Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SweetSpot Roundup 3/16

Austin's Astros 290 Blog: Fifth starter race leaning Figueroa...for now
Breaking down the team's candidates for that last rotation spot. One hopes the Astros themselves have a bit more to base their decision on than statistics after two or three spring starts.

Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Wilkin Ramirez Rant
"Both [Ramirez and Ed Lucas] have quickly captured the attention of a fan base that appears desperate to debate the fifth bench role rather than more important battles between Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy for the final spot in the rotation or the handful of guys competing to break camp in the bullpen."

The View from the Bleachers (Cubs): Around the MLB: Breakout Players
Daniel lists and discusses the players he likes to take a big step forward in '11. Nice list overall, but I'm not feeling the Loney love.

Dodger Thoughts: March Mudness
Bill Cosby, an extensive list of notes and observations from Monday's game, and a bunch of interesting links.

Bay City Ball (Giants): Things That Make Sense
Trying to figure out what to do with the $60 million mistake that is Aaron Rowand.

Mets Today: Mets Bullpen Outlook
Evaluating a couple options for filling out the team's bullpen.

Nationals Baseball: Offensive Keyhole: Ian Desmond
Harper tries to rein in fan expectations for the offense of the Nats' shortstop-who-should-totally-be-a-second-baseman.

Ducksnorts (Padres): Open Thread: Who Do You Wish You'd Seen Play?
An interesting question (though, personally, I find it hard to accept any answer besides Babe Ruth or Willie Mays, but that's just me) followed by a long list of great links.

Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Starting Rotation Improvement
"Overall, Phillies starters in 2010 combined for a 3.55 ERA in 1055 and one-third innings. How much better does the 2011 rotation figure to be?" The answer: probably not quite as much better as you think.

Redleg Nation: Jay Bruce: Young, promising and historical
I really think people are unfairly overlooking Bruce, who I pegged for the Hall of Fame in 2033. Brian finds some reasons to get excited about the guy again.

Baseballin' on a Budget (A's): Thoughts From a Giants Fan
Thoughts largely unrelated to Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson, sadly.

Ghostrunner on First (Blue Jays): The Company You Keep
"No sense burying the lede here: I'm legitimately concerned about J.P. Arencibia."

Pro Ball NW (Mariners): Michael Pineda likely to make the Opening Day Rotation
"The Mariners would only need to keep Pineda in AAA long enough for one rotation turn in order to delay free agency for one year.  How can you pass that up?"  Apparently very easily, if you're Jon Shields. 

Weaver's Tantrum (Orioles): Spring Training History
Amazing news: "Winning these games is more fun than losing them, and there is something to be said for building a young team's confidence. Still, it doesn't look like there is much connection between a winning record in the spring and a winning record through the summer." Try to contain your shock.

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): I need a doctor to bring me back to life..." and his name is Feliz
How good is Neftali Feliz going to be this year?  "It never ceases to fascinate me how stark the difference of opinion can be between several people who are all presumably rendering their judgment based on the exact same visual evidence."

The Ray Area: Joe Maddon, Puppet Master
What makes Joe Maddon special?  Mark breaks down the job of a manager beyond the strategy.

Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): Are There Any 20-Game Winners Lurking in the Red Sox Rotation?
Who's got the right combination of durability, effectiveness, offensive support, and dumb luck?

Royals Authority: Bullpen Revelations
In Da Vinci Code-esque fashion, Clark Fosler devines the composition of the KC pen.

The Daily Fungo (Tigers): The Mysterious Enos Cabell
Cabell went from a valuable 1B on a 92 win team to a castoff.  Mike wonders why.

Nick's Twins Blog: Position Analysis, Catcher
Nick starts off his annual analysis of the Twins around the diamond with the easy one.

It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Banuelos Should Have a Chance for the Rotation
Is Manny Banuelos the solution to the Yankees' rotation problem?  Or will promoting him at 20 stunt his development?

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