Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > It's Mets...Just Mets > Discussion

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. plim Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:12 PM (#3030664)
never sign him in the first place =P

same thing could be said of julio lugo too =P
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:30 PM (#3030706)
Luis Castillo is an abomination. He once was a fine player, but is now just terrible. His missed time kept him from challenging for the worst player in the league. Okay, he had no shot of catching Jeff Francoeur, but he would have been just terrible. His legs are about toast, which greatly reduces his ability to turn a bloop single into a double, his infield hits and his defensive range.


I didnt watch the Mets much last year, so why is Castillo considered so bad by everyone here? How are his legs toast if he stole 17 bases in 19 attempts in 1/2 a year in 08? I am not being snarky, i just didnt see him play and its hard to see from his stat line how he is so bad. I assume his fielding is poor, but a .350 obp out of a 2b (even with no power) doesnt seem like the worst thing in the world.


So how do you solve a problem like Castillo? Cut him.


Wouldnt he at least better than whoever else they would use as a backup infielder?
   3. The District Attorney Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#3030707)
Even though he is indeed breaking down physically and of course has no power at all, the idea that Castillo is the worst player in baseball is loopy; that's just one of your morbid obsessions.

That said, I do agree that Murphy should play 2B if he's the least bit capable; it'd be the difference between being a pretty replaceable guy and a near-star. I also agree that moving someone several steps the "wrong way" on the defensive spectrum, is the type of thing that you have to commit to 100% if it's going to have any shot to work at all. That probably would mean that you'd need to get rid of Castillo. I'd be reluctant to release Castillo outright, and I know he's not gonna have much trade value, but I think you try to trade him for someone else's bad contract (presumably a C, OF or P.)

That said, it doesn't look like it's gonna happen: they ain't puttin' Murphy at 2B this year, if ever.
   4. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#3030712)
Dan Uggla of the Marlins performed similarly to Murphy with the glove in the minors, and has performed “okay” in the majors.

Except in all star games. Man, that was brutal.
   5. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:40 PM (#3030726)
but I think you try to trade him for someone else's bad contract (presumably a C, OF or P.)
A call for Mr. Eaton, Mr. Adam Eaton?


==> Sorry, Mets fans, couldn't resist. I almost wouldn't want to foist Eaton on even the Mets. Well, almost.
   6. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:41 PM (#3030728)
I don't disagree with the prescription, but I do think it's a bit more complex and there are some other considerations, which could lead a rational decision-maker to another conclusion. To wit:

1) The Mets might (might) have access to information we don't have, both about Castillo and about Murphy. First, about Castillo. They certainly have information about his physical condition which we don't know. They might have reason to believe he is now in better condition, and/or that his legs are healthier, than they were in the 2008 season. If they do have that information, it could change the equation. They might information about other teams' interest in Castillo -- at a particular price, of course, and perhaps only after they see him in spring training. That could change the equation on what is in the team's best interest; it might make sense to take the chance he will have a good (lucky?) spring and another team might be tempted to take some of the $$$ off the Mets' hands, or even hand us a moderately useful player in exchange. That would be a good reason not to just release him. That "other team" might well be irrational, but we all know there are other such teams out there, making bad decisions, and there is nothing at all wrong with waiting for it to happen (especially if Omar knows another team has already expressed some interest). But none of that changes my agreement with Chris that, knowing what we know now, about his performance in 2008, about his cost and likely performance in 2009, he is not the guy they should play at second base next year.

Second, as to Murphy, the Mets saw him play a handful of games at 2B in the AFL, and they saw him play a lot of games at 3B in the minors. That is information I don't have. I've only seen him play in the OF. It is possible they have made a judgment that he simply doesn't have the skills to play the middle infield, and possibly they even fear that his lack of skills make him too high an injury risk (if you don't master the art of avoiding baserunners ably, and don't have the footwork to do it well, you are gonna get hurt). I think this is doubtful, mind you, in part because as Chris points out if the comparison is between Castillo at 2008 levels and Murphy, Daniel would have to be the worst second baseman ever not to win that competition. But the comparison need not be ONLY between them; we shouldn't limit ourselves that way. If Murphy's defense would be so poor that the best we can say about him, on balance, is that he'd be better than Castillo '08, then really, the Mets should be looking for another option entirely. But that's a big "if." I wish the Mets would be more open to this possibility, and I strongly suspect that it is NOT because of a considered judgment regarding his defense that they are rejecting it. I think it's because of Castillo and his contract, and because of a certain unwillingness to be bold and think outside the box. And that's a shame. Davey Johnson, just to name a name, wouldn't have hesitated to put Daniel Murphy at second base.

2) Chris alludes briefly to the impact that playing second base could have on Murphy's hitting and development, and I think that's a real issue. I think it has two dimensions: the learning the position part, and the physical toll part. Second baseman take a battering, they get spiked, they have to jump and land a lot, turning and spraining their ankles . . . the bumps and bruises will affect Murphy's offense, of that I am sure. And he'll take even more than his share of it, because he won't know the tricks a veteran of the position knows to avoid the contact. He'll also have to spend time learning the position, time he could have spent resting, or maybe talking hitting with Delgado or Beltran. I think the Mets could, reasonably, think they don't want to put him through any of that. Does it mean they should want Castillo over him? Nope. But again, it could mean they would prefer Option C to either of 'em at second base.

