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Articles Tagged Erubiel Durazo 

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June 19, 2007 12:00 am

Wait 'Til Next Year: Midseason Acquisitions

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Bryan Smith

Bryan looks at the biggest impact call-ups since the strike, and gives you a few names you might not yet know who could have an impact on this year's pennant race.

As June slowly fades into July and the trade deadline inches closer, rumors have begun to fly about which teams are looking for midseason help. When you think of moves that can propel a team into the playoffs, you think "trade." But that's not the only midseason acquistion that can help a contender. When the Milwaukee Brewers called up Yovani Gallardo last week, the first-place Brew Crew added an elite pitcher that PECOTA projected a 3.92 ERA from in 2007--and that was before he left Indianapolis with the minor league strikeout lead (110 in 77.2 innings).

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There's a new bit of conventional wisdom that's gaining traction in the media. It says the Oakland offense will be so bad in 2004 that they'll have trouble besting the amped-up Angels for the division title. I should know; I myself indulged in this bit of convention in a recent column I wrote for FoxSports.com, the gracious purveyors of my primary day job. The question I should've asked before pontificating on the subject at hand is this: is it actually true? Is the Oakland offense really in such desperate straits. First, let's acknowledge is no longer a team built around its run-scoring capabilities. Ever since the Moneyball furor, some observers haven't enjoyed pointing out that the A's are in fact a pitching-and-defense outfit. Pointing this out is no longer breaking news, and it never really was all that subversive. It's just true; Oakland hasn't ranked in the top half of AL in runs scored since 2001, but they've ranked second and first, respectively, the last two seasons in fewest runs allowed. Nevertheless, runs are runs, and the A's appear poised to lose quite a few of them on the offensive side of the ledger. Consider that shortstop Miguel Tejada and catcher Ramon Hernandez are both elsewhere. Tejada, among AL shortstops, finished third in Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), while Hernandez ranked fourth among AL catchers in VORP. Tejada and Hernandez also ranked second and fourth, respectively, on the team in VORP. That's a serious hunk of production lost by the team that ranked only ninth in the loop in runs scored.

The question I should've asked before pontificating on the subject at hand is this: is it actually true? Is the Oakland offense really in such desperate straits. First, let's acknowledge is no longer a team built around its run-scoring capabilities. Ever since the Moneyball furor, some observers haven't enjoyed pointing out that the A's are in fact a pitching-and-defense outfit. Pointing this out is no longer breaking news, and it never really was all that subversive. It's just true; Oakland hasn't ranked in the top half of AL in runs scored since 2001, but they've ranked second and first, respectively, the last two seasons in fewest runs allowed.

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Making up for July 4, today's Prospectus Triple Play is actually a Prospectus Six Pack. The Astros have done a good job of making up for Roy Oswalt's absence. The Brewers have a beef with Questec. The Expos can rival the Diamondbacks for team heaviest hit by injuries. The A's need a bat to complement Erubiel Durazo. The Giants have opened up their lead in the NL West thanks to Jerome Williams and friends. The Blue Jays' Greg Myers deserves an Al-Star berth. These and other news and notes out of Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Oakland, San Francisco, and Toronto in today's Double Stuft PTP.

  • June Swoon: Heading into June, the Astros were in great position to take over the division by July; other than a road trip through Boston and New York, they were facing a soft interleague schedule, along with home-and-away series with Arizona. Beat up on the bad teams, do OK against the good ones, and a sizeable division lead would be in the bank.
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    February 11, 2003 2:23 am

    Team Health Reports: Team Health Report: Oakland Athletics

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    Will Carroll

    Team Health Report: Oakland Athletics February 2003

    Projected Lineup

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    February 5, 2003 2:19 pm

    Transaction Analysis: Transaction Analysis, The Wests

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    Christina Kahrl

    Re-signed INF-R Benji Gil and DH-L Brad Fullmer to one-year contracts. Signed OF-R Eric Owens to a one-year contract, and LHP Rich Rodriguez, 2B-R Adam Riggs, and UT-R Oscar Salazar to minor league contracts. Avoided arbitration with 2B-L Adam Kennedy, INF-B Scott Spiezio, and LHPs Jarrod Washburn and Scott Schoeneweis. Claimed C-R Wil Nieves off of waivers (from the Padres).

    IN THIS ISSUE

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    In an article that appeared last week on ESPN.com, Peter Gammons provided a list of 20 players whom respondants to an informal straw poll described as candidates for a breakout season. The list, derived from a survey of major league executives, included a mix of pitchers and hitters, five-tool talents and makeup guys, united only in their ability to tease hibernating fantasy leaguers into dreams of greener days ahead. If one needs any reminder that lists like these are little more than a grownup's version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it's worth reviewing a similar list that Gammons produced last year.

