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Friday, August 10, 2012

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UNLEASH RUF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow/whevener we have the discussion on how to fill 3B, #5 starter, setup man, etc. - all the posters who think I'm foolish to target Upton/Vic instead of Bourn will be the same people who want Youklis, Mike Adams, and Zach Grienke, etc.


Release him so he can play for the Oakland A's.

I still haven't heard why this Ruf character hasn't gotten a shot at AAA yet, or isn't considered a prospect. I *know* he's old for AA, I get that. He's been old for every level he's been at. That doesn't tell me why they haven't moved him up though.

I've heard his defense isn't great but then I've also heard his defense is fine. So that doesn't tell me anything.

Is it the double-chin he's sporting in his mugshot here? Is it that he's blocked by Overbeck at first in AAA? That doesn't seem to be a reason but I'd like to hear why he's been constantly held back...

Note; this is not meant as a full-throated endorsement of Ruf. I just want to hear the reasons why he's not a prospect.

Looks the old joke about the talking dog ("Ya think I shudda said Dimaggio?) will have to be updated from Ruth to Ruf.

Question: Is his name pronounced "roof" or "rough"?

Reading has a guy like Ruf - a non-defender triple crown candidate - literally every year: Rizzotti, Bozied, Sellers, Randy Ruiz, Burnham, Castellano. On and on ...

OK - so that's the thing? He can't play the field? I saw Rizzotti play a few times and he was a non-athlete and could barely handle first. Is Ruf at that level?

Loctastic: That's what I've heard.

Interesting, when his manager is touting his "overlooked" defense and saying he's saved them a ton of errors this year.

I brought him up weeks ago,& was told in no uncertain terms that he's "organizational filler" and he is another Rizzotti, etc. with no chance of success.

Yet I had read that he is a smarter hitter than the aftementioned Rizzotti & can play a 'decent' LF.

I'd say give the man a chance to be a successful before casting hin into the abyss of the ghosts of Tag, and Rizzotti. etc

loctastic: I only know what the scouting reports say and they say he's bad defensively and can't run.

Nice bat, though.

locastic: I'm sure he'll get his shot at AAA, but to answer your question in short: every single team has a "Darin Ruf" in their franchise. Redundancy eliminates value, which is why he's not a prospect.

Just as your post wasn't an endorsement of Ruf, mine isn't dooming him as a lost cause - but thats why he's not a prospect.

I love how certain guys are discounted because of their defensive deficiencies.

Yet this is a team whose last 2 1B where Thome and Howard, who tried to play Wigginton at 3B, and who traded 3 of their top guys for Hunter Pence, whose is a disaster of a defensive player.

I'm not saying I think Ruf will be a major league ballplayer because I don't think the scouts think his offensive capabilities translate to the majors. However, I wouldn't use his defense as a reason to keep him back.

No-no. There's two 'G's in "Tagg", boys.

As I'm sure was mentioned last thread, Adam Morgan had a stellar debut for AA Reading last night. Baseball America's Jim Callis was asked on twitter about him and gave this response:

For real. LHP w/solid to plus stuff.

3 errors in 114 games? That's bAd?

Matt Rizzotti is probably the closest comp.

In 2010 he destroyed the FSL, posting a .358/.426/.477 line, got promoted to Reading and did even better: .361/.452/.635!!!!

BL posters were clamoring for him.

In 2011, he got a full year at Reading at age 25 and pounded 24 HRs and an OPS of .903.

And what thanks did he get? He was allowed to leave as a minor league free agent.

Finally, signed by the Twins, he got a chance earlier this year to show what he could do in Triple A. The rest is history.

Iorecore: Yeah, I hope Amaro signs Greinke, Youk, Bourn, Hamilton, Adams, Soria, and Affeldt.

I mean, you can't say that's wishful thinking, right? Because we have no idea what the Phillies budget is. So we should just assume it's $300 million. If Amaro doesn't sign all those guys, I will be incredibly disappointed. All I want is the best players.

5-4-1 - Using those examples are reasons why you wouldn't want to give somebody who is *worse* than those guys a shot. If that's Ruf's deal, then yeah, that sucks.

I don't think errors or fielding pct is a good measurement; if he has no range, that won't show up there.

KAS: Yeah, but we have Kendrick in the rotation for the next few years. Tough for Morgan to replace a legend like Kendrick anytime soon, no?

Japan, Korea, Taiwan - terrific options for first basemen / DH types like these.

I was going to save that for the afternoon post - the Morgan thing.

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=407886

Ruf at Reading, age 25: .310/.405/.565 (partial season.)

Rizzotti at Reading, age 25: .295/.392/.511 (full season.)

If Ruf can maintain those numbers for another month he'd top Rizz.

They diod that with Howard, kept him in the minors as he was blocked by Thome... HOward could hit a ton, but couldnt play anther position.

THat is not the case with Ruf - It's appears to be an org attitude that keeps some of these guys in the minors wasy too long - a fO attitude.. - that as long as we're winning, don;t tempt fate...

Well now we're not - so let's tempt it now..

How about trying Brown in RF or CF, Ruf in LF, & for sanity sake give Cloyd a chance...

Jack: Obviously, KK's spot is secure. It would likely be a player like Worley who would be jettisoned, or maybe one of the Big 3 gets dealt.

buy/sell: Can't make an error if you can't get to the ball.

Scouts can always be wrong about a guy, as aksmith said when I noted scouts weren't high on Mini-Mart.

Howard hit .297/.386/.647 at AA and then .371/.467/.690 at AAA the following year before the Phils called him up. What he did over the next 2-3 years is well known. He was 26, Ruf's age now, when he hit .313/.425/.659 over 159 MLB games with 58 HR and won the league's most valuable player award.

Jim Thome is a hall of famer who was out of the minor leagues at 23, and had 1774 major league at-bats, hit .297/.424/.573 with 123 HR (386 BB) by the time he was 26. He could even play some 3B.

When Ruf comes close to producing offensively, then we can start discounting his defense a bit. He could be Keith Hernandez at 1B, and he still might have no role on the Phils. In the meantime, let's find a list of 26-year-old first basemen who've produced like Ruf at AA. That'll give us a better sense of his chances of success and value.

Nothing against the guy, but this argument is ridiculous.

I'm not saying I think Ruf will be a major league ballplayer because I don't think the scouts think his offensive capabilities translate to the majors. However, I wouldn't use his defense as a reason to keep him back.

Completely agree with this -- sorry 541 for not finishing reading your post before disagreeing. If by "his defense is not good" we mean, his offense isn't good enough for a guy who can't play anywhere on the field, I agree that his defense is holding him back.

I'd put Ruf at 3rd for next season.

On his days off Ruf could head out to the bullpen too.

Thanks for the replies. I was asking Kevin Goldstein on twitter about it and all I got from him was basically, "he's old!!!!". Drove me nuts. He's old for his level AND he's not great defensively. I'm better with that.

I hated Rizzotti once I saw him play so I'm imagining the same deal here.

I love that some posters still don't understand what clout is saying when he says you have no idea about the team's budget. You have to be trying to be obtuse at this point about it.

Two things Amaro mentioned in the article about third struck me:

1.) They have had some talks of trying to convert a shortstop or second baseman to third. That would indicate a preference maybe for someone like Baker that is already working on it.

2.) If they go with more offensively minded outfielders they may be able to go with a more defensive oriented third baseman. That should be fun.

Adam Morgan might be the new flavor of the month here, which is greatly amusing to me since this blog is all about velocity and Morgan is your classic, off-the-shelf, finesse college lefty.

And all of Ruf's predessors, that he is being compared to in this blog, couldnot play another pos besides 1st, at least Ruf has been given the chance & can play LF - and has been given more chances in recent weeks...which might improve his chances to making the bigs,

TTI - who is Baker?

My assumption for 2013 is that they'll load up with offense in the outfield and move Galvis to 3rd. I'd prefer Galvis at SS and Rollins to 3rd but that's been discounted by everybody, including Amaro, so oh well for that.

Could Biddle, Morgan, Wright be our 1-2-3 prospects next year? May is falling, Valle did himself no favors, Aumont and DeFratus with injuries. Anyone know who scouts like better between Tommy Joseph and Valle? I think Joseph right? Gabriel Lino having a rough year.

I could see Biddle/Wright/Morgan in the top 5, with Valle/Joseph in the mix, followed by the same old guys with maybe the addition of Roman Quinn in top 10(22 E at SS so far, ouch).

