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Belle also retired due to an unusual degenerative hip condition, which might have added to the \"slow-moving slugger\" idea -- and doesn\'t help PECOTA\'s case in calling him comparable to A-Rod.
Also, when they signed Burnett, Pettitte\'s status was still in limbo and two of the pitchers mentioned had been injured much of 2008, though Wang\'s was a flukey injury. They needed the depth to avoid Chase Wright and Ian Kennedy making starts.
Burnett has pitched at least 21 games the last three years. If you expand that to include 4 years, he manage 32 starts in 2005. He\'s been putting up solid numbers in the very tough AL East. It\'s a big gamble and a bit too much money but one the Yankees could afford, and they had already given up their 1st and second-round picks. The Ibanez deal was much worse.
\"Add in the questions over whether they\'ll have a shortstop who hits enough to hold his job,\"
Huh? Last I checked, Jed Lowrie hit for a .739 OPS in his rookie season with a broken wrist. He had a possibly lucky .328 BABIP (not sure what his minor league BABIP was), but PECOTA projects him for a .773 OPS, which is the highest among AL shortstops. Jeter\'s projected for a higher OBP, so he may be more valuable, but unless you strongly disagree with this projection I\'m pretty sure Lowrie will hold his job.
It\'s pretty easy to spin PECOTA\'s projections negatively, since they are generally conservative, especially for the AL. In fact, Ortiz, Youkilis and Lowell\'s projections, while lower than their results last year, are pretty good relative to the league.
Doing a quick sort with the excel file:
-Ortiz\'s projected VORP is 1st among DHs, 2nd among AL DH/1B to Miguel Cabrera, and 10th in the AL overall.
-Youkilis\'s projected VORP is tied for 3rd in the AL among 1B (and doesn\'t include his defense of course) and 30th in the AL overall.
-Lowell\'s projected VORP is 6th in the AL among 3b.
PECOTA does predict the three to \"slump,\" but it predicts the rest of the league to slump just as much. Also, Lowell and Ortiz weren\'t very healthy last year, they got no production from the catching position, Julio Lugo was slugging .330 for half the season and Jacoby Ellsbury was mostly lost at the plate, and while it cost them in the playoffs, the team somehow managed to score the second-most runs in the league. Only Pedroia and Youkilis had career years. The catching probably won\'t produce more offense, but it shouldn\'t be much worse. It\'s tough to expect a lot of regression from the Red Sox\' offense.
There\'s basically no one in Boston who thinks Lugo will start, so unless you have a direct line to Theo or Francona I don\'t see it as much of a question. Lowrie outhit and out-fielded Lugo in his rookie season with a broken wrist.
Jed Lowrie played from May 2008 on with a broken bone in his left wrist that got worse as the season went on. His splits were relatively even in the minors -- according to minorleaguesplits.com he hit for an .832 OPS against RHP and an .816 OPS against LHP in his MiLB career. It\'s fairly easy to conclude his poor showing in MLB against RHP was due to the injury. It\'s also likely that he has more upside than most people think, as the injury wasn\'t reported until after the season.
Agreed. They also have a potential $38 million coming off the books next year in the form of Huff, Roberts, Mora, Baez, Walker and Freel, and there look to be few free agents available in the 09-10 offseason. Maybe he was always going to the Yankees, but Teixeira would have looked nice on his hometown team.
I think most of the \"Boo Olbermann\" posts are getting negative ratings not because they are anti-Olbermann\'s politics but because they aren\'t making cogent points as to why a well-known member of the media shouldn\'t write the foreword.
It\'s the foreword. BP isn\'t going to remove it now. Maybe it will be interesting. Maybe it won\'t. If you can\'t bear to read a word of what he says, then don\'t read it. There\'s plenty of other stuff. Most of these comments are really pointless.
It may be nitpicky, but I know a few people who would be willing to proofread it for free if only to read the player comments and team essays a little earlier and have their name in the masthead, so lack of time isn\'t a real good excuse. What if there were errors in the computation of PECOTA that caused them to not calculate correctly? Having typos just brings down the presentation and believability of the entire book.
If \"works\" means \"competitive balance,\" then sure. Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, etc are always in the top league and usually in the top 5. But it gives the lower teams something to fight for, and the system doesn\'t cause any waning interest in the top teams, and it makes a lot more sense economically than the US sports\' government-sponsored monopolies. Teams stay at the top, sure, but I\'d argue that the teams ate the lower half of the EPL drop to the second division and sometimes lower over their histories, and others rise up.
He\'s similarly unintelligible on the Red Sox postgame shows.
Agreed, and more fielding work in general. BP is no longer at the cutting-edge of this branch of statistics, as the FRAR and FRAA don\'t jibe at all with other defensive metrics.
And before any Yankees fans jump down my throat, you could replace \"Yankees\" with any number of other teams.
And then there\'s the Yankees, who get $450 million from the NY state taxpayers for their new stadium, but it\'s okay because they wasted $40 million on Carl Pavano in an attempt to win...
Relievers and bullpens are a crapshoot, as is repeated over and over on this site, and you\'re attributing motive to a baseball decision when you don\'t know all the circumstances. Maybe Nelson is a jerk in the clubhouse. Maybe the coaches can\'t work with him. Maybe the Marlins notice he doesn\'t take his conditioning seriously. Sure Proctor is probably a poor replacement, but he doesn\'t have to stay on the big league roster all year and pitch the 7th inning every game.
This phrase has been repeated since Mauer was drafted and he\'s not close to moving. I think he is disproving the \"tall catchers don\'t work out\" myth. Also, Wieters is listed at the same height and ten pounds heavier, so if true that would also apply to him.
It\'s more, but almost certainly offset by the home runs and hits given to him by the Green Monster. He had a career .920 OPS at home and .789 on the road (unstranslated numbers).
The Angels played far over their heads last year. The A\'s definitely have a shot.
\"Would the Red Sox be better off playing Alex Cora (.270/.371/.349) at third base and Youkilis at first, trading off the offensive difference between Kotsay and Cora in exchange for a defensive upgrade at two spots? I don\'t think it\'s going to change the world—Cora probably wouldn\'t have had a play on all but one or two of the Rays\' bombs this week—but in looking for edges, this may be one to take. Kotsay\'s bat just isn\'t so good that you\'d force it into the lineup, and if nothing else, Cora works counts and adds speed at the bottom of the lineup, where it\'s most useful.\"
Cora\'s not really that fast anymore and has poor range. I cringe when he is at short in place of Lowrie and he\'s only attempted 4 steals in the last two years. He does work a count a bit better than Kotsay, but I have been impressed with Kotsay\'s defense at first thus far and as Dr. Dave posted above, Youkilis isn\'t a below-average defender at third by either the naked eye or any defensive metrics I\'ve seen.
Six of those games were in the days leading up to the Manny trade, when the team was many accounts distracted, and two were started by Clay Buchholz who is sitting at home. I wouldn\'t put too much emphasis on the head-to-head record.
Not to speak for Joe, but I think he is saying that having your team rested and rotation set up well by easing off a bit in September is more important than riding your rotation and relievers hard in an effort to win home field advantage. The benefit of having rested players in the playoffs far outweighs the benefit of home field advantage, or the difference between facing the Angels and Twins (both very good teams) in the first round, and the fact that intelligently-managed teams like the Red Sox do this is evidence it\'s a good idea.