May 17, 2013

This Week In Baseball

The Tipping Point: The Classical had this great piece on David Eckstein and how he was the tipping point for the sabermetric movement. While the author states Eckstein was always a pretty good player (he was in the top ten of WAR in 2002 in the AL) the unabashed love columnists sprayed on Eckstein for his grit, heart, etc. was the tipping point for Sabermetrics to break out and lead to people looking at baseball more analytically.

Upton Revenge: A lot was made of Justin Upton's departure from Arizona. Snakes manager Kirk Gibson wanted a team that was "gritty" and somehow Upton didn't fit that description. You know despite the fact that Justin Upton is only one of the best power hitters in the game and damn near won the MVP in 2011 while Gibson rode his coattails. You can now only imagine the glee from people like myself when we saw Upton crush a home run against the Diamondbacks on Monday to help the Braves thrash Arizona.

Knuckleballs lose Velocity?: According to Fangraphs they do and that could be a huge reason why RA Dickey has struggled so far in Canada. It could also explain why Dickey is striking out less batters and walking more. Velocity is such a tricky thing.

Gaining Velocity: Speaking of velocity, Baseball Analytics says that Scott Kazmir is throwing harder this season than he did in 2011 and 2010. Kazmir's fastball velocity is up and this is what has lead to his resurgence in Cleveland. Kazmir is also throwing higher in the zone and inducing swing-and-misses at 24%. None of this matters of course because Cleveland is cursed.

Scalding Hot: The Brewers as a team aren't very good. They're four games under .500 and their pitching is basically a mess. The Brewers though have one bright spot and his name is Jean Segura. Segura was the prize the Brewers wanted from the Angels when they traded Greinke last summer. And boy has he been good. He leads the NL in batting average and tenth in OBP. Segura's BABIP at the moment is through the roof at the moment so he'll probably regress but for the moment check out his heat map.

Heyman Is Correct?: Jon Heyman and Jon Paul Morosi are frequent targets in the baseball community for their constant trolling. Baseball Prospectus Colin Wyers though says that Jon Heyman is actually correct about something. Heyman has pointed out some funky WAR stats the past couple of weeks. He points out that Mary Reynolds and Elliot Johnson have the same exact WAR but Reynolds hits for way more power. Wyers writes that sabermetric writers shouldn't counter Heyman's statement on WAR with questions like "Why does Yuni Betancourt and Chase Utley have the same amount of RBI's?" Instead Wyers asks instead of demonizing Heyman sabermetrics writers should asked themselves why does Reynolds and Johnson have the same exact WAR. I loved this article very much because it addresses my main complaint about sabermetrics writers and asks for a change in their attitudes. Instead of demonizing someone for correctly pointing out something wrong with an advance stat, they should instead look at the date and seek the answers.

Hot And Cold: Hardball Times did some research that is all not that surprising. Both young players and veterans are streaky while players in their prime age are very consistent.

Passive Hitting is a Myth: It's a myth I tell ya and Dave Cameron has the data! Passive hitters are a myth and the league is full of hackety hackers who do nothing but hack. Hack I tell ya. Like Brett Pill swinging at wild pitches.

Games of the Weekend: Taking a look at the best team and pitcher matchups for the weekend.

Friday, Cincinnati at Philadelphia, Cingrani vs. Lee: This is a great pitching weekend and it actually started yesterday with Darvish vs. Verlander. It continues on Friday with the young guy lefty going after the old man crafty lefty.

Saturday, Detroit at Texas, Sanchez vs. Grimm: Grimm has been kinda of a disaster since winning rookie of the month in April. There's still promise there but right now he's terrible. Then you have Anibal Sanchez who has probably been the Tigers most consistent pitcher (Verlander was bombed again on Thursday) all season.

Sunday, Seattle at Cleveland, Hernandez vs. Masterson: King Felix is a must watch whenever he pitches. He's up there with Verlander, Darvish, Lee, and Kershaw in the watchability category. And Justin Masterson has quietly turned into a must watch pitcher himself. Masterson shut out the Yankees in his last start and is showing promise of a staff ace. Who know Mariners-Indians would be a must watch?

1 comment:

  1. I'll always argue writers/fans loved the idea David Eckstein more than Eckstein the player himself.