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Thursday, March 21, 2013

YESNetwork: Eduardo Nunez: I will prove people wrong

I gotta check…but I’m pretty sure this is a reprint of an early 60’s TSN article on Hector Lopez.

Eduardo Nunez is determined to prove a lot of people, namely those who cringe and hold their collective breath each time a ball is hit in his direction, completely wrong. For all the attention the New York Yankees have garnered about their injuries and age throughout Spring Training, Nunez is focused to show that youth can serve, and serve well.

“It’s hard when you know you can do better than that, and you’re not doing it,” Nunez said. “I hear a lot of things. People blame you. ‘You [stink].’ ‘You can’t do this.’ That’s hard, but everything that I hear—comments about myself—they make me stronger. I tell myself, I work hard and I (will) prove them wrong. The people that talked about me bad, they’re wrong.”

...“I think you saw some inconsistencies in (his throwing) last year,” Girardi said. “That could’ve been (because) we moved him all over the place. We’ve been pretty adamant about keeping him at shortstop. We weren’t exactly sure where Derek was going to be. Our belief was that he was still going to be back, but you have to protect yourself.”

Despite making his third error of the spring at shortstop while filling in for Jeter on Wednesday, Nunez started a 6-4-3 double play on the next batter, and got a hit and drove in a run, in the Yankees’ 4-0 win over the Boston Red Sox. He made it clear afterwards that he’s not the next Derek Jeter—“There will be nobody like Derek Jeter,” Nunez said—but he’s the next Eduardo Nunez and one that time will show is new and improved.

“I’ll do my best,’ Nunez said.

Repoz Posted: March 21, 2013 at 07:16 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Steve Treder Posted: March 21, 2013 at 07:31 PM (#4393884)
Best Hector Lopez comment ever was from the Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading, and Bubble Gum Book: "Lopez approached ground balls like a man killing a snake with a stick."
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:05 PM (#4393910)
Except that in Lopez's case, he would have hit his foot with the stick rather than the snake. I'll never forget this game in 1959 when he booted two ground balls and made a wild throw, one each in the 7th, 8th, and 9th inning. The game was in mid-July, and it brought his error total for the year up to 23.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:16 PM (#4393918)
Best Hector Lopez comment ever was from the Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading, and Bubble Gum Book: "Lopez approached ground balls like a man killing a snake with a stick."


That entire comment is classic. My favorite bit:

Hector Lopez was not just a bad fielder for a third baseman. In fact, Hector Lopez was not just a bad fielder for a baseball player. Hector Lopez was, when every factor has been taken into consideration, a bad fielder for a human being.
   4. Select Storage Device Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4393933)
‘You [stink].’


We still can't print "suck"?
   5. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4393941)
I guess the Yankees decided to insert him as part of a joke to troll more saber inclined folks screaming "anyone can field better than Jeter"
   6. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4393966)
I ain't counting my Yankee-hating chicks before they hatch. There were gasps of horror at Soriano's defense. I recall (but might be wrong) that there were gasps of horror at Cano's defense. There have been long-running gasps of horror at Jeter's defense.

Knowing the Yanks, Nunez will go out there and hit 300/360/490 as a terrible fielding SS/3B and they will win the WS.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4393981)
The thing with Nunez is he makes errors on routine plays/throws. It's pretty much classic mental lapses.

If he could get his head on straight, he could turn into a plus defender quickly.

If there's anything to sports psychology, this would be a good chance to try it.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4393989)
The thing with Nunez is he makes errors on routine plays/throws. It's pretty much classic mental lapses.

If he could get his head on straight, he could turn into a plus defender quickly.


That's a mighty big "if", but I agree with the proposition. In any case it beats any likely alternatives until one of Jeter's rookie year gift baskets reaches signing age.
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4393990)
YESNetwork: Eduardo Nunez: I will prove people wrong


He will, but not in the way he thinks. People bizarrely think he can hit. He can't. He will prove them wrong.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4393996)
He will, but not in the way he thinks. People bizarrely think he can hit. He can't. He will prove them wrong.

If he was an above average defensive SS, he can hit. His MLB line to date is only a little below average for a SS.
   11. Danny Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:05 PM (#4394006)
His MLB line to date is only a little below average for a SS.

Yes, his .701 OPS in 491 PA in MLB over the past three years isn't that bad. I can see why you'd want to ignore the fact that he's put up .676 OPS in 678 PA in AAA over that same span, but you shouldn't. This is the same bad argument you make for Cervelli.
   12. RollingWave Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4394013)
I don't know, some of the lead glove issue don't seem to be really fixable IMHO. this isn't a Robbie Cano type of mental lapses, this is ball go right through his glove , something you don't even expect A-Baller to do type of thing.

