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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
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10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
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I Can't Get No Relief
2006-07-17 11:02
by Jon Weisman

Here's a new column at about one of my favorite topics in the past year, the near-impossibility of finding a consistent relief pitcher.

Imagine pouring yourself a glass of milk with no idea of its expiration date.

Such is the gag-inducing reality of relief pitching in the majors. At any moment, the pitcher can turn sour -- or already has, and you just don't know it yet.

Many teams find themselves in the market for relief help. That's because teams are always searching for relief help, and that's because there are not enough good relievers to go around.

If your team is lucky enough to get one of the good ones, pat yourself on the back and get back to looking, because almost no reliever is good from one year to the next.

A principal way that Baseball Prospectus evaluates relievers, for example, is by a statistic called Adjusted Runs Prevented. This statistic takes you a step past ERA, whose usefulness is at the mercy of inherited runners, to paint a more accurate image of how effective a relief pitcher is.

That image will haunt you like The Scream. Of the top 100 in baseball in ARP at this year's All-Star Break, 53 had not been on the list once in the previous four seasons. Essentially, more than half of the top 100 relievers in baseball at midseason had come out of nowhere. ...

Coming up below is an expanded chart showing where major league relievers have ranked in the Top 100 of Adjusted Runs Prevented (ARP) over the past five years, illustrating how much performances fluctuate from year to year and how frequently pitchers move in and out of the charts.

Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus offers this expanded explanation of ARP:

Adjusted Runs Prevented is a measure of the number of runs a relief pitcher prevented compared to an average pitcher, given the Base/Out state (the combination of runners on base and the number of outs) for which he entered and left each game (adjusted for park and league). In other words, it uses play-by-play data to assess the responsibility for fractional runs prevented based on the run expectancy of a given situation, instead of charging the runs scored by inherited runners solely to the previous pitcher.

An example that was probably taken from real life given how easily I can envision it: Mike Mussina leaves a game with runners on first and second and one out. The Run Expectancy in that situation, based on 2005 data, is 0.964 runs; the average team could be expected to score nearly a run. Lefty Mike Myers comes in and gives up a ground ball that advances the runners but gets an out, dropping the RE to 0.542. He's removed by Joe Torre, so his ARP for the day is .964-.542 = .422 runs. Kyle Farnsworth then comes in and walks both of the next hitters, scoring a run and raising the RE (bases loaded, two outs) to .824. He's removed; his ARP for the day is .542 -.824 - 1 (the one that scored) = -1.282 runs. Mariano Rivera comes in and K's the next guy to end the inning, so his ARP is .824 - 0 = .824 runs.

Relievers in the ARP Top 100, 2002-2006
Aaron Fultz27
Aaron Heilman11
Adam Wainwright13
Akinori Otsuka2710016
Al Reyes9
Alan Embree76743958/60
Amaury Telemaco86
Ambiorix Burgos51
Andrew Sisco66
Antonio Alfonseca48
Antonio Osuna7591
Aquilino Lopez25
Armando Benitez7095526
Arthur Rhodes577414
B.J. Ryan124350
Ben Weber1813
Billy Koch39
Billy Wagner46569817
Blaine Boyer93
Bob Wickman39
Bobby Howry29642
Bobby Jenks899
Brad Halsey41
Brad Hennessey36
Brad Lidge34236
Brad Thompson68
Braden Looper9625769
Brandon Lyon81
Brandon Mccarthy54
Brandon Medders76
Brandon Villafuerte31
Brendan Donnelly8252436
Brian Boehringer78
Brian Fuentes343538
Brian Shackelford84
Brian Shouse934558
Brian Sweeney63
Brian Tallet77
Bryan Corey69
Buddy Groom7
Byung-Hyun Kim4
C.J. Wilson71
Cal Eldred69
Carlos Almanzar54
Carlos Silva89
Casey Fossum99
Chad Bradford18611555
Chad Cordero60382298
Chad Fox75
Chad Gaudin45
Chad Gaudin95
Chad Orvella98
Chad Paronto55
Chad Qualls1928
Chad Zerbe96
Chris Britton39
Chris Hammond305
Chris Ray43
Chris Reitsma33
Chris Spurling48
Clayton Hensley45
Cliff Politte441
Corey Thurman98
Craig Dingman89
Curt Leskanic9559
Damaso Marte311132
Dan Miceli8169
Dan Smith68
Dan Wheeler10
Danny Baez173073
Danny Kolb9844
Darren Holmes18
Darren Oliver10
Dave Burba78
Dave Coggin90
Dave Veres82
Dave Weathers925163
David Cortes78
David Riske31627
Dennis Reyes64
Derrick Turnbow1286
Doug Brocail94
Doug Waechter88
Duaner Sanchez249050
Dustin Hermanson32
Dustin Mcgowan97
Eddie Guardado373134
Eddy Rodriguez77
Elmer Dessens83
Erasmo Ramirez64
Eric Gagne1012
Esteban Yan34
Fausto Carmona28
Felix Rodriguez45
Fernando Cabrera74
Fernando Rodney56
Francisco Cordero8059133738
Francisco Liriano83
Francisco Rodriguez8444522
Frank Francisco32
Gabe White45
Gary Majewski6862
Geoff Geary33
George Sherrill75
Giovanni Carrara36
Grant Balfour73
Grant Roberts92
Guillermo Mota381383
Hector Carrasco2342
Huston Street221
J.C. Romero851
J.J. Putz370
Jack Cressend40
Jaime Cerda41
Jake Westbrook88
Jamie Walker859767100
Jason Frasor2049
Jason Grilli90
Jason Grimsley88
Jason Isringhausen7425233542
Jason Kershner62
Javier Lopez42
Jay Witasick656329
Jayson Durocher62
Jeff Nelson49
Jeremy Affeldt40
Jesse Crain23
Jesse Orosco88
Jesus Colome78
Jim Brower2849
Jim Mecir8374
Jimmy Gobble56
Joaquin Benoit14
Joe Beimel52
Joe Borowski532323
Joe Kennedy67
Joe Nathan1616824
Joe Nelson100
Joel Peralta72
Joel Pineiro71
Joel Zumaya7
Joey Eischen7340
Johan Santana5465
John Grabow81
John Halama939275
John Parrish99
John Riedling97
John Smoltz151020
John Wasdin58
Jon Rauch3099
Jonathan Broxton42
Jonathan Papelbon2
Jorge Julio6530
Jorge Sosa94
Jose Acevedo7644
Jose Capellan71
Jose Lima92
Jose Mesa574735
Jose Valverde2119
Josh Hancock58
Juan Cruz8843
Juan Padilla26
Juan Rincon25181465
Julian Tavarez2953
Julio Mateo2217
Julio Santana64
Justin Duchscherer4917
Justin Speier15877256
Kazuhiro Sasaki73
Keith Foulke7315
Kelly Wunsch80
Kelvim Escobar78
Ken Ray26
Kent Mercker40
Kerry Ligtenberg8157
Kevin Barry82
Kevin Correia35
Kevin Gregg57
Kevin Gryboski8090
Kiko Calero314144
Kirk Saarloos63
Kurt Birkins44
Kyle Farnsworth50/6061
Lance Carter5661
Lance Cormier97
Latroy Hawkins21611
Luis Ayala375326
Luis Vizcaino756
Macay Mcbride50
Mariano Rivera12261677
Mark Guthrie53
Matt Capps38
Matt Ford66
Matt Guerrier9953
Matt Herges70/71
Matt Mantei28
Matt Miller4724
Matt Roney96
Matt Smith62
Matt Thornton37
Matt Wise64
Michael Adams89
Michael Wuertz87
Mike Crudale48
Mike Dejean66
Mike Gallo85
Mike Gonzalez512955
Mike Jackson24
Mike Koplove795759
Mike Lincoln93
Mike Macdougal79
Mike Myers4863
Mike Remlinger8416
Mike Stanton33
Mike Tejera87
Mike Timlin49302981
Nate Bump82
Nate Field71
Neal Cotts1446
Octavio Dotel60203
Omar Daal79
Oscar Villarreal43
Pat Hentgen77
Pat Mahomes95
Paul Quantrill980
Paul Shuey9752
Pete Walker52
Peter Munro94
Phil Norton60
Rafael Betancourt4080
Rafael Soriano412
Ramiro Mendoza9654
Ramon Ortiz33
Ramon Ramirez17
Ray King1894
Rheal Cormier20352
Ricardo Rincon87
Rick Bauer4770
Rick Helling86
Rick Helling79
Rick White85
Ricky Bottalico39
Ricky Stone68
Robb Nen12
Robert Keppel98
Roberto Hernandez13
Rod Beck48
Rodrigo Lopez46
Roman Colon94
Ron Mahay72100
Ron Villone57764
Rudy Seanez36
Russ Springer66
Ryan Dempster43
Ryan Madson11
Ryan Wagner91
Salomon Torres735519
Scot Shields1519271419
Scott Downs92
Scott Eyre32367
Scott Linebrink2184
Scott Munter86
Scott Sauerbeck22
Scott Schoeneweis95
Scott Stewart50
Scott Strickland69
Scott Sullivan47
Scott Williamson658251
Shaun Marcum96
Shawn Camp68
Shigetoshi Hasegawa67100546
Shingo Takatsu12
Steve Karsay8
Steve Kline89704637
Steve Reed3427/84
T.J. Tucker26
Takashi Saito6
Taylor Tankersley79
Terry Adams3286
Tim Wakefield72
Tim Worrell9021
Todd Coffey59
Todd Jones759
Todd Williams3366
Tom Gordon1161121
Tom Martin6183
Tommy Phelps56
Tony Fiore10
Travis Harper67
Trever Miller9184
Trevor Hoffman9722028
Troy Percival918925
Turk Wendell41
Tyler Walker95
Tyler Yates87
Ugueth Urbina912776
Valerio De Los Santos47
Vinny Chulk54
Vladimir Nunez43
Will Cunnane93
Will Ohman85
Wilson Alvarez5852
Yhency Brazoban51

*through 2006 All-Star Break. Players with two rankings in a given year were on more than one team.

Comments (217)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-07-17 11:17:43
1.   Bob Timmermann
There must be some kind of way out of here!
2006-07-17 11:19:46
2.   bigcpa
Fascinating topic. Is it true that Danys Baez hasn't cracked the top 100 even once?
2006-07-17 11:20:49
3.   Humma Kavula
Trade now for Steve Kline!
2006-07-17 11:21:14
4.   Humma Kavula
2 Check for Danys under "Danny."
2006-07-17 11:31:37
5.   Underbruin
I think it's more interesting that Baez actually finished 17th last year (and had been in the top 100, at least, for the past 3 years). That suggests he actually really was one of the best relievers in baseball (of course, luck notwithstanding, it's nevertheless a more valid suggestion of talent than "41 saves"). It took a transition to Dodger Stadium to turn him into the CMC, I guess. -sigh-
2006-07-17 11:34:42
6.   D4P
It took a transition to Dodger Stadium to turn him into the CMC

It would be interesting to know just how big of a difference the reduction in foul territory at Dodger Stadium has made on run-scoring. For one thing, the Dodgers went from perennial low-scoring team to one of the league leaders in runs scored.

2006-07-17 11:38:22
7.   Sam DC
What a finely-crafted article Jon. Almost every paragraph has one of those "man, I wish I'd written that" sentences.


Thought I'd move up this comment from a few threads ago as it fits here so well.

Nationals minor league blogger plays an old Dodger Thoughts standard: "While the losses of Majewski and Bray may appear troubling on the surface, there is one certainty when it comes to RPs in the bullpen. There is no certainty."

2006-07-17 11:38:28
8.   Jon Weisman
5 - But the point is, 99 percent of relievers turn into the CMC or its equivalents at some point, sooner than later.

His accomplishments in the previous seasons were still pretty meaningless going forward, and the fact that he had been decent for a couple years may have actually made the odds against him greater.

Bottom line, I think, is invest low and stay flexible.

2006-07-17 11:38:45
9.   regfairfield
Keep in mind that ARP is more of a measure of how "clutch" (for lack of a better word) than a true indication of ability. Any system that assigns different weights to different situations is inherently unrealiable.
2006-07-17 11:46:38
10.   bigcpa
9 I was thinking the same thing. I'd like to see some correlation of ARP with K/9 and K/BB. Even after adjusting for inherited and bequeathed runners, it still doesn't seem like a primary skill.

Joe Nathan has 54k and 5bb in 38ip. I will gladly pour that milk over my cereal without checking the expiration date.

2006-07-17 11:46:42
11.   Cliff Corcoran
I would think there are two things going on here.

One is that relief pitchers are almost by nature inferior to starting pitchers. As much as specialization has increased and the old idea of the bullpen being filled with failed starters sounds like a relic from the first half of the 20th century, I still think it's ultimately true. You see it all the time. Heck, even Mariano Rivera is a failed starter. This year's break out reliever, Jonathan Papelbon, is not a failed starter, but a converted starter and has done far better in the pen than could have been expected in the rotation. Take a good look at the minor league histories of the relief pitchers on any major league club. Odds are most, if not all, were starters at some point in their career (even Goose Gossage spent a full season as a starter with the White Sox).

That point is to support my second, which is that the sample size of a single relief pitching season is likely too small to be predictive for all but the very best and very worst relief pitchers, thus the crazy variation. And when you take three seasons or more together to get a larger sample and try to use that as a comparison to the next three seasons or so of a reliever's career, you're suddenly comparing a 25-year-old arm to a 31-year-old arm and the development curve screws up the stats, assuming the pitcher wasn't jerked around as a result of the random variation that wasn't his fault to begin with and that the pitcher has managed to keep his arm healthy over that six-year span.

I haven't done any research on this, but it would seem that these two points go a long way toward explaining this phenomenon.

This is all

2006-07-17 11:48:06
12.   Jon Weisman
9 - ARP isn't the be-all and end-all, but over time, don't you think that relievers get the opportunity to be in all kinds of different situations, and that the system does give a good indication of value?
2006-07-17 11:49:11
13.   Cliff Corcoran
11 Jon makes my first point in the SI piece, sorry for not mentioning that.
2006-07-17 11:51:38
14.   Jon Weisman
10 - Yeah, I'd take my chance on that, too. I don't think there are too many cartons of Nathan to go around, though.
2006-07-17 11:53:06
15.   Marty
I heard on the car radio that a Florida paper is quoting Baez saying again he's unhappy he's not the closer and will not sign with the team next year.

I'm not bothered by this news.

2006-07-17 11:53:50
16.   D4P
All of which would seem to lend credence to the claim that you should never

(1) pay lots of money, nor
(2) trade prospects

for relievers.

2006-07-17 11:55:40
17.   bigcpa
14 Maybe if Nathan would expand its focus beyond the wiener market we could get a hold of some of that elusive milk.
2006-07-17 11:57:46
18.   Jon Weisman
17 - I was thinking that - really.

15 - Baez and Toby Hall must be fun at parties.

2006-07-17 11:59:37
19.   underdog
18 I don't think they're invited. Unless they're "Nostalgia for Tampa" parties, which are always a blast.
2006-07-17 12:01:00
20.   Jon Weisman
By the way, 12 was a sincere question, not rhetorical.
2006-07-17 12:02:34
21.   Xeifrank
Dodgers with the 2nd best record of LA major league baseball teams. Jeff Weaver starting today for the Cards. Anyone expecting a meltdown in more ways than one? vr, Xei
2006-07-17 12:07:02
22.   regfairfield
12 Sorry, actually doing work. Get back to you in a bit.
2006-07-17 12:42:28
23.   thinkblue0
Dodgers apparently interested in trading for Aaron Boone.

I don't even have a joke here.

2006-07-17 12:44:57
24.   Andrew Shimmin
12- Value but not skill, right? Especially given the statistically weird usage paterns of relievers, all win/run expectancy stats are going to tend, at least, to be particularly luck dependant. I take that to be your point, and regfairfield's, too. Even being some Platonic ideal of good is no gaurantee of being a valuable relief pitcher. At least not in any given year.
2006-07-17 12:46:29
25.   JoeyP
Its amazing the team can just discard Aybar/Saenz at 3rd.
2006-07-17 12:48:51
26.   the OZ
23 Do they want him for his chemistry, or because his first and last name each include consecutive identical vowels?

Anagrams of "Aaron Boone" include:

Boo on Arena
No Area Boon

2006-07-17 12:53:03
27.   D4P
Or because he's worse than Izturis both offensively and defensively?
2006-07-17 12:53:22
28.   thinkblue0
I just have this really bad feeling we're gonna give up more young players for crappy veterans at the deadline....if you're not gonna get guys who can help, don't bother trading at all.
2006-07-17 12:59:51
29.   D4P
if you're not gonna get guys who can help, don't bother trading at all

I could be wrong, but I really feel like Ned/McCourts are very concerned about the image they project to the fans, and want to give the impression that they are trying as hard as they can to field a winning team as soon as possible. (That's not to say, of course, that their transactions further that goal...) As a result, I get the impression that they would rather err on the side of making deals (especially with the short-term in mind) rather than standing pat.

2006-07-17 13:03:35
30.   thinkblue0
I could be wrong, but I really feel like Ned/McCourts are very concerned about the image they project to the fans, and want to give the impression that they are trying as hard as they can to field a winning team as soon as possible.

Exactly...but the average fan doesn't understand why a deal is good or bad. So, they trade for Aaron Boone and everyone loves it because he hit that HR against the Red Sox even though we all know that getting him is basically counter-productive.

I guess I'm just sick of us going out and getting guys when we already have options here. I mean, trading for Boone is about the stupidest thing we could do since Aybar is better than him, and he'd be no upgrade over Izturis since he can't hit either.

2006-07-17 13:04:42
31.   Linkmeister
I see Jon's an art history guy, mentioning "The Scream." When I'm haunted, it's usually by Cthulhu.
2006-07-17 13:05:27
32.   the OZ
28 I suspect that GMs enjoy making deals. It usually gets them in the newspaper, they get to do press conferences, talk about how they are men of action, etc. Most fans don't know the names of any minor leaguers and have never heard of Baseball America so if a GM deals three prospects for a veteran that most fans recognize the move will be perceived positively by a plurality of the fans/media.

When ESPN, or whoever, gives trade deadline "grades" to teams, the most active are usually perceived as the "best" and the less active "failed to land anyone" and did poorly, with little weight given to the quality of players involved.

That's how Aybar-for-Boone-type trades are justified. And when it's clear that the numbers don't wash, they act like the difference in defensive ability, whether real or imagined, makes all the difference.

2006-07-17 13:07:26
33.   JoeyP
Aaron Boone is this year's Tyler Houston.
Maybe he'll be brought in to light a fire under Cesar Izturis.
2006-07-17 13:10:16
34.   thinkblue0

great post. That makes a lot of sense...but then we're getting to the point of making trades just to make guys like Plaschke happy. I want a GM who makes trades that are good for the ballclub and help us win rather than one who just wants a pat on the back from "the idiot at the LA Times".

I'm not saying we should be sellers by any means. We should go after this division. We clearly need a GOOD hitter, some bullpen help does trading for Aaron Boone address ANY needs? I've said all through the offseason that I'd give Ned until the deadline to make a judgment on him, and I'll still give him that....

2006-07-17 13:10:23
35.   the OZ
33 Isn't that Kenny Lofton's job? Or does he specialize in lighting fires under JD Drew? Can he light only one fire at a time?

If so, Ned should have acquired a more prolific pyrotechnician.

2006-07-17 13:10:55
36.   D4P
In essence, we seem to be (implicitly) acknowledging that a GM position has important "political" dimensions that require GMs to consider a wide range of factors beyond simply compiling the "best" roster. Not unlike politicians at all levels, sometimes public opinion (and other influences) conspire to direct decision-makers away from what is "objectively" "right" and toward what will most successfully appease their constituents/cronies.
2006-07-17 13:14:38
38.   blue22
Although a Boone-for-Aybar deal qualifies under the Ned "veteran redundancy" (trade young, cheap position player for older, expensive player of same position) requirement, it is lacking a "proven middle reliever" component.

I won't take it seriously until we throw in a Mark Alexander, TJ Nall or Casey Hoorelbeke for Bob Wickman.

2006-07-17 13:14:52
39.   JoeyP
No, everyone has different tastes. I know some people that love reading, but hate numbers. Others are the exact opposite.
2006-07-17 13:15:44
40.   Bob Timmermann

Try Catfish Stew. It doesn't have a lot of stats. Or The Griddle.

You're not a bad person if you don't want to read a lot of numbers, althought the amount of numbers Jon used today is relatively rare.

There are some blogs which would have so many numbers that your head would spin.

2006-07-17 13:18:46
41.   Andrew Shimmin
I hate numbers AND words. I'm that edgy.
2006-07-17 13:19:20
42.   Jon Weisman
23 et al,

Okay, quick reminder here. Very important.

If a publication prints an unsourced statement like, "The Indians are talking about trading Aaron Boone to the Dodgers," it is beyond meaningless. It doesn't indicate any desire whatsoever for the Dodgers to get Aaron Boone.

To see this kind of thing then used as ammunition against the Dodgers, whoever the GM is, is just a huge waste of time.

Please do not bring this kind of stuff to Dodger Thoughts - or at the very least, please take the time to report the news correctly. It's nothing personal, but it just does not lead to a constructive discussion.

2006-07-17 13:20:18
43.   Jon Weisman
41 - Andrew is that edgy. I love it.

Andrew's the guy who liked it when Prince changed his name to a squiggle.

2006-07-17 13:22:40
44.   Terry A
43 We can only communicate with Andrew via symbols and glyphs?
2006-07-17 13:22:42
45.   studes
I agree with Cliff in 12. To me, the issue is simple sample size. That's all it is.
2006-07-17 13:22:59
46.   the OZ
36 Exactly. Any person/employee behaves and makes decisions in accordance with how they are incented. Baseball GMs, as far as I can tell, get paid the same no matter what they do. They also are lauded or punished by local and national media. I don't know if they get bonuses or other financial incentives for winning.

If I were a team president/owner, my GM would have a clear set of financial bonus incentives based on future wins. Suppose the team was .500 when the new GM was hired. He or she would be paid a meaningful bonus for winning above 85 games in year 1, 89 in year 2, 92 in year three, 95 in year 4, etc. The bonus is categorical, so once a win plateau is reached it doen't matter how much it is exceeded by.

No trading the farm for a 88-win season if you know it will hurt your ability to get a bonus during the next few seasons!

2006-07-17 13:25:45
47.   Jon Weisman
45 - Hey, Studes - good to see you. Would you agree or disagree that picking out a good reliever for the future based on past performance is a crapshoot, then?
2006-07-17 13:25:53
48.   Marty
Andrew is so edgy he can divide by zero.
2006-07-17 13:27:10
49.   underdog
38 I know you're kidding but I was thinking why trade for Wickman or some other geriatric reliever when Mark Alexander could be called up and probably be just as effective (or more so)? I'm just wondering aloud. I do wonder if some trades are made just to make a trade, and why not continue with something that's more effective (and cost effective) so far which is giving young players a chance.

But again, as is noted above, just because some rumor is circulating about player X and the Dodgers, doesn't mean there's any credence whatsoever to them. As with GMs needing trades to feel busy, newspapers need the trade deadline to have something to prattle on about.

2006-07-17 13:27:24
50.   thinkblue0
To see this kind of thing then used as ammunition against the Dodgers, whoever the GM is, is just a huge waste of time.

I'm not necessarily using it as ammunition against Colletti, but I just thought it was a good discussion point.

I've read the Boone theory in more than one place...I know how rumors go, it probably won't happen...but that doesn't mean we shouldn't at least discuss.

My point being that while it is just an unsubstantiated rumor, it is worth discussing and does resemble past deals made by Colletti. All I'm trying to do is to figure out what Ned's intentions are with a deal like this, should they be true.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-07-17 13:29:31
51.   studes
Hi Jon,

How do you keep up with this pace?

I think I lost a post somewhere, but I actually think good relievers should still get good contracts (whether long term or not, dunno). It's just that they're riskier, so management should have a "diversification plan," if you will.

One other note: the inherent riskiness of relievers makes consistent, predictable relievers even MORE valuable. They could arguably get contracts equal to what some of the top starters get. For instance, I'm not sure that the Mets overpaid for Wagner.

2006-07-17 13:30:57
52.   studes
Sorry, Jon. To answer your question: I agree that you need several years of stats to even begin to identify top relievers (or a couple of years combined with good scouting reports).
2006-07-17 13:34:20
53.   Claire Malone-Evans
This is very insightful! Preventing adjusted runs,I think is the job description for a relief pitcher. Saito is therefore doing a better job than both Hoffman and Rivera. Lets give him a ten million dollar raise.
2006-07-17 13:36:32
54.   dzzrtRatt
This year's third best reliever at preventing runs from being scored is J.J. Putz.

I have never heard of J.J. Putz, but I think I would break any rule about trading for relief to get him on the Dodgers, just to see what kind of headlines he would generate locally.

If Putz comes into a game with the bases loaded and stops the rally: Putz Stands Firm

Same situation, but Putz allows a grand slam: Putz Flops

Same situation, but Putz walks a guy in: Putz Misses Target

Same situation, Putz induces a line drive up the middle that he tries to catch but can't: Putz' Reach Not Long Enough

Or let's say Putz grabs the line drive, which somehow leads to an unassisted double play: Putz Bags Two

Or if Putz comes in to start the inning, but loads the bases and allows a grand slam: "Putz Digs Hole He Can't Get Out Of*

After allowing the slam Little stops using him: Putz' Role Shrinks

Thank you very much, I'm here all week!

2006-07-17 13:39:20
55.   Ken Arneson
37 Whaddya mean, Catfish Stew doesn't have much stats? Why, just the other day, I had a whole article about how to count with rocks!
2006-07-17 13:47:16
56.   confucius
37 I don't like reading a lot of stats either but sometimes they are the quickest and most accurate way to prove a point.
2006-07-17 13:50:11
57.   Bluebleeder87

I'm not sure how the song goes but, I here you bro! :o)

2006-07-17 13:52:54
58.   Jon Weisman
50 - Reading it more than one place is very often just a case of other people running with the same unfounded rumor. That's how rumors work. It doesn't mean anything.

I don't mind people saying, "Aaron Boone is available, what do you think?" I think there's a bigger problem with turning it into "the Dodgers want Aaron Boone - what do you think" when as far as we know, that just isn't true. Yet clearly, people were taking it seriously and not as a mere crazy hypothetical.

And by the way, how does this resemble past deals by Colletti? When has Colletti gone out and traded for a broken-down position player? Lofton, Martinez, Furcal and Mueller don't apply. Neither does Hall, since the key to that trade was Hendrickson.

Again, please know that I'm not singling you out - I'm just using this as an example.

2006-07-17 13:53:52
59.   Steve
That list looks like the credits for Indiana Jones and the Middle Relievers of Doom
2006-07-17 13:53:52
60.   Jon Weisman
53 - Does anyone else think of Claire Malone-Evans as the very female model of a modern major general manager?
2006-07-17 13:54:06
61.   gibsonhobbs88
Sometimes I am amazed at the opinions in all these posts, but the ones that bash Nomar are perplexing to me. How many times has an LA Dodger even contended for a batting title? We finally have a player, that by and large is going to produce hits, RBI's and runs scored and he is playing at close to Gold Glove potential in his first year at a new position. He seems happy here with his wife in the city of his favorite childhood team so he might be amenable to switching to third if it will help the club. Then however, you will get some posters saying he is blocking LaRoche's path to the majors. I say Nomar is in a Catch-22 with some DT readers and posters. As for me, I am glad to have him and hope to have him for at least another year or two. "That's just my opinion, I could be wrong". After all, that is what this forum is all about.
2006-07-17 13:55:21
62.   Linkmeister
55 Catfish Stew reported from Yap? I thought you were in Scandinavia!
2006-07-17 13:57:37
63.   Sam DC
60 I always envision young Claire thinking, "Coming from such different worlds, it's a wonder that dad and dad made it work so well."
2006-07-17 14:01:33
64.   JoeyP
When has Colletti gone out and traded for a broken-down position player?

I guess if we're just talking strictly trades and position players, then there arent many.

But signing Mueller, Alomar, Lofton, and Ramon Martinez IMO would be considered signing broken-down position players. I guess trading for one would be slightly worse.

2006-07-17 14:02:10
65.   Blu2
60 I got your Gilbert and sullivan regerence. Nice.
2006-07-17 14:02:45
66.   underdog
60 I was thinking sister of ex GM Dan, but I like the Gilbert and Sullivan version better. Go with that.
2006-07-17 14:03:04
67.   Jon Weisman
61 - The production that Nomar has given this season has been indispensable. Whether or not he can stay healthy, or move to a different position, or do whatever for the future, I don't know. But he has been fantastic this year. His biggest problem has been that he can't pitch.
2006-07-17 14:03:25
68.   underdog
Ramon Martinez was broken down?
2006-07-17 14:03:44
69.   bluetahoe
LOL, JoeyP. Someone needs to tell Ramon Martinez he's broken down. He hasn't received the memo yet. Lofton's batting near .300. He must of missed the memo too.
2006-07-17 14:04:18
70.   Bluebleeder87

I don't know how you felt about Evans but I thought he was an awesome GM, Colletti's story isn't complete in my book.

ps Claire in all fairness, did bring the '88 magical season to us, so to me that rights off the negative in him

2006-07-17 14:04:30
71.   Blu2
65 Forgive errors: 'sullivan' should be 'Sullivan', and 'regerence' should be 'regerence'. I can spell, I'm just a lousy typist.
2006-07-17 14:04:44
72.   Bob Timmermann
Just in case you hadn't heard the song:

There must be some kind of way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
Theres too much confusion
I cant get no relief
Businessman they drink my wine
Plow men dig my earth
None will level on the line
Nobody of it is worth
Hey hey

It's by Bob Dylan, but made famous by Jimi Hendrix and the opening chords of the Hendrix song are used as background music for just about anything having to do with the 1960s.

I know that most of us know that, but I really just wanted an excuse to get the lyrics in.

2006-07-17 14:05:12
73.   Jon Weisman
64 - Isn't the underlying fear in the discussion that Colletti would give up a prospect for Boone, which is significantly different than signing him as a free agent?
2006-07-17 14:05:14
74.   Bluebleeder87


2006-07-17 14:05:34
75.   Greg S
Sorry to be on the late freight but there's a children's book with "Chase the cat" in the title?? Who knew that George Clinton was writing children's books now!
2006-07-17 14:09:16
76.   Jon Weisman
59 - Sometimes, when I'm writing the SI stuff, I keep asking myself what a DT commenter will think of it. And for today's column, it was Steve all the way.

31 - I do have to have some rationale for working at LACMA.

2006-07-17 14:09:27
77.   JoeyP
73. Not really. I dont think Boone is worth more than a C-level prospect, of which the Dodgers wont miss.

If there's a reason to dread acquiring Aaron Boone, its that management would again be choosing an established mediocre veteran over playing a youngter (Willy Aybar). Thats what would bum me out the most.

I dont really care about trading C-level prospects. I'd have just as much complaint whether Boone was signed of waivers, as if he was traded for. My problem is playing a guy with no upside, over a rookie that has upside.

2006-07-17 14:10:43
78.   Blu2
71 Make that 'reference'. And I'm too stupid to remember to use the free IESPELL on my browser, a free download from Internet Explorer. Mea Culpa
2006-07-17 14:10:47
79.   Bluebleeder87
"Theres too much confusion
I cant get no relief"

Isn't that the truth ruth!! (quote from do the right thing)

2006-07-17 14:11:15
80.   thinkblue0

And by the way, how does this resemble past deals by Colletti? When has Colletti gone out and traded for a broken-down position player? Lofton, Martinez, Furcal and Mueller don't apply. Neither does Hall, since the key to that trade was Hendrickson.

I think it resembles past deals in the sense that we're getting older veterans for minimal upgrade. For example, couldn't we have just kept Jackson and had him do equally as bad as Baez for a fraction of the cost?

As far as Mueller, I was never against that deal per se, but I was worried from the get go about his knee and I openly wondered if he'd be that much of an upgrade over Aybar. But again, Mueller is the veteran who gets the benefit of the doubt.

Same thing goes for the Hendrickson trade...The Seo for Hendrickson part doesnt' bug me too much, but why give up the cheap young back up catcher for another back up catcher who's older and makes more money? It makes no sense..the only explanation is that Ned likes the veteran more.

If Ned likes the veteran more, that's fine. I don't see anything wrong with that. But, it seems like he tends to lean towards going after the veteran when we already have an equally good part, that just happens to be young. It's not as if these older guys we've gotten are good...Baez, Carter, Hall etc's not as if these guys were great and had really down years, we just traded young guys for them who could probably do the same job for less money.

Also, I should have said something more along hte lines of "Aaron Boone is available". I didn't mean to to start a firestorm. I honestly don't think we'll end up with Aaron Boone, but the mention of him just makes me queasy because I actually could see Ned making that move because he's a veteran. I'm not ripping Colletti here, I'm basically just trying to figure out what the motivation would be for making this move should the rumor be true.

2006-07-17 14:14:34
81.   Jon Weisman
77/80 - Those are fair points. I still don't think the Dodgers will get Boone.
2006-07-17 14:16:07
82.   Blu2
77 JoeyP's point there is right on. There is no sentiment in baseball. As soon as a youngster can equal or exceed the production of an older player, the older player should be dumped.
2006-07-17 14:16:12
83.   dzzrtRatt
72 ...and the opening chords of the Hendrix song are used as background music for just about anything having to do with the 1960s.

Those opening chords, which are strummed on an acoustic guitar, were actually played by Traffic's Dave Mason.

I also find it odd that, as you say, the tune is used as a 60s anthem, since the album didn't come out until the fall of 1968. What'd they do for anthems for the first 7 1/2 years?

This album came out when I was in 8th grade. A friend of mine somehow got hold of the British import edition, that had a gatefold cover of many bare-breasted women. He kept it under his bed, and only showed it to me when his mom wasn't home.

2006-07-17 14:19:31
84.   Bluebleeder87
80-If Ned likes the veteran more, that's fine. I don't see anything wrong with that.

you see nothing wrong with that??? older players take longer to heel!! no disrespect bro, but it's commen sence.

2006-07-17 14:25:43
85.   natepurcell
cant Aaron's brother hook him up with some HGH to make him better?
2006-07-17 14:28:18
86.   dzzrtRatt
I wish Willie Aybar was really as good of a player as he's been depicted in these comments since his demotion. But if he was, Mueller wouldn't have been signed.

The reason Colletti signs "broken down" veterans (a bit of a misnomer, but I'll go with it) is that the spiffy veterans cost a lot more, and would do that thing everyone here rightly fears: block the progress of our prospects.

I'm sure Ned believes fervently Kemp will eventually displace Lofton, and that Repko and/or Guzman will also push their way into the outfield soon as well. But he hasn't mortgaged the future for players like Lofton or Cruz. They're rent-a-vets, every bit as disposable in Colletti's mind as in the minds of most DT posters.

Where many of you and Colletti differ mostly is in assessing when our prospects are ready to play. I am with Colletti in not wanting to rush them. Kemp was not ready. He has a to-do list of things to work on that are best worked on in AAA. He will get through that list, and will be on the team soon enough.

2006-07-17 14:32:04
87.   underdog
So, in the rare battle of Drew brothers tonight, {said in Fey Iron Chef host voice} who will reign supreme?

This is a rhetorical question.

2006-07-17 14:33:28
88.   underdog
84 "you see nothing wrong with that??? older players take longer to heel!! no disrespect bro, but it's commen sence."

I thought it was older dogs who take longer to heel?

(sorry, couldn't resist.)

2006-07-17 14:37:20
89.   Bluebleeder87

I'm cool bro, as long as it brought a smile to you're face :o)

2006-07-17 14:39:03
90.   D4P
Sometimes, when I'm writing the SI stuff, I keep asking myself what a DT commenter will think of it. And for today's column, it was Steve all the way

WWST (What Would Steve Think) would not be a bad motto for Flanders to live by.

2006-07-17 14:41:42
91.   the OZ
90 "What Would Steve Throw?" would be equally apt, and perhaps more appropriate.
2006-07-17 14:41:53
92.   JoeyP
I wish Willie Aybar was really as good of a player as he's been depicted in these comments since his demotion. But if he was, Mueller wouldn't have been signed.

What makes you not think Willy Aybar is good enough to play in LA?

If Bill Mueller was really as good of player as Ned Colletti thought he was, he'd have outproduced Willy Aybar. He didnt.

2006-07-17 14:45:41
93.   Bob Timmermann
You shall not crucify Willy Aybar upon this cross of Choi!
2006-07-17 14:49:22
94.   StolenMonkey86
92 - Mueller did until he was injured. When playing hurt, he wasn't getting the job done at all.
2006-07-17 14:52:24
95.   Kayaker7
72 You mean it's not by U2??!!!


2006-07-17 14:54:32
96.   underdog
89 It did, which is saying a lot on this blah Monday. :-)

I miss Mueller, sad that he couldn't last a whole season at least with the Dodgers before his knees gave out. He coulda been a contenda!

2006-07-17 14:56:40
97.   underdog
So Mark Alexander was called up to Vegas. Which I didn't realize until I saw Ken Gurnick's new Dodgers mailbag, which leads off with a question about him.
2006-07-17 14:56:43
98.   natepurcell
kershaw had a good outing today

4IP 2H 1er 0bb 4k

He seems to have really good control. on the season he has a 16:1 K:bb ratio in 11IP.

oh and Mattingly went 3-4 again. that seems to be the reoccuring theme everytime i check the GCL boxscores. His ba is up to .397. Not much power yet but im not expecting that right now.

2006-07-17 14:59:04
99.   screwballin
Plow men dig my earth

I thought that lyric was "dig my herb." Considering the context (drinking his wine, Dylan, the 60's), I think my brain just made that leap on its own. Or because it wanted to get stoned, maybe. :)

2006-07-17 15:00:51
100.   King of the Hobos
Mattingly went 3-4 today raising his average to .397, and he stole his 8th base (and was caught for the first time). Is he suppose to have patience or power? Because he's been lackluster at both so far.

Kershaw pitched 4 innings, striking out 4 and allowing a run. In 11 IP, he has 16 Ks and 1 BB, while only allowing 2 runs on 8 hits.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-07-17 15:01:53
101.   Jon Weisman
And it's Nate, by 4:08!
2006-07-17 15:02:50
102.   King of the Hobos
100 A full 4 minutes late, I really should have expected Nate to beat me. Guess I'll make sure to check next time :)
2006-07-17 15:05:41
103.   natepurcell
Mattingly went 3-4 today raising his average to .397, and he stole his 8th base (and was caught for the first time). Is he suppose to have patience or power? Because he's been lackluster at both so far.

Mattingly's suppose to have a pure bat. I personally dont have a problem with his lack of walks or lack of power right now. First season of proball, you should be trying to make consistent hard contact. The secondary skills will develop. Mattingly is 6'3 205lbs, the power will definately come. I dont think Kemp hit even one homerun when he was in the GCL.

Kershaws control has really impressed me. Usually high school pitchers who first start out in professional baseball are a little wild. It seems the transistion hasnt phase Kershaw.

2006-07-17 15:06:51
104.   underdog
{In Homer Simpson voice:} "Mattingly went 3-4 today raising his average to .397, and he... D'OH!"
2006-07-17 15:08:34
105.   JoeyP
It'd be alot more exciting if they put Kershaw on the Vero Beach team.
2006-07-17 15:08:51
106.   Jon Weisman
103 - It seems like a lower-level version of the Loney conundrum. When you're batting average is sky-high, do your walk opportunities effectively decrease - because you're just seeing so many pitches to hit?

Otherwise, I don't know why you wouldn't worry about walks in general.

I think the main thing regarding Mattingly is that 18 games is too soon to draw any conclusions.

2006-07-17 15:09:38
107.   Jon Weisman
104 - It was time for a classic D4P "... oh, never mind"
2006-07-17 15:10:41
108.   Jon Weisman
Meanwhile, Andrew Shimmin hasn't said anything fresh or edgy in at least an hour. He's become stale and serpentine.
2006-07-17 15:11:06
109.   natepurcell
It'd be alot more exciting if they put Kershaw on the Vero Beach team.

Kershaw is 18, why the rush?

2006-07-17 15:11:27
110.   King of the Hobos
103 I was just making sure that it is suppose to develop. Most things I've read use terms like what you used, "pure bat," which means very little to me (personally, it sounds like a slow fat guy, who relies purely on his bat, nothing else). I have yet to come anywhere near mastering the scouting lingo.
2006-07-17 15:13:04
111.   King of the Hobos
105 Kershaw would be crushed. I don't mind rushing college players if their production warrants it, but high schoolers need time to develop.
2006-07-17 15:14:48
112.   Blu2
Mueller did play well in the beginning, but he should not have been signed, They should have signed Nomar to play third, he would have jumped at the chance. Saenz and Choi for first until Loney was ready or Choi made him redundant. we certainly would have more home runs now and think how exciting it would be to hear the crowd doing the Choi Chant. Bob should write a song or poem about him...
2006-07-17 15:15:59
113.   natepurcell
Otherwise, I don't know why you wouldn't worry about walks in general.

Walks are important. But for an 18 yr old playing professional ball for the first time, solid contact rates and hitting the ball hard consistently means more to me. As a prospect moves up, their secondary skills should start to improve. Right now, when they are so young, its about projection. I just look at good projection indicators and scouting. Its hard to analyze prospects that are so young using the same standards we use for major leaguers because major leaguers are basically the finished product, 18-21 yr olds have a ton of room of growth.

2006-07-17 15:18:40
114.   thinkingblue

What's he hitting at Pawtucket again? But point taken that this team needs power.

2006-07-17 15:20:24
115.   natepurcell
It'd be alot more exciting if they put Kershaw on the Vero Beach team.

You might get your wish for next season. Depending if Kershaw holds up his peripherals when they promote him to Ogden soon. Billingsley started his first full professional year at Vero Beach, skipping low A Columbus entirely.

2006-07-17 15:21:17
116.   JoeyP
Looking over these stats from thebaseballcube, one trait I've found that successful MLB pitchers had at the minor league level, was HR/9.

Kazmir, Josh Johnson, Dontrelle Willis, Peavy...very low HR/9. I'm beginnig to think thats more important than K/bb.

2006-07-17 15:22:37
117.   natepurcell
and the majority of them have dominant K rates and k/bb ratios as well.
2006-07-17 15:25:42
118.   Xeifrank
Probably already mentioned, but relief pitchers need to be used correctly. The save stat has really messed up the way managers use their relief pitchers (good and bad ones). What good is it to evaluate relief pitchers if they are grossly misused.
vr, Xei
2006-07-17 15:25:48
119.   King of the Hobos
116 I'm not sure HR/9 is necessarily more important, but if Rookie leaguers can crush the heck out of the ball, something's wrong. The good news is that between Kershaw, Morris, Castillo, Wall, and Johnson, they've only allowed 2 homers.
2006-07-17 15:25:58
120.   JoeyP
Greg Miller also skipped low-A.
Its too bad he got hurt. He had one amazing 2003 season. He dominated in his 4 AA starts as an 18yr old.
2006-07-17 15:28:04
121.   JoeyP
The rookie leaguers have to get used to swinging with wooden bats instead of aluminum. Thats probably why there arent many homers in rookie league.
2006-07-17 15:30:12
122.   Bluebleeder87

I love how you think.

2006-07-17 15:31:47
123.   natepurcell
The rookie leaguers have to get used to swinging with wooden bats instead of aluminum. Thats probably why there arent many homers in rookie league.

That is certainly a factor I agree.

2006-07-17 15:31:56
124.   dsfan
Did Tiffany have any shoulder problems last year? As I recall, the concerns about him related to conditioning, delivery and HRs allowed, but I have no recollection of shoulder ailments. Too bad his rotator blew out. Kind of doubt he'll ever become much of a major leaguer.
2006-07-17 15:36:41
125.   King of the Hobos
ESPN Insider has mentioned that the Dodgers are in serious negotiations to acquire Soriano, with Guzman being the main component. However, it also mentions Washington scouts will be in Tacoma this week to watch Guzman pitch, so take it for what it's worth.
2006-07-17 15:38:09
126.   JoeyP
Jackson, Miller, Billingsley, and Orenduff all skipped one of the A leagues.

Tiffany pitched in both FSL and Savannah.

2006-07-17 15:38:17
127.   dsfan
J Guzman is Bowden's kind of guy.
2006-07-17 15:39:03
128.   MartinBillingsley31
2 things i was concerned about before the season started.
1) lack of power
2) lack of good pitching

I have no in house solution for #2 (maybe alexander).
But we have some in house options for #1, loney, laroche, aybar/saenz platoon, kemp, all of them can produce way more power than lofton and izturis.

I still don't think ned should trade prospects to improve #1 or #2, the AL teams are far superior over us and even the mets and cardinals are superior, i just don't think 1 or 2 more guys from trades are going to be the difference between winning the world series and not.
I still think ned should just stand pat and look at 2007 (and ned shouldn't have done the hendrickson deal).

2006-07-17 15:40:25
129.   JoeyP
Since the Nationals acquisition of Kearns, does that mean Ryan Church is even farther down the depth chart?

Maybe the Dodgers can help him escape.

2006-07-17 15:41:37
130.   natepurcell
Jackson, Miller, Billingsley, and Orenduff all skipped one of the A leagues.

Orenduff was a first round college draftee. Its normal for them to start out at high A.

2006-07-17 15:44:30
131.   natepurcell
Guzman for Soriano is interesting. It will probably be Guzman for 2-3 months of Soriano and 2 first round picks.
2006-07-17 15:44:46
132.   Bluebleeder87
Orenduff had back problems right?? I can almost garantee that his arm issue had something to do with his back.
2006-07-17 15:50:49
133.   blue22
131 - I'd rather hold onto Guzman for pitching, but getting Soriano wouldn't be a disaster.

That would certainly make the outfield an interesting place. I'd assume they'd do a Soriano/Drew/Ethier, left to right, on a regular basis.

2006-07-17 15:54:10
134.   JoeyP
Isnt Soriano a free agent at the end of the year? Would you give up Guzman for 2months of Soriano?
2006-07-17 15:55:26
135.   bobbygrich
132 Orenduff had exploratory shoulder surgery I believe.

109 Rhetorical question, right. Know your audience.

133 That would be interesting, but I don't believe much on ESPN Insider, and I am a subscribser.

2006-07-17 15:57:02
136.   GoBears
Ugh. I do not heart Soriano. Besides his attitude, his refusal to take a pitch, and his salary, where would he play? Certainly not in the IF, where the Dodgers are full and he is terrible. As for the OF, can he play CF and send Lofton packing? In that case, I would be interested. But if he can only "play" LF, then who sits? Ethier? No thanks. Soriano, Drew, and Ethier, with Drew in CF would be OK, but Little has eschewed every opportunity to put Drew in CF to date. And do we know if Ethier has the arm for RF?

Color me unenthused.

2006-07-17 15:58:16
137.   natepurcell
Isnt Soriano a free agent at the end of the year? Would you give up Guzman for 2months of Soriano?

Well its Soriano+ 2 first round picks unless we sign him long term.

2006-07-17 15:58:52
138.   bobbygrich
134 Depends how you view it, you could try to resign him, you could also turn him into two more draft picks (which could be useful if you think you are going to be active in the free agent market yourself).

It lot depends on how high you project him. I certainly see a corner outfielder with lots of hitting potential but if you like your other outfield and corner infield depth, and you don't think you will have a spot for him for the next few years, then maybe you have to move him.

2006-07-17 16:00:35
139.   JoeyP
137. In that case I'd probaby do it. Seems like a no-lose situation.

You'd think 2 first rounders>>>>Joel Guzman.

2006-07-17 16:01:58
140.   natepurcell
You'd think 2 first rounders>>>>Joel Guzman.

Maybe it depends. If Logan White is still here for next year's draft, then probably, the value of this trade for us will be greater then Guzman.

2006-07-17 16:02:02
141.   blue22
136 - One thing is for sure, Soriano is trying to cash in on his contract year. He could be the bat LA needs to power up the lineup.

There's still that little issue of pitching however...

I'm also not sure if Guzman is "enough" to get Soriano. Wouldn't be surprised if there ended up being more to a Soriano deal.

2006-07-17 16:03:00
142.   JoeyP
I still think Soriano makes more sense going to the Cardinals. Maybe they dont have the pieces to trade, but I think they are 1 big bat from being almost locks for the WS.

Adding Soriano to the Dodgers may give the team enough to get into the playoffs, but not sure if its enough to make the WS.

2006-07-17 16:05:38
143.   underdog
Wait, I thought you couldn't trade draft picks in baseball? Or do you mean supplemental/compensatory picks? Or am I just confused, which is just as possible.
2006-07-17 16:07:30
144.   blue22
Where does Mike Gonzalez sit in the Pantheon of Middle Relievers?

His name is getting floated around a lot in Pittsburgh rumors, and I think someone on Baseball Tonight said that Pitt should trade him to LA.

He's got a very live arm, and I believe he's still at least a year away from arbitration.

2006-07-17 16:07:43
145.   natepurcell

Soriano is going to be a type A free agent. If we don't sign him, the team that signs him will have to forfeit their first round pick to us (second round if they are top 15). We also pick up an additional supplemental first rounder. So we get two picks if we lose Soriano this winter.

2006-07-17 16:09:41
146.   Bluebleeder87
>>>Maybe it depends. If Logan White is still here for next year's draft, then probably, the value of this trade for us will be greater then Guzman.<<<

The owner ship is stupid!!! not to signing him again. period!!

they did let go of Evans so....

2006-07-17 16:09:51
147.   Xeifrank
Tonight's Dodger Sim Game:
Dodgers win 4-3 in 10 innings. Saito blew a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 9th. Furcal hit a solo HR in the top of the 10th that was the difference maker. Kent, Izturis and Furcal all had three hits, which makes this sim even the more unlikely. :) Byrnes had three singles for the D-Backs.


2006-07-17 16:10:24
148.   underdog
145 Ah, okay, I thought that might be what you meant. That does make it slightly less of a sting, but I'm still not crazy about trading prospects to rent a player for a couple of months, only to lose them and have to start the prospect search all over again.

I do like the Mike Gonzalez idea, though. (If he can be had relatively cheaply.)

2006-07-17 16:13:22
149.   JoeyP
Kent, Izturis and Furcal all had three hits, which makes this sim even the more unlikely.

Well, Izzy isnt with the team.
So maybe you can re-simulate the game with Lucille in there.

2006-07-17 16:19:48
150.   Blu2
141 More? No problemo! They'll need a replacement outfielder or two...Choose from Lofton, Cruz, and LeDee. Or take all of them...How about a nice relief pitcher....
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-07-17 16:20:27
151.   Bluebleeder87

so good news for Izzy? I'm happy for him, I hope it was a boy.

2006-07-17 16:21:21
152.   underdog
How'd the Dodgers sim do in the 4 games in St Louis? I assume it didn't predict a sweep, but perhaps was close?
2006-07-17 16:28:35
153.   underdog
James Loney is #1 on the Baseball America prospect "Hot Sheet":

1. James Loney, 1b, Dodgers (Triple-A Las Vegas)
Loney has been knocking on the top spot's door for a couple of weeks now, and he has finally gotten there. The 22-year-old doesn't have great bat speed but clearly has learned to adjust to the skills he has. After going 6-for-11 in a short week, Loney is now hitting .489 in July and .391/.434/.577 on the season. Even before Howie Kendrick was promoted to the big leagues, Loney was leading the minors in hitting.

2006-07-17 16:28:41
154.   Blu2
148 I don't think they (Dodgers) will do the deal unless he agrees to a contract extension. Might be more players on both side involved. I'd kinda like to see this happen. It may not work out well but it at least would show he's trying to improve the team. Trading for another candidate for the hospital ward or old folks home just doesn't feed the bulldog...
2006-07-17 16:28:55
155.   dzzrtRatt
151 You're a regular Lucca Brazzi.
2006-07-17 16:29:45
156.   underdog
... and Scott Elbert's #3.

2006-07-17 16:30:09
157.   Bluebleeder87
Matt Kemp: Individual Stats (Batting)
Jacksonville Suns 04/06 06/02 48 199 38 65 15 2 7 34 105 20 38 11 2 .402 .528

I hope they update his #'s soon

2006-07-17 16:33:10
158.   dzzrtRatt
I'm dizzy with the swift decline in Joel Guzman's DT stock. You'd actually let him go for two or three months of Soriano?

Couldn't he just be having some growing pains? He got a little p'd off at being sent back to the minors and suddenly he's a dead man around here?

I realize it's wonderful to have more draft picks, but the fact is, you're only increasing your odds of drafting a major league star by a tiny increment with each additional draft choice; wheras Guzman was seen as someone who could be a serious contributor, if not a star, within a couple of years.

He was called up because of injury, not because he'd played his way into the spot. Let him cook awhile longer.

2006-07-17 16:35:09
159.   underdog
Just for the record, (if we're keeping a scorecard), I'm firmly in the Keep Guzman Over Renting-a-Vet (like Soriano) Camp.
2006-07-17 16:35:31
160.   Tom Meagher
I guess I'm late to this one, but I think Cliff and Studes have it mostly right earlier on in the thread - the very small sample sizes involved in relief pitching make it harder to evaluate talent simply on the basis of season to season production. Obviously, that does not mean you throw out past production in projecting the future, but rather need to sharpen your regression coefficients.

That being said, I think - though don't know - that variability in relief pitching talent is higher than for starting pitching. There are a number of theoretical arguments to support this. For one, there is almost an inherent sample bias, since most relievers were, as Jon points out, failed starters. That is to say, to be an effective starter in the high minors and the majors one has to continue to put up good numbers, save the occasional Dewan Brazelton. While I don't think one can easily identify which players are 'flakey', I think it's a fair assumption that there are a number of relief pitchers whose actual performance (as opposed to measured performance) fluctuates because they don't stay committed to a type of conditioning for very long, or because they have a major problem maintaining their mechanics for long stretches of time, etc.

In addition, on the whole relievers use fewer pitches than starters. I am far from expert when it comes to pitching, but intuitively I would imagine that the particular skill of throwing a particular pitch might be more likely to come and go than other baseball skills, and if a reliever isn't hitting his spots with the curve, for example, then they don't have a lot of outs.

Moreover, when a reliever is performing well, their usage is often altered. A one-time mop-up long relief guy with a few strong months can be made into a one-inning set-up man. A set-up guy on fire can quickly find himself being used more often. I don't put any stock into the talk of relievers needing defined roles, but that doesn't mean that different relievers aren't better suited toward different usage patterns, and I wouldn't be surprised by discovering that certain pitchers are much more/less effective when used in a certain way. If a change in reliever usage has never caused a significant change in pitch selection and/or mechanics, I'd be surprised. The point is that starters are used in the same way every time out, and the different uses of relievers should likely increase their performance variability (and not just their measured performance variability).

There's another small point in there that relates to game theory, since a starter generally can't change approach much from start to start, but a reliever may be tempted to pitch very 'situationally' in a way that manifests itself in a different type of performance. I don't know how to flesh this out with an example, it's merely speculation.

I feel pretty confident in the general argument that relief performance fluctuates more (again, in terms of actual skill/talent/performance rather than in terms of measured performance), but not at all confident venturing a guess on the magnitude of it. I do know that projecting a starter into a reliever's role is much easier than the other way around. And I do know that you'll increase your projective accuracy quite a bit by defining relievers and starters as different populations with different regression equations.

All that being said, from a mathematical standpoint you would probably expect to find much of the same variability detailed in Jon's article if you took only 40% of each SP's innings in a given year and compared them y-t-y and only looked at how often they were in the top 45%. The issue is principally one of sample size, but Jon is, IMO, definitely onto something in suggesting that much more needs to be done to effectively evaluate a reliever's future.

I would suggest that the potential next sabermetric wave will be in becoming more granular in looking at pitcher performances, using pitch-by-pitch data much more effectively. The shift toward batted ball data has been fascinating and has largely coincided with my own sabermetric coming of age, but talking about pitchers' ability to induce grounders, avoid line drives, and so forth seems to be either missing the point or arrested in its development if it's not coupled with a look at what the pitchers are throwing. I realize that could be interpreted in a reactionary way; all I intend is that if batted ball data is going to teach a lot about pitchers, most of that will be unlocked by coupling it with data about pitch type and location. And perhaps that might carry with it greater advances toward the discovery and maintenance of relief talent than it would toward starters.


And re: Soriano rumors- you only get a draft pick for a FA that has been offered arbitration. Offering arbitration to Soriano - let alone re-signing him - is a truly frightening prospect.

2006-07-17 16:37:37
161.   LAT
146. The owner ship is stupid!!! not to signing him again. period!!

What time does the owner ship sail?

Can't even figure out the rest of that sentence.

2006-07-17 16:41:25
162.   natepurcell
And re: Soriano rumors- you only get a draft pick for a FA that has been offered arbitration. Offering arbitration to Soriano - let alone re-signing him - is a truly frightening prospect.

Soriano is basically assured to get a multi year deal. He is arguably the top bat available on the free agent market this year. I dont see how you cannot offer him arbitration.

2006-07-17 16:42:40
163.   confucius
161 You don't need to critcize his grammar. Just let it go if do not understand it.
2006-07-17 16:44:53
164.   confucius
Yeah, I doubt highly that he would accept arbitration. So many teams will be interested in him since he is an outfielder now.
2006-07-17 16:46:22
165.   LAT
163. At least I can see why you suggest I ignore sentences that make no sense.
2006-07-17 16:46:29
166.   Bluebleeder87

so you think the Dodgers will sign him??

2006-07-17 16:48:17
167.   Bluebleeder87

the love ship?? My spelling is bad (I'm sorry) :o)

2006-07-17 16:50:48
168.   LAT
167. I was just kidding around. My spelling/typing is really bad. I have been urging Jon to include spell check next to the submit button.
2006-07-17 16:51:44
169.   Jon Weisman
160 - Thanks for all that, Tom.

146/161/163 - I've been thinking about whether to say something about Bluebleeder's frequent typos. Earlier this year, criticizing other people's spelling and grammar became an inflammatory issue, and in the end it just wasn't worth it.

On the other hand - and I say this with trepidation, because Bluebleeder came to the DT night at the ballpark and was so nice to me - I think there is something to be said for having enough consideration for your fellow commenters to try harder to avoid mistakes. And I think it's in the spirit of this site to have a heightened level of dicussion on this site. None of our comments are so urgent that they can't be proofread, that we can't look up correct spellings. And since other commenters are doing the same thing, maybe it is time to ask you, Bluebleeder, to do the same.

2006-07-17 16:52:11
170.   Bluebleeder87
my typing is great, but spelling is well...
2006-07-17 16:55:32
171.   Blu2
BlueBleeder, Google IeSpell. It is a free download from InterNet Explorer that will do spelling checks for you. It isn't perfect, Proper Names confuse it as well as 'funny' words we've made up and it can't help your sentence construction or syntax but it will find your spelling errors. Now if I can just remember to use it....
2006-07-17 16:58:22
172.   blue22
160 - Get that man his own blog!
2006-07-17 16:58:23
173.   Blu2
169 Any possibility of adding an edit feature so I can clean up my messes when I read them after posting or someone else points out the error?
2006-07-17 16:59:38
174.   Jon Weisman
173 - I'll take it up with the Wizard.
2006-07-17 17:00:27
175.   Bluebleeder87
{169}jon--that we can't look up correct spellings. And since other commenters are doing the same thing, maybe it is time to ask you, Bluebleeder, to do the same.

I will try harder, [broken ego coming thru] {jk} I totally understand

2006-07-17 17:01:41
176.   confucius
169 What does the level of discussion have to do with spelling? Spelling is not correlated to critcal thinking. If I thought I had to check to see if every word I wrote was spelled properly I would not post on this site.

Sounds pretty snobby to ask someone to use spell check.

2006-07-17 17:02:22
177.   Bluebleeder87
spell check will be my best friend from now on.
2006-07-17 17:02:24
178.   Jon Weisman
175 - Thanks. Honestly, some of it is just people - not just you - reading over their stuff before posting, as opposed to words we don't know know how to spell. None of us are perfect, but there are some fixes we can make.
2006-07-17 17:02:29
179.   underdog
169 Very good way of putting it all, Jon.

I have to say that I personally don't have a problem with typos or the occasional misspelled word (I consider myself a good speller and am an editor, and yet I'm prone to complete breakdowns at the keyboard for some reason). So I don't think it's fair to expect the same of others. (IeSpell is a good suggestion, btw.) My concern, if it can even be called that, is more with coherence. Too many incoherent postings (from any combination of us) can clutter up this board like graffiti, and it also means that even if one has a good point to make people won't take it seriously because they can't find the point. Anyway... hope you're not feeling discouraged from posting rather than encouraged to keep posting and maybe with a bit more careful editing? :-)

Meanwhile, my fingers are crossed for the Dodgers to get back on the winning track tonight.

2006-07-17 17:05:23
180.   Bluebleeder87

but you also have to think of other people, I truly understand other posters mentality

2006-07-17 17:05:25
181.   Tom Meagher
Soriano was awarded $10m in arb this season. As a FA in arb he'd make at least $13m, I'd assume.

There's no way that Soriano is a $13m player Even in the great season he's having at present, he's only been about 12 runs above an average LF. A +20 run player simply is not worth eight figures. Given that we are only talking about ONE half season and that evaluating talent generally requires a large sample and age adjustments, he really isn't close. If he continued his current production over the next 300 PA, I'd have him at +13 against an NL avg LF next season. That's a $6m player, roughly. And position flexibility doesn't garner extra credit when you are terrible at your other position.

That does not mean that Soriano won't get signed for a big multi-year deal this season. However, his being in a position to avoid arbitration is far from a given. For one, there's no guarantee that he'll finish this season at his current pace - it will likely be the other way around. If he finishes at, say, .270/.335/.510 - which is arguably generous - I am not confident that GM's will be chomping at the bit to give him 4y/40m. That doesn't mean it won't happen, but it also would be silly to assume it would. Given that Soriano could, you know, slump, and finish .250/.315/.480 or whatever, I think it's a fair point to argue that 'two first rounders' is not a safe bet (even putting aside that only 15 teams would give up a true first rounder and even then their higher pick may be used to compensate a different team).

My point was not that trading for Soriano is inherently terrible - though I would be quite surprised if it went well, even with Bowden on the other end of the phone. My point was that, existentially, offering arbitration to Soriano is a frightening proposition. Nearly as frightening as signing him to a long-term deal.

2006-07-17 17:05:41
182.   Jon Weisman
176 - I don't really want to fight about this, but spellcheck is actually the least snobby thing imaginable. It's the great equalizer, or near that.

I do think that good spelling and grammar gives your words more authority. I'm not saying all great thinkers are great spellers, but why can't spelling and grammar be of value here when it's of value elsewhere? And again, I'm not asking for perfection.

2006-07-17 17:07:33
183.   natepurcell
heh, Weaver gives up a GS to McCann.
2006-07-17 17:09:28
184.   blue22
181 - Given his preference for second base, and Kent's extension, would he even accept arbitration with LA based on his positional status?

I bet he starts '07 in NY with the Mets at second.

2006-07-17 17:10:45
185.   Bluebleeder87
that's why I love coming here Jon, You have a way of making people feel welcomed (even though we come from different back grounds) kudos.
2006-07-17 17:11:47
186.   JoeyP
McCann's been on fire.
Tough game for Weaver to pitch. The Braves have been pounding the ball lately.

I wouldnt be surprised if Weaver is released by the Cards once Mulder is activated in a month or so.

2006-07-17 17:12:27
187.   blue22
184 - Though rethinking that, I believe that his "preference" for 2nd base had more to do with him maximizing his contract year push, as opposed to some deep love of the infield.


2006-07-17 17:12:35
188.   D4P
An "edit" feature can become a bit of a double-edged sword, if it falls into the wrong hands. While most posters around here are no doubt honest and trustworthy, I have witnessed less scrupulous posters on other boards make a statement, only to edit it later and then to deny that they ever made it in the first place. This is not necessarily a big deal, but it can be at least somewhat undesirable in some cases.
2006-07-17 17:13:34
189.   D4P
I believe that his "preference"

Discussions of Jeff Kent's "preferences" may not be suitable for some viewers.

2006-07-17 17:14:35
190.   underdog
183 Why couldn't we have faced Weaver this past weekend? Sigh. (I realize we face him next weekend, but, boy... it would have at least giv en the Dodgers a chance to save face.)
2006-07-17 17:14:44
191.   bobbygrich
Weaver is scheduled to pitch against Chad on Sunday, maybe we should do another gathering though I think we should try the Friday night game against Washington (Steve Garvey Bobblehead night). Any thoughts.
2006-07-17 17:14:56
192.   Bob Timmermann
Jon welcomes everybody here as they long don't swear or have writing credits for "Becker."
2006-07-17 17:16:31
193.   Bluebleeder87
I'm not a Soriano guy, but his bat dose intrigue me.
2006-07-17 17:16:34
194.   D4P
writing credits for "Becker."

I believe those are referred to as "demerits"

2006-07-17 17:16:35
195.   Bob Timmermann
Does a Steve Garvey bobblehead come with its own bankruptcy petition?

You can shake the doll and have the head move side to side to show how Garvey answers the question, "Can you pay for this?"

2006-07-17 17:18:21
196.   confucius
Re-read 161. I'm not saying you should not try and spell properly. You just should not be mocked for making mistakes.
2006-07-17 17:19:24
197.   Jon Weisman
192 - Writing credits for Becker? No, I can't discriminate like that.

If you are on this list, you are still welcome.

2006-07-17 17:20:00
198.   Jon Weisman
196 - I agree with that.
2006-07-17 17:22:46
199.   jystakes
For what it's worth, I hung out with a very very high-level officer of Devil Rays over the weekend, and was giving him a hard time for fleecing the Dodgers' farm system for his junk. He had a big grin from ear to ear. He said they couldn't wait to get rid of Baez and Carter, so even though Jackson has been bad and Tiffany has been hurt, it was (still is) worth the risk. Also, the Dodgers wouldn't trade Seo for Hendrickson straight up in the beginning of the forward a few months later after Hendrickson has a career first half, and here we are adding a top catching prospect into the trade. They are very pleased all the way around. Don't mean to revisit a tired issue, but just thought some might find it interesting.
2006-07-17 17:23:02
200.   confucius
182 One more thing and I'll drop this for good. I said that asking someone to use spell check was snobby.

I didn't say using it was snobby. So your great equalizer comment twisted my words a bit.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-07-17 17:24:25
201.   Bob Timmermann

So does that mean Nancy Travis posts here?

2006-07-17 17:26:12
202.   confucius
195 I wonder if the Bobble Head comes with bobble head children from many different mothers.
2006-07-17 17:26:39
203.   bobbygrich
As I watch reruns of Becker (can't sleep, too hot), I was never quite sure what they wanted to do, was it a workplace sitcom, a outside work gathering place program, was Ted Danson supposed to be the voice of reason surrounded by crazy characters. They had some good supporting characters but the wacky sexy office assistant and the oversexed annoying guy never really developed beyond that.

And finally, I don't think the show ever allowed any sexual tension between Terry Farrell's character and Becker.

But it still beats informercials at 1:30 a.m.

2006-07-17 17:27:30
204.   Jon Weisman
200 - Fine, but I still don't think asking to proofread is snobby.
2006-07-17 17:27:52
205.   King of the Hobos
Izzy's daughter was born a few hours ago, and she's doing well. Also, Saenz is playing 3B tonight, rather than Martinez.
2006-07-17 17:28:08
206.   Bluebleeder87

I actually think that's funny

2006-07-17 17:28:11
207.   confucius
Man I wish Weaver was starting for the Dodgers tonight. It's a real shame Ned couldn't pull that trade off. :)
2006-07-17 17:28:21
208.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open.
2006-07-17 17:28:36
209.   Suffering Bruin
178 I got no problem with spelling and typing but what about factual errors? You're not going to all of a sudden crack down on those, right? Because that would eliminate something like half of my posts.
2006-07-17 17:36:03
210.   Blu2
181 There is no way I am qualified to say whether or not Soriano is worth $13M next year. I got it, let's compare him to J D Drew who everyone knows is a great player and worth every nickel of the $11M he's getting. I don't have the stats so would one of you better informed posters please display Mr. Drew's numbers next to Mr. Soriano's so we can more informed judge how much money he is worth? Thank you.
2006-07-17 17:36:52
211.   Bluebleeder87

Sufferng bruin is my kind of guy, but I totally understand other posters/boggers. I remember you very well from our DT get together Bruin. :o)

2006-07-17 17:43:38
212.   bobbygrich
199 Lets face it, Baez's (and Carter's) contract had a lot to do with that deal too. In a division where you are destined to finish last, how valuable is a closer.

My hunch is that the Dodgers could say the same thing, they did not see Edwin in their future, his value was droppig, if they kept Jackson and he had the year like he having now and with his options running out after this year, how much would you get for him when teams know that you have to put him on your 25 man roster next year.

Just because he is young, doesn't mean he will get any better.

Look, I know people don't like the philosophy of some of the deals but I think that bias is going to cloud any discussion about potential deals and the direction of the club.

I know I am in the vast minority but I don't think the Rays fleeced the Dodgers and I think it is very unprofessional for someone in management for another team to say that even if it is off the record. If that got back to me, I would make sure that I told all my colleagues in the business about that.

2006-07-17 17:43:48
213.   Suffering Bruin
211 Thanks for that. It's good to place faces with the people. The next DT get-together can't come soon enough.
2006-07-17 18:00:58
214.   dzzrtRatt
199 Those guys running the Tampa Bay Devils Rays are baseball geniuses!
2006-07-17 18:05:29
215.   Suffering Bruin
210 I sense biting sarcasm in the comment. I like sarcasm myself. I think it gets a bad rap though it can be hurtful. I don't think the comment is meant to be hurtful, just biting in a way. But I digress...

What the hey, I'll take a shot. But keep in mind, I'm doing something called "research" here and I hate doing the damn research. That's what Bob is for. I act all ignorant and ask in an innocent way "what dis mean?" and Jon or Bob or some of the other terribly bright people here will respond and then I go tell my friends and take credit for it. It may not be all that ethical but it makes me look smart. But I digress...

Soriano (season/career): 281/352/572 280/320/500

Drew (season/career): 283/376/462 286/391/509

By a marvelous coincidence, both players have to date played in 895 games on the button. Soriano is in his eighth season, Drew in his ninth.

The principal differences are health and OBP and you know who has the edge in both categories. Personally, I think Drew is a hidden superstar, a guy you can build a team around when he is healthy (the key being the last four words there). Soriano is a player who makes a lot of noise and has hit for more power but I don't want to pay 13 million for a guy who doesn't do everything well. Drew does it all well... when he's healthy.


Okay, I'm tired now.

2006-07-17 18:06:58
216.   Suffering Bruin
199 As a Dodger fan, let me just say thanks for that feedback and... ouch.
2006-07-17 18:09:06
217.   GoBears
Asking someone to use spell check [is] snobby.

I couldn't disagree with this more, and I'm not directing this at confucius in particular, because I've seen this sentiment expressed countless times. When you write something for a public forum (or even just for your teacher) you're asking other people to read it. It is incumbent upon you to make what you write as readable as possible. Perfection isn't expected, but the pursuit of perfection is. To err is human. To be expected to try to minimize your errors is basically to be expected to be a polite human.

For my students (and this is in college) I warn them ahead of time that I will give them 4 free typos, but that each additional typo will cost them a full letter grade. The only reason I give them 4 freebies is that I realize that some typos will sneak past the checker (when the incorrect word is actually a word). Sounds draconian, right? The substance of their work is not necessarily compromised by typos (except when the typos make it impossible to understand). But I'm punishing them for being rude to me (or the TA who has to read the paper). It takes no time at all to run a spell-check, and not to do so is just plain impolite. The students are offended in prospect, but darned if their second papers aren't virtually typo-free, and MUCH easier to read (second papers because some of them don't believe I'll follow through on the first). The penalty becomes irrelevant except as a deterrent. (And yes, I cut non-native speakers a little extra slack, but grammar checkers take care of their most common errors).

Now, this is a blog, not a term paper, and checking one's spelling takes a little more effort than in a word-processing program, so of course I don't advocate that we start sniping at every typo we see. But the effort is still minimal, and it is still more polite than not caring. Moreover, there is a preview function, and it's easy enough to clean up one's own mess, or at least try to.

It is not surprising that some folks spell better than others or type more precisely than others. So typos in a forum like this one don't bother me until they reach the point that I can't understand the substance.

What does boggle the mind is that anti-intellectualism has reached the point that asking for some attention to proper spelling (to say nothing at all about actually achieving it) is now considered snobby.

2006-07-17 18:12:42
218.   DXMachina
188 - One way you can handle that is to identify edited comments with a disclaimer at the bottom, something like "Edited by (insert commenter name here) at {time and date}." Not a perfect solution, but at least it can show that the comment was changed somehow.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.