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How much leeway will we give Atkins?


Frobby

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I think that's to be expected when we're talking about a below-average defender whose OPS+ has gone from 136 to 113 to 96 to 66 over the last four years, and is being expected to hold down the best-hitting position on the diamond. An average first baseman has an OPS in the .830 range. He basically has to be a strong comeback player of the year candidate for this to not be a failure.

I'm not writing him off yet, but if you're not skeptical of his chances I'd like to know why. For me it's PECOTA and McPhail on one side, and all of the other evidence I can find on the other.

We know McP doesn't have any evidence, but what does PECOTA base their projections on. Is it different from the evidence you base yours on?
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Atkins was brought here to play everyday, at a power position and was brought here because the Orioles felt they could get him back where he was.

Or, far more likely, they thought there was a *chance* they might get him back where he was, and if he didn't, he'd be a stopgap until Bell or someone else was ready to take over. A stopgap with potential is better than a stopgap who's just a stopgap.

-Larrytt

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Or, far more likely, they thought there was a *chance* they might get him back where he was, and if he didn't, he'd be a stopgap until Bell or someone else was ready to take over. A stopgap with potential is better than a stopgap who's just a stopgap.

-Larrytt

That's an expensive stop gap.

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We know McP doesn't have any evidence,

Is this some kind of a dig? Are you accusing me of not adequately praising MacPhail? It is possible to admire a guy, but to be skeptical of some of his decisions.

but what does PECOTA base their projections on. Is it different from the evidence you base yours on?

PECOTA bases their projections on lists of comparable players. I don't run my own set of comparables to the level they do, so my evidence is mainly that Atkins has collapsed tremendously over a period of four years.

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That's an expensive stop gap.

The whole point of what I wrote is that he's not just a stopgap. They hope he can get back to his previous form. *If* he is unable to, *then* he's a stopgap. I called him a stopgap with potential; you changed that to just an expensive stopgap, which changes the meaning.

-Larrytt

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Is this some kind of a dig? Are you accusing me of not adequately praising MacPhail? It is possible to admire a guy, but to be skeptical of some of his decisions.

PECOTA bases their projections on lists of comparable players. I don't run my own set of comparables to the level they do, so my evidence is mainly that Atkins has collapsed tremendously over a period of four years.

I was using the general we. It seems to be par for the course to assume that the O's FO is clueless whenever a decision is made that is not readily understandable. As to the numbers, it's obvious to almost anyone that Atkins numbers have declined significantly over the past 3 years. So unless there are other factors, such as the extra detail involved in PECOTA's projections as one example, the FO must be fools. no? I don't expect Atkins to put up league average numbers for a 1B. I don't think AM expects that either. Except for Huff's '08. When was the last time that happened? LaRoche aside, what other stop gap 1B were significantly better options?

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From the moment he signed him I've thought that it was AM's intent to trade Atkins at the deadline. Obviously this all hinges on his performance. But the point is Atkins is not part of this teams future and AM needed trading chips. I figure if he can get something for Huff, as bad as he was, he could get something for a younger player at the deadline.

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The day Garrett Atkins was signed, I compared his siging to last year's signing of Adam Eaton, just a warm body to hold a spot until Snyder or Bell was ready. Since then, it has become clear to me that the O's think he can be considerably more than that. Despite his three-year decline and his lousy numbers outside of Coors, I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt for a period of time and see what he can do. But for exactly how long?

My basic feeling is, he gets two months of the regular season. I'm not going to freak out if he's playing almost every day and hitting lousy in April, or into mid-May. But if May 31 rolls around and he's not producing, it's time to conclude that this gamble did not pay off, and either bench him or cut him.

Too long? Too short? What do you think?

I think that's too short a time to evaluate. And too much of an investment to cut loose that fast.

He has to adjust to a new league, a new team, a new position. The deck is stacked against the guy to some degree already.

If he's hitting around league average for 1st basemen, I will be pretty happy. And if he reverts somewhat to his old form, which seems possible, we could be pleasantly surprised.

I think the thing to maximizing Atkins' production over the season is for the team to manage expectations a bit. And give him some time to adjust. He's proven he can hit like crazy over long stretches.

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I was using the general we. It seems to be par for the course to assume that the O's FO is clueless whenever a decision is made that is not readily understandable. As to the numbers, it's obvious to almost anyone that Atkins numbers have declined significantly over the past 3 years. So unless there are other factors, such as the extra detail involved in PECOTA's projections as one example, the FO must be fools. no? I don't expect Atkins to put up league average numbers for a 1B. I don't think AM expects that either. Except for Huff's '08. When was the last time that happened?

Why the extremism? Why the black or white view of stuff? I think it's ok for me to think that Andy MacPhail is a heck of GM and talent evaluator AND that he's gone way out on a limb with Atkins.

It's rather astonishing that my track record of support for MacPhail, which has at times been called orange kool aid drinking stupidity, can also be read as saying that MacPhail and his team are a bunch of fools.

LaRoche aside, what other stop gap 1B were significantly better options?

If Atkins hits anything like last year, I think the answer would be something like "all of them".

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The day Garrett Atkins was signed, I compared his siging to last year's signing of Adam Eaton, just a warm body to hold a spot until Snyder or Bell was ready. Since then, it has become clear to me that the O's think he can be considerably more than that. Despite his three-year decline and his lousy numbers outside of Coors, I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt for a period of time and see what he can do. But for exactly how long?

My basic feeling is, he gets two months of the regular season. I'm not going to freak out if he's playing almost every day and hitting lousy in April, or into mid-May. But if May 31 rolls around and he's not producing, it's time to conclude that this gamble did not pay off, and either bench him or cut him.

Too long? Too short? What do you think?

I think your assessment is pretty accurate FRobby. In terms of the length of the leash, I think that depends as much on Snyder's performance as Atkins. Atkins has some pretty clear R/L splits, which makes him a pretty good candidate to platoon with Snyder when they call him up.

Here are Atkin's trends, controlling for home/away differences:

OBP	R	L2006	0.369	0.4292007	0.322	0.3792008	0.288	0.3432009	0.263	0.315

My thinking is, he just can't be as bad as last year. Let's hope he holds his own against lefties and monitor Snyder's progress in AAA. If Snyder is performing up to expectations, bring him up at the first injury to a position player and give him most of the starts against righties.

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If Atkins hits anything like last year, I think the answer would be something like "all of them".

Now that brought a chuckle. :laughlol: I'm expecting a bit of a bounce this season. Whether it's greener pastures, working with Crowley, realization that 1 year and $4.5 is as good as it is ever going to get if he doesn't show more, a statistical blip, whatever. But, for the record, I really don't think this signing was all that major or expensive, although this is just a matter of semantics. It fills a need and only creates a one-year commitment for reasonable dollars. He might even earn all of them. Also, I don't agree that MacPhail signed Atkins with the "intent" of trading him as Byrdz (IIRC) mentioned, but he may have seen it as a possibility to be factored into the decision.

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He was certainly a major target...in that he was made available and the orioles aggressively and immediately(for whatever poor reasoning) jumped on him.

So in a way, yes, he was a major target even if he wasn't a major FA.

Again, its a semantics thing but i don't think it is poor to say he was a major target.

I'm probably putting the emphasis on major FA, so I agree, the difference is one part of the original post I responded to. O's wanted him, that is clear, so I see your point.

-Don

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When Atkins was first signed, and we thought he'd be the 3B stop gap for a year or a few months before Bell was ready, everyone liked the move. After all it wasn't going to be hard to improve upon Melvin Mora's 2009 season, and thats how we could justify signing Atkins.

Now that he's the 1B, a position of OBP and SLG, it's a horrible move.

It's almost like MacPhail is overthinking himself on this one...like he wants to prove something by showing people what he saw in Atkins by sticking him at 1B.

I would have been fine with Atkins as the Adam Eaton of 3B but I just wonder what the heck AM is thinking by signing him for $4.5 million after 4 declining seasons AND thinking he can come back enough to warrant playing 1B.

Whether this move works or doesn't, Garrett Atkins is going to generate a lot of discussion on these boards in 2010...and maybe that alone is worth it.

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I wasn't high on the Atkins signing at the time that it happened. And I would rank it fourth out of the four main transactions that MacPhail made this offseason. Signing Atkins is a head scratcher in the sense that it 1) happened so early in the offseason and 2) he's a stopgap. If he has a bounce back season, he's going to leave town in 2011, imo. Why not wait for the market to settle before signing him? Worst case scenario is that you strike out on every FA and you start Wigginton at 3B and Scott or Aubrey at 1B. But you had a bunch of corner guys on the market available: Tejada, Crede, Glaus, LaRoche, Garko, and Branyon. All of these guys were available for 1-year deals (Beltre, Johnson, and multi-year guys like Figgins and Feliz).

Looking at Atkins game logs, his season derailed in May. His April wasn't horrible, but he only had one extra base hit in May. He picked it back up in June, but saw sporadic playing time for the rest of the season and had a horrible year. The Orioles 1B production has been just as bad over the years, so it's not a big step back, but I wasn't in favor of this signing. I don't doubt that he can put up respectable numbers though. 20+ HRs out of the 8th spot would be a HUGE boost to the lineup.

Month Hits Abs HR 2Bs RBI avg ops

April 19 77 3 5 11 0.247 0.429

June 18 55 3 1 8 0.327 0.491

May 13 87 0 1 6 0.149 0.126

July 8 41 0 2 5 0.195 0.244

August 12 50 2 1 9 0.240 0.380

Sept 10 43 1 2 9 0.233 0.395

Sorry the table looks so banged up. How would one properly make a table in these posts?

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