Rounding the Bases

It’s more fun to succeed.

I got a few more posts up this week, but there should be more over the next week. It’s finals week, but I’m not terribly worried. I had a few projects and such to work on last week and really couldn’t get much up. Things should be good for this week, so keep coming back.

– So how many people have looked at Jeff Francoeur’s walks and OBP and have said, “Same old Jeff”. Go ahead, raise your hands. I’ve got something for you. His O-Swing% is 27.5%, 9 percentage points below his career mark. I’d say he’s got a better idea of the strike zone. His K% is 7.7%, 12 percentage points below his career mark. His BB/K is .57, .3 over his career mark. Why hasn’t he walked much? His 67.7% F-Swing% is a bit high. After such a bad season, people are going after him and making him hit. His .284 BABIP is also a bit low. I’m telling you people, get on the bandwagon. You can call this a small sample size, but when a guy really tries to make a change, this is more of an indication. As he gets more comfortable with his stance and approach, I’m betting the home runs start coming, and if he can keep his new approach, the walks will, too.

– Even as well as Boston has played lately (not counting the Rays series), Toronto is still in first. They’ve had a lot more pop than I thought they would, but considering Alex Rios, Travis Snider, and Lyle Overbay have had somewhat slow starts, they could continue this. Can the pitching continue to do an adequate job on the mound?

– After beating up on the NL West for the first month, the Dodgers are 17-8 with the best run differential in the majors. They get another easy week and a half playing the Diamondbacks, Nationals, and Giants, but on May 12th, they begin a run against the Phillies, Marlins, Mets, and Angels. Let’s see if they can continue the good start.

– How even is the AL West? The teams are separated by 3.5 games and only 12 runs according to their run differentials. The top 3 have gone 5-5 in the past 10 games, and the A’s are 4-6. Definition of mediocrity.

– Seems Nick Swisher (1.150 OPS and 4th in the majors) is doing a bit better this season. His BABIP, however, of .333 is 20 points over normal.

– Most surprising guy in top 10 of OPS? Brandon Inge is ninth with a 1.108.

– Dallas Braden, with an ERA of 2.10, is one of the major’s most surprising pitchers. His 89 LOB% is too high, though, leading to a 4.05 FIP, which really isn’t that bad considering his 4.45 career mark.

– After an off-season in which he was put down often, Edwin Jackson (2.25 ERA) has been excellent. Strikeouts are back to career marks, but it’s the walks that have made the big difference. His 2.20 BB/9 is over two full points lower than his career mark. Don’t get too excited, though. A .233 BABIP is scary low and led to his 4.25 FIP.

– The Yankees are second in runs scored and last in ERA. That leads to a 13-11 record. Pretty good considering the run differential is actually -11.

– Just as we thought, Baltimore can hit (9th in baseball), but they can’t pitch (28th).

– Pittsburgh is still number one in ERA and even 17th in hitting. They’re record of 12-11, however, has been a bit unkind. They’re +24 in run differential but can’t win ballgames.

– Who thought the Angels (7.66 ERA) would be the worst bullpen in the AL? At a time when they need to step up for a battered starting rotation, they’ve failed miserably. Arrendondo (6.35), Shields (7.71), and Fuentes (7.88) have been their worst relievers.

– Is there such a thing as Sac%, the percentage of sacrifice bunts executed, because the Braves suck at it?

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