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"but this past offseason GMs woke up to find they went on a post-bar-closing chips-and-ice cream run and fell asleep with a pizza in the oven." Personal anecdote?
Hoyer made a good deal here. That contract makes for cost certainty if he stays and provides cost certainty to the other team if he ends up being traded. For me I hope he's traded because he's already starting to fill out and without the power (or the arm strength) it's a tough sell to move him to 3rd.
Let the computer call balls and strikes. How fast would the game go without all the staring, pointing and arguing? Tennis seems to be getting by fine by letting the computer call the serves and letting replay decide the close calls.
I've watched most Cubs games since Castro came up and he's just not comfortable at that position and isn't ever going to be. The SS is supposed to be the quarterback of the defense and he's not outgoing enough to be a leader, or that's how it appears. That said, I just saw Javier Baez when Peoria came to Kane County and he's the textbook definition of SS and obviously can play. The question is can Castro play 2B, and if he's at 3B instead will those numbers look as good or not?
What's Dickerson's speed like? He seems to hit a lot of triples for a guy who doesn't run well.
He was available in my NL league a couple of weeks ago so I jumped on MLB network to watch him pitch and what I noticed more than anything was the pace he set. More than once he had two strikes before the batter had any idea what had happened.
Is Paul Goldschmidt for real? I know that's a hitters' park but those numbers are getting hard to dismiss. I picked him up in my NL only Scoresheet league and I'm wondering if he has a shot to win a job in spring training next year.
Vasquez is on my AL Scoresheet team and I don't think it is out of line for me to advocate a bit of steroids for him. That or some vasaline under his cap.
Could be that he lacks the PEDs, or in the case of Perry the flat out cheating, that some of the pitchers on this list had available to them. Reason #1 we should get steroids back into MLB ASAP.
It's hard to read the mind of a player but watching him play he certainly gives the impression of being distracted (or worse disinterested) when things aren't going well for the team he's playing on, or as the season stretches along. Since 2007 the only thing that would indicate he has any upper tier talent at all are a few good months at the beginning of the 2010 and 2008 seasons. Maybe he's just not mentally built for the grind of MLB ball?
I think everyone is missing the point. These are the Royals not the Yankees or Cubs. What the Royals are doing is trying to open up a window of opportunity because if 2/3 of these prospects pan out then it is unlikely (impossible) to pay them all. When you bring them up all at once they all escalate in talent and pay at once. Hopefully, if you're lucky, you can have a 2-3 year window where they are all under cost control, all playing at the highest level, all at the same time ala the Rays before the inevitable rebuilding year comes.
But now that schedule is off because your best prospect, and your (probably) highest paid player is going to hit his huge payday a year earlier, which may shorten your window of opportunity. In return you have him producing in a year the Royals clearly have no chance to win a title.
The Royals weren't able to keep Carlos Beltran and there's no indication anything has changed in regards to holding onto players of that caliber now. The best plan would have been to keep Hosmer down as long as possible to maximize his productivity when the Royals can compete and before they lose him to his cost or free agency.
Well I guess that's the point. One bad year just isn't enough to say that he's done. It's enough to say a trend may be beginning to develop, but not quite enough to call him DOA. So what he did last year is of some relevance, but to say that one year removed from a .334 .406 .465 season he's now incapable of sustaining a run close to that for 60 days is a little premature IMO.
Of course we heard this in 2002, 2005, and 2008. If he continues to regress I wouldn't be shocked. However, if he got hot and had a 2 month run this summer where he hit .310 .390 .435 I wouldn't be shocked either.
Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies anchor the Royals staff. We can compare them to the Lincecum and Cain combo in SF? Really? Just because a team has a good one month run in a weak division is not a reason to talk championship. Seriously, this is a horrible staff top to bottom.
OK I shouldn't say the Royals suck because I actually really like the Royals. How about "The Royals' management often makes curious decisions."
