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SaberSphere 7/22: Norris, Lackey, and the Knuckler

With post-All-Star Break baseball fully underway, the SaberSphere takes you from a pitcher who could move at the deadline, to how John Lackey has turned his game around from his recent injury-riddled abysmal seasons. Should teams begin to educate players about more advanced metrics, and could that help their play? All this answered and more, here on this Tuesday morning on the SaberSphere.

Jim Rogash

Here's what we have for you from around the internet on all things baseball and sabermetrics for Tuesday morning.

Previously on Beyond the Box Score

The trade deadline continues to loom large. While much of the gossip and speculation has centered recently around Matt Garza, if and when the Cubs move the big righty, one Astros pitcher might vault to near the top of many teams' wish lists. Mike explains further.

Fanposts are a sometimes forgotten but nonetheless great aspect to the BTBS site. In this piece, the Alex, a new addition to the BTBS crew, takes a look at the recently horrible John Lackey, whose turnaround in 2013 has been a big part of the Red Sox resurgence.

A topic of concern to some, but of interest to most this season has been the increase in strikeouts in the last few seasons. In this piece, the author looks at what could be a byproduct of that trend, the lack of hitters with batting averages over .300 in comparison to recent history.

Around the Sabersphere

Both Dave Cameron of Fangraphs and our own Ken Woolums mentioned this piece by former Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler. Kapler writes not about how teams evaluate players, but the manner in which the players evaluate their own performances. If the people making the decisions on player movement and development see everything in color and the players continue to see themselves in black and white, maybe something needs to change.

One major topic on the mind of all those involved in baseball is that of pitchers health and effectiveness. In this week's therapy session, Russell takes a look at the possibility that throwing too many pitches in one start might negatively affect the same pitcher's performance in his next start.

Ah good ole' R.A. Dickey. He hasn't made much news since the offseason, but that may be due to his distinct change in performance from last season's Cy Young Award winning campaign. Dickey's a knuckler, and the Blue Jays bet two high-level prospects on that knuckleball, but as David shows, the knuckler isn't paying dividends.

Around SB Nation

Sunday Night the baseball world watched as C.C. Sabathia got pretty well crushed by the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Sabathia hasn't had a typical C.C. year thus far, and Rob looks into why that might be.

The Mariners and Astros had an interesting game Saturday that only bred more ignominy on an Astros team that most considered reasonably dead in the water at the outset of the season. Their NL counterpart is the Miami Marlins, and the Fish made some ignominious news recently, even worse than losing 4-2 on one hit.

Outside the Sabersphere

This is plain and simple just a cool article. Global population growth is slowing, and at this rate, it will eventually stop. How might that affect everything we know, think, and plan for?