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October 31, 2008

Transactions A Go-Go

3B HANK BLALOCK, IF RAMON VAZQUEZ, OF MILTON BRADLEY, SP JASON JENNINGS, and RP JAMEY WRIGHT declared free agency.

Texas will surely exercise its $6.2 million options on Blalock, despite the question of where he’ll play (third, first, DH… another team).

I loved watching Bradley achieve his career year in Texas. Some team will pay too much hoping he’ll repeat it.

Jamey Wright, 2007: ERA 3.62, SO rate 12%, opposing line .259/.362/.381
Jamey Wright, 2008: ERA 5.12, SO rate 16%, opposing line .283/.362/.377

Wright’s ERA jumped 1.50 despite a nearly identical batting line and better strikeout rate. What happened? Additional strikeouts mitigated the increased hit rate on balls in play (from a rather lucky .281 to .328), but his “ability” to bear down in dangerous situations collapsed. Opponents batted a meager .188/.287/.325 against Wright with runners in scoring position in 2007, then a terrifying .330/.417/.470 this season.

The truth lies in the middle. I’m no fan of Wright and argued against his re-signing last winter, but, used judiciously, he’s an adequate reliever. Judicious means long relief, not setup. Even with rotation improvements, Texas likely will need another long man to assist Josh Rupe. If the Rangers offer Wright a contract with that role in mind, I won’t fume too much. If they don’t, I won’t fume at all.

Texas may offer Jennings a minor-league deal. Excellent idea, especially if it lacks a late-March out clause.

Vazquez (career: .257/.328/.358) wants a multi-year deal. I suppose he also fancies himself a starter after slugging a career-best-by-far .430. So, there’s two good reasons to let him walk. The mustache makes three.

And previously… Texas removed pitchers BRIAN GORDON, A.J. MURRAY, JOHN RHEINECKER, and BILL WHITE from the 40-man roster.

Texas could sign one or more of these guys to minor-league deals. Gordon’s more than a nice story. I’m not suggesting he’s more than a long reliever, but he can command three pitches with a wide range in velocity. If Gordon doesn’t pitch in the Majors in 2009, I will post an animated gif of a wagging finger next to a list 20 sub-replacement relievers earning more than the league minimum.

Murray missed the entirety of 2004 and 2006 with injuries, was recast as a starter in 2008, and… missed the latter half of the season with injuries. Murray’s BB/SO ratio nosedived during his limited exposure to MLB hitters.

Despite missing nearly all of 2008, Rheinecker remains the best player in the not-so-epic three-way swap involving him, John Koronka, Juan Dominguez, and Freddie Bynum. Oakland selected him 37th overall in the 2001 draft. 38th: David Wright.

Bill White regularly strikes out 10-11 batters per nine innings in the minors. Alas, to date he hasn’t exhibited even rudimentary control in the Majors (25% walk rate!), so off he goes.

Posted by Lucas at 06:48 PM

Weekend Photo


Moose cares not for Halloween.

Posted by Lucas at 06:47 PM

October 30, 2008

Congratulations, Philadelphia. Except...

...all these articles mentioning Philly's first Series title since 1980. As if that were a long time. Relative to some other team's fortune, I mean.

Posted by Lucas at 01:15 AM

October 22, 2008

Idle Thought

The first game of the 2008 World Series featured the 15th-overall pick of the 2002 draft (Scott Kazmir) versus the 17th (Cole Hamels).

The 10th pick was Drew Meyer.

Posted by Lucas at 11:32 PM

October 05, 2008

Weekend Photo


Longhorn Ironman, Austin, 5 October 2008

Posted by Lucas at 11:59 PM

October 02, 2008

Ranger Pitcher Rate Lines and Hitter Counterparts

Once again, here’s a fun little game: turning every pitcher’s performance into a comparable batter. Below are the opposing batting lines for Ranger pitcher who pitched at least 10 innings and is still with the organization. The three hitters who most closely match that line are listed to the right.

Just in case you're curious, I determined comparability by ranking differences in average, on-base percentage, slugging, homer rate, walk rate, and strikeout rate between each Ranger pitcher and every hitter in baseball with at least 200 appearances.

Player
Opposing
AVG / OBP / SLG
--OPS
Opposing
AVG+ / OBP+ / SLG+
-- OPS+
HR% - BB% - SO%
Most Comparable Batters ('08 Stats Only)
F Francisco
.200 / .277 / .357
-- .634
75 / 81 / 81
-- 62
2.7% - 9.8% - 31.4%
Jeff Mathis,
Sean Rodriguez,
Brandon Inge
W Littleton
.265 / .363 / .338
-- .701
99 / 106 / 77
-- 83
1.3% - 10.0% - 17.5%
Julio Lugo,
Jamey Carroll,
Asdrubal Cabrera
B McCarthy
.244 / .312 / .427
-- .739
91 / 91 / 97
-- 88
3.2% - 8.6% - 10.8%
Pedro Feliz,
Willy Aybar,
Joe Crede
J Wright
.283 / .362 / .377
-- .739
106 / 106 / 86
-- 92
1.3% - 9.2% - 15.8%
Ryan Sweeney,
Felipe Lopez,
Nick Punto
W Madrigal
.263 / .327 / .423
-- .750
98 / 96 / 96
-- 92
2.6% - 9.1% - 14.3%
Troy Tulowitski,
Willy Aybar,
Ben Francisco
K Loe
.288 / .328 / .440
-- .768
107 / 96 / 100
-- 96
2.2% - 6.0% - 14.9%
Garrett Atkins,
Ryan Zimmerman,
Garrett Anderson
J Benoit
.233 / .362 / .407
-- .769
87 / 106 / 93
-- 99
2.9% - 16.7% - 20.6%
Richie Weeks,
Frank Thomas,
Ken Griffey
V Padilla
.275 / .351 / .447
-- .798
103 / 103 / 102
-- 105
3.4% - 8.6% - 16.8%
Torii Hunter,
Ryan Church,
Mike Lowell
S Feldman
.280 / .349 / .464
-- .813
104 / 102 / 105
-- 107
3.4% - 8.6% - 11.4%
Mike Lowell,
Torii Hunter,
JJ Hardy
K Gabbard
.292 / .398 / .411
-- .809
109 / 116 / 93
-- 109
1.9% - 14.8% - 12.5%
Russell Martin,
Denard Span,
Ray Durham
TEAM
.280 / .362 / .455
-- .817
104 / 106 / 103
-- 109
2.7% - 9.6% - 14.8%
Derrek Lee,
Raul Ibanez,
Bobby Abreu
K Millwood
.312 / .361 / .462
-- .823
116 / 106 / 105
-- 111
2.3% - 6.4% - 16.3%
David DeJesus,
Orlando Hudson,
Alex Rios
J Rupe
.284 / .382 / .437
-- .819
106 / 112 / 99
-- 111
2.0% - 11.7% - 13.5%
Carlos Guillen,
Ray Durham,
Denard Span
C Wilson
.268 / .366 / .475
-- .841
100 / 107 / 108
-- 115
3.7% - 12.6% - 19.2%
Josh Willingham,
Troy Glaus,
Grady Sizemore
E Hurley
.268 / .336 / .515
-- .851
100 / 98 / 117
-- 115
4.7% - 8.4% - 12.1%
Hank Blalock,
Mike Lowell,
Rick Ankiel
M Harrison
.300 / .358 / .520
-- .878
112 / 105 / 118
-- 123
3.2% - 8.3% - 11.3%
Vlad Guerrero,
Brian McCann,
Justin Morneau
D Nippert
.308 / .385 / .488
-- .873
115 / 113 / 111
-- 124
2.9% - 10.9% - 16.1%
Bobby Abreu,
Andrew Ethier,
Justin Morneau
L Mendoza
.343 / .405 / .523
-- .928
128 / 118 / 119
-- 137
2.2% - 7.9% - 11.1%
Ian Kinsler,
Xavier Nady,
Dustin Pedroia
J Jennings
.307 / .406 / .588
-- .994
115 / 119 / 134
-- 153
5.9% - 13.3% - 8.9%
Carlos Quentin,
Alex Rodriguez,
Hanley Ramirez
D Mathis
.381 / .459 / .577
-- 1.036
142 / 134 / 131
-- 165
2.7% - 12.5% - 8.0%
Chipper Jones,
Albert Pujols,
Milton Bradley
T Hunter
.404 / .443 / .702
-- 1.145
151 / 130 / 160
-- 190
6.5% - 4.8% - 14.5%
Albert Pujols,
Manny Ramirez,
Mark Teixeira

2007 list

2006 list

Posted by Lucas at 10:56 AM