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I've not been giving this feature enough attention. This is good stuff.
Shocked to see the Braves ranked as high as 20th. Then realized that they're actually in second-place --- and worse than the fourth-place team in every other division. Go NL East!
Okay, the Koda made me LOL
yep. very useful. good work.
"Besides being the owner of a great moustache, I do not have anything else to offer for Mr. Henderson-Lozano."
Makes it sound like you have a great moustache.
Sounds like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45394">Michael Bourn</a></span>. Not, in his prime, a fourth outfielder.
That's interesting. I don't remember that one from my "Abstract" days.
I'd like to hear more on that myself --- maybe even a fresh study to test its truthfulness 25 years later.
Maybe the thing to do is create a separate list for pitchers only. The risk is inherent, understood; so how do they rank?
Set-up Guy Questions: Is it still Hatcher in L.A. and Maurer in S.D.? Both look vulnerable, no?
It never occurred to me that BP didn't have offices or phones. Wow.
(Also not to be overlooked: <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=60011">Kyle Lobstein</a></span>)
<--- holding out hope for JA Happ level magic.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=100145">Chris Colabello</a></span>: "Hey, what?"
Maybe the most confusing positional stew in all of MLB is Tampa Bay's LF/RF/1B/DH mash-up. Is Jennings no longer a full-time player? Is Loney gone or is it Guyer? How does <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=51804">Logan Morrison</a></span> get 300 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AB</span></a>'s on this team? Is Souza in an impending platoon predicted by no one?
Forget the AL East, this one needs an article all by itself.
Robles isn't even listed on ESPN. That I can find. Am I missing something?
Team discussion boards .... BP style ....strikes me as a very good idea.
Thank you for this. I've always wondered what the problem was in Anaheim. Now I get it.
"I’ll just bet you that Salazar comes up to the Indians sometime between May 17th and May 24th."
Now THAT's a prediction.
This was a nice sidebar piece. But this is a perennial contender that just gutted its roster and payroll. Perennial contenders don't do that.
The Braves will be feeling the effects of this self-strafing for the next five, ten years. So, are there comparably drastic restructurings we might learn from? They've got a new suburban stadium coming in two years. Might the irony of a billion dollar stadium and a penny-pinching payroll be worth a comment or two? What happens when New Braves Field becomes home to your 65-win <span class="teamdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/team_audit.php?team=ATL" target="blank">Atlanta Braves</a></span>? Just how severe are the Braves payroll restrictions? Miami of three years ago bad? Scouting used to be a strength here, now it's... what? A lot has to go right for this off-season not to look like a decade-sized crater. How realistic is the optimistic view of this?
In this year of all years, is "The Braves dig shortstops" really the moneyball commentary that's called for?
Love this feature in March. The <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=66013">Odubel Herrera</a></span> note is awesome.
Other things I'm curious about ---- <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Daniel+Hudson">Daniel Hudson</a></span>'s chances on making the rotation. The LF situation in Texas. Is <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Ike+Davis">Ike Davis</a></span> really the full time starter in Oakland or is Butler the other side of an anticipated platoon? Is it really down to Chavez and Pomeranz for the fifth slot? 2B in Anaheim --- Rutledge a lock, or do Giavotella and/or Green have a shot? And, with no projected LH bats on the Anaheim bench, is Cron really going to have a full time DH job? Asher W. in Houston?
I was going to plus-one this comment until I got to the "hate innings pitched" part. Innings-Pitched is a great fantasy stat: it dissuades a team from flooding RP's to the virtual exclusion of SP's, a crummy little trick that's soured many a league.
Drew Pomeranz seems anything but boring to me.
Pete Van Wieren was a pleasure to listen to. A smart guy too, with an appreciation for numbers. He would've enjoyed the stats available to analysts now --- and been way more comfortable and conversant with them than the generation of so-called analysts who've followed.
Bob Horner: Shortest arms ever. Shortest swing ever.
I'm pretty sure the announcer from this link is Pete Van Wieren.
Anybody got the TV time and place for the Futures Game? My searching hasn't found it so far. Thanks.
I don't know that these are article-worthy, but some questions did come to mind, reading this and the previous article.
1. How does a D-II kid with those stats get semi-overlooked?
72 straight scoreless innings, All-American --- 24th round? I thought MLB scouting was more comprehensive than this. Your take?
2. Would Tyler have gone earlier if he'd had an agent who talked him up?
3. Since there didn't seem to be any contract negotiation, what does an agent do for a late pick beyond ease the personal transition? (i.e. financially)
4. Reading the linked-to article, I'm confused by the pay/bonus scale and structure for draftees. Everybody in the 24th round gets pretty much the same? Guys in the 8th-10th get whatever you can get them?
5. And what can you get an NCAA player, since he has no other options once he's taken on an agent? Where's your leverage?
6. How was it possible for an unqualified agent to wrong Tyler a year before he's even drafted? (How bad agents mistreat kids would be a good article. Or, What Good Agents Do That Bad Agents Don't. And Vice Versa.)
7. From your previous article: "Every time the NCAA has called me, I’ve hung up on them. They don’t govern me, and I have no use for them." I think we'd all be up for an NCAA-sucks feature.
8. What kind of endorsements deals are available to rookie-league guys? Local stuff only?
9. How big are the squads at GCL? How many coaches per player? Do 40th round draftees get any personal coaching at all? What percentage of players at that level get cut before ever moving on?
Thank you for the education. Enjoying these first-hand glimpses into the personal side of the process.
I don't recall a comparable glut of almost-ready, high ceilinged infield talent --- ever.
I've really enjoyed this series on trading. I'm horrible, need the help, and appreciate the thoughtfulness and insights.
Ernesto Frieri has ruined my life.
How can a team that has Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton be so depressing?
and it was one day after Puig did it and injured his thumb.
yep. saw it.
I'm doing something wrong. When I try to download the spreadsheet, I'm asked for an ID/password.
I'm not seeing how my BP subscription provides free access. What am I missing?
I'd like to know more about him, too.
Agreed on Guzman. Saw a handful of Guzman at bats on TV, came away similarly impressed. There's a maturity vibe there. Early mastery.
One more thing. Since this is about commerce, essentially.
The world is full of crap products. Cynically made, preposterously priced, dishonestly sold. Shopping today is, largely, an open insult to the consumer.
Real, honest, conscientious, old-fashioned value for the dollar is damned rare anymore. And we're complaining?
When BP came of age, sabermetrics was hot. New research, new insights -- and maybe most important, the collective excitement that newness was possible.
That phase of the product life-cycle is passing. Big surprise. The low-hanging research fruit has been picked. What used to be innovative is now conventional wisdom. A lot of today's research is, presumably, being done privately, for teams. And, yes, fan appetite for new hard-to-understand stats with harder-to-understand explanations and weird acronyms isn't what it was.
BP is a "victim" of its own success, which is to say not a victim at all. And that's my point. BP has succeeded. It's original mission is accomplished. Now it's doing what every living thing does --- adapt. That's not sad. That's life.
(And, postscript, I think it's doing a damned fine job of it. The whole scouting-team thing is an unqualified success. This year's fantasy coverage has been pocket aces. The pitching analytics with Doug are commercially unrivaled. The new hitting guy (name escapes me, sorry) is a perfect compliment. Jeff Moore is must-read. Sam Miller's stuff wins its day everytime. Russell Carleton asks the most interesting things of his numbers of any researcher I'm reading anywhere. There's nothing like Transaction Analysis anywhere else out there. Ben Lindbergh's series on catcher-framing was fascinating, and very old-school BP. I miss Matthew Kory. And I've gotta say, partnerships with MLB.TV and DraftSheet --- c'mon. That's pure old fashioned value-added goodness. Really, what more can these guys have possibly done to make BP fun, meaningful and alive?)
If .290 – 30 – 20 – 90 – 90 is a reasonable expectation for Ramirez, that makes him a number three or four pick, no? I mean isn't that essentially what we're looking for from McCutcheon?
I'd argue with the description of Davis as a "max-effort swinger". He generates bat speed with long levers and exceptionally quick hands, not the bent back-leg action such a description might imply. Khris Davis has bat control.
To paraphrase BP 2014, he has had success in backing off the heat. (You may remember him from a variety of bullpen jobs). He's now got a 90 mph cutter that he throws 40% of the time, plus a slow curve. Homers have been his problem, but reduced those pretty dramatically last year in Sacramento. Less heat, more success.
White Sox' left-field is no sure thing. Jordan Danks, anyone?
I don't think the take-more-pitches dictate came from Sveum. I think it's organizational --- which is what worries me. Saw one of those games -- last year --- where the GM sits in with broadcasters for an innings, and got the distinct impression from Theo that cutting down on the free-swinging and the "wasted at bats" was a mandate from his office. He's very proud of his "we set goals for everyone" management approach, and I worry that this will continue to infect Castro's natural abilities.
Is there a deadline for this offer?
(Not that anyone cares, or should. But I've watched a good bit of spring training ball in the last two weeks. 20 games plus. And of all the young pitchers I've seen, the most impressive came from LH Tim Cooney, StL. Really sophisticated breaking stuff, nifty pitch shapes, subtle speed changes, and he just dotted the corners with all of it. Dude is a craftsman. And with a low-stress, from-the-shoulder action that looks like it'll be good to go for years. Just wanted to be on record, thank you for your time.)
This reminds me of Butch Harmon. The vast majority of teachers teach what they know. Harmon works on what you need. It's the rare instructor whose frame of reference isn't himself.
Oh yeah, likin' this stuff a lot.
Link to Tout Wars not working, it seems.
Thanks for the eyes-on report.
I really enjoyed this. But I think I need some help understanding what I'm supposed to have learned.
"The first takeaway here ... is that there is surplus value to be had in being able to select the “riskier” player later than the “safer” player earlier. The second takeaway is that ... we should be selecting the player that most exceeds our expectations..."
The two takeaways seem contradictory. 1. Risk delayed is value. 2. Risk not chosen is loss of value. What am I missing here?
Two actual LOL's.
Interesting that the A's --- one of the best pitching organizations in baseball --- have none of the best pitching prospects.
Love this stuff. And Doug, great job on the '14 SPG. Devoured it in one sitting.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Especially since most of these aren't recommendations to avoid, but to avoid over-enthusing.
Maybe next year it'd be a nice little upgrade to add an "Where He's Going" vs. "Where I'd Take Him" summation to each.
If you're so new to spreadsheets that you need a remedial-level explanation of what they're about just to get you grounded, read the Google Spreadsheet HELP section. It's a five minute read and THE starting point for raw beginners.
For spreadsheet novices --- avoid Open Office. The HELP section is virtual garble. And different enough from Excel that the web's bounty of free Excel tutorial material will be almost useless to you.
Instead try Kingsoft Office. Absolutely free, clean interface, good HELP, attractive to the eye.
And it's been a nice introduction to new-to-me online resources like Minor League Ball and MLB Draft Insider. Thanks for that as well.
(Also, 39-53 RBI for Hanley Ramirez? Don't have my annual yet. Is this right?)
Really am enjoying your work this off-season. But ...
"Simmons is teasing with an elite output, as he projects to put up bland SS numbers across the board."
... might be a construction worth a second stab.
Hey, how about this? An article where you break down the deliveries of guys who famously "lost it" --- and what went wrong mechanically. Steve Blass comes to mind, of course. Mark Wohlers, maybe. (And do I remember stories about Sam McDowell and Ryne Duren?) I'm sure others have better memories than I --- but I think it'd be great fun to get your analysis on deliveries that went haywire.
Missed that. Thanks.
This is fun stuff. I'd also like to see Don Newcombe, Sal Maglie, Whitey Ford, Marichal of course, and Bob Gibson.
I believe if I ran the Milwaukee Brewers, there'd be a first-baseman's glove and a Scott Hatteberg rookie card waiting in Khris Davis' locker this spring.
Believe I'd take my chances on Justin Morneau's next three years in Colorado over Smoak's, Cron's, Vogelbach's --- and maybe Teixeira's.
I thought I was going to enjoy this. Instead it made me sad.
John Hart: "Look,..."
Nice one on the Pillar. Useful data there.
Taylor Jordan is only getting another 30 innings before being shelved. And Detwiler is out for another month with a disc issue.
I read it as a question being posed by the writer --- as in "He's underperformed his skills this year. But he's been a lot better in the last five and half weeks. Might this be the turnaround we're looking for?"
Snuck this one in there on a Sunday, huh?
("They also acknowledge how the value of protecting this data." --- from the Andrew Friedman paragraph.)
Wow. There's a factoid for you ... jeff francouer has a better walk rate than jose altuve.
Great idea for a feature. Hope this becomes an All Star Game tradition at BP.
(No love for Brandon Crawford?)
As I understand it, it's a durability thing. Big guys don't wear down as easily, goes the thinking. Jason Parks touches on this in the Salazar Call Up feature.
I'm seeing parallels between Salazar and Sonny Gray --- stature, strong fastball w/ quickly maturing change, breakout-ish 2013, now each looking like the number 6 to his 5-man rotation. Fair comparison? And do we have a strong preference for either?
Also --- calling this a spot start assumes a successful rehab for McAllister, right? Assumption being, Carrasco's out of the picture for now?
I feel like Greg should be killed.
Well, when you've got a clutch late-inning pop-up catcher like Beckham, it's tough for anyone else to get playing time.
Right. She's not building an organization, she's fielding a team.
And her point of reference isn't theoretical. She's actually fielding an actual team. That plays actual games. Her job is to win games now, not cultivate players who might or might not win more impressively later.
and, yet, totally doesn't.
totally agree. use it daily.
I don't disagree about Upton, but the golf swing analogy is just wrong.
Golfers and ball-players tweak their swings daily. But serious, fundamental changes? Tiger withstanding, swing overhauls at the touring-pro level are rare, are usually undertaken only by the desperate, require a year (if not years) of crazy hard work, are as often as not abandoned, and are almost always at least part of the answer to "I wonder whatever happened to (Justin Leonard, Seve Ballesteros, David Duval, Chip Beck, Sandy Lyle and, yes, Tiger Woods.)"
Bob Gibson is smart. (I now suspect Yoenis Cespedes is, too.)
Like the quiz idea there.
Interesting breakdown. I'd been wondering what was happening here. Nice work. Sounds kind of Ackley-ish.
Also interesting to see breakouts Machado, Segura and Marte on the Top Ten Fewest Walks List.
(AA, I mean)
Rafael Montero is a new one for me. I see the nice stat line in AAA --- anything else you'd want to add?
"ghostballer" ... never heard it, love it, gotta name a fantasy team after it.
1. Does a high school player inherently have more negotiating leverage than a graduating college player? (In that he has the option of college. The college player's only option is independent league.)
2. Why does any player ever sign at below-slot money? Why doesn't every early round draft choice hold out for optimum cash? If it's widely known what teams have to spend and what each slot is worth, how is it that there's this much variability in what players will accept?
Thanks for all the effort you've put into this. Really edifying.
Nice article. I enjoyed this a lot.
Tim McCarver was on Charlie Rose recently. Asked about "Money Ball", he immediately went to OBP and said something like, "The reason it doesn't work is that you get slow runners clogging the bases." The same kind of thinking that gives you Alcides Escobar in the two hole.
KRANG! (<--- sound of jaw dropping at reading "Roberto Hernandez")
My understanding is that his motive is finances --- he ain't got none. Unable to mount a legal defense, cooperation becomes his least costly option. You don't see it this way?
What do we think of Bonifacio at this point? I need the roster slot but know that as soon as I trade or drop him, he'll reel off a quick dozen.
A Jerry Gergich reference. Nice.
It'll be interesting to compare the careers of G. Cole versus Wacha. Number One upside/all the physical tools/erratic results vs Number Three upside/knows-how-to-pitch/strong game results. Tools versus Gamer. I'm taking Wacha.
What Mario asked.
Watching the O's - Yankees game on MLB last night, I think it was Costas who pointed out that Baltimore had cycled an astonishing number of players through Norfolk (AAA). I want to say it was like 75. Which brought to mind a comment Showalter has made, crediting the front office with working the roster every single day last year, even late into the night on West Coast trips, to make sure his club never played a game while lacking what it needed. The upshot is that Baltimore has become a destination of choice for players who think they can still contribute. McLouth is the most obvious of them. Plus, MIguel Gonzalez, Steve Johnson, Britton, Hunter, Garcia, Arrieta, another small handful innings eaters I can't think of --- nobody's working its organizational depth like the O's.
Just sayin'. If there were a WARP for GM's, Dan Duquette would be killin' it.
And if we're really lucky, the week the first gay manager is announced, Bill Hader will be guest-hosting SNL.
Six AL teams are better than the best NL team? I think the adjusted part of AHLF needs adjusting.
And, it's not necessarily an all-or-nothing strategy. A team could use it for, say, the 3, 4 and 5 slots in the rotation.
That'd cut into the "grousing" that Colorado encountered. Instead of a "new system", it'd be the "old system, enhanced" --- i.e. a meritocracy: pitch well enough and the next slot could be yours alone.
Thank you for this. Good advice for us "sensitive types".
Saw parts of two Travis Wood starts --- and didn't see the "junk" pitcher I thought he was. Hit 94 several times and was (almost) Cliff Lee-like with his fastball control. That plus a late-breaking change (I think) made him look almost dominant. Is there anything in his pitch-data to support this rejuvenated fast ball I thought I saw?
Josh Donaldson: Buy, sell or hold?
mmm, esoteric pie.
(actually laughed out loud)
Exactly right. The scout isn't saying "Ackley hasn't been good.". He's saying "I'm not sure he has the natural ability we thought he did." That's very different.
Availability isn't the only issue here. Each of these guys is a marginal add-drop in 12-team mixed, depending on roster size. I'm finding these discussion useful.
Another good one, Mr. Callan.
Any insights into Moustakas you'd care to share?
On Franklin --- Isn't it just as possible that the Mariners hand the job to Andino?
(How to avoid asking "when's he coming up...")
