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Frobby

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Posts posted by Frobby


  1. If the Orioles are "talking as if they no longer want to trade Erik Bedard," there's only one excuse I'll accept. Namely, that we're about to sign Bedard to an extension.

    Since I don't see that happening, I don't know what the hell MacPhail's doing.

    This is probably nothing more than a relflection of what MacPhail said in the paper the other day. Part of his job is to make it clear to other teams that he isn't going to trade out of desperation, and they can forget about finding Bedard on the "post-holiday clearance" shelf. I'm quite sure he has every intention of trading Bedard if the right offer comes along.


  2. LH's BA was an empty 290 and his BABIP was very lucky...Had his BABIP just been league average, his OPS is probably under 600 last year in his small sample size.

    I wonder if that .290 BA wasn't there and his OPS didn't start with a 6 if anyone would still be clamoring for him???

    To be fair, I don't think Rshack is "clamoring" for him. That's not how I read his posts.

    I agree with your points. The other factor is that, putting aside LH's individual performance, the O's played unexpectedly well in July while LH was here. The defense overall was stellar that month and the team had a winning record. The team won the first 7 times he started at SS. In some people's minds, LH is associated with that winning period and that's why they can imagine the team carrying him at SS.

    Of course, they forget that he hit .333/.351/.389 during that callup, but only .242/.242/.333 when he was recalled.


  3. I agree with this. And, if the O's choose to find out, I can't think of a better season that '08 to do so, what with the if-fy kid pitchers and zero chance to contend. If they had a chance to contend, I'd be way less motivated to find out, which seems to run contrary to much of the loud opinion around here.

    I would think that they should have a very good idea of just how good his glove really is. We've only seen him for 139 innings at SS, but they had knowledgeable people watching him for 99 games at Bowie and Norfolk, plus whatever their scouts saw of him when he was in the Atlanta organization. I don't know what they think of his glove based on the information we don't have, but certainly they must have an opinion.

    I don't really disagree with your logic as stated above. I just think it's a longshot all the way around that LH is going to be an acceptable answer at SS in the long run.


  4. I agree that you have a perfectly rational case and, as I said, I was not dismissing your prediction. However, I do think it's still premature, based on the guy's history. The pattern you cite for the last 3 years is somewhat similar to the pattern of his 1st three years in professional ball. Here is the pattern, looking at his performance at whichever level he had his most AB's for a given year:
    • Age 18 (and 21): a BB for each ~10 AB's
    • Age 19 (and 22): a BB for each ~14 AB's
    • Age 20 (and 23): a BB less often than each 20 AB's

    Observe that after his 20-year-old season (which also was at a higher level than he had experienced before), he bounced back at the next higher level by returning to his "BB for each 10 AB's" level. So, all I'm saying is that we've seen this movie before. Also note that the greatest number of AB's last year were at AA, so that's the ratio I'm looking at.

    Now, I agree completely that his 1 BB per 175 AB's in AAA/ML is downright bizarre. Note that it spans 3 teams in different years. My head is not in the sand about that; to the contrary, I believe that I'm the first one here to have pointed it out. Nor do I expect that he will magically become some paragon of drawing walks. I'm simply pointing out that he's had decent walk-rates in 2 non-contiguous seasons before, and that previous efforts to raise his BA have been associated with a significant decrease in BB's. That makes me think that a big part of this is him trying too hard. It could also be the result of having different coaches each year telling him different things, but we don't have any info about that. All I know for sure is that he has not presented a consistent story about BB's, and has been more inconsistent in that regard than have other players with whom I am familiar. As with any phenomenon, a history such as this makes prediction much more uncertain than does a consistent history.

    Anyway, my core point is not that he's gonna become an OBP machine, because I don't expect that. I think the truth of the matter is that this history is sufficiently different, year-by-year, that we have stats available to slice-and-dice to support either the "all-is-doomed" conclusion or the "too-soon-to-tell" conclusion, depending on how you look at them. The whole way this got started is that I was suggesting alternative hypotheses to the single hypothesis offered by vatech about what the O's are thinking. I offered 2 alternate hypotheses, 1 of which is that his OBP might improve, just as it has done before, that's all. And, as usual around here, anyone who suggests any possibility other than "LH is garbage" gets lambasted by more-than-several people. In contrast to most, your view is rational and non-emotional, and is based on more than just a superficial glance at summary data devoid of any context (which is all that most of the yellers seem to do). So, respect to you. If he does get an ample supply of big-league AB's, it will be interesting to see what his OBP proves to be. While I grant that it could prove to be sub-.300, I also believe that outcome is neither predestined nor certain nor almost-certain. That's why they play the game, to see what happens. And, silly me, if a kid is getting his big chance in an O's uniform, I'm looking for bright spots and rooting for him like crazy. It's how my daddy raised me.

