FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Since I’m an idiot and I can’t figure out if your email address is available on the site, I’ll suggest a topic for another piece here:

    Pujols’ BABIP is .290 right now, which would be the lowest total of his career. This looks like it’s due to the lowest LD% of his career (15%) and the highest FB% of his career (46.6%). Interestingly, even in light of this, he’s posting the highest ISO of his career (.348). That’s surprising, and you’d think that it was due to an increased HR/FB%. But that number (21.9%) is only 1.5% higher than his career average.

    So what gives? Pujols is having a great year as usual. But the peripheral stats reveal that it is an outlier in terms of his career lines. (The most comparable year appears to be 2006, which was also a great year.) I don’t know exactly what to make of this. Perhaps nothing. But maybe you guys – who are savvier with these numbers than I – have something interesting to say about what these numbers mean? Maybe 2009 is just an outlier. Or maybe these results have something to tell us about Pujols in the future?

    Comment by Dai — August 27, 2009 @ 8:50 am

  2. Example #1 of why the Cubs will never be consistent winners. They stole Murton from Bos in the Nomar deal as he was a throw-in but highly rated prospect. And in typical Cub fashion, they jerked around his playing time until they had no choice but to let him go in the Harden trade. Some others they have done this too recently – Felix Pie (who has been solid for the Os), Eric Patterson, Jake Fox and Micah Hoffpauir. Some day this franchise might figure out that it takes time for a prospect to catch up to MLB pitching not just 2 weeks playing 3 out of 4 nights or less. Until they draft players that understand the importance of getting on base over hitting HRs, taking pitches, being patient at the plate, they will continue to pass up prospects too early and have to stock their MLB team with higher priced veterans. Seriously, just look at the Red Sox and how they handle it. They’ve got homegrown talent up the middle with Pedroia and Ellsbury also Youkilis and most of their pitching staff – Lester, Matsuzaka, Buchholz and most of the bullpen. Rome wasn’t built in a day so some day a Cubs GM will realize the value of a farm system that puts out quality consistent contributors.

    Comment by odbsol — August 27, 2009 @ 8:57 am

  3. yes, the gritty,scrappy Red Sox and their homegrown ace, Daisuke Matsuzaka.

    Comment by Steve — August 27, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  4. I’m not sure I understand how 2009 is an outlier. It seems to me that more fly balls and fewer line drives would lead to exactly what we see for Pujols this year: higher ISO than career and and lower BABIP and BA than career (because more FB, more of his contact leaves the park, and more of his contact are caught FB, while there are fewer uncatchable LD to raise the BA). The fact that his HR/FB% is slightly higher doesn’t seem to be particularly relevant: if he’s hitting more FB with a similar HR/FB% percentage, of course he’s going to have a higher ISO because more FB will be HR.

    I can’t explain this of course (maybe Pujols is swinging with more of an uppercut?), I just don’t see how this is a statistical outlier. I’m not trying to be snarky, but am I missing something here?

    Comment by James C-B — August 27, 2009 @ 9:16 am

  5. “Ace?” He is the 3/4 guy on the staff and he’s been hurt all year. How about Josh Beckett, whom the Sox bought with homegrown talent (Hanley), and Jon Lester? Clay Buchholz, who has a higher WAR than Dice K this year? Not going to mention those guys? Okay, cool.

    Comment by James C-B — August 27, 2009 @ 9:19 am

  6. oops my bad i didn’t see that the original poster listed dice-k in his post. yea i don’t get that either.

    Comment by James C-B — August 27, 2009 @ 9:21 am

  7. Maybe the Mariners will pick him up. They’ve been making these kind of smart moves and we could really help them in an OF platoon.

    Comment by RA — August 27, 2009 @ 9:31 am

  8. i want the mets to go to there.

    i can’t wait for them to not pick him up and then pay francoeur 5 million next year.

    Comment by big baby — August 27, 2009 @ 9:33 am

  9. What does it say about front offices that they obviously see this guy as a replacement level player when he performs consistently above replacement level?

    Comment by Daddymag — August 27, 2009 @ 9:39 am

  10. Good point. I guess I was thinking that it would be hard to sustain such a high ISO with such a low LD% – at least, not without significantly increasing one’s HR/FB%

    But I take your point that an increase in FB% of that magnitude causes a lot more HRs, and the corresponding bump in ISO is understandable – esp. because HRs count for so much in SLG%.

    Comment by Dai — August 27, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  11. Can you imagine a Seth Smith/Matt Murton platoon? Killer corner outfield production.

    Comment by Ed Nelson — August 27, 2009 @ 9:59 am

  12. It’s an odd move that Rockies fans have been puzzed about. Rincon was already on the 40-man and was activated from the DL, so we wondered why not just option Murton. Perhaps they also wanted to clear a roster spot for another player (e.g., another pitcher, or Giambi)?

    There were some rumors that the Rockies could not option Murton until Friday due to some rules technicality, and so to get Rincon here for Wed’s game, they had to do the DFA. Yet, players have been recalled for a game and then sent back down plenty of times, so that one’s confusing. Anyone heard of a situation where it couldn’t be done?

    Also: Rincon was unfortunately needed due to the Rockies having to use their long reliever as a spot starter (Fogg) and the 24 innings of games they played the 2 previous nights. (Rincon pitched 4 innings last night in the loss to give the rest of the pen a much-needed rest.) It’s a bummer for Murton. Apparently they preferred Eric Young Jr (whose started in CF the last two nights in place of Dexter Fowler/Carlos Gonzalez). I agree, I hope he gets a chance to play somewhere.

    Comment by puck — August 27, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  13. uh…Pie has been solid for the O’s? You must be talking about defense, because his 257/.323/.415 line doesn’t look all that impressive to me. Let’s compare that to .278/.391/.468 of Fukudome, and it doesn’t look like a terrible deal for the cubs (though fukudome is a downgrade defensively). Overall Fukudome is a 3.1 WAR player, over .8 for Pie.

    Comment by slash12 — August 27, 2009 @ 10:08 am

  14. Why wouldn’t they just use Ryan Spilborghs as the platoon partner, as they have been? Their numbers are comparable, if not actually favoring Spilborghs. If one only trusts current season numbers rather than projections (which I wouldn’t assume at a site like this), Murton did not end up with great overall numbers at Colorado Springs. The MLE for his season is somewhere around .330/.400 according to MLSplits.

    Comment by puck — August 27, 2009 @ 10:13 am

  15. This is a joke right? We’re missing your sarcasm………

    Comment by rizzo — August 27, 2009 @ 12:28 pm


    Aaron Gleeman appears to have committed plagiarism here… What he has written pretty clearly matches what R.J. wrote (at an earlier time).

    Comment by Gary Geiss — August 27, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

  17. MLB doesn’t like gingers, and who can blame them?

    Comment by cpebbles — August 27, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  18. Murton’s story isn’t that unusual. There are quite a few players like him. His defense may grade out via the metrics as at least average, but I’m not sure any of the organizations he’s played for would agree. In any case, he’s another in a long line of players that haven’t caught a break, or enough of one to establish himself enough to get a 25-man gig consistently. A lot of teams could do worse than Murton as a 4th/5th OF type for sure, but he doesn’t run particularly well and he’s a tweener in terms of power. His on base skills should eventually get him to catch a break, but then again…

    Comment by razor — August 27, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  19. The Mariners do not need outfielders.

    Comment by Hark — August 27, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  20. The Giants certainly SHOULD claim him, but… no, they’ll continue to run Nate Schierholtz, Fred Lewis and the mummified remains of Randy Winn out there instead.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — August 27, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

  21. What happened to Fred Lewis anyways? I thought he was really going to breakout.

    Comment by Ed Nelson — August 27, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

  22. He’s also 9 years younger, way less expensive, and has received sporadic playing time. Using WAR to compare a starter to a backup is stupid, he has 40% the PA’s of Fukudome. Projected out, he’d be worth about 1 less win if he had Fukudome’s playing time and cost the Cubs about $12.5 million less.

    And yes, .257/.323/.415 for a 23 year old CF is solid. He will be fine. Odds he’s about as good as Fukudome in 2011 without the ridiculous price tag? Likely.

    Comment by Joe R — August 27, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

  23. I’d like to see the Angels pick him up. And DFA Gary Matthew Jr.

    Comment by Rally — August 27, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

  24. because illiterate idiots reply to it with comments like “do any of u guys watch or listen to glenn beck?”.

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — August 28, 2009 @ 4:56 am

  25. According to Tracy Ringolsby:
    “I am not sure of the complete details but it seems the Rockies asked for option waivers on Murton when they called him up. That meant he could not be sent down until Friday. As a result he had to be designated. That does not mean he has to be put on waivers, but it means the Rockies have 10 days to deal with his contract. I think that would allow them to assign him to the Springs once Friday passes.”

    Comment by Poseidon's Fist — August 28, 2009 @ 9:24 am

  26. Murton must have passed through waivers, as he played at AAA Colorado Springs last night.

    Interesting. I thought w/a DFA, that the player had to clear irrevocable waivers (or be traded). I didn’t know optional waivers were…an option.

    Perhaps there will be a trade in the offseason that will open up some playing time for Murton, whether that’s on the Rockies or on another team.

    Comment by puck — August 29, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  27. Hm. Right. Forgot about that one.

    Same thing happened with Dana Eveland earlier this season. He was DFAed, but ended up just being optioned to AAA Sacramento.

    Apparently no one ever claims anyone on optional waivers– it’s like some kind of unwritten transactional rule. I can’t remember where I read it, but apparently no one has EVER changed teams as a result of an optional waiver claim.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — August 30, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

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