Clout: Actually, I've seen multiple scouts and reporters note that Morgan has serious stuff. It's not smoke and mirrors finesse and command, the type of pitcher you love.

He pounds a low 90s fastball that's described as "plus" and combines it with a nice slider and changeup.

He has both stuff AND command, which is why he's viewed as a legitimate prospect, and not just a future back-end only guy like Cloyd, Kendrick, etc.

But you know, good try.

RUf,you mean that old man at AA.That's what I've got every time I brought him up this year.
Any 26 year old with minimum talent can do what he is doing at AA..
Can't be giving Howard all that $$$ and have someone challenge him.Team is set for years at 1st,no need to look further.
For the record,Ruf also plays OF. No worse than the last couple of LFers.

Been to several RPhils games this year and last year. Ruf is a bit more athletic than Rizzotti and is also in notably better shape too.

Problem is that Ruf isn't a guy who can play in the OF either. He's strictly a 1B/DH type.

Hard to judge Ruf given how he is already 26 too. Curious to see if can hit at AAA or he struggles as badly as Rizzotti did in his limited stretches.

Ruf sounds a little like Len Matuszak. Guy was a pretty damn good hitter but made it to the show way late. Could only play first and not all that well. Apparently a bit of a tool as well which probably curtailed his career even more. Ruf at least looks....jolly, so there's that.

Buy/sell: Can't make an error if you can't get to the ball.

Posted by: clout | Friday, August 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM
--------------------
You guys are always saying 'look at the stats'; when someone brings up a point of view.

Well there are your stat. 3 errors in 114 games. There are no stats indicating how many times he didn’t get to the ball.

Is that a quantifiable argument?

-----

loctastic: not sure why Jeff Baker was on my mind. I meant Jeff Keppinger.

gotta get some work done... out til a lil later,

The paragraph after this sentence (The thing that's overlooked about him is his defense. He's saved us a ton of errors this year) bashes the guy's defense...That doesn't make sense...He has a .996 fielding %....I think that makes him pretty good in the field, you dope....with that being said, the Phils would be smart to move him to LF and call him up for next year!

Can Ruf really play LF though? I dunno, I need to see the dude play. ROAD TRIP

Some like it Ruf.

I'm going down to the game tomorrow. Is there anything before the game for alumni weekend? Other than the tailgate with Dutch and the Bat? Anyone know?

Nevermind, I read that they will have the announcing of 45 former players at 6:30. God I hope Alex Arias is there.

Jack: Finesse lefties can't throw low 90s? Or don't have good stuff? Do you know what a finesse lefty is? Sounds like you don't.

BTW, scouts say Morgan works 88-90 on his fastball although he can get it into low 90s.

"You guys are always saying 'look at the stats'; when someone brings up a point of view.

Well there are your stat. 3 errors in 114 games."


Yeah and Adam Morgan's record was 4-10 with Clearwater before he got promoted.

That would make Hamels a finesse lefty...no?

Clout: If a lefty has good stuff, then yes, I describe him as a lefty with good stuff, not as a "finesse" lefty. I would say a finesse lefty is a guy who gets by with fringe stuff but has good command and good feel for pitching (thinking ahead of the batter, etc.). Moyer is probably the prototypical example, but also guys like Mark Buerhle. Not a lot of Ks, but limit walks, and don't give up meatballs.

If a pitcher happens to have both plus stuff and plus command, then he should just be described as a really good pitcher, because that's pretty much what you would be with plus stuff and plus command. Cliff Lee, for example.

But do we really have to sit here and argue about made up definitions? This is kind of stupid.

Reading the name Gary Burnham definitely brought a smile to my face this morning.

You guys are always saying 'look at the stats'; when someone brings up a point of view.

Not that stat.

with that being said, the Phils would be smart to move him to LF and call him up for next year!

What would Ruf have to hit at the MLB level to bring value as a LF? And remember, he can only play LF, unlike a guy like Prado or Hairston who can play elsewhere. I assume Ruf is more of an Ibanez type in LF?

Since 2010 the "average" pure LF (90%+ games in left) is someone like Soriano, Gerardo Parra or Laynce Nix. Ruf would need to have an OPS of around .780 or higher, defensive aside, to be average.

