links for 2008-10-22

33 thoughts on “links for 2008-10-22”

  1. Granderson is in pretty elite company in the top 3 of the CF rankings. The next announcement I want to hear from the Tigers, right after the revelation that they were only kidding about Carlos Guillen in LF, is that Granderson is moving to a new home in the batting order, 2 spots down.

  2. Dre, tangentially:

    A while back Mike R. did something on Verlander showing him to be a “#2” rather than an “ace,” career-wise. Looked pretty credible to me.

    The Tigers only have a 3-man rotation right now, to my mind. My offhand take a la the Royals Review thing:

    Verlander #2
    Galarraga (not much history)
    Bonderman #3

  3. Buster Olney reports that the Tigers should persue Juan Cruz from the Diamondbacks. I only bring that up because someone on here suggested that a month or so ago (I forget who). Also he said they should “dangle Ordonez” on the trade market, which reminds me of the unintentional hilarity of when the Yankees were “dangling Wang”. OK, enough juvenile humor from me.

  4. Smoking Loon
    Couldn’t agree more with you buddy. Although I chalk Verlanders last season off as a “fluke slump” , I love his arm but even as a Lakeland Tiger I never saw “ACE” next to his name. That’s not really a negative just a fact.
    Same on Galarraga… I like him as well but counting on 15 guarenteed wins (Like Bondo) is shady. However landing an ace like Sabathia, Lowe or Burnette would take pressure off of those three (maybe even Willis n Robertson) allowing them to do there thing.

  5. Loon,

    could you point me to that Mike R piece? i know there’s not a ton of data to work with and that the author of the Royals article discusses the weakness of ERA, but JV’s 2006 and 2007 ERA (i don’t know what his FIP, xFIP or tRA were) puts him in the ace-hole.

    (that last one’s for you Chris in D)

  6. “Same on Galarraga… I like him as well but counting on 15 guarenteed wins (Like Bondo) is shady. However landing an ace like Sabathia, Lowe or Burnette would take pressure off of those three (maybe even Willis n Robertson) allowing them to do there thing.”

    Well said, JAY-RC. I can see the Tigers not going after an ace or stud or anchor (or whatever we want to call it) starter, but I’m in favor of them doing it. Why not? The only position player spot that there is a pressing need to fill is that of a (veteran) catcher. They can afford to devote almost all resources to pitching. Without making trades that would create big holes on the field, I would hope.

  7. “OK, enough juvenile humor from me.”

    Never! 🙂

    “Dangling Maggs” has some potential. It suggests some as-yet-uncreated slang term for who-knows-what.

    No, Dre, I don’t have a link, but if Mike R. shows up soon, he might be able to provide it. I would guess his article is still on his Fire Jim Leyland page. Google that, maybe?

  8. Thanks guys, found the article. Its pretty interesting. I guess the only question I would raise concerns the use of the ground ball in determining “dominance”. It seems to me that the Ks and BBs are the only pitcher-controlled aspects used in his formula (and considering the Tiger’s 08 infield defense, i’d just as well assume less GBs = better).

    There’s definitely some merit to trying to quantify ace-osity in a numerical way, but like the article points out, ‘ace’ can be relative. JV might be our ace, but he might not be a league ace. What I will say, is that he seems to have ace-potential. No-hitters are by no means enough to determine this, but they certainly don’t hurt. I think for Justin its going to be more of a case of maturing mentally into an ace, because i think the ingredients are all there.

  9. Why does a catcher have to be a veteran? Or does he? Can’t they bring some negative baggage to that position too? Do they really have that much influence on pitchers?

  10. Ron, in my GM world, I’m wanting a veteran C so as to have a known quantity there as Dusty Ryan insurance, not so much for the pitchers.

  11. “JV might be our ace, but he might not be a league ace.”

    Good point. No question that he has been the Tigers’ ace from 2006 on, defining that slippery term with a slippery mixture of results and expectations. He’s certainly been the horse, the anchor, the rock, the guy who makes all his starts and – still, to me – the starter who inspires the most confidence that a win is gonna to happen.

    The Tigers could use another guy at least that good. Maybe it’ll come from a healthy Bonderman. Or a healthy Garcia. Maybe Galarraga’s 2008 was no fluke. Maybe Robertson’s 2008 was a fluke. Maybe Knapp can cure Willis. Maybe Miner can manage to own some teams besides the Royals. Too many maybes not to make a move for a Verlander+ starter (not necessarily his age), I think.

  12. It’s only been about a year removed from the ‘Grandy is a platoon player at best’ and ‘He’s got a wet noodle for an arm’ cries we heard on a regular basis. Good to see that nonsense has vanished and Grandy is finally getting some props.

  13. Smoke
    I hear you on the “Maybe” that plagues us
    Especialy in reference to Nate and Zach.

    I would love to believe Armando has a repeat performance as well… History just shows us the all fimiliar “Sophmore Slump”
    As bad as we were call me crazy I just don’t think were that bad. An ace pitcher, a couple arms in the pen and a decent catcher and we got a shot. Enough of this moving Guillen all over the place BS though.. Isn’t there a position for those who can’t field ? DH

    Not sure why they cut bait on Cruceta or Bautista I was big on them both. Just felt they needed developement.

