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HumpLinks: Shoe boxes in Oakland offense

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Matt Shoemaker has become such a dominating mound presence that he shuts down not just the opposing offense, but his own offense as well.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Shoemaker just keeps on rolling. If this keeps up, somebody night take notice. He was his recent dominating self, roraring through 6 1/3 innings and giving up just 2 solo home runs on 2 mistake pitches, striking out only 4 (it IS Oakland) but surrendering only 3 walks.

Those 3 walks are what surprise me, because these are the A's. So I looked. What I found is that the 2016 Oakland A's are walking at a lower rate (per game) than any edition going back 30 years (1987 through 2016). By my count they are at 2.53 BB's per game this season. But, actually, Oakland's craft is drawing free passes has been in steady decline for years. the second worst rate over this period came last year. The third worst was in 2011, the 4th in 2010 and the 5th in 2009. These ain't your Kevin Youklis A's, here.

I have had a lot of time to gather new thoughts about our blockbuster trade Monday. But why repeat massive work already done by some other guy? My quickest take remains that the Santiago deal was not worth all the attention, and that we probably missed our real chance with the Joe Smith deal. Ok, done.

Have some Oakland-Don't Walk-Like-They-used-To Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Street Pot Holes: It's gallows humor to suggest that with Huston Street's crappy outing over the weekend we might now be better off with him going to the DL with a knee injury. After all, he had a horrible July. 9.00 ERA, and a slash line agaisnt of .387 / .424 / .839 with an OPS of 1.263. Good thing this season no longer counts. Mike Morin has been called back up to fill the slot. And don't think for one minute that Mike Scioscia would re-order his bullpen now in such a way that a young Cam Bedrosian is positioned to usurp the crafty veteran Street at any point down the road.............

History On Deck: Yessiree: Albert Pujols is about to jump into the Top 10 for all-time MLB home run leaders.  He sits at 11th place with 580 total now, and Mark McGwire is up next at 583. So 3 more HR's and Pujols is tied at 10th. 4 more homers gives him 10th place alone, and he would then be just 2 behind Frank Robinson for 9th place. Next up, not reasonable for 2016, is Sammy Sosa at 8th place with 609.........

Baloney: That notion that the Angels picked up pitching depth by acquiring Alex Meyer (for Alan Buzenitz) in that Santiago/Nolasco flip? Well, the jury is still out on that plan. "Meyer...has always been wild and continues to be, even at age 26, and even the most generous of evaluators has given up hope that he can become a starter. The stuff will play in relief, and may even be worthy of high-leverage situations if Meyer can put things together, but the combination of his wildness and the shoulder fatigue that has held him out since April make him a extremely risky." Not that FanGraphs is the industry leading expert on player development or anything..........Mike Scioscia, by the way, is gushing over Meyer. I am looking around and trying to find Sosh making any such raves about a guy he already has: Troy Scribner. You know, PCL Pitcher of the Week Troy Scribner?...........By the way, track all the prospects that are airborne today starting from here...........

Olympus: Hmmm. the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics is looking to line up baseball as an Olympic sport once again. The last time baseball was in the Olympics was back in 2008. And MLB players still have the same old scheduling issues. This is why we have the WBC, after all...........

Gettin' Puiggy With It: Yasiel Puig is big news these days. Off to AAA he goes. And it's not just because he performs below his capabilities, but because of the WHY he performs below his capabilities. "...His performance and his act through the year led (the Dodgers) to this point...He’s not easy to handle..." So, no, Puig is not our answer to LF, even though Puig can still be had by anybody willing to answer the Dodgers phone calls...........

Texas Wranglers: With another day in our rear view mirror, consensus still has the Rangers as one of the big winners of the trade deadline. Texas GM Jon Daniels is getting kudos for going from zero to hero in the final few hours. This is where it helps to be working with a deep farm system. One can make a lot of moves and bring back a lot of value. What will be interesting to watch going forward - and being here in the AL West we have a front row seat - is how this ongoing trade workload will impact both the MLB fortunes AND the farm depth. Since the biggest problem with the MLB roster is the pitching rotation which did not get fixed (and which even the Halos managed to decimate recently) unless they can get Yu Darvish to pitch 5 times per week, and the farm system now has but 2 players in the MLB Top 100 (with Joey Gallo in the verge of sticking permanently in Arlington and draining that down to a single 1), we might look back on these past couple of seasons as a turning point for Texas............So, for interest, FOX Sports suspects that Jeremy Jeffress might be the real key...........

