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Kubel's Increasing K-Rate

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#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.

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#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.

#31 TheDean

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:40 AM

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.


I think a "good amount" and "this much" are two very different things. Arcia would have likely played nearly every day in the OF. He's got young legs and needs the experience. That leaves Willy and Kubel splitting LF in some kind of platoon, possibly switching DH with CC (where he belongs). In my highly unscientific opinion, that setup gives Kubel maybe 50% of the games in the OF or less.

In summary, sure Kubel likely was expected to play some OF, but I don't think anyone would have expected 28 games started in the OF through game 36. In fact, I think he was expected to DH quite a bit. Starts at DH to-date: 0.

Extra research from Bbref:
Kubel has started >100 G in the OF once in his career: 124 GS in 2012 with Arizona. He's on pace for 126 currently, but I don't think anyone expects that pace to hold after the DL activations.

Edited by TheDean, 13 May 2014 - 11:48 AM.
extra data


#32 Alex

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:42 PM

I think a "good amount" and "this much" are two very different things. Arcia would have likely played nearly every day in the OF. He's got young legs and needs the experience. That leaves Willy and Kubel splitting LF in some kind of platoon, possibly switching DH with CC (where he belongs). In my highly unscientific opinion, that setup gives Kubel maybe 50% of the games in the OF or less.

In summary, sure Kubel likely was expected to play some OF, but I don't think anyone would have expected 28 games started in the OF through game 36. In fact, I think he was expected to DH quite a bit. Starts at DH to-date: 0.

Extra research from Bbref:
Kubel has started >100 G in the OF once in his career: 124 GS in 2012 with Arizona. He's on pace for 126 currently, but I don't think anyone expects that pace to hold after the DL activations.


That's fair, and we can certainly split hairs about what that means. I guess I'd argue that if he's already flagging after playing 28 games in the OF of 36 at this point in the season, that's an issue. He's the best of those three OF, so I'd be surprised if the expectation was for him to DH more than 25% of the time as he's the best fielding corner OF on the roster (and who has the potential bat for it).

#33 JB_Iowa

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 03:35 PM

  • Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 14m
    Five easiest to strike out: Kubel (one every 2.93 plate appearances), Jason Castro, Chris Carter, Rasmus, JUpton (with B.J. right behind).




  • Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 14m
    Five players most difficult to strike out: Victor Martinez (one every 20.29 plate appearances), Kurt Suzuki, Kinsler, Altuve, Simmons.


    Does this mean Kubel and Suzuki cancel each other out? :)



#34 spycake

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:02 PM

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.


Also, I remember during the offseason and spring training, both Kubel and Gardy were saying they expected him to play a lot of outfield. Maybe not exactly 28 of 36, but also not significantly less than that.