Thursday, July 5, 2012

Clearing the Notebook

It's hard to believe the first time we cleared the notebook of random thoughts was almost three years ago, in July '09. About twenty months later, in March '11, we did it again. We're officially accelerating at glacial speeds...

Sixteen months later, here we go again...

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Quick follow-up to yesterday's Freddie Freeman post:


We're rooting for Freedie Freeman to sustain a 33% line drive rate since it hasn't happened before, and the whole 1/3rd symmetry is aesthetically appealing. Maybe a 33% LD% is like what the 4-minute mile was to track 60 years ago.

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Today's Larry Stone Seattle Times article included an Eric Wedge quote, showing ultimate confidence and patience with Jesus Montero's struggles at the Major League level:

"I know he's frustrated. I know he's fighting it right now," Wedge said before the game. "But like I've said so many times, and I think time will prove this to all: to go through this kind of struggle, it's going to ultimately be part of who you are as a complete player in the end once you've figured it out. You have to go through this. He's a young hitter up in the big leagues playing consistently for the first time, and he's going through his struggles right now."

Asked in general if he felt it was better for young players to fight through their struggles in the majors rather than going down to the minors to work on things, Wedge replied:

"I can tell you this: If I felt that was the best thing for them, I would have already done it. It doesn't mean we won't do it. But we don't feel that's where we are right now.

"There's multiple reasons to send a guy out, but the bottom line for me is what's going to get the young man to be the big-league hitter or player as quickly as possible. What's going to be the best path for him."

Good for them. Jesus Montero will be fine.

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A few statistical eye-openers:

Tim Lincecum's ERA On This Date
July 5th, 2007: 4.64 ERA
July 5th, 2008: 2.49 ERA
July 5th, 2009: 2.23 ERA
July 5th, 2010: 3.28 ERA
July 5th, 2011: 3.14 ERA
July 5th, 2012: 6.08 ERA

Lucas Duda's 2012 Batting Average by Month
April: .256
May: .258
June: .258

***

New York Daily News writer, Andy Martino implores the Mets to trade for a right-handed batter, namely Carlos Quentin, Jonny Gomes, or Shane Victorino.

Realistically, Gomes is the only reasonable option. Quentin and Victorino will take a more valuable exchange of prospects that the rebuilding Mets cannot afford. Jonny Gomes, or someone like Jeff Baker make much more sense for a team who wants to up the ante without going all in.

***

Remember on June 1st, when we tried to predict who would have a June Swoon and who would be June Stars this season? Let's take a quick look to see how they did (with June 2012 stats):

Projected June Swoons
C, Carlos Ruiz: .337/.424/.535
1b, Chris Davis: .205/.262/.397
2b, Robert Andino: .167/.274/.204
SS, Starlin Castro: .264/.302/.409
3b, Chris Johnson: .258/.324/.376
LF, Melky Cabrera: .304/.343/.441
CF, Kirk Nieuwenhuis: .238/.281/.464
RF, Mark Trumbo: .260/.313/.587
SP, Jeremy Hellickson: 5.71 ERA, .944 OPS
RP, Jim Johnson: 2.03 ERA, .403 OPS

Chooch responded with a tremendous .989 OPS in June. Melky Cabrera continues to outperform most expectations, and Jim Johnson allowed only 5 hits. The rest of our choices did however swoon, or perhaps in the cases of Castro and Johnson, at least perform at an unimpressive level.

Projected June Stars
C, Brian McCann: .193/.245/.330
1b, Eric Hosmer: .270/.340/.438
2b, Ben Zobrist: .344/.443/.578
SS, Jose Reyes: .283/.350/.472
3b, Trevor Plouffe: .327/.391/.735
LF, Coco Crisp: .264/.343/.385
CF, Shane Victorino: .263/.333/.343
RF, Jose Bautista: .271/.408/.750
SP, Zack Greinke: 1.70 ERA, .546 OPS
RP, Esmil Rogers: 3.46 ERA, .639 OPS

Another good showing. Aside from Catcher, Relief Pitcher, and a little fizzle from Shane Victorino, this team is pretty solid. Plouffe and Bautista brought a lot of power, combining for 25 homeruns, while Ben Zobrist found his balance and became one of the toughest outs in the American League.

Zack Greinke might get traded this month, and will get paid this winter

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