I don't want to make it seem like he's a lock to be a star, but it seems like some scouting reports on Morgan may need to be updated? It's one thing to get pumped about Ruf's numbers, but a completely different thing to be "excited" by Morgan's. He's getting some deserved attention.

Ryan: Pretty much. Hamels' out pitch is a changeup. His fastball is in the 88-91 range and he throws both a 4-seamer and a cutter (plus a decent curveball), mixing his pitches and location to keep hitters off balance.

Hamels has an 80-grade changeup, maybe the best in the major leagues for a left-hander. It's a nasty pitch.

Calling that "finesse" doesn't make any sense to me.

Like I said, though, we're arguing about made-up definitions. So what the hell is the point?

Jack: We have different definitions of finesse lefty. To me, a finesse lefty is a guy whose best pitch isn't a mid-90s fastball and someone who doesn't walk many, but gets outs by moving the ball around in the zone and mixing pitches to get hitters off balance.

Buehrle is certainly a good example and he throws mid-80s. Jaime Garcia is also a good example and his fastball is 89-90, like Hamels.'

As for Moyer, he is sui generis.

Clout - If you promise never to bring up me wanting to give Minimart a chance, I promise to never bring up your awful top prospects ranking. Deal?

Btw, Minimart stinks much worse than scouts ever imagined. So, I think they were wrong in the other direction.

And I wonder what the scouts said about Kratz and Coste. No, I don't wonder. Because it looks like they were wrong twice. Coste was much better than they thought. And Kratz' defense is adequate, even though they thought it wasn't. He receives the ball well and he has a rocket arm.

BedBeard: Morgan was 29th among Phillies 30 prospects pre-season according to BA. I suspect he'll rank higher next spring. His K/BB ratio is tremendous.

That said, guys like Morgan tend to face tougher tests the higher they go than say, guys who throw 95. It will be interesting to see what happens to Morgan when he gets to LV.

jack: You're right, radically different definitions. To me, Hamels' changeup and how he uses it and locates is the very definition of "finesse."

aksmith: You can bring up my top prospects ranking any time you want.

Clout - If Hamels is a finesse lefty, I don't think you know what a finesse lefty is. Yes, he has a great change up. But that sort of forgets that he has a fastball that has risen in velocity over the years to the 92-94 range on a good day. Every starting pitcher needs to locate. Every starting pitcher needs secondary stuff.

This argument is absurd. But Hamels is definitely a "stuff" guy as much as a finesse guy. The distinction is pretty artificial.

I'm going to say that a finesse guy shouldn't be breaking 90 with his hard stuff.

And for all those who denigrate Ruf, there is a simple answer. Three spots are vacant on the 40 man. Give Ruf one of them and bring him up and put him in left with Dom in center or right. This is a lost season. Why not find out if Ruf is filler or can hit at this level? Is there actually a downside? I think it would add fun to the games to find out. Is Overbeck the kind of uberprospect that should block Ruf? And is our current leftfielder going to be tried elsewhere? Now is the time.

And Reading is a bandbox. Morgan pitching well there will prove a lot more than Ruf hitting well there.

aksmith: I don't ever recall seeing scouts complain about Kratz's defense. He was always considered a defense-first catcher.

On his days off Ruf could head out to the bullpen too.

Posted by: donc | Friday, August 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM
--------------------

Player- W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WHIP HLD GF
Ruf ----0- --0- --0- -1- --0- --0- --0- --0- 0.1 --0- --0- --0- --0- --0- --0- --0- --0- --0- -1-

aksmith: "fastball that has risen in velocity over the years to the 92-94 range."

According to Pitchfx, Hamels fastball is averaging 91 mph this season and his cut fastball 88.

Still want Amaro to gamble on Youkilis if he becomes available. His power has diminished a bit but he still walks at a ridiculous rate which is skill that won't diminish much.

Lineup desperately needs someone who will BB at a 12-13% clip, see their share of pitches, and have an OBP that would be .350+ with moderate power (15-20 HRs).

He also isn't as terrible either defensively at 3B. He's at best average and probably slightly below.

There is some real downside though. Last year of his deal will likely provide pretty poor value. Also the health question.

Would I really like to see Youk put up a .260/.360/.440 line with 15 HRs next year with average defense at 3B? Yes.

I guess I don't like Headley that much more given I don't think he would be that much of an improvement over Youkilis offensively and the Phils would have to give up a small army of top prospects to get him.

Phils will have their share of cash in coming years especially once the Comcast cash kicks in '15 or so depending upon when they renew the deal. What they don't have a ton of right now is cheap, ready talent to infuse the roster with over the next year or two.

I love arguing definitions.

A finesse pitcher
- K and BB rates under 1/4 of batters faced
- use of FB a good deal under 60% of the time
- average FB velocity around 90
- more FB movement than average (however measured)
- a more varied approach: more off-speed pitches in arsenal (power pitchers tend to rely on 2 pitches)

"let's find a list of 26-year-old first basemen who've produced like Ruf at AA. That'll give us a better sense of his chances of success and value."

I agree that would be very helpful information, but with a caveat. The caveat is that there is a significant amount of self-selection which goes on in scouting & player development. Ruf was drafted out of college, in the 20th round, at age 22. Unless the Phillies had jumped him right to high A, he was destined to be old for his league. But, of course, it would be fairly extraordinary to jump a 20th round pick right to AA. Instead, he went to the leagues where new draftees go, and proceeded to rake in both leagues -- only to have his numbers discounted because he was too old. At that point, the Phillies could have double-jumped him to AA but, because he was a 20th round pick whose impressive numbers came in a league for which he was too old, he was only single-jumped to A. He raked again -- only to have his numbers discounted again, for the same reason. Then this year -- same cycle again.

I am convinced that there are more than a few career minor league types who put up big numbers every year, but who never receive a chance at the majors (or receive only a fleeting chance) because of opinions which scouts formed about them when they were 19 or 20 years old, and which essentially sealed their entire fate in professional baseball -- regardless of the actual numbers they have subsequently put up.

Hamels definitely has gained a few ticks in velocity over the years, he touches 94 occasionally on good days, but he still sits at a solid ~92mph over the last 3 years.

If thats a finesse lefty, then I'm at a lost for what lefties aren't.

David Price
Kershaw
Lester
Sabathia

thats about it. Gio Gonzalez maybe.

MG: Great point about OB in this lineup. This team's offense is dying from high K/low OB and neither Bourn nor Upton help in that department.

clout: "This team's offense is dying from high K/low OB"

C'mon old man, what year are you stuck in right now? They have the lowest K in the entire NL.

Clout - I believe I qualified that fastball as being what he has on a good day. And that is true. His fastball varies quite a bit, but on a good day he hits a lot of 94 on the gun.

And you can look it up, but are those stats reliable? Do they look at grips? No, they don't. So, a lot of what they think is a fastball is very likely a cutter that didn't cut. That will lower the average. And sadly, enough of Hamels cutters don't cut that a number of them end up leaving the park. That may be his worst pitch for giving up bombs.

And if what you say is true, and Kratz was known as a defense first catcher, then again, the scouts were wrong. I'd say he is adequate defensively. He doesn't seem to block balls all that wall. Yet, the rest of his defensive game looks pretty good. And his approach at the plate looks good as well. I don't for a second believe he'll keep up his current pace. But he has more of a clue at the plate than many catchers starting in the league right now.

What point does it serve to use the scouts being wrong on Kratz and Coste and extrapolate into anything as it relates to scouting or scouting reports?

Yes they were wrong on Coste and appear to be on Kratz. You know why? Becaue scouts make their money on helping teams find good young prospects that they can potentially build a franchise around. Or at the very least be very good complimentary pieces in the show. Another job for them is to find those guys with some rough edges that just need a little grooming and convince their team to pluck them from the team they are currently on.

Guys like Coste and Kratz- early to mid 30's guys don't really fit any of that criteria. Yes scouts missed on Coste and the reason they "missed" on Kratz is because no one is going to fall in love with the type of prospect those guys are. It's an unfortunate reality for guys like that.

lorecore: Only because Howard's been out all year. Regardless, MG's point is valid. This team needs more OB, not less.

lorecore: Pitchfx says you're wrong about Hamels' velocity.

clout - Yeah its been an issue all season. For most of the season, the Phils have been either last or close to it. Even with Utley/Howard back now for 25 games, their % BB rate is only 6.9% (13th in NL) and OBP is .308 (10th in NL).

Most damning thing though is their ISO is .093 which is last in the NL and by a wide margin.

