Author Archive

Cleveland Signs Edwin Encarnacion

Cleveland came so, so, so close to the World Series crown just a couple months ago. It probably doesn’t hurt the way it hurt Red Sox fans in 1986, since they didn’t lose in the worst way imaginable, but it probably stings pretty hard, even now. Cleveland fans have likely buoyed themselves with the thought that with Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar back at full strength, and with a whole season of Andrew Miller, 2017 could bring a return trip. Bring the boys back and win it the second time around, the same way their American League Central brethren, the Kansas City Royals, did before them.
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FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 12/20/16

8:51
Paul Swydan:

Who will be happier with the Clay Buchholz trade?

Red Sox (20.4% | 19 votes)
 
Phillies (29.0% | 27 votes)
 
One of the 28 teams who didn’t acquire him (50.5% | 47 votes)
 

Total Votes: 93
9:01
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

9:02
Paul Swydan: Not sure if Jeff will be here or not. I forgot to talk to him today.

9:02
Paul Swydan: In any case, welcome to the last FanGraphs After Dark chat of 2016. It’s been a journey.

9:02
Josh: What options are there for LHH 4th Outfielders?

9:04
Paul Swydan: Perusing the list, I see Angel Pagan, Rajai Davis (though he’s better from the right side), Michael Saunders, Brandon Moss, Nori Aoki, Michael Bourn. http://www.fangraphs.com/freeagents.aspx?sign=all&pos=OF&nteam=all&oteam=all

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Clay Buchholz Trade Crystallizes Rotation for Red Sox, Phillies

Earlier today, the Boston Red Sox traded starting pitcher Clay Buchholz to the Phillies in exchange for minor-league infielder Josh Tobias. In so doing, both teams have more or less crystallized their plans for their 2017 starting rotations.

For the Red Sox, this is about nailing down just who will be on the 2017 pitching staff. In his remarks to reporters, Red Sox head honcho Dave Dombrowski made specific mention that he feels the team is done wheeling and dealing for the 2017 squad, save some depth moves. In other words, those who are on the roster right now are the players with which the team expects to move forward. So, who are they? Let’s take a look:

Definite Starting Pitchers:

Likely Starting Pitchers:

As you can see, the rotation picture is now a lot more clear. Before Buchholz was traded, you had to wonder what his role would be. He pitched begrudgingly in relief last season, but his clear preference was to be in the rotation. But with six qualified starters ahead of him on the depth chart, that didn’t seem to be a likely scenario. And if it weren’t, how much fuss would Buchholz kick up? We’ll never have to find out now that he has been dealt.

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The Best of FanGraphs: December 12-16, 2016

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.
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If You Vote for Vlad, You Have to Vote for Walker

If you’re an avid FanGraphs reader, you might remember a piece I wrote January in which I wondered whether Vladimir Guerrero had the credentials of a Hall of Famer. The verdict? He does. As an inductee, he wouldn’t have the most impressive resume in the Hall, but he’d belong — and, according to the first 44 ballots collected by Ryan Thibodaux by way of his BBHOF Tracker, it appears as though the voters agree:

2017 Hall of Fame Ballot, Vote %
Player Vote%
Jeff Bagwell 89%
Tim Raines 87%
Ivan Rodriguez 81%
Vladimir Guerrero 74%
Trevor Hoffman 74%
Barry Bonds 70%
Roger Clemens 70%
Edgar Martinez 66%
Mike Mussina 62%
Curt Schilling 51%
Manny Ramirez 43%
Lee Smith 36%
Larry Walker 19%
Jeff Kent 17%
Fred McGriff 15%
Jorge Posada 11%
Sammy Sosa 11%
Billy Wagner 9%
Gary Sheffield 6%
Vote % through 44 ballots from Ryan Thibodaux’s BBHOF Tracker

At 74%, Guerrero is right on the threshold for induction (which requires a candidate is named on 75% of ballots). That means that even if he isn’t selected this year Guerrero will almost certainly gain entry to the Hall next year. Which is great. Guerrero was a fantastic player. He’s deserving.

Larry Walker was also a great player, though. In most important ways, he was a superior one. And he’s received enough votes on previous Hall of Fame ballots to return for a seventh year. Like the previous six years, however, Walker is unlikely to be enshrined in Cooperstown this year — if the early polling holds steady, that is. In light of Guerrero’s seeming popularity, that’s strange. By most reasonable accounts, Walker has a better case. If you vote for Guerrero, you have to vote for Walker.

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FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 12/13/16

5:38
Paul Swydan:

Do you think there will be a major signing/trade between now and Christmas?

Definitely (21.1% | 52 votes)
 
I think so (33.3% | 82 votes)
 
Meh (10.5% | 26 votes)
 
I don’t think so (20.7% | 51 votes)
 
No way! (2.4% | 6 votes)
 
Define “major” (11.7% | 29 votes)
 

Total Votes: 246
9:01
Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

9:01
Paul Swydan: What’s good?

9:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Beer

9:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Pizza

9:02
Paul Swydan: I am familiar with these items.

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The Best of FanGraphs: December 5-9, 2016

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.
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Who Wants Brian Dozier?

Brian Dozier had himself quite the 2016 season. If you want to be technical, you could say he had quite the second half of the 2016 season, but that’s splitting hairs — he was still pretty good in the first half. It wasn’t historically superlative, but for second basemen in this millennium, it was pretty impressive. Now the Minnesota Twins have essentially made him available, and “four to five” teams are said to be interested in acquiring his services. Let’s take a look at who those teams could be.

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The Best of FanGraphs: November 28-December 2, 2016

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.
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Win a Free Copy of THT 2017!

Have you heard? The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2017 is now available for sale. You can check out the table of contents and read some excerpts from the book here. When you finish that you can purchase it Amazon in either print or Kindle form.
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The 10-Day Disabled List Is a Beautiful Thing

The collective bargaining agreement on which the players and owners have just tentatively come to terms didn’t move the needle too much in the grand scheme of things. The changes that occurred were more akin to trimming the branches on a bonsai tree than they were clear-cutting a forest. But one interesting alteration was the replacement of the 15-day disabled list with a 10-day variety. This be interesting in a few ways.

I have to say, my first thought was very much:

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Win a Free Copy of THT 2017!

Have you heard? The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2017 is now available for sale. You can check out the table of contents and read some excerpts from the book here. When you finish that you can purchase it Amazon in either print or Kindle form.
Read the rest of this entry »


Win a Free Copy of THT 2017!

Have you heard? The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2017 is now available for sale. You can check out the table of contents and read some excerpts from the book here. When you finish that you can purchase it Amazon in either print or Kindle form.
Read the rest of this entry »


FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 11/29/16

5:19
Paul Swydan:

Did you miss us?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (12.2% | 27 votes)
 
A little bit (19.0% | 42 votes)
 
Who are you? (27.1% | 60 votes)
 
Make with the questions, chat boys (41.6% | 92 votes)
 

Total Votes: 221
5:22
Paul Swydan:

Do you like the Mets resigning Yoenis Cespedes?

YES! (56.1% | 156 votes)
 
Meh (38.4% | 107 votes)
 
NO! (5.3% | 15 votes)
 

Total Votes: 278
9:16
Paul Swydan: Oh, hi

9:16
Paul Swydan: Crap, I spaced on my own chat.

9:16
Deez: Whur you is? Yous late holmes!

9:16
Paul Swydan: SO LATE!

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The Best of FanGraphs: November 14-18, 2016

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.
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The Best of FanGraphs: November 7-11, 2016

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.
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The Best of FanGraphs: October 31-November 4, 2016

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.
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The Best of FanGraphs: October 17-21, 2016

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.
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This Was the Lowest-Scoring ALCS in History

You might have heard offense has been down this postseason. I think one or two articles have been written about it. After the Blue Jays were shut out for the second time in the American League Championship Series, I wanted to see how much it’s been down. What I found: this ALCS was one of the lowest-scoring in history.

First, a little refresher. The ALCS has existed since 1969. From ’69 until 1984, it was a best-of-five series. Since, it’s been a best of seven. You probably already knew that, but just in case, now you definitely know. And knowing

Anyway, there were 20 runs scored in this series — 12 by Cleveland, eight by the Blue Jays. This makes it the lowest of any ALCS since it moved to a best-of-seven format. The only series that comes close is the 1990 ALCS, when the A’s scored 20 runs to the Red Sox’ measly four. It’s also easily the lowest of any series in terms of runs per game.

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FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 10/18/16

9:05
Paul Swydan: Hi everyone! So sorry I lost track of time!

9:06
Suzanne2: Can you make a Jays fan feel better about the team’s future?

9:07
Paul Swydan: Well, yeah, what’s wrong with the team’s future? They have a good front office, and good players under contract for the future. The whole rotation comes back intact, and low-salaried players like Devon Travis and Roberto Osuna are still there. They still have good bones.

9:07
adam: in the parallel universe that this series goes 7 games, would you start andrew miller in game 7?

9:08
Paul Swydan: No, I want to keep him for higher leverage situations. You start him, and he can only go 2-3 innings, which means you’re really sweating the last 6-7 innings.

9:08
Pete: What would you do if you were Mike Hazen? Blow up the roster and do a total rebuild or try to do some tweaks and keep trying with the same core?

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