Must-click link: Joe Sheehan’s predictions for 2011

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I’m in the process of writing up a bunch of phony, snarky predictions for 2011 for the Rotoworld annual.  It’s thus rather refreshing to read some actual predictions for 2011 that are backed by some genuine baseball thought.  The thinker is Joe Sheehan, and some of his predictions are going to rile some of you:

  • The Phillies will not be as dominant as you think;
  • The Orioles will be a (sorta) contender;
  • There will be tons of trades;
  • No managers will be fired;
  • Ticket prices will fall;
  • There will be greater parity; and
  • The Red Sox will win it all.

For the reasons — and I agree with more of them than I disagree with — you have to click the link. Good stuff.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.