I actually have better faith in Cervelli to be honest. assuming health of course (that's been a problem for Cervelli though.) he's at least had a more significant stretch in the minor that showed ability to get on base. if your going to be a bad hitter, at least be one that can not make too many outs. Nunez's decent years in the minors were almost all based on completely unsustainable BABIPs.

I'd hazard a guess that with the luck the Yankees usually have in this sort of situation, their catcher might turn out to be ok, and they'll find some insane ways of producing wins (like CMW riding to the rescue and win them a boat load of games or something.) But Nunez.. really.... I have never seen a guy who's gotten this much chances in the big league (and isn't a huge booper) have a glove this bad. yeah he makes up for it some with his range, but you know... if Jeter doesn't get to a ball to his left that's 1 bases, if you throw it away that's often 2.



   13. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4394019)
#3 - Wow that is a great comment. Thanks for sharing.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:44 PM (#4394029)
FWIW, BP projects Nunez to hit .258 with 5 HR and 22 SB in 362 PA this year. For a .238 TAv. You can live with that if he's a really good defensive SS. Not so much if he's not.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4394040)
The Yanks' current lineup looks rough with the injuries.

BP's TAv projections for 2013. Lineup ordered by how they will start the season:

C: Cervelli .243; Stewart .236
1B: Rivera .258; Teixeira .296
2B: Cano .293
3B: Youkilis .296; ARod .288
SS: Jeter .258; Nunez .238
LF: ?
RF: Ichiro: .254
CF: Gardner: .252; GrandyMan: .280
DH: Hafner .272

I actually have no clue who is starting out in left until Granderson comes back. Or who the DH vs LHP is.

They are starting the season with black holes at C, 1B, SS (if Jeter can't answer the bell), LF, and RF. That is rough.
   16. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 22, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4394050)
#15,

2B: Cano .293, ARod .288, Granderson


Except you are forgetting the 50 game suspension they are supposedly serving at some point this season.

   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 22, 2013 at 07:33 AM (#4394068)
The Yanks' current lineup looks rough with the injuries.

BP's TAv projections for 2013. Lineup ordered by how they will start the season:

C: Cervelli .243; Stewart .236
1B: Rivera .258; Teixeira .296
2B: Cano .293
3B: Youkilis .296; ARod .288
SS: Jeter .258; Nunez .238
LF: ?
RF: Ichiro: .254
CF: Gardner: .252; GrandyMan: .280
DH: Hafner .272

I actually have no clue who is starting out in left until Granderson comes back. Or who the DH vs LHP is.


They could cut the 83-year-old Hector Lopez in half, stick his head and shoulders in left and the rest of him at DH, and likely do better than anyone else they're likely to find.

They are starting the season with black holes at C, 1B, SS (if Jeter can't answer the bell), LF, and RF. That is rough.

Yes, but since they're THE EVIL EMPIRE, they'll still find a way win 85 to 90 games, even if they have to kidnap every umpire's firstborn to do it. We just know that because....well, because.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 22, 2013 at 07:34 AM (#4394069)
2B: Cano .293, ARod .288, Granderson


Except you are forgetting the 50 game suspension they are supposedly serving at some point this season.

Calling Horace Clarke! Calling Jerry Kenney!
   19. Blastin Posted: March 22, 2013 at 07:38 AM (#4394072)
Boesch can hit enough to have a good month. The question is if these people come back fully healthy on time or not.
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 08:06 AM (#4394074)
Ah, Boesch. Projects to a .259 TAv.
   21. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 22, 2013 at 08:36 AM (#4394083)
2B: Cano .293
3B: Youkilis .296;


Weird that they have Youkilis outhitting Cano. Even on a rate basis that seems odd, all of Fangraphs projection systems (granted, only two of them are useful) give Cano a healthy edge in the rate department.

They are starting the season with black holes at C, 1B, SS (if Jeter can't answer the bell), LF, and RF. That is rough.

What's especially rough is that many of these black holes don't even bring strong gloves to the table. Rivera and Nunez are likely going to be pretty bad defensively at their positions. And, to my knowledge, none of the remaining LF candidates are likely to even be average out there. So they'll be rolling out total zeroes at three positions as opposed to guys who can contribute in at least one aspect.

I am warmer on Nunez than I could possibly justify looking at his career numbers. I guess he's always looked better in the Majors than he has played in the minors and that has made a lasting impression. The Juan Rivera thing is inexcusable though. Talk about a lack of imagination
   22. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 08:38 AM (#4394084)
BP's TAv projections for 2013.


