Cleveland Indians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Cleveland Indians made their first relatively big splash into the free agent market on Sunday, signing Outfielder David Murphy to a 2-year contract with a club option for a third year.
The Indians hope the 31-year old Murphy can return to form after batting a career low .220 that enabled an awful .656 OPS in 476 plate appearances for the Texas Rangers. The Rangers declined to give Murphy a qualifying one year deal at the end of the season, effectively ending Murphy’s seven year tenure in Arlington.
The signing helps fill a hole in the Indians outfield where he will likely platoon with Ryan Raburn, who re-signed with the Indians for two more seasons after a successful 2013 campaign in a part time role.
Murphy has an impressive career .816 OPS against right-handed pitching, making him a great complement to the right-handed hitting Raburn.
The 8-year MLB veteran had a career year in 2012, hitting .304 with 15 homers and 61 RBI, helping the Rangers to their second straight World Series appearance. He has experience at all three outfield positions but will likely see the most time in the corner spots, where he’s seen time in 705 career games. Continue reading
English: Chicago Cubs shortstop prospect Starlin Castro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Chicago Cubs were one of the worst fielding teams in the 2012 season. They finished with 105 errors, (12th worst in the league) and they finished twenty-second in fielding percentage. Now I’m not saying that was the reason for the Cubs 61-101 record, but it plays a big part. So how are the Cubs going to fix another error filled season? For starters, they need to move Starlin Castro to second base and Darwin Barney to shortstop. Barney has proven to be more than capable at this position, playing shortstop for Oregon State and the Iowa Cubs, and his defensive skills and ability have been verified by him being awarded a Gold Glove.
Last season Starlin Castro had 758 defensive chances with 27 errors, while Darwin Barney had 731 defensive chances, committing only 2 errors. and won a Gold Glove to back it up.
If Darwin Barney was playing shortstop last year, he would have had twenty-seven more defensive chances than when he played second.
Why is this statistic significant? With Starlin Castro at second he gets fewer balls hit to him and more balls hit to Barney. Continue reading
In the ultimate pitching duel, history was yet again sacrificed for safety. Well, at least a little history.
Little League pitching rules prevented another version of Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal’s 1963 sixteen inning mutual complete game from taking place on national television.
Instead of two definite first ballot Hall of Famers, this matchup was between two Little Leaguers with a lot of size and a lot of hype.
Passing the pitch limit of 85, 6’3” Grosse Pointe pitcher Chad Lorkowski moved to first base after six shutout innings and allowing just one hit, deadlocked with 6’4” Chula Vista ace Grant Holman in a 0-0 tie. The lone hit Lorkowski’s surrendered was also the game’s only hit, a leadoff single to left field by Chula Vista’s second baseman Micah Pietila-Wiggs to start the game. Continue reading