Archive for October 2009

Interesting idea by Tom Tango

October 27, 2009

On his blog, Tango talked about the Phillies using a new pitcher every time through the Yankees lineup. Here’s his take:

Anyway, as you can see, each time through the order, the hitters get an extra 8-12 points of OBP and 20-33 points of SLG.  This is not much out of the ordinary for the league in general, which you can tell by looking at the sOPS+ column: they are 12% to 16% better than the league against facing the starting pitcher the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time.  But, they kill relievers, being 36% better than the league average.

Considering Lee, Hamels, and Pedro will all be throwing on short rest in games 4-7, this could be an excellent idea. But what about the Yankees? Should they employ this strategy, especially with Chad Gaudin pitching or Andy Pettitte starting on short rest start?

Facing a pitcher the first, second, and third time around, the Phillies were better than the league average by 6%, 3%, and 12% respectively. Against relievers, the Phillies were 7% better than the league average.  The one time when the Phillies offense pounced, was when facing a pitcher the fourth time around. Moreover, the Phillies had a 9% increase between the second time facing a pitcher and the third time. So what should the Yankees do?

The Yankees should try to limit their starters from facing the Phillies lineup no more than 2-3 times through. Even if the pitcher is having a dominant game. Ideally, with this information, the Yankees should look to employ this strategy.

In game one the Yankees should limit CC to three times through the Phillies lineup. An additional benefit with that, is that CC will be less fatigued pitching on short rest in game four. In game four, the Yankees should limit CC to no more than 2.5 times through the Phillies lineup. Again, it will save him pitches for a game seven on short rest.

If the Yankees keep their starters from going too deep in a game, they can prevent the Phillies from gaining an edge late in the game, they can conserve the starters pitches so they are less fatigued on short rest, and it will limit the potential risks of a Chad Gaudin start in game five or a potential Andy Pettitte on short rest start in game six.

Now, in no way am I saying it is a strict strategy the Yankees need to an employ. If it’s game seven and CC has a low pitch count through six or seven, it might actually be better to keep him in. But as the stats show, the more you keep the starter in, the more the opponenet will start to hit. So the Yankees should look to the bullpen earlier in the World Series. And they have the pen to do so with former starters in Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Alfredo Aceves- plus everyone knows Mo can go two innings- as they will all be able to  throw multiple innings per game.


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Mariano Rivera did not spit on the ball

October 20, 2009

1) As I will show later, he clearly missed the ball with the spit. It was a bad angle.

2) He throws a cutter. What’s the point of spitting on it, he doesn’t want drop.

3) There are hundreds of cameras with tons of people watching. Why spit now?

4) That’s not how you throw a spitball. Not even close.

5) Why would he spit right before the game is about to resume and not before his warm-up?

The spit is clearly below the ball. It’s a bad angle.

His first pitch had four inches of movement. So much for spitting on the baseball.

Let’s put the rumor to rest. Mo did not cheat. The creator of the video owes Mo an apology.

EDIT: Deadspin has better photos

Wtf, Joe?

October 20, 2009

I don’t know if the move was as bad as Torre bringing in Weaver during during the 2003 World Series, but bringing in Alfredo for D-Rob is pretty close.

D-Rob is good. Like really good. He led the league in K/9 and it was no fluke. In the 11th, he got two outs with ease. Notorious Yankee killer Howie Kendrick was coming up. Joe said he took D-Rob out because Kendrick hits the fastball.

What?

D-Rob k’s bitches with his curveball. Have him throw curveballs to Kendrick then. If he walks him, he walks him. The next batter is Jeff Mathis. He sucks. I know he ended up doubling, but there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Mathis does not get a hit off a D-Rob who is on fire.

Just a horrible, horrible move that highlights a bunch of shitty moves from Joe over games 2 and 3.

