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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, April 05, 2012

2012 ZiPS Projections, Final Edition

This is the final ZiPS release looking ahead at the 2012 season. These were finalized before the A's-Mariners games, so there's not "cheating" by including the 2 days of statistics into the model. The .zip file contains a full spreadsheet for Excel 2010 and CSV files for the batters and pitchers.

In addition to the usual projected things, I've now included the platoon splits and estimated projection for defensive runs.

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors - many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2012. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future. A projection indicating how any given player would play in the majors rather than simply a blank line for many of the prospects and journeymen listed is less information and projecting how good someone is, rather than how much someone will play as a result of external decisions, is more consistent with application of the strengths of a computer. ZiPS isn't bad at projecting total *professional* playing time as there's a relationship between past playing time and future playing time, but there's a lot of specific decision-making and external events that affect this number.

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.19 ERA and the NL having a 3.96 ERA.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Sean Forman Posted: July 05, 2001 at 08:06 PM (#551491)
This was another setup message by me. I just hope that Dan can muster a little better effort than this was.
   2. Colin Posted: July 06, 2001 at 01:42 PM (#551496)
Free Erubiel Durazo!

Seriously, though, it's sort of a scary time to be a Braves fan. Schuerholz is under pressure to make a big trade, and there aren't many decent prospects left in the system. The guy who thought a half season of Ashby to be worth Bruce Chen and Bret Boone and Mike Remlinger to be worth Denny Neagle AND Michael Tucker AND Rob Bell. Yikes!
   3. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: July 06, 2001 at 01:51 PM (#551497)
Dammit Colin, I try not to think of those things while at work.

As for Alcantara, give the Sox Wes Helms and be done with it. I'll deal with the jujitsu if it gets that bat into the lineup.
   4. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 06, 2001 at 05:10 PM (#551499)
Atlanta just completed a trade with Cleveland. I think another one is in order. The Braves should send Kevin Millwood packing, in exchange for Marty Cordova.

Millwood has not been good (or healthy) for quite a while. But he is just what the Indians need: a front-line pitcher. Cordova is underutilized in the over-stocked Cleveland line-up; yet in Atlanta he would be the best corner outfielder on the Brave's team.

That's what makes for a win-win trade.
   5. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 06, 2001 at 05:47 PM (#551500)
By the way.... I know that Millwood has been on the DL for almost 2 months.... and that he is now pitching on a rehab assignment in the minors. But I'm actually not sure if a player on the DL can be traded. Is that permitted? If not, the Indians can wait a few weeks until Millwood is ready to go. (I expect that he will pass a physical, too.)
   6. Voros McCracken Posted: July 07, 2001 at 02:24 AM (#551513)
I'm afraid DeShields might wind up being White's replacement in Leftfield.

Now granted that Roosevelt Brown is making another strong charge for the Ken Phelps all-star team and this would appear to be a good way to get him some at bats, that simply isn't going to happen.
   7. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 08, 2001 at 06:08 PM (#551503)
All of this comes down to what value you think Kevin Millwood has in the future. If you think the Kevin Millwood of the next 3-4 years will be the Millwood of 1998 and 1999, then, of course, the trade I suggest is insane. However, I am not convinced that Millwood will return to that form. Muy guess is that he will improve, from a below average starter to an average one.

Here are Millwood's stats since 1999:

   8. Colin Posted: July 09, 2001 at 06:06 PM (#551505)
Mac - I wouldn't put Cordova for Millwood past Schuerholz, though the relative (for them) lack of depth in pitching the Braves face as the rotation ages may stop that. As for the rest ofthe Braves farm system, beyond Betemit and Giles do they have any real offensive prospects at all? Certainly not at 1B and LF, where the team is lacking, nor at catcher, where they may need to replace Lopez if he leaves as a free agent. And the OF is the most serious concern, because if AOL won't ante up for Andruw, the team is SOL out there.
   9. Craig Calcaterra Posted: July 10, 2001 at 06:06 PM (#551508)
Pokey? C'mon.

I can't imagine the Braves not giving Mark DeRosa a chance to lose the job before making a panic trade for a shortstop. Sure, he's only had 50 at bats, but DeRosa has gotten on base, showed a bit of gap power, and played a respectible middle infield. At Richmond, he walked more and had more doubles than Marcus Giles in fewer at bats. He may not be a long term solution, but the Braves would have been far worse off if they lost any other position player than Furcal.

As for trading Milwood, I would only do it for a known-quantity bat that makes less than BJ freaking Surhoff.
   10. Jay Jaffe Posted: July 11, 2001 at 07:09 PM (#551519)
From the Those Who Forget History Are Doomed To Repeat It Department: I noticed a few years ago that Hayes has had two tours of duty with three different teams, the Giants, Yanks, and Phillies. I can see some GM slapping himself on the forehead: "Oh, it's that Charlie Hayes? Damn, we had this guy before and he stank."

If the Rockies, Brewers or Pirates have GMs with similarly short memories, Bad Bad Charlie may yet resurface.
   11. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 11, 2001 at 11:18 PM (#551529)
For many weeks now, Giants' fans have been hoping that Brian Sabean could trade for a bat. But, alas, unlike the Cubs, the Giants really have very little minor league talent, so making a trade for McGriff was perhaps not possible.

As far as the Braves go, I don't think that their cupboard is as bare as San Francisco's is. However, Atlanta in 2001 is not a talent-rich organization like it was just a few years ago. Looking at the Braves' AA and AAA teams, they have nothing that Tampa Bay could have wanted for Fred McGriff.

And hence, the Chicago Cubs' very deep minor league talent pool paid off in making this trade. It's the kind of deal the Yankees could have made a year or two ago, back when they had some talent in their system.
   12. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 11, 2001 at 11:38 PM (#551523)
Dan -

Based on what you wrote - "the Padres have the rest of the year of Gwynn, Darr, Trammell, Kotsay, and Colangelo in the outfield" - I assume you think that they will soon part company with Rickey Henderson.

It might be a good idea to let Rickey go. But based on the numbers Henderson has put up, the Padres are really no better off (this year) with Mike Darr, Bubba Trammell or Mike Colangelo taking Rickey's place in the line-up.

And if they let Rickey go for Emil Brown, they are losing a sub-par defensive player for a better one; but they would obviously get much less offensive production from Brown than from Henderson.
   13. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 12, 2001 at 12:00 AM (#551510)

((Marty Cordova turned 32 today.))

((As a major league from the date of his birth up to opening day of this season, he was a .274/.346/.442 hitting wing outfielder.))

I don't disagree with what you wrote about Marty Cordova. However, I think the story of Luis Gonzalez shows that some guys figure things out rather late.

Today, Luis Gonzalez (who I think is 34) is challenging for a home run title, perhaps an all-time record. He's not just one of the better hitters in the National League; he's a sure-thing starter in the All-Star game.

Yet, a few years ago, most people thought of Luis Gonzalez in the same way you described Marty Cordova. Mediocre, getting old, probably never will be very good.

When Gonzalez was 29, the player in history he was most comparable with was Tito Francona, who finished his career as a .272 avg, .343 obp, .403 slg hitter. Francona retired with 125 home runs. When Gonzalez was 30, he was most comparable to Dan Ford, who hit .270, .324, .427, with 121 home runs in his career.

My guess remains that he is now coming into his own as a hitter. But obviously, I could be wrong and Marty may just be another Dan Ford.
   14. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 12, 2001 at 12:55 AM (#551511)
Perhaps a point in favor of Cordova's improvement being for real is the fact that he's had quite the slew of non-serious but hampering injuries for the last 5 years which could very well have stunted his offensive growth. It's not like 338/379/535 for half a season is horribly out of line with the 309/371/478 he hit in 1996.

Tthe various injuries sure have slowed Cordova down quite a bit, though, haven't they? I never thought of him as fast, but he was quick enough to cover centerfield passably at one point.
   15. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 13, 2001 at 02:31 AM (#551536)
Chuck seems to have ridden that outstanding start he had against the A's last year. Was it a complete game shut out?
   16. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 13, 2001 at 06:30 AM (#551521)
Dan, if they didn't have Batista, they probably would go after Hayes. Except, well, that would be too cheap. They seem pretty desperate to give away Sidney Ponson.
   17. kurt Posted: July 13, 2001 at 02:36 PM (#551522)
Dan, nobody will ever top Bill James' "idea of long range planning" re Steinbrenner so don't even try!
   18. James Fraser Posted: July 15, 2001 at 11:38 PM (#551540)
Somehow it doesn't strike me as being in the same league as Ripken or Gwynn's announcements...
   19. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 16, 2001 at 04:29 AM (#551541)
Pitchers everywhere are mourning...
   20. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: July 16, 2001 at 03:45 PM (#551538)
Dan, you sound bitter. Let it go, man. Let it go.
   21. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: July 18, 2001 at 03:18 PM (#551543)
Early word is that Rico's retirement makes Jimmy Rollins the clear favorite for "Phillie Team MVP". Brogna's work through the All-Star Break had muddied the waters for that award.
   22. Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2001 at 10:40 PM (#551546)
Don't forget about Juan Uribe.
   23. Darren Posted: July 23, 2001 at 03:21 PM (#551548)
These Reds moves mean Adam Dunn will be getting some major league at bats. Do you have MLEs for him?

How do you calculate them? Is there an easily available formula somewhere?
   24. Ron Johnson Posted: July 24, 2001 at 04:58 PM (#551550)
Bill James' initial MLE formula is in the public domain, but
   25. Cris E Posted: July 25, 2001 at 06:12 PM (#551561)
Ed: Well said.

Much of what money forces KC to do gets done worse than what others have done in the same position: MN (Knoblauch), SEA (Griffey, Johnson) and even MON (many) have gotten good milage from guys on their way out of town. (That isn't to say that they are actually forced to do anything, but my point is when you feel backed into a corner you can still act in a productive, non-panic way.)
   26. David Jones Posted: July 25, 2001 at 07:40 PM (#551576)
This sure doesn't look like a good trade for the Royals. Neifi Perez? Boy, another Royal who can't hit for average OR power OR on base percentage. Dye is probably not that great of a hitter, but he's light years ahead of Perez (imagine what Dye would do in Coors Field) and a good defensive outfielder to boot. The Royals just found a younger version of Rey Sanchez. And they didn't get a single prospect. Great.
   27. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: July 25, 2001 at 08:23 PM (#551578)
Billy Beane always surprises at the deadline, and the best general manager in baseball comes up with another ballsy deal. It's wonderful to be a fan of a "small-market" team, and not have to deal with the "we can't afford to compete" crap. Anyway, it'll be fun to watch the best defensive outfield in all the bigs for the rest of this season.
   28. Steve Posted: July 25, 2001 at 09:28 PM (#551579)
I hope you aren't suggesting that Oakland has the 'best defensive outfield in all the bigs.'
   29. Eugene Freedman Posted: July 25, 2001 at 11:29 PM (#551581)
One could also argue that the Royals are really the Kansas City A's, the AAAA affiliate of the Athletics organization, trading over the past three years Jeremy Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Jermaine Dye for Blake Stein, Roberto Hernandez, and Neifi Perez. Nice job KC. Don't claim it's all about money because RoFato costs more than Damon by $1M this season and $3M more than Dye next year. Nice money management.

Here's the official transaction from "SS Neifi Perez traded to Kansas City Royals. Royals sent OF Jermaine Dye to Oakland A's. A's sent INF Jose Ortiz, OF Mario Encarnacion and LHP Todd Belitz to Colorado."

So, Dye wasn't traded to Colorado after all. The Royals can't even get the transaction right. For one reason or another, they are just trying to hide the fact that they are giving all of their good players to Oakland. Here's how they reported it. "The Royals announce the trade of outfielder Jermaine Dye to the Colorado Rockies for shortstop Neifi Perez." How could both the Rockies and Royals transactions be correct. I believe the Royals are engaging in spin control and the full transaction is the former.
   30. Robert Dudek Posted: July 26, 2001 at 12:40 PM (#551584)
I was worried that the Yanks would get either Giambi or Dye and now that that's not going to happen - whew - what a relief.
   31. Robert Dudek Posted: July 26, 2001 at 01:05 PM (#551563)
' This demonstates once again that the "problem" in MLB isn't a revenue gap, but what Baseball Prospectus calls an "intelligence gap". '


Why can't both of them be a problem ? Citing the example of the abysmal Royals and sharp Padres makes a case for the idea that a good GM can make a difference. So what - everyone knows that already.

The issue is to what extent do win/loss records over a period of years relect a lack of a level playing field versus good/bad luck and smart/dumb front offices.

There have always been smart and dumb front offices and there has always been good and bad luck, but the revenue gap has widened to historic proportions (at least in the last 25 years). Payroll disparity is greater now than it has been in the last 25 years.

The causes of real life problems are seldom either/or. The Great Bill James (sorry if this moniker offends anyone, but to people like me you can never give him enough credit) wrote a short piece on how so many people wish to explain complicated phenomena in the simplest possible way. They are always looking for that either/or switch.

The performance of clubs is a reflection of an uneven playing field, luck and front office acumen. Precisely what the proportions are seems to me to be unknowable. I do know one thing - if we judge a playing field as level if there is a lot of parity in revenue, then we are farther away from it then we're been in the last 25 years.

This was discussed ad nauseum in that monster thread which I enjoyed so much (thanks David, Chris, Andy and Stu once again for your contributions to that).

You probably didn't intend it, but using the word "demonstate" in your absolutist statement is a gross distotion of the truth.
   32. Cris E Posted: July 26, 2001 at 04:46 PM (#551569)
From the Rangers' point of view this might be about pre-filling the AA and AAA squads to get ready for the great White Flag Call Up of 01. They lose the geezers and bring up the kids at 3b, 2b, 1b and just start the schoolin' now. Anything they get for Andres is better than cutting him straightout both from a PR and financial standpoint.

From the Giants' angle I see nothing. The darkness is great...
   33. Robert Dudek Posted: July 26, 2001 at 06:37 PM (#551587)
CTM - you've scared me.

Your rationale for the trade makes sense, but losing Giambi's bat would be a big blow to the hopes of the A's this year, which is why they ultimately won't do it. I've also read that Cashman is absolutely unwilling to part with Nick the Stick - even resisting pressure from the boss.

We could argue this, but Nick is not the best prospect in the minor leagues. Sean Burroughs is:

1) Burroughs is likely to play 3B at least for the first few years, making him potentially more valuable than Johnson defensively.

2) He is younger by two years and at this stage of development that is huge.

3) Nick has not hit for a lot of power, though he will probably develop some as he ages, and his average is way down. All those walks are nice, but Nick gets hit a lot, which suggests to me that he might be a higher injury risk. Burroughs doesn't hit for power, but neither did Bagwell at his age. Power is an old-players skill and given that Burroughs hits plenty of doubles, over time he is very likely to significantly increase his power.
   34. Cris E Posted: July 27, 2001 at 04:09 PM (#551572)
Won't garlic and sunshine keep Hayes at bay? Oh wait, that's vampires. How does the washed up 1b thing work?
   35. Robert Dudek Posted: July 28, 2001 at 12:52 PM (#551590)
I don't see Mario Encarnacion as anything more than a marginal prospect.

He hasn't moved quickly through the system and is getting old for prospect status (has yet to play in the majors. He hasn't improved his K/W ratio and his power is nothing special. Doesn't have the speed to play CF.

I see him as a Geronimo Berroa with less power.

Side comment: I think it was on yesterday's Red Sox radio broadcast that the following joke was delivered.

"You remember Geronimo Berroa. He's the guy who when he jumps out of an airplane, yells "Meeeee!"
   36. Eugene Posted: July 28, 2001 at 05:55 PM (#551601)
Rob Neyer always points out that players would make the worst GMs, and Griffey is no different. If he thinks the all-out Pokey Reese improves the chances of his team making the World Series, by a portion of the 55% increase he attributes to those three players, he knows nothing about baseball more than how to play.

If those 3 players truly add up to an additional 55% of making the World Series then Graves and Young must equal about an additional 60% chance in and of themselves. Todd Walker is a significant improvement, despite his defensive weaknesses. Not that Walker is all that great shakes at the plate, but he's probably worth an additional 25 runs a year. Reese's defensive improvement doesn't prevent that many, I can't imagine.

Dmitri Young is quite the average player. Dealing him, considering the great depth they have in the OF, won't hurt in the least.

I agree with Griffey on this one... the Reds should keep Danny Graves.
   37. Greg Franklin Posted: July 28, 2001 at 06:45 PM (#551607)
Dec 18 1997
   38. Robert Dudek Posted: July 28, 2001 at 08:25 PM (#551608)
This trade is a shock to me.

To give up on someone like Chen for a reliever ? I don't understand.
   39. . . . . . . Posted: July 28, 2001 at 09:16 PM (#551611)
this Adam Walker fellow who was also in the deal is another example of a "minor league finesse pitcher" who "dont excite scouts too much". However, anyone with 91-IP 50-H 81-K 28-BB in Double-A is doing something right. Maybe he turns out to be nothing (especially considering his recent elbow problems.....beware the elbow "sprain"), but he's certainly got a shot to surprise people. Anyone know how a guy who's only reputed to throw 86-88 mph has such a good K rate? Deceptive delivery?
   40. . . . . . . Posted: July 28, 2001 at 09:22 PM (#551612)
Interestingly, Fletcher Bates played briefly on the Reading Philles with Adam Walker this season.
   41. Darren Posted: July 29, 2001 at 12:47 AM (#551602)
Griffey's got to be quite frustrated after taking a cheap contract, that his team continues to deal guys who make very little for financial reasons.

Have you ever said anything like, "The whole world is against me." That's all that Griffey did, but he used percentages, which set off some alarm bells around here.
   42. jwb Posted: July 29, 2001 at 02:33 AM (#551595)
In Chicago, it was reported that the player to be named later is SS Jason Smith, .233/.270/.425 at AAA Iowa, turned 24 on 7/24. Strikes out in 1/3 of his ABs. OBA is a little off, I don't have Sac or HBP data, but you get the point: Bad. He was DLed after the trade was initially announced. He's the guy if he gets activated any time soon.

And he fans like a Deer and hits like a Mendoza with a little more pop. Must be a heckuva glove man. Appears to have some speed with 6 3B and 8 2B. The D-Rays may be out of business before he's ready to help them, if he's ever ready. . .

   43. Jay Jaffe Posted: July 30, 2001 at 05:12 AM (#551599)
Regarding Smith's prowess with the glove: the 2001 Baseball Prospectus rates his fielding at -18 runs. That's right, negative. And it's a trend--he's been in double digit negatives each of the last three years. I don't pretend to understand all the nuances of the Prospectus' analysis, but that rating puts him in the Derek Jeter territory of Fielding Suckitude.

I'll bet Chuck LaMar thought he looked great on the highlight reels.
   44. Greg Franklin Posted: July 30, 2001 at 06:19 AM (#551600)
- Not only can't Chuck Lamar evaluate talent, he can't organize a garage sale correctly. At a real garage sale, I have to pay $2 for a used volleyball or $5 for a card table. At Lamar's garage sale, I'd walk up the driveway, load everything into my truck, and drive away without paying.

- Kudos to Andy MacPhail for sticking with his plan. Coomer is now moved off 1B, Stairs can go to filling in at 1B/OF. Now, will Fred outperform Big Mac over the final 2 months? (currently it's McGriff's 287/381/513 vs. McGwire's 198/324/503)
   45. Cris E Posted: July 30, 2001 at 05:38 PM (#551615)
Well this is a mixed blessing. As a Twins fan I was hoping they wouldn't do the Loshe for Schmidt thing since I'm not convinced that a non-stud starter is what we need. But I thought that if it was inevitable it might be nice to bundle in Vanderwal and at least get a bit of power in the deal. I would have dealt J Jones and a prospect pitcher like Thomas for the pair, but the Oracle is right: since it seems like more was possible something else must have factored into the deal.
   46. Cris E Posted: July 30, 2001 at 08:43 PM (#551618)
They do need another bat, and LF is the best place to hide it. With Ortiz coming back as well as he has (so far) they may not do anything, but I really think they ought to since Jones plays LF like a CF. That's good on D, but not so good at the plate. If it was up to Kelly I don't think anything would change, but GM Ryan is supposed to see past the manager's particularities and deal with real needs like this one.
   47. Bob Timmermann Posted: July 30, 2001 at 09:13 PM (#551619)
Fortunately for Vander Wal, he will be playing in San Francisco, where the Giants don't use names on the backs of their home uniforms, so no one there will have to sweat out the peculiar spelling of his name.

But will that road jersey have the spelling right?
   48. Greg Franklin Posted: July 31, 2001 at 06:58 AM (#551631)
More likely the new guy is there to guard against anyone in the front office trying to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.

Current management is having too much fun living naked in an earthly Paradise, where all the non-pitchers are slick fielders who can lay down a bunt and hit behind the runner whenever they feel like it, and where all the pitchers are Gritty Gamers(TM).
   49. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: July 31, 2001 at 07:25 PM (#551626)
My tennis coach from college was named Neugebauer. I have to think there's some relation here, because the implications of two seperate sets of Neugebaurs running around the country are too much for my poor cat brain to handle.
   50. Robert Dudek Posted: July 31, 2001 at 07:38 PM (#551591)
The Royals have traded Rey Sanchez to the Braves for Brad Voyles and Alejandro Machado.

So for a slight upgrade at SS the Royals end up trading Jermaine Dye for a decent but raw arm and a marginal middle-infield prospect.

Unless Ash makes a stupid deal, Baird wins the dumbest GM award for this year.
   51. Colin Posted: July 31, 2001 at 08:19 PM (#551642)
As I mentioned in another thread, Sanchez will only hurt if he gets to start. Unfortunately, I suspect he'll get more starts than would be healthy. Walt Weiss earned lots of postseason starts because of one late-inning play made against the Astros, and I suspect Derosa's next miscue will mark the end of his starting job, if he even still has one.
   52. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: July 31, 2001 at 08:33 PM (#551643)
"John, this is Bobby. I don't think this offense is anemic enough. I've got two middle infielders who can occasionally hit the ball to the wall or beyond. You can't win baseball games with middle infielders who can hit the ball that far. John, we need a guy who can waste a few outs, especially now that we're wasting so many less over at first..."

Ugh. If Sanchez replaces anyone other than Jesse Garcia the Braves have just endangered their post-season chances dramatically.
   53. Cris E Posted: July 31, 2001 at 09:32 PM (#551632)
Aaarrrgggghhh! It's 90 minutes past the deadline and I'm looking at Buck Bucannon and Chad Allan fulltime until the season ends, awash in a cold thin soup of 2-1 loses and empty pitching gems against the Royals. Did something happen to Terry Ryan's cell phone? Is he hurt, in an alley or hospital bed somewhere? Did they really trade a starting outfielder without getting an adequate replacement?

Oh my head hurts....
   54. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 31, 2001 at 09:45 PM (#551633)
Just to rub salt into the wounds, Rob Neyer just posted Reed's home/road stats. Reed's had an ERA close to 2 runs lower at Shea than in road games over his Mets stint. Neyer goes on to suggest that it's because Shea's a poor park for lefthanded batters and notes that the Homerdome is a good one.

Don't feel too bad, though; I've had lots of people point out to me that I picked the Twins to win under 70 games this season and am a fan of a team (Baltimore) that Buchanan mightly very well be the best healthy hitter on. I also end sentences with words that indicate poor grammar.
   55. Cris E Posted: July 31, 2001 at 09:53 PM (#551634)
I don't worry about that whole lefthanded hitting flyball nonsense since we have this great RF to play the baggie... Er, nevermind.

On the other hand Buchanan did hit a lot better last month when he got a heap of regular ABs, so perhaps he's better than he's been given a chance to show.

Does anyone know how often teams in the chase attempt to slip trades through after the waiver deadline?
   56. Russ Posted: July 31, 2001 at 09:56 PM (#551621)
As a Pirate fan, I don't believe the hype that was generated surrounding Jason Schmidt before the trade deadline. I really liked Jason and had hoped the Pirates would be able to sign him. However,
   57. Bob T Posted: July 31, 2001 at 11:16 PM (#551653)
As a note, Mike Fetters' picture is on my ticket for tomorrow night's Dodgers game. I hope they still let me in.
   58. . . . . . . Posted: August 01, 2001 at 12:56 AM (#551636)
2 thoughts:

1)Lawton reminds me a bit of John Olerud. Lefty hitter, not much power, draws walks, good-to-great defensive player. Lawton even offers speed. Having Lawton to bat in front of Piazza returns the Met offense to the hoary days of 1999.....particularly if Alfonzo can recover for next year.

2)If Reed was greatly assisted by the dimensions at Shea, wouldnt it then follow that a player like Lawton would similarly benefit from Shea? Reed's Shea boost came largely from suppression of HR's, but a line-drive/speed offense like Lawton's will NOT be affected like a typical hitter. Therefore, Lawton will receive a "boost" relative to other players at Shea.
   59. Bob T Posted: August 01, 2001 at 06:20 AM (#551655)
The Pirates are in San Francisco now, so perhaps I should just hop on a Southwest flight and go to Pac Bell tomorrow night and root on Mike Fetters! But the Bucs don't come back to L.A. anymore this year. Although the Dodgers will make a trip out to Pittsburgh again.

I fear the wrath of Fetters!
   60. Josh Posted: August 01, 2001 at 01:27 PM (#551663)
Braves fans have to love that Boone-Klesko for Sanders-Joyner-Veras trade now. A year and a half later, all three of the Braves acquistions are gone.

Atlanta would've been steamrolling this year, ala Seattle, if they would've kept Boone and Klesko.
   61. Colin Posted: August 01, 2001 at 01:45 PM (#551664)
The real odd thing about the Klesko trade was that in the preceding world series, the Braves had been just owned by righthanded pitching. Torre was able to manage circles around Cox to get platoon advantages, and I guess based on that sample the team decided Klesko was no longer an asset against righties. So they traded him for...a righthanded hitter, leaving Chipper, to this day, as the only real power threat against righties.

Of course, San Diego did something the Braves would never commit to - playing Klesko every day at first base. No throwing his body around in the outfield, no threat of a platoon being implemented after every 0-fer against a lefty. As a result, his splits against lefties have improved somewhat (albeit still not good), but his performance against righties has been amazing.

