Jam packed full of links from the past two days, so lets get right into it. (read: A lame excuse to avoid writing an intro).
Upcoming Draft Scouting (registration required) – Kevin Goldstein at BP looks at who might be climbing and falling down the draft boards of MLB teams.
Numb3rs – Kevin Hench at FoxSports identifies ten numbers that might define the 2007 season.
Johnson Lands on the DL – As 1B Dan Johnson landed on the DL after being diagnosed with torn cartilage in his hip, replacing the previous diagnosis of a strained hip flexor. There is no timetable for a rehab return, though the surgery route would result in about three months. Esteban Loaiza also missed his start and word is that he is hurt, but no further information is available.
Baseball’s Demographics – Only 8.4% of baseball players last season were black, the lowest level in two decades. Though the overall diversity reached its highest levle yet, the downward trend in black baseball players is an issue that MLB needs to start addressing more.
Shields Gets Extension – Scot Shields had already signed a one-year deal this winter for $3.4 million, and now he has a three-year extension on top of that for an additional $14.6 million. Look, I know he’s been the rock of your bullpen, but I wouldn’t be handing out four guaranteed years at market rate to any relief pitcher, especially one over 30.
Selig On the Defensive – Bud Selig defends MLB’s deal with DirecTV.
It’s Baseball… Of The Future!! – Roxgirl has a look at what baseball might be like in 300 years.
Fan Makeup – Henry Gomez takes a look at the demographics of the Marlins fan base.
Paging FJM – This is some sort of double exacta rarely seen before. One newspaper, four articles, all in the same day. Here, Here, Here, and Here that just scream we have nothing worthwhile to say. Team chemistry? Check. Veteran wants to help young kids? Check. Players like to make friends, but have trouble because so many of them keep moving around in search of higher pay and/or teams grow tired of their dismal performance? Check. New guy brings passion? Check. Yahtzee or something.
Mariners Make Cuts. Should Have Made More – The Mariners sent super (un)productive backup catcher Rene Rivera and (so far) busted prospect Jeremy Reed back to the minors. However, they appear to be handing a spot on the active roster to Rey Ordonez, who to quote Jeff Sullivan, “[is] the guy who posted a career .599 OPS in the Majors, .640 OPS in the minors, and +3 average UZR in his prime before taking three years away from baseball and turning 36. He’s basically what you’d get if you had [Willie Bloomquist] and took away the discipline, versatility, footspeed, youthful enthusiasm, and savage raw power. By the middle of the season, Ordonez stands an outside shot at being one of the worst players to ever appear in 1000 career ML games. So that’s something to watch for.” Classic Ms.
#5 Starters – Adam Morris assembles, based on his own estimates, the fifth starter for each MLB team as the season opens. Just in case you wanted to know.
Not the Most Enthusiastic of Endorsements – Five reasons from the Pittsburgh Post-Gizatte to be hopeful for the 2007 Pirates season.
Rank the Franchises – ESPN’s SportsNation ranks 122 professional sports franchises on a number of criteria. The highest ranked: Buffalo Sabres. The worst: Detroit Lions.
Prior Officially in the Minors – Mark Prior took another step back, displaying nothing better than a mid to high-80s fastball in his last throwing session and was optioned to the Cubs AAA affiliate. Apparently he cleared waivers in order for the Cubs to be able to send him down. So, yeah, that about tells you where Prior is at this point.
Slightly Wester East Coast Bias to Begin? – Dayn Perry looks at how the AL Central has become baseball’s power division.
Twins Get Fatter – The Twins have named Carlos Silva their fifth starter, optioning Matt Garza back to the minors for at least the start of the season. Also pitcher J.D. Durbin was claimed off waivers by Arizona, meaning the Twins 25 man roster is now set
So Much for That – George Steinbrenner’s daughter has filed divorce papers against husband Steve Swindal. They are reportedly splitting up amicably, but this does likely sound the death knell for Swindal’s chances of running the Yankees someday.
Friday at THT
Five Questions: New York Yankees – Part I: The Yanks will score runs, but so will the other guys
Five More Questions: New York Yankees – Part II: Ticker tape this autumn? No reason why not
Five Questions: Pittsburgh Pirates – Why this could be the best Bucs team in recent memory.
Five Questions: Cincinnati Reds – Looks like another ho-hum year as the Reds fight to stay out of the cellar.
2007 THT Staff Predictions – The THT Staff predicts a wide open season.
Thursday at THT
Five Questions: St. Louis Cardinals – How far can a “Just Show Up” strategy carry the Cardinals?
Five Questions: Chicago Cubs – Five questions that will define the 2007 Cubs. Can the Cubs return to contention with their offseason of spending?
Five Questions: Houston Astros – Now that Roger is gone, will the team have enough pitching to compete?
Top 20 Fantasy Busts – Tim Dierkes names twenty players he won’t be drafting in 2007.
Breaking the Pitcher – David examines whether breaking balls really cause young pitchers to break down.
Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball (Part 3) – Vince examines why the Moneyball teams really won. Hint: It didn’t have much to do with OPS.
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