links for 2007-11-05

22 Comments

  1. Eric W. Kent

    November 5, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    I have lived in Milwaukee for most of the past 12 years. I have watched Jenkins a lot, and he was always a fan favorite and a good guy.

    He is capable of putting together unbelievably torrid hitting streaks. (I will never forget the summer of 2005, when he was arguably the best hitter in baseball for the final three onths of the season)

    But when he is off….it is god-awful and painful to watch.

    He cannot hit lefties. At all. He used to have (in my opinion) the best arm in the National League. That has declined a bit…but it is still a weapon and he will still throw you out.

    He was naturally a LF…but moved to right to accomodate Carlos Lee a few years back…so he can play both corner positions without much trouble.

    Basically, he’s a slugging OF who tends to have high strike out numbers. He’s not worth 9 mil anymore.

    But if the Tigs fail in their pursuit of an everday LF, he can succeed in the right platoon situation. If he’s ever our everyday LF – we’re in trouble.

  2. Mike R

    November 5, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Well, with the likelihood that we’re going to be going after one of the better relievers available after Joel’s injury, Jenkins platooning for $5 million is something I can get behind. Thames is not an everyday player in the majors and Jenkins probably isn’t either. But the two of them together I think could be a passable platoon for a pretty cheap price and still allow us to turn our funds into a reliever or whatever other needs Dombrowski and the front office feel we have.

    Also, that look “Inside the life of an MLB Stat Geek” was excellent, albeit short. I’d love to see an extended version of it, but I love to soak up that sort of thing as much as possible. Thanks for that link Billfer.

  3. BobS.

    November 5, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Well,Eric,Jenkin’s career numbers against LHP are .242/.313/.408 with 35HR and 339 strikeouts in 1066AB.
    He compares favorably to Curtis ‘Say K’ Granderson who is .202/.265/.366 with 9HR and 98 strikeouts in 292AB against lefthanders.
    He comes to Detroit and he gets on the express train to the HoF.

  4. Kyle J

    November 5, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    Brilliant. The Granderson/Hall-of-Famer thing just gets more clever every time. What do we need to concede to be done with it? That Curtis should be sent back down to Toledo until he can hit lefties? That 20 triples are useless if only hit against right-handers?

  5. BobS.

    November 5, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Naah,just simple recognition from the slappies that he’s been one of the worst lefthanded hitters-uh,batters,not hitters- in the major leagues when facing lefthanded pitching.That he should be in Venezuela or Puerto Rico right now working on that glaring weakness.And that it’s nonsensical to write about platooning someone with virtually identical performance while leaving Granderson and his whiffle bat in the lineup.
    By the way,every one of his very valuable 23 triples came against righthanded pitchers.If you haven’t caught on yet,he doesn’t hit lefthanders that well.In fact,he’s the quintessential platoon player.Like Jenkins.

  6. Kyle J

    November 6, 2007 at 12:12 am

    “. . . while leaving Granderson and his whiffle bat in the lineup.”

    a) I’m pretty sure Granderson started less than half the games the Tigers played against left-handers last year.

    b) Can we also acknowledge he was one of the elite hitters against right-handers in all of baseball? And that he’s young enough he’s got a pretty good shot at improving his numbers against left-handers (ala Sizemore)?

    Or do these points make me a “slappy”?

  7. BobS.

    November 6, 2007 at 1:03 am

    Okay,he was one of the elite hitters against right-handers in all of baseball last year who was also one of the very worst hitters against lefthanders.That’s a platoon player,albeit a very unique one in that his Jeckyll & Hyde performance could buy him a place in the MLB All Star game or a spot in AA (no matter how good the glove-he doesn’t hit RHP like he doesn’t hit LHP and AA is his his ceiling).
    Yeah,maybe he’ll be like Sizemore.Or maybe he’ll be like Jenkins.He’s not that young-he’s been playing professional ball for awhile now and he’ll be 27 the start of next season.
    I don’t know if you’re a slappy.One sign of slappy behavior is letting one’s hero worship and magical thinking cloud one’s better judgement.Assuming one’s older than 8.Are you?

  8. Eric W. Kent

    November 6, 2007 at 1:05 am

    BobS –

    You have to consider that Jenkins’ career success against lefties is heavily skewed towards the early part of his career. In his first 6 years he hit .268 against lefties.

    In his last 4 years, his avg against LHP is .211. And if you take out his career year in 2005 that I mentioned earlier, it’s only .190.

    The fact that his HR pace against LHP has actually increased over time just points towards my assertion that he has devolved into a slugging OF with high strike out numbers.

    Over the last two seasons he has struck out in 38% of his ABs against LHP. (Higher than, although comparable to, Granderson’s rate of 33%)

    He may still be an asset – he carried the Brewers in the first month or so this year. But after the All Star break he was worthless…against righties or lefties.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him in Detroit…but he had better come cheap.

  9. Vince in MN

    November 6, 2007 at 1:23 am

    If you compare Sizemore’s 2nd full season (’06 – .290/.375/.533/.907)) with Granderson’s 2nd full season (’07 – .302/.361/.552/.913 ) they are actually fairly similar. Granderson was quite a bit better vs RH than Sizemore, while somewhat worse vs LH. Jump to Sizemore’s ’07 splits and you will note the big improvement he made vs LH this year. I see no reason Curtis can’t improve vs LH in ’08, maybe not to the extent Sizemore did, but better than his .160/.225/.269/.494 of this year.

    Sizemore ’06 Splits:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/pl.....pe=Batting

    Granderson ’07 splits:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/pl.....7g1.GFCLcF

  10. David

    November 6, 2007 at 2:53 am

    Granderson stinks against lefties
    Inge stinks against righties

    both do well against the opposite

    As far as Jenkins – no thanks

    I’d much rather see Raburn/Thames/The Flavor of the Month (last year Timo Perez in ’06 Alexis Gomez etc.)

    Outfielders+1st basemen = highest level of offensive production

  11. Mike R

    November 6, 2007 at 4:22 am

    Well David, we’re getting above average offensive production at SS, 2B and CF, so carrying an average offensive LFer and now having average offense at 1B is something we can do. Jenkins’ last 4 seasons offensively and weighted (with the most recent season weighted for most relevance) he was at 2 runs below what the average LFer is, in terms of runs created. Add in the fact that he’s an above average defender (+7.9 runs defensively, varying depending on the metric. The one i used is from Justin Inaz, a blogger on the reds and baseball in general which you can find his defensive numbers here) and he breaks even at the least. Add that to the fact that Marcus Thames is average overall as a LFer and that’s all you want from a platoon.

    That said, he is declining, and anything longer then 2 years and for more then, say $5.5 per year, will be excessive in my eyes, if we go after him.

    I’d much prefer, though, to make a run at Shannon Stewart. He isn’t much of a power threat but he’s above average offensively and very solid defensively as well. He’d also provide flexibility in the lineup and allow Granderson to hit lower in the order in a more run producing spot where he should be. There are some injury concerns with Stewart as his last 4 years he’s played in 92 games, 132, 44, and 146. But that is a bargaining chip that will allow suitors to drop his asking price which can’t be that high anyways. After there was little to no market for him, he went to Oakland for $1 million on a 1 year deal and he’s a FA now and something like 2 years, incentive based, with a base salary around $4-ish million does not seem out of line with me at all.

  12. billfer

    November 6, 2007 at 6:04 am

    Bob -

    Knock it off with the taunting. You have mentioned Granderson’s Hall of Fame candidacy more than anyone else on here.

  13. BobS.

    November 6, 2007 at 8:49 am

    Thank you,Eric.I wasn’t aware of Jenkin’s declining performance against LHP.Apparently his recent production makes current comparisons to Granderson even more apt.And also illustrates that improvement isn’t inevitable.
    Sorry,but repeatedly invoking Sizemore (as has been done more here on this thread and previously than my facetious HoF nominations) as Granderson’s model for career development is based more on closing eyes and wishing,i.e.magical thinking, than actual facts.

  14. Kyle J

    November 6, 2007 at 9:41 am

    Bob, You claim Granderson should be a platoon player. I point out that he was, in fact, used like a platoon player most of last season. Please explain where you see that my judgement is clouded.

  15. BobS.

    November 6, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    An excellent point,Kyle,if it were supported by reality.
    Granderson had 119AB against lefthanders,out of a total of 612AB.Ordonez,by comparison,who is definitely not likely to be sitting against lefthanders,had 122AB against LHP out of a total of 595AB.
    Not clouded.Eclipsed by fact.

  16. Eric Cioe

    November 6, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Bob,

    But how many of those 119 ABs by Granderson against lefties were against starters versus situational lefties? I mean, Jim Thome and David Ortiz probably saw a lot more ABs against lefties than the rest of their team, if only because, like Granderson, they don’t do as well against lefties. I watched games in the later part of the season where Granderson started the day on the bench because there was a left-handed starter.

  17. Mike R

    November 6, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    The constant steadfast Granderson discussions make me long for a Brandon Inge debate again. You know, for something fresh and not beaten to death.

  18. BobS.

    November 6, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    I don’t know,Eric.How many?And why was he left in to bat against a LHP anyway,if the situation was crucial enough for the opposing manager to bring one in to pitch for him?Certainly there was at least one right-hand batting pitcher sitting on the bench who could have shown more than Granderson’s flailing.
    There does seem to be some confusion as to whether it was “most of last season” or “the later part of the season” when Granderson sat against lefthanders.Implicit in the comments,however,are at least some degree of approval for Leyland coming to his senses and not having Granderson bat against lefthanders.
    Shannon Stewart?I guess,if there’s no porcelain dolls available.

  19. Eric Cioe

    November 6, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Bob,

    I only said the last part of the season because that’s most of what I watched.

    Eric

  20. David

    November 6, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Mike R you forgot RF and DH assuming both are healthy…

    Why go after Jenkins? I’d really like to see what Ryan Raburn could do over a full year.

    Taking his stats from last year and multiplying it by 3 (so he would play 147 games.

    84 runs, 81 rbis, 9 steals, 12 hrs, 6 triples, 36 doubles, .847 OPS, with what you guys seem to love so much a .304 BA

    would Jenkins be better?

    Raburn is turning 27

    I’d say use the 5.5 mil or w/e they would spend on Jenkins or Stewart and use it towards another SP after Kenny (assuming he comes back for 8mil or so)

    If Raburn doesn’t work out (I don’t see why he wouldn’t his minor league stats are good and he is entering his “prime”) you always can make a deal in June or w/e when some clubs have given up.

    Unless they want to go after Miguel Cabrera and give up Maybin and two other good prospects and then I’m all for it.

    Or go after Rowand.

    I do not want a blah LF for 4-6 mil when we could easily fill that with a platoon or a deadline pickup.

  21. Kyle J

    November 7, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Granderson started 140 games this season (3 in LF, the rest in CF).

    The Tigers played 43 games vs. left-handed pitchers.

    So it appears Granderson didn’t start about half the games vs. left-handed pitchers.

    The fact that his L/R AB ratio is about the same as Magglio’s indicates he faced some extra at bats vs. left-handed relievers. In some cases, his defense no doubt justified this in games the Tigers were ahead (see Bilfer’s post on defensive stats).

    There’s also the matter of whether it’s smart to completely bench a relatively young player against all left-handers, depriving him of the ability to develop as a hitter against lefties. And, of course, teams don’t have unlimited benches and can’t pinch hit in every situation.

    Anyway, he gave us 530+ PA of a 1.014 OPS against right-handers. The .494 OPS against left-handers is certainly cause for real concern–but every baseball player is a sum of his parts. And I’d be pleased to make a decent wager that the .494 # regresses upward next season.

    I hope this assessment is worthy of at least a 12-year old level.

  22. Mike R

    November 7, 2007 at 2:22 am

    Mike R you forgot RF and DH assuming both are healthy…

    Why go after Jenkins? I’d really like to see what Ryan Raburn could do over a full year.

    Taking his stats from last year and multiplying it by 3 (so he would play 147 games.

    84 runs, 81 rbis, 9 steals, 12 hrs, 6 triples, 36 doubles, .847 OPS, with what you guys seem to love so much a .304 BA

    would Jenkins be better?

    Raburn is turning 27

    I’d say use the 5.5 mil or w/e they would spend on Jenkins or Stewart and use it towards another SP after Kenny (assuming he comes back for 8mil or so)

    If Raburn doesn’t work out (I don’t see why he wouldn’t his minor league stats are good and he is entering his “prime”) you always can make a deal in June or w/e when some clubs have given up.

    Unless they want to go after Miguel Cabrera and give up Maybin and two other good prospects and then I’m all for it.

    Or go after Rowand.

    I do not want a blah LF for 4-6 mil when we could easily fill that with a platoon or a deadline pickup.

    Well, I’m assuming that Omar Infante won’t be back meaning that Raburn then takes over the super-sub position of backing up 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, and RF.

    Aaron Rowand is going to be grossly over paid. Like, insanely over paid. Not to mention, he’s got injury questions and seems to embody all that you expressed concerns over Jenkins. And doesn’t fix the “no LH bat” that the Tigers have been pining for for the last few years.

    And what will be available at the deadline, will that be any upgrade at all? Adam Dunn, I suppose, but the price for him will be high and he’s absolutely brutal in LF — almost to the point where his defense undoes the great things he does with the stick.