2009 Yankees vs. Angels ALCS preview

October 14, 2009

Position Players

The Angels may have a better team BA which I’ve heard pointed out multiple times, but it’s only .002 points better. That’s minuscule. The smart baseball people also know that OBP is better than BA. The Yankees lead that category by .012 points. SLG is also an important stat and the Yankees lead by .037 points. A very important stat which often gets overlooked is BB/K ratio. That Yankees are much better in that category with a 0.65 BB/K while the Angels have a 0.52 BB/K. The Yankees have a BB% and K% of 10.5 and 17.9, respectively. The Angels have a 8.9 BB% and a 18.7 K%. The Yankees have a .366 wOBA as a team. That’s really good for an entire team. The Angels have a .346 wOBA as a team which is good, but no where near the Yankees. Both teams can take advantage of mistakes on the basepaths except a few players on each team. They can also both steal plenty of bases if given the chance. Both starting catchers throw out less than 30% of base runners so expect Scioscia and Girardi to give their base runners the green light when they’re behind the plate. Neither team is anything to write about on defense. The Yankees do however lead the Angels in WAR by 8.9. That’s a significant amount. The Yankees and Angels, respectively, scored the most runs in the MLB with the Yankees scoring 915 and the Angels scoring 883.

Starters

The playoff rotation for a team in a LCS is different from the one during the season because they would use 4 starters instead of 5 starters so team statistics from the season will not work. The Yankees are <A HREF=”http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2009/news/story?id=4556312”>leaning towards</A> using a 3-man rotation like they did in the ALDS. This would mean that CC Sabathia would have to start game 4 on 3 days rest, but AJ would start game 5 on normal rest, Andy would start game 6 on normal rest, and CC would start game 7 on normal rest. As a diehard Yankees fan I would feel much better without having to start Gaudin or Joba. This will also lengthen our already stingy bullpen. The Angels could opt to do the same thing and have Lackey pitch on short rest, but he hasn’t exactly been the epitome of health. He hasn’t started 30 games since 2007. I will show stats both ways for the Angels since nothing is set in stone.

CC Sabathia has pitched great this season showing why he was the most coveted pitcher on the FA market last year. He’s hit a few bumps in the road, but rarely do pitchers pitch outstanding in every game. He also shut all the doubters up with a great performance in game 1 of the ALDS. AJ Burnett has had a rocky season, but flashes of greatness during the season capped off by a very good performance to close out the season. He pitched very nicely in game 2 of the ALDS, but he also walked 5 in 6 innings which is a little scary against an Angels team that’s not afraid to steal a base. Andy Pettitte pitched very well for a 37 year old pitcher who was never a dominant pitcher. He also had a very good game in game 3. This season CC, AJ, and Andy combined for a 3.83 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.25 K/BB, 7.7 K/9, and 3.42 BB/9. I’m not really sure how to calculate FIP, but the average FIP of those 3 comes out to 3.95. CC, AJ, and Andy had a combined 12.3 WAR over the season and a 3.89 WAR/200. A 3-man rotation would also make sense because the Yankees would send out CC, easily their best starter, to start a crucial game 7 if necessary.

John Lackey hasn’t been so great this season. He has had a bunch of really good starts mixed in with some really bad ones. Looking at his game log he reminds of AJ Burnett this season. However, he’s coming off a great start against Boston in game 1. Jered Weaver had a very similar season to Lackey and pitched great in game 2. Scott Kazmir did not have a good year overall, but he was amazing with the Angels. However, he didn’t have a very good game 3 against the Red Sox. If the Angels do not feel comfortable starting Lackey on 3 days rest they could either switch up their rotation so that either Weaver or Kazmir would start on short rest or they could insert Joe Saunders into the rotation. The 3-man rotation had a 4.09 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.49 K/BB, 7.2 K/9, and a 2.91 BB/9. Their average FIP was 4.01. They had a combined 10.1 WAR and a 3.78 WAR/200. Let’s see what happens when Joe Saunders, who would most likely be their 4th starter, comes into the picture. The 4-man rotation had a 4.22 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 2.24 K/BB, 6.63 K/9, and 2.96 BB/9. Their average FIP would be 4.30. They had a 11.3 WAR and a 3.14 WAR/200. The obvious choice would be to go with the 3-man rotation, but the looming question is can any of the 3 pitch effectively on short rest.

Bullpen

For the bullpens I will look at each team’s closer and a few key contributors. For the Yankees I will look at Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, David Robertson, and Alfredo Aceves. I think these are the bullpen arms we will see most for the Yankees. I left out Joba Chamberlain because he pitch 1 game out of the bullpen even though we will see a lot of him out of the bullpen. I also left out Phil Coke because during the season he was used against righties and lefties, but in the ALCS he will be a lefty specialist. The same thing goes for Damaso Marte IF he is needed. I left out Chad Gaudin because he’s only going to show up for long relief if Alfredo Aceves is unavailable and even if he is Phil Hughes can go 2. Brian Bruney was left out because he’ll be a last resort and with at most 2 games back to back the only circumstance I see him coming in is in mop up duty or if the Yankees are down by a lot late. The 4 bullpen guys I’m looking at had a 2.49 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 4.24 K/BB, 9.93 K/9, and 2.34 BB/9. They also had a 2.84 FIP.

