Right Field

Reveille 4/23/12

Good morning!

Here are several go-to links that will make your Monday a bit more bearable:

  • Via Hardball Talk’s Aaron Gleeman, how’s this for a minor-league promotion: “Think you can throw harder than Jamie Moyer? Tonight at speed pitch if you throw harder than 78 you get a free ticket to a future game.”

Transitioning from the altecocker to the bambino:

  • The Giants signed 22-year-old southpaw Madison Bumgarner to a five-year contract extension worth $35 million with club options for years six and seven. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs explains how these types of deals work for both the young players and their clubs.

  • ESPN Los Angeles’s Jon Weisman profiles the resurrection of Matt Kemp’s career.

  • Via Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, A. J. Burnett had a most impressive debut for the Pirates on Saturday, whereas the Red Sox bullpen did not fare quite as well, as Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald points out.

  • Nathan Grimm of SB Nation St. Louis offers strong defenses of Matt Holliday and Mitchell Boggs, two Cardinals players who for different reasons continue to be underrated.

  • Thanks to Big League Stew’s Kevin Kaduk, here is Michael Bourn’s delayed return to the outfield after hitting the head while his teammates were batting.

  • The Hardball Times’s Frank Jackson takes us back to September 20, 1961, the date of the final regular-season game played at the Los Angeles Coliseum, started by an emerging star named Sandy Koufax.

  • Near-Genius Nephew at Big Bad Baseball takes note that “2012 is clearly shaping up to be another step in pitcher ascendancy, with the shift from 2007 (25% of all games were low-scoring) to 2012 (currently just under 37%) representing the most dramatic shift in recent memory,” but we remain far from the anemic run-scoring environment of the late 1960s.

Congrats, Philip Humber, on the perfecto! (Yup, Brendan Ryan appeared to swing.)

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.

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