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Cardinals David Freese’s Homerun Off Pirates Gerrit Cole

The St. Louis Cardinals downed the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Wednesday night. The biggest play of the game was third baseman David Freese hitting a two-run homer off of Pirates starter Gerrit Cole in the second inning to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead. The Cardinals win probability shot up to 74 percent after Freese’s blow. Anybody can tell you that Freese hit a big homerun. I want to hone in on the rarity of what he did. First of all, Gerrit Cole doesn’t surrender homeruns too often. In 117.1 innings, he surrendered just seven homeruns.... 
 

Rays Jake McGee and His Fastball

Tampa Bay Rays left-handed relief pitcher Jake McGee has one pitch, a fastball. Okay, he also throws a “cutter”, but he uses the fastball on 93% of his pitches in 2013, the highest rate of any pitcher in the MLB. It’s a pretty good fastball, and McGee gets up to 99 mph, while averaging 96-97 mph with the heat, a mark that only a handful of pitchers can top. McGee, who was drafted by the Rays out of high school in the 5th round back in 2004, came up to the big league club in 2010. Since then, he has steadily increased his fastball... 
 

Pittsburgh Pirates Gerrit Cole’s Devastating Slider

Pittsburgh Pirates rookie hurler Gerrit Cole will start Game 2 of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals. The rookie hurler posted a 3.22 ERA in 117.1 innings, with a 21.3% strikeout rate and a 6.0% walk rate. His FIP of 2.91 was even with teammate Francisco Liriano and just a shade behind A.J. Burnett. Cole has gotten better as the season has progressed. His second half ERA is just 2.85, compared to 3.89 in the first half, and his strikeout rate has leaped from 14.5% to 25.3%. He had a 1.69 ERA in September, with a whopping 32.1% strikeout... 
 

2013 ALDS: Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics Pitching Analysis and Preview

For the second straight year, the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics will meet in the American League Division Series. It will be just the third time in postseason history that both teams will face one another, the first occurring in the 2006 American League Championship Series where the Tigers swept the Athletics in four games. However, the Athletics will look to reverse the losing trend that has plagued their last two postseason meetings with the Tigers. This time around, the Athletics have a healthier Yoenis Cespedes, a more seasoned rotation... 
 

Red Sox Clay Buchholz – Is He Back?

Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz had a magnificent first half. In 84.1 innings at hitter-friendly Fenway Park, he had a 1.71 ERA, the lowest figure in the MLB. Opponents managed a mere .535 OPS against Buchholz, which is slightly worse than what Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar hits. Buchholz struck out 24.9% of hitters, and walked 8.9%. His very high 84.1% strand rate and very low 3.2% HR/FB ratio seemed like good candidates for regression, and the strikeout rate looked very high for a pitcher that was only generating whiffs... 
 

Alex Cobb to Start Wild Card Game for Rays

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb is set to start the Wild Card Game for the Rays. Despite missing two months after being struck in the head with a line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer on June 15th, Cobb has quietly put together an excellent season. In 22 starts and 143.1 innings, Cobb has a 2.76 ERA, the lowest mark on the team. The ERA is no fluke, and Cobb has the underlying numbers to back it up. Aided by an excellent changeup, Cobb has struck out 23.2% of hitters, best on the team. Unlike fellow strikeout... 
 

Is Sonny Gray the Oakland A’s Best Pitcher?

Oakland Athletics rookie pitcher Sonny Gray has had an immediate impact on the A’s rotation since making his first major league start August 10. The 2011 first-round draft pick has a 2.67 ERA across 10 starts and 64 innings. Of his rotation mates, only 40 year-old veteran Bartolo Colon has a lower ERA. While the A’s starting rotation has the second lowest ERA in the AL behind only the Detroit Tigers, much of this is due to their cavernous home ballpark. The A’s have amassed a rotation of flyball pitchers with largely unimpressive... 
 

Cleveland Indians Ubaldo Jimenez’ Turnaround in 2013

I previously wrote about how Corey Kluber has been a big key to the Cleveland Indians’ turnaround 2013 season. Similarly important has been the second-half performance of Ubaldo Jimenez.  The Indians hurler has the lowest second-half ERA in the AL. The big righthander was acquired from the Colorado Rockies in 2011 in a deadline deal in which the Indians gave up prospect Drew Pomeranz and several less-touted names. His 2011 performance with the Indians was better than his ERA would suggest, but a far cry from his 2009-10 seasons when... 
 

