Goofy Name, Good Value

Deep down you baseball traditionalists know even OPS doesn't give a full measure of a player's value. Which is why it is time to acquaint yourself with VORP, a statistic that's inching its way into the mainstream lexicon.

Graphic

What Is VORP? »

VORP stands for "value over replacement player." It measures the number of runs a player contributes beyond what would be expected from a "replacement-level" player.

Big Papi

Red Sox star DH becomes naturalized as U.S. citizen in Boston ceremony. Story hits a snag when Red Sox Nation refuses to recognize dual citizenship.

Jesus Flores

Nats C, pegged for Class AAA this season, cements big league starting job with strong performance. Paul Lo Duca, meet Wally Pipp.

600 for Griffey

OF joins Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Sosa in exclusive HR club. Immediately joins the powerful non- steroid caucus to gerrymander Bonds and Sosa out.

audio When It Clicked
Aaron Rowand, OF, San Francisco Giants When It Clicked

Press play to listen to Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand talk about the swing adjustment he's made that has made him a significantly better hitter. Read the article »

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Series to Watch

Red Sox at Phillies

Monday through Wednesday

Division leaders with turbocharged offenses meet in the bandbox known as Citizens Bank Park. Hilarity ensues.

News & Notes

Cubs Have Motivation to Make Push for Sabathia

The Chicago Cubs are owners of baseball's best record, but that doesn't mean they are planning to stand pat as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. Read More »

The List

Five college relievers were drafted in the first round of this year's draft. Unlike starting pitchers or position players, relievers drafted out of college tend to zoom to the majors quickly, like these five recent examples.



Click an item on the list for more:


1. Chad Cordero
2003, Montreal Expos »
In June, Cordero was closing College World Series games for Cal State Fullerton. By August, after being the 20th overall pick, he was pitching in the majors -- after just 26 minor league innings. By summer 2004 he was the Expos' closer, and by 2005 -- with the team now in Washington -- he was an all-star. Now in his sixth big league season, Cordero has been out most of the year with a torn muscle in his side.
2. Huston Street
2004, Oakland Athletics »
The A's took Street, the University of Texas closer, with the 40th overall pick and waited until the following April to put him on their big league roster. He became their full-time closer in June 2005 and has kept the job (when healthy) ever since.
3. Joey Devine
2005, Atlanta Braves »
Devine, an N.C. State product, was also in the majors within two months of being drafted. Though his path to establishing himself was rockier--he gave up grand slams in his first two games, plus a walk-off homer in the deciding game of the NLDS, and spent time in the minors in both 2006 and 2007--he is now one of the top relievers in baseball, sporting a 1.23 ERA for Oakland.
4. Joe Smith
2006, New York Mets »
Like Street, Smith, a third-round pick out of Wright State, was in the majors by the following Opening Day. Though he has shuttled between the majors and minors since then, the sidearmed right-hander owns a 3.51 ERA for the Mets.
5. Ryan Wagner
2003, Cincinnati Reds »
The 14th overall pick out of the University of Houston made it to the majors even quicker than Cordero or Street -- getting the call in July, after only nine minor league innings. But since then . . . yikes: He spent part of 2004 and most of 2006 in the minors, and -- after being traded to the Nationals -- is now recovering from shoulder surgery.

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