Nat’s reliever Henry Rodriguez wants to save Kurt Suzuki’s arm a bit instead having the ball come back on its own.
Easily the greatest sport ever…
Trying out this new idea where each week I’ll take you through the most intriguing pitching matchups for the upcoming seven days. I’ll pick the ultimate matchup (think Strasburg v. Harvey of last Friday) as well as an undercard matchup pitting two pitchers you might not otherwise instantly be drawn to if you were perusing the slate. If you can’t watch every night, these would be the two I’d go for above all. I haven’t decided exactly how I’ll review the picks each week, but I have seven days to figure that out.
(Obviously any and all of these are subject to change so bear with me if they don’t pan out as I’m using probable starters.)
ULTIMATE MATCHUP – Sabathia/Moore
UNDERCARD – Medlen/Fister
Are you sitting at your desk thinking, “I wanna hear MORE of Paul’s voice, after all he only does a 2+ hour podcast each week!”?
You’re not alone and I have just the remedy for you.
Listen to them all back-to-back-to-back-to-back for best results!!!!
Neck-deep in the SP Guide so no time to post much today, but I do have three things worth sharing.
First, if you follow me on Twitter, you know I love Jennifer Lawrence (who doesn’t?). So here’s essentially a primer on her awesomeness courtesy of Jezebel. She looked wonderful at the Oscars last night:
Edit to add this 26 Faces of Derp that my friend sent me shortly after I posted. This link crystallizes the point from the first link that she’s perfect because she’s not.
And then there was this:
That was his day today against the Astros. Wrench got his rake on.
And then finally:
Miguel Cabrera destroying Jonathan Papelbon‘s life. I’m just not a Papelbon fan on any level whatsoever so to see my favorite team crush him today was great. Jeff Sullivan over at FanGraphs broke it down.
Only Jennifer Lawrence can top Allen Craig AND Cabrera at this site.
Bryce Harper starting off his Spring Training with some nice concentration.
And Prince Fielder wastes no time displaying his massive power with his first swing of the 2013 season.
Some did not like the new form of Countdown entries as they’d gone away from the player profiles. That was because of time and I apologize, but I’m just devoting a lot of time to make sure the SP Guide gets out on time. Maybe in March once the SP Guide is done and things settle a bit I can pick the player profiles back up again.
In the meantime, we’re just three days from games and today was a big day in the minor league community as Baseball America released their top 100 prospects. In addition:
(told ya it was a big day!)
Only 4 days until live game action…
Minor League Guy
In the age of the internet where seemingly any information can be found, the Cardinals broadcast scrambled to identify a farmhand during a Grapefruit League game against the Mets. Instead of scrapping the opportunity for a graphic, the team in the truck went with their gut and the result was awkwardly hilarious:
Of course, many of us baseball diehards knew ol’ Minor League Guy to be Oscar Taveras, the team’s second-best prospect according to Baseball Prospectus. Flash forward about a year and the broadcast team shouldn’t have any trouble identifying Taveras in a Grapefruit League game. First of all, he should be in the game well before the ninth inning, but more importantly he is now baseball’s second-best prospect or at least no worse than third-best.
He was even labeled properly in this picture with teammate Jon Jay in an article discussing his excellence.
Like last year, there is a triumvirate of guys – once again two hitters and a pitcher – and the order will vary from outlet to outlet and person to person. Last year it was Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Matt Moore; this year it’s Taveras, Jurickson Profar, and Dylan Bundy.
And that is just from the early lists. Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America will have their top 100s out soon and I’d be surprised if they disagreed on the trio.
Though it was probably a bummer to get labeled as simply “Minor League Guy” on television, it looks like Taveras will have the last laugh as he now stands atop, or at least nears the top of baseball’s prospect heap. Imagine if he pans out on the Vladimir Guerrero comp that some have thrown on him, maybe he’ll end up being labeled as “Hall of Fame Guy” on a broadcast 20 years down the line.
Only 6 days until live game action…
I’ve discussed these on the podcast more than once, but I have to mention them again. An M.Willis has developed a series of soccer style jerseys for every MLB team and he is unleashing them by division over at his site. They’re positively brilliant. It would be a stretch for me to consider anything close to a soccer diehard. I started paying attention to the English Premier League a couple years back and I enjoy it, but I’m still very new to the game. The bulk of my interaction with soccer is tied to FIFA for Xbox 360. Even still, I can appreciate this amazingly creative series from Willis.
The detail and effort put into the jerseys is so incredible and the writing is an added bonus. He lets team history and tradition influence his decisions as he tries to make the best guess for corporate sponsor – a big part of soccer kits – and manufacturer of each set. I recommended reading the accompanying pieces not only because they’re good, but they will also clue you in on some details within each kit that you may’ve missed at first glance.
The recent release of the AL Central was obviously especially interesting to me as it contained his take on my Tigers. I ended up really liking it. It’s very clean and he blended the sponsor perfectly. His desire to mix in some orange and his execution on it was excellent, as well. Here is a look at the Cabrera jersey.
Choosing a favorite is nearly impossible because I love so many of them. As much as I loved the Tigers one, my absolute favorites would probably be the Royals and Astros iterations. If he could make them available for purchase, I think I’d have exactly zero dollars to my name after buying one of each team. This was such a wonderful idea and even more fantastically executed. I can’t wait for the NL East conclusion. I wonder if he will choose Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper for the Nationals sample.