Wednesday's Saber-Links

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

The TruMedia team analyzes the difference between 2011 Anthony Rizzo, the San Diego Padre, and 2012 Anthony Rizzo, the Chicago Cub: Rizzo Connecting in Chicago - Baseball Analytics Blog - MLB Baseball Analytics

Check out Rizzo's contact rate by pitch location with the Padres in 2011 and with the Cubs in 2012. He has made marked progress in connecting in every region of the zone, save for low-and-inside

Paul Swydan of FanGraphs discusses one of baseball's most underrated players this season, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt: Paul Goldschmidt Becoming an Elite First Baseman | FanGraphs Baseball

Looking at the first-base leaderboards, it’s hard to deny Goldschmidt’s impact. Looking at WAR, Joey Votto and Edwin Encarnacion have been more valuable than has Goldschmidt, but E5 is a designated hitter half of the time. Crossing him off the list leaves Goldschmidt tied for second place with Prince Fielder. And while Goldschmidt gets a minor boost from his defense, the only players who bump over him when looking at wRC+ are Allen Craig and Paul Konerko, and Craig is not yet a full-time first baseman himself.

Colin Wyers of Baseball Prospectus has a refreshing take on the human element, robot umpires and instant replay: Baseball Prospectus | Manufactured Runs: Is the Answer to Imperfect Umpiring Really Robot Umps?

But the larger point I’m trying to make here is that instead of cheering for moments, with enough replay, we are left cheering for reviews instead. And unless you can make those reviews unnoticeable, you are ever so slightly draining the magic away from the moments themselves. Is that enough of a reason to shy away from instant replay? I don’t know. I think it’s enough of a reason to be cautious and patient in implementing it, though.

The BP team lists off some memorable September call-ups. K-Rod's 2002 postseason dominance will always hold a special place in my heart, so his mention was enough to make the column worthwhile, for me at least: Baseball Prospectus | The Lineup Card: Nine Memorable Late-Season Call-Ups

Rodriguez made the cut, and after allowing two runs in his first appearance against the Yankees in Game One of the ALDS, he looked almost unhittable until Game Six of the World Series against the Giants. K-Rod carved hitters up with his heater and curve, striking out 28 hitters in just 18 2/3 October innings while allowing just five runs, five walks, and 10 hits.

Clay Bucholz will be on the mound for Boston tonight, and it seems like they only win when he pitches. Evan Brunell of ESPN Sweetspot discusses Bucholz' changeup and his dominance of late: Changeup key to Clay Buchholz's surge - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

The truth is that Buchholz was rather unlucky early on and has benefited from luck since, but the underlying changes are what are far more important and are what will matter to Buchholz's future. He's rediscovered his changeup, and in the process, discovered another weapon in a split-fingered fastball he can use to get batters out. In a season to forget, the Red Sox may all look back on 2012 as the year Clay Buchholz became the best right-handed pitcher on the Red Sox staff for years to come.

Saber-Links will return tomorrow.

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