Arizona Diamondbacks first-round pick Barret Loux will become a free agent on Sept. 1 as part of an agreement approved by commissioner Bud Selig. The Diamondbacks selected the right-hander from Texas A&M with the sixth-overall pick in June’s amateur draft, but he did not sign due to health concerns by the club.
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In case you haven’t noticed, the Atlanta Braves are beating people senseless at Turner Field. The Braves’ 42-16 record at home is best in the majors and Atlanta shows no signs of slowing down. The main reasons for the Braves home success is their pitching. The Braves rank third in the National League in home [...]
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This will most definitely come as a surprise to many people. There had been a few instances on YES Network where they had talked about how good the bullpen has been in the past week or so. I took a further look back. Look at the following bullpen numbers for each member of our esteemed ?pen (other than Mariano Rivera).
Joba Chamberlain: 9.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO (Since July 28th)
David Robertson: 15.2 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 9 BB, 22 SO (Since July 4th)
Chad Gaudin: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO (Since July 23rd)
Sergio Mitre: 9.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO (Since July 28th)
Kerry Wood: 8.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 11 SO (Since August 1st)
Boone Logan: 19.0 IP, 12 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 18 SO (Since MAY 23RD)
Let?s be honest with each other, these are extremely impressive statistics. Obviously, not all the pitchers have been clicking on all cylinders at the exact same times. However, they?ve all shaped into form at the same time and have been truly dominant.
Ever since July 30th, the Yankee bullpen has pitched 45.1 innings and surrendered only 5 earned runs. Yes, that is an ERA of 0.99 (or you might round that up to 1.00). That is UNBELIEVABLE. To say that the Yankee bullpen is the weak-point of the team would be merely a lie at this point in time. Yet the Yankees are 7-10 during the time period of bullpen dominance. What gives?
Well, the Yankees have not scored any runs. They have averaged only 3.875 runs per game in that time period (62 runs over 16 games) and starters have allowed 58 runs out of 63 total runs. Essentially, the Yankee offense has been dormant and the starters have been inconsistent. Imagine how much worse their record would be over the past 17 games if the bullpen was not in shut-down mode? The close games would have been losses and the Yankees could be looking at a record of 4-13.
Let?s hope the Yankees regain their swing and swagger starting with CC Sabathia tonight.
More photos » Matt Slocum - AP
4 days ago: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jonathan Broxton wipes his face after walking Philadelphia Phillies' Mike Sweeney in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 10-9. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The Rockies won the middle game of the series 11-3, tagging Hiroki Kuroda for seven runs in four-plus innings. In the final game of the series, Clayton Kershaw opposed Jhoulys Chacin and led the Dodgers to victory. Kershaw struck out nine Rockies.
Jonathan Broxton lost the closer's job after he allowed four runs in the bottom of the ninth in last Thursday's game against the Phillies. The Dodgers had been up 9-6 when Broxton entered the game. Thank you Joe Torre. Hiroki Kuroda was on the wrong end of run support in the first game against the Braves as he allowed a run in seven innings. The Dodgers were shut out. Last night, Hong-Chih Kuo left the ninth inning with three runners on and Octavio Dotel entering the game. Dotel allowed all three runners to score. The Dodgers lost 3-4.
Expected Pitching Match-ups
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 @ 8:10 p.m. MT
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 @ 8:10 p.m. MT
Thursday, 19 August 2010 @ 8:10 p.m. MT
But Jonathan Broxton had been the closer until last Thursday.
More photos » Manuel Balce Ceneta - AP
Florida Marlins' Mike Stanton's power is getting a lot of attention, and he may one of the top competitors for rookie of the year.. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
As Chris Johnson continues to scald the ball, we are starting to hear murmurs about Chris Johnson's chances to win the Rookie of the Year (ROY) award. Granted most of the discussion has come from Houston media, like this article by Zachary Levine in the Chronicle, and the occasional comments from the team's radio and television broadcasters. To tell you the truth, I can't recall discussion outside of Houston about Chris Johnson as a ROY. I won't say that I have reached a personal conclusion as to whether Chris Johnson will deserve the award, but I do get irritated when good performances by Astros' players are ignored by the national media.
So, let's take a look at Chris Johnson's performance, compared to some other rookie position player candidates this year. (I will leave out pitchers in this article, mostly because it seems like position players usually have an advantage with voters.) This is not about which of these young rookies will have the best careers. In my view, the ROY should be based on the rookie's performance during his rookie season. For instance, we know that Chris has benefitted from an unsustainable BABIP of .426,but the award shouldn't be about luck or lack thereof. Whether due to high or low BABIP, the player's actual output is what it is. National League rookie candidates are shown below.
G. Sanchez .358
S. Castro .339
So, based only on current batting, Chris Johnson has been a better offensive player than any of the other rookies---so far. Of course, Johnson's current rate stats may be a bit misleading. After all, he has the fewest plate appearances of these rookies. And he is the most likely to face regression through the remainder of the season. Also, we have omitted defensive value, and Johnson has the worst defensive value among these rookies at this point of the season. So, let's try to come up with a more complete answer. After the jump, I will attempt to project a WAR for each player at season end.Wins Above Replacment (WAR) is the familiar metric published at Fangraphs. It takes into account offense, defense, and the position value. Because WAR is based on production--rather than a rate stat--it rewards the players who have played in the most games this season. In order to gauge the amount of regression on offense expected for each player, I used ZIPS-updated. Two of the rookies (Stanton and Castro) didn't have a ZIPS-updated value. In their case, I used the average regression percentage based on ZIPS-updated for the remaining rookies. The defensive part of the WAR valuation is tenuous, given the small sample size for UZR and our lack of knowledge as to what the true fielding skill level should be for each of these players. So, the first WAR comparison projects only the offensive component of WAR through the remainder of the season. (The fielding value remains fixed at the current level.)
WAR (Offense Updated)
G. Sanchez 2.85
S. Castro 2.41
My second WAR projection updates both the offensive and defensive components of WAR. I have arbitrarily assumed that the current defensive value trend continues through the season with an arbitrary 10% regression toward average.
WAR (Offense & Fielding Updated)
G. Sanchez 2.85
S. Castro 2.4
As shown by comparing the two WAR rankings, Chris Johnson's rank declines substantially if you assume that his current negative defensive value continues to accumulate for the remainder of the season. By contrast, continuation of Heywood's and Stanton's plus defense improves their ranking. Posey's lead in WAR is significant in either projection. However, I feel that the defensive udpates, in general, have questionable reliability. In particular, the Fangraphs' defensive valuation for catchers probably is incomplete and questionable. Yet the defensive value for Posey provides a considerable part of his high WAR ranking. But if I'm in a betting mood, I would take Posey as the best ROY candidate based on WAR. Posey is a solid hitter whose bat is extraordinary for the catcher position.
Based on this analysis, it is unlikely that Chris Johnson will be the top ranked rookie position player, but he is not that far out of the running. If more emphasis is put on the offensive value, Johnson's chances will improve. If Johnson doesn't regress as much as the ZIPS-update suggests, and he improves his defense over the remainder of the season, it is possible that we will look back and say that he deserved the ROY--regardless of the actual voting.
And that takes me to the voting considerations. Let's face it; most voters won't be using WAR to rank the rookies. There are several factors which will work against Chris in the ROY voting. First, Chris Johnson was not a well regarded prospect, and several of the other rookies (like Stanton, Castro, Heyward, and Posey) are high level prospects who have received a lot of hype. It may be unfair, but the players' reputation will have an effect on the voting. Second, Chris Johnson has played less of the season than the other candidates. Third, Johnson is playing for the Astros, who aren't contenders and don't get a lot of attention in national media.
What do you think?
Former first rounder Brett DeVall will have to fight through another injury.
Atlanta Braves left handed pitching prospect Brett DeVall will be shut down for the remainder of the season and will head to Birmingham, AL to have his pitching elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews, the preeminent sports surgeon in the country. The 20 year old DeVall was the Braves' first selection in the 2008 draft (40th overall) and had been playing for the Rome Braves, where he had a 7-9 record, 4.39 ERA, and 1.52 WHIP in 106.2 innings.
After just 10 starts with Rome last season, where he went 4-4 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 53.2 innings, DeVall was shut down with soreness in the same elbow. It was feared the he would require Tommy John surgery, but he ended up having minor arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in the elbow. The recovery process caused a delay that prevented him from joining Rome until early May this season, but he had pitched well despite not being at full strength.
