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July 16, 2009

Prospectus Today

The Bottom Half

by Joe Sheehan

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Do enough preview pieces, and you start to run into issues of keeping the format fresh and interesting, both for the readers and for yourself. For my second-half preview, running today and tomorrow, I'm going to do something I don't do often, which is use it to review my previous work. I often get requests to look back at my own predictions and explain why I was wrong about something (never to explain why I was right, I'm afraid), and I try to restrict that to one piece a year. The idea is that I'm writing about baseball, not about some guy's predictions, and I think you can unconsciously get into some bad habits if you self-check too much.

For this project, though, I'll refer back to my pre-season rankings, check and see how each team is doing relative to them, and look ahead to their second halves. As usual, I'm less concerned with record and more with runs scored and allowed (conceding that scheduling issues and the valances of partial-season fortune can play with those numbers a bit).

#30: San Diego Padres (me: 611 RS, 792 RA; projected: 615 RS, 817 RA). Down Jake Peavy, Brian Giles and their second-best hitter this year in Scott Hairston, the Padres now have the worst run differential in baseball, worse than even the Nationals, and the third-worst record in baseball. Given the competitive environment, the talent on hand and the upper levels of the farm system, the Padres need to move in the direction of rebuilding. That means trading Heath Bell, trading David Eckstein, and, yes, trading Adrian Gonzalez (now hitting .250). Of the 46 players who have played for this team in '09, it's entirely possible that none will be on the next contending Padres team. Keep an eye on Edward Mujica, with a 34/7 K/UIBB ratio in 42 2/3 IP; a Bell trade would likely make him the closer.

#29: Pittsburgh Pirates (me: 690 RS, 873 RA; projected: 689 RS; 709 RA). The Pirates are allowing a full run per game less than expected, which is why some of their players mistook them for a contender earlier this season. Good run prevention with a pitching staff last in the league in strikeouts is an aberration, however, and GM Neal Huntington didn't let the short-term success get in the way of his plan. Nate McLouth, Nyjer Morgan, and Eric Hinske are gone, and Adam LaRoche, Freddy Sanchez, and Jack Wilson should follow once willing suitors are found. There's an effective back end of a rotation to build upon with Zack Duke and Paul Maholm, but the system will have to cough up the front-end starters before the Pirates can contend. Huntington has improved the talent base in his year-plus on the job, and will continue do to so with an eye towards 2011 and beyond. That's an infinitely better plan than Pirates fans have seen since 1992, whether their current heroes like it or not. Look for Lastings Milledge to be a boon to the team once he's recalled.

#28: Houston Astros (me: 731 RS, 843 RA; projected: 677 RS, 733 RA). Another gap in the runs-allowed projection in the NL Central, which makes me wonder if I'm not correcting enough for the unbalanced schedule and the effects it has on the numbers. The Astros have gotten surprisingly good work from a no-name bullpen, with Chris Sampson, Alberto Arias, and Jeff Fulchino running ERAs lower than their collective Q rating, and LaTroy Hawkins turning in another solid season. With just two good starters on hand, the Astros will be leaning heavily on that pen to keep them in a weak division's race. The offense has room to grow-eighth in OBP and SLG, just 12th in runs-which is the primary reason to be optimistic. Look for both more runs scored and allowed, and a finish within a few games of .500 on either side. It's another contender squeezed out of an aging roster by Ed Wade. It's also nice to see Michael Bourn fulfilling expectations after a lost 2008.

#27: Chicago White Sox (me: 739 RS, 828 RA; projected: 749 RS, 746 RA). The same question again: are the White Sox allowing fewer runs because they're pitching and defending very well, or because they play extra games against mediocre teams? In this case, I can see an argument for the former; of six Sox starters this year, five have performed at basically league-average or better, with only Clayton Richard pitching poorly. I come back to something I've written again and again, which is that Ozzie Guillen can manage a pitching staff. Sox pitchers are fourth in the league in strikeouts and fourth in walks allowed, and have allowed just about a homer a game despite playing in a tough park for long balls. Add in a whole bunch of bat-missing relievers (the Sox' top four in the pen have struck out 151 men and walked just 47 unintentionally in 134 2/3 innings), and you can keep runs off the board. They could use a major league outfielder, whether than means a healthy Carlos Quentin or something from outside the organization. Remember, Kenny Williams already made one big trade, acquiring Jake Peavy before Peavy nixed the deal, so the Sox are clearly prepared to trade tomorrow for today. All things considered, the Sox may well be the favorites to land Roy Halladay.

#26: Baltimore Orioles (me: 824 RS, 902 RA; projected: 751 RS, 858 RA). A surprisingly effective bullpen has helped the Orioles be a better run-prevention team than expected, and this is without having yet tapped the fruits of a productive farm system. Brad Bergesen, a pitch-to-contact righty, is up, but it's the guys behind him, like Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz, who will make a big difference next year. The offense has been the real disappointment, with only Adam Jones and Luke Scott meeting or exceeding expectations. The off years by Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora will make it harder for Andy MacPhail to get value at the trade deadline. Brian Roberts' down year at 31, especially a dip in speed, has to be agita-inducing for the team that extended him into his mid-30s rather than deal him away.

#25: Washington Nationals (me: 707 RS, 757 RA; projected: 709 RS, 911 RA). For the first six weeks of the season, everything went wrong for the Nationals, who were on pace to have perhaps the worst bullpen in recorded history at that point. It's gotten a little bit better, but the failure of veteran imports Daniel Cabrera and Scott Olsen, plus those egregious failures by the pen, crushed the team early and cost Manny Acta his job. It's not clear what long-term benefit there is in burying 24-year-old Lastings Milledge and 25-year-old Elijah Dukes in favor of older players with less upside, but they've done just that. Keep in mind that this team handled Ryan Zimmerman's stagnation as a player-he hasn't improved a bit from the day he entered the league-by giving him a long-term contract. Want the good news? A year from now, a rotation of Steven Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, John Lannan, Shairon Martis, and Ross Detwiler will be young, homegrown and above-average for the NL.

#24: Kansas City Royals (me: 739 RS, 801 RA; projected: 637 RS, 781 RA). You have to try to assemble an offense this bad, and that's exactly what Dayton Moore has done, relentlessly chasing low-OBP players to cripple his lineup. The Royals manage to strike out a lot (fifth in the AL) without gaining power (13th in SLG and HR) or walks (last, by far) in the deal. Mike Jacobs is one of the worst players in baseball, and blocking guys like Kila Ka'aihue who get on base. Jose Guillen makes $12 million this year to kill the team. There's not some Rangersesque collection of talent on the farm. When does it get better, and under whom?

#23: Detroit Tigers (me: 776 RS, 831 RA; projected: 778 RS, 719 RA). The Tigers have allowed the third-fewest runs in the AL, and I can't pretend to not be surprised by that. Edwin Jackson and Rick Porcello have exceeded expectations, and Adam Everett's presence has improved the defense behind the staff. The bullpen hasn't been anything special, just lacking anyone having a notably bad season. The Tigers could use both a bat and an arm, the former in an outfield corner, the latter in the rotation, especially since Porcello's use will have to monitored carefully as we head into the stretch. Without a deep farm system to pull from, it's not clear they can add enough to sustain their lead over the White Sox and the Twins. Look for the run prevention to slip in the second half and cost them.

#22: Toronto Blue Jays (me: 738 RS, 786 RA; projected: 787 RS, 731 RA). As I've mentioned a few times, the Jays benefited from an exceptionally backloaded schedule that enabled them to mostly avoid the three teams in the league clearly better than them until the middle of June. Their favorable run differential reflects that early-season success against the AL West and AL Central, and the Jays were 22-12 before they ever played the Yankees, Red Sox, or Rays. They're 22-34 since then. Some of that is a ridiculous run of pitching injuries that would have buried most any team; some of it is just playing better competition. In a vacuum, they're one of the 10 best teams in baseball, but they don't play in a vacuum, they play in the AL East. If they trade Roy Halladay-and they should-they could slip behind the Orioles by the end of August.

#21: Seattle Mariners (me: 641 RS, 671 RA; projected: 641 RS, 674 RA). That the Mariners have an even worse offense than I projected them to have is a bad, bad sign. Mind you, that projected record is inflated by Russell Branyan having one of the best years in the league. The rest of the offense is just awful, with five regulars (seven if you count Ronny Cedeño and Rob Johnson) posting sub-.300 OBPs. They're hanging around thanks to a terrific outfield defense and two of the best starting pitchers in the league in Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard. That's not enough to win with, and Jack Zduriencek almost certainly knows that. Branyan, Jarrod Washburn, and Miguel Batista have to be trade bait over the next two weeks, no matter who it ticks off.

#20: Texas Rangers (me: 860 RS, 888 RA; 801 RS, 737 RA). The Rangers haven't allowed fewer than 750 runs in a full season since 1990. This year isn't going to change that, no matter what kind of pace they're on at the moment. The improved defense, largely the result of getting Michael Young off of shortstop and Josh Hamilton out of center field (due to injury), is real. As Hamilton returns and Elvis Andrus goes through a Texas summer, balls will begin falling in for hits. Starters Kevin Millwood, Scott Feldman, and Vicente Padilla can't sustain their ERAs given their underlying performances. The back end of the bullpen is good, but that won't be enough as the rotation knocks them out of games early. The X factor is Roy Halladay, a pitcher the Rangers can afford both talent-wise and financially, and who would make them the favorites in the West over the Angels. Unless they make that kind of addition, however, they'll slip under .500 by the end of the year.

#19: St. Louis Cardinals (me: 772 RS, 788 RA; projected: 717 RS, 668 RA). The surprisingly effective pitch-to-contact rotation from last year has been bolstered by the return of Chris Carpenter, who has been one of the best starters in the league on a per-inning basis. Joel Piniero has allowed just three homers and 12 walks in 115 1/3 innings, numbers that wouldn't look out of line in the middle of Greg Maddux's peak. Ryan Franklin, All-Star, has been discussed plenty in this space and others. Albert Pujols is having the best year of his career to date, and is in line to be intentionally walked more in one year than any non-Barry Bonds batter in history. The Cards need all of this overachievement to continue, because the roster past Pujols, Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Yadier Molina is not impressive at all. That's a terrific core, enough to contend, but to win the Cards need another bat-Troy Glaus returning healthy would help-and probably at least one more pitcher, especially a reliever. There's just too many places where they can expect regression to not work on patching the holes that exist.

#18: Milwaukee Brewers (me: 756 RS, 761 RA; projected: 757 RS, 766). They're a .500-ish team playing .500-ish baseball in a division likely to be won by a .500-ish squad. Trevor Hoffman hasn't allowed a home run in 26 1/3 innings, and as the Phillies showed last season, if your homer-prone closer has a fluke year in that department, you can do some things. All they do at the plate is draw walks and hit homers-11th in batting average, 14th in doubles, and last in steals-but they do these things well. Somebody with a surname beginning with H has to start H'ing, because the gap between where they are now and the postseason is basically the gap between Bill Hall, J.J. Hardy, and Corey Hart and effectiveness. They could sustain their runs-allowed pace in the second half but in a totally different shape, as Dave Bush and Manny Parra improve and the bullpen regresses. The Brewers have the widest range of possibilities of any of the three NL Central contenders; they could hit and win 88, or the pitching could implode and push them under .500.

