Sunday, July 31, 2011

Corey Patterson and the Damage Done

In essence, this is a Corey Patterson post, but I'm really just throwing together a bunch of memories, emotions, and feelings, to see if it gets us anywhere. Going back to the 2nd of June 1998, Corey Patterson came to the Cubs with tremendous promise and pressure, as the #3 overall pick in baseball's June draft.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Change of Pace Update

About 12 weeks ago, the day after the Wedding of the Year, we did this study to see which pitchers have the largest difference in average velocity between their fastball and change-up. Today, we are increasing the Minimum Innings Pitched requirement to 80 ip, giving us a sample of 130 pitchers.

Please save your questions 'till the end, enjoy:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

MLB Pitchers with Best Stuff

We did this a few months ago, when there was such a small sample size, it was almost a waste of time. Tonight, we'll be looking at the Fangraphs Pitch Value Leaderboards to determine who has the best stuff. No hyperbole nor nonsensical jargon, let's dive right in.

This is compiled from 2011 statistics for all pitchers in with a minimum of 100 innings pitched in the Major Leagues this season.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Looking Back at Opponents' OPS Leaders

Expanding on our last post, looking at pitchers’ Opponents' OPS, here is a historical look at Oops leaders of this millennium. In our constant quest to find the best pitching in baseball, this time, only pitchers qualified for the ERA title are included.

Opponents OPS Leaders

Saturday, July 23, 2011

MLB Opponent OPS Leaders

Joe Posnanski published an inspired blog post on Friday. If you're into looking at baseball from different point of views, or just wonderful writing, check it out.

In his usual enlightening and entertaining prose, Joe writes a few mini-posts inspired by reader feedback.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mark Worrell's Pitching Motion

The Orioles called up Mark Worrell for their bullpen the other day. He didn't fare very well in his first game, versus the Red Sox, allowing two hits and a walk, without retiring a batter. I hope he gets another chance soon, as no-one likes to wake up the morning sporting an infinity ERA.

At least he has a cool, funky delivery that we will gladly celebrate here. I don't remember seeing Worrell pitch during his other time in the big leagues, a cup of coffee with the 2008 Cardinals.

The video is after the jump, and while his setup is nowhere near as remarkable as that of Mike Fetters or Sammy Gervacio, his actual delivery is quite different. Enjoy:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is Brandon Morrow Elite?

He shut down the Yankees
We've been fans since he was a prospect in the Mariners organization. A flame throwing right-hander who threw strikes with a plus slider? Sure, let's go check him out. He had some arm trouble, as seems to be the norm, gained valuable experience closing out games at the Major League level, and was traded to Toronto. As a Blue Jay, Brandon Morrow was given the chance to return to the rotation and refine his craft every five days.

Regards to Brett Anderson

Get Well Soon, Brett Anderson. He's one of our favorites, as is the awesome Susan Slusser. From her SF Chronicle piece:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jose Reyes: "No Hay Amigo"

Jose Reyes shows a different side here.

Hey, it's a contract year. He's gotta show every tool, if he's going to take his talents somewhere to get more than $140 mill.

Have you heard Jose Reyes drop Reggaeton rhymes?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Best Free Agent Position Player Bargains

Last week, Adam Bernacchio of Ghost of Moonlight Graham fame penned a piece titled "The Five Best Free Agent Bargains From This Offseason" on MLB Daily Dish.

Casey Kotchman was a good
catch for the Tampa Bay Rays
It's a fun, quick read; take a look. What I found interesting was that the Top 5 were all pitchers, which makes sense because pitchers are usually the highest risk/reward players to acquire.

The first comment on the piece, by Beyond the Box Score's Satchel Price, made the point and also said it would be interesting to see this done exclusively for position players.

Challenge accepted. We will only look at unrestricted free agents signed before this season to find the best position player bargains. In other words, we are excluding people who had their team options picked up, signed to avoid arbitration, etc.

Say no more. Here we go...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Grounders and Popups in the First Half

We did this a couple of weeks into the season, and hope to have more meaningful data to share when looking at pitchers from the entire first half of the 2011 season. We're looking at pitchers with a minimum of 50 innings pitched this season. We have no dillusions of this being groundbreaking or difficult, it's just something we don't hear or read about much.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Player of the Fortnight

It's been over two months since we gave out any hardware, so we're overdue for another edition of Player of the Fortnight. For the uninitiated, here is a link to our last entry, where the winners were Lance Berkman, Josh Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, and Jered Weaver. Who's been best the past 2 weeks? Player agents teeter on the edge of their seats. Nervous anticipation paralyzes their plans. Their thoughts race through scenarios in future contract negotiations, where riches may be earned by mentioning their client's awards from BAseball Reality Tour.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mixed Emotions

This could get personal and may ramble on, but in the meantime, I'll try to be concise while struggling through the mixed emotions of joy, pain, sadness, sorrow, hope, and something extra.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Masato Watanabe Hit an Inside-the-Park Homerun off Yu Darvish Today

Once again, thank you to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker for keeping us informed about Japanese baseball.

Regular readers of this space know we are enamored with Yu Darvish. We hope the Cubs eschew the desire to take Albert Pujols away from the rival Cardinals and invest in Darvish instead.

Below is what should be rare video of Masato Watanabe hitting an in-side the park homerun off Darvish, and to Left Field no less.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cubs WAR by Acquisition Type

Last Monday, Adam Darowski, of Beyond the Box Score, tweeted the Baseball-Reference WAR data of Red Sox players acquired via Free Agency.
Most valuable Red Sox (B-R WAR) who were acquired as FAs: Ortiz (2.3 WAR), Aceves (0.6), Scutaro (0.5), Albers (0.5), Hill (0.4).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hyperbole, I has It

Walked into the office this morning to see Hall of Fame writer, Peter Gammons, tweet this:
From one who knows pitching:"The command and stuff Pineda gets from that angle is uncanny. He could end up better than Felix"
It looks like he hides the ball pretty well, and we know it's coming in hot.

Let us celebrate this moment in baseball hyperbole.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cuba's Modern Baseball Centennial Celebration

One hundred years ago, on this day in baseball history, according to NationalPastime.com:
1911: Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida become the first Cuban natives to appear in a major league game as they both make their debut for the Reds. Appearing as pinch hitters in the eight inning, Almeida strikes out and Marsans singles in the 8-3 loss to the Cubs* at Chicago’s West Side Grounds.


This historical footnote ignores the contributions of Esteban Bellán, who we'll get to in a minute.

Friday, July 1, 2011

John Buck Abuses His Prerogative

Up here in New York, the city is already buzzing with locals rushing to get out of town, while tourists from around the globe ask for directions to the Fulton St Subway or Central Park.

People are embarking on their 4th of July plans, near and far, celebrating this country's independence from the motherland.

In the spirit of independence, have you seen what John Buck has chosen to place on his head?