Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home4/derok6/public_html/dbacksvenom/components/com_sh404sef/shInit.php on line 37
2010 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2009-articles/ Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:22:41 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Diamondbacks Offseason Update - December 1, 2009 http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/december/diamondbacks-offseason-update-december-1-2009.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/december/diamondbacks-offseason-update-december-1-2009.html Additions for 2009: Brandon Webb (injury), Conor Jackson (injury), Brandon Allen, Tony Abreu, Aaron Heilman Subtractions for 2009: Chad Tracy, Doug Davis, Yusmeiro Petit, Doug Slaten, Daniel Cabrera, Ruben Gotay, Scott Maine, Ryne White Pitchers Brandon Webb – As expected, the Diamondbacks picked up Webb’s option for 2010 at $8.5M. Reports are that Webb has completed his rehab throwing assignment, and will be able to begin his usual preparations for the season in January. Outlook: Still on track to be the #1 Starter in 2010. Aaron Heilman – In their first trade of the offseason, the D’backs acquired Aaron Heilman from the Cubs for minor leaguers Scott Maine and Ryne White. Heilman has been used as both as a starter and reliever in his career, but has spent the four years exclusively in relief. Here are his stats for the last 5 seasons: 2005 (NYM): 5-3, 5 Sv, 3.17 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 108 IP, 8.8K/3.1BB, 0.5 HRA 2006 (NYM): 4-5, 0 Sv, 3.62 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 87 IP, 7.6K/2.9 BB, 0.5 HRA 2007 (NYM): 7-7, 1 Sv, 3.03 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 86 IP, 6.6K/2.1 BB, 0.8 HRA 2008 (NYM): 3-8, 3 Sv, 5.21 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 76 IP, 9.5K/5.4 BB, 1.2 HRA 2009 (CHC): 4-4, 1 Sv, 4.11 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 72 IP, 8.1K/4.2 BB, 1.1 HRA Heilman’s best season was probably 2007 with the Mets. Since then, he has a disastrous 2008, and a mediocre 2009. The biggest differences for Heilman are that he gave up way too many walks over the last two years – 5.4/9 IP in 2008 and 4.2/9 IP in 2009, and that he started giving up more Home Runs. . His strikeout rate stayed high, and actually went up over the last two years. Heilman is a slight ground-ball pitcher who throws a 93 mph fastball. According to Fangraphs, he was primarily a fastball-change up pitcher in 2007, but then added a slider in 2008 and mixed in more two-seam fastballs in 2009. His greatest value is that he can fill many roles in the bullpen, and can go multiple innings if needed. The D’backs are hoping he can provide some experience to the bullpen, and re-discovers his performance levels from 2005-2007. Outlook: Set-up Man in the bullpen. Doug Davis – Davis filed for free agency, and is not expected to re-sign with the Diamondbacks. Scott Maine – Maine is a left-handed relief pitcher who was traded to the Cubs as part of the Aaron Heilman trade. He was drafted from the University of Miami in 2007, and moved up to pitch in AA and AAA last season. Maine pitched reasonably well at both levels (AA - 2.66 ERA, 46K/15BB, 2 HR in 47 IP, AAA-3.68 ERA, 15K/7BB, 0 HR in 14.2 IP), but there are some questions as to whether his success will translate to the majors. His fastball does reach the low 90s, but his low arm-slot is deceptive for hitters, and may not be as effective as he moves up. Outlook: Relief Pitcher in AAA for the Cubs. Yusmeiro Petit – Petit was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners. While Petit did have a few outstanding games for the D’backs, his fly-ball tendencies made him a poor fit for Chase Field. Pitching in Seattle, with spacious Safeco Field and an outstanding OF defense led by Franklin Gutierrez, is a good fit for Petit. Outlook: Back of the rotation starter for the Mariners. Doug Slaten – Slaten was claimed off waivers by the Washington Nationals. Slaten is a fairly generic situational lefty – a useful player to have around, but the D’backs have several others like him. Outlook: Relief pitcher for the Nationals. Daniel Cabrera - Cabrera was removed from the 40-Man roster and elected to file for free agency. Cabrera has always had a live arm, but his lack of control has kept him from finding major-league success. Outlook: Will probably get a minor-league contract from some team. Infielders Brandon Allen – Allen did not have a particular good campaign in the Arizona Fall League, ending with a .177/.316 OBP/.274 SLG, with 1 HR, 12 RBI, and 3 SB in 30 games. Allen did lead the AFL with 22 walks, and also hit a 3-Run HR in the AFL Rising Stars game. Although Allen still looks like the team’s 1B of the near future, his AFL stint did not help his chances of starting 2010 in the majors. Outlook: Needs to show a lot in spring training to be the starting 1B in 2010. Some more At Bats in AAA are a strong possibility. Tony Abreu – Abreu has had a mediocre season in the Dominican Winter League, batting .281/.303 OBP/.354 SLG, with 0 HR, 6 RBI, and 17 Runs Scored in 24 games. Also troubling is his 16/2 K/BB ratio, and the relative lack of power – only 5 doubles and 1 triple. Still, Abreu’s track record has proven himself to be Brenda, and should be in the mix for the starting 2B job with the Diamondbacks. Outlook: Starting 2B in 2010. Chad Tracy - The Diamondbacks elected to buyout Tracy's contract for $1M rather than pick up his option for $7M. Ryne White – As you might guess from the first name, White was born in Chicago and was a 4th Round pick out of Purdue in 2008 as a first baseman. He has shown good on-base skills, but not much power – only 13 HR in 186 minor league games, giving him an overall stat line of .275/.366 OBP/.389 SLG between the Rookie Leagues, A, and High-A ball. He’ll be 24 next year, and still has a chance for success at the big league level, but wasn’t really a big part of the Diamondbacks’ plans. Outlook: Playing in AA for the Cubs. Ruben Gotay - Gotay, who hit .272/.429/.450 for AAA Reno in 2009, was signed by the Cardinals to a minor league contract and invited to spring training. Gotay has always had good offensive potential, but has struggled defensively at both 2B and 3B. Lyle Overbay, Nick Johnson - There were rumors of the D'backs trading Chris Snyder to the Blue Jays for Lyle Overbay, but those talks stalled, supposedly over concerns about Snyder's injured back. Nick Johnson has been rumored as a possible free agent signing, but Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks are unlikely to offer the multi-year deal that Johnson is looking for. Outfielders Conor Jackson – After missing most of the 2009 season with Valley Fever, Jackson had a strong showing in the Dominican Winter League, batting .425/.561 OBP/.589 SLG, with 2 HR and 16 RBI in 23 games. Jackson also was a perfect 9 for 9 in stolen base attempts. Outlook: Should be the starting LF or 1B in 2010. Cole Gillespie – Gillespie is a RH OF, who was obtained from the Brewers in the Felipe Lopez trade, and will be 26 in 2010. After struggling in AAA Nashville with the Brewers (.242/.332/.424), Gillespie hit much better in Reno (.304/.418./.514) and followed that with a nice performance in the AFL (.333/.461/.472). Although he has played all 3 OF positions, Gillespie’s arm and shoulder injuries probably make him best suited to LF. He has excellent plate discipline and gap power, but not the raw speed or power to be an impact player. Outlook: 5th Outfielder for the D’backs (especially if Eric Byrnes is moved); otherwise, starting OF in AAA. Trent Oeltjen – Oeltjen was removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to AAA Reno. The Australian-born Oeltjen became a fan favorite by homering in 3 of his first 4 games, and playing good defense in the outfield. Ultimately, his lack of offense makes him a fringe major leaguers. Outlook: Starting outfielder in AAA. Alex Romero – Romero was also removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to AAA Reno. He is playing in the Venezuela Winter League and is hitting .342/.412/.393. The lack of power is keeping Romero from major league playing time. Outlook: Starting outfielder in AAA.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) December Tue, 01 Dec 2009 05:53:15 +0000 2009 Fielding Bible Awards http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/november/2009-fielding-bible-awards.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/november/2009-fielding-bible-awards.html 2009 Fielding Bible awards were announced today. These awards are based on the votes of 10 experts - John Dewan (author, The Fielding Bible), Joe Posnanski (Sports Illustrated, KC Star), Bill James (founder of "Sabermetrics"), Mat Olkin (consultant to many MLB teams, formerly at USA Today Baseball Weekly), Peter Gammons (ESPN), Rob Neyer (ESPN.com), Todd Radcliffe (Lead Scout at Baseball Info Solutions-BIS), Hal Richman (Strat-o-Matic Baseball), the Tom Tango Fan Poll, and the BIS Video Scouts. The ten voters ranked their Top 10 at each position in a 10-9-8...2-1 ballot, similar to the MVP ballots. The winners: 1B - Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals 2B - Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays 3B - Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals SS - Jack Wilson, Pittsburgh and Seattle LF - Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays CF - Franklin Gutierrez, Seattle Mariners RF - Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners C - Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals P - Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox Although these awards are based on the subjective votes of the panelists, it is worth taking a quick look at the Fielding Bible's Plus/Minus fielding system, since 3 of the voters work with that system developed by Baseball Info Solutions (BIS). Video Scouts at BIS review video of every major league play and record details on every aspect of the play - the location of the batted ball, the speed, the type of hit, and the fielding result. For each play, they award a "plus" number for a play that most other fielders don't make, and a "minus" number for plays that other fielders do make. Then all of the fielder's plays are summed for an overall "Plus/Minus" number, and players can be compared to their peers. How did the Diamondbacks fare in the voting? Only two D'backs finished in the Top 10 at their positions - Justin Upton was 4th at RF, and Chris Young was ranked 10th at CF. SS Stephen Drew and C Miguel Montero both finished 13th at their respective positions. Among former D-backs, Orlando Hudson was ranked 5th at 2B, and Jon Garland was 6th among Pitchers. The complete vote totals can be seen here. ]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) November Mon, 02 Nov 2009 19:44:39 +0000 2010 Diamondbacks Position Battles - Centerfield http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondbacks-position-battles-centerfield.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondbacks-position-battles-centerfield.html Offensively, Centerfield was the Diamondbacks' worst position in 2009, with a .219/.293 OBP/.379 SLG line. Chris Young was the primary CF, starting 121 games, while Gerardo Parra took over while Young was demoted to AAA for a month. Both players will be back in 2010 - will one of them be the starting CF in 2010, or will the Diamondbacks look outside the organization? Let's start with an overview of the offensive stats for Young and Parra. Chris Young (26), RHB 2009: 501 PA, 212/311/400, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 54R, 11/4 SB, 59 BB/133K 2008: 699 PA, 248/315/443, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 85R, 14/5 SB, 62 BB/165K 2007: 624 PA, 237/295/467, 32 HR, 68 RBI, 85R, 27/6 SB, 43 BB/141K Gerardo Parra (22), LHB 2009: 491 PA, 290/324/404, 5 HR, 60 RBI, 59R, 5/7 SB, 25 BB/89K 2009 (AA): 130 PA, 361/469/491, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 23R, 7/4 SB, 22 BB/13K 2008 (AA-A): 526 PA, 286/358/416, 6 HR, 52 RBI, 61R, 28/13 SB, 47 BB/65K 2007 (A-A+): 597 PA, 313/357/425, 8 HR, 71 RBI, 75R, 26/11 SB, 34 BB/68K Chris Young came to the Diamondbacks from the White Sox in December 2005 as the prime component of the Javier Vazquez trade. Since becoming the full time starter in 2006, he has seen his HR and SB totals decline for three consecutive years. After a 2 for 27 stretch brought his average down to .194, Young was sent back to AAA on August 9th. When he returned to the majors in September, he started off 1 for 17, but then caught fire, going 299/382/598 with 8 HR over the final 25 games. There are many interesting aspects to Young's 2009 season. Among players with over 500 plate appearances, Young had the highest fly ball percentage in the majors at 55.6% (data from Fangraphs). What was worse for Young was that of these fly balls, 22.4% were infield pop-ups, by far the highest rate in the majors (no one else was even over 18%). The culprit for Young was the high fastball; Young swings at high pitches out of the strike zone almost 10% more than average, and too many of these are resulting in pop-ups and weak fly balls. It remains to be seen if Young and the Diamondbacks can improve this part of his swing. Gerardo Parra made the jump from AA to the Majors during the 2009 season. Parra is a well-rounded player with good bat speed, defensive instincts, and baserunning ability. The only aspect of his game that is missing is power. Although Parra hit for a much higher average than Young (.290 vs .212), their on-base (.324 vs. 311) and slugging percentages (.404 vs .400) were much closer. In the minors, Parra had only struck out only about 30% more than he walked, but that turned into a 3.6 ratio in the majors. Part of this was probably due to his jump all the way from AA. Both players showed very large platoon splits in 2009. Parra hit 310/345/456 against RHP, but only 220/250/220 in 106 PA against LHP. Young had a 196/277/362 line against RHP, but hit 262/406/514 against LHP. There is a lot of disparity in the rating of Chris Young's defense. Stats such as UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) at FanGraphs rate Young as below average, while scouts and fans generally rate him higher. In Tom Tango's "Scouting Report by the Fans", Young was rated "Good" or "Great" by 77 of 110 voters (70%). There seems to be general agreement that Young's arm is below average. Parra was rated higher by UZR, but only 43 of 80 voters (54%) rated Parra as "Good" or "Great", but with a strong throwing arm. So what will happen in 2010? It looks like Chris Young will get the first chance to claim the CF job. His strong finish from 2009, as well as his 5yr/$28M contract, give the Diamondbacks reasons to want Young to succeed. Parra certainly showed that he can play at the play at the ML level, but would the D'Backs want him to be a part-time player at the age of 23, or a starter at AAA? Parra could also be in the mix for the LF job, but his speed and lack of power make him better suited to CF than LF. He would be an excellent 4th OF for the team, but he could still develop into more than that.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Sat, 31 Oct 2009 20:03:08 +0000 2010 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot - Part 1 http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/december/2010-baseball-hall-of-fame-ballot-part-1.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/december/2010-baseball-hall-of-fame-ballot-part-1.html The 2010 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot includes 26 players – 11 players who received at least 5% of the vote in the 2009 election, as well as 15 on the ballot for the first time. In this post, I'll examine the candidacy of the 11 returning players. The 11 returning players (with their vote percentage in parenthesis; 75% is needed for election) are Andre Dawson (67.0%), Bert Blyleven (62.7%), Lee Smith (44.5%), Jack Morris (44.0%), Tim Raines (22.6%), Mark McGwire (21.9%), Alan Trammell (17.4%), Dave Parker (15.0%), Don Mattingly (11.9%), Dale Murphy (11.5%), and Harold Baines (5.9%). The 15 new players are Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Robin Ventura, and Todd Zeile. Alomar could be the first Diamondback player elected to the HOF. I'll evaluate these 15 newcomers in the next post.

