Wins Above Replacement is no the be all and end all of analyzing a player or a team. Heck, there are two kinds to begin with, which leaves plenty of room for discussion. Despite our best statistical efforts otherwise, there are still variables on and off the field that do matter. There is enough good fortune and plain old dumb luck in the game of baseball that we will never quite statistically quantify everything.
Case in point, the Baltimore Orioles. Below is a chart of the team fWAR for all eight American League clubs that posted winning records in 2012, along with our beloved Royals' numbers as well.
Not only did the Royals accumulate more fWAR than the Orioles (who won 21 more games), but so did the Boston Red Sox (34.5 total fWAR). Go figure.
A lot of WAR does not guarantee a playoff berth (hello, Angels), but it is really tough to get north of 40 wins above replacement level and NOT have a winning record. As Royals' fans, who among us would not take 89-73 right now for 2013?
It should be noted, that the top seven fWAR pitching staffs in the American League all were for teams with winning records. The Angels' staff was just 10th in the league, with Kansas City, Boston and Seattle in between the Orioles and them. The Royals, as you might imagine, finished 8th in AL fWAR courtesy of a league leading 7.3 WAR out of their bullpen.
While some of that bullpen WAR can be attributed to the immense workload the team placed on that unit in 2012, it's worthy of mention that the next four highest ranked bullpens belonged to Tampa, Baltimore, Texas and New York: all 90+ win teams.
Moving forward into the off-season, there will be a number of projections both nationally and right here on this site. Those will take into account all sorts of variables and, quite frankly, be a far more valuable statistical analysis tool than anything I intend to write here. Still, if 40 fWAR more often than not gets you to 90 wins, it would seem that the Royals need to find about eight more wins above replacement than they garnered in 2012.
Of course, finding eight more wins assumes the team does not give any of the 2012 WAR back. When it comes to the position players that seems doable.
Yuniesky Betancourt (-0.8) and Jason Bourgeois (-0.5) are both gone and surely Eric Hosmer is not going to post a -1.1 fWAR again in 2013, right? Truthfully, and this is no surprise to anyone, if Hosmer does not make the leap to at least a 2 WAR player and beyond, the Royals really don't have much of a shot anyway. Just making Hosmer replacement level along with David Lough as the fifth outfielder and a non-Yuni presence would give Kansas City a gain of 2.4 wins right there.
On the top end of the position players, Alex Gordon followed up his 6.9 fWAR 2011 with 5.9 last year. Yeah, I think this Gordon kid might be okay after all. Billy Butler has averaged 2.5 fWAR over the last four seasons and is coming off his best year (3.2) in 2012. Barring injury, It is hard to see regression in either of these two players in 2013 and it would seem that 9 wins between the two of them is a pretty decent lock.
Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar both chipped in 2.6 fWAR last year, with Sal doing so in just 76 games. We will see if Escobar can again hit at the level he did in 2012, but my eyes tell me his fielding numbers should be better (UZR hated him last year). After a 2.2 fWAR in 2011, it would seem that 2.5 wins out of Alcides is not out of line.
There is a chance that Perez, not Hosmer or Moustakas, is the next Royals' superstar. Time will tell and Sal is a crazy free swinger who could conceivable be exploited, but we've seen little evidence of that as of yet. He could go backwards (see Hosmer, Eric), but it does not seem out of line to say a full season of Sal is worth at least 3.0 fWAR.
With 3.5 fWAR from Mike Moustakas and a combined 3.3 from Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson in center, the Royals amassed exactly 20 fWAR from seven positions (excluding right field and second). Assuming Hosmer can't be worse, it would reasonable (albeit hardly a sure thing) to assume those seven positions could provide at least 1 or 2 more wins above replacement in 2013.
There is not a whole lot to like about second base when the bright spot is that Chris Getz was half a win above replacement in 64 games and there is absolutely nothing to like about Jeff Francoeur in right. There is not enough smiles and grit and naked batting practice in the world that makes up for -1.2 fWAR. Unlike Hosmer, I can actually envision Frenchy being worse in 2013. Luckily, Wil Myers is waiting in AAA. Can the Royals at least get a cumulative replacement level contribution in right in 2013? If so, tack on another win in our quest for WAR.
The numbers don't really add up above (hey, Zimmerman posted yesterday, you want math wait for him to post again!) as they would give our boys close to 24 fWAR out of the position players: an improvement of almost seven wins. That would be nice and, I suppose, possible, but there are injuries and someone will regress. There is Ned Yost and Jeff Francoeur and no one has signed Yuni. Seven wins is a big improvement, three and one-half seems more reasonable.
That means the pitching staff needs to come up with a little more than four wins to get the Royals into the forties. I don't imagine there is much fWAR or bWAR or even War on Terrorism discussion around the Royals' front office, but they have focused their off-season energies on this area. I think there was a little bit of discussion around here about acquiring Ervin Santana....
In 2012, the Royals got a combined -0.9 fWAR out of starts made by Jonathan Sanchez, Everett Teaford, Nathan Adcock, Jake Odorizzi and Ryan Verdugo. Just to move along, let's just assign that same number to Santana. You can debate and lament that - wait, we already have - anyway, move along.
Moving up the ladder, the Royals basically got one full season of starts (35) out of the combination of Felipe Paulino, Danny Duffy, Vin Mazzaro and Will Smith. Those four combined for an fWAR of 2.5. Again, I am taking some statistical liberties here to just get us in the ballpark of what the Royals need. Still, if the Royals' number four and five starting rotation spots contributed a combined 1.6 fWAR in 2012, I would think they could do the same in 2013.
Shifting away from the rotation for just a sentence or two, let's assign some value to the bullpen. Last years' 7.3 fWAR is a big number. A big enough number that you almost have to factor in a little regression. Just for ease of addition, let's say the bullpen is a still very effective 6.4 fWAR in 2013.
With the bullpen and two starting rotation spots filled, the Royals have 8.0 fWAR. Boys and girls, that is not enough. To get to a combined pitching fWAR of 19.0, that means Kansas City would need an average of 3.7 fWAR out of their top three rotation positions.
Jeremy Guthrie gave the team 1.5 wins in 14 starts last year. Do you believe? Enough to gamble a three year deal that he is now a three plus fWAR pitcher? Hochevar is not getting there, nor is Chen and, while I like Luis Mendoza, I don't think he doubles his WAR, either. It is a long way from here to there, isn't it?
Anibal Sanchez gets you close to four wins and obviously so does Greinke, but are the Royals in those markets? Doubtful. Does the organization rely on offensive improvement the return of Duffy and Paulino and hope Ervin Santana's August and September of last year indicate a return to past form?
Or are the Royals really just playing for 2014?
BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play). Simple statistic. But much analyzed by sabermetricians.
DIPS theory, an important sabermetric concept, indicates that pitchers have limited control over the outcomes of batted balls in play. A corrollary to DIPS is that batters probably have more influence over their BABIP than pitchers do over the BABIP they allow. As a result, analysts and fans frequently compare a pitcher's BABIP to the league average BABIP and assume that the difference between the pitcher's results and the average is due to some combination of luck and defense. This can provide a starting point for predicting the direction of a pitcher's regression from season to season.
However, this isn't the end of the story. We know that pitchers have differing tendencies for fly ball and groundball rates, which affects BABIP (since groundballs generally produce more hits in play than fly balls). It's widely accepted that specialty pitches (e.g., knuckleballs or Mariano Rivera's cutter) can confound BABIP expectations. And it doesn't take much to expand that conjecture to other pitchers who seem to induce weaker than average contact. A better way of looking at BABIP is to view it as a 30 or 40 point range around the league average. Pitchers with really high or low BABIPs beyond that range probably have experienced unsustainable results. But it is also possible that pitchers' differing skills and pitch types will slant their BABIP result toward the high or low end of the normal range. Because BABIP is subject to quite a bit of random variation, it is difficult to distinguish pitcher-specific BABIP from luck or defense.
