On-Base Perception

Newsday's new all-encompassing baseball blog on the Yankees, Mets, MLB and more from around the sport.

Omar Infante could be reliable backup plan to Robinson Cano

Omar Infante could be a solid backup option

(Credit: AP)

The general assumption made by the majority of baseball analysts is that Robinson Cano, arguably the top free agent on the market this Winter, will wind up back in pinstripes.

But assumptions this time of year are dangerous.

After all, who thought Albert Pujols would leave St. Louis to sign with the Angels? Or that Josh Hamilton would also take a mega-deal from the Halos? Or that the...

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Dodgers' Kershaw, Tigers' hitting woes, Rays' edge and other playoff notes

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws

(Credit: AP)

One Division Series is wrapped up and another will go to a deciding Game 5 on Wednesday. On Tuesday the Tigers and Rays try to prolong their postseason in a pair of exciting Game 4’s. Here are some statistical notes from the playoffs so far:

Rays have an edge

The Rays continue to try and extend their American League Division Series against the Red Sox, sending Jeremy Hellickson to the...

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Miguel Cabrera a concern as Detroit Tigers face Oakland Athletics

American League hitter Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit

(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

As the Tigers face the Athletics in Game 3 of a tied American League Division Series, the most explosive performer on either team has so far been a dud.

It’s not necessarily Miguel Cabrera’s fault that he’s 2-for-8 – both singles – through the first two games. An abdominal strain has robbed him of his gargantuan power. But it’s particularly disconcerting for a Tigers team that probably needs...

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Max Scherzer is about to do something historic; Do we care?

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws during

(Credit: AP)

Max Scherzer is about to do something historic. But should we care?

The Detroit Tigers righty is 18-1 and plays for one of the most powerful offenses in baseball. It’s a nearly foregone conclusion with 38 games left in Detroit’s season he’ll get to 20 wins. Scherzer has about seven starts left to do this, and if he finishes the year – at worst – 20-5, he’ll join an elite group of starters...

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Do the Yankees need David Robertson insurance?

David Robertson #30 of the New York Yankees

(Credit: Getty Images)

Mariano Rivera has announced his intention to retire following the 2013 season, and it’s widely assumed that Yankees setup man David Robertson will step into his shoes as closer.

But is that wise?

Robertson has many qualities that make him an ideal candidate for the ninth inning. He’s striking out 10.87 batters per nine innings this season and has a career 11.84 K/9. He rarely allows...

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Hiroki Kuroda’s been great, but not Cy Young-worthy

Rain falls as Hiroki Kuroda reacts after allowing

(Credit: AP)

Hiroki Kuroda was brilliant again for the Yankees on Monday night against the Angels, tossing eight shutout innings and striking out seven. It was his ninth scoreless start this season (24 total starts), and fifth in the past six weeks.

Since July 7, Kuroda is 4-1 with an 0.94 ERA in seven games against some tough competition – he’s had to face the Orioles, Red Sox, Rangers and Dodgers during...

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Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout for MVP. Again.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout races from

(Credit: AP)

One American League MVP candidate just left the Bronx. Another arrives Monday night.

Yep, it's time for Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout, old school vs. new school, Round 2.

The arguments are similar to last year.

Cabrera plays for a (likely) playoff-bound team and is one of the game's best hitters. Heck, he hit two home runs off Mariano Rivera in back-to-back appearances by the greatest...

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Mariano Rivera blows save in three straight games for first time in career

Mariano Rivera reacts after giving up a solo

(Credit: Mike Stobe)

More often than not, seeing Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning means game over. But not on Sunday.

For the first time in his career, Rivera blew a save in his third straight games. The Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez hit back-to-back home runs off Rivera to tie the game at 4-4 in the top of the ninth Sunday.

But for the second time in three games Brett Gardner came...

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Alex Rodriguez hits first home run since return

Alex Rodriguez gestures after hitting a solo home

(Credit: AP)

Alex Rodriguez still has some of his old bat speed.

The embattled Yankees third baseman homered on the second pitch he saw off Tigers starter Justin Verlander, slamming a 92 mph fastball to left field. The solo shot led off the bottom of the second inning and tied the score at 1-1.

It was the first home run Rodriguez hit since returning to the Yankees on Monday in Chicago following offseason...

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Jose Veras traded to Detroit Tigers

Houston Astros relief pitcher Jose Veras throws during

(Credit: AP)

The Detroit Tigers have traded for Astros closer Jose Veras in a move meant to shore up their late-inning relief. The Tigers announced the deal Monday morning.

Veras was 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 19 saves for the Astros. He's struck out 44 in 43 innings. It was the righty's first stint as closer.

Joaquin Benoit will remain the Tigers' closer with Veras serving as his set-up man. Benoit...

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