Current Hall of Famers The Hall of Fame currently has 202 former Major League players, as well as 35 Negro League players. Stats aren’t fully available for all of them, but I identified 209 Hall-of-Famers that we have fairly complete records for. Dividing these players by position, here are the average stats for a Hall-of-Famer at each position:

Position AB R H HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
C (13) 6237 901 1773 198 1013 92 705 544 .284 .357 .447
1B (19) 7837 1366 2418 282 1465 164 910 857 .308 .380 .501
2B (17) 8031 1318 2419 146 1090 283 901 535 .301 .372 .434
SS (21) 8196 1227 2335 113 1060 267 825 544 .285 .350 .400
3B (11) 8233 1275 2449 218 1201 156 885 756 .297 .366 .453
CF (17) 7660 1426 2436 208 1157 302 942 649 .318 .393 .484
LF (21) 7932 1396 2472 221 1235 257 928 653 .312 .384 .481
RF (23) 8521 1490 2640 270 1367 228 973 779 .310 .380 .486

This gives us an idea of the typical standards of the Hall of Fame.  As discussed in the recent MVP article, one way to compare players is to convert their stats into Wins. The Baseball Prospectus stat Wins Above Replacement (WARP3) attempts to do this for all players in baseball history. Here are the average WARP3 scores for Hall-of-Famers.

HOF Position Career WARP3
Average C 58.1
Average 1B 61.6
Average 2B 75.1
Average SS 68.9
Average 3B 67.9
Average CF 66.1
Average LF 61.3
Average RF 72.5

 

Returning Candidates Here are the stats for the 8 players returning on the HOF ballot:

Player R H HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
Dawson,RF 1373 2774 438 1591 314 589 1509 .279 .323 .482
Raines,LF 1571 2605 170 980 808 1330 966 .294 .385 .425
McGwire,1B 1167 1626 583 1414 12 1317 1596 .263 .394 .588
Trammell,SS 1231 2365 185 1003 236 850 874 .285 .352 .415
Parker,RF 1272 2712 339 1493 154 683 1537 .290 .339 .471
Mattingly,1B 1007 2153 222 1099 14 588 444 .307 .358 .471
Murphy,CF 1197 2111 398 1266 161 986 1748 .265 .346 .469
Baines,DH 1299 2866 384 1628 34 1062 1441 .289 .356 .465

Let's see how these players do in the career WARP3 stat:

Player Career WARP3
Dawson,RF 59.6
Raines,LF 81.7
McGwire,1B 71.6
Trammell,SS 78.1
Parker,RF 40.2
Mattingly,1B 42.9
Murphy,CF 45.3
Baines,DH 48.4

Andre Dawson, RF
Dawson came very close to getting elected in 2009, receiving 67% of the vote. There are many reasons to support Dawson’s candidacy for the HOF – very good totals in career HR and RBI, fine defense with 8 Gold Gloves, and good SB and baserunning totals. His career WARP3 total of 59.6 is below average for his position, but close enough to warrant a closer look. But the key area where Dawson is hurt is in On-Base Percentage (and to an extent, batting average). Dawson’s lifetime OBP is only .323, which is by far the worst of any outfielder (Lou Brock is the closest at .343). The average OBP for an outfielder is .385. Not only is Dawson way below average among Hall-of-Famers in OBP, he is even below average compared to the league as a whole. I have a hard time inducting a player into the HOF who is below average in such a key stat as getting on base. Even Dawson’s career batting average of .279 is low for an outfielder. Only Reggie Jackson at .262 is much lower, but Jackson overcame that by hitting 563 HRs with postseason heroics. Two others are close to Dawson's BA of .279, Rickey Henderson and Ralph Kiner, but both managed career OBPs near .400 while Henderson added speed and SB while Kiner provided much more power, including 7 straight seasons leading the league in HR.
Verdict: Very close, but Dawson's low Batting Average and On-Base Percentage should keep him OUT

Tim Raines, OF For me, Tim Raines is the strongest position player candidate on the ballot. Unfortunately, MVP and HOF voters have always favored HR and RBI and ignored OBP and Runs Scored, which partially explains why Raines only received 22% of the vote in 2009. But getting on base and scoring runs are the two areas where Raines excelled. With 1571 Runs Scored, Raines has the highest total of any eligible player (since 1900) not in the Hall of Fame. He had 8 seasons among the Top 10 in Runs Scored, 7 in the Top 10 in On-Base Percentage, 6 in Hits, and 6 in Bases on Balls. On the All-Time lists, Raines is #34 in Bases on Balls, and is #5 in Stolen Bases, with an outstanding 85% success rate. Looking at WARP3, Raines' total of 81.7 would rank him #4 among Left Fielders, behind only Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Rickey Henderson. Raines playing career overlapped with Rickey Henderson, and that’s probably hurt his HOF chances, since many regarded him as Henderson-lite. But Raines was probably the best leadoff hitter in National League history. How does Raines compare to Hall of Famer Lou Brock?

