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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Comments

My prayer for the Phillies is that someday I will see a battery of Ehren Wasserman-Tuffy Goosewurst.

Kinda surprised by Eyre's retirement.

I wonder if a guaranteed deal at the veteran minimum would have done it.

.318 in the AFL for Tuffy, Clout. You might get your wish.

clout: "But I too have yet to see a single shred of evidence to support the contention by Jack, Andy, Brian G et al that "there's not a lot of reason to think he'll improve."

Why? Just because you don't think he will?"

No, because, as we've explained, he doesn't have the good stuff that usually indicates improvement. And shouldn't the burden of proof be on those, like yourself, who say he's going to become something he currently isn't? What's your reason for thinking that a 25 year old with a 1.77 K/BB ratio at AAA is going to become a successful major leaguer?

Wasserman Goosewurst. Just Plain Good. For you too, English.

Brian G: You missed my earler post evidently:

Those of us not wed to the theory that "all pitching quality emanates from K/9" do agree that KK needs another pitch to get out LH or he can't remain a starter. His K/9 is irrelevant to that.

But we also believe that lopsided splits and low K/9 are not a bar to a big league career. There are too many examples to the contrary. If he can't make it as a starter, he will make it in the bullpen. Despite what Andy et al say, there really is value in holding RH hitters to a .692 OPS over 303 major league IP.

Clout: I wouldn't say that his K/9 is irrelevant to his struggles with LHP. If he got more K's, he'd be better against lefties. Also, he'd be better able to pitch carefully around lefties, knowing that he could get an out against righties (K) without putting the ball in play and giving up a run.

If you had to bet now, would you bet on Kendrick becoming a solid MLB starter, or a middle reliever the like of Clay Condrey, Geoff Geary, Rick White, or countless other fungible righty middle relievers we've had pass through Philly?

Obviously, I would bet on him becoming a middle reliever (if anything). But you seem to insist he's Paul Byrd redux. Which do you think is more likely?

Frankly, I am not really interested by this list simply because no one out of this list is going to make the big league club on Opening Day.

"I think now when I think about it, if he came to me and offered me the same contract I had last year," said Eyre, "I don't think I'd take it."

Scott Eyre, High Cheese and the RV

I.E: I was really insulted by the first offer and I said screw it, I'd rather stay home than play for a team that didn't appreciate me.

In his defense, he pitched hurt the entire 2nd half because he knew we didn't have another reliable LHP in the BP. He likely exacerbated the injury and pitched through serious injury all the way through the playoffs as well, delaying a major surgery. Personally, I'd be pissed a bit too.

On the other hand, Rube and his doctors have seen Eyre's elbow up close and personal. They know just how bad its injured and they made the smart business decision not to risk a guaranteed deal.

Clout: In the last thread when I asked what the "experts" though of KK now, I wasn't being sarcastic and referring to our BL "experts", I meant what scouts/GMs/Manuel are expecting. Thanks for the answer though(not sarcastic)

From about 3 threads ago, about Holliday's deferred money, and players blowing their fortunes...

"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably waste."
- Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw

I wouldn't call that "blowing it". Sounds more like sound investing.

I don't usually come out with the 'these guys are overpaid' bit, but the minimum salary is how much more than the $400,000 it was last year?

Bet most of us wouldn't be insulted making that for a year, let alone what Eyre could make if he'd pitch this year.

Well, they didn't offer a guaranteed minimum, just a minor league deal.

Bushmills Single Malt is an especially fine investment.

I like Tullamore Dew.

hh - For a blend TD is very fine, too.

I was about to ask clout to name a pitcher with a K/9 against non-pitchers under 2, and a GB/FB ratio under 2, who also managed to surrender a .919 OPS sgainst more than half the batters he has faced who has actually succeeded in a long-term career as a major league pitcher, but, I surrender.

Because CLEARLY, even if there has never been such a guy before, I cannot prove that Kendrick will not be some new kind of phenomenon who succeeds where no one else has. I bow to your wisdom, great mage, Kyle Kendrick, in 2010, will certainly plow new furrows in the hallowed hedge rows of the ground surrounding Cooperstown.

