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Grade the team, position by position

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Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby TribeinLA » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:10 am

c - Santana/Marson...C: This is a fortunate position for us as of now that should only get better. The major disappointment here is the terrible 15/15 successful baserunners ( I didn't see game tonight...was at the LSU game, so was a runner finally caught?). Santana looks like he's about to heat up though and should be a .280/25/90 guy. Marson has been serviceable and his bat has been better than many past backup catchers. Junior Ortiz he is not.

1b - Hafner/Sloth...A: Cannot complain here one bit. While many of us were reay to eat Pronk's salary and let LaPorta and Santana man this position, no one would have thoought Shrek and Goonies would save the day. When Pronk isn't in the lineup with a .342 average, Sloth has picked up and has provided power and defense. This position is not Ben Broussard and Eduardo Perez. We see the Pronk of old and as Cheapiro said on the telecast Wed night, he is a terrific 2 strike hitter. Are we seeing 2006 Pronk? Sure looks like it.

2b - O Cabrera...B: Is it me or do I see shades of the best of Ronnie Belliard here -- with great defense? He's a vet, but as far as what he'll mean to this team...well that remains to be seen. Will he be an offensive liability and strictly needed as a vet in the clubhouse who can flash a lil leather? I say jury is still out on the role he'll play for this team, but I like what I see. Glad we're not stuck with Valbuena and Donald here and we spent typical mid-tier money on a mid-tier vet. I say that with enthusiasm.

3b - J Hannahan...B+: Just when I was ready to think Nix and Everett would platoon this position, along comes a journeyman named Hannahan who plays like a manaman. I can smell the Brut cologne off of him and Jack Palance probably tells God (or Satan) that he's the best player in the league. I mean Hannahan just has to be one of those guys who spanks his kid and society admires and REALLY does bring a lunchpail to work that rides shotgun in his 1986 Chevy Cheyenne. So far, he's fulfilling like Marty Cordova did in May of '01. There's a new Brooke Jacoby in town.

ss - A Cabrera...A-: 15 ribbies and 4 homers would have been good numbers for A Cab by the end of May. Here we are on the verge of May and he's our leading rbi man. A Cab is finally going to be 2008 A Cab -- what we were expecting in 2008 anyway. This guy is no longer a kid and is a healthy mix of Robby Alomar and a pissed off Felix Fermin. I am going to hate the day that he's no longer and Indian and playing in pinstripes.

lf - M LaPorta...C+: I give Matt this grade simply because I know what he's capable of. I saw him play when he was a Florida Gator and thought, "Wow. This kid has it." He was the best hitter at the collegiate level, I thought, since Todd Walker, Mark Kotsay, and Pat Burrell. Surely the Brewers are pissed off. He's been decent, but I am awaiting, expecting, and demanding that he becomes that .300/30/100 guy that I KNOW he will be. This is the best hitter on our team...we just don't know it yet.

cf - Brantley/Sizemore...A: NO complaints. KUDOS MR. BRANTLEY. I want to thank the organization for not shipping him off to Columbus after Sizemore returned. Brantley needs to be on this team and get starts in lf often. I see flashes of what Jody Gerut must be in Bizarro World. I am hoping he can add more pop to his bat and become a legit 7 hole hitter. Sizemore is doing it and doing it well. Great to see him back and turning on that inside corner pitch like a beastmaster. This is a position, where as long as one stays healthy, we're going to be ok. Let Trevor Crowe perch all year in Columbus. We good.

rf - Choo...B-: Much like LaPorta, except we KNOW he's going to turn around, Choo is graded lower than average because he isn't showcasing. This is the player who has somehow taken over the face of the team. That 3 run jack off of Louis Coleman is one of five reasons why Choo is the best player on the team...along with a Mark Whitten hose (well, almost) and a set of wheels that Alex Cole would envy (uh...not really. Could Choo steal 5 bases in a game). I love Choo's attitude and he can certainly end up with an OB pct. that Thome and his Blue Ox WOULD ACTUALLY marvel at. The best is yet to come. Stay away from the Korean army.

Carmona - C...too inconsistent. Same ole, same ole.
Carrasco - C...not yet ready, but like what I see and when he masters a 4th pitch...yikes.
Masterson - A...Anyone see this kid slowing down? That delivery motion is a bitch I bet.
Tomlin - A-...Gotta love this kid and his story (smalltown Texan). 5 innings from him every outing woukdn't be impossible. Love his approach.
5th starter from Talbot to Gomez to hopeful Alex White - B-...just need a healthy solidifier here. Great clubs are the ones who don't have to rotate their 5th man and will still use him after an off day or rain out. I like us a lot here.


Anyway, this is a very novice opinion. I have been watching the Tribe since 1988 and have been a HUGE fan since. I used to have to catch CNN Headline News just to get a score and maybe get a still shot of the score/noteworthy hitters from the likes of Tom Mees, Bill Patrick, and Bob Ley back when Sportscenter would often skip the highlights and just give you the Indians/Brewers score. I don't know near as much as many of you and won't pretend to. I'm a Tribe fan for life who is extremely excited abot this great start and am soaking it up. Just wanted to see if my assessment was near yours. All I got is Extra Innings package and reading the great info that Swerb and others put out. This is our year!
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby gotribe31 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:58 am

TribeinLA wrote:2b - O Cabrera...B: Is it me or do I see shades of the best of Ronnie Belliard here -- with great defense? He's a vet, but as far as what he'll mean to this team...well that remains to be seen. Will he be an offensive liability and strictly needed as a vet in the clubhouse who can flash a lil leather? I say jury is still out on the role he'll play for this team, but I like what I see. Glad we're not stuck with Valbuena and Donald here and we spent typical mid-tier money on a mid-tier vet. I say that with enthusiasm.



It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.

Free Cord Phelps.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:25 pm

gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.


I don't like his lack or range or his .298 OBP, either. But in his defense I'll point out that he tends to get big hits at the right time. He has 15 RBIs in 23 games, which projects to 105 RBI over a full season.

Orly has three doubles and two HRs with runners in scoring position. He's only hitting .244 with RISP, but his hits tend to be for extra bases. A good example is that double he hit with the bases loaded which blew open the game against KC the other night.

He definitely has some liabilities both in the field and at the plate, but I put a lot of value on the ability to get extra base hits with RISP. He's 2-for-3 with the bases loaded with 6 RBI.

I don't know if he'll continue to drive in runs at this clip, but so far I'd have to give him a C. He's also done a nice job turning the double play. Just wish he had more range.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby statmasta » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:30 pm

TribeinLA wrote:1b - Hafner/Sloth

lf - M LaPorta

Uh wut
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:31 pm

Santana/Marson...C: This is a fortunate position for us as of now that should only get better. The major disappointment here is the terrible 15/15 successful baserunners ( I didn't see game tonight...was at the LSU game, so was a runner finally caught?). Santana looks like he's about to heat up though and should be a .280/25/90 guy. Marson has been serviceable and his bat has been better than many past backup catchers. Junior Ortiz he is not.


Santana is hitting .189 in the four hole and still hasn't thrown out a base stealer and you're giving him a C? What does he have to do to get an F - run over Grady Sizemore in the parking lot?

I suppose I'll give him a D because the pitching has been great and I think he deserves some credit for that, although I doubt he's calling the pitches. He did throw out a guy who tried to take second on a ball that bounced in front of the plate, so I'm not sure about that 15-for-15 stat.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby statmasta » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:33 pm

Orlando Cabrera is serviceable. His range is Jhonny Peralta-bad and he can barely hit anymore, but ....he seems to be serviceable, for now. He's not useless, he does some nice things. It's not like he's Josh Barfield.

But I would like to see Cord Phelps up here fighting for the second base job in a month or two (similar to how Asdrubal Cabrera took the 2B job in 2007).
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby gotribe31 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:40 pm

Prosecutor wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.


I don't like his lack or range or his .298 OBP, either. But in his defense I'll point out that he tends to get big hits at the right time. He has 15 RBIs in 23 games, which projects to 105 RBI over a full season.

Orly has three doubles and two HRs with runners in scoring position. He's only hitting .244 with RISP, but his hits tend to be for extra bases. A good example is that double he hit with the bases loaded which blew open the game against KC the other night.

He definitely has some liabilities both in the field and at the plate, but I put a lot of value on the ability to get extra base hits with RISP. He's 2-for-3 with the bases loaded with 6 RBI.

I don't know if he'll continue to drive in runs at this clip, but so far I'd have to give him a C. He's also done a nice job turning the double play. Just wish he had more range.


RBI's are a miserable way to measure performance. There's no stat for "clutch," it's just a random occurance. His average with RISP is .250 on the season. That's actually below his season average of .270. With 2 outs and RISP, he's hitting .100 (1-10). His career batting average is .274. His career average with RISP is .266. He's not clutch, he doesn't have a superpower where he turns into a better hitter with men on base, and he's just not very good right now.

2-3 with the bases loaded? Come on. You're basing your opinion of him on 3 at bats? Let me know how that works out. I'll be concentrating on the other 86 this year, plus the 494 last year.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby statmasta » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:48 pm

Prosecutor wrote:
Santana/Marson...C: This is a fortunate position for us as of now that should only get better. The major disappointment here is the terrible 15/15 successful baserunners ( I didn't see game tonight...was at the LSU game, so was a runner finally caught?). Santana looks like he's about to heat up though and should be a .280/25/90 guy. Marson has been serviceable and his bat has been better than many past backup catchers. Junior Ortiz he is not.


Santana is hitting .189 in the four hole and still hasn't thrown out a base stealer and you're giving him a C? What does he have to do to get an F - run over Grady Sizemore in the parking lot?

I suppose I'll give him a D because the pitching has been great and I think he deserves some credit for that, although I doubt he's calling the pitches. He did throw out a guy who tried to take second on a ball that bounced in front of the plate, so I'm not sure about that 15-for-15 stat.

I don't think that counts as a steal attempt, that's just trying to advance on a wild pitch.

I think.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby pup » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:33 pm

No stat for clutch?

Man, someone better tell Derek Jeter all at bats are the same.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby skatingtripods » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:34 pm

gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.

Free Cord Phelps.


Come on, Al. Look past the numbers. What this guy has done in the clubhouse is phenomenal. If you relegate him to a bench player, the players on the field will not be at all happy with that decision. It'll lower team morale and Cord Phelps's stick isn't going to compensate for that.

Normally, I'm on board with you, but this is an awful time to mess with the chemistry of the team.

You don't think all the playoff teams he's been on saw these same results or had a young 2B/SS waiting in the wings?
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby pup » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:36 pm

skatingtripods wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.

Free Cord Phelps.


Come on, Al. Look past the numbers. What this guy has done in the clubhouse is phenomenal. If you relegate him to a bench player, the players on the field will not be at all happy with that decision. It'll lower team morale and Cord Phelps's stick isn't going to compensate for that.

Normally, I'm on board with you, but this is an awful time to mess with the chemistry of the team.

You don't think all the playoff teams he's been on saw these same results or had a young 2B/SS waiting in the wings?


Dude, he has a bad UZR. Nothing more needs to be said.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby gotribe31 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:50 pm

pup wrote:
skatingtripods wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.

Free Cord Phelps.


Come on, Al. Look past the numbers. What this guy has done in the clubhouse is phenomenal. If you relegate him to a bench player, the players on the field will not be at all happy with that decision. It'll lower team morale and Cord Phelps's stick isn't going to compensate for that.

Normally, I'm on board with you, but this is an awful time to mess with the chemistry of the team.

You don't think all the playoff teams he's been on saw these same results or had a young 2B/SS waiting in the wings?


If Phelps comes up and hits, the team will be perfectly fine with it. You're saying if Phelps comes up and OC is moved to the UTL spot the rest of the team will quit playing?

And Pup, do you think he's been good in the field this year? I referenced a couple of defensive stats that back up what I said I saw with my eyes; he can't get to groundballs to his right and he's been a below-average defender overall. Are you looking at him and seeing something different?
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby pup » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:01 pm

gotribe31 wrote:
pup wrote:
skatingtripods wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.

Free Cord Phelps.


Come on, Al. Look past the numbers. What this guy has done in the clubhouse is phenomenal. If you relegate him to a bench player, the players on the field will not be at all happy with that decision. It'll lower team morale and Cord Phelps's stick isn't going to compensate for that.

Normally, I'm on board with you, but this is an awful time to mess with the chemistry of the team.

You don't think all the playoff teams he's been on saw these same results or had a young 2B/SS waiting in the wings?


If Phelps comes up and hits, the team will be perfectly fine with it. You're saying if Phelps comes up and OC is moved to the UTL spot the rest of the team will quit playing?

And Pup, do you think he's been good in the field this year? I referenced a couple of defensive stats that back up what I said I saw with my eyes; he can't get to groundballs to his right and he's been a below-average defender overall. Are you looking at him and seeing something different?


I am saying it doesn't really matter. If he doesn't get to a couple of ground balls to his right every couple weeks, or if he strikes out a bunch up 7-2 in the 8th inning. His value comes from being on the field with all the experiences he has. If they were 5-14 and the season was spiraling...by all means let's move along. But as long as they are winning, he is a piece of it.

I have seen someone who shows a different approach at the plate in key spots. Someone who will go up hacking early in the count with a couple of outs and nobody on, but when he has men on base he works the count looking for something to hit. I think his approach in the "hacking" AB's work to his benefit in the "working" AB's.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Lokais » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:20 pm

Gee, it's almost as though there are two ways to evaluate the game of baseball. Stats and feelings. But I'm sure this stat-heads vs. gut-feelers battle is new and will be resolved shortly.

That being said, I'm not a stat head and Orlando Cabrera stays as far as I'm concerned. He brings a lot more to the team being on the field every day than his UZR whatever the hell that even is.

Crunch the numbers all you want, but at the end of the day, winning teams need their Orlando Cabreras or Trot Nixons.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Lokais » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:21 pm

That being said, when the game is finally played by robots controlled by computers controlled by other computers and not by human beings, I'll jump on board the sabermetrics train.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby gotribe31 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:24 pm

pup wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:
pup wrote:
skatingtripods wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.

Free Cord Phelps.


Come on, Al. Look past the numbers. What this guy has done in the clubhouse is phenomenal. If you relegate him to a bench player, the players on the field will not be at all happy with that decision. It'll lower team morale and Cord Phelps's stick isn't going to compensate for that.

Normally, I'm on board with you, but this is an awful time to mess with the chemistry of the team.

You don't think all the playoff teams he's been on saw these same results or had a young 2B/SS waiting in the wings?


If Phelps comes up and hits, the team will be perfectly fine with it. You're saying if Phelps comes up and OC is moved to the UTL spot the rest of the team will quit playing?

And Pup, do you think he's been good in the field this year? I referenced a couple of defensive stats that back up what I said I saw with my eyes; he can't get to groundballs to his right and he's been a below-average defender overall. Are you looking at him and seeing something different?


I am saying it doesn't really matter. If he doesn't get to a couple of ground balls to his right every couple weeks, or if he strikes out a bunch up 7-2 in the 8th inning. His value comes from being on the field with all the experiences he has. If they were 5-14 and the season was spiraling...by all means let's move along. But as long as they are winning, he is a piece of it.

I have seen someone who shows a different approach at the plate in key spots. Someone who will go up hacking early in the count with a couple of outs and nobody on, but when he has men on base he works the count looking for something to hit. I think his approach in the "hacking" AB's work to his benefit in the "working" AB's.


I haven't see that at all. I see him up there hacking all the time, and I see that he's taken a total of 3 walks on the season. I've seen him swing at the 1st pitch with the bases empty, and I'ev seen him swing at the 1st pitch with men on base. In 42 of his 89 AB's, he has put the ball in play on either his first or 2nd pitch of the at bat. That isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but it speaks to his approach. And I don't think his approach varies much based on the situation.

The numbers back up what I am seeing, because like I said, his average with RISP is lower than his overall average. I've watched almost every inning of every game this season, so it isn't like I'm just pulling up the guy's baeball reference page and deciding he sucks. The bottom line is he isn't producing, and I think it would be better to have Phelps as the everyday 2B right now than Cabrera.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby pup » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:36 pm

Lokais wrote:Gee, it's almost as though there are two ways to evaluate the game of baseball. Stats and feelings. But I'm sure this stat-heads vs. gut-feelers battle is new and will be resolved shortly.

That being said, I'm not a stat head and Orlando Cabrera stays as far as I'm concerned. He brings a lot more to the team being on the field every day than his UZR whatever the hell that even is.

Crunch the numbers all you want, but at the end of the day, winning teams need their Orlando Cabreras or Trot Nixons.


Don't think that is really the case here, other than my being an anti-stat prick and taking a shot at UZR. There are stat only guys (which gotribe is not). Those are the ones that have no value.

This is simply about can a guy have value without having impressive numbers.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby gotribe31 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:41 pm

pup wrote:
Lokais wrote:Gee, it's almost as though there are two ways to evaluate the game of baseball. Stats and feelings. But I'm sure this stat-heads vs. gut-feelers battle is new and will be resolved shortly.

That being said, I'm not a stat head and Orlando Cabrera stays as far as I'm concerned. He brings a lot more to the team being on the field every day than his UZR whatever the hell that even is.

Crunch the numbers all you want, but at the end of the day, winning teams need their Orlando Cabreras or Trot Nixons.


Don't think that is really the case here, other than my being an anti-stat prick and taking a shot at UZR. There are stat only guys (which gotribe is not). Those are the ones that have no value.

This is simply about can a guy have value without having impressive numbers.


Totally agree. I just think he would have similar value as the UTL guy (clubhouse leader etc), and the offensive upgrade we would get with Phelps would make the team better overall. Not saying he's useless, just saying that I think the way to maximize the value of what we have available is to move him to UTL and give Phelps a shot at 2B.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Lokais » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:43 pm

I think having a guy like Orlando as a starter on the field every day holds more sway over his teammates than having him sit on the bench most games. You want your leaders out there doing it all day every day. Not once in awhile giving a guy much younger than him a break.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby pup » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:49 pm

gotribe31 wrote:
pup wrote:
Lokais wrote:Gee, it's almost as though there are two ways to evaluate the game of baseball. Stats and feelings. But I'm sure this stat-heads vs. gut-feelers battle is new and will be resolved shortly.

That being said, I'm not a stat head and Orlando Cabrera stays as far as I'm concerned. He brings a lot more to the team being on the field every day than his UZR whatever the hell that even is.

Crunch the numbers all you want, but at the end of the day, winning teams need their Orlando Cabreras or Trot Nixons.


Don't think that is really the case here, other than my being an anti-stat prick and taking a shot at UZR. There are stat only guys (which gotribe is not). Those are the ones that have no value.

This is simply about can a guy have value without having impressive numbers.


Totally agree. I just think he would have similar value as the UTL guy (clubhouse leader etc), and the offensive upgrade we would get with Phelps would make the team better overall. Not saying he's useless, just saying that I think the way to maximize the value of what we have available is to move him to UTL and give Phelps a shot at 2B.


Not to get too cross-sport and all that, but the value in him is how he goes about his business during the game. Much like Jake Delhomme isn't worth as much as the #2 QB tutoring Colt as he was starting. He doesn't even have to be effective, if his approach is what needs to be stressed. At least at this point.

Of course, I can't imagine they expected too much more from him production wise than they have gotten. Maybe thought his range would translate a little better and he would have maintained a little more of it, but offensively he is right about where anyone thought he would be. So anyone who was OK with the signing (and I don't remember where you stood gotribe) can't really be calling for the guys head today.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:56 pm

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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:06 pm

gotribe31 wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.


I don't like his lack or range or his .298 OBP, either. But in his defense I'll point out that he tends to get big hits at the right time. He has 15 RBIs in 23 games, which projects to 105 RBI over a full season.

Orly has three doubles and two HRs with runners in scoring position. He's only hitting .244 with RISP, but his hits tend to be for extra bases. A good example is that double he hit with the bases loaded which blew open the game against KC the other night.

He definitely has some liabilities both in the field and at the plate, but I put a lot of value on the ability to get extra base hits with RISP. He's 2-for-3 with the bases loaded with 6 RBI.

I don't know if he'll continue to drive in runs at this clip, but so far I'd have to give him a C. He's also done a nice job turning the double play. Just wish he had more range.


RBI's are a miserable way to measure performance. There's no stat for "clutch," it's just a random occurance. His average with RISP is .250 on the season. That's actually below his season average of .270. With 2 outs and RISP, he's hitting .100 (1-10). His career batting average is .274. His career average with RISP is .266. He's not clutch, he doesn't have a superpower where he turns into a better hitter with men on base, and he's just not very good right now.

2-3 with the bases loaded? Come on. You're basing your opinion of him on 3 at bats? Let me know how that works out. I'll be concentrating on the other 86 this year, plus the 494 last year.


Of course I'm not basing my opinion of him on 3 at-bats. If you read my post you'll notice I mentioned his range, his OBP, his BA with RISP, and his ability to turn the double play. IMO, you have to consider everything and weigh it according to its importance as opposed to cherry-picking stats.

I don't think it's valid to cite range factors that support your POV and then completely discount RBIs as meaningless. I don't agree that RBIs are a "miserable" way to measure performance. There's a difference between hitting a double in the gap with the bases loaded and striking out. RBI's aren't everything, but they should be considered as much as range factor, IMO.

Like you, I've been frustrated watching Cabrera wave at ground balls that roll past him. He reminds me of when Peralta played shortstop for us. But he does have five extra base hits this month with RISP, so I have to give him credit for that. I'd like to see him be more selective at the plate, but at age 36 his approach to hitting isn't going to change.

As for his contribution to team chemistry, I have no way of evaluating that. But he seems like the consummate professional, and Acta likes guys like that, even if they don't put up great numbers. He lobbied to get Austin Kearns here for that reason (and because we can use a right-handed bat).

As long as the Tribe is in contention I don't see how they can bench a guy with as much pennant race and playoff experience as Cabrera for a guy that never played a game in the bigs. They might start playing Everitt a little more often at 2nd against right-handed pitching, though.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby skatingtripods » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:40 pm

gotribe31 wrote:If Phelps comes up and hits, the team will be perfectly fine with it. You're saying if Phelps comes up and OC is moved to the UTL spot the rest of the team will quit playing?

And Pup, do you think he's been good in the field this year? I referenced a couple of defensive stats that back up what I said I saw with my eyes; he can't get to groundballs to his right and he's been a below-average defender overall. Are you looking at him and seeing something different?


Operative word here is "if". Nothing says that Phelps's minor league success will translate to the Show right away. You know what you have in Cabrera, a guy who is going to hit .275, move runners over when he needs to, and be a strong veteran presence.

He has not played anywhere near bad enough to lose the job. Something's clearly working right, we're 16-8.

You can sit there and piss and moan about walks all you want, but the dude's never walked. This should come as no shock to you.

Changing things for the sake of getting Cord Phelps up here makes zero sense at this stage.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby gotribe31 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:46 pm

Prosecutor wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:It's you. He's been terrible. He's already an offensive liablity and cannot go to his right on groundballs. His OPS is under .700, his OBP is under .300. He has saved -35 runs so far this season, and his range factor is well below league average. His UZR is -2.6. His WAR is -0.1. I'm glad he's in the clubhouse, but he can be the utility INF and still be in the clubhouse. Hell, he can be the clubhouse attendant and still be in the clubhouse. But I don't want him hitting 6th and playing 2B any more.


I don't like his lack or range or his .298 OBP, either. But in his defense I'll point out that he tends to get big hits at the right time. He has 15 RBIs in 23 games, which projects to 105 RBI over a full season.

Orly has three doubles and two HRs with runners in scoring position. He's only hitting .244 with RISP, but his hits tend to be for extra bases. A good example is that double he hit with the bases loaded which blew open the game against KC the other night.

He definitely has some liabilities both in the field and at the plate, but I put a lot of value on the ability to get extra base hits with RISP. He's 2-for-3 with the bases loaded with 6 RBI.

I don't know if he'll continue to drive in runs at this clip, but so far I'd have to give him a C. He's also done a nice job turning the double play. Just wish he had more range.


RBI's are a miserable way to measure performance. There's no stat for "clutch," it's just a random occurance. His average with RISP is .250 on the season. That's actually below his season average of .270. With 2 outs and RISP, he's hitting .100 (1-10). His career batting average is .274. His career average with RISP is .266. He's not clutch, he doesn't have a superpower where he turns into a better hitter with men on base, and he's just not very good right now.

2-3 with the bases loaded? Come on. You're basing your opinion of him on 3 at bats? Let me know how that works out. I'll be concentrating on the other 86 this year, plus the 494 last year.


I don't think it's valid to cite range factors that support your POV and then completely discount RBIs as meaningless. I don't agree that RBIs are a "miserable" way to measure performance. There's a difference between hitting a double in the gap with the bases loaded and striking out. RBI's aren't everything, but they should be considered as much as range factor, IMO.


RBI's are dependent on factors beyond the hitters control. A single with a guy on 2B that gets thrown out at home is just as good of a job by the hitter as a single with a guy on 2B when the guy beats the throw.

Batting average, OBP, SLG, and the defensive metrics like UZR are stats that are more in control of the individual player. I didn't "cherry pick" stats because they support my point of view. I pick stats that matter. RBI's aren't a good indicator of performance. I feel like I've been down this road with you before regarding Ryan Garko, and you didn't seem to grasp it then so I guess I don't know why I'm even bothering to try again. If you don't understand why RBI's are a flawed stat, then nothing I tell you is going to explain it and I'm just wasting valuable space on the internet.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby skatingtripods » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:16 pm

gotribe31 wrote:RBI's are dependent on factors beyond the hitters control. A single with a guy on 2B that gets thrown out at home is just as good of a job by the hitter as a single with a guy on 2B when the guy beats the throw.


I know that your post wasn't directed at me, but, if we want to look at another hypothetical. Runner on 3rd, 1 out. Guy at the plate walks. Next guy hits in to a DP. OR, Runner on 3rd, 1 out. Guy at the plate hits a sac fly. Next guy hits into a 4-3 GO.

Which do you prefer?
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby gotribe31 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:37 pm

skatingtripods wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:RBI's are dependent on factors beyond the hitters control. A single with a guy on 2B that gets thrown out at home is just as good of a job by the hitter as a single with a guy on 2B when the guy beats the throw.


I know that your post wasn't directed at me, but, if we want to look at another hypothetical. Runner on 3rd, 1 out. Guy at the plate walks. Next guy hits in to a DP. OR, Runner on 3rd, 1 out. Guy at the plate hits a sac fly. Next guy hits into a 4-3 GO.

Which do you prefer?


Either way, the guy at the plate did his job. Is it the fault of the guy who walked that the next guy GIDP'd instead of getting a hit or a SAC fly? What if the guy who walked had popped out on a crappy pitch because he was over-aggressive?
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby WiscTribeFan » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:41 pm

gotribe31 wrote:Totally agree. I just think he would have similar value as the UTL guy (clubhouse leader etc), and the offensive upgrade we would get with Phelps would make the team better overall. Not saying he's useless, just saying that I think the way to maximize the value of what we have available is to move him to UTL and give Phelps a shot at 2B.


They signed him to be the starting 2B. You pull him out of that role one month into the season you may as well release him because he's not going to be happy, and probably not the kind of guy you want around youngsters at that point.

I could be wrong, but I don't see him taking a back-up role all that well.

The A-Cab A- is a bit high. He started off really well, but offensively he's been a bit pedestrian. I'd rather have the higher average, lower power, better hitting A-Cab than the guy who listened to O-Cab and is swinging for the fences a bit more.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby statmasta » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:05 pm

Anyway, my grades:

C: D
1B: D+
2B: C+
3B: A+
SS: B
LF: C+
CF: A-
RF: B-
DH: A+

SP: A
RP: B+
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby skatingtripods » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:07 pm

gotribe31 wrote:Either way, the guy at the plate did his job. Is it the fault of the guy who walked that the next guy GIDP'd instead of getting a hit or a SAC fly? What if the guy who walked had popped out on a crappy pitch because he was over-aggressive?


Not in the slightest, but I prefer that my guys put the ball in play when they have a chance to drive in runs.

It's a difference of our baseball point of view. I would much rather get that run in immediately, right here and now, rather than rely on two consecutive hitters to do their job properly.

Just my interpretation of the game. I hate the "Moneyball" generation of OBP being so much more valuable than AVG. Give me a guy who puts the ball in play.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby bucknutz94 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:21 pm

statmasta wrote:Anyway, my grades:

C: D
1B: D+
2B: C+
3B: A+
SS: B
LF: C+
CF: A-
RF: B-
DH: A+

SP: A
RP: B+


this
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby KFletch » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:27 pm

bucknutz94 wrote:
statmasta wrote:Anyway, my grades:

C: D
1B: D+
2B: C+
3B: A+
SS: B
LF: C+
CF: A-
RF: B-
DH: A+

SP: A
RP: B+


this


Agree, however I will say I do like the elder Caberra for he is giving this young team some direction in which I thought we lacked in the past two years. Plus just look at his stats since 2004 and his playoff apperances ;-)
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:45 am

gotribe31 wrote:RBI's are dependent on factors beyond the hitters control. A single with a guy on 2B that gets thrown out at home is just as good of a job by the hitter as a single with a guy on 2B when the guy beats the throw.

Batting average, OBP, SLG, and the defensive metrics like UZR are stats that are more in control of the individual player. I didn't "cherry pick" stats because they support my point of view. I pick stats that matter. RBI's aren't a good indicator of performance. I feel like I've been down this road with you before regarding Ryan Garko, and you didn't seem to grasp it then so I guess I don't know why I'm even bothering to try again. If you don't understand why RBI's are a flawed stat, then nothing I tell you is going to explain it and I'm just wasting valuable space on the internet.


First of all, there's nothing less valuable than space on the internet. There's an infinite amount of it and it's free.

I agree that a player can lose an occasional RBI to a great defensive play. But the same goes for batting average, which is one of the stats you approve of.

The problem I have with RBI is that some players have more opportunities to drive in runs than others based on their position in the lineup. So you look at batting average with RISP to get an idea of how productive a player is when the team has an opportunity to score. Cabrera's BA is actually lower with RISP, so your point is well taken.

I don't like his lack of range and the fact that he never walks and makes an out over 70% of the time. But he's had five extra base hits with RISP in less than a month and he's on pace for over 100 RBI's this year from the 6 hole, and that's with the 3 and 4 hitters struggling. I don't think you can totally discount his RBIs as meaningless any more than you can discount Garko driving in 90 runs. Well, maybe you can, but I have to respectfully disagree.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Sun May 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Just my interpretation of the game. I hate the "Moneyball" generation of OBP being so much more valuable than AVG. Give me a guy who puts the ball in play.



But it is. The object of hitting is to get on base (or not make an out), not put the ball in play. A walk is a 100% guaranteed to get you to 1B; a ball in play brings chance into the equation i.e. a bullet near the SS that he snags that would have otherwise been a double - the batter did his job but by chance, hit it to the wrong spot of the field. That's why someone with a great batting eye that can maintain a high walk rate to supplement a good batting average, .280 or so, is so much more valuable than a simple slap hitter who refuses to take a walk and can hit an empty .300.


And RBI's are a terrible indicator and can vary greatly year to year based on who's hitting before who. Prosecutor will never grasp this; don't even try to explain it to him.


And I agree that Cabrera adds valuable experience to the everyday lineup regardless of his low numbers; all I ask is that he and LaPorta switch spots in the lineup.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Mon May 02, 2011 5:47 am

And RBI's are a terrible indicator and can vary greatly year to year based on who's hitting before who. Prosecutor will never grasp this; don't even try to explain it to him.


48 hours before you posted that, I posted this:

The problem I have with RBI is that some players have more opportunities to drive in runs than others based on their position in the lineup.


Either you're not paying attention or you just want to be a jerk. Which is it?

I'm as big a fan of statistics as anybody, but in Cabrera's case I think you have to look a little deeper. In Saturday's game he came up with the score tied and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th and one out. Our best hitter (Choo) had just struck out. Cabrera ended the game with a fly ball to deep center. On Sunday he drove in the tying run with a single in the 8th inning of a 5-4 win. The guy just seems to have the ability to come through when they need a hit or a ball put in play at a crucial time.

I don't like his lack of range or his low OBP, but from what I've seen he has a knack for rising to the occasion, so I'd like to see him stay where he is for a while. I like Cord Phelps, but I can't agree that benching Cabrera right now and bringing up Phelps would improve the team. Especially since it would also involve releasing Everett to make room for Phelps. Dumping one respected veteran and demoting another to make room for a guy with zero major league at-bats when the team as won 19 of their last 25 games would be idiotic, IMO. I think I can guarantee you it's not going to happen anytime soon.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon May 02, 2011 11:43 am

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:But it is. The object of hitting is to get on base (or not make an out), not put the ball in play. A walk is a 100% guaranteed to get you to 1B; a ball in play brings chance into the equation i.e. a bullet near the SS that he snags that would have otherwise been a double - the batter did his job but by chance, hit it to the wrong spot of the field. That's why someone with a great batting eye that can maintain a high walk rate to supplement a good batting average, .280 or so, is so much more valuable than a simple slap hitter who refuses to take a walk and can hit an empty .300.


Doesn't mean I have to like it. I'd rather have the guy who I know will hit the ground ball with the infield back rather than the guy who will work a full count and then strike out looking with a runner on 3rd, less than 2 out.

Like I said earlier, I want the run now. I don't want to take the chance on the next guy being as successful as the guys before him.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Mon May 02, 2011 12:08 pm

Either you're not paying attention or you just want to be a jerk. Which is it?



Forgive me for not reading every word you've written, but the last time this was brought up you were very much pro-RBI and would hear nothing of the pure suck that is Ryan Garko and how little his 90 RBI's meant. Congrats that you actually came around on an issue instead of just blindly following without regard to reason.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Mon May 02, 2011 1:04 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
Either you're not paying attention or you just want to be a jerk. Which is it?



Forgive me for not reading every word you've written, but the last time this was brought up you were very much pro-RBI and would hear nothing of the pure suck that is Ryan Garko and how little his 90 RBI's meant. Congrats that you actually came around on an issue instead of just blindly following without regard to reason.


No problem. I try to be as reasonable as possible and consider all arguments. I still wouldn't go as far as saying RBI's are a "miserable" indicator of performance. I think that's a little extreme but I respect your opinion. I would like to see a stat that measures BA with RISP in the last three innings of close games. I think it's out there - if I have time I'll look for it.

But even then, if a guy hits a three-run double with his team up 1-0 in the 5th inning, that is a huge hit in the context of the game. It takes a lot of pressure off the pitcher and takes away the opponent's running game and forces them to play for the big inning. As opposed to a three-run double when you have an 8-2 lead in the 9th, which is just padding for your stats.

As for Ryan Garko, I honestly don't recall that discussion. It must have really pissed you off if it's still eating at you. The only thing that matters now is that the Tribe brass did a great job in getting Scott Barnes for him. The big lefty tore up AA in three starts this year and now he's kicking butt in Columbus. Like Tomlin he's forcing himself into the group that includes Alex White, Carrasco, Pomeranz and De La Cruz as the next generation of starters. I don't know what we're going to do with all these guys.

Apparently the Giants didn't think Garko was "pure suck". Weren't they in the middle of a pennant race when they traded us Barnes for him? Maybe they put a little bit of stock in this RBI thing, because driving in runs was ALL Garko could do.

Edit: The Giants finished 88-74 in 2009, missing the wild card by four games. They traded for Garko in mid-season because they thought he could help them make the playoffs. Unfortunately, he only hit .235 the rest of the way even though he was hitting .283/.826 when they traded for him. So I guess you could say he was "pure suck" in the National League. But they were a good team that year and they wanted him for their stretch drive, so that says something.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Mon May 02, 2011 1:27 pm

TribeinLA wrote:
1b - Hafner/Sloth...A: Cannot complain here one bit. While many of us were reay to eat Pronk's salary and let LaPorta and Santana man this position, no one would have thoought Shrek and Goonies would save the day. When Pronk isn't in the lineup with a .342 average, Sloth has picked up and has provided power and defense. This position is not Ben Broussard and Eduardo Perez. We see the Pronk of old and as Cheapiro said on the telecast Wed night, he is a terrific 2 strike hitter. Are we seeing 2006 Pronk? Sure looks like it.

lf - M LaPorta...C+: I give Matt this grade simply because I know what he's capable of. I saw him play when he was a Florida Gator and thought, "Wow. This kid has it." He was the best hitter at the collegiate level, I thought, since Todd Walker, Mark Kotsay, and Pat Burrell. Surely the Brewers are pissed off. He's been decent, but I am awaiting, expecting, and demanding that he becomes that .300/30/100 guy that I KNOW he will be. This is the best hitter on our team...we just don't know it yet.

rf - Choo...B-: Much like LaPorta, except we KNOW he's going to turn around, Choo is graded lower than average because he isn't showcasing. This is the player who has somehow taken over the face of the team. That 3 run jack off of Louis Coleman is one of five reasons why Choo is the best player on the team...along with a Mark Whitten hose (well, almost) and a set of wheels that Alex Cole would envy (uh...not really. Could Choo steal 5 bases in a game). I love Choo's attitude and he can certainly end up with an OB pct. that Thome and his Blue Ox WOULD ACTUALLY marvel at. The best is yet to come. Stay away from the Korean army.

Anyway, this is a very novice opinion. I have been watching the Tribe since 1988 and have been a HUGE fan since...I don't know near as much as many of you and won't pretend to. I'm a Tribe fan for life who is extremely excited abot this great start and am soaking it up. Just wanted to see if my assessment was near yours. All I got is Extra Innings package and reading the great info that Swerb and others put out. This is our year!


Well, TribeinLA, I appreciate that you're a HUGE Tribe fan, which automatically makes you one of my favorite people. But you might want to use that Extra Innings package you paid for to watch some of the games. LaPorta is playing first base this year, not left field. Hafner is the DH, not the first baseman. And Sloth has only played one game at first so far this year.

It's tough to grade the positions accurately when you've got the wrong players there.

Oh, and Choo doesn't have to avoid the Korean army anymore. Since they won the Asian Games he no longer has a military committment.

I know you said you're a novice and I know you're excited about the team and that's great. I don't want to discourage you from posting but even a novice should know who plays what positions a month into the season. Especially someone who has been following the team for 22 years and has TV access to every game.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby The Brook » Mon May 02, 2011 1:35 pm

I agree that saying RBI's are a miserbale indicator of performance is taking it a bit too far. Look at the all-time RBI list. The top 50 are basically all studs, only one has an OPS of under .800 (Cal Ripken). Year to year there will be guys that luck into a bunch of RBI chances, but over the long haul that doesn't seem to be the case.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Mon May 02, 2011 2:37 pm

The Brook wrote:I agree that saying RBI's are a miserbale indicator of performance is taking it a bit too far. Look at the all-time RBI list. The top 50 are basically all studs, only one has an OPS of under .800 (Cal Ripken). Year to year there will be guys that luck into a bunch of RBI chances, but over the long haul that doesn't seem to be the case.


Yeah, the top 15 is:

Aaron
Ruth
Anson
Bonds
Gehring
Musial
Cobb
Foxx
E. Murray
Mays
Ott
A Rod
Yaz
Teddy Ballgame
Griffey Jr.

It's hard to believe that the only thing that separates this group from the run of the mill is they had better players hitting in front of them and they got lucky with a lot of balls not being hit right at somebody.

There are better measures of offensive productioh but RBI's can't be thrown out like the trash, IMO.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Mon May 02, 2011 7:38 pm

As for Ryan Garko, I honestly don't recall that discussion. It must have really pissed you off if it's still eating at you. The only thing that matters now is that the Tribe brass did a great job in getting Scott Barnes for him. The big lefty tore up AA in three starts this year and now he's kicking butt in Columbus. Like Tomlin he's forcing himself into the group that includes Alex White, Carrasco, Pomeranz and De La Cruz as the next generation of starters. I don't know what we're going to do with all these guys.

Apparently the Giants didn't think Garko was "pure suck". Weren't they in the middle of a pennant race when they traded us Barnes for him? Maybe they put a little bit of stock in this RBI thing, because driving in runs was ALL Garko could do.



Garko says hello from Korea. Less than 18 months after being on the Indians he was completely out of major league baseball; doesn't that tell you something about how valuable his RBI contributions were?

As for the RBI top 50 list being populated by Hall of Famers; RBI's were the byproduct of those guys doing pretty much everything well. RBI's don't tell you anything that OPS can't and in some cases (Ryan Garko) can entirely mislead you about the value of a player.

In the end, RBI's are just like wins, very much dependent on things that are out of control of the batter/pitcher. When you're trying to make a value determination of a player, don't you want to look at data that is entirely under their control? In statistics, isn't data without variables (and in baseball's case, variables can be extremely hard to quantify) more accurate?


Pros, I know you love RISP average and I think that over a large amount of time, it can provide a small bit of relevant information, say 10+ seasons. But most guys will have less than 150 AB with RISP per season and that's just too small of a sample size to have any predictive value. Now if a guy, say David Ortiz, keeps having a high average RISP over a longer time period, that data can be more reliable than just looking at Casey Blake in 2008 when his OPS with RISP was .928. That one season doesn't take into account Blake's year 2007 OPS with RISP when it was .565. His 3-year (08-10) OPS with RISP was .803. That's 3 data points all over the board for Blake that can't really tell us if he's a good hitter with RISP or predict what type of hitter he'll be in the future. Seems some years he's good, some he's atrocious.

http://www.fangraphs.com/community/index.php/the-elusive-clutch-hitter-2/

Here's a link to a great piece that digs deep into batting with RISP. Lemme know what your take is on RISP after reading it. Here's a small quote from the article that better illustrates what I was trying to explain above:

For a player who has 600 at-bats in a season, about 1/4 (on average) will be with RISP, or about 150 at-bats. If a player can improve his batting average 10%, or from about .272 to .300, he’ll increase his hits in these situations from about 42 in a season to 45. To put it another way, he will be successful three more times IN A SEASON than if there was no improvement, or about once every 50 games. That’s a pretty small difference.


And Pros, I really have nothing against you. You seem like a somewhat intelligent guy and put a lot of time into your posts, which are well thought out (though not always well reasoned) and well composed. But sometimes your takes are just so horrendously bad that it leaves people no choice but to call you out, some in more harsh ways than others.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Mon May 02, 2011 7:50 pm

The Brook wrote:I agree that saying RBI's are a miserbale indicator of performance is taking it a bit too far. Look at the all-time RBI list. The top 50 are basically all studs, only one has an OPS of under .800 (Cal Ripken). Year to year there will be guys that luck into a bunch of RBI chances, but over the long haul that doesn't seem to be the case.



They had a ton of RBI's because they were great players; they're not great players because they had a ton of RBI's.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby leadpipe » Mon May 02, 2011 7:52 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
As for Ryan Garko, I honestly don't recall that discussion. It must have really pissed you off if it's still eating at you. The only thing that matters now is that the Tribe brass did a great job in getting Scott Barnes for him. The big lefty tore up AA in three starts this year and now he's kicking butt in Columbus. Like Tomlin he's forcing himself into the group that includes Alex White, Carrasco, Pomeranz and De La Cruz as the next generation of starters. I don't know what we're going to do with all these guys.

Apparently the Giants didn't think Garko was "pure suck". Weren't they in the middle of a pennant race when they traded us Barnes for him? Maybe they put a little bit of stock in this RBI thing, because driving in runs was ALL Garko could do.



Garko says hello from Korea. Less than 18 months after being on the Indians he was completely out of major league baseball; doesn't that tell you something about how valuable his RBI contributions were?

As for the RBI top 50 list being populated by Hall of Famers; RBI's were the byproduct of those guys doing pretty much everything well. RBI's don't tell you anything that OPS can't and in some cases (Ryan Garko) can entirely mislead you about the value of a player.

In the end, RBI's are just like wins, very much dependent on things that are out of control of the batter/pitcher. When you're trying to make a value determination of a player, don't you want to look at data that is entirely under their control? In statistics, isn't data without variables (and in baseball's case, variables can be extremely hard to quantify) more accurate?


Pros, I know you love RISP average and I think that over a large amount of time, it can provide a small bit of relevant information, say 10+ seasons. But most guys will have less than 150 AB with RISP per season and that's just too small of a sample size to have any predictive value. Now if a guy, say David Ortiz, keeps having a high average RISP over a longer time period, that data can be more reliable than just looking at Casey Blake in 2008 when his OPS with RISP was .928. That one season doesn't take into account Blake's year 2007 OPS with RISP when it was .565. His 3-year (08-10) OPS with RISP was .803. That's 3 data points all over the board for Blake that can't really tell us if he's a good hitter with RISP or predict what type of hitter he'll be in the future. Seems some years he's good, some he's atrocious.

http://www.fangraphs.com/community/index.php/the-elusive-clutch-hitter-2/

Here's a link to a great piece that digs deep into batting with RISP. Lemme know what your take is on RISP after reading it. Here's a small quote from the article that better illustrates what I was trying to explain above:

For a player who has 600 at-bats in a season, about 1/4 (on average) will be with RISP, or about 150 at-bats. If a player can improve his batting average 10%, or from about .272 to .300, he’ll increase his hits in these situations from about 42 in a season to 45. To put it another way, he will be successful three more times IN A SEASON than if there was no improvement, or about once every 50 games. That’s a pretty small difference.


And Pros, I really have nothing against you. You seem like a somewhat intelligent guy and put a lot of time into your posts, which are well thought out (though not always well reasoned) and well composed. But sometimes your takes are just so horrendously bad that it leaves people no choice but to call you out, some in more harsh ways than others.


By whom Ryan Garko was picked up by has nothing to do with Ryan Garko the player. He still stinks. Which is why he's not in the league.

The conclusion to draw there is that the Giants made a mistake, not that Ryan Garko has value because a playoff team wanted him.

Garko was pretty much your classic zero tool guy.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue May 03, 2011 4:39 pm

Still reading that article Pros? This is probably the only time I'm waiting for a response from you and you're nowhere to be found...
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue May 03, 2011 4:56 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
Garko says hello from Korea. Less than 18 months after being on the Indians he was completely out of major league baseball; doesn't that tell you something about how valuable his RBI contributions were?

I don't want to get into a knock down drag out over Garko, but I'll say this. From 2006-2009 he had 1,403 ABs with the Indians, which I think is a large enough sample to get an accurate idea of what kind of hitter he was. His career average in Cleveland was .283. Projected over 600 ABs, his batting line was .283/22 HR/100 RBI. That's the player the Giants traded for - a guy with no speed or range at first base, but who proved he was an above average hitter over 1,400 major league at-bats.

What happened to him in SF I have no idea. I suspect it was a combination of adjusting to NL pitching and the pressure of expectations following the trade to a team in a pennant race. But as an Indian, he was somewhat better than "pure suck" and a "zero tool player", at least at the dish, and that's the reason a good team traded for him and put him in their lineup during a pennant race.


As for the RBI top 50 list being populated by Hall of Famers; RBI's were the byproduct of those guys doing pretty much everything well. RBI's don't tell you anything that OPS can't and in some cases (Ryan Garko) can entirely mislead you about the value of a player.

I don't think RBI's are completely misleading if you use a large enough sample size. There are two inter-related reasons some players have more RBIs than others; they are better hitters and they get more opportunities to drive in runs. Why do they get more opportunities? Because their managers recognize they are better hitters and set their lineups so as to give them as many ABs with runners on base as possible. There's a reason why Choo hits 3rd and Hannahan, with his .224 career average, hits 9th.

So if you see a player with a lot of RBIs, chances are he's a pretty good hitter. The statistic isn't everything, but I still believe it's better than a "miserable" indicator of performance.

It's like arguing that just because one relief pitcher has 40 saves and another has 0 doesn't prove anything because the one pitcher didn't get any opportunities so it's out of his control. There's a reason he didn't get any save opportunities and the other guy get every one.



In the end, RBI's are just like wins, very much dependent on things that are out of control of the batter/pitcher. When you're trying to make a value determination of a player, don't you want to look at data that is entirely under their control? In statistics, isn't data without variables (and in baseball's case, variables can be extremely hard to quantify) more accurate?

I'm arguing the RBIs are to a large extent in the batter's control because the better he hits the more chances he'll get to drive in runs. I don't think Hafner hit cleanup when he was first promoted to Cleveland, but he eventually took over the position.

Pros, I know you love RISP average and I think that over a large amount of time, it can provide a small bit of relevant information, say 10+ seasons. But most guys will have less than 150 AB with RISP per season and that's just too small of a sample size to have any predictive value. Now if a guy, say David Ortiz, keeps having a high average RISP over a longer time period, that data can be more reliable than just looking at Casey Blake in 2008 when his OPS with RISP was .928. That one season doesn't take into account Blake's year 2007 OPS with RISP when it was .565. His 3-year (08-10) OPS with RISP was .803. That's 3 data points all over the board for Blake that can't really tell us if he's a good hitter with RISP or predict what type of hitter he'll be in the future. Seems some years he's good, some he's atrocious.

http://www.fangraphs.com/community/index.php/the-elusive-clutch-hitter-2/

Here's a link to a great piece that digs deep into batting with RISP. Lemme know what your take is on RISP after reading it. Here's a small quote from the article that better illustrates what I was trying to explain above:

For a player who has 600 at-bats in a season, about 1/4 (on average) will be with RISP, or about 150 at-bats. If a player can improve his batting average 10%, or from about .272 to .300, he’ll increase his hits in these situations from about 42 in a season to 45. To put it another way, he will be successful three more times IN A SEASON than if there was no improvement, or about once every 50 games. That’s a pretty small difference.


Thanks for the link, very informative. The best thing about this board is when somebody can hook you up with some interesting research. But we're not talking about clutch hitting, we're talking about how useful RBI's are as a measure of performance and whether Orlando Cabrera's high (for a 2nd baseman hitting 6th) RBI number (so far) indicates that he is helping the Indians. At least that's what I think we're discussing.

And Pros, I really have nothing against you. You seem like a somewhat intelligent guy and put a lot of time into your posts, which are well thought out (though not always well reasoned) and well composed. But sometimes your takes are just so horrendously bad that it leaves people no choice but to call you out, some in more harsh ways than others.


I do put a lot of thought into my posts and I'm always happy to be called out by anyone who disagrees with my thought process or conclusions. The harshness just goes with the territory.

I'll be watching Cabrera closely as the season goes on, although I'll miss this road trip because I work for a living and can't stay up that late.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue May 03, 2011 6:51 pm

But as an Indian, he was somewhat better than "pure suck" and a "zero tool player", at least at the dish, and that's the reason a good team traded for him and put him in their lineup during a pennant race.


His career OPS+ is 106 with OPS+ being based on 100 (read as Garko being 106% of the league average player). As Lead Pipe famously says, he's just "a guy." Guys like him are a dime a dozen. I believe the specific reason the Giants wanted him is because he was right-handed. That's it. They needed a righty and he was the best they could find with what they were willing to give up, which was a pitcher who was still a tweener, that being a guy who starts but they ultimately saw him as a reliever. He has blossomed with into a real starting prospect and that we got Barnes for him is just another great trade by the front office.

There are two inter-related reasons some players have more RBIs than others; they are better hitters and they get more opportunities to drive in runs. Why do they get more opportunities? Because their managers recognize they are better hitters and set their lineups so as to give them as many ABs with runners on base as possible.


You have the opportunities wrong. You think opportunities are created based on position in the batting order but that's wrong, opportunities are created when guys are actually on base. A manager can try to influence the opportunities by changing the batting order but it's a guessing game at best. And guys slump and streak and get hurt and there's just too many variables to be able to quantify a number of opportunities based on batting position. Thus it requires the guys hitting before them to complete a task before they're able to complete one; an rbi situation is a conditional situation.


So if you see a player with a lot of RBIs, chances are he's a pretty good hitter.


No, you'll see a player who had a large amount of RBI opportunities i.e. at-bats with RISP. Ryan Garko proved that with his 90 RBI's over 149 AB w/ RISP. In 1994 Ken Griffey Jr. had 90 RBI's, same as Garko right? He only had 100 AB w/ RISP. He also had 40 home runs that year. It's about who's on base, not where you hit.


It's like arguing that just because one relief pitcher has 40 saves and another has 0 doesn't prove anything because the one pitcher didn't get any opportunities so it's out of his control. There's a reason he didn't get any save opportunities and the other guy get every one.


Saves are another terrible stat. Don't use them to back up your argument. In 2005 Bob Wickman had 45 saves. Rafael Betancourt had 1. Betancourt was a much better pitcher and pitched in more high leverage situations. Wickman mostly came on at the beginning of an inning with 2 and 3 run leads (usually giving up at least 1 run); not exactly as high leverage as coming on with 1 out in the 7th and guys on 1st and 2nd.

I'm arguing the RBIs are to a large extent in the batter's control because the better he hits the more chances he'll get to drive in runs. I don't think Hafner hit cleanup when he was first promoted to Cleveland, but he eventually took over the position.



I think I've shown above that this isn't true. I'm glad you brought up Hafner. Do you agree that he's been much better this year than last year? I think we all would. For being so much better this year it's gotten him 15 at-bats w/ RISP. That's the exact same amount as Jack Hannahan. Do you know why? It's because Choo and Santana haven't been getting on base in front of Hafner and because Brantley and LaPorta have been getting on base in front of Hannahan.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue May 03, 2011 9:22 pm

Sorry for the delayed response. I was busy all day.

1. I think we basically agree on Garko. Slightly above average hitter as his OPS indicates, no speed, marginal defense, could be useful to a team needing a right-handed bat before he went belly up after leaving Cleveland.

2.
You think opportunities are created based on position in the batting order but that's wrong, opportunities are created when guys are actually on base. A manager can try to influence the opportunities by changing the batting order but it's a guessing game at best. And guys slump and streak and get hurt and there's just too many variables to be able to quantify a number of opportunities based on batting position. Thus it requires the guys hitting before them to complete a task before they're able to complete one; an rbi situation is a conditional situation.


Here's where I have a problem. Managers can easily look at on-base percentage and set up the batting order so their higher OBP guys are hitting ahead of their run-producers, thereby giving their better run producers more opportunities to hit with men on base. It's not a guessing game, it's based on readily available stats.

And didn't the FanGraphs article say that most hitters get the opportunity to hit with RISP about one-fourth of the time? All players get chances to hit with RISP, some more than others depending on where they are placed in the batting order. You definitely want to be hitting behind Ichiro and not Russell Branyan.

I agree that guys who play on teams with weak offenses (like Griffey in '94) have less RBI chances than somebody on the '95 Indians, for example. I think there should be a stat for percentage of baserunners driven in, much like the stat for percentage of inherited runners that score.

Saves are another terrible stat. Don't use them to back up your argument. In 2005 Bob Wickman had 45 saves. Rafael Betancourt had 1. Betancourt was a much better pitcher and pitched in more high leverage situations. Wickman mostly came on at the beginning of an inning with 2 and 3 run leads (usually giving up at least 1 run); not exactly as high leverage as coming on with 1 out in the 7th and guys on


Yeah, Raffie was a lot better than Wickman that year. I think Wicky gave up 1-2 runs in about 35 of those saves.

I think I've shown above that this isn't true. I'm glad you brought up Hafner. Do you agree that he's been much better this year than last year? I think we all would. For being so much better this year it's gotten him 15 at-bats w/ RISP. That's the exact same amount as Jack Hannahan. Do you know why? It's because Choo and Santana haven't been getting on base in front of Hafner and because Brantley and LaPorta have been getting on base in front of Hannahan.


Yes, Hafner is much better and the slow starts of Choo and Santana have definitely cost him RBIs. I see your point. One reason O. Cabrera has a lot of RBIs is he's hitting behind Hafner with his .345 BA and .400+ OBP. But over the long run I still think these temporary variations even out and the better hitters will have more RBI because they're being placed in better spots in the batting order and because they just hit the ball hard more consistently. By the end of the season I'd be willing to bet Hafner hitting 5th will have more opportunities to drive in runs than Hannahan.
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Re: Grade the team, position by position

Unread postby Prosecutor » Wed May 04, 2011 9:34 am

gotribe31 wrote:I haven't see that at all. I see him up there hacking all the time, and I see that he's taken a total of 3 walks on the season. I've seen him swing at the 1st pitch with the bases empty, and I'ev seen him swing at the 1st pitch with men on base. In 42 of his 89 AB's, he has put the ball in play on either his first or 2nd pitch of the at bat. That isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but it speaks to his approach. And I don't think his approach varies much based on the situation.

The numbers back up what I am seeing, because like I said, his average with RISP is lower than his overall average. I've watched almost every inning of every game this season, so it isn't like I'm just pulling up the guy's baeball reference page and deciding he sucks. The bottom line is he isn't producing, and I think it would be better to have Phelps as the everyday 2B right now than Cabrera.


Cabrera now has base hits in the Tribe's last at-bat in three straight games. The first one was a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 13th and the last two either tied the game or put the Tribe ahead in games they ultimately won. He is on pace for 104 RBI's this year and 8 of his 18 RBI's either tied the score or gave the Tribe the lead. To say he's "not producing" is not entirely accurate, IMO.

I understand that the statistics reveal his limitations, but can you honestly say you would bench him and put Phelps in as the starter tonight if you were the GM?
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