I can understand sending a message that the Royals want to win. However, the whole point of this year was that the Royals were going to be patient and not make knee jerk reactions based on small samples. Build a strong foundation, assess your players, and assemble a team. WIll the new CBA have a Super 2 and will they buy out Hosmer's arb years? Who knows but for now you have to assume the answer is no. If he's a true A plus super star this could be a 5-10 million dollar mistake.
This is why the Royals stink. They're wasting literally millions of dollars on bringing up Hosmer early in a season where they have practically zero chance of winning a championship. Has Kila stunk? Sure but it's worth mentioning that Mike Schmidt hit .196 in his first full season (at age 23 though) and countless other have required more time to make adjustments.
To compound the damage you have destroyed any chance you have of trading Kila for anything of value by sending him back to AAA now. In September last year he had an OPS over .900. That kind of little run would be the time to trade him not now.
AMAZING! It's terrific that BP and Scoresheet have been able to work so closely together and provide such great value to their customers. Thanks for all the hard work!
Really love reading TA lately. Great work Ben.
Phil Nevin was not particularly good after he came back in 2003 (about .200 points off his previous OPS). Does this type of fracture heal completely within 6-8 weeks, or can some pain/discomfort linger afterwards?
Do you read anything into sending Eibner directly to Kane County rather than sending him to Burlington first? At first glance he would seem to be a high draft pick on a team with few high ceiling talents except (maybe) Yowill Espinal.
Well the Rangers felt that the math would work that way with ARod and it didn't really work out. In this case it might be even tougher because the 30 million probably goes to extentions for Wainwright, Carpenter and Rasmus. If they sign him and have to trade all 3 it would be a bitter pill to swallow.
For the Cardinals it may be a situation where they are doomed either way. It is correctly suggested that the Cardinals will have a hard time fielding a winning team with so much money tied up in Holliday and Pujols. It is also correctly suggested that they cannot afford to lose them either. This is the interesting gift/curse of the star player(s) on the smaller market roster. You learn you cannot live with them or without them.
Personally, having spent a lot of time in St Louis I think they can live without Pujols. Cardinals fans love the team not the player, and as long as they put a winning team out there they will show up. 30 Million a year could easily be used to rebuild the back end of the rotation and bullpen, and get another bat.
I was hoping that the Royals were going to put more talent in Kane County than the As did but the opening roster looks like Eibner and a bunch of filler. Looks like most of the high ceiling guys are in extended spring training or elsewhere.
Do you think the Royals will move them to Kane County when the weather gets warmer, or are we going to see most of the 1st-5th round guys go straight from Burlington to Wilmington? Wilmington is such a tough place to hit I would think Kane would be a nice place to let them get their feet wet, and see some upper talent, before moving on.
I think PECOTA just hates the White Sox. I heard somewhere the Ozzie Guillen refused to sign a game ball for PECOTA in the early 90s and PECOTA has been holding a grudge ever since.
The "mainstream" is about to be astonished by one of the most talented writers I have ever had the privilege of reading, and enjoying, on a day to day basis. Your contributions here have, and will always be, greatly appreciated and admired. For someone who writes for an internet audience I never got the feeling that any of your pieces were haphazardly or lazily approached and (having surveyed the current lay of the land for such things) that is a very rare thing.
Try to chip in here as much as you can. In the meantime, I think paying for the ESPN Insider subscription is becoming a more appealing idea than it was a few years ago.
Thank you. Congratulations.
So excited that the Royals took over Kane County. The As sent a few good prospects through but they seemed reluctant to provide that team any significant talent the last few years (weather?). With the Royals I am hoping to see some top tier (or going to be top tier) guys coming through. Thinking about getting a 10 game package.
Yesh that's a bad decision. Harrison and Hunter are just going to get lit up all year until they find a better alternative. I think Holland can turn the corner, but it seems to me that either Hunter or Harrison might make a good middle reliever a lot like David Hernandez was for the Os last year.
That's a very good 12 team NL team. People who play in shallower leagues have trouble looking at this format and understanding there's only so much talent to go around.
Why hold that many rookies on a team that's clearly able to win now?
Scouts saw red flags for Brandon Wood in 2006 and 2007 but in 2008 at Salt Lake, which actually plays almost neutral, he had dropped his K rate, increased his walk rate to 10%, and improved his contact rate to 79%, so just looking at the numbers it was hard not to be excited. After that he simply regressed, and it's pretty hard to explain why.
Masteron is in the rotation but Rotoworld has been speculating for weeks about a move to the bullpen, but that's nothing but speculation about the future.
I like the team a lot and there's enough balance there that you don't have to spend a ton of effort in the early post draft period to fill any holes.
I wouldn't have thought that you would have reached for Abreu at $21 considering PECOTA's scary projection. Aren't you a company man?
Thank you so much for articles like this! I am in two Scoresheet leagues, 12 team AL only and NL only, one 40 man roster, the other can in theory have 50 or more. In both leagues almost the entire top 100 prospects are gone and almost without exception the 5 star guys are taken, so info like this is great.
I keep hearing that Feliz should stay in the pen because the rotation has so many options, but I can't see the depth at all. Tommy Hunter's xFIP was 4.77 and his advanced stats are bad enough that his ERA next year could be much higher than that. If he sees 200 innings he may give up 35+ HRs in that park.
Holland looks like he could be a very solid pitcher but his walks have to come down, and if they don't, this is a team that will have an enormous number of bullpen innings by the end of the year.
So what's the use of having Feliz close if your starter gives up 4 runs in 5 1/3?
Only if all things are equal which they're not. Can we assume that the wind patterns from the bay may have prevented some of those fly balls from carrying? I'm not saying for sure but we do know that the ball jumps in Toronto and dies in the air in Oakland. The AL East also has 4 of the more hitter friendly parks in the AL rather than playing games in Oakland and Seattle.
I'm I saying he's going to turn into Barry Bonds? No. However, I think 7-10 HRs might be attainable. If he can hit 40 SB and 10 HRs he could be very valuable in some formats.
I'm not sure Davis and Womack are really that similar. The numbers look the same but Tony Womack was never much of an athlete. He was 5'9" and 175 soaking wet. Davis is 5'10" and plays at almost 200 pounds, is a much stronger player, and a much more well rounded athlete.
Also, I think that moving out of Oakland can only help his BABIP and his power numbers. If you look at his spray chart I think those flyballs he pulls to LF could easily turn into HRs in Toronto, where in Oakland they died on the warning track.
Having watched him every year the injuries have just taken their toll. The shoulder, the wrist, the knees, the ankle, the hamstring... After awhile you notice he's lost something, just a little bit, with every injury.
Look at his spray chart in Oakland and you can see he really likes to pull the ball to LF when he does hit for power, so it isn't a stretch to expect a few more homers out of him this year. 10HR 75R 40SB with a respectable average would make him a pretty nice $1 or late round pick.
I said it in another thread and I'll say it here. Closers don't get 100 million dollar contracts. I think as soon as that was explained to him starting seemed like the way to go.
It's not the line that's impressive (not exactly the big red machine today) but the fact that he went 4 innings and stayed under his pitch count without getting too wild, which was the big issue last spring.
Feliz today. 4 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 run, 5Ks. I think we're about to find out if he can start.
Now the question is how many innings? I will put the over under at 170. Any takers?
I think after seeing Tommy Hunter get lit up this spring, and Brandon Webb clearly being out, that it's almost a given he's in the rotation unless he just falls apart. Texas absolutely needs him as a starter, and a good one, to go anywhere this year.
Did i Fleiz? I meant Feliz.
Fleiz told the Dallas Morning News he now wants a place in the rotation.
Do you think Nolan Ryan might have mentioned to him that as a starter he's worth 100 million dollars, and as a closer he isn't?
The thing about Dickey is that no one has ever thrown a knuckle fastball combo like his. As far as I know he has no comps so I think I will take a wait and see approach here. I will not be shocked if SIERRA couldn't see a guy like Dickey coming.
