Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jason Marquis: The next Charles Nagy?

The Nationals recently signed Jason Marquis for 2 years at 15 million. The Nationals are going to have to overpay to get decent free agents, so that's fine. Here's what would really worry me: He has a 94 wins and a .531 W-L%, which isn't bad, but a 4.48 ERA. In ML history, there have been over 300 pitchers with at least 94 career wins, and a .531 W-L%, and only 5 have had worse career ERA's than Marquis.

Darren Oliver
Aaron Sele
Charles Nagy
Dave Burba
Russ Ortiz

Most of these guys really started to flame out around age 30 or 31 (Marquis is currently 31). In 1999 (age 32) Charles Nagy went 17-11 (with a 4.95 ERA), and after that, he went 8-19 with an ERA of 7.50 over the next couple of years. A few years after being a Cy Young contender, Russ Ortiz went 0-8 at age 32, and has put up terrible numbers while barely staying in the league.
Burba was a bit of an exception, because he didn't become a regular starter until he was around 30. Marquis, like Sele, Ortiz and Nagy, has been starting since he was about 24. Oliver also lost it as a starter in his early 30's, but saved his career by become a good reliever in the last few years.

Marquis ended up last year on a bad note as well, losing 7 of his last 10 decisions. The Nationals probably aren't expecting that much out of him, just to be a professional starter who can thrown 200 innings and be slightly above .500. With low expectations, he has a decent chance at being what they expect in 2010, and it's only a 2 year contract, so it's not too bad. If Marquis is anything like Nagy, Ortiz and Sele (and he appears to be), it could be a very bumpy ride starting soon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

.400 OBP /.290 BA

Career: .400+ OBP, sub-.290 BA, 5000+ PA
Roy Thomas (1899-1911): .290 BA, .413 OBP, 6575 PA
Lu Blue (1921-1933) .287, .402, 7207
Max Bishop (1924-1935) .271, .423, 5776
Eddie Stanky (1943-1953) .268, .410, 5435
Rickey Henderson (1979-2003) .279, .401, 13346
Jim Thome (1991-present) .277, .404, 9463
Jason Giambi (1995-present) .282, .405, 8135

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Top ERA: 60+IP
2009: George Sherrill (Orioles/Dodgers) - 1.70 ERA (69 IP)
2008: Joe Nathan (Twins) - 1.33 (67.2 IP)
2007: J.J. Putz (Mariners) - 1.38 (71.2 IP)
2006: Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox) - 0.92 (68.1 IP)
2005: Mariano Rivera (Yankees) - 1.38 (78.1 IP)
2004: Armando Benitez (Marlins) - 1.29 (69.2 IP)
2003: John Smoltz (Braves) - 1.12 (64.1 IP)
2002: Chris Hammond (Braves) - 0.95 (76 IP)
2001: Felix Rodriguez (Giants) - 1.68 (80.1 IP)
2000: Robb Nen (Giants) - 1.50 (66 IP)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Top 25 Blogs

This is pretty interesting. Nicole Adams did a list of the top 25 blogs for baseball fans, with Baseball In-Depth coming in at #9:

9. Baseball In-Depth : Blogger Brad Templeman offers easily digested articles featuring straight facts and quick stats. Comprehensive lists occasionally undercut by brief blurbs undercut the majority of the content, making this something of a haven for baseball fans also harboring a love of numbers and detailed research guides.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Higher OBP than Slugging (2009):
Chone Figgins (Angels)
Nick Johnson (Nationals/Marlins)
Luis Castillo (Mets)
Russell Martin (Dodgers)
Nick Punto (Twins)
Jason Kendell (Brewers)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada had a good season, leading the NL in doubles and hitting .313. It was unusual, though, because his OBP was only .340 because he only walked 13 times:

.310+ BA, .340- OPB, 600+ PA, since 1900:
Hy Myers: 1922 (Dodgers)
Vic Power: 1958 (A's/Indians)
Mickey Rivers: 1976 (Yankees)
Garry Templeton: 1977, 1979 (Cardinals)
Damaso Garcia: 1982 (Blue Jays)
Tony Fernandez: 1986 (Blue Jays)
Miguel Tejada: 2009 (Astros)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Andrew Bailey

Andrew Bailey was named AL Rookie of the Year last week, and it was well deserved. Since 2000, there have been 154 instances of a pitcher having a season with more than 80 IP and no starts.

Bailey's 2009 season is one of only 13 with an ERA under 2.00 and he places 7th on the list. There were only 6 pitchers to do that this season and he was in a class by himself.

ERA: 80+ IP, 0 Starts
1.84 - Andrew Bailey (A's)
2.72 - Ramon Troncoso (Dodgers)
2.90 - Todd Coffey (Phillies)
3.26 - Mark Lowe (Mariners)
3.40 - Jeff Fulchino (Astros)
4.90 - Brian Bass (Orioles)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 In Review: Part 2

15+ Wins, 200+ K
Tim Lincecum
Zack Greinke
Justin Verlander
Adam Wainwright
Felix Hernandez
Roy Halladay
Jon Lester
Javier Vasquez

sub-15 Wins, 200+ K
Dan Haren
Yovani Gallardo

All-Time: sub-10 Wins, 200+K
Nolan Ryan - 1987
Bob Johnson - 1970
Sam McDowell - 1966

Monday, November 9, 2009

2009 In Review: Part 1

.300, 100 Runs, 100 RBI

Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
Ryan Braun (Brewers)
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)

David Wright (Mets)
Lance Berkman (Astros
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees)
Manny Ramirez (Red Sox, Dodgers)
Mark Teixeira (Angels/Braves)
Albert Pujols (Cardinals)

David Ortiz (Red Sox)
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees)
David Wright (Mets)
Chipper Jones (Braves)
Magglio Ordonez (Tigers)
Matt Holliday (Rockies)
Chase Utley (Phillies)

2006: 9 players
2005: 8
2004: 11
2003: 9
2002: 13
2001: 15
2000: 24
1999: 23
1998: 15
1997: 7
1996: 19

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When have the Yankees clinched the World Series at home?

World Series that Yankees have clinched at home since 1952 (won 12 W.S. and Lost 9 since '52):
1953 Brooklyn Dodgers (4-3)
1977 L.A. Dodgers (4-2)
1996 Atlanta Braves (4-2)
1999 Atlanta Braves (4-0)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Game 1 at Yankee Stadium: Complete Games

Complete games against Yankees in Game 1 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium
1949 (Lost) Don Newcombe (Rookie of the Year - 1949): Brooklyn Dodgers (Lost Series 4-1)
1951 (Won) Dave Koslo: NY Giants (Lost 4-2)
1963 (Won) Sandy Koufax (Cy Young & MVP - 1963): Los Angeles Dodgers (Won 4-0)
2009 (Won) Cliff Lee: Philadelphia Phillies?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yankees: Facing the Champs

Congratulations to the Yankees. I think (hope) that it will be a great series and go 7. They've fared pretty well over the years facing the defending champs, although most of those times they were simply getting revenge for getting beaten the year before:

World Series - Yankees faced the Defending Champs
1922: NY Giants (Lost 4-0-1) rematch
1923: NY Giants (Won 4-2) rematch
1943: St. Louis Cardinals (Won 4-1) rematch
1956: Brooklyn Dodgers (Won 4-3) rematch
1958: Milwaukee Braves (Won 4-3) rematch
1976: Cincinnati Reds (Lost 4-0)
1996: Atlanta Braves (Won 4-2)
2009: Philadelphia Phillies?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Coming back from 2-0

Teams who have been down 2-0 in a 7 game (or greater) series and won, since 1903:

1921 World Series 5-3 NY Giants over NY Yankees (Yankees won Game 1 at on the road and game 2 at home)
1955 World Series 4-3 Brooklyn Dodgers over NY Yankees
1956 World Series 4-3 NY Yankees over Brooklyn Dodgers
1958 World Series 4-3 NY Yankees over Milwaukee Braves
1965 World Series 4-3 LA Dodgers over Minnesota Twins
1971 World Series 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates over Baltimore Orioles
1978 World Series 4-2 NY Yankees over LA Dodgers
1981 World Series 4-2 LA Dodgers over NY Yankees
1985 World Series 4-3 Kansas City Royals over St. Louis Cardinals
1985 ALCS 4-3 Kansas City Royals over Toronto Blue Jays
1985 NLCS 4-3 St. Louis Cardinals over LA Dodgers
1986 World Series 4-3 NY Mets over Boston Red Sox
1996 World Series 4-2 NY Yankees over Atlanta Braves
2004 ALCS 4-3 Boston Red Sox over New York Yankees

