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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Comments

Just.

Keep.

Winning.

From the last thread:

It appears that KK has developed a repertoire that makes him a successful major league starting pitcher.

I notice that another poster already mentioned Clout's swing and miss on Victorino. And that illustrates what goes on with BL.

There is one crowd that thinks every prospect is a future star. There is another crowd, led by the Cloutians, that believes no prospect is going to be a more than adequate player.

But the truth is that some prospects turn into stars and some fade into nothingness and nobody knows which is which all the time. Latching onto Kendrick was no more than wishful thinking. He didn't have a cutter. He didn't have a changeup. He had a passable sinker that he tended to get up in the zone more than he should have and a good demeanor on the mound most of the time. Then he lost confidence and looked like a AAAA player at best.

Now, he has a much better repertoire and he has turned into a very different player than when he first came to the majors. Good for him. And good for the Phillies.

But to make believe anyone knew he would be this successful for two seasons in a row at the major league level is hogwash. Clout doesn't usually get specific looking forward. But I seem to recall him saying that Kendrick should be a 4.5 ERA pitcher going forward and that's fine for a fifth starter. Well, it might be. But Kendrick has now far surpassed that as a starter two years in a row.

Oh, and Shane Victorino actually hit very well for the last five or six years. And it seems he brought back a pretty good pitcher, not named Lindblom, in trade.

Jon Heyman column on Manuel and Sandberg also references the fact Phils won't deal Pierre.

Phillies' Manuel will return as manager, but eventual replacement -- Ryne Sandberg -- seems obvious
By Jon Heyman

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/20150515/charlie-manuel-will-return-to-phillies-but-replacement-already-seems-obvious-its-ryne-sandberg

Can't help but be a little reminded of 1993. If I recall correctly, that was a team effort, day in and day out.

If KK were a Free Agent, Rube would be offering him a 3 year, $24 million deal this off-season.

SLO, they played together, drank together and roided together.

The Phillies have 6 SP with at least 20 starts this year...when's the last time that ever happened?

"Can't help but be a little reminded of 1993."

To me, it feels more like those Ed Wade teams from 2003 to 2006 -- the ones that dug themselves a huge hole every year, came storming back late in the year to put themselves into contention for the WC, and invariably came up just a few game short at the end.

BAP: Yeah, I agree with that too. Not sure what it is exactly. I just remember that in 1993, there was always someone different who would carry the team. It was never the same dude everyday. I think that's what I see with this team. Yesterday it was KK and Dom. The day before it was Wiggy, et al.

KAS, from the last thread:

"And, frankly, at the $4.5M he'll make next season, there is NO reason to keep him out of the rotation in 2013."

This isn't to pick on KAS, since it appears that literally every front office, manager, reporter, blogger, and commenter buys into this, but we are all aware that the amount of money a team has invested in a player should have no bearing on his play time or role, right? If you bench a better player because he makes less money, you're actively hurting your team, and vice versa.

I'm genuinely interested in why so many higher-ups in baseball are perfectly willing to fall prey to thinking that you "should" play a guy solely because of salary already committed to him. You'd think it'd be a situation a smart GM could take advantage of.

SLO, they played together, drank together and roided together.

And wrapped their cars around trees together.

Speaking of collapses, on Aug 6th, the Pirates were 16 games above .500. Now they're just 4. Will they make it to 81 wins?

Oh good, Martinez is starting again tonight. Put another one in the Win column.

Speaking of collapses, on Aug 6th, the Pirates were 16 games above .500. Now they're just 4. Will they make it to 81 wins?

Posted by: NEPP

~~~~~~~~~

The Phillies will make the playoffs, the Pirates will finish below .500, and order will have been restored in the universe.

Why are the Phillies winning? If I had to give one reason--bullpen. They lost so many close games in the 8th inning. Finally, Bastardo is locked in; Aumont and De Fratus have given them a new look--specifically heat; Lindblom has been okay over the past couple weeks. Papelbon? He's still doing what he was paid to do.

Fumphis: I think GMs understand the concept of sunk costs. Yet by incentive and disposition both pro-sport front offices and the coaching staffs tend to work conservatively, meaning a disposition to do again what worked, or seemed to have, in the past. And well-paid players, in order to have achieved a well-paying contract, tend to be players of some accomplishment.

Tonight's lineup from Zolecki:
Rollins SS, Pierre LF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ruiz C, Brown RF, Mayberry CF, Martinez 3B, Halladay P

No Ruf.

While it's certainly nice to see the Phillies able to bring in relievers who can blow hitters away and make them look silly with hard stuff, it's important to note that BJ Rosenberge probably throws harder than any of the rest and he's awful. Why? Because his breaking stuff sits up on a tee and his fastball location is pretty bad.

fumphis: You realize the most important word in your declaration is SHOULD. Just because it SHOULD have no bearing doesn't make it reality. Costs are a factor in many decisions made by front offices. Always has been, always will be.

Was interesting to see comparisons to the 2011 Cardinals and Rays as well as the 2007 Rockies and Phillies. All of those teams made great comebacks to make it into the playoffs, but there are huge differences between those teams and the 2012 Phillies.

Most games under .500:
2012 Phillies 14 in July
2007 Rockies 9 in May
2011 Rays 7 in April
2007 Phillies 7 in April
2011 Cardinals 4 in April

Last time under .500
2012 Phillies Currently as of 9/10 (70-71)
2007 Phillies 7/19 (47-48)
2007 Rockies 7/15 (45-46)
2011 Rays 4/23 (10-11)
2011 Cardinals 4/20 (8-9)

This year's Phillies are attempting to dig out of a significantly deeper hole. And, frankly, the only thing keeping their faint hopes alive is the 2nd wild card.

I like that lineup. Here's to another W!

fumphis: I get it to a point. If you're the Giants and you've sunk $18 to $20M per year into Barry Zito, it's obviously a huge waste of resources to not have him in the starting rotation. And, while Zito's salary is a "sunk cost," it's not a sunk cost when you jettison him & have to pay the the guy that replaces him. Since there's no guarantee that the guy who would replace him would be better, I think it's human nature that the Giants are going to give Zito every possible chance to at least be adequate, so that they don't have to pay someone else to do what they're already paying Zito $18M per year to do.

That said, there comes a point when you do have to cut your losses and move on. The classic case would be when you have a young guy at the same position, whose additional salary will cost peanuts and who is demonstrably better than his higher-priced counterpart. That's what happened with Geoff Jenkins & Jayson Werth several years ago, and I could easily see a similar scenario arising during the life of Ryan Howard's contract. Frankly, it has already arisen in some sense. If Ryan Howard were making $2M per year, he'd be platooned.

"I like that lineup."

I think you've lowered your standards. Objectively speaking, that is a woefully bad lineup.

Phils only get the Braves for one more series (3 games) and are 5-10 against them so far. Even with a sweep, Phils would be down to them for the season, which would make a 1 game series a little awkward. Phils could lose the whole thing 9-10 but continue their season while the Braves go home.

If Frandsen didn't have a broken leg, I think that lineup would be good.

KAS: Yep. If it weren't for the 2nd WC, we'd be 10.5 behind the Braves right now.

That lineup is a lot better than last night. Kratz is coming back to earth lately and Wigginton's been a stiff offensively for months & horrendous since the ASB.

I'm still concerned about Ruiz playing with an injury that can be easily exacerbated. I trust that he'll play within the pain that he feels, but the worst case scenario is one that far outweighs the upside right now. But, what the hell do I know? We do have that crack medical staff on top of things.

Replace Martinez with Frandsen and is there a better lineup we can roll out there these days?

