Friday, December 20, 2013
Grant Balfour isn’t going to let this issue go silently into the night. After the Orioles backed out of a two-year, $15 million contract with Balfour, the right-hander said he is considering filing a grievance. He continued to defend himself, saying that he has multiple doctors on his side vouching for his health. He also has a consistent track record of health and consistency over the last six seasons.
There’s still more. …
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
One of the Braves’ strengths is bullpen depth, so even if losing Kimbrel costs the team an excellent reliever, the possible return from a trade is worth the risk. Atlanta’s bullpen, outside of Kimbrel, combined for a 2.67 ERA in 2013, so we’re not talking about a pen that’s starving for quality. A Kimbrel trade wouldn’t involve someone on the Byron Buxton level, unless Twins general manager Terry Ryan hangs out with Rob Ford in the offseason, but in a world in which the Phillies are willing to offer Edward Mujica a three-year deal, and a 39-year-old Joe Nathan is likely to clear $10 million, three years of Kimbrel at arbitration prices is worth a lot to a big-spending team.
Friday, November 01, 2013
The Indians have released controversial closer Chris Perez and re-signed veteran slugger Jason Giambi.
A two-time All-Star, Perez wore out his welcome in Cleveland. He lost his job in the final week of the season as the Indians were trying to clinch a wild-card berth. It capped another tumultuous year for the right-hander, who was arrested in June after drug agents followed a package containing marijuana to his home. He and his wife pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
Perez always seemed to be at the center of something. He angered Indians fans for saying they didn’t support the team and he rankled Cleveland’s front office when he said it wasn’t spending enough to win.
Perez, who was eligible for salary arbitration this winter, recorded 25 saves this past season. He had 124 in five seasons with the Indians, who acquired him in a 2009 trade from St. Louis….
Giambi provided leadership to the Indians from the moment he arrived at training camp last spring.
The 42-year-old, who was a finalist for Colorado’s managerial job last year, was signed to a minor league contract but it didn’t take him long to have a major impact in Cleveland’s clubhouse and he contributed some memorable moments on the field.
Friday, October 11, 2013
In both cases, there was an additional twist: the player to emerge from the shuffle as closer was not even the first or second player in line. In St. Louis, analysts thought that Trevor Rosenthal or Mitchell Boggs would take the helm, while in Boston, it was supposed to be Andrew Bailey, then Junichi Tazawa.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Some Rivera fundamentals:
Let the record show that this man racked up 31 postseason saves in which he got more than three outs. Only 32 other closers in the wild-card era even saved one postseason game like that. The closers for all the other AL teams in that time have saved 21 games like that combined.
But Rivera’s managers also knew better than to save him just for save situations when it came time to take the October stage. So in total, he made 58 postseason appearances of more than one inning—and allowed an earned run in exactly six of them. His ERA in those games: 0.53.
. . .
OK, one more postseason nugget before we move on. This man faced the best hitters on the best teams in baseball in 98 postseason games—and held them to this microscopic slash line: .174/.212/.227. Now here’s what that means, essentially: In the most important games of his life, he turned the best hitters on earth into Houston Jimenez—only not that good. (Jimenez’s career slash line: .185/.221/.234.)
. . .
For those of us who care about numbers, this is a big, big week—because Rivera still has a shot to become the only pitcher in the live-ball era with a WHIP below 1.00—even if it’s only microscopically below 1.00. He heads into the final days of his career with 998 hits allowed and 286 walks. Which totals up to 1,284 baserunners (via hits and walks) in 1,282 1/3 innings. So, if he just has two or three more perfect innings in him, he can still wind up with fewer baserunners (via hits and walks) than innings.
Much more in TFA.
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