CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  

Search Article Archives

Find:   

Author:    Article: 
Search Date (From):    Search Date (To):   
Sort Results by:  Relevance
 Date
Show me  Results

   Show Article Summaries

New! Search comments:      
(NOTE: Relevance, Author, and Article are not applicable for comment searches)

Matthew Avery
281 comments | 248 total rating | 0.88 average rating
Facebook Twitter email a friend
Share comments by 'Matthew Avery' posted at
Baseball Prospectus http://bbp.cx/i/39859
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

He allows more passed balls than you'd like to see, but he's got a really strong arm. I thought he was fine in April when he was doing it full time, but focusing on LF hurt his progress IMO. I don't think you'd lose too much defensively starting him behind the play 4-5 times a week.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Beats the alternatives. (Wood from last night or Paul Maholm)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Atlanta just needs to relax and maybe ratchet back the shifting. Puig singled up the middle twice on balls where, if normally positioned, Simmons probably would've had a play. Atlanta seemed to want to do way too much in that game. (EG, all the diving for impossible balls in the 2nd inning, Heyward rainbowing it home for no reason, etc.) That was some pretty poor defense they showed last night.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I actually really like both of those decisions. Downs was pretty bad down the stretch (Wood should be the first LHP out of the pen at this point), and Tony's just.... Tony. I guess Gonzalez will have plenty of opportunities to use PRs in this series.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Well, it works with the narrative of a projected sweep, so it's understandable. I'm more optimistic about the Braves' bats than you are. Justin Upton is hitting the daylights out of the ball, Heyward was a different player in the second half and continued to be after his return, and Evan Gattis, after struggling for much of the middle of the year, seems to have gotten back to it. I do wonder how the Braves will fair defensively in the OF. Gattis isn't exactly nimble, and one of Fredi Gonzalez's most important decisions game to game will be when to pull Gattis for Schafer or Upton. Similarly, Janish was used often as a defensive caddy for Chris Johnson. If the Braves can get leads early, they'll be able to put out probably the best defense in the playoffs. Prior to that, they have to cross their fingers that everything goes to Andrelton Simmons.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

"Carpenter could be a real boon to the Braves if their entire bullpen from last year less Kimbrel needs TJ."

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

If we're talking just at the plate, I'd take Juan Uribe and Skip Schumaker over BJ Upton and Andrelton Simmons. (Not really; I enjoy watching Simba at the plate, even if he pops out half the time. But it's not like there aren't holes at the bottom of the lineup. CF might be okay half the time if Jordan Schafer really has figured out how to hit RHPs, but Simmons derives all of his value from his glove.)

Aug 29, 2013 11:40 AM on Overlooked Atlanta?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

Even as an Braves fan, I feel like we're doomed. Part of that is just that this team has been very streaky. 32 games over .500 is great. But something like 27 of those came in the first two weeks of the season plus an enormous hot streak a few weeks ago. So sure, if you can go on one of those streaks, the Braves feel like they could win another 11 straight. But then you've also got the feeling that the .500 club might be what shows up. And on top of that you've got the whole Heyward thing.... Maybe I'm just used to 95 win seasons coupled with first or second round playoff losses, but I think I would be pretty surprised if the Braves managed to make it to the series. I envision something like the Cardinals hitting .800 with RISP or something.

Aug 29, 2013 7:16 AM on Overlooked Atlanta?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 11

The problem with those aging curves is that the "average" curves look nice and smooth but for individual players, it's all spikey up and down. Next time someone shows "average performance by age", they should include error bars for individual predictions.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The Braves have the third best record in the NL, but it's really hard to justify any of their players making the team. Between injuries, neither of their catchers (McCann and Gattis) seem like good candidates. Freddie Freeman is similarly held back. Andrelton Simmons has hit just poorly enough to not quite make a case with his glove. Justin Upton's stunk after a phenomenal April.... On the pitching side, you've got a really good starting rotation with 3 of the top 20 in ERA but none of the top 10. Kimbrel's obvious out of the 'pen, but no one else has performed at an elite level. (Again, injuries....) So while I think it's weird that the Braves might only have one player make the team, it actually kinda makes sense. (All that said, you figure Freeman or Minor will make the team as a replacement or something.)

Jul 03, 2013 12:01 PM on Bucking the Losing Trend
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

That slash line for Cedeno looks better than what I I figure Paul Janish can do. I imagine Cendo's a bit better with the glove, too. He could be a Ramiro Pena replacement for the Braves.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The interesting problem with shifts is that, when you just use a hitter's spray chart, you're basically assuming that their approach to hitting will be the same against a "traditional" defense as against a "shifted" defense. While this may be the case for a lot of guys (hitting a baseball is hard regardless even when you're not trying to hit it to the spot you normally try to hit it to), one would imagine there would also be players with sufficient bat control to go "against" the shift. All this is to say, it's not obvious to me that shifts are going to be the default defense in the future. It could be that you'd show a hitter multiple looks throughout the course of a game or over the course of a series to try to get them to alter their swing. The shift could evolve into something like a "change of pace" zone defense like college basketball teams some times employ to keep the offense off balance rather than the permanent 2-3 Syracuse zone that's used every minute of the game.

May 21, 2013 6:01 AM on The Shift's PR Problem
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 3

Personally I think it's a proximity thing. Dr. Andrews is right there in Alabama, so it's like, "Why not pop over and see what Jimmy's up to? Maybe get some TJ while I'm there."

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Braves went 1-3 in their series with Pittsburgh. They lost the last three (the weekend bit), which made it seem like a sweep.

Apr 24, 2013 6:10 AM on Bash Brothers
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

I object to including Jim Joyce in the category of Eric Gregg. Joyce screwed up one call really, really badly but is generally pretty good. Gregg screwed up an entire game's worth of calls one time and is also generally an awful umpire.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

I don't think this was meta enough.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 12

Really good times being had in this article.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Won't be seeing Evan Gattis in Gwinnett; he'll be in Atlanta (at least to start the season)!

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Would it really be hard to estimate the "average" leverage for each inning? For each out within each inning? I imagine over the course of a career, it would add something worthwhile to the analysis without requiring too much additional processing.

Mar 22, 2013 11:21 AM on Ranking Rivera
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

How has John Smoltz's name not entered this discussion? He was to a great extent contemporary with Rivera and was both an elite starter and an elite reliever. Rivera was probably a slightly better closer than Smoltz, so if you don't mind extrapolating from one data point, you'd guess that Rivera would translate to a slightly better starter. Of course, this whole analysis (mine as well as the one above) is predicated on the assumption that "starter" and "reliever" is the same job. To me, that's like saying "outfielder" and "shortstop" are the same job because they're both come to the plate and hit the ball. A 2.50 ERA from a starter is different from a 2.50 ERA from a reliever in the same way that an .850 OPS form a 1B is different from a .850 OPS from a SS. For position players, we make adjustments to their WARP based on their position. It seems that we haven't found an intelligent way to make a similar adjustment for pitchers, though.

Mar 22, 2013 11:07 AM on Ranking Rivera
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

re: Gattis- I would just add that Atlanta does need a backup at 1B, and presumably Gattis could also be the emergency C. The real question in that scenario is who would play CF when Bupton needed a day off. Heyward and Reed Johnson both had a few games there last year, so you'd figure that's how the Braves would play it. Personally, I'd be surprised if Gattis doesn't make the team.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Is close-to-.500 really that bad of a spot for the Pirates to be in right now? I mean, just putting in a winning season would be huge at this point.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Heyward is the incumbent, and I'd be really surprised if they moved him out of right. And Heyward's the better defender, anyways. BJ will clearly stay in CF, sine he's the only one who's ever played there very much. That said, it'll be interesting to see whether the Braves carry a CF on the bench, since in a pinch, you could put Reed Johnson out there with JUpton and Heyward and not hurt yourself much defensively.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

It would seem to me that this deal would put very odd incentives on Napoli. He's basically incentivized by millions of dollars to not give his team doctors accurate information. "No, it's not my hip that hurts, it's my foot." That or just ignore a minor issue that could land him on the 15 day DL. Basically, he's got to balance playing hurt this year and seeing his performance suffer but getting the full value of his contract with the potential loss of future earnings from a worse contract next year if his reasons for poor play are attributed to a persistent loss of ability rather than a temporary injury. It's not a situation I'd like to either be in or put an employee of mine in.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

If the playoffs are where your worries lie, a LOOGY is probably the easiest piece for a contending team to add around the trade deadline. If no internal option distinguishes itself, I don't think the Nats will trouble too hard finding someone come July. That said, you'd still rather be sitting where Atlanta is in this regard, with O'Flaherty, Venters, and Avilan.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I'd have preferred Trevor Bauer. >_<

Jan 11, 2013 10:47 AM on Friday, January 11
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Is Teheran, Ahmed, Louis Avilan, and Jordan Walden really that big of a step down from Seattle's offer? Would the Braves say no to that?

Jan 11, 2013 8:27 AM on Friday, January 11
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 4

I agree, I come to BP for analysis of shitty MLB Network programming, not good-natured mockery and jokes. Instead of wasting your time with this, why not come up with a stat or a system that we can use to compare shitty sports programming on cable channels? Call it MILLAR: Mildly Illogical Lame Late-Night Asports Show Rating (Okay, maybe my acronymn can use some work). Point is, more numbers, less amusing content. GET WITH IT BP.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

Sounds like something John Edwards might've been up for. :-) But seriously, watching Chipper these past few years has been, well, awesome. 2008 was incredible, when he was hitting at or around .400 for most of the season, and now this year when he seemed like he was on his last legs. For him to come up big like he has this year is fantastic. He's paced himself a bit more, taking a few games off here and there, and I think its really helped keep him productive. As the best hitting switch hitter since Mickey Mantle and the best third basemen since Mike Schmidt, I think his career has actually been somewhat underrated. At least until his farewell tour this year has generated a lot of wonderful articles like the one above.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

When I've heard Rizzo talk about it, the thing that he's emphasized most was getting young pitchers started with a "pattern" that most closely resembles being a major league starter. Starters begin pitching in the rotation in April and pitch every 5th day from then on until they're done. From what I understand, the Nationals FO believes in establishing this pattern with young pitchers will help avoid injuries in the future and make them better starters. So while there were certainly alternative ways to arrange "160-180 innings" so that Strasburg could be pitching in September and beyond, it's unclear that this was a priority for the Nationals. They believe this particular pattern will be superior to others for the pitcher's performance in future seasons, which was the real concern at the beginning of the year.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 3

Couldn't the same have been said of 2010 Jason Heyward? I'm not saying he's chopped liver by any means, but pitchers adjusted to him, and it's taken him a year plus to get to the point where he's almost as good as he was as a rookie. I don't at all buy the assumption that Trout will just continue putting up numbers like this, so I wouldn't be handing out any 12-year deals. Wait a year or two and see where his level sits. My guess is he'll drop off a bit and then slowly improve until he's doing this kind of stuff annually. But I don't think that will start for another couple of years, and it's over that period that I would look into signing him long term.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Ya.... He's really good.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

I enjoyed Luther. British cop dramas just feel less "shiny" than American ones. It simultaneously makes them more compelling but also uncomfortable to watch.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 7

So, what you're saying is that now that MLB finally has an opportunity to make MLBTV slightly less screwed up with its blackouts... they're not going to? And on top of that, last May they decided I wasn't going to be able to watch two playoff games? WHY DO YOU NOT WANT ME TO WATCH BASEBALL BUD SELIG?!

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

Interesting that you criticize the NFL's replay system. I had always thought that would be an appropriate one for MLB. (Perhaps using Tennis's system of challenges would make it seem less silly?)

Jul 09, 2012 6:42 AM on Ending the Empire
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

There is one thing very dissimilar about Composite Heyward and 2012 Heyward....

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Uggla had two HRs last night but no triple. :-)

Jun 06, 2012 7:01 AM on Wednesday, June 6
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Based on recent history, this means the Braves are going to take Heaney? Based on your reports, Davis or Piscotty sound to me like guys to look at.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Much appreciation for the info on Kubitza. The Braves are kinda light on position prospects, so news of a guy with some tools is exciting!

Apr 23, 2012 8:49 AM on Monday Morning Ten Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Haven't ready any scouting reports on Kubitza. I'd love to see more info on the guy!

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 3

So, you're saying marketers are trying to sexualize something to get more customers/page hits/views/whatever? I find this completely unobjectionable. The idea isn't that female baseball fans have been clamoring for this, what with them being womenfolk and all. It's just a way to market a product to a section of the population that doesn't respond to other forms of marketing. In this case, it's the "people who aren't necessarily very interested in baseball but occasionally watch it and think the ball players are cute" demographic. Way too many pixels being spilled on this....

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

The time lost doesn't tell the whole story for the Braves. Heyward was never right, and Prado took another month or two after returning to action before he got back to form.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

While I agree with this (no one was saying that the Rays were a Desmond Jennings + Matt Moore away from contention two months ago), Kevin was calling for Jennings to be in the majors earlier this year and well before he actually appeared. So I'm inclined to give him some benefit of the doubt when calling out the Rays with 20/20 hindsight.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Maybe I'm a homer, but I'd add Tommy Hanson to that list.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

It's a fair point, but Gonzalez has let off the gas a bit of late. Venters will still finish near the top in terms of appearances/IP, but it won't be as bad as it looked in the first half. (At least that's what this Braves fan hopes....)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Despite the previous post counting Chipper Jones twice, I think you're hard pressed to say that the Giants have been substantially worse off than Atlanta. The Giants have suffered much more in the lineup, but the Braves have lost basically all of their starters except Lowe (who sucks) for some time this year. It's just hard to tell given the extraordinary depth they have at the position.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 3

How could you not write up the guy named "Luigi"? Even if the other tools are deficient, that's at least a 70 name.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Which Braves glove-first SS with an empty BA has more upside? Pastornicky or Simmons?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 8

KG- What can you tell me about Jose Constanza, the organizational lifer the Braves called up? Looks to me like he's got positional versatility and some speed, and I think we're going to call him T-Bone.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

At this point, I'd be shocked if Vizcaino was NOT up in time for the playoff roster, given the current state of RH relief options behind Kimbrel in the Atlanta pen. Re: Pastornicky, is this a guy the Braves should actually count on to contribute every day next year? It's hard to be worse than Alex Gonzalez has been, but Gonzalez will at least hit the occasional extra-base hit.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

He just doesn't have the upside that the guys that made the list do. More of a 4/5 with #3 upside.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

I thought Maddux comps were illegal. :-o

Jul 08, 2011 4:25 AM on Pinstriped Recuperation
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Is there any chance the Braves look at Pastornicky for the job in Atlanta next year? Seems a bit too agressive to me, and for a staff that will likley feature Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson, going with an unproven rookie at SS seems unlikely. But Alex Gonzalez is a FA after this year, and I can't imagine Patornicky would represent THAT much of a drop-off offensively.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I find it funny when these things having the "NEW" tag on them on the frong page of the website.

Jul 07, 2011 7:39 AM on State of the Game
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 6

I'm honestly boggled. I would put Lowe as the 4th or 5th best player in the ATL rotation, let alone team. If you ask any fan, Brian McCann has clearly been the best player. That's a really, really weird result.

Jul 06, 2011 7:55 AM on First-Half MVPs
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I realize this wasn't the thrust of your argument, but... Freeman is disappointing? A 21 year-old with an OPS+ of 110 (granted, at 1B in a rather stacked field in the NL) is nothing to be disappointed about. If you want someone (besides Uggla) who's disappointed, why not pick on Jayson Heyward or Nate McLouth? To your point, I'm glad someone has pointed out that the Nats aren't really the Nats anymore. They're not bottom feeders by any stretch, and once Werth turns it around, they'll be a tough team to face down the stretch.

Jun 29, 2011 8:11 AM on National Fever
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 5

Who goes to Grantland for thoughtful analysis?! It's pop culture meets sports. It's pure entertainment and nothing more. It's in no way serious and rarely provokes any thoughts. Are there people who expect different? (And I say this as someone who has enjoyed most of what I've read there.)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

When you consider that Selig's motivation probably isn't "Do what's best for baseball/MLB" but rather "Do what's best for Bud Selig" (ie, keeping him in his job, keeping him from being embarrassed, etc.), his actions in keeping Cuban out isn't necessarily a bad decision.

Jun 24, 2011 3:04 PM on Dodging Cuban
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah, that's a good signing for the Jays. I especially like the options. Escobar has the ability to be one of the best SS in baseball if he keeps his head screwed on straight.

Jun 21, 2011 12:18 PM on The Jays Extend Escobar
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Elaborate. Bear in mind I'm talking about the NL.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

This is the first/most detailed write-up of Bethancourt I've seen. Well-timed, too, because he's hitting for a good average in Low-A and I was starting to get interested in him. The Braves have always seemed to favor up-the-middle talent when it came to position players, so I guess it shouldn't be surprising that that's where their strength lies currently. The Braves were agressive when promoting Brian McCann, though that was due to a combination of need (Johnny Estrada's injury) and him being pushed by Saltalamaccia. Given that have the best catcher in the NL starting and the 2nd best catcher in the NL (as long as Posey's hurt) backing him up, they'll probably be able to wait a while on Bethancourt. Who needs a knick-name. Can someone get on that?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 10

Good article pointing out the hypocrisy with which these issues are dealt. But I think it misses the broader point which is, IMO, home plate collissions are dangerous to the point of absurdity and have no real role in the game of baseball. It makes no sense that you're allowed to try to knock a guy unconcious an an effort to dislodge a baseball, but only when you're trying to get to home plate. You see star players like Brian McCann and Buster Posey miss significant time because of this. The home plate collission is the dumbest part of baseball that I know of. Watching batters try to slide around tags is WAY more interesting IMO than watching them pretend they're playing football.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I'm extremely glad to see an NL East version of feature. Only took 1/3 of the season. :-)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I thought that was interesting, too. Is this because Jeter's gotten better? Or has fielding at SS simply declined over the past decade?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 8

The point isn't that he didn't use the closer in the 9th on the road in a tie. The point is that he didn't use his 7th inning guy in the 7TH INNING of a game in which the Braves HAD THE LEAD because he was worried that if the DBacks eventually tied it, he would THEN need to use his closer in the 9th inning of a tie game. So naturally the guy he brought in instead of the "real" 7th inning guy blew the lead. But at least he got to save his closer!

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The thing is, this was only the third or forth dumbest thing Fredi did in that game.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Is it because they view all 3 as legit prospects? (I've never heard of Reyes.) Or do they just want Lipka and Salcedo to have some flexibility down the road in case they don't stick at SS?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

In the past, you've listed Salcedo as a 3B, but above he's 3B/SS. Any chance he can actually make the bigs as a SS?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

The Royals clearly win in top-teir talent, but I'm starting to wonder if the Braves actually have more MLB-upside pitching talent in the upper minors.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I'm so amused that you linked the Freddi Gonzalez bullpen decision flow chart. It's startlingly accurate, right down to the part where you bring in George Sherrill to pitch to the opposing LH starting pitcher if it's the 6th inning or before. (This has thus far happened twice.)

May 10, 2011 8:09 PM on Beasts of the East
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Interesting indeed. I changed the order after it was done to conform to what I perceive as a "more standard" order.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

5.2IP 4R 5H 3BB 7K

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Do the Braves have any prospects that aren't SPs or SSs? Not that I'm complaining. :-)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Here's a seemingly off-topic question that derived in my twisted mind from your response: When evaluating a player's hit tool, are you looking more at the player's ability to make ANY contact (ie, not swing and miss) or is it more ability to make GOOD contact? How much of power is really making good contact vs. just being strong? Do speedsters get "extra credit" on their hit tool for being able to reach safely on weakly-hit grounders that slower players would make outs on? Okay, I guess that was actually a bunch of questions.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

How "real" is Simmons? Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about the line (particularly his 7K/5BB/91PA), but there's clearly not a lot of power. Is his upside an empty .300 (clearly not a deal-breaker for an elite up-the-middle defender), or is there some projection in him?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Off-topic: I thought William Makepeace Thackeray was just someone Josh Malina made up. Apparently he's real!

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 6

"Not optimally but acceptably" seems to be Selig's motto.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

What's Salcedo's upside at 3B? League average? A "Royce Clayton-type" that's definitely a ML starter but probably below average?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I'd agree with your take on {rado if ATL had any viable alternatives to lead off.

Apr 12, 2011 3:00 PM on Get Your Phils
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I find it disappointing that McCann's walk-off-with-a-2-minute-stop-at-second didn't make the chart. :-)

Mar 30, 2011 9:41 AM on An Average Tater Trot
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Quite the contrary, KG. I think service time was the reason there was an "open competition" for the 5th starters' role. Minor's most likely going to be the better player, but why not let him throw some minor league innings and call him up as a replacement for the first injury? It helps you with service time, it helps you limit his ML innings (for whatever that's worth), and it allows you to reward a player (Beachy) for his good performance, which is just a good way to keep him and other prospects motivated to perform their best. I'm fine with the move, but I expect the Braves to give Minor an opportunity in the near-future. The real question is what they'll do if Derek Lowe or Tim Hudson falls off a cliff while Minor is lighting it up in Gwinett.

Mar 28, 2011 11:51 AM on Monday Morning Ten Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The Braves' option for 3B is their left fielder, Martin Prado.

Mar 28, 2011 11:45 AM on Braves' New World
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

As "cord cutter" (or rather one who has never paid for a "cord" in the first place), I'm glad I live in Raleigh and not South or West of here. This means I'm able to watch Braves games. Well, most of the time. Not so much when they play the Nationals or the Orioles. I never really understood how I was in two media markets at once, but I guess it's better than those Vegas folks who are effectively blacked out of out to 10 teams' games on any given day.

Mar 21, 2011 8:34 AM on Blackout and Blue
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Cool. Those sound like reasonable results. When you say you over-estimated the red risk for that subset of pitchers by 40%, do you mean, "the risk was really 40% and we projected 80%" or "the risk was really 40% and we projected 56%"? I assume the latter but it seemed ambiguous.

Mar 15, 2011 12:26 PM on How CHIPPER Works
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

A couple of questions if you don't mind. You said, "I expect at least 70 percent of the players we indicate as high-risk to hit their injury threshold, but I can't tell you which ones." Now, given that you'd already given a point estimate (85%) that these high-risk players will meet their thresholds, I'm curious where 70% came from. And that sort of leads to my second question, which is how does the system perform with test data? I assume you did assessments based on cross-validation or data from previous years, and I think it would be informative for you to share how well it did. For example, if you ran system for the 2010 season (obviously using data from previous years), how accurate would it be?

Mar 15, 2011 9:20 AM on How CHIPPER Works
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

People in Braves camp are making noise about Wilkin Rodriguez possibly making the team as a 4th OF. I know he's pushing 30, but is this a guy I should care about as a Braves fan?

Mar 14, 2011 12:08 PM on Monday Morning Ten Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Check Atlanta's. I think Minor's the only 1st round guy on their list, although a lot of that is because of their international signings.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Very interesting stuff, although there are certainly a lot of covariates that obviously can't be accounted for. One thing that may be worth looking at, however, is how a team's preference for signing FA relievers effects the IP of their pitchers before callup. Particularly, teams that tend to sign a lot of FA relievers will mostly be calling up starting pitchers who will necessarily have logged more innings in the minors. Teams that call up a lot of relievers (or perhaps simply draft more) will necessarily be calling up players with fewer IP.

Feb 22, 2011 2:52 PM on Promoting Prospects
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

One thing that would be interesting to look it is how much would fans have to become "less interested" in the regular season (in terms of stuff like TV ratings and attendance) to off-set the gains from having an extra playoff game. This is of course assuming that a watered-down regular season leads to less fan interest in said regular season at some margin. If you're selling out all of your home games like the Red Sox do (and hence presumable have excess demand that would swamp the diminished relevance effect), it probably doesn't matter unless there's something noticeable on the TV ratings. But if you're a team like the Braves who don't sell out the stadium, it may mean fewer butts in the seats. Note that an extra wild card should not necessarily mean more teams will play important games down the stretch, since you could have situations where it's a 2-team race for the WC, in which case the effect on the importance of "down the stretch" games is actually diminished by the addition of an extra team. So the above analysis has just focused on an overall "watering down" of the regular season, assuming that it makes fans less interested in it on the margin.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

That's a problem for Real Baseball GMs, not fantasy ones. :-) Diaz was the guy who sprung to mind immediately for me, too. Great vs. LHP. If you've got the roster spots, filling your OF/UTIL/CI spots with a combination of guys that you can rotate in and out depending on matchup is a great play. 'Course, you'll hate yourself those 10 days out of the season when none of your guys have the right matchup. :-)

Feb 15, 2011 10:50 AM on Platoon Animals
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 4

False advertising! When I read the headline, I expected an article on what these teams' spring trainings were going to be like. How many Grapefruit and Cactus League games they were expected to win. Which players were going to show up "in the best shape of their lives" and such. Instead, I get a regular season preview! Oh well. I guess that's probably more useful anyways.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

No love for Freddie Freeman? IMO, that represents a significant improvement over the smattering of veterans Atlanta rolled out last year at 1B.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 8

Let's be honest, though, the restroom thing is just a park effect. Once you control for that, their 94 BRC+ is rather pedestrian.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I'm shocked that Melky Carbrera has managed to avoid both articles in your series of players who killed their teams last year. Wasn't he the worst regular in MLB? If he didn't fit into any of the categories you've established, I think it's time to create a new category. (It'll probably need to be a big one. Because Melky's fat.)

Jan 25, 2011 8:58 AM on The Vortices of Suck
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 3

It's worth noting that Napoli is in no way an expense for the Blue Jays beyond this year. He'll be arbitration-eligible, but no money has been committed, so if the Jays don't want him, they can simply not tender him a contract.

Jan 24, 2011 9:42 AM on The Vernon Wells Trade
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Johnson, Pedro, Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz all up for induction for the first time within a two-year period? Yeesh. That's, what, 15 Cy Youngs?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I'm confused. Was Bagwell also on your "restricted list"? 'Cause he strikes me as a better candidate than all of the 1Bs you listed.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Wait, so .276/.340/.356 was a GOOD thing for Simmons? That must be one special glove.

Jan 10, 2011 10:05 AM on Monday Ten-Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Not knowing something isn't a story. It's not something worth publishing. And yet stories about how we're not sure if Bagwell used 'roids get published. And do you really think more time is going to resolve issues that are already over a decade old? Bagwell is a top 10, probably top 5 1B of all time. Excluding him would be far, far dumber than excluding Blyleven.

Jan 01, 2011 9:13 AM on Bagging on Bagwell
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for keeping me entertained at home over the holidays, KG! If you had to put a floor on Freeman's 2011 season, about where would it be? It seems to me that the Braves are taking an awfully big risk by relying so completely on a rookie who, as you say, is not in the class of Jason Heyward.

Dec 28, 2010 10:08 AM on Monday Ten-Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Lowe will fall off some? If anything, he found his form at the end of last year. I would expect improvement if anything. And the 5th starter spot was a revolving door last year. I have no problem counting on some combination of Minor, Beachy, and post-TJ Medlen for that role. Jurrjens is a medical risk, but he lost time last year, too. Some regression from Hudson wouldn't surprise me, but neither would improvement from Hanson. I think you're looking at a scenario where the rotation most likely treads water with serious breakout potential in the form of Mike Minor. Gonzalez should have no problem replicating the pitiful production from SS the Braves got last year, and even if you think Prado is due for a regression (I don't), he's not the 2B next year. That'll be Dan Uggla, and I don't think Prado should have any trouble out-hitting Melky Cabrera in LF. If you want to identify a position where regression is possible, I would look at RF. Heyward had an outstanding rookie year, but you could make an argument that a sophomore slump is possible. Given that his power was sapped for a couple months from a wrist injury, I think him adding some value in the form of a better BA and more HRs is more likely, but an argument can certainly be made the other way. Personally, I'm less optimistic about the bullpen (if Venters or Kimbrel falters and Linebrink doesn't return to San Diego form, you'll be looking at a mediocre pen rather than an elite one), but overall, this team could really go somewhere. I mean, just imagine how good a lineup they'd have if McLouth wasn't awful!

Dec 23, 2010 2:11 PM on Just Stick to the Plan
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

These articles neglect to acknowledge that there is a real, monetary value outside of baseball for the Yankees to want Jeter to stay on their team. The long-term value of the Yankees having a good relationship with their most popular star of the recent era is substantial. Jeter doing promos and appearances for the Yankees helps them sell tickets (or more precisely not lose sales when they raise prices). The Yankees sell more jerseys, more hats, more merchandise in general if Jeter is a Yankee regardless of how well the team performs. Now, I'm not sure how much all of this is worth, and it's arguable that it's not enough to justify adding years or dollars to the current offer. But it should at least be acknowledged.

Dec 01, 2010 3:21 PM on Upton and Away
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

They're not moving Scutaro, but if Beltre leaves through free agency, they might have an opening at 3B. Which Jeter probably wouldn't suck too much at.

Nov 30, 2010 8:02 AM on Yankee Drama
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Andruw Jones deserves to be in any conversation for modern-day defensive genius in CF. For about 4-8 years, he was an incredible asset. More than speed, he had amazing jumps and instincts, rarely taking a bad route. He seemed to be jogging to get to balls other fielders would be in a dead run for. It's really a shame he got fat and slow. :-/

Nov 29, 2010 11:51 AM on Willie Mays
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Most of the time, "But Greg Maddux could do it" essentially means no one else every could for a sustainable period of time. I do agree, however, that career norms for Pavano rather than for the league seem like a more useful indicator in this case. If this swing rate isn't outside his norms, then ya, I would expect it to continue. Otherwise... not so much.

Nov 21, 2010 7:17 AM on Carl Pavano
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 4

It's also worth noting that filling 2B with Uggla ensures that should Chipper go down, the hole that needs filling is the more-easily-done LF (with Prado moving to 3rd, a position he actually plays quite well) rather then 2B. As for the trade itself, the real question is whether there was anyone else the Braves could have acquired to play LF at around $10M that would provide the production of Uggla. Looking around, I'm not convinced there was.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

My question is: is the Uggla deal more or less "out there" than the Cuddyer swap suggested above? I liked the move for the Braves quite a bit. :-)

Nov 17, 2010 5:22 AM on Atlanta Braves
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 5

"Jason Heyward will play RF". Happy?

Nov 16, 2010 11:51 AM on Atlanta Braves
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The Braves have taken a lot of risks like this in the past, bringing in veteran players for minimum salaries with lots of performance incentives. The Braves are almost certainly going to add a veteran arm to the bullpen this off-season. I'd almost prefer it be someone like Hoffman upon whom they don't need to spend much cash rather than a true middle reliever who would require a mutli-year deal.

Nov 16, 2010 11:50 AM on Atlanta Braves
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

But are people really going to be beating down the door to sign a 33-year-old Cuddyer AND give away draft picks? Even if he's Type A, counting on getting those draft picks is somewhat risky, since he could always accept arbitration and get well over $10 million, which is likely a larger number than his production will merit even if he "bounces back". I mean, we're talking about a guy with a career OPS+ of 109 whose best days are probably beind him. I think a Lowe/Cuddyer swap is a lot closer than you're making it out to be. The difference in salary is only $5 million. From my perspective, it's a league-average RF for a league-average starter who is known for coming up big in the post-season. If the Twins want someone to help them get out of the first round, they might be talked in to Derek Lowe.

Nov 16, 2010 11:48 AM on Atlanta Braves
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Braun is signed to an insanely team-friendly contract. Even though Hanson has less ML time, Braun's actually under control for a longer period of time and at well below-market rates. He's right up there with Longoria for one of the most valuable commodities around. The Brewers would have to be nuts to make that deal. Maybe you do it if the Braves throw in Teheran.

Nov 16, 2010 11:40 AM on Atlanta Braves
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Arbitration is dumb. I hope they get rid of this with the next CBA. I'm not optimistic.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

IMO the reach is more a question of Tampa dealing Brignac at a time when SS of any ability are in short supply league-wide. I don't doubt for a moment that they'd be willing to move Shields in a deal for an elite reliever like Bell.

Nov 12, 2010 10:56 AM on San Diego Padres
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

No problem with the ump on Saturday when he wrung up Heyward on Ball 3 in the 9th. :-/ It was probably the worst-officiated series I've seen. I mean, I guess you can go back to 1997 and Eric Gregg, but that was more of a "one horrible game" thing than a "whole series" thing.

Oct 12, 2010 10:32 AM on LDS Day Six Wrapup
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

No problems. I'm probably just bitter that my Braves lost and took it out on you. :-(

Oct 11, 2010 10:10 AM on LDS Day Five Roundup
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

The only reason to use Hernandez is as a defensive replacement for Conrad. That's a move that clearly should've been made. And FWIW, there was nothing routine about the ball Posey hit. It was smoked. Conrad certainly mis-played it by hopping, but calling it "routine" is not correct. And while we're talking about things that aren't correct, Hinske's HR didn't hit the foul poll. It hooked right around it. And, my God, the Braves didn't go 1-2-3 in the 9th. Brian McCann got a single off Freddy Sanchez's glove! It's like Perotto didn't even watch the game. Or have the article proof-read.

Oct 11, 2010 7:43 AM on LDS Day Five Roundup
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I find it shocking that facing Tim Lincecum makes Nate McLouth the equal of Jason Heyward offensively.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Relative to Diory Hernandez, yes, he adds a TON of offense. Conrad is a nice player to have as your 2nd infielder off the bench. He's less useful as a starter.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Post hoc ergo propter hoc, no?

Oct 05, 2010 11:53 AM on Colorado Rockies
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Players are allowed to collude with eachother. It's the teams that can't collude against the players.

Oct 04, 2010 5:25 PM on Market Corrections
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Personally, I'd rather beat them in the NLCS....

Oct 04, 2010 8:12 AM on Closure
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Is it some sort of clever data imputation? Essentially creating the play-by-play data based by comparing the official stats to the official stats of players you do have play-by-play data for? If not, that might be one way to do it. :-)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

As I understand it, SIERA would be used to predict ERA conditional on periferals (K-rate, BB-rate, etc.) while SNWP would be used to predict win% conditional on past ERA. So I guess I would go with SIERA.

Sep 29, 2010 9:30 AM on Front Fours
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 5

But's maybe he's got a Gyroball!

Sep 21, 2010 6:52 AM on A Strain is a Tear
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I'm pretty sure they'll exercise his option. It's really cheap, and the SS market isn't exactly booming. The other option would be starting Infante at SS, but then what do you do for Chipper insurance? Seems much simpler to exercise Gonzalez's option and maybe spot him with Infante from time to time.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Look, you can generate exciting pennant races (by making winning the division important) or you can not. But what you've done is argue for (or against?) both in the space of a column and a comment. FWIW, I think the imbalanced schedule sucks, but like interleague play, I think it's here to stay. In the current context, I'd like to see the division title be important again. But then again, I'm a Braves fan and had to see the Marlins win more world series than the Braves did in the middle of Atlanta's consecutive title run. Also, "This doesn't make winning the division more valuable. It makes winning a weak division more valuable." is patently false.

Sep 14, 2010 10:46 AM on Yankees/Rays
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

What about Kazmir territory?

Sep 13, 2010 10:27 AM on Breaking It Open
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

This is a great point. To mention Cox as the counter-example just months after he helped force out a young, up-the-middle player that looked like a franchise corner stone only 5 months ago seems like an odd choice. If you want to cite the performance (Escobar was having a bad year at the plate while Rasmus was hitting quite well), I guess you can do that. But Until the Cardinals trade Rasmus for Gary Matthews Jr., I don't know you can say that it's Cox who handles clubhouse issues with young, potentially elite players better. One thing you can (and always should) credit Cox for, though, is keeping it all in-house. There wasn't any newspaper drama in Atlanta over this, whereas LaRussa has once again managed to get his name in headlines. What a tool.

Sep 07, 2010 10:37 AM on The La Russa-Rasmus Feud
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The most likely result of a hard slotting system in terms of talent allocation is an overall drop for MLB short term, a long term increase for college baseball, and a smaller long term drop for MLB. The rational is thus: Hard slotting will lead fewer HS players to be signed by MLB teams. This is just supply and demand. Some of these players who don't sign will play college ball, leading to the increase in the talent pool for college baseball. These players will eventually be drafted out of college and hence will ameliorate the initial talent drop in the MLB draft. However, some of these players will go to college and play other sports besides baseball and eventually be drafted to play in these others sports. These players will never play professional baseball and hence the overall talent level in MLB will in the long-term be lower. This system will save MLB money both in terms of lower signing bonuses and more players playing college ball requiring fewer resources spent on talent development. (One could argue that just as many players will be drafted, so these last saving won't materialize; instead, resources will be funneled towards individuals that aren't as talented and were hence willing to be signed for the hard slot value.) However, the loss of premier athletes (particularly players like Donovan Tate who would be able to play football at a high level) means baseball's talent pool will shrink overall. It's unclear to me what the hard slotting on race will be. If we assume that African-American HS baseball players are poorer on average than white HS baseball players (which seems implicit in the article above), there should be two factors: on one hand, they may be forced into other college sports than can support them through scholarship, but on the other hand, they may be more willing than their white counterparts to take the lower, hard-slotted dollar amount to sign, since either they or their family is in more need of the cash. This latter case would lead to fewer African-American baseball players leaving the sport for football, etc. than white players. I suspect the true effect will be a little of both and not effect the black/white mix in MLB, although Hispanic players, who won't be effected by the draft, should show up in increased proportion.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 10

I think everyone (well, me anyways) would be understanding if you/BP just said something to the effect of, "There's an ongoing situation involving Will that at current we cannot comment on for legal [or whatever] reasons. For the time being, he'll continue posting UTK and answering your injury-related questions. We'll update you as soon as we can." Better than silence and pleas to ignore the elephant in the room. Anyway, I hope thing work out and you can let us know what's going on soon.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 20

"Let's stick to baseball discussion in the comments today, please?" So you don't want us to bring up that weird week of no UTKs and how you're no longer listed as a BP writer in some places and how no one has ever addressed that publicly? Ya, speaking of that, what's the deal?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

You beat me to it. :-) It's worth noting that even if Infante doesn't end the year with 502 ABs, he could still win the batting title if his hit total divided by 502 beats the "qualifying" leader. This is especially possible this year, since, as the author points out, no one is in the league is hitting much better than .320.

Aug 27, 2010 7:12 AM on He Who Shall be Crowned
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

He looked very good against the Braves way back when I saw him in Interleague play.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Because you brought up Minor's handedness, I presume you mean he'll be the 4th starter then with Lowe going to the bullpen?

Aug 23, 2010 11:29 AM on Chapman's Time is Now
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Regarding the Braves, do you think Minor will make the post-season roster? Who is more likely to be the closer next year between Kimbrel and Venters?

Aug 23, 2010 10:35 AM on Chapman's Time is Now
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Prior to the trade, I would have agreed, but now I don't see this happening short of them cutting bait with Hinske. Which isn't to say Hawpe might not be a better option than Brandon Hicks and/or Diory Hernandez (rally-starting HR last Monday not withstanding).

Aug 19, 2010 3:04 PM on The Lee Deal
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 4

Not really a fan of this format. :-/

Aug 19, 2010 9:00 AM on Hit It and Twit It
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

The quotes around Glaus's knee injury are simply out of place. His legs have clearly been hurting for most of the year, knees in particular. One observer noted that the Braves may not have needed to make a move at 1B had they simply DLed Glaus earlier in the season to if nothing else let him sit down for a little while. My concern now is that a week off before heading to Gwinnett to get reps in at 3B may not be sufficient down time.

Aug 19, 2010 8:53 AM on The Lee Deal
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Lee + cash for Robinson Lopez plus a couple other guys I've never heard of. As a Braves fan, I'll take it, but I do wonder if calling up Freddy might not have been a simpler (and cheaper) solution.

Aug 18, 2010 3:17 PM on Feeling Less Chipper?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Reynolds would be a perfect fit if Arizona would move him. Even if Chipper were back next year, Reynolds becomes a RH power bat off , insurance/spotter vs. tough lefties for Freeman.... Not really a traditional "Braves"-type player, but I like the fit a lot.

Aug 18, 2010 8:43 AM on Feeling Less Chipper?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Prado's back today, I believe.

Aug 17, 2010 9:24 AM on 998
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

I can't wait for the new CBA to address all of this and fix the MLB draft to something coherent and fair for all parties. I mean, that's what's going to happen, right?

