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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

100 losses no novelty this year; same with 100 wins

The Baltimore Orioles might lose 110 games and still not end up with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

That race, so to speak, is pretty unforgiving this year.

The Orioles (49-101) split a four-game series at Detroit (45-104) that matched the teams with the two worst records in baseball, and as far as those two teams have sunk, they figure to have company in the triple-digit-losses club. Miami and Kansas City are on pace to reach 100 defeats, and Toronto could end up there, too.

After an age of relative parity, the gap between baseball’s top and its bottom has widened.

Mind you, this hasn’t been a good era for moderation in any regard- could we expect baseball to be immune?


QLE Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:41 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: going to extremes, polarization, winners and losers

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 17, 2019 at 03:10 AM (#5879871)
BAL: 3 at home with TOR, 3 with SEA, 3 at TOR, 3 at BOS ... will be hard not to win a few of those.

DET: 3 at CLE, 3 with CHW, 3 with Minn, 4 at CHW. Dropping 6 to CLE and Minn would just about clinch it.

Royals' magic number is [EDIT] 4 -- any combo of Tiger losses and Royal wins and they won't pick first.

Sorry if I alarmed any Royals fans with my initial magic number.
   2. donlock Posted: September 18, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5880441)
The bad teams often lose some very good players free agency (Hosmer, Machado, Britton). Often the gms can find every day position players through the waiver wire and minor league trades, Rule 5, etc. Generally, free agent pitchers are too expensive or too selective to want to pitch for a bad team.

The Orioles (accused of tanking) have tried very hard to build a pitching staff using the number one pick on the waiver wire and dealing for other teams' worst pitchers. There have been 34 professional pitchers who have taken the mound for the Orioles this year. Generally, these pickups have been awful. Every other team needs arms and they give up good ones sparingly.

The best arms on the staff are probably John Means, Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey and Mychal Givens. They could pitch for most other teams. They have in common that they are Oriole signees and were developed in the farm system. The other 30 (including both Tanner Scott and Taelor Scott) whose job it is to keep the O's competitive are generally pretty bad.There may be a few diamonds in the rough but most of them are AA or AAA talent. Maybe opportunity clicks for a few. The new analytics group is really working with the Birds' minor league team players and have some good arms a few years away from Camden Yards. The team's coaching staff work diligently with the current crop.

I just don't see any way for a bad team to avoid bottoming out, mostly due to the lack of pitching talent in the major leagues.
   3. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 18, 2019 at 10:43 PM (#5880594)
I just don't see any way for a bad team to avoid bottoming out, mostly due to the lack of pitching talent in the major leagues.
I was ready to nominate the Tigers, with their historically inept offense, as a counterpoint. But it's still true. Boyd, Norris, and Turnbull have been above average, but they've also given 31 combined starts to middling prospect Gregory Soto, non-prospect Ryan Carpenter, and the washed-out husks of Tyson Ross and Edwin Jackson.

Squish them into one vortex of suck and you get a 4-21 record with an ERA between 7 and 8.
   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 18, 2019 at 11:53 PM (#5880626)
Yet we're told that there's more talent than ever before, and it's time for expansion.

Right now, there are 64 era-title qualifiers. That's every starting pitcher who has been both durable and passable enough to pitch what would equate to roughly 5 innings 32 times over a full season, or roughly 6 innings 27 times. That's about 2 per team if they were divided evenly.

That's not guys who have pitched well, just guys who have pitched. Starter average ERA as of today is 4.53. There are 52 qualifiers better than average.

And of course, for all sorts of reasons, they're not divided evenly among teams--not that they should be, by any means! But it's certainly not a state of affairs that screams expansion to me.

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