The Yankees have done it 4 times and had it done to them 4 times. It doesn't really happen anymore, for some reason, while it happened 6 times between 1978 and 1986.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Vincente Padilla

50 wins, 4.50 ERA since 2005
Jason Marquis: 65 Wins, 4.65 ERA
Livan Hernandez: 61, 4.97
Ervin Santana: 59, 4.52
Vincente Padilla: 56, 4.78
Braden Looper: 51, 4.57
Jose Contreras: 51, 4.54

10 wins, .540 W-L%, 4.75 ERA, since 2005 (Active):
Vincente Padilla: 56 Wins, .549 W-L%, 4.78 ERA
Matt Harrison: 13, .419, 5.76
David Huff: 11, .579, 5.61
Buddy Carlyle: 10, .556, 5.31

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Together again: Phillies, Dodgers and Yankees

The last time that the Phillies, Dodgers and Yankees were in the playoffs in the same year was 1978, with the Royals being the other team. The exact same 4 teams were in the playoffs the year before, 1977, too (only time that has happened).

1977: Dodgers over Phillies 3-1, Yankees beat Dodgers in WS 4-2
1978: Dodgers over Phillies 3-1, Yankees beat Dodgers in WS 4-2

In 1976, the Phillies had made the playoffs, and been swept by the Big Red Machine, who were on their way to a 2nd consecutive World Championship (first playoff appearance since 1950).

It was the Yankees first World Series in a long time (1962, 15 years - at least by their standards).

It was the first time since 1952-53 (Yankees over Brooklyn Dodgers) that a team has won 2 consecutive World Series, both over the same team.

1936-37: Yankees over NY Giants
1921-22: NY Giants over Yankees
1907-1908: Cubs over Tigers

I would gladly take a World Series that goes 6 games,which has not happened since 2003. The playoffs are more interesting with the Yankees involved, and it will get really interesting if a Joe Torre-led Dodgers team faces them in the World Series.

There are some great story lines set up: Can the Phillies do the improbable and repeat? Can the Dodgers make it to the World Series for the first time since 1988? Will there be an all LA series? Yankees-Dodgers? The most exciting matchup, I think, would be the Phillies vs. the Yankees, with the chance for the Phillies to repeat while being the underdog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MLB Notebook

A post I made at MLB Notebook: Team OPS - Postseason History.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lidge has improved, just in time for the Phillies

Last 5 Appearances: 3.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 SV
Previous 12 Appearances: 10.1, IP, 10.45 ERA, 6 SV, 3 BL SV,

ERA by Month
April: 7.27
May: 7.98
June: 6.75
July: 5.91
August: 6.75
September: 9.00
October: 0.00 (2.1 IP)

The Phillies knew they had a problem with Lidge for a long time, but the problem wasn't fixed. It is possible, however unlikely, that he has brought himself back to 2008-form. He was brought in to face one batter tonight, and he struck him out to end the series, which is a positive sign.

The series figures to be a fairly close one, and Lidge could be the crucial player. If he pitches like the Lidge of April 5-September 25, it could be a very long series for the Phillies. If he pitches like the Lidge of September 28-October 12, the Phillies have a great chance to get back to the World Series.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Division Series Sweeps

After so much postseason futility, the Dodgers are suddenly great in the postseason. Since the beginning of the current playoff format they are only the 3rd team to sweep a Division Series in consecutive seasons. Apparently, there are only 2 managers who can engineer this, with Joe Torre now having done it in with two different teams, a decade apart.

Division Series Sweeps in consecutive seasons
Atlanta Braves: 1996-1998 (Dodgers, Astros, Cubs)
New York Yankees: 1998-1999 (Rangers)
LA Dodgers: 2008-2009 (Cubs, Cardinals)

Multiple Division Series Sweeps
4 Braves: 1996-98, 2001 (Dodgers, Astros, Cubs, Astros)
4 Cardinals: 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005 (Padres, Braves, D-Backs, Padres)
2 Yankees: 1998-99 (Rangers)
2 Dodgers: 2008-09 (Cubs, Cardinals)
2 Red Sox: 2004, 2007 (Angels)

Phillies-Dodgers rematch would look much different

If the Phillies and the Dodgers face each other this year in the NLCS, it will look different than it did last year, when the Phillies won 4-1.

2008 NLCS - Starting Pitchers
Phillies: Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels
Dodgers: Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley

Derek Lowe went to the Braves in free agency; Brett Myers and Joe Blanton will be pitching out of the bullpen; Jamie Moyer had surgery and won't pitch at all in the postseason; Hiroki Kuroda is injured and his status is uncertain for the NLCS. Chad Billinglsey will now be the 4th starter, and will not get more than 1 start in the NLCS. Cole Hamels will be in the rotation.

2009 LDS - Starting Pitchers
Dodgers: Randy Wolf , Clayton Kershaw, Vincente Padilla
Phillies: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, (announced) J.A. Happ

Pedro Martinez might be the 4th starter for the Phillies, since he was initially announced as the game 3 starter before it was postponed, and it was switched to Happ.

So far, the only starter on either team who hasn't pitched well in the postseason was Cole Hamels, the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP. Cliff Lee was unbelievable in his 1st postseason start (2009 version of Cole Hamels?).

Randy Wolf isn't exactly a great #1 starter, Kershaw is young and unproven, and Padilla was actually released by another team (Rangers) just a few months ago, but it is hard to pick against the Dodgers right now, after their impressive sweep of the Cardinals. Of course, they had an impressive sweep of the Cubs last season before losing to the Phillies 4-1. Their starting rotation is unconventional and might not scare anyone, but they will be tough to beat, whether they face the Phillies or Rockies.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Postseason Rematches

Potential LCS Rematches
Phillies v. Dodgers 1977-78, '83, '08 (Phillies won in '83, '08, lost in 77-78)
Red Sox v. Yankees 1999, '03-04 (Red Sox won in '04, lost in '99, '03)
Angels v. Twins 2002 (Angels 4-1)

Potential World Series Rematches
Red Sox v. Phillies 1915 (Red Sox 4-1)
Yankees v. Cardinals 1926, '28, '42-43, '64 (Yankees won in 1928, '42, lost in '26, '43, '64)
Yankees v. Dodgers 1941, '47, '49, '52-53, '55-56, '63, '77-78, '81 (Dodgers won in 1955, '63, '81, lost a lot)
Red Sox v. Cardinals 1946, '67, '04 (Red Sox won in '04, lost in '46 and '67)
Yankees v. Phillies 1950 (Yankees 4-0)
Twins v. Dodgers 1965 (Dodgers 4-3)
Twins v. Cardinals 1987 (Twins 4-3)
Red Sox v. Rockies 2007 (Red Sox 4-0)

Other possible rematch
Yankees v. Angels 2002, 2005 – LDS: (Angels won both series)

Current Rematches
Cardinals v. Dodgers 1985, 2004 (Cardinals won both series)
Twins v. Yankees 2003-04 (Yankees won both series)
Phillies v. Rockies 2007 (Rockies 3-0)
Red Sox v. Angels 1986, '04, '07-08 (Red Sox won all 4 series)
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Which Cliff Lee will show up today?

Cliff Lee was unbelievably good for his first 5 starts with the Phillies after being traded from the Indians on , but the last 7 have been miserable.
First 5 starts: 5-0, 0.67 ERA, 39 SO, 6 BB
Next 7: 2-4, 6.20 ERA, 35 SO, 4 BB

His walks and strikeouts have remained good, and the home runs allowed have stayed the same too. He started allowing a lot of hits:
August: .226, 3 HR
September: .320, 3 HR

There is something in his favor, though. Despite Colorado's fine play this season, they only hit .235 on the road (vs. .287 at home), which was 2nd worst in the league. They were 21st in runs scored on the road vs. 2nd in runs at home.

Breakdown of Lee's last 7 starts:
3 Home: 1-2, 4.05 ERA (including complete game shutout vs. Nationals on Sept. 15)
4 Road: 1-2, 8.10 ERA

His most recent 4 starts were much better than the previous 3 in allowing hits:
(Sept. 15-Oct. 1: 4 starts) 27 H, 24.2 IP
(Aug. 29-Sept. 9: 3 starts) 29 H, 15 IP

Prediction: In the first postseason start of his career, Lee is solid, but not dominant (3 ER over 7 IP) and gets the win.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Baker v. Porcello

Rick Porcello (Tigers): 14-9, 4.04 ERA, 81 SO, 50 BB
Scott Baker (Twins): 15-9, 4.36 ERA, 160 SO, 46 BB

Pre All Star Break
Rick Porcello: 8-6, 4.14
Scott Baker: 7-7, 5.42

Post All Star Break
Rick Porcello: 6-3, 3.92
Scott Baker: 8-2, 3.21

Since August 1
Rick Porcello: 5-2, 3.21
Scott Baker: 7-2, 3.52

Since September 1
Rick Porcello: 3-1, 3.22
Scott Baker: 3-2, 3.97

Away: Rick Porcello: 6-6, 4.21
Home: Scott Baker: 6-5, 4.55

vs. Min: Rick Porcello: 1-2, 3.09
vs. Tigers: Scott Baker: 1-1, 6.75

Last Start
Porcello: September 29th (6 days rest)
Baker: October 1st (4 days rest)

Porcello: 4.42
Baker: 7.42

Ground Ball/Fly Ball
Porcello: 1.24
Baker: .55

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Emergence of Carlos Gonzalez

OPS - Post All Star Break (min. 200 PA) Playoff Teams
1.044 Matt Holliday (A's/Cardinals (1.019 OPS w/Cardinals) 2nd Overall - ML
1.042 Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies)
1.018 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
1.003 Ryan Howard (Phillies)
.998 Joe Mauer (Twins)
.996 Kendry Morales (Angels)
.994 Mark Teixeira (Yankees)
.992 Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies) 10th Overall
.962 J.D Drew (Red Sox)
.954 Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 15th Overall

Most of the names are very familiar and expected (Pujols, Mauer, Howard, etc.). The only real surprise to me is Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies).

After a disappointing 2008 with the A’s, where he only hit 4 HR in 302 AB with a .242 BA, he was traded to the Rockies, along with Huston Street, in the Matt Holliday deal in November 2008. He was also one of the many players traded by the D-Backs to Oakland for Dan Haren in December 2007. His good performance in the 2nd half has probably earned him an offseason without being traded, but we'll have to see.

He didn't even get an at-bat this year until June and was only hitting .202 with 1 HR at the All-Star Break, which was before he started getting regular playing time. He eventually batted all over the lineup, although ended up hitting most often in the leadoff spot. He played about an even amount in LF and CF (putting up his best numbers in CF), although he sometimes played both positions in the same game.

The Rockies are loaded with outfielders, including Brad Hawpe, Seth Smith, Ryan Spilborghs and Dexter Fowler. Gonzalez shares playing time with Fowler and Smith. Fowler was once considered a top ROY candidate (at least by some) this year before he went on the DL. Eventually Gonzalez will be an everyday starter, but he seems to be getting some kind of playing time every game, with a good number of starts.

Gonzalez's lofty 2nd half numbers are mostly the result of a monster August, where he posted the 2nd highest OPS in entire league, behind only Matt Diaz: .370, 6 HR, .714 SLG, 1.146 OPS. His September numbers were respectable too: .277, 5 HR, .543 SLG, .885 OPS. The Rockies were winning before the emergence of Gonzalez (21-7 in June), but he gives them another weapon and could be a factor in the playoffs.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bobby Abreu

Bobby Abreu has produced a lot of interesting numbers in his career, and this is a prime example. He is a throwback in many ways, in this case he is more like some of the great players of the 1920's than anyone playing today.

Since 2003, he has had 5 seasons of at least 100 RBI and 20 or fewer HR (2003, 2006-09). This season, he has 15 HR and 102 RBI, and with one day to go, I'll go out on a limb and say he'll finish with less than 21 home runs this year too.

Since 2003, while Bobby Abreu has had 5 of these seasons, the rest of the league has combined to produce 6:

2003: Hideki Matsui, Edgar Renteria
2006: J.D. Drew, Michael Young, Ryan Zimmerman
2007: Jeff Francoeur

There have been 57 combined seasons since 1955 (besides Abreu), and 8 other players had more than 1 season (Rusty Greer, Bill Buckner, Ted Simmons, Joe Torre, Kirby Puckett, Minnie Minoso, Paul O'Neill, Thurman Munson)

With 5, Abreu is the ML leader going back to 1934. It happened a lot during the 1920's, with Hall of Famers Harry Heilmann and Goose Goslin the all-time leaders with 8. Heilmann's seasons were from 1921-1929 and Goslin from 1925-1934.

7 players have had 7 seasons, none of which were after 1939. They are all well-known (and Hall of Famers): Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Pie Traynor, Al Simmons, Tony Lazzeri, Charlie Gehringer and Joe Cronin. 2 players had 6 seasons, both early 20th century: Hall of Famer Sam Crawford (the all time leader in triples) and Bobby Veach. Crawford once had 120 RBI and 5 HR, in 1910, which was at the height of the dead ball era.

This is also the 4th season in a row that Abreu has done this. When was the last time anyone did that? Charlie Gehringer from 1931-1936.

This is just one component of Abreu's career, but it is an interesting one. I have nothing against home run hitters, but it is good to see someone who can consistently drive in runs even if they don't hit a lot of home runs. There have been 221 combined seasons of 100 RBI since 2003 (244 from 1960-1980), and Abreu is basically by himself in this category.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Javier Vasquez

An entry I made at MLB Notebook:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Albert Pujols didn't need the entire decade to make this list

300 HR, 1000 RBI: 1900's-1980's
20's: Babe Ruth
30's Jimmie Foxx
30's Lou Gehrig
30's Mel Ott
50's Duke Snider
50's Gil Hodges
60's Harmon Killebrew
60's Hank Aaron
60's Willie Mays
60's Frank Robinson

1990's: Ken Griffey Jr., Albert Belle, Juan Gonzalez, Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, Rafael Palmeiro

2000's: Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Lance Berkman, Carlos Delgado, Vladimir Guerrero (Jim Thome is 14 RBI short and Carlos Lee 9 HR, so it is unlikely to grow)

The only teammates for an entire decade on the list are Duke Snider and Gil Hodges, who both played for the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers in the 1950's.

Other teammates:
Albert Belle and Frank Thomas; 1997-1998; Chicago White Sox
Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro; 1990-1993, 1999; Texas Rangers
Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz; 2003-2008; Boston Red Sox

Did not play in every season of the decade:
Albert Pujols (2001-present)

Tigers could claim first Division Title since 1987. Who else hasn't won a division in that span?

The Tigers could claim their first Division title since 1987 today with a win over the Twins. It's not the same division they won in 1987 (AL Central vs. AL East), but they'll take it. They won their last division in 1987 by giving the Blue Jays one of the worst final weekends in history.

In 1987 the Tigers were 11 games back in May, but fought their way way to be enter the final weekend trailing the Blue Jays by 1 game and facing off with the Blue Jays in a 3 game series at Tiger Stadium. They proceeded to sweep the Blue Jays to take the AL East.

That was 7 years before the Wild Card was created and the Braves have won 14 Division Titles in that span and the Yankees have now won 10. 14 different franchises have won the World Series since 1987 and virtually every other team has won a Division Title. Which other teams have not won a Division Title since 1987?

Teams that existed in 1987
Kansas City Royals (last Division: 1985)
Milwaukee Brewers (last Division: 1982)

Teams that did not exist in 1987
Colorado Rockies (Wild Card: 1995, 2007, clinched at least a tie 2009)
Florida Marlins (Wild Card: 1997, 2003)

The Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals franchise has not been to a playoff series since 1981, when they won the 2nd-Half of the 1981 Strike Season, but they did technically win the 1994 NL East before the season was called off. It's a little confusing because it is often claimed that the Braves won 14 consecutive Division Titles, but they get credit for it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This is the Yankees' 19th 100-Win Season. What about everyone else?

The Yankees, with 102 wins this season, will be the only team with 100 victories during the 2009 season. It is their fifth 100 win season since 1998 (1st since 2004), and it is no surprise they have been great at accumulating 100-win seasons throughout their history. They did not have their 1st 100 win season until 1927, but they then had an incredible 8 100-win seasons between 1927 and 1942, which produced 7 WS titles and 1 WS loss.
# of 100-Win Seasons (since 1910)
NY Yankees (last in 2009): 19
A's (last in 2002): 10
St. Louis Cardinals (last in 2005): 8
Atlanta Braves: 6 (1993-2003)
Dodgers (Brooklyn 3/LA 2) (last in 1974): 5
Baltimore Orioles (1969-1980): 5
Giants (NY/SF) (last in 2003): 5
Detroit Tigers (last in 1984): 5
Cincinnati Reds (last in 1976): 4
Boston Red Sox (1912, 1915, 1946): 3
NY Mets (1969, 1986, 1988): 3
Philadelphia Phillies (1976-77): 2
Cleveland Indians (1954, 1995): 2
Chicago Cubs (1910, 1935): 2
Arizona D-Backs (1999): 1
Chicago White Sox (1917): 1
Houston Astros (1998): 1
LA Angels (2008): 1
Minnesota Twins (1965): 1
Kansas City Royals (1977): 1
Seattle Mariners (2001): 1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 0
Tampa Bay Rays: 0
San Diego Padres: 0
Texas Rangers: 0
Toronto Blue Jays: 0
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos: 0
Florida Marlins: 0
Milwaukee Brewers: 0
Colorado Rockies: 0

I don't want to pick on the Pirates too much, but it is a bit surprising that they have not won 100 games in a season since 1910 (in fairness, the last time was 1909), and are the only non-expansion team not to have one. Their highest total was 98 wins in 1979 (WS Champs) and 1991 (came close to NL pennant). Also surprised at the Red Sox total, although I probably shouldn't be.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Twins' improved pitching behind surprise playoff run

The Minnesota Twins are making a surprise run at the playoffs, going 15-8 in September. They are 2 games behind Detroit, after being a season-high 7 games back on September 7th.

It is a surprise because their team ERA ranked near the bottom of the league in both July (28th in ML) and August (26th), although they were scoring plenty of runs in July (8th in ML) and August (6th), but only went 26-26. Their pitching has improved dramatically in September:

Twins team ERA by month
April: 5.26 (24th in ML)
May: 4.43 (17th)
June: 3.31 (5th)
July: 5.32 (28th)
August: 5.21 (26th)
September: 3.59 (9th)

One of the biggest reasons for the improvement is the emergence of rookie left-hander Brian Duensing, who is 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 5 September starts.

Prior to September, in his career, he only had 3 starts, 14 relief appearances and a 4.39 ERA. If you include his 2 starts late in August, he is 5-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last 7 starts. Impressively, he has only allowed 1 HR and 11 BB over those 7 starts.

A lot is going to be put on him, as he is scheduled to face off against Justin Verlander in Detroit on Tuesday and then possibly, the final game of the season, at home vs. Kansas City.

Which other AL pitchers have 3 wins and an ERA lower than 2.00 in September? Felix Hernandez, Clay Buchholz, C.C. Sabathia and Roy Halladay.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Top Run Producers

A player's RBI/PA average can show a decent amount, especially if they are supposed to a middle-of-the-order power hitter/run producer. It is nice if a run producer has a high OBP or steals bases or doesn't strike out, but they are really there to drive in runs.

Some hitters, of course, have been very fortunate to hit in the middle of a great lineup (Albert Belle or David Ortiz, for instance) for many years or play in a great hitters' ballpark (Larry Walker, ), but it is still extremely difficult to be an elite run producer over a long period of time even with those advantages. These are the only players (if I missed any let me know) with at least 1000 plate appearances to to have a .200 RBI/PA average (or at least easily rounded to .200).

In other words, these are the only players to have, on average, 2 RBI per every 10 times they come to the plate, for their entire career. There are numerous instances of a player getting .200 RBI/PA for an extended period of their career, such as Ken Griffey Jr. from 1996-2000, when had 685 RBI in 3399 PA. We'll have to see how Ryan Howard's career progresses, as he is the only active player on the list.

Career: .200 RBI/PA 1000+ PA
1930-1947 Hank Greenberg: .209 (1276 RBI, 6096 PA)
1914-1935 Babe Ruth: .209 (2217, 10616)
1923-1939 Lou Gehrig: .207 (1995, 9660)
2005-present Ryan Howard: .203 (active) (631, 3107)
1936-1951 Joe DiMaggio: .200 (1537, 7671)
1925-1945 Jimmie Foxx: .199 (1922, 9670)
1989-2005 Juan Gonzalez: .196 (1404, 7155)

If you're wondering how far down the RBI list you have to go find another player who is at .200, it appears to be Landon Powell, an Oakland rookie this year, with 29 RBI in 145 PA despite a .231 BA.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

All-Around Hitters

300 HR - 125 players (20 active)
+ .300 BA - 26 (6 active)
+ less than 1000 SO - 15 (3 active)

1996-present: Vladimir Guerrero: .322, 407 HR, 863 SO
1997-present: Todd Helton: .327, 324, 877
2001-present: Albert Pujols: .334, 366, 567

Pujols' strikeouts are actually up this year, at 61. He had not gone above 60 since 2005. He will probably finish up the season with about 575 strikeouts, and averaging about 60 per season, he would not hit 1000 career strikeouts until early 2017.

1915-1937 Rogers Hornsby
1923-1939 Lou Gehrig
1924-1944 Al Simmons
1926-1947 Mel Ott
1928-1944 Chuck Klein
1930-1947 Hank Greenberg
1936-1953 Johnny Mize
1936-1951 Joe DiMaggio
1939-1960: Ted Williams
1941-1963 Stan Musial
1973-1993 George Brett
1990-2008 Moises Alou

Monday, September 21, 2009

MLB Notebook

I have made my first guest post at MLB Notebook. It is a short post about Andrew Bailey's rookie season.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An exciting finish in the AL Central?

Great news for the Tigers: they don't have to face the Royals juggernaut again this season.

Tigers vs. Royals, since Sept. 8 (6 games): 1-5, outscored 42-17. The Tigers have actually played well in September at 9-7 (1-5 vs. Royals, 8-2 vs. rest of league). The Royals were probably spared the 5th 100 loss season in their history (all since 2002). They are currently 59-87 with 16 games to go.

This weekend could be exciting because the Tigers have a 3 game series at the Metrodome and the Twins are 4 games out. If the Twins win 2, they'll be only 3 games out, and a sweep would put them 1 game out. If the Tigers win the first game, though, it becomes 5 games out with 15 games to go.

If the Tigers don't extend their lead soon, their final homestand could produce some drama: 7 games - 4 vs. Twins, 3 vs. White Sox (final series of the year). With pretty much every other race already decided, it is nice to have the potential for meaningful games before the postseason.

Vada Pinson

Despite some apparent controversy, Vada Pinson (who had his best seasons playing at Crosley Field (above) with the Reds from 1958-1968) put up some amazing numbers for a guy not in the Hall of Fame. He had a rare combination of power, speed and decent good batting average: he was putting up numbers like Hanley Ramirez (maybe slightly less gaudy) in the late 50's and early 60's (more than 20 years before Hanley Ramirez was born).

While Pinson's numbers trailed off a little too soon, his best seasons hold up amazingly well even with the barrage of players with power and speed over the last 20 years.
1959-1965 avg: .303, 193 H, 105 R, 35 2B, 10 3B, 21 HR, 88 RBI, 23 SB

.280 BA, 2500 H, 250 HR, 300 SB
1951-1973 Willie Mays (Giants, Mets) .302, 3283, 660, 338 (Hall of Fame)
1958-1975 Vada Pinson (Reds, Cardinals, Indians, Angels, Royals): .286, 2757, 256, 305
1986-2007 Barry Bonds (Pirates, Giants) .298, 2935, 762, 514
1988-2007 Craig Biggio (Astros) .281, 3060, 291, 414

.280, 20 HR, 20 SB: 5+ Seasons: 1900-present
Barry Bonds: 9 Seasons
Bobby Abreu: 8
Alex Rodriguez: 6
Willie Mays: 6
Hank Aaron: 5
Vada Pinson: 5

200 H, 20 HR, 20 SB
Vada Pinson: 3 (1959, 1963, 1965)
Jimmy Rollins: 1 (2007)
Hanley Ramirez: 1 (2007)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Adam Lind

Adam Lind has had a breakout season, with a high batting average and a lot of extra base hits:

.300, 30 HR, 101 RBI, 46 2B, 0 3B, 1 SB...

2009: .300, 25 HR, 35 2B, 90 RBI
Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
Adam Lind (Blue Jays)
Kendry Morales (Angels)

It is odd that he has no triples at all with so many doubles and home runs: The only player in ML history with 30+ HR and 45+ 2B with no triples was Shawn Green for the Blue Jays (42 HR, 45 2B) in 1999.

30 HR, 46 2B, 0 3B, since 1900
2009 Adam Lind (17 games to go)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jonathan Papelbon is good, Jimmie Foxx was better

Pitchers who started their career after 1920 and retired with 200+ IP and sub-2.50 ERA
1942-1946 Joe Berry (Cubs, A's, Indians) 2.45 ERA, 294 IP
1987-1995 Bryan Harvey (Angels, Marlins) 2.49, 387
2004-07 Akinori Otsuka (Padres, Rangers) 2.44, 232

Active Pitchers with 250+ IP, sub-2.50 ERA
2005-2009 Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox) 1.86 ERA, 291 IP
2006-2009 Takashi Saito (Dodgers, Red Sox) 2.08, 238.1
1995-2009 Mariano Rivera (Yankees) 2.26, 1081.1
1995-2009 Billy Wagner (Astros, Phillies, Mets, Red Sox) 2.39, 824.1
2002-2009 Francisco Rodriguez (Angels, Mets) 2.43, 514
Red Sox rank 3rd in ML in bullpen ERA, 1st in AL in 2009 at 3.66; 17th in starter's ERA, 8th in AL at 4.61.

3.00 ERA, 1000 IP, 7 K/9 since 1895
1897-1910 George Edward "Rube" Waddell (must read) 2.16 ERA, 7.04 K/9, 2961.1 IP
1955-1966 Sandy Koufax 2.76, 9.28, 2324.1
1959-1975 Bob Gibson 2.91, 7.22, 3884.1
1965-1980 John Hiller (Tigers) 2.83, 7.51, 1242
1976-1988 Bruce Sutter 2.83, 7.43, 1042.1
1984-2005 John Franco 2.89, 7.04, 1245.2
1995-2009 Mariano Rivera 2.26, 8.31, 1081.1
1993-2009 Trevor Hoffman 2.74, 9.54, 1033
1992-2009 Pedro Martinez 2.92, 10.06, 2812.1

Lowest Career ERA, 20+ IP, since 1920: 1939, 1945 Jimmie Foxx - 1.52 ERA, 23.2 IP (22.2 IP in 1945)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Evan Longoria

Through Evan Longoria's first 2 seasons, he has been very good. He won the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year Award (11th in MVP voting), has improved his numbers this year, and will probably get a decent number of MVP votes again:

Career: .276 BA, 57 HR, 188 RBI, .885 OPS
2008: .272, 27 HR, 85 RBI, .874 OPS
2009: .280, 30 HR, 103 RBI, .895 OPS

He will probably join this list, which has the only players in ML history who finished their 1st 2 seasons with 1000 PA, .875 OPS, 55 HR, 190 RBI
1930-31 Wally Berger (Boston Braves)
1936-37 Joe Dimaggio (Yankees)
1952-53 Eddie Mathews (Milwaukee Braves)
1946-47 Ralph Kiner (Pirates)
2001-02 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2007-08 Ryan Braun (Brewers)
2008-09 Evan Longoria (Rays)

To be fair, he still needs to improve his numbers in some areas. He also might join the following list of players, but which he probably hopes to avoid. He currently has 244 career strikeouts and only 105 walks.

1st 2 seasons: 250+ Strikeouts, Less than 120 walks:
1968-69 Bobby Bonds (Giants) 271, 119
1986-87 Pete Incaviglia (Rangers) 353 103
1986-87 Cory Snyder (Indians) 289, 47
2006-07 Dan Uggla (Marlins) 290, 116
2007-08 Alex Gordon (Royals) 257, 107
2007-08 Mark Reynolds (D-Backs) 333, 101
2008-09 Evan Longoria (Rays)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Justin Verlander: strange season, but good chance at Cy Young Award

Justin Verlander's Cy Young hopes took a but of a hit last night when he got the loss to the Royals, even though he pitched well (6 IP, 1 ER, 8 SO, 3 BB). He probably has 4 more starts, so he could end up with 18 wins and 250 SO. If things break right for him, he still has a pretty good shot at the AL Cy Young Award. His ERA (3.24) is hurting him a bit, and a lot of that has to do with his 6.75 ERA in April (1st start was 3.2 IP, 8 ER).

2009: 16-8, 3.24 ERA, 230 SO

It's unusual for a pitcher to have a high number of wins and strikeouts, with a high winning percentage and have an ERA over 3.00. Here are the pitchers, since 1900, who have had:

17+ Wins, 3.00+ ERA, 240+ SO, .650+ W-L%
1941 Bob Feller (Indians) 25-13, 3.15, 260
1967 Jim Lonborg (Red Sox) 22-9, 3.16, 246 (Cy Young)
1970 Bob Gibson (Cardinals) 23-7, 3.12, 274 (Cy Young)
1982 Steve Carlton (Phillies) 23-11, 3.10, 286 (Cy Young)
1986 Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers) 21-11, 3.14, 242
1993 Randy Johnson (Mariners) 19-8, 3.24, 308
2002 Curt Schilling (D-Backs) 23-7, 3.23, 316
2004 Jason Schmidt (Giants) 18-7, 3.20, 251
2009 Justin Verlander (Tigers)? 16-8, 3.24, 230

Verlander is having an unusual season, as there are only two other pitchers on the list who won less than 20 games, which Verlander likely to miss as well: Randy Johnson in 1993 and Jason Schmidt in 2004. There will likely not be any AL pitchers with 20 wins, which gives Verlander a chance to win the Cy Young is his ERA keeps coming down closer to 3.00, he gets to 18wins and finishes with 250 strikeouts.

It's going to be close: ESPN's Cy Predictor (created by Bill James and Rob Neyer) has Verlander in front, barely, over C.C. Sabathia, Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke and Mariano Rivera. It's up for grabs, and the final vote will likely be close, but with his high strikeout total, tied for lead in wins and lower ERA than Sabthia, he is in a prime position to win it.

How many AL Cy Young Award winners (non strike-shortened seasons) have been starters with less than 20 wins and higher than a 3.00 ERA? Just two: C.C. Sabathia (Indians) in 2007 (19-7, 3.21) and Pete Vuckovich (Brewers) in 1982 (18-6, 3.34).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chris Carpenter Pulls Ahead

Chris Carpenter's season has been taken to a whole new level after tonight. He had a 1-hit shutout with 10 SO and 2 BB vs. the Brewers tonight, taking his season totals to...

16-3, 2.16 ERA, .842 W-L%, 129 SO, 30 BB, 4.3 SO/BB

He is having one of the most dominant pitching seasons in the history of baseball. While Tim Lincecum (13-5, 2.34) is certainly not out of the running for the NL Cy Young Award, Carpenter pulled ahead tonight, as he leads Lincecum now in Wins, W-L%, K/BB, WHIP and ERA. If his season ended today, Carpenter would join the following list of pitchers with...

16+ Wins, .835+ W-L%, 4.3+ K/BB, 2.20- ERA
1913 Walter Johnson (Senators): 36-7, 1.14 ERA, .837 W-L %, 8.46 SO/BB
1968 Denny McLain (Tigers): 31-6, 1.96, .838, 4.44
1995 Greg Maddux (Braves): 19-2, 1.63, .905, 6.39
1999 Pedro Martinez (Red Sox): 23-4, 2.07, .852, 7.87
2009 Chris Carpenter (Cardinals): 16-3, 2.16, 8.42, 4.3

Strikeouts Without Home Runs

I wrote about this a while ago, and there is a chance for 2009 to be another bad year in this regard.

130+ SO, 10- HR since 1900


1967 Bobby Knoop (Angels): 9 HR, 136 SO
1968 Rick Monday (A's): 8, 143
1970 Larry Hisle (Phillies): 10, 139
1975 Ron LeFlore (Tigers) : 8, 139


1986 Gary Pettis (Angels): 5 HR, 132 SO
1991 Delino DeShields (Expos): 10, 151
1995 Benji Gil (Rangers): 9, 147
1997 Rich Becker (Twins): 10, 130


2008 Carlos Gomez (Twins): 7 HR, 142 SO
2008 B.J. Upton (Rays): 9. 134
2008 Jack Hannahan (A's): 9, 131
2008 Akinori Iwamura (Rays): 6, 131

2009 B.J. Upton (Rays): 9, 142
2009 David Wright (Mets): 8, 113
2009 Michael Bourn (Astros): 3, 110

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Most Hits by Decade

1880's: Cap Anson: 1502
1890's: Ed Delahanty: 1862
1900's: Honus Wagner: 1847
1910's: Ty Cobb: 1948
1920's: Rogers Hornsby: 2085
1930's: Paul Waner: 1959

1940's: Lou Bodreau: 1578
1950's: Richie Ashburn: 1875
1960's: Roberto Clemente: 1877
1970's: Pete Rose: 2045
1980's: Robin Yount: 1731
1990's: Mark Grace: 1754
2000's: Ichiro Suzuki: 1996

The hit totals in 1940's were skewed because of WWII. Many players missed significant playing time due to the war, such as Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio, who did not play at all from 1943-1945.

Ted Williams had 1303 hits over the other 7 years that he played during the decade, which is an average of 186 hits per year. Assuming he would collected 186 hits per year from 1943-1945, he would have finished the 40's with 1861 hits, nearly 300 more than Boudreau's total.

Multiple Decade Leaders:
1900-1920: Honus Wagner: 2967
1921-1940: Al Simmons: 2894
1941-1960: Stan Musial: 3294
1961-1980: Pete Rose: 3557
1981-2009: Cal Ripken: 3184

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Appearing in 70+ Games Per Year

These are the only pitchers to appear in 70+ games every year since 2005 (none of them appeared in 70+ G in 2004):

Dan Wheeler - 71, 75, 70, 70 - Astros, Rays (2009: Rays, 57 G, 3.51 ERA) - on pace for 70

Chad Qualls - 77, 81, 79, 77 - Astros, D-Backs (2009: D-Backs, 51 G, 3.63 ERA) DL, Out for Season

Bobby Howry - 79, 84, 78, 72 - Indians, Cubs (2009: Giants, 51 G, 3.61 ERA)

Scott Schoeneweis - 80, 71, 70, 73 - Blue Jays, Reds, Mets (2009: D-Backs, 38 G, 8.24 ERA) DL

Dan Wheeler is on pace to just barely appear in 70 games (again), but it does not look like any of the others have a chance at extending their streak.

Best Streak Ever, 70+ G? 7 consecutive years
Buddy Groom: 1996-2002 (A's, Orioles)

80 + G? 4 consecutive years
Paul Quantrill: 2001-2004 (Blue Jays, Dodgers, Yankees)

More Pujols Stats

120+ BB, 80- SO, 20+ HR, 35+ 2B since 1900
1920 Babe Ruth (Yankees)
1937 Lou Gehrig (Yankees)
1947-49 Ted Williams (Red Sox)
1970 Willie McCovey (Giants)
1987 Von Hayes (Phillies)
1992-93 Barry Bonds (Giants)
2002 Brian Giles (Pirates)
2004 Todd Helton (Rockies)
2009 Albert Pujols (Cardinals): (99 BB, 55 SO, 42 HR, 35 2B through 134 games)

This is kind of a statistical quirk, although this is an impressive set up numbers for anyone to put up in a season, which might explain how Von Hayes, aka "5 for 1", snuck in, despite not having incredible overall numbers (.277 BA, .404 OBP, .473 SLG). Still, this has not been done in the AL since Ted Williams in 1949.

Albert Pujols is on pace for exactly 120 BB and only 66 SO (and 50 HR), so it should be close. In case you're wondering, has anyone ever had 120+ BB, less than 70 SO and 50+ HR in a season? Nope, he would be the first.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August Totals

Batting Average (min. 100 PA)
Matt Diaz (Braves): .404
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins): .395
Joe Mauer (Twins): .391
Kendry Morales (Angels): .385

On Base Percentage
Matt Diaz (Braves): .467
Adrian Gonzalez (Padres): .460
Denard Span (Twins): .458
Adam Dunn (Nationals): .453

Slugging Percentage
Kendry Morales (Angels): .734
Carlos Pena (Rays): .685
Ryan Howard (Phillies): .682
Matt Diaz (Braves): .681

Matt Diaz (Braves): 1.148
Kendry Morales (Angels): 1.143
Adam Dunn (Nationals): 1.112
Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals): 1.112

Carlos Pena (Rays): 12
Prince Fielder (Brewers): 11
Ryan Howard (Phillies): 11
Mark Reynolds (D-Backs): 11

Ryan Howard (Phillies): 33
Kendry Morales (Angels): 33
Carlos Pena (Rays): 29
Prince Fielder (Brewers): 28

Derek Jeter (Yankees): 27
Grady Sizemore (Indians): 23
Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals): 22
Kendry Morales (Angels): 22
Matt Kemp (Dodgers): 22
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins): 22

Chris Carpenter (Cardinals): 5-0
C.C. Sabathia (Yankees): 5-0
Scott Feldman (Rangers): 5-0
Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies): 5-1

ERA (20 IP)
Adam Wainwright (Cardinals): 1.30
J.A. Happ (Phillies): 1.67
Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies): 1.77
Barry Zito (Giants): 1.93

C.C. Sabathia (Yankees): 49 (6 BB)
Zack Greinke (Royals): 49 (12 BB)
Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): 47 (18 BB)
Justin Verlander (Tigers): 43 (10 BB)

Batting Average Against (20+ IP)
Rich Harden (Cubs): .172
Jon Lester (Red Sox): .178
Tim Lincecum (Giants): .190
Jonathan Sanchez (Giants): .194

Ryan Franklin (Cardinals): 11 (0.00 ERA)
Jose Valverde (Astros): 9 (1.15 ERA)

Blown Saves
Brad Lidge (Phillies): 3 (7 SV, 6.75 ERA)
Kevin Gregg (Cubs): 3 (2 SV, 6.75 ERA)


Yankees: 21-7
Cardinals: 20-6
Angels: 17-12
Braves: 17-11

Orioles: 10-20
Pirates: 9-19
Royals: 10-19
Mets: 10-19

Cardinals: 3.06
Dodgers: 3.17
Phillies: 3.33
Braves: 3.39
Giants: 3.68
Mariners: 4.09

Angels: 180
Yankees: 175
Braves: 165
Brewers: 151

Batting Average
Marlins: .298
Angels: .298
Yankees: .296
Twins: .291

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Larry Walker: Hall of Famer?

I think Larry Walker's candidacy for the Hall of Fame, which will come up in 2011, is very interesting because of how Coors Field fits into his legacy. He was also a relatively quiet star, who had numerous injuries and played for many years on the generally uncompetitive Rockies.

There are several issues to address regarding Larry Walker's Hall of Fame candidacy for the Hall of Fame.

1. Are his numbers good enough?
2. How does Coors Field factor in?

There are many different methods to use and questions to ask when evaluating a player's HOF candidacy. Sometimes, the simplest method can work best. Due to various factors, including injuries, he did not get 500 HR or 3000 hits, so he will need quality of stats over quantity.

