Archive for Offseason Notes

Offseason Notes for January 30th


Experts are pretty sure that one of these pitchers is Kyle McClellan.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Superfluous Video: Kyle McClellan
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Pittsburgh Television

Assorted Headlines
St. Louis May Trade McClellan
The St. Louis Cardinals have interest in trading right-hander Kyle McClellan, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The move would serve to clear some payroll space for a team (i.e. the Cardinals) that appears to be among the most likely to sign Roy Oswalt. McClellan will make $2.5 million in 2012. He split time in 2011 between starting and relieving, actually posting a better xFIP in the former role (4.25 in 104.2 IP) than the latter (4.59 in 37.0 IP) and showing almost no platoon split (4.32 xFIP against 247 LHBs, 4.36 against 360 RHBs).

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Offseason Notes for January 27th


Wilson Ramos: Star?

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Projecting: ZiPS for Washington
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Philadelphia Television

Assorted Headlines
Revised 2012 Draft Order
With the signing of Prince Fielder on Wednesday, all Type A free agents have been signed — and all the corresponding compensation picks have been determined. Mike Axisa has the revised 2012 draft order at River Ave Blues. Some notables: St. Louis has picks 19 and 23; Toronto, 17 and 22; and the Angels don’t make any selections until the 110th pick in the draft after signing both Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.

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Offseason Notes for January 26th


“I know it when I see it.” — Justice Potter Stewart

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Prospecting: MLB.com’s Top-100 Prospects
3. Third Thing: A Video Celebration of Winston Abreu

Assorted Headlines
Cespedes Declared Free Agent by MLB
Major League Baseball has told teams that Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is eligible to negotiate with teams, reports the Associated Press — a day after he (i.e. Cespedes) gained residency in the Dominican Republic. Jackie Moore looked at his resume in the Cuban baseball league a couple weeks ago, noting that, while some park and league adjustments are in order, Cespedes’ power has still profiled as above average. Fielding is the issue: is Cespedes an average center fielder, or corner outfielder? The difference is about 10 runs, or one whole win, every 162 games.

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Offseason Notes for January 25th

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Other People’s Inboxes: Braves Shortstop
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Oakland Television

Assorted Headlines
Washington Regards Cespedes as Corner-Type
The Washington Nationals, a team thought to be in pursuit of Yoenis Cespedes, regard the Cuban emigre as more of a corner outfielder, or maybe even a first baseman, according to MLB.com’s William Ladson. That news isn’t entirely shocking, probably, to anyone who saw video of Cespedes’ first Dominican League home run, in which video the right-handed batter does appear to have cultivated some mass.

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Offseason Notes for January 24th


An early search result for the terms “Wilson” and “Betemit.”

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Australian Baseball League
3. Kevin Millwood’s Stunning PITCHf/x Chart

Assorted Headlines
Baltimore Signs Betemit to Two-Year Deal
Contrary to earlier reports of a one-year agreement, the Baltimore Orioles have actually signed the 30-year-old Wilson Betemit to a two-year deal, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, with an option for a third year. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed. Betemit is the third infield-type Baltimore has acquired this offseason — along with Matt Antonelli and Ryan Flaherty — although Betemit’s resume is certainly more substantial. He’s hit about 25% better than league average over the last two seasons, a line that, albeit, has been buoyed up by a BABIP of ca. .375.

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Offseason Notes for January 23rd

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Projecting: ZiPS for Toronto
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: New York (NL)

Assorted Headlines
The State of Morneau’s Health
Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune has a profile on Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, including a first-person account of the experience of having, and recovering from, a concussion.

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Offseason Notes for January 20th


Some footage of Alex Cobb versus a Triple-A offense.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. A Single Headline Concerning Alex Cobb
2. Results: For or Against: Phillies First Basemen
3. Third Thing: Video of Angel prospect Johnny Hellweg

A Single Headline Concerning Alex Cobb
Cobb Confident He Can Compete in Majors
Young Tampa Bay right-hander Alex Cobb has “the confidence now to know that [he] can compete” in the majors, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain reports. Basically every projection system suggests agrees with Alex Cobb.

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Offseason Notes for January 19th

Yoenis Cespedes, Senores y Senoritas.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Projecting: ZiPS for Tampa Bay
3. For or Against: Phillies First Basemen

Assorted Headlines
Wigginton to Start at First in Howard’s Absence
Ruben Amaro told ESPN’s Jim Bowden on Wednesday that Ty Wigginton will play first base as the team waits for Ryan Howard to return from injury. Wigginton wRC+s from the last three years (starting with 2009): 82, 92, 91. Ryan Howard’s wRC+ over that same stretch: 141, 126, 123. Average wRC+ for MLB first baseman in 2011: 112. Provided he’s an average fielder, Wigginton is likely no better than a 0.5 WAR first baseman over 600 plate appearances.

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Offseason Notes for January 18th

Cub prospect Dan Vogelbach uses physics to his advantage.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Prospecting: Catching Up with John Sickels, Part II
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: New York (AL) Television

Assorted Headlines
Darvish Deadline Today
The deadline for the Texas Rangers to sign NPB pitcher Yu Darvish, for whom they won the posting rights last month, is today at 5pm ET, per the internet.

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Offseason Notes: Arbitration Deadline Imminent


One of these is Don Kelly’s hand.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Reminder: Arbitration Deadline Imminent
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: Australian Baseball League
3. Prospecting: Catching Up with John Sickels, Part I

Reminder: Arbitration Deadline Imminent
The deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange figures is noon ET today. A lot of players remain unsigned — probably many of them on the team you spend all your time thinking about. (Not Don Kelly, however. He settled with the Tigers this morning, so don’t worry.) MLB Trade Rumors is pretty excellent at tracking this sort of thing.

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Offseason Notes for January 16th


Neither Bert Blyleven nor Bert from Sesame Street have much need for pants.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Projecting: ZiPS for Kansas City
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Minnesota Television

Assorted Headlines
Baltimore With Two More Interesting Acquisitions
New Baltimore GM Dan Duquette has found talent a number of ways this offseason, acquiring infielder Ryan Flaherty from the Cubs during the Rule 5 draft, signing left-handers Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada out of Japan, and using a major-league deal to secure the services of infielder Matt Antonelli. Nor do the team’s two most recent acquisitions represent a departure from this trend. This weekend, the O’s signed (per Patrick Newman, per Nikkan Sports) 36-year-old left-hander Yoshihiro Doi out of the NPB and (per Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun) 24-year-old infielder Peter Fatse out of the independent Can-Am League. Here are stats for both players: Doi, Fatse.

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Offseason Notes, Featuring a Heartfelt Correction


Brad Emaus is people, too.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Correction: Brad Emaus Not Inconsequential, Too
2. Assorted Headlines
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Milwaukee Television

Correction
Yesterday, while reviewing five recent moves of not no consequence, I omitted the recent acquisition by Boston of Colorado infielder Brad Emaus. The Emaus move is decidedly less inconsequential than the one by the Brewers including Jeff Bianchi. (H/T hawk-eyed reader BoSoxFan).

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Offseason Notes: Five Moves of Not No Consequence

Here are five recent — and not entirely inconsequential — moves.

Baltimore Signs Taiwanese Left-Hander Chen
The Baltimore Orioles signed Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to a three-year, $11.3 million deal on Tuesday, reports a large portion of the internet. Our man David Goleblahblahblah, writing for RotoGraphs, looked at Chen in some depth yesterday. The salient details: Chen is 26 years old. His strikeout rates have plummeted over his four years in the NPB (8.4, 8.0, 7.3, 5.1 K/9). His walk rates have also declined (2.6, 2.2, 2.3, 1.7). All things being equal, more strikeouts with more walks — like, with the same strikeout-to-walk ratio — is better than fewer strikeouts and fewer walks (i.e. a pitcher with a 9.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 is more valuable than one with a 3.0 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9). His fastball velocity has declined about 1-2 mph over that time (per Patrick Newman’s NPB Tracker). He only needs to produce, like, 2.5 wins to earn his contract. He’ll probably have a better 2012 than Brian Matusz had a 2011.

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Offseason Notes, With at Least One Reference to 1992


Like many prospect mavens, Eddie Vedder is keen on Oakland prospect Michael Choice.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Prospecting: John Sickels’ Top-20 List for Oakland
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: L.A. Dodgers Television (Away Games)

Assorted Headlines
Bowker Released, Will Likely Play in Japan
The Phillies have released outfielder John Bowker to allow him to pursue an opportunity with a professional team in Japan, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Even as I type these words, I realize the reason I regard this news as noteworthy has everything to do with a .342/.451/.596 (.362 BABIP) line Bowker posted as a 25-year-old at Triple-A Fresno in 2009. In fact, he’s been worse than replacement level in over 600 major-league PAs.

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Offseason Notes, Featuring RECK Leaderboards


It’s three Shawon Dunstons!

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Shame-Filled Introduction
2. Reckless Power (RECK) Leaderboards
3. SCOUT Leaderboards: Australian Baseball League

Shame-Filled Introduction
Announcement
It’s with, like, 75% chagrin that I present today’s edition of Offseason Notes — which, it turns out, is mostly a collection of leaderboards and omits entirely any “news” or “current events.”

On Whose Fault That Is
Decidedly not mine.

On Whose Fault That Is, Part II
Probably either my parents’ or society’s.

On What the Name Is of the Game I’m Playing
The Blame Game.

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Offseason Notes, Featuring a Stat That Doesn’t Exist

Note: there was an error in calculating the very essential RECK leaderboard you’ll find below. It has been fixed, and the changes are minimal. Also, it still looks totally like the Richter Scale.


Yuni Betancourt, in front of a post-apocalyptic hellscape, finished second per a non-extant stat.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Projecting: ZiPS for Cincinnati
2. Stat That Doesn’t Exist: RECK
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: L.A. Dodgers Television (Home Games)

Projections: ZiPS for Cincinnati
Dan Szymborski has published his ZiPS projections for the Cincinnati Reds. Below are some of the notable ones, accompanied by very rough WAR projections (for the hitters, per 600 plate appearances, at least) calculated by the method outlined here. All numbers assume major league competition. OPS+ and ERA+ are park-adjusted.

Devin Mesoraco, C, 24: .248/.322/.432, 100 OPS+, 3.5 WAR
Mesoraco is likely to become the Reds’ starting catcher this year. So long as he’s something like average defensively, he projects to be above average overall — per plate appearance, that is.

Juan Francisco, 3B, 25: .267/.297/.480, 104 OPS+, 2.6 WAR
Here’s a stat that doesn’t exist: ISO / (OBP – AVG). Let’s call it Reckless Power — or RECK, for short. Francisco’s projection calls for a RECK of 7.1. That figure would have placed him second (to only Adrian Beltre among the league’s 145 qualified batters in 2011. (For 2011′s top-10 RECKers, look below.)

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Offseason Notes, With a Picture of Mark Gubicza

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Prospecting: John Sickels’ Top-20 List for Cleveland
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Los Angeles Angels Television

Assorted Headlines
All the nerd that’s fit to print.

Seattle Signs Japanese Right-Hander Iwakuma
The Seattle Mariners have signed 30-year-old Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with a potential $3.4 million possible in incentives, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Iwakuma is the player with whom Oakland won the rights to negotiate last year but failed to reach an agreement. Per his player page at Patrick Newman’s NPB Tracker, Iwakuma appears to throw six pitches with some frequency. (Mike Axisa provides a more thorough look at Iwakuma today at the site.)

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Offseason Notes – With Final DWL Leaderboards


Ricardo Nanita relaxes near a white tiger in heaven.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Final (!) SCOUT Leaderboards: Dominican Winter League
3. Projections: ZiPS Converted Poorly to WAR

Assorted Headlines
Trumbo’s Foot: Still Not Healed
The stress fracture in Mark Trumbo‘s right foot isn’t healed yet, nor does the cornerman expect it to heal until around late February, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. With the addition of Albert Pujols over the offseason, Trumbo obviously won’t be playing first base much; however, the injury prevents him from taking reps at third base and likely also hurts his trade value for the short-term, if that’s a direction in which the Angels were interested.

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Offseason Notes: Houston Gets Its Nerd On


Ladies and gentleman, the Astros front office.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Lone Headline: Houston Gets Its Nerd On
2. Projecting: ZiPS for Milwaukee
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Houston Television

Lone Headline
Houston Gets Its Nerd On
The Houston Astros hired Sig Mejdal for the newly created position of Director of Decision Sciences, reports (recent FanGraphs Audio guest) Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle. Eric Seidman reminds me that Mejdal was Sam Walker’s right-hand nerd in the latter’s (excellent) book Fantasyland. Mejdal worked most recently with the St. Louis Cardinals, from which organization new GM Jeff Luhnow has also recently arrived. Per Levine (per Luhnow) Mejdal’s most immediate concern will be consolidating, for easier access and more effective decision-making, much of the information that the club has, but that “you have to go look up in various different pieces.” (Thanks to Mike Axisa for note on this.)

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Offseason Notes – With Final VWL Leaderboards


Hanley Ramirez knows at least one more language than the author of this post.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Final (!) SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League
3. Prospecting: John Sickels’ Top-20 List for San Francisco

Assorted Headlines
Ramirez Fine with Third Base
“Jugaré donde me pongan,” Miami Marlin infielder Hanley Ramirez told the AP’s Dionisio Soldevila on Saturday — which, provided Google Translate isn’t lying, means something to the effect of “I will play where I’m put.” The difference in positional adjustment between shortstop and third base is five runs per 162 defensive games — meaning that, were Ramirez a true-talent 5.0 WAR player at short, he’d be a 4.5 WAR player at third. Of course, that also ignores defensive runs saved (UZR), which is also likely to change (for the better, one would think) with a move to the left side of the defensive spectrum. (Thanks to MLBTR’s Nick Collias for link.)

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