    Well, I agree with your last point, i.e., you never know for sure until you put them out there and see what happens. And I also agree that he will walk more often than once every 175 AB, even if he doesn't suddenly become a walk machine. Otherwise, though, I really feel the odds against LH putting up a .300+ OBP are very long.

    Maybe a better question is, what OBP is acceptable? I can conjure up scenarios where LH has an OBP of .310 with no power to speak of. Would that be good enough? To me, LH would have to be one of the top 2-3 defensive shortstops in baseball for that to merit any consideration at all. Adam Everett, who by several measures is the best defensive SS around, just got DFA'd by the Astros. His career offensive line is .248/.299/.357, which is actually a little better than LH's career minor league line of .250/.299/.325. Even so, the Astros couldn't carry his glove any longer.


  5. FRobby, thanks that was very well put together. It's just my opinion but if LH starts for the Orioles in 2008 I think his OBP will fall between .270 and .300, which is probably optimistic.

    I'd agree with the .270-.300 range. Throw in an SLG not much above .300 (if at all) and you're looking at a player who may not surpass .600 OPS, and if he does, it won't be by much.

    With that kind of hitting, he'd have to be an absolute magician with the glove to be a starter.


  6. But I never did that. I said that I think Frobby jumped to a conclusion about LH's ML OBP that is a premature conclusion based on my view of LH's stats. My opinion is based on looking at his MiL stats too, and in some detail. So, sorry for busting your knee-jerk reaction, but both sides of this are based on looking at stats. In general, I think it's how you look at stats that makes a difference. In this case, Frobby and I were looking at stats and seeing similar-but-still-different things.

    Now, I would never lump Frobby into any category except into the category "guys who are reasonable and fair-minded". But that doesn't mean he's always right either.

    I wouldn't claim to be right all the time. But I have a very hard time believing LH is going to put up an OBP in the majors that is north of .300.

    Let's just look at AA, where LH has had the majority of his AB for each of the last 3 years:

    2005: .243/.315/.311 (415 AB)

    2006: .268/.308/.329 (380 AB)

    2007: .242/.276/.316 (364 AB)

    No small sample sizes there, just pretty consistent poor hitting. BA right around .250, OBP right around .300 in 1159 AA at bats. That's completely consistent with what he did in his other 1050 minor league AB. So why would I expect the guy to move up to the majors and have his OBP improve?

    Just a little test here (career OBP in minors and majors):

    Brian Roberts -- .026 drop from minors to majors

    Nick Markakis -- .023 drop from minors to majors

    Kevin Millar -- .024 drop from minors to majors

    Aubrey Huff -- .041 drop from minors to majors

    Melvin Mora -- .004 gain from minors to majors

    Ramon Hernandez -- .053 drop from minors to majors

    Corey Patterson -- .040 drop from minors to majors

    Jay Payton -- .048 drop from minors to majors

    Jay Gibbons -- .086 drop from minors to majors

    Miguel Tejada -- .004 drop from minors to majors

    Freddy Bynum -- .048 drop from minors to majors

    Tike Redman -- .016 drop from minors to majors

    Chris Gomez -- .007 drop from minors to majors

    Paul Bako -- .039 drop from minors to majors

    Alberto Castillo -- .043 drop from minors to majors

    Brandon Fahey -- .034 drop from minors to majors

    So out of 16 players who played for the O's in 2007 and who have had a signficant number of major league AB, 15 of them have had a career OBP in the majors that is worse than what they did in the minors. On average, the group dropped by .034.

    Now consider that:

    1. The comparison above is with career averages. It would probably be worse if I looked at the first year in which the player exceeded 100 major league at bats.

    2. Hernandez has not really spent any substantial time above AA, with only 175 AB above that level. So he'd really be jumping two levels. It can be done (see Nick Markakis), but its one more reason for his OBP to suffer.

    Add all this up and you have a very tough case for an OBP above .300, in my opinion.


  7. Jeremy Guthrie: Didn't we get him off waivers from the Indians? So far he's turned out pretty good.

    Corey Patterson: Not like he was a superstar or anything, but he was a lot better than Luis Matos out in CF and he cost us basically nothing in trade. A couple of minor leaguers nobody ever heard of.

    Trachsel for Cherry and Moore and the PBTNL which I forget who it was now. 3 guys for a pitcher the Orioles were going to possibly dump near the end of the season anyway?

