Huh. I didn't clip a lot of links this week, so it will be a relatively light link dump. Be more interesting, Internet!
Wait, not that interesting. Stop that. Stop that right now, Internet.
To the links!
Baseball Video Highlights & Clips | OAK@SF: Belt blasts a solo home run in the sixth - Video
In case you missed it, Brandon Belt leads the Cactus League in home runs with, lemme see, 398. You know how all month I've been yelling at you that spring stats don't mean anything? Except in this case. Except in this specific case. After all of that debate last year, who would have figured that Belt was going to start the All-Star Game this year?
Is Madison Bumgarner an injury risk? | Bay City Ball - A Giants Blog
Bumgarner loves slidering. Slidering might be bad for the arm. Chris takes a look at the meaning of a slidering guy in a fastballing world, and whether or not the pitch puts Bumgarner at extra risk.
Jonah Keri on the art of stealing bases - Grantland
I loved this article so much. I grew up obsessed with Rickey Henderson, right down to the fluorescent batting gloves. Whenever I would get on base in little league, I'd crouch down, dance off first, and run on the first or second pitch. Even though I wasn't fast, I would still steal tons of bases because kids play atrocious defense and they were right to be ashamed of themselves.
Turns out that, if Keri's article is right, that isn't how players get their stolen bases in the majors. Well, I'll be.
Edgar Renteria’s Underrated Career | FanGraphs Baseball
Good article about the underrated Renteria, though this will be one of the last three or sixteen times that I'll be able to point out that if you change the year of his birth to 1973 instead of 1976, his whole career arc (.300 hitter at age 19, starts serious decline at 31) makes a ton more sense.
Not accusing. Just pointing it out and winking a lot.
One of the other things I think about with Renteria is how he hit a World Series-winning home run.
How to Keep Pitchers From Getting Hurt -- New York Magazine
Part of me wants to pretend that Will Leitch and Keri are bitter rivals, and the detente was put in serious jeopardy when they both published extensive, behind-the-scenes, widely read, and well-researched articles within a couple of days of each other. Will there be a broken-champagne-bottle fight in Studio 54 because of these two interesting articles?
Yes. Unquestionably, yes.
Team Offense, San Francisco Giants : baseballmusings.com
David Pinto takes a look at the optimal lineup for the Giants, and he includes the one-sentence description of the Giants' offense this year (I hope):
This offense looks a bit better than I thought.
The 2013 Giants: Probably a bit better than you thought. Maybe. Hopefully. According to Pinto, the only out machine in the lineup is Brandon Crawford. Oh, but remember that thing about how Brandon Belt's stats mean something because we want them to? That applies to Crawford, too. Basically every Brandon's spring stats mean something. It's just one of those scientific quirks, like how a duck's quack doesn't echo.
Also, I don't care that a duck's quack actually does echo, because Brandon Crawford is going to hit .270/.330/.400 this year and be one of the most valuable shortstops in baseball. Look at the spring stats!.