Plus, pitcher evaluation stats and the fantasy implications of the 10-day DL.
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The Displacement of Adam Lind

With not even enough time as a Yankee for the five o’clock shadow to set in, Adam Lind was released from the organization Wednesday. Neil Walker, meanwhile, finally got the job he deserved (for two years and $6 million in AAV less than Dave Cameron predicted) from New York, the only team to step up. Walker fills many roles, giving the Yankees both positional flexibility and the kind of power from the left side that Lind otherwise might have provided. Lind, in the aftermath of the signing, lands back on the island of misfit free agents, from which even high -icket players have struggled to escape.

He almost fits in well on the lower tier of the embattled middle class of free agents who have taken refuge on the island. Lind is no starter, but he’s excellent in his role. In 2017 with the Nationals, he tied for the league lead in pinch-hit home runs with fewer at-bats than the player with whom he shared the honor. He filled in fine at first base when Ryan Zimmerman would feel the injury bug gnawing. And when he “played outfield,” he made up for it by hitting 10 additional home runs and recording a .309/.369/.545 slash line against righties.

Lind was a useful band-aid who kept injuries from ruining the Nationals’ 2017 season, while on the other side of the NL East standings, the Mets failed to hold it together. Lind’s numbers should, if we lived in a perfect baseball world, make him an option for them. Adrian Gonzalez’s lefty power has been eaten by age, as his spring performance has exhibited. Spring is less than predictive, of course, but Steamer has his 2018 wRC+ at 98 with Lind 16 points ahead. Fred Wilpon only has to pay $545,000 of the $21.5 million Gonzalez is owed in his final year, so the club will probably just hope he returns to his 2016 form until first baseman of the future Dominic Smith is called up.

Lind wouldn’t be bad only off the bench after Smith were called up. But unless the baseball angels pull the Mets in the right direction, it won’t happen. Even the teams (Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, and Toronto) that Eno Sarris said were in need of lefty bats in January don’t seem likely to pull at this point. Unless something shifts, Lind might stay trapped on the island.


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Throwback Thursday: Kevin Kiermaier and the Continuing Problem of Arbitration

One year hardly counts as a throwback, but it does enough that this Dave Cameron article from 2017 would be included. "At a time when many of the best young players in baseball have eschewed the early-career extensions that the previous of generation of stars signed up for, Kiermaier’s context helps explain why he’d sign a deal that will, more likely than not, cost him money down the road," writes Cameron.
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Data Visualization of the Day: FIP vs. xwOBA for Assessing Pitcher Performance
FanGraphs is full of questions and full of attempted answers. In this article, Craig Edwards answers how one might best evaluate a pitcher.

Excerpt from "How Bad Was the 10-Day DL for Fantasy?" by Justin Mason

"The question becomes, how much did this really affect fantasy owners? Using the dollar values from the FanGraphs auction calculator for a standard 15-team league with seven-man benches, I was able to eliminate 55 players who were not fantasy relevant for either the entire season or at the time of their injury. These were the Matt Garzas and Cole Taylors of the world. If you were rostering them, then you didn’t lose your fantasy league because of the 10-Day DL, you lost it because you should probably be playing Connect Four instead."

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