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.
- Things may be coming together in the Red Sox’ rotation (non-John Lackey division), but several position players have dived onto the disabled list, leaving Boston to scramble for suitable replacements as it tries to maintain their grip on first place in the AL East. Meanwhile, Minnesota makes it through an entire week unscathed, but was it enough to climb out of the cellar of Tommy Bennett’s AL Hit List?
- If a pitcher spends a year getting battered harder than Jose Canseco (or any of his confederates) in the boxing ring, chances are his BABIP and fly-ball rates skyrocketed during the course of the season. How long will it take before his stats regress to the mean, though? In the second part of his series re-examining BP alum Russell Carleton’s initial study, Derek Carty checks in on pitching stats and how long it takes for them to stabilize.
- The largest component of any BP annual is the player comments, which are chock full of interesting nuggets of information about a player’s past performance and expected stats. Putting a spin on the annual, Ken Funck lays down some poems about several players, including lines from BP2011 to help describe the player’s career.
- There’s no way to put it lightly: The Marlins have absolutely sucked this month. With his team only managing to secure a single victory in June, manager Edwin Rodriguez stepped aside on Sunday in favor of 80-year-old Jack McKeon. With that much suckitude in South Florida, is there any way to quantify just how awful the Fish have been? Look away, Marlins fans; Michael Jong has your answer.
- Some things aren’t meant to be. Before the season, nobody on the Baseball Prospectus staff pegged the Indians to finish higher than fourth place in the AL Central. Though the Tribe trounced the competition out of the gate, they have cooled off lately and are left clinging to a slim lead on the surging Tigers. John Perrotto pops through Cleveland and finds that despite the swoon, the Indians believe they can still take the division.
- Talk of interleague play spurs a variety of reactions, from the purists who want each circuit to play in one league to those who enjoy seeing the mixed competition. When a game is played on National League turf, a pitcher is forced to bat, much to the chagrin of AL clubs (the Yankees and Chien-Ming Wang, anyone?). Which hurlers have shown themselves most capable of handling the lumber? Marc Carig has the scoop.
- The big news out of the nation’s capital on Thursday came in Nationals manager Jim Riggleman’s resignation due to a disgruntled view of his contract situation. Did Riggleman skip town before seeing the end to the Nationals nightmare, though? Jay Jaffe examines the case.
- The surprising Arizona Diamondbacks are locked in a bitter battle for first place with the defending champion San Francisco Giants. While the Gigantescos have a major advantage when it comes to the starting rotation, their offense leaves much to be desired. Geoff Young notes that San Francisco will need its underperforming veterans to step up to defend their title.
- The grudge match between pitchers and hitters is eternal; one will always emerge the victor, but that changes with every game. Who is winning the current battle? Jeremy Greenhouse analyzes the trends over time.
- When it comes to fantasy baseball, having a winning staff is obviously important. But should a fantasy player seek to nab pitchers with winning records rather than search for pitcher quality? Derek says that chasing wins is a bad idea.
- Thanks to the massive mashing by Jose Bautista, the Blue Jays are flying high when it comes to knocking balls out of the park. Their lineup has been confounding in how it scores runs for the last two years, though, and as R.J. Anderson explains, it is now showing up in their batter splits.
- Some people aren’t blessed with patience, which can make it difficult to manage a franchise like the Washington Nationals, who have dwelled at or near the bottom of the NL East for years. But with his team on a hot streak, manager Jim Riggleman handed over his resignation, sending shockwaves around the baseball circuit. As Steven Goldman writes, Riggleman’s move wasn’t unprecedented, and the ex-skipper best hope his career landscape doesn’t mimic that of his predecessor.
- The Twins have been felled by injuries and effectiveness all season, but it’s not as though the team looked bulletproof from the outset; general manager Bill Smith failed to provide his team with adequate support and replacements, particularly on the bench. Christina Kahrl tackles what went wrong in Twinkietown and shows that even a broken crystal ball isn’t an excuse for the way the team was organized.
A couple manager resignations, a couple firings, another bad week on the McCourt front… all in a typical baseball week, no? Rest up for some more baseball action next week, and have a great weekend!