Player G Hits HR RBI Runs SB CS BB AVG OBP SLG
Brock 2616 3023 149 900 1610 938 307 761 .293 .343 .410
Raines 2502 2605 170 980 1571 808 146 1330 .294 .385 .425

Raines has the edge in the key stats of AVG, OBP, and SLG, as well as HR and RBI, while Brock did score 39 more runs (in 114 more games). Brock does have 130 more SB than Raines, but also has 161 more CS. Brock has 418 more hits, while Raines has 569 more walks.

Player G Outs OPS+ RC WARP3
Brock 2616 7823 109 1512 37.2
Raines 2502 6670 123 1636 81.7

Look at the Outs made – Raines produced more runs than Brock while using up over 1000 fewer outs. That gives Raines an edge in the advanced stats such as Runs Created and WARP. Raines clearly looks like the better player, but Brock is one of the weaker selections in the Hall, so let’s try another comparison. How about Tony Gwynn, who was elected almost unanimously in 2007?

Player Hits HR RBI Runs SB CS BB AVG OBP SLG
Gwynn 3141 135 1138 1383 319 125 790 .338 .388 .459
Raines 2605 170 980 1571 808 146 1330 .294 .385 .425

Gwynn was a little better at driving in runs, but Raines had an edge in stealing bases and scoring runs. Despite Gwynn’s much higher batting average, they reached base almost the exact same number of times – 3935 for Raines , 3931 for Gwynn.

Player G Outs OPS+ RC WARP3
Gwynn 2440 6662 132 1636 78.5
Raines 2502 6670 123 1636 81.7

Gwynn has the higher OPS+, but OPS+ does not include baserunning, where Raines excelled. As a result, they had almost identical totals for Career Runs Created and Outs Made. The two players are much closer than most people realize (both even have sons who played outfield in professional baseball).
Verdict: Raines should be IN.

Mark McGwire, 1B McGwire is easily the most controversial returning name on the ballot. Some feel that his possible use of PEDs invalidates most of his accomplishments. Others feel that his relatively low batting average and hit totals make him a poor candidate anyway. But despite the low batting average, his OBP (.394) and SLG (.588) are the best among the 8 returning hitters, and his HR total of 583 (#8 all-time) would ordinarily make him an easy selection. Although his career totals are not that impressive, his stats over the 6-year stretch from 1995-2000 – 316 HR, .442 OBP, .706 SLG, 192 OPS+ - give him an incredible peak. So I think McGwire’s numbers do make him worthy of the HOF. However, I expect that the voters will not be as kind to him, because of the steroids cloud around him. Who knows how McGwire's performance would have been without andro or other PEDs? No player from the last 20 years is beyond suspicion, so unless we have a Hall-of-Fame with no players from the last two decades, I think we have to evaluate them by their performance on the field.
Verdict: Depends on where you stand on the PED situation. I would vote McGwire IN.

Alan Trammell, SS Alan Trammell is an interesting case – he hasn’t received much support, but his numbers compare quite favorably with other HOF shortstops. Trammell was one of the first big-hitting shortstops of the modern era, and he also won 4 Gold Gloves for defense. His WARP total would put him #6 among all of the shortstops in the Hall. Honus Wagner is way above everyone at SS, and Cal Ripken has big counting stats, but after that, it's pretty even.

Shortstop H HR RBI R SB BA OBP SLG WARP3
H.Wagner 3415 101 1732 1736 722 .327 .391 .466 150.1
C.Ripken 3184 431 1695 1647 36 .276 .340 .447 104.3
A.Vaughan 2103 96 926 1173 118 .318 .406 .453 93.0
O.Smith 2460 28 793 1257 580 .262 .337 .328 90.9
G.Davis 2660 73 1437 1539 616 .295 .361 .405 83.2
A.Trammell 2365 185 1003 1231 236 .285 .352 .415 78.1
L.Boudreau 1779 68 789 861 51 .295 .380 .415 76.7
L.Appling 2749 45 1116 1319 179 .310 .399 .398 76.1
J.Cronin 2285 170 1424 1233 87 .301 .390 .468 71.2
E.Banks 2583 512 1636 1305 50 .274 .330 .500 69.4
R.Yount 3142 251 1406 1632 271 .285 .342 .430 68.5
B.Wallace 2309 34 1121 1057 201 .268 .332 .358 63.6
P.Reese 2170 126 885 1338 232 .269 .366 .377 60.5
J.Sewell 2226 49 1055 1141 74 .312 .391 .413 57.0
H.Jennings 1527 18 840 994 359 .311 .390 .406 51.3
D.Bancroft 2004 32 591 1048 145 .279 .355 .358 46.4
J.Tinker 1687 31 782 774 336 .262 .308 .353 46.2
L.Aparicio 2677 83 791 1335 506 .262 .311 .343 43.2
T.Jackson 1768 135 929 833 71 .291 .337 .433 41.9
P.Rizzuto 1588 38 563 877 149 .273 .351 .355 41.9
R.Maranville 2605 28 884 1255 291 .258 .318 .340 41.6

Trammell is probably not getting support for three reasons. One, he played in the shadow of Cal Ripken and Robin Yount, and their counting stats are much higher than Trammell's. Two, later shortstops, such as Barry Larkin, Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, and Derek Jeter raised the offensive standards for shortstops after Trammell's career ended. And three, most of the shortstops in the HOF are either very good hitters or very good fielders, while Trammell is merely good at both. Trammell is a much better hitter than the good field group (Ozzie Smith, Luis Aparicio) and a much better fielder than the good-hit group (Ernie Banks, Robin Yount, Arky Vaughan). But his blend of offensive and defensive skills never got him the respect he probably deserved.
Verdict: Probably won't get the votes, but Trammell should be In.

Dave Parker, RF Dave Parker’s career had a nice peak from 1975-1979 (.321/.377/.532), but his career fizzled after that point. In the last 11 seasons until his retirement, Parker only broke 25 HRs in a season twice, and only slugged over .500 once. His stats over that 11 year stretch were only .277/.322/.444. Parker was a fine defensive RF at his peak, but his overall offensive numbers just aren’t good enough for the HOF.
Verdict: Parker should be OUT.

Don Mattingly, 1B Don Mattingly had an outstanding peak from 1984 to 1987 (.337/.381/.560), including his 145 RBI MVP season in 1985. Unfortunately, aside from those 4 years, there’s not much to support Mattingly’s election – from 1988-1995, no season slugging over .480, and only one 100 RBI season. His career was shortened by back injuries, and his career totals of 222 HR and 1099 RBI just aren’t enough to make the HOF, even with Gold Glove defense at 1B.
Verdict: Mattingly should be OUT.

Dale Murphy, CF Dale Murphy looked like a certain Hall-of-Famer after the 1987 season, when he was only 31 years old. In those first 10 seasons, he had hit 310 HR with a .279/.362/.500 line, won two MVPs, led the league in HR two other times, played Gold Glove defense in CF and had a 740 game consecutive game streak. But after the 1987 season, Murphy’s career inexplicably fell off a cliff. Over the next 6 years, Murphy hit just .234/.307/.396, with only 88 HR. That left Murphy with 398 career HR, but only a .265 career batting average and an .815 career OPS. His WARP3 total of 45.3 just doesn’t compare favorable to other HOF outfielders.
Verdict: Murphy should be OUT.

Harold Baines, DH/RF Harold Baines had a very long career of 2830 games, allowing him to accumulate nice totals of 384 HR and 1628 RBI. But despite his longevity, Baines was rarely an outstanding player, just a very good one. His career rate stats of .289/.356/.465 are below average for a HOF-level outfielder (48.4 career WARP), and he actually played more games as a DH than in the outfield.
Verdict: Baines should be OUT.

Pitchers
There are three pitchers returning on the HOF ballot - Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, and Lee Smith. Here are their stats:

Pitcher W L ERA SV CG SH IP BB SO WHIP
B.Blyleven 287 250 3.31 0 242 60 4970 1322 3701 1.20
J.Morris 254 186 3.90 0 175 28 3824 1390 2478 1.30
L.Smith 71 92 3.03 478 0 0 1289 486 1251 1.26

Bert Blyleven, SP To me, Blyleven is the most deserving pitcher not in the Hall of Fame. He ranks #5 all-time in Strikeouts, and #9 in Shutouts. But many argue that his counting stats are good only because he pitched for so long, but he was never pitched at a high enough level for the HOF. But looking at individual seasons, he finished in the Top 10 in ERA in 10 seasons, in the Top 10 for Strikeouts 15 times, and in the Top 10 for K/9 14 times. Another argument is his relatively pedestrian Win-Loss record, but that can be explained by the poor teams on which he spent much of his career. A good way to assess if a player belongs in the HOF is to see how a player compares to those already elected. The standard should not be “How does Blyleven compare to the worst pitchers in the HOF?,” because that would just perpetuate previous mistakes and continue to water-down the HOF. But the standard also should not be “How does Blyleven compare to the best pitchers in the HOF?,” because most of the pitchers in the HOF are not as good as Walter Johnson or Cy Young. But if a player is better than a significant percentage of Hall-of-Famers, I think he belongs. The HOF has 67 pitchers. Among those 67 pitchers, Blyleven would rank #21 in Wins, #3 in Strikeouts, #41 in ERA+, #9 in Shutouts, and #37 in WHIP. Looking at these together, it seems clear that Blyleven would rank near the top half of all pitchers in the HOF. A final factor to consider is Blyleven’s postseason performance – Blyleven finished 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA in 8 playoff games, and was on two World Series winners (Pittsburgh 1979, Minnesota 1987). Verdict: Blyleven should be IN.