3) I disagree with Chris about Daniel's offensive potential as a left fielder. But I've said enough about my optimism regarding Murphy this off-season, haven't I? And in any event, that is probably NOT a good reason for the Mets' actions, because I doubt they think as highly of him as I do. After all, if they did, they'd be clearing a position for him, not planning to platoon him with Tatis.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:43 PM (#3030731)
I am worried that Murphy is going to become stuck between positions. As a secondbaseman, a good hitter but an awful fielder. As a leftfielder, a mediocre hitter and fielder. His eventual home might be first base.

I personally wouldn't eat Castillo's contract just yet. That is, if I'm the one on the hook for the next $18 million. Especially if I just lost $300 million in a pyramid scheme. I would have the hope that either he could return to his 2007 form (which isn't a plus player, but is fine) ... or possibly that I could DL him indefinitely and get insurance to kick in. Give him until June to see what is going on. Obviously I would be considering salary dump trades too, although I don't understand why there would be any market for him.

But of course I don't go into the season with him as my starter. I have no ability to evaluate Murphy at 2B - my feeling is that he would be awful there, because he looks generally awkward in the field.

I am confused why there isn't more Orlando Hudson chatter - to my eye he is one of the best free agents out there, a plus fielder and a plus hitter for a sinkhole position. Does it just make too much sense? I just Googled him and the rumors I get are for bush league organizations: the Giants and Nats.
   8. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:44 PM (#3030735)
the idea that Castillo is the worst player in baseball is loopy; that's just one of your morbid obsessions.
Well, if you make stuff up, then things you say I say are going to be loopy.
   9. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:45 PM (#3030738)
I didnt watch the Mets much last year, so why is Castillo considered so bad by everyone here?


No, its just Dial who is obsessed with Castillo for some reason...
Castillo has descended to below average but he is by no means the worst player out there. Teh contract is an abomination though.

The apparent assumption that Dial makes (and a common Mets poster named Sam makes), that Murphy's 151 PAs of .313/.397/.473 performance last year (which is NOT backed up by his 1000 minor league PAs) reflects his true ability is almost as odd...
   10. villainx Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:48 PM (#3030742)
Luis Castillo is the worst if he's batting second in the lineup.
   11. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:48 PM (#3030743)
Well, if you make stuff up, then things you say I say are going to be loopy.


what you said was :

His missed time kept him from challenging for the worst player in the league. Okay, he had no shot of catching Jeff Francoeur, but he would have been just terrible.


... and yes, I agree Frenchy was absolutely horrid last year. Never a fan, but it was almost inexplicable how godawful he was on both sides of the ball... please god, don't let Atlanta trade him.
   12. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:49 PM (#3030751)
I disagree with Chris about Daniel's offensive potential as a left fielder.
I started to write a bit about this. I plan to do that when we move to addressing the LF spot.
   13. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:50 PM (#3030752)
Castillo has descended to below average but he is by no means the worst player out there. Teh contract is an abomination though.

Well, when you put the two things together -- his performance level and the amount of money the Mets are on the hook to pay him -- he's pretty high (or low?) up there on the list of bad-for-the-money players. No Andruw Jones, mind you, but pretty bad.
   14. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:50 PM (#3030753)
The apparent assumption that Dial makes (and a common Mets poster named Sam makes), that Murphy's 151 PAs of .313/.397/.473 performance last year (which is NOT backed up by his 1000 minor league PAs) reflects his true ability is almost as odd...

But that's positively Utley-esque!

Murphy reminds me of a Todd Walker like player. Does anyone else see that? I don't mean that as an insult, either. Todd Walker was a nice player to have on your team.
   15. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:53 PM (#3030758)
The apparent assumption that Dial makes (and a common Mets poster named Sam makes), that Murphy's 151 PAs of .313/.397/.473 performance last year (which is NOT backed up by his 1000 minor league PAs) reflects his true ability is almost as odd...

Don't put that on Chris. He isn't as loopy about that as I am, as he made clear (at least to me) in the piece:

Murphy hits pretty well, but not very much for a left fielder, and certainly a better left fielder is available on the market (I’m certain of that). Murphy hits a ton for a second baseman.

I'm the one who's all-in for Murphy as a corner OF-caliber bat. And not backing off one inch, by the way.
   16. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:56 PM (#3030762)
I am confused why there isn't more Orlando Hudson chatter - to my eye he is one of the best free agents out there, a plus fielder and a plus hitter for a sinkhole position. Does it just make too much sense?


If you are preaching to me, I am a member of the choir. SIGN O-DAWG NOW!
   17. villainx Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:56 PM (#3030763)
Well, when you put the two things together -- his performance level and the amount of money the Mets are on the hook to pay him -- he's pretty high (or low?) up there on the list of bad-for-the-money players. No Andruw Jones, mind you, but pretty bad.


Sunk cost? No point in putting it together.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:57 PM (#3030764)
Yes. I was just trolling the Todd Walker B-R page while composing #7. Also visited the Dave Magadan page.

Walker wasn't much of a fielder, but he hit well enough to find starting jobs. A solid player. (IIRC he was a big prospect, shoulda been an All-Star). My guess is that Murphy is a worse fielder than Walker ... my hope is that he is a better hitter. But I don't know. Todd Walker would be my realistic and somewhat pessimistic projection. I also think he has the potential to hit like Rusty Greer.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:00 PM (#3030768)
If he hit like Rusty Greer, btw, he could play anywhere, even 1B. Sam probably likes that comparison ... does anyone else? Bill James has Murphy down for .297/.371/.478 with 14 HR.
   20. billyshears Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:06 PM (#3030777)
I think people are ignoring Castillo's negative intangibles. His readily apparent feebleness causes his teammates to contemplate their own mortality and to play with less vigor due to fear of getting injured and one day finding themselves in a comparable state of disability as Castillo.
   21. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:09 PM (#3030779)
Year     Lg     Player     LastName     Age     Team     G
    POS
    XR
+AA
    DRS     OPD

2008    NL    Jeff    Francoeur    24    ATL    155    RF
    
-34.7    -6.9    -41.6
2008    NL    Michael    Bourn    25    HOU    138    CF
    
-22.2    -12    -34.2
2008    NL    Jeff    Keppinger    28    CIN    121    SS
    
-14.4    -12    -26.4
2008    NL    Jose    Castillo    27    SFG    112    3B
    
-23    -1.2    -24.2
2008    NL    WilyMo    Pena    26    WSN    64    LF
    
-21.4    -2    -23.4
2008    NL    Andruw    Jones    31    LAD    75    CF
    
-20.8    -1.2    -22
2008    NL    James    Loney    24    LAD    161    1B
    
-19.8    -1.7    -21.5
2008    NL    Corey    Patterson    28    CIN    135    CF
    
-25.6    4.3    -21.3
2008    NL    Willy    Taveras    26    COL    133    CF
    
-18.8    -1.8    -20.5
2008    NL    Freddy    Sanchez    30    PIT    145    2B
    
-15.9    -1.8    -17.7
2008    NL    John    Bowker    24    SFG    111    1B
    
-16    -1.6    -17.6
2008    NL    Damion    Easley    38    NYM    113    2B
    
-8.2    -9.1    -17.3
2008    NL    Rich    Aurilia    36    SFG    140    1B
    
-14    -3    -17.1
2008    NL    Chad    Tracy    28    ARI    88    1B
    
-12.7    -4.3    -17
2008    NL    Tadahito    Iguchi    33    SDP    81    2B
    
-15.5    -0.5    -16
2008    NL    Luis    Gonzalez    40    FLA    136    LF
    
-5.1    -10.8    -15.9
2008    NL    Mike    Jacobs    27    FLA    141    1B
    
-3    -12.6    -15.6
2008    NL    Eugenio    Velez    26    SFG    98    2B
    
-10.1    -5    -15.2
2008    NL    Carlos    Ruiz    29    PHI    117    C
    
-14    -1    -15
2008    NL    Luis    Rivas    28    PIT    79    SS
    
-12.9    -2.1    -15
2008    NL    Aaron    Boone    35    WSN    104    1B
    
-13.9    -0.7    -14.6
2008    NL    Brian    Bixler    25    PIT    50    SS
    
-11.6    -2.8    -14.4
2008    NL    Jay    Bruce    21    CIN    108    RF
    
-7.5    -6.8    -14.2
2008    NL    Josh    Bard    30    SDP    57    C
    
-9.6    -4.3    -14
2008    NL    Luis    Castillo    32    NYM    87    2B
    
-5.2    -8.3    -13.6 

If Castillo were to play another 70 games, he's going to be close -20 to -25.

That "challenging" for the worst player.
   22. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:10 PM (#3030782)
Sunk cost? No point in putting it together.

Well, the point in putting it together is in evaluating whether you are getting your money's worth (not that it's a tough call in Castillo's case, obviously), if and when the opportunity comes when you might be able to rid yourself of Castillo's contract but perhaps have to take on another one in exchange. At that point, you'd have to evaluate your alternatives, assess Murphy v. Castillo, what the other player brings v. the alternatives you have at his position, etc. So whether Castillo's cost is relevant is going to depend on what question the Mets are ultimately asking.

It will come as a surprise to exactly no one when I say that I would be happy to take the "over" on Daniel Murphy, for his career, bettering Todd Walker's career OBP (.348), OPS (.783), and OPS+ (98). He will outhit Walker, easily. Rusty Greer's numbers, OTOH, I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole -- .387, .863, 119. That's going to take some doing . . . .
   23. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:15 PM (#3030791)
The Mets can always release him and hope that the Phils sign him as Utley's fill-in.

It's pretty clear that Murphy's not going to play 2B regularly - he's shown no signs of being able to play it in the minors. Castillo's pretty horrible at this point, but unless the Mets sign someone (Wigginton? Hairston?) he's going to get a lot of starts when/if he's healthy enough to play.
   24. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:20 PM (#3030804)
The Mets can always release him and hope that the Phils sign him as Utley's fill-in.

Ugh. After what IPOR did to us in this game late last year, I think I'll pass on sending bad second basemen to division rivals for a while . . . .
   25. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:22 PM (#3030809)
If you go halfway between Walker and Greer - .370 OBP, 820 OPS, 110 OPS+ - and assume that Murphy is an average or slightly below average leftfielder ... well, you have Conor Jackson. That is a solid player but your effusive praise leads me to believe that you have better things in mind for young Mr. Murphy.
   26. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:26 PM (#3030814)
Murphy reminds me of a Todd Walker like player. Does anyone else see that? I don't mean that as an insult, either. Todd Walker was a nice player to have on your team.

I think Murphy will develop a bit more power than Walker (career .435 SLG), but is an inferior defender. IMHO Met fans are kidding themselves if they think that Murphy could play 2B at anywhere near an acceptable level. The James' projection seems pretty optimistic to me, but he could be a slightly-above average offensive LF next year.

Castillo was among the worst players in the league last year, but that doesn't mean that he necessarily will be in 2009 and beyond. Even if he's lost a step in the field, he's a better defender than Murphy projects to be. Give him a shot and see how he looks in spring training and early in the season. It's just as easy to DFA him in June as it is now.

What they do need, though, is a better Plan B for 2B (who is next on the depth chart with Easley gone, Marlon Anderson? That is not an endorsement for bringing back Easley, BTW). Maybe the Mets can get lucky with a waiver pickup like the Braves were able to pick up a useful spare part for 2B/3B last spring...
   27. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:27 PM (#3030818)
Murphy's skill set makes me think of Frank Catalanotto - not good enough defensively to stick at 2B, and not powerful enough with the bat to play 1B or an outfield corner every day for a contender. He's a handy player to have around, but I'm not sure you want to forgo other options at LF or 1B if they're available.
   28. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#3030820)
unless the Mets sign someone (Wigginton? Hairston?) he's going to get a lot of starts when/if he's healthy enough to play.

Wigginton no longer has the footwork to handle 3B, so I don't know how he could be expected to play at 2B.
   29. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:29 PM (#3030821)
If you go halfway between Walker and Greer - .370 OBP, 820 OPS, 110 OPS+ - and assume that Murphy is an average or slightly below average leftfielder ... well, you have Conor Jackson. That is a solid player but your effusive praise leads me to believe that you have better things in mind for young Mr. Murphy.

I see Murphy as a .400/.450 caliber player -- which is about as good as Greer is (a bit better OBP, not quite the slugging). But I wouldn't bet on that, because goodness knows there is a lot of uncertainty attached to any young player. He could end up being .370/.420, which would still be quite good (who wouldn't want ANY player with a .370 OBP???). Which shows that you can let a hell of a lot of air out of the hitter I think Murphy's going to be, and still be better than Todd Walker. That is precisly why I have utter confidence that he's going to beat Walker's career numbers.
   30. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#3030836)
It's just as easy to DFA him in June as it is now
He does cost a roster spot.
   31. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#3030837)
O-Dog would be a great fit, but I suspect he'd cost enough to hurt the Mets' efforts to bring in another starting pitcher. Even with that caveat, if they can get Hudson, they should do it. His defense alone, particularly compared to the shambling corpse of Castillo, would be worth it. And the guy can hit a little as well - probably .280/.350/.420 once he's out of BOB, but that's still a massive improvement on the incumbents.
   32. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:41 PM (#3030842)
Castillo's a bad use of a roster spot if he's not starting - he hasn't played anything but 2B in the majors, and even if he could stand on first base, you've just created another Marlon Anderson without the occasional pop or ability to stand in the outfield, or a lesser version of end-of-career Jose Offerman. Neither one is a good thing.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:46 PM (#3030851)
That is precisly why I have utter confidence that he's going to beat Walker's career numbers.


I think so too. But I am worried that he gets lost without a position ... Catalanatto is a nice example, better than Conor Jackson. With a .290 average and 109 OPS+ he is right in the range we are discussing, and he even has the lefty-hitting infielder thing going. Detroit didn't really know what to do with Cat (I remember he was an early avatar of Baseball Prospectus' love for the underutilized hitter). They had Easley in front of him and he ended up pinch-hitting a lot. He didn't hit his stride until he abandoned the infield later - still gets platooned and has never had 500 ABs, although lots of injuries mar this analysis.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:57 PM (#3030869)
I should add that Catalanatto has been a good player for a decade and any team that graduates a similar player from the minors should be very satisfied. Same goes for Walker.

Another name worth mentioning is Kelly Johnson. Seems similar to Murphy in a lot of respects but is a more capable fielder at second and left
   35. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:03 PM (#3030873)
I think you guys are way overrating Murphy. He's probably a better option than Castillo with Castillo now being pretty bad defensively, but he's certainly not a .386 $H guy and his minor league record suggests that he's probably not really a .330 $H guy right now either.
   36. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:05 PM (#3030876)
You know, UZR had Castillo being a big plus defensively in 2007 despite his apparent lack of mobility (7.4/150) and he would have had a very respectable OBP if his BABIP from the right side was respectable. Personally, I think he approachs averageness next seson as a player and I have npo qualms with him getting the starting job to begin the season.
   37. Lassus Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:07 PM (#3030879)
Now you're just trying to get Sam riled up, Dan.
   38. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#3030893)
Now you're just trying to get Sam riled up, Dan.

If that gets him riled up, I'm going to have to move to Vanuatu when he sees the projection in a few days!
   39. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:17 PM (#3030896)
Now you're just trying to get Sam riled up, Dan.

Nah, I'm used to it at this point. I know I'm out on a limb here, that his minor league numbers don't support my position. My view is based on the trajectory of his performance, on my observation of his approach at the plate (as distinct from from the output, by the way, for those of you who think I'm just being fooled by the results of 150 major league PAs), and by my views of how left-handed hitters who are able to implement that approach fare. They succeed, to put it concisely. If everyone was capable of putting into practice what Murphy did last year, baseball would be a far different game, with a lot more offense. Fortunately for pitchers, most hitters can't. Since Murphy can, he'll succeed. What his minor league numbers show, IMHO, is that it has taken him time to develop and learn and to reach this point. For that reason, I put greater emphasis on what he has shown me he can do and the approach he uses, then on the data from earlier points in his development.

I may be wrong. Those of you who are going by the full range of his minor league career obviously believe I am. We'll see.
   40. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:24 PM (#3030899)
Now you're just trying to get Sam riled up, Dan.

If that gets him riled up, I'm going to have to move to Vanuatu when he sees the projection in a few days!


What adjustment factor are you using for your MLEs now? Your MLEs are no longer a little lower than everyone else's- they are a LOT lower.
   41. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:37 PM (#3030917)
I should add that Catalanatto has been a good player for a decade and any team that graduates a similar player from the minors should be very satisfied. Same goes for Walker.

Yep. It's certainly no slight to be compared to Catalanotto or Walker. Managing expectations, however, is important when dealing with a guy like that - you can't expect him to be Rusty Greer. You're just happy if he turns out to be. Platooning with Tatis and giving Ryan Church some days off (sliding Tatis to RF) would be a perfect role for Murphy - if he hits the cover off the ball again this year, maybe he gets a clear shot at the job in 2010.
   42. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#3030921)

What adjustment factor are you using for your MLEs now? Your MLEs are no longer a little lower than everyone else's- they are a LOT lower.


I was always between DT and Chone/Sackmann, I've just moved a little more towards the lower end overall. In essence, good player MLEs tend to be closer to the latter while lesser player MLEs towards the former.
   43. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:44 PM (#3030929)
Platooning with Tatis and giving Ryan Church some days off (sliding Tatis to RF) would be a perfect role for Murphy - if he hits the cover off the ball again this year, maybe he gets a clear shot at the job in 2010.

Well, I would certainly hope that if he is repeating what he did in 2008, by June, at least, he's getting a lot more ABs than that suggests. It sure as hell shouldn't take them until 2010 to get the message.
   44. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:55 PM (#3030948)
It's funny how Sam can be all in on a guy like Murphy and dismiss Evans as a platoon player at best.
   45. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:08 PM (#3030964)
It's funny how Sam can be all in on a guy like Murphy and dismiss Evans as a platoon player at best.

Remember Jason Phillips' rookie year? Great numbers, especially for a catcher. If you looked at how he did it, you just knew that it wasn't sustainable, and that he wasn't going to be a great or even a good player.

Sometimes, the numbers (minor league or major league) don't tell you what you need to know. You look at how he does it. And Nick Evans just can't handle major league heat from RHPs. He gets beat inside. He's 22, OK. So maybe he can adjust somehow and get rid of that hole without opening up another one. I doubt it, but right now I see a platoon player. A useful platoon player, mind you, but . . . when you are taking the smaller half of the platoon, how big a role or important player is that?

I give Evans the benefit of the possibility of development -- but what he is right now is not half the player Daniel Murphy is.
   46. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:15 PM (#3030972)
If you looked at how he did it, you just knew that it wasn't sustainable, and that he wasn't going to be a great or even a good player.


Anyone who bought the Baseball Forecaster the next year and drafted Phillips probably wanted to kill Shandler- what he said about Phillips (in his own way) was not too dis-similar to what you are saying about Murphy- yes he said, Phillips' MLB #s were quite a bit better than his minor league track record, but here is why I think he really is this good...

That prediction didn't work out so well
   47. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:22 PM (#3030981)
Was it Evans' first game where he hit those three doubles? I read the recap and though - "Oh ####, we might have ourselves a prospect here!" Then I watched the video and saw that each of those doubles was a sort of opposite field bloop - even on his best days his bat looked slow.

I agree with Sam's scouting report. But, I will also say that we are talking about small samples, the on-field results are not hugely significant, and even the wisest scout would find it difficult not to be swayed by those results when they are so disparate. If Murphy hit .230 and looked just as good, we wouldn't be talking about Todd Walker, we'd be talking about Lenny Harris
   48. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#3030991)
Nick Evans outslugged Murphy in AA this season against righthanders. Granted, Murphy posted the better OBP but Evans is younger and Evans crushed Murphy performance-wise against lefties. Also, Evans looks like the better athlete to me and more likely to develop into an averagish outfielder.

I just don't think Murphy is ever going to hit for enough power to be a good player in the outfield. Evans has more pop and I could see him being a 20-25 homer guy consistently.

Murphy deserves credit for his performance in the big leagues but Evans, IMO, is just a good a prospect as Murphy, and neither is as good as Sam is thinking.
   49. JPWF13 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:42 PM (#3031002)
Nick Evans outslugged Murphy in AA this season against righthanders.


Sam knows that, he's just going by what his eyeball told him in each ones' brief MLB experience to date. Murphy LOOKS like a better hitter against RHPs than Evans (To Sam anyway)- and Evans certainly got his head handed to him in his 50 mlb PAs against RHPS...
   50. Sam M. Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:17 PM (#3031048)
Anyone who bought the Baseball Forecaster the next year and drafted Phillips probably wanted to kill Shandler- what he said about Phillips (in his own way) was not too dis-similar to what you are saying about Murphy- yes he said, Phillips' MLB #s were quite a bit better than his minor league track record, but here is why I think he really is this good...

The difference, of course, is that I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. My opinion is available free of charge, and it's clear I have persuaded absolutely no one to abandon their orthodoxy. Which is fine; it'll be all the more satisfying to have been willing to go out on a limb so determinedly and (IF it turns out that way) be right.

The thing is that, IMHO, not all minor league performance is created equal, in the absolutely critical sense that it translates equally into projecting forward into useful major league talent. Russlan obviously agrees with this premise (# 48) -- because in some ways, at least, he believe that Nick Evans is the more projectable player because hs is younger, "looks like the better athlete," and "has more pop." Fine. I see it the opposite way, but it's the premise in which I'm interested: similar bottom-line numbers don't necessarily mean two players project to equivalent succes in the majors.

To me, Murphy is far more projectable because of his pitch recognition and selectivity at the plate, being a left-handed hitter, and his proven ability to hit to all fields. That is a combination of skills that I believe translates into success for a hitter -- it is extremely difficult for pitchers to find ways to deal with that combination, all but those with the most overpowering stuff. And if the only guys who can consistently get Daniel Murphy out are the Jake Peavys of the league, he'll do just fine. Daniel Murphy doesn't need to be a 25/30 HR guy to be a .400/.450 hitter; he only needs to have 15-20 HR power and 40 2B pop to do it, and I think he does.

Of course I'm going by observation. That sure as hell ought to be the basis on which any baseball fan makes judgments about players, shouldn't it? We all combine reliance on statistics and data around here, but we're not blind, either. I can see that Nick Evans gets beat by even reasonably decent major league fastballs from RHPs. Am I supposed to pretend I don't see that? I can see that Daniel Murphy doesn't swing at bad pitches, works the count in his favor, is able to recognize what pitchers are trying to do throughout his ABs, and I see a veterans' approach in a rookie, and I have no doubt a successful hitter is there. And I'm going to say it, and you all are totally free to maintain your skepticism.

I will be right about Daniel Murphy. And I hope to hell that Nick Evans continues to develop, so I end up being wrong about him.
   51. JPWF13 Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:05 AM (#3031124)
I will be right about Daniel Murphy.


I hope so.
   52. thetailor Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:19 AM (#3031134)
(who wouldn't want ANY player with a .370 OBP???)
Luis Castillo career OBP .... .367

Sigh.

Sunk cost. Once a contract has completely soured, it is imperative to identify it and stop playing a player just because you are paying him. The idea that teams will continue to run a bad player on the field because that player is making $5 million, instead of going to a minor league or significantly cheaper player is a real problem teams have.

I think that the concept of sunk cost is properly identified here but I think its being improperly applied. We all agree Luis Castillo sucks. He sucks. He got the contract, and its over. At this point, he's going to get the money, so the amount of money he is making is entirely irrelevant. Its not a reason to play him but its also not a reason NOT to play him.

Looking at it for what it is, I don't mind Castillo. The Mets were 2nd in the NL in runs last year IIRC -- if he bats 8th or bats 9th to turn the lineup over, with that good OBP and ability to work the pitcher a little bit, he won't, by himself, kill us. The fact that hes making a shitload of money hurts our feelings but it is not an additional reason to cut him or sign someone else to play his position. Cast as an 8 or 9 hole hitter, Castillo ought to be fine.
   53. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:50 AM (#3031155)
Cast as an 8 or 9 hole hitter, Castillo ought to be fine.
He can't field. He's only a "slightly below average hitter" for a second baseman ten runs or so. But he is a terrible fielder at this point, and that's going to kill us.

Also, I'm all for trading him instead of cutting him, but basically, he shouldn't be on the roster much longer. "Cut him" means, get rid of him, up to and including a straight cut.
   54. Darren Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:51 AM (#3031156)
You know that Castillo's projection next year is to be a slightly below average defender with a OBP-heavy .700 OPS, right? You're severely overreacting to a single, injury-plagued year, don't you think?
   55. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:03 AM (#3031168)
Dial, what did your numbers say about Castillo's defense in 2007? Personally, he looked about averagish to me in 2007 as a Met but UZR had him being very good overall.

It could be that 2008 was a wasted year because of knee surgery and a healthier Castillo is close to average defensively. I'd be more inclined to agree with that notion if most defensive metrics said that he was good in 2007.
   56. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:06 AM (#3031170)
Because I was curious: A Google search for "how do you solve a problem like" baseball
   57. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:08 AM (#3031173)
Chris, your entire analysis relies on the assumption that Castillo won't improve a lick defensively in 2009 from what appears to be an outlier explained partially by injury. While we all agree that the prognosis on a thirty-something 2B isn't great, don't you have to acknowledge at least the possibility that Castillo will revert somewhat in 2009? At the very least, where's the evidence that Murphy can handle 2B?

Granted, Castillo is a below-average player and the contract is an atrocious value. We all get that. But if there's a chance that he could bounce back (in which case he's easier to trade during 2009 or after), it's worth giving him a few months to see what happens. Then cut him in June or whatever if he's still a stiff.
   58. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:19 AM (#3031178)
I can't speak for Chris, but I use his method and I get this for Castillo in recent years (defensively)

2008: -8
2007: -2
2006: 0
2005: 5

I have Castillo projected to hit 279/351/348.

He's far from a plus, especially if his defense stays bad, but given that he probably won't fetch what the Mets need in a trade, I'd be inclined to hang onto him a bit.
   59. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:31 AM (#3031183)
You know that Castillo's projection next year is to be a slightly below average defender with a OBP-heavy .700 OPS, right? You're severely overreacting to a single, injury-plagued year, don't you think?
He's going to be a significantly below average 2B defensively, and I complained about his acquisition from day one, so I am certain I am not "severely overreacting to a single, injury-plagued year".
   60. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:34 AM (#3031185)
Chris, your entire analysis relies on the assumption that Castillo won't improve a lick defensively in 2009 from what appears to be an outlier explained partially by injury. While we all agree that the prognosis on a thirty-something 2B isn't great, don't you have to acknowledge at least the possibility that Castillo will revert somewhat in 2009? At the very least, where's the evidence that Murphy can handle 2B?
The possibility? I could spontaneously combust *possibly*. I linked to Murphy's minor league defensive stats. He *can* play it. I stated repeatedly that he's probably going to sturggle and not be very good, and it may not be worth moving him there, but sticking with Castillo is a losing proposition.
   61. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:35 AM (#3031186)
2008: -8
2007: -2
2006: 0
2005: 5
That's a rapid decline. Studies show the curve gets steeper here.
   62. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:35 AM (#3031187)
A Google search for "how do you solve a problem like" baseball
FAIL.
   63. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:43 AM (#3031191)
I linked to Murphy's minor league defensive stats. He *can* play it.

Sorry, but color me unconvinced. You're concluding that he "*can* play it" based on 17 minor league games, plus a dozen or so AFL?
   64. Darren Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:15 AM (#3031206)
The possibility? I could spontaneously combust *possibly*.


How about 'the most likely thing to happen' then?
   65. Darren Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:29 AM (#3031216)
FWIW, here's how UZR sees it (all /150):

02: -2.0
03: 9.5
04: 5.7
05: 10.7
06: 1.4
07: 7.4
08: -10.8
Career: 3.9

Good fielder who had a bad year.
   66. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:33 AM (#3031220)
Sorry, but color me unconvinced. You're concluding that he "*can* play it" based on 17 minor league games, plus a dozen or so AFL?
I am sure he "can", because he *did* for 17 games. What?
   67. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:35 AM (#3031222)
How about 'the most likely thing to happen' then?
I certainly don't think the most likely thing to happen is that Castillo is an above average player. I think the thing that is most likely to happen is that he will perform between -10 and -20 as a total player in 2009 (given enough PT).

UZR is "over adjusted".
   68. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:37 AM (#3031224)
I could understand the argument for Murphy at second base if he spent the entire winter playing there but I just don't see how anyone can think he'll be ready to play there after a month of spring training games especially considering he's not the most athletic of players. It just doesn't seem like something that has a reasonable chance of success.

I think the Mets should play Castillo unless they can trade him and bring in someone who is considerably better. Maybe sign someone like Cora who wouldn't be a total embarrassment as a replacement for Castillo if he doesn't play better.
   69. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:39 AM (#3031226)
What do YOUR numbers about Castillo say?
   70. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:39 AM (#3031228)
In 69, I mean regarding Castillo's defense in 2007.
   71. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:52 AM (#3031236)
Looking back through my spreadsheets:
2005: 4 DRS
2006: -2
2007: -5
2008: -8 (in 87 games)

This decline fits really well with an "expected aging curve".
   72. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:59 AM (#3031239)
I have to admit that Dial's numbers seem to make more sense to me than UZR having watched Castillo play the last two years. In 2007, he looked like a guy with belower average range but good hands and who could turn the DP quickly. Last year, he looked pretty miserable.

I do think he'll bounce back because he'll be healthier and will be in better shape because he'll be able to work out instead of recovering from surgery. Still, I can't blame Dial for being pessimistic.
   73. villainx Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:02 AM (#3031245)
Umm, is Castillo spot preventing the Mets from improving any other way. I can see a D nosedive, but not 100% to not at least see it play out. If Murphy doesn't hang at 2nd base, what are the other options? If he's only slightly below average (around his 07 numbers) and puts up around a .360+ OBP, while batting hopefully 8th. He's an acceptable insurance to spell Murphy and pinch run and spot start.

It's not like the 2nd base options prior to Castillo were that great, or the non Murphy alternatives are that great.

Like I said, if he's taking up a more important spot, at the start of the season, then it's another story.
   74. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:07 AM (#3031247)
Now, I don't think my numbers are 100% right, nor UZR 100% wrong. I score the games - about 120 a year, not just take the nubmers and go with them. So based on the data *and* my specific years of watching and scoring games, Castillo is in decline. Yes, instead of being a -8 for the season, due to injury, he'd have been a -14 or so. But I think he would have been a -8 without injury, and in 2009, if perfectly healthy, would be a -11, and if his legs are permanently restrictive (which I think they will be), he'll be a -15 or so.
   75. Harris Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:08 AM (#3031250)
The Mets have the makings of at least a Dan Uggla, and possibly a Chase Utley. Let’s not waste him in left field, where he is only going to be Pat Burrell.



Heh....I love it when Mets fans set the bar as the performance of Phillies.
   76. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:09 AM (#3031251)
That's a rapid decline. Studies show the curve gets steeper here.

Chris, I'd be interested to see these. I don't mean that in a "prove it!" sort of way, I don't have a horse in this race - just genuinely curious. Thanks.
   77. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:14 AM (#3031255)
Sometimes, the numbers (minor league or major league) don't tell you what you need to know. You look at how he does it.


While this can be overdone, and it is more applicable to minor league performance (where the quality of competition is more uneven) than major league performance, Sam's basically right.

-- MWE
   78. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:23 AM (#3031262)
Chris, I'd be interested to see these. I don't mean that in a "prove it!" sort of way, I don't have a horse in this race - just genuinely curious. Thanks.
Tango has a study at THT ,and I have a repeated larger N study half done. Tango has offered to help, but I haven't "gotten around to it".
   79. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:24 AM (#3031264)
Heh....I love it when Mets fans set the bar as the performance of Phillies.
There's little to argue that Chase is the best second baseman. Did the Phils pick up Dan Uggla? Because I know Pat Burrell isn't a Phillie.
   80. Darren Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:45 AM (#3031282)
Hasn't MGL's work, among others, show that trends like that are meaningless? Isn't the normal progression in UZR to decline by about 1 run per year? How is UZR "over adjusted?"
   81. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:53 AM (#3031288)
Hasn't MGL's work, among others, show that trends like that are meaningless? Isn't the normal progression in UZR to decline by about 1 run per year?
Wouldn't a "normal progression" be a trend? And it's 2 runs a year during peak, and after it gets worse (around age 33).

UZR takes a few million things into account that have been basically, unchecked.
   82. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:55 AM (#3031290)
BTW, IIRC.
   83. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:55 AM (#3031291)
At risk of oversimplifying, I would say that if Murphy can handle the defense at all and hit anything like he did last year then he should play second. I'm sure Omar will have several 37 year old right handed hitting second basemen in camp anyway just in case. Castillo may have a bonce back in him, but time is not on his side.
   84. ColonelTom Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:20 PM (#3031606)
The nice thing about putting Murphy at 2B - even if his defense sucks, which it probably will - is that you open up an outfield corner, and there are a few damn good ones still on the market at (relative) bargain prices. As a Phils fan, I'd cringe at seeing Pat Burrell or Adam Dunn in that lineup. Would the team be better off with O-Dog at 2B and Murphy in LF, or Murphy at 2B and Burrell/Dunn in LF? The latter combination's defense would be ugly in '09, but Delgado's contract expires after that, and you have the option of moving Burrell/Dunn/Murphy to 1B the following year.
   85. Harris Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:33 PM (#3031621)
"Heh....I love it when Mets fans set the bar as the performance of a couple member of the 2008 Phillies who just won the World Series."

Edited for clarity to appease Dial.
   86. Chris Dial Posted: December 18, 2008 at 01:39 AM (#3032208)
"Heh....I love it when Mets fans set the bar as the performance of a couple member of the 2008 Phillies who just won the World Series."

Edited for clarity to appease Dial.Wouldn't you like for Pedro Feliz to play as well as David Wirght, or Cole Hamels to pitch as well as Johan Santana, or Shane Victorino to be as good as Carlos Beltran, or Ryan Howard improve to Carlos Delgado levels?
   87. Harris Posted: December 18, 2008 at 04:19 PM (#3032532)
So long as there's a WS trophy hanging out in TCOBL, it doesn't really matter who plays as well as who.

Wouldn't you like David Wright to have as many post-season RBI's as Pedro Feliz?
   88. Chris Dial Posted: December 18, 2008 at 04:26 PM (#3032540)
Wouldn't you like David Wright to have as many post-season RBI's as Pedro Feliz?
Not really. RBIs as a stat don't tell me much. That merely describes opportunity, not ability.
   89. CrosbyBird Posted: December 18, 2008 at 05:32 PM (#3032620)
He can't field. He's only a "slightly below average hitter" for a second baseman ten runs or so. But he is a terrible fielder at this point, and that's going to kill us.

Am I the only person who thinks Castillo has a real shot to move back into the mid-90 OPS+ range? I think he in particular is a player with an offensive value tied up strongly in batting average.

If Castillo is a true talent .250 hitter now, that's a terrible offensive player. But if he did nothing more than not have a very low-spike BA relative to the rest of his career and stayed healthy enough to play 130ish games, we could tolerate a reasonable age-related decline on defense.

I recognize that it's often oversold as a factor, but Castillo sees a lot of pitches, and I think that adds value beyond his raw numbers. It makes Reyes a better threat on the bases, and gives the middle of the lineup more looks at a pitcher's stuff.

Castillo as a .290/.370/.350 hitter with below-average (but not Lead Glove) defense is not a problem player, even though he's overpaid a little. If 60% of the time the Mets start their first inning with a fast runner on base and less than 2 outs for Wright and Beltran, we're talking about of a lot of first-inning runs.

What percentage of the time does a team win games if it is the first to score a run?
   90. Chris Dial Posted: December 18, 2008 at 08:48 PM (#3032985)
I think he in particular is a player with an offensive value tied up strongly in batting average.
The problem is lost speed. He relies on infield hits too much, so with losing speed, he's not going to get those, so I don't think he's going to bounce back. Also, the last few years, teams have shwon a much greater reliance on scouting reports, rahter than just playing "straight up" defense. So historically, the LF would play medium deep. With castillo's bat speed down, he doesn't hit the ball as sharply to LF, and those LFs were definitely playing in more, and catching those horseshit bloops more. He's lost lots of his earlier advantages. I don't see it as likely he'll bounce back. His BIP is too defensible, or reliant on speed he no longer has.
   91. Chris Dial Posted: April 04, 2011 at 06:14 PM (#3785869)
And two years later, he gets cut.
   92. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: April 05, 2011 at 12:32 AM (#3786154)
All it took was the Wilpons firing everybody and hiring the Moneyball guys.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
phredbird
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.9718 seconds
65 querie(s) executed