Links: Bard, Chipper, Oswalt, Dodgers
February, 15, 2012
By David Schoenfield | ESPN.com
Check out some of the great work from our blog network ...
- Check out Diane's great list at Value Over Replacement Grit on the pitcher who started games with the most different catchers in his career (Frank Tanana and Mike Morgan both started games with 42 different catchers). I like that Tanana worked with Andy Etchebarren, who debuted in 1962, and Todd Hundley, who last played in 2003. The pitcher/catcher combo that started the most games together is Bill Freehan and Mickey Lolich of the '60s/'70s Tigers. They started 324 games together. Here's that list. With the Mark Buehrle-A.J. Pierzynski tandem broken up (159 starts), the active leader combo is Chris Carpenter and Yadier Molina with 155.
- Chip Buck with three big questions for the Red Sox this spring: (1) What to expect from Daniel Bard? (2) Will Kevin Youkilis remain healthy and productive? (3) Will Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney pay dividends in right field? I believe Bard is the big one. While the Rangers had success the past two seasons moving C.J. Wilson and then Alexi Ogando from the bullpen to the rotation, it's a very short list of pitchers who have done this.
- The Orioles got into a recent snafu with the Korean Baseball Organization and Jon Shepherd interviews Korean journalist Yoo Jee-ho about the situation that led to Orioles scouts being banned from South Korea.
- What will the Braves do when Chipper Jones needs a day off? (And he'll probably need about 30 or so of them, even assuming he stays healthy otherwise.)
- For all the excitement about the Nationals, nobody is talking about shortstop Ian Desmond, who could be one of the most important players in the league in 2012. Desmond's OBP doesn't make him a great leadoff man, but is there another option for the Nats?
- Crashburn Alley asks its readers: Which Phillies storyline are you following? (Insert joke here about picking the Phillies to finish in second place.)
- Mets starter Mike Pelfrey has been working on his sinker. Joe Janish believes that while the sinker is important, Pelfrey is at his best when he's locating his off-speed stuff. Mets fans get frustrated with Pelfrey and the inconsistent ERAs from year to year. But he's actually been a pretty consistent pitcher the past four seasons: His walk rate has been between 2.9 and 3.2 per nine innings and his strikeout rate between 4.9 and 5.2. Maybe an improved sinker will help, but I think he is what he is at this point. He doesn't strike out enough hitters to become an elite starter and his ERA, hits and home runs will fluctuate more or less on the randomness that happens with this type of pitcher.
- Oh, about that Travis Hafner-for-A.J. Burnett rumor? Stephanie Liscio of It's Pronounced "Lajaway" says no ... no ... no. After all ... maybe this is the year Hafner stays healthy.
- The Royals have extended Ned Yost's contract and Nick Scott of Royals Authority is pleased with this development.
- Minus Prince Fielder and possibly Ryan Braun for 50 games, Jonathan Lucroy will be even more important to the Brewers.
- The Astros signed ex-Rays outfielder Justin Ruggiano to a minor league deal and he could find himself in Houston's crowded outfield mix.
- Jason Wojciechowski on Yoenis Cespedes and what his signing means for guys like Josh Reddick, Seth Smith, Chris Carter and Daric Barton.
- Joey Matschulat on Roy Oswalt, Koji Uehara and those nasty "Oswalt wants to pitch for the Rangers" rumors.
- Jon Shields looks at the Mariners' starting rotation -- a rotation that may include Kevin Millwood.
- Blake Street Bulletin examines the Rockies' major offseason acquisitions.
- Jon Weisman talks to Dodgers assistant GM De Jon Watson about some of the young Dodgers like Dee Gordon, Nathan Eovaldi, Jerry Sands and the kids in the minors.