CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

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

Painting the Black 

Search Painting the Black

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives

05-28

comment icon

6

Painting the Black: Stealing Signs
by
R.J. Anderson

05-14

comment icon

3

Painting the Black: Why Taijuan Walker Has Thus Far Failed
by
R.J. Anderson

05-08

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: This Year's Eephus
by
R.J. Anderson

05-01

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: Truth-Testing TRAA
by
R.J. Anderson

04-24

comment icon

4

Painting the Black: No D In Desmond?
by
R.J. Anderson

04-17

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: Pedro Alvarez's Trip From Worst to First
by
R.J. Anderson

04-07

comment icon

8

Painting the Black: Who Are These Guys?
by
R.J. Anderson

03-25

comment icon

4

Painting the Black: Getting Personal
by
R.J. Anderson

03-18

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: The Anti-Kershaw
by
R.J. Anderson

02-26

comment icon

0

Painting the Black: The Other Side of PECOTA's Crush on the Rays
by
R.J. Anderson

02-19

comment icon

13

Painting the Black: The Last Shall Be First
by
R.J. Anderson

02-11

comment icon

7

Painting the Black: The Best 2015 Free Agents Left, And Where They Fit
by
R.J. Anderson

02-09

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: Pitch Sequencing, From Z to Y
by
R.J. Anderson

12-02

comment icon

6

Painting the Black: The Ones That Sabean Let Get Away
by
R.J. Anderson

11-04

comment icon

32

Painting the Black: The Free Agent 50
by
R.J. Anderson

10-30

comment icon

2

Painting the Black: That Time We All Hated the Mike Morse Signing
by
R.J. Anderson

09-25

comment icon

2

Painting the Black: How David Price Gets The Best of Jose Abreu
by
R.J. Anderson

09-18

comment icon

14

Painting the Black: The Plightin' Showalters
by
R.J. Anderson

09-10

comment icon

4

Painting the Black: Bless Da 40
by
R.J. Anderson

09-05

comment icon

3

Painting the Black: The Short Lifespan of a Pinch-Hit AB
by
R.J. Anderson

08-22

comment icon

6

Painting the Black: A Marlins Fastball, A Twins Approach
by
R.J. Anderson

08-15

comment icon

5

Painting the Black: Danny Duffy's Bestie
by
R.J. Anderson

08-08

comment icon

7

Painting the Black: Seven Days with Oscar
by
R.J. Anderson

07-24

comment icon

7

Painting the Black: The Selling-the-Closer Myth
by
R.J. Anderson

07-17

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: The Stealth Steals
by
R.J. Anderson

07-10

comment icon

2

Painting the Black: Book Review: The Art of Scouting
by
R.J. Anderson

06-30

comment icon

22

Painting the Black: The Trade Deadline Preview
by
R.J. Anderson

06-25

comment icon

4

Painting the Black: Red Sox Playing Badly, Playing Bradley
by
R.J. Anderson

06-16

comment icon

0

Painting the Black: Lessons of a Bad Basestealer
by
R.J. Anderson

06-04

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: How to Slow Down Dee Gordon
by
R.J. Anderson

05-27

comment icon

3

Painting the Black: Rebuilding a Right Way
by
R.J. Anderson

05-20

comment icon

0

Painting the Black: The Werth-Case Outcome
by
R.J. Anderson

05-16

comment icon

4

Painting the Black: Bullish on Dozier
by
R.J. Anderson

05-09

comment icon

3

Painting the Black: Go Fix Yourself, San Diego
by
R.J. Anderson

05-07

comment icon

13

Painting the Black: Rites of Springer
by
R.J. Anderson

05-02

comment icon

8

Painting the Black: A Trip Through the NL West
by
R.J. Anderson

04-29

comment icon

9

Painting the Black: Singles Falling Steady
by
R.J. Anderson

04-23

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: Some Things Brewing
by
R.J. Anderson

04-18

comment icon

5

Painting the Black: Super Twoing
by
R.J. Anderson

04-14

comment icon

6

Painting the Black: Portents for the Imports of Importance
by
R.J. Anderson

04-10

comment icon

9

Painting the Black: (B.J.) Upton No Good
by
R.J. Anderson

04-04

comment icon

6

Painting the Black: Nathan Eovaldi and the Jarrod Saltalamacchia Effect
by
R.J. Anderson