Jack Morris Along with Blyleven, Morris is a much-debated candidate for the Hall of Fame. Morris' candidacy is primarily based on three factors: 1) His dominant performance in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. 2) His relatively high win total. 3) His endurance and consistency. How does Morris stack up against other Hall of Fame pitchers? Morris' ERA of 3.90 is easily worse than any pitcher in the HOF. His WHIP of 1.30 would rank #54 out of 67 pitchers. His Win total of 254 would rank #30, and his strikeout total would rank #17. The Win and Strikeout ranks are respectable, but the ERA and WHIP do not seem HOF-worthy, even after league and park adjustments (ERA+ = 105). His career WARP3 is only 38.6, while Blyleven’s is 87.2.

So what else is on Morris' resume? His career totals do not seem HOF worthy – did Morris have some exceptionally strong peak seasons? His best seasons were probably 1983 (20-13, 3.34 ERA, 294 IP, 3rd Cy Young voting) and 1986 (21-8, 3.27 ERA, 267 IP, 5th Cy Young voting) – neither is particularly exceptional. Morris also went 21-6 in 1992, but had a very high 4.04 ERA. Surprisingly, Morris did not have a single season with an ERA below 3.00. So it looks like Morris does not have a strong case based on high peak seasons.

Postseason Performance
This is an area where Jack Morris gets a lot of credit. His teams reached the postseason 4 times, and twice Morris was the ace of a staff that won the World Series. In 1984, Morris went 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 3 starts, leading the Tigers to a championship. In 1991, Morris went 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA, including the memorable win in Game 7 of the World Series against the Braves. Those two seasons cemented Morris’ reputation as a big-game, clutch pitcher. Despite those two outstanding postseason runs, Morris’ overall playoff stats are only 7-4 with a 3.80 ERA. Outside of the 7 Wins in 1984 and 1991, Morris had two poor postseasons in 1987 and 1992. In 1987, Morris gave up 6 ER in 8 IP as the Tigers lost to the Twins, and in 1992, Morris went 0-4, giving up 19 ER in 23 IP. Still, the Blue Jays managed to win the World Series against the Braves, so Morris’ poor performance was forgotten. Overall, I would say that the postseason is a strong point for Morris’ HOF candidacy. His performance in 1984 and 1991 was instrumental in leading his teams to championships. But it is interesting that Morris’ reputation as a big-game pitcher did not suffer from four poor playoff outings in 1992.

Wins
One stat that is often tossed out in support of Morris is that he led the decade of the 1980s in Wins with 162. That does show Morris’ consistency and durability, but it is also a bit of a fluke – shifting the time window from 1980-1989 to 1976-1985 makes Ron Guidry the Wins leader over that 10-year stretch. The pitchers who finished in the #2-#5 slots for the 1980s, Dave Stieb, Bob Welch, Charlie Hough, and Fernando Valenzuela, were not really a Hall-of-Fame group. Others like Blyleven and Nolan Ryan were at the tail end of their careers, while Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux were just starting during the middle of the decade. And pitchers like Stieb probably outpitched Morris during the decade, but did not get the run support.

Run Support
A big factor in Jack Morris’ high Win total is Run Support. The Tiger teams in the 1980s were an excellent offensive club, with Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Lance Parrish, Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon, and Darrell Evans. In 1986, when Morris won 21 games, the Tigers scored 5.72 runs per game when Morris started. In 1992, another 21 win season for Morris, the Blue Jays scored 5.66 runs per game for Morris.

Pitching to the Score
A common argument about Morris’ high ERA is that he would “pitch to the score,” meaning that he was concerned about Wins and Innings, and not ERA, and would allow a disproportionate number of runs when the Tigers had a big lead. This idea was examined in great detail in this article by Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus. Here are his ERAs in different situations: Morris ahead: 4.24 ERA Morris tied: 3.97 ERA Morris behind: 4.82 ERA So if he was allowing meaningless runs when the Tigers had a big lead, it’s hard to find any evidence of it. Another fact that Sheehan points out is that Morris actually blew a Tigers lead 136 times during his career, and put his team behind in 344 of 527 career starts. But many of these turned into Wins for Morris and the Tigers, because of Morris’ durability, which he should get credit for, but also the Tigers’ great offense.
Verdict: A few great playoff outings, but a very high ERA. Lots of Wins due to great run support, and no evidence of “pitching to the score.” Morris should be OUT.

Lee Smith, RP Lee Smith lead the league in Saves 4 times, and was the major league career Saves leader for over a decade, before Trevor Hoffman passed him in 2006. How does he compare to other relievers in the HOF? Well, there are only 5 relievers in the HOF, and two of those, Dennis Eckersley and Hoyt Wilhelm, also had contributions as a starting pitcher.

Pitcher W L ERA IP CG SV WHIP
Dennis Eckersley 197 171 3.50 3285.2 100 390 1.161
Dennis Eckersley (1987-) 46 43 2.96 789.2 0 387 0.999
Rollie Fingers 114 118 2.90 1701.1 4 341 1.156
Rich Gossage 124 107 3.01 1809.1 16 310 1.232
Bruce Sutter 68 71 2.83 1042.1 0 300 1.140
Hoyt Wilhelm 143 122 2.52 2254.1 20 227 1.125
Lee Smith 71 92 3.03 1289.1 0 478 1.256

Smith has the most Saves of the group, but his other stats are not that impressive. He has the highest ERA and WHIP of the group (looking only at Eckersley’s stats as a reliever). Most of Smith’s Saves were of the 1 inning variety, unlike Fingers and Gossage, who were often called on in the 8th inning to get the team out of jams. Even with the relatively easier save chances, Smith’s save conversion rate was only 82%. And Smith’s stats look inferior to current closers like Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. Verdict: Smith should be OUT.

Conclusions
Of the 11 returning players on the 2010 Hall of Fame ballot, I would vote for 4 – Tim Raines, Bert Blyleven, Alan Trammell, and Mark McGwire. I’m not sure if the BBWAA will select any of these 4 this year. I think Andre Dawson’s low batting average and OBP should keep him out, but he was the closest to selection last year. The others – Dave Parker, Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, Harold Baines, Jack Morris, and Lee Smith – had excellent careers, but just don’t have the resumes for the Hall of Fame.

]]>
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) December Sun, 06 Dec 2009 00:13:30 +0000
2010 Diamondbacks Top 21 Prospects. http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/november/2010-diamondbacks-top-21-prospects.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/november/2010-diamondbacks-top-21-prospects.html The Diamondbacks' minor league system had taken a big hit over the last few years. The Dan Haren trade sent 6 top prospects to Oakland, including Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Carter, and Aaron Cunningham. Since 2007, the D'backs had graduated Justin Upton, Chris Young, Mark Reynolds, Miguel Montero, Max Scherzer, and Gerardo Parra to the Major League club, and had also traded away Alberto Callaspo, Micah Owings, Dustin Nippert, Tony Pena, and Emilio Bonifacio. That left the farm system in 2009 ranked near the bottom in the majors, and almost completely devoid of elite hitting prospects. In just a few months, however, the Diamondbacks have really turned things around, thanks primarily to 7 picks within the first two rounds of the 2009 draft. As a result, only 3 players from last year's top 10 list are among the organization's top prospects this year. Most of the players on this year's list are still at the A Ball level and a few years away, but the upside potential is very high.

1. Jarrod Parker (20), RHP 2009 Stats Visalia, High A: 19 IP, 1-0. 0.95 ERA, 0.842 WHIP, 21K, 4BB, 0 HR Mobile, AA: 78.1 IP, 4-5, 3.68 ERA, 1.481 WHIP, 74K, 34 BB, 2 HR A 6-1 righthander, Jarrod Parker was drafted out of high school as the #9 pick overall in 2007. He has shown a fastball consistently in the mid-90s, and also has a plus slider, curve, and an improving change-up. He dominated at High A Visalia, and was moved up to the Southern League as a 20 year old. Although his overall AA numbers weren't great, he got a lot of strikeouts, only gave up 2 HR in 78 IP, and got a lot of ground balls. Parker was ranked as the #5 prospect in the Southern League by Baseball America. Parker was shut down in July last year, and underwent Tommy John surgery with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham on October 28th.  Before the injury, Parker was one of a handful of pitchers in the minors to have ace, Cy Young Award potential.  Early reports are that the surgery was successful, and he should be at full strength by spring training 2011.  You can follow Parker's progress on his blog: http://jarrodbparker.mlblogs.com/.
Could become the next: Roy Oswalt

2. Brandon Allen (23), 1B, LHB 2009 (AZ): 116 PA, 202/284/385, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 13R, 0/0 SB, 12BB/40K 2009 (AAA): 228 PA, 306/373/563, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 39R, 6/0 SB, 20BB/38K 2009 (AA): 274 PA, 290/372/452, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 39R, 1/2 SB, 30BB/47K Brandon Allen came to the D'backs from the Chicago White Sox in the Tony Pena trade. After hitting 306/373/563 with 13 HR in 228 plate appearances in AAA, Allen was ranked as the #14 prospect in the Pacific Coast League. He is a good athlete and has outstanding power. Allen is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League, and will be in the AFL Rising Stars game on Saturday, November 6th. We discussed Allen in greater detail in the D'Backs 1st Base Position Battle. He's the only hitter on this list likely to make an impact in 2010.
Could become the next: Ryan Howard

3. Bobby Borchering (18), 3B, S 2009 (Missoula - Rookie League) 93 PA, 241/290/425, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 10 R, 0/0 SB, 5 BB/27K Bobby Borchering was drafted #16 overall in the 2009 draft, and was considered the best high school power hitter in the draft. Borchering, a switch-hitter, has power from both sides of the plate, and should also hit for a high average. He struggled initially in the Pioneer League, but hit well in the playoffs, going .321 with 2 HR and 10 RBI in 6 playoff games. It remains to be seen if Borchering's defense will allow him to stay at 3B, or if he will eventually move to 1B.
Could become the next: Chipper Jones

