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Posts posted by Frobby

  1. No, Mazzone didn't say he has a #2 starter. He said his #2 starter went down. Just because a pitcher is his team's #2 starter that doesn't mean he's a #2 starter (when using the term as most tend to use it).

    Every team has had injuries, so that isn't a good excuse.

    Guthrie may not be a no. 2 starter going forward, but for purposes of 2007 he certainly qualified. 13th in ERA, 9th in WHIP, 11th in percentage of quality starts. That's easily a no. 2 starter.

  2. Here is a theory, try it on for size.

    There is a category of hitter who is great at hitting mistake pitches. Hang a curve or throw a fastball down the heart of the plate and they will kill it. But they are incapable of hitting a good breaking ball or a well-placed fastball.

    Well, in the minors they can put up pretty good numbers, because minor league pitchers make lots of mistakes. But put them in the majors, where the pitchers make far fewer mistakes, and suddenly they can't hit their weight.

    There is another category of hitter who isn't quite as good at crushing the mistake pitches, but is less vulnerable to breaking stuff or well-placed fastballs. That hitter might generate the exact same statistical line at the AAA level as the hitter in my first example, but at the major league level he will do better.

    And it's the job of the scouts to distinguish the two types. Does this make sense?

  3. Also this bit:

    Nobody plays like the Angels. The burly Scioscia stresses fundamentals, demands hustle and is delighted that few people understand what makes his team tick. The Angels are 26th in home runs with only three more than the lowly Nationals. Yet they'd scored 177 more runs than Washington. They're 27th in walks and next to last in "pitches seen" (patience at the plate). They've been caught stealing more than any team and rank 20th in stolen base percentage, though they're second in steals.

    According to the "Moneyball" types, this should neuter their offense. But they are fifth in baseball in runs, close to Boston.


  4. I love how Frobby hasn't even posted here since this morning, much less "debunked" anything.

    Maybe he's just had a busy day. :)

    I was off repenting for all of my sins.

    Wow, 12 pages! I think the points made by wildcard and davearm on the first page or two pretty much sum up my thoughts on the subject, so I won't belabor the issue.

  5. Myth 1: there is a class of freely available "replacement level" players out there, who can easily replace the bottom few guys on a team's roster with almost no detriment to the team's performance.

    Myth 2: you can look at a player's minor league stats and translate them into how they will do/would have done if they were playing in the majors.

    Look at what has happened over the last few weeks and tell me again how these two myths are true.

    • Upvote 2

  6. If the season ended today C.C. Sabathia would get my Cy Young vote. He leads the AL in IP, is 2nd in wins, and has a tidy 3.15 ERA to go with it. In his last 10 starts he has pitched 71.2 IP and allowed only 15 ER, tossing 10 (actually 11) quality starts in a row.

    I'd much prefer him winning to Beckett.

  7. As Mweb implies with the Ks and batting average against, its difficult to put into words how bad Tampa Bay's defense has been this year. Much worse than any other team.

    Yep, but how do you fix it? For the most part, these great young hitters they have can't play defense, and you can't put 6 of them at DH.

  8. I don't agree with you on Liz. Just because his mechanics are unusual - doesn't mean they mean fixing. As long as he gets people out, I wouldn't make drastic changes that are likely going to cause his fastball to drop a few MPH's. Perhaps part of his problem so far with Baltimore is that he's been listening to new people - instead of using what made him successful with Bowie - or just not knowing yet how to pitch to major leaguers.

    First, let me say that I've only seen an inning or two of Liz's work. However, last night I was driving home and Joe Angel was going on and on about Liz's mechanical flaws -- before he had even thrown a pitch. He was describing how he starts out too open, recoils after letting go of the ball instead of following through, and doesn't put himself in proper fielding position.

    I'm not a fan of fixing "flaws" just to fix them. But whenever a pitcher with poor mechanics also has control problems (which is most of the time), they need to be addressed early on. And Liz has serious control problems. That was true at AA despite his overall success, and it will be a much bigger problem at the major league level. Just ask Daniel Cabrera.

  9. I agree. Their lack of success in the majors, espeically Olson's and Hoey's has been extremely dissapointing.

    FWIW, here is my assessment:

    - Olson is just going through a fairly normal adjustment to the big leagues. He's a control pitcher, and (1) the ball is a little different, (2) the batters are more disciplined, and (3) the umps don't give close calls to rookie pitchers. I'm a little worried about the small speed differential between his fastball (89), curve (82) and change-up (80), but I saw him make a lot of batters look foolish with that curve. Once he figures out what he has to do to get ahead of hitters, he'll be fine. He had rough spots when he first got promoted to AA and AAA, and eventually figured it out.

    - Hoey has the stuff, for sure, but he needs a serious shot of self-confidence. A guy who has his K-rate and K/BB rate in AA and AAA can get major league hittters out. He needs to stop fooling around and throw strikes, and fix his mechanical problem of starting out too open so that he tips his slider. I gather that's a relatively new flaw, not a chronic problem. He should be able to fix things but I'm worried about his mental makeup. Frankly, I'd just keep throwing him out there.

    - Liz has great stuff, but he is nowhere near ready to pitch in the big leagues. His mechanics are terrible and he doesn't have sufficient command to pitch in the majors yet. He needs most if not all of next year at Norfolk. By the way, I reall am beginning to wonder about Scott McGregor's skills as a pitching coach. A guy who has been through AA shouldn't have such obvious mechanical inconsistencies.

  10. If you only look at ER....But to look at just that is wrong and that is my main concern about Guthrie...How does he project out long term?

    If he has a 1:1 GB/FB rate, a normal BABIP, a 6 K rate, 3.5 BB rate, 1 HR rate and a command rate in the 1.6-1.9 range, how does he project out long term?

    I see if he does those things, he is a borderline #5 starter and a guy we would be looking to replace in the rotation.

    I don't disagree with your statement that you can't just look at ER. But I do think there is some value in looking at how often a pitcher is effective, beyond just the raw averages.

    Also, I think that you are probably wrong in your definition of a "borderline # 5 starter." Of the 69 pitchers with 80+ IP, 13 of them have ERA's over 5.50. 9 of them have a DIPS over 5.00. 18 of them have a K/BB ratio of 1.60 or lower. 30 of them have a K-rate under 6.00. 17 of them have a G/F ratio under 1.00. You'd have a very hard time convincing me that Guthrie is any worse than a no. 4 starter even if all of his second half trends continue.

  11. I am not sure a 4.5-4.6 is a "solid" #3 or not but that is just semantics.

    The HR rate will come down from this second half split but it is also isn't going to be as good as it was the first 10 starts. He is probably going to have a HR rate in the .90-1.10 area. He is showing he is not the GB pitcher many of you thought he was.

    Plus, if he walks 3.5(or close to it) battiers per 9 IP, his ERA will be higher than it was early on.

    And again, if his BABIP gets into the normal ranges, that will cause him to go up.

    I am encouraged by the 6 IP average(close to it) and that the K rate is staying over 6 for the most part but his other numbers aren't encouraging and the K rate, while good now, is teetering on being below average.

    My rationale for "solid no. 3" is that there are only 69 AL pitchers who have thrown 80+ IP -- about 5 per team. The #3 range (nos. 29-42) is 4.03-4.59. That's where I'd expect Guthrie to fall, and he gets a little extra credit for tossing 165.1 innings, which puts him in the top 30 for IP.

    One thing I will say for Guthrie is that you really can count the bad starts he has had on one hand:

    7/12: 3.2 IP, 5 ER

    8/2: 5.1 IP, 3 ER

    8/8: 4 IP, 5 ER

    8/13: 4.2 IP, 6 ER

    8/30: 6 IP, 5 ER

    He bears watching in September, but I still feel good about him whenever he takes the mound.

  12. I normally don't put players who have not played pro ball yet on the prospect lists but we will this year. Saying that, and it may sound hypocritical, but Weiters will most likely be the number one prospect while Arrieta most likely will not be in the top ten unless I'm convinced otherwise. Arrieta is still an unknown in my book and unless I can be convinced he deserves to be in that top ten due to talent alone, he'll probably have to wait until next year's list to get into the top ten.

    I think your normal rule is a good policy, to which there should be few if any exceptions. But if there is ever going to be an exception, a polished big-time college player who was drafted #5 overall and was universally praised as a great pick is the right situation in which to do it. Arrieta is far less clear.

  13. Good to see Guthrie avoid the gopher ball last night. As I look at the splits you posted, I think the K and BB rates are in line with what one should expect. If the HR rate comes down, as I believe it will, he shapes up as a solid no. 3, which is where DIPS, FIP and XFIP all place him.

  14. Not a banner year for the Hangout's 2006 top 10:

    1. Billy Rowell: .273/.335/.426 at Delmarva. Solid enough for an 18 year-old playing in this league, but not really eye-popping. Grade: B.

    2. Brandon Erbe: 6-8, 6.26 ERA, 111 K's vs. 62 BB's in 119.1 IP. A huge step back for this highly touted youngster, even considering that he's only 19 playing in the Carolina League. Grade: D.

    3. Nolan Reimold: .306/.365/.565 at Bowie. A big bounce-back year has many wondering if he can jump to the big club next spring. Grade: A.

    4. Pedro Beato: 7-8, 4.05 ERA, 106 K's vs. 59 BB's in 142.1 IP. Nothing earth-shattering here one way or the other. Grade: C.

    5. Garrett Olson: 9-7, 3.16 ERA, 120 K's vs. 39 BB's in 128 IP. Excellent season in the minors, now the question is whether that translates to major league success. Grade: A.

    6. Jim Hoey: 1-0, 0.00, 28 K's vs. 4 BB's in 18.2 IP at Bowie; 2-0, 1.33 ERA, 41 K's vs. 10 BB's in 27 IP at Norfolk. Clearly he's got the stuff; does he have the confidence to pitch to major league batters. Grade: A.

    7. Radhames Liz: 11-4, 3.22 ERA, 161 K's vs. 70 BB's in 137 IP. Would like the BB ratio a bit lower but a very solid season. Grade: B+.

    8. Brandon Snyder: .283/.354/.422 at Delmarva. A nice bounce-back season and he hit well in the second half. Grade: B-.

    9. Kieron Pope: Who? Grade: Incomplete but I have no idea why he was on the list to begin with.

    10. Pedro Florimon: .197/.257/.272 at Delmarva. Never hit a lick from beginning to end. Grade: F.

    I'd feel a little better about this list if Olson, Hoey and Liz had translated their minor league success over to the majors. Maybe they'll make progress in September.

    • Upvote 1

  15. The front office got blasted for signing Steve Trachsel to replace the injured Kris Benson on short notice. They got blasted for essentially handing Trachsel a rotation spot without giving Hayden Penn a real shot to beat him out. They got blasted for not trading him by the July deadline. And they got blasted for not simply giving him away in the last few days.

    I could have a field day picking out quotes from old threads on each of these points, but I won't bother. We all know that what I just said is 100% true.

    Well, for once, the front office played their hand exactly right. The didn't fool around when Benson got hurt, they went right out and got the best available veteran. When Penn got hurt, the wisdom of that move became all the more apparent. And Trachsel rewarded them with a fine, gutsy season. They didn't just give him away when he was pitching poorly, they gave him a chance to bounce back, and he did. And then they held him right to the wire and got a couple of teams interested, and actually got some useful players in return.

    Beautifully played, front office, beautifully played. And best of luck to Trax with the Cubs, too. He earned a lot of respect from me the way he handled himself this season.

    • Upvote 2

  16. I'm annoyed that this thread has gotten so far off-topic. There are plenty of other threads about how Trachsel will do next year and whether we should keep him.

    Back to the original topic -- the bullpen has pulled the rug out from under him SEVEN TIMES! That is rather incredible. I don't remember any Oriole pitcher ever being victimized that frequently. DCab, meanwhile, only has been vicitimized one time.

    Part of this is that Trax rarely goes beyond 6 IP. That multiplies the chances that the bullpen can screw it up. He's also left with runners on base quite a few times. Still -- SEVEN TIMES?

  17. This may be off topic if so I apologize (didn't want to start a thread on this) but do you think Mussina is done? His recent poor outings and his age would seem to indicate so.

    Yeah, could be. I've remained a big Moose fan all these years, but it looks to me like he's toast. But, he's a resourceful and intelligent piece of toast, so maybe he has one more adjustment to make to compensate for his ever-worsening fastball.

  18. That's worked out well for them, hasn't it? In fact, you could make the argument that giving $10M to Vincente Padilla is one of the major reasons the Rangers are 60-72, 18.5 games out of first place.

    One of my pet peeves is paying $millions for players who're not going to push you towards more wins. You don't pay $5M a year for placeholders. You don't pay $5M for people with 50% or 75% collapse rates. You can get placeholders for $500k, and spend the $4.5M that's left over on something that'll help you win more ballgames.

    Like who, Jay Payton? :cool:

    I don't know what a "placeholder" is. Every player has an expectation, an upside, a downside, and risk. I think you and I probably agree on Trachsel's upside (a repeat of this year) and his downside (Chen 2006). We probably differ significantly on expectation (I'd say, 5.00-5.25 for 2008) and risk (you say 50-75% collapse rate, I say 25-50%).

    Where I think we differ more is the risk associated with the $500k "placeholders" as you put it. Every year several of these guys come through and have seasons like the ones Trachsel typically has had maybe better. But every year a lot of them have seasons like Chen. Russ Ortiz or worse.

    • Upvote 1
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