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Tuesday Linkage

Marty Noble profiles closer prospect and sidewinder Joe Smith over at I'm always curious why certain pitchers evolve into sidearmers, and Noble tells us how Smith ended up down that path.

Not surprisingly, Smith wasn't always a sidewinder. He threw conventionally in high school -- before he underwent surgery for a torn labrum as a senior -- and at Wright State when he was cut from the team as a freshman. But when he was a sophomore, one of coaches wanted a pitcher with a sidearm delivery.
Over at MetsBlog, Matt transcribes an interview on SNY with Paul Lo Duca in which Dookie gives his scouting reports on Oliver Perez, John Maine, Chan Ho, Jason Vargas, Mike Pelfrey and Philip Humber. On Chan Ho:
"Chan Ho, obviously, is a guy who has unbelievable stuff. He had some injuries the past couple of years, I know he had the internal bleeding last year. He could be a huge bonus if he can come back healthy...he's the kind of guy who wants the ball, he can go deep in games."
Buried at the bottom of this David Lennon piece in Newsday is a note about the aforementioned Chan Ho's curveball:
Willie Randolph was impressed watching Chan Ho Park throw curveballs during yesterday's bullpen session. A pitch that breaks so steeply is rare, and Randolph was excited about seeing Park bringing that back into his repertoire
And Carlos Beltran is keeping one eye on the MVP award in 2007.