Posted tagged ‘Tim Lincecum’

Handicapping the Awards – NL Cy Young Edition

July 9, 2011

Last week I put up my field for the AL Cy Young award, so it’s time for my take on the senior circuit race.

The favorite

Roy Halladay – SP – Philadelphia Phillies (4.8 WAR)

Not only has Doc Halladay been the best pitch in baseball, he is arguably the MVP of the NL. Right now his 4.8 WAR blows away the field, But so does his league leading BB/9 (1.12), FIP (2.21) and xFIP (2.42). Halladay also is posting the highest K rate of his career, at 8.65, the first time it’s ever been north of 8.0. With six complete games already, Halladay is also looking to best his career highs in CG, IP, and WAR. I’ll put the odds in his favor.

Best of the rest

Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers (3.9 WAR)

Clayton Kershaw is a beast. That’s all there is to  it. The dood has a 10.13 K/9 which is just insane and blows away other NL pitchers. But Kershaw has always had fantastic K rates. What’s made this such a special season for him is the lowered BB rate. It’s under 3.0 for the first time at 2.41 BB/9. Kershaw is going to top his best seasons of K/9, BB/9, and WAR. If not for Halladay, he’d be bringing home some hardware come November.

Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies (3.9 WAR)

Many figured Cole Hamels would be the fourth best SP of the Four Aces in Philly, but Hamels has emerged as being just as deserving of the spotlight as the other aces. In just half a season, Hamels has already accumulated the second best WAR total in a single season. Right now it’s at 3.9, with his career high being 4.4 in 2008. The key to his success has been an increase in ground balls, which has resulted in far few home runs allowed. In every season until now, his HR/9 has been 1.0+. Currently it sits at 0.51. If this change is for real, Hamels will be a Cy Young contender for a LONG TIME.

Cliff Lee – SP – Philadelphia Phillies (3.5 WAR)

Not to be outdone by teammates Doc Halladay and Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee has established himself (again) as a candidate for a Cy Young award. His control has been pinpoint once again, he has a career high 8.91 K/9, and sub-3.00 ERA, FIP, and xFIP. The man has become a model of consistency. And the thing is- he could pitch even better and even challenge Halladay for the crown.

Don’t count them out

Tim Lincecum – SP – San Francisco Giants (3.2 WAR)

Timmy started out the season red hot and his since cooled off. But even during slumps Timmy remains one of the best arms in the game. He has a 2.70 FIP and 2.87 xFIP, meaning he is still just one of six NL starters to have their FIP and xFIP both below 3.00. Once he gets back in the groove, he can easily rise to the top of the field of contenders chasing Halladay.

Dan Hudson – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks (3.2 WAR)

Daniel Hudson is a great young pitcher and should be a reliable arm in the desert for a long time. My only concern with him is the long ball. Sure, between this season and last season in Arizona, a hitters ballpark, he hasn’t allowed many homers. But he IS a fly ball heavy pitcher and I don’t know if he will be able to limit home runs. If he can, he’ll stay in the race through September.

Honorable mentions

Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants (3.1 WAR)

He is too far behind Halladay, but I want to highlight him. He was my favorite prospect in the minors when he was in development because of how young he was, but also because his dominance was all the more awesome considering the age. He will win a Cy Young or two in the future. Boy, the NL has a lot of young, lefty aces- Kershaw, Hamels, Bumgarner.

Jordan Zimmerman – SP – Washington Nationals (3.0)

Who thought the most valuable National this season would be Jordan? He may not have gaudy K numbers, but he doesn’t walk anybody (1.74 BB/9). Nationals have a real bright future ahead of them…

Stayed tuned for when I handicap the AL and NL MVP races.

Lee v. Lincecum: Part 1

October 28, 2010

Since tonight is Game 1 of the World Series with an epic pitching match-up, I want to do a little live blogging. Just some thought updates every so often. I’m a little late, but oh well. I wonder how Lincecum will do on three days rest, after pitching in relief during game 6 of the NLCS on just one day of rest. Lee hasn’t thrown in over a week.

And Lee just hit a double! Lincecum hasn’t looked good so far. Also, what’s up with the crowd? I’ve long felt San Fran had one of the more, if not the most underrated fan bases in the game. But they are QUIET right now. C’mon, it’s the World Series!

Day baseball is so cool. Not saying I always like the atmosphere better than night games, but it’s a nice change of pace. Yes, the game started at 8 on the east coast, but it’s still day on the west coast. Cool to see a World Series game in the day for once.

2-0 Texas right now. That could be all they need with Lee on the mound.

Update 8:59: See New York, is it really that hard to score runs off Cliff Lee?

Game tied 2-2 now. Hopefully the back and forth continues. This may not be a pitchers duel, but it can still be a very exciting game.

Update 9:58: Wow, what an inning! I don’t even care that the pitching duel just exploded. That inning was awesome. Six runs on five hits. Now the fans are into the game. I’m going crazy in my dorm room and I don’t even have a rooting interest.

Update 11:07: LOL at Vladimir Guerrero right now. Just play Francouer or Murphy tomorrow. Vlad’s negative defensive value is going to outweigh his offensive contribution.

Update 11:49: What a very sloppy game. Six errors? This ended up not being a good game at all. Also, nice bullpen management in the ninth Bruce Bochy. A seven run lead and you used how many relievers? I’m speechless.

Handicapping the Awards – NL Cy Young Edition

July 9, 2010

Year of the Pitcher v 2.0. I already looked at how stacked the AL is, but the NL is even more loaded. There are two STUDS and after that, a list of pitchers (that almost reaches double digits) that can make serious claims to be the Cy Young winner. That is insane. The pitching talent in baseball right now is extremely deep, which makes it a great time to be a fan. The best part? Of all the pitchers I will highlight in this thread, ten are under the age of thirty. Dayumn.

You know the drill. Let’s get the ball rolling…

The Unassuming favorite

Josh Johnson – SP – Florida Marlins (4.4 WAR)

While Ubaldo Jiminez has stolen headlines with a ferocious start to the season, Johnson has quietly dominated the National League. When I say dominated, I mean DOMINATED. He leads the NL in ERA (1.70), FIP (2.33), and tERA (2.41) and is second to Doc Halladay in xFIP (3.08). J-Johnson has a 9.07 K/9, 2.07 BB/9, and 0.30 HR/9. The result is a NL leading 4.4 WAR. He strikes people out, doesn’t walk many batters, and doesn’t give up home runs. That’s all you can ask for from a pitcher and right now he has been the best total package among NL pitchers. Oh yeah, he also leads all NL pitchers in WPA at 3.69. So yeah, he brings it during high leverage situations. If he keeps mowing down opponents, he should be taking home the Cy Young crown in November.

FG rest of season projection: 81 IP, 2.85 FIP, 8.56 K/9, 2.44 BB/9, 0.56 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 203 IP, 2.48 FIP, 8.87 K/9, 2.22 BB/9, 0.40 HR/9

Breathing down his neck

Roy Halladay – SP – Philadelphia Phillies (4.1 WAR)

During the off-season the Phillies brought the AL’s best pitcher to town via trade hoping he would wreck an inferior league. Well, they can’t be disappointed with his individual performance thus far. Halladay is having a career year- his 2.88 FIP is his best mark since 2002. Moreover, he is posting the third best xFIP (3.02) and second best tERA (3.39) of his career. As usual, Doc has been an innings eater, leading the NL in IP (139) and complete games (7). Even though we’re not even at the AS break yet, he is one shutout away from tying his career high of four. Halladay has a 7.71 K/9, one of the better marks of his career, and a 1.17 BB/9, which leads the NL. Halladay has posted a BB/9 below 2.0 in every season since 2004. WOW. Roy has a 4.1 WAR, and due to the value he brings via innings pitched, he is the strongest challenger to Johnson. In fact, one could make a very convincing case that Halladay should be the Cy Young winner if voting occurred today. Much like Johnson, he has been fantastic in pressure situations, with a 3.21 WPA, third best in the NL.

