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   1. Sean McNally Posted: August 17, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2489014)
Jim,

You discount the fact that no one hits homers in RFK... maybe he will hit bombs in the new joint, but this year it looks doubtful.

While defensively my Nats may suffer - a Pena-Church-Kearns outfield looks pretty solid offensively.

This also may signal the end of Nick Johnson for 2008 as well. There was talk of Dmitri Young, leftfielder, around here - so this move indicates Washington is not counting on that.
   2. Guapo Posted: August 17, 2007 at 05:55 PM (#2489032)
Jim Bowden : Toolsy Outfielders : : Homer Simpson : Donuts
   3. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 17, 2007 at 06:05 PM (#2489066)
I really liked the Pena/Arroyo trade at the time, too. I thought Pena was going to be teh awesome and Arroyo was barely scraping by on luck. He was good insurance with upside, but as a 4th outfielder he just didn't work. Man, was I dumb.
   4. Lassus Posted: August 17, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2489075)
You discount the fact that no one hits homers in RFK...


What about Alfonso Soriano?
   5. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 17, 2007 at 06:10 PM (#2489100)
Lassus -

I was about to say the same thing. Additionally, when Ryan Church makes contact, he sends balls into the upper-deck. That said, there's no question it's a tough HR park. The new park next year will be much more fertile hitting ground. Austin Kearns alone must have hit at least 25 warning-track flyouts this season that would be HRs in most other parks.

The thing about Willy Mo, however, is that he is simply incapable of hitting the breaking ball, and his no-minors contract prevented him from ever learning/practicing how to do so. I doubt he'll contribute much more to the Nats than he did to the Sox. However, Jim Bowden's Rambo-like fixation on rescuing his favorite Reds/ex-Reds players and bringing them to Washington continues to amuse me greatly.

This thread really deserves to be moved to the front-page, BTW. It's of general interest.
   6. Mister High Standards Posted: August 17, 2007 at 06:16 PM (#2489132)
Although Pena showed flashes of talent, the Sox could never find consistent playing time or a role for him.


They found a role for him. He just sucked at it.
   7. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 17, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2489237)
did i miss something? what is so awesome about arroyo? he's been alternately awful and good. basically, he's a fine 5th pitcher for the reds. oh wait....

wily mo was a fine return for a 5th pitcher, and whatever the nats give us will be fine. if we had arroyo now and tried to trade him, i think we'd get less than we'd get for pena, given that we have absolutely no use for his talents. the fact is that the return in trade for pitchers like arroyo is limited because his particular talent is not as difficult to come by (as, for instance, a #3 pitcher).

to sum up, i totally disagree that the sox fo was outmaneuvered. yeah, i'd like to get an A+ prospect for arroyo or wily mo, but it ain't gonna happen. i think sox fans completely overvalue arroyo's talent, which is weird considering the rotation and bullpen we're sporting now. he's jeff suppan. innings eater, but replaceable.
   8. Lassus Posted: August 17, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2489247)
Allow me to be the first (and maybe the last) to say that I would have had no problem with having Wily Mo as a bench option for our oft-injured Mets outfielders.
   9. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2489258)
If Pena hits 35 HR's for the Nationals any time, then NL pitching truly sucks.
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 17, 2007 at 07:21 PM (#2489282)
They found a role for him. He just sucked at it.

Then they didn't find a role for him in which he wouldn't suck.

I think they made a mistake acquiring him not because he sucks, but because he can't be productive unless he plays regularly, and the Red Sox couldn't fit him into the team picture except as a pinch-hitter type, in which situation he is not valuable.

Not that this proves anything, but his OPS and OPS+ in the majors correlates directly with how many at-bats he was given that season.

If they couldn't send him to the minors to play every day, and get ready to replace the departing Trot Nixon, they shouldn't have acquired him.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 17, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2489301)
If Pena hits 35 HR's for the Nationals any time, then NL pitching truly sucks.

He hit 26 homers in 364 plate appearances for the Reds, at the age of 22. Who was it around here recently that said Wily Mo can only perform when he is in the rhythm that comes with expecting to start most days? That makes sense to me. On the other hand, he was at the top of the list in the Sports Illustrated players' poll of "Who gets the least out of the most ability?", so maybe that was a flash in the pan.

Good acquisition for the Nationals. I think he could hit 35 home runs for them if he plays 160 games, and the same would be true if he was traded to the White Sox.
   12. Flynn Posted: August 17, 2007 at 07:26 PM (#2489305)
He'll hit 35 home runs with a .290 OBP, because he f*cking sucks.
   13. Sean McNally Posted: August 17, 2007 at 07:27 PM (#2489311)
What about Alfonso Soriano?


The exception that proves the rule... I watch enough games here to know that RFK depresses power tremendously. Maybe the new ballpark, with a more open design will change that.
   14. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 17, 2007 at 07:54 PM (#2489397)
what is so awesome about arroyo? he's been alternately awful and good. basically, he's a fine 5th pitcher for the reds. oh wait....
He pitched 240 innings with a 146 ERA+ for the Reds last year. He was fourth in the league in VORP. Even this season he's 37th in NL pitchers (min. 100 IP). That's a "fine 5th pitcher"?

Even if we accept Arroyo would not have been that good in the AL East (and I do) there's no way to see this as anything but a terrible trade ultimately for the Red Sox.

Oh wait...indeed
   15. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:02 PM (#2489425)
I hope the PTNBL in this deal is Wily Mo Pena.
   16. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:11 PM (#2489463)
RFK actually isn't too a bad stadium for right-handed power hitters who pull the ball down the line a lot, and that's precisely what Soriano is.

But for any other type of hitter, yeah, it's a fairly brutal park.
   17. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:14 PM (#2489469)
He hit 26 homers in 364 plate appearances for the Reds, at the age of 22.

BFD. There's a book on him now. He sucks.

I'll make you the same type bet I offered people re: BH Kim (I said Kim wouldn't win 20 more games in MLB, back when the team after the Red Sox let him go.)

Wily Mo won't hit 20 HR's in any full MLB season again. Ever.
   18. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2489475)
Wily Mo won't hit 20 HR's in any full MLB season again. Ever.

On. Name your terms (I'm poor).
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:27 PM (#2489493)
Joe:

Of all people I am shocked at your reaction. And the rest of you Red Sox fans. Good gried. You have a player who:

--has had limited regular playing time
--is the very definition of streaky power hitter
--has a LEGITIMATE history of success when left to play for consecutive months

Pena is neither intelligent enough nor gifted with sufficient memory to sit idly by than spring into action in an effective manner. He needs to play. LOOK at his time in Cincy. When given a chance his control of the strike zone would slowly improve as well as the rest of his game. After looking hopeless in left field the Reds ended up having fill in at center. And he WAS competent.

You want to know why Theo waited to deal? Because he knows, he KNOWS, there is a very strong chance that Pena will bust out with a career of significance. But having allowed the lad to become a pariah he can't hold onto him any longer.

UNless Wily has turned sour on baseball due to this ugly stay in Boston, I expect him to log a .550 slugging percentage in a season of more than 500 appearances. Probably several such seasons. And then won't there be some gnashing of teeth?!
   20. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:29 PM (#2489502)
I'll make you the same type bet I offered people re: BH Kim (I said Kim wouldn't win 20 more games in MLB, back when the team after the Red Sox let him go.)
You mean after the Rockies let him go? That wasn't exactly going out on a limb, Joe. Unless people were claiming Kim had a lot of potential left untapped, in which case they were just foolish.
   21. bfan Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2489512)
Austin Kearns has 5 road HR's this year; and 5 home game HRs this year, with the same number of AB's. It doesn't sound as if RFK is killing his HR power.

he can join Nomar in the warning track power HOF.
   22. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:35 PM (#2489513)
Wily Mo won't hit 20 HR's in any full MLB season again. Ever.

Yeah, I'll take this bet
   23. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2489529)
Harvey, I just don't think any of what you say he's capable of will happen. Unless he learns to hit the off speed stuff, and learns to lay off the off speed stuff out of the zone, he's hopeless. Plenty of guys washed out because they couldn't hit the curve ball. If any pitcher throws him anything but 80% junk, his whole coaching staff should be fired.
   24. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:43 PM (#2489531)
On. Name your terms (I'm poor).

I'm middle middle class. Make it easy on yourself.

Same for you, Pops. What'll it be?
   25. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2489536)
I'm heading home now, so I'll catch up a little later.
   26. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:49 PM (#2489541)
Same for you, Pops. What'll it be?


Baseball cap? Book?

You do realize that your 'ever' would require a long time to pan out...

How about: the first season he gets 600 MLB PAs OR a season in which he gets a majority of his PAs in the minor leagues (unless he is on the DL for more than 60 days) is the end of the bet's timeline.
   27. base ball chick Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2489544)
well, having watched wily mo when he was with the reds, i will say that he is a REALLY lousy fielder who made adam dunn look like mr. gold glove.

and agree with joe that he swung at pitches out of the zone and can't time breaking balls for spit. he did hit the longest homer i ever saw hit and that was off brandon duckworth and it was a FB down the middle

and as for spending my few pennies on a bet, the only thing i will agree to bet on is - will any man ever get pregnant and i will take the NO
   28. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:52 PM (#2489546)
will any man ever get pregnant and i will take the NO

Do seahorses count?
   29. Guapo Posted: August 17, 2007 at 08:57 PM (#2489561)
will any man ever get pregnant and i will take the NO

You're on!

[This wasn't where I expected the Wily Mo Pena trade discussion to go either, but hey- it's BTF.]
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 17, 2007 at 09:00 PM (#2489564)
That is the most bizarre anything I have ever seen.
   31. base ball chick Posted: August 17, 2007 at 09:17 PM (#2489585)
guapo

that a fake site. there is no such medical skool anywhere.

but you CAN get a head transplant there. i guess that's what they do with any guy who show up wanting to get pregnant
   32. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 17, 2007 at 09:40 PM (#2489607)
I would like the deal to be: when Wily Mo hits 20 dongs in a season, Crazy Joe Bivens banishes himself from this site. Both in his CJB login, and any others.

I'll do the same, if WMP never does.
   33. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 17, 2007 at 09:51 PM (#2489613)
Joe:

Wily ALWAYS, repeat ALWAYS starts out swinging from his forehead to his ankles. Over time he cuts down on the wild strike zone AND lays off the sliders in the dirrt. He just 200 or so semi-consecutive at bats.

He's the best bet to shock baseball in 2008. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if given the last 5 weeks hits 10-12 homers.
   34. DCW3 Posted: August 17, 2007 at 09:51 PM (#2489614)
Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but with how much Pena strikes out, I suspect his upside is Russell Branyan without the ability to play third.
   35. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2007 at 09:52 PM (#2489615)
OK, Pops, the 600 MLB PA's or his long stint in the minors will end the bet. Cap or book of relative worth.

Cowboy, your turn.

bbc, I saw him hit a couple of monstrously long HR's, too. But I laughed because the pitcher was foolish enough to throw him a fastball that he happened to be looking for.

Barry's, I'll decline your offer, but thank you anyway, sir.
   36. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 17, 2007 at 10:13 PM (#2489621)
I am convinced that if Wily had suffered this same experience with Tampa or KC these same Boston fans would sound like me on this topic.

Sorry Bosox fans. Even smart clubs blow it every so often.

