Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Today's BirthdaysPlayer birthdays in history:
Jack Billingham LAN b. 1943, played 1968
Fred Newman LAA,CAL b. 1942, played 1962-1967, d. 1987-06-24
Norman Plitt BRO b. 1893, played 1918-1927, d. 1954-02-01
Ted Savage LAN b. 1936, played 1968
Jeff Schmidt CAL b. 1971, played 1996
- Barry Bonds is missing from spring training, though this sounds like the press freaking out, since he mentioned he would be a couple days late.
- Rafael Furcal hit off a tee yesterday, the first time since his knee surgery.
- All Dodgers players have contracts, and all Dodgers position players have reported to Vero Beach.
- Oscar Robles will appear in the WBC even if it jeopardizes his chances of winning a spot on the Dodgers.
- Bill Stoneman "hasn't ruled out" petitioning MLB to prevent Bartolo Colón and Kelvim Escobar from pitching in the WBC.
- Dallas McPherson was told to start practice playing first base. "I think I can be just as solid at first as I am at third," McPherson said. McPherson has had limited experience at first in his career, mostly playing the position in college and rookie ball.
- Eric Gagné threw off a mound for the second time in spring training Monday.
- A's ace Rich Harden threw 30 pitches following offseason shoulder surgery. Oakland plans on keeping him away from live batters for now.
- Derrick Lee wants to stay with the Cubs after his current contract expires.
Rich Lederer On Strikeout ProficiencyRich Lederer has a two-part series up about a new way to measure strikeout proficiency, namely, by looking at the number of strikeouts a pitcher gets per 100 pitches, or K/100 (I prefer K/100P to disambiguate it from the established K/9). David Pinto wrote a rebuttal, and there was a BTF thread on it, too. Interesting reading, though my question is, how good is a pitcher at putting away batters in two-strike situations?
Baseball Prospectus Publishes Top 50 ProspectsBaseball Prospectus published its top 50 prospects list yesterday, and here's the damage:
5. Howie Kendrick, 2B, Los Angeles of Anaheim
6. Brandon Wood, SS, Los Angeles of Anaheim
14. Joel Guzman, SS, Los Angeles
22. Andy LaRoche, 3B, Los Angeles
24. Chad Billingsley, RHP, Los Angeles
26. Kendry Morales, 1B, Los Angeles of Anaheim
35. Jered Weaver, RHP, Los Angeles of Anaheim
50. Eric Aybar, SS, Los Angeles of Anaheim
Jonathan Broxton, RHP, Los Angeles
Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles
Russell Martin, C, Los Angeles
- Interesting that they put Kendrick ahead of Wood, but in some ways it makes sense: Kendrick did even better against higher level competition, yet Wood remains untested above single-A (ignoring his brief stint at Salt Lake last year).
- The Angels have more players in the top 50 than anyone else, which is amazing. It also tickles my suspicions that the Dodgers prospects are being systematically overrated at Baseball America.
- At the same time, I was somewhat surprised to see that Matt Kemp hadn't cracked the top 50.
I think it's a much different thing to have a walk rate as low as Kendrick's when you almost never strike out, especially when it's coupled with fantastic contact hitting skill. Not that Wood isn't a fantastic prospect hismelf... the next LDL on middle infield prospects should cover this ground in more detail.
Brandon Wood's .316/.316/.526 line at Salt Lake was nothing to sneeze at, either (19 AB, though).
And that's the first complaint I've heard about the speed of the PECOTA cards -- I've tested it in a few different environments and found little problem. Try pinging Dave Pease (dpease@...) if you're having trouble.