Posted tagged ‘Hideki Matsui’

Clearing the Bases : Los Angeles Angels

March 30, 2010

The Angels lost several key players for their team over the past two seasons. Last year Francisco Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira were the two main losses. Losing two players that are rated very highly at their positions, they settled for a cheaper Brian Fuentes and Kendry Morales. Both had pretty good seasons.

But this off season was a little different. They lost their ace pitcher John Lackey to the Red Sox. They lost Chone Figgins to a divisional foe in the Mariners. Vladimir Guerrero and Darren Oliver both signed with the Texas Rangers. And Kelvim Escobar went to the Mets while Jose Arredondo signed with the Reds.

However, LA still has a good club. They downgraded at third base and their bullpen is not as good. The rotation will look like this if everyone remains healthy:

Jared Weaver
Ervin Santana
Joe Saunders
Scott Kazmir
Joel Pineiro

The Angels usually do a good job at getting the cheaper player who can still put up good numbers the next season. Take Kendry Morales for example. Lets see what the Angels are losing/gaining this season by checking some projections on some of the players they lost and who is now there. Pineiro took Lackey’s rotation spot, Brandon Wood is taking over for Chone Figgins at third, and Matsui for Vladdy.

John Lackey :

IP : 186
Hits : 185
Home Runs : 20
Runs : 88
ERA : 3.92
SO : 141
BB : 51

Joel Pineiro :

IP : 168
Hits : 198
Home Runs : 17
Runs : 90
ERA : 4.45
SO : 79
BB : 35

The numbers show that Lackey is the better choice. Field dimensions do play a part in this, but Boston is more of a hitters park and Lackey will still post better numbers than Pineiro according to Chone’s projections. I agree with the struggles of Pineiro with a middle 4.00 ERA. This is why the Angels must stay healthy this year- I don’t feel like they have too many quality pitchers, especially considering depth is a weak point.

Chone Figgins :

AB : 522
R : 189
Hits : 142
HR : 4
SB : 33
BB : 79
SO : 103
OBP : .370
SLG : .358

Brandon Wood :

AB : 422
R : 58
Hits : 104
HR : 19
SB : 6
BB : 35
SO : 120
OBP : .309
SLG : .445

The Angels not only lost a good third baseman, but a big part of their team style. A gritty team that likes to steal bases and manufacture runs. With Chone Figgins this is possible. With Brandon Wood, not so much. They might have an okay middle of the lineup this year, but the top of the order will suffer without Figgins.

Vladimir Guerrero

AB : 469
R : 65
Hits : 137
HR : 23
BB : 27
SO : 67
OBP : .337
SLG : .495

Hideki Matsui :

AB : 428
R : 61
Hits : 113
HR : 17
BB : 54
SO : 67
OBP : .351
SLG : .437

Matsui is the better choice here. He will mostly be a DH too. But Vlad would still be serviceable.

I think the Angels could fight for the wild card in the AL, but the Mariners and Rangers both got better while the Angels gotten worse. Their style of play will never be the same unless they find someone to fill Chone’s role, and I really don’t like the rotation all too much. A lot of if’s.

Johnson set to Return to the Bronx

December 18, 2009
The 2010 version of the New York Yankees is starting to finalize itself after the reports that Nick Johnson has agreed to sign a 1 year 5.5 million dollar deal with the club. Johnson a 1B by trade will not be filling that role on the Yankees, but rather will be inserted into the DH role formally filled by new LAA Angel Hideki Matsui. Many Yankee fans will look at this move on the surface as a downgrade, but a simple check of the numbers will show that Johnson may simply fit the lineup better.
Matsui (2009) – .271/.367/.509/131+
Johnson (2009) – .291/.426/.405/122+

