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Monday, August 27, 2012

The Bill James Mailbag

Bill. Deal. May I?

Are you allowed to comment on THE trade?

Answered: 8/27/2012

Well. . . “allowed”.  Nobody tells me I can’t comment on the trade, but as a practical matter I’m pretty limited in this case.  I’ll say two things:

1)  I am amazed at the extent to which large numbers of people who have commented on the trade are 20 feet off base and leaning the wrong way, and

2)  What I would say to them is, “You’re over-thinking it.”  It’s not that hard.

Repoz Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4219063)
How was this not the lead in?

There is immense value in having a player who can play two or three different positions.
But. ...give me a Kevin Youkilis or a Ben Zobrist anytime; I'll even take a Willie Bloomquist. Those guys will get you through the season.

   2. Delorians Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4219088)

"Is Davey Johnson the most underrated manager in baseball history?"

'I don't rate managers.'

Why does he accept/publish the question just to state that he is going to 'pass'?
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4219091)
'I don't rate managers.'

Other than when he gets paid to write a book about them.
   4. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4219092)
In the vain hope that people will stop asking him stupid questions?
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4219096)

"Is Davey Johnson the most underrated manager in baseball history?"

'I don't rate managers.'

Why does he accept/publish the question just to state that he is going to 'pass'?


Perhaps he doesn't "rate" them, but he did write a book a couple decades ago in which he discussed them, so one would think he'd have an intelligent comment.

At any rate, I'm starting to think that managers, in their current incarnation, are almost completely interchangeable. Almost all of them have "closers" and push-button bullpens. They're doing the same thing with their starting rotations (e.g., pitch limits and no four-man rotation). Lineup selection doesn't matter much and some of them aren't that good at it anyway. The most important thing a manager can do is play the right players, and with some notable exceptions like with Brandon Belt who has had to fight his way into the lineup, managers are generally better at this - again, probably aided from above.

In Boston we just saw a manager run out of town because he "lost the clubhouse," and it appears that his replacement never had the clubhouse. If Bobby Valentine couldn't come in and calm down that situation, what else does he bring to the table? Terry Collins was somehow winning earlier with a mediocre team and was said to have been a "winning" manager - but all of a sudden his team started losing games by the bushel. Showalter is a curious case, but there's no indication that "win a lot of close games" is any sort of actual strategy as opposed to luck.

The new defensive alignment stuff is interesting, but I suspect that's largely dictated from above.

Managers have become largely irrelevant, it seems to me.
   6. Ron J2 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4219097)
#2 If forced to guess I'd say it's because he gets a lot of questions of that nature.

He's written an awful lot about managers and literally for decades has tried to shift the conversation away from how good or bad a manager is to the specific skills a manager brings to the table and how these fit with an organization's needs.
   7. Ron J2 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4219100)
#3 He tried very hard to keep the discussion about how good or bad a manager is/was to a minimum.
   8. Sweatpants Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4219102)
There is immense value in having a player who can play two or three different positions.
The Braves just finished a four-game series with the Giants in which Martin Prado started at a different position (LF, SS, 3B, 2B) in each of the four games.
   9. Guapo Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4219110)
'I don't rate managers.'


Bill James never should have written that book.

Hey, it works! Kinda.
   10. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4219115)
Managers have become largely irrelevant, it seems to me.


Two words: Dusty Baker.
   11. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4219118)
Managers have become largely irrelevant, it seems to me.

Two words: Dusty Baker.


I don't know if this is supposed to be a data point in favor or or against the thesis.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4219126)
James:

3) I know that other people have studied this, and, since I don't really keep current with other people's research, it is possible that some of them have studied it very successfully already,


Has he explained why he doesn't keep current? Not enough time? Not enough interest? More interested in a narrow subset of issues than in all of them? Upset that Win Shares did not become widely accepted or used? (He goes on in this to use Win Shares. I use WAR when I'd rather use VORP because WAR is on b-r. Some of this is convenience.)

On Strasburg:

Well. . .I think it is reasonable, yes. There are three issues. There is a belief--which I gather is founded on bad sabermetrics, I don't know--that a pitcher's injury risk explodes if he increases his innings pitched in a season by more than 30 a year.


I agree that there is no evidence for this theory.

We can get by that, based on the belief that the original research doesn't stand up to scrutiny--but then there are two more issues. Strasburg is coming back from Tommie John, and he is still very young. You're asking him to do A LOT for a pitcher one year away from Tommie John, and you're exposing a 23, 24-year-old pitcher to a full workload.


...And no evidence for this one. (Hilarious that he doesn't know how to spell Tommy John's name, especially after all of these years discussing the surgery.)

   13. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4219140)
There is immense value in having a player who can play two or three different positions.
But. ...give me a Kevin Youkilis or a Ben Zobrist anytime; I'll even take a Willie Bloomquist. Those guys will get you through the season.


That was my question, and while I appreciated and agreed with his answer, it didn't really answer the question as to whether this was the best way for Maddon to use Zobrist.

Bill seems to do this a lot: He'll answer someone's question not by answering the question but by talking about whatever else he wants to talk about. I can't tell if he's just reading the questions very quickly and carelessly, or if he's just using the questions as jumping-off points to talk about something else.
   14. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4219160)
From what I've gathered in my quarter century of following baseball:

1) A "bad" manager can certainly hurt a team.

2) A "good" manager doesn't seem to be much different than non-bad managers, other than perhaps luck.

3) Players can be an unreliable judge of managerial quality (this is true of almost all employees and managers in practically every field)

4) A "bad" manager cannot be easily identified a priori based on interviews with the media, playing career, or other characteristics.

5) Success of a manager is context dependent, such that a "bad" manager for Team A may prove to be a "non-bad" manager for Team B. Performance often confounds expectations.


Johnson is an interesting case. Given the onfield success of his teams, he is certainly not a bad manager. His managerial career includes both some very strong "pros" as well as "cons." He won a World Series in 1986, but among other things he overused Gooden (and turned a blind eye to rampant substance abuse that likely shortened the careers of several stars, including Gooden). Players generally liked him (some exceptions) and his clubs generally out-performed expectations, with the notable exception of his two years with the Dodgers. His tenure with the Reds is difficult to evaluate because it ended due to a conflict with the owner (and it's hard to hold not getting along with Marge Schott against him) and he finished first in the two strike-shortened seasons of 1994 and 1995. Similarly, he was fired/resigned from the Orioles the same day that he won AL Manager of the Year because of a feud with Peter Angelos.

I don't know that he'd be the first one that I'd call to interview if he were unemployed and I were a baseball owner. But he's certainly not the worst manager that you could hire.
   15. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4219167)
Pretty much since 2000 or so I've been advocating Davey Johnson for manager of the Cubs. It never happened and I think the Cubs are worse off because of it.
   16. Kurt Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4219169)
#2 If forced to guess I'd say it's because he gets a lot of questions of that nature.

He's written an awful lot about managers and literally for decades has tried to shift the conversation away from how good or bad a manager is to the specific skills a manager brings to the table and how these fit with an organization's needs.


I think it was more a complaint about "underrated/overrated", and how can you decide who's the most underrated if you don't know who's doing the original rating or what it is. He's commented on that before.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4219178)
From what I've gathered in my quarter century of following baseball:



1) Agree.
2) Not so much. I think there are good managers. I don't think luck is the only reason behind success.
3) Agree. I'd extend it to say fans can be absolutely terrible judges, as they tend to focus on the small things of little import (who pinch hits, small-ball tendencies) over the big picture stuff that is far more crucial (maximizing what you get from the whole roster, pitching staff usage, bullpen usage) to managerial success.
4) Agree.
5) Definitely agree (and I think it fits along with No. 2).

There probably aren't many undeniably good (or great) managers, those guys who can simply, to borrow from the comment about Bear Bryant, "take your'n and beat his'n or take his'n and beat your'n." In recent years, TLR and Bobby Cox would qualify, but not a whole lot of others.

However, I think there are numerous guys who have limited but well-defined strengths that can be applied to a given situation and add value to the team. The most obvious example of this was a guy like Billy Martin. Throw him into the dugout and your team is going to get better. Leave him too long, and he will become a drag on your efforts.

As for Davey, I think his worst problem was in picking owners/GMs to work under. If he avoids Marge, Angelos and the Sheriff and instead finds a Nats-like situation following his departure from NY, he may have had a better looking career. I think he could have been up there with TLR and Bobby as one of the good ones.



   18. Don Malcolm Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4219179)
Bill seems to do this a lot: He'll answer someone's question not by answering the question but by talking about whatever else he wants to talk about. I can't tell if he's just reading the questions very quickly and carelessly, or if he's just using the questions as jumping-off points to talk about something else.

He uses the same displacement technique in his writings, and it's been markedly more frequent when he is writing about baseball history than "times more current." Until he started answering people's questions (or not), at any rate...
   19. Guapo Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4219185)
That was my question, and while I appreciated and agreed with his answer, it didn't really answer the question as to whether this was the best way for Maddon to use Zobrist.


I wish there was an elegant way to "borrow" the questions from Bill James' mailbag and post them here so that Primates could provide their answers. I bet crowdsourcing would be more illuminating than BJ approximately 100% of the time.
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4219194)
Part of the problem is that there's no real way to evaluate a manager, since so many factors go into the W-L record of a team and teams could deviate from their "expected" W-L records (adjusted for injury) by 5-10 games by sheer luck.

In the late 90s protecting pitchers was thought to be a real issue with managers that could tell them apart (e.g., when Wood got hurt), but 15 years later nobody really has any clue, after all this time, how to protect pitchers from getting hurt. (Not even Rizzo, and note that Strasburg was handled carefully and still broke.)

What is there to really separate managers, especially now that the front office has more control (we saw this with the Joba Rules which were simply dictated from above), and most especially since managers aren't really doing very many things that would distinguish themselves from the pack. They're all doing essentially the same things. They are so risk averse as a group as to make themselves interchangeable.

And I remain completely unconvinced that "managing the clubhouse" has a damn to do with winning baseball games, with the exception of when you're so bad at it that you cause a talented player like Kevin Youkilis to be run out of town rather than being able to deal with him.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4219195)
6-4-3

i will state that a huge red flag of a manager is if they are in conflict with the team's best player(s). unless the player has clearly strayed outside the behavioral norms a manager must build a working bond with the star(s).

what held back the brewers is that ned yost lost the faith of his players in 2007 and despite both prince and ryan's efforts to be supportive they couldn't ignore their manager panicking and becoming exasperated at such a response. ken macha then lost both guys in about the first few months of his tenure and spent the remaining time trying to regain their trust which did not happen. ron isn't any type of tactical wizard but he built rapport with the team's best players and as a result the brewers continue to hustle while their bullpen implodes.

this has been the key to dusty's success. he has done an impressive job of making those connections and using his star players to get others to act accordingly with brandon phillips being the most obvious example. phillips had his first big year before dusty hit town but it was dusty who went on a campaign to tell everyone this guy was awesome, it was dusty who batted him cleanup and it was dusty who made phillips the brand of reds baseball. that is good managing.
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4219204)
speaking of youkilis i saw this the other day and while i have seen some extreme splits this one really struck me

youkilis OPS at home in 2012: 1.004

youkilis OPS on road in 2012: .587
   23. Curse of the Andino Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4219302)
Showalter is a curious case, but there's no indication that "win a lot of close games" is any sort of actual strategy as opposed to luck.


I'll be the first to admit Baltimore has won this year with smoke, mirrors and a heck of a bullpen, but Showalter really has changed a culture of losing. Except for Tejada's first season in Baltimore, when Melvin Mora, newly-made father of 6, went nuts and the duo sparked B'More to a 3rd-place finish, Baltimore always packed it in in the second half during its sub-.500 streak. One year, they finished 4-32. After Showalter arrived on the scene, those second-half collapses, mercifully, came to an end.

It isn't all Showalter, Adam Jones has emerged as a leader on the field, never complaining about batting behind guys with an OBP of .260 or something. But you gotta credit a lot of that improvement to Buck, and how much more respect he commanded compared to Dave Trembley.
   24. Mark S. is bored Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4219343)
The Braves just finished a four-game series with the Giants in which Martin Prado started at a different position (LF, SS, 3B, 2B) in each of the four games.
Prado started at four positions in each game? Is that legal?
   25. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4219382)
That's the worst kind of snark - the wrong kind. There is absolutely nothing wrong or even misleading about 'Prado started at a different position in each of the four games.' #### off.

I wish there was an elegant way to "borrow" the questions from Bill James' mailbag and post them here so that Primates could provide their answers. I bet crowdsourcing would be more illuminating than BJ approximately 100% of the time.

These threads usually do a pretty good job of providing interesting discussion for at least one of the questions posed.


The one that bugs me in this case, is, naturally, the one quoted in TFE. As unenlightening as 'I don't rate managers' while still putting forward cryptic non-answers all intended to create the impression that he's ten times smarter than his readers.
   26. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4219400)
multi-position guys: I give players a subjective "bump" in value for this; anyone else?
   27. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4219404)
That's the worst kind of snark - the wrong kind. There is absolutely nothing wrong or even misleading about 'Prado started at a different position in each of the four games.' #### off.


Agreed, Mark should have wrote "is that even legal?" even funnier and punchier.

Still he was funny, you were pissy.

The one that bugs me in this case, is, naturally, the one quoted in TFE. As unenlightening as 'I don't rate managers' while still putting forward cryptic non-answers all intended to create the impression that he's ten times smarter than his readers.


He doesn't have to do much to give that impression. If you don't like the meal the chef makes, eat elsewhere, James has earned the right to make the menu however he wants.
   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4219418)
der k

the guy who i think has made the biggest impact as a multi-position player in the last 10 years is mark derosa in 2008. he was good to very good defensively and hit well.

   29. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4219451)
multi-position guys: I give players a subjective "bump" in value for this; anyone else?

Likewise. The amount of the value boost seems like something that one should be able to nail down, actually. It seems like t should be worth at least the value of having the platoon advantage in every at bat at one spot in the order, because it could easily be used to produce that - in Zobrist's case, if the Rays play him at second when there's a righty on the mound and play a left-handed hitter in right, and play him in right when the opponent pitches a lefty and use a right-handed hitter at second.
   30. tjm1 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4219453)
the guy who i think has made the biggest impact as a multi-position player in the last 10 years is mark derosa in 2008. he was good to very good defensively and hit well.


Sounds like a good choice, but who's the greatest of all time? Off the top of my head, I'd vote for Howard Johnson or Tony Phillips - but probably Johnson. Phillips mostly moved around the field to give his managers lineup flexibility and cover for injuries. That's valuable. Johnson routinely switched positions in the middles of games. For a long stretch, you can add up his games at 3B and his games at SS, and his games in the OF, and get more than 162. He'd essentially allow you to pinch hit and do an offense-defense substitution at the same time. He was never a great fielder at any position, but he could scrape by at shortstop and had a couple 30-30 seasons. He had a short prime, but he was a legitimately great player for a few years.
   31. God Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4219458)
Honus.
   32. GuyM Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4219467)
Rose.

Position/Games
OF 1327
1B 939
3B 634
2B 628
   33. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4219470)
Other good candidates: Pete Rose; George Davis; Gil MacDougald.

Apparently Cespedes can play a little shortstop, which if the A's are totally completely out of it at the end of the season they need to make that happen.

EDIT: 1/3 bottle of greenies to GuyM.
   34. God Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4219475)
Buck Ewing and King Kelly kick ass in the Hall of Fame Strat-o-Matic set for precisely this reason.
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4219477)
Still he was funny, you were pissy.

Pretending to misunderstand something, because it's not perfectly grammatical, even though it would be impossible for someone to really misunderstand it, isn't funny. I know because my dad has done it about once a week since 1965.
   36. tjm1 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4219478)
Rose and Wagner - my brain cramp. Although, Rose only had a couple seasons where he played significant numbers of games at different positions. His switches were mostly season to season.
   37. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4219480)
If memory serves, there's a Primate who has examined this topic before.
   38. tjm1 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4219503)
If memory serves, there's a Primate who has examined this topic before.


Interesting, but on the article misses out on some of the good multi-position players who only played two positions in any given season (like HoJo).
   39. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4219523)
the guy who i think has made the biggest impact as a multi-position player in the last 10 years is mark derosa in 2008. he was good to very good defensively and hit well.


Jamey Carroll has been doing this for a long time.
   40. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4219536)
Chone Figgins did this during the "badly paid and extremely good" phase of his career, but has mostly been relegated to 3B and LF during the "well-paid and extremely bad" phase of his career.
   41. Kurt Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4219541)
Pretending to misunderstand something, because it's not perfectly grammatical


There's nothing wrong at all with the grammar in "Martin Prado started at a different position in each of the four games". It's fine, and correct.
   42. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4219548)
Yes. I'll embrace 'pissy' as long as we can agree that [24] wasn't funny.

The 2nd half of [27] I actually agree with. One should know what to expect when one clicks through to a Bill James Mailbag. Which is why I didn't initially find fault with 'I don't rate managers.' He can say what he wants. The tone of 'it's not that hard' still bugs me though. Seems extra consdescending, even for him. That being said, again, I won't click through if I don't think I'll like what I get when I do.
   43. nick swisher hygiene Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4219558)
#41--yup. "a different position." no problem.

The alternate phrasing "Prado started at four different positions in each of the four games" would create the potential ambiguity that the dude in #24 is trying to locate. The utterance still wouldn't actually be ambiguous to a normal, minimally charitable human listener--but at least the technical justification for Grammar ############# would be present.

#24, it looks to me very much like you simply misread the phrase. How bout fessin up? Grammar ########## have a distressing tendency not to apologize when they get caught...
   44. Dale Sams Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4219568)
Yes. I'll embrace 'pissy' as long as we can agree that [24] wasn't funny.


That dog don't hunt.
   45. The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4219573)
#30: Not sure what you're talking about with HoJo, who:

a) barely played OF until the disastrous attempt to move him there full-time in 1992, and
b) was a terrible defensive SS. Hell, he was a bad enough 3B.

As James has pointed out, someone like Tony Phillips who is a legitimately good defensive player everywhere is pretty extraordinary. (Such a player would most likely come up as a SS.) If someone can be not-horrible at several positions, well, that can have value too, but it's more of a "fallback" than a "weapon", I think.

Zobrist is quite amazing, really. Mark DeRosa's 2008 was mentioned... it was pretty great, 285/376/481, played 149 games all over the place... it was worth 3.5 oWAR. Zobrist is at 3.9 with a month left to go this season, and he had 5.5 in 2011, and 5.8 in 2009. Counting 2012, he has been top 7 in the league in oWAR in three of the last four years... and I don't think it's too controversial that he's also a good defensive 2B. (And now he's playing SS, by the way.) It wouldn't be at all difficult to argue that he has been the Rays' MVP in each of those three of the last four years. He obviously is this season.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: August 28, 2012 at 01:41 AM (#4219813)
Multi-position guys ...

