Archive for April, 2013

Bullpen Report: April 30, 2013

April showers bring May flowers, and the last Bullpen Report of April.

• With Joel Hanrahan on the DL, Andrew Bailey has done quite well saving five games with a 1.78 FIP and a stellar 42.6% K%. There has been speculation on who will close once Hanrahan returns, and now that he’s back the latest seems to be that Bailey will continue to close. Sean McAdam says that’s the plan “for now” and that both are “on board with the arrangement.” I suppose if Hanrahan turns it around in the seventh and eighth innings that he could reclaim the ninth, but with the way Bailey is pitching it’s hard to say that’s a likely scenario. Bailey is no beacon of health, and Hanrahan’s return as well as the great depth in the Sox pen (Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa) might lead to a Hanrahan opportunity to keep Bailey fresh, but my guess is Bailey keeps the job all year.

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RotoGraphs Audio: The Sleeper and the Bust 4/30/13

Episode 6
Today’s episode of The Sleeper and the Bust stars yours truly and features RotoGraphs editor Eno Sarris. We talk injury concerns, a potential future star at third base and a pair of disappointing pitchers.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @mikepodhorzer or @enosarris on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via the feed. iTunes coming soon.

Approximately 38 min of joyous analysis.

Aaron Hicks: Waiver Wire

There are good weeks, there are bad weeks, and then there are weeks like the two Aaron Hicks (owned in 1.2 percent of ESPN leagues and 3 percent of Yahoo! leagues) had to start the season. His .042/.179/.042 line over the first 13 games of the season was marred by 20 strikeouts in 56 PAs, and he reached base more often via error (3) than he did by getting a hit (2). It’s not exactly a line that breeds confidence. He managed to be driven in six times, which is somewhat impressive given his incredibly low batting average, and was largely due to the fact that even though he wasn’t hitting, he did walk in 14 percent of his plate appearance.

His ownership started slipping, for obvious reasons, right about the same time there were rumblings that Hicks may need a stint in Triple-A to improve his eye. The Twins did decide that Hicks should no longer lead off, but elected to keep him in the majors. Three games after he was dropped from the leadoff spot in the Twins’ order, Hicks started hitting. Heading into Monday’s game, Hicks had been hitting .300/.375/.350 with just four strikeouts in just 24 PAs. Monday night, he struggled against Max Scherzer, but that’s hardly a unique issue. If that’s the criteria for success or failure, better players than Hicks would fall into that second category. Read the rest of this entry »

The New Nate McLouth

Dude is 31 years old. Nate McLouth probably isn’t a new player. But there are reasons to believe in him, to believe in the changes he’s made.

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Know When to Fold’em

Last week, I sent out a tweet (Follow me! @chadyoung) asking readers & ottoneu enthusiasts what they wanted to see in this space this week. Amidst a handful of “should I trade this guy for that guy” responses, came this:

‏@ChikeErokwu: How/when do you know you’re a contender for the year? Is there a point/date benchmark? I’d like to see a story about that.

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The Luckiest BABIPers

Last summer, Jeff Zimmerman updated the xBABIP formula and provided a spreadsheet calculator to perform the dirty work. So with a month of the season in the books, let’s take a look at the hitter’s who have outperformed their xBABIP marks the most. It would be easy to simply sort by BABIP and note that the .400+ guys won’t maintain that pace, but it’s very possible that their batted ball profile supports a BABIP above .350. You wouldn’t know that without the calculator.

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Roto Riteup: April 30, 2013

On this day 20 years ago, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to everyone. Let that sink in as you read this on your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.

On today’s agenda:

1. The return of Hanley Ramirez
2. Brandon Beachy watch
3. Wilson Ramos is back
4. Friendly reminder regarding Carlos Ruiz
5. Stephen Strasburg’s forearm tigthness
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Bullpen Report: April 29, 2013

Craig Kimbrel locked down his 9th save on 10 pitches tonight in a 3-2 Braves victory over the Nationals. The right-hander whiffed just one batter in the top of the ninth-inning resulting in a dip of his K% from 38.9% to 38.5% on the season. Oof. Kimbrel is now 9-of-10 in save opportunities with a 1.69 ERA (1.03 FIP) on the year. But the narrative shouldn’t just be about ninth-inning man here. Fredi Gonazlez summonsed both Jordan Walden and Eric O’Flaherty from the ‘pen prior to calling on the closer. Combined, Walden and O’Flaherty dished 2.2 clean innings while fanning five Nationals. Entering tonight, the Braves bullpen held a 2.18 ERA (2.84 FIP) in 70.1 IP. Not bad.

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MASH Report (3/29/13)

Today, I am going to take a look at the fastball speeds and other traits for three pitchers returning from the DL.

Sean Marshall’s velocity is down almost 2 MPH from 2012 (90.8 to 89.0 mph) after returning from the DL for shoulder discomfort.

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Let’s Talk About Justin Masterson

Perhaps I should have written this piece last week. Because last week, Justin Masterson had a sub-two ERA and people were talking about him and his new approach against lefties. Then again, this week he still has a 2.25 ERA and he’s ostensibly the same person. That’s the whole problem with believing in him, though — he’s still the same person.

In order to believe in change in an established pitcher, I want to see something change. Velocity. Pitching mix. Pitch usage. The quality of a pitch. First-pitch strikes.

I see none of these changes in Masterson, and least not at a level that would make me interested in a mixed league.

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