    The Orioles are attempting to make some moves like this again in claiming Aquino, picking up a few Rule V guys (one major league Rule V in Beird) and a few other arms in the minor league portion.

    The 5 for 1 deal with Tejada for Scott (who might be better than some think if you see he hit 18 homers in about 360AB and has a minor league track record of mashing), Albers, Patton, Sarfate, and Costanzo (bringing much needed depth to 3b in the minors.)

    The Orioles have made some pretty good moves in the past, but the bad ones over that same time period seem to stick in peoples' minds more. Milledge had a lot of off the field problems and so did Dukes. Hamilton was a crack user. The teams that took those players on believe they have a strong support system to help these players out. What have you seen from the Orioles players/support system that makes you believe they could keep these players out of trouble? With all the disgruntled players and mentions in the Mitchell report I don't think you want to bring in any players that may currently have, or have troubled pasts here.

    Good first post, reminding us of small moves that turned out well, at least for a while.


  8. This is the assumption that many people here seem to make. This is the place where I think many people are dead wrong. It seems to me some folks here are looking at a group of MiL SS's they know zilch about and then do this: "OK glove" = "pretty good glove" = "great glove".

    From what I've seen of LH on TV, he is not your run-of-the-mill SS in the field. People here keep insisting that guys like him are a dime a dozen. I'm not buying that for one minute. To my eyes, he looks very, very, very good in the field. If he does end up playing, I will enjoy seeing how good he really is, once he settles in a bit. I don't know if he's great, but I am convinced he is very, very, very good.

    It's dangerous for you to draw this conclusion based on 139 innings of play at SS. I will grant you that he looked very good in those games.


  9. In any case, if he does wind up playing SS, the thing I'll be watching (in addition to his D) is his OBP, not his OPS. For a guy like LH, I think OPS is completely beside the point, the only thing about his bat that matters is OBP. If he can play great D and put up a decent OBP, then I'd be happy with him.

    OK, but what makes you think he will put up a decent OBP? Last year his OBP in Baltimore was an even .300 -- and that was with him hitting over his head at .290 BA. His career OBP in the minors is .299. All signs point to a sub-.300 OBP in the majors.


  10. I think I'm going to have to back off of commenting on every possible Bedard trade scenario. There are just too many of them, and the information about what has actually been offered to us seems pretty shaky. MacPhail is a patient guy, much more so than most of the posters here, I suspect. I feel he'll know when to pull the trigger. He did a good job with Wieters, Trachsel and Tejada IMO, so he's got credit in the bank with me.


  11. First of all, it is just Andy closing up shop for the holidays. Its his parting shot to other GMs. He doesn't feel so bad taking 2 weeks off if there is no deal on the table worth taking.

    Second, it is no secret that I want the O's to keep Bedard thus the :) . But its a long way to opening day. Let's see what happens in January. Enjoy your holidays. It ain't over.

    I agree with what you say in the opening paragraph. That said, this is the most worried I've been all offseason.

    I love Erik Bedard - see this thread: http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55140&highlight=Bedard But I sure hope Andy is playing a good game of poker here. If the Seattle and Reds deals that were listed in my poll thread* were actually on the table, and Andy screwed them up, I'd be very disappointed in that outcome and so would 90% of the posters who voted in that poll.

    *http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56604


  12. I don't think this cools the Bedard talk from the Cincinnati point of view, but I definitely think this removes all doubt that Jay Bruce is not on the table. With Hamilton gone, Bruce shifts into opening day CF, I think.

    Though, with Volquez in the mix, I could possibly see Bailey AND Cueto moving in the same deal. Not that I'd be thrilled with that, but I could see it. At the very least, it would spread the risk of a deal busting slightly, from the O's point of view.

    Now that's an interesting thought. I never thought Bruce was on the table, so I agree there is no question he is off it now. And it does make sense that having Quiroz relieves the pain of losing Cueto somewhat.

    Eh, it's time to go forget about the Orioles for a couple of days (hours) (minutes) (seconds). Have a good holiday everyone.


  13. First off let me say, as a Reds fan I have really enjoyed lurking the last couple of days in your forums, very nice place you all have here. WWW.REDSZONE.COM is our equivelent.

    As for the Hamilton trade, the Reds fan viewpoint is that this now ends the need for the Reds to make a trade for Bedard.

    I find it peculiar that a team could be chasing an ace like Bedard and instead decide to go with a Kuroda or a Volquez (or a Carlos Silva, though reports are that the M's wanted 2 pitchers anyway). They are entirely different commodities.


