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  1. I’m guessing Detroit gave up mediocre-at-best talent in return. It’s like smelling a burp instead of a fart.

    Comment by TK — July 20, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  2. “That’s right, Brandon Inge has hit for less power than Chone Figgins this season.”

    0_0 that’s depressing. What happened to him? He was always good for a low batting average, but compensated for it with good power.

    Comment by Brian Wilson's Beard — July 20, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

  3. Is this article missing the last two paragraphs? It seemed to end abruptly.

    Comment by Will — July 20, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

  4. Yep, that’s exactly what happened. The dangers of posting things live. It’s fixed now.

    Comment by Chris Cwik — July 20, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  5. So 1 or 2 innings of Inge’s defense will cover up Betemit’s 7 or 8 innings of weak defense? This insight from a website that consistently tells us that relievers are overvalued because they don’t pitch enough innings?

    I’m not saying this isn’t an upgrade and the pluses will probably outweigh the minuses over 60 games but Betemit will cost them games defensively. Booting a ball, failing to knock one down or throwing one away in the fourth inning may not be as glaring as in the ninth but runs are runs and giving teams extra outs to play with never helps.

    Comment by MikeS — July 20, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

  6. with a starting rotation that begins and ends with justin verlander, that’s not really as big an issue as i think you’re making of it

    Comment by jim — July 20, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

  7. Inge’s defensive skills have been eroding. It is pretty apparent in anyone who watches him regularly and in his metrics.

    I think Don Kelly might be the defensive caddy instead with Inge getting DFA.

    Comment by mscharer — July 20, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  8. Betimit will help them offensively and hurt them defensively. Since he’s like to help offensively more than he hurts defensively, it’s an upgrade over what was Detroit’s 3b situation prior to the trade.

    Nobody’s going to ignore what Betimit is or isn’t. The fact he’s a clear upgrade over what they had before the trade says more about how bad Inge and Don Kelly have been than anything else. Your defense point is noted, but not really relevant to the idea that he’s a clear upgrade anyway.

    Comment by Mike — July 20, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  9. Inge has not been good defensively this year. At all.

    Comment by Cameron — July 20, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  10. You do realize Inge was a -.9 WAR, right?

    Comment by Cameron — July 20, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  11. Betemit – .372 BABIP (35-40pt over his career average)
    Inge – .237 BABIP (45 pt below his career average)

    While I think this is an upgrade, I wonder if/when the BABIP normalize toward career averages if the upgrade will be as substantial as folks think.

    Betemit will give some more pop (at the expense of defense), but over ~60-70 games we’re not talking a significant impact.

    Comment by Hank — July 20, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

  12. Even though Inge’s BABIP is way below his career average, it isn’t really bad luck, he just can’t swing the bat with any authority whatsoever anymore. Thats shown big time in his power drop too..

    Comment by Chris — July 20, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

  13. By massive upgrade what are we talking about? One win, going forward? 2?

    Comment by Shaggychild — July 20, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  14. “Betemit may not have been the “sexiest” name on the market, but he represents a massive upgrade…”

    I laughed. I also don’t believe Chris Cwik has any idea how terrible Betemit is at 3B.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — July 20, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  15. Oh noooo a trade within a divison, what is the world coming to!?!?!?!

    Comment by Chair — July 20, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

  16. That loud yelp is the sound coming from Rick Porcello when he realized that he’s going to have an infield of Miguel Cabrera/Carlos Guillen/Jhonny Peralta/Wilson Betemit fielding his grounders.

    Comment by Stringer Bell — July 20, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

  17. 1 or 2 wins is pretty big over the course of 60 games.

    Comment by maguro — July 20, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

  18. Yeah, it was a couple of fringe prospects in A-ball. And it’s more like smelling a burp instead of a rendering plant located inside a sewer.

    Comment by Jeff — July 20, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

  19. now that’s funny right there

    Comment by 44 — July 20, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

  20. Funny, and depressing D:

    Comment by Chris — July 20, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

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    Comment by zhongkul — July 20, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

  22. We agree. My point is you can’t wave away his defense with:

    “This might not affect the Tigers all that much, however, as they can still employ Inge as a defensive replacement later in games; effectively hiding Betemit’s major weakness.”

    He’s still going to be getting 80 – 90% of the chances at 3B

    Mostly I take issues with the word “effective.” It’s like saying you can ignore the weakness of the back end of the Yankees rotation because they have Mariano Rivera except that I exaggerate to make my point. You have to get through the first 8 innings to make that last inning relevant.

    Comment by MikeS — July 20, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

  23. betemit cant hit lefties at all, if they can find someone to platoon with him it will be a massssive boost since hes like a 850 ops vs righties and 5somthing vs lefties. His offense more then carries the defensive liability vs righties but vs lefties anyone with decent defense needs to be playing over him.

    Inge over his career raked lefties but yeah hes been a mess this year, if he could do his career average vs lefties they would make a really fantastic platoon.

    Comment by aj — July 20, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  24. A little off-topic, but:

    It’s amazing how overpayed Adam Dunn is considering all he has to do is hit…and he can’t even do that!!

    Most of the baseball game is spent on the field (by normal position players), as opposed to how much time they spend at the plate during the season (All position players take the field at once for half of the total playing time in a baseball game, the other half of the game they take turns at the plate).

    So of the time spent on the field, roughly 1/9 of that time is spent at the plate (on average. Some obviously more than others, but no player exceeds 1/5 of their time spent on the field).

    That said, it doesn’t really make sense that Dunn or any DH should get that much money ($12 million a year!) in the first place whether he produces or not. He hasn’t put any more fans in the park than
    teammate Alexei Ramirez has this season (much less fans than Alexei considering his numbers at the plate, and Alexei gets less than 1/4 of Dunn’s total paycheck!).

    Maybe Dunn feels useless being a DH as it’s kind of a useless position: most of the game they sit on the bench. But he should at least do SOMETHING to earn that paycheck!! Hopefully other AL teams will learn that lesson next time they consider overpaying a DH. Horrible signing by the White Sox.

    Personally, I’d rather see a pitcher who can hit. There are a good amount of them this season as opposed to seasons in the past, especially lately (Tim Hudson, Zach Duke, Zambrano, Billingsley. Daniel Hudson of the Dbacks is hitting .359 this season!). And if they don’t get a good hit, they’re a quick out. Simple! DH doesn’t make too much more of a difference in games offensively.

    But from an unbiased and practical standpoint:

    Why pay a lot more money for less than half a player who should either just be a pinch hitter or retire?? I can’t think of many quality DHs other than Ortiz and Edgar Martinez in the history of the position. Waste of time and money.

    Also, the DH rule hasn’t created more fans as a whole. The Yankees were already the most popular team before the DH rule was created. Red Sox were already very popular and then gained more popularity by winning two more championships and creating a “rivalry” with the Yankees in the past ten years.

    Phillies and Giants have done the same thing recently, and they did this by winning the World Series with exciting pitchers and position players in their lineup. Championships and franchise players create more fans, not an extra hitter who “needs” a few million more dollars a year (some a lot more than that like Dunn) than a bench player. Why not build a successful franchise while spending less money??

    Comment by Templeton1979 — July 20, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

  25. Whoops, this part is my opinion and should be before the announcement of the unbiased and practical standpoint:

    Why pay a lot more money for less than half a player who should either just be a pinch hitter or retire?? I can’t think of many quality DHs other than Ortiz and Edgar Martinez in the history of the position. Waste of time and money.

    Comment by Templeton1979 — July 20, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

  26. Why watch a pitcher try to hit, or worse injure himself running the bases? This is a stale argument.

    Comment by Bookbook — July 20, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

  27. Agreed, I’m just looking for a number.

    Comment by Shaggychild — July 21, 2011 @ 12:04 am

  28. 1.1 wins

    Comment by twinsfan — July 21, 2011 @ 12:38 am

  29. That left “a little off-topic” in the dust seven or eight states ago.

    Comment by davisnc — July 21, 2011 @ 1:15 am

  30. that’s a ‘little off-topic’ like yuni betancourt should be playing major league baseball

    Comment by jim — July 21, 2011 @ 2:10 am

  31. Well, they aren’t going to be using Inge as a defensive replacement as he’s to be DFA’d and sent to Triple-A should he clear waivers.

