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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-29-2014

Pittsburgh Press, May 29, 1914:

The Pirates are displaying a lamentable tendency to “look over their opponents’ pitching” before deciding to offer at balls over the plate.
Whether the Pirates work under specific orders when at bat is a mooted question, but it is a fact that very few of them ever strike at the first ball pitched, regardless of how good it may be.
Many experts…are of the opinion that it is good judgment to try to hit any ball that cuts the heart of the plate at a reasonable height.
It is seldom indeed that a Pirate will strike at the next pitch after three straight balls have been called on him. Yet many argue that the fourth pitch in such cases is the very best ball the batter will get, for under such circumstances, it is certainly up to the twirler to get the next ball over, whether he has anything on it or not.

This column is brought to you by Jeff Francoeur and Delta Airlines. When you have to swing at absolutely anything because a kid in Denmark wants an autograph, choose Delta.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 08:25 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, strategery

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 08:28 AM (#4715162)
A couple nice players on the Birthday Team. Eric Davis, Blue Moon Odom. George McQuinn made the All-Star Game seven times. And I'm thinking that if your name is Vance Dinges, I think you have two options: Become a star athlete or spend junior high school stuffed in a locker.

C: Marty Honan
1B: George McQuinn
2B: Dave Fultz
3B: Charlie Hayes
SS: John Kennedy
LF: Jerry Hairston Jr.
CF: Eric Davis
RF: Vance Dinges

SP: Blue Moon Odom
SP: Willard Schmidt
SP: Art Reinhart
SP: Cha-Seung Baek
SP: Fred Holdsworth
RP: Dyar Miller
RP: Trevor Rosenthal
RP: Trever Miller

Owner: Bob Hope
Commissioner: Fay Vincent
Play-By-Play: Fred White
Former Pirates Farmhand: Henry Henry
   2. AndrewJ Posted: May 29, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4715166)
John Kennedy shared his birthday with the other John Kennedy.
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4715182)
so one of the major questions in brewer land coming into 2014 was whether khris davis justified moving ryan braun to right

after about six weeks of mostly subpar offense davis has perked up the last 10 days or so and is now sporting a 110 OPS+ thanks mostly to half of his hits going for extra bases. his strikeout to walk ratio is still poor though over this short stretch he has been willing to hold up on sliders that were killing him early.

surprisingly his defense has not been an issue. his arm will always be subpar but his range/first step have improved. right now i would grade him a 'c' in left field when coming into the season folks expected a d-

i am glad ron stuck with him but then there were not a lot of options. and who knows if he can sustain hitting better.

but there are things to like about davis and if he can slug .450ish and not be a train wreck in left field i tihnk the brewers will be satisfied
   4. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4715188)
How's Braun's arm? You've seen him more than I have, obviously, but he seemed like a not-great-not-remarkably-horrible left fielder when I've watched him.

If he's got a good arm, Braun in right makes some sense.
   5. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 29, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4715194)
Speaking of the Gyorko Store:

Jedd Gyorko has the worst OBP in baseball among players with 500 plate appearances over the last year. He's hitting .211/.257/.392 over his last 365 days.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4715198)
I know Jedd's had a really rough few months - he had a critically ill newborn, I'm not sure where that stands right now - but at some point, don't you have to either DL him or send him to El Paso?

Brooks Conrad is the AAA second baseman. Braves fans are probably shuddering right now, but he probably wouldn't be a catastrophe in the big leagues for a few weeks. Certainly no worse than Gyorko.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: May 29, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4715205)
At the bottom of a player's page at baseballreference, there is a list of transactions involving the player (draft, trades etc). But for players who only appeared in the minor leagues, I don't see that information. Is it there somewhere?
   8. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: May 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4715210)
Fangraphs has a piece on the Houston pitching wonders of McHugh and Keuchel. Both came from nowhere to be really good (so far). Here's a question: who do you think will be better over the rest of the year, one of those two, or Kyle Lohse (who was also nothing special for a long time, and then turned it around a couple years ago)?
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 29, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4715242)

braun's arm is ok. so far he has also been ok

having gomez in center covers up for most deficiencies
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4715259)
McHugh looked like the real deal with his curveball yesterday, although it was against a terrible lineup. I can see him having some success.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 29, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4715262)
John Kennedy shared his birthday with the other John Kennedy.

Think he gets nervous every Nov. 22?
   12. Moeball Posted: May 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4715279)
Jedd Gyorko has the worst OBP in baseball among players with 500 plate appearances over the last year. He's hitting .211/.257/.392 over his last 365 days.

I'm not sure where that stands right now - but at some point, don't you have to either DL him or send him to El Paso?

Leave it to the Padres to get stuck in a situation like this. Had they not offered Gyorko the big extension, he probably would have been sent down a long time ago. But no one wants to be paying million$ to a guy in the minors, so he stays in the lineup. He's not hurt so you can't really DL him. He's just got to figure out how to hit, because he looks totally lost at the plate like he doesn't have a clue what's happening.

He's getting out hit by Darwin Barney. Yikes!

But Gyorko isn't the only problem the Padres have right now. Not only is he the worst hitting regular starting second baseman in the majors right now, but he plays right next to the worst hitting first baseman in Yonder Alonso. Over on the other side of the infield, Chase Headley and Everth Cabrera aren't necessarily at the very bottom for their respective positions, but they aren't far from it, either. Hey, Everth - get your $$ back! Whatever you paid for your Biogenesis stuff was supposed to ENHANCE your performance! A leadoff batter should have an OBA a bit better than .280, shouldn't he?

Meanwhile, in right field, Will Venable isn't hitting a lick, either! This is such a fun team to watch!

Can we just bat Seth Smith all the time until pitchers figure him out?
   13. Batman Posted: May 29, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4715307)
Dinges managed the Salinas Blue Jays his last year in pro baseball. Only two players from that team also played in MLB: superhero JIM COMMAND and archvillain Vance Dinges.
   14. Astroenteritis Posted: May 29, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4715318)
Here's a question: who do you think will be better over the rest of the year, one of those two, or Kyle Lohse

To be fair, there was a segment of Houston observers who predicted a breakout campaign for Keuchel. Of Keuchel, McHugh and Lohse, I suppose you would bet on Lohse as he's had three solid years in a row coming into 2014, and done nothing this year to indicate that will change. I like Keuchel's odds of continued success a little better than McHugh, but obviously I'm hoping they both keep it going.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4715325)
Andre Ethier as Johnny Utah in the stage version of "Point Break."
   16. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 29, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4715395)
He's not hurt so you can't really DL him.
Well, the Braves did DL Mark Wohlers back in the day with a case of "inability to pitch".

I'm not sure what the MLBPA would say about it in 2014, though.
   17. dr. scott Posted: May 29, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4715498)
Oh Wholers... only guy I saw throw a wild pitch on an intentional walk. I seem to remember it happening more than once too...
   18. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 29, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4715564)
Catch him if you can!
   19. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 29, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4715673)
The Game of 5/28/84 wasn't a spectacular game, necessarily, but it would at least be usable in a case study on either (a) the value of pitcher hitting, or (b) the transformational period of bullpen usage.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: May 29, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4715683)
Birthday lineup makes me a bit sad as I notice that Hairston Jr isn't on a roster this year or in the minors.

A nice career of being surprisingly useful in the right bench role. 14 WAR, -2.6 WAA in nearly 5000 PA. 9 teams, 7 positions -- look how long his fielding stats table is! -- and the defensive stats put him as average or better at all of them.

And a great baseball family -- his brother Scott, father Jerry, uncle John and grandfather Sam have all seen time in the majors. Granddad Sam was probably the best of the bunch during his Negro League days but it's a proud tradition.

So let's all hope there's a Hairston playing tee ball out there somewhere.
   21. bobm Posted: May 29, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4715745)
[12] For 2014, as Infield (within Defensive Positions), sorted by least On-Base Plus Slugging for this split

Rk        OPS   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
1    SDP .599 .213 .260 .339 .599  .252    88    67
2    KCR .652 .242 .292 .360 .652  .270    99    82
3    TBR .666 .252 .319 .347 .666  .289    94    87
4    SEA .673 .237 .304 .369 .673  .285   103    88
5    HOU .685 .243 .304 .381 .685  .288    95    91
6    NYM .689 .255 .326 .363 .689  .306   108    94
7    CLE .690 .233 .320 .371 .690  .270    93    94
8    BAL .691 .254 .312 .379 .691  .300    91    93
9    TEX .692 .254 .316 .377 .692  .290    92    94
10   ATL .705 .251 .306 .398 .705  .290   107    96
11   PIT .706 .246 .318 .388 .706  .277   102    97
12   BOS .709 .254 .340 .369 .709  .315   103    99
13   MIL .713 .257 .314 .400 .713  .290    98    99
14   SFG .714 .239 .302 .411 .714  .271    99    98
15   WSN .714 .246 .309 .405 .714  .292   105    99
16   LAD .715 .251 .317 .398 .715  .290    94   100
17   CHC .723 .244 .325 .398 .723  .283   119   102
18   OAK .728 .249 .336 .392 .728  .281    96   104
19   LAA .728 .256 .322 .406 .728  .292    97   103
20   NYY .732 .261 .328 .404 .732  .293   106   104
21   STL .732 .275 .338 .395 .732  .319   111   105
22   DET .732 .268 .321 .411 .732  .312    94   104
23   MIN .733 .256 .332 .401 .733  .302   112   105
24   TOR .738 .252 .314 .424 .738  .278    88   105
25   CIN .739 .261 .323 .416 .739  .298   118   106
Rk        OPS   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
26   MIA .747 .270 .341 .406 .747  .328   101   109
27   PHI .753 .255 .338 .414 .753  .302   116   110
28   ARI .768 .276 .337 .431 .768  .322   120   114
29   CHW .778 .284 .337 .440 .778  .347   112   116
30   COL .822 .288 .342 .480 .822  .307   103   128

Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/29/2014.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 29, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4715755)
The Game of 5/28/14 was, in fact, pretty terrific. It includes a corporate flashback to former glories, a potentially controversial managerial decision, and a walkoff homer - and that's just one half-inning! Before that, there were rallies, and pairs of vastly overqualified pinch hitters failing to deliver in a massively important situation, and a pitcher who was formerly referred to by a different name. Something for everyone, really.
   23. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: May 30, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4715977)
John Kennedy was a decent ballplayer, not as good as Bob Kennedy. Shame about the younger Kennedy and his drinking problems.
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 30, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4716046)
John Kennedy was a decent ballplayer

Ah, so there was another John Kennedy besides the one who integrated the Phillies as a 30-year-old pinch runner and had a career OPS+ of -100.
   25. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: May 30, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4716060)
The John Kennedy you speak of was better than decent in his negro league career.

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