- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot blogger
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If there's one thing we need more of in America, it's eight-pound hamburgers.
So thankfully the Washington Nationals have stepped up to sate our gluttony by introducing the StrasBurger, the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg reports. My favorite part of the news release: The burger will be served on a "large burger bun." Well, I would hope so.
My question: Was Stephen Strasburg consulted on this? Does he approve of being associated with an eight-pound piece of cow flesh? Or are we entering an Albert Pujols situation? I fear there will be repercussions to this burger unveiling.
The bloggers at the Capitol Avenue Club react to Chipper Jones' comments that he might not make it through the season.
Joey Matschulat writes on Mike Napoli's contract situation with the Rangers ... and the lack of an extension or even an apparent discussion.
The Mariners annually have the most creative promotional commercials. I'm not sure they actually help sell more tickets, but they're fun to watch. The best one this year shows where Justin Smoak gets his bats.
Chip Buck on the Boston's Sox bullpen situation. The Sox lost Jonathan Papelbon to free agency and Daniel Bard to the rotation, replacing them with Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon. Papelbon and Bard were dominant, both posting WHIPs under 1.00 and combining for 161 strikeouts in 137.1 innings. Papelbon only blew three saves, and didn't lose a game until No. 162, but Bard went 2-9. You can't ignore those nine losses, no matter the other numbers. Here, Bard's OPS allowed in different game situations:Margin greater than 4 runs: .237
Within 4 runs: .561
Within 3 runs: .566
Within 2 runs: .562
Within 1 run: .653
Bard simply wasn't clutch went it mattered most. That's a long-winded way of saying the overall net effect of Bailey and Melancon replacing Papelbon and Bard might not be that severe, assuming those two can come close to the 137 innings the Red Sox got from their top two relievers in 2011 (considering Bailey's health history, that's the bigger question).
Speaking of bullpens, Ryan Topp of Disciples of Uecker asks, What to expect from the Brewers' pen? Personally, I like Milwaukee's pen as there is a lot of depth behind John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez. The weakness is a lack of a left-hander, a role potentially filled by Zach Braddock or Manny Parra (yes, he's still around).
John Bonnes has five storylines to watch for the Twins.
Who is Tyler Graham? An outfield candidate unlikely to break camp with the Giants, writes Chris Quick. But check out this play he made in center field.
ESPN Insider Ben Lindbergh looks at five relievers being converted to starters, and suggests Chris Sale is the best bet for a successful transition.
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has his organizational prospect rankings. Like ESPN Insider Keith Law, he ranks the Padres No. 1. Keith had Tampa Bay No. 2 and Toronto No. 3, while Kevin has Toronto No. 2 and St. Louis No. 3. Kevin has the Rays well down his list at No. 13.