been published on the site.
- Breaking news! Did you notice how that one player totally wore the wrong color, offending the general population and making it look like he had gained about 20 pounds? Sure you do; 20 beat writers tweeted it immediately. Emma Span explains how social media has helped blow minute fluff spring stories out of proportion.
- The somewhat less paunchy Panda isn’t the only one who has something to prove in the NL West this year. Geoff Young discusses how each of the hot cornermen in the division could prove to be major disappointments.
- The Red Sox won the winter with a spending spree that lured Carl Crawford to Boston and a blockbuster deal that brought Adrian Gonzalez into the fold as well. But they weren’t the only team handing out contracts in the East. Jeff Euston delves into the payroll projections for the rest of the teams in the Beast of the East.
- With no cases of sproingy elbow or other catastrophic injuries to write up, Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin seized the chance to discuss the lower half of the body, concentrating on common leg injuries.
- Some teams will throw money at those tough, grizzled veterans of the mound to solidify their bullpens (see Soriano, Rafael). Yet there is an art to picking the best collection of arms, and Christina points out that sometimes it’s best for teams to wait to make their selections.
- Many clubs keep their moundsmen on strict pitch counts to preserve their golden arms. Some guys can find new life after 100 pitches, but others have a significant dropoff in velocity late in games. Jeremy Greenhouse delved deeper into this phenomenon, arguing that pitchers should be taken out at the 100-pitch mark.
- It is usually those who are anointed “Staff Ace” that get tabbed for Opening Day assignments. Ben Lindbergh points out sometimes that designation is premature as, more often than not, those who start the first game of the season do not wind up as a team’s most valuable hurler.
- Since the Cubs selected him in the first round of the 2009 draft, Brett Jackson has impressed both scouts and Kevin Goldstein alike with solid tools and a quick ascent through the farm system. David Laurila tracks down scouts, executives, and Tim Wilken, the Cubs’ scouting director, for the lowdown on the fast-rising burner.
- While most of the NL Central news has come from Red Bird camp lately, there are still five other teams in the division. Larry Granillo runs through several players who are using the spring to try to prove they’ll be valuable commodities for their respective squads.
- Despite losing several significant contributors to their AL East title-winning team via free agency, the Rays still picked up a few intriguing players over the winter. Manager Joe Maddon tells John Perrotto that despite what rival teams have done to gain an edge, his club is still the one to beat.
Have a wonderful weekend, take in a few ballgames, and maybe even venture outside if the weather permits. We’ll see you again on Monday!