Biddle's just moved up from hi-A to AA this year. And he's just 21. Fair to say that he'll stay at Reading for the full year, regardless of performance? (i.e. if Pettibone falters, Cloyd and Martin get their shots)
Good. I was a little worried I was being gooberish. Thanks Zach. (Was hoping you'd say Graham.)
Crazy good data mining, Zach. Quick question. Who'd you rather have, near term and long term, Michael Wacha or J.R. Graham? Thanks.
Ben, wouldn't an exploration of K-Zone's flaws be a natural BP article?
I know little about it, but it seems clear that it's not adjusted batter-to-batter individual strike-zones, it seems poorly calibrated from game to game, and it's not three dimensional.As you've said before, variations of an inch or two are huge.
I'd love to see an in-depth examination of digital/laser strike-zoning.
And thanks for the Gattis mention. The legend grows.
Okay, based on two weeks evidence, PECOTA gets to change its projection of the Braves from a .500 team to a Division Winner.
But I have to hang onto every .128-hitting ackley on my fantasy teams because only twits and goobers think two weeks evidence is meaningful.
My genius plan for solving the Mike Stanton problem.
Bat Stanton lead-off. His OBP is .347, second highest on the team (and more than twice his AVG.)
I don't care how wary of Stanton the opposing manager is, he doesn't want to start the game with a man on first and no outs. Not with Polanco's .370 OBP on deck.
Follow those two with Dobbs, Ruggiano, and Brantley and you've got a decent chance of getting on the board first and making the opposition pay an immediate price for its refusal to pitch to the big man. Right now they pay no price at all, ever.
Part two of my genius plan --- hit the pitcher 8th and Pierre 9th. (Theoretically increasing the likelihood of batters on base for Stanton in later innings.)
Part three --- bench Pierre and start Coghlan instead. He becomes your de facto lead-off guy in later innings and his line drive/doubles-type power increases the likelihood that the batter(s) on base for Stanton are in scoring position.
Please forward my genius plan to Mike Redmond. And maybe sign it "your pal, Joe Madden".
Josh Johnson is an auto-start?
I'd love to believe it, I need to believe, I don't believe it.
(Daniel Murphy, not David)
Any chance of getting a quick glance at Evan Gattis' framing skills? (Now that he's getting 3 out of 4 starts, with McCann's anticipated playing time unclear given his right shoulder surgery.) Thanks.
So, how's the guy in the hat doing?
Firpo Marberry, the first closer. Wow.
And thanks for Page to Face lineage. Had never heard that before. Glad to see a nod to Face --- it still annoys me when broadcasters talk about the great closers of the past and stop at Sutter and Lyle.
The Blue Jays are like that guy in your fantasy league who as to go after every new shiny thing in the free agent pool.
Oh wait, thats me.
BABIP is a blunt instrument passing itself off as a scalpel. This piece of work, Russell, is more incisive than BABIP, the stat, ever was.
Well that was damn good fun there. Nice.
I do appreciate your help with that. Now I know better.
To clarify my question --- when I hear pitchers talk about their most recent adjustment, they say they're now "getting on top of the ball". Not just "getting on top" but "getting on top of the ball".
This makes it sound not like an altogether new arm slot with commensurate spine-tilt/torso/hip/stride changes but something smaller, something more hand/wrist related.
Am I way off here?
What is the opposite of "getting on top"? Is it a wrist kept cupped too long into the delivery? (i.e. a hand that's literally under the ball?)
I'm looking for a mechanical description here --- something to clarify what seems a sensation-based term. 'Cause the more I hear it, the less I think I understand what these words mean.
Always enjoy these. Especially the Tampa Bay vs. Milwaukee feature last month.
Read yesterday that Ubaldo Jimenez had hit 95 mph in his start vs. Toronto. Would he be a worthy candidate for re-examination? Is the up-tick real and, if so, is there a mechanical cause that you can detect? Thanks.
Totally agree. A daily check in for me now.
In San Diego's defense, it's not like Marquis, Stults and Ross were Plan A. Which begs the question: is it coincidence that five top Padres pitching prospects have gone down to serious injury in the last 2 years? (Stauffer, Luebke, Cashner, Kelly and Wieland) That's pretty much the entire rotation as it might have been projected a year or two ago. As Doug Thornburg points out with Milwaukee and Tampa Bay, some organizations breed mechanical similarities in their pitchers. Might this be going on in San Diego? If not, that's a hell of a bad run of luck that at least deserves mention in their prospects for 2013 and beyond.
Do we really know that the number 3 hitter has "many more" at bats with two outs, bases empty than the surrounding slots? I can understand why one would make the assumption, but is it true?
First of all, it's totally amazing that a ballplayer owns an art gallery. That may be the most interesting thing I learn today.
Second, a closer look at the Samuel Freeman Gallery introduces us to someone we HAVE heard of: Part-time comedian, full-time magic-photorealist painter Martin Mull. (I encourage folks to do a search on him. His work is really interesting, popular and, yes, expensive.)
But, really. A ballplayer who owns an art gallery. Really kind of amazing to me. Thanks Jason.
yeah, that was kind of amazing.
I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. My bad.
Another question --- does Brandon Maurer look like the favorite now to earn the 5th starter slot (at Erasmo's expense)?
Are we so convinced that Nakajima actually opens the season as the starter at SS? The competition between him and Lowrie seems not to have been even close.
whoops. missed "minor leagues". sorry
Amazed Nolasco didn't make top ten.
Local media has quoted A.A. as saying that "right now" Izturis has the inside track to the second base job.
(Uh .. "Fourth, those plan-B and plan-C closers...")
A contrary thought. There are several problems with the get-saves-later strategy. First, everyone's on it. Therefore, there's way more competition for the free agent pop-ups. A couple of wrong moves and an injury and you could be screwed for the year. We've probably all been there. Second, because there's so much competition for them, you usually have to roster the presumptive heir before he has the job --- if he gets it at all. That negates a roster spot from which you could be banking actual production. Third, the free agent pop-up is just as likely --- if not more --- to lose the job as his predecessor. Third, those plan-B and plan-C closers with their 1.50 WHIPs and 4.50 ERA's do peripheral damage to related stat rankings. Are we really so sure that the high downside, dead roster slots and raggedy peripherals make this such a genius strategy? This year in particular it may well be that a Papelbon in the bank is worth two Parnell's in the bush.
Is David Lough such a bad idea? Yeah, he might be a little Alex Presley-ish (bat-reliant OBP). But he makes contact, hits line drives and, with Cain, Getz/Giavotella, Hosmer and Escobar turns KC into a sneaky-fast squad.
(And, forgive the non-BP assessment, but the guy's a gamer. That team could use a good dose of gritty.)
Zach, whose career would you rather have, A. Hicks' or J. Bradley's? They seem so similar. Thx.
Hope there are more of these to come. Just the kind of thing I'm looking for in March.
Meanwhile, I fully intend to be excessively exuberant over some players this spring and there's not a darn thing your good sense can do to stop me.
(And won't the 2013 Dodgers be an interesting case study of this?)
1. What are pitch clusters?
2. Brandon McCarthy's point is really just common sense, deniers aside. I'll bet we've all been in work places where t he entire tenor of things is transformed by one or two personnel changes. I don't for a minute doubt that good teammates make for good teams.
I notice the Playoff Forecaster says the best teams in baseball will have 90 wins. (Tigers, Naitonals) That seems tight. Do we know what kind of record the Forecaster has in general, and specifically against the odds?
Also surprised there was no mention of Braves They seem a prime candidate for the excessive-enthusiasm bet.
A subtle, important point.
(edition, not addition)
Mike -- I'm confused by the table. I see that last week's addition had tabs, so I'm guessing this is ... what, the average price of all your expert auctions? But you mention that Revere went for $20 and here he's listed at $6. (Adam Eaton $2, Torii Huner $1?) Please forgive my failure to grasp what I'm sure is obvious to everyone else --- but what am I looking at here? Thanks.
Said it in response to yesterday's post, but I'll say it again just to make sure you see it, Jason, this is THE March feature I've been waiting for. And you really do it well. Crisp, definitive opinions, quick to take on the "how close is he" or "what's in his way" questions good performances inevitably spark. THe most useful three minutes of my daily baseball meanderings.
Totally agree. Exactly the March feature I've wanted for years now. Spot on.
If I don't call sports radio here in Atlanta to tell 'em about the Braves being a .500 team, someone should.
Anyone else see Jason Heyward leading off for the Braves by June 1?
Prado may be the most natural number 2 hitter in baseball. I'm betting he slots in there more than once every four games.
Have we ever heard of GM setting up shop in the locker room before? Ever? (Watched "Money Ball" again last night. Reminded that Billy Beane didn't/doesn't want to get on the same airplane as players.
Interesting to see that not all prospect-watchers have downgraded their opinions of Anthony Rendon. Having multiple perspectives on the same player is going to be a nice by-product of this next-generation of minor league coverage from BP.
I really, really wish you guys would've named names here.
As Sam points out, we all have to choose which people-smarter-than-us we can trust. Big part of that is knowing which ones we can't.
Anyone else want to point out the column(s) in question here?
Enjoyed the "editors no longer exist" point. One of those things I really should've known but didn't.
(confession: I still, after all the disappointments and second-chances and third and fourth flirtations, have secret weaknesses for both Beckham and Drew. I am a weak man.)
"... different points of view ..." Yeah, this is what's starting to appeal to me about this new era of prospect coverage --- the opportunity to sift through differing, hopefully even conflicting opinions.
I'd be interested to know more about the A's success with pitching --- because this has been going on for, what, five, years now? Was it the spring of '08 when, suddenly, those nutty A's were actually going to fill their entire rotation with a bunch of clearly-not-ready double-AA arms --- Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Dallas Braden? It can't all be scouting. There's a coaching thing going on in Modesto or thereabouts that is, very quietly, producing top-shelf young itching every bit the equal of Tampa Bay's --- and in a fraction of the gestation time.
Don't know about others' opinions, but I always enjoy the added speculations on the players future in the organization, speed of promotion, etc. And, as in the Brock Holt item here, a bit of accompanying skill-and-opportunity context.
Marv Throneberry reference! Yay!
Mark Kotsay has been re-sigend? I don't understand baseball.
My thoughts exactly. You're all fine Americans.
This right here strikes me as an important obvservation.
Disagree with point two. The mission of BP isn't to adhere to the Times Book of Standards. It's to get us closer to the truth of things.
That being said, the player's comments are as obnoxious as the team he used to play for.
Mike Aviles OBP thru April 30: .330
::: shake-off :::
("Forty-five games just isn’t enough time for most personnel changes to make a major impact ..." I'll be sure to pass this on to Joey Votto and my fantasy team.)
I now officially hate these guys as much as I do Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Kruk and Kuip are the best local team I've ever seen or heard.
This is Sutton's second time around with the Braves. The persona is pretty different.
In his first stint --- much of it on TV --- he was, I thought, pretty good. Insightful, analytic and objective. Really good with pitching. But that kind of thing doesn't go over real well in these parts. This was back when Georgia actually cared about the Braves. So he generated lots of talk-radio complaints --- "too L.A.", "cold", "talks too much" --- and was quietly not renewed.
This time around --- radio only --- he's dumbing it down. Folks-ing it up. But he's not dumb. Or folksy. Or funny. He is what he is: in the wrong market.
What I'm saying there is, I don't have much faith in sabre's ability to measure the intangibles of the catcher position. A smart, experienced guy with ability to communicate the nuances of a very nuanced position to a next-generation of talented young catchers is probably a bargain at this price.
This whole thing really brings out the raw fan in me. I really just hate this freakin' team. And not just the team --- I now officially hate each and every player who turns out to be part of this Inner Circle of Creeps, Beckett and Pedroia in particular.
I hope there's a writer out there working on a tell-all, behind-the-scenes book about all this. Because I look forward to despising each and every overrated little chicken-eatin', beer-shlappin', golf-hackin', clubhouse-nappin', 90-IQ little canker sore in it.
I think I'm hot for Cody's mom.
ditto. thanks for the effort here.
How much does the "just missed" list cost?
What I don't get is the need to move McGahee --- especially for the utterly replaceable Qualls. Me, I'd want a little insurance for my "Gaby Sanchez is The Solution Plan".
(Previously useless factoid, recently learned: Hamilton fired skyward rather than violate his Christian principles.)
Y'know, you make a point there. I'd be very interested in an article entitled "Why Aren't the Cardinals in First Place?".
Agreed. Though there is also Brian Dozier.
This thread is an excellent thing. Thanks.
Plus it gives Bochy someone else to start ahead of Brandon Belt.
The chance to get a natural lead off hitter and consistent production in CF for the final two months of a year in which in they have the best shot at a pennant in what, a decade? Wow.
I'd like to hear more from the 'godfather'.
... said cigar salesman James J. Sheridan of Troy, New York.
Are we sure that Rosenthal's call-up is an admission that his future is likely in the bullpen? Seems just as likely, doesn't it, that he's on the Lance Lynn plan?
Looks like a follow-up with a full list would be well-received.
Nice. I've been hoping for a deeper look into Fiers.
Hudson Belinsky. Any relation to the great Bo Belinsky?
Appreciate the inclusion of Grant Green. That's the kind of depth I think many of us are looking for. That said, what are your tea leaves telling you about Nick Franklin?
Which would make an ideal BP article, wouldn't it? What IS the new (next) undervalued asset?
(My nominee these days might be post-prospect/forgotten at AA, AAA/25-year-old-plus productivity.)
Description of Donovan Tate reminded me of Michael Jordan, the baseball player.
Any info you happen to glean on Erasmo Ramirez would much appreciated. Thank you.
And, perhaps more than any other team discussed, the Jays have demonstrated a willingness to make big, dramatic, not-afraid-to-fail trades --- exactly the kind of deals this feature would seem to be chasing.
I liked it.
I think he means Brandon Hicks.
Loved this contribution. Been waiting for someone to come to the defense of Castro. Bring Sharma back sometime.
Carlos Lee, Altuve, Funyun, ha ha ha.
Another observation from the "I saw one game" crowd --- I thought Teheran's start versus Toronto this year was impressive. He dictated for three innings with a tight-spin two-plane breaking ball that was easily the best pitch I'd seen from him in his handful of big league appearances.
(Fourth inning, bases loaded, 4-1 lead, clearly the guy you want in that situation vs. Toronto is Livan Hernandez: 12-4 loss, the big boy gets cut the next morning, and Teheran gets tagged with a line that was largely the fault of his manager.)
In 2011 starts, his fastball was nibbly, his change mushy, and his arm-action readable. This year's version was sharp, confident and observably more mature. My meaningless little opinion is that Julio Teheran is much closer than people realize.
(whoops.) ... and one starting outfielder.
"Michael Bourn will be a free agent in November, and Jason Heyward and many of Atlanta’s young pitchers (Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen, Jonny Venters, Eric O’Flaherty, and Jair Jurrjens) could file for arbitration in February."
All of which leads me to think that this is the year the Braves do something big. With Prado presumably moving to 3B, the Braves could celebrate Christmas with half a rotation, half a bullpen and no starting outfielders. The closing window is starting to squeak.
Yes, catcher is traditionally "an awyful fantasy postiion". But it seems better than this year than it has in recent memory. Lots of useful-if-not-exceptional options out there.
Looks like we could use a Brandon McCarthy update.
As long as we're voting...
I didn't realize Greg Maddux was a roving tutor for the Rangers. That's a little bit awesome.
Fun seeing 'cynosure' used in a sentence. It's been years.
OMG. How many human beings do you Twitter-follow, Ben?
Paul --- An SP question of interest only to a deep, deep keeper-leaguers like myself. Jenry Mejia is on his way back to majors, in the bullpen. Do you have any read on his chances of contending for a rotation spot next spring? Do we know how the Mets regard him long term? Thanks.
I notice that Alfredo Marte isn't listed among Kevin's top 20 Arizona prospects. I'm seeing a power-hitting 23 year old at AA. I'm behind the curve on this guy --- anything you can tell us to fill out the profile a bit, Bradley? Thanks.
Do teams give players --- pitchers in particular --- IQ tests of any kind? A baseball Wonderlic?
Because, the more baseball I watch, the more I suspect that what separates pitchers of same-shelf ability is their smarts --- analytical skills, risk-reward thinking, the capacity for in-game insight.
I rarely hear of "smarts" on the scouting checklist. Yet, clearly, much of what separated Maddux, Palmer, Seaver, Sutton, Schilling and Hershiser from comparably able arms was intelligence.
The Bell Curve being what it is, isn't it therefore true that what impedes some --- not all, some --- very gifted throwers is their inability to outsmart, well, anyone?
Better decision-making can be learned. My question, Jason, is, how often is this addressed by teams. And how often is it addressed effectively?
No apology necessary. I think you're spot on.
And how many points for "honesty" does Pettite get when, seeing the tide turn against McNamee, he essentially retracts previous testimony about seeing Clemens take PEDs? Zero from me.
I think hyprvypr is on the right track here. And I'd dare to say he's throwing straight "fastballs" and "changes" at knuckler-like speeds.
Is anyone really qualified to chart R.A. Dickey's pitches right now?
(Just me? Can't get the Rottino to play.)
(Also, I'd like to go on the record, predicting Jair Jurrjens to K.C. That is all.)
Is Carlos Lee's contract so prohibitive that he's stuck in Houston? 'Cause, offhand, I can't think of many bats that'd be more immediately useful to a bunch of contenders (and contender-lites) who're light at 1B and or LF. Giants, Pirates, Marlins, Dodgers, Indians, Mets, maybe even Cardinals or Rays, all come to mind.
What Matt said. Except for the Wally Pipp part. Fun read.
I'm not convinced that anyone but R.A. Dickey can tell what pitches are being thrown by R.A. Dickey.
I'm confused by the Ka'ahuie demotion. Until reading this, my understanding was that it was done to accommodate paternity leave, i.e., no one else w/ the major league club could man the position in his absence. On the other hand, it was also my understanding that Barton had been sent down, in part, because K.K. had no options left. This guy's whole career confuses me.
9 rbi's in one game? Wow. Anybody know the MiLB record?
Great, great call there, jim.
Three come to mind that I'll throw out there just 'cause they deserve mention.
"Bang the Drum Slowly", Mark Harris. (Made into a 70's movie with Robert DeNiro and Michael Moriarity. Worth Watching.)
"So You Think You Know Baseball", Harry Simmons (A book full of one-page rule-puzzles. Best baseball illustrations ever.)
"Veeck As in Wreck", Bill Veeck (Because there can't be a discussion of baseball books without it.)
Jason --- quick A's question. If not Blackley, who? Are they waiting on Peacock? Any insights into this? Thanks.
Enjoyed this a lot, lines included. (Works, somehow.)
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Yeah, what Jason said. I actually think they're one of the most interesting organizations in baseball.
Thanks for your feedback. My thoughts are similar.
(On Stults --- "does nothing for me" was exactly my reaction. But the Padres have been solid at identifying undervalued arms. There's the park, obviously. And a decent career G/F rate (.70-ish) is, in a VERY small sample this year, Lowe-like.)
Clearly the "it takes both" view is the one most of us share.
What occurs to me here though, is that the distinction between "good scout" and an "eh-scout" will matter more and more. As the game relies more on objective measures, the number of scouts whose eyes, instincts and ability-to-predict allow them to keep pace will necessarily grow scarcer ---and more valuable.
And CS3, what's the over/under on when Jurrjens ends up in K.C.?
Paul --- I'd be interested in your take on some deep league names --- Tyson Ross, Alex White, Scott Feldman, Eric Stults. I'm seeing/hallucinating some upside with each. How about you? Thanks.
Fiers isn't the logical call-up here? A year or two more minor league seasoning than Thornburg. (I don't follow the Milwaukee org. closely, don't really know.)
And Mendoza relieved William Smith last night. Looks like they're hoping Adcock and Smith take those slots, with Mendoza as plan B, no?
K --- With Estrada going down, I'd be interested in any Fiers/Thornburg updates and observations you might have. Thanks.
The same Josh Harrison who entered today 10 for his last 26, with an 8 game hitting streak.
Good one this week, Michael. Several interesting thoughts in this one. Thanks for the quality.
Unless, of course, he hits.
Came on today expressly to give you props, CS3. As I recall, your target date was May 23rd. Very nice.
Enough, even, to make me forgive you for Luis Mendoza.;)
Interesting how The LaHair Phenomenon has changed how I read descriptions like the one here for Yan Gomes.
And it doesn't hurt my feelings one little bit to see a lyin', self-righteous bully get what's coming to him.
I don't see a thing in the world wrong with a reader expressing interest in specific players.
This isn't not a WATG. It's a "Hey, if you come across something noteworthy about this set of players, I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say."
Maybe the conformity police could relax a little bit.
Surprised how much the description of Arenado resembles descriptions of Chisenhall, Do you have a strong pref for one over the other? What should I know that would help separate my understanding of each? Thanks.
CS3 does good work.
Read today -- on a not always reliable source -- where he'd be re-evaulated after two more rehab starts with an eye toward replacing Batista in five-slot. Probably speculation, but, y'know, who else do they have?
I've been looking forward to this, Geoff. Thanks. Very difficult to get good info on the less-popular west-coast teams out here in the east.
Two lingering questions ---- do you see a saturday-night massacre scenario? Or something more incremental, kind of like Seattle did the in second half of last year?
And is the timing of Hudson's release directly linked with the readiness of Gyorko? In other words, might they release Hudson even if they don't think Gyorko is ready yet?
The White Sox bullpen is annoying the heck out of me. Please make fun of them immediately. Same for Miami. I want ridicule.
And yet I really enjoy watching the guy play baseball.
Bill Mueller, Dave Magadan type?
"...housecleaning in San Diego could be coming."
I'd be interested in a Geoff Young piece on what, exactly, this might look like.
Jason, please dissuade me from thinking of Erlin as an early Maddux.
Y'know, I suspect that part of what caught Rob's attentions was that Minnesota seemed so psyched to get him. Scooped him right up, has always dug him, gave him three straight starts with no shortage of other options, etc. Maybe they thought he was Matt Joyce.
And when Humber pitches a perfect game, I think of Lolita.
Insane K/BB ratios are his m.o.
Might be time for Coghlan to join Schafer in Houston.
Good piece, Adam.
Kevin --- Walker higher ceiling than Hultzen?
Thanks for the nod, Michael. Not sure it's a good idea to encourage me, though.
On Pedro Alvarez -- prime candidate, maybe, for an in-depth analysis of what's changed and whether it lasts? Absolutely no idea what to make of this guy. He's a toggle-switch, abysmal to beast. Help us.
And on Gillaspie --- how's about a AAA Bay trade? Taylor, Cowgill or Mitchell plus a Norberto/De Los Santos type for an actual third baseman-who-could-matter and the obligatory young-undervalued-arm?
A question for Cubs followers. (Connected to nothing written here but where else am I going to ask?) Cardenas is having a nice April in Iowa (ah, April in Iowa). Any read/feel for his chances of getting a shot at Ian Stewart's job? Glove-y enough? How's the impatience meter looking at 3B up there? Any responses appreciated.
My problem isn't so much buying low, it's selling high. I get attached. Last year, Pineda, Ogando. This year, Lynn, Sale, Alvarez. Any thoughts, advice, reprimands on that part of it?
I propose a specialness scale. 120 to 180?
(question is for Jonathan as well, obviously)
Tim --- speaking of forgotten arms --- why did Troy Patton get moved to relief after his arm surgery?
Deceptive, solid groundball rates, a top prospect for a good while there, now he's the guy who never gets mentioned but might have the stuff to fill any role from starter to late innings. Is he absolutely out of consideration for a back-end keep-the-ball-in-the-park starter?
Gaudin or Webb? Not Cishek or Mujica?
ESPN has Chris Schwinden as the replacement for Pelfrey, not Carson, citing a Mets tweet. Carson was sent down on the 26th, Schwinden promoted on the 27th.
The Saunders story is kind of a nice one. I mean he wasn't just disappointing the last couple of years, he was scary bad, right? Apparently he even scared himself. Realizing he could be out of the game in a year, he resolved this winter to go down swinging, literally. He got himself a hitting coach --- I forget who --- and rather than embark on a needs-10,000-reps-to-take-hold type swing change, they focused on simple aggression --- making contact with the first good pitch and letting his natural tall-guy levers do the rest.
(As for Gutierrez, I wonder. It's not like Saunders is a liability in CF or that Gutierrez is an offensive upgrade. Given last year's youth surge nicely described in BP-012, I'm not totally convinced Saunders sits when Old News comes off the DL.)
Thanks, Michael. It's a burden, all this deep thinkin' I do. :)
And hey, Kila got himself a GW'er today, too.
Y'know, I thought it was telling that it was Cowgill who went down, not Kila, on the Tyson Ross promotion. They didn't want to do it. They needed him, with Crisp's soggy start. Then they cut Brandon Allen loose altogether. They're certainly intrigued by Kila. And it's a natural fit, isn't it, in a LaHair-West sort of way?
Meanwhile, it looks to me like Barton has changed his swing. He looks like Edmonds-lite now --- with a new back-foot, for-the-fences uppercut, as if he's intentionally trying to put some power into his game and change the way the front office perceives him.
I know it's nothing and nobody cares but you, me and Bob Melvin --- but I can't recall the last time a team tried to time-share two left-handed first-basemen. Can you?
I wonder if Melvin loses sleep over this.
No doubt the ESPN numbers are due to massive amount of dead leagues. I play in a couple of public-leagues every year just because I was in the mood to do some drafting back in March --- and those things are ghost towns by June 1.
Interesting thought. If true, I wonder if that'd be grounds enough for the Angels to do a breach of contract thing, should it ever come to that.
Deep League Torment: I have actually lost sleep trying to figure out this Barton - Ka'aihue thing.
In golf, it's a premature uncoiling, a disconnect, an out of sequence arms/hands move at the top of the swing.
The key to power and accuracy in golf is the retained angle -- the 90-ish-degrees between left arm and shaft that is maintained well into the downswing. Casting is the opposite of that. The club shaft is "cast" from the top, power is dissipated, path is lost.
Because the golf swing is as much a throwing action as it is hitting, I take the baseball version of this to be a similar disconnect, where shoulder and arm trigger early, before legs, hips and core have fully uncoiled.
All throwing and hitting action moves from the ground up, from lower body to upper, from big muscles to small, weight shift first, hands last. It is a pulling action, from the ground up. A cast is a flail, a pushing action from the top down.
One more point. Casting isn't just a loss of power. It's a loss of path. In golf, it's only a slight exaggeration to say that power IS path. Efficiency of path results in power AND accuracy, simultaneously. The path on which power is most easily transferred from coil to uncoiling to lever to release* is also the path from which the ball is most likely to find its target.
Point being, a pitcher or golfer who's casting isn't just weak. He's weak and wild.
("release" has slightly different meanings in golf and ball, but, y'know, you get the idea.)
Looking forward to scout comments on Derek Norris, Michael Taylor, Drew Smiley and Joe Wieland. (Not asking, just saying.)
Yep, BP is playing some good ball this April.
A nice walk in the park, this one. Particularly the nod to Krukow, my absolute favorite color guy in MLB broadcasting.
I've heard 'em in every market many times over the past two years and he and Kuiper are the easiest listening out there.
Please excuse what's probably a stupid question --- but I can't find this "percentage of pitches swung at" statistic. Can anyone direct me? Thanks.
Yeah, I thought maybe. Thanks.
I'm not familiar with the intricacies of MLB Waiver rules. Does the fact that Oakland landed both Thompson and Hughes mean that Houston passed on both?
The evolution of Norris, Taylor and Mitchell impossible to ignore, Peacock looking sharp, Parker and Ross already up ---interesting days in Sacramento.
Will Pedro Figueroa rate a mention? Not in the BP2012 and I'm curious.
"The Call-Up" is exactly the thing I've been missing since CK left TA. My new fave feature.
Whoa, sparky. One parenthetical comment does not "lazy journalism" make. It's not as if he built the piece around it.
No Michael Saunders? He's a changed man.
I'd be interested in what the scouts might be saying about M. Taylor's and D. Norris' unusual starts.
Yes, thanks for this one.
By "low ceiling", I take it you mean Seager's lack of power, not lack of productivity. He's gone from hi-A to the majors in less than two years with OPS' of .924, .840 and .1029 along the way. He'd taken the job from Figgins by the end of last year. This year, he's 7/16 with 5 rbi and 3 multi-hit games. And he's Duda-like --- one of those dudes who just looks like he was born to hit line drives.
Yeah, there's a squeeze when Carp comes back. And Figgins looks like he might actually be a professional baseball player again. But how does a team as punchless as Seattle keep a 23 year old bat like this out of the lineup?
I see the short-term positional down side --- but I'm also hard-pressed to name five players more under-rated right now than Kyle Seager.
Enthusiastic thumbs-up for upping the daily usefulness of BP. Nothing in the world wrong with giving readers a reason to check-in every day. Good for advertisers, good for readers, good for BP.
I've long thought BP could use a "non-obvious news and notes of immediate interest" type feature. If that's what this is becoming, thumbs up.
Kevin, I take it from this that, if there are rotation call-ups in San Diego, it's likely to be Wieland first, then Kelly, though the latter is the one in AAA? And that Erlin is firmly behind both, probably a full minor league season away? Am I reading you correctly here?
To others more familiar with the Pods than I --- what's your take on front office thinking? How much leash do Moseley and Richards have? Is this a marinate year for the new arms or is the team ready to go as soon as they are? And is it a sure thing that Bass gets first nod if a slot opens up?
Any and all tea-leaf readings appreciated.
Would it be an interesting TA feature to run down the more unlikely and first-time players to make opening-day rosters?
Other not impossibles that could contribute ...
Luis Mendoza becomes this year's Ryan Vogelsong, or better.
A rejuvenated Michael Saunders actually replaces Gutierrez with a better bat.
McGehee and a Jones/Hague platoon give the Pirates league-average-ish production at the corners. And Jeff Karstens, it turns out, actually did turn a corner.
Also, Fiers was sent down. Patience or bail?
On Erlin (and Wieland and Kelly) --- dig him, drafted him, but now am starting to second-guess myself. I worry that this is a holding-pattern year. A year in which The Pods are content to appear-to-be-competing but are really just letting the new kids marinate.
What do you think? Is the mediocrity of Moseley, Richards and Bass already baked in --- the price they're willing to pay to get to 2013 and beyond? Reading between the lines, I get the feeling this might be KG's take.
Can these guys pitch themselves out of a job or do Erlin et al not also have to force their way into one?
I know all the talk is for Marlon Byrd to go to Washington (or Mets or Cleveland), and I know he's only Marlon Byrd --- but, offhand, I can't think of a better affordable fit for the Braves.
Bethca Carlos Pena isn't this team's first-baseman by the end of the year.
Sadly, I'm afraid it's going to be Magic Johnson.
Am I the only person in America digging Endy Chavez?
(just checked. brewers still in NL)
Love to have me some $2 Logan Morrison and 31 cent Brandon Belt.
Sure might pick Toronto to most outperform its PECOTA. Miami 87, Cincinatti 86, Cleveland 81, Toronto 77.
Love this stuff. Nice job, Adam. Two more who come to mind.
Jermaine Mitchell, OF, Oak. Have you seen this guy's OBP's? Plus TAv's of .347 and .286, AA and AAA last year. Seems a natural target for Luhnow and Houston. (Or for a Nationals team pretty desperate for a CF.) Free Jermaine Mitchell.
Matt Hague, 1B, Pit. (.309/.372/.457) Is it incontestably clear that the Pirates are better off with Garrett (.243/.321/.433) Jones than with a Jones/Hague platoon?
Another nice one, Jason.
And it brings to mind the mini-discussion last week from Jay Jaffe's NL rotation-ratings article --- how projected WARP is based largely on pitcher independent outcomes (Fair Run Avg.) and its limitations.
My question: is there a pitcher-rating based on something like FRA that also incorporates these next-level insights into LOB/BABIP, FIP/ERA disparities?
Since I'm guessing not, isn't this a stat calling out to be invented?
And, speaking of PECOTA-loves-Nolasco, check out BP2012. Has Ricky with a 44% chance of having a breakout season. It's the highest I've found so far.
A less risky move might be to slot Guzman at 1B and move Alonso to LF, since he was at least auditioned there last fall.
On Bailey/Chapman/Leake et al. Are we so sure that Arroyo is guaranteed a slot in that rotation? "Undeserving" doesn't do justice to how undeserving he is.
Thanks for responding. I dig it.
thanks for the response.
Love the matrix. Great piece of work.
Question. Depth Charts shows Alexi Ogando in a set-up role. PECOTA has him as a swing-man. Do any of us really know how he's going to be used --- and if so, can we tell me?
I'm intrigued, CS3 ... and confused.
May 25th. Is this the date that year-of-service turns over for rookies? Are you saying that Adams will have forced himself into St. Louis by then?
Or is this the randomly chosen date by which time Jay-without-Craig forces Beltran to center(?), Berkman to right and Adams to St. Louis?
Am ( the only one surprised to see Ubaldo a whole shelf above Moore, Hellickson and Pineda?
I don't follow the Rays real closely --- but did McGee pitch well enough last year to be a presumptive set-up guy? I thought he was closer to Loogy-land.
That is one bad defensive lineup. Wow.
Batting second, A.J. PIerzynski ---on base percentage two ninety nine.
So the theory here is that Crow's conversion to starter doesn't take?
Is it established fact that Ogando will set up? Or is this suposition?
No DH plate appearances for Mark Trumbo????
Time to include Kila?
Allen Craig: RF 20% (150 PA), 1B 10% (71 PA), LF 10% (70 PA), 2B 10% (70 PA), CF 5% (34 PA)
I count 245 AB's there.
150 AB's for Allen Craig? Due back late April?
"...$12 Francisco Liriano, $9 David Price, $9 Phil Hughes, $12 John Danks, $8 Rich Harden, and $9 Scott Kazmir."
This isn't a typo?
Betcha Medlen pitches more than 47 innings.
I REALLY enjoyed this piece. I'd enjoy seeing a similar slant on all the divisions. Nice job.
Thanks for the response. Bauer, AZ. Cowart, LAA. Choice, Oak. Odorizzi, KC --- these were the names that popped out at me first cruise through. (You can find 'em by narrowing search to "on waivers".)
Rob --- Have you seen the batch of new minor-leaguers being added to the player pool on ESPN? They come off waivers in most leagues tonight/tomorrow. Having failed to do my own due-diligence so far, was wondering if any names --- not just OF's --- caught your eye for deep keeper leagues. Thanks.
(Also would like to hear an answer to this.)
(Interesting write-up on Lombardozzi in this year's Prospectus for those who, like me, have whiffed on him up until now.)
Wow.I've never heard of this kind of thing before. Is this more common in independent-league ball than I'm aware of?
Logan Morrison is becoming one of my favorite baseball players.
(For the record, it's my understanding he was instructed NOT to attend that season-ticket holders event.)
thanks for the heads-up on that one.
AND she played in sandals.
Didn't she once almost get Snoopy in like a five-for-one trade?
Cards followers, help me out here ... what's the thinking at 3B? Is there a clear preference within the organization for Carpenter or for Cox? Can either play another position? Is it assumed that they'll try to move Freese? And what's the general time-frame on this, y'think? Thanks.
Definitely think Peppermint Patty could take Ed Wade.
Bit of a quibble on a sub-point here. Not necessarily disagreeing with the Sean Rodriguez point, but seeing a .367 OBP anywhere near his name --- well, it may be technically correct, but it clearly ain't right.
