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Friday, August 01, 2014

Rosendo ‘Rusty’ Torres found guilty of 5 counts of sex abuse, acquitted of 3 other charges

It has not been a good summer for former Yankees outfielders accused of sexual impropriety.

A Nassau County jury convicted a former player for the Yankees, Rosendo “Rusty” Torres, Thursday of sexually abusing a girl at his baseball clinic in Plainview several years ago.

The jury of nine women and three men acquitted Torres, 65, of Massapequa of charges that he sexually molested another girl who attended the clinic, which he ran from 2008 to 2012 while he was employed by Town of Oyster Bay. He was suspended after his arrest.

Torres remains free on $50,000 bond. He refused to comment as he left Nassau County Court in Mineola. His attorney, Troy A. Smith of White Plains, said, “We respectfully disagree with the verdict.” He said an appeal was planned.

“Mr. Torres is obviously gravely disappointed. I’m gravely disappointed. We believe there were reasonable doubts,” the attorney said.

Torres, a light-hitting outfielder with a .212 career batting average and 35 home runs during his nine years with five Major League Baseball teams, faces up to 7 years in prison on each of five counts of sexual abuse in the first degree when he is sentenced Oct. 7.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Angels bringing on Huston Street

The Angels and Padres have agreed to a six-player trade that will send All-Star closer Huston Street to Los Angeles, sources told ESPN Baseball Insider Jim Bowden on Friday.
In return, the Padres will receive second baseman Taylor Lindsey, right-hander R.J. Alvarez, shortstop Jose Rondon and another minor leaguer from the Angels, sources said. Los Angeles also will acquire a minor-league player in the deal.

Looks like the Angels have found the Street that leads to the playoffs.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:48 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, padres

Dave Cameron: 2014 Trade Value: The Top 10

7. Salvador Perez

If there’s one piece of feedback I got more clearly than any other last year, it was that I was too low on Salvador Perez. I had one friend in the game tell me should have been in the top five, and I had him at 36. My bad, Kansas City. Consider this a mea culpa.

Perez might not yet be the best catcher in baseball, but there are a lot of people convinced that he’s going to be in the near future. He’s basically a power spike away from being Jonathan Lucroy, only he’s four years younger than Milwaukee’s backstop, and at a point where many catchers are still honing their craft in the minors. And while framing metrics don’t love him the same way they do Lucroy, his defensive reputation is still stellar, as he shuts down the running game as well as anyone.

And then there’s the contract. Because the Royals locked up Perez after just 39 big league games, he’s set to make $2 million each of the next two years, and then they have team options for three additional years at $4 million, $5 million, and $6 million respectively. It’s $19 million over five seasons, or an average of $4 million per year. The best catcher in the American league is signed to the kind of deal you give a decent middle reliever.

Perez doesn’t even have to get any better to be one of the biggest steals in baseball. If he does improve, though, he might eventually challenge for the top spot on this list.

BUT WHO IS #6????


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journal News: Recap of Derek Jeter Retirement Gifts

The big 2nd half issue at BBTF is likely to be the retirement gifts The Captain receives as he completes his Final Journey. To provide perspective, the LoHud Yankee Blog reviews the 1st half:

May 25 — White Sox
Once a powerful hitter for both the Yankees and White Sox, retired slugger Ron Kittle built Jeter’s U.S. Cellular Field retirement gift. Kittle created a bench made of baseball equipment with bases as the seat, bats as the back and arm rests, and baseballs used for decoration and spacing. Long time White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko also presented Jeter with clay removed from the shortstop position at U.S. Cellular, plus a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Looks like it wouldn’t be difficult for Furtdao to top the Cubs effort on behalf of BBTF.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

OC Register: Garrett Richards misses out on All-Star Game…again

Garrett Richards came up empty in another opportunity to make the All-Star team tonight, when Seattle Mariners closer Fernando Rodney was named to replace David Price.

Price, one of the players originally selected for the team, had his start pushed back from Saturday to Sunday because of an illness, knocking him out of Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, in conjunction with major league officials, had the discretion to replace Price.

They took Rodney, who leads the AL with 27 saves and has a 1.98 ERA.

Richards is 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA, including 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA over his past eight starts.

Richards did not make the initial All-Star roster, when he was overlooked by both the players—who voted for five starters—and Farrell, who picked three. Richards then finished second to the Chicago White Sox Chris Sale in the “final vote.” Price’s illness offered him another shot, and he came up empty again.


Friday, July 11, 2014

DMN: After 15-6 loss to Angels, Washington gives ‘fire-and-brimstone’ blistering of Rangers

Manager Ron Washington resorted to a fire-and-brimstone blistering of the Rangers after a 15-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night at Globe Life Park.

In a post-game clubhouse meeting that lasted about 30 minutes, Washington vented his unhappiness at the way his club has been playing in this current dreadful stretch. The Rangers have lost five consecutive games and 19 of their last 22 games.

“I needed to remind them of some things,” Washington said.

Right-hander Colby Lewis, who allowed a club-record 13 runs in 2 1/3 innings, described Washington’s mood as “pissed.”

Said Lewis: “So am I. For every reason. We don’t lose here, and that’s what’s going on. We have to make changes, and it all happens like Wash said in this locker room.”

Washington said the Rangers have “a big group … that doesn’t know what winning is all about.” He hinted some players have let the losing distract them and used third baseman Adrian Beltre as the example of what is expected.

“It doesn’t matter the situation, he’s locked in,” Washington said. “We’re trying to get a lot of these guys locked in like that. It hasn’t happened yet.”

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 04:15 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, rangers

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tim Brown: Borrowing a few of Albert Pujols’ bats has helped Angels’ Erick Aybar stand out

If one gauges a man by his OPS or WAR, Aybar leads qualified AL shortstops in both. Same with, love them or not, RBIs. He doesn’t walk much, but hardly strikes out either. It doesn’t take long to find a defensive metric that says Aybar is the best in the league, or very nearly the best, at that, too.

This is, however, Derek Jeter’s year, and warranted. And, apparently, Alexei Ramirez’s, too, by player vote. And it’s Aybar’s to kill a little time on the twirling teacups, which makes him smile some more, as there are worse alternatives to a few days in Minneapolis.

“There’s a lot of good players going to the All-Star Game,” he said. “They deserve it. My thinking is to win. Playing my game.”

Maybe he gets swallowed up in the Mike Trout parade, and the Pujols and Josh Hamilton fascinations. In among them, however, Aybar has grown into a sound and important part of the Angels’ rebirth. Only three others on the roster – Howie Kendrick, Jered Weaver and Kevin Jepsen – were Angels the last time the team went to the playoffs in 2009. And while it was no secret Aybar could have been had for a front-end starter in a trade last winter, there apparently were none to be had, and it seems now the Angels are better for it.

For Aybar is having one of his best seasons – both sides of the ball – and the Angels are, through three-plus months, the second-best team in the game. They’re not unrelated.

“He’s one of the best shortstops in the game,” Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes said. “He should be on that list of guys.”

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

HardballTalk: The Angels are now the only expansion team to have a .500 record

...but despite all of that expansion history, no expansion team sat at .500 or above as play began last night. With their win over the Blue Jays last night, the Angels are now even at 4,272 wins and 4,272 losses.

Now, they aren’t the first expansion team to break .500. As Dbacks’ Vice President Josh Rawitch noted on Twitter last night, Arizona was 652-644 between 1998 and 2005, getting over the .500 hump and staying there for a time after their first couple of seasons. Such early success for an expansion team is unusual, however, and they have since sunk below sea level. The Angels were above .500 twice in their first four seasons, but they had not been at .500 in the aggregate since they were 1-1 following the second day of the 1961 season. They’ve spent over 50 years climbing out of the hole they dug. Pretty cool.

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 08:28 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Monday, July 07, 2014

LAT: Angels’ Mike Trout to start All-Star game; Garrett Richards snubbed

The excitement of a 6-1 victory that capped a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros on Sunday was tempered when the Angels learned that only one player from their club, which has the third-best record in baseball, was named to the American League All-Star team.

...

Snubbed were pitcher Garrett Richards, who got the win over the Astros on Sunday to improve to 10-2 with a 2.71 earned-run average and 119 strikeouts in 116 1/3 innings, and slick-fielding shortstop Erick Aybar, who is hitting .278 with six homers and 43 RBIs, most among AL shortstops.

“I’m pretty disappointed,” said Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, a nine-time All-Star. “I think Aybar should be an All-Star. He’s the shortstop with the most RBIs. And Garrett has been outstanding. Look at the numbers. Look what he’s done all season long.

Angels: 51-36, 1 representative (Trout)

Astros: 36-54, 1 representative (Altuve)
Mariners: 48-40, 3 representatives (Felix, Cano, Seager)
Rangers: 38-50, 2 representatives (Darvish, Beltre)
Indians: 43-44, 1 representative (Brantley)
White Sox: 42-47, 2 representatives (Abreu, Ramirez)
Blue Jays: 47-43, 3 representatives (Buehrle, Encarnacion, Bautista)

Etc., etc.

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 05:45 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Sunday, July 06, 2014

MLB.COM: Eight Run Seventh Catapults Angels to Comeback Win

I was resigned to a loss tonight as Hector Santiago gave up a grand slam early and the Angels were down 5-2 in the 7th.  Then…..

David Freese, Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron all homered in the (seventh) inning, with Freese’s two-run shot trimming the deficit to one, Pujols’ two-run dinger putting the Angels up by one and Cron’s three-run blast supplying insurance runs.

For the Angels, the eight runs were a season high in one inning.

This season is starting to resemble 2002 in the AL West.  The Angels get hot and go on a crazy streak (10 in a row at home and 18-3 in their last 21 at home) but they look up to see the A’s doing as well or better!

Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, comebacks

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Diamondbacks send Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to the Angels

The Diamondbacks’ are on the verge of making the first of what could be many trades this month, agreeing to a deal that will send left-hander Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana to the Los Angeles Angels.

In exchange, the Diamondbacks are receiving a pair of minor leaguers, right-handed reliever Joey Krehbiel and outfielder Zach Borenstein.

I know it’s not a trolling article about sabermetrics from an old fogey sportswriter, but we need to fill the front page with something, and I guess actual baseball transactions make as much sense as anything.


Thursday, July 03, 2014

It’s a small world: Traded players meet at airport

Two relievers walk into a bathroom…


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Angels acquire Rich Hill from Red Sox

Rich Hill has spent all season at Triple-A and now the Red Sox have traded him for cash considerations the Angels, who immediately called up the left-handed reliever.

This season at Triple-A for the Red Sox he posted a 3.23 ERA and 45/17 K/BB ratio in 39 innings, holding opponents to a .206 batting average and zero homers.

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 01, 2014 at 11:39 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, red sox, trades

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mike Trout belts 489-foot home run

Mike Trout set team and stadium records for home run distance Friday, belting a 489-foot tape-measure solo shot to center field in the first inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ game against the Kansas City Royals.

 

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 27, 2014 at 09:56 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rapoport: Kershaw’s gem was great, but batters feared Nolan Ryan

Hey, Rapoport! I haven’t read you in ages.

Ranking no-hitters may seem like a fool’s errand. Greatness is greatness and this sort of example doesn’t happen very often. Why not leave it at that?

But when a pitcher ascends toward the upper echelon of strikeout potential and pitches a no-hitter as well, the temptation to match him against those who came before becomes irresistible. And since claims are being made that Clayton Kershaw’s no-hit victory over Colorado on June 18 is the most dominant pitching performance ever, it becomes our civic duty to summon up a memory of Nolan Ryan.

...The only mark against Ryan that day was that he issued four walks while Kershaw allowed none. This gives Kershaw the nod, his supporters say. Fair enough, except for this.

Ryan threw the ball harder than Kershaw—his fastball was routinely measured at more than 100 miles per hour—and he therefore didn’t have Kershaw’s ability to control where it went. Walks were such a part of Ryan’s repertoire that he didn’t pitch a complete game without one until he was 36 years old and was no longer throwing as hard.

But I’ve always thought that Ryan’s occasional inability to get the ball over the plate was one of his strengths. The idea that a pitch might get away from him was firmly implanted in hitters’ minds as they approached the plate.

...As Kershaw’s no-hitter in Dodger Stadium was winding down, a television camera peered into the Rockies’ dugout and Vin Scully noted the look of awe on the faces of their hitters. That struck me as about right and points to the essential difference when the subject is domination.

When the Tigers came to the plate against Ryan that day, their main emotion was not awe but fear.

Repoz Posted: June 23, 2014 at 05:53 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers, history, mets

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Moura: Angels’ Richards surpasses all sabermetrics expectations

I hadn’t seen a Richards treated this badly since Frank “Cannonball” Richards and that Tsar Howitzer prank!

Very few expected this from him, as sabermetrics help show us. Luckily, they also show us why so few expected it — and how he’s been so much better than expectations.

...There’s also Steamer, ZiPS, and CAIRO, among others. This winter, all of them projected Richards to throw between 139 and 173 innings in 2014 and post an ERA between 3.80 and 4.71. None of them thought he could strike out much more than six batters per nine innings. Essentially, none of them thought he was more than a back-end rotation piece.

Well, it’s June 22, almost half a season, and out of nowhere Richards has unequivocally been one of the best pitchers in baseball. He has struck out 94 in 932/3 innings, while barely raising his walk rate, and recorded a 2.79 ERA. He is on pace to break 200 innings with a start to spare.

...No qualified starting pitcher in the majors has allowed long balls at a lower rate. Remarkably, Richards has not allowed a single homer to a right-handed hitter.

The last time a starting pitcher did that over a full season was Pedro Martinez in 2003. The time before that was Roger Clemens in 1990.

Obviously, Richards isn’t likely to keep that up for the rest of the year, but even so he is in rarefied territory.

Projections are often right, and when they are, we don’t usually notice. But when they’re wrong, like all of them were about Richards, we do.

PECOTA issues percentile projections, kind of like the SAT. They give 90th-percentile projections and 10th-percentile, one for each player, essentially their best- and worst-case scenarios.

Richards’ 90th-percentile projection for 2014 was a 3.62 ERA. He has been significantly better than his best-case scenario, and that sums it up quite nicely.

Will his surge continue? There are projections for that, too. They’re more favorable, now.

Repoz Posted: June 22, 2014 at 09:02 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, sabermetrics

Angels release 42-year-old Raul Ibanez

He finishes his Angels tenure with a .157/.258/.265 slash line, three home runs and 21 RBIs in 190 plate appearances.

Another notch in the belt for Father Time.  That bastard never loses.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 22, 2014 at 03:25 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, final call, raul ibanez

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kalaf: No One Can Find Raul Ibanez’s Foul Ball

This ain’t like finding a batted ball in a haystack.

aul Ibanez hit a foul ball in today’s Angels-Indians game. That’s not odd. The odd part is that no one found it.

Ibanez’s foul ball went into the empty upper deck of Progressive Field. One fan ran up to try and get it. He did not. More people walked up to comb the sections. Their efforts were fruitless. There is no happy ending to this video. No one found Raul Ibanez’s foul ball.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 18, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, fans, indians, raul ibanez, souvenirs

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Video: Richards’ quality start | MLB.com

Garrett Richards, the best pitcher you don’t know.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:20 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, garrett richards

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Schoenfield: Trout’s strikeouts a cause for concern

Kill! Gore! You were slumping, but now you are sorta well again. And there’s still work to be done!

The best player in baseball is still one of the best all-around players in the game. Mike Trout is tied for fourth among position players in Baseball-Reference WAR and second among position players in FanGraphs WAR. He’s hitting .272/.359/.524, good for eighth in the American League in wOBA and and fifth in adjusted OPS.

And yet there’s sort of a small black cloud hanging over Trout because the numbers are down from last year, when he hit .323 and reached base 43 percent of the time. He’s tied for the AL lead in strikeouts with 47, one behind major league leader Justin Upton. A year ago, Trout struck out 136 times while drawing 110 walks; he’s on pace for 206 strikeouts and 88 walks. While his power output hasn’t been affected, with so many fewer balls in play his batting average and on-base percentage have thus declined significantly.

