As I wrote last week, it does seem like having a quality bullpen is helpful in making it to the World Series (or at least it has been in the last 5 years). Of the eight teams that have made the World Series in the last four seasons, all but one had a better than league average bullpen.
This week, I'd like to expand that research a bit and look at the last decade plus of World Series teams and see if it's possible (or likely) for a team to reach baseball's pinnacle without being a "complete" team.
In the last 14 seasons (as far back as the defensive data will allow), 10 teams have won a World Series while ranking in the lower 3rd of their respective league. Below you'll see the team and it's weakness (x-axis), along with their ranking (y-axis). Read More
On a crisp October evening, the Cubs hold a one run lead over the Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS. Heading into the top of the 7th, Werth, Harper, and Murphy are due up for the Nationals. Cubs manager Joe Maddon sticks with Jake Arrieta against Werth, but after 110 pitches looks to make a move to the pen. With one out and Harper and Murphy coming up, who does Maddon turn to with the season on the line? Travis Wood? Clayton Richard?
In Game 7 of the ALCS, the Rangers are locked in a 5-5 tie with the Astros heading into extra innings. While the Astros still have quality arms like Pat Neshek and Scott Feldman to go to, the Rangers are forced to go with either Shawn Tolleson (5.76 ERA, 4.99 FIP) or the inexperienced Matt Bush, having already burned through their top three relievers (Dyson, Barnette, and Diekman). Read More
Here is my “Three up, Three down” for the month of June. It's hard to believe that we’re already halfway done with the 2016 season! Read More
Over the past month, the White Sox have made national headlines by trotting out recently acquired right-hander James Shields for three embarrassing starts. Since the Sox traded for Shields on June 4th, he has completely fallen apart. In his first three starts for the White Sox (before Thursday's mediocre start), Shields gave up 21 earned runs in 8 2/3 IP. In two of those starts, he wasn't able to make it out of the 2nd inning. Quite simply, James Shields looks to be a bad pitcher that the White Sox decided was worth $27 million over the next two and a half seasons.
But where does this trade rank among other Sox blunders? And more specifically, what are some of the dumbest trades or free agent signings of the Kenny Williams era (2001-present)? Here are three that came to mind. Read More
Last week, I delivered the first installment of what we’re calling The Stat Dozen. That edition was focused on pitching; this week I turn my attention to hitting. Read More