Friday, January 25, 2013

Wintry Recap

If you need a break from doing snow angels in your car and looking in vain for a salt truck, here's a little winter news recap:

  • Things that make GW scratch his head: the Bucs signed LHP Francisco Liriano for two years and $12.75M, if healthy. The NY Mets just inked RHP Shaun Marcum to one-year, $4M contract that was sweetened with $4M in possible incentives, while the Orioles signed RHP Jair Jurrjens to a one year, $1.5M deal. The caveat is both have health issues, and maybe that scared the FO away. Jurrens, who Pittsburgh was rumored to be looking at, was especially a concern.
  • Jason Mitchell of Hardball Times turned a simple counting number - RBI - into an advanced metric.  But hey, it works for Garrett Jones, who it turns out was the tenth most efficient RBI producer in baseball last season.
  • Random stat: Baseball Reference has last season's data on baserunning. The Pirates were the worst at stealing bases with a 58% success rate, and led the league with caught stealing at home with four, which as we recall were botched suicide squeeze plays. But they were lights out when it came to being tossed out as baserunners. The team was caught only 44 times running into outs, second least behind Oakland. The Bucs were just at league average in taking an extra base, at 42%.
  • This post is why you twitter guys should be following (AJ Burnett).
  • Jason Martinez of ESPN timed windows of contention for MLB teams. He sees Pittsburgh's optimal shot at the brass ring in 2016 (Insider subscribers only).
  • Kiley McDaniel continues his "From the Instructs" series for Fangraphs, and takes looks at Mel Rojas Jr., Gift Ngoepe, Wyatt Mathison, Stetson Allie, Luis Urena, and John Kuchno.
  • has picked its Top Ten shortstop prospects, and Alen Hanson hits the list at #8.
  • The Cards are looking at SS Ronny Cedeno as a Plan B if Rafael Furcal isn't recovered from his elbow injury.
  • Joggin' Ronnie Paulino just signed a minor league deal with Seattle.
  • Nyjer Morgan signed with the Yokohama BayStars of Japan’s Central League. 
  • IF Bobby Crosby, who last played big league ball in 2010, mainly as a Bucco, has signed a minor league deal with the Brewers.
  • Andy Marte, one-time hot shot 3B who last played organized ball in 2011 for the Bucco system, sat out 2012 and this year signed with the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League. He's another frustrating cautionary tale of valuing prospects over proven players.
  • John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus tweeted that Brian Graham was just named the Orioles farm director. He held the same job with Pirates before he got the ax after serving as the interim GM for Dave Littlefield in 2007, jumping quickly to the Os. Graham still lives in Cranberry.
  • Jason Starks of ESPN reported "There's pretty much zero chance now that we'll see any expanded instant replay in baseball in the 2013 season. It's almost certain, on the other hand, that we'll see vastly expanded replay after that, probably as soon as 2014. And what baseball appears to be discussing heavily is a system that would allow managers to make one or two challenges per game."

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