Some things to read while setting the record straight.
With the roster probably nearly set for 2010, I guess it's time to start looking at lineups. Brewers Daily has a look at one issue the Brewers might face: Is Casey McGehee (or for that matter, virtually anyone the 2009 Brewers could hit in the #5 slot) enough of a threat to force teams to pitch to Prince Fielder? Fielder became the first Brewer ever to draw 100 walks last season. Expect that total to go up in 2010.
With three years of reliable Pitch F/x data now available, Dan Turkenkopf of Beyond the Box Score is taking a shot at projecting catcher block percentage for 2010. He ranks Gregg Zaun fifth among projected catchers at 3.93 runs above average per 120 games. Perhaps more interestingly, George Kottoras is the worst catcher projected, at 6.51 runs below average, nearly two runs worse than the second worst catcher. Kottoras was Tim Wakefield's personal catcher in Boston for much of last season, so it's possible his numbers are artificially low due to excessive knuckleball-chasing. Jason Kendall and Mike Rivera both project to be worth about two runs.
Maybe I'll be wrong, but I think Twitter is past the "fad" stage and has anchored itself as part of the mainstream sports conversation (follow BCB here). Gripped by the spirit of 140-character-or-less sports conversation, In-Between Hops has "tweets" on 32 Brewer topics.
In the minors:
- John Manuel of Baseball America released his Personal Top 20 Prospects List over the weekend, and ranked Alcides Escobar #17.
- When we discuss pitching prospects in the minors, I think we occasionally forget about Nick Bucci, but we probably shouldn't. The Sarnia Observer has a look at his 2009 season, which included an impressive run in Helena and an even more impressive stretch for Team Canada in the Baseball World Cup.
Work continues on the BCB All Decade Team. You have until 4 pm today to select a #3 starter, and until the same time tomorrow to select a setup man. The latter is the closest vote we've had to date: As of this writing, Dan Kolb leads Derrick Turnbow by two votes, with six others within 30 votes.
Meanwhile, Right Field Bleachers has gone decidedly less democratic and selected their All Decade Team for you.
Just one transaction to report today:
D-Backs: Signed Bob Howry to a one year deal worth between $2 and 3 million, with a team option for 2011.
If you missed them, there were a few other transactions reported in Noah's Weekend Shot. The holiday weekend was a tough one for Brewer news, but it's still worth a read if you missed it.
Who would you rather have for 2010: LaTroy Hawkins or Justin Duchscherer? Duchscherer is actually guaranteed much less money in 2010 ($2 million, with $3.5 more in available incentives), as it turns out, and the A's didn't have to guarantee a second year.
Speaking of pitching what-ifs, Lookout Landing wonders what might have been if the Mariners had drafted Tim Lincecum instead of Brandon Morrow, who they recently traded away. It could always be worse for Mariner fans: the Brewers drafted Jeremy Jeffress six picks after Lincecum.
As Hall of Fame votes continue to trickle into the light of day, Baseball Think Factory is collecting them and has an early leaderboard, with Roberto Alomar, Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven the only candidates above 75%. Meanwhile, Craig Calcaterra (and lots of others) aren't happy with Jon Heyman's decisions.
A couple of sabermetric notes today:
- Beyond the Box Score has the starting point for a conversation on fielding metrics, dividing defense into four components.
- If you've ever looked at rate stats like a hitter's walk, strikeout or line drive percentage and wondered "What's good?" Adam Foster of Project Prospect has used data from 2007-2009 to compile league averages.
That's all I have for today, unless you're still looking for gift ideas.