Aug 13, 2010 3:00 PM on Draft Deadline Preview
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

You said that Chipper doing the surgery/rehab is a tell that he'll be back next year. Does that mean that there's an alternative to this for people who aren't professional athletes?

Aug 13, 2010 10:06 AM on 996
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Was Baltimore really picked by everyone to finish ahead of the Jays? Either way, just goes to show that the AL East is far deeper than any other division in baseball.

Aug 11, 2010 1:48 PM on Recapturing The Magic
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

Looks like Heyward's out again today. It's really a shame about Chipper's knee. He's been swinging the bat very well over the past month+.

Aug 11, 2010 9:34 AM on Put Me In, Coach
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Do you think Mike Minor's going to get the call for the Braves now that Medlen is hurt?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 6

I Am Baseball, and So Can You!

Aug 05, 2010 7:23 AM on Welcome Back
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 4

Yeah, but with Farnsworth, most everyone knows where the ball's going: Left field bleachers.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The Braves do the same thing. Throw some no-name, soft-tossing lefty out there and then tend to post a goose-egg. Bautista's a RHP, but pitching after Strasburg's scratch, he shut 'em down good.

Jul 28, 2010 11:31 AM on To Be Determined
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Word on the street is Teheran and Randall Delgado both headed to AA.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

When he was drafted, the consensus was that Minor's upside was a back-of-the-rotation guy. I guess that's changed, but is his still more of a 3 or do some see him as a potential top-teir guy?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Just wanted to say that I thought this was an excellent way to investigate how fans perceived a baseball player's "value" in different time periods. I imagine there's a lot we could learn by looking carefully at All-Star vote-getters.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I think it may also have to do with the fact that this article was published over at ESPN prior to the trade. Not sure what the deal is and whether they're allowed to edit between publishing over there and publishing over here, but that could be restrictive.

Jul 15, 2010 6:21 AM on NL East
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Don't forget that they need to add a RH corner bat.... Or a LH corner bat to pair with the RH corner bat they already have. Wait, what?

Jul 15, 2010 6:20 AM on NL East
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Any chance we see Collins in September? The Braves don't really have any need for LH relief help at all, but he sounds like an interesting prospect.

Jul 14, 2010 4:17 PM on Going Gonzo
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Any quick thoughts on the prospects that moved in the Escobar/Alex Gonzalez deal?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -3

Speaking of trading pitching, would it make sense for the Dodgers to trade away Matt Kemp to acquire a young pitcher they can hold onto for a while like Jair Jurrjens? What kind of minor leaguers would need to be added to make this deal happen?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Nicely done. Given that managers come out to argue now with no prospect of a call being overturned, I've got to figure they'd come out and argue to get a booth review even if they didn't have an "official" channel like a flag. Given this, I say why not just give 'em the flag?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I think Vizcaino might be worth a comment like Montgomery's. :-/

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Assuming Freeman doesn't break out of crater in the remainder of the season, would you (in the role of Frank Wren) feel comfortable penciling him in at 1B next year? Seems to me that another year (or at least part of one) in the minors would do him some good.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 4

As a manager, you will almost inevitably be criticized more in the media for pulling a player having a no-hitter than leaving him in and seeing him injure himself later. Not to mention the player in question would hate you for taking away this opportunity. So doing it one way, you open yourself up to boarder criticism and lose the respect of one (and possibly more) of your players while doing it the other way gets you the applause of the relative few who observe that it's probably the right long-term thing for your ball club and player. To me, the decision is obvious.

Jun 30, 2010 8:00 AM on A No-No
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

What would the Braves do with Lowell? Unless Chipper retires mid-season (and he won't), I don't see a place for him with backup IFs Conrad and Infante playing very well.

Jun 21, 2010 12:51 PM on Monday Update
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

My (uninformed) guess would be maybe a start or two towards the end of the year. If the Braves wanted to fast-track him, a better bet would be to shut him down earlier and give him some innings in the AFL.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

re: Giants, I think it's more a product of a team desperate to provide run support for a strikeout-heavy staff more than an overall, league-wide trend away from defense. I mean, when you have a staff that doesn't give up a ton of contact, you should prioritize defense less on the margins. Could Sabes actually be doing something clever here?

Jun 12, 2010 12:38 PM on Weekend Omnibus
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Any chance Andruw returns to Atlanta? McLouth has been awful, and while Melky is coming around at the plate, Jones is probably a better option both offensively and defensively.

Jun 11, 2010 10:34 AM on Friday Update
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Help me out here, KG. After Teheran, I'm not sure which Braves pitcher I should be most excited about. Delgado and Vizcaino are putting up sick numbers, while Minor is leading the minors in strikeouts after adding some velocity, is substantially further ahead development-wise, and is a lefty. So which of those three do you like the most?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The Braves offered Rafael Soriano arbitration this off-season only to have him accept. They were forced to trade him for Jesse Chavez, a back-of-the-bullpen pitcher who has managed to make close games not-so-close with alarming consistency this year. All in all, that didn't work out too well for Atlanta. Still, in general concept there doesn't seem to be much downside assuming you can move the player at whatever 1-year salary they get.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

So are the scouting reports changing on Minor? Or is he just over-due for a promotion or what? 'Cause like you said, this wasn't quite the performance I was expecting out of him.q

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

That should say "Morton"....

Jun 01, 2010 1:41 PM on NL Central Update
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I saw Moron pitch an absolutely brilliant game for the (then) Richmond Braves at Durham a couple years back. He was filthy, went 8 without giving up a run and struck out double digits. The FB was mid-90s, and the off-speed pitches were generating all sorts of swings-and-misses. I think he gave up something like two hits and a walk. I was always surprised and confused when he got lit up in his brief stints in Atlanta. It really seemed like he had the stuff to succeed, but apparently he's really had some problems with confidence when on the mound.

Jun 01, 2010 12:46 PM on NL Central Update
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I was at the Bulls game a week ago, and Jennings made an AMAZING running catch, going back on a ball hit over his head. He made a leaping grab running into the wall. Even if the bat doesn't come around, he sure can go get it.

May 31, 2010 7:15 PM on Monday Ten Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Teheran's got an extra tick or two on the FB, and from what I understand, his change is special. But they're only a year apart age-wise, and Delgado is clearly ready to move up to AA. Is the difference really that big? The numbers sure look close.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I mean, that 7th inning AB did result in a line drive right at the 3B. But yeah, he's definitely not hitting it with the same authority he used to.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

re: Freeman- I can't tell if you're saying he's right on target, still has things to work on but could make it, or what. And with the way Glaus is hitting, couldn't they just re-sign him?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

He allowed 10 of 23 batters faced to reach: 5 hits and 5 walks. Two were erased on double-plays, leading to 8 runners stranded. Say what you will, but I think last night's "shut-out" is more on the Braves ineptitude with runners on than anything Pelfrey was doing.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I'm surprised they're talking about JoJo as the "6th starter" insted of Medlen. He looked good in the majors last year, and I'd trust him a lot more than Reyes. Then again, maybe it's a lefty/righty thing (the current rotation for Atlanta is "all right") and the fact that Medlen could be an important arm in the 'pen.

Mar 05, 2010 11:12 AM on Braves-Pirates, 3/3
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

Both the auto-regressive-1 (AR(1)) and compound symmetric (CS) correlation structures assume that a batters performance for a given year is related to his performance from other years. The difference occurs when we look at how this correlation changes when we "get further away" in time. AR(1) assumes that these correlations will decay over time. Observations from year (n) will be more closely related to those from year (n-1) and (n+1) than years (n-2) and (n+2), etc. Compound symmetric assumes that this correlation is constant over time. So if you think players have underlying skill levels that change substantially over time, and AR(1) structure is pretty reasonable. If you think players have a basically stable underlying skill level and random variability of outcome is the main cause for changes in year-to-year performance, a CS structure might be better. There are lots of other options for covariance structures, some more restrictive than others. For example, an "unspecified" structure lets you fit unique correlations for any year-to-year differences (corr(n,n-1)=.2, corr(n,n-2)=.5, corr(n,n-3)=.1, etc.). This can be useful if you have a large sample size and can afford to estimate a lot of different parameters. (In contrast, the main of AR(1) is that it requires you to estimate only one parameter.) One other thing to consider is estimating unique covariance matrices for different categories of player. It's possible that, say, catchers have weaker (or stronger) year-to-year correlations than, say OFs. Allowing for heterogeneity in your covariance matrices could allow you to pick up on this.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Great article. Technical question: did you experiment with any other covariance matrices before settling on AR1? Particularly, if we believe that players have performances that vary around some "true" talent level (a nontrivial assumption), a compound symmetric model might be more appropriate. Just curious. And once again, I really liked this.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

+1 to Marc for the FF reference.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 8

There's a difference between fantasy-relevant pitchers and pitchers in general. Making an adjustment to make PFM more useful to fantasy owners is NOT the same as saying that PECOTA as a tool for projecting performance amongst ALL players (or pitchers) has been incorrect to some degree. Noticing PECOTA's shortcomings for a subset of users (IE, fantasy managers) and adjusting the product designed for them accordingly was definitely the right move to make, and I appreciate the long update explaining what the changes are and why they were made.

Feb 14, 2010 11:34 AM on June 4-5, 2002
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

Funny that Cox was at the head of both the worst-run and 2nd-best-run organizations in the 90s.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Colin- It seems to me that Bradbury has conditioned on a player playing through age 34 whereas you don't seem to be assuming this condition. This just means that you have to be careful when trying to apply his results for purposes of prediction. It also means that there is still a lot of work to be done if we are to properly understand the role aging plays in performance for baseball players.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I'm a Braves fan, and I'm more surprised about no Wieters. McCann's best years might actually be behind him, and I don't think he'll age particularly well. That said, he should be a good contributer for a while now. If the Braves can't squeeze a championship (or at least an LCS) out of Hanson/Heyward/McCann, the FO is doing something very wrong.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

What do you think about the relievers being offered arbitration? The Red Sox obviously made out well offering Wagner arbitration, but do you think it was wise for Atlanta to offer arbitration to Soriano and Gonzalez?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

All true, but Atlanta doesn't have the payroll to make a play for those two, nor should they. Rather, they'll look to move a SP to both clear up salary space and acquire a bat. A more realistic option on the FA market is a short-term deal for, say, Mike Cameron or Troy Glaus.