How does TAv compare to OPS+? Does it at all?

   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4394121)
Yes, his .701 OPS in 491 PA in MLB over the past three years isn't that bad. I can see why you'd want to ignore the fact that he's put up .676 OPS in 678 PA in AAA over that same span, but you shouldn't. This is the same bad argument you make for Cervelli.

His bad AAA numbers are driven by 172 lousy PAs lasr year. In his full minor league seasons he put up a 97 wRC+ at AAA, and a 116 at AA.

Nunez's minor league statistics are completely consistent with a 90 wRC+ MLB bat.

Not to mention that guys do outperform their minor league numbers. Hell, everyone the Cardinals promotes does.
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4394202)
How does TAv compare to OPS+? Does it at all?


Well, TAv is a different scale from OPS+, and... well, I was going to say it includes SB/CS, but I see from BP's glossary that it doesn't.

Highlighting the elements I find particularly notable:

True Average incorporates aspects that other linear weights-based metrics ignore. Reaching base on an error and situational hitting are included; meanwhile, strikeouts and bunts are treated as slightly more and less damaging outs than normal. The baseline for an average player is not meant to portray what a typical player has done, but rather what a typical player would do if given similar opportunities. That means adjustments made for parks and league quality. True Average's adjustments go beyond applying a blanket modifier-players who play more home games than road games will see that reflected in their adjustments. Unlike its predecessor, Equivalent Average, True Average does not consider baserunning or basestealing.


Ugh. I thought TAv was broadly similar to EqA, but it simply isn't. Some things are better, but other things are worse. I'm don't like including situational hitting, and I certainly don't like not including SB/CS -- that's one of the main reasons I've cited EqA in the past. I'll have to think more about the home vs. road games thing.

Until I look at this more I'm going to stop citing to it.
   25. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4394210)
What do people think of BP's fielding metric FRAA?

FRAA

The biggest difference between Fielding Runs Above Average and similar defensive metrics comes in the data and philosophy used. Whereas other metrics use zone-based fielding data, Fielding Runs Above Average ignores that data due to the numerous biases present. Fielding Runs Above Average instead focuses on play-by-play data, taking a step back and focusing on the number of plays made compared to the average number of plays made by a player at said position. The pitcher's groundball tendencies, batter handedness, park, and base-out state all go into figuring out how many plays an average player at a position would make.

   26. Ron J2 Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4394235)
#3 And yet there's Jim Bouton's comments on Lopez. "What a pair of hands"

Mind you, he was talking about Lopez as an outfielder. Most specifically an outfielder who made several plays to bail Bouton out.
   27. Ron J2 Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4394239)
#24 As I'm sure you're aware you can get EQA from Clay Davenport's site. Like you I prefer it to BP's current offering.
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4394240)
I don't know, some of the lead glove issue don't seem to be really fixable IMHO. this isn't a Robbie Cano type of mental lapses, this is ball go right through his glove , something you don't even expect A-Baller to do type of thing.


My memory is completely different. I don't know how to look this up, but I believe that he makes most of his errors on throws. He gets to, and gloves, a lot of stuff. But he uncorks these throws that are nowhere close to his target, particularly if he has a lot of time to make them. As a longtime Yankee watcher, I'm reminded of Chuck Knoblauch (which is not a reassuring thing).

Has there been any announcement of where Nunez will play? Is he the Opening Day shortstop, to hold down the job until Jeter returns?

Also, three errors in three spring weeks makes me nervous. It'll be an interesting time to be a Yankee fan.
   29. Ron J2 Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4394249)
#25 It's YARF (yet another range factor) system. The primary difference between it and totalzone is that Sean regresses the results and BP doesn't. I'd be extremely distrustful of single very good or bad results in FRAA.

If the results are consistent and extreme it's possible that FRAA will capture the true impact better than a more conservative metric. For most players it just won't matter.
   30. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4394253)
#24 As I'm sure you're aware you can get EQA from Clay Davenport's site. Like you I prefer it to BP's current offering.


I knew Clay had a site but I had figured BP suited my purposes until now.

I don't read the articles at BP anymore so I was slow to the uptake on the change from EqA to TAv. I first noticed the change maybe a year ago, and simply assumed it was merely a label change, or at least mostly so. I see now that it wasn't. Really, only the scale is the same.
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4394259)
Is Clay no longer affiliated with BP?

Against all odds there are two Clay D's in the baseball analysis game...