A recent article in the "Community Research" section of Fangraphs provides an interesting effort at illuminating pitcher BABIP. Steve S presents his results in Projecting BABIP Using Batted Ball Data, and develops a formula for pitcher-specific "expected BABIP," or x-BABIP. (As you may know, x-BABIP formulas have been applied previously to hitters.) Later in this story, I will use that formula to calculate x-BABIP for Astros' pitchers. The most interesting aspect of his article is that it shows a myriad of correlation coefficients between and among BABIP, batted ball types, pitch f/x data, and pitch types. I wouldn't take these results as conclusive, but I think they show the direction of certain relationships, and provide some leads for future hypotheses which might help explain how or why pitchers achieved a particular performance level.
Not surprisingly, line drive rates and infield fly rates are found to be important determinants of BABIP. However, line drive rates are less predictable, even if multiple years of data are used to predict a future line drive rate. The pitcher has some effect on the line drive rates; for example, groundball and strike out rates seem to be correlated with preventing line drives. But, in general, line drive rates probably reflect more year to year random fluctuation. Infield fly ball rates, on the other hand, appear to be more predictable and consistent from year to year. As the Hardball Times glossary states: For some pitchers, inducing infield flies may be a repeatable skill. And infield fly balls are an important outcome, since infield pops are the surest form of out other than a strike out.
Another thought provoking observation from the article: different, and perhaps divergent, pitching skills are related to preventing line drives and inducing infield flyballs. Four seam fastballs in the zone combined with using slower pitches to change speeds appear to be the best recipe for inducing infield flyballs. Fastball movement has a closer relationship to infield flyball rates than velocity. Avoiding line drives, on the other hand, appears to depend on sinkers and 2 seam fastballs, as well as higher velocity. To some extent, these two elements of run prevention profile as two different types of pitchers.
The fangraphs article develops the following formula for a pitcher's expected BABIP: xBABIP = 0.4*LD% – 0.6*FB%*IFFB% + 0.235
I calculated the x-BABIP for some of the Astros' pitchers likely to return next year in key roles. Comparing the pitchers' actual BABIP to x-BABIP provides some information regarding the liklihood of a positive or negative regression in the pitcher's performance next year. If the pitcher's actual BABIP exceeds x-BABIP, this may support an argument that the pitcher is likely to revert to a lower BABIP, and vice versa. However, if the lower than expected BABIP performance is primarily due to poor defense (not an unreasonable possibility, since the Astros did not rank well on advanced defensive stats), than a reversion to x-BABIP may depend on an improved defense in 2013. The variance column is actual BABIP minus x-BABIP (i.e., a positive variance means that the pitcher is expected to revert to a lower BABIP).
The column titled "FDP Wins" is the potential impact of batted ball and the timing of pitching outcomes during 2012, expressed on a WAR type basis. I described Fielding Dependent Pitching Wins in a previous article here. A negative FDP Wins means that the pitcher was hurt by the number and timing of balls in play, and is consistent with a positive variance between BABIP and x-BABIP.
Results and Predicted Direction
Three Astros' starters--Norris, Lyles, and Harrell--exhibited among the largest ERA splits for home vs. road in the majors. For Norris and Lyles, the H/R split in BABIP was a major reason for the ERA differential. The BABIP splits: Norris (H) .263; (R) .326. Lyles (H) .284 ; (R) .319.
Norris is an extreme case for H/R splits. He has the worst road ERA (6.94) among qualified starters. Norris fell short of the inning threshold to rank as qualified starter at home. But if he had qualified, Norris would have the second best home ERA among MLB starters. That is amazing. Norris was almost the best major league starting pitcher at home and the worst starting pitcher on the road.
Norris has similar extreme differentials between x-BABIP and actual BABIP for home and road--except in opposite directions. Norris' x-BABIP/ actual BABIP: (H) .305 / .263; (R) .294 / .326. This would suggest that regression for both home and road BABIP will reduce the size of Norris home and road ERA splits.