Nov 19, 2009 12:48 PM on The Opening Bell
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 11

These two things are not mutually exclusive.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

After the great production they got from Prado, I'd be surprised to see the Braves target a middle infielder. And Chipper's not moving off 3B for the likes of Miguel Tejada. The market for RH bats looks pretty weak, so rather than free agency, I think the more realistic option is in the trade market. While I like the idea of trading Jurrjens, the talk is that the Braves will try to move Vazquez for a bat.

Oct 04, 2009 5:05 PM on Atlanta Braves
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Schafer was okay until he got hurt in mid-April. The problem was not benching him before June....

Oct 01, 2009 5:46 PM on Bitter Endings
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

In the sense that he's been making absurd bullpen decisions for his whole career, yes, it does. He's just not very good at that. Or maybe his bullpen usage is somehow related to how he keeps his teams motivated and focused, in which case perhaps the benefits outweigh the costs. But I've got to think that at this point in the season, you go ahead and ruffle a few feathers to get the best pitchers into the game.

Sep 30, 2009 3:54 PM on Selection Bias
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

Joe's point is why not invest a little to make that asset you're selling worth more down the road? A team that draws well and has an engaded fan base is a team that's worth more than one that hasn't seen the playoffs in 4 years and doesn't have bodies in the seats.

Sep 16, 2009 2:32 PM on Dunn'd and Damned
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

You're right that the AL East (not the whole AL; just the East) is better than the NL, and Sheehan clearly meant to ask if the Cards were the best team in the NL. In fact, he as much as says that this is what he meant at the start of the 6th paragraph: "Now, the question I was asked earlier today on the radio, about whether the Cardinals rather than the Dodgers or Phillies are the best team in the National League, starts to make sense."

Sep 05, 2009 7:01 PM on Soaring Cardinals
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

So what you're saying is, Tommy Hanson is awesome?

Sep 02, 2009 1:23 PM on Rocking with Hanson
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

"There are actually more discrepancies here on the NL side, though the "wrong" winners are often players who wound up winning in other years—namely Bonds, Sosa, Pujols and Howard—softening the blows of those "injustices."" Since your model seems to be more descriptive than proscriptive, I would hesitate to use words like "wrong" when someone not predicted by the model wins. It seems more like a failing on the part of the model to describe reality than a fault of reality to conform to the model. You used quotes around the words I would take issue with, so perhaps you're cognizant of the issue but chose to use less rigorous language. On a more positive note, I enjoyed the article and appreciate the effort. This dispels the myth that the MVP is all about RBIs from the perspective of the voters. Far more important in the eyes of the voters, apparently, is a team's record. I also found the emphasis on slugging stats (total bases, etc.) relative to on-base stats (walks, etc.) very telling (if not surprising). It seems baseball writers also dig the long ball.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -3

Incorrect.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Any word on Prado or the Braves OF? They're missing their nominal 3 starters and had to play Omar Infante and Reid Goreki on Sunday.

Aug 24, 2009 11:40 AM on Repeaters
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Either the Nationals are doing a bad job of motivating talented players or they've done a good job of acquiring players that underperformed in other places, and hopefully will be table to turn some of that talent into wins on the field.

Aug 23, 2009 10:40 PM on Weekend Wrapup
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

I don't get all the vitriol directed at the director. Sounds to me like the guy has a general philosophy: (1) Less is more, so don't clutter the screen (2) Deffer to the on-air talent; don't put up stuff they don't want to talk about/don't think is worthwhile Both of these seem to me like good strategies. I don't really want an information overload when I'm watching a game I care about. Maybe if I'm just watching whatever's on, I'll want to see a crawl and other "around the league stuff", but generally, I just want to watch the game. And if the broadcasters don't like a stat or don't want to talk about it, why would I try to force it down their throat? Get a broadcaster in there who "gets" OBP or OPS and would talk about it in a useful way and I'm sure they'd be happy to throw it onto the screen.

Aug 17, 2009 10:04 PM on Behind the Screen at Fox
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Take away half of that for taxes, etc., etc. I will say that the $400,000 figure is somewhat misleading, since he'll almost certainly get some endorsement money along the way.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I agree that abolishing the draft would be the best way to do things, but mostly because I think it would end up being a transfer of wealth from the owners to the players being signed. This is also why I don't ever think it'll ever happen.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I like moving the date back, but as for a combine, how 'bout you have the players actually, I dunno, hit BP? Take ground balls? Maybe the pitchers don't want to risk throwing a ton of breaking balls or something, but at least you can get the players to show you some baseball skills. As for the medical stuff, well, if MLB wants to mandate that you give every team a physical they can do that, but I don't see it staying private at all. As for what will actually happen... I consider MLB to be the worst run professional sports league around, so I would be surprised if they did anything that actually improved the competitive balance of the league, made the pay structure fairer to the players or really did anything that tangibly improved the game. But maybe I'm just pessimistic. :-)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I love Utz potato chips. Have you tried the "Crab Chips"? The ones covered in Old Bay? Not something I'd want to eat every day or anything, but if you want a crazy potato chip that tastes good in small doses (provided you like Old Bay of course!), it's the best I've found.

Aug 12, 2009 10:29 AM on August 12
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

Teams won't like to hear this, but the most direct way to stop the "death of the middle class" is to cut out the arbitration years teams get. So you get three free years when you bring a player up, and after that, it's time for free agency. Or maybe restricted FA like they do in basketball where the team that has "rights" can match any other deal and the player has to sign it. 'Course, then you have teams playing more games with service time and such.... Either way, allofasudden, that 4th or 5th year player is going to cost you basically the same as that 10-year vet, so why not get the "solid regular" vet instead of the younger kid? So you get your "middle class" back. I'm of the opinion that the MLBPA has been overly-concerned with the salaries of their top earners and not concerned enough with what the bulk of the players, the bench guys, the borderline starters, etc. are making. Instead of arguing against salary caps and whatnot, they should be getting the minimum salary increased, limiting the control teams have over young players' salaries, and generally encouraging salary inflation for the mid-level players.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Any word on Freddie Freeman? Obviously he's not hitting like Heyward, but he's had a solid debut. The power might not quite be there, but it seems like the rest of his game has played well at AA.

Aug 03, 2009 3:01 PM on Monday Ten Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I get not wanting to trade Price, but why not deal pure minor league depth (in the form of Wade Davis and/or Desmond Jennings)? Moving these guys for VMart could give the current core a big boost for this year and next without compromising the future.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

When I started reading this, I didn't expect the author to get into issues of practicality and implementation. But he did, and it really made the piece work for me. It started out like just another SABR pipe dream, but by the end, it felt like I'd really seen that this might work, and if it ever could, how it would have to go about being implemented. Very nice.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

So that was, what, 6 or 7 Braves players you mentioned as being legitimate All-Star picks? Really underlines how bad the rest of the team is given that they're 3 under .500.

Jul 06, 2009 12:13 PM on The All-Star Selections
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I thought the scouting report was pretty clunky. It seemed like a list of quotes from different people, often telling me what the scouting report used to be rather than what it was. The next two sections totally made up for this. I loved the Bill James stuff and the discussion of 2B/HR ratios. Nice piece.

Jun 15, 2009 10:08 AM on Kila Ka'aihue
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

re: My Pretty Pony- I actually found that exchange quite amusing. And while they're no Skip and Pete, Joe and Boog are growing on me.

Jun 09, 2009 11:31 AM on TRIPin?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 3

I'm always confused when I read stuff like the comment on Alex White. I find it stunning that one start gives enough information to scouts and teams to drastically change their view of a player. If I made a similar argument about a major league pitcher (eg, that his final start of the year should increase the size of the FA contract he signs by 10 or 20 percent) I'd be laughed at. I realize there's an imbalance in information here (tons more outings for professional pitchers, relatively fewer for minor league ones), but have scouts not been watching Alex White for the past 2+ years? Haven't all potential top 10 picks (especially those in major college programs) been scouted and cross-checked repeatedly at this point? I just don't see how one start suddenly changes everyone's mind.

Jun 08, 2009 10:40 AM on Monday Ten Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

How can you possibly criticize the Hudson deal? And as for Hampton, he pitched well for the (painfully short) time he was healthy. Before he went on his 3+ year hiatus, he was an effective pitcher. No problem in scouting there. I do agree that the Glavine thing was handled very poorly.

Jun 04, 2009 1:19 PM on A New Age of Reason?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 3

Blanco at CF and McLouth in a corner is so much better defensively than McLouth/Anderson it's not even funny. And the "possibility of a .270/.320/.420 line" 1) isn't better than Blanco's line from last ear and 2) won't come close to making up the difference in defense. Garrett Anderson hasn't hit for power and hasn't taken walks for basically the whole year. He's sucked long enough. Let's at least give Blanco a chance to suck for a while, if only for variety.

Jun 04, 2009 12:54 PM on A New Age of Reason?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The real test for the Braves administration will come when we see who is being sent down to make room for McLouth. As Joe says, if it's Blanco, the deal is less good. At least it is until Schafer re-learns how to hit and takes over CF for good. If it means Frenchy gets demoted or Anderson DFAed, then it's a sizable upgrade. Between demoting Schafer, dumping Glavine, acquiring McLouth, and promoting Hanson, the Braves have become a significantly better team in the past 3 days.

