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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
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Preliminary NL Starting Rotation Rankings
2007-12-09 21:18
by Jon Weisman

Based on the information supplied by Dodger Thoughts commenters - many thanks, all - I am trying to rank the starting rotations of the National League. Here's a preliminary look. I awarded teams points based on the following:

  • 0 points: below-average pitcher
  • 1 point: mystery pitcher - wildly inconsistent pitcher or above-average recent track record but with dubious health
  • 1 point: young, up-and-coming minor-league pitcher with above-average potential in 2008
  • 2 points: average to above-average pitcher
  • 3 points: above-average pitcher
  • 4 points: super above-average pitcher

    I looked at three-year trends, with the most weight on the 2007 season. I reserve the right to revise the points I gave individual pitchers and in turn the team rankings. Meanwhile, I still see this as a collaborative effort. If you see something you disagree with, or a team that is missing a pitcher, by all means, offer your suggestions or corrections in the comments below. Also, if you'd like to suggest a way to tweak the point system - without losing too much of its simplicity or joie de vivre - let me know.

    As far as the Dodgers are concerned, right now there's no doubt that the acquisition of an above-average pitcher could all but ensure the team has the best rotation in the league. But even without that acquisition, the Dodgers sit near the top. (However valid or invalid this point system is, the talent the Dodgers have compared to other teams is clear.) No NL team has more than three clearly above-average starters.

    14 Brewers
    13 Braves
    13 Dodgers
    13 Padres
    12 Giants
    11 Diamondbacks
    11 Mets
    11 Rockies
    10 Cubs
    10 Phillies
    9 Astros
    9 Reds
    6 Cardinals
    6 Pirates
    5 Marlins
    3 Nationals

    Team-by-team breakdowns
    (Remember, more details about individual pitchers can be found in this thread.)

    14 Brewers

  • Above-average (9): Ben Sheets, Carlos Villenueva, Yovani Gallardo
  • Average to above-average (4): Jeff Suppan, Chris Capuano
  • Up-and-coming (1): Manny Parra
  • Below-average (0): David Bush, Claudio Vargas

    13 Braves

  • Above-average (6 points): John Smoltz, Tim Hudson
  • Average to above-average (4): Tom Glavine, Chuck James
  • Mystery (1): Mike Hampton
  • Up-and-coming (2): Jair Jurrjens, Jo-Jo Reyes
  • Below-average (0): Dan Smith, Jeff Bennett

    13 Dodgers

  • Above-average (9): Chad Billingsley, Brad Penny, Derek Lowe
  • Mystery (1): Jason Schmidt*, Hong-Chih Kuo*
  • Up-and-coming (3): James McDonald, Clayton Kershaw, Scott Elbert/Jonathan Meloan
  • Below-average (0): Esteban Loaiza, D.J. Houlton, Eric Stults
    Comment: Even if either takes the mound regularly, I don't expect Schmidt or Loaiza to turn in season performances that are better than average. On the other hand, I give Kuo a point despite his questionable health. Overall, one point combined for those three pitchers seems fair.
    Update: After much unresolved debate below, I've decided to put both Kuo and Schmidt in this spot but keep the team point total the same.

    13 Padres

  • Super above-average (4): Jake Peavy
  • Above-average (3): Chris Young
  • Average to above-average (2): Greg Maddux
  • Mystery (1): Randy Wolf
  • Up-and-coming (3): Justin Germano, Wade LeBlanc, Will Inman
  • Below-average (0): Jack Cassel, Clay Hensley, Tim Stauffer, Cesar Ramos

    12 Giants

  • Above-average (6): Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum
  • Average to above-average (5): Barry Zito, Noah Lowry, Kevin Correia
  • Up-and-coming (1): Jonathan Sanchez
  • Below-average (0): Nick Pereira

    11 Diamondbacks

  • Super above-average (4): Brandon Webb
  • Average to above-average (4): Doug Davis, Micah Owings
  • Mystery (1): Randy Johnson
  • Up-and-coming (3): Yusmeiro Petit, Esmerling Vasquez, Max Scherzer
  • Below-average (0): Edgar Gonzalez, Dustin Nippert, Enrique Gonzalez

    11 Mets

  • Above-average (3): John Maine
  • Mystery (5): Oliver Perez, Orlando Hernandez, Aaron Hellman, Pedro Martinez*
  • Up-and-coming (3): Mike Pelfrey, Phillip Humber, Kevin Mulvey
  • Below-average (0): Jorge Sosa
    *extra point given to Martinez for his super above-average potential

    11 Rockies:

  • Above-average (6): Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook
  • Up-and-coming (5): Franklin Morales, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Hirsh, Greg Reynolds, Taylor Buchholz

    10 Cubs

  • Above-average (9): Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, Rich Hill
  • Up-and-coming (1): Sean Marshall
  • Below-average (0): Jason Marquis, Sean Gallagher, Kevin Hart
    Comment: I thought about giving Lilly one less point and Zambrano one more point, but it all evens out for now.

    10 Phillies

  • Above-average (9): Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Brett Myers
  • Mystery (1): Ryan Madson
  • Below-average (0): Adam Eaton, J.D. Durbin, Francisco Rosario, Zach Segovia, J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer

    9 Astros

  • Super above-average (4): Roy Oswalt
  • Mystery (1): Brandon Backe
  • Up-and-coming (4): Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Juan Gutierrez, Felipe Paulino
  • Below-average (0): Wandy Rodriguez, Woody Williams, Chris Sampson

    9 Reds

  • Above-average (6): Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo
  • Up-and-coming (3): Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Matthew Maloney
  • Below-average (0): Matt Belisle, Bobby Livingston, Tom Shearn

    6 Cardinals

  • Above-average (3): Adam Wainright
  • Mystery (1): Chris Carpenter*
  • Up-and-coming (2): Jamie Garcia, Anthony Reyes
  • Below-average (0): Joel Pineiro, Brad Thompson, Braden Looper, Mike Maroth, Mark Mulder, Mitch Boggs
    * Would give Carpenter two points if he were to come back before midseason

    6 Pirates

  • Above-average (3): Tom Gorzelanny
  • Average to above-average (2): Ian Snell
  • Up-and-coming (1): Ty Taubenheim
  • Below-average (0): Paul Maholm, Matt Morris, Zach Duke, John Van Benschoten, Yosian Herrera, Brian Bullington, Phil Dumatrait

    5 Marlins

  • Mystery (2): Anibal Sanchez, Josh Johnson
  • Up-and-coming (3): Rick VandenHurk, Andrew Miller, Daniel Barone
  • Below-average (0): Scott Olsen, Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Seddon

    3 Nationals

  • Mystery (3): John Patterson, Shawn Hill, Tim Redding
  • Below-average (0): Jason Bergmann, Matt Chico, Tyler Clippard, John Lannan, Joel Hanrahan, Mike Bacsik, Collin Balester

  • Comments (425)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2007-12-09 21:31:57
    1.   natepurcell
    By your rankings and opinion, there seems to be only two "aces" in the NL.

    Also, I think Gallardo should be in the above average category. His minor league track record combined with his 110 major league innings of 122 ERA+ pitching puts him basically in the same mold as a Billingsley.

    2007-12-09 21:33:06
    2.   Gagne55
    The problem with this is it makes no distinction between those who are below average with those who are atrociously awful.
    2007-12-09 21:33:26
    3.   bigcpa
    Nice reference- thanks to all who contributed. Why is it that in certain cases you assign points to 6-8 starters on a team? If you're trying to measure the starting 5, is it fair that the Mets have 8 guys contributing to their 5 slots? Maybe award the points by slot knowing that in the Mets case 30 starts may come from 3 guys.
    2007-12-09 21:34:36
    4.   Gagne55
    "By your rankings and opinion, there seems to be only two "aces" in the NL."

    Peavy, Webb, and Oswald make three.

    2007-12-09 21:35:17
    5.   natepurcell
    Just kidding, I missed Oswalt there. So thats three.
    2007-12-09 21:37:31
    6.   Jon Weisman
    1 - That helps explain why I think the term "No. 1 starter" is often misused and that you can't expect to have a so-called ace on your staff, let alone more than one.

    2 - I don't find that distinction particularly relevant, since atrociously awful pitchers usually get pulled from the rotation. If you have a bad staff, then you won't be able to do that as much, but then, you already have a bad staff.

    3 - Because no team goes through the season using only five starting pitchers. The fact that some teams have more options is relevant to a starting rotation's success. If they have more than five pitchers with above-average potential, that's relevant.

    2007-12-09 21:39:06
    7.   Jon Weisman
    1 - I'll take another look at Gallardo.
    2007-12-09 21:39:42
    8.   Xeifrank
    I'd give Schmidt more than zero points.
    vr, Xei
    2007-12-09 21:41:17
    9.   natepurcell
    Just curious, would Bedard be considered a super or just above?
    2007-12-09 21:43:11
    10.   berkowit28
    8 Agreed. Surely Schmidt's a Mystery pitcher (1), if nothing else. If Wolf is one...
    2007-12-09 21:44:28
    11.   underdog
    This looks pretty on-target overall. Nicely done, Jon, and all the contributors. Actually, with regards to the Dodgers, my only possible nitpick would be wondering about a system that would give Hong Chi Kuo one point and Jason Schmidt none. I'd least put them on equal footing at this point, as both have injury concerns, and part of me feels Schmidt, given his proven track record, should somehow sit above Kuo even if it's just reversing the points. I don't know, maybe that's just me though. But I think this all seems pretty fair, at least on first glance.

    You wouldn't have any of the Nats' youngest pitchers as up and coming, or better than below average? Maybe not..

    Anyway, this is useful.

    2007-12-09 21:45:04
    12.   underdog
    Or what 8 and 10 said, more succinctly.
    2007-12-09 21:45:54
    13.   bigcpa
    6 OK but you're saying the Mets will get 8 points out of their back 4 rotation slots (call it 130 starts). So an average of 2 pts/slot. But if each of the guys contributing to those start is a 1 point quality guy, in the aggregate they should be worth 4-5 points, not 8. I think you're double counting.
    2007-12-09 21:47:15
    14.   Jon Weisman
    Schmidt has been below-average two of the past three years and has had a malady that all but ensures a decline in performance, even if he takes the mound every fifth day. It's not that he couldn't have an above-average season, but I see no reason to think that he will, any more than the other 0-pointers.

    Anyway, like I said above, giving Kuo a point pretty much balances it all out. To put a finer point on it, you could say I gave each of them half a point.

    2007-12-09 21:47:48
    15.   Jon Weisman
    Kuo is above-average when healthy. That's why he got the point.
    2007-12-09 21:49:41
    16.   Jon Weisman
    13 - I'm not double-counting because each rotation slot has a max of four points.
    2007-12-09 21:50:46
    17.   Jon Weisman
    9 - I'd give Bedard 3 points, based on him only having had one super season, which was curtailed.
    2007-12-09 21:52:00
    18.   Jon Weisman
    16 - I'm not counting on any of those 1-point guys for the Mets to make a season's worth of starts. But they all could contribute.
    2007-12-09 21:52:33
    19.   Jon Weisman
    I believe that's my first 5 for 5!
    2007-12-09 21:56:20
    20.   Bob Timmermann
    We're all very proud.
    2007-12-09 22:00:25
    21.   bigcpa
    18 Let me ask it this way- I'm pretty sure the Mets front 4 will be Maine, Perez, Hernandez, Martinez. Are you saying the Mets #5 starters (Pelfrey, Humber, Mulvey) will combine to equal Brad Penny? I feel like those 3 guys should total 1 pt not 3.
    2007-12-09 22:02:28
    22.   Xeifrank
    as much as I would love to see Guo contribute something meaningful to the 2008 team, I'd rate Schmidt higher than him. Both are projected averaging around one K per inning and less hits than IPs, but Schmidt seems like a safer bet on the injury ledger.
    vr, Xei
    2007-12-09 22:04:05
    23.   das411
    JW, as awesome as this post is, I (and yes I am biased here) would definitely give Cole Hamels a 4 in this system instead of a 3. Before his arm injury at the end of August, Cole was top-3 in the league in wins and strikeouts, and finished with a 136+ ERA and, real ERA, in the smallest ballpark this side of Fenway! If doing all that at age 23 doesn't earn a Super Above Average but Oswalt's very very similar #s at age 29 do, I just might start wondering whether intangible things like "injury-prone-ness" count in your metric...

    And you may have missed my recap in that thread but Jamie Moyer needs to be in the Phils rotation instead of Lieber, and at this point he (the Ancient Mariner) is either a 1.5 or so if you are a young whippersnapper or a 2+ if you are 40 or over, right? :)

    2007-12-09 22:04:59
    24.   Eric Stephen
    I'm guessing, but Jon's saying the Mets' depth allows them to replace any of the first 4 starters should one get hurt, and that depth is reflected in this point system.
    2007-12-09 22:08:22
    25.   Jon Weisman
    22 - It just comes down to my thinking Schmidt's ceiling is lower. We can agree to disagree.

    21 - You're assuming that your choice for the Mets front four will make 32 starts each. I'm not.

    It comes down to this: the Mets get points for having a number of candidates to be above-average starters, most of whom are not virtual locks to be above-average. The double-counting you're worried about is already reduced by me knocking them all down from three or two points to 1.

    2007-12-09 22:11:11
    26.   Jon Weisman
    23 - I thought about making Hamels a 4. Ultimately, like with Bedard, you've got a pitcher who has had only one super season, in which he didn't even make 30 starts. I'm trying to be pretty conservative with awarding points.

    I'll add in Moyer.

    2007-12-09 22:11:38
    27.   Jon Weisman
    24 - is also correct.
    2007-12-09 22:12:35
    28.   Eric Enders
    I think that the merely "above average" rating for Hamels is appropriate, given that he's never even pitched a full season at any level, let alone a full above-average season in the majors.
    2007-12-09 22:17:32
    29.   Eric Enders
    Congratulations to the Phillies and Nationals for being the only teams in the league without a single up-and-coming pitcher.
    2007-12-09 22:17:56
    30.   dzzrtRatt
    Bottom line: Don't trade Kemp or Ethier for pitching. We have good enough pitching. We need above-average hitters who can mash average pitchers.
    2007-12-09 22:20:53
    31.   Jon Weisman
    Any up-and-comers that can contribute on 2008 that I'm missing? Let me know.
    2007-12-09 22:24:34
    32.   Brent T
    Maybe there's a nitpick or two worth going over, but this is a very useful exercise. No problems here with methodology. Great job everyone!

    Has someone emailed it to Colletti? I know he doesn't read blogs, so email it as a contribution from an up-and-coming journalist moonlighting for the Daily News.

    2007-12-09 22:29:13
    33.   Brent T
    Speaking of Colletti not reading blogs, I wonder if anyone else saw this Herm Edwards (K.C. Chiefs head coach) quote earlier this year:

    "Here's the concern -- in our society now, so many things come up on Web sites and Internet," Edwards said. "First of all, I don't even have the Internet. I wouldn't even know how to use it."

    At least we're not dealing with that.

    2007-12-09 22:29:46
    34.   Eric Enders
    Arguably, Meloan should be listed as an up-and-comer, since there's a significant chance he'll revert back to starting.

    Carlos Carrasco of the Phillies has already pitched half a season in AA at age 20, so maybe he should be listed. rates him the 28th best prospect in baseball, saying that "even if he spends all season in the Minors, we're still looking at a 22-year old ready to be the Phillies' No. 2 starter in 2009." Given their nonexistent rotation, I expect he'll get there in mid-2008.

    2007-12-09 22:32:29
    35.   Eric Enders
    Actually, I guess the Phillies rotation is stronger than I implied. However, they do still employ J.D. Durbin, which should count for minus three points or something.
    2007-12-09 22:37:10
    36.   Disabled List
    I like this. Is there any way to resolve the fact that some teams have more pitchers listed than others, and therefore might be unduly earning more points? Is that something even worth resolving?

    Anyways, I think Brett Myers and Aaron Harang might be rated too high, and I think Oliver Perez might be rated too low.

    2007-12-09 22:41:37
    37.   Jon Weisman
    36 - I want to reward depth. However, if I'm missing pitchers, that should be corrected.

    Looking at those pitchers, why do you thing their ratings should change?

    2007-12-09 22:42:37
    38.   natepurcell

    Harang is awesome.

    2005: 6.93 k/9ip ERA+ 112 211IP
    2006: 8.30 k/9ip ERA+ 124 234IP
    2007: 8.47 k/9ip ERA+ 125 231IP

    You can't get any more workhorse than that. He has been severely underrated.

    2007-12-09 22:44:27
    39.   Jon Weisman
    By the way, I'm willing to move Wolf down to 0 if it makes the Schmidt boosters happier.
    2007-12-09 22:45:18
    40.   MC Safety
    33 I would type a long, witty response defending blogs right now, but my fingers are bright orange from all the Cheetos ive been eating in my Mom's basement, so this will have to do. I bet 1,000 dollars Herm Edwards has the internet at his house.
    2007-12-09 22:45:31
    41.   Eric Enders
    FWIW, I agree with where Harang and Perez were placed. If anything, Harang has an argument for being bumped up a level, not down.
    2007-12-09 22:48:01
    42.   silverwidow
    I know he's not listed, but I'd give Hendrickson negative points.
    2007-12-09 22:49:43
    43.   Xeifrank
    39. No thanks! We stand by our pledge that Schmidt is not infinitely worse than Penny, Lowe and Billingsley! :)
    vr, Xei
    2007-12-09 22:52:49
    44.   Disabled List
    38 Those numbers are better than I thought. I retract. Harang might be seriously underrated, actually.

    37 I like Myers a lot, but he melted down in the Philly rotation last year and was an adventure in the bullpen. Perez was little rough in 05-06, but I think his performance last year merits average-to-above-average status.

    2007-12-09 22:53:13
    45.   das411
    EE, if there's anybody in the Phillies '08 rotation who should count for negative points, it's Eaton and not Durbin. And while Zack Segovia and J. A. Happ each got pounded in one start in 07 (an awful midsummer Mets series, iirc), they are both still younger than Mystery G/Kuo.

    But you enjoy all those "up-and-coming" pitchers the Dodgers have at the moment. Just let me know when your team ever has four starter slots filled by pitchers they drafted like the 07-08 Phils, whose "up-and-comers" have already come up!

    2007-12-09 22:54:31
    46.   silverwidow
    42 Super below-average (-1): Mark Hendrickson
    2007-12-09 22:59:57
    47.   Vishal
    jon, i'm realizing that perhaps i didn't give you enough info about the giants... their 5th starter candidate sanchez is not jesus, but actually jonathan. and for whatever reason i forgot to give you some of his minor league stats...

    2005 (A ball): 125 2/3 IP, 166K, 39BB, 4.08 ERA
    2006 (AA): 31 IP, 46K, 9BB, 1.16 ERA
    (AAA): 24 IP, 28K, 13BB, 3.75 ERA
    2007 (AAA) 20 2/3 IP 27K, 8BB, 2.18 ERA says this about him:

    Without a doubt, the candidate for the 5th spot in the rotation with the highest ceiling is 24-year old left hander Jonathan Sanchez, who in 250+ minor league innings, has struck out nearly 12 batters per 9 innings while allowing just over 7 hits. He began the year in the pen, but made four starts in September, struggling badly in his final two. Overall as a starter, he went 0-3 with a 7.16 ERA and a .353 BAA, although one bright spot was only 5 walks in 16.1 innings after walking nearly 6 per 9 IP in relief. He was relatively strong in his first two starts, though he will get a long look next spring unless his high potential finds him included in a deal for a hitter this winter.

    so, um, i'd probably put him in the "up-and-coming" category.

    sorry 'bout that.

    2007-12-09 23:01:12
    48.   MC Safety
    If Penny could find out a way to K guys like Harang we would be really scary.
    2007-12-09 23:02:45
    49.   Suffering Bruin
    Depending on your opinion of "super above-average," the National League seems woefully short in this category.

    NL ten years ago, pitchers that would be SAA, off the top of my head: Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, probably Hideo Nomo, Kevin Brown (yecch!), Tom Glavine... well, most of them were pitching for the Braves but it seems like there were more back then.

    Great research, folks, and a great list.

    2007-12-09 23:04:02
    50.   Vishal
    43 it's not a proportional system :P
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2007-12-09 23:10:00
    51.   Xeifrank
    50. ??
    vr, Xei
    2007-12-09 23:14:37
    52.   Vishal
    51 i meant that it's not 3/0 = infinite proportion, it's 3-0 = 3 notches above.
    2007-12-09 23:16:56
    53.   Eric Enders
    Looking at the numbers, the super-above-average list from after 1997 would have consisted of Martinez, Maddux, Brown, Glavine, and probably Smoltz. Schilling and (believe it or not) Ismael Valdes would have been borderline candidates.
    2007-12-09 23:30:47
    54.   Blue Mousse
    We can go one of two ways:

    1. If Haren is available w/o giving up Kemp, he's the only pitcher we should go after. If we can build a deal around Kershaw and Ethier, this is important not just for this year, but the next three years. If Kershaw can be as good as Haren in a few years, we would all be happy with that result. This is not like trading for Johan which would cost us 20-25 mil a year. Haren with his current contract is in essence a young pitcher that has become an ace, but yet is cheaper than the going rate for a #5 pitcher. Getting Haren would also allow us to let Lowe go and take the draft picks. I rather have Haren and the two draft picks than Kershaw, Ethier and Dejesus Jr.

    2. If Beane refuses to give up Haren w/o Kemp, then we hold tight and see if Pierre can be dealt w/o eating up any salary. We don't need to waste 30-40 mil on Kuroda who is an unknown. See if we can sign a Livan or Lieber for a one year contract with option similar to Wolf last year and have him battle Loaiza for that fifth spot.

    2007-12-09 23:38:08
    55.   Eric Enders
    54 "If Kershaw can be as good as Haren in a few years, we would all be happy with that result."

    I, for one, would not. Kershaw is the best LHP prospect in baseball in the last 25 years, probably. I hope that he will turn into a considerably better pitcher than Haren (a slightly above average pitcher who even in his career year was not among the 8 pitchers receiving Cy Young votes).

    2007-12-09 23:49:38
    56.   natepurcell
    I, for one, would not. Kershaw is the best LHP prospect in baseball in the last 25 years, probably.

    Stop it. He doesn't exist.

    2007-12-09 23:51:56
    57.   Vishal
    55 haren is a 26-year-old who had a 137 ERA+, almost 8K/9IP, and a K/BB ratio of 3.5

    yeah, i'm excited about kershaw and all, but still, that's nothing to sniff at.

    2007-12-09 23:57:31
    58.   Blue Mousse
    "Kershaw is the best LHP prospect in baseball in the last 25 years, probably."

    If that can translate to a guarantee that Kershaw would become the best LHP in baseball in 3 years, then great let's keep him. But pitching prospects aren't as predictable for a variety of reasons. If there is an ace available, that has already arrived and is in control for the next three years, then why not take the sure thing?

    I just think this is one of those rare situations where another flashier ace (Santana) is taking most of the bidding, while Haren considerably cheaper contract is flying under the radar. It seems like only Arizona is trying to go all out to get him. I would of felt the same if we didn't need Kemp's bat more than another ace.

    Also, if we don't get Haren, we would need to decide whether to resign Lowe for 18 mil a year in 2009 after Johan sets the market.

    I trust our scouting dept to draft other solid pitching prospects in the future, but I don't think we'll have many opportunities to trade for a #1 pitcher making 3 yrs 6 mil a year.

    2007-12-10 00:02:47
    59.   Eric Enders
    58 "I just think this is one of those rare situations where another flashier ace (Santana) is taking most of the bidding, while Haren considerably cheaper contract is flying under the radar."

    Yes, that's true. My problem is that I don't think Haren's a Santana-like ace. He's a good pitcher, no doubt about it. But he just had a year which may or may not be repeatable. And I'm not sure I like the idea of my GM, who's arguably in over his head anyway, trying to broker a deal with Billy Beane.

    2007-12-10 00:04:17
    60.   Vishal
    58 we would need to decide whether to resign Lowe for 18 mil a year in 2009

    oh, that one's easy to solve. we don't.

    heck, if johan hasn't signed an extension, we could just sign him then. or some other free agent ace. or if our prospects pan out, we won't need to.

    2007-12-10 00:07:34
    61.   Vishal
    59 that's a different story.

    i don't think ANYBODY is "santana-like". who's got anywhere NEAR the track record that santana has over the past 5-6 years? maybe peavy over the past 4 years or so is in that league... but that's about it. santana is a once in a generation, pedro- or clemens-level ace, i think.

    2007-12-10 00:18:24
    62.   Blue Mousse
    Yes, it would be scary to send Colletti one on one with Beane, but hopefully he sticks to his comment that he would have to be overwhelmed to trade Kemp.

    Haren has improved his K/BB ratio every year for the last three years and has shown durability during that time. Yes, Santana is still the better pitcher, but when you put Haren against the other three stars in the NL (Peavy, Oswalt, Webb), I feel that he fits right in. But the thing that stands out about Haren is that he is getting paid 6 mil a year for the next 3 years. I might be wrong, but I think Tomko is getting paid more.

    If you're really concerned that Haren can't keep improving or maintain his level of pitching, don't you have to feel that there's a better chance of Haren succeeding than Kershaw who hasn't pitched at the ML level yet?

    2007-12-10 00:36:49
    63.   regfairfield
    No love for my boy Dave Bush :(.

    While I could pick nits all day with this list (Dumatrait listed as up and coming for example) it does a very good job with the point I've been trying to make for a while: the Dodgers rotation is very well setup for the next year, and saying we need to replace E-Lo is just getting greedy. Thanks for doing the work here, Jon.

    2007-12-10 00:37:31
    64.   overkill94
    I don't think Carlos Villanueva can be considered "above average" at this point. He spent most of the year in the bullpen last year (he only made 6 starts) and while he's considered a good prospect, he has never been a blue chipper.

    I'm in the boat of having Schmidt at least be a mystery pitcher. There's a reason that most of us were pretty pleased by his signing last offseason - he's a quality pitcher when healthy. I think we can throw last year's stats out the window since Schmidt never threw at full strength. If he comes back healthy, I figure he'll put up something like a 4.20 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and about 7.5 K/9. The uncertainty of his health is the only thing keeping him from getting a 2 in my book.

    As for the statement that Kuo is "above-average" when healthy...have you seen his 7.42 ERA from last year? At this point in his career he still has more upside than Schmidt, but taking everything into account I'd still have Schmidt higher on any sort of ranking.

    2007-12-10 00:45:50
    65.   Xeifrank
    The possibility of Haren to the Diamondbacks scares me a little bit. Probably the same feeling Colletti had last year when the Giants were about to sign Juan Pierre to a four year deal.
    vr, Xei
    2007-12-10 00:47:01
    66.   Sagehen
    59 "And I'm not sure I like the idea of my GM, who's arguably in over his head anyway, trying to broker a deal with Billy Beane."

    Yeah, we all know how that turned out last time ...

    I am significantly more wary everytime I hear rumor of him talking with Tampa.

    (Your point is well taken, but he should get some credit for getting Ethier)

    2007-12-10 00:49:54
    67.   arbfuldodger
    A question to Canuck, Nate or whoever has a educated guess. Will Kershaw, McDonald & Elbert all start off in Jacksonville? And who will be in Vegas w/ Houlton & Stults?
    2007-12-10 01:20:55
    68.   CanuckDodger
    67 -- Elbert (if completely healthy) and Kershaw will start out in Jacksonville, but I see no reason for McDonald not to start out in Triple A. McDonald made 10 starts in Double A and ended up with an ERA of 1.71, with very good K and walk numbers. He has nothing more to prove at that level.

    With Houlton and Stults in Vegas should be Justin Orenduff, McDonald, and probably Chan-Ho Park since he signed a minor league deal with us. Mike Megrew and Greg Miller might also be in Vegas. And didn't Colletti just say something about Meloan being used in Vegas as a starter if he doesn't make the big team?

    2007-12-10 01:20:58
    69.   dodgergabe
    67 Long time lurker, don't post a lot but I'll give this a shot.

    Kershaw will almost certainly start at Jacksonville, and I doubt the Dodgers would send McDonald to Las Vegas, Elbert might start of at lower levels to ease him back and build up his arm strength but he'll probably get called up quickly. A Kershaw - McDonald - Elbert rotation has a lot of chance of happening next year for the Suns.

    It's possible that the Suns will have a better rotation than the Nationals for a part of 2008.

    2007-12-10 01:33:17
    70.   dodgergabe
    68 lol beaten by 3 seconds :)

    The reason I think McDonald will start at AA is because in 2004 Billingsley made 8 starts in Jacksonville and posted very good numbers but he was kept in Jacksonville the next year.

    Of course Bilingsley was much younger than McDonald is now so you're probably right Canuck.

    But as a Suns fan a Kershaw-McDonald-Elbert rotation would be awesome.

    2007-12-10 06:30:30
    71.   Daniel Zappala
    68 So the Dodgers may have 7 starters in Vegas, 8 if Meloan is converted? Do they anoint five and use the rest as relievers? Or would some be sent down or kept in Jacksonville as filler?
    2007-12-10 06:33:40
    72.   CharlieBrown
    I would downgrade Kyle Kendrick from "above average" to...I don't know, "mystery"/"up and coming"? I don't see how he can sustain an above average ERA with that K rate, or at least he should have to do it for more than 121 MLB innings before we put him in a class with Brett Myers and Cole Hamels.
    2007-12-10 06:41:24
    73.   Sam DC
    I think I could quibble on adding a point here or there to a couple of the Nationals -- but not sure what'd be gained re the big picture point here. Great project.
    2007-12-10 06:43:05
    74.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
    72 Interestingly, Keith Law suggested that Kyle Kendrick has no business being in a contender's rotation.

    That seems a bit harsh.

    2007-12-10 06:49:55
    75.   Sushirabbit
    Villanueva is definitely above average. He spent a good chunk of last year in Nashville. I also think it says alot about him that he pitched well in whatever situation the Brewers used him in (that might have also been part of the rise in his walks). In fact I'd rate him at just under Billingsley.

    I think the Brewers are pretty well setup with young pitching. Too bad they didn't have the money for Santana, because that would have been fun to see him there (not as fun as if he were a Dodger, though!). I expect Villaneuva, Gallardo, and Parra to be with the Brewers along time.

    2007-12-10 06:52:23
    76.   D Money
    It's not that i think Schmidt should have any points per se....
    i just think that if he is healthy, he is better than half the starters in the NL at least....

    1 point: mystery pitcher - wildly inconsistent pitcher or above-average recent track record but with dubious health

    i also dont get the below avg. 2 of last 3 years for schmidt.
    i see and injury ruined 07, a very good 06, and an average 05. and the 3 years before that he was lights out.

    basically i am in the give schmidt a point mob that is forming

    2007-12-10 06:54:58
    77.   D Money
    to compare, Wolf's last four years are worse than Schmidt's 05 season which you said was part of his 2 below average years in the last 3.
    2007-12-10 06:57:39
    78.   Sushirabbit
    75, I'm wrong, I had my numbers flipped and was looking at 2006 minor league numbers (IP) etc. Still his minor league numbers in 2005-2006 are comparable to Billingsley's.
    2007-12-10 07:00:10
    79.   Jon Weisman
    I'm going to cave into the Schmidt mob, but I don't think you guys are being honest to yourselves about what he's trying to come back from. Though there have been surgical advances, there is almost no precedent for a pitcher being effective after having had Schmidt's injury that I know of.

    I'll look at the other suggestions, too. Thanks. Keep 'em coming.

    2007-12-10 07:03:16
    80.   Ben P
    Glad you're adding the point for Schmidt, Jon, but my view on him actually isn't so much about whether he should have a point but about Mike Hampton getting a point more than him. Hampton hasn't pitched in 2 1/2 years and wasn't so great the last time he did (in 2005 he had a decent ERA but mediocre everything else). I would rather have Schmidt this year than Hampton.
    2007-12-10 07:22:19
    81.   Jon Weisman
    I still feel like my explanatory comment(s) were ignored: is there really any argument with one point combined for Schmidt, Loaiza and Kuo?
    2007-12-10 07:26:03
    82.   Blue Mousse
    55 "Kershaw is the best LHP prospect of the last 25 yrs."

    Maybe the poster was exaggerating, but I'm curious about how Kershaw ranks with the other prospects of the league. How does he compare to Joba, Bucholz, Hughes, Lincecum, Bailey, etc.

    I assumed he was touted similar to previous top prospects Jackson/Miller and recently Billingsley/Elbert.

    What do others think?

    2007-12-10 07:31:22
    83.   Daniel Zappala
    Is Smoltz really going to keep putting up these numbers as a 40-year-old? He's got to drop off some time.

    The NL West looks really tough next year, with all the good pitching. 4 of the top 6 clubs!

    2007-12-10 07:32:22
    84.   D4P
    Should we expect a drop off in DodgerThoughts quality this year...?
    2007-12-10 07:32:35
    85.   Daniel Zappala
    Oh, and 5 of the top 8. Sheesh.
    2007-12-10 07:33:51
    86.   Daniel Zappala
    84 Jon's a special talent. I expect him to keep blogging at a high level until he's 80.
    2007-12-10 07:35:58
    87.   Bumsrap
    With me it is not important whether Kuo or Schmidt gets the point, but that between them they get a point. The total for the Dodgers remains the same.

    The thing that stood out the most for me was Zito. I agree with the points given to him but wow, he is paid like a big time ace.

    Teams would look a little foolish if their rotations were ranked by salary. 4 points for pitchers making $12M+ per year, 3 points for pitchers making $9M-12M, etc.

    2007-12-10 07:36:47
    88.   D Money
    Schmidt in a vacuum doesnt really deserve a point, but compared to some pitchers that do have points we think he does....i think thats the issue.

    i.e. wolf and hampton

    2007-12-10 07:39:29
    89.   D Money
    not sure if i used the "in a vacuum" correctly.
    probably not.
    2007-12-10 07:42:51
    90.   Bumsrap
    84 - Just stand closer to second base so we can still turn the 6-4-3 double play.
    2007-12-10 07:48:54
    91.   Jon Weisman
    34 - Not adding Carlos Carrasco for now. 46 BB/49 K in 70 innings at AA for a 20-year-old doesn't sound like much potential for above-average contribution in 2008.

    Gonna hold off on Meloan too.

    2007-12-10 07:57:10
    92.   Marty
    Repeating from the last thread:

    OK gang, we all love this site and all the work Jon has done to keep it the best area on the tubes to talk Dodger baseball and just about any other subject. And it's that time of the year where some of us get into the giving spirit.

    One way to show your appreciation is to click on the little PayPal button on the side bar and make a donation to the site. I will match anyone's contribution up to $200 total for the next two weeks (12/22). I want no one to feel any pressure to contribute. We all have different priorities and situations, so if you don't want to, that is perfectly fine.

    But for those who do contribute, send me an email at telling me how much you donated. At the end of the two weeks, I'll match whatever total we have up to the aforementioned $200.

    Update: I've gotten $75 worth of donations so far. Thank you to the ones who gave!

    2007-12-10 08:02:11
    93.   Gen3Blue
    Nice job Jon. It gives me some kind of handle on the situation, and frankly I was baffled before about how to think about other teams pitching. Fact is I don't know much about staffs outside our division except media noisy teams like the Mets. I haven't had time to read any but the first score or so of comments but I feel comfortable with your treatment of Schmidt.
    If he was coming back from a rotater cuff or TJ surgery we could almost know the month in which he would become effective at this point. But from everything I have been able to find, we have almost zero examples of someone coming back from this kind of labrum damage,let alone a pitcher. Of course surgery continues to make amazing strides. I really hope that his shoulder is stable, because he showed some signs of knowing how to pitch without his velocity.
    But I just am not counting on hime for anything.
    2007-12-10 08:10:13
    94.   Gen3Blue
    Also, thanks to all the DT contributers to both this study and Marty's cause.
    2007-12-10 08:14:08
    95.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    Re: 81

    Jon, for the record, I agree with your original assessment of Schmidt. I still think that was a legit contract from Ned, but that shoulder injury is terrifying. I'm also pessimistic about Elbert's chances of pitching in the big league's this year; I'm not sure he even merits a 1 in your metric.


    2007-12-10 08:15:15
    96.   underdog
    I think one point between Schmidt, Kuo and Loiaza is fair 'nuf. As I said above initially I thought Schmidt and Kuo should be reversed in the point chart, but it doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things if you're looking at the team overall. As long as Hong Chi Schmidt is starting for us we'll be fine. ;-) I just think I expect more - but maybe not that much more - from Schmidt than Kuo, but we'll see.

    I also think that Suns' rotation will be excellent, if possibly short lived. I could see one of McDonald or Kershaw jumping to the majors next season and the other to AAA at least briefly. But to start, that'll be quite a rotation.

    2007-12-10 08:19:39
    97.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    Re: 82

    From the BA chat on the Dodger top 10:

    Matt from Windsor, Canada asks:
    How would you rank the following pitchers in terms of impact in the next 5 seasons. C.Kershaw, C.Buchholz, J.Chamberlain, P.Hughes, Y.Gollardo, H.Bailey and Dice-K? Thanks.

    Alan Matthews: Kershaw, Bailey, Matsuzaka, Chamberlain, Hughes, Gallardo, Buchholz.

    In another question (I don't want to excerpt directly too much), Matthews also calls Kershaw essentially the best lefty prospect in the game right now, with McGee a close second. However, he gives the caveat that this is only his vague impression, since he focuses on amateur scouting.


    2007-12-10 08:26:50
    98.   Gen3Blue
    I hope this isn't redundant, but there is a nice Chris Jaffe piece at THT on "Ten Best Game Fours in World Series History. The D's usually show up in this kind of study and they are all over this one!
    2007-12-10 08:29:52
    99.   Jon Weisman
    What are people's thoughts about adding Jonathan Sanchez to up-and-coming? (See 47 .)
    2007-12-10 08:32:26
    100.   Jon Weisman
    63 - Dumatrait moved to below-average.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2007-12-10 08:32:57
    101.   JoeyP
    I'm not sure I can really accept a system that gives the same score to a "mystery" candidate as an "up and comer".

    Should James McDonald and Josh Johnson really be considered the exact same value?

    Should Elbert have any points considering he's never pitched at the big league level and was hurt most of last year?

    2007-12-10 08:38:10
    102.   Jon Weisman
    72 - A point taken off Kendrick for now.
    73 - Suggestions welcome! Chase that #15 spot!
    2007-12-10 08:41:09
    103.   Jon Weisman
    101 - Both have something to prove. The mystery candidate needs to prove he's healthy or can regain previously established performance. The up-and-comer needs to establish performance, period.

    Considering neither McDonald nor Johnson figures to pitch full-time this year, I don't see a big problem in roughly equating the two. Johnson has shown some established big-league performance, while McDonald hasn't attempted the leap yet. McDonald may do better, but then again, who knows when he'll even get his first start?

    Elbert, from what I've understood, is fully recovered and should be able to pick up where he left off. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    2007-12-10 08:49:08
    104.   Kevin Lewis
    I sent this write up over to my brother in St. Louis. I feel pretty bad for him..he has given up all hope for the Cardinals this year...that would be a horrible feeling to have in December.
    2007-12-10 08:51:10
    105.   JoeyP
    I guess the "picking up where he left off" part I have questions about.

    Elbert, even before he got hurt, needed to cut his walk rate and gave up quite a few homers.

    2007-12-10 08:55:20
    106.   Jon Weisman
    I will say there are two obvious tweaks to the system that could be made: more half-points for some pitchers and/or change what the fundamental point values are for some categories. But ultimately, I want to keep things pretty simple. I'm more interested in general groupings than complete precision.
    2007-12-10 08:58:37
    107.   D4P
    Seems to me that Penny deserves to be Super Above Average. At the very least, he should be higher than Lowe.
    2007-12-10 09:02:24
    108.   Jon Weisman
    105 - I see. It may be reasonable to assume then that Elbert wouldn't see the bigs before September and shouldn't be on the list yet. However, I think I've got worse up-and-comers and mystery pitchers up there.

    I did want to make sure that established mediocrities or worse got zero points. I think potential counts for something.

    2007-12-10 09:03:39
    109.   Penarol1916
    105. To be fair to Elbert there was only one half season where his home run rate was bad and that was upon his move up to Double AAJacksonville. His home run rate before that was decent, especially when you consider that Vero Beach is consider a bit of a launching pad (at least when it comes to fans of other teams discounting the power stats of Dodger prospects). Before his injury last year, he did not have any home run problems at the Double-A level, of course, it was only 3 starts, but still.
    2007-12-10 09:04:20
    110.   Hythloday
    I think mystery pitchers should have numbers randomly assigned from -1 to 2 by a random number generator.

    But aside from being a smartass. I think quibbling over specific numbers misses the point. This is a valuable heuristic for thinking about the upcoming season. Thanks to all who contributed and Jon in particular.

    2007-12-10 09:04:56
    111.   regfairfield
    109 Vero Beach is the biggest launching pad in professional baseball in terms of home runs. There's no bias about it.
    2007-12-10 09:05:13
    112.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    RE: 106

    I agree Jon; adding half-points would only add to more endless debates about this or that. Then we'll be talking about 1/3 point margins, etc., etc. This is designed to be a rough-and-ready guide, and it strikes me as good enough for its purposes. It certainly proves your point; our starting pitching is good enough to contend as is.

    A more detailed system would take mammoth amounts of time, and would have to involve projection systems like PECOTA and ZIPS--anyone who wants to do that will receive our endless gratitude, but I certainly won't volunteer for the task. :)


    2007-12-10 09:11:37
    113.   Kevin Lewis

    So, do we Fed Ex this to Coletti right away?

    2007-12-10 09:13:15
    114.   Penarol1916
    111. Would you then consider a pitcher whose HR/9 was 0.43 while pitching half of his games there to have a problem with giving up homers?
    2007-12-10 09:17:56
    115.   regfairfield
    114 Not there, but he clearly had some issues dealing with better competition. Could be a sample size problem though.
    2007-12-10 09:21:54
    116.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    Re: 113

    I actually don't think we need to worry too much about Ned shipping Kemp off for starting pitching help. He seems to be looking at only high-end starters, all of whom will cause too many holes in our own roster--especially for someone like Ned that values depth. I think Kuroda is now the only possibility, and I have no problem with adding him to the mix, because it won't cost any young players.


    2007-12-10 09:23:48
    117.   still bevens
    Not sure if the Simers article on the latimes website is the most recent but man is he an idiot. He artfully attempts to take down the Jones signing for two reasons: he strikes out alot (49 times more than the average Dodger!) and he batted .222. More love for cliched counting stats, please.
    2007-12-10 09:28:49
    118.   regfairfield
    I don't think saying he VORPed 5.4 would have been as effective.
    2007-12-10 09:30:18
    119.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    I would rate Kuroda as a 2; would other posters agree?


    2007-12-10 09:31:53
    120.   regfairfield
    119 I'd say one. I don't think he's guaranteed to be average.
    2007-12-10 09:34:14
    121.   StolenMonkey86
    116 - You see, I don't think Ned has a plan for anything anymore. At one point, I said, Ned values depth, but then the traded Wilson Betemit for Scott Proctor.

    Then we had LaRoche to play 3rd, but he got hurt, so we had to be the first team in 5 years to be desperate enough to use Shea Hillenbrand at 3rd.

    2007-12-10 09:36:00
    122.   Jon Weisman
    120 - I agree.
    2007-12-10 09:53:49
    123.   kinbote
    116 I think Colletti is determined to go into spring training with 4 established & durable starting pitchers. Penny, Lowe, & Bills easily fall into that category, but Schmidt & Loaiza don't. Therefore, I'm expecting a move for another starter. Kuroda might be the only high-end [meaning "expensive"] free agent we're targeting, but there are trade candidates aplenty (Haren, Blanton, Bedard). I don't see any way Colletti stops now, knowing what we know about his obsession with depth.
    2007-12-10 09:54:13
    124.   Kevin Lewis
    LA Times poll is back up to 68.2%
    2007-12-10 09:55:53
    125.   fanerman
    124 I just voted twice at work (once with firefox, once with IE). Yes, I have nothing better to do.
    2007-12-10 09:58:59
    126.   paranoidandroid
    Radiohead tix for the Amsterdam show are now available again thru Ticketmaster Netherlands.

    The show is July 1st. Anyone still interested?

    I have a room booked at the Crown Plaza in the city centre from June 30-July 4th.

    Tickets are 56 Euros plus about 4.5 Euro for ticketfast.

    2007-12-10 09:59:34
    127.   kinbote
    Maybe Colletti has ODD (Obsessive Depth Disorder). He went from shortstops to centerfielders and possibly now to starters. Was it Evans or Depo that collected 5th outfielders?
    2007-12-10 10:00:20
    128.   Ken Noe
    123 I agree. Not only do I think he'll sign Kuroda if he can, but I still expect him to deal an outfielder for pitching as well. Now I have changed my mind about what outfielder and what pitcher. I thought for awhile it would be Kemp for a big name, but I now more expect something like Pierre for Contreras. He'd think he needs a plug-in like Loaiza until the young arms are ready.
    2007-12-10 10:01:42
    129.   regfairfield
    127 You could argue every outfielder on the later Evans teams was a fifth outfielder.
    2007-12-10 10:05:37
    130.   Kevin Lewis
    What happened to Contreras' numbers from 05 to 06 and now to 07? Are there conditioning or injury issues that made him drop off so much?
    2007-12-10 10:12:25
    131.   Ken Noe
    130 He had sciatica in the past but some stories late last season suggested that he had messed up his mechanics to the point that he had forgotten how to pitch. In truth, I don't think the Sox know.
    2007-12-10 10:12:28
    132.   natepurcell
    but I now more expect something like Pierre for Contreras

    I would seriously do that deal. You get Kuroda and you get Contreras and even though Contreras makes like 10 mil and sucks at starting, I bet he could be pretty good in short inning stints with his stuff playing up.

    You will add about 13mil in payroll but
    1. you get rid of Pierre
    2. you have an outfield of Ethier-Jones-Kemp
    3. Dodgers will win.

    2007-12-10 10:15:32
    133.   natepurcell
    The Diamondbacks are waiting to hear from the A's about their most recent proposal for right-handed starter Dan Haren, the East Valley Tribune reports.

    Arizona's package is believed to include prospects Carlos Gonzalez, Emilio Bonifacio and Brett Anderson.

    I don't see how that package gets Dan Haren but more power to the dbacks.

    2007-12-10 10:16:25
    134.   Kevin Lewis
    Is it possible he could bounce back with the right coaching? He seems like worth the risk if it was for Pierre.
    2007-12-10 10:16:38
    135.   paranoidandroid
    133 It might get Blanton.
    2007-12-10 10:17:07
    136.   KG16
    117 - i read that yesterday. It's simply Simers' deal, he's the sarcastic sportswriter - I honestly can't remember the last time I've seen him praise any local team/athlete.

    But, there is a kernel of truth in his concerns. I probably value BA more than most here and a guy hitting .222 can be trouble. But I think what he brings to the table far outweighs the low batting average, hopefully whoever the hitting coach is can get his to show a little more patience and we'll see that number go up.

    The Ks are more troubling for me, but then the I remember that the Dodgers struck out the least in the NL and I'm not really worried about a guy striking out 25% more than the average Dodger. Still, strike outs are the least productive outs because they do nothing to put your team in a better position to score.

    2007-12-10 10:18:34
    137.   bhsportsguy
    132 So now that a number of us have posted that deal, let's see if it happens.
    2007-12-10 10:19:15
    138.   natepurcell
    Carlos Gonzalez is a corner OFer, I thought they were covered there with Swisher and Buck? Bonifacio is an extremely fast, but otherwise useless middle infielder and Brett Anderson is still only a High A level pitcher.

    eh. I like Brett Anderson the best out of this deal and scouts are still leery on him.

    2007-12-10 10:19:41
    139.   regfairfield
    134 I don't think so, he's 36, and really only has one dominant half season in his career (plus one where he out pitched his peripherals).

    Even so, I'd trade Pierre for him. Now that we have Jones it wouldn't hurt us at all.

    2007-12-10 10:19:47
    140.   Jon Weisman
    136 - "I honestly can't remember the last time I've seen him praise any local team/athlete."

    Karl Dorrell

    2007-12-10 10:20:46
    141.   JoeyP
    132--I'd rather just dump Pierre in a straight salary dump (maybe take back a prospect, or give up some salary), than take back another team's crap.

    Contreras would be another road block in getting one of the youngsters some time at the major league level.

    2007-12-10 10:21:20
    142.   Eric Stephen
    136 ,140
    And who can forget Jeff Kent?
    2007-12-10 10:21:36
    143.   regfairfield
    136 It's really, really hard to be useful with a .222 batting average so it's a completely valid concern.
    2007-12-10 10:22:05
    144.   Eric Stephen
    Hey BH, did you get my email last week?
    2007-12-10 10:22:48
    145.   natepurcell

    So would I. A straight salary dump would be the most ideal but this is the second best case.

    I don't think Contreras would be that much of a road block if all he is doing is pitching middle relief.

    2007-12-10 10:23:06
    146.   still bevens
    136 I guess part of my beef is Simers giving cred to not striking out. You know who doesn't strike out much? Juan Pierre and Nomar. Does that make them more valuable players? Heavens no.
    2007-12-10 10:23:19
    147.   JoeyP
    Still, strike outs are the least productive outs because they do nothing to put your team in a better position to score

    Outs are not productive at all, no matter how they may come.

    2007-12-10 10:23:40
    148.   D4P
    Pierre preferences:

    1. Keep him, on the bench, for use as a pinch-runner.
    2. Trade him for nothing.
    3. Trade him for another team's junk.

    2007-12-10 10:24:28
    149.   KG16
    I'm on board for Contreras, if only because he's Cuban.

    The problem the last couple of years is probably his age (35) catching up with him. It could also be the defense behind him (increase in WHIP and Hits). And he is striking out fewer guys the last couple of years.

    Still as a fifth/spot starter and insurance for Schmidt/Kuo/Loiaza in the early part of the season, I say go for it.

    2007-12-10 10:25:52
    150.   KG16
    147 - ugh. I'm not going to get into this debate. I will just leave it at two words: sacrifice fly.
    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2007-12-10 10:27:48
    151.   paranoidandroid
    So now batting average and strike outs determine how useful a player is?

    Pierre hit .293 and Vin wouldn't stop saying how he is one of the hardest guys to strike out, like once out of 20 at-bats.

    2007-12-10 10:27:53
    152.   fanerman
    148 I'd be happy with any of those 3 options. The difference between option 1 and 3 is much smaller than the difference between option 3 and 4.
    2007-12-10 10:28:18
    153.   regfairfield
    150 You can't ground into a double play either. In a vacuum, strikeouts cost you about three hundreths of a run more, but double plays balance that out.
    2007-12-10 10:31:35
    154.   jasonungar07
    Ethier would produce twice as many runs in the two hole over Pierre. He would score as many and drive in 30 more than JP. He may even be able to bunt too.
    2007-12-10 10:31:42
    155.   Kevin Lewis

    I would want to look at sac flies and advancing the runner on second.

    2007-12-10 10:32:29
    156.   paranoidandroid
    153 I would like to remind everbody that Russ Martin hit a double off the wall in a big playoff game and two men were out at the plate.

    Wouldn't we all have been happier if he struck out in that at-bat instead?

    2007-12-10 10:32:55
    157.   KG16
    153 - I always forget about double plays, so yes, GDP is worse than strike outs.

    151 - BA and Ks are two data points, to be considered among many, that determine a player's value. I think many here discount those numbers for the sexier sabermetric numbers, but there is inherent value in looking at BA and Ks.

    2007-12-10 10:33:01
    158.   GoBears
    One interesting robustness test would be to change the weights from 4-3-2-1-0 to something else. Here's why:

    The choice of 4-3-2-1-0 is arbitrary. It's not obviously wrong, but it's also not obviously correct. Jon's goal here is to create an ordinal ranking (4 is better than 3, etc.), but by adding up ordinal numbers, he is in fact assigning cardinal meaning to them (pun noted but not intended). So 4 is twice as good as 2 which is twice as good as 1, etc.

    Since the ultimate goal here is to rank the full staffs in an ordinal way (Braves best? Nats worst? Dodgers near top?), it would just be interesting to see how robust the above ranking is to arbitrary (or even theoretically informed) changes to the individual scales.

    So, if this is all in a spreadsheet, try weighting things differently. Maybe 8-6-4-2-1, or 19-13-5-2-1. Since it's just ordinal, the actual values SHOULDN'T matter, but because they're being added and compared, they likely DO matter. One thing different weightings would reveal is how top-heavy or balanced a team is. Does a lousy 5th starter more than offset the difference between a Peavy and a Lowe?

    Again, I'm not saying that the current scheme is obviously wrong. Just that it'd be interesting to see how robust the current team ranking is to tweaks in the individual player rankings. Perhaps Xeifrank or someone else with simulation skills can program this and see in how many of the schemes do the Braves come out on top, with the Dodgers close behind, etc.

    2007-12-10 10:33:31
    159.   Kevin Lewis

    I still remember where I was when that happened

    2007-12-10 10:38:24
    160.   fanerman
    156 Yeah. I sure wish he struck out. Every time from now on that somebody strikes out with 2 men on base, I will think, "Well, at least two guys didn't get tagged out on home plate."

    I'll take my chances with a guy hitting a double, thank you.

    2007-12-10 10:40:29
    161.   Jon Weisman
    156 - I was in the very seat I am in now.

    158 - Yeah, this would be the next step - changing the point values in a simple but sensible way.

    But no, it's not all in a spreadsheet. Not now, anyway.

    I do feel that the point values kinda come close to working on a cardinal level, but I don't know.

    One way I thought of doing this was to assign value of how many wins I figured each type of starter would contribute to each season, with Peavy, Oswalt and Webb getting 20 and working down from there. (In other words, the Padres would likely win 20 of Peavy's starts.) But then I found myself just going 20 ... 15 ... 10 ... 5 - just multiples of what I had.

    2007-12-10 10:40:53
    162.   Eric Stephen
    I was taking a long lunch at Trophy's Sports Bar in San Diego, and there were actually a couple Dodger fans in the bar as well. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I sat dumbfounded for quite a while before retreating to my beverage.
    2007-12-10 10:41:13
    163.   paranoidandroid
    159 Did you hear my screaming where you were at?
    2007-12-10 10:42:18
    164.   regfairfield
    161 So am I. I still remember waiting ten minutes for Gameday to update then trying to decipher what actually happened.
    2007-12-10 10:42:25
    165.   D4P
    Do political scientists commonly/ever treat indexed Likert-scale data as interval level data? (For example, assigning values to agree-disagree responses and then summing them to represent a single score)
    2007-12-10 10:43:43
    166.   Bob Timmermann
    So GoBears has to tell Jon about Cardinal numbers?

    The world has gone mad!

    2007-12-10 10:45:46
    167.   Ken Noe
    142 Kent and Simers bonded like Statler and Waldorf. Kemp might as well get ready to be Fozzie.
    2007-12-10 10:46:50
    168.   Kevin Lewis

    I remember gameday saying "In-Play run(s) scored"

    And then all of a sudden the unthinkable happened.

    I was very confused

    2007-12-10 10:47:09
    169.   Eric Stephen
    167 Kemp might as well get ready to be Fozzie

    I too wish for Kemp to walka, walka, walka more.

    2007-12-10 10:47:52
    170.   StolenMonkey86
    130 - From Fangraphs

    Jose Contreras FIP
    2005: 4.39
    2006: 4.17
    2007: 4.67
    2008 Bill James: 4.53

    I think Contrera could do OK, and I'd definitely swap him for Pierre. Besides, then Colletti can say he's got pitchers from 3 consecutive World Series champions. The risk, though, is he might go after Jeff Weaver to make it 4.

    2007-12-10 10:47:56
    171.   Kevin Lewis
    Didn't Penny come in as relief for that game?
    2007-12-10 10:51:20
    172.   Eric Stephen
    Latest mailbag from Gurnick:

    Ethier is a more likely trade candidate than Kemp. The Texas Rangers, in particular, are after him. The Dodgers have long been interested in Rangers reliever Joaquin Benoit, but they don't consider that an equitable deal.

    Sorry if I scooped Dodgers49! :)

    2007-12-10 10:52:27
    173.   Jon Weisman
    You guys can do some open chat on movies in a new thread at Screen Jam if you like.

    171 - Controversially so.

    2007-12-10 10:53:39
    174.   GoBears
    161. Even if the weighting scheme were a mere linear transformation of what you have now, because different teams have different numbers of pitchers at each level, the overall ranking could change. I'm not saying there's a way to make it "more right." It would just be interesting to see if this general team ranking holds up with different (just as arbitrary) point systems.

    For example, the Dodgers get most of their "value" from 3 guys, with nobody in the 2nd rank. The Brewers and Giants, by contrast, have guys in the top two ranks, but not as much filler (or at least now, 1pt filler) down below. A re-jigged point system (e.g., 9-8-2-1, would likely re-order the teams, and there's no obvious reason why 9-8-2-1-0 is less correct than 4-3-2-1-0.

    One would need to write a short program to run every possible 5-level ranking system (say, with integers between 10 and -10, so that "every" doesn't mean "an infinite number of"), retaining the ordinal rankings within each team (so, Penny is always better than Loaiza and always equal to Billingsley) to see how often each team ends up with each rank.

    Chances are, there is no system that could make the Nats look good or the Braves look bad. But the argument that the Dodgers are near the top might weaken if that conclusion depends on a certain sort of cardinality.

    Sadly, I'm not a programmer, or I'd do it myself. But if someone else is, it would be a fun exercise.

    2007-12-10 10:57:19
    175.   GoBears
    166. Bob Timmermann
    So GoBears has to tell Jon about Cardinal numbers?

    Hence the "pun noted, but not intended." And I didn't have to tell him - he was aware of it.

    2007-12-10 10:57:41
    176.   Kevin Lewis

    What a difference that series would have been if we won that game.

    That's right...the Beimel incident left us short in the pen. Man, that was a weird day.

    2007-12-10 10:57:42
    177.   Kevin Lewis

    What a difference that series would have been if we won that game.

    That's right...the Beimel incident left us short in the pen. Man, that was a weird day.

    2007-12-10 10:58:03
    178.   Kevin Lewis
    Dang it, just delete one along with this post
    2007-12-10 11:00:43
    179.   bhsportsguy
    144 Nope and I thought you were ignoring me.

    You can try again at Thanks Eric.

    2007-12-10 11:00:48
    180.   Bob Timmermann
    So the school's nickname is in honor of the type of number?
    2007-12-10 11:02:18
    181.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    Re: 176

    I was at Shea for that game, surrounded by (mostly unfriendly) Mets fans, wearing a home white Nomo jersey and Dodger cap, with a buddy of mine who was at the time a Navy LT.

    I remember sitting there and praying at least one of the runs had scored, and then looking up at the scoreboard in dread to see what really happened.


    2007-12-10 11:02:52
    182.   Ken Noe
    172 Milan S. is my new hero.
    2007-12-10 11:03:12
    183.   LogikReader

    Yep. Nothing says NedCo like trading Ethier for a middle reliever.


    Strangely enough, it turns out Proctor wasn't too bad. In addition, Betemit had these numbers with the Yankees:

    37 games, 84 at bats, 4 HR, 24 RBIs.



    2007-12-10 11:03:28
    184.   GoBears
    165. Yes, but if you're going to do that, you have to be willing to defend the implicit assumption that every question should be weighted equally. Sometimes, that's obviously OK, but usually, it's unjustified. Creating a composite index is fraught with danger because of all the arbitrary weighting that is built into it. A better solution is to treat each variable separately and gather enough data to avoid degrees-of-freedom problems. Because that is not always possible, people resort to economizing devices, but at the risk of being mocked.
    2007-12-10 11:05:29
    185.   Eric Stephen
    Just sent the email. I hope this one goes through. :)
    2007-12-10 11:08:45
    186.   D4P
    I have a sample size of 68.

    I have degrees-of-freedom problems.

    I satisfice.

    2007-12-10 11:09:19
    187.   GoBears
    180. That's right. It's a way of pointing out to their rivals across the Bay that success is measured in dollars, which can be counted, not abstract notions of morally superiority.

    I'm just morally superior enough to admit that it is quite clever.

    And disguising this jibe at the lower classes as an homage to a color? Well, that sort of genius is worth $40K/yr (but who's counting?).

    2007-12-10 11:10:44
    188.   GoBears
    186. Peace be with you, my son.
    2007-12-10 11:13:46
    189.   kinbote
    137 I'll post some more on this to increase the likelihood it happens! At the trading deadline, the Chicago Sun Times wrote that we contacted the White Sox with interest about Contreras.

    He makes $10m in both '08 and '09. I like the idea someone here mentioned about possibly converting him to short relief. This is attractive but not mandatory; if he's swapped for Pierre, he'd already be helping us.

    Because the money isn't even, I'd kick in for half the total contract value difference. Pierre is due to make $36.5m over the next four years [ugh]. That leaves $16.5m, I think.

    Here's my proposed deal for the White Sox:

    Juan Pierre, D.J. Houlton or Eric Stults, & $8.25m


    Jose Contreras

    2007-12-10 11:15:30
    190.   paranoidandroid
    183 Betemit hit .226 with the Yanks but showed power?

    Sounds like a future $18 million a year signing to me.

    2007-12-10 11:19:00
    191.   paranoidandroid
    189 It's hard for me to type this sentence, but that is giving up too much to dump Pierre.

    Stults and Houlton don't bring joy to my heart, but they are arms that can sit in AAA just in case.

    2007-12-10 11:19:33
    192.   regfairfield
    191 For one more year, then they're out of options.
    2007-12-10 11:25:46
    193.   scareduck
    BTW, Jon, it's G-a-l-l-a-r-d-o. Everyone got the spelling right in the comments on this thread but it's wrong on the post.
    2007-12-10 11:27:47
    194.   Bleed Dodger Blue
    Kudos, Jon. And I agree ... Dodgers are stacked now at SP as it is. Santana/Haren/Bedard would certainly be nice, but in no way are they a necessity.

    Though, if we can afford Kuroda, I certainly won't complain. Not my money, after all.

    2007-12-10 11:30:53
    195.   regfairfield
    194 Until we get parking raised another five bucks. You paid for Juan Pierre if you went to a game this year.
    2007-12-10 11:31:22
    196.   Ken Noe
    191 Yeah, I'd swap them even up if possible, or even try to get an additional prospect out of Chicago, given their need for a center fielder and Ozzie's obvious wish to lead off with someone like JP.
    2007-12-10 11:33:32
    197.   paranoidandroid
    I've paid for the following:

    Kevin Brown's jet.

    Darren Dreifort's medical care.

    Tommy Lasorda's girth.

    Frank McCourt's tan.

    Ned Colletti's wig.

    2007-12-10 11:43:33
    198.   silverwidow
    192 Stults has 2 options left since he was just a September call-up in 2006.
    2007-12-10 11:45:01
    199.   silverwidow
    198 And he wasn't on the 40-man prior to September, therefore wasn't optioned.
    2007-12-10 11:45:14
    200.   kinbote
    Anybody want Kevin Mench? He was DFA'd. Do teams go in reverse order of finish to claim him or am I making that part up?

    197 And Milton Bradley's anger management classes!

    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2007-12-10 11:45:34
    201.   Sam DC
    Nationals appear to have a new Heart and Soul.

    2007-12-10 11:47:42
    202.   Jon Weisman
    McCourt doesn't need to increase the budget to increase what he charges fans. It's not as if there would be price rollbacks if someone took Pierre's contract off our hands. You charge what the market will bear.

    A good chunk of your extra $5 for parking, I'm fairly certain, paid for all those people roaming the lots.

    2007-12-10 11:49:50
    203.   StolenMonkey86
    A good chunk of your extra $5 for parking, I'm fairly certain, paid for all those people roaming the lots.

    Not living anywhere near LA, I want to make sure you're referring to parking lot employees.

    2007-12-10 11:50:31
    204.   regfairfield
    200 He'd be a good Olmedo substitute.
    2007-12-10 11:50:35
    205.   Blue Mousse
    189 I actually think it might be hard to get Contreras as opposed to a straight salary dump. Having already traded Garland, they now have Buerle, Vazquez, Contreras, Danks and Floyd left as SPs.

    It might be better for both teams if we try to do a Pierre for Sisco + low prospects with the Sox picking up all the salary. I originally thought just trade Pierre for a large pizza, but having thought this over, it might not reflect well for Colletti's image.

    Trading Pierre for middle relief help allows Colletti to say we improved our bullpen depth. We can then sign a Livan or Lieber type to a one year contract with option like Wolf rather than waste 30-40 mil on an unknown like Kuroda.

    The White sox basically have to decide do they want Rowand at 5 yrs and about 15 mil a year, Pierre at 4 yrs and 9 mil per year or Cameron at 3 yrs and 6 mil per year. Rowand was estimated off of what Hunter got and Cameron off of Bradley.

    2007-12-10 11:52:32
    206.   regfairfield
    202 True. That comment was based on the fact that the projected revenue gained from the parking lot increase was exactly what Juan Pierre made last year.
    2007-12-10 11:53:44
    207.   Jon Weisman
    193 - Thanks.

    206 - You have any other major suggestions for adjusting the points for the pitchers above?

    2007-12-10 11:55:00
    208.   scareduck
    Count me among those who disagree with the idea that the Dodgers are "stacked" with starting pitching. Loaiza and Schmidt are all but locks to start in the rotation next year, barring another acquisition, and McDonald, Kershaw, and Elbert are question marks for 2008, IMO... they may not appear until September. Even if they come up, they may be less than dominant.
    2007-12-10 11:58:28
    209.   regfairfield
    208 And every other team has similar, if not worse problems.
    2007-12-10 11:58:56
    210.   Eric Stephen
    Milwaukee has 10 days to either trade or release Mench, or at least normally would under normal DFA rules.

    But, the deadline to tender contracts for arb-eligible players is Wednesday, Dec 12, so I would guess Mench would be released by then.

    Someone could trade for Mench in the next two days, and offer him arbitration, but he would have to make at least $2.72m in arbitration (80% of his $3.4m 2007 salary), which is more than he's likely to command as a free agent, making a trade unlikely.

    2007-12-10 12:00:18
    211.   StolenMonkey86
    so, will LuGo show up in the Mitchell report?
    2007-12-10 12:00:35
    212.   paranoidandroid
    I do not see the need for Mench.

    Being Jewish, it'd be fun to have a guy with that name, but I can't see how he'd help us more than Brady Clark did(n't) last year.

    I'd pass on Kevin myself.

    2007-12-10 12:03:36
    213.   kinbote
    210 Thank you kindly.
    2007-12-10 12:13:14
    214.   kinbote
    205 That would be a dream trade. My premise--and this premise is not universally agreed upon--is that Pierre right now, considered in totality (contract and all), has negative value to us as a team. If that's the case, I don't care what we get in return, unless it's worse or more expensive than our own little mistake. Pierre for Contreras has two things going for it: there's already money being swapped and it seemingly fits our needs [rotation depth]. (If there's a team out there that NEEDS what Pierre does, bless its heart.)
    2007-12-10 12:14:35
    215.   still bevens
    I think it would be worth it to sign Mensch just so we can listen to Vin talk about how huge his head is every time he comes to the plate.
    2007-12-10 12:15:50
    216.   Jon Weisman
    I am completely content to keep Pierre as a fourth outfielder if he were treated that way.
    2007-12-10 12:21:08
    217.   silverwidow
    When Pierre starts complaining about batting 8th and playing LF, Ned will realize what a huge mistake that guy is.
    2007-12-10 12:22:04
    218.   LogikReader

    Right. In considering Pierre on the roster, we make a lot of assumptions. Most of us (like me) think that Pierre will be penciled in every day if he stays on the team.

    It could be just paranoia more than anything. All anyone has to do is look at the numbers. Would you rather have 13 home runs or zero? That's what Ethier hit this year, along with a solid slg/obp/etc.

    If anything there's a possibility that Pierre could spot start for Jones to give him some rest. That much I wouldn't mind at all. All in all, Pierre has always been a CF.

    I certainly hope Pierre isn't thinking too much about that ridiculous streak of his. I've said in the past how much I disdain Favre playing for the consecutive games streak more than the needs of his team. Let's hope that's not a factor here.

    2007-12-10 12:22:31
    219.   StolenMonkey86
    So this being Lowe's contract year, will he ask that Abreu start for Kent on days that he starts? Or is it a better selling point for the glossy pages that Lowe put up sub-4 ERAs despite having one of the poorest defensive second basemen behind him?
    2007-12-10 12:24:03
    220.   Eric Stephen
    So what does the 25-man roster look like now? Assuming no one is traded, here's where we are at on December 10 (I'm assuming likely lineup, not preferred):

    Starting Lineup
    C - Martin
    1B - Loney
    2B - Kent
    3B - Nomar
    SS - Furcal
    LF - Pierre
    CF - Andruw
    RF - Kemp

    OF - Ethier
    3B - LaRoche
    IF - Abreu
    OF - D.Young (out of options)
    C - to be determined
    PH/1B - to be determined

    SP - Penny
    SP - Billingsley
    SP - Lowe
    SP - Schmidt
    SP - Loaiza
    CL - Saito
    RP - Broxton
    RP - Beimel
    RP - Proctor
    P - Kuo (out of options)
    P - to be detemined (Loaiza will shift to swing man if Kuroda is signed)

    We'll find out by Wednesday (deadline to tender contracts for arb-eligibles) if Brazoban or Repko will be back. Looking at the roster now, I would guess Ghame Over is more likely to return than Repko. But, if Repko is offered arbitration, it could signal that an OF (Ethier most likely, per Gurnick) will be traded for a pitcher sometime soon.

    2007-12-10 12:24:10
    221.   LogikReader

    I disdain "Farve playing for the streak" I don't disdain Favre. My problem is with whoever decides a streak like that is more important than getting a guy time to heal injuries, for which Favre has.

    2007-12-10 12:24:20
    222.   fanerman
    219 If Lowe wanted to be smart, he'd ask for an Ethier-Jone-Kemp outfield so he has more run support, so he gets more wins, so he looks better to prospective teams next offseason.
    2007-12-10 12:26:36
    223.   silverwidow
    220 We still have that Wilson Valdez guy around.
    2007-12-10 12:27:45
    224.   bhsportsguy
    Since it worked out so well for the pitching staffs, how about the same group of us take on our "teams" and do the same thing for the position players, it would probably better to do this closer to Spring Training.

    Just a thought.

    2007-12-10 12:30:28
    225.   bhsportsguy
    220 I love how everyone assumes that Hendrickson will not be tendered a contract.
    2007-12-10 12:30:43
    226.   StolenMonkey86
    217 - And Plaschke will write a sympathetic story with it.

    One player works hard, runs fast, doesn't strike out, and always played every day.

    The other player is an uncoachable kid who doesn't know his place, or the trash can's place.

    One player was a $45 million investment for the team last year, who chose to play for the Dodgers.

    The other player was a 6th round draft pick in 2002, who didn't even choose baseball originally. He wanted to play basketball.

    The first player should play everyday and the second one should watch and learn, right?

    But that's not what's happening.

    The Dodgers have disrepected their elder statesman, benching the #2 base-stealer in the NL for Matt Kemp.

    2007-12-10 12:30:57
    227.   Eric Stephen
    I've also assumed that Mark Hendrickson by Wednesday will, like Gonzo, be, well, gonzo.
    2007-12-10 12:32:16
    228.   StolenMonkey86
    222- especially to make up for the lost production from benching Kent
    2007-12-10 12:33:42
    229.   Eric Stephen
    I'm only talking likely 25-man roster, and I doubt Wilson Valdez will be on that barring injury.

    I completely forgot about Lurch when typing that post (months of mental training!), but I'd guess he's 50/50 at best to come back.

    2007-12-10 12:34:20
    230.   Jon Weisman
    226 - That was eerie.
    2007-12-10 12:35:58
    231.   silverwidow
    I'm only talking likely 25-man roster, and I doubt Wilson Valdez will be on that barring injury.

    He's out of options and Ned seems fascinated with him (he was brought back in September after being DFA'd earlier in the year). He might make the club over Abreu.

    2007-12-10 12:37:07
    232.   Eric Stephen
    That's a perfect Plaschke replication. :)
    2007-12-10 12:37:31
    233.   fanerman
    Has Juan Pierre ever come out and said he wants to keep his streak going?
    2007-12-10 12:37:51
    234.   underdog
    220 I still think the Dodgers should just re-sign Sweeney to take care of "PH/1B - to be determined".
    2007-12-10 12:38:51
    235.   Eric Stephen
    231 [Valdez] might make the club over Abreu

    Barring injuries, I will bet you the cost of a 2008 DT Day ticket that doesn't happen.

    2007-12-10 12:40:03
    236.   Eric Stephen
    In Gurnick's mailbag today, regarding Dodger free agents:

    The Dodgers have varying degrees of interest in retaining Seanez, Sweeney and Lieberthal, in that order.

    2007-12-10 12:40:27
    237.   LogikReader

    Yesterday afternoon I flipped on Channel 11, and I saw the end of Mash and a Cal Worthington commercial. Great to see that after all these years, Channel 11 is still Channel 11.

    2007-12-10 12:41:25
    238.   paranoidandroid
    I think Nomar is our right handed hitting bench guy and LaRoche is our starting third baseman. Sweeney can be the other guy, and we'd have a very experienced bench.
    2007-12-10 12:44:04
    239.   D4P
    I think Nomar is our right handed hitting bench guy and LaRoche is our starting third baseman

    You think wishfully.

    2007-12-10 12:44:12
    240.   underdog
    236 Eek, re: Seanez. He was surprisingly solid last season, but I don't expect that to happen again. (Though, I guess a spring training invite doesn't hurt too much.)
    2007-12-10 12:46:14
    241.   LogikReader

    That was awesome! You write even better Plaschke than Plaschke.

    2007-12-10 12:47:58
    242.   al bundy
    237 - thanks for that! I grew up in LA but got out after college. That makes me feel like I haven't missed a thing.
    2007-12-10 12:48:12
    243.   Eric Stephen
    For purposes of filling out the 25-man roster, though, it doesn't matter whom of LaRoche or Nomar is the starter.

    I'm willfully ignoring the possibility that Nomar wins the starting 3B job and LaRoche is sent to the minors, though that is a very real possibility (and would of course affect the 25-man).

    2007-12-10 12:48:16
    244.   Ken Noe
    226 230 232 Holy moley, that tied my intestines in knots.
    2007-12-10 12:51:50
    245.   KG16
    226 - has anyone actually seen StolenMonkey? Because something like that makes me think that he may in fact be Plaschke.
    2007-12-10 12:52:27
    246.   D Money
    so a deep fly out with a man on 3rd isn't a productive out when the guy tags up and scores? this is what happens when the stat geniuses start thinking because they understand the stats they understand the game.
    2007-12-10 12:53:00
    247.   Cornell Blue Fan
    Seanez will be expensive....Latroy Hawkins just got 3.5 mil from the Yankees, I would rather save money like that to give to a team to take Pierre
    2007-12-10 12:53:28
    248.   Foolsgold
    Looking forward to see 08 Jacksonville Suns rotation of Clayton Kershaw, James McDonalds and Scott Elberts.....

    I wonder how they will measure up against 05\06 team (Billingsley & Broxton)

    2007-12-10 12:56:15
    249.   silverwidow
    I'm penciling in Bills as Super-above average in 2009.
    2007-12-10 12:56:53
    250.   Eric Stephen
    Ignoring your second sentence, the argument is something like this:

    The batter willingly flying out (if that is even possible to a certain degree) is productive in the sense that can score a run from 3rd, but it's unproductive in the sense that a chance for a multiple-run inning is lessened.

    I agree 147 was harsh, but let's not start broad-brushing everyone now.

    Show/Hide Comments 251-300
    2007-12-10 12:59:51
    251.   LogikReader

    I have this for you (and your namesake):

    Talk about good timing!

    2007-12-10 13:01:30
    252.   regfairfield
    It should be noted that a sacrifice fly actually has a negative run expectancy.
    2007-12-10 13:03:08
    253.   Eric Stephen
    Do you know where I can find an updated run expectancy table?
    2007-12-10 13:04:29
    254.   KG16
    I just looked at Pierre's numbers, and I can see how a team constructed in a certain way could use a guy like him.

    Granted, he doesn't walk a lot, but he doesn't strike out much either - he's almost 1:1 over his career. His career OBP is .348, that's not too bad, and he's a career .301 hitter. He just doesn't have a lot of power. But, you put him in front of a couple of mashers, and he's going to score a lot of runs, especially if he's in a big park like Coors or Joe Robbie (or whatever it's called these days), where he can turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples.

    The problem is, he's not a good fit for the Dodgers and never was. Especially at the price. The Dodgers are a team made up primarily of line drive hitters who need the balance of a home run hitter. Plus, his defense is wretched.

    I guess what I'm saying is, for the right team, Pierre could be very valuable. Just not the Dodgers the way they are presently constructed.

    2007-12-10 13:05:33
    255.   regfairfield
    253 Baseball Prospectus has one under stats. My linear weights numbers are three years old now, sadly.
    2007-12-10 13:06:06
    256.   old dodger fan
    Pardon my redundancy if this has already been reported. Paul LoDuca just agreed to a 1 year contract with the Nats.
    2007-12-10 13:07:04
    257.   regfairfield
    254 I'm actually doing something right now about why you should put speed guys in front of singles hitters, not power guys.
    2007-12-10 13:07:04
    258.   D Money
    the problem is, stats such as BA and strikeouts are still very valuable, the points isnt that they are useless, its that they are only a piece of the puzzle one should use in evaluating a player.

    JP had a low OB% but still got on base with the best of this situation totals DO matter.
    because OB% is used to determine a player getting on base for the opportunity to score runs.
    This is an example of how using one stat Doesnt tell the whole story.
    Over the course of a season JP is getting on base just as often as as people with higher OB%. throw in his steals to put him in "scoring position" which on a light hitting team is more valuable.
    if JP was a better defender, and had a better arm, i would have no problem with his offense.
    the problem to me is, his deficiency in the field offsets his skills on the bases and batters box.

    2007-12-10 13:08:51
    259.   old dodger fan
    254 In a big park his weak arm is an even bigger liability.
    2007-12-10 13:08:52
    260.   regfairfield
    If someone with a higher on base percentage got Pierre's at bats, that player would get on more often. This is how percentages work.
    2007-12-10 13:08:52
    261.   D4P
    he doesn't walk a lot, but he doesn't strike out much either

    The use of the word "but" in that sentence is part of the problem. In the case of Pierre (and many other players), not striking out doesn't make up for not walking.

    But, you put him in front of a couple of mashers, and he's going to score a lot of runs

    You put anyone in front of a couple of mashers, and anyone is going to score a lot of runs, especially if anyone gets on base more often than Pierre (which isn't difficult to do).

    2007-12-10 13:10:35
    262.   D4P
    I'm actually doing something right now about why you should put speed guys in front of singles hitters, not power guys

    I made that very argument earlier this year, on this forum. No one seemed to care.

    But it makes perfect sense. The guys who most need speed in front of them are the guys not hitting homeruns and doubles, where speed on the bases doesn't matter much. The guys who need speed on the bases ahead of them are guys who don't hit the ball very far and don't hit for extra bases.

    At least, those were my hypotheses. I've never tested them or anything.

    2007-12-10 13:10:55
    263.   D Money
    no...those 2 outs had nothing to do with Martin's performance at the plate.
    i'd have rather they a. not ran b. drew didnt run. but the best would have been c. both run, and kent actually laid the catcher on his butt so drew scores easy.

    so to back up our "some outs are productive" Kent laying out the catcher and getting out if the catcher held on, would have allowed drew to score and been a productive out.

    2007-12-10 13:11:39
    264.   fanerman
    257 Oh, that's the argument you were making in the TrueBlueLA comments, right? Intuitively, it makes sense that speed is more helpful when the guy after you hits a single than if he hits a home run.
    2007-12-10 13:11:48
    265.   regfairfield
    262 Same argument from me. If it makes you feel any better, I don't actually remember you writing that so I'm not knowingly stealing your ideas.
    2007-12-10 13:12:02
    266.   Eric Stephen
    258 Over the course of a season JP is getting on base just as often as as people with higher OB%.

    Come on!

    The only reason Pierre gets on base more than a higher OB% guy is because he gets more opportunities!!! If the higher OB% guy got the same opportunities Pierre got, the high OB% guy would get on base much more than Pierre.

    2007-12-10 13:14:35
    267.   KG16
    Ok, one more point on the productive out debate before getting back to my work... I'm working off the top of my head here, but I'm fairly certain the numbers back me up.

    The most likely outcome from any plate appearance is an out (this includes FCs and the like). The second most likely outcome would be a hit, a walk would be third.

    The primary goal, with a runner on base, should be to score the runner. Generally, that means a hit is best. But that is not the most likely outcome. Let's look a simple hypothetical:

    No outs, runner on second (how he got there is not important). A strike out by the next batter is very bad. A sac fly that moves the runner to third is better. A base hit that scores the runner is great. A two run homerun is ideal.

    Now, keep in mind, that within the 30% of PAs in which a player gets a hit, the most likely outcome would be a single, followed by double, HR, and then triple (for the "average ball player").

    So, it stands to reason that a runner is more likely to score from third with one out than he is from second with one out. This is mainly due to the fact that the hitter simply needs to put the ball in play to score the runner at third, instead of recording a hit that travels deep enough into the outfield that the runner on second has the opportunity to score.

    It's about increasing the probability of scoring a run. Are recording outs the ideal, no? But the are more likely than not, therefore getting the most out of the outs is incredibly important, a strikeout does not advance the offense's chances of scoring.

    2007-12-10 13:17:55
    268.   D Money
    ewwwwww no win contribution!

    wins are highly overrated in evaluating a pitcher. far more than BA is for a hitter.

    look at low's 1st half last year and some of his previous dodger seasons. great stats and few wins.

    this comes up again and again. great pitcher on a team that doesn't score runs. would be undervalued if you used wins as the rank metric.

    i guess you could use expected wins, with no thought to the pitchers teamates run production but...
    blah i dunno... i just hate wins as a tool to evaluate pitchers.

    2007-12-10 13:18:45
    269.   delias man
    This Chavez Ravine Lowrider at Peterson Auto Museum is amazing. Saw it yesterday, and it tells the history of Chavez ravine painted on a 53 Chevy Truck. Amazing artwork. Amazing Story.

    I am sure it your only chance to ever see O'Malley's face painted on a car.

    2007-12-10 13:18:47
    270.   paranoidandroid
    Is a sacrifice bunt a productive out?

    Mr. Pierre was second in the league in that category.

    I wish he were a thug knucklehead like Bradley, then I could hate him. I just would rather see Kemp and Ethier play.

    I agree with many others, he'd be a good fourth outfielder. Just a really expensive one at that.

    2007-12-10 13:19:46
    271.   fanerman
    268 You know that and I know that. But I'm not entirely sure that every GM in baseball knows, too.

    Believe me. I know that wins are not a good metric for judging pitchers.

    2007-12-10 13:19:49
    272.   Penarol1916
    258. The only reason that Juan Pierre would get on base just as often as someone with a higher OB% would be because he had more at bats, and thus generated more outs, don't those totals matter too? What you are saying doesn't really make a lot of sense.
    2007-12-10 13:20:43
    273.   KG16
    257 - ok, "masher" was the wrong term. But as I pointed out in 267 , singles are the most likely hits to be recorded, so putting him in front of guys with high BAs would be beneficial.

    259 - yeah, I was looking more at his offense. Though, I suppose on defense, he turns more singles into doubles, and doubles into triples.

    261 - my point is that he's a contact hitter. The numbers suggest that he's got a pretty good eye and that pitchers challenge him. Again, he was a bad fit for the Dodgers because the Dodgers needed power and Pierre is not a power hitter.

    2007-12-10 13:21:21
    274.   Curtis Lowe
    I would put speed guys in front of high average/decent slg guys (singles, doubles) and then the high power guys and then the defense no offense type guy(not actually needed but are commonly found.)

    I believe the Dodgers are developing this type of offense. I just wish Hu ran faster. If pierre is traded and Furcal is gone who is a speedy guy? I'm not really worried or anything but who is speedy? Abreu didn't seem that fast, ohh Kemp but he now throws a cog into my lineup thinking in that he possesses every batter trait I want in my hypothetical line up construct.

    2007-12-10 13:22:19
    275.   regfairfield
    271 They do, the knuckleheaded GMs are gone now.
    2007-12-10 13:23:59
    276.   fanerman
    268 The reason I made that comment was because it would be one more reason to have an OF of Ethier-Jones-Kemp. There should not be any more reasons than the ones we've covered exhaustively, but... that's how it is.
    2007-12-10 13:27:39
    277.   D4P
    The numbers suggest that he's got a pretty good eye

    I'm not sure that's true. Gameday told me many times last year that Pierre routinely swung at pitches way out of the strikezone.

    I think his lack of strikeouts is more a function of being able to put the bat (however weakly) on the ball than of having good strike zone judgment.

    2007-12-10 13:28:30
    278.   Sushirabbit
    Plaschke, so easy a StolenMonkey can do it!
    2007-12-10 13:31:09
    279.   KG16
    277 - that's entirely possible. I've tried to block most of Pierre's AB's from my memory, so I don't remember. I was just working off the numbers and what little sense I have, thus the word "suggest".

    And now, I'm off to run some errands.

    2007-12-10 13:31:37
    280.   old dodger fan
    It was nice that the focus here was diverted away from Pierre to pitching for awhile. But here we are again.
    2007-12-10 13:35:38
    281.   JoeyP
    273--Pierre's a bad fit for every team. His OBP the last couple years has been around .330, and he doesnt hit for any power.

    You have to evaluate Pierre individually, not these hypotheticals "we'll he wouldnt be that bad if he hit in front of X and Y". Because, that really isnt an argument at all. Any player that gets on base more than Pierre, and also hits for more power than Pierre, would be better than Pierre no matter what lineup they were in.

    I agree with many others, he'd be a good fourth outfielder.

    When Pierre is on the field, he's a very poor player.
    He cant get on base.
    He cant hit for power.
    His throwing arm is terrible (therefore, you'd want a 4th OF'er to play all 3 OF positions---Pierre cant.. No way anyone would put him in RF).

    What does Pierre do?

    Pierre can sacrifice bunt..
    Again, what value does this add? I'm sure the Dodgers, if they wanted to, could have every player learn how to sac bunt. But in the end, its still not near as valuable as having a player that can actually get a hit/walk/extrabase hit, than a player that gives up outs.

    2007-12-10 13:37:09
    282.   D4P
    What does Pierre do?

    Pierre can sacrifice bunt..

    IIRC, he didn't even bunt particularly well last year. He just bunted often.

    2007-12-10 13:38:38
    283.   fanerman
    How does Pierre's .293/.331/.353 line compare to the average 4th outfielder's?
    2007-12-10 13:41:23
    284.   regfairfield
    283 It's not much better than the average pinch hitter (.226/.310/.351) so I'm gonna say not well.
    2007-12-10 13:42:59
    285.   JoeyP
    Even Pierre's contact ability isnt the best. He's not a player that has power to hit long sac flies.

    He swings a fly swatter, so in those times when a runner's on 3b and Pierre makes contact---its really not that great of skill since he rarely hits the ball hard, the infield always comes in, and they can still make the plays at the plate.

    The only thing Pierre does above average is run the bases.

    If you are the Dodgers, do you waste a roster spot on a designated pinch runner?

    It worked for the Red Sox/Dave Roberts, but I dont think the Dodgers have as much talent as the Red Sox to be giving away roster spots that have as little impact as a pinch runner would.

    2007-12-10 13:43:44
    286.   old dodger fan
    The Dodgers OBP last year was .337, which includes pitchers. JP's was below the team average.
    Our team slugging avg was .406.
    2007-12-10 13:45:11
    287.   paranoidandroid
    My last comment on said outfielder:

    The low walk ratio might have a lot to do with pitchers not fearing him. Why not lay one down the middle, is he really going to hit it out of the park? Is he a spray hitter? Or is he the guy you'd rather have beat you with a single than Loney or Kemp hitting third?

    Why give a guy with that speed a free base? You want to get on base, you need to earn it. No free passes to weak hitters.

    2007-12-10 13:46:01
    288.   D Money
    in reference to 226 You write even better Plaschke than Plaschke.

    reminds me of Frank Caliendo doing John Madden.
    i swear you could insert Caliendo into a football game and nobody would know.

    2007-12-10 13:50:22
    289.   underdog
    Maybe so, but I'll be watching Frank TV the same weekend I'll be watching Bee Movie. Which is to say, never, because of my irritation with the incredible overpromotion of both.
    2007-12-10 13:50:53
    290.   paranoidandroid
    285 Dave Roberts stole a very important base in BoSox history. He was so valued and loved in Boston that it got him traded in the off season for nobody I can remember. He was on the Boston roster for a whole 3 months.

    Speed is important at times, but doesn't replace a solid corner outfielder or a pinch hitter with power for that matter.

    If we want a speedy guy who can bunt, Wilson Valdez comes at a very inexpensive price compared to a Juan Pierre.

    I was a big Brett Butler fan. What is the difference between him and Slappy? Brett was indeed a leader, a gamer, and he made the pitcher work. He got deep into counts and he covered a lot of ground in center.

    2007-12-10 13:52:44
    291.   regfairfield
    290 He also walked a ton.
    2007-12-10 13:54:48
    292.   Kevin Lewis

    I saw at least two triples that he hit off balls way low and outside that he was able to poke or pull down the line and just run wild on, especially when the outfield was shifted a certain way.

    2007-12-10 13:55:43
    293.   JoeyP
    Butler Career OBP: .377
    1,129 Career BBs.
    907 K's.

    Brett Butler had some rather incredible seasons for a guy with little power.

    In 1991, he walked 108 times.
    He had 6 other seasons where he walked at least 86 times.

    2007-12-10 13:58:49
    294.   Kevin Lewis

    Of course, Pujols could hit the same pitch into the upper deck. I still love Pujols' homer against Verlander in the WS. Rogers was filmed in the dugout mouthing "that was six inches off the plate"

    2007-12-10 14:00:14
    295.   kinbote
    Would Contreras be a 0 or a 1 using the above system?
    2007-12-10 14:01:29
    296.   D Money
    thats why you look at PA, not AB's.
    2007-12-10 14:04:24
    297.   Hythloday
    294 - I think Rogers actually said it he just wasn't mic'd. It would be weird for him to be mouthing whole sentences in the dugout. Though to be fair, sometimes I do it in meetings at work.
    2007-12-10 14:07:43
    298.   dzzrtRatt
    289 Frank TV got only four episodes produced before the WGA strike. It'll probably be the 2008 postseason before we see anything more from him. Unless they put together a clip show of his greatest promos.

    D4P and Eric have been persuasive. I now think the Chisox are a terrible fit for Juan Pierre, as are the 28 other major league teams. In all good conscience, Ned needs to keep Pierre for the next four years, even if he never plays. In fact, McCourt should force Ned to pay Pierre every two weeks personally, make him go to the bank and get however much the Dodgers owe Pierre in a cashier's check that he has to sign and then walk it down to the clubhouse and hand it to him, and say "Here, Juan, is your paycheck. Don't spend it all in one place." Do they get paid in the offseason? If so, he should be forced to do it in the offseason too, at whatever expensive resort or gated neighborhood where a guy who makes $9 million a year and has the winter off resides. McCourt should insist on Colletti wearing a big straw hat on these occasions, so Pierre knows it's him from a long way away.

    2007-12-10 14:11:07
    299.   regfairfield
    295 Zero, no question.
    2007-12-10 14:12:06
    300.   Kevin Lewis

    You are correct. I only called it mouthing because we didn't have the sound.

    Show/Hide Comments 301-350
    2007-12-10 14:16:09
    301.   Joshua Worley
    What? No point for Chan Ho Park? I'm outraged! ;-)
    2007-12-10 14:20:53
    302.   Andrew Shimmin
    296- The denominator in OBP is PAs, not ABs. Deja vu.
    2007-12-10 14:21:28
    303.   Kevin Lewis

    This is starting to scare me. What if the other teams are reading this? We need to start talking only positively about Pierre, so the other teams will consider a deal.

    2007-12-10 14:24:22
    304.   paranoidandroid
    301 Chan Ho Park = -2
    2007-12-10 14:24:50
    305.   D4P
    If we wanted other teams to think we hold Pierre in high esteem, we would have dealt him before signing a new centerfielder.
    2007-12-10 14:25:21
    306.   Andrew Shimmin
    Jay Payton, Ramon Vazquez, David Pauley were the bounty paid the Red Sox for Dave Roberts. Payton turned into Bradford, and Vazquez was flipped for. . . Alex Cora.

    And now you know the rest of the story.

    2007-12-10 14:26:23
    307.   fanerman
    303 If said GM has ever read a blog in his life, he probably won't want Pierre anyway.
    2007-12-10 14:29:18
    308.   Kevin Lewis

    Good point. So, just to people without the internet?

    2007-12-10 14:29:26
    309.   D4P
    Good point. Reading this blog requires a computer. GMs who might want Pierre don't use computers.
    2007-12-10 14:31:04
    310.   D4P
    Lots of good points.
    2007-12-10 14:31:36
    311.   Eric Stephen
    Good day?
    2007-12-10 14:31:47
    312.   Reiichi
    My suggestion for ranking starting rotations is that it should be centered around the 160 or so starts. 16 blocks of 10 starts basically.

    A starter set to go 30 innings should have a value 3x that of a reserve pitcher who might only go 10 starts. Kershaw who might only make 10 starts with an up-and-coming value of 1, will be worth 1 point. Penny who will likely pitch 3x as much with an above-average value of 3, will be worth 3 x 3 or 9 points. Bills and Lowe will also be worth 9 points each.

    Kuo and Schmidt are injury concerns, so maybe they only get 15 starts each with a 1 point value. 1.5 x 1 = 1.5 points each. Together let's assume Kuo and Schmidt will eat 30 starts and provide a total of 3 points. 30 starts at 1 point value = 3 x 1 = 3 points.

    Penny, Bills, Lowe, Kuo, Schmidt in total would eat ~120 starts. For the remaining 40 starts you grab them from the reserves.

    For simplicity, let's assume we get 20 starts of 1 point production, and 20 starts of 0 point production from our pool of 6 reserves. No doubt Loaiza will be used in the beginning, and prospects like Kershaw might not see action until the second half. 2 x 0 and 2 x 1 = 2 points.

    In total that will put the Dodgers at 32 points. 27 from our above average pitchers eating 90 starts, 3 from Kuo+Schmidt combo eating 30 starts, and 2 from reserves eating 40 starts.


    For most teams if you assume 4 starters with 30 starts each, a 5th starter with 20 starts, and 20 starts from the reserves, the formula would be...

    3 x (point value of starters 1-4) [assume 30 starts each]
    + 2 x (point value of starter #5) [assume 20 starts]
    + 2 x (point value of reserves) [assume 20 starts]
    = total points over 160 starts

    With this system the Braves would score 34 points. 9 for Smoltz and Hudson each, 6 for Glavine and James each, and 40 starts of 1 point production from the 5th spot/reserves for 4 points total.

    2007-12-10 14:36:51
    313.   StolenMonkey86
    245 - Nope, I'm 21 and I have hair coming down over my eyebrows.
    2007-12-10 14:37:52
    314.   Eric Stephen
    Looks like the Giants got a 5 or 6-year head start on the Dodgers buy buying part of FSN Bay Area.

    I believe one of the conditions of McCourt purchasing the Dodgers was that the team can't have their own network for 10 years, until 2013 or 2014 or something.

    2007-12-10 14:46:08
    315.   KG16
    313 - I'm still suspicious, no response until after Around the Horn was off the air...
    2007-12-10 14:47:08
    316.   StolenMonkey86
    How to Write Plaschke:

    1) Compare two people or scenes in the format:

    A something

    B something else.

    A something

    B something else.

    2) Think with your emotions.

    3) Insert stupid storylines.

    4) State problem, real or imagined in a couple sentence fragment paragraphs.

    5) State the stupidest possible solution, think emotionally for reasoning.

    6) Don't lose sight of the human interest angle. This is your bread and butter; describe how people feel, at least the ones you care about. You might even write a couple good articles this way (like the one about Russell Martin, or the one about Tomko's mom, both of which are from like a year and a half ago). This also makes you seem like a lovable human being, especially compared to Simers.

    2007-12-10 14:47:08
    317.   Joe Pierre
    I always felt that the Dodger present pitching staff is above average. I've been around long enough to know that pitching is important, I think it should be about 70% of a teams strenght. Although some teams with a strong offense can progress well with less than that. I think if the Dodgers should feel they need another starter, they should go all out to get one via free agency and not waist any valuable talent on one.
    2007-12-10 14:48:01
    318.   Eric Stephen
    Ha! I went home for lunch and happened to accidentally catch Around the Horn and in the 20 seconds I watched, Plaschke uttered the following:

    "I wouldn't last two days in prison."

    2007-12-10 14:48:39
    319.   D Money
    that was my point....they keep sayin ab's
    2007-12-10 14:51:53
    320.   LogikReader
    Is every team going to have their own network someday?

    Even the Royals have their own channel!

    If the Dodgers ever get to host their own network, I think "True Blue TV" would be a great name!

    other ideas for Baseball team networks

    Moneyball vision
    TCN (Twin Cities Network)
    Rockie High
    Maritime Ticket

    2007-12-10 14:53:24
    321.   scareduck
    278 - or even a scareduck --

    2007-12-10 14:54:41
    322.   D Money
    dodger blue wreckin crew
    2007-12-10 14:55:04
    323.   KG16
    320 - I wouldn't be surprised to see each team have it's own network, or at least have partial ownership in a network with other teams (in other sports) in the same market. I could see the Dodgers/Lakers/Kings all having partial ownership in FSN and the Angels/Ducks/Clippers (after they move to Anaheim) having ownership in FSNPT. It really makes sense, it's those teams that are the driving forces behind regional sports networks.
    2007-12-10 14:59:30
    324.   Eric Stephen
    Starting in 2008, Royals games will be on FSN Midwest. The RSTN is no more.
    2007-12-10 15:04:31
    325.   Jon Weisman
    319 - That doesn't change the flaws in your comment 258 , which were addressed again in 260 .
    2007-12-10 15:04:44
    326.   Andrew Shimmin
    319- Okay, that's a semantic issue. I think the other posters were using ABs as a term of art, not by the strict definition. But, anyway, accepting that they were using the wrong word, their points were still dead on. That Pierre's hit count at the end of the year is as good as those of players who are good at baseball doesn't mean that Pierre is good at baseball, too. Just that he, inexplicably, gets many, many more PAs than he ought to. The raw totals do count, they just aren't as useful as the rate stats for projecting the benefit of using players who are good at baseball, instead of Pierre.

    If you're trying to make a different point, then I'm missing it. And it looks like everybody else is, too.

    2007-12-10 15:24:41
    327.   JimBilly4
    A player like Pierre can be very useful in a late and close situation. Nothing he does will ever score more runs, but sometimes all you are trying to do is increase the probability of a single run.

    The only time I ever want to see a sacrifice bunt (outside the pitcher) is when it is late and close, and there is no great power hitter available off the bench. Also, Slappy's style is probably best for dealing with all those killer strike out closers. Slappy will slap just about anything into play and then advance bases without needing another hit.

    Also, obviously he has the speed to play any outfield position even if it comes with a noodle arm. That is a valuable reserve. Speed on demand, late inning heroics possible, etc.

    Regular starter, no. 45 million dollars? No. Valuable bench tool, yes.

    2007-12-10 15:25:25
    328.   Daniel Zappala
    Why you should fast once a month:

    2007-12-10 15:34:13
    329.   LogikReader

    You know, instead of fasting, a guy could just eat less food in the first place.


    Fasting = Trade Pierre and eat contract, cut losses
    Eating less = not getting Pierre to begin with

    2007-12-10 15:40:06
    330.   jasonungar07
    I am selfish, I simply want to root for my teams players to hit the ball hard..When JP is up that makes him out and that does not make me happy.
    2007-12-10 15:43:05
    331.   Daniel Zappala
    The Yankees are relying on Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy for two rotation spots. They've both basically had one year, in which they've pitched at A, AA, AAA, and the majors. Granted, they've been good, but is there any reason to believe they will continue to perform at this level going forward? By contrast, many teams have a high-level prospect who has pitched very well over two or three years, moving up slowly from the low minors to the AA or AAA level, with far longer track records. Why is it that the Yankees have so much confidence in these two guys, whereas other teams move a lot slower?
    2007-12-10 15:44:15
    332.   Daniel Zappala
    329 I'm a big believer in eating less food. I've downsized my meals significantly in the last ten years, which is difficult for someone of Italian descent.
    2007-12-10 15:44:59
    333.   D4P
    I've lost roughly 15 pounds over the last 2 months, due primarily to reducing my pasta intake.
    2007-12-10 15:46:32
    334.   MJW101
    332 The Yankees do not have the luxury of waiting for the youngsters to improve incrementally. They need them now, whether they are really ready or not.
    2007-12-10 15:47:54
    335.   scareduck
    332 - likewise. It amazes me how little I can get away with for breakfast now. The only day of the week I eat a big breakfast is Saturdays, and then I usually skip lunch.
    2007-12-10 15:48:05
    336.   MJW101
    332 sorry 331
    2007-12-10 15:49:59
    337.   fanerman
    Ever since I started working I've eaten smaller lunches (I think). But I've had bigger breakfasts. I don't think I've reached a happy equilibrium yet.
    2007-12-10 15:51:27
    338.   LogikReader

    I was told once that Breakfast can be the biggest while Dinner should be the smallest meal. Logical, isn't it?

    I had some amazing pancakes this morning... oat bran pancakes with blueberries. Chewy on the outside, crispy on the inside. mmmm... I ate this at a hospital too.

    2007-12-10 16:02:58
    339.   SG6
    338 - I always wondered about that. Isn't a breakfast calorie the same as a dinner calorie?

    I do know that more smaller meals (5x/day) is better than fewer large meals, only in that you never get that "starving" feeling which causes one to over eat.

    2007-12-10 16:04:21
    340.   Jon Weisman
    312 - I like your thinking, but I'm not sure how much the added complications add to the system's value. I'm not sure I really want to have to determine who the No. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 starter are.

    Also, the way I have it, the ratio between Penny and Kershaw is 3-1. Should it really change to 9-1? I don't know.

    2007-12-10 16:09:01
    341.   Eric Stephen
    I know this isn't very likely, but there is an outside chance that the Dodgers could get an .800 OPS out of all 8 DT-approved regulars in 2008.

    Andre Ethier posted a .284/.350/.452 line last year, good enough for an .802 OPS, and a 103 OPS+. So let's assume for this exercise that an .800 OPS will yield roughly a 100 OPS+.

    There have been 23 teams in NL history with at least seven players with at least a 100 OPS+ in at least 400 PA.

    That list includes four Big Red Machine teams (in a 5-year span), one of which lost the division to the last Dodger team to lead the NL in runs scored (also on the list). Of the 23 teams:

    -13 lead their league in runs scored
    -4 finished 2nd in runs
    -5 finished 3rd
    -The 1991 Dodgers finished 5th in runs scored :(

    2007-12-10 16:18:13
    342.   FiftyYearDodgerFan
    I'm getting into this thread late because I was tied up with work. This is a great analysis and validates my gut feeling about the pitching staff.

    Last year, when the team got Loiza, I thought we pulled off a steal. I was remembering his 2005 season with the White Sox. I've since gone back and looked at his career numbers and have concluded that he is a dog - no better than a number five starter at best.

    We need at least one more arm. Kuroda would be nice if he is not too expensive. If not, then trade Ethier for a number four level starter. Don't trade Kemp under any circumstances.

    2007-12-10 16:22:12
    343.   Dodgers49
    172 Sorry if I scooped Dodgers49! :)

    More power to you. :-) I'm running late today.

    2007-12-10 16:23:41
    344.   regfairfield
    342 Isn't that the opposite of Jon's conclusion?
    2007-12-10 16:27:08
    345.   Jon Weisman
    Do you folks have any interest in doing this exercise for the American League? I'd need 16 volunteers.
    2007-12-10 16:29:03
    346.   Jon Weisman
    342 - Based on the results above, an average No. 4 starter is a below-average pitcher, which the Dodgers have plenty of.

    If you're suggesting that the Dodgers should trade for another above-average pitcher, Ethier won't be enough to get him.

    2007-12-10 16:40:55
    347.   Dodgers49
    136. 117 - i read that yesterday. It's simply Simers' deal, he's the sarcastic sportswriter

    The thing that stood out to me from that article is Ned actually admitting he's made some mistakes.

    >> "I tried to be aggressive, and sometimes was too aggressive," admitted Colletti. "I wanted to help get the Dodgers back to where they were as quickly as possibly, but I haven't made all the greatest decisions." <<

    Obviously, it's not a good idea to come out and say Pierre is a mistake while Juan is still on the team. So this about as close as we're likely to see.

    2007-12-10 16:48:15
    348.   jasonungar07
    With our staff I think whats not be said is that Schmidt will not be anywhere close to being effective next year and god only knows about Loazia. Kuo has proven he can't stay healthy. Then all of a sudden we are rushing Elbert, McDonald and Kershaw or settling for starters we all admit are not very good. If one of Lowe, Penny or Chad gets hurt and Schmidt/Loazia are not effective we would be hurting.
    2007-12-10 16:48:49
    349.   Eric Enders
    331 For one thing, Kennedy and Chamberlain were major college pitchers with experience in the College World Series and so forth. They were already very close to the majors when the Yankees drafted them -- which is exactly the reason the Yankees drafted them. Remember that if Kershaw was in their shoes, he'd just be starting his sophomore year of college and wouldn't be eligible for the draft until June 2009.
    2007-12-10 16:49:02
    350.   Eric Stephen
    I stand corrected. I referred to the 1974 Dodgers in 341 as the last Dodger team to lead the league in runs scored.

    In fact, the 1978 Dodgers were the last team to lead the NL in runs scored.

    Show/Hide Comments 351-400
    2007-12-10 16:51:59
    351.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
    Does anyone know when the dog and pony show (Official Announcement of Jones Signing, gets his jersey, etc.) is going to be? They have to interview NedCo. McCourt and obviously Jones, which may lead to some speculation about future plans regarding OF/Starting Pitching.Thanks in advance!

    All I asked my girlfriend for X-mas was for the Dodgers not to trade Matt Kemp!

    2007-12-10 16:55:12
    352.   Benaiah
    345 - Don't you mean 14?

    I would do the Red Sox. I live in Boston so I hear about them constantly.

    2007-12-10 16:55:18
    353.   TheBigGrabowski
    345 I can help out, am wrapping up work as I type.

    How do you all feel about signing Colon to a 1-year deal? I would imagine it would be a large contract, but he is a high risk/high reward type.

    2007-12-10 16:55:52
    354.   Dodgers49
    142. 136 ,140
    And who can forget Jeff Kent?

    Yep, I remember him writing a couple of really nice article about Mr. Chuckles. That's one of the reasons I felt sure Matt Kemp was in for some bad press the minute Kent criticized him.

    2007-12-10 16:56:14
    355.   KG16
    339 - the difference is that you burn more calories while awake than while asleep, so more calories when you're going to be awake longer is a good thing. Plus, you're more likely to be doing things after breakfast that will burn more calories than you are after dinner (insert Friday night joke here).
    2007-12-10 16:56:46
    356.   Jon Weisman
    348 - Yes, in the worst-case scenario, in which at least seven Dodger starting pitchers prove ineffective, we will be hurting.

    Most other NL teams face similar or worse dilemmas.

    There isn't anyone who doesn't want to see the Dodger pitching better. But at what cost.

    2007-12-10 16:56:58
    357.   TheBigGrabowski
    345 I'll take Detroit.
    2007-12-10 16:57:20
    358.   Jon Weisman
    352 - Yes, 14.
    2007-12-10 16:59:42
    359.   Benaiah
    I would also like to point out that I expect the Red Sox will receive a... quick calculation... 13? Depends on whether you rate Beckett as a 4, and if anyone else ranks as even a 3. They are deep more than flashy.
    2007-12-10 17:00:52
    360.   Sam DC
    Telly Savalas on Alice.

    Doesn't get much better than that!

    2007-12-10 17:05:57
    361.   Jon Weisman
    I'll give you guys a new thread to post your results in.
    2007-12-10 17:13:14
    362.   Jon Weisman
    361 - Eventually, that is.
    2007-12-10 17:39:15
    363.   MC Safety
    I'll take the the Indians Jon.
    2007-12-10 17:43:15
    364.   bigcpa
    The Dodgers are reportedly showing interest in Brandon Inge, and are willing to offer a pair of minor leaguers. Inge would probably platoon with Andy LaRoche at third base, but probably not have a full time job.

    First every 3-way 3B platoon between 3 RH hitters?

    2007-12-10 17:52:03
    365.   D4P
    If Colletti has a fetish, it's for old, weak, white, overrated, right-handed third basemen.
    2007-12-10 17:52:54
    366.   D4P
    The sentence following those two:

    The Giants are also talking with Luis Gonzalez and Shawn Green about possible one year contracts

    2007-12-10 18:05:16
    367.   LogikReader

    Oh HECK yeah!

    Hey Sabes, we can also toss in Juan Pierre if you can give us one of your cute bat girls.

    2007-12-10 18:05:27
    368.   D4P
    Before we laugh too hard at the Giants:

    2007 OPS

    LuGo .793
    Green .782
    Andruw .724

    2007-12-10 18:06:05
    369.   arbfuldodger
    364 Jayson Stark has already shot down that rumor about Inge
    2007-12-10 18:08:11
    370.   D4P
    D. Lowe doesn't need any more distractions.
    2007-12-10 18:12:20
    371.   Benaiah
    This can be reposted in the new thread:

    Boston Red Sox 2008
    I only did 7 because the Sox are durable enough that they probably won't use more than that (they got 140 starts from the first five starters last year). It is scary that the champions look to have a huge amount of upside next year, but having maybe the best pitching prospect in baseball knock the door down will do that.

    Red Sox 07
    Josh Beckett, 27
    2007: 200.2 IP, 40 BB 194 K, 145 ERA+
    2006: 204.2 IP, 74 BB 158 K, 95 ERA+
    2005: 178.2 IP, 58 BB 166 K, 118 ERA+
    He gets blisters every year and he gave up a lot of home runs when he moved to the AL, but he is just entering his prime and he led the AL in FIP last year. He is still a 3, but he pitches like a 5+ in the postseason.

    Curt Schilling, 41
    2007: 151 IP, 23 BB 101 K, 122 ERA+
    2006: 204 IP, 28 BB 183 K, 120 ERA+
    2005: 93.1 IP, 22 BB 87 K, 80 ERA+ (recovering from injuries related to his 2004 postseason heroics)
    Everyone around town thought the Sox shouldn't resign him, but his control is so good that even with the dip in the K-rate he should be above average over however many starts he manages. 3

    Daisuke Matsuzaka, 27
    2007: 204.2 IP, 80 BB 201 K, 108 ERA+
    2006: (Japan) 186.1 IP, 34 BB 200 K, 2.13 ERA
    2005: (Japan) 215 IP, 49 BB 226 K, 2.30 ERA
    Struggled with his control in 2007, I could see a big improvement in 2008. 3

    Tim Wakefield, 41
    2007: 189 IP, 64 BB 110 K, 100 ERA+
    2006: 140 IP, 51 BB 90 K, 103 ERA+
    2005: 225.1 IP, 68 BB 151 K, 109 ERA+
    It looks like his numbers are trending downward, but his FIP was actually better in 2007 than any other year. Then, stats like FIP don't really describe Wakefield. Easily my favorite player on the Red Sox. 2

    John Lester, 24
    2007: 63 IP, 31 BB 50 K, 104 ERA+
    2007: (AA,AAA) 90.2 IP, 37 BB 70 K, 3.47 ERA
    2006: 81.1 IP, 43 BB 60 K, 100 ERA+
    2006: (AAA) 46.2 IP, 25 BB 43 K, 2.70 ERA (diagnosed with Lymphoma in Sept 06)
    2005: (AA) 148.1 IP, 57 BB 163 K, 2.61 ERA
    Walks too many people to be effective at the major league level unless he K's a batter an inning. He did that in the minors, but he has plenty to work on in 2008. That said, hard not to root for him. 1

    Clay Buchholz, 23
    2007: 22.2 IP, 10 BB 22 K, 298 ERA+
    2007: (AA,AAA) 125.1 IP, 35 BB 171 K, 2.80 ERA
    2006: (A+,AA) 119 IP, 34 BB 140 K, 2.42 ERA
    2005: (A-) 41.1 IP, 9 BB 41 K, 2.61 ERA
    Only drawback is an innings limitation (the Red Sox shut him down for the playoffs last year because he had reached the innings target they set for him). He will be the best pitcher on the team by 2010, maybe sooner (like this year). Strictly speaking he is a 1, but he is closer to a 3, so I think a 2 is fair.

    Julien Taverez, 34
    2007: 134.2 IP, 51 BB 77 K, 92 ERA+
    2006: 98.7 IP, 44 BB 56 K, 106 ERA+
    2005: 65.7 IP, 19 BB 47 K, 123 ERA+
    He is a decent reliever, but a mediocre starter. If he isn't traded (which is what the papers are predicting) he will probably start the year in the bullpen. 0

    All grades are preliminary until the philosopher king assigns them, but I see a 14.

    2007-12-10 18:15:19
    372.   LogikReader

    2007 HRs

    LuGo 15
    Green 10
    Jones 26

    2007-12-10 18:16:52
    373.   Bluebleeder87
    I like Sergio Mitre (He pitched well against us) but judging from the #"s I guess he has an erratic sinker. When he's on his got a dandy though.
    2007-12-10 18:19:09
    374.   LogikReader

    Ahahahahahahahahaha! I want to buy you a Protein Berry Workout Juice just for that post.

    2007-12-10 18:19:36
    375.   D4P
    That makes it look even worse.

    Talk about feast or famine.

    2007-12-10 18:26:44
    376.   FiftyYearDodgerFan
    I saw this posted elsewhere:

    First two years in the majors -

    Mondesi: 154 games, 520 AB, 20 HR, 66 RBIs, 76 R, 15 SB, 94 K, 20 BB, .304 avg.
    Kemp: 150 games, 446 AB, 17 HR, 65 RBIs, 77 R, 16 SB, 119 K, 25 BB, .312 avg.

    2007-12-10 18:26:47
    377.   Vishal
    nobody cares about poor jonathan (still jesus in jon's post) sanchez.
    2007-12-10 18:33:19
    378.   Vishal
    270 what exactly do you mean by "thug"? somebody who is overly sensitive and confrontational?
    2007-12-10 18:40:15
    379.   Bluebleeder87

    the K's kind of jump out at you. I hope Kemp gets that lazer eye surgery that's so popular these days.

    2007-12-10 18:43:13
    380.   Bluebleeder87
    Wow, there is a chick president in Argentina, NOW THAT'S PROGRESSIVE.
    2007-12-10 18:44:59
    381.   TheBigGrabowski
    Detroit Tigers

    Justin Verlander, 25
    2005: 11.3 IP, 5 BB 7 K, 60 ERA+
    2006: 186.0 IP, 60 BB 124 K, 126 ERA+
    2007: 201.7 IP, 67 BB 183 K, 125 ERA+
    Age 26 in February.

    Kenny Rogers, 43
    2005: 195.3 IP, 53 BB, 87 K, 134 ERA+
    2006: 204.0 IP, 62 BB, 99 K, 119 ERA+
    2007: 63.0 IP, 25 BB, 36 K, 103 ERA+

    Jeremy Bonderman, 25
    2005: 189.0 IP, 57 BB, 145 K, 93 ERA+
    2006: 214.0 IP, 64 BB, 202 K, 112 ERA+
    2007: 174.0 IP, 48 BB, 145 K, 91 ERA+

    Dontrelle Willis, 25
    2005: 236.3 IP, 55 BB, 170 K, 151 ERA+
    2006: 223.3 IP, 83 BB, 160 K, 112 ERA+
    2007: 205.3 IP, 87 BB, 146 K, 83 ERA+
    2nd Cy Young Voting in 2005 (lost to Chris Carpenter), Age 26 in January.

    Nate Robertson, 30
    2005: 196.7 IP, 65 BB, 122 K, 95 ERA+
    2006: 208.7 IP, 67 BB, 137 K, 119 ERA+
    2007: 177.7 IP, 63 BB, 119 K, 96 ERA+

    Chad Durbin, 30
    2004*: 60.7 IP, 35 BB, 48 K, 63 ERA+
    2006: 6.0 IP, 0 BB, 3 K, 30 ERA+
    2007: 127.7 IP, 49 BB, 66 K, 97 ERA+
    Stats from 2004 are for Cleveland and Arizona combined. he Did not pitch in the majors in '05, and didn't sign with Detroit until '06. Made 19 starts for the Tigers in '07.

    Yorman Bazardo, 23
    2006 (AAA Toledo): 138.1 IP, 45 BB, 80 K, 3.64 ERA
    2007 (AAA Toledo): 136.2 43 BB, 69 K, 3.75 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 23.7 IP, 5 BB, 15 K, 200 ERA+

    Before the Willis/Cabrera trade, Bazardo and Durbin were considered the favorites to take the 5th spot in the rotation, but now they get pushed down to "up and coming" status or go to the bullpen.

    2007-12-10 18:45:09
    382.   Bob Timmermann
    Poor Chile. Its female president doesn't get as much PR.
    2007-12-10 18:46:04
    383.   Benaiah
    380 Well, more progressive than calling the president of Argentina a "chick" anyway.
    2007-12-10 18:53:07
    384.   MC Safety
    Once again excluded a few very brief end of season promotions, otherwise this should do.

    CC Sabathia (27) L
    2007: 241/37/209/143
    2006: 192.7/44/172/140
    2005: 196.7/62/161/104
    An increase an IP, and K's while issuing fewer BB's. Look for him to put up another fine season with free agency looming.

    Fausto Carmona (24) R
    2007: 215/61/137/151
    2006: 74.7/31/58/83
    AAA: 28/8/28/5.46 ERA
    2005: 173.2/35/106/3.68 ERA (AA/AAA)
    Was a closer in 2006 with little success. In 2007 he became a groundball inducing madman forming one of the top 1-2 punches in the league with CC.

    Jake Westbrook (30) R
    2007: 152/55/93/107
    2006: 211.3/55/109/108
    2005: 210.7/56/119/93
    Very good control, with a lot of grounders when he is on.

    Cliffton Phifer Lee (29) L
    2007: 97.3/36/66/73
    2006: 200.7/58/129/103
    2005: 202/52/143/111
    Finesse lefty with a few differant breaking pitches. Could draw interest from a few NL teams.

    Paul Byrd (37) R
    2007: 192.3/28/88/100
    2006: 179/38/88/93
    2005: 204.3/28/102/113
    Finesse righty with pinpoint command. Nice movement on all pitches. Target of unjust ridicule by ESPN for baffling the Bo Sox in the playoffs. :)

    Jeremy Sowers (24) L
    2007: 67.3/21/24/72
    AAA: 96.2/24/61/4.10 ERA
    2006: 88.3/20/35/127
    AAA: 97/29/54/1.39 ERA
    2005: 159.1/29/149/2.37 ERA (A+/AA/AAA)
    Ultra soft tossing lefty who relies on control. Pitches backwards with a nice changeup.

    Aaron Laffey (22) L
    2007: 49.3/12/25
    AA/AAA: 131.1/30/99/2.88 ERA
    2006: 153/39/85/3.18 ERA (A+/AA)
    2005: 147.1/54/75/3.24 ERA (A)

    Adam Miller (23) L
    2007: 65.1/21/68/4.82 ERA (AAA)
    2006: 159/46/161/2.83 ERA (AA)
    2005: 70.1/21/51/4.86 ERA (A-/A+)

    Will refrain from commenting on these guys as I have not seen them pitch.

    2007-12-10 19:06:53
    385.   Benaiah
    OT: My Morning Jacket is amazing. I am listening to "At Dawn" while messing around on the internet and I just perked up amazed (and this is an album I have heard many, many times). It is a rare band that can just blow you away when you are barely paying attention to an album you have heard before.
    2007-12-10 19:12:02
    386.   Bleed Dodger Blue
    195 Incorrect, good sir. I park and walk a mile. No "Pierre" money for me ... except for tickets.
    2007-12-10 19:27:20
    387.   Brent Knapp
    385 I always wanted to hear more of My Morning Jacket. They play a cover of a Who song with Eddie Vedder in Italy. That's the only place I've ever heard (of) them.
    2007-12-10 19:28:57
    388.   Vishal
    i think that D Money and the rest of you guys are kind of talking past each other.

    so i'm going to try a more direct approach.

    JP had a low OB% but still got on base with the best of them

    this, on its face, is a contradictory statement.

    JP had 707 plate appearances this season. he got on base (via a hit, a walk, or getting plunked with a pitch) a grand total of 233 times, for an OBP of .330.

    the way it works is that, if somebody ELSE had those exact same 707 plate appearances leading off for the dodgers last season, and that hypothetical player, let's call him Walky McWalkerson, put up, say, a respectable .375 OBP, that means that Mr. McWalkerson would have been on base 265 times, which is 32 more times than JP.

    2007-12-10 19:39:45
    389.   MC Safety
    I am currently listening to The Duke of Prunes by Mothers of Invention off the classic Absolutely Free album. 1967.
    2007-12-10 19:48:33
    390.   Bluebleeder87

    I'm hearing it as I type this, it's sounds incredible!! really good.

    2007-12-10 19:53:46
    391.   Vishal
    385 i admit i wasn't a big fan of what i'd heard (and i'm not much into "southern rock"-tinged stuff either, though strangely enough i happen to love bluegrass), but a good friend played me the my morning jacket live dvd, and it blew me away. i think they're better live than recorded.
    2007-12-10 19:55:31
    392.   the2pin
    Cole Hamels and Chris Young should probably be "4," but if they are at "3," there's no way that D-Lowe belongs at 3.

    It's true.

    2007-12-10 19:57:53
    393.   Bluebleeder87
    I just heard the recorded version Vishal is right the live version sounds a lot better.
    2007-12-10 20:01:29
    394.   the2pin
    Jon -- Would these rankings be more legitimate/effective/meaningful if they were limited to the likely 5 starting pitchers -- and limited to the total score of 5 players?

    I completely agree that the Dodgers have a very strong NL staff, but I dont think it's necessarily "fair" to include Kerhshaw, McDonald, etc, etc.

    Should be limited at the combined score of 5 pitchers for each team.

    2007-12-10 20:09:59
    395.   Bluebleeder87
    While I was running on my treadmill for 5 miles at a fairly fast pace I was surprised at how well the KROQ acoustic christmas came out, all the bands sounded awesome live, & from everything I've heard Muse rocked the house. It's still on (commercial free!) I wonder if anybody here went or knows somebody who went.
    2007-12-10 20:10:12
    396.   Vishal
    394 why isn't it fair to include them? depth counts for something. if, for instance, cole hamels and/or bret myers get hurt for any good length of time, the phillies are screwed.
    2007-12-10 20:16:21
    397.   Eric Stephen
    See 24 & 25
    2007-12-10 20:18:56
    398.   Jon Weisman
    394 - I don't think so. No team ever uses only five starting pitchers in a season. The mistake others make, I think, is to only try to evaluate a starting five.

    New post up top, but please put any AL pitching evaluations in this thread.

    2007-12-10 20:21:14
    399.   the2pin
    397 Thank you for the link, I regret not being here for this conversation. Hamels is easily one of the top 5 pitchers in the NL, and should be a 4, as should Chris Young. Derek Lowe is a classic "2".

    Otherwise, I'm simply not sure I agree with awarding a bunch of guys "1," as they may not even pitch in the majors. Too much subjectivity for my taste.

    Should be limited to 5 guys.

    2007-12-10 20:24:10
    400.   the2pin
    398 - Respectfully, I think the best -- most objective -- way to do this is to evaluate the strength of the probable top 5 from each team.

    Otherwise, we'll have to speculate whether some of these guys even make it to the majors next year. And, honestly, people are much more subjective about making projections as to major league performance based on minor league statistics.

    I agree that more than 5 guys will be pitching, but expanding the analysis opens up too much unpredicability, in my opinion.

    Regardless, I appreciate your doing this and look forward to the rest.

    Show/Hide Comments 401-450
    2007-12-10 20:28:33
    401.   Eric Stephen
    399 Derek Lowe is a classic "2".

    Derek Lowe has pitched over 1200 innings the last 6 years, and has been above average in all but one of them, including all 3 seasons in LA.

    His ERA+ over the last 6 seasons in 117, 29th among those with 600+ IP
    His ERA+ over the last 4 seasons in 110, 37th among those with 400+ IP

    He's pretty much the definition of "above average".

    2007-12-10 20:31:09
    402.   Jon Weisman
    If you evaluated the 2007 Dodger pitching staff based on five guys, you would really have a incomplete picture of what the staff was like. In 2007, the original starting five made 95 starts, the rest of the staff made 67.

    As for the individual rankings, we can quibble, but Derek Lowe's three straight years of 32 or more starts and ERA+ of 114 or better makes him a "classic" 3, if "classic" can be used to describe something I invented yesterday.

    Hamels, we discussed earlier. You could make him a 4, but in his only ace season, he missed several starts.

    But there can be all kinds of nitpicking. The point of the whole exercise is to show how hard it is to build a staff of reliable starters - basically, no one has.

    2007-12-10 20:33:03
    403.   Sushirabbit
    RE: MMJ, I endured Elizabethtown, and the best part of that movie was seeing them. Pretty Funny.
    2007-12-10 20:33:08
    404.   Jon Weisman
    400 - Thanks for the nice words. I understand your fears about unpredictability, but in my mind, if you don't take depth into account, any analysis of a staff is meaningless - the greater of two evils.
    2007-12-10 20:33:32
    405.   the2pin

    He's average to above average. Your point is well heard, but he is not in the same tier as Cole Hamels -- it simply isn't close. If Cole's lack of experience is an issue, what about Carlos Zambrano? If these guys are "3," D-Lowe looks a lot more average, and a lot more like a "2".

    I think the Dodgers have an excellent staff; pardon me if I'm beginning to act as a kind of ombudsman.

    2007-12-10 20:34:55
    406.   the2pin
    404 You make a good point. I'm gone for the evening, good night all.
    2007-12-10 20:39:56
    407.   Eric Stephen
    I'd bump Zambrano to 4 but keep Hamels at 3 until he does it again this season. I agree that Hamels is better than Lowe, but there are varying degrees of "3".

    Ted Williams and Paul Molitor are both HOFers, but it doesn't mean they're equal.

    2007-12-10 21:12:01
    408.   scareduck
    Assuming I read this thread right and nobody else has taken them, I'll do the Angels writeup.
    2007-12-10 22:03:58
    409.   GoBears
    I think one thing to remember is that Jon's project is for the 2008 season only. I'm sure everyone would take Hamels over Lowe if they were building a team, or signing multiyear deals. And Hamels probably even has more upside (potential for greatness) in 2008. But I am not certain that Hamels WILL have a better 2008 than Lowe, and as Jon says, the main reason for caution is uncertainty about his ability to pitch a full season at a high level next year.
    2007-12-10 22:07:22
    410.   Benaiah
    The point isn't to construct the perfect system to determine exactly how productive each rotation will be. We could try to use ZIPS and a formula we came up with to figure it out within a broad range if we wanted to, but it would just point out that nothing is certain until the year starts. People will get hurt, people will overperform and underperform, line drives with be hit right at people and groundballs will find the gap. You can't know beyond a certain amount how good a staff is going to be next year. This is just as simple as: "How many pitchers next year fall within broad guidelines of past performance, possibility of injury, age and repeatibility."

    Hamels will probably outperform Lowe next year, but how many times out of a hundred will Lowe be better than Hamels? Surely there is about thirty percent chance that someone as healthy and consistent as Lowe at 34 (Schilling was a super above average 4 until he was almost forty) will outperform Cole Hamels, an oft injured pitcher with one season where he was better than Lowe (48.8 VORP vs 30.5 VORP). Lowe was better in 2006 than Hamels was in 2007, and Lowe's 2005 was even better. I know Lowe isn't a very likable guy, but Hamels isn't on a different level than him, yet.

    This was a fine undertaking, not the last word on rotation ranking but it really gets the point across. By not signing another Juan Pierre type of albatross the Dodgers are giving the trio of young guys a chance to show what they can do. We don't need an insurance replacement pitcher to use in dream trade scenarios to get rid of his albatross contract and clear space for the young guys. We have enough starting pitching.

    2007-12-10 22:26:22
    411.   scareduck
    John Lackey, 28
    2005: 209 IP, 71 BB, 199 K, 123 ERA+
    2006: 217.2 IP, 72 BB, 190 K, 128 ERA+
    2007: 224 IP, 52 BB, 179 K, 151 ERA+

    So long as Lackey continues to get pounded by the Red Sox, so long will he be the Rodney Dangerfield of aces. His ERA shrank by better than half a run over his 2006, he finally got over a hump against division rivals Seattle and Texas (though that had as much to do with the overall weakness of the division as his improvement), and this year he established himself as one of the top three pitchers in the AL. (By VORP, only C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona had better seasons, and he led the league in ERA.) Unfortunately, he hasn't had a postseason win since the 2002 World Series that gave him the reputation as a big game pitcher, which (I think) some would say detracts from his impressive resume.

    Kelvim Escobar, 31
    2005: 59.2 IP, 21 BB, 63 K, 140 ERA+
    2006: 189.1 IP, 50 BB, 147 K, 126 ERA+
    2007: 195.2 IP, 66 BB, 160 K, 134 ERA+

    Escobar with the Blue Jays could never quite establish himself as either a starter or a reliever, and you can see why in his injury-shortened 2005. He spent that year mostly in the pen and was much, much more effective there. But that's true of most pitchers, and Escobar has come right back from a relatively weak 2006 to pitch perhaps the best full season of his career. The fact that the Angels and Indians are the only teams in baseball with two pitchers by VORP in the top ten speaks to what he's accomplished this season. Bone chips in his elbow are likely to be a recurring problem; the next time he needs surgery to correct this will likely be the last.

    Jered Weaver, 24
    2005: A+ Rancho Cucamonga, 33 IP, 7 BB, 49 K
    2005: AA Arkansas, 43 IP, 19 BB, 46 K
    2006: AAA Salt Lake, 77 IP, 10 BB, 93 K
    2006: 123 IP, 33 BB, 105 K, 178 ERA+
    2007: 161 IP, 45 BB, 115 K, 117 ERA+

    Weaver's 2007 is much more likely to be his future than his extraordinary 2006, but even at that level he's a fine mid-rotation pitcher. Tendinitis gave him troubles down the stretch (4.50 ERA in September/October), and the team has openly questioned his offseason work ethic (he wasn't ready for spring training because of lax conditioning).

    Ervin Santana, 24
    2005: 133 IP, 47 BB, 99 K, 91 ERA+
    2006: 204 IP, 70 BB, 141 K, 107 ERA+
    2007: 150 IP, 58 BB, 126 K, 79 ERA+

    Santana looked to build on a good 2006 only to succumb to the same devil that's eaten him up in the past, pitching away from home. By midseason things got so bad that the Angels sent him back down to AAA to recuperate. The cure appeared to have worked, as he posted a 2.96 ERA in September. Prominently mentioned as a possible trade chit in 2006, it's more likely the Angels keep him around. He should be John Lackey, Jr. in his development, with a similar repertoire (and surprisingly enough, similar foibles in his early career).

    Joe Saunders, 26
    2005: AA Arkansas, 105.2 IP, 32 BB, 80 K, 3.49 ERA
    2005: AAA Salt Lake, 55 IP, 21 BB, 29 K, 4.58 ERA
    2006: AAA Salt Lake, 135 IP, 38 BB, 97 K, 2.67 ERA
    2006: 70.2 IP, 29 BB, 51 K, 97 ERA+
    2007: AAA Salt Lake, 86.1 IP, 20 BB, 84 K, 5.11 ERA
    2007: 107.1 IP, 34 BB, 69 K, 103 ERA+

    Hokie Joe Saunders will keep the ball on the ground and in the park with a fastball/sinker/cutter combination that hides a "merely adequate curve" according to Baseball Prospectus. He actually did better than I thought he would in 2007 because he was awful the second time teams got to see him. Part of that was due to the fact he was facing them very late in the season. His 2007 minor league numbers should be ignored, as he was tinkering with his delivery extensively, to obvious ill effect.

    Dustin Moseley, 25
    2005: AAA Salt Lake, 82.1 IP, 30 BB, 38 K, 5.03 ERA
    2006: AAA Salt Lake, 150 IP, 51 BB, 114 K, 4.68 ERA
    2007: 92 IP, 27 BB, 50 K, 104 ERA+

    Moseley was a former first-round pick of the Reds, but his progress stalled along the way and he ended up as the stray bit of lint that the Angels got in exchange for the increasingly grumpy and ineffective Ramon Ortiz. He's really the team's sixth starter, and you hope it never gets to that, but he's been surprisingly effective in that role.

    Nick Adenhart, 20
    2005: Rookie A AZ Angels, 44 IP, 24 BB, 52 K, 3.68 ERA
    2006: A- Cedar Rapids, 106 IP, 26 BB, 99 K, 2.04 ERA
    2006: A+ Rancho Cucamonga, 52.1 IP, 16 BB, 46 K, 3.78 ERA
    2007: AA Arkansas, 153 IP, 65 BB, 116 K, 3.65 ERA

    Adenhart is still an elite prospect, but he hasn't pitched like one so far. In fairness, he's quite a bit younger than much of his competition, and he'll get more of the same in 2008, when he starts in the high-elevation, high-scoring PCL.

    2007-12-11 11:03:49
    412.   TheBigGrabowski
    It looks like we only have 3 AL teams done so I can do another one. I'll work on Cleveland.
    2007-12-11 11:09:21
    413.   MC Safety
    Cleveland is done.
    2007-12-11 11:23:19
    414.   TheBigGrabowski
    Yeeeaaah, I don't know how I missed that.
    2007-12-11 13:06:20
    415.   TheBigGrabowski
    Seattle Mariners

    Felix Hernandez, 21
    2005: 84.3 IP, 23 BB, 77 K, 157 ERA+
    2006: 191.0 IP, 60 BB, 176 K, 98 ERA+
    2007: 190.3 IP, 53 BB, 165 K, 110 ERA+
    Age 22 in April

    Jarrod Washburn, 33
    2005: 177.3 IP, 51 BB, 94 K, 132 ERA+
    2006: 187.0 IP, 55 BB, 103 K, 95 ERA+
    2007: 193.7 IP, 67 BB, 114 K, 100 ERA+

    Miguel Batista, 36
    2005: 74.7 IP, 27 BB, 54 K, 109 ERA+
    2006: 206.3 IP, 84 BB, 110 K, 103 ERA+
    2007: 193.0 IP, 85 BB, 133 K, 101 ERA+
    Age 37 in February

    Horacio Ramirez, 28
    2005: 202.3 IP, 67 BB, 80 K, 91 ERA+
    2006: 76.3 IP, 31 BB, 37 K, 99 ERA+
    2007: 98.0 IP, 42 BB, 40 K, 61 ERA+
    Ramirez is listed 4th on Seattle's depth chart. He made 20 starts in '07, but only averaged 4.9 innings per start.

    Cha Seung Baek, 27
    2004: 31.0 IP, 11 BB, 20 K, 82 ERA+
    2005: Couldn't find minor stats for '05
    2006 (AAA, PCL): 147.0 IP, 37 BB, 103 K, 3.00 ERA
    2006: 34.3 IP, 13 BB, 23 K, 121 ERA+
    2007: 73.3 IP, 14 BB, 49 K, 84 ERA+
    12 starts for Seattle in '07.

    Ryan Feierabend, 22
    2006 (AA, TEX): 153.2 IP, 55 BB, 127 K, 4.28 ERA
    2006 (MLB): 17.0 IP, 7 BB, 11 K, 119 ERA+
    2007 (AAA, PCL): 108.1 IP, 33 BB, 70 K, 3.99 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 49.3 IP, 23 BB, 27 K, 54 ERA+
    9 Starts for Seattle in ' 07.

    2007-12-11 13:13:34
    416.   TheBigGrabowski
    I forgot Brandon Morrow, in the post above. Seattle's website says he is penciled in as the fourth starter.

    Brandon Morrow
    2006 (AA/AAA): 16 IP, 9 BB, 17 K, 2.25 ERA
    2007 (MLB) 63.3 IP, 50 BB, 66 K, 105 ERA+

    2007-12-11 15:26:49
    417.   TheBigGrabowski
    Minnesota Twins

    Johan Santana, 28
    2005: 231.7 IP, 45 BB, 238 K, 155 ERA+
    2006: 233.7 IP, 47 BB, 245 K, 161 ERA+
    2007: 219.0 IP, 52 BB, 235 K, 130 ERA+
    Age 29 in April.

    Carlos Silva, 28
    2005: 188.3 IP, 9 BB (!!!), 71 K, 129 ERA+
    2006: 180.3 IP, 32 BB, 70 K, 75 ERA+
    2007: 202.0 IP, 36 BB, 89 K, 103 ERA+

    Scott Baker, 26
    2005: 53.7 IP, 14 BB, 32 K, 133 ERA+
    2006: 83.3 IP, 16 BB, 62 K, 70 ERA+
    2007: 143.7 IP, 29 BB, 102 K, 102 ERA+

    Boof Bonser, 26
    2006: 100.3 IP, 24 BB, 84 K, 106 ERA+
    2007: 173.0 IP, 65 BB, 136 K, 85 ERA+

    Kevin Slowey, 23
    2006 (A/AA): 148.2 IP, 22 BB, 151 K, 1.88 ERA
    2007 (AAA): 133.2 IP, 18 BB, 107 K, 1.89 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 66.7 IP, 11 BB, 47 K, 92 ERA+

    Francisco Liriano, 24
    2005: 23.7 IP, 7 BB, 33 K, 78 ERA+
    2006: 121.0 IP, 32 BB, 144 K, 207 ERA+
    Tommy John surgery in 2006/2007.

    2007-12-11 15:29:36
    418.   TheBigGrabowski
    I don't have a lot of work today, so I'm just going to keep doing these.
    2007-12-11 16:09:22
    419.   TheBigGrabowski
    I'm working on Yankees right now.
    2007-12-11 16:46:55
    420.   TheBigGrabowski
    New York Yankees

    Chien-MIng Wang, 27
    2005: 116.3 IP, 32 BB, 147 K, 105 ERA+
    2006: 218.0 IP, 52 BB, 76 K, 124 ERA+
    2007: 199.3 IP, 59 BB, 104 K, 121 ERA+
    Age 28 in March.

    Andy Pettitte, 35
    2005: 222.3 IP, 41 BB, 171 K, 177 ERA+
    2006: 214.3 IP, 70 BB, 178 K, 106 ERA+
    2007: 215.3 IP, 69 BB, 141 K, 110 ERA+

    Philip Hughes, 21
    2006 (Minors): 146.0 IP, 34 BB, 168 K, 2.13 ERA
    2007 (Minors): 37.2 IP, 12 BB, 42 K, 1.71 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 72.7 IP, 29 BB, 58 K, 100 ERA+

    Mike Mussina, 39
    2005: 179.7 IP, 47 BB, 140 K, 96 ERA+
    2006: 197.3 IP, 35 BB, 172 K, 129 ERA+
    2007: 152.0 IP, 35 BB, 91 K, 87 ERA+

    Joba Chamberlain, 22
    2007 (Minors, 3 levels): 88.1 IP, 27 BB, 135 K, 2.45 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 24.0 IP, 6 BB, 34 K, 1192 ERA+ (heh)

    Ian Kennedy, 23
    2007 (minors, 3 levels): 146.1 IP, 50 BB, 163 K, 1.91 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 19.0 IP, 9 BB, 15 K, 236 ERA+

    Tyler Clippard, 22
    2006 (AA): 166.0 IP, 55 BB, 175 K, 3.36 ERA
    2007 (AAA): 96.0 IP, 47 BB, 83 K, 4.50 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 27.0 IP, 17 BB, 18 K, 72 ERA+

    Kei Igawa, 28
    2007: 67.7 IP, 37 BB, 53 K, 72 ERA+
    First year in US

    2007-12-11 16:54:11
    421.   Benaiah
    I will do another one eventually, but it might be tomorrow or the next day before I do. I will do the Rays, but if someone does it before me then more power to them.
    2007-12-12 12:29:08
    422.   TheBigGrabowski
    Oakland Athletics

    Dan Haren, 27
    2005: 217.0 IP, 53 BB, 163 K, 117 ERA+
    2006: 223.0 IP, 45 BB, 176 K, 108 ERA+
    2007: 222.7 IP, 55 BB, 192 K, 137 ERA+

    Joe Blanton, 27
    2005: 201.3 IP, 67 BB, 116 K, 123 ERA+
    2006: 194.3 IP, 58 BB, 107 K, 92 ERA+
    2007: 230.0 IP, 40 BB, 140 K, 106 ERA+

    Chad Gaudin, 24
    2005: 13.0 IP, 6 BB, 12 K, 34 ERA+
    2006: 64.0 IP, 42 BB, 36 K, 143 ERA+
    2007: 199.3 IP, 100 BB, 154 K, 95 ERA+
    25 in March

    Rich Harden, 26
    2005: 128.0 IP, 43 BB, 121 K, 172 ERA+
    2006: 46.7 IP, 26 BB, 49 K, 104 ERA+
    2007: 25.7 IP, 11 BB, 27 K, 171 ERA+
    The big injury risk, obv

    Justin Duchscherer, 30
    2005: 85.7 IP, 19 BB, 85 K, 198 ERA+
    2006: 55.7 IP, 9 BB, 51 K, 152 ERA+
    2007: 16.3 IP, 8 BB, 13 K, 85 ERA+
    Was a reliever for Boston in 05 and Oakland in 06/07. Was breifly going to be the closer in 07 when Huston Street was injured, but then he was injured as well. Oakland's website has him 5th on the starting pitching depth chart, so he may be in the rotation for 2008.

    Lenny DiNardo, 28
    2005: 14.7 IP, 5 BB, 15 K, 246 ERA+
    2006: 39.0 IP, 20 BB, 17 K, 60 ERA+
    2007: 131.3 IP, 50 BB, 59 K, 102 ERA+
    20 starts in 2007.

    Dallas Braden, 24
    2006 (A+/AA): 37.0 IP, 8 BB, 55 K, 4.14 ERA
    2007 (AA/AAA): 76.0 IP, 21 BB, 87 K, 2.84 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 72.3 IP, 26 BB, 55 K, 62 ERA+
    14 starts in 2007.

    Oakland was killed by injuries in 2007, which is why Braden and DiNardo got so many starts. Joe Kennedy also passed away in 2007 and would have started for Oakland in 2008.

    2007-12-15 09:28:03
    423.   Eric Stephen
    Kansas City Royals

    Gil Meche, 29
    2005: 143.1 IP, 72 BB, 83 K, 82 ERA+
    2006: 186.2 IP, 84 BB, 156 K, 99 ERA+
    2007: 216.0 IP, 62 BB, 156 K, 128 ERA+

    Zack Greinke, 24
    2005: 183.0 IP, 53 BB, 114 K, 76 ERA+
    2006 (AA): 106.0 IP, 27 BB, 94 K, 4.33 ERA
    2006 (MLB): 6.1 IP, 3 BB, 5 K, 110 ERA+
    2007: 122.0 IP, 36 BB, 106 K, 127 ERA+ (14 starts in 52 appearances)
    Greinke, if he's mentally healthy, is their best pitcher. He started and ended 2007 in the rotation, but pitched in relief for the middle part of the year.

    Brian Bannister, 27
    2005 (AA/AAA): 154.1 IP, 40 BB, 142 K, 2.74 ERA
    2006 (A+/AAA): 42 IP, 9 BB, 33 K, 3.21 ERA
    2006 (MLB): 38.0 IP, 22 BB, 19 K, 102 ERA+
    2007 (AAA): 20.2 IP, 4 BB, 14 K, 2.61 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 165.0 IP, 44 BB, 77 K, 121 ERA+
    Son of Floyd Bannister. Finally broke through in 2007. Baseball America rankings: 2007 #7 (KC), 2006 #15 (NYM)

    Luke Hochevar, 24
    2005: jerked Dodgers around
    2006 (A): 15.1 IP, 2 BB, 16 K, 1.17 ERA
    2007 (AA/AAA): 152.0 IP, 47 BB, 138 K, 4.86 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 12.2 IP, 4 BB, 5 K, 220 ERA+ (1 start in 4 appearances)
    Ranked as 40th best prospect in baseball, according to #2 prospect in Royals' system according to BA in 2007.

    Kyle Davies, 27
    2005 (AAA): 73.1 IP, 34 BB, 62 K, 3.44 ERA
    2005 (MLB): 87.2 IP, 49 BB, 62 K, 86 ERA+
    2006 (AA/AAA): 29 IP, 8 BB, 17 K, 2.48 ERA
    2006 (MLB): 63.3 IP, 33 BB, 51 K, 53 ERA+
    2007 (AAA): 10.0 IP, 6 BB, 12 K, 4.50 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 136.0 IP, 70 BB, 99 K, 73 ERA+

    Jorge De La Rosa, 27
    2005 (MLB): 42.1 IP, 38 BB, 42 K, 96 ERA+ (0 starts)
    2006 (AA): 30 IP, 3 BB, 23 K, 2.40 ERA
    2006 (MLB): 79.0 IP, 54 BB, 67 K, 71 ERA+ (13 starts in 28 appearances)
    2007 (AA): 5.2 IP, 4 BB, 7 K, 11.12 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 130.0 IP, 53 BB, 82 K, 81 ERA+

    Luke Hudson, 31
    2005 (AA): 6.2 IP, 1 BB, 7 K, 5.40 ERA
    2005 (MLB): 84.2 IP, 50 BB, 53 K, 67 ERA+
    2006 (AAA): 35 IP, 7 BB, 21 K, 2.83 ERA (2 starts in 13 appearances)
    2006 (MLB): 102 IP, 38 BB, 64 K, 92 ERA+
    2007 (AA/AAA): 16.1 IP, 6 BB, 26 K, 4.41 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 2 IP, 4 BB, 0 K, 26 ERA+ (1 awful start)

    Brandon Duckworth, 32
    2005 (AAA): 115 IP, 37 BB, 89 K, 4.62 ERA
    2005 (MLB): 16.1 IP, 7 BB, 10 K, 38 ERA+ (2 starts in 7 appearances)
    2006 (AAA): 74 IP, 23 BB, 57 K, 2.43 ERA
    2006 (MLB): 45.2 IP, 24 BB, 27 K, 77 ERA+
    2007 (A+/AAA): 19 IP, 3 BB, 20 K, 4.74 ERA
    2007 (MLB): 46.2 IP, 23 BB, 21 K, 101 ERA+ (3 starts in 26 appearances)

    Tyler Lumsden, 25
    2006 (AA): 159 IP, 60 BB, 96 K, 2.77 ERA
    2007 (AAA): 119.1 IP, 59 BB, 74 K, 5.88 ERA
    Regressed badly after being ranked by BA as #5 Royals' prospect in 2007. Was #18 & #13 in White Sox' system in 2006 & 2005 respectively.

    Ray Liotta, 25
    2005 (A/A+): 165 IP, 51 BB, 144 K, 2.02 ERA
    2006 (A+/AA): 139 IP, 65 BB, 82 K, 5.89 ERA
    2007: didn't pitch after hurting his shoulder in the Lufthansa heist
    Minor League Rule 5 pick from the White Sox. Not ready to pitch until June.

    The Royals are one of the few teams that could actually benefit from bringing in Carlos Silva or Kyle Loshe.

    2007-12-15 14:32:10
    424.   RobP
    Hey, let's not ignore Canada. I've tentatively awarded points to these pitchers, but those can be changed (and maybe should be, since the total seems low to me).

    Toronto Blue Jays

    Roy Halladay, 31
    2005 (MLB): 141.2 IP, 18 BB, 108 K, 184 ERA+
    2006 (MLB): 220 IP, 34 BB, 132 K, 143 ERA+
    2007 (MLB): 225.1 IP, 48 BB, 139 K, 120 ERA+

    The only question is whether you want to go up one point to four, or call him merely "above average." Most likely, he's only worth three, and besides, that K rate is starting to worry me.

    A.J. Burnett, 31
    2005 (MLB): 209 IP, 79 BB, 198 K, 115 ERA+
    2006 (MLB): 135.2 IP, 39 BB, 118 K, 115 ERA+
    2007 (MLB): 165.2 IP, 66 BB, 176 K, 119 ERA+

    Came back strong after his midseason injury, but he might be overused by Brad Arnsberg next year as well. I know. I'm shocked too. Roll two dice, add 15 to the result, and mark it down as his expected number of starts for 2008. One point.

    Shaun Marcum, 26
    2005 (AA/AAA): 157 IP, 28 BB, 130 K, 4.13 ERA
    2005 (MLB): 8 IP, 4 BB, 4 K, no runs allowed
    2006 (AAA): 53 IP, 9 BB, 60 K, 3.40 ERA
    2006 (MLB): 78.1 IP, 38 BB, 65 K, 90 ERA+
    2007 (MLB): 159 IP, 49 BB, 122 K, 108 ERA+

    Even after he was finally, finally put in the rotation after a month of jerking around with Ohka and the lesser Zambrano, he averaged only 5.7 innings per start. When he was going good, he seemed to put up zeroes for innings 1 through 6 every time out, but the combination of good opposing teams and, perhaps, good ol' regression nudged his ERA back over 4 at the end of the season. I consider him an above-average starter, but I really like Marcum, so keep that in mind.

    Dustin McGowan, 26
    2005 (A/AA): 56 IP, 15 BB, 53 K, 3.70 ERA
    2005 (MLB): 45.1 IP, 17 BB, 34 K, 70 ERA+ (13 games, 7 starts)
    2006 (AAA): 84 IP, 39 BB, 86 K, 4.39 ERA (23 games, 13 starts)
    2006 (MLB): 27.1 IP, 25 BB, 22 K, 63 ERA+ (mostly relief)
    2007 (AAA): 22 IP, 9 BB, 29 K, 1.64 ERA (5 games, 5 starts)
    2007 (MLB): 169.2 IP, 61 BB, 144 K, 109 ERA+ (27 games, 27 starts)

    If this was 2004 and not 2008, I'd say up-and-coming, but I don't know if you can say he has above-average potential for next year, what with his lack of control. I can go either way.

    Casey Janssen, 26

    I could include his stats, but after that McGowan levelfest, I'm starting to tire like Litsch in the fifth. Janssen should be starting, but that's another story. I include him on this list because there are rumblings that he'll be moved back where he belongs. Last year, he was great at setting up B.J. Ryan -- whoops, Jeremy Accardo -- but it probably adds up to 0 points for our purposes.

    Jesse Litsch, 23

    The 's' is silent.

    Deserves one point for being round and pink (and the whole "good performance at a young age" thing) but could lose it on appeal for not knowing how to break in a baseball cap.

    Randy Wells, 25 and Gustavo Chacin, 27.

    Included for the sake of completeness. Neither is up-and-coming; neither projects to be above-average. I can't believe Chacin's 27.

    2007-12-15 21:45:52
    425.   nofatmike
    Tampa Bay Rays

    Scott Kazmir (24)
    2007: 206.7 IP/239 K's/89 BB's/130 ERA+
    2006: 144.7 IP/163 K's/52 BB's/142 ERA+
    2005: 186.0 IP/174 K's/100 BB's/116ERA+

    James Shields (26)
    2007: 215.0 IP/184 K's/36 BB's/117 ERA+
    2006: 124.7 IP/104 K's/38 BB's/95 ERA+
    2006(AAA): 61.0 IP/64 K's/6 BB's/2.66 ERA
    2005(AAA): 6 IP/6 K's/3 BB's/6.00 ERA
    2005(AA): 109.3 IP/104 K's/31 BB's/2.80 ERA

    Matt Garza (24)
    2007: 85.0 IP/67 K's/32 BB's/118 ERA+
    2007(AAA): 92.0 IP/95 K's/31 BB's/3.62 ERA
    2006: 50.0 IP/38 K's/23 BB's/78 ERA+
    2006(AAA): 34.0 IP/33 K's/7 BB's/1.85 ERA
    2006(AA): 57.0 IP/68 K's/14 BB's/2.53 ERA
    2006(A+): 44.0 IP/53 K's/11 BB's/1.43 ERA
    2005(A): 56.0 IP/64 K's/15 BB's/3.54 ERA
    2005(Rk): 19.7 IP/25 K/6 BB's/3.66 ERA

    Andy Sonnanstine (25)
    2007: 130.7 IP/97 K's/26 BB's/77 ERA+
    2007(AAA): 71.0 IP/66 K's/13 BB's/2.66 ERA
    2006(AA): 186.0 IP/153 K's/34 BB's/2.66 ERA
    2005(A+): 64.0 IP/75 K's/7 BB's/3.80 ERA
    2005(A): 116.7 IP/103 K's/11 BB's/2.55 ERA

    Jason Hammel (25)
    2007: 85.0 IP/64 K's/40 BB's/74 ERA+
    2007(AAA): 76.3 IP/75 K's/28 BB's/3.42 ERA
    2006: 44.0 IP/32 K/21 BB's/59 ERA+
    2006(AAA): 128.0 IP/117 K's/36 BB's/4.22 ERA
    2005(AAA): 54.7 IP/48 K's/27 BB's/4.12 ERA
    2005(AA): 81.3 IP/76 K's/19 BB's/2.66 ERA

    J.P. Howell (25)
    2007: 51.0 IP/49 K's/21 BB's/60 ERA+
    2007(AAA): 128 IP/145 K's/34 BB's/3.38 ERA
    2006: 42.3 IP/33 K's/14 BB's/90 ERA+
    2006(AAA): 91.0 IP/82 K's/29 BB's/3.46 ERA
    2005(AAA): 37.7 IP/23 K's/19 BB's/4.06 ERA
    2005(AA): 18.0 IP/23 K's/5 BB's/2.80 ERA
    2005(A): 46.0 IP/48 K's/24 BB's/1.96 ERA

    Mitch Talbot (24)
    2007(AAA): 161.0 IP/124 K's/59 BB's/4.53 ERA
    2006(AA): 156.0 IP/155 K's/47 BB's/2.77 ERA
    2005(A+): 151.3 IP/100 K's/46 BB's/4.34 ERA

    Jeff Niemann (25)
    2007(AAA): 131.0 IP/123 K's/46 BB's/3.98 ERA
    2006(AA): 77.0 IP/84 K's/29 BB's/2.69 ERA
    2005(AA): 14.0 IP/14 K's/5 BB's/4.35 ERA
    2005(A+): 20.3 IP/28 K's/10 BB's/3.98 ERA

    Jae Kuk Ryu (24)
    2007: 23.3 IP/14 K's/11 BB's/62 ERA+
    2007(AAA): 71.3 IP/67 K's/21 BB's/4.04 ERA
    2006(AAA): 139.0 IP/114 K's/51 BB's/3.24 ERA
    2005(AA): 169.7 IP/133 K's/49 BB's/3.34 ERA

    Mainly a reliever with the big club last year, could be used as a starter.

    Christopher Mason (23)
    2007(AA): 161.3 IP/136 K's/44 BB's/2.57 ERA
    2006(A+): 152.0 IP/111 K's/44 BB's/5.03 ERA
    2005(A): 18.7 IP/30 K's/13 BB's/1.45 ERA
    2005(A-): 15.0 IP/14 K's/8 BB's/2.40 ERA

    James Houser (23)
    2007(AA): 103.7 IP/90 K's/39 BB's/3.65 ERA
    2006(A+): 151.0 IP/137 K's/46 BB's/4.41 ERA
    2005(A): 115 IP/109 K's/31 BB's/3.76 ERA

    Both Houser and Mason could be Sept. callups if things go well for them.

    Edwin Jackson (24)
    2007: 161.0 IP/128 K's/88 BB's/78 ERA+
    2006: 36.3 IP/27 K's/25 BB's/85 ERA+
    2006(AAA): 73.0 IP/66 K's/35 BB's/5.55 ERA
    2005: 28.7 IP/13 K's/17 BB's/65 ERA+
    2005(AAA): 55.3 IP/33 K's/37 BB's/8.62 ERA
    2005(AA): 62.0 IP/44 K's/18 BB's/3.48 ERA

    The Rays are looking to either trade him or release him. I can't say I blame them.

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