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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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2005-08-12 07:36
by Jon Weisman

Joseph Heller would have done a nice job with this Yhency Brazoban stuff.

First, people start to conclude based on recent perfomances that Brazoban doesn't pitch well in non-save situations, forgetting that Brazoban made his major league career by pitching exceptionally in support of Eric Gagne in non-save situations.

Then, because Brazoban is not pitching well in non-save situations, the Dodgers decide to demote him from closer, leaving him to pitch only in ... non-save situations.

What I like about this is how this cuts through conventional wisdom about closing like a steak knife cuts through butter. Through Brazoban's recent struggles comes the realization that entering a tie game is just as pressure-packed, if not more so, then entering the bottom of the ninth inning with a lead.

Closers have annexed tie games in the ninth inning for a home team as part of their territory, only because of the rules technicality that at that point, no save situation can materialize for the remainder of the game. That's been the only reason for many managers to use their closers in tie games before extra innings. Not because they were pressure-packed. Conventional wisdom has been in denial.

Will anyone make the leap to see that maybe, just maybe, a tie game in the eighth or even seventh inning has just as much pressure and import, if not more, then pitching with a lead in the ninth?

The final twist is that the sample size of Brazoban's performances is too small to determine whether the situation he enters the game in matters at all. The bottom line is, Brazoban is just up and down right now, due to limitations of his pitch selection or mechanical issues - and so, he will pitch in middle relief (not the ninth inning or probably even the eighth) to try to solve those problems. But there's no way anyone can know that the inning or the score is affecting him at all.

Comments (226)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-08-12 08:06:32
1.   Bob Timmermann
It's an industry-wide problem describing closers.

Witness this passage from Tim Brown's sidebar:

The really sad thing for the Angels is that they played themselves into a place where a simple game of catch could beat them, where Mike Scioscia had no choice but to summon his closer in a tie game on the road,

Poor Mike Scioscia having to resort to using his best pitcher in an important game. If it had been a save situation, Frankie Rodriguez would have caught the throw back to the mound.

2005-08-12 08:07:06
2.   gcrl
i think that there is something to a closer, who is used to protecting a lead, being less effective when brought in in a non-save situation, including tie games. i don't know if there is a different mentality, or if there is less (or more) pressure on either the pitcher and the batter (or both), but it seems to happen fairly often, especially with yhency lately.

maybe it's like the fielder makes a great play for the 3rd out/leads off the next half inning phenomenon - it seems to happen way more often than it actually does.

2005-08-12 08:12:45
3.   Bob Timmermann
Mariano Rivera has 31 consecutive saves. In his last non-save opporunity, on Wednesday against the White Sox, he came into a tie game.

He lost.

2005-08-12 08:19:14
4.   Howard Fox
It all has to do with pitch selection and command of the strike zone...when you have it you have it, and when you don't you don't...

I, for one, have never believed a pitcher has more or less stress or pressure coming in for the 7th or 8th or 9th inning or the 1st for that matter. They still have to throw strikes and hold the opponents at bay.

I've said before in other threads, the hitters don't try harder because it is the 9th inning versus another inning. So it would stand to reason that the same applies to pitchers.

Gagne hasn't done well because he is a great 9th inning pitcher. His success is from great command of a variety of pitches as well as of the strike zone.

2005-08-12 08:31:20
5.   HomeDePo
it all has to do with hte pitches that a certain pitcher has. I think that to become a dominant closer you need atleast two GREAT pitches. Rivera has a cutter and a fastball. Eck had a slider and a fastball. Hoyt Wilhelm had the best knuckle and a fastball. Gagne has a fastball, curveball, and a changeup. Hoffman has a circle-change-up and a fastball. Brazoban has a fastball and... a fastball. If a closer is facing Bobby Abreu or Albert Pujols, three fastballs will not get an out. The first fastball will blow by him, and the second will blow by the pitcher into the left field seats. If Rivera were pitching he might throw a fastball over the outside corner and then a cutter up and in. He can then pick the batters poison. The one thing I can notice about Braz is that he cannot get anybody to swing on his breaking balls. They break 12-6 but they break earlier than, lets say a Barry Zito curveball.

It all has to do with the pitcher and the situation. An 8th inning facing the 3-4-5 hitters is harder than an 8th inning facing the 7-8-9 hitters. I do not have the stats but I am sure it has to do with the hitters. There is no concrete way to say: he cannot pitch in non-save oppurtunities. The answer is: he should never pitch to Ryan Howard. Ever.

2005-08-12 08:36:13
6.   Jon Weisman
2 - Reread the second paragraph of my post.
2005-08-12 08:37:47
7.   Howard Fox
5 - and I believe it has nothing whatsoever to do with save or non-save situations, or what inning it may be...

Gio isn't getting hammered cause of the inning or the situation, he is getting hammered cause he is making lousy pitches with poor location.

Schmoll didn't get blasted a few nights ago because of the inning or situation. He has poor movement and location of his pitches. The previous night, he was lights out terrific.

It all has to do with pitch quality & variety, and location.

2005-08-12 08:39:56
8.   Kayaker7
I will be very happy if this closer myth gets blasted out of the water. Wonder who will do it. My bet is with the A's.
2005-08-12 08:41:59
9.   Howard Fox
To go a little further on this, is it any different than a starter coming out in the first inning without his best stuff or control and putting them in a hole right off the bat?

I, for one, do not believe that certain players are better or worse in certain situations versus others.

How many times have we seen how the middle relievers come in and pitch 5, 6 or 7 shutout innings, giving the team time to chip away at an early deficit? Were the 3rd of 4th innings any less important than the 8th?

2005-08-12 08:47:16
10.   Howard Fox
Perhaps the reason certain pitchers excel in situations requiring one inning or less of pitching is having less stamina than a pitcher accustomed to pitching many innings...or maybe not...
2005-08-12 08:51:01
11.   Nagman
I heard an interview with Trevor Hoffman (this was after the Dodgers beat him when he came into a tie game back in June) and he said he feels he doesn't pitch any differently but if anything, the hitters approach to facing him is drastically different in a tie game. They don't have as much pressure on them and they are more aggressive.

Perhaps this is more relevant due to Hoffman's reliance on the changeup than anything, but that's his perception.

2005-08-12 08:55:13
12.   Howard Fox
11 - of course, Hoffman would know better than I, but this opens another line of thought about some hitters being more clutch than others, hitters doing better when up a run than down a run, etc etc...would anyone honestly believe that a pitcher or hitter would bear down more in the 9th inning vs the 1st inning, or in a tie game versus a 1-run game?
2005-08-12 08:56:16
13.   JJoeScott
I was just typing something similar to 11. I think an equal (or maybe greater?) weight is on the hitters and how they approach the situation.
2005-08-12 09:00:02
14.   JJoeScott
Howard - I honestly believe it has to do with the gravity of the situation for the hitter: Louder crowd, are they fatigued or do they have an adrenaline rush that changes their approach, do they have confidence in their teammates to succeed if they don't, etc. Not to mention that 80% of the time (that is, when the #1 starter isn't playing), the closer is the best pitcher the batter will face that game.
2005-08-12 09:01:42
15.   gcrl
if you hit low in the order, and after some success are moved to the leadoff spot or 2 hole, does your approach to hitting change, even if the desired end result is the same? is it the same in the bullpen?

let's assume that you buy into the "closer mentality" idea. is there, then, a "setup guy mentality"? or a "loogy mentality"?

my thought (not articulated at all) was that, although yhency began as a setup guy, he may have adopted the closer mentality which overrides his previous experience in non-save situations. as a closer, he may have got used to pitching with a lead which actually allows for some error, as opposed to a tie game or a small deficit where he must arguably be more effective, as he did when he was not a closer. perhaps he feels more pressure in non-save situations because he has not been performing well in them, tries to aim or overthrow rather than just pitch, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

or, after reading posts 4 and 5, it could be what they say. in the words of emily litella, "never mind".

2005-08-12 09:01:59
16.   db1022
8 - I think the A's already have. They are the ultimate buy-low, sell-high. Look at Isringhausen and Foulke. The exception is when they got Dotel, and it backfired on them.
2005-08-12 09:02:43
17.   Howard Fox
I just don't buy that...sorry...

These guys, both the pitchers and the hitters are professionals. They have to try their absolute best and succeed a great deal of the time regardless of the "pressure situation" or not...

Of course there are some players who are just better than others, but that does not make them more or less clutch, it's just that they are better players.

2005-08-12 09:04:48
18.   Howard Fox
15 - so what you are saying is that if you have a closer mentality that makes you better than if you have a setup mentality?
2005-08-12 09:10:16
19.   JJoeScott
Yes ... better players will perform better in those situations, no question.

I'd like to think that players are trying as hard in the 1st as in the 9th [actually, I don't think that - I think they try harder when the game is closer and that it's just not as obvious as when Shaq does it, but I digress], but in the 9th inning, some guys are more immune to the gravity of the situation than others. "Professional hitters," if you will. (Kidding!)

2005-08-12 09:10:27
20.   db1022
I'm not sure that this "mentality" thing can be so easily dismissed. These people aren't robots. The 9th inning is different than the 6th or 7th inning, just the same way as shooting free throws in the 4th quarter is different than in the 1st quarter.
2005-08-12 09:16:49
21.   gcrl

i, for one, believe in clutch. in a vacuum, players will always try their best and perform to their averages in all situations. adding situational pressure changes things. pat tabler was a better hitter with the bases loaded. derek jeter is clutch, no doubt about it. on the flip side, dave winfield was mr. may - he really did not hit well in either of the world series he was in. i think there is something to performance under pressure.

2005-08-12 09:18:30
22.   db1022
20 - btw, I am not saying that the 9th inning is any more or less important than the 6th or 7th, just that it is "different". Therefore, I think its possible that people can respond differently in each of these situations.
2005-08-12 09:20:51
23.   Jon Weisman
20 - But if we take your logic further, a tie in the ninth inning is more pressure than a lead in the ninth. Allow a run with a lead, and you can still win. There is that much less pressure.

So again, I go back to my post. The Brazoban Scenario (sounds like a book by Robert Ludlum), blows up the conventional theory of closing - that the toughest situation is to pitch in the ninth in the lead.

I am glad that this theory is being blown up. But I also think that people are wrong to jump to the conclusion that pressure is Yhency's problem. I can't rule it out, but it's a lot simpler to look at Yhency as just being plain inconsistent.

2005-08-12 09:21:11
24.   gcrl

what i am saying is that there may be some players who do approach different roles differently. i don't pretend to know what anyone's mindset is, but i believe that it is possible that these different "mentalities" exist and impact performance when working outside of a comfort zone, so to speak.

2005-08-12 09:22:59
25.   Howard Fox
23 - even simpler to conclude that a too inexperienced pitcher with not enough "stuff" was put in that situation in the first place
2005-08-12 09:24:53
26.   Sam DC
Way OT, but apparently Frank Robinson believes in the Grabowski Principle: From Nationals Notes at "In his last start, it looked like Loaiza had a solid outing against the Padres, but Robinson was not pleased that Loaiza gave up big base hits to a pitcher and two position players who do not play on a regular basis. The Padres blanked the Nationals, 3-0."
2005-08-12 09:34:31
27.   db1022
26 - Acutally, I don't think it is so OT. Robinson's point is that Loaiza's concentration levels slip in "easy" situations (bad hitters/pitchers).
2005-08-12 09:53:16
28.   overkill94
Are some of you so naive as to think that emotion/adrenaline has nothing to do with baseball? I agree 100% with Hoffman's comments; players have to be pressing to get on base more when they're down in the 9th than if it's a tie game. If a guy is a little overly aggressive and strikes out, so what, the game won't be over by the time his team has finished batting.

The same can be said for relief roles. I believe in the LaTroy Hawkins theory that some guys just don't pitch as well when closing. You could say that the 8th inning setup role should have the same pressure, but it doesn't. No one cares how many blown saves a setup guy has. If a setup guy gives up a lead, there's still at least another inning for his team to come back, but if a closer loses a lead in the bottom of the 9th it's a much more immediate effect.

With all being said, I think Schmoll has the best mentality for the closer role, but maybe not the best stuff. Actually, no one on our staff is made out to be a closer so we might as well just tinker and see what works.

2005-08-12 09:58:37
29.   Jon Weisman
28 - I believe emotion and adrenaline play a part. But since it works on both sides - batter and pitcher - we don't really know what role those intangibles play.

Meanwhile, you don't address the conundrum - a tie game is a dicier situation then a save situation.

People care about blown saves for closers, but people care more about losses. A blown save doesn't mean a loss.

In the eighth-inning situations you describe, you only consider when the team has a lead. Do you think pitching in a tie game in the eighth has less pressure or is less important than pitching with a lead in the ninth?

2005-08-12 09:58:54
30.   Howard Fox
yeah, I could just see someone say, "I have always had a dream of leading the league in holds"
2005-08-12 10:00:53
31.   Howard Fox
I believe there is just as much pressure, if not more, pitching in the 7th while one run down and men on, trying not to allow the opponents to pad their lead
2005-08-12 10:01:23
32.   Yakface
Did anyone else notice Duaners intro song was Satisfaction by Devo? Kinda odd.... I try and I try and I try try try try try try but i cant get no satisfaction......

Dirty Sanchez.

2005-08-12 10:05:18
33.   Howard Fox
did anyone catch the complimentary comments by OPerez about Navarro...quite nice...

on another subject, it appears APerez is lower than Choi on the list...if that is possible

2005-08-12 10:09:02
34.   Steve
Whether or not there is a "closer mentality" (and for the record, I vote no), it wouldn't matter because once you got around to actually deciding whether that person had a closer mentality, using something other than the obviously flawed mental processes that have led to Jason Phillips playing first base (something along the lines of "I like Player A, therefore he has a closer mentality"), that pitcher would have pitched as a closer for so long that you would have a long enough record of success that it would be obvious that he was a good enough pitcher to be a closer. Or he would flame out so early and violently that you would figure he couldn't hit the broadside of a barn in any inning(see Kolb, Dan).

The problem is not necessarily that there isn't a closer mentality. The question is how would one know? Brazoban's own record is decidedly mixed on the subject.

2005-08-12 10:09:27
35.   db1022
29 - Yeah, I get it. There's two arguments that are being blurred into one.

One, is that players perform differently in high-stress situations (I agree).

Two, is what defines a "stressful" situation (Jon's point).

2005-08-12 10:11:19
36.   Howard Fox
I don't thing Braz's record is mixed at all. On days he has his stuff and control, he is very good, on days he doesn't, he is very bad. It's as simple as that.

No different than any other pitcher in any other situation.

2005-08-12 10:11:24
37.   kent
29- The less time (outs) your team has to recover from your screw-up, the greater the pressure.
2005-08-12 10:13:19
38.   Bob Timmermann
A baseball game is pretty much the same anytime it's being played.

I've gone through the official rules and runs scored in the first inning counts for just as much as one scored in the ninth inning.

The batter-pitcher interaction is very complex. Many, many, many variables are involved. But to point to one and say "He can't pitch in the ninth unless it's a save" is weak in my opinion.

2005-08-12 10:15:16
39.   Steve
I agree with you, Howard.

Though I'm a little surprised that no one has brought up the fact that most of Brazoban's appearances last year would have, technically, come in save situations. :)

2005-08-12 10:15:40
40.   Jon Weisman
37 - Then pitching in a tie game is the most pressure-packed situation, because there's a finite recovery time (if there's any recovery time at all).

Allow a run with a lead, even in the ninth inning, and you could still be playing until the next morning. K-Rod blew a save in Toronto recently, and the teams played nine more innings.

More evidence that a tie game demands your best reliever.

2005-08-12 10:16:44
41.   Bob Timmermann
No, Mike Scioscia has to resort the desperate measure of using his closer in a tie game on the road!
2005-08-12 10:16:51
42.   Howard Fox
37 - that is like saying a team is bad in one run games because the pitching staff is not performing well

the Dodgers are scoring much less now than earlier in the season

I don't have any statistical support for this, but I believe you lose more often when your opponent scores more than you do, even if they don't score very many runs...but I could be wrong

2005-08-12 10:17:34
43.   kent
40- no arguement here
2005-08-12 10:17:42
44.   Howard Fox
40 - or that a tie game deserves your best pitcher
2005-08-12 10:18:29
45.   Jon Weisman
39 - in that he could have gotten a blown save even in the eighth. You're right.

I have to think Brazoban was more nervous then than now - pitching to prove he belongs in the majors in the midst of a pennant race, vs. pitching with his job in the majors fairly assured for a sub-.500 team. Unless back then he figured he had nothing to lose.

2005-08-12 10:19:30
46.   Jon Weisman
44 - sure, whatever you can do.
2005-08-12 10:22:08
47.   kent
Lets not overemphasize the psych aspects. Brazzy's biggest problem is that the league has adjusted to the fact that he doesn't have an off-speed pitch.
2005-08-12 10:22:50
48.   HomeDePo
I remember a game in arizona with the bases loaded and arizona up in the bottom of the ninth. i do not know how many outs. JT put in Brazoban. In that situation, you want to put in somebody who can strike out all of the batters he sees. That would mean Gagne (he was healthy then). JT took a lot of critism for putting in Braz just because it was not a save situation. You should always have one guy who can strike people out or clean up a mess, and he should be used as sparingly as possible (make somebody else your closer). If it is a tie game with the bases loaded, you put in your big guy.
2005-08-12 10:22:51
49.   HomeDePo
I remember a game in arizona with the bases loaded and arizona up in the bottom of the ninth. i do not know how many outs. JT put in Brazoban. In that situation, you want to put in somebody who can strike out all of the batters he sees. That would mean Gagne (he was healthy then). JT took a lot of critism for putting in Braz just because it was not a save situation. You should always have one guy who can strike people out or clean up a mess, and he should be used as sparingly as possible (make somebody else your closer). If it is a tie game with the bases loaded, you put in your big guy.
2005-08-12 10:25:16
50.   Jon Weisman
47 - I agree. I very much believe, as many of you know, that adjustments and counter-adjustments explain many of the hot and cold streaks players go through.

Is what's happening to Brazoban much different, except on scale, from what's happened to Edwin Jackson?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-08-12 10:27:38
51.   HomeDePo
50 - i think that edwin jackson is smart enough to adjust and that he will find a way to be the prospect he once was... i do not know about braz
2005-08-12 10:28:18
52.   Bob Timmermann
Of course teams don't play well when they get outscored. That the Padres are above .500 while being outscored is an upset.

That the Diamondbacks are close to first place is even more amazing.

2005-08-12 10:30:21
53.   HomeDePo
i think jason schmidt was on steroids last year. he is not old enough to lose that much velocity so fast! but he has adjusted, like gagne
2005-08-12 10:33:19
54.   Jon Weisman
53 - Jason Schmidt has thrown more than 1,700 major league innings and has had arm trouble. You don't think that could account for losing speed?
2005-08-12 10:36:27
55.   Jon Weisman
"like Gagne"

I almost missed that part. Again, I see this as leaping to conclusions. Who brought up "The Crucible" the other day.

2005-08-12 10:37:18
56.   Yakface
I saw Jason Schmidt dancin with the devil
2005-08-12 10:38:35
57.   HomeDePo
54 - that is the easy way out that would have worked in 1970... i am just speculating because he is a giant. you could be right about gagne but i do not know (its not like he really needed an overpowering fastball with the other stuff that he has!)
2005-08-12 10:41:39
58.   kent
For me, the most frustrating thing has been the fact that our "big ticket" item (starting pitching) was so inconsistent prior to the break. If the big four had lived up to their billing, and their share of the payroll, I think we'd be on top of our anemic division in spite of all the injuries.

My other peeve is that McCourt & DePo are setting the bar too low in only aspiring to be the best in the west and not trying to assemble a roster that rivals St Louis. When did the Dodgers decide it was enough to make the playoffs and then rely on the notion that "anything can happen in a short series".

2005-08-12 10:46:54
59.   Jon Weisman
58 - I agree with your first paragraph - if the team had pitched well in May when it was at full strength, things would be so much different.

I disagree with your second paragraph. I guess I don't know about McCourt, but I think it's clear that DePo wants a team that will be the best in the National League - hence the makeover that began last summer. I think what people fail to realize is that 2005 was going to be a transitional year, in which we would hope to win, but that beginning in 2006 or 2007 is when the Dodgers would truly ascend as an NL power.

2005-08-12 10:48:12
60.   HomeDePo
58 - i disagree with: "McCourt & DePo"... McCourt is the one that has no money, so DePo has no chance but to assemble a lineup that falls apart against St. Louis. We will get to the point of the As lineup, but we will never have the type of lineup that St. Louis has right now (but we can beat them with our future lineup).
2005-08-12 10:48:45
61.   HomeDePo
59 - exactly
2005-08-12 10:49:55
62.   HomeDePo
what i meat was we will never have enough money to sign pujols, rolen, and edmonds while still having 6 other people on the field
2005-08-12 10:52:09
63.   kent
59- I hope your right about '06. My concern, which isn't with DePo (I know he'll do the best he can within his budget) is that McCourt promised a $100 million payroll and hasn't delivered. If and when he does I'll lay off. Until then I'm with TJ Simers, keep your promise, put $100 mil worth of players on the field and see what they can do.
2005-08-12 10:57:43
64.   HomeDePo
mccourt is really stupid. he told dan evans not to go after vlad. i know that vlad is a free swinger, but who would we rather have: vlad or jayson werth?
2005-08-12 10:58:03
65.   Bob Timmermann
I'm quite skeptical that the Cardinals somehow have a large supply of cash sitting around that lets them sign whomever they want.

The Cardinals have wide appeal in the Midwest and draw well, but they are pretty comparable to the Dodgers in terms of attendance. The Cardinals will have a new park next year, but I can't imagine that there will be a significant marginal increase in the number of people who attend games there.

The advertising dollars in St. Louis can't be as great as they are in L.A.

2005-08-12 10:59:22
66.   HomeDePo
65 - i think they have a very wealthy owner who gives their GM money... thats a new concept to most LA Fans
2005-08-12 10:59:24
67.   Howard Fox
60 - nothing I hate more than when people start ragging on McCourt having no money...are you his CFO? his CPA? how do you know what he does or does not have?

just because he may have said he had $100mm to spend on payroll doesn't mean you must spend that amount if you don't believe you are getting value for your money...this is the decision ostensibly left up to DePodesta...

I agree with the notion of this being a transition have to give a new GM some time to assemble what he considers to be his team, then judge him on what he has done...

2005-08-12 11:00:33
68.   gcrl

i thought selig&co wouldn't allow the vlad deal, since mccourt's finances were still in question and the franchise sale hadn't been approved.

do i recall incorrectly?

2005-08-12 11:01:47
69.   Jon Weisman
64 - You're misinterpreting even the most negative read of what happened with the Dodgers and Vlad, which is that the signing was nixed by Bud Selig while McCourt was buying the team. There has never been any report that McCourt didn't want Vlad.
2005-08-12 11:01:54
70.   gcrl
(warning, sarcasm ahead)

did mccourt promise $100 million or "$100mm" as in milli-millions?

2005-08-12 11:02:11
71.   Steve
You know what this means. Raises for the bullpen!
2005-08-12 11:02:26
72.   HomeDePo
68 - not exactly... mccourt asked if the other owners would 'appreciate' his signing of vlad and selig did not give a define answer. so mccourt, concerned about his image, told evans to not go after somebody big like vlad. i am not sure what he would do now if vlad was on the market, but all i know is that we cant really look back now
2005-08-12 11:02:46
73.   Yakface
How many days was Depos vision on the field this year? Im talking Drew Werth and Bradley in outfield, Gagne in the pen and penny on the mound with izzy at short kent second choi first with Valentin at third platooning with AP. And philllips at the plate.
2005-08-12 11:03:35
74.   HomeDePo
when did billy beane become the GM in oakland? i want to see if he had immediate success or not.
2005-08-12 11:05:12
75.   Steve
Simers knows a lot about cutting budgets, given his employer.
2005-08-12 11:05:30
76.   HomeDePo
73 - i do not really know when his vision was on the field... somebody was always missing because of injury or JT
2005-08-12 11:05:34
77.   kent
67- McCourt didn't say he had $100 mil to spend. What he said was that the Dodgers would have a payroll in that neighborhood. I understand the payroll is currently about $83 million. Are you saying this team couldn't have signed an impact bat or solid pitcher with $18 mil that would have been an asset to this line-up? All I'm asking is that McCourt put the team he promised on the field.
2005-08-12 11:07:39
78.   HomeDePo
77- is your name kent or are you named after Jeff Kent
2005-08-12 11:08:42
79.   bigcpa
The payroll is $93M plus incentives/bonuses. That's straight off USA Today plus Shawn Green severance. The Angels are at $98M and Arte is a fanatical, wild spender that loves his fans. The McCourt tightwad thing is an urban legend.
2005-08-12 11:08:43
80.   Steve
He signed a solid pitcher. You want another one?
2005-08-12 11:09:21
81.   Sam DC
USA Today (OK, not necessarily a credibility-establishing source, but the first one I found) lists St. Louis' current salary at $92 million. I don't know what happens in future years as their stars' contracts mature. Here's a link to the player by player breakdown: I certainly believe McCourt would authorize this type of payroll and can't think of anything he's done that would suggest he won't. I guess some would argue failing to re-sign Beltre.

It would be very interesting to read a rundown of how Jocketty built the team to this point, what he gave up to get the Rolens and Walkers, did any players take below market to come to the Greatest Baseball City On Earth, etc. Indeed, that sort of analysis of any team over time would be pretty engaging I'd guess. Anyone know of any such books. (I gather there's some of this in Moneyball which, gasp, I haven't read.)

2005-08-12 11:09:48
82.   Jon Weisman
77 - Your figure of $83 million is at least $5 million low, I believe - for what that's worth
2005-08-12 11:10:50
83.   JJoeScott
80 Who signed what solid pitcher?
2005-08-12 11:12:13
84.   Steve

You want another Derek Lowe? Icky.

2005-08-12 11:12:54
85.   bigcpa
Beane was promoted to GM after the 1997 season. Win totals thereafter:

1997 - 65
1998 - 74
1999 - 87
2000 - 91
2001 - 102
2002 - 103

The Big 3 didn't materialize until 2001.

2005-08-12 11:14:13
86.   kent
73- Could DePo's vision win the NL Central? I'm just saying that you continue to improve your roster until you either run out of budget or have a team that money can't improve. You don't settle for less if you still have room in the budget to improve. Keeping some dry powder to expend in July is fine, so long as you use it then. Do you really believe there were no deals to be made? Florida got a lefty who could have replaced Wunch, San Diego got Randa, SF got Winn & we got Cruz Jr on the cheap.
2005-08-12 11:14:20
87.   HomeDePo
79 - and we would be almost as good as the Angels if we did not have any injuries
2005-08-12 11:15:08
88.   JJoeScott
76 - Maybe. It did make it hard to tinker with the "thirds" of the season strategy that Beane and PDP talk about.

But I've seen enough of Werth and some others to think we wouldn't have won the division.

And to think that Gagne should have won a couple of league MVP awards.

2005-08-12 11:15:16
89.   kent
78- Kent would have to have been named after me.
2005-08-12 11:15:52
90.   HomeDePo
85- that means that depo has done fairly well... no complaints for him on my part (except Jim Tracy, but that doesnt count)
2005-08-12 11:17:01
91.   Penarol1916
Did you see how much San Diego and SF had to give up for Winn and Randa? It's not just money, but also prospects. The sellers were just asking for too much in this market.
2005-08-12 11:18:20
92.   fanerman
Of course I want a $100M payroll, but are there free agents that are worth giving that kind of money? Lowe is an above average pitcher (better than most free agents that were signed, I'm sure everyone could agree with that) and we overpaid for him because that was probably the only way to get him. But he's still criticized (and probably deservedly so). If this offseason there are only Lowe-like free agents, I think we have to be patient. We can't complain that we don't spend money on free agents and then complain that we overpay for them, because that's what the market was last offseason and looks to be again this time. It doesn't work both ways (though the 4-year argument is fair).

Still, we should be able to fill our holes in the short term better next year: OF, 3B, maybe SP, maybe RP. I don't mind SOME overpaying as long as it's in the short term (1 year, maybe 2).

I don't expect to be WS-caliber until 2007, but 2006 better not be a repeat of 2005.

2005-08-12 11:18:49
93.   Steve
87 -- That's not true. The Angels pitching is far better than ours.

If only we had Randy Winn and Ron Villone. DePodesta must lose sleep at night.

2005-08-12 11:18:49
94.   Bob Timmermann
The Cardinals are not owned by a "rich guy". The team is owned by a group of local investors. There is no one guy who writes the checks.

The Cardinals used to be owned by a "rich guy", but the Busch family sold the team. The Cardinals have an incredible amount of goodwill in their franchise, both in the metaphorical and the monetary sense.

According to the data at
the Dodgers have ALWAYS had a higher payroll than the Cardinals.

The Cardinals have been more successful with a slightly lower payroll because they were helped in part by getting some very good, relatively cheap years from Albert Pujols.

There is no one crazed billionaire in St. Louis who tells Walt Jocketty to go sign any player he can find. Look at the team's roster now with all of its injuries. If the Cardinals were the Yankees or Red Sox, there would be pitchers and outfielders being picked up off the scrap heap to fill in.

2005-08-12 11:20:38
95.   Steve
And paying Albert Pujols means the money is used pretty efficiently.

Getting Carpenter at two million bucks was not bad either.

2005-08-12 11:20:51
96.   HomeDePo
94 - sorry i should have checked the facts
2005-08-12 11:21:44
97.   Howard Fox
92 - hopefully 2006 isn't a repeat of 2005 injury wise either
2005-08-12 11:21:45
98.   HomeDePo
i think depo has his eyes feasting on Brian Giles...
2005-08-12 11:22:15
99.   Bob Timmermann
The 2004 Dodgers were valued at $424 million by Forbes. The Cardinals were valued at $370 million.

And I would think the big difference has to come from local ad dollars.

2005-08-12 11:23:57
100.   Bob Timmermann
No problem. I just have family in St. Louis, so I am more familiar with that team.

I think the Cardinals must have to spend more on laundry since their players likely sweat through their uniforms faster than others.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-08-12 11:23:58
101.   kent
98- Are you sure Giles hasn't jumped the shark?
2005-08-12 11:25:21
102.   HomeDePo
100 - a big reason for the cards success recently is tony larussa... i wish we had a guy like him even though he might not agree with everything about depo
2005-08-12 11:25:28
103.   Yakface
The Cardinals Spend 92 mil on players and 8 mil on Steroids for those monsters.
2005-08-12 11:26:13
104.   Yakface
La Russa is a joke he cant handle world Series pressure because he gets too cocky.
2005-08-12 11:26:35
105.   HomeDePo
103 - yah, the monsters like David Eckstein. I hear he is the next steroid user... i can see why
2005-08-12 11:27:43
106.   Yakface
Okay, have you seen him lately he's like some frenzied up monkey.
2005-08-12 11:28:56
107.   bigcpa
93- I dunno Steve... going into the year I liked our rotation better than theirs.

Wash 4.64
Lackey 4.67
Colon 5.01

Wash 3.28
Lackey 3.48
Colon 3.56

2005-08-12 11:29:14
108.   Jon Weisman
103 - Huh?
104 - Huh?
2005-08-12 11:31:25
109.   Marty
102. La Russa is just Felipe Alou in a red uniform. The big reason for their recent success is over at first base, and in center field.

Their pitching aint bad either.

2005-08-12 11:31:36
110.   Yakface
108-Have you seen the size of those cardinals? They're fricken huge. And Larussa blows world series every decade.
2005-08-12 11:33:00
111.   Steve
107 - I won't disagree with that as of March. I was optimistic then too. Now, all our guys do is give up them tasty french fried taters.
2005-08-12 11:33:54
112.   Sam DC
Curious -- I was offline for a while (and will prob be gone all or most of next week too). Did Eric Neel's Vin Scully article come and go, or is he still crafting it?
2005-08-12 11:34:02
113.   HomeDePo
109 - la russa handles his pitchers well and always calls the right play. all of that success by yadier molina throwing out runners should be partially given to la russa. everybody who has read 'men at work' knows la russa reads signals better than anybody else in baseball. he also calls sac squeezes at the best times
2005-08-12 11:34:28
114.   Jon Weisman
110 - First of all, how cockiness translates into an inability to handle pressure escapes me. Second of all, a 1-2 record in World Series is evidence of ... nothing - particularly of LaRussa being a joke.

Is Bobby Cox a joke?

2005-08-12 11:34:57
115.   Yakface
And Loses a world series once every decade
2005-08-12 11:35:01
116.   Jon Weisman
112 - not published yet, Sam, as far as I know.
2005-08-12 11:35:06
117.   Steve
Ouch. Drawing the Alou comparison.

LaRussa had Roger Cedeno hitting fifth against us earlier this year. He's a bonehead.

2005-08-12 11:35:16
118.   dzzrtRatt
DePo strikes me as the opposite of Fred Claire. Fred Claire lived in fear that the Dodgers would go through a year of being non-contenders, so he tried to "rebuild while contending," which left us never quite rebuilt, and good enough only to contend, never actually win. DePo is trying to "contend while rebuilding." The priority is on preserving a core of young, inexpensive, talented players for the future while using the Dodgers' positive revenue flow to purchase a few good players who play positions where our minor league system isn't deep. Hence--get Jeff Kent (at a bargain) and J.D. Drew (not a bargain, but market rate) because there are no obvious heir apparents at those positions, but don't resign Beltre (LaRoche coming up) don't try to seek out a pricey catcher (Navarro/Martin coming up), and tolerate Izzy for now (Guzman coming up). If we finish fourth this year, with the injuries and all, DePo will think, "hey, I tried, but my eyes are on 2007 and beyond, and no matter what, I'm not derailing those plans."
2005-08-12 11:35:23
119.   db1022
113 handles his pitchers well

Like Jason Marquis 135 pitch gem recently against the Padres?

LaRussa manages like it's still the 80s. He hasn't evolved much with the game.

2005-08-12 11:35:25
120.   Yakface
2005-08-12 11:35:26
121.   bigcpa
Friday Quiz-


Match the Jason with his 2005 line. Grabowski excluded.

2005-08-12 11:37:50
122.   Yakface
Larussa won 1 world series in 89 because of an Earthquake wooopdeee dooooo. He's an arrogant prick, and he has bad hair. Lost WS in 88 90 and 2004.
2005-08-12 11:37:55
123.   HomeDePo
118 - somebody did their homework... NICE
2005-08-12 11:38:01
124.   fanerman
121 - Do you mean "Match the Ja(y)son"?
2005-08-12 11:38:23
125.   jasonungar05
"hey, I tried, but my eyes are on 2007 and beyond, and no matter what, I'm not derailing those plans."


2005-08-12 11:38:56
126.   Jon Weisman
121 - funny quiz. I'm gonna say, without cheating, that it's Repko, Phillps, Werth, in that order.
2005-08-12 11:38:58
127.   HomeDePo
122 - penalty box for you, naughty boy

whats ur beef with la russa?

2005-08-12 11:39:06
128.   Steve
Was Kent the best FA signing of the season dollar for dollar? I've spent no minutes thinking about this, (you may come up with a dozen better) but it was a thought triggered by Ratt's post.

Good post by the way.

2005-08-12 11:40:07
129.   Steve
Phillips, Repko, Werth
2005-08-12 11:40:08
130.   Eric L

To be fair, the A's already had a 2-0 lead before the earthquake happened. Both teams had to deal with the layoff, etc, etc.

2005-08-12 11:40:32
131.   Sam DC
Those Ja(y)sons are so alike it's creepy. But I'll say #3 is Repko, Werth, Philips.
2005-08-12 11:41:05
132.   Jon Weisman
118 was a good post.

Yakface, please tone it down.

2005-08-12 11:41:16
133.   Yakface
He's over rated.
2005-08-12 11:41:26
134.   fanerman
Werth, Repko, Phillips

Just because I don't think anybody has said it yet.

2005-08-12 11:41:44
135.   HomeDePo
119 - forgot about that one game...

one of the reasons that la russa is so succesful is because he does manage like it is the 80s. he plays small ball and bash ball at the same time, which is hard to call pitchouts for because you do not know what he is doing. an evidence of his cunning is he used to ask mcguire to hit and run and it would work great

2005-08-12 11:42:15
136.   Yakface
2005-08-12 11:43:41
137.   Yakface
And he encourages steroid use.
2005-08-12 11:44:03
138.   HomeDePo
who is the catcher of the future, navarro or martin? my money is on martin
2005-08-12 11:44:28
139.   Sam DC
131 word glitch there -- forget the #3 bit.

128 Kent does look pretty good. A couple more to consider (I think these were both FA) Glaus and Clement.

2005-08-12 11:44:56
140.   fanerman
Probably Martin. I wonder how long we'll keep both, though. It may be interesting to see them split the time.
2005-08-12 11:46:11
141.   HomeDePo
going to the game tonight, glad weaver is pitching... weaver will own the mets without beltran and cameron. possibly floyd is out too
2005-08-12 11:47:14
142.   Jon Weisman
137 - I appreciate you toning down the language, but I would also appreciate you eliminating the accusations that have no evidence. "Big players" are not evidence that LaRussa encourages steroid use.

Would it be okay if we took a break from talking about LaRussa at this point? It is not a productive conversation.

2005-08-12 11:47:57
143.   Yakface
What a weird day yesterday was for Baseball. The cameron beltran wreck, Perez pitching 8 innings, Sanchez owning Abreu, What is going on did the moon turn to blood?
2005-08-12 11:48:14
144.   HomeDePo
142 - ya no more larussa
2005-08-12 11:48:48
145.   Steve
I know Jon, Sam, and fanerman are wrong, because that first line is Phillips's line. His stats are burned into my brain permanently. I'll be suffering flashbacks of this year for the rest of my life.
2005-08-12 11:48:49
146.   Howard Fox
2005-08-12 11:51:11
147.   Yakface
oh and the A's comback, Krods dropping the ball? Meteor showers, Coincidence I think not...
2005-08-12 11:51:30
148.   molokai
This is long post.

I don't believe in the current usage of closers. I would much rather see them used like Sutter/Gossage/Fingers of the past but I do believe that only certain pitchers can handle the job. I've seen way to many stud middle relief pitchers fail when given the job of being the closer. It is a thing called guile. Pitchers like Rhodes/Hawkins/Riske/ quickly come to mind and if you want more examples I can come up with 5 without to much effort. People may laugh at roto baseball but no one probably tracks the possibilities of MR pitchers becoming closers then serious roto players. Each of these was a lights out middle relief pitcher. They all have/had closer worthy stuff but they all failed in the position of "closer". In the Roto world we look for pitchers who have a BPV of 100 or more.
Age Team RAR BPV
Gagne,Eric 30 LA 2.4 203
Broxton,onathan 21 LA -3.4 133
Penny,Brad 27 LA 12 80
Thompson,Derek 25 LA 1.7 66
Perez,Odalis 28 LA -4.9 65
Sanchez,Duaner 26 LA 1.4 63
Lowe,Derek 32 LA 5.1 62
Weaver,Jeff 29 LA -2 62
Wunsch,Kelly 33 LA -1.2 61
Carrara,iovanni 37 LA -4.3 51
Houlton,Dj 26 LA -11.9 44
Carlyle,Buddy 28 LA -7.1 41
Brazoban,Yhency 25 LA -12.5 33
Schmoll,Steve 26 LA -4.2 28
Dessens,Elmer 34 LA 2.4 23
Alvarez,Wilson 35 LA -4.6 6
Dreifort,Darren 33 LA 0 0
Jackson,Edwin 22 LA 0 0
Osoria,Franquelis 24 LA -0.4 0
Venafro,Mike 32 LA 0 0
Erickson,Scott 38 LA -12.2 -32

Right now only Broxton is showing closer worthy skills but the sample size is to small for it to mean anything. Right now our relief corp sucks with lousy middle relief and lousy closer candidates. The BPV number is an alrogrithm created by baseball HQ that combines the skills needed by a pitcher to be successfull. This is the definition for BPV:
Base Performance Value (BPV)

Purpose & Meaning
A single value that describes a player's overall raw skill level. This is more useful than any traditional statistical gauge to track player performance trends and project future statistical output. The actual BPV formula combines and weights several BPIs. For Batters, the formula combines the individual raw skills of batting eye, the ability to hit safely, and the ability to hit with power. For Pitchers, the formula combines the individual raw skills of power, command, the ability to keep batters from reaching base, and the ability to prevent long hits, all characteristics that are unaffected by most external team factors.


The best hitters will have a BPV of 50 or greater, and represent approximately the top 20% of all offensive players.

(Batting Eye x 20) + ((Batting Average - .300) / .003) + (Linear Weighted Power x 1.25)


We generally consider a BPV of 50 to be the minimum level required for long-term success. There are some veteran pitchers who rarely reach this level, but they are generally the types who are workhorse inning-eaters and post high ERAs. The elite of the bullpen aces will have BPVs in excess of 100 and it is rare for these stoppers to enjoy long term success with consistent levels under 75. In tandem with a pitcher's strand rate, it provides a complete picture of the elements that contribute to a pitcher's ERA, and therefore serves as an accurate tool to project likely changes in ERA.

(Dominance Rate x 6) + (Command Ratio x 21) - (Opposition HR Rate x 30) - ((Opposition Batting Average - .275) x 200

Name Team RAR BPV Saves
Cordero,Chad WAS 23.1 106 37
Isringhausenon STL 12.2 73 31
Hoffman,Trevor SD 6.6 136 29
Lidge,Brad HOU 11.3 158 28
Mesa,Jose PIT 2.7 50 26
Wagner,Billy PHI 16.1 112 25
Jones,Todd FLA 19 113 24
Turnbow,Derrick MIL 13 70 24
Looper,Braden NYM 5.3 26 23
Brazoban,Yhency LA -12.5 33 21
Fuentes,Brian COL 11 91 20
Walker,Tyler SF -0.5 52 19
Dempster,Ryan CHC 1.3 69 15
Reitsma,Chris ATL 4 100 15
Lyon,Brandon ARI 5 90 13
Bruney,Brian ARI -11.3 65 12
Kolb,Danny ATL -3.5 43 11
Graves,Danny NYM -11.5 -15 10
Urbina,Ugueth PHI 5.6 65 10
Gagne,Eric LA 2.4 203 8
Weathers,Dave CIN 2.8 69 7
Farnsworth,Kyle ATL 9.7 111 6
Hawkins,Latroy SF 0.5 47 5
Benitez,Armando SF -1.9 -15 4
Mercker,Kent CIN 9.1 65 3
Reyes,Al STL 9.7 109 3
Schmoll,Steve LA -4.2 28 3
Tavarez,Julian STL 10.2 80 3
Tsao,Chin-Hui COL -3.1 -37 3
Valverde,Jose ARI 7.1 124 3
Wheeler,Dan HOU 16.7 126 3

As you can see pitchers below 50 will normally fail. Right now Jose Mesa is an outlier relying much more on guile then stuff. Brandon Looper is about to decompose much like Yhancy did since July 1st.

2005-08-12 11:51:31
149.   fanerman
145 - You have my pity.
2005-08-12 11:55:27
150.   HomeDePo says russell martin could be a september call up... i dont know if i am buying that
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-08-12 12:00:07
151.   bigcpa
Re 121-
Steve wins. It was Phillips, Repko, Werth. The clues were: Phillips has the highest BA drawing the undying admiration of Tracy. Werth has the respectable .336 OBP, a nice +97 vs. BA. What I draw from this is that essentially we have Jason Repko batting 5th and playing 1B against RHP's.
2005-08-12 12:00:35
152.   Steve
148 -- What is your opinion of Duaner?
2005-08-12 12:08:35
153.   King of the Hobos
150 He's on the 40 man roster and we figure to add a third catcher. However Rose also qualifies. Langill figures to leave for the Canadien team in the World Cup (or whatever it's called). If Martin were called up, that would leave no catchers for the Southern playoffs. Other than Nixon, Westervelt, and Gutierrez...
2005-08-12 12:10:52
154.   kegtron
Off topic, as usual.

Check out Tommy Lasorda's new job.

2005-08-12 12:17:05
155.   dzzrtRatt
Also off topic...

I think blogging might have just jumped the shark. Kent Schocknek has a blog.

I don't know why he doesn't call it, "From Under the Desk of Kent Schocknek."

2005-08-12 12:21:06
156.   HomeDePo
154... thats not our tommy lasorda
2005-08-12 12:21:59
157.   Jim Hitchcock
That's Kent AfterShocknick to you, DzzrtRatt :)

And who was the weatherman, Christopher something? The guy with the eyes as big as saucers?

2005-08-12 12:23:49
158.   gcrl
nance. i've been gone for 8 years, and i still wake up scared that i am going to hear "let's take that morning joooooooooooog around the southland."
2005-08-12 12:23:54
159.   ddger
Just for discussion sake:

Suppose we came up with Quality Relief ratings for relief pitchers (no runs per appearance), this would be our breakdown:

Sanchez 43 out of 60
Brazoban 34 out of 50
Schmoll 19 out of 29
Cararra 33 out of 52

Wunch 36 out of 45 (doesn't qualify since he's LOOGY and averages less than 1 inning per appearance.

2005-08-12 12:24:42
160.   Howard Fox
155 - funny
2005-08-12 12:26:06
161.   ddger
160. Gagne would have been 11 out of 14.
2005-08-12 12:29:50
162.   Jim Hitchcock
158 - That's it. Thanks, gcrl.
2005-08-12 12:29:53
163.   fanerman
Is that, how many times they have a sub-4.50 ERA in their appearances?
2005-08-12 12:35:01
164.   ddger
fanerman, it's just games where they didn't give up a run so ERA would be 0.00 in those games
2005-08-12 12:38:19
165.   Sam DC
Jason Marquis, batting .365 overall, is 2-2 in the Cubs game today. Love me them pitchers what can hit.
2005-08-12 12:38:23
166.   ddger
Brazoban's 50 game breakdown

34 games, 0 runs
6 games, 1 run
4 games, 2 runs
6 games, 3 runs or more

In 10 games, he's given up 28 of his 34 runs this year.

2005-08-12 12:39:18
167.   Howard Fox
166 - yes but those 10 games have been spectacular
2005-08-12 12:40:22
168.   fanerman
167 - That's one way of putting it.
2005-08-12 12:42:48
169.   Jeromy
Back to the Brazoban dilemma. Should he close games? Does he have the confidence to handle pressure situations (however defined)? Are his mechanics messed up? I think Tracy needs to put Brazoban in situations where he can be successful no matter the inning or the score. I may be oversimplifying it, but middle relief is often about match ups. If that means that Yhency only gets to face the Mets 7-8-9 hitters this weekend, so be it. He will regain his form by being successful and there are guys on every ML roster who can't hit a 95 mph fastball. Further if we start the 7th or the 8th with Beltran, Floyd, and Piazza, that would be the inning to bring in the pitcher who can face the heart of the other team's lineup . . . perhaps Sanchez.
2005-08-12 12:43:52
170.   Sam DC
165 Zambrano comes right back at Marquis with a single, so the pitchers now account for 3 out of the 10 hits in that game. 10 hits and a walk in the game, but only one run scored.
2005-08-12 12:45:37
171.   molokai
What is the breakdown since July 1st?
2005-08-12 12:48:32
172.   ddger
171. Brazoban has given up at least 1 run in 7 out of 15 appearances since July 1st.
2005-08-12 12:51:41
173.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder if Marquis is becoming that rare animal, which is, a consistently good hitting pitcher. Many pitchers have had good years hitting, but few are really consistently good enough where it makes difference. There aren't many Babe Ruths or Wes Ferrells.

In 2001 in Atlanta, Marquis was 1 for 31. In 2002, he was 5 for 38. He missed most of 2003. In 2004 for St. Louis, he went all the way up to 21 for 72.

Orel Hershiser batted .356 in 2003, but the year before he batted .221 and the following year he batted .205.

Walter Johson batted .283 in 1924 and .433 in 1925. In 1926, he hit .194. And in his final year of 1927, he batted .348.

Don Drysdale, who had the reputation of being a good hitting pitcher, topped .300 just once and that was in 1965 when he was 39 for 130 and hit 7 homers. He batted .186 in his career.

Other "good hitting pitchers":
Rick Rhoden, career BA of .238
Don Robinson, .231
Ken Brett, .262
Woody Williams, .213 (not counting this year)
Jeff Weaver, .213 (not counting this year)
Steve Carlton, .201
Fernando Valenzuela, .200
Tim Leary, .221

2005-08-12 12:55:03
174.   oldbear
THose are good relief stats but I'd also include Inherited runners stranded/scored.

Thats why I believe Duaner Sanchez is NOT the best reliever on the Dodgers.

2005-08-12 12:55:33
175.   fanerman
174 - Who gets your vote?
2005-08-12 12:55:34
176.   Bob Timmermann
I was at baseball-reference and I saw this entry

2005-08-12 12:55:54
177.   Penarol1916
I remember quite a bit of hullaballu about Mike Hampton being a good hitting pitcher, where does he fit in that mix?
2005-08-12 12:56:37
178.   ddger
173. Thanks for that info. Can you add Mike Hampton (.242 with 15 HR) to that list? Do you know who has the most HRs among pitchers?
2005-08-12 12:57:32
179.   fanerman
177 - And Livan Hernandez and Dontrelle Willis. Those are just names that popped into my head.
2005-08-12 13:01:10
180.   King of the Hobos
Livan is hitting .236 with 7 homers in his career, and he has the same number of career walks as Marquis (5). Dontrelle is batting .237 with 2 homers, but he's only played 3 years
2005-08-12 13:01:28
181.   Sam DC
176 Tough strike zone on that one, probably draws a lot of walks.
2005-08-12 13:03:39
182.   Marty
158. You don't have to worry. Christopher Nance was fired because of Sexual Harrassment of an intern. Apparently he had a looooong history of that behavior. He's suing NBC for race descrimination.
2005-08-12 13:20:51
183.   molokai
Rhoden could rake.

In 1966 a pitcher named Tony Cloniger hit TWO grand slams in one game. For bonus points he did it against the Giants. He ended up with nine runs batted in.

He ended the season with 5 home runs and hit two home runs twice in one game that year. He's never mentioned with the great hitting pitchers but he easily had the greatest hitting game for a pitcher. He was also a solid pitcher for a few years as he won 24 games in 65.

2005-08-12 13:21:08
184.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Wes Ferrell is the all-time home run leader among pitchers.

He had 38 overall in his career, but I think he might have hit some as a pinch hitter or outfielder.

Wes's brother, Rick, is in the Hall of Fame as a catcher. And he hit 28 home runs.

Why Rick Ferrell is in the Hall of Fame is one of baseball's mysteries.

2005-08-12 13:23:24
185.   molokai
He could still get called up after the minor league playoffs. Happens all the time. Not like we will need him for a pennant push on Sept 1st.
2005-08-12 13:24:01
186.   popup
Regarding good hitting pitchers, Glavine is or at least was a name for the list. Not sure how he is doing for the Mets. Atlanta seems to have developed many pitchers who seem to have a clue how to hit. Wonder if it is just coincidence? Don Newcombe was a good hitting pitcher. He mainly played in Brooklyn, though I think he was with the Dodgers when they moved out to LA in 1958.
2005-08-12 13:25:33
187.   popup
Regarding good hitting pitchers, Glavine is or at least was a name for the list. Not sure how he is doing for the Mets. Atlanta seems to have developed many pitchers who seem to have a clue how to hit. Wonder if it is just coincidence? Don Newcombe was a good hitting pitcher. He mainly played in Brooklyn, though I think he was with the Dodgers when they moved out to LA in 1958.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-12 13:31:46
188.   Marty
I think Cloniger was on the Milwaukee Braves when he hit the two slams. It seems to me he was very tough on the Dodgers too.
2005-08-12 13:31:50
189.   db1022
Re: hitting pitchers - Which pitchers are OPS'ing best?

All this batting average talk is weirding me out.

2005-08-12 13:32:09
190.   fanerman
Glavine's line:
.186/.242/.212. 83 BB in 1131 at-bats (coming into this season)

If a pitcher can get on-base 25% of the time, I think that's a very solid contribution to the line-up.

2005-08-12 13:32:49
191.   Bob Timmermann
My last comment was eaten....

Warren Spahn hit 35 homers in his career and hit at least one in each season from 1948 through 1964. But he batted just .194

2005-08-12 13:33:15
192.   ddger

Inherited runners who scored (INS) /Inherited baserunners (INB):

Schmoll 1/9
Wunch 6/36
Cararr 7/18
Sanchez 12/32
Alvarez 6/15
Brazoban 4/7

Although it's a small sample size, it looks like Schmoll is better coming in with runners on base and Sanchez should start a new inning.

2005-08-12 13:35:39
193.   db1022
192 - You imply that this is a skill. I wonder if there really are pitchers that perform better consistently in each of these situations. Or is this the pitching version of "clutch hitting"?
2005-08-12 13:36:28
194.   Marty
I remember Drysdale being used as a pinch hitter often for a couple years.
2005-08-12 13:36:43
195.   molokai
and that Wunsch did a fine job. We miss that guy.
2005-08-12 13:36:52
196.   Bob Timmermann
If you want to go for NL starters who have seen a respectable amount of time, Marquis leads in OPS at .890

Hampton is at .818
Brandon Backe is at .757

Weaver has the highest OPS among Dodger pitchers at .500

2005-08-12 13:39:30
197.   ddger
Depo should go after this guy in offseason:

John Grabow (LOOGY) for Pirates.

Amazing state, only 1 out of 22 baserunners inherited scored.

2005-08-12 13:41:36
198.   Bob Timmermann
According to Retrosheet, Drysdale pinch hit 20 times in his career and was 5 for 18 with 2 walks.

Fernando pinch hit 19 times in his career was 7 for 19.

Rick Rhoden was 1 for 13 as a pinch hitter, but 0 for 1 with a sac fly as a designated hitter.

2005-08-12 13:44:35
199.   db1022
Bob -

This might relate to both the LaRussa and pitcher/hitters discussions?

Can you see which team has used pitchers as PHers most this year, or which pitchers has been used most often?

I remember LaRussa batting the pitcher 8th a few years back.

2005-08-12 13:44:57
200.   Yakface
I was always under the impression that Babe Ruth was the best hitting pitcher.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-08-12 13:47:19
201.   Bob Timmermann
Ruth was the best hitting pitcher, but he didn't hit all that many home runs as a pitcher because he wasn't playing that much.

Because he was a pitcher.

2005-08-12 13:49:42
202.   Yakface
2005-08-12 13:53:53
203.   Marty
Was Ruth ever used as a relief pitcher while on the Yankees?
2005-08-12 13:58:58
204.   Eric Enders
"Don Drysdale, who had the reputation of being a good hitting pitcher, topped .300 just once and that was in 1965 when he was 39 for 130 and hit 7 homers. He batted .186 in his career."

I recently played some Strat-O-Matic series using the 1965 Dodgers, and whenever Drysdale wasn't pitching, I played him in left field and batted him cleanup. It was worth taking the defensive hit because Drydale was BY FAR the best hitter on the 1965 Dodgers. No position player came remotely close to him as a hitter that year.

2005-08-12 14:00:43
205.   Bob Timmermann
Ruth pitched ffive games for the Yankees, all but one as a starter.

As for pitchers being a pinch hitter, I don't know if all the pinch hitting stats are compiled until the end of the year. It's not one of's splits.

My gut would tell me that the Cardinals have done it the most because they have a good hitting pitcher. La Russa will pinch hit with Marquis because he's a viable option. Other teams just pinch hit with pitchers because they don't have anybody else left or the game is out of hand.

Except in that one game against the Nationals when Robinson used Luis Ayala as a pinch hitter for no good reason.

2005-08-12 14:11:11
206.   Eric Enders
"Except in that one game against the Nationals when Robinson used Luis Ayala as a pinch hitter for no good reason."

Didn't we establish that he actually did this for a VERY good reason?

His starting pitcher was hurt and needed to be removed from the game. A pitcher coming in to replace an injured pitcher gets as much time as he needs to warm up.

If Robinson had used a position player to pinch hit for his SP, then Ayala would have been replacing that pinch hitter, not the pitcher, and thus wouldn't have gotten an unlimited amount of warmup time. By sending his next pitcher up to PH, Robinson was ensuring that Ayala would have enough time to warm up at the start of the next inning.

2005-08-12 14:12:12
207.   King of the Hobos
Delgado has been suspended for steroids. The Marlins must be disappointed, they may need Wilson if they want Albequerque in the playoffs =P

He's being suspended for the 2nd time, so he gets 30 days. The Marlins better be prepared for the reaction to the "Delgado Suspended for Steroids" headlines, they put it on themselves signing both Delgados

2005-08-12 14:14:33
208.   fanerman
Is he the one that's "bigger than Palmeiro?"

When was the first time he got it? Before this season?

2005-08-12 14:16:08
209.   db1022
Yeah, wait, are you saying it is or is not Carlos Delgado?
2005-08-12 14:21:18
210.   King of the Hobos
209 It's Wilson Delgado, a 33 utility AAAA player. I think he was with the Angels last year. He had already been suspended this year, so it's not new, although I'm amazed he would keep doing it after the suspension...
2005-08-12 14:23:06
211.   Bob Timmermann
But Ayala was leading off the inning. Why not just have him warm up in the bullpen?
2005-08-12 14:23:07
212.   fanerman
Okay I don't think Gammons was referring to him...
2005-08-12 14:27:27
213.   deburns
Roy Campanella told a story about how he and Newcombe were at Nashua; the manager got thrown out, and Campy was managing. He got Newcombe up to pinch hit and he hit a HR to win the game.
2005-08-12 14:34:49
214.   Eric L
Ruth appeared in 5 games with the Yankees as a pitcher and started 4 of them (according to bb-ref).
2005-08-12 14:35:35
215.   Eric Enders
FWIW, the ejected manager in 213 was Alston. He designated Campanella as his replacement, making Campy the first black manager ever in white pro baseball.

This all took place in 1946. So, technically, there was a black manager in pro baseball before there was a black player in MLB.

2005-08-12 14:38:12
216.   popup
#204, Alston batted Drysdale 7th in the order at least once in 1965 in a game against the Pirates in August at Dodger Stadium. I am really glad the NL does not have the dh; good hitting pitchers are an interesting topic of conversation and that conversation is impossible in the other league.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-12 14:38:21
217.   Eric Enders
I'm amazed he would keep doing it after the suspension...

We really don't know that; some steroids stay in your bloodstream and are testable for several months. He may or may not have stopped after his original suspension. It would depend on exactly what steroid he was using.

2005-08-12 14:40:15
218.   Eric Enders
Re 204 and 216--

I wonder if there are any other instances besides 1918 and 1965 in which a pitcher was clearly the best hitter on a world championship team?

2005-08-12 14:41:12
219.   deburns
Did you see where Steve Phillips on ESPN states it as a fact that Weaver will be moved prior to the waiver deadline?
2005-08-12 14:42:02
220.   Jon Weisman
New post above, FYI.
2005-08-12 14:58:51
221.   natepurcell
if you guys want to see a crappy prospects list, go here

there are about 20 things wrong with that list.

on the brazoban subject, i think he is struggling because he only throws a fastball. batters dont swing at his slider because he cant throw it for strikes and they sit on his fastball. solution?... learn a splittie. brazzy would be so devastating with a split.

2005-08-12 14:59:00
222.   King of the Hobos
219 It's Insider, so I can't read it. How does he know this? Unless DePo is overwhelmed, I'd think he'd prefer 2 draftpicks or one year of Weaver at $10 mil form arbitration
2005-08-12 15:02:34
223.   popup
Eric, I can't think of one other example. Robin Roberts was a pretty good hitter for Philadelphia during most of his career but though they won the pennant in 1950, they were beaten by the Yanks in the W.S. I doubt Roberts was the best hitter on that club; Richie Ashburn is in the hall and Del Ennis was a pretty good power hitter. But my recollection is that Roberts was a very good hitter say the same way Newk was in Brooklyn. For sure Newk was not the best hitter on the Dodgers with Campy, Duke, Gil, and Jackie around.

By the way I picked up a copy of your W.S. book earlier this year. It is really an excellent book.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-12 15:04:25
224.   Eric Enders
Thanks, Stan, I appreciate that.
2005-08-12 15:37:25
225.   Bob Timmermann
According to Retrosheet, Drysdale's only appearance in the #7 slot was as a pinch hitter.

He batted for Willie Davis.

I don't think Alston ever batted his starting pitcher in a position other than 9th, but I could be wrong.

2005-08-12 20:34:42
226.   popup

The game was August 15, 1965. I was at that game and remember the murmur when Don was announced before the game as hitting 7th. Somehow I had thought that the game when Clemente dropped the flyball was the game Don pitched. Not so, it was the night before. Retrosheet is really a great resource. I remember going to a few games in LA during that homestand. Clemente dropping the flyball and Drysdale nearly getting hit by the line drive are the two things I remember most clearly and for some reason I thought they happened in the same game. The line drive that almost got Don must have been the single to center by Virdon in the first inning.

Stan from Tacoma

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