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  1. Good points Matt. My guess is they will try hard to re-sign him though, because he is mildly popular and he has skills (power and an arm) that are attractive. There will be a hope that this guy will “turn it around” until he’s past 30 I bet.

    I know this is off-topic, but I’d be interested to read a piece about the Pirates and how their hitters just got completely dominated in the Reds series. Specifically, I took a look at the pitch count for Bailey’s CG today- he only threw 90 pitches. I was thinking that might be some kind of record, but then again, this is baseball we’re talking about. The Pirates’ hitters were scary impatient at the plate.

    Comment by mbrady16 — May 12, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  2. I think David Cone threw 89 pitches in his perfect game.

    Comment by Steve — May 12, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  3. Certainly not a record, but I’ll bet we haven’t seen it since the days of Maddux. The growth of offense and the higher emphasis on OBP have really driven home to most players the importance of working a count.

    The good news for the Pirates is that they share a league with the Astros, so they’re not even really close to being the most impatient team in the league. Heck, they’re better off than Baltimore, too.

    Comment by Bronnt — May 12, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

  4. Maddux had a CG with less than 80 pitches. The lowest pitch count I can remember is Carlos Silva, who had something like a 74 pitch complete game.

    Comment by Temo — May 12, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  5. Ugh. Someone should tell the Mets that there’s something else even more popular than middling power and throwing strength: winning baseball teams.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — May 12, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  6. Yep, 7 pitchers since 1957 with complete games throwing fewer than 80 pitches:

    Carlos Silva (74)
    Andy Ashby (75)
    Bob Tewksbury (75)
    Greg Maddux (76)
    Jon Lieber (78)
    Tom Glavine (79)
    Bob Tewksbury (79)

    Lieber and Tewksbury’s 2nd game were the only shutouts, and the only ones with only 1 hit (all the others recorded either 5 or 6 hits against). Ashby actually gave up 2 runs (both solo HRs).

    Lieber was the only one with a walk (1) and Maddux recorded the most strikeouts (6).

    Comment by Temo — May 12, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

  7. Funny to read the old BP scouting report on Frenchy. I wonder what the author (David Cameron, who I believe is now the prime minister of England) was referring to with this quote:
    “The high-risk, high-reward philosophies instituted in the early 90s helped produce the crop of homegrown talent that led to 11 consecutive division championships. While one could argue that there are more cost-effective ways to develop talent, the Braves certainly have reason to feel vindicated in their methods.”

    What else could one argue? Is this a reference to Moneyball (article was in 2003) and the then prevailing wisdom in the saber crowd that drafting ML ready college players was a better and more cost effective strategy? If so, have the subsequent events caused Cameron’s opinion to change? And what does this mean to the future of the European Union?????

    Comment by Dan in Philly — May 12, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  8. Oops, forgot Aaron Cook, who tied Silva’s record in 2007.

    Comment by Temo — May 12, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  9. Amen, and amen. The Braves went through the same thing, before it dawned on them that winning >> modestly useful bench/platoon guy thrust into an everyday role and overpaid.

    Comment by Jason B — May 12, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  10. Thanks for the good post, Matt. I’m a Braves fan but somehow missed the Failcoeur shirts last year. I’m getting one right now!

    I will respectfully disagree with you that the Mets will be able to compete for the Wild Card this year. It would take a miracle for them to be more than a few games over .500, as any and all projection systems can and do attest.

    Comment by beer me — May 12, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  11. Best line in Cameron’s scouting report from ’03:

    “His plate discipline will be what makes or breaks him.”

    D. Cameraon, True Visionary.

    Comment by beer me — May 12, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  12. It’ll be interesting to see how the season plays out. If FMart doesn’t come back from his injury and start inproving soon, they may keep Frenchy around for his “positive clubhouse atmosphere” ie cora.
    IF Fmart begins to play as he should, and shows himself major league ready, I think they’ll make the call to non-tender (though perhaps still resign at a lower rate).

    The other big factor could be if Beltran can’t play center anymore…

    Comment by attgig — May 12, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  13. Sure, but “few games over .500″ might compete for the NL wildcard this year.

    Comment by Steve — May 12, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

  14. I think we can all agree that congratulations are due to Mr. Cameron. Hopefully he can bring a love of baseball to the U.K.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — May 12, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  15. At the end of the day, though, Francouer is an above average glove and an average bat. That makes him a somewhat valuable asset. He is constantly pointed at by the saber crowd as being a terrible player, but I don’t think that is fair.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — May 12, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

  16. While I don’t have much faith in Frenchy at this point I would think.

    .243/.311/.417 (.321 wOBA).
    .270/.311/.431 (.317 wOBA).

    similar obps with pretty different averages would mean so far there’s a pretty big difference in is walk rates. And by ESPN’s stats page he’s 7th in the NL for pitches seen per plate appearance in the month of may. So the problem doesn’t seem to be him reverting back to his poor patience. I don’t really know what it is, the out of zone swing numbers seem to suggest that his God awful BABIP and batted ball numbers are due to swinging and making contact on bad pitches to hit even after he’s been patient, but would that be a symptom of the problem he’s always had or something that’s fixable?

    Comment by Gina — May 12, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

  17. His career line actually makes him a below average hitter. And he’s been more around an average glove the last few years than above average.

    Comment by Gina — May 12, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  18. His career wOBA is .317. When is the last time that was league average?

    He’s might be an above average glove… on the OF corners, which means he’s got an average positional adjustment at best.

    Maybe we are too hard on him — every teams needs bench players and fill-ins. They just shouldn’t pay them $5M in arbitration.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — May 12, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  19. Please, Matt, quit scaring me by bringing up Dayton Moore’s affinity for Francouer. If the Mets non-tender him I’ll have nightmares all winter thinking that Moore is going to offer him a multi-year major league contract. My hopes lie in the fact that the Mets seem to love him too.

    Comment by geo — May 12, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  20. Well we’re also talking about a team paying Alex Cora 2.5 million and GMjr 1 million. If 0 WAR is worth 2.5 million by their standards Frenchy may actually be underpaid.

    Comment by Gina — May 12, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  21. Since Zach Greinke is on pace for 20 losses think we could make something work out with Moore? Who wants a pitcher who doesn’t know how to win.

    Comment by Gina — May 12, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  22. Good point… OBP-AVG of .068 vs .041 career as well as a slightly higher ISO in 2010 [.174 vs .161].

    Essentially, he’s matching his career line save for trading a couple singles for a couple walks.

    Comment by Eric R — May 12, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

  23. ZiPs projects a wOBA of .324 moving forward, which is pretty darn close to average. His career UZR is about 7, but +/- likes him a whole lot more.

    Certainly overpaid, but hardly worthless on the field.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — May 12, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

  24. But it’s not just that, this is a guy with a career LD% near 20% who suddenly can’t break 10%. Clearly there’s more to it than just trading singles for walks.

    Comment by Gina — May 12, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  25. Yes, exactly my point

    The Braves and Dodgers aren’t exactly lighting it up. the Mets aren’t that good, or even the favorites, for the Wild Card, but they have a shot.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — May 12, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  26. Again, not worthless

    but shouldn’t be getting significantly playing time ahead of Angel Pagan.

    .324 is a bit below average, but unless you’re Ryan Langerhans with the glove, it’s unacceptable from a corner outfielder

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — May 12, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

  27. Looks like his O-Swing is higher and his Z-Swing is lower this year.
    Significantly higher contact on his O-Swings, probably generates less liners on balls than he would on strikes. That might explain the LD%. Why is he walking more if he’s hacking more though…

    Comment by Gary — May 12, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  28. Wasn’t Greinke-for-Francoeur actually bandied about prior to the ’09 season? Talk about completely reversing Atlanta’s fortunes… not only would they have had Zack, they probably wouldn’t have gotten Lowe and might have been able to keep Vazquez. Ouch.

    Comment by Kevin S. — May 12, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  29. If OBP were so important they would put it on the scoreboard.

    Comment by hizilla — May 12, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

  30. Frenchy actually was being patient for the first couple weeks and working the count. He hit a slump due to some bad luck and just started to swing at everything again. He’s gone like 5 for 60 since than with maybe a walk. He has 4th outfielder written all over him. Jeff should be pinch hitting than inserted for defense in a double switch instead of starting everyday.

    Comment by Franco — May 12, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

  31. Yeah Gary that’s what I don’t get, does it just mean pitchers haven’t made the adjustment yet?

    Comment by Gina — May 12, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

  32. He’s seen significantly fewer pitches in the strike zone, which, for a hacker, would also explain why he’s swinging at pitches *out* of the zone more often. If anything, pitchers have realized there’s no reason to throw the guy a strike.

    Comment by Kevin S. — May 12, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

  33. Speaking of former Baby Braves…

    Ohhh Ryan Langerhans. Never thought you’d be an equal player to Jeff, but much more appealing (relatively) because of a much more reasonable contract

    Comment by Ward — May 12, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

  34. I just got “Semper Failcoeur” tatooed on my back this weekend — now I’m gonna look unoriginal at the beach this summer.

    Comment by James Kannengieser — May 12, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

  35. except that the braves last 5 or 6 titles were with a huge % of retreads/random vets on short term deals and their farm system was and is over-rated

    if anyone wants Dayton Moore, please take him

    Comment by Will — May 12, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

  36. It was rumored but I don’t know how much truth was to it. According to the rumor Atlanta was the team that turned it down…which as much as I want to believe (as a mets fan), just sounds incomprehensible. Knowing the mets if such a trade happened they’d look at Grienke’s win-loss record and decide he should be their 8th inning guy cause he wasn’t caught out to start, and then ship Meija off for Guillen to replace Frenchy.

    Comment by Gina — May 13, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  37. who knew Carlos Silva was good?

    Comment by PhD Brian — May 13, 2010 @ 2:35 am

  38. Gina: No no, that’s Jim Hendry’s philosophy.

    Comment by Matt Harms — May 13, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

  39. Sounds like more mets bashing to me… Especially from a fanbase which once was one of the best in sports, who won’t even come out to their own home games

    Hey, the team is actually playing some exciting baseball and they’re actually trying, and that includes jeff f. You got some decent kids out of the system like nieve, davis, mejia holding their own. And maybe, just maybe, Beltran may return sometime this summer. Things could be far worse than the corner outfielder.

    This is why I don’t frequent fan sites as much as I once did. Here’s a novel idea, mets fans…Enjoy the moment

    Comment by michael — May 13, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

  40. IF… if the Mets can gag down the 5 million they’re paying Francouer, he and Pagan would be a very strong platoon once Beltran comes back, with Pagan taking two starts a week in CF when a lefty is starting against the Mets to give Beltran plenty of rest.

    That means swallowing some pride, which I’m not sure is going to happen. Some good news is that in spite of themselves the Mets are probably headed towards their best 2011 lineup. With Castillo hurt, Tejada may end up back on the ML club, and should get some starts over Cora. Davis is here to stay, barring a major slump. Carter’s getting a look as the corner bench guy, and Thole will be getting ABs.

    Note to michael: what’s up with guys like you? Why do you have trouble with a series of thoughtful criticisms of the club, and suppositions wrt why a player is struggling? We’re not 12 any more. Being critical, even highly critical of a team isn’t “bashing” as long as it isn’t gratuitous. Thoughtful analysis is often not particularly complimentary, but it’s a rough world we live in, full of error that needs to be diagnosed, and incompetence that needs to be ferreted out. Get used to it. In other words, stop bashing people for “bashing” the team.

    Comment by Jack straw — May 13, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  41. Nieve isn’t a kid, and there’s nothing good about Meija in the ML. He should be in AA learning to start not being wasted in the bullpen.

    Comment by Gina — May 13, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  42. You’re not a real Metropolitans fan unless you’re bashing them. I thought all Met, Phils, BoSox and Cub fan knew this.

    Comment by Franco — May 13, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

  43. I’ve heard the platoon suggestion before, and it does make some sense, but without running the regression right now, I’m not sure the offensive difference vs. LHP makes up the defensive gap between Pagan and Francoeur.

    It’s worth noting that it may be a moot point, since there’s word that Beltran may not be able to play CF when he returns, and they’ll put him in RF. In which case they’ll surely put Pagan in CF.

    Or they could just trade him to the Royals for Ankiel, a.k.a. “Frenchy with an occasional pornstache.”

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — May 14, 2010 @ 12:07 am

  44. I really don’t know there’s all that much defensive gap between Pagan and Frenchy. You need 3 year’s uzr before you can start to make judgments, Pagan doesn’t even have 2 full years, and Frenchy’s career line is better than his last 2 years. He hasn’t been so bad this year. Pagan may be a little better, but not by a huge amount. Same with batting. Pagan may be a little better. he’s also 3 year’s older. I think Francouer has shown more upside, but at this stage it looks like he is not breaking through and he’s regressed.

    And Francouer has a .348 career wOBA against lefties, Pagan is at .295 wOBA against lefties. I’d think Francouer should still be the righty part of a rightfield platoon with Pagan when Beltran gets back.

    Comment by Wobatus — May 14, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

  45. I didn’t want to bore people with the numbers… but since someone brought it up, I just re-did my defensive projections for both Francoeur and Pagan (so, yes, among other things) they’re regressed to account for sample size, and Pagan is regressed more heavily. I did it with both UZR and Dewan’s. Yes, there’s still a lot of uncertainty, and room for alternate perspective, but I just want to show that I’m not talking out of my butt.

    Here are my position-neutral OF projections per 162:

    Using UZR I get a nine run difference

    Francoeur: -4
    Pagan: +5

    Using Plus/Mins, I get a ten run difference

    Francouer: Average
    Pagan: +10

    I wasn’t go to do the regression on the platoon splits… but I gave in, at least on Frenchy. His current ZiPS RoS wOBA is .319. After regressing, I get a projected .312 wOBA vs. RHP, and .338 vs. LHP.

    Switch hitters like Pagan do regress more quickly, but it’s more difficult. After about 600 PA vs LHP, we have a notion of what they do… but Pagan barelly has over 300 PA vs LHP. He’s got about a .339 projected overall wOBA at this point, so regressing that halfway to even, we get about a .320 wOBA vs. LHP projected (that’s rough). Over a full season, that’s about ten runs… almost exactly the difference I got between them defensively.

    So, yeah, playing Francouer against LHP instead of Pagan won’t kill them, but…

    This is moot, of course, if Beltran can’t play CF when he comes back, since even the Mets aren’t dumb enough to play Francoeur in center over Pagan.

    Are they?

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — May 15, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  46. …also note that the projections are generous to Francouer, since I crudely regress the whole thing — I suspect more careful projections would regresss arm ratings more heavily, since there is a smaller talent spread re: arms vs. range.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — May 15, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  47. Ya’ll can have Jeffery until he turns 40 then Frank Wren wants him back; ya’ll know Wren has a hard on for the dead and dying. Just look at the Braves roster; players in the twilight of their careers, rejects, retreads, and retards.

    Comment by renegade#1 — May 16, 2010 @ 8:30 am

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