The White Sox are two days away from 40 games, which is usually the first meaningful measuring stick. Plus, they've it's been the same story all week -- the lineup needs to help the pitching -- so I'm pretty sure we can wait two days before issuing forecasts and warnings and ultimatums and whatnot.
In the meantime, I'd like to point you to a pretty interesting post over at Bucs Dugout by David Manel, who asked a sample of MLB players how instant replay has affected baserunning. The one-sentence summary: It encourages a lot more contact.
The infielders need to "get nasty" more often now:
"[In the past], you could do a lot of swipe tags and pop it and if you didn't touch him it looked like you did, and they were out no matter what," Mercer said. "There's a lot of guys you just wanted to get the tag in and get the hell out of the way. But now you got to get in there and just kind of get nasty with it. That's just part of the game. That's how it's starting to change. You've got to change with the game."
Neil Walker points out that the need to make indisputable physical contact with the runner is putting fielders in precarious situations and changing their approaches.
"With instant replay, it's hard to swipe tag now," Walker said. "And it's already happened once this year, maybe Chicago. A guy slid in and it was a close play, and I might have been able to just put the glove down, but I would have got my hand smashed. And most of us don't want that to happen, although the situation may dictate that. But a lot of times we're so used to swipe tags (and) phantom tags, and we were able to get away with that. But now we can't get away with that."
And so do the baserunners:
Peter Bourjos sees the benefits of the pop-up technique, as well, and it is something he is trying to incorporate into his running game.
"If you are popping up it is harder for them to push you off the bag, and you're coming in there with some force to where they might not be able to stay in there as long," Bourjos said. "You may be able to knock them off a little bit. So, yeah, you definitely want to try to pop up and stay on the bag as long as you can. Because replay has really changed that aspect of the game."
This is probably the last thing Alexei Ramirez wants to hear, but he's been fine in this particular regard since the Detroit replay fiasco. He's also benefiting from a second baseman who won't put him in as much danger.
Craig Edwards explains the first adjustment MLB hitters have made on Rodon -- they're forcing him to get ahead in the count by swinging less. Rodon's first countermove is to throw more strikes with his fastball.
The Minnesota Twins are coming to town, and they're 23-17 despite unimpressive peripherals. Grant Brisbee lays out what's ahead of them -- the numbers say regression's going to come, but the Twins have a few ways they can keep outrunning logic.
Marcus Semien has committed a whopping 16 errors so far this season, but Alex Hall says their impact on A's games might be overstated. This is maybe true for the errors themselves, but then you think of the plays he didn't make that don't count as errors (like we saw with Micah Johnson), and that's a whole lot of damage. He certainly looked like hell on first basemen during the Sox series, so I believe those 16 errors are representative of the quality of play.
The A's hired Ron Washington to coach up their defense, and I imagine Semien is Job One even if he doesn't ultimately stick at shortstop, because his throws were rough from third and second last season, too.
If you're still cracking the #FireRobin whip, it sounds like you're not going to have "losing the clubhouse" as a potential pitfall. If you're riding billyok's #FireRobin bandwagon ...
... you absolutely should be.