May 2019

saber times M's, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 05/31/19
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. At BJOL they talk a lot about walks being underappreciated -- before Rickey and the Abstracts especially, but even to this day they can be less appreciated than they should be.  For example, it's not well locked in that OBP players "stack" better in a lineup than SLG players do.  After you adjust for everything, including the Lichtmann-type "OBP = 1.3 SLG" adjustments, players 3, 4 and 5 raise the number to 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 etc.  That's not understood as well as other skills on offense. When it comes to walks being underappreciated ... that far understates the situation before WWII and before... Read More
or so the prospectoids are tellin' us
Posted by jemanji on 05/31/19
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. The Corner of Edgar and Dave has an excellent little article up, and an even better .gif of Kelenic swatting a pitch into the bleachers.  What was the pitch?  It was one thrown in his first game after promotion to high-A baseball. Quoting a few of their quotes,  “The general thought was, when he came into professional baseball — by third parties — is that it was effectively average-ish power,” Jerry Dipoto said, with a slight chuckle, on Ep. 051 of The Wheelhouse. “The power is significantlybetter than average. He can hit, he hits the ball hard, he has lift in his swing, he identifies... Read More
never underestimate the power of hope, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 05/31/19
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. "Abba" had one hit after they broke up, that I know of.  Dr. D is not exactly the type who followed them through a 32-city tour of Europe, but he did enjoy this one song by, um, Frida I guess her name is.  Somethin' goin' on indeed. Dr. D has been watching this happen downtown for 40 years, the M's talent go one way and their W-L record go another way.  The M's offense continues to clock in at 80 MPH, which converts to 109 in OPS+.  Their pitching doesn't seem THAT irredeemable that you couldn't cobble a mediocre staff to support them. I mean, the other night they had a "long lineup" posted... Read More
show us somethin', JP
Posted by jemanji on 05/23/19
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. PLAYER DEVELOPMENT When a team's about to get good, you can always* see the first wave of young stars coming.  Before the winning starts.  Remember 2011 and Earl Thomas was flying sideline-to-sideline, going crazy on Seahawk enemies?  That 2011 team, which was 7-9, had Thomas and Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch and K.J. Wright and Chris Clemons ... ... that winter they drafted Wilson and Wagner with Irvin? was it? and they were off to the races. The Houston Astros, I remember it like it was yesterday, being thrilled about them coming into our division... Read More
A LH catcher with a life OBP of .366? Howzat grab ya
Posted by jemanji on 05/22/19
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. DANIEL VOGELBACH - SIZZLER Ripping along at a cool .270/.400/.659, which gives him a 186 bat for the season.  For amusement's sake, Mike Trout's is 175 and next in line career, Joey Votto, is at 153.  Slumping the last two weeks, he's hit .240/.340/.660 there.  Widening out to his career, with the false starts he's still at 130 for life OPS+. If his power seems a little bit high-ish, it's probably because that compact swing is getting to hot fastballs.  Here's a stat; tell me what you think of it.  "Home runs off fastballs 95-100 MPH."  'Bach leads the majors in that category, with 5... Read More
Mitch talks hittin', Moore talks permanent residency
Posted by jemanji on 05/22/19
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. MITCH HANIGER Last week Maniger sat down with David Laurilia for a discussion of hitting, and very quickly we spiral off into a Postgrad Student Lounge of deep philosophy and cigars dipped in brandy.  Here's the link. I especially enjoyed Mitch's search for "the sling effect" but he goes into 99 ways to look at a baseball swing.  ... which, come to think of it, is nothing more than Brooks Koepka would do if you asked him.  Anyway Haniger states that his swing is different based on ... pitcher, the base-out situation, where in the game you are, and so forth -- but the LCD (least common... Read More
Various-and-sundry Natural Born advantages
Posted by jemanji on 05/22/19
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. At BJOL there was an answer recently that got me to thinking, and to smiling: . Realizing that a definitive answer is likely impossible, any guess why there were so many all-time great pitchers active in the 1970s, and so few in the 1980s, beyond "just something that happened"?  I dimly recall you writing something about not many kids being born in America in 1944, so the ones that were - like Tom Seaver - grew up feeling dominant. Asked by: Jeff (not me - Dr. D) Answered: 2/27/2019  Well, I think there is something there, that so many of these pitchers--Fergie Jenkins, Seaver, Carlton,... Read More
Logan Gilbert
Posted by jemanji on 05/20/19
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. At Bill James Online he had some ideas about low-minors pitching that I'm sure had eluded ALL of us: . When looking at a pitching prospects, which is more important.  Strikeouts, or Strikeout to walk ratio? Asked by: shthar Answered: 3/1/2019  Well. . .probably too general a question to answer.   But an exceptional strikeout to walk ratio at a low level (High A or below) often means less than you think it would.   Hitters at that level often can't deal with a changeup.   A young pitcher can get two strikeouts every time through the lineup by throwing a changeup a little bit outside.   You... Read More
Jay Bruce has 153 PA's so far, kiddies
Posted by jemanji on 05/20/19
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. Moe Dawg gives us a beefy post on the idea of a nucleus for the 2019-2021 Mariners: . An interesting read, Dipoto's comments on Vogelbach.  There is more than a bit of a mea culpa, "I blew it!" tinge from the GM. - Moe Second chance link:  Here y'go amigo.  The gist of it is that Vogelbach was always going to hit, always showed pitch selection with a compact swing and power.  After he got to the upper minors and continued to bash, he became the blue-chip prospect type that usually turns into a true producer in the bigs.  His only problem was that he never got a real chance. Though... Read More
Doesn't have to be epic, but has to be there
Posted by jemanji on 05/17/19
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. At BJOL, James commented that the 2012 Red Sox collapsed mid-summer -- winding up 69-93 in the middle of a bunch of 93 win seasons -- because they were a quilt-patchwork roster, one with no cohesion, and that when the pressure started they just disintegrated.  By contrast he remarked that later, J.D. Martinez was able to integrate himself as a clubhouse regular within a month of arriving, which is unusual.  He was replying to a question on Dipoto's hectic roster churning, that lots of trades are one thing but if you never give yourself a chance to get a ballclub together, it won't play well... Read More
"CAN" you, sure. Will you, that's another matter
Posted by jemanji on 05/15/19
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. Rick sez, . Should Brennan be our closer? His bendy stuff is unhittable, but hard to control and thus catch. Reminds me of Rodney. Thank goodness Narvaez was able to stop that one that keep Grossman on 3rd last night. . Heya Rick!  :- )  Good call directing our attention to Brennan.   Taking this idea at face value ... (1) Have you ever heard of a pitcher who literally couldn't be caught?  Knuckleballers sometimes.  Don't recall anybody else. (2) Supposing you did have a knuckleballer, I wouldn't want him closing.  The wild pitches would just be too gut-rending in the 9th.  But it's like... Read More
Nice to see the M's extreme at something
Posted by jemanji on 05/15/19
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. PRO It has been called to the CEO's attention that the Mariner defense may be THE most ruinous ever to disgrace a baseball field.  I guess the previous titleholders were the 2005 Yankees, with the prosecution's exhibit A being the players' UZR's.  In terms of player runs below and above average the M's are at a pace to break records held by the entire population of 1900-2019 ballclubs. Is this true?  It passes the sniff test.  Just going by the names, you've got Jay Bruce (yuk), Edwin Encarnacion (yuk), Ryon Healy (ouch), Domingo Santana (an extreme bat-first player), and a RF playing CF.  ... Read More
Or any other Ruthian skills you wanna show us
Posted by jemanji on 05/15/19
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. In a February Hey Bill, he argued that although our sabe formulas love BB's, they don't love them enough.  In real life a team that is taking its free passes is getting lots of traffic, and as it adds more such players, the effect compounds: . To the question about what a simulation might show about effects of different kinds of roster composition, you answered, "The real-life advantages of each system would disappear in a simulation." ...Can you say something about why the roster-construction thing wouldn't be well demonstrated in a simulation? Asked by: MarisFan61 Answered: 2/18/2019 But... Read More
And Haniger goes upper tank in back-to-back games
Posted by jemanji on 05/14/19
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. GAMEFLOW 1 Cindy and I went to the game Monday.  But supposing you told us at 6 pm that the A's would hit five (5) homers and their starter would Feir a lockdown game? Only way you win that is if your pitcher actually throws well aside from the solo HR's, and you get to their pen.  Which we did.  The average homer yields 1.7 runs, so x5 that would usually be 8.5 runs; the A's scored 5 total runs for the game on their 5 homers.  How marvelous.  Yusei Kikuchi is accelerating into an easy #2 starter.  His and Marc-O's ERA are #17 and #14 in the league, Kikuchi's with a bullet. Speaking of... Read More
Sports Is Life, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 05/14/19
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. By watching players instead of the team. After a ballclub has cashed in its season, which Dipoto did in February, all you can do is watch them as if they were the Rainiers.  And I enjoy Rainiers games, if they have legit prospects who could be playing WELL in the majors shortly.  Well, which is better, to watch J.P. Crawford in Tacoma hitting .350, or watching Domingo Santana going against Gerrit Cole and leading the AL in RBI? That said, for ME there are another few weeks left of watching to see if the M's pull out of their tailspin.  No way in the world is this team so devoid of talent... Read More
Death to flying things, Dept. (if they fly 60 feet)
Posted by jemanji on 05/14/19
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. Sorry kiddies.  The last month or so, a bum right arm has kept me off the keyboard.  Better now :- ) and if you get a chance to say "hi" in the comments, I'd be glad to know that you're still around! . Q.  What is Santana's level of performance, exactly? A.  His slash, exactly, is .281/.351/.497.  For a 133 OPS+ in a pitcher's park, which makes him the 23rd-best hitter in the American League, 5 slots below J.D. Martinez and 5 slots ahead of Nelson Cruz. Fangraphs sees him as a -5 to -10 runs defensive left fielder, which sounds right to you and me.  In 2016 that pulled him down to +3.3 WAR... Read More