Brignac hit the bench around July 3rd. After a 1-2 week Johnson/Rodriguez platoon, S.R. got the job. In that time --- since Brignac's benching --- Sean Rodriguez has posted slashes of .232/.315/.341 in July, and .118/.211/.118 in August.
He's had 23 AB's since his last base on balls. That was Saturday, a week ago. Sean Rodriguez has a career OBP of .300. Nothing's changed in the last two weeks.
And now Nick Evans.
Sherill's fast ball looks unhittable at times. His once unhittable curve, though, often looks like hey-here-it-comes-lobby-change-up. It's weird.
Nice round up. Haven't seen this kind of look at trading deadline before.
Totally agree. Thought I'd never find a one-read roundup. Thanks for the making the effort, Steph.
Just heard Buster Olney say that the Braves could get Beltran right now if they would give up "one of four" young pitchers. Presumably it's Teheran, Vizcaino and ... who? Delgado? C. Perez? Oberholtzer? Minor? Beachy?
I'd call it "selling high". Or, in the case of Upton, "selling as high as we can 'cause we're secretly convinced it's only going lower".
Notice that Shields is shopped only when Niemann returns healthy and effective AND Alex Cobb establishes himself as a real live American League starting pitcher AND Matt Moore announces his readiness AND option 7/8, Alex Torres remains ready to be a back-end starter for half a dozen teams right now.
Meanwhile, Shields is easily the best starter "available" right now. Thus, the Rays alone are learning what the market will bear. Who's willing to overpay, and how much? Is St. Louis willing to come off of Carlos Martinez? The Indians, Pomeranz? What's a Rasmus worth? You'll never find out by shopping Wade Davis.
Big difference between shopping a guy and trading him. The worst that can happen is that they gain lots of insight into how other teams value their assets. And who knows, maybe the team that's always rebuilding gets prized pieces --- at a juncture where losing Shields hurts them least. It's a very Rays tactic; it's smart.
As for Upton --- I think they may think he's a year away from becoming baseball's flashiest fourth outfielder.
I mean really how much better is BJ Upton than, say, Omar Infante?
(Upton has speed, Infante plays the infield. I'm just saying, how much difference is there, really?)
B.J. turns 27 in August. This may be the last summer of his career in which anyone thinks of B.J. Upton as anything more than a very interesting brand of ordinary. I'd be shoppin' the hell out of him too.
This goober's guess: Shields stays, Upton goes.
"Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late." --- Branch Rickey
"...the Braves are not really a major threat to miss the playoffs at this point..."
It's July 25th.
Michael --- I don't follow the O's closely enough to guess at Reimold's playing time going forward. Got a clearer picture there for me?
(diggin' this Mike Fast guy)
Speaking for the un-mathed washes here --- simple comprehensibility does matter. I'm just not likely to rely on a stat I can't explain in conversation. (And SIERA, before this controversy ever sparked, would've been my prime example.)
Second, and more important, if it can't be explained in conversation it'll never gain acceptance beyond the sabremetric stove. No fair complaining about the obstinacy of a thick-headed baseball mainstream if the stats you're pushing on them are beyond explanation.
My guess? The surprise of Cobb, the successful return of Niemann, the emergence of Moore --- it's given 'em an opportunity to see if someone wants to overpay for Shields. I doubt he goes anywhere and I doubt the Rays have ever been looking for mere fair-value for him.
"The Braves are looking for right-handed relief help"
This could be the least sexy, most important bullpen story of the pennant chase and post-season. As many close games as this team plays --- as wholly reliant as they are on the OFlaherty/Venters/Kimbrel Experience ---as over-tweaked as that set of young ligaments and tendons is --- with the dearth of even replacement-value righties behind 'em --- this may indeed be the scariest bullpen in baseball.
On the question of Overbay and first base, the pennant race almost doesn't matter. It's madness (madness, I say) that Lyle has a starting job in the major leagues --- never mind on a contender.
In related news, Wily Mo got cut today.
Kind of bummed the Carrera link didn't take me to a picture of Kevin's cat.
D-Backs desperate for a starter.
my head hurts
(A non-sequiter for this posting but I don't know where else to go for feedback.)
Arizona watchers --- am I wrong or has Brandon Allen totally upgraded his swing? I've only seen a couple of at bats since the call-up, but his approach looks awesome. Tall, quiet hands, nice eye, imposing --- and the swing, what I saw of it ---- wow. Connected, efficient and downright quick. I remember a totally different ballplayer from two years ago --- big stride, pronounced loop in the trigger, and a long loose action with lots of miss in it.
What's happened here? Anyone?
Call the Pirate staff 'mediocre' if you want to, but I'd encourage you to at least put some eyeballs on Karstens first. Watch him pitch. He's flat foolin' people.
Since April 17th --- sixteen starts --- Jeff Karstens has allowed two or fewer earned runs in fourteen of 'em. (In the other two, just three runs, one of those vs. Boston.) In June alone, six starts, seven earned runs.
And last week, an 82-pitch shutout. Nobody's saying he IS Maddux but he's certainly evolving into a pitcher of that mold.
The more appropriate like-a-Brave comparison may be Hudson & Lowe. His GB/FB is .80 this year. Hard-pressed to believe all the credit there goes to Neil Walker, Ronnie Cedeno, Josh Harrison and Branden Wood.
And for the record, the Pirates pitching coach is Ray Searage. Here a couple of links for more info on him.
Ditto. Treat of the day.
(Described by one scount as a "pie-thrower". No idea what that means but I can't get it out of my head.)
Nice roundup, this one. Thanks.
Also, Alex Cobb pitched quite nicely replacing Niemann. I'd be surprised if Moore gets the first shot here.
Thought sure I'd see Travis Fryman.
Got an article reminding me not to get too caught up in 1997 Cactus League results. Good advice then, good advice now.
And to critics of this column --- note this Cubs update. Yet another meaningful item that appears in this column a good week or two before it becomes "news" somewhere else.
Just because the (purported) Derby effect doesn't apply to everyone doesn't mean it doesn't apply to anyone.
Kevin makes a great point here. One that very much applies to Sutcliffe.
This is the third year in a row I've sprung for the Extra Innings TV package. (80 games a week, etc.) I've heard all the color guys from all the teams, fifty times over.
Few color guys are as prepared, articulate and easy-to-listen-to as Sutcliffe. Most are likeable enough dudes who rely on a researcher's stat package and their 20 years in the game to do a passable three-hour stroll-through every day.
If it's real insight you're looking for, start critiquing producers, not announcers. They're the ones who have the ability to insert salient stats and features into the discussion and thus contour the overall broadcast. 53-year old ex-relievers aren't going to change baseball broadcasting. Lonely young behind-the-scenes guys --- who give a damn every single day --- will.
But more to Kevin's point, there's a difference between being a good announcer and one who a BP-er might appreciate. Burt Blyleven, for example, brings his A-game every time out. A brainy guy. Especially good at pitch sequencing and situational subtleties. A top-tier in-game analyst. But not real listenable. Stentorian and off-putting. Mark Grace, meanwhile, isn't half the smarty-pants that B.B. is --- but he's fun and, ultimately, better. (Yeah, I know, McCarver is more Blyleven than Gracie. Just sayin'...)
Other quicky throw-ins ... Non-Minnesota fans missed a treat this week: Tom Kelly in the color chair. He was droll, dry, self-effacing, subtle and a better broadcaster with each passing day. "We know a guy (pitcher) is ready when he can go high and inside and low and outside on demand." ... Hawk Harrelson, just a few days ago: "Let me tell you. That Moneyball stuff is the biggest fraud in the history of this game." (That aside, I think he's the best A-chair out there.) ... My vote for best baseball broadcast team: Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow, Giants. Perfect together. Savvy, great voices, their inseparable inflection always a glove-fit for the moment, theirs is, far and away, the most pleasing two-man cadence in the biz. And there's nobody better at captioning crowd shots. Laugh-out-loud funny at times. ... Most Under-rated: Joe Simpson, Braves.
It's been awhile since I had a date.
Great answer, thanks.
Excluding Dominguez, Jason, which of these would you guess we'll see first at the major league level? Or, to put it another way, M.D. aside, do any project for 2012?
(my bad, I should've known that wouldn't format. sorry.)
Derek Lowe's ESPN player card
DATE OPP IP H ER BB K DEC
7/5 Col 5.1 5 3 3 4 W
6/29 @Sea 6.0 4 1 3 5 W
6/24 @SD 5.2 8 5 2 3 L
6/18 Tex 5.0 7 3 0 2
6/13 @Hou 5.1 8 5 3 2 L
6/8 @Fla 6.2 2 0 2 5
6/3 @NYM 6.0 7 3 1 1
5/28 Cin 3.1 7 5 5 2
5/22 @LAA 6.0 5 3 5 5 L
5/17 Hou 7.0 5 1 0 4
(implies above, not below)
The Tango critique seems based on where BP sets replacement-value. Regardless of that, you'd still expect individual player-rankings to be constant relative to each other.
As JDLloyd implies below, there's got to be something wrong with the computation itself, doesn't there?
(Am I the only who gets a "Not Found" when clicking the "More.." under MORE VALUE PICKS and under MORE BY ROB MCQUOWN, below?)
Rob -- who would you stash right now, Blanks or Goldschmidt?
(And was Presley not playing RF in AAA? Am I wrong in thinking he moves there when Tabata returns?)
I don't follow Houston closely, but I can't imagine there's much enthusiasm for retaining Ed Wade among those who do. Quite the opposite, this is a one-time opportunity for new ownership to hit the reset and make the fan-base believers again.
Fun and interesting. Be nice to see BP do more little get-the-readers-involved things like this.
Have the White Sox gotten enough production out of their non- Adam Dunns that "White Sox, DH" isn't included? 'Cause, man, that's getting scary.
(Carlos Martinez was promoted to Hi-A last week)
Thanks, yondaime. Helpful answer.
And I wouldn't bet a ton of money that he doesn't have impact before season's end.
Unlikely, I know. Beachy and Minor are a solid 5 and 6 in the rotation. But all it takes is an injury, a couple of bad outings, a spot start or two and suddenly they can't send him down.
The only reason I bring this up is that are few teams as unafraid to take a talented kid into the playoffs as the Braves.
(And it's probably just me, but I thought Endy Chavez was impressive enough that some team out there would be willing to give up a bullpen arm to see what he looks like toward the top of their lineup.)
Word is, Davis' LF audition in Round Rock has been a success. He's to be inserted there with Hamilton moving to CF.
Not sure I understand what you mean by "dump trades".
Was Greg Maddux a known-ace when he came up?
Don't you think one of the surest bets to make a pre-deadline trade is the Braves? (OF, 3B/1B and RHRP) All the close games are already burning out Venters and, soon, Kimbrel. Another injury to Prado, Chipper, Freeman or Uggla and they start to look like the Giants-East.
(I'd love to see 'em get Chris Davis, but, purely guessing, a Chris Denorfia, Lorenzo Cain or David DeJesus is probably more likely.)
Robinson Chirinos? (.273/.385/.515 last 10 games)
(speaking of which ... the other Twin Peaks beauty, Lara Flynn Boyle, after recent plastic surgery)
(apologies for the non-baseball, gossipy interjection but, man, this is tragic.)
Note that they faced arguably the most vulnerable starter of the night ... Bruce Chen.
My thought exactly.
Bill --- I'm a believer in Homer Bailey thanks to your comments a few weeks ago. And his outing versus Baltimore did nothing to dissuade me. I saw flashes of dominance before the big bad inning. Just shakin' off the rust.
What is starting to concern me is the recent Scherzer shlump. Four of his last six starts, he's given up 5 runs or more. But his walks aren't up --- his strikeouts are down: 15 in his last 23.2 innings.
So,what's the deal, y'think? Velocity down? Just another nasty patch like last year's, all part of the learning process? Or, longer term, is Max Scherzer becoming the new Ricky Nolasco?
In other words, keeper league, you a buyer or a seller?
You're right, esp about the age/experience/usefulness difference between Montero and Salty. That wasn't a great parallel. But I think there's validity to the larger point I was trying to make. The Sox succeed by looking forward, seeing opportunities for future upside, while the Yankees seem anchored in what worked three years ago.
Yeah, I do see what you --- and others --- are saying: self-sabotage, "quitter" label, over-estimating his own value, etc.
I just wanted to toss out the idea that there'll likely be several front-offices predisposed to taking the opposite side of any disagreement involving Mike Rizzo.
Secondly --- something I didn't realize until the Johnson signing --- Davey was already on board as the dreaded "special consultant".
Doesn't it seem clear now that it was this that Riggleman was responding to? Saying, essentially, "Am I really the man here, or am I just a placeholder for this star-power guy you've got lurking around the clubhouse?" He forced Rizzo's hand. That's all.
And didn't Rizzo show his true colors, criticizing Riggleman for his "lack of loyalty" to the team when it was exactly the team's lack of loyalty to its manager that sparked all of this?
Nickus --- thank you for that. Total whiff on my part.
Be fun to see some video of this guy.
You imply an important point here --- made explicit by others below --- that the Yankees judgement and Brian Cashman's judgement are two different, often contradictory, things. Not being a daily Yankee watcher, that's a nuance I'm glad to be clued into.
But the upshot of it all, the sum of the actions taken by whoever is making the final decisions, is still a hodge-podge of half-measures, second-guesses and reluctance, isn't it? (The Joba chronicle being the quintessential example.)
You're exactly right, too, in citing what the Red Sox would have done instead. And therein lies the answer to your question about Montero. Faced with a similar problem behind the plate, Boston went out and got themselves a lesser-Mentero. Jarod Saltalamacchia.
Whether or not he's the answer back there isn't the point. The point is, success or failure, every move the Sox make is guided by a plan for the future. With the Yankees, it's just the opposite --- an inability to let go of the past.
We all miss you, CK. But no one more than TA.
Worth noting in a handcuff discussion: AAA closer Jose Ceda was called up last weekend. (0.89 ERA in New Orleans, 40/10 K to BB in 30 innings.)
This Chase d'Arnaud thing confuses me. Not because he was called up, but because Josh Harrison was sent down --- after hitting .283.
If they wanted to see d'Arnaud at SS, why hold on to Pedro Ciriaco? It smells like this was more about Harrison than d'Arnaud or Presley. Since Transaction Analysis doesn't cover this kind of thing anymore, I'm wondering if any Pirates watchers (John?) have a better read on this?
Really? I'm not sure that Riggleman's stock has ever been higher.
It's not like Rizzo is held in the highest regard among other GM's. After the Edwin Jackson/Adam Dunn bait-and-switch with Kenny Williams last year, and the crazy Werth contract, I'd think that Riggleman's agent is having a lot of very friendly conversations today.
What he said.
Guzman just up for inter-league DH-ing, no?
International banks knowingly disperse upwards of a trillion dollars in toxic instruments onto the world economy --- and ignorant home-buyers are "equally" to blame?
You can't be serious with this.
Let me guess. In the little ecosystem we call planet earth, global warming was caused by what? Cows and their irresponsible farting?
Since this is an ESPN-first article, it probably won't generate a ton of response here --- but I think this is the most thought-provoking thing I've read about the Yankees in awhile. Fear of angering Posada, fear of angering Jeter, fear of exposing prospects --- there is something weird and wuss-like going on with this team.
1. The 'creative tier route' is not 'dreaded'. It's fun. More fun than rankings, I think.
2. No, I don't remember the second rule. Seriously, I don't.
Check out Jason Parks' 1B-review from a couple of days ago.
Of the two, I prefer Kevin Goldstein.
And, while I'm at it --- A's fans: With Barton going down, has the clock on Chris Carter officially begun?
A question for Padres-watchers. This sudden bounty of third-sackers --- Headley finally looking strong, Darnell ripping at AA, Gyorko ready for a promotion --- what's the thinking there? Is Darnell considered a real contender for the job next year? If so, does Headley move back to the outfield? Longer term, is Gyorko considered the best of the three? Or is it still too early to wonder aloud about any of this?
Strange coincidence or meaningful comparison?
Chris Coghlan .230/.296/.368
Atlanta Braves .238/.306/.383
By my count --- Braves, Dodgers, Marlins, Cubs, Pirates, Giants, Diamondbacks, O's, Indians, Twins maybe, and every other team in AL West --- all have problems and/or soft spots that a Chris Davis could surely help address. If not outright solve.
Are Nate McLouth, Freddie Freeman, James Loney, Tony Gwynn, Greg Dobbs, Carlos Pena, Lyle Overbay, Garrett Jones, Aaron Rowand, Cody Ross, Juan Miranda, Matt LaPorta and, yes, Justin Morneau, all so awesomely productive that you wouldn't want to see what Davis' swing would look like in your ball park for three months?
(Also --- wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Rangers are in fact looking for starting pitching in return, thus limiting Ogando's innings with a move to set-up duty.)
Still not clear on this --- did he resign, or was he forced to?
one of the great overlooked sports movies. highly recommended.
Still not clear --- did he initiate the resignation, or did the Marlins?
(And who IS Fabio? Don't get that part.)
What Greg said.
And a question for those who follow Toronto more closely than I --- is the thinking that Snider, if/when he returns, moves to LF, Patterson to RF and Bautista to 3B? Or Snider to LF/DH, Patterson to 4th-OF/DH and Lawrie should be ready by then?
That was embelittling.
My thought exactly. Recall A.A. comments, early after demotion, to the effect, "we don't care about his numbers in AAA, we want to see him keeping bat and hands inside the ball."
(Though, now that I think about it, sliding has become a lost art. I love those fadeaway-toe-to-the-bag slides you see in old footage.)
Nappy Lajoie: well-known bad slider.
Worth noting, re: Valencia? Luke Hughes, 12 for his last 29 and stealing starts.
And, Scott Sizemore is starting to look a bit peppery, no?
So managers are using a spreadsheet to create lineups. Am I the last fan in America to realize this?
On the Chavez Ravine/Albuquerque thing --- is that baseball's biggest park-disparity, AAA to majors? Do the Dodgers see it as a problem?
Thanks for the Minda Haas link. Glad to know that about the guy.
And it's not like Miranda's gotten a real shot yet.
Is there anyone in Reno not hitting .365?
Endy Chavez is simply a better baseball player than Julio Borbon.
This is fun. More please.
No discussion of Bougeois, who looked like he had a shot at the 2B job before his injury?
Michael, you feelin' Matt Carpenter? How about Josh Harrison?
I like that question.
"... easy plus fastball and two secondary pitches that are at least average."
In this context, Kevin, do "plus" and "average" mean as-compared-to-where-he-should-be-developmentally or do they mean
(I'm sure this has been covered before, probably many times, but it just now occurs to me to ask.)
It occurs to me that you might have a baseball novel in you. Ever knock that idea around?
good idea, this. seconded.
Ditto. (Also interested in Geovany Soto, Delmon Young, Nick Swisher, Gordon Beckham, if you're of a mind to reprise this.)
A lefty whose curve has a 1-to-7 bite? (I assume we're talking clock-dial here.) That hurts my elbow just thinking about it.
Is this kind of back-up action unusual, esp. for a curve?
Do we think Derek Norris is Tettleton-y enough to play some (or a lot) of first base?
Totally agree on the bags thing. Also, nails. Kind of amazing the amount of time and effort they'll put into some purty nails.
As for this K and BB thing --- help me out here, if you would.
Is Tom saying that K/IP and BB/IP are, together, better predictors than K/BB? And am I reading you correctly, that there's a pre-existing difference of opinion on this between Tango and James? (If so, I'd like to read more. Links?)
I like this about the Braves. They care about their players. It becomes apparent that Minor and Teheran can handle the fill-in starts, they let Lopez move on to a better opportunity.
Deep deep value pick nominee --- Joey Devine. With Bailey always an elbow-ouch from going DL again, Wuertz' slider suddenly bloopy, the Justin Duchscherer of closers is just a Balfour away.
Deep deep deep value pick nominee --- Louis Coleman. They trust him.
Also, H-rod got the recent promotion to late-inning duty, maybe ahead of Burnett.
Two Dick Dietz references in two days.
I didn't mean a Reyes rental. Was just asking if --- at this crucial juncture in their maturity --- a longer-term commitment to a such a singular, centerpiece talent wouldn't be an interesting investment for them. A leader for the new look royals.
don't think it was.
Speaking of Blackmon, I'd be interested to know what the Rockies winning percentage is with Fowler hitting lead-off.
Really good point (#22) about Bonds, pre-PED. Didn't realize.
Andrew Oliver promoted. Some reports indicate that he and not Wilks will take Coke's slot.
Pujols hamstring theory is interesting.
Totally goofy to think ... Royals? Would a package like Alcides, Aviles, Dwyer, Jeffress --- and the price of a Reyes contract --- be unthinkable for them?
Pualino's high-in-the-zone stuff never seemed like a fit with Coors field. Oakland, on the other hand ...
So, are we diggin' Vance Worley?
92% of America has an oblique injury.
Two real bad outings to begin the season; some signs of progress, say the numbers, in the last three.
Agreed. Really enjoyable read.
I notice that all but two of Bautista's comparables are pitchers. Only Bruton and Howard were position-players and, in both cases, it was denied opportunity that created the post-thirty disproportion.
It's not just that Bautista 2.0 (3.0?) is so much better than he used to be --- it's that he is suddenly, arguably, better than anyone else playing the game.
Bonds' asterisks aside, have there ever been mid-career non-sequiter spikes of comparable scale before?
(Jim Konstanty? Ted Kluszewski? Norm Cash? George Foster?)
Twenty years ago or so, Bill James said that the only predictor of future pitching performance he could find was K/BB ratio --- and that it was not particularly reliable. Has ensuing research unearthed anything more useful?
Fair to add Mark Wohlers to the Blass class? Don't know that it was ever diagnosed, as such, but the symptoms were the same.
Speaking of flashes and hot-streaks and inevitable returns to the norm --- I don't know where else to ask this --- has there ever, EVER, been a mid-career change-of-form like the one we're witnessing from Jose Bautista?
Agreed. Big fan of below-the-surface features.
Been wondering about this myself. But Jeffress is so infrequently used and rarely in hi-leverage, and Collins has been scary erratic at points.
ohhhh. that does make more ... uh, okay, anyway, I'll be ... uh ...
Saw a Kevin Towers quote today re: Wily Mo --- something to the effect of 'We're very aware of what he's doing in Reno. Problem is, what we really need up here is a left-handed bat.'
Parra, Mirandyan, Drew, Montero, K. Johnson --- now the resistance to B.A --- just doesn't add up, does it?
Is it possible that he's trying to move Brandon Allen for a young arm he likes and doesn't want to put another 'fail' on the kid's resume? Only thing I can think of.
24 stolen bases in four games???? Seriously, how is that even possible?
Similar curiosity. My brief reading on him suggested more-than-Borbonish power.
Just posted on Rotowire ...
Scott Boras, the agent for Eric Hosmer, told Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports Thursday that he has no immediate plans to discuss a long-term extension with the Royals.
Odd timing for the comments, considering Hosmer has played in just five major league games to this point. He's an exciting hitter and should do well for himself down the road financially, but this story can go into hibernation for a good two or three years.
Source: Jeff Passan on Twitter May 12, 11:20 PM
thank you for covering one of the lesser transactions.
could you be more specific?
7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 9 K
Please forgive me for the return volley here, as I've already made my case above.
I did enjoy the Brandon Wood exercise. Well-researched, crisply-written --- polished even --- it was altogether fun and informative. It's obvious now why you were chosen to fill the previous owner's shoes.
Moreover, I totally sympathize with your desire to make T.A. your own. But I'm getting a bit of Bill James Abstract here --- using one nugget for an extended, fascinating and totally off-topic essay on whatever happens to interest him.
Problem is, that's not what this is. This is nuts and bolts duty. It's grunt work that, yes, a very good writer turn into something grand. But turn-of-phrase and medieval references weren't what made the former T.A great. It was depth of knowledge, research and on-topic insight. I seriously doubt the author knew who Sam Demel was when he got traded to Arizona last year. But by the time that week's T.A. came out, there wasn't anyone around here who didn't.
And that's the job, isn't it? A study in Sam Demels. That's why Transaction Analysis even exists, right? To familiarize us with names we don't know and to explore the ripple effects when those names change places.
Transaction Analysis is news. What we've gotten here is isn't.
My point? I think it's disingenuous to say that you "can't get to everything". The person who wrote this never intended to get to everything and clearly didn't try.
This has really become more of a Transaction Retrospective, hasn't it?
Of the transactions covered here, two happened within the last five days. The following have received no notice at all.
Jerry Sands gets the call up a week ago, starts every game since. (More SB's than HR's?) Maybe the Dodgers aren't brain- dead. This isn't worth a mention?
Meanwhile, changes in the Minnesota bullpen--- and a call-up named Hoey gets immediate high-leverage action. Whoey?
Neftali Feliz, down. Cody Eppley up. AAA Closer, Texas reliever of the year vs. two forty year-olds: any chance the kid closes? Are we sure?
KC youth-movement begins in the bullpen --- and gets even younger with Louis Coleman. Man, look at those arms --- please.
Linebrink falters as Moylan's replacement. So does Asencio. Braves call up a kid who throws from down under. Lurking problems in the Braves pen?
Pagan injured. Nieuwenhuis' shot? Nope, here comes a Pridie. Hey, he hit a home run. Uh, what's a Pridie?
Parnell, Isringhausen, Hughes, Lueke, Descalso, Fransisco, I. Stewart, Cecil --- and the last we've heard from R.J. Anderson was a week ago on a super-star contract.
I enjoy an extended look at Brandon Wood's awfulness as much as the next guy. What I would enjoy more is some actual Transaction Analysis.
agreed. replaced by a proven closer and, notice, he's been moved to the end of the bullpen --- blowout work --- to get right again.
Think he's also being added for his upside, of which Snyder has, uh, less.
Interesting. This does temper my enthusiasm for Gordon. But there's also the eye-test. He looks comfortable. And his swing just looks great. Brett-ish, even. More to the point, his bat looks like it's in the hitting-zone a long time. My (faint) recall from previous years is of a handsy, flippy, disconnected action. I see a different baseball player here.
Interesting point. Nevertheless, his contributions come in bunches.
next week ...
Brandon McCarthy (1% ESPN/don't know about Yahoo but he is very tall)
Chris Davis will break out. Someday. For someone. He's just too good not to.
And, it should be noted, Juan Rivera: 3 for 44, no XBH, no RBI.
In Defense of The Willie Bloomquist Pick-Up.
He's a short-burst play. When he's good, he's pretty darned ... okay. More specifically, prior to last year, his SB/AB ratio had to be among the best in baseball.
And, as hot streaks from bench-players go, his was guaranteed to be allowed to run its course. With Parra in LF, you knew Gibson would find a slot for Willie as long as the bat ws bloomin'.
And y'know what? He made MORE sense in a standard league than in a deeper one --- as a short term-play, knowing all the while that you could replace him any time with any of a dozen other useful, available OF's.
Remember too, a week ago, news on Drew's oblique was, well, oblique. If you needed immediate productivity, SB's, and lacked a solid SS, Willie Bloomquist was, gentle men and women of the jury, a welcome addition to your team.
sometime between the 11th and the 13th
Second all of the above. I too miss the minor transactions.
Most important data from day one: Orlando Hudson, batting third for the San Diego Padres. Could have upwards of 40 RBI's this year.
I think I made a similar comment last year ... 2 pitches, tough high heat, seems to want to go all out all the time ... even saw the thought get 'picked up' in ESPN player-comment ... at which point he reeled off his nicest roll of the year.
That's my thought on him this year --- streaky dude. When he's on, he's pretty mean. When he's off, he's scary bad.
Nice job here, John. Fun article --- and thought provoking. I'm betting on Bekcham, Span and Nolasco, against Rollins, Beckett and Porcello.
I wouldn't mind putting a couple of bucks on Oakland's Adrian Cardenas. Wonder what kind of odds I'd get there?
I'm not a Dodger fan at all, but I find myself fascinated by their weirdness.
Jack Hannahan and Donnie Murphy have starting major league jobs. Wow.
Nor, as I recall, was it all that successful.
Looking forward to your analysis of the Cubs 2B situation.
"confirmation bias" ... nice phrase. hadn't heard that before.
Agreed; also afflicted with unnatural love for the guy. (Hadn't thought of the O's. Imagine the K's he and Reynolds could put up. For Arrieta, maybe?) I know he seems like a natural American Leaguer, but how about Florida? Dominguez doesn't look bat-ready. Arizona has question-marks at both corners. I could even see the Cubs, as insurance for the inevitable Ramirez/Pena injury.
And how about Xavier Paul? Can't have much more to prove in AAA, couldn't ask for smaller big-names to overcome, and he's having a nice spring.
Kevin Slowey's extreme fly-ball tendencies in the pen, a bunch of nice young OF's in waiting --- makes you wonder whether the Dodgers have anything the Twins would be interested in. (Or the Mets, even.)
(i.e., agree with Fairacres above)
Totally agree on Josh Hamilton. It's so easy to say he's due a regression this year that I think we miss the larger point with him. He is one of the great hitting talents of this generation.
Without putting a whole lot of thought into it, I ask this: Is there a better bat than Daniel Murphy's that can't find a starting job?
Getting over-enthused by spring training performances is one of my favorite fantasy mistakes to make. Thanks for the fuel.
How about an article of Bold Predictions, where readers get to chip in theirs?
Brett Wallace's thighs: we feel great, ready for the season.
Free Chris Davis.
Thank you for the Spring Training coverage. Not mainstream BP stuff maybe, but really useful and fun.
Believe I might've taken Michael Pineda over Jason Hammel with pick 276.
Y'think Arizona has anything the Rangers might want? I don't know how good he was at the hot corner but, y'know, Melvin Mora? Really? And gosh knows, they seem to like having options at 1B. Plan H?
More importantly --- how about that new fantasy page?!!!!! It's dreamy! I think I had an actual tingly sensation!
Nice work, team. Fives all around.
And one more, no-need-to-respond rhetorical: is there anyone in baseball more likely to be traded this spring than Chris Davis?
Michael, thanks for the action. The babes love a BP mention. A couple of rhetoricals in response: can the Angels really afford not to have Trumbo's bat? Is it possible that the hidden battle there is between Bourjos and him? And the Dodgers, big picture: soft in LF, soft at 1B, oh look, we've got a LF-1B who's killing it. Every season, there's an impact kid or three who 'nobody' saw coming. Y'know?
Tom Goodwin? (as long as we're comparing outfielders to shortstops)
With a dark horse bet on J.P. Howell?
I will not be sliding Kevin Gregg up any lists, now or ever.
Duensing: poor (young) man's Tim Hudson
Love these more up-close and in-depth looks at prospects whose names we know, but whose details we don't. (With the Dodgers LF a mess, I wouldn't mind hearing more about Trayvon Robinson.)
My version of playing faves is, each year, to try to take over a bad, abandoned team in a deep, established league and then rebuild with youth. Because I'm trying to get ahead of the curve, I don't have to worry so much about taking the best player on the board with each and every pick. Instead I can over-reach for prospects I like more than I should, take guys I just like 'cause I like 'em, compile a sort of mutual fund of high-upsides and then let the upcoming season decide which ones were mistakes. It's fun.
I know that 'news and notes from spring training camps' isn't BP orthodoxy. But I like it. Thanks, Geoff. (And I wouldn't mind hearing about Kenley "Mo" Jansen.)
I've wondered why I had so little enthusiasm for Ethier. Now I know.
Gotta agree. Useful, thorough, informed. Nice.
Here's one. I'm in an ongoing, offline draft and have been using PFM. Other vagaries aside, I was, like some above, a bit frustrated at the lack of depth PFM showed. So I took Mark's suggestion and, where I'd previously had "0" as my minimum salary setting, I substituted "-100". Suggested inflation-adjusted salaries suddenly went from a high of $62 to $1,238.
Meanwhile, no more players were revealed. (The lower the adjusted min-salary the higher the top salary settings.)
Michael --- I'm starting to get interested in Mark Trumbo and Jerry Sands. Morales in the slow lane to recovery and Loney being, well, Loney.
"Padres right fielder Will Venable has decided to copy the swing of Gonzalez, his former teammate, in an effort to add more power." ... sounds like an article at The Onion.
Okay, well, as long as we're doing this ...
("... and looking very relaxed, Adolph Hitler on vibes. Nice!" --- The Intro and The Outro)
(And Doumit kind of Brewerish?)
Is it just me, or is Mat Gamel starting to feel like a Pittsburgh Pirate?
Not a WATG (is it?) ... but, when you have information, I'd love to know more about Josh Outman and Jesus Flores.
The Wainwright injury, I feel bad for the Cards. The Pujols problem, I feel bad for the Cards. But the Berkman breakdown? What did they THINK was going to happen?
Isn't that what PFM is ... AND customizable to your league's exact scoring system?
Maybe Justin Duchscherer should set his sights on getting through the next forty-five minutes unscathed.
Nice to have the rumors and rumblings back. Is there anyone in Toronto they DON'T think can hit for power? And Jesus Flores --- suddenly he's well and playing. Any word on arm strength? Hasn't that been the real question mark with him, post-injury?
Wow, this cat never makes an out. Really, really useful. Thanks. (Y' think Vegas does ROY odds? I'd love to put $10 on the Nish.)
dude ... really?
I don't follow Cleveland closely, but I can't help believing that Cord Phelps has a real live chance this spring. Kid can hit, he plays both 2B and 3B and, well, as you imply, look at his competition. Besides, his name is Cord.
Oh please stop with the Delmon. You don't like him. Fine. But he's 25 years old --- and hit .299 with 21 homers and 112 RBI's at the age of 24.
Yes, he could be characterized as "replacement level" --- by someone who doesn't understand the meaning of "replacement level".
Trade ya' a box full of Mark Wohlers, Steve Karsays and Preston Wilsons.
He just blew out his arm in rookie ball, didn't he?
Dave Duncan plus Jo Jo Reyes. LOVE the idea.
Not sure where to post this complaint so I'll throw it in a couple of places.
The "Fantasy" tab leads to a Fantasy Page that is embarrassingly outdated and all but useless. All links (but for the top PFM and PECOTA table) are 2010-ers.
Meanwhile, you've got all sorts of fresh, fun fantasy stuff that'll be useful for the next one, two, even three months going off to die in the great-wasteland-of-articles-not-written-in-the-last-48-hours-who-knows-how-many-clicks-its-gonna-take-to-find-'em-graveyard.
This is the Pre-Season! It's Prime Time, Baby! Time for the Fantasy Page to come to life (exclamation point)
Y'know? Why can't Position Rankings go to an evergreen Fantasy Page --- along with pre-season Value Picks, Corey Hart discussions, Kevin's Kids Who May Stick article, that great Stephen Drew article from last fall, all that kind of stuff that is just so utterly, obviously wheelhouse stuff at this time of year.
Y'know? I mean, c'mon.
I came on just now to find First Base Rankings --- and, as usual, I've gotta dig 'em out from the small print down here at the end of some other article. And now , because the thing I'm looking for is more than two days old, I've got to endure a BUNCH of "404 Not Found"-s, do a search, etc.
Please forgive the note of harshness here --- you guys know I love you --- but this is just remedial. You put in all this work on all these pre-season features and then the whole great big universe of it is relegated to 6-point afterthought, where-the-hell-is-it oblivion?
And the fantasy page --- the place where all of this stuff should find a home? Deader 'n dead.
Interns know how to create links, right? They can delete dead ones, right? They can distinguish between useful articles and not-so-much, can't they? And which one of 'em doesn't want "Singlehandedly Created Baseball Prospectus' First Useful Fantasy Baseball Page" on his resume?
Please? We've been good, haven't we? Can't we have our own 2011 Baseball Prospectus Fantasy Page? Please?
