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,’s Bill Chastain reports. Basically every projection system suggests agrees with Alex Cobb.

To wit:

System			FIP
Bill James		3.14
Fans			3.66
ZiPS			3.75
RotoChamp		3.86
OLIVER			3.87

For or Against: Phillies First Basemen
Yesterday, in response to Ruben Amaro‘s announcement that Ty Wigginton would get the majority of the early season starts at first base in the injured Ryan Howard‘s absence, I asked the readership who they would like to see starting at first for Philadelphia. Multiple “For” answers were permitted, hence the overlap in numbers.

Here are the results:

Jim Thome	63.2%
Street Children 58.1%
John Mayberry 	53.9%
Ty Wigginton	17.1%

• Amaro noted that Thome would get occasional starts at first base, as well. At 41, he’s unlikely physically unable to fill anything close to a full-time role, however.

• As noted yesterday, Ty Wigginton is likely worth about 0.5 WAR every 600 plate appearances. Thome is probably worth two wins per 600. If, in Howard’s absence, Wigginton gets 160 plate appearances (as a first baseman) to Thome’s 40, both players would likely finish with the same WAR — somewhere between 0.1 and 0.2 WAR. Say, 0.3 WAR combined. Over 200 plate appearances, Howard is worth probably worth about 0.8 WAR. The Phillies would lose about half a win in Howard’s absence, then, with this arrangement.

• Street Children would likely not play as well as Ty Wigginton. They would, however, be more adorable.

Third Thing: Video of Angel Prospect Johnny Hellweg
We discussed Angel right-handed prospect Johnny Hellweg a couple days ago in the Notes. The salient details: he throws very hard and improved his command considerably last year after joining the rotation.

Here’s some footage of Hellweg, courtesy Steve Fiorindo of Bullpen Banter:

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That video looks like Major League competition to me, not AAA. Or, at least I don’t recall hearing about Ichiro getting DFA’d