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There are two teams with winning records the last three seasons in the Grapefruit League. The Twins and Tigers. In fact, the Twins have the longest string of winning records and haven't had a losing season since 2007 thanks to the performance of players like Aaron Hicks, Luke Hughes, Cole DeVries and Matt Maloney.
... and it means nothing.
Spring training records and individual stat lines have no meaning. They shouldn't be used to argue that one player or
Mike Berardino reported yesterday that Terry Ryan expected Kurt Suzuki to start at catcher. At the time of the signing, it appeared that Suzuki was signed to gibe the Twins a veteran backup. On this site, there were certainly questions about his defense and concern about the workload he carried early in his career. At the time, the best available options other than Suzuki were John Buck or retaining Doumit. While Suzuki has shown to be a poor pitch framer, Doumit and Buck are at the bottom.
Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) measures what a playerís ERA should have looked like over a given time period, assuming that performance on balls in play and timing were league average. Fangraphs relies on FIP to calculate WAR for pitchers.
Is FIP independent of the catcher?
The following table shows pitching performance by catcher over the last two seasons.
Two topics that appeared in the forums led me to wonder which teams are getting the platoon advantage.
How did the Indians do it? I look at their numbers and see a combined 6.1 WAR from Jan Gomes and Ryan Raburn. Those cheap additions will be the difference between contending for the wild card and being on the fringe. Francona has found a role for them to put up fantastic numbers.
We also debated about how platooning might help the Twins.
I wondered how often
My last blog topic on catcher defense was last November. The trade of Butera has prompted a revisit.
Through July 26 while Ryan Doumit was catching, 46 out of zone balls were called strikes and 205 in zone strikes were called balls. They convert it to a ratio which for Doumit would be 0.22 extra strikes/lost strikes. That ratio is the worst in baseball and the next for a current catcher is twice the ratio at 0.44. The data is from Baseball Prospectus.
How much difference
Updated 07-31-2013 at 08:03 PM by jorgenswest
I have a little different format for this one as much has been written about Perkins. Dave Schoenfield's article recommending the Twins trade Glen Perkins in "Another Reason Closers are Overated".
As I read his article is whether he was asking the right questions. The question should really be what happens to closers the following year. It should be how many teams have the same closer. How effective can we expect Perkins to remain in the next 2-3 years?
Updated 07-12-2013 at 03:50 PM by jorgenswest
The Twins signed to veteran back of the rotation starters last winter. Is it possible they might flip them in a midseason trade?
Kevin Correia whose best skill might be his reliable health has performed at an ERA+ of 99 (essentially league average) this year. Mike Pelfrey is coming off injury and started poorly. He needs to put up a string of good starts in order to show that he is healthy. Neither player has a contract that is going to scare off a team.
Earlier I look
Updated 07-10-2013 at 04:03 PM by jorgenswest
One of the players this board has discussed trading is Brian Duensing. The thought is other teams might look to him as a left handed LOOGY.
His line 5.06 ERA, 41g, 32in, 29k, 14bb (over his career left handed hitters have a .580 OPS)
Why trade him?
Brian is 30. He will be eligible for arbitration next year. He would likely be non-tendered. Caleb Thielbar appears to be the better option with Pedro Hernandez providing depth.
Why keep him?
Another post suggested the Twins flip Diamond for Hendriks if he doesn't turn it around by the end of the month.
It has been on my mind as I listened to the Gardenhire show yesterday morning and the post game conference following the game.
If Diamond is to get a handful more starts before flipping him for Hendriks, can he at least have a different catcher.
Doumit doesn't catch often but he has caught 11 of 16 Diamond starts. Gardy quoted ERA as a reason. Hopefully
Updated 07-08-2013 at 03:38 PM by jorgenswest
I tried to study the impact of the batting order change using ZIPS projections. I was a little disappointed in the results.
I used the average plate appearances by batting order position in the AL last year. The second spot had 103 more plate appearances on average than the 8th spot. That made sense as it is close to 6x18.
I then compared a Dozier with 735 plate appearances to a Dozier with 632 plate appearances. (Yes... I know he is not going to play 162 games and neither
It will be interesting to watch three teams as they try to pull themselves out of the basement. The Twins, Cubs and and Astros all have set out different path towards success. They also represent the three very different markets and revenue streams.
The Cubs have purged salaries in trades and then are putting money back in for next year. They will probably not match last year's payroll, but they will spend the most of the three. They also have the most revenue. Will the additions
In the current era of baseball it doesn't make sense to quantify pitchers as #X starter. It used to be that #1 or #2 starters would get more starts because they would skip over guys at the back end of the rotation. I think Verlander and the Tigers are the only team that did that with any consistency.
Virtually all teams roll their starters so that all slots get about the same number of starts. Even when the opportunity at the all star break comes to skip some starts at the back end,
Updated 12-17-2012 at 10:16 PM by jorgenswest
"I donít say this about many decisions, but starting Doumit at catcher might be a fireable offense. In 60 games at catcher for Pittsburgh in 2011, his framing cost the Pirates 20 runs. In 59 games for Minnesota in 2012, his framing cost the Twins 21 runs. All told, his framing has subtracted 98 runs over the past five seasons, on top of the damage from the other things he does poorly behind the plate, which wipes out his offensive value."
Ben Lindbergh, Baseball Prospectus
The early ZIPS projections were reported midweek and the AL Central has sobering information for the Twins.
Note: Unfortunately, you will need an insider account to access the link above.
The Twins in their construction are projected for 66 wins and 5th place in the AL Central. Entering the 2012 season they had a projected 70 win team from