Without getting anyone to strike out or ground out much, and failing to have an out pitch against left-handers, he will subdue the league for the greatest of all possible reasons: because clout has willed it.

"And shouldn't the burden of proof be on those, like yourself, who say he's going to become something he currently isn't?"


BrianG, who posted that? I sure didn't. I don't recall anyone else posting it either. You see, you're either not paying attention or you have poor comprehension skills. A third possibility is that you purposely twisted the argument to suit you own needs.

No matter.

I'll make this easy for you so that you understand it this time:

I don't know whether KK can improve or not. I've never posted that he WILL. I've merely taken the position that the POSSIBILTY exists that he CAN.

In order to bolster my argument I listed a few pitchers who were mediocre until they got past the age of 25. Now, some were HOF pitchers and I used them to illustrate how DRAMATIC an improvement CAN be made by a pitcher who has, up until that point, been mediocre at best.

After contemplating it for a while, I realized that the people on the other side of the argument would use the fact that the pitchers I used were HOF calibre in an attempt to twist the point I was illustrating, which was simply: Improvement CAN occur.

So, I used examples of other pitchers like Mulholland who are not HOF calibre.

clout also used Paul Byrd as an example.
Another one who experienced dramatic improvement for a few years at the age of 25 was Randy Jones, who finished with a 101 ERA+ for his career, but who actually won a CY one season and finished 2nd the year before. He didn't have great stuff either.

Dave McNally had a 96 ERA+ until at the age of 25, almost like magic, he turned things up several notches.

Mike Cuellar was a guy who got a cup of coffee at the age of 22, got shelled, and didn't even make it back to the big leagues until the age of 27. He then proceeded to go 175 - 107 for the next 10 seasons with a 2.97 ERA and an ERA plus of 115.

Jim Lonborg had an ERA+ of 91 until he was 25 and then won a CY.

Dick Ruthven is another guy who didn't do much until his late 20's.


I could go on and on but I'm still not sure you get the point.

Burden of proof?

I could post name of players all night long as evidence that improvement CAN occur.

But there is non for someone like you, because you'll simply take the position that just because other players DID, it doesn't mean KK CAN.


So, I'll reiterate my position one last time:

"I don't know whether KK can improve or not."

And the simple fact is that neither do you.......or Jack......or Andy......or......???

Rosenberg will never make it. He has a K/9 over 11 and he gets out both lefties and righties. Send him to the BL trash heap.

Lonborg, McNally and especially Cuellar, incidentally, could strike people out. But that's not important.

awh: "You see, you're either not paying attention or you have poor comprehension skills. A third possibility is that you purposely twisted the argument to suit you own needs."

That style is tiresome. I've seen you employ it against about 5 other posters. If so many people have trouble understanding you, then maybe it's you that's the problem.

Anyhow, no one is saying KK can't improve. We're talking likelihoods here. Jack, Andy, and I find it very unlikely that he will be anything more than a 5.00 ERA pitcher based on what we've seen of him up to this point.

And your examples of guys who had randomly good years at 25 show nothing either. If you said, "Dave McNally and Dick Ruthven has similar skill sets as Kendrick, then did X and became good, which is why I think Kendrick is capable of dramatic improvement" then you'd have an argument.

As to your point that none of us know. Ummm, duh. Anything we KNOW, like that the Phillies will play over 100 games next year barring a worldwide catastrophe, doesn't really lend itself to interesting discussion.

Sounds to me like everyone is saying them same thing. KK can improve. He might he might not. Lot of huffing and puffing about nothing.

To the point of the post, I wonder if Aumont's invitation means the Phillies have no intention of trying to make him a starter as being a reliever is probably his quickest route to the majors.

So we're agreed? KK is the next Koufax?

It's pretty amazing how far Beerleaguer (and baseball in general) has come to embrace sabermetrics over the past 5 years... all this talk about ERA+, UZR, OPS, etc.

Interesting.

In his age 25 season, Sandy Koufax led the league in strikeouts. Since we've already established how much in commone Koufax and Kendrick have, I fully expect Kendrick to lead the league in strikeouts this year.

JBird: No one in the FO has really answered definitively whether Aumont will be used as a starter or reliever. Will be very interesting to watch.

KK's an inch taller than Koufax too.

Why Fangraphs commenters lose credibility:

"I would consider Molitor and Winfield as “bottom tier” HoF’ers..."

Seriously, if Molitor and Winfield are bottom tier, the HOF just lost about 200 members. Winfield was one of the best RF of the last half century. Molitor was a beast.

I sometimes wonder if some of the sabermetrics people there even watch the game.

Andy: No one is saying KK will be a star.

We're just saying that: 1. K/9 isn't the end-all-discussion stat that you and Jack think it is; 2. That holding RH batters to a .692 OPS in 303 major league IP is considered valuable by the pros, although not by you and Jack; and 3. That KK could develop a pitch that makes him more effective against lefties and it doesn't have to be a strikeout pitch.

While you put you fingers in your ears and sing la-la-la every time someone mentions it, Kendrick had an ERA+ of 118 in 121 IP in 2007 while posting a K/9 of 3.6 and it's not a wild fantasy that he might do it again.


Its not really likely either.

I hope he does it. I hope he develops a good changeup, becomes a solid 4/5 starter who gives us cheap innings for the next few years.

Do I expect it? No, not really but you never know.

NEPP: Well, I'm not old enough to have watched the prime of Molitor and Winfield's careers. Knowing their reputation as all-time greats, I have to be honest that I was a little surprised to see how low some of their offensive numbers were, even taking into account the era in which they played.

Add in that Molitor played a lot of time at DH (and thus had no defensive value), and I could see how one could look at the stats and not be blown away. Again, I didn't watch those guys in their primes, so I absolutely defer to those who did. But is it possible their reputations are maybe just a little ahead of what they actually were?

I saw a few games Rosenberg pitched, and he can bring it. Interested to see what he's got in ST.

Where's Jake Taylor?

More importantly thought about this list - is do any of them have beards? Phils are really lacking in that category since Bruntlett & Feliz left. Maybe Ibanez could dump the soul patch and grow a beard.

clout, as I've told you before, stop making sense.

No matter how much evidence you present to these guys, they put their fingers in their ears.

When BrianG says posts something silly like this:

"And your examples of guys who had randomly good years at 25 show nothing either. If you said, "Dave McNally and Dick Ruthven has similar skill sets as Kendrick, then did X and became good, which is why I think Kendrick is capable of dramatic improvement" then you'd have an argument."

it boggles the mind.

Present them with evidence that a random group of pitchers - some HOF, some league average - can show marked improvement after the age of 25, then all of a sudden they try to change the argument to similar skill sets, as if all the pitchers I mentioned had similar skill sets to begin with.

Sheesh.

All I or you have maintained is that it's not impossible for KK to improve.

Jack is still fixated on Sandy Koufax's Ks and ignoring the other names. Brian thinks they all have to have similar skill sets in order to improve.


My guess is that if they looked at Jamie Moyer's numbers at the age of 25 they would have said the same thing about him that they're saying about KK.

Jack: you sure you didn't accidentally look up the stats of Dave Molitor and Max Winfield?

It is possible KK could start wearing a Phiten necklace and that would improve his pitching performances according to Japanese mystic engineer. . . I dare you to cross a Japanese Mystic engineer.

awh: I don't think it helps the argument to pick out the outliers in baseball history. How many Moyers or Glavines have there been? I'd say one of each. Yes, it is within the realm of possibilities that in this reality KK will improve and become a #3 type pitcher. I'd love to see it. But, based on the preponderance of baseball history, it's unlikely, not impossible, but unlikely. I personally think that it's within the realm of expectable outcomes that he could be a #4/5 type pitcher. But if you look around the league that's a fairly low bar.

NEPP: I know Eyre wasn't offered even the ML minimum, just saying that if he thought he was ML ready he'd get at least that, seeing how the Phils need a LOOGY.

"you'll simply take the position that just because other players DID, it doesn't mean KK CAN."

