Here's Thursday's edition of Saber-Links:
Dan Fleming of Bill James Online, looks at how rare a feat it is for the Orioles to be outperforming their pythagorean record by such wide of a margin: The Orioles Battle Pythagoras | Articles | Bill James Online
Very rare. Since we’ve had two major leagues, only nineteen teams have posted a win-loss record ten games better than their expected/Pythagorean win-loss record. Nineteen teams, or one team every six years or so.Very rare. Since we’ve had two major leagues, only nineteen teams have posted a win-loss record ten games better than their expected/Pythagorean win-loss record. Nineteen teams, or one team every six years or so.
Dave Schoenfield of ESPN looks at the most exciting players in baseball, dating back to 1976: The most exciting player in baseball - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
The first year I remember following baseball was 1976, the year before the Mariners arrived in my hometown. Leaving out the fact that most of us probably prefer a guy on our favorite team, here's my own list of Most Exciting Player in Baseball since that year.
Bradley Woodrum of FanGraphs continues his study on swing angles, and GB/FB splits: Pitch Location and Swing Angles: Dunn and Bruce | FanGraphs Baseball
Dunn’s ability to change his swing angle is something I would have expected from a hitter with small-split hitting talents (a guy who hits GB and FB pitchers equally well). But the book on this is still open. (We will discuss that in a moment.) I found the low R-squared in Bruce’s data interesting. It appears horizontal and vertical location combined had the most important effect on his swing angle — which varied little by comparison — whereas horizontal location was by far the chief determinate in Dunn’s swing angle.
Jason Wojciechowski of Baseball Prospectus discusses moral responsibility and Stephen Strasburg: Baseball Prospectus | In A Pickle: How the Grinch Stole Strasmas
What are the chances, given either a decision to shut him down at 160 innings pitched or to keep starting him right through the playoffs (or some in-between course of action like the one that Ben Lindbergh suggested the other day), that Strasburg's career earnings are reduced by a large fraction? Or even a small fraction? What of the reverberating effects through the rest of his life? Does he get to accomplish the other goals he has for himself if his career ends up like Mark Prior's? What about the emotional toll of his career ending before he turns 30?
Also, you should stick around here and read James Gentile's story on ground balls with runners on first (double play opportunities), that is right below this story.