Here are several go-to links that will make your Monday a bit more bearable:
- Meet Wes Timmons. The 33-year-old rookie infielder will be on the A’s roster when the regular season begins in Japan this week. (Oakland faces the Mariners on Wednesday and Thursday in Tokyo.) Sports Illustrated’s Joe Lemire looks into why Timmons, who posted a .391 OBP over ten minor-league seasons, did not get called up to the bigs until just now.
- For those unfamiliar with Japanese professional baseball, Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing introduces the Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants.
- Sullivan, writing for LL’s parent site, SB Nation, asks if Halos starter Jered Weaver really benefits from the rockpile background during day games in Angel Stadium?
- Fangraphs’ Wendy Thurm believes the Giants (San Francisco, not Yomiuri) must make every effort to re-sign hurler Matt Cain:
Cain is (affectionately) known as the sabermatrician’s nightmare because he’s held batters to a lower-than-expected BABIP year after year and has a career home run/fly ball ratio that even Roy Halladay envies. But his other peripherals have been strong and, most importantly, moving in the right direction. . . .
Yes, the Giants want to sign [Tim] Lincecum to a long-term deal, but those negotiations won’t begin until sometime next season, when the decision on Cain will already have been made. On the other hand, the Giants know Lincecum will command an AAV in the $25 million range or higher for at least five years, so they can slot that figure into their budget for the purpose of analyzing the cost of a long-term deal with Cain.
- R. J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus reminds us to verify a player’s narrative about what he believes transpired in a postseason series eight-plus years ago. In this case, the faulty anecdote involves Torii Hunter and the 2004 Twins-Yankees ALDS.
- David Schoenfield of SweetSpot runs through all of the Phillies’ woes and still concludes that Philadelphia remains the favorite in the NL East.
- Steve Kinsella of Wahoo’s on First evaluates whether the Indians will be able to convince 2 million fans to head to Progressive Field this season.
- David Laurila of Fangraphs interviews ESPN announcer Jon “Boog” Sciambi on the use of advanced metrics in the booth.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!