Every team has these. They're mainly called backup SS ... but most of those guys will fill in at 2B and 3B and not uncommonly at 1B or the OF when they need to. And, yes, every team needs one of these to get through a season, especially in these days of short benches.

The "problem" with Willie Bloomquist isn't Willie Bloomquist. I'd be OK with Bloomquist being on the Cubs. The "problem" with Willie Bloomquist is the occasional manager giving him way too much playing time or GMs overpaying him for replacement level production. But, yes, if you don't have a Bloomquist, you're going to have trouble covering for all the short-term injuries and in-game replacements.

The distinction of course is those that can hit (without embarrassing themselves in the field) and those that can't. Yes, very valuable. And HW and I will always have a man crush on DeRosa 2008. (Don Money and Cesar Tovar are ones that haven't been mentioend yet I don't think).

A little rain on the parade -- there have probably been lots of guys who could have done this but it was decided it was easier/better to leave them in one spot. I have little doubt that guys like Rolen, Nettles or Sandberg (see Money) could have handled several positions if asked to. I'm of the opinion that almost any competent IF (esp 2B and SS) can be a competent OF or 1B defensively (but not the reverse).

Back to Bloomquist -- he really is kind of amazing. From 2003 to 2010, he never played fewer than 6 positions in a season and sometimes 7. His fielding stats table at b-r is just a mess. He's still never played C.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: August 28, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4219816)
On Zobrist -- and this is true of DeRosa's peak as well ...

what's so odd about their cases is that they've fallen into a situation where it actually makes sense to "platoon" a guy in 2B and RF. That just doesn't happen very often. If you've got a competent defensive 2B who hits like an average or better RF, there's almost no situation where it wouldn't make sense to just play him at 2B all the time. (See earlier comment regarding Rolen et al). The Rays would almost certainly have been better off all this time if they'd have a full-time, good-hitting RF. It's their peculiar (and probably not quite intentional) mix of RF/2B/SS/DH and LHB/RHB that leads to it making sense.

If Floyd, Soriano and ARam are all healthy and productive in 2007, DeRosa is primarily just a 2B; if Kosuke had kept hitting and Soriano stayed healthy in 2008, it's probably Fontenot who becomes the super-sub at 2B/3B/LF while DeRosa is just the full-time 2B. In both cases that's pretty clearly what the Cubs planned.

At one level of course you can count on having enough injuries, etc. to make at least some use of such a player's versatility so there's some "design" involved. But it is a little odd to need that versatility for several seasons in a row. Basically, if Matt Joyce could hit lefties, Zobrist would and should be a full-time 2B.
   48. tjm1 Posted: August 28, 2012 at 02:06 AM (#4219817)
Back to Bloomquist -- he really is kind of amazing. From 2003 to 2010, he never played fewer than 6 positions in a season and sometimes 7. His fielding stats table at b-r is just a mess. He's still never played C.


Denny Hocking in 2000 played at least 10 games at every position but pitcher and catcher. I think that's the only time it has ever been done.
   49. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 28, 2012 at 08:08 AM (#4219870)
i am not going to squabble because it's clear two different things are being discussed in that i was speaking to derosa's 2008 being the best of those types of players in recent past. not suggesting that derosa has been the best of that type overall.

derosa also had a 3 run from 2006-2008 that exceeded any other sustained effort by multi-position guys of recent memory.

but derosa's stuff was stuffed into those 3 seasons. outside of that he was just a guy
   50. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 28, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4219905)
Denny Hocking in 2000 played at least 10 games at every position but pitcher and catcher. I think that's the only time it has ever been done.


It is. Joe McEwing (2002), Jolbert Cabrera (2001), and Cesar Tovar (1968) each played 10 or more games at six different positions in a season. Tovar was an early prototype of the super-utility player.

-- MWE

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