I completely agree. Some of my best seasons (most fun) have been seasons where I finished close to last place.
Well I disagree. First he's not old, he's 26. Second he's already been given the job to split DH and 1B with Butler and they have no intention of calling up Hosmer until July so they don't start his (Hosmer's) arb clock earlier then they have to. So all Kila has to do is hit.
.300 is never going to happen with him but if he hits .265 .385 .495, in that park, he'll be in demand. Then Pittsburgh, Colorado, San Diego, Los Angeles (NL), Cleveland, Texas, Baltimore, and Seattle are all looking for cost controlled 1B or DH either now, or for the future. Do you think Colorado has long term plans for Helton and Giambi? If Helton get's hurt they will be desperate.
The gamble here, as far as taking him high, is twofold. Will he hit? I think he will. More problematic is that his value is in walks and homers and his home park will have an impact on that. Texas, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Seattle, LA, and Baltimore would all be fine. San Diego and Cleveland not so much.
If he goes to a good park you have a guy who may be somewhere between Adam Dunn and Jack Cust, but who can run the bases and is athletic enough to play above average 1B. Not bad IMO.
not 250 I meant 200 PAs and that's assuming a totally healthy year which seems improbable.
It looks like LA is looking to have Ethier face most or all LH pitchers because they clearly have a Gibbons/Thames platoon in the other corner but no one else to platoon with Ethier if Gwynn and Paul are the 5th and 6th OFs. If he ends up with 250 or more PAs against LHers his value dives a ton.
Took Kila @ round 16 in my AL only Scoresheet draft (14 keepers so 2nd round) and I know some people must have been scratching their heads.
Here's the best part about Kila (and Matt Holliday in Oakland 2 years ago). KC obviously wants Hosmer at first base and Butler at DH, so it is inevitable that if Kila hits lights out they will move him before the deadline or earlier. KC is a tough park for LH power hitters and if Kila were moved to a more favorable park (Colorado needs a new 1B don't they?) his value could really skyrocket.
PECOTA's projections for ERA seem a little high both this year and in general don't they? Last year 15 players had an ERA under 3, and PECOTA is only projecting 2 this year (Lincecum and Strasburg), which seems a little unlikely. Do you think that the run inflated "steroid" era is screwing up the historical aspect of the projection? Is there anyway to tell PECOTA that hitters aren't pumped on horse pills anymore?
Also, if you know that prospect is guy who's going to play the next year, superstar or not, that's one position you can fill with what is essentially a 34th and 35th round pick. I have Domonic Brown and Daniel Schlereth this year, and although I don't expect superstar performance from either, I felt I could wait on my 5th outfielder and LOOGY reliever this year, allowing me to focus elsewhere in the earlier rounds.
I hear what your saying, but still it was an AL only 12 team league and I have at least 3-4 other examples (both my AL and NL leagues are 12 teams) from the last few years. Also, despite the crossovers there are also a lot of AAA opportunities in a league that deep to even out the "all-star effect".
My theory is between ERA matching, and the platoon splits, that the lost ABs from the batter give the computer just enough leverage to give the pitcher the advantage in close matchups. That's just a theory though.
I think it is important to note that platooning doesn't always work in Scoresheet. On a few occasions I have dome a straight platoon for players over a full year and had the players both way underperform their expected stats. In one year Jason Kubel had an OPS of a little over .800 at the end of the year as platoon, instead of his real world OPS of .907 which I expect he would have come close to had he played all those ABs.
As it turned out in the weeks he was doing well in real life I faced a couple of lefties in the game so he sat, and in a few weeks he was cold he was on the field in Scoresheet. This has actually happened to me in multiple seasons to the point that I know take good players with neutral platoon splits and move them way up on my cheatsheets. I think the article makes it seem that Seth Smith is devastating vs RH hitters which isn't really so. If he's platooned, and he has a great week in real life but only plays two games in Scoresheet, he isn't going to pack all those hits into two games and go 4-4 each game. In fact you're going to leave those hits on the bench in many cases. I had a strict platoon for Smith last year and he hit .240 with a .751 OPS.
