July 12, 2013

The Week in Baseball: 7/7-7/12

The All-Collapse All-Stars: Chris Jaffe of Hardball Talk looks at the players who've collapse but haven't been injured. For some unexplained reason a player just starting sucking for some reason. The only issue I have with this list is that Jaffe says the criteria is that a player should be in his early 30's but most of these players are still in their late 20's. Anyways here's some of the players: Miguel Montero, Starlin Castro, Jeff Keppinger, and Chase Headley.

Carlos Gomez, Wow!: Carlos Gomez literally made a game-winning catch against the Cincinnati Reds robbing Joey Votto out of all people of a home run. The best part of this video is Votto's reaction like Gomez never caught the ball. Also I agree with kt1000, too bad Thom Brennaman wasn't calling this game for the Reds.

Plate Discipline: Since Jeff Francoeur was released by the Royals and rise of Yasiel Puig there's been a lot of discussions on plate discipline. Is plate discipline something that can be learned? Is it just hardwired into a player from an early age? John Sickles of Minor League Ball argues that there are five different category's of plate discipline. His last two category's fascinate me the most. The 4th category is that a player with incredible bat speed can make up for bad plate discipline, think Adam Jones and Brandon Phillips (Josh Hamilton is the biggest example of this category and the biggest example of what happens to a player once they lose bat speed). The fifth category is the Jeff Francouer section where a player is neither disciplined nor has the bat speed to catch up to balls.

Aging Curves: In the department of you should have known this, players who age are getting worse while player who are young should improve while they age. Hardball Times looks at the Astros and Yankees and looks at how both teams are either improving or getting worse. The best part of this article is this nice graph they created.
Strikeouts: While striking out a lot doesn't necessarily make a hitter bad, does strikeout rates affect pitchers though? Athletics Nation comes to the conclusion that low K rates don't really effect a pitcher if that pitcher also has a low walk rate. Bartolo Colon isn't a strikeout machine but he's also not walking anyone and that has turned him into an effective pitcher.

Jason Kipnis Is Improving: Last year it looked like the Indians were going to make the playoffs. Then they collapsed and one of the big reasons was that Jason Kipnis struggled late. This year though Kipnis has improved at the plate in his all around game. Beyond the Boxscore says the big reason Kipnis has improved is because he's hitting less groundballs. I would also add that Kipnis has improved his plate discipline and is seeing better balls to hit.

Misconceptions on Moneyball: It's amazingly been ten years since the book 'Moneyball' was released and it sure does still draw some big controversy in baseball ten years later. There have been a lot of misconceptions on what 'Moneyball' was really about? Was it a book on walks? A book about Scott Hatteberg? A book on Billy Beane throwing chairs? A book about fat catching prospects? A bunch of crap like Joe Morgan wants you to believe? In reality as Athletics Nation points out, 'Moneyball' is or forever will be about finding undervalued commodities and paying them the least amount in baseball through free agency, the draft, and trades. It wasn't about the 2002 season or Scott Hatteberg and more about the business of baseball and really business in general.

Games of the Weekend
Friday, Texas at Detroit, Grimm vs Fister: The Texas vs Detroit series's have become must watch series's. I'm interested in this game because both of the pitchers in this game started the season so well only to cool down in recent weeks. I like Fister more than Grimm to get back on track because he has a longer track record.

Saturday, Cincinnati at Atlanta, Bailey vs Minor: Minor is actually the Braves best pitcher this season and that seems hard to believe. Bailey meanwhile has thrown two no-hitters in less than a year. Pretty impressive.

Sunday, Kansas City at Cleveland, Shields vs Jimenez: If Kansas City wants to be a contender then they need to win two out of three in Cleveland. They're six games back of Detroit and 4.5 games behind Cleveland. This is their chance to gain some ground in that division and pretend that they are contenders.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite misconception about Moneyball is that it's somehow about the 2002 A's so everyone is pissed the book doesn't tell the story about Barry Zito and Miguel Tejada. The 02 season was just a backdrop for the book.