A Future LF Alternative

Earlier this week, Moshe asked readers what kind of a deal they’d give to Carl Crawford. Obviously, it’s a fair question. He plays left field and, unless Brett Gardner totally blossoms this year, the Yankees may need a stronger left fielder next season. Extension talks between Crawford and the Rays have apparently stalled, so the likelihood of Crawford hitting free agency seems bigger now than it did even just a few days ago. Let’s turn our heads from Crawford, though, and shift them to a somewhat familiar foe: Jayson Werth. I briefly profiled Jayson before the World Series when I Continue reading A Future LF Alternative

Boston's Payroll Inching Upwards

[image title=”153036_brewers_cardinals_baseball” size=”full” id=”15410″ align=”center” alt=”Julio Lugo scores for the Cardinals while being paid by the destitute Red Sox” linkto=”full” ] NoMaas did a post this morning about Boston’s “little engine that could” attitude and their 2010 payroll, which is slated to be about 170 million dollars. When I first saw that number, I thought that it was mistaken, and that it was simply the luxury tax number, which is based upon average annual value rather than actual salaries. However, Mike Axisa of RAB pointed me towards a Cot’s Contracts spreadsheet that puts Boston at about 166 million before pre-arb Continue reading Boston's Payroll Inching Upwards

Statistics: We Do Not Have All Of The Information

Matt wrote an excellent post this morning about bringing statistics into the mainstream, and I think Chris began to follow through on that with his fascinating post on breaking down UZR. Both posts illustrated that fans now have more information at their hands than ever before, and that we can educate ourselves about the very essentials of the game. However, an interview that I heard this morning on WEEI, with Theo Epstein, reminded me that as fans, we still do not have all of the information: I think that he (Ellsbury) is an above-average center fielder now, who is going Continue reading Statistics: We Do Not Have All Of The Information

Burnett’s fly ball rate rising

In a recent piece from River Ave Blues’ Joe Pawlikowski, Joe points to A.J. Burnett‘s ground ball rate from 2009, noting it as problematic. Last season, Burnett posted a career low in ground ball rate at 42.8%, which is significantly under his career average of 49.5% (a mark that was subsequently dragged down as a result of the career low). This, obviously, is not a positive development, as pitchers are best served keeping batted balls on the ground. However, this specific percentage was not the only troubling number posted by Burnett in his first season with the Yankees. Inversely connected Continue reading Burnett’s fly ball rate rising

Charting UZR can be useful…

Derek Jeter’s UZR at shortstop last season was 6.6 runs above average. Nick Swisher’s UZR in right field last season was -0.7 runs below average. Johnny Damon’s UZR in left field last season was -9.2 runs below average. From my own experiences, many baseball fans often toss around FanGraphs’ Ultimate Zone Ratings without much context or detail, citing UZR similarly to the way in which I have done just prior to this sentence, as if the numbers provide all that is needed in order to fully understand a player’s defensive impact on a given season. However, for those who rely Continue reading Charting UZR can be useful…

Posada: Vazquez More Complete Pitcher Now Than In 2004

[image title=”vazquez” size=”full” id=”15378″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ] From Mark Feinsand: Posada said Vazquez has matured as a pitcher since they played together in 2004, giving the Yankees a much stronger rotation than the one that captured the World Series crown last November. While Vazquez was primarily a fastball-curveball pitcher six years ago, Posada now feels that the changeup and slider are on the same level, making it much more difficult for hitters to find a comfortable approach. “It’s easy for me to call his game,” Posada said. “He has four outstanding pitches, so you can’t go wrong with any of Continue reading Posada: Vazquez More Complete Pitcher Now Than In 2004

The Numbers Game

A little over a week ago, Moshe posted a piece asking if sabermetrics have gone too far. Since that time, after reading the article itself and various responses to it throughout the Web, I’ve been thinking of ways that could help bring sabermetrics into the mainstream. Perhaps I’m being too ambitious here; after all, I’m just a blogger who’s not deeply embedded in the metric community, nor am I someone who’s involved in developing new stats and metrics. Regardless, I regularly use advanced metrics in my posts here, and I attempt to use them in conversation with other baseball fans Continue reading The Numbers Game

Guest post: The future of Jorge Posada

Leading off today is a guest posting from Adam Adkins. Adam may be a regular contributor to IIATMS, possibly adding a weekly commentary to our in-season lineup. As the teams are coming together, we’re doing the same here. {I have made no edits to Adam’s work, only added some pictures and made the formatting consistent with our site.}

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jorge Posada is old, 37 to be exact. He’s seen a lot in his days. He’s seen championships–5 of them. He’s seen October–14 times.

He’s seen it all from behind home plate, in fact. His career is arguably Hall of Fame worthy–6312 plate appearances (PAs) with a 124 Adjusted OPS (OPS+) from a catcher is pretty good–but could his career be nearing the end?

The answer: obviously. He’s 37! That’s ancient for a backstop. Proof:

  • Mike Piazza’s last good season was his age-37 year. He flamed out one year later, 2007, with Oakland.
  • Ivan Rodriguez continues to play–he’s 38 now–but hasn’t been effective offensively in six years, and is far removed from the prime of his defensive excellence.

Posada’s also been worked pretty hard throughout his career. Since 2000, he’s caught at least 135 games 8 times. The two times he didn’t? 2008 and 2009, both injury-plagued seasons. That, uh, doesn’t bode well for the future. But what were the Yankees expecting? They signed him to a 4-year, $52 million deal in 2008, which is almost certainly going to be a mistake when it’s finished.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Guest post: The future of Jorge Posada

MLBPA nails it

This is a perfectly written, explained and valid response from the MLBPA on the subject of HGH testing. It touches on the reasons why the Players Association is concerned about the validity of the tests, as well as their desire to work with MLB on including any scientifically validated testing methods.

This week, a British rugby player was suspended as a result of a reported positive blood test for HGH. This development warrants investigation and scrutiny; we already have conferred with our experts on this matter, and with the Commissioner’s Office, and we immediately began gathering additional information. However, a report of a single uncontested positive does not scientifically validate a drug test. As press reports have suggested, there remains substantial debate in the testing community about the scientific validity of blood testing for HGH. And, as we understand it, even those who vouch for the scientific validity of this test acknowledge that it can detect use only 18-36 hours prior to collection.

Nicely done, MLBPA. Continue reading MLBPA nails it