    In an article that appeared last week on ESPN.com, Peter Gammons provided a list of 20 players whom respondants to an informal straw poll described as candidates for a breakout season. The list, derived from a survey of major league executives, included a mix of pitchers and hitters, five-tool talents and makeup guys, united only in their ability to tease hibernating fantasy leaguers into dreams of greener days ahead.

    If one needs any reminder that lists like these are little more than a grownup's version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it's worth reviewing a similar list that Gammons produced last year. That list includes roughly equal representation of the good (Alfonso Soriano and Derek Lowe), the bad (J.D. Drew), and the ugly (Juan Uribe), as well as four players whose performances were so impressive that they made repeat appearances on this year's list.

    Now, none of this is meant to be a knock on Gammons, or the lists he has compiled. Everybody likes to talk about breakout candidates this time of year, ourselves included (Eddie Yarnall, anyone?). Having formerly moonlighted as a daily team correspondent for another baseball website, I can attest to the fact that virtually every player provides at least some excuse each winter for gushing commentary, delusions of grandeur, or other forms of irrational exuberance.

    As it happens, however, we're unrolling a new forecasting system at BP this year--one that is also preoccupied with the question of breakout candidates. The PECOTA system--short for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm--seeks to identify potential breakouts by comparing a player against a database of his historical peers. In so doing, it comes up with an objective estimate of the probability that a player will display marked improvement in the upcoming season (defined as an increase of at least 20% in his Equivalent Runs per plate appearance, or a decrease of at least 20% in his PERA, relative to a weighted average of his previous three years of performance). We refer to this estimate as a player's Breakout score. Readers interested in a more extensive treatment of the PECOTA system will find it in this year's book, and in the PECOTA glossary provided here.

    One brief caveat: the PECOTA system is new technology. That doesn't mean that we stole it from the Raelians, or that we haven’t tested it thoroughly. But sometimes PECOTA provides us with definitive and unexpected answers, and we need to work backwards to try and explain why they came about. That's a bastardization of the scientific method, and I'll ask that you'll excuse me as I run through the hitters on Gammons' list.

    Rank on Gammons List, Player, PECOTA Breakout Score

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    The 17th installment of Joe Sheehan's excellent newsletter appeared in my inbox last night, and it featured analysis of the big, weird Rockies-Marlins-Braves deal that was hinted at last week and finally agreed upon--pending approval from the commissioner's office--this weekend. In analyzing the deal, Joe puts the Rockies in the winner's column and gives the Marlins a goose egg.

    The 17th installment of Joe Sheehan's excellent newsletter appeared in my inbox last night (drop Joe some email if you're interested in subscribing), and it featured analysis of the big, weird Rockies-Marlins-Braves deal that was hinted at last week and finally agreed upon--pending approval from the commissioner's office--this weekend. In analyzing the deal, Joe puts the Rockies in the winner's column and gives the Marlins a goose egg. Here's an excerpt from the Marlins section:

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    There are some obvious storylines specific to the Arizona/St. Louis matchup, as derived from the generic list above. Let's lay those out, and address them one by one: The Diamondbacks would really prefer to have a healthy Luis Gonzalez. The Diamondbacks are backing into the playoffs. The Cardinals are peaking at exactly the right time.

    In any given year, at least one or two of the playoff spots wrap up early. Usually, writers from those markets start to madly flail for anything relevant to write about between the time their team clinches a playoff spot, and the time the postseason begins. There's a few stock categories for this type of piece, some of which we've already touched on (excessively), and the rest of which you're painfully familiar with. These topics include, but aren't limited to:

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    ANAHEIM ANGELS Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28] I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.

    Recalled RHP Matt Wise from Salt Lake; optioned RHP John Lackey to Salt Lake. [6/25]

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    May 22, 2002 10:53 am

    Transaction Analysis: May 16-19, 2002

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    Christina Kahrl

    Like the Mafia, or bandits like the Dillinger Gang, baseball is organized into loosely affiliated families and crews. Buddy Bell was an old associate of the Hart caporegime, so when he was out of work, he could fall in with some of his old partners in crime in Cleveland.

    Activated 1B-L Erubiel Durazo from the DL; optioned 2B/SS-B Alex Cintron to Tucson. [5/16]

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    I've spent most of the evening exchanging e-mails with my BP colleagues, e-mails with subject lines like "Silliness" and "Bob Brenly is an idiot."

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    October 25, 2001 12:00 am

    World Series Prospectus

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    Joe Sheehan

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