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.
- UCLA is one of the favorites to make a return trip to Omaha this June, in no small part due to a pair of northpaws, Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer. Cole has the potential to be the first overall pick in June, while Bauer is staking his claim to also be included in the first round. Jason Parks ventures to Westwood to get the lowdown on the hurlers looking to put the Bruins on top.
- Mitchell Page departed this world for the pearly outfield gates in the sky last Saturday. Page died just as suddenly as he introduced himself to the majors, leaving behind several mysteries, including an unfinished sentence. Steven Goldman reviews Page’s life and attempts to settle the mysteries, seeing if Page ever got those final words in.
- In a sport where it’s common for teams to share territories and media markets, the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles remain locked in a battle for the local fan base. While both teams have proven willing to sign free agents to show they are committed to winning, neither has had a rousing success in fulfilling the commitment. Matt Swartz examines each team’s recent moves and finds that the difference between being awful and being slightly less sucktacular doesn’t justify the price either team has paid.
- Competent backstops that can mash from either side of the plate are a rare breed, and the Cincinnati Reds have high hopes that 2010 first-rounder Yasmani Grandal will be a long-term fixture in their lineup. David Laurila tracks down the mixed reviews of the Miami product, providing insight on Grandal’s main strengths and weaknesses.
- “Melky Cabrera is in the best shape of his life and is putting on a Ruthian display!” “This is gonna be the year that Brian Bruney puts it together!” Saber-savvy people know that spring training stats are meaningless, especially when the small sample sizes are considered. However, some teams do take stock in them, and roster decisions can come down to playing well during the first few days of play. Ben Lindbergh discusses two players per AL squad whose hot springs may have helped them wrap up a roster spot.
- Jake Peavy’s quest to get healthy seems to be longer than all of the Neverending Story movies put together, but he’s in White Sox camp and preparing for the regular season. He squared off against his former team, the Padres, on March 14. Christina Kahrl was present for the duel and has the latest notes from both camps.
- While the Twins had a relatively quiet winter, the rival White Sox went fishing on the free-agent market and hooked a big bopper in Adam Dunn. However, that was far from the only move made by the teams in the AL Central, so Jeff Euston has the winter wrap-up and the divisional payroll projections.
- Salary arbitration can net even the scrappiest players bigger bucks than they would net as free agents. The parameters for relievers in arbitration are sketchy, but R.J. Anderson attempts to decipher precisely what—aside from saves—will score a ‘pen man major dough in arbitration.
- Dealing Adrian Gonzalez to Boston stripped San Diego of their monster masher and will make it difficult for them to make another run at the division crown. Yet the Padres are sure that they will still be major players in the NL West. John Perrotto has the scoop from Peoria.
- With less than two weeks until Opening Day, the Brew Crew is having a ton of trouble with keeping players healthy. Zack Greinke cracked a rib playing hoops, and Shaun Marcum left his most recent start with shoulder tightness. Is this team destined to be doomed by injuries, or will Milwaukee pull it together? Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin break down the roster’s risky players in the Brewers’ Team Injury Projection.
- While Milwaukee is busy wrapping its players in bubble wrap, Minnesota is sorting through starting pitching options. However, like the Brewers, the Twins have some injury concerns of their own. Corey and Marc return to take a look at the Twins’ injury risk.
- Roster cuts are coming faster than lockers can be cleaned out, but that hasn’t stopped the Christina the Transaction Queen from keeping up with the latest trimmings. With the help of Steven Wright, Christina updates us on who is on the way to minor-league camp or hitting the free-agent market.
- The devastation of the 9.0 earthquake in Japan sent shockwaves around the world, and it also left its mark on baseball. From Japanese players playing in America to Americans playing in Japan, the impact of quake has shaken up families, stadiums, and cities. As Jay Jaffe explains, the effects have been especially strong for a couple of major leaguers.
- Now that he’s assured of a spot in the Twins’ rotation, Brian Duensing can set his sights on his first start. However, as David discovers, he’s not quite ready to begin the season.
- Though the Brewers have some prime offensive contributors, it’s not surprising to see them make a few Dr. Strangeglove-esque miscues in the field. Larry Granillo discusses the defensive situation in the NL Central, checking in on whose gloves are made of iron and whose gloves are golden.
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and we’ll see you here again on Monday. Remember, we’re only about two weeks away from Opening Day!