  14. Here is a contrarian thought -- what if Texas acquired Hamilton to flip him to us in a Bedard trade? Our occasional insider poster Dynamite, who was deadly accurate on Tejada, posted this on Monday:

    Take it for what it's worth, I've heard we are realllllly close on something with an AL West team which I will not name. Not Seattle. Or Anaheim for that matter. The quibble is over a fifth guy - we'll see. Maybe today - or maybe never. You know how these things go. But I was on the money last time - let's hope to make it two in a row!

    http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1136077&postcount=34


  15. Thanks for all of your reports throughout the year and especially lately, bigbird.

    A few days ago I thought I completely understood where things were. But the signals the last 10 days or so have been decidedly mixed. Solely for personal reasons, I'm disappointed we're not done with the Roberts and Bedard deals. But I have faith in our management team to exercise good judgment on when and if to trade these guys, so long as PA doesn't get in the way.


  16. You make some really excellent points here. I'd like to think that there are very few posters who judge other posters by their post count. Certainly I can think of numerous times that I have read someone's first post and it had more insight than thousands of posts by some regular posters.

    As to insiders vs. reporters, both have their value. As a journalist, I am sure there are plenty of times that you learn information that you personally are confident is correct, but which you can't report because (1) your publisher has rules about what level of verification is required before you can print it, or (2) your source either wants you to embargo the information for a period of time, or has given you the information on background on the condition that you can't publish it without independent verification and you can't reveal your source. Those kind of reasons will keep a guy like Roch Kubatko from posting the kind of things we hear from the insiders, even though he knows them and has the same degree of confidence that they are correct.

    I think a journalist also often is not in a position to state that the "company line" on the status of a trade or a similar matter is false, even if he or she bellieve that it is, because he/she will have difficulty getting cooperation from the team if he/she does that very often. Finally, even a journalist with a blog like Roch's isn't going to post a new blog entry evey time the tiniest little sliver of information hits his desk.

    Our insiders typically haven't had those restraints. The benefit is that we get information sooner, and we get details that are too trivial to report in the mainstream media. The downside is that sometimes the information gets slightly distorted in translation, and sometimes what is reported gets misinterpreted.

    Anyway, I envy the opportunity you have now and I hope you are enjoying it.


  17. You really don't think DT is able to evaluate LH's MiL stats as well? He isn't going to take them into account as well as what he saw last season?

    Is he able to do it? Yes. Has he done it? I don't know. Is it his job to do that? Not necessarily.

    DT, by the way, is a very smart and thorough guy from what I can tell, but I don't guess he is a sabermetrician. I'd bet he's very aware of situational splits, but he doesn't seem like the type who would know about or believe in stats like WARP3, Win Shares, etc. I'd bet he has some old school beliefs in the value of offense vs. defense in a SS, and I doubt he cares much about SLG in a shortstop, either.

    That said, by Feb. 15 somebody will figure out that LH can't be the first option for starting SS.


  18. You really have to question a life long baseball man who thinks LH is an everyday player at this level...Just amazing to me.

    Well remember, what he saw was LH at his best, in fact, playing way over his head. and, the team was winning when he was out there. If I had to judge LH just on what he did in the major league games last year, I might share Trembley's opinion. I expect MacPhail to know better and to do something about it.


  19. This is so weird to me. The O's might go for defense at ss but put a guy who can't play defense at 2B. What is that? Either you improve the defense or you don't.

    McPhail has not done it yet, so I give him more credit then that. If it comes to pass I will be very disapointed and I think it will show that the approach would be flawed.

    First, I don't concede that Patterson can't play defense. I was looking at Baseball Prospectus 2007 last night and their numbers had him as about an average defender. Meanwhile Adam Jones made just an outrageous number of errors at SS. And, it is just a lot easier to play a respectable 2B than it is to play a respectable SS. I think Jones at SS will be a defensive disaster, whereas Patterson at 2B would be merely an annoyance.

    Just for example, The Fieling Bible rates how many runs a fielder saved or cost his team. The range at SS was from +35 to -37 (72 run differential). The range at 2B was from +22 to -19. Bottom line: a bad defensive SS will cost twice as many runs as a bad 2B.


  20. Then he should be in the HOF regardless of the roids...Same thing with Bonds.

    Mixed feelings about this, and I'm glad I have 5 years to think about it. Not that I'll have a vote five years from now, or ever.

    I'm having a hard time justifying why Pete Rose should be out if these guys are in. Funny thing, I disliked all three.

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