19 Random Thoughts and Facts, Most Baseball Related

1. Under almost no circumstance, fly through O’Hare. It is not worth it.

2. On Wednesday, in his first spring training game, Jonathan Sanchez‘s fastball was off by 2-3 MPH. He may get the speed back. He may not. If a person has a draft before his next start, there is a no need to pick up a below average pitcher with velocity issues. Just go for the below average pitcher with no velocity issues.

More fastball speed updates

3. Ubaldo Jimenez fastball (94 to 96 MPH) is closer to his 2009 and 2010 levels (96 MPH) than 2011 levels (93.5 MPH) .

4. Brian Matusz touched 91 MPH. I am guessing this value is his top end of his range. He is probably averaging between 88 to 91. Those values put him in the same range as he was throwing in 2011.

5. Johan Santana had his fastball around 87 to 88 MPH with hopes to get it near 90 MPH. Continue to monitor, but I am finding his situation rather encouraging.

6. Why in the hell doesn’t the Dallas Airport have free wireless internet? This article is going to be late and Eno is going to get mad. Hopefully I don’t have to write about the merits of Yuniesky Betancourt.

7. Mike Aviles looks to have the inside track for the Red Sox SS job. After following the highs and lows of Mike’s career as a Royal, here is my 2 cents on him. He is streaky BABIP driven hitter because he rarely walks (4.2% career BB%). He is a high upside, low down side pick at the end of a draft.

8. If a writer wants to infuriate his or her readers, create a list of ranked players. A list is a writer’s way of trolling.

Five sleeper picks I like for 2012.

9. Alejandro De Aza. He is slated to be the lead off hitter for the White Sox. He will get plenty of PAs for Runs and SBs. It will be a bonus if he can keep his AVG high.

10. Brent Morel – I love the late season power surge.

11. Bryan ShawMariano Rivera like cutter. I will drink that Kool-Aid.

12. Chris Parmelee – Morneau, Mauer and Doumit are ahead of him. They will be headed to the DL sometime this season. Their owners will be looking for a replacement. Be the owner to hook them up.

13. Zack Cozart – Don’t worry about him dropping out of the Reds #2 spot for the the low walk rate, Dusty won’t.

Why not push it to 6 sleepers

14. Nolan Reimold seems to be the leading candidate for the Orioles lead spot. Sign me up for the cheap Runs and SBs

15. Are the Phillies always on MLB Network? Are they the new Yankees?

16. Lonnie Chisenhall and Jack Hannahan are competing for the Indians 3B job. A position battle like this is why spring training matters. Can you feel the excitement? I can’t.

17. The Phillies 1B job, until Howard returns, is completely up in the air. I would stay away from all the candidates (Wigginton, Thome, and Nix ) because of what seems to be a bad ménage à trois platoon situation.

18. I am sure I will have one of my facts wrong. I just need our readers to point out which one(s) I messed up.

19. Finally everyone behave, us writers on converging in Phoenix this weekend. Nerds Unite.

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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

15 Responses to “19 Random Thoughts and Facts, Most Baseball Related”

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  1. Expos67 says:

    No.18 is wrong, which makes it right. Oh damn, never mind…

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  2. chris says:

    what the heck is “menus-en-tous” ? @French_misuse

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  3. paul says:

    4. Brian Matusz was consistently 90-91 which is not what he was in 2011. Most of 2011 he was in the 85-88 range (his last few starts had him back at 89-90). If he maintains 90-91 he may be a good bounceback candidate as his changeup will be more effective (with a mph differential of 10ish vs 6 last year)

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    • JDanger says:

      I wonder if the author meant to say, “Those values put him in the same range as he was throwing in 2010.”

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      • rotofan says:

        No. Just sloppy reporting. Matusz hit 91 in his first start but was consistently 94 the last 2 innings of his more recent start. A definite bounce-back candidate.

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  4. novaether says:

    I thought Mayberry was supposed to get the majority of starts at 1B before Howard returns, no?

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  5. odbsol says:

    I’ve never been in airport with free WiFi. It’s almost as bad as a hotel not having free WiFi in this day and age.

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    • ben says:

      I have found that very few airports have free wifi.

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      • Jeff Zimmerman says:

        I guess the 3 airports I fly in/out of the most (Wichita, Denver and Phoenix) have it free.

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      • Stuck in a slump says:

        Denver has a very strange but awesome airport. I believe that Dulles also has free WiFi, I don’t remember if Reagan did or not though, wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

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  6. vilhelm says:

    No 1..really?

    So much for 4pm Sept 20 between flights being the only good time to visit Chicago.

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  7. Russ says:

    1. Since I live in Chicago and travel all the time for work, I will stand up for O’Hare. It is an extremely busy airport, and the severe weather Chicago experience is by far the biggest reason why people complain about O’Hare. This is not a poor reflection on the people that work there.

    6. DFW sucks. DFW and Dulles are the two worst airports in the US. LAX is a close third. I know McCarren has free wi-fi.

    12. Parmelee just looks like James Loney 2.0 to me. It is nice to have in an AL-only league, but represents mixed league fodder at best.

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