The Angels closer is Brian Fuentes and the key contributors to the rest of the bullpen that pitched in the ALDS are Darren Oliver, Jason Bulger, and Kevin Jepsen. I’m not too familiar with the rest of the Angels bullpen, but I’d imagine Matt Palmer gets some action and depending on which rotation they choose could put Joe Saunders in the bullpen. I left those 2 out of the equation since I am unsure whether either will see much action if they’re in the bullpen. Fuentes, Oliver, Bulger, and Jepsen had a combined 3.74 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 2.41 K/BB, 8.40 K/9, and 3.48 BB/9. They also had a 3.60 FIP.

My Prediction and Reasoning

I predict that the Yankees will win this series. My reasoning is that the Yankees have the better offense and the Angels are a little better on defense. However, WAR says that regardless of the Angels better defense the Yankees offense overpowers the difference resulting in the Yankees domination in team WAR for position players. As for the starting pitching on both teams the Yankees are a little better overall if the Angels opt to go with the 3-man rotation and much better if the Angels go with the 4-man rotation. The bullpen for the Yankees is much better even without factoring Joba into the equation. There is a 1.25 ERA difference. That’s really significant. The Yankees K/BB is also much, much better than the Halos. In my opinion this might even be more important than ERA for relievers because 1 or 2 bad outings can destroy a relievers ERA while K/BB generally will stay consistent unless there is something seriously wrong due to an injury or something like that. ERA is also somewhat reliant on defense and K/BB is not. K/BB also takes into account 2 of the 3 true outcomes for pitchers.

Update:
According to ESPN’s pitching match ups for the ALCS Saunders will pitch game 2 and 6 with Kazmir pitch game 4.

A Look Inside the World Series Winners

October 12, 2009

The 4 most important defensive positions on the baseball diamond are C, 2B, SS, and CF. I will look at the 104 WS championship teams and see how many of those positions were filled by homegrown players.

Here are the 104 WS championship teams. 6 teams filled 0 positions with homegrown players. 9 teams filled 1 position with homegrown players. 27 team filled 2 positions with homegrown players. 32 teams filled 3 positions with homegrown players. 30 teams filled 4 positions with homegrown players. Over 59% of teams filled at least 3 of the positions with homegrown players and over 85% filled at least 2 of the positions with homegrown players. I think this pretty much shows that there’s a correlation between homegrown players up the middle and WS championships.

1903 Boston Americans(AL)

C Lou Criger
2B Hobe Ferris
SS Freddy Parent (H)
CF Chick Stahl

1905 New York Giants(NL)

C Roger Bresnahan
2B Billy Gilbert
SS Bill Dahlen
CF Mike Donlin

1906 Chicago White Sox(AL)

C Billy Sullivan
2B Frank Isbell
SS George Davis
CF Fielder Jones

1907 Chicago Cubs(NL)

C Johnny Kling (H)
2B Johnny Evers (H)
SS Joe Tinker (H)
CF Jimmy Slagle (H)

1908 Chicago Cubs(NL)

C Johnny Kling (H)
2B Johnny Evers (H)
SS Joe Tinker (H)
CF Solly Hofman

1909 Pittsburgh Pirates(NL)

C George Gibson (H)
2B Dots Miller (H)
SS Honus Wagner
CF Tommy Leach

1910 Philadelphia Athletics(AL)

C Jack Lapp (H)
2B Eddie Collins (H)
SS Jack Barry (H)
CF Rube Oldring

1911 Philadelphia Athletics(AL)

C Ira Thomas
2B Eddie Collins (H)
SS Jack Barry (H)
CF Rube Oldring

1912 Boston Red Sox(AL)

C Bill Carrigan (H)
2B Steve Yarkes
SS Heinie Wagner
CF Tris Speaker (H)

1913 Philadelphia Athletics(AL)

C Jack Lapp (H)
2B Eddie Collins (H)
SS Jack Barry (H)
CF Rube Oldring

1914 Boston Braves(NL)

C Hank Gowdy
2B Johnny Evers
SS Rabbit Maranville (H)
CF Les Mann (H)

1915 Boston Red Sox(AL)

C Pinch Thomas (H)
2B Heinie Wagner
SS Everett Scott (H)
CF Tris Speaker (H)

1916 Boston Red Sox(AL)

C Pinch Thomas (H)
2B Jack Barry
SS Everett Scott (H)
CF Tilly Walker

1917 Chicago White Sox(AL)

C Ray Schalk (H)
2B Eddie Collins
SS Swede Risberg (H)
CF Happy Felsch (H)

1918 Boston Red Sox(AL)

C Sam Agnew
2B Dave Shean
SS Everett Scott (H)
CF Amos Strunk

1919 Cincinnati Reds(NL)

C Ivey Wingo
2B Morrie Rath
SS Larry Kopf
CF Edd Roush

1920 Cleveland Indians(AL)

C Steve O’Neill (H)
2B Bill Wambsganss (H)
SS Ray Chapman (H)
CF Tris Speaker

1921 New York Giants(NL)

C Frank Snyder
2B Johnny Rawlings
SS Dave Bancroft
CF George Burns (H)

1922 New York Giants(NL)

C Frank Snyder
2B Frankie Frisch (H)
SS Dave Bancroft
CF Casey Stengal/Bill Cunningham (H)

1923 New York Yankees(AL)

C Wally Schang
2B Aaron Ward (H)
SS Roger Peckinpaugh
CF Elmer Miller

1924 Washington Senators(NL)

C Muddy Ruel
2B Bucky Harris (H)
SS Roger Peckinpaugh
CF Earl McNeely (H)

1925 Pittsburgh Pirates(NL)

C Earl Smith
2B Eddie Moore (H)
SS Glenn Wright (H)
CF Max Carey (H)

1926 St. Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Bob O’Farrell
2B Rogers Hornsby (H)
SS Tommy Thevenow (H)
CF Taylor Douthit (H)

1927 New York Yankees(AL)

C Pat Collins
2B Tony Lazzeri (H)
SS Mark Koenig (H)
CF Earle Combs (H)

1928 New York Yankees(AL)

C Johnny Grabowski
2B Tony Lazzeri (H)
SS Mark Koenig (H)
CF Earle Combs (H)

1929 Philadelphia Athletics(AL)

C Mickey Cochrane (H)
2B Max Bishop (H)
SS Joe Boley(H)
CF Mule Haas

1930 Philadelphia Athletics(AL)

C Mickey Cochrane (H)
2B Max Bishop (H)
SS Joe Boley(H)
CF Mule Haas

1931 St Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Jimmie Wilson
2B Frankie Frisch
SS Charlie Gelbert (H)
CF Pepper Martin (H)

1932 New York Yankees(AL)

C Bill Dickey (H)
2B Tony Lazzeri (H)
SS Frankie Crosetti (H)
CF Earle Combs (H)

1933 New York Giants(NL)

C Gus Mancuso
2B Hughie Critz
SS Blondy Ryan
CF Kiddo Davis

1934 St Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Spud Davis (H)
2B Frankie Frisch
SS Leo Durocher
CF Ernie Orsatti (H)

1935 Detroit Tigers(AL)

C Mickey Cochrane
2B Charlie Gehringer (H)
SS Billy Rogell
CF Jo-Jo White (H)

1936 New York Yankees(AL)

C Bill Dickey (H)
2B Tony Lazzeri (H)
SS Frankie Crosetti (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1937 New York Yankees(AL)

C Bill Dickey (H)
2B Tony Lazzeri (H)
SS Frankie Crosetti (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1938 New York Yankees(AL)

C Bill Dickey (H)
2B Joe Gordon (H)
SS Frankie Crosetti (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1939 New York Yankees(AL)

C Bill Dickey (H)
2B Joe Gordon (H)
SS Frankie Crosetti (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1940 Cincinnati Reds(NL)

C Ernie Lombardi
2B Lonny Frey
SS Billy Myers (H)
CF Harry Craft (H)

1941 New York Yankees(AL)

C Bill Dickey (H)
2B Joe Gordon (H)
SS Phil Rizzuto (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1942 St. Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Walker Cooper (H)
2B Creepy Crespi (H)
SS Marty Marion (H)
CF Terry Moore (H)