FG rest of season projection: 118 IP, 2.95 FIP, 7.86 K/9, 1.37 BB/9, 0.76 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 2.89 FIP, 7.77 K/9, 1.26 BB/9, 0.74 HR/9

The field

Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals (3.2 WAR)

If Josh Johnson isn’t the most unappreciated pitcher in the league, then that title most certainly goes to Adam Wainwright. Overshadowed in St. Louis by superstar Albert Pujols and fellow pitcher Chris Carpenter, Wainwright has emerged as a legitimate ace. Through 128 innings, he has a 3.07 FIP, 3.17 xFIP, 2.93 tERA, 8.63 K/9, 2.24 BB/9, and 0.70 HR/9. Dood has been filthy. He finished top three in Cy Young voting last season and has been ever better in 2010. He’s a strikeout pitcher, who still induces ground balls, and can eat up innings. He is among the top five when it comes to FIP, xFIP, and tERA. Sounds like a Cy Young candidate to me.

FG rest of season projection: 103 IP, 3.00 FIP, 8.39 K/9, 2.53 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 231 IP, 2.98 FIP,8.52 K/9, 2.37 BB/9, 0.66 K/9

Ubaldo Jiminez – SP – Colorado Rockies (3.3 WAR)*

Wait, what, you have Jiminez in the middle of the field? But, but, but he has 15 wins!

No, I’m not crazy. Jiminez has been really good, but so have several other pitchers in what has been dubbed the Year of the Pitcher. When looking at the stats, Ubaldo just has no claim as the favorite, although he certainly can emerge as the favorite because he has been excellent nonetheless. After a torrid start, he has cooled off, like many SABR-heads expected when looking at his periphs. He has a 3.20 FIP, 3.74 xFIP, 3.13 tERA, 8.09 K/9, 3.33 BB/9, and 0.45 HR/9. Great numbers, but right away you realize why he isn’t the favorite. My current favorite, Josh Johnson, strikes more people out, walks less people, and gives up less home runs. He does everything better than Jiminez. That is the plain old truth, in numbers. That also doesn’t mean Jiminez has no shot. He should have a great second half and Johnson could always struggle or get hurt.

FG rest of season projection: 101 IP, 3.58 FIP, 7.66 K/9, 3.74 BB/9, 0.62 K/9

FG updated final season numbers: 220 IP, 3.32 FIP, 7.90 K/9, 3.52 BB/9, 0.53 HR/9

Tim Lincecum – SP – San Francisco Giants (3.1 WAR)

Yes, it looks likely that Timmy will not be winning his third straight Cy Young award. He hasn’t been pitching great lately either. But make no mistake, Timmy still has been amazing. His FIP (3.04) and xFIP (3.26) are both in the top five in the NL and his 10.11 K/9 leads the NL. If Lincecum gets back in his groove, he could have the best second half of any pitcher in the league. And if he does that, there’s a good chance he passes many contenders in the field and knocks off the current favorite- don’t count Timmy out!

FG rest of season projection: 108 IP, 2.76 FIP, 10.33 K/9, 3.25 BB/9, 0.58 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 224 IP, 2.89 FIP, 10.22 K/9, 3.49 BB/9, 0.60 HR/9

Yovanni Gallardo – SP – Milwaukee Brewers (2.9 WAR)

Hopefully Gallardo doesn’t spend too much time on the DL, because he has been having a Cy Young worthy season thus far. He is one of three NL pitchers with a sub 3.00 FIP (currently 2.99) and has a 3.48 xFIP and 3.42 tERA. The Brewers ace has a 9.83 K/9, 3.87 BB/9, and 0.48 HR/9. Looking at their current numbers, one could make the case he has been better than everyone’s favorite, Ubaldo Jiminez. Gallardo is lower in the pack though because of his recent injury, and he may be pitching just a little bit above his head at the moment. The Brewers should be glad they locked him up when they did though, because he is a fantastic, young pitcher.

