Spring Training Notes
Because Spring Training is so short and the statistics are generally small and misleading samples, I will try to refrain from discussing recent performances (*cough* Carlos Silva *cough*) until we can gather larger samples.
That being said, the injury bus has already made its first stops: Angel Guzman may be out for the season, or possibly -- I believe -- his career. I don't think I can feel any worse for this man than I already do. Additionally, Andres Blanco (our presumed backup infielder if Starlin Castro stays in AAA) injured his knee and is out for an additional 10 days or so.
Normally, 10 days in Spring Training for a backup middle infielder is not that significant. However, I'm worried because this injury may lend to the possibility of further complications: not only is the knee crucial for both hitting and throwing (and standing and walking, no less), but the time injured is time not spent trying to catch up to the pitchers. Blanco is already a pretty bad hitter, and if he reaches Chicago (where we have only one batting cage at Wrigley, which compounds with the fact that he doesn't get regular at bats anyway) and is still two weeks behind the other hitters, we can expect him likely to be an offensive black hole.
I don't like the idea of our top prospect Castro sitting on the bench, stagnating when he could be getting starting reps in AAA. So Blanco, get healthy.
More after the jump.
Someone (Dave Allen) finally de-mystifies Pitch-F/X data for me! I swear, every time that man speaks, I have an "ah-ha!" moment.
The most interesting article I haven't read: Pizza's ESPN Insider piece about Milton Bradley. We get the (free) gist of it from Tom Tango, who quotes:
Bradley’s inability to make contact with balls out of the zone in 2008 meant that when he did hit a pitch, it was a better pitch and he was able to hit it harder.In other words, he was bad in a good way in '08, but good in a bad way in '09.
Lookout Landing has finished their exhaustive rewrite of The Book sabermetrics primer. The work pretty much comprises a lot of the content in Sabermetric Library, but it still is probably most valuable when read in order.
Also, a hat tip to Walk off Walk for alerting us to this absurdly addicting ball-in-play (BIP) tracker from Katron.org.