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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

SI: Heyman: With Matsuzaka gone, Mets now focusing on Zito

That’s why I say Heyman nice shot
Nice shot man

1k5v3L Posted: November 14, 2006 at 12:05 PM | 160 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. 1k5v3L Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:32 PM (#2237389)
With Ziti still backing in the hot stove, the Mets help themselves to some chocolate chip Dookies...

Mets Target Zito, Near Duque Deal

Following the aggressive nature of their GM, Omar Minaya, the Mets yesterday actively moved on their key issue - the rotation - by all but completing a deal to retain Orlando Hernandez while beginning to make inroads in the pursuit of Barry Zito and Vicente Padilla.

Hernandez is close to inking a two-year deal worth about $6 million.


El Duque will use his first pay check to sent out his AARP membership payment...
   2. Rob Base Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:46 PM (#2237393)
I make a kickass baked ziti.
   3. Sam M. Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#2237395)
El Duque is useful as a 120 inning pitcher. I wonder how effective and creative the Mets can be in finding the best way to get those 120 innings out of him. In a perfect world, they could use him up by August 1 and he could hand the baton to a healthy and ready-to-go Pedro, but somehow I don't think they can count on that happening . . . .

Sigh.

Barry Zito is going to be a very rich man. Talk about being the right man in the right place at the right time.
   4. 1k5v3L Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:54 PM (#2237398)
Backing? Bah. Try "baking"...
   5. 1k5v3L Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:59 PM (#2237400)
Fearless prediction: El Duque averages 2.5 DL stints per season as a Met.
   6. JC in DC Posted: November 14, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#2237403)
Barry Zito is going to be a very rich man. Talk about being the right man in the right place at the right time.


No kidding. I just did an internal dialogue of what Zito might have been thinking on learning how much the Sox bid for the rights to talk to D-Mat. They were very happy thoughts.
   7. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: November 14, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2237434)
Fearless prediction: El Duque averages 2.5 DL stints per season as a Met.



I don't think so, levski: he likes New York a lot better than Phoenix...
   8. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: November 14, 2006 at 02:54 PM (#2237437)
El Duque at $3MM per year is a bargain.
   9. 1k5v3L Posted: November 14, 2006 at 02:57 PM (#2237442)
I don't think so, levski: he likes New York a lot better than Phoenix...


El Duque has never been on the DL while playing for the Diamondbacks. Josh Byrnes wasn't about to let him hang around long enough for that to happen.

El Duque at $3MM per year is a bargain.


Per my estimates, it's just over a million per trip to the DL. That's almost a Cliff Floyd-type bargain.
   10. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 14, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#2237443)
Has there been ANY sign of Oakland trying to keep Zito?

Anyways, I'm damn glad to have seen Zito live in Oakland. He's one of my favourites.
   11. Sam M. Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:05 PM (#2237453)
So at this point, the Mets' pitching options are:

El Duque
Maine
Perez
Pelfrey
Bannister
Humber

Glavine? We shall see . . . I suspect that situation is a lot less rosy than some others do. Minaya has a lot of work to do. A lot.
   12. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#2237458)
If Glavine's back, the rotation isn't that bad. In fact, it might be better than we ran out there most of this year. We still need that ace, though. I think Zito has to be the guy. He's durable, and he'd be pretty damn good at Shea, and especially in the NL. I don't think of him as an "ace" per se, but I think that if he's this generation's answer to Tom Glavine. Is he going to be overpaid? You bet, but that doesn't mean it can't be a good deal.

Zito
Glavine
El Duque
Perez
Maine

And with Pedro, Humber and Pelfrey as the playoff wild-cards. I can live with that.
   13. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2237463)
So, where is that baked ziti recipe?
   14. Sam M. Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2237464)
If Glavine's back, the rotation isn't that bad.

This may be uncharacteristically gloomy of me, but I just don't see him returning. There is just too much smoke pointing to Atlanta. Glavine has dropped enough hints about how his family is the # 1 consideration, and about how returning to the Mets would mean playing "162 road games." And there was no real need to declare for free agency when he did, not if he was leaning towards signing with the Mets.

I think the bid for Matsuzaka is another hint. The Red Sox lunatic winning bid obscures it, but the Mets' apparent bid was awfully crazy, too. My theory: their bid essentially included Glavine's one-year money, because they believe he's not coming back.
   15. billyshears Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#2237489)
Vicente Padilla? Am I missing something?
   16. Sam M. Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#2237496)
Padilla gives you a consistent 95-105 ERA+ pretty much every year -- kind of like Javy Vasquez. And without without having to give up some prime talent that Kenny Williams covets. There's something to be said for that.

But, he doesn't reliably give you 200 innings every year the way Vasquez does, either. It's hard to know what to make of his 2004-05 struggles staying in the rotation . . . .
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 14, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#2237506)
This may or may not be germane, but Padilla is kind of a drunk, isn't he?
   18. Kyle S Posted: November 14, 2006 at 04:58 PM (#2237556)
I think he's kind of a drunk the way that Paris Hilton is kind of a flirt.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2237577)
I wasn't sure whether I had him mixed up with Freddy Garcia.
   20. Raskolnikov Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2237589)
So at this point, the Mets' pitching options are:

El Duque
Maine
Perez
Pelfrey
Bannister
Humber

Glavine? We shall see . . . I suspect that situation is a lot less rosy than some others do. Minaya has a lot of work to do. A lot.


Agree with the work comment.

I usually would be hesitant about a trade like a Vasquez for Heilman type. Given the situation, I would go ahead with the trade. If Kenny wants more, then I think the Mets need to explore Heilman in the rotation once again.

And I know that many Mets fans hate this idea. But if Zito is not signed, and we're not able to get Schmidt or Mussina, I think that the Mets have to seriously consider putting Zambrano back in the rotation.

(Dodging tomatoes).
   21. Dan Broderick Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#2237599)
I think that the Mets have to seriously consider putting Zambrano back in the rotation.

I thought the Cubs said they weren't trading Carlos...
   22. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2237613)
Even assuming no Glavine and no Zito, the following are better options than post-surgery Zambrano to start:

Maine
Duque
Perez
Pelfrey
Humber
Bannister
Heilman
Williams

I assume this was a joke.
   23. shoewizard Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:56 PM (#2237614)
Man....saying Zito is overated and there are warning signs is almost a cliche....but still....

FIP
2004-4.57
2005-4.37
2006-4.94 ??

BB/9
2004-3.4
2005-3.6
2006-4.0 ??

K/9
2004-6.9
2005-6.9
2006-6.2 ??

GB%
2004-37
2005-41.8
2006-38.2 ??

HR/G
2004-1.18
2005-1.04
2006-1.10

ERA+
2004-100
2005-110
2006-118



7 years, 105 Million??, 5 Years, 75 million??

Whatever. Good luck with that.
   24. Kyle S Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:00 PM (#2237622)
Zito will always outperform his FIP because he induces lots of infield fly balls, so unless that version of FIP accounted for that, I wouldn't worry overly much about it.
   25. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2237639)
Didn't people predict doom and gloom for Tommy G too? I'm telling you, this guy is the new Glavine.
   26. Loren F. Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#2237655)
Hmmm, B-R.com has these numbers for Zito's ERA+: 2004 - 105; 2005 - 116; 2006 - 116.

Shoewizard is right about him being overrated and there being possible warning signs. But the market is the market -- so, warning signs, shmarning signs. Zito isn't old, he's as sure a bet as anyone to give you 210+ IP, and he's consistently above average (especially given that average for a starter is really around a 96 ERA+). Surprisingly, Win Shares had him as the third or fourth most valuable starter in the AL this season, which goes to show how valuable all those IP are.

Overrated though he is, Zito would be the #1 or #2 starter on most teams, including the Mets and the Yankees. And there are at least half a dozen teams who feel they're a front-of-rotation starter away from the World Series. So he'll get his $15M a year, and it's just a question of whether he'll get 5 years or whether someone if foolish enough to give him 7 years.
   27. Sam M. Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2237656)
I think that the Mets have to seriously consider putting Zambrano back in the rotation.

I would rather go with a complete Kiddie Korps of

Pelfrey
Maine
Humber
Bannister
Guerra

than ever have Victor Zambrano make another start for the New York Mets. (Granted, the presence of Perez and El Duque makes that unnecessary, but you get my point. NO MORE VICTOR ZAMBRANO.)

It's time to pull a reverse-Elvis on Victor Zambrano: Love me, non-tender.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2237657)
Even if he's the new Glavine, and I'm inclined to think that he is, you don't pay $16 million a year for a 115 ERA+. Or at least I don't think it looks wise on the face of it.

But I LOVE the El Duque signing, especially at such a low cost. If league average innings cost $8 million per year these days, I consider El Duque a much craftier and lower risk signing than Lilly/Meche/etc, even despite his age.
   29. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#2237663)
Totally agreed, Sam.

I've come to the conclusion that Zito, as the most likely to give the Mets above league average innings, and lots of them, is the best bet for them in this market, and the best thing they can do is sign him and hope Mr. Peterson keeps him at or above Oakland production. Fact is, the league move should help him, Shea is unlikely to hurt him (with the new park a big unknown, obviously) and his next bad year will be his first.

The other point is, if not Zito, who? I'd explore Peavy until blue in the face. My guess is that isn't happening.
   30. shoewizard Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#2237664)
Hmmm, B-R.com has these numbers for Zito's ERA+: 2004 - 105; 2005 - 116; 2006 - 116.


ERA+ numbers are from THT

Whose are "correct" ?
   31. Kyle S Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#2237666)
Guerra? Sure, he pitched well last year... in Low A. He doesn't turn 18 until next year. If you want to absolutely ruin him and lose some games, then by all means put him in the rotation. I can assure you the Braves' hitters will treat him as kindly as they treated Glavine when he came back to atl.

By the way, Sam, if Duque and Glavine don't come back, aren't those guys plus perez the top 6 starters in the mets system? worry you much?
   32. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:42 PM (#2237675)
"By the way, Sam, if Duque and Glavine don't come back, aren't those guys plus perez the top 6 starters in the mets system? worry you much?"

This doesn't worry me. First of all, Duque is back. Second, the Mets will not let the offseason pass them by, as they have shown each of the last two years.

I think Sam was simply describing the lengths he'd go to avoid Zambrano- and I concur. Nobody wants Guerra pitching next year at Shea.
   33. Sam M. Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#2237677)
Guerra? Sure, he pitched well last year... in Low A. He doesn't turn 18 until next year. If you want to absolutely ruin him and lose some games, then by all means put him in the rotation.

Obviously, no one is putting him in the rotation, Kyle. Least of all me. That was just to forcefully express my objection to ever seeing the remains of Victor Zambrano in a Mets' uniform again. Even if it were only Maine, Perez, El Duque, Pelfrey, and Bannister (not to mention Humber), the Mets obviously have plenty of alternatives ahead of Guerra.

By the way, Sam, if Duque and Glavine don't come back, aren't those guys plus perez the top 6 starters in the mets system? worry you much?

Well, Duque has already re-upped with a two-year deal. But even with that, yes ... as I said upthread (# 11 and 14) -- if Glavine returns to Atlanta, I'm worried. And to me, there are some signs pointing that way, including the seriousness of the Mets' bid for Matsuzaka.
   34. Raskolnikov Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#2237678)
than ever have Victor Zambrano make another start for the New York Mets. (Granted, the presence of Perez and El Duque makes that unnecessary, but you get my point. NO MORE VICTOR ZAMBRANO.)

It's time to pull a reverse-Elvis on Victor Zambrano: Love me, non-tender.


Ouch.

Anyway, I've gotten over the bitterness of the Kazmir trade. Zambrano would be an ideal project to see if there's anything left in that arm. I know I'm alone in that opinion, but I think he could still be at least as good as Meche/Padilla/Wolf/Lilly.
   35. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:47 PM (#2237679)
So he'll get his $15M a year, and it's just a question of whether he'll get 5 years or whether someone if foolish enough to give him 7 years.

When was the last 7-year deal given to a pitcher? I don't think we'll see a 7-year length on any player, particularly a pitcher.
   36. shoewizard Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:48 PM (#2237680)
Zito will always outperform his FIP because he induces lots of infield fly balls, so unless that version of FIP accounted for that, I wouldn't worry overly much about it.

IF/F %
2004-16.4
2005-19.3
2006-13.3

Thats still more than most, in fact he ranked 5th in the AL and 9th in the majors. I realize his BABIP is going to be lower than league avg as long as he induces this many popups. But his OF FB rate jumped, his walk rate jumped, his K rate slumped....

I don't know. He will look better superficially pitching in the NL and in Shea, and as has been mentioned, he is very durable, the very definition of what an innings eater is supposed to be.

It's just hard for me to wrap my brain around the "new math" where a slightly above league average innings eater is worth 15 million a year.
   37. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:51 PM (#2237684)
I think Mussina was the last 7 year pitching deal - and even that wasn't a full 7.

Pedro got 6 and an option from the Red Sox in '98.

Kevin Brown got 7/105 entering '98 as well, right?
   38. VG Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#2237687)
When was the last 7-year deal given to a pitcher?

I think Mike Hampton got eight years when he signed with the Rockies in the 2000-01 offseason. That offseason was also the one with the A-Rod (10 years) and Manny (eight years) deals. I'm not aware of another pitcher getting as many as seven since then.
   39. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#2237691)
"It's just hard for me to wrap my brain around the "new math" where a slightly above league average innings eater is worth 15 million a year."

He's not. But there's no one else on the FA market who is as close to a good bet as Zito to be that good over the life of a multiyear deal. I think Gil Meche could be good- but he had one good year (2006) and that contained a huge home/road split. I'd rather spend $15 on Zito than $9-10 on Meche (and judging from the market and the teams interested, that might not get it done).
   40. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:56 PM (#2237692)
It's just hard for me to wrap my brain around the "new math" where a slightly above league average innings eater is worth 15 million a year.

I think we differ on "slightly". A guy who throws that many innings is undervalued. Find three guys who have pitched that many innings and hit ERA+ of 110 every year. I think of Javy Vazquez as an innings eater, and his ERA numbers are not near Zito's.

Barry's worst ERA+ value in his career is 105. And his worst IP number since becoming a starter is 213. He's a three time AS, a Cy winner, and twice got MVP votes. And he's gonna be 29. He's been in the top 5 in the AL for innings pitched four of the last five years.
   41. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#2237693)
"Anyway, I've gotten over the bitterness of the Kazmir trade."

This isn't about Kazmir. This is about a pitcher who didn't have particularly good stuff, and no idea how to pitch. Never again.
   42. realteamcoach Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#2237694)
"Slightly above average"

You guys kill me. Zito being called overrated around here has made him underrated. I only wish that the Cubs would give him 5/75, and we would be playoff contenders.
   43. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:01 PM (#2237696)
I would call Zito a "very good" MLB starter. Will he be overpaid? Probably. But I'd have him on my team.
   44. Old Matt Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#2237699)
Dookie for $3 mil a year? Sweet man!
   45. Raskolnikov Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2237701)
This isn't about Kazmir. This is about a pitcher who didn't have particularly good stuff, and no idea how to pitch. Never again.

Yes, but the guy was pitching with a half-shredded elbow during his whole time with the Mets, which he kept secret because he wanted to live up to the expectations. Really, there's no way of knowing what Zambrano will be like post-surgery. I'd be interested in finding out.
   46. Raskolnikov Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2237708)
It's 2Y/12M according to Rosenthal, which is still a solid deal in my book.

Now on towards Zito.

(with an outside prayer that negotiation between Bosox and D-Mat fall apart, giving the Mets the winning bid)
   47. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2237710)
Well, surgery seldom helps a pitcher have better stuff. He's never shown the ability to have the slightest clue of how to pitch. Can they sign him as an NRI? Even then... let the man try it somewhere else...

By the way, so many reasons not to like Buster Olney, but this is from his blog today:

"The Mets are going after Barry Zito, Ken Davidoff writes, and if New York is, in fact, competitive with its bid, many folks within baseball think this team will win the sweepstakes. The Mets' pursuit does beg this question: Where was this enthusiasm for Zito's stuff at the end of July, when they needed a veteran starter to augment their championship hopes and could've had the lefty in a trade? He wasn't worth Lastings Milledge then, but now he's worth $75 million? (That's probably the minimum the Mets will have to pay to sign him.) Makes no sense."

Does he really not understand that unless the Mets wanted to trade Milledge for a rental, they were trading Milledge AND $75 million or so for Zito in July, or just $75 million or so now? In other words, Zito might be worth $75 million to them in either scenario-but two months of Zito was not worth Milledge. And Olney doesn't realize this? Makes no sense.
   48. billyshears Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#2237711)
Anyway, I've gotten over the bitterness of the Kazmir trade. Zambrano would be an ideal project to see if there's anything left in that arm. I know I'm alone in that opinion, but I think he could still be at least as good as Meche/Padilla/Wolf/Lilly.

I'm with you. I just remember everybody telling me how the Mets got two power arms in Zambrano and Benson only to realize after after watching them pitch that neither of them could break 91 on the gun. If Zambrano is throwing in the mid 90s again, it can't hurt to give him a shot.
   49. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:22 PM (#2237716)
Wait, $6m per for a pitcher whose last two seasons average out to 145 IP with a 92 ERA+ is a good deal?

One year, I suppose I can see it. Two years for a guy who is already 40?

(with an outside prayer that negotiation between Bosox and D-Mat fall apart, giving the Mets the winning bid)

Isn't it the case that if (assuming their bid is the chosen) the Red Sox have the winning bid, and they can't sign him, that he goes back to Japan for the year?
   50. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#2237722)
"Isn't it the case that if (assuming their bid is the chosen) the Red Sox have the winning bid, and they can't sign him, that he goes back to Japan for the year?"

If Bud determines that the offer was not made in good faith, he can give rights to the second-highest bidder, as I understand it.

"If Zambrano is throwing in the mid 90s again, it can't hurt to give him a shot."

What kind of shot? No guaranteed contract, etc. Fine. Plenty of non-entities get NRIs. But has anyone seen footage of Zambrano throwing mid-90s?
   51. Rob Base Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:35 PM (#2237729)
I am pretty sure Zambrano is off this team. When was the last time you saw him? It was when he ran off the field crying, wasn't it? He didn't show up on the bench, at least on camera, at all the rest of the season, including the playoffs. Pedro was always there. Sanchez was there. Where was Zambrano?
   52. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2237743)
To follow up on Tverik's point, I spent hours yesterday (or the day before) arguing whether or not Jaret Wright was a league average starter. If it's arguable that Jaret Wright is a league average starter, and if Jeff Suppan is actually a legitimate #2 on a playoff team, then Barry Zito deserves 15 million a year, and I hope the Yanks give it to him. Oh no, his ERA might only be 15% better then average. 220 innings a year and an ERA+ of 110-120 for 5 years, I hope the Yanks aren't dumb enough to let this guy get away, he's what the rotation has needed since at least 2003.
   53. Ravecc Posted: November 14, 2006 at 08:00 PM (#2237749)
Glavine had three choices last Friday: pick-up his option, file for free agency, or retire. That he filed for free agency doesn’t give any indication on what his preferences are. My guess is he’ll be back and he’ll get 300 in orange and blue.

Omar seems to be trying to bring back as much of the 2006 team as he can. Glavine, Valentin, El Duque and Bradford were his priorities. Doesn’t bode well for Cornelius that we haven’t heard anything about him.

If the Matsuzaka rumors are correct on both the Red Sox and Mets figures, then 90/6 for Zito isn't that bad. The Mets can’t go with a rotation of Duque and Maine and hope Pedro pitches again.
   54. Danny Posted: November 14, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#2237782)
It's just hard for me to wrap my brain around the "new math" where a slightly above league average innings eater is worth 15 million a year.

This is a joke. Zito finished 8th in the AL RA+ in 2006. Yes, his 116 ERA+ was tied for the second worst of his career, but it was still good enough for the 5th best VORP among AL pitchers. A guy who pitches 225 innings has 25% more vlaue than a guy who pitches 180 innings. Zito is well above average, and he's as durable as they come (never missed a start in his career).

I wonder which pitchers have out-VORPed Zito since he came into the league? Pedro and Randy, for sure. Hudson? Clemens?
   55. bibigon Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#2237808)
It's just hard for me to wrap my brain around the "new math" where a slightly above league average innings eater is worth 15 million a year.


Look, I don't believe in Zito at all. I don't buy this "he induces infield fly balls" stuff, and quoting his ERA+ or his VORP is downright silly consider the nature of the concerns being voiced about him. At the same time, with the move to the NL, Zito profiles as a 3.6 or so ERA guy, and he'll give you 220 innings of that. That has tremendous value, to the point where it may very well be worth $15M year in the current market, where Daisuke Matsuzka is worth $42M for a conversation.

It's not new math - it's exploding revenues. In the offseason after 2004, Derek Lowe signed 4 year deal at $9M per year, and he has been the best free agent signing of that offseason so far. Why? Because with the move the NL, he gives 3.6 ERA, and he does so at 220 innings a year.

So how does Zito compare to Lowe? Well, he's 3 years younger than Lowe was, and he has a significantly longer track record of health than Lowe does. Baseball revenues are up something like 35% since then - if we adjust Lowe's contract accordingly, then he's a $12.1M/year pitcher today. The extra $3M comes from:

1. The age
2. The track record
3. Lowe was coming off a year with a 5.42 ERA.

$15M/year for Zito sounds about right to me, and that is without believing in any of his special skills. It's on the high end, but it's reasonable.
   56. Rob Base Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:17 PM (#2237818)
You can call it silly, but Zito has virtually always bested his dERA by a significant margin. Could be chance, but maybe not. It's certainly not preposterous to suggest that he may be doing it on purpose.
   57. Danny Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:20 PM (#2237819)
Look, I don't believe in Zito at all. I don't buy this "he induces infield fly balls" stuff, and quoting his ERA+ or his VORP is downright silly consider the nature of the concerns being voiced about him. At the same time, with the move to the NL, Zito profiles as a 3.6 or so ERA guy, and he'll give you 220 innings of that.

I have no idea what you're trying to say here. The league ERA in the NL last year was 4.49, so a 3.60 ERA works out to an ERA+ of 125. So without giving reasoning you're saying he'll basically retain (or actually improve) his run prevention value (otherwise known as ERA+ and IP, or VORP). But it's downright silly to mention his past ERA+ and VORP?

Basically, if you think Zito will pitch to his FIP going forward, you should not be forecasting a 3.60 ERA in the NL. If you think his career thus far is evidence that he'll continue to outpitch his FIP (outside of Oakland's defense and park), then why not cite his past value stats?
   58. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:30 PM (#2237826)
SEASON    TEAM    OUTS    GB/FB    ERA    RA    FIP    XFIP
2000    Oak    278    0.82    2.72    2.91    3.88    
2001    Oak    643    0.85    3.49    3.86    3.68    
2002    Oak    688    0.74    2.75    3.10    4.11    
2003    Oak    695    0.89    3.30    3.81    4.22    
2004    Oak    639    0.85    4.48    4.90    4.65    5.04
2005    Oak    685    1.05    3.86    4.18    4.52    4.61
2006    Oak    663    0.89    3.83    4.03    4.94    5.46
        4291    0.87    3.55    3.90    4.32    
   59. sardonic Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#2237829)
Look, I don't believe in Zito at all. I don't buy this "he induces infield fly balls" stuff


What is there not to believe? This past season he was 5th in the AL in infield flies per fly balls, while he also posted an
The ability to achieve a certain rate of IF/F has been shown to be repeatable, not just for Zito, but for everyone and further 99% of infield flies get turned into outs.

Granted, those numbers aren't park adjusted, and it's likely that he gets some boost from the Colesium foul ground.
   60. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#2237830)
"Look, I don't believe in Zito at all."

Say what you will about his walk rate, bibigon, but it's pretty clear that Barry Zito exists.
   61. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#2237831)
Bloody live preview. It worked in there. Anyways, if it's hard to read, Zito has outperformed FIP every single year he's been in the majors, and has outperformed his xFIP every year THT has kept track of it.
   62. Danny Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:37 PM (#2237832)
Speaking of the A's (well, kinda)...at the press conference today for the new park, Wolff said that Fremont will be part of the new team name. Ugghh.
   63. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:38 PM (#2237833)
The Oakland Athletics of Fremont.
   64. 1k5v3L Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:39 PM (#2237834)
Rosenthal: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6169006

Orlando Hernandez didn't get a chance to pitch for the New York Mets in the postseason after suffering a torn calf muscle on the eve of Game 1 of the NLDS. But he might get another shot.

FOXSports.com has learned that Hernandez has agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal to return to the Mets.

Hernandez started the 2006 season in Arizona, where the 37-year-old struggled. But after being acquired by the Mets, he started 20 games for New York, going 9-7 with a 4.09 ERA.


El Duque's 2006 Splits b/w AZ and NY

FIP: 4.60 in AZ; 4.07 in NY
xFIP: 4.33 in AZ; 4.56 in NY

El Duque was the same pitcher in AZ and NY; he just had a much friendlier ballpark and better outfield defense. And he got lucky in NY while being unlucky in AZ.

$6m/year? $6m here and $6m there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.
   65. Danny Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:42 PM (#2237836)
I'm guessing it'll be the San Jose A's of Fremont. I wonder if they need the Giants' approval for that...
   66. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#2237840)
If they do something ludicrous like that, I'm jumping ship. I refuse to support such a lame franchise.
   67. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#2237842)
I like the fact that El Duque is comimg back. He pitched even better than his number indicate for the Mets because his numbers are marred by one bad start that he made against Philly were the Mets were forced to keep him in to take a beating because Pedro had gotten hurt the game before.

2y/6m is an amazing deal. 2y/12m is more than I'd like to have given him but it's not like it's anything that is going to prevent the Mets from doing bigger things. The market does look like it's going to be crazy as Mark Derosa just got a 3y/13m dollar deal and he can only hit lefties.
   68. Rob Base Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:48 PM (#2237843)
$6m/year? $6m here and $6m there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.

What's Jorge Julio going to get for his 80 innings of 5.00 era this year?
   69. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:49 PM (#2237845)
Wow, that's some horrible grammar/typing/typing in #67. My English teacher weeps.
   70. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#2237847)
A league-average pitcher with good K rate, the ability to swing between starting and relieving and a good clubhouse guy? So what if the Mets two FA signings this week average 47 years of age. I have to say, it seems like a solid pickup to me. They simply need to use him judiciously.
   71. bibigon Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:01 PM (#2237849)
You can call it silly, but Zito has virtually always bested his dERA by a significant margin. Could be chance, but maybe not. It's certainly not preposterous to suggest that he may be doing it on purpose.


Yes, and in a large sample, some guys will beat their expectation year after year on luck. Zito has Oakland's defense working for him too. I certainly don't think it's preposterous, I just don't think it's something that you should be counting on.

Basically, if you think Zito will pitch to his FIP going forward, you should not be forecasting a 3.60 ERA in the NL. If you think his career thus far is evidence that he'll continue to outpitch his FIP (outside of Oakland's defense and park), then why not cite his past value stats?


I do not believe Zito will pitch significantly past his FIP going forward(FIP does systematically underrate lefties however). What I do think is that the NL is sufficiently weaker than the move to the NL will cut that FIP/ERA drastically. It's pretty simple really.

What is there not to believe? This past season he was 5th in the AL in infield flies per fly balls, while he also posted an
The ability to achieve a certain rate of IF/F has been shown to be repeatable, not just for Zito, but for everyone and further 99% of infield flies get turned into outs.


It's been shown that IF/F rate beyond what we'd expect from GB/FB ratios are repeatable? By whom? Got a link?
   72. Dan Turkenkopf Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:06 PM (#2237853)
The market does look like it's going to be crazy as Mark Derosa just got a 3y/13m dollar deal and he can only hit lefties.


Even funnier is that he's supposed to be the Cubs' starting 2B. This from the team that had 6 2B on their roster at one point last season.
   73. Kyle S Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:08 PM (#2237855)
Even if IF/F is heavily regressed toward the mean, he still allows lots of FB, so he'll allow more IF than you'd expect. So his BABIP is lower than you'd expect, yadda yadda yadda. Maybe he pitches better with guys on base, like glavine does.
   74. Benji Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:10 PM (#2237856)
I hate being a pessimist during The Omar Era, but I think Zito will be a major disappointment as a Met. 27 HRs with Oakland as home park? He might give up that many just on the road in the NL, with bandboxes galore. And the walks and HBPs on base in front of the homers? Omar, just say no.
   75. Danny Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:10 PM (#2237857)
I do not believe Zito will pitch significantly past his FIP going forward(FIP does systematically underrate lefties however). What I do think is that the NL is sufficiently weaker than the move to the NL will cut that FIP/ERA drastically. It's pretty simple really.

