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@madkow @azibuck Unless you're Jack Wilson. If Walker's was routine that's fine. But I couldn't find any actual details buried under all this Greg Polanco stuff. I mean, unless Polanco really is baseball Jesus, it's kind of a wash losing Walker, our 3rd best hitter after Cutch and, of course, JHey.
2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/june-2014/gregory-polanco-will-debut-on-tuesday-after-an-appendectomy-lands-neil-walker-on-the-disabled-list.html
Off topic: how serious is Walker's appendectomy? I think he could be out longer than 15 days, and it would suck if this is the time that Harrison slumps.
Ed Volquez sucks.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/the-volquez-experiment-continues.html
Just read this today and I'm... I don't know if shocked is the right word, but I didn't suspect yours would be such a fatalist voice. That whole "I'm afraid it's situation #2" is... something. I don't even know what to call it.
Your thoughts on Wandy here seem so far from Occam's Razor -- which is, his arm is fine, he had a knee problem which may have contributed to his ineffectiveness. I know I'm writing with the benefit of the hindsight of having watched him pitch yesterday. But the "lost of velocity" meme (see wkkortas comment) is a myth. He wasn't locating his offspeed stuff before. Maybe it was the knee. Maybe even with the velocity his arthritic arm is causing him to not pitch accurately, or maybe he just needed to tweak something.
You don't have to be all rah-rah or even hopeful, but the attitude expressed here seems out of touch with reality.
3 months ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/may-2014/the-return-of-wandy-rodriguez.html
@DGL If he was in good position, why did he sort of creep around toward the line and get a look at Ike's foot *after* the play had essentially ended. If he saw his foot the whole time, there's no need to delay a safe call. I think it's pretty clear he didn't see Ike's foot on or off the bag at the time the catch was made. Regardless of training, it can't be good positioning.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-26-cardinals-7-pirates-0.html
Those pitcher WAR numbers are absurd. Put the 2008 staff (only 12 WAR worse according to BBRef) on this year's team and they win maybe 70 games.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on There and back again: What do the Pirates need to do this winter?
Thanks for changing that black background. That would have been a dealbreaker.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on 82 wins
(nods, lifts glass slightly in your direction)
Conspiracy theory: Hurdle can be petty and vindictive (actually, I do tend to think this, so not so much conspiracy...) and Snider's injury bothers him from a "I expect you to tough it out" standpoint. Especially the timing, as I think he "suffered" it right before a game. So when Snider says he's ready, Hurdle is saying (without saying) 'oh no, no, you need more rest Mrs. Snider, we'll make sure that's good and healed...' He might be trying to send a message to the whole team that they have to fight through minor things.
Inge, god, empty is right. And thank you for calling him a liability anywhere but 3rd. He can "play" 2B, but so can Josh Harrison. I just hope Mercer keeps hitting and forces their hand on McDonald/Inge/Barmes. When NFW is back I'd much rather see Mercer and Harrison than McDonald and Inge.
1 year, 3 months ago on Brandon Inge's first two weeks (or: where is Travis Snider?)
I thought river cam pretty clearly showed the guy standing straight up and half-twisting to the side, having the ball clank off his hands, and then him bring his hands down on the railing. It was a bad call, and it was obvious on replay.
1 year, 4 months ago on Game 12: Pirates 10 Reds 7
Re: Carleton's piece, that also concerns me about Kyle McPherson, and why I think he will start in AAA. It'll cost less to DL a guy in the smalls rather than pay him MLB minimum and have him accrue service time. I say McFear's a Locke to start in Indy.
1 year, 6 months ago on Jeff Karstens has a sore shoulder
I love this blog. Why can't the comments work right?
1 year, 6 months ago on Pirates close to deal with Jonathan Sanchez
I know the post is not about him, but Tony Watson is, umm, well, you're right, "not great". But he's pretty flippin' good. I know he was somewhat overaged at AA in 2010, but there is nothing in his record from that point on that indicates he anything other than very effective. 93mph sinker, plus slider, can get righties out? Yes please. Clint needs to find him another 15-20 innings this year.
That said, here's hoping Sanchez pitches his way onto the club.
Re: Locke, if not now, when? I know someone could bunt their eye out in ST, meaning both Locke and McFear could be in the rotation, but I'll roll those dice. Someone could shake out as a short term option later in ST. A minor (or major) trade could be worked. Embrace youth.
1 year, 6 months ago on The Francisco Liriano deal is still not done
Why are the O's "stupid lucky jerks"? I get lucky -- I don't agree, but I get it. But stupid jerks? They have one thing we don't for sure, a MLB manager.
1 year, 10 months ago on Here come the playoffs
Who's that guy that always said this? I don't always read the comments here so excuse me if he's said it recently:
They're still shitty.
1 year, 11 months ago on Game 141 Precap: F*ck you, Pirates | August 2012
"...and starting Kevin Correia on the pitcher's mound; both of these things work against the Pirates' functional chances to win a baseball game."
Here's what bugs me so much about that. We're 27-22 over the last two years when Correia starts. And check the run support argument with the facts; when he pitches well, the team wins. And whether by quality start or game score or, y'know, runs, a KC start has a better than 50% chance of being good enough to get the team a win.
He doesn't strike anyone out, that's really the sole argument that feeds the xFIP/he's awful narrative.
1 year, 11 months ago on This is an opportunity | August 2012
@WilliamPearce You know what would REALLY teach them a lesson? If you stopped commenting on them altogether. I mean, just talking about them is foolhardy and unwise. You should not say another word about the team until they win the World Series and thus have proven they actually made an effort. Seriously, give it a try.
1 year, 11 months ago on A long, ugly weekend for the Pirates | August 2012
This is defeatist. And yet, appropriate. Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone.
2013 potential pitchers (does not include all likely pitchers, like Jared Hughes, etc.)
Karstens -- is he your guy? I think he should at least start the year in the rotation.
Locke -- I was very impressed by Locke when I saw him whiff 10 Rochester Red Wings. He may not have #1 stuff, but he's mastered AAA and if I'm any judge of demeanor and body language, he knows it.
McPherson? I'm all for not rushing guys, but he's got a broad base of training now. If they keep him in AAA for service time issues to start next year, I'd still anticipate his arrival in June 2013. With 102 starts in the smalls already, I'd like to see him get his feet wet in the bullpen right now. This is not crazy -- this used to be the way starters broke in WAY back in the 1970's. Get used to big league hitters. Get exposed to how things work in the bigs. Yet do those thing at a lower-pressure, 1-2 innings at a time pace. If a player has any juice at all, this builds confidence. If he doesn't, he's not the guy you want on your team anyway.
Wilson -- I'd have him in the bullpen now, but keep him as a starter in AAA to start next year. By June, he'll either have shown that he's still not consistent enough to start in the bigs, but could be a good reliever, or he'll have developed even a small amount more consistency and could be in the mix to start.
Irwin -- will start in AAA, but for how long? By June 2013 he too will be closing in on about 100 minor league games.
Leroux -- enough experimenting. I think he's shown enough to at least get a shot at starting full time. But again, he should be in the bullpen now, or certainly next year.
Cole -- if he spends the entire year in AAA, where I assume he'll start 2013, something's gone wrong. But if you want to leave him out of the discussion, that's OK too.
Morris -- should be in the bullpen now, definitely next year.
There are 13 names who could reasonably be expected to see time in Pittsburgh in 2013, roles TBD. All but Cole and Black have already seen time in AAA. Even the short-time AAA guys are pretty well-seasoned. I don't think any of these can be considered "rushed" advancements. I don't mean they're all guaranteed success. Some may need more seasoning, but right now it's reasonable to think they could handle some sort of MLB duty by June 2013.
Now, Back to the Present -- which guys could help RIGHT NOW? Who can help stop this fade? I think several could have helped stop it before it started, but that's water under the bridge I guess. I'd still do the following:
Waive Correia and Bedard. Call up Locke and Morris.
1 year, 11 months ago on And so here we are again | August 2012
NOW can we dfa Correia, please? !
2 years, 2 months ago on An opportunity presents itself | May 2012
@DoobyDoobyDoo @Andy Don't misunderstand me, I'd love to see Locke and Owens get a shot. I'm just railing against Correia-hate. 7/12 Game Scores above 50. Regarding luck and regression, he is what he is. Nothing in his peripherals will change that. When he spots his fastball and changes speeds, he gets ground balls and is efficient. When he doesn't, he gets hit hard. I won't shed a tear when he's gone, which I'm guessing will be soon. I just never understood the level of vitriol directed at him because (in a very basic sense) he doesn't strike guys out. Sites like WHYGAVS and their visitors will never appreciate a guy like Correia. And I really don't mean that as a dig at them or a compliment to Correia. I'm saying I understand it.
What I don't care for is "can we *DFA* him *already*", after he "ate" six innings and gave up 4 earned runs. It wasn't a good effort, but it also wasn't a shelling over less than 4 innings (which he's done before, I GET IT). Comments like that just strike me as irrational, as if he does this every time out when in fact he doesn't.
I'd like an upgrade from him too, and with the service time (super 2, such that it could still exist) issue about to be up, I'm sure we'll get a chance to upgrade with either Owens and/or Locke.
2 years, 2 months ago on Game 61: Orioles 7 Pirates 1 | May 2012
@Andy Coulter Right, because 7 above avg starts out of 12 is just not going to work.
Two things. I think boras is ultimately planning a lawsuit one way or another.
And if appel signs, no way a Stanford junior starts in WV. Brief stop in short season ball then Bradenton.
2 years, 2 months ago on Day 2 of the 2012 draft reveals the Pirates' Mark Appel strategy: hardball | May 2012
Read this twice, still looking for the bad news.
2 years, 2 months ago on Charlie Morton to the disabled list, the Brewers loom | May 2012
"hit that Western blot"
I'm old. Is this slang for have sex with a non-Asian hottie?
2 years, 3 months ago on Game 38: Pirates 5 Nationals 3 | May 2012
>...Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?, a blog that's been chronicling the peaks and valleys of Pittsburgh Pirate fandom since 2005.
Whoa whoa whoa, there've been peaks?
Eldred should have made the big club in 2006 and gotten the chance Pedro's getting this year. It wouldn't have worked, but it still should have happened.
2 years, 3 months ago on Pedro Alvarez, Brad Eldred, and Jose Bautista | May 2012
I love these posts.
I appreciate how reasonably you state the case in your last paragraph. Some people would read that and accuse you of panicking or freaking out (see recent threads at P2 or BD).
I am curious about pitches per plate appearance though, to know if that backs up your focus on walks. Because my non-researched opinion is that Barmes and Barajas can't hit. Jones is streaky, but his avg will never be high. Pedro brings this down to a whole new level of non or weak contact. I think Presley and especially Tabata will be OK, but I really don't have much hope for the rest.
2 years, 3 months ago on The Pirates' offense is so bad ... (How bad is it?) | April 2012
2 years, 4 months ago on His name is Andrew McCutchen | March 2012
>& hit 93
What did he hit? (ba-dum tss)
>threw for the mets
The Mets are just tired of the Yankees getting all the publicity for three and a half hour baseball games. (ba-dum tss)
Kip Wells Sucks!
2 years, 4 months ago on Kip Wells is considering a comeback | March 2012
@shakeweight22 @azibuck "At the end of the season" the BABIP had normalized, and I was responding to what I quoted from Pat. Guys outperform their peripherals all the time. The inference he was a bad pitcher "most" of last season is simply not true. I really don't want to defend him any further. I like to see an upgrade too. I just don't see enough of one anywhere in camp that would make cutting him a smart thing to do.
2 years, 5 months ago on Charlie Morton takes the mound | March 2012
"...given the way Correia pitched most of last year."
50% quality starts.
14/26 starts resulted in a Game Score over 50.
18/26 starts he went at least six innings.
I'm not president of his fan club, but this "cut KC" notion is absurd. He's a perfectly functional 5th starter/long reliever. He may not provide value in relation to his contract, but that's a different argument.
