Tag Archives: Diamondbacks

Correction: Dodgers Draft Pick is All But Protected

A couple of weeks ago, I reported the Dodgers were on the cusp of a protected pick, but with an added caveat: only the 13 worst records in baseball would be protected because of two picks held over from the 2010 draft (no. 6 Barret Loux and no. 9 Karsten Whitley both didn’t sign).

This is false.

The rules are that the 15 teams with the worst records in baseball have protected picks regardless of held-over picks. In the 2010 draft, the Rangers received a held-over pick for failure to sign Matt Purke from the 2009 draft between picks 14 and 15. The Cubs, who had the 15th worst record in the 2009 season, still had a protected pick at no. 16.

The ruling states that picks held over from last year’s draft become that pick’s (a). So the Rangers’ 2010 pick was pick no. 14a. The Diamondbacks’ no. 6 pick from last year will become no. 6a (7) and the Padres’ pick will be 9a (11).

This means picks 16 and 17 in the 2011 draft will be protected.

Sorry for the error, I hope I didn’t mislead anyone.

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Talking Strike Outs and Strike Out Records (for batters)

We’re having some fun with strike outs on the Dingers Blog today.

First and foremost, here’s your YEAR OF THE PITCHER stat for today. If the season finishes with its current rate stats, 2010 will be the best K/BB season in modern baseball history. That’s right, only 1879, 1884, 1878, 1875, 1880, and 1883 have had better K/BB years than 2010 has had. Pretty amazing, if you ask me.

The Diamondbacks are still on pace to break the Brewers’ 2001 record for most strike outs by a team. The D-Backs have 1,269 before today’s game and have played in 138 games so far, about 9.19 Ks per game. Remarkably consistent, since that was the number from last time we checked in. Yes, they’re still on pace for 1,490 or so (Brewers’ record was 1,399).

That means if they continue pace, they’ll break it on game 152. Continue reading

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D-Backs and the Tao of Trading Haren: ~ What Could’ve Been ~

There’s a minor unspoken rule that interim GMs shouldn’t make trades because they’re only in power for such a little time and it’s easier for an incoming GM to take over the team as is.  Also, sometimes the interim GM makes a terrible trade.

For reference, this is what the Diamondbacks traded for to get Dan Haren and then got back when they traded him away. C/O a D-Backs fan:

We originally obtained Dan Haren [before the 2008 season] by trading Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, Aaron Cunningham, Greg Smith, Dana Eveland, and Chris Carter. Which means now, in essence, we traded all those names for.. Joe Saunders, Patrick Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez, and what might be Tyler Skaggs if we’re lucky.

Not necessarily, because the D-Backs did get two and a half years of Haren out of that deal.

D-Backs Interim GM Jerry DiPoto, however, cited wins and winning percentage as one of the main reasons he chose to acquire Joe Saunders. No stupid deed goes unpunished.

So a legit centerfielder, a legit starter (and maybe No. 1), two decent back-end starters, and a high-end OF prospect for two and a half years of Haren. Oakland got quite a bit out of that trade and with good reason: Haren was legit.

Let’s give some historical context, though. The D-Backs just wrapped up a 90-win season and a trip to the NLCS. Their rotation was their biggest issue and Haren plugged that hole pretty well. A rotation of Brandon Webb and Haren back-to-back was awesomely reminiscent of the Schilling-Johnson years, when the D-Backs won the World Series.

However, that 2007 team was a 79-win team by pythag win-loss, so maybe that was just an error in judgment.

Anyway, yesterday Haren was flipped for Joe Saunders, a AAAA reliever, a skinny 20-year-old starter in A ball who may have the goods to be a starter and a 19-year-old decent 1st rounder who could be a starter.

This was a salary dump, no doubt about it. There were better offers on the table (Yankees had a decent offer with Ivan Nova and Joba Chamberlain, supposedly) and while Saunders is a MLB starter, he’s not a good one.

You wonder, though, what would’ve happened if the D-Backs stayed the course and didn’t trade for Haren–just focused on what they had coming up and played for a continuously ripening farm system.

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D-Backs Still on Pace to Shatter Team K Record

A few months ago I wrote about the Diamondbacks being on pace to shatter the 2001 Brewers record for most strike outs by a team in a season.

So let’s check in (this is before today’s game):

2001 Brewers: 1,399 strike outs through 162 games; 8.64 strike outs per game.

2010 D-Backs have 812 strike outs through 89 games; 9.18 strike outs per game.

They’re set to break 1,400 pretty easily (about 1,487 at this pace), but they could even break 1,500 if they increase the pace by ~0.2.

Go D-Backs, you can do it. I believe in you.

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Dodger Trade Rumors Popping Up Now

From MLB Trade Rumors:

  • Speaking of Lee, Seattle is telling clubs that they want young hitters in return for the ace. It’s a desire that could be a hurdle for several interested clubs. The Mets, for example, wouldn’t part with Ike Davis in order to land the hurler on a rental. Meanwhile, the Dodgers wouldn’t want to give up Matt Kemp or James Loney.
  • Rosenthal adds that the Dodgers may have a hard time landing the elite starter that they seek. The Astros are looking for financial relief and top prospects in return for Roy Oswalt. Pulling off a deal for Dan Haren of the Diamondbacks could prove to be difficult as Arizona likely doesn’t want to trade him within the division.

Just before that, Rosenthal said the Twins could be major players in the Lee sweepstakes. Trading for Dan Haren is intriguing. Mets sound like the smartest landing spot for Lee, they’ve been more free-wheeling in regards to giving up prospects and have the ones most prepared for the majors in Ike Davis. They could just as easily go for Haren, though, which would be awesome since CitiField is good for flyball pitchers and Haren’s been burned all season on the HR/FB ratio.

I guess Oswalt just won’t go anywhere.

As we’re nearing the deadline, it looks like the Dodgers are less and less likely to make a deal for a top-tier starter. The biggest move the Dodgers make sounds most likely to be for another relief pitcher, which wouldn’t be bad–the bullpen does need help.

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PECOTA is probably wrong

This can’t be right.

Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA league standings projection system came out today and it’s all over the blagoblag.

The projections, which twice correctly predicted huge jumps in the standings in 2008 for the Tampa Bay Rays and 2006 for the Chicago White Sox, had a very bad year last year and another bad year might cause people to look to other projection systems or maybe ignore the process.

PECOTA uses an intriguing system.  Started by SABR legend Nate Silver, it mapped every career ever had by any player in history and then applied those career arcs to the players with similar production–like I said in an earlier post, baseball is fortunate enough to have such an enormous sample size to take from.  From there, it extracted what the likelihood of the player’s production would be–10% (bad), 50% (average for him) and 90% (way above average).  Then it takes those player predictions, combines them into a team’s total run production (and prevention on pitching and defense) and voila! You have your pythagorian win-loss record.

One reason why PECOTA had such a bad year in 2009 wasn’t because of bad luck–PECOTA projections do not account for injury, trades or other things that come into play during a season–it’s because it projected inaccurately.* Even by pythagorian record, the A’s and Angels were swapped. The Indians and the Diamondbacks just plain old stunk. Craig Calcaterra pointed out PECOTA predicted one of the most amazing seasons in history by a rookie catcher for Matt Weiters and they were pretty far off.

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