Phillies Cliff Lee – An Amazing September

Philadelphia Phillies lefthander Cliff Lee had himself quite a September. In 39.0 innings, the 35 year-old hurler had a 1.85 ERA and 1.55 FIP. Most impressively, he tallied 54 strikeouts against just 1 walk, for a 54/1 K/BB ratio. Put another way, he struck out 37.5% of hitters, and his walk rate was a minuscule 0.7%. After seeing these eye-popping numbers, I did a little digging to see if any pitcher has had a better September, just in terms of walks and strikeouts. With regards to K/BB ratio, Lee’s 54/1 is the best September in baseball... 
 

Corey Kluber’s Emergence Big Key for Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians are on the verge of securing a wild-card berth, which would be their first playoff appearance since 2007. The Indians have depended in no small part on some unexpected contributions from their starting rotation. Scott Kazmir, who spent 2012 pitching for the Sugarland Skeeters and Gigantes de Carolina has regained his fastball velocity and returned to his 2005-08 form. Zach McAllister has been solid, and flamethrowing Danny Salazar has returned from Tommy John surgery and been strong since his callup. The most significant... 
 

Can Vidal Nuno Crack the Yankees Rotation in 2014?

Vidal Nuno is a survivor. The 26 year-old lefthander out of NAIA Baker University was drafted in the 48th round by the Cleveland Indians back in 2009, becoming the first player drafted from his alma mater. Most players selected that late are out of affiliated baseball within a couple years. Nuno himself was released by the Indians in 2011 after two unspectacular seasons. After pitching six games for the Washington Wild Things of the independent Frontier League, he was signed by the New York Yankees. Following a strong 2012, Nuno earned a spring... 
 

Washington Nationals: Tanner Roark Analysis and Projection

Washington Nationals rookie righthander Tanner Roark has flourished after an August 6 callup. After putting up a 1.19 ERA over 9 games and 22.2 innings in the bullpen, Roark earned his first major league start September 7th. He won that game and his next two starts. All told, the soon-to-be 27 year-old hurler has managed a sparkling 7-0 record and a 1.08 ERA in 41.2 innings, holding opponents to a .181 batting average. Given his impressive debut, albeit in a limited sample, Nationals fans have to wonder where Roark fits in the team’s plans... 
 

Miguel Sano or Maikel Franco: Who Will Be the Better MLB Third Baseman?

The late Buck O’Neil, star first baseman for the Kansas City Monarchs and ambassador for the sport of baseball, recalled in his autobiography that he once heard a unique crack from the bat of Bo Jackson, a crack he had only ever heard off of the bats of Babe Ruth and Josh Gibson. “But I was at Royals Stadium, scouting the American League for the Cubs, and I came out of the press room and was going down to field level when I heard that ball sound as if the Babe or Josh were still down there. Pow! Pow! Pow! It was Bo Jackson—the Royals had just... 
 

Texas Rangers A.J. Pierzynski’s Historic Season

Texas Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski currently has 11 walks. His 2.2 BB% is the lowest in the MLB.  By comparison, pitchers have walked in 3.2% of their plate appearances in 2013. Pierzynski has never walked very frequently, but the 2.2% rate is the lowest of his career. Less than 100 hitters since 1903 have a lower walk rate than Pierzynski’s career 4.0%. In the course of doing so he has set an MLB record that maybe nobody else has recognized. With such a low walk rate, you would expect that Pierzynski swings at a lot of pitches out of... 
 

Red Sox News: The Quietly Excellent Shane Victorino

Guess who leads the Boston Red Sox in bWAR? Ok, it’s Dustin Pedroia with 6.1, but Shane Victorino is just a hair behind. The 32 year-old outfielder has 6.0 WAR in 180 fewer plate appearances. After a somewhat disappointing 2012 in which Victorino compiled just a 91 OPS+, pundits suspected Victorino might be a fourth outfielder going forward. In the offseason, the Sox signed Victorino to a 3 year, $39 million deal, adding him to an outfield that already featured incumbents Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava, and new addition Jonny Gomes. Despite... 
 

Cardinals Oscar Taveras Set to be Next Best Thing in Baseball

While much of the recent attention has been centered around the Minnesota Twins’ Byron Buxton, who has propelled himself to status as the premier batting prospect in the game after a remarkable 2013 campaign, he will most likely not see much (if any) action at the big league level next season as the Twins appear patient in developing their star outfielder of the future. Despite the production showcased by Buxton this season, the honor of best pure hitting prospect in the game belongs to St. Louis’ Oscar Taveras. Although missing substantial... 
 