If Zito's ERA equaled his FIP the last three years, these would have been his ERA+s:

2004: 100
2005: 96
2006: 92

So you think a league average pitcher, at best, would put a 125 ERA+ in the NL? That's absurd.
   76. bibigon Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:12 PM (#2237859)
If Zito's ERA equaled his FIP the last three years, these would have been his ERA+s:


Danny, you need to cut a good chunk off his FIP because of the lefty issue. This is something that DIPS 2.0 did, but that FIP does not.

MGL's research on the AL-NL differential however does indicate a massive difference in the quality of the hitting between the two leagues.
   77. bibigon Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:14 PM (#2237861)
Even if IF/F is heavily regressed toward the mean, he still allows lots of FB, so he'll allow more IF than you'd expect. So his BABIP is lower than you'd expect


His BABIP is lower, but he'll allow more extra base hits. The two largely balance out.
   78. HowardMegdal Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#2237862)
So this is, by most accounts, a likely 120-125 ERA+ pitcher under 30 who has never missed a start? Just so we're clear on how upset Met fans should be when they sign him...
   79. Danny Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:17 PM (#2237863)
Maybe he pitches better with guys on base, like glavine does.

The easiest way (I know how) to look at this is with ERC (component ERA). Zito's ERC was lower than his actual ERA every year from 2001-2005, except for 2002. In 2006, his ERA was 3.83, but his ERC was 4.51. So I'd say Zito's outperforming FIP never had anything to do with pitching better with runners on base until 2006. In 2006, he allowed a .772 OPS with no one on, .736 with runners on, and .722 w/RISP.
   80. sasquatch83 Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:22 PM (#2237868)
" The market does look like it's going to be crazy as Mark Derosa just got a 3y/13m dollar deal and he can only hit lefties.
....
Even funnier is that he's supposed to be the Cubs' starting 2B. This from the team that had 6 2B on their roster at one point last season."

The Cubs would be better off playing DeRosa as part of a platoon with Jacque Jones in right field.
   81. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:29 PM (#2237873)
Say what you will about his walk rate, bibigon, but it's pretty clear that Barry Zito exists.

This is my favorite post today. Good one, Howard.
   82. Danny Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2237879)
Danny, you need to cut a good chunk off his FIP because of the lefty issue. This is something that DIPS 2.0 did, but that FIP does not.

MGL's research on the AL-NL differential however does indicate a massive difference in the quality of the hitting between the two leagues.

Do you have precise numbers? I just can't believe they're enough to change a 96 ERA+ over the last 3 seasons based on FIP into a 125 ERA+ in the NL. What ERA+ would you project for him in the AL?
   83. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: November 14, 2006 at 10:32 PM (#2237880)
Meh. At $6MM per, I like the El Duque deal a lot less.
   84. cseadog Posted: November 15, 2006 at 12:16 AM (#2237942)
Do people really think that Zito's actual performance over his career is a fluke or that he had a lucky year in 2006? Or that Gil Meche would be a good signing and Jaret Wright is awful Look at the numbers: they're the same guy, complete with histories of arm problems. Sign Meche. But getting Wright is the sign that the O's are worst run franchise in the game.
   85. Danny Posted: November 15, 2006 at 12:41 AM (#2237956)
It's been shown that IF/F rate beyond what we'd expect from GB/FB ratios are repeatable? By whom? Got a link?

I don't know if it's been "shown," but there's some evidence of it. From MGL's Revisiting DIPS:
The number of IF pop flies and to some extent OF pop flies, as a percentage of all non-GB BIP, are somewhat a unique function of the pitcher as well. In other words, good pitchers may tend to get more pop files than bad pitchers, as a percentage of their total non-ground ball balls in play.

Studes followed up on it a bit here.
   86. Sam M. Posted: November 15, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#2237963)
Or that Gil Meche would be a good signing and Jaret Wright is awful Look at the numbers: they're the same guy, complete with histories of arm problems. Sign Meche. But getting Wright is the sign that the O's are worst run franchise in the game.

Well, to be fair, the critics of the Wright trade slammed the Orioles not so much for the acquisition, but for giving up a reasonably good young pitcher to do so. They wouldn't have been nearly so huffy about it if the O's had just signed Wright to help eat some innings while the team tries to rebuild.

And all teams are not in the same position: it could make sense for one team to sign a Meche, or a Wright, but not another. I defended the Orioles' trade for Wright, but you can make a case he's pretty irrelevant to what they should be trying to do right now. A team that is trying to contend, OTOH, but needs a decently-priced guy for the middle of the rotation who might pay dividends . . . well, a Meche or a Wright might be as good a gamble as anyone.
   87. shoewizard Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2237965)
Great thread guys....alot has been presented here.

Please note the "new math" line was an attempt at humour, (I suck), and the emphasis on slightly above average was to get a reaction and elicit response. I guess I was successful.

I agree that the innings value is understated in the way I presented info, and his track record of always beating FIP throughout his career was overlooked by me.

Nobody mentioned anything about the difference between THT and BB-Ref ERA+ numbers. How did they come up with such different numbers?

For me....Zito is just walking too many guys,and his k rate is dropping, and it's a warning sign. But I guess as crazy as the market it, a team like the Mets can afford to risk the 5/75. maybe they can't risk NOT signing him.
   88. Шĥy Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:05 AM (#2237967)
From John Delcos of the Journal News:

Glavine is feeling homesick already ... he doesn't know what he wants to do.

Minaya said he'd still look at the second base market, with the idea of using Valentin in left.

[Minaya] Said proposals have been made to reliever Chad Bradford and left fielder Cliff Floyd.
   89. Rob Base Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#2237968)

Minaya said he'd still look at the second base market, with the idea of using Valentin in left.


?????

Wait a minute, he's going to take a plus plus defender who can hit well enough for a premium infield position, at which there are barely any attractive free agents this offseason, and move him to Left Field where he is a below average hitter and blocks our best prospect.

SWEET!
   90. Rob Base Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:10 AM (#2237969)
I mean Jesus, even if he DOES sign the one premium second baseman available this offseason - Soriano - we'd be MUCHMUCH better off with Soriano in Left and Valentin and second. I'm going to be sick.
   91. 1k5v3L Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:13 AM (#2237973)
My guess, Loretta at 2B, with Valentin/Woodward platoon in LF.
   92. philly Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#2237980)
I wonder which pitchers have out-VORPed Zito since he came into the league? Pedro and Randy, for sure. Hudson? Clemens?

Here are the Top 10 in VORP from 2002-2007. Zito ranks 6th in part because he's thrown more innings - sometimes a lot more - than his peers.

[/code]
Pitcher    VORP     IP
Santana       323.6   960
Halladay   281.9  1000
Oswalt       278.1  1059.7
Martinez   278.0   952.7
Hudson       256.7  1077.3
Zito       256.3  1123.3
Clemens       253.5   930.6
Schmidt       237.6  1003.3
Schilling  235.3   951.3
C Zambrano 225.7   969.3
[code] 


Randy Johnson is at 11th with 218.9. This 5 year period includes a couple poor years for him.
   93. Danny Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:24 AM (#2237983)
Nobody mentioned anything about the difference between THT and BB-Ref ERA+ numbers. How did they come up with such different numbers?

I would guess they use different park factors.
   94. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:26 AM (#2237986)
51 million???? holy ####.
   95. Raskolnikov Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:30 AM (#2237990)
I mean Jesus, even if he DOES sign the one premium second baseman available this offseason - Soriano - we'd be MUCHMUCH better off with Soriano in Left and Valentin and second. I'm going to be sick.

I'm telling ya, Rob. Bill Hall for Milledge and Heilman. Hall at 2B. Valentin - general utility guy.

Erick Aybar or Eric Patterson would be fine as well.
   96. Raskolnikov Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:35 AM (#2237994)
51 million???? holy ####.

Henry has gone Abramovich or gone insane. Maybe both. There is no way to make 51 million fit into a reasonable contract.

I think the Bosox want to make sure the Yanks are not the no.2 bidders, and then pull out.

51 million?!!!!!!
   97. depletion Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:43 AM (#2237998)
Sam. This is nuts. Humber has never pitched in the big leagues, and didn't pitch much in the minors last year. I think Oliver and John will be fine, but there is no way both Pelfrey and Humber are in the rotation at the start of the year. Maybe in August.
   98. Шĥy Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:44 AM (#2237999)
The Valentin deal looks much worse now. It is 3.8 mil for 2007 and an option for 2008 4.3 mil vests if he gets 400 plate appearances.
   99. Sam M. Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:46 AM (#2238001)
I think the Bosox want to make sure the Yanks are not the no.2 bidders, and then pull out.

IF that were true, then their plan will backfire. Because it certainly appears, from all the rumors, that the Yankees were NOT the # 2 bidders, and the best way to keep Matsuzaka away from them would have been to let him sign with the Mets. If they blow it, he'll be a FA next year, and odds are he'll end up a Yankee. By blocking him for a year, they probably end up screwing themselves thereafter.

But you're right about one thing: it is very difficult to see how $51M to Seibu can make sense combined with a contract that Boras and Matsuzaka will accept.
   100. rr Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#2238004)
51 million?!!!!!!

I know. It's scary. That only leaves $49M for the Player Development Machine.
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