Injuries have hurt and mediocre/crummy backups have seen their share of ABS this year but this is a very underwhelming lineup right now.

Even if Amaro does sign Bourn and they get Chooch back, this offense strikes me as average at best (R/G) with a lot of holes.

Would Worley be considered a "finesse" pitcher?

sophist: "A finesse pitcher:
- K and BB rates under 1/4 of batters faced
- use of FB a good deal under 60% of the time
- average FB velocity around 90
- more FB movement than average (however measured)
- a more varied approach: more off-speed pitches in arsenal (power pitchers tend to rely on 2 pitches)"

Except for K rate, Hamels meets every one of those criteria.


me: "Hamels fastball has been a solid ~92mph over the last three years"

clout: "Pitch F/x says you're wrong"

PitchF/x says:

2010: 92.0
2011: 91.7
2012: 91.4

Thats a 91.7 average.

Hope with all these prospects rube doesn't make an ass trade. Pat quick help rube out.

Would Worley be considered a "finesse" pitcher?

I don't know: is Pine Valley "a fun design," was Roger Clemens "an innings eater?"

It's all implicature. Hamels probably strikes out too many (doesn't "pitch to contact"), relies on two pitches too much, and has too much success to be a finesse guy. His FB use and quality puts him in the conversation.

The def of finesse lefty is largely ostensive.

lorecore: "definitely has gained a few ticks in velocity over the years."

As the stats you posted show, his fastball velocity has DECLINED a few ticks over the years. It is 91.4 this year, which is NOT a "solid 92mph."

clout - he's an interesting case. finesse pitchers are all about low K and BB rates, reliance on FB movement instead of velocity, and a varied approach to keep guys off balance.

sophist: Hamels uses his fastball 51.5% of the time and his changeup 26% of the time. He uses a curve and a 88 mph cutter the rest of time. Not varied enough?

per b-ref: Power/finesse is strictly based on K+BB per batters faced.

Sophist - Implicature? Ostensive?

Welcome back, fella.

When Hamels first came to the majors, he must have been a power pitcher because he relied on only two pitches. Because he only had two pitches to speak of. A mediocre fastball and a wicked change.

me: "definitely has gianed a few tickets in velocity over the year"

2007: 90.4
2008: 90.4
2009: 90.2
2010: 92.0
2011: 91.7
2012: 91.4

He's gained 1.5 mph on his fastball over his career and he average 91.7 mph over the last 3 years.

Debating facts with you is much more satisfying since you can't wiggle out of every statement, no wonder you refrain from it so often.

Most disappointing minor league season: Austin Hyatt. I thought he'd be the Worley/Kendrick type sleeper this season. Instead he's become the Martinez of pitchers. Sad.

Although, in Pettibone and Morgan and now Martin and a bunch of others, the farm has quite a variety of real pitching prospects.

locastic: "over the last 3 years."

I like how you can change your meaning to suit yourself. The facts show that his velocity has declined over the past 3 years.

Cloyd and Ruf do not get a chance because they are too old, but KK does even though he has very little ability. Get a clue.

Sophist: My point exactly. Along with the criteria you posited, I would add an inordinate amount of backward K's in relation to total K's. That would lead me to believe that the pitcher has "fooled" the hitter as opposed to a pitcher with a higher swing and miss rate. That leads to the assumption that the pitcher's "stuff" is overpowering.

Wayne: KK has established himself as a 94 ERA+ guy over almost 700 innings.

The lack of perspective on Kyle Kendrick is one of the most baffling things in Philadelphia sports. With Iguodala on his way out, I would argue Kendrick is the most underrated Philadelphia athlete.

I would never call KK underrated, but I agree that people "overrate" what others could do to replace him.

Its the common backup QB syndrome. Nick Foles for president!

Clout: I hate to get into nitpicking here, but the idea that the Phillies are struggling due to high Ks and low BBs is only half-true.

It is of course true that the team has struggled the last two seasons with OBP.

However, the team does not strike out very much, at all. They rank dead last in the NL in strikeouts, and were 15th out of 16 last year in strikeouts.

They don't strike out much, at all. So that just isn't right.

For this team to win, it will have to get some above average players to make up for the below average KK.

Last season, of course, Howard played the entire year, and the team still was 15th out of 16 teams in strikeouts.

So let's just get rid of the idea that the team strikes out too much, ok?

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