The Baseball Exchange

An In-depth Report of Last night’s Yankee Baseball Game by red
August 28, 2007, 9:40 am
Filed under: New York Yankees

There goes the AL East Title.

OK, people in baseball I hate as people:

1. Pedro Martinez

2. Manny Ramirez

3. Curt Schiling

4. Jason Varitek

5. Gary Sheffield

6. Joe Morgan

7. Jose Reyes

8. Michael Barrett

9. A.J. Pierzynski

10. Those two Angel announcers

etc., etc., etc.

People I hate in baseball not as people but as baseball players:

1. Mike Mussina

2. Sean Henn

3. Sean Henn

4. Sean Henn

etc., etc., etc.



Perhaps Chris Britton’s name is written in invisible ink? by red
August 25, 2007, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Awards, Boston Red Sox, MiLB, MLB, New York Yankees

Chris BrittonDo the Yankee management not understand that Chris Britton (pictured at left – dig the sideburns) is major league material?! Bruney has 50 innings of work with majors and minors combined! If Villone is tired, I know, call up a guy who’s pitched every day in the majors and minors, his arm will suddenly be refreshed by the promotion! And they think he’ll be able to stand pitching another 15 innings the rest of the season, and possibly the playoffs. There’s a reason Bruney was sent down in the first place, his BB/K ratio is 30/32. Chris Britton pitched a full season in the majors last year with a 3.35 ERA! He’s not a prospect anymore, you don’t have to keep him locked up in AAA getting ready for the big leagues. Britton is… oh, wait. He’s already pitched 56 innings in the minors. Great. Nice work. Just perfect. Way to ruin an entire perfectly good year for a good reliever on a team that needs relievers of the good variety. Ugh, sometimes I don’t get the Yankee bullpen. Actually, with the exception of the 9th inning in a close game, I never get it. Even then, sometimes the decisions Torre makes puzzles me to no end. Well, Bruney did pitch a scoreless inning today, maybe… nah. He’ll blow it.

Ah, yes, I remember when optimism lasted more than ten seconds.


In other news: Wake up Chicago! Stop handing your games on a silver platter, and to the Red Sox at that. Everyone’s always “surging” like the Red Sox are “surging”, why can’t they just say winning a lot? And winning three games in a row is really surging. And why do I have the sneaking suspicion that that silver platter that is the white sox will suddenly become less silvery and less plattery when the Yankees come to town? Wait, the Yanks don’t play them for the remainder of the year. There goes my theory. Which is both good and bad, because I want the Yankees to win, but then I also want them to win… And why do I have the sneaking suspicion none of this made much sense?


By the way, I noticed Bruney was pitching out of the windup in the 9th inning of Saturday night’s Yanks-Tigers game, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do that. Perhaps that was something they tweaked in the Scranton/W-B to improve his command. I’ll have to investigate. Also, by the way, the Tigers announcers showed Bruney warming up in the bullpen and labeled him “Joba Chamberlain.” I almost had a heart attack when I thought Joe was putting him in a five run game – then I noticed he didn’t quite look like Joba… then I realized it was Bruney. And they didn’t correct the mistake.


Thoughts… by 27yankees
August 23, 2007, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Baseball Scouting

A short one today about a couple of interesting Baseball America free articles; keep in mind that these are surveys of the coaches, not of people at BA.

Best hit-and-run artist? I guess that’s a skill, but it doesn’t seem very tangible to me and probably doesn’t account for that much in terms of a run value.

Rafael Furcal is definitely not the third fastest player in the NL.

Best manager? Load of BS really. Plus, Tony La Russa is a horrid manager.

How, exactly, does Placido Polanco have the third best strike-zone judgment in the AL? He has 27 walks this season, with a career high of 42. That’s below average.

…Derek Jeter is the best fielding shortstop in the AL? That actually made me laugh. I’m sorry. But the guy is below average.


¡Thirty Runs! Baseball notes 8/23/07 by red
August 23, 2007, 1:56 pm
Filed under: Daily Notes, Joba Chamberlain, MLB, New York Yankees

Texas scores thirty runs vs the O’s

The Texas Rangers aren’t a great ballclub: They are average offensively, being 7th in the AL in runs scored. They have really quite awful pitching, being the third worst in the league. That translates to a losing record at 56-70; I was even considering much earlier this year when they had an even worse record writing about how they are the new “worst team” in the American League. So it came as a mild surprise to me when I saw they gave up only three runs to the Orioles.

It also was a surprise that they scored thirty runs.

That’s right: five in the fourth, nine in the sixth, ten in the eighth, and six in the ninth. So all thirty runs came in only 4 out of the nine innings they played. What’s worse, it was a doubleheader. What’s even worse, it wasn’t a day-night doubleheader, it was the ol’ fashioned play a game… then immediately play another game sort of a doubleheader. What’s even worse, is that the Rangers won the second game too. I wonder if the O’s front office is having second thoughts about extending Dave Trembley’s contract… Continue reading

17 K’s? Really? Baseball Notes 8/19/07 by 27yankees
August 19, 2007, 11:21 pm
Filed under: Awards, Baseball Strategy, Daily Notes

Johan Santana (Mr. Cy, right) is ridiculously good. This time of the year is his annual Cy Young push.Johan Santana

8.0 IP, 17 K’s, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB

Only 8.0 IP? Why not a complete game? The bum!


By the way, those 17 K’s make for a nice, sweet Twins record.

The guy has a ridiculous changeup, and if the Twins want to be good a few years from now, they are going to need to pony up the cash for this man. Francisco Liriano is good, but he’s a huge injury risk, and even if he can be as good as Johan, the team really needs the guy. They also need some offense.

The Twins, to me, are something of a joke compared to typical playoff teams. They have that dominant ace, the dominant bullpen arm, and there are a few good bats in their lineup (Cuddyer, Morneau, Mauer)… On the other hand, Torii Hunter is going to walk this season, and it’s a foregone conclusion that the Twins can’t afford him if they want to get some of their other guys. Not only that, but they can’t even surround their legit talent with any medium talent players at all. Sorry, but Nick Punto and the “piranhas” just aren’t going to cut it. They rare a small budget team without much in the way of a farm system, and that’s a formula that’s just set up for failure. They need to get a bigger budget or improve their farm sometime soon. People think of the Twins as legit contenders, but I only see a team with rotation holes once you get past the ace and a few strong players surrounded by a weak lineup. Sorry.

Sammy Sosa is a killjoy, by the way. In Mark Buerhle’s no-no, he got a walk to prevent a perfect game. In Johan’s game, he got the two hits and probably prevented Johan from getting a perfecto. Not only that…

Sammy Sosa v J. Santana this year: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K
Other Rangers v J. Santana this year: 3-47, 0 HR, 0 BB, 29 K

I mean, wow. Jeez.

In other news, Ryan Braun hit another homer. The Hebrew Hammer strikes again.

Also, my parents threatened to disown me again (Okay, not really. Go figure).

I realized today that the pitching on my fantasy baseball team is ridiculously good: Roy Halladay, Erik Bedard, Chris Young, Phil Hughes, Noah Lowry (he’s actually really good), and Aaron Harang. I’ve discovered that I’m a really good judge of talent in baseball. Most people said Chris Young’s ’06 was a fluke, but I saw that he had Tall Pitcher Syndrome before ’06 (though Petco can’t hurt), and knew he was for realsies. Bedard? His changeup is almost Santana-esque from what I’ve heard. Phil Hughes? Hey, he’s a Yankee. Lowry? Pitched hurt most of last year. Harang? On any other team, he would be really really famous. He’s not even the most famous pitcher on his team, which is kind of ridiculous since he’s better than Bronson Arroyo. By quite a bit.

And, my relievers and hitters aren’t all that bad either. I guess I’m just good at this stuff.

Yeah, so good stuff.


A word (or many many more) on scouting and stats, plus my perspective on the economics of a new MLB draft rule by 27yankees
August 16, 2007, 8:09 pm
Filed under: Baseball Scouting, Baseball Statistics, New York Yankees, Player Draft

Hi all, TwentySeven in today with a few minutes of spare time! Yay! So anyways, I was thinking it might be interesting to talk a bit about some ways to analyze players and stats.

First the word on scouting. One thing you have to consider that isn’t always considered is whether the “name value” of a player is making him look better. Recently, I watched Jeff Samardzija pitch for the Cubs in the minors, and I’d been watching a couple of starts. He wasn’t all that bad, but he wasn’t great either. If I had been less talented, I might have said, “Oh, he’s Jeff Samardzija so I’m probably just looking for the wrong thing”. But the truth is, most of us can recognize a pretty decent pitcher. What you need to say is “If I didn’t know the name of this guy, would he be all that impressive? Would I ask myself, ‘Who is this?’?”… That sort of thing. It’s really good to put it in perspective.

Now, for stats. An important thing to recognize is what the stat is actually measuring, and what actual value the stat holds. For example, recently my friend made some bizarre statistic like “Average pitches in an at-bat per strikeout divided homers” or something weird like that and said, “And Sean Casey is the leader in the majors, so he’s really more valuable then anyone recognizes. I think he should bounce back over the next year.”

Really? What does that stat really mean? What are you measuring? That ridiculous stat that I made up just now because I don’t remember what my friend said really doesn’t measure anything at all. Just because you got it by multiplying baseball stats, doesn’t mean it measures anything valuable.

In addition, you need to consider the actual value of the stat. For example, consider the strikeout. You might say that some minor leaguer is really good because he never strikes out, and his strikeout/at-bat ratio is 0.001 or whatever. Because, the truth is that strikeouts really aren’t all that bad. For that matter, players who rarely strike out are often sacrificing other, more important, stats for their strikeout prevention. This season, the players who are striking out the least include Placido Polanco, Juan Pierre, Luis Castillo, Paul Lo Duca, Kenji Johjima, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Kendall, and Casey Kotchman. Of those, Pedroia, Kotchman, and Polanco have been good hitters and Johjima has been decent for his position. Pierre, Castillo, Kendall, and Lo Duca, have all been pretty poor hitters. Just think about it.

By the way, this info on strikeouts really leads into what I plan to write about next – strikeouts and walks. I want to look at correlations between them, the actual negative value of a strikeout (which I suspect is really low compared to what people typically say), that sort of thing. Cheers!

Finally, I want to talk a bit about a new rule that MLB has instituted for the draft which I suspect really harms teams like the Yankees and Red Sox who are high salary, high wins, draft at the end of the round.

The new rule says that if a team doesn’t sign a pick, the next year they get the following pick in the draft as compensation. If Team A drafts 1st overall and doesn’t sign their first pick, the next year they get the second overall pick. This rule is intended to give the teams more leverage against guys like Scott Boras and also is supposed to make the bonuses given to players more in line with what the MLB recommends. Unfortunately, this creates a dilemma for teams at the end of the round for two reasons. For one thing, teams that are consistently among the top winners are also consistently at the end of the draft, which means that the overall talent of their drafts will get worse and worse as more and more compensation picks come up at the beginning of the round.

In addition, it actually lowers the team’s leverage for signability draft picks. The way the rule is intended to work is that if a player has huge demands, the team can just say, “Well we won’t sign you and next year we will just draft a player of equal talent”. Unfortunately, players who fall in the draft (like Rick Porcello did this year) due to signability issues, will get a huge advantage in leverage. Rick Porcello was expected to be a top-three pick until he picked Scott Boras as his agent, which made him fall to pick number 27 for the Tigers. You would think that the new rule means that he would have less leverage. Unfortunately, the Tigers aren’t likely to find a player as good as Porcello is next year with the 28th pick. So, the Tigers had less leverage and thus had to give Porcello a bigger contract. Hence the tie for the record contract for a high school pitcher.

Bud Selig has good intentions, but he fails miserably.


Ahem… Yeah. OK… Some draft signing deadline news… Yay! by 27yankees
August 16, 2007, 1:55 am
Filed under: Baseball History, MiLB, Player Draft

Well… Err.. I’ve been busy, you see, with work… and vacation… somewhat contradictory, but true. But now I’m back, though I’ll have to be a bit less active than I used to be.

Continue reading