Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Brewers first baseman Eric Thames goes on DL with torn thumb ligament

Thames was injured Tuesday night in the eighth inning of the Brewers’ game against Kansas City, when he dived to his right to snag a grounder from Mike Moustakas, flipping to reliever Dan Jennings covering the bag for the out. Thames jammed his glove hand hard into the ground making the play and exited the game after that inning.

Before the season, they seemed to have a logjam of capable position players.  That logjam is now defunct, with the primary playing time beneficiaries likely to be Domingo Santana and Jesus Aguilar.  Aguilar has slugged north of .500 in 350 PAs since being claimed on waivers from the Indians before last season.

Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2018 at 01:37 PM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: milwaukee brewers

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. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 26, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5660860)
Bump
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 26, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5660875)
People who think Didi Gregorius is one of the best players in baseball should note that at this time last year, Eric Thames was hitting .371/.482/.929 with 11 homers.
   3. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 26, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5660955)
You mean things like this:

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale 15h15 hours ago

The New York #Yankees always thought their greatest trade in franchise history was stealing Babe Ruth from the #Redsox. The Didi Gregorius heist from the #Dbacks is now entering the discussion. The dude is hitting .364 with 9 homers, 29 RBI and a staggering 1.290 OPS
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 26, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5660965)
People who think Didi Gregorius is one of the best players in baseball should note that at this time last year, Eric Thames was hitting .371/.482/.929 with 11 homers.

Yes, but, Gregorius is not an unknown entity from Japan where pitchers lack good advanced scouting. He's also raised his BB rate from 4.4% to 17.0% and cut his K-rate from 12.3% to 9.0%. Those things stabilize quickly.

He's not going to post a .400 ISO and a 200 wRC+, but there's no reason to believe he'll regress to an average hitter. I'd project a full year 125 wRC+ at this point.

Everyone told us that Judge couldn't sustain his breakout either.
   5. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: April 26, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5660987)
Didi is more of a known entity than Thames was, but not in a way that should cause anyone to consider him an elite player.

Didi, ROS projected wRC+:

Steamer: 104
ZiPS: 107

That's a nice hitting shortstop.

Thames had better projections as a hitter coming into 2017 than Didi did before 2018 or does now.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 26, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5660993)
there's no reason to believe he'll regress to an average hitter.


There's the fact that he came into this season with nearly 2500 major league PAs in which he was a slightly below-average hitter, but other than that, no, there's no reason to think he'll regress.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5661006)
FWIW, even including his poor stretches last year, Thames is a solid .248/.358/.531 in 160 games since coming back from Japan.
   8. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: April 26, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5661010)
Yankee fans should be absolutely thrilled if Didi has become as good a hitter as Thames.

It's unlikely.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 26, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5661015)
There's the fact that he came into this season with nearly 2500 major league PAs in which he was a slightly below-average hitter, but other than that, no, there's no reason to think he'll regress.

Misleading. He'll certainly regress from where he is now, but some of the improvement looks to be real. Are we going to pretend that no hitters improve at 28?

Strikeout and walk rates only take 150-200 PAs to stabilize. He's already at 100.

Swing % stabilizes at 50 PAs, and he's cut his O-zone swing % from 40.8% to 28.6%, and his Z-zone wwing % from 81.3 to 71.3%

Contact % stabilizes at 100 PAs, and he's raise his Z-Contact % from 88% to 96%.

He's improved as a hitter.

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/when-samples-become-reliable/
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5661029)
Not to be obnoxious, but there is reason to believe he'll regress to being an average hitter, just as there is reason to believe he won't regress. This is true of every hitter who is hitting way above his career lines in late April.
   11. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: April 26, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5661058)
It all comes down to the .OBP for Didi. If he can elevate that on-base to an above average level, then he’s an excellent asset for any Major League team. Last season was his best offensively at twenty-seven. To throw cold water on a guy coming out the proceeding April and nearly drawing as many walks in the first month as he did the entire previous (productive) season while annihilating the baseball strikes me as overly pessimistic. How about if Didi puts up an .850 .OPS for the season with thirty home runs? Considering Didi was often called a “1 WAR player” on here and Kevin Towers was ridiculed to comparing his upside to Jeter (he’s not but he’s quite good) I think I’ll consider myself excited about his start. I honestly don’t think people realize Didi is 6’3, 200 LBs. He’s a big left-handed hitter who hits the ball hard, early rap as a defense first guy aside.
   12. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: April 26, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5661084)
Didi finishing at .850 with 30 home runs would mean that he basically regressed to those ROS projections I posted above. In other words, a solidly above average player, but not someone who would reasonably be called one of the best players in the game.
   13. Blastin Posted: April 26, 2018 at 12:33 PM (#5661090)
Yeah, he won't be this good, but the difference is plate discipline, and his has improved. And unless it craters in the next week, that's a real change.


My god, he's such a fun player, let it go, other people. I don't hate Mookie Betts for being awesome, so what is up with you folks?

and yes, that Nightengale tweet is stupid clickbait WHICH MEANS IT WORKED ON YOU.
   14. Blastin Posted: April 26, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5661095)
and Kevin Towers was ridiculed to comparing his upside to Jeter (he’s not but he’s quite good)


RIP Kevin. A smart and kind baseball guy.
   15. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 26, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5661354)
People who think Didi Gregorius is one of the best players in baseball should note that at this time last year, Eric Thames was hitting .371/.482/.929 with 11 homers.

Mostly thanks to facing the Reds, who Milwaukee played 7 times in their first 21 games. 8 of Thames first 11 HRs in 2017 came against Cincinnati. Overall he's hit .248/.358/.531 with 38 HRs in 625 PAs since the start of last year. Against the Reds, he's hit .344/.481/.922 with 12 HRs in 81 PAs.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: April 26, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5661388)
Thames played in Korea, not Japan.

And the DBacks got Robbie Ray in that trade -- up and down but he did give them 4.9 bWAR last year. The team that got ripped off was the Tigers who ended up with Shane Greene. And even there, Greene's been shifted to the pen where he's been doing OK.

Didi has moved up to 18th in WAR for LHB SS (at least 500 games). He has a shot at passing Stephen Drew for 15th this year then next up will be Tony Kubek. Brandon Crawford is set to pass Ozzie Guillen and move into the top 10 this year. I think we can rule out either catching Arky Vaughan or Joe Sewell (54 WAR). Didi might have a shot at Dick McAuliffe (37 WAR) or at least Pesky (32) but Crawford is probably too old to have a good shot at 30+ WAR.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 26, 2018 at 05:53 PM (#5661392)
If you can't enjoy a player (unexpectedly!) leading the league in two of three Triple Crown categories, both traditional & sabermetric, you're not much of a fan. It's early, and there is no guarantee Didi continues at his current level, but commenting on how well he's doing is not the same as saying he will stay on that plateau. But we can hope. : > )
   18. Hank Gillette Posted: April 26, 2018 at 05:57 PM (#5661394)
 Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 26, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5660860)
Bump


Seriously, WTF with all the “bumps”? Don’t you have anything better do?
   19. Greg Pope Posted: April 26, 2018 at 09:35 PM (#5661446)
Seriously, WTF with all the “bumps”? Don’t you have anything better do?

Clearly Rennie's Tenet was desperate to talk about Didi Gregorius. So he bumped a post about Eric Thames.
   20. Rally Posted: April 27, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5661575)
He's also raised his BB rate from 4.4% to 17.0% and cut his K-rate from 12.3% to 9.0%. Those things stabilize quickly.


2 Years ago Didi showed power (20 homers) for the first time in his career. That season he walked only 19 times in 153 games. This year he'll beat that before May.
   21. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5677154)
He's improved as a hitter.


Since this article was posted, Gregorius has hit .125/.167/.213 in 84 PAs. No word on what his z-swing percentage is.
   22. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5677268)
Didi is at 122 wRC+ and his K% is up to 13.6% for the season. The BB% has also dropped, but not as much and still an easy career high of 11.4%.

Like nearly every hitter that starts hot and then slumps (or vice versa), he wasn't as good as he looked at his best and isn't as bad as he looks at his worst.
   23. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5691761)
Yes, but, Gregorius is not an unknown entity from Japan where pitchers lack good advanced scouting. He's also raised his BB rate from 4.4% to 17.0% and cut his K-rate from 12.3% to 9.0%. Those things stabilize quickly.

He's not going to post a .400 ISO and a 200 wRC+, but there's no reason to believe he'll regress to an average hitter. I'd project a full year 125 wRC+ at this point.

Everyone told us that Judge couldn't sustain his breakout either.

Aahahahahahhahahaaa.

Gregorious, 2017: .287/.318/.478
Gregorious, 2018: .248/.320/.478
   24. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 13, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5691768)
ERIC THAMES IS...actually just returning from the DL. So this is a timely revisit. Nice how that worked out.

Not sure when he plays against the Reds next.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5691938)
Aahahahahahhahahaaa.

Gregorious, 2017: .287/.318/.478
Gregorious, 2018: .248/.320/.478


He's at a 113 wRC+ vs 107 last year. Also, the end of his horrible slump is also not the best time to measure.
   26. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5692071)
Maybe neither was the end of the best 3 weeks of his life?
   27. PreservedFish Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5692076)
Also, the end of his horrible slump is also not the best time to measure.

Today is always the best time to measure.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5692089)
Maybe neither was the end of the best 3 weeks of his life?

Right, but I specifically said it wouldn't last.

Gregorius has significantly improved his peripheral stats. Even after the mother of all slumps, his BB% is 10% vs 4.4% last year. His ISO is .228 vs. .191.

He's currently sporting a BABIP of .234 vs. a career .283.
   29. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5692091)
He's at a 113 wRC+ vs 107 last year. Also, the end of his horrible slump is also not the best time to measure.


He's hit .270/.357/.432 in June, while seeming to even out. The shape may be different, but the OPS is the same.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5692094)
Today is always the best time to measure.
Not if you just got out of the pool.
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 14, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5692127)
Also, the end of his horrible slump is also not the best time to measure.


That's pretty desperate, if you're reduced to claiming that using a player's season to date is somehow cherry-picking.
   32. Baldrick Posted: June 14, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5692131)
He's at a 113 wRC+ vs 107 last year. Also, the end of his horrible slump is also not the best time to measure.

As Kenny Rogers once said, you gotta know when to fold em, dude.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5692152)
Oh, I don't think it's wrong to hope that Didi has improved. A doubled BB% is impressive. The BABIP will go up, although the ISO may come down. But if he's the same exact hitter + 30 walks, that's something.

Daniel Murphy is an example of a guy that had a hidden breakout. In 2015 he gained power and cut his K% severely, which is a super impressive pair of things to do at the same time. An uncharacteristically low BABIP hid the improvement, as by OPS+ he looked like the same old hitter. You could argue the same thing is happening with Didi right now. As one astute observer named John Sterling keeps reminding us, it is "the dawning of the age of Gregorius."

If there's some mechanism by which players hit the ball harder but actually see sustained BABIP drops, I don't know what it is. Maybe if you just start golfing every ball towards the wall?
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5692157)
That's pretty desperate, if you're reduced to claiming that using a player's season to date is somehow cherry-picking.

