The Best of FanGraphs: May 5-9, 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

FG on Fox: The Development of Andrew Cashner, by Eno Sarris
Some pitchers get hurt, and just keep doing the same thing when they heal. Andrew Cashner is not such a pitcher.

Expanding the Edges of the Strike Zone, by Bill Petti
Now that we’ve got a good handle on the horizontal edges of the strike zone, it’s time to harness the vertical edges as well.

Tuesday

What My Seven-Month-Old Son Knows About Fantasy Baseball, by Jeremy Blachman
Fantasy baseball is not good for Jeremy’s health, and his infant son knows it.

Wednesday

The Absolutely Fascinating Henderson Alvarez, by Mike Petriello
The world would be a better place if more pitchers had a novelty first-pitch windup.

At the Ballpark: Race, Community and MLB, by Wendy Thurm
Here, Wendy addresses the Braves’ upcoming move to Cobb County, and how it compares to the Giants’ move to Mission Bay.

Thursday

What is Gregory Polanco Worth?, by Dave Cameron
A heck of a lot more than the Pirates offered him, and Dave breaks down why.

The Burlington vs. Clinton Win-Expectancy Chart, by Jeff Sullivan
The final piece of Jeff’s chart sums this up best — !!!

Jordan Lyles Is Kind of a Jerk, by Nicholas Minnix
He didn’t make the rotation out of Spring Training, but that hasn’t stopped Jordan Lyles from being a revelation this year.

Surprises from the Past Calendar Year, by Scott Spratt
The FanGraphs leaderboards have all sorts of good stuff, and here Scott plumbs those depths to bring you some useful fantasy advice.

Bob Gibson is walking toward you…, by Robert J. Baumann
You should follow your spine and flee.

Ottoneu Tools: Advanced League Standings, by Lucky Strikes
I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited to try this out.

Friday

Manny Parra: Brewers Bust Becomes Reliable Reds Reliever, by David Laurila
Sometimes, life is as simple as scrapping one pitch for another, and having a team trust that you can do so.

Wasted Pitches and the Pitchers Who Make the Most of Them, by Blake Murphy
You definitely won’t be wasting your time if you read this great post (sorry, I’ll show myself out).

Marcus Stroman Is Not Long For The Bullpen, by Scott Strandberg
Here, Scott does a great job of breaking down both sides of the talent plus opportunity equation for Marcus Stroman in Toronto.

The Freaks and the Runts: Fun with Hitting Mechanics, by Dan Farnsworth
In this fun and illuminating piece, Dan shows that there are commonalities across players with seemingly different swings.



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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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As I noted in the comments of Dave’s Polanco article, he made a crucial counting error that really invalidates the results of his study (he counted one free agency year in his tally of team-controlled earnings for each player in his sample set). That article should be re-written. It certainly shouldn’t be featured on a “best of” list. If anyone’s interested, my attempt to fix Dave’s mistake is featured at the link below. The summary is that the Pirates offered 20 percent more than what the players in Dave’s sample set made in their team-controlled years. Whether that’s enough of a premium to account for inflation I don’t know.

http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/5/9/5700820/what-is-gregory-polanco-worth

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