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Mixing Fantasy & Reality: Hitter Shoulders & Injury Updates

• Strikeouts = Shoulder Injuries?

Lindsay Berra discussed the increased risk of a shoulder injury to Ohtani because he hits.

As a left-handed hitter, Ohtani’s pitching arm, his right, is his front shoulder when he is at the plate. In recent memory, we’ve seen several players battle injuries to their lead shoulder — Aaron Judge and Michael Brantley included.

When a batter makes contact, the counterforce from hitting the ball activates the stabilizing muscles around the shoulder. If he misses, the lack of counterforce means that all the forces generated by the swing are absorbed by the shoulder. And as Ohtani adjusts to Major League pitching, it is likely he will swing and miss more than he did in Japan.

“Imagine a left-hander swinging out of his shoes and missing,” says Eric Cressey of Cressey Performance in Hudson, Mass. “The right arm continues to come back, and when the arm goes into external rotation or horizontal abduction, the ball tends to fly forward in the socket, which can irritate the front of the shoulder and cause anterior shoulder instability.”

Ohtani will put slightly less stress on his front shoulder, because he has a two-handed finish — at least at the moment — but there will be stress on his pitching shoulder nonetheless.

First, go read the whole article or at least this section. I listed just some highlights but there are more details on hitter shoulder injuries in the full reading.

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat 12/12/2017

Here’s today’s chat transcript which included plenty of fun dynasty talk, a discussion of MLB league parity, and a variety of other topics.

Christian Yelich: Odds i’m traded? Might see a HR spike away from Marlins Park?

Brad Johnson: Oh, hi there folks, let’s begin

Brad Johnson: Yelich is very likely to be traded by midseason. Given his consistently high HR/FB ratio, I don’t think we’ll see more homers in another venue.

Duncan: Where does Machado end up? And what do the Orioles get in return?

Brad Johnson: A little early to get a clean read on this. I’ll say St. Louis or San Francisco. Package led by Jack Flaherty or Tyler Beede plus another decent but unexceptional prospect. One year of Machado is valuable, but it’s not worth a monster haul.

Kristaps: Francisco Mejia… Will he start 2018 in the Minors or as Cleveland everyday catcher? Trade possibility?

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Eddie Rosario Turns on the Power Switch

The best inspiration for an article is one in which you find a meaningful leaderboard, sort away, and identify who doesn’t belong. The surprise of the group, if you will. That player is most certainly going to be fun to discuss! That brings me to Eddie Rosario. If you perform a Statcast search and select only “Barrel” for “Quality of Contact” from August through the end of the season, you will be presented with a leaderboard of top sluggers ranked by number of barreled balls they hit during that time period. The top 10 is littered with your standard who’s who of the game’s best power hitters. Then you get down to #14 and who do you find, none other than Eddie Rosario.

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Miguel Cabrera: Creating a Personal Drafting Plan

The projection systems love Miguel Cabrera. To them, he’s a hitter who performed decent in the first half and struggled in the second half. The projections don’t know that he has two herniated discs in his back. Because of the injury, his wOBA dropped from .339 in the first half to .274 in the 2nd half. Using projections, he’s the 54th highest ranked player but owners have pushed his ADP closer to 100th. It’s time to determine why the disconnect.

It was definitely a tale of two halves for Cabrera.

Miguel Cabrera’s 2017 1st & 2nd Halves
1st Half .264 .357 .440 .307 12.1% 20.4%
2nd Half .230 .288 .342 .272 7.4% 21.4%

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Too Many Keepers Redux

I had this idea for today’s post – to evaluate my home league roster which includes more keepable players than I can possibly afford. As I prepped the information and tables I would need, the concept began to feel more and more familiar. Sure enough, I wrote about this exact topic for this exact league last March. I thought I had too many keepers then? I was a naive fool.

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Buying Tyler Chatwood

Last week, the Cubs signed Tyler Chatwood, who has had the unfortunate luck of spending the majority of his Major League career pitching half his games in the most offense friendly home park. He has still managed to perform respectably given the circumstances, posting a 4.31 ERA and 95 ERA- (5% better than league average where lower is better) over his career, which includes 142 innings with the Angels in his 2011 debut. Now heading into his age 28 season, let’s see how the park factors compare between Wrigley Field and Coors Field and why the move makes him a prime sleeper.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 511 – Ian Kahn Returns!


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

  • Ohtani signing and the impact on fantasy sites (3:00)
  • Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees (33:00)

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 510 – Ohtani Gets His Wings!


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

Follow us on Twitter

Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

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Winter Moves Update: Chatwood, Gordon, and Fiers

The hot stove is finally rocking! As I’m writing this, Shohei Ohtani has signed with the Angels. I wrote about him yesterday and even though I was hyping my Mariners pick, you can just ignore that part and focus on the ranking and skills assessment. A bevy of moves with fantasy impact took place yesterday, too!

Chatwood was a buzzy free agent this year thanks in part to Mike Petriello showing how he could be this year’s Charlie Morton. The Cubs snatched him up and while I wouldn’t say $12.7 mil is an overpay, I kinda expected him to be more in the $9-10 mil per year level. Of course, all the teams were aware of the things Petriello covered in his piece already so I’m sure there was some competition that pushed him up to that price. His 3.31 career road ERA has gotten a lot of run, as it’s nearly two runs lower than his 5.25 at home, done mostly at Coors Field. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Dee Gordon Play Center Field?

Yesterday, The Marlins traded Dee Gordon to the Mariners for three minor league prospects. The trade came out of nowhere since the Mariners already rostered a top second baseman, Robinson Cano. Then it became known that Mariners plan on playing Gordon in centerfield. Having both middle infield and outfield qualifications a couple weeks into the season could move up his average draft position. The question remains though, will Gordon be able to cut in centerfield? Probably.

Gordon’s offensive talent is easy to access. The 29-year-old makes a ton of groundball contact and gets on first base using his speed. Once on base, he uses those legs to steal as many bases as possible. That’s it.

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