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Friday, March 26, 2004

ESPN: Neyer: Chavez has plenty to prove in ‘04

The latest from Rob Neyer…

Even if you throw Alex Rodriguez into the mix, Chavez is one of the three most valuable third basemen in the major leagues. But if Chavez was on your Strat-O-Matic team, you wouldn’t let him play against lefties. The Oakland Athletics are not, of course, a Strat-O-Matic team. Chavez has now been anointed as the franchise’s flagship, and manager Ken Macha probably doesn’t have the freedom to do what he probably should do, which is give some of Chavez’s at-bats to Marco Scutaro.

Repoz Posted: March 26, 2004 at 09:57 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark

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   1. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:03 PM (#482662)
Free Marco Scutaro!
   2. Mr. Crowley Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:04 PM (#482663)
You can see here the Deth Star orbiting the forest Moon of Endor. Although the weapon systems on this Deth Star are not yet operational, the Deth Star does have a strong defense mechanism. It is protected by an energy shield, which is generated from the nearby forest Moon of Endor. The shield must be deactivated if any attack is to be attempted. Once the shield is down, our cruisers will create a perimeter, while the fighters fly into the superstructure and attempt to knock out the main reactor.
   3. Joshemy Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:11 PM (#482664)
You know, I really don't need reminders about Marco Scutaro... But I'm still rooting for him... and I second what OFF said in #1.
   4. GoldSox Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:11 PM (#482665)
A good (and probably often overlooked) point about selection there at the bottom. It makes you wonder if there are righthanded versions of Chavez that just appear to be replacement level hitters because they don't face enough lefties (and their splits are considered outliers due to small sample size).
   5. J. Cross Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:11 PM (#482666)
About left-handed hitters ... I'm told that while, as a group, they don't show a larger platoon differential than right-handed hitters, they do have a larger standard deviation

I don't think this is true. If I remember correctly, the platoon split for righties is 1.08 and the split for lefties is 1.17. Lefties do have a larger standard deviations as well.
   6. J. Cross Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:13 PM (#482667)
BTW, those #'s above are from the results MGL's study.
   7. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:13 PM (#482669)
One of Neyer's better effors in a while, IMO.

And man oh man I cannot wait for registration. The Jody Greut thread is a fiasco.
   8. Transmission Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:14 PM (#482670)
What is the Press Secretary to the White House doing writing baseball questions to Neyer?
   9. WaltDavis Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:15 PM (#482671)
Marco is probably free. Ellis separated his shoulder yesterday and is out 6-8 weeks. That leaves Menechino and Scutaro for 2B and utility IF. Oh, and I read now that Menechino is also hurt. So that adds Esteban German to the mix too. I don't know who gets to pretend to be the backup SS.
   10. dlf Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:18 PM (#482672)
Ryan Klesko and his inability to hit lefties. Talk about that issue in the presence of a Braves fan, and a lot of the responses will be incredibly derogatory towards Bobby Cox.

But leaving that aside ...

Neyer lumps the last three years of Klesko together to show, somehow, that he has apparently "learned" to hit lefties. Because of the number of ABs for a lefty against a lefty, I understand why one would want to do that. However, if you separate it out by years, it doesn't seem to show anything other than one fluke year where his platoon disadvantage was smaller than his own norm.

2000 +243 OPS with the platoon edge
   11. Andy Aymeloglu Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:29 PM (#482679)
So will Vincent become the next running gag on this site? Man, that would get annoying fast.

I feel like I missed the thread where Bearded Wizard (the most annoying of our recurring characters) ended up on Primer, but I think it happened fairly recently. Anyone else know the origins?

Looking forward to the new site! Thanks, Jim, for the 10-12 hrs a day!
   12. J. Cross Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:45 PM (#482682)
I'm remembering Wil Cordero with the fancy pitching machine but I could be wrong.
   13. Srul Itza Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:55 PM (#482684)
The Neyer column as apparently from May 2001, and his archives don't go that far back. A google search found the indicated site where the column was reprinted.
   14. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:56 PM (#482685)
Scutaro played some SS at Norfolk last year, i'm assuming he gets to be the backup SS before Ellis comes back.

Speaking of players who should get a chance, who are the Ken Phelps All Stars of 2004?

C: Ramon Castro
   15. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: March 26, 2004 at 10:59 PM (#482686)
Oh yeah, put down JJ Davis for one of the OF slots. Also, I'm sure Lew Ford could get in there in CF.
   16. WaltDavis Posted: March 26, 2004 at 11:26 PM (#482688)
There are probably a couple good reasons to expect Chavez to improve against lefties ....

1) he's still only coming into his age 26 season, so there's the chance of overall improvement. No particularly reason to think he would improve only against righties. That is, he still might be 30% worse against lefties, but he'll be starting from a higher base.

2) if the split is real and it's due to things like lack of exposure to lefties, we would expect to see at least some improvement over time as he faces more lefties.

Another point, the A's have pretty much always skipped Chavez for 10-20 starts a year, I don't think they're really going to change that strategy dramatically. OK, they'll probably not sit him for 20 starts a year, but I'd expect them to continue to sit him about 10 times a year, mostly against tough lefties.

But regardless it doesn't really affect whether he's worth $11 M or not. Sure, the ability to sometimes neutralize him late in a game will lower his overall value somewhat, but not enough to make a big difference.

I'm not quite sure what Joe Sheehan was looking at. Chavez may have faced more lefties in close and late situations than the average lefty, but his 3-year splits (285 PAs) in close and late are 290/372/484 which is pretty similar to his overall 282/345/522. And those numbers are "deflated" by a poor 2003 c&l performance (in which he still reached base at a 371 clip). If he's facing more lefties in those situations, it doesn't seem to be hurting his overall performance in those situations too much.
   17. Cferejohn Posted: March 26, 2004 at 11:27 PM (#482689)
How about Jayson Lane for one of the corner spots? He's probably not going to be better than Hidalgo right now, but he's probably good enough to be starting somewhere (say, oh, I don't know, for the Giants in RF?)

Also, I think Castro is pretty much going to start for the Fish in 2004, removing him from contention. Unless of course his legal problems prevent him from playing, but that's not really the criteria.
   18. WillYoung Posted: March 26, 2004 at 11:39 PM (#482690)
I have noticed that I have practically stopped reading Rob Neyer articles. I never noticed a significant drop-off in his quality like the many posters who complain on this site after each of his articles.

Instead, I just got tired the same thing over and over again. It really seems like he only writes about the A's and Red Sox anymore, and if he talks about other team he meanders around the point while slowly drifting to the A's and Red Sox and a completely bizarre manner.
   19. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: March 27, 2004 at 12:13 AM (#482694)
I don't know who gets to pretend to be the backup SS.

Apparently Chavez does. The homepage is a link to an article from a couple of days ago on the German/Scutaro battle for the 25th roster spot; pre-Ellis injury.
   20. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: March 27, 2004 at 12:16 AM (#482695)
Menechino gets the job as soon as he's healthy, since Beane says they want someone with experience playing with Crosby. They seem to think he'll be ready in a couple of weeks. Until then, I think it's German. If nothing else, he and Crosby have played together in the minors.
   21. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: March 27, 2004 at 12:48 AM (#482696)
Yes, they aren't making the same stupid mistakes of the past (Appier, Vaughn, etc), but they are making new mistakes (craptastic bench, too many veterans in the pen, wasting at bats on SBM) that it seems like all they have learned is not to make the old mistakes. I am not encouraged.

With the Mets' resources and farm system, all Duquette has to do is avoid the big mistakes to have them competing in 05. While i was against the Scutaro and Cerda deals, i still think they are too insignificant to doubt Duquette's ability to make the Mets contenders in the forseeable future.

As for the bench/bullpen horrors, sure, they are bad this year, but i don't think that will continue next year. Peterson has done a magnificent job with the pitching this spring, and i don't see why he couldn't build a nice pen for 05 with all the relief pitchers the Mets have in the minors: Ring, Moreno, Wheeler, Yates, Bevis, Joselo Diaz, etc. Similarly the Mets have some depth in positional players that could easily be used to construct a strong bench: Wigginton (after Wright arrives), Jacobs, Victor Diaz, Danny Garcia, Jeff Duncan, etc.
   22. WaltDavis Posted: March 27, 2004 at 01:24 AM (#482698)
Yeah, it looks like this to me:

Probably German with Scutaro until Menchino's healthy. That's not supposed to take very long, so neither of these guys will get much chance to prove themselves.

Once Menechino's healthy, I'd guess Scutaro will go, unless maybe there's an option on German but not Scutaro.

Then when Ellis is back, they're probably both gone.

According to an Oakland Trib article, German played a game at SS the other day and looked very good, so he may have taken the emergecny SS job from Chavez until Menechino is back. It also increases his chances of sticking instead of Menechino when Ellis is back.
   23. Shiny Beast Posted: March 27, 2004 at 02:22 AM (#482702)
Did Durazo figure it out last season? Or was it just a matter of getting more AB's against lefties?
   24. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 27, 2004 at 05:01 AM (#482706)
"But I think #39 was a nice observation."

39 forgot to mention that it was in only 28 ab.
   25. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 27, 2004 at 07:42 AM (#482707)
I have noticed that I have practically stopped reading Rob Neyer articles. I never noticed a significant drop-off in his quality like the many posters who complain on this site after each of his articles.

After visiting this page on a daily basis, I too have noticed (been influenced?) that Neyer's quality isn't what is has been before. I will say for this particular article however that it seemed to be a "Neyer" column again.

With all the fuss about the Chavez contract lately (noted in past primer threads), I don't blame him for yet another A's column on this one.
   26. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: March 27, 2004 at 06:01 PM (#482709)
"Sorry for going Mets in an A's thread. As I said, I have been wanting to talk about Scutaro all day. I have an irrational Marco Scutaro interest."

Well, I was about to make a Mike Piazza post about this line, something along the lines of "Yeah, dude, I feel the same way about Marco".

Then I noticed the poster was "Chris from Chelsea". I can't decide if that makes a Piazza post much funnier, or just grossly imappropriate. Probably both.
   27. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: March 27, 2004 at 06:05 PM (#482710)
Well, I guess Benji is happy today. The Mets just traded Timo Perez for Matt Ginter to the White Sox. Anyone know anything about Ginter?
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 28, 2004 at 10:17 PM (#482719)
So I *do* have Chavez on my Strat-O-Matic team. I traded for Matt Williams to platoon, as Williams crushes lefties.

I didn't realize Neyer was following

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