Pena will haunt the Red Sox.
   37. booond Posted: August 17, 2007 at 10:13 PM (#2489622)
The problem with the first Sox trade of Pena is that they didn't have a place for him. He wasn't going to be a starting outfielder for a team wanting to compete for the WS every year. He's too flawed for that. He's a starting outfielder for a team that will win 70 games. Given time he will hit 25 home runs but at the penalty of an unfortunate OBP and a lack of skill in the outfield. A poor understanding of the type of player needed to win games at a high level.
   38. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: August 17, 2007 at 10:16 PM (#2489624)
iv gotta be in on this, joe ill do the same deal as pops, if your intrested that is
   39. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2007 at 10:20 PM (#2489629)
Sure, Meat.
   40. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 17, 2007 at 10:23 PM (#2489633)
He pitched 240 innings with a 146 ERA+ for the Reds last year. He was fourth in the league in VORP. Even this season he's 37th in NL pitchers (min. 100 IP). That's a "fine 5th pitcher"?

Even if we accept Arroyo would not have been that good in the AL East (and I do) there's no way to see this as anything but a terrible trade ultimately for the Red Sox.


his interleague numbers are not great, so who really cares that he's 37th in vorp among NL pitchers, which makes him, what, barely in the top 100 in starters in the majors? that's fine but replaceable.

and i don't see how anyone can attribute that much value to last year's 146 era+ since it was ONE YEAR and sticks out like a sore thumb from every other year. it's a nice story and all that he was able to go out and have his career year at age 29, but come on. he's not as good as that, and if you look at his splits, i think you see his real value. he's had 2 months of pitching out of his mind, and 3 months of pitching like garbage. that sounds an awful lot like tavarez.

and check his splits by pitch. pitches 76-90 this year he's giving up an .898 OPS, and 106-120 a disgusting 1.279. so, he's a 5 inning pitcher with a 4+ era. big deal.
   41. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 17, 2007 at 10:24 PM (#2489634)
boond, I said basically the same thing as you a while back, that he'd be OK on a poor team, but could never play for a contender with his weaknesses.

Harvey, Pena will only haunt the Red Sox if he turns out better than what the have at the time he performs as you say he will. That's not a sure thing.
   42. booond Posted: August 17, 2007 at 10:47 PM (#2489649)
Harvey,

He likely only haunts the Sox as missing an opportunity to trade a live arm. And whatever you think Arroyo is, he's a live arm, which is a valuable commodity. In the end, they got nothing for it.
   43. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 17, 2007 at 11:02 PM (#2489662)
Bosox fans:

Go look at Wily's last two seasons with Cincy. Look at his ages for those seasons. Project using a conservative model of your choice.

What do you get?

Folks around here b*tch nonstop about highly limited sample seasons. So why are folks weighting '06/'07 so much more than the larger sample?

This flies in the face of what this community is all about.
   44. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: August 17, 2007 at 11:09 PM (#2489682)
Sorry Bosox fans. Even smart clubs blow it every so often.

Pena will haunt the Red Sox.


Red Sox may have blown it with Pena, but I doubt it will haunt them. Next year Pena may hit .260 with 35 homers and brutal defense in left field. I hate to say it because I can't stand them, but the Red Sox aren't going to care too much. They've just got too much money and talent for it to hurt them. They can more than afford to waste talent and make some mistakes here and there.
   45. booond Posted: August 17, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2489690)
He hit .293 off a .424 babip last season. When his rate was closer to normal he couldn't get past .250. And yes he was young. But he played in a launching pad. However my argument isn't that he won't hit 35 home runs one year because he likely will, my argument is that he isn't the type of player that starts for a great team, because all he does for a team is concentrated in those 35 home runs. And the Red Sox should understand that.
   46. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: August 17, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2489691)
I wish the trade never existed because it makes people think we miss Arroyo because WMP sucked more.
   47. Mister High Standards Posted: August 17, 2007 at 11:38 PM (#2489739)
Lets see comming into the year Pecota had Wily at .274/.333/.498. I think that is pretty doable. 18 Hr's and 400 PA's. Again I think that is doable.

Mr. Wallbanger, I can see him doing that AND the redsox not missing him. To be honest I could see him topping that by 10% and the Sox not regreting letting him go.

Then again unless Lugo and Drew play to their track records it won't really matter as this team won't be going anywhere the next couple years. This offense could very easily turn pretty bad.
   48. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 18, 2007 at 12:05 AM (#2489801)
Harvey, my intuition says that projections work for large populations, not for individuals.

Pena should have played tight end.
   49. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 18, 2007 at 12:09 AM (#2489811)
This offense could "turn" pretty bad? This offense IS pretty bad.
   50. Sexy Lizard Posted: August 18, 2007 at 01:04 AM (#2489989)
I wish the trade never existed because it makes people think we miss Arroyo because WMP sucked more.

I think we miss the bullpen arm or backup catcher or true fourth outfielder or grade B prospect or whatever that the Sox could have gotten for Arroyo instead of Wily Mo. Arroyo had trade value, which the Sox ultimately converted to not very much. I understand the WMP gamble and appreciate it. If he could have played a credible RF and hit like there was some hope he would, he's a great addition. But he can't and he didn't. Oh well.
   51. Calvin Schiraldi Posted: August 18, 2007 at 01:44 AM (#2490090)
Wily Mo just isn't good. No matter how much faith Harvey has in him. He's all tools and no toolbox. And really only two tools.
   52. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: August 18, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2490119)
Your mom's a toolbox.
   53. Red Menace Posted: August 18, 2007 at 03:07 AM (#2490300)
I don't really know where to begin defending Arroyo against these slanderous charges. 5th starter? That's ridiculous. Of course he overperformed last year. His peripherals suggest his true ability lies somewhere between this year (+101) and last year (149). Also he's pitched into the 7th inning in 16 of 26 starts this year.
   54. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 18, 2007 at 04:10 AM (#2490347)
I don't really know where to begin defending Arroyo against these slanderous charges. 5th starter? That's ridiculous. Of course he overperformed last year. His peripherals suggest his true ability lies somewhere between this year (+101) and last year (149). Also he's pitched into the 7th inning in 16 of 26 starts this year.


he's pitched like crap in the 7th inning. my point is that unless he's effective in after the 5th inning, he's a 5 inning pitcher. look at the splits. he can't get guys out after 70 pitches.

and let's just take a look at his era+ by year: 72, 86, 108, 227, 121, 98, 146, 101. if "between this year (+101) and last year (149)" you mean 109 (his career average), then i completely disagree. the 227 doesn't really count b/c it's only 17.3 IP. the 108 is only for 27 IP. so, basically his 240+ IP of 146 ERA+ ball are dragging his ERA+ up. so, one of these things is not like the other. i want to bet money that his 101 this year is his "true ability." and let's remember that's 101 in the NL. i bet that's 95 or lower in the AL (particularly in the AL East).
   55. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 18, 2007 at 04:19 AM (#2490353)
Just a thought, but WMP = the new Glenn Braggs?
   56. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: August 18, 2007 at 08:31 AM (#2490425)
I would've loved for us to acquire him and have him eat whatever we've been feeding Jack Cust.
   57. Swedish Chef Posted: August 18, 2007 at 08:46 AM (#2490427)
Arroyo is above average and on a totally ####### insanely cheap contract. So he has only one year of Santanaesque performance? Tough crowd here...

basically his 240+ IP of 146 ERA+ ball are dragging his ERA+ up.

"Oh no, his record is distorted by a great year. It doesn't prove my point that he is lousy!"
   58. Josh Posted: August 18, 2007 at 12:11 PM (#2490439)
insanely cheap contract
It was cheap before he signed the extension - not he is paid 3/29 going fwd (though, in present value, it is less). That isn't insanely cheap, anymore. (It was insanely cheap until the Reds added an extension 2.5 years before his contract expired, and when he had his career best season.)

I thought trading Arroyo for Pena was a good (though debatable) move at the time. I was wrong. Even if Arroyo is a 100-110 ERA+ pitcher, that is still better than Pena - and better than a #5 starter (it is a 3/4 on the Red Sox this year).

BTW: Theo said in no-uncertain terms that trading Arroyo for Pena was a mistake. And he was right - it was a bad move.
   59. Josh Posted: August 18, 2007 at 12:13 PM (#2490440)
Edes is reporting that the trade is Wily Mo for Chris Carter of the Diamondbacks. And he acknowledges this slight difficulty in the trade. Uhh, really?
   60. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 18, 2007 at 12:33 PM (#2490446)
"the 227 doesn't really count b/c it's only 17.3 IP. the 108 is only for 27 IP. so, basically his 240+ IP of 146 ERA+ ball are dragging his ERA+ up. so, one of these things is not like the other."

So, you're saying that if you throw out all the good parts of his record, it's not so good? Do tell!
   61. John DiFool2 Posted: August 18, 2007 at 12:58 PM (#2490448)
Pena is likely going to be Sammy Sosa pre-1998; I doubt he will turn into Sammy Sosa post-1997, tho it could happen. Not a championship quality regular even if he hits 35 homers. But the Arroyo trade is just symptomatic of the strange patchwork way that the Sox front office works (c.f. the SS revolving door since Nomar left, not to mention the Gagne trade)-if they have a long-term plan I can't see it.
   62. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: August 18, 2007 at 01:44 PM (#2490457)
Edes is reporting that the trade is Wily Mo for Chris Carter of the Diamondbacks.

That makes slightly more sense than trading him for Cris Carter, bringing him out of retirement, and pairing him with Randy Moss one more time for Tom Brady's benefit.
   63. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: August 18, 2007 at 01:46 PM (#2490459)
Pena is likely going to be Sammy Sosa pre-1998; I doubt he will turn into Sammy Sosa post-1997, tho it could happen.

I guess it depends on how good MLB's testing policy really is.
   64. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2007 at 01:56 PM (#2490465)
-I'm confident that Wily Mo Pena will be a good ballplayer. Guys with his skills, at his age, usually become good ballplayers. He isn't going to be great without a minor miracle - too many Ks, too little defense - but he'll play and hit homers and drive in runs.

-The Red Sox were right to trade him, and I think that saying they'll regret this trade kinda misses the point. The Sox, as currently constituted, can't play Wily Mo. They have the corners locked up at a high cost, and with Manny in LF, they never had somewhere to play Wily Mo. He'll turn into a good player, but so long as Drew recovers some power, the Sox are just fine.

-As such, obviously the original trade was terrible. Arroyo, at worst, is a durable league average starter on a bargain contract. Wily Mo was a 4th OF. That's a terrible trade, and the Sox certainly regret it now. There's a chance that the 2006 Sox don't collapse if they had another starter to send out every 5th day.
   65. spycake Posted: August 18, 2007 at 02:39 PM (#2490479)
How can people be forecasting such good things for Wily Mo when every team in baseball apparently passed up the chance to acquire him for the waiver fee, plus what should be a modest ($2 mil?) arb. award this offseason? I admit the Boston situation wasn't good for him and certainly didn't help his value, but with his ML experience he's not exactly "under the radar."

It turns out the only team willing to take a risk on him, even at the modest terms noted above, was the Nationals, and even they apparently held out to get some cash from Boston in the deal.
   66. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: August 18, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2490496)
if they have a long-term plan I can't see it.


I feel like people say this occasionally w/r/t the Red Sox, and I'm not really sure I understand what people mean. The Red Sox seem like they have a number of plans for the future. They have a functioning farm system that has produced some good players, and they've signed a number of free agents to long-term contracts (with admittedly mixed results). They have acquired and developed several young pitchers, and half their infield are farm products.

The criticism is usually focussed on the Red Sox' 5 different SS in the past few years, and think that while the production there hasn't been spectacular, it hasn't been a huge problem. They signed Lugo to a long-term deal, and while he hasn't had a great year, he does seems like a 'plan for the future', however flawed or meandering.

What was strange about the Gagne trade? That seems like a pretty typical deadline deal to me. Gagne has just sucked.
   67. Hurdle's Heroes (SuperBaes) Posted: August 18, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2490620)
Your mom's a toolbox.

Great work, Eraser-X. Simply great.
   68. DCW3 Posted: August 18, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2490645)
I'm confident that Wily Mo Pena will be a good ballplayer. Guys with his skills, at his age, usually become good ballplayers.

In about two full seasons' worth of MLB PAs, Pena's struck out in 32% of his plate appearances, and has a K/BB ratio of about 5:1. How often do guys with that poor of command of the strike zone, at any age, turn into good players?
   69. Baldrick Posted: August 18, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2490666)
the 227 doesn't really count b/c it's only 17.3 IP. the 108 is only for 27 IP. so, basically his 240+ IP of 146 ERA+ ball are dragging his ERA+ up. so, one of these things is not like the other.

You're not very familiar with analyzing statistics, are you?
   70. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2490670)
In about two full seasons' worth of MLB PAs, Pena's struck out in 32% of his plate appearances, and has a K/BB ratio of about 5:1. How often do guys with that poor of command of the strike zone, at any age, turn into good players?
Very few. On the other hand, power and bat speed like Wily Mo's are even more rare. I expect him to be an outlier because he already is an outlier - have you watched him hit? The man's a freak.
   71. DCW3 Posted: August 18, 2007 at 08:12 PM (#2490676)
On the other hand, power and bat speed like Wily Mo's are even more rare. I expect him to be an outlier because he already is an outlier - have you watched him hit? The man's a freak.

I watched him some when he was with Cincinnati, and, yeah, he does have some pop--but, then, you'd kind of expect a real "freak" to have a few more than 16 homers over his last ~500 PAs.
   72. Walt Davis Posted: August 18, 2007 at 10:53 PM (#2490751)
On the other hand, power and bat speed like Wily Mo's are even more rare.

This is probably true. On-contact, Pena has hit 391/715 -- small sample but it would be one of the best all-time rates.

Problem is, as long as he's going to K in 1 of 3 AB, which he always has and shows no signs of improving, then even with all that power and bat speed, his career line is 256/312/468 which is a 100 OPS+. There is no reason to expect his on-contact numbers to improve.

You can't be a highly productive ML hitter if you K 1 in 3 AB. Unless you're Ryan Howard.

HW...

I always respect what you say but you're just wrong about this "legitimate" track record of Pena's improvement when he plays regularly. Here is the complete list of months in which Pena has had 100+ PAs

Sept/Oct 2003
July 2004

That's his track record of regular play. It's not enough to base any sort of conclusion on. Here's his list of months with 80+ PAs and his OPS in those months:

Sep 2003 854
Jul 2004 937
Aug 2004 759
Jun 2005 748
Jul 2005 681
Sep 2005 641
Aug 2006 772

Other than July 2004, there's nothing particularly special there. His longest run of fairly regular play was Jun 2004 though Aug 2004 -- 273 PAs. His OPSs were 720, 937, 759.

Meanwhile, months with 30-50 PA (starting in 2004):

Apr 2004 875
May 2004 869
Sep 2004 964
Apr 2005 1184
Aug 2005 988
Apr 2006 893 (OK, I cheated, that's 53 PA)
Apr 2007 687
May 2007 849
Jun 2007 567 (51 PA)
Jul 2007 768

His low-PA month track record is much better than his high-PA month track record. I doubt that has anything to do with some magical bench player skills as it does with being spotted against lefties although his career splits aren't particularly extreme (814/762 L/R). Or maybe for some reason it takes pitchers about 50 PA to remember to throw him some breaking balls. :-)

Anyway, it's obviously possible that Pena would improve dramatically with regular playing time ... but he's never really had it so there is no track record of improvement when he gets it ... or that track record is limited to July 2004.

Still Pena's upside appears to be beloved Brewer Rob Deer (345/695 on-contact) without the walks and a little more BA. Unfortunately, that upside is to roughly match his raw numbers which, with today's offense, isn't that useful in a below-average defensive corner OF.

Also as to HW's comment on small samples ... First, 2004-2005 is just 699 PA; 2006-2007 is 476 (and counting) so the gap is not huge. Secondly, "we" also weight recent performance more heavily than past performance. At this point, the predictive value of 2004 data (on average) is quite low. I will agree that Pena is better than his 2007 performance suggests and fans who put too much emphasis on that are misguided. But at this point, give or take a bit, his 2006-2007 sample tells us as much as his 2004-2005.

Oh yes, age projections. I have no problem with someone saying "look at players with similar numbers to Pena at that age and look how good they turned out ..." as long as that pool of players is limited to guys who K about 1 per 3 AB. People can trot out Sosa as upside, but for his career, he's got 1 K per 3.8 AB which is also what it was through age 24. Sosa's on-contact numbers (328/556) were well short of Pena but, as I noted, Pena's on-contact numbers are already among the best in history and unlikely to improve. If anyone can show me guys like Pena who improved their K rates from about 1 per 3 to 1 per 4 AB while maintaining their on-contact production, then I'll agree Pena has more upside than I give him credit for. If Pena could keep his on-contact rates and K only 1 per 3.8 AB, he'd hit 307/527 and would be a nice hitter (though hardly a superstar).
   73. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2007 at 11:29 PM (#2490783)
Oh yes, age projections. I have no problem with someone saying "look at players with similar numbers to Pena at that age and look how good they turned out ..." as long as that pool of players is limited to guys who K about 1 per 3 AB.
But, as you said, Pena's on-contact numbers are historically great. He's just a weird, weird ballplayer. I don't know how much looking for comps will help - no one's meaningfully like Wily Mo Pena. I generally think that if you can do something better than 99% of baseball players, you'll find a way to be a solid player overall.
   74. 1k5v3L Posted: August 19, 2007 at 01:43 AM (#2491078)
rotoworld

According to the Boston Globe, the Red Sox might be getting Arizona's Chris Carter from the Nationals in return for Wily Mo Pena.

Leave it to the Red Sox to try to turn a seemingly minor deal into a three-way trade. Carter, who turns 25 next month, is batting .328/.385/.531 for Triple-A Tucson. The first baseman is expendable in Arizona, so the Nationals might have a deal in place to get him in return for a pitching prospect. It's unclear whether the trade has any chance of being completed now or if it will have to wait until October, when waivers with no longer be a factor.
Source: Boston.com


Huh
   75. chris p Posted: August 19, 2007 at 03:42 AM (#2491236)
levski, is carter any good? or are those inflated pcl numbers?
   76. philly Posted: August 19, 2007 at 04:16 AM (#2491247)
levski, is carter any good? or are those inflated pcl numbers?


I beleive this question was truncated. It seems to be missing "like Drew, Quentin, Jackson and well pretty much everybody but Micah freakin Owings".
   77. chris p Posted: August 19, 2007 at 04:23 AM (#2491251)
I beleive this question was truncated.

nah. it was one of them rhetorical questions. ;)
   78. DCW3 Posted: August 19, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2491256)
But, as you said, Pena's on-contact numbers are historically great. He's just a weird, weird ballplayer. I don't know how much looking for comps will help - no one's meaningfully like Wily Mo Pena. I generally think that if you can do something better than 99% of baseball players, you'll find a way to be a solid player overall.

Yet as Walt points out, even with those historically great on-contact numbers, he's a corner OF with a 100 career OPS+ and a .312 OBP. That's not a good player. I don't see how you can expect that the things he does better than just about anybody (on-contact offense) are going to continue, but not the things he does worse than just about anybody (strikeout rate).
   79. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 19, 2007 at 04:33 AM (#2491258)
I was really hoping for the PTNBL in the Wily mo Pnea to be Wily Mo Pena. You know, like a football loan.
   80. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: August 19, 2007 at 04:59 AM (#2491265)
No comments on Kevin Cash?

All I can say is wow.

Well, and where do the Sox get these guys? .495 OPS in 350+ MLB PA's.
   81. 1k5v3L Posted: August 19, 2007 at 05:12 AM (#2491267)
My guess is Chris Carter is as good of a power hitter as Wily Mo Pena should have been... and he can draw a walk. He just can't play defense anywhere on the field. Methinks he makes Jack Cust look like a gold glover...
   82. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2007 at 05:37 AM (#2491276)
But, as you said, Pena's on-contact numbers are historically great. He's just a weird, weird ballplayer. I don't know how much looking for comps will help - no one's meaningfully like Wily Mo Pena. I generally think that if you can do something better than 99% of baseball players, you'll find a way to be a solid player overall.

Then you kinda miss my point. Yes, his on-contact is historically high (though it's still early in his career) ... and he still can only amass a 100 OPS+. He needs to substantially improve his K-rate. Please find me players who've substantially improved their K-rates after, say, age 25 and/or over 1000 ML PA without substantially reducing their on-contact numbers.

There are some guys with historically excellent on-contact numbers who've not become solid hitters because of their Ks (I assume that's what you really meant ... given his defense, solid _player_ is even less likely in Pena's future). Rob Deer, Jose Hernandez, Pete Incaviglia, Preston Wilson, Bo Jackson (a near perfect comp for Pena), Henry Rodriguez, Russ Branyan (higher K rate and better on-contact #s than Pena) and Melvin Nieves (another very good comp) pop up after trawling b-r. Most of those guys had lower on-contact numbers but also had better K-rates.

Anyway, 3 more good comps for Pena -- Jackson, Branyan, Nieves. Jackson had the best OPS+ (112) but it was a lower offense time and a line of 250/309/474 ain't so special today. Nieves was done after 26. Branyan provides some hope for Pena -- a 107 OPS+ but that's because of the superior walk rate and SLG on-contact and still not someone who's ever had a full-time job.

Pena certainly has his uses. And put him out there full-time and he just might give you an average year for a corner OF. He'll almost certainly give your fans some memorable moments. But, barring the Ryan Howard miracle (439/919 on contact -- WAY ahead of anyone historically) or a substantial change in his K-rate, he will never amount to a good hitter much less an excellent one.

On Howard ... I believe Bonds' best years have been 2001 (407/1073) and 2002 (419/904). McGwire's best look like 1996 (424/994 in a short season) and 1998 (429/1082). Sosa's best was 2001 (446/1002). Ruth's best were probably 1920 (456/1029), 1921 (444/996) and 1923 (478/930). For their careers:

Howard 439/919
Ruth 406/820
Wily Mo 391/715
Branyan 384/803
Sosa 370/723
McGwire 354/793
Bonds 354/721

Howard's doing pretty well for a guy who was in A-ball at age 23. And yes, Wily Mo better than Bonds -- if only he could get his K-rate from 1 per 2.9 AB to 1 per 6.4 AB. :-)

Just to drive that point home ... the difference among Branyan, Pena, Sosa, McGwire, Bonds in terms of overall BA and SLG is primarily explained by:

Branyan 1 K per 2.5 AB (career 111 SLG+)
Pena 1 K per 2.9 AB (career 108 SLG+)
Sosa 1 K per 3.8 AB (career 126 SLG+)
McGwire 1 K per 3.9 AB (career 144 SLG+)
Bonds 1 K per 6.4 AB (career 149 SLG+)

It also wouldn't hurt if Pena learned to take a walk.

If Branyan and Pena could just get themselves into the Sosa/McGwire range, even with some loss of on-contact production, they'd be outstanding hitters. Thing is, although I've never taken a detailed look, I poke around in these numbers a lot and I've yet to find a high-K hitter who turned it around. This is partly because MLB has almost never had guys who K'd anything close to 1 per 3 AB. Note, Sosa is #2 all-time in Ks and he's nearly 1 per 4; Reggie's #1 and he's 1 per 3.8 too; Thome's snuck up to #3 and he is 1 per 3.3 ... he's also 401/801 on contact which I believe is still #2 all-time (among guys with a decent number of AB). Bobby Bonds was 1 per 4 in his career. How could I forget Adam Dunn -- 1 per 3.2, 367/769 on contact.

When he was younger, Thome K'd less -- about 1 per 4 -- he didn't start blowing it out until age 27. Sosa we've already seen was pretty stable throughout his career. Deer improved a little from about 1 per 2.5 to 1 per 3. Branyan's been about the same (1 per 2.4 through age 26). Bonds was 1 per 3.9 through age 26. Reggie was 1 per 3.5 through age 26 and 1 per 3.9 thereafter.

So Deer provides a little hope. But through age 26, his on-contact BA/SLG were 375/765 ... afterwards 334/668. His overall numbers went from 226/462 to 217/434 so he was actually a little worse with the lower K rate. (age 26 chosen because Deer had 1000 AB by then ... and because I had it in my head this was Pena's age 26 season ... this is Pena's age 25 season :-).

Reggie provides some hope too. 362/693 through age 26 and 353/655 after so not a huge dropoff.

So maybe Pena can get his K-rate to around 1 per 3.3 while hitting say 370/660 which would give him overall numbers of 258/460 ... which is exactly where he is right now. If he maintains what he's done on contact, he's 272/498 and that's still just a 115 SLG+ and a slightly below average OBP (assuming no improvement in walk rate).

Sorry, I just don't think he's ever gonna get any better. And I ain't changing my mind until somebody shows me some high K guys who greatly improved their K rates while not hurting their on-contact rates ... or, of course, until Pena actually does pull a Ryan Howard on us for 2-3 years.
   83. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 19, 2007 at 11:40 AM (#2491326)
Walt and I came to the same conclusions. Walt did it in a way that is respected, I did it in a way that isn't. I will repeat that after watching just about all of Pena's at bats these last couple of years, he is a stiff. He is not a professional hitter, and that he occasionally gets hold of a pitcher's mistake and hits it 480 feet doesn't mean that he will ever be anything other than a stiff.
   84. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 19, 2007 at 12:05 PM (#2491328)
Walt:

Fine work.

But unlike Joe when I saw this young man get better from at bat to at bat. As I am not one to be awed by someone who "looks good in the uniform" I will hold hope that someone will simply give him several consecutive months in the lineup.
   85. Rudy Pemberton Posted: August 19, 2007 at 02:41 PM (#2491355)
You can't be a highly productive ML hitter if you K 1 in 3 AB. Unless you're Ryan Howard.


You can be a productive ML hitter if you K that much...BUT you need to walk, hit for a LOT of power, and have a higher than normal average on balls in play. It's certainly not easy. A guy who K's as much as Wily Mo, while BBing as low as Wily Mo has two strikes against him. He's always teetering on the edge, and his awfulness in the field makes him useless most of the time.

We saw this with Bellhorn...his K rate was already dangerously high, but he succeeded in '04 by getting a lot of walks and having a high average on balls in play. A little spike in K rate, a drop in BB rate, and a lower average on balls in play and he was suddenly a horrible player in '05 (and beyond).
   86. Answer Guy Posted: August 19, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2491358)
We saw this with Bellhorn...

And Bellhorn was a decent 2B. Wily Mo was a DH on a team that already had too many of them.
   87. Chip Posted: August 19, 2007 at 09:39 PM (#2491786)
Wily Mo must be reading this thread. He's already walked twice in two games with the Nats.
   88. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2007 at 11:09 PM (#2491850)
You can be a productive ML hitter if you K that much...BUT you need to walk, hit for a LOT of power, and have a higher than normal average on balls in play.

Depends what you mean by "productive." You can be an average ML hitter, even a little above-average, in today's game. There's definitely value in that.

But to be "productive" ... if you hit 400/800 on-contact, as good as anyone ever has for a career, while K'ing 1 per 3 AB, you will hit 267 with a 534 SLG. Add in 100 points of walks and you've got a 900 OPS. If you put up a very good 360/720 (basically Bonds), you hit 240/480 and maybe top an 800 OPS.

That 900 OPS would be mighty nice, clearly productive ... but still only good for 25th in MLB this year and all you have to do for that is to be as good as any hitter in ML history on contact. Basically, you're Pat Burrell with 25 more Ks a year. That 800 OPS is fine in an average or better corner OF but you'd still rather have Luis Gonzalez pre-Arizona (because he was an excellent defensive OF in his day) and I don't remember anybody thinking the Cubs got a future superstar when they picked him up.

But yes, I have no problem with the idea that, given playing time, Pena could be an average-hitting LF with below-average defense who will occasionally post a 900 OPS (and occasionally a 700 OPS). I tend to doubt he'll get his OPS high enough to ever really hit average for an LF (roughly 110-115 OPS+ near as I can tell ... though we've got some stinky corner OFs out there these days), but I can't rule out the possibility. He has value.

And let's remember that Bellhorn has a career 92 OPS+. He had one outstanding season -- in which he hit 382/757 on-contact (a little better than Wily Mo). He had one other above-average season (107 OPS+) when he hit 399/671. Other than those two, his career high OPS+ is 81 and his on-contact numbers are 315/504 which is not very good (e.g. Royce Clayton is 319/454).

But yes, Bellhorn is a 2B (mainly) and you can certainly live with a 92 OPS+ from a 2B, especially if he's good defensively (which Bellhorn isn't).

But unlike Joe when I saw this young man get better from at bat to at bat. As I am not one to be awed by someone who "looks good in the uniform" I will hold hope that someone will simply give him several consecutive months in the lineup.

Now if you'd said that (or only that) to begin with HW, I'd have never bothered to disagree with you. :-) You're one of the few Primates whose "eye for the game" I respect. (No offense anybody, I'd probably respect more of your eyes if we got to hang out, watch baseball, etc. just not as relatively anonymous internet posters) I still think your eye is probably wrong here, but it was your citation of an objective track record and player projections that got me digging, not your personal opinion that Wily Mo's got something.

And Pena would seem to be in the right spot to get playing time. The Nats have nothing to lose by doing so and, who knows, maybe he'll turn into a superficial Soriano look-alike. As I say, he's entertaining in a Glenallen Hill way if nothing else and it seems the Nats could use some flash.
   89. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2007 at 11:33 PM (#2491864)
Sorry, violated one of my own rules in that last reply -- overlooking the main point I agree with and focusing on the side point I don't. So, I completely agree that walks are one of the keys to any high-K batter having success.

On the picky side, I'll note my original statement (correctly quoted) had been that you can't be a "highly productive" hitter and K that much. Quibbles over the border between average, productive and highly productive are inevitable. :-)
   90. jingoist Posted: August 20, 2007 at 12:12 AM (#2491875)
Not sure where Bowden's going on this one; maybe he no longer has any confidence that Ryan Church will ever be much more than a 4th outfielder.
They gave Langerhans a shot this year and he's been a bust.
I like Nuke Logan's raw speed and bunting ability....if he could learn to break correctly on fly balls perhaps we could live with a 260/330/350 CenterFielder, IF and only IF we had great production from Kearns (not so's you'd notice) and a platoon of Wily Mo/Church.
I also do not see Dimiti Young playing much LF at his present weight (about 250).
That said, the Nationals are probably a good place for pena to learn, if he ever will, how to hit the breaking pitch. Lenny Harris has been helpful to several guys this year; maybe Willy wil get the message (one can only hope).
   91. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 20, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2492139)
On the picky side, I'll note my original statement (correctly quoted) had been that you can't be a "highly productive" hitter and K that much. Quibbles over the border between average, productive and highly productive are inevitable. :-)

Walt, do you know of anyplace which can era-adjust (era - not the acronym) for strikeout rate? We might find better data on Wily Mo's potential comps.
   92. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 20, 2007 at 03:00 PM (#2492165)
Cowboy, your turn.

Uh, how about a bbref.com sponsorship of the first rookie to come up for whomever wins favorite team after the bet is settled. If you win, I buy the page of the next Red Sox rookie who comes up for you, you win, you buy the page of the next Yankee rookie that comes up.
   93. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 20, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2492181)
But yes, Bellhorn is a 2B (mainly) and you can certainly live with a 92 OPS+ from a 2B, especially if he's good defensively (which Bellhorn isn't).

Lies. Bellhorn was fine defensively.
   94. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: August 20, 2007 at 03:24 PM (#2492195)
Bellhorn was OK. He was no Pedroia, but far better than Todd Walker or Mark Loretta.

a platoon of Wily Mo/Church.

I hope that doesn't happen. One thing we know Wily Mo can't handle is the sporadic playing time that comes with being the short end of a platoon, which would also include pinch hitting duties, another thing he can't do. Play him every day and see what happens.

I also do not see Dimiti Young playing much LF at his present weight

Hard to see that as well. He's been fat his whole playing career. Being a pro athlete is probably the only thing keeping him from ballooning into John Kruk. Even if he could slim down (given his age and type II diabetes it would be extremely difficult for him) he'd still probably be too slow to play out there. My guess is his extension means the team isn't optimistic about Nick Johnson ever coming back. If Nick was able to play, it might be in everyone's best interests to trade him to the AL and let him DH. Of course the same could be said for Dmitri.
   95. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 20, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2492313)
Uh, how about a bbref.com sponsorship of the first rookie to come up for whomever wins favorite team after the bet is settled. If you win, I buy the page of the next Red Sox rookie who comes up for you, you win, you buy the page of the next Yankee rookie that comes up.

That's fine, if they're available when it's time to payoff. These guys might get snapped up quickly, but let's wait and see.
   96. JPWF13 Posted: August 20, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2492716)
I like Nuke Logan's raw speed and bunting ability....if he could learn to break correctly on fly balls perhaps we could live with a 260/330/350 CenterFielder,


He's at .271/.320/.350 (OPS+ of 79) for his career (His MLEs are MUCH worse)
His pattern at every level, from rookie ball to AAA to the majors is he will hit "well" at first, then tail off (presumably as scouting reports get around).

He's 27 and hitting .273/.323/.359 - if he could learn to break correctly on fly balls, and his manager endeavored to let him bat against RHPs as few times as humanly possible, maybe you could learn to live with him as a 4th OF, but really Nook Logan's "peak" is like one of Juan Pierre's bad years.
   97. cminsf Posted: August 21, 2007 at 02:53 AM (#2493040)
a platoon of Wily Mo/Church.

I hope that doesn't happen.


Good news then: he has played in three straight games for the Nats. And guess who has home runs in consecutive games.
   98. Chip Posted: August 21, 2007 at 03:15 AM (#2493052)

Good news then: he has played in three straight games for the Nats. And guess who has home runs in consecutive games.


I'm more impressed with the walks in three straight games.
   99. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 21, 2007 at 03:35 AM (#2493062)
Glen F. Geffner. And he's Lucchino's buddy, so he'll be here forever.
   100. 1k5v3L Posted: August 21, 2007 at 04:11 PM (#2493424)
Rotoworld quoted a blog on the WaPost that Chris Carter was indeed heading to Boston for Wily Mo Pena. Mlbtraderumors is claiming that the Nats will send Ian Desmond, SS, to Arizona for Carter. I admit I know nothing about Desmond.
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