There isn’t much happening in the Giants world and I’m not sure I’ve blogged this month, so let’s talk about the NL West favorite Los Angeles Dodgers, whom have reported for camp duties. You’ll remember that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks have a two-game series in Australia that will take place on Saturday, March 22nd, United States time. As the Dodgers get ready, here’s what we’re being told over social media:
On Chad Billingsley, forgotten pitcher by most other NL West fans:
Chad Billingsley, coming off Tommy John surgery, said he’s thrown nine bullpen sessions without a setback.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 8, 2014
Good news for the Dodgers as they increase their rotation depth, and it looks to be of a higher quality than in 2013. Add another left-handed pitcher to the mix in…
Paul Maholm has a locker in the Dodgers clubhouse.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 8, 2014
…Mr. Paul Maholm, whose stats really aren’t too awful for a Major League deal, it’s a wonder how he got scooped up by the Dodgers on a Minor League deal. Had other teams known that’s how they could have had Maholm, surely other teams (e.g., Giants) would have been in on that. Manager Don Mattingly isn’t commenting on the Maholm deal, but doesn’t anticipate changes in the 40-man roster, per beat reporters.
A.J. Ellis, clubhouse comedian, and also possibly in the Best Shape of His Life:
A.J. Ellis said he lost 15 pounds this winter.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 8, 2014
A.J. Ellis said he dropped weight because he wants to catch 120-125 games this year.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 8, 2014
A.J. Ellis, to me, about his diet: “I can talk to you about it.”
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 8, 2014
For those unaware, Dylan Hernandez and one of the beat writers of the Giants, Hank Schulman, normally take jabs at each other over weight issues. All in good fun.
On the starting pitchers in Australia:
Don Mattingly stopped short of naming Australia starters. Kershaw, Greinke likely, but Ryu & Haren will be ready too just in case
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) February 8, 2014
As for Matt Kemp, coming off of ankle surgery:
Mattingly said it doesn’t look like Matt Kemp will be ready for Australia. but said can’t rule him out.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 8, 2014
A healthy Matt Kemp is great for baseball, but bad for opponents of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That’s all the updates that came in recently. Now we await the complaints of everybody for the regular season to begin.
Idea: Rank the best individual seasons of the 2012 MLB regular season (Spring Training, Minor Leagues, and Postseason are not included), while considering offensive and defensive facets of the game.
Consider: Using the individual metrics to measure individual performance; full avoidance of projecting results for shortened seasons, and past years performance to justify or dictate standings.
This is not: “Most Valuable” anything. Rather, this is “best,” like Baseball America does, so there is no confusion as to what I am ranking. It is also not a “this is a ranking of who I want in 2013, or wanted in any other year.”
This is: My opinion, and will be disagreed with by many.
80. Adrian Gonzalez (18 HR, 47 2B, .346 wOBA, 3.6 fWAR, 0.7 rWAR) – The centerpiece of the deal that sent him from Boston to LA, Gonzalez was below average (for him) last year, so the Dodgers are certainly hoping for the 2006-2011 versions of the 1B.
79. Carlos Beltran (32 HR, 13 SB, .355 wOBA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.6 rWAR) – Plays pretty well for a guy with a bad everything. Should he do something like this again next year, he will be well worth the money the Cardinals paid him.
78. Doug Fister (161.2 IP, 7.63 K/9, 4.13 tERA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Suffered a very unfortunate typo in his name, but hopefully he was not aware of that, and the former Seattle Mariner is showing he has plenty of value in Detroit’s rotation. Also glad he was not seriously hurt on that line drive off his head in the World Series.
77. Paul Goldschmidt (20 HR, 18 SB, .363 wOBA, 3.7 fWAR, 3.1 rWAR) – Arizona’s resident Tim Lincecum-masher also nearly had a 20-20 season, and he has established himself to be a force to be reckoned with.
76. Jarrod Parker (181.1 IP, 6.95 K/9, 4.32 tERA, 3.7 fWAR, 3.8 rWAR) – Can’t wait to see that changeup in action again, but Parker needs to tune down the walks to further reach that projected ceiling of his.
75. Adam LaRoche (33 HR, 35 2B, .361 wOBA, 3.8 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – Must be nice to have a team with hitters that can just boom every which way. I still have nightmares about the series San Francisco had in Washington this past season.
74. Kyle Lohse (211.0 IP, 6.10 K/9, 4.20 tERA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.9 rWAR) – Still looking for a team at the moment I’m writing this, but it sure helps when your defense is behind you and you don’t walk guys, doesn’t it?
73. Nick Swisher (24 HR, 36 2B, .363 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – Really hope he helps Cleveland out, because I’m tired of seeing them be bad, same way I feel for the Royals.
72. Denard Span (38 2B, 17 SB, .325 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 4.8 rWAR) – May not have pop, but Washington traded for a good CF, which along with an Adam LaRoche signing, has set in motion some Michael Morse trade discussion amongst the people
71. Albert Pujols (30 HR, 50 2B, .360 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – Pretty remarkable numbers considering The Machine did very little in April, and only one big fly in the last month of the season.
70. Josh Willingham (35 HR, 30 2B, .380 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 2.9 rWAR) – His 3-year/$21MM deal sure seems like a steal now, doesn’t it? Especially if you put 1.0 WAR = ~$5MM.
69. Josh Johnson (191.1 IP, 7.76 K/9, 4.19 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 3.1 rWAR) – Another new Blue Jay, and as long as he can stay healthy, he should be a pretty reliable starter, although maybe not the ace of the staff, especially if Dickey goes all 2010-2012 on everybody.
68. David Murphy (15 HR, 10 SB, .369 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Definitely an under-the-radar type season from Murphy, so there is good reason as to why he is projected to start in the OF for Texas in 2013.
67. Anibal Sanchez (195.2 IP, 7.68 K/9, 4.07 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 1.2 rWAR) – I’d say Anibal’s audition for Free Agency went pretty well, and should make for plenty of pitcher wins in the coming years.
66. Brandon Phillips (18 HR, 15 SB, .325 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – I did not consider his flashy plays or his twitter account in his evaluation. Had I, he would’ve been ranked higher.
65. Alfonso Soriano (32 HR, 33 2B, .350 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 1.8 rWAR) – Soriano may not have wanted a trade to the Giants due to the climate, so I do wonder whom he’s waiting for in terms of a trade partner.
64. A.J. Ellis (20 HR, .373 OBP, .341 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – What will always bother me about this guy is not even on him, but on his manager for not putting him in a better spot to have that OBP being taken advantage of. At least the pitchers had someone to bunt over.
63. Matt Wieters (23 HR, 27 2B, .331 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Looks like he’s ready to bust into the next tier of catchers with that power that he’s showing off from his position.
62. David Freese (20 HR, 25 2B, .365 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.6 rWAR) – I’m probably the only one with this problem, but when I think “David Freese” I only think of him in the Postseason, not what he can do to you in the regular season. My fan-side showing, I guess.
61. Hiroki Kuroda (219.2 IP, 6.84 K/9, 4.15 tERA, 3.9 fWAR, 5.2 rWAR) – You will see no tears out of the NL West that Kuroda is once again locked into playing in the AL East in 2013.
MLB Draft Day was not always the big production it is now with it being streamed on MLB Network, online, and with the crazy amounts of analysis from big networks in addition to Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and the like. Something I know that has been covered by writers/bloggers here and there are articles in which they talk about what players your team could’ve had. Not every year is the same as some years for most teams you may have even more than one first round pick, or you can have drafts like the 2005 Giants did with nothing until the 4th round. Now, the biggest name from their draft that year? Why it would be no other than your favorite frisbee thrower, Sergio Romo, picked in the 28th round! Here’s some players you probably wouldn’t mind having on your roster that were picked after the 5th round of their respective drafts.
To make things a little more fun, what if we made this also a 25-man roster? I’ll put an asterisk next to the guys that wouldn’t have made the cut for the team I’m putting together. I’ll even provide a prospect for some of the positions to make it more 40-man-ish and these guys will be marked with a double-asterisk
A.J. Ellis (Dodgers; Drafted in 2003 in the 18th round by the Dodgers) — Ellis has been an OBP machine for the Dodgers whether he’s been batting 2nd where he should be, or 8th in the lineup, because he’s a catcher or something.
Mike Napoli (Rangers; Drafted in 2000 in the 17th round by the Angels) — Remember when the Angels traded Napoli to the Blue Jays and then the Blue Jays traded him to the Rangers where he would hit 30 dingers for them? Good times.
**Ryan Lavarnway (Red Sox; Drafted in 2008 in the 6th round by the Red Sox) — Just debuted on the 18th of August!
Albert Pujols (Angels; Drafted in 1999 in the 13th round by the Cardinals) — Lifetime 472 HR in his Age 32 season. Has never had a season with less than 32 HR (27 this year).
Mark Trumbo (Angels; Drafted in 2004 in the 18th round by the Angels) — Only 26, the kid has posted back-to-back 29 HR seasons.
**Jonathan Singleton (Astros; Drafted in 2009 in the 8th round by the Phillies) — Has an ETA of 2013 per MLB.com and he’s from my part of town in Long Beach as well.
Ian Kinsler (Rangers; Drafted in 2003 in the 17th round by the Rangers) — Has been a 30/30 guy in 2009 and 2011.
Dan Uggla (Braves; Drafted in 2001 in the 11th round by the Diamondbacks) — biceps bigger than my head; Had five straight 30-HR seasons coming into 2012.
**Scooter Gennett (Brewers; Drafted in 2009 in the 16th round by the Brewers) — how can you not love that name? ETA 2013.
Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays; Drafted in 2000 in the 9th round by the Rangers) — Has he discovered something new in Toronto a la JoeyBats? 31 HR in his age 29 season after only two-20+ HR seasons in 2010 (21) and 2008 (26).
**Nick Delmonico (Orioles; Drafted in 2011 in the 6th round by the Orioles) — Not in any Top 100s that I’ve seen. ETA 2015.
Ben Zobrist (Rays; Drafted in 2004 in the 6th round by the Astros) — Super utility guy that gives you double digit bombs and double digit stolen bags.
**Tyler Saladino (White Sox; Drafted for the second time in two years in 2010, drafted in the 7th round by the White Sox in ’10) — The SS prospect after the 2nd round is difficult to find, and Saladino probably isn’t even a prospect at all. I mean, he is in the White Sox’s system.
Matt Kemp — (Dodgers; Drafted in 2003 in the 6th round by the Dodgers) — A legitimate 40/40 threat when healthy
Jose Bautista (Blue Jays; Drafted in 2000 in the 20th round by the Pirates) — On his way to three straight 30-HR seasons
Josh Willingham (Twins; Drafted in 2000 in the 17th round by the Marlins) — Six 20-HR seasons, with his first 30-HR season this year
Austin Jackson (Tigers; Drafted in 2005 in the 8th round by the Yankees) — .308/.392/.897 line in 2012
Corey Hart (Brewers; Drafted in 2000 in the 11th round by the Brewers) — Five 20-HR seasons
*Dexter Fowler (Rockies; Drafted in 2004 in the 14th round by the Rockies) — Would be a great bench guy amongst these guys listed with his speed.
**Tyler Austin (Yankees; Drafted in 2010 in the 13th round by the Yankees) — An ETA of 2015 for the kid that’s chillin’ in High-A at the moment.
Jake Peavy (White Sox; Drafted in 1999 in the 15th round by the Padres) — finally looking to pitch a season with more than 30 starts since 2007 with the Padres
Mat Latos (Reds; Drafted in 2006 in the 11th round by the Padres) — although he really was a villain with San Diego, Latos will give you what you expect out of a pitcher in the 2 or 3 spot.
Tim Hudson (Braves; Drafted in 1997 in the 6th round by the A’s) — In his 14 seasons of pitching (and 2009 really shouldn’t count because he only had 7 starts), only one season (2006) has he had an ERA+ under 110
James Shields (Rays; Drafted in 2000 in the 16th round by the Devil Rays) — A great season last year, Shields is on his way to another 200+ IP campaign although he is susceptible to the long ball
Matt Moore (Rays; Drafted in 2007 in the 8th round by the Devil Rays) — Still a baby, Matt Moore’s potential is more than enough to “forgive” the season he’s having right now.
*James McDonald (Pirates; Drafted in 2002 in the 11th round by the Dodgers) — A product of my old workplace at Poly HS in Long Beach, James has been given his chance to shine in Pittsburgh and was considered one of the ASG snubs this year.
*Chris Capuano (Dodgers; Drafted in 1999 in the 8th round by the Diamondbacks) — A 4th/5th SP type throughout his career that’s pitching like a 2 or 3 and really helping the Dodgers in their pennant chase this year
**Dellin Betances (Yankees; Drafted in 2006 in the 8th round by the Yankees) — an ETA of 2012 for the kid that’s been geting lit up in his stops in the International and Eastern Leagues.
**Brad Peacock (A’s; Drafted in 2006 in the 41st round by the Nationals) — I just wanted to include a 41st rounder who is considered a legitimate prospcet. Seriously, how cool is that.
Tyler Clippard (Nationals; Drafted in 2003 in the 9th round by the Yankees) — Tyler has been blowing the competition away in the last four years, posting a double-digit K/9 and when Storen went down with an injury, Clippard was more than ready to pick up the slack.
David Robertson (Yankees; Drafted in 2006 in the 17th round by the Yankees) — The original heir to the throne of Mariano Rivera, Robertson, like Clippard is going double-digit K/9 for five-years running now including a crazy 399 ERA+ in 2011.
Greg Holland (Royals; Drafted in 2007 in the 10th round by the Royals) — With Joakim Soria down, and Jonathan Broxton finally being shipped out, Greg Holland gets to be put in the spotlight with his power of missing bats as he looks to post a career-high in strikeouts in 2012.
Sergio Romo (Giants; Drafted in 2005 in the 28th round by the Giants) — A known injury risk, Romo still can dominate you with the spin he puts on that frisbee slider of his has been baffling hitters for years
Vinnie Pestano (Indians; Drafted in 2006 in the 20th round by the Indians) — A Cal State Fullerton product (Gary Brown fans know that school well), Pestano has climbed up the ladder but is still what I feel to be a relative unknown because he plays for Cleveland. Currently a set-up man, he is to be taken seriously even if you haven’t heard of him.
Jason Motte (Cardinals; Drafted in 2003 in the 19th round by the Cardinals) — Motte is well known for his 2012 performance but he’s been doing well since 2010 really, and is what I’d think to be a household name in St. Louis.
Sean Marshall (Reds; Drafted in 2003 in the 6th round by the Cubs) — I wonder if Theo would’ve traded Marshall since this guy has been pretty darn good as a reliever when he started doing that full-time in 2010.
*Luke Gregerson (Padres; Drafted in 2006 in the 28th round by the Cardinals) — If Padres fans read my stuff, they’d hate my decision to leave him off my roster, and I understand their gripe: solid ERA+ especially this year, but who do I kick out for him?
*Joe Nathan (Rangers; Drafted in 1995 in the 6th round by the Giants) — Giants fans know the name well, and I won’t make them revisit any trades associated with him, but when healthy, really outside of 2011, he’s done some good work making hitters miss, including a 7 K/BB this year.
**Brody Colvin (Phillies; Drafted in 2009 in the 7th round by the Phillies) — An ETA 2014 and I know you’re not supposed to judge minor leaguers by their stats, but holy crap is this SP getting destroyed right now. A number of things could be going on here, but I put him in the bullpen, just because I can.
Maybe Brian Wilson (24th round in 2003) can be on my 60-Day DL. Sorry if I missed anybody, I don’t hate your team, this was a tough list to compile in certain positions!
When 2012 started, the Dodgers were supposed to be a middle of the pack type of team. Maybe if Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw could carry their team, they could be a dark horse. Instead, they’re going all 2010 San Diego Padres, 2010 San Francisco Giants, 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks on the NL West. They’re 13 games over .500 and 3 games better than the good guys. The Giants can make up all that ground over the course of a series, but with Zeeters and an inconsistent Timmy going, they’re just as likely to go backwards as they are forwards.
Monday, June 24th: RHP Nathan Eovaldi vs. LHP Barry Zito
One question summary: Can you believe Barry Zito went 6 against Texas after that horrific outing against LAA?
Tuesday, June 25th: LHP Clayton Kershaw vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong
One sentence summary: After outdueling Kershaw in May, TV viewers will get to hear non-stop questions about whether Vogey can do it again (and if the offense can blah blah blah).
Wednesday, June 25th: RHP Chad Billingsley vs. RHP Tim Lincecum
One sentence summary: You know Timmy’s story, but Billingsley just got roughed up in Anaheim to a lesser extent than Zito did (10 H, 6 ER in 5 IP), and is hoping he can go more than 4 this time around against the orange and black.
Small Sample Sizes (Last 7 Days) and Overall Numbers
Lineup rant: Pablo needs to stop swinging out of his shoes and Belt’s gotta bat higher in the order. One of the points in baseball is to get on base, right? So why do you have the guy who’s tied for the top OBP batting 6th or 7th? Makes no sense to me. I’d love to see him 1st and Melky 2nd, but that’s another story for another day.
For everyone wondering, Matt Kemp was put on the 15-day DL May 31st, and he has been taking BP, but I haven’t heard a timetable for his return. Looking from a SSS perspective, Juan Rivera (.425 wOBA, .279 overall) is the only Doyer that’s really been looking good lately, but have 6 guys with a batting average under .155 (Abreu, Gordon, Herrera, Uribe, AJ Ellis, Loney) and 4 at/under .100 (EH, JU, AJ, JL) with 3 of them having a wOBA under .100 (JU, AJ, JL). Since all of them don’t normally bat that poorly, it’s only a matter of time before they jump out of their slump, especially Abreu and AJ.
Speaking of guys not hitting well, Nate, Angel, Gregor, and Crawford all have wOBA under .200 and batting averages under .155 themselves, and you may have noticed, but Melky has been cooling down as well, to the tune of a .259 wOBA (.388 overall). As cold as the first four have been, Brandon Belt has been hot: .555 wOBA (helped by a .500 BABIP, and now a .362 wOBA, and .388 OBP… .gif courtesy of David Tiao), and he continues to slowly raise that walk rate and lower that K rate. Joaquin Arias has a .492 wOBA going with a .556 BABIP, but that’s all in 12 PA, so that’s almost a SSSS (super small sample size). Hail to the Buster with his 2 HR in the last 2 games has a .235 BABIP, but a .400 wOBA (.361 wOBA overall, 3rd to Melky, then Belt).
If the Giants can steal one on Monday, fans will dream of a sweep since Vogey’s beaten Kershaw before. The bats need to light up Eovaldi more than rely on Zito to hold down an MLB/AAAA/AAA/AA/A+/A lineup.
Monday: Dodgers win (Zito)
Tuesday: Giants win (Kershaw gets Cain’d)
Wednesday: Giants win (Timmy restores faith in the hearts of millions, Giants go all BilLOLingsley on Chad)
Fans around the world are voting for their favorite players to be in the All Star Game in Kansas City next month. For some reason voting opens unnecessarily early and lasts until I don’t know when. If it were up to me, I’d have a couple weeks of voting starting around a week ago, and then close it before the last week of June. A lot of people are already voting on small sample sizes (SSS), so why open it up so early? That’s another argument for another day.
There are a few ways to go about voting for your All Star team when you fill out your ballot:
1. You try to pick the players having the best season statistically
2. You pick the players you want to see out there on the field, no matter if they’re not as hot as someone else
3. You pick every players from the team you root for because that page or stadium billboard told you so
4. You pick the best looking players because that’s the only reason you watch baseball anyway
5. You pick the worst players for both sides (I see you trollin’), or just the opposition in hopes your team of All Stars will crush the other team of Brandon Crawfords.
I’m going to go for #1 in this post and get an understanding for why Buster Posey is leading the way he is, but in the end, I believe the fans of baseball vote with their heart (option #2… and maybe 4) and want to give what they believe to be Buster’s due of playing in an All Star Game.
Entering today’s games, here’s some rankings of some stat categories and where you can find the Buster amongst NL catchers:
Home Runs: Y Molina, McCann, Wilin Rosario (9), C Ruiz, Posey (8)
RBI (Because some fans use this stat because they think this is a reasonable measuring stick, but it isn’t): Molina (36), C Ruiz, Posey (35)
SB: Molina (6), Rosario (3), Ruiz, J Lucroy (2), Posey, McCann (1)
OBP: AJ Ellis (.434), Ruiz (.424), Lucroy (.387), Molina (.378), Ryan Hanigan (.368), Miguel Montero (.358), Posey (.353)
ISO: Rosario (.259), Lucroy (.237), Ruiz (.216), Molina (.191), McCann (.185), Posey (.178)
Line Drive %: Buster is 11th; Molina leads at 25.9%
wOBA: Ruiz (.427), Lucroy (.414), Ellis (.389), Molina (.388), Posey (.356)
wRAA: Ruiz (18.9), Molina (14.1), Ellis (12.6), Lucroy (11.9), Posey (7.6)
wRC+ has the same order as wOBA.
fWAR: Ruiz (3.2), Ellis (3.0), Molina (2.9), Lucroy (1.8), Posey (1.8)
So perhaps I’ve played devil’s advocate here by showing the numbers really don’t support Buster, and I hope I haven’t tainted your view of Buster’s performance this season (he’s still doing pretty good). Due to his success in 2010 and the tragedy of 2011, I think the fans will put him in the 2012 ASG one way or another, which is fine by me, because like many other Giants fans I have numerous Buster Posey things (does that sound creepy?) around my place that I look to every time he does well. So if you’re going to #VoteBuster, go for it, just if you do it, don’t say right now you’re doing it because he has better numbers than everyone else, since frankly that would be a pile of poop.