Of course, it may have just helped him to get out of the "aggressive hitting" environment of Atlanta, where patience is not the world's biggest virtue.
   62. Cris E Posted: August 01, 2001 at 02:13 PM (#551638)
Actually Lawton is even better than his numbers the past few years indicate. Last year he injured his foot, so if you go look at his SB numbers they just stopped after he piled up 23 by July. Also, the year before he caught a pitch in the face and it ruined the second half of his season. On a team where he can just be a leadoff hitter and baserunner and leave some RBI responsibility to others I think he'll flourish. By the end of next year he'll cost the Mets plenty but he'll be worth it.
   63. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 01, 2001 at 05:26 PM (#551665)
I've said this a million times in asb-ab, but it bears repeating. The Boone-Klesko-Scheil for Veras-Sanders-Joyner deal *wasn't that bad of a deal*. It turned out really crappily for the Braves, but going into it they were giving up Klesko, whom they undervalued and wouldn't play regularly, Boone, whom despite his alien-possession year in Seattle *sucked* (San Diego didn't even offer him a contract), and a spare part of a minor league pitcher. In return they got a quality offensive and defensive OF (who then proceeded to have the worst year of his career), a solid top-of-order leadoff guy with good OBP skills (who proceeded to blow out his ACL), and a backup LH 1B to spot Galarraga (who was decent in the role.)

It looks a lot worse in hindsight, with Klesko blossoming in SD and Sanders imploding in Atlanta and Boone having his wet-dream season in Seattle, but at the time (the only valid time to critique the deal, really) it was solid baseball.
   64. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 01, 2001 at 06:07 PM (#551639)
Actually, Dan, Kelly already used the Manhood Test. That's why Mark Redman was traded.
   65. Josh Posted: August 01, 2001 at 06:53 PM (#551666)
At the time of that deal, Veras and Sanders were DL-regulars, something that has continued since then. They knew the risks, and they paid for them dearly.
   66. Alan Shank Posted: August 01, 2001 at 07:44 PM (#551668)
"I don't think anyone could have predicted that Boone would have this type of season (BTW, look how much bigger he is this year, I wonder if he's popping andro?)."

I also follow track and field quite closely, and have for almost 40 years. There is a great deal of steroid use in track, although they are making progress with testing. Almost all of the world records in weight events and women's running events date from 1990 or earlier. One of the indicators of steroid use is a sudden improvement from an established level of performance at an age where an athlete has already peaked. This is often accompanied by an increase in muslce mass and definition.

I began wondering about Boone when his production, which I initially thought was just a statistical freak, just kept on going at an unprecedented (for him) level. I haven't seen Boone enough to judge any increase in his build. His brother, Aaron, has a .206 ISO this year, compared to .157 for his career prior to this year.

This is NOT an accusation. Boone may drop right back to his usual level next year, as Brady Anderson did, but if he continues like this, steroids, andro, whatever, might be a possible explanation.
   67. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 01, 2001 at 09:35 PM (#551672)
Ray Lankford. Quilvio Veras. Quilvio Veras. Ray Lankford.

Red rover, red rover....

Makes sense to me.
   68. Robert Dudek Posted: August 01, 2001 at 10:08 PM (#551647)

You've shortchanged Rey Sanchez.

Yes, he can't hit.

But he's probably the best defensive SS in baseball according to Zone Ratings over a number of years (which is the best measure widely available in the public domain).

Derosa didn't hit very much in 1999 and 2000 in AAA (about .700 OPS) and his defensive numbers are below average.

I have argued in another thread (Outside the Box: "Baseball Loyalty") that it is very likely that Sanchez would outperform Derosa overall over the last third of the season.

The guys you've suggested bringing up would hit at about 550 OPS, so I don't think you'd want that.
   69. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: August 02, 2001 at 05:21 AM (#551656)
Bob, did they let you in?
   70. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: August 02, 2001 at 05:29 AM (#551640)
Dan, I have been watching Bradley for some time now; as an Expos fan I keep track of the Montreal media, etc. Bradley's behaviour has become more erratic than ever before. At times, he has uttered some quite worryingly paranoid statements.

Bradley shows signs of becoming like Rickey Henderson; not, unfortunately, in terms of playing ability, but personal relations. I hope he gets it straightened out in Cleveland... a serious malcontent has a way of interfering with a team's success; unless you can play like Rickey Henderson, your career won't last too long.
   71. Bob T Posted: August 03, 2001 at 05:59 AM (#551657)
They let me in and I got the rare treat of watching Terry Mulholland make his Dodger debut by giving up four runs in one inning of work. But he did cut down the running game and gave veteran presence.

This Mulholland probably doesn't have much in the reservoir.
   72. Robert Dudek Posted: August 03, 2001 at 08:52 AM (#551675)
I think the Padres aren't even in the same ballpark as the Anaheim Angels in this regard. The Padres have been very bad, and they've been pretty good at times.

Anaheim/California/LA Angels have almost always been near the .500 mark. I ran an analysis of team WPCT over a 5-year stretch. I calculated a rolling 5-year WPCT e.g. Cincy 1971-75,Cincy 72-76 etc.

I defined a great/excellent team as one which reached a level of .540 or better and a very bad team as one which was below .460.

The Astros (until the mid-90s) and the Angels are the only teams in the last half century to be consistently in the .460-.540 range.

The Astros began life near the median in the 66-70 period and stayed there until the 94-98 period.

The Angels have lived near the median all their lives except for two brief dips below the .460 line: 73-77 (.4561) and 92-96 (.4537).

The Angels have been truly average throughout their entire history.

The Astros and the Angels have one other common trait - neither has ever won a playoff series.
   73. Robert Dudek Posted: August 03, 2001 at 08:54 AM (#551658)
If the Dodgers want a veteran presence, they should have Ron Cey and Don Sutton hanging out in the clubhouse.
   74. Robert Dudek Posted: August 03, 2001 at 06:47 PM (#551649)

It's obvious that 1999 was a fluke year from Florida Alex (we can see that when we look at his minor league record) and that we should have expected something halfway between 1999 and 2000 for this year. He has exceeded that significantly. He's still young.

Alex's horrible K/W data from 1999 is evidence that that level of production was unsustainable, at least without considerable improvement in K/W rate.

Here are Alex's K/W data:

1999 13 W, 0 IW, 113 K
   75. Colin Posted: August 03, 2001 at 07:57 PM (#551673)
   76. Robert Dudek Posted: August 03, 2001 at 08:16 PM (#551651)

I never said he was going to be a superstar.

I expect him to be an average or slightly above average hitter for a shortstop. He's young and he still seems to be improving.

My point was only that the Marlins aren't stupid enough to give him up for a marginal regular or a couple of borderline prospects - and the Braves aren't going to offer anything more than that for 2 months plus playoffs (for 2002, they've got Furcal and many middle infield prospects).
   77. Robert Dudek Posted: August 27, 2001 at 05:41 PM (#551694)
The 'ch' is much more aspirated (more air and with a bit of throat phlegm) version of an English 'h'.

Also like the Middle Eastern sweet, slightly hardened, nut paste - halva.
   78. Robert Dudek Posted: August 27, 2001 at 05:42 PM (#551695)
The 'ch' is much more aspirated (more air and with a bit of throat phlegm) version of an English 'h'.

Also like the Middle Eastern sweet, slightly hardened, nut paste - halva.
   79. rlc Posted: August 27, 2001 at 08:08 PM (#551696)
   80. Cris E Posted: August 30, 2001 at 07:16 PM (#551698)
I don't think you'll hear the same whispers that Derek is listening to. There's evidence, however debatable, that Jeter does not posess the defensive skills required to play the position. Nomar is not facing that problem so much as one of durability, and moving to third won't fix that. (This is all assuming they find a SS better than the seven dwarves that filled in this summer, and that's no mean feat).
   81. . . . . . . Posted: September 01, 2001 at 01:46 AM (#551710)
I'm not a Yanks fan, but the insistence by us sabermetrically minded people that Soriano is an ineffective player is ridculous.

a) Soriano has improved every aspect of his game during the season except for his batting average, and batting average is of course the stat most supceptible to fluctuation.

b)Soriano's power boost has coincided with his increased walk rate, and he and the Yankees recognize this. Its clear if you follow the NY media that Soriano appreciates the connection between patience and power, and hes both improved his walk rate mid-season and demonstated a better eye a few years back in the minors. He is a very likely candidate to improve, even over the next few weeks.

c) a .740 OPS isnt that bad among second basemen. In fact, according to the Baseball Prosectus's methods, Soriano ranks 9th in the majors among second basemen in offensive production.

d) Compared other 2B's did at age 23, Soriano has a higher OPS than guys like Frank White, Craig Biggio (as a catcher, i think), and Ryan Sandberg. Only greats like Collins, Hornsby, and Alomar had .750+ OPS's as second basemen this early in their careers. Granted, one has to account for era and park effects and such, but the fact that Soriano can be mentioned in the same breath as the players above suggest that the Yanks should be getting him as much experience as possible.

If Soriano can handle 2B defensively and experiences typical development to his peak, Soriano might have a great/near-great career.
   82. Bruce Markusen Posted: September 01, 2001 at 02:14 AM (#551711)
Dzop, you're absolutely right. Even Yankee fans won't give this guy a break; some of the posters over at absolutely kill Soriano.

If we look at Soriano solely within the context of on-base percentage, then he doesn't look like a very effective player. But he does so many other things: hitting with power, driving in runs, stealing bases, taking the extra base, and fielding reasonably well at second base (certainly an improvement over Knoblauch of the last two years). Plus, he's a No. 8 or No. 9 hitter. What do Yankee fans expect from a ninth-place hitter, the next Rogers Hornsby?

Soriano is an acceptable second baseman right now--and one who has a chance of becoming an All-Star if he continues to show improvement with his plate discipline.
   83. Kurt Posted: September 01, 2001 at 02:49 AM (#551713)
I'm just curious what "if they had their druthers" means. They *do* have their druthers, don't they? It's not like the decision as to who to play at 2B is out of the Yankees' hands.

Sorry. Someone's got to pick that nit though.
   84. Colin Posted: September 01, 2001 at 02:29 PM (#551706)
A poster in the Braves newsgroup put the Franco signing in contest:
   85. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: September 01, 2001 at 03:40 PM (#551704)
For the record, once you go to the website and return to the Oracle, the image works.

Too bad the O's didn't wait a bit longer. The Braves could have sent you Julio Franco.
   86. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 04, 2001 at 01:33 AM (#551723)
Casey is arbitration-eligible this off-season, and likely to pursue a large multi-year deal (which the Reds will almost certainly be disinclined to give him). If Pickering looks like he can cover the position for a couple of years, Casey is a good candidate to be traded in the off-season.

-- MWE
   87. Ron Johnson Posted: September 05, 2001 at 03:46 PM (#551722)
Exactly how would anybody know for sure that Raines hasn't retired?

