Category Archives: Weekly Links

Weekly Links for 2/22/11

Time for some more links from around the baseball blogosphere…

Joe Guzzardi over at Baseball Past and Present wrote up about how he is turned off by the talk surrounding Albert Pujols and his next contract. I think that the topic is interesting, but it is hard to feel a lot of sympathy for anyone when you start arguing about the difference between $20 million and $30 million in annual salary.

Arne over at Misc. Baseball had a couple of great posts again, this time about the minor league career of Felix Hernandez, and a great post about Ronald Reagan and his link to baseball.

As we get closer to the first games of the season, Twinsgirl197 over at Twinkie Town, the SBNation blog for the Twins, breaks down 50 reasons to love baseball. Just a further reminder of what is so great about this sport.

I’ve also finished a couple of great baseball books recently, and can highly recommend these titles:

The End of Baseball as We Knew It by Charles Korr – This is a great read about the evolution and growth of the MLBPA from its infancy in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s until 1981.

The Bullpen Gospels by Dirk Hayhurst – Follow Dirk through the trials and tribulations of a year in the minors, and the many facets of the game that aren’t always so visible. A very well written, well thought out book that I would say that any baseball fan should read.

The Eastern Stars:  How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris by Mark Kurlansky – Another excellent read, this one talks about the evolution of the most famous town in the Dominican Republic, home to many professional baseball players over the span of the last 50+ years.

Weekly Links for February 9th, 2011

Time for another set of links from around the blogosphere…

Joshua Maciel had a great post over at Fangraphs about potentially reworking the visual form of the standings page, and it’s pretty good. I’m not sure how it would translate exactly, but I like the idea a lot.

Larry Granillo, previously of Wezen-Ball, is now writing over at Baseball Prospectus, and researched exactly which game it was that Ferris Bueller and friends attended in the movie.

Nick Scott over at Royals Authority wrote up one potential reason for the Year of the Pitcher: Smaller bats by rule of MLB. A very well done piece, and although it was found to be not really involved by Rob Neyer over at SBNation, it’s still a very well done piece.

Dave Gershman has been doing a lot of great writing in a bunch of different locations, and his post about the career path of Eric Chavez over at Beyond the Box Score was excellent. Having seen him play when he was in his prime (and healthy), it’s really sad to see what could have been.

David over at Marlins Diehards wrote up that the Marlins are apparently holding open tryouts for the organization on February 16th. I’m kind of with him, but from the Marlins perspective, it’s not a bad move. If they find one player who is even remotely worth having in the organization, it will be more than worth the minimal cost they have to spend for it.

As for the blog here itself, I’ve decided to make a couple of minor changes going forward. First, the prospect reviews are at least on hold, and I may not get to the remaining group of them any time soon. I enjoy learning about the prospects, but I don’t want to do any of the write ups half way, and I’m not sure I can commit to the time needed to research them to the standards I want. Second, I will be doing more current event type posts and more stream of thought type ideas. Basically, it just means that I’m hoping to write more about things as they are happening and as they interest me. I’m not sure whether or not that really ends up being a particular difference in what gets posted, but I’m going to give it a try. Thanks again to all the readers and commenters as always.

Weekly Links for January 28, 2011

Time for another installment of the best from the world of baseball (at least the portion I’ve found anyway…)

Weekly Links for January 15th, 2011

Time for some more of the better reading from across the Internet again…

Finally, this tweet from Kevin Goldstein over at Baseball Prospectus:

As we stand right now, and using 2010 slots, the #Rays TWELVE picks from 24-88 have a SLOT cost of around $9.12M

Yes, that is less money than the 2011 salary of Rafael Soriano. And with this year’s draft widely considered to be one of the deepest in a long time, they sit in an extremely good position to continue to build their farm system depth.

Weekly Links from the Baseball World

Time to take a look at some of the best writing from the last few weeks (I know, I’m a bit behind), as the major stories of the week have evolved.

The BBWAA announced that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven had been elected to the Hall of Fame, and Larry Granillo over at Wezen-Ball wrote up a great post on how the narrative of Bert Blyleven had been that he simply didn’t win games. It’s a great read, and I highly recommend it.

