Clayton Kershaw – Shut Down Indefinitely (Arm)
“The Dodgers have shut down star hurler Clayton Kershaw indefinitely, manager Dave Roberts tells Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. The venerable southpaw is dealing with an unspecified health issue that Roberts would describe only as an “arm kind of thing.” Initial signals from the organization are that there’s nothing to worry about at this point. Kershaw says he’s “just going to take a few days right now” and adds that he expects to resume throwing in short order, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County-Register tweets.
In Roberts’s view, too, this is just an early pause “to just kind of step away, give him a couple days.” That said, he acknowledged that he “can’t say right now” just when Kershaw will be ready to ramp back up.” – Jeff Todd, MLBTR
Bryce Harper – (Kinda) Update
Yes, we know this Bryce Harper stuff is getting old. It is for the writers as well; but until he decides, its kinda our job to keep you informed.
A private jet was spotted in Las Vegas today. But not just any private jet, this one had a giant P on the back of it, with a little curl to the end of each line. This jet carried the owner of the Phillies. Jon Heyman then confirmed there was a meeting between the Harper family, Scott Boras, and the Phillies Owner John Middleton. Heyman in later tweets mentioned that the Phillies while still holding a strong position to land Harper, might not be the frontrunner everyone had thought.
Rule Changes – Spring Training Pitch Clock
“Major League Baseball has formally announced the implementation of a 20-second pitch clock to be tested during Spring Training games. Jeff Passan of ESPN reportedminutes prior to the announcement that it’d be made today. Per the league’s announcement, there has been no decision made regarding the potential implementation of the pitch clock during the upcoming regular season, though Passan tweeted that there is a “very real possibility” of that happening.
Early in Spring Training, as players adjust to the latest pace-of-play tactic put in place by commissioner Rob Manfred, there will not be any ball or strike penalties for pitch-clock violations. By the second week of games, umpires will begin to issue warnings, and eventually, umps “will be instructed to begin assessing ball-strike penalties for violations.”’ – Steve Adams, MLBTR
Ervin Santana – Minor League Deal
“Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.
He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.” – Ashley Verela, Yahoo! Sports
Stat of the Day – DRS
Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) is a defensive statistic calculated by The Fielding Bible, an organization run by John Dewan, that rates individual players as above or below average on defense. Much like UZR, players are measured in “runs” above or below average, and Baseball Info Solutions data is used as an input. Since DRS is measured in runs, it can be compared easily with a player’s offensive contributions (wRAA or similar statistics).
This isn’t the right place to debate DRS versus another similar metric, but you should use a metric like DRS or UZR because it is a better representation of defensive value than something like fielding percentage. Even your eyes aren’t going to do a great job measuring defensive performance because you simply can’t watch and remember enough plays a year to have a good sense of exactly how well a player stacks up against the competition. You might be able to judge a single play better than the metrics (although that’s debatable), but your ability to recall every play and compare them is limited. Run value defensive stats like DRS provide you with the best estimate of defensive value currently available and allow you to estimate how much a player’s defense has helped his team win.
TLDR: Measures someone’s defense in the quantity of runs they have saved over the course of the season. 10 runs is the common rule of thumb for 1 win.
Header Photo Credit: Bleacher Report
Stat of the day curtesy by FanGraphs