How “Real” is Ackley’s July?

== What can we figure here? == Things we know: Dustin Ackley is hot in July, hitting .390/.405/.506. You can tell from the difference between the second and first numbers, that walk rate is very low (2.5%). You can tell from the difference between the third and first numbers that his extra-base hit rate is…

Jack Z as Strategic Negotiator

  == An “area of emphasis” on the annual employee review == I want to clarify that when I criticize Jack Zduriencik as a strategic negotiator, I am not indicating that I view him as incompetent or not qualified for his job. I believe that he is a scout at heart, and that is his…

Brandon Maurer as Secret Weapon

== A distraction from the offense for a moment == I am aware that the utter lack of offense for four consecutive games, and the presumed hunt on the trade market for improvements thereto, is worthy of the attention of most folks, and pitching — particularly the possibility of pitching in October — seems rather…

Game 102 + Minors Rewind: Slip Slidin’ Away?

== Do we need the question mark? == Or is the Coveted Second Wild Card actually slipping away? Well, the acquisition of Kendrys Morales (for reliever Stephen Pryor, one of the “surplus” righties we’ve been talking about) is probably enough reason to add the question mark. Things seem to be slip slidin’ away, but this is a…

Left-Handed Tilt: Morales as Solution?

== He helps, but does it work? == Had a busy day at The Real Job, so for now I’m going to bump this from March. Obviously the salary is no longer a big issue, and pushing Smoak out of the lineup is not an issue at all.   Robinson Cano‘s spending plan for the…

Game 101 + Minors Rewind: Tai-wobbly

== Learning curves … == I recall reading and then writing about the play-by-play from the second time that 17-year-old Taijuan Walker pitched in a professional game.  Thanks to our modern ability to store everything ever recorded to strings of 0’s and 1’s in some data center somewhere (well, almost everything), we can easily find…