All this is awfully negative considering how overwhelmingly positive the wild card has been to the average fans, and rightfully so.
The game has changed so much that having MLB without a wild card seems silly. The players are making so much money that if there is even the hint of an injury to a star player, and that team is out of the race, he's likely to sit the entire month of September. By all accounts Josh Johnson was able to pitch with about 2 weeks left in the season, but with the Marlins out of it he sat. There are countless examples of this now.
How many more meaningful games are we watching in August and September now than we were then? For every Tewksbury-Martinez duel there are games like the 1998 playing game for the Cubs that probably equal out the perceived loss of drama even on the last day of the year. I think a lot of this is looking at the past with rose colored glasses.
In my 12 team AL only we're through 18 and Webb and Bedard are still on the board, but in My 12 team NL only Webb was protected, so it is going to depend on the league.
I think sometimes it's just an accident. I wanted to rate a +1 to a comment awhile ago but by accident clicked the - sign instead, but because there is no clear differentiation between the + and - I didn't notice. Fangraphs colors their + and - red and green so it's clear what you did. Maybe a similar system would work here?
Morales' injury didn't heal cleanly though. As of right now he has a huge pin and 6 screws holding his ankle together and cannot run (job a little) or participate in any defensive drills. He hasn't been able to do any offseason conditioning and has gained somewhere around 10-15 pounds. It was a horrible break, and I'm not sure he will ever completely recover from it.
I would add only relying on a particular system's projections. Yes, I know Bill James has so and so projected for a .820 OPS, but he had a .700 OPS last year, and I'm not trading Prince Fielder for him.
Also, as per preseason predictions those silly Reds have no chance at the division and should have probably traded Scott Rolen before the year started (his output is rapidly declining). Clearly 2010 was hopeless from the beginning.
I think in both the cases of the Nats and Brewers the argument that they will be unable to compete next year is a little silly, and I think it may be that idea that drives the Nationals and Brewers execs. BPs preseason prediction for San Diego was dead last in the west, and by no small margin.
By trading Dunn or Fielder you are simply giving up when, despite the odds, you have some talent and a chance to win. Where would San Diego be if they had traded Gonzo? Once you're in the playoffs anything can happen (05' White Sox) and the best team does not always win.
The question with Fielder remains to whom, and for what? Which team has the prospects, is ready to win now, and has the money to sign him to an extension so as to make losing the prospects worth it?
Wisconsin is a unique place for professional sports. If the fanbase feels there is a real effort on the part of the ownership to succeed then these are the most rabid, loyal fans in the world regardless of whether they win or not. How else do you explain the Green Bay Packers? On the other hand if they think they're just putting a team out there to lose then they will turn on you fast. The revenue is there to pay Fielder, the question is the ability of the organization to build around him and Braun, but trading him might equal financial suicide, which in turn may reduce their spending power, which in turn may reduce their ability to win in the future IMO.
I guess you've never been to a Brewers game. Fielder is the face of the franchise and if the Brewers trade him and get back less than what the Jays got for Halladay, which seems very likely, they will lose more than just the casual fans. Remember, they are a top ten attendance team now but in 2006 they were 18th, and trading Fielder would be a sign of failure and attendance wouldn't just dip it would plummet. It will cost far more to lose him than keep him.
Is it starting to look like Morrison is legitimately blocked by Sanchez? I always thought Sanchez would be a placeholder, but if he can sustain an even slightly above average BABIP (.340 seems a bit high) with a solid walk and K rate is he legit? What do you do with Morrison then?
Wins aside the amazing strand rate that Jimenez has posted is almost entirely his own as he's finishing almost every inning as he has he been pulled in favor of a reliever only once.
I don't entirely disagree with Matt's assertion. What I do grow a bit tired of is the complete confidence with which sabermetrics establishes what is even possible, and to say that Jimenez's BABIP or strand rate is unsustainable is a little silly. Now, is it unlikely to continue? Sure. Impossible? No.
