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Sunday, February 20, 2011


Gotta be JRoll. Had the worst year by far... He didn't play.

Clout: besides Joe mauer who was the best player in the AL in 2009? OPS says zobrist only trailed Kevin youkilis and mauer. Do you think his defense and positional value give him the edge over youk? I do and so does a lot of other people.

Iorcore: Clout doesn't understand how a player can have an elite season without being an elite player.

Mauer was the best player in 2009 anyway, so it doesn't really matter. But yeah, Zobrist had one of the best seasons of anyone. Whether you use OPS+, WAR, or any stat you want.

Jack: I know because you change your argument 15 times in any discussion it's hard for you to keep up on what you're saying. You've absolutely used the WAR stat in the past here as a be all, end all. I know you'll deny that but if anyone cared to browse through the archives they would see you are wrong.

The problem is you don't seem to think someone can understand the WAR star AND still dismiss it as being idiotic. I know that's hard for you because it requires two thought processes running concurrently.

Also, you didn't answer my question. You've made these statements: "He'd start at 2B or RF for probably more than half of the teams in the league."

"The fact is he's better than most guys that start at 2B or, frankly, in RF for a lot of teams."

Please tell me two things:

1.) Define how many teams constitute "most" and "lot"

2.) For the first statement are you hedging your bet that he could start at second or in right as two separate individual positions or are you saying he's at least better than the right fielder or second baseman on most teams?

Good stuff by David Murphy:

Some simple explanations for Howard's drop in power numbers

There were significant power outages throughout in 2010. Ryan Howard picked a bad year for an ankle injury – apparently it compounded issues he was already facing in a year that was problematic for sluggers.

I'd rank the improvement probability at:
1) Howard
2) Rollins
3) Utley
It's a pure gut reaction but I think Howard's numbers are going to move closer to his career norms, Rollins is going to be committed to getting his last payday and staying on the field, and it's Utley that worries me the most. I just wonder if he's worn down.

TTI: I'm done discussing WAR with you, because when you start your post with "I know you've used it as a 'be-all end-all' in the past" as a premise, and refuse to question it or prove it, there's no point in arguing, clearly.

As for Zobrist, I'm not gonna go through each team, but look at it like this. Over the past 3 seasons, Zobrist has put up an .823 OPS. That would place him 6th among 2nd basemen last year, and 10th among RF. If you assume that he's at least average defensively (and I think that's underrating him), then yes, he would be above-average at both positions.

Jack: I'm not going to go through a year plus worth of posts to show where you've done so. Anyone who has been here for a period of time knows you have. Just admit you have and move on.

Also, Zobrist wouldn't be better than what many other teams have in right field. At second yeah he probably would be. In right field, no.

TTI: Even Clout will admit that I've always recognized and stated the inherent flaws in WAR, even when I've used it as an analytic tool.

I do appreciate though that your argument has basically boiled down to "I know what you've done better than you do, even though I won't prove it."

I mean, that seems like totally foolproof logic, right? I sure hope you aren't in a profession where you have to argue successfully for a living.

I am optimistically feeling that all three of these guys stand a very good chance of rebounding.

Jack: I hope you see the minor irony in the first two paragraphs you wrote.

And that's not what my argument has boiled down to. You trended the argument that way because you have nothing else to add to the topic. I asked a simple question as to why a reasonably smart person would concern themselves with WAR. I didn't attack anyone with that comment. The implication was that WAR is a silly statistic and anyone who argues value and uses that as a rationale (both for or against a player) I question.

You took that as a personal attack apparently and made a snide comment about someone rejecting it out of hand- that may or may not have been directed at me. So I responded in kind and said that I understand the stat and realize it has limitations and is sort of silly. You then confirmed the original snide comment was directed at me. And added another snide comment about my method of discussing it. I responded again in kind and mentioned your usage of the WAR stat in the past. You tend to bring it up a lot in arguments- something that anyone who cares to take a cursory look at the past year's worth of archives would notice. It's called an observation. I also pointed out that I think all stats can be imperfect if they are used without respect to the methodology of the stats.

That was when you trended away from that topic and towards the "Prove it" thread of your argument. You then said, "I've always recognized and stated the inherent flaws in WAR, even when I've used it as an analytic tool." You did that in the previous thread, but have you done it always? No. Think you have? Prove it. Two can play the game of playground argument.

Please note though that I choose to do this without taking veiled shots at you personally or how you choose to make a living.

I'd rank the improvement probability at:
1) Howard
2) Rollins
3) Utley
It's a pure gut reaction but I think Howard's numbers are going to move closer to his career norms, Rollins is going to be committed to getting his last payday and staying on the field, and it's Utley that worries me the most. I just wonder if he's worn down.

I'd flip Howard and Rollins. I think the pull of one final contract propels Rollins to a good-great season if his body holds up. Howard's numbers will probably return very close to his career norms.

Hard to believe Jimmy is only 32. Seems like he's been on the team forever. Don't know what any of them are going to do, but he's got to be the sentimental favorite.

limoguy: It's going to be interesting to see what happens with Rollins after this year. The Phillies don't have anyone who can really jump into the shortstop spot after this year unless someone makes an inconceivable leap. The best free agent shortstop on the market after this season is arguably Jose Reyes. After that it's probably JJ Hardy.

Not going to be an easy call with Rollins even if he has a good year.

Amazing to read this post, about 3 of our 4 best offensive players last year and realize we still won 97 games.

I really can't wait for this seasons to start. I feel good about each of these players taking steps to return to their career norms. Pair a resurgent offense with the best rotation any team has had in 20 years...

Yep, could be a special season.

Nice comments from Rollins in the Inky this morning. Basically said if he has a good year he could finish his career here, which he would prefer. If he doesn't the Phils will have a difficult decision to make. Seems like he understands the situation pretty well. Though I agree with TTI, it actually won't be that tough a call if he has a bad year. Of course, who would take his place is a huge question mark.

Jimmy Rollins.

Because he's my boyfriend and I love him.

(Same way many of you feel about Chase, I know.)

lorecore/phlipper/flipper etc. etc.: Have you read anything I posted?

Jack: When you create arguments that aren't being made you just look like an idiot. Why not argue what is actually being debated?

I haven't seen a single post here where someone said Zobrist didn't have a great season in 2009.

I miss Jayson Werth.

TTI: It's a pretty easy call on J-Roll unless his defense suddenly takes a nosedive. Otherwise, no reason he's not back.

Because we can never give too much love to Chooch:

Each of the 4 pitchers speaks about Ruiz here.

clout: I was told you were a source on this. Mind if I cite you on the paper I'm writing?

TTI: Even Clout will admit that I've always recognized and stated the inherent flaws in WAR, even when I've used it as an analytic tool.---Jack

That's a great article about Chooch. There were an awful lot of non-believers on Beerleaguer regarding him a few years ago. Now there's little question he's one of the top catchers in the game. From his ability to call a game, to his ability to block pitches, to his ability to get on base. He's a HUGE part of this team.

cut-fastball: Good point. Interesting article in Hardball Times Baseball Annual about how far offense has fallen lately. In 2010 there were the fewest runs per game in 20 years. Runs per game have been declining since the late '90s.

I am not sure of the reasons for this, although the steroids crackdown is an obvious one, but I see no reason for the trend to reverse itself in 2011. Which means the offensive rebounds we all assume may not be as great as expected. And our Big Four could be better than expected.

CJ: There are still doubters of Chooch that lurk around the board and have said his abilities are overrated a little bit.

I think he is a fine part of the team. He started to define himself defensively in that 2008 season and I believe he has said in the past he owes some of that to Jamie Moyer. I think he calls a good game and his defense is really above average. Last year he picked up his offensive game quite a bit too which makes him better all-around. He's a guy who isn't really an All-Star but is invaluable to a team.

Clout: I don't know what is being debated anymore, then.

Zobrist is a good baseball player who had a great season in 2009. WAR is a useful stat, but obviously you have to recognize the limitations of single-season defensive data.

Have I covered all of my bases? Should I have made my position on the Abreu trade clear?

TTI: In Jack's defense, I don't recall him ever using WAR to say "so and so is a better player than so and so." I also don't recall him ever correcting those who do, however. He is clearly more enamored of WAR than most of us.

clout: So I'll split the difference and say I am possibly half correct/half incorrect.

That sounds fair.

Clout and TTI: If it were my responsibility to correct the logical or conceptual flaws in every post on Beerleaguer, I would never eat, sleep, or work.

Jack: That stuff is overrated anyway.

Jack: Good point.

clout just wrote: "Jack: Good point."

There's hope for peace in the Middle East yet!

NBC just put a stat up during their hockey coverage showing the longest active playoff streaks in each major sport. It included this:

MLB: Phillies 4

Well, the competition for 8th starter just got tougher... Andrew Carpenter is back!

Shockingly, despite his remarkable status as a major league-ready starting prospect, Carpenter cleared waivers. He was assigned to Lehigh Valley and will be a non-roster invitee to camp on Monday.

Is this the right room for an argument?

Ibanez keeps the beard during the season "if it helps us win and it plays well on the field".

clout -- I'm the first to admit that my post in the prior thread; re: "Howard slacking on his ankle rehab" or thereabouts was a very bad supposition. Regardless, I was cringing each time he came to the plate in September/ October of last year.

Here's hoping that 2011 brings us the old Ryan; that is, his coming at bat is a reason stay planted and not to turn off the game or to switch channels, even in if the Phils' are routing some hapless opponent. Can't wait to see the ball jump off his bat again. Heck who cares about "Oppo Boppo" when an obsessive need to go the other way turns you into a gap hitter.

If only he'd stand 3" closer to the plate... maybe a low and away breaking ball might not look so damn tempting and unhittable at the same time. Is it illegal to wear a (right) forearm guard each trip to the plate?

Yo, new thread

1) His kinds of skills decline slower than the other 2.
2) he plays a less intenst defensive position
3) Because of the mileage on the other 2.
4) Because he's a year younger.

I have to rain on the parade, but the odds are pretty good that we've seen the last of elite play out of Rollins and Utley. They will continue to be usefull players, yes. They will continue to contribute on a great team, yes. But MVP types years? No. All Stars? Unlikely (unless undeservingly). Age 32 is the age at which all non-juicing stars start to seriously decline. With luck, our two guys will decline slower than most, but expecting a large improvement from either, let alone both, is wishful thinking.

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