Posted tagged ‘Trevor Cahill’

The roadtrip from hell

May 27, 2011

Starting tonight the Yankees embark on a nine game road trip. They are heading to Seattle for the weekend series, then down to Oakland, and finally will cap off the road trip with a series at Anaheim.

While west coast trips are never fun, this doesn’t seem so bad. I mean, both Seattle and Oakland have terrible offenses, and Anaheim isn’t anything special. Well, take a look at the pitching match-ups.

Seattle: Felix Herandez, Michael Pineda, Justin Vargas

Oakland: Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez

Los Angeles: Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana

Yup. That’s arguably the best three trio’s in the AL. Not only do we get to face them, but we face them on the road AND it’s a west coast trip. For real- we couldn’t have missed Weaver, or Felix out of the nine games? This has to be the worst scheduling luck I’ve seen. That’s seven possible Cy Young candidates right there. And we NEVER win in LA anyway. LA could throw their backup catcher against us and win*.

*At least Howie Kendrick is out. Otherwise we’d get shutout AND get ten runned.

And when the Yankees return home, they get Boston (and then Cleveland). Yay! And I bet they get Lester/Beckett/Clay with their luck.

Trevor Cahill is worth the money

April 13, 2011

Recently, he signed a 5/$30.5mil extension with Oakland. So it will buy out three arbitration seasons, and another year of free agency. The deal will run through his age 23-27 seasons.

I like this deal. Look, Cahill may not be as good as his ERA and other basic numbers suggest. He had an ugly 5.33 FIP in 2009, and the difference between his FIP and ERA in 2010 was 1.22. But he is still a young pitcher, who was considered a top prospect. Not all pitchers turn into Cy Young out of the gate. He is a ground ball pitcher, which is always a plus. His career GB rate thus far has been 51.9%. That is key since he is not a strikeout pitcher- yet. So far in the majors he has never had K/9 above 5.4. BUT, in the minors he had some very high K rates. Does that mean he will become a strikeout king one day? Probably not- but it does show he has the potential and skill to develop into a pitcher who can strikeout a fair amount of batters. Once he does that, assuming he keeps a good GB rate, he could be a very good pitcher, especially since he pitches in a pitcher-friendly ballpark.

Cahill posted a 2.2 fWAR in 2010, which meant his value was $8.7mil. For a 22 year old, that’s pretty damn good.

The payout of his contract looks like this:

2011- $1.5mil

2012- $3.5mil

2013- $5.5mil

2014- $7.7mil

2015- $12mil

So, he was originally making $440K this season, but that bumps up to $1.5mil. However, he will certainly be worth more than $1.5mil this year, so that’s a good saving for Oakland. For his arbitration years, I think Oakland will not be saving too much in terms of what he would have made through arbitration. $3.5mil was a realistic number for his first year of arbitration and using the 40/60/80 scale, he would have made $5.6mil in 2013 and $10mil in 2014. So there is some saving there. HOWEVER, if he continues to develop as he matures, Cahill would be worth more than a total of $16.7mil from 2012-2014.

Looking at his free agency year, he would have been 27 years old, and I would assume a good pitcher who made between $8-$10mil in his last year of arbitration. I can only imagine $12mil per year would have been a starting point for his services.

So yes, I like this deal for Oakland. Cahill is not a star yet, and may never be a star, but Oakland is locking up a quality pitcher for less than his market value.

My one concern is what this means for the teams other young players. It’s not secret the A’s are a frugal and if this potentially keeps them from locking up a Daric Barton or Gio Gonzalez as well, then I may re-question this deal. Until then, it gets a thumbs up from me.

Oakland A’s trade for David DeJesus

November 11, 2010

One of the bigger baseball stories of the day is the trade that sent David DeJesus from Kansas City to Oakland in exchange for Vin Mazzarro and a minor league pitcher.

I have to say, I like the trade for both teams.

For Oakland, this move makes so much sense. They have a loaded rotation, especially with the recent acquisition of Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwamura. Along with Iwamura, the rotation boasts Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Gio Gonzalez. Mazzarro didn’t have an immediate spot in the rotation, and considering how young that rotation is, it didn’t look like he was going to have a major role on the team barring an injury. So to the A’s, Mazzarro was expendable. In return, they picked up a quality outfielder who fits into their defensive shtick, as well as a quality bat. DeJesus isn’t a feared slugger and will probably regress from his career high .363 wOBA (394 PA) last season, but he instantly becomes one of Oakland’s best hitters, if not their best hitter. For a price tag of $6mil, he should be a bargain for Oakland as he almost definitely will post a 2+ WAR like he has done in all but one full season at the ML level.

I think Oakland will be a decent team again in 2011 and depending on how the off-season goes for other teams in the AL West, the A’s could be contenders again. So adding DeJesus to the roster is an improvement. However, chances are Los Angeles or Texas will run away from Oakland. In that case, there will be plenty of suitors for DeJesus come July, where the A’s will probably get more in return than what they are giving up now in Mazzarro and a minor leaguer. Should DeJesus remain an A all season, he should fetch the team a draft pick or two. Either way, DeJesus is bringing a substantial amount of value to Oakland. Good job Billy Beane.

As for Kansas City, I like the trade, but not totally. DeJesus is not going to be a Royal in 2012, so they figured they should get something for him. In a trade, they would theoretically get more now than in July, because the other team would be trading for a full season of DeJesus. Vin Mazzarro is a young, cost-controlled pitcher who instantly will have a spot in the rotation. He has potential and just needs to be a decent pitcher to be fair value in return for DeJesus. HOWEVER, I am not the biggest fan of Mazzarro. He is one of my favorite players because he is Italian and from New Jersey. But he doesn’t miss bats, walks a fair share of batters, and gives up a lot of hard hit balls- he has a career 1.31 HR/9 pitching in Oakland(!) and a 20.8 LD%. Eeesh. Moreover, a sinker-slider pitcher, he has a poor GB% of 41.2 in his career. If he is not going to miss bats, he needs to generate ground balls, something he has not done thus far. Mazzarro does have the potential though, so if he can become a ground ball pitcher, we will probably also see a decline in the number of hard hit balls against him. If that happens, Kansas City will have a good pitcher on their hands. All at the cost of one season of David DeJesus. I like the chance KC is taking.

Kansas City possibly could have held onto DeJesus and taken a draft pick, but  he might only be a type B FA. KC might have thought about that and figured they liked Mazzarro better than a potential pick in the upcoming draft.

So overall, I give thumbs up to both sides.

Real fast I also just want to again mention the sleeper potential of Oakland. I know Texas will be great again and LA will be revamped after they sign a ton of free agents, but Oakland is just solid. Their outfield will consist of DeJesus, Ryan Sweeney, and Coco Crisp. Average offense, great defense. The DH could be top prospect Chris Carter. The infield, consisting of Daric Barton, Mark Ellis, Cliff Pennington and Kevin Kouzmanoff, will not allow a single ball through the infield. Kurt Suzuki is a good catcher and the pitching will be a major strength again (even with some regression they should get a full year from Brett Anderson). And if shit blows up, DeJesus and Crisp could fetch some decent players in return.

Shout out to David DeJesus, a Rutgers alum (well, he didn’t graduate, but so what?)

ESPN at it again

September 1, 2010

This morning I was watching Sports Center and ESPN was running a poll that went along the lines of: which notable pitcher should win the AL Cy Young. The choices were Clay Buchholz, Trevor Cahill, Felix Hernandez, David Price, and CC Sabathia.

You read that correctly. Cliff Lee, Francisco Liriano, Jered Weaver, and even Brandon Morrow were not thought of to be put on the ballot ahead of those first five pitchers. Which is bullshit. It is just another example of how people obsess over 19th century stats in ERA and W/L record. Felix Herandez is the only pitcher with a strong case who ESPN put on the ballot. No disrespect to the others pitchers, as they’ve had great seasons, but their seasons pale in comparison to Cliff Lee or Francisco Liriano.

If CC Sabathia wins the Cy Young because he has 20+ win I will lulz all day. And Francisco Liriano will have to kill someone for a writer to recognize him.

Sorry for the lack of posts, I’m back at Rutgers. It was a good, fun, and productive summer though. I hope you keep reading even if the posts dwindle down. Hopefully some of the other writers pick it up.

Buster Olney breaks down the awards races

August 21, 2010

In a recent ESPN article, Buster Olney handicapped the AL/NL MVP and Cy Young races. The piece was interesting enough to draw my attention. I will go through each piece of the article to share my thoughts.

There are six weeks of baseball remaining, a quarter of a season, in which a lot can change. In 2004, Vladimir Guerrero mashed his way to the American League MVP Award by hitting .363 in September and hoisting the Angels onto his back: He generated 11 homers and 25 RBIs in that late push.

There is a lot more baseball to play in 2010. But as of today, here’s how we’d handicap the races for the two major awards in each league.


AL MVP

Cabrera
1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. He leads the majors in OPS and RBIs and is tied for second in the AL in homers, all the while playing half his games in a pitchers’ park.

So far I have no complaints. While I believe Josh Hamilton is the MVP, I wouldn’t complain if Miguel Cabrera won the award. I know and you know OPS and RBI are junk stats, but in this case Olney is still picking a solid candidate to win the award.

2. Josh Hamilton, Rangers. He’s hitting .375 since the All-Star break, and .396 overall in home games.

No problems here. Although, saying he has hit .396 at home hurts his argument that Hamilton has been really good. Considering his BA is in the .350 range, it shows his home park has inflated his BA. Considering Olney takes a players home park into consideration- he did so with Cabrera- then Olney did not make a convincing case for Hamilton. My argument wouldn’t hinge on a stat like BA at all.

3. Robinson Cano, Yankees. The most important player in this lineup in 2010, and he has been excellent defensively.

That’s fine.

Others in the conversation: Delmon Young, Twins; Adrian Beltre, Boston; Evan Longoria, Rays; Paul Konerko, White Sox. But to be clear, there is an enormous gap between the top two candidates and the rest of the field.

Really Olney? Really? Delmon Young is in the conversation? What conversation? Young has finally put together a solid year offensively , but his defense continues to suck. His 2.0 WAR is average. Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Orlando Hudson, Jim Thome, and Denard Span are all Twins players with a better WAR. That’s 5/9 of the Twins starting lineup alone. Young is not in the MVP conversation.

Paul Konerko is not in the conversation either. He has been good, not great. The worst part is that while Konerko is mentioned, a player on a better team who has had a much better season is not mentioned at all- Carl Crawford. That is a poor oversight by Olney.

NL MVP

Votto
1. Joey Votto, Reds. His numbers are basically running neck-and-neck with those of Albert Pujols — and Votto’s team is in first place, which will count for something in the voting.

Agreed.

2. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres. Numbers do not fully reflect what he means to San Diego’s success, between his defense and what teammates perceive to be an extraordinarily unselfish approach

Stoopid, just stoopid. Olney thinks he is the second most valuable player in the league, when is “only” the fourth most valuable player- at all first base alone! He’s having a fine season, but it doesn’t compare to Albert Pujols or Votto. The entire pitching staff, defense, and lady luck are the MVP’s of San Diego because they are winning due to those three things. Even with A-Gonz, the Padres offense is anemic.

3. Pujols, Cardinals. He’s having another great season.

Good analysis!

Others in the conversation: Aubrey Huff, Giants; Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies; and the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman, who will get a lot of top 10 votes. Again, there is a major gap between the top tier of candidates — Votto, Gonzalez and Pujols — and the rest of the field.

I will give kudos to Olney. He mentioned Zimmerman, a top three MVP candidate, which I was not expecting since he is on a last place team and gets a lot of value from defense. So I will excuse him for saying there is a gap between Zimmerman and Votto or Pujols, when Zimmerman might have the best case of the three.

AL Cy Young Award

Lee
1. Cliff Lee, Mariners/Rangers. His WHIP is a major league best 0.95.

Here’s one barometer of just how good Lee has been, from Daniel Braunstein of ESPN Stats & Information:

The lowest percentage of pitches thrown on 2-0, 3-0 or 3-1 counts:

Pct. K/BB
Cliff Lee 3.53 14.50
Roy Halladay 4.21 7.20
Ricky Nolasco 4.72 4.90
Scott Baker 4.92 3.90
Kevin Slowey 4.99 3.92
Phil Hughes 5.00 3.05
Carl Pavano 5.14 3.45
Josh Johnson 5.14 4.26
Roy Oswalt 5.20 3.36
Dan Haren 5.25 4.94
For the sake of comparison, the highest percentage of pitches thrown on 2-0, 3-0 or 3-1:

Pct. K/BB
Gio Gonzalez 9.93 1.81
Tim Lincecum 9.38 2.73
Wade LeBlanc 9.15 2.11
Derek Lowe 9.07 1.87
C.J. Wilson 8.81 1.80
Joe Saunders 8.66 1.62
Jaime Garcia 8.50 1.94
Brandon Morrow 8.44 2.55
Trevor Cahill 8.43 .95
CC Sabathia 8.37 2.34

Well, Olney took a weird route to his final answer, but at least he picked this one correctly. Lee is having his best season and arguably the best season since Pedro in 2000 (or Zack Greinke in 2009).

2. Felix Hernandez, Mariners. He’s been absolutely dominant in the second half, with a 1.93 ERA.

Felix has had a great second half, but he should not be second in this race. Francisco Liriano has been filthy this season, but Carl Pavano is getting all the attention in Minny. Who does Liriano need to jerk off to get some respect?

3. David Price, Rays. Fifth in ERA and tied for second in wins with 15

We know better than to use ERA and wins, but Olney doesn’t. So it’s hard to criticize him for this pick. But what about other great lefties instead of Price? Like, lets say, Jon Lester?

3a. Trevor Cahill, Athletics

No, just no. King Luck should not be considered. I like Cahill and he does a nice job garnering ground balls. But he relies on BABIP too much. He doesn’t strike many people out. So balls are put in play a ton against him. By getting ground balls he does a good job to help himself from giving up too many base runners via hits, but a .213 BABIP is absurd. That is not his talent level at all, which is why he should not be in the Cy Young running.

Others in the conversation: CC Sabathia, Yankees; Clay Buchholz, Red Sox; Jered Weaver, Angels.

JON FUCKING LESTAH!

NL Cy Young Award

Wainwright
1. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals. He has gotten better and better and better as the season has progressed.

No qualms here, although it should be Doc Halladay or Josh Johnson.

2. Tim Hudson, Braves. Having an incredible bounce-back season.

No. See Cahill, Trevor.

3. Roy Halladay, Phillies. He has a shot at 20 wins in his first season with the Phillies.

Open your eyes and look at the numbers, Buster. Halladay, a future HOF’er at this point in time, is having his best season. He should be 1 or 2 (if you like J-Johnson). Not three. Poor effort here.

Again, who does J-Johnson need to jerk off? 5.6 WAR, 2.27 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 3.16 xFIP. Yeah, nbd I guess.