The Best of FanGraphs: April 21-25, 2014

If you missed the inaugural post of The Best Of FanGraphs, you can do so here. In case you don’t feel like clicking through though, here is how this post is structured:

We’ll pull from the whole FanGraphs family, picking 10-15 stories that we feel you really should read before the week draws to a close. The links are color coded — green for FanGraphs, burnt sienna for RotoGraphs, purple for NotGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community. They are listed in this order as well in each day, just for the sake of consistency.

Monday

The Shrinking Jean Segura Trade Market, by Chad Young
At this time last year, Jean Segura looked like someone who would play on multiple All-Star teams. Now, not so much, and Chad retells how he failed to maximize his return for Segura.

Students of the Game, by Patrick Dubuque
If you’re told to learn something, does it really count as learning?

Tuesday

Hopeless Joe Visits Dr. Andrews, by Jeremy Blachman
It’s always something with Hopeless Joe. This time, it’s an aching elbow.

When the Sparrow Sings, Third Inning, by Jason Linden
In the fourth chapter of Jason’s novel, things turn serious both off the field and on, where Zack and his team once again fall behind.

Modeling Future Contract Extensions, by Anthony Dedousis
Dave Cameron has given us a great tool for predicting free-agent salaries, and here that model is tweaked by Anthony in an attempt to do the same for contract extensions.

Wednesday

Zack Greinke on Curveballs, by Eno Sarris
Eno wrote two pieces on Zack Greinke this week, with the other going up on Fox Sports, which you can read here.

The Indians Are Missing the Easy Ones, by Mike Petriello
Through the power of GIFs, Mike shows us just how silly some of the Indians’ early defensive miscues have been.

Can You Trust Shelby Miller?, by Chris Cwik
Things have been trending in the right direction for Shelby Miller, but as Chris notes here, his walk rate is still an issue, and his most recent start did nothing to assuage those concerns.

Thursday

Contact and Strikeouts: The Mystery of Nick Castellanos, by Dave Cameron
Dave is the best at breaking down macro trends, but also in applying them to smaller situations. Here, he does just that in showing how one way or another, Nick Castellanos will soon look like a different hitter than he has to date.

What In The Sam Hill Is Going On With Miguel Cabrera, by Michael Barr
It is easy to say things will quickly turn around for Miguel Cabrera, but here Michael does the dirtty work to show us exactly why it will quickly turn around for him.

Friday

Carlos Beltran on Hitting, by David Laurila
In this insightful interview, among other things, Beltran brings to light just how much hitters are constantly changing.

Who’s Been Pitching Where, by Jeff Sullivan
Among the many, many, many interesting morsels of baseball truth that are ladled out here, Jeff finds that Pirates’ pitchers have been busting left-handed batters inside more than the average bear.

April Becomes May?, by Jason Collette
This season, Matt Joyce has stopped ignoring one half of the field, and doing so has helped him start his hot hitting a month earlier than usual.

For Cubs Fans: Charles Baudelaire’s “Always Be Drunk”, by Carson Cistulli
Learning French poems can make one worldly, even if one spends most of his time consuming Old Style intravenously.



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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


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