FIP is a component ERA inspired by the work of Voros McCracken on defense-indepdendent pitching statistics, but has become more widely used because of the ease of computation - it requires only four easily-found box score stats, uses only basic arithmetic operations and has four easily-memorized constants. It was conceived of by both Tom Tango and Clay Dreslough, the latter of who called it Defense-Independent Component ERA.
   32. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4394274)
BTW - 20 is very funny and well done, assuming it is a MASH reference. Meant to mention yesterday and forgot.
   33. Ron J2 Posted: March 22, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4394356)
#31 Seems to have (more or less) left in 2011. From blog posts at his site:

As my title indicates, this is a place for me to keep some statistics I happen to care about. These are statistics that I’ve run at Baseball Prospectus for many years, but BP has decided to discontinue them – or at least transform into something I no longer recognize. Baseball Prospectus was originally founded on the premise that, since no one was publishing the baseball book we wanted to read, we would print one ourselves. In that same spirit, since BP is not publishing the stats I want to see, the way I want to see them, I’ll put them up myself.


and

I’m Clay Davenport, one of the founders of Baseball Prospectus. I still have a (looser than before) affiliation with BP, so don’t expect to see me using this site to dish dirt or run anybody into the ground. I’m old enough and stubborn enough to have my own way of doing things, and some of those things are contrary to the way BP wants to do things, which is why I wound up out here.

   34. Dan Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4394534)
What do people think of BP's fielding metric FRAA?


I'm a fan of the new FRAA. I think Colin Wyers did a very good job laying out the biases in the zone data and it's interesting to have an advanced metric that doesn't rely on that data. I would compare it more with WOWY than with total zone personally, though I guess you could file them all like Ron did as range factor based in a broad sense.

I prefer wRC+ to tAV, but that's mostly because I prefer the scale it uses. I wouldn't just write off tAV because it's different from EqA; Wyers is a sharp guy who knows what he's doing. Dropping SB runs from the linear weight rate stats seems to be pretty universal now since most sources are also now providing base running runs as a separate statistic now, which makes more sense than folding them in with hitting.
   35. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4394547)
Wyers is a sharp guy who knows what he's doing. Dropping SB runs from the linear weight rate stats seems to be pretty universal now since most sources are also now providing base running runs as a separate statistic now, which makes more sense than folding them in with hitting.


I agree Colin is sharp. So is Clay, so that doesn't inform the issue for me. I have certain preferences for things that I want to see in the stats I use, which I've formed over many years of consideration and discussion. EqA is closer to that. And TAv isn't at all the same thing.

If I want to see situational hitting or SB/CS incorporated into the metric, I have every faith that any of these guys can do that. But if I object to including X or not including Y, that's a huge problem with the stat for me.

With respect to SB/CS, I like to see that folded in with hitting because it's all part of offense. (*) I don't want to go around adding up different components of offense myself; that's why I like EqA.

(*) I wouldn't mind seeing non-SB baserunning folded in too, now that it appears there's near universal agreement that we know how to account for that.
   36. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4394558)
Weird that they have Youkilis outhitting Cano. Even on a rate basis that seems odd, all of Fangraphs projection systems (granted, only two of them are useful) give Cano a healthy edge in the rate department.


This also struck me as odd. Heck, I'm not convinced Youk isn't near cooked - his stats have the (admittedly mostly unscientific) look for a guy about to drive right over the cliff.

Cano, OTOH, well, Cowboy Popup, you were right all those years ago.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: March 22, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4394617)
Cano worse than Youk and only a smidgen better than ARod probably tells us all we need to know that Tav.

FRAA was pretty terrible back in the old days. The "fancier" stats I think arose in part in reaction to it. The old version considered Chipper Jones about the worst thing to ever walk the earth but when people looked at it in detail, it really was the case that the Braves just gave up very few GB in that direction and that he was pretty average on the ones hit that way. It's hard to overcome that sort of reputation, they maybe should have changed the name if they substantially changed the methodology.

There's an obvious attraction to focusing on plays made ... but the "fancy" measures do that too. But for plays made to be useful, you've got to measure opportunities. Sounds like FRAA is using an adjusted mean imputation for opportunities which, on average over time, should work OK but in any given season is probably not great. The zone systems will almost certainly capture more of that variation even if they introduce a little bias.
   38. rfloh Posted: March 22, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4394655)
I'm not a sports psychologist, but from what little training I've had in sports psychology, now is definitely NOT the time to try it, if his issues with D are psychological. Shortly before the season is going to start is not the time to try to sports psychological intervfentions. The time to try it was at the end of last season.

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