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The Sox won the division in 1993, so since they were a contending team the whole season, of course attendance was not affected.
2014 is not looking too bright for the Sox, however. Attendance figures will be low regardless of whether Konerko plays. However, if they were to release him, that would hurt the numbers even more.
There is no issue re-signing Paul to a cheap contract for one last season when they really have nothing to lose, especially when he is only expected to play on a limited basis anyway. Let him go out on his own terms, and let the Sox fans appreciate one of their franchise players for one last season.
The more important question here is whether or not you have a graph that shows the percentage of pitchers who had a breakfast of chipped beef and scotch the morning that they were scheduled to start.
I'm guessing that since the OBP for Franco is so close to the batting average, you mean 25-to-3 K:BB ratio?
Hey, despite the slightly long duration of the contract, this still beats the hell out of the Gil Meche contract from 2007. What was that, 5/55?
Congratulations to the both of you. Your work will definitely be missed here!
It's the Parks Jinx.
Couldn't have said it any better.
Why wait? Here's a video of Jack Morris pitching in '91.
Oh...sorry...that's not what you meant?
Is it possible for people to stop posting fanboy-esque comments like "this list is full of #sparkle and #rig" and "this list is totally sopping #wet"? Yeah, a lot of these are clever hashtags that Jason came up with, but comments like this are totally unoriginal, and seriously contribute nothing to any kind of conversation. Just stop it.
*sigh* I just got a little queasy reading this comment.
Is this baseball equivalent of How I Met Your Mother, where all of the players listed above are just stepping stones until you find the player you spend the rest of your life with...Francisco Cervelli?
I remember last year, there were a few teams whose top prospects were up for serious debate among the prospect crew, and you offered us a sneak peek at a kind of roundtable discussion you had with a few other people as to how you came to your final decision. I believe the Rockies were one of those teams.
Any chance you will be able to provide that for a few more teams this season?
The image of Mariano Rivera throwing the ball into center field is almost equally as painful as the image of Luis Gonzalez hitting that game winning single.
What are the PECOTA percentages if Beltran doesn't play? Does it tip the scales in favor of the Sox?
"How do I ask out girls?"
Do the lineup changes announced today (Hunter leadoff, Cabrera 2nd, etc.) change the PECOTA odds at all?
I think the Dane Cook bombardment was in 2008, not 2007.
If memory serves, Frank TV was 2007, Dane Cook was 2008, Lopez Tonight was 2009, and then one year (2010 or 2011) was the year they bombarded us with pimping the return of Conan.
It almost looks like the fan trying to catch it uses some sort of weird power to bring the ball into his hands.
Yeah, disregard my comment. I had an extremely serious brain fart on that one. I'd minus myself if I could.
I agree that the Cardinals, in the end, will take this series, but the on-paper matchup suggests that it will probably go 6 or 7 before that happens.
Can't always be right. Sometimes that's just the way it Gausman.
Looks like Alexi Ogando is actually getting the start tonight for Texas, but according to Rotoworld, he will be held to a strict pitch count and probably only go 3-4 innings.
I would like to nominate Joey Votto's barehanded behind the back play to get the out at first base in that same Reds/Brewers game.
What I am curious about is if there is an egregiously incorrect call in the 4th inning, for example, and the manager has already used his pre-sixth inning challenge. What happens if he comes out to argue? Does he automatically get ejected? Will the umps still huddle together to determine whether or not to overturn the incorrect call? Are they even allowed to overturn an incorrect call if that team's manager doesn't have a challenge left?
I feel that even though this new proposal for expanded replay is a step in the right direction, there are still going to be issues that arise that may render some of this progress moot.
That's pretty much Adrian Beltre in his non-Seattle years. Definitely a star.
Dan Haren, while listening to the koolandthegang_celebrate.mp3: "I will".
Message to the author of that piece of crap preseason article:
That was a clown column, bro.
3 2/3 innings, 2 walks, 6 hits, 7 K's, 90+ pitches. Sounds like a dead-ringer for a Duffy line. Love the kid's potential though.
Rays released RHP Ramon Ramirez.
Love the alliteration.
"Even Bug Selig doesn’t want Biogenesis to be a second-half story (though he has a funny way of showing it). But it will be."
Nice little faux pas/typo there.
Is that A.J. Ellis frame the worst frame of the year from a distance perspective? I mean .175 feet translates to approximately two inches from the center of the strike zone.
I noticed that on the Rays' 70s throwback uniforms, they were still named the Rays. Since the uniforms were supposed to be from before 2008, shouldn't they have been named the Devil Rays?
"A fine spot start by Zach Britton yesterday, but did he even have the best start by a Zach?"
Yes, because the Wheeler's first name is Zack.
Ironically, Chase Wright also allowed back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers to the Red Sox when he was in the bigs for the Yankees in 2007. I believe the homers he allowed were to Manny, Varitek, J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell.
ManBearPuig is no match for PuigPuigPuig.
Zunino was the third overall pick in last year's draft, not 2011.
1999 World Series game 3, Yankees vs. Braves. That was the game where Chad Curtis hit the walkoff home run in the 10th inning at Yankee Stadium, after the Yankees had come back from down 5-1 to tie it. After he rounded the bases, he famously spurned Jim Gray for what he had done to Pete Rose in that year's All-Star game. Absolutely fantastic.
Kluber-Langwell would only work well if it was with the White Sox, since they're the South Side team.
When I saw E. Olmos in the box score, I thought Edward James Olmos made his debut.
Quentin was actually in the on-deck circle late in last night's game, and he was being booed while standing there. Too bad he never got to bat.
Looks like Ramon Ortiz officially reached the end of the line, too. It was extremely sad watching him get so emotional last night after he injured his arm, basically like he knew the injury was serious enough that his career was over.
At least we can now be spared the indignity of having to hear John Stering's HR call: "The Ben Francisco treat!"
I love how in that Scherzer GIF, his left leg looks like it is completely made of jello while in the middle of the leg kick.
I could be totally off-base here, but I feel like I remember hearing that some time in the past 10 years or so, there was a plate appearance involving someone on the KC Royals that was something like 17 or 18 pitches, but also had a similar number of pickoff attempts involved, resulting in an at-bat that lasted more than 15 minutes.
Any clue what I might be referring to?
Seriously, how many times does this have to be explained? There seems to be something like 4-5 people a week who make comments like this. Start paying attention before making comments like this!
Not to nitpick, but wouldn't their ERA be 11, and the difference between the FIP and the ERA be 10.69?
The Yankees swept the Royals in KC, not at Yankee Stadium.
Aaron Cook chuckles at Correia's BB+K/9 numbers.
Sticking with the Yankee theme...Travis Hafner is at .318/.438/.667 with 6 homers (and a stolen base!) so far.
That actually looked like a fairly terrible frame from Saltalamacchia. Surprised the ump called that one a strike.
Might be one of my favorite BP articles of all time. I love the fact that Bryce Harper stuck with the ridiculous eye black when he was on the mound, too. Any word on how fast he was throwing in that relief appearance?
Who can forget the Tony Phillips show in California a couple of years ago, too?
I think I saw Rock Shoulders as a guest character on a few episodes of "The Flintstones".
Happy to see the number rankings next to the teams now!
Is the "Fishtine Chapel" a Matt Sussman creation, or was that already coined?
The Cubs are sending out Carlos Villanueva against the Giants today, not Jeff Samardzija.
Clearly Polanco is justifying his role as the Marlins' cleanup hitter.
I hope Magic Mondesi isn't the sequel to Magic Mike.
Very nice article, Jason.
I heard on the radio this morning that Manny will be making $25,000 per month. Not sure what the source was, or how official that is, but over an eight-month season, that amounts to less than half the major-league minimum.
I bet you the Dutch have always loved a good game of Purpose Testicle.
You mentioned a couple of walk rates that seemed, in your opinion, a little high: 2.7 BB/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
In my opinion, to have a walk rate around 3 per 9 innings, especially in a walk-permissive baseball league, is pretty solid. That would translate to 70 walks in 210 innings. There are better walk rates, to be sure, but there are also far, far worse.
Strasburg's average fastball velocity in 2012 didn't make the top 10 list?
It seems bizarre to me that this case is even going to arbitration to begin with. Whereas the differences in salaries from the sides in the other cases were in the $1-$3 million range, this is only $400,000. It seems like hammering out some kind of compromise would be much easier than going to an arbitrator.
I wonder if Steve Bartman giggled a bit when he read that line in the introduction about the Cubs winning the pennant.
Few others that could be interesting:
- Bill Hall (Angels)
- Kelvim Escobar (Brewers)
- Kevin Quackenbush (Padres)...just because, we need someone in the league that we can refer to as "K-Quack".
If you could go ahead and watch Office Space ASAP, that would be great...yeaaahhh.
I would also love to know what song or songs are being played in the unmuted version of this.
"Bat Out of Hell" by Meatloaf, perhaps?
This makes me long for the days of Bret Boone.
The Baltimore Orioles?
Scott Kazmir! If he makes three starts in the bigs, and pitches to an 8 ERA, that'll still be an amazing improvement over what he last did in organized baseball.
To be able to even call this system "average" is an indictment to the developmental staff. This system was TERRIBLE a couple of years ago.
I hope that in the end, ten years from now, there will be another ProGUESTus article, similar to the Tigers one from this week, looking back at the 2013 Houston Astros.
I would rather watch "Mr. 3000" starring Bernie Mac on an endless loop for 96 hours than even watch Kevin Millar for five minutes...and I'm NOT just saying that because I'm a Yankee fan.
Just wait until the Twins inevitably go after Aaron Cook.
Kevin Quackenbush, now there's an addition to the all-time great names list.
I wonder if Stanton has a shot at breaking the record for the lowest difference between HR and RBI. Knowing that lineup, I can see Stanton finishing with something like 45 HR/70 RBI this year...and I'm actually being half-serious.
So now they have Garza and Samardzija up top, and then a Wood/Baker/Feldman trio at the back end.
The Cubs' rotation might actually not be embarrassingly bad next year!
Great article. By the way, I believe you are referring to Triple Play 99. I only know that because I googled "Lobster Cola", and the first link I got sent to was the Wikipedia page for that game.
Apparently some other products mentioned in that game were "Popemobile Cabs" and "Chork".
I wonder if there will ever be a case where a player coming over from Japan spends a month or two in Triple-A to get the feel for American ball, and if that will actually make a difference. Would be very interested in seeing that.
I can see the story for the 2013 Padres being similar to the story for the 2010 Padres. The 2009 team was bad for two thirds of the season until coming together at the end...much like the 2012 team. Not predicting a 90-95 win season by any means, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Padres contend for that second Wild Card spot next year.
Octavio Dotel is long overdue to add another team to his ledger.
What about Elijah Dukes?
That was a mistake on my part. John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press voted that way...not that the quality of Mark Feinsand's vote was much better, though.
Can we discuss how Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News not only voted Raul Ibanez 10th in the AL MVP voting, but he also voted Jeter fifth, JIM JOHNSON 3rd, and didn't even note for Robinson Cano?
Guessing this guy has a grudge against Robby, maybe because of a locker room conversation or something, but if you're making that kind of vote, you should NOT be allowed to vote for the MVP again.
I could take a long shower with the door locked to this Prospect Debate series. Well done, guys.
So the wish is for the Phillies to free up money by abandoning Ryan Howard's contract only to take on a different contract that could be even more of an albatross a few years down the road? Especially in a league where they couldn't occasionally DH Hamilton in order to preserve his health a little bit? I don't know...
I would be wary of Yunel Escobar's OBP, as well. He had the lowest walk rate of his career this year, and it doesn't even seem that close. With what projects to be an extremely weak lineup surrounding him, I can't imagine pitchers are going to be too afraid to pitch to him.
Absolutely loved the story, but one odd thing I noticed...
If CC and Braun got in on their first try during Chipper's 10th year after retirement, that means that they're both retiring in five years. I could see CC having a rapid decline and being done in five years, but 33 seems like an awfully young age for Braun to retire.
If you find yourself up 3-2 on the 2012 Giants, then they might as well start putting up the plastic in the Giants' locker room for the inevitable celebration after completing the comeback in game 7.
My first memory was 1993, when I was age 9. My dad got me in to baseball that year, and I really started following it when the Yankees were trying to outgun the Blue Jays for the AL East near the end of the season. If I recall correctly, they didn't even come close.
By the time the World Series got into its final games, I found myself rooting for the Jays, mainly because game 6 was on a Saturday night, and if the Phillies won and sent it to game 7, I wouldn't be able to stay up late and watch it because it would have been a school night.
Man, if 83% want to dump Steve Pearce, I shudder to think how harsh the reaction towards Pat Kelly and Melido Perez was.
Really disappointed about the headline. I thought choice B was genius.
Robbie Erlin almost sounds like a left-handed Brian Bannister.
Maybe he can throw everyone off and opt to go in as a Toronto Blue Jay.
Fuse the two uniforms together, so he can go to Cooperstown as a Baltiyork Yankiole.
Surprised that the second Ibanez trot was slower than the first, knowing the pure adrenaline that must have been surging through his body as he was rounding the bases.
At least now we can say that A-Rod contributed significantly to this series...by sucking so badly that the hitter Girardi used to pinch-hit for him eventually won the game.
Really hoping tonight that Girardi moves A-Rod down to the 5 or 6 hole, moving Cano to 3, Tex to 4, and Swisher to whatever spot the shell of A-Rod isn't occupying.
Oh, and I think it's safe to say Ibanez deserves to be in the starting lineup tonight...if that wasn't painfully obvious already.
Chad Curtis has to get a nod for his heroics in game 3 of the 1999 World Series.
Pettitte struggled, allowing five runs early. Chad Curtis started the comeback with a solo bomb to make it 5-2 in the 5th. After the Yankees had managed to tie it at 5 and send it to extras, Curtis hit a walkoff homer in the bottom of the 10th, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead in the series.
Not only that, but he then completely spurned Jim Gray on national TV because of what he had done to Pete Rose at the All-Star game that year.
Still the loudest I have ever heard Yankee Stadium in my life. Will never forget that night.
In addition to the sacrifice bunts, I feel like the idea of the four-man rotation was a pretty horrible one from the get-go.
Wouldn't a five-inning, one-run outing not count as a quality start, since it fails to achieve the six inning minimum requirement?
Gotta correct you in that Cubs comment....
Marty McFly took the sports almanac back from the future with him in the SECOND movie. The third one took place in the old west.
Fantastic job as usual, otherwise!
Love the graceful spin-move Valverde pulls, as well.
The last two articles I read on this site were Adam Sobsey's glorious recap of the Triple-A championship game, and this introduction to the new, expanded prospect team.
BP is the Texas Rangers' farm system of baseball web sites.
I've never watched a catcher throw to second five consecutive times on replay...until now.
Thank you, Yadier Molina.
I'm not interested so much in the 1988 Dodge in that video, but in that off-lime colored beauty in the background. THAT'S ridin' in style.
The Midwest League tends to be a little more pitcher-friendly, if I remember correctly, especially earlier in the season when the weather is colder, so a .279/.334/.451 line looks even better.
Kind of amazing how far Nick Hundley has fallen in a few months, going from signing a multi-year contract, to being supplanted by Grandal (and John Baker, at times), to having Hedges appear in the rear-view mirror.
How many home runs do visiting teams have there this year?
I bet you he would have the same reaction to getting mayonnaise on a hamburger as Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski did in "The Whole Nine Yards".
I'm assuming the best significantly overweight player ever is Babe Ruth? Unless, of course, you're referring to Cecil Fielder.
Little confused about Henry Rodriguez's status. Why is he playing third base?
I agree that the Verlander comment is a little too panicky.
While he's not QUITE at the same level he was last year, he's still on the (extremely) short list for Cy Young candidates. If he were getting a little more run support and were, say, 14-5 or 15-4 instead of 12-7, no one would be saying a word.
I remember watching one of his outings against Cleveland earlier in the year where in his last inning (I believe it was the 7th), he struck out the side on 10 pitches, where his second to last pitch was a 102 MPH fastball.
Yeah, I think he's gonna be OK.
He injured it while diving back to first base.
I hope Billy Hamilton can be added to this list after being called up and stealing 32 bases in the month of September.
If Cal retired before the 2001 season, we wouldn't have gotten to see that memorable ASG homer at Safeco Field!
The Rockies need to sign Mark Redman, Shawn Green and Jeff Gray, as well.
What's amazing in that 57 games played at Safeco Field this year, there have been two perfect games (Humber, Hernandez) and the combined no-hitter.
My god, it sounds like Hawk is having a stroke mid call!
"Way back, eyyaaahhhbooo, you can put it on the boaaarrrrddd....YEEEEAAAAASSSSS!"
Sounds like if Brett Jackson hits his ceiling, we could have a player in the mold of Mike Cameron, no?
Great read, as usual, especially when you took a page from the Jason Parks book of writing during your trek to find the answer to the Reds doubles question.
You can add Adam Wainwright to that list. He threw a complete game against the Brewers while throwing 98 pitches (only 25 balls!) today.
Didn't think there would be a worse (or at least similar caliber) start than the one Daniel Bard made against Toronto in June before being sent down, but Ricky Romero proved me wrong.
The way K-Rod and Axford pitched today, De Los Santos could be the closer by next week.
What about constantly moving pits?
There have always been questions about just how much power Ichiro has, as well. With that left-field porch at Yankee Stadium, he could hit 5-10+ homers between now and the end of the season.
Nolan Ryan also dabbled in the bullpen for the first four years of his career. Only about 60% of his appearances were starts before 1971.
I don't think they need to do anything about the pace of the game. Once Rafael Betancourt retires, the average length of game will drop by a good 10 minutes.
It amazes me that the Phillies haven't gone into selling mode yet. Yes, there is talent on this team, but let's face it...they are 14 games out of first in the East (and the Braves/Nats aren't going anywhere), and 10 1/2 games out of a Wild Card Spot (with six teams ahead of them!).
It's been a hell of a ride for the Phils these past several years, but it's time to wave the white flag on the 2012 season.
I'm sure Mets fans would be thrilled if Jarred Cosart was actually in their farm system!
Nice article, and very nice Breaking Bad reference to start.
Was this article inspired by Scott Kazmir signing with the Sugar Land Skeeters a couple of days ago? A little surprised his name did not show up here, even though some of the other names on this list are awesome.
Oh, and Russell, do you know about the massive brawl Tony Phillips was involved in last season down in the Indy Leagues?
"If I put you on the spot, you probably could not tell me who won the 2002 Home Run Derby, who the runner-up was, or where it was held*"
You're definitely right about not remembering the winner and loser of that year's derby, but the fact that 2002 was the year of the infamous tie game, it's easy to remember that it was held in Miller Park.
I think it's inaccurate to include Chris Young as one of the guys "leading" the Mets' rotation. He is a PART of the rotation, and has been contributing, but it seems fair to say that the rotation has been lead by Dickey, Santana, and Jonathon Niese.
Indeed, Hamilton stole two bases to hit the century mark on Monday. Scary to think that this guy could end the season with 175 steals.
If Scott Kazmir ever had a chance to break back into the Major Leagues, San Diego is the team to do it with.
...or maybe they'll give Jeff Weaver a call.
Sorry, that wasn't 100% clear. I meant home-field advantage in the World Series.
Maybe they should give home-field advantage to the league that wins Interleague, instead of relying on a one-game, winner-take-all sample.
I really like the thought about struggling pitchers considering taking on the knuckleball. It would be great for baseball to have R.A. Dickey usher in a knuckleball renaissance after the pitch was so close to extinction just a couple of years ago.
Why not call up Pomeranz and ditch one of their more disposable bullpen arms. Keep Guthrie in the pen as a long arm, and stick with a traditional rotation.
Hell, why not even a try a six-man rotation, keeping Guthrie in the rotation to see if a little extra rest might help sort things out?
Sounds much better than a bullpen-taxing, four-man rotation. As "outside the box" as this may be, if this doesn't help to improve the team, Tracy won't last until the All-Star break.
Thome NEEDS to be on an American League team. Give him a DH role and get him 300-400 PAs in a season. He'd still hit 20 homers easily.
Great idea for a Lineup Card article, guys!
Of course, when the Cleveland Indians beat the San Diego Padres in game 7 of the 2015 World Series on a Jason Kipnis walkoff home run, the analysis in this article won't look quite as astute, but we'll talk about that when we get there :)
Whoops, that was stupid. Maybe I should read the entire article before basically repeating what you said on the Tulowitzki page.
It also looks like Troy Tulowitzki re-injured his groin in a rehab game last night. He has two AB (homer and a single off of Trevor Bauer!) but after the single in the third inning he took himself out. Hopefully nothing too serious.
The hit+two-error debacle that allowed Ryan Braun to get to third also served to break up a no-hitter in the sixth inning. Because the Royals.
I grew up on Long Island, and I'm incredibly proud of Stony Brook for making it to Omaha. I know that the odds of them going all the way are slim, but if they've made it this far, there's no reason they can't make it a little further.
Nice article, Matthew.
...can I put my pants back on yet?
He's the modern day Billy Hamilton.
Looking forward to reading Dirk Hayhurst's follow-up to The Bullpen Gospels. That was definitely one of my favorite baseball reads of all time.
Don't get your knickers up in a bunch, old chap.
I think you're reading far, far too much into this, Richard. The reality is, it's going to be significantly more comfortable when the roof is closed (whether or not it is 75 degrees at field level) than it would be if he were pitching outdoors in the sweltering summer heat of Miami or even Chicago.
Can you write an article determining the odds of me not having won a $300 million lottery drawing yet? That would be much appreciated.
What about Josh Willingham? He's having one heck of a year in Minnesota, and he's under a very friendly contract (2 years, 14 million remaining, I believe?). The only question is health, but at this moment, he may be their most tradeable asset.
Aren't the Padres one of the only two teams in the bigs to have never thrown a no-hitter, as well? This team sure likes to avoid historical achievements.
It would be nice to see the Twins draft one of the top power arms in the draft, instead of sticking with their philosophy of drafting guys who can't crack 90 on the radar gun.
Unrelated to TODAY'S Minor League update, but Dylan Bundy has been moved up to High-A Frederick. I guess it was just a matter of time.
I had a similar situation when I moved to Pennsylvania in 2007 for a job (after spending my whole life in NY). Wound up spending less than a year there because the job and the environment weren't what I expected AT ALL.
Ironically, I have since moved to Chicago, and after two years here, I feel like it was the best decision I could have ever made.
Great job on the article, and congratulations on moving back to the place that makes you the happiest!
I would hope that after some time in the cage following that incident, Jacoby Ellsbury and his bunting technique was like peas and carrots again.
If I'm not mistaken, the comments with missing dates are the ones that have been updated since the previous Collateral Damage Daily. I kind of like it that way. Makes the fresher comments stand out a little more from the ones that haven't been updated in a while.
This is definitely much better organized than the old way. Thanks Corey!
His changeup was faster than Jamie Moyer's fastball. The dude is Brooks Kieschnick with power!
You and Jason Parks need to collaborate on an article...and then the rest of the world needs to stop writing after that...because literally everything ever written after that will be a massive pile of cow dung compared to that article.
I remember MVP Baseball '05 had some interesting fictitious names, too. The famous Chin-Feng Swindell was my favorite.
Maybe I'm crazy, but I feel like I remember BP talking about how when Josh Bell was called up to Baltimore in 2010, he was their 3B of the future...that is, until he had a 26.5-to-1 K/BB ratio to end the year.
Any worries about Taveras' approach? I know it's a small sample but .340 BA with a .352 OPB seems like a bit of a red flag.
Don't you want to visit the screen door factory, and where J.C. Penney's sends all of their broken merchandise?
Good to see we have some members of PETA on this site.
"While Odor has an extremely advanced hit tool for his age, he's a risky prospect, as he's limited to the right-side of the infield and he hasn't shown much in the way of secondary skills, so he'll have to hit all the way up the ladder."
So what you're saying is that while Odor could wind up being the real deal, he could also wind up...stinking?
That's too bad. I was hoping for a Conan O'Brien "if they mated" style picture of Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel in the combined games played prediction.
Is there a reason why PECOTA seems to be so high on relievers converting into starters this year? It seems counter-intuitive knowing the risks that exist when going from the bullpen to the rotation.
Hopefully Wang is OK...the way his body contorted on the play just LOOKED awkward.
Jason, have you watched "Breaking Bad" before? I feel like if there's any show on TV that could put your theories on the look of a meth-head to the test, it's that one.
How does the current White Sox system compare with some of the worst systems you've come across since working with BP?
As a Yankee fan, seeing Burnett in a different uniform is a glorious day. Of course, I wish him nothing but the best in Pittsburgh, but having him replaced with the likes of Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda really gives me optimistic feelings for the 2012 season.
This is a really fantastic idea. Looking forward to the write-ups for the rest of the divisions.
The thing that strikes me the most out of any piece of information in this article is that Brandon Duckworth is still on ANY roster.
Took me a couple of minutes to find the lyrics, but I definitely remember the theme song during the credits capping off what was undoubtedly one of the greatest Simpsons episodes of all time.
Well, Mr. Burns had done it,
The power plant had won it,
With Roger Clemens clucking all the while.
Mike Scoscia's tragic illness made us smile,
While Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the barroom tile.
We're talking softball,
From Maine to San Diego.
We're talking softball,
Mattingly and Canseco.
Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw,
Steve Sax and his run-in with the law,
We're talking Ho-mer,
Ozzie, and the Straw!
Are you planning on covering Mark Prior in the future? I hope the editors aren't giving you a word limit on that one.
This is great stuff, Sam. Any chance you can make this a more regular (maybe every 2-4 weeks?) feature throughout the upcoming season?
Assuming he breaks camp with the A's, do you think they just plop him right into the cleanup spot from the get-go?
I recently read The Bullpen Gospels, and I was floored with just how good of a writer Dirk Hayhurst is. I found that I had a really difficult time putting the book down, and as soon as I finished reading it, I did further research about him online. I was happy to see that he made the bigs, albeit without too much success.
I wish him all the best in Italy, as I'm sure the importance of the results on the mound will be trumped by the "sustained happiness".
Definitely looking forward to reading his future books.
"Mr. Kevin4prez, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
For anyone curious, here's how the prospect list breaks down by team. Padres lead the way with 10 prospects, while five different teams only have a single prospect. Every team has at least some representation.
Toronto - 5
Boston - 4
New York Yankees - 4
Baltimore - 3
Tampa - 2
Kansas City - 5
Minnesota - 3
Detroit - 2
Chicago - 1
Cleveland - 1
Oakland - 7
Texas - 5
Seattle - 4
Los Angeles - 2
Atlanta - 3
New York - 3
Washington - 3
Florida - 2
Philadelphia - 2
Pittsburgh - 6
St. Louis - 5
Chicago - 3
Houston - 3
Cincinnati - 2
Milwaukee - 1
San Diego - 10
Colorado - 5
Arizona - 3
Los Angeles - 1
San Francisco - 1
Your comment might be one of the more arrogant and unnecessary comments I've read in a while on this site.
Yeah, Jason obviously didn't write about what could go wrong with the Sox real propsects (except for Addison Reed), but why can't he write an extremely creative/fictional piece without
being put through the ringer by you (someone who, to me, has come across as a poster who ALWAYS has something to say, whether or not people want to hear it).
If there's anyone on this site who should be ENCOURAGED to mix in creativity/fiction with his pieces, it's Jason. He is far and away one of the most unique and talented writers this site has seen. Don't take that away from him.
Shane Spencer's first month of the season was incredible. I remember going to the Yankees' last home game of the season against the Devil Rays that year (fun fact: that was also Joe DiMaggio's last public appearance for the Yankees), and Spencer hit one of his what I believe were four grand slams that month.
Staying with the Yankees, I remember Ruben Rivera coming up with them in '96 and tearing the cover off the ball. He hit over .400 in his first 30 or so plate appearances, and despite not hitting at the same pace as Spencer, he was quite a big deal for a couple of weeks in the Bronx. Even though he had a couple of "OK" seasons after that, he never seemed to be able to match the hype of his first month in the bigs.
I love how at the end of the Todd Coffey video, one of the recommended links on YouTube leads you directly to one of those crazy new Old Spice body wash commercials with Terry Crews.
It's March 17, 2005, I'm Rafael Palmeiro, and I feel like pointing my finger emphatically at a camera today.
"On Mondays I feel like it’s August 16, 1920 and I’m Ray Chapman, striding to the plate against Carl Mays at the Polo Grounds. I’m going to take that submarining busher’s next pitch and kill it—I just have to remember to crowd in so he doesn’t get me on the inside corner."
The NL East as a whole should be an extremely exciting division this year. The Nationals are probably still a year or so away, but if things go their way, they could contend for a Wild Card spot as soon as this season.
As someone who failed epically in high school physics, the under-the-hood portion of this article is a little over my head, but the gist of this article is fascinating.
Hope we get to see more articles from you in the future, Mr. Chief Scientist!
If Girardi were smart, he would bat Jeter in the 9th spot (8th spot if Cervelli is catching that day).
Jeter is the kind of player who, based on his attitude and leadership in the past, likely wouldn't make a fuss about being moved out of the top of the lineup, and the average Yankee fan is probably smart enough to know that this is a move that needs to be done.
...Or maybe I'm giving the average Yankee fan too much credit.
Without Mike, I would have put the over/under at 2060.
Hot damn, Mike! It's about time you got noticed by a front office. I know I share the same sentiment with a lot of the readers here when I say that the work you've brought here has been some of the finest work I've ever read. I wish you nothing but the best with Houston.
Make sure to save some room on your fingers for that 2025 World Series ring!
Can't forget "Little Big League". So many baseball players making cameos in that movie. Big Unit, Griffey, Wally Joyner!
In terms of the Hughes/Garcia/Burnett conundrum, it seems to make the most sense that the Yanks should slot Garcia into the fifth spot and make Hughes a longman/swingman. Burnett doesn't seem to have a place in the Bronx anymore, and he probably wouldn't take too well to being the highest paid reliever in the league.
The Yanks should either try trading him and eating about 90% of his salary, or they should just release him. They're one of the few teams (if not the only team) that could afford to do that without being impacted financially.
I feel like a movie called "Being Jason Parks" would make "Being John Malkovich" look like child's play. I'd pay the admission for that.
Derek, well played with the Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask reference. That brings back memories from early in high school where I was so cool that I shunned my friends on Friday night so that I could play Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
Where does Cory Vaughn fit on the list? I know he struggled in High-A ball last year, but he had definitely made several appearances in past Minor League Updates.
What about Emma Span? It's been six months since there has been a good discussion here about fictional gay porn involving baseball players.
That seems like kind of a harsh assessment of Colon.
Yeah, his numbers tailed off fairly significantly over the last two months, but through about mid-August he was probably the second best pitcher on the Yankees' staff.
Obviously he can't handle more than about 150 innings, but I'd certainly give him at least a non-roster invite. Why not see if some team can get similar value out of him next year, or at least put him in a relief role, where his work can be limited and he can add a couple of MPH to what was already a pretty solid four-seamer.
Welcome aboard to all of the new (and formerly guest) writers!
Will Ken Funck still be dropping by for the occasional article during 2012?
Really? You get crap from readers about the ephemera? I'll second kowloonwc in saying that a lot of the ephemera is really interesting, and I hope you never get rid of it.
Don't they actually have to send their bid amount over to the Japanese team within 4 days, and then if the negotiations fail, the Japanese team sends the money back?
What's the latest on Michael Ynoa? How far down the list is he, and what's the status on his health?
Since there was a bright spotlight on Big Z in Chicago (for both good and bad reasons), it might also be beneficial to him that Ozzie is the kind of manager who removes those spotlights from players and shines all the attention on himself.
Can Volstad get an additional couple of WARP added to his ledger solely for the fact that his presence on the roster means that Casey Coleman won't be anywhere near the pitcher's mound at the start of a game?
Is Choate out of the league? Last I heard he was still with the Marlins.
This was a fun article. I know that Henry Rodriguez frequently touches triple digits with his fastball. Is it safe to assume that he has the fastest changeup in the majors?
I LOVED that black-and-white camera they showed while looking at the incorrect Beltre call. It showed clearly that the tip of Beltre's cleat had a mark from the contact the ball had made with it.
Plus, with Halloween coming up, the eerie look to that replay seemed appropriate.
You seem to have omitted the fact that Garcia throws a pretty solid hammer of a curveball. If I remember correctly from his past starts, hasn't he kind of established that as one of his best pitches, consistently sitting in the low 70s?
Holy mother of god this is fantastic analysis.
Rany, I know I'm a bit late to the party here, but I just want to say how fantastic these articles have been.
With all of the studies that have been done on baseball, especially in the recent years, the fact that you have unearthed this significant of a market inefficiency speaks volumes to how much thought and work you have put into this study.
I can't wait to read more on this subject, and see how the post-2003 draft picks pan out.
Not surprised at all. If anyone can help rest the pen, it's Verlander.
133 pitches might have been a bit much, but his last pitch hit triple digits, so he clearly wasn't gassed, despite the outcome of the pitch.
When I saw Adam Eaton's name, I freaked out for a split-second before I realized this was an actual prospect, and not the former pitcher trying desperately to make a comeback.
I really hope this is a joke, and that these posts are supposed to be some kind of representation of the old-school way of looking at statistics.
If that's not the case, then why are you paying to subscribe to a site that clearly goes COMPLETELY against your narrow-minded way of looking at things?
While this is a fun little "Viewer's Guide" type deal for each playoff series, this is more than a little underwhelming compared to the meticulous analysis of each series in years past.
Sign Prince Fielder in the offseason.
Will Venable's trot would have been appropriate if it was hit on July 4th.
Whoops, got beaten to the punch. The point still stands though.
Semi-effective Koji Uehara? I think his 0.70 WHIP, 1.72 ERA, 25 hits, 8 walks and 62 strikeouts in 47 innings while with the O's screams out something a little different than "semi-effective".
Vince Coleman stole 145 (!!!) bases for Macon in the South Atlantic League in 1983 in only 113 games. He then stole 101 base for Louisville the following year.
Mmmm...wiz wit. I hope that means you prefer Pat's over Geno's, Ken.
There was an Independent League brawl on Monday night between Yuma and Chico that could go down in history, especially since it involved two ex-Major Leaguers straight out of 1990.
Tony Phillips is the third baseman for Chico. He's the starting third baseman and is 52 years old (don't you love independent ball?), and Jose Canseco is the player/manager for Yuma.
The brawl involved Phillips yelling into the Yuma dugout, and then eventually tackling the opposing manager near the third base line.
Oh, and there was a pitcher named Jonny Bravo involved, too.
"...considering that a team only has to win 12 games to win the World Series."
I would love to hear Morgan Freeman and Vin Scully co-narrate the Bible.
Blake Beavan of the Mariners might be trending that way, too.
In his first start on 7/3, he threw 71 fastballs in 90 pitches. In his most recent start on 7/17, he threw 89 fastballs in 104 pitches.
Not sure if this is just small sample-size flukiness or if Beavan likes his fastball a lot.
Not willing to bench Adam Dunn? Really?
Fine, I know you owe him a lot of money, but come on. The guy is batting .160. He is 43-for-269 this season with 117 strikeouts. It's absurd just how bad that is.
I think benching him for a little while might help him get his head together, and it would give Viciedo a chance to squeeze his way into the lineup.
This is just nitpicking, but this wasn't the series where the Posada controversy was stirring. It was the previous series against the Sox in the middle of May where Posada pulled himself out of the lineup.
In fact, one could argue that this series was where Posada started to turn his season around.
Amazing piece of writing.
What makes DiSarcina's 1995 season even funnier is that not only was he named an All-Star, but he also finished 19th in the MVP voting.
I got 2 out of 10 right. Those numbers are still better than Derek Jeter's. Does that mean I can still make the All-Star team?
Another good metaphor to describe this pennant race would be to re-watch the scene from Family Guy where they show the 100 meter dash for people deathly afraid of yellow tape.
(too bad I can't find a link for that clip)
That's too bad, Marc. If you did get a job with the Brewers, I was gonna suggest you try one of Miller Park's pulled pork parfaits. They are an experience.
In terms of Homer Bailey, I was watching the Reds' broadcast at the time he was lifted from the game. Shortly after, the broadcasters said that Bailey's injury stemmed from his fourth inning at-bat. Is it potentially a more encouraging sign that the injury didn't originate from the act of pitching?
Eight of Friedrich's 10 runs were unearned? Were his defenders playing with their hands tied behind their backs?
Well Kevin did show his slash stats, and the .429 OBP (which is 83 points higher than his BA), shows you that the kid's got discipline. He has 18 unintentional walks in a quarter of a season, so he's on pace for about 70 unintentional walks. Add the expected 15-20 IBB he'll get, and that totals 90 walks.
For an 18-year-old in a full season league, that's pretty damn good. FACT
You have to take pitch counts into account also.
Both pitchers were under 90 pitches. I believe that Colon was at at 87, and Porcello was at 84 when they got taken out of their outings.
It'd be one thing if they were both over 100 pitches, and fatigue might be a bigger issue, but those are extremely low pitch counts, so that has to have some impact on how effective they could be expected to be in the ninth.
You gotta start wondering how close these repeated wrist injuries are coming to "career-ending" for DeRosa.
Jason, I really hope that Brooklyn Cyclones girl is a BP subscriber, and that at some point within the next few hours, we see a comment on here from her implying that she would like to enhance the relationship from within the confines of a crowded and smelly bus.
Surprised Brooks Robinson didn't make more appearances at the top of the third baseman list.
Were some of his gold gloves, primarily later in his career, merely reputation picks, or does he make more appearances a little further down the FRAA list?
It's simple. There's a million new links to articles almost every day on this site. Don't click on this one.
By the way, just wanna add that it's good to see one of your articles on the site again. Hadn't seen one since the first week of the season.
So you're saying that the entire Royals' OF is a bonanza of balderdash?
I dunno, Cabrera looks like he's getting ready to swing at that banana even though it's coming in at eye level.
Was this comment really necessary?
I agree with the other two responses to this. If you don't like this, don't read it. No one's holding you at gunpoint (and if they are, then I'm sorry to hear that). These articles provide a fun, unique perspective, and I'm looking forward to seeing more.
6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Surprisingly, Raul Ibanez will have 2 hits and 2 RBI.
Hosmer - Premature bat-ulation?
...What ever happened to Dion James?
Can't forget Alcides Escobar and his stellar .209/.234/.242 line in KC. 91 AB, 3 extra base hits, 3 walks. Even for a shortstop, that's cringeworthy.
I'll be waiting patiently for the first "Giant Spider Invasion" reference.
The DL bug isn't just limited to the pitchers. The Yanks placed catching prospect Gary Sanchez on the DL at the same time as Betances and Banuelos, but they haven't given a reason yet.
Shifting to TV...
Yuniesky Betancourt = The George Lopez Show...How does this guy keep getting work!?
I still remember a Yankees/White Sox game back in 2007 where each team put up matching 8 spots in the 2nd inning. I'd imagine that's the only time that's ever happened, and that probably produced a pretty wild spike in the win expectancy table for that game.
I think the White Sox ultimately won that game.
Larry, definitely a fun series of articles. Thanks!
Just wondering if you're going to provide us with a "trot of the week" or "trot of the month" as the season goes along, or if you are going to provide us with weekly/monthly leaderboards for the fastest and slowest trots.
Really interesting article, Jeremy. More is being made about defense, but few people have looked at how defensive switches have impacted a team. Keep up the good work!
Ah, Brandon Knight. If I remember correctly, didn't he make one craptastic start for the Mets back in 2008?
No, you had it right the first time—they’re not saying “Boone,” they’re saying “Boo.”
I thought they were saying "Boo-urns".
Do you happen to have any specific examples of teams that turned over their ENTIRE roster between one Opening Day and the next? The most recent team possibly coming to mind would be the 1998 "Fire Sale" Marlins.
R.A. Dickey? Really?
Another name to bring up some past heartache for the Cubs: Bobby Hill.
Gotta disagree with your assessment of Chicago's placement. I lived in New York for 20+ years of my life. I moved to Chicago less than a year ago, and I already love this city more than I will ever love NYC. NYC is too crowded and too expensive. Chicago is what NYC would be like with less pollution, calmer people, and half the population.
When I saw the number of days missed to injury for Jeff Francoeur, I thought you made a mistake and accidentally posted the number of unintentional walks he had taken each of the last three seasons. Whoops.
Brett Wallace...the caucasian Roger Bernadina.
Michael, would you say Brett is in "the best shape of his life"?
Matt Wieters is going into his third year, so technically he shouldn't be considered a candidate for a Sophomore Slump/Breakout.
Fun article. Keep up the great work!
Just a sidenote. Otis Nixon is just a prime example of how far speed and defense can get you in the Major Leagues.
He had 5,000+ AB in his career, and he managed a mere .044 ISO.
Any idea if that's some kind of record for lowest ISO (min 5,000 career AB)?
"While the Cardinals have made it clear that David Freese is their first baseman..."
I hope Albert Pujols got the memo.
I'm kind of amazed at just how horrendous Minor's ERA/WHIP predictions are despite the stellar K/BB expectation.
Let's do some math...
With the walk rate of 2.2, he is expected to walk 37 batters.
With the WHIP of 1.52, he is expected to allow 228 baserunners via the hit or walk in 150 innings.
Subtract walks from total baserunners, he's expected to allow 191 hits in 150 innings, or a total of 11.46 hits/9 innings
So the GP2011 is predicting Minor to allow hits as frequently as Livan Hernandez, but have a similar strikeout rate to Tim Lincecum? Something doesn't compute there.
Uh, hello? Shigetoshi Hasegawa anyone?
Cliff Lee is a Phil
Sergio Mitre will pitch
Prepare for homers
I hate to admit that even though I am far too young to have seen Duke Snider play, I am still a nearly life-long New Yorker whose knowledge of Duke was inexcusably limited. This article simultaneously helped to educate me, and proved to be a fitting tribute to an accomplished ballplayer and individual. Thanks, Jay.
Where is the boundary between the 4 and the 5 star prospects? About where would the first 3 star prospect fall on this list?
In case anyone was wondering, this is how the list breaks down by team:
Yankees and Rays - 4
Blue Jays - 3
Red Sox and O's - 2
Royals - 10(!)
Indians and Twins - 4
Tigers - 3
White Sox - 2
Angels - 5
A's and Mariners - 4
Rangers - 3
Braves - 6
Nationals - 4
Phillies and Mets - 3
Marlins - 2
Pirates and Reds - 4
Cubs - 3
Astros - 2
Cardinals - 1
Brewers - Goose Egg
Padres - 5
Dodgers - 4
Giants, Rockies and Diamondbacks - 2
"Mathieson is just the second player signed as the 509th overall pick to ever reach the big leagues."
Just out of curiosity, who was the first?
This list has got to be encouraging for Rays fans.
One question...Is it really fair to say that McGee has below average control, and then refer to his strike% totals in the majors, when in reality he has thrown less than 100 pitches there? Doesn't that seem like too small of a sample size, especially when he had a fairly standard BB/9 rate in AA?
In the NHL, after a stoppage in play, the home team gets the last line change, meaning they get to set the matchup to their liking. That may not be as high-profile as batting last in an inning, but it's still technically a structural advantage.
Welcome aboard, Corey! Really looking forward to more of your work.
Be prepared for the onslaught of WATG (What About That Guy) questions that drove Will to the brink of insanity.
People, people...let's not forget that the Yankees have Mark Prior floating around in their system this year!
Bruce Wayne Ruffin. That deserves some credit, right?
In sticking with the theme of this article, having the ability to go back in time would be a pretty sweet superpower.
In seriousness though, look at this article, and then look at the other articles they've posted so far today: Weekly quotes, a prospect profile, and a team top 11 prospect article.
The BP staples are still here, but they've just decided to add a little more variety. I think it improves the hell out of the site. Keep up the good work, Larry!
When you refer to the "my guy" Yankees, it sounds like you're referring to the guys that Girardi feels he has an allegiance to, and will play no matter how horrible their stats are. I couldn't agree more with Cervelli, Pena or Mitre falling into that category, but I feel as if Robertson was actually a reliable piece to their bullpen last season.
Robertson's numbers weren't stellar, but that was largely a product of a horrendous start to the season. In the end, he can throw a low 90s fastball with some cut, and a pretty mean curve, all while striking out over a batter an inning. He might walk a few too many, but after the first several weeks of the season, he almost always got the job done.
Can we all just agree that, regardless of whether you like this article or think it's in good/bad taste, that at least it provoked perhaps the greatest comment thread in the short history of BP comments?
Of course Curt Blefary is real. So were his teammates, Ron Sigglypuff and Martin Bikachu.
'Stache slash! Love it!
Let's face it. The only baseball-related fan fiction out there should involve Sal Fasano. After all, he is already rocking the true porn-star 'stache.
Albert Pujols article, transaction analysis, a couple of fantasy articles, article on fictional gay sex among baseball players.
Just your average Friday at Baseball Prospectus.
Welcome aboard, Emma!
Once you open the Excel file, you should see tabs at the bottom for batters and pitchers.
Such is the advantage of working an overnight shift at work tonight :)
...getting a lot of work done, as you can tell.
Looks like, according to PECOTA:
- Ryan Howard (41) is the only player hitting more than 40 homers this year.
- Joe Mauer (.317) will lead the league in batting average, with only a small handful of players even breaking .300.
- Juan Pierre will lead the league with 50 SB. Interestingly, Derrick Robinson has the next highest predicted steal total with 47.
- There will be a three-way tie with CC Sabathia, King Felix and Dan Haren for the league lead in wins (15). Those same three will lead the league in strikeouts, with King Felix taking the K crown at 204.
- Joe Nathan is going to be the runaway saves leader (40), with K-Rod behind him at 35.
Great stuff guys! This is one of the two most exciting days of the baseball pre-season, with the other being the release of the newest MLB: The Show video game.
+1 with a ridiculously large number of zeroes following it.
I had brought this up in the Pettitte unfiltered post from yesterday, but technically, Pedro Martinez hasn't retired yet, and he has 219 wins, so wouldn't that make him the active leader if Moyer is indeed done?
This MIGHT be nitpicking, but technically, Pedro Martinez hasn't retired yet, and he has 219 wins.
It's obvious that whoever signs Branyan this year is going to sign him to a one-year deal, which means he'll be right back in this article in January, 2012.
Since Posada might wind up retiring at the end of this upcoming season, which could effectively open up the DH slot, I'd be intrigued to see what Branyan could do as a Yankee in 2012. You figure if the guy can hit 25 homers as a lefty in Safeco, there's nothing stopping him from possibly bashing 30-35 with the proper amount of playing time in pinstripes.
Obviously Aroldis Chapman, whatever his role winds up being, is expected to have a huge impact for Cincinnati this year. Just curious to see what kind of numbers he is being pegged for. Thanks, and keep up the great work with these articles.
Of course. I'm not denying that the Brewers' system hasn't provided them with benefits in the recent years. I'm just wondering if, as of December 21, 2010, they have the poorest collection of Minor League talent in the majors.
Could this now be considered the worst farm system in all of baseball? At least the Astros have a couple of four-star players now.
I'm worried Bert Blyleven won't get enough votes because too many people are going to be focusing on Kirk Rueter's credentials.
Do us a favor and try and refrain from referring to the Yankees as "imperialists". We get it. The Yankees have a lot of money, and they use to that money to try and outbid other teams for top free agents every offseason. If that makes the Yankees "imperialists", then what do you consider the Red Sox giving Carl Crawford more than $140 million this off-season, not to mention the large extension they are likely to give to Adrian Gonzalez? Looks like the team's payrolls in the near future are going to be much closer than they had been in the past.
There's no question he is going to get overpaid, probably significantly. He's one of the best pitchers available on the market, and there's clearly a high demand for him. If he winds up going to the Yankees, his salary could approach A.J. Burnett levels.
There are much worse options out there though. He's young, he's got no-hit type stuff at times, and he's been very consistent (aside from strikeout numbers) over the past three seasons.
In Garza, you know that at least for the next few years, you're gonna get a pitcher who will give you a high-3 ERA, a 1.25-1.30 WHIP, nearly 200 innings, and at least 150 K's. That could be worth a 4-5 year, $50-$60 mil. contract.
Do you have any information on Michael Affronti? He's a middle infielder who had been in the A's system until the middle of last season when he came to the Astros. His stats really didn't look too impressive, but I'm wondering if you have any type of scouting information.
Thanks Kevin, and great job as usual.
Stuff shouldn't just be looked at from a speed perspective. You can throw a 97 MPH fastball, but it can be hittable because it's straight as an arrow. Stuff is a combination of speed, command, control, movement, etc.
Just because he only throws in the low 90s doesn't mean he doesn't have "stuff".
I agree with Juiced. The Yankees without Cliff Lee in 2011 have a much slimmer chance of winning the division than they do if they are able to sign him...obviously.
The fact is that the Yankees are the one team that can get away with signing him for $23-$25 million a year even if the last 3 or 4 years of his contract are a sunk cost. You know that if this is the case, they'll go out and sign the biggest free agent pitcher of the 2014 class in order to attempt to replace the value lost with Lee.
Go out and get Lee now, solidify your rotation for the next few years, and worry about getting a new pitcher if Lee does indeed fall off a cliff (no pun intended).
Agreed. The Astros' rotation was definitely nothing to sneeze at last year.
It's nice to see that, if everything breaks right in 2011, as many as five of the NL Central teams (excluding the Pirates) could have pretty solid rotations. The Cubs could have a newly rejuvenated, albeit slightly luck-aided, Zambrano in the fold, along with Dempster, Gorzelanny, Wells, and a helping of Andrew Cashner in their rotation. Not too shabby.
...I probably should have mentioned that I was referring to Victor Martinez in that previous post. Whoops.
Maybe his HR and double RATES will decrease, but the fact that he won't have to catch as much should keep him healthier and allow him to play more. An extra 100 PA in 2011 could be what he needs to still reach the 20 homer, 100 RBI plateau.
I always knew that Ron Santo was a popular figure, but never really appreciated just how popular and beloved he was until today.
I moved to Chicago about five months ago, and pretty much the only thing that was on the news this morning was coverage of his passing.
I'll admit that I only have a basic knowledge of Santo and his career, but it's always sad when baseball loses an icon such as Santo. He will be greatly missed.
System in 20 Words or Less:
Where have all the southpaws gone?
To elaborate on Luke's point...
For the love of god, John, I love your articles, and I love all of the work you do on all of the Prospectus websites, but there really needs to be some copy editing going on here. EVERY time you mention the Twins' streak of losing in the ALDS, without fail, you say that they've always lost to the Yankees, and EVERY time some reader or another (myself in a couple of those instances) mentions that you're wrong, because you always seem to forget that the A's beat the Twins in the 2006 ALDS.
I know it's a minute error, and I know I'm probably making too big of a deal out of this, but it's when you see the same minute error being made over and over and over again that it really begins to get frustrating.
I agree on Jermaine Dye. Maybe Jim Edmonds, even though I don't know if he had enough PA to really have a good write-up on.
Do you have plans to write a version of this article for hitters?
Hey Chase, this was a cool article, thanks.
Just one little nit-pick though. It looks like Trevor Hoffman's K/BB ratio is wrong. He had 30 K and 19 BB last year, so his ratio is actually 1.58.
I wouldn't normally bring this up, but I just don't think I can live in a world where Trevor Hoffman's 2010 K/BB ratio is better than Andy Pettitte's.
I think there's one extremely important question one needs to ask in relation to this article...
How is American Heritage's 2010-2011 calculus team looking? Those derivatives are getting awfully tricky this season.
It looks like the Braves and Marlins pulled the trigger on a deal (according to sources). If it goes through, the Braves will be getting Uggla in exchange for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn.
I agree that it's not likely Minnesota would go for a trade like this, but when you think about it, there are worse fits than Lowe in Minnesota. He's a contact pitcher who would be playing in a pitcher's park, as well as a division that isn't necessarily flush with power hitters. He'd also add a much-needed veteran presence to a rotation filled with youngsters who really haven't had a ton of playoff experience, especially beyond the first round.
Guillermo Pimentel might make us feel old, but he's got nothing on Luis Heredia of the Pirates.
Heredia was born four days AFTER the 1994 baseball strike began.
The Mets would probably be the best fit. Huge ballpark, decent defensive infield. He and Pelfrey would make a pretty mean pitch-to-contact duo.
Thank you, Kevin. It took a grand total of seven days (the last day of the World Series until now) for me to go from "OK, I'm ready for a break from baseball" mode to "Why the hell isn't it April?!??!" mode.
Format looks great this year, can't wait for more.
Talent-wise (but hopefully not health-wise), is there any way of comparing Luis Heredia with Michael Ynoa?
What about Mike Hampton? I know the D-Backs signed him to a Minor League deal late last season. Another team might follow suit this year.
"Considering right-hander Ben Sheets' $10 million is off the books now that he is a free agent—and he's not coming back on my watch—I have some money to play with on the free-agent market. Optimally, I'd rather sign a free agent than trade from my pitching depth."
Why don't you use some of that available money, and make a big splash. Go after Adam Dunn. He belongs in the American League, and he would be the most talented power hitter the A's have had in a long time.
You think Barry Bonds would accept a minor league contract somewhere? :)
Jay, the math is wrong on your chart showing the lowest combined HLFs.
For the 2000 Yankees/Mets series, if those HLFs are correct, then the combined HLF would be .523 for that series, but if the combined HLF is .550 as shown, then wouldn't that put the Mets' HLF at .566?
Did Christina actually suggest going after Pavano, or was she just using him as a point of comparison to Kuroda?
I'm a Yankee fan, so while I have my fair share of World Series memories during my day, I gotta say my favorite World Series memory was from 1993.
I was nine at the time, and really just starting to understand what baseball was all about. I remember game six was on a Saturday night, and was PRAYING the Jays would win since there was no way my parents would let me stay up that late on Sunday night, a school night, to watch a game seven. Heck, I had to beg them to let me stay up late to watch game six.
When Joe Carter hit that home run off of Mitch Williams, I knew that I had just witnessed one of the greatest homers in baseball history, and as I jumped around the living room, I knew I was hooked for life.
Crawford is much younger than Lee? Not to be nit-picky here, but Crawford is going to turn 30 during the middle of next season, while Lee is going to be 33. Not THAT much of a difference. Crawford might be younger, yes, but would it be smart of the Yanks to make a huge investment on a 30-year-old player who derives so much of his talent from his legs? One fluke hamstring injury, and that contract could quickly become an anchor for years.
Makes you wonder what Paul Wilson is up to these days.
"Lee will again get two games in this series, and Wilson will attempt to provide the Rangers with one of the two other wins the needed from the rest of staff for Texas to win its first American League pennant".
I was under the impression that it wasn't a guarantee that Lee would pitch twice in this series. I thought that the only way he would see the mound twice is if the series went the full seven, since he won't be making his first appearance until game 3. Has that changed?
It's even unfair to say Beachy was ineffective. He only made a few starts in the Majors, but for a guy who had already been extended quite a bit in the Minors, he more than held his own in his first taste of big league ball, especially in the middle of a pennant race. Don't forget that he put up the numbers he did despite facing the Phillies in two out of his three starts.
Kevin, great work as usual.
Mike Belfiore graduated from my high school, so of course I've been following him more than most prospects.
Do you have any more information on what kind of stuff he has?
I also know that despite the poor record, his ERA seems to leave some reason to be optimistic for the future. Do you know if his ERA is due to some luck in BABIP, or did he just not receive the kind of run support he needed?
The Twins lost to the Oakland Athletics in 2006. They lost to the Yanks in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010.
If I were an adult film director, I would NEED to make a movie starring Ronnie Prettyman, Sharlon Schoop, Beemer Weems, Jericho Jones, and maybe with a cameo by Arquimedes Caminero.
Colin, definitely one of the most interesting articles I've read on this site in the last several weeks, and there's many to choose from.
Just want to add that I work for STATS Inc., and I am heavily involved in their baseball pitch-charting operation. The FIRST thing that my boss told me when I came to work there was that I had to take the camera angle into account when looking at pitch location. There had been many an employee who had walked through those doors only to have their pitch-charting abilities put into question because all of their recorded pitch locations were a couple of inches off in either direction.
If Morrow can stay healthy, and the Blue Jays let him loose next year for 200+ innings, I think he's the one pitcher in the American League who has 250-275 strikeout potential, aside from (maybe) Justin Verlander. Morrow's stuff is just dominating.
Is it me, or does the Undecided family have more pitchers in the majors than the Molina family has catchers?
I really think Neftali Feliz deserves more credit for the AL ROY than just saying "he was good in the few innings he pitched for the Rangers". He took over the closer's role as a 21-year-old, which is something you almost never see, and he dominated. To have done that at such a young age, and in the thick of a division race (at least for a good chunk of the season) definitely deserves some consideration.
I do remember that. Funny how things work out.
I also remember back in June, when he had around 17 homers, there was an analyst (I think on ESPN), who predicted that he would slow down and probably finish between 25 and 30 homers, because there was no way he could keep up this pace.
1) Looks like, unfortunately, King Felix won't get the chance for his 31st QS on Sunday. M's are shutting him down.
2) I think the Jays secured themselves that ISO record. Six homers in Minnesota tonight, including two more by Jose-Bot 2010!
Nah, Freeman's home run came a little over a week ago. He had had about 10-15 ABs before that point. Doesn't take away from the fact that the HR was off of Halladay.
I agree that perhaps we're jumping the gun a bit saying that the Braves might want to look for a back-up plan. This is just a cup of coffee for the kid, getting him ready for likely full-time work next year. If we're at the end of April 2011 and he's putting up Jordan Schafer-esque numbers, THEN we might have a problem.
Great article, Jay. I gotta say I find it interesting that every single team in the league this year has been able to pull off at least one win when there starter has been disaster-ed. You'd think that at least one team on the list would have put up a goose egg in that department.
Just out of curiosity, do you consider a start a disasterpiece if, for example, a pitcher comes in, throws one inning while allowing two runs, and then leaves due to injury or some other non performance-related circumstance?
Zito's numbers against the Reds this year don't exactly inspire a lot of confidence, either. In two appearances (one start), he has combined to throw 6.2 innings, allowing 6 runs and 11 hits, while walking and striking out 4 apiece. Looks like if they play Cincy, whoever they start in the third game of that series would be a risky proposition.
Brennan Boesch's 90th percentile forecast would make him an ideal fit for this year's Blue Jays.
One interesting thing about Coello - one of his secondary pitches is this really funky splitter/forkball type pitch that he throws in the low 70s. I remember reading a scouting report about it, and then hearing the NESN broadcasters talking about it before his debut. It moves almost like a knuckleball. Really haven't seen too many pitches like it.
Another thing that's so hard to believe about Fernando Tatis's two grand slams in one inning is that they both came off of the same pitcher (Chan Ho Park).
That video clip of Wally Backman's tirade, and here I thought all manager/umpire arguments were along the lines of the one in the Lou Piniella Aquafina water commercial. "SAY HELLO TO THE MISSUS FOR ME!"
At least the Cardinals got the right idea and finally released Lopez, even if it might have come about a month too late.
Combine his line with the fact that he has a habit of putting himself into bad counts, and it seems like the problem is that he's just too passive. Maybe all it will take for him to reach his potential is to just take the bat off his shoulder a little more often.
I wouldn't say that Mark Reynolds has "reverted" to his high-strikeout ways, being that he struck out more than 200 times in each of the two seasons leading up to this one.
"...and some of the hottest and coldest teams of the past have experienced sudden, drastic shifts in team temperature immediately upon entering post-season play."
A good example of this would be the 2000 Yankees. They lost 13 of their last 15 regular season games that year against some pretty weak competition before turning it around and winning the World Series.
The Twins lost to the Yankees in 2003, 2004 and 2009 in the ALDS. They got swept by the Athletics in 2006.
I know how good Larry Walker was in the late 90s, especially with the aid of Coors Field, but to see a raw TAv over 1.300 at home in 1999 is absolutely mind-boggling. What were his exact numbers at Coors Field in 1999? I'm guessing he had to have batted somewhere in the .425 - .450 range.
You figure for the anti-TTO award, guys like Ichiro and Jeff Keppinger are also on there.
Bengie Molina is a stopgap for Jason Kendall? *shudder*
Hairston started today for the Padres, but he was removed from the game in a double switch in the bottom of the fourth. Don't know if that was injury-related, or if the Padres just wanted to ease Hairston back in by giving him a few innings out in the field.
I am extremely optimistic about the Rockies' chances. They seem to have this capability of making insanely strong runs at the postseason in recent years. In 2007 they won something like 22 of 24 games to overtake the Padres, and then get all the way to the World Series. We all know what happened in 2009. Now this year they are not only riding a 2007-esque hot streak, but they are also taking advantage of the floundering Padres. Frankly, in the end, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Rockies and Giants as the top two teams in the NL West, in that order.
Just think how fast the Yankee outfield could be next year with Carl Crawford, Brett Gardner, and...Nick Swisher.
You would assume so, because from what I've seen, the curves thrown by righties that are referred to as "11-to-5" are actually moving in a 1-to-7 fashion from the perspective we see on TV, if I'm not mistaken.
Ben, if I ever start a band, I'm going to make sure it has eight members, and I'm going to call it "Octopus of Awesome" (with your permission, of course).
Worry about Parnell's ERA? It's only 2.43! That's not too much to worry about.
Warren Spahn? I know he bat under .200, but he does have 35 career homers, which is pretty impressive for a pitcher.
Plus, you have to include Hong Chih Kuo of the Dodgers for the sole reason that when he hit a home run off the Mets (I think) in 2007, it was accompanied an almost Bret Boone-like bat flip.
I know this is probably a difficult and fairly far-fetched proposition, but what are the chances that some point, BP could have some "Major League Baseball Stadium Tour" series of articles, especially for those readers who haven't gotten a chance to see most of the parks around the country? After reading this fantastic writeup of Target Field, it'd be interesting to see you and other BP writers tackle some of the other newer ballparks around the country.
Of course, as a Yankee fan, I won't complain if the season ends with the Red Sox on the outside looking in, but at the same time, it'll be extremely interesting (and a slight change of pace) to see the Yankees and Rays in the playoffs together for the first time in history.
Jerry Manuel talks about how he hopes and expects the young kids to be helping them for years to come. Too bad Jerry won't be around beyond this season to see that. He got the "vote of confidence" over a month ago. The hammer is long overdue to come down on him.
Keep up the good work, Ben. This is about as solid of an article as you can have in only a couple hundred words.
Wow, so it seems like Ozzie is implying that much of the blame Chicago's mediocre finishes of the past few years falls on Thome's shoulders. That's a little harsh, no?
At least baseball is a Summer game, or else they would have to do the uphill both ways walk while in the snow...barefoot.
"...not helping matters was the fact that Posada, who these days might lose a foot race to a Molina dragging another Molina"
Honestly, I think that if Tim Lincecum makes the list in the second tier, then you can make an argument that Felix Hernandez belongs there, as well. He came into the league two years before Lincecum, is sporting a low 3s career ERA, allows fewer than a hit per inning, and routinely strikes out nearly a hitter per inning. He's still a well above .500 pitcher, despite the fact that he has played for some pretty terrible M's teams. How do his SNLVAR and SNWP numbers compare to The Freak's?
And who can forget the five episodes of Disasterpiece Theater that Matt Morris brought to the team in 2008, when he had an ERA of almost 10 in 22 innings? This was after he had an ERA over six with them in the last half of 2007.
Seeing him throw these pitches reminds me of the pitches Henry Rowangartner threw to Alejandro Heddo to strike him out at the end of "Rookie of the Year". Just float it, Vicente.
If all of the above lineup scenarios play out, and their shortstop position is still up in the air, why not give Mike Aviles a stab as their starter there (assuming he's still productive and on the roster)?
The Astros are headed for their FIFTH straight season without a playoff appearance, not their sixth.
Not a big thing, especially since one year from now, they WILL be headed for their sixth straight October on the links, but we shouldn't kick 'em while they're already down.
I bet you that when Ian Kennedy was pitching for the Yankees in 2008, he wasn't thinking to himself "in two years, I am going to be considered by some people as the best pitcher in someone's rotation!".
I don't think you can say the Steve Bartman incident is what cost the Cubs the pennant. I'd put the blame more on Alex Gonzalez, who botched the potential inning-ending double play ball when the Cubs were up 3-1 in the 8th, opening the floodgates for seven Marlins runs. It's a shame that Bartman gets more of the blame than he should.
"Jerry Manuel is our manager," Minaya said. "Anytime you're going to have a couple of losing things, those things are going to pop up. But there's no discussion at all. Jerry Manuel is our manager, will be our manager. We're very happy with the job he's done."
Uh oh, it's the dreaded "vote of confidence! I give Manuel a week, maybe two.
Where does Mike Hampton's 2001 season with Colorado rank? That year he hit .291/.309/.582 with 7 homers in 86 PA.
You know when Will says that he can't stand WATGs? WATG stands for "what about this guy?" It's really astonishing how often Will says this, but how many people still ask "what about this guy" anyway.
I'm sorry, Bob Geren, but citing Carlos Zambrano as one of the pitchers who prevented your team from scoring runs doesn't exactly add too much strength to your argument.
In addition to all the scouts, ambulances from nearly every major local hospital are expected to be in attendance.
At least the breezes that are felt from all the swings and misses must feel comfortable during those 110 degree Phoenix afternoons.
Geoff, enjoyed the article. Quick question about Huelsman, though. You said he died in 1959 at the age of 80, which would mean he was born in approximately 1879. You showed his statistics for 1913 and 1914, and mentioned them as his age 39 and age 40 seasons. Doing the math, wouldn't those be his age 34 and age 35 seasons?
If Eldemire's career in baseball doesn't work out, he'd probably make for a pretty skilled dragon slayer.
Delwyn Young should have just retired from professional baseball as soon as he touched home plate. That's gonna be the highlight of his career.
MLB.com is also simulcasting MLB Network's pre-game coverage, as well as the tops of the first four innings, so for people without MLB Network and an MLB.tv membership, they'll see most of what they need to see.
It's being broadcast on MLB Network.
...and knowing is half the battle.
Thanks again, Geoff. These columns are always a fun read.
Do you have home/road splits on Ethan Martin? The fact that he is pitching his home games at Inland Empire can't be helping his overall ERA at all.
The fact that ANYONE is 0-for-24 against Nate Robertson is startling.
Looks like the report on Marte is legitimate. Apparently he had surgery to correct the ingrown hair issue.
Of course this doesn't fall into the category of "poor start, great finish", but seeing the statistics for Marquis's first three starts from this year made me think about Chien Ming Wang's first three starts for the Yankees in 2009:
Apr. 8: 3.2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO (Game Score: 12)
Apr. 13: 1.0 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO (Game Score: 7)
Apr. 18: 1.1 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO (Game Score: 7)
Total Stats: 6.0 IP, 23 H, 23 ER, 6 BB, 2 SO
I guess Jason Marquis could take comfort in the fact that his ERA is 14 points lower at the same point this year than Wang's was last year.
Hard to believe a name like Roy Halladay appears on the disaster start record list.
All you have to do is Google "Derek Jeter Flip Play Video", and the first link that comes up is a list of great Division Series videos from the recent years. Among the list of videos there is the Derek Jeter video you're looking for.
Christina, your game stories are really insightful and fun to read, but just so you know, this wasn't a day game after a night game. Yesterday's game was an afternoon game, as well.
Props on the movie reference. The best scene had to be at the end, when the teacher gets shot, dies in his chair, comes back to life to answer his cell phone, then hangs up and dies again. Great stuff.
Detroit's rotation seems to have the most firepower. If their top three reach or exceed expectations, you can afford some replacement-level performances by the back of the rotation. Even though Minnesota's rotation could be boosted by a Liriano comeback, you just don't know what kind of effect the new ballpark is going to have.
-- Didn't realize just how ghastly the M's rotation looked behind Hernandez since Lee and Bedard are both on the DL.
-- Any word out of Toronto on Dustin McGowan's status?
"...perhaps it would be fitting that a journey to the franchise's first World Series title would begin here."
I've never heard anything referred to as "niggling" before, but it somehow seems like an appropriate word to describe injuries.
David, thanks for the read. You always hear broadcasters talk about the offseason fantasy camps for their teams, but you never really see them talk too much about it. This was a great look inside.
Sorry, hadn't updated the comments before reading the article. Didn't realize someone else already asked the same question.
In the past, have you often had teams like this year's Dodgers where their entire projected starting rotation was rated as red?
If Jake Fox is predicted to hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs for the A's, why is his VORP so low (6.0)?
Blanton's wider FIGS range seems to be the product of two starts. His 4th start gave him a FIGS score around 35, and his 9th start gave him a figs score around 80. Remove those two starts from the equation, and his FIGS range is identical to Sabathia's.
The PHD Report
How is this comment even the least bit relevant?
Can I please have the 20 seconds of my life back that I spent bothering to read your comment?
Christina and the rest of the BP staff,
Thanks again for another year of providing us with top-notch service.
Happy and healthy holiday to you all.
Where would Vizcaino fit on the Braves Top 11?
I don't think I've ever seen a rating that low in my life. Can we get to -100?
When I worked for STATS LLC in the Citi Field and Yankee Stadium pressboxes, I worked next to the MLB.com stat stringers, and they were all great guys. They showed me the software they used, and it looks very easy, user friendly and almost fun to use. It really does seem like a great job for anyone who has the time and motivation to do it.
"...giving out an award based on reputation isn't a valuable process."
I completely agree that giving out the Gold Glove awards based on reputation isn't a valuable process, but aren't you being a little hypocritical, since you're a frequent advocate that All Star Game berths are awarded to players with the best past performances/reputations rather than the players who have had a three-month hot streak?
It's possible teams who have potential two-way talents in their systems don't want to subject these players to the injury risks experienced by both pitchers AND hitters, especially if the player may be viewed by scouts as an injury risk to begin with. If one of your potential two-way guys is a solid contributor at the plate and has a rocket for an arm, why risk messing up that rocket by subjecting him to the rigors of pitching?
So you're saying you have no issues with the umpiring this season? None at all?
It's not a matter of the umpiring DECIDING the games, it's a matter of the umpiring being as bad it has been to begin with!
In terms of the bad umping deciding games, just flash back to game 2 of the Twins/Yankees series, where Cuzzi made the blown call that kept Mauer from doubling, and more than likely cost the Twins at least a run.
Yankees, 6/170, 12/5
The White Sox are going to be as talented, if not more talented, of a team in 2009 than they were in 2008, but the reason they\'ll probably finish at or near .500 is because the rest of the division will be stronger next year. Minnesota has a young nucleus of players that looks like it will develop into something pretty special, Cleveland is going to make a strong comeback, Detroit pretty much has to improve after how badly they underachieved this year, and Kansas City...well...who knows.
Their starting pitching is fine, even if Floyd did overachieve. The two things they need to focus on are ways to increase their batting average, and picking up a couple of cheap relievers who can solidify their bullpen a bit. If they do that, they might win 85+ games next year and be a Wild Card contender.
Personally, I don\'t think the Cubs have a huge problem if Big Z isn\'t himself come playoff time. I mean they have Harden, Lilly and Dempster to start a short series, and if need be, they have Marquis for a longer series. If Zambrano recovers too slowly to pitch again in the regular season, why not just use him out of the pen in the playoffs, and only start him if there\'s an emergecncy? I think something like this was suggested in an article posted on UTK a couple of weeks ago.