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.
- Winning 85 games should be enough to catapult a team to the verge of contention. General managers might spend the offseason shopping like Lindsay Lohan in a jewelry store. OK, no five-finger discounts, but GMs would likely look for hot buys. However, Toronto’s head honcho, Alex Anthopolous spent the winter shuttling two of his club’s top contributors, Vernon Wells and Shaun Marcum, out of Canada. Tommy Bennett breaks down the logistics of the Blue Jays’ offseason and whether their decisions were wise.
- Perhaps now the Phillies will feel the pain of not signing a second nine-figure deal during the offseason. As Steve Goldman explains, now that Domonic Brown’s hamate bone has snapped, Philadelphia will be forced to go to Ben Francisco, who may have a flower in his hair, but won’t bloom in full-time duty.
- The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference took place last week, giving baseball nerds ample opportunity to quench their fancy. David Laurila grabbed the chance to speak to BP alum Jonah Keri, John Abbamondi, the San Diego Padres’ vice president of strategy and business analysis, and Arizona Diamondbacks scout Joe Bohringer about sharing ideas, scouting and stats, and how the Rays work.
- Sure, it’s handy to look at stats when you’re planning your next fantasy league team, but what should your tiebreaker be if you can’t decide who to draft? Ken Funck says that his is great names and takes a spin through baseball history to find some of the best player names and monikers.
- The Yankees’ second-best prospect, Manny Banuelos, has been so impressive in camp that Mariano Rivera says he is the “best prospect [I] have ever seen.” The southpaw has excellent control, but is he willing to pitch inside to right-handed batters? R.J. Anderson is on the case.
- If you just tuned into baseball news a couple of weeks ago, you’d think that the NL Central has been one of the most active divisions. Instead, Milwaukee was the lone team making consistent headlines over the winter. Jeff Euston delves into the payroll projections for each club.
- Andre Ethier doesn’t excel at any one aspect of the game that gets fantasy mavens raving, yet the outfielder is constantly selected early in drafts. Marc Normandin discusses his beef with the way Ethier is overrated in fantasy leagues.
- Nick Markakis spoke out about his displeasure with the Orioles last year. After giving owner Peter Angelos a ring, the right fielder has been thrilled with the direction the club has gone in. John Perrotto snatched the scoop in Florida.
- Commissioner Bud Selig has had a tentative tenure, with steroids, an All-Star Game makeover, revenue-sharing, and a player strike just a few of the plethora of ups and down on his roller-coaster ride. Through it all, the ol’ Commish’s transparency about baseball’s issues has been murky at best. Emma Span details Selig’s secretive nature and uneven decision-making.
- While the Cubs and Royals probably won’t be marching toward October baseball this year, taking in a contest between the teams provides an abundance of flashbacks and quirks to examine. Christina Kahrl contemplated the past, present, and future of both franchises and their players while settled in HoHoKam Stadium’s press box.
- Some managers are set in their ways. “But I have to have a speedy guy atop the order!” one may exclaim, despite the fact his burner has a sub-.300 OBP. “He ain’t in a slump,” another may say, channeling his inner Yogi. “He just ain’t hittin’.” However, as R.J. Anderson shows, good skippers limit the opportunities of their worst players.
- Justin Masterson has been heaped with expectations and projections before, yet he never seems to stack up to the actual success that another pitcher, Randy Wells, has had. Camped out in Arizona, Christina muses about the lack of love for Wells and has some notes from the Cubs and Tribe camps.
- The Mets have been decimated by injuries over the last couple of years, so are there any signs of a healthier future? Corey Dawkins and Marc project the likelihood of each Amazin’ incurring injury in 2011.
- Scouts and team executives give Grant Green a reception similar to that one Katy Perry song: “You’re hot and you’re cold; you’re yes and you're no…” In other words, some are warm for his form (no, not like that), while others see him as a ginormous question mark. David Laurila tracks down the differing opinions on the A’s shortstop prospect.
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