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The interesting thing is that at least on an annual average value basis, the Angels payroll going into 2013 is roughly flat from 2012. They shed the salaries they were paying Hunter, Abreu, Greinke, Haren, Santana, Izturis and Hawkins while adding the costs of Hamilton, Blanton, Madson and Burnett.
The Reds can have both the 13th pitcher and Hamilton in September because rosters expand and there is no 25 man limit.
I agree with you on the tactics argument. Good baseball managers make the right decisions. Sometimes the right decision for the team is to wait for the 3-run home run. With that said, I think that PatrickG has a point; baseball is more exciting at least to me when it isn't as clear what the right decision is and allow me to think along with the manager.
In your base-stealing argument, you're right, but what about the situation where you've got a 65% base-stealer, but the pitcher is particularly stingy and you've got a singles hitter at the plate. I like those types of situations.
I think that Lindbergh made a good argument here about the Yankees situation. My point is that I don't enjoy that style of baseball as much; I'd rather see the ball put in play. I find the 3 true outcomes to be less exciting.
He would have no value there either if he either (a) got hurt or (b) became Brandon Wood.
Brandon Boggs. Was Boggs on a rehab assignment or something. I'm curious as to how he can both be called up and out of options to send down. My understanding is that an option is an option for the entire season.
I personally would prefer going back to 2 divisions and a total of 4 teams in the playoffs, but that isn't going to happen. I kind of like this proposal though because it would weaken the wild card and make the division championship mean more. However, the structure will be key here; they need to reduce the number of days off during the postseason. Long breaks between series need to be eliminated and the number of off-days needs to be greatly reduced. 4th starters get few appearances in the post-season and 5th starters are almost unheard of. I'd like to see that change.
I noticed that in the case of the Angels, the projections are significantly different than those published in the annual. I compared the annual to the spreadsheet and found significant differences and ones that matter quite a bit in this analysis. (I don't know why the discrepancy although it may have been mentioned somewhere else in the book or on the website). For example, the spreadsheet pegs Kendrick as a .708 OPS while the book has him at .775. Torii Hunter is pegged at .752 in the spreadsheet, but .819 in the annual.
Was there a change in the algorithm between the book and the spreadsheet or are they different numbers. I glanced at a few of the A's and noticed a similar discrepancy. While the relative differences in strengths of the team may remain, I would be curious to know what the ratings of Bad, Average, Good and Elite are based on the 2011 projections. I would be willing to bet that several of the positions above would move up a slot or two.
Honestly, I don't see how an empirical analysis of Pettitte could lead to a conclusion of HOFer and I appreciate that Jay didn't come to that conclusion. He basically had the same regular season career as Chuck Finley (seriously, check out their career IP, ERA, ERA+ etc, BABIP as shown by Jay). The big exception is that Pettitte had much better taste in teammates than Finley did (hence the postseason performances and more wins and winning percentage). Unless we give him a lot of extra credit for being lucky enough to be drafted by the Yankees, I couldn't vote for him for the HOF.
I like the point here Christina. As a lifelong Angels fan, I was frustrated by the entire offseason.
The Angels are a team that seems primed to prevent runs extremely effectively. I am in no way excited about the Wells trade, but as I try to rationalize it, the one thing that makes sense about it is that the outfield defense should be improved. It appears on paper (and the stats seem to back it up) that an outfield defense of Wells, Bourjos and Hunter will be very good. If you listen to the Halos propaganda, it will be one of the best ever. I don't buy that, but the defense does seem to be very good.
On top of that, the Angels have a flyball heavy rotation. Among pitchers with at least 100 innings in 2010, the Angels have 4 pitchers in their rotation amongst the top 25 (out of 147) in Air outs as a percentage of balls in play.
Weaver ranked 3rd with 37.2%
Santana 9th at 34.6%
Kazmir 12th at 34.3%
Haren 25th at 32.3%
Only Pineiro at 23.5% (at 119th) isn't a fly-ball pitcher.
In that regard, the trade makes some sense (the money doesn't). The Angels are poised to be very good at preventing runs. I still don't know how they'll score runs, but if they can somehow manage to be average offensively, there's a good chance that they win the division.
It's amazing that this trade was made by the same guy who stole Dan Haren from Arizona.
The trade would make some sense (not much) if the Angels were getting some money in return (15-20 million total), but it makes no sense in isolation.
I like these types of articles since it's fun to argue about. I'm not exactly sure who qualifies for the list though. He seems to have omitted eligible players who are still on the ballot, but appear to have a chance (Larkin & Raines), but left on others who are still on the ballot, but appear not to have a chance (Mattingly). So my picks are:
1B- Bagwell (if he doesn't qualify for either having too much support or steroid rumors, then McGriff).
2B- Grich in a squeaker over Whitaker
SS- Larkin (Trammell if Larkin doesn't qualify)
LF- Raines (Belle, if Raines doesn't qualify)
CF- Lynn (Yes his peak was high mafrth, but he also lasted playing 17 seasons albeit with some time on the DL)
I think the option essentially means that this is either a 1 year- $3million deal or a 2 year- $8 million deal. If he plays well, the Padres will likely pick up the option which for them is only a $5 million marginal cost. If he doesn't, then that $1 million buyout is a sunk cost.
It could be that I'm not fully grasping the math here, but it seems to me that Edgar should need to exceed the standards that any other player needs to exceed. As you point out, he doesn't exceed the standards at 3B. If he can't exceed those standards, why should we apply an easier standard? It doesn't logically make sense to me that Martinez should have an easier standard than Chipper Jones for example.
My take is that the Nats are looking at prestige, but that Werth has the added bonus of being part of a win later approach. If things work out for the Nats, Werth can be part of a team including Zimmerman, Harper and Strasburg that begins to peak in 2012 or 2013.
The problem with the lower than .800 OPS for Crawford is that it's incredibly misleading. It's the problem with looking at career numbers in general, they may include information that doesn't take into account context. In Crawford's case, that means numbers from his age 20 and 21 seasons that were less than stellar. If you take those numbers out, you see a line of .301/.342/.461. The issue for the coming team is what Crawford will do in the future. Last year's Pecota projects solid if unspectacular numbers for the forseeable future. While I would worry a little about the speed, Crawford should remain good enough to be a solid player throughout his contract. I wouldn't go 10 years for Crawford, but 6-7 wouldn't be unreasonable.
The difference between this case and the AL CY is that we're starting with two roughly even players in Pujols and Votto. In a case like that, it's certainly reasonable to look at the context of their seasons. In the AL CY, it wasn't close. Sabathia was the 4th best starter by VORP and a full 19 runs behind. If Felix and CC were within a run or two in VORP, then I wouldn't think it unreasonable to look at the fact that CC had more Wins and played for a playoff team to give him the edge.
Pujols/Votto outcome is not surprising or in my opinion indicative of an underinformed electorate. The Ryan Howard voters and perhaps the CarGo voters are much scarier to me. I also find it a little unnerving at how poorly Halladay performed. He was the best player on a playoff team. I think it's time for the writers to consider pitchers again for the award.
Kevin, great work as always. I also always enjoy this series. I'm not much of a Pirate's follower, but I wonder what it says about the organization that the top 3 prospects have no professional experience. Have the players drafted in years past shown nothing? Are scouts a little extra excited about the new players and see only potential because their flaws haven't been exposed yet? Is it something special about these guys? Is there something else driving that?
I didn't think that Type B free agents cost their new teams a pick (as you comment with Garland). It was my understanding that a Type B free agent compensation is a sandwich pick, not one of the signing team's picks. I could be wrong here, so chime in.
I think this analysis of the Rangers is good, but that it discounts the Angels a little too much. The Angels have the most resources in the division and a general willingness to spend money. They go into next year with a rotation of Haren, Weaver, Santana, Pineiro and Kazmir and they have Haren, Weaver and Santana under control through at least 2012 (Haren and Santana have options for 2013). Whatever you might say about the rest of their team, that's a pretty good place to start.
On the offensive side, there are plenty of easy fixes too. Morales will likely come back healthy and a solid year from him will be a huge upgrade for the offense. A year of Callaspo would be a huge upgrade on what they've gotten out of the 3rd Base slot this year. If Aybar splits the difference between 2009 and 2010, that would be an upgrade and the same goes for Rivera and Abreu. At catcher, they would upgrade by simply not employing Jeff Mathis. They've indicated that they will look at the free agent market (with Crawford or potentially Beltre seeming to be decent fits).
On top of that, they have consistently beaten their W3 for the past 5 years (and not by small amounts). Whether that's Mike Scioscia or luck, I'm not sure.
I'm not saying that the Angels will win, but I wouldn't discount the possibility.
Whether or not the rule is currently in place is irrelevant to the argument. The rule can be changed.
I want to preface this statement by saying I do not forgive Pete Rose. Likewise, I do not think Pete Rose should ever be allowed to be employed by major league baseball again.
However, I do think he should be put into the Hall of Fame (or at least considered) at some point. I'm OK with holding off until his death. If we want to make it a lifetime ban, let's limit it to a lifetime. However, on his plaque it should have a line that says something like:
"Major League Baseball banned Pete Rose for life when as a Manager, he bet on baseball."
When kids go with their parents to the Hall of Fame and read the plaque, it becomes an educational experience and emphasizes MLBs position on gambling. Something similar should happen with Shoeless Joe.
Jackie Robinson played Running Back for UCLA.
One of the biggest problems even if they get a first baseman is that it will likely mean that Napoli goes to the bench with Scioscia's infatuation with Jeff Mathis. Adam LaRoche and Lyle Overbay are upgrades on Jeff Mathis, but they're not (at least by much) over Napoli.
If either of those happen and it moves Napoli to the bench or into some job sharing arrangement, there's not much of an improvement. In fact, the Callaspo move would be a much bigger upgrade (with Wood going to the bench).
I'm not against getting a bat, but the Halos really only shot at the west is a return to form of Rivera, Matsui, and Abreu. On top of that they need some consistency out of the rotation (which Haren should help with). With the exception of Weaver, there aren't any players on the roster having better seasons than they did last year and in most cases are considerably worse. Obviously, losing Morales was a huge blow, but the underperformance of the rest of the roster is equally damaging.
FYI, Maicer Izturis is signed through 2012 I believe. They signed a 3-year deal before the season.
Vlad has started 8 games with two additional appearances in Right Field this season.
That would be a great graphic and I'd love to see it. That also seems like a good stat/graph for Baseball Prospectus to create. I'd love to see a graph of where balls were hit while x was playing the field and which ones he got to and made a play on. Obviously, this would be a project and unless MLB maps it out, it would be nearly impossible to create.
I had the same experience except that I had to have my left eye re-lasered about 6 months later.
My best piece of advice is keep using artificial tears. the dry eyes was annoying for me for about 3 or 4 months.
The innings by this robot are valuable as well as the ease on the bullpen. It's interesting that when I see this line in the box score, I think "bleh."
Ultimately though the value to a team is dependent upon all of the factors mentioned, mainly offense and bullpen. It also depends on the predictability of the offense and bullpen. Even if you have an offense that averages more than 4 runs per game (the minimum to make this a winning pitcher), you're still going to lose too many games if the distribution of runs/game is highly skewed.
The bullpen make-up is also a tricky question because the team's expected winning percentage is dependent on the quality and dependability of its best relievers. If you assume that the team always has 2 innings of quality relief in it when robot pitches, then it simplifies the calculation of the value of the offense because basically, you would only need to determine the % of the time that your team scores 5 or more runs to determine the expected winning %. It doesn't matter as much about the quality of the poorer relievers on the team because they would presumably get work in robot's games only if the team was losing 4-0 or 4-1 when robot left after the 7th.
I really enjoy this thought exercise and hope you do more of it.
I enjoy Jay's work and look forward to these every year, but I do agree with the comment about comparing a defensive to a non-defensive player.
These are my initial thoughts on the issue. I believe that FRAA goes is a factor in WARP which is the underlying metric used here (I'm not an expert, so please correct me if I'm wrong). If that's the case, then DHs have an artificially high FRAA of 0. This is problematic for a DH because although there can be no distinguishing the defense of DHs, there is a defensive cost. Specifically, if Edgar Martinez weren't the DH, then presumably, the next worst defensive option would be the DH. The difference between the replacement DH and his replacement fielder is the defensive cost in employing Edgar as the DH. I have no idea how we would begin to calculate this though.
Another way of looking at it is that players who were poor fielders, but didn't DH much (either because of rules or the options of the team) fare much worse than Edgar at FRAA. For example, Harmon Killebrew had 9 seasons in which he had -8 FRAA or worse whereas Edgar Martinez only had 1 season worse than -7 FRAA. The reason for that of course is that Killebrew played the field for most of his career whereas Edgar did not. Nevertheless, I would argue that Killebrew's defense was more valuable simply because he played the field. If he had played DH during his entire career, his FRAA would have been much better. My argument is that Edgar's WARP scores should be penalized more for his lack of defense than Killebrew's is for his poor defense. I don't know exactly how you would calculate it at this point.
The Sanchez deal may make the Giants better, and it may be better than them not making any deal at all. However, I think the point here is that they could have gotten more for Alderson. If, for example, they could have gotten Dunn instead of Sanchez and they didn't, then this was a bad deal. If Sanchez was really the most they could get, then dguretz may be right and this may be an OK deal for them.
I personally don't believe it was the best and herein lies the criticism of Sabean.
I'm a lifelong Angels fan. I went to my first spring training this year and saw Adenhart pitch well as a he prepped for the season. I watched last night's game on TV and was thrilled to watch him pitch out of jam after jam. It's a tragic way for his story to end. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.