I think your discounting those teams playhard. Arizona, Milwaukee, and LA are 3rd, 4th, 5th in run production and he shut them all down. Even his one "bad" start was in a pouring rainstorm where he clearly was having trouble griping the ball. He's just been lights out.
Now as far as luck how does SIERA rate some of the dominant performances throughout the years? Would SIERA call Bob Gibson really lucky and predicted halfway through the 1968 season that he was surely going to regress? If so does that mean Ubaldo may be able to keep this up despite conventional wisdom suggesting otherwise?
Any word on Mike Sweeney? He was actually playing pretty well before he got hurt.
If Rollins ERD is 5/20 that puts him out 5 weeks. If he was injured on 4/13, and if the return date is 2-4 weeks wouldn't somewhere between 5/2-5/12 make more sense?
Didn't Victorino have the same calf strain last year? could this be related to their stretching routines?
If Berkman's problem is the damage to his knee, with the fluid being the symptom of the underlying damage, is there any good chance he avoids either a long rest period, or surgery? Is his knee just going to fix itself in 10 days?
Can Carlos Beltran play 130 games in the outfield without any cartilage in his knees? Can surgery really correct that?
You never want to trade out of the first 5 picks in Scoresheet drafts because the elite talent is so thin. Remember, this isn't about pure offensive stats. How many guys in the AL have youth, defense, baserunning, low fielding error totals, and a complete offensive package (OBP, SLG, K%, AVG, DP%)? That's why a guy like Sizemore goes in the top 5 in Scoresheet, and probably falls out of the 1st round in Roto.
Longoria is without a doubt the best pick.
What may clarify things more is if Verducci said something like "Some pitchers who are likely to get injured are more likely to do so after large increases in workload expose their propensity to injury". That is probably closer to the truth.
Did Anibel Sanchez have an underlying propensity for injury? Probably. Would that injury have surfaced so early in his career had he thrown fewer innings? Maybe, and my gut says yes.
Hamels is a bad example. The only thing that changed is he threw his curve and change less often, and his fastball out of the zone got hit more, and his bad BABIP inflated his ERA.
It's not supposed to be scripture, it's just a rule of thumb sort of way to identify the risk groups. Over the years Verducci's record of identifying risky pitchers has been prescient. However, to state that because a pitcher has a big innings increase he will get hurt isn't the point, it's simply a way of identifying risk.
Dunn could have easily hit .220 like he is prone to do, and racked up 30 of his 40 homers in blowout games against the worst pitchers, and then we would be complaining about that. If someone had told you that Bradley's slugging percentage was going to be this bad, at the end of last year, you would have thought he was crazy.
Bradley hasn't been that bad. His OBP has been hovering around .400 and that has its uses. Again, if you try and fail I can at least appreciate giving the team a chance.
I can clearly remember a time when putting a winning team on the field was never even a consideration. The stands were 1/2 empty, and no one was even thinking playoffs. At least people are expecting to win now. That, in and of itself, represents a change in the culture, and as a fan that's a welcome change.
I've been a Cubs fan my entire life and followed the team on a daily basis for about 30 years, and although some may have done things differently I can't say I am upset with the way the team is being run.
Hendry was given a load of cash and a simple goal...Win NOW. He took the money and built the best team he could with the free agents that were available, basically stretched his budget to the breaking point, and then, well, they just didn't win. Last year was easily their best chance with career years from several players who were completely unlikely to ever repeat those performances. They had the talent and it just didn't happen.
However, Hendry tried. He tried to shoot the moon and fell short. As a Cubs fan I can at least appreciate the effort. Now it's time to suffer through what will be a very painful rebuilding process. It's better to have tried and failed then to never have tried at all (which is what we've been used to).
In Scherzer's case does the 08' innings pitched reflect the innings he put in during the Arizona Fall League?
Oh, I totally agree with rguerin that draft picks should be able to be traded. It works in the NFL and the NBA.
The draft isn't "fair" and really can't be. No one has the "right" to a fair negotiation with an organization like MLB, or the NBA or NFL. If the draft was "fair" and amateur players could negotiate with any team when the declare out of high school or college the whole system would collapse.
It's simple. The Yankees have to play someone, and that someone has to have a way to access young talent in a cost controlled manner. Is it fair? No. Does that matter at all? No. Not if the league is going to prosper. The most successful sports league in the country is the NFL and their system is probably less fair (no guaranteed contracts) than the MLB's. Everything Zimmerman says is correct, and in the end Strasburg should negotiate as best as possible until the last minute, and the sign on the dotted line.
In baseball past performance does often suggest a very high propensity for future success.
What happens when a guy get called up from the minors. And I don't mean "he got on a plane and arrived at the ballpark..". Is there paperwork to fill out? Who do you meet when you get to the park? Who books the flight? Do they give you money for meals and cab fair ect? Do you get a locker right away, or do you have to keep you stuff in a bag for a few days?
Amazingly well written, and well researched article. I was discussing the reasoning behind the LaRoche-Kotchman trade from the Braves' point of view this morning, and this article certainly sheds some light on how the Braves may have looked at the trade.
Easy there guys it's just baseball.
I should have been a little clearer on my opinion. What I meant to say was that I think I disagree that Smoltz's peripheral numbers necessarily point to an upcoming correction. There's bad luck, and then there is just throwing the ball and missing your spots. That will lead to a high BABIP and a high FB/HR ratio and a high number of extra base hits.
You look at the numbers and think this is a fluke, and this guy's going to bet better. You watch him pitch and realize that at certain times in the game he can't get guys out when he needs to. Call it the Javier Vasquez effect. Guys can underperform their peripherals for years and I think Smoltz doesn't have that kind of time.
So, not so much a matter of bad luck, but a guy who just can't find the magic anymore when the David Murphy's of the world come up with men on base and he needs a big out.
I think it's dangerous to look at the overall numbers and take comfort in the idea that he's been the victim of bad luck. Smoltz's problem has been the big inning, especially late in the game. Pitchers always get into trouble. The difference between the good and the great is the great ones have the ability to reach back and find a way to get that most important out. Smoltz seems to have lost that skill.
Go back to the July 20th game against the Rangers. In the 6th he gives up a solo homer to lead off the inning (happens to everyone), then a hard double to Hamilton (again, who hasn't) but after a Blaylock single, and with the game on the line he gives up a 2 run homer to David Murphy!? It was no cheap shot either.
That's the guy he always could get out. Now I am beginning to wonder if it's possible that he just doesn't have enough gas in the tank to reach back and find the pitch he needs to get that crucial out anymore.
I think what happened in the offseason has made this play out longer than it should have. KC was the pick to be this year's Rays due to the improved (supposedly) defense and the seemingly good pitching. What was overlooked by those overly optimistic fans was what this article discusses. On the surface, viewed through a particular lens, it looked like this team could win. However, objectively, it should have been clear from the beginning that this team was far too flawed to compete. The staff's short lived dominance only obscured the inevitable for a month or two.
Now the question is how long will this be allowed to continue? Will the KC fanbase ever come back, or will this be a football city like Pittsburgh forever? With a minimal fanbase will they ever be able to recover?
Without Berkman and Oswalt the Astros are probably the worst team in baseball, and since they aren't getting any younger the time to see another playoff is now or never. None of their young players (even Pence) is someone you can build a franchise around ala Justin Upton, so there isn't much to look forward to.
However, a push into the playoffs might be enough to reward the fans for their loyalty before what is going to be a very painful rebuilding process.
I think you have to worry about a young power hitter with a shoulder injury. The injury, despite being treated, is never truly and completely healed. After my knee operation to repair a damaged meniscus it became clear to me that it would never really be the same ever again. What happens when your shoulder is never really the same again at 24? I think some players get past it altogether, while for others the injury changes them.
