Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SweetSpot Roundup 2/22

Austin's Astros 290 Blog: Friday Optimism
And now you get it on a Tuesday! "Why not be optimistic?  I’m as frustrated as the next fan, but you know…if I can’t be optimistic now, I might not ever have the chance."

Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Andy Marte - Learning our lesson
Kevin looks back at a set of unpopular Braves moves that didn't turn out quite as badly as everyone expected, and along the way unearths some pretty funny quotes about uber-prospect Marte.

Fungoes (Cardinals): With Lohse, time is right for Cardinals to try four-man rotation
Several years ago (I don't remember now, 2002 or so?), a popular thought among sabermetricians -- then much less popular people -- was that five-man rotations were silly, that it was pitches per start, not days between starts, that fatigued a pitcher, and that teams would be heading toward four-man rotations in the near future. I never saw any study that contradicted that thought, or anything...it just kind of went away. Well, Pip looks at the Cardinals' four very good starters on one hand, and Kyle Lohse on the other, and figures it's time to start banging that drum again.

The View from the Bleachers (Cubs): The Soriano Experiment
As we enter year five (!) of that huge, predictably poor contract Jim Hendry signed Alfonso Soriano to, Buddy finds it a good time to take stock.

Dodger Thoughts: Now Batting, Don Mattingly
Quotes about Manager Donnie standing in in the batter's box for bullpen sessions, and other Spring Training Dodger news.

Mets Today: Is Terry Collins Detached from Reality, or Playing Head Games?
Joe muses about some really puzzling things the new Met manager had to say to or about Luis Castillo.

Nationals Baseball: Danny Espinosa, I do not know you.
"As far as the Nats offense goes I feel like I got a pretty good grasp on how almost everyone is going to do. Those with a lot of major league experience (Werth, Zimm, The French Rock) are easy enough to predict. I think Morgan and Desmond will fall nicely into "better than last year, still not as good as fans hope". Pudge will have an empty batting average and stink. Ramos will have an empty batting average and not stink. But Danny Espinosa eludes me."

Ducksnorts (Padres): I think I sprained my cliche
Geoff with an entertainingly snarky look at some of the things to keep an eye on this spring.

Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Marlins 2011 Preview with Michael Jong
Getting the skinny on one of the Phillies' division rivals, from one of my favorite non-SweetSpot bloggers.

Redleg Nation: Behind the Plate
Thoughts on the catcher position, where the Reds are in much better shape than you probably realize. I'm with Chad, though -- if Ramon Hernandez is okay and everything, but if Hanigan's healthy, Hanigan's your catcher.

Baseballin' on a Budget (A's): Shooty Babitt, the King of the Parlay
An interesting interview with one of the A's broadcasters, who spent just a single year in the Bigs.

Ghostrunner on First (Blue Jays): Don't Lose Sight
It's nice to know that Drew is just as bullish on the Bautista deal as I am.

Pro Ball NW (Mariners): Get Excited About Josh Lueke
Lueke is, of course, the young pitcher who was guilty of wrongfully imprisoning a young woman in 2008 and had sex with her while she was passed out and who refers to the violent rape and sodomization of a woman as "a situtation that I shouldn't have [gotten into]. Used poor judgment."  Get excited about him all you want. I hope he falls down an open manhole and breaks his femur and pelvis in several places.  And if he landed on his shoulder, that'd be all right too.  I don't give a damn how "severely underrated" he is.

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Michael Young (and the Rangers) Discuss the Trade Situation
The Rangers and Michael Young continue to need to walk back from his comments over the offseason and the team's failed attempts to deal him.

The Ray Area: Don't Go to the Spring Training Zoo
Marc is underwhelmed by the actual process of visiting Spring Training.

Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): Should We Count the Yankees Out?
The answer, of course, is no.  You don't count the Yankees out until you kill them, bury them, dig them up to make sure they're still dead, drive a stake through their heart just to make sure, and throw the body in a wood chipper like in Fargo.

Royals Authority: The Future of Catching
Craig profiles Kansas City's catcher of the future, Salvador Perez.  Sounds flashy.

The Daily Fungo (Tigers): Sheff Checks Out
"There’s been no other Tigers player in my lifetime that has left me wanting more than Sheff."

Nick's Twins Blog: Liriano and Work Ethic
"If quotes like the one Anderson provided above accurately reflect the lefty's work ethic, it's hard to fault the club for being hesitant to commit long-term, or for being perpetually irritated when apparently avoidable injury issues like his current shoulder soreness crop up."

It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Could Brackman Be the Fifth Starter?
Has it really gotten this desperate in the Bronx?

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