In the Karns vs Paxton thread, Billy Zoom pulls back the hammers on his side-by-side shotgun and blows Paxton off at the ankles. Heh! Good on him. We'll just link you to his comment without feeling any need to rebut.
Other than to say, if Billy is absolutely right about everything with Paxton, then still (1) yes. He is an unfinished product. Your point being? (2) As an embryonic lefty who fights his control, Paxton has BEEN perhaps a little better than your garden-variety Anthony Vasquez. He's got 30 starts with a 7.5 strikeout ratio, a skimpy 0.7 homer rate and a 3.16 career ERA. He has won 12 games and lost 8 (a .600 record) for a team that has been slightly below .600.
But yeah. It's frustrating to see Paxton fall short of Clayton Kershaw and fall short of his own ability, for that matter.
Billy's always- interesting position aside, it is (globally) a funny thing how COMPELLING are the sights of spring training. Nobody REALLY flies by their instruments; the covers come down over the cockpit windows and they start relying on their sheer vertigo. Scott Servais and Dave Valle and Mike Blowers and EVERYbody talk about:
- (on the 5th) March doesn't matter. We go by track records.
- (on the 18th) IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO SHOW US WHAT YOU CAN DO YOU FEEB
LOL :- )
Honestly, if there are 300 people here, then Dr. D is #300 on the list, absolutely #300, as to his worry index on James Paxton. Or any mega-talent who has bad mid-March stats, such as Nelson Cruz. But speaking as pals here, it is SOOOOooooo hard to resist the sight of a player's last outing, isn't it?
DiPoto sez it's Cishek, Benoit and Zych and then "roll the dice." Question for you. Which of those first three are NOT dice rolls?
Dr. D is not panickin'. He's just amused at the idea "we've got Steve Cishek but then we're gambling after that." :: chuckles heartily :: But! The cool takeaway is that Tony Zych will benefit from a real application of "we go by track records, not by March." Power to you, buddy.
INTERMISSION: BASEBALL DORKING
Friday, the KKKKarnivore feasted on several "lockup" strikeouts on 3-2 curveballs. When a pitcher :: coughcliffleecough:: has that much faith in his yakker, it makes the hitter's life SO much more complicated. I love, love, LOVE watching a pitcher crack off a 3-2 slow curve. LOVE IT!
And that's a starter's pitch, by the way, the full-count curve ball. Not declaring victory on "Karns 5SP." Just chatting.
There is a lot of talk this March, at BJOL and at Fangraphs. "How much can you tell from spring training performance?" Dr. D could link you up to all the articles, but most of you wouldn't click them. You trust Dr. D's exec sums ... as well you should. So, the state of the art on Spring Training correlations:
- As a very general rule, they don't matter. Even June 2016 won't matter, as a general rule. Need more data than one month.
- If a team or player is VERY good or VERY bad in March, there's some tendency for that to be a tipoff.
This makes sense. If a player just leaped a plateau and can now hit 40 homers a year, he'll probably reflect that in March as well as he will in June.
Stats aside, there are some players who have turned heads for us a little bit. Luis Sardinas, Boog Powell, Stefen Romero, maybe Shawn O'Malley have us thinkin'. Did you know Dae-Ho Lee is hitting .285/.350/.500 in his first week's worth (24 AB's)? He must be playing in SS games? I still think that Dae-Ho Lee should make the 25-man and indeed start Opening Day against Cole Hamels. Keep Romero in your hip pocket. If Romero really is Jermaine Dye now, he'll still be that in May or June.
On the mound, Dr. D has thoroughly enjoyed Taijuan's offspeed game. Joel Peralta is fighting hammer-and-tongs for one more season in the sun.