Offseason Notes

This edition of Offseason Notes contains the exact perfect numbers of mustaches.

Marginally Important News
In which the author tells the truth, but tells it slant.

Top 25 Rule V Possibilities
The Rule V Draft occurs on December 9, and Baseball America has published — in subscriber-only format, unfortunately — a list of the top-25 available players. Luckily for the thrift-minded, contributor Vlad at Bucs Dugout has annotated the frig out of it. Among the names, you’ll find Marquez Smith, whose talents I’ve celebrated in these pages, and who might very well not be a Cub by mid-December.

S. Fasano Named Double-A Manager
Excellently mustachioed former catcher Sal Fasano has been named the manager of Toronto’s Double-A affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The announcement comes just one year after Fasano began his coaching career, with Toronto Class A affiliate Lansing. Mostly, this is just a flimsy pretense for including a photo of everyone’s brother from another mother (Sal Fasano, that is).

Notes on Dodger Pitching Prospect C. Withrow
Chris Withrow‘s star — and the relative brightness of it — was the subject of some contention in these pages early-early this year. Here, Call to the Pen’s Nathaniel Stoltz attempts to understand Withrow’s tough 2010. Mostly I bring it up because Withrow is one of the only baseball players with whom I’ve had a conversation — one which was rendered into print, no less. (You care deeply about this, I’m sure of it.)

Projections: ZiPS for Milwaukee
Beloved Pole Dan Szymborski has published his ZiPS projections for the Milwaukee Brewers. Below are some of the notable ones. (All numbers assume major league competition. OPS+ and ERA+ are park-adjusted.)

Behold, the future:

Gregg Zaun, C, 40: .255/.341/.403, 100 OPS+. He missed all but 28 games last season on account of a labrum tear in his shoulder, but he still managed to post almost as high a WAR (0.7) as Jonathan Lucroy did in 75 games (0.9). Is currently a free agent after the Brewers declined their 2011 option.
Brendan Katin, RF, 28: .227/.291/.429, 91 OPS+. Owing to some debilitating contact skills, Katin is very likely not a Major Leaguer. That said, he appears to have legitimate power. If you live in Nashville or environs, you might consider seeing him in person.
Chris Capuano, LHP, 32: 4.22 ERA, 28 GS, 17 G, 111.0 IP, 13 HR, 35 BB, 92 K, 97 ERA+. Returning from consecutive Tommy John procedures, Capuano was suprisingly effective in 2010, posting a 4.08 xFIP in 66.0 IP (nine starts, 24 total appearances). For his career (777.2 IP), he has a 7.40 K/9, 3.02 BB/9, and 40.3% GB rate. Is currently a free agent.

Prospecting: Sickels on Cleveland
Prominent and interestlingly surnamed prospect maven John Sickels has published his preliminary top-20 list for the Cleveland Indians. Below are some notable rankings.

Behold, a more different future:

3. Jason Kipnis, 2B, Grade B+. Kipnis finished fifth among all batters in the Arizona Fall League by the entirely infallible SCOUT metric.
14. Cord Phelps, 2B, Grade C+. Is essentially same guy as Kipnis, just with a way more Protestant-y name.
17. Scott Barnes, LHP, Grade C+. Finished third among all pitchers in AFL by still-entirely-infallible SCOUT metric.

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Dan B
Dan B

Isn’t it ‘Rule 5 draft’ rather than the Roman numeral V?