Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
Brief Previews for Select Games
Here are brief previews for three 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.)
Cincinnati at Washington | 13:05 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez each make their second starts, respectively, for their new clubs… Here are their respective Steamer projections. Latos: 163.0 IP, 8.29 K/9, 3.12 BB/9, 1.20 HR/9, 4.02 FIP. Gonzalez: 172.0 IP, 8.94 K/9, 4.07 BB/9, 0.78 HR/9, 3.63 FIP… Through Wednesday, here’s how Dusty Baker has split up playing time between his catchers. Ryan Hanigan: 4 GS, 15 PA. Devin Mesoraco: 2 GS, 6 PA.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cincinnati.
Tampa Bay at Detroit | 13:05 ET
Detroit left-hander Drew Smyly, ranked third on Marc Hulet’s top-15 prospects list for the Tigers, makes his major-league debut… A second-round pick out of Arkansas in the 2010 draft, Smyly signed too late to play that year but posted a 2.29 FIP over 125.0 innings between High- and Double-A last season… Our David Laurila published an interview with Smyly, who’s in his age-23 season, at the end of January. Highlight from same: “In college, I was fastball, curveball, changeup, until my last year. Then I got a blister on my finger. Something happened and I couldn’t really grip it like I’ve always gripped it, so I had to change things around in the middle of the season. I started throwing a cut fastball and it turned into my number-one pitch.”… Right-hander Jeff Niemann starts for Tampa Bay.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit, Barely.
Milwaukee at Chicago NL | 14:20 ET
Zack Greinke and Matt Garza both make their second regular-season starts today… Greinke was dominant on April 7th against St. Louis, eliciting either a strikeout or ground ball from 19 of the 24 batters he faced over 7.0 innings — for a single-game xFIP of 1.09 (30 xFIP-)… Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair, viewed mostly as place-filler till Anthony Rizzo is ready for the majors, entered play Wednesday with a 306 wRC+ — in, yes, only 10 plate appearances. Here’s what he did on Wednesday: 4 PA, 1 H, 0 HR, 1 BB, 2 K.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Chicago NL.
Three Scouting Reports on Drew Smyly
Here are three freely availabe scouting reports on Drew Smyly.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com: Smyly is the prototypical advanced college lefty, one who relies on pitchability more than pure stuff. He has a four-pitch mix — fastball, cutter, curve and changeup — all of which are at least Major League average. He throws a lot of strikes and has a good amount of deception, keeping hitters off-balance well. If he can stay healthy — he has some injury history — he’s a fast-tracker who should be ready sooner rather than later.
John Sickels of Minor League Ball: Doesn’t have Casey Crosby or Andrew Oliver‘s stuff, but superior command stands out as a big plus. If you could combine Smyly’s command and secondary pitches with Oliver’s fastball, you would have a pure Grade A talent. Of course, if I could combine my brain with Brad Pitt, I’d get a lot more chicks.
Marc Hulet of FanGraphs: The first of three solid southpaw prospects, Smyly was pushed aggressively through the system but, unlike a number of other prospects, was deserving of the move. He has both polish and an impressive four-pitch repertoire; he understands how to mix his pitches throw off hitters’ timings. Smyly doesn’t throw as hard as many of Detroit’s “typical pitching prospects” but he shows decent velocity in the 87-92 mph range and keeps the ball down in the zone. He has a solid pitcher’s frame but the southpaw has battled arm injuries in the past, leading to concerns about his ability to throw 180-200 innings on a consistent basis. He should open 2012 in double-A.
Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Los Angeles (AL) 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.)
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).