Two things are clear, Johnson is far better at getting on base and Matsui hit for considerably more power. Both players are injury risks, but the 36 year old Matsui who needed his knees drained on multiple occasions was looked at as nothing more then a DH to the Yankees, at least with Johnson the Yankees have the flexibility of using him at 1B and at fives years younger the risk seems much smaller with Johnson.
Since November 4th when the Yankees brought home the World Series title, they have lost Hideki Matsui and according to reports today, it looks as if Johnny Damon will be considering a new home as well. Those losses open up two roles on the 2010 Yankee roster. First the DH spot as mentioned, and the need for someone to bat 2nd in front of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. With those two powerful run producers in the middle of the lineup, Johnson is the perfect fit. Sporting a career line of .273/.402/.473, Johnson has seen his power dip in recent years all the way down to eight home-runs and a .405 SLG% in 2009.
With Johnson is the fold the 2010 Yankee lineup projects as:
1.Derek Jeter – SS   .388/.444/.366
2.Nick Johnson – DH .414/.434/.375
3.Mark Teixeira – 1B   .395/.559/.406
4.Alex Rodriguez 3B .400/.550/.406
5.Jorge Posada C .372/.467/.365
6.Robinson Cano 2B .347/.489/.359
7.Nick Swisher RF .365/.467/.362
8.Curtis Granderson CF .353/.491/.366
9.Brett Grader LF .368/.375/.347
Melky Cabrera .341/.406/.330
Listed projections are OBP/SLG/wOBA found here. Gardner and Cabrera could platoon in LF or Gardner could slide into CF for defense while Granderson plays LF. In any case the lineup projects to have not a single regular with a wOBA below .330. The Yankees may not have been able to spend $450 million dollars this off season but they did accomplish the goals of getting cheaper and younger set out by Brian Cashman. By replacing Damon with Granderson and Matsui with Johnson, the 2010 Yankees are a combined $15 million dollars cheaper in those positions.
The Yankees may not have been able to spend $450 million dollars this off season but they did accomplish the goals of getting cheaper and younger set out by Brian Cashman. By replacing Damon with Granderson and Matsui with Johnson, the 2010 Yankees are a combined $15 million dollars cheaper in those positions, with players who are younger and at a minimum the equals of their predecessors.

Goodbye Matsui

December 15, 2009

Hideki Matsui signed a 1/$6.5mil deal with the Angels, of all teams.

I know we advocated signing Nick Johnson to DH, but now that Matsui really no longer is a Yankee, it feels like I’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. Although I don’t buy into the “True Yankee” bunk, Matsui really did signify the classic the Yankee approach to baseball. He was respectful, classy, a hard worker, and did a good job. Despite the fact he was only here for just several seasons, Matsui will forever be a Yankee and he will be missed.

Good luck in the future and remember us Yankee fans wherever life takes you.

Making the case for Nick Johnson

December 1, 2009

With the off-season in progress, most people are expecting the Yankees to bring back Hideki Matsui to be their DH. Not a bad move since he still has something left in the tank, but another option is the one and only Nick Johnson. Here’s why:

1) Just this past season, NJ put up a line of .291/.426/.405/.373 wOBA in 574 PA. Despite missing all of 2007 and most of 2008, the man can still rake. Sure, he is still an injury liability, but much like Matsui, DH’ing can take a lot of pressure off his body that comes with the rigor of playing every game in the field. If he can amass 500+ PA, NJ will be a valuable member of the lineup.

Moreover, NJ is an OBP machine. His OBP was third in all of baseball last season. I doubt he’ll suddenly stop getting on base next season. Compared to Matsui, NJ is much more adept at getting on base. NJ’s only weakness last season was power. However, it was quite a mystery as to why his power dropped. His LD%, GB%, and FB% were all within 1% of his career averages. Yet his HR/FB% and ISO dropped significantly. Either he just got weaker, or it was a huge anomaly. But in the Bronx he’ll have the benefit of playing in a park that is homer friendly, especially to lefties. If he can regain some of his power, NJ could have a really good offensive season.

Bat him second in front of Tex and A-Rod, and the MVP award will be back in the Bronx. Bat him next to Swisher, and that’s a guaranteed pitch count nightmare for the pitcher.

2) Cost. Matsui made $13mil last season, and if he comes back it seems doubtful that he will take a pay cut. Meanwhile, NJ made just $5.5mil last season and going forward, it doesn’t look like he will be paid much more than that. I project NJ to be about a 2 WAR player next season as a DH . If he can be signed for about 1/6 or 2/12, he’ll be valuable not only because of his potential production, but because you can get the same production from him as you would Matsui, for a cheaper price. I can only imagine that Matsui’s contract would START around $10mil a year.

3) Depth. At this point, Matsui is strictly a DH. NJ played over 1000 innings at 1b in 2009. If need be, he can give Tex a rest every so often. This only adds to his value towards the Yankees, even if it is minor value.

Counter-argument: Losing Matsui could hurt Yankee relationship with Japan IF Matsui continues his career in MLB. Because of Matsui, the Yankees have a big following in Japan. If Matsui moves to another team, the Yankees could stand to lose a lot of the money they made from followers in Japan who would be Matsui apparrel and Yankee apparrel. However, I believe that if Matsui is not a Yankee in 2010, then he won’t be on any MLB team in 2010 (Although a team such as SEA or TB could use him).

Moreover, NJ is a “cheap” OBP threat. That is attractive to a lot of teams, not just the Yankees. For that reason, his price could be driven up negating his value compared to Matsui.

