Wednesday, October 24, 2012
2012 In Review - Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano had a good season that looks like a great season if you ignore context and pretend the postseason didn’t happen. Unfortunately, we shouldn’t ignore context and the postseason did happen. Here’s how his regular season numbers compared to his projections entering the year.
|2012 League Avg||697||627||82||160||31||3||20||78||12||4||56||135||14||6||.255||.320||.411||.311||81||75|
The second set of projections, league average and 2011 stats are pro-rated to 2012 PA to allow a direct comparison. League average is not adjusted for DNYS so mentally account for that.
The batting runs above are context-neutral. Cano did not hit well with runners on base in 2012 and that needs to accounted for when assessing his value. If you adjust his line with the difference between his context-neutral batting runs and his RE24 (batting runs based on the 24 different base-out states a hitter can face) he loses about 11 runs of value. He was still the Yankees’ most valuable position player and still had a good year. It’s just wasn’t as good as it may appear to be if you look at his surface stats. Cano was just as good with his RE24 in 2010 as his raw numbers and was about eight runs better in RE24 than raw numbers in 2011 so it’s foolish to think he’s got some sort of flaw that makes him unclutch.
That being said, Cano set a record in the postseason with the longest hitless streak of AB ever (29). He didn’t do so well in any of his other AB either as he went just 3 for 11 in those. Think about that. He hit .272 in the postseason if you take away his 29 AB hitless streak. But he did draw a walk, which is something.
In his career Cano’s now hit .222/.267/.419 in the postseason. Again, I don’t think he’s unclutch, but it’s annoying.
With rumors swirling that he’s looking for a 10 year deal at “top of the market dollars” and given who he’s chosen as his agent I think it’s a realistic possibility that 2013 will be his last year in Yankee pinstripes. I think that possibility is small, but I think committing to a 31 year old second baseman for 10 years is unwise. I’d prefer a six year deal and could be okay with a seven year deal. But anything more than that and I’d just as soon let him walk. Second baseman have historically not aged well. If you look at his nine most similar batters on Baseball Reference and what they did from age 31 on it’s also not exactly encouraging. They averaged five more seasons and 10.2 WAR. Similarity scores are more of a toy than an actual tool for rigid comparison but it at least gives us some of idea of what players sort of like Cano have done after age 30.
How much is 10.2 WAR worth? Maybe $60M? Does anyone see Cano signing for five years and $60M? Of course, it’s possible he ages more like George Brett (27.1 WAR) or Ryne Sandberg (22.0 WAR) at which point he may be worth something like 8 years and $160M. But that’s a pretty big gamble in my opinion.
It would stink to see him go, but it would stink worse to see him stinking things up as he heads to 40 stinking years old. He’s not Albert Pujols, but it’s a similar situation. Cardinals fans probably hated to see him go, but it was the prudent move for the franchise and just one year into that 10 year deal you’d have to imagine the Angels have buyer’s remorse.
It’s probably not something we have to worry about for the next 12 months though.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Player A vs. Player B
Player A: Age 32, 147 PA, .231/.286/.403, signed through 2016.
Player B: Age 32, 149 PA, .197/.235/.275, signed through 2021! <== Ha ha.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
NEW YORK—Derek Jeter cracked a three-run homer and Ivan Nova turned in six effective innings for the victory as the Yankees defeated the Angels, 11-5, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Mark Teixeira had two hits, including a run-scoring double, as part of a four-run third inning that sent Angels starter Jerome Williams to an early exit.
Jeter’s second blast of the year was a line drive into the right-field seats off Hisanori Takahashi in the fourth inning, opening up a seven-run lead and providing Nova with a large cushion to cruise toward his second victory of the year.
The Angels made it a three-run game by the seventh, when Albert Pujols knocked in a run with a single facing an ineffective Rafael Soriano, but David Robertson bailed the Yankees out of a bases-loaded jam to escape the inning.
It’s nice when the Yankee offense graces us with their presence, isn’t it? Derek Jeter can’t carry this team alone all season.
Nova’s final line doesn’t look all that great, but I thought he pitched pretty well over most of the game. He continued to show the separation in his walks and strikeouts that are an indication that he’s not pitching over his head with 2 BB and 8 K, but he gave up 2 HRs and 4 runs so it was a mixed outing.
The Yankees have won 5 of 6 after starting the year 0 for 3 against the juggernaut Rays. The schadenfreude-lover in me also is happy that the Angels weren’t able to leave this series feeling they’ve “turned their season around” and that Albert Pujols didn’t really break out. I still think they’re a good team and will be in contention until the end of the year, but let that start after tonight.
A 5-4 record feels meh, but it’s about where we should have realistically expected them to be at this point. The home series against the Twins starting tomorrow seems like a good opportunity to try and move ahead of those expectations.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
That $30 million seduction looked bad then — to blend immortality with a payday — and worse now for two reasons: 1) The Yankees are trying to get under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold beginning in 2014 to gain the financial benefits that are part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Those $6 million bonuses, if triggered, would count toward the payroll in the season they are earned. 2) The 2009 revelation that Rodriguez used steroids at least during his Ranger years devalued A-Rod, the TV Show, for the Yankees/YES while assuring Rodriguez that the accomplishment is as regretted as celebrated.
You got a preview of, at the least, how little joy and fanfare there will be should Rodriguez keep climbing on the homer list by the minimalist reaction yesterday. It was not long ago that becoming the fifth-leading homer hitter ever would have unleashed a standing ovation, wall-to-wall coverage and the further elevating of a reputation. Instead, when A-Rod took Ervin Santana deep to open the third inning, there was, well, not much.
The way I see it, the best way for this to work out is for A-Rod to hit all those bonuses this year and next year so they have no impact on 2014.
Rodriguez can earn the $6 million bonuses for hitting 660 HRs, 715 HRs, 755 HRs, then for tying the HR record (currently 756) and then breaking it. According to the CAIRO career projections I ran for Rodriguez his baseline career total for HRs was 699 and if he hit his 80% forecast it would get to 742.
Better than expected health could probably push him closer to that 755-757 range, but I’m not sure expecting a 36-42 year old Rodriguez to start demonstrating better health than the 32-35 version did is particularly realistic.
He now needs 31 HRs over the next two years to get to 661. CAIRO’s baseline had him at 35. If he can do that, then we have to wait another 50 HRs for him to trigger that 715 HR bonus. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it wouldn’t happen in 2014, and I’d probably bet against it happening in 2015. It may not be going out on the limb to say that it will NEVER happen.
Point being, this is probably pretty low on the Yankees’ list of worries in getting to the $189M payroll Valhalla.
The wording of the last two milestones is interesting. Rodriguez would have to average 21 HRs a year over the rest of his contract (plus yesterday’s) to wind up at 756. If Albert Pujols averages 52 over the same span, he’d end up at 757 HRs. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Rodriguez tied Barry Bonds in the first game of an Angels series, passed him in the second and then watched Pujols hit three HRs to break his record in the third game? Technically, Rodriguez would have achieved his milestone. But it wouldn’t have been worth anything 24 hours later.
Actually, it wouldn’t be hilarious.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
In this morning’s Rule 5 draft, the Yankees took RHP Brad Meyers from the Nationals.
The Yankees lost no one.
UPDATE, 10:23 a.m.: There’s a report from Kansas City that the Royals have traded their pick, LHP Cesar Cabral out of the Red Sox system, to the Yankees.
I have to say I know nothing about either player. I’d assume Cabral is an ace-in-training given his prior organization, but I’ll post their CAIRO projections in a minute.
Here you go.
Meyers doesn’t have overpowering velocity, but has very good control.
Fastball: Sits in the 92-94 mph range at times, but he sits comfortably in the 89-91 mph range with some nice sink
Sounds like a Darrell Rasner type, and profiles similarly. That’s not a bad thing to have around for depth at the very least. I think the CAIRO may be a little optimistic, but seems like he’s a nice gamble to take.
Cabral was taken in them 2010 Rule 5 draft by Tampa Bay before being returned to Boston, so he’s apparently someone who’s interesting as a lefty arm out of the bullpen (where he’s pitched the last two years). His projection isn’t great, but he appears to have decent stuff.
Scouting Report: Lefty with a solid frame and a smooth delivery. Pitches exclusively from the stretch. Fastball sits between 88-92 mph and tops out at 95 mph. Secondary pitches include an excellent 81-83 mph circle changeup, a mid-70s slurvey curveball, and a sharp 79-82 mph slider. Gets a lot of swings and misses with his changeup, which has nice downward movement
In other news.
Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish will be posted on Thursday, taking the first step toward pitching in the majors next season, according to a source familiar with his plans.
Early Thursday, Darvish confirmed on his blog that he will use the system. ‘‘I have decided to use the posting system,’’ he wrote. ‘‘I wanted to tell my fans directly, so that is why I am posting this on my blog.’‘
The sudden availability of Darvish, a potential top-of-the-rotation starter, will be a major attraction for clubs frustrated by the lack of elite starters in this year’s free-agent market and the high asking prices on quality pitchers in trades.
That Wilson deal looks like a bargain. I’m a bit surprised no one else would go beyond that. Seems like a better value than what Darvish is eventually going to cost for probably similar production.
Pujols should fill the massive hole left by trading Jeff Mathis.
Friday, September 30, 2011
2011 ALDS Preview: Tigers vs. Yankees
The first obstacle in the quest to end the dreaded curse of The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske is the Detroit Tigers.
Seriously, it has been 694 days, 11 hours, 15 minutes, and 45 seconds since the New York Yankees have won a World Series. We have suffered long enough, haven’t we? When will this infernal madness end?
So how big of an obstacle are the Tigers? Let’s take a look.
First, I’ll acknowledge the obvious fact that the Tigers played in and won the AL Central which is probably the weakest division in the AL.
I’ll then say that it doesn’t matter. This is a very good team, and it’s not a stretch to envision them representing the AL in the World Series.
If you read the Rays/Rangers preview you can skip the next paragraph.
I don’t particularly find any series previews that focus on what a team did in the preceding full season of much use. It doesn’t really matter if a team scored 5.2 runs per game and allowed 4.2 runs per game over the preceding six months. Rosters change, injuries happen, players come and go, talent changes, and player and team performance is often subject to fluctuations that are not predictive. What I want to know is how many runs will the team and roster as currently configured score and allow. Because of that, for these previews I’ll be using projections in lieu of 2011 stats. Despite having my own system in CAIRO, I’m going to use the Hardball Times’s Oliver forecasts since I haven’t had the time to re-run CAIRO for this year. Oliver is updated weekly during the season and includes 2011 MLEs for players who saw time in the minors.
The biggest consideration in trying to see how any series may shape up is allocating playing time. So here are depth charts for the two teams, based on the assumption that each team will make 25 outs at the plate over 5 games and that pitchers will combine for 45 innings. Since I didn’t have official postseason rosters while writing parts of these, some of it is guesswork and is subject to change.
Here are the Oliver projections for the Tigers’ postseason position players.
|Name||Pos||PA||AVG/OBP/SLG||Outs||BR||wOBA||vs. L||vs. R|
|Bench||Pos||PA||AVG/OBP/SLG||Outs||BR||wOBA||vs. L||vs. R|
Outs: Outs at the plate (assumes 25 outs per 9 innings, calculated as (1 - OBP) times PA + GDP per PA
BR: Linear weights batting runs
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
vs. L/R: Projected wOBA splits vs. LHP/RHP using regressed platoon splits
Rather than guess about how the Tigers may allocate playing time, I just gave the expected starting lineup all 125 outs.
The biggest problem here is Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera’s pretty much the best hitter in the AL. In fact, only one player has been a better hitter than him over the last three years, and that’s Albert Pujols. That projected wOBA of .455 vs. LHP is terrifying for Game 1. The Yankees probably don’t have much room for error facing Verlander, so the Cabrera/Sabathia matchup is probably going to be the one to watch. You can see by the OBP of the rest of the team that keeping people like Austin Jackson, Don Kelly and Delmon Young off the bases in front of Cabrera is going to be imperative.
The Tigers overall don’t have much of a projected platoon split, so the Yankees’ lack of left-handed pitching shouldn’t be a big deal.
I don’t think any Tigers fans would disagree that the Yankees’ lineup is better. Their hopes are going to lay on their pitching staff, and that’s not a bad position to be in.