Larry Walker: 8030 PA, .313, BA .400 OBP, .565 SLG , .965 OPS, 2160 H, 383 HR, 1311 RBI, 230 SB

1995-96 (Rockies): .766 AB, .296 BA, .593 SLG
1997-2002 (Rockies): 2748 AB, .353 BA, .648 SLG (3 Batting Titles, MVP)

This surprised me a little:

All-Time .300 BA, .400 OBP, .550 SLG, 8000+ PA
Babe Ruth
Rogers Hornsby
Stan Musial
Frank Thomas
Jimmie Foxx
Lou Gehrig
Manny Ramirez
Ted Williams
Larry Walker

All-Time: .300 BA, .400 OBP, .550 SLG, 200+ SB, 8000+ PA
Larry Walker

With only 8030 PA, he is 248th on the all-time list. How does 8000 PA stack up against other Hall of Famers? It's not common, but there are others:
Yogi Berra: 8364
Duke Snider: 8237
Kirby Puckett: 7831
Joe Dimaggio: 7671
Kirby Puckett: 7528

Coors Field: 2136 AB, .381 BA, HR/16.2 PA
Elsewhere: 4771 AB, .282 BA, HR/24.1 PA

Would he be in the discussion if he had played at Wrigley Field from 1995-2003. Perhaps not, although there is no way to know for sure. Here are two small examples of Hall of Famers who benefited mightily from playing where they played:

Jim Rice (Red Sox - Fenway)
Home: .320, .546 SLG, 4507 PA
Road: .277, .469 SLG, 4551 PA

Don Drysdale (Dodgers - Dodger Stadium)
Home: 114-74, 2.53 ERA , 230 GS
Road: 95-92, 3.41 ERA, 235 GS

The Hall of Fame might look a lot different if there had been some minor changes in where people played. For instance, imagine Jim Rice at Dodger Stadium or Don Drysdale at Wrigley Field for their whole careers. There is some luck involved in baseball in where you get to play. Certain hitters who played in pitcher-friendly parks probably would have made the Hall of and vice-versa.

Ok, so let's say Walker is a product of Coors Field. I'm not sure how much this should matter. For instance, what if he had stayed healthy and won 4 MVP awards between 1995 and 2002? If he had stayed healthy (as he did in 1997), it could have happened. He would have been issued multiple MVP Awards (greatly enhancing his HOF resume), despite the fact that everyone knew he was playing in the thin air of Colorado. Yes, it didn't happen, but he did hit .350 from 1997-2002, which is pretty unreal. That's Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby territory.

This is not a slam-dunk. He was hit pretty hard by injuries throughout his career and rarely dominated in quantity of numbers (never placed higher than 3rd in RBI). He was also a very good right fielder who won 7 Gold Gloves. His remarkably high career OBP (On Base %) and SLG put him in elite company and 8000 PA is enough to give him serious consideration. Add in the stolen bases (230) and 7 gold gloves and I think he should gain admission when he is eligible.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

NL Cy Young Award

NL Cy Young Contenders
Chris Carpenter (Cardinals): 14-3, 2.20 ERA, 115 SO, 25 BB
Tim Lincecum (Giants): 13-4, 2.33 ERA, 222 SO, 54 BB
Adam Wainwright (Cardinals): 16-7, 2.47 ERA, 164 SO, 57 BB

Josh Johnson (Marlins): 13-3, 3.03, 149 SO, 41 BB
Matt Cain (Giants): 12-4, 2.50 ERA, 141 SO, 63 BB
Dan Haren (D-Backs): 13-8, 2.78 ERA, 180 SO, 29 BB

There are plenty of other NL pitchers having good seasons, such as Wandy Rodriguez (Astros)and Joel Pineiro (Cardinals), but I don't think there are any serious contenders beyond the six listed above.

Carpenter and Lincecum are each having historic seasons as of now:
13+ Wins, 2.33- ERA, .765+ W-L%, 4.11+ K/BB

Besides Carpenter and Lincecum this year, these numbers have only been equaled only 16 times since 1900, naturally by very good pitchers: Sandy Koufax and Pedro Martinez (3); Greg Maddux and Christy Mathewson (2); Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Denny McLain, Randy Johnson, Bret Saberhagen, Juan Marichal (1).

This is a difficult award to predict and it seems likely that one of them will have historically great numbers and lose. Adam Wainwright seems the most likely to get to 20 wins and one bad outing could damage a really good ERA to make it seem more mundane. It is a pretty tight race right now, I think, and a very interesting story line to follow.

Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman won his 14th game yesterday for the Rangers, but he is having a very unusual season: high ERA, high W-L%, high win total, low strikeouts:

Scott Feldman, 2009: 14-4, .778 W-L%, 3.72 ERA, 5.28 K/9

How many pitchers have had the following numbers since 1900:
14+ Wins, .770+ W-L%, 3.70+ ERA, sub-5.4 K/9?
1922 Ray Kolp (Browns)
1931 Roy Mahaffey (A's)
1932 Johnny Allen (Yankees)
1936 Bump Hadley (Yankees)
1948 Jack Kramer (Red Sox)
1992 Jack Morris (Blue Jays)
1993 Bob Wickman (Yankees)
1997 Jamie Moyer (Mariners)
2009 Scott Feldman (Rangers)?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scott Kazmir

25 Years Old and under, 800+IP, 9.0+ K/9, sub-4.00 ERA
"Sudden" Sam McDowell (1961-1968)
Pedro Martinez (1992-1997)
Sandy Koufax (1955-1961)
Scott Kazmir (2004-2009)

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Joel Pineiro's Remarkable Turnaround

Joel Pineiro won again tonight to move his record to 13-9, and it looks like the Cardinals are a lock to win the NL Central (9 GM up). He is having his best year since 2003, when he went 16-11 for the Mariners.

His W-L (13-9) and ERA (3.11) are good, but not spectacular (although he is 8-1 with a 2.47 ERA since late June). It is some of the other numbers, plus the degree to which he turned them around from last year that are so amazing.

He has had a stunning turnaround in several key numbers since last year, especially in HR allowed:

2008: 7-7, 5.15 ERA, 22 HR, .97 G/F, 2.1 BB/9
2009: 13-9, 3.11, 6 HR, 1.70 G/F, 1.0 BB/9

He is only allowing 1 BB per 9 IP, which is best in the league. He is also 5th in K/BB at 4.39, and he does not strike out many hitters (84 SO, 170.1 IP)

As of today: 1.0 BB/9, 160+ IP: Since 2000
2003 David Wells (Yankees)
2004 David Wells (Padres)
2004 Jon Lieber (Yankees)
2005 Carlos Silva (Twins)
2009 Joel Pineiro (Cardinals)

2008: 1.44 - 87th
2009: 1.10 - 5th (Haren, Carpenter, Lincecum, Vasquez, Pineiro)

Ground Balls/Fly Balls
In 2008, he was 37th in ML (min. 100 IP) in Ground Ball/Fly Ball Ratio.
In 2009, he is #1 in the ML, by a long shot. By itself, allowing more ground balls doesn't mean anything, except that he was allowing a lot of home runs last year.

Joel Pineiro: 1.70
Derek Lowe 1.35
Aaron Cook 1.34
Rick Porcello 1.31

Home Runs
2008: 22 HR, 148.2 IP (1.3 HR/9 - 90th out of 108 pitchers w/ 140+ IP)
2009: 6 HR, 170.1 IP (.3 HR/9 - fewest HR of any starter in baseball)

If his season ended today, he would be the first pitcher since Greg Maddux in 1994 to allow only 6 HR in 160+ IP.