4. Daniel Schlereth (23), LHP 2009 (ARI): 1-4, 18.1 IP, 5.89 ERA, 1.636 WHIP, 15 BB, 22 K, 1 HR 2009 (AA/AAA): 0-0, 27.2 IP, 0.98 ERA, 1.157 WHIP, 17 BB, 40K, 1 HR Daniel Schlereth was the Diamondbacks' first round pick in the 2008 draft, #26 overall, from the University of Arizona. Schlereth underwent Tommy John surgery in his freshman year, but came back without any loss in velocity. A hard-throwing lefty, Schlereth combines a mid-90s fastball with an above-average curveball, and has a closer's mentality. Schlereth has been very tough to hit in the minors, allowing only 21 hits in 39.2 career IP, while striking out 60. The big negative for Schlereth has been the walks - 23 in 39.2 IP in the minors, and 15 in 18.1 major league IP. He has used exclusively as a relief pitcher.
Could become the next: Billy Wagner

5. Ryan Wheeler (21), 1B, LHB 2009 (A): 316 PA, 361/462/540, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 48R, 7/5 SB, 42 BB/32K Ryan Wheeler was the Diamondbacks 5th round pick out of Loyola Marymount Univeristy in the 2009 June draft. He played most of the year at Yakima in the Northwest League, and then finished up at South Bend in the Midwest League. He led the Northwest League in on-base percentage, and finished second in batting average and slugging percentage. The D'Backs named Wheeler their Minor League Player of the Year, which is a rare distinction for a short-season minor leaguer. Wheeler played some LF for Yakima, but 1B looks like his best position.
Could become the next: Left-handed Lance Berkman

6. Matt Davidson (19), 3B, RHB 2009 (A): 270 PA, 241/312/319, 2 HR, 28 RBI, 29R, 0/2 SB, 21BB/75K Along with Borchering, Davidson was considered one of the top 3 high school power hitters in last year's draft. He had committed to USC, but decided to sign with the D'backs after being drafted with the #35 pick. While in high school, Davidson won the Home Run Derby at the AFLAC All-American game at Dodger Stadium (with a wood bat). Although he didn't hit much for Yakima in the Northwest League, Davidson was the youngest starter in the league. There is a lot of potential with Davidson, but he is far away from the majors.
Could become the next: Matt Williams

7. A.J. Pollock (21), CF, RHB 2009 (A): 277 PA, 271/319/376, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 36R, 10/4 SB, 16 BB/36K A.J. Pollock was the #17 pick in the first round of the 2009 draft, coming out of Notre Dame, and then played for South Bend in the Midwest League. Pollock was the MVP of the Cape Cod league in 2008, and was considered one of the most polished college hitters in the draft. He has good speed and is a fine defender in CF, and is expected to move quickly through the minors. There is some concern about Pollock's power, but most scouts expect him to eventually hit 10-15 HRs in the majors, with plenty of doubles and triples.
Could become the next: Right-handed Mark Kotsay

8. Marc Krauss (22), LF, LHB 2009 (A): 130 PA, 304/377/478, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 14R, 0/1 SB, 14 BB/21K Marc Krauss was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft, the #64 pick overall, from Ohio University. He led the Mid-American Conference with 27 HR and 70 RBI, and led the Cape Cod League in 2008 in RBI and On-Base percentage. Defensively, Krauss is probably limited to LF, where he is only adequate, but the D'backs hope that his bat will make up for it. Kraus was one of the first players to sign from last year's draft, but suffered an ankle injury after one month that ended his season early. The Diamondbacks will try to move him aggressively through the system.
Could become the next: Lyle Overbay

9. Wade Miley (23), LHP 2009 (A/High A): 128.2 IP, 6-10, 4.20 ERA, 1.383 WHIP, 33 BB/102 K, 8 HRA Wade Miley was selected by the Diamondbacks with the 43rd pick in the 2008 draft out of Southeastern Louisiana University. He only has a low-90s fastball, but does have an above-average breaking pitch that he can throw for strikes. Miley gets plenty of ground balls and does a good job of keeping the ball in the park. To date, he has decent K/BB (3:1) and K/9 (7.3) ratios, but has given up more hits (10.1/9 IP) than expected. He probably profiles as middle of the rotation starter.
Could become the next: Jarrod Washburn

10. Mike Belfiore (21), LHP 2009 (Rookie): 58 IP, 2-2, 2.17 ERA, 1.241 WHIP, 13 BB, 55K, 2 HRA Another selection in the 2009 draft, Mike Belfiore was the #45 selection out of Boston College. He is probably best known for throwing 9 2/3 inning of relief in the marathon 25 inning game against Texas during the NCAA Regionals (and scaring away some scouts who worried about his arm). Belfiore has a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s, with a mid-80s slider and a decent changeup. He was primarily a closer (and 1B) in college, but began his pro career as a starter in Missoula, with fairly good success.
Could become the next: Joe Saunders

11. Kevin Eichhorn, RHP (19) - Injuries have limited the son of former major league pitcher Mark Eichhorn to only 18.2 IP since he was drafted in 2008, but he has struck out 25.
12. Chris Owings, SS (18) - 41st pick in 2009 draft; Solid across-the-board skills, and hit .306 in his Pioneer League debut
13. Josh Collmenter, RHP (23) - 4.15 ERA for High A Visalia, but averaged 9.4K/9 IP and only allowed 8 HR in 145 IP
14. David Nick, 2B/SS (19) - 4th Round pick in 2009, hit 286/351/440 with 16 SB in the Pioneer League.
15. Pat McAnaney, LHP (23) - 146Ks in 147 IP for Visalia in the California League, but gave up too many hits and walks (1.42 WHIP)
16. Trevor Harden, RHP (22) - Pitched well in the Pioneer League (1.91 ERA, 13.6K/9) and the Midwest League (2.39 ERA, 7.4 K/9), but struggled when called up to High A Visalia (4.43 ERA, 6.2 K/9)
17. Bryan Shaw, RHP (22) - 4.70 ERA for High A Visalia, but did strike out 8.0/9 IP with a 1.267 WHIP.
18. Evan Frey, OF (23) - After .400 OBPs in A/High A, dropped down to .348 OBP in AA Mobile. Very little power, but did steal 31 bases and can play CF.
19. Keon Broxton, OF (19) - Outstanding athlete who hit 11 HR with 6 SB in his Pioneer League debut, but also struck out 93 times in 297 plate appearances
20. Eric Smith, RHP (21) - 2nd round pick in 2009; gets ground balls, but needs to improve his control (4.7 BB/9)
21. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (22) - 8th round pick from Texas State led the Pioneer League with 18 HRs. Can he keep it up at higher levels?

Others who could reach the majors in 2010: Cole Gillespie, OF (25), John Hester, C (26), Bryan Augenstein, SP (23), Cesar Valdez (24), Hector Ambriz, RHP (24), Tony Barnette, RHP (24), Barry Enright, RHP (23)

]]>
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) November Thu, 05 Nov 2009 04:26:19 +0000
Winter Meetings – Diamondbacks and MLB Monday Recap http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/december/winter-meetings-e28093-diamondbacks-and-mlb-monday-recap.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/december/winter-meetings-e28093-diamondbacks-and-mlb-monday-recap.html Max Scherzer/Edwin Jackson/Ian Kennedy Trade Rumors The Diamondbacks did not complete any deals on Monday, but were involved in the biggest rumor of the day. The rumored 3-team deal, according to FoxSports.com, would have the D’backs trading away Max Scherzer and two undisclosed prospects, and receiving Edwin Jackson (Tigers) and Ian Kennedy (Yankees). The Tigers would get Max Scherzer, center fielder Austin Jackson (Yankees), and relievers Phil Coke and Michael Dunn, and the Yankees would receive Curtis Granderson and the Diamondbacks’ prospects. Edit: Daniel Schlereth appears to be one prospect in the proposed trade. The proposed deal is reportedly being pushed by the Diamondbacks, and is supposedly stalled because at least one of the teams rejected it. Would this be a good deal for the D’backs? Well, Scherzer is probably the most valuable of the three pitchers, and you hate to be giving up the best player in a trade. Does this trade rumor indicate that the D’backs are not confident that Scherzer can succeed as a starter? It would certainly be better if the Yankees’ pitcher coming back was Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, but Kennedy isn’t bad. Kennedy (25) has struggled in the Majors (6.03 ERA in 59.2 career IP, 43K/37BB), but has pitched well in the minors (AAA: 7-4, 2.14 ERA, 131K/35BB in 126 IP). He missed much of 2009 with an arm injury, but came back late in the year and pitched well in the AFL (28K/5BB/1HR in 29.2 IP). His prospect status has fallen a lot because of his poor showing in the Majors, but I expect him to be a productive major leaguer. Jackson (26) had his best season in 2009, going 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA and 161K/70BB in 214 IP. He’s shown good durability, but is due for a raise as he enters his 4th season (earned $2.2M in 2009). However, he might not be as good as his final stats last year – his FIP was 4.28 and his xFIP was 4.39. Is that a more likely expectation for 2010? Obviously, a lot depends on the quality of prospects involved. I probably wouldn't do a straight trade of Scherzer for Jackson/Kennedy, but I don't think that is a ridiculously one-sided trade - just risky depending on Kennedy's performance. Adding two top prospects along with Scherzer would make it a bad trade, in my opinion. A quick look around the web shows that D'back and Yankee fans are not happy with the proposed trade, while Tiger fans seem OK with it. Anyway, for now, it looks like the trade is dead. Nick Johnson Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that 7 teams showed interest in Johnson, including the D’backs. Johnson would like a multi-year deal, but the D’backs are probably unlikely to go more than 1 or 2 years. Adam Kennedy There were rumors that the D’backs were interested in Kennedy, but it doesn’t seem worth spending a couple of million on a 2B that is not much better than the Abreu/Roberts/Ryal group. Signings C Ivan Rodriguez signs a 2 year, $6M deal with the Nationals. RHP Brad Penny about to sign with the Cardinals for $7.5M plus incentives. Tigers re-sign SS Adam Everett for S1.55M Nationals acquire RP Brian Bruney from the Yankees for a PTBNL. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti signs a contract through 2014. Arbitration Accepting: Rafael Soriano (Braves), Carl Pavano (Twins), Rafael Betancourt (Rockies) Declining: John Lackey (Angels), Adrian Beltre (Mariners), Mike Gonzalz (Braves), Jose Valverde (Astros), Brandon Lyon (Tigers), Fernando Rodney (Tigers), Matt Holliday (Cardinals), Joel Piniero (Cardinals), Mark DeRosa (Cardinals), Justin Duchschere (A’s), Jason Bay (Red Sox) Other Rumors Randy Wolf - Brewers, 3 years? Milton Bradley - trade to Rays? Joel Piniero - looking for 3-4 years Erik Bedard - back to the Orioles? Jason Bay - wants to play for the Mariners? ]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) December Tue, 08 Dec 2009 06:52:30 +0000 2010 Diamondbacks Projected Roster and Payroll http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/november/2010-diamondbacks-projected-roster-and-payroll.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/november/2010-diamondbacks-projected-roster-and-payroll.html Pos Starting Lineup 15.25M C Miguel Montero 1.00 1B Brandon Allen 0.40 2B Tony Abreu 0.40 3B Mark Reynolds 1.00 SS Stephen Drew 3.50 LF Conor Jackson 3.20 CF Chris Young 3.25 RF Justin Upton 2.50 Pos Bench 16.95M C Chris Snyder 4.75 MI Ryan Roberts 0.40 CI Josh Whitesell 0.40 OF Eric Byrnes 11.00 OF Gerardo Parra 0.40 Pos Starting Rotation 19.15M SP1 Brandon Webb 8.50 SP2 Dan Haren 8.25 SP3 Max Scherzer 1.60 SP4 Billy Buckner 0.40 SP5 Kevin Mulvey 0.40 Pos Bullpen 5.50M CL Chad Qualls 3.50 LHP Dan. Schleerth 0.40 RHP Esme. Vasquez 0.40 RHP Bryan Augenstein 0.40 RHP Juan Gutierrez 0.40 LHP Clay Zavada 0.40 Pos Others 3.50M Jon Garland 2.50 Chad Tracy 1.00 Total 60.35M This total team payroll is only around $60M, much below the $73M spent in 2009. However, the Diamondbacks have stated repeatedly that they are not planning to reduce payroll in 2010, so there is certainly an opening to sign a couple of free agents. The most expensive player on the roster, Eric Byrnes at $11M, will probably be a reserve or might even be released. In fact, the salary for the five bench players exceeds that of the starting lineup. One likely position for a free agent signing would be at the 1B or LF position. Brandon Allen, despite a 3-Run HR in Saturday's Arizona Fall Leagie Rising Stars game, has been struggling in the AFL and has only played 53 games in AAA. If the D'backs feel he is not ready for the starting job, they may opt for a free agent or trade, with Conor Jackson available to play either 1B or LF. A recent trade rumor had backup catcher Chris Snyder going to Toronto for 1B Lyle Overbay, but those trade talks have reported ended. The other likely upgrade is in the starting rotation.  The front three, with Webb, Haren, and Scherzer, should be very good if healthy, but the back of the rotation is questionable. Also, all five of the current starters are right handed, so bringing in a left-handed starter would make sense. The bullpen, aside from closer Chad Qualls, is very inexperienced, so adding a veteran relief arm is also likely. In the next post, we'll take a look at the available free agent options for the starting rotation and bullpen.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) November Mon, 09 Nov 2009 01:16:28 +0000 2010 Diamondback Position Battles - First Base http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondback-position-battles-first-base.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondback-position-battles-first-base.html [/caption] Here are the stats for the eight players who played 1B in 2009 for the D'Backs.
Player G AB R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
Chad Tracy 63 204 23 45 4 28 21 29 .221 .291 .348
Josh Whitesell 30 93 7 20 1 13 23 23 .215 .376 .312
Brandon Allen 30 103 13 21 4 14 12 39 .204 .287 .388
Mark Reynolds 27 93 17 30 6 20 11 33 .323 .400 .591
Tony Clark 16 50 4 8 3 6 8 17 .160 .276 .380
Rusty Ryal 7 18 4 4 1 6 1 8 .222 .286 .556
Conor Jackson 6 20 3 4 0 1 2 4 .200 .273 .250
Chris Snyder 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 1.00
Team Total 162 583 72 133 19 88 78 153 .228 .321 .396
From this group, only Mark Reynolds hit well, but he is probably locked in as the 3B next year.  Chad Tracy, who played the most games at 1B in 2009, will probably not be back in 2010.  The D'Backs have a $7M option for Tracy or a $1M buyout, and all indications are that Tracy will not be back.  Tony Clark is also no longer an option as a starter, while Chris Snyder and Rusty Ryal are in the mix at other positions.  So, that leaves Brandon Allen, Conor Jackson, and Josh Whitesell as the top internal options at 1B for 2010. Brandon Allen (23), LHB 2009 (AZ):  116 PA, 202/284/385, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 13R, 0/0 SB, 12BB/40K 2009 (AAA): 228 PA, 306/373/563, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 39R, 6/0 SB, 20BB/38K 2009 (AA): 274 PA, 290/372/452, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 39R, 1/2 SB, 30BB/47K 2008 (AA): 173 PA, 275/358/615, 14 HR, 31 RBI, 30R, 3/1 SB, 19BB/41K 2008 (A): 366 PA, 279/372/527, 15 HR, 44 RBI, 57R, 14/3 SB, 41 BB/83K Brandon Allen was drafted by the White Sox in the 5th Round of the 2004 draft, and was ranked as the #4 prospect in the White Sox organization by Baseball America last year. Allen came to the D'Backs from the White Sox in the Tony Pena trade last summer, and immediately became the D'Backs' best hitting prospect. After the 2009 season, he was ranked as the #14 prospect in the AAA Pacific Coast League by BA. Allen's strongest skill is his power, as he led the Carolina League in slugging in 2008, and then followed that up with 14 HR in 41 games for AA Birmingham, including two off the Rays' David Price in his first AA game.  In 2009, he slugged 24 HR between four different teams across three levels. Along with the power, Allen, a former high school linebacker, has pretty good speed for someone 6'2" and 235 lbs.   