#17: Colorado Rockies (801 RS, 809 RA; 814 RS, 746 RA). As mentioned, the improved defense with the return of Troy Tulowitzki, the use of Clint Barmes at second base and an assortment of strong defensive outfielders has pushed them into contention. They don't strike batters out (11th in the NL), so they have to make plays. An underrated factor has been the return of Todd Helton, who has a .399 OBP. Not historically a patient team, the Rox are third in the NL in walks and fifth in OBP, despite just a .259 batting average, which is nothing short of lousy for a team playing half its games in Coors Field. Helton, Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler, Seth Smith, Chris Iannetta, Brad Hawpe… this is a deep-count team that understands the value of patience and pitch selection. To beat out the Giants and the NL East teams, they'll need some pitching help-the bullpen isn't a strength, with the bridge to Huston Street an unsteady one at best.

#16: San Francisco Rockies (657 RS, 658 RA; 677 RS, 596 RA). As good as the pitching was expected to be, it's been better, as Matt Cain has become #1A to Tim Lincecum's #1, and the worst starter, Barry Zito, has settled in between "average" and "replacement level." Every single bullpen addition, from the pricey (Jeremy Affeldt) to the inexpensive (Justin Miller, Brandon Medders) has worked out as well. The problem is that the Giants make the Royals look patient at the plate, with just 200 bases on balls all year, and a resultant .315 OBP. The pitching is overachieving a bit, so Brian Sabean has to find a bat, and lucky for him he can replace any of seven starters and improve the team. That's right: Brian Sabean can acquire most any decent hitter and make his team better. If he adds two, he can win the NL Wild Card. The problem for him is that he has a top-heavy farm system that makes any trade for a short-term bat very, very expensive. Do you move Angel Villalona for two players if those two players put you into October with Lincecum, Cain and Jonathan Sanchez as your rotation? Flags fly forever, and I'm not convinced this isn't a case to try and grab one. Villalona for Adam Dunn and Cristian Guzman? For Aubrey Huff and Brian Roberts? For Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi? For Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta? You have to find out what's out there as long as it doesn't involve Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, or Tim Alderson.

We're on to the top half of the league tomorrow.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Joe's other articles. You can contact Joe by clicking here

41 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

One Flap Down

It seems as though the bulk of the teams listed above have allowed fewer runs than anticipated, so it is a case of you overestimating the run-scoring environment this year? Or does traditionally the second half of the season feature more run-scoring than the first?

Jul 16, 2009 12:11 PM
rating: 1
 
jkaplow21

I have a problem with #16 and #17. Clearly the Colordo Rockies (the original Rockies) are better than the lame San Francisco version. Am I right or am I right?

Jul 16, 2009 12:27 PM
rating: 7
 
Randy Brown
(189)

FYI, these teams were ordered for this article according to Joe's preseason rankings, not necessarily where he currently ranks them. Check the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph for hyperlinks.

Jul 16, 2009 16:50 PM
rating: 2
 
drmboat
(754)

Judging by the statistics that actually matter...say Wins/Losses, Runs Scored/Runs Against, etc...I would have to say that having SF one step ahead of Colorado sounds about right.

My only comment regarding trading chits for SF is the idea that Bumgarner and Alderson should not be considered untouchable. TINSTAAPP, and if it can net you the type of player that can change your season, I think you do it. Although the Liriano trade was enormously bad, other than one season Liriano has not set the world on fire, and is already due to start making some serious money. I'd rather let Adrian Gonzalez solidify first place than test out the error bars on Madison Bumgarner.

Jul 17, 2009 13:38 PM
rating: 1
 
misterjohnny
(925)

WRT Mujica on the Padres, I was looking at him as a fantasy player and he's only got 6 k's in his last 17-1/3 innings, dating back to the beginning of June. Has the league caught up to him?

Jul 16, 2009 12:29 PM
rating: 0
 
ScottyB

I love the fact that BP is willing to (even enthusiastic about?!) examine and re-evaluate predictions, assumptions, etc. So few in the media (or any walk of life) do so.

Jul 16, 2009 12:35 PM
rating: 3
 
yankee

I'm not so sure the White Sox "may well be the favorites to land Roy Halladay". Attendance was down for the first half of the season and would be a factor in any move by the Sox. Kenny Williams has had little to say about acquiring anybody let alone Halladay.

Paul

Jul 16, 2009 13:11 PM
rating: 0
 
JoeSky60

Ah, the Kenny Williams mystique strikes again. You can never count Williams out of any possible deal, despite what he says. It doesn't mean he'll do it, or not do it. You just have to expect the unexpected.

Jul 16, 2009 13:35 PM
rating: 1
 
ClubberLang

If we've learned anything by now, it is to not listen to anything Kenny Williams says publicly about moves.

Personally I think Halladay would be the wrong Blue Jay with a no trade for the Sox to go after. Unless and until Carlos Quentin goes down for the year (necessitating a corner outfielder trade), I think the best guy they could acquire would be a guy like Scott Rolen -- improves their offense (removes the Getz/Nix platoon as they'd shift Beckham to second) and improves their defense. And they could use a defensive improvement considering the Quentin-Podsednik-Dye outfield that they will inevitably be going with will be utterly putrid defensively.

Jul 16, 2009 15:45 PM
rating: 0
 
TomPerdu

Don't laugh, but is Brad Lidge really "homer-prone"? In his career, I mean; obviously he is having a terrible season right now. BR tells me his career average HR/9 is .9. For comparison, Joe Nathan's is .8, as is Trevor Hoffman's. Papelbon is at .7.

Mo Rivera is at .5, of course, but that strikes me more as the gold standard than a baseline of comparison.

Jul 16, 2009 13:37 PM
rating: 0
 
cbirkemeier

I think it's more that he has become homer-prone. If you look at his HR/9 per season, it goes like this:

0.64
0.76
0.64
1.20
1.21
0.26
2.25

Jul 17, 2009 12:11 PM
rating: 1
 
Evan
(47)

Explain this to me. You write "the Mariners have an even worse offense than I projected", and yet you nailed their runs scored EXACTLY: "(me: 641 RS, 671 RA; projected: 641 RS, 674 RA)".

The Mariners have exactly the offense you projected, unless your projection somehow included a bunch of bad luck.

Jul 16, 2009 13:57 PM
rating: 1
 
Ben Solow

Judging by the next sentence regarding Russell Branyan's performance, I think Joe meant "The Seattle Mariners, other than Russell Branyan, have an even worse offense than I projected." My interpretation would be that Joe didn't expect this kind of half out of Branyan (like everyone else), and the rest of the team has been bad enough to take an outstanding half-season of baseball by Branyan and still have a predictably futile offense, therefore being even worse than he predicted.

Jul 16, 2009 14:33 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

I really appreciate the effort at justification, but it was just a screw-up. I wrote the comment with the RS and RA figures flipped, then corrected them without making the change.

You can read it without the first sentence and get pretty much the right analysis.

Jul 16, 2009 16:02 PM
 
BurrRutledge

So, Joe, could you please explain why you were right about this prediction?

Jul 17, 2009 06:51 AM
rating: 0
 
PeterBNYC

I was startled by the put-down of Ryan Zimmerman- I don't know a lot about his recent career, but his EQA is to date up 20 points on 2008. Is this harsh view justified?

Jul 16, 2009 15:26 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

I think so. He was a .285 EqA hitter at 21, and is .291 at 24. He hits into a ton of DPs, has stopped running, and hasn't seen his plate discipline or power develop much.

