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5/21/09

Is Panacea spelled: P-E-A-V-Y?

It has been reported that the Chicago White Sox has reached an agreement with the San Diego Pardes in a trade for Jake Peavy. For the trade to get finalized, Peavy needs to lift his no-trade clause. Reportedly the White Sox will send their two top pitching prospects, both LH starters, Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda who are ranked as the #3 and #2 prospects in the White Sox' system by Baseball America, plus 2 additional players.

Here is what Peavy is scheduled to make:

2010 $15 million
2011 $16 million
2012 $17 million
2013 $22 million (team option) or $4 million (buyout)

It is quite possible that he would need the option to be picked up to agree to the trade.

Is is a good deal for the Sox? Is it something that will help them win this season? Others have spoken already. but let's examine the facts.

A. Peavy pitches in the biggest park in the majors

Peavy calls Petco Park home, the largest and more pitcher friendly park in the majors. In order for him to be successful, he should produce in other park. Let's examine how he did that last 2 seasons away from Petco:

2009: 4.32 ERA, 1.240 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 2.50 K/BB, OPP OPS .695
2008: 4.28 ERA, 1.454 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 1.91 K/BB, OPP OPS .784

These are reasonable numbers, but they do not indicate an ace, nor justify a contract like his.

Let compare his numbers to another pitchers' numbers from the last 2 seasons to see whether there is an equivalent pitcher to Peavy away from Petco Peavy:

Pitcher X:

2009: 4.38 ERA, 1.399 WHIP, 4.2 K/9, 1.64 K/BB, OPP OPS .728
2008: 4.05 ERA, 1.360 WHIP, 4.5 K/9, 2.46 K/BB, OPP OPS .771

Peavy's number's away from Petco are very close to pitcher X's numbers, other than K/9 that, unfortunately for Peavy, do not translate to an OPP OPS advantage.

Who is pitcher X?

None other that the Twins' own Nick Blackburn.

So: outside Petco, Peavy is a slightly better Nick Blackburn...

B. Peavy pitches in the lesser league

That is a concern. Thanks to interleague play, we have an indication of how Peavy did against AL teams last season. That was his line:

3.94 ERA, 1.563 WHIP, .313 OPP BA, .839 OPP OPS

not that great

let's look at another available pitcher's line from last season against AL teams.

Pitcher Y: 5.40 ERA, 1.543 WHIP, .267 OPP BA, .670 OPP OPS

Other than the ERA, I would say that pitcher Y is much better.

Who is Pitcher Y? None else than the free agent future Hall of Famer, Pedro Martinez.

So here is the equation: What is better:

Peavy + $57-75 million + 4-5 players
or
Martinez + $5 million?

5/20/09

Is Scott Baker tipping his pitches?

Here is a visualization of Scott Baker's pitching performance yesterday based on Pitchfx data from Brooksbaseball.net. This particular visualization shows (from a batter's view) Baker's release point on each of his pitches broken down by pitch type



As you can see, Baker had two distinct release points, one about 5 inches higher than the other; in other words, about the size of a baseball. The higher release is exclusively for his breaking stuff (curveball, slider) and cut fastballs, where the lower release point is exclusively for his two-seam and four-seam fastball and changeup. Baker threw only 9 change ups vs 43 fastballs from the lower release point and only 3 cutters vs 47 breaking balls from the higher release point. Thus, a batter could see high release and assume breaking stuff or low release and assume fastball and have the opportunity to pick and chose. Not a recipe for success. I hope that Anderson realizes that (hey, the data is in the internets) and is working with Baker to correct it...

5/19/09

Can the Twins win the World Series as is?

Here is some food for thought, after the Twins were swept by the Yankees yesterday, further contributing to a dismal record at Yankee stadium under Gardenhire (3-23).

My premise is simple: for a team to win the world series, it will have to beat teams that made it to the post season.

Here is how the Gardenhire Twins fared against postseason teams during Gardenhire's tenure (in bold are the seasons when the Twins won the division):

2008:

Rays: 3-3
Red Sox: 3-4
Angels: 3-5
White Sox: 10-9

total: 19-21


2007:

Red Sox: 3-4
Yankees: 2-5
Indians: 4-14
Angels: 3-6

total: 12-29

2006:

Yankees: 3-3
Tigers: 6-12
Athletics: 6-4

total: 15-18


2005:

Yankees: 3-3
Red Sox: 2-4
White Sox: 7-11
Angels: 4-6

total: 16-24

2004:

Yankees: 2-4
Red Sox: 4-2
Angels: 4-5

total: 10-11


2003:

Yankees: 0-7
Red Sox: 4-2
Athletics: 8-1

total: 12-10



2002:

Yankees: 0-6
Athletics: 3-6
Angels: 5-4

Total: 9-16




Total overall record against postseason teams: 93-129 (.419, equivalent of a 94 loss season)

Other than 2003, when the Twins had a 12-10 record against post-season teams, the Gardenhire led Twins had a losing record every season, even in their division championship seasons accumulating a .419 record. This is not world champion material.

Something here is very wrong and I suspect that it starts with the manager...

5/18/09

Who is hot in the minors V2

This is the second version of the list of the best performing players in the Twins' minor league system year to date. A reminder that several players are still in extended spring training since the Elizabethton (Appalachian League) and the Gulf Coast League rookie teams have not started their seasons yet. The numbers are as of 5/17:

Catchers:

Danny Rams (RHB, 20, A+) .571,.625,.857, 3 RBI, 8 PA

Infielders:

Alexi Casilla (SH, 24, AAA) .359/.419/.462, 5 RBI, 43 PA
Luke Hughes (RHB, 24, AAA) .277/.367/.529 , 6 HR, 26 RBI, 139 PA
Brian Dinkelman (LHB, 25, AA) .328/.402/.483, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 134 PA
Danny Valencia (RHB, 24, AA) .313/.405/.552 3 HR, 11 RBI, 111 PA
Ramon Santana (RHB, 24, A) .383/.479/.617 3 HR, 10 RBI, 72 PA

Outfielders:

Juan Portes (RHB, 23, AA) .314/.388/.488 1 HR, 12 RBI, 99 PA
Joe Benson (RHB, 21, A+) .293/.413/.444 3 HR, 14 RBI, 121 PA

1st basemen/DH:

Justin Huber (RHB, 26, AAA) .343/.413/.529 2 HR, 13 RBI, 80 PA
Whit Robbins (LHB, 24, AA) .318/.393/.514, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 122
Rene Leveret (RHB, 23, A+) .368/.482/.500 1 HR, 10 RBI, 83 PA

RH Starters:

Anthoney Swarzak (23, AAA) 2.25 ERA, 1.159 WHIP, 6.55 K/9, 2.91 K/BB
Carlos Gutierrez (22, A+) 1.10 ERA, 0.854 WHIP, 5.49 K/9, 2.08 K/BB
Mike McCardell (24, A+) 4.62 ERA, 1.077 WHIP, 8.08 K/9, 5.83 K/BB
Brad Tippett (21, A) 2.90 ERA, 1.032 WHIP, 6.39 K/9, 5.50 K/BB

RH Relievers:

Juan Morillo (25, AA) 2.45 ERA, 0.909 WHIP, 12.3 K/9, 3.00 K/BB
Armado Gabino (25, AA) 4.30 ERA, 1.130 WHIP, 6.65 K/9, 2.43 K/BB
Rob Delaney (24, AA) 2.25 ERA, 1.036 WHIP, 9.96 K/9, 7.75 K/BB
Steve Hirschfield (23, A+) 1.00 ERA, 0.722 WHIP, 5.50 K/9, 2.20 K/BB
Alex Burnett (21, A+) 2.65 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 11.65 K/9, 3.67 K/BB
Danny Berlind (21, A) 3.38 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 7.88 K/9, 3.50 K/BB

LH Relievers:

Sean Henn (28, AAA) 1.12 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 12.00 K/9, 3.20 K/BB
Spencer Steedley (24, A+) 0.95 ERA, 0.947 WHIP, 9.47 K/9, 5.00 K/BB
Joe Testa (23, A) 2.16 ERA, 0.920 WHIP, 12.60 K/9, 2.50 K/BB