They wouldn't be wrong. Just listing a bunch of guys who improved is a weak argument. Would you be convinced by a list of guys who stayed mediocre or got worse as an argument against KK improving? I would hope not.

All you've demonstrated is that some players can start off poorly then make big improvements which no one in this thread has been denying. And yes, there is the possibility that KK can improve, but by itself it's not all that compelling a reason.

"Bet most of us wouldn't be insulted making that for a year, let alone what Eyre could make if he'd pitch this year."

It's well known that athletes, as a class, are on par with the Huns*, but isn't it possible that Eyre's anger--if that's what he felt (and believe it or not, it's somewhat difficult for us to know just exactly what he felt--why, he even may have felt *two or more* emotions, simultaneously!)--proceeds from a sense of honor slighted, and not sheer greed merely? That he saw his value as X, and a minor league deal--both in its monetary *and* totemic significance--as
Of course, as a Somalian living in a hovel on a dollar a week, it seems to me, should East Fallowfield's boss reduce EF's salary by a half and move his desk to the basement, that EF could only feel emotions of the dearest gratitude. On what grounds could he possibly feel otherwise?

*and particularly those who don't do precisely what the Phillies FO asks of them.

Oops, that should be:

That he saw his value as X, and a minor league deal--both in its monetary *and* totemic significance--as

less than X.

Greater than and less than signs not allowed, apparently

GrandSlamSingle: "All you've demonstrated is that some players can start off poorly then make big improvements which no one in this thread has been denying."

Actually, they have been denying that. That is awh's whole point. Go back and look. The debate is between those who think KK can't improve because he doesn't have the skill set and his K/9 is too low and those who think he can.

Klaus: I'm digging your posts lately. Remember that Beerleaguer posters are ardent defenders of management's budget, whatever that may be. And when players disagree, they are greedy.

I would argue that if it was all about money, Eyre would accept a $500k contract. That's way more that whatever his next job will pay.

But Eyre made $2M last year, pitched hurt and still put great numbers. He is already independently wealthy. In that circumstance if the boss tells us we must take a 75% cut, who among us would not say, "Screw you"?

Clout: it's just fascinating to me that posters routinely make arguments about players that are so totally congenial to management, anywhere and everywhere. One wonders, is BL a billionaire's club?

Jack, NEPP: The Molitor/Winfield discussion is interesting. I happen to think there's a large gap between the two and the reason is power and defense, two elements that ought to get a premium.

I am old enough to have seen both of them play in their primes and, while Molitor killed you with his high AVG and speed, he was never remotely as intimidating as Winfield and was never anything special on defense.

Winfield was a force of nature: Huge, yet fast and graceful. Tremendous power. His arm was one of the best in baseball history and his range was good enough that he could've played CF for most of his career. He hit 20 or more HRs 15 times in an era when 20 HRs meant something. His career OPS+ was 130. Molitor's was 122.

Calling Winfield a "lower tier" HOFer is laughable. Calling Molitor that is defensible.

Which brings me to Edgar Martinez. Zero value on defense, but a career OPS+ of 147, better than Winfield OR Molitor by a lot. A 2-time BA champ and 3-time OB champ. Ended with a career slah line of .312/.418/.515 while playing in pitching-biased ballparks his entire career. Think about that: He AVERAGED a .939 OPS for 18 years.

Enough to compensate for no glove?

That should've read "career slash line"

Hey I'm not going to go back and read all the posts about Kendrick, cause just reading this thread has already gotten me confused on what the arguement is about, sometimes seems like everyone agrees other time there is some minor piont that is causing all kinds of differences. If you guys don't mind can one or two of the main compatents summarize the key pionts? Maybe in bullet point form so the rest of us have some crip notes to help follow. Actually nevermind, just keep going, this is a train wreck and I can't look away.

Is it fair to state the BL community would accept poor Kyle if he could post a year of ERA+ around 95 as the Phils number 5 starter?

Anyway, please continue, when you've exhausted yourselves can we once again debate the merits of Burrell vs Ibanez, or maybe the Abrue trade to the Yankees? Thanks.

