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.
- Old Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium bridges the young, the old, and the immortal Yo–… Clay Bellinger? Seriously? The Bombers took on the Texas Rangers after the Yankees Reunion Special (which included former skipper Joe Torre), and handily disposed of Nolan Ryan’s crew. Jay Jaffe was on the scene for the stars and scrubs scene and has all the details.
- For years, Coors Field was where dying bats would go to be revived by the magic of high altitudes. Coors’ hitter-friendly environment has been a huge help to the Rockies’ respective ballclubs, but lately, they’ve had a difficult time figuring out how to win at home, taking away one of the biggest home-field advantages in baseball. On the other side of the NL West, the San Diego Padres are also having difficulties winning at home, though their hitting environment is completely different from Colorado. Geoff Young tracks the two teams and tries to discover why they are having so many problems playing in front of the home crowd.
- You can only go as far as your pitching staff will take you, and for the Braves, that has been a blessing this season. The club’s recent surge comes thanks in part to stellar performances from youngsters Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor, and there is more pitching help on the horizon. Meanwhile, Tommy Bennett shows that Disastropiece Theatre is back in session, as Houston has too many problems for mission control to fathom.
- The big news last week was then-Nationals manager Jim Riggleman’s decision to skip town because the club had not picked up his contract option for 2012. His replacement, Davey Johnson, continues the trend of older baseball men coming back into the game. R.J. Anderson profiles Johnson’s career and what his hiring means for Washington.
- While the fiasco in DC has revolved around the Nationals’ management situation, the team’s recent hot streak has been largely ignored. Thanks to some contributions from franchise players and a balanced roster, the team had a streak of 12 victories in 14 games. Michael Jong says Washington’s days as the national floorboard could soon be over.
- In the Brewers’ skipper office, there’s a guy named Melvin, who doesn’t pretend that adjustments aren’t needed when managing a team throwing all of its cards into the pot for a run at October. Despite a three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees in their most recent series, Milwaukee’s Doug Melvin tells Marc Carig he has faith in his club and appreciates the front office’s aggressive move over the winter.
- HitTracker can be a helpful tool in discovering average home-run distance, but it’s not all-telling, and there are some major flaws in the technology. For instance, what happens when a player’s fly dies on the warning track, while another eeps over the fence for a tater? Derek Carty tries to make sense of when to use HitTracker and its uses in player evaluation.
- The Yankees’ shortstop situation is interesting: Derek Jeter is rehabbing a bum calf muscle in Florida, and while replacement Eduardo Nunez hasn’t embarrassed himself at the dish, his play in the field almost has Yankees fans praying for the day the Cap’n and his rangeless glove return to the lineup. There are some options for general manager Brian Cashman to consider on the trade market, including the crosstown rival Mets’ Jose Reyes. Though Cashman denies interest in Reyes, Ben Kabak believes that New York’s GM may want to reconsider.
- With the American and National League All-Star teams set to be revealed soon, and baseball fans across the country will prepare to scream about East Coast bias and super snubs. But the Baseball Prospectus team marches on, hard hats and lineup ballot cards in hand, divulging some staff selections for each circuit’s team.
- When Buck Showalter took over the wingless Orioles last season, he became the toast of Baltimore as the club pitched its way through a second-half surge. That same success has not carried over into 2011; Baltimore again finds itself a cellar dweller in the AL East. Fans and players alike are tired of the losing, and as John Perrotto finds out, Showalter believes there are several key factors into his team’s lack of success.
It’s a holiday weekend—no, we’re not quite at the All-Star break yet—so take a little time off, enjoy some sun, surf, and fireworks and, of course, some good ol’ baseball. Check back on Tuesday for the latest in hardball, and have a safe and happy Fourth of July.