Wednesday, February 5, 2014

JAL’s Letter Morning Links



 Letter by Nowhere Slow--Group from Scranton area


GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

1- MLB Transactions


2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates


3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet



4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker


BLOGS and such

 

5—Pirates Prospects


First Pitch: This is Where the Pirates Need to Spend Money


Prospect Links: Gregory Polanco, Austin Meadows, ZiPS



6 Rumbunter

Looking at Pirates Predictions in 2014 Lindy’s Baseball Preview



7 Bucs Dugout

Mets sign Kyle Farnsworth


8 Saber Bucs

What Numbers Would Stephen Drew Post as a Pirate?


Fangraphs is Wrong about the Pirates Rotation




9 Green Weenie

> Position Battles In Camp...


10 MLB-Pirates Site

Pipeline Perspectives: Bucs boast top duo of hurlers


11 Pirates 101

Who Will Be the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Most Improved Player in 2014



NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

12 Fox News Latino
                                   
Big League Fingerprints Are All Over Caribbean Series Squads, Even In The Dugouts


13 Boston Herald

Risk assessment: Will post-37 David Ortiz more closely resemble Frank Thomas or Carlos Delgado?



14 Yahoo Sports

Chicago Cubs: Why Signing James McDonald Is the Best Move of the Entire Offseason


15 Slate

William Edward White, the first black player in major league history, lived his life as a white man.


16 Fangraphs

The Pirates Outfield


17 SB Nation

Freddie Freeman, Braves agree to 8-year, $135 million extension


18 Sports on Earth

Mint Condition


19 Baseball Prospectus

Pittsburgh Pirates Top 10 Prospects



20 Sweetspot

Braves bet big on Freddie Freeman's future


260 comments:

  1. Thanks for the Letter JAL

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  2. So I bet all the funny guys show up today!!

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  3. It really is a cheesy video. But I like the song.

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  4. The sidewalks here in pgh. are treacherous. Step with security.
    I have underscored my sidewalks length in the past to make myself feel more at ease. Today, I realize the truth, its over 300 ft. and I have done over a little half of it and not sure if I will go back out.

    I am starting a snow blower fund. I think I can pick up enough Al. and other less precious metals along with my Christmas coin funs which I did not blow this past Christmas so hopefully this is my last year attacking the snow alone.

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  5. Ok Ok I am going to it now!

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  6. Man, just finished shoveling the driveway, each shovel-ful weighed about 20 pounds. I'm getting too old for this crap.

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  7. Jenny is a pretty girl. The kid who is going to bite his tongue off is a flash back of a sort for me, we had a class mate like that so we called him Mucky.

    I too liked the song. I am not all that liking the fuzzy screen we see now and then.

    I guess we had to see how pretty Jenny is to know the importance of the letter or is the letter the name of the band.

    I am with Doc, take a listen to the song, JAL scores a success with new music that is good and no sleezy about it.

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  8. Even with a new fangled push shovel you only can go one shovel at a time. My neighbor Gerome is the guy with the sissy snow blower so I am waiting to see him come out and just shovel for his wife's tires to drive up their driveway.

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  9. I shoveled half the driveway, 75 feet long, as quick as I could so she could get the car out without crushing down all the snow, which makes it even harder to shovel. So, she backs the car out of the garage and immediately turns the wheels so she backs down the unshoveled side. Oy vey.

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  10. Well, we all now know what Oy Vey means !!

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  11. Which reminds me, If anyone remembers GGG's first name please post it cause I do not wish to send an email to the wrong person and he is in my list of former blog members.

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  12. I'm hoping 8b is correct & not Fangraphs.

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  13. .

    Tim,

    I've been too old for this snow nonsense for at least the past twenty years. Bummer. So over this winter I (and probably a lot of other sissies) went out and up-graded to slightly larger snow-blowers.

    So what happened ?? Polar vortex. Mother Nature tricked us *again.* So while much of Europe is experiencing a much warmer-than-normal Jan /Feb (being on the other side of the vortex), here in Denver we're smashing daily low temperature readings -- and by a significant amount.

    Only 2-3 inches on driveways and sidewalks, which just about any snow-blower or manual hand-shovel could handle . . .

    But the wind-chill reading right now in my backyard is twenty degrees below zero.

