The goal of every blog on the internet is to deliver the best content to you, the reader, at all times. However, in the blogosphere, many articles get written that might get missed and lost in the shuffle of the eternally updating internet. With that in mind, I’ve compiled some of the best articles of the last week, let’s get to some baseball links!
Blue Jays Links
Drew Fairservice of FanGraphs has a solid piece on Colby Rasmus, and trying to figure out who he is and will be as a hitter. He’s been extremely inconsistent as a hitter, from being a star in 2010 and 2013 to hitting rock bottom in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He’s a free agent after this year, and Drew tries to figure out the best comp for him. He compares him to six guys, and he’s similar to all them, but in different ways. With his performance being so bi-polar, it’s very difficult to project him and comp him, but the best comp looks like it would be Michael Saunders, as Drew notes. It’s difficult to know whether Rasmus and the Jays will part ways, as it depends on if Alex Anthopoulos wants to stay internal for his outfield next year, or look for reinforcements on the free agent market. Melky Cabrera seems like a preference over Rasmus, which makes it even unlikelier that he’ll stay, unless AA really believes in Rasmus’ ability to produce(consistently) and stay healthy. We’ll see.
Shi Davidi at Sportsnet has a good article on the Jays’ lack of depth that keeps hurting them year in, year out, and this year is no exception. The Jays limited depth has caused players like Cole Gillespie, Chris Getz, Jonathan Diaz and Steve Tolleson to get playing time. He mentions this as to one of the reasons why the Jays have been so poor in August. It’s inevitable that players will get injured, yet the Jays still seemingly haven’t learned that it might be a good idea to shore up on some positions, instead of relying on replacement players when an injury arises.
Sean Cunningham has a great piece at Amazin’ Avenue on rooting for your team when they are out of a playoff spot and extremely close to being in a position for a protected pick. While the piece is Mets-centered and not really a “Blue Jays link”, it very much applies to the Jays, as they are in the exact same situation as the Mets. They are all but eliminated from the playoffs after a horrible month of August, and are relatively close to a protected pick(2.5% chance of making the playoffs according to FanGraphs, and 5.5 games ahead of a protected pick). I come away with the same conclusion as Sean(read the article to see!), but then again Rogers refuses to spend money(see: last year when they had a protected pick and did absolutely nothing with it). So I’d love a protected pick, but with the way the Jays and Rogers work, I don’t know if it will be put to good use, or any use at all.
Jamie Ross of MLB.com has a cool piece on Marcus Stroman, as he interviews Stroman, and looks at his pitch mix, getting inside his head about how he uses each pitch. It’s interesting to hear how he uses each of his 6 pitches, which are all accompanied by GIFs. A very well written piece, with GIFs and a video at the top of Stroman showing grips is pretty great.
Scott Lindholm of Beyond the Box Score has an interesting piece on player performance based on their pace. He finds that players with a slower pace tend to perform better, whereas players with a faster pace are collectively below-average. It’s new and thought-provoking research, and definitely something MLB should take into consideration when they look at adding a pitch clock, something the Internet has been talking about lot about lately.
Great stuff at Grantland, where Ben Lindbergh writes about situational hitting and beating the shift. He looks at different cases where situational hitting commonly takes place, and sees how hitters adjust. He then looks at how hitters adjust to the shift and finds something very eye-catching. Hitters actually pull the ball more when the shift is on than not. He finds that it’s because pitchers change location and pitch usage in effort to get the batter to pull the ball into the shift. So it’s really the pitchers adjusting to the shift, not the hitters. That makes Lindbergh (and readers) wonder if hitters will try and adjust and use the whole field more when placed against a shift. As the shift gets more popular, you’d have to think so, but as Lindbergh notes, it’s getting harder. Definitely go ahead and read the piece, as it’s very well done.
David Laurila of FanGraphs has a terrific interview with C.J Wilson of the Angels. Wilson sheds light on many things about pitching. You will learn a whole lot about pitching from this interview, as Wilson goes a to z on pitching. Definitely check that out.
That will end this week’s edition of Scoops at First. If you have any links that you think deserve to be in next week’s edition of Scoops at First, just tweet me them @dshemie8 or email them to us at email@example.com!