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i confess to being bummed by the texas/nyy game last night. i really thought when texas was eating sabathia up in the first inning that this was a good start to the series. oh well.

as a brief follow-up to last week's post -- since replacements around the infield are going to keep coming up -- i wanted to link to's links on trade-eligible shortstops, free agent shortstops, trade-eligible second basemen, and free agent second basemen. i don't feel like we missed anybody huge. i kicked myself for not mentioning alex gonzalez, though it looks like atlanta will take up his option. jamey carroll is not a bad name to know, though he is also in the older, on-the-wane category. he seems more like utility insurance than a starter.

they did mention hiroyuki nakajima, a potential import from the japanese leagues. i am out of my league in looking at japanese stars, although my general opinion is that they tend to underperform the hype - for every ichiro! and matsui, there's a matsuzaka  and several so taguchis and fukudomes. a lot of the widely hyped guys end up being merely serviceable, rather than spectacular. if the bidding stays sane, he'd be interesting to look at. but i wonder what the likelihood of that is.

does anybody else find TonyWatch 2010! as obnoxious as i do? this marks the SECOND chilean miner metaphor from the p-d staff, and it wasn't a very good metaphor the first time. i suspect he's not making a final decision so that the scribes in the STL write these kinds of articles in near panicked states because they don't know what else to do if tony la russa won't return their phone calls. the longer they write those articles, the less they write articles about the 2010 cardinals and why they were big, quitting, underperforming losers with (YES!) poopy in their pants. 

that's okay. instead of writing articles about stuff that matters, write articles breathlessly updating us about how tony la russa still hasn't decided to return, a return which everybody thinks is practically certain. 

one also can't rule out the possibility that tony finds big headlines clamoring for his return aggrandizing and soothing to the ego. bah. stay in california, tony. 

my need for minor league stats is going unfilled due to the temporary suspension of the great work at minorleaguesplits. i did, however, spend some quality time knocking around at, which presents some very interesting minor league stats.

Quad Cities starting pitcher/stat

tRA (tERA)


Shelby Miller

2.82 (2.59)


Deryk Hooker

2.60 (2.39)


Scott Schneider

2.60 (2.39)


Joe Kelly

4.01 (3.69)


that's a pretty deadly rotation down in quad cities. you all are familiar with shelby miller, of course. hooker's numbers are impressive, considering a lot of his pitching was considered relief pitching at QC - which stat corner accounts for differently - and included time at palm beach; same for schneider. i am actually a bit surprised that kelly didn't fare better with tRA analysis, since his groundball tendencies would seem to make tRA a kelly-friendly stat.

and i don't think any of these guys are journeyman wonders. miller is obviously a prospect (TINSTAAPP notwithstanding), but hooker and kelly are real prospects too. schneider has gone a long way to make prospect watchers interested in him as well.

i love their presentation, which is extremely easy on the eyes. good performances are green, bad performances are red. wonderful performances are in green bold, terrible in red bold (there's a lot of red bold on the palm beach rotation's page). it's easy to pick out players who had fine years (have i been underselling alex castellanos? a: given his age, probably not much). obviously, you can't use those rankings as a substitute for analysis, but it's a good starting point. it also makes it MUCH easier to do rough club comparisons -- just clicking through the midwest league, basically no club had a better top of the rotation combo than hooker and schneider -- even leaving miller off the table. 

i'd encourage you to mess around with the interface -- some of the stats may be unusual or confusing, but i like the interface more and more as i use it.

enjoy tonight's game -- last year's cy young versus what is almost certainly this year's cy young. it should be a great game in a very exciting series.