Daily Notes: Lincecum Grano Salis

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Brief Previews for Select Games
2. Lightly Annotated Video: Strasburg’s April 11th Start
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Kansas City Radio

Brief Previews for Select Games
Here are brief previews for five of today’s games — each including the preferred television feed of FanGraphs readers, per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project. (Information on probable pitchers from MLB.com.)

Tampa Bay at Boston | 11:05 ET
Today is Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts (and Maine and, for some reason, Wisconsin) — a commemoration of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, according both to Wikipedia and almost definitely Mrs. White, my second and third grade teacher at Dame School. It’s also the day of the 116th Boston Marathon, the world’s longest-running marathon… Daniel Bard makes his second career start. Here’s the line from his first, at Toronto (box): 5.0 IP, 24 TBF, 6 K, 1 BB, 11 GB on 17 batted-balls (64.7%) — good for a single-game xFIP of 1.90. Fenway’s excellent center-field camera angle will provide an opportunity to observe Bard’s repertoire as a starter… James Shields starts for Tampa Bay.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Boston.

Houston at Washington | 19:05 ET
Stephen Strasburg makes his third start this season. Here’s his line so far: 13.0 IP, 28.0% K, 8.0% BB, 41.9% GB, 83 xFIP-… As of Sunday, center fielder Jordan Schafer has posted an 8:7 BB:K in 38 plate appearances (21.1% BB, 18.4% K)… Kyle Weiland pitches for Houston.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Houston.

Minnesota at New York AL | 19:05 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Justin Morneau is available in the FanGraphs ottoneu league (which, not for nothing, the present author is currently winning). Question: what’s Morneau worth? For example, here’s his line as of Sunday afternoon: 33 PA, 6.1% BB, 21.2% K, .233/.303/.400 (.273 BABIP), .310 wOBA, 101 wRC+, 0.0 WAR. And here’s what he did Sunday: 4 PA, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 BB, 3 K. And here’s his rest-of-season ZiPS projection: .269/.347/.456, .345 wOBA… Discovery: Clete Thomas is now a Twin. He was DFA’d by Detroit late last week and then claimed by Minnesota off waivers on Saturday. He started for the Twins in right field on Sunday, hitting a home run. Before Saturday, both Ryan Doumit and Ben Revere had made three starts in right; Trevor Plouffe, two… The starting pitchers for this game are Carl Pavano and Freddy Garcia. As a service to the reader, no mention will be made here of how Pavano pitched for the Yankees.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Minnesota.

Baltimore at Chicago AL | 20:10 ET
As of Sunday afternoon, Baltimore had posted the second-highest batter WAR in the the majors (2.3), having recorded a team-wide 120 wRC+ despite a not-particularly-remarkable .288 BABIP. Among the team’s leaders: Adam Jones, with a 203 wRC+ (.409 BABIP) and 0.7 WAR; Matt Wieters, 161 wRC+ (.261 BABIP) and 0.5 WAR; Nolan Reimold, 165 wRC+ (.348 BABIP) and 0.3 WAR; and Robert Andino, 108 wRC+ (.350 BABIP) and 0.3 WAR… Somewhat related note: BABIP is down across baseball. As of Sunday, the league average BABIP was .278. Last March/April it was .290… Right-hander Jake Arrieta, 26, pitches for the Orioles. He has a 102 xFIP- so far through two starts and 13.2 innings — and, per our PITCHf/x data, has been throwing his fastball over a mph faster than last season… Philip Humber pitches for Chicago.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Baltimore

Philadelphia at San Francisco | 22:15 ET
Roy Halladay faces Tim Lincecum… Despite the fact that Lincecum has allowed 11 runs in his first 7.2 innings and appears to be throwing his fastball about 2 mph slower than last season so far, his component stats through two starts are, in sum, better than last year’s: 23.8% strikeout rate (24.4% last year), 7.1% walk rate (9.6%), 53.6% ground-ball rate (47.9%), 73 xFIP- (87). Meanwhile, he’s recorded a .444 BABIP against, 28.6% HR/FB, and 42.3% strand rate — all unsustainably poor… Brandon Belt Status Update: Brandon Belt did start on Sunday, playing first base and batting sixth. Line: 4 PA, 1 2B, 0 HR, 1 BB, 0 K, 1-for-1 SB.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco.

