Here's Thursday's edition of Saber-Links:
Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation questions whether or not the now-competitive Brewers would rather have kept Zack Greinke: Should Brewers Have Kept Zack Greinke? - Baseball Nation
If you're a Brewers fan, don't you have to at least wonder how different the world might seem right now, if Greinke were still around? And more broadly, if the Brewers had committed to winning as many games as possible this season?
Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated looks at some platoon or specialist players who could have a fairly substantial effect on the stretch run/postseason: The Specialists: Small role, big impact | Hit and Run
On the other hand, several specialists have been proving themselves all season long, at least to the extent that we can discern via small sample sizes. What follows here is a look at a handful who could figure during the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Dave Studeman of The Hardball Times gives a brief reminder of why September games are still important for some teams, despite the fact that a bunch of organizations are just "mailing it in": Are September games important?--THT
Still, the criticality of those games was more than offset by the number of teams out of their division races, as well as the number of teams with comfortable leads. No drama for those teams; no critical games. On average, less intensity at the end of the season.
Bradley Woodrum of FanGraphs discusses Addison Reed's average strikeout numbers: Addison Reed: Shutdown Numbers, Meltdown Stuff | FanGraphs Baseball
If Reed starts burying his slider, it might develop into a proper put-away pitch that could help him add a few more strikeouts, but his fastball still needs to generate more whiffs to see overall improvement. Altogether, though, I think there is more than enough evidence to say Reed — again, just 23 years old — will develop into a good, if not elite, reliever.
R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus thinks there may be a Hollywood story a decade after "Moneyball" in Oakland: Baseball Prospectus | Painting the Black: Attention Hollywood: The A's Bullpen Is Pretty Interesting
All season long, the A’s bullpen has been there to pick up the slack when asked. They are, if not the driving force, at least a large reason as to why the A’s have won 59 percent of their one-run games.
Today's games begin in one hour, get excited folks!