aksmith, Sunday's radio broadcast had L.A. talking about how Rosenberg's 97 mph fastball is easy to hit, and that it's actually pretty easy to introduce some cutting action to it (something that Dubee is usually quick to do). I can't imagine why he hasn't yet been able to get some movement on it, but I think that the possibility is there. And say what you want about Dubee, but one thing he knows is a cut fastball. Hopefully he can teach it to BJR.

And, yeah, I know that velocity is not the be-all/end-all, but you can't teach that kind of velocity.

BAP, you make good points, but I think Howard is a good case in point. Amaro and Charlie simply won’t be able to evaluate him in a vacuum. If he settles in as a .250/.350/.450 1B/DH with bad defense, that’s a pretty mediocre player—even, dare I say it, a fungible one. But he’ll continue to get all the starts he can handle because not playing your $25 million man just feels like a huge waste of resources. And at the same time, the fact that he makes $25 million will actually impose further bias by making it seem somehow more likely that he’ll revert to star form, independent of what his play shows. That’s going to be a detriment to the team above and beyond the restriction imposed by his salary.

Now, admittedly, there is the "star factor" aspect to consider, where playing a big-name player presumably has some positive effects (attendance) that go beyond his strict production. However, that's just a more holistic way of evaluating a player's contribution to a team; his salary per se should not, logically speaking, come into play, even though big-name players tend to be highly paid and highly paid players tend to be big names.

I guess part of my point is that it *is* human nature, but that doesn't make it good business. It's human nature to see that a cruddy hitter has 4 hits in 6 PAs off a certain pitcher and want to give him the start, but we rightly rag on Charlie when he pulls stuff like that.

fumphis: Not sure you'll find anyone arguing it's good business. We're pretty much all in agreement that it's not.

I hope I'm wrong about this, but don't get too excited about Kratz and Frandsen. In fact, this will blow up on the team in spring training when they are forced to find last minute replacements for both.

Two career minor leagues who happen to be roommates. Ages 30 and 32. Nothing to lose. It's another, and possibly last year in the minors making $30,000 or whatever they get or a chance to earn a job and make roughly 20 times that money for a couple of years. Suddenly they are in the majors hitting bombs and screaming line drives. Doesn't add up without a foreign substance being involved.

Len39: Frandsen was already suspended 50 games for testing positive for Ritalin. Sounds like he already got that out of the way.

KAS, sure we agree, but the point is it's kind of an open secret in reporting/discussing the game that front offices don't share our agreement. I find that pretty strange and wanted to get some insight on it.

BAP: With the current roster, what would be a better lineup? Wigginton at 3B?

Kratz is indeed coming back to earth. However, were it not for a gale force wind last night, he would have had another homerun by about fifty feet or more. That ball was smashed.

Our standards for backup catcher have been pretty low recently. If Kratz hits .220 with power and plays the kind of defense we've seen so far, we've got our backup catcher for a couple of years at least. And it looks like he will hit better than .220

And wasn't it bizarre that in Chooch's first inning back we saw him chasing a pitch to the backstop? I can't remember the last time I got to see the back of Chooch's uniform while he was catching. His overall excellence at making sure balls don't get past him is amazing. Watching that sieve for Colorado behind the plate, it made me glad we have the catchers we do all the more.

sophist: "I thought the whole debate on Kendrick wasn't whether or not he was capable of a good stretch of baseball. The debate was whether he had the pitches/stuff to stick around past his little dream 2007 season. Some posters looked at his peripherals and found it unlikely. Others disagreed."

Exactly right. Those are the facts regardless of furious attempts by Fatalotti and BAP, who've been consistently wrong on KK (although not as loudly as Jack), to rewrite history.

No love for Bastardo?

22 G, 16 2/3, 3.24 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 16.7 K/9, .180 BAA, 17% swing and miss rate, only 1 inherited runners out of 6 scored

Pitching like 1st half Bastardo of late year and has been simply blowing away hitters since the start of August.

Numbers since the ASB for Bastardo.

aksmith: My friends here remind me once a week that I was wrong on Vic, so I'm comfortable with that. And maybe I'm wrong on Kendrick too, since I never thought he'd be more than a backend starter.

But I did think he would be a major league pitcher, which you and numerous others didn't. You did, however, think Mini-Mart was a major league player.

Though it may not be as loud or carry as much weight, I'll profess to being just as vocal about Kendrick's prospects of being a viable MLB pitcher. I, like many others, thought that his K/9 was a red flag, despite some of the comparative outliers (I believe Dennis Cook was offered up?).

Suffice it to say, I'm happy that I was wrong, and I'll gladly eat crow. BAP, you can consider this the "I was wrong about KK" caveat to my post.

However, I think it's safe to say that his recent success has actually defied his peripherals. His K/9 has improved dramatically. His walk rate is down, and he's not been the "Prince of Pitching to Contact" as I've anointed him in the past. He hasn't needed that strand rate and the "luck" of the low BABIP that we've all seen. Which is a long way of saying that Kendrick has improved over and above those peripherals that were the basis of that conversation. Again, I'm happy I was wrong.

I'd be doubly as happy to be as wrong about the other guy I foresee as a non-entity at the MLB level, based on his stats. I've been beating the drum of "Freddy Galvis is organizational filler" for a couple years now. Though I'm concerned that RAJ doesn't see it the same way, it does seem like we're about to find out one way or another...

fumphis: "we are all aware that the amount of money a team has invested in a player should have no bearing on his play time or role, right?"

85% of the posts here are by people who disagree with that. To wit: "You can't pay so and so that kind of money. He should be traded and replaced by a a worse player with a much cheaper contract."

Billingsly/KAS: I would start Nix over Pierre. And, normally, I'd say Orr over Mini-Mart, but Mini-Mart has actually hit for the last few days so I'm ok with sticking with the "hot hand" (if the phrase "hot hand" can really be affixed to a .149 hitter).

But the point of my post was not to quibble with today's lineup. My point was: even if tonight's lineup is optimal or near-optimal for the Phillies, it's still a lousy lineup. I know batting average is out of vogue these days, but when a .247 hitter is batting 3rd and a .236 hitter is batting cleanup, that is one hideously bad lineup.

Free Ruf!

Len39: Geez, kinda negative aren't you?

Hey clout, I wasn't really on this site in 2008, so I don't know how Sophist's comment could have applied to me in the immediate aftermath of his 2007 season. That being said, I openly and completely admit that I utterly bashed KK, and did claim at certain points in 2009 and 2010 that he was a completely replaceable pitcher, with whom the Phillies should cut ties.

I never claimed that he couldn't "survive" in the majors. There's a LOT of slop out there, including some on our very own team over the years. I don't care what others claimed, but I never claimed that.

And how was I wrong on KK? I said if he developed his changeup further and stopped getting destroyed by lefties, he'd be a better pitcher.

Well, the changeup has gotten better, and his OPS against LHB has gone from .902 in 2010 to .763 in 2011 to .745 in 2010.

It turns out I was pretty much right about Kendrick.

"If KK were a Free Agent, Rube would be offering him a 3 year, $24 million deal this off-season."

NEPP--I've been thinking the same thing lately: He's been pitching so well lately, it's time to throw some Eaton money at him. Who would have thought that 2-year contract they gifted him before the season would have turned out to save them a few million? What would Kendrick's second half have earned him in arb next year? Before the ASB, he's a DFA candidate going into next offseason without that contract...now he's pitching like a number 3 starter and making 4.5 million for it. Hope this keeps up.

Clout actually makes a good point--I was more talking about how high salaries make GMs liable to keep players around when they shouldn't be, but it's also true that an overpaid player seems less deserving of respect and play time than a player who performs objectively worse but for much less money. In other words people consider how much "value" a player represents (in the sense of price/performance ratio) rather than his absolute production. This is the wrong way to go about things when you're comparing two players already under team control.

Of course, when you're shopping for players under budget constraints, their value for money actually becomes very important. Clout seems to take the above to the illogical conclusion that it's worth throwing gobs of money at a player who represents only a marginal upgrade over a player who could be had for much cheaper, because of his insistence that we don't know how much money the FO is willing to spend.

Fatalotti: You repeatedly said he should be dumped. You were wrong.

The dirty little secret about steroids is that the benefits survive long after you quit taking them. It's worth that 50-game suspension.

Actually like Pierre tonight in the lineup instead of Nix. This lineup needs a guy with a high avg/OBP in the No. 2 spot with some speed. Pierre fits that role pretty well.

Still if the O's are offering something next year that will help this club (middle infielder/corner infielder or bullpen prospect), Amaro should deal Pierre without thinking. His playing time has diminished of late & the emphasis should be on next year.

fumphis: Never said that. I don't believe it either.

Where I do disagree is when BAP and Fatalotti, two posters for whom contracts trump players, suggest player X be dumped because he's too expensive to be a middle reliever or 5th starter. The replacements they suggest are cheap and worse players. You'll see these posts innumerable times here.

Clout, yes I was wrong about that. I've said it multiple times. Would you like me to mail you a signed letter to that same effect, before you'll feel vindicated, or are you going to trumpet the fact that I was wrong about the Phillies keeping him until this blog, nay, the internet is out of existence?

Gotta make sure we pinpoint exactly who was "wrong" about a given point, when and how. That's most important, right?

*ducks*

Oh clout, on days when I just don't want to get out of bed, and log onto Beerleaguer for some baseball discourse, you're what keeps me going.

I've always thought the Kendrick debate was more general than whether or not Kendrick could "be a major league starter".

I've long been a Kyle Kendrick supporter, but this run by Kendrick hasn't addressed my argument at all. My argument has been that a pitcher who can toggle between starter and reliever for 120-140 innings a year of 90 ERA+ pitching is a valuable player, and in particular, undervalued by stats like WAR that categorize Kyle Kendrick as "replacement level".

Someone earlier this year said that (paraphrasing) "the numbers tell the whole story: 4.40 season ERA, 4.40 career ERA, not a major league pitcher." This is the prevailing general view among Phillies fans, and I totally disagree with it. Even if Kyle Kendrick reverts to a 4.40 ERA guy, I think he's absolutely a major league player, and I still think he's worth his salary. And if this is the real Kyle Kendrick, he's a bargain.

Clout - Yes, I wanted to give Minimart a chance. But that was simply not wanting to dump on someone I had never seen. Now, I'm being labeled as a fan of his. It's great to watch you twist and twist. It's like trying to get the news from Fox or MSNBC. You know it's there, but you'll just never hear it.

And you may be comfortable with being wrong about Vic. By a lot. But that doesn't change the fact that you were clueless about him.

I always know you're going back to the minimart nonsense when you have nothing else. And you'll be glad to know that I am still comfortable having said to give Martinez a chance. Of course, he's now had that chance and has been unceremoniously dumped and designated for . . . what the hell?

DH Phils: I agree with you. Those who think WAR is the end-all, be-all stat would disagree.

WAR is a weighted, subjective stat that has value within context. But it is used as if it is the last word on player value.

"Word out of Philly is that Charlie Manuel will retire after next season. Ryne Sandberg may shift to bench coach in order to make an easy transition …" -SI's Will Carroll

aksmith: As I've said many times, my opinions about players are formed by the scouting reports I read on them. Many scouts did not think Vic would be more than a 4th outfielder. That's why 3 organizations dumped him before the Phils got a chance. Scouts are wrong sometimes, but they are right more often than they are wrong.

I know you don't value scouting reports, which is why you are unable to differentiate between goods prospects and a bad prospects like Mini-Mart. You've made other posts that show you know less about prospects and players in other organizations than anyone on the board.

If you guys are seriously reinvesting yourselves in a playoff run, critiquing that lineup is kind of picking nits, considering the alternatives.

The potentially inept lineup that should REALLY worry you is this one:

Denorfia, RF
Forsythe, 2B
Headley, 3B
Quentin, LF
Grandal, C
Alonso, 1B
Maybin, CF
Cabrera, E, SS
Volquez, P

How this team beat the St. Louis Cardinals last night, I have no idea...

clout, totally serious question, asking out of ignorance - what did the scouts project for Kyle Kendrick?

No need to ask questions WP, let's just hope that collection of misfits does it again.

WP: How much do you know about Forsythe, Headley, Quentin, Grandal and Alonso?

I'm guessing not much.

Quentin can singlehandedly beat teams. He can flat out mash.

Is it clout day on this blog today? I thought that only happened in the spring.

" Would you like me to mail you a signed letter to that same effect, before you'll feel vindicated, or are you going to trumpet the fact that I was wrong about the Phillies keeping him until this blog, nay, the internet is out of existence?"

That should be signed under penalty of perjury, in the presence of 3 disinterested witnesses, with certified copies sent to: clout, the Secretary of State, the county clerk, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, jw's business premises, Kyle Kendrick's last known residential address, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. And don't forget to have it notarized.

WP: Sinker, slider guy with a developing changeup, 90 mph fastball. Projected backend starter.

speaking of WAR, B-Ref has Ryan Howard's oWAR at -0.2. He has also managed 40rbi in 225 PA, which would translate to 107rbi over 600 PA. I enjoy the SABR stats and find them useful, especially in projecting guys for fantasy purposes, but its just a tool after all. A tool that hates Ryan Howard with a vengeance..

BAP: And Kendrick will then drive to his home and when he answers the door slap him in the face with his glove.

Ryan Howard strikes out too much. That's why. DUHHHHH.

Eovaldi comes in sporting a 4.50 ERA in 2 starts vs. the Phillies. Phils have Doc on the mound. If they lose tonight the high I'm on right now won't be able to get any lower.

"WP: How much do you know about Forsythe, Headley, Quentin, Grandal and Alonso?"

Just that they've been the primary offensive weapons of a team that's 67-75 and emailing me daily with ticket sales opportunities starting at around $5...

squads: All you need to know about WAR: One year it had Ryan Ludwick as far superior to Ryan Howard. I think Howard drove in 140 that season. Another year it had Ben Zobrist as the best player in all of baseball.

There's a ton of bias built into WAR, much of it centered around defense.

WAR isn't the be-all, end-all. No stat is, but I personally think it has more value in it then most other stats, though it needs, and will receive, refining over the years.

And as great as Howard has been at knocking in RBI this year (and he has been), let's not forget that he is a poor defensive 1B sporting a 98 OPS+, and the man is even more of a liability on the bases than he is in the field.

I don't think that WAR figure is exactly right, but I don't think it's that far off either.

Waiting on Phlipper in 3, 2, 1....

WAR isn't the be-all, end-all. No stat is, but I personally think it has more value in it then most other stats, though it needs, and will receive, refining over the years.

And as great as Howard has been at knocking in RBI this year (and he has been), let's not forget that he is a poor defensive 1B sporting a 98 OPS+, and the man is even more of a liability on the bases than he is in the field.

I don't think that WAR figure is exactly right, but I don't think it's that far off either.

Waiting on Phlipper in 3, 2, 1....

My first double post!! I feel special.

Forsythe had great OB numbers in the minors and looks to be blossoming. I'm sure you know about Headley & Quentin. Grandal is one of the best catching prospects in baseball, an offense-first guy whose defense is improving. Alonso, the other guy from the Latos trade, has 20 HR, .320 potential.

The Padres are for real.

Actually clout, Albert Pujol was still counted as the best player in baseball in 2009 in terms of WAR. He had 135 RBI that year, so you should be happy with it that year, since, you know, RBI is ACTUALLY the be-all, end-all stat.

And let's forget, having the most WAR only means that, according to this stat, you provided the most value relative to your position, not the most value in a vacuum. If every 2B was a .500 OPS hitter and you were a .700 OPS hitter, you'd have a crazy high WAR.

But that doesn't mean you're more value than the RF with a .950 OPS, and a bazillion RBI, even if his WAR is less than yours, because he's not proportionally better than a replacement RF moreso than you proportionally better than a replacement 2B.

Fatalotti: I agree, but that's not it's used on this blog.

What the Padres don't have, just yet, is pitching.

And the year that Ryan Ludwick was valued much more highly than Howard, here are the numbers:

In 2008:

Howard: 120 wRC+, 146 RBI, 48 HR, by all account, poor (average, at best) defense at 1B and no value on the basepaths

Ludwick: 149 wRC+, 113 RBI, 37 HR, an average defensive OF, and doesn't appear to have been a liability on the basepaths.

I'd say that Ludwick was the better player that year.

I agree with that assessment of the Padres. Some really nice position players on that team with some futures, but nothing in the rotation.

BAP, does Fat have to also sent a notarized copy to the Grand BL Poobah, Jason Weitzel, to be filed in the locked fireproof and bombproof file cabinet in the BL Elite secret meeting room?

Did someone at BLer just give me credit for being a freakin' RBI machine?

Thanks, JW. Much appreciated.

"And as great as Howard has been at knocking in RBI this year (and he has been), let's not forget that he is a poor defensive 1B sporting a 98 OPS+, and the man is even more of a liability on the bases than he is in the field."

Can't deny I've got some holes in my game - but that just goes to show how useless a stat WAR is.

All teams need an RBI producer to hit in the #4 hole. It's a key part of the game. I knock in runners pretty much on par with any other player in the history of the game - excepting maybe a couple. Calculate my career OBI% sometime and fall to your knees in respect.

Who's Phlipper?

So - have the KK bashers stepped up to the plate to admit how wrong they were?

Have they lined up to admit how ridiculous they were for hand-wringing about how signing KK was such a huge mistake by RAJ?

I haven't had much time to read BLer - but I'm sure that must have happened.

Right?

Philipper: Actually a few have today. You led a conversion and they confessed their sins.

Mr. Batross: Are you related to Albert Ross? I get confused.

I was right. You were wrong.

There. Now I feel like I'm part of the Beerleaguer elite.

Kyle Kendrick has a 105 era+

clout, Mr. Batross is a code name for the hated Cody Ross, trolling on BL to fan the flames.

squad: To be fair... it's possible a player with a higher OPS hitting in the same situations as Howard would have more RBI.

That's one of the difficulties of using RBI as a comparative stat... it's so dependent on other players and opportunity.

That said, Ryan Howard has an uncanny knack to knock in runs. And ultimately, the score at the end of the game is way more important than WAR, wOBA, wRC+, etc.

Clout - Of course, I don't subscribe to any scouting services. I leave subscribing to experts like you. But didn't you just tell a little white lie about what said about Kendrick? Wouldn't it more likely have been "ceiling is fifth starter?" Because if that's the case, they seem to have been a little off as well. They way KK has been pitching when starting these last two seasons, his ceiling would seem to be 3rd starter.

And by the way, we know that most prospects never reach their ceiling. It seems KK has reached and surpassed his.

WP: Sinker, slider guy with a developing changeup, 90 mph fastball. Projected backend starter.

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 04:14 PM

"speaking of WAR, B-Ref has Ryan Howard's oWAR at -0.2. He has also managed 40rbi in 225 PA, which would translate to 107rbi over 600 PA."

I think WAR is a misleading and overrated stat, but that is NOT the example I would use to prove it. If anything, all your example tells me is that RBIs are even more misleading and overrated than WAR.

Ryan Howard is batting .232 with a .745 OPS (98 OPS+). If he qualified, he'd have the 23rd highest OPS, the 24th highest BA, the 21st highest slugging, and the 23rd highest OBP among major league 1st baseman -- and all while playing horrendous defense. And you're telling me that his WAR, which captures all of this, is somehow misleading because if you project his numbers out to 600 PAs, he'd be on pace to have 107 RBIs? He bats cleanup. He's SUPPOSED to knock in around 100 runs. If you took Hunter Pence's 2012 numbers while batting cleanup, and you projected them out over 600 PAs, he'd have 91 RBIs -- and Pence has been absolutely wretched this year with RISP. Point is: it ain't very difficult to knock in 95 or 100 runs batting cleanup. 107 RBIs is hardly a breathtaking total, & certainly not enough to outweigh the many negatives.

Yeah his OPS is not good, but I am not very surprised to see that given that he is still recovering from his injury. The 35% K-rate is pretty dang worrying as well.

One stat in his favor is WPA, which is 0.9 on B-ref and 1.35 fangraphs. Good numbers for the fraction of a season he has played. This passes the eye test, as he has been getting hits in big spots lately. At the game Sunday he plated two in a 4-1 game with a reaaallyyy long single. He also had the big two run double in the first game of that doubleheader.

and to be clear, I listed oWAR of -0.2 in my earlier post, so it only encompasses his batting. I am not out there to defend his defense

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