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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 3/14/19

The Mets’ first base logjam; the rise of the league-minimum player; odd workouts in spring training

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New York Mets v Houston Astros Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: The Mets have a logjam at first base, and a service time issue as well to deal with. They have Dom Smith, a first rounder who has yet to show success at the big league level but sports a better physique and spring training stats this spring. Yet the real first baseman will likely be Pete Alonso, who projection systems favor in every respect. Alonso will likely be held down for service time reasons, even though they will be missing the likes of Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier to start the year.

Baseball Prospectus | Gerald Schifman ($): This shouldn’t be a surprise, but teams are increasingly relying on players who make the league minimum. About a third of players in 2005 were league minimum, and now that is up to just over 40% for hitters and a whopping 50% for pitchers. If there’s a cap on pitchers in the future, this very well could stall or reverse, but as of now we are seeing the implications trickle into the free agent market.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): Whether it’s Michael Lorenzen doing a funny spine dance, the Angels playing with sheets and a medicine ball, or adjusting your fingernails for different grips, players come up with all kinds of adjustments to improve in spring training.