Dayn Perry is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
Dayn Perry: Howdy from sunny Chicago. Pennant races heating up, college football's back in action ... Let's get to it.
Liam E. (Toms River): Dayn in your last mailbag you said "I'm not so sure that Safeco, on balance, doesn't help Ichiro's offensive numbers. "
I see where you were coming from on this, is it time we adjust each number specifically. Say, instead of giving Safeco a park factor of .970, we can give it a homeruns facotr of .950, a doubles facotr of 1.050, etc.
Dayn Perry: I've been harping for a while now that we need to view park factors both on the component level and in terms of the batter's handedness. Safeco's not as tough on left-handed batters as it is on right-handed batters. Ditto for Shea. Runs-based park factors are inadequate, unless your specifically addressing runs. How any given park hinders/helps a lefty power bat is most often quite different from how it hinders/helps a right-handed slap hitter. As fans and analysts, we need to be more mindful of this incontrovertible fact.
Chris Hartjes (Toronto): Hey Dayn, has there been a topic that you've wanted to write about for Can of Corn that you keep putting off due to time constraints?
Dayn Perry: Good question. One of these days, I want to do a series on how the '94 season might've played out if the labor stoppage hadn't snuffed it out. So many things going on that year ... Matt Williams and Junior Griffey chasing Maris, Greg Maddux, Tony Gwynn and .400, the Expos, the Yankees, amazing seasons from Bagwell and Thomas ... One of these days.
Rob (Canada): Should the Yankees and the BoSox fear the Jays next year? They got money to spend and prospects to deal to go with what they currently have
Dayn Perry: Yeah, somewhat. Without knowing how the winter will play out, I'd probably arrange the standings this way:
1. Red Sox
2. Blue Jays
5. Devil Rays
Halladay must stay healthy, and Vernon Wells needs to have something resembling a strong first half. Koskie's presence complicates things a bit, and I doubt that Gregg Zaun has another nominally productive year left in him. The big question at this point is where the power is going to come from. Still, wouldn't surprise me a bit if they finished ahead of the drain-circling Yanks in '06.
And speaking of Toronto, looking forward to attending the Film Fest this weekend.
kmdarcy (San Juan): What 1B are out there for the Giants to sign? What non-dinosaurs are out thre for the Giants to sign?
Dayn Perry: The last thing the Giants need to worry about is an active winter on the free-agent market. This team badly needs to rebuild, buttress the farm system and generally get younger. The organization's inability to develop quality position prospects in recent years is troubling, and the last thing they need to do is fritter away draft picks by signing arb-offered free agents. Add prospects and hope Bonds draws the fans in by continuing his fraudulent assault on Hank Aaron's record.
Jeremy Brown (AA Midland): In the book, you guys said "If he doens't start hitting for power he's purley bench material". My ISOp is .230,have i moved out of future backup status? Or am I too old?
Dayn Perry: Jeremy, the thing you need to keep in mind is that you're already 25, and this is your third go of it at the Double-A level. The power spike is nice, if overdue, but I don't see you as anything more than a backup at the highest level.
kasgard (St Louis): What's your take on Carlos Beltran? He's regarded as a star, perhaps even a superstar (see last year's playoffs). His career 282/350/482 line is rather pedestrian relative to his reputation and he has to be considered a disappointment by the Mets (at $11 mil)
Dayn Perry: My take is that he's a very good player making great player money. He's toiling in a pitcher's park for the first time in his career, and he's been slowed by a hamstring injury for much of the season. I think he's better than his numbers this season, but you won't see Houston levels of production out of him again. Not worth the money, but, in a vacuum, still a nice player to have in the lineup every day.
If Mike Cameron doesn't get hurt, and the team makes the Jae Seo-over-Kaz Ishii move a month earlier, the Mets win the Wild Card, I think.
ctfehrman (Evansville, IN): What happened to your columns on SportingNews? Do you still write for them?
Dayn Perry: Actually, the Sporting News stuff was the product of content-sharing agreement between Fox and TSN, which has now expired. You can still find my stuff here at BP, on FoxSports.com and in the New York Sun. And thanks throwing one in my self-promotion wheelhouse.
Bill Johnson (New Mexico): I have plantar fasciitis, and it amazes me that Albert Pujols can even run with it, let alone steal 14 bases and be, well, Pujols. Any rumors on when he'll do the next round of Ossatron, and how long the procedure will have him on the shelf? (BTW, what's involved in getting the Ossatron procedure done on us mere mortals?)
Dayn Perry: This is one for Will, but I can relate to your sense of wonder. About 15 years ago, I sustained a class three or four (can't exactly remember) ankle sprain while playing flag football. I was on crutches for several days. A few weeks later, James Worthy sustained the exact same injury and went out the next night and hung 25 or so on someone. My guess is that superior conditioning, superior medical care, higher pain threshold and better mental toughness afford pro athletes a shorter convalescence than you or I would need.
Corey (Chicago): I'd ask you which organization has the best farm system right now, but I really just want you to comment on a specific team. So, is it fair to say the Indians have the best farm system? Last year, three of their affiliates won their respective championships; this year their top three affiliates are going to the playoffs, and they have the best all-farm-system winning percentage.
Dayn Perry: I like the Indians system--some great, high-ceiling arms like Miller and Sowers. I'm less impressed with their skill-position talent, but they have a goodly number of corner guys who can rake--e.g., Aubrey, Garko, Snyder, Gutierrez.
