Here's Tuesday's edition of Saber-Links:
Jeff Sullivan, formerly of Baseball Nation, has now joined the FanGraphs team. Here's his debut article about the Angels' collapse in the AL Wild Card Standings: The August of the Fallen Angels | FanGraphs Baseball
But think about the reasons you might expect the Angels to bounce back in a big way. It has to do with the talent, right? There is a lot of talent, but this all might call for a re-evaluation. Wilson is back to walking too many guys, ditching the gains he made a season ago. Haren is allegedly over the back pain that caused him some struggles, but it would appear that the injury took a toll on his regular mechanics, and now he’s trying to get back to his old, familiar delivery. In the meantime, his numbers have looked nothing like Dan Haren numbers, and we can’t take a quick return to form for granted.
Geoff Young of Baseball Prospectus, in light of Felix Hernandez's perfect game, discusses other great Mariners starts that resulted in losses: Baseball Prospectus | Western Front: Before Felix was King
As it happens, before Hernandez's perfect game, these were the two highest Game Scores in club history. They also resulted in Mariners losses.
Brad Johnson of the Hardball Times offers a few creative ways to strengthen the MLB's stance against PED use: Four ways to deter PED use--THT
These cases highlight that the current MLB policy is lacking. The uniform punishment structure is not a uniform deterrent. So, what are some creative approaches that baseball could use to effectively eliminate PEDs from the game?
Jessef of Bluebird Banter offers up an extremely long title, but also an idea to include popups (or infield fly balls) in ERA estimators like xFIP or FIP: Falling Asleep with a Pop Up Video On: Should ERA Estimators Include Popup Rates? - Bluebird Banter
It's often considered that popups are so easy to field that they're essentially in-play strikeouts. This line of reasoning has long been held by both traditionalists and sabrmetricians. Furthermore, like strikeouts, popups cannot be productive outs because runners cannot advance. However, neither FIP nor xFIP include popups as an input in predicting pitcher performance.
Michael Baumann of the ESPN SweetSpot Network discusses why the Royals weren't the American League version of the Nationals this season: How Royals failed to become Nats of AL - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 miles east, the Washington Nationals have done everything the baseball community had expected of Kansas City, climbing to a 75-46 record, posting a run differential of plus-108 and putting a stranglehold on the National League East. Both teams came into the season with similar expectations: develop the youngsters, and if everything goes right, you might contend this year. If not, your time will come. Let’s examine why this happened in Washington and not in Kansas City.
I'm moving into school tomorrow morning, so there's a chance that Wednesday's Saber-Links will be a little late. But don't fret my friends! By one o'clock you're thirst for saber-linkage will be quenched, I promise.