Phillies and Amaro Could Learn from Amaro’s Career Stats

by Shaun

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro suggested, to writer Bob Brookover, that scouts shouldn’t rely too much on statistics when scouting the minors:

Amaro said statistical analysis should not be a big part of minor-league scouting.

“It’s just too difficult to really project what the numbers will say,” Amaro said. “I lived it myself. I was a great minor-league player but a terrible major-league player. If you looked at my OPS and my on-base percentage, it was ridiculous. But I wasn’t a good major-league player because I couldn’t hit a breaking ball. That’s something that the scout will find out and see and then you can exploit that area on a guy.”

Admittedly I don’t know to what degree Amaro or his minor league scouts do or don’t rely on statistics.  And while I would never advocate an organization rely on statistics alone to evaluate minor league players, if we look at the right statistics and interpret them correctly, we can learn a great deal.

Since I was barely a teenager when Amaro started his professional baseball career, I don’t remember seeing him play.  I don’t have a literal image in my mind of Ruben Amaro.  My picture of Amaro as a baseball player is his statistics.

So let’s scout Amaro, in hindsight, using statistics, without regard to what our eyes told us about Amaro.

When we look at Amaro’s minor league stats, we see a player who could walk but not do much else.

In 1988 he drew 109 walks but hit .257 and slugged .328.  He was 23 and spent most of that season in A-ball.  So he was not exactly all that young for the level.

Sure a weak hitter can lay off pitches in the low minors but higher-level pitchers are going to just throw him strikes and let him make weak contact.

The next season, 1989, he again played in A-ball and Double-A.  That season he hit .368 with a .523 slugging percentage but hit only 6 homers in 88 games at age 24.  His walks also dropped to 52, still solid but nothing special.

He had similar seasons to his 1989 season in both 1990 and 1991.  His statistics on the surface looked impressive but he combined for only 10 homers in 260 games in 1990 and 1991, his age 25 and age 26 seasons in Double-A and Triple-A.  He drew a respectable number of walks (132) in those 260 games, but nothing outstanding.

In 1992 he finally played 126 games in the big leagues.  In his 427 major league plate appearances that season he did what we might have expected.  He wasn’t awful in terms of drawing walks (54).  But he didn’t draw enough walks to make up for his lack of ability to hit the ball with authority in order to put up a respectable on-base percentage.  It seems major league pitchers were able to exploit his inability to hit for any power and those pitchers had the command and control to prevent him from drawing enough walks to post the high on-base percentage he put up in the minors.

For the next four seasons Amaro bounced around between the majors and minors, and was a league average hitter in the majors over that stretch.

In 1997 he got into 117 major league games but again major league pitchers seemed to exploit his lack of power.  He drew 21 walks, not awful, and he struck out only 24 times but he just didn’t hit for any power (.314 SLG).

After a horrible season in 1998, Amaro retired from playing.

He had a rather impressive minor league career, on the surface: .304/.399/.433 in 3,683 plate appearances and 831 games.  However he hit only 44 homeruns.

Perhaps Amaro and the Phillies’ scouts should use statistics to help evaluate minor leaguers.  They just need to be sure to look at the right statistics and utilize them correctly.  And they need look no further than Amaro’s career as an example.

174 Responses to “Phillies and Amaro Could Learn from Amaro’s Career Stats”

  1. John Says:

    Eh? A guy with a .304 BA / .399 OBP in the minors should (in theory) profile as a decent 1 or 2 hitter regardless of whether or not he hits a ton of HR.

    Off the cuff, Kenny Lofton hit .300/.370/.379 in parts of four minor league seasons with just 6 home runs in 1615 PA’s.

    I mean, statistically, it would appear that Amaro and Lofton should have had similar career trajectories – except that Amaro drew more walks and hit for a little more power.

    Didn’t work out that way, which is what Amaro seems to be talking about. Lofton could hit a curveball. Lofton could do things, at a minor league level, that translate to the big leagues – and can’t be directly derived from statistics the way they (almost) can at the big league level.

  2. Chuck Says:

    “He was 23 and spent most of that season in A-ball. So he was not exactly all that young for the level.”

    Amaro was a college draftee, out of Stanford. Being in A ball at 23 is exactly where he should have been.

    ” That season he hit .368 with a .523 slugging percentage but hit only 6 homers in 88 games..”

    Which is really effin’ good.

    “However he hit only 44 homeruns.”

    So what?

    Amaro’s minor league slugging was clearly hit based, .304/.399 is better than .284/.399.

    Over ten years, Amaro walked more than he struck out and only one year did he strike out more than he walked.

    THAT is the most impressive stat of his career, the fact he maintained a solid BB/SO ratio as he progressed up the chain.

    He didn’t maintain his rate as a major leaguer and that’s certainly expected, and even at that an 88/128 BB/K ratio isn’t too bad.

    Amaro was drafted out of a school known more for academics than athletics and despite being the son of a former major leaguer and being a two time Pac-10 All-Star still went in the 11th round.

    I would say his career was better than expected..how many 11th round picks have 8 year ML careers?

  3. Cameron Says:

    They may be known more for academics, Chuck but Stanford’s had a really good run in football as of late. Just look at this year’s draft. Andrew Luck is consensus #1 and his LT, Jonathan Martin, is a top-10 talent.

  4. Chuck Says:

    Amaro..baseball player Stanford class of ‘87

    Luck..football player, class of ‘12

    Quick..can you name an Alabama baseball player?

    How about Syracuse?

    Does Duke even HAVE a baseball team?

    Were you even born in 1987?

    Sigh…

  5. Cameron Says:

    The Crimson Tide has a baseball program?

    To be fair Chuck, I can’t even name most college athletes until they declare eligibility. I don’t really give a shit about college sports. I just can’t get into it. There’s this mental block that I know I’m not watching a finished product.

  6. Bob Says:

    Stanford has a great swimming program. And yes Duke has a baseball program. Alex Hassan anyone???
    Secondly, Auburn produced a couple ballplayers. Does that count? And Adam Lind played for South Alalbama.

  7. JohnBowen Says:

    Ugh, Corey Hart out 3-4 weeks. Knee surgery or something?

  8. JohnBowen Says:

    Not worth really reading into too much, but Harper is definitely a motivated dude out there. Beat out an infield single and ran a long way to make a diving almost-catch.

  9. Cameron Says:

    If there’s one thing I’m noticing in Bryce Harper, it’s that he’s trying to make his mental game step up to his physical tools. Guy never half-asses plays he can make with his eyes closed like some recently-converted third basemen. I think the quote I love from Bryce Harper was when a reporter asked him if he was going to break camp with Washington. His response was along the lines of “I’m going to make it impossible for them not to call me up.” Probably just for show, but I can see a bit of genuine determination to be great in the guy. Not the same work ethic as the #1 draft he came after, but he’s got drive. Makes me want to root for the guy in a way.

  10. Bob Says:

    And I have been rooting for him. Why wouldn’t we?
    He will be the ROY,

  11. Chuck Says:

    The reaction to Braun today during lineup announcements and his first PA were not anywhere close to as positive as I thought they would be.

    Maryvale is a really difficult park to get to and get around, you really have to be a die-hard if you want to see a game.

    I was told there are a lot of fans who can’t get into other facilities who come here because there are always tickets available, like turning down the OK looking chick at ten only to go home with a dog at two because it’s better than fucking yourself.

  12. Chuck Says:

    Harper will start the year in AA, and MAY get a AAA call later on.

    The only chance he has to play in the majors this year is as a September call-up.

    ROY?

    MAYBE in 2013, more likely 2014

  13. Mike Felber Says:

    …And there is someone who picked Harper to take YEARS even to get 100 games in the league. Now who could that be?

  14. Bob Says:

    @ 11. Oh the days of beer-induced confidence followed by beer goggles.

  15. JohnBowen Says:

    “Harper will start the year in AA, and MAY get a AAA call later on.
    The only chance he has to play in the majors this year is as a September call-up.”

    I agree that that’s probably the *sensible* thing to do (unless the Nats are contending late).

    Given their recent history, and the drive of the Nats to build some kind of fanbase, it wouldn’t shock me at all if they brought him up to the Majors in the June timeframe.

  16. John Says:

    MLB.com reporting that the Pirates have locked up Andrew McCutchen to a 6y/51M deal.

    Great move.

  17. Cameron Says:

    About. Fucking. Time.

  18. Bob Says:

    It seems there have been more extensions than usual. Which begs this question.
    Business savvy by owners?
    Business savvy by the players?
    Or a by-product of the new CBA?

  19. Bob Says:

    A couple of stories I have yet to see mentioned.

    1. Ryan Howard has/had an infection around his surgically repaired Achilles tendon.

    2. Ike Davis has valley fever.

  20. Raul Says:

    This apparent trend started before the CBA.

    The Yankees signed Cano to a 4 year, 30 million dollar contract in 2008.

    The Rays signed Longoria to a 6 year, 17 million dollar contract in 2008.

    The Brewers signed Braun to an 8 year, 45 million dollar contract in 2008, then a 5 year, 105 million dollar deal that extends him through 2020.

    Teams are taking the risk of signing guys cheap. It’s worked, but I don’t see the trend continuing for very long. Not unless the teams are willing to re-structure the deals after proven success (like the Brewers did with Braun). Otherwise, you’re going to see some ticked off Major Leaguers. This isn’t the NFL. I don’t know if guys will or can hold-out — but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    45 million dollars for a 24 year old Ryan Braun is one thing.
    But if you think there will be a lot more Evan Longorias taking 17 million for 6 years, and then not have that contract extended/restructured when they post do well…you’re out of your mind. Maybe some pitchers might, because their careers can be flaky to begin with…

  21. Bob Says:

    Fair enough. But I have heard/ read that guys like Hosmer and Stanton were possible candidates for extensions.
    Heck, Hosmer said the minute the Royals signed Salvador Perez signed his extension, he was receiptive to one. Pretty early in his career to be talking like that, or so I thought.

  22. Raul Says:

    Stanton would be insane to take a 6yr/17 million.

    Hosmer doesn’t really project to be a big home run threat. He’s more John Olerud than Jim Thome. That’s no slight, really. Hosmer should count his blessings if he could be half as good as Olerud was. But (rightly or wrongly) the dollars tend to reward homers and Hosmer isn’t that guy. Royals could probably offer him 6 years, 38 million and he’d take it. And he’d be a free agent before 30.

    Then again, I’m not a General Mananger, so whatever.

  23. Shaun Says:

    John, .304 BA/.399 OBP in the minors says little about what we should expect from the guy in the majors. If a guy does this in the minors, isn’t all that young for the levels at which he is doing this, is not hitting the ball with any authority, and he’s not drawing walks at a ridiculously high pace, he’s probably going to have a hard time maintaining that average and OBP against major league pitching and defenses.

    Chuck, Amaro wasn’t young for his level at 23 in that he wasn’t any younger than most other players in the league. It has nothing to do with where Amaro may have belonged. It has to do with what he did at that age and that level in order to get an idea of what he may do going forward, particularly in the majors.

    Yes, Amaro’s minor league slugging was hit based. That’s sort of one of the points I was making, if not my main point. Unless a player can hit the ball with some authority or unless he can draw walks at a ridiculously high rate, he’s probably not going to be able to sustain an impressive batting average or on-base percentage or slugging percentage against major league pitching. I don’t think we are all that far apart in our opinions here, Chuck.

    My whole point is that you have to look beyond AVG/OBP/SLG in the minors. It’s not like the majors where those are the big three stats for hitters. You have to concern yourself more with age, homeruns, BB/K than you do when evaluating major league hitters.

  24. Raul Says:

    Reports are that Starlin Castro could hit 3rd in the lineup for the Cubs. I’m pretty sure that’s a mistake.

  25. Shaun Says:

    “Amaro was drafted out of a school known more for academics than athletics and despite being the son of a former major leaguer and being a two time Pac-10 All-Star still went in the 11th round.

    “I would say his career was better than expected..how many 11th round picks have 8 year ML careers?”

    Right. I agree. But my point was about Amaro saying he had a great OBP in the minors and him putting up great stats and being a great minor league player didn’t mean he would be a great major league player.

    The thing is, yes, he was a great minor leaguer in the sense that he did things to help minor league teams win. He but up great minor league stats in terms of the on-the-surface numbers that measure what hitters do to help their teams win, AVG/OBP/SLG.

    But he didn’t but up very impressive numbers when it comes to the numbers that indicate what kind of skills a player possesses and what he might do against major league pitching. His number indicated he was good at making contact and decent at drawing walks, and those were his only decent skills as a hitter. And it turns out that in the majors, that showed up. He never struck out a lot, he drew a decent amount of walks but nothing spectacular and he didn’t hit for much power.

  26. Shaun Says:

    John, Amaro didn’t start hitting for a high average until his age 24 season, still in A-Ball and some in Double-A.

    Lofton hit for fairly high batting averages right away, an indication he was better than Amaro at barreling up the baseball.

    I do agree that no team should just look at statistics of minor leaguers and no team ever would. But they definitely should not be ignored. If nothing else, they could be used hand-in-hand with what a scout sees, as confirmation and to get an even more complete picture.

  27. Raul Says:

    Do you do anything besides pontificate about statistics?

  28. Shaun Says:

    I just find it odd that people still want to draw lines in the sand and take sides in stats versus scouts. It’s pretty clear that both are useful. Yet it seems that a lot of people mostly on the anti-stats side or the scouting side, want to take sides instead of fully embracing both sides. This fact drives a lot of my writing. I don’t find nearly as many anti-scout folks.

  29. Chuck Says:

    “I just find it odd that people still want to draw lines in the sand and take sides in stats versus scouts”

    As they should.

    “I don’t find nearly as many anti-scout folks.”

    Considering scouting is more important that’s totally understandable.

  30. Raul Says:

    Happy 41st birthday, Jeffrey Hammonds. Word is that Hammonds was a speed demon in his youth before injuring his knee. He’d manage 13 years in the bigs, mostly as a part-time player. He was an all-star in 2000 with Colorado, but everyone played well in Colorado in those days.

    Happy 41st birthday, Brian Hunter. Also a speed demon, Hunter actually showed it when he first came up to the Majors, stealing 74 bases in 1997. For a few years, Hunter was widely considered the fastest player in the game. Like other speedsters, however, Hunter couldn’t hit enough to warrant a full-time job. After 10 seasons, he retired in 2003. Drafted in the 2nd round in 1989, Hunter could have gone in the 1st round — if we wanted to play Monday Morning Quarterback. There were some notable selections: Ben McDonald (1st), Frank Thomas (7th), Charles Johnson (10th), Mo Vaughn (23rd) and Chuck Knoblauch (25th).

    Happy 36th birthday, Paul Konerko. Only 36? Seems like Konerko is at least 39. The White Sox 1B/DH is just 4 homers away from 400 and 976 hits away from 3,000. Depending on how long Konerko plays (he is a DH, after all), he has a remote chance at reaching both milestones. Unlikely, but some guys are playing into their mid-40s, so who knows? Through his age-35 season, Eddie Murray had 398 homers, but he had 2,502 hits to Konerko’s 2,024. Some could argue Konerko is one of the more underrated steals of the past few years. Initially a Dodger, Konerko was traded to Cincinnati for Jeff Shaw, and then to Chicago for Mike Cameron.

    Happy 62nd birthday, Doug Bird. Bird was mostly a reliever in his career, and not especially great. I suppose it’s worth noting that he allowed Thurman Munson’s 8th-inning 2-run homer in Game 3 of the 1978 ALCS. The homer would give the Yankees a 6-5 victory and 2-to-1 series advantage. New York would close the series out in Game 4 with a dominating pitching performance by Ron Guidry as the Yankees would win 2-1. Guidry would go 8 innings of 7-hit ball. Dennis Leonard of the Royals matched him as best he could, going the full 8 allowing just 4 hits — but he gave up 2 solo shots to Greg Nettles and Roy White and that was the difference.

    Happy 65th birthday, Kent Tekulve. Teke wouldn’t make a major league appearance until he was 27, but he managed to pitch 16 seasons anyway. Noted for always being in games, Tekulve is the only other pitcher besides Mike Marshall to have appeared in 90 games more than once (each did so 3 times). Teke also owns a ML record, having appeared in 9 consecutive games — I think relievers today might need 2 months to appear in 9 games.

  31. Raul Says:

    The only one who ever talks about stats vs scouting is you, Shaun.

  32. John Says:

    “Stanton would be insane to take a 6yr/17 million.”

    Yes, he would be…because he’s got 2 years of Major League service under his belt, and has been very valuable in that time, averaging 36 HR, 33 2B, and a 132 OPS+ while sporting one of the best arms in the sport.

    Longoria had played like 6 games as a big leaguer.

    Yes, this deal is a steal. Hell, Longoria could die tomorrow, and it still would have been a steal. But, to respond to this part:

    “But if you think there will be a lot more Evan Longorias taking 17 million for 6 years…”

    You’ve got to look at it from Longoria’s perspective. You became a big leaguer last week. You have maybe a few thousand bucks to your name. You’re being offered a chance to be set for life financially, and you haven’t even done anything yet. You know you’ve got tremendous potential, but any one of a billion things could happen to derail that.

    Nothing stupid about taking the money when it’s on the table…there aren’t a lot of things in this world that you can’t have for 17 million dollars.

    As far as this part:

    “and then not have that contract extended/restructured when they do well”

    First off, that reminds me of Mr. Deeds. “Could we have restructured your contract to pay you less if you hadn’t done well?”

    But it strikes me that players can only lose out by holding, considering the really big money is in becoming an unrestricted FA…and teams aren’t going to be nuts about negotiating with a player with an attitude of holding out. It might get them a couple bucks in the short run, but long-term, you’re not going to endear yourself to many fans (thus making you unmarketable) or many teams by whining when you’re making several million dollars a year.

  33. John Says:

    @23, I thought the point in the article was that Amaro should have projected poorly because he didn’t slug well. But…most minor leaguers don’t. For most players, power is the last thing to develop and there are a number of players ( I mentioned Lofton) who slugged poorly and had tremendous Major League careers in their own right.

  34. Chuck Says:

    “You became a big leaguer last week. You have maybe a few thousand bucks to your name. You’re being offered a chance to be set for life financially..”

    Longoria got $5.8 million as a first rounder in 2006.

  35. Shaun Says:

    John, not just that he slugged poorly but that he hit poorly and slugged poorly, which is an indication that he wasn’t barreling up on the ball and hitting it with any kind of authority.

    Good contact ability and a decent ability to take walks were about his only skills. With those skills, major league pitchers can just throw such a hitter strikes and let him hit into weak outs.

  36. Raul Says:

    I could care less about how you want to apply the Mr. Deeds movie to reality.

    Maybe you haven’t been paying attention to athletes over the years. They have this funny way of wanting to be paid as much as possible.

    And if you think the players and the PA will just sit back and say — “Yeah, I signed a 6 year deal for peanuts. It’s cool even though I’m basically performing at an MVP level now” — you’ve got another thing coming.

    And then there are the agents.

    Come on, McFly…

  37. John Says:

    “Longoria got $5.8 million as a first rounder in 2006.”

    Huh, belay my last. I would’ve stuck it out if I already had 5.8 million bucks.

    “And if you think the players and the PA will just sit back and say — “Yeah, I signed a 6 year deal for peanuts. It’s cool even though I’m basically performing at an MVP level now” — you’ve got another thing coming.”

    How many players since 1990 have actually held out on existing contracts?

    Have you been paying attention to athletes over the years?

  38. John Says:

    Shaun: “but that he hit poorly and slugged poorly”

    But…he hit .304. Isn’t that kinda good?

  39. Shaun Says:

    Amaro started hitting better when he approached his mid 20’s, which is sort of late if a guy wants any sort of good big league career, and especially after he started to play in the PCL.

    As Chuck pointed out, Amaro did carve out a halfway decent career for an 11th-round pick. But this isn’t about the expectations scouts or anyone had for Amaro. This is about him claiming that he had good stats in the minors, he wasn’t a good major leaguer, and him concluding that therefore stats shouldn’t be a big part of minor league evaluation. I’m arguing that he didn’t have good stats if you look at the right stats and interpret them in the right way. And I’m not arguing against scouting and for only statistics. I’m arguing that stats, along with scouting, should be a key part of minor league evaluation.

  40. John Says:

    But what stats are you looking at?

    “You have to concern yourself more with age, homeruns, BB/K than you do when evaluating major league hitters.”

    His BB/K rate was very good. I’ve pointed out that a number of players have had fantastic careers with few Minor League HR. As far as age? Chuck’s right. He was exactly where he should’ve been.

  41. Raul Says:

    How many players have held out?

    TONS.

    Did it ever occur to you why baseball players get drafted in the 20th round and refuse to sign only to go into the pool a year or two later and get 10 times the money?

  42. John Says:

    My question: “How many players since 1990 have actually held out on existing contracts?”

    What Raul answered: “Did it ever occur to you why baseball players get drafted in the 20th round and refuse to sign only to go into the pool a year or two later and get 10 times the money?”

    EXISTING CONTRACTS

    Not draft picks who refuse to sign. That happens all the time.

  43. Shaun Says:

    John, he hit .304 for his career and he got a bulk of his plate appearances in his mid-20’s and in the PCL.

    At the levels that weren’t as hitter-friendly when he was closer to the same age as his competition, he hit well under .300.

    As a 22-year-old in A-ball he hit .282 and slugged .373.

    As a 23-year-old in A-ball and in a handful of games in Double-A, he hit .257 and slugged .328.

    He didn’t start hitting until he was 24 and that was in Class-A and Double-A.

    I’m not arguing that we should have expected more from Amaro, an 11th-rounder. I’m simply arguing that while it seems he was a great minor leaguer statistically (and in a certain sense, he was), in actuality the stats gave an indication that he wasn’t going to be a very good big leaguer.

  44. John Says:

    With regards to Mike Stanton, I think (based on twitter, and also bbref that he is now going as Giancarlo Stanton (his actual first name).

  45. Raul Says:

    Not many that stand out.
    But that isn’t relevant anyway.

    What you’re saying is the equivalent of people in the 1960s saying “How many players have really challenged the Reserve Clause?” and used it as some basis for it remaining in place.

    Watch what happens if the PA and Agents and players start seeing a large collection of All-Stars being paid below-market value. What do you think MLB veterans will do if all those contracts alter the market to make veteran salaries decrease?

    There’s just no way the trend continues unless the owners pay up.

  46. Shaun Says:

    John, you look at an entire package, the full picture you get from a variety of stats.

    As far as age, I’ve addressed that. It’s not about where Amaro “belonged.” It’s about whether he performed impressively relative to his age and his levels.

    Also, was he always at the levels where he belonged? Sure, he started where he belonged. But it took him until age 26 to get a full season outside of Double-A.

  47. Raul Says:

    “It’s not about where Amaro ‘belonged’”

    …actually, it is.

  48. Shaun Says:

    Raul, nope. Amaro was probably where he belonged. That doesn’t mean that his performance at certain ages and at certain levels were irrelevant to giving us some insight into what he was likely to be as a big leaguer.

    In other words, no one is denying that Amaro deserved to be held in A/AA at ages 23 and 24. What I’m arguing is that a player who is stuck in A/AA at ages 23-24, who displayed Amaro’s skill set, is not likely to be a very good major league hitter.

  49. Raul Says:

    @48

    That doesn’t make sense. If Amaro was exactly where he was supposed to be, what sense does it make to compare him to players who were in his position, but a different situation?

    There’s a big difference between a college player being 24 in AAA, and if…suppose, Bryce Harper was still in AAA at 24. Especially if they showed the same skill set.

    That’s a completely useless comparison between players. The circumstances are way too different.

  50. Chuck Says:

    Jesus Montero was the third youngest position player last year in the IL at 22.

    Good thing or bad?

  51. John Says:

    “Watch what happens if the PA and Agents and players start seeing a large collection of All-Stars being paid below-market value”

    Maybe they advise players not to take the safe bet and to stick it out 6 years until free agency?

    I mean, it’s not like Andrew Friedman forced Longoria to sign a long term deal. Longoria could’ve waited 6 years, made a lot in arbitration, and signed a 9 year 214 million dollar deal like Fielder. But there was a chance he would’ve become Connor Jackson instead. So he took the safe money.

    It’s not like the PA has a grievance here.

    As for veterans? It’s not like, when David Wright hits FA, teams are going to all conclude that he’s worth 4M a year cuz Longo will be making 6 and Longo’s way better than Wright. Wright’s agent, and all the teams he’ll be negotiating with, are well aware that Longoria is underpaid and therefore in no position to set the market.

  52. Raul Says:

    I would say irrelevant, choosing bad if i had to choose between the two.

    Montero should have been the back-up catcher right out of Spring Training. And he should have at least seen 3 or 4 games a week as the DH.

    Montero had no business being in AAA last year.

  53. John Says:

    @50, bad, cuz it was his second year there.

  54. Raul Says:

    Lenny Dykstra gets 3 years in the joint.

  55. Chuck Says:

    “Montero should have been the back-up catcher right out of Spring Training.”

    He would have been if he didn’t suck up the joint.

    If you can’t beat out Francisco Cervelli you have no business having a uniform.

    It was 100% Montero’s own fault he spent the year in AAA.

  56. Raul Says:

    Oh, I agree.

    It’s not like the Yankees wanted to put him in AAA.

    Ultimately, the Yankees are in a better position because of it. It’s probable that Montero would have struggled in the Majors last year which would have diminished his value and made it impossible for the team to land Michael Pineda in a trade.

    Regardless of how Montero pans out in Seattle (and he very well could have a good season), the Yankees are better with Pineda because pitching was a much bigger need than hitting. Old as the Yankees are, they can still score runs.

    BTW, Del Grippo wrote an interesting piece of that Phelps kid on NYBD.

  57. Cameron Says:

    You got Sanchez and Romine, two catchers better than most organizations’ total depth at the backstop. Along with Russell Martin, you guys are pretty set. Montero was entirely expendable at that point.

    Also, am I the only one kinda glad to see Martin be an All-Star catcher again? I remember being a huge fan of his in LA and I’m so glad to see him back to his old level of play, even if it’s without his amazing speed relative to his position.

    As for the extensions… Y’all know I’m a big fan of those things when done right. As to whether they’re done right now… I honestly have no idea. There’s two goals you ultimately want to accomplish with an extension. To keep him off the free agent market (especially if you’re a lower-level team that doesn’t attract a lot of free agents), and to save money on them relative to what you’d get them for on the open market. Catch-22 being signed at 6/51? Yeah, I think it’ll be saving money in the long-run. There’s two things I don’t like about modern extensions in that vein though.

    Let’s take a look at Cameron Maybin’s extension. He’s here for five years and I think there’s an option. He’s gonna be making 9 million in that last contract year, I think. A lot of these extensions sorta scream “speculative value” to me. To be fair, you need to operate on that… But you have to sincerely ask yourtself if you think Cameron Maybin will be worth 9 million dollars as a Padre. I’m not saying this contract is Mike Hampton bad, but some guys just seem to be set up for failure if only to retain that player. Those overpays also go on the other end, for guys like Ryan Howard. 5/125 for him. Ryan Howard IS one of the best players in the majors, fuck what the rest of you think. You need a guy to drive runs in, there are few better. But you probably could’ve signed him for 5/100 or 5/110. There’s really an overpay factor on both ends of the field in my eyes. The point of an extension is to save money and this just seems to defeat the purpose for me.

    The other one is backloading these deals. By the time the end of these contracts come up, you’ll have a 430 year old Ryan Braun or Troy Tulowitzki be making 340 million bucks. No one at that age is worth that much money. Do whatever you can to distribute that money. Personally, I like stuff like Paul Konerko having a good chunk of his contract deferred and if I had the chance to take something like Bobby Bonilla’s contract and take about a third of that deal and pay a huge chunk of it over twenty years after he’s retired? I’d do it. I want to give myself as much breathing room as possible there. It’s weird. As much as I can bitch about the Alex Rodriguez contract (and oh believe me, I can), there’s a true genius in its structure. A-Rod’s already past his prime and he knew that he would be by that time rolling around when he signed it. That contract wasn’t exactly frontloaded, it’s something I’d call more of a mid-load. He’s only making about $25MM or so now, as opposed to being north of 30 not too long ago. If you’re going to pay for a player, then don’t sign them to an anchor deal. Pay them for when they’re going to be performing. And I don’t think they’d have a problem with signing deals like that. Let’s face it, Alex Rodriguez is a whore. He’s a petty man obsessed with his own fame and is fueled by money and attention. If THAT guy can sign a somewhat reasonable front/mid-loaded deal, I think you can convince damn near anybody.

  58. Cameron Says:

    Sorry for the the typos in the last paragraph there. The 3 and 4 keys on this keyboard somehow got fused together.

  59. Cameron Says:

    Also, in today’s game against the Mets, Bryce Harper went 2-2 with a walk. Not bad for a kid his age against… Relatively major league competition.

  60. Chuck Says:

    “BTW, Del Grippo wrote an interesting piece of that Phelps kid on NYBD.”

    I saw it. Joe really likes the kid.

    RIP Don Mincher.

  61. Cameron Says:

    Okay, couple more things. (Sorry, internet access is limited to whenever I can use my roommate’s computer, so I’m posting when I can). Firstly, Detroit is now listing Ryan Raburn twice in the depth chart as second base and DH rather than Delmon Young as left field and DH.

    And in the sixth inning of the Dodgers game, there was a collective cycle from four different players, all of whom are sons of former MLB players. Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a single, who was doubled in by Justin Sellers, who was tripled in by Ivan DeJesus Jr., who was homered in by Scott Van Slyke. Keep in mind, this is a team where they are teammates with Dee Gordon, Matt Wallach, and third generation ballplayer Jerry Hairston Jr. …To me, that’s amazing.

  62. Cameron Says:

    RIP Don Mincher and March has been really bad to musicians. Five days into the month and we’ve already lost Davy Jones and (something I’m actually pretty sad about) Ronnie Montrose. I just didn’t bring Ronnie up because everyone knows the Monkees. The only Montrose fans I know are me and my stepdad.

  63. Shaun Says:

    “That doesn’t make sense. If Amaro was exactly where he was supposed to be, what sense does it make to compare him to players who were in his position, but a different situation?”

    Amaro was where he was supposed to be simply for Amaro himself. He wasn’t where he was “supposed” to be if he was likely to develop into a great major leaguer.

    “There’s a big difference between a college player being 24 in AAA, and if…suppose, Bryce Harper was still in AAA at 24. Especially if they showed the same skill set.”

    Any age 24 player playing in Triple-A is not likely destined for anything like stardom.

    Evan Longoria was in the majors at 22. Even someone like Drew Stubbs (just pulling a name off the top of my head) played a significant number of games in the majors at 24, and he’s really not all that close to being a star. Decent big leaguer but nothing like a star.

  64. Shaun Says:

    I think there were a lot of reasons Montero wasn’t in the major last season.

    He needed the seasoning offensively, clearly the Yankees didn’t want him catching in the majors from a defensive perspective, they didn’t have the roster space to give him the playing time he needed to improve, service time reasons, etc.

    I certainly don’t think it was a bad thing that Montero was the third-youngest position player in the IL in 2011.

    Maybe some do because he repeated the level. But he also, for lack of a better way to put it, skipped some stages of development by only playing half a season in High-A and half a season in Double-A. And the Yankees didn’t have room in the majors to give him everyday playing time, plus there are his defensive issues.

  65. Raul Says:

    Shaun,

    You ignorant slut. The Yankees’ plan for Montero going into Spring Training last season was for him to be the backup catcher and DH. There was no need of “offensive seasoning”. All he had to do was merely perform at an average level and the job was his. Instead, he hit terribly and had a passed ball every 3 minutes. It’s not like NY wanted him to hit 7 homers in the Spring.

    The guy hit .206 and couldn’t take Cervelli’s job, even though Cervelli had a mere 5 at bats last spring. Then he couldn’t take Posada’s job when he was hitting like .180.

    This is a guy who was in the top 10 in prospect lists everywhere with nothing to prove in the Minors, and the fact is he blew it.

    Then reports were that he started off the minor league season slowly because he was bummed out about not making the team — things that came from his coaches, mind you.

    The kid isn’t a scrub. But the only reason he wasn’t in the Bigs last year was himself.

  66. Shaun Says:

    Raul, they had Martin penciled in at catcher and Posada penciled in at DH. The only way Montero was going to make the team out of Spring Training was if he played outstanding.

    He hit .289 with 91 strikeouts in 2010 in Triple-A, so it’s not like his offensive game was perfect, throw in the fact that he’s not good defensively, plus the Yankees already had three catchers.

    Now, if he were on a team like the Mariners to start the 2011 season and they sent him back to Triple-A, that would have been something to read in to. But the fact that the Yankees sent him down to start the season is nothing to write home about.

  67. Bob Says:

    Except for the fact that many prospect gurus anticipated him having a season long stint in the Bronx about 53 weeks ago.
    The fact he did not make the roster is what caused the negative writing to mom and dad.

  68. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: Just off the top of my head, I can think of some pretty good MLB players that turned up in the bigs after age 24. Tim Salmon, Moises Alou and Mike Piazza.

    Lou Fette and Jim Turner both won 20 games for the Boston Braves in their rookie season in 1937. They both were 30 years old at the time.

  69. Raul Says:

    Speaking of which…

    Happy 26th birthday, Francisco Cervelli. Cervelli has been a back-up and part-time player with the Yankees since 2009. He’s known for two things: being Jesus Montero’s obstacle to a Major League job, and having his wrist fractured in the 9th inning of a Spring Training game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008.

    Happy 26th birthday, Ross Detwiler. The left-handed flamethrower was taken 6th overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2007 MLB draft and appears to be putting things together. Last season he posted a 3.00 ERA over 66 innings, striking out 41. Detwiler is a member of the 2006 World University National Baseball team which took the Gold Medal.

    Happy 35th birthday, Marcus Thames. Thames is known in some circle because his 1st career homer came off Randy Johnson — not a bad guy to get one off. Thames has put in 10 years of Major League service which is quite an accomplishment for a 30th round draft pick. He also served in the National Guard from 1994-1998.

    Happy 39th birthday, Roberto Duran. Obviously not THAT Duran. But I felt the need to mention this one because of his name. Duran, a Dominican pitcher from a town near where my parents grew up, pitched just 26 innings over 2 seasons with Detroit in 1997 and 1998. And as you could see it coming…it was No Mas for him.

    Happy 73rd birthday, Cookie Rojas. The great Cookie Rojas was a 5-time All Star, a manager, coach and now a broadcaster for the Miami Marlins. Cookie’s father originally wanted him to become a doctor. Imagine that — Cookie was born in Havana in 1939. Who knows what might have become of him after the revolution. He’d sign as a 17-year old amateur with Cincinnati in 1956 and the rest was history. I just texted my friends that it was Cookie’s birthday. Their response: There’s no way we should be working today. Long live Cookie!

    Also born today:

    Hall of Famer, Willie Stargell. It’s pretty tough to come across a sports figure more beloved than Pops was in Pittsburgh. The 1979 co-MVP, 1979 NLCS MVP and 1979 World Series MVP was a 7-time All Star. Stargell hit 475 home runs, though many believe he was robbed my his home park’s dimensions. Left-center field in Forbes Field in those days was 457 feet — a distance some players these days might need 2 hits to reach. Pops passed away in 2001.

    Hall of Famer, Lefty Grove. Grove is considered to be among the top 5 pitchers of all-time by many. A 17-year veteran, he won exactly 300 games in his career, losing just 141 and led the league in ERA 9 times. It was reported that he was held in the minors because his team had no Major League affiliation and ownership refused to sell him to any team. He was eventually let go for $100,600 — this, in 1925.

  70. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, Salmon played in Triple-A during his age 23 season. Amaro was in A-Ball and Double-A at age 23 and again at age 24.

    Moises Alou had reached Double-A and Triple-A by the time of his age 23 season. Amaro was in A-Ball and Double-A at ages 23 and 24.

    Mike Piazza was in Double-A and Triple-A during his age 23 season. Again, Amaro was in A-Ball and Double-A for both his age 23 and his age 24 seasons.

    Those players were clearly far ahead of Amaro at similar ages.

  71. Shaun Says:

    Salmon was in the majors during his age 23 season and was a major league regular by age 24.

    Alou was in the majors during his age 23 season, got hurt and missed all of his age 24 season and was pretty much a regular player by age 25.

    Salmon made it to the majors during his age 23 season and was a regular player and Rookie of the Year during his age 24 season.

    Amaro, at ages 23-24, was languishing in A-Ball and Double-A. He didn’t play in the majors until he was 26. He didn’t get over 26 plate appearances until he was 27.

  72. Raul Says:

    Alou didn’t go to college.
    Piazza was in college for 1 year.
    Salmon went to some college for 6 minutes. He was in the Minors at age 20. Amaro didn’t play a Minor League game until he was 22.

    You see the difference?

  73. Raul Says:

    If your argument is that Mike Piazza, Moises Alou and Tim Salmon were better Major Leaguers than Ruben Amaro Jr…yeah…so what?

    The argument that Amaro should have somehow been at an advanced level in the Minors than he ever was…is flat out nonsense.

  74. Cameron Says:

    Jesus fuck Shaun, how dense are you? Amaro couldn’t have been in those lower leagues earlier because he was in college. You’re trying to compare him to contemporaries that, quite frankly, aren’t his contemporaries. If you wanna compare his progress, compare him to graduating seniors and not high-school draftees, underclassmen, and international signings. Those guys can hit the majors while Amaro’s studying for finals. Not a fair comparison, at all. Use your fucking head.

    Also, Raul, I think more people think injuries stopped Pops from hitting 500 than Three Rivers.

  75. Raul Says:

    Cam,

    The Pirates played in Forbes Field until midway through the 1970 season.
    Stargell came up full-time in 1963.

    Considering he was 25 homers shy of 500, it’s not unreasonable to think he could have been robbed of 25 homers over the course of 7.5 years (roughly 3 or 4 homers a year).

    From Wikipedia:

    Observers believe Stargell’s career total of 475 home runs was depressed by playing in Forbes Field, whose deep left-center field distance was 457 feet. Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente estimated, perhaps generously, that Stargell hit 400 fly balls to the warning track in left and center fields during his eight seasons in the park. In addition, the short fence in right field (300 feet to the foul pole) was guarded by a screen more than 20 feet high which ran from the right-field line to the 375-foot mark in right center. Three Rivers Stadium, a neutral hitter’s park, boosted Stargell’s power numbers. The Pirates moved into Three Rivers in mid-1970, and he hit 310 of his 475 career home runs from 1970 until his retirement, despite turning 30 in 1970. In his first full season in the Pirates’ new stadium, 1971, Stargell led the league with 48 home runs. He won one other home run title in 1973, a year in which he hit 44 home runs, drove in 119 runs and had a .646 slugging percentage.

    ________________

    So yes, Clemente was exaggerating a bit. But I think it’s safe to say Stargell would have cleared 500, and maybe quite a bit more.

  76. Cameron Says:

    Forbes, right… I have a hard time remembering the progression of all the Pennsylvania ballparks. Didn’t know he was in an unfriendly park that much, though. Least, not to the degree of say, Willie Mays. I know people say if it weren’t for Candlestick Park, he’d have hit 800 home runs easy. Knowing how bad the outfield winds get in Candlestick, who knows.

  77. John Says:

    Stargell played a solid portion of his career at Three Rivers; actually, I would say he played the majority of his games in stadiums that either were Three Rivers, or literally the exact same as Three Rivers.

    But at 475, it’s not unfair to say that he would’ve gotten to 500 easy, maybe a bunch more without Forbes Field.

  78. Chuck Says:

    Hitting a ball 460 feet to the opposite field is virtually impossible.

    Not sure how many rum and cokes Roberto had before that interview, but I bet it was more than one.

    John…I’m now the proud owner of a John Axford bobblehead..email me your address (mjohns2@cox.net) if you want it.

  79. Cameron Says:

    You know what I find amazing about my new home? I’m about an hour, hour and a half or so from Cleveland. …I’m in a town that’s MORE depressed about their sports teams than I am. I live in an area with Browns fans. You ever wanna feel good about yourself, talk to a Browns fan.

  80. Chuck Says:

    Shaun,

    Using your own theory, Montero playing in AAA for the second time at 21 is bad.

    First, not only did he repeat the level as John mentioned, but he REGRESSED across the board.

    Second, he signed at 17. He played 33 games in Rookie ball at 17.

    He then played a full season at Lo A, then a half season at Hi A and AA by the time he turned 20.

    So, by normal progression, he should have played a full season of AAA in 2010, with maybe a September call-up, then legitimately competed for a roster spot in the majors in 2011.

    Which is exactly what happened, minus the call-up.

    Heading into spring training, the backup job was Montero’s. Cervelli was just baby-sitting the job for him, he would have either been traded or sent back to AAA to mentor Austin Romine.

    With Martin catching (and coming off an injury) and Posada DH’ing, at least against righthanders, there were more than enough at-bats available to keep him fresh.

    Then, Cervelli got hurt in spring training, virtually eliminating ANY possibility of Montero getting sent down.

    And what happened?

    He totally puked himself.

    He had the job tucked neatly into his back pocket and he choked on it.

    By the way..Mike Stanton is three weeks older than Montero.

    How many AAA games did he play?

  81. Raul Says:

    I fully expect Cameron to own a Dawg Pound cap and shirt by July.

  82. Bob Says:

    Cameron, three things you have to do.

    1. Visit the Rock&Roll HOF
    2. Go to Cedar Point. It is better than Disney.
    3. Fish in Lake Erie for walleye. But make sure you get a fishing license.

  83. Cameron Says:

    Please Raul, I’m a Royals fan. you really think I wanna subject myself to THAT much more pain?

  84. Chuck Says:

    Rob Neyer just said Justin Verlander was lucky last year..because his BABIP was .51 below his career mark.

    Then he said he won’t come close to repeating last year.

  85. Bob Says:

    So there we have it. Justin Verlander is the case study for BABIP.

  86. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, Rob Neyer is usually full of shit but THAT is amazing. To chalk Verlander up to being a fluke off a stat… Verlander to me is how a power pitcher should throw. …Actually, wasn’t the big success for Verlander the fact he got his changeup to really bite this year?

  87. Bob Says:

    He just thinks the Tigers will be inferior defensively with Fielder and Cabrera at the corners. Wonder what his k’s per 9 will be.

  88. Cameron Says:

    Oh they will be, Bob. Fielder and Cabrera at the corners and Young in left? High holy hell. Peralta isn’t great either and they might have Brandon Inge at second…

    Unless every ball is hit to center field, it’s gonna be a circus out there.

  89. Bob Says:

    The Red Sox signed a guy by the name of Josh Kroeger. Never heard of him.

  90. Bob Says:

    Have a good night.

  91. Chuck Says:

    Prince Fielder is a better first baseman than Miggy.

    Cabrera was a 3B when he came up and wasn’t all that bad. If he can keep the weight down and is a league average third baseman, the Tigers defense will be BETTER than last year.

