Here's Thursday's edition of Saber-Links:
Bill Chuck of the Baseball Analytics blog takes a look at Justin Verlander's last start, with heat maps, and compares it to other bad starts of his career:Justin Verlander was a meek Tiger - Baseball Analytics Blog - MLB Baseball Analytics
The Kansas City Royals hammered Justin Verlander and defeated the Tigers last night coming away with a 9-8 win. These are the games that set up October golf dates for postseason contenders. Verlander, allowed eight earned runs, matching his career high, in 5 .2 innings.
Bradley Woodrum of FanGraphs released a great article about batting GB-FB splits and swing planes: Swing Planes and Predicting GB-FB Splits | FanGraphs Baseball
Batters with an uppercut swing will succeed more against ground ball pitchers, and hitters with a more level plane will succeed more against fly ball pitchers, and — naturally — hitters who can swing on both planes will have a smaller overall split.
Ben Duronio also with FG discusses Kris Medlen's recent dominance: Kris Medlen Is Dealing | FanGraphs Baseball
In his past three starts, two of which did come against the Padres, Medlen has thrown 24 innings with 22 strikeouts, one walk, and no runs allowed. Even though he faced a lackluster offense in two of the three starts, those numbers are still awe inspiring.
Hudson Belinsky of Baseball Prospectus gives us another view on the highly-touted prospect, Dylan Bundy: Baseball Prospectus | Prospect Profile: Dylan Bundy
While it would be fun to see Bundy throwing 100-mph lasers in Camden Yards, expectations shouldn’t be through the roof, at least not from the get-go. Bundy is a superior talent, but he hasn’t yet harnessed all of his ability. It’s easy to get enamored with elite velocity, but it’s also easy to get hammered despite elite velocity. A jump to the major leagues might add marginal short-term value to the big-league club, but no one knows how it might affect Bundy beyond 2012.
Dan Lependorf of the Hardball Times explains how the MLB's steroid testing really works: How does steroid testing actually work?--THT
Every player on an MLB 40-man roster is tested at least twice per year for performance enhancing drugs or stimulants. On the first day of spring training, every player has to submit a urine sample. After that, CDT will collect a total of 1,400 additional random unannounced urine samples throughout the season. The Joint Drug Agreement also allows for more than 200 urine sample collections on unannounced random dates in the offseason. There are extra tests for previous violators of the JDA, but there’s also a clause that says if the league or the Player’s Association has evidence to suspect steroid use, they can submit a notification of "reasonable cause", at which point the player has to submit a test sample within 48 hours.
Saber-Links will return tomorrow at Noon.