Tuesday's thoughts: Wedge's wacky lineups

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– I’ve believed all along that Ramon Castro was the most effective
catcher on the Mets’ roster. The scary thing is that he also might have
been the organization’s best option at first base after Carlos Delgado
went down. After another hitless game Tuesday, Daniel Murphy is down to
.234/.318/.347 for the season. Castro has never played first base, but
it’s not like Murphy is even living up to the low standards set by
Carlos Delgado on defense. It’s time to send Murphy down and try
Fernando Tatis as a stopgap at first.

– Maybe it is time to do something about Eric Wedge: Travis Hafner
was intentionally walked twice by Brewers right-handers while hitting
sixth ahead of Chris Gimenez, a rookie making his fourth major league
start. Hafner, who entered with a 934 OPS, ended up hitting a rather
meaningless two-run homer in the ninth. The guy batting ahead of him,
Ryan Garko, entered with a 668 OPS against right-handers this season.

– It was a rough night for Hanley Ramirez. He committed an error on
a routine grounder, and he allowed Jacoby Ellsbury to score from second
on an infield single when neither he nor Dan Uggla could knock down the
ball. Also, with the Red Sox up 8-2 with no outs in the sixth, he was
thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. He did hustle the
whole way, but it was an awful decision.

– The Giants offense couldn’t have much less impressive in Angels
starter Sean O’Sullivan’s major league debut. Sullivan did do a pretty
good job of keeping his 90-92 mph fastball low in the zone, plus he was
able to get ahead in the count with his curveball. Still, the Giants
showed very little interest in battling him. The lone walk he issued
came with two outs in the seventh, and he was able to complete seven
while throwing 98 pitches.

Who is the fastest sprinter in baseball?

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We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.

StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.

Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.

That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.

Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE