CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Jay Jaffe 

Author of the weekly Prospectus Hit List, now in AL and NL flavors, as well as the Prospectus Hit and Run column, and BP's in-house expert on the Hall of Fame.
Search Articles by Jay Jaffe

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives

04-19

comment icon

0

The BP Wayback Machine: Remembering Jackie Robinson, and the Man Who Taught Me About Him
by
Jay Jaffe

03-06

comment icon

6

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Curious Case of Freddie Lindstrom
by
Jay Jaffe

11-30

comment icon

3

The BP Wayback Machine: Take Me Out of the Hall Game
by
Jay Jaffe

09-21

comment icon

0

The BP Wayback Machine: Backing into the Playoffs
by
Jay Jaffe

08-31

comment icon

3

Prospectus Hit and Run: Fat Elvis' Swan Song
by
Jay Jaffe

07-30

comment icon

2

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Midsummer Replacement-Level Killers, Part II
by
Jay Jaffe

07-23

comment icon

6

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Midsummer Replacement-Level Killers, Part I
by
Jay Jaffe

07-11

comment icon

1

BP Unfiltered: A Correction from Down Under
by
Jay Jaffe

06-29

comment icon

20

Prospectus Hit and Run: JAWS Chews on Some Cooked Outfielders
by
Jay Jaffe

06-22

comment icon

20

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Hate List, Part III
by
Jay Jaffe

05-18

comment icon

16

Prospectus Hit and Run: Yeah, But is it Gonna Fly?
by
Jay Jaffe

05-16

comment icon

0

Prospectus Hit and Run: Beckett and Hyde
by
Jay Jaffe

05-14

comment icon

19

BP Announcements: A New Platform
by
Jay Jaffe

05-14

comment icon

1

Prospectus Hit and Run: A Not-So-Dandy Return
by
Jay Jaffe

05-11

comment icon

15

Prospectus Hit and Run: Donnie Buntball
by
Jay Jaffe

05-09

comment icon

24

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Phallin' Phillies
by
Jay Jaffe

05-04

comment icon

14

Prospectus Hit and Run: Worse Than Pujols, NL Edition
by
Jay Jaffe

05-02

comment icon

18

Prospectus Hit and Run: Worse Than Pujols, AL Edition
by
Jay Jaffe

04-30

comment icon

11

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Hate List, Part II
by
Jay Jaffe

04-27

comment icon

9

Prospectus Hit and Run: Labrum But it Didn't Kill Him
by
Jay Jaffe

04-23

comment icon

1

Prospectus Hit and Run: Bartolo Colon and the Comeback Kids
by
Jay Jaffe

04-20

comment icon

13

Prospectus Hit and Run: Pudge Retires
by
Jay Jaffe

04-18

comment icon

8

Prospectus Hit and Run: Sizzling Starts
by
Jay Jaffe

04-16

comment icon

14

Prospectus Hit and Run: Land of 1,000 Runs
by
Jay Jaffe

04-13

comment icon

13

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Hate List, Part I
by
Jay Jaffe

04-12

comment icon

5

Prospectus Hit and Run: You've Never Been This Far Before
by
Jay Jaffe

04-09

comment icon

9

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Matter of Ninth-Inning Experience
by
Jay Jaffe

04-04

comment icon

6

Prospectus Hit and Run: Loose Threads: West Division
by
Jay Jaffe

04-02

comment icon

6

BP Unfiltered: Earning our Varsity Letters [Updated]
by
Jay Jaffe

04-02

comment icon

3

Prospectus Hit and Run: Loose Threads: Central Division
by
Jay Jaffe

03-30

comment icon

9

Prospectus Hit and Run: Loose Threads: East Edition
by
Jay Jaffe

03-26

comment icon

10

Prospectus Hit and Run: Rattling SABRs in the Desert, Part II
by
Jay Jaffe

03-23

comment icon

7

Prospectus Hit and Run: Rattling SABRs in the Desert, Part I
by
Jay Jaffe

03-19

comment icon

8

Prospectus Hit and Run: AL Rotation Rumble
by
Jay Jaffe

03-12

comment icon

12

Prospectus Hit and Run: NL Rotation Rumble
by
Jay Jaffe

03-07

comment icon

43

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part IV: The Designated Hitter Question
by
Jay Jaffe

03-05

comment icon

31

Prospectus Preview: NL West 2012 Season Preview
by
Jay Jaffe and Geoff Young

02-29

comment icon

8

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part III: Out of Left Field, Again
by
Jay Jaffe

02-24

comment icon

6

Prospectus Hit and Run: Big Shoes to Fill
by
Jay Jaffe

02-20

comment icon

5

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part II: The Podz People
by
Jay Jaffe

02-17

comment icon

17

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Greatness of Gary Carter
by
Jay Jaffe

02-15

comment icon

21

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part I: The Cold Corner, Again
by
Jay Jaffe

02-13

comment icon

8

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Vortices of Suck, Part II
by
Jay Jaffe

02-10

comment icon

8

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Vortices of Suck, Part I
by
Jay Jaffe

02-08

comment icon

0

Prospectus Hit and Run: Rising Payrolls of the Post-Collusion Era
by
Jay Jaffe

02-06

comment icon

18

Prospectus Hit and Run: Beware of Falling Payrolls
by
Jay Jaffe

02-01

comment icon

7

BP Unfiltered: Jaffe Versus Bowa
by
Jay Jaffe

02-01

comment icon

14

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Replacement-Level Killers, Part II
by
Jay Jaffe

01-30

comment icon

9

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Replacement-Level Killers, Part I
by
Jay Jaffe

01-27

comment icon

25

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Heavyweight Infield
by
Jay Jaffe

<< Previous Author Entries Next Author Entries >>

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

March 5, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Preview: NL West 2012 Season Preview

31

Jay Jaffe and Geoff Young

A roundtable discussion of the state of the NL West and how each team will fare in the coming year.

PECOTA Team Projections
​Record: 83-79
Team WARP: 31.4
Team TAv.258
Runs Scored: 710
Runs Allowed: 689
Team FRAA: -8.2







The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Does a new set of stats reflect much of a change in who could stand to upgrade in left field?

Last week, I explored the majors’ surprising downturn in offense from left fielders, a result counterintuitive to our understanding of Bill James’ defensive spectrum, which runs DH-1B-LF-RF-3B-CF-2B-SS-C. The positions to the left of the spectrum, which require far less defensive skill, are the ones where offensive production is supposed to be the highest, yet left field has been engaged in a decades-long battle for offensive supremacy with right field—which requires a stronger arm for throwing to third base—and this past year slipped behind center field for the first time since 1966. I placed the major reason for the downturn at the feet of teams attempting to copy the 2005 White Sox, who used Scott Podsednik—a center fielder to that point in his career—in left field, and attempted to show how the defensive gain supplied by the speedsters did not outweigh the loss of offense. I even got to talk about the phenomenon on television.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 24, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Big Shoes to Fill

6

Jay Jaffe

What kind of production do teams receive from players tabbed to replace superstars?

Earlier this week, Mariano Rivera arrived at the Yankees' spring training facility in Tampa, Florida, and caused a stir by strongly hinting that the 2012 season would be his final one. The 42-year-old, who has served as the Yankees’ closer since 1997, has shown no signs of slippage, with four straight seasons of ERAs under 2.00 backed by stellar peripherals—strikeout and walk rates better than his career numbers, even—and high save totals. Late last season, he surpassed Trevor Hoffman as the all-time saves leader, and with five World Series rings in hand, the only real challenge that remains is for him to convince manager Joe Girardi to allow him a cameo in center field.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

The corner outfield spots are known for production, but one field has been far more dominant in recent years.

My working theory was that it began with Scott Podsednik. In December 2004, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams sent slugging left fielder Carlos Lee to the Brewers for a three-player package that included Podsednik, who was coming off a so-so season as Milwaukee's center fielder. He had stolen 70 bases and bopped 12 homers—a nice return in the fantasy realm—but had hit just .244/.313/.364. His .237 True Average was hardly anything to write home about, and here at BP, both Christina Kahrl and Joe Sheehan tossed around phrases like "as a hitter plugged into left field, the nicest thing you can say is that he makes a great part-time center fielder." At the time, the Sox were set with an All-Star caliber center fielder in Aaron Rowand, 27 and coming off a breakout .310/.361/.544 campaign, which didn't exactly clarify matters.

Read the full article...

One of the catching greats lost his battle with brain cancer on Thursday.

"It's a man's game, but you have to have a lot of little boy in you to play it." —Roy Campanella

Read the full article...

While third base is often considered an offense-heavy position now, last year proved to be a major down season.

As so often happens, my recent Replacement-Level Killers and Vortices of Suck miniseries have focused my attention on the landscape of offensive production at each position. Back in July, while putting together the midseason Killers, I was struck by just how awful a year it had been for third basemen. Age, injuries, and mysterious slumps had sapped the production of so many hot cornermen that their collective True Average (.253) trailed that of second basemen (.256)—a seven-point swing from the year before, a change that couldn't simply be explained by Chone Figgins' switch in positions. As someone who internalized Bill James' defensive spectrum before I was old enough to drive, this anomaly fascinated me.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 13, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Vortices of Suck, Part II

8

Jay Jaffe

Which outfielders and DHs proved to be the biggest black holes in the majors?