Jeff Sullivan over at Lookout Landing took a look at what the Mariners (and their fans) should expect from top prospect Michael Pineda. Pineda was recently rated the top prospect in the Mariners’ system by John Sickels, and I have to say I’m pretty excited to see what he can do in the Majors. I wrote about him last year, and I also own him in my keeper fantasy league. I think he’ll be in the Majors before June for sure.

Misc. Baseball posted a great writeup about the career and untimely death of Alan Wiggins, and it’s a great read as well. A very sad story.

Paul Sullivan over at Sully Baseball talked about where the next place for teams to threaten to relocate is, and came up with a suggestion I hadn’t heard before: Montreal. It makes a lot of sense, if only they can draw their fans. The one suggestion that seems to come up most often is Portland, OR, but they chose to keep their MLS team instead of their AAA team. I’m not sure if they are a viable option at the moment.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance

As some of the readers have noted (and a lot of you have probably seen the logo at the bottom), I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. Our membership is taking a small timeout from all of our coverage of so many things baseball to discuss what we are and what we aim to accomplish. (At least how I interpret it anyway)

We aim to foster communication between individual blogs with regard to baseball and the numerous topics that surround it. Every year, we vote on three major topics: the Hall of Fame ballot in January, the All-Star game ballot in July, and our own versions of the major awards given out following the end of the season.

Essentially, I have come to find this to be a great way to find people who are interested in discussing baseball year round who do an extremely good job of covering either their favorite teams or baseball in general. You can read more about the BBA here, including a list of all current members (over 230 at last count!) I’ve linked to a few of these specific blogs before, and are some of my favorites: Continue reading

Weekly Links for November 19, 2010

A series I have been meaning to restart has been my weekly link dump of baseball writing that caught my eye in the past week. There is so much good writing and interesting posts out there in the blogosphere that I think it serves anyone who has a lot of interest in baseball to share things that they find out there.

A very interesting blog I found recently (via a reader at AZ SnakePit), was The Greatest 21 Days. The author, Steve, has been going through the 1990 CMC minor league baseball card set, and looking at the players and coaches represented to see how their careers progressed after that point. It’s a very interesting read to see how different each player’s progress was.

Larry Granillo over at Wezen-Ball.Com posted his Periodic Table of Hall of Famers, and I thought it was extremely well done.

Michael Jong at Marlin Maniac posted his thoughts on the Dan Uggla trade, and is pretty unhappy with how this is likely to play out for his Marlins.

Jesse over at Twinkie Town posted an interesting what-if: What if the Twins were to sign Derek Jeter this offseason? He readily admits this is highly unlikely, (and at least one part of his scenario cannot happen already), but I thought it was interesting regardless.

Midseason Review

We are halfway through the season and as happens every year, it doesn’t quite go exactly as we all thought it would.

Right before the season started, I wrote up my preseason predictions of how I thought the playoffs and awards would go:

American League

Correct so far: New York Yankees
Incorrect so far: Boston Red Sox (Tampa Bay Rays), Minnesota Twins (Chicago White Sox), Seattle Mariners (Texas Rangers)

National League

Correct so far: None
Incorrect so far: Philadelphia Phillies (Atlanta Braves), Chicago Cubs (Cincinnati Reds), Los Angeles Dodgers (San Diego Padres), St. Louis Cardinals (Colorado Rockies)

League Leaders at the Half

Batting Average: Miguel Cabrera (DET) and Josh Hamilton (TEX) – .346
Runs: Carl Crawford (TAM) – 70
Hits: Martin Prado (ATL) – 121
Home Runs: Jose Bautista (TOR) – 24
Runs Batted In: Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 77
Stolen Bases: Juan Pierre (CHW) – 32

Wins: Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 15
ERA: Josh Johnson (FLA) – 1.70
Strikeouts: Jered Weaver (LAA) – 137
Saves: Joakim Soria (KC) – 25

The Top Stories

The Year of the Pitcher Again?

The pitchers look like they may have gained back some of the advantage again versus the hitters, as we’re seeing a lot of amazing performances out of both elite and non-elite pitchers.

Starting Pitchers with an ERA under 3.00: 17
Starting Pitchers with 10+ wins: 12
Starting Pitchers with a FIP under 3.00: 6
Starting Pitchers with a WHIP under 1.10: 14

And of course, there’s the no-hitters:

Let’s not forget Armando Galarraga either, and his near-perfecto on June 2nd.

Ken Griffey Jr Abruptly Retires

Almost randomly,  Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement on June 2nd. I wrote up my thoughts on his career shortly after the announcement, but the long and short of it remains that Griffey always seemed to be having more fun than anyone else on the field, and was really a joy to watch play, no matter what he was doing.  I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going into the Hall of Fame at first opportunity.

Sadly, the story was lost among the Armando Galarraga near perfect game, as it happened about an hour after the announcement. Hopefully the Mariners will have him back at some point before the end of the season to really give him a great sendoff.

The Cliff Lee Sweepstakes

The Mariners were widely predicted to win the AL West on the strength of the arms of Felix Hernandez and offseason acquisition Cliff Lee. Unfortunately, the team has floundered quite a bit, to the point where it became only a matter of time for the Mariners to start selling off the pieces, including their newly acquired ace Lee. The trade discussions centered around the unlikely competitors of the Reds, Twins, and Rangers, along with the usual suspects (Yankees, Red Sox, Rays). Nearly every top prospect in their systems was mentioned as the potential trade pieces in return. It was even stranger when the Mariners had come to a deal with the Yankees, only to have that one fall apart and be replaced by a trade with the Rangers. I wrote up what I thought of the trade, and really liked it for both teams involved.

Break Up the Reds and the Padres!

Completely unexpectedly, the Reds and the Padres are both leading their divisions as we approach the All-Star break. The Padres are doing it with the best pitching in the Majors, led by young phenom Mat Latos (10-4, 2.45) and top power hitter Adrian Gonzalez (.301, 18 HR, 56 RBI). The Reds are being led by MVP candidate Joey Votto (.315, 22 HR, 60 RBI, 1.014 OPS), and a resurgent Scott Rolen (.292, 17 HR, 57 RBI). I honestly think that barring some unexpected injuries or other unusual circumstances, both teams have the talent available to hold on to their leads throughout the rest of the season.

3 Teams, A Maxiumum of 2 Spots

The AL East continues to improve every single year, as the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees have been trading 1st through 3rd in the division back and forth all season. Through Friday’s games, all 3 teams have the 3 top records in the American League. Clearly, this presents a problem, as only 2 of them can make the playoffs. Someone is going to have to separate themselves at some point, but I’m not sure when that is going to happen. The Rays got off to a hot start, but have struggled of late. The Yankees got off to a slow start but have come on strong and now lead the division. Even the Red Sox are only 5 games back despite having suffered an unusually high amount of injuries. Someone is going to be sitting at home unhappy despite potentially winning 90+ games in that division.

Managers Available for Hire

We could be looking at potentially having nearly half the teams in the Majors change managers by the start of the 2011 season. 4 teams have already gotten the ball started, with Fredi Gonzalez (Marlins), Trey Hillman (Royals), Dave Trembley (Orioles) and A.J. Hinch of the Diamondbacks. In addition, major skippers like Joe Torre of the Dodgers and Lou Piniella of the Cubs are both in the final year of their contracts, and it appears that more and more that neither man is likely to return. And of course, there is the expected retirement of the Braves’ Bobby Cox and Blue Jays’ Cito Gaston after this season as well. Invariably, there will be some other managers that could lose their jobs before the start of next year, and my own speculation leads me to think that potentially teams like the Brewers, Pirates, Athletics and even the Mariners could all potentially see new managers as well.

The Rookie Class of 2010

It seems like this year’s rookie class is by far one of the best in many years. The season started out with Atlanta Braves’ OF Jason Heyward making the team out of Spring Training, and has not let up ever since. 13 of Baseball America’s Top 20 prospects have already made their debuts, and many of them are seeing a lot of success.

  • Carlos Santana of the Indians is hitting .284 with 5 HR and 16 RBI since being called up on June 11th.
  • Buster Posey of the Giants is hitting .333 with 6 HR and 20 RBI while playing both catcher and first base.
  • Tyler Colvin of the Cubs has hit 12 homeruns in part time playing time so far this season.
  • Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch of the Tigers have been going back and forth for the AL Rookie of the Year award. Jackson got off to a hot start, but Boesch has passed him at this point. Boesch is leading all rookies with 12 homeruns and 48 runs batted in, and also is hitting .345.
  • Gaby Sanchez of the Marlins is quietly hitting .299 with 9 homeruns and 38 runs batted in.
  • Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals has exceeded all expectations, posting an 8-4 record with a 2.17 ERA and 80 strikeouts so far.
  • Mike Leake of the Reds surprised everyone by coming up without playing a single game in the minors and has a 6-1 record with a 3.53 ERA.
  • Neftali Feliz of the Rangers has stabilized the back end of their bullpen, recording 23 saves and earning himself an All-Star appearance.

Other top prospects that have come up as well: Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates, Mike Stanton of the Marlins, Alcides Escobar of the Brewers, Ike Davis of the Mets, and Justin Smoak of the Rangers… er Mariners.

Clearly though, the most anticipated debut didn’t come until June 8th…


June 8th was the Major League debut of the phenom, Nationals’ top prospect Stephen Strasburg. His starts in the minors were selling out every time through. He was sent down to the Minors after Spring Training to work on his performance with runners on base. As if he was actually allowing any of those down there. His minor league numbers (AA and AAA): 11 starts, 7-2, 1.30 ERA, 65 strikeouts to 13 walks in 55 1/3 innings pitched. At times, his stuff looked absolutely dominant, but the concern remained: Could he repeat this performance at the Major League level?

For the most part, the answer to that question is a resounding Yes. His debut against the lowly Pirates: 14 strikeouts, 0 walks, and a victory in 7 innings. So far, he has a 3-2 record with a 2.32 ERA and 61 strikeouts in just 42 2/3 innings pitched. He has had some games where his control has been less than stellar, including the 5 walk performance against the Indians. I have to admit, I thought that he would have some struggles when he got up to the Majors, but I didn’t anticipate the excellent performance overall that he has given to this point. The longer that Jason Heyward stays on the disabled list, the more likely it becomes that Strasburg will win the Rookie of the Year award for the National League. He simply looks dominant out there in nearly every start, and the stuff he throws is simply amazing. I hope he can stay healthy long term, as he is really going to be something special if he can.

Overall Reactions

After so many games being played, it has been a really good season to this point. As it seems to happen every season, there are some things that don’t go the way everyone expects, but it definitely makes it more interesting when there are new stories that emerge over the span of the season. It looks like it’s going to be a good race in many of the divisions, and could go down to the wire.

No post on Tuesday this week, and I’ll be back with a new post on Wednesday.

The Month in Review – June 2010

As we rapidly approach the All Star break, I can honestly say that once again we’ve had quite a bit going on in the world of baseball to this point. Rookies making their debut all over the place, no-hitters everywhere (and near no-hitters), retirements, and of course the start of the trade deadline rumor mill.

All-Star Teams

Every month prior to the All-Star break, I will create my All-Star teams for each league. I plan on following the same guidelines given to the managers of the All-Star game when selecting my teams for each month. Those would be:

  • 34 man rosters, 21 position players, 13 pitchers
  • Each team must be represented

Now that we’ve received the final voting updates for the All-Star game, I will start the lineups with that, and build the team around that. All stats are through Tuesday’s games.

American League

American League Starters
C Joe Mauer MIN .302 .378 41 3 34 1
1B Justin Morneau MIN .347 .445 47 15 50 0
2B Robinson Cano NYY .358 .407 56 15 53 2
3B Evan Longoria TAM .296 .373 46 12 53 12
SS Derek Jeter NYY .286 .346 50 8 39 8
OF Ichiro Suzuki SEA .335 .391 31 3 24 21
OF Carl Crawford TAM .315 .379 57 7 38 27
OF Josh Hamilton TEX .343 .386 52 18 58 6
DH Vladimir Guerrero TEX .330 .375 49 16 63 4
American League Reserves
C Mike Napoli LAA .262 .346 29 13 40 0
1B Paul Konerko CHW .295 .389 40 12 52 1
1B Miguel Cabrera DET .338 .414 57 20 67 2
1B Kevin Youkilis BOS .301 .421 62 15 50 2
2B Ty Wigginton BAL .262 .346 29 13 40 0
3B Adrian Beltre BOS .349 .387 40 12 52 1
SS Elvis Andrus TEX .296 .378 52 0 24 22
OF Alexis Rios CHW .307 .365 49 13 40 21
OF Vernon Wells TOR .288 .340 44 19 47 4
OF Shin-Soo Choo CLE .285 .387 46 12 42 12
OF Brett Gardner NYY .321 .403 49 3 23 24
DH Jose Guillen KC .279 .342 41 13 47 1
American League Pitching Staff
Role Name
SP Cliff Lee SEA 7 3 0 95.2 2.45 0.92 78
SP Jered Weaver LAA 7 3 0 101.2 3.01 1.09 118
SP David Price TAM 11 3 0 99.2 2.44 1.21 84
SP Jon Lester BOS 9 3 0 107 2.86 1.11 111
SP Colby Lewis TEX 7 5 0 98.2 3.28 1.07 94
SP Andy Pettitte NYY 9 2 0 99.1 2.72 1.16 74
SP C.C. Sabathia NYY 9 3 0 108.1 3.49 1.15 89
SP Shaun Marcum TOR 7 3 0 103.1 3.14 1.13 81
RP Jose Valverde DET 1 1 18 34 0.53 0.68 32
RP Rafael Soriano TAM 2 0 18 27.2 1.63 0.76 26
RP Neftali Feliz TEX 1 1 20 33.1 2.70 0.96 37
RP Mariano Rivera NYY 2 1 17 29.1 0.92 0.61 29
RP Andrew Bailey OAK 0 0 15 32 1.69 0.97 23

The National League

National League Starters
C Yadier Molina STL .235 .313 14 3 30 6
1B Albert Pujols STL .312 .424 44 18 57 7
2B Chase Utley PHI .277 .383 49 11 37 5
3B Placido Polanco PHI .318 .349 39 5 27 3
SS Hanley Ramirez FLA .293 .378 43 12 50 14
OF Ryan Braun MIL .299 .358 48 11 49 11
OF Andrew McCutchen* PIT .298 .378 48 7 24 19
OF Andre Ethier LAD .312 .370 37 12 47 1
DH Joey Votto CIN .313 .415 49 17 54 7
* – Injury replacement for Jason Heyward
National League Reserves
Pos Name
C Miguel Olivo COL .308 .368 34 11 38 4
1B Adrian Gonzalez SD .302 .395 42 16 51 0
1B Troy Glaus ATL .264 .368 41 14 56 0
1B Adam Dunn WAS .271 .361 43 17 47 0
2B Martin Prado ATL .334 .376 55 7 33 3
3B David Wright NYM .310 .392 43 14 61 13
3B Scott Rolen CIN .301 .368 41 17 53 0
SS Juan Uribe SF .270 .340 37 12 45 1
OF Justin Upton ARI .268 .351 47 14 39 11
OF Colby Rasmus STL .275 .370 46 16 40 8
OF Corey Hart MIL .278 .345 39 18 60 4
OF Carlos Gonzalez* COL .302 .330 47 12 46 11
*roster replacement for Jason Heyward
National League Pitching Staff
Role Name Team W L SV IP ERA WHIP K
SP Ubaldo Jimenez COL 14 1 0 113 1.83 1.05 102
SP Josh Johnson FLA 8 3 0 108 1.83 0.96 107
SP Roy Halladay PHI 9 6 0 108 2.29 1.07 102
SP Tim Lincecum SF 8 3 0 103.2 3.12 1.25 117
SP Mike Pelfrey NYM 10 2 1 99.2 2.72 1.07 70
SP Tim Hudson ATL 8 3 0 106.1 2.37 1.17 51
SP Jaime Garcia STL 7 4 0 87.1 2.27 1.26 70
SP Adam Wainwright STL 11 5 0 119.1 2.34 1.03 114
RP Matt Lindstrom HOU 2 1 18 31.1 3.16 1.6 7.18
RP Matt Capps WAS 0 3 22 33.2 3.48 1.46 30
RP Heath Bell SD 3 0 21 32.2 1.93 1.41 43
RP Billy Wagner ATL 5 0 15 30.1 1.19 0.96 46
RP Carlos Marmol CHC 2 1 14 35.2 2.27 1.21 66

I took Jason Heyward out of the starting lineup since he has already stated that if he is selected, he won’t play due to his thumb injury. I picked McCutchen to replace him in the lineup as both Braun and Ethier are corner outfielders, and McCutchen plays CF. Other players who are likely to be replaced, but have not been as of yet: Chase Utley (who I would replace with Casey McGehee of the Brewers), and Placido Polanco (who I would replace with Ryan Zimmerman). Looking at the All-Star starters, the only one who really hasn’t done a whole lot offensively to deserve it at this point, to me anyway, is Yadier Molina. But it’s hard to argue with a catcher who has a pitching staff with 2 All-Star starting pitchers and a 3rd who is also deserving (Chris Carpenter).

My Award Winners to Date

AL MVP –  Miguel Cabrera (DET)
NL MVP – Albert Pujols (STL)
AL Cy Young – Cliff Lee (SEA)
NL Cy Young – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL)
AL Rookie of the Year – Brennan Boesch (DET)
NL Rookie of the Year – Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

Weekly Links and Weeks in Review

May 31-June 6
June 7-June 13
June 14-June 20
June 21-June 27

June was an extremely busy month for stories, with so many that I had honestly forgotten a few of them before I reviewed my week-in-review posts.

  • On June 2nd, Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement abruptly, about an hour before that evening’s game. I wrote up my thoughts about him here, and also wrote up my thoughts on him as a fantasy player over at FakeTeams.
  • Unfortunately, the retirement of Griffey was overshadowed by the near-perfect game that was thrown on the same night by Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga. By now, it seems to have blown over, as it is not really mentioned nearly as much as it was when it happened. I wrote up my thoughts on it at the time, and I think that they are still pretty apt a month later.
  • It was a bit of an up-and-down month for Carlos Zambrano, as he was brought back into the rotation early on in the month, only to have blown his top in the dugout of his last start on the 25th. He is currently on the restricted list and is seeking treatment in New York. What that treatment is exactly for is anyone’s guess, but I would have to imagine it has something to do with his temper. Hopefully he’ll be able to return after the All-Star break to the form that had made him an All-Star previously.
  • Yet another no-hitter was thrown in the month of June, with Edwin Jackson of the Diamondbacks throwing one on June 25th. The story with the no-hitter seemed to be 2 fold: One, that manager A.J. Hinch had left Jackson in the game to throw a total of 149 pitches to get through the start, and two, that Jackson had allowed 10 different baserunners without allowing a hit. Either way, it was probably one of the more improbable no-hitters that we have seen in awhile.
  • June clearly was the month of rookie debuts. Some of the rookies making their season (or career) debuts in June: Pedro Alvarez, Brad Lincoln, and Jose Tabata of the Pirates, Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox, Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, Andrew Oliver of the Tigers, and Felix Doubront of the Red Sox. But there were 3 names that were covered more than any other, and with good reason: Mike Stanton of the Marlins, Carlos Santana of the Indians, and Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals. Stanton has been a bit of a mixed bag to this point, hitting .217/.276/.348 with 2 homeruns and 3 stolen bases so far. In any other season, Santana would be the rookie debut most discussed, as he has caught fire and is hitting everything that moves in the American League. To date, Santana is hitting .333/.456/.704 with 8 doubles, 4 homeruns, and 14 runs batted in through 17 games.
  • Clearly though, the story on everyone’s mind all month long has been the debut and subsequent starts of Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg electrified Nationals fans, and the league as a whole after striking out 14 in 7 innings in his debut against the Pirates on June 8th. He’s done nothing but pitch well ever since, and despite a 2-2 record, he now has a 2.27 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and 48 strikeouts to 7 walks in only 31 2/2 innings pitched. That’s a K/9 rate of 13.6, the highest of any starter so far this season. Having watched the highlights of all his starts, and parts of others as they happened, the kid is legit. With the injury of Jason Heyward toward the end of the month, the NL Rookie of the Year race is wide open and I think Strasburg could very well take it.
  • The hot stove league has heated up slowly so far, with minor trades of Dontrelle Willis and Conor Jackson being the only players of note. But with Cliff Lee likely to be traded, and rumblings of Roy Oswalt being available, it is only a matter of time before there are many more deals to discuss. I plan to do reviews like I did during the offseason of some of the major ones when they happen.
  • The MLB draft was also on June 8th, and the only real surprise of the first round was the fact that Nationals’ top pick Bryce Harper was announced as an outfielder, not a catcher. Clearly, this will make his path to the Majors that much faster, as his bat could be pretty close to Major league ready as it stands now.

What’s Coming in July

I am actually pretty well planned out for the month of July for posts. I went through teams #30 to #15 in my Original Draft Series, where I look at each organization and build a roster based on each player’s original professional franchise. In July, I will continue on with the series, posting about teams #14 through 11 later on in the month. In addition, I will be reviewing the rosters of the All-Star teams after they are announced on Sunday, and critiquing my own choices versus the managers. Also, I will look back on how the prospects I reviewed in the offseason have progressed so far, and how they are stacking up to my own predictions (wild as they may have been).

I will also be starting up the book reviews I had previously mentioned that I had hoped to do. The first book on the list is Fantasyland by Sam Walker. I also picked up a pair of older copies of Baseball America’s Almanac (the 2003 and 2008 editions) at a used book sale last week, and have been looking through some of the information for some post ideas, and found some pretty good ones so far.

Thanks again to all the readers, and if you’re enjoying the writing, please feel free to either write a comment on the posts, and take a few seconds to become a fan of Jason’s Baseball Blog on Facebook. You can do that here.

Quick Review of the Links

I wanted to write a quick post talking about the links on the sidebar here, and why I like some of these websites.

3 True Outcomes – A relatively new blog, he covers a lot of general topics regarding baseball, and has some pretty good takes on the topics he writes about. His most recent post about the passing of Jose Lima was very good.

Baseball Reference – Baseball Reference is essentially the online version of the old Baseball Encyclopedia, only with more information than you could ever use. I refer to them a lot when looking at player information, but they also have information about nearly every topic related to baseball and its’ history. If you haven’t been over there before, I highly recommend it.

Cot’s Baseball Contracts – A clearing house for all baseball information related to player and manager contracts, it’s an excellent source of information for those topics. Whenever I need to find out about a player’s salary, their arbitration status, etc, this is my main source.

Fangraphs – Another great source for player information, but these guys are more stat-head. I generally go to them for advanced statistics and ratios.

Love My Team – Johanna Wagner is a baseball writer who also has written a book about the season she spent traveling to all 30 MLB stadiums. She has some good takes on the things that happen during the season, and has some other writers who help to write about some of the other topics as well.

MLB Depth Charts – Jason Martinez and his staff do an excellent job of keeping their pages up to date with the latest MLB transactions. He also includes a downloadable spreadsheet that includes a lot more information about the organizations and the players as a whole. I rely on their page to keep me up to date on the effects of roster moves made by the teams.

The Hall of Very Good – A blog that writes about baseball in general, but also specializes in the Hall of Fame and the qualifications of the players who are eligible. I specifically enjoy their series each year where they discuss the credentials of each eligible player for the Hall, and what their vote would be. They actually used my HOF ballot review of Tim Raines for their series last year.

Fake Teams – Fake Teams is the fantasy page over at SBNation.Com. I actually write for this website also, and our goal is to provide excellent fantasy advice and analysis. Check it out if you’re looking for info on that.

Most of the minor league links specialize in their specific teams and the minor leaguers in that system, but there are a few who are a bit more generalized.

Andy Seiler’s MLB Draft Blog – Andy does an excellent job of covering the MLB Draft and the players involved in it. Whenever I need information about a player that could be drafted, I start there.

John Sickels’ Minor League Blog – The SBNation’s blog about the minor leagues, they (along with John and his wife) have some excellent analysis and an extremely active community of users.

Minor League Splits – These guys track minor league players stats and a numerous amount of their splits during the season.

Prospect Tube – The website posts nothing but video of minor league players. It’s extremely helpful to see other players to help scout them. I really find it good to watch pitchers so that I can see their movement and windup.