03-31

comment icon

0

Painting the Black: The Mystery Men of Opening Day
by
R.J. Anderson

03-24

comment icon

7

Painting the Black: Men at Work
by
R.J. Anderson

03-21

comment icon

1

Painting the Black: The Predictive Power of the Hit By Pitch
by
R.J. Anderson

03-19

comment icon

3

Painting the Black: Up and Adams
by
R.J. Anderson

03-07

comment icon

9

Painting the Black: Spring Flings
by
R.J. Anderson

03-03

comment icon

2

Painting the Black: The Prospect Proximity Rankings
by
R.J. Anderson

02-27

comment icon

2

Painting the Black: Lessons from the Top 50 Free Agents List
by
R.J. Anderson

02-19

comment icon

8

Painting the Black: Cash/Rizz Everything Around Me
by
R.J. Anderson

<< Previous Column Entries No More Column Entries

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

May 28, 2015 6:00 am

Painting the Black: Stealing Signs

6

R.J. Anderson

Wil Myers had the Diamondbacks' signs; can you get them?

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.

Two-pitch pitchers can succeed, but not when they work like Taijuan Walker has.

So far the Mariners have been one of the season's biggest disappointments. At 15-17, they sit closer to last place than first—a position echoed by their -13 run differential, the second worst in the division. Naturally, Seattle's roster houses numerous underachievers. Felix Hernandez and Nelson Cruz have been excellent, but haven't outweighed the slow starts of Robinson Cano, Austin Jackson, and Fernando Rodney, nor the struggles of Mike Zunino, Brad Miller, Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley, James Paxton, and . . . well, just about every non-royal homegrown player on the roster.

Taijuan Walker's performance might be the least fulfilling of the drafted-and-developed bunch. After six turns through the rotation, Walker has the highest DRA among big-league starting pitchers. His Game Scores have been (in order): 7, 29, 60, 67, 12, and 49—or more bad than good, and more scattered than fixed. Old stats tell the same tale. Walker has not flourished like a cockatoo in a birdbath; instead he's languished to the point of allowing 27 runs and 39 hits in 27 2/3 innings.

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!

May 8, 2015 6:00 am

Painting the Black: This Year's Eephus

1

R.J. Anderson

Alfredo Simon has an eephus. But does it suck?

If any belief has been affirmed over the past week, it's that athletic excellence is not reserved for upstanding citizens.

Alfredo Simon exemplifies this truth in baseball. Simon's legal history makes him perhaps the least endearing player on a big-league roster. In 2011, he was charged with (then acquitted of) involuntary manslaughter arising from a shooting death. More recently, he was sued by a woman who says he assaulted and raped her in April 2013.

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

Lance Lynn has one of the lowest Takeoff Rates in baseball. Credit him, not just his catcher.

For as unpredictable as April was—the Mets and Astros are in first place! A.J. Pierzynski is out-hitting Mike Trout! Devon Travis is the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year!—it's refreshing and, in a sense, validating that some things we held as near-facts remained true. Take Lance Lynn.

Read the full article...

What the heck is up with next winter's top free agent shortstop?

Ian Desmond is a confident individual. He established that during the winter by rejecting an extension worth $107 million in order to pursue a greater prospect—the chance to hit the open market at age 30 as the best shortstop available. So five months later, why does Desmond look out of place on the field? And should his prospective suitors share in his uneasiness?

Read the full article...

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

April 17, 2015 6:00 am

Painting the Black: Pedro Alvarez's Trip From Worst to First

1

R.J. Anderson

A deep dive into the Pirate first baseman's defense.

Call it poetic justice or karmic repayment, but there's something fitting about Pedro Alvarez having to corral wild throws at first base not even a year after leading third basemen in throwing errors.

Whatever the preferred term, Alvarez's transition across the diamond remains nascent. He suffered a season-ending stress reaction in his foot just five games after the initial move. Yet the Pirates proceeded as if Alvarez had taken ownership of the position, cementing his perch on top of the depth chart during the offseason by trading Ike Davis and non-tendering Gaby Sanchez. Though Pittsburgh later acquired Sean Rodriguez and signed Corey Hart—each of whom has and will see time at the cold corner—the implication came through loud and clear: Alvarez was Plan A.

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!

April 7, 2015 1:02 am

Painting the Black: Who Are These Guys?

8

R.J. Anderson

The 2015 version.

Over the next few days, you might find yourself asking: who are these guys? Here's an introduction to some of the least-known players on Opening Day roster.

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!

March 25, 2015 6:02 am

Painting the Black: Getting Personal

4

R.J. Anderson

Catchers, and the pitchers who love them.

It was a good week for personal catcher lobbyists. First, Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw experienced a rough virginal voyage with Yasmani Grandal, encouraging A.J. Ellis champions and arousing the kind of spring training beat writer-fan turmoil that's often reserved for lineup tweets. Then, a few days later, Blue Jay skipper John Gibbons insinuated he would leverage Russell Martin's defensive talents by pairing him with traditional pitchers, possibly leaving Josh Thole the chore of capturing R.A. Dickey's knuckleball. Again.

The concept of a personal catcher is nothing new, of course. Doug Mirabelli proved so important to Tim Wakefield's success that the Red Sox reacquired him in May 2006, not even five months after trading him to the Padres. Throughout the 1990s, Damon Berryhill, Eddie Perez, and Paul Bako became more famous than their talents merited thanks to Greg Maddux's insistence on having his own guy. Light-hitting Alex Trevino caught all Cy Young runner-up Mario Soto's 1983 starts, and would later serve as personal-catcher-cum-interpreter in the minors. J.C. Martin became Hoyt Wilhelm's right-hand man during the '60s, a relationship profiled in Mark Armour's Paths to Glory: "[On] the ninety-one occasions Wilhelm entered a game and Martin was not already catching, Martin entered with Wilhelm fifty-nine times. ... [On] the seventeen such occasions when Wilhelm came in with runners on base without Martin catching, Martin was brought in fourteen times." And so on.

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!

March 18, 2015 6:00 am

Painting the Black: The Anti-Kershaw

1

R.J. Anderson

Why everybody runs on Scott Kazmir.

Last week, for Clayton Kershaw Day, I examined his dominance over baserunners. I concluded that Kershaw's left-handedness, quickness to the plate, feel for shortening leads, and deceptive mechanics make him as tough to steal a bag on as he is to reach base against.

Today is not Scott Kazmir Day, but Kazmir is a worthy foil to the otherworldly Kershaw for reasons that extend beyond their shared "Kid K" moniker. In 2014, Kazmir allowed the third most stolen bases among left-handed starters (18), behind Francisco Liriano and Cole Hamels, and the highest stolen-base success rate against among all left-handers (90 percent). Unlike Liriano and Hamels, whose troubles are rooted in their slowness to the plate, Kazmir's failings with basestealers requires a nuanced explanation. In short, Kazmir allows stolen bases because he doesn't make baserunners think.

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 26, 2015 6:00 am

Painting the Black: The Other Side of PECOTA's Crush on the Rays

0

R.J. Anderson

Yes, the projections like Tampa Bay, but they see much volatility, too.

"Who are these guys?" is a question St. Petersburg residents and general baseball devotees will ask a lot about the Rays this spring.

Other teams might have switched players as frequently last offseason—the Padres, Athletics, and Braves deserve mention—but the Rays' turnover differed in that it included changes at the GM and manager positions. Directing heads Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon departed for bigger markets (and salaries) and were followed out the Trop's door by various well-known players, such as purported cornerstone Wil Myers and actual cornerstone Ben Zobrist. The Rays retooled to the extent that Nick Franklin, himself acquired last July via trade, could enter the season as the club's fifth-longest tenured starter.

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 19, 2015 6:00 am

Painting the Black: The Last Shall Be First

13

R.J. Anderson

How Houston benefitted from the top waiver spot.

Jeff Luhnow knows the value in picking first. Since usurping Ed Wade in December 2011 as the Astros general manager, Luhnow has batted leadoff in each of the three drafts he's supervised—a streak assured to end in June, when Houston selects second (compensation for failing to sign Brady Aiken) and fifth. By then, Luhnow ought to be accustomed to choosing later than normal. That's because, for the first time in his tenure, the Astros will enter the season without the top waiver priority.

While official statistics aren't kept on such things, a dig through past game logs reveals the Astros entered with a share of the majors' worst record (and first dibs on waived players) in 24 of Luhnow's first 29 months on the job. Luhnow has since flipped 10 pages in his calendar since his team was baseball's worst, but the point remains: He understands the benefits in serving as the gatekeeper of the waiver wire better than any active GM does.

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

The cupboard is not empty. It's just close.

Welcome to the boring part of the offseason. Pitchers and catchers are a week away from reporting, and the hot stove is off now that James Shields has been signed and fitted for his habit. So how can we pass the time? You could read a book, watch a movie, connect with a loved one, argue with strangers on Twitter ... or you could embrace the spirit of Valentine's Day and seek relationships for nine interesting players who remain free agents. Let's do that.

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

<< Previous Column Entries No More Column Entries