Troy Glaus said yesterday that he’s “back to normal” and has “no limitations” after shoulder surgery limited him to just 14 games last season:
There’s no doubt that it feels better than it did in September. I was able to have a full winter of working out and getting in shape. During the last offseason and throughout the last season, all I could do is concentrate on rehabbing the shoulder. I couldn’t work out. I couldn’t lift weights. So my strength was down.
Glaus will have to get used to playing first base after a dozen seasons spent almost exclusively across the diamond, but he’s just one year removed from hitting .270/.372/.483 with 27 homers and if healthy can make a huge impact between Chipper Jones and Brian McCann in Atlanta’s lineup. Getting him for just $2 million was an excellent risk for the Braves to take and batting cleanup should give him a ton of RBI chances.
All of which is why Glaus was one of my fantasy “sleeper” picks among National League hitters. On average he’s being drafted 333rd overall in mixed leagues, but Glaus still has third base eligibility and the Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide projecting him to hit .252/.359/.463 with 26 homers and 87 RBIs would make him a top-15 option at the position.
If you throw the word “luck” into a sports conversation you’re gonna anger some people because people don’t like to ever chalk up their own success or their team’s success to anything apart from their own skill, worthiness and merit. What we usually refer to as “luck,” however, is not meant to detract from one’s merit. It’s more about outcomes that were not necessarily predictable or expected given all of the known variables.
Thing is, we really don’t have a concise and compact word that captures the notion of “unreasonably underperforming or unreasonably outperforming one’s statistical expectations,” so the word “luck” is about as good as we can do. Sorry if that offends, but focus more on what we’re getting at when we talk about sports luck and less about how you feel about the concept of luck in general, OK?
With that in mind, know that, according to Rob Arthur of FiveThirtyEight, the Cubs have been the unluckiest franchise in baseball history in terms of turning success into championships. Given how much they’ve won over the years, they should have had six or seven championships and not the two they have (with none for 108 years, of course).
The luckiest? The Yankees. While they have obviously been immensely talented throughout their history, the numbers suggest that they should “only” have 19 or 20 World Series titles. They have 27. They’d still have the most if everyone performed at their level of statistical expectations, but their 16-title lead over the next most successful World Series team — the Cardinals — should not be as great as it is.
Kyle Schwarber made a quicker-than-expected recovery from ACL surgery and then, after an Arizona Fall League rehab assignment, was shuttled up to Cleveland for the World Series. But that’s not all he has done.
Schwarber is now the latest ever Best Shape of His Life All-Star. Or so says Kris Bryant, talking to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com:
“We’ve seen first-hand the work that he’s putting in and how hard he’s been going . . . Honestly, I saw him out — maybe a couple weeks after his surgery — and he’s moving around, walking. And I’m like: ‘Dang, this guy’s not human. How? I saw your leg bend in half, and you’re walking around. This is unbelievable . . .(It’s) watching him dripping with sweat every single day. Every single day, this guy is drenched. I feel like he’s in the best shape of his life (now). There was no doubt in my mind that he could do it. It was just a matter of if they let him.”
May as well just forfeit now, Indians. No way you can deal with an October BSOHL guy.