One Night Only: Weekend Edition

Is it possible to have too much of a kinda decent thing? This edition of One Night Only seeks to find out!

[Note: All minor league numbers are courtesy of StatCorner. HR/BIA = Home Run per Ball in Air. MLB average for starters is 6.5%. MiLB average is I-don’t-know-what.]

Arizona at Chicago (NL) | Saturday, May 01 | 1:05 pm ET
Starting Pitchers
D-Backs: Dan Haren (R)
34.0 IP, 10.06 K/9, 2.12 BB/9, .310 BABIP, 47.3% GB, 18.2% HR/FB, 2.90 xFIP
Projected FIP: 3.15 (FAN) 3.24 (CHONE) 3.17 (ZiPS)

Cubs: Carlos Silva (R)
26.0 IP, 5.19 K/9, 1.04 BB/9, .215 BABIP, 41.0% GB, 3.3% HR/FB, 4.10 xFIP
Projected FIP: 4.89 (FAN) 4.67 (CHONE) 4.53 (ZiPS)

Persons of Interest
Sabermetric orthodoxy suggested that, at the time of its consummation, the trade between Chicago and Seattle that sent Carlos Silva to the Cubs was a win for the Mariners and for Mariner GM Jack Zduriencik. May 1st is too early to draw any hard and fast conclusions, but if you’d asked a fair sample of non- or only semi-drunk people which player — Silva or Milton Bradley — would have the higher WAR on this date in the history of our nation, very few of them would’ve gone with “the considerably more obese one.”

And yet, here we are, with Silva having earned almost a full win above replacement for his new team. “What gives?” maybe you’re asking. Don’t worry: Dave Cameron’s all over that. A couple-few days ago, he wrote:

Silva, who throughout his entire career has struggled mightily with left-handed hitters, has held them to just three singles in 37 plate appearances in his first four starts. And all three of those singles came in his last start. In his first three appearances, he was perfect against LHBs, as they went 0 for 22 against him.


So, naturally, the first thing I did was take a look at his pitch selection. Silva’s lived primarily off of his two-seam fastball for most of his career, which is why he’s posted such large platoon splits. The pitch works against righties, but not against lefties.

Sure enough, Silva has finally decided to abandon his fastball-only approach to pitching. He’s thrown his sinker just 56.5% of the time (compared to 83.1% last year), and has replaced with his change-up, which he’s now thrown 30.7% of the time.

If you’re like me (spiritually ambidextrous, needlessly hifalutin), one thing that appeals to you is to watch a player just after you’ve been given some razor-sharp analysis on his play. In this case, I predict that an entire nation of baseballing nerds will watch with rapt attention as Silva unleashes his changepiece all over some D-Backs*.

*Yes, this is as gross as it sounds.

All-Joy Alert
Kelly Johnson was a pre-season All-Joyer. This is me telling you, “I told you so hard.”

An Historical Fact
On roughly this date, in 1886 in the Year of Our Lord, in this same exact city, the eight-hour work day went some way to becoming a reality.

If I Had My Druthers
• The work day would only be six hours.
• Actually, make that four hours.
• Everyday would be Saturday.

Colorado at San Francisco | Sunday, May 02 | 4:05 pm ET
Starting Pitchers
Rockies: Jhoulys Chacin (R)
21.3 IP, 8.86 K/9, 4.64 BB/9, .280 BABIP, 54.9% GB, 4.6% HR/BIA, 3.53 FIP (Triple-A)
Projected FIP: N/A (FAN) 5.02 (CHONE) 4.79 (ZiPS)

Giants: Jonathan Sanchez (L)
24.1 IP, 12.21 K/9, 4.81 BB/9, .282 BABIP, 34.6% GB, 0.0% HR/FB, 3.58 xFIP
Projected FIP: 4.02 (FAN) 4.07 (CHONE) 3.93 (ZiPS)

Persons of Interest
Tonight marks the first Major League start of the season for young righty Jhoulys Chacin, who the Rockies have chosen to take the place of the injured Jorge de la Rosa in the Colorado rotation. In terms of watchability, Chacin’s start is right up the baseball nerd alley*, on account of he’s a pitcher, he’s a prospect, and he’s making (more or less) his debut.

*Yes, this is as gross as it sounds.

What kind of prospect? Depends on who you ask. Our own Marc Hulet placed him second on the Rockies prospect list, writing:

With the ability to keep the ball on the ground and a repertoire that includes two plus pitches (fastball, change-up), Chacin should develop into a No. 3 starter at worst.

Baseball America roughly agrees, placing special emphasis on his changepiece, which the authors describe as his best pitch, and one capable of negating left-handed batters. In either case, it appears as though the challenge for Chacin is his control. Stay tuned as this situation develops!

The reader might also care to cast a gaze at the San Francisco outfield, where Andres Torres and Nate Schierholtz are getting their share of starts in center and right, respectively. Torres, in particular, presents an interesting case to the baseballing nerd. Did you know, for example, that CHONE projects Torres at 2 WAR for the season? Or, how about, did you know that said WAR are projected to come in only 107 GP and 346 PA? After you’ve wiped all the coffee off your monitor, you might consider pointing your web browser to Torres’s player page, where you’ll see that a large portion of his projection is based on the 10.0 UZR — again, in limited playing time.

None of Which Is Even to Mention
Giant starter Jonathan Sanchez and Colorado prospect Eric Young Jr. The former is among the league leaders in strikeouts; the latter has recently been called upon to replace a more-hobbled-than-usual Brad Hawpe. Reports suggest that Colorado will try to get EY more than his share of reps at the Major League level.

A Little Known Fact About Jhoulys Chacin
His first name, when spoken aloud, sounds exactly like the call of the Russet-backed Oropendola, a bird found commonly in Chacin’s native Venezuela.

If I Had My Druthers
• Andres Torres would get the start in center for San Francisco.
• Eric Young Jr. would get the start in left for Colorado.
• The dulcet tones of Jon Miller’s voice would put me into a state of blissful waking sleep.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.