Baseball resumes today as the Rays take on the Twins at Target field. Really, it's just a continuation of the all-star game. Off the field, rumors continue to swirl about possible trades for David Price and Ben Zobrist. Those two have been most recently linked to the Mariners (Jon Morosi and Jon Heyman). Can you spot the error in Heyman's article? More on that in a minute.
Beyond the Box Score
They've been on a run of really good work recently, so they get their own section (a thrilling award, I'm sure).
Ryan P. Morrison looks at the best relievers in baseball by RE24 (run expectancy). If you believe that relief pitching should be evaluated in a somewhat context-dependent manner, but that WPA (win probability) goes too far, RE24 is the stat for you. There's one Ray high on the list and two former Rays just below him.
What about center fielders? Scott Lindholm graphs them by production and salary. Desmond Jennings scores as the sixth best center fielder in baseball and one of the better deals.
The article that really takes the cake, though, has no direct Rays tie-in. I view Chris St. John as a must-read, and in his usual thoughtful and methodical way, he's created a statistical prospect evaluation method that he's named JAVIER. Included in in part three is an awesome visualization tool, that incidentally, I have no idea how he got to display correctly in SB Nation, but his CMS skills are only a small part of why you should read these articles.
Wendy Thurm at FanGraphs talks about MLB TV ratings. Interestingly, the Rays are actually up in the ratings from last year despite the bad start to the season.
A little while ago, Bill Petti wrote about predicting hitters based on changers in how pitchers approach them. Robert Arthur at Baseball Prospectus had previously studied a similar question, but gotten a different result. He investigates and responds. It's behind the pay wall, but the back and forth is interesting, if you can afford it.