As the season draws closer, teams are focused on finding winners in all of the positional battles occurring across camps. I thought the most exciting news of the day yesterday was Trevor Bauer's reassignment to Triple-A, putting Scott Kazmir in the driver's seat for a rotation spot. Fortunately for all of you, there was much more going on in the saber world than just an update on Scott Kazmir, so let's get to it.
Previously on Beyond the Box Score
- Dan Uggla, Probability, and PresAvg by Stephen Loftus │ Beyond the Box Score
Before beginning a 33-game hitting streak last year, Dan Uggla was really struggling. Intuitively, his chances of getting a hit during the streak were better than his .173 batting average. In this fascinating article, Stephen Loftus introduces a new statistic, PresAverage, that attempts to measure a player's probability of getting a hit at any point throughout the season.
- Can the Dodgers win without Greinke? by Ben Horrow │ Beyond the Box Score
The Dodgers committed a large chunk of money to Zack Greinke this offseason, expecting him to be another ace behind Clayton Kershaw. With the righty experience elbow problems, Ben Horrow investigates how the Dodgers might fare if he hits the disabled list.
- 2013 Top 5 rotations: Tampa Bay Rays by Alex Kienholz │ Beyond the Box Score
Alex Kienholz takes us through what he considers to be the fourth best starting rotation in baseball, the staff of the Tampa Bay Rays.
- 2013 Season Preview: Oakland Athletics by Nathaniel Stoltz │ Beyond the Box Score
Sure there may be more than one Oakland Athletics preview out there, but I dare you to find another one that boldly predicts Shane Peterson to impact the team. Nathaniel Stoltz does just that in his look at the A's.
- Rick Porcello: What to do? by Andrew Ball │ Beyond the Box Score
With spring training winding down, the Tigers face a decision with the 24-year-old Porcello - do they trade him or not?
Around the Sabersphere
- Is Brandon Inge Worth 10 Wins Behind Closed Doors? by Russell A. Carleton │ Baseball Prospectus
At the SABR Analytics Conference, Diamondbacks' pitcher Brandon McCarthy claimed that the 2012 A's team would have been a 70 win team without the contributions of Johnny Gomes and Brandon Inge in the clubhouse. Russell Carleton does his best to quantify that team chemistry factor.
- Butler has found secret weapon in statistical guru Drew Cannon by Pete Thamel │ Sports Illustrated
Not exactly baseball, but the Butler Men's Basketball team has greatly benefitted from the statiscal research of Drew Cannon. Now maybe he can help them to the Final Four.
- Why Jackie Bradley Jr.'s youth isn't going to scare off Red Sox by Rob Bradford │ WEEI.com
With Jackie Bradley Jr.'s chances of making the Red Sox opening day roster increasing every day, Rob Bradford takes a look at what some of the other Boston stars were doing at the age of 23.
- The Issue of Positional Inequality by Dave Cameron │ Fangraphs
WAR includes a component to adjust for the differences between positions because certain positions are more valuable than other. For example, an average defensive shortstop is a superior defender than an average second baseman. Dave Cameron examines if Fangraphs is over or understating these positional adjustments.
Around SB Nation
- Rick Porcello's true trade value, and what we should expect in return by Rob Ragacki │ Bless Your Boys
It seems that new Rick Porcello trade rumors surface by the second, so Bless Your Boy's Rob Ragacki has decided to find out what kind of return Porcello should command in a trade. Using a WAR projection and surplus value, Ragacki comes to a surprising conclusion about Porcello's value.
- Picking the best 50/1 bet for the Cy Young by Grant Brisbee │ Baseball Nation
Pretend for a second that your best friend owes money (and a lot of it) to the wrong people. Your only hope to help is placing a $10,000 bet on a 50 to 1 shot for the Cy Young this year. Grant Brisbee offers advice on which pitcher you should select.
- When should Reyes run? by Blake Murphy │ Bluebird Banter
Using a recent study that BtBS's Matt Hunter did, Blake Murphy examines just how often Jose Reyes should be on the move with big bats like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion hitting behind him this season.
Outside the Sabersphere
- The Philadelphia Pop Punk band, The Wonder Years, is set to release a new album in May. This coming Monday they will be debuting a new song from the album and I could not be more excited. There is no band that I relate to more, not only with their lyrical content, but also just the fact that most of the band members live near where I went to college. So I hope you'll give them a listen and maybe their songs will speak to you like they do to me.