But we really don't know why one team has three starting pitchers with such large ERA home/road splits (2 to 5 runs variance). Does Minute Maid Park provide an unspecified ballpark advantage? Does the Astros defense play much better at home? We could probably come up with more lines of speculation. The bottom line is, we don't know.
While he was still a player, Mike Redmond was constantly praised for being quiet in the clubhouse while leading by example on the field. Jim Leyland, among others, quickly noticed that Redmond would one day make a good manager, and suggested that once he stopped playing, he should immediately take a managing job.
Listening to those who believed that he would one day be a successful big league manager, Redmond managed Toronto's Single-A affiliate for the past two years. He led the Dunedin Blue Jays to a first-place finish in the Class-A Florida State League, though the team lost in the first round of the playoffs.
After Ozzie Guillen was dismissed two weeks ago, it was made clear that Guillen was not hired by David Samson, Larry Beinfest, Michael Hill, or any combination of the three. Owner Jeffery Loria personally hired Guillen, to the dismay of his baseball executives.
As President of Baseball Operations, Larry Beinfest has had an interesting tenure with the Marlins. It has been rumored that he has not spoken with several Marlins managers (including Guillen) as seasons concluded, and that he and assistant general manager Dan Jennings are not on a speaking basis.
In a statement that he released after firing Guillen, Beinfest said that the Marlins "needed to get back to the Marlins Way." Beinfest never clearly defined the "Marlins Way", though he made references to the 2003 championship team that was successful with a consistent lineup, pitching staff, and for the most part, defense.
Hiring Redmond, after dismissing a high profile, outgoing manager in Guillen was seen by many baseball executives as a "smart move". It could be considered conservative, however after a disappointing 2012 season, bringing Redmond back to Miami to manage the Marlins could be the first positive step in reestablishing the "Marlins Way".
-Though they might improve after consecutive last-place finishes in the National League East, the Marlins are not expected to improve much under Redmond. 2012 was a well-advertised season, however the lack of success led to criticism. Loria and company may not be bragging about putting a playoff caliber team in the months leading up to the start of the season. "I don't think we're there where we can talk about contending," Beinfest said. "It's not that we can't. I just don't want to be outward with it. We finished in last the last two years. I don't think it's realistic for me to come and say to you with credibility we're going to contend next year. We need to improve next year and if that means contending, then so be it.
-Since the offseason began, there were rumors suggesting that the Jeffery Loria was considering mixing his front office up. Loria changed his mind, however after hiring Mike Redmond, Larry Beinfest may be under the most pressure to assemble a winning team before Loria pulls the trigger.
-Leading up to the day that they hired Redmond, Miami interviewed several other candidates, including Larry Bowa and Detroit hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. Joining Redmond on his staff will be first base coach Perry Hill, who took the same job under Edwin Rodriguez.
-Miami signed third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and pitcher Jordan Smith to minor league contracts with invites to big league camp. Kouzmanoff hit .255 for the Rockies while being injured several times throughout the season. Smith spent the 2012 season in Triple-A with the Reds, where he was 3-3 with a 4.76 ERA. "We'd like to find a really good guy that we know is the guy, but if we have to go that route, sure," President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest said of the third base hold. "Look, is there going to be competition in right field? No. [Mike Redmond and the coaching staff] want to have that fresh slate. They want to see competition. They want to make their own evaluations in conjunction with us."
-Introduced at a press conference on Friday at Marlins Park, Redmond is positive and enthusiastic about what the future will being. Redmond will wear No.11. "It's about winning," Redmond said. "It's about competing. It's about showing up every single day. That's what I'm about."
-After signing a three-year contract on Friday, Mike Redmond became the 11th former catcher to fill one of the 30 current major league managerial positions. Six of the top seven winningest managers in Marlins history were either big league or minor league catchers.
-Even though he left the Marlins in 2004 and didn't have the chance to play with many players that are currently on Miami's roster, catcher John Buck and several others are excited to play for Redmond. "I'm definitely excited about it," Buck said. "I spoke with Joe Mauer when we were at the All-Star Game [in 2010] and I remember asking him specifically about Redmond because he was in our division and he came across as one of those intelligent guys who stayed in the game because he was really smart and not because he was athletically gifted."
-Redmond, in the eyes of many, has the confidence and leadership skills needed to successfully manage in the big leagues. Redmond was popular as a player, and despite managing for the past two years, is not far removed from that role. "For me to come back as a player now - I mean, as a manager," he said, stumbling over his title because he's only two years removed from picking up a bat. "I'm sorry, but after being a player, making my major-league debut in a Marlins uniform, I mean, the smile says it all, right?"
Around The League
-For teams looking to sign a shortstop this offseason, there aren't many available. Stephen Drew and Marco Scutaro highlight a free agent market that will contain more utility players that can play the position rather than authentic shortstops.
-Mariano Rivera plans to return to the Yankees next season even though his contract expired after last season. "He called me yesterday and told me that he'd like to play in 2013," Yankee's GM Brian Cashman said. "Now [agent] Fernando Cuza and I will work behind the scenes and do our jobs in making that happen."
-The Major League Baseball Players' Association donated $1 million dollars to the American Red Cross to assist those whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. "As our thoughts and prayers remain with all those who have been impacted by this tragedy, it is a privilege for Major League Baseball to support our fans and their communities during this urgent time of need," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "All of us at Major League Baseball are grateful to our society's leaders, first responders and volunteers, and we hope that our contribution to these humanitarian organizations will assist in the vital relief efforts along the East Coast. This is a time when the resiliency of the great American spirit will prevail."
-The Oakland Athletics signed Bartolo Colon to a one-year contract on Saturday. "One of the reasons I think we won a lot last year was because of the depth in our rotation, and we've still got such a young staff," said general manager Billy Beane. "Bart was so good for us last year, and given the cost of those type of players, we thought it was the best thing for us next year."
At Fish Stripes
-Aside from Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, how did Miami's rotation do in 2012? Check our the Fish Stripes' season review here.
-Can Mike Redmond bring stability to the Marlins' managerial position? Or is he only going to last for a few years?
-Miami prospect Marcell Ozuna is shining in the Dominican Republic, as he leads the winter league in home runs.
-The Infante/Sanchez trade worked out well for the Tigers as the two helped Detroit reach the World Series. How did it work out for Miami?
-After starting the season in the rotation, Carlos Zambrano ended the season in the Marlins' bullpen. How would you rate his season?
-Check out the Fish Stripes analysis of the Redmond hiring here.
The Miami Marlins are a flawed team, especially after the numerous trades they pulled to cut salary and unwanted talent from the team. In specific, the 2012 midseason trades that sent away Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and Omar Infante opened up holes in the infield that were previously resolved through 2013 and 2014. With the Marlins as currently constituted, the results of 2013 may prove to be very ugly, even with the return of Emilio Bonifacio and Logan Morrison from injury.
With that in mind, what the positions of greatest need for the Fish heading into the 2013 season?
The biggest hole left form the most recent trades the Marlins made is the one at third base. The team was expecting to have third base filled through 2014 with Hanley Ramirez manning the position, but Ramirez was so underwhelming in his performance that the Marlins would rather get out from under his remaining contract rather than take a chance on a bounce back. It would seem as though the Fish chose the right move, as Ramirez performed about as well with the Los Angeles Dodgers as he was performing here.
Nevertheless, no matter how logical the move to trade Ramirez away from the Marlins, the resulting aftermath has left the Marlins without any options at the position for a very long time. The team traded its last remaining major league option in prospect Matt Dominguez in the trade for first baseman Carlos Lee, but the deal for Lee did not help the Marlins contend and it left the Fish grasping for straws when the team later dealt Ramirez. Outside of Bonifacio or Solano, neither of whom are good long-term solutions at the position, the Marlins have no choices to play at third base and will need to acquire one via free agency or trade if they do not want to suffer inferior production at the position for another three or four years.
Much like third base, a midseason Marlins trade left a hole at the second base position that was scheduled to be filled through 2013. The Marlins had Omar Infante ready and signed for two seasons before 2012, but in order to acquire a better pitching asset in top prospect Jacob Turner, the team had to include Infante in addition to Sanchez to get the deal to go through. While, once again, the trade was a good one for both parties, it did leave the Fish with a glaring hole at the position. At the time, the Marlins seemed content to fill the hole with Bonifacio, but once Bonifacio and Morrison went down with injury, the team flip-flopped through multiple plans and are still undecided on what to do.
The Marlins seem fairly happy with the performance of Donovan Solano, but as discussed earlier on Fish Stripes, Solano may very well be an illusion. Given how poorly he has played throughout his minor league career, the team would be wise to avoid leaning on Solano for the long haul at the position, no matter how decently he performed last season. But unfortunately for the Marlins, there are few options in free agency at second base, and equally poor options at third base as well.
Left / Center Field
Luckily for the Marlins, there are a lot more options in the outfield, and the outfield options give the Marlins some flexibility in terms of the infield. Emilio Bonifacio's ability to play both infield and outfield allows the Marlins to be flexible with their one signing, if they choose to only go for one player. If the team can fill the outfield position, either in left or center field, it can shift Bonifacio to third base. While this option maintains that Solano is at second base, it at least gives the Marlins an upgrade at one position for 2013, and it is an overall improvement over not making any signings.
For the Fish, they could go after one of six or so outfielders that are available in the free agent market and interested in a starting job. If the team goes after a cheaper option, it may even be able to fill a middle infield position as well, allowing the Marlins to only start Bonifacio in the remaining hole. If the team can find cheap options in both in the infield and outfield, it can avoid starting Solano and play relatively well-known commodities at all three open positions.
For the Marlins, the outfield opening remains the best bet for filling the roster, as the team has the money and there will be the player availability to pursue a good option. With the Marlins short on funds, pursuing two players may be difficult, but it remains to be seen just what the Marlins' plans will be in 2013.
Sparky Anderson 2005 Upper Deck Classics I am in a Cincinnati Reds frame of mind on this fine Tuesday morning! And when I think of the Reds and ‘The Big Red Machine’, it is very hard to not think about … Continue reading →
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The previous Rockies season has produced more philosophical and scientific hypotheses than any previous, excepting perhaps the maiden voyage of the humidor. As injuries racked up and veteran pitchers caved in to mental monsters, the front office-led narrative that Coors Field is a spiteful monster gained steam.
One month ago today, Dave Krieger interviewed John Smoltz. The eight-time All-Star mostly talked about the confidence problems Coors Field provides for developing young pitchers. However, he also talked about how he was forced to exhibit more effort on his pitches:
"What you end up doing, as I learned over time how to adjust, you end up throwing the ball harder, spinning it tighter, and you do things that are going to have a carryover effect to make you sore."
Matt Belisle said comparable things to Krieger in July. And really, neither proclamations are mind-blowing. They make plausible sense and align with longstanding ideas. They also lend credence to the theory that a pitcher pitching at altitude will get himself hurt more often.
The most famous injury for a pitcher is a torn ulnar collateral ligament, more commonly known for the surgery utilized to repair it - Tommy John. Jon Roegele has done the exhaustive work of compiling the history of Tommy John surgeries for each organization, major and minor leagues. In the Rockies' twenty-year history of pitching at altitude in Denver, only four pitchers on the MLB roster have had Tommy John. Roegele's initial list was missing Taylor Buchholz, and that omission makes it appear that the Rockies were tied for the fewest Tommy John players in MLB.
That is a pretty limited population. Colorado has had seven minor leaguers undergo the surgery, though three of those were position players (Holliday, Shealy, Sullivan).
