Baseball links from around the sabersphere...
Abreu's Dropping OBP | Baseball Analytics Blog
From the above graph, it was clear Abreu was not getting ball calls early, which may have caused him to to start swinging at pitches he would normally take. The change led to 19 fewer hits, and a lower OBP.
2011 Cardinals are old (which is good and bad) | Fungoes
It’s possible, and perhaps probable, that the Cardinals will get younger as the season wears on. We’ll give Miguel Batista even odds for lasting the entire season, and his replacement is bound to be younger (at least we’re hoping so). The Cardinals start the year with some near-major-league-ready talent in Memphis, and as long as La Russa and company don’t repeat their midsummer 2010 moves in which they pulled the aging Randy Winn and Pedro Feliz off the future commentators unemployment line, their average age will regress to, well, their average.
The Homer Happy Weekend | Fangraphs
It is safe to say, though, that this trend will not continue. Were batters to continue mashing homers at their current rate, they’d hit 5,705 in a full 4,860-game season. That’s 12 more than the league hit in 2000, which is the current record.
Orioles Pitching Dominating Rays Hitters | Baseball Analytics Blog
The Orioles effectively pitched lefties and righties away the whole series. The result: Rays batters could barely muster any offense.
Where's the Defense? | Baseball Musings
During the first four full days of the regular season in 2010, the BABIP for the majors came in at .291. So far in 2011, the value is .300. So even not counting errors, defenses are more porous than they were a year ago.
More links after the jump...
Does a Felipe Lopez/Sean Rodriguez Platoon Make Sense in Evan Longoria’s Absence? | The Process Report
Considering the available options, using Lopez and Rodriguez in a platoon -and in tandem- could help Maddon in achieving his nightly goal of putting the best possible lineup together for that particular game. Everyone knows that we do not have one player that can replace Evan Longoria, but perhaps the duo of Lopez and Rodriguez can give it a valiant effort.
- Next Offseason's Best Available Starters | MLB Trade Rumors
A look at the best remaining options for next winter's shoppers.
Ryan Madson, Closing, and Contracts | Crashburn Alley
Therefore, it is true that as Madson’s save opportunities increase, so too will his price tag. This is not a fact unknown to the Phillies. If Madson gets scant save opportunities, he and his agent Scott Boras have less leverage in negotiations. They can cite his K/9, BB/9, and xFIP as I have been for the past couple years, but when Amaro cites his relatively low saves total and save conversion rate, there’s not much of a counter-argument, as irrational as it may be.
Elvis Andrus Hit a Home Run | Fangraphs
No, seriously. He did.
Ron Washington still doesn’t know how to leverage Neftali Feliz in non-save situations | Hardball Talk
Washington has yet to show that he’ll find more work for Feliz by bringing him into, say, a tie game or game in which the Rangers trail by one run–you know, the crucial non-save situations that can decide a game–but is now using him in even lower-leverage spots.