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2wins87

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  • Birthday 08/01/1987

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  1. For the record the names of the Pena's are Alex, Isaac, and Daniel. I remember Alex Pena's name from last year. He is repeating the complex league right now. Last year he hit well for average but no power. He appears to have added some power which is good because I think he basically plays 1B. Hopefully he will get a chance in low A soon. Given his age and experience level it would be good to give him an opportunity against tougher competition.
  2. A 50 run grade on Martin seems a bit low. I don't think he's super fast but he seems above average. MLB has him at 55. I think the bigger thing with him is getting good jumps. He has some of that fast-twitch acceleration which is just as big as straight line speed when it comes to stealing bases.
  3. I was tested in AAA last year and I think it went into effect at all minor league levels this year. The size of the bases didn't seem to make a very big difference, and it is a relatively small tweak compared to other rules changes. I think success rates were up about 1% in AAA for the half of the season when the bases changed. It could be a bit bigger impact at the major league level where there might be fewer replay reviews for players coming off the bag. I don't think we should expect a drastic change next year though.
  4. Some good outings from guys who have had tough seasons so far. Austin Martin actually had 3 hits, a walk, and HBP on the night since he picked up a hit and walk after the continuation of yesterday's suspended game. He also had a very nifty fielding play in game 2. He came in on a soft liner to short to make the catch around his knees, then immediately flipped from his glove to second base to double off the runner. He wouldn't have had time to complete the double play with a transfer and toss, so it was a pretty slick play showing really good awareness. He also did make a fielding error in the continuation game 1, but still a good night overall which is good to see from him. Balazovic definitely had his best outing of the season. He had some inconsistency dating back to last year really, so even with the injury I've been pretty concerned with his struggles. Hopefully last night was a sign of him turning the corner. I also watched most of Enlow's start and I think he looked good even if his line was sort of mediocre. He got the fastball up to 95, threw a lot of cutters at about 90 mph, and had his big low 80's curve working pretty well. I could be wrong but I think I also saw at least one well located changeup mixed in at 88 mph.
  5. A little early for comparison, but 2018 might be this front office's best draft overall so far. Larnach certainly looks like a good outcome for 20th overall, same with Jeffers in the second round. Any time the top two picks in a draft exceed the average expectations for their slot it's probably a good draft. Winder emerging from the second day picks is also a coup, and I would agree that they still have a good chance to get a decent reliever from the group and maybe a utility player. I'm liking the returns so far from last year's draft so far, even with Petty's value now basically cashed in, but we'll have to wait a few years before we really know how well that draft paid off. The depth from 2019 also looks quite good, but the top of the draft is pretty suspect.
  6. I think we can use catcher ERA if we are comparing closer to apples to apples. Yes, you have to take out Ryan, Gray, and Smeltzer, who have had personal catchers so far, and should probably try to normalize for discrepancies in innings caught as well, but this is doable. I was interested in the question of Jeffers vs Sanchez a week or so ago so I actually started putting together a spreadsheet to track their stats on a pitcher by pitcher basis. I updated this morning to account for yesterday's game. One thing you can look at is their relative ERAs for relief pitchers, which isn't dictated by pitcher preference. I've recorded catcher splits for each relief pitcher with at least 15 IP so far, and the total difference between Jeffers and Sanchez was actually way bigger than I expected. Simply adding up for a sum total the stats are: Jeffers: 111 IP, 3.05 ERA, 3.86 FIP Sanchez: 68 IP, 5.03 ERA, 4.88 FIP I also tried a weighted average where each pitcher was weighted by their total innings pitched, not just the IP to each catcher. The results: Jeffers: 3.16 ERA, 3.96 FIP Sanchez: 5.18 ERA, 4.63 FIP I also did the same thing for starters excluding Ryan, Gray, Smeltzer, Gonzalez, and Winder and Sands (who have also pitched as relievers). The sum total results: Jeffers: 72.1 IP, 3.11 ERA, 3.41 FIP Sanchez 87 IP, 5.07 ERA, 4.21 FIP And the weighted totals: Jeffers: 3.07 ERA, 3.40 FIP Sanchez: 4.90 ERA, 4.11 FIP There might not be a perfect method for comparing catcher ERA, but all of the numbers I found point to Jeffers maybe saving about 1 run per 9 innings in game calling and working with his pitchers vs Sanchez. If they each caught 80 games that would add up to about 8 wins over the course of a season, definitely bigger than the difference between their offensive contributions. I'm inclined to think that there is some randomness working against Sanchez and the difference isn't really quite that big, but even so, I've been quite convinced that Jeffers has actually been the more valuable catcher so far with all things considered, and probably by quite a big margin.
  7. As others have pointed out, catcher framing has been around for a long time. If it was being taught in the 70's it was probably taught well before then too. I think this is an important point that is overlooked a lot by a lot of people that criticize catcher framing today, so it bears repeating. The things that have changed is the ability to quantify catcher framing and the ability to see it on a pitch by pitch basis in real time. The modern approach to pitch framing probably started around 2006 with the introduction of pitch tracking cameras/software (PITCHf/x) to all MLB ballparks. The first publicly published metrics of catcher framing came in 2008. The biggest change in the way catchers actually frame pitches is probably in how they try to get the low strike. There are other subtle differences in how they try to start moving the glove before they catch the pitch rather than jerking it afterwards. But from my memory, catchers tried to frame inside and outside pitches in very similar ways well before there were metrics and we were so conscious about it. Around 2014, catcher framing actually did starting mattering a lot less according to the metrics. When the metrics were first introduced guys like Brian McCann and Russell Martin were supposedly adding around 3 wins a season just from framing. I think they sort of knew what they were doing, so it was part skill, but it was also just that there was so much variation because teams knew about framing but hadn't yet realized what a big deal it could actually be. Everyone is closer in framing skill now, so the best and worst guys are typically only adding or subtracting about 1 win. The other big change is that we now have gamecasts tracking pitches and broadcasts putting up little boxes and pitch locations for every pitch. This has massively raised our expectations for what is a strike. I remember a time when on a 3-0 count the pitch only had to be close to the zone to be a strike, and on a 0-2 pitch it had to be practically down the middle. This is still a little bit true, but mostly not. My guess is that umpires are actually better than they've ever been at calling balls and strikes on a whole. We know that pitch tracking is also used to evaluate umpires. Most of them want to perform well at their job, and are able to work to improve their pitch calling with data from pitch tracking.
  8. Wallner seems kind of like Larnach defensively to me. He's maybe not quite as slow as he seems, but at the very least he moves pretty well and has a good enough arm to make up for a lack of range. That's based off a fairly small sample of watching, but I don't think he'll be the kind of defensive liability that made it that much harder to give Rooker the opportunity to adjust in the majors. It seems Wallner will have to get his chance in the majors at some point. One thing that has been true in his minor league career is that despite the strikeouts and cold stretches at every level, he still manages to produce big numbers in the end. While I've never been a huge believer, he's made it hard to just dismiss him. I don't really think we'll learn too much more from the rest of his minor league career, so I'm just going to wait until he gets his chance and see if he can continue to defy the skepticism.
  9. The most obvious thing I noticed about him when I've seen him pitch is his unique arm slot. It might not quite be sidearm but is definitely lower than 3/4. And he looks to have a pretty wide wingspan too. Not something you see from the left side too often. As you would expect, he's been hell on lefties this year, with an .077 BA and .222 OPS against. Weirdly he wasn't great against lefties in previous seasons, and I don't think the arms slot is totally new. Could be some minor arm slot adjustments combined with pitch shape changes and maybe adjustments on the rubber. Regardless of the difference, he's a guy that gives hitters a different look, so I could see him being a lefty specialist in the majors. He seems to have been good enough against righties to deal with the 3 batter minimum too.
  10. Yeah the changes are interesting, but who knows when, if ever, these experiments make their way to the majors. The Rays did end up giving up two outs on bases trying to steal on Jeffers Saturday (only gaining one base on a successful steal). So even as bad as Jeffers is at that part of the game it's still not completely without risk trying to take extra bases against him. The bar for adding value by stealing bases is just so high. Even if the league makes it marginally easier the math for success won't really change unless the run scoring environment truly tumbles. So yeah he's not the ideal catcher, but the inability to control the run game just isn't too big of a deal in the MLB as is, and I don't see it changing very quickly.
  11. He's not only a pitch framer. He grades out pretty well at blocking and game calling as well. Defensive metrics for catchers, as flawed as they are, see him as among the best in the game. His 5.6 RAA at Fangraphs ranks 6th in the majors right now. Maybe the run game is coming back, but as offensive levels have been heating up this year teams that have been running more might still rethink that a bit. I think it continues to be a de-emphasized part of the game. Even with different versions of the automatic strike zone being used in the minors, I don't think it makes it to the majors for a while, at least through his arb-eligible years.
  12. He ought to know he's not fast. Not a terrible decision just not very good.
  13. Not sure second and third with no outs would have been better for the Rays. Probably trying to give his reliever time to warm up partly.
  14. Nice battle by Polanco there too. Can't keep this offense down too long right now.
  15. Arraez adding power? Scary thought for opposing pitchers
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