- This one is an Adam Sanford Special, written by John Trupin, not Adam Sanford. With Andre Ethier’s retirement, there are no more active players who have been involved in trades with Antonio Perez. Who is Antonio Perez, you ask? Well, for one, he came to the Rays along with Lou Piniella. And he’s been in a lot of other trades too, with some awful good players.
- Juan Toribio wrote about Tyler Glasnow’s struggles holding runners, and how the Rays plan to work on fixing them.
- Craig Edwards on the relationship between payroll and parity.
- Bill Chastain talked to Kevin Kiermaier about his nickname, “The Outlaw.”
- Speaking of:
- Carlos Gomez continues to be fun.
- Marc Topkin wrote about Wade Boggs’s 3,000th hit (being celebrated on Saturday with a bobblehead), as one of the best moments in Rays history.
- Russell Carleton has written a lot about the shift. Probably most interestingly, about how pitchers have tended to walk more batters when the defense is shifted behind them. I’ve always been a little bit skeptical over Carleton’s framing of this in his articles, because walk rates are not baked into the fabric of the shift the same way BABIP on groundballs is. It seems like there’s a really simple fix if your pitchers are walking too many people when you move the shortstop to the other side of second base—tell them to stop. So now that Carleton’s gone back and checked his numbers, and found that those walk rates are coming down, I’m tempted to say, “duh.” But I’m not going to do that, because there’s another story here. Just like Carleton’s basic point is that the act of shifting changes the situation and potentially makes the data that the decision to shift is based on no longer a good fit, the act of writing about the shift changes the situation and potentially makes the data that Carleton based his writing on no longer a good fit. By noticing and pointing out this issue for all teams to see, Carleton gave everyone the chance to go talk to their pitchers and say “cut it out.” So, nice job, and congrats on maybe influencing all of baseball, not that we’ll ever really know.
- Sheryl Ring writes that the recent controversies stemming from offensive old tweets on MLB players’ twitters are a reason for the MLBPA to widen its umbrella to include minor league players.
- Matt Provenzano wonders if the ball is becoming unjuiced.