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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tango: Is Willie Bloomquist immortal?

The Great Mariano to The Best Willie...

ub

Willie Bloomquist also has a career WAR close to zero (*), playing for a sh!tload of teams, played all over the field.  He entered the league at age 24, and is still playing at age 34.  Other than his 38-PA rookie season, his observed wOBA has been within 1 standard deviation of his career wOBA in every single season.  His z-Score is 0.50, when we’d expect him to be no less than 1.00, and more if we consider that his talent should change. His wRC+ has been at 69 to 82 in every season but the rookie season of 38 PA and a 97.  Given that he has so few plate appearances each year, one would think that he might get lucky or unlucky at some point.  Like Relaford probably was.

...It’s like he follows a hot streak wtih a cold streak, and vice versa.  That “law of averages” that doesn’t actually exist, seems to exist with Willie.

Willie Bloomquist is as immortal as Mariano Rivera, his performance never wavering, just always there doing his thing.  While everyone else ages around them, eventually getting to be worse than them, Bloomquist is always there, providing that line that tells a ballplayer whether he should be in MLB or not.

If it is possible to counteract the effects of aging by sheer will, then Bloomquist (and Rivera) probably provide the two examples of that fact.

 

Repoz Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. jacjacatk Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4208685)
How do you not have enough 1B depth that you give Bloomquist 11 starts at 1B (2004, SEA)?
   2. bookbook Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4208728)
He's better than Smoak
   3. Boxkutter Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4208729)
How is three teams in ten years now considered 'playing for a sh!tload of teams'?
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4208744)
How is three teams in ten years now considered 'playing for a sh!tload of teams'?


Four, but your point stands. This isn't exactly Stairs-Dotel territory.

   5. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4208746)
How do you not have enough 1B depth that you give Bloomquist 11 starts at 1B (2004, SEA)?


That's nothing. The 2008 Mariners gave Miguel Cairo 37 starts at 1B. He was a 33-year-old with a career OPS+ of 75, and hit 249/316/330.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4208748)
That's nothing. The 2008 Mariners gave Miguel Cairo 37 starts at 1B. He was a 33-year-old with a career OPS+ of 75, and hit 249/316/330.

Hey, that was much better than Richie Sexson against right handed pitching.

The 2008 Mariners were terrible.
   7. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4208750)
Nobody will be as terrible as the Houston Astros of the past two+ months.
   8. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4208753)
How is three teams in ten years now considered 'playing for a sh!tload of teams'?


Shitload refers to the type of team that would employ Willie, not the number.
   9.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4208757)
How is three teams in ten years now considered 'playing for a sh!tload of teams'?


I was going to make some comment including the AAA teams he's played for, but since being called up in 2002 he was never sent back down. That blows my mind.
   10. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4208774)
I was casting around BBRef looking at players who had established themselves as terrible hitters before getting 10+ starts at 1B, and saw that Luis Sojo got 12 starts at 1B for the '98 Yankees. This blows my mind.
   11. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4208785)
Given that he has so few plate appearances each year, one would think that he might get lucky or unlucky at some point.

Nah, it you blow you blow. Rafael Belliard had 15 seasons of 20 or more PAs and only broke a 60 OPS+ once. The other lesson is that if you are a nice enough guy (and Rafy seemed quite pleasant), with a reputation for playing good defense, you can play forever. The World Champion '95 Braves gave Belliard nearly 200 PAs to hit .222/.255/.244. The next year they threw him another 150 PAs to hit .169/.179/.218 (for a nifty OPS+ of 2). And then they employed him for another two seasons. Ok, mostly as a mascot, but still.

Of course it was all worth it when this happened. If anyone has a video, you'll be my hero.
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4208800)
When Lance Berkman got hurt for a little while in 2009, the Astros gave 10+ starts to both the 35-year-old Darin Erstad and the 36-year-old Chris Coste. The latter was not exactly a terrible hitter but he was also not someone you would expect to start seven straight games at first base.
   13. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4208814)
The worst established utility player at 1B I found was John Boccabella, who had a career OPS+ of 62 and started 50 games at first for the Expos from 1970-72. But that was an expansion club in years 2-4, so it doesn't fully count. Otherwise it might be Tomas Perez, who got 15 starts for the 2005 Phillies as a 246/301/359 hitter (to that point), over 1600+ PAs in the height of the sillyball era. They also gave Ramon E. Martinez 9 starts that year.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4208821)
Nah, it you blow you blow.


I think you missed the point, which is that Bloomquist, despite all of the small samples, has put up numbers of zombie-like consistency.
   15. flournoy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4209584)
Wow, I hadn't realized that Belliard's homer came in John LeRoy's one big league game.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4209603)
Worst OPS+, since 2000 for a player that played at least 1 game at first base (min. 100 PAs)

1. Mike Benjamin PIT 2002: 2
2. Miguel Cairo CIN 2012: 5
3. Brandon Wood LAA 2010: 6
4. Daryle Ward LAD 2003: 9
5. Mark Sweeney LAD 2008: 13
6. Damian Rolls TBR 2004: 17
7. Keith Osik PIT 2002: 20
8. Eric Bruntlett PHI 2009: 22
9. John Flaherty NYY 2005: 23
10.Ryan Minor BAL 2001: 23

If you expand it to require ten games at first base

1. Miguel Cairo CIN 2012: 5
2. Daryle Ward LAD 2003: 9
3. Brent Lillibridge CHW/BOS/CLE 2012: 36
4. Chris Gimenez CLE 2009: 36
5. Jeff Liefer MTL/TBD 2003: 36
6. Jay Bell NYM 2003: 39
7. Brant Brown FLA/CHC 2000: 39
8. Rich Aurilia SFG 2009: 40
9. Randall Simon PIT/TBD 2004: 40
10.Terry Tiffee MIN 2005: 42

Other "first basemen" with at least ten starts:

Joe McEwing
Curtis Thigpen
Tomas Perez
Mark Loretta
Jose Vizcaino
Adam Rosales
Felipe Crespo
Shane Halter
Jose Hernandez
Matt Downs
Jason Wood
Andy Phillips
Luke Hughes
Denny Hocking
Alex Arias
Don Kelly

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