SaberSphere 3/21: Gio Gonzalez, Jered Weaver, Ryan Braun

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

The best links from a rather busy spring news day in baseball.

Previously on Beyond the Box Score

Introduction of IFFB+ and IPO+: Adjusting for Park Factors by Max WeinStein - Beyond the Box Score

Inspired by the recent discussion about including IFFB in ERA estimators, Max Weinstein created IFFB+ and IPO+, ERA estimators that include both IFFB% and park factors.

Justin Smoak's Long Swing: A PitchF/X Look by Noah Woodward - Beyond the Box Score

Mariners 1B Justin Smoak's last season adjustment to his approach at the plate allowed him to abuse opposing pitchers to the tune of .341/.426/.580 last September and October in 101 PA. Noah Woodward provided an extremely detailed look at the PITCHf/x data to determine if Smoak can maintain his hot streak for the Mariners in 2013.

Where Have All the First Basemen Gone? by Lance Rinker - Beyond the Box Score

First basemen produced the lowest fWAR among position players in 2012. Lance Rinker examined the decreased offensive output at 1B and whether or not we should be concerned about it.

Should Javier Baez Make His MLB Debut for the Cubs in 2013? by Ryan Potter - Beyond the Box Score

Cubs prospect Javier Baez has been impressive so far this spring, posting a .302/.318./.628 line in 44 PA. I took a closer look at Baez's minor league performance to determine if he will be ready to make his MLB debut for the Cubs at some point in 2013.

Surprising (and not so surprising) Peripheral Pairs of 2012 by Lee Trocinski - Beyond the Box Score

Noticing that quite a few pitchers ended up with similar rates, Lee Trocinski took a closer look at the numbers to see the different paths pitchers took to get there.

Around the SaberSphere

Opening Day and First-Pitch Tendencies by Jeff Sullivan - FanGraphs

Diamondbacks' SP Brandon McCarthy posed an interesting question regarding Opening Day starter's first pitch selection.

Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs examined PITCHf/x data in an attempt to find out how often Opening Day starters choose to begin the season by throwing an offspeed pitch.

Pebble Hunting: Watching Jered Weaver by Sam Miller - Baseball Prospectus

Jered Weaver recently made a comment about reverting back to the lower arm slot he threw out of earlier in his career. Sam Miller at Baseball Prospectus took a look at PitchF/X data to find out what effect a change in Weaver's arm slot might have on his performance in 2013.

Grand Theft Baseball by Jonah Keri - Grantland

Jonah Keri at Grantland discussed changing trends in team stolen base numbers and talked with Oakland A's OF Coco Crisp about the base stealing tactics that have allowed him to swipe 120 bags in the last 3 seasons.

Aroldis Chapman and the Best Problem in Baseball by Mike Axisa - CBS Sports

The baseball community is divided over the Reds' decision to try and convert their star closer Aroldis Chapman into a starter. Mike Axisa at CBS Sports took a look at Chapman's 2012 performance as a closer and his 2013 ZiPS projections in an attempt to determine which role Chapman would provide the most value for the Reds this season.

Around SB Nation

Washington Nationals PBD: Gio Gonzalez 2012 and 2013 by Garrett Hooe - Federal Baseball

Drawing a comparison between Nationals SP Gio Gonzalez and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are charter, Max, Garrett Hooe at Federal Baseball provided a detailed explanation of what Nationals fans can expect out of Gonzalez in 2013.

Spring Training and Known Knowns by Michael Barr - Lookout Landing

The Mariners unexpected power surge has been a cause for optimism in Seattle this spring. Michael Barr at Lookout Landing explained why Mariners fans shouldn't expect the increased offensive output to carry over into the regular season.

Ryan Braun, Biogenesis, and the Suggestion of an MLB Vendetta by Grant Brisbee - Baseball Nation

Rumors of performance enhancing drug use by Brewers star Ryan Braun have begun to swirl once again following the appearance on a list of alleged Biogenesis clients. Grant Brisbee at Baseball Nation explains why the speculation surrounding Ryan Braun is a lose-lose situation for MLB.

Outside the SaberSphere

I'm a huge music fan so I decided to share a Spotify playlist of songs that I enjoy listening to while I'm working. The overwhelming majority of the songs are 90s Hip-Hop with a few newer Hip-Hop songs mixed in as well as some Indie Rock, Classic Rock and Alternative Rock. Click shuffle and enjoy your day.

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