Baseball Notes From the Past Week: Part 1

The last piece of ticker tape from the San Francisco Giants World Series victory parade had barely fluttered to the ground before the MLB offseason began in earnest. With impending award season, the start of free agency, and general news, it’s been a busy past week for baseball.

***Former major league pitcher Pascual Perez was senselessly murdered in the Dominican Republic during a botched home robbery. The three alleged killers, who have since been apprehended, told police they targeted Perez as part of a plot to steal his $2,400 monthly MLB pension check. Continue reading

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Breaking Down the Starting Pitching Market

To find which pitcher may be the best match for your team, I have broken down this year’s 2012 starting pitcher market. I first separated them into left handed and right handed pitchers. I then broke them down into ground ball vs. fly ball pitchers. Lastly I organized them by age into two groups (29 and younger and 30 years and older.) The pool of players came from MLB trade rumors free agent list. Now here is the breakdown:

Right Handed

Fly Ball:

Aaron Harang**

Armando Galarraga

Chris Young

Freddy Garcia**

Javier Vazquez

Jon Garland

Rich Harden

Tim Wakefield

Ground Ball:

Aaron Cook

Bartolo Colon

Brad Penny

Brandon Webb

Hiroki Kuroda

Jason Marquis

Joel Pineiro

Kevin Millwood

Livan Hernandez

Mitch Talbot

Rodrigo Lopez

Roy Oswalt*

Sergio Mitre

Edwin Jackson**

Kyle Davies

 

Left Handed

Fly Ball:

Bruce Chen**

Ground Ball:

Chris Capuano

C.J. Wilson*

Dontrelle Willis

Doug Davis

Erik Bedard

Jeff Francis

Mark Buehrle**

Paul Maholm

Zach Duke

*Type A

**Type B

There are also a few international free agent starting pitchers to take note of as well

MLB Top 50 Free Agent Predictions

 

MLB Trade Rumors recently released their top 50 free agents and where they think each player will sign. They had a competition where fans could submit their predictions to win prizes. Here are my predictions for the top 50 free agents.

 

1.  Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
2.  Prince Fielder Chicago Cubs
3.  Jose Reyes Milwaukee Brewers
4.  C.J. Wilson New York Yankees
5.  Yu Darvish Texas Rangers
6.  Edwin Jackson Washington Nationals
7.  Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia Phillies
8.  Aramis Ramirez Los Angeles Angels
9.  Carlos Beltran Boston Red Sox
10.  Jonathan Papelbon Boston Red Sox
11.  Michael Cuddyer Seattle Mariners
12.  Mark Buehrle Florida Marlins
13.  David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
14.  Ryan Madson Philadelphia Phillies
15.  Hiroki Kuroda Los Angeles Dodgers
16.  Carlos Pena Pittsburgh Pirates
17.  Francisco Rodriguez Baltimore Orioles
18.  Roy Oswalt Baltimore Orioles
19.  Javier Vazquez Retirement
20.  Heath Bell Florida Marlins
21.  Coco Crisp Chicago White Sox
22.  Hisashi Iwakuma Minnesota Twins
23.  Kelly Johnson Toronto Blue Jays
24.  Josh Willingham Tampa Bay Rays
25.  Paul Maholm New York Mets
26.  Grady Sizemore St. Louis Cardinals
27.  Bartolo Colon Texas Rangers
28.  Erik Bedard Seattle Mariners
29.  David DeJesus Chicago Cubs
30.  Jason Kubel San Francisco Giants
31.  Ramon Hernandez Pittsburgh Pirates
32.  Jeff Francis Colorado Rockies
33.  Chris Capuano San Diego Padres
34.  Tsuyoshi Wada Toronto Blue Jays
35.  Clint Barmes Detroit Tigers
36.  Casey Kotchman Cleveland Indians
37.  Freddy Garcia New York Yankees
38.  Aaron Hill Los Angeles Dodgers
39.  Johnny Damon Cleveland Indians
40.  Aaron Harang Los Angeles Angels
41.  Jamey Carroll Houston Astros
42.  Rafael Furcal St. Louis Cardinals
43.  Juan Pierre Cincinnati Reds
44.  Frank Francisco Arizona Diamondbacks
45.  Jason Marquis New York Mets
46.  Joel Pineiro Los Angeles Dodgers
47.  Jonathan Broxton New York Mets
48.  Joe Nathan Cincinnati Reds
49.  Kerry Wood Retirement
50.  Bruce Chen Pittsburgh Pirates

 

The Worst Pitches of 2011

It is one thing to look at a radar gun say that a pitch was good or bad, or to look at location and make the same decision. But it is sometimes difficult to figure out if that pitch is, in fact, good or bad.

Some pitchers can get away with a 95 mph fastball down the middle while another pitcher can throw 95 mph down the middle and get hammered. Lucky for us, Fangraphs has a stat that shows us how good or bad a certain pitcher’s pitch really was.

Using linear weights, they come up with stats called wFB, wCH, wCB, wSL, and wCT. It gives you a number value, positive or negative, based on how well that pitcher did with that certain pitch. They take it one step further and added a value based on 100 pitches, or wFB/C, for instance.

The stat takes into account each and every pitch, pitch count, and result. So, while there may be some luck or un-luck involved, it is a pretty accurate take on how well that pitch faired during that one year. It is, though, not a great tool to use on a predictive basis due to the amount of luck on batted balls.

If you are at all confused just know that Fangraphs found a legitimate way to calculate how good or bad a pitch is and here are the five worst pitches from the 2011 season:

Continue reading

Imagine the Yankees’ Roster in It’s Prime

 

Entering the 2011 season, the Yankees lineup was full of stars, and that has been the norm for this franchise. Baseball fans are used to seeing the Yankees throw out huge salaries to top of the line free agents each offseason. Well this off-season we really didn’t see that as it was highlighted by signings such as Russell Martin, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Freddy Garcia, and so on.  Their current roster has an interesting mix of hall of famers, all stars, veterans well past their prime, and a few young guys. Most of these guys, excluding some of the reserve players and relievers, have had an all-star caliber season (many of them have had more than one.) Well just imagine if all the players on this roster were in their prime. It would be scary good! Let us take a look at the roster and each players highest WAR Season.

Starting Lineup:

Brett Gardner: 5.4

Derek Jeter: 7.5

Mark Teixeira: 7.3

Alex Rodriguez: 9.8

Robinson Cano: 6.4

Nick Swisher: 4.1

Jorge Posada: 6.4

Curtis Granderson: 7.4

Russell Martin: 5.8

Bench:

Eric Chavez: 5.9

Andruw Jones: 8.3

Gustavo Molina: 0.0

Eduardo Nunez: -0.1

Starting Pitchers:

C.C. Sabathia: 7.6

A.J. Burnett: 5.5

Phil Hughes: 2.4

Ivan Nova: 0.5

Freddy Garcia: 5.5

Bullpen (The league high is typically around 3.0 for relievers):

Mariano Rivera: 3.3

Rafael Soriano: 2.0

Joba Chamberlain: 3.3

David Robertson: 0.8

Boone Logan: 0.4

Luis Ayala: 1.8

Bartolo Colon: 5.0

That roster would just be ridiculous!