Category Archives: Words

Thole did get knocked in the head

“Consider that since he returned from a concussion earlier this year-and that wasn’t his first one-Thole is hitting .240/.294/.285 in 196 plate appearances. It is easily his worst stretch since he started the 2011 season hitting .207/.280/.241 in his first 122 plate appearances. So it isn’t unprecedented, but it also argues against Thole having developed any, and leaves open the uneasy possibility that the concussions have taken their toll.”

- Howard Megdal, The LoHud Mets Blog

Right. Duh. I never really put the two together, but as Megdal points out, Thole has struggled with the bat since his concussion earlier this season. Other good stuff about the Mets catching situation over there.

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Mostly Mets Podcast

A new Mostly Mets Podcast, OR my a capella version of Taylor Swift’s new incredibly catchy single that I defintiely haven’t been listening to on YouTube for the last 24 hours. I’m not saying which it is. You’ll have to listen to find out, I guess. ITunes is here.

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Building the Rays bullpen

Fangraphs has the details on the Rays bullpen, the Majors’ second-best by ERA and third-best by FIP. Maybe Sandy Alderson and Co. can take notes?

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What’s wrong with the Johan?

So maybe you’ve noticed, dear readers, that Johan Santana hasn’t been all that sharp recently. And maybe this is alarming. But I’m going to posit that maybe it’s not.

See most of you probably know that Johan Santana was one of baseball’s best pitchers in the 2000s and the early 2010s. Over eight seasons with the Twins, Santana posted a 3.22 ERA and a 141 ERA+ — that is, his ERA was 41% better than an average pitcher working in the same home ballpark. He was just about as good during his first three seasons with the Mets, when Santana posted a 2.85 ERA and a 143 ERA+. And then he was even better his first 11 starts this season coming off shoulder surgery. Santana posted a 2.38 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 68 innings, capping that run with a no-hitter June 1. Santana was consistently excellent for about for 10 1/2 years. Continue reading

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Mortality rates for baseball players and football players

This is worth checking out over on Grantland, though maybe just scroll down to the conclusion:

That’s correct: Baseball players who accrued at least five qualifying seasons from 1959 through 1988 died at a higher rate than similarly experienced football players from the same time frame. The difference between the two is statistically significant and allows us to reject the null hypothesis; there is a meaningful difference between the mortality rates of baseball players and football players with careers that emulated the NIOSH criteria.

- Bill Barnwell, Grantland

I believe Bill James compared mortality rates for pitchers and hitters in his Historical Baseball Abstract, and found that hitters tended to live longer. If I remember, James suggested it’s because pitchers had more time to drink between starts. I don’t want to speculate too much (he says before speculating), but I wonder if football players do take better care of themselves in the same sort of way hitters take better care of themselves.

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Why did the Mets just trade for Kelly Shoppach?

Because he’s a catcher and has hit .270/.364/.530 against left-handed pitching during his career.

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Edgin towards a better bullpen

But Edgin has impressed in his first 14.0 innings with the Mets. He already has 22 strikeouts — that’s 14.1 K/9 — and a 3.31 FIP and 2.27 xFIP that suggest he’s been significantly better than his ERA. Glen Perkins was in a similar spot early in his 2012 season. Edgin’s track record is, of course, not anywhere near as long as Perkins’s, but his ability to strike out opponents is more likely than not to make him stick as a viable late-inning option in the big leagues.

- Chris McShane, Amazin’ Avenue

I could write a lot more about this, but basically: Relievers who strike out ton of dudes tend to be good. For example: Bobby Parnell strikes out about a batter per inning and has a 3.26 ERA over the last three seasons. Between 2007 and 2012, there were 20 relievers who struck out more than a batter per inning and had below-average ERAs, and 71 who struck out a batter per inning and had above-average ERAs. So strikeout rate alone doesn’t get it done, but it’s a pretty good indicator that a pitcher may be successful. Plus our man Edgin struck out more than a batter per inning in the minors, so he’s not striking out guys at a rate way over his head. If Edgin can strikeout more than a batter per inning (maybe) and be left-handed (yes), the Mets have another useful reliever. Giving them, like, two.

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Should Valdespin play left field?

Poll question. The Mets have a handful of young left-handed hitters: Mike Baxter, Jordany Valdespin, Lucas Duda, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Nieuwenhuis is on the Triple-A disabled list and Lucas Duda, though healthy, has also been exiled to Buffalo, leaving Valdespin and Baxter to patrol the Mets’ outfield corners. So here’s what I want to know:[poll id="11"]

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Autopost

Oh I still kind of miss him.

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2014 Power Rankings: August 2012

Oh how things change. I sort of meant to make this a monthly feature, but every-other-monthly gives us more information to play with. So here we are four months into the season, two months after the last update, with the updated 2014 Mets Power Rankings.

If you’re new, the idea behind the list is this: If you are an expansion team set to play baseball in 2014 with the sole goal of fielding a competitive team in 2014 – that is, you care about 2014 and nothing else – and you can only pick current Mets players, whom would you take and in what order? The only other limitation being that the player must be under team (Mets) control in 2014. (Also, for the sake of the exercise, the dollar value of contracts don’t count.) That’s the idea here. So the list is mostly young players and prospects, though our first old man has snuck in.

That’s the guiding philosophy. Here’s the list: Continue reading

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