Weird: Just a comment, really. Not actual news. Reading the dollar terms surrounding Ricky Nolasco coming to Anaheim makes for the oddest finagling I have ever seen. I don't think I am going to have it figured out until at least 2018..........

More Weird: Scott Feldman had more fun on Monday than we did. Feldman woke up Monday morning in Houston, a Houston Astro. He had just pitched the night before in Detroit (where he lost) and was set to watch his teammates face Toronto. Then he got traded over to the Blue Jays, making the short walk to put on a blue uni and watch his ex-teammates from the wrong bullpen. The game went long and - surprise! - Feldman was sent to the mound to throw against the very guys he woke up a part of. And he lost............

PEDs Wars: The war on PEDs in sports is "...a war...with few victories"..This comes from a guy who has spent his career inside the world of sports and knows the PEDs battle intimately. Doug Logan's perspective: "This is a war we have not won, cannot win, and should not be involved with."..............

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The Duffle Bag

The Giants sent Matt Duffy off to Tampa Bay on Monday. Matt Duffy is sad Matt Duffy...........I don't know why we need "Los Angeles" in our name if, as Matt Kemp accuses, Los Angeles is not even a real baseball town. Not like Atlanta, anyway..........Nice Angels/Ducks mashup on the caps, but the jerseys could use some work............That Phil Bickford kid I was so up on just yesterday? New news. Not so much..........Here is a rarity: an umpire ejects a fan. But what's more rare is that the umpire was dead right............FWIW, Ricky Nolasco is a 909'er (Only SoCal HH'ers need pay attention)..........Testy! The other day, when Jonathan Lucroy was headed to Cleveland to take Chris Gimenez' job away, Gimenez had a moment. Lucroy nixed that deal and ended up in Texas. To celebrate, Gimenez is having himself another moment..............Young Padres fan loves ice cream. Young Angels fan sitting right in front of young Padres fan gets my props............Hey Matt Moore. Welcome to the business of baseball. You're meat..........Ok, this ceremonial first pitch is more cool than John McEnroe's............Royals fans more interested in local baseball than national politics. Probably not very unique, actually. But what about 2012, when they sucked?...........Some old guy still harping with a whine debunked years ago. Maybe Mushnick should just move out west?...........

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Mystery Graph

(Ok. I win. You guys got very, very close but still missed the bullseye. Close enough, though, that forcing you to be more accurate would have just taken days and days to get to a minor point. TOC was closest. The Y axis is, indeed, Plate Appearances. The X axis, however, is not "Situational Wins Added" [WPA/LI]. It is "Adjusted Batting Wins". It is taken from the career franchise table off of BBR. To extend TOC's observations, Garret Anderson is NOT in the Top 10. The Top 10 list [and the dots as seen from right to left] would be Trout, Salmon, Brian Downing, Vlad Guerrero, Bobby Grich, Jim Fregosi, Chili Davis, Rod Carew and Wally Joyner tied at 8th, and Troy Glaus. The amazing thing, as TOC notes, is how far out Mike Trout already is with so few PA's. If you project out Trout's career, should he continue on his path AND remain a Halo that entire time, this chart is really going to get stretched out. Trout will end up in the upper right corner all by himself and all the other dots - which represent the very best LAA careers! - will get clustered to the lower left quadrant. You should look at the Seasonal table for Adjusted Batting Wins. Trout already holds spots 1, 2, 3 and 4. This seasons he sits at 3.8 already (as of this writing), which is just behind a 4-way ties for 8th. In a couple of weeks he will have the 7th spot all to himself, and still climbing.  Let's give you all a break today.)

Mystery-Chart-27


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