LOL METS: The Mets are terrible again and people are pointing fingers at manager Terry Collins. Adam Rubin believes the finger should be pointed at general manager Sandy Alderson. Alderson was the original sabermetric general manager and it quite frankly hasn't worked with the Mets. He's swung and miss on low cost signings and the Mets lineup is still pathetic. The Mets should look at Alderson when elevating the mess this season is becoming instead of just Collins.
Tracy McGrady and Baseball: Tracy McGrady made his debut for the Sugarland Skeeters last week and TrueHoop had the rundown. McGrady looked okay for someone who hasn't pitched in a while. The writer of the piece truly believes that McGrady isn't doing this for publicity but for his love of the game. I hope he succeeds.
Kershaw Actually Gave Up a HR with his Curve: No one and I mean no one hits Clayton Kershaw's curveball. Well that changed on Sunday afternoon when Brandon Hicks of the Giants hit a 0-2 curveball from Kershaw for a home run. How rare is this feat? Kershaw has never given up a home run off his curveball in a 0-2 count before. So slap yourself on the back and congratulate yourself Brandon Hicks for doing something that has never been done before.
Do Umpires Have Analytic Value?: Baseball Prospectus asks this question. First off you have to realize that yes an manager can absolutely decided the outcome of the game based on in-game decisions and before-game decisions by which lineup they post and how effective that lineup is. Of course there are in-game decisions to be made that can decide the outcome of the game. You can't really put a number value on these decisions other than the team's W-L record.
How Do Best Prospects Lists Get Made?: Chris Cwik at Sports on Earth has an excellent article about how folks like Keith Law and John Sickles put together top prospects list. Also featured is how much more information is making these lists more and more accurate. The graph below shows how accurate the prospect lists have become.
Beyond the Boxscore points out that the Pirates offensive numbers haven't regressed. They're more or less the same from last season. The defense is still good with their defensive shifts. The answer to the Pirates woes is that their pitching staff is giving up more long balls than last season and that's been their problem so far this year.
Jose Fernandez is Broken: Sadly Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez is injured. Another pitcher needing a Tommy John Surgery. Dave Cameron at Fangraphs takes a look at why Fernandez got hurt. Cameron's conclusion is that while the Marlins handled Fernandez with care they might have called him up a little too early in his career and expected too much. Fernandez threw a lot of pitches last year for being a 20-year old kid and that might have lead to this injury.
Games of the Weekend: A look at the best games and pitching matchups of the weekend.
Friday, Milwaukee at Chicago, Lohse vs Samardzija: Poor Jeff Samardzija. He's stuck on the Notre Dame of baseball and not winning despite great numbers. If you're the Cubs do you trade him while he's at his highest value? Wouldn't a Samardzija trade net a good return? I would definitely be thinking about it if I were Theo.
Saturday, Los Angeles at Arizona: Kershaw vs Anderson: The Diamondbacks have actually been playing better lately keeping down the rumors that Gibson will be fired. Meanwhile we'll see if Kershaw can recover from giving up a home run in a 0-2 count with his curveball.
Sunday, Baltimore at Kansas City, Jimenez vs Shields: Ubaldo has been pitching a lot better lately but the Orioles run differential has once again dipped into the negatives. There's still only 1 team in the AL East with a positive run differential and it's the Blue Jays now. Hell the Royals have a better run differential than all of the AL East teams and their offense is hot garbage.