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.
- She was the first woman heard over WFAN’s airwaves, and now Suzyn Waldman continues to bust sex and gender barriers as a play-by-play commentator for the New York Yankees. Through it all, she has had to endure sexism and resentment, but as David Laurila discovers, she’s happy with her position and enjoys doing broadcasts with partner John Sterling.
- Let’s party like it’s 2005! After going dumpster diving over the winter and recovering Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, the Yankees are riding high atop the AL East. Meanwhile, despite solid starts from Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda, the Mariners still refuse to find ways to score runs on most days and take their position as cellar dwellers in Jay Jaffe’s AL Hit List rankings.
- Some pitchers thrive off of the whiff, but for other pitchers, killing worms and getting a second career in the fish bait industry is the way to go. Twins ace Francisco Liriano has strikeout stuff, but he also has a strong ability to induce contact. So which route is the best one for the left-hander to choose? Colin Wyers is on the case.
- At the start of a game, it’s not unusual to hear a loud pop as a heater makes contact with the catcher’s mitt—pitchers usually try to establish the strike zone early with their fastballs. But is it possible that pitching backward—starting with the off-speed stuff and then pounding the fastball later in the game is a more effective game strategy? R.J. Anderson checks the numbers to see which pitchers are most effective by starting with off-speed pitches.
- The Phillies are set with a rotation of four aces plus Joe Blanton, and the club has been riding the staff’s fantastic pitching to the top of the NL Hit List rankings. As Tommy Bennett writes, the Marlins are on their way up even without Logan Morrison, and the Astros… well, they won’t be shooting for the stars anytime soon.
- Though it’s great to have players who are the epitome of grittiness and guttiness, those whose gloves exceed the contributions of their lumber, is it better to have the better leather? Jay crushes the hearts of those who insist glovely players are more desirable by concluding that having some sock in the bat is a greater advantage.
- Brett Gardner had a huge year for the Yankees last season, contributing at the dish and working the count, and in the field by speeding around the outfield. This year, though, the left fielder has looked lost. On the flip side, Astros burner Michael Bourn is thriving. Michael Jong examines the case of the two speedsters and why it seems one seems to be running through the signs.
- Going into the season, baseball experts (and non-experts) reached a consensus that the Mariners weren’t going to score many runs this year. Nearly a month into the season, Seattle has done nada to change that opinion, and the Athletics are joining them in the non-scoring department. They’re not alone in singing the blues; as Joey Matschulat says, the Rangers can’t get no satisfaction with their relief corps.
- Riding the spectacular whiffability of Mark Reynolds, the Arizona Diamondbacks shattered all strikeout records last season on their way to a last-place finish in the NL West. They also couldn’t find anyone to close out games, making a call to the bullpen quite like trying to diffuse a bomb blindfolded. However, Ben Lindbergh says new GM Kevin Towers may have lifted the shades on the team’s shortcomings from last season.
- Jered Weaver had a huge year in Anaheim last year, giving the Angels something to celebrate in a mostly gloomy campaign. Back on the rubber this year, the right-hander is dominating once again, and doing it better than any hurler in the majors. Jeremy Greenhouse checks in to see how Weaver is unweaving the opposition with ease.
- Since Alex Anthopoulos took over as the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, he has had to orchestrate the trade of his ace, but he has also managed to dump two albatross contracts on other teams. With a background in scouting, Anthopoulos has enjoyed the opportunity to acquire youngsters and check out the action before they’re drafted. David sits down with Anthopoulos to discuss his organizational philosophy, use of statistics, and his love of scouting.
- It came down to the last day of the season, but the San Francisco Giants scooted into the playoffs as the NL West champions and went on to win their first World Series on the West Coast. After a mostly quiet winter, the team is off to a slow start in 2011, but as John Perrotto finds out, those around the club are hopeful they’ll be able to recapture their magic from a year ago.
Be sure to tune into the Royal wed—no, that’s not it. Remember, the NFL dra—yeah, that’s not right, either. Have a fantastic weekend, take in some of America’s pastime, and we’ll see you here on Monday!