Could bats with axe handles find their way to the big leagues soon?

20 Comments

This is cool. From an article at Wired looking at bats with a differently-shaped handle. Instead of fully round, it tapers out and up a bit like an axe handle. There are pictures of it at the article.

The article refers to a “study,” though whether it’s a real study or a quasi-marketing document is unclear. Whatever it is, though, the claim is that it increases offensive production and reduces the risk to hamate bone fractures we’ve seen happen to so many hitters over the years. It if actually does do that — and again, I doubt enough guys have used this bat for it to be studied properly — it could be a nice benefit.

Next up: an elbow brace that eliminates the possibility of ligament tears for pitchers. Please?

2017 Preview: The American League Central

Getty Images
2 Comments

For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

Getty Images
2 Comments

For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves