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Kubel's Increasing K-Rate

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#1 jorgenswest

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

Jason Kubel has enough plate appearances to pass the sample size threshold for strike out rate and walk rate.

[TABLE="width: 500"]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]K-Rate[/TD]
[TD]BB-Rate[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]2011 MIN[/TD]
[TD]21.4%[/TD]
[TD]8.0%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]2012 ARI[/TD]
[TD]26.4%[/TD]
[TD]10.0%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]2013 ARI/CLE[/TD]
[TD]31.7%[/TD]
[TD]10.0%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]2014 MIN (through 5/9/14)[/TD]
[TD]34.1%[/TD]
[TD]9.3%[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

When signed this winter, it was reasonable to believe that last year's struggles were related to injury. Is it still reasonable?

#2 stringer bell

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 09:31 AM

Distressing. I thought perhaps it was because he had faced so many left handed pitchers, but he's actually fanned more often versus right handers. Not promising.

#3 JB_Iowa

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 09:46 AM

Legs.

How much does Kubel's increasing play in the field contribute to his declining value at the plate?

I'm not good at manipulating the stats but it sure seems like he's been in the field a lot more recently than he was the first couple weeks of the season.


Edit:
Okay, I found something on BRef that makes it look like he has played 29 games out of 32 in the OF (26 in LF and 3 in RF) -- so he has actually been on the field a lot more than I thought.

I still wonder if part of his problem is that his legs need a break.


Edit 2: And it looks like he will get a break today at least. Nunez in left and Mauer at DH.

Edited by JB_Iowa, 10 May 2014 - 09:53 AM.


#4 AScheib50

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 09:53 AM

At this point, would anyone be on board with Kubel being the guy to go when both Arcia and Willingham return? If Parmalee keeps his head above water this time around you have to think he won't clear waivers. I'm hoping when Arcia returns Gardy uses an outfield of Arcia Hicks Parmalee with a DH platoon (of sorts) of Colabello and Kubel.

#5 Brandon

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:03 AM

Kubel is definitely slumping after his hot start. So is Colabello, Plouffe, and Pinto. When Willingham and Arcia return it will be interesting to see how the playing time gets divvied up.


1B Mauer, Parmelee, Colabello
LF Willingham, Kubel
RF Arcia, Parmelee, Colabello, Kubel
DH Colabello, Kubel, Pinto, Parmelee

I don't think they will release Kubel (though I admit it is still possible) but he could see less playing time. We will have to send 1 player out though if no one is injured. Likely Colabello or Arcia since they both have options or Parmelee if he really is terrible. We will have to go back to 12 pitchers though.

2B Dozier
1B Mauer
3B Plouffe
LF Willingham
DH Colabello
RF Arcia
C Suzuki
CF Hicks
SS Escobar
bench Parmelee, Kubel, Pinto, Fuld, Santana = (1 too many on the bench)

Edited by Brandon, 10 May 2014 - 10:13 AM.


#6 Kelly Vance

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:22 AM

Kubel is what I call a stuborn hitter. He tries to pull everything. That's why he pulls his head and is a fish for the outside strike. Cola started trying to pull everything as well, which not surprisingly concided with his slump. There is a danger when you have a hot streak. You stop going with what worked and start trying to hit everything out of the park. Almost always this results in pulling your head and pulling the bat away from pitches out over the plate.

Edited by Kelly Vance, 10 May 2014 - 10:25 AM.


#7 drock2190

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:52 AM

I remember in spring training, he was striking out a ton as well and that was against some inferior pitchers. So I'm not really surprised.

#8 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:27 AM

I wasn't exactly in favor of bringing Kubel aboard but I'm pulling for him.

He did say he had a lot of baseball left in him, so I'm not completely buying the weak legs excuse that I'm starting to hear. We're only in May! I do think he should get the occasional day off though.

#9 CRArko

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:34 AM

It might be instructive to normalize the data vs. league averages over the same time frame. It seems like strikeouts have been climbing across the board, and the variance between Kubel's rate and everybody else's might be useful. It also might not, but looking at numbers in a vacuum isn't going to tell the whole story. It might even be worse than it looks. Or it might just reflect a trend.
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#10 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:39 AM

League average K rates, '11 through '14:

2011: 18.6
2012: 19.8
2013: 19.9
2014: 20.5

#11 chuchadoro

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:56 AM

League average K rates, '11 through '14:

2011: 18.6
2012: 19.8
2013: 19.9
2014: 20.5


Kubel's K rate has increased at roughly 6X the rate of the league average. I think that answers crarko's question.
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#12 CRArko

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:00 PM

Kubel's K rate has increased at roughly 6X the rate of the league average. I think that answers crarko's question.


It looks like retiring and becoming an umpire is a realistic possibility.
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#13 jorgenswest

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:09 PM

I think I would need to take out pitcher strike outs in the NL so I did check AL numbers in 2011 and 2014. They have increased from 18% to 19.7%. Kubel 21.4% to 34.1%.

I do not think lasts year's abysmal performance can be written off to injury. Kubel's skill has changed.

#14 Kelly Vance

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:11 PM

Just saw Cola strike out looking on an outside pitch after trying to pull a pitch on the outside corner (strike 2). I wonder if he needs glasses

#15 Sconnie

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:17 PM

It looks like retiring and becoming an umpire is a realistic possibility.

because he can't see anymore?

#16 CRArko

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:32 PM

because he can't see anymore?


Yes, it could be an ocular motor dysfunction.
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#17 TheLeviathan

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:50 PM

File this under "not surprisingly".

#18 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 12:55 PM

Yes, it could be an ocular motor dysfunction.


For a moment I thought you were blaming Kubel's strikeouts on the umpires but now I realize you are diagnosing a medical condition instead :)

#19 CRArko

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:23 PM

For a moment I thought you were blaming Kubel's strikeouts on the umpires but now I realize you are diagnosing a medical condition instead :)


Diagnose? No, merely suggest. I have a similar affliction, which manifests whenever picking up a bat.
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#20 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 02:09 PM

Kubel is what I call a stuborn hitter. He tries to pull everything.

Ted Williams had the same problem.

#21 spycake

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 03:02 PM

Legs.

How much does Kubel's increasing play in the field contribute to his declining value at the plate?

I'm not good at manipulating the stats but it sure seems like he's been in the field a lot more recently than he was the first couple weeks of the season.


Edit:
Okay, I found something on BRef that makes it look like he has played 29 games out of 32 in the OF (26 in LF and 3 in RF) -- so he has actually been on the field a lot more than I thought.

I still wonder if part of his problem is that his legs need a break.


Edit 2: And it looks like he will get a break today at least. Nunez in left and Mauer at DH.


Kubel had a pretty high K-rate from the get-go this season (although it's gotten a little ridiculous lately). And as someone else mentioned, it was pretty high in spring training too.

Actually, checking his career spring training stats (cool to see them at MLB.com!), his 2014 spring training was very similarly bad as his 2013. And both were notably worse than all of his previous career spring trainings, particularly in the AVG and K categories. As his BABIP comes down (from .423 to his career mark of .306), I am afraid we might see a repeat of last season...

Link to spring training stats:
http://minnesota.twi...014&level='ALL'

Edited by spycake, 10 May 2014 - 03:05 PM.


#22 Willihammer

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 07:14 AM

Kubel had a pretty high K-rate from the get-go this season (although it's gotten a little ridiculous lately). And as someone else mentioned, it was pretty high in spring training too.

Actually, checking his career spring training stats (cool to see them at MLB.com!), his 2014 spring training was very similarly bad as his 2013. And both were notably worse than all of his previous career spring trainings, particularly in the AVG and K categories. As his BABIP comes down (from .423 to his career mark of .306), I am afraid we might see a repeat of last season...

Link to spring training stats:
http://minnesota.twi...014&level='ALL'


That still could be related to injury. To hear Kubel tell it, he hurt one of his knees in ST last year, and in compensating for that hurt his quad. He mostly played through it and put up a bad year. Is something like that going on again?

Unless we can get an accurate read of his knee/leg condition, we can't know whether his skills have declined IMO. He's still only 31.

#23 Jerr

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 10:02 AM

Ted Williams had the same problem.


I wish, he had Ted Williams problem with the same results:whacky028:

#24 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:18 PM

Koobs gonna koobs, and there ain't no more to say.

Well, there is, I'm sure. Kubel has value to this team as a bench bat or DH and has been one of the better defenders (dear god help me now as I type this) the last couple weeks with the Twins trotting out anyone with a pulse to play OF. He's not as terrible as Delmon in the OF, so I guess he gets a pass. It's fun cheering for KOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS, and for a team that I think finishes well under .500, having someone fun to cheer for goes a long way.

#25 Shane Wahl

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:27 PM

This shouldn't be surprising. He was a good hitter for two seasons, an average to above average hitter for about 3 or 4 years, and is now declining very, very quickly.

#26 twinsnorth49

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:07 PM

That still could be related to injury. To hear Kubel tell it, he hurt one of his knees in ST last year, and in compensating for that hurt his quad. He mostly played through it and put up a bad year. Is something like that going on again?

Unless we can get an accurate read of his knee/leg condition, we can't know whether his skills have declined IMO. He's still only 31.


If it is, that's a lot of continued breaking down.Seems to me Kubel doesn't represent nearly enough upside to have to wait through that.

#27 Sconnie

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:51 PM

Only 31, but has a long history of leg injuries throughout his career. He's in the decline phase of his career, and can only hobble around so much.

I hope OF reinforcements and moving Kubel to DH will give his tired 31 year old legs enough rest to be a consistent contributor through the rest of the season, or until (fingers crossed) he gets traded.

#28 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:45 PM

Surely the Twins considered that Kubel has had knee and leg injuries when they tenured him a position on the 25 man roster. (To Kubel's credit, he's done ok out in left.)

#29 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:34 AM

I dont think the plan was for this much time on the field. He wasn't a bad part time bat to add to the team, and hes still one of the better hitters in the team, although playing every day isnt a good idea.

#30 Alex

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:48 AM

I dont think the plan was for this much time on the field. He wasn't a bad part time bat to add to the team, and hes still one of the better hitters in the team, although playing every day isnt a good idea.


Hmmm, it's an interesting thought, but how could the plan have not been for this much time in the field? Or, at least a good amount? They started the season with the following players on the 25 day roster between corner OF and DH: Willingham, Arcia, Kubel, and Colabello. Even if you put CC on the bench, you still have Hammer Arcia and Kubel, all better suited to DH than play OF. Not sure I see a scenario where Kubel doesn't see a lot of time in the OF, even if Hammer had been healthy.