This time of year can be tough on a baseball fan, especially if it’s your sport of choice. But even if you don’t have action on the field, you’ve got plenty of action to follow in the Hot Stove League.
To get ready for the flurry of activity sure to follow in the coming months, we recommend some must-have iPhone apps for the baseball offseason. And if they don’t do the trick, don’t worry — we’re less than two months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training.
iPhone apps for stats
There always seem to be a number of offseason moves that leave you scratching your head. On the surface, Seattle’s decision to give Jack Wilson $10 million over two years appears to be one of those curious decisions.
While the 32-year-old struggled with injuries and hit only .255 last season, if you had the Fangraphs app, you could see that Wilson has actually been worth $15 million-plus over the past two years, thanks in large part to his fielding prowess. The app includes a plethora of stats for every major leaguer who ever played in The Show, and minor league stats dating back to 2006.
Fangraphs also includes baseball analyst Bill James’ projections for the 2010 season. Fret not Mariners fans, James sees a slightly higher average for your shortstop next season.
Baseball Stats Pro will also be received well by stat-obsessed baseball fans. This app allows you to set criteria such as batting stats against left-handed pitching and batting stats with runners in scoring position.
With an app like this, you’ll discover interesting tidbits like the fact that despite being a switch-hitter, Chone Figgins struggles against left-handed pitching. Buyer beware.
Fanstar.com’s Baseball Stat Machine doesn’t have the number of advanced stats as the other two, but it’s got the basics if that’s all you’re looking for. For fantasy baseball players, the app allows you to sort by customizable fantasy values as well.
iPhone apps for analysis and rumors
With some moves the numbers don’t add up, like when your team trades Chris Getz and Josh Fields for Mark Teahen. In times like this, the only thing you can do is go to the experts.
Sports Illustrated’s SI.com app almost seems like it could have been made for the sole purpose of guiding you through baseball’s offseason. The app gives you access to columns such as Tom Verducci’s Inside Baseball and Jon Heyman’s Daily Scoop.
But the best part of this free app may be the Truth and Rumors section, which highlights trade and free agent rumblings from around the baseball world. With this feature, you may know where Adrian Gonzalez will play next year even before he does.
Despites its less-than-ideal design, NBC Sports Mobile will be another valuable app this winter. It’s the only app that gives you access to Rotoworld.com, a great resource for not only fantasy sports news but breaking sports news in general. Besides, it’s never too early to start thinking about fantasy baseball.
If you prefer to get your baseball coverage from a newspaper, then check out the sports section on the USA Today app. Headed by baseball writer Bob Nightengale, the app brings you news and columns in a layout that is similar to the paper’s Web site.
If you’re not interested in tying yourself down to one source, then look no further than Sportacular. This app allows you to customize which sources you want to receive news from – including ESPN, Fox Sports, The Sporting News, CBS Sports and SI.com.
The stories look similar to their appearance in Safari, so it can be a little annoying to read lengthy ones. But if it’s variety you want, Sportacular can’t be beat.