Or that that ws Tim Raines. Couldn't it have been (say) Ron LeFlore
   88. Ron Johnson Posted: September 05, 2001 at 03:54 PM (#551708)
Remember that old Bill James article on Phil Niekro? Written (of course) in the mid 80s, he came up with a list of players younger than Niekro. Going back to Von McDaniel (whose rookie year was 1957)

Wonder who among retired players younger than Franco had the earliest debut?
   89. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 06, 2001 at 12:40 PM (#551726)
Broussard is probably a year away; for some reason the Reds don't
   90. Geoff Young Posted: September 06, 2001 at 06:38 PM (#551741)
Meyers is an interesting spare part and exactly the kind of bit player the A's seem to know how to use. As for Curtis, I don't know about his minor-league history, but in the bigs he played only three games at 2B, all in 1993.
   91. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 06, 2001 at 11:49 PM (#551729)
Shows what I know - the Reds just let Pickering go on waivers to Boston.
   92. Darren Posted: September 07, 2001 at 02:46 AM (#551748)
Daubach absolutely mashed at AAA and Stenson has been a pretty average hitter at AAA. He hasn't made much progress and has actually gone backwards a bit this year, I think.
   93. Cris E Posted: September 07, 2001 at 09:04 PM (#551750)
If I were Melvin I'd have a long discussion way off the record with Rodriguez and his agent well before this got ugly. I'd look into his response to a trade, for example, or moving to 1B/3B, or taking a shorter contract. In the end a sign and trade (to NYY for example) or an option like Radke got where he can choose to become a free agent might serve both their needs. Otherwise Melvin will end up taking the hit square in his PRs or the team will just end up writing a series of big checks.
   94. Greg Franklin Posted: September 07, 2001 at 10:31 PM (#551751)
This is the first I've heard of Catalanotto "waiting in line" after Michael Young. Cat is hitting well enough in LF (and garnering enough praise from Jerry Narron) to make Rusty Greer a part-time 1B/OFer in 2002. Young has been anointed the 2B of the future. That's multiple positions at which Pudge is blocked.
   95. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: September 09, 2001 at 11:49 PM (#551738)
Are you "toasting" him or are you saying he's "toast"...? ;-) ...

   96. Greg Franklin Posted: September 10, 2001 at 06:13 AM (#551753)
I got the speculation on Catalanotto vs. Greer from an article by AP sportswriter Stephen Hawkins (a Google search only turns up a certain physicist's site).

Evan Grant's piece from the Dallas Morning News gives a rationale for Catalanotto's breakout year (off-season bone chip removal from his wrist, LASIK surgery) beyond just the playing time. (might require free registration)

It'll be tough to make Frank a non-regular again, if he finishes in the top 5 in AL BA.

What is the basis for your suspicion that Young won't hit enough to last at 2B? Couldn't find Sickels' take, but Jerry Narron is convinced Young is the real deal (i.e. will hit "enough" for 2B) and that Cat is an extra bat who can play anywhere he's asked.

Not thinking of the defensive spectrum considerations, but surely at this pace Catalanotto could survive as an everyday LF in the AL? Consider Seattle or NY's LF situation.
   97. Greg Franklin Posted: September 10, 2001 at 06:41 AM (#551760)
Hibbard finally was released after 1997. He's now making a living as the pitching coach on Matt Nokes' Schaumburg Flyers (Clutch Hits topic).

Now, I'm wondering about Ted Higuera. Is he still kicking back in Mexico with all of Bud Selig's money? Perhaps Cordova could hit him up for some financial advice.
   98. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 10, 2001 at 06:49 PM (#551761)
The Teddy Higuera Big Comeback Attempt was always my favorite spring training story every year. The Brewers attempt to convince their fans every year that they would be OK without Higuera was also pretty funny (Woo! Don August's Back!).
   99. scruff Posted: September 10, 2001 at 09:34 PM (#551755)
Assuming you meant based on what they did in Texas, to borrow one from Bill James, to call Ivan Rodriguez "one of the best players in team history" is understatement akin to calling Nolan Ryan, "one of the more prolific strikeout pitchers of the 70's and 80's". Or calling Rickey Henderson, "one of the better leadoff men in baseball," during the 80's.

Which is what makes this so tough for Doug Melvin. But he made his own bed. He should've traded him for a package before Pudge became a 10 and 5 guy. The team was awful from the beginning. Trade him at that point, and there is no PR hit. The team stunk and we couldn't take the chance on losing him for nothing. To Joe the Fan you could spin it as another greedy player. Then he's someone else's $20M problem. Have Dodgers been awful since trading Piazza? What about the Mariners since trading Randy and Griffey? Did the Indians fall apart without Manny or Belle?

That being said, I'd bite the bullet and spend my $20M per elsewhere. This is where the ARod deal is going to bite them. If they hadn't overpaid SOOOO much (he is worth it, but they could have gotten him cheaper is what I mean), Pudge wouldn't need quite as much. If the owner is willing to just sign the checks and there isn't going to be a cap, just pay him, and explain to the owner (name is slipping my mind right now) that we're overpaying to avoid PR problems.

If he doesn't go for that (spending extra) show him the Mariners and Indians as examples of what a team can do if they lose a star if they are managed properly, spend the money elsewhere and get a little lucky. Melvin made his own bed by not trading Pudge when he had the chance. Now he has to sleep in it. I bet Gillick would figure out a way to come out smelling like a rose though.
   100. scruff Posted: September 10, 2001 at 09:58 PM (#551746)
Orlando Cabrera has been spotted hitting clean up and 5th, right behind Guerrero. That is reason enough to have Torborg fired in my opinion. Can you say rock bottom?

Not too long after Alou was fired, Randy Keisler pitched the best 5 innings of his young career (got hit hard in the 6th I think). Mike Mordecai was batting leadoff (.290ish career OBP) and Cabrera was clean-up. That might be the worst 1-4 combo ever.

I love the Expos and Yankees and I live in the DC area. I'd love to see them come to town, but if this is what it takes, I'm not sure I want to have to see it up close. Sometimes it's better to watch from a distance. If Vlad leaves after next year, it's really going to get ugly. But at the same point, I really don't want him to become another Ernie Banks.
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