Jun 04, 2009 10:14 AM on A New Age of Reason?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

What if an author just uses a regular asterisk? Isn't the only difference between a regular asterisk and a Posnaski asterisk that Posnaski places the rejoinder at the end of the paragraph instead of at the end of the article? So basically, aren't you just asking him to bogart Posnaski's style rather than just doing it regular-like?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Started out great, but the laundry list lost me. Instead of the large lists, expanding on the intro sentence or two at each position would've made for a better read. Particularly, which guys moving where will matter to me?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I agree. My comment is that while the format was pretty standard fair (the type you "might get at 100 other sites"), the analysis was far more in depth. Particularly in the discussion of Lester, the author really got deep into the statistics. I understand that some who aren't as familiar with stuff like xFIP and "just enough" homers might have trouble with this. But I feel that when I come to BP for fantasy analysis, these are the types of things I want to see. Heck, if all I wanted was the type of statistics everyone knows about, there's about 100 other sites I could go to.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I guess this is what confuses me, too. It's an interesting new take on the notion of fantasy valuation, but I don't see that this is necessarily better than any of the other methods for assigning a single number for fantasy value. I guess you compare this to traditional dollar valuations, rejecting the latter on the grounds that they seem arbitrary to most fantasy players. But what about the ones who do play auction leagues? Does VOFP work better in auction formats (using some transformation)?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I clicked the "thumbs up" based on the title alone. Then I read the article and liked a lot. Not that I would have changed my vote; it just would've been a shame to waste a brilliant title on a mediocre article. :-) I've always heard baseball people on the internets reference Strat, so this was a useful introduction to me and makes me want to perhaps try it out.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

What news of Yunel Escobar? Between him, Infante's thing, and Chipper's toe, the left side of the Braves IF is a MASH ward. Are we likely to see Yesco hit the DL and the accompanying appearance of the immortal Brooks Conrad? I shudder to think....

May 28, 2009 10:52 AM on Star Search
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I liked this idea quite a bit. It's a simple concept and easy to understand. I think this article could be an excellent introduction to why OBP matters with a few changes. People understand that WHIP and ERA are correlated. Heck, they probably understand the relationship of those two stats better than they understand the idea of "correlation". As such, you could probably just drop some paragraphs and say, "Between 2000 and 2008, pitchers with a WHIP of 1.33 had an average ERA of around 4, while pitchers with a WHIP of 2.00 averaged ERAs closer to 7" and be done with it. If you want to do it simple, do it simple. To fill this now-vacated second half of your article, you could talk about how having a good OBP guy atop your lineup can help by giving everyone behind them tons of RBI opportunities, probably giving examples. But yeah. Good idea/instincts, presentation could use some work. :-)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I'm still not sure what you've proved. Is it throwing the first strike that leads to success or do successful pitchers throw first strikes? My assumption would be the latter. To figure this out, I'd look at the outcomes pitchers in the different groups have in the different counts. If a "strike thrower" and an "indifferent thrower" have similar K-rate, BB-rate, etc. in 1-0 counts, 0-1 counts, etc., then the difference is getting that first pitch. If the "strike throwers" have superior rate stats, then they're just better pitchers.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Seriously, what were those media-types thinking? Pittsburgh's ineptness is clearly a systematic failing of journalists, from the editor right down to the paper boy. I mean, just look at Atlanta! How can you lose when you've got Furman Bisher, Mark Bradley and Terrance Moore heading up your staff?

May 22, 2009 1:08 PM on Lowlights in Steel City
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

I guess he could've completely lost the plate in the first inning instead of the 4th. :-)

May 22, 2009 11:38 AM on Things Known and Unknown
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Anything on Infante? Fractured 5th metacarpul on the left hand was the immediate report, along with 6-8 weeks. Guess there's not really much more to say except how do players usually respond to this sort of hand-but-not-wrist thing?

May 21, 2009 3:13 PM on Read and React
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Except two are hurt and one sucks.... His critera isn't "Who was best 10 years ago", it's quite clearly, "Who is best right now", which is not to be confused with, "Who was best in April and half of May".

May 21, 2009 3:09 PM on AL All-Stars
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

If the Padres don't get Gordon, well, I guess they should've taken that deal for Escobar (308/.378/.462) plus last off-season. >_<

May 21, 2009 8:27 AM on There They Go Again
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I hear ya. My cat's always getting "our" and "hour" confused. I'm starting to think she's not very bright. :-/

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I really liked a lot of what's going on here, but I've got a Master's degree in Statistics, and I have no idea what all of the statistics you report in the final table mean. Also, a quick question: To test the accuracy of the various projection methods, you use the actual accumulated MLB statistics from a group of player that, by necessity, have reached the bigs. Wouldn't this bias your results in favor of the projection methods that, similarly, only look at players that reached the big leagues? Similarly, any system for translating minor league statistics to the big leagues will necessarily be optimized for translating minor league statistics for players that reach the big leagues. Since in practice, we will inevitably end up using such projections on players who won't reach the majors, won't this introduce unaccounted for variation into the model? Is there any way to deal with this? Is it even important to?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Joe- I appreciate you being the voice of reason on the sample size and strength of schedule issues involved in people trying draw conclusions from the early weeks of the baseball season. With that said, is there anything you believe we can conclude from what we've seen so far? Anything that we've seen that is worth talking about?

Apr 23, 2009 10:35 AM on Schedule Strength
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The Padres will never get a package like the Yunel Escobar plus prospects deal the Braves were offering early on. The Padres should've taken that and run.

Apr 13, 2009 10:16 PM on Curbed Enthusiasm
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Please say yes. Their schedule's seem to be a day apart, which would suck, because I don't think I can make it to two games next week. :-/

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

If this happens, Baseball will be the least of the world's concerns. I expect 10% salary inflation to pick up again by 2011 if not this off-season.

Apr 07, 2009 7:14 PM on The Good Old Days
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I've gotta say, I think bets on the teams towards the middle seem the safest to me rather than the teams at the extreme. So, for example, while I wouldn't really want a piece of the Padres, Pirates, or Red Sox action, I think taking the Dodgers over would be easy money. Same thing for Oakland. All I'd be worried about there is a slow start and Beane selling off parts like last year.

Apr 05, 2009 4:33 PM on My Ballot
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

By my count, that's six (6) Eastern Division teams in the Top 10. I'd complain about East-coast media bias, but I imagine my Braves were among last ones to make it. :-)

Apr 03, 2009 12:02 PM on The Middle Third
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Suppose you had to pick just one.... :-)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

KG- Any chance Cahill or Anderson will have fantasy value this year in a league counting IP and QS?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

Joe- You mention the outstanding defense the Mariners have put in their OF. I'm wondering if this makes any of their SPs good targets in leagues where wins don't matter and QS do. Anyone there you'd be willing to take a flier on?

Apr 03, 2009 8:34 AM on The Bottom Ten
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Quick question: The Braves and Mets are projected to post nearly identical slash lines (well, the Braves'll hit for a better BA, but OBA and SLG are practically identical), but the Mets are being projected to score an additional 26 runs. Is this all from baserunning?

Apr 02, 2009 11:38 AM on NL Projected Standings
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

It seemed like a lateral move at the time; I was just glad they didn't spend the money on someone worse. ^_^

Apr 01, 2009 7:04 PM on The All-A Edition
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Happy? I'd be thrilled! With his defense and arm (both above average for CF), that'd be a fantastic rookie year. Heck, that line might be better than anything anyone else in the OF puts up....

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The biggest challenge in dumping Jeter would be finding a replacement. Basically, you need to be bringing in a big enough name that the fans might actually believe you've got someone better. At this point, the best hope (assuming the Phils exercise Jimmy Rollins' $8.5M option for 2011) is that the Mets don't find a way to extend Jose Reyes before he hits the market. Talk about a huge payday for Reyes of the Yanks want to get involved! The Mets certainly wouldn't want to lose their star SS to the cross-town Yankees, but the Yankees would have virtually no one else to chose from (at least no one with Jeter's star power). And imagine if the Yankees were to lose that bidding war! Now you're talking about dumping Jeter and THEN getting stiffed by the only guy who could really replace him. Quite a delicate situation for the Yankees. :-)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

KG- Wanna throw out a line of Schafer? If he starts walking a bit more, are we talking Mike Cameron here (both offensively and defensively)?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

There was a great article on this type of analysis by a fellow over at Baseball Analysts. Here's the link: http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2009/02/2009_projection.php The guy (Greg Rybarczyk) does basically the same thing Mr. Normandin does here. It's really amazing how far we've come with batted ball data in just a few years.

Mar 26, 2009 11:08 AM on And It's Gone!
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

My point wasn't that there were any problems with his batting eye. I was saying he doesn't make enough contact/hit for enough power for pitchers to throw him anything but inside fastballs that he can, at best fight off. I just don't think he'll be able to force pitchers to be anywhere but on the zone if he doesn't show that he can hit for some power.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

The reason Blanco's job is in danger is that he can't hit for power, and I'm not talking about home runs. I mean he doesn't even have gap power. We're talking sub-Juan Pierre level. PECOTA aside, I'd be very surprised to see him end 2009 with an ISOP anywhere near .100. He can take a walk, sure, but unless he shows he can turn on a ML fastball (and he really hasn't thus far), pitchers are going to start overpowering him, and that's infact what they were doing towards the end of last year and is part of the reason his BA dipped to .200 over the last two months of the year. It's really a shame that they're all LH batters. The Braves OF just screams for a platoon, but the only RH hitter assured of a spot is Frenchy, and there's no way he sits.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -2

I would use the same argument to say why expecting salary inflation is the correct course of action. Last year was an aberration in what has been for player salaries a 10-year hike up a steep mountain. Taking this year's contracts to be indicative of a plateauing or trend the other direction is silly, IMO. I expect salaries to increase because I expect MLB's revnue to continue to increase due to things like the MLB network and the game's increasing international exposure through stuff like the WBC. There aren't signs of this slowing down, nor are there signs of a salary cap or anything like that to limit salary growth going forward. If you have something besides one off-season in the worst global economic crisis in half a century to convince me that salaries will not be increasing, I'd love to see it.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

I suppose if the global economy continues to free-fall that may be the case. But I expect ML revenues to be about stable this year and then continue to grow afterwords, what with the MLB network and all. I guess my broader point was that we often fail to take into account salary inflation when decrying long-term deals. Derek Lowe and Adrian Beltre's come to mind immediately as contracts that people were outraged about at the time but turned at to be solid investments for the club involved.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Sure, those numbers on Cabrera look scary right now, but you're not going to be paying him for an age 31 season in 2009; you're going to be doing in in 2013 when salary inflation will have pushed average rates up another 30-40%. In other words, it'll be like paying him $13-15M today. And while I agree that that could still be painful, it's unlikely to cripple the team like, say, Todd Helton seems to be doing.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for the update, Clay! Also, my league uses RC, which is not one of the stats you have available on PFM. Any suggestions for what to use as a proxy?

