In the NL, Ryan Braun finished 11th in MVP voting.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
According to team sources, John Grabow has agreed in principle to a 2-year deal with the Cubs worth $7.5 million.
The good folks at FanGraphs aren't too high on the deal, given Grabow's high walk total. They believe his low ERA the last 2 years is largely due to an 82% rate of stranding runners. That's undeniably true.
What's not so true is their claim that this rate is unsustainable. Grabow has given up 7.1 and 7.7 hits per 9 innings the last 2 seasons. If he continues to keep the bats in check and the ball in the ballpark, he will continue to have success.
Grabow's value isn't just measured by him being a so-called LOOGY because he is almost equally effective against righties. Lefties posted a .617 OPS and a .614 OPS against him in '08 and '09. Righties posted a .663 OPS and a .698 OPS against him in '08 and '09.
Recall my earlier prediction:
"The Cubs will sign John Grabow to a 3-year deal or a 2-year deal with a club option. Most Cub fans will think Jim Hendry overpaid for him, but Grabow will have earned his paycheck when it's all said and done."
I stand by that.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
After spending the last 3 seasons as Cleveland's Triple-A pitching coach, Scott Radinsky was just promoted. Newly appointed manager, Manny Acta, has named Radinsky the Indians' bullpen coach.
Other than Tony Sipp, Chris Perez, and Kerry Wood (if he stays), Radinsky won't have much to work with. He'll certainly have his work cut out for him.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
On 2 days of rest, Sandy Koufax had a lifetime record of 14-4 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.066 WHIP in 187 2/3 innings. That's just silly good.
On top of that, 13 of his 25 starts on 2 days of rest were complete games. No wonder he had so much arm pain.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Yes, baseball is over, but fear not! All is not lost. Later this month, awards will be announced. Kevin Youkilis, Ian Kinsler, and Ryan Braun will all probably receive some MVP votes. Scott Feldman may even receive a few Cy Young votes. Braun will likely win his 2nd Silver Sluggers. And if the offseason's Hot Stove isn't enough to satisfy your fanhood, there are other sports and other athletes you can turn to.
If you like the NHL, you have left wing Michael Cammalleri on the Montreal Canadiens. He has 2 seasons under his belt with 80 or more points and just got his 3rd career hat trick the other day. This year, he has 7 goals and 7 assists in 17 games. You also have 2-time All-Star defenseman Mathieu Schneider (735 career points) on the Vancouver Canucks, center Jeff Halpern on the Tampa Bay Lightning, and right wing Mike Brown on the Anaheim Ducks.
If you like the NBA, you have point guard Jordan Farmar on the Los Angeles Lakers and Israeli native Omri Casspi on the Sacramento Kings. In his first 6 games, Casspi has scored in double figures 3 times. He just came off his 1st career double-double against the Golden State Warriors; Casspi had 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. He is 8 for 16 from behind the arc this year.
If you like the NFL, Ron Kaplan from Kaplan's Korner gives weekly updates on all of the players.
If you like college basketball, The Great Rabbino has provided us with an excellent overview of the top Jewish players, including guard Jon Scheyer on Duke and guard Brett Harvey on Loyola (who led the nation in free throw percentage at 91%).
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
On more than one occasion, I've written about some revealing player splits. You may recall earlier in the season when I examined how Jason Marquis pitched at night versus the day or how Scott Feldman pitched on the road versus as home. (Stay tuned for pitching splits in the near future)
At this point, I've probably harped on Gabe Kapler's splits against lefties. But Kapler isn't the only player with a disparity in his splits. Let's look at a few other prominent JMLs, past and present. We'll start with Kapler, as he is the player who inspired this post.
Gabe Kapler's Career Splits
VS. RHP: .260/.322/.392 for an OPS of .714
VS. LHP: .291/.350/.494 for an OPS of .844
HOME: .283/.346/.467 for an OPS of .813
AWAY: .257/.316/.383 for an OPS of .699
Analysis: Against lefties, Kapler is about as good as Shawn Green. Against righties, he's about as good as Joey Cora. The home/away splits are a little alarming, but perhaps not all that surprising, as Kapler has played in a lot of hitter-friendly parks (Ballpark in Arlington, Coors, Fenway, Miller). The disparity between Kapler's splits in the 1st half and 2nd half of the season is negligible: .749 OPS in the 1st half against a .764 OPS in the 2nd half.
Ryan Braun's Career Splits
VS. RHP: .291/.341/.532 for an OPS of .874
VS. LHP: .364/.432/.708 for an OPS of 1.140
HOME: .306/.372/.597 for an OPS of .968
AWAY: .310/.355/.553 for an OPS of .909
Analysis: Against lefties, Braun is somewhere between Ted Williams and Babe Ruth. Wow. Against righties, Braun is almost as good as Al Rosen. That's no small potatoes. His home/road splits aren't nearly as pronounced, but there is still a disparity, particulary in slugging. In addition, Braun is slightly better in the 2nd half of the season. His OPS in the 2nd half is .949 while his OPS in the 1st half is .926.
Ian Kinsler's Career Splits
VS. RHP: .272/.346/.452 for an OPS of .797
VS. LHP: .300/.363/.548 for an OPS of .911
HOME: .311/.382/.542 for an OPS of .925
AWAY: .248/.318/.412 for an OPS of .730
Analysis: Against lefties, Kinsler is about as good as Duke Snider. Against righties, he's about as good as Ron Gant. That's respectable. However, it looks like Kinsler's overall numbers might be a little inflated because of the Ballpark in Arlington. A 200-point difference in the home/road splits kind of jumps out at you. Kinsler is also definitely a 1st half player. His OPS in the 1st half is .868 while his OPS in the 2nd half is .770.
Shawn Green's Career Splits
VS. RHP: .294/.367/.518 for an OPS of .884
VS. LHP: .253/.323/.431 for an OPS of .754
HOME: .280/.353/.502 for an OPS of .855
AWAY: .285/.357/.487 for an OPS of .845
Analysis: Against righties, Green was a little better than Al Rosen. Against lefties, he was a little better than Mike Lamb. While Green didn't exactly terrorize lefties, he was good enough to merit being an everyday player, unlike a few other players who appear on this list. The difference between his home/road splits is negligible. Green was slightly better in the 2nd half of the season. His OPS in the 2nd half was .868 while his OPS in the 1st half was .833.
Ron Blomberg's Career Splits
VS. RHP: .304/.367/.500 for an OPS of .867
VS. LHP: .215/.306/.272 for an OPS of .578
HOME: .288/.353/.472 for an OPS of .826
AWAY: .298/.366/.473 for an OPS of .839
Analysis: We know that injuries prevented Blomberg from being an everyday player for the Yankees, but seeing how ineffectual he was against lefties may have been another factor. However, take the splits with a grain of salt, as Blomberg only had a total of 180 PAs against lefties. You have to figure that those numbers would have gone up in a larger sample size. The difference between his home/road splits is negligible. Blomberg was more of a 1st half player. His OPS in the 1st half was .843 while his OPS in the 2nd half was .815.
Mike Lieberthal's Career Splits
VS. RHP: .264/.324/.428 for an OPS of .753
VS. LHP: .310/.381/.510 for an OPS of .891
HOME: .270/.336/.439 for an OPS of .775
AWAY: .278/.338/.453 for an OPS of .791
Analysis: Lieberthal's splits versus righties and lefties are just like Green's, only they're inverted. Against lefties, he had more walks than strikeouts. Against righties, he had 247 more strikeouts than walks. His home/away splits are similar, although he had a little more power on the road. Lieberthal was neither a 1st half player nor a 2nd half player; his splits were nearly identical. His OPS in the 1st half was .784. His OPS in the 2nd half was .783.
Mike Epstein's Career Splits
VS. RHP: .254/.372/.455 for an OPS of .827
VS. LHP: .215/.316/.342 for an OPS of .658
HOME: .226/.338/.411 for an OPS of .748
AWAY: .260/.376/.437 for an OPS of .813
Analysis: Clearly, Epstein had issues against lefties. That probably contributed to him never getting 500 ABs in a season. The home/road splits aren't all that surprising, as Epstein played a lot of games at R.F.K. Stadium and the Oakland Coliseaum. Like Lieberthal, Epstein was neither a 1st half player nor a 2nd half player; his splits were also nearly identical. His OPS in the 1st half was .782. His OPS in the 2nd half was .781.
Art Shamsky's Career Splits
VS. RHP: .255/.333/.435 for an OPS of .768
VS. LHP: .223/.291/.321 for an OPS of .613
HOME: .273/.356/.475 for an OPS of .831
AWAY: .232/.304/.380 for an OPS of .684
Analysis: Shamsky, Epstein, and Blomberg all have one thing in common; they were atrocious against lefties. The same cannot be said against righties. However, since Shamsky hardly ever faced lefties (131 total PAs), you should take his .613 OPS against them with a grain of salt. The disparity between Shamsky's home/road splits is rather large. Shamsky had a lot of success at Crosley Field and Shea Stadium. Shamsky was also definitely a 1st half player. His OPS in the 1st half was .780 while his OPS in the 2nd half was .729.
Kevin Youkilis' Career Splits
VS. RHP: .295/.384/.495 for an OPS of .880
VS. LHP: .285/.408/.466 for an OPS of .873
HOME: .300/.394/.496 for an OPS of .890
AWAY: .285/.388/.479 for an OPS of .867
Analysis: Youk's splits show you just how remarkably consistent he is. He gets on base more against lefties, but he has a higher slugging against righties. Like Kinsler, he benefits from playing at a RH hitter's park. Unlike Kinsler, Youk also puts up good numbers on the road. So, you can't really say his numbers are inflated because he plays at Fenway. However, he's definitely more of a 1st half player. His OPS in the 1st half is .913 while his OPS in the 2nd half is .832.