I'm saying look at the numbers behind the results. As PF says, Didi is a better hitter. It's just being concealed by a poor BABIP.
   35. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5692161)
Since the hot streak ended, Didi's walked at a 5.8% rate (over 158 PAs), which is in line with the rest of his career. I see plenty of reason to believe that he's gotten BABIP unlucky this year. I see much less reason to believe he's made any sort of sustainable improvement as a hitter.
   36. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5692163)
Just as an aside, I can't recall a player ever gaining and then losing 10 points from his projected ROS wRC+ as quickly as Didi did.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5692164)
Since the hot streak ended, Didi's walked at a 5.8% rate (over 158 PAs), which is in line with the rest of his career. I see plenty of reason to believe that he's gotten BABIP unlucky this year. I see much less reason to believe he's made any sort of sustainable improvement as a hitter.

He's been around 4% as a Yankee. The higher BB rates came back before he had power. His BB rate in May (the slump) was back down below 4%. So far in June, he's closer to 10%.
   38. jmurph Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5692166)
If you can't enjoy a player (unexpectedly!) leading the league in two of three Triple Crown categories, both traditional & sabermetric, you're not much of a fan.

Oh god I missed this thread the first time around. This comment reminds me of the insane day last year when the same three Yankees fans insisted we were all morally compelled to root for Judge.
   39. Baldrick Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5692173)
You could argue the same thing is happening with Didi right now.

Sure, you could argue it. Or you could assert it unequivocally, express zero doubt, call everyone else fools for not agreeing, make an outlandish prediction which was immediately disproven, and then double down on it, all while accusing other people of cherrypicking.
   40. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5692175)
He's been around 4% as a Yankee. The higher BB rates came back before he had power. His BB rate in May (the slump) was back down below 4%. So far in June, he's closer to 10%.

5.9% for his career, 6.2% projected for the rest of the year. You are right though. He does have 4 in his last 42 PAs.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5692178)
"Age of Gregorius! Age of Gregoriuuuuhh-uuuuuuuus."
   42. Sunday silence Posted: June 14, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5692348)
A lot of confusing arguments here. Back in no. 4 Snapper made the contention that walk rates and K rates stabilize quickly. These sorts of peripheral indicators are never as reliable as one might suggest. The idea that a parameter will stabilize I suppose makes sense given that we are dealing with repeated iterations of a process that does take time before we can be sure of what the rate of X is...

OK that makes sense in theory, in a vacuum, but all these players are not polished roulette wheels that return the same rate of return forever. They get hurt, they slump, they age, they get studied, they get different roles etc.

SO "yes" K rates, BB rates, BaBIP rates, "stabilize" in a sense but that is probably only true for players who are a) playing at or near their optimum, b) are not subject to concerns e.g. health, age etc. No living organism can be stable forever.

So Gregorius K rate stabilized at 9% and his BB rate stabilized at 17% back in April. Except his Ks are now at 13.5% and BBs at 10%.

I guess "stabilize" doesnt mean what you think it means...
   43. Sunday silence Posted: June 14, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5692354)
Also not sure why his BaBIP remains at .234 or so. Or what to make of that. It sure seems like there's room for improvement here.
   44. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 15, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5692814)
So Gregorius K rate stabilized at 9% and his BB rate stabilized at 17% back in April. Except his Ks are now at 13.5% and BBs at 10%.


On top of the idea that we should consider his BB rate "stabilized" based on one month's worth of data, there was also the idea that this stabilized BB rate meant that the improvement in his other one-month numbers must be real as well. I don't think either of those assumptions is warranted, but especially not the latter one.
   45. BDC Posted: June 15, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5692878)
I miss a lot of discussions at BBTF because I look at a headline and think "I've never heard of Eric Thames and barely heard of the Milwaukee Brewers, no sense reading that one." I see 22 comments and think "My, folks certainly are interested in Eric Thames and the Brewers' roster moves." I see 44 and realize, "They're talking about something else," and come to find it's been the Didi Gregorius thread for 43 comments :)
   46. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 15, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5692936)
On top of the idea that we should consider his BB rate "stabilized" based on one month's worth of data, there was also the idea that this stabilized BB rate meant that the improvement in his other one-month numbers must be real as well.
Since April 28, Didi has 7 unintentional walks in 151 PAs, or about a 4.6% walk rate. This is after he drew two walks last night; yesterday at this time his walk rate was at 3.4% since April 28.
   47. Sunday silence Posted: June 15, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5692999)
they're called peripherals for a reason.
   48. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 15, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5693007)
I don't know anything about player evaluation, except that I do know this: When a player in his late 20s with a long track record turns in a flukily hot month, once in a great while that player will turn out to be Jose Bautista, with an elevated level of ability. But 98 percent of the time, that player will quickly go back to being the same player he always was, no matter what his walk rate or z-swing percentage was.
   49. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 15, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5693014)
On top of the idea that we should consider his BB rate "stabilized" based on one month's worth of data, there was also the idea that this stabilized BB rate meant that the improvement in his other one-month numbers must be real as well. I don't think either of those assumptions is warranted, but especially not the latter one.


