The Best of FanGraphs: February 19-23, 2018

Each week, we publish in the neighborhood of 75 articles across our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.

MONDAY, 2/19
The Padres Must Think That They’re Not Far Away, by Jeff Sullivan
Jeff puts the pieces together and concludes that the Padres can see the finish line. Some of those pieces include analysis written by FanGraphs’ own Dave Cameron, who joined the San Diego front office just in time to see the Eric Hosmer deal completed.

Bad Beats: Baseball’s Worst Losses, NL Edition, by Shane Tourtellotte
Baseball is very good at ripping out hearts. Here are the National League games across decades in which baseball did so the most efficiently.

The Fly Balls Have Arrived In College Baseball, Too, by Brandon Schlotfeld
Cross college baseball stadiums off your list of places to hide from terms like “fly revolution” or “launch angle.”

What’s the Plan in Cincinnati?, by Rian Watt
Can the Reds build Joey Votto a team that, uh, doesn’t lose 90 games?

MLB Isn’t Really Addressing Its Pace Problem, by Travis Sawchik
In its most relatable move yet, MLB is ignoring its problems by only addressing the negligible causes.  The flow between pitches is the real culprit slowing down the game.

The White Sox’ Rotation Could Be Anything, by Rian Watt
It turns out many of us believe the White Sox will be pretty good pretty soon. Whether or not they make us look smart depends largely on how the rotation develops.

Asia Is No Longer a Last Stop for Major Leaguers, by Sung Min Kim
Foreign players are moving Asian leagues like the Korean Baseball Organization and the Nippon Professional League up on their itineraries. The leagues have taken steps to make adapting easier for players and players have realized the value of the leagues.

Projecting the Impossible: Pitcher Wins, by Jeff Sullivan
With a player’s projected ERA and his team’s projected win percentage, this Mission Impossible just got a whole lot closer to possible.

Surprise! You Believed Their 2017 BABIPs, But Shouldn’t Have, by Mike Podhorzer
Everything isn’t always as it seems.

Paul DeJong, Nick Senzel, and the Future of Unlikely Shortstops, by Craig Edwards
Craig might have just found the next small thing.

The Making of a Sabermetric Murderer, by Roger Cormier
In his first article as a contributor, Roger takes us through the twisted tale of Eric Hosmer.

Rob Whalen on His Career-Threatening Battle with Anxiety, by David Laurila
The 24-year-old pitcher with the Mariners took a leave of absence last July to confront his crumbling mental health. Here, he talks about his struggle.

FRIDAY, 2/23
Baseball as a Business, a Historical Perspective, by Rachael McDaniel
An excerpt: “I knew that fans and observers must have had similar feelings over the past few decades, what with frequent labor interruptions, collusion, and steroid scandals. But I found myself wondering just how long baseball fans have wished that the sport they love could be separated from the cold realities of big business—whether this was a relatively modern development, or, rather, a link connecting generations of fans.”

Did Lenny Dykstra Extort Umpires?, by Sheryl Ring
An incredible question with an equally interesting answer.

Find Mina on Twitter @maddc8.

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