Okay, I confess. I totally missed the six weeks of Homer Bailey's season in which he suddenly turned into a real-live major league pitcher. Just didn't see it. And clearly something wonderful and magical happened. Because now everything I read has Homer Bailey firmly anchored in the rotation and Mike Leake, well, y'know, whatever, he doesn't really, y'know, his stuff is, didja see Homer?
Mike Leake's debut was one of the most impressive things I've seen in I don't know how long. Straight from college to a major league rotation and damned sharp from day one. Meanwhile, seventh time's the charm for Homer?
Leake is Maddux-lite. An actual student of the game, the kind of guy who makes every other pitcher on your staff smarter and better. Who do you want Volquez and Cueto talking pitching with ... Mike Leake or Homer Bailey?
How in the world do you send Mike Leake to Louisville?
Given the sludginess of catcher, maybe, down the road, it'd be a useful fantasy feature to review youngsters who might emerge in '11 and '12. Thx.
Scrolled down to say the very same thing. And Barmes is the two-hole, Wallace hitting seventh? I see that lasting about a week and a half.
Michael Saunders is going to get 500 AB hitting .229? Milton's head may actually explode.
Some scary bad OBP's there.
Butler will be playing 1B and Kila will DH? Are we sure it won't be the reverse?
" Juan Uribe something something homers, [fat joke]." (Jim Rome voice:) Hilarious.
Also ... free Asdrooble.
(Also --- heard Jose Bautista say last night on MLBNet that he's getting ready to play 3B this year. Where are we thinking EE gets 615 ... count 'em, 615 ... PA's from?)
Problem with Encarnacion is --- fantas-tically speaking --- is the vast months of utter uselessness he gives you. Sure, it's a wonderful five-days in June when he suddenly explodes for 13 dingers (avg distance 582 feet). I'm just not a strong enough person to wait.
Or --- Do Nasty, Scraggledy-A** Beards Affect ADP?
PFM Total Bases projection
Nishioka Tsuyoshi 234
Ichiro Suzuki 187
Martin Prado 182
Carlos Gonzalez 182
Ryan Braun 181
Michael Young 180
Hanley Ramirez 180
(Pujols: 19th at 168, two slots behind Omar Infante.)
Meanwhile, here's Jay Jaffe's take on Tsuyoshi three days ago.
"... and let's just say that the initial outlook on their new middle infield—Japanese import Tsuyoshi Nishioka (no PECOTA yet, though his stats and scouting reports don't compare favorably to Kaz Matsui) and Alexi Casilla (.235 TAv, -0.4 WARP)— may make them miss Little Nicky Punto."
Uh ... huh?
Interesting point about Prado and Chipper. Hard to imagine Prado won't qualify as a 3B in '12.
Brignac's numbers thru June 15th: .302/.362/.423
One thoroughly amateur eye's impression: saw Morel take maybe a dozen at bats last year; kid can hit.
excellent question. thank you for asking it.
(sessile: permanently attached, not free moving)
This scoff stampede mystifies me. 1. Rivera is now a 34 year old backup OF/DH and a year or two away from being out of the game. 2. There's not a one of us who grasps the demands of playing catcher with anything close to the depth of understanding that Mike Scioscia has. If Mike Scioscia doesn't believe Napoli can play catcher, y'know what? I'm going with arguably the best manager in baseball. Napoli definitely doesn't hit enough to be a full-time DH or 1B, nor does he even put the ball in play enough to be a reliable late-inning option. I don't get it. Where in the world does all this love for Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli come from?
Is Homer Bailey really such a lock over Wood and/or Leake?
Interesting to compare the 'promising' Desmond Jennings 2010 AAA numbers to the 'disappointing' Michael Taylor's. Not a whole lot of difference.
K --- of interest, where y'think Daniel Hudson would rank on the 25-and-under list, were he still with the Sox?
Lovin' the individudal profiles. Thanks. When you say "...a league average season at the plate is well within reach" for Wieters, do you mean average-for-a-catcher or average-overall?
And, speaking of the Rangers, I'd be interested in your take on Ian Kinsler. No idea how to value him right now.
To the opening point --- why Anaheim would do this --- I can sort of put together a rationale. First, give Anaheim credit for being good talent evaluators. They just are, raggedy last-12-months and Brandon Wood aside. And they decided mid-season that Juan Rivera is what he is --- and for weeks at a time not even that. Meanwhile, who am I to tell Mike Scioscia what he should look for in a catcher? Are we so sure the Angels haven't just unloaded dead-wood --- a 33 year-old 4th outfielder who might be hard-pressed to find a job anywhere in 2012 and a C/1B who can't play catcher and doesn't hit well enough to play first? As for Vernon Wells, well, all it takes is the belief that it really was injuries holding him back. There's no denying the return of his bat-speed. That's one real live ball-player for two you-can-have-'ems. I'd sure as heck do the deal in fantasy. That leaves the money. I figure they figure, "Let's just take our medicine and get it over with. All the big bats are off the market. We whiffed. We can either be screwed and non-competitive or screwed and competitive." Followed by rejoinders of "Plus, y'know, look at our division" and "What do we do if Bourjos hits .204 again?" Put Wells next to Morales somewhere in the 3-4-5 slots and you can at least conjure an on-paper contender. Without him, you're looking at an offense that's Mariners-level scary. Once you get past the astonishment, I'm not sure the Angels had any other choice.
I see your point. And yeah, default leadoff probably does go to Azdrooble.
And a more general question: the Cardinals have a reputation as one of the "smart" organizations. But the present state/recent history of their farm system belies this. Just bad luck or do you see something more systemic at work in St. Louis?
Also --- what's your take on Desmond Jennings?
Nice article. What strikes me is how many of these instances were foreseeable. Loney being Loney, Laird being Laird, etc. Maybe an early April edition of the same idea would be a fun feature: predicting the replacement-level killers for 2011.
This is great. Sincere thanks for this feature, Rob. Interesting that you think Brantley might be challenged for playing time. (Especially from Kearns.) I can't help but think he'll be given every opportunity: he's the leading edge of the next generation for a team that urgently needs a lead-off hitter and, well, a next generation. Also, glad to see a hint of optimism for Brett Wallace. My untrained eye sees a natural hitter there, beer-keg thighs be damned. And, on Kemp, worth noting that he is just now entering his age-26 season, no? So often, it seems, what looks like a motivation problem is really just immaturity.
Wow. Late August huh? Odd leagues. Thanks for the clarification.
And please accept my apology for requesting Willingham and Berkman. You have, of course, already covered them. Additional thoughts welcome but, really, just stupid of me.
no, i'm curious too.
Also, at the risk of piling on, Lance Berkman. Does anyone other than St. Louis really believe this is going to work?
(in other words, can I drop Jon Jay in deep-keeper leagues?)
I understand the thought here --- short-term patches, a lot of age in the lineup, big ol' killer contracts, a mediocre farm system made thinner by the Garza trade, the ongoing absurdity of Alfonso Soriano. I may even agree. But really, is it so wrong to look at this team's assets and upside and see a contender? (Particularly intrigued by the thought of Jarmillo's impact on Pena) And how much have they really sacrificed to make it so? Chris Archer. (See today's CK Transaction article on the Gorzo trade) Like most BP-er's, I'm a believer in building for the long term. But. In the cases of the Cubs and Hendry and the Brewers and Melvin, in this division, in this year ... forgive the cliche, but, I cede to Herm Edwards. You play to win the game.
Just flat lovin' this. Can't recall the last time I was this into baseball on January 15th. It's thanks to you guys.
1. Just to clarify, on the GP cards, the dollar values are for last year's performance? And are based on standard roto categories?
2. Presuming that "pts" are points, uh, what are points?
3. Also, "owned": 3% for Morrison, 16% for Tabata, 76% for Bruce? What am I missing here?
2. For your consideration: Matt Kemp, Andres Torres, Austin Jackson, Brett Gardner, Michael Brantley, Peter Bourjos, Josh Willingham (new park effect on power), Aramis Ramirez, Danny Valencia and Pablo Sandoval.
Matt Wieters, J. P. Arencibia, Yunel Escobar, Asdrubal Cabrera (I just like saying Asdrubal), Ian Kinsler, Gordon Beckham, Chone Figgins. Don't feel obligated here, just whomever you think you might have an interesting insight into.
Markakis, A. Jones, Bay, M. Brantley, Bourjos, M. Saunders, B. Wallace (don't feel obligated to cover the gamut here. just guys on my mind these days. thx.)
1. Not sure I understand the Steven Drew comment: "looking at these dollar values makes me realize that he is still a three-star shortstop, and the four-star variety is going to be a real short list in 2011."
By dollar value alone, I guess it's Jeter, Reyes and (glurp) Alexei Ramirez, with Drew and Furcal heading the 3-stars? But if the purpose of a tiered rating-system is to trip warning-light drop-offs in talent, then isn't the Drew/Furcal/(Andres) Line exactly the slot after which one doesn't want to have to venture? (Apres moi, le peralta.)
2. Asdrubal: Personally kind of high on him for '11, and wonder now whether (and if so, how) PECOTA factors in the impact of injuries on a season like the one he just had. Thanks. Enjoying these.
Took me a couple of reads to get what you're getting at --- but that's funny. (And as long as we're (or I'm) splitting nits here --- of the two, Miller seems more 'of the mold', doesn't he? I mean he has a, what's it called, a fastball. Rich Hill and his toppling globules vs. Robby Cano? Yikes.)
Is it so odd, really? When Chris Carter doesn't hit, he really doesn't hit. For actual months at a time, I mean. Odd would be the team's not anticipating they might need an alternative to him.
"Both Rich Hill and Andrew Miller still possess excellent stuff... " This assumes an implied qualifier, I trust. Something like "... for guys who'll be asked to pitch two-thirds of an inning per week."
Am I wrong in thinking the Angels see Jordan Walden as the heir-apparent to the closer throne?
I was thinking that the whole point of re-upping Ivan was as a kind of playing-instructor for Ramos. Surprised to see the AAA projection.
Thanks for this. One of my favorite players to watch.
Totally missed the fact that they'd picked up Nady. Thanks for the update. Confuses me, though. If, as you posit, Allen returns to Reno, that leaves two RH bats at 1B and a Parra/Gillespie platoon in LF. Given all the moving pieces, it looks like Plan A might be Nady in two semi-platoons, with Parra in LF and Allen at 1B, and Miranda or Conor Gillespie as RH bench depth. Reasonable guess, y'think?
And again, a comment on Mike Morse please. ESPN depth-chart shows him as the Nats' only 1B. Looks to me like a darned useful bat in deep keeper leagues. Am I missing something here?
And if Chris Nelson is getting the no-vote, what's Herrerra getting? Gotta figure they consider moving at least one of 'em, no? If not in the offseason, sometime in April or May.
Great point about Stewart's L/L numbers. Hadn't realized. Also, your larger point about there being issues at both corners. Amidst all the lineup juggling, is it just goofy to think they might try Stewart at 1B?
Love the Ian Stewart idea. Note the acquisition of both Wigginton and J. Lopez in Colorado.
On the 5th starter question ... another name to throw into speculative brew is Tyson Ross. Remember, he was dominant in July, after being converted to a starter in Sacramento (before being shut down in early August.)
On the OF shuffle, a quick Micheal Taylor update ... no change. Arizona was a repeat of Sacramento: 270-ish with almost no pop.
And, finally a question --- anyone have an update on Outman's recovery? I remember a whisper that me might see action in September. Never happened, but I take that as an indication he could be ready to go come April. Wrong?
Rob, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on Juan Miranda and Mike Morse. Do we have confidence that Brandon Allen wins the job in Arizona? And am I missing something in Washington --- who else is there to step in at 1B for Dunn? Thanks.
Jose Lopez and now Ty Wigginton. Not great big votes of confidence for Ian Stewart, are they?
I don't have friends who care about Joe Blanton. But if I did, I'd be reminding them that the guy spent the first half of the season recovering from surgery.
A tale of two arms. May, June, July E.R.A.'s --- 5.68, 6.82, 5.26. August/September --- 2.81 and 3.19, with a K/BB of 62/16.
For those who don't have Excel --- http://www.openoffice.org/
A big honkin' file (150MBish) but opened this right up.
Sounds cool, just have no idea what it means.
Sincere thanks for the individual responses. Such a valuable service from B-Pro. Really appreciated. Personal take --- I see the Rockies grooming Lopez for a utility role, trusting that Young or Nelson is ready. A subtle move with plenty of upside. Smart organization. And Avila --- I sure do like his swing. Lot of quality there.
funniest thing i've read this week
On the St. Louis outfield --- with Allen Craig's strong September and John Jay's late-season fade, fair to say it's as likely as not that RF will actually be a platoon between the two?
"Bradley's defense before the world court will be that he was only following orders." --- hilarious
Jose Lopez --- the new Manny Mora with middle infield options?
(i.e., the right-handed to Ian Stewart) Also, I wonder what his out-chart says about Seattle-warning-track-power. Betcha Colorado sees hidden power there.
Speaking of Alex Avila, I'd like to hear your take on him for '11.
2 homeruns for every 10 innings pitched. And the worst groundball to flyout ratio (.041) of any American League pitcher last year (min 60 IP).
David Hernandez, welcome to Chase Field.
There's theoretical WAR and then there's the the real world ---- the actual guys you're actually replacing. An upgrade from Capuano/Bush/Parra to Shaun Marcum? That may be a two-win improvement in a swiss lab somewhere but in the NL Central it's got to be somewhere between five and ten.
I'm not a Brewers fan. You clearly know more about 'em than I do. But I'd encourage you to make distinctions between your general dislike of Doug Melvin and the individual moves he makes. With Fielder and Weeks in their final contract years, a genuinely impressive lineup, an under-rated bullpen and a rotation that now features Gallardo, Marcum, Wolf and Narveson, I just don't see the pipe dream you're referring to.
Shawn Marcum (2010) K/BB 3.84 (8th in MLB, 140+ innings)
WHIP 1.15 (13th)
This for a an extreme flyball pitcher in Toronto in his first year after surgery. I knew Marcum was one of the most under-rated players in the game, I just didn't know it was by his own (ex-) team.
As for Bret Lawrie and his $25 million bat --- you might be overpaying the kid a bit there. I'll take Shaun Marcum at $10 million and laugh all the way to contention.
... who strikes out one in every three plate appearances ...
Mark Reynolds for Kam Mickolio and David Hernandez.
So Buck Showalter (of all managers) gets himself a clean-up hitter who strikes out one in plate appearances. And the D-backs (of all ballparks) get themselves a closer-candidate who gives up 2 homeruns for every 10 innings pitched with --- get this --- the worst groundball to flyout ratio (.041) of any American League pitcher with 60 IP last year.
Rob, I'd be interested in hearing more on why OPS is a 'lame stat'. Thanks.
I'd love to see this thing but don't have Excel. Anyone know of a work-around that might work here? Some freeware, perhaps?
But aren't we just astonished by "I'm not sure he's made a single adjustment since high school”? I'm not sure I've read anything about any prospect as mind-blowing as that.
Party in Haleyville.
Grognards. Good fantasy team name.
Forgot about Donald. Thanks for the responses. I guess I had it in my head that Phelps would have a better shot at sticking --- esp. with his nice AZL showing at 3B --- and was taken aback a bit at Kevin's "longshot" description. Nevertheless "Late 2011" starts to look kind of fun for the Injuns, no?
Carlos Pena + Dwayne Murphy = Luv
A question for Cleveland fans --- if Kipnis and Chisenhall areAA/AAA bound, and Phelps is a "longshot", who do you guys expect to see at 2B and 3B to start the year? Sutton/Valbuena and Nix? Or do you think that Phelps will get a longer look than Kevin suggests? Thanks.
Warning: Unsolicited plug follows.
Looked up "Graphical Player 2011"--- found our friends Rob McQuown and Michael Street prominent on the masthead. For those previously unfamiliar with the publication (like me), there's a promo pdf available (G P 2010). So much data there it made my head hurt. A fantasy bible I may have to spring for this year --- as a companion to my Baseball Prospectus 2011, of course.
Thank you Joe. I'm looking forward to getting into this. Whatever you can do is appreciated.
Love the idea. Any chance of getting this in Acrobat form?
fun read. thanks.
This is a heck of an article. Nowhere else have I seen so much specific information on which players teams are willing to move to satisfy their needs. Really nice work here.
First thing I'd do is get Pablo Sandoval a personal trainer. Seriously. He's a lovable dude but the drop-off in productivity is alarming. Another half-season of that and you won't be able to get a grade-B double-A arm for him in trade. (And with an injury-prone DeRosa at third and Expando-Panda at first, I'm far from sold on letting go of Huff.)
I think Kevin addressed this issue in his preamble post last week. I recall his saying that the 5-star designation would be less frequent this year, not more. (Can't find the the link. Sorry.)
It would also be nice if Carter would give some indication that he actually belongs in the major leagues before being granted a slot in the starting lineup.
My read on Norris --- all garnered here --- is that he's more than just an "offensive catcher", but has a chance to produce at all-star levels. Perhaps, a year from now, one of those bats you just can't keep down on the farm?
Never heard of him before but I'm now officially a Marquez Smith fan.
Really nice article. Thought I knew who Alderson was until I read this. Good stuff.
maybe better than actual baseball.
Might be tempted to offer Scott Olsen a little something to hang around another year or two. I thought he finally showed some nice upside this year.
now that was entertaining.
Might also be a function of patience. Perhaps they linger, frustrate, get second and third chances because --- just an observation/opinion --- their accompanying skills often take longer to develop.
Something kind of Brewer-like about Buerhle, no?
"The Westbrook Irrelevancy"
Please forgive me for what I am about to suggest --- but did it strike anyone else as odd that he made a point last week of saying he was not on steroids, when no one had suggested that he was?
Nice heads-up on Cahill. To you as to all at FBpro, thanks for all your good work this year.
Thanks for the off-season guidance. Nice job this year, Rob.
Wasn't aware of Valencia's career high BABIP trend. Now I feel even worse about dropping him too early. You guys have made it a fun year. Thanks.
Hate to see you go. Nice work this year.
Nice job this year, Michael. I learned a lot.
Jared Goedert over Lonnie Chisenhall? Is this true?
Josh Outman pitched his first two innings of rehab this week in Instructional and is reportedly on course for a full return. Throw in Tyson Ross and the potential depth at SP is astonishing. With Brett Lawrie ready (ish?) and Milwaukee absolutely desperate for starting pitching, a Weeks for Anderson or Cahill or Gonzalez or Braden deal seems so obvious I'll be a bit amazed if it doesn't happen. (Point being, I'm not sure how you turn a bunch of replacement-value outfielders who didn't solve the problem into one who does, as suggested above.)
Reading this synopsis makes me wonder how easy it's going to be for Florida to attract and retain talent. A perennial not-quite contender, a luke-warm fan base, greedy and erratic ownership, uncertain on-field leadership, and a general reputation for being creepy --- I don't think it's much of a stretch to imagine agents and players alike putting Marlins on the bottom of their to-do lists. (And are the Uggla and Nolasco situations not a bit of a Catch 22 for them? If they don't get long term deals done with them, they confirm everyone's worst suspicions. And if they do, they have significantly less to spend on other important pieces. True for all teams, I guess, but particularly tricky perhaps for the two faces of Loria?)
Amazed that the odds are 72%. Amazed.
This is bizarre. The topic of this article is not "How Hall of Fame Pitchers Should Be Evaluated". It's "How Hall of Fame Pitchers Have Been Evaluated". How in the world is he supposed to write that article without discussing Wins? Jeez.
Why is it such a bad idea to move Keppinger to SS (his original position, no?) and get a year or two out of Ellis/Lopez? (Lowrie?) In absence of better ready farm options --- and those have been pretty well exhausted, haven't they --- this seems like a perfectly reasonable thought. Of course they could also take a shot at the most available member of the Rhymes/Sizemore/Worth tangle in Detroit (Sizemore).
Worth noting that the Bautista dilemma is tied in with the 3B question. Assuming Encarnacion is gone, who plays there if not Bautista?
(for those curious about Dillon Gee, here's a real nice appraisal from Bill Baer)
Yay! TA's back! Have really, really missed you, CK.
Here's a theory that could explain a lot. What if most of his little injuries coincided with road trips? Regular C.G. watchers (i.e. fantasy owners) can tell you, he's been extremely streaky and very prone to little injuries. Seems to me, the latter have marked the start and stop points of the former. (He'd be hot, ding his wrist, sit for a few days, take a couple of weeks to recover/get hot again.) See my point? What if those injury/injury recovery periods happened more often on the road than at home? I don't know how to test this idea, but a coincidence of this type would go a long way toward explaining his barely-on-the-bell-curve splits.
Also, we should probably keep in mind that this was his first year as a regular and that he is only 24. I'd bet that a bit of research would show that sharp home/road splits aren't historically unusual for rookie-ish breakout seasons like his.
See Buster Posey --- 1.023/372 road. .73ish/27ish home. (ops/avg).
Notable by their absence --- Alex Gonzalez and I-know-he-didn't-join-in-July-but-still-want-to-complain-about-him Derek Lee.
rabble, rabble, rabble.
Not so sure the Doumit idea is a bad one at all. Depth at C/OF/DH, 20-HR potential, he's hit better since going 'utility', probably could play some 1B and probably reasonably priced --- I think Simon C. should give it another two minutes and see what else he can come up with.
Two stray thoughts. How much more could a team like Washington want to have seen from Michael Morse? And no mention of Wilson Ramos? What seem like two real nice, not unimportant pieces in place and they barely earn a mention?
Do I have to start calling Mattingly "Donnie" now? I don't think I'm comfortable with that.
Wow. That was great. In all the time I've played fantasy ball it never once occurred to me to even consider a pitcher's mph-difference. Thank you, Bill Baer.
not hitting his weight --- lol
Bill --- any idea what's turned Carrasco around? From mess to polished pitcher in six months makes me a bit suspicious. Also curious about this Dillon Gee character. Your read? Thanks.
Wasn't aware of Ross' consistently high walk rate. The blessing and curse of great natural movement, eh? I feel like some day, though, Ross is really going to pop. As for A's pen, I know we all think of it as loaded but really --- this year's version has been a pretty pale imitation of 09's. I wouldn't be astonished to see them move Bailey for a bat (Toronto?) and committee the closer job until Rodriguez earns it. Thanks for the great info, esp. the heads-up on Ross.
On the contrary, shouldn't he be basically the worst player still getting regular at bats? The guy just useful enough to be enticing, and just mediocre enough to be useless?
Mike --- What are your reads on Henry Rodriguez and Tyson Ross? Not keeper material and, barring a Bailey trade, not closers. But electric arms overcoming their rawness, no? H-Rod, closer in waiting? And Ross --- no need to recount it here but the A's handling of him absolutely baffles me. Is his future as a starter or in the pen? Thanks. Great work on McGee. Had no idea.
Thanks for the links. God forbid I look for this information myself. (Surprise Rafters??? This is a team?)
Interesting that there's no mention of Josh Bell.
Any rumblings that Norris will be moved to another position? If he plays catcher in Arizona (assuming he goes), is that a reliable indicator that the answer is no, y'think?
Love how deep you guys are going on these things. Quick question --- is it a given that M. Taylor and E. Beltre will be playing Arizona ball?
Michael --- Good point about Morel. And, wow, sincere thanks for the nod. But should you really be encouraging the guy who gave us "Alex Sanabia: Saint or Deity"?
Really enjoy these articles that help us put a player's performance into an organizational context.
Love these looks forward at the prospects of young lesser-knowns. Interested that your discussion of Viciedo didn't include mention of Brent Morel. Can't help thinking his high-contact style of not-walking might be more attractive to Ozzie next spring than Dayan's slump-prone power. And if, indeed, Viciedo goes to 1B, doesn't that give Morel an even better shot at 3B? What's your best guess on that intriguing open-corners situation in Chicago?
Interesting. Maybe I'm surprised to learn about his lack of velocity for the same reason that he gets away with it. His stuff may not be hard but it looks, somehow, quick. Sharp. (Your "weak sauce" translation reminds me of Doug Jones. Remember him? Indians and Astros closer from the early 90's whose change-up was a change-up on his change-up which was really just a change-up on his change-up?)
Nice work. And a good choice of a guy to investigate. Makes me wonder if players understand these patterns in their performance --- and how it might affect their approaches if they did.
Michael --- Totally missed that you were doing NL-only until reading the OF round up a minute ago. Please forgive my gooberosity.
Plus, y'know, he's scrappy. Yeah, I was surprised to see only one SB attempt --- a fail --- so far. He's definitely got infield-hit speed. I kind of like what that might say about his smarts.
I'm enjoying these look-ahead editions of Hot Spots. Nice heads-up on D'Arnaud. But still no love for Will Rhymes? Take a look at his game-by-game. All he does is produce, day after day. I count 28 games started since July 27th (his 3rd major league start). In those, he's NOT gotten a hit in just 5. 19 runs scored, 12 RBI's and --- get this -- 13 multi-hit games. Also, 10 walks to 11 strikeouts. Cherry-picking, small sample size, etc., I know. But even if BPro isn't impressed, don't we have to believe Leyland and the Tigers are? (Plus, he's 5-9, 155 lbs. I'm pretty sure it's un-American to be anti-scrappy.)
Same question about Henry Rodriguez. If Bailey were to return to the DL, I get the feeling he might be first option for saves these days.
Thanks for the useful article. Curious about Eric Hosmer and Jason Kipnis. Any chance of seeing either?
Thanks for the heads up on Duda.
Maybe we could get an article tomorrow --- ahead of the deadline --- on likely impact callups?
just saw this --- thank you for the response. have been quietly quite curious.
Thought we might see Josh Thole and/or Wil Rhymes this week. Not enough to offer beyond avg.?
Rob, nice insights into situations I thought I understood. Thanks.
Speaking of CK --- any reason we're not getting Transaction Actions anymore?
And maybe I missed this as well --- but no virtually no Transaction Action in the past two - three weeks.
Where have you gone, Peter Bourjos?
Exactly. If they'd been getting a .275 TAv contribution from Glaus, this deal would never have happened.
My memory for this kind of thing isn't good but, wow, when was the last time a contender as offensively potent as the Rangers was as impotent at 1B? Gotta wonder if Nelson Cruz and his hamstring wouldn't enjoy a little rest over there next year.
Be yourself. Don't force it. Good luck.
Is Methylhexanamine banned in the NFL and NBA?
Michael, I like the 'On The Bubble' sub-feature, esp. with those Rotolympus cards. They just look cool, don't they?
Interesting, isn't it, that after a year and a half of "Davis or Smoak? Smoak or Davis?" the answer is ... Moreland.
Hard not to be a Rangers fan these days.
I want to say Gordon Beckham. While the Sox kicked it into gear before he finally did, I'm not sure they can sustain it without him. Who, after Konerko and Rios, does that lineup turn to?
I'm with dalbano on this. Mobbed, pinned down and helpless, he panicked. There's a bit of self defense here.
Agreed. Very Bpro.
Also curious about Pineda's September.
What, if anything, are scouts saying about Michael Taylor's struggles? I remember your recent reference to unlearning his "Stanford swing".
Might even be interesting to see an article on top-50's or top-100's whose stock has fallen this year, who've underperformed expectations this year, and possible whys.
Carlos Triunfel, please. Also Derek Norris, Chase D'arnaud, Logan Forsythe.
And notice how much better a team Houston has become since Brett Wallace replaced Berkman? Cause or coincidence, I don't know. I'm just sayin' ...
Thank YOU for the really useful feeback. Good point on Brown's leash. Picked him on two deep-league teams on your recommendation.
As for Dan Johnson --- thanks for the cold water. I do tend to fall in love with the random lesser-guy. However --- there's something about his combination of factors that I'm liking here. A guy who hit 15 and 18 in big ol' Oakland, both with 494 or fewer AB's, has shown markedly better power in the two years since (yes, vs. lesser competition), learns to play some OF, and gets called up to a team that's famous for asking players to do what they already do well. He's needed, mature, and comfortable on a team that will find at bats for guys who produce ---- and he's been in the lineup every night since his call up. Waaaaaay too squishy an assessment for BPro, I know, but short short term --- thru September, say --- I think I'm still liking me some deep-league Dan Johnson. Just a bit less than I did a day ago. Thanks again.
Quick question 'my team' question ... a quick scan of 50% PECOTA shows little difference between Jordan Brown and Mitch Moreland. Are we assuming 4-5 starts a week for both? Any reason to strongly prefer one over the other for the remainder of the season? (Also have Dan Johnson and am judging him to be a notch more useful then either. No?)
Dan Johnson --- "punchless"?
I wonder about the recent rough outings by Mike Leake and the fatigue explanation. Isn't it just as likely that his intermittent scuffles have been because of being rested, i.e., his being put out of rhythm by the extra days off. No argument on the long-term benefit of limiting his innings, just questioning the near-term effect.
I enjoy reviews like this, items that give context to names that some may already be aware of. And really, a list of top-performers from low-A and rookie ball is too obvious for the readership?
Would it be useful to divide up some of your efforts into "basic" and "deep-league"? I've noticed that discussion a few times in comments, where what's obscure to one reader is spot-on useful for the next.
As for the 'stubbornness' of PECOTA (well-put), maybe an ongoing, once-a-weekish, make-the-interns-do-it PECOTA-related ranking feature (with or w/o light commentary). You know --- a simple formula the results of which show us who's outperforming and underperforming his 50% PECOTA, by how much and, very importantly, for how sustained a period. (Or would this just re-express what's by then already common knowledge?)
This third and final thought is a bit amorphous and is born of fantasy football. I remember seeing, three years ago maybe, a semi-useful attempt to rank wide-receivers by their week-to-week consistency. (Assumption being that a 25 pt. week followed by a 3 pt. week is less valuable than two 14 pt. weeks.) I find myself wanting something similar in baseball.
With so many baseball leagues playing H2H, a player's ability to contribute numbers consistently is an attribute every bit as desirable as the numbers themselves. I guess, then, I'm wondering aloud about a BPro-exclusive volatility index. Like every stock has a Beta,(how much, how often, how wildly its price fluctuates) so too does a baseball player's weekly production. We just don't know what it is.
It would be very useful to be able to weed out the batch-producers in roto leagues as well. Who wants to wait around for 17 weeks for Mike Napoli to hit all 12 of his home runs in week 18? We see Ty Wigginton get picked up and dropped over and over again because people don't understand that all his numbers came in like a two and half days in April.
Love the mailbag idea, too. Nothing more fascinating to fantasy players than themselves and their teams --- and there's nothing more boring to their family and friends. I have no doubt this would be a very popular feature.
or ... baseball's tru-isms that aren't. (ain't?)
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: what ESPN, announcers and other so-called experts don't know about baseball could fill a book.
A Head in the Count: 15 years in baseball's statistical revolution.
(tried variations on "A Swing and a Myth" but couldn't make it work)
(probably better in the present tense ... "that are changing baseball forever.")
Smarter Than Avg. --- a fan's guide to the stats, bats and boneheads that changed baseball forever.
Truthian Proportions: Baseball's Biggest Lies
Myth Understood: Baseball for the Thinking Fan
or just ... A Thinking Fan's Guide To Baseball
Everything I Know Is Wrong: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Baseball
I'd like to see a 100-day-moving-average chart of the Conventional Wisdom on Brett Wallace. He's an on-base machine, whoops that was college. He's a power bat except y'know what not so much. A born .300 hitter, never mind he's the next Lyle Overbay. There's always a buyer for this guy and always a seller. It's weird. And then, earlier this week, the Cardinals color-guy couldn't stop talking about Wallace's Buick-sized legs --- and hitting-coach Jeff Bagwell's opinion that he doesn't use them.* I'm a buyer here but, wow. Brett Wallace is one choppy stock.
*(I only caught two at bats but what my amateur eye saw was a quiet-in-the-good-sense lower body, a really quick, efficient hip-turn and semi-soft,educated hands. Guy could absolutely tower a golf ball and look like he's not even trying.)
For every Elijah Dukes, there are a dozen guys who outgrew their youthful stupidities. Purely a squishy one-man's-impression here, but I see Tabata doing a lot of smart stuff on the field. He adjusts mid-at-bat, doesn't run against strong arms, has good contact rates and, for all his supposed immaturity, hasn't seem the least phased by the transition to the bigs. (compare to the "mature" Weiters?) To my eye, Tabata seems like one of the surer-bets of this year's exceptional class of graduates to sustain his productivity.
You might want to check Kevin's comments in the Transaction posts he and CK did during and immediately after the deadline. As I recall, the essence of his appraisal was high-upside, high-bust potential for Gose.
Free John Bowker.
I'd like a read on that as well. It's not like Ellis is making much of a case for himself right now.
Royals 2010 = Braves 1990-ish?
"Hitters generally don't improve their walk rates dramatically..."
Check out Craig Brown's real nice Jon Jay piece this week. Seems Jay and Colvin both may have had the light go on.
Maybe there's an article in this for BPro --- players whose BB/AB rates actually increase as rookies at the major league level. Does it sustain, do they eventually outperform their career projections, is this a rare but discernible type of player who can then be predicted to outperform his PECOTA? PECOTA for prospects seems so predicated on strike-zone discipline that some research into the outliers (outlyers?)
could be quite revealing.
Now I know why I haven't been a Figgins guy. Great. Much appreciated, Craig.
Well, also --- there's the conversation you have with reporters and the one you have without them.
oh my god.
he has become quite the hack, hasn't he?
Yes, would love to know more about Pineda. He's not listed in Prospectus 2010.
More information on the SABR convention in Atlanta? Had no idea.
Wow. That was great, Craig. Seriously. Just the kind of thing I was looking for from BPro when I subscribed. I've had Jay-on-the-brain for weeks now, started wondering if maybe it was time to sell high and checked in today looking for guidance. Voi-freakin'-la.
Look at the jump in BB's --- from <7% to 12% in, what, 30 days? How often do we see such a meaningful (and presumably enduring)leap in so short a time?
I rarely ask fantasy advice but in this case, a two-parter. (Very deep league --- 20 teams, 40-man rosters, 24 keepers --- weekly h2h, points that don't overvalue certain stats, SB +1, CS-1.) 1/ Jay or Tabata --- reasons to prefer one over the other, this year and beyond? 2/ Trade either one for Figgins for a team that has a non-urgent (but eventual) need to upgrade at 2B? (He's hot for Tabata) Or offer a package of Michael Taylor and/or Brandon Belt and/or Michael Pineda?
I'm not really a Figgins guy but am tempted by the buy-low opportunity that fits a roster need. But am I really buying low if I give up Jay or Tabata? Sincere thanks for your good work and for whatever thoughts you might be able to share.
"Balfour wasn't arrested in the clubhouse..."
Sports hernia: is this a euphemism for an inguinal hernia or is it something different?
Don't think I'm going to able to support a team owned by Fox.
Nice. Love this kind of performance-in-context article. How about a companion piece, 'Prospects Who Weren't', i.e. the formerly second and third shelf kids who've done the most to elevate themselves this year?
Love the Rotolympus stat inserts. Somehow brings accompanying discussion to life. Also ---really like the article itself. Discussion of options from organizations' point of view always of interest. (e.g. Thomas Diamond: brand new name to me.) And, finally, I'd be interested to hear from Daniel Cohen what happened to Hector Rondon this year. Thanks.
I suspect getting Haren wasn't Plan A but, instead, Opportunity Irresistible --- such a benefit to the 3-year outlook that it couldn't be passed on. (kind of CK's point in her appraisal)
Some day maybe we could get a rank-'em-type-rundown of all those Toronto catchers? After Arencibia, all that talent confuses me.
