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Thursday, January 17, 2013

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Great...so when he has a crappy season, at least we can blame it on this.

Didnt expect Rollins to be named. Will give me a good reason to watch the WBC now.

Pete Orr, Gillies, and Aumont on Team Canada.

This is interesting.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-changing-caught-stealing-calculus-2/

Due to lack of power, stolen bases have now become more valuable--this is intuitive. What it also means is that the break-even point for success rate has gone down (whereas you used to need to succeed at 70%, it's now closer to 65%). This is for the league as a whole. But each team has its own break-even rate, because each team hits for a different amount of power.

This is where it gets really interesting for the Phillies. For the Phils, the gap between success rate and break-even rate last season was the widest in the league--they are the most successful SB team in terms of efficiency (by a good amount), and due to their relative lack of power, their break-even point isn't that high. So the Phillies have a huge efficiency opportunity on the bases. The conclusion is that the Phillies left A LOT of runs on the table by not stealing more. Even if their efficiency had gone down with more attempts, they were so far above the break-even rate needed that it would have been worth it.

This highlights one way the Phils can improve their offense without any more offseason moves--simply run more. A lot more.

NEPP--Exactly. I thought that, as aging team, they could and would dodge this bullet. It's a bad decision likey to result in a calf injury or some other calamity.

I'm glad none of our starters are going.

Jack, good post.

I don't know how many they'll steal this season, but Utley was 11/12 last season in 80+ games.

If Utley makes 20 attempts, Rollins steals 30 again, the addition of Revere should help a lot in that regard, though he really just replaces Vic.

Young doesn't help much and Howard won't want to get hurt again, so any additional bags would have to come from Brown if he sticks in RF, though he didn't even attempt one last season in 56 games.

The Phils stole 116 last season (23 CS). With no Pierre (37) and Vic (24) I have a hard time seeing them get to that number again unless Revere just goes wild on the bases.

Jack: good find, I think you and I had been debating for awhile - the additional marginal value of events now that offense is down.

SB and ISO are paramount to run production in an environment with plummetting OBP.

WBC also means the season starts and ends a bit later if I'm not mistaken. At least it did the last time they played it. The WBC is below roller derby on my radar screen, but still above the pro-bowl.

lorecore: Is the drop in OBP more prominent than the drop in power? I would've thought otherwise, and thus said that the other way: SB and OBP are paramount to run production in an environment with plummeting ISO.

But am I wrong? I might be, in which case I would agree with you.

NEPP, the last WBC was in 2009, no?

IIRC Rollins did not have one of his better years after playing in the WBC.

Wow, Napoli went from 3/39 to 1/5 with incentives.

BoSox must be real suspicious of his hip.

Mark Teixeira 1B Yankees
Brandon Phillips 2B Reds
Jimmy Rollins SS Phillies
David Wright 3B Mets
Joe Mauer C Twins
Ryan Braun LF Brewers
Adam Jones CF Orioles
Giancarlo Stanton RF Marlins

I don't think JRoll will be batting leadoff.

There is zero chance that Rollins will mess up one of his legs (say a strained calf muscle or something else that sounds somewhat minor) and then have it become a nagging injury that messes up his entire season. Its not like he's a guy entering his mid-30s with a history of minor leg issues like that.

Maybe Rollins won't even start the game.

I can't help but root for him, though. Yes, I'll cross my fingers and hold my breath against an injury, but I'll be rooting for him. And for Vic. All of Team USA.

David Wright wasn't in the WBC before?

* * *

I'd love for our guys to run more, although I do wish Davey Lopes were still there to mentor the younger guys and wonder how much his absence has to do with them not attempting more steals. There's definitely an art to it, and you have to run smart. Like Chase.

I sense the cold, dark reaper-like hand of Bud S on J-Roll 's shoulder.

Jack: better OBP is always the best value, I just meant that if you lock OBP into a constant as something that can not be improved upon - which in the case is a lower than normal value - then the incremenal values of things like ISO and SB now start to rise much more.

Basically..if you locked power as a constant at a lower than normal level, then more OBP is still the best value, it doesn't really get the inflated value since it already is the best choice to begin with.

I guess Jeter's injury means he won't be on the team. So, unlike the last WBC, we won't be treated to any starting lineups which feature Jeter at shortstop & Rollins at DH.

Jeter has more GGs...thus he is the better defender.


The scary part about that theory: In 30-40 years, my grandkids will be on Beerleaguer VII arguing that Jeter was better and using that GG number as a serious argument as to why.

Hopefully, I'll have a moment of clarity, read those comments and proceed to whip them with my belt.

The question NEPP, will you also whip them for counter-arguing with: "but jroll didn't hustle, so that's why he's worse than jeter too".

"Jack: better OBP is always the best value, I just meant that if you lock OBP into a constant as something that can not be improved upon - which in the case is a lower than normal value - then the incremenal values of things like ISO and SB now start to rise much more.

Basically..if you locked power as a constant at a lower than normal level, then more OBP is still the best value, it doesn't really get the inflated value since it already is the best choice to begin with."


lore, an analysis I did confirms this, and speaks to the greater importance of OBP in the first place.

I used Baseball Musings lineup analyzer, and assigned a .770 OPS to each batter, and used an extreme split just to see what happened.

In lineup A, each batter's OPS was split into an OBP of .380 and a SLG of .390.

In lineup B, each batter's OPS was split into an OBP of .330 and a SLG of .440 (I did this because .330 was the approximate MLB OBP in 2012).

Lineup A scores 5.273 RPG

Lineup B scores 4.854 RPG

That's a 68 run per year difference.

I'm not worried about JRoll hurting himself in the WBC; I'd expect him to maintain max JStroll effort throughout.

In actuality JRoll will get more rest meandering up the first base line on pop ups in the WBC than he otherwise would in his travels to Oompa Loompa land, or wherever the hell it is that he's been tweeting pictures from this offseason.

That's a good Fangraphs article on SBs. Great find.

The Phils have three guys now that are stolen base threats (I count Utley because of his ridiculously high success rate). It would be nice if Brown could emerge as one, too. He's got the speed.

I also think this is the argument myself and someone else (awh?) made in regards to Bourn. Adding him would provide more value to the offense, coupled with Revere, through speed than I think he's being given credit for.

The OF is gonna lack power no matter what, and it might be really bad if neither Brown or Ruf step up and produce like MLB regulars. I don't think adding Bourn is any more ridiculous than the situation in which they're currently sitting. Between Rollins, Revere* and Bourn, this team would be superb defensively and on the basepaths.

*I know Revere is not as valuable defensively in RF. He was very good last year playing there. He and Bourn would catch everything hit in the air to the right side of second base and steal 100 bases between them.

In regards to the draft pick compensation for Loshe or Bourn, if they sign a MiLB deal with an invite to ST would a team have to surrender its first round pick?
You could get them for a one year deal for $14 mil and it would only be guaranteed if they make the opening day roster, which they obviously would.
I have been searching for the answer to this but I have not been able to find it, so if anyone knows please share.

Also, if you signed Bourn for a year, you'd lose a draft pick this year but gain one next year, no?
Not that it's going to happen anyway.

Looking at the 2014 FA list, assuming options get picked up on Young and Crisp, the FA CFs next year will be Granderson, Ellsbury and a bunch of mediocrity.

If I'm Bourn/Boras, I'm looking at that and really thinking hard about a pillow contract. Not only is it a shallow class of CFs, but both Boston/NYY will be looking for a CF. In Boston's case, they probably will want to move on from Ellsbury (his $$ could fluctuate by tens of millions of dollars if he stays healthy this year), and who knows what the Yankees will want to pay an aging Granderson. The big $$ teams will be at the table ready to spend for a CF.