...Of course, there are always exceptions to any generalization, but Trout has already had two four-strikeout games, including a second one on Sunday, after having none in 2012 or 2013. Something is going on here besides just a random fluctuation in the numbers, whether it’s tied to Trout’s spring training assertion that he was going to be more aggressive or pitchers finally finding a hole in his swing or a bad case of allergies clouding his vision.

It should be pointed out that Trout doesn’t appear to be hitting into bad luck. His batting average on balls in play is .347, compared to .376 last season and .383 in 2012, a little less but that looks like a result of a few more fly balls (which go for hits less often) and a few less infield hits. It is possible that Trout has been selling out for power, even though it hasn’t resulted in more home runs.

So, can Trout still be a .300 hitter while striking out 27.6 percent of the time, like he’s done so far?

...It’s difficult to say what kind of hitter Trout is turning into, whether this a blip on the radar or if he’s turning into a new version of Jim Thome, albeit one with more speed and better defense. Thome did hit .300 twice in his career in years when he didn’t fan 25 percent of time. You don’t think of Trout and Thome being similar players, and they’re not, but maybe they are similar hitters. During his peak 1995-2004 peak, Thome averaged 39 home runs and 112 walks, however, so if Trout is going to sacrifice batting average, it needs to come with a few more home runs and a few more walks to match Thome.

If I had to predict, however, I’m going with a blip on the radar. I’ll say Trout cuts down on the strikeouts as the season progresses and gets that average back around .300. He’s too good and too talented to suddenly be striking out as often as Khris Davis or Welington Castillo.

Repoz Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:10 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, sabermetrics

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mitchell: Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera

It is likely that Pujols and Cabrera will be linked in the minds of many fans as they move through the next few years as aging and overpaid Hall of Fame-caliber sluggers. It is way too early to declare either of them finished or washed up, but it is equally clear that their best years are likely behind them.

Cabrera’s 2012 triple crown catapulted him to new level of fame and visibility, but by most measures he was never quite as good as Pujols in his prime. By conventional statistical measures, Pujols is the superior home run hitter, having topped 40 home runs in a season six times, compared to only twice for Cabrera. Through his age 30 season, Pujols had batted .331, compared to Cabrera who hit .321 through the end of last season when he was 30 years old. More advanced analytical numbers show Pujols, not least because of his superior defense, to be the better all around player. By the time he was 30, Pujols had 7 seasons of 9 or more WAR. Cabrera’s career high for WAR was 7.5, in both 2013 and 2011. Through his age 30 season, Cabrera had an OPS+ of 154, while Pujols’ was 172 through that age. It is hard to look closely at the two players’ numbers and not conclude that Pujols has been the superior player. It is possible that Cabrera will become the better older player and narrow the gap somewhat, but when both players are retired, and their enormous contracts are finally over, it is very likely that Pujols will have had the more impressive career.

Cabrera is a very good player, but he is also in danger of being defined by his most well-known accomplishment. Cabrera’s 2012 triple crown was the first by anybody in an astounding 45 years. The triple crown is perhaps the ultimate old school offensive accomplishment. It consists of leading the league in three categories, home runs, batting average and RBIs, the latter two of which are still taken seriously by some while seen as of secondary import to many more advanced quantitative analysts of the game. In 2012, Cabrera beat out Pujols’ teammate Mike Trout for the MVP award despite Trout having a much better year by more contemporary measures. That MVP vote was as much a referendum on methodology for evaluating players as it was a vote about who was the best player, but it elevated Cabrera just as Pujols’ decline was becoming most noticeable. That triple crown may also help distinguish Cabrera from Pujols who will probably never win one. In the eyes of many, he will be seen as the superior slugger of the era, but Pujols at his best was a better player, and hitter, than Cabrera ever was.

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: May 10, 2014 at 07:41 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, tigers

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Derek Jeter Gift Meter: LA Angels

As Mudhoney once sludged:

I got something waiting for you
I got this gift
I got this gift
Right here.