RA: Runs allowed per 9, calculated as 1.08*ERA
ERA: Earned runs allowed per 9
FIP: Fielding independent pitching
Justin Verlander’s obviously the man here. He’s been the best pitcher in baseball this year and is a worthy MVP candidate. He’s backed up by mid-season acquisition Doug Fister, who’s been sublime for the Tigers. The Tigers are 9-2 in his 11 starts, and he’s pitched 70.1 innings and allowed just 19 runs. He’s faced 273 batters and walked 5 of them. Seriously. He’s probably not quite that good, but he’d project as the second-best starter on the Yankees.
Jim Leyland has said that he will not pitch Verlander on three days rest, so I’m giving Rick Porcello five innings. I don’t know if things would change if the Tigers go down 2-1. If they did that, they could throw Fister in Game 5 and not use Porcello in the rotation at all.
The Tigers’ defense has been about average overall, not much different than the Yankees. So I’m not going to bother with talking about that.
So, how about the Yankees’ projections?
|Name||Pos||PA||AVG/OBP/SLG||Outs||BR||wOBA||vs. L||vs. R|
|Bench||Pos||PA||AVG/OBP/SLG||Outs||BR||wOBA||vs. L||vs. R|
I’ve relegated Jesus Montero to pinch-hitting status, since DH vs. LHP is effectively a non-position vs. Detroit. I suppose we may see him pinch-hit for Posada if a one of Phil Coke/Daniel Schlereth is on the mound. Or he could get a start if Posada doesn’t look so good. Statistically, Posada’s projection vs. RHP is better than Montero’s so I suppose it’s the logical approach. I’m also not sanguine on A-Rod playing every inning so I’ve given Chavez four PA, and I’m assuming we may see Andruw Jones pinch-hit for TSBG in a late situation vs. a LHP where an XBH would be of additional benefit.
Oliver thinks the Yankees have the best offense in the postseason, and I’d agree with that. Unfortunately, the Yankees have to pitch too.
The assumption here is CC on three days rest. I’m assuming that Burnett and Hughes won’t pitch even though they’re on the roster, but if they do pitch their innings would probably just replace Ayala or Wade’s and it shouldn’t make a big difference.
The Yankees probably have the worst projected rotation in the postseason. CC’s as good as anyone, but after that there’s some concern about Nova and Garcia. I do think that projection is a little bearish on Nova since we have evidence that his new slider has made a meaningful improvement that wouldn’t be captured in a projection system.
Nova pre-slider: 226 BF, 9.3% BB/BF, 11.5% K/BF, 5.19 RA, 4.29 ERA, 4.32 FIP, 4.92 xFIP
Nova post-slider: 278 BF, 7.5% BB/BF, 15.1% K/BF, 3.52 RA, 3.44 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 4.03 xFIP
The Yankee bullpen has been one of the best in baseball this year, and although the projections think most of them pitched above their head they’re probably still better than Detroit’s from top to bottom. So the Yankees should be able to mitigate their slight disadvantage in the rotation by using the relievers aggressively. I can imagine that any David Robertson/Miguel Cabrera battles are going to be must-see baseball.
These depth charts say this.
If I play the series out 10,000 times in my Monte Carlo simulator I get these odds.
If the Tigers do decide to use Verlander in Game 4 and Fister in Game 5 they improve to about a .612 wpct/99 win team. Basically, those two teams are equivalent. The Yankees get the slight edge of one extra home game if necessary. In that case the odds look like this.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
WARNING: What you are about to read is pure speculation. It has not, to my knowledge, been discussed at any level. In fact, it is not even my idea.
Harold Reynolds mentioned the possibility Monday on MLB Network. My colleague, Jon Paul Morosi, informed me of it later that night. I then stole the idea from Morosi as if I were Lindsay Lohan in a jewelry store.
Albert Pujols for Mark Teixeira.
And, if that doesn’t work, Pujols for Ryan Howard.
Think it’s nuts? Think again.
Pujols for Teixeira is a way out for the Cardinals, who are running out of time in their quest to meet Pujols’ deadline for a new contract by the start of spring training.
Here are their 2011 CAIRO projections as Yankees over 650 PA.
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
BR: Linear-weights batting runs
BRAR: Batting runs above replacement level, position-adjusted
Def: Projected runs saved compared to an average 1B
WAR: Wins above replacement level (BRAR + Def divided by ten)
Yes, it works. The Cardinals would never do it though.
Page 1 of 1 pages: