Weekend Round-Up – 4/24/2011

Tales from the Sweet Spot Mother Ship:

  • David Schoenfield – Schoenfield puts together the All-Overrated team.  Can’t say I disagree with anyone on the list.
  • Christina Kahrl – Kahrl has the goods on Ryan Braun’s new extension.  Like me, she has short-term and long-term concerns with the deal.
  • Steve Berthiaume – Steve thinks a one game playoff is the way to go.  I respectfully disagree for a number of reasons, but his reasoning certainly makes sense.
  • Joe Janish – Joe examines Anibal Sanchez’s near no-no.
  • Austin Swafford – Austin wonders if the NL Central is due for disparity.

Tales from around the Sweet Spot Network:

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Should the Yankees Trade Austin Romine?

Russell Martin‘s strong start to the 2011 season has given Yankee fans some confidence in the short-term security of the catcher position.   In the early going, Martin has posted a .983 OPS and a .435 WOBA, and though his walk rate is down from previous years, his power production more resembles...

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Keeping it Simple: A.J. Burnett

In 2010, there was a stark difference in the distribution of pitch locations of A.J.’s curve compared to earlier years. You can see this in the following graph:



In this graph red represents locations that A.J. threw to less in 2010 than in 2008-2009, and blue represents the locations where A.J. threw his curve more to in 2010 than in 2008-2009. The graph is from the catcher’s perspective, so the right side of the graph is close to left-handed batters and the left side of the graph is close to right-handed batters. The dotted box is the strikezone. You can click on the graph (and all following graphs) to enlarge.

For whatever reason, in 2010 Burnett threw his curve significantly lower than before. As a consequence, he also threw the pitch much less often in the strikezone than 2008-2009. It’s not clear whether or not this was an intentional change, but this kind of dramatic shift in the locations of his curves is not likely to occur by random chance.…

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Unwritten Rules

Naturally enough, the Cubs were “incensed” by this breach of the unwritten rules. Cubs manager Mike Quade brought up the incident at the post-game news conference. One Cubs player told ESPNChicago.com that “things like that are always remembered down the road.” (In this case, the remembrance will probably take the form of a Cubs fastball aimed between the shoulder blades of a Dodger batter.) In his defense, Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly claimed that the team meant “no disrespect”, that his third base coach had missed a sign, and that the team did not intend to have its catcher trying to steal bases. But Mattingly also pointed out that the Dodgers had given up eight runs in the ninth inning of a recent loss to the Braves, that runs come easily in games played at the Cubs’ Wrigley Field, and that “we are trying to win the game”.

Maybe it’s because I’m not an ex-Major Leaguer, but my favorite unwritten rule is this: you play to win the game.…

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Game Thread | Yankees v. Orioles | April 22, 2011 (Update: Rained out)

Update: Game is rained out.

The Yankees look to continue winning series tonight in Baltimore, sending CC Sabathia to the hill against Brad Bergesen and the suddenly struggling Orioles. The game starts at 7:05 on the YES Network. Here is the Yankee lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
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Phil Hughes And The Yankee Prospect Poor Work Ethic Phenomenon

In the oddest blog post I’ve seen in a while, Joel Sherman says that Phil Hughes came to camp too fat, but then lost too much weight, but then had no work ethic, and that’s why he stinks. Or something:

I talked to a person with strong ties to the Yankees who threw out a...

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