Archive for the ‘Hitting’ Category

Cork Gaines of Rays Index visited Mike Silva for his blog talk radio show NY Baseball Digest. This q&a segment titled Outside the Apple Tampa Bay Rays brought up a lot of hot topics about the ball club. Below is a representation of what was discussed.  It is paraphrased  and not word for word:

On the Rays player movement this off season:

Cork : we knew this would happen for a long time . There is still alot of talent here in Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton, Jeremy Hellickson, David Price and others.

On Manny Ramirez and what if it does not work out:

Cork:  hard to envision it could be any worse than the 9 million the Rays ate on Pat Burrell. It’s a no lose situation. Manny usually starts off good and its a 1 year deal, well worth 2 million.

On the Rays having to count on that Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon to be good this year:

Cork:  The Rays need them to score runs. Without these additions there was not a lot of threats in the lineup. Now the Rays can put Manny 4th  or 5th,  with Damon at the top of the lineup. It slots slots everyone better. Matt Joyce  can be 7th hitter and it puts pressure off of him. It’s like getting a closer in the bullpen where it puts people in better places

On losing Pena:

Cork:  Pena will be missed for his tremendous glove, and without the addition of Manny, the Rays would of really missed his presence in the lineup. Pena was what kept pitchers honest. Pena made the infield defense a whole lot better. The Rays will miss Pena in the clubhouse. The fans gravitated towards  Pena. Now the Rays are going with Dan Johnson playing 1st base. Dan Johnson hits lefties well.  May be playing everyday he could be productive. However Maddon likes platoons so he won’t be out there every day.

On Joe Maddon as the manager:

Cork : The expectations have been raised with Maddon as the manager, an old scool type of baseball man, he is a polarizing  figure. The team has been productive with Maddon. Its either Friedman picking the right players or Maddon doing a good job with them. At times he over thinks things but overall he is a good manager.

On the Garza trade:

Cork: Rays said they wouldn’t do it unless they got blown away from an offer. Chris Archer, probably won’t see a whole lot of him this year,  maybe next year.  Chirnos was the key player in deal. As Jaso is not best defense catcher, but gets on base well and is a serviceable catcher. Chirnos was moved from the infield, Rays could move Shoppach and shave payroll.

On Hellickson and the pitching rotation:

Cork: Helickson might be skipped from time to time. Wade Davis and Niemmann are workhorse pitchers, Price is gonna be great, heavy load last year, maybe a tired arm. The key is James Shields, Rays need him to step up, get him back.

On the bullpen and is Farnsworth like putting kersosene on fire?
Cork: Farnsworth has been better the  past few yrs.  The bullpen is a hodge podge.  J.P. Howell will start on the DL and could be back  mid May or early June. Rays have 25 guys in camp which are relief pitchers. Rays need 1 or 2 to relief pitchers to step it up, but it won’t be lights out like last year. The bullpen will be ok, not great.

On Soriano in New York:

Cork: It will be intersting, for the most part ok, wonder if things turn sour, how will he react? He is the temperamental type, on edge and sometimes channels anger in wrong way. However, not looking forward to facing him.

On the Ken Rosenthal contraction/moving the team piece?

Cork:  contracting with less people as part of the game and less sales opportunities is a silly idea. The Tampa market is untapped for baseball, sports fans haven’t latched on, and building centrally located. It is equivalent  of Citi Field being located in the Hamptons. Since the Trop is surrounded by water to get to the games it usually ends up taking most people  1.5 hours to get to the game, its a problem. The Rays will never draw 3million on consistent basis. But, they don’t need to.  They can be an in the middle attendance team. It’s a good sports area. Rays don’t have history. Most  of the long time clubs all have a history that generatons of fans to build on. The Rays don’t have that. They are now experiencing a good run, 10 year from now it will be something look back on.

On Rays as a playoff team:
Cork: The early thoughts is that they can compete, still looking for bullpen help, Yankees will go out and get starting pitcher help. Rays are a 85-88 win team, break well they could win 92 games. If they get off to a bad start selling of pieces,  then a 75 win team.

In the book that published last year  titled Beyond Batting Average, the author Lee Panas suggests  the Quad is a happy median between traditional stats and sabermetric stats. My Roto site BaseballHappenings.com was even referenced in the book:

David Bloom suggests using OBP/SLG/TOB/TB because it combines both rate measures (OBP, SLG) and playing time statistics (TOB, TB).  However, BA/OBP/SLG is still the most common combination in the sabermetric community

The Quad takes into account both counting stats in Times on Base, and Total Bases and the rate stats in On Base Percentage, Slugging average.

TOB

  1. Miguel Cabrera 272
  2. Daric Barton 265
  3. Robinson Cano 265
  4. Billy Butler 263
  5. Nick Markakis 262
  6. Ichiro Suzuki 262
  7. Mark Teixeira 260
  8. Shin-Soo Choo 259
  9. Jose Bautista 9 258
  10. Derek Jeter 251
  11. Paul Konerko 248
  12. Evan Longoria 246

TB

  1. Jose Bautista 351
  2. Miguel Cabrera 341
  3. Robinson Cano 334
  4. Josh Hamilton 328
  5. Adrian Beltre 326
  6. Paul Konerko 320
  7. Vernon Wells 304
  8. Carl Crawford 297
  9. Vladimir Guerrero 294
  10. Evan Longoria 291
  11. Michael Young 291
  12. Nick Swisher 289
  13. Mark Teixeira 289
  14. Delmon Young 281
  15. Billy Butler 279
  16. Nick Markakis 274

OBP

  1. Miguel Cabrera 0.420
  2. Kevin Youkilis 0.411
  3. Josh Hamilton  0.411
  4. Joe Mauer  0.402
  5. Shin-Soo Choo  0.401
  6. Jack Cust 0.395
  7. Daric Barton 0.393
  8. Paul Konerko  0.393
  9. Billy Butler 0.388
  10. David DeJesus 0.384
  11. Brett Gardner 0.383
  12. Ian Kinsler 0.382
  13. Robinson Cano  0.381
  14. Magglio Ordonez .378
  15. Jose Bautista  0.378
  16. Travis Hafner  0.374
  17. Nelson Cruz 0.374
  18. John Jaso 0.372
  19. Evan Longoria 0.372
  20. David Ortiz 0.370
  21. Nick Markakis 0.370

SLG

  1. Josh Hamilton 0.633
  2. Miguel Cabrera 0.622
  3. Jose Bautista 0.617
  4. Paul Konerko 0.584
  5. Nelson Cruz 0.576
  6. Kevin Youkilis 0.564
  7. Adrian Beltre 0.553
  8. Luke Scott 0.535
  9. Robinson Cano 0.534
  10. David Ortiz 0.529
  11. Vernon Wells 0.515
  12. Nick Swisher 0.511
  13. Evan Longoria 0.507
  14. Alex Rodriguez 0.506

As far as Evan Longoria, the fact he shows up on all these charts gives you an idea what type of player the Rays have on their hands for a long while. Sure, losing Carl Crawford is going to hurt early on, but really the player doesn’t really show up on the all inclusive offensive categories. His value comes more on the base paths and on defense. The fact that Evan Longoria did this all without much protection in the lineup makes it even more impressive. Kudos go out to John Jaso and his impressive OBP in his rookie year. We coud use that type of OBP in the leadoff position.

Using these measures, its clear the troubled 1B Miguel Cabrera was the overall best player in the American League last season. Sure, Josh Hamilton hit the top of the charts in the rate stats SLG and OBP which does not take playing time into account. Whereas, the counting stats which rewards players for playing time and excellence is where Josh Hamilton was not much of a factor.  Did the voters get it wrong with the 2011 MVP?  The numbers here sure seem to indicate that fact.