    Comment by Ree — July 21, 2011 @ 2:45 am

  32. Even with Betemit’s weaknesses, it’s a good move for Detroit. Even with his inability to hit left-handed pitching, he still ought to be a total improvement over Inge in all situations. It’s difficult to overstate how bad he has been this year. When as a fan you’re happier to see Don Kelly start over anyone, things are really brutal. That’s the way it has been.

    Comment by Larry Smith Jr. — July 21, 2011 @ 2:55 am

  33. And Betemit’s 372 is real and sustainable as well?

    While certainly BABIP can decline without it all being about luck, it ‘s a pretty severe dropoff and the batted ball profile doesn’t suggest it’s 100% real.

    While you can refer anecdotally about hitting with authority- look at his batted ball profile:

    His line drive rate is actually slightly higher than his career avg, and his GB anf FB rates aren’t all that different (His GB rate is down which should drag down his BABIp a little bit) His infield hit % is down and his IFFB is way up…. hard to say if IFFB rate is something real and suggest skill decline os is some variance over a small sample..

    My point is the ~WAR difference people are thinking is potentially confounded with BABIP variation (which impact offensive #’s), UZR small sample size variation, and thankfully now we can toss in UBR variation and pretend that’s real over a 1 season sample size (or partial season in this case)… that’s a metric which doesn’t even consider how deep a ball is hit when figuring out advance rates. (while that may smooth out over large samples, there’s no way it does over even 1 season).

    I doubt this is even a 1 win upgrade – of course I don’t believe in raw WAR #’s (especially UZR) that apparently are accurate to one decimal place… over a half season (slightly more) you have to lok at the numbers feeding the WAR and ask should they be regressed a bit… in this case I think they should.

    Comment by Hank — July 21, 2011 @ 3:35 am

  34. 1.1 wins +/- 1.5 wins

    Or did I miss the article which explained how 90 games of UZR and UBR became solid and statistically valid and we can just do simple linear projections?

    Assuming Wilson Betemit hasn’t suddenly developed better batted ball skills than Albert Pujols (Like someone mentioned above, I don’t think his .372 BABIP is sustainable for the rest of the season) , you can’t even linearly project the offensive #’s like people here seem to be doing.

    At some point I wish Fangraphs would publish a range or std error on the 1 season WAR #’s and explain the pitfalls of doing simple linear extrapolations of partial season WAR totals.

    Comment by Joe — July 21, 2011 @ 3:44 am

  35. Father time.

    Comment by Shaun Catron — July 21, 2011 @ 5:03 am

  36. Hank, Betemit has a career .336 babip in over 1800 plate appearances. So he likely won’t fall off a cliff. He’ll lose a few singles and a double or 2 maybe. But his walk rate is also a tad below his career average and his even better recent performance. Plus his hr/fb rate is around 5% this year compared to a 13% career norm. If we can expect some babip regression, we also have to expect some pick-up in his walk and homer rates. It washes out. Betemit just as a slightly above league average hitter is an upgrade over Inge, even with poor defense. Even if he is only a .5 WAR player rest of way, since Inge seems like a -.5 WAR rest of way. That’s a win.

    Comment by wobatus — July 21, 2011 @ 6:01 am

  37. Over the years Betemit has been fine against RHP (wOBA .347 wRC+ 111) and bad against LHP (wOBA .299 wRC+ 79). This year he’s hitting righties about the same (wOBA .347 wRC+ 118) but his performance against lefties is even worse than usual (wOBA .255 wRC+ 54). The Tigers will want to sit him against LHP.