FG rest of season projection: 80 IP, 3.44 FIP, 9.79 K/9, 4.05 BB/9, 0.79 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 191 IP, 3.15 FIP, 9.81 K/9, 3.94 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9

The Rocky underdog candidates

Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers (2.3 WAR)

What’s there to love about Kershaw? His 10.01 K/9, 3.24 FIP, and amazing 2.83 tERA. What’s  not to love about Kershaw? His not so nice 4.31 BB/9 and not so Cy Young worthy 4.01 xFIP. He is a young talent with amazing strikeout ability- but can also lose the zone as shown by his ugly BB rate. Kershaw is on the outskirts of the discussion, but if he can finish strong he is a deserving candidate. Either way, I think it’s safe to say the dood will win quite a few of these in his career.

FG rest of season projection: 88 IP, 3.23 FIP, 9.31 K/9, 4.30 BB/9, 0.51 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 192 IP, 3.16 FIP, 9.69 K/9, 4.31 BB/9, 0.51 HR/9

Roy Oswalt – SP – Houston Astros (2.3 WAR)*

While Oswalt may be the subject of trade talk, he should also be the subject of Cy Young talk, as he is having his best season since 2006. His 8.43 K/9 is the best mark of his career since his rookie season in 2001. Couple that with solid 2.51 BB/9 and 0.89 HR/9 and it’s no surprise as to why he’s having a fantastic year. His FIP is 3.41, his best since 2006. His xFIP is 3.49, his best since 2005. His tERA is 3.63, his best since 2007. Oswalt has been one of the best pitchers of our generation, but he has been overshadowed by Johan Santana and Doc Halladay. 2010 has been no different as the man just continues to pitch.

FG rest of season projection: 92 IP, 3.65 FIP, 7.53 K/9, 2.35 BB/9, 0.98 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 203 IP, 3.51 FIP, 8.02 K/9, 2.44 BB/9, 0.93 HR/9

Matt Latos – SP – San Diego Padres (1.8 WAR)

Matt Latos is good at pitching. Real good. He has an 8.22 K/9,  2.35 BB/9, and 0.81 HR/9 to go along with a 3.32 FIP, 3.59 xFIP, and 2.65 tERA. The tERA is what gets me. He is a rookie and sporting an amazingly low tERA that is better than every pitcher but Josh Johnson. However, he is a rookie who threw around 130 innings last season, so I doubt he pitches much over 170 innings this year. The lack of IP will hurt his Cy Young bid, but he makes an interesting choice for Rookie of the Year with Jason Heyward and Stephen Strasburg on the ballot. Also, while he has been great, he has been the beneficiary of a pitcher’s park and amazing defense. Expect a good, but not as great, second half.

FG rest of season projection: 53 IP, 3.70 FIP, 7.30 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, 0.85 HR/9

FG updated final season numbers: 152 IP, 3.41 FIP, 7.90 K/9, 2.35 BB/9, 0.81 HR/9

Hey, don’t count us out

Tommy Hanson – SP – Atlanta Braves (3.38 FIP, 4.09 xFIP, 3.40 tERA, 9.12 K/9, 3.07 BB/9, 0.65 HR/9, 2.1 WAR)

Danny Haren – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks (3.84 FIP, 3.46 FIP, 4.13 tERA, 8.68 K/9, 1.75 BB/9, 1.39 HR/9, 2.3 WAR)

Chad Billingsley – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers (3.50 FIP, 3.88 xFIP, 3.52 tERA, 8.12 K/9, 3.05 BB/9, 0.71 HR/9, 1.7 WAR)

Predictions

Although I believe Ubaldo will win the award in real life he continues to pile up the wins (especially if Colorado makes the playoffs) I have the race coming down to Josh Johnson and Roy Halladay. Although it looks like Johnson has been slightly, Doc’s ability to eat innings and go a full nine on any given night give’s him some added value. It’s a toss-up between those two, but based off Johnson’s current dominance and second half projections, he is my bet to win the NL Cy Young.

*Ubaldo Jiminez and Roy Oswalt pitched today, so those stats are not updated on FG yet. I will update their numbers tomorrow.

Ubaldo Jiminez outduels Tim Lincecum

June 1, 2010

In what was billed as the pitching matchup of the year, Ubaldo Jiminez and the Colorado Rockies took on two-time reigning Cy Young Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants in San Fran on Memorial Day.

Although Timmy disappointed, Ubaldo put on a show for those who tuned in to see these two beasts go at it. Ubaldo hurled a complete game shutout, yielding just six base runners on four hits and two walks. Jiminez had nine strikeouts and induced another ten outs via ground ball. Adding to his dominance, only one ball put in play was classified as a line drive. And outside Pablo Sandoval, who had three of the Giants four hits, San Francisco batters were dead.

Jiminez threw 128 pitches, 80 of which were strikes. good for a strike % of 62.5. He finished the day with a .359 WPA which will go toward his already league leading total of .291.

On the flip side, Tim Lincecum was pretty horrible. He threw 121 pitches in just 5.2 innings, in part due to his five walks and three strikeouts. That marks the first time this season he walked more people than he struck out. It’s also the third consecutive start he has not reached the sixth inning.

In those past three starts or 15.1 innings (317 pitches) he has allowed seventeen hits, 14 earned runs, and fifteen walks to just 14 strikeouts. After a scorching start to the season, Lincecum is hitting the wall- hard. His problem- walks. Without looking further into it, I would have to assume it’s a mechanical issue that is correctable. Sure, it’s been just three starts but it’s been three putrid starts by someone who dominated hitters for two straight seasons. I wouldn’t be worried, but it is a puzzling situation in the Bay for Tim Lincecum.

While one ace continues to soar, another continues his freefall. Continue to keep your eyes on these two pitches the remaining of the season. Ubaldo could dethrone Timmy as the best pitcher in the West, as well as the National League.

Top 10 players you would build a franchise with

May 9, 2010

Its based on position, age, and salary. These things are huge when wanting to build a franchise around one player. So here we go:

10. Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves

Position : Pitcher
Age : 23
2010 Salary : 435k

Hanson is a great young talented pitcher. The Braves will have one of the better rotations in the future because of Hanson and Jair. He had a great rookie year posting a 2.89 ERA and a 3.50 FIP. He was a bit lucky. He even had a 80.3 LOB%. Hanson had a 1.18 WHIP. In 127 innings pitched he has a 2.6 WAR. Hes the real deal people.

9. Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles

Position : Catcher
Age : 23
2010 Salary : 400k

Before taking a major league at bat Wieters was described as Joe Mauer with power. I could see him making some noise in the next few years. The Orioles filled a vital position with him and he should be signed to a new deal this off-season. Wieters first season in the show would be a success in my eyes. He had a .340 OBP, .404 SLG, and a .324 wOBA. Not bad for a rookie. He also had a 1.3 WAR in 96 games. A young power hitter like Wieters will strikeout a lot, but he is the catcher of the future. Mauer and Wieters can possibly be battling for the best catcher title in the future.

8. Zack Greinke – Kansas City Royals
Position : Pitcher
Age : 26
2010 Salary : 7.5 million

Greinke came out of no where in 2009 to win the AL Cy Young award. KC has him for two more years after 2010. His 9.4 WAR led pitchers. You have to be simply amazing to win 16 games with the Royals run support. He wasn’t great until 2009, but many people expect big things from him. Including myself. In 09′ he had a 2.16 ERA and a 2.33 FIP. His LOB% was 79.3%. That is just crazy good. To have anything near 80% is great. His WHIP was 1.07. Greinke also ate innings up. Almost 230 total innings pitched in those he had 242 strikeouts. He could be a key piece to a contender in a two years.

7. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers

Position : CF
Age : 25
2010 Salary : 4 million

The future of the Dodgers is Matthew Kemp. Like Lincecum, Kemp avoided arbitration by signing a two-year deal. Not too bad for the Dodgers either 2010 4 million and 2011 6.95 million. Kemp is known for his hitting, but I hope he will become a better fielder. In 2009 he had a 2.9 UZR, but in 2010 he already has a -11.3. I’m positive its just him taking terrible routes to the ball. For Kemp’s sake he hopes he can change that so hes not the next Ryan Braun.

.347/.485/.360

Plus his 5.0 WAR last year don’t look too shabby either.

6. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies

Position : SS
Age : 25
2010 Salary : 3.5 million

Another young star locked up for a long time with a solid deal for the organization. Hes with the Rockies until 2014. Tulo’s contract don’t hit over 5.5 million until 2012. Colorado has a gem here in Tulowitzki. He plays shortstop good, and hits like a mad man. I’d consider him the second or third best shortstop in the league behind Hanley. A career .355/.471/.354 OBP/SLG/wOBA. He got to learn to not strikeout so much, but as one of those rare power hitting shortstops I guess the 19.7 K% comes with it. Tulo’s career UZR is 10.4. His value is high with a 5.5 WAR a season ago. Tulo is a favorite of mine and wouldn’t mind having a great hitter and good fielder in return for this amount of dough.

5. Tim Lincecum – Francisco Giants
Position : Pitcher
Age : 25
2010 Salary : 8 million

Lincecum is on pace to become one of the greatest pitchers the game has ever seen barring injury. He already has two Cy Young awards under his belt in four seasons as a starter. The Freak avoided arbitration by signing a two year deal for 8 million in 2010 and 13 million in 2011. Thats a ton of weed! Joking a side his stats are unbelievable. His ERA is 2.82 and his FIP is 2.71. Meaning his ERA is right around where he is supposed to be. His 75.5 LOB% is slightly above average. Lincecum also knows how to eat innings and strike people out. In 641 innings over four seasons he struck out 732 batters. Here are some other stats to check out.

WHIP – 1.13
tERA – 2.06
WAR – 20.8

His WAR last season was 8.2 tied for the second most among pitchers. I’d love to have this guy in my staff for years to come.

4. Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks

Position : RF
Age : 22
2010 Salary : 500k

The Diamondbacks are getting a real steal here. They aren’t paying him a whole lot until I’d say 2013 where hes getting 9.75 million. He is locked in from 2010-2015. I see a great career ahead of Upton. His stat line goes…

.348/.478/.355

And you can only see this 22 year old right fielder can only get better. His WAR last season was 4. Upton is also a great defense. His UZR was 8.5 and his UZR/150 was 9.0. He figured something out last year because there was a dramatic increase in his defensive numbers from 08-09. In a small sample size this year it seems he will be even better this year. A good young all-round player, and cheap too!

3. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins

Position : Catcher
Age : 27
2010 Salary : 12.5 million

Mauer is pretty expensive and after this season he’ll be getting 23 million annually until 2018. But Mauer will be much worth it. He is the best catcher in the game. Probably the second most valuable position in the MLB. His hitting numbers are crazy. Mauer’s career numbers look like this.

.408/.484/.384

These are crazy numbers since his rookie season in 2004. His career WAR is 28.7 but I believe we haven’t even seen Mauer’s peak. His MVP season is just the beginning of great seasons to come. If you were starting a franchise I couldn’t say you were wrong spending a ton of money on this guy. He had 8 WAR season just by hitting because catchers do not have a defensive metric. Indicating it would be even higher. Mauer also does not strike out a lot by seeing his 11.4 K%. Get ready to pay some incentives because this guy will be winning a few MVP’s in the next 10 years.

2. Hanley Ramirez – Florida Marlins

Position : SS
Age : 26
2010 Salary : 7 million

Hanley is pretty costly, but is an amazing talent at one of the more valuable positions in the MLB. I’d say shortstop is the #1 most valuable position in baseball. He is going to be a Marlin until 2014 unless trade. Ramirez finished 7th in WAR last season with a 7.1 WAR. Hanley can straight up rake though. In his 5 years in the majors he posted a .387/.530/.397 (OBP/SLG/wOBA) Like Longoria, Ramirez strikes out a bit, but not as much. He has a career 18.2 K%. So far through this season (small sample size) he has a 12.6%. So it might seem he will strike out less this year. His career BB% is 9.6. It should get higher, but he hits so well his OBP could be .400+ again this year. Hanley isn’t the greatest field either. He only had 1 season (not including his two games in 2005) where he had a positive UZR. Ramirez is such a great hitter though he don’t need his glove too produce.
1. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays

Position : 3B
Age : 24
2010 Salary : 950k

Longoria is the best option when it comes down to age, position and salary. He is only 24 years old and is the second best third basemen in the major leagues. Could be argued as the first best. The Rays are getting a really great deal with Longoria. He isn’t reaching the million dollar mark until next season, and is in his 2nd season of his 6 year deal. He was also had a top 10 WAR for batters last year with a 7.2 WAR. Longo is a very productive player here is his OBP/SLG/wOBA in his very short career. .359/.536/.381. It shows he gets on base. His BB% is 10%. Like other young power hitters his K% is in the mid 20’s. According to UZR (18.1) and UZR/150 (18.5) he is the best fielding third basemen in the MLB. In conclusion Evan can do it all. I expect his K% to go down as he becomes more experienced.

Tim Lincecum re-ups in San Fran

February 12, 2010

The Tim Lincecum arbitration case has been settled with Timmy signing a two year, $23mil deal. Both the Giants and Linecum come out as small winners.

Obviously, the Giants signed Timmy to a discount. While it’s not the $8mil per year they hoped for originally, paying him less than $12mil a season for the next two years is bargain. He’s won back to back Cy Young’s and is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. His market value has to be at or over $20mil per year. However, this could have been a chance for San Fran to lock up him long term. While they will have that shot again in two years, his price could go up even more by then. Maybe they don’t want to get themselves tied up with a long term deal, especially with next year’s FA class, but it was an option worth exploring. Still, had Lincecum won the arbitration case, he could very well be making more than $23mil over the next two seasons, so on that end San Fran comes away in good shape.

As for Lincecum himself, he also is a small winner. Yes, he could have taken the chance of winning the case which would have led to more money this year and probably next year. But what if he lost? Even worse, what if he gets hurt this season? Whether he would have won or lost his case, an injury would surely have effected his arbitration case next off-season. So he took the guaranteed $23mil. Can’t blame him.

I wonder how much pot $23mil can buy…

Clearing the Bases: San Francisco Giants

December 17, 2009
Tim Lincecum has gotten better ever since he stepped foot on the mound in a Giants uniform. From 2008 to 2009, he has lowered his walk rate, his BAA (Batting Average Against), raised his K/BB ratio along with obtaining a little higher percentage of ground ball and a lower percentage of fly balls. To be honest, I think he has the ability to get even BETTER because it will be harder for hitters to hit him than ever before. Why is that? It can be explained in one pitch, the slider.
Tim Lincecum only went to the slider 1.7% of his pitches in 2008, and he used his slider 5.3% of the time in 2009. Time deveolped the pitch in 2008 and was obviously just testing it out. It worked well for him because he earned 6.66 runs above average per 100 sliders. This was the highest out of all his pitches. Granted, he only threw about 63 sliders and that is a small smaple size but he continued his success into 2009. In 2009, he posted about 2 runs above average per 100 sliders. This time, the amount of sliders that he threw nearly tripled. He threw approximately 182 sliders. Remember when I said that his 2009 numbers were a little better than his 2008 numbers? Well, call me crazy but I think a large part of that can be attributed to the increase use of his slider.
So why is the slider so important? The slider is a very important pitch for many reasons. Just ask Pedro Martinez because he flat out dominated hitters with the use of his slider. The slider is the only pitch that breaks and has considerable movement horizontally. The slider is the pitch that most hitters have the least success at hitting. There were only 66 MLB players last year that posted runs above zero when hitting the slider. That comes out to about two out of nine players in each starting lineup. There were 84 players that posted runs above average when hitting the curveball (which is supposedly the hardest pitch to hit besides the slider). The slider also allows the strike zone to change inside the players head. They might go fishing at a pitch that they normally wouldn’t. Just ask Alfonso Soriano. The pitcher can take advantage of this by going inside with a fastball and get a called third strike.
So now you see just how difficult the slider is to hit and how it is also a very important pitch. Linceucm already has one of the best fastball/change-up combo’s in the game. If he adds the slider, I wish good luck to whoever is facing him. If Tim can mix up his pitches to a point where hes pitching his fastball 52-55% of the time, curve around 15% of the time, change-up 17% of the time, and slider 13-16% of the time, I am almost confident he will get better statistically. He is off to one of the best starts that we have seen in the past 15 years since Roger Clemens. That’s probably debatable. He is already on track to be one of the best pitchers ever. The development of the slider will increase the chances of this happening so much more