Is it Jonathon Lucroy Time yet?
A really useful discussion of options today. Thanks.
thank you, DGBL and Kevin, for the tyson ross updates. love the guy's action.
Re: Alex Sanabia and his two baserunners per inning. Am I wrong in thinking that a good portion of that has been early-inning-rookie-nerves-stuff that he then works through? I see a tough kid here; someone with a bear-down gear, mound smarts and, yeah I said it, moxie. Alex Sanabia: the anti-Hochevar?
As I recall --- and I could be wrong --- Burroughs was a higher strike-out guy who didn't have the strong OBP to back up the absence of power.
With Trevor Plouffe a very distant second.
I like Bud Norris as much as anyone. Heck, I'm one of like seven Americans who actually had Bud Norris as a fantasy keeper this year. But something's wrong here. The kid isn't getting hit, he's getting kuh-lobbered. Can you really be a solid starting pitcher in the major leagues with a two-pitch arsenal? The fast ball is good, not great, his control of it is far from pin-point and his breaking ball (slider?) seems more often ball than breaking.
He's the pitcher Andrew Bailey would be if Oakland hadn't converted him to closer. David Hernandez 2.0.
In the Value Picks waiting room (reading May 19th copy of Sports Illustrated) ... Alex Sanabia
When was the last time a franchise let itself fall into such bleak disrepair? Any comparisons?
Okay, I feel better. Someone else noticed.
Great article. Clear-headed.
Really, does Nick Blackburn have to actually physically combust for the Twins to slot in Brian Duensing?
See "nattering nabob" above.
Not a WATG --- just saying that there's one of us out here interested in a Felipe Paulino update when it comes your way. Thx.
How much better does Logan Ondrusek have to pitch to be considered a late-inning option?
Johnny Gomes: You think you suck. I really suck.
Certainly the Rays want to believe that Matt Joyce is the LH-DH solution. But do we? Brad Hawpe seems like a nice fit here, no?
Interested to see the mentions of Gregerson. What's happening here? Superhuman until ten days ago --- then mush. Saw a scouting mention here somewhere that said he wasn't throwing slider for strikes. Whatever the reason, my point is this: if he and Mike Adams --- oblique problem --- suddenly aren't there, this team could go bad in a hurry. With Latos now DL'd, would anyone be surprised to the Pods go 2-8 coming out of the all-star break?
Ted Lilly has fallen out of favor pretty quickly, hasn't he? Are scouting reports that negative now?
Another factor that occurs me with this new Braves lineup ---
with the injury histories of Chipper, Glauys and A. Gonzalez, what's the Braves' over-under on days-lost-to-injury down the stretch?
And forgive this bit of amateur psychology from an Atlanta fan --- but I think much of Yunel's problems here came from simple immaturity, a very serious language gap and a sensitive nature. Not the first time a kid with complicated emotions and bad communication skills was branded a sulker. Eager-to-please turns to frustration and the next day jock-radio has labeled you lazy and sullen. You could feel Yunel pressing with every at bat. I didn't know about the pop-ups but it sure fits. There's nothing wrong with Yunel Escobar that a a fresh start can't solve. And watch out when he starts driving the ball opposite field. He's about to start looking like one of the best young shortstops in the game again.
I've been wondering when someone was going to give Jo Jo Reyes another chance. (Kept waiting for Arizona this spring.) The arm is live. With the success Toronto has had with lefties, I wouldn't be surprised to see him up and useful some time after Scott Downs moves on.
Interesting to read that Yunel's real power is to left-center. Distinctly remember Bobby Cox saying this spring that he knew Escobar was dialed-in when he was driving the ball to right center.
Rob, thanks for the nod. You made my day.
We don't think Sanabia earned another audition for the Florida five-spot? I tend to over-enthuse about these types sometimes, but I thought this one showed stuff and toughness. I like him.
Love these context articles, where we get a better understanding of the relative value of the names we see so often in Future Shock. Thank you.
Love the "Scouts View", as usual.
Mike Carp trade rumors to follow.
"There are only two hitters in the major leagues that even remotely have a chance to win a triple crown."
Josh Hamilton makes it three.
That said, the real value of Value Picks is in pointing out the non-obvious. Fantasy players can find the Arroyos-of-the-world with a click of the "percentage-owned" header. Telling readers that Randy Wolf might be useful isn't, well, useful.
And, I'd be willing to bet that your average BP reader is in deeper than average leagues.
Great article, great discussion.
Haven't heard, though, a discussion of what Plan B might be for Texas if (when?) Davis doesn't work out at 1B. I mean, if there's anyone for whom you'd want to have a Plan B, it's Chris Davis. He's proven that --- and so have the Rangers, losing patience with him --- for a second time --- one month into the season.
Chris Davis or Bust? Really?
Glad to see a Don Sutton mention. A bit brainy for most in Atlanta -- go figure -- his pitching insights are top notch.
Totally agree on Sciambi. Way under-rated. He did Atlanta TV last year and, teamed with (the also under-rated) Joe Simpson, was a real pleasure. Definitely a BP kind of guy, knows his numbers and has a silly sense of humor --- all of which I really miss.
I feel like I owe Brian Sabean and Aubrey Huff an apology.
Also ... if Vegas put odds on things like "Who'll be the closer in Cleveland by the end of the year?", I wouldn't mind having me some Frank Herrmann at, say, 10-1.
Am I the only one who gets the feeling that the O's see Simon and Gonzalez as placeholders while David Hernandez works his way into the job? If his recent K/BB and K/IP ratios are any measure, he may be closer to Closer than most think.
I like this a lot --- revisiting prior appraisals for re-appraisal. More of this would be most welcome. Nice job.
Ladies and gentlemen ---- Jon Jay.
No love for Jonathon Lucroy?
Christina Karl needs to temper nothing.
Gotta say. This whole "You should be nicer when I insult you" crowd is THE most annoying part of BPro.
Totally agree with point 3 here. But rather than "expanding Goldstein's work" I think we're looking for a feature that expands ON it.
Everyone loves the in-detail, day-to-day prospect updates. But eventually, without context, I don't know what much of it means.
The context I'm looking for here is more team-by-team --- hitting the refresh button on pre-season Top Prospects rankings. Organizational issues, strengths and weaknesses,
Who's hot, who's not. Who's stuck. Who's being fast-tracked.
Who's outperforming expectations, who's disappointing. And insights into the what scouts and front-offices are thinking.
The point is, pre-season prospect rankings really could use some in-season re-appraisals. Whether it's by-team or overall or both, I think this would be a useful and popular addition.
Seems to me, Boston's interest in Cliff Lee in a trade-market full of more 'logical' pieces is akin to a team's taking the best player available in the draft.
What's nice about this ... and I have to say, sometimes lacking in other minor league updates ... is the organizational context. Learning that Kipnis is tearing it up at Hi-A is one thing. Learning that his promotion to AA makes him an heir-apparent is downright useful.
If this is all beneath bpcon, well then, I think we should all just acknowledge that he is a great big ol' smarty pants.
(my browser won't let me respond to individual posts. this is in response to the bash-Wil thread above)
What exactly has Wil done wrong here? He misspelled the only Zimmermann ever in the history of Zimmermen to have two 'n's'. Fine. He pointed out it's kind of a natural mistake. It is. He used strong language to express a strongly-held opinion --- and when asked about it, said he'd throw in qualifiers next time for the faint of heart.
Yeah, that's what we need. More quisling, butt-covering commentary.
I am impressed by Wil Carrols' work every time I read it.
Every single time. It's fresh, measured, rigorous and just smart as hell. More to the point, his work is self-examination itself. If Wil Carrol suddenly pops up with a strongly-held opinion that differs with my own, I'm pretty sure I know who's wrong.
In fact, Will5, this is EXACTLY the kind of insight I'm paying for.
I'm mystified by the flack directed at Craig Calcaterra.
So Buster Olney comes on and says there's 'no truth to the report'. What, has God spoken?
It seems clear that CC's source was not with either team but was inside MLB. If that's the case, then it seems equally clear that the Oswalt negotiations had reached the stage where the clubs needed a read on the deal's feasibility from the commissioner's office.
Isn't this just what Calcaterra reported? So one of the clubs denied it. Big honking deal. Teams deny truths daily.
If Buster Olney had gotten the same information from the same source under the same circumstances he'd've reported the same darn thing.
(shrewd observation from tbwhite about Parra's second-time-around walk-rate. nice.)
Christina --- Isn't the Arizona-Oakland deal as much about Cole Gillespie as it is anything else? At worst, Gillespie + Parra gives them a somewhat-more-productive-than-Jackson platoon. But it's the upside that, it seems to me, is key. This gives Gillespie a chance to win the job outright and thus become the young building-block that Conor couldn't be. As for your assessment that "Demel's value in the pen is perhaps [more] eventual than instant", I like the other side of that perhaps. All I know about him is what you've told us --- and that sounds awfully good for a bullpen on fire. With his bosses on double-secret-probation, I'm willing to bet young Mr. Demel gets all the late-inning work he can handle, as quickly as he half shows he can handle it.
I think it's a major league baseball rule. Remember, Manny was able to rehab while suspended because minors weren't bound by the labor-agreement.
Kevin, now that you're turned us (me) on to Brandon Belt, where would you rank him these days among the Giants Top 11 --- or would he still be out looking in? Do scouts expect power to emerge? Or is the drop-off versus lefties considered the main obstacle to his progress? And finally, do you think the Giants will test him at AA soon? Thanks.
John, any word on what happens when Bartlett returns Wednesday-ish? Brignac and Rodgriguez have been such solid replacements, is Bartlett in danger of becoming a part-time player?
That's right. This is Fox News.
Two add-on thoughts. 1/ Reports out today say the Rangers are looking for a platoon-mate for Smoak. (Conor Jackson?) 2/ LaPorta once again mashing AAA.
Poor Pirates ... worse than the Astros even.
buffum cracks me up.
If the Reds are looking for help with the bullpen, may I suggest Aaron Harang?
Saw where Dayton Moore was quoted just today as saying that, not only is Moustakas not coming up this year, they're in no hurry to free Alex Gordon.
Re: ultimate New York scrub --- two images come to mind.
Bruce Pearson, as "played" by Robert DeNiro. (3rd-string catcher for the New York Mammoths in 'Bang the Drum Slowly')
And an old 1963 baseball card of Phil Linz.
Surprised to see no reference to Logan Forsythe. Injury taken him off the radar entirely?
Fascinating. I've gotta start reading this column more often. Thanks for that.
to buffum's point re: the Indians --- y'gotta wonder, how long is it going to take before the Pirates, Mariners, Angels and/or Orioles start sniffing around Ka'aihue?
Yeah, but isn't that always going to be the case anytime we purport to investigate a player's performance in-season? I mean, it's going to be imprecise. It's inherent, right? Given that, I think the author is saying, here are some indicators.
Has anyone ever examined all the perfect games to find the Most Perfect game ever pitched? (However that might be defined.)
John, just so you know, I find "Rumors and Rumblings" to be a great source of ahead-of-the-curve info, and really appreciate the time and effort I know it must take to dig out those little twenty-word nuggets. Nice work. Thank you.
(speaking of flight-ish, saw this the other day ...
Good question on Trumbo. Why ISN'T he the call-up? Do we know?
Ladies and gentlemen, your Pepsi Great Idea winner.
Am I the only one who grows more suspicious of BABIP the more he sees it applied? Cases in point, Masterson and Ichiro. Masterson is just flat easy to hit, especially for lefties. Okay, his BABIP may flatten some but it's not all bad luck.
Don't we have to say, at some point, the league is hitting the ball hard against this guy and hard-hit balls become base hits? Similarly, don't we have to conclude that Ichiro's always high BABIP is a function of bat-control?
BP has taught us all that performance numbers tend to return to the mean. Got it. But that's simply not the same thing as "all variances from average BABIP are luck". I haven't put my finger on it here, but something's smelly in the land BABIP-assumptions.
I've really gotta cut back on my recreational Kant consumption.
And would the Twins be more likely to give Trevor a shot if his name wasn't Plouffe?
That was especially nice, wasn't it?
Besides, are we really convinced that Pedro Alvarez is an automatic call-up next month? I sense reluctance.
Don't give up on Beckham? Too late. Already have.
So it's your position that Craig should no longer report on these evolving situations because you're already aware they exist?
First of all, the fact that Thornton's elbow issues have been pronounced not-serous IS news. As is, to me at least, the fact that the Sox have so lost faith in Jenks that they're seriously shopping him.
Then there's Arizona, where Hinch recently said the job was being "thrown open", then proceeded to give save opp's to the same old guy. Why? Well, maybe it's because, as is suggested here, Qualls' secondary numbers aren't as tragic and Heilman has become the the only useful 8th-inning alternative. This too qualifies as news in that it offers a better glimpse into Hinch's thinking than I've seen before.
Should Craig no longer report on these evolving situations because you're already aware they exist?
A couple of really interesting and useful articles. Nice work there. Now, how about the reverse --- (inverse? obverse?) --- a couple of articles on early under-performers and their chances of becoming bounce-backs?
Gotcha. Thanks for the reply on that, Will. (Must be all those years on the driving range that makes this kind of stuff interesting to me now.)
(And a tip of the cap to 33-year old John Lindsey in Albuquerque, hitting .434 in 145 AB's?)
Gosh, I hate it when I reach the end of a Transaction Action. Couldn't you just make stuff up?
You've gotta love a phenomenon which comes with two illustrations only to be described as impossible to see.
I am sincerely curious and confused. It's the angle of the arm (part unspecified) to the body (part unspecified) that has nothing to do with shoulder tilt? Is it the angle of the upper arm to the socket? Of the forearm to the spine? The upper arm to the spine? The upper arm or forearm to the shoulders?
Dictionary says it's the movement of a body part away from the body's central axis. So we're talking angle of forearm to spine? But the 90-ish degree angle you mention would seem to be a measure of either upper arm to spine or forearm to upper arm.
And are we saying that, whatever this angle is, it is a range of optimal effectiveness or a range outside of which injury is most likely to occur? Or both? A follow-up here would be appreciated.
Interesting article, there. Thanks.
As for Grant, my understanding is that his drinking was more reputation than reality and that, during the war itself, his only significant time off-the-wagon was during the siege of Vicksburg. Summertime in Mississippi and all that.
one man's opinion (because I was wondering something simillar and recently looked it up) ... Edwin Jackson is a 60/40-ish flyball pitcher. With the Arizona ballpark becoming the new Colorado, he scares me there. (But his recent K/BB ratio sure is enticing, isn't it?)
I find the MLB show pretty much unwatchable. Never mind the stat-revolution --- they're just tedious. Lots of laughter at nothing funny and not a darned insight in sight. At least Baseball Tonight has Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian and a very under-rated Buck Showalter.
Meanwhile, barely on topic, did anyone happen to see a mid-afternoon-last-week-of-the-preseason-I-forget-who-played game broadcast by John Sciambi and Buck Showalter? I've got the Extra Innings package and watch way more baseball than I should and that little broadcast was easily the most entertaining game I've seen in the last two seasons. Really good chemistry. Smart and funny. Wonder if anyone at ESPN even noticed.
Not that anyone else cares --- but what a crappy cup of coffee the Orioles gave Rhyne Hughes. This kid can hit. Fast hands. Gets to the low inside pitch about as quickly as anyone I've seen this year.
But the O's decide to protect him from lefties, then decide to give Garrett Atkins' sloggy bat some more chances to prove its slogginess, then refuse to use Hughes because lo and behold he's oh for his last five spot starts, and then, hey look, Luke Scott is upright and Corey Patterson is breathing!
I'm just saying, the kid can hit.
Are we really convinced that Freddy Sanchez gets full-time at-bats the day he comes off the DL? Bochy said something last week about a middle-infield rotation.
More to the point I'm trying to make here, Matt Downs suddenly looks ready. I've seen maybe fifteen at-bats and thought he looked like a real live major league hitter --- comfortable, smart and aggressive every time. Plus, he's flat hittin' it. Just saying, they seem to like him and these untrained eyes do too.
One other thing --- Austin Kearns? Owned in less than 1% of ESPN leagues, last I looked.
One guy's observation --- Guillen, before DL-ing, was swinging beautifully. Noticeably sharper than in the past two injury-laden years. He looked five years younger.
ha ha ha
I don't guess there's anyone out there who thinks the Phils might leapfrog all the obvious options and give Bastardo a shot at the closer job, is there?
Anyone? The kid throws bullet-strikes, looks flat mean out there and, come on, the name alone has gotta be good for a half-dozen saves. No? Anyone?
Noticing that the two closers on the verge of losing their jobs --- 35 year-old Dotel and 83 year-old Hoffman..
Interesting. Wouldn't have noticed the defensive improvements if you hadn't pointed them out here. Thanks.
And the speed, yeah, even Cruz and Hamilton look peppy in this offense. Wasn't aware of how darned efficient they are though. Good factoid.
But the pitching portion of your discussion --- because only one guy exceeded a 2/1 K/BB ratio, we're deducing that pitching is not an equal ingredient? Might this be a case of asking stats to tell us something our eyes already know?
Feldman and Hunter made a difference last year. This year it's Colby Lewis, C.J. Wilson, Feliz and, maybe maybe maybe, Matt Harrison. (with Holland reportedly on the doorstep) They're simply better pitchers than the rags and muffins we're used to. They throw strikes --- good strikes --- they attack inside, change speeds and outsmart.
The upgrade is obvious --- on the field, if not yet in the numbers.
yep. love the scout stuff.
Glad to see a nod there to Gio in your off-the-cuff list.
Saw him the other night in an outing that looked bad on paper (5-5-5 ish) but was impressed by his stuff. Plenty of pace, changed eye levels nicely, wasn't afraid to come inside and occasionally showed startling movement.
And I like the mojo in Oakland: Anderson, Duch, Braden, Ross, Bailey. Fascinating variety of styles. With a 3.07 staff E.