>SweetSpot Roundup 6/17

>Lots of talk about All-Stars and prospects in today’s Roundup. Enjoy!

Baseballin’ on a Budget (A’s): Who Will Be The A’s All-Star?
Dan goes through all the candidates, and doesn’t like what he sees much. “This post could alternatively have been titled ‘500 words that describe the depressing state of the 2011 Oakland Athletics.’

Ghostrunner on First (Blue Jays): Money Well Saved
As good as Scott Downs was (and is), wading into the free agent market to acquire a player like Downs just isn’t smart. Which explains precisely why the Angels went ahead and did it.”

It’s pronounced “Lajaway” (Indians): On leaving first place (in doggerel couplets)
Baseball poetry! We need more of this (both as a network and as a society at large), please.

Pro Ball NW (Mariners): Dustin Ackley Freed By Jack Zduriencik
Taylor’s pretty excited about the Ackley call-up, for a lot of the same reasons I am (he skipped the one about how Ackley’s on my keeper league fantasy team, though).

Camden Depot (Orioles): Cup of jO’s: Should Dylan Bundy Get a Major League Deal?
Pondering how much of the farm the O’s should offer the highly polished righty they selected with the fourth overall pick.

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Thursday Morning Rangers Notes: Whither Derek Holland?
Joey M has some thoughts on Evan Grant’s idea of moving Holland (the day after a disaster start, but one start removed from a very good one) to the bullpen.

The Ray Area: Counterpoint: It Takes a Villain to Raise MLB
Brendan’s response to Mark’s argument (here), regarding Bryce Harper, in which he — Mark, not Bryce — argued that baseball don’t need no gimmicks. Brendan says “villains are the cornerstone of baseball.”

Fire Brand of the AL (Red Sox): Youk’s AVG Understates His Production
Some of us might say that average doesn’t really say anything about production at all, but either way. I picked Youk as my starting AL 3B yesterday, so I’m on board.

Royals Authority: The Consistently Inconsistent Mr. Hochevar
Clark on the former #1 pick and one of the streakiest pitchers in baseball.

Nick’s Twins Blog: Respawning the Piranhas
With Alexi Casilla and Ben Revere setting the tone for the offense (and Tsuyoshi Nishioka likely to be activated for tonight’s game), the Twins will employ a speed-based, small-ball approach that prompted Ozzie Guillen to token the “piranhas” nickname several years ago.”

It’s About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): How valuable is Eduardo Nunez?
Well, how valuable is he, really? Brien wonders, then gives us an answer.

Austin’s Astros 290 Blog: What firing Arnsberg won’t fix
Austin points out that whatever they want to do with their pitching coach, the Astros are still awful at the plate.

Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): The Case for Taylor Green
Toby on the Casey McGehee problem, and a possible solution.

View from the Bleachers (Cubs): Calling the Shots
Buddy takes a look back at the last 30 colorful years of Cubs history with managers.

Dodger Thoughts: Dodger Cogs and Dogs 2011: Edition 5
I like these. Jon (after some team notes and thoughts) ranks the players from top to bottom, and shows you how the rankings have changed throughout the season.

Bay City Ball (Giants): The Giants Should Give Bill Hall a Shot, Even Though He’s Not Very Good
There’s a headline that really does just say it all. Love it.

Marlins Daily: Is Jose Lopez the Answer at Second Base?
No, of course not. But it’s about the process, and Dave shows you why he’s not.

Mets Today: Scott Kazmir Released
The moment we’ve all been waiting for since July 30, 2004 has finally arrived: Scott Kazmir is available, free and clear, after being released by the Angels.”

Nationals Baseball: Pitching, Pitching, Pitching
That’s why the Nats have been winning games lately, Harper argues.

Ducksnorts (Padres): Five Guys in the Minors
Geoff has three issues on his mind, involving — you guessed it — five guys in the Padres’ system, and follows it with some great links around the baseball world. Worth a look, as always.

Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Radical pitcher usage theory
In which Bill advocates a much more pragmatic approach to deciding when to pull the starting pitcher (and Cole Hamels in particular).

Redleg Nation: Cueto’s Been Lucky, But He’s Still Pretty Good
John takes a deeper look at the performance of Johnny Cueto, who’s put up a 1.68 ERA in his eight starts so far.

Blake Street Bulletin (Rockies): How good is Jhoulys Chacin? All-Star caliber good
Or he has been so far in 2011, writes Rich.

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