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Monday, July 28, 2014

Former OF Jason Lane takes loss in first start

At an age when most players are thinking retirement, Jason Lane is trying to get started on a new career.

He might be on to something.

The 37-year-old former outfielder threw six scoreless innings in his first big league start as a pitcher before surrendering a homer to Evan Gattis that carried the Atlanta Braves to a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 28, 2014 at 05:26 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, old timers' day, padres

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4759321)

he pitched 3.3 scoreless IP in a previous RP appearance with Padres this year.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4759323)
This is totally awesome, by the way.
   3. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4759324)
I went to fangraphs to see their projections to decide if I want to add the guy to my fantasy team. He doesn't even have a Zips!
   4. JRVJ Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4759335)
Well, this pushes back his HoF ballot appearance date.....
   5. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4759344)
Honest silly question. If Jason Lane went on to have a borderline HOF career as a starter, how many extra points would you give him for the coolness of his story? Keep in mind this guy would be pitching extremely well deep into his late 40s.
   6. Brian White Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4759350)
And he got a hit! Granted, it was a bloop down the RF line where he didn't even run because he thought it was going foul.

I'm happy the Braves won today, but the whole Jason Lane: Pitcher thing is cool.
   7. Bhaakon Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4759356)

Honest silly question. If Jason Lane went on to have a borderline HOF career as a starter, how many extra points would you give him for the coolness of his story? Keep in mind this guy would be pitching extremely well deep into his late 40s.


Honestly, quite a bit. Probably not enough to give him a remote chance of getting in, but the bar would definitely be lowered.
   8. Batman Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4759361)
And he got a hit! Granted, it was a bloop down the RF line where he didn't even run because he thought it was going foul.
That gives him a .333 BA, and he's given up a little more than half that- .179. His BA against was .135 before the last two guys got hits.
   9. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4759363)
how many extra points would you give him for the coolness of his story?
I'm not sure, but I *am* sure that if he has any kind of success at all I would watch a documentary looking at both his and Ankiel's careers.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4759367)
At 37? Mind-boggling really.

In 216 IP at SugarLand, he K'd 5.4/9; in 183 IP in AAA, he K'd 5.8/9. Apparently it's harder to K guys in the Indy league than in AAA.
   11. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4759378)
He's just trying to boost his pension.
   12. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4759382)
Easily one of the coolest stories of the year.

It was funny watching the new Linklater movie Boyhood (which, incidentally, everyone must watch) and seeing Jason Lane making a cameo -- hitting a home run for the Astros in 2005. Was thinking of trying to explain to my fiancee "that guy's a pitcher now" but figured it wasn't exactly something she'd care about. Does tie well into the movie's passage-of-time theme, though. Go go Jason.
   13. Bhaakon Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4759385)
In 216 IP at SugarLand, he K'd 5.4/9; in 183 IP in AAA, he K'd 5.8/9. Apparently it's harder to K guys in the Indy league than in AAA.



Crappier defense means a premium on putting the ball in play? Honestly, I've never attended an indy league game, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a surfeit of slappy, impatient hitters, since those guys seem to be the ones MLB teams are less interested in.
   14. Batman Posted: July 28, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4759388)
Lane hit a home run in the Geoff Blum game in the 2005 World Series. Only seven other players from that game have played in MLB this year.
   15. Spahn Insane Posted: July 28, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4759390)
Well I'll be damned. I'd forgotten this guy even existed. Pretty cool story.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4759413)
To answer my own question, I would give Jason Lane immense extra credit. If he suddenly had the pitching career of a borderliner like, I dunno, Andy Pettitte or Johan Santana*, Lane would easily get my vote.

Also he would have an major Ichiroian "what if?" thing going on if he started making All-Star teams in his 40s.



*He is borderline, right? Best pitcher in baseball for a spell, but only half a dozen really good seasons.
   17. Urkel's Boner Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4759448)
It was funny watching the new Linklater movie Boyhood (which, incidentally, everyone must watch) and seeing Jason Lane making a cameo -- hitting a home run for the Astros in 2005. Was thinking of trying to explain to my fiancee "that guy's a pitcher now" but figured it wasn't exactly something she'd care about. Does tie well into the movie's passage-of-time theme, though. Go go Jason.


I was trying to figure what game that was based on the context clues in the movie and came up with this - Clemens pitching against the Brewers with "like a one-point-six-something ERA" as Ethan Hawke mentions, a Lane homer and a Damian Miller strikeout. In the real game the Brewers won though. There also was a pretty glaring continuity error (to a baseball fan anyway), as the Brewers' uniforms switch from blue in the close-ups to gray in the long shots.
   18. Astroenteritis Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4759457)
Congrats to Lane on defying the odds to get this far. I'll always remember him as a key cog in the Astros 2005 WS run. Hope he gets a few more starts.
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 28, 2014 at 10:02 PM (#4759464)
speaking of santana i remember gleeman busting a spleen on the twins not using santana sooner or more regularly.

given that the twins got the vast majority of santana's excellence and that johan broken down pretty quickly after being pushed just the slightest bit by the mets i don't think the twins have anything to apologize for regarding usage
   20. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 28, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4759466)
I wonder if Jeff Francoeur would consider making the switch after watching Lane make it all the way back.
   21. spike Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4759481)
Before we get too crazy, and it is a great story, the Braves had the 1,2,5,7 and 8 spots in the order with a 32, -100, 52, 88, and 80 OPS+ respectively.
   22. billyshears Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:57 PM (#4759497)
Is Lane a knuckleballer, or, like, a real pitcher?
   23. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4759501)
Real pitcher. FB ~90,91; SL (he didn't have this when he started pitching - now I understand it to be his #2 pitch), CU, occasional CB.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4759506)
speaking of santana i remember gleeman busting a spleen on the twins not using santana sooner or more regularly.

Yep but it always had the "not that you can complain about how it worked out" thing working against it.

Not sure what you mean by "pushed just the slightest bit by the Mets". Santana in 2008 had essentially the same number of GS and IP as he did for the Twins from 2004-6 and only a little bit more than 2007. In 2009, he started exactly every 5th game (except one DH) and was throwing fewer IP/start and no CG before he got hurt. If anything, the Mets were babying him a little in that year. In the 2nd half of 2010 they do seem to have tried to make him a 5-day rather than 5-game starter. But then that was an 11 start, 83 IP, 2.49 ERA stretch.

In Gleeman's defense, in 2003 the Twins did throw Joe Mays out there for 21 starts and a 6.30 ERA so ... he had a bit of a point.

   25. Walt Davis Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:35 AM (#4759508)
Back to Lane ... if you give him Moyer's age 38+, that was 22 WAR. Alas, that would bring his career WAR to about 24 ... just shy of the Hall. :-)

Top post-38 pitcher WAR is P Niekro at 45 followed (non-deadball) by R Johnson at 33, Clemens 31, Ryan 27. Wells 15 WAR or John 13 WAR are probably slightly more realistic comps.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:37 AM (#4759509)
speaking of santana i remember gleeman busting a spleen on the twins not using santana sooner or more regularly.

given that the twins got the vast majority of santana's excellence and that johan broken down pretty quickly after being pushed just the slightest bit by the mets i don't think the twins have anything to apologize for regarding usage


That's right. In retrospect it looks like the Twins lost maybe 60-70 innings in 2003 by keeping him in the bullpen for so long. The Twins still won their division and Santana was on the hill for Games 1 and 4 of the ALCS. Worked out OK.
   27. Bhaakon Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:15 AM (#4759516)
Back to Lane ... if you give him Moyer's age 38+, that was 22 WAR. Alas, that would bring his career WAR to about 24 ... just shy of the Hall. :-)

Top post-38 pitcher WAR is P Niekro at 45 followed (non-deadball) by R Johnson at 33, Clemens 31, Ryan 27. Wells 15 WAR or John 13 WAR are probably slightly more realistic comps.


I'd probably vote for him if he managed Neikro's performance, and RJ's 33 would make me think. The fact that he looks like a fairly conventional pitcher makes that tall order much, much more difficult, I think.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:55 AM (#4759522)
I suppose I should have pointed out that Niekro accumulated those WAR in 2641 IP from 38-48 ... a total Lane is unlikely to hit unless he pitches to 53 or so. Moyer was a bit short of 2000. Even Ryan and Spahn were only around 1700.
   29. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:31 AM (#4759526)
It was funny watching the new Linklater movie Boyhood (which, incidentally, everyone must watch) and seeing Jason Lane making a cameo -- hitting a home run for the Astros in 2005. Was thinking of trying to explain to my fiancee "that guy's a pitcher now" but figured it wasn't exactly something she'd care about. Does tie well into the movie's passage-of-time theme, though. Go go Jason.



I was trying to figure what game that was based on the context clues in the movie and came up with this - Clemens pitching against the Brewers with "like a one-point-six-something ERA" as Ethan Hawke mentions, a Lane homer and a Damian Miller strikeout. In the real game the Brewers won though. There also was a pretty glaring continuity error (to a baseball fan anyway), as the Brewers' uniforms switch from blue in the close-ups to gray in the long shots.


I saw this story on my phone before going into the movie last night - was neat to see Lane hit that shot. Agree that everyone should see it. Hawke's gushing about Clemens is interesting because it's exactly what so many thought at the time, but markedly different from popular thought now. Not that the loop is closed by Hawke making an anti-PEDs rant at the end of the movie (although that would've tickled me).
   30. just plain joe Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4759544)
Honestly, I've never attended an indy league game, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a surfeit of slappy, impatient hitters, since those guys seem to be the ones MLB teams are less interested in.


You get that, and you also have a lot of guys from the swing hard in case you hit the ball school of batting. What I have noticed in the games I've attended is that it is rare to see pitchers who can throw hard. I am guessing that the hard throwers are more likely to play in the affiliated minors, at least until they establish that they can't pitch, or their arm blows up. The Frontier League is about as far down the food chain you can go and still be in professional baseball; I would say the quality of play is about equal to a good DI college program.
   31. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4759566)
Strictly speaking, there are always lower levels of hell. The Pecos League, for instance, which has teams in two towns I'd never heard of 'til now [Raton NM, where the Fireballs (known for the song "Sugar Shack") were from; Trinidad CO, best known as a former hub for sexual reassignment surgeries] - to say nothing of the literal pay-to-play leagues.
   32. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4759570)
Honest silly question. If Jason Lane went on to have a borderline HOF career as a starter, how many extra points would you give him for the coolness of his story? Keep in mind this guy would be pitching extremely well deep into his late 40s.


Lane is an awesome story, this is really a lot of fun. With that said I don't think I'd give him extra points for story coolness, at least not many. If he were a genuine two way player, playing the outfield part time and then pitching at the same time I think that would be worthy. In my mind that would make him valuable due to his versatility.
   33. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4759578)
walt, i am referring to 2008 which was the trigger for santana's slide into early retirement

he was never the same after a season where the mets had him face more batters than he had ever faced, throw more pitches, had several games over 120 pitches which based on a quick perusal the twins never did, and try and save their season. and this with a guy who was not missing bats like he had in the past.

   34. BDC Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4759648)
Raton and Trinidad are milestones when you're driving from Texas to Colorado. Pretty spots, very wild-Westy to this day. I once stayed overnight in Raton and was probably the only person in the hotel who wasn't there for an NRA convention. An exciting evening.

À propos of very little, here's the WAR leaderboard for starting pitchers who made their debut in 2000 or later:

Player              WAR From   Age  GS   W ERA+
Mark Buehrle       58.1 2000 21-35 450 196  118
CC Sabathia        54.0 2001 20
-33 423 208  120
Johan Santana      50.7 2000 21
-33 284 139  136
Roy Oswalt         49.9 2001 23
-35 341 163  127
Felix Hernandez    43.7 2005 19
-28 291 121  130
Cliff Lee          43.3 2002 23
-35 323 143  118
Justin Verlander   40.9 2005 22
-31 288 146  123
Zack Greinke       38.2 2004 20
-30 280 118  117
Carlos Zambrano    38.2 2001 20
-31 302 132  120
Cole Hamels        37.2 2006 22
-30 262 104  124
Clayton Kershaw    37.0 2008 20
-26 198  89  150
Josh Beckett       36.0 2001 21
-34 330 138  112
Jered Weaver       35.6 2006 23
-31 253 124  126
Jake Peavy         35.2 2002 21
-33 326 133  112
Barry Zito         33.9 2000 22
-35 419 165  105 


Man, it's going to be an uphill battle to get any of these guys into the Hall of Fame, unless there's quite a readjustment of attitudes to eras. Santana has an outstanding career total and an extremely high peak among this group, lots of honors and awards, and yet I can't imagine he stays on the BBWAA ballot more than a year, unless philosophies change. He's sort of a latter-day analogy to Koufax, but it's a very weak echo.

Kershaw is the youngest and most impressive of the bunch, and of course some of them may very well last forever and go in as career candidates. And there are some younger guys off to great starts (David Price, Gio Gonzalez), further down the list, but almost all their work is still ahead of them if they want to become Hallworthy.
   35. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4759656)
Man, it's going to be an uphill battle to get any of these guys into the Hall of Fame, unless there's quite a readjustment of attitudes to eras.


Really? To me, it looks like King Felix is on a nice path to a HOF spot. He's built up a nice career so far, and still has a long future ahead.
What helps him is that he's one of the pitchers for whom "pitcher wins are meaningless" was first applied (when he won the Cy Young with a 13-12 record), so that stat probably won't hold him back when his vote comes up (~15 years from now).
   36. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4759662)
12: that scene was the first thing I thought of when I read the title of this post.
   37. BDC Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4759693)
Fair enough, Generator. Hernandez is a couple of years older than Kershaw and a couple further on his way.
   38. spycake Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4759758)
speaking of santana i remember gleeman busting a spleen on the twins not using santana sooner or more regularly.


It certainly worked out well overall for the Twins, but Santana's innings progression was a little weird.

Johan Santana total innings by season
2000: 86 IP (as mediocre Rule 5 guy)
2001: 43 IP (mostly injured, still mediocre)
2002: 163 IP (115 in MLB)
2003: 166 IP
2004: 240 IP

Probably pushed him a bit too far in 2002 by today's standards, particularly given the giant lead they opened up in the division. But then oddly wound up limiting him to the same amount in 2003 despite full health, a much closer race, and Joe Mays. Logically they probably should have had him in the 200-210 IP range in 2003, which would have put him in the rotation in mid-June as Mays' ERA stabilized around .540 and before the Twins fell to 7.5 games back at the all star break... OK, Gleeman was right!
   39. Willie Mayspedester Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4759784)
I wonder if it will be easier for these guys to compile HOF numbers with the league wide decline in offense. I guess it all comes down to health like it always has.
   40. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4759794)
Mays' ERA stabilized around .540


I think your decimal place is off.

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