    Although, to my point, there are no such thing as a “true outcome” or even a “park factor.”

  92. Raul Says:

    Baseball America’s Top Prospects prior to the 2010 season:

    1. Jason Heyward, of, Braves
    2. Stephen Strasburg, rhp, Nationals
    3. Mike Stanton, of, Marlins
    4. Jesus Montero, c, Yankees
    5. Brian Matusz, lhp, Orioles
    6. Desmond Jennings, of, Rays
    7. Buster Posey, c, Giants
    8. Pedro Alvarez, 3b, Pirates
    9. Neftali Feliz, rhp, Rangers
    10. Carlos Santana, c, Indians
    11. Dustin Ackley, of/1b/2b, Mariners
    12. Alcides Escobar, ss, Brewers
    13. Justin Smoak, 1b, Rangers
    14. Madison Bumgarner, lhp, Giants
    15. Domonic Brown, of, Phillies
    16. Starlin Castro, ss, Cubs
    17. Martin Perez, lhp, Rangers
    18. Jeremy Hellickson, rhp, Rays
    19. Aaron Hicks, of, Twins
    20. Logan Morrison, 1b, Marlins
    21. Ryan Westmoreland, of, Red Sox
    22. Aroldis Chapman, lhp, Reds
    23. Tyler Matzek, lhp, Rockies
    24. Casey Kelly, rhp, Red Sox
    25. Kyle Drabek, rhp, Blue Jays
    26. Jacob Turner, rhp, Tigers
    27. Brett Wallace, 3b/1b, Blue Jays
    28. Chris Carter, of/1b, Athletics
    29. Michael Taylor, of, Athletics
    30. Michael Saunders, of, Mariners

    Every player appeared in a Major League game before Jesus Montero, except for:

    Martin Perez
    Ryan Westmoreland (who had cancer)
    Aaron Hicks
    Tyler Matzek
    Casey Kelly (who switched positions)
    Michael Taylor (who started his 1st game the day after Montero)

    Before the 2011 season, Montero was Baseball America’s 3rd-best prospect, behind Bryce Harper (who was just drafted) and Mike Trout (who the previous season was ranked 85th).

  93. Chuck Says:

    If Montero wasn’t a Yankee, he’s not on that list.

    Shit, even Brett fucking Wallace made it before him, and it took him getting traded three times first.

  94. Cameron Says:

    Cabrera was pretty bad at third from what I can remember, Chuck. Only way he was somewhat decent in the field was when he was in left field.

  95. John Says:

    @91, I agree that Prince is a better 1B than Miggy right now, even though they’re both pretty bad.

    What makes you say Miggy will adjust nicely to 3rd? I don’t recall him being that great to begin with, he shifted to 1B like 3 weeks into the season in 2008 and hasn’t gone back.

    Will the Tigers be better? I think, a little bit. But as Prince’s last team showed, piss-poor defense can really manifest itself in the post-season when other teams have comparable pitching/offense.

    IMO, Tigers will be the first to clinch and will be bounced in ALDS.

  96. John Says:

    @84 & 86, Verlander’s a terrific pitcher, consistently top-5 in the league.

    I didn’t realize that his change-up had such a dramatic improvement this year…that can certainly improve BAbip, no flukes attached.

    However, I don’t think an absurdly low BAbip is generally sustainable even for a great pitcher who induces weak contact.

  97. Cameron Says:

    His change-up was always about average or so, but the days like his no-hitter, Verlander said it’s because he finally got that thing to fall where he wanted it to and got it to move the way he wanted. His control is catching up to his stuff. While I don’t think he can repeat that season (who can?), he can look like that for ages.

  98. Chuck Says:

    Yu Darvish makes his first spring start today.

  99. Raul Says:

    Happy 62nd birthday, JR Richard. Richard has been unfairly portrayed as the prime example of pitchers being overused. The fact is, the guy had a stroke and complicated medical conditions. In any case, Richard was a good pitcher, albeit one who walked a lot of batters. He attempted a comeback in 1981 but nothing would come of it.

    Happy 50th birthday, Jose Cano. There’s no much to say about Jose Cano. He’s Robinson Cano’s father, and son has made father quite proud.

    Happy 61st birthday, Jeff Burroughs. Unfortunately for Jeff, in his case, son (Sean) did not make father too proud. Jeff on the other hand was the 1st overall pick of the 1969 MLB Draft and managed a solid 16-year career. One could argue that among #1 overall picks, Burroughs was among the top 10, even if he wasn’t a defensive superstar. He was also the 1974 AL MVP.

    Happy 52nd birthday, Joe Carter. The hero of the 1993 World Series, Carter played 16 years, mostly with Cleveland and Toronto. The 5-time All Star was traded for some impressive players in his career. In 1989 he was traded by the Indians to the Padres. The move would bring Cleveland Carlos Baerga and Sandy Alomar Jr — key stars of those powerful Indians teams of the mid-1990s. The next year he’d be traded with Roberto Alomar from San Diego to Toronto in a move that got the Padres Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez.

    Happy 44th birthday, Jeff Kent. Kent may be elected to the Hall of Fame, largely because he owns the all-time home run record by 2nd basemen. Originally a Blue Jays prospect, he was shipped to the Mets for David Cone. After some mediocre years in New York, he was sent to Cleveland and eventually made his way to San Francisco, where he’d have his best years. Kent has a funny split if you look at his career. From age 24 to age 30 (1992-1998), Kent hit .274/.330/.471 with 138 HR. From age 31 to his retirement he hit .299/.371/.517 with 239 home runs. The wind and park dimensions in San Francisco didn’t mean much to him. He hit 40 home runs 4 years in row there. (wink wink).

  100. Raul Says:

    Carlos Guillen retired.

    Thank goodness he didn’t cry like Posada and Varitek. It’s only baseball.

  101. Raul Says:

    Middle reliever Dennys Reyes was released by the Orioles on Sunday. It was reported that he had visa issues. The Orioles released him for failure to report nonetheless. Reyes had a Minor League deal that included a Spring Training invite. A 15 year veteran, Reyes is listed at 6′3, 250 pounds (yeah, right) and is 35-35 with a 4.21 career ERA. Reports are that the soon-to-be 35 year old left hander may catch on with another team.

  102. Chuck Says:

    Also,

    Jimmie Hall.

    Hall was a good example of a “tweener”, a guy not quite good enough to make the majors but got his chance at age 25 in 1963 with the Twins following expansion.

    Hall hit 33 homers his rookie year, finishing third in the voting, and followed up with two straight 20+ homer, 85+ RBI years and back to back All Star appearances.

    Hall hurt his back in a collision with Tony Oliva and Rich Reese chasing a fly ball in Minnesota in 1966 and he was traded to the Angels after his power numbers were effected. Hall hung around as a part time player, including an 80 game stint with the 1969 Yankees before retiring at age 32.

    Ed Bouchee.

    I’ve met a couple of times at Alumni events, he was essentially blackballed (check his Wikipedia page) by MLB.

  103. John Says:

    @97, Verlander’s projected numbers for next season: 19-9, 2.96 ERA, 231 K’s, 1.080 WHIP.

    Over/Under?

  104. Cameron Says:

    I’d say the ERA, K, and WHIP are pretty much about even with what I’d expect, too close to call. As for the W-L? Not even close with the run support and competition he’s getting. Call me nuts, I’m calling 24-5 for him.

  105. John Says:

    “I’d say the ERA, K, and WHIP are pretty much about even with what I’d expect,”

    Haha, that’s probably why that’s the projection.

    When people say that Verlander had a flukey season, it’s important to note that only pitcher as good as Verlander can fluke his way into a 24-5, 2.40 ERA, sub-1 WHIP etc performance (although, like I said, a great improvement in his change-up is just going to mean better performances, before considering the role of chance).

    Joe Saunders also had a flukey year (I think), and for a guy of that caliber, that means a 3.69 ERA and 1.300 WHIP. Joe Saunders isn’t going to have a Verlander-esque season even if every call and every trick-hop and every fielding decision goes his way. Not with 4.5 K/9, 1.6 K/BB and > 1 HR/9. Nope, mid-3’s is about the very best I would expect from him, ERA-wise.

  106. Cameron Says:

    I don’t think Verlander had a fluke year. A fluke is Brady Anderson hitting 50 home runs. …Well, that ad steroids. Regardless, a fluke is someone outplaying their capactiy. Verlander is capable of that kind of season, so that’s what I like to call an “example season”. Gooden in ‘85, Martinez in ‘99 and ‘00, Greinke in ‘09, these are guys who had all the potential to have a season like that and actually played up to it.

    Verlander winning the MVP isn’t a fluke. Bartolo Colon winning the Cy Young is.

  107. John Says:

    “Bartolo Colon winning the Cy Young is.”

    That was just a terrible selection, Colon had a pretty Colon-esque year, except with a bunch of wins.

    ” a fluke is someone outplaying their capacity ”

    Ok, I guess we just have different definitions. I view a year like Verlander had as being at the outskirts of one’s capacity. Yes, you can hit it, but I think he’ll fundamentally be the same pitcher in 2012 and beyond and not match that season. But it’s not like Bruce Chen could get a couple good breaks and throw 250 IP of 2.40 ball (sorry to disappoint…)

  108. Chuck Says:

    Fluke year:

    Jacoby Ellsbury, 2011.

  109. Chuck Says:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120307&content_id=27088830&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

  110. Bob Says:

    @ 103
    Verlander will have over 19 wins Very good team.
    An ERA highre than 2.96
    A higher WHIP
    K’s will be about even.

  111. Raul Says:

    Whether or not Verlander repeats his performance from last year is irrelevant and stupid.

  112. Raul Says:

    Happy 59th birthday, Jim Rice. The Hall of Famer was your 1978 AL MVP, hitting .315/.370/.600 with 46 HR, 139 RBI, 121 runs scored, and acquiring 213 hits. It was, without question, a hell of a season. Rice would have a fine career, but it would take a long time before he was elected to the Hall. And the issue is still not without debate. Some feel other players were more worthy. Which brings me to my next birthday…

    Happy 70th birthday, Dick Allen. Your 1972 AL MVP hit .308/.420/.603 with 37 HR, 113 RBI, 90 runs scored and 19 stolen bases. The numbers aren’t historically outstanding, but his OPS+ was 199 that year. For frame of reference, neither Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols have posted OPS+ numbers that high. Allen, like Rice, was not exactly friendly toward the media and it might have cost him the Hall of Fame because of it. It is also well-known that Allen was a singer for a group called the Ebonistics. I haven’t heard of them, but the general word is that Allen was not bad.

    Happy 36th birthday, Juan Encarnacion. No apparent relation to Edwin Encarnacion, Juan played 11 years, mostly with Detroit and Florida. A career .270/.317/.441 hitter, Encarnacion was your typical Dominican ballplayer — you don’t walk your way off the island. Juan’s career was ended by a foul ball to the face.

    From Wikipedia:

    “On August 31, Encarnación was struck in the face by a foul ball hit by teammate Aaron Miles while he was on the on-deck circle. Encarnación suffered multiple fractures to his left eye socket and an injury to his left eye and missed the remainder of the 2007 season.[7]

    The injury was regarded by the Cardinals’ head team physician, Dr. George Paletta, to be the worst injury he’d ever seen to the face on a baseball player. Paletta said the eye socket was essentially crushed on impact, comparing the injured area to the disintegration of an egg shell or ice cream cone, and that the optic nerve had sustained severe trauma. Paletta also said the eyeball had not been ruptured”

  113. Raul Says:

    Nice job, Silva.

    For the record, I thought the Yankees should have let Jeter go. But whatever.

    http://nybaseballdigest.com/2012/03/08/when-is-it-time-to-say-goodbye/

  114. Cameron Says:

    From what I remember, Allen’s really mellowed out and his attitude at the time was due to being… Well, a black ballplayer in the 60s. The environment just got to the guy. From all the interviews I’ve seen him do (check out his session in Studio 42 with Bob Costas), he’s a pretty nice, well-spoken guy.

  115. Chuck Says:

    Hey, Raul..I was on the VIP gate the other day and your favorite GM came through. I told him you said hi.

  116. Raul Says:

    Allen was born in Wampum, PA — which is between Youngstown, OH and Pittsburgh — and near Beaver Falls (Joe Namath’s hometown).

    Allen came up in the 1950s and 60s and despite what people like to believe about racism not being as bad in the North, he surely suffered through it and given the times, one can’t really blame him for some of his hostilities.

    A few years ago I read “Havana Nocturne” by TJ English about Cuba and the mafia before and after the revolution. About a year ago he released “The Savage City: Race, Murder and A Generation on the Edge” about NYC during the 1960s and 70s. It talks about racism, police corruption and the Black Panthers. For people who think racism in the north wasn’t that bad, take a look at that book. Older people may remember the coverage of the Career Girls murder.

  117. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Chuck.

    He probably would have told me to screw off…haha.

  118. Chuck Says:

    He comes through and there’s a long line at the gate coming in and no one says anything, all of a sudden this one guy yells out, “Hey, it’s the dude from Moneyball.”

    Classic

  119. Chuck Says:

    Close but no cigar.

    UCONN blows a five point lead with four minutes left and loses in the Big East Conference quarters to Syracuse.

  120. Raul Says:

    LOL @ the dude from moneyball.

  121. Raul Says:

    So Yu Darvish said that Will Venable’s double wasn’t hit that hard and blamed the air in Phoenix.

    First, who cares? It’s Spring Training.
    And second, it’s Will Venable.

    One Spring Training game and Yu Darvish is already channeling his inner Hideki Irabu.

  122. Raul Says:

    Well,

    San Francisco continues to oppose the Athletics’ move to San Jose.
    Someone should have asked Billy Beane a question about that today at Spring Training.

  123. Raul Says:

    Even the Orioles want nothing to do with Johnny Damon:

    “Asked if Baltimore was going to sign Damon, Duquette laughed and said, “I don’t think so. I already signed Damon when he was 28.” Duquette added he’d prefer to sign the 28-year-old version of Damon, and while he is a big fan of the outfielder — calling him “a leader and great clubhouse guy” — Duquette said Damon doesn’t fit into the Orioles’ plans.”

    Mariners catcher Adam Moore has a borken wrist and is out for the Spring.

    The annual “Will Sean Rodriguez put it together” articles have also started…

  124. Bob Says:

    1. Oswalt is willing to play anywhere. Hoping to sign in June, when his children are done with school.
    2. Zack Greinke will use an agent unless he re-ups with the Brewers.

  125. Chuck Says:

    Shaun should apply to write for MLBTradeRumors.

    He’s really good at writing useless crap.

  126. Raul Says:

    Oswalt will play this year.

    Either he gets a contract outright or some team loses a pitcher to injury in Spring Training or the season and he gets a call.

    BTW, Who wants to be on that 2015 HOF ballot? That one will feature the following players making their debuts:

    Randy Johnson
    Pedro Martinez
    John Smoltz
    Gary Sheffield
    Nomar Garciaparra
    Carlos Delgado
    Troy Percival
    Brian Giles
    Jermaine Dye
    Tom Gordon
    Cliff Floyd

    Randy and Pedro get in. Smoltz may wait. Sheffield probably never makes it. But a bunch of those guys might hang around for a few years.

    2013 will be the interesting one. For those of you pushing for Tim Raines or Jack Morris, the next ballot includes the following newcomers:

    Barry Bonds
    Roger Clemens
    Mike Piazza
    Sammy Sosa
    Curt Schilling
    Craig Biggio
    Kenny Lofton
    David Wells

    My guess is that Piazza goes in alone.

  127. Chuck Says:

    Saber thought of the day;

    Including ROE’s in OBP.

    Seriously, is this ever going to stop?

  128. Raul Says:

    ROE = Reached on Error?

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  129. Cameron Says:

    I’m almost torn about Bonds and Clemens. Based on their clean numbers (if timelines are to be alleged, about pre 1997 for Clemens and pre 2001 for Bonds) these guys are Hall of Fame talent… But the steroids do fuck it up. I don’t think I’d vote for them if I had the chance, but I wouldn’t be terribly upset if they did get in.

  130. Raul Says:

    Bond juiced before 2001.
    Clemens probably started around 1995-1996.

  131. Raul Says:

    Anyone want to take a gamble on who will be the first steroids user elected to the Hall? …err…at least, the 1st admitted user….?

  132. Cameron Says:

    Raul, Clemens hadto have started in 1997. Rocket sucked too hard in the tail end of Boston to be on juice. he met McNamee in Toronto. As for Bonds… I’d guess 1996-1998 as a starting point, but he really spiked in 2001.

  133. Raul Says:

    I read Game of Shadows.
    If you are to believe that, Bonds started after the 1998 season, in jealousy of the attention McGwire and Sosa received.

  134. Raul Says:

    http://tjp.myweb.uga.edu/bonds.htm

  135. Cameron Says:

    Possibly. However, he probably started during 98. Hell of a year for him.

  136. Raul Says:

    Happy 39th birthday, CJ Nitkowski. The 9th overall pick of the 1994 draft, Nitkowski pitched 10 fairly awful seasons for Detroit and a handful of other teams. Word is that Nitkowski is attempting a comeback with the Mets after spending a few years in Japan and last year completely out of baseball. He was traded with Brad Ausmus twice: from Detroit to Houston in 1996, and from Houston back to Detroit in 1999.

    Happy 39th birthday, Aaron Boone. In 2003 you joined Bucky Dent as players with “Fucking” as your unofficial middle names when you hit a game-winning home run off Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. A 12 year veteran, Boone would sustain a season-ending injury ensuing offseason that would pave the way for the Yankees to acquire Alex Rodriguez. Aaron Boone lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Laura Cover. Cover was Playboy Magazine’s Miss October 1998.

    Happy 47th birthday, Benito Santiago. Santiago came up with the Padres in 1987 and won the NL Rookie of the Year award while hitting in 34 straight games. Eventually Santiago would be known for 2 things: a strong throwing arm and PED use in his later years with the San Francisco Giants. If you want to win a free beer, ask your friends who hit the 1st homer in Florida Marlins history. It was Benito Santiago.

    Happy 49th birthday, Terry Mulholland. The 20-year veteran pitched for 11 different organizations in his career as holds a number of distinctions. His pickoff move was among the best in the league, he formed the oldest pitcher/catcher battery when he teamed up with Pat Borders in 2004, he once had a ball hit so hard it was stuck in his glove’s webbing and had to throw it to 1B, he pitched a No-Hitter in 1993, and he’s one of a handful of players to have beaten every Major League team. Word is that Mulholland is part-owner of the Dirty Dogg Saloon in Scottsdale, AZ.

    Happy 25th birthday, Daniel Hudson. Hudson seems like a forgotten man in Arizona with the emergence of Ian Kennedy last season. In his first full season, Hudson went 16-12 with a 3.49 ERA over 222 innings and is poised to build on that success. Arizona acquired Hudson in 2010, shipping Edwin Jackson to the White Sox. At the time Chicago was 1.5 games up on the Minnesota Twins and atop the AL Central division. They would finish 6 games behind Minnesota and out of the playoffs. On July 27, 2011 while just 3.5 games back in the AL Central, GM Kenny Williams would trade Jackson to Toronto for Jason Frasor and Zack Stewart. Jackson would end up in St. Louis and go 5-2 and help the Cardinals win the World Series. Hudson would help lead the Diamondbacks to the NL West division title.

    So to recap, Arizona got Daniel Hudson, St. Louis got Edwin Jackson and a World Series win, Toronto got Colby Rasmus and Chicago got a pair of mediocre relievers. Some shrewd general managing — to be sure.

  137. Cameron Says:

    “So to recap, Arizona got Daniel Hudson, St. Louis got Edwin Jackson and a World Series win, Toronto got Colby Rasmus and Chicago got a pair of mediocre relievers. Some shrewd general managing — to be sure.”

    And this is why my buddy Jim in Chicago hates Kenny Williams.

  138. Chuck Says:

    So, on the now infamous Clubhouse Confidential episode from yesterday, someone asked Brian Kenny on Twitter “what sabermetric stat will become mainstream in 2012.”

    He said BABIP from an offensive standpoint, and FIP from a pitching standpoint.

    What’s really offensive is a TV host of a sabermetric slanted show not knowing BABIP is a pitching stat.

  139. Raul Says:

    Unbelievable.

  140. Chuck Says:

    I actually like Brian Kenny..when he was with ESPN he used to do this boxing show from Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn and would have guys like Bert Sugar and Angelo Dundee on, and some older fighters and show old fights and just talk back and forth about them.

    Talking sabermetrics has turned a good journalist into a bumbling tool.

    Sad, really.

  141. Raul Says:

    A handful of guys were actually pretty good on ESPN.
    Brian Kenny, Bob Ley, Dick Schaap…

    It’s been an awful network since the late 1990s though.

    It used to be that a couple of guys tried to be funny or witty: Craig Kilborn, Keith Olbermann…

    Now it’s a disgrace. I mean that’s a company that hired Stephen A Smith, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Salisbury, Steve Phillips and Skip Bayless — men who 25 years ago…if you even suggested that they get jobs on television, the world would laugh at you.

  142. Cameron Says:

    Craig Kilborn… Wasn’t he the original Daily Show host?

  143. Bob Says:

    Yes

  144. Cameron Says:

    And he left to be on ESPN? …Man, he’s gotta feel like a schmuck for that move.

  145. Chuck Says:

    Other way around, Cameron.

  146. Cameron Says:

    Just had my first Rueben in months… Damn that felt good.

  147. Chuck Says:

    corned beef, saurkraut, thousand island dressing on GRILLED rye bread.

    Anything else is a waste of money.

  148. Cameron Says:

    Damn straight, Chuck.

  149. Bob Says:

    1.Cameron, have you eaten a buckeye ball yet?

    2. TGIF

  150. John Says:

    “Including ROE’s in OBP.”

    ROE’s are not included in OBP.

    OBP is calculated as (H+BB+HBP)/(AB+BB+HBP+SF)

  151. John Says:

    “What’s really offensive is a TV host of a sabermetric slanted show not knowing BABIP is a pitching stat.”

    It’s both, Chuck. Just like batting average can be both a hitting stat and pitching stat (batting average against).

  152. Raul Says:

    I fail to see your point, John.

  153. Raul Says:

    #152 was referring to #150

  154. Cameron Says:

    John, I think the point was a discussion on whether or not ROE should be included into an OBP. …Which they shouldn’t, which is why it was stupid.

    And I have not eaten a Buckeye Ball. The hell is that?

  155. John Says:

    “Raul, Clemens had to have started in 1997. Rocket sucked too hard in the tail end of Boston to be on juice.”

    Roger Clemens, 1996:

    WAR: 7.7 (2nd)
    K/9: 9.5 (1st)
    IP: 242.2 (5th)
    ERA+: 139 (5th)

    He was probably the #2 pitcher in the AL in both 1994 and 1996. Admittedly, he wasn’t as sharp in 1995.

  156. John Says:

    “John, I think the point was a discussion on whether or not ROE should be included into an OBP. …Which they shouldn’t, which is why it was stupid.”

    Oh, then you’re right, that is stupid.

    Faster players can induce a lot of errors (rushed throws) but that strikes me as something you’d wanna log separately, and examine as a base-running related skill.

  157. Chuck Says:

    #150

    Thanks, Sherlock

  158. Chuck Says:

    Buckeye ball…

    take a jar of peanut butter and put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

    take a small melon scooper and scoop out the PB and roll out into small balls, then roll in confectioners sugar.

    Then dip in chocolate.

    done

  159. Cameron Says:

    That sounds disgusting… And you’ve seen some of the shit I eat.

  160. Raul Says:

    You ate a Reuben; the fat, retarded cousin of all sandwiches and you think chocolate-covered peanut butter is disgusting.

  161. Raul Says:

    You’re basically saying you don’t like Reeses Pieces.

  162. Cameron Says:

    It just sounds like a bad peanut butter to chocolate ratio. When there’s too much PB, I don’t like it.

  163. Bob Says:

    Cameron, they are awesome.

  164. Cameron Says:

    My roommate’s mom makes ‘em it seems. Might check it out.

    Also, trying to get a job at a sandwich shop at the end of the block. Guys there seem to like me but MAN is this place so different from KC. You know how the Primanti brothers in Pittsburgh operate? That’s a regional thing it seems. Bunch of weird stuff on the menu. …It’ll take my stomach a while to adjust to all this new cuisine instead of being drenched in fat and barbecue sauce the whole time.

  165. John Says:

    By the way, I’m churning out an AL East article, albeit at a glacial pace.

    Work has been busy of late.

  166. Raul Says:

    One of the silliest expressions people use when talking about young players is “they have the poise of a 10-year veteran”.

    Yeah, I really don’t care about nonsense like that. I’d rather have a guy with the ability of a Cy Young winner.

    Jeremy Affeldt is a 10 year veteran. Aaron Harang is a 10 year veteran. I could care less about their poise.

    ….

    Didn’t know this one: Roberto Clemente is the only player taken in the Rule 5 draft to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

  167. JohnBowen Says:

    I had no idea that Clemente was drafted as a Dodger.

    Those Dodger teams would’ve been nasty with a little offensive support; Sandy Koufax probably would’ve had multiple 30-win seasons.

  168. Raul Says:

    The Dodgers shipped Clemente to Montreal in an effort to hide him from other teams.

  169. Cameron Says:

    Personally, I’d rather avoid guys with “the poise of a ten-year veteran”. That’s what happens when you’re trying to compliment a young guy with mediocre stuff having a good day.

  170. JohnBowen Says:

    As if it’s a shock that a grown man who has played baseball his whole life doesn’t suddenly crap his pants because he’s on TV now.

  171. Cameron Says:

    My roommate’s cat has been licking my head for about ten minutes straight now… It feels so weird.

  172. Bob Says:

    Cam, wherever you go, you get pussy.

  173. Chuck Says:

    #171 may be the most frightening comment I’ve ever read.

  174. Jim Says:

    Which head? Never mind don’t answer that.

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