We all know that Craig Kimbrel has some absolutely filthy stuff, and this Fangraphs post examines one particular streak from last season that showed just exactly how filthy Kimbrel can be on the mound.
Our friends at MLB Daily Dish offer their take on the effect that Kimbrel's contract extension has on the rest of the league, especially when it comes to the league-wide arbitration curve.
Dave Cameron has done a lot of writing on the Braves' extensions as of late and continues to do so now that the Braves have given Kimbrel an extension. This time, he tries to evaluate the risk that the Braves are taking on the 4-year extension of the Braves closer by citing examples of how similar relievers (bullpen arms who had seasons of 3+ WAR from 2000-2009) have fared over 4 seasons.
As mentioned in the previous blurb, Dave Cameron has done a lot of writing on the Braves extensions. Now, in the latest Fangraphs podcast, Cameron does a lot of talking on the Braves extensions. If you have 41 minutes to spare, this is definitely a podcast worth listening to.
Braves reliever Luis Vasquez got his visa issues resolved and reported to camp Monday morning, which is very good news since the Dominican pitcher is widely expected to make the major league squad in the bullpen. Vasquez will be dealing with a lat strain that doesn't appear to be too serious, but he will have to be cleared by the medical staff before he can begin pitching.
After missing all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery, Jonny Venters is taking his time and has targeted the end of Spring Training as the moment to even start considering rehab assignments. Bowman's Blog focuses on the pitcher who, at the time of his injury, pitched very well in his role as set-up man for the closer & quickly establishied himself as one of the top GB% pitchers in all of baseball.
League Wide News
On the same day in which the Baltimore Orioles finalized a 3-year, $5.75M contract with South Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, the O's signed another pitcher as they agreed to a deal with free agent pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. The contract is reportedly worth $50M over 4 years. The former Cleveland Indian rebounded from a down 2012 season by finishing 2013 with an ERA of 3.30, a FIP of 3.43, and a career-high K/9 of 9.56.
Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting that Cincinnati Reds pitcher Home Bailey could be in line for a 6-year contract extension worth upwards of $100M. The 27-year old right-hander has steadily increased his WAR every season, finishing 2013 with 3.7 after tallying career-best marks in ERA, FIP, & K/9, among other stats.
Since being tabbed as the Opening Day starter by the Rangers back in 2012, Rangers RHP Colby Lewis has had to deal with both shoulder and hip issues that kept him out of the big leagues in 2013. Now, Lewis is attempting to do something that hasn't been done by any pitcher, which is come back to the game following hip resurfacing surgery. Lewis threw his first bullpen session on Monday and appears ready to make a serious attempt at completing the comeback.
After signing a 1-year deal to return to the team he helped take to the 2007 World Series, 41-year old righty LaTroy Hawkins has been declared closer by Colorado Rockies manager & former Brave Walt Weiss. Hawkins last pitched for the New York Mets, where he recorded 13 saves in 2013.
Minnesota Twins SS Pedro Florimon had to have arthroscopic surgery on his appendix, which means that the prospective starting shortstop for the Twins should be able to recover after at least 2 weeks. That should still be enough time for Florimon to nail down the starting job for 2014, where he looks to improve on a season where he recorded a UZR of 4.3 & a DRS of 12.