Properly edited version:

Andy: No one {beyond BLers} is {crazy enough to be} saying KK will be a star.

We're just saying that: 1. K/9 isn't the end-all-discussion stat that you {Actually, by itself it is not. But coupled with a pedestrian groundball rate, Kendrick's inability to generate strike-outs is more troubling than you give it credit for.} and Jack {and Billy Beane for what that's worth} think it is; 2. That holding RH batters {who comprise just 49% of the batters he has faced} to a .692 OPS {and allowing LH batters to knock him about liberally to a .919 OPS} in 303 major league IP is considered valuable by the pros {although no one values it enough to stockpile these guys in huge numbers}, although not by you and Jack {or General Managers, basically}; and 3. That KK could develop {I understand scientists are working on cold fusion} a pitch that makes him more effective against lefties {actually, rolling it like a bowling ball might make him more effective against lefties given that lifetime OPS} {and he better because so far major league teams, without a bench load of LHBs have managed to get 50.8% of them up there against him} {heck, even the Gnome batting from the wrong side could probably rip him} and it doesn't have to be a strikeout pitch {but a pitch which makes it hard to hit less than .919 OPS against him would be nice - has there been evidence of cold fusion yet?}.

While you {is this self-reference?} put you {sic} fingers in your ears and sing la-la-la every time someone mentions it {projection, maybe?}, Kendrick had an ERA+ of 118 {80} in 121 {155} IP in 2007 {2008}while posting a K/9 of 3.6 {1.24 against non-pitchers for his career} and it's not a wild fantasy that he might do it again {exactly}.


For fixing your post, you may feel free to send me a bottle of Tullamore Dew. Whenever.

Count me along with Anon that after reading the past 2 threads have no clue of the overall argument and sides within this KK argument.

I have been prepping for the big Eagles game and watching the Flyers continue on their roll, therefore haven't had the time the past couple days to get involved with this silly argument. But nonetheless would still like to know what is being argued?

One thing I think both sides of the argument can agree is that KK will compete for the 5th spot in 2010. And if Moyer is unable to come back/start the season, KK will have a great shot at winning that spot.

clout, thanks for staightening GSlam out.

I'm finished with this debate.

I'm afraid if I continue I'll have nightmares of being in a Wrigleyville bar circa January 1992 - a sort of BL Twilight Zone if you will - and Jack, Andy and BrianG will be taking up canard that Jamie Moyer, sent back to the minors at the age of 28, didn't have the skill set or stuff to improve and make it back to the MLB level.

Due Due Due Due, Due Due Due Due ...

224 wins later....

Clout-I did go back and check and that is NOT what they're arguing. They're talking specifically about KK, and only KK. It was awh who changed it to "any pitcher". His argument is a strawman.

AWH: funny way to be "Finished with this debate".

Did Garth Brooks get an invite?

awh: Ah, it was only a matter of time before you brought up Moyer.

You realize Moyer has had possibly the single most unique career for a starting pitcher in MLB history, right? Outside of maybe Satchel Paige?

So far, you've used Koufax, Randy Johnson, Schilling, Glavine, and Moyer as evidence that Kendrick can improve. That's simply insane.

Here's a Phillies example for you: Marty Bystrom (young hero at age 22 in late-season callup, out of the league by age 26). See, guys can be good for a little bit and then be terrible pitchers. You can't say Kendrick won't!! I like this mode of arguing, you can never lose.

Not sure I'd make that argument about Moyer, since he never had less than 4.6 k/9.

Is anyone arguing with the idea of giving Kendrick a shot at the 5th starter spot in ST? Obviously nobody knows if he'll be any good, but do people really think he shouldn't at least get a chance to prove himself? If so, I think that's a ridiculous argument.

Otherwise, I really don't see the point of the discussion anymore...

The conversation doesn't really have a point.

KK is going to get a chance (and deserves it) to be the 5th starter/reliever spot in ST. He could get it(duh) or he might not be good enough to get it (duh).

GSlam, au contrair, my friend. I did not change it to "any pitcher". The others did so, albeit tacitly.