Jul 16, 2009 16:04 PM
 
PeterBNYC

Reasonable points all, but: I wouldn't think a guy who in his age 21 season was caught 8 out of 19 attempts should be encouraged to run? I also believe that, for all but a few players (speed guys, Zimmerman isn't one) their rate of attempts is a function of field management's decisions, not the player's. Zimmerman had down years in his age 22 and 23 seasons, largely due to injury- I see this year as climbing back to his level, or slightly better, without significant sacrifice of plate discipline. His skills at 3B appear undiminished. Joe, I would be inclined to suspend such harsh judgement- do you see him as coasting on the basis of his long term deal?- until rather more evidence is in; but that's me. Regards,

Jul 16, 2009 16:26 PM
rating: 0
 
havens


If the Indians were to put Victor Martinez on the block, I would imagine they'd get more than Angel Villalona back in return. Not to mention, that's more or less the exact type of prospect the Indians shouldn't target - a slugging corner player - considering that's mostly what they already have.

Jul 16, 2009 16:20 PM
rating: 0
 
SaberTJ

Exactly.

Jul 17, 2009 08:37 AM
rating: 0
 
Ira
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Now is a very good time for me to point out that Joe Sheehan, who is an admitted fan of the New York Yankees, has never liked the Texas Rangers. Joe, you've gone out of your way over the last few years to rate them below their performance. And, when they have confounded your expectations, you've simply ignored it or further predicted that they would sink down to your imagined expectations.

Other than their farm system, which just seems to be getting better and better each year (even from last years' lofty perch), you seem to always find the negatives related to the team. If they pitch well today, you state that they will pitch badly tomorrow. If they hit well today, you claim that their offense will suck tomorrow. This year, despite displaying a pitch to contact staff and an excellent defense, you are convinced that they will regress in the second half. This despite losing 40% of its rotation to injury, and losing Hamilton to injury, and seeing its offense take the entire month of June off.

So, I dispute this. I think that the Rangers starters will sustain their success, that Tommy Hunter will fill the void in the number 4 slot, that Feliz will be another power arm to the pen, that Harrison will return to the number 5 slot or that Holland will find himself in that slot instead. I also think that the offense will rebound in the Texas summer and put up 900 runs. And that the Rangers will return to the post-season 10 years after their last post-season appearance.

Jul 16, 2009 17:57 PM
rating: -5
 
Dougie4512

Now is a very good time for me to point out that you consistently rip the writers, especially Joe, instead of simply offering your counter-analysis.

Jul 18, 2009 09:21 AM
rating: 3
 
MikeJordan23

Ahh I would say Colby Rasmus is part of the Cardinals core and is a good player all ready (2.9 WAR, good for 12th in the NL).

Jul 16, 2009 18:02 PM
rating: 0
 
jetson
(660)

And Ryan Ludwick too. Those guys are both hitting like they can now and as a result I think you're badly underselling their chances, Joe.

Jul 16, 2009 18:49 PM
rating: 0
 
MikeJordan23

Agreed. I don't expect 2008 Ludwick, but if he's around .280/.360/.500 the rest of the year, and Rasmus is around .270/.330/.480, that's more than enough to win the central without any additions.

Jul 16, 2009 19:55 PM
rating: 0
 
royalsnightly

Im a die hard rangers fan

and i really do not want to see a trade for halladay, the rangers aren't gonna win this year, and having hallady could push them into the playoffs, it would be for the cost of the future.

to me not worth. considering the rangers have a bevvy of interesting pitching prospects coming up.

why rob the future when the angles are on the way down and the rangers (finally, finally)are on the way up

so please. JD dont trade for halladay, two months of halladay isnt worth three years of smoak and feliz

Jul 16, 2009 19:52 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

it would be 1.5 years of Halladay. And six years of Smoak and Feliz
As a Jays fan, I hope to keep Halladay as well

Jul 16, 2009 20:53 PM
rating: 0
 
John Collins
(110)

Watch out royalsnightly, or IraBlum will accuse you of bias against the Rangers, your being a Rangers fan notwithstanding.

Jul 16, 2009 20:59 PM
rating: 2
 
Ira

except I agree with him. don't sell the farm for Halladay

Jul 17, 2009 19:17 PM
rating: -2
 
Drew Miller

Joe, no offense, but no non-SF GM would pull any of those Villalona-related trades.

