After an historic day of baseball, there is a lot of news to get to on this Tuesday morning. I have the latest fallout from Monday's circus with all the suspensions their future implications. Aside from the Biogenesis talk, the great debate from 2012 is back--Trout vs Cabrera Round Two--and it's not as close as you might think. Hope you enjoy this edition of Lineouts!
MLB Hot Topics
An unforgettable day in baseball by Jayson Stark -- ESPN
That a dozen players were suspended on the same day not for failing an MLB provided test, but by having enough powerful evidence to prove that they did take PEDs, is remarkable. One thing that's different this time around is the social networking from actual players themselves, voicing their opinions mostly through Twitter. This shows that players actually do care, and some of the ones who tweeted, such as Evan Longoria, are well respected in the game by fans and players.
Weiner: A-Rod's appeal won't be done until season is over by Dayn Perry -- CBS Sports
Despite the much longer suspension, Alex Rodriguez is the only player yesterday who actually played baseball, as he is the only one who appealed the suspension. Though it may upset many fans, it looks as if we'll see him for the rest of 2013 in the Yankees lineup.
No drug violations by Gio Gonzalez, Danny Valencia by Howard Fendrich -- Yahoo Sports
Most people probably forgot that Gio Gonzalez and Danny Valencia were on the list of players that were possibly going to be suspended when the original Biogenesis list came out. Most people aimed their focus towards Gio since he was a Cy Young candidate in the National League last year. I'm actually very happy his name is indeed clear, because from the beginning he said he was clean, which means for once someone wasn't lying. Also good for Danny Valencia, although he is not the impact player that Gio is.
Trout and Cabrera: Here We Go Again by Dave Cameron -- Fan Graphs
Some people might think Chris Davis should easily be the AL MVP due to his impeccable start and home run total. But those who follow advanced statistics can see that Mike Trout is leading the MLB in fWAR with +6.9 while Miguel Cabrera is in second with +6.4 fWAR, and Chris Davis far from them with +5.1 fWAR. The difference between this year and last is that Trout's defense is far worse according to defensive metrics, and Cabrera defense is worse already than his full year last season. What will be looked at from traditional MVP voters is that Cabrera and the Tigers are in first place and headed to the postseason while the Angels and the high payroll are under .500, which is going to diminish Trout's first place votes if he even gets any at all.
Player’s View: Is Pitching More of an Art or More of a Science? by David Laurila -- Fan Graphs
Laurila asked 12 different pitchers if they think pitching is more of an art or a science. Do players believe that sabermetric data can give them some insight that can improve their game, like Brandon McCarthy has done, or do they believe pitching is an art? I'll spill the beans and say that none of them thought pitching was just a science, but some of them did believe the science portion does help in some ways.
Painting the Black by R.J. Anderson -- Baseball Prospectus
Knee pops, double-set maneuvers, quick feet, and timing to the plate are all covered here by R.J. in this great article about the art of holding and picking off runners at first base.
Better Understanding Jose Fernandez by Jeff Sullivan -- Fan Graphs
Jeff looks at how Fernandez' rookie season is breaking down, as his xFIP is getting better every month, he's getting squeezed to death by umps, and gets a lot of ground balls from lefties.
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Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta suspensions: Playoff implications by Marc Normandin -- SB Nation
Jhonny Peralta was second for the Tigers in WAR only behind Miggy, but was suspended yesterday. Marc suggests that if he had been replaced by an average player, the Tigers could have seen themselves behind the Indians. They went out and traded one of their prized prospects in Avisail Garcia to the White Sox to acquire Jose Iglesias, who could take over for the suspended Peralta. Nelson Cruz leaves with a OPS+ at 123, second best on the team, but with the Rangers' already poor offense, his absence isn't going to help his team, which is going to be fighting for a postseason spot.
Shane Victorino is a classy dude by Marc Normandin -- Over the Monster
With all the Biogenesis talk going on, something unusually nice came out of Boston the other day when Shane Victorino almost nearly took off Brandon McCarthy's head, who was already hit by a come backer last year. McCarthy's wife tweeted out saying how if Brandon had ducked last year he wouldn't have his 50,000 followers, then Victorino responded by saying to be nice, and how worried he was for the play and felt bad for making him duck. Victorino is quite the professional, and this makes his legacy of being a great guy even greater.
Biogenesis suspensions: Don't forget about Everth Cabrera and Jesus Montero by Grant Brisbee -- Baseball
As we can see, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, and Alex Rodriguez are going to get all the national attention, but Grant Brisbee brings up this article that we shouldn't forget about both Everth Cabrera and Jesus Montero. Montero was a key part of the trade from the Yankees to the Mariners for then-big-time pitching prospect Michael Pineda. If we were to judge that trade right now, we all might say bust for bust, especially due to Pineda's latest setback. If Montero was playing after taking PEDs, did it really help or did it make him worse? But for Cabrera, was 2013 his career year or was it due to taking performance enhancing drugs?
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All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.
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