- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot blogger
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So Trevor Bauer starts tonight for the Diamondbacks. Andrew Cashner, who pitched out of the bullpen for the Padres at the start of the season, is back after getting stretched out as a starter in the minor leagues and he'll start as well. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs has an interesting comparison between the two pitchers. For all of the Bauer hype, Cashner's minor league pedigree is similarly impressive.
Cameron Scott of Walkoff Woodward looks back at the Rangers-Tigers and declares that the Rangers are good and the Tigers are not.
ESPN Insider Dan Szymborski on the worst rotations since 1950, in honor of the Minnesota Twins. The Twins' rotation (as of two days ago, when the piece was published) have the worst ERA+, just ahead (behind?) of the 2003 Reds. And, yes, Rockies fans, your rotation isn't far behind. As for those 2003 Reds ... well ... it was ugly. Seventeen different starters combined to go 33-72 with a 5.77 ERA. Paul Wilson was the staff ace at 8-10 with a 4.64 ERA and 166.2 innings. Danny Graves (4-15, 5.33), Ryan Dempster (3-7, 6.54) and Jimmy Haynes (2-12, 6.30) were the others who started at least 10 games.
Starlin Castro, Hall of Famer? Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus makes a great point about age and playing time.
Ben Duronio of Capitol Avenue Club says all three Braves outfielders should be All-Stars.
Franklin Morales has looked good for the Red Sox. Has he earned a few more trips through the rotation?
The Reds do have some problems with their lineup, but you can't blame Dusty Baker, writes Brien Jackson at Redleg Nation.
Just returned to baseball after watching the NBA and NHL playoffs? Luckily, DJ Gallo has a guide to what's been going on.
Bill Petti of FanGraphs with a fun look at the disappearing breed of hitters who walk more than they strike out.
Another Insider piece: Jim Bowden rates his best managers of the first half and makes a gutsy call in picking Bobby Valentine as the No. 1 guy in the American League. Over the weekend, while watching the FOX broadcast of the Mets-Yankees series, Tim McCarver said Terry Collins and Joe Girardi both have a strong case for manager of the year. Collins, I completely agree with. The Mets have had to start five different players at shortstop because of injuries, Collins has mixed and matched platoons and worked through a bad bullpen. But Girardi? Come on. He's got the easiest gig in baseball, basically writing out the same lineup card every day. And even with the Mariano Rivera injury, he had David Robertson and Rafael Soriano waiting in the bullpen. I'm indifferent towards Girardi as a manager (although that intentional walk to Sean Rodriguez in the first inning on Opening Day was one of the dumbest moves I've seen this year), and he'll get a little more test with Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia injured, but I don't see how you argue him as a manager of the year candidate.
Some thoughts on Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche and Trent Moore from Nationals Baseball.
Who is Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, the guy the Dodgers just reportedly gave $42 million to? Jon Weisman checks in with some reports from around the Web.