Here's why:

You need think logically.

If one (Jack, BrianG, Andy, et. al.) argues that a specific pitcher, because of his age, lack of success to that point, or whatever, cannot or will not improve, then by definition, one is arguing that every other pitcher of the same ilk faces the same fate.

Taken to it's logical conclusion, one must then argue that no other pitcher historically at the same age in the same situation should or could have improved either.

There's no other place for one to go - unless one can "prove" that the pitcher they have singled out is somehow different from the others.

But, if one is presented with historical evidence of a variety of pitchers of the same age who had the same relative lack of success up to that same age - and then succeeded to varying degrees - then one must demonstrate why that specific pitcher (KK) WILL be different.

However, BrianG maintains the "burden of proof" is on those who say it is "possible" for him to improve.

If that's his position, as I said in previous posts, the "proof" will never convince him or anyone else because they can keep coming back to their original position that "KK won't succeed because he is different".

It's a circular argument.

all clout and I are asking is : Why not?

"So far, you've used Koufax, Randy Johnson, Schilling, Glavine, and Moyer as evidence that Kendrick can improve."

Jack, I can see by the abreviated list you posted that you didn't read my posts in their entirety - unless, of course you purposely omitted the other names.

Also, I - meaning me - never mentioned Glavine. Someone else did.

Again, you need to read, comprehend and discern.


I pulled those names off or b-r.com in a very short period of time. Why those names? Well, it's because I'm old enough to actually have seen those guys pitch and knew their career paths - even Koufax. But that's beside the point.

You, Andy and BrianG argued KK won't improve.

clout and I argued that he could.

Brian said the burden of proof was on us.

So, I listed examples of pitchers who weren't very good up to the same age in their careers who did subsequently improve. (It's a short list, but I haven't exactly spent a lot of time on it. Do you think it's impossible for me to find more?)

But now you guys are arguing (I think you must be clairvoyant) that KK won't be like them.

See my post above. Why won't he?

Wow...how many days til pitchers and catchers report?

tommy, the debate, as clout summarized above is simple:

Some of us think there is a possibility that any 25 year old player can improve - in this case the player in question is KK - some of us don't.

Despite the historical examples of pitchers with a variety of success levels and skill sets, for some reason they’re utterly dismissive of the possibility.
While they may give lip service to the "possibility" that a 25 year old like KK can improve, Andy’s bastardization of clout’s post is a pretty good indication that he doesn’t think the possibility exists at all. I suspect BrianG and Jack agree with him.

Otherwise the debate over the “possibility” would have been resolved two threads ago.


See ya.

awh: You didn't list their heights, so no real comparison can be made.

Also, as pointed out in the last thread, those guys were(?)considered better propsects with higher ceilings than Kendrick. It is a much safer assumption that KK WON'T be like those guys than will be like those guys.

awh: We're arguing likelihood, not whether something is possible or not. It is possible Kendrick improves at least a little bit(in fact, given that players peak in their late 20's, it may even be probable).

My point is that I find it highly unlikely, given his career so far, that he will improve enough to be a legit MLB starting pitcher. He simply does not have the stuff to do so--as even Clout admits, it's not a matter of refining control or anything like that (as it usually is for pitchers with good stuff who improve--including almost all those who you listed), but a matter of developing an entirely new pitch and suddenly having the stuff to get out lefty hitters, which are, you know, half the hitters in the league.

I simply haven't seen evidence that he has done so yet--his peripheral numbers in AAA last year may have actually been a step backwards if you consider the level he was pitching at.

That's my point. If you wanna keep arguing "logically" (which you're not actually doing by the way, but that's a different story) against a point I'm not making, go for it. But I just laid out my point above, and it's been my point the whole time.

BB: Why are you making a back-handed joke towards me? I am not in this debate at all.

Bed's Beard: If the question is whether Kyle Kendrick will be more "like" or "unlike" Koufax, Unit, Schill, Glavine, and Moyer, well, it's tough, but... I'm gonna lean towards "unlike". Just a shot in the dark though. I like to go out on a limb sometimes.

clout: "while Molitor killed you with his high AVG and speed, he was never remotely as intimidating as Winfield"

Never? What psychologist did you use to help you block the '93 WS out of your mind.

