Here's Friday's edition of Saber-Links:
Max Marchi of Baseball Prospectus has an interesting hypothesis about pitchers' hitting ability: Baseball Prospectus | The Stats Go Marching In: Do Pitchers Forget How to Hit in the Minors?
My hypothesis was that pitchers who spend less time in the minors have less time to forget how to hit and therefore produce more at the plate when they reach the National League. The plan was to use Strasburg as the poster boy: he played briefly in the minors in 2010 before his hyped debut in the majors the same year, and so I would suggest that his rapid promotion allowed him to hold on to the hitting ability of his college days.
Sam Miller, also of BP questions whether or not the Rockies ever had a "real" power hitter: Baseball Prospectus | Pebble Hunting: The Rockies and Real Home Run Hitters
So step one: No more humidor. Coors Field is still a dynamite home-run park, but it's not quite the same. So for one year, they bring back the dry balls, and we all put up with the silliest baseball environment since my script for Space Jam 2: Michael Jordan Plays Double-A Baseball. We would do it for a good cause, which would be step two: Rockies get Stanton.
Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs takes a deeper look into Justin Verlander's slider: Justin Verlander Below the Surface | FanGraphs Baseball
During the game Thursday, the Tigers broadcast dedicated some time early on to talk about the continuing development of Justin Verlander’s slider. It’s a pitch he seems to have picked up early in 2009, and the progress is evident, even from just looking at Verlander’s player page. He went from using it never to using it about two percent of the time, to using it about seven percent of the time, to using it about eight percent of the time, to using it about 11 percent of the time.
Jeff Zimmerman also with FG discusses Andruw Jones' strange decline: Andruw Jones: All-Star to Replacement-Level Player | FanGraphs Baseball
I am not sure if Andruw Jones is a hall-of-famer. Some writers will determine that more than five years from now. But Jones’s production stagnation that started at age 31 is unprecedented for someone of his caliber.
Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated writes about what the Mets have received from Johan Santana this season: Despite shutdown, Johan Santana offered Mets more than expected | Hit and Run
That wasn’t too shabby for a pitcher whom the Mets didn’t know if they were going to get anything out of this season — or for a franchise that entered the year under a black cloud of financial woes due to declining attendance and their ownership’s potential liability in the Madoff case. Santana came into the year having not thrown in a major league game since Sept. 2, 2010, and having managed just two starts and five innings of minor league rehab in all of 2011.
Saber-Links will return tomorrow, Enjoy the Weekend folks!