1943 New York Yankees(AL)

C Bill Dickey (H)
2B Joe Gordon (H)
SS Frankie Crosetti (H)
CF Roy Weatherly

1944 St. Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Walker Cooper (H)
2B Emil Verban (H)
SS Marty Marion (H)
CF Johnny Hopp (H)

1945 Detroit Tigers(AL)

C Bob Swift
2B Eddie Mayo
SS Skeeter Webb
CF Doc Cramer

1946 St. Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Joe Garagiola(H)
2B Red Schoendienst(H)
SS Marty Marion(H)
CF Terry Moore(H)

1947 New York Yankees(AL)

C Yogi Berra (H)
2B Snuffy Stirnweiss (H)
SS Phil Rizzuto (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1948 Cleveland Indians(AL)

C Jim Hegan (H)
2B Joe Gordon
SS Lou Boudreau (H)
CF Larry Doby (H)

1949 New York Yankees(AL)

C Yogi Berra (H)
2B Jerry Coleman (H)
SS Phil Rizzuto (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1950 New York Yankees(AL)

C Yogi Berra (H)
2B Jerry Coleman (H)
SS Phil Rizzuto (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1951 New York Yankees(AL)

C Yogi Berra (H)
2B Jerry Coleman (H)
SS Phil Rizzuto (H)
CF Joe DiMaggio (H)

1952 New York Yankees(AL)

C Yogi Berra (H)
2B Billy Martin (H)
SS Phil Rizzuto (H)
CF Mickey Mantle (H)

1953 New York Yankees(AL)

C Yogi Berra (H)
2B Billy Martin (H)
SS Phil Rizzuto (H)
CF Mickey Mantle (H)

1954 New York Giants(NL)

C Wes Westrum (H)
2B Davey Williams (H)
SS Alvin Dark
CF Willie Mays (H)

1955 Brooklyn Dodgers(NL)

C Roy Campanella (H)
2B Jim Gilliam (H)/Don Zimmer (H)
SS Pee Wee Reese (H)
CF Duke Snider (H)

1956 New York Yankees(AL)

C Yogi Berra (H)
2B Billy Martin (H)
SS Gil McDougald (H)
CF Mickey Mantle (H)

1957 Milwaukee Braves(NL)

C Del Crandall (H)
2B Red Schoendienst
SS Johnny Logan (H)
CF Hank Aaron (H)

1958 New York Yankees(AL)

C Yogi Berra (H)
2B Gil McDougald (H)
SS Tony Kubek (H)
CF Mickey Mantle (H)

1959 Los Angeles Dodgers(NL)

C Johnny Roseboro (H)
2B Charlie Neal (H)
SS Maury Wills (H)
CF Duke Snider (H)/Don Demeter (H)

1960 Pittsburgh Pirates(NL)

C Smoky Burgess
2B Bill Mazeroski (H)
SS Dick Groat (H)
CF Bill Virdon

1961 New York Yankees(AL)

C Elston Howard (H)
2B Bobby Richardson (H)
SS Tony Kubek (H)
CF Mickey Mantle (H)

1962 New York Yankees(AL)

C Elston Howard (H)
2B Bobby Richardson (H)
SS Tom Tresh (H)/Tony Kubek (H)
CF Mickey Mantle (H)

1963 Los Angeles Dodgers(NL)

C Johnny Roseboro (H)
2B Charlie Neal (H)
SS Maury Wills (H)
CF Willie Davis (H)

1964 St. Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Tim McCarver (H)
2B Julian Javier (H)
SS Dick Groat
CF Curt Flood

1965 Los Angeles Dodgers(NL)

C Johnny Roseboro (H)
2B Charlie Neal (H)
SS Maury Wills (H)
CF Willie Davis (H)

1966 Baltimore Orioles(AL)

C Andy Etchebarren (H)
2B Davey Johnson (H)
SS Luis Aparicio
CF Paul Blair (H)

1967 St. Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Tim McCarver (H)
2B Julian Javier (H)
SS Dal Maxvill (H)
CF Curt Flood

1968 Detroit Tigers(AL)

C Bill Freehan (H)
2B Dick McAuliffe (H)
SS Ray Oyler (H)
CF Mickey Stanley (H)

1969 New York Mets(NL)

C Jerry Grote
2B Ken Boswelli (H)
SS Bud Harrelson (H)
CF Tommie Agee

1970 Baltimore Orioles(AL)

C Ellie Hendricks (H)
2B Davey Johnson (H)
SS Mark Belanger (H)
CF Paul Blair (H)

1971 Pittsburgh Pirates(NL)

C Manny Sanguillen (H)
2B Dave Cash (H)
SS Gene Alley (H)
CF Al Oliver (H)

1972 Oakland Athletics(AL)

C Gene Tenace (H)/Dave Duncan** (H)
2B Tim Cullen
SS Bert Campaneris (H)
CF George Hendrick (H)/Reggie Jackson* (H)

*Didn’t play in the WS
**Didn’t catch in the WS

1973 Oakland Athletics(AL)

C Ray Fosse
2B Dick Green (H)
SS Bert Campaneris (H)
CF Billy North

1974 Oakland Athletics(AL)
C Ray Fosse
2B Dick Green (H)
SS Bert Campaneris (H)
CF Billy North

1975 Cincinnati Reds(NL)

C Johnny Bench (H)
2B Joe Morgan
SS Dave Concepcion (H)
CF Cesar Geronimo

1976 Cincinnati Reds(NL)

C Johnny Bench (H)
2B Joe Morgan
SS Dave Concepcion (H)
CF Cesar Geronimo

1977 New York Yankees(AL)

C Thurman Munson (H)
2B Willie Randolph
SS Bucky Dent
CF Mickey Rivers

1978 New York Yankees(AL)

C Thurman Munson (H)
2B Willie Randolph
SS Bucky Dent
CF Mickey Rivers

1979 Pittsburgh Pirates(NL)

C Eddie Ott (H)
2B Rennie Stennett (H)
SS Tim Foli
CF Omar Moreno (H)

1980 Philadelphia Phillies(NL)

C Bob Boone (H)
2B Manny Trillo
SS Larry Bowa (H)
CF Garry Maddox

1981 Los Angeles Dodgers(NL)

C Mike Scioscia (H)
2B Davey Lopes (H)
SS Bill Russell (H)
CF Ken Landreaux/Pedro Guerrero* (H)

*Played CF in WS

1982 St. Louis Cardinals(NL)

C Darrell Porter
2B Tom Herr (H)
SS Ozzie Smith
CF Willie McGee (H)

1983 Baltimore Orioles(AL)

C Rick Dempsey
2B Rich Dauer (H)
SS Cal Ripken (H)
CF Al Bumbry (H)

1984 Detroit Tigers(AL)

C Lance Parrish (H)
2B Lou Whitaker (H)
SS Alan Trammel (H)
CF Chet Lemon

1985 Kansas City Royals(AL)

C Jim Sundberg
2B Frank White (H)
SS Onix Concepcion (H)
CF Willie Wilson (H)

1986 New York Mets(NL)

C Gary Carter
2B Wally Backman (H)
SS Rafael Santana
CF Lenny Dykstra (H)

1987 Minnesota Twins(AL)

C Tim Laudner (H)
2B Steve Lombardozzi (H)
SS Greg Gagne (H)
CF Kirby Puckett (H)

1988 Los Angeles Dodgers(NL)

C Mike Scioscia (H)
2B Steve Sax (H)
SS Alfredo Griffin
CF John Shelby

1989 Oakland Athletics(AL)

C Terry Steinbach (H)
2B Tony Phillips (H)
SS Mike Gallego (H)
CF Dave Henderson

1990 Cincinnati Reds(NL)

C Joe Oliver (H)
2B Mariano Duncan
SS Barry Larkin (H)
CF Eric Davis (H)

1991 Minnesota Twins(AL)

C Brian Harper
2B Chuck Knoblauch (H)
SS Greg Gagne (H)
CF Kirby Puckett (H)

1992 Toronto Blue Jays(AL)

C Pat Borders (H)
2B Roberto Alomar
SS Manuel Lee (H)
CF Devon White

1993 Toronto Blue Jays(AL)

C Pat Borders (H)
2B Roberto Alomar
SS Tony Fernandez (H)
CF Devon White

1995 Atlanta Braves(NL)

C Javy Lopez (H)
2B Mark Lemke (H)
SS Jeff Blauser (H)
CF Marquis Grissom

1996 New York Yankees(AL)
C Joe Girardi
2B Mariano Duncan
SS Derek Jeter (H)
CF Bernie Williams (H)

1997 Florida Marlins(NL)
C Charles Johnson (H)
2B Luis Castillo (H)
SS Edgar Renteria (H)
CF Devon White

1998 New York Yankees(AL)
C Jorge Posada (H)
2B Chuck Knoblauch
SS Derek Jeter (H)
CF Bernie Williams (H)

1999 New York Yankees(AL)
C Jorge Posada (H)
2B Chuck Knoblauch
SS Derek Jeter (H)
CF Bernie Williams (H)

2000 New York Yankees(AL)
C Jorge Posada (H)
2B Chuck Knoblauch
SS Derek Jeter (H)
CF Bernie Williams (H)

2001 Arizona Diamondbacks(NL)
C Damian Miller
2B Jay Bell
SS Tony Womack
CF Steve Finley

2002 Los Angeles Angels(AL)
C Bengie Molina (H)
2B Adam Kennedy
SS David Eckstein
CF Darin Erstad (H)

2003 Florida Marlins(NL)
C Ivan Rodriguez
2B Luis Castillo (H)
SS Alex Gonzalez (H)
CF Juan Pierre

2004 Boston Red Sox(AL)
C Jason Varitek (H)
2B Mark Bellhorn
SS Orlando Cabrera*
CF Johnny Damon

*traded for mid-season

2005 Chicago White Sox(AL)
C AJ Piezynski
2B Tadahito Iguchi*
SS Juan Uribe
CF Aaron Rowand (H)

*White Sox signed him out of Japan, but he was already an established star over there

2006 St. Louis Cardinals(NL)
C Yadier Molina (H)
2B Aaron Miles
SS David Eckstein
CF Jim Edmonds

2007 Boston Red Sox(AL)
C Jason Varitek (H)
2B Dustin Pedroia (H)
SS Julio Lugo
CF Coco Crisp/Jacoby Ellsbury (H)

2008 Philadelphia Phillies(NL)
C Carlos Ruiz (H)
2B Chase Utley (H)
SS Jimmy Rollins (H)
CF Shane Victorino

A-Rod, D-Rob, and Mark Teixeira

October 10, 2009

That is all.

Nyjer “Soft Velvet” Morgan

October 9, 2009

After reading the title, you might be asking yourself one of two questions. 1) What the hell is “Soft Velvet. And 2) Who is Nyjer Morgan? If you know the answer to both already, give yourself a pat on the back. If you know the answer to 2, well, who cares because if you read this blog you should know who Nyjer Morgan is.

To answer the questions anyway. “Soft Velvet” is what I call someone with a smooth glove. It is a noun. In the noun form it’s “Atta way to flash the smooth velvet, Nyjer!” or it’s “Smooth Velvet doing work”. As for Nyjer Morgan, he is a center fielder who used to play for the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. Mid-season he was traded to the even lowlier Washington Nationals. So it’s no fault of yours if you have never heard of him before.

But let’s get to the point of the thread. He defines “Smooth Velvet”. The dood can field. In his CF carreer of 781 innings, he has a UZR/150 of 32.9. Holy. Shit. Sure, about 800 innings is a low sample size. But it is safe to say the guy can cover some ground. He has played a grand total of 697 innings in LF with a UZR/150 of 21.2. In 1526 career innings in the OF, he has a total UZR/150 of 27.9. Insane. A sample of over 1500 innings is enough to say the guy is a terrific fielder.

I mean think about, in CF he is worth about 3 wins. He contributes three wins on defense alone. That is cray-zee. Just to be one of the more valuable players in the game, he just has to be decent with the bat. Which he is. For his career he has an OBP of .362 with a career wOBA of .337. If he can just be an average hitter while keeping up his defensive performance, he will be  a very valuable member to the Nationals or any other team he will be on. When looking at his broken down WAR between batting runs and fielding runs, fielding runs take up 84% of the value between the two.

Here are some fun facts. According to WAR, Morgan was the 12th most valuable player with a 4.8 WAR. And among all MLB CF, Morgan is third in WAR behind Franklin Guitierez and Matt Kemp.

Nyjer Morgan, meet the average MLB fan. Average MLB fan, meet Nyjer Morgan.

Nyjer Morgan (Tell Em Man) flashing the smooth velvet and doing work

Nyjer Morgan (Tell 'Em Man) flashing the smooth velvet and doing work