Conclusion: NJ is a cheaper option than Matsui, and can put up similar, if not better, production. Moreover, he adds more depth to the bench with his ability to play 1b and both players have injury concerns that offset each other. Johnson will probably be a .400 OBP guy at about 6 million a year, even if he only gets 450 PA. That is insanely good value- especially for the Yankees. Pitchers will have fun pitching to him and Swisher back to back, because that is an automatic, like, 100 pitches between the two.

Sign NJ.

4PARL end of season awards

October 8, 2009

It’s that time of the year again where people start mentioning their official votes for MLB season awards. If we had a vote, this is how it’d go down:

AL MVP:

Disco- Joe Mauer

Bballer- Zack Greinke

Trekker- Joe Mauer

Twaco- Joe Mauer

NL MVP:

Disco- Albert Pujols

Bballer- Albert Pujols

Trekker- Albert Pujols

Twaco- Albert Pujols

AL Cy Young:

Disco- Zack Greinke

Bballer- Zack Greinke

Trekker- Zack Greinke

Twaco- Zack Greinke

NL Cy Young:

Disco- Tim Lincecum

Bballer- Tim Lincecum

Trekker- Chris Carpenter

Twaco- Tim Lincecum

AL Rookie of Year:

Disco- Brett Anderson

Bballer- Elvis Andrus

Trekker- Jeff Niemann

Twaco- Brett Anderson

NL Rookie of Year:

Disco- Andrew McCutchen

Bballer- Garret Jones

Trekker- Andrew McCutchen

Twaco- Andrew McCutchen

AL DHL Delivery Man of Year:

Disco- Mariano Rivera

Bballer- Andrew Bailey

Trekker- Mariano Rivera

Twaco- Mariano Rivera

NL DHL Delivery Man of Year:

Disco- Jon Broxton

Bballer- Jon Broxton

Trekker- Jon Broxton

Twaco- Jon Broxton

Disco’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, JD Drew, Shin-soo Choo; Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn, Justin Upton

DH- Adam Lind

*Kevin Youkilis deserves props. He split between 1b/3b so I didn’t give him the benefit at 1b or 3b.

Bballer’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Kevin Youkilis; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, JD Drew, Adam Lind; Justin Upton, Jayson Werth, Ryan Braun

DH- Hideki Matsui

Trekker’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Miguel Cabrera; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3b- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, Adam Lind, Shin-Soo Choo; Justin Upton, Adam Dunn, Ryan Braun

DH- Jason Kubel

Twaco’s Silver Sluggers:

C- Joe Mauer; Brian McCann

1b- Kevin Youkilis; Albert Pujols

2b- Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley

3B- Alex Rodriguez; Pablo Sandoval

SS- Derek Jeter; Hanley Ramirez

OF- Jason Bay, Adam Lind, JD Drew; Justin Upton, Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn

DH- Hideki Matsui

Disco’s Gold Gloves:

C- Kurt Suzuki; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; James Loney

2b- Chase Utley; Dustin Pedroia

3B- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Troy Tulowitzki

OF- Franklin Guitierez, Ryan Sweeney, David DeJesus; Nyjer Morgan, Mike Cameron, Randy Winn

Bballer’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Kevin Youkilis; Adrian Gonzalez

2b- Placido Polanco; Chase Utley

3b- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Jason Bartlett; JJ Hardy

OF- Franklin Guitierez, Carl Crawford, BJ Upton; Mike Cameron, Colby Rasmus, Raul Ibanez

Trekker’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; Adrian Gonzalez

2b- Dustin Pedroia; Chase Utley

3b- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Rafael Furcal

OF- Ichiro, Franklin Guitierez, Carl Crawford; Nyjer Morgan, Mike Cameron, Colby Rasmus

Twaco’s Gold Glovers:

C- Joe Mauer; Yadier Molina

1b- Mark Teixeira; Albert Pujols

2b- Dustin Pedroia; Chase Utley

3B- Evan Longoria; Ryan Zimmerman

SS- Elvis Andrus; Rafael Furcal

OF- Nelson Cruz, Franklin Guitierez, David DeJesus; Justin Upton, Mike Cameron, Raul Ibanez

Our Yankees to Major League Comparison

October 4, 2009

Rick Vaughn: Brian Bruney- If Bruney wore glasses with a sleeveless leather jacket, I’d give him the ball over Mo anyday of the week.

Willie Mays Hayes: Brett Gardner- Speedy CF who were both doubted in their rookie seasons.

Jake Taylor: Hideki Matsui- Bad, bad knees

Eddie Harris: Andy Pettitte- Old, veteran lefty

Roger Dorn: A-Rod- The most obvious connection. Both are pretty boy 3b.

Pedro Cerrano: Nick Swisher- Nick Swisher is crazy (and awesome) enough to practice voodoo shit.

Haywood: Sal Fasano on steroids- Mustache.

In other words, every writer here has been busy and has had writer’s block. We will write, we just need ideas first.