What Can the Phillies Expect from Domonic Brown in 2014?

Domonic Brown had a torrid first half for the Philadelphia Phillies, hitting 23 homeruns. Before the All-Star break, the 25 year-old outfielder had a HR/PA rate of 6.0% and a HR/Contact rate of 8.0%. His HR/FB ratio of 22.5% was 9th in the MLB, ahead of power hitters such as Mark Trumbo, Nelson Cruz, and Edwin Encarnacion. Brown hit 12 homeruns in the month of May, and on June 19, he was leading the NL in homeruns. Even within the cozy confines of Citizens Bank Park, Brown’s power production seemed destined to regress after such a hot... 
 

Cardinals Fans Don’t Get Too Excited About Joe Kelly

It’s not outlandish to say that Joe Kelly has been a godsend for a struggling St. Louis Cardinals rotation. In 14 starts he has a 9-2 record and 2.14 ERA. His second-half ERA is more than two runs lower than that of Adam Wainwright. But, that’s where the good news ends and cynical types like me step in. Kelly’s strikeout and walk rates of 12.9% and 9.4%, respectively, are some of the worst rates in the league. His success has been built largely on a .272 BABIP, 7.1 HR/FB% and a  86.3 LOB%, numbers that are beyond his true talent... 
 

Cardinals Michael Wacha’s Role Defined By Need

Michael Wacha, the St. Louis Cardinals 2012 first-round pick didn’t take long to make his presence felt within the organization, as he piled up 40 strikeouts against just 4 walks over 21 innings in his first professional season. Wacha has split time between AAA and the majors in 2013, and while the results have not been eye-popping, his performance could be the difference between a deep playoff run and an early exit. Wacha’s 2.81 ERA may be a little deceiving (the .257 BABIP, 79.4 LOB% and 6.9 HR/FB ratio are all bound for regression). Expect... 
 

2013 MLB Awards: Top 5 NL MVP Contenders

While the field is certainly competitive in the National League, the battle for the National League Most Valuable Player Award has realistically come down to two men, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and St. Louis’ Yadier Molina. While McCutchen has helped lead the Pirates to their first winning season since 1992 and Molina has helped successfully guide an injury-riddled pitching staff, the field behind them has slowly drifted into the distance. The following is a list of the Top 5 players who should be considered for the distinction of being named... 
 

Top 5 2013 AL Cy Young Contenders and Predictions

While Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw has essentially pitched his way to becoming the clear front-runner for the Cy Young Award in the National League, it appears that Detroit’s Max Scherzer is slowly, but surely becoming an almost virtual lock for the American League honors. The following is a list of the Top 5 pitchers who should be considered for the distinction of being named the American League’s best pitcher for the 2013 season. Rankings are based on the individual performance of the pitcher in relation to his competition and team performance... 
 

2013 MLB Awards: Top 5 NL Cy Young Award Contenders

While Detroit’s Max Scherzer is slowly becoming the premier front-runner for the American League Cy Young Award, the field behind him is certainly competitive and holds substantial depth. Such can be considered the opposite case in the senior circuit, as Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw has put on a pitching clinic this season and has effortlessly distanced himself from the rest of the field. The following is a list of the Top 5 pitchers who should be considered for the distinction of being named the National League’s best pitcher for the 2013... 
 

Who Will Be Better Long Term: Wil Myers or Yasiel Puig?

Baseball’s infatuation with Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder Yasiel Puig almost hit John Madden / Brett Favre levels. Puig, a 22-year-old from Cuba, burst onto the scene when he hit .436 with a 1.180 OPS and seven home runs in June. His June was so fruitful that the import, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract in 2012, was almost elected to the All-Star Game. Puig has since cooled off, posting a .303 batting average, .791 OPS and two home runs so far in July, but critics expect him to become an elite major league hitter. And, as for... 
 

Yankees Cashman Acting Like “Buyer” but “Selling” on 2013

Don’t be fooled by what transpires over the course of the next week in the Bronx. If you look deep down, the following statements about the New York Yankees are true: They have scored the fourth least runs in baseball. They are in fourth place in the AL East. Their offense is so anemic even though they have surrendered the least runs in the AL East, they have still scored five runs less than they have surrendered on the year. The Yankees are now 53-48, just five games over .500, after losing for the fourth time in six games since the All Star... 
 

10 Least Likely 2014 MLB Hall of Fame Candidates

The 2014 MLB Hall of Fame class boasts some of the greatest modern day players. Greg Maddux will likely be an automatic addition, with Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Mike Mussina and Frank Thomas being very worthy in their own right. But there are also a lot of eligible players who are completely undeserving of being enshrined in Cooperstown. Below are the 10 least likely 2014 MLB Hall of Fame candidates.  Read More »
 

MLB Trade Deadline 2013: Top Suitors for Cubs Matt Garza

As was the case during last year’s trade deadline before an elbow injury derailed the rest of his season, Matt Garza is once again one of the premier names being shopped around and gaining interest across both leagues. Although Garza missed the later half of last season and almost the first two months of this season with injuries and set backs, the Cubs’ starter has been on a tear as of late, and Cubs president Theo Epstein will be looking to get a deal done. In his past four starts, Garza has posted a 3-0 record and 0.90 ERA along... 
 

Relievers Who Could Be Closing After the Trade Deadline

With the trade deadline steadily approaching (on July 31st), several players will inevitably find themselves playing for new teams. The focus of the deadline–at least from an analytical perspective–is usually the high powered team(s) that acquire the one or two “difference makers,” with the hopes of propelling themselves into the playoffs. However, the “sellers” experience big roster changes too. In the case of trading veteran closers, “sellers” often turn to comparatively inexperienced setup men or... 
 

Jonathan Papelbon Calls Yasiel Puig All-Star Candidacy a “Joke”

After a month of June that witnessed the debut of Los Angeles Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, much attention has swirled regarding whether Puig should be selected to play in this year’s All-Star Game in New York. In 27 games this season, Puig has batted .443 (44-for-101) with seven home runs and 16 RBI, while posting an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .467/.713/1.180. His 44 hits in the month of June set a Dodgers franchise record for hits in a single calendar month by a rookie (surpassing Steve Sax‘s 43 in August 1982). In addition, the mark... 
 

R.A. Dickey and A.J. Griffin Throw Shutouts, Implications Different

Before the 7PM Eastern games even started Major League Baseball saw two complete game shutouts completed on Wednesday. R.A. Dickey, entering the game with an ERA north of 5.00 had an afternoon tilt with the division rival Tampa Bay Rays. On the other end of the country, A.J. Griffin faced off against the Cincinnati Reds in a battle of World Series contenders. Both pitchers carried their respective teams to statement victories. Both pitchers may have left the mound with dramatic personal and team implications to follow. R.A. Dickey and A.J. Griffin Dickey... 
 

Does Jonathan Papelbon Want Out of Philadelphia and Vice-Versa?

At this point in the season and with the particular circumstances present, the question has to be asked, that of “does Jonathan Papelbon want out of Philadelphia?” One can also presuppose the notion that Philadelphia might want Papelbon out of Philadelphia. Whichever way you may wish to look at the issue at hand, one thing for sure is that Papelbon’s time in Philadelphia may be running out and another team may be the ideal suitor to pick up his time clock; however, before we make any brash assumptions, let’s look further into the recent... 
 

Shawn Kelley: Most Dominant Yankees Reliever Not Named Rivera

His 4.78 ERA might look bruising. His 4.1 BB/9 is above the league-average. And he’s already surrendered the same amount of home runs in 26.3 innings this season as he did in 44.3 innings last season. Yet, Shawn Kelley is still one of the New York Yankees most dominant relievers. The Yankees quietly acquired Kelley from the Seattle Mariners this past offseason in exchange for minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte. Even though Kelley had hurled a respectable 116 ERA+ (vs. 3.25 ERA), 1.30 WHIP, and 3.00 K/BB over 44.3 innings for the Mariners... 
 

Andy Pettitte: Career Should be Celebrated, Just Not in the Hall of Fame

I’m a die-hard New York Yankees fan. I live and breathe by defending people like Alex Rodriguez (until recently), watching Yankees’ classics and debating whether Yankees players like Don Mattingly (no) and Mike Mussina (yes) belong in the Hall of Fame. So when Andy Pettitte walked off the mound having dominated the Seattle Mariners and officially winning his 250th career game two innings later, inevitably the discussion began. And the answer is easier than whether or not Pettitte deserved the Cy Young in 1996. No. Andy Pettitte is not... 
 

Rays Draft Nick Ciuffo, Ryne Stanek With First Two Picks

The Tampa Bay Rays drafted high school catcher Nick Ciuffo with the 21st pick in the 2013 MLB Draft in hopes infilling a long-standing void  in the organization. Tampa Bay seemingly able to develop pitching at will have not had success at developing a catcher and that’s where Ciuffo comes in. With their second pick in the first round that was compensation for losing B.J. Upton to the Atlanta Braves the Rays selected  starting pitcher Ryne Stanek from the University of Arkansas and later added high school shortstop Riley Unroe with the 60th... 
 

New York Yankees Draft Analysis: Jagielo, Judge, Clarkin, Katoh

The New York Yankees have traditionally focused on high school players with high upside for their drafts, likely due in part to the lack of availability on the parent club. This year, all of that has shifted with numerous players set for free agency and staples such as: Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and even someone like, Mark Teixeira, having future projections a lot fuzzier than they were a year ago. The Yankees have always been aging, but now it appears to be catching up with them. While 2013 has been positive in that Brian Cashman has been able... 
 

New York Yankees Fading Offense is a Long-term Issue

Andy Pettitte is due back from the Disabled list on Monday, and his return will signify maximum availability for the Yankees’ rotation. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Pettitte, will be restored back at the front of the rotation, and Phil Hughes and David Phelps are sketched into the back end. With Ivan Nova, Vidal Nuno and Brett Marshall safely stored away in the minors and Michael Pineda in the mid 90’s again  and currently rehabbing, the Yankees have no need to acquire a starter this season. The offense, even with the returns of Kevin... 
 

2013 MLB Draft: Top 10 Corner Infielders and Projections

The corner infield is perhaps one of the most important regions on the diamond, both in terms of offense and defense. Defensively speaking, first basemen are not typically thought of as wielding a flashy glove, but still relied upon to make that hard scoop in the dirt and provide stability at the bag. As for third basemen, defense is an important part of their repertoire, wherein they are often expected to man the infield with a strong arm and be able to read the ball (whether it is lined, grounded, chopped, bunted, popped, or fouled out) with plus... 
 

Dusty Baker, Johnny Cueto, Matt Garza Should All Grow the Hell Up

In Sunday afternoon’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, Reds starter Johnny Cueto threw a pitch over the head of Cubs second baseman David DeJesus in the sixth inning. A warning was issued to both clubs, as tension had already commenced beginning in the fourth inning when Cubs starter Matt Garza hit Todd Frazier with a pitch. Following the game, a 5-4 victory for the Cubs in ten innings, Matt Garza expressed his disgust for Cueto’s retaliation in the sixth inning, telling clubhouse reporters: “Hopefully he learns... 
 

Roberto Hernandez: Tampa Bay Rays Need to Make a Decision

After posting disappointing numbers for Cleveland in 2012, 0-3 record with a 7.53 ERA in just 3 starts, Roberto Hernandez was released and was a free agent. Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Freidman stepped in and made a decision to sign Herandez to a 1-year $3.25M contract that included another $1.85M in performance bonuses for innings pitched and relief appearances. Clearly it was a risk-reward type of decision that Freidman has an uncanny ability to make. After nine starts in 2013 Hernandez has a record of 2-5 with a 5.73 ERA, it’s time for another... 
 

2013 MLB Mock Draft 2.0 – Potential Draft-Day Surprises

Over the course of the past few weeks, a plethora of mock drafts for the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft have materialized with full force. While the majority of such mock drafts have been relatively similar, particularly in reference to the top 10 draft selections, I felt that an update to our first mock draft should deviate from the norm and offer a different, more unpredictable take on the upcoming draft. Through recent developments and performances over the past week, not only have players either improved or decreased their respective draft stock, but... 
 

David Adams Provides Yankees Options for the Future

It’s been Preston Claiborne and Shawn Kelley stealing the show in the bullpen, easily the most dominant makeup of the New York Yankees‘ roster. With their assistance in the wake of Joba Chamberlain‘s injury, along with the usual dominance from Dave Robertson and Mariano Rivera, the Yankees’ bullpen is one of the best in the game and its future is in no doubt whatsoever, despite New York having one of the oldest rosters in the game. David Adams is starting to do his part for the Yankees’ infield. It’s been a long... 
 

Kevin Gausman Dominant in Minors, Could Help Orioles Soon

The Baltimore Orioles starting rotation has been exposed for its true composition, that of a struggling core of pitchers who have been unable to counter and support the production of the club’s solid offensive lineup, in the wake of injuries to starters Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez. Veteran journeyman Freddy Garcia and former-Braves starter Jair Jurrjens have joined the rotation in recent weeks to sustain the staff in the absence of the aforementioned injured starters; however, neither starter has contributed much of any proactive significance... 
 

Shelby Miller Rookie Season One To Remember Thus Far

TheSt. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller has had a rookie season to remember. Nearly two months into the 2013 season, Miller has not only pitched his way to recognition as one of the premier rookies in the game, but also as one of the most dominating pitchers in either league this season. A first-round draft pick (19th overall) in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, Shelby Miller has been a perennial top prospect for the past three seasons following solid performances at A, AA, and AAA levels of the St. Louis farm... 
 

Theo Epstein and the Cubs Rebuilding Still A Work in Progress

The Chicago Cubs are suffering through a disappointing stretch, marred by a struggling offense, inconsistent middle and backend relief, and questionable leadership at the hands of Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein. The starting rotation and ever-patient northside faithful have been the sole glimmers of hope for the young, yet telling season. With a little over two months remaining before the trade deadline, the Cubs must have a definitive plan of action in order to come out of the deadline with a legitimate chance of securing a playoff spot. While a playoff... 
 

Joe Girardi Thinking Outside The Box Has Yankees Winning

On Wednesday night, Joe Girardi batted David Phelps eighth in the lineup ahead of rookie Austin Romine. The part I have never seen the Yankees do in any World Series game or interleague matchup was the pitcher batting ahead of the catcher. Of course, it’s not unprecedented, and that drew the ire of some critics. Tony LaRussa made a living on batting the pitcher eighth and many felt Girardi’s move was a desperate one, an attention-seeking option to make the game bigger than the Yankees’ dwindling roster and lineup, shut out the... 
 

Pirates Pitching Situation is Unstable and Unsustainable

The Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff, to put it one way, is running on fossil fuels. Before long, the whole party’s going to crash. The Pirates are currently 10-9 despite playing one of the most challenging early-season schedules in baseball. They’re fourth in the Majors in staff ERA and second in batting average against, just good enough to float an offense that still ranks 20th or worse in every meaningful offensive category. That kind of middling, just-about-.500 baseball is nearly identical to the starts the Pirates have enjoyed... 
 

Houston Astros: Will AL West Teams Have an Unfair Advantage?

Some teams don’t like to admit that they’re re-building. The New York Mets, for instance, dealt R.A. Dickey a month after he won the Cy Young award in exchange for prospects that likely won’t make a difference for several years. Yet the term “re-building” will never leave the lips of the organization’s owners or front office, as they either have a delusional take on reality, or a crippling fear of any public relations backlash. But in Houston, the Astros are far from shy about their clear organizational strategy.... 
 

National League: Projected Platoons for 2013

With the ever rising cost of offense, more and more teams are looking to platoons as low-cost, high-reward options. The platoon is hardly a new managerial tool, but it seems as though there are more teams using the stat-heavy angle to leverage player’s stronger sides to enhance the team’s production–while also saving a penny or two in the process. Below is an in-depth, projected list of National League organizations and their respective platoons for 2013. Atlanta Braves: THIRD BASE -As much as the Braves like Juan Francisco‘s... 
 

American League: Projected Platoons for 2013

With the ever rising cost of offense, more and more teams are looking to platoons as a low-cost, high-reward alternative. Even though penny-pinching organizations like the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays have long been using the platoon, now even bigger market teams–like the Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox–are beginning to join the fray. Below is an in-depth, projected list of the organizations and their respective platoons for 2013. Baltimore Orioles: LEFT FIELD – Nate McLouth quickly went from a hot... 
 

Houston Astros: Fielding a Major League Team on $25 Million

The Miami Marlins have caught a lot of flack this offseason, and deservingly so. Just one off season after opening a new stadium mostly financed by taxpayers, the Marlins have trimmed nearly $80 million off of what was a nine digit payroll and is now down to around $30 million dollars on the active 25 man roster. Giancarlo Stanton appears to be the lone relevant man standing. But the Houston Astros have flown under the radar during the Miami fallout. Sporting back to back 100 loss installments, the Astros have cut its $60 million dollar 2012 payroll... 
 

Pittsburgh Pirates: Assessing An Improving Farm System

ESPN’s Keith Law recently released his list of the best farm systems in Major League Baseball (paywall), a list paced by the St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays. Ever the rebuilding franchise, the Pittsburgh Pirates ranked seventh on Law’s list of 30 teams (for those who aren’t paying ESPN for their service, like the author, PiratesProspects had the tip on the ranking). Such an assessment is quite the departure for the franchise that had become a laugh-out-loud punchline for scouts and executive across the league.... 
 
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