It's unclear yet if DeVall's latest injury will require Tommy John surgery or if it can be repaired again with minor surgery. Either way this is a another unfortunate blow to a promising career that has been filled with setbacks. Since being drafted, Devall has appeared in just 33 games, pitching a total of 170 innings, with a 11-13 record, 3.92 ERA, and 1.37 WHIP.
Every time a left-handed starter for the opposing team pitchers New York Mets Manager Jerry Manuel decides to sit left-handed hitters Ike Davis and Josh Thole. For example, last night the Mets faced left-hander Wandy Ramirez. Both Josh Thole and Ike Davis sat and Mike Hessman and Henry Blanco took their place. Davis has struggled ... Continue Reading
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Robinson Cano?s OPS has an 82.8 percent correlation to the Yankees winning percentage this year. (Click chart to enlarge.) In this study, samples were taken every month, not daily. This definitely makes room for error, but I?d be shocked if[...]
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About two months ago, I was online at my internship looking at random facts about Yankee Stadium on a website (I didn't do much at my internship). I read that a 5K took place at Yankee Stadium in 2009 for cancer. The organization is known as the Damon-Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. The organization was established in honor of Damon Runyon, a newspaperman and writer about Broadway in New York City, back in 1946. He was 66 when he passed away due to cancer. As the foundation has grown, publicity for it has grown as well. Anyways? in 2009, they were granted access to use Yankee Stadium as a spot for a 5K run. Over 2,500 people showed up and it was a great success.
I came across a sign up for the 2010 race and immediately signed myself up as well as my girlfriend. The date of the race was August 15 and I figured this would be an amazing opportunity to gain a unique perspective on Yankee Stadium on a date in which there would be no game. My girlfriend is a far superior runner to me, and I am the far superior swimmer. I had no idea what to expect going into Yankee Stadium yesterday. 4,000 people were signed up for the race and I figured some of them were there to sprint the whole thing and win for bragging rights. I simply wanted to just run around the stadium and enjoy the views. Quite frankly, I was a bit nervous. I?ve never even RUN a 5K before.
The way the race worked was this? heats of 300-400 people were sent off at a time. The first heat of the day began at 9:30 and they continued until 12:00pm when the last heat was sent. The first heat was a 7:00 minute pace per mile, the second heat was 8:00 per mile, so on and so forth. The last six heats were all for walkers only. I figured, since my father passed away from cancer, the least I could do was run it with pride.
My girlfriend and I were signed up for the second heat. I was freaking out. We checked in at Gate 4 to get the numbers we pin to our shirts and we got on line for heat two. We slowly entered into the Great Hall and waited in a ?holding pen? as the people in heat one enthusiastically began their run. I anxiously stood at the starting line behind hundreds of people thinking of what was to come. As the horn sounded, we were off!
We started on the field level and ran around it twice. After finishing the second time around, we headed down a ramp towards the lowest level of the field. We ran through tunnels and hooked a hard right. What I saw before me was the most beautiful sight my eyes have ever seen. As I proceeded forward, my feet hit dirt. I was on Yankee Stadium field. I ran two laps around the warning track of Yankee Stadium. It was one of the most awesome experiences I have ever been a part of. To wear my father?s name with pride on the back of my shirt while running around the Yankee Stadium warning track and running for cancer; I felt incredible. I touched the walls and the scoreboards and the bullpen. I bent down to touch the grass to make sure I wasn?t dreaming. I can?t even imagine what it?s like to be down there when the stadium is at full capacity. We jogged up stairs to the second level, jogged around and up more stairs to the grandstand/terrace level. Ran around that, down the ramps all the way to the bottom level, and then back up to the terrace and back down the ramps again. As I crossed the finish line, I felt so accomplished. I never even thought of walking a part of it and jogged/ran the entire thing. Although I don?t know my time, I?m sure it was fairly fast. I was so amped on adrenaline that I could do anything.
I just wanted to let everyone know that this was a spectacular opportunity and I highly recommend that you run it next year. It was so much fun and I?m overjoyed that I participated. It?s truly something I will hold near and dear to me for the rest of my life.