Examining Andrew McCutchen’s Approach Issues

The last month has not been particularly kind to the Pirates’ postseason conquest, and the same can be accurately said of the man patrolling center field for the Buccos on a nightly basis: Andrew McCutchen. The 29-year-old perennial NL MVP candidate has been marred in an extended slump as his club enters the latter half […]

Let’s Talk About Paul Goldschmidt

I want to talk a little bit about Paul Goldschmidt. You probably don’t want to talk about Paul Goldschmidt, and your friends and relatives probably don’t walk to talk about him over a beer or dinner or Republican presidential debate. If that turns out to be the case, I won’t blame you. There are more newsworthy things to talk […]

Plate Discipline Breeds Confidence for Starlin Castro

A lack of confidence shouldn’t be an issue for Starlin Castro.  As a 20-year-old rookie in 2010, he hit .300. As a 21-year-old sophomore in 2011, he led baseball with 207 base knocks. As a 22-year-old phenom in 2012, he agreed to a seven-year, $60 million contract extension. And now, at the ripe age of 25 […]

Mike Trout, Injury, and the Symptoms of an August Decline

The month of August was not particularly kind to the Los Angeles Angels. Coming into Monday’s series-opening tiff in Oakland, Mike Scioscia and company had just endured a three-game weekend sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians, a series characterized by a 20-6 run differential in favor of their opponent. The implications of their […]

Joey Votto and When Reaching Base Becomes Child’s Play

If Joey Votto retired from baseball tomorrow, God forbid, what would be his lasting legacy? Some would say hitting, and that’s compelling given his Cooperstown-worthy .310 career average. Some would claim hitting for power, which is also persuasive when one considers his career .533 slugging percentage. Others would support his glove-work, which is also a credible argument given his Gold Glove […]

A Cardinal Transformation: How Randal Grichuk’s Power Has Blossomed with St. Louis

The St. Louis Cardinals are, I think it’s fair to say at this point, the best team in baseball. Winners of six straight and owners of baseball’s best record (51-24), run differential (+98) and divisional lead (9 games) heading into this week, Mike Matheny and company are steamrolling their way toward another World Series appearance and doing […]

Mike Trout Vows to be More Aggressive — is it the Smart Move?

Predictably, Mike Trout‘s spring training has begun on a rather scorching note. The 23-year-old reigning American League MVP owns a slash line of .545/.630/1.136 (10 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI) through 27 plate appearances for Mike Scioscia, going three-for-three in stolen base attempts with a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 5:3. There’s a legitimate argument to be made that pre-season […]

Adam Jones and When an Aggressive Approach Goes Too Far

Empirically, we know several things to be true of Adam Jones. We know he’s a pretty durable guy, first and foremost; he’s missed just 29 games since 2010. We know he’s a terrific defender in center field (8.7 UZR/150 in 2014); he’s nabbed Gold Glove award honors away from Mike Trout in each of the past three seasons. We know he’s got a […]

Francisco Liriano’s Slider Regains Its Filth

Is it just me, or is the Francisco Liriano of old — you know, the one from last season — suddenly back? Based on recent production, I would say so. The man who finished ninth in NL Cy Young award voting last season allowed four hits and struck out a hefty sum of 12 batters — a season high […]

Offspeed Stuff No Longer Fooling Jose Altuve

As the Houston Astros’ farm system continues to flourish with Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers and Brady Aiken (just to name a few) now in the fold, Jose Altuve — a former top prospect himself — continues to make strides to his game offensively. Owner of a .336/.377/.444 slash line (all career-best marks) and .361 weighted on-base average that ranks first among qualified big […]