October 2015

Let's see whether this one's got the distance...
Posted by jemanji on 10/31/15
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. At Prospect Insider, Luke Arkins wrote a model article on the question of 'Did Edgar Fix the Mariners' Offense?'  Dr. D enjoyed it, structurally at a bare minimum, because it is: Concrete and specific, rather than vague or evasive Open-minded, as opposed to "This is the answer you must accept" Evidence-based, so we can think for ourselves, rather than "I and the scouts are agreed here" Aimed at areas of local interest Anyway, Arkins offers a few thoughts on how each individual Mariner might have been affected by The Edgar.  Dr. D will follow on... . WHAT THE QUESTION ISN'T Can a batting... Read More
and a bit of Wobal Glarming shtick into the bargain
Posted by jemanji on 10/31/15
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. In Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, at long last we find the smartest guy in the universe.  He is a soft-spoken, bizarrely humble man.  He lives in a small shack, is kind to everyone, and is far less sure of himself than is every person dumber than him.  Which is, of course, everybody.  As it turns out, the Earth is in fact in exactly that situation. Freeman J. Dyson is an “infinitely smart,” kindly old man who has lived in the same house for 50 years, with the same woman.  He is a Christian but he votes very liberal, so there’s something in him for everybody.  ;- )... Read More
the Final Chapter, as it were
Posted by jemanji on 10/31/15
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In September, we 'all had a ball with the Double-Slit Experiment.  Here's the link to the SSI article.   The Exec Sum is this:  photons, neutrons, and even atoms are out there existing only in possibility.  It is only when (as Dr. D understands it!) the particle is LOOKED AT BY HUMAN BEINGS that the particle DECIDES which possible form it will take.  The universe "snaps into place" only when somebody looks at it. This amazing discovery was pleasing and delightful to most SSI readers, and was an interesting debate for all SSI readers.  You might want to meander though the article and the... Read More
Royals marry Moustakas types, laugh all way to bank
Posted by jemanji on 10/30/15
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. ... 'anti-sabermetric' being a term that SSI has coined, apparently.  It's borrowed from chess, where a move can be accused of being 'anti-positional.'  The chessmaster who wrote the Wiki entry on this term did a lousy job, but here's what he came up with: . antipositional    A move or a plan that is not in accordance with the principles of positional play. Antipositional is used to describe moves that are part of an incorrect plan rather than a mistake made when trying to follow a correct plan. Antipositional moves are often pawn moves; since pawns cannot move backwards to return to... Read More
Greed for success, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/30/15
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. We axed, are the 2014-15 Royals 'anti-sabermetric' or are they not?  Dr. D is not going to resolve this with a mathematical proof.  That's point A.  What he will do, is point yer in an interesting direction.  There's point B. . AN (ACTUALLY) SABERMETRIC INTERLUDE Sabes don't generally believe that there is clutch hitting.  Nor do they believe that there is hot-or-cold hitting.  Nor do they believe that there is streaky hitting.  Nor do they believe that there is such a thing as a "hard RBI" vs a soft RBI. Usually they prove this with an --- > industrywide study < --- .  They'll say, "... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 10/30/15
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. VE GET TO ZE BOTTOM LINE?  VOT NEXT? Dr. Detecto does not believe that "contact hitting" is good or bad.   But!  He does believe in such a thing as "tough hitting."  It's partly armed by a lack of greed.  Nelson Cruz showed the same lack of greed that Ketel Marte did, but the attitude manifested in a different way.  "Greed" isn't as simple as "home run hitter" vs "singles hitter."  There are plenty of big guys who let the game come to them. .... And by the way, let's give a nod to Lloyd McClendon (RIP) who -- as a tough hitter himself -- processed baseball in terms of "excellent pitching vs... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 10/27/15
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. A week ago, SSI snipped this bit of whimsy on JeDi's new player-development guru.  Greg Brumley googled us and was kind enough to post this: . I coached against Andy McKay -- and despised him (to this day).  We were arch rivals and there was no love lost. That aside, the man is a brilliant mental game coach. Reading this post and the comments, it becomes obvious we are in a realm which fans and pundits profoundly do not comprehend. Mental game is ABSOLUTELY NOT something every college team teaches.  The few coaches who succeed do so because they teach it with more intensity than anything... Read More
Exit Velocity article? Or Trumbo jettison? You be da judge
Posted by jemanji on 10/26/15
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. POINT A Where is a frazzled Doc to get any decent M's reads any more?  I mean, outside of re-reading his own classics, of course.  Lookout Landing is always quality, if not my taste.  Bob Dutton's Twitter account occasionally points to interesting reads.  Prospect Insider now and then.  Other than that, this town could use a really good salad bar.  And by "this town" I mean my bookmarks.   The typical Dr. D morning baseball read consists of Hey Bill, and then the comments threads here, and maybe LL once a week, and then ... Surely you mooks have a little list of places to go?  I'm serious... Read More
The heroes lose 60 and the clowns win 60 ...
Posted by jemanji on 10/26/15
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ex·pe·ri·ence [ˌikˈspirēəns] NOUN practical contact with and observation of facts or events:  "he had already learned his lesson by painful experience" synonyms: involvement in · participation in · contact with · [more] .... Bill has graciously given us explicit permission to --- > clip his ideas for re-paste at SSI.  It's not that we're best buds, by any stretch of the imagination.  What's actually up is that Bill hates hates HATES the idea of copyrighting a blinkin' essay and charging people $1 every time they read it in the library.   Let's take all those authors,... Read More
Well, after a fashion it is
Posted by jemanji on 10/24/15
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. Life plays you some funny hands sometimes.   No sooner do you paste up a wild shot of Gene's hair, and make that your icon, than ... your own hair starts falling out.  Or you sign on with a 'net company to write astronomy articles and --- > get shoved into the Mariners cubicle.  Or you spend $0.5 billion to make a baseball stadium with a Hit It Here neon sign in right field, and your lefty basher demands a move to Cincinnati. ...... In 6th grade, Dr. D met a pretty cool kid on the basketball playground and it turned out the kid lived one street over.  Played a bunch of baseball and hoops... Read More
Are we not men? We are DEVO
Posted by jemanji on 10/24/15
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. A Hey Bill this week was especially interesting: . Hey Bill, I remember you wrote in an early abstract concerning Royals stadium, "if you don't have speed in the outfield, you will not win here period." Is that still true. I'm trying to gauge the Mets' chances. Asked by: manhattanhi Answered: 10/23/2015 The park is a lot different. It used to be an artificial turf park, and a very fast turf. If a ball got loose in the outfield, it was big trouble. I would say it is still a park where speed in the outfield matters; the Royals' outfield is very fast, and you see the effects of that in... Read More
And by "most" he mighta meant "1950s Baseball Men"
Posted by jemanji on 10/21/15
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. Andy McKay being the new player-development guru.  Via Dutton as channeler, quoth he: . "It would be hard to find anyone who has read more on the topic of performance psychology than I have," he said. "I’ve been able to take a huge volume of literature and whittle it down into a usable program." "A lot of learning happens just through experience," he said, "but I’d like to take the idea that we can formalize that process and hold people accountable for their continuous growth and a never-ending improvement process. "In my opinion, there’s nobody who is doing it well. I think everyone is... Read More
POTD Jin Kwon, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/19/15
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. PRETTY CONVINCING CGI ON THAT ONE, dept. "Final Boss" being Oh's nickname in Korea.  Dr. D has got to say, he prefers that one to "Great Demon God," or certainly to "Ganondorf," probably to "Kaiju," and even to the roided-up Bane Joker.  As Pacific Rim monster closers go, this one looks relatively feasible.   The MLBTradeRumors squib on him lists 4 teams rumoured, those being the Yankee$, Pirates, Orioles and, um, Mariners.  Sueng-Hwan Oh is a pure free agent this winter, and his reps have thrown a preemptive Bruce Lee stop-hit on any team that fancies a dance with Final Boss: . “We first... Read More
Dr. D is 'out' of this one before he was ever 'in'
Posted by jemanji on 10/17/15
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. Here's a Hey Bill from January 2012: . bill, i know your statistics are great for evaluating what players have done and figuring out who to get on your team and how much each player is worth, but hove you ever done anything to figure out what order to put guys in in a line up, or what pitchers to use when? Asked by: bill byrd Answered: 1/30/2012 Not very much.   I don't really believe in it, to tell you the truth.    I haven't seen the evidence that those kind of decisions can make a meaningful contribution to making a team successful. I have had major league managers ask me about... Read More
You had me at nose-to-leather, Paul
Posted by jemanji on 10/15/15
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. The Arizona Fall League jams players from 30 ML franchises into an itty-bitty 6-team Volkswagen.  Under the circumstances, we'd expect a few sharp elbows jabbed neck-high.  And under the M's 'get more athletic' circumstances, we'd be forgiven if we expected the seven draftees to be fresh off American's Ninja Warriors.   Alas, the focus is on PD even more than it is on 5-tool skillsets.   Either way, the Mariners' horse in the race -- the Peoria Javelinas -- is 1-2 and facing a "magic number" of, um, 28. A glance at DiPoto's DeCisions: . 1.  James Paxton.  This is NOT the "marginal choice"... Read More
