Baseball links from around the sabersphere...
Bullpens, Baserunners, Extra Innings and the Mystery of it All | Royals Authority
The Royals have lived in the realm of comebacks and extra innings thus far in 2011 and the truth is, we don’t have any idea what this team is or will be, other than extremely interesting. That alone, makes 2011 a season worth watching.
L.A. Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw: Early Season Pitch Breakdown | Baseball Analytics Blog
Batters have put up an expected wOBA of .323 so far against Kershaw's fastball, compared to his previous three season expected wOBA of .291. But with only two starts worth of fastballs to compare, it's obviously much too early to draw any significant conclusions from the data.
Is delaying Freddy’s start the right move? | River Ave Blues
It might make for an ugly Freddy Garcia outing against Texas next weekend. But then again, weren’t we all preparing for an ugly Freddy Garcia outing anyway?
The Rays History of Offensive Anemia | The Process Report
In an astonishing turn, the worst five-game stretch occurred during the final week of the 2010 season, when the team hit for a cumulative 442 OPS. During that week, such pitching demigods as Bruce Chen and Kevin Millwood took the Rays behind the proverbial woodshed.
A Good Way to Make a Living (Baseball's 2011 Payrolls, Part 1) | It's About the Money
This is (I think) one of the most remarkable trends in baseball payroll growth over the last seven years: the bulk of the fastest growing payroll teams are located in the Midwest — not just the Brewers, Tigers and Twins, but also the White Sox, Reds, Cubs and (stretching our definition of "Midwest") Rockies.
More links after the jump...
Tampa Bay Rays are not hitting | Baseball Reference Blog
Right now, 17 major-leaguers have a batting average under .100 (min. 10 ABs). The Rays have four of those players.
The All-Time Tiny Team | The Platoon Advantage
Not a lot of power in this lineup, but it's a good collection of players.
The Brandon Phillips Trade Five Years Later | MLB Trade Rumors
In the five seasons since the trade, Phillips has hit .275/.326/.447, averaging 21 homers, 24 steals and 151 games per season, enough for 16.8 wins above replacement (42nd among MLB position players for that period). He has won two Gold Gloves (deservingly, according to UZR) and has a 30-30 season and two other 20-20 seasons to his name.
Lastings Milledge designated for assignment | Hardball Talk
He's had quite a journey over the last several years, but could never realize his potential.
Is It Time To Replace Dan Johnson? | DRaysBay
The 29 year old Fuld has a career .365 OBP, albeit in only 159 PAs but may only need reps to prove that he can handle the extra playing time. Either way, many out there, myself included, have petitioned for Johnson to get more reps and it has led to a below league-average hitter in over 1000 PAs since 2006. At what point to we stop asking for the extra reps? For me, that time has come.