The joke is bigger than you at this point.

Molitor - quickest bat for a player in his late-30's that I've ever seen. (non PED category)

Molitor played in the Locker Room Cocain Era.

awh: "However, BrianG maintains the "burden of proof" is on those who say it is "possible" for him to improve."

For someone who accuses others of twisting words.. ummm... what quote of mine talking about burden of proof used the word "possible" in that context?

Again, as Jack just stated, we're talking "likely". No one is arguing whether or not it's "possible". EVERYONE agrees it's "possible" that KK could improve.
Actually, I just second Jack's post.

Kyle Kendrick, 10+ MLB wins in 2010. We'll talk in October.

"The joke is bigger than you at this point. "

Oh, sorry.

Also, since when did the height thing extend into pitcher's? The 3rd baseman joke is height. The Madson 9th inning look, I mean DITHL is for pitchers. As originator of the joke, I say that you can not combine the two.

I actually think this argument has gotten a little to stat oriented...

For the question of whether pitchers can improve dramatically from 24 to 25 has been answered quite thoroughly and the answer is yes. Quite a number of HOF pitchers on down have seen dramatic improvement.

But the question of whether Kyle Kendrick can do the same is different. KK doesn't exactly have the "stuff" that these other pitchers had, even at a young age. That's why, even when he was excelling (or Zach Duke a few years ago, or Robinson Tejada, or Eude Brito) no one was thinking he could keep up that level of performance and be a 1/2 starter. So yea, he has room for improvement, but it isn't going to be spectacular until he fully refines his secondary pitches or, on the other hand, improves his control to the point where he walks people at a Silvaesque level.

Bad Beard: "The joke is bigger than you at this point."

Shouldn't it be, "The joke is *taller* than you at this point"?

Tommy: Good point!

CJ: nice!

BRian G: So you think Molitor was as intimidating as Winfield because he got hot in one post-season?

Interesting.

I find value in at least a bullpen piece that holds RH to a .692 OPS in his career.

Tommy is absolutely 100% correct - you cannot confuse the two running jokes (even though one was supposedly "retired"). These are two separate and mutually exclusive stats. Height is measured in feet/inches. Testicular fortitude is measured in DITHL.

Now, if a sabermetrician wanted to somehow figure out a way to create a comibined statistic, I propose that it be measured in DITHL", or at the very least D'HL"+.

kart: Exactly right. Yet Andy & Jack say he can't possibly have a career, as if history isn't littered with one-sided guys like him.

This is really quite silly, since KK is already having a big league career and unless righties suddenly start hitting him, he will continue to have a career.

clout: Yes, I will always be terrified of Paul Molitor. Dave Winfield is just a big teddy bear to me in comparison.

Molitor was a pure sparkplug. Remember how annoying Damon was during the WS? That was Molitor every game of his career. He found ways to get on base and managed to do so 4,560 times in his career (H, BB, IBB, HBP).

He also managed to steal 504 bases at a 79.5% clip.

He was just as terrifying as Winfield but in a different way.

I very clearly remember him playing, he was amazing.

If Molitor is a sure-fire HOFer, how is Tim Raines not?

Molitor: .817 OPS, 122 OPS+ (mostly as DH), 234 HRs, with 504 steals at 79.5% clip

Raines: .810 OPS, 123 OPS+ (mostly as LF), 170 HRs, with 808 steals at 84.6%

Someone please explain.

Jack: Not only were Raines' numbers better than Molitor's he was a better fielder (nothing special, but not below average as Molitor was.)

What I may find as most interesting in this overall discussion, is that the same poster who would condemn any other poster who would think that Bastardo could be a decent pitcher based on his stats (including BB/K and K/9), would bash any posters who would use the same logic in diminishing unrealistic expectations of KK??????

Raines seems like a no-brainer. One of the best leadoff guys ever. 1500+ runs scored. .385 OBP. Stolen base machine. Should be in.

