In the comments of my post on the bullpen yesterday, there was a request for analysis of Darin Ruf, since there hasn’t been anything written about him here since he was brought up from Triple-A. At ESPN Sweet Spot, you can read my analysis of Ruf through his first 133 career plate appearances with a strong focus on what he has done this year.
Here are links to some other stuff around the Internet I found worth reading lately:
At Baseball Prospectus, former MLB player Gabe Kapler writes about how interns and their strong grasp of technology and statistics are among the more important assets within an organization.
At The Good Phight, Trev wrote a really well-thought-out piece on MLB and the Biogenesis issue.
At FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan looks at just how far ahead the Braves are in the NL East.
At ESPN (Insider), Jim Bowden lists five August waiver trades he’d like to see. Michael Young is first on the list.
Aaron Gleeman wrote a recap of his time at the 2013 SABR convention in Philly. Fun fact: He pretended to be me.
Todd Zolecki explains why the Phillies’ deal with Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez likely won’t happen after all.
If you’ve read anything good lately, feel free to share it in the comments.
You can keep up with my weekly contributions to ESPN here.
The top-five bullpens will be posted at some point in the near future, so put that on the ol’ calendar. Check out the lists if you haven’t yet and feel free to post your own rankings or cite some of those I should have included, either here or in the comments on the Sweet Spot blog.
The Phillies finally travel back home after a ten-game road trip that took them through San Francisco, San Diego, and Arizona. Overall, they went 5-5 and had some offensive doldrums as expected. However, the series in Arizona should provide some encouragement as they scored 20 runs in three games, including five home runs. Tomorrow, the Phillies will open up a four-game series at home against the Chicago Cubs before going back on the road to Atlanta and Washington.
Today is an off-day for us Phillies fans as well, so here are some interesting links from around the Internet.
If you haven’t picked it up yet, you can still grab my book “100 Things Phillies Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” [Link]
And a note: due to technical difficulties, we’ll be recording Episode 3 of the Crashburn Alley podcast some time this weekend, hopefully. It’s been tough to get all of us together at the same time and to avoid technical mishaps. For those of you waiting with bated breath, continue being patient.
At Brotherly Glove, Eric Seidman wonders what the Phillies should do when Chase Utley returns [Link]
Liz Roscher of The Good Phight asks how she should feel about the 2012 Phillies [Link]
TBOH’s John Ricco looks at the Phillies’ disappointing plate discipline [Link]
Michael Schickling of Thome’s Homies lists 10 things that should cheer you up about the Phillies [Link]
David Hale joins the litany of Phillies writers who don’t buy into Roy Halladay’s alleged velocity issues [Link]
Matt Gelb ponders playing Utley at first base when he’s cleared to play [Link]
David Murphy looks at the road ahead for the Phillies in what was supposed to be an easy start to the season [Link]
Now that the good beat writers are out of the way, a Phillies beat writer who once wished a broken neck on Michael Vick calls me a “bad guy” [Link]
General Baseball Links:
Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra has the perfect response to Pedro Gomez’s McCarthyistic comments about Jeff Bagwell [Link]
Tangotiger has a GREAT illustration of mean-regression nearly perfectly predicting future results [Link]
Listen to Chicago White Sox broadcaster “Hawk” Harrelson call this Yoenis Cespdes home run. By far the worst broadcaster in baseball. [Link]
At ESPN Sweet Spot, David Schoenfield says that Albert Pujols is no longer baseball’s best hitter. I’m inclined to agree — I think it’s Matt Kemp. [Link]
We need more players like Brandon McCarthy. He calls out the homophobic nature of ballpark “kiss cams” [Link]
Rolling Stone asked rock stars about pitch counts. The majority of them are surprisingly forward-thinking [Link]
When the anti-Sabermetric sentiment was strong, I wish I had this to pass around. It’s a neat look at rhetological fallacies [Link]
Tweets of the Day
The Diamondbacks had a cool feature at Chase Field where they would display tweets on the outfield scoreboard as long as they included the hashtag #GoDBacks. This didn’t stop Phillies fans from abusing the privilege.
There’s nothing in the blog queue for today unless Paul or Jeff want to whip something up on the fly, so I’m just going to direct you to great stuff from around the Internets. Let’s start with some self-promotion.
I co-host the Phillies and Sabermetrics-focused show “Stathead” with Jeff Sottolano on Phillies 24/7 HD radio, 98.1 WOGL HD-4. The show airs every Tuesday at 3 PM ET and re-airs on Wednesdays at 2 PM ET. If you missed yesterday’s show, you can still grab your HD radio to hear what we had to say about Vance Worley, Ryan Howard, and some trade deadline targets. We also discussed the Bill Conlin article that was dissected here recently.
If you’re into fantasy baseball, I cover starting pitchers every Friday at Baseball Prospectus, looking for undervalued pitchers that are likely available in your leagues.
In case you happened to miss all of the blog action over the last few days, here’s a quick recap:
Jeff Barnes argues that the Phillies should do nothing as the July 31 trading deadline fast approaches. [Link]
I looked at Ryan Howard’s stats and didn’t find much room for optimism. [Link]
Continuing my role as Debbie Downer, I also called for lowered expectations with Vance Worley. [Link]
Jose Bautista continues to be the target of PED suspicion, so I compared his rise to stardom to that of Roy Halladay. [Link]
Phillies stuff elsewhere on the Internet…
At Brotherly Glove, Eric Seidman (@EricSeidman) looks at the impact J.J. Hardy’s recently-signed contract will have on Jimmy Rollins. [Link]
Also at BG, Eric points out that a third baseman may be as important to the Phillies as a corner outfielder or reliever. [Link]
At Zoo With Roy, @Cranekicker delves into Shane Victorino’s mind after he hit what he thought was a home run. [Link]
Chris Jones (@LONG_DRIVE) from The Fightins looks over the players the Phillies could be acquiring before the trading deadline. [Link]
The Good Phight’s Taco Pal thinks Hunter Pence’s career year is unsustainable and isn’t the best player for the Phillies to target. [Link]
Fire Eric Bruntlett looked at the potentially historic seasons from the Phillies’ three aces. [Link]
David Murphy (@HighCheese) reports that Roy Halladay will make his next start after failing to get through the fifth inning on Monday. [Link]
David Hale (@Philled_In) has some nice quotes from Scott Proefrock that indicate the Phillies may be passive leading up to the deadline with quite a few players on their way back from the disabled list. [Link]
Matt Gelb (@magelb) has the latest updates on Roy Oswalt — good news. The hope is an early August return. [Link]
This is an old article from The Good Phight, but I’ve seen the “Team Record when Player X Scores a Run” stat thrown around lately, so I think it’s worth another read. [Link]
General baseball stuff on the Interwebs…
Matt Swartz (@Matt_Swa) is now writing for FanGraphs and he brought SIERA along with him. His debut at FanGraphs features a five-part series explaining SIERA and the recent changes made to the great statistic. Parts one and two have been posted; three should be up sometime today as well.
I’m always amazed at the quality of work Mike Fast (@fastballs) does at Baseball Prospectus. In his latest article, he shows the production of players based on the amount of pitches they see within the strike zone. [Link]
David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) looks at RBI production from the clean-up spot over the past decade. [Link]
At SB Nation, Jeff Sullivan (@LookoutLanding) concludes that Roy Halladay’s latest outing in Chicago confirms, not denies, that he is not human. [Link]
Due to Halladay’s bad start in Chicago, his streak of 50 consecutive road games with six or more innings pitched was broken. Baseball Reference lists the 50 longest such streaks. [Link]
Matt Klaassen (@devil_fingers) posted the updated catcher defense ratings at Beyond the Box Score. Do a Ctrl+F for Carlos Ruiz. [Link]
By the way, if you haven’t read Gary Smith’s article on Chooch at Sports Illustrated, do yourself a favor and click on this link. –> [Link]
Ben Duronio (@Ben_Duronio) of Capitol Avenue Club points out the real reasons why the Atlanta Braves could trade Derek Lowe. [Link]
Completely random stuff from the Internet…
As a video game enthusiast, when this guy set the record for lowest score without dying in a game of Super Mario Bros. 1, he became my idol:
Anyone have any theories as to how Mathieu Bich pulled off this magic trick?
I don’t know why, but metal seems to translate to the piano well. I’ve heard quite a few metal covers done on piano and none of them have been bad. I’d have preferred if this one wasn’t passed through a computer program, but it’s great nonetheless.
The Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals with an avalanche of runs in the eighth inning. The Cardinal bullpen completely imploded, allowing nine runs in relief of Kyle McClellan. Meanwhile, Roy Halladay was excellent as usual, but was unable to pick up his tenth win. It was his shortest outing since Opening Day, however.
Not much exciting stuff going in on Phillies-land at the moment, so today’s post will just highlight some of the great stuff found around the Internets. If you haven’t already, check out the official Crashburn debut of Jeff Barnes as he tries to see what the future holds for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Another recent addition, Paul Boye, makes the case for Cole Hamels as the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game.
You’ll want to check out this post, which links to a video of what I think is the funniest baseball-related video of all time. It’s probably not work-safe, so be warned.
Mandy Housenick and Marcus Hayes dropped stupid bombs on Daily News Live recently. @TonyIsDynamic did some great video splicing that you must see.
While Boye focused on Hamels’ All-Star hopes, I looked at Shane Victorino‘s. He has, surprisingly, been a tour de force in the Phillies’ offense.
Tune into Phillies 24/7 98.1 WOGL HD-4 with your HD radio today to catch the latest edition of “Stathead”, hosted by myself and Jeff Sotolanno. We talk about Victorino, All-Stars, right-handed bats to look for, and Jimmy Rollins.
If you’re the fantasy baseball type, I’ll be going over upwards of 10 starting pitchers you should be targeting. You can find that at Baseball Prospectus every Friday.
Finally, to end the self-promotion, I’ll be doing a live chat on Wednesday, June 29 with the guys at Fire Brand AL to discuss the Red Sox-Phillies series.
At Baseball Prospectus, Derek Carty crunched the numbers again to find out when various stats stabilize for both hitters and pitchers.
Tangotiger explains Wins Above Replacement (WAR) to the uninitiated. If you’d like to learn more about it, or if you’re skeptical of the stat, I highly recommend reading what Tango had to say.
At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron reviews Batting Average on Balls in Play. In another post, he arrived at a very shocking conclusion: Shane Victorino is better than Ryan Howard and has been over the past five-plus seasons. Would you have been behind a five-year, $125 million contract extension for the Flyin’ Hawaiian?
Colin Wyers, of Baseball Prospectus fame, has been one of the few that has been openly critical about the quality of data many of us use on a daily basis. This post from Lookout Landing is a prime example of Wyers’ complaint.
Drew Fairservice, a fellow ESPN SweetSpot blogger, analyzes the efficiency of the Phillies’ starting rotation for The Score’s Getting Blanked blog.
Eric Seidman of Brotherly Glove expects the Phillies’ bullpen to be young and cheap next year.
David Hale’s notes about the Phillies are always good, but I loved this bit:
Funny scene from the clubhouse today: Chase Utley was watching some game film and having a very in depth discussion with hitting instructor Greg Gross about his swing. Gross discussed the particulars of keeping his weight centered through his swing and a bunch of other technicalities I don’t understand. When they were through talking, Gross took about five steps to his left, where Domonic Brown was watching an episode of “Swamp People” on his iPad. Gross laughed and stopped to discuss the particulars of catching alligators, too. He’s a true Renaissance Man.
The link dump will end with a couple of YouTubes. It’s the Internet, so how about a cat? I mean, a really awesome cat. If you’re not familiar with Maru, check out the plethora of videos on mugumogu’s channel.
Finally, let’s go with some music. I hadn’t been a fan of this type of music, but Parov Stelar is getting me into swing house.
No time to throw up a post today, so I’m going to post a couple of miscellaneous items and then some links to good stuff around the blogosphere.
Tune into Phillies 24/7 HD radio today at 2 PM ET or tomorrow at 3 PM ET for the latest edition of “Stathead” with myself and my co-host Jeff Sottolano. We’ll talk about the last week in Phillies baseball.
I’m legitimately awful at Facebook, so for the longest time, I was using an account for the blog as if it were an actual person. As such, people needed confirmation in order to see the blog information. I finally made the switch to a fan page. If you are so inclined, click here and mash the “Like” button. Pretend it says “dislike” if necessary.
You can also follow me on Twitter @CrashburnAlley. I’m usually there during Phillies games, so join the conversation if you’d like some company while the Phillies kick some National League tail.
I mentioned when I asked readers to fill out a survey that I am interested in doing live chats. The survey results revealed that the best time for a chat is during an actual game, and that the chats occur between once a series and once a week. I’ll aim for once a week for now. Once I get a laptop and wireless Internet situated, look for the live chats. Hopefully before the month is out.
Brotherly Glove: Corey Seidman praises Charlie Manuel and counts down the days until the Marlins designate Javier Vazquez for assignment. [Link]
Philled In: David Hale has a video of Joe Blanton talking about his start after last night’s game. [Link]
Phillies Zone: Matt Gelb explains why Manuel left Vance Worley in to pitch the eighth inning. [Link]
High Cheese: David Murphy has notes on all of the injured Phillies, including Roy Oswalt. [Link]
The Fightins: Holy hell. You have to read this. Just another example why it’s The Fightins’ world and we’re just blogging in it. [Link]
Phillies Nation: Remember Phillippe Aumont? He doesn’t suck anymore. Jay Floyd interviews him about his newfound success and more. [Link]
Baseball Prospectus: Jason Parks posted the first two parts of a four-part series on scouting. [Link 1, Link 2]
ESPN SweetSpot: David Schoenfield discusses the increased value of bullpens in baseball now that run-scoring has deflated. [Link]
Capitol Avenue: Kevin Orris goes in-depth on Jair Jurrjens’ new approach to pitching, sans injury. [Link]
Mets Today: Roland Agni wonders if Kevin Millwood is a good fit for the Mets. *snicker* [Link]
River Ave Blues: Hannah Ehrlich has the dos and don’ts of ballpark attire. [Link]