Tag Archives: Mariners

Larry Bernandez (read post) Bobblehead Day coming Aug. 28

Mariners came up with a cool promotion, check it out.

First, there was this ad from the beginning of the season:

August 28 of this year will be Larry Bernandez Bobblehead Day.

Cute, quirky marketing turned a regular day at the park for a not-so-good baseball team into a pretty cool day. Congrats to the Mariners’ marketing team for the coup.

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Filed under miscellaneous, MLB

Felix vs. CC (vs. Price): Head-to-Head Park Factors and Other Miscellany

Well we’re almost in the post-season and we’ve got three very, very good pitchers, one of whom, though, is having a much better season than the other two.

CC Sabathia is getting some acknowledgment because of his wins. Quote Joe Morgan:

I think he’s always been in the race in my mind. I like what Felix Hernandez has done, but he has won only 12 games. People say that he doesn’t get support from his teamamtes, but guess what, every award is a team award. You can’t win the MVP without your teammates. Do we look at an MVP candidate and say his team didn’t give him a chance to drive in runs? The fact is that Felix has won 12 games and CC has won 20. It is harder to win in a championship environment in New York than in Felix’s situation. Just look at AJ Burnett this year. Felix has done a good job this year, but he’s not in the same difficulty level of pitching this year as CC.

Well ok then.

Let’s all take a second to remember how useless wins are as a stat for pitchers.

Good, you back now? Let’s continue.

There’s also this, which was an interesting reveal of ESPN fans’ minds.

The gist of stats is to see how good a player performed as an individual. The post-season awards are for individual awards. If you want a “best player on a good team award,” create it.

Frankly, yeah, 21 wins is a terrible reason to award the CYA. Here are those three pitchers and their respective stats. Guess which ones are which:

Player A: 249.2 innings, 2.27 ERA, 232 Ks, 70 BBs (3.31 K/BB), 3.06 FIP, 3.27 xFIP, 53.9 GB%
Player B: 237.2 innings, 3.18 ERA, 197 Ks, 74 BBs (2.66 K/BB), 3.55 FIP, 3.79 xFIP, 50.7 GB%
Player C: 207.2 innings, 2.73 ERA, 187 Ks, 79 BBs (2.37 K/BB), 3.44 FIP, 4.01 xFIP, 43.9 GB%

All three of them, interestingly enough, have a higher LOB% than their career rates by about 3-4%.

Player A seems like the easy winner for the Cy Young Award (that’d be Felix Hernandez). Player B (CC Sabathia) doesn’t have quite the stats or peripherals with 10 fewer innings and Player C (David Price) has almost 50 fewer innings.

Note that Felix easily has the best K-rate, BB-rate AND groundball-rate. That’s unbelievable.

But some detractors are saying “yada yada, AL East.”

If it were between CC and Price, I think I’d lean toward CC because of peripherals. That being said, let’s take a look at the comparison between facing the AL East and facing the AL West regularly.

CC Sabathia
34 games started
Average park factor: 101.4

Felix Hernandez
34 games started
Average park factor: 98.1

And then just for fun:

CC average pitches per inning: 15.1
Felix average pitches per inning: 14.9

So yes, Hernandez has had the benefit of better parks. Is that enough of a difference to account for AN EXTRA RUN per 9 innings? Hell no.

Felix’s ERA+ is still 174 while CC’s is 131.

Even if you count all runs, not just earned runs, Felix’ runs average is ~2.88. CC’s is ~3.49.

The difference between the line-ups that CC faced vs. the ones Felix faced are almost negligible. I want to go into further depth on the offenses of each team faced, but maybe another time. Long story short, people who bring up the AL EAST stuff forget that the AL East line-ups are significantly easier to face when you don’t have to face the Yankees. Alternatively, take out the awful Mariners’ line-up from the AL West, and it’s a much better offensive division. I don’t know how or why people consider divisions without considering a pitcher doesn’t have to face his own team.

With that in mind, it’s a pretty simple choice. Felix is a much better pitcher across the board, including line-ups, including park factors, including everything.

So there you have it. Felix is better. Hands down.

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Filed under Cy Young Award, MLB, Post-season awards

Trading Matt Kemp = 5 Years of Mediocrity

Dodgers designated Charlie Haeger for assignment today. Jon Link was called up. Link has shown he’s decent, or at least worth a shot over Haeger from the bullpen, so this doesn’t change a whole lot. Haeger was easily the worst Dodger pitcher of the season, but the Dodgers’ turns with replacement players have been not fun.

Carlos Monasterios is still on the DL, but the good news is Chad Billingsley should return on Monday, according to Rotoworld.

Ken Rosenthal today suggested the Dodgers trade Matt Kemp to the Mariners for Cliff Lee, completely glossing over the fact that the Dodgers’ pitching problems are almost solely because of the bullpen. Not that trading for Lee wouldn’t be awesome, but the Dodgers would need to fill Kemp’s offensive hole and a 110 OPS+ from centerfield is pretty dang good. Right now, it’s about 8th best from an everyday CF starter this year, and the two in front of him don’t look sustainable.

Talent ebbs and flows, that’s just something you have to deal with. Rosenthal, who played coy this off-season before predicting the Halladay-to-the-Phillies and ensuing Lee-to-the-Mariners trades, or his intel in the Dodgers organization seem(s) to believe the Dodgers won’t be playing for anything past 2010. There’s no replacement in the organization for Kemp.

It’s silly that the Dodgers would trade away such a cheap solution (and sell-low at that) in shallow-pocket times with no one coming up in the future.

Here’s the Dodgers’ money obligations through 2015. A pretty cursory glance says the Dodgers are gonna have a good chance to get back into the division in 2012. Andre Ethier, Kemp, Russell Martin, Billingsley, Loney and Kuo will be in their final year of arbitration and Clayton Kershaw and Blake DeWitt will be in their first year. So that’s five position players, two starting pitchers and one awesome reliever who will still be playing together by that point. The rest will be filled in as the off-seasons unfold. If the Dodgers don’t sign Lee or another non-filler rotation arm in the 2011 off-season, there’s plenty more where that comes from in the 2012 off-season.

Here‘s free agent pitchers at the end of this season. And here‘s free agents at the end of the 2011 season. A front end of the rotation starter won’t be hard to pick up, especially considering the Dodgers’ ownership divorce woes should be over before the start of the 2011 season AND the Dodgers will lose $35 million at the end of the 2010 season. A good portion of that money will go to arbitration, but not all of it.

The one thing that’d be very, very hard to replace is a cost-controlled potential 6-win starting centerfielder with a long, healthy rapsheet. You can sign Cliff Lee in the off-season, but you can’t sign Kemp. Kemp’s defense may never be great, but his bat puts him in exclusive territory. And worst case scenario, move him to right field next season, move Ethier to left and sign a good defensive centerfielder. Carl Crawford will be available. Or Colletti can trade an outfielder like Jerry Sands, who was promoted to AA this past week, or Kyle Russell to a team with a decent above-average defensive CF, like the Red Sox for Mike Cameron.

Without Kemp, the future looks muck bleaker for the Dodgers. No Kemp means no good third outfield bat. It means an at-best outfield replacement and while Cliff Lee is very, very good, it still doesn’t address the bullpen problems. It actually creates a line-up problem. (Dear Matt Kemp, please understand that everyone in this city thinks you’re the poop. Love, Los Angeles Dodger Fans).

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Filed under Hot stove, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB

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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Dodgers Have Good Shot to Capture NL West Lead by Week’s End

On paper it looks like the San Diego Padres, who hold a tenuous one-game lead in the NL West over the Dodgers, will still lead the NL West after the weekend. The Padres get to play at depressed Seattle while the Dodgers have to play the NL Central-leading Detroit Tigers.

But the Padres may be a good fit for the Mariners to earn a few wins and the Dodgers get to face the back of the Tigers’ rotation. Take a look:

Tonight: SDP Wade LeBlanc vs. SEA Cliff Lee
Tomorrow: SDP Clayton Richards vs. SEA Ryan Rowland-Smith
Sunday: SDP Mat Latos vs. SEA Felix Hernandez

In the Dodgers-Tigers match-up?

Tonight: LAD Chad Billingsley vs. DET Dontrelle Willis
Tomorrow: LAD John Ely vs. DET Armando Galarraga
Sunday: LAD Hiroki Kuroda vs. DET Rick Porcello

Gotta like those odds as a Dodger fan. The Latos-King Felix match-up looks most interesting for Sunday. On the other hand, the Mariners’ offense can make any team look like they’re facing the 1890 Cleveland Spiders, so who knows.

It’s a little more complicated than starting pitcher match-ups, but long and short of it is the Dodgers are at least tied for the division if they win two of three and the Padres lose two of three. With the Mariners throwing out two of their best starters, I’d lean in their favor. Likewise, the Tigers are starting their two worst pitchers this year (Porcello has a 11.9 hits per nine rate; Willis has a 6.1 walks per nine rate) and a minor league call-up. The Dodgers don’t have to see Justin Verlander and the Dodgers’ offense should be able to take advantage even without Andre Ethier. while two of Kuroda, Bills and Ely should find their way through the Tigers’ line-up.

That’s my one unknown, is what the Tigers’ line-up has to say. Starting four guys with sub-.80 OPS+s is hilarious, but it’s not those four that I’m worried about.

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Filed under Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB