Off days after consecutive losses to a bad team should be banned. Maybe some MLBits will distract us from our pain as we wait for today’s doubleheader. Here is some news from around the league…
- Over the last ten games, the Cardinals have finally shown some signs of vulnerability, winning just three of ten. We suspected that the sheer amount of injuries they have sustained throughout the season would catch up to them eventually, and it appears it finally has. Alas, nothing good lasts forever. According to this report at MLB.com, all of Matt Adams, Matt Holliday and Randall Grichuk are eyeing full returns very soon. Adams and Holliday, in particular, are reportedly looking at a return this week in Milwaukee, giving them a few warm up games before they face the Cubs this weekend. The Cardinals may have all but secured their NL Central post over the Cubs, but the Pirates are just 2.5 games back, so the Cardinals will need all hands on deck if they hope to finish as strong as they’ve started.
- At ESPN, Christina Kahrl examines David Ortiz’s 500 career home runs and overall career as a designated hitter, as it relates to an eventual Hall of Fame bid. While just a few bat-only players have made it to Cooperstown, Kahrl bets on Ortiz’s eventual acceptance, citing not only his statistical career at the plate, but also his role in all three of Boston’s World Series victories. What do you think? Should David Ortiz be a no brainer for the hall? Or, has the history of designated hitters falling short make it less certain? What about PED concerns?
- The New York Post (Joel Sherman) ranked the top five available General Manager openings for this coming off season. Citing the pros and cons of each, Sherman believes the top five to be, in order, the Red Sox, Phillies, Mariners, Angels and Brewers. I recently took a look at some of the executive rumors going about the league, and this article serves as a reminder for just how many high profile gigs will be available very soon.
- As of yesterday, the Toronto Blue Jays (82-61) are ‘cautiously optimistic’ that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki could return from his shoulder injury in 2-3 weeks. Given their place among the AL East standings, it’s likely, though not a lock, that the Blue Jays will avoid the wild card game and head straight for the ALDS. If that’s the case, Tulowitzki will have two and half weeks to heal, before he would have to appear in the first ALDS game, which is scheduled for October 8. Since his trade to the Blue Jays on July 30, Tulowitzki has hit .220/.306/.327 with just a 75 wRC+.
- To supplement their infield depth with Tulowitzki out, the Blue Jays have acquired former Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney, in exchange for Double-A catcher Jack Murphy from the Dodgers. Barney will be ineligible for the post season and has slashed .277/.325/.354 in 96 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
- You can literally buy stock in Angels rookie pitcher Andrew Heaney, who has apparently signed a deal with Fantex, a financial services and brand development company from California. Heaney, 24, becomes the first MLB player to sign such an agreement, but there are a number of NFL players who have already done so (including Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery). If Heaney makes enough money throughout his career – more than $33.4M – investors will make money. Weird.
- The Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly prepared to avoid the free agent pitching market, having just been burned by the deals they gave to Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse. I can think of many reasons why they should sit out that market, but those two deals aren’t any of them. For one, the Brewers don’t look to be too competitive next year. Why spend big on the rotation in a year where the Cubs and Pirates project to be very strong, the Cardinals still exist and you finished in the bottom part of the league with an aging roster and a fresh sell-off? Second of all, the Brewers are making a change at the general manger position. Depending on who takes over, big time additions may not be the wisest of first moves. But to the point, I find it exceedingly ill-advised to avoid future contracts based on an arbitrary correlation to previous experiences. Every pitcher is different and so are their contracts, man.
- Dave Cameron (FanGraphs) with a very interesting read on the difference of projections based on inputs (predictive stats) or perceived outputs (not as highly correlated to future production, but they are what actually happened). While most of the readers around here already subscribe to this manner of thinking, the article provides some needed, simplified explanation.