The King with 2,142 strikeouts so far, by the way
Posted by jemanji on 10/13/15
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. Dr. D is here to tell you that "Munenori's Espresso Stand" is a galactic-class Blog Title, much less handle for a commenter.  For this article, MES Network got 35 recs (wrecks?) when he claimed that "Felix is Ours And You Don't Want Him."  Terrific job by Muni (or, more feasibly, his agent's ghostwriter).  Dr. D processes the article for you: . EXEC SUM 1 Felix Hernandez' performance got consistently worse as the 2015 season went on 2 Could be that it was the early ankle injury, but Muni is skeptical 3 Felix claimed mechanical fixes.  This claim was dubious.  Here is the great Jeff Sullivan... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 10/13/15
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. If you are visiting the Baseball SSI subdomain only, don't miss the fact that SABRMatt has a baseball article rat cheer.   Matty's article got accidentally filed under the "All" subdomain, so here's a redirect for yer.  Also, Dr. D has a Seahawks article in the "All" domain.  As he is wont to do about once a week, there being a football dynasty in town at the moment.   Also, there are actual professional football writers working at SSI, as well as other Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).  Therefore if you like sports better than you like your job:  click n read. Things have settled into a nice... Read More
I'm In, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/12/15
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. Probably 75% of us haven't yet read this 2014 ESPN piece on the DiPoto/Servais approach to player development.  The article starts with a bang.  Spring Training 2013, Servais yells "Take a knee!" at 165 Angels minor leaguers, while 55 coaches stand with thumbs at piping at their pants.  (Fifty-five?!  Come off it already)   Servais asks for a show of hands, "Anybody in the playoffs last year?"  Kinda nobody was.  Servais pulls the string:  "You're the worst organization in baseball.  How does that make you ... FEEEeeeeeel?"  :: vince vaughn voice :: You're a busy man, so we'll read the... Read More
Minor League Guy throwing sliders, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/12/15
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. CARSON SMITH Dr. D had failed to notice that Smith was one of 4 pitchers, both leagues, to score over 2 WAR from the bullpen.  There was Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, some 13K guy for the Indians :- ) and him.  As a Twins GM once said after losing to a 19-loss Scott Erickson in arb:  "Some guys had better years than I remember them having." No, more seriously.  Smith did wind up looking pretty cappuccino-ed out during his first Go at closer.  But there's a real shortage of 11.83-strikeout righties, and an even greater shortage of 11.83-strikeout guys with invisible pitches.  Smith goes... Read More
As Mission Statements Go, It's Been Working Across the Street
Posted by jemanji on 10/10/15
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. It seems kinda quaint, doesn't it?  The idea that a hard-grizzled MLB field manager could even hope to "inspire" his jaded millionaires with "positive energy."  A couple of DiPoto quotes from the St. Louis Dispatch: . "Everything we do is as a group," Dipoto said. "This isn't an indictment of Lloyd. This is a representation of what we would like to build going forward. That is what we'll do." "This was an opportunity to come into an organization and create a vision and I feel like this is the best way to do that," Dipoto said. "Leadership will be an important element to me and energy will... Read More
2013, at least?
Posted by jemanji on 10/10/15
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. Shaking his head clear of the cobwebs, Dr. D looks around the 'net and ... notices that the Seattle Mariners have a new manager.  Surfing about for any conventional wisdom that might be available on the matter, the first three waves carry him to a few streams of thought as to why JeDi would do such a thing: (1) "McClendon was doomed from the start because he just met DiPoto in late September."  Hey, clubhouse relationships matter.  Loyalty is a Core Virtue.  There aren't too many tell-it-like-it-is Geoff Bakers that hang around the same clubhouse for 10 straight years.  Suffice it to say... Read More
Smurf City, Here We Come?
