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I get positive ratings all the time and they improve my self-confidence.
Plus me all you want.
Eric Seidman for baseball czar!
Sorry for the brainfart. I would be suicidal if Jonesy actually had a career ending injury.
Oh damn in yo face Jason Churchill!!!!
The second half slump followed by a career ending injury really dropped his name off the radar, despite making the all star team as a 23-24 year old. Jonesy will be a significant part of our future especially if he plays like he did May/June/July.
Wieters has also stepped up his game lately.
We'll have more next year don't worry! Uehara will be back, Mickolio looks really good, 1-2 of Berken/Hernandez/Arrieta will end up in the pen.
Are you from Baltimore? I thought the news following the trade from The Baltimore Sun and MASN was surprisingly on point. The general consensus was, "this sucks, Flat Breezy was a good player for us and a good guy, but given the state of our team it's a trade you have to make." It also helped that the second guy we got back was a local and the son of former Oriole Dave Johnson.
I post regularly on the biggest O's message board and nobody disagreed with the trade, nor does anyone bitch about not having a closer. JJ hasn't performed well to date but Koji Uehara will fill the role nicely next year. Based on what I've read Baltimore fans understand this.
I would love to have Flat Breezy back on the team though for our 2012 World Series run.
I agree that if you are a team competing for a playoff spot it's best to use your bullpen in a way that maximizes your wins. However, if you're a team like the Orioles, you can use baseball's stupidity to your advantage. You can (hypothetically speaking of course) take a LOOGY a few years removed from the independent leagues, make him your "closer," and then after building perceived value based on a silly statistic, move him for a young and cheap power hitting 3Bman and a young and cheap potential 4/5 starter.
Yes, the Orioles might have won a few more games with nontraditional bullpen management, but what's the difference between 66 and 68 wins? Baseball thought's unwillingness to evolve presents one of the few opportunities for small market teams to compete with the big boys in an unfair playing field.
Where did the 48% number come from?
Would that be so terrible though? The crap team could use that extra 15 million towards later picks or international signings or free agents and they could still get NY's first round pick in return as well. 15 million means a lot more to a small market team than it does to the Mother F'ing Yankees.
I think you should've used this opportunity to ask Matt what it's like to be a God amongst mere mortals, what is the fate of mankind, and why is he testing our faith with this merely human hitting performance.
The O's said that they've been scouting Bell for 2 years! Perhaps they started really exploring the Dodgers system when Bedard was on the block and they were interested.
A scarcity of 1B/3B prospects in our system was another motivating factor.
I think it would be interesting to follow a minor league prospect whose goal is to work on something rather than perform most effectively. Specific examples,
-Brian Matusz was told to throw more fastballs rather than work backwards (a style which made him the best pitcher in college).
-Chris Tillman told to throw a lot of changeups in his games, even though he could mow down minor league hitters with a nasty plus-fastball/plus-curve combo.
-Pedro Beato told to completely abandon the cutter in games, which is his out pitch, at least temporarily in order to work on his other offerings and not become dependent on it.
-Perhaps a batter is trying a new stance or is told to take most first pitches to develop more patience.
I would think the competitor in them wants to win and it must be frustrating to work on things when you know that you could better help your current team playing a certain way. It would be fun to follow multiple guys during the season and monitor their progress in their experiments.
Adam Loewen would be a good guy to check out for this (despite my bitterness towards him for spurning the O's and their noble support in his effort to transition).
I second this, I'm curious about the life of a scout.
I would also be interested in seeing the difference between a guy who is getting called up for a likely permanent role vs. a guy who clearly will just be making a temporary fill in for a major league team.
I don't believe you.
We forget that we're dealing with real human beings sometime, I never considered the toll it takes on a minor league player to get traded like that. Thanks for the inside look, great article.
Go Josh, hope to see you in Bawldimore in 2010!
Alternative article title,
"From PerFuncktory to Useful"
Statistics in Baseball Telecasts
Actually, I think defensive stats, particularly the +/- system would be the easiest to explain to the "ignant" fan. He made this many more plays than the average dude at his position, or he made this many less plays. Pretty clear. It uses whole numbers and rarely exceeds 20 which I believe is the limit for how high your average American can count to. (Obviously I'm implying that most people are dumb and us BP subscribers are superior, which I think should be well received since the audience here is BP subscribers. Hooray condescension!)
Thanks for your reply and the article, I learned something new, as usual!
Steve Traschel looks like another dude who regularly outperformed his FIP.
So in the group of pitchers with less than 1.0 difference between their ERA and FIP in the first half, is FIP a better predictor of second half performance than ERA?
Also, I wonder how this plays out for players with more than a one run difference between their ERA and FIP at the end of the season in terms of predicting their next season. At what point do we say that's no fluke at all, FIP consistently underestimates X pitcher because it is not accounting for some skill X pitcher has? I wonder how many cases there are of a pitcher with 3+ seasons of greatly outperforming his FIP, and perhaps if there's any commonality amongst those outliers.
I don't agree. They should be referred to as the Gnats.
The drafting organizations are pretty knowledgeable about an appropriate amount of innings to allow dudes to pitch, taking into account how much they've already pitched this year. Given the fragility of pitchers and the massive investment in 1st round picks, I think all sides are pretty conscientious in making these decisions.
All a player has to say is my arm is feeling very tired and they would likely shut them down for the season.
I don't think it's a concern for players because Dusty Baker isn't the head of player development for any major league teams. Everyone is on the same page here.
We got the Funck! Congratulations Ken.
Like others have already said I hope that we can see Matt/Tim/Brian contribute to BP as well. Their work is something I'd renew my subscription for.
Thanks to BP for putting the contest on. It was a lot of fun and exposed a lot of talent to a larger audience.
Finally, thanks to Richard Bergstrom whose comments are omnipresent on BP. He deserves some kind of award as well right?
When is the winner announced?
Something that I'm very interested in is pitcher's control. It seems like they either have it or they don't. I wonder how often a pitcher's strike% improves from high school to the minors, through the different levels in the minors, from the minors to the majors, and once in the majors from year to year.
As an O's fan I used to think that once Daniel Cabrera finally harnessed his great stuff and improved on his control he would be an ace. Looking back now that seems silly.
I've seen pitchers add a new pitch, I've seen pitchers adjust the grip and improve a particular pitch, I've seen pitchers adjust their strategy in terms of what pitch to use when, but I've never really seen a dramatic shift in control.
This is tough. In any other week all 3 of the writers would have gotten my vote, but I think it's worth it to make the hard decision in order to identify a clear winner.
So much fun! You need audio to accompany this final round announcement and emphasize the drama. I suggest Lux Aeterna http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKLpJtvzlEI&feature=related
Anyone who answers my suggest-a-topic automatically gets my vote, unless your Ken Funck, in which case I will take merit into consideration.
Good luck you smarty pantses!
Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread but check out these quotes first from Dave Stockstill and second from Snyder himself.
"Brandon Snyder has played some 3rd base at each level, including when he was at Bluefield. He continually works at 3rd base and played there a little in the Arizona Fall League this past fall. Our staff continually evaluates his progress at each position to find the best situation for him to become a productive player to help our major league team."
"I love playing third base, and it's probably my favorite place to play, but if I can play first base in the big leagues, so be it. ... I hope I do get a chance to play a little more third, but like I said, wherever I can make the lineup, that's what I want to do."
I think you bring up a good idea here. For next year's idol I think we should wait at least 2 weeks before an elimination vote to start off so we have a bit more material prior to making a decision. After that chop someone every week.
Well, I think the chances are higher than zero though admittedly it's not likely. It's just frustrating to have a logjam at 1B and nobody in site for 3B. Really it's something that should have happened 2 years ago.
The thing with Scott is he's cheap, very productive and under team control until 2013. He's more than a platoon player at the plate, he's more than a DH and actually plays solid defense in LF (22.1 UZR/150 in 2006 and 7.1 UZR/150 in 2008). I see him as a guy that's undervalued by the market and I don't expect us to get an appropriate return back. I could be wrong and am open to trading him in the right deal but he was a throw in as part of a 5 player trade for Miggy.
You gotta wifey already? Damn! Back to the drawing board for me...
Many O's fans have been pushing for Snyder to move to 3B in Norfolk to get some experience there. I think optimally we trade Huff, move Scott to 1B and at least for this year Wigginton can take over for Huff.
Reimold could also move to 1B to keep Scott at DH. Nolan has good athleticism and speed and a cannon for an arm, but takes poor routes to any ball in front of him and has inexplicable mental lapses on a consistent basis.
I still like the idea of giving Pie more time at LF to see what he can do. At the very least he's going to provide great defense and his bat still has potential.
It's a mutiny!!!
Randy Johnson's first full season in the majors wasn't until age 26. Pitchers follow different developmental paths, there's no one route to success.
Britton has moved up a level every year and gotten better at every level as he's moved up, you can't ask for much more than that. Someone with big time ground ball tendencies, great stuff AND high strikeout rates is a great prospect.
One more O's pitching prospect to keep an eye on, a guy who has surpassed Hernandez/Patton/Spoone/Erbe in my opinion, is Zach Britton.
At 21 years old in high A ball he's finally developed a consistent 3rd pitch (changeup), he's striking out a batter per 9, has a 3/1 GB/FB ratio, 0.11 HR/9, a 2.40 ERA and has improved at every level.
From Caleb Joseph's blog, "One of the hardest guy’s I’ve ever had to catch because he’s got such tremendous movement… movement at 91-92 mph. He can pitch at 93-94 but throws better at 91. Changeup as of late has been amazing. Slider is really coming around and he’s getting great success against lefties with that pitch. He’s still young, but a great teammate. Another quality guy that I love spending time with. His walks will go down as he finds the slot with his fastball. I’m not worried one bit about the walks, and neither should you."
Of course I shouldn't be speaking for all BP subscribers...for ME, I get little value out of sports radio and podcasts.
You gotta take the pictures into consideration, just look at Matt's smile, he's so dreamy!
I have to agree with those who say they come to BP for original writing content with a focus on sabermetrics. Radio seems geared more towards the mainstream baseball audience, which is fine, but I can't remember the last time I learned anything new/significant from a radio interview.
I don't think the integrity of the contest has been compromised by any means, I just think the radio interview shouldn't have been included in the first place. For Top Chef fans I think if it was included it could've been more like a quickfire than an elimination challenge.
Hopefully next year the readers comments will be taken into consideration so we don't lose the best writer due to a medium that BP subscribers get little value from.
We want the Funck!
Well it's not pointless, it's just a single point in a larger set, it should be considered, but it shouldn't be the end all be all in my humble opinion.
Or they need to change the structure of their roster back to a 10-man pitching staff in order to give them more platooning flexibility?
I think based on his whole body of BP Idol work Matt deserves to advance but if we're just supposed to focus on this week in a vacuum, I think there's agreement that his interview was the weakest of the 4.
I'm voting for him even if that somewhat abandons the spirit of the rules.
Never! Regardless of the outcome in this earthly contest, the Funck spirit lives on inside all of us.
Seriously though, congratulations on making it this far.
I love all the topic suggestions so far. One other suggestion, answer the question, "what is the most under/overrated commodity in the MLB market today?"
Another white male held down by the man. When will the injustice end?!?!
After you win the contest will your regular weekly column be titled "We Want the Funck" ???
It could, but (I'm honestly posing this question here) isn't there more to it than bat speed, contact point, and launch angle? When the bat actually makes contact with the ball won't the strength of the batter play a huge role?
If you had two identical bat speeds hitting the same pitch with the same launch angle, the velocity of the ball leaving the bat and its eventual trajectory is still subject to other variables si? I wonder what those other variables might be...
Perhaps the path and length of the swing prior to contact matter?
What about where exactly the ball makes contact on the bat?
I think the most understated part of HIT f/x is the objective data it will provide to measure the fielder proficiency.
Speaking of, will there be anything available that pinpoints the starting position of each defender on every pitch? That would be cool.
Ken, the big question for me is, what's the C doing in your last name? Does it change the pronunciation at all? How is it not superfluous?
Sucks to be an O's fan!
If you're an O's fan, yes! It's great to finally have a coherent organizational philosophy and direction. I'd rather see young guys out there with potential to be contributors on the next contending O's team, rather than overrated and overpaid veteran retreads.
I'd like to hear more about Tommy John surgery actually improving pitchers rather than just repairing them. I wonder if any studies have been done about pre-surgery and post-surgery velocity in pitchers who've undergone the procedure.
Well Richard, I'm assuming you're referring to Funck's unique sense of humor and Rosenthal's lack thereof.
However I might argue they'd both enjoy it, as Rosenthal's a former Baltimore boy who began his career at The Sun and followed the O's closely. The Preakness as I'm sure you know takes place at the beautiful Pimlico Racetrack in Bawldimore.
Free Adam Jones bobblehead at Camden Yards tonight, see you there!
Also, Martin PRADO...BARBARO Canizares.
Guess who happened to be Barbaro's jockey in the now infamous Preakness? Edgar Prado. Coincidence? I think not.
With these names together it was a clear omen that the Orioles bats would arise from their slumber.
Watch out Mets, here come the O's!
It's wonderful that someone named Barbaro was called up and I had the privilege of watching him at Camden Yards on Saturday. There's so much potential for humor with a name like that, and as a baseball fan who enjoys imbibing alcohol and heckling opponents, the table was set for a deliciously offensive evening at the ballpark.
My remark that drew the most disgusted looks was, "if Barbaro pulls hammy while running the bases we should immediately euthanize him while on the field."
What do yall think? Funny or over the top? I vote funny.
Thanks for responding with the legwork, and the article in general, anytime baseball writing makes you think and learn something you know it's the tits!
A future subject might be to study the effectiveness of the defensive shift in baseball and if there are hitters who've been able to exploit it (although once exploited its use would cease, one would think).
He's DH'd only 10 games in his career, SSS alert is right!
Ehh, this is the first article where I stopped reading and started skimming to get to the end. Agreed with hotstatrat that I would like Brian to be given another chance though.
I really enjoyed the piece. It made me think of a question, you used the pre-shift and post-shift BABIP to raise an interesting point about "clutchness" in LH power hitters with runners on base. Another obvious conclusion you might reach is, the shift works in limiting Howard's effectiveness.
But, we also know that Howard has the ability to spray home runs to every part of the ballpark. If he has the ability to stay with the pitch as well as pull it, why couldn't he be more effective against the shift?
Simply put, if you're able to go the other way with a pitch, and they're giving you the the left side of the infield, shouldn't you be able to exploit that?
Perhaps only his flyballs are evenly distributed but his groundballs are all pulled?
Polytheism was soooo 2000 years ago. There can be only one God, and Matt Wieters is his name. Perhaps you're talking about comparing Matt Wieters to Matt Wieters, which is the only comparison worthy of exploration.
After a decade of losing it's nice to have God on our side.
I'm new to BP, is there a place that explains how SNVA is calculated? Like the actual equation?
Feel free to respond, "Corey, it is really comprehensive and complicated and you wouldn't understand it anyway with your tiny brain, don't even try."
I can accept my limitations.
When you say consistent in various stats, over how large of a time period are you talking about? Is your claim that if you have 2 pitchers with equal ERAs, but Pitcher A is great one start and poop the next (2006 Daniel Cabrera), and Pitcher B is consistently decent, they are equally productive? And when we say productive what exactly are we talking about? Giving his team the most/best opportunities to win games?
You know what ignore me, I just looked up the article you speak of, http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8579
After reading my only question that remains is how are you measuring production/success/value in a pitcher? ERA? FIP?
I get it now! Thanks Eric, very interesting.
I wonder if looking the opposite way would reveal any insights. If we just looked at the pitchers with the highest ICC we could say that they are the highest quality, and if perhaps one of those had a very high ERA despite the stable strand rate perhaps that would point to unluckiness in some other factor?
Sounds a bit roundabout but might it be a small tool to use when deciding whether or not to sign a FA pitcher.
"higher quality pitchers, simply put, have more control over their strand rate and can sustain it more than others"
I'm really over my head in this conversation so please forgive the question, but, are you saying that the higher quality pitchers will consistently have better strand rates, or that higher quality pitchers have a more consistent strand rate from year to year, or both?
Comparing Wieters to a mere mortal is insulting.
What people don't realize is that Matt's "struggles" are a preconceived test of faithfulness.
Haters beware, you will pay for your doubting come judgment day.
Winner winner chicken dinner! Trembley just said Wieters will bat 7th tonight.
Holy crap I'm excited. Merry Wietersmas everyone!
So the Orioles have won 4 straight, our closer is back in top form, we're calling up the best prospect in baseball to replace a horrifically performing Greg Zaun, we've called up 3 rookie starters who've all performed well and won their MLB debuts, and our trending arrow is...down?!?
I find that perplexing.
In either case I heard the female crab population has doubled since Matt's trip from Norfolk to Baltimore, saving countless fisherman jobs.
We've got God on our side.
I wanted to rate Will down for his puppies/rainbows comments. Or maybe up. Either way - unfair!
A fun and interesting read, Nate.
Re: pumping bids - agreed. Only pump a player if you wouldn't be upset if he ended up on your team.
Also, don't sit on the guys you love for too long. There's at least one other guy in the room waiting on the same players, and he's also hoarding a little cash for the same reason. If you wait too long, you may end up paying top dollar after a bidding war for an upside buy if you get him (or you spend the same amount on a replacement level player). You're better off calling names you want early; you're either going to get them close to a price you can predict or they're going to go for too much money, in which case you still have other viable options left.
I think the golden rule is to be flexible enough to react to the other people in the room. There are countless auction maxims, but they aren't worth a hoot if the rules of engagement change. In short, zig when others are zagging.
Oh, and the worst thing that you can do is have unspent cash at the end of the draft. Be thou not too thrifty.
Bah, I apologize for reposting below what you already posted here. Looks like I need to refresh more frequently to ensure that I'm not being repetitive.
The Braves arehigher according to Christina's "Mult" value, which is the product of "NrmEqBRR" and "NrmISO," both negative values for the Braves. It, like the Padres' bad-positive value, is high on the chart because the Braves both run slowly and swing a light stick. "Mult" values will only be positive and high if teams are both very good at running and slugging or very bad at running and slugging.
Color me surprised to see Sabathia showing up green.
Contreras's, not Contreras'. Unless you mean to suggest that there's more than one of them, and they all share that age.
...oh. \"Hitter\" cards.
In my defense, Lincecum is an NL pitcher, so technically he \"hits\" from time to time.
Thank you for posting these.
Tim Lincecum\'s PECOTA card is also broken.
I\'m excited to see Gordon\'s 75th percentile projection. A little bump in BA (due to luck or a better hitting approach) and a small step forward elsewhere could make for a really outstanding offensive season.