May 31, 2013

The Week In Baseball: May 26-31

Minor League Ball: With the college baseball version of the tournament starting and the MLB Draft taking place next Thursday a great place to read up on both of these events is at John Sickles' Minor League Ball. Sickles mostly writes about prospects with currently with MLB teams but he's added other writers to his site recently who cover college baseball and the draft. I sincerely recommend reading Minor League Ball all year long but especially for the next couple of weeks.

I'M JAPANESE!!!!!!!: Munenori Kawasaki is a cult hero in the baseball world. He's easily the most .gif-able player in the league after Hunter Pence. So you can only imagine to every one's delight that Kawasaki knocked in the game-winning run for the Blue Jays on Sunday and was interviewed after the game.

The Piranhas Are Out: One of the problems with the national sabermetrics writers (think Fangraphs writers) is that almost all of them are either Royals or Mariners fans. And when the managers of their favorite teams says something stupid, they all attack like piranhas. Case in point, Eric Wedge. Wedge said something dumb about sabermetrics and the attack dogs were out. Like moths to light.

Porcello Is Such a Tease: Detroit's Rick Porcello has also been a tease. He's been both brilliant and frustrating. Last season particularly was frustrating for Porcello because he's a ground ball pitcher and he had cement footed Miguel Cabrera playing at third. Porcello this season is throwing less sliders and more changeups and curveballs and this has lead to more strikeouts and a great xFIP. You have to take things into your hands with that defense standing behind you.

Contact Scutaro: The Giants Marco Scutaro talked to Fangraphs about his unbelievable ability to make contact with pitches thrown at him. He's making contact with 95% of the pitches that are thrown at him. And don't throw outside of the zone because he can also hit those pitches.

Maloof's Always Have Excuses: After following the Sacramento Kings saga I thought I was done with the name Maloof. Nope, because Jack Maloof, the Kansas City Royals hitting coach, has an excuse why the Royals don't hit home runs. It's because they play at Kaufman Stadium. Seriously, he blamed the stadium for their lack of power. As with bad teams there's always a scapegoat and Jack Maloof and the other hitting coach, yes there were two for the Royals, were sent down to the minors and George Brett replaced them!

Are the Pirates for Real?: The Pirates have looked good early for two straight seasons before falling flat on their face. Once again they're looking great early and Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation doesn't quite trust them yet. Besides Rodriguez and Burnett he doesn't trust the rest of their rotation. Their bullpen looks like it's due for regression and this is a team that is starting a combination of Clint Barmas and John McDonald at shortstop with Brandon Inge off the bench. I agree with Neyer's skepticism because those reasons are also why I don't quite trust the Pirates yet.

This Weekend: Looking at the best pitching matchups of the weekend.

Friday, Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh, Cueto vs. Rodriguez: Speaking of Pittsburgh they have a huge series this weekend against the Reds and one of the pitchers Neyer trusts is going for the Pirates. Cincinnati has struggled so far this year on the road while the Pirates have been dominate at home. Cueto and his ERA in the 2's will look to shut down the Pirates.

Saturday, Detroit vs. Baltimore, Verlander vs. Hammel: Why records are deceptive, look at the records for Verlander and Hammel and then look at their stats. If you just looked at the record you would assume that Hammel is a better pitcher. He has fewer losses and more wins. And then you delve into the stats and you will see that Verlander is the much better pitcher. The lesson here? Never trust a pitchers win-loss record.

Sunday, Kansas City vs. Texas, Santana vs. Darvish: There are two teams I'm confident that Yu Darvish can pitch a no-hitter/perfect game against, Houston and Kansas City. I can see the Royals water gun offense swinging away at every little breaking ball he throws. It's going to be ugly, especially when Jeff Francoeur steps to the plate.

1 comment:

  1. Took the Royals about five seconds to dump both of those hitting coaches. They're not the problem though, Ned Yost is.