Posted by jemanji on 10/08/15
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. The Think Tank plumps for Robinson Cano at 1B, with subvariation N-C5 slotting Marte to CF, Brad Miller and Chris Taylor to DP.  This would also be an all-kids-all-the-time cutback, sparing us $9M Trumbo bucks that (we hope!) would be deployed elsewhere. Dr. D is a position scarcity guy; he always drafts 2Bs and SSs in the first round.  This is how you set up a core of Stars, which --- > allows you to stay light on your feet, grubbing values at corner Scrub slots.  But let's take a look-see: . 2016 Mariner Off (wRC) Def TOTAL Cano, 1B 90 +10   +100 runs Crazy Legs, 2B 65-70  (proj in 600... Read More
In a world where the core Mariners have eons to live
Posted by jemanji on 10/08/15
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Stupid Human Tricks Dept. What was that Facebook satire?  The one where they tested their programmers with about 12 shots of Stoli and sat them down at an unsolvable coding fix?  “Yeah,” said the CEO when his friend objected, “Much better test to see if they can carry about a chicken for 10 days." No, Dr. D doesn’t do 12 shots of Stoli, but believe you him, he could do a smoother bit of shtick under those circumstances than under the Rx recipe that the UW rocket scientists have cooked up.   The screen looks like one those optical illusion meters they used in the Adam West Batmans (Batmen).  ... Read More
Hey, whass baseball wifout a little fun
Posted by jemanji on 10/08/15
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. NELSON CRUZ Said all that to say this, Dept  --- >  Boomstick is currently thumping along to the tune of 39.8 homers per season.  True, this is a recent development.  Two years ago, you wouldn't have signed off on 39.8.  But then again, the facts is the facts, and this is a hitter who is visibily gaining steam as he puffs along. Time left?  age until 42, cut in half ... he'll be 35, so ... read it and weep, Arte and Sosh.  The midrange historical projection is for Boomstick to mash 139.8 homers before an Angels sign-stealer snipes him from the top deck.  Bear in mind, this could be 37... Read More
Maybe the 'bage isn't always greener in the other bin
Posted by jemanji on 10/04/15
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. Keith-O gave us a rundown of young, ML-ready center fielders that we fans might keep our longing eyes on.  He said Dalton Pompey was the pick of his litter: . Pompey:  There is a lot to like here (as Matt has pointed out):  He's only 22, already has OPS'ed 85 in 150-ish MLB PA's, had 3 assists in 24 Toronto OF starts this year, his dWAR was 0.7 in just 33 games, steals bases and is a .308-.380 guy in AA/AAA.   This is a guy to try to get. He's a switch hitter without much split difference who has a bit of tater pop.   Baseball-America had him as the #30 prospect pre '15.  Nothing he did... Read More
All the best ones are taken, but........
Posted by moethedog on 10/03/15
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OK, we just may need a pretty CF prom date for '16.  All the hottest chicks (like that Trout babe) are taken.  But there may be some good ones still out there, ones without a date for the Big Dance in '16 I threw out an International League list of Ben Gamel in Scranton, Dalton Pompey in Buffalo, Darin Mastroianni in Syracuse, Jackie Bradley (who has a +dWAR CF MLB glove), Julio Borbon in Norfolk (he was a +1.4 CF glove in Texas in '10), Trayce Thompson in Charlotte (But he's had a great initiation for the White Sox and may be off-limits), Abe Almonte (Really!) in Columbus, Daniel Fields in... Read More
Hey Jerry, we got your nautical M's theme for '16
Posted by jemanji on 10/02/15
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. Q.  Wow, Tony Zych.  Is it possible that he got the start in the Johnny Bullpen game for any real purpose? A.  Here's hoping.  Zych's power RH fastball-slider game is in the same template as --- > JeDi's pride-and-joy SP, Garrett Richards.  Forget the same template.  Zych is one of the most-comparable pitchers in the majors to Richards, as far as weaponry goes. We're guessing, off-handedly, that this similarity might occur to Jerry DiPoto.   . Q.  How open is Dr. D, much less Jerry DiPoto, to two-pitch starters? A.  .  ... It's true, as a very general principle, that Fastball-Slider is... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 10/02/15
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. We start our George Michael Sports Machine with a look at the recent SSI thread on DiPoto and K:BB rate.  Diderot and GLS raised this interesting question: . OK, minor leaguers and the strike zone paradigm--I'm in... but is it possible to also teach this to people already 'established' in the majors?  Or in Zunino's case, previously present in the majors?  (Did 'er wrote) Good question We know so little about player development, both in the minors and the majors. How long does it take for a young player's skills to "set"? If a player makes it to AA and AAA with a certain set of... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 10/02/15
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. BRAD MILLER's CRAZY LEGS Hip-banging in the mosh pit off, um, Myself ... to the dance tune of K:BB ratio vs Reflex Decline. The Logo has been, at ages 23-25, a league-average hitter (100 OPS+ exactly!).  This despite being mildly unlucky on balls landing on grass and on fly balls going over the fence.  The magic age for Post-Hype Syndrome is next year for him.  John Benson's fantasy maxim for major, league-winning breakouts:  Age 26 With Experience. You may narrow your eyes suspiciously at this maxim.  However, Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, and Michael Saunders do not single-handedly*... Read More