This Week in Baseball

-Taylor Ballinger, Matt Korte, Jeff Gangloff

Good morning, Nation. We’re back with our weekly installment of “This Week in Baseball”, where Taylor, Matt, and Jeff will highlight interesting and/or important stories happening throughout baseball. As always, hope you enjoy – and let us know what you’ve been reading by posting in the comment section below.

Jon Lester and the worst hitters of all time by David Shoenfield, ESPN

Jon Lester’s current 0-59 hitless streak has been making quite the headlines lately. Lester is easily the worst active offensive player at his position, but have you ever wondered who the worst hitters of all time were at each position? No, Marlon Byrd didn’t make the list, but does the name Willy Taveras ring any bells? (Gangloff)

Should Major League Baseball give up on Florida? by Glenn Miller, Naples Herald

How many times have you come accross highlights of a Rays or Marlins game and seen a sea of empty seats that would make an empty Camden Yards after the Baltimore riots look somewhat well attended? Glenn Miller of the Naples Herald examines Florida’s statewide MLB attendance issue and reflects on if baseball in Florida is worth giving up on. (Gangloff)

One Potential Trade Idea for All 30 MLB Teams Heading into June by Joel Reuter, Bleacher Report

Its almost June…and the Reds are bad.  But hey, we are not alone.  There are many teams in MLB performing below their expectations.  At the same time, there are other teams performing better than anyone could have expected, see Twins and Astros.  As we head into the summer, all of these teams will be looking to improve their respective clubs, some for the short-run, others for the long haul.  This article highlights possible trade scenarios for each MLB team.  One that I think all Reds fans will find interesting is the proposed trade between Cincinnati and Houston.  Almost any pundit you ask will tell you they expect Cueto to be traded before the deadline…those same pundits normally use names like Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago as big market teams, capable of resigning Cueto as possible trade partners for the Reds.  This piece takes a different approach, with the Astros making a play for Cueto.  While I don’t know if a trade like that would materialize, the proposed return is certainly intriguing. (Korte)

How Do You Explain the Twins Recent Success? by Jake Lourim, USA Today Sports

Do you want to know how to defy metrics, analytics and the odds?  Just look at what the Twins are doing this season.  They have stepped up from the basement of the AL Central to lead one of the best divisions in baseball.  Reds take note; here is how you win games in the simplest form; score early, be clutch, have a bullpen and play well at home.  Its that easy.  Dont worry about advanced statistics that are shaping baseball today…just play the game in its simplest form.  If you break down any of the Twins statistics, it’s hard to find anything overwhelming; they don’t score the most runs…they don’t have the best OBP, ERA or any other vital statistic…they just play the game the right way, play with attention to detail, do the little things and perform well in the clutch.  Dear Cincinnati Reds, are you listening? (Korte)

MLB’s Leaderboards of the Future by AJ Cassavell, Sports on Earth

And now, a 180 from the Twins piece. Cassavell highlights some statistics that: a) help us better analyze individual performance and skill, and b) he believes will become more prominent in the coming years. My favorite? Perceived-velocity difference, which is “an indicator of how fast a pitch appears to the hitter; given the pitcher’s release point.” The Reds will be in business as soon as they can find a way to quantify grit. (Ballinger)

Perfect Offseason Paying Off for Pirates by Jeff Sullivan, Just a Bit Outside

Thanks for rubbing salt in our collective wounds, Mr. Sullivan. There was a lot of (understandable) head scratching here at Redleg Nation, and across baseball, with the Reds offseason moves. Those moves, or lack thereof, have helped lead to what feels like a lost season already (let’s not forget to mention the injuries and the poor roster management that went on before this offseason). Standing in opposition to the Reds’ offseason are their division rivals just a few short hours up the road in Pittsburgh. This, my friends, is what I like to call “ballin’ on a budget.” (Ballinger)