He strikes out few batters and had a couple real stinkers that ruined his numbers.
If we stand on convention we'll also acquire players based on batting average and RBI. I'm aware a short 1B is outside the box. @azibuck
2 years, 5 months ago on Spring training games are almost here ... now what? | February 2012
@DoobyDoobyDoo I don't buy that. Sure, it helps, but every position could use an athlete. Bagwell was only 6', Steve Garvey was 5'10", and they were both righthanded too. Rod Carew was "listed" at 6' and he played almost 1200 games at 1B. In a broad sense, give me the short, nimble, young guy over the tall glacier any day.
I thought McCutchen had another option left.
4. Answer: yes, why wouldn't we? If he doesn't start, he makes #3 an even larger logjam, but he'd have to completely tank not to make the team out of ST and be "dumped." If "doing this Kevin Correia thing again" means repeating his first 17 starts from last year, I'm all for it. KC has value. Perhaps not $4M worth, but he's not cut-worthy because 5 of his last 9 starts were not quality (and yeah, the other 4 were quality, by any sense of the definition). He may have had some luck early last year, but I didn't expect this kind of comment from you.
I think Evans (or possibly Hague I suppose) is a lock to be in a straight platoon with Jones. It makes sense, and will also free McGehee to also spell Alvarez against tougher lefties. Evans has been known to stand in the OF too. Boggs being strictly an OF hurts him because if he's on the team, that's 5 guys that are OF-only. Jones, Evans, Hague, and McGehee.
Sort of relatedly, Hurdle would never do it, but I'd love to see Presley at 1B so Marte and play when he comes up.
Question for you: Are you interested in playing in the points league again? I was surprised but there's some interest from guys that played last year. It would be almost the same setup, but I'd make it a little shallower to encourage some roster churn and make it so you can actually find a bat on the wire once in a while.
@wkkortas "What’s dumber than football’s dumbest owner?" said Orioles don Edward Bennett Williams. "Baseball’s smartest owner."
2 years, 8 months ago on Your 2012 Pittsburgh Pirate Fan Guide to the Winter Meetings | November 2011
Boo. Not because I'm pro-DH, but this is pretty poorly reasoned. I expect better from you Pat Lackey. It's all absolutes and logical fallacies (yeah, all AL games are 9-8 slugfests, all NL games are 1-0 strategyfests). I'm with DGL. I mean, if you really want to watch quality baseball, put 9 great fielders on the field.
2 years, 9 months ago on Brace Yourselves National League Fans: the DH Is Coming | November
How is this not at least a small upgrade over Ronny? If "Santiago can't hit at all", why say anything nice about Ronny, ever? Ronny clearly had a career year in 2010 and his OPS+ was 82. I'm not trying to be confrontational, but you (and obviously many others) need to get over how reasonable Ronny's option was (it was, not arguing that) and remember that Ronny Cedeno is not good at baseball. Neither is Santiago but he's better than Cedeno and that should be as plain as (insert cliche).
For as much as we make fun of veteranosity, would you rather have veteranosity in the middle IF, or buffoonery and absent-mindedness?
Finally, regarding his usage, remember that his manager was Jim Leyland. Have him explain why Wil Rhymes and Ryan Raburn got time at 2B and I'll bet it won't have anything to do with Santiago's fielding ability. And he had Peralta at SS.
Unlike the Barajas signing, which upgraded the C defense and (probably) game-calling and pitch-framing, but downgrades the C bat, Santiago for Cedeno is an across-the-board upgrade. Enthused? Me, no, but I'll nod in certain approval if we get it done.
2 years, 9 months ago on Morosi: Pirates interested in Ramon Santiago | November 2011
If Epstein fell into the one-upsmanship trap, shame on him. If he's such a gifted GM, how does he let himself fall for that? If he's so awesome, make a better decision than Lackey.
I can't say I saw Crawford's year coming, but they paid for his career year. Now they have a base-stealer entering his 30s playing corner OF.
I admit to not knowing much about their system, but their current ML roster doesn't scream genius at me. Recent big-money mistakes do scream at me. We can disagree about this, you just seem a bit over-the-top about him.
2 years, 10 months ago on Cubs looking for permission to talk to Theo Epstein | September 2011
I don't see how you can just dismiss the Lackey signing because of pressure from the Yankees. There is pressure everywhere. He had the resources in Boston to make good decisions. He *chose* Lackey, and an overrated Crawford. He's a good GM but this sounds like fawning.
Why Resop but not Veras? I'd keep them both. Veras can be downright filthy.
2 years, 11 months ago on Arbitration decisions and Ronny Cedeno's option | September 2011
I'm pretty sure that whatever decision NH makes regarding Veteran Free Agent or Major League Ready Young Player/Former Failed Top Prospect, it will be incorrect. So if Huntington wants to sign Derrick Lee, he should do the opposite, like George Costanza.
2 years, 11 months ago on Derrek Lee vs. Garrett Jones vs. everyone else | September 2011
He used poor technique, did you really not know what I (using Pat's phrase) meant? I don't mean to be a dick, but to turn the same thing back on you:
There is no such thing as an "almost automatic" call. When the throw arrived doesn't matter. At all.
3 years ago on Umpires and instant replay and the end of the Pirates/Braves game | July 2011
You should have stuck with these two things:
The goddammed bunting.
McKenry made a bad tag.
Regarding your reply below, I think a two-seamer is a sinker, or you're throwing a breaking ball. It simply has different action than a four-seamer. If you plotted two axes (?) on a baseball around the 4 and 2 seamers, not all pitchers will have a perfect grip, so yeah, I suppose a guy could throw a 2-seamer and also alter that grip and throw an off-center two seamer that sinks even more, but I'd say that pitcher is thinking too much.
The fractions of inches thing is more about real baseball (not sure how else to say it, though I don't mean to be derogatory of PitchFx or anything else) than paper baseball. You're a scientist. If you throw a rat 89mph fastballs, and he's a hitting rat, he'll time 89mph fastballs. If you mix in 87mph fastballs, the rat's not always going to center the ball up. The difference between 87 and 89mph is not a little over 2%, it's more like 13% when you consider almost all MLB fastballs are between 85 and 100mph.
That's how a righty that throws 85 will never make it long term, but a righty that throws "only" 90 can.
3 years, 2 months ago on Livefyre conversation - http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/june-2011/the-electric-meter-jeff-karstens.html
Also, you might create a graph and think fractions of inches are insignificant, but they're not, in my opinion. This is where I diverge with the thinking that pitchers don't affect BIP. Fractions better is what keeps hitters off balance. It's the difference between a sharp grounder and a grounder OUR infield can get to. A fly ball and a popup. A popout and a foul ball. A liner and a flyout. A flare for a single and a cue shot back to the pitcher. Etc.
Heh. I just commented over at BD that I was waiting for you to do a proper Electric Jeff post. Looking at this Fangraphs page, he's throw a sinker 35 percent of the time. Last year it was 16 percent and before that not worth mentioning. Also, his curve and slider are breaking better than they have in year's past. His 4-seamer is breaking differently too, so maybe that points to the release point issue. He may just be having a career year, but I think he found something with the sinker. He can't throw it as much as Morton because he doesn't have the velocity. But he's using 5 pitches now instead of 4, and they are sharper than in years past. Again, going off the Fangraphs numbers, I can't do your fancy graphs.
All I need to know about baseball I learned in this post: two run doubles are big.
3 years, 3 months ago on Game 33: Pirates 4 Astros 1 | May 2011
Yep, this was pure "baseball Gods" stuff. Hurdle pissed them off, and they took away the win.
3 years, 3 months ago on Game 23: Giants 3 Pirates 2 | April 2011
3 years, 3 months ago on The Electric Meter: Without Charlie Morton, I'd go crazy | April 2011
This is from the catcher's viewpoint, right? I think he's got to work more than one corner. The sinker on the outside corner to righties should get grounders to SS all day.
3 years, 4 months ago on The Electric Meter: Charlie Morton on April 9 | April 2011