Highlighting some links today:
Tracy Ringolsby reports that the Monforts are likely to extend Dan O'Dowd's contract and the article suggests by extension that Hurdle could see an extension as well. Before you get all hissy about things, recognize that extensions don't always translate to job security, particularly for managers.
Also from Ringolsby, his weekly notes column, which among several other things points out that the recently signed Taiwanese pitcher Sheng-An Kuo is targeted for Asheville this season, and that Shane Lindsay could be pitching by May.
Patrick Saunders over at the other paper delves into the Spring catching battle. The position figures to get a lot of attention this Spring.
Jeff Sackmann at Beyond the Box Score has the Rockies preview up. He overlooked Kaz Matsui at second, which along with the great dice roll we call our starting rotation, is one of the offseason's biggest gambles for next year. Other then that, and possibly overlooking the importance of Jeff Baker, he did an okay job.
I'm not so keen on his Minor League organization rankings despite seeing the Rockies as having the third best group of hitters. Maybe it's because both the Dodgers and D-backs are still ahead of us, or maybe it's because a ranking of this type is exactly what makes the scouting community mistrustful of statistical analysis to begin with. Certain troubles I have right away are:
- it seems this method will reward teams which are stacked at the corners (higher OPS positions) and punish those (like the Rockies and Devil Rays) which are deeper up the middle.
- Jack Cust. This system will really like players like him and reward organizations that stockpile them, even though their MLB value could be limited due to other factors.
- as far as pitchers, hey give it a shot, nothing else seems that great at predicting long term success. Although I'm more encouraged by Rich Lederer's analysis of combining K rates and GB%. It seems OPS against will have a bit more graininess in the figures.