MLB Hot Topics
A teen sensation, insane pitch counts, a nation's obsession: Yes, Japan's Summer Koshien is back by Jeff Passan -- Yahoo Sports
This is one of my favorite stories of the year, since I do work related to the NPB in Japan, and this story is bigger than the NPB itself. For those of you who haven't read the initial ESPN article on Tomohiro Anraku, you can find it here, it's a story about a High School phenom pitcher in Japan threw over 750 pitches over nine days. The same thing happened to Dice-K and Yu Darvish in the same tournament -- both threw over 500 pitches over five days, Dice-K threw over 700 in six games. By the end of the previous tournament, Anraku couldn't throw like his normal self, and many wondered if he'd ever be the same. Apparently, two weeks ago he was back throwing 98 mph, just in time for the summer Koshien. Passan quotes it like this: "(Koshien) combines the madness of March with the media coverage of the Super Bowl and the history of the World Series."
Braves' Dan Uggla set for eye surgery, could miss up to a month by Dayn Perry -- CBS Sports
Dan Uggla was sent to the DL today so that he could undergo Lasik surgery and be back just in time for the Braves' playoff run. This trip to the DL seems like something that could have waited until the off-season. It looks like the Braves are wrapping up the NL East, so they decided to let Uggla undergo the surgery now before the playoffs.
Texas Rangers release Manny Ramirez by Bob Nightengale -- USA Today Sports
Manny Ramirez's return to the MLB took a step back Tuesday when the Rangers released him from his minor league contract. Ramirez was playing in the Taiwan league earlier this year before joining the Rangers, and multiple teams in the NPB have shown interest in Manny, so I don't think he's finished quite yet.
The Sabermetrics Community
Improved Cabrera having pantheon season by David Schoenfield -- ESPN
Miguel Cabrera's 2012 was great, but that season is nothing compared to what Miggy is doing in 2013. Before 1993 and the beginning of what many call the "Steroid Era," only nine players had a season of 200 OPS+ or more. That's quite an elite group to be part of, with names like Mantle, Ted Williams, and McCovey. Take a look for yourself at the historic season the Miguel Cabrera is having in front of our own eyes.
What's wrong with Prince Fielder? by Justin Havens -- ESPN Stats & Info
Prince Fielder is having a pretty good year this year, but it's not his normal type of year. Two things that stick out from this article are that (1) he has only an ISO of .171 against right handed pitching in 2013, and (2) he is only slugging .404 against fastballs this season, which ranks him 115th in the majors. Justin points out that Prince is hitting the ball the hardest he's ever hit it by mph of his bat, but with his LD%, Z-contact%, and Contact% are down four points from last year.
The Twins Pitch to Contact Like No One Ever by Jeff Sullivan -- Fan Graphs
Jeff Sullivan has brought up how bad the Twins staff has been: last in adjusted ERA, the lowest strikeout rate in the league and the only team to not have a starter throw eight or more strikeouts in a game this season. He doesn't stop there: divide a team's strikeout rate by the league-average strikeout rate, and you'll see that the 2013 Minnesota Twins have the lowest adjusted strikeout rate since 1916. Twins fans may be able to say they have the worst strikeout pitching staff ever.
New at SBNation MLB
The ridiculousness of MLB waivers by Mike Bates -- SB Nation
Bates explores why in the world is the waivers system the way it is, especially when guys like Adam Rosales are bouncing between two cities six times in a couple of weeks.
Only some shouting left for Rookie of the Year candidates by Rob Neyer -- Baseball Nation
Only three rookies have earned enough at bats so far this year to be able to win the batting title, the list being Pete Kozma, Nolan Arenado, and Adeiny Hechavarria. It looks as if though the AL ROY award will be down to teammates Wil Myers and Chris Archer, and that Yasiel Puig undoubtedly will win the NL ROY over Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller, and co.
Mariners well-positioned to make run at Jacoby Ellsbury by Chris Cotillo -- MLB Daily Dish
With only a little over $30 million committed to their 2014 payroll, the Mariners seem to be early favorites to land Ellsbury according to Cotillo. Ellsbury, from Oregon, would be closer to home playing in Seattle in the northwest, which also gives the Mariners a good bargaining chip.
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All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.
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