Boras managed to get Soriano Papelbon-like historic money for a closer by leveraging his FA situations by holding out for his demands and taking every opportunity to strike at FA. Would a 30-YO Bourn really be better served taking a 3-4 year deal when no team is really desperate for his services, and more than likely hit FA at age 33-34 as a declining player with rapidly diminishing skills? Or would he be smarter to take a one-year contract at a high AAV this year, play to his career norms or higher (luck/injury permitting), and leverage that into a 4-5 year deal next year when he will be in higher demand?

I don't know what Bourn wants, and if he's willing to take 'the Lohse risk,' but if I were Boras, I'd point to Lohse and Soriano as examples of guys that waited a year and ended up reaping the benefits.

For the record, I'm not counting on this happening for the Phils. Salisbury says they're not in on him, and he's usually right on the money.

I'm worried about the Braves doing this, though, as they don't have to worry about losing a pick.

Bourn might be smart to take a pillow contract, but how big a paycut is he willing to take to compensate a team for their lost draft pick? If I were a team like the Yankees and I had multiple comp picks coming back to me a only a late round pick I could lose, I'd do it, or if I was a team like the Angels who already lost the 1st rounder for a guy like Hamilton, but how many teams in those situations need a CF?

jbird: did the Rangers get a compensation pick for Hamilton? If so, they could get Bourn for a year and only lose the pick they gained.

If Bourn does go to Texas- and really, they're an obvious fit at this point- Amaro better immediately get on the phone and start inquiring about Nelson Cruz.

And to take the Reverend one step farther, what if no one signs Bourn this year? Does the signing team lose a draft pick next year? Would it matter if:
1. He sat out all year
2. Played in an independent league
3. Played in Japan?

All the talk out of Texas is about whether they should give up a pick to sign Lohse.

There is no reason that Brown & Mayberry can't steal more bases. Agree though that the Phils are going to be pretty hard pressed though to improve on their total from last year.

Cholly isn't going to run a whole lot either. He'd said in the past that he was crazy about running often and he rarely uses a hit & run and run and hit.

I love the SB though and hope it comes back in a big way. My favorite team to watch growing up at the Vet was the 80s Cards. Throwing over to 1st can show the game up but I love watching the back and forth between the pitcher, catcher, and base runner. Love the suicide squeeze and double steal too. Don't see it nearly enough in baseball today.

jbird: really? That's interesting. It's been a rough off-season for Texas and I don't think giving up a first-rounder for a 34-YO NL pitcher.

I guess they could use additions everywhere and anywhere.

That pitching staff is dreadful. Feeling a loss for Team USA.

That group of pitchers had a collective 3.19 ERA last year. Not the worst in the world.q

The US bullpen is very underwhelming.

US Bullpen:

Kimbrel- best closer in baseball, too many historically good numbers to list
Gregerson- 154 ERA+, 9.0 K/9
Cishek- RHB career .198/.271/.268/.540 off him
Collins- 12.0 K/9 last year in 70 IP
Perkins- 161 ERA+ last two years in the bullpen, LHB under a .500 OPS against him as a reliever
Pestano- 160 ERA+ last two years, career 11.0 K/9, RHB hit .139/.226/.220/.446 off him
Boggs- 171 ERA+ last year
Perez- Eh
Bell- Ugh

The bullpen is actually pretty stacked. Bell and Perez are the worst pitchers on the team.

I think people are looking at the names that aren't on the roster and ignoring who is actually on it. I'm not sure how you can look at that bullpen and not think it is locked and loaded. The SP is very good too. The team is really balanced and well-assembled.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

World
Baseball
Coma

Is it feb yet????

And with Jimmy Rollins' first hint of action of the year comes the first avalanche of criticism. Good job, guys. You are, if nothing else, consistent.
I'm glad Rollins is playing in the WBC. I'll be rooting for him and team USA. I'm a fan of the event and Rollins.
As for the SB stuff, I've been saying for some time now that the threshold of "success" needed to be lowered. Homers are down so steal are worth more. For years people looked at the 80s when guys ran all the time and were caught much more often and criticized those players while failing to see that runs were harder to come by back then. It was the most obvious change taking place in the post steroids game and people needed a fangraphs post to see it?

MG-
I got a good laugh at your 3:57 post.

If you read it literally, like I did skimming a days worth of comments, it says "Cholly isn't going to run a whole lot either. He'd said in the past that he was crazy about running"

The image of Uncle Chas. trying to steal a base is hard to get out of my mind.

The more and more I read about our catching prospect.. The more impressed I get with him.. Very excited about his future..

Tommy Joseph

gobay, there is literally one comment in this thread that MIGHT actually be considered criticism. More likely, it was NEPP lamenting that a player with a history of leg injuries is going to be playing some extra baseball this year, and that augments the chance that he'll injure his legs this year.

Other than, there were a few off-hand comments about JRoll's lack of hustle, which were obviously offered up in jest to build upon the running meme on this board. Lighten up and have a sense of humor.

And from now on, I'm going to check with you before reading FanGraphs to see what your latest insights into baseball are, since you're so far ahead of the curve.

***More likely, it was NEPP lamenting that a player with a history of leg injuries is going to be playing some extra baseball this year, and that augments the chance that he'll injure his legs this year.
***

To be fair, there is a somewhat bad history of older vets injuring themselves in the WBC because they're going full speed at a point where they're typically playing 3 innings at 75% speed in early ST. Given his history with his legs, I'd rather he stick to his normal training regiment than mess it up with the WBC.

NEPP: I havent actually seen proof that there is any correlation. Have you seen any?

Raise your hand if you remember gobaystars posting that the threshold for SB success was dropping from 69.7% in 2000 to 66.6% in 2012, or that the Phillies gained a 15.9% net between thier actual SB% success to their breakeven threshold.

"I'm glad Rollins is playing in the WBC. I'll be rooting for him and team USA. I'm a fan of the event and Rollins."

Interesting. What a fascinating concept - rooting for a Phillies' player to do well, rather than criticizing him for the possibility that he might not. How unique.

How did he get in here?

Phlipper, straw man.

We all root for Rollins. Some just are not happy he's risking potential injury by playing in the WBC.

JRoll better watch his legs in the WBC...I'll be waiting. MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Blue Jays continue to seek a 25th man to round out their roster. Anthopoulos said last week that the Blue Jays would like to add a right-handed bench player capable of playing multiple infield positions.

Anthopoulus, meet Mr. Martinez (aka "Versatile"). We'll give him away free of charge and pay half his salary too. We'll hate to lose him, but...

I should'a played baseball.

Former Phillies catcher Lou Marson, he of a career .220/.309/.301 slash line in 877 PA, 78 OPS+, just avoided arbitration with the Indians.

2013 salary: $1,000,000

AT, I'll pay for his plane ticket!

Baseball Trivia:


Did you know that former Phillies' prospect Justin Germano (traded by the Reds to the Phils for Rheal Cormier) has a higher career K/9 than Kyle Kendrick - 5.7 vs. 4.6?

I trust Rollins to take care of himself, just as he has the last couple of years. We had a whole week-long argument last season on why Rollins was half-heartedly running to 1B sometimes (and trust me I'm not looking to get into that again). The guy has gone through a lot of injuries and has clearly learned how to manage the leg problems he had in 2009-2010. I don't think he'll overdo it at the WBC.

That being said, this is step one in fulfilling my prophecy of Rollins having a career bad year due to injuries/ineffectiveness.

Justin Germano-- 322IP.. Kyle Kendrick 757. Kendrick has had a much better career than Germano in every other facet of pitching. That stat WAS trivial, not to mention cherry-picked.

Roll better watch his legs in the WBC...I'll be waiting. MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by: michael martinez

Won't be you if Rollins goes down, it'll be Galvis. Can't hurt to try what AT suggests, however. I'm sure the Jays will love the "versatility."

Iceman - Your right about the US bullpen. I was just looking at Perez and Bell. It's a pretty solid bullpen & its got its share of nice young arms.

As for the WBC, I am largely indifferent to it. I might watch a little but certainly won't go out of my way to watch it.

Hunter Pence settled his Arb case for $13.8 million.
Wow!

"That stat WAS trivial, not to mention cherry-picked."


Yes, oggie, it was, as well as soaked in sarcasm.

Reverend, you now know why Pence was traded.

Pence is a nice player, but IMHO not worth that kind of money. (Of course, who saw Vic getting $13MM/yr.?)

I suspect the Phils felt the same way, and calculated that they could get more for him at the 2012 deadline as opposed to the 2012 offseason.

I'm going to guess that Pence projects to 22 HR 85 RBI and 275 avg.. Yeah, the Giants will get their money's worth.. Not to mention his average of 27 brain cramps.

Almost $14 mil for Pence? Hahaha. Good riddance.

The trade was a win-win. Phils got Tommy Joseph and saved $14 million on a vastly overrated player. Pence still got paid and got a ring despite his unsurprising no-show in October.

I have grown so sick and tired of the 'JRoll doesn't hustle' argument because it is characterized by such nitwits on either end.

On one end, you have the people who harp that JRoll 'doesn't hustle every play' and other even more vague nonsense they can't remotely quantify.

Nevermind the fact that every baseball player will jog down the line on routine grounders from time to time. The only time I have either seen a ridiculous example of a 'lack of hustle' was when Manny Ramirez just dropped his bat vs Devil Rays and walked back into the dugout.

On the other end, you have people who say JRoll's lack of hustle running down to 1st is entirely justified due to his recent leg injuries and JRoll should be the one who decides when he decides to run or not.

They also will say the criticism of JRoll by the fans is almost entirely driven by racial bias too. Doesn't matter if they can't remotely quantify this point either.

We don't know what is said/done behind closed doors. More importantly, it should be at the discretion of the manager to decide if and when to discipline a player.

Cholly has handled it very well both times & it wasn't an issue last season after Cholly benched JRoll. It wasn't either previously when Cholly benched JRoll.

Exactly how a manager should handle a talented but prickly employee. Take them to directly (although you have to notify HR in a work place environment), tell them why you think what they did was wrong & give them a chance to explain themselves, and then make a decision if there should be any disciplinary action taken.

Pence had 24 HRs last year (over 100 RBIs), yet managed only a .743 OPS (103 OPS+)? How is that even statistically possible?

He had over 100 singles last year, and I'll bet at least half of them were on his patented flail-job on a ball way outside the zone that managed to dribble through the infield.

Somehow he was even worse after the trade last year. Should be interesting what he does over a full season in AT&T Park.

I like how MG posted a comment about Team USA's bullpen. He's very consistent.

I'm pretty sure that MG is the dude that hangs over the visiting bullpen at CBP heckling guys about their K/BB ratios and how they keep costing him money on his bets. IIRC he rocks a Pete Incaviglia jersey and one of those hideous maroon late 70's Phillies caps.

If Pence made better contact on half the balls he grounds through the infield for singles, he'd have like 50 HR. He probably swings among the hardest of any player I've seen. When he makes solid contact, it's impressive - but that doesn't happen as often.

donc those maroon caps are not hideous! Please show me the statistics to back up such a statement.

Not a great roster for Team USA. Looks like they weren't able to afford some of the top guys and had to the Value Village route, particularly on the pitching staff. That means season ticket sales and revenues are likely down by 20%. Gotta think there could be some boos early, especially from the kind of fans that now show up and leave early. Really interested to see if the manager can avoid overusing that bullpen. I've already locked in my bet against USA in their first day game.

I wish Martinez was from the Netherlands, so when he couldn't even make their WBC team, we could all point to the Phillies and be like, SEE!!

Rev: They only used them for a few years out of more than 100 years. All others have been varying shades of red. Maroon is hideous by definition. You can look it up in Webster's. Come to think of it I did have, not one but two, maroon Pontiacs when I was younger. Maybe it's not so bad after all.

Yeah, those SF Giants* don't know what the hell their doing with their roster moves!

(*winners of 2 World Series in the last 3 years, also known as the Phillies "window")

Jack: That needs to be, "their could be some boos" and "there first day game." Otherwise, very well done.

Tony Bastard 1 yr, $1.4M.

BAP: I realized after I posted that I needed to enter in some typos and errors to make it more realistic. I feel like I let myself down by not getting all the way there.

donc - I do have a Phils' maroon cap. Unfortunately I don't have an Incaviglia jersey or any Phils' jersey. Just an old Howard t-shirt which I wouldn't wear to a game at this point.

Jack - That wasn't bad. I wouldn't ever bet on something like the WBC though even if Hamels was on the mound during a day game.

Hamels' 'Day Game' hasn't been quite as profitable the last 2 years but it's still been a money maker because the Phils are almost always favored with Hamels on the mound. I am also going to miss Pelfrey coming to CBP too. That was an easy moneymaker although there are still 2 bets I almost always make with Phils.

Jack's MG Impression:

Jack hit every point on the MG checklist their but like he pointed out he needs to work to add some grammatical errors to perfect the impression. Ditto syntax. Aslo needed to title his comment "Weak WBC Roster."

Give him a C- on the post and an F on the perfect grammar.

Ibanez had 19 HRs with a 104 OPS+ last year.

As for betting against the Phils, I only do that because they have generally been a team that is favored the last few years.

Best way to make money on baseball gambling is to bet just a bit more on a underdog arbitrage opportunity. For the last few years with the Phils, that has meant when they are heavily favored and I expect them to lose.

If I can win 53 or 55% of those bets, I'm golden and it has worked out nicely the last 3 years. Just small-time money ($10 or $20/wager). Anybody who bets big on sports is either a sucker or really better know what they are doing treating it as a job where they really quantify their risk exposure & build a comprehensive database to maximize their chances of success.

One of the easiest bets in the casino is to take the Phillies when they're going against John Lannan. I look forward to making a ton of money on that bet this year. Oh wait . . .

Well, there's a good chance that it will be a really good bet to bet against the Phillies with Lannan on the mound...so there's that I guess.

Scene: Visiting bullpen at CBP. Some mediocrity in a particularly rancid looking gray uniform trimmed in orange and blue gets up to start stretching. A dude in a maroon Phillies hat, you know the hideous ones from the late 70's, starts up with the taunts. "You're League Average". "You're Replacement Level". "Dude You Should Wear #98. All Fungible Relievers Should Wear Their ERA+ on their back like a Scarlet Letter. Now trembling, the hapless two million dollar a year loser starts to long toss. And the dude in the maroon Phillies hat starts to chant, "FUNGIBLE! FUNGIBLE! FUNGIBLE!. He's relentless. FUNGIBLE! FUNGIBLE! FUNGIBLE! Soon others join in and the din is earsplitting. FUNGIBLE!FUNGIBLE! FUNGIBLE! Shattered the spineless worm sits down sobbing. Three weeks later his whole world changes and he's rocked to the core when the inevitable happens. The Phillies, in a last ditch deadline gamble, trade 2 C level prospects and a PTBNL for our protagonist. Curses! His thoughts turn immediately to the ghoul in the maroon hat. He starts to tremble. He starts to quiver and quake. And then like a tiny ray of sunshine, at first dim and then growing ever stronger he receives a revelation. It's my contract year! Rube is sure to give me 3 years/18 million. So that's what fungible means. I guess I should have looked it up. Doesn't sound so bad now. Fade to black....

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