Chat transcript is below!
Chat transcript is below!
Happy Friday everyone! There have been quite a few updates since our last check-in so let’s get started…
• As expected, Aroldis Chapman signed with the New York Yankees. Along with some concerns about his off the field conduct, Chapman certianly will boost the Yankees bullpen. We saw this last year with the three-headed monster that also included Andrew Miller. Brian Cashman is still looking for a lefty in the pen and although he won’t find an Andrew Miller, the Chapman, Betances, Tyler Clippard and co. grouping should still be elite. The Yankees will give Luis Severino a fair shot to make it in the rotation but consider myself aligned with the skeptics. He has struggled to find a third pitch, he can’t consistently put hitters away, and navigating a lineup multiple times has been an issue. But damn does he look compelling in the pen! He’s currently far closer to starting games than finishing them but I like Severino in the bullpen for multiple innings, strikeouts and ratio help, if/when he ends up there.
This move made too much sense for both parties. The Cardinals needed a centerfielder and Fowler needed a job. As for the fantasy value changes, several are positive and other negative but overall the move is neutral. In St. Louis, the home park is less pitcher friendly and his new offensive teammates are not as good as the Cubs. The big positive change will be more playing time as he slots into the full-time Cardinals center field job.
Fowler’s talent level has been consistent for the past five seasons. Ten to 20 home runs and stolen bases with a .270 AVG as the norm. There is not a reason for this trend to change. I am though a little worried about the stolen bases will drop off as he enters his thirties.
Fowler’s production may not be playable in shallow formats, but the stolen base and home run combination make him an outfield option in most leagues. He’s valuable, just not elite.
The Rule 5 Draft Thursday morning essentially marks the end of the Winter Meetings and this year’s iteration did not disappoint. We’ve got three more huge moves to look at today.
This return for Davis might feel light after what we saw elite relievers net during the deadline, but I definitely think the offseason/in-season dynamic plays a role and we also saw Davis suffer two DL stints with forearm and flexor strains. He saw his strikeout rate and velocity drop while his walk rate, ERA, and WHIP all went up, though I will note his swinging strike rate jumped up a tick and a half to 13%.
The young players listed above are hot commodities right now in keeper leagues like Ottoneu. These players are the building blocks of hope for many eager fantasy owners looking to turn the corner from rebuilding to contention over the next season or two. Each of these players were also well outside the top 50 prospects listed in Chris Mitchell’s KATOH Top 100 prospect ranking posted almost oneyear ago.
Matt Moore didn’t post jaw-dropping numbers in 2016, but the year should be viewed as a success. He had a rocky 2015 season coming back from Tommy John surgery, and he set a new career high with 198.1 innings split between the Rays (130.0 innings) and Giants (68.1 innings) in 2016. Staying healthy enough to knock on the door of 200 innings is a success in its own right. The surface stats and ERA estimators weren’t great, and he finished 60th among starting pitchers, but I’ll once again be firing up the hype machine for the once highly-touted prospect. Read the rest of this entry »
On Wednesday, I released my Way Too Early Rankings for starting pitchers. It’s by far the hardest position to rank this early in the offseason because there’s just soooo much information to incorporate. Part of this exercise was designed to have you call me out when I made a glaring mistake. I may have done so with Danny Duffy.
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Leading Off: Question of the Day (6:40)
Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play
Baseball’s supposed to be a simple game and it is in theory. But the deeper a person digs, the more complex it gets. ERA estimators like FIP, xFIP, kwERA, and SIERA came along to help explain the limits of ERA. The main issue with each metric is how to deal with batted ball data. More specifically, they fail at it. I tried to answer the batted data question with pERA but it only explained some of the differences. Even with all those attempts to fill in the missing data, some differences haven’t been explained. Today, I am going to fill in on missing gap while examing a pitcher’s breaking ball zone rate.
Today’s study will be sponsored by Michael Pineda and Robbie Ray. Each pitcher has posted good strikeout and walk numbers which historically has pointed to good ERA’s. Instead, they get hit around and their ERA’s are quite a bit higher than their estimators. Here are the career stats for the pair.
In his first plate appearance he knocked a two run double that short hopped the deepest part of the ballpark on his way to a three hit, four RBI major league debut. He registered Division, Championship, and World Series starts during his rookie season. He has a career 3.16 ERA after his sophomore season, a talent for spinning various household objects on his finger, and his grandfather is a baseball meme. Of course I am talking about Steven Matz, the 25 year old Metropolitan South Paw.
A few weeks ago I claimed Steven Matz ranked 7th among the top starting pitchers using xStats (xOBA, VH%, scFIP, etc). This may have been a little controversial to some, and I know it brought a smile on a few others. While that ranking was, more or less, algorithmic, I do stand by the assessment of Matz. He is good. He is very good. He may be one of the most underrated starters right now, and that needs to change.