Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Readings, Thoughts, and Deviations

It's been a bit too quiet around these part the past few days, but we've struggled to find a compelling narrative.  Without an interesting thesis, or unique insight, this post will consist of interesting nuggets we've read the last few days, random thoughts on current events, and hopefully not too many pointless tangents.

In today's Joe Blogs post, Joe Posnanski is right (as usual).  Brendan Ryan was "expendable" way before the Cardinals traded for new starting Shortstop, replacement-level/below average* Shortstop: Ryan Theriot (2010 avWAR: -0.4).

*Ryan Theriot Cherry Picked Career Stats
avWAR/600 PA's: 1.5
OPS+: 82 (100 average)
wRC+: 90 (100 average)
XBH%: 4.7% (7.9% average)
Is Brendan Ryan another
Adam Everett type?
LD%: 19% (19% average)
WPA: -5.1

It sounds like Cliff Lee is "deciding" between the Rangers, Phillies, and Yankees.  I'm not going on any sort of limb here, but to hush the noise out there, I maintain that Lee will take the highest offer and that will be from the Yankees.  The Yankees didn't win the World Series last year, and much of that was due to inferior starting pitching, especially when compared to Cliff Lee's Rangers.  The free agent market for starting pitchers has dried up, besides Cliff Lee.  Sure, they could bring back Andy Pettitte (probably), but that's not an upgrade.  He was there last year.  Currently, the Yankees rotation looks like C.C. Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, TBD 1, and TBD 2.  Those TBD's could be Lee and Pettitte, or Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre.  Dustin Moseley could win a spot in Spring Training.  The consensus pick for best remaining non-Cliff Lee free agent starting pitcher is a player with NO CHANCE of landing in the Bronx: Carl Pavano.  Jeff Francis looks to rejoin the Rockies or perhaps sign with the Mets.  Rich Harden, Brandon Webb, and Pedro Martinez are high-risk/questionable-reward guys the Yankees could fall back on.

Wouldn't it be something if the Rangers resigned Cliff Lee, and then Andy Pettitte also decided to take his pre-retirement party back to his home state to play for the Rangers?

No-one really knows, at this point, who will be the 5th starter for the Houston Astros.  As in every year, most teams that will have Spring Training competitions for back-end rotation spots.  But, this blog is a place for the readers.  One of our most beloved readers, is Astros' fan, Osh.  For him, we'll take a look at who could start the 5th most games for the 2011 Astros.

Last night, or two nights ago, we were looking into three recent acquisitions of the Astros, Lance Broadway, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Aneury Rodriguez.  We didn't find anything compelling enough to post.  The front four of the Astros rotation is set with Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, J.A. Happ, and Bud Norris.

In terms of numbers for the three new Astros, I looked at their minor league stats.  Here are the numbers we looked at, there's not much there.

Lance Pendleton, Age: 27, IP: 472.3
WHIP: 1.291, H/9: 8.4, HR/9: 0.5, SO/9: 3.2, SO/9: 8, SO/BB: 2.51

Ryan Rowland-Smith, Age: 27, IP: 611.3
WHIP: 1.346, H/9: 8.9, HR/9: 0.6, BB/9: 3.2, SO/9: 8.7, SO/BB: 2.71

Aneury Rodriguez, Age: 23, IP: 712
WHIP: 1.368, H/9: 9.1, HR/9: 0.8, BB/9: 3.2, SO/9: 7.9, SO/BB: 2.46

The one thing I took from these numbers is that Lance Pendleton looks like he could have the better 2011 season.  We couldn't find the inspiration for an entire post, but at least it made it in here.  If you have a chance, check out how R.J. Anderson of Fangraphs and Twitter renown takes a closer look at the recent additions to the Astros rotation options.  He doesn't look into Lance Pendleton, but did throw in the name of one of the Astros top pitching prospects: Jordan Lyles.

The Astros have options, and Jordan Lyles will get a shot.
So apparently, the Royals are getting more aggressive in attempts to trade Zack Greinke.  The Royals are afraid that if Greinke struggles at any point next season, he'll be less valuable than he is right now.  His 2010 season was not nearly as brilliant as his Cy Young season in '09, but GM's right now are willing to give him a KC-induced mulligan.  I'm more in that camp, than the alternative.  I think that Greinke is a low-risk acquisition, that will cost prospects, but not a lot of money, unless he's really good and you want to keep him around.

Word is the Yankees are not interested in trading for Greinke.  For what it's worth, Jon Heyman tweeted that the Yankees were "very reluctant" 23 minutes ago:
"if  lose for lee, they will earmark many $ for bullpen and record flexibility. they are very reluctant to go for greinke"
A couple of minutes later, Jack Curry, of the Yankees' YES Network, tweeted that the team feels he's not right for NY.
"The Yanks have had internal discussions about Greinke, but don't think he matches up well with NY. If they don't get Lee, he won't be Plan B"
Getting Greinke is a
Rare Opportunity
Of course, Curry (or presumably the Yankee brain trust) is hinting at the fact that Zack's history with social anxiety issues make him a risky acquisition in the world's most heated baseball environment.  I suppose that is sound thinking by Cashman and Co.  It's good to be risk-avers, I guess, but Yankee fans better hope the team is doing their due diligence.

If Zack Greinke is over his social anxiety issues, and there's a good bet that he probably is, his ability to retire batters translates very well to the Yankee history of winning.

It would feel like a fantasy if the Cubs traded for Greinke.

Alright, that's enough chatter for now.  As a piano man at Pat O'Brien's, we take requests.

Feel free to leave them in the comments section below, or as the VIP's do it, just send me an email.

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