Re-Joyce!* Matt Joyce returned from the disabled list last night and promptly led the Rays to a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. Okay, well, technically Joyce went 0-4 with two strikeouts last night, but who's keeping track? Joyce comes back, Rays win -- the narrative writes itself.
*I can't believe no one used this pun first.
Before being injured, Joyce was one of the Rays' best offensive weapons; his .387 wOBA is tops on the team, and his 11 home runs put him only three behind the team lead (Carlos Pena, 14). He's still struggling somewhat against left-handed pitchers, but considering that the Rays have very few offensive weapons this season and their offense is around 7 percent below average, they need all the help they can get.
Now we just need Sam Fuld to come back and he can push Hideki Matsui off the roster. And then, can we please get Brooks Conrad off this roster somehow? I'm finding it increasingly depressing that he's still sticking around. If he's still on the team in early August (which is beginning to seem increasingly likely), I may need to find me some Prozac.
I found some truly excellent links while poking around last night, so be sure to check these out. The first few are particularly interesting:
- Russell Carleton updated his study on the stabilization rate of certain statistics, and the results are similar to what he originally found five years ago...yet also slightly different. For one, it looks like ISO stabilizes a lot faster than originally found.
- Tango compared mid-season DRS and UZR scores against each other, and now that John Dewan has modified the DRS calculations to account for shift data, the results are strikingly similar. The two statistics correlate at an r=.80 rate, although there are still some outliers. To me, though, this only further strengthens my belief that we're getting somewhere with our current defensive stats. They may not be perfect, but they're on the right track.
- Jeff Sullivan found two interested factoids about David Price -- neither of which I was familiar with -- leading him to believe that Price is underrated by most fans. You'll have to check out the article for the full description, but in short, Price has faced a very high percentage of opposite-handed batters, and he's consistently faced some of the toughest opposing lineups of any starting pitcher.
- Dave Cameron started up his annual Trade Value Series, and the results are in for #50-46, #45-41, and #40-36. He also explained how his rationale has changed slightly this year. Spoiler alert: Ben Zobrist is #45.