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Sabersphere 1/29: Verducci Effect, Phillies, Platooning at First

Today's Sabersphere looks at the Verducci Effect, the phall of the Phillies, and platooning at fist base,

Denis Poroy

Pizza Cutter examines the Verducci Effect over at Baseball Prospectus: Fact or Fiction: The Verducci Effect

Last week, Sports Illustrated writer and Jason Parks man-crush Tom Verducci put out his annual column warning about a specific type of player: A young pitcher (25 or younger) who saw a significant increase in his workload in the previous season over the season before that (defined as an increase of at least 30 innings, including postseason and minor-league work). Verducci claims that this sort of pitcher is in danger of either a significant injury and/or a performance decline in 2013 because his 2012 was much busier than his 2011. It's a proposition that's become known as the Verducci Effect.

Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs looks at an alarming trend regarding the Phillies: Yuniesky Betancourt and the Worst Trend in Baseball

This is a post with two potential introductions. We will deploy both of them. First, let’s rewind to December 24, and MLB Trade Rumors. We have agent Alex Esteban, of Miami Sports Management. We find him speaking of client Yuniesky Betancourt, who was a free agent at the time.

Jeff Moore of The Hardball Times looks at the Phillies window and how it closed quickly: Window of opportunity closed faster than Phillies expected

When the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, it looked like they were set up for a long run of success. With a nucleus of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino all 29 years of age or younger, the Phillies saw a window of five or six years in which they believed they could compete for multiple World Series titles.

Michael Valancius of DRaysBay looks at the Rays platoon at first base: Platooning at First Base

Last year, behind the efforts of Carlos Pena, the Rays managed a measly .683 OPS from their first basemen. Granted, that is not park adjusted. However, adjusting it for the park only bumps it to a .719 OPS. Last season, the AL combined for a .731 OPS. So from an offensive minded position, the Rays received below league average production.

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Today's BtB Retro is a preview of the 2008 World Series by Peter Bendix: World Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Philadelphia Phillies (10/21/08)

The Rays have weathered every single storm thrown at them – doubt, injuries, losing a pivotal game in which they had a 7-0 lead – and are actually going to the World Series. Meanwhile, we shouldn’t sleep on the Phils, who were the second best team in the NL this year and are a force to be (somewhat) reckoned with. Here are some things to watch: