so saith Ron Shandler
Posted by jemanji on 12/31/17
. FOREWORD Dr. D got his Ron Shandler BaseballHQ Forecaster in the post. This is going to heat up a cold news month by more than a degree or two. You can get your own copy at this site. If you spend money on only a few baseball things each year, this is one a' them. It's not that HQ is right about everything, any more than (say) STEAMER is, but: HQ does what James did in the early days ... (1) Break down player results by component skills, such as EYE, Contact %, expected PWR, etc ... (2) And focus strongly on what the YEAR-TO-YEAR TRENDS ARE for these players. In other words, it's one... Read More
can't fault De Poet on this one, now can we
Posted by jemanji on 12/30/17
. We can make long lists on Jerry Dipoto, things he's done well and not, but there's one thing he absolutely hammered: "Lengthening the Lineup." Quotes emphasized because it was one of the first phrases he used publicly after replacing Jack Z. With respect to Seth Smith, IIRC. Wishhiker shoulda popped this onto our front page, but was too humble to do so. Which makes Dr D's life ez 'nuff: . I think there's a decent chance of that proving true. Split by place in the order in 2017, by OPS it goes 3,4,2,5,1,6,7,8,9 with only incremental drops until 8th @ .707 to 9th @ .581. Numbers on the... Read More
"Megadeal" defined by Kenny as $100M total, $20M per
Posted by jemanji on 12/30/17
. SSI doesn't often link to videos, but here's a 5-minute panel worth your Denizen Dime. Brian Kenny argues on MLBNow that teams should never sign $100M deals and "I mean never." The question seems kind of frivolous at first take, but ... nobody has signed yet, right? That's a fact. Some analysts are saying, they're done --- > until next winter, when the really irresistible free agents hit the market again. Is Dr. D remembering this wrong, or didn't the owners do a pretty good job resisting super long deals until about the time Manny Ramirez (and then ARod) hit the market? Seems it... Read More
a'ite, Shohei, I've heard just about enough
Posted by jemanji on 12/29/17
. NEWS TICKER - Fangraphs reports ;- ) that the Rockies signed Wade Davis. The amount? 3 years, $52M, which by the old math used to be $17M per year or something. This sets a record for RP salary, and --- > should cause us all to take up a moment of silence for Edwin Diaz. I mean, it's not even like Diaz is going to be gone after NEXT year. Or the next year... Dipoto complains, nobody gives him credit for his club-controls guys. He's got some traction there. The going rate for "elite setup men" is $8M per year and let us all reflect on the idea that Juan Nicasio is spoken of as an... Read More
One pitcher who could be an M, one who couldn't, one who is
Posted by jemanji on 12/28/17
. JAMES PAXTON Gordon pointed out this article on James Paxton as "Air Traffic Controller." When batters did manage to get the ball into the air against him, their results were pathetic: 85 MPH average velocity ... only 26% hit hard ... a miniscule 5% "barrels" (good velo plus good launch angle). This being All. Year. Long. Each one of those stats is #1 among MLB starters, as are other stats like "average distance" and "average wOBA." The fact is that when batters lifted the ball against Paxton, they simply lifted worse fly balls than against anybody else up to and including Clayton... Read More
A great question by Taro
Posted by jemanji on 12/28/17
. Taro says, Doc, I'm suprised how open minded you are to spiritual leaders from other paths. Its seems unusual for someone from a western Christian background. Do you practice meditation regularly now? . Will take that as a high compliment my friend. Yes, I meditate, though with an asterisk. .... To me the question as to Christians 'being open to spiritual leaders from other paths' is quite reasonable. Even if you were to disregard Christianity as you see it on TV (which IMHO is usually a grotesque perversion of the religion), it is still the case that many humble Christians are taught to... Read More
the hot stove plot .... thins
Posted by jemanji on 12/26/17
. Kate Preusser has a very clever article up defending Jerry Dipoto's offseason. The analogy is this: lots of fans hated, hated, hated the current Star Wars movie ... BECAUSE ... it did not match up with any kind of crowd-pleasing plotline they'd spent two years guessing about. The analogy continues: you CANNOT write great movies based on what fans would like to see; you've got to do better than that. Those are Premises 1 and 2; the Conclusion is, Jerry Dipoto must be doing the right thing, ignoring the fans. Is the logic valid? The LL comments to Kate's article say, Nay Verily. There... Read More
eyes slideways on a cool relief pitcher
Posted by jemanji on 12/26/17
. Marc W has a tight argument right here, in which he posits that the M's see a hyper-Vincent in Shawn Armstrong. The (compelling) argument is: The two RP's throw similar pitches, with rising cutting action; Nick Vincent turned around his career by taking these cutters up-and-in on LHB's; the M's intend to teach this to Shawn Armstrong. Armstrong throws +3 MPH harder than Vincent, so there y'go. See his site for the details and strike zone maps. ..... The Mainframe's sense of this: it could factor in; the Mariners could move Armstrong's cutter up-in within the LHB strike zone and benefit... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 12/25/17
. After this post, a bit of Mariner shtick. During it, a Warriors Cavs game on TV. Alongside of it, our warmest hopes for your blessed 2018. In the quasi-philsophical, semi-preachy, relentlessly forwardgoing spirit of the Mainframe, Here are 250 humorous (and otherwise) holidays wishes from wishespoems.com. . In this loveliest and happiest of seasons, may you find many reasons to celebrate. Have a wonderful Christmas! Don't forget to check Wikipedia's entry on Gratitude. Gotta be their best page. The emotion of "appreciation," of being the recipient of kindness and reflecting warmly on... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 12/23/17
. One cubicle to the right, we talk about "iguana" ballplayers. That was partly to set up this piece, claiming that Gordon is one of them. Prior to 2017, Gordon signed a 5/$50M contract, which is what you would expect to pay for what. 1.5 WAR per year? Gordon has been healthy three of the last four years: 2014, 2015, and 2017, last year. Fangraphs sets his bases gained and bases lost as worth --- > $25.1M, and then $38.7M, and then $26.6M. Counting his injury year in 2016 (79 games played), he's been worth $98.3M in four years. And they gave him ten million a year for that. Iguana.... Read More
and a defining characteristic of a purebred sabe
Posted by jemanji on 12/23/17
. James started his "Hey, Bill" series ten years ago, in August 2017. The very first question he ever answered, I think, was along the lines of "Sabermetrics does not evaluate players. Sabermetrics seeks to understand the game of baseball." Relatedly, among the first 10 questions he ever answered was this one: . Could I add something to that? Asked by: Bill in Brookline Answered: 10/16/2007 Sorry. . ..I thought of something I wanted to add to the previous question, but the system doesn't allow me to edit an answer once I have posted it. We'll fix that, but anyway, Pete... Read More
Is he Paxton or Colon?
Posted by moethedog on 12/23/17
OK, a short and sweet thread for Christmas eve eve. I have been doing some stat surfing for Andrew Moore. As you know, I really like the kid and his upside. Oh, he will never K a bunch of guys, but he will get a bunch of guys out. So here's what I found: 1. Andrew Moore has a heck of a heater. In fact in '17, Moore's fastball was as good as James Paxton's. Not in terms of velocity, of course, but in terms of run suppression. 2. Moore's off-speed repetoire got beat up, sort of like Bartolo Colon's. Ergo, Mike Zunino needs to quit wiggling multiple fingers when Moore is on the mound... Read More
here's to ya, mates
Posted by jemanji on 12/21/17
. DEE GORDON They say you will always see something new at a baseball game, usually saying this right after the two occasions per year in which that actually occurs. :- ) As it applies to the SSI blog it occurs more frequently than that. This morning, Dr. D woke up to see something he never thought he would ... ... wait for it ... ... the Think Tank doing its best to look feebleminded. LOL. Just when Dr. D thought he couldn't get any more sappy about the praise he fired into the crowd like T-shirt cannon guns, he turns around and finds that the Denizens can indeed get weird on him... Read More
Canis Lupus First Base-us.
Posted by moethedog on 12/19/17
Over on USSM, they were whining a bit about Ryon Healy and his inability to be anything more than a below-average bat at 1B. Ah, I'm not so sure. He hits .877 vs. LHP, and that was very consistent from '16 to '17. All the evidence says he flat out bashes lefties. He's a .271-.304-.476 bat vs. RHP, which means he's not the original Boog Powell, but if you do that batting 6th behind Seager, you will be more than fine. Danny Valencia, who the braintrust hoped would be our 1B guy, hits both righties and lefties worse; RHP considerably worse and lefties marginally worse. If Healy just does... Read More
NNNNNOOOOOoooooooooo ..... wait, though
. Q. What does Gordon himself think of this concept, flushing his Gold Glove and taking up a weird position? A. About the same thing as James Paxton would think of a move to first base, or about the same thing you would think of yourself moving to cow-manure processor. Shannon Drayer has the money quotes: . “I was shocked,” he said on a conference call with reporters. “I honestly had never heard of a situation where a guy who is a Gold Glove-caliber player at his position turning over to a new position. At the end of the day I am a team player and that’s what I have got to do for the... Read More
Vintage Eck Territory, Dept.
. "If it's me against you, one time, I like my chances." - Dennis Eckersley, converted SP . Q. Nicasio is a converted SP. Is he more of a Ryan Franklin type who has found a versatile niche in 2-3 IP, or more of a guy who re-shaped his arsenal around his two best weapons? A. Neither. He's always been a guy with two big hurkin' weapons, miscast as a starter. If you were stinging over the loss of Thyago Vieira, here's your ointment. Or not. Here, check out this excellent Fangraphs .gif-out on Nicasio's 2017. It .gifs Nicasio as a 95-96 MPH guy who used to throw a "frisbee" slider hit hard... Read More
no-brainer here, boys - except for the sales resistance
. Q. What is Dipoto trying to sell here and who is he trying to sell it to? A. He's trying to sell the technological imperative to baseball guys in uniform who are accustomed to typewriters. A brief glance at baseball history, from 1917-2017, confirms that --- > more relief pitchers are better. We're at 4.5 pitchers a game or so now, per team. All along that era, 1917-2017, unie's have grudgingly tolerated the next 0.5 RP per game extra but then -- > sworn on a stack of Eliases that the next RP would foul up the delicate balance of the pitching changes and, obviously, lose 100 games... Read More
and a bit of medical disclosure
Posted by jemanji on 12/18/17
. Absolutely crazy, the volume of response and the benevolent tone of response during my 3-week absence. I come back expecting a post from Mo' Dawg and 3 comments in the hopper, and instead get 10 guest posts and dozens of comments to "approve" (sic). I had no idea. I mean, I thought maybe there was 25% of this lurking enjoyment of SSI. So, thanks. And it's especially gratifying to me, the depth of respect and profundity you see from Denizen after Denizen. MisterJonez and Hit-Run and Blissed-J to say nothing of Keith and G and DaddyO and ... hate to even start the list for fear of... Read More
Posted by moethedog on 12/17/17
Edit: My mention of Preston Tucker below seems to be way premature. I was sure I had seen, somewhere, that we had grabbed him, but now can not verify. Thanks to Kyle for pointing out the error. And sincr Tucker is out, that simply highlights our need for a #4, preferably one who brings an infield glove, as well. In case you missed it, while we're overloaded at 1B/DH (Healy, Ford, Vogelbach, Boomstick), we're desperately short in the MLB OF category. That, of course, is complicated by the reports that Heredia, coming off shoulder surgery, may not be ready for spring training. I feel a... Read More
Might We Have Stumbled Onto A New SSI Genre?
Posted by DaddyO on 12/16/17
DaddyO here, following up on my own suggestion that those at SSI who are willing might participate in the creation of new SSI genre, what I have provisionally dubbed the Bio Bin. The initial conception was spurred by an article from MisterJonez telling us, among other things, a few things about his life outside our sports community. As I commented there, “A chicken farmer! Who’da thunk it?!” Well, there’s probably a lot of “Who’da thunks” out there waiting to be shared that would enrich our community, if in no other way than making our online friendships more personal. One can’t help but... Read More
What *are* we, anyway?
Posted by misterjonez on 12/15/17
I don't know exactly where to go with this, but I'll dig in with both hands anyway. I'm sorry if this comes across as too morbid or as ill-timed. Doc's recent absence got all of us to thinking, and some good comments came out in the 'Loyalty' post where he assured us he's on the path to recovery from the ailment that attempted to lay him low. For this good news, we're all rightly thankful. And in *this* crowd I don't assume that more than maybe one or two of you won't have already pondered the issues of mortality, legacy, and other meaning-of-life-related issues at least as much as I have... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 12/14/17
. Never had a ride in my medical life like the last two weeks :- ) which started with a septic port, a jugular clot, a crazy weird tonic-clonic seizure that pitched y'down 16 stairs and then got strange from there. When I woke up there were about 200 interesting posts on Seattle Sports Insider and a warm, glowing assurance that we have something good here. Couple of one-offs: .... 1. Shohei Ohtani is the biggest SINGLE asset in organized based-ball. Which, do not fail to forget, leaves him as like 1% of its assets. And that's if he stays healthy and if he comes up to speed on real major... Read More
Gotta get something to stick sooner or later...
Posted by misterjonez on 12/14/17
So a few moves on the RP front for the home-towners. Juan Nicasio is $17mil richer; Shawn Armstrong exists, and will attempt to K the world for the M's (without simultaneously walking it); and Anthony Misiewicz gets a homecoming! In addition to the aforementioned $17mil headed to Nicasio's offshore account, a grand total of $1.5mil in int'l bonus pool allotments are headed out to bring Armstrong and Misiewicz back. Gotta say I'm a little underwhelmed, but as someone (Gordon?) astutely mentioned recently, it's not as though the M's have had ANY success in the int'l FA market since Felix (... Read More
Building on Pt. 2's insanity...
Ok, so this one's probably even more insane than my boneheaded Manny Machado idea. But I'm gonna lay it out there anyway: if they M's acquired Clint Frazier, they could *probably* land Chris Archer. As noted in that Fangraphs article, Clint Frazier's got something like $40mil of projected surplus value. Archer, by my hasty-back-of-the-napkin math, was worth $35mil last year and there's not a lot of reason to believe (barring injury) that he'll be worth less than that going forward. His contract costs about $34mil for the next four years, so we're talking about ~$100mil in surplus value... Read More
I'm surprisingly upset about this...
I'll keep this one brief: the Cubs signed Drew Smyly for $10mil guaranteed ($3mil in 2018, $7mil in 2019) with $7mil in performance incentives. For a team as starved for SP depth as the M's, and for a team that had an up-close-and-personal view of his Team USA dominance (following the FO's deserved--in my opinion--long-running infatuation with the guy), it seems *nearly* indefensible to me that they didn't match this deal. I'd have to assume that Smyly would have given them *some* sort of discount (a mil or two?) if we'd tried as hard as the Cubs did to sign him, in which case you'd be... Read More
This one's a little more 'reasonable,' whatever that means.
Ok, so I went a little nuts on the whole Manny Machado idea. Mea culpa. Let's try something a *little* more realistic this go-round, shall we? Everyone in the PNW knows by now that Jacoby Ellsbury's got ties to the region--the east coast media made sure that we knew that as soon as Ellsbury looked like an upside-down contract on the Yankees' payroll. Born in Oregon, he played college ball for Oregon State University, so there's *probably* some appeal to the notion of playing for the 'home-town' Mariners here, near the end of his career. There are a few obstacles...three of them, actually... Read More
I'm just sayin'...there's more than one way to cast a die.
No, I'm not suggesting it's a *smart* play for the M's to acquire Manny Machado. Just hear me out ;-) Machado is easily one of the most productive players in baseball, albeit on the left side of the infield (where the Mariners currently have no openings). He had a down year in 2017, but still produced 2.8 FanGraphs' war with 33 HR and a WRC+ of 102. He's projected for 6+ wins in 2018, after which he'll be a FA. Now this is even harder to fit together than Gordon was, but there's a sliver of hope for a fit. Again, I'm not advocating this move, but hear me out. Machado has made a lot of... Read More
Or Was the Shohei Ohtani Show a "one-off"?
Posted by Silentpadna on 12/11/17
This is a short post and since I'm not a veteran and not in a spot where I can post some pics, it will not be fancy. Like almost everyone else, I watched with great interest the Mariners' pursuit of Ohtani. I made a few comments appreciating the fact that Mariners were "all-in" in him. I am still convinced they were, but over the course of the last few days, after seeing Stanton land exactly where I always expected he would, my thoughts about the Mariners being all-in in general have begun to waiver. Or at least I can say I have doubts. I would not have expected them to make a run at... Read More
Supposedly can be had for 'impact relief arm.'
Posted by misterjonez on 12/11/17
So The Amazins are apparently willing to deal Matt Harvey for 'an impact reliever' which, your guess is as good as mine what that means. Here's what we know about Matt Harvey: First round draft pick (#7 overall) in 2010, exploded onto the scene in 2012 with 10 starts of sparkly 2.73 ERA pitching. Followed up in 2013 with 178 innings of 2.27 ERA in 2013 (good for 6.5 FanGraphs WAR) and followed THAT up with 189 innings of 2.71 ERA ball his next season...the caveat being that 'next season' was in 2015, since he missed all of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery. In 2016, his ERA ballooned up to 4... Read More
Gonna have to get creative, here...
Ok, so this is more of a quick rundown of available SP's rather than an in-depth analysis. I know, I know, "Dee Gordon ate all our munniez!" But if the rotation's going to get shored up, it's going to have to be via the FA market at least in SOME capacity. Here's the top tier of starters available. Yu Darvish: The top FA pitcher on the market, arguably even including Ohtani-san, Darvish comes with minor injury concerns (above and beyond those associated with >30 year old starts with a bajillion miles on their arms) to go with elite performance on the mound. He's been a solid 3.5-4.... Read More
Various opinions on Gordon's (latest) position shift.
So the internet is rightly ablaze with the Ohtani and Stanton news, but slipping through the cracks is some fine analysis about new M's player Dee Gordon and his upcoming shift from 2B (where he was elite defensively) to CF, where he's never played during his pro career (unless you count that one season in the Caribbean...). First up is a killer comment by AndrewMcQ down near the bottom of this thread over at LookoutLanding. Contained therein is a thick wad of evidence which points favorably to Gordon's speed turning him into an asset in CF, along with some specific IF-->OF conversion... Read More
The Good Get Gooder
So it looks like, barring a failed physical or other unforeseen development, Giancarlo Stanton is a Yankee. That's actually pretty cool to think about; two 50 homer bashers on the same roster for the next ~decade as they enter(!!!) their primes together? Wowza. It's kind of obvious what the impact will be for the Yankees, and their division, but the bigger (better?) question, from my perspective, is this: how do the M's make a similar move to pair an ace pitcher with Paxton? The first hope was Ohtani, but the Angels beat us in that particular race. Another hope is Darvish, but in truth... Read More
William Butler Yeats an anachronistic M's fan?
The Cloths of Heaven by William Butler Yeats Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,Enwrought with golden and silver light,The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light;I would spread the cloths under your feet:But I, being poor, have only my dreams;I have spread my dreams under your feet;Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. I'm not ashamed to admit the first place I heard this poem was on the film, Equilibrium, starring the above Sean Bean (spoiler alert: he dies in the first act), Christian Bale, and Taye Diggs. I imagine that last line sums up... Read More
Rampant speculation runs rampant.
Posted by misterjonez on 12/08/17
So everyone's writing everything Shohei Ohtani, and with good reason. This guy has invigorated baseball in a way I've not seen in my 36 years of life (granted, only twenty of those were spent paying any meaningful attention to baseball...), and the situation surrounding him is (superlative of your choice) fascinating. It's probably unsurprising to discover that I, too, am going to write about Shohei Ohtani. Why? Because he's interesting, and because he's made me think about baseball again. For that, he (and his representation, if I'm being cynical) has my gratitude. You all know the... Read More
Actions speak louder than words, kids. Watch JeDi conduct a master class in indirect communication with one roster move.
Posted by misterjonez on 12/07/17
Say 'hello' to the M's new CF-slash-2B-in-waiting, Dee Gordon :-) Let's avoid smug, undeserved self-congratulations (NOBODY, least of all yours truly, saw Gordon moving to CF--and nobody said anything about int'l bonus money, so there) and get right down to business: Gordon's primary calling card is his elite speed. Over the past three years, he's third in MLB in BsR (according to Fangraphs) at 20.3, behind only Mookie Betts' 27.4 and Billy Hamilton's 35.6 (also, nearly double Lorenzo Cain's 10.9 over the same period). So he's one of the most dangerous baserunners in the game. But he's... Read More
Mikolas The Next Colby Lewis--and Heretical Thoughts about Robinson Cano
Posted by misterjonez on 12/05/17
So the St. Lewis Cardinals have struck the first resounding blow of the offseason, by signing Miles Mikolas to a 2 year, $15.5mil deal. At that price, he'd have to produce just two WAR over the course of the deal to be 'worth it' to the redbirds as a FA acquisition. Anyone here think he'll fail to do that? The most recent and compelling comp for Mikolas' return to MLB after a stint in NPB is Colby Lewis, who the Rangers signed for a pittance a few years back and who immediately stepped in an pitched like a #2/#3 SP for Texas with 8.8 Fangraphs WAR in his first three years (2010-2012) back... Read More
and lots of it, amigo
. What awesome comments this a.m. Actually not comments; they are followup posts in the CMS threads. Won't have time to reply for a few hours, but had to get this quickie post up. (1) Was thrilled to see that Billy Zoom regards Ohtani a Mariner until proven otherwise: . One national media person actually had the pepto-bismo ready when he announced the Yankees and Mariners would be the two finalists. I don't know if there are Vegas odds on a prop bet on this matter, but, if you can get down on the M's at a defent return, grab it. This will greatly elevate DePoet's stature. . (2) Agreed with... Read More
when two side .gif's provide the last 30% of a hitter evaluation
. Q. What is wrist hinge all about? A. Kate Preusser gif-ted us with side slo mo's that cause us to instantly jell a crazy, stupid love for Shohei Ohtani as a hitter. Click this link into a 2nd window and thanks, Kate. First-class analysis also. Tyro or expert alike, y'can all see the Tiger Woods-like wrist hinge that her Bryce Harper .gif boasts -- and then you can see Ohtani quite obviously blow Harper away in the left lane. Why don't all hitters take this kind of centrifugal force out of their forearm pay window? (1) They just don't have hands like those two guys. Griffey is also in... Read More
of weight sinks, weight floats, grace and balance
. Q. What is the aiki principle "Keep Weight Underside?" A. Let's check SSI's old article on Mike Napoli, who has been the best at it since Thor, Hulk and Nelson Cruz. Click this link if you want a quick primer on weight sink as you transfer the idea from aikido to baseball. Thor and Hulk make cracks in the cement when they hit the standing grapple pose, right? Like Boomstick would if the batter's box were made of cement. Lowering your weight is the way you move the washin' machine. ... But here is Kate Preusser's article again so you can open the 2nd window if it isn't already for those... Read More
. Q. So that's all you need to be a 1-1 ammy draft pick in Dr. D's world? A swing that is Harper-class? A. No, but it helps if you hit .322/.416/.588. Against JAPANESE PITCHING. At age 21. And that's really more like age 19, considering that he has had few AB's of ANY type in the pro's. (Actually at age 19 he aclso slugged .500 in Japan, so I'm framing this argument very weakly.) Even Griffey got to play class A baseball at age 18, and got 450-500 at bats in the minors. Ohtani at age 18 was forced into 200 at bats FOR NIPPON?! at age 18 and the next year he slugged .505. This in what... Read More