In today's SweetSpot Roundup, Ryan Vogelson takes over for Barry Zito, Chris Young takes a breather, Alexi Ogando takes a step back, stomaching Murray Chass takes the patience of Job, and Mike Leake just takes period.
Austin's Astros Blog 290: Minor League Recap by McTaggert
Austin links to Brian McTaggert's look at the Astros improving farm system.
Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): Fifteen Game Summary
"The team has been doing a fine job of turning batted balls into outs – a far, far better job than last year, when they had a DER below .680.... I suspect that a large part of this is that the pitching staff is no longer composed of soft-tossers and Yovani Gallardo, which may mean that the fielders aren’t forced to field as many difficult batted balls."
View From the Bleachers (Cubs): GirlieView
"We could replace our first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, left fielder, center fielder, right fielder, third and fifth starting pitchers, and four of our relievers with the Hackensack Bulls and maybe lose four games in the standings."
Dodger Thoughts: Va-va-va-voom
Who is the Dodgers' MVP of 2011 so far?
Bay City Ball (Giants): Ryan Vogelsong, Question Mark?
"As much as I’m pulling for Vogelsong to write an interesting final chapter to the story of his involvement with the Giants, It would really be better if Barry Zito recovered quickly, and found his missing 3 mph of fastball velocity while he’s at it."
Mets Today: How Serious is Chris Young's Injury?
"In truth, however, biceps tendinitis can be a very serious problem. Don’t take it from me, though — instead, consider what a scientist has to say."
Nationals Baseball: I Don't Want to Sweep Alone
Harper thinks the Nats' good start is reminiscent of the 2005 club that is the last Washington squad to finish .500 or better.
Ducksnorts (Padres): That was the weekend, this is the title
Geoff looks back at the weekend series against the Astros.
Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Graph of the Intermitant Time Period
Bill looks at the Phillies patience at the dish, and comes away less than impressed: "This is the first Graph post of the 2011 season. Hooray! Sadly, it’s not a particularly encouraging graph."
Redleg Nation: Mike Leake Arrested
Call me crazy, but I don't think it's easy to be sympathetic with a guy who, in this economy, makes in excess of $400K and still thinks it's cool to (allegedly) steal $60 worth of T-shirts. What a knob.
Baseballin' on a Budget (A's): (16) Athletics 5, Tigers 1: Strikeouts Galore! Cahill's for Real!
Dan recaps Sunday's win, fueled by nine strikeouts in eight innings from Trevor Cahill.
Ghostrunner on First (Blue Jays): Can't Stop the Bum Regression
He means that regression is a bum you can't stop, I think, not that he's creating a new term "bum regression," although that would be awesome. Drew tries not to let his thing against Jesse Litsch and/or his supporters get in the way of a good game recap.
Pro Ball NW (Mariners): M's narrowly avoid sweep (5-11)
Jon didn't really see the game, so he pieces the recap together from the Twitter record, and puts together a funny image at the end.
Weaver's Tantrum (Orioles): On Deck--The Minnesota Twins
WE WILL DESTROY YOU I mean, um, Dave's got a little preview of the Orioles-Minnesota series which continues tonight.
Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Wherein Texas Proves Fallible
" It was fun to jokingly hype up Alexi Ogando as some sort of untouchable pitching demigod on the basis of his first two major league starts, but last night was a good example of what happens when you take a fastball-slider pitcher without a third pitch he really feels confident in and pit him against a dangerous lineup loaded with left-handed hitters in a ballpark that's extremely friendly towards such hitters."
The Ray Area: Symmetry
"The Rays have now gone 6-1 in their last 7 games, exactly the opposite of the 1-6 stretch they opened the season with. So, what gives? Are the Rays the 6-1 team or the 1-6 team?"
Fire Brand of the AL (Red Sox): The Legend of Jed Lowrie
Huh. "I understand why everyone wants Lowrie to get that starting role, but the Red Sox would gain about one win by starting Lowrie over Scutaro. He could add much more value in a utility role taking as many at bats against lefties as possible."
Royals Authority: On Believing and Pulling the Trigger
Some big questions facing the shockingly hot Royals.
Nick's Twins Blog: Loyalty
There's loyalty and then there's LOYALTY, and Nick thinks the Twins might have showed the bad version of loyalty toward Joe Nathan.
It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): No, really, Murray Chass is a hack.
Tom Tango liked a Murray Chass column, and now Brien takes it apart and tells you why it's no better than the rest of his nonsense. Gotta be honest -- Chass is such a hack that I couldn't read more than a paragraph or two into his piece to tell whether Brien is right or not. So I'll assume he is.