Archive for September, 2007

1 back in the loss for the division

September 19, 2007

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The Yanks have almost closed the entire gap.

Using stats the Dayn Perry way

September 19, 2007

In Perry’s Stats 101 column, Perry cites Expected Wins Added (WXRL), Plus-Minus System (PM) and Strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) as the ONLY stats to look at as to predict how things will play out in October because “the quality of a team’s closer, the quality of a team’s defense and the strikeout rate of the pitching staff all matter very much in the postseason.”

First, the Yankees scored 4th (2nd in the AL) in WXRL. But, would anyone in their right mind take the Red Sox pen over the Yankees pen (Joba has an 868 ERA+ and Mo has a 0.80 ERA in 120+ postseason IP) after what we saw this weekend? Hell no, this part of the entire ranking doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t matter that Luis Vizcaino couldn’t get anyone out in April, it matters that Joba has only given up one run and it didn’t cost them a game.

Second, I’m not familiar with PM, but the Yanks defense is solid and doesn’t deserve that low of a ranking. Here are the RZR numbers.

Third, K/9 is not the be-all end-all of pitching statistics. For one, this is a major disadvantage to the Yankees in your crazy system because their best pitcher, Chien-Ming Wang, has a career K/9 of 3.7, which is not good by these standards, but is more than okay because of his deadly sinker and career ERA+ of 116. This is a disadvantage specifically to the Yankees because these numbers don’t take Wang, a Cy Young candidate the last two years, as a good pitcher. The system acts like he’s Matt DeSalvo because he doesn’t strikeout guys. When in reality, he’s awesome.

Anyway, it really messes up his system and he doesn’t even mention it. Great work.  

First, it’s important to recognize that postseason baseball isn’t the same as regular-season baseball. Whether by design or accident, the games tend to be lower scoring, and that has far-reaching implications.  

Post season baseball is different because the short series allows more parity than the 162-game season leading to the hottest pitching prevailing and not necessarily the best team. The games don’t just “tend to be low scoring”, they are low scoring because every team in the playoffs got there with some semblance of good pitching.

And, for the record, the postseason isn’t about “a good closer, a good defense and strikeouts.” Postseason baseball is about two things: Matchups and Luck.  

For instance, the Yankees have had trouble with the Los Angeles Angels in the playoffs and regular season (they are the only team with a >.500 record against NYY since ’95). In ’05, the Yanks lost to the Angels, who got blasted in the ALCS.

Were the Angels that good in ’05? No.

Were they better than the Yankees? Well, they beat them again. But, you can make the argument that the Yankees ran into a team that just matches up real well with them and has since ’95.

As the numbers above show, the Red Sox are clearly the class of baseball when it comes to having the kind of team that thrives in the postseason. The NL is more tightly bunched, but the D-backs and Mets both have what it takes. As for the Yankees, well, it appears their “drought” will continue.

So, would the “class of baseball” be the same team that is choking the division away? The same team that scored very high in WXRL, but currently has a bullpen in shambles? The same team that has a good K/9 score, but has a rotation that has been wildly inconsistent outside of Josh Beckett, who the Yankees own?

And the Yankees drought will continue because they didn’t have a good bullpen in April, don’t have an outstanding defense and don’t have a good K/9, even though they have a Cy Young candidate who doesn’t strikeout anyone?

Okay, nice use of selective statistics. I think someone should introduce you to offense, though.

Ugh Michael Kay

September 19, 2007

Kay said this during the Yanks-O’s game Wednesday:

Alex Rodriguez proved that Shortstops can play anywhere.

Really? A-Rod moving to third, an easier position to play because it requires less range, proves anyone who has played Shortstop can play anywhere?

So, Jhonny Peralta, currently last in the AL in RZR, could play centerfield? Um, no.

Magic number is now 7

September 18, 2007

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Yanks crushed the O’s, fatty gagged again (more on this later) and the Tigers lost. The Yankees are only 2 games out in the loss column in the division, it’s far from over.

Edward Salcedo Update

September 18, 2007

A scouting director from a mid-market club asked two of his scouts to assign a dollar value to the most coveted international free agent, a 16-year-old Dominican shortstop named Edward Salcedo.“I’d give him $750,000,” one of the scouts said. “I’d go to $1 million,” the other added. The scouting director all but laughed, knowing those numbers were absurdly low.

“If we want him, we had better prepared to spend $3.5 million,” the scouting director said.

The scouting director knew Salcedo was represented by Scott Boras. He also knew that the Yankees wanted him badly. (Source)

Not really an update, he still hasn’t signed with a club and he is still good. Hows that?

There are many different ways to build a baseball organization. The smartest way is to stockpile good, young talent in your farm system. There are different ways to obtain this good, young talent: the Amateur Draft, the Rule V Draft, Trades and Free Agency. Another way is through International Free Agency. See, instead of having a draft with all of the players from overseas, it’s just widespread Free Agency in which any team can just sign all of the best players if they wanted to. If I were a MLB GM, I’d be all over this thing.

But, many organizations are misguided in their use of money. The Kansas City Royals would rather sign Gil Meche to a 5-year, $55M deal than spend $8M on the draft and spend $3M on IFAs for the next five years. This is insanely stupid. If a small market team that can’t contend in free agency, like the Royals, spends $8M on the draft and $3-5M on IFAs every year for 5 years, they are spending their money a lot smarter than everyone else and will have a leg up on all of the competition.

Look at the Tigers, for instance, GM Dave Dombrowski knows he doesn’t want to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox in Free Agency (For the Tigers, it doesn’t make sense financially). He uses the Amateur Draft instead. The Tigers spent $2M for Cameron Maybin in ’05, $5M to get Andrew Miller in ’06 and $7.7M to get Rick Porcello in ’07. Dombrowski beat the market. Those Royals passed on Miller, the best talent in the draft, because they “didn’t have the money” and later filled their hole with Meche, who was way more money.

For a team that isn’t making the playoffs anytime soon, like the Royals, doesn’t it make more sense to spend your money on good, young, cost-efficient players in the draft and overseas than on older, budget-killing players?

Yes.

Now, I’m going to propose a move than any team in Major League baseball can make right now:

Sign Edward Salcedo

Salcedo is a IFA SS with a 6′3”, 190 lb from La Vega, Dominican Republic. He’s got a Big League body, strong and athletic. Smooth, easy defensive actions, easy plus arm and can really play SS. Aggressive swing, power projection, deep load from wide base, good bat speed, geared to drive fastballs, timing will be an issue. He has all the tools to be a top player. He’d be a potential 1st round type if in draft.

The site also mentions that he throws 93 MPH from short to first, and has a 60 time of 6.81. I don’t know how fast a 6.81 60 makes him, but hitting 93 from shortstop indicates impressive arm strength. According to the Perfect Game site, Justin Upton hit 91 from the infield as a high school senior, which might mean that Salcedo at 16 has a better arm than Upton, whose tools have always been raved about.

While it’s reported that Scott Boras reps him and demands for the kid is a $4.5M signing bonus which would be the most for an IFA, it would be a great signing for the any team. Boras went on to state that Salcedo has A-Rod talent. (Source)

Here is the best part: he only costs $5M. So what if that is the biggest bonus an IFA has ever received? In the grand scheme of things that’s small potatoes for a lot of teams. Any team in the game can get a kid with Alex Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Justin Upton as comps for $5M. Any team can get a guy who will be the number one prospect in most organizations for $5M. The team that signs this guy will get an absolute steal if he pans out (I hope it’s my Yanks).

Fans that whine about the Yankees and Red Sox payrolls should be pissed at their team’s GMs instead. Yes, their teams don’t have the money to battle the Yanks and Sox in Free Agency, but that’s not even the best way to obtain good, young players, the Amateur Draft and the IFA signing period are and every team can compete in those aspects, the ones who don’t aren’t victims of non-competitive balance, they are just lazy and/or stupid.

Guys who run through walls, guys who don’t

September 18, 2007

Here is what Jim Palmer said during Tuesday night’s Yankee game during a Bobby Abreu bat in the first inning:

Everybody said he won a Gold Glove but he wasn’t that good of a rightfielder. 

Abreu won the award in the NL in ’05, he was 5th in RZR for RFs, played more innings and had a much better arm than everyone in front of him beside Jose Guillen.  

If you win it and people say you don’t deserve it, that usually means your not a bad rightfielder.

No, Derek Jeter won the Gold Glove at shortstop last year and he was 8th in RZR at SS.  

He’s not a guy that will run into a wall,

Ever. 

but he plays just about every game and guys who run into walls miss a week or two.

Really? Because Aaron Rowand (a guy who runs through walls) has played 149 games this year. Thats two more than Abreu (a guy who doesn’t run through walls). So, your wrong.  

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And, by the way, rationalizing “not running through walls” or “not trying hard” with playing a lot of games is just stupid.

I love BP

September 18, 2007

BP’s Will Caroll ends the discussion on Mo’s pinky.

No one with the Yankees seems to concerned that Mariano Rivera got hit on the hand with an errant baseball. It’s sore but not broken, and he’ll be available soon without much effect. I’m not even concerned with the “mysterious” origin of the baseball, but Rivera’s injury and the response allow me to point out that muted reactions like this, especially at this time of year, are sometimes planned. I’m not suggesting that the Yankees are covering anything up here, but you will see teams hiding things to gain advantages or at least not showcase their weaknesses heading into the playoffs. The trading deadlines are also stretches in which you see a bit more of this type of behavior, but late September ranks close behind. (Source)

Former GM Steve Phillips

September 18, 2007

Deadspin wrote this post on Phillips. Here is what he said in a chat a few weeks ago:

Vinny (New York): With a gun to your head, still Seatle over the Yanks for the Wild Card? Yankees are looking pretty impressive, just taking care of most people’s “best team in baseball.”

SportsNation Steve Phillips: The Yanks looked good beating an undermanned Tigers team, I agree with you. But I think the Mariners will hold on and win the Wild Card. Their starting pitching is just good enough and their bullpen in unreal. They have one of the best defenses in babseball, and they are starting to produce on offense. I think it is too little too late for the Yankees to make the playoffs.”

The Mariners are now 7 games back in the wild card and BP has them with a 0.1% of making the playoffs. Keep up the abysmal work, Steve.

Should A-Rod Stay?

September 18, 2007

 Well, Big Papi, should he?

“Hell no,” Ortiz said. “Hopefully he goes to the National League Central, so he can hit 80 homers.” (Source)

Playoff Odds Update

September 17, 2007

Back by popular demand, BP has the Yankees at an 93.4% chance to make the playoffs with their magic number currently at 9 with the Yanks 8-5 win over Baltimore and the Tigers heartbreaking 6-5 loss to Cleveland (in a game Detroit lead 5-1).