Will Carroll's Under The Knife is called the "industry standard" by
Peter Gammons and that's good enough for us. Carroll's groundbreaking
work on injuries have led to it becoming a standard part of the
discussion in baseball. Whether you're a fantasy fan or checking out
how your team will be without a star, there's simply no other place to
get this kind of daily information.
Papi's hearing sounds in his head, Woody's back, Wagner is waiting, and it may be Joba the Hurt.
I can't say enough good things about participating in Newberg Night, and I can't say enough bad things about flying on United, so let's start with the positives. Joe Sheehan and I were lucky enough to be the Opening Act for Jon Daniels' ninety-minute Q&A session, which is always surprisingly candid and not-so-surprisingly enlightening. From Grant Schiller's opening question to the final standing ovation that thundered through the auditorium, it was a great night to be a Rangers fan. Raising over $5,000 for the Hello Win Column Fund was even better, and I hope it's the start of something big for the next time we do an event. I've done Newberg Night every time Jamey's had one, and even with United doing their best to keep me in Dallas, I'll be back for the next one. (Maybe United will go broke before then, because they did a sorry job of being an airline yesterday.)
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There's still a lot of turmoil over who goes where in the top ten picks of this year's draft.
It's draft week, so let's get away from the players getting paid and start the week with a different kind of Ten Pack. Here are ten players generating the longest and most heated discussions during the non-stop internal meetings that took place over the weekend.
Two iconic Yankees are dealing with minor ailments, while a key part of the Rays renaissance faces a more troubling setback.
We can't agree how to assess pitching mechanics or how to measure velocity on pitchers, so why should I expect anything different when it comes to valuing injuries? One of the biggest concerns I've heard about my admittedly quick & dirty Injury Cost calculation is that MORP, Nate Silver's method of valuing a player's contribution, already takes playing time into account, making IC a de facto double counting of value lost. So I'm opening up the floor--is there a better way to do this? I've talked with a couple people on the issue and so far, while better is possible, it's also significantly more complex without the requisite gains. My pal Aaron Schatz over at Pro Football Prospectus always says "the best is the enemy of the better." To me, providing an easily calculated measure of comparison that everyone can understand at a glance ("Oh, losing Garza to the DL is a bit worse than losing Jeter for a week.") has merit. As always, I'm open to improvement. Powered by The Goose, on to the injuries:
Jonah sits down with Lee MacPhail, the Director, Baseball Administration/Special Assignment Scout for the Washington Nationals. Among the items they discuss: old-school scouting, the situation of the Expos/Nationals, and the team's recent draft strategy.
Lee IV has worked in the Orioles, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos organizations. He now holds the title of Director, Baseball Administration/Special Assignment Scout for the Washington Nationals. MacPhail recently chatted with Baseball Prospectus about his family legacy, the challenges of working under uncertain conditions with the Expos and Nats and other topics.
This year's four candidates for the second Dick Martin Award for Best Medical Staff include the 2004 winner. See how they all stack up.
Conversely, teams that are able to keep their players healthy can reap the benefits of doing so. Landing few players on the disabled list allows a club to let their minor-league players develop longer instead of having to rush them to the majors to fill in for injured regulars. Minimizing DL costs is also an investment in the future, as preventing traumatic injuries and their lingering complications allows players to realize their ability and produce on the field.
Last year, BP's Will Carroll presented the inaugural Dick Martin Award for Best Medical Staff to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' team. This year, the candidates have been narrowed down to the top four, with the winner to be named and the award presented at the winter meetings in Dallas next month. The criteria for the award include the amount of days spent by players on the disabled list, the amount of money spent on players' contracts while on they're on the disabled list, dollar distance from the average DL salary and percent of team payroll spent on DL salary. These criteria were chosen to demonstrate how well teams were able to keep their players healthy not only in comparison with their peers but also within their means.
Real-world examples show us that we use scouting and performance analysis together all the time.
This is all so silly. We all use both schools even if we don't know or acknowledge it. All that remains is to realize it and learn the other side. Even if we don't speak the language, we know the meaning.
Pedro could help himself and the Red Sox by airing it out this season. Can Brandon Larson be a viable option for the Reds at third base? Kevin Towers predicts good things for the Padres offense. These and other news and notes in today's Prospectus Triple Play.
Steinbrennerfreude?: In the wake of the A-Rod deal two weeks ago, this space offered hope, in the form of some gaudy Sox pitching forecasts from PECOTA's 2004 weighted-mean projections. For today's burst of spring optimism, Sox fans need look no further than Will Carroll's Team Health Reports, where green means go and red means exploding labrums.
Now playing right field for the Cards: Dane Iorg! Joe Roa could be the Phillies' ace by Opening Day. Dan Wright: crappy pitcher or crappy injured pitcher? And Will Carroll vs. arrogance in a 12-round title fight.
Thanks to Peter Gammons, who gave BP Premium and myself a nice plug in this week's Diamond Notes. Gammons remains the Barry Bonds of baseball journalists.
About the time Jimmy Carter left office and Brett Myers was born, the
Philadelphia Phillies were a proud organization. They had the sharpest
scouts, a huge staff of men trained in Branch Rickey's maxims. Even their
executives had a scouting mindset. The Phillies wrote the book on scouting:
the Philadelphia Scouting Manual. Philadelphia's scouts were
intensely competitive, arousing hatred and admiration. In Dollar Sign on
the Muscle, Kevin Kerrane quotes one Phillies scout as saying that they
were "the anti-fraternity of scouting...as well as anti-draft,
anti-Bureau, anti-middle of the [freakin'] road."
Right now, the Phillies are in first place in the NL East. They're
successful, but are they proud, are they an organization to fear, an
organization capable of arousing resentment? Going into this season, they
hadn't posted a winning record in seven years. Just a year ago, the
Phillies' winning percentage was .401. They were playing like they were
anti-middle of the road; they were pro-ditch. Their spike this season will
likely fade before the year is over, but even if they hold on through
September they are almost certain to suffer a regression next season. Their
run atop the division is most likely a false spring rather than an