Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday at the office a bit more bearable:
- Marc Normandin of USA Today’s Sports on Earth offers up his ten best outfield throws available on video. Amazingly, neither Ellis Valentine nor Jesse Barfield makes the cut.
- Speaking of ten-best lists, Ted Berg of USA Today’s “For The Win” reveals his choices for “the 10 best caps in Major League Baseball.”
- According to Grantland’s Jonah Keri, the Rangers are having a season for the ages; unfortunately, it’s because of the team’s dire injury situation:
If you don’t feel like counting, the Rangers have already lost 688 days to the DL. Just how gruesome is that number? According to Jeff Zimmerman, who’s sliced and diced injury data for FanGraphs since 2010 (and done lots of other excellent work on a variety of analytical topics), the Padres have been the most oft-injured team over the past four seasons. They were particularly snakebitten in 2012, when numerous pitching injuries resulted in Tommy John surgery and ensuing season-long DL stints. When tallied up, the Padres’ 2010-2013 injuries average out to 1,221 days lost to the DL per season. Prorated over a full season, the Rangers are on pace to lose 1,715 days to the DL this year.
That number is jaw-dropping enough on its own, but it’s actually worse considering the star-caliber players missing some of that time. The Rangers lost three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner Adrian Beltre for two weeks; 21-year-old phenom (and would-be Kinsler replacement) Jurickson Profar might not play a single game this year; and Fielder’s replacement, Mitch Moreland, is awaiting ankle surgery. The cruelest blow was losing Fielder himself. He was baseball’s most durable player when the Rangers acquired him, having played the full 162 games three years in a row, missing just one game over the past five seasons, and never missing more than five in a year since becoming a full-time player in 2006. Now, the Rangers won’t see him again until 2015, meaning most of his $24 million salary this year is down the drain.
- Kyle Scott of Crossing Board is beyond alarmed that, in comparing the careers of Jimmy Rollins and Mike Schmidt, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. doesn’t appear to fully understand the difference between plate appearances and at-bats.
- By the way, congrats to J-Roll, who on Saturday passed Mike Schmidt and became the Phillies’ all-time hit leader. Matt Snyder of CBS Sports’s Eye on Baseball has the details.
- When a player’s greatest strength suddenly becomes an undeniable weakness, says Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan, you begin to understand Evan Longoria’s forgettable season to date.
- Writing at ESPN.com, Paul Lukas informs readers what teams were the first to wear shorts, white shoes, batting-practice jerseys, pullover jerseys, beltless pants, and hockey-style catcher masks.
- Gregory Polanco’s first big-league home run was an extra-inning game-winner for his Bucs. Pat Lackey of the website Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke explains why this call-up of a top prospect is different from those in previous seasons.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!