Will more players follow Brad Penny's lead in playing overseas for more money?
Brad Penny is taking his talents to Japan to play for the Softbank Hawks. But that is not the real story here—the real story is that the Hawks will pay Penny $4 million in 2012, and offer him the potential to earn $3.5 million more in incentives. The deal also carries a $4.5 million mutual option for 2013.
By major-league standards, Penny has become a shadow of his former self. In 31 starts last season, he struck out a paltry 74 batters in 181 2/3 innings and walked 62. His 9.2 K-percentage was dead last among qualifying starters. Penny turns 34 in May and is now purely a contact pitcher with the ability to eat innings, but without the ability to do so productively. He has not been worth more than 1.0 WARP since 2007.
Detroit's old injury risks are joined by a few new ones in 2011.
The Team Injury Projections are here, driven by our brand new injury forecasting system, the Comprehensive Health Index [of] Pitchers [and] Players [with] Evaluative Results—or, more succinctly, CHIPPER. Thanks to work by Colin Wyers and Dan Turkenkopf and a database loaded with injuries dating back to the 2002 season—that's nearly 4,600 players and well over 400,000 days lost to injury—we now have a system that produces injury-risk assessments to three different degrees. CHIPPER projects ratings for players based on their injury history—these ratings measure the probability of a player missing one or more games, 15 or more games, or 30 or more games. CHIPPER will have additional features added to it throughout the spring and early season that will enhance the accuracy of our injury coverage.
These ratings are also available in the Player Forecast Manager (pfm.baseballprospectus.com), where they'll be sortable by league or position—you won’t have to wait for us to finish writing this series in order to see the health ratings for all of the players.
Placed RHP Kyle Lohse on the 15-day DL (strained forearm), retroactive to 5/23; purchased the contract of RHP Fernando Salas from Memphis (Triple-A). [5/27]
Optioned RHP Fernando Salas and OF-RJoe Mather to Memphis; recalled RHP Adam Ottavino from Memphis; purchased the contract of LHP Evan MacLane from Memphis. [5/29]
Optioned LHP Evan MacLane to Memphis; recalled 1B/LF-RAllen Craig from Memphis. [5/31]
Brandon Webb takes advantage of an advanced pitching program to change his mechanics and other medical news from around baseball.
Brandon Webb (labrum surgery, ERD 7/10) We've long known that the labs at the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) were one of the great secrets in baseball. While we've had journalists, including myself, that have toured their facilities and seen their capabilities, few teams have made use of them. Even then, we don't know much about it. Since Moneyball, where Dr. Glenn Fleisig and his facilities were referenced in their advanced pitching program, we've never really gotten to see the results. Fleisig and the teams that use the facility are bound by privilege in most cases, but when Webb spoke up about his results at a recent session, the door cracked open a bit. The Diamondbacks' pitcher was quoted as saying that he was able to determine from his testing at ASMI that his arm angle was too high. He said that all the work he's done may have been a waste given that he was doing it wrong. I spoke with Dr. Fleisig, though he couldn't speak about Webb specifically. He seemed a bit surprised that Webb had gone on-record, but pleasantly so. "He got it right," Fleisig said in reference to the ideal arm angle. The abduction angle is created by the arm in relation to the body—in this photo, Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt's arm is at or near 90 degrees, which is within the 86-102 degree range found by ASMI's studies. One of the tougher things to understand is that the tilt of the shoulders doesn't affect the abduction angle. Again in a photo, we see Oswalt demonstrating a hard shoulder tilt. Oswalt's abduction angle in this picture looks slightly below 90 degrees, but I asked Fleisig if someone could see that angle. His answer? A very quick "No, it's impossible."
A look at what hitters terrorize certain pitchers what pitchers dominate certain hitters.
Brad Penny has certainly had his share of success during 11 major league seasons. The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander has won 108 games, was a major contributor to a World Series champ (2003 Marlins), pitched in two All-Star Games and dated noted sports fashion designer Alyssa Milano.
Rookie Jaime Garcia and retread Brad Penny are keeping the Cardinals on top of the NL Central.
That the Cardinals have a very good pitching staff certainly isn't a surprise. After all, Chris Carpenter finished second in the National League Cy Young Award voting last year and Adam Wainwright was third, helping the Cardinals finish third in the National League in runs allowed with an average of 3.95 per game.
Evaluating single high-profile signings against more scatter-shot solutions to team needs.
In the first twoparts of this series, I explained my new approach to contract valuations and whether MORP should be linear with respect to WARP. Basically, this entailed asking the question of whether Matt Holliday, perhaps a six-win player, could be just as easily replaced by signing two three-win players or three two-win players. The issue is roster space and playing time. The alternative argument to doing MORP linearly is that a team can sign Holliday and concentrate all six of those wins on one spot of the diamond, and then they could improve themselves more by filling their other openings with decent players as well.