Lineouts! 08/08/13: Young arms, home run trots, and framing pitches

Christian Petersen

Good morning everyone. Welcome back to another edition of Lineouts!

Today we have a number of great articles from a variety of different sources that all should stimulate your interest. My favorite article from Wednesday was the idea of having a lefty catcher, which you can find below from Max Marchi at Baseball Prospectus. Also, we have the idea of Hiroki Kuroda for Cy Young, Facebook stalking, and an interview from Pete Rose about Biogenesis. Enjoy everyone!

MLB Hot Topics

A year after Operation Shutdown by Jerry Crasnick -- ESPN

With so many young pitchers dominating the game today in 2013, Jerry looks at what teams should do and what they are likely going to do with their young pitchers' innings. One thing that stood out to me in the article was a quote saying that if you have a young pitcher that can get big league guys out bring him up, because if not you're just wasting his arm sitting in the minor leagues. The focus today on young pitching is at a premium.

Facebook, other electronic records used during Biogenesis investigation by Mike Axisa -- CBS Sports

MLB hired more than 30 people full-time to help get as much information from the Biogenesis as they possibly could. Out of all this evidence, they received Facebook chat dialogues, text messages, and pictures of players who were suspended. Sounds to me like the MLB was Facebook stalking some of the players. Creepy.

Pete Rose on Alex Rodriguez: Admit your mistakes by Ted Berg -- USA Today Sports

Rose, arguably the best hitter in major league history, had a couple of words for all those suspended Monday: come clean. He brings up how Andy Pettitte, and Jason Giambi came clean and admitted their mistakes, and then everyone forgave them -- and they are still playing today. Meanwhile, guys like Ryan Braun, and Alex Rodriguez deny wrongdoing -- even though they've already lost in the court of public opinion -- which just damages their reputation.

The Sabermetrics Community

Hiroki Kuroda’s Case for the Cy Young Award by Matt Klaassen -- FanGraphs

Kuroda has always been one of those pitchers that just flies under the radar in the mainstream world, while all he's been doing in his MLB career is getting the job done with the Yankees and Dodgers. Matt isn't saying that Kuroda should be the Cy Young this year -- most would think Felix Hernandez or Max Scherzer deserve it at this point. But Matt makes the point that Hiroki should be at least considered for the award.

The Stats Go Marching In by Max Marchi -- Baseball Prospectus

Max digs into whether or not we should start lifting the ban of left handed catchers, and he makes a few arguments on why there should be left-handed catchers in the league. Can lefties get that big of advantage on framing pitches, or would a strong-armed lefty be better than a dead-armed righty? Are any of these advantages reason enough to start seeing more left-handed backstops?

Presenting 2013′s Surprising Top Two Pitch-Framers by Jeff Sullivan -- Fan Graphs

For those of you familiar with these pieces, you would think to just see Jose Molina and Jonathan Lucroy at the top of the list of most pitches saved this season due to framing. In 2013 they aren't even in the top three, which belongs to Yasmani Grandal, Hank Conger, and David Ross. Grandal, who is out for the season, can't add to that total at this point, so Conger should move ahead of Grandal by the end of the year. Sullivan inserts some great GIFs of these guys framing pitches, which is always interesting.

New at SBNation MLB

Grading the unwritten-rule violations: Bryce Harper by Grant Brisbee -- Baseball Nation

Watching this game live for work, I didn't see anything wrong with Bryce Harper's home run trot. He got all of that pitch from Teheran, who pitched very well for most of the game. The next at-bat, I questioned right away what Teheran was doing, since he was hitting his spots consistently throughout the game, and as you can see he guides the ball as far left as he can to get a piece of Harper. Anyways, this article is quite amusing as Grant includes some other great home run trots as well.

The Greek Mathematician Blues, 2013 Edition by The Red Baron --Viva El Birdos

The Red Baron got a lot of interaction for this piece on how the Cardinals are yet again under-performing against their league-leading run differential at +153. They find themselves looking up to the Pirates who have an almost 100-run swing in differential, with theirs sitting at +57. This piece examines the run differentials of the Cardinals from the past couple of seasons, and also questions Mike Matheny's true effect on this team. Is he costing his team wins with his decisions?

Why did the Red Sox start Steven Wright over Brandon Workman? by Ben Buchanan -- Over The Monster

Many Red Sox fans could have thought they were getting the successor to Tim Wakefield in Steven Wright on Tuesday night. That probably lasted as long as Wright did, which was all but four batters. Luckily for the Red Sox, Brandon Workman was able to save some bullpen innings by coming in after Wright, but we shall see what the future holds for the crafty knuckleballer.

. . .

All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

Anthony Bauer is a writer at Beyond The Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @skipbauer22.

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