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.
- Coming into the season, the Baseball Prospectus staff figured the Twins and White Sox would be duking it out atop the AL Central all season; the Tigers were largely seen as third-place finishers. Despite having one of the best pitchers, Justin Verlander, and hitters, Miguel Cabrera, on their squad, the Motor City Kitties are now hovering near the break-even mark but have their claws clenched on second place. John Perrotto points out that a gloomy bullpen situation is keeping Detroit from living up to its potential.
- Baseball lost one of its finest last week with the passing of former Twins great Harmon Killebrew, and Minnesota’s mucky record hasn’t alleviated any heavy hearts in the Twin Cities. But on the day of his death, the Twins kicked off a three-game win streak. However, the modest streak wasn’t enough to pull them out of the AL Central cellar, nor the basement of Jay Jaffe’s AL Hit List rankings.
- The weather in the Midwest has been devastating, but the Cardinals were rolling off the wins thanks to stellar pitching and Albert Pujols’ first home run in a month. But was a 6-1 record over the last week enough to send the Red Birds to the top of the NL Hit List rankings and topple the Phillies? Tommy Bennett has the answer.
- The Pirates haven’t had a winning season since the early ‘90s, and the team has been “rebuilding” since forever, yet sometimes management is willing to make questionable deals to have a mediocre—rather than a putrid—showing in the standings. But since Pittsburgh already finds itself far outside the NL Central race, is it time for the team to trade some players who don’t have potential to be a part of that “next great team” to stockpile youngsters? R.J. Anderson takes a look at the ‘Burgh’s catch-22.
- There are some seasons that will long live in baseball lore: the season Babe Ruth hit 60 homers, Mickey Mantle’s triple crown year, Ted Williams hitting .406, and Barry Bonds’ 73-homer season are just a few. How do these masterpieces stack up to each other on the all-time annotated WARP list? Steve Goldman delivers the top 20 seasons, then delves into the 21st-31st best seasons.
- The fight for the AL East crown is in full swing, as the Red Sox and Rays have rebounded from unsightly starts to challenge the Yankees. But now the Red Sox and Yankees have to cope with the loss of some major contributors missing from their rosters. As Ben Kabak finds, with both teams facing multiple pitching problems they’re forced to turn to some unexpected sources for stability.
- If baseball fans didn’t know who Fred Wilpon was last week, they surely heard his name tossed about this week. After giving a couple of high-profile interviews in which he threw some of his top players under the bus, there have been questions as to whether the Mets will have a fire sale, and if so, how much potential trades will be affected by Wilpon’s comments. Neil deMause examines the logistics of the Mets selling their stars, and also discusses whether these recent revelations help prove Wilpon knew nothing of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
- The Rangers and Phillies had reason to celebrate this week, as both teams welcomed top contributors back from the disabled list. Meanwhile, the Rays and the Diamondbacks looked for new sources to contribute to their respective clubs. For all of the latest transactions, you have to check out Ben Lindbergh’s Transaction Analysis.
- As it turns out, New York wasn’t the only sight of some mud-slinging this past week. On the West Coast, Brian Fuentes and Huston Street cut into Oakland manager Bob Geren and let their displeasure for the skipper be known to the world. Joey Matschulat says if the Athletics stumble, then Geren could find himself out of the Bay Area in short order.
- The latest star to be felled with a major injury was the Giants’ Buster Posey, who suffered a broken ankle and torn ligaments in an ugly play at the plate. Now the backstop is facing surgery and, for now, an unknown recovery time. Corey Dawkins and Ben discuss how Buster got busted, R.A. Dickey’s injured hoof, and Rafael Soriano’s visit with Dr. Andrews in the latest Collateral Damage.
After an eventful week of muck-tossing and injuries, we’re bound for a quiet weekend, right? But if we aren’t, you know BP will be on the case immediately to provide you with the latest coverage over the holidays. Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend (and thank you to all who have served), enjoy some ballgames, and we’ll see you here Monday!