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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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

14 Responses to “Offseason Notes for January 20th”

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  1. Eminor3rd says:

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

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  2. Jesse says:

    I dunno about thome. There is really very little to go by in terms of expectations for his defense. It doesn’t even look like he’ll get enough playing time to get comfortable again, if that was supposed to be helpful.

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    • MikeS says:

      As I have said before, Jim Thome has 28 innings in the field over the last 5 years and zero over the last three years. I’m sure he’s game to try but expecting anything more than emergency duty is asking a lot.

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  3. Brian says:

    Wiggy can hit you a few homers, but other than that he basically stinks. Does anyone else think this could be a significant problem for the Phils this year?

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    • DD says:

      Only if Howard has a setback. The best arrangement would be Mayberry in LF and Wiggy at 1B against lefties, and Mayberry at 1B and Nix in LF against righties, with Thome occasionally spelling Mayberry. Of course, Mayberry needs to hit like last year to earn that much playing time. This would allow the best possible defense (Mayberry is above average at both positions, Nix is average in LF) and help with LH/RH platoon issues these guys all have.

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  4. grady says:

    Cobb doesn’t really have a spot in the Rays rotation though, right? Price-Shields-Hellickson-Davis-Moore (in no particular order other than the one that comes to my mind first) looks like it’s pretty well set in stone. Relief/swingman?

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  5. Ben says:

    You support Ty Wigginton all you want… I know that Street Children is going to be the steal of my draft!

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  6. drtrix says:

    Whenever I read Johnny Hellweg I think of the Ultimate Warrior!

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  7. mhad says:

    “Unlikely physically unable?”

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  8. Rich Hall says:

    Dang, I thought Street Children was some Phillies prospect that I had missed! Too bad Jonathon Singleton is gone. He could have made the decision interesting. I watched Wiggington last year in Colorado and I don’t think he is a full time 1B guy. Great utility guy, though. Mayberry can’t be any worse of an option than the others.

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