Picking up where I left off on Friday, we continue hunting the fish at the bottom of the major-league barrel in search of the positions where teams got the worst production—worse than the Replacement-Level Killers, but without the burden of toiling for a contending team. As with their catching and infield brethren, the following players helped produce tornado-level disasters amid their lineups, often at salaries that represented far more than just soft breezes running through their teams’ bank accounts. These are the Vortices of Suck.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 10, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Vortices of Suck, Part I

8

Jay Jaffe

Which men of misery prevented their teams from escaping the murky waters of suckitude?

My semiannual Replacement-Level Killers series spotlights the worst holes in contenders' lineups, as well as the possible remedies they might take to avoid letting such subpar production destroy their post-season chances the next time around. I make no claims for this companion series being so noble in purpose. Because bad baseball so often makes for good copy, it's more fun to hunt the fish at the bottom of the major-league barrel to find the positions where players' contributions could be considered the worst in the majors. What follows is an "all-star" team of players who have produced tornado-level disasters amid their lineups, often at salaries that represented far more than just a soft breeze running through their team's bank account. Once again, I present the Vortices of Suck.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 8, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Rising Payrolls of the Post-Collusion Era

0

Jay Jaffe

How have teams fared when they have a dramatic increase in payroll over the previous season?

Last time out, I examined the 2012 Mets' Opening Day payroll drop—projected to exceed $50 million—and placed it in the context of other drastic payroll cuts dating back to 1989, since my source for the payroll data, the USA Today Salary Database went back to 1988. Given data that went further back, I’d have liked to place the teardowns of the A's dynasties of the 1910s, 1930s, and 1970s—are there any other dismantlings so famous?—into a similar context, but as one Twitter follower said, we go to war with the data we have. Today I turn my attention to the flip side of the story, the largest payroll increases during a timespan that conveniently stands as the point when baseball was just emerging from its collusion scandal.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 6, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Beware of Falling Payrolls

18

Jay Jaffe

Does history give any clues as to how the Mets will perform with a lower payroll?

Late last month, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reported that the Mets are facing the largest one-year payroll cut in major-league history, at least in terms of total dollars. With owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz deprived of the profits they derived from decades of investing with Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, and struggling to find minority partners willing to provide a quick infusion of capital, the team is hemorrhaging money and facing a growing mountain of debt. According to general manager Sandy Alderson, the Mets lost $70 million last year, and made no real attempt to retain pending free agents Carlos Beltran (who was traded in midseason) or Jose Reyes (who departed for the Marlins in December). Barring even one additional midlevel signing, they could become the first team to drop $50 million in salary from one Opening Day to the next.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

In which old school and new school find some common ground on Clubhouse Confidential.

I wasn't always a Larry Bowa fan. I grew up rooting for the Dodgers in the late 1970s, during the time of their heated rivalry with the Phillies. The two teams tangled in the 1977 and 1978 National League Championship Series, with the Dodgers winning twice and advancing to the World Series, only to meet their doom at the hands of the Yankees. That Phillies team, anchored by future Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, slugger Greg Luzinski, fireman Tug McGraw, speedster Garry Maddox and backstop Bob Boone, didn't lack for memorable players. Bowa was the slick-fielding starting shortstop, a slappy contact hitter and a fiery competitor whose visible intensity wasn't likely to gain the affection of fans of opposing teams, and in my case, it didn't. His abilities were nonetheless respected enough by the writers that he placed a strong third in the 1978 NL MVP voting in on the strength of a season in which he hit .294/.319/.370 with 192 hits but just three homers and 43 RBI. Bowa was worth a runaway career best 4.6 WARP that year, good for 23rd in the league, but still requiring some amount of narrative grease to outdo the higher rankings of teammates Schmidt, Luzinski, and Maddox, not to mention fourth-place finisher Reggie Smith (.295/.382/.559, 6.0 WARP) of the Dodgers.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

February 1, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: The Replacement-Level Killers, Part II

14

Jay Jaffe

Taking a look at whose season of ineptitude may have cost his team a spot in the playoffs.

Picking up where I left off on Monday, the Replacement-Level Killers is our semi-annual all-star team of ignominy, highlighting the positions at which poor production helped sink contending teams, with an eye toward the steps they've made to correct those problems as spring training approaches. For the purposes of this exercise, I've loosely defined contenders as non-playoff teams who finished no more than 10 games out of the running in 2011, which limits this particular turkey shoot to members of the Red Sox, Angels, Blue Jays, Braves, Giants, Dodgers, and Nationals, not all of whom are represented this time around. If a particularly sizable hole in your favorite team’s production isn’t represented here, fear not, as all 30 teams are eligible for the forthcoming Vortices of Suck squad, the absolute bottom of the barrel.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

<< Previous Author Entries Next Author Entries >>