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The Friday Mug

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I like starting out the daily mug with yesterday's Link Report and short game summaries.

Casey McGehee has come in handy. Again, don't expect him to be more than even an average hitter going forward, but he has been a nice depth pickup.

Manny Parra is on Matthew Carruth's list of the most unlucky pitchers in baseball at Fangraphs. He still hasn't pitched well, but...

His FIP stands at 5.14 in the National League. Still, that is a far cry from his 7.52 ERA and for that you put the bulk of the blame on his .368 BABIP. He has pitched a bit worse this year than last, but I would agree with ZiPS and say that if given a chance, a 4.30 FIP going forward sounds about right.

Yahoo guest blogger Curtis Granderson wrote about Bryce Harper's decision to enroll in Junior College and the general issue in baseball of weighing a college education versus taking advantage of an opportunity to play professional baseball directly after high school. It's a tough decision for a young person to make.

This is an interesting look at an extreme and somewhat random split: Brian Bannister seems to pitch very well during the day and not well at night. I agree with Pinto that you shouldn't just look at wins to measure something like skill, but there certainly could be some difference in skill. Usually splits like this are just the result of random variance, though.

Harold Reynolds wrote a very... interesting take on OPS and statistics. Joe Posnaski broke it down for you, not FJM-Style, but summary-style. Take a guess as to which one I agree with. 

In other bad baseball analyst news, Joe Morgan makes up stories. Too bad, it would have been a good one.

Beyond the Boxscore has Power Rankings, and the Brewers hold steady at 16. They check in at 8 in the Whatifsports power rankings. 

The Padres have called up one of their top prospects, Kyle Blanks. This is interesting because he's listed at 285 pounds-- similar to Prince Fielder, though Blanks is 6'6". He'll play some left field because he's blocked by Adrian Gonzalez at first base.

The Nationals forgot to fire Manny Acta, after rumors for almost two weeks that he was gone. I'm rooting for him to stay on board because he's been one of the most progressive managers as far as statistical analysis goes.

The Baseball Analysts looks at a strike zone plot using hit f/x by batted ball type. Pretty cool stuff, and I hope to get some Brewers hit f/x stuff up soon. This data is the next frontier for analysis, especially when we'll be able to piece it together to get a more accurate picture of defense.

Interesting column from Bill Simmons, and one I almost totally agree with. Anyone with visions of the nostalgic purity of baseball-- it was just never there, and it never will be there. Baseball is what it is. There's a good addition to the Simmons column here.

Statistics-oriented posts from the two best analysis sites: Joe Mauer is a great baseball player, more Hit f/x, and Babe Ruth vs. Barry Bonds.

A random note: Marco Scutaro walked last night, and immediately stole second base without stopping. That had to be awesome.

Do pitchers pitch differently to opposing pitchers? Some interesting conclusions in that Hardball Times article.

Happy birthday Claudio Vargas!

The Brewers actually do play today, not yesterday as I had previously written. Looper pitches tonight against the Tigers. Gametime is 6:05 central.