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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do the Rays Need Offensive Help? | FanGraphs Baseball

Run scoring, the Trop, and why did Evan Longoria have to get hurt and destroy the Rays offense last year.

If I am making it sound like the Rays play in one of the most pitcher-friendly, hitter-mean parks in the league, then good. They do. Since 2008, the Trop has consistently ranked among the top five ballparks in suppressing run scoring, so when they plate less than 700 runs in a season, it is not necessarily a red flag.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, sabermetrics

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   1. Danny Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4321792)
But the consensus does not gel with the very leaderboards that ranked them the No. 8 MLB offense in 2012, according to wRC+.

This would be more impressive if team wRC+ eliminated pitchers hitting, but it doesn't.
The disconnect between popular perception and the reality of their past and future production comes from two key sources: (1) Three especially cold months of run production in 2012 and (2) the under-appreciated pitcher’s haven, Tropicana Field.

The reality of their future production?

The Rays offense may have been underrated as slightly below average rather than just average, but--as the quotes the author tries to debunk say--there's clearly some room for improvement.
   2. Dale Sams Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4321805)
I told them not to blow that money on Pena.
   3. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4321813)
They're clearly not an elite offensive team, and any sub-elite offensive team can always use more hitting.
   4. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4321839)
Any team with Brandon Guyer at DH can use another hitter
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4321855)
Is Loney really their everyday 1B?
   6. Gotham Dave Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4321867)
Hey, nobody needs offensive help. You could always try to assemble a staff of five Greg Madduxes and six Mariano Riveras. But it might be easier to find the offensive help.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4321882)
Hey, nobody needs offensive help. You could always try to assemble a staff of five Greg Madduxes and six Mariano Riveras.


The aught-three Dodgers were kind of like that - they reached 85 wins.
   8. Al Kaline Trio Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4321962)
(1) Three especially cold months of run production in 2012


Umm isn't that a good indicator that they aren't the sixth best hitting team? That's half the season.
   9. Bug Selig Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4322056)
That's half the season.


Is this one of those "advanced metrics" that I keep hearing about?
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 11, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4322078)
MLB's Rays "Depth Chart" indicates that they have no DH at all, since the two people listed at DH are the starting 3B and the starting CF, so Brandon Guyer sounds like an improvement. Maybe Ryan Roberts is supposed to be on there too.
   11. SM Posted: December 11, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4322163)
The Rays probably have a lot of money to spend right now - Shields was getting like 10 mil, Upton was getting 7, Pena was getting 7. And the only money they've spent so far was 2 million for Loney, right?
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4322177)
They also got Yunel Escobar.

And players like Longoria, Zobrist, Price et al will have higher salaries in 2013 than 2012, I believe.
   13. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 11, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4322254)
The aught-three Dodgers were kind of like that - they reached 85 wins.


For all the hopelessness exhibited by the 90s-early 2000s Dodgers, that team was actually a bright spot. If I remember correctly, they had the worst offense by far and the best pitching by far. I think they have the best record of any team ever to finish last in runs scored.

This is all from (admittedly poor) memory.
   14. Dale Sams Posted: December 11, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4322428)
And the only money they've spent so far was 2 million for Loney, right?


There really was absolutely no one in the organization who could give them a 2 WAR season at first for cheaper than that?

edit: and I think I'm being optimistic for Loney there.
   15. JJ1986 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4322442)
The Rays had no one at 1B. The only guy who wasn't a free agent who made a start at 1B last year was Drew Sutton.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: December 11, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4322459)
The Rays had no one at 1B. The only guy who wasn't a free agent who made a start at 1B last year was Drew Sutton.


This Leslie Anderson guy (Who i never heard of and have just gone over his stats) seems as likely a bet to equal Loney. Though I have no way of seeing how good a defender Anderson is at 1B. He does appear to be the best non-catcher fulltime player they had at AAA last year.

I suppose it really doesn't matter for only 2 mill.
   17. Dan Posted: December 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4322460)
Loney is a perfectly decent player at first base if he is platooned. His career wRC+ against RHP is 111, which isn't great, but it isn't a black hole. And he plays very good defense. He is absolutely incompetent at hitting LHP (77 career wRC+, even worse the last few seasons) though, so they really need to get a platoon mate for him.

And they need to sign some kind of DH. I'm surprised they weren't in on Reynolds or Youkilis after freeing up the money by trading Shields. A trade for Willingham would be a really good fit here, he could play DH every day or platoon with Loney at 1B against LHP and DH against RHP.

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