    Not twenty degrees below freezing. Twenty degrees below zero.

    And me without any of the required polar expedition parenphalia before going outside. Bummer. By community covenant, we're required to keep our portions of the sidewalks clear. But I'm thinking that in my neighborhood today no one is going outside without their own personal dog-sled. So I may just wait until after lunch, when the temps get to +4 degrees above zero, to even attempt to do the required snow removal thingie.


    It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.


    And it's not nice when She fools MEE.


    Yikes !!


    regards
    .

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  14. So, on this snow day, I wish NH would just give AJ his money and get it done!!!

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  15. .


    Could be worse, I suppose. The local news just reported that the current wind chill factor in actual downtown Denver is 35 degrees below zero. (Downtown Denver is actually in a slight valley, lower than surrounding areas, so heavier, even colder air, always settles there. And they get more wind/breezes in cold weather flowing down from the foothills.)


    Me, only twenty below zero. I didn't know it, but I suppose compared to the downtown areas, I'm in a heat wave.


    Horray !!
    .

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  16. Re 19 - question for anyone with a subscription. Tony Sanchez is not on the list. Is that because he didn't make it? Or they don't consider him a prospect?

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  17. Pirates Prospects has him number 11 so I'm assuming that means he is technically still a prospect.

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  18. Here is what the piece has on Sanchez

    Factors on the Farm (Prospects likely to contribute at the ML level in 2014)

    1. C Tony Sanchez: The former first round pick finally made it the majors, although the bat stayed in the minors. Sanchez is most likely a backup catcher at the highest level, but one who can offer defensive value in addition to some pop at the plate, but the outcome is obviously a disappointment from the fourth overall pick in 2009.

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  19. I USED to think him a bust ( had many arguments with JJ on the old blog about this), but now I still think he can make it. But I do not consider him a prospect

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  20. Looking at the Fangraphs piece quickly it looks like they are basing everything mostly off of WAR.


    The big issue with pitcher WAR is it takes the home ballpark into account so while the Pirates should once again be towards the top of the league in ERA WAR discounts their performance because of the advantages of the home park. It also says in spite of good results they may benefit from a good D and defensive shifts.


    It's kind of weird but pitcher WAR is screwy and will say... sure Pitcher A's results were better than Pitcher B but pitcher B plays in Colorado and had a bad D behind him.


    So both are probably correct, it just depends on how you're measuring success.

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  21. Technically he's a prospect by definition.


    That being said, I agree. I think he can be a pretty solid catcher and I don't like judging a player with a statement like "although the bat stayed in the minors" based off of 65 PA's.

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  22. I've been offline so that we could move into our new home....Did I miss anything? :)

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  23. It's sunny and 55 here. But the ground is a little moist from the light rain we got last night. I got a little bit of water on my shoe so make sure to keep me in your thoughts today as I brave through this mess.

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  24. #8. I'd love to sign Drew to play SS everyday, and then have Mercer and Walker platoon at 2B. Pirates are a much, much better team by doing that. Yes I realize this'll never happen and that I just need to accept that the Pirates are somehow content with this offseason. :-)

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  25. I guess I was spoiled by team "Ws" last year.

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  26. I wonder if it weren't for the draft pick, they'd sign him. (I suppose a bunch of other teams would too, for that matter.)

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  27. I'd like to think draft pick or not they've considered it. When you can win now, the 27th draft pick isn't that important. Improving the currently Major League team is much more important.

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  28. :) I feel better now

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  29. The Pirates aren't the only team that is having reservations about losing a draft pick. It apparently is a bigger deal than we might think.

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  30. The 7 inches of heavy snow was a real treat, but it got better with the 1/4 inch of ice on top of that, in time for the next 3 or 4 inches on top of it. :) I feel your pain my friend lol .... I feel like I'm on the accuweather blog lol

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  31. It makes zero sense to be willing to give up the 35th pick for a platoon guy, but not the 27th for an everyday player who could greatly improve the team's chances of returning to the postseason.

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  32. It was a bonus pick . They still had another 1st round selection

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  33. Yeah, I guess. I don't know. Just don't get it. You've already got the best farm system around, and a history of finding guys (Glasnow, Kingham, etc.) outside of the first round that turn into big time prospects. Whatever, I'm ready for a step backward this year. So if that doesn't happen, I'll be extra happy because I'm expecting bad things. :-)

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  34. I think he can be an average ML catcher. Draft position unfortunately defines success in many cases.

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  35. I disagree with the notion of "They have another pick"



    A pick is an asset.


    I suspect they were hoping he wasn't going to be a platoon player when they made the pick.

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  36. But they need to maintain that status as being one of the best farm systems. And you can't do that by giving away your top picks. It's like drafting Moskos etc etc. That lead to many years of suck.

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  37. You can give up your draft pick one time and be fine. I'd rather do that than enter the season with the black holes this team has. Like I've said before, it's just incredibly frustrating to win 97 total games when you include the postseason last year and then get worse in the offseason.

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  38. Where would they be without Gaby now? They traded one asset for another, still having another pick.

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  39. but better than they were to start that "97" win stretch

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  40. All you Drew fans really need to read 8a

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  41. I guess. But last year before the season I predicted 87 wins I think, it was 87 or 88, right now I see them, at best, in the 83-85 win range. About even if anything.

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  42. A lot of ice around Harrisburg....my son is a teacher in Hershey and they are cancelled.
    If Foo spends much time outside this morning, he will be a Popsicle!

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  43. A season isn't played in a vacuum, it evolves. The roster that starts the season rarely resembles the one that ends it.

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  44. 8b is fairly encouraging.

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  45. Drew with Mercer and Walker platooning > Mercer at SS and Walker at 2B everyday, sorry not even close to debatable to me. Mercer was arguably the worst defensive SS in baseball last year, Walker can't hit lefties at all, and Mercer's bat is no guarantee.

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  46. But this team is going to start the season not very good. Rotation sucks after top 3, and Franky is no guarantee, bullpen will regress, Marte, Cutch, Pedro only 3 hitters I really trust, defense will take a big step backward due to Mercer and Lambo. Could start in a massive hole and be basically fried before Taillon and Polanco even arrive.

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  47. I don't know how to grade that (up or down) lol

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  48. Lots of ice...waiting until around noon to remve the slush/ice.

    Wendy is working from home and a lot of her compadres are out of power. So, I am counting my blessings.

    Root Beer Popsicle Foo

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  49. Marty...I feel differently, but since it isn't debateable, I won't debate it.

    :). :). :). :)

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  50. J Sanchez might still be available

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  51. We already have him, his name is Edison Volquez. :-)

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  52. That's to be deterimed :)

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  53. Ermine...as I have gotten to know Mac, all I have to say is: Thank God he took after his mother's side.

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  54. We will blog up or down starting March 31st....
    I predicted 78 wins last year Marty....
    Let's let it play out and hope King Neal Huntington can pull a few pitchers out of his bag of tricks.

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  55. Oh my, a gentle breeze just came through and brought it down to 54. Not looking forward to going out for lunch.

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  56. I'll honestly be stunned, shocked, whatever other appropriate word you can think of if Volquez's ERA is under 5.

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  57. I predicted 87, don't think they're even that right now. I'd say 83-85 at best.

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  58. yeah, never liked pitcher WAR. Hitter WAR (at least in terms of ranking players) seems to usually be close but not for the pitchers.

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  59. Mercer's UZR was 30th out of 33 eligible shortstops last year, that's pitiful. Not good for a team that relies on defense to win.

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  60. Both sides of my family are crazy. I didn't have a chance :-P

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  61. So you think they're opening day roster is worse than last year's?

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  62. Yet somehow we managed to win 94 games.

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  63. Still a lot of cash for an injury prone SS.

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  64. Have your fun now...:)

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  65. It doesn't change the value of the asset.


    Although I was fine with the other deal.

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  66. That was a reluctant thumbs up. Mercer scares me lol

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  67. That is a really weird thought process I never understood.


    Just because you have two picks doesn't make either one less valuable.

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  68. We had an inch last week... whole town shut down.

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  69. A stated below or above , depending. Where we the team be without Gaby now?

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  70. If it's around 4 that's all they will need

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  71. I think you may have missed my point.


    Just because it was a "bonus" pick doesn't make it less valuable.

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  72. Don't worry Marty, without AJ we will be a flyball pitching staff!!!

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  73. My point was, you could use it differently to attempt to fill a need, than if you had only one 1st round pick.

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  74. Wowsers! Look at what happened to Alan Faneca. Or, should I call him Alan Fooneca, since he seems to be trending towards the 'thin is in' crowd?

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/02/former-300-pound-nfl-lineman-loses-100-pounds-and-runs-a-marathon/

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  75. Where did they get that picture of Iggy Pop?

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  76. make sure to walk with you back to that breeze. I don't want you to get a sniffle lol

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  77. Volquez's GB ratio is almost as high as AJ's.

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  78. And baseball is getting hammered for steroids

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  79. This is for you Marty...this morning on MLB Network, they showed Pecota projections...
    Bucs 4th in NL central behind Brewers....projected 78 wins....
    Yikes!!

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  80. Who cares if you have another pick? I fail to see how that matters in a sport where you aren't going to see that pick for six years anyways.


    This is the point that baffles me. So they think the 30whatever pick isn't worth Gaby but since they have another pick they'll go ahead and do it anyway? Or they think it's totally worth it but because they don't have an extra pick they won't do it?


    I don't buy that.

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  81. Thanks for watching out for me!! :)

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  82. Behind the Brewers? Could happen but i don't see it.

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  83. Shush hunter....no facts allowed in argument with Marty! :)

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  84. That's why they play the games....I pay no attention to analytics when it comes to team season record projections....

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  85. How does a 16 game regression make any sense at all? The team is basically the same as if was last year. With or without AJ 16 wins is A LOT. Even if they over achieved, over achieving that much is more than unlikely.

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  86. I enjoyed P2's discussion of extension candidates in his First Pitch article.

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  87. Mac....I'm 100% with you on that thought. Total waste of time.

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  88. Lose AJ, get full season of Cole. Lose month of Byrd and should get three months of Polanco. Lose Jones get Lambo. Full season of Jordy/Barmes. Possible half season of Taillon and full season of Liriano.


    I agree, at worst I think the losses and gains end up being about a wash over the full course of the year. Can't judge injuries, etc. but on the surface I don't see a big dropoff.

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  89. I'm always one that says take them for what they're worth. They're usually close but still flawed on an individual basis but as you spread it out over a team and league the flaws grow.

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  90. Some bathroom rules for anyone headed to Sochi. (FYI, this is real)

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfYN6ojIMAAHfkR.jpg

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  91. Interesting thought in follow-up to the discussion below about giving up the our first round pick (25th) to sign a free agent a la Drew (SS), Santana, or Jimenez.


    With their prices dropping, what if we sign both Drew and Santana/Jimenez -- much like the Indians did last year with Swisher and Bourne. If you give up the pick for one, might as well sign a 2nd. As for the pitcher, I'm in favor of Santana b/c he feels safer (at least to me). Yesterday Olney said Santana may accept a 3 year deal now. So what about this scenario:


    Drew: 4 years / $35M -- 3rd year vesting option and 4th year club option


    Santana: 3 years / $33M -- 3rd year club option


    I know it's HIGHLY unlikely a situation like this will play out, but maybe NH has been waiting free agency out to get some real bargains, as these free agents have little to no leverage. And if you give up the first rounder, might as well pursue the other free agents attached to draft compensation.

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  92. I agree that Marte is the logical choice. I want him to play 150+ games first.


    What do you think is a reason expectation for Marte this season?


    .280/.380/.800 ???

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  93. No fishing seems rather harsh

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  94. It's an interesting thought if nothing else. I don't really want Drew because of his injury history but he would make the team better.


    I'd love to have Santana. Watched him a lot over the years and think he's a bit underrated because of a couple off seasons. Even those seasons his xFIP wasn't too bad but I think if you move him over to the NL he should be able to at least match what AJ has done the last two years.

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  95. No crouching on top of the toilet either??


    Weirdos.

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  96. Marte/McCutchen/Cole are the three guys that seem to be at a different talent level.

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  97. Too much Vodka will do that to you

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  98. Former Pirate News

    MLB Trade Rumors ‏@mlbtraderumors

    Matt Diaz Will Not Pursue New Contract http://dlvr.it/4s1Jz8

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  99. Are Santana,Jimenez or Drew really "Free" Agents? They still restricted by a clause /rule that to a degree limits their movement, with the draft pick assigned to them.

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  100. They're still free agents. They can still go to any team, the cost is just a little different.

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  101. The interesting thing is that the article basically says that, if Drew were a Pirate this season, they could project him to put up a 2.6 WAR.


    Interestingly enough, over at FanGraphs, they are showing a Oliver projection of 3.9 WAR and a FAN (their own) projection of 3.0 WAR for Mercer.

    They also have a 1.5 WAR Steamer projection for Mercer, but Steamer basically copied last year's totals so it only has Mercer playing in 95 games and getting 400 ABs.

    ZIPs has Mercer at 1.8 WAR.

    Basically, even with the question marks with the glove, Mercer's bat appears to more than make up the difference when compared to Drew.

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  102. Yes but for most of the season CH played Barmes at SS.

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  103. Technically they can go to ant team, but realistically it eliminates some teams, or at least changes they way they would negotiate with that player, with is still restrictive

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  104. And cost eliminates some teams as well.


    Agree it's more restrictive but they're still free agents.

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  105. .


    cf,


    One addendum to your very good points, if I may.


    As more teams use more shifts more often, some of the traditional defensive metrics are going to count for less and less in actually winning, or helping preserve winning ball games. UZR probably stands out at the top of the stats that will be (correctly) down-played.


    regards
    .

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  106. Only issue with Mercer is you're dealing with a very small sample size. Rookies and guys in their first year or two and vets hitting their early to mid 30's tend to have much less reliable projections.

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  107. I guess my point is. The original intent of free agency was to free the player to choose, without restriction. It's not a huge burden, but I'd guess not what was intended back in the mid '70's.


    I'm not arguing your point. I guess just wondering why the union ever agreed to it.

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  108. Rob,


    That's a very good and important point because the overall WAR does take defense into account as well as offense.

    If the Pirates are able to put Mercer (or any SS) into a better position to makes plays, the defensive value will count for less.

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  109. Which is the main complaint Boras makes.

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  110. Another valid point.

    Can someone remind me how old Drew is again? :)


    Hint, his birthday is March 16, 1983.

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  111. He seemed like a nice guy while with the Pirates. He just never produced.


    Moss is the one that bugs me. Even more than Joey Bats.

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  112. I'm ok with his 31 year in terms of ability but if you do a 3 year deal I'm sure concerned down the line.


    Although my biggest worry is injury. I think he'd make the team better from a talent standpoint but there are a ton of risks there. Risk not worth taking IMO.

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  113. I understand where you're trying to go Ermine, but I kind of disagree with the logical conclusion.

    Even if there wasn't a pick penalty, the player is still restricted to the teams that are willing to make him an offer.


    Will this penalty make the number of teams likely to make an offer less? Possibly. But it could also do the opposite because the top 10 picks are protected so they can all offer up a contract plus all of the big money teams are likely to not care as much about the pick and likely not be in the top 10.


    It's that middle tier of teams that will likely not want to put forth an offer, but they probably wouldn't have anyway b/c of the actual dollars that are required.

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  114. I see your point. The question I have is....Do you think that those guys would all be without a job now, if they didn't have a pick attached to them. I know there is no way to know, but do you think they would be?

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  115. They BOTH bug me....lol.


    But, if we have both, do we get to draft Cole, etc?

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  116. Ermine...personally, I think most would've signed by now.

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  117. I have developed Carpal tunnel in my left hand within the last week. Went out to shovel the 4 inches of sleet on my driveway. Each shovel is EASILY 20 lbs, and my left hand goes painful/numb. Time to get the wife back and dressed in her work gear!

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  118. I think NH likes to wait for bargains.

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  119. I agree it is definitely an issue. I'm sure it cost Kyle Lohse a couple million dollars.

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  120. That's my feeling also. AJ became a big fish, because he didn't have a pick attached. Arryo doesn't have any attached, but is over valuing himself standing firm on 3 years.

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  121. hint… the first word is eat, the last two and die.

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  122. On #19, it is behind a pay wall, but is it any different than the 68 other prospects lists?


    :) :)

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  123. He shops on Dec 26, for the following Christmas :)

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  124. .


    Mac,


    What surprised me just as much is Pecota predicting that the Reds will leave the Cardinals in their dust in 2014.


    Almost all these projection systems, while interesting, share the same lack of providing additional in-depth commentary as to (a) their initial assumptions prior to running the data, and (b) extensive summary written follow-ups as to why they think their numbers came out as they did. I mean, there's some of that, surely, but for my tastes not quite enough.


    They must think the Reds' starting rotation is almost as good as the Cardinals, and that the Cardinals will not be able to put up their astonishing RISP numbers again in 2014. (But that's just a guess on my part as to why Pecota came up with the W/L numbers they've arrived at for each of the teams.)
    .

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  125. So he buys shorts in October?

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  126. My guess is because the Reds have a lot of vets. So guys like Phillips and Votto will be a bit overrated while Wacha and Cole will be underrated.

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  127. The owners and players are having their yearly get together discussing options on the drug policy. What if anything will be amended?


    I think it should be 1st offense One Year. 2nd offense, banned for life.

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  128. I do think we'll see an increase in the penalties.


    Either that or it will go like this "players: you know who I really don't like? Owners: ARod? Players: Yeah... that guy is a douche. Owners: Yeah."

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  129. I agree and do think that it is a factor, the degree of impact is obviously an unknown,

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  130. There were some comparisons between Freddie Freeman and Pedro yesterday. I don't think I really see that. Freeman truly broke out and he did it before the age of 25 which makes his contract seem relatively reasonable to me.


    I think the better comparison would be to McCutchen only the Pirates got lucky and extended him before his first .900 OPS season. That timing probably save the Bucs $30M+.

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  131. .
    Hunter,


    Remember, however, that Pecota is a simulation-based projection system. Game by game. (With many, many iterations.)


    So what are the probabilities that the Cardinals as a team will bat .842 (or something like that) with runners in scoring position again this coming year ??


    Personally, I don't think in real life that the Reds will win the NL Central. But the one thing all of these projections do constructively contribute is to make us think about things that we might otherwise overlook.


    I may not agree with all of them (or even some of them), but I do find them to be fascinating.


    regards
    .

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  132. If they "produced" exactly as they did for the Pirates, they'd have had the #1 pick each season. :)

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  133. I can see them making it 100 games 1st offense. In most cases that would overlap into the next season. Which would have hurt Cabrera and Peralta. Teams would less likely to sign them , if they lost the first 30-50 games of the season.

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  134. Cutch would never admit it and I'm sure he was sincere when he said , he knew he was leaving money on the table etc etc. but in the back of his mind he HAS to be thinking. I kinda blew it, when he see some of these signings.

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  135. Gotta go push the ice around and then I get to read my copy of Baseball America's 2014 Prospect Book.


    So, I'll be out awhile. If AJ makes up his mind by then, gimme a call at 717-525-STFD

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  136. I'll put it on speed dial.

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  137. His deal was pretty much was Bruce signed with the Reds. I think it was fair considering what Cutch had done. I thought he'd improve but I don't think anyone would have predicted him finished 3rd in MVP voting and then winning it the next year.

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  138. I'm not saying it wasn't fair. I'm just looking at it from a what if point of view. He is a tremendous value now, like Bruce is too...Now Votto is another story. He has to be counting his lucky stars.

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  139. just click on phone number and you can make the call to him

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  140. I don't know if there are any players who would have the the perspective that after a certain dollar amount it's just background noise. If there is such a person, I think Cutch would be that person.

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  141. I don't think Bruce is any tremendous value. He's probably getting close to what he would have through arbitration.


    As for Cutch, yes, any player that breaks out after signing a long-term deal is going to face that. It's the risk of signing early.

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  142. He did make the comment, paraphrasing... I didn't/don't need another $20M , I'd have been a hypocrite to hold out for more.. or something to that effect. I think he sincerely a quality guy.

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  143. I think they're interesting and I'm sure that is factored in with the Cards. But it doesn't change the fact that they tend to overrate veterans and underrate younger players.

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  144. I just hope dearly that Barmes is at SS every time Morton pitches.

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  145. Sadly, that wouldn't surprise me one bit.

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  146. I think it's about the same. Marte, Cutch, and Pedro have improved. Cole is now here, but AJ is gone and who knows what Wandy will give you. The bullpen won't be as good as last year. I felt a gazillion times better about 1B going into last season than I do now. RF and SS could both be an utter mess.

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  147. I think Bruce is a tremendous value...When you average $8,5/yr .. $13M max/final year...for a career ..30/30 doubles/hr's , 95 rbi... .260/.330/.480/,810 .. that IMO is value in today's dollars.

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  148. Again, that's about what he would have gotten in arbitration so I don't think they're seeing any value yet. Heck, last year was the first time his WAR got over 3.0 since he signed the deal.


    Now there may be value 2015 and beyond because those were FA years but I doubt they saved anything the last few years.

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  149. Ok, don't really get how you think the roster is about the same but they'll be worse.

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  150. I'll be very happen if Polanco is that kind of hitter . I hope he is a better defender though.

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  151. I never said he was bad. Obviously he's pretty good so maybe you aren't understanding what I'm saying.


    For what they're paying I don't see the value. He's making about what he would have made even if they didn't have the long term deal in place.


    Whereas Cutch probably would have made in the $7M range last year and the $10M range this year through arbitration.

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  152. I wasn't using the Polanco statement as a rebuttal, just a general statement :)

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  153. Guess I misunderstood since it was off-topic from what we were discussing.

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  154. Because last year I there was Liriano, Morton, and Cole for if/when Sanchez and JMac imploded. This year they gave $5 million to Volquez, so when he blows up they aren't going to flush that down the drain. He'll either continue to start and tax the bullpen every 5 days, or have a bullpen spot wasted on him instead of giving it to someone who, you know, actually deserves to be on the roster of a team that made the playoffs last season.

    Also, the other reinforcements are Locke (who stinks), Cumpton (who knows what he'd do in an extended look), and Taillon who we'll never see before mid-June. Also this year, Frankie has never had back-to-back good seasons and I don't expect Wandy to contribute one bit to this team. They're going to take a huge step backward thanks in large part to sitting on their laurels all offseason.

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  155. Um, so you think they're worse than they were at the start of last year??


    I'm confused.

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  156. I just don't get how you predicted 87 wins last year and think they'll win fewer this year but are about as good as last year's team was to start the year.


    I'm just trying to follow this logic... So Liriano last year was a safe bet but now he's not a safe bet this year and Volquez is somehow a definite fail?? My head is spinning to find all the logic. :)

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  157. In some countries, squat toilets are the general rule. Sometimes, it's the only thing that most people are familiar with. So they see a western toilet and being unfamiliar with how it works, they squat on it. They have to put up similar signs on the porta-potties in Afghanistan.


    Any idea what the picture on the bottom right is 'sposed to be?

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  158. My three guesses are:


    Fireworks
    Darts
    Go on the floor and toss it on in the toilet

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  159. A bomb.. The terrorists will think twice now.

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  160. For five years I lived in an apartment that only had a squat toilet. It really does work better.

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  161. andrew mccutchen ‏@TheCUTCH22 15m
    Happy 80th to @HenryLouisAaron. Honored to have met u. Now I can tell my kids(when I have some) I met one of the best in the game!

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  162. If that same system predicted that the Bucs would have 94 wins last year, then I'm worried. If not . . .

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  163. Good to see you coming around

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  164. Wow...

    Charlie Wilmoth ‏@WilmothC 5m

    Story checks out. RT @msimonespn @thatsweetlouguy Visual for @thatsweetlouguy -- Pedro Alvarez's HR and strikeouts pic.twitter.com/zjPwPcCF6f

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  165. Low and away, low and away, but don't miss in the middle of the plate. Something tells me that that would be the case for most power hitting lefties though.

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  166. Volquez is a definite fail, no doubt in my mind about that one, Liriano will regress simply because it'd be almost impossible not too not to mention the fact he's never had back-to-back good seasons. Question is how much will he regress.

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  167. Another interesting article.

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/2/5/5380156/offensive-efficiency

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  168. Yeah, lotta swings outside the zone. If he ever cuts back on that and forces teams to throw him more strikes he'd be a heck of a force to deal with.

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  169. Or if he uses more plate discipline, and doesn't try to pull everything, and just takes them down the LF line for doubles.


    Then the pitchers will need to adjust.


    As long as he is vulnerable to that pitch, he will keep getting it.

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  170. Yeah, that big red spot down and away in the zone could be a lot of balls to the LF gap.

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  171. I'm a little surprised that he isn't more effective low and in. Or they just avoid pitching there, like the plague.

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  172. Watching only Pittsburgh Pirate baseball and you got it, I not so familiar with this Stephen Drew fellow.

    Breaking an ankle for a short stop is a bad bad thing. It very well could have had an impact for him in the batters box giving him the benefit of doubt.

    So unless there are other injuries I did not see then I am this side of short to call him injury prone like hunter. BUT, that injury is prone to make a short stop on the down side of his career and that bumps me back up with Hunter's thought.

    He is no spring chicken which adds to Hunters sight. I am not so thrilled to make a multi year investment in a .250 hitting short stop including the thought his best hitting days could be behind him.

    Marty, if the guy had an existing three year contract and at the top of his game then you could make the deal giving up your first round draft pick. But, we are talking most likely a one year deal, one year of control, giving up six years of control for our draft pick.

    This is just not wise baseball in the age of free agency.

    So, I am not in on this guy.

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  173. He missed games last year due to hamstring pull, back injury, concussion. Obviously not a lot you can do about the last one.


    The year before was the ankle.


    Year before he missed games with groin and abdominal strains... didn't miss a lot of game though.


    A lot of hamstring type of injuries before that but that goes back to 2009.


    So I'd guess if you signed him to a three year deal he might hit 150 games once or even twice but expect a 110 to 130 game season or two mixed in there too. Just something to consider.

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  174. Jennifer Floyd Engel ‏@engeljen 1h
    Not sure if this is a humble brag but my Sochi hotel has warm water, door knobs, wine, a lobby. It is actually pretty kick ass.


    That's kind of scary, if that is upscale

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  175. This will get a reaction from Foo lol

    John Perrotto ‏@jperrotto 10m

    Source: A.J. Burnett - MLB Nation http://www.themlbnation.com/news/2014/02/03/source-a-j-burnett-highly-unlikely-to-return-to-pirates/ …



    That source guy sure is busy this time of year.

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  176. Source is a busy one

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  177. In other "sports" news today... :-)

    George Zimmerman is going to fight the rapper DMX in a celebrity boxing match. Would you watch it?

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  178. Heck, I could be the source on that. Been saying it for weeks.

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  179. Are you? Enquiring minds want to know.

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  180. I'd rather watch Foo and Hunter in a cage match.

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  181. I hope Foo isn't laying in the driveway, beside his shovel. The stuff from this storm is heavy and wet.

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  182. haha, no filter! Iron Sheik class

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  183. I had the same thought.


    I thought I might get a little bit of a sunburn while driving with my window down earlier. Truly terrifying stuff.

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  184. You didn't forget your Ray-Bans did you? You want to get crows feet.

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  185. https://twitter.com/FOXSportsLive/status/431136241224921088/photo/1



    Just when I started losing interest in football. Things pull me back :)

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  186. He went from be a hulk, to being able to tread water, in a test tube.

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  187. Exactly.


    Having other picks, irrespective of where they are in the draft has no affect (effect?) on the value of any other pick.

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  188. I know he's north of me, but I don't know how far. Here, there was no snow - just freezing rain. Really, nothing to shovel.

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  189. We had about 10 inches, but it was so wet, it's now compacted to about 3 or 4.

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  190. In Bethlehem it was snow, then sleet, then freezing rain, then rain. It ended up about 5 inches of the heaviest muck I have shoveled in 40 years of shoveling

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  191. He needs Melancon to throw batting practice.

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  192. Really cannot stand Jen Engel and her usage of locker room type chatter in nearly every one of her columns. She's sooooo tough and soooo cool... she uses terms like kick ass and other caustic phrases all the time. It is obnoxious... as is her writing style.


    Sent her a couple of emails about it... those who have to use those types of words in their writing just aren't very good writers.

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  193. The sun is hurting my eyes.


    An attractive woman just walked by in a bathing suit. That's kind of distracting.

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  194. I'm not a fan either. I was making a tongue in cheek comment about Sochi .

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  195. No matter who wins, the loser is human decency.


    Not my bit, but still poignant.

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  196. Understand that Ermine... should have prefaced my post. But glad at least one journalist has accommodations that are normal...unfortunately, she's just not a good journalist, columnist, writer, observer or whatever anyone wants to call her drivel.

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  197. Ermine...I may not be able to move for a week!

    Groan.

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