Feb 28, 2009 9:04 AM on Quality of Opposition
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Are these translations league-specific or just to US ML baseball generically? Perhaps more clearly stated, are those Uehara\'s stats in the AL and Kawakami\'s stats in the NL? Or is it just a generic Japanese starter to US starter translation, with other stuff (like league and division) to be worried about later?

Feb 26, 2009 2:22 PM on Japanese Imports
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

There\'s a reason you don\'t see a lot of 1Bs leading off, and it\'s not their low OBA\'s. You can\'t compare these theoretical .400 OBA and .365 OBA + speed guys because \"leadoff hitter\" isn\'t the only spot you have in a lineup. You have to consider opportunity cost. A guy with elite speed and a strong OBA is used to maximum potential in the leadoff spot where he can get on base and move around them quickly. A guy with a .400 OBA can probably fit in most anywhere. If you bat him leadoff instead of 2nd or 3rd or 5th or something, that means you\'re putting someone else there like, say, your .365 OBA + speed guy. Surely that\'s not optimal. The real problem is making blanket statements in a vacuum without considering who you\'ve got in the other 8 spots of your lineup.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Why is the CBA getting edited to make up for the stupid decisions made by a few players and their agents? These guys could\'ve accepted arbitration, gotten a raise, and this whole stink could\'ve been avoided.

Feb 17, 2009 2:12 PM on Changing the Game?
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Any chance the Braves and Cardinals could match up on a Martin Prado for Skip Schumaker trade? Seems like it could fill needs for both teams.

Feb 16, 2009 6:37 PM on Job Battles
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Seeing Ichiro pitch in the WBC would be awesome. Frankly, I\'m surprised managers prefer to bring in high-value starters on short rest in extra innings games rather than just give the ball to that utility IF with a strong arm.

Feb 10, 2009 10:27 AM on August 13-19
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Don\'t worry. When ESPN starts yapping about it every day (including the obligatory, \"I wish we\'d all stop talking about this and focus on sports!\" opinion), the fans will be right back on it.

Feb 04, 2009 7:33 AM on The Debate Continues
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Sidney Ponson is from Aruba, a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Who\'da thunk?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Given Westmoreland\'s apparently impressive record on the mound in HS, was there any consideration of making him a pitcher?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

Teixeira would\'ve been a great fit for the Os. It seems all they really need going forward is some power bats in the IF, and they\'ll be able to compete with the big boys (ie, \"the rest of their division\") in a couple years.

Jan 26, 2009 10:25 AM on Orioles Top 11 Prospects
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

The Braves are still looking for some right-handed help in the OF. Might the Tigers take a mediocre pitcher (James Parr or Jo Jo Reyes for Clevlen?

Jan 26, 2009 8:28 AM on Comings and Goings
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I love these comment rating things! Someone says something stupid, and I just click the little \"thumbs down\" button, and I feel like I\'ve made a difference. :-)

Jan 21, 2009 9:11 PM on Andy Pratt
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Congrats on finishing the book! I\'m looking forward to seeing your thoughts on Atlanta\'s recent moves.

Jan 21, 2009 8:47 PM on Central Housekeeping
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

With three guys (Sandoval, Ishikawa, Villalona) destined for 1B, who do you think eventually wins the job long-term? Any chance Sandoval gets moved if Ishikawa keeps hitting?

Jan 20, 2009 12:31 PM on Giants Top 11 Prospects
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Why would anyone prefer to trade for Xavier Nady than sign Eric Hinske for free? Did a hot couple months in Pittsburgh really trick that many people? Is there any chance Millar could play LF? Would he really be worse out there than Dunn or Raul Ibanez? It just seems like there are a ton of useful players that teams can get for essentially nothing out there.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

While I agree that baseball\'s short-run business model is sound, it\'s also predicated on people staying interested in the game. If people start to realize that the playoffs is essentially just a lottery, they may lose interest in the sport. In short, if the mechanism of crowning a champion is broken and this leads to less interested fans, the long-run prospects of the sport may not be quite as robust. (Now, you can argue that people don\'t really care that the system is broken, citing college football as a perfectly good example, and I might agree with you. But I don\'t agree that a strong business model is sufficient for a strong sports league.)

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

The advantage for the big spenders exists. But not nearly as much as in the regular season. A team spending $200 million is far more likely to win a division over the course of 162 games than it is to win a 5- or 7-game series. A .600 team will win about 97 games out of 162 much more often than a .600 team will win 4 out of 7. It\'s basic probability.

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Team: Atlanta Braves Owner: Liberty Media Is What: Large media conglomerate whose controlling share is owned by Dr. John Malone. Subsidiaries include QVC, Starz!, FSN Northwest, and a 67% stake in McaNeil/Lehrer Productions. Why: Something to do with not paying taxes on their sale of Time Warner stock back to Time Warner, as far as I can tell.

Jan 03, 2009 4:00 PM on Brett Tomko
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Seems like, of all the AL East teams, the Jays would be the best fit for Teixeira from a team construction perspective. They need a big bat in the middle of the lineup somethin\' fierce, they don\'t have any major contractual obligations, and with that addition, they instantly become a contender (IMO). The money, of course, is the factor the prevents this from being a real possibility. Perhaps they could make a play if they were to move Vernon Wells (the Braves need a RH bat for the OF and could supply a CF prospect in return) they\'d have the money, but otherwise, I don\'t see it as a possibility.

Dec 07, 2008 3:55 PM on Blue Jays
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Furcal = Scrooge

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Christina- With the Braves target Burnett (or perhaps Peavy), it seems like they\'re looking to enter 2009 with the top 4 pitchers in their rotation right-handed. Now, while on some level you\'ve got to take what you can get when it comes to quality starters, do you think this is a potential mistake in a division with so many quality LH bats?

Dec 03, 2008 12:18 PM on A Peach of a Deal
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 2

I was going to request something on the Braves, who had a lot of options going into the off-season, but now that the first domino has fallen, I guess that wouldn\'t be too interesting. :-) I like your thoughts on the Mariners. Definitely not what I would have assumed going in. Considering the market for Dunn and Burrell, you ought to be able to get one on a relatively cheap deal and stick him at DH. The team you designed is something of a wildcard, as there are a lot of ways the middle infield, CF, and Clement could go, not to mention the rotation, which could boom or bust depending on progression/regression of young pitchers and Bedard\'s health. Actually, I hope the Mariners do something like this; it might just make the AL West the most interesting division in baseball next year.

Dec 03, 2008 11:10 AM on Mariners
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

It\'ll be interesting to see if nightly competition for the baseball audience drives the coverage to be more hard-core-fan friendly or if drives it more towards the casual fan side (you know, the way ESPN has been trending for the past 20 years). Maybe I\'m pessimistic, but I don\'t really think this new network will provide coverage that is at all very different from ESPN\'s. Disproportionate focus on the major media market teams, pandering to low-knowledge-level fans, etc. And even the \"highlights!\" aspect won\'t matter as much now that you can get that stuff of of MLB.com for free. On a related note, does anyone but me think a daily montage (1-5 minutes) of the previous nights\' best defensive plays would get a TON of views? Maybe stick a commercial on before it or something to generate some revnue? I would think something like this would a cheap, easy way for MLB.com to get money, but maybe that\'s just me....

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Well, yeah, his ERA+ is better. He pitched 850 fewer innings! You\'re talking about nearly 1000 extra off-peak innings that Glavine pitched that Mussina has chosen to forgo (or didn\'t get into the bigs in time for). And that\'s not to say that Glavine was better. In fact, I think that would have been a far more interesting article, comparing two contemporary pitchers whose public perception is quite different. I tend to think Glavine would\'ve come out ahead, but it\'s certainly a good discussion.

Nov 24, 2008 1:32 PM on Moose Tracks
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Better combo: Hanson/Schafer or Chacin/Fowler?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

\"If you compare the worst year of this guy\'s career with the best year of this other guy\'s, they\'re basically the same!\" This move might be defensibly for Williams if you think Betemit\'s power will just play off the charts in that stadium, but I don\'t buy the precipitous drop in Swisher\'s BABIP as being indicative of his future. And, sorry, but a guy with ISOs around (or over) .200 for his career does have plus power. 24 HRs not plus power? What, are you living in 1998 or something?

 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I assume the first criterion is getting the team right? With that strategy in mind: Braves 7/150 1/15

Nov 10, 2008 2:25 PM on July 2-8
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Freeman was in Low-A last year with Heyward. They\'ll both be starting next year at Myrtle Beach (High-A) next year.

Nov 07, 2008 12:18 PM on Braves Top 11 Prospects
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

KG- Just out of curiosity, where would Flowers fit in if the scouting reports said he was a good bet to stick behind the plate?

Nov 07, 2008 11:03 AM on Braves Top 11 Prospects
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: -1

Teams forced to start pitchers on 3 days rest are typically losing the series, which on average means they\'re worse. Not necessarily \".250 win%\" worse, but that\'s something to take into account.

Oct 22, 2008 9:19 AM on It's Hamels' Time
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

Purely out of curiosity, anyone know the record of WS Game 2 winners? My guess is that it\'s comparable to that of Game 1 winners. And comparable to that of Game 3 winners. And comparable to that of Game 4 winners. Just sayin\'.

Oct 22, 2008 8:46 AM on It's Hamels' Time
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 1

If Jeter had missed the play and people had said he wasn\'t a very good defender, it would\'ve been fine... because he\'s not a very good defender. If people say that about Bartlett based on a couple plays in the ALCS, they\'re letting a few brightly-colored data points drive the story.

Oct 21, 2008 9:35 PM on Rays versus Phillies
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

Great to hear about Hanson. It seems like he just goes on extended streaks of completely dominating the opposition. That said, the current news is that he might be going to SD in the Peavy deal. KG, if you\'re the Braves, is this something you\'re willing to do, or would you put Hanson in your \"untouchable\" category? For my money, he\'s such a great fit for PETCO (extreme fly-ball tendencies + PETCO is a recipe for an ace; witness: Chris Young), the Braves almost have to make him the centerpiece of any deal with the Pads, since he\'ll almost certainly be more valuable in SD than anywhere else, including Atlanta.

Oct 20, 2008 2:07 PM on Monday Ten Pack
 
Matthew Avery
(39859)
Comment rating: 0

I\'ve read that Hanson will be pitching in the AFL. How would this affect his time table for next year?

Sep 02, 2008 5:08 PM on Tuesday Ten Pack