Eh, that's the way he argues things. The improved K/BB and low BABIP did make Didi's April look a lot less fluky than it would have if it were composed differently. BABIP is a lot more prone to randomness than the TTOs.

It just wasn't nearly enough data to justify the kinds of conclusions people were jumping to, even some of the saner ones.
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: June 23, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5698524)
Jesus Aguilar hit a walk-off homer last night, and is up to .282/.346/.548 in 535 PAs since joining the Brewers last year.
   51. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 23, 2018 at 08:00 PM (#5698562)
Jesus Aguilar hit a walk-off homer last night, and is up to .282/.346/.548 in 535 PAs since joining the Brewers last year.

The Brewers seem like they have more 1b/corner OF types who can rake than they can get on the field.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: June 29, 2018 at 09:08 AM (#5702070)
Aguilar is now tied for the league-lead in HR, and is leading in Slugging if we give him enough 0-fers to reach the minimum PA requirement.
   53. Baldrick Posted: July 06, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5706029)
Gregorious, 2017: .287/.318/.478
Gregorious, 2018: .256/.320/.466

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
--
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogIt’s official: PawSox to move to Worcester - The Boston Globe
(16 - 5:30pm, Aug 18)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOTP 2018 August 13: 'Don't confuse sports with politics,' Kosovo tells Bosnia
(1523 - 5:28pm, Aug 18)
Last: Chip

NewsblogWeekend OMNICHATTER for August 18-19, 2018
(15 - 5:27pm, Aug 18)
Last: perros

NewsblogLatest bigotry reminds us that baseball is a white man's game.
(313 - 5:17pm, Aug 18)
Last: perros

Gonfalon CubsThe Third Third
(169 - 4:48pm, Aug 18)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (August 2018)
(867 - 4:34pm, Aug 18)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogOT - 2018 NBA Thread (Pre-Season Edition)
(99 - 4:19pm, Aug 18)
Last: this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)
(326 - 3:53pm, Aug 18)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogTaking Back the Ballparks - Cincinnati Reds
(64 - 3:47pm, Aug 18)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogCalcaterra - Dusty Baker Drops Truth Bombs
(23 - 3:11pm, Aug 18)
Last: Brian White

NewsblogRays Disrupt Baseball’s Tanking Industry by — Get This — Trying to Win - The New York Times
(52 - 2:34pm, Aug 18)
Last: Bug Selig

NewsblogLooking back at the Gio Gonzalez trade.
(34 - 2:28pm, Aug 18)
Last: Bote Man is no David

NewsblogAthletic Writer Throws Fit Over Rhode Island Not Giving Into Stadium Financing Scheme
(3 - 2:23am, Aug 18)
Last: stevegamer

NewsblogYou don't need Top Secret Clearance to OMNICHATTER! for August 17, 2018
(94 - 2:04am, Aug 18)
Last: spanx for the memories

Sox TherapyExtra Special
(37 - 12:56am, Aug 18)
Last: SoSH U at work

Page rendered in 0.3948 seconds
46 querie(s) executed