SmokyJoe: Why? The positions are consistent on both sides. Those who hail K/9 as the end-all be-all are very high on Bastardo and very low on KK. Those who don't are more skeptical of Bastardo and less skeptical of KK.

Unless you don't understand what the deabte is.

Kendrick in AAA at age 24 this season: 3.34 ERA, 3.9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9

Bastardo in AA/AA at age 23 this season: 2.15 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 2.0 BB/9

If Kyle Kendrick can be the next Sandy Koufax, maybe we should be shooting higher than Johan Santana for Bastardo.

No, I understand the debate completely. One side is arguing the "likelihood" of an event happening, while the other side is arguing that it can happen (no matter how remote the chances are). Seems like a completely semantic argument of entrenchment that shows the inability of posters to accept another viewpoint.

BTW, clout, for every historical example of a pitcher who performed admirably with low K rates, I will give you 10 who did not. It's absolutely ludicrous to not admit that the "likelihood" of KK producing 100 era+ over several years (based on the information at hand now, not what-ifs) is well under 50% based on the statistics he was produced and how those statistics extrapolate to 1,000s of pitchers over the history of baseball.

SmokyJoe: Exactly. I've said it's possible that Kendrick improves enough to be a legit MLB starter, but very unlikely.

Clout and awh seem to be simply saying "it's possible", without commenting on how likely it is. Well, congrats. It's possible that I develop a 95 mph fastball over the next year and play independent ball and then get noticed by a scout and then impress everyone in ST next year and help the Phils bullpen. You can't prove it's not possible!

It's a ridiculous argument.

However, in order to be even remotely successful in the majors with a low K-rate, a pitcher would need to have impecable control. KK's BB-rate are not very flatterring. I know it's possible he can develop a third pitch, improve his control on his change-up, add 5 mph to his FB, etc. But based on the information at hand at this moment, it's unlikely (much less than 50%) that he performs league average or higher over multiple seasons with his current repertoire. Thems are the statistics.

BTW, I personally like KK, and will be rooting very hard that something changes that will allow him to be successful. Furthermore, as a fan of the Phillies, I also hope he can contribute to their success.

Jerry Crasnick says Astros still talking to Myers.

And yet... Kyle Kendrick has a 95 ERA+ through 303 IP and 52 career starts. I'd imagine there are quite a few teams that would take that as their 5th starter.

I know, I know... we're not allowed to consider his actual numbers because "How to Beat Kyle Kendrick" by Unnamed Scout was published in December 2007 and distributed to all major league teams.

CJ, your point is the most valid one. While many posit that KK is not likely to be above league average, he doesn't need to be. He's cheap, under team control, and if he can just continue to put up 95/96 ERA+, he will remain on the team as a valuable asset.

But that's a different argument than whether or not he can becomes better than league average because 10 pitchers (with similar stuff/results at age 25) in the history of baseball have done it. And it's even worse to call anyone who would disagree with this assessment as "silly"

BTW, I've always enjoyed reading the various regular poster's viewpoints, even when they differ greatly. And I've always found awh to be one of the better posters. I have to agree with a recent poster, though, that has stated that awh has started to become a little richard-esque.

CJ: "I know, I know... we're not allowed to consider his actual numbers because "How to Beat Kyle Kendrick" by Unnamed Scout was published in December 2007 and distributed to all major league teams."

I think it's more likely that the book "Kyle Kendrick Strands a Higher % of Runners than Roy Halladay (and 4th best in the majors)" only had a 2007 version.

****Not only were Raines' numbers better than Molitor's he was a better fielder (nothing special, but not below average as Molitor was.)****

Well, Raines was a LF while Molitor played 3B, 2B, 1B, OF during his career.

One had 3300 hits while the other had 2600.

And Molitor was a DH for 40% of his ABs (almost all starting in his Age 34 season onwards). I love how people keep labeling him as "primarily a DH". The guy had 1800 hits as a position player.

Though I think Raines is a HOF candidate as well. Molitor was well above him if only due to his longevity.

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EST. 2005

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