As systems go, I love what the Angels and D-backs have right now (particularly if the latter gets Justin Upton signed). I'd probably rank the Indians in the top six or seven. If you want to include those who have exhaused their rookie status and make it, say, best collection of 25-and-under players, the Braves and D-Rays are very much in the discussion.
mjw024 (Burke, Va): Dayn,
Congrats. You're the new owner of the Washington Nationals. Who is your GM? Cashman, Gillick, Cal Ripken? Bowden is not an option.
Dayn Perry: If it's me, I wait it out until the end of the year. If Kevin Towers is no longer in San Diego, he's my guy. Failing that, I'll bring in retreads like Gerry Hunsicker, Dan Duquette, Ron Schueler, Bob Watson and Dan Evans for interviews and give a look at up-and-comers like Josh Byrnes and Chris Antonetti.
My ideal arrangement would be Towers in the front office and Larry Dierker in the dugout.
MarySwiss (Chandler, Arizona): How can you possibly justify the inclusion of Scott Podsednik on your "most overrated players" list? Take a look at the team's stats with and without him. And where is it written that all outfielders have to be power hitters?
Or does this have something to do with the fact that you picked the Sox to finish 22nd overall this season; 4th place in the AL Central?
I smell something. Sour grapes, maybe?
Dayn Perry: See today's "Can of Corn" for further elucidation. The short answer is this: useful corner outfielders do not slug less than .300 on the road. Pod has his merits, but there's no getting around the fact that his power numbers are patently inadequate.
Patrick (Saint Louis): How much improvement can be expected from the Twins offense next season (assuming they don't sign/trade for any impact bat)? Kubel could come up and help, but Morneau has not been good and Shannon Stewart hasn't even gotten on base at a reasonable rate to have Mauer or anybody else drive him in. Should they trade some pitching?
Dayn Perry: I think without making any notable additions, they'll be better. Morneau had so many bizzare and serious health problems over the last nine months or so that you almost have to give him a full pass on this season. I think he'll be much better in '06. A Kubel/Stewart platoon in left will help, and they need to do a better job of platooning Jacque Jones regularly (and left-mashing corner outfielders aren't hard to dig up). Where they really need help is the middle infield. I doubt they'll seriously be in the Rafael Furcal fray, but a trade for the highly underrated Julio Lugo isn't out of the question.
GBSimons (Seymour, IN): Dayn, I thought you lived in Texas - Houston, I believe. Did you relocate to suffer the slings and arrows of jealous Cub fans?
Dayn Perry: I lived in Austin for three years, and as much as I enjoyed my time there the summers became too oppressive for me. As for Cub fans, they're like growling puppies--far more cute than dangerous. The poor things ...
Joe (Montevidoe, Uruguay): I liked the overreated/underrated article, but where was Garrent Anderson on the overrated?
Dayn Perry: As Sheehan has observed before, Anderson has gone from being overrated to underrated and back to overrated. He's certainly a guy I could've included, as is Kerry Wood.
Ben (Madison, Wisconsin): Dayn, is there a movement within the sabermetric community to develope statistics regarding the effect a basestealing threat has on a pitcher? Something to the extent of an increased opportunity for errors by the catcher and pitcher, an increased propensity for a pitcher to throw fastballs to the current hitter and the effect that has, etc. It seems that hitting is very well documented statistically, but statistic measurements of baserunning and defense have a long way to go.
Dayn Perry: Mitchel Lichtman's done some interesting work on this, and it's work I reference in my forthcoming book. (Contrived, self-serving plug? Yes!) The short answer is that things seem to balance out on the base-stealing front, however much it strains pitcher and defense is countervailed by how much it distracts the batter and or forces him to take strikes or protect the runner by flailing at something out of the zone.
As for your skepticism toward measures of defense, I fully share them.
KBarth (Philadelphia): On my fantasy keeper team, I'll probably have the opportunity to hang on to one or two of Ryan Zimmerman, Andy Marte, and Jeremy Hermida. How would you rate their likely production in 2006? How about beyond that?
Dayn Perry: Lightning round ...
same rankings for beyond
KBarth (Philadelphia): It looks like Ryan Shealy is the real deal. Might he be the answer for some team's 1B issue? Do you think it's likely that he'll get a shot or is he the next Petagine?
Dayn Perry: Since the Rox have Todd Helton signed through 2011 (yes, two-freaking-thousand-eleven), it won't be in Colorado. He's 26 and has played most of the year at Colorado Springs, so we're not talking about a future star. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing what Shealy could do in, say, Toronto next season.
Liam (School): Joe Morgan said 13 times in one minute hoe Jeter's HR on sunday was wind aided. The man has to be stopped.
Dayn Perry: Joe Morgan is such a cliche that bitching about Joe Morgan has become a cliche. I don't even pay attention to him. I favor the color men who tell me "inside" things I'd never otherwise know about. Bob Brenly does this well, as does Troy Aikman in the NFL. If I want someone who knows nothing about statistics to talk about statistics I'll go listen to myself ten years ago.
coneway (austin): aside from your forthcoming book, what is the best baseball book you've read in the last 12 months?
Dayn Perry: It hasn't been within the last 12 months by "The Long Ball" by Tom Adelman is one of my favorite baseball books, and no one ever seems to mention it. Read it. And by "forthcoming book," do you mean this forthcoming book?
Anthony (Long Island): King Felix. Discuss.
Dayn Perry: Strikeout chops, control, strong groundball tendencies, poise, sensible usage to date, the most exciting prospect since Gooden.
KBarth (Philadelphia): How do you think the NL East standings will look at the end of the season?
Dayn Perry: 1. Braves
Dayn Perry: Okey-doke, that's all for this time around. Texas 23, Ohio St. 21. Enjoy the rest of the season, and let's do this again soon ...