Analysis:  If the rule is to present something that represents the culture of your city, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hit the jackpot. Very few things say So-Cal more than a gift that brings the ocean to mind.  The size of it did make the presentation a bit awkward, however, and the fact that some of had never heard of it before cannot be ignored.

Rating:  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being garbage and 10 being perfect— 9

Congratulations, Jeets. The next presentation should be this weekend in Milwaukee.

Repoz Posted: May 08, 2014 at 10:35 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, yankees

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Calcaterra: Umpire Laz Diaz should be suspended for his antics in the Yankees-Angels game

The Laz: Hello it’s me.

Laz Diaz has a long history of making the game all about him, instigating arguments and making a big show of his authority on the field. Last night in the Yankees-Angels game it was no different.

When Yankees pitcher Shawn Kelley left the game he had some words for Diaz about the strike zone as he was leaving the field. A lot of players do that. They shouldn’t, but they do. It’s incumbent upon the umpire — or any authority figure dealing with a temper tantrum — to take the high road rather than exacerbate the situation. Show your authority by paying no mind to those who would fecklessly challenge it. Diaz, apparently, never learned this. Watch as he “shoos” Kelley off the field:

There’s no place for that. If Diaz ignores Kelley he walks off the field knowing that his protestations fell on deaf ears, as they should. Instead Diaz made it personal and all about him and ended up running Kelley and manager Joe Girardi from the game.

Repoz Posted: May 06, 2014 at 09:07 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, yankees

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Paine: Baseball Is Finally Remembering How Good Albert Pujols Can Be

The preseason narrative was that this year would be different. Every player claims health in spring training, so much so that it’s a running meme to mock stories about players coming to camp in “the best shape of their lives.” Pujols tried it in March, telling anyone who would listen that his painful plantar fascia injury was a thing of the past, and that he was ready to silence the doubters. You would have been forgiven for being skeptical, though, given that this was a 34-year-old slugger coming off four straight years of declining production.

However, this season already seems promising. There’s the 500th home run, of course, but also an April that was reminiscent of Cardinals Albert. Pujols is hitting the ball with terrific power again — over 14 percent of his hits have gone for extra bases — and he’s mashing fly balls for home runs, instead of harmless flyouts. His strikeout rate is back down under 9 percent, where it was during his best seasons. And his per-inning rate of defensive runs saved at first base is back up where it was before last year’s collapse.

All isn’t what it once was, though. Worryingly, Pujols is still swinging the bat more than he used to — and chasing more pitches outside the strike zone than the average hitter. In spite of his decreased strikeout rate, he’s also making less contact now than ever before, as a percentage of his swings. And his baserunning may never again be where it was in his prime.

In other words, age is catching up to Albert Pujols, as it does to every ballplayer. But the early returns suggest his 2014 won’t be nearly as trying as his 2013, or even his 2012, was. And, perhaps more important, his reception this week suggests that fans may be ready to move past heaping scorn on his mega-contract with the Angels and the way he left St. Louis. Pujols probably won’t ever again be the same all-around superstar he was during his peak years as a Cardinal, but we should still enjoy what he is now: a future Hall of Famer who still has plenty of artistry left in his once-legendary bat.

Thanks to Drew.

Repoz Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:40 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mike Trout And Bryce Harper Are Baseball’s Best Young Position-Player Duo Ever

With all the (deserved) hype surrounding Trout and Harper, I was wondering how the duo compares to other concurrent 22-or-under pairs of position players in the history of baseball. To answer that question, I looked at the most productive two non-pitchers age 22 or below in a given season, based on the combined number of wins above replacement they’d generated in the previous two seasons.
...
By that standard, Trout and Harper are the most productive young duo in baseball history.
...
If we’re looking to give extra weight to No. 2s, ensuring that both players in a pair have great stats (to safeguard against a situation such as what happened in 1918, when Rogers Hornsby had 97 percent of the WAR in his “duo” with Ross Youngs), perhaps a better way to rank these kinds of pairings is not to sum up all of the WAR generated by a pair, but rather to take the harmonic mean of the two individuals’ WAR totals.
...
By either list, though, Trout-Harper is the best young duo in baseball history.

 

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:03 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, nationals

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