I’m constantly railing against managers relying on the save statistic rather than logic to determine their bullpen usage, but the issue is rarely discussed as well or as thoroughly as it is in Matthew Leach’s new MLB.com column:
Leach: Save rule has skewed skippers’ thinking
It’s nice to see a mainstream writer with a big audience consisting largely of casual fans take on the topic in a meaningful way and as usual Leach does a fantastic job striking a balance between analysis and reporting.
Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper hasn’t had the best spring training showing. After a delayed start because he didn’t officially sign until early this month, Harper made his Phillies debut on March 9. Then Harper had an injury scare when he was hit in the ankle by a pitch on March 15. Harper returned on Sunday and finally registered his first hit of the spring on Wednesday — a line drive up the middle.
Harper finished 1-for-2 with a walk on the afternoon. In 10 official at-bats, Harper is batting .100/.438/.100. As you can see, five total walks are helping that on-base percentage. Spring stats are largely meaningless, though, so no one should be worried about Harper with the start of the regular season just a week away.