Funny NL MVP voting

November 24, 2009

The 2009 MLB award season has come and gone at last. The always dumb BBWAA had a surprisingly good season, but they couldn’t resist going out with a bang. Click here to see the ridiculousness that was the NL MVP voting results.

I mean, they were so close, SO CLOSE, to having a good season. They got both Cy Young’s AND MVP’s right. While there were some mistakes (i.e. Ben Zobrist not even making the top five), the mistakes weren’t so bad. That is, until, today.

Where oh where should I begin? How about with Chase Utley. He finished eighth. Let me repeat- he finished eighth. EIGHTH! Eighth. Eighth. Not second. Not third. Eighth. What a joke. Seriously. That’s all I can say. If there was ANY NL player that could even remotely challenge Pujols, it was Utley.  His 7.6 WAR was second best in the NL to Albert Pujols among position players. He won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Outside Pujols, only three players were within a win of Chase Utley. His UZR/150 was also the fourth best in the NL. Some guy voted him tenth. It’s sad that while Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard got MVP’s, Chase Utley was only the second best player in the NL the past few seasons and still gets no recognition from the media.

Other jokes:

– Yunel Escobar got a fifth place vote. This is the worst vote of all time. Well, almost the worst of all time because…

– Jeremy Affeldt got a vote. This is not a typo. I mean it.

– Ryan Zimmerman was 27/30 with just one more vote than Jeremy Affeldt. I mean, he only had the best UZR/150 in the NL along with the fourth best WAR among position players.

– Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young but finished behind Chris Carpenter AND Adam Wainwright for MVP voting. Huh?

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

3 True Outcomes- Pitching Edition

September 1, 2009
The 3 true outcomes are the same for pitchers as it is for batters. I concluded that the Yankees had the best offense by far. They were #1 in BB, HR, BB/K, and R. They were #3 in K. Let’s take a look at team’s pitching.

Strikeouts
Giants- 1038
Yankees- 1021
Dodgers- 1020
Cubs- 1001
Red Sox- 1001
Marlins- 995
Braves- 983
Padres- 955
Blue Jays- 953
Diamondbacks- 951

Walks
Cardinals- 364
Twins- 367
Rays- 401
Phillies- 402
Rockies- 412
Diamondbacks- 417
Red Sox- 427
Braves- 428
White Sox- 430
Orioles- 433

Home Runs
Braves- 93
Dodgers- 104
Cardinals- 104
Giants-108
Rockies- 116
Pirates- 123
Mets- 124
Red Sox- 129
Marlins- 129
A’s- 133

K/BB
Red Sox- 2.34
Twins- 2.30
Braves- 2.30
Diamondbacks- 2.28
Cardinals- 2.27
Phillies- 2.26
Yankees- 2.24
Giants- 2.23
Rays- 2.22
Blue Jays- 2.19

Earned Runs
Giants- 461
Dodgers- 471
Cardinals- 471
Braves- 479
Cubs- 512
Mariners- 522
Phillies- 534
Tigers- 543
Rays- 544
Rangers- 548

W%
Yankees- .634
Angels- .600
Dodgers- .591
Phillies- .586
Red Sox- .585
Cardinals- .583
Rangers- .558
Giants- .550
Rockies- .550
Rays- .546

Unlike the Yankees on offense, there is no one team that dominates the leader boards. However, it’s not surprising that the Giants, led by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, are in the top 10 of all but one category.

*Stats are from fangraphs.