Author Archive

What’s Wrong with Francisco Liriano?

We’re only heading into the last week of April, but it’s already been a cataclysmic start to the season for Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano. To contextualize a bit for how bad the season has been for the 28-year-old left-hander, take a look at Liriano’s line from Sunday:

5 innings pitched, 5 runs (5 ER), 4 K/4 BB, 86 pitches (47 strikes) Read the rest of this entry »

Early Season Trends Worth Monitoring – NL Edition

Last week I set out to examine some early-season trends and what they may mean for the season ahead. Incidentally, the list was entirely comprised of players on the junior circuit, so today, let’s examine a couple trends that are taking place in the NL, and if we feel they’re worth monitoring. As usual, the “blah blah small sample size blah blah” still applies, though feel free to mention it in the comments if it tickles your fancy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Early Season Trends Worth Monitoring

As we round the corner and storm full-steam ahead through week two of the big league season, today I thought it might be apt to take a peek at a few players’ starts and wonder aloud what exactly they might mean for the season ahead. Of course we have the small sample size caveats — likely suggesting we take most trends with a grain of salt — but sometimes a hot or cold start is all it takes to spur a career-altering season, especially if it comes on the heel of a torrid previous September or something like that.

On a semi-related note: How awesome is it to finally be able to click on a 2012 season on the sortable leaderboards?

But I digress. Let’s take a peek at a few trends and see what we think. Again, I’ll emphasize it’s only been three to five games, so I’m not going super serious with how I think these will play out.

Yoenis Cespedes – .250/.368/.875 (.505 wOBA/244 wRC+)

Cespedes is off to a sizzling start which obviously won’t continue, but there have been a few key elements of his game that I’ve found interesting. For one, he’s yet to hit a single, and has only drawn a single walk — two HBP in 19 PA keep his isolated discipline reasonable — so despite a healthy triple-slash, it’s hard to get an exact feel for how his season will extrapolate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alex Gordon Gets Royally Rewarded

Word broke late Friday afternoon that the Royals and 28-year-old left fielder Alex Gordon reached a contract extension. The skinny on the contract is that it’s a four-year deal worth $37.5 million, with a player option for 2016 that can bring the total value to $50 million even. The contract buys out two years of team control and an additional two of free agency, and breaks down to $6/$9/$10/$12.5, and negates the $4.775 midpoint, arbitration-avoiding deal the two parties agreed to in early February. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 Organizational Rankings: #25 — Minnesota

Dave Cameron laid out the methodology behind the rankings last Friday. Remember that the grading scale for each category is 20-80, with 50 representing league average.

2012 Organizational Rankings

#30 – Baltimore
#29 – Houston
#28 – Oakland
#27 – Pittsburgh
#26 – San Diego Read the rest of this entry »

Tsuyoshi Nishioka – A Revisionist History

In a move that was somehow simultaneously surprising and not, Tsuyoshi Nishioka was sent down to Triple-A Rochester Monday, and to say it’s been a tumultuous year for the man would be an understatement. No, this isn’t to evoke images of sympathy for a man who made $3 million for especially bad baseball last year, and is due a minimum of $6.25 million more. Read the rest of this entry »

Is It Over for Ivan?

As we approach the midpoint of spring training and cast a wanting eye towards opening day, it is probably fair to wonder about the status of currently unsigned free agents. One such free agent is future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, whose dalliances with the Mets a week or so ago proved fruitless, and thus may be pushing the legendary backstop towards retirement whether he wants to or not. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Money Rides off into the Sunset

The eldest of the flying Molina trio, Bengie Molina officially hung up his cleats Monday, though technically they hadn’t been used in well over a year. And while the news of his retirement flew under the radar a bit — perhaps due to not playing in over a year, and perhaps because it was overshadowed by Yadi’s extension — today we’ll try provide an adequate appreciation for just how good he was over his 13-year career. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Trails, Mike Cameron

A solid, if not a bit underrated career came to an end as Mike Cameron called it quits over the weekend, exactly two months after inking a minor league pact to play in the nation’s capital. Cameron’s career ends after 17 seasons with eight ballclubs, during which time the fleet afoot center fielder nabbed three Gold Gloves, poked 278 homers, swiped 297 bags, collected exactly 1,700 hits, and played in just shy of 2,000 games.

Read the rest of this entry »

Scott Baker: Most Underrated Hurler in the Bigs?

As someone who spends a significant part of their work day at a desk, I spend a lot of time perusing stats. Not exactly an earth-shatterer — this is FanGraphs after all — but it does prod my mind to some interesting questions and processes. In fact, you may have read about one last week. As most of you know, I’m willing to be an open book when it comes to researching my pieces — like the Larry Walker one — so keep that in mind as you read.

Read the rest of this entry »