    His defense is as bad as advertised: -4.4 Fld this season and like -12 last season. His total WAR this season is +0.4. If Inge has racked up -0.9 WAR so far, then Wilson ought to be an improvement of about one win for the rest of the year as his replacement.

    Comment by Juancho — July 21, 2011 @ 8:01 am

  38. Inge was DFA’d, so he’s not gonna be a defensive replacement anywhere but in AAA.

    Comment by DD — July 21, 2011 @ 8:52 am

  39. I’m surprised that KC couldn’t have gotten a little more for Betemit.

    Comment by wahooo — July 21, 2011 @ 10:00 am

  40. I’m with you MikeS.

    The overall thrust of the article is goo, but that quote rubbed me the wrong way for the same reasons and is just bizarre .

    Comment by Barkey Walker — July 21, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  41. Would Sizemore have been a better solution? Is David Purcey more valuable than the players they gave up to get Betemit?

    Comment by Paul — July 21, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  42. Purcey sucks, and Sizemore doesn’t suck. That was a dumb move by the Tigers, even if Sizemore spent the rest of the year in AAA. Note that he probably wouldn’t have, as they certainly would have tried him at third if he’d been available.

    Having those single A guys back + Sizemore is definitely better than having Purcey and Benemit, but you can’t turn back the clock, and I still view this move as smart independently.

    Comment by ToddM — July 21, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  43. greinke wants to be in the support group too

    Comment by juan pierre's mustache — July 21, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  44. Small sample size.

    Comment by JH — July 21, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

  45. Better they trade Sizemore out west for crap than trade him in the division for Betemit where he can hurt us more, I guess… :/

    Comment by Randy — July 21, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  46. I didn’t say Betemit’s is sustainable, at any point, although I don’t think it will drop much.

    Usually I would point to the same things about Inge, except I’ve watched him alot this year, and even those line drives are kind of pathetic.

    It feels weird arguing against those stats, and usually I wouldn’t, but Inge has a special case

    Comment by Chris — July 21, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  47. That Sizemore-Purcey trade is an embarrassment to the Tigers. If Sizemore was still around in AAA, he could at least be called up here to platoon at 3B with Betemit…instead we have the lefty-hitting Don Kelly, who has difficulty catching up to my fastball, and the cataract-ridden Inge. I’d guess that Worth will be the other half of the platoon – good defender…hopefully he can hit lefties a bit…his limited AB’s indicate that he might be able to.

    Comment by Ian — July 21, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

  48. At least it’s Guillen and not Raburn for at least half the time now. Sub in Raburn and it’s even worse, maybe the worst defensive infield assembled in some time. Though JP’s numbers throughout his career suggest he is not as bad at SS as some people would like to think.

    Comment by Colin — July 21, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  49. By the numbers, Betemit has been much better this season that the last 2-3 years, at least at third base, where he will been playing in Detroit.

    Comment by Ben — July 21, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  50. I’m sure it’s been mentioned already but my god is the Tigers infield defense going to suck. I mean when Jhonny Peralta is considered the best defender of the bunch you know they’re not very good. Hopefully Leyland uses Santiago and/or Kelly more when a groundball pitcher like Porcello is on the mound. With that said I still think this is probably a net win for the Tigers, even if Betemit only finishes with .260/.330/.400 the rest of the way it would be a huge improvement over the garbage that Inge has been giving them.

    Comment by Matt — July 21, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

  51. I don’t think you have any idea how terrible Inge is at 3B.

    Comment by Cameron — July 21, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  52. Not necessarily. He’s had mono and came back from it far more quickly than I would have expected. He also had a revamped batting stance from day 1 of spring training and has admitted that at this point he’s trying anything he can to break his slump, which has translated into throwing any consistency out the window and swinging wildly at everything.

    Comment by gnomez — July 22, 2011 @ 12:12 am

  53. 1816 MLB PA is a small sample size?

    Comment by Juancho — July 22, 2011 @ 2:43 am

  54. WOW! I this Launch Pad blows the competition out of the water.

    Comment by Harmony Hyatte — November 11, 2011 @ 7:31 am

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