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.
- Nobody really expected the Mariners to be any good this year, and so far, Seattle hasn’t done anything to alter that perception. Their anemic offense doesn’t even have any Milton Bradley games around to distract it anymore. But, as John Perrotto finds out, manager Eric Wedge still has confidence in his team thanks to ace Felix Hernandez and contributions from Michael Pineda, Justin Smoak, and Ichiro Suzuki.
- There are some players, like Michael Bourn and Brett Gardner, who get the green light on the basepaths because of lightning-quick speed and reflexes. However, some teams still give bumbling baserunners the go-ahead, and in the Year of the Stolen Base, even more players are attempting the 90-yard dash. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke brings an aggressive baserunning strategy to the dugout, but is he running Milwaukee out of games? Larry Granillo checks in with the Brew Crew and teams around the NL Central to see whether some managers would be better off throwing up the stop sign.
- Just because the Brewers may be getting carried away with an emphasis on base running doesn’t mean that some teams aren’t doing it the right way. Royals manager Ned Yost is renewing Kansas City’s dedication to take the extra base and picking times to run. How good are they now? Marc Carig takes a look at the team that ranked 29th last year in EqBRR and finds a significant improvement.
- Pitching is the name of the game, and it’s especially true in the NL West. A division with aces like Clayton Kershaw, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Tim Lincecum is bound to garner headlines, but right now, it’s the ‘pen men who are stealing the show, and not in a good way. Geoff Young examines the crumbling Rockies, soaring Giants, Hong-Chih Kuo’s anxiety issues, and the similar tales of the Diamondbacks and Padres.
- While Eric Hosmer has been the major attraction in Kansas City since his callup a couple weeks ago, he’s starting to gather company from his fellow top prospects. The Royal Revolution is on, and the most obvious change is a functional bullpen, which Mike Petriello says is a comprised of hurlers with strange backgrounds.
- April showers usually mean that the Yankees are trying to work themselves out of the AL East cellar after another slow start. But this year, they dashed out of the gate on the strength of solid pitching and a Mark Teixeira resurgence. But May flowers have dampened the daisies in the Bronx, capped by the Bombers’ six-game losing streak last week. But as Ben Kabak explains, this is great news for the Red Sox and Rays, who both got off to atrocious starts and suddenly find themselves in the thick of the division race.
- It’s not often that scouts come across a Wizard of Oz in the field, but when these diamond defenders appear, you’ll start to see foam on the sides of Jason Parks’ mouth. So what do scouts look for when they’re examining the glove work, aside from more mobility than a brick wall? Jason takes you inside a scout’s head and discusses fielding for position prospects.
- Only a month’s worth of games isn’t enough to decide a division (well, unless you’re a Mariners or Astros fan, in which case… our sympathies.), and this is especially true in the AL West. But while the Mariners lick their metaphorical wounds, Joey Matschulat points out that the Athletics, Angels, and Rangers are caught in a dogfight while trying to patch their physical wounds.
- The hurts keep on coming as teams duke it out in baseball’s second month. As Marc Normandin and Corey Dawkins show, the Cardinals had their wings clipped by hamstring injuries to a couple boppers, the A’s are reeling in the rotation, and balls to the noggin have teams ducking for cover.
- It’s not a fun time to be an Astros fan. The big-league club is atrocious, and the farm system will be no help for the foreseeable future. But soon there will be new ownership in Houston, and the incoming Jim Crane knows that rebuilding is in his future. John Perrotto gets the lowdown from Crane and also says that Brett Wallace may be turning into a building block for the Astros to build on.
As we speed toward summer, the weather and division competition are heating up in baseball. Enjoy some ballgames, your weekend, and (hopefully) some sunshine. See you Monday!