Jul 17, 2009 06:23 AM
rating: 1
 
BillJohnson

One thing I'm not getting here: We are told in BP, again and again, that frequent strikeouts by a hitter are not a bad thing, because what counts is not how you make the out, but how frequently you make them. At the same time, we are told that if pitchers get more of their outs via balls in play than average, and fewer strikeouts, that IS a bad thing. You can't have it both ways, Joe.

My suspicion is that it's the analysis of the pitch-to-contact approach that needs tuning. One exercise that I have not seen done, and may try to do if I get some time, is the following: Create a scatter plot with K/9 on the x axis and BABIP on the y axis, and plot where various pitchers fall on that graph. Of course, there will be a scatter; pure luck will see to that. However, there may be some groupings. Then recreate the same scatter plot for 2008, 2007, etc., and see who, if anyone, falls into the same groupings, and the same location on the graph, from year to year. This analysis may show whether pitch-to-contact is being viewed correctly. (Or then again, it may not.)

Jul 17, 2009 08:15 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Dan Malkiel
BP staff

I think Joe *can* have it both ways. Looking backward, strikeouts and contact outs are about the same for a pitcher; it's looking forward where the two are different. A low strikeout rate usually bodes ill for a pitcher, as more balls in play tend to lead to bad results in the long run. There is no such relationship for hitters; in fact, hitter strikeouts are positively correlated with power, walks, etc.

Jul 17, 2009 09:07 AM
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

Ryan Wilkins' comparison of the value of strikeouts for hitters and pitchers: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2617

Jul 17, 2009 10:25 AM
 
greensox

Bill

The stat-heads have been having it both ways for years on strikouts.

Jul 22, 2009 18:31 PM
rating: -1
 
Sky Kalkman

"The X factor is Roy Halladay, a pitcher the Rangers can afford both talent-wise and financially, and who would make them the favorites in the West over the Angels. Unless they make that kind of addition, however, they’ll slip under .500 by the end of the year."

Exactly how many wins do you think Roy Halladay will be worth? The Angels are on pace to win about 90 games. The difference between sub-.500 and catching the Angels is ten wins over half a season. That seems unreasonable. Even if you think it takes 85 games to win the division (which seems low given records and performance so far), that makes Halladay a 10 WAR pitcher over a full season.

Jul 17, 2009 18:49 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

Halladay is worth three to four wins to most teams the rest of the way. The comment is indicative of the larger picture, however...if the Rangers add Halladay, they'll play out their season in the manner of a contender, perhaps making smaller moves and assigning playing time based on short-term concerns.

If they don't, not only will they be missing 3-4 wins from that, but I expect them to fall off the pace and, by September, be taking a longer view, perhaps even making trades at the waiver deadline to improve the long-term picture (dealing Millwood, Jones, Blalock).

Jul 18, 2009 07:05 AM
 
EnderCN

Still not sure how one year of flukey HR/FB makes Hoffman homer prone. At this point can't we just agree that people overreacted to the HR spike last year? Granted he will eventually give up some HR but if any season was really a fluke it was last year.

Jul 18, 2009 09:45 AM
rating: 0
 
Chad

Nice article. I hate to be a snark, but did BP lose a copy editor or something? This is the third article I've read in the past couple days with more than one glaring error:

"and will continue do to so with an eye towards 2011 and beyond"

"#16: San Francisco Rockies"

I mean sheesh! I'll edit the copy if that's what it takes...

Jul 20, 2009 12:30 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

The "2011" reference isn't an error.

Jul 20, 2009 18:00 PM
 
elm
(41)

I don't know, given that it's the Pirates, I think it's reasonable to believe that you meant to say that they're building with an eye towards 20011.

Jul 20, 2009 20:24 PM
rating: 0
 
Chad

No, 2011 isn't, but "do to so" is

Jul 22, 2009 11:18 AM
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