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2011 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2011-articles/september/ Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:59:15 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Diamondbacks and Rays Are Two Playoff Teams with Opening Day Payrolls below $55M http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/diamondbacks-and-rays-are-two-playoff-teams-with-opening-day-payrolls-below-55m.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/diamondbacks-and-rays-are-two-playoff-teams-with-opening-day-payrolls-below-55m.html This year, the 2011 Playoffs include two playoff teams that rank near the bottom in team payroll. Based on the opening day team salary numbers, the Diamondbacks rank #25 at $53.6M and the Rays are #29 at $41.1M. Interestingly, both teams had cut their payroll significantly this year, with the D'Backs dropping from $60.7M (#24 in 2010) and the Rays coming down from $71.9M (#19).

At the other end of the spectrum are the Yankees and Phillies, whose $202.7M and $173.0M payrolls rank #1 and #2. Filling out the 2011 playoffs are four teams from the middle of the payroll pack - Tigers ($105.7M, #10), Cardinals ($105.4M, #11), Rangers ($92.3M, #13) and the Brewers ($85.5M, #17).

The chart belows shows a graph of team wins plotted with opening day payroll.

2011 Wins and Opening Day Team Payroll

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 30 Sep 2011 18:27:03 +0000
Evaluating the NL Playoff Starting Rotations http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/evaluating-the-nl-playoff-starting-rotations.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/evaluating-the-nl-playoff-starting-rotations.html It came down to the final day of the season, but the NL playoff teams and matchups are finally set, with the Phillies hosting the Cardinals and the Brewers hosting the Diamondbacks. The Phillies clearly have the strongest starting rotation, with both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee expected to finish among the Top 4 in the NL Cy Young voting, and Cole Hamels a certain Top 10 finisher. The Brewers just barely edge out the Diamondbacks for 2nd place, with the trio of Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, and Zack Greinke all capable of shutting down an opponent. But none of the three had a dominating regular season. Right with the Brewers are the Diamondbacks at a very close #3, led by the amazing season of Ian Kennedy. Daniel Hudson has been solid, and both Joe Saunders and Josh Collmenter have been much better than expected. Ranking 4th are the Cardinals, whose pitching staff will be without ace Chris Carpenter until Game 3. Let's take a closer look at the likely starting rotations for each team.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Thu, 29 Sep 2011 17:07:09 +0000
Why the Diamondbacks Moved Joe Saunders Up to Start on Friday http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/why-the-diamondbacks-moved-joe-saunders-up-to-start-on-friday.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/why-the-diamondbacks-moved-joe-saunders-up-to-start-on-friday.html The Diamondbacks announced a change in their starting rotation for this weekend's series with the Giants. The original rotation had Josh Collmenter on Friday, followed by Joe Saunders and Ian Kennedy. The problem with this is that if Saunders had pitched on Saturday, he would not have pitched again in the regular season, since the last game is on Wednesday. That means when Game 3 of the playoffs came around on October 4, Saunders would have had 9 days between starts.  By moving Saunders up to Friday, he can start the regular season finale on his usual 4 days rest, and then pitch Game 3 on 5 days rest.
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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 23 Sep 2011 05:54:43 +0000
Miguel Montero Rates Highly at Framing Pitches http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/miguel-montero-rates-highly-at-framing-pitches.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/miguel-montero-rates-highly-at-framing-pitches.html In an excellent article by Mike Fast at Baseball Prospectus (free access), catchers are analyzed with PitchFX for their ability to get extra called strikes for their pitcher. The basic concept is as follows:
1) Using pitch location data from the PitchFX system from the years 2007-2011, Mike first established a standard strike zone by marking the boundaries where a pitch was called a strike at least 50% of the time.

RHB zone: -1.03 < px < 1.00 and (0.92 + batter_height*0.136) < pz < (2.60 + batter_height*0.136)
LHB zone: -1.20 < px < 0.81 and (0.35 + batter_height*0.229) < pz < (2.00 + batter_height*0.229)

2) He then counted the number of called balls and strikes tallied by each pitcher in the borderline zone to get a baseline number of "extra strikes" for each pitcher.
3) He then broke down the data for each pitcher-catcher combination, subtracting off the pitcher's baseline data.
4) Using Dan Turkenkopf's data on the value of switching ball/strike calls, the Runs Saved by each catcher was estimated.

Many more details are in the article, but the results showed that the best catchers for getting extra strikes for their pitchers were:
]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Wed, 21 Sep 2011 18:39:23 +0000 Will Jarrod Parker make the Diamondbacks' Playoff Roster? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/will-jarrod-parker-make-the-diamondbacks-playoff-roster.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/will-jarrod-parker-make-the-diamondbacks-playoff-roster.html As expected, the Diamondbacks called up top prospect Jarrod Parker on Monday, after Mobile completed their AA playoff season (with a Southern League championship). Parker's overall numbers in AA were good but not spectacular - 11-8, 3.68 ERA, 1.278 WHIP, 130.2 IP, 112K, 55BB (8.5K/9, 3.9BB/9). But his performance in the second half of the season was much better - he allowed 1 ER or less in 10 of his last 14 starts for Mobile. Over those final 14 games, his ERA was down to 2.57, and his walk rate dropped to a better 2.6BB/9.

Now that Parker has joined the Major League club, the next question is whether he will be added to the postseason playoff roster.  This actually involves three questions:

  1. Is Parker even eligible for the postseason roster?
  2. Does he have enough time to impress management to earn a spot?
  3. Whose roster spot would he take if he does pitch well over the final week?
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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Wed, 21 Sep 2011 05:44:06 +0000
How Long Should Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs Stay in the Minors? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/how-long-should-trevor-bauer-and-tyler-skaggs-stay-in-the-minors.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/how-long-should-trevor-bauer-and-tyler-skaggs-stay-in-the-minors.html RHP Trevor Bauer and LHP Tyler Skaggs are two of the Diamondbacks' Top 4 Minor League prospects, along with righthanders Jarrod Parker and Archie Bradley. There had been some discussion of Bauer getting a September call-up and possibly making the Diamondbacks' playoff roster. But the long playoff run of the AA Mobile Bay Bears, along with some struggles by Bauer in his last two starts, probably means that he will not be called up this season. If he had, he would have been one of the rare players who went from the June draft to the Major Leagues in the same season.

But what about the 2012 season? Will Bauer be ready for to compete for a rotation spot next spring? As we will see below, that would still make him one of the fastest risers in all of baseball. Another potential option for the 2012 rotation is Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs has rocketed through the High A California League and the AA Southern League, striking out 198 batters in 158 IP (11.3K/9). Many feel that he too is ready for the Majors.  After the break, let's take a look at how many starts these two have made in the Minors, and compare that with the minor league service of currently successful Major League pitchers.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 16 Sep 2011 15:24:20 +0000
Projecting the 2011 Diamondbacks' Playoff Roster http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/projecting-the-2011-diamondbacks-playoff-roster.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/projecting-the-2011-diamondbacks-playoff-roster.html How's that for an article title that no one saw coming six months ago? But with only 14 games to go, and an 8.5 game lead over the Giants, the Diamondbacks can start shaping up their roster and pitching rotation for the playoffs. Let's take a look at which 25 players might be on the playoff roster.

Here are the 20 players who should be absolute locks for the playoff roster:
LOCKS (20)
C (2): Miguel Montero, Henry Blanco
1B (2): Paul Goldschmidt, Lyle Overbay
2B (1): Aaron Hill
SS (2): Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald
3B (2): Ryan Roberts, Geoff Blum
OF (3): Justin Upton, Chris Young, Gerardo Parra
SP (3): Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders
RP (6): J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, Brad Ziegler, Joe Paterson, Micah Owings 

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Mon, 12 Sep 2011 18:32:25 +0000
The Diamondbacks' Outfield Defense is Very Good, but Can Their Outstanding UZR Numbers be Trusted? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/the-diamondbacks-outfield-defense-is-very-good-but-can-their-outstanding-uzr-numbers-be-trusted.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/the-diamondbacks-outfield-defense-is-very-good-but-can-their-outstanding-uzr-numbers-be-trusted.html There is no question that the Diamondbacks' outfield defense has very good range, and has been a big part of the team's success this year. According to the Ultimate Zone Ratings (UZR) at FanGraphs, the most valuable defensive player in the National League this year has been Gerardo Parra, with Chris Young #2 and Justin Upton #6. In terms of just range (excluding arms and errors), the Diamondbacks have 3 of the Top 5, with Upton the NL leader by far. At the team level, the Diamondbacks' UZR of +52.6 Runs gives them a 12.8 Run advantage over the #2 Reds (+39.8), and a whopping 39.2 runs over the #3 team, the Padres at +13.2. Let's take a closer look at the Diamondbacks' outfield defense and how the various defensive metrics rate them.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Fri, 09 Sep 2011 18:20:15 +0000
The Diamondbacks' Trade for Aaron Hill Has Worked Out Very Well So Far http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/the-diamondbacks-trades-for-aaron-hill-and-brad-ziegler-have-worked-out-well-so-far.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/september/the-diamondbacks-trades-for-aaron-hill-and-brad-ziegler-have-worked-out-well-so-far.html It's only been a few weeks, but so far, the Diamondbacks' controversial trade for Aaron Hill (and SS John McDonald) has worked out very well. In fact, at this point, it seems that this trade has been one that has really helped both teams, as both of the key players involved have improved with their new clubs.

When the Aaron Hill trade was made, the theory was that maybe both players needed a change of scenery. Hill had hit well in 2009, but had slumped in 2010, and in 2011 had become of the worst offensive players in the American League.  Johnson was coming off a very good 2010 season, but had seen his average plummet to .209 while his strikeouts rose to an all-time high. But since the trade, both players have rediscovered their offensive skills.

Aaron Hill AB R H HR RBI BB K AVG OBP SLG
TOR 396 38 89 6 45 23 53 .225 .270 .313
ARI 42 4 16 1 9 3 5 .381 .426 .595
Kelly Johnson AB R H HR RBI BB K AVG OBP SLG
ARI 430 59 90 18 49 44 132 .209 .287 .412
TOR 40 8 12 2 4 7 12 .300 .404 .575
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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) September Mon, 05 Sep 2011 16:51:08 +0000