Lightly Annotated Video: Strasburg’s April 11th Start
Here’s video from Strasburg’s most recent start, during which he threw 6.0 innings, striking out nine and walking three of the 24 Mets batters he faced.

Of particular note: the changeup at the 1:23 mark, which features 11.1 inches of arm-side run, according to Brooks Baseball — this, relative to the six or seven inches of arm-side run the league average changeup possesses.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Kansas City Radio
Recently, we released the results of our television broadcaster rankings — itself the product of reader crowdsourcing that started in late November. Now, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the radio broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs (Click here for more on this project.)

Please note that today we’re crowdsourcing the Royals radio broadcast from last season — to help serve as a baseline of sorts for the other 29 broadcast teams. We’ll publish a ballot for Matthews and new primary radio colorman Steve Physioc during the season sometime, to give fans a chance to become acquainted with the latter.

Rate other teams: Washington / Toronto / Texas / Tampa Bay / Seattle / San Francisco / San Diego / St. Louis / Pittsburgh / Philadelphia / Oakland / New York (NL) / New York (AL) / Minnesota / Milwaukee / Miami / Los Angeles (NL) / Los Angeles (AL).

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

13 Responses to “Daily Notes: Lincecum Grano Salis”

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  1. Detroit Michael says:

    “the 116th Boston Marathon, the world’s longest-running marathon… ”

    I thought that they all were 26.2 miles. ;-)

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  2. Steve says:

    is it just me or does it seem like Strasburg is getting the benefit of some bad called third strikes.

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    • adohaj says:

      It looks that way to me as well. His stuff is really nasty though

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      • PMac says:

        it all evens out… he was getting squeezed terribly at the beginning of the Mets start. That being said he probably will end up getting the benefit of the doubt more than not just because he consistently throws strikes and walks so few.

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  3. soladoras says:

    Lincecum may have slightly improved peripherals in addition as well as unsustainably high “luck” stats, but he’s also a) completely missing the catcher’s target on 2/3 of his fastballs and b) pitching with significantly decrease velocity. I wouldn’t expect his results to improve until he figures out where he’s actually throwing the ball.

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    • jj says:

      He also has a 93% Zone contact, so when he is over the plate he is not missing many bats. Has anyone ever looked at BABIP of in the zone vs out of the zone?

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    • Brendan says:

      You’re also looking at fewer than 8 innings worth of stats (waves sample-size flag)

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  4. Steve Balboni says:

    Since this column seems to cover the Baseball Media Critic beat at Fangraphs, may I recommend MLB Tonight whenever Joe Magrane is on? I may? Great, Magrane offers sensible, useful commentary that only players and coaches can but usually don’t (ahem, Millar, Casey, everyone). He raises everyone’s game, Minaya was also good yesterday. Plus, MLB Tonight offers live look-ins to all the games, which is especially potent on Sunday morning with a full schedule.

    MLB Tonight (with Joe) is of equal measure with coffee, weekend Journal, and kids at the grandparents in making a perfect Sunday morning.

    PS: When you google Brandon Belt, the 5th item is Fangraphs’ player page. That seems nice.

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    • I wish I had children* just so I could send them to their grandparents’ house. That sounds excellent.

      *Legitimate children, I mean.

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      • Steve Balboni says:

        Well, better than sending them off explaining the cat and mouse game between McCarthy and Bourjos to the six year on your lap (“but Dada stealing is bad, right?” “Not if it’s an Angel, son”).

        Other people’s kid stories are boring, but in your time you will see that all those sickly sentimental movies, songs and books about fathers, sons and baseball are pretty much right on. Or, you can raise ‘em like John MIlton, Sr. And those are the only two choices, there is no middle ground. Choose wisely.

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  5. Jose Bravo says:

    “As a service to the reader, no mention will be made here of how Pavano pitched for the Yankees.”

    Expert preterition.

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