One potential negative for Allen is one that is too familiar to D'Back fans - strikeouts. He averaged 125 strikeouts per season between 2007 and 2008, but showed significant improvement in 2009, with only 85 strikeouts to go with 50 walks between AA and AAA.  In the majors however, he struck out 40 times in 102 At Bats, including 11 in 22 AB against LHP. Defensively, Allen is still a work-in-progress.  He's shown improvement over the last two years, but still has suspect hands and can look tentative on throws. Allen is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League, and is off to a slow start - 212/369/327. Conor Jackson (27), RHB 2009 (AZ): 110 PA, 182/264/253, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 8R, 5/0 SB, 11 BB/16K 2008 (AZ): 612 PA, 300/376/446, 12 HR, 75 RBI, 87R, 10/2 SB, 59 BB/61K 2007 (AZ): 477 PA, 284/368/467, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 56R, 2/2 SB, 53 BB/50K 2006 (AZ): 556 PA, 291/368/441, 15 HR, 79 RBI, 75R, 1/0 SB, 54 BB/73K 2009 was a wasted season for Conor Jackson, as he only managed 28 games before going on the Disabled List with pneumonia and Valley Fever.  He finally appears to be healthy, and is hitting well in the Dominican Winter League - 333/523/567 through October 28. The three years from 2006-2008 were remarkably consistent, with Jackson putting up averages around .290 and an OPS above .800.  Jackson is still unsigned for 2010, and is arbitration-eligible.  He signed for $3.05M in 2009, and would probably sign for a comparable amount next year. At this point, indications are that the D'Backs will bring Jackson back in 2010. He should be a starter for the D'Backs in 2010, although where he plays (LF or 1B) probably depends on the progress of Brandon Allen. Josh Whitesell (27), LHB 2008-2009 (AZ): 142 PA, 200/352/313, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 8R, 0/0 SB, 25 BB/31K 2009 (AAA): 274 PA, 293/398/471, 8 HR, 5 RBI, 35R, 1/1 SB, 40 BB/48K 2008 (AAA): 560 PA, 328/425/568, 26 HR, 110 RBI, 86R, 1/2 SB, 74 BB/136K 2007 (AA): 487 PA, 284/425/512, 21 HR, 74 RBI, 78R, 6/2SB, 87 BB/107K Whitesell was a disappointment at the major league level in 2009, and at 27 already, his window of opportunity as a major league 1B may be closing with Brandon Allen coming on strong. He has hit well in the upper minors, but has always been a little old for his league.  The walk numbers have been decent, but the power dropoff last year is a concern. Whitesell is nothing special defensively or on the bases.  Platooning with Allen is not an option since they both hit left-handed.  His best bet for playing time will be if the D'backs decide to start Allen in AAA next season, but even then, his likely role would be as a backup player. Summary Going into 2010, the Diamondbacks lineup seems to be set at RF (JUpton), C (MMontero), 3B (MReynolds), and SS (SDrew). The battle for 2B was discussed here, while the battles for 1B/LF/CF involve Conor Jackson, Brandon Allen, Josh Whitesell, Gerardo Parra, and Chris Young (and maybe Eric Byrnes?).  The best case scenario for the D'Backs should be a healthy Jackson in LF and Allen at 1B, with Whitesell as a reserve.  If the D'Backs decide to start Allen in AAA, their best option would be to bring in a free agent 1B/LF to upgrade from Whitesell or Parra. Options here include players such as Nick Johnson, Adam LaRoche, or Hank Blalock.]]>
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Thu, 29 Oct 2009 23:58:52 +0000
Diamondbacks-Tigers-Yankees trade is official http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/december/diamondbacks-tigers-yankees-trade-is-official.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/december/diamondbacks-tigers-yankees-trade-is-official.html official. Here is how it shakes out: Diamondbacks: Add RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Ian Kennedy; Lose: RHP Max Scherzer, LHP Daniel Schlereth Tigers: Add Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, CF Austin Jackson, LHP Phil Coke; Lose Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson Yankees: Add CF Curtis Granderson; Lose Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke Many of the early reviews see the Diamondbacks as the biggest loser in this trade. I'm not so down on the trade, but it really comes down to two questions: 1) Is Ian Kennedy capable of being a quality starting pitcher in the majors? 2) Is Max Scherzer too large an injury risk to be a quality starting pitcher in the majors? As I posted in Monday's recap, Kennedy has been outstanding in AAA (AAA: 7-4, 2.14 ERA, 131K/35BB in 126 IP) but strugged in the majors. Plus, he missed most of 2009 with an arm injury. But he looked solid in the Arizona Fall League (28K/5BB/1HR in 29.2 IP) and should become the #4 starter in 2010. Between Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, the D'backs have filled their #3 and #4 starting slots for around $5M. The alternative was to spend more than that to bring in an older free agent starter. So the remaining budget can now be used on offense or bullpen help. Max Scherzer is certainly very promising, but there are still doubts about his long-term role and success. Scherzer has a very good fastball and a deceptive delivery, but still needs to work on his secondary pitches. His unusual delivery, along with the big jump in Innings Pitched last year (110 between AAA/Majors to 175) leads many to view Scherzer as a large injury risk. But Scherzer would still have been under the D'backs' control for 5 more years. Daniel Schlereth was a first round pick in the 2008 draft, and has an excellent fastball-curve ball combo. Despite the great stuff, he needs to have better control (32 BBs in 46 IP last year) to succeed in the Majors. Overall, I think Jackson and Scherzer will probably be about equal in value for 2010. So the trade comes down to Ian Kennedy. If he pitches like he showed in the minors, the D'backs can come out ahead in this trade. Apparently the Diamondbacks' front office thinks he can do that.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) December Tue, 08 Dec 2009 20:07:28 +0000 Free Agent Starting Pitcher Rankings - 2010 Diamondback Possibilities http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/november/free-agent-starting-pitcher-rankings-2010-diamondback-possibilities.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/november/free-agent-starting-pitcher-rankings-2010-diamondback-possibilities.html $10-15M to spend on new acquisitions, and a free agent pitcher is likely a priority. Unfortunately, this year's free agent pitching class is one of the weakest in recent years, with most of the high-quality pitchers coming off injuries. The Diamondbacks could offer arbitration to Doug Davis, who made $8M last season. Davis has managed decent ERAs despite very poor peripheral stats. Other LHP options include Randy Wolf, Erik Bedard (coming off injury), Aroldis Chapman, and Jarrod Washburn. Here is a look at this year's free agent class. Almost every pitcher on the list has some question marks. Stats shown are Wins-Losses, ERA, WHIP (Walks+Hits per Inning), Innings Pitched, Strikeouts/9, Walks/9, HRA/9, ERA+, and Quality Starts/Total Starts. 1. John Lackey, LAA (31, RHP) (Type A) - $9M salary in 2009 2009: 11-8, 3.83 ERA, 1.270 WHIP, 176.1 IP, 7.1K, 2.4BB, 0.9 HR, 118 ERA+, 16/27 QS, 2008: 12-5, 3.75 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, 163.1 IP, 7.2K, 2.2BB, 1.4 HR, 119 ERA+, 16/24 QS 2007: 19-9, 3.01 ERA, 1.210 WHIP, 224 IP, 7.2K, 2.1BB, 0.7 HR, 150 ERA+, 24/33 QS John Lackey is the best free agent pitcher in the market this year, but even he is coming off two consecutive years with time on the disabled list. Before that, he had had five straight years with over 200 IP, including 224 IP in 2007 with a league-leading ERA of 3.01. Lackey is expected to get a multi-year deal averaging over $10/season. 2. Randy Wolf, LAD (33, LHP) (Type A) - $8M 2009: 11-7, 3.23 ERA, 1.101 WHIP, 214.1 IP, 6.7K, 2.4 BB, 1.0 HR, 122 ERA+, 24/34 QS 2008: 12-12, 4.30 ERA, 1.377 WHIP, 190.1 IP, 7.7K, 3.4 BB, 1.0 HR, 92 ERA+, 18/33 QS Randy Wolf had suffered through injury-plagued seasons in 2005, 2006, and 2007, but has put together back-to-back 200+ IP years. In fact, Wolf is coming off his best season, finishing with career highs in IP, QS, ERA+, and WHIP. At this point, he may be the most reliable starting pitcher available. 3. Rich Harden, CHC (28, RHP) (Type B) - $7M 2009: 9-9, 4.09 ERA, 1.340 WHIP, 141 IP, 10.9K, 4.3BB, 1.5 HR, 110 ERA+, 14/26 QS 2008: 10-2, 2.07 ERA, 1.061 WHIP, 148 IP, 11.0K, 3.7 BB, 0.7 HR, 211 ERA+, 14/25 QS Harden has the best stuff of any pitcher available, with a career strikeout rate of 9.4K/9 IP, and only allowing 7.2H/9 IP. The downside has always been Harden's health, as he has only thrown over 150 IP in a season once in his career, and that was way back in 2004. Last year with the Cubs, Harden also showed a tendency to give up too many walks and home runs, and only managed to go beyond 6 IP in 5 out of 26 starts. Most teams will be afraid to give Harden a long-term deal, but he may get a large one-year offer. 4. Aroldis Chapman, CUBA (21, LHP) 2009 (CUBA): 11-4, 4.03 ERA, 1.445 WHIP, 118.1 IP, 9.9K, 4.7 BB, 0.5 HR 2008 (CUBA): 6-7, 3.89 ERA, 1.243 WHIP, 74 IP, 9.6K, 4.5 BB, 0.4 HR Aroldis Chapman is a 21 year LHP who defected from Cuba last year, and throws over 100 MPH. He's young, and there have been questions about his maturity, but he has a great arm from the left side. He may not be ready to help a major league club in 2010, but he should get a multi-year deal. 5. Tim Hudson, ATL (34, RHP)- $13M 2009: 2-1, 3.61 ERA, 1.465 WHIP, 42.1 IP, 6.4K, 2.8 BB, 0.9 HR, 114 ERA+ 2008: 11-7, 3.17 ERA, 1.162 WHIP, 142 IP, 5.4K, 2.5 BB, 0.7 HR, 133 ERA+ 2007: 16-10, 3.33 ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 224.1 IP, 5.3K, 2.1 BB, 0.4 HR, 131 ERA+ The Braves have a $12M option for Tim Hudson in 2010, but are expected to negotiate a new multi-year contract with him. Edit: Hudson and the Braves have agreed to a 3 yr, $27M deal: Link. 6. Andy Pettitte NYY (37, LHP) (Type B) - $10M 2009: 14-8, 4.16 ERA, 1.382 WHIP, 194.2 IP, 6.8K, 3.5 BB, 0.9 HR, 103 ERA+ 2008: 14-14, 4.54 ERA, 1.412 WHIP, 204 IP, 7.0K, 2.4 BB, 0.8 HR, 98 ERA+ Andy Pettitte is a free agent, but will almost certainly re-sign with the Yankees if he pitches in 2010. 7. Erik Bedard SEA (30, LHP) (Type B) - $7.75M 2009: 5-3, 2.82 ERA, 1.193 WHIP, 83 IP, 9.8K, 3.7 BB, 0.9 HR, 154 ERA+, 6/15 QS 2008: 6-4, 3.67 ERA, 1.321 WHIP, 81 IP, 8.0K, 4.1 BB, 1.0 HR, 115 ERA+, 7/15 QS 2007: 13-5, 3.16 ERA, 1.088 WHIP, 182 IP, 10.9K, 2.8 BB, 0.9 HR, 146 ERA+, 21/28 QS Erik Bedard has been a good pitcher when healthy, but is recovering from a torn labrum, and will probably not be ready for opening day. Returning to the Mariners is a possibility, as is pitching for the Blue Jays in his native Canada. 8. Jon Garland, LAD (30, RHP) (Type B) - $6.25M 2009: 11-13, 4.01 ERA, 1.402 WHIP, 204 IP, 4.8K, 2.7BB, 1.0 HR, , 111 ERA+, 23/33 QS 2008: 14-8, 4.90 ERA, 1.505 WHIP, 196.2 IP, 4.1K, 2.7BB, 1.1 HR, 91 ERA+, 18/32 QS Jon Garland has shown excellent durability in his career, racking up double-digit victories and logging over 190 IP for eight consecutive seasons. He pitched well for the Dodgers last September (2.72 ERA), but the Dodgers declined his $10M option, choosing instead to have the D'backs pay his $2.5M buyout. Garland's low strikeout rate is worrisome, but he seems to be a lock to give a team 30 starts with a league average ERA. 9. Jason Marquis COL (31, RHP) (Type B) - $9.875M 2009: 15-13, 4.04 ERA, 1.380 WHIP, 216 IP, 4.8K, 3.3BB, 0.6 HR, 113 ERA, 21/33 QS 2008: 11-9, 4.53 ERA, 1.449 WHIP, 167 IP, 4.9K, 3.8 BB, 0.8 HR, 102 ERA+, 12/28 QS Much like Jon Garland, Marquis is a low-strikeout pitcher who manages a league average ERA with good durability. Marquis had an excellent 1st half with a 3.56 ERA, but faded in the 2nd half to 4.56, and only threw 1 IP in the postseason. The Mets have been rumored as a possibility. 10. Ben Sheets (31, RHP) $11M (2008) 2009: DNP 2008: 13-9, 3.09 ERA, 1.150 WHIP, 198.1 IP, 7.2K, 2.1 BB, 0.8 HR, 136 ERA+, 18/31 QS 2007: 12-5, 3.82 ERA, 1.238 WHIP, 141.1 IP, 6.8K, 2.4 BB, 1.1 HR, 116 ERA+, 14/24 QS Sheets is coming off a torn flexor tendon, and missed all of 2009. When healthy, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He expects to beready to go in 2010. 11. Justin Duchscherer, OAK (32, RHP) (Type B) - $3.9M 2009: DNP 2008: 10-8, 2.54 ERA, 0.995 WHIP, 141.2 IP, 6.0K, 2.2 BB, 0.7 HR, 163 ERA+, 15/22 QS Justin Duchscherer also did not pitch in the majors in 2009. He started out on the DL with an elbow problem, but did throw 11 scoreless innings during a minor league rehab in August. He then was diagnosed with clinical depression, and was shut down for the season. He could be a good bargain in 2010. 12. John Smoltz, STL (43, RHP) - $5.5M 2009: 3-8, 6.35 ERA, 1.449 WHIP, 78 IP, 8.4K, 2.1 BB, 1.3 HR, 69 ERA+ 2008: 3-2, 2.57 ERA, 1.179 WHIP, 28 IP, 11.6K, 2.6 BB, 0.6 HR, 164 ERA+ 2007: 14-8, 3.11 ERA. 1.182 WHIP, 205.2 IP, 8.6K, 2.1 BB, 0.8 HR, 140 ERA+ John Smoltz will be 43 next year, and did not have very good results in Boston. However, he pitched better in St. Louis, and did maintain very strong peripherals all season. I think he still has something left. 13. Vicente Padilla, LAD (32, RHP) (Type B) - $12M 2009: 12-6, 4.46 ERA, 1.425 WHIP, 147.3 IP, 5.9K, 3.3 BB, 1.0 HR, 100 ERA+, 11/25 QS 2008: 14-8, 4.74 ERA, 1.462 WHIP, 171 IP, 6.7K, 3.4 BB, 1.4HR, 94 ERA+, 12/29 QS After being released by the Rangers, Padilla found himself with the Dodgers, going 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA down the stretch. He even started three games in the postseason, moving ahead of Chad Billingsley in the rotation. He was called a horrible teammate while with the Rangers, and it's not clear if he salvaged his reputation in LA. 14. Brad Penny SF (31, RHP) - $6M 2009: 11-9, 4.88 ERA, 1.396 WHIP, 173.1 IP, 5.7K, 2.6 BB, 1.1 HR, 94 ERA+, 16/30 QS 2008: 6-9, 6.27 ERA, 1.627 WHIP, 94.2 IP, 4.8K, 4.0 BB, 1.2 HR, 66 ERA+, 5/17 QS 2007: 16-4, 4.33 ERA, 1.376 WHIP, 208 IP, 5.8K, 3.2 BB, 0.4 HR, 146 ERA+, 26/33 QS Brad Penny had his mid-90s fastball back in 2009, but it didn't help him much in Boston, as he struggled to a 5.61 ERA. After his trade to the Giants, he somehow improved to 2.59, although his strikeout rate was only 4.3 per 9 IP. With his injuries, fitness issues, and shaky performance, most teams will be unwilling to offer a multi-year deal. 15. Jarrod Washburn DET (35, LHP) - $10.35M 2009: 9-9, 3.78 ERA, 1.188 WHIP, 176 IP, 5.1K, 2.5BB, 1.2 HR, 116 ERA+, 17/28 QS 2008: 5-14, 4.69 ERA, 1.458 WHIP, 153.2 IP, 5.1K, 2.9 BB, 1.1 HR, 90 ERA+, 14/26 QS Jarrod Washburn had an outstanding half-season with the Mariners, going 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA. After the trade to the Tigers, Washburn fell apart, posting a 7.33 ERA. For the three previous seasons, Washburn had been a league average pitcher. Maybe a return to Seattle would work. 16. Doug Davis ARZ (34, LHP) (B) - $8.75M 2009: 9-14, 4.12 ERA, 1.505 WHIP, 203.1 IP, 6.5K, 4.6 BB, 1.1 HR, 111 ERA+, 22/34 QS 2008: 6-8, 4.32 ERA, 1.534 WHIP, 146 IP, 6.9K, 3.9 BB, 0.8 HR, 108 ERA+, 14/26 QS Doug Davis is another soft-tosser who has shown excellent durability. It's amazing that Davis keeps putting up better than league-average ERAs despite walking over 4 batters per game and allowing over one hit per inning. The Brewers are rumored to be interested in bringing him back. 17. Joel Pineiro, STL (31, RHP) (B) - $7.5M 2009: 15-12, 3.49 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 214 IP, 4.4K, 1.1 BB, 0.5 HR, 118 ERA+ 2008: 7-7, 5.15 ERA, 1.446 WHIP, 148.2 IP, 4.9K, 2.1 BB, 1.3 HR, 83 ERA+ Pineiro had the best control in the NL in 2009, walking only 1.1 batter per 9 innings. Is Pineiro a Dave Duncan success story, or was 2009 a fluke? 18. Brett Myers, PHI (29, RHP) - $12M 2009: 4-3, 4.84 ERA, 1.373 WHIP, 70.2 IP, 6.4K, 2.9 BB, 2.3 HR, 88 ERA+, 6/10 QS 2008: 10-13, 4.55 ERA, 1.379 WHIP, 190 IP, 7.7K, 3.1 BB, 1.4 HR, 96 ERA+, 15/30 QS Brett Myers had two nice seasons as a starter in 2005 and 2006, but has seen his strikeout rate drop from 8.7/9 IP to 6.4. He may end up back in the bullpen. 19. Carl Pavano, MIN (33, RHP) (Type B) - $2.8M 2009: 14-12, 5.10 ERA, 1.375 WHIP, 199.1 IP, 6.6K, 1.8 BB, 1.2 HR, 84 ERA+ 2008: 4-2, 5.77 ERA, 1.485 WHIP, 34.1 IP, 3.9K, 2.6 BB, 1.3 HR. 77 ERA+ Carl Pavano was finally healthy in 2009, and had decent peripherals. He may end up back with the Twins or Indians. 20. Randy Johnson, SF (46, LHP) (Type B) - $8M 2009: 8-6, 4.88 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 96 IP, 8.1K, 2.9 BB, 1.8 HR. 90 ERA+ 2008: 11-10, 3.91 ERA, 1.239 WHIP, 184 IP, 8.5K, 2.2 BB, 1.2 HR, 119 ERA+ Randy Johnson missed most of 2009 with a torn rotator cuff, and might decide to hang 'em up. 21. Braden Looper * MIL (B) - $4.75M 2009: 14-7, 5.22 ERA, 1.490 WHIP, 194.2 IP, 4.6K, 3.0 BB, 1.8 HR, 77 ERA+ 2008: 12-14, 4.16 ERA, 1.312 WHIP, 199 IP, 4.9K, 2.0 BB, 1.1 HR, 102 ERA+ 22. Kelvim Escobar LAA - $9.5M 2009: 0-1, 3.60 ERA, 1.600 WHIP, 5 IP, 9.0K, 7.2 BB, 0.0 HR, 125 ERA+ 2008: DNP 2007: 18-7, 3.40 ERA, 1.267 WHIP, 195.2 IP, 7.4K, 3.0 BB, 0.5 HR, 133 ERA+ Escobar is hoping to pitch in the Venezuelan winter leagues during the offseason. 23. Jose Contreras COL - $10M 2009: 6-13, 4.92 ERA, 1.473 WHIP, 131.2 IP, 7.2K, 3.6 BB, 0.9 HR, 94 ERA+ 2008: 7-6, 4.54 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, 121 IP, 5.2K, 2.6 BB, 0.9 HR, 101 ERA+ Pitched well as a reliever for the Rockies; not so well as a starter for the White Sox. 24. Bartolo Colon CWS - $1M 2009: 3-6, 4.19 ERA, 1.444 WHIP, 62.1 IP, 5.5K, 3.0 BB, 1.9 HR, 111 ERA+ 2008: 4-2, 3.92 ERA, 1.385 WHIP, 39 IP, 6.2K, 2.3 BB, 1.2 HR, 118 ERA+ 25. Todd Wellemeyer STL - $4.05M 2009: 7-10, 5.89 ERA, 1.774 WHIP, 122.1 IP, 5.7K, 4.2 BB, 1.4 HR, 70 ERA+ 2008: 13-9, 3.71 ERA, 1.252 WHIP, 191.2 IP, 6.3K, 2.9 BB, 1.2 HR, 115 ERA+ After a disappointing season, Wellemeyer will probably not be back in St. Louis. 26. Mike Hampton HOU - $2M 2009: 7-10, 5.30 ERA, 1.554 WHIP, 112 IP, 5.9K, 3.7 BB, 1.0 HR, 79 ERA+ 2008: 3-4, 4.85 ERA, 1.423 WHIP, 78 IP, 4.4K, 3.2 BB, 1.2 HR, 87 ERA+ Hampton is not expected back in Houston in 2010. 27. Livan Hernandez WAS - $1.3M 2009: 9-12, 5.44 ERA, 1.563 WHIP, 183.2 IP, 5.0K, 3.3 BB, 0.9 HR, 76 ERA+ 2008: 13-11, 6.05 ERA, 1.632 WHIP, 180 IP, 3.4K, 2.2 BB, 1.3 HR, 71 ERA+ After two very poor seasons, no team would be considering Livan for their rotation in 2010, right? Still more options: Brandon Backe HOU, Tom Glavine ATL, Daniel Cabrera ARZ, Sidney Ponson KC, Jason Schmidt LAD, Odalis Perez WAS, Adam Eaton COL ]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) November Wed, 11 Nov 2009 08:30:17 +0000