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"Catchers are wierd, man." -Jeffrey Paternostro
"Catchers are wired, man." -Dennis Hopper
I really hope Musgrove gets at least 150 innings of starts.
Agreed. As a wind instrument player myself, I winced (in a good way) at thinking how my sax swings and whiffs.
Also, those of you who did the <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=100628">Brett Phillips</a></span> blurb arbalest with writerly gifts.
Nice use of the underutilized phrase "on the regular."
MLB dads don't get to spend much time with their kids between March and October. I'd argue that it is relevant to working conditions to be able to spend adequate time with one's own children. MLB is not analagous to the miliary and ballparks are not war zones, so the presence of children should not be considered inherently wrong. Beyond that, there is little precedent and probably no reasonable argument for allowing players' kids free access to the clubhouse and the restricted access areas of a ballpark. If you want that in your contract, negotiate for it! When <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Kevin+Brown">Kevin Brown</a></span> left my Padres to join the Dreaded Dodgers, he negotiated several paid flights on private jets for his family and him to see each other during the regular season. Why couldn't LaRoche have bargained for an arrangement to have his kid constantly present? My theory is that LaRoche simply wanted to spend more time with his kid and lucked into a good situation. But when he was informed the gig was up, he reasoned that he'd get more joy from quitting so he could spend oodles more time with his kid than he would having to play a full season for the team without the kid near. Props to LaRoche for valuing his relationship with his child over the urge to earn more duckets than he reasonably needs for financial independence for him and his.
At first they thought it was just a cyst so they drained it. According to CBS news, a few months later they diagnosed it as os acromiale, a condition where the four bones of the prominent part of the shoulder don't fuse properly. This affects about 8% of the population. The surgery fused the bones and Travis wore a brace for two months trapping his arm against his body. If the bones heal, he's good to go. This wasn't rotator cuff surgery and he didn't harm anything muscular-skeletal besides his bones. Dem bones.
Sogard as the Face of MLB would still be meaningful if he were shipped to the minors. There are just so mamy MLB players who have to tough it out in the layered realm of "organizational depth" to prove their merit that profiling one of them helps to underscore both the meritocratic nature of big league rosters and the plucky, hardscrabble character of your typical fringe player working hard to remain relevant.
Yet I don't think the pros in the MLB marketing department would see anything positive in a demotion.
Thanks JJ. Funny you should mention being able to stomach certain players. On a whim I bought a pack of Topps baseball cards today at a comic book store and foolishly ate the stick of gum inside. After it shattered into tiny fragments, the taste that hit me was so unspeakably terrible, I nearly dropped the 1988 <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Mike+Moore">Mike Moore</a></span> (SEA-RHP) card I was examining, and ran over to the Taco Smell to gargle with a soda. So instead of comparing Mike Moore to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57473">Matt Moore</a></span> like I wanted to do, I was cursing them both! Apparently baseball card gum, like the ballplayers themselves, have a certain shelf life.
If you will take a "hard pass" on 82 through 88 on this ranking, why bother with anyone listed 89 or higher? You've clarified that this is your own somewhat subjective ranking, so why not move the people you have the least interest in to the tail end of the list? Am I missing something here?
I notice that Frazier seems to be getting more love than <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45534">Cole Hamels</a></span> or <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31265">Jordan Zimmerman</a></span> in your AL keeper rankings. Does this have to do with relative weakness at 3B? All the drafts I've seen so far in Scoresheet show those starters being picked before the 3d sacker. Thoughts?
Remember, if you already have two 3B and the next available player with the best expected value happens to be another 3B, you aren't necessarily reaching when you pick another player (with a lower overall expected value) who plays a different position you need for your team. Just make sure that player has the highest expected value among available players at that particular position. Fantasy leagues don't operate as optimal free markets, so there can be no assumption that the extra 3B you picked up (because you mindlessly followed the "pick the highest available expected value" axiom) can be traded for equal or better expected value. Just make sure when you fill positions, you factor in scarcity of available talent at particular positions and your needs at particular positions.
I sold Gallo to get a top 25 active starting pitcher in the majors, and truth be told I'm convinced that Mazaro will outshine Gallo when he gets to the bigs. Confession: I read <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Ted+Williams">Ted Williams</a></span>' book on how to hit the baseball and Mazaro's zone control advantage over Gallo appears to be the difference maker as he matures and makes adjustments. Hell, to be able to make adjustments has value in and of itself.
Nice to see you predict the same success for Mazara that I see in him. Funny to note that when trying to trade for him in my Scoresheet league, I have to make sure I don't come across as too needy, otherwise the owner will start to reinforce his own biases on his value based on confirmation from someone else (i.e., me).
yes, quite entertaining. The vids do help, and I hope there are more from now on. Observation: some of the vids tend to autoplay in certain browsers, leading to delays in viewing other vids on the same page. Is there a way of programming your page to instruct the vids not to play until the "play" icon is clicked by a user?
Good point John. That statement, or "declaration" as you put it, is wanting for backing. It has no meat on its bones. If it were a fish I reeled in, I wouldn't feed it to my family.
Even taking into account relative paydays, I wouldn't say that Miley's $19.25 million contract doesn't rise to the level of a real" or "live" payday. We all live real and live days while we live. The basest churl enjoys the same reality as the dapperest Dan. Relatively massive payouts are reserved for the outliers, who, while all too "real" and "live," are not more real or live than the rest of us. Use superlatives or even hyperbole for these outliers.
Doug, have you written an article on how pitchers adjust to increasing velocity? Seems like the extra velo might change the amount of break on a cutter, curve, etc. Maybe it's the mirror image of the kind of adjusments pitchers need to make as their velo fades?
Thanks for being a bad news first guy. Don't offer them a choice. Just dispense it. Then on to the good news. Rejoice!
Baseball America has an article on how they screwed up Justin Verlander and their prospect lists because they thought he would be a relief pitcher. Any thoughts on how to predict whether someone who scouts peg to become a reliever will in fact start games and make the transition to solid sp3 or better?
Guerrieri's tannins must assuredly mello first,
Ere annointing him, say, the new Bruce Hurst.
Except Taylor Happens to be an RHP.
So we'll just have to see.
Thanks for referring us to your earlier articles. I was particularly struck by your admission that in the early years of your fantasy career you focused far too much on your own team and its needs. I fell victim to that for a few years with my first Scoresheet team, but once I pulled off a trade I felt like a million bucks and I got the bug to start analyzing other squads for what they might be looking for. This attitude increased my interest in my league immensely. Asking what would I do if I owned X team forced me to sympathize with the other owners in my league, which to this day continues to help me be more reasonable in my trade offers and likewise helps me seem more reasonable to others in my league, which makes them more open to dealing with me. One thing to avoid is mindlessly sticking with guys who've been on your squad for years. I wonder if there's a BP article on how powerful this familiarity factor comes into play in decisions whether to keep certain players and inflate their value during drafts and trade negotiations. Familiarity is supposed to breed contempt. But in keeper leagues it can breed unwise clinging to the players we've rostered and who we've grown to know as "our guys."
Enjoyed your article Doug.
Next time round ... Walter Johnson? Mordecai Brown?
I'm guessing Steve Hamilton doesn't deserve to make the funk list just for one infamous pitch (the "folly floater"). The delivery for that gimmick pitch is just plain sick.
Yuk. Yuk. Quality stuff. Monday afternoon at the Comedy Hole quality, but quality nonetheless.
Great article, Mr. Carleton. Too many Boomer Esiason types still think wives only exist to support their husbands and bear their children.
My thinking about ballplayer rights, compensation, and perks is heavily influenced by Jim Bouton, so I have little patience for those who ignore the way the profit pie is sliced and accuse ballplayers of being lazy and having ti too easy.
It was also interesting to see how many players exercised their Paternity List rights over the last 3 years. Do you know if those figures include players not just on the starting 25 but also on the expanded rosters? And I wonder if trainers, assistant GM's, etc. are by and large entitled to at least a day of paternity leave under the various employee policies developed by the franchises for their permanent (and presumably important) workers?
I finally decided this year to think of Clay Buchholz more as Scrub than Star in my Scoresheet league where IP are so hard to accumulate when the dude gets shelved so much. It's been more than a year since we talked together about him and his awkward delivery at the BP day at the A's game, and it still took me this long to say goodbye to the promising young buck I drafted in 2008. Regarding your above-described team, what kind of league are we talking (e.g., 5 by 5, 10 team?)
Gents, your March 7th TTO SS podcast focused on relievers was quite useful to me in a year when I was Flat-Stanley-thin on picks, and I'm still studying your rankings against other indicators to weigh options at the tail end of my AL-only draft. The way you looked at thinner pens, whether guys are out of options, and that kind of thing for SS ranking purposes, with an eye to how those factors influence the oh-so-crucial IP counts, was outstanding. And it was fun to realize that one of you did Buddy Groom a favor by helping his wife avoid the embarrassment of failing to sell his cleats at that silent auction (for, as you put it, a steal of an opening bid). And, as I see he's left a comment here, I might as well thank John Carter for the great tips he shares with us on his Scoresheetwiz page.
Can someone rank for me in order of expected PA's in 2014 the following Alejandro De Aza scenarios:
(1) Stays put and vies w/ Viciedo (the default scenario)(BP thinks 522);
(2) stays put but Viciedo traded to Seattle for M. Saunders;
(3) Stays put, but Viciedo still moved for someone other than an OF,
(4) Lands in Twinkie Town?
good article. thnx. interesting to see stroman mentioned in not 1 but 2 categories (i.e., slider, and command) as a potential leader. Blue Jay fans everywhere, take note (and forgive him any hiccups in 2014 as he learns the tendencies of the hitters he'll be facing.
Actually the Buchholz trade was for a first round draft pick when I thought I had a chance to get Brian McCann (because my team is catcherless). Plan B was to get back a 180+IP starter as good or better than Buchholz, with Peavy, Jimenez, Ogando, and Quintana available.
Paul, your observations re Buchholz were instrumental in helping me resolve my long-running concerns about what to do with him on my AL-only Scoresheet team (I've owned him since 2008). So, with his World Series hardware and sub-2.00 ERA on full display, I swapped him for Ubaldo Jimenez (who's just a year older and similarly bound by contract to the AL for more than a year). Wondering whether you think I've simply traded apples for apples here. Jimenez is sporting Oriole colors, so hopefully oranges! I feel I've clearly obtained an upgrade in the health reliability/IP department, but am afraid the guy might prove just as inconsistent in the ratios department. Any thoughts?
You mean "shockingly low HR prediction for AJ Griffin!" :) Seriously, if he can do what he did last year with his ERA with his placement and tactics, just think what would happen if he improved his HRs allowed to league average or below.
Fantastic overall ratios for the starting 5, but with Beckett's expected time off, who do you see pulling most of the extra weight? Billingsly's projection seems to show that he should get more innings than Maholm?
Love the Trading Places reference. One of my all-time favorite flicks. The metaphor doesn't quite hold up when you compare the physical requirements needed to excel in baseball with the much more intangible and non-physical nature of making profitable bets. Every brokerage needs a little Billy Ray Valentine to offer fresh perspective from time to time.
John Perrotto may be a seer with his AL West picks. Look at the Halos pitching staff right now. And TEX dealing with starting pitching woes. Risk and uncertainty galore. And what about Coco Crisp setting new highs in OPS! (won't last) And Moss still mashing. And the K-man Straily in reserve. Green Collar baseball up and down the roster. Depth to deal with a Sizemore knee, a potential Jarrod Parker implosion, a Nakajima hangover. Whatever. Just do the Bernie! Not so sure about John's other division devinations, but still loving that A's pick enough to want to start reading his BP articles. An argument can be made that the 2013 A's are as good or better than last year's iteration. Take 4th OF Chris Young for example. And dear lord I'll pound an airplane sized bottle of Old Overholt if Brett Anderson's health permits him to log 180+ IP! http://butattheendoftheday.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/bernie.jpg
I suppose there's another strike zone rule barring hitters from shrinking the zone simply by pushing their pants down about a foot. Basically "pants on the ground." With pants on the ground, the top edge of the zone would be lowered by half a foot. But I wonder if whatever rule that bars pants on the ground is unwritten (i.e., it would hinder them getting down the line and taking extra bases. That, or the rules governing dress would bar them from "pants on the ground." Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tMwhl4IrPNc#!
If Capuano has a 20-80 posture, what about this guy? Check out this H.Nakajima goes yard vid where the guilty party (Sarfate) literally folds over 90 degrees from the hips towards the 1st base line. Slow motion starts at 1:12.
"Hiroyuki Nakajima homerun 2011.6.10"
What is that posture? 02-98? 01-99?
Doh! You can now completely ignore my question. I answered it! My info was indeed bad ... I inadvertently inverted the default SS platoon splits for rookies. AND, in my cloud of self-imposed confusion, I forgot to thank you guys for such a great draft aid.
Why is Nakajima's LTav' higher than his RTav'? Scoresheet doesn't list Nakajima's platoon splits and all right-handed hitting Scoresheet rookies get the standard split for all rookies (i.e., vs RHP .001, .024, .021; vs LHP -.004, -.010, -.009). Unless I have bad info, shouldn't the BP SS draft tool rely exclusively on the SS platoon split multipliers when spitting out projected LTav's and RTav's based on any basic Tav BP projects for any SS rookie? When you click on the SS platoon splits links in draft aid glossary entry under LTav' and R'Tav, there is no Nakajima platoon split to be found. In that case shouldn't the default split apply to all right handed hitting SS rookies like Nakajima? And I was getting all excited about draft tool's projected .281 LTav' for Nakajima! Look, I know it's even more difficult to project MLB performance from NPB imports than others, but my question relates solely to how the calculation is being made.
At least you can proudly say that you spelled your own name correctly! :)
Bballexec: You are right that CF's have better defensive numbers than RF or LF. What Scoresheet basically requires you to do is to know the difference between a CF and a corner OF either by basically being acquainted with current MLB depth charts, or visiting the "player list" pages in SS which provide a specific defensive rating number for each player at each position(s) that person is qualifies by SS to play. Once you know their defensive numbers you can decide where to roster each OF (CF, RF, or LF) even without knowing whether, say, Adam Jones is a CF in real life. Just remember to roster your OF who has the highest defensive number at your CF roster position, and if you just so happen to draft 2 or more real-life CF for your SS team, you will have an advantage over your competitors by fielding a better defensive outfield. Ceteris paribus, in SS it's always better to roster a CF in a corner OF position than a non-CF because it helps your pitchers cut down on runs allowed over the course of a season. For example, SS gives Shane Victorino a 2.16 defensive rating. This means he is a CF because SS basically never gives RFs and LFs that high of a number. Now let's look at Michael Morse, who gets a 2.04 rating. That means he's a corner OF. As far as I can tell, whether you roster a guy who qualifies as an OF at LF or RF, it makes absolutely absolutely no difference in SS. Here's a helpful quotation from the SS website that might answer some of your questions ...
"The range of the player in center field for you is about 1.4 times as important as either the left or right fielder when figuring your overall team range. This means you should have at least one high range outfielder to play center field for you. The 'average' CFer has a range of about 2.16, while
the 'average' LFer and RFer have ranges of about 2.07. Since the range of your CFer matters 1.4 times as much as at other positions, it is better to have a 2.16 range player in center, along with two 2.07 range players in left and right, than it is to have three 2.10 players filling your three OF spots. (Most Scoresheet teams have a player of at least 2.11 range playing CF for them.)"
(page 5 has a whole lot more info on how defensive ratings affect results in SS (e.g., penalties for rostering a player at a position he's not qualified by SS to play.)
You're right that SS lumps all the OF together in one list when you're setting up your draft lists, and when viewing your league roster page. I used to find this a bit inconvenient (i.e. to have to go visit another SS webpage just to review a player's defensive stats), but then I learned that you can get the information on the undrafted players page by clicking on the player's stats line (which is hyperlinked) and when you click on it you see more information about that player at the bottom of the screen including his specific defensive number(s) at whatever position(s) he plays. Better yet, when your scorecards get published, it lumps the defensive numbers of all your rostered players together to give you a single number (positive or negative) which is the multiplier the SS algorithm applies whenever a ball is in play during a game, which has some small effect on whether a hit, out, error, or a run occurs.
If what you're saying is true (i.e., "ERA controls over WHIP, and hard"), then Scoresheet must have changed its basic algorithm, and hard, since Mr. Barton wrote the following:
" This IS the way it works. A couple posters repeatedly make the claim that *only* ERA matters as to what will happen in Scoresheet. But that is simply not true, nor has any studying of Scoresheet stats (either by us extensively over the years, and also by folks on this list) ever shown that ERA determines what happens in Scoresheet games regardless of what the other team's hitters did in real life. As far as whether ERA is too important compared to a pitcher's hit and walks allowed per inning pitched (WHIP), we do factor *both* ERA and WHIP into the algorithm that determines the odds of each at-bat's outcome. Basically the better a pitcher's WHIP and/or ERA the less the chance of a plate appearance leading to a hit, and the worse those numbers the greater the chance, all also influenced by how the hitter did in real life, and the fielders. But the sim is rather complex - there is no simple number I/we can give for the relative weighting of those two factors."
- see http://www.attheplate.com/notes/ss_pitch.htm
Thus I never ignore projected and actual WHIPS when drafting or trading for pitchers. If they've since radically changed the algorithm to seriously under-emphasize WHIP, I need someone to tell me.
Maybe Bob Ryan's beef with WARP is that he seeks from baseball only the mythological and all of its fuzzy comforts, and, in a Caddyshack moment, saw statisticians pop, pop, popping up everywhere like rabid gophers, destroying the baseball gods' perfectly-mown pitch, thus momentarily causing Mr. Ryan to literally become a grass-addled Bill Murray intent upon drowning and dynamiting those pesky varmints, only using his keyboard instead of a detonator! Or, perhaps he was merely following the great French polymath Jean Cocteau's thought process ... "Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort." Well, that's probably a little too bleak, but there is a gleaming kernel of truth in the idea that lots of folks seek comfort from the great game of baseball. And when we value something sufficiently, we are usually willing to fight to protect it.
Correction. "Al. Aceves."
Looking forward to the release of the Sporer/Thorburn 2013 pitcher review. I pre-ordered and encourage others to do so by clicking on the "Starting Pitcher Guide" link in the 2d paragraph of this article.
Interesting to note in connection with this article that an uptick in velocity can be counterproductive if it causes the pitcher to tweak his pitch selection (e.g., Boston's Alceves last year ... his newfound zip seems to have caused him to lean on the fastball more and throw less of what had been for him otherwise perfectly effective non-fastball pitches. I wonder if there's a way to graph that and see exactly where the benefits of tossing more (and faster) fastballs meet the costs of tossing less (and otherwise effective) non-fastballs.
They obviously think he'll keep his job when Feliz joins the rotation and maybe lose time to Lewis when he comes back. Ogando has proven himself over the last few years, and in my Scoresheet league I traded for him because my staff is in shambles. The real PECOTA gamble on this depth chart page is playing time for Fat Elvis! That and where Profar will end up spending his time. God I hope it's the other Elvis who loses out (I'm a Kinsler owner!).
In response to BarryR's question about Lowrie being an obvious platoon partner for Moss ... my guess is that even if Lowrie could handle 1b responsibilities, he has too much value as a middle infielder on a team where 2d base is a big uncertain right now and where Nakajima at SS is nice to think about, but isn't written in stone.
I see what you're saying TusconTumbleweed. PECOTA projects an 8-8 Win loss season for Sale, but with those peripherals you'd think the Win/Loss would be a bit better ... unless that's a stinging indictment of the White Sox hitters.
Aside from being different from a top-"100" list, I've always thought your top-101 list adds one extra prospect as a tip of the hat to Hanley Ramirez' rise from being ranked 100th on one of BP's old top 100 lists published prior to 2005. It's as if you want to prevent the next HanRam from having been your last pick.
Larry, I get your Tater Trot articles emailed to my phone, and each time I read the subject line, my stomach growls for fried potato products. Right now "I'm freakin' starved.
I didn't get to eat anything today."
Napoleon Dynamite: "Are you gonna eat your Trots?"
Larry: "No, but I will eat crow if if you don't like my Tater Trots."
Napoleon Dynamite: "Can I have 'em?"
Larry: "Sure, just log onto BP."
Napoleon Dynamite: "Lucky!"
I agree completely. This is quite an interesting article. And I agree that some batters' wheelhouses are built outside the edges of the standard zone. I've always thought Vlad the Impaler meets the eye test for productive contact outside the zone.
Interesting to try to figure out who will get more playing time (Matt Palmer or Tyler Chatwood) as the Joel Pineiro / Scott Kazmir situation develops.
I'm a little concerned that maybe the Twins might be at fault in not training Nishioka to make the adjustment to be able to deke the hard slide in MLB. A 2B has to be able to make that last split second leap over the leg of the sliding runner. Mental lapse by Nishioka? Or organizational screwup?
Swisher visited Nishioka after the game to offer his apologies and sympathies. That wasn't just Swisher trying to be extra respectful after having learned about NPB players from Hideki Matsui. That was just genuine Swisher class in action. Not all players would care enough to do that. Swisher has that sort of "band-of-brothers" attitude towards all his fellow MLB-ers that you'd like to see more of from other players. THis is the same guy who embraced Milton Bradley with the A's. The Yankees are lucky to have Nick Swisher.
Moose should get at least 100 possibly 200 plate appearances this year. They are breaking him in and want the tried and true Aviles to man the hot corner. Seeing as how the Royal starters can use all the help they can get to keep their ERAs from ballooning out of control, my guess is Moose's playing time will come down to who fields the position better.
I would be very surprised to learn that any other major league team had such pitching woes that their closer had the highest WARP on the team. KC may be the only one, and that should change as the young lefty hatchlings leave the minor league nest and initiate their much anticipated springtime emigration to Kauffman.
Regarding BP crowning Soria with the highest 2011 WARP among Royal arms, drafting or trading for him would be a well-(M)exicuted play. A fantasy general seeking total fantasy hegemony would do well to stock the bullpen armory with closers whose work ethic, health, and (M)exicution on the mound is superlative. The only thing left for hitters to do when facing a four pitch arsenal akin to a firing squad is to ask themselves what toppings they want on their Tombstone.
I liked the tongue in cheek prediction that E.Santana's off-again on-again annual cycle will continue.
I often wonder whether "ballpark factors" include whatever marginal increases in player's on-field performances that are attributable to marginal boosts in individual player confidence/well-being caused by intelligent owner support, including, but not limited to, the owner's strategy for maximizing attendance and fan support of the team. The Angels' owner does a great job in these departments and you'd have to be daft to think that players aren't motivated by that level of sustained day-to-day resepect and adulation.
Regarding your introductory quote, I feel it is appropriate to mention that Henry Miller was wrong about Fritz Lang having a "feeble" imagination. Mr. Lang had plenty (e.g., Metropolis, M, etc.). Surely Mr. Miller's imagination was stronger, but comparative weakness does not equal absolute weakness. I suspect something along the lines of Mr. Lang having rejected one of Mr. Miller's scripts (or something similarly disappointing), and Mr. Miller exacting revenge by means of an immortalized quotation.
Looks like its Hughes over Joba, but with Joba rules (e.g. limited IP for full season of starts: 170 tops)