Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SweetSpot Roundup 6/22

Today's roundup has had enough of all this bickering about which league is better and all that (though come on, it's the AL and it's not even close). So in the spirit of togetherness, I'll be presenting the entire roster in alphabetical order, not dividing by league. Which is exactly what Mark has been doing on Mondays, but it's a first for me.

Austin's Astros 290 Blog: Astros still last in power rankings
But first in the roundup! Austin finds the little starting pitcher gems among the 2011 Astros detritus.

Baseballin' on a Budget (Athletics): Jemile's First Two Weeks
Get it? Dan looks back at the start of Weeks the younger's big league career, and (much less fun) looks ahead at what to expect.

Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Pre-trade deadline assessment: needs
Three places where the Braves might look to improve from without sometime in the next five or six weeks.

Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): Where Does Randy Wolf Go From Here?
"To deny the significance of this stretch would be foolish, but expecting it to predict the future would be equally so. We should not be fooled into thinking a relatively soft-tossing lefty who doesn’t pile up the strikeouts, doesn’t get ground balls, and doesn’t have elite control is all of a sudden an ace-quality pitcher. At the same time, Wolf’s performance to date essentially quashes any thoughts of his contract as 'the next Suppan.'"

View from the Bleachers (Cubs): Book Review -- Ron Santo: A Perfect 10
Santo's longtime booth-mate and author Rich Wolfe have come together to write a book about the late #10, and Brandon's got the breakdown for you (it's really more of an overview than a review, but either way, it sounds interesting).

Snakes on Jefferson (Diamondbacks): Arizona Diamondbacks top 10 prospects of 2011
Well, that's just what it sounds like. Parker, Skaggs, Goldschmidt, and the rest of the D-Backs' future.

Dodger Thoughts: Roll out the barrel
Some thoughts on the increasingly bizarre McCourt situation, plus links.

Bay City Ball (Giants): Kotteras Condensed
A concise look at the rumored Posey replacement, plus bonus coverage when the rumor surfaced later in the day that the Giants had brought in similar catcher Max Ramirez.

It's Pronounced "Lajaway" (Indians): Carmona, Carmona, Carmona (sigh)
Pondering what to do with the struggling starter (who, it should be said, does sport a downright average 4.00 xFIP).

Pro Ball NW (Mariners): Dustin Ackley and the number 13
PBNW has been all Ackley, all the time lately, which is a good thing. This one's about his choice of uniform number, the same one I wore whenever I could get it from little league through high school, and that number's MLB and Mariner history.

Marlins Daily: And The Losing Streak Lives On
Well, not anymore, but it was still living when Dave wrote this bit yesterday. He writes, "I would at least assume that the inception, or re-inception of the Jack McKeon era has to have an impact on these guys." And maybe it did!

Mets Today: Quick Preview: Mets vs. Athletics
It's pretty long, actually. The post, if not the series preview part.

Nationals Baseball: Dangerously close to being irrelevant, and I do mean dangerous
A little more than a month before the trade deadline, and the Nationals are tottering right on the buy/sell fence. Which itself has to be a pretty nice feeling for Nats fans.

Camden Depot (Orioles): They lathe bats, don't they?: Making Bats for Orioles
Well, this is different. Jon interviews Allan Donato, whose organization supplies bats for many O's players (and others).

Ducksnorts (Padres): Symbol of a lost season
Geoff writes about how Sunday's Padres-Twins matchup epitomized the Pads' dreadful season to date. Many of my fellow Twins fans would take issue with his belittling of the hot Twins' playoff hopes. (Not me, I'll just point those fellow Twins fans to this.)

Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Utley and Howard: Getting Technical
New contributor Jeff takes a stab at projecting the rest of the season for the Phils' two best known position players.

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Clearing Up The Misconceptions About Ian Kinsler
"I don't want to play the role of amateur sports psychologist here, but I do question the role that Kinsler's actions and mannerisms play in how he is perceived by the fan and media contingents alike, and how much that has contributed to him becoming perhaps the Rangers' tallest lightning rod for criticism ... despite the fact that he actually has been one of this team's most valuable players this season."

The Ray Area: This F-ing Game
"Every time I get my arms around this game, it moves."

Fire Brand of the AL (Red Sox): Lowrie to Seek Second Opinion on Shoulder
Jed Lowrie news, analysis and possible replacements. (But really, there's nothing wrong with just rolling with Scutaro.)

Redleg Nation: The Day The Yankees came to town
Ooh, good stuff. We're not talking this week, and not even 1976 or 1961; Brian takes us back to July 1921, when Babe Ruth's Yankees came through Cincy on an off day for an exhibition game.

Blake Street Bulletin (Rockies): Believe
The Rockies are in the midst of a nice little run, and are back at .500. Logan thinks it's time to start dreaming bigger.

Royals Authority: Alcides Escobar is the best player on the planet
Not even entirely snark: "When we talk about players who were the best in the game, we’re talking about in a certain period of time. Maybe it’s a decade, a season or the dead-ball era. I know that it’s an absurdly short period of time in baseball terms, but for the past two weeks, the best player on the planet has been Alcides Escobar."

The Daily Fungo (Tigers): Will the Real Max Scherzer Please Stand Up?
Some concerns over the inconsistent Scherzer (who I think I actually picked to win the Cy Young this year...not looking good).

Nick's Twins Blog: Three Bagger: Winning, Mauer's Grounders & No Power
Three quick hits on the current state of the Twins. The last note -- giving you the name and total of the Twins' organization-wide leader in home runs -- is worth the click by itself.

It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Frank McCourt Must Go
Larry has a mammoth post, getting you entirely up to speed on the bizarre and confusing Frank McCourt saga.

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