The Return of the Splitter?: Dave Cameron posted 5 things he believes will happen this season. The most interesting belief is that Cameron thinks you'll start seeing the split-finger fastball more this season. His reasons are that almost all the Japanese pitchers throw it and it's a better out pitch to throw at opposite handed hitters than a slider.
69 Expos: Big Expos week. With the release of Jonah Keri's book and the two game series that was played in Montreal now would probably be a good time to show a video featuring the very first Montreal Expos team. Check out Rusty Staub!
Now This Is a #HotTake: Bill Plaschke opened up the Yasiel Puig-#HotTake can of worms last week. This week he's already claiming the Dodgers are "vulnerable". NOW THAT'S A #HOTTAKE. The Dodgers have played 3 out of 162 games left, have a 2-1 record, and 1 blown save and Plaschke is claiming the Dodgers are vulnerable. That Puig #HotTake has nothing on this one.
Catharsis in Montreal: The past weekend there was a Expos revival in Montreal. Jack Moore of Getting Blanked attended the event at the old Olympic Stadium. Basically Moore concludes they couldn't possibly play baseball at Olympic Stadium again but the past weekend's events was good catharsis for old Expos fans.
Jose Reyes is Hurt Again: Stop me if you've heard this before, Jose Reyes is hurt again. Reyes didn't even make it an half of an inning before pulling his left hamstring and now he'll have to go on the DL again. Sadly for the Blue Jays injuries and health are their biggest opponents again this season.
Physics of the Cutoff: Hardball Times looks at the physics of throwing to home from the outfield compared to throwing to a cutoff man. Bad news for Yasiel Puig, the data says hitting the cutoff guy is smarter than just letting it fly from the outfield to get a guy out at home. Why is this? The trajectory of the throw from the outfield to home plate slows the ball down compared to hitting the cutoff guy.
Swing away or don't Swing on 3-0 Counts?: Should hitters swing away on 3-0 counts? Beyond the Boxscore takes a look at who swings away on these counts and the results. Not surprising but sluggers swing away at 3-0 counts the most and those counts have produced the most home runs. After the sluggers though most teams don't swing away during the 3-0 count which makes me ask, why? Looking at the BtB results more teams should swing away at that count because more fastballs are thrown.
New Pitch: With the beginning of the season means their are pitchers throwing new pitches. Everyone from Matt Moore and CC Sabathia have either added a new pitch or improved an old pitch. The most interesting addition is Stephen Strasburg adding a Justin Verlander type of slider. He threw it 11 times against the Mets and they swung 4 times hitting nothing. Strasburg has become a little more dangerous.
Best of the Weekend: A look at the best games and pitching matchups of the weekend.
Friday, April 4th- Minnesota at Cleveland- Salazar vs Pelfrey: Salazar is another one of those young pitchers everyone is excited to watch this season. He makes his debut against the Twins. Mike Pelfrey is one of those pitchers people would like to forget.
Saturday, April 5th- St. Louis at Pittsburgh- Kelly vs Liriano: Amazing how many different pitchers the Cardinals system churns out. You already have Wacha and Miller, but what about Joe Kelly? He started 15 games last year for the Cards and gave them a 1.35 WHIP. Cardinals pitchers grow on trees, I swear.
Sunday, April 6th- Chicago at Kansas City- Sale vs. Shields: Sale is one of those pitchers for me personally that is a must watch every 5th day. And of course the day he pitches he faces off against the Royals ace James Shields.