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Sabersphere 1/7: ZiPS, Do hard-throwers get squeezed? Sad peaks

Today's Sabersphere looks at ZiPS projections, if hard throwing pitchers get squeezed, and some of the most disappointing peak-seasons.

Jonathan Daniel

Carson Cistulli of Fangraphs published Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projections for the Cubs: 2013 ZiPS Projections - Chicago Cubs

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, will be released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Chicago Cubs. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.\

David Golebiewski at Baseball Analytics looks at power pitchers and if they get squeezed: Do Power Pitchers Get Squeezed

When it comes to fastballs, pitchers who blow smoke reign supreme. The harder you throw, the better your results. Batters missed about 27% of the time that they swung at a fastball thrown 98 MPH or harder last year. By contrast, hitters whiffed at less than half that rate against fastballs lobbed under 90 MPH.

Sam Miller looks at some sad age-27 seasons in his column "Pebble Hunting:" The Saddest Age-27 Seasons of 2012

Eight months ago, I wrote about the saddest age-27 seasons in recent history, the idea being that age-27 is, if not the panacea that turns every player into his best self, at least the last year that we pay attention to post-hype sleepers. Or, as I wrote, "It’s the year when, if you hit .253/.289/.418 in the PCL, smart people will probably quit writing spring training love letters calling you the comeback kid." That was about Brandon Wood, who ended up hitting .259/.313/.409 in the PCL. I can’t tell you how happy I am that nobody has identified a year of my life when I’m supposed to stop feeling good about myself.

Scott Spratt at The Hardball Times writes about the Padres and their ballpark: The Padres had the wrong team for their old ballpark

The end of the year has brought with it the end of the free agent frenzy. A few marquee names remain on the open market—Michael Bourn, for example—but, for the most part, teams have a pretty good idea of what they’ll look like on Opening Day. This winter, Los Angeles has been the city of loose purse strings, as the Dodgers and Angels have combined to spend $272 million on Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton, alone. But, 120 miles south, the biggest addition to the San Diego Padres has not been a player, but rather the new fences in right and left-center field.

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Today's BtB retro is an awesome graphic by David Fung, looking at the surplus value of Josh Reddick: A Graphic Look at Josh Reddick vs this Offseason's FA (5-18-12)

The A's have been carried offensively in the early part of the season by contributions from various new acquisitions; first Yoenis Cespedes (before the DL stint), some sparks from Jonny Gomes, Brandon Inge (also before his DL stint), and now, Josh Reddick. In the month of May, he's been producing: 0.439 wOBA and 6 HR. Currently, if you look at the Fangraphs May leaderboards, he's comparable to Andre Ethier (0.434 wOBA) and Matt Holliday (0.451 wOBA). Not too shabby of company to be in.