Daily Linking – 10/22/08

Links of note, or stuff I find interesting, or stuff I think you might find interesting

Daily Linking – 23:07

Links of note, or stuff I find interesting, or stuff I think you might find interesting

Daily Linking – 9/19/08

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Daily Linking – September 9th

Links of note, or stuff I find interesting, or stuff I think you might find interesting

Daily Linking – 9/2/2008

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Daily Linking – 8/26

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Luck and Fieldability

David Pinto from Baseball Musings has begun to release the 2005 Probabilistic Model of Range (PMR) data. Today he posted a table of which pitchers had more outs than expected on balls in play (or the lucky/unlucky) as well as rankings of the expected percentage of outs on balls in play (how easy was it to field behind a pitcher).
Continue reading Luck and Fieldability

The Platoon Ratio

When talking about players strengths and weaknesses, ultimately the discussion will veer towards: “What they really need is a platoon because player X can’t hit Y-handers to save his life.” Okay, so maybe not every baseball discussion goes this way, but I’m sure you’ve all heard it, and perhaps even said it before. That’s why it may come as a shock, but the differences in platoon splits amongst right handed hitters are basically non-existent.

Let’s take a look at that statement again. I’m not claiming that right handed hitters don’t hit lefties better than righties. In fact, right-handed hitters hit lefties 9% better than righties. What’s surprsing is that all – or virutally all – right handed hitters share the same platoon advantage. So all right handed hitters OPS against right handers will be 9% better against southpaws than against right-handers (northpaws?).

Without a lot of indepth explantion, this is a concept that has been revealed by Bill James, and covered by Rob Neyer. Here is probably the best one paragraph explanation I could find:

In fact, if every player played enough games — thousands and thousands of games, I mean — eventually all of them would have roughly the same platoon split. There is some evidence that some types of hitters will have slightly larger platoon splits than others, but essentially they’re all the same. I know, it sounds crazy. But everyone who’s looked at this with any degree of sophistication has come up with the same answer. As James wrote in 1988, “It’s innate. You can’t get away from it.”

Continue reading The Platoon Ratio

Tigers sign Bonderman, Spurling, and Pena

Detroit signed Jeremy Bonderman, Chris Spurling and Carlos Pena to one year deals, thus avoiding arbitration. Craig Monroe remains the lone arbitration eligible player not under contract.

The only mild suprise is that Bonderman re-upped for a single year instead of working out a long term contract.

I don’t have terms of the contracts, and will be away from the internet the bulk of the day. So if you hear the terms, please post them.

UPDATE: As mentioned in the comments, Bonderman got $2.3 million, Pena received $2.8 million, and Spurling signed for $725,000. Of the 3, Spurling’s offer is the closest to what I would have expected. My guess would have been the contracts for Pena and Bonderman would have been reversed.

I’m surprised to see Maroth and Bonderman getting the same salary next year, especially with Maroth getting $5.25 million guaranteed.

And I’m not sure how Carlos Pena played a horrible April and May, a coule months in the minors, and a spectacular 7 week finish to the season into a raise. I expected him to be back at the same amount as last year. I’m not bemoaning his contract by any means, I’m just surprised he got a raise.

detroit tigers, baseball

Detroit’s Prospects

Bryan Smith at Baseball Analysts has been posting his top 75 prospects list this week. Today Bryan posted 10-25 and two Detroit Tiger prospects made the list. Joel Zumaya came in at 23 and Justin Verlander at 13.

On Zumaya:

Skillset/Future: In the 2004 Futures Game, Jose Capellan made noise with that fantastic fastball, but didn’t show more than 2-3 curveballs in his whole inning. He had fallen in love with his heater, and while it was heavy, it was simply not enough. The Brewers, who acquired Capellan over the winter, were forced into converting him into relief. In the ’05 All-Star contest, Zumaya consistently hit 99 on the gun, but threw his fastball in 11 of his 12 pitches. His curveball, the twelfth pitch he threw, was quite good, but it appears Joel does not trust that or the change up he rarely throws. To avoid a future in relief, and to maximize his potential, Zumaya must gain confidence in his secondary offerings.


On Verlander:

Skillset/Future: On the mound, Verlander offers it all. His 6-5 frame is a fantastic pitcher’s body, and provides the tilt that his great fastball provides. His power curve is also quite possibly the minors best, and was the driving force behind his dominance in the Florida State League. Justin also offers a show-me change up, but given his two-pitch arsenal, he barely needs it. Verlander’s arm tired at the end of the longest season of his life, causing the Tigers to have to put him on the DL. The organization must approach Justin with caution, but once the reins come off, look for the Old Dominion record holder to do some great things.

Even if you disagree with the relative rankings, the fact that the Tigers have two prospects to legitimately get excited about is a pleasant change. The fact that non-Detroit people are enthused is a huge change given the organization’s recent history. Unfortunately, those were the only two Tigers to make the list, showing that the Detroit still needs more depth. A third Tiger, Cameron Maybin was listed as honorable mention.

detroit tigers, baseball, minors, prospects

Tigers sign Maroth and Inge

The Detroit Tigers have signed Mike Maroth and Brandon Inge. Maroth got a two year deal, and Inge re-upped for one season. I don’t have the terms of either deal, but if various reports are accurate Maroth will get $5.25 million total with $2.3 million in the first year, and $2.95 million in 2007.

Assuming the details of Maroth’s contract are accurate, I like the deal for both sides. Maroth gets two years guaranteed, and the Tigers get some cost certainty in an ever escalating market for pitchers. The contract will be up in 2008 when the Tigers will have considerable payroll flexibility. If Maroth is still part of the mix, they could then try to ink him to another multi-year deal buying out his last year of arbitration and first year(s) of free agency. Plus, $2.5 million per year for 200 innings of league average pitching isn’t a bad deal.

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Detroit Non Roster Invites

Below is the listing of the Detroit Tigers Non Roster Invitees, including the recently signed Matt Mantei

Pitchers
Tim Crabtree
Chad Durbin
Lee Gardner
Kevin Hodge
Colby Lewis
Matt Mantei
Hector Mercado
Bobby Seay

Catchers
Brian Peterson
Mike Rabelo
Chris Robinson
Danilo Sanchez
Max St. Pierre

Infielders
Mike Hessman
Kevin Hooper
Josh Phelps
Ramon Santiago

Outfielders
Alexis Gomez
Ryan Ludwick
Reggie Taylor

The list is a mix of familiar faces, and decent gambles. Guys like Bobby Seay and Matt Mantei are both low risk options who have had some success in the past. Mantei’s best season was in 2003 with the Diamondbacks when he had a 2.62 ERA and 29 saves. The best days may have past the 33 year old though as ast year he struggled and walked 24 hitters in 26 innings.

Most interesting among the list is Chris Robinson at catcher. Robinson was the Tigers 3rd Round Pick last year. It appears that Robinson will be the only member of last year’s draft class invited to the big league camp, despite struggling offensively at Oneonta (and in 4 games at West Michigan).

spring training, baseball