Saturday Links (18 Sep 10)

When the world is running down, you make the best of what’s still around…

  • A Not-So-Brief History of Pitching Injuries, Starring Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers (Jonah Keri). Parts of the article make my arm hurt: “Ryan’s own ironman history would seem to make him the perfect spokesman for pushing pitchers to go deeper into games. His 235-pitch slog back in ’74 marked the third time in three years he’d pitched 12 innings or more in a game.” [h/t BBTF]
  • Steve Carlton’s ’72, King Felix’s ’10 and the Myth of Knowing How to Win (Platoon Advantage). Speaking of great pitchers…
  • WAR without the defense (oWAR) & WAR with just the defense (dWAR) (Baseball-Reference). Sean talks about everyone’s favorite new controversial stat. He also explains replacement level (fascinating discussion ensues in the comments).
  • Playing the God of Baseball (FanGraphs). Maury Brown discusses what he would do if he ran MLB. My favorite suggestions? Firing Jeff Loria and the McCourts, eliminating the All-Star Game home field advantage thing, and abolishing the DH.
  • Announcing THT Reports (Hardball Times). Dave and Max are publishing some cool PDF type dealios. Here’s the direct link to the reports. Go nuts.
  • Monday (Inside the Padres). From Tom Krasovic’s article: “I picked the Padres for 79 victories and fourth place, ahead of only the Diamondbacks. And I was more bullish on the Padres than most pundits.” Yep, I had ‘em in fourth, ahead of Arizona, but with 75 wins.
  • It gets harder from here (Padres Trail). Mike put $20 on the Pads to win it all. I did the same back in May. Here’s hoping we get a nice little windfall.
  • These Questions 3: Chadd Hartman (SweetSpot). Rob Neyer chats with the former Padres farmhand. Rob also points out that maybe Mets GM Omar Minaya shouldn’t have given away Heath Bell and later blown giant wads of cash on Francisco Rodriguez.
  • Updated In-season 2010 (and 2009) Park Factors (Baseball-Reference). Sean explains that, among other things, Petco Park isn’t playing quite as extreme this year as it has in the recent past.
  • Uni Watch Profiles: Jerry Reuss, Part 1 (Uni Watch). True story: I once dressed up as Reuss for Halloween. I practiced forging his signature and gave out “autographs” when we went trick-or-treating. Sadly, that doesn’t even make the top 10 dorkiest things I’ve done in my life. [h/t BBTF]
  • Gonzalez mostly scoffs as foes align their defense to stop him (North County Times). Mostly scoffs… but sometimes lays down a bunt. [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
  • Answer Man: Vin Scully talks candy, Dodgers and ‘Bewitched’ (Big League Stew). David Brown chats with one of my heroes. Quoth Scully: “The only thing I’ve always done — certainly for the last, oh, 50 years — if someone is pitching a no-hitter, I will say he’s pitching a no-hitter.” [h/t BBTF]
  • (Mid)Westbrook (FanGraphs). Is it me, or would the Padres have been better off keeping Jake Westbrook and not shipping him to the Cardinals for Ryan Ludwick?
  • ZiPS ROS Projections as Estimates of True Talent (3-D Baseball). Speaking of Ludwick, he is featured in this one. [h/t FanGraphs]
  • Seamhead stuff (Inside the Padres). Krasovic talks about Thursday night’s loss in St. Louis: “Looked like right-fielder Ryan Ludwick got a slowish jump on the Pujols lob that landed in right-center, a foot beyond Ludwick’s diving try. Big play.” What I’ve noticed about Ludwick, which concerns me even more than his sluggish bat, is that he always seems to get slowish jumps. I’d heard good things about his defense, but he hasn’t shown anything out there since coming to the Padres. Honestly, he looks like a DH to me. With all the other options available, I don’t see how he and his arbitration-eligible status fit into this ballclub next year. Kras also discusses Will Venable, noting that “if he can learn to make adjustments a little faster, then the Padres might have something.” Here’s the thing: The more I watch Venable, the more I see Al Martin. Venable is going to have a successful career because he’s a great athlete who can play baseball, but he will frustrate because in the back of your mind, you’ll wonder how much better he could be if he had any kind of approach.
  • Stormin’ the Minor League (Stadium Journey). Here’s a fun review of my personal favorite ballpark, The Diamond in Lake Elsinore.
  • The Year Money Didn’t Matter (Wall Street Journal). From the article: “If the current standings hold up through the end of the season, this will be the first year in the game’s modern history — the period since the 1994 players’ strike — when the amount of money a ballclub pays its players bears almost no relationship with how many games it won.” Oh, noes; don’t tell Bud Selig. [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
  • Padres claim RHP Cesar Carrillo off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies ( This comes about a week after the Phillies claimed Carrillo off waivers from the Padres. In other words, both teams reached the same conclusion, but it took one of them a lot longer to get there… and then apparently change its mind. Craig Italiano was DFA’d to make room for Carrillo, who owns a 5.06 ERA in 484 minor-league innings.
  • Cooperstown Confidential: Baseball and Vietnam (Hardball Times). Bruce Markusen’s latest includes a look at former Padres outfielder Al Bumbry. No, you’re not the only who had forgotten that Bumbry played here.
  • The magic numbers of life (Watson Files). From Dan’s latest: “I heard the Hot Rods had just received a player from Short-A Hudson Valley. His name? Burt Reynolds. I’m not making this up. He didn’t start the first game, but he did pinch hit. Then he started every game of the series after that. The Buford T. Justice and Loni Anderson jokes were everywhere.”
  • Think you know baseball? No, you don’t (Yahoo!). Jeff Passan notes, among other things, that “Chase Headley is a better fielding third basemen than Adrian Beltre.” Yeah, lost in Headley’s offensive stagnation is the fact that he has turned into a terrific defender. [h/t BBTF]
  • Latos has come a long way in a short time ( We’ve seen this same story written many times in 2010. Corey’s is the latest and it’s still a fun read (although admittedly the timing could be better).
  • Dodgers take path of least resistance with Mattingly (SweetSpot). Don Mattingly will replace Joe Torre in 2011. In other news, the McCourts seriously need to get out of town.
  • Twins’ Gardenhire and Anderson Say: Just Throw Strikes (New York Times). In the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual, I discussed at length Minnesota’s emphasis on controlling the strike zone. Guys who “just throw strikes” can be effective and, because pitching to contact isn’t terribly sexy, they don’t always cost as much as strikeout artists. This is a good thing for teams operating on a tight budget to bear in mind. [h/t SweetSpot]

We are rooting for many teams right now. Go Padres, go Brewers, go Dodgers, go Mets, go Donner, go Blitzen… I liked this better when the Padres controlled their own destiny.

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2 Responses »

  1. This is insane! Almost inevitably the division is going to come down to the last series, if not the last game, in San Fran. Has Tulowitzki passed his steroid test this season? If not, I think he needs to be given one immediately.

  2. Tom Waits called the second Carillo DFA. The question is, what is Padres brass thinking? Is there some detail in the procedure the Padres are using, and to what end? Do they see a future for him with the club or is this just a numbers game they’re playing?