As of today, he is the 18th pitcher with 160 IP, 1.0 BB/9, .3 HR/9, but the 1st since Babe Adams in 1920. Other pitchers on the list include Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and Cy Young.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ponson v. A-Rod: Not a fair fight

Sidney Ponson has had a bit of a rough career, although he has managed to stick around the game a long time despite a propensity to give up a lot of hits:

10.15 H/9, 1500+ IP, since 1933
Jack Knott (1933-1946) 10.33
Sidney Ponson (1998-present) - 10.25
Jose Lima (1994-2006) - 10.24
Elden Auker (1933-1942) - 10.22
Bob Tewksbury (1986-1998) - 10.18
Lary Sorenson (1977-1988) - 10.16

He has been very tough on one great hitter:

Alex Rodriguez Lowest BA (50+ AB - 14 pitchers)
.176 - John Lackey
.188 - Sidney Ponson (.219 OBP, 69 AB, 6 HR, 3 BB, 19 SO)
.212 - Barry Zito
.259 - Mike Mussina

This was not typical for Sidney either:

Sidney vs. (50+ AB)
.358 Derek Jeter
.188 A-Rod
.237 Bernie Williams
.345 Johnny Damon
.304 Jorge Posada
.420 Manny Ramirez
.346 Shannon Stewart

Some other one-sided matchups:
Craig Biggio v. Brandon Webb: 1/24 - .042
Chipper Jones v. Hideo Nomo: 2/35 -.057
Sammy Sosa v. John Smoltz: 4/41 - .105
Mike Schmidt v. Orel Hersheiser: 4/29 - .138
Wade Boggs v. Bob Welch: 5/36 - .139
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random Kung Fu Panda Stats

The "Kung Fu Panda", aka Pablo Sandoval, 1B/3B/C for the Giants, is in his 2nd season, and his career batting average is .334 and slugging is .538. It's still very early in his career, but if his career ended today, he would be in good company:

2009: 450 AB, .331 BA, 19 HR, 37 2B, .538 SLG

2008: .345, .490 SLG, 154 AB
2009: .331, .553 SLG, 450 AB
Total: .334, .538 SLG, 595 AB

Career: .330 BA, .535 SLG, 590 AB
Babe Ruth
Ted Williams
Lou Gehrig
Stan Musial
Albert Pujols (2001-present)
Al Simmons
Rogers Hornsby
Pablo Sandoval (2008-present)

.330 BA, .550 SLG, 20 HR, 500 AB: 23 years old or younger since 1937
1937 Joe Dimaggio (Yankees)
1938 Jeff Heath (Indians)
1940 Ted Williams (Red Sox)
1940 Ted Williams (Red Sox)
1954 Willie Mays (Giants)
1975 Fred Lynn (Red Sox)
1992 Gary Sheffield (Padres)
1996 Alex Rodriguez (Mariners)
2003 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2006 Miguel Cabrera (Marlins)
2007 Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)
2009 Pablo Sandoval (Giants)?

.315, 35 2B, 15 HR, 450 AB, 1st or 2nd year of career, since 1940:
1940 Ted Williams (Red Sox)
1959 Vada Pinson (Reds)
1959 Orlando Cepeda (Giants)
1964 Dick Allen (Phillies)
1975 Fred Lynn (Red Sox)
1998 Todd Helton (Rockies)
2001 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2006 Robinson Cano (Yankees)
2009 Pablo Sandoval (Giants)

Blog Carnival 08.25.09

Welcome to the August 25, 2009 edition of the Baseball In-Depth Blog Carnival.

Prior Adams presents A True Fan Does Not Leave a Game Early posted at Prior Adams.

Chaz Shamoian presents Why the NY Yankees are the best pro team posted at Cats Love Plastic Bags.

Joe Tichio presents The Greatest Inspirational Baseball Quotes posted at Inspirational Quotes Blog.

Sam presents New !! Famous Baseball Players and Their Teams posted at Surfer Sam and Friends.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of baseball in-depth carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Random Hanley Ramirez Stats

Hanley Ramirez is having a special season in 2009, but does not really have a shot at the NL MVP barring a historic collapse by Albert Pujols. With his rare combination of power, speed and ability to hit for a high batting average, he has already put some amazing numbers in his short career:

Hanley Ramirez 2009
.361, 19 HR, 85 RBI 23 SB

.335 BA, 20 HR, 25 SB, 90 RBI, since 1900:
1958 Willie Mays (Giants)
1993 Barry Bonds (Giants)
1996 Ellis Burks (Rockies)
1997 Larry Walker (Rockies)
1999 Bobby Abreu (Phillies)
2000 Darin Erstad (Angels)
2001 Roberto Alomar (Indians)
2002 Vladimir Guerrero (Expos)
2009 Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)?

.300, 125 R, 20 HR, 35 SB, since 1900:
1922 Ken Williams (Browns)
1970 Bobby Bonds (Giants)
1985 Rickey Henderson (Yankees)
1997 Craig Biggio (Astros)
1999 Roberto Alomar (Indians)
2002 Alfonso Soriano (Yankees)
2007 Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)
2008 Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)

Career: .300 BA, .525 SLG, 100 SB
Babe Ruth
Lou Gehrig
Hank Aaron
Willie Mays
Rogers Hornsby
Larry Walker
Vladimir Guerrero
Chipper Jones
Alex Rodriguez
Hanley Ramirez

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Speed Cycles

Hitting for the cycle is becoming way too commonplace (7 times in 2009; 45 times in 00's vs. 24 in the 90's). There are several well-known ways of distinguishing between different types of cycles, such as natural v. non-natural, but there are other versions as well. Here is one:

Regular Cycle (1B, 2B, 3B, HR) + Stolen Base:

2009 Ian Kinsler (Rangers)

2006 Carlos Guillen (Tigers)

1995 Rondell White (Expos)

1991 Ray Lankford (Cardinals)

1985 Oddibe McDowell (Rangers)

1980 Charlie Moore (Brewers) (2 SB)

1975 Lou Brock (Cardinals)

1970 Rod Carew (Twins)

1957 Mickey Mantle (Yankees)

Friday, August 21, 2009

What comes next for Garrett Jones?

Garrett Jones (Pirates) has cooled off a bit since his great start to the season after being called up in July (10 HR in first 80 at-bats, 3 in his next 84).

Overall: 164 AB, 181 PA, .299 BA, .622 SLG, 13 HR

Since 1900, which players in their 1st or 2nd year in the league have finished with more than 200 Plate Appearances, .300 BA and .620 SLG?

1929 Chuck Klein (Phillies) - Hall of Fame
1930 George Watkins (Cardinals)
1937 Joe Dimaggio (Yankees) - Hall of Fame
1937 Rudy York (Tigers)
1947 Ralph Kiner (Pirates) - Hall of Fame
1953 Eddie Matthews (Braves) - Hall of Fame
1959 Willie McCovey (Giants) - Hall of Fame
2006 Luke Scott (Astros)
2007 Ryan Braun (Brewers)
2009 Garrett Jones (Pirates)?

So far, its hard to say whether it's a one month blip or not. The best players to compare him to on the list are Ryan Braun and Luke Scott, who are very different players.

Luke Scott is emerging as a solid but unspectacular major league player. He was a 9th round pick in 2001 by the Indians and bounced around a bit before his 2006 breakout season with the Astros (.336, 10 HR, 37 RBI in 249 PA). Now with the Orioles, he is putting together a decent career, with 43 HR over his last two years in Baltimore.

Ryan Braun was the 5th overall pick in 2005 by the Brewers and shot through their minor league system, won the 2007 Rookie of the Year (34 HR, 97 RBI in 492 plate appearances). After almost 3 seasons in the league, he appears to be a perennial MVP candidate and possibly a future Hall of Famer if he stays healthy (97 HR in only 1525 AB, .305 BA, .581 SLG)

Garrett Jones was a 14th round pick in 1999 by the Braves. He made it to the league in 2007 with the Twins and only hit .208 over 84 PA. He didn't even make the Pirates roster out of Spring Training this year. It's hard to know what to make of him, because he could become a decent player with occasional power surges like in July, or he could continue to surprise and become a star. He will certainly get a lot of playing time being on the Pirates.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Will Brian Roberts get to 60?

It is not exactly setting the baseball world on fire at the moment, but Brian Roberts (Orioles) has 46 doubles as of tonight. If he plays in every game, or almost every game, he is on pace for 60 doubles this season.

This is the list of players with 60 or more doubles in a season, followed by the few that had 59:

1931 Earl Webb (Red Sox) - 67

1926 George Burns (Indians) - 64

1936 Joe Medwick (Cardinals) - 64

1934 Hank Greenberg (Tigers) - 63

1932 Paul Waner (Pirates) - 62

1936 Charlie Gehringer (Tigers) - 60

1923 Tris Speaker (Indians) - 59

1930 Chuck Klein (Phillies) - 59

2000 Todd Helton (Rockies) - 59

Brian Roberts 2009
April - 8
May - 8
June - 9
July - 11
August - 10 (through 17 games)

Todd Helton 2000
April - 7
May - 7
June - 11
July - 10
August - 18
September - 6 (0 in his final 7 games)

He had a really good streak from August 11-16: 5 straight games with a double, 7 over 5 games including a 3 double game.

It could end up being one of the better storylines to follow in late September, but he still has a lot of work to do just to get to that point.
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