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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 3/13/19

Spring trade ideas; increasingly bat-first infielders; the Astros’ abundance of pitching

League Championship Series - Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros - Game Five Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: The season hasn’t started yet, so there is still time to make some interesting trades. While they likely won’t happen, seeing, say, Madison Bumgarner to the Brewers, or Corey Kluber to the Padres, or Dylan Bundy to the Mets would make a ton of sense for each team (and their trade partner).

Baseball Prospectus | Zach Crizer: Mike Moustakas was named the starting second baseman for the Brewers, and while that’s odd considering he hasn’t played there, it makes more sense taken in context with the league, which has eschewed glove-first for bat-first infielders. Utility players like Ben Zobrist and Marwin Gonzalez have schewed bat-first as well, and now a good team easily sees 80-90% of their infielder plate appearances given to above-average hitters.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: The Astros may have lost Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, and Dallas Keuchel, but they still have more pitching than just about any other team. Between their existing core of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, combined with Wade Miley and up-and-coming Forrest Whitley, they have plenty to bring them deep into a postseason run.