I think it's clear that this might not be a good trade for the Pirates. However, the point is that Morgan is clearly not an All Star caliber player because he lack the natural ability to do so. Milledge, despite the possibility of becoming a total bust, does have all the skills to be a top tier player. Whether he realizes the potential or not remains to be seen, but for the Pirates to get better they must accumulate these types of players. Now retaining them when/if their talent is actualized is another issue...
It's an interesting article, but I don't see any connection to the type of player Hartung was to the type of player Weiters is. By all accounts Weiters skill set is much more complete then Hartung's (even if he won't be a Gold Glove catcher), and because of that he should be much less likely to fail.
Even Clint Hurdle is a poor comparison because he had significant struggles in the minors before he was called up. I think a better comparison might have been Danny Goodwin.
Loved it. Some of us don't want to be talked down to.
Wheeler is an idiot. I have seen so many sports writers talk about how every pitcher threw 300 innings and had 15 complete games every year and never got hurt. What his unresearched opinions fail to account for is the thousands of unknown pitchers who went down with career ending injuries and were never heard from again, or even the well known pitchers like Dave Ferriss or Tex Hughson who saw their careers end prematurely after only few years of ridiculous workload. Ferriss pitches almost 800 innings in 3 years and then disappears from baseball, and we don't need pitch counts!? Please.
I live in the Chicago area and Comcast is providing us a free preview of their complete MLB package, so I was able to watch the entire Angles game. He really seemed comfortable on the mound and was looking confident and in control. You had that feeling that he was turning the corner and ready to step into his career role for the first time. This news is so amazingly sad and shocking I am having trouble concentrating at work today. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Christina, you are a gigantic nerd of epic proportions. Star Fleet Battles... Wow!
Let\'s just put the stats aside.
In my town a mother of 3 was convicted of falsifying a prescription for Vicodin and Oxycontin, possessing the drugs, and selling a few to afford more. She did 5 years in jail and lost custody of her children. The people she sold to were all charged with possession and were also charged and convicted. Why exactly do these (ball players) overpaid babies supposed to be given a free pass? In the eyes of the law they are both similar crimes with similar punishments.
Why exactly are we proposing that grown men who are guilty of using, possessing, and in some cases distributing an illegal drug (right or wrong isn\'t the issue), along with obstruction of justice, perjury, and possible conspiracy just go back to playing ball and forget the whole thing? How is that fair to the rest of us who have to play by the rules or go to jail?
I think the real problem here is getting lost in all the discussions about cheating and not cheating. The issue here is that these players broke the law, not just once but multiple times. Possession of a controlled substance with or without the intent to deliver is a felony and in most states carries a serious penalty.
The implication here is very serious and very far reaching, going way beyond record books. It appears that the only business in the United States with an exemption to federal antitrust statutes has been acting as a large scale, organized, prescription drug ring. To make matters worse it appears that that there may have been an organized conspiracy on the part of management, ownership, and the members of the players union to cover it up. There are possible federal tax evasion, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, drug trafficking across state lines, and perjury indictments that could result from this.
Had this happened in some local neighborhood I guarantee you that there would be some people going to jail, probably for a long time. ARod shouldn\'t be worried about his HOF candidacy, he should be worried about going to jail.
As to the leaking (which I agree is the more interesting subject)..
I am serving on a grand jury now and when you become familiar with the process it\'s simply inconceivable, with how many people have access to the information, that this testing was going to remain secret after it is admitted as evidence in court. There just isn\'t a way to keep this many people quiet.
More interesting is whether the testing was supposed to be secret (completely anonymous/non labeled samples) or whether MLB has a responsibility to report crimes when the government requests evidence.
The implication of all this is startling. It seems that the one very large business with an anti trust exemption has been operating as an illegal, large scale, organized drug ring. Did they really think this wasn\'t going to be an issue?
Every time I try to fight these projections I end up looking silly because PECOTA is awfully smart. Last year I was fighting the rather bleak Miguel Cabrera projection but his OPS was right in the middle his 40th and 50th percentiles (with more HRs, more Ks, and fewer walks but you get the idea).
So Christian Guzman is officially the sleeper of the year.