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.
- Alexi Ogando’s path to the majors had a few more bumps than Route 66: He began his career as an outfielder and had his visa privileges revoked after getting caught in a human trafficking ring. Now the newly-minted starter is making his name in the Rangers’ rotation, though as Jay Jaffe writes, when he met CC Sabathia and the Yankees on Sunday night, Ogando found out what it’s like to tango with the Bronx Bombers and a rocky Rhodes.
- The fragile Grady Sizemore made a triumphant return to Cleveland with a home run, but the Indians would do well to wrap their outfielder in bubble wrap. But despite that bit of happy news, a slew of players hit the disabled list over the weekend. Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin catch us up on the latest sprains, strains, and spasms in the majors.
- When starter Brian Matusz went down with a strained intercostal muscle, the Orioles summoned their second-best prospect, Zach Britton, to the majors. He has done well so far, with a 2-1 record and a tidy 2.75 ERA. As John Perrotto finds out, the young hurler has impressed both his manager and his teammates with his poise and stuff.
- Before the start of the regular season, Major League Baseball decided that the apparently unbreakable Gazoo helmets alone were not enough to combat concussions, so a special seven-day disabled list was born. When the announcement was made, the new DL was just one of several major points agreed upon by MLB and the MLB Players Association. Corey and Marc have the details of the measures and describe the importance of the rule.
- Despite a tough week, Cliff Lee and the Phillies got back on track and are still the kings of the NL East, while the Mets continue to freefall. Those may reflect the extremes, so how are the National League’s other teams faring? Jay has the answer in this week’s Hit List.
- Giants fan Bryan Stow was brutally beaten and suffered major brain damage on Opening Day while leaving the Giants-Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium. The treatment Stow and his friends suffered during and after the contest constitute just one incident of several violent ballpark clashes this year. This brutality needs to stop, Jeff Euston says, and there is something every fan can do to support Stow and to help curb future assaults.
- It’s no surprise that the Yankees’ rotation is in a constant state of flux, rife with bipolar performances and disappointments. The team brought pitching coach Larry Rothschild into the fold to try to stabilize their staff, and he has a few projects to work on in Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. David discusses the latest in the Yankees’ rotation, as well as Rothschild’s use of statistical analysis, in a Q&A with the coach.
- Ubaldo Jimenez was the toast of the Rocky Mountains last year whilst posting a sub-1.50 ERA and tossing a no-hitter during the early months of the season. Despite tailing off in the second half, Jimenez faces even greater expectations this year. However, as John discovers, the Rockies believe Jimenez will be more consistent and the rest of the pitching staff will round into form.
- Sometimes what looks to be real just ain’t there. Such is the case with batting averages, which can be inflated with a few dinky singles slipped between Derek Jeter’s wickets. Who are the players with the most empty calories in their batting averages in the early going? Ben Lindbergh investigates the .300 hitters who aren’t what they appear.
- Despite an unsteady offense and a pitching staff that doesn’t overwhelm with awesomeness, the Angels are steadily climbing the AL West charts. Meanwhile, the humidity in Texas has caught the Rangers wilting, allowing for Anaheim’s ascent toward the top of the standings. Joey Matschulat examines the Mike Scioscia “magic” and why his team has been thriving.
- The emergence of Jed Lowrie at shortstop has made his stock skyrocket in fantasy leagues. Though the work he has done is mind-boggling, the numbers he has had since last July have shown him actually outperforming Troy Tulowitzki in True Average. But if Lowrie is already snapped up in your fantasy league, there are still some players out there who can help out your team. Marc gives tips on which players may be worth a gamble.
- Major League Baseball is pushing forward with the idea of having 10 playoff teams—one-third of the league. Adding teams to the October picture is a move that would cheapen the victory for the eventual champion (what are 162 games played for?), but what would fans think of the move? Tommy Bennett removes his analyst cap and pictures the thoughts of the masses.
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and a happy Easter and Passover (to those who are celebrating). See you next week!