    Vote James Skelton

  14. They didn’t really cut bait on Cruceta and/or Beltran. Given their contract status, and having been designated for assignment twice in their careers, they are eligible to request free agency from their club. They did this, and the Tigers obliged their request (as they should).

  15. Here is my blog post on Verlander, for those who haven’t read it.

    I don’t think he’s a No. 2, I think he’s an average starter.

    And I used groundballs because those correlate very well from year-to-year among pitchers. They are related to a pitchers “stuff” like K’s or BB’s are.

  16. beltran is trash
    I said Denny Bautista, we traded him to Pittsburgh, I see what u mean on Cruceta though

  17. Thanks for the clarification on Cruceta, Mark. Do you suppose he figures into the Tigers’ plans for 2009, though? I had been assuming he would.

  18. “I don’t think he’s a No. 2, I think he’s an average starter.”

    Did you read the Royals Review article, Mike? I used the term “#2” in the context of that article, where #2 is an above-average starter. You think that overrates him?

  19. I don’t see Cruceta returning in 2009.

    Aside from strikeout rate, the performance of Beltran and Cruceta were quite similar at both Toledo and Detroit, so qualifying one and not the other as trash, doesn’t quite make sense to me.

    As for Bautista, he had no clue where his stuff was going, was living on borrowed time with that poor control, and the Tigers tried to get something for him as they sent him away….given his shiny numbers in Pittsburgh, I’d say it was no big loss.

    All three pitchers were very, very similar….velocity, inconsistent secondary pitches, absolutely zero control of the ball. They were projects, all in the same mold, if one was garbage, all three were garbage.

  20. Garbage and trash! Average stuff! How much are they paying that guy? Whose running this show? Get rid of them all (except for GP&C).

  21. “And I used groundballs because those correlate very well from year-to-year among pitchers. They are related to a pitchers “stuff” like K’s or BB’s are.”

    Mike, when you say GBs correlate well year to year, do you mean correlate to pitcher success, or just that pitchers tend to maintain similar GB rates?

    “I think he’s an average starter.”

    I’m gonna disagree, but not vehemently. To explain; I disagree in that I don’t think average pitchers throw no-hitters. I agree because, as you point out, when you look at his season numbers he’s had only one “above average” year.

    This may be straight bias on my part, but in his case I think you can argue that sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Verlander has the tools to be an ace, and when his mind is there, he dominates like the league’s aces. The problem is that he can’t consistently stay in control. So yeah, until he really learns to control himself he’ll be average over the course of a season, while still showing streaks of dominance.

  22. Dre: I do think average starters throw no-hitters. Look at the list of guys who have thrown them. Anyhoo, for what it’s worth I think Verlander has ace ‘stuff’, and his performance has resembled and ace like substance a lot of the time. I’m sure if the Tigers put him on the trade market, he’d command a hefty return. So he has real value based on his performance and perceived value in that all 30 teams would want him. My problem with the guy is that he continually gets lit up by Cleveland and Chicago. Being an AL Central pitcher, he might want to figure those teams out at some point. I would back up my claims with statistical examples but I’m lazy at the moment.

  23. OK I’m going to go back on my word. I’ll throw a quick stat out there. JV’s ERA+ in ’06 and ’07 was 126 and 125, respectively. That’s quite above league average production. Not Johan Santana, but pretty good nonetheless.

  24. Wow. Verlander has given up 50% of his career HR to the Indians and White Sox… in 26% of the IP. That is, um, striking.

  25. Mark
    I hear ya buddy… Honestly you pegged it correctly they all three were “projects” especially Bautista n Cruceta. I just personaly thought Beltran was a few steps below Bautista. Denny had a great spring and aside from his openning day shelling he was custom. Then he hit a rough patch n he was a gonner. I just thought perhaps we were placing him in a role he wasn’t cut out for (setup role). I saw him as a 6th or 7th inning guy myself.
    Oh well he’s not our problem anymore.

    Vote James Skelton

  26. Chris
    I also agree that JV is definately Above Average hes just not an ace in my book. One certainly doesn’t win ROY, throw a no hitter and win 17 games two years in a row as well. This year proved though like Bondo in 2006 that he (they) are great but can’t handle the “Ace” label.0

  27. Look at the career platoon splits for Thames and Inge some time. Then tell me why Thames is the guy they’ve got to pull for a rookie. Now I’m tempted to not only leave Thames in LF through the cold and hot streaks, but also have Larish split time with Inge at 3B.

  28. Sad too because Larish has such a great glove at first. Buried behind Cabrera I understand but behind Brandon Cringe… Wow.

  29. Why use groundball rate? Wouldn’t that skew the results to very much favor groundball pitchers? Lots of fine pitchers have been flyball pitchers.

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