Mineos, Aiellos or Napolis? Also, is Rendon's ankle progressing to the point that he is the clear #1 on the board?
Don't understand the first question. We won't know anything about Rendon's ankle until he has to play on it for a few weeks in the spring. I think he's #1, but the pool is deep enough that the Pirates should start with a pretty wide list of names - wider than the list of 1 that Washington had in '09, for example. Springer and Starling are both worthy of 1-1 consideration, and I could see three or four college arms at least making a case.
The Padres should still trade AGon in the offseason right? I know its a PR nightmare, but there's no way they're resigning him.
Agreed. Otherwise you're trading him for half as much in July.
I don't like you.
And I don't respect you. Pretty sure I win that one.
Where are all those Boesch-4-AL-ROY advocates that refused to believe he would regress to his natural abilities?
Busy beating the drum for Chris Johnson.
Keith, I also object to some specific strategies regarding playing time, but no credit for Cito for pitchers + beating projections by 10-15 wins?
You don't think fluke years by a few hitters I won't name had something to do with that?
3 best pizza shops near CMU
Oh, I never had a decent pizza in Pittsburgh.
Any articles/links re: contract year stats? Overblown topic?
I think BP covered that in the Baseball Between the Numbers book, finding that there is a contract year effect.
Can we get one of those old NBC 'The More You Know' PSAs filmed to educate people that pitcher wins are not the same as team wins?
It would be roughly as effective as "this is your brain on drugs" ad.
Keith, Which would be a better signing, Crawford 7 for $115 million or Werth 5 for $85? Crawford is younger and bit better but you figure Werth's OBP and power will age better than Crawford's athleticism
Crawford, due to age and Werth's past history of knee issues.
Wainwright has a lower FIP than Halladay this year, though it is very close. He has struck out more per 9, while also walking more. Are the fewer walks and more innings pitched what gives Halladay the edge in your mind for Cy Young? If not, what is it?
Fewer walks and 20 more IP - roughly three starts' worth. That extra bulk at roughly the same per-inning performance is a lot of extra value to the team. Doc's also ahead in xFIP (questionable value for past performance) and SIERA, for what it's worth.
can anything bring down the NCAA?
Congress, I guess, but I'm not holding my breath.
Keith,What are your thoughts on the The Tenth Inning? Thanks
They sent a review copy to me via Bristol which was misdelivered to someone with a similar name to mine ... and I told him to keep it. Not interested in some sepia-toned look at the so-called "steroid era."
Hey Klaw. Gallardo or Cain? Now and long-term? Thanks.
Love them both, but I'm taking Cain there.
Do you discount pitcher's wins completely or just place low value on them? Clearly they are not indicative of how someone pitched, but if they get the win then they clearly pitched well enough to give their team a chance to win. Obviously, a good enough pitching performace may still give up a lot of runs, just their team was still able to score more.
I discount them completely. There's nothing "clear" about your assertion about them pitching well enough.
Can I have a hug?
No. Bugger off.
I read your blog concerning metal bats and I am confused about one of your points. YOu state that pitchers dont pitch inside because hitters are able to still get hits on this pitch due to the bat. The alternative is pitching out over the plate, Right? I dont see any scenario where this is more effective.
The alternatives are pitching to the outer half or pitching away from contact entirely.
Niemann looked decent last night, but the Rays have to use Davis in the postseason, right?
Yes, I'd go with Davis.
Klaw, SHOULD Daniel Descalso be given a serious look to win the 2B job for the Cardinals next season so we can finally put an end to the Schumaker experiment? And WILL he get that shot?
Yes, he should. As for whether he will, that depends on whether Wile E. Coyote is managing, doesn't it?
Keith, how soon can Alex White be in the majors? What can we expect from him?
Could pitch in the majors next year. Mid- to back-end starter ceiling, but increasing likelihood that he's a reliever.
Will Domonic Brown be a star in this league at smoe point?
In re: Bautista and Steroids. Does it bother you a lot when commentators say something to the effect of "Somebody has to ask the question" like they're doing some kind of public service by smearing another person's reputation in the name of ratings?
It bothers me tremendously. It's irresponsible, and probably unethical. "Somebody has to ask the question." No, doofus. Somebody has to try to ANSWER the question.
