Thole did get knocked in the head

“Consider that since he returned from a concussion earlier this year-and that wasn’t his first one-Thole is hitting .240/.294/.285 in 196 plate appearances. It is easily his worst stretch since he started the 2011 season hitting .207/.280/.241 in his first 122 plate appearances. So it isn’t unprecedented, but it also argues against Thole having developed any, and leaves open the uneasy possibility that the concussions have taken their toll.”

- Howard Megdal, The LoHud Mets Blog

Right. Duh. I never really put the two together, but as Megdal points out, Thole has struggled with the bat since his concussion earlier this season. Other good stuff about the Mets catching situation over there.

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Mostly Mets Podcast

A new Mostly Mets Podcast, OR my a capella version of Taylor Swift’s new incredibly catchy single that I defintiely haven’t been listening to on YouTube for the last 24 hours. I’m not saying which it is. You’ll have to listen to find out, I guess. ITunes is here.

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Building the Rays bullpen

Fangraphs has the details on the Rays bullpen, the Majors’ second-best by ERA and third-best by FIP. Maybe Sandy Alderson and Co. can take notes?

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What’s wrong with the Johan?

So maybe you’ve noticed, dear readers, that Johan Santana hasn’t been all that sharp recently. And maybe this is alarming. But I’m going to posit that maybe it’s not.

See most of you probably know that Johan Santana was one of baseball’s best pitchers in the 2000s and the early 2010s. Over eight seasons with the Twins, Santana posted a 3.22 ERA and a 141 ERA+ — that is, his ERA was 41% better than an average pitcher working in the same home ballpark. He was just about as good during his first three seasons with the Mets, when Santana posted a 2.85 ERA and a 143 ERA+. And then he was even better his first 11 starts this season coming off shoulder surgery. Santana posted a 2.38 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 68 innings, capping that run with a no-hitter June 1. Santana was consistently excellent for about for 10 1/2 years. Continue reading

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Mortality rates for baseball players and football players

This is worth checking out over on Grantland, though maybe just scroll down to the conclusion:

That’s correct: Baseball players who accrued at least five qualifying seasons from 1959 through 1988 died at a higher rate than similarly experienced football players from the same time frame. The difference between the two is statistically significant and allows us to reject the null hypothesis; there is a meaningful difference between the mortality rates of baseball players and football players with careers that emulated the NIOSH criteria.

- Bill Barnwell, Grantland

I believe Bill James compared mortality rates for pitchers and hitters in his Historical Baseball Abstract, and found that hitters tended to live longer. If I remember, James suggested it’s because pitchers had more time to drink between starts. I don’t want to speculate too much (he says before speculating), but I wonder if football players do take better care of themselves in the same sort of way hitters take better care of themselves.

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Mostly Mets Podcast

This one’s only about Kelly Shoppach.* ITunes link can be found here.

*May not be only about Kelly Shoppach.

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Why did the Mets just trade for Kelly Shoppach?

Because he’s a catcher and has hit .270/.364/.530 against left-handed pitching during his career.

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