This is hardly a complete study. Tommy John is not the only injury that disables a pitcher. Nor does the list does not include pitchers who carried their altitude-induced wear and tear to other organizations for Tommy John. The sample size here might not be significant enough. It does not measure the effect of soreness, bad mechanics or confidence issues that Coors Field places on its pitchers, all of which I believe exist.
But it certainly is interesting that one place one would expect elbow ligaments to break the most has in fact broken near the least.
Matt Williams pleased after interviewing for Rockies' manager job - The Denver Post We learn that Williams was asked a lot of questions, mostly about altitude, and has no idea when the Rockies' decision would be made.
Like predecessors, Rockies' next manager faces difficult task - The Denver Post Patrick Saunders takes us through all the managers in Rockies history. It's bitter reminder of both Jim Leyland and that Jim Tracy is the winningest manager in franchise history (with an 0-5 buffer over Don Baylor).
Eric Young Sr. mentioned in Rockies' search for skipper | ColoradoRockies.com: News We keep getting other names slowly leaked out as candidates the Rockies talked to or were interested in. Pat Mackanin, Jerry Manuel and Steve Buechle were also preliminary candidates.
Happy Birthday Athletics Nation, SB Nation and Vox Media! - Athletics Nation SB Nation turns nine years old today.
The short career of Tagg Romney, Dodgers executive - latimes.com Frank McCourt hired the son of the possible new President of the United States despite being woefully underqualified. That designation probably belongs to both men in this story.
The Dodgers made waves last week by signing middle reliever Brandon League to a steep deal (3/$22.5). Dave Cameron at Fangraphs found two interesting comps to League that make less money, and both are former Rockies. I'll let you just click through to see Player 1 and Player 2.
MLBPAA Heart & Hustle Award | MLB.com: The Rockies' nominee was Michael Cuddyer, with Nick Hundley, Willie Bloomquist and Jerry Hairston also getting nominations in the division. The Giants' pick? Melky Cabrera. Oh Giants. To be clear, the award is designed to honor players who "demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game."
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TCB Podcast ready and willing to invade your thoughts and tickle your ear drums regarding everything Houston Astros baseball.
In this episode David Coleman, Sean Feist, Special Guest Ernest Moreno Jr. and myself discuss:
PROGRAMMING NOTE: We will be doing the TCB Top 30 Prospects Podcast Special on Sunday the 18th of November. For those that listened to the live podcast or to the archived Mixlr podcast I said it was on the Saturday the 17th of November, but that is not the case. Due to scheduling conflicts we've decided to move it to Sunday the 18th of November and we'll be starting at 4 p.m. CT right after the Houston Texans game. So when you're done watching football you can come join in on some Astros prospect discussions.
If you have any comments or questions in regards to the podcast you can email the show at SBN.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a question please be sure to include your name and where you're from. Also big thanks to those of you that have rated us on iTunes we really appreciate the feedback.
Here’s the Baseball-Reference calculated combined WAR for pitchers who have made at least ten starts for the team over theRead the Rest...
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Perhaps no position in the free agent and hot stove market is as deep, or as coveted, as center field this offseason. After the acquisition of Chris Young from the Diamondbacks earlier in October, the Oakland Athletics are looking at a very full outfield, and some change will probably need to be made.
In this next installment in our simulated trade talks series, we'll take a look at a (highly) fictional trade discussion between Oakland and the Atlanta Braves, who will look to add to their outfield following the free agency of Michael Bourn and retirement of Chipper Jones.
Excellent BtB contributor Nathaniel Stoltz followed Brad Pitt's lead (again) by taking the role of A's general manager
and Moneyball author* Billy Beane. Meanwhile, I took the role of Braves GM Frank Wren. I haven't seen Trouble With The Curve, but I assume that was who Justin Timberlake played in that movie.
Anyways, here's our discussion, followed by our thoughts and a poll where you can judge who won this fake trade.
* Note: No scouts or spreadsheets were harmed in the production of this article.