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Good morning baseball fans!
Atlanta is under new management, because the Braves fired Fredi Gonzalez.
Francisco Cervelli has become a rich man, inking a three-year extension with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The guy Cervelli replaced, Russell Martin, is struggling.
Martin hasn’t been a successful hitter in May, but those images there look more familiar. It looks like the force is coming back to his swing, and if that proves to be true, then at some point the results should follow. You’d want to make sure he’s not just trying to overcompensate. And you’d want to make sure he keeps this up — any discomfort might reappear. If he’s just randomly felt good for a few days, and he’s going to feel bad again soon, clearly that’s an issue. No one here is out of the woods. No one could ever be considered out of the woods with an 11 wRC+.
And it should go without saying that maybe I’m just full of crap. Wouldn’t be the first time. I’m just guessing at what’s been the matter, but we at least do know that something has been the matter. My guess, based on the evidence, is that Martin is starting to feel better, and pretty soon he’s going to hit a few dingers. When that finally happens, there’s going to be great relief. Today, as I write this, no one has yet felt relieved.
Here is a roundup of news from around the National League West.
Major league promotions have become the norm over the last couple of days and the Astros joined the mix, calling up Colin Moran from the minors.
How about a piece on position players pitching? We all love those.
I think the conclusion I'm most comfortable with is that this is all quite silly, and that, when we're talking about 20 innings per year (if we're lucky), there are going to be some fluctuations that look meaningful and perhaps aren't. Even the bumps of 2014 and 2015 may have been ephemeral; so far, after nearly a quarter of 2016, position players have pitched in only two games and 1 2/3 innings, well below the pace of the previous years.
Managers are probably in a state of constant terror for their jobs and therefore extremely reluctant to do anything that hasn't already been done. They seem more comfortable putting position players onto the mound than they have been in the past, now that their peers won't think it's crazy; they also seem to enjoy it nearly as much as all of us do. Overanalyzing aside, we really are in an unprecedented age of 70MPH straightballs; best to enjoy it as long and as fully as possible.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1999, Luis Gonzalez extends his hitting streak to 30 games, matching the longest streak of the decade.