Tuesday's Saber-Links

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 03: Starlin Castro #13 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Chicago White Sox on July 3, 2011 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Castro was selected to the 2011 National League All Star Team. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Here' s Tuesday's edition of Saber-Links:

The All-Star game discussion rolls on as experts continue to discuss snubs and the process of selecting the team. Jason Wojciechowski discusses both of those matters and more at TPA: On All-Star arguments | The Platoon Advantage

Should you choose the 47 (or whatever the number is these days) most valuable players from each league, with wiggle room for the fact that you need to fill the various positions and also meet the one-player-from-each-team requirement? Should you choose the players with the best true talent at each position? How do you weight offense (which is surely what people tune into the All-Star Game to see, right?) vs. defensive skill and value? Obviously, each of these issues presents sub-issues of measurement: how do you define value?; which value metrics do you use?; how do you define true talent?; how do you quantify defense?

Chris Cwik over at Fangraphs, discusses the impending logjam and possible platoon splits in the Red Sox outfield: Red Sox Have Too Many Outfielders | FanGraphs Baseball

There’s no reason easy solution here. Nava and Ross would make for an effective platoon, but at the expense of much less playing time for Ross. While that’s not entirely fair for Ross — who doesn’t have an extreme platoon split — that would be an easy way to maximize value at the position. If Crawford struggles in his return, or Nava begins to regress, the team can turn to Ross more often against right-handers. It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s an enviable one. For the first time this season, the Red Sox outfield is in good shape.

Yesterday I wrote here about Ichiro Suzuki, and I guess Ichiro is a popular character on the blogosphere right now. James Newburg of THT wrote today about the change in Ichiro's formerly unique approach: Ichiro Agnonistes

He is only reaching base via infield hit in 5.2 percent of his plate appearances, a career low. Ichiro does have a 43-point increase in slugging percentage to show for these changes, though. More worryingly, he still has a low, for him, .289 batting average on balls in play...Through 2010, 593 of his 2,244 career hits—over one-quarter of them—stayed in the infleld.

In a guest post over at BP, Sahadev Sharma discusses Rizzo-mania and how Starlin Castro should be the true cornerstone for the Cubs: Baseball Prospectus | Baseball ProGUESTus: Is Starlin Castro the Key to the Cubs' Rebuilding?

Castro is far from perfect, but with Rizzo garnering all the attention of late, it’s as if people have forgotten just how valuable Castro truly is to the franchise. The first symbol of the Cubs’ (hopeful) future triumph may have been Rizzo’s call-up to the big leagues. However, the most important step could come this offseason, when Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer should attempt to lock up Castro to a long-term extension.

Saber-Links will, in all likelihood, be off for the 4th tomorrow, but stay tuned for Thursday's edition of the best sabermetric links from around the internet.

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