I saw on twitter a few weeks back that you said Heyward has 40 hr power. Are 50+ hr seasons just a guy with that kind of power having a fluke season? Also, have you scouted anyone with 80 power? What would be an example of that?
I think we're seeing with Bautista that a player with 30 HR power can spike up to 50 - it's unusual, but think of it as an extreme right-tail performance. Mike Stanton has 80 raw power, did in the minors too.
Keith- how strongly do you believe in FIP and FIP+? It seems like it "corrects" for BABIP but leaves a lot of other things on the table. Do you think it's a better metric for modern pitchers than for old-timers who may have been able to "bear down" and "pitchi to the score"?
I like FIP's simplicity, and accept that there may be some loss of accuracy in exchange for it, since some of what's left on the table is really unclear. If you want more granularity, you can look at SIERA.
Just heard this on the radio, "Felix hasn't pitched in a meaningful game in over four months. Sabathia has tremendous pressure every time out. That has to count for something." It doesn't, does it?
No, it doesn't. Change the station. You should probably have XMU on anyway.
There's talk of Dusty Baker winning the NL MOY. Have the achieved because of him, despite him, or somewhere in between?
Somewhere in between ... at best.
LOVE XMU. But seriously, Max Scherzer. What do you think? He's pitched like an ace since his brief visit to the minors.
I'm just concerned about his ability to stay healthy over the long term, but this version of Scherzer is an ace or a potential ace.
Concerned at all about Martin Perez' less than stellar year?
Yes. Talked to a source who saw Perez top out at 88 in a mid-summer start.
Justin Smoak has homered in three straight games. Do you think this is a sign that he is finally figuring things out?
I'd love to tell you the latter, and he does look better in both his approach and swing, but I've said before that we should all be wary of September hot streaks. The caliber of competition is too variable.
It seems like Felix is gaining steam in the CY voting over CC (among people who don't have a vote). Who would be your top 5 AL CY?
1. Felix 2. Lee 3. Liriano 4. Lester 5. Verlander. I could see an argument for Weaver as 4 or 5, but he does get an unusual amount of help from that park.
Is Zack Cox playing in the AFL this year?
I was told that was the plan.
How can you say pitching in high pressure situations shouldn't count? I understand Felix's numbers are great but are they that much better than CC's, Lester's, Price's or even Bucholz's?
Two reasons. One, the fact that Felix didn't have high-pressure situations in which to pitch shouldn't be held against him. Two, pitching in the majors against the best hitters in the world is an enormous amount of pressure. Pitching with something on the line in the standings is, at best, a small marginal increase in pressure. As for Felix's numbers ... yes, yes they are.
My counter to the argument that Felix pitches with less pressure is this, he goes into each game knowing if he gives up 2 run, his team loses, CC goes in knowing if he gives up 4-5 runs, the yanks still have a good chance to win, seems like pressure to me
Which to me speaks to the nebulous, if not imaginary, nature of "pitching under pressure." It means whatever you want it to mean.
Brian Cashman supposedly said Dellin Betances is the Yankees' best pitcher in the system. I read your review of Betances and I know you're not sold. Is Betances really the best the Yankees have or is he being overhyped? Yankee system has a good number of promising arms these days.
Banuelos is the best pitching prospect in the Yanks' system, and I don't think I'm remotely alone in that assessment.
Couldn't we just add a yearly BOS/NYY Cy Young, MVP & ROY to keep the delusional fan bases appeased every year?
We could hand out a pretend statue of a giant heart.
If your the Giants do you resign Pat Burrell or do you have Brandon Belt and Thomas Neal battle it out for the final spot OF spot, assuming Torres and Ross are back.
I'd be hesitant to buy into Burrell's resurgence too much - the guy was awful for a year-plus in Tampa, and while I know NL West competition is pretty light, I can't tell you I think Burrell will even be 85% of this next year.
How do people expect to define high pressure? Why is pitching in NY have so much "pressure", you have a 180 million dollar roster that puts up more runs than anoyone. To me it would seem Felix has more pressure, these guys are all professionals and all want to win. He knows for every run that gets scored, his chance of winning goes down by a lot because his team can't score runs. THATS high pressure.
People who argue for pressure do so for one of two reasons. Either you want to fabricate an argument in favor of a pitcher on your favorite team, or you're upset that the rise of better metrics has removed some of your power in saying who wins these awards (or at least in saying so without receiving significant criticism, if not ridicule) and are retreating to a weaker yet harder-to-assault position.
Its playoff time, can we get predictions out of you?
Along with "somebody has to ask the question," there's "does anyone deserve the benefit of the doubt anymore?" Actually yeah, I believe our society is built upon (among other things) the principle that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt.
I agree. Especially since there is some PED testing and we're now impugning the reputation of guys who haven't failed.
When talking MOY, why should the winner be from a team everyone picked to finish last (i.e. Bud Black)? Just because everyone did not know the talent they had does not mean he did something great. He just sent out the same line-up/rotation and they performed better. Didn't a manager who had to deal with multiple injuries (Manuel, Tracy) do a better job?
Tracy did a lot to actively sabotage Colorado's chances to reach the postseason, from bullpen management to the Eric Young Jr fetish.
Klaw, we don't like you, either, so we are eloping to Toronto to live with Ray. Before we go, will you please tell us the top three Detroit Tiger prospects?
Turner and Castellanos 1-2. Crosby would be 2 or 3, although with this recurrent elbow problem I'm not quite sure how bearish to be.
He's enormous, and even though he's not terribly unathletic it takes him a long time to get his body moving back there. He's actually not a bad throwing catcher, but between his bulk and the eventual toll on his knees, I see him moving out from behind the plate.
Whether Bautista did or didn't take steroids, I just wish we could return to the time when only legitimate, non-fluke players hit more than 50 home runs... you know, guys like Roger Maris or George Foster.
I have your sepia filters right here.
Keith, Were you in Toronto when cito was hitting coach in 00/01? If so, what were your impressions of him?
I was not. I met Cito once, didn't have a conversation, and have otherwise never had any dealings with him.
Do you see anyone with any talent working for Jeff Wilpon, for GM or manager? If Omar stays with the organization in a different capacity, I can't imagine who would want to be the GM there. Basically, you'd be the third person in making personel decisions.
Someone will take that job because there are only 30 of them and a good number of them involve some major drawback, like a meddling owner's son (common problem) or a small payroll. I wouldn't take it without some written guarantee of autonomy, but then again, I haven't built my entire career around getting a GM job at some point.
Keith, music question/comment. What are your thoughts on the National? If you like Arcade Fire, you'll love the National.
I like Arcade Fire. I don't like the National.
Keith, have you seen Brent Morel play? What is your opinion of him? Solid average third baseman?
Less than that.
Keith, it seems that the AL Cy Young race has evolved over the past month to month-and-a-half to a debate between stats, and intangibles. This seems to be the case because looking at the depth of stats (not just ERA, K, IP, W/L), Felix Hernandez cleans house, so the advocates for the other leading contenders have to lean on something else. CC Sabathia, and to a slightly lesser degree David Price, are being herald with intangible qualities about divisional pitching and pennant races. That seems very contrived and pretty weak to champion the winner of the Cy Young. What field of though do you think will emerge as the victor for this award, baring any unforeseen implosion by any of the contending pitchers (namely Felix and his potential 35th start)- Stats/numbers, or W/L and "pressure pitching"?
I think Felix wins a very tight, split vote, as the wins camp has a few candidates while the advanced-metrics camp has coalesced around Felix. But we'll see - you do get weird results when the pool is 28 ballots.
When you refer to a pitcher as an "Ace" or a "#1" is that just top 30 pitcher in the game or is there some other definition?
I'd think of a true ace/number-one as top 15-20. You would not expect every team to have a number one starter, and you'd expect to see more teams with none than teams with two or more.
Keith, OK so the Pirates will have the number 1 pick in next years draft ....Shocker, I know...They desperately need an Ace like G. Cole but Rendon is too good to pass up correct? I'm guessing they will just move Alvarez to 1B and draft Rendon..thanks
Can't draft on need. And you really can't screw around with 1-1. That pick has historically delivered substantially more value than pick 2 - a bigger dropoff than any other one-pick gap in the draft, if I remember correctly.
"One, the fact that Felix didn't have high-pressure situations in which to pitch shouldn't be held against him." But you're holding against CC the fact that the Yankees score a lot more runs than the Mariners. The same situation may call for different types of pitching. Let's take runner on third, one man out. For Felix, pitching in a 1-0 game, he can't afford to give another run so he tries to strike out the batter. Same situation for CC but the Yankees are leading 5-0. You try to strike him out but you'd give up the run to get an out, so you may pitch to contact. Thoughts?
That's "pitching to the score," a great hypothetical example that doesn't play out in reality over larger samples. The pitcher who tries to strike out more hitters may give up more balls in play, but will surrender fewer walks. The net result is minimal.
Klaw, if two players have identical WAR, is it safe to say the player on the team with less wins has had a greater impact on his team, and is thus more valuable?
That's a context argument and veers uncomfortably into financial value territory, for me at least.
Did you catch Top Chef Just Desserts last night? I couldnt get in to it.
I did. Too much drama. Is it just me, or does Seth seem a lot more "off" than they're letting on? I almost feel like he has Asperger's, or something similar to it. He can't deal with change - he'll actively try to avoid it, and looks terrified when he might be forced to go outside his comfort zone. His social interactions are brutal to watch and he seems unaware at the time of how he's perceived by others in any room. I feel like he's being cast as the villain (or at least the guy to root against) when there might be something more serious going on with him. I don't like watching him, but I just don't think "he's a baby" covers his behavior.
Of course, I'm not a doctor, and I'm not trying to diagnose anyone through the television. I just don't like seeing people depicted as villains when there's a valid explanation for their behavior.
Jay Bruce is *still* gonna be a stud. That's all.
Agreed. I think I was just a half-season off. As opposed to being two seasons off on Weeks.
Anthony Rizzo was one of the youngest players in AA this year and really had a nice season. How do you project him going forward and has he surpassed Lars Anderson (who I think Boston will look to trade this off-season) on their depth chart?
He has passed Lars, and I think he's their presumptive 1b of the future. Not quite the pure hitter that Lars is, but a better defender, and not so quick to get caught in his own head as Lars is.
Manager of the Year in the AL?
Francona is still my choice there.
Piggybacking on your comment regarding the definition of an ace, kudos has to go out to Ruben Amaro Jr. (and Pat Gillick) for obtaining two or potentially three "aces" on one staff while not killing the club in other areas. It is just so rare to have that kind of talent in your rotation, no?
Extremely rare, and it sets them up very well for the postseason.
What would you do with Burnett in the postseason?
Tell him to stick to pies.
And then credit is immediately rescinded from Amaro for costing them a 4th ace.
To be fair, I doubt they go get Oswalt if they have Lee.
Keith, has Carlos Perez surpassed D'Arnaud in the Jays "catcher of the future" discussion? Also, given org need & surplus considerations, does it make sense to convert a prospect arm like Asher Woj or Sam Dyson to short relief immediately?
I think Perez is poised to pass d'Arnaud within a year if the latter doesn't take the expected step forward. Maybe he already has, but I have always liked d'Arnaud and I know the Jays do too. Dyson's medical history was actually written by Vikram Seth and I think a move to the pen isn't a bad idea.
Gary Sanchez or Max Stassi, Shelby Miller or Matt Moore, Bryce Harper or Jesus Montero.
Interesting. I'd probably lean Sanchez, definitely Miller, and probably Harper.
Who are your MVP's this year?
Josh Hamilton and Joey Votto.
Now that Jenks is done for the seaon and probably for his White Sox career, do you think Guillen will continue using his best reliever available to finish the game path that he has used for the past few weeks. Is he the one manager who is capable of getting away with a "closer by comittee" approach that shows the traditionalists they are full of crap?
I hope he does. He seems to understand that it's a better way to run a bullpen - he/Cooper have really done an outstanding job with relievers over the past six years - and his connection with the owner means he has more leverage to do something unconventional.
Bottom line, baseball and music are industries designed to make money and provide entertainment. How come people care so much if baseball players use performance enhancing drugs, yet could care less about their favorite bands? Imagine if the Rock n' Roll HOF kept out people who "enhanced" their performance.
I heard they're testing old albums for dynamic range compression.
I believe I got this from your twitter but for those few who don't follow the genius of KLAW here are the runs that the Mariners have scored in Felix's 12 losses: 1-3-0-1-1-2-1-0-0-1-4-0. That would be 14 total runs. Wins are as close to meaningless as a stat for pitchers can be.
Someone tweeted that at me, so I can only take credit for passing it along.
would you have Bautista ranked at all in your hypothetical AL MVP ballot?
Absolutely. Around the middle of the list of ten.
How do you think Jamie Garcia will do next year after pitching more innings than ever before this year?
I expect some regression, but he should be a solid 3/4 for the Cardinals for several years.
Should we be worried that a) Cito is recommending guys like Don Baylor and Juan Samuel and b) the Jays are listening?
Cito wasn't Anthopoulos' hire. I doubt he'll take Cito's suggestions seriously. I sure as heck wouldn't want them to hire Baylor.
Reading through the chat . . . I can understand you voting for Felix over CC, but leaving CC off your top-5 altogether? The dude has still been pretty good. Guess this is just a case of KLaw rocking the boat. Just like last year. You are so amazing, you think outside the box!
When you can't win the argument, attack your opponent personally, right? Fangraphs has Sabathia 8th in WAR, to pick one stat, and all the names above him are clearly outstanding pitchers - Felix, Verlander, Greinke, Lee, Liriano, Lester, Weaver. They've got CC more than a win's worth of runs saved behind Lee & Felix. That's pretty significant.
Travis Snider, still a stud in the making?
Yes. Here's hoping he, Lind, and Arencibia all get their 500+ PA next year.
You can't include music in this discussion when they can't even come up with a proper definition for "rock and roll". LL Cool J over a band like Kiss is a travesty....but not as much as CC winning the Cy Young of course...
I heard Colin's rant about Kiss yesterday, but I can't get behind it. Kiss was commercially successful, but it's the musical equivalent of popular fiction - it's Nicholas Sparks. You're voting as much for the makeup as you are the music. (FWIW, I don't mind listening to Kiss, but I don't read Sparks, so that might be unfair.) How about the absence of, say, Pink Floyd, a commercially successful band that was also critically acclaimed and highly influential?
Oh, and don't dismiss LL Cool J. He was hard as hell.
Keith, Todd Helton announced that he is NOT retiring. Obviously that's his choice, but doesn't this keep the Rockies handcuffed to go out and improve the club? Not only are they paying his salary, but if he's not producing there is very little flexibilty to add a good hitting 1b.
I saw him play three games last week. Looks like his bat already retired.
In terms of worst HOF, how about the golf HOF adding George H.W. Bush this year.BTW, Pink Floyd is in the R&RHOF.
My mistake, then. I must have missed their induction.
LL Cool J > Kiss any day. And I'm not a hip hop fan.
Influence matters, right? Vince (producer of the Herd) argued for Rush, who are the spiritual forefathers of technical metal. I can see that before I can see Kiss.
Teheran is in the top ___ when discussing minor league pitching prospects.
Where is Paul Konerko in the MVP discussion?
Would not be in my top 10.
Ever play Carcassonne or Dominion on Brettspielwelt?
I can't quite figure out that site. The UI is a little nuts.
You've got Buster for ROY right?
Down to the wire.
You didn't miss anything in Pink Floyd's induction. Waters and Wright weren't there and Billy Corgan gave a very strange induction speech. They deserved better.
I may have deliberately forgotten it then.
Felix clearly should win, but you can easily put CC on the ballot if you sighted bWAR (he's second). Why the preference for fWAR? Not arguing, just curious.
I don't like the way BB-Ref factors in defensive contributions, and that park factor stuff did not help the credibility of the stat. And I am a big BB-Ref booster overall (and even a page sponsor).
I don't believe anyone has proposed the idea, but I do not like the idea of a pitcher as an MVP winner. I've always felt that CY is basically the pitching MVP. It just seems like rewarding them twice for the same thing. Not to say the pitchers are less valuable than an MVP non-pitcher, it just seems wrong to combine the two.
MVP rules do not exclude pitchers, therefore, voters should not exclude pitchers. If you want the MVP to be most valuable position player, rewrite the rules.
Does batting a guy like Tyler Colvin in the leadoff spot stunt the players development at all because said player isn't a prototypical leadoff hitter? I don't buy this argument, but Cub fans are already blaming Jim Hendry on ruining Tyler Colvin!
No. It's better to give the kid more plate appearances.
Is Ian Gardeck free to sign with any team he likes? JuCo guy who was not drafted, right? If so, any word on front runners?
No, he's eligible for the 2011 draft. Can't sign as a free agent once you've entered school.
Reports had Brandon Webb at 82 mph yesterday- he's finished yes?
Any update on Barret Loux and his status?
Yes on Webb.
Loux threw very well for scouts a week or two ago ... but he probably needs shoulder and elbow surgery. I'd give him a couple hundred grand and tell him "we're going to let you pitch until surgery is unavoidable," but I hear he still wants first-round money and I wouldn't do it.
Any new with the Seattle GM and team president? Will the Josh Lueke debacle get both fired?
The industry buzz still has Zduriencik on the hot seat, with the relationship between him and ownership very strained over Lueke. But I know ownership made a pretty emphatic statement to the contrary this week.
Given Mike Minor's drop in velo as the season winds down, does your take on his future revert back to what it was around draft time? Did it ever really change or did you view the uptick in speed as unsustainable?
I think when his velo spiked this spring, I said I wanted to see if he could hold that for a full season. So far, the answer appears to be "no," but he could add durability in 2011 when he's in his second full pro season, so I wouldn't rule it out ... but yeah, I'm more or less still looking at him as a nice 4/5 starter.
Biggest player surprise and disapointments this year
Surprises: Bautista, Huff, Nick Franklin (minor league division). Disappointments: Wieters, Ian Stewart, Smoak, Brett Wallace. Heard a very interesting take on Wallace from a scout yesterday: His hips are wide enough that it's too hard for him to get them rotated on a pitch coming in on the inner half - and the reason he has always done well against LHP is because their stuff typically moves away from him, which is his strength. First time I've heard that on any player, but it does make some intuitive sense. Hips are a big part of hitting.
Banuelos or Perez
In klaw 100 you describe Tale of Two Cities as 'a bane of your high school years'. Have you considered a re-read? After slugging through the first few chapters, it became a special read for me.
If I ever do another Dickens story, it'll be Bleak House.
I'm about to have my first child next month. What were your favorite bed time books to read?
For the first few years, you can't go wrong with Eric Carle.
One more on Felix- in one of those losses, the Mariners put up all 4 runs in the 8th and 9th after Felix was yanked, so that loss-run scored total is more of a 10 for him. This coming from a serious Yankee fan.
Pitching with something on the line in the standings is, at best, a small marginal increase in pressureis it? how could we really know? while i generally agree with you that we need to re-examine how we use stats, one of my pet peeves with the sabre community is the frequency of statements like this, which completely undermine what i thought was the point the sabre community is trying to make---that which is measurable should be measured rather than guessed at..... your thoughts?
I'm basing my opinion on experience seeing pitchers at all levels pitching in various levels of "pressure." I think there's more pressure on a guy who's always a pitch away from losing the lead than a guy whose offense can bail him out at any time - but I don't give Felix any bonus points for that kind of pressure either.
I tried via Twitter, but this may be a better place to ask (or maybe even a Dish topic)...I would like to know your 5/10 favorite beers (with food pairings if applicable). You can go with favorite styles, or specific breweries/brews.
I'm not that widely ... um, drunk? I'd have a hard time getting to ten.
Where would Adrian Beltre land on your AL MVP balance? Curious because despite playing in Boston and having a tremendous year (traditional and saber stats) there's very little buzz.
I'm trying really hard not to start hating Brett Wallace too soon...but it appears the only reason for his presence is to prevent the Astros from moving Carlos Lee to first and letting a real outfielder play left. Thoughts?
You should hate Carlos Lee ... or Ed Wade for giving him that deal.
Morrison/ Stanton or Freeman/ Heyward?
I just woke up. Is the season almost over?
No, but the chat is. See you next week.