Here's Tuesday's edition of Saber-Links:
Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation looks at the struggles of Bryce Harper: The Bryce Harper We Should Have Expected - Baseball Nation
He was a titan, a devourer of worlds, an instant All-Star. While the MVP was still something of a stretch, he pretty much had the Rookie of the Year locked up. Since that game: .208/.281/.300, with three homers and 53 strikeouts in 207 at-bats.... This isn't exactly a surprise. There have been three kinds of teenaged hitters in major-league history.
Jeff Moore of the Hardball Times discusses the historic risk of the Orioles calling up Manny Machado: The historic risk of Manny Machado’s promotion--THT
While the decision to promote Machado may have no adverse effect on his career development, you can’t deny the inherent risk in the move. And given his role as the future of the franchise (and with a realistic ceiling as shortstop and number three hitter for years to come, that’s exactly what he is), the Orioles are taking a risk with an extremely valuable piece.
Dan Brooks does an in-depth analysis of Josh Beckett's decline for Baseball Prospectus: Baseball Prospectus | PITCHf/x Profile: Dissecting the Decline of Josh Beckett
In 2007, Josh Beckett finished second in the AL Cy Young voting. He led the league with 20 wins. He was a 4.8 PWARP player, good for third in MLB. He struck out 8.7 batters per nine innings and finished with 194 punchouts. Fast forward to 2012. Beckett’s win-loss record is 5-9; more importantly, his walk rate is up, and his strikeout rate is down. He’s been worth 0.5 PWARP, good for 174th in baseball. What happened to the dominant pitcher who anchored a World Series-winning staff? This article aims to blend scouting information and statistical data in a look at what has changed for Beckett in the last five years. It’s more an exploration of a pitcher’s approach and evolution over time than it is an incisive look at a particular question.
Chris Cwik of FanGraphs discusses the Red Sox bullpen with a good comment on how bullpens should be built: Boston’s Bullpen Of Misfit Toys | FanGraphs Baseball
The Red Sox approach this season really highlights why giving up good talent to acquire relievers is often a poor decision. Relievers are too volatile and get hurt way too often to be counted on for consecutive seasons. While Bailey is likely to add value to the Red Sox going